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Still Dirty

A Novel

About The Book

Now in paperback, following the phenomenal success of Dirty Red, Essence bestselling author Vickie Stringer is back with a sizzling sequel filled with the notorious cast of characters—Red, Bacon, and Q—who made Dirty Red a smash hit.

Vickie Stringer catapulted into literary success when she sold thousands of copies of her first novel from the trunk of her car. That debut title, Let That Be the Reason, won praise from The Washington Post, who called it “a street lit insta-classic,” and gave birth to one of the wildest and most outrageous heroines in urban fiction history: Dirty Red.

In Still Dirty, good old Red, that infamous expert of deception, is still up to making trouble. Though she faces challenges that would baffle even the shrewdest hustler, Red stops at nothing to outwit her adversaries and avoid being caught by either the law or the outlaws. Trapped once again in a web of murder, theft, and deceit, Red escapes with her boyfriend Q, running for a plane to Mexico after a violent fight with her ex-boyfriend Bacon, a released convict. Hot on their heels and fueled by jealous rage, Bacon is determined not to let Red get away alive. Will Q come to her rescue once again? Or will he tire of cleaning up after Red’s dirty deeds?

With an action-packed plot and sassy, stylish dialogue, Vickie Stringer creates a web of love and adventure that will keep her legion of devoted fans begging for more.


Still Dirty CHAPTER 1
Bacon arrived at the boarding gate just in time to see Q and Red’s jet preparing for takeoff. Bacon’s glaring eyes were transfixed on the walkway where his girlfriend and her latest lover had disappeared. Sweat droplets sprayed from his twisted face. He was furious that he’d missed his chance for revenge.

In a blur of motion, he spun around and dashed back to the counter, now focusing his deranged stare on the ticket agent. Speechless with rage, his wide nostrils flared and his breathing blasted out in ragged spurts.

For a moment, the woman was frozen in fright; her eyes gawked at the involuntary contraction of Bacon’s jaw muscles. She gasped, hand clutched over her heart. She certainly didn’t want her face to compare to the young lady’s who just boarded the jet.

She looked as if she might break and run away, so he grabbed her by the neck and put his Glock to her dome. He held her face so close, her freckles almost jumped off her skin and onto his.

While he held the woman in his vise-like grip, thinking of Red’s betrayal, Bacon’s eyes glazed over with fury. It wasn’t over. Red and her nigga could run, but they couldn’t hide. Not from him. Bacon was gon’ get his revenge—come hell or high water. He immediately flashed back to the letter that Red had written to him out of anger while he was in prison.

It would be virtually impossible for you to kick my ass, seeing as how you will be an old and gray bastard when you come home . . . I never loved you . . . I didn’t even like you . . . I couldn’t even stand the sight of your face . . . the sound of your voice. The words echoed repeatedly in Bacon’s head. Although Red claimed she penned it out of anger, he knew she meant every single word. You did all the work, but now my new man and I reap all the benefits. Wake up! You played yourself. Charge it to da game.

Bacon’s grip on the ticket agent tightened as a vein began to protrude and pulsate from his right temple to the center of his forehead. Charge it to da game, huh? he thought. You’ll see me again . . . face-to-face or six feet under.

Bacon’s thoughts returned to the present and he glared at the girl. “Bitch, where that plane going?”

“M-M-Mexico . . . Cozumel, Mexico.”

•   •   •

Silence filled the air as the private charter jet finally leveled off in the clear skies. Out the plane window Red could see the blue horizon on one side of the plane and white clouds on the other.

Suddenly a claustrophobic wave overcame Red, causing her to heave deep breaths. She tried to calm her racing heart, which seemed to match the roar of the plane’s engine. After observing her surroundings, she remembered that she and Q were the only passengers on the small plane. He must have rented this plane, she thought. Damn, Q is living large.

She held out her right hand, noticed its trembling, then hid it in her lap. She didn’t want Q to see how frightened she was; after almost getting murdered twice in one day, Red was spooked.

What the fuck just happened? she thought. None of this was supposed to happen. When did Bacon get out? Why in the hell am I the one runnin’? I control shit, not him.

Absently, she cut her eyes at Q. He sat on the other side of the plane, two rows ahead of her. He continuously shook his head in disbelief. “I can’t believe this shit!” he yelled out loud, clenching his fists on both sides of his forehead. He then took a deep breath and buried his head in his hands.

