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  • Carla Buchanan

BGGM Entry 8: Saturday, December 19, 2026

This is a work of fiction. Any names, places, characters, and happenings are solely products of the author’s imagination or fictitious retellings. Any likeness to actual events, locations, persons living or dead, is coincidental.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system - except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a magazine or newspaper - without permission in writing from the publisher.

**Readers 18 and up only please**.







After being x-rayed, prodded, poked, bandaged, and braced I am, thankfully, better off than I would’ve guessed. Nothing is broken only a few bruised ribs, some scrapes on my right side, and a second-degree thermal burn along the length of my right leg. I have a sprained ankle, but the pain isn’t the worst part about that injury, the ugly brace that won’t go with my dress for the party tonight is. I won’t be able to wear heels for a week or two, and of course, I’m not fine with that but I’ll deal.

By the time I’m done with all the tests I need to endure to ensure that I can be released sooner than later, it’s too late for me to have visitors. However, this morning visiting hours have begun earlier than I’m ready to accept them, my visitors waking me, as well as everyone else on the same hall as me, only an hour or two after dawn.

“…are not her husband,” I hear my father’s voice yell when I come fully awake. “My daughter barely knows who you are. She’s been living in California, so you’re obviously delusional,” my father says. “For fuck’s sake, I don’t know why I’m entertaining this nonsense when I should be calling the psychiatric wing so they can come to evaluate you. I’m going to have security -”

“You two are going to have to keep it down,” a female voice chastises. “Mayor Anson, I’m sorry but the paramedic said he got verbal confirmation from your daughter that Mr. Trudeau is her husband. If you have a problem with that then take it up with Christmas but do it at a volume that doesn’t disturb the other patients, or I will have security escort the both of you out.”

I laugh when the two men enter the room looking like their favorite toy was taken by their mother because they wouldn’t share. They look thoroughly chastised but Valentine’s expression holds a hint of triumph.

Valentine walks right to me, not hesitating at all, not caring that my father is in the room when he grabs my face and kisses me like someone told him I might not make it. I assure him that I’m fine but when the kiss ends, he keeps his face close, his eyes meeting mine to ensure that what I’m saying is true.

A clearing throat makes Valentine groan. He lets my face go and instead takes hold of my hand, pulling a chair closer to the bed with his foot. He sits heavily and then affects my father with an expression that says he’s not going anywhere. My father rolls his eyes and I’m sure if my skin were lighter, it would be tinted crimson from Valentine’s little show.

“Daddy, I can explain -”

“I knew.”

“You knew? About me being married?” I ask knowing that can’t be the case. If my father knew I was married, he wouldn’t have let that piece of information go unaddressed.

“No. About your friendship when you were kids,” my father says. “Jeanette thought I should know since you were spending so much time out at their place. She stopped me one weekend when she had her booth over at the farmer’s market.”

“And you didn’t say anything?”

“I would’ve. But your friendship with a boy you knew I’d never let you date kept you from dating anyone else,” my father says and shrugs. “You couldn’t date him, so you didn’t date anyone. Win, win for me,” my father admits unapologetically. “I didn’t approve but the situation was giving me what I wanted.” My father then directs his gaze at Valentine. “You stopped him?”

“With the help of my sister and deputy Cobb,” Valentine says modestly.

My father nods and sighs. “I guess I can’t really be angry. You and your brother made the choices you made for me, to make me happy. I guess it’s your turn now and I need to support you both.”

I grin and feel like the ordeal with Gray was almost worth it. My father has never spoken this way, never acknowledged that I deserve to want things with which he might not approve or agree. It’s his first acknowledgment that I am an adult, an individual, not some extension of him.

“Thank you, Daddy. And you might want to know that I’ve decided to move back to Anson Valley so we can see if we can make this marriage thing work for us. Well… More like I’m moving back part-time. Part of the week we’ll be here and the other part we’ll be at the house we’ll find in Atlanta so I can still do my work. Valentine is retired so he can relocate to anywhere I need to be. And yes, before you ask, he offered to move to California. I think it’s best that Beau and I are not in the same state right now.”

“And you’re willing to be a stepmother to a girl whose mother you hate?”

“Hate is a strong word. I’ll say extreme dislike,” I return. “But Brenna doesn’t matter. Breanna is a beautiful little girl whose stamp of approval I already have. She’s fine with it so Brenna will just have to get over it. V and I are married. There’s nothing she can do about that either.”

