A one of heart warming black woman white man ebook: Caring For Him! Written in a collaboration between Esther Banks and J A Fielding.

This tale is about Daneille, a care giver who looks after Fred, an elderly man with cancer. Going to his house regularly has allowed her to really get to know him, and the two have formed a tight bond.

Fred has a son around Daneille’s age and decides to introduce the two. He can see the couple will get along well, but will they go with Fred’s suggestions?

A top 10 BWWM romance ebook.

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Caring For Him Sample

Danielle Moore liked her job, most of the time. As a home caregiver, she was able to see up close the positive effects she brought to her patients and their family members, by relieving some of their heavy burden. She’d begun this career at the age of twenty-two, and six years later she still found it fulfilling, and it had mostly reinforced her belief that people are basically good.

Sure, some of her charges were less than pleasant. She mostly put that down to their illness, and the constant physical suffering that some of them were burdened with. With others, it wasn’t hard to imagine that they had been like that for much longer than they’d been ill.

Some were just nasty in general – to their wives or husbands, to their kids, to their dog – and some were just that way with her. She wasn’t one to assume racism; she knew that often it was simply the person’s pride that made them unfriendly or rude, and once in awhile she’d win one of these types over with her warmth and her easy laugh.

There were times when a patient’s prejudice was made quite clear, even explicit. Danielle didn’t try to establish rapport with these patients, but simply treated them with professional competence. When their children expressed embarrassment, or tried to apologize, she shrugged it off. During her first couple years on this job, there were more than a couple nights when she’d go home and cried.

Danielle’s current posting had started just a week earlier, and she was enjoying it very much. Her patient, Fred, loved to try to make her laugh, and he’d sometimes recite old routines from the comedy albums he’d collected as a young man. George Carlin and Bill Cosby were his favorite ones to quote from, but he had many she’d never heard of as well. They were on the shelves that lined his study, along with jazz and rock albums spanning from the forties to the seventies. When he was feeling ill, he’d sit in his recliner and ask Danielle to put records on for him.

Fred had been diagnosed with cancer of the bladder a year earlier, and had responded well to treatment. Then, about a month before Danielle started caring for him, the cancer had returned. The second attempt at fighting off his illness had made him much weaker, as his body hadn’t fully recovered from the first. His son Darren had been trying to care for him on his own, but his job made that impractical, if not impossible.

She knew Fred would be in a good mood today, because Darren was returning from a business trip he’d been on for the past week. The trip had been the deciding factor in hiring a home health aide. Danielle hadn’t yet met him, because she’d been a last-second replacement for a colleague who had gone on emergency early maternity leave. She’d seen a few photos of him around the house, but none that were recent. There were the chubby-faced toddler pictures, the awkward pre-teen pictures, and then a big change to a handsome, fit young man with a lacrosse stick, grinning for the camera, and a prom picture from the 90s where he stood stiffly next to a pretty blonde girl. He’d be in his mid-thirties now, she’d estimated, studying the photo. She wondered if he’d lost his hair or let himself go, and why he’d never gotten married.

Danielle let herself in with her key, and called Fred’s name softly. If he’d decided to sleep in, she thought he ought to be able to do that, and didn’t want to wake him. After a moment, though, she heard music coming from the back of the house, so she set her things down and walked to the study. She pushed open the door to see Fred lying back in his recliner. His eyes were closed, but he lifted a hand to show that he knew she was there. The song that was playing was unfamiliar to her, though she could tell that the singer was Bob Dylan, because he sounded like all those impressions she’d always heard from dumb comedians over the years – except not really, because she thought there was a lovely sort of sadness in the man’s actual voice.

She waited for the song to end before saying hello to Fred, who opened his eyes at the same time. She turned the volume down and smiled at him.

“Hi yourself, missy,” he said, smiling thinly at her.

She frowned in concern. “Are you alright, Fred?”

“I’m not feeling my best, to be perfectly truthful,” he said. “Had a hard time sleeping last night, then an even harder time getting up this morning. But since lying around wasn’t making me feel any better, I figured I might as well get up and enjoy a little music from my wasted youth.”

