Nervous

A Novel

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About The Book

In this follow-up to the mega-sensation Addicted and the lead-in to the highly-anticipated upcoming novel, Vengeance (available May 24, 2016) , the New York Times bestselling Queen of Erotica delivers a shocking and steamy story about a woman with a split personality who must overcome her disorder before her chance at a happy ending is forever destroyed.

Jonquinette Pierce has never felt comfortable around men—except when she’s her alter ago, Jude, who takes over on the weekends to lead a life of wild and intense sexual escapades. Jonquinette knows she can’t keep living like this and sets out to overcome her split personality with the help of Dr. Marcella Spencer.

But Jude isn’t about to let Jonquinette off so easily. Just as Jonquinette begins falling for her hot neighbor, Mason, Jude decides she’s had enough and goes on a sexual rampage to keep her alter ego from riding off into the sunset.

Nervous takes readers back into the world of Addicted and keeps them hooked until the very end.

Excerpt
Nervous prologue


Zoe had seen the young woman a few times before. She always sat in the back of the meeting room, seemingly lurking, and she never said a word to anyone. She just sat there with this deadpan expression on her face and listened to everyone else discuss their addictions.

Brian, a white male in his late fifties, was finishing up his testimonial. “I recognize this as an illness now. I used to think I just got a little carried away with sex at moments. Then it became an obsession. There were times when I couldn’t even bring myself to fall asleep without feeling the inside of a woman first. When my wife of many years refused to satisfy my needs, I would resort to paying for sex. I would find myself cruising the avenue to pick up whores. Women that had no issues about giving blow jobs for less than the cost of a tank of low-end gasoline. I realized some of them had to carry diseases. How could they not? Still, I was so obsessed with sex that I risked it anyway.”

Brian’s face became distorted as the first tear fell from his left cheek. One of the moderators, Grace, stood up and walked over to the podium to pat him on the back. While Brian was regaining his composure, Zoe seized the opportunity to survey the young woman’s face again. Still nothing. No sign of emotion whatsoever. If it were not for the light fabric of her rayon shirt moving slightly, Zoe would have doubted that she was even breathing.

Brian pulled himself together and continued. “Now I have nothing. Alice left me. My kids are grown, living their own lives, and they hate me too much to even look at me. I spend every single holiday alone. The pain is unbearable. If only I could turn back the hands of time and start over. If only I could make things better.”

The sexual addiction meeting had turned highly emotional yet again. Several of the people broke down in tears. Not so much for Brian, but for the pain and anguish they themselves had endured in their lives of turmoil. Zoe rarely cried at the meetings anymore. Her counseling sessions with Dr. Marcella Spencer, a month at a center in Florida run by a friend of the doctor’s, and a loving and supportive husband had helped her survive her ordeal. Ironically, Zoe had probably been through more drama than anyone else in the room. Her sexual addition had led to three simultaneous affairs with two of her lovers ending up dead at the hands of a third.

Zoe emerged from her seat and approached Brian. She embraced him and whispered in his ear, “It’s going to be all right, Brian. We’re all in this together.”

Zoe glanced at the back of the room. The young woman had exited as quietly as she had entered. Damn, she always does that! Zoe thought.
Nervous 1


jonquinette

I entered my third floor apartment fighting back tears. It was hot. Extremely hot. I’d forgotten to turn on the air before I’d left that morning.

I tossed my keys onto the coffee table and kicked off my low-heel black pumps. “You knew they were calling for a heat wave today,” I said aloud, recalling the morning weather report that I’d neglected. “Why didn’t you turn on some air?”

The sole of one of my stockings snagged on a nail in the parquet flooring as I stumbled into my hallway. I adjusted the thermostat to seventy and sighed, praying it wouldn’t take long to drop down from the current temperature of eighty-six degrees.

I continued down the hall into my bedroom and collapsed on my king-sized bed. I’d purchased it despite the fact that one person didn’t need such a monstrosity to sleep alone. And sleep alone I did. Always.