I want to say that I doubt Breanna is Valentine’s daughter, that I think he needs to take a paternity test and then throw it in Brenna’s face when he finds out the truth, but of course, I don’t say that. Valentine isn’t stupid, I’m sure he has his suspicions. If he hasn’t sought out the truth, it’s not my place to do it either even though I’d love to rub the truth in Brenna Oliver’s smug little face. She was the bane of my existence when I was a teen, angry because people liked me more than her without me needing to put on a facade to get their attention.

“V huh?” My father says with a sigh. “Okay… I might need some time to ingest this but you’re bringing my daughter back to town so I can’t get angry at that,” he says to Valentine. “Definitely better than Lacoste’s son,” my father adds under his breath.

The words don’t make me think about Beau, they make me think about my mother and her connection to the Lacoste’s. I’ve never really considered why my father and Laurent Lacoste are no longer close, I assumed it was like any other college friends who move apart, whose friendship drifts apart. However, I’m beginning to think my father knows a lot more than I thought he knew about his best friend. Maybe my mother and father didn’t move back to Anson Valley because of a breakdown my mother was having but because of something a lot more complicated like the MV Generator and her plans for it, or maybe something more mundane like an affair between my mother and Laurent.

“Can you begin digesting it by not being angry when I say I’ve invited V to be my date for my birthday party?”

“Party? Chrissy, you can’t go to a party, You’re -”

“Fine. The doctor said I will be fine. As long as I keep my torso wrapped and stay off my feet so my ankle can heal. My burns are over a large area but they’re superficial so they’re going to heal and not leave a scar. I can endure a little pain with that knowledge in mind. I’ll have some uncomfortable showers for the next couple of weeks but one night out isn’t going to kill me.”

“I promise to take her out of there if she shows any distress, but I won’t try to force her to stay home,” Valentine says, supporting me and my heart swells for him. He is who he is no matter what he’s doing and no matter who speaks to and I love that about him. He is just as possessive with me when addressing #2 as he is with my father which lets me know he’ll always take up for me and be on my side.

He’s always been on my side, even when he decided to leave me in Vegas and return to his daughter. He left me because he was letting me live my life as much as he was breaking my heart. He knew my heart would mend but there was no way he’d be able to give me back the time I would’ve spent waiting on him and worrying about him when he spent time with Brenna and Breanna. I might be someone different, someone bitter and resentful toward him and his daughter, had he stayed with me, had I become a stepmother at nineteen years old.

My father sighs. “My children… a looming divorce and now a secret marriage,” my father says as if he can’t believe things have turned out this way when he meant for everything to be so different. His wife disappeared and now he finds out his children aren’t quite who he thought they were. I can imagine he’s overwhelmed but I admit he’s taking it well. “May I at least know how long you’ve been married?”

“Since Spring Break of my freshman year,” I say and close my eyes for the onslaught of reprimands. They don’t come, at least not instantly, so I crack one eye open and then the other and see my father shaking his head but with a soft smile turning up his lips.

“I’m sure my daughter hasn’t been with you all of these years so there’s nothing I can say. You left her to raise your daughter and didn’t try to drag her along behind you. You let her live her life,” my father says. “That’s… commendable. If you’ve decided to honor your vows now, how can I be against that? But that’s only if you’re able to care for my daughter. You can take care of my daughter, right?”

