The Grind Don’t Stop
CHAPTER ONE As The Hood Turns
The persistent staticky racket on the police band was really starting to get on Beverly’s last nerves as she spun around the corner in pursuit.
In pursuit of what, who? Her thoughts were twisted in a whirlwind of scenarios. Am I following Lt. Woo because Woo and her squad of police hoodlums were trying to bust one of her boys? Or am I chasing Rainbow to see if he’ll lead me to that bastard Sparkle? Does he or Rainbow know or have a hint of who took out old man OJ? Or if the hit was actually meant for him instead?
Woo was such a valuable asset to erasing the drug problem in the Atlanta Metro area, but she was winding up in places that didn’t fit and Beverly couldn’t help but to question why. Digging too deep would cause others to formulate questions that Beverly wasn’t prepared to answer. For Woo to try getting on Beverly’s good side to advance her career was commonplace in the police ranks. She well understood and couldn’t really blame her. On the other hand, she wouldn’t be able to face her own self in the mirror if she allowed Woo to crack down on her peeps without at least sidetracking her some kind of way.
And that damn Rainbow and Sparkle, UGH!! How much more could she take of their crooked activities? She couldn’t protect them forever like she was a mother hen refusing to realize that these guys were plain no fucking good. She shook her head,
disgusted with herself for even thinking that way about the guys who’d helped her attain her position as police chief. But hell, it was her hard work and dedication to her beloveth Atlanta that had gotten her there. Still without them putting their own freedom on the line, hustling in the deadly streets of the hood to get up the money to pay her college tuition, she wouldn’t have even gotten the chance to go to school. And how many dirty muthafuckas had they beaten down back in the day to make life so much easier as she grew from child to adolescent to womanhood to Police Chief. Without them it could’ve never been accomplished.
Rainbow and his sweetheart of a mama had always been there whenever she had needed a guiding hand regardless of the circumstances. She’d taught her how to be a woman and he’d taught her how to deal with crooks and the antics of the red light district. And then there was Sparkle.
Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle. Naw, to hell with that. It’s Larry, Larry, Larry. Why did I have to fall in love with that knucklehead, that fucking fool? His crazy ass will never change. But hell, he might. “Aw, who the hell am I fooling? That nigga ain’t gonna neva change.” She wheezed, so frustrated that she grinded her teeth so hard that they started aching.
And those two bitches rolling with him. Hmmmm!! She knew Violet and could understand why his so-called “playa-play-ass” would be drawn to one of the best boosters in the city because he loved being the flyest-dressed dude in the hood. Violet was the aunt of one of her best friends, Yolanda, and Beverly had been aware of her boosting legend status for as long as she could remember. But who is that other little bitch? She nodded with her mouth twisted downward. She knew she’d find out all she needed to know about her sooner thatn later.
“These bitches must really think I’m some kind of chump bitch or something,” she muttered under her breath in frustration. Her eyes swayed back and forth to the pursuit in front of her and then to the rearview mirror. She snapped out of her trance when she heard wheels screaming in protest. The car immediately in front of her with Woo and her henchmen of a drug squad pushed through the intersection, barely avoiding the crossing traffic. She had to concentrate on what was happening and gather her police sense instead of pouting about these niggas. She rotated her neck, squared her shoulders and got back into super cop mode.
It was a hit that Rainbow felt; naw, a hit he knew was meant for him. What other reason would that nigga Joker, the nephew of his other partner, “B,” be sneaking gritty sneers at him while he was shooting the breeze at the store counter with Junior’s brother, “Big Guy”? He was the longtime part owner of the store with OJ. The three of them had practically raised that little nigga from the diaper into the hustling life. Add that grit with watching Joker’s reaction and facial expressions as he dashed from his and OJ’s checker game right before the shooting had started. The circumstances and consequences added up to a hit, no matter how you wanted to see it.
It had been some time since he had seen Joker; not since he’d been sent to juvie for blasting lead at a couple of younguns about some slutty little ho. So what had the little nigga been involved in since then? He instantly recalled when Joker, snotty nose and all, used to hide their dope package in his nasty drawers while he, Sparkle and Johnny ‘B’ strolled the streets of their little drug turf when they’d first ventured into the game. He smiled to himself
recalling the wide grin on his little face when they’d given him his first pair of Air Jordans. How old was that little nigga then, around seven or eight? “Damn, how the years fly by,” he muttered under his breath as he recalled all that crazy stuff that little fool used to get into. They’d have to come to his rescue before the other little toughies smashed his little ass. What in the world had happened to him since getting out of juvie? He didn’t have a clue, but he was definite he would find out now.
