Sneak Peek into a Chapter from Model Behavior

Don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful, don’t hate me cause I’m beautiful. My walk, my talk, the way I dress, it’s not my fault so please don’t trip…. Mahogany danced around her bed room snapping her fingers and singing along to Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock”. She could never get tired of the song, feeling that it was made just for her. Now at a striking beautiful 16 years old, she had just what all the other girls wanted. Beauty, some fame and success.

For the past ten years she continued to win each and every pageant she entered. Now in high school, she was one of the most popular girls in her school, as well as one of the most hated.

Most of her peers had seen her modeling clothes in different fashion catalogs such as JC Penny and a few times in Essence magazine. Some were only happy for her because they wanted to be put on; others hated her because they felt she thought she was the best chick walking. Little did they know all those were amazing jobs, being in any magazine meant a lot to her, yet she was still waiting for her big break.

Today all of the hard work had finally paid off. She was offered a job modeling the newest clothing line of one of the biggest stars out. Galaxy, at least that’s what she was told. She had no clue who he was, or what he did. It didn’t matter if it would get her the right exposure it was well worth it. She threw on her Pink Victoria Secrets sweat suit and headed to Hollywood where the shoot would be held.

~**~

The set was beautiful, she hated that she had to begin without her mother being there. Bailey was always there at every shoot, or show and to go to something so big without her had her nervous. The thing that kept her going, was knowing that her mother would be there later.

Mahogany couldn’t believe how much fun she was having, this clothing shoot was nothing like the pageants she had done before. Half of the girls in attendance were much older than her. They were all pretty, though none of them had anything on her. The ones that knew it didn’t speak to her at all, calling her little girl this and little girl that. She was fine with it though, the jealousy she was used too, as long as no one said anything foul to her face she wouldn’t worry about them. The other girls who seemed to be a bit more confident and carefree spoke to her.

After years of entering and winning pageants and having the girls dislike her, friendships were never on her list of priorities, either you liked her or you didn’t, either way it didn’t matter. Her best friend was her mother, and together they were headed to the top, she could care less about anyone else.

“Who did you have to sleep with to get here?” One of the models asked her, she was taken back by the question because it was the first time anyone had ever asked her anything like that.

“I didn’t sleep with anybody, I’m only sixteen. I’m not sleeping with no one to take pictures.” She looked the model in the face disgusted. She had heard the rumors about women who did things just to get some type of attention or action. Her looks had always gotten her everything she wanted, so that’s what she would continue to depend on.

“Oh you must be one of those stuck up broads.” The model told her.

“No, not stuck up at all honey. I’m just not nasty. Now if you’ll excuse me I got work to do.” She walked away from the girl, just when she thought tonight was going perfect someone had to ruin it with bull shit. She never understood why if someone didn’t like her, because of how she looked. Why they just didn’t keep their distance. It was as if they had to make it known that they didn’t like her; she took it as flattery as her mom always told her to.

Bailey always said. If a female go out of their way to tell you how much they don’t like you, or to show you that they got a problem with you. Don’t be mad about it, they are going out their way to be noticed by YOU. Jealousy is the highest form of flattery, baby girl. Just smile and flip your long pretty hair as you walk away. Her mother was always right, it did annoy her yet she wouldn’t let it stop her from doing what she was doing. She walked over to the set and got in front of the camera and the photographer loved her.

“Yes, Yes. Stay just like that! Beautiful, beautiful. You are simply amazing.” The photographer gloated as he took her photos. She was a natural in front of the camera. She giggled and laughed as the photographer continued to shoot her, she could feel the daggers from the other girls staring at her. They weren’t the ones cutting her check, so they could stare and be mad, when really they should have been taking notes. As she began to wrap up with the photographer, she watched as all the girls flocked to the big fat man walking through the door with his entourage. A couple of the guys with him were cute, so she didn’t understand why the girls were so wrapped up in being around the fat one.

She grabbed the company provided robe and put it on. She was comfortable with her body. Yet now that a group of men who looked like they were hosting the next rap video walked in she began to feel a little uncomfortable. She hated when men looked at her as if she were a piece of meat. She headed toward the dressing room, trying to be un-noticed.

“What’s up pretty little lady, you rolling with me tonight?” He reached out and grabbed her arm, stopping her dead in her tracks. Out of all the other women surrounding him, she caught his eye. Galaxy knew he was fat and ugly; he didn’t care because his fat pockets and name were enough for him to get any woman he wanted. Once he laid eyes on Mahogany he knew that he had to have her. He could tell she was younger than all the other girls at the shoot. It didn’t matter to him though, because she was the most beautiful in the room, literally. Her curvaceous body and perfect round butt and breast, made his mouth water, looking at her all he could think about was how she would taste in his mouth.

“Ugh, don’t put your hands on me.” Mahogany didn’t care how many compliments he gave her, he was fat and nasty looking and she could do without him touching her. She had no idea who he was and could care less.