The red light on my answering machine was blinking. Who could possibly have called? On a Saturday, no less. Normally it would be Momma, but she was out of the country for two weeks. She’d whisked off to Paris to fulfill a lifelong dream. More like fantasy. Momma had a way of fantasizing like no other. One day I hoped she would find whatever it was she was truly searching for. I doubted she would’ve called more than once at those rates and she’d called three days earlier to inform me that she and her latest romantic conquest had arrived safely.

I rewound the tape and hit play.

“Jon, what’s up girl? It’s me!” a bubbly, female voice squealed out at me to the point where I felt compelled to adjust the volume.

Me who? I wondered.

“In case you don’t know who this is, it’s me, Darnetta.”

I sat up on the bed. I should’ve known it was Darnetta. I heard that overanxious voice daily at work. Why was Darnetta calling me at home on a Saturday? We were coworkers but rarely spoke more than two words to each other.

“Jon, I was wondering if you want to hang out tonight. I know we don’t usually flow like that, but I have two tickets to this live concert at Club Snatch and everyone else I know has plans already.” There was a slight pause. “That’s not to say that you’re my last choice. I was going to ask you about going out sometime soon anyway and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. You always seem so shy at work. Anyway, give me a call if you can make it. My number is—”

I didn’t even bother to listen to the phone number and hit the erase button. Me in a club? No way. That meant a lot of people. That meant a lot of men. No way!

• • •

I baked some chicken breasts that I had marinated in Hawaiian flavoring all day. I cut up a few russet potatoes and boiled them along with a pouch of broccoli. While I was waiting for my meal to get done, I pulled some paperwork out of my briefcase and looked over the weekly shipping records for the office supply warehouse where I was head accountant.

The numbers didn’t make sense. They were way under target for the week, something that normally only happened around holidays. After all, who orders office supplies for Christmas presents? Most people take vacation the week between Christmas and New Year’s anyway. But we were in the middle of August, when there were no holidays.

I’d broken out my calculator and was crunching numbers when my phone rang. I debated about answering for the first three rings. What if Momma was calling back? Maybe something had gone wrong in Paris. I picked it up on the fifth ring, one ring before my answering machine normally kicked in.

“Hello.”

“Jon, is that you?”

I didn’t utter a word.

“Jon, you there?”

“Yes, I’m here,” I replied hesitantly.

“It’s me, Darnetta!”

“I kind of figured that.”

“I left you a message earlier. Did you get it?”

“Uh . . .yes, I did. Sorry I didn’t call you back but I couldn’t quite make out the number.”

“Cool. It’s no problem. Sometimes I talk too loud. I’m working on all that though. So, what’s up? You trying to hang out tonight or what? Lil’ Z is performing. The show is going to be all that and them some. You feel me?”

“Lil’ Z?”

“Yeah, Lil’ Z, the rapper. You’ve never heard of him?”

“Of course I have.” I lied again. “He’s one of my favorites.”

I hoped Darnetta wouldn’t ask me to name any of his songs because I’d never heard of the man. Thankfully, she didn’t go there.

“So how about it, girl?”

After accidentally knocking over my tea onto some paperwork, I involuntarily blurted out, “Shit!”

“Ooh, Jon, I’ve never heard you curse before,” Darnetta chided. “What else do you do that I don’t know about?”

I didn’t like her implications. “Huh? What do you mean?”

I felt bad about cursing. I wasn’t raised that way but, from time to time, a four-letter word forced its way out before I could push it back down my throat.

“Never mind,” Darnetta said. “What about tonight? I really need someone to go with me and I don’t want to waste the ticket. They were so hard to come by.”

“What about your boyfriend, Darnetta?”

Even though we rarely held conversations at work, everybody knew about her boyfriend Logan. He was all she ever talked about—rather, bragged about—in the break room.