He shook those memories out of his brain for things had gone way beyond what had happened in the past. His present state of mind was now in killer revenge mode as he jumped into his Caddie and jetted in hot pursuit of those niggas. Mistakenly, he hadn’t paid the least bit of attention to Lt. Woo and her drug squad hoodlums parked near the end of the block as his tires screamed around the corner. His only concern was finding out where those niggas were headed.
After screeching through the intersection with the pedal pressed to the floor, hoping to overtake them, he chanced a look into his rearview mirror and spotted that worrisome little bitch and her henchmen.
Oh shit, I got to shake this little bitch first. Because when I catch these little muthafuckas, dey asses have got to go meet their makers. Dey ass got to die, leave this earth. Try to take me out like that. And kill one of my childhood idols. Oh hell yeah, y’all niggas got to die, for sho.
Rainbow was way beyond being a little shaken. He had to get rid of the bitch and her hoodlums, no doubt about it. There was no way he could take the chance of them witnessing him blasting on those fools. He shot down the next intersection and sped up, hoping to lose them.
Regardless of how things had gone so far, Beverly knew she had to get to the bottom of it. And do it without Woo or anyone knowing. Talking about skeletons in her closet, this mess was really getting out of hand. She had to make sure that Woo didn’t see her. But how was she going to do that and keep up with Rainbow? She was tailing Woo who was following Rainbow while he was following the niggas who’d thrown down on the drive-by.
Oh shit, has that bitch spotted me? Beverly thought as she narrowed her eyes when Woo’s silhouette angled upward toward the rear-view mirror. Had the little bitch slowed down to get a better look at who was following her?
Beverly knew she could no longer take the chance of being spotted. She made a quick left at the next intersection knowing she was giving Woo the worst possible angle to recognize her. As she was making the turn she saw the car of shooters make a right some three or four blocks ahead. She pulled to the curb, jumped out of the car and sprinted to the corner. She pressed her back to the brick wall of the paint store and did a quick peek and duck back around the edge of the building. She’d seen Rainbow make a right turn a couple of blocks away. She assumed he was either trying to cut them off or had spotted Woo chasing him and was trying to put a move on her. Either way he pressed the pedal to the floor board, speeding down the street way over double the speed limit. She could hear the rubber screaming and see the smoke spiraling in the air from his tires as he jetted away.
It shocked Beverly when Woo didn’t follow Rainbow and zoomed down the street the shooters had traveled. Even though she was puzzled why Woo had responded that way, Beverly had seen enough and rushed back to her car.
From the sounds of the radio some of her troops had already arrived at the scene of the shooting. What should I do now? Go back to the scene?
Follow Rainbow to keep his crazy ass from getting into any more trouble? Follow Woo to find out what the little bitch is really up to? Or put some more troopers on their trails?
While she was contemplating her next move, another familiar vehicle jetted past her and turned left speeding down the street. She shot the car into gear and pulled up to the corner in time to see the car following the path of Woo and the shooters.
She blinked several times at the antennae sticking out of the trunk, knowing it was a cop’s car. She zoomed in on the license plate and the silhouette of the driver. It hit her like a ton of bricks. That bastard. She grimaced as it dawned on her that it was JR, the deputy chief. “What in the hell is he doing here? What’s his connection with all of this?” she mumbled to herself.
The light was red. She’d normally flip on the siren and speed by all traffic signs. But her intuition kept those responses at bay because she couldn’t draw any attention to herself. So what should I do now? There were definitely too many things happening here to handle all of them at the moment.
She took a deep breath and started across the intersection. For some reason her eyes shot to the rearview mirror. “Now ain’t that a bitch,” she cursed at the silhouette of Sparkle in the car trailing hers. Why had the fool jetted away from her in the first place? From what she could tell he hadn’t recognized her. So what now? Should she keep going to see what would happen?
She concentrated on his face for several blocks before she decided to circle the entire block to get behind them. Violet and the other girl were both still in the car. For a brief second she considered pulling them just to fuck with them and display her power. To let them bitches know that she wasn’t anything to play with. But she had to consider how the girls would react. Would they get loud? That would certainly defeat her purpose of secrecy.
Besides, she didn’t really trust how her jealousy would make her act.
For after all she was not only hiding from the authorities but from the street gossip as well. Especially knowing how cops always maintained their own personal crew of snitches. She had an army of them herself.