“You little bitch who you think you’re talking to?” Galaxy spoke to her through clenched teeth.

“I’m talking to you! Do-not-touch me.” She stood firm with her hands on her hips, giving him the nigga try me look.

“I can do what the fuck I want too, you better get with my program.” He ice grilled her, pissed that he was being disrespected in his own establishment.

“And nigga you will never see the light of day again if you don’t get your pedophile ass away from my daughter.” Bailey looked him right in the eye to prove she wasn’t playing. No one would harm her daughter and get away with it. She had barely walked through the door as she rushed to her daughter’s aide.

Mahogany was happy that her mother had walked in; she thought she was going to have to go at him alone seeing that all the other girls seemed to want to be the one who left with him.

“Who the fuck you think you are?” Galaxy looked at Bailey and couldn’t stop the bulge that was building in his pants. She was just as gorgeous to him as Mahogany; the only thing was she was older. He had a thing for girls younger than him, so for Bailey to turn him on was special. Her beauty made him feel something for an older woman that he hadn’t before.

“I’m her mother! And I advise your old nasty fat ass to back the hell away from her.” She gave him the same look her daughter had just seconds ago.

“You must not know who I am. So let me educate you. I own and run all this shit up in here.” He waved his hands around for emphasis.

“I hired your daughter, so the two of you would want to be a little nicer if you want to see a check and your daughter on the spread of this magazine.”

“You keep it professional and so will we.” Bailey said still holding her ground.

“You know what? Get the fuck up out of here.” He could see that she wasn’t giving in and him not getting his way was not an option.

“With pleasure.” Bailey grabbed Mahogany and headed for the door. The shoot or the money wasn’t worth what he was trying to do; there would be other jobs for her baby. They walked out with their heads held high; the women looked on in amazement thinking that Mahogany was stupid to let her mother ruin the opportunity for her. Little did they know Mahogany would have done the same thing whether her mother was there or not.

“Aye can I speak to you for a min?” Mahogany looked into the eyes of one of the guys she thought was cute when fat Galaxy and his entourage walked in.

“What the hell you want with my daughter? Yo ass looks about thirty too.” Bailey was already pissed that they got kicked off the set. She wasn’t kissing any bodies ass though; and she damn sure wasn’t about to let her daughter sell her young soul for a clothing line shoot, she didn’t care who name was on the line. There would definitely be others and Mahogany would be the leading model.

“I can assure you I’m not thirty ma’am.” He chuckled. “I’m only 18, I came out here because I wanted to apologize to y’ all about that fat ass nigga in there being rude. He’s my big bro and unfortunately he let the money and fame get to him. I guess he thinks that cause all the women flock to him. EVERY woman should; your daughter hurt his pride and that’s why he kicked ya’ll off the set.”

“Fuck your brother and his pride. The nigga lucky I didn’t call the police my daughter only 16 and he had no right to come at her like that. His nasty ass need to learn some professionalism.” He knew his brother was the biggest ass hole around; he still didn’t like hearing people disrespect him. He let Mahogany’s mother go because he knew she was just protecting her daughter. Looking over to Mahogany he told her.

“I’m glad that you stood up to him, he not used to that type of shit; people telling him no.”

“Well he betta get used to it dealing with someone like me. Well actually that don’t matter cause I’ll never work with him again.” Mahogany said as she waved her hand dismissively.

“Well I just wanted to let you know that you were one of the baddest… Well you are the baddest out of all the models he chose, and he would be stupid not to have you model his line. Now whether you work with him again is up to you.”

“Thanks, for that even though she is entitled to it. Besides its evident that she was the best in the building. Your brother is the owner though, so we’ll believe it when we see it. Right now he just kicked my daughter out, however if he doesn’t hold his end of the contract he will be seeing us again. I can guarantee that.” Bailey rolled her eyes at him; she knew game when it was in her presence. She could tell from how he looked at Mahogany that he was feeling her. She didn’t want shit to do with him or his brother and she refused to let Mahogany do so either.

“Come on Mahogany.” She told her daughter as she began to walk off.

“Hey wait.” He reached out and grabbed Mahogany’s hand; I just wanted to say you did a really good job in there.” She snatched her hand away and balled up her fist.

“Thank you.” She smiled and walked away catching up to her mother, she opened her hand and found a small piece of paper with his name and number.

He was cute. She thought as she shrugged and got into the car with her mom.

“Mahogany, I don’t want you to ever let a man disrespect you. I don’t care who clothing line, video shoot, fashion show, or whatever. A man better come at you like the beautiful young lady you are or you betta tell the nigga to kick rocks. When you settle for less that’s exactly what you get and you will never get respect if you don’t respect yourself. Do you hear me?” Bailey knew the time would come when someone tried to get Mahogany to play the industry whore role, she just hated that it came so soon. Her goal was to make sure that she didn’t fall for it.

