Chapter 12

When Sparkle arrived at the community center on Saturday morning, she was floored by what she saw in the auditorium. "This is way more than two thousand toys." She gasped.
   Sparkle tried calling Michael to give him a good light-hearted tongue lashing, but he didn't answer the phone. While she was thankful for what looked to be over three thousand gifts, there was no way possible her staff of three would be able to wrap them all in one day.
   The center was closed so they could wrap the gifts peacefully. She didn't want any of the toys accidentally being taken from the center, intentionally or unintentionally. So she only requested her most trusted staff to help pitch in.
   In two weeks, the center would be closing for the holidays, and it's annual cleaning. They needed to finish wrapping the gifts that day if they wanted the kids to have them before Christmas.
   After assessing the situation, she returned to her office to see if any stores would deliver wrapping paper within an hour. She had already bought tons of it, but with the extra toys, she needed just a little bit more.
   Just before entering her office, two large hands covered her eyes. She instantly knew it was Michael when she smelled the powdery citrus aroma of 'Orange Spice.'
   "Mmm, I've missed you, baby." He mumbled against her neck, creating a small wave of vibrations that pulsated throughout her body.
   "I've missed you too, sweetie, but what are you doing here?" She said in surprise, turning around to face him.
   "I couldn't wait till tonight to see you, so I figured I'd help you wrap the extra toys I bought. My bodyguards are going to pitch in and help out as well-- If that's ok with you?" He asked politely as he kissed her on the lips.
   "Of course, you all can help, and Thankyou! But you could have warned me about the extra gifts."
   "Sorry... I guess I got carried away with shopping."
   "Yeah? you think?" She laughed.
Before they made their way to the auditorium, Sparkle asked if he had three NDA forms for her staff to sign.
   "Yes I do, they can sign the forms once they arrive.
   "Well, I guess we're all set then, but wait, is there any way you can work some magic and get us some extra wrapping paper?"
   Pretending to be a genie, Michael folded his arms and blinked his eyes. "Your wish is my command." He laughed. "But no, seriously! We brought some with us."
   "Why do you have to be such a smartass?" She teased.
   "But I thought you liked my ass?" He laughed.
   Not being able to come up with a good comeback, Sparkle sighed. "Come on! We need to get rolling."
   Once they arrived in the auditorium,  
   Sparkle passed out the NDA forms while introducing Michael to her staff.
When she introduced Michael to Ms. Johnson, she quietly groaned inside.
   "Hi, Michael, it's nice to meet you. I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to meet you when you first volunteered, "Ms. Johnson spoke sweetly.
   "Oh, it's quite alright. Sparkle has told me nice things about you." He replied as he turned to smile at Sparkle mischievously.
   "Oh, really? What has she said about me?" She said sarcastically while looking at Sparkle.
   "She said that you were a great secretary and that she could trust you with just about anything." He replied half-truthfully.
   Sparkle did, in fact, tell him that Ms. Johnson was a great secretary, but she most definitely did not trust Ms. Johnson with anything she didn't want to be known.
   If it were up to her, she wouldn't have invited Ms. Johnson to help with the wrapping project had she known that Michael was coming.
   Sparkle didn't mean any harm or disrespect because she did like Ms. Johnson; she just didn't want people to know about Michael's visit since she thought he was trying to stay low-key.
   When Michael turned his attention back to Sparkle, she silently asked. "What are you doing?"
   "Getting Ms. Johnson on our good side. An 'NDA' means nothing to old people." he laughed.
    Before they started wrapping gifts, Michael formally introduced Sparkle to his security staff.
   "Hi, it's finally nice to meet you all. I'm sure it's not easy protecting this knucklehead." She quipped while poking Michael in the arm.
   "Nice to meet you, Ms. Washington," they replied in unison.
   "Please, call me Sparkle." She smiled.
    Turning to whisper in Michael's ear, she asked. "Umm... Do they know about us?"
   "They know that you're someone very special to me." He replied as he tried to give her a quick peck on the cheek.
  Their intimate moment went virtually unnoticed, but Ms. Johnson saw it all.
   "Damn!" Sparkle hissed.
   "What happened?" Michael replied worriedly.
   "Ms. Johnson saw us!" She shrieked.
   "So what? I'm not exactly hiding our relationship, or at least I don't want to." He smiled as he grabbed her hand.
   "Then what was the purpose of the NDA forms today?" She asked with a puzzled expression on her face.
   "While I do use them a lot. Today was out the force of habit. Eventually, people are gonna see us kiss. I'm crazy about you spark. You are my girlfriend, you know?" He said, caressing her cheek softly.
   "Really? Well, if that's the case." She stated, pulling him closer towards her. "You won't mind if I do this."
   As Sparkle kissed Michael for all to see, he wrapped his hands around her waist and deepened their kiss. Just then, they heard a loud wolf-whistle come from Bill, as everyone gushed over their sweet display of affection.
   Sparkle was expecting for Ms. Johnson to rush over to them with a bunch of questions but was super surprised when the only thing she did was smile.
   "Hey! Let me introduce you to Bill. He's like a father to me, but be careful, he's a sly old fox," he chuckled.
    Calling Bill over towards them, Michael properly introduced the two.
   "Sparkle, I'd like you to meet 'Bill Bray,' my chief of security. The man that I have trusted with my life for over twenty years."
   As Sparkle went to shake Bill's hand, he kissed it instead.
   "Oh, God, Bill! Here you go! Always flirting. I'm telling Mrs. Bray." He said in mock disgust.
   "Ignore him, Sparkle. Let me know if he acts up, and I'll set him straight for you." He bellowed.
   Laughing profusely, Sparkle exclaimed, "I will, Bill! I most certainly will."
   Later that day, after all the toys were wrapped, Sparkle headed to Michael's condo with him to prepare for their date.
   When she stepped into his living-room, she exclaimed. "Where's your Christmas tree?"
   "I don't have one. You know-- I love the idea of Christmas, but I've never really celebrated it due to my growing up a 'Jehovah's Witness.'
   "But I thought you were no longer with them?" She asked.
   "I'm not, but I mean... I guess I'm just a creature of habit in some ways." He shrugged.
   "Well... we'll have to fix that! Hmm, instead of going out, let's go buy a Christmas tree and decorate it!" She happily suggested.
   "Ok, but not tonight. I was actually going to ask if we could stay in tonight. Wrapping all those gifts has tired me out, and I'm still a bit jet-lagged from my flight. "Baby, I just need some rest." He yawned.
   "I understand." She sympathized.
Sitting down on the chaise sofa, she motioned for him to sit down in front of her.
   As he made his way over, he noticed a letter on the kitchen counter. Upon opening it, he discovered that it was an invitation to a 'Christmas Charity' ball.
   "This could be fun! It's an invitation to a 'Christmas Ball,' and it's for charity. You can be my date!" He chirped happily as she massaged his aching muscles.
   "It sounds fun! Sure-- I'll go. And it's for charity, so that's a plus." she smiled.
   "Mmm baby, that feels amazing. Thank-you! You have no idea how much I need this right now."
   Reaching her hand underneath his shirt, Sparkle soothingly ran her hands all over his chest, making him shiver in response.
   "And after this, I'm going to make you feel even more amazing." She cooed as she sexily bit his neck.
   "You're so naughty." He giggled.
   "So are you going to punish me, Michael?
   "Yes-- but not until you finish giving me this incredible massage."

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