“Daddy, this two thousand twenty-six not nineteen-twenty-six.”


~~~~~


“V are my straps laying correctly,” I ask Valentine when I hobble into the room after struggling to put my dress on by myself. I present my back to him where the delicate straps of the silky, emerald green slip dress crisscross, turning into a decorative braided spaghetti strap at my shoulder.

Of course, Valentine had volunteered to help, had insisted he help me put on the dress, but I refused. I sent him to go talk to his daughter who had texted right after his offer. She sweetly asked if I needed her to come to help me get dressed since she was sure her father had no idea what he was doing and might ruin my reputation as a stylist - her words, not mine.

“Bree… I have to call you back in a second,” Valentine says. I can feel his eyes on me, deciding if he should finally give in to my seductions but then proves he has the patience of Job. I smile, knowing I’m breaking him down and then look across the master bedroom Valentine stripped and rearranged, and carried the new mattress to when it arrived. He said no mattress that came compressed and took hours to inflate to its full size would ever be comfortable, but he ate those words when we were finally able to test it out.

Just sleeping. No sex.

We still haven’t had sex.

Not that I haven’t hinted at the subject or tried to seduce him.

Though, that might be a good thing since I still haven’t told him about me and #2. I keep thinking it’s the right moment but then I make an excuse as to why it’s not. Then another minute, hour, day passes, and I start to think I’ve waited too long, and my waiting will make it seem like I was scared to tell him because I have feelings for #2.

It’s a deep, dark hole, I can seem to crawl out of, only further inside.

I suck in a breath when Valentine’s warm fingers slide underneath the strap and guide it off my shoulder. His soft lips press at the spot where the strap was, heating my entire body from just that brief touch. A soft smile touches my lips as his trail over my shoulder and his large hands cup my hips.

“You’re supposed to be fixing them, not removing them,” I say, my breath heavier, my heart rate already picking up.

“I can’t help myself. My wife in a clunky boot around her sprained ankle and a slinky dress covering her curves is the sexiest woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.”

“You’re my husband. You have to say that,” I return but don’t stop him from exploring with his lips or his hands.

“Say that again,” he insists.

“You have to say that,” I respond, knowing that’s not what he wants to hear.

I gasp and giggle when he spins me effortlessly without hurting my ankle or my side. He then kisses me as gently as he holds me, with a passion that leaves me wanting more when it’s over.

“Say it,” he gently demands, his hands on my face, and his eyes meeting mine.

“My husband,” I say. “Now go. Breanna is waiting for you to pick her up,” I say reluctantly pushing Valentine away.

“Turn for me.” I do, letting him smooth all the straps into their appropriate places. He then gently rests his hand against where the bandages wrap over my bruised ribs. He then steps away, probably checking the flesh-toned bandages covering my burn.

“I’m fine. Stop worrying. Now go bring my stylist to me. She’s waiting.”

I shake my head and can’t help the grin on my face when I look in the mirror to touch up my makeup and hair. The grin falters for the briefest of moments as pain makes its way through my happiness. I let out the grimace I’d had to hold back when Valentine was here, and then give in to go find my pain medication. I find the prescription bottle on the nightstand on Valentine’s side of the bed, where the overnight bag he packed is open with the contents spilling out. Not by any fault of his, completely mine since I was looking for his hoodie to wear after my shower. He saw me on the floor rummaging through his bag and fussed at me for not asking him to find it for me. Though, he didn’t complain about finding me in just my sticky tape bra and thong panties.

I get one pill and slowly make my way down the stairs one at a time to the kitchen for water. I find a small glass in the cabinet, and when I turn to get ice from the ice maker. I see the letter from Beau, and I freeze, staring at it like it’s a bomb about to go off. I remember Valentine saying he would put it up for me a long time ago and wonder what it’s doing here. I glance around the kitchen, wondering if he left this here for me.

Had I given him any indication that I wanted to read it? Or is he asking me to read it before I make a commitment to him in public? Maybe he needs me to have closure before he’ll go any further with me, and I can’t blame him for that.

I take the pill first and then take the letter out, but frown when I see that the fold from Valentine stuffing it into his pocket is gone. The letter looks fresh and new but know that’s not possible, so I shake away the thought and I then start to read. It’s not long before I know that this isn’t the same letter from before.



Chrissy,


I’m writing this letter again because I’m positive you haven’t read the first one if I haven’t heard from you by now.

Before I get into the reason why I should’ve heard from you by now, I need you to know a few things because you need to know them. These things will help you understand what I have been keeping from you and why.

Had you read the first letter you’d know that my feelings for you are real, Chrissy, and they have been since I first knew what feelings for women were. I’ve wanted you for a long time, I’ve loved you for a long time and naively thought dating models and actresses would impress you and make you see that I am worthy of you. But I realize you don’t care about any of that stuff. You are a person who genuinely cares, tries to be good, and trusts people because of those things. It’s the best quality about you but also your downfall. You see, your goodness has allowed the people around you to lie to you. They’ve lied about all the important things you thought you knew about yourself.

Christmas, I love you. I want to be with you. I want to take care of you. I want to love you the way you deserve to be loved which means being honest with you.

This is so hard for me because he’s my father…

Chrissy, I’m sure my father had something to do with your mother’s disappearance. I know this because I overheard my mother and father arguing about something my mother did to help him ‘get what he wanted’, whatever that means. She said that she got Elise and that ‘fucking machine I told you about’ and now she’s ready to have another baby.