She followed Sparkle and the girls to the house by Turner Field and settled in the parking lot. She pulled out her mini binoculars to check out the activities of the house.
A huge lump roughed its way down her throat as she watched Sparkle pull up to the curb in front of the house. He leaned forward in the driver’s seat to let the other woman out. From where she was sitting it seemed like the girl pushed the seat forward with a little attitude. Violet jumped out of the other side and eased into the front seat with a smirk on her face. One that said, Aw, little bitch, handle it.
It only meant one thing to Beverly: both of these girls had to be Sparkle’s woman. She shivered with jealousy as the car sped down the street. She followed them to a small set of apartments on Memorial Drive. She knew she couldn’t park there so she drove across the street and stopped in the supermarket parking lot.
No matter how long it would take, she was going to find out what in the hell he was up to. Her heart pounded with grief and anger as she settled into the seat and pressed the binoculars to her eyes. It may just be a long night.
Rainbow looked across the table wondering how long it would actually take the trio of young hustlers to master the art of the false shuffle.
Mercedes, the sexy little Vietnamese that had stunned Sparkle with her pole dance at the strip club a while back, was really getting at it. She was definitely concentrating a lot harder than Sparkle’s nephew, Stacy, and his number two ho, Princess. He knew that Stacy was getting the big head since he’d been winning with the marked decks they’d schooled him to the last few times he’d played at Al’s poker game in Lithonia. In a way he couldn’t really blame him after getting skimmed by Al, probably for years. But there was so much more for him to perfect than marked cards. He’d have to bring him down a couple of notches for his own good.
He took a moment to study Princess. Her jet-black, eye-candy physique and intoxicating glare was still sexy enough after all these years to display her like a fine piece of jewelry. He’d yanked her off the ho stroll after only a few months when he decided that she was much more valuable to him than selling head and pussy. She had a sassy, no-nonsense attitude that had proven to be quite an asset when he’d allowed her to run his dope on the hotel route along I-20. She’d made him a mint in addition to keeping his other bitches on track. Her uncanny resemblance to Queen Nefertiti was definitely a plus as well. He picked the deck up and smiled brightly.
“Yo, Stacy, just because you’ve learned the easiest way to get your cheat on, doesn’t mean you can run slack on the other stuff you need to keep racking up the cash, my man. Believe me when I tell you that marked deck thang’s gonna run thin a lot sooner than you think.”
He didn’t give him a chance to respond before flipping a card upside down on the top of the deck and false shuffled six or seven times. He could tell right off the bat that they weren’t able to keep up. It felt good to see that stunned look on Stacy’s face. He knew they’d catch on sooner or later, hopefully sooner, so it was
on to the next phase. He placed a mirror in front of him and started shuffling in slow motion. “My nigga and niggettes, I want y’all to get a mirror and practice like this until you can’t see the move yourself. It has to look like your natural deal, feel me?” He waited for them to nod their understanding. “Then I’m gonna grind y’all wannabe slick asses at dealing seconds and off the bottom all with the same motion, okay?”
With faces eager to please the teacher they started gathering up the cards. Rainbow leaned back and shouted for Chef-bor-a-Lady, who was doing her usual throwdown in the kitchen. She was actually his very first girlfriend from way back in elementary school. After all these years of pimping, he’d never even considered putting her through the rigors of that kind of life and she’d stood by his side ever since. His forever bottom lady, was the way he saw it. “Yo, lady, how long did my nigga say he was going to be?”
Lady’s cheery puppy-dog face leaned around the corner with her hands full of floured chicken and smiled. “He said something about picking up Yolanda and coming right over.” She twisted her wrist around awkwardly to look at her watch. “That was about a half-hour ago, so they should be pulling up anytime now.”
The words were barely out of her mouth when the car pulled into the driveway. Even before the doors slammed, they could hear Yolanda’s and Violet’s loud voices arguing about where they were going to off some of the stuff they’d stolen. Violet, Sparkle’s main girl, was still considered legendary when it came to the boosting game. Short and thick she still reminded folk of a much older version of Toni Braxton. Back in the day she’d trained nearly all of the pimps’ hoes, using numerous gadgets to aid in the art of stealing. Rainbow was still amazed at some of stuff she’d come up with. She was one strong-willed babe who didn’t take trash from anyone. And Yolanda was like a darker, younger version of
her Aunt Violet. She was actually an original member of the gang from their kindergarten days. She was Beverly’s first and best girl buddy as well as being ‘B’’s bottom girl forever. There wasn’t a nigga alive that could pull something over on her. Rainbow smiled at the sound of her voice as he recalled the many times that Yolanda had kicked ass right along with them for messing with Beverly.