“Yes, mama I understand. You don’t have to worry about that. I want the best or nothing at all.” She meant what she said to her mother. All the while hoping that Galaxy brother was the best of the best, cause right now she wanted him.

As soon as they got home she went straight to her room, today’s event had inspired her to come up with a new poem. Since her pageant days and Bailey helping her, she picked up writing as an outlet and had gotten really good. Picking up her note book and pen she let her feelings flow.

They say with beauty you don’t need brains

Sad but it’s true in most cases.

I poses both and will never let anyone tell me different,

Mama always said, you can’t get respect if you don’t deserve it.

How can you deserve it if you don’t earn it?

I walk into a room and they see a beautiful young lady.

I’m proud of the woman they see, but would appreciate it even more

If they actually knew me…

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JUSTIFIED 1ST 2 CHAPTERS…SNEEK PEEK

justified2

You Call This Love

“Do you really think I care?” I yelled at my soon to be ex-boyfriend Ryan. He had yet another

excuse of why he had come home late, and I was beyond fed up.

“You would want to care; I’m the only mutha-fucka paying bills in this bitch.”

I hated that he felt like just ’cause he was paying

bills, he could do whatever he wanted.

“I don’t care, I’m sick of dealing with the drama. At first I was able to deal with all this but now ya so called hoes getting beside themselves. Callin’ my phone talkin’ ‘bout they this and they that. You did this and you did that. I don’t think so nigga. This shit ends now!”

I had been the ride or die chick for too long. And honestly, I would still be riding with him if all this drama wasn’t being brought to my door step. Somewhere along the way this nigga lost sight of his mission and started being nice to these broads and now I’m dealing with the consequences. I ain’t ever been dumb despite what people may think. I knew he had to be fuckin’ these girls for them to be getting in they feelings calling and disrespecting me.

“You need to remember that what I’m doing is putting food on the table, paying the rent and getting yo ass everything else you want.”

It was funny that he said that, because he didn’t let me go anywhere and I didn’t have any friends. I had a nice car and a bunch of nice things and only got to show them off when I made household runs or went out with him. Basically, I had a whole bunch of nice shit for nothing.

“I don’t care. I didn’t ask for the STD you bound to bring to me ‘cause you out here fucking these nasty ass bitches.” I threw my hands up frustrated.

I really wanted to cry but I had shed too many tears over him and refused to do it anymore. Plus, I wasn’t about to give Ryan the satisfaction to see that he still had enough of an effect on me to make me cry. There was a time when my tears broke his heart, but now all him seeing my

tears did is make him feel more powerful over me.

“Man! Ain’t nobody fucking around on you. I’m about this money; I don’t need to be with no other bitch if it ain’t about money. I come home to you every night!”

“No! More like every morning. Just ‘cause you beat the sun by five minutes don’t mean you getting home at night. But all that is irrelevant now because I just want you to pack your stuff and go. It’s over! I’m done. I can’t and I won’t do this anymore. Bad enough I gotta walk around with some mace and a blade cause yo little broads claiming they gonna see me in the streets. I ain’t too worried cause I’ll be the last person they run up on. But it’s the fact that I even got to deal with this shit that’s killing me. So you gots to go!” I gave his ass a look that could kill.

I wanted him to see I meant business. We would always fight and he would always say something, and I would forget why I was even mad. Most of the time, love blinded me to the point where I couldn’t see myself being without him. The other thing was that without him, I had nothing. No money, nowhere to go. He was my life jacket and without him, I would sink. At least that’s what I thought up until now, hell it was time for my ass to start swimming, determined to keep my head above water, I no longer needed him to hold me up.

“I aint goin’nowhere! I pay for everything in this piece. If you want it to be over so bad then you leave! I ain’t moving shit out. This my got-damn house, you better remember who took you in.”

The tone of his voice made me think he was going to knock the shit out of me. One thing he hated was being talked back to. I guess because he said he loved me is why he let me get away with it so much, but since I was talking about leaving him who’s to say that all bets weren’t off and he wouldn’t haul off and smack fire from me. I was determined to stand my ground; however, his rage had me shook for a second. I couldn’t understand why he was so mad at me. I wasn’t the one cheating, I didn’t have a list of men I could run to and I for damn sure didn’t have men calling his phone talking

shit and being disrespectful.

“Ryan you have hurt me enough. If you really give a damn about me like you claim you do; you would let me go. And you would just leave. All the shit I’ve put up with behind you and what you choose to do. I deserve to keep my ass right here. I’ve cooked and cleaned in this home, I kept this house in order. You ain’t done shit in here but sleep

and wash yo’ ass.”

“You know what, I’m gonna leave you alone for a few days to get yo’ mind right. And I’m doing that ‘cause I do love you. I’ll see you in a few days.” he said as he walked out the door.

