All Hail the Queen Prologue
Murder was nothing new to her.
Naeema “Queen” Cole had given birth to one life but had taken many more than that in the name of revenge. Still, the first loud echo of a gun being shot into the night caused life’s motion to slow down.
“Tank!” she cried out from her spot in the crowd in front of the movie theater as the bullet entered the shoulder of the man she loved.
His body jerked as he fell forward, closing the double-parked SUV’s passenger door from the bullet’s force.
POW! POW! POW!
She gasped as each bullet pierced his flesh. His thigh. His stomach. His chest.
The crowd lining the streets outside the theater screamed, ran, or ducked for cover. Naeema climbed over the red velvet ropes that corralled the movie premiere’s onlookers. Her heart pounded as she rushed across the short distance, not caring if more bullets flew as she reached Tank. She caught his bloodied body just as it slid down the side of the car. Her knees gave out under the weight of his tall, solid frame but she did not—would not—let him go.
“Help! Somebody help,” Naeema screamed, looking
around at those people still boldly standing around staring down at them.
“Na,” Tank moaned, turning his face against her body as he winced in pain.
Love for him filled her and she felt breathless with emotion. Naeema pressed her lips to his sweating brow. “I’m here. I got you. I’m here,” she assured him in a fervent whisper against the backdrop of the sirens growing louder in the air.
She clasped the side of his face as she looked down into the pain flooding his dark eyes. She bit back a gasp at the sight of the handprint she made against his cheek. The blood on her hands from his soaked shirt was sticky, wet, and warm. Tank’s blood signaled his imminent death.
“Please God, no,” Naeema begged in a whisper, nearly choking at the thought of losing him. Tears filled her eyes blurring her vision.
She reached up with one hand to pound on the passenger door as she fought to remain rational and not let panic diminish her senses. She needed help. Tank needed help.
The driver’s seat of the double-parked SUV Tank exited was still empty but the local rap artist, Fevah, he was hired to protect and her entourage of three friends were still all inside. “Open this fucking door,” Naeema roared, pounding hard enough for darts of pain to shoot across her entire hand.
Anger was an added layer to the myriad of emotions engulfing her as the door remained closed to them but she was flooded with relief as an ambulance screeched to a halt behind the Tahoe. She pressed kisses to his face.
“Hold on, Tank. Don’t you dare leave me now,” she whispered in his ear in the moments before they took him from her.
As she sat in the street surrounded by the blood of the man she loved, her soul wavered between feeling as empty as her arms at the thought of losing him forever and a fiery anger that would only be quenched at finding out who shot Tank and why.
Whoever the guilty party was just invited hell into their lives.