Sparkle stepped through the door shaking his head and tossed his thumb back toward the yakking duo. “Damn, dog, why didn’t you tell me these hoes would be going at it like this here. God-ayum, I’ve had to put up with this bullshit from the moment they saw each other.”
He paused and broke into a brilliant smile when he saw Mercedes practicing in front of the mirror. Her concentration intensity took him back to the days when he used to do the same thing hour after hour while locked on segregation in the joint.
The glitter in her eyes and high-cheeked smile when she looked up made his heart thump. Shivers tingled along his spine when she purred, “Hi, baby, look at what Rainbow has showed me.” Mercedes did the false shuffle awkwardly but her tiny hands seemed to be made for it.
He bent down and kissed the top of her head. “That’s good, sweetie, how about standing up for me for a moment?” She looked puzzled but only briefly before she placed the cards on the table and stood up to greet him with open arms.
He turned to Yolanda and Violet and shouted over their loud chattering. “Hey, can y’all stop bickering long enough to look at her? Geez.” There was an immediate ceasefire to their rapid-fire conversation as they walked over to Mercedes and started circling and spinning her around. Yolanda leaned back bossily and cocked a bejeweled hand on her wide hip before she spoke. “Damn, she
little for a mug, but I think I’ve already got some stuff in the trunk that’ll fit her just right.”
Violet quickly added, “Mmm-hmm and I can easily, well not easily, but I can adjust the straps on the bubble. But can her little ass waddle?” She smiled warmly as she began turning the little honey around thinking of all the ways she was going to train her in the shoplifting trade.
Sparkle smiled and wondered if Mercedes really had what it took for all the illegal stuff he had planned. Then he looked over at Rainbow, who had been ho sitting for him every since he’d made her a part of their little crime family. “Do you think she ready, dog?”
Rainbow rubbed the side of his face and started massaging his chin before he gave a sniffled reply. “My nigga, baby girl here has been picking up on everything like a real pro.” He rolled his eyes to the ceiling and pinched his nose before going on. “Hell yeah, she ready.”
Reassured by the confidence his main man was showing, he smiled down at the little star. “You think you can waddle, baby girl?”
She frowned and shyly whispered, “Waddle?”
Sparkle smiled down at her and then began marveling at the resemblance between the two professional boosters as they studied Mercedes’ reaction. Yolanda was a shade darker. They had the same high cheekbones and big almond-shaped eyes. Their hair was cut short with bundles of curls swirling on the top. Violet’s hair was dyed blonde while Yo favored a dark mixture of red and brown. Yolanda’s breasts were smaller but her hips and ass were much wider. She had one of those high-rise bubble butts. They liked to dress fly all the time; this could only be expected from two of Atlanta’s best.
Violet grasped her hips and looked at Sparkle. “Baby, what I’m gonna do is dress her up like a pregnant little doll and just let her shop and observe while me and Yolanda here go to work. Is that cool with you?” She cocked her head to the side and spread her hands far apart waiting for his response.
Before he could reply the telephone drew everyone’s attention. Lady picked it up on the third ring. She spoke briefly before poking her head around the corner and held it out to Rainbow. “I think you better hear this here, baby.”
Rainbow snatched the phone out of Lady’s outstretched hand and listened intently for nearly a minute.. “How much did they take: They did all that; even after y’all gave up the dope and the loot? Damn, where she at now? Go get her. Is it swollen real bad? You think you need to go to Grady’s? He made you do that, too, whew.” He continued to listen intently. “Naw, just stay there. I’ll be out there in a little while. Uh-huh, in about an hour… Naw, don’t worry about that. We’ll make up for it. Don’t open the door for nobody til I get there, okay.” He tossed the phone back to Lady, arched his brow in Sparkle’s direction and started gnawing on his bottom lip as he headed down the hall. The wall vibrated when he slammed the bedroom door.
Sparkle twisted his mouth to the side, sighed and eyed the crew’s solemn faces before following Rainbow down the hall. He returned in a few minutes and frowned before directing his attention to Stacy. “Yo nephew, why don’t you ride with the girls? Me and Rainbow have got to go and check on some things.”
Stacy jacked his pants up and braced his shoulders. “Y’all sure y’all don’t want me to ride with ya?” There was a sadistic smile on his face as he took his nine from behind his back and cocked it.