I wanted to yell and protest because I wanted his ass gone for good. But if I kept the argument going he would have never left. Though I knew he was coming back, I decided to just be thankful for the time I had to myself. Now it was time for me to start planning and putting the plan into action. Three years I had put up with Ryan’s lifestyle. In the beginning, it didn’t bother me. It was fun and exciting. Completely different from the life I had been living prior to meeting him. At twenty-three, I had seen more and done more than most girls my age, I also gave up more.

I met Ryan when I was twenty years old and a sophomore in college. I was still living at home with my parents. I didn’t have anything of my own except my car and clothes. All I had to do was go to school and my parents would get me whatever I wanted. I wanted to be independent and take care of myself so I got a part time job at a local bookstore even though my parents forbid it. I felt it was something I needed to do. Here I was twenty years old and my mom and dad were taking care of me financially. I didn’t care what they said; I was going to do what was best for me. The good thing was that eventually my parents started to respect my wanting to be independent, especially when they saw that my job had no effect on my schooling.

I had been working in the store about three weeks and that third week is when my life changed. I had just wiped down one of the tables and had about five minutes left till I was to clock out.

Three Years Earlier

“Hey Tracy, I’m going to go to the back and grab my stuff, I only have a few more minutes until it’s time for me to go home, and I’m leaving as soon as that clock strikes six. I have a major paper to work on for my philosophy class.” I said to my co-worker, who also was my best friend, the only real friend I had.

“That’s cool girl. I can’t wait till seven hits so I can go home. I got homework to do too, and my boo is taking me to dinner.”

“Sounds fun girl, I can’t even remember the last time someone took me on a date. I mean many have tried, but with work and school, I’m too busy for my damn self.”

“That’s a damn shame. Honey you’re too young to live like your old. Better live a young girl. You’re too scared that you might like wilding out, that’s why you stay safely tucked between work, school, mommy and daddy.” Tracy laughed

“Whatever.” I gave her the hand and started toward the back. I couldn’t help but smile. Tracy was crazy, but she always kept it real.

The bell to the store door chimed and I turned to see who was coming into the store. I wasn’t expecting the person I saw, this man was fine. He stood about six feet tall; skin the color of a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar, hazel eyes and a body build that would give Tyrese Gibson a run for his money. My trip to the back of the store was quickly postponed. I really wanted to see him up close. Hell, I just wanted to brush up against him, anything to get close to him. I walked over to the cash register and made myself look busy. If he bought something, I was going to make sure I would be the one to ring him up. Tracy looked over at me and smiled. I knew that I had been caught. Making my attraction to him even more obvious, I decided to go and see if he needed any help. Trying to put on a sexy girl walk, I sashayed over to him.

“Hi, can I help you find anything?” I tried to sound confident, but I was sure that the shaking of my voice was evident.

“Yes I was wondering if y’all had any books on real estate?” His deep voice instantly turned me on and the scent of his Issey Miyake cologne put me in a trance.

“Excuse me. Do you guys have the books?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes; we sure do, right over here.” I begin to walk in the direction of where we kept the books on entrepreneurship. I looked over at Tracy who was smiling; I wanted to throw something at her for teasing me.

“Well the books are right here; if you need any help let me know.” I said as I walked off.

“I do need your help, which book would you say is the best for gaining knowledge on how to sell a house?”

“Well honestly, I couldn’t help you with that. I’ve never read a book on real estate; I guess you just gotta go with what you may think is the best fit for you.”

Here I was working in a book store and I couldn’t help this man get the book he wanted. I felt so stupid and then began to feel self-conscious. I just knew that even if he had the slightest bit of interest in me, that it went right out the window. I made myself look like a total airhead.

“It’s okay, how ‘bout you direct me to the aisle that has some street fiction novels. I know you have to know about authors like Queen B.G, T. Styles, and Ashley and Jaquavis?”

“Oh, definitely, I love those authors and even though you missed a few names I see you have good taste.”

“Well then show me the way Ms. Lady.”

As he followed behind me I had the biggest smile on my face. I felt like I redeemed myself. I got him to the aisle he was looking for and watched him as his hands ran along the books as he searched for one that he wanted to purchase.

“Hey Mila, you know your shift ended five minutes ago.” Tracy yelled over to me.

“Yeah I know, once I help this costumer I’m going to clock out.” I gave her a look that said ‘bitch quit hating’, and then I smiled.

“Oh, my bad Ms. Lady. I didn’t mean to keep you past your shift. You can go and I’m sure home girl over there can help me.”

“Trust me, it’s not a problem, I enjoy helping you.” I flirted with him. Time was running out and I needed to let him know I was interested in him some type of way. I didn’t want to come off strong but just enough so he knew that if he even tried he would succeed.

“That’s nice of you. Well I’m ready. I’d like to purchase these two books.”