“Well, that sounds like a plan. I don’t suppose you’ve eaten anything?”

“I don’t think I could,” Fred said, his face going a little greyer.

Danielle shook her head and clucked her tongue at him. “Going without isn’t going to do you a bit of good. How about a smoothie? Think you could manage it?”

Fred sighed and closed his eyes again for a second. “For you, I will give it my best effort.” She smiled and turned the music back up, then started towards the door. “No spirulina!” he called after her. “I’m not drinking anything green, you hear? Got enough of that shit back when I was trying to be a hippie. It’s disgusting.”

She laughed as she walked down the hall to the kitchen. She put frozen berries, bananas and yogurt into the high-end blender – which she suspected must have been a gift from Fred’s son, because she couldn’t imagine him buying it – and added a scoop of protein powder before blending it all up. She knew he probably wouldn’t finish half of what she brought him, but she tried to be optimistic. It worried her that he was feeling so unwell, despite how much he was looking forward to seeing his son this evening.

The record side had ended by the time she got back, so she flipped it over for him after she’d handed him the glass. “Maybe you could try to nap after you finish this,” she said. “I’d hate for you to be too exhausted to enjoy seeing your son later on.”

“We’ll see,” he said, “but I also wanted to finish that project if I’m feeling better.” Fred enjoyed woodworking, and when he was able to, he spent a good amount of time in his garage workshop.

She left him alone, and when she checked back on him awhile later, he was asleep in his chair. She draped an afghan over him and closed the door softly behind her. She sighed and looked around, not really sure what she should do now. In truth, Fred probably didn’t need a full-time caregiver. Most of the time he was well enough to get around, and would be okay on his own, as long as he had someone to look in on him and have some meals prepared that he could heat up, and spend a few hours with him on the days he had chemo. Fred’s son had insisted, though. He didn’t want his dad to be alone all day, and he worried that the man wouldn’t eat at all if left to his own devices. Danielle had to admit that might be true.

She tidied up a bit, then checked the refrigerator to see if he was low on any staples, which he wasn’t. She did a crossword and checked her email, and was getting so bored that she was happy to hear the sound of Fred’s voice calling her from the study. She was less happy to find that he was in some distress, and needed to vomit. She grabbed the empty plastic wastebasket from the half-bath and held it for him as he puked up the smoothie and whatever else was still in his system. She rubbed his back slowly until he was finished, then dumped it in the toilet. She helped him to the bathroom sink so he could rinse out his mouth, then brought him to bed with a glass of water to sip on.

A few hours later, Danielle went to check on him, knocking softly before peering into his room. He stirred awake and struggled into a sitting position. “Guess I needed that nap after all,” he said.

“Guess you did. I’m glad you got it.” She sat down in the chair near the bed. “I was going to make that baked chicken with some rice and broccoli for your dinner with Darren tonight, but I’m not sure your stomach is up to that.”

“Well, go ahead and put it in anyway. Darren will want supper, and I’ll eat what I can.”

She had prepared the chicken earlier in the week, and only had to stick in in the oven for an hour. It was smelling delicious by the time she started on the rice. Fred came out to the kitchen with a clean, deep blue shirt on. He wore a wool cap to cover his bald head, which gave him a strangely youthful air.

“How do I look, dear? Back from the brink of death?” He winked at her and she pursed her lips at him.

“That’s not so funny,” she said. “And I definitely don’t think your son will be too thrilled to hear you talking that way either. But, for the record, you look very nice. The shirt goes great with your eyes.”

Fred wagged a finger at her as he carefully lowered himself into a kitchen chair. “No fair flirting with me, when you know perfectly well I’m not allowed to flirt back. It would be completely inappropriate!”

“You’d be far from the first,” Danielle laughed.

“I don’t doubt it, with those dimples,” Fred said. “But listen to me, I just broke my own rule. Tell you what, if you think I’m out of line, just give me a smack, okay? But go easy, I’m an old guy.”