“Logan’s out of town for the weekend. He went to Durham. Asshole! I’m so pissed at him. I told him about this concert weeks ago but he made plans to go hang out with some of his immature friends anyway.”

“I see.” I rolled my eyes up to the ceiling. Surely there had to be one other person in the entire city of Atlanta Darnetta could get to go with her. “Darnetta, I’m exhausted. I had a lot of errands to run today. Maybe we can go out some other time.”

“Aw, Jon, please don’t do this to me,” Darnetta whined into the phone. “I realize this is short notice, girl, but I guarantee you’ll have a good time. Funky music. Free buffet. Fine-ass men.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Now I definitely wasn’t going.

“Jon, I’m telling you to take a chance and do the damn town with me. What’s the problem? Do I stink or something?”

We both giggled.

“Darnetta, it’s not you. Really, it isn’t. I just don’t like going out. Especially to clubs. I don’t even recall the last time I’ve been in one.”

“Well, things need to change then. How old are you?”

“Twenty-four. Why?”

“I’ve never heard of a single, twenty-four-year-old woman that doesn’t enjoy going out. You have a man, right?”

Now why did she have to go there? I could never tell her the truth. She could never identify with the fact that I’d never really had a boyfriend. No one would.

“No, no man. I’m kind of between men at present. You know how it is.”

“I’m feeling you. That’s why this is a great opportunity to meet someone new. There will be a ton of bachelors there tonight, just waiting on a sexy sister like you to grace their presence.”

Me, sexy? Who was she trying to fool?

“Darnetta, I appreciate the offer. I can’t believe you thought of me, but I really just can’t make it. Sorry.”

Darnetta sighed into the phone. I could tell she was disgusted. “Fine, Jon. I’m going to let you off the hook this time, but there’s one condition.”

“A condition?” I asked, still trying to reorganize my papers and dry the damp ones off.

“Yeah, the next time I ask you to hang out with me, no matter where it is or when, you have to agree right this second that you’ll go.”

“Um, I can’t really say if—”

“Jon, I mean it. Agree to go with me next time or I’m going to be highly offended and get an emotional complex thinking I really do stink or something.”

I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so I agreed. “Okay.”

“Okay what?”

“I’ll hang out with you the next time you ask.”

Darnetta giggled. “All right. Now we’re getting somewhere. Well, I better run and get ready for the evening. Even though I’ve got a man, I’m still trying to be fly as hell when I step up in that bitch. I still have to wash my hair so I’m going to get started.”

“Have a good time, Darnetta.”

“Oh, I will. You can believe that.”

We discussed work for another few minutes before hanging up. Darnetta said that if I changed my mind, I could call back within a couple hours. But that would never happen. There was no way I was going to a club with a bunch of strange men around. They made me nervous.

I ate my dinner and watched some cable. I was completely drained by ten. I took a hot shower, threw on some pajamas, and climbed into my bed with the latest D. V. Bernard novel, The Last Dream Before Dawn. The brother is a powerful writer but I didn’t make it through ten pages before I passed out.
Nervous 2


Two Hours Later

jude

What kind of boring sista falls asleep at ten-thirty on a Saturday night? Jon really needed to wake up and smell some strong-ass coffee. We were young, educated, and beautiful. But the way Jon dressed, which I hated, deterred people from figuring out the beautiful part. I was sick and tired of the ugly-ass, wire-rimmed glasses. I’d broken three pairs and Jon still hadn’t taken the damn hint. Our vision wasn’t that bad anyway. I could see just fine without those stupid glasses. Fuck it. Jon could wear them but I refused to reduce myself to that.

I wasn’t about to be bored so I got out of bed, went into the bathroom and glanced into the mirror. As usual, Jon had on some baggy-ass, flannel pajamas that I wouldn’t be caught dead in.