I took the books from his hand a noticed that he had chosen to go with ‘The Dopeman’s Wife’ By Jaquavis Coleman and ‘Dealt The Wrong Hand’ by Queen B.G. Maybe he was looking for a wife, and if so I was more than willing to play the part.

“Good choice. I’ve read this book like three times and still don’t get tired of it.”We got to the register and though I wanted to take my time ringing him up, I knew I had to hurry up. My boss would already bitch at me for having to pay me overtime.

“Well here you go; I hope you enjoy the books.”

“Thanks I’m sure I will. I guess I’ll see you around.”

“Maybe,” I smiled at him as he walked out of the store, as soon as the door open that smile I was wearing turned into a frown. I was disappointed. Seeing that me sticking around got me nowhere I went to the back of the store, grabbed my things and clocked out.

“Tracy I’m out, call me and let me know that you made it home safe.”

“You do the same, better yet just text me cause you know I got a hot date tonight.”

“Girl, you’re crazy, but I promise to let you know when I make it home.” I walked out the store thinking at least one of us would be getting some play tonight. Hell, I practically threw myself at this dude and he acted as if I didn’t exist. He must’ve had a girlfriend, as fine as he is, I’m sure he did. Why else would he turn me down, or not even attempt to holla at me. I mean shit, niggas tried to get at me on a daily basis. Though I’ve been told I have a homely school girl look. People still couldn’t deny my beauty.

I’m five-foot-six, caramel complexion shoulder length sandy brown hair, almond shape eyes and a shape that’s to kill for, definitely thick in all the right places. If I were a dude I’d try and holla at me. I guess not if I was this mystery man. I walked to my car a bit heart broken, but instantly reminded myself that I wasn’t the one who was losing out. Any real man needed a woman like me by their side, especially once I got my shit together and moved out of my parents’ house.

“Excuse me, can I talk to you for a second?” a voice called out behind me. I dropped my purse I was so caught off guard.

“Shit!” I exclaimed as I bent down to pick up my purse. I turned around to see the handsome mystery man standing behind me.

“My bad, Ms. Lady I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“It’s okay. Even though you did just scare the hell out of me, I’ll live. What’s up though?” I asked trying to play it cool, though I was still a little shaken up from him popping up behind me.

“I wanted to introduce myself, my name is Ryan and I’d like to give you a call and see about getting to know you if that’s okay?”

“Hi Ryan, I’m Mila. Why didn’t you introduce yourself when we were inside?” I wanted to know what took his ass so long, but then again better late than never.

“My bad, I felt that it would be rude to try and holla at you while you were at work trying to get your money.”

“That makes sense, but here’s my number, you can call me whenever.” I grabbed a pen out of my purse and ripped a piece of paper from an old receipt I kept and wrote down my number and passed it to him. “I must be going though, I have a whole bunch of homework I gotta do tonight. But I look forward to hearing from you.”

“You don’t have to worry about that, you will be hearing from me.” He said reaching in to kiss my cheek before he walked away.

First 2 Chapters of Bitches Ain’t Loyal (Loyal To Thy Self)

PINKY_SEQUAIA_NEW

Loyal to thyself

By: Sequaia Reed


CHAPTER 1

Aries moved as fast as she could with the duffle bag full of money. She knew that it was only a matter of time before Low, her pimp, would come looking for her. Removing the loose floorboard from underneath her bed, she placed the bag into the hole and then placed the board back.

Boom! Boom! Boom! The banging on the door frightened her.

Damn, I put that shit away right on time, she thought as she stood and headed toward the door. She knew this confrontation wasn’t going to go well. She just hoped her charm would afford her the time she needed to make him believe that she wasn’t the culprit he was looking for.

“Bitch, open up this door right now!” he yelled from the other end of the door.

“Hey, daddy, why you banging on the door like that?” she asked sweetly as she opened the door, completely ignoring the fact that he was beyond pissed.

“Bitch, where the fuck is my money?” Wasting no time, he grabbed her by the hair in a tight grip. Instantly she felt a sharp pain shoot through her neck.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re hurting me!” she whined, trying her best to pry his hands from her hair.

“Bitch, I’ll snap your fucking neck right now if you don’t tell me where my money is!” He pulled harder.

“Ouch!” Her head was killing her. She had to think quickly before he did what he said and broke her neck. All the money she took would have been for nothing if she never got the chance to spend it.

“Okay, okay! I’ll talk! Just let me go please.”

Low took one last yank at her hair and used all his strength to throw her into the wall. “Bitch, you got two minutes to tell me what I want to hear, or the only way you leaving out of here is in a body bag.”

He looked like an angry bull. His shoulders heaved up and down as he stared at her. Saying that he was pissed was an understatement. She could just about see the steam from his anger rising from his head.

Punk-ass nigga, she thought while looking at him. It took everything in her not to laugh in his face. She could care less how he felt. She had been making him money for months, and the cut she was receiving wasn’t shit compared to what he was getting on a nightly basis. Knowing there was no way she was giving him his money, she grabbed the lamp that sat on the nightstand and threw it right at his head.