“Oh sure, when it suits y-” She broke off suddenly, and they both turned toward the sound of the front door opening. Danielle could see the entranceway from where she stood, and her first impression was that he looked like someone in a movie, with thick, dark blond hair and perfect clothes. He was still in his suit and tie, though as he got a little closer she noticed that the tie had been loosened, and the jacket was a bit rumpled. Still, he obviously paid attention to his appearance. He smiled and nodded to her before leaning down to hug his father.

“How are you feeling, dad?” Darren asked, looking closely at Fred.

“I’ve had worse days and better ones too, son.” He gave Darren a silent, stern nod after saying that, and Darren seemed to know what it meant, because he didn’t ask anything else. “Darren, this is Danielle. She’s an absolute angel, and she’s been a godsend.”

“Is that right?” Darren looked pleasantly at her and held out his hand. She gave him hers, and he squeezed it warmly, rather than shaking it. “You know, he fought me tooth and nail about having someone here. You must be something special if he’s ready to admit he was wrong after only a week.”

“He’s the easiest patient I’ve had in a long time,” Danielle said. For some reason, her face felt hot from the praise. Or maybe it had more to do with the way he’d held her gaze so steadily when he’d taken her hand. His eyes were just as blue as his father’s, and just as kind. They were worried as well; she’d seen that look in enough people’s eyes over the years to recognize it.

“I only fought you because I didn’t expect to get such a pretty helper,” Fred said.

“Dad!” Darren exclaimed, his eyes wide. “You can’t say stuff like that!” He turned to Danielle. “I’m so sorry. I know he knows better.”

Danielle laughed and shook her head. “We already reached an agreement about that.” Her eyes sparked with humor as she said, “If he gets out of line, I’m to smack him. His idea!”

Fred laughed until he was out of breath, which wasn’t all that long, and Darren chuckled along with him. Danielle began to steam the broccoli, and pulled two plates from the cupboard.

“Aren’t you eating?” Darren asked.

Danielle turned to him, momentarily confused at the question. “Oh, no,” she said lightly, “I leave here at six, and it’s ten of. I need to catch the bus by quarter after, or I have to wait until seven-thirty.”

“Well, I’d be happy to give you a lift home,” Darren said. “But I completely understand if you want to get home. What was I thinking, of course you do.” He shook his head.

Danielle hesitated. She didn’t, in fact, have any particular desire to get home to the little two-bedroom house she’d inherited from her mother. It was a cozy little place, and she’d made it her own in the eight years since her mother passed away, but it still felt empty there without her. Her older brother lived in Chicago, and visited a few times a year, but as far as family went, that was pretty much it. She valued her time and her privacy, but that didn’t mean she never got lonely.

She’d sometimes envied her friends who had big, chaotic families, full of loud aunts and little cousins running around causing trouble. Her house had always been so quiet, and her mother had placed a high value on manners and good behavior. It had served her well, but it had also sometimes felt a little cold.

Maybe Fred had noticed her hesitation, because he chimed in with, “You know, what with my stomach being so unsettled today, I’m not going to eat much of this. I’d hate for it to go to waste. I’d love it if you’d stay, and Darren can give you a ride home afterwards.”

Danielle shook her head. “I’d love to stay, actually. Thanks so much. But I don’t need a ride. If I eat dinner, the timing should be just right for the next bus.”

“But that’s silly, why do that when I can-”

“Son, when a woman makes up her mind about something, you better believe she has her reasons, they’re probably not silly, and they’re no business of yours.”

Both Danielle and Darren turned to look at Fred, startled at the seriousness of his tone.

“It’s okay,” Danielle said, at the same time as Darren said, “I’m sorry,” to her. “It’s fine,” she said, laughing awkwardly and, she was certain, blushing again.

They sat down to eat, and Danielle asked Darren a few polite questions about his job. He worked in some sort of management position for an international chain of luxury hotels, but it quickly became clear that he didn’t want to talk about his job. He steered the conversation around to her job, and she was happy to talk about it.

“I’ve been doing this since I was twenty-two,” she said, “and I really love it. Some of my friends think I should become an RN, and I know I’d make a lot more money, but it wouldn’t be the same at all. I don’t need much money. I own my house and I live simply, and I get to do what I like. I’ve almost got enough money saved for a car, too.”

“You mean for a down payment on a car?”

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