I checked out our reflection in the mirror. “Look at us. We’re tall; we’ve got thick, ebony hair; caramel skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom; legs for days, and an ass men would weep over. Yet you try to cover us up like we’re a nun or some shit. Fuck all that. A body like this is meant to be displayed.”

Jon had taken care of the bathing part so that left me with the hair and makeup. I tore the pins out of our hair and let it flow before breaking out the curling iron to hook our ass up. Jon kept buying this cheap lipstick from the dollar store but I found an old tube of L’Oréal behind some jars in the medicine cabinet, mixed the two, and it looked halfway decent.

Pickings were slim in the closet, at least when it came to “whorefits.” I selected a black suit and managed to turn it into a somewhat revealing ensemble by going braless and leaving the blazer unbuttoned except for one button at the waistline. I was content. We were showing mucho cleavage and looking damn good.

• • •

When I pulled up in front of Club Snatch, it was a madhouse. Finding Darnetta to grab that extra ticket would prove to be damn near impossible. Jon was always fucking things up for us. Darnetta was a cool sista and Jon had no business turning down invites in the first place. I almost fainted when she agreed to accept the next invitation from Darnetta. I couldn’t wait to see that.

It wasn’t like we had some busy-ass social calendar or some shit. Those stupid sexual addiction meetings didn’t count as socializing. Jon never said anything while she was there. Besides, there was nothing for her to say. She didn’t know jack.

After circling the block three times, I finally lucked out and spotted someone pulling out of a space. The music was slamming but there were more than a hundred people in line. I was infuriated. I wanted in there bad. Lil’ Z was doing the remix of his hit “Baby Got Breastesses for Dayz” and I was all into him. Jon’s stupid behind had never even heard of him. That says it all.

Damn, I just love bald heads! That was the first thing that came to mind when I spotted his blue-black ass standing at the end of the line. I could tell he was from Jamaica, Barbados, or some other place Jon refused to take a vacation, even though I’d left numerous pamphlets and brochures around the apartment as hints.

The brotha definitely had my interest as I approached him. I surveyed the area. He was alone. The couple in front of him was locking lips and needed to get a room. Hell, Mr. Fine and I needed to get a room our damn selves, but I had something much better in mind.

I brushed my fingertips over one of his ass cheeks. He was wearing the hell out of some navy slacks and I couldn’t resist.

He swung around and glared at me with a pair of sexy, brown, bedroom eyes. He was seemingly pleased with what he saw before him and his eyes dropped down to my exposed breasts. The heat had calmed down from earlier and the cool breeze was making my nipples hard.

He flashed an enormous smile. “What’s your name?”

Nice smile, wrong question. Why must they always ask that?

“What’s in a name?” I replied.

He chuckled. Sexy ass. “I was just trying to be friendly, being that you just felt me up.”

He had an accent. Definite plus. I was feeling that. I inched closer to him and grabbed his dick. His huge dick. Yes, he was surely from an island; somewhere Mandingos are bred on the regular.

“Trust me. I haven’t even begun to feel you up yet.”

The line had progressed a few feet, but we remained frozen in place. Two sistas all hoochified for the evening walked up behind us.

“Are you in line?” one of them asked.

“I don’t know. Are we?” I asked my prospective lover.

“No, I don’t suspect we are.” He managed to get the words out even though I was latched on to his dick like a vise. I was so close to him that the sistas couldn’t see what I was doing. However, I wouldn’t have minded if they watched me tear his ass to shreds and slay his dick, which were my intentions.

I glanced at them. “You can go on around us.”

“Thanks!” they yelled out in unison. That meant two less people they had to wait behind. They were elated and it showed.

I looked back into his eyes. “So, you wanna go somewhere?”

“Sure,” he said eagerly. “Wherever you want.”

“That’s a good puppy dog,” I wanted to say. Instead, I said, “I’m not one for bedrooms. I prefer adventure.”

“Adventure?”

“Yes, adventure. I enjoy sex in unusual places. The possibility of getting caught, the thrill of someone else watching, just does something to me.”