“You stupid bitch!” he yelled, barely missing being hit by the lamp. Charging at her, he grabbed her by the throat and threw her onto the ground, getting on top of her. “You wanna start throwing shit, huh? Bitch, you better tell me where my money at!”

“I don’t have your money. Now get the fuck off me!” She tried getting him off of her. She twisted and turned, kicked and screamed, yet his weight was too much for her 140 pounds. She could not get him to budge.

“Get off me!” she screamed again. She couldn’t believe no one had come to her rescue yet. The noise had to be loud enough for the other guests of the hotel to hear, yet no one was coming to her aid.

“I ain’t going nowhere until I get my money. You think you can just steal from me? Hoe, you work for me. You eat, sleep, and shit when I tell you to. You got a real pimp like me fucked up. Call yourself taking money from me and shit. Bitch, you was put on this earth to bring it back to daddy. And I want my fuckin’ paper right now, or you gon’ take your last breath in this bitch, and you can count on that!”

Low foamed at the mouth as he spoke, making her completely disgusted. She could smell the alcohol on his breath; his hands were rough and ashy and felt like sandpaper rubbing against her skin as he held her down by the shoulders. The short cocktail dress she had on was now pushed up above her belly button, exposing her shaved vagina.

“My brother is gon’ fuck you up if you hurt me!” She spit in his face.

Whap! The sound echoed throughout the room. He had slapped her so hard that he had drawn blood from her lip.

“You gotta live to tell yo’ punk-ass brother anything. If that nigga knew any better, he wouldn’t mind yo’ toxic ass being out the way, you manipulating, thieving-ass slut!”

I am not about to die at the hands of this weak-ass nigga, she said to herself, looking him dead in the eyes. “Help! Help me!” she yelled as loud as she could.

“What’s going on in here?” The hotel security officer walked into the room with two police officers in tow.

“Aw, nothing goin’ on, officer, just a misunderstanding between me and my ol’ lady.” Low lifted his hands in surrender and slowly stood up from Aries’s body.

“Is everything okay in here?” the officer asked with a raised brow. He was no rookie and could spot a whore and a pimp like he could pick out a white person in a crowd of blacks.

“Yeah, everything is good, officer. Thanks though.” Turning to Low she looked him right in the eye. “Are you done?” she asked him and smiled, knowing that she had just escaped a major ass-whooping.

“For now I am. We’ll continue this later.”  He shot her a look that let her know he meant every word.

“Well, we still have a couple questions for you two. When we walked in, you were on top of her. What was the reason for that?” the security guard asked. He wanted to be a cop so badly that he took this opportunity to do some interrogating, hoping that it would catch the attention of the real officers in the room. His tight blue uniform looked as if it was suffocating his stomach. He looked like a younger version of Officer Jerome, that actor Martin would play in his sitcom.

Watching the officers approach Low, Aries walked around the hotel security, who to her was nothing more than just a look-out. She knew he wouldn’t be arresting anyone. Looking Low right in the eyes and smiling. If looks could kill, she would’ve been dead. She was lucky the cops stood in his way. Grabbing her purse, she walked out of the hotel room. She knew it was either him or her, and she would make sure that she would be the one to come out on top. She would make sure her brother made him pay for putting his hands on her.

“Excuse me, ma’am.” The officer ran out the room, stopping Aries before she could get into her car.

“Look, I told you, it was a misunderstanding, I’m good.” She raised her hand to the officer as if to say “don’t start”.

“Then why is your lip bleeding and your hair all over the place?” he questioned.

Damn, why mothafuckas always gotta try and be somebody hero? She looked at the young black officer and couldn’t help but notice how handsome he was. He reminded her of Mekhi Phifer in his younger days. If it wasn’t for the tight blue suit he wore, she would have definitely found some type of use for him. Yet she was raised in the streets, and the code of the streets was to never tell. As much as she would have liked to see Low go to jail and hear about him getting fucked and beat up by the other prisoners, she would not be the reason he went. She would, however, be the reason that he saw the hospital, if not the grave.

“Look, I’m not changing nothing about what went on in there, and I really have somewhere to be, so are you done?”

“Look, my name is Officer Gray. I ain’t stupid; I know what type of business yo’ so-called man is into. I also know you ain’t none of his girlfriend, unless that’s the term y’all use now for whores. You’re too pretty to be out here trickin’. If you want to get out of this lifestyle, you can. “Here’s my card. Don’t hesitate to call me if you need to.” He handed her his card and turned to walk away. Not one to be cool with a pig, she tossed the card over her shoulder and got into her car. It was time to make sure that Low was out of the way so that she could spend the money she had just stolen.