Sparkle smiled at his gangster display. “Man, put that away; you scaring the girls. Just gon’ with them like I asked you to, man. I
need you to get to know Violet and Mercedes a little better anyhow.”
Sparkle started waving them out of the door. Mercedes reluctantly followed them. He couldn’t worry about her feelings now. He looked at Princess, who had picked up her coat to leave with the rest of them. “Naw, black baby, you gonna ride with us.” He took her jacket.
He noticed Mercedes frowning over her shoulder as she started out the door. He fought back the urge to call her back. He leaned against the door as they pulled away. He was closing the door when the phone started ringing again. Lady stuck her head around the corner again with the same worried look on her face. Sparkle took the call this time before he went into the bedroom to tell Rainbow what the deal was. There were loud yells and screams heard through the door before they came storming out. Their faces were stern with anger as they left the house.
Lady rushed to the door to watch their departure before she went back into the kitchen to wrap up the food for another time. Then she headed to the bedroom to place a call to an old friend.
The driver smiled as he leaned his shoulder against the door of the late-model sedan parked across the street from the three-story house. Their prey had pulled out in their cars a couple of minutes apart and headed in opposite directions. They were certain the passengers hadn’t paid them any attention, since they were parked among countless cars in the Turner Field lot.
The driver adjusted the sleeves of the baggy Falcons sweatshirt and glared angrily at the passenger. “Homie, I’m beginning to think that you may just be the wrong soldier for this job. After all, you’ve
known these niggas a long time. Hell, all your life, as a matter of fact.”
The passenger drew deeply on the cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth and blew a steady stream of smoke out the window into the cool air before responding nervously. “I told you that I got this. Things have started to get troublesome for them already. I just got to make sure that I do everything right.”
“Playa, playa, I ain’t feeling that shit and I ain’t got a lot of patience. You do realize that, don’tcha?” the driver spat in a low growl.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know you need this done, but like you said yourself, I’ve known them for a long time. This means I know that they ain’t nowhere near no dummies and I don’t...”
The driver cut through his whining with a loud slap on the dashboard. “Nigga, stop playing games with me. Either you do like I told you or I do your ass.” In a lightning-quick motion, he reached across the seat to put an extremely powerful grip on the passenger’s shoulder blade. “Is my English plain enough for ya?”
As spittle sprayed the passenger’s face to go along with the grip’s paralyzing pain, a mixture of fear and hatred coursed through his brain and he gave the only answer possible. “Yeeeeaaaah.”
Beverly was putting her groceries in the trunk in the Kroger parking lot when her attention was drawn to the staticky police band. She automatically wondered if her boys, Rainbow and Sparkle, had answered the call of the wild with all the shootings along I-20. She knew there was no way that they were going to let that drive-by shooting pass without responding. She started reminiscing.
Deep in her heart she knew they’d pooled their mediocre bankrolls to keep her in nice clothes and to get her in and through college. There was no way that her sweet old nana’s social security check could have come up with all that money.
Beverly thought back to the days when she and her girlfriends would sit around admiring them at the dope hangouts. They called it their days of being so-called gentlemen of leisure. Pimping macks was how they jokingly labeled it. They became star protégés of the legendary queen of the con, Loretta. practicing the many scams she’d taught them in her basement on Auburn Avenue. It continued all the way to her tuition fees at Georgia State, where she began her quest for a law degree.
Neither ever volunteered to offer an explanation of the source of the money. She’d always had her doubts about all the different lies they’d tell. Whenever she would question them, as a group or one-on-one, they would never confirm or deny it; they’d stare at her blankly until she stomped away pouting. Sparkle was the only one who seemed like he wanted to tell her but even he wouldn’t. The bottom line from way back was that she wanted to grow and make a difference in her hood, in her city and in their lives.
How could she ever deny any of them? From kindergarten to elementary, to high school to college, she always felt that she was nowhere near the brainiest hen in the flock. So, if not for their constant nagging and encouragements that she could really make something out of her life, she wouldn’t be where she was today.
Talking about skeletons in the closet, she certainly had her share. She had to keep those skeletons hidden, well hidden. Actually, her career depended on it. Still on her oath to keep the streets clean, she certainly couldn’t allow the violence to escalate out of control.
As she turned the key in the ignition, she looked in her eyes in the mirror wondering how far her loyalty could extend; and for
that matter which way that loyalty would lean. As she pulled into the Candler Road traffic, she pondered her dilemma.