He grinned. “Sounds kinky.”

“I’m not kinky. Being kinky ain’t shit.”

“Then what are you?”

I smirked. “A freak. A nymphomaniac. A sex fiend. Can you handle that?”

I let go of his dick and began caressing it.

“Yeah, I can deal with that. Hell yeah, I can. But you still didn’t tell me your name. I’m Campbell.”

“Nice name.”

“I’m glad you think so. I bet your name is also.”

He was really hung up on the name thing. I hated that. I let go of him and backed away. “Look, I don’t care to tell you my name. I just want to fuck. You’re either down with that or you’re not.”

“Damn, where were you like ten years ago when I was in my prime?”

I pouted. “I sincerely hope you’re not implying that you’re no longer in your prime.”

Campbell laughed. “I have a feeling you might be able to revive me.”

“Let’s find out,” I challenged.

I headed in the opposite direction of the entrance with Campbell on my tail, and went down the alley behind the club. There was dim lighting coming from an office window on the third floor.

“It sure is dark down here,” Campbell commented.

I took his hand and kept walking. “Afraid of the dark? Don’t be scared. I won’t bite you.” I took him off guard by pushing him up against the building and ripping off his shirt. I could hear the buttons scatter across the concrete. I ran my tongue over one of his nipples and caught it between my teeth for a brief second. “That is, unless you want me to bite you.”

“This is incredible,” Campbell whispered. “Most women over here act like they’re afraid to be themselves sexually. But you, you remind me of the women back home.”

I didn’t ask where he was from because I didn’t give a shit. Besides, no woman could compare to me anyway.

“Do you want to fuck or talk?” I asked nastily.

“Oh, I definitely want to fuck.”

“Then shut the hell up!”

I took two steps back, released the button on my blazer, and let it fall to the ground. After I was topless, I inched my skirt up and slid my panties down over my hips. I couldn’t see Campbell’s eyes but I could make out his silhouette.

He came closer and tried to kiss me, but I stuffed my panties into his mouth. “Maybe now you’ll be quiet.” I undid his belt and yanked it out of the loops of his pants, ran the end of it over his torso, and walked around him. “Put your hands behind your back.”

Campbell followed my orders and I bound his wrists with the belt. I walked back around to face him, undid his zipper, and lowered his pants around his ankles. He wasn’t wearing any drawers. Freak!

I ran my fingers over his chest and pinched his nipple, damn near drawing blood. “You ready for this?”

He nodded and let out a muffled, “Yes.”

“Better be.”

I took his shirt and sprawled it on the ground so I could get down on my knees. Then I took the tip of his dick into my mouth and suckled on it. He moaned as his salty precum drizzled out onto my tongue. I took the head out of my mouth and ran the tip of my tongue up and down the middle of his slit, which made him moan even louder.

I could make out the words “Oh shit!” as I fingered his balls and tickled the underside of his dick by placing loud, wet kisses on it.

I didn’t feel like sucking his dick, I mean really sucking it because it was just too damn huge and I wasn’t trying to develop lockjaw. After all, I was still trying to get into the concert.

After standing back up, I asked, “Did you like that?”

He nodded.

I pushed him hard up against the building so he couldn’t move, turned around and pressed my pussy slowly onto his dick. He filled me up nicely. I started grinding on him and he seemed like he was gasping for breath. I wasn’t taking the panties out his mouth though. I didn’t feel like holding a conversation while we were fucking.

Next thing you know, the idiot was coming way too quickly. That wasn’t good enough for me. I was determined not to allow him to go soft so I started giving him some hand action immediately. It worked like a charm. Before I knew it, his dick was standing at full attention again.

I didn’t want to risk doing it in the same position again. He might’ve come fast again; even though second nuts are generally harder to bust. I pushed him down on the bare ground, not giving a shit whether his ass got dirty or not and climbed on top of him.