***

“On everything I love, when I see this nigga, I’ma beat the shit out of im’! Niggas done lost they mind thinking they can put they hands on my baby sis!” Vick yelled as he swung at the air. He could not believe anyone would have the audacity to violate his sister by putting their hands on her. He knew his reputation of ruthlessness spread long and wide, so for that to be ignored, a nigga had to have a death wish.

“Calm down, Cuz, we gon’ get at that nigga, no question about it.” Turning to look at Aries, who couldn’t get the smile off her face fast enough, Nate knew that the question he was about to ask would surely stir an argument amongst them. Yet knowing Aries and her lying and conniving ways, he wanted to make sure that he wasn’t about to go and put the beatdown on a man who slapped her around because she actually deserved it. “What the fuck you doin’ hanging around a nigga like Low for anyway? That nigga is a pimp; he don’t have respect for no woman. So why would you even associate yourself with a nigga like him?” Nate asked her with a raised brow. He knew something about the story Aries told them did not add up.

“What the fuck you tryin’ to say, Nate?  That I’m a hoe or something, huh?” She jumped up, getting in his face, instantly offended. Though she thought she was defending herself, she was only making herself look guilty. No one had called her a whore.

“Didn’t have to… you just did that, li’l Cuz.” He took a step back. He couldn’t stand a woman getting in his face like she was a man. The fact that she was family kept him from putting his hands on her. At that moment, he didn’t doubt that whatever caused the confrontation between her and Low, eighty five percent of it was definitely her fault.

“You ain’t my cousin!” she yelled then rolled her eyes like an immature teenager. She wasn’t lying though; he wasn’t her cousin, at least not by blood, just as Vick was not her brother by blood. She was dropped into their family by a crackhead mother who cared more about getting high than her child. Vick’s mom and dad raised her as their own up until they died. Vick loved having a little sister, and blood would not have made him love Aries any more. She was his heart.

“Ay, y’all cut that shit out. Aries, we all family in this room. Nate, you know damn well Aries ain’t no hoe. She got too much game to be whoring. Shit, if anything, she could be out there pimping too. She learned her game from the best of em’,” he said then popped his collar, confident that he had taught her well.

“Now if she say the nigga approached her foul and they got into it, then that’s what happened. She don’t have no reason to lie to me.”

Instantly Nate’s blood boiled. He loved his cousin, but he hated how blind he was to Aries’s ways. Just like when they were kids…Aries had lied to Vick, telling him that Nate had slapped her and pinched her butt, when in truth it was Aries who was trying to grab on his dick and got upset when he put her in her place. When she told Vick, he attacked him on sight, causing the two of them to fall out for months when before that they were closer than close. It hurt that he didn’t even ask his side, just automatically assumed that Aries was telling the truth. From that point forward, Nate had always kept his second and third eye raised to Aries.

He didn’t want to do anything to Low. He was happy that someone had put her in her place. Knowing that Vick would not let it ride, there was no way that he would not have his cousin’s back, even if the situation was one he did not agree with. “All right, Cuz, then I guess ain’t nothing left to say but let’s give it to this nigga.” Nate shook his head in disappointment. He would go and beat Low’s ass for putting his hands on her. He would not be catching a body though. There was no way in hell.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CHAPTER 2

Low held both hands in the air in surrender while on his knees, pissed that he had been caught slipping. He knew that he should have had his guard up more, knowing that there would be retaliation from slapping Aries around. He had heard of the reputation of her brother, which is why the two of them kept it quiet that she was working for him. When it came to money, he didn’t care who he had to lie to or use.

“I need an honest answer from you, Low, and I’ll decide if I’ll let you live or not. Now, did you know that Aries was my sister when you put your hands on her?” Vick pointed his gun at Low as he spoke.

“Yes, I did. But I had a reason for what I did to her…” Before he could explain, he was hit in the face with the butt of Vick’s gun. “Ahh shit, man! Let me explain, please,” he begged as he spit blood from his mouth.

“Nigga, I don’t give a fuck about what you did it for! The point is, knowing that she was connected to me should’ve been reason enough for you not to touch her.” He kicked him in the stomach.

Nate watched as his cousin beat and stomped Low. He hated that Vick didn’t give him a chance to explain. He was curious as to what he was going to say the reason for his fight with Aries was.

“All right, man, I’m sorry; You don’t have to worry about me anymore; just stop!” Low couldn’t take it anymore. Before running into Vick, beating Aries’s ass over his $50,000 seemed worth it. Now that it felt as if his life was hanging on a thread, all he wanted was to live.

Cocking his gun back, Vick stood over Low’s battered body, aiming right at his head. He was ready to put him to sleep for good.

“Nah, nigga, I ain’t come here to be no accessory. He barely living right now. The nigga learned his lesson. Let’s just get the fuck up out of here. We at a damn hotel; this shit is bound to come back on us. This ain’t the time, Cuz.” Nate placed his hand on Vick’s shoulder.