Look at him. I really fucked up now. I finally got a nigga that says he loves me and means it, but what about now? He could have gotten killed tonight because of me. Shit!

She turned her head to the right to look out of the window and felt a harsh pain radiate across the bridge of her nose. She began to raise her left arm to touch her nose, but a sharp pain stopped her. Bacon had damn near ripped her arm off when he grabbed her back at her house. Instead, she used her right hand and touched her nose. It felt twice as large under her fingers as she felt the damage. My nose, my nose . . . she thought, gingerly dabbing at the bridge.

•   •   •

Bacon immediately pushed the ticket agent away from him with unbound masculine force and sprinted back to the viewing station, only to see the plane on its ascent into the sky. He was so focused on revenge that he forgot that he had his gun still in his hand, fully exposed. He was startled when he heard someone yell, “He got a gun!”

With that announcement, people began to scatter like mice and pandemonium reigned.



“It’s a sniper!”

Bacon quickly tucked his Glock in the small of his back, and, trying not to draw any more attention to himself, beelined back toward the entrance. He didn’t run, however, just walked at a more pronounced pace.

Bacon blended in as well as he could with the throngs of people stampeding out of the airport.

“That’s him, that’s him!” a female voice yelled.

Almost immediately, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he instinctively put his hand on his piece. If I’m goin down, I’m takin’ one of these muthafuckas with me, he thought. But when he looked over his shoulder, he saw that it was only one of the panic-stricken people in the airport, bum-rushing the front door trying to get out of harm’s way. He let out a sigh of relief.

The next thing Bacon knew, two armed policemen bumped into him, but their eyes were looking straight ahead as they pushed him out of the way. He glanced back and saw that they were making their way inside, presumably to the ticket agent’s counter. Somehow, she must have alerted them.

Bacon continued his trek toward the exit. Once he got outside, the light breeze swept over the beads of nervous sweat along his forehead.

He looked to the left, toward the executive valet parking, and noticed the BMW. His hurry to track down and kill Red and Q had been so intense, he hadn’t cared that he’d parked the car illegally. Now there was a ticket on the windshield, an officer leaning against the car and a boot on the tire.

Fuck it, he said to himself. It ain’t my car. It was Red’s. Not wanting to stare too long, he stepped toward the curb, flagged down a cab and waited for it to pull up to him. Just as he reached for the door, he heard a voice cry out again, “That’s him. That’s him! I swear that’s him!”

Bacon climbed into the cab in one smooth move and slammed the door shut.

“Where to, buddy?” the cabbie asked Bacon, looking over his shoulder as he merged into the exiting traffic.

Just as he pulled off, Bacon stared out of the window and saw the freckle-faced girl, with two officers looking around for her assailant. He ducked down until they got out of the International section of the airport.

“Where to, buddy?” This time the cabdriver spoke a little louder.

“Thirty-one-twenty-four Colonnade Drive in West Bloomfield.” Bacon held his breath and prayed they didn’t get stopped in a traffic jam leaving the airport.

As the taxi finally merged onto the I-94 highway, Bacon reflected on what that had just taken place.

Thinking about everything he had done for Red made his temperature rise again instantly. I gave her everything. Bitch ain’t never had to want for nothin’, and now she wanna play a nigga . . . Have a nigga come to my crib looking for her?!

“You did all the work, but now my new man and I reap all the benefits.”

Those words were permanently etched in his psyche. Bacon looked out of the window and noticed the scenery on the outside was moving just as fast as the images in his mind. I’ma find that nigga and he’ll be dealt with, but first things first. Bacon grinned an evil grimace as he envisioned the perfect resting place for Red—floating under the Belle Isle Bridge.

About The Author

Photograph by Keagen Trier

Vickie M. Stringer is the author of Essence bestsellers, including Imagine ThisLet that Be the ReasonDirty RedStill Dirty, and Dirtier Than Ever. She is the publisher of Triple Crown publications, one of the most successful African American book publishers in the U.S. and abroad. She has been featured in such prominent news media as The New York TimesNewsweek, MTV News, Publishers WeeklyVibeMillionaire BlueprintsWriter's NewsweekBlack Expressions, and many more. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her two children.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 30, 2009)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416563594

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