As you can imagine this was years ago when my mother was still thinking about having kids rather than begging her own two children for a litter of grandbabies.

The truth is I never really considered what their conversation meant and didn’t think to inquire further. I didn’t think about the conversation after that but being in the house where your mother lived, hearing you tell me that your father was giving you her things, and looking at old pictures of her made me see that time hadn’t erased her from your thoughts. I could tell you still want to know her despite how much you want to deny that fact.

I asked her Chrissy. I asked my mother about the conversation when I got back, and she broke down crying. I don’t know if she did that so she wouldn’t have to answer or because the answer was too hard for her to say but there’s only one way to find out.

She couldn’t even manage to get words out and then when I tried to approach her again about it my father said she is gone and taking some time to herself. She’s gone to the island for a ‘break’, but he didn’t mention anything about what I asked her which I’m assuming means she didn’t tell him.

Of course, I know better than to ask my father since he will only say what’s in his best interest.

However, I think I can help. I know where she’s staying. She’s there alone with the staff. But it will require you still be my fiancée. If we’re not together my father won’t approve of you going. If we’re together then I’m sure I can convince him that our trip there is because we want some time away as well.

If you want to go just say so and I’ll come to you. And once we’re done if you still want to break off our engagement and want to come back, I’ll bring you back.

My father has a fundraiser this Sunday and has asked that we both come as his guests if we plan to continue our relationship. This event will be his stamp of approval and a gesture of forgiveness for the embarrassment you caused.

Of course, that means that whatever you have with the man who kissed you must come to an end.

The decision is yours. I love you either way.


Love your fiancé,

Beau



“Oh, Beau… Can I really trust you?” I ask aloud, not knowing if I can believe anything said in the rambling love letter/confession letter/ plea for me to take him back. I don’t know if I should believe him because he’s never spoken like this before or if I shouldn’t trust him for the same reason – that he is one of the people around me who is lying to me about important things.

I groan at my indecision and then startle when the answer to my question comes from the man himself.

“There’s only one way to find out, Chrissy,” Beau says. He holds out his hand to me and I frown.

“Now? I can’t leave now Beau. The party…” I trail. “Are you really making me choose?” I ask, knowing Beau. He might feel the way he claims to about me but that doesn’t change who he is. He is a man who likes to win and with this offer, one he knows I won’t refuse; he knows he’s won.

“I am,” he says honestly. “I won’t lie to you, Chrissy. I want you with me. If you’re not with me then I can’t make you realize you can love me like you think you love him. I need a chance like the one you think you need to give to him,” Beau says and something inside me wants to believe him but that same something says I can’t trust him or anything he’s saying.

“Beau… I’m hurt. I can’t travel. I’m sure you’ve heard about what happened by now. It’s been all over the news, mostly because I gained overnight fame after announcing that I was engaged to you.”

“It’s why the excuse to get away will work on my father. And I promise to have someone see to your injuries. The island has a fully-staffed clinic.”

I sigh. I consider what he said in the letter and no there’s only one choice to make. If there’s the smallest chance that I can find out what happened to my mother, give my family some closure, and possibly help #2 and the alternate version of my family on his world then I have to take that chance.

“I need to pack. I -”

“You won’t need anything. Everything will be provided for you,” he says ominously.

“I at least need my phone.”

Beau shakes his head. “Trust me,” he says. I take his hand when he offers it again, a sense of dread overwhelming me. But I don’t second-guess myself, I let him help me across the room, and we head toward the back door.

“Wait… where are we going? There’s no outlet to the driveway through the…” I whip around and manage to not cry out in pain when I put too much weight on my ankle. I felt a prick, a needle prick in my neck. “Beau, what did you do?” I ask. “Why?”

“Because no one embarrasses me the way you did,” he rasps out angrily, the loving facade gone. “And just so you know, your mother is as smart as you always thought she was. She made this for my father,” Beau says and holds up a very modern-looking Home Phone. “I’ll tell her you said hello… and goodbye. And I definitely can’t wait to tell her what world I’ve sent you to.”

What seems to be another version of him waits. When the man who turns to us, he’s not quite Beau, yet he is. I can tell he’s Beau because the features, the expression, and his eyes are all the same as the one I know, but this Beaumont Lacoste is a mixed-race man with skin so light I can tell his light brown skin rarely gets sun. The man holds a cuff in his hand that has a small digital screen. There is a black background and words I can’t see scroll across the screen. It’s technology far beyond anything I’ve seen in my life.

“Christmas, meet Plantation Master Beaumont Lacoste, your new owner,” Beau says proudly and then pushes me toward the other Beau who slaps the cuff onto my wrist in a practiced movement. The cuff clicks shut, and I feel a compression against my wrist much like the one you feel from a blood pressure cuff at the doctor. Once the cuff tightens, there is a painful pinch from something sharp sliding into the inside of my wrist. The feeling makes me cry out in pain.

The slight nausea that usually follows a trip using the MV Generator lets me know this all real. Beau really did this to me. He knows about the slave world my mother said to avoid and he’s sold me to someone there.

Not someone. Him. Another version of himself.

* * *

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BGGM is on hiatus until September due to author health issues. Please check back then or follow the author on Instagram for current updates on A Black Girl's Guide to the Multiverse blog novel.