Turning to face Nate, Vick gave his cousin a look of pure irritation. He knew he was right, yet he was pissed that he had prevented him from sending Low to meet his maker. He turned back around to a moaning Low and lifted his foot. He stomped on his head twice as hard as he could then turned to walk out of the room.

Kneeling down, Nate got close enough so that no one but Low could hear him.

“What did Aries do to you?”

“She stole fifty G’s from me,” he said and began coughing and spitting.

Nate got up and left the room. It wasn’t looking good for Low, and he wanted to get away from him before anyone came to his rescue.

Fifty G’s? he said to himself as he got in the car with Vick, who pulled out of the hotel’s parking lot not speaking a word to his cousin.

***

“Is he dead?” Aries asked as she watched her brother removing his bloody shoes and putting them into the fireplace in their living room. She had been sitting in the same spot on the couch, watching the fire that Vick had told her to start before getting there just minutes ago.

“He wasn’t when we left him. I beat his ass real good, though. You don’t have to worry about him bothering you anymore, li’l sis.”

“What the fuck you mean you didn’t kill him?” she yelled in frustration. She couldn’t believe that her brother had let him live after he had put his hands on her.

“Calm down! I just told you that you don’t have to worry about him no more.”

“Damn, Cuz, I didn’t think you were that heartless to want a man dead!” Nate shot, giving her a suspicious eye. He was starting to believe what Low had said about her. Why else was she so interested in having him dead?

“I’m scared, all right, Nate! Is that what you want to hear? I’m afraid that he will come back and kill me. He’s probably more upset now that you guys went and beat his ass. He’s going to come after me!” She placed her hands over her face, forcing out tears.

“Don’t cry, baby sis. You know yo’ bro won’t let nothing happen to you. Trust me when I tell you, you don’t have to worry about that nigga no more.” Vick hated to see his sister cry. He wrapped his arms around her, trying to console her.

“It already happened to me, Vick!” She pushed him away and headed to the back of the house.

“She’ll get over it.” Vick shrugged his shoulders, positive that his sister would be okay. He knew that the fear she felt would take some time, but it would wear off.

Nate looked on in disgust. He had to admit though that Aries deserved an Oscar for the performance she had just put on. He wasn’t a fool; he knew crocodile tears when he saw them. Then again, his love for her wasn’t as strong as what Vick felt for her, so Nate wouldn’t be easily fooled.

“Yeah, you know how dramatic she can be. It’ll all work out. Shit, the beating you put on that nigga Low, no way in hell he gon’ try anything else.” Then again, he knew that if someone had taken fifty thousand dollars from him, he wouldn’t rest until he got his money back or the person who took it wasn’t able to spend it.

***

“Incompetent-ass niggas!” Aries yelled out in frustration from her bedroom. She was pissed that her brother and cousin were in the living room chilling and having drinks while Low was still breathing. Yeah, they whooped his ass, but he could always come back from that. She needed him to never have to be an issue again.

Walking out of her room, she tiptoed to her brother’s room and into his closet, where his wall safe full of weapons were. Putting in the combination he told her to use only in emergencies, she took out his Glock 40 and bullets. “Want something done right, gotta do it yourself,” she said under her breath as she closed the safe. Opening the bedroom door, she looked down the hall, making sure the two of them were still in there and not worrying about her. She closed his bedroom door and snuck out the back. Getting into her Lexus coupe, she backed out of the driveway with her lights off. She didn’t want them to know she was leaving, let alone what she was doing. Once she was down the block, she powered on her lights and headed in the direction of the hotel.

Walking up the steps to the room where she and Low had gotten into their fight just nights ago, she placed gloves on her hands then put her hands in her purse, holding the gun. Room 203. She smiled as she approached the door. Seeing that it was barely closed, she took the gun from her purse and used it to push the door open. Stepping in slowly, her adrenaline began to pump as she looked at Low lying on the floor, beaten and bloody. There were trails of blood from one end of the room to where he now lay next to the bathroom door. She could see that he had moved.

“Yo’ bitch ass ain’t dead?” she asked, kicking him, causing him to roll over and moan in agony.

“Fuck you, you crazy-ass bitch!” he spoke through bloody, swollen lips.

“Looks like you the one that got fucked!” She let out an evil laugh.

“This shit ain’t over! I promise, bitch, I’ma kill yo’ evil, thieving ass.”

She knelt down so that she was only a few inches away from his face. “Now how you gon’ kill me, when you’re about to die tonight?” Smiling, she took the gun and shoved it into his mouth. His eyes grew wide as saucers and then tears fell. He knew there was no way he was going to make it out of this. “Tell the devil I said hello.” She squeezed the trigger and watched as his brains splattered over the walls of the room. Standing, she took one last look down at her handiwork and smiled.

Now that’s how you handle a bitch-ass nigga. She closed the door and got back into her car, undetected and without a care in the world.