“Samara?” he asked cautiously. What did this mean? She wasn’t dressed to go out, but given the time, it was after eleven-thirty at the very least.
Samara made to stand, and he helped her, grasping her hand gently in his. He didn’t let go once she was settled on her feet.
“I told Frankie I wasn’t feeling well,” Samara said quietly and without preamble. “It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t a complete truth, either. I needed time to think.”
AJ felt as if his lungs were in a vice, and he squeezed air out and sucked it into his body. “Okay . . .”
A deep breath. “Instead of me coming with you, why don’t you come with me . . . to meet my family?” Samara said in a rush.
Involuntarily, his hand squeezed hers in surprise. “What?”
“I asked if you wanted to meet my family . . . my parents . . .”
“What are you really asking me, Samara?”
Samara blew out a breath and glared at him. “Look, I don’t know if you know this or not, but women don’t like ultimatums, especially Black women. Shoot, we can do bad all by ourselves, and most of the time, it’s not even a choice. But you listen and listen good, Alejandro Kyriakos Melonakos. Just because I love you, don’t think your shit don’t stink, got it?”