I started riding him and laughed when I saw someone pause at the end of the alley and try to make out what was going on. I moaned loudly to see if the person would be daring enough or nosy enough to venture down there. I was hoping it was a sexy-ass man who I could ride next. I could barely make out a shadow but whoever it was stood there for about thirty more seconds and kept on moving. Too bad!

When Campbell had worn out his usefulness, I retrieved my panties and freed his wrists.

“Damn, woman, that was the shit,” he said, trying to regain his normal breathing pattern.

“It was okay. Thanks for the experience.”

I started getting dressed while he did the same. The music was still thumping through the walls. Lil’ Z was getting buck wild with his jam “Devastated” and since that was his biggest hit at the time, I knew closing time was nearing. So much for finding Darnetta and checking out the party. I’d just have to catch his videos on BET. Besides, I’d gotten what I’d ultimately come for anyway: dick.

“So when can I see you again?” Campbell asked.

Hmph, it never ended!

“See me again?” I asked incredulously. “How about never?”

I walked toward the street.

“Never?” Campbell hissed back at me. He grabbed my elbow and swung me around. “After what we just shared?”

“We shared a fuck. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

“Damn, you’re cold-blooded.”

“Aw, is that supposed to hurt my feelings?” I yanked my arm free. “I said thank you. What else do you want?”

“I want to see you again. I think you’re fine and you’re definitely sexy. I’d like to see what you could do if we had an all-day fuckathon. So how about it?”

“I can’t. I don’t want to,” I said nastily. He was getting on my nerves. They always did afterward. It was so much easier when I wouldn’t let them say anything at all. I might have to rethink my strategy and revert to my old ways.

“Why not?” Campbell wanted to know.

“I don’t have to explain myself to you.” I laughed in his face and started for my car. “I felt like doing it, you looked enticing at the moment, you served your purpose, and now it’s over. Get a life!”

Campbell stopped in his tracks and yelled out, “Bitch!”

I turned and leered at him. “I’m not your bitch. If I were you, I’d just walk away before you make me angry. Trust me. You won’t like me when I’m angry.”

He must have taken my threat to heart because he started speed-walking in the opposite direction. Good for him because I was serious as shit about it. I took no drama from anyone. Not even Jon, and if she really started tripping, she would have to find that out the hard way.

jonquinette

It happened again. I woke up the next morning on my sofa with my black suit on. My hair was curled and I didn’t have on a bra. Plus, I was hurting down there. I was terrified. Was I insane?

I ran into the bathroom. The curling iron was on the vanity and the pajamas I’d put on the night before were cut into shreds and stuffed into the wastebasket. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

I jumped into the shower and noticed a foreign smell on my body. Someone else’s scent. A man’s scent. A different man’s scent from the last time and the time before that and the time before that.

I wanted to make the eight o’clock service at church but barely got there before the sermon at the eleven o’clock one. Reverend Townsend preached from his soul. I was always moved by his words. The newest member of the deacon board kept staring at me, making me nervous. He was attractive and appeared to be in his early thirties. I couldn’t have handled it if he’d actually said something to me. I didn’t want to take the chance that he might approach me after the service, so I stayed long enough to tithe and then left before the recessional.
About The Author
Photograph courtesy of the author

Zane is the New York Times bestselling author of AfterburnThe Heat SeekersDear G-SpotGettin’ Buck WildThe Hot BoxTotal Eclipse of the HeartNervousSkyscraperLove is Never PainlessShame on It All, and The Sisters of APF; the ebook short stories “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “Everything Fades Away”; and editor for the Flava anthology series, including Z-Rated and Busy Bodies. Her TV series, Zane’s Sex Chronicles, and The Jump Off are featured on Cinemax, and her bestselling novel Addicted is a major motion picture with Lionsgate Films. She is the publisher of Strebor Books, an imprint of Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. Visit her online at EroticaNoir.com.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 2004)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743476249

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