Big Al was in a foul mood when he pulled up behind Don’s car in his driveway. The heavy-set big man of fifty odd years was con- templating if he should run his usual poker game tonight. The past few days had begun to really stress him out; from dealing with all the different personalities that frequented his game room to test their luck at the card table to dealing with that crooked cop JR in their hijacking furniture trucks to supply the condos recently built to that punk Black Don. He’d helped run his dope investment and the many dope dealers that worked his product. He checked out the streets of his upper-class neighborhood before squinting into the rearview mirror. Was he really a celebrity look- alike as most folk had been telling him? Maybe, except more handsome. He smiled.
Lately, everything seemed to be grinding on his nerves. From the sound and feel of the gravel sprinkled along the entryway, to the raindrops that barely sprinkled his neck when he got out of the car, made his fist ball up in disgust. He even feinted at a harmless squirrel when it sprinted across his path on the way to scampering up a tree. The fresh smell of the opening skies mixed with the faint smell of the peat moss surrounding the two orange trees in his yard made his teeth grit. He fought the urge to stomp the rose bed along the front of the house because he felt that the aroma was too strong. Damn, could he ever use a blunt to calm himself down. He could almost taste the reefer and cocaine mixture rolling off of his tongue to invigorate his throat, nasal passage and brain.
He reached the door and started patting himself down before
throwing his hands up in frustration, realizing he hadn’t taken the keys out of the ignition. I’ve got to stop letting myself get so tensed up like this. The deal’s gonna come through. I’m just letting the pressure get next to me, that’s all. Just being too damn paranoid. He grimaced and stomped back to the car.
“Come on, Al, get it together, man,” he muttered under his breath as he reached inside the car to retrieve the keys.
As he was putting the key in the lock, he began shuddering. He turned around and scanned the neighborhood. He didn’t see anything and took a deep breath, then shook off the eerie feeling and pushed the door open. He took one step inside and nearly jumped out of his skin when the shrill sound of the alarm shook him from head to toe.
“What the fuck?” Don screamed and jumped off of the couch with his fist balled at his side.
Black Don, the self-proclaimed ruler of downtown drug trafficking and strip club owner, hated being uncomfortable in any situation. Accompanying his aunt, Rose, the former Miami whore, to this money paradise of Atlanta all those years ago had certainly put him at the top of his hustling game. There was plenty of drugs, hoes and money to keep him satisfied, but it wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted much much more and was determined as ever to get it. He wasn’t comfortable the way Al had just barged in without a warning whatsoever and it showed.
Al could have cared less how this fool felt as he frowned and reached for the alarm beside the light switch. He punched in his code to silence it. He bristled up and turned around to stare angrily at Don. He massaged the bridge of his nose and stepped toward him like a stalking panther.
What the fuck is up with this nigga balling up on me in my own godayum house? Don thought.
Don felt Al’s anger with each advancing step. There was no way he could’ve known about the fuck session he’d just had with Mona, Al’s sexy-as-hell, freak of a woman. It had even surprised him how easy she’d been to conquer. And that pussy and head was bumping, grade-fucking triple A. She’d proven to be too hard to resist, not that he’d tried to. Actually, he was plotting how to hit it as often as possible or simply straight up snatch her from under Al’s rule, toss her in the club and make a mint off of her sexy ass when Al entered abruptly.
Don took a couple of steps back and prepared for whatever. He felt his hands trembling, so he slid them in his pockets to keep Al from seeing the effect his attitude was having on him.
Al sensed his nervousness and stopped at the edge of the couch, He reached across Don’s body to massage his neck and shoulder before he growled, “Where’s mine, man?” When he took too long to respond, Al stepped around the couch and sneered even more menacingly. “Nigga, I asked you where my shit at?”
The tension deflated from Don’s shoulders. Wow, I’m not busted for my out of control dick play, after all. He sighed heavily. “My nigga, you shonuff had me spooked for a second there. It’s out there in the car. I was waiting for you to get here before I got it.”
Al lowered his guard slightly. It didn’t stop Don from watching him closely though. He patted him on the shoulder as he brushed by and whispered, “Damn, partner, what’s got you so pumped up?” He didn’t bother waiting for an answer and continued out of the door to get the package.
Al didn’t budge an inch, letting him know that he wasn’t for any nonsense. Al started nibbling on his bottom lip trying to bring his anger under control. He sighed and walked over to the bar and mixed a vodka and orange juice. He took a few sips, welcoming the sting as the alcohol scorched down his throat.
The sexy, sassy Mona suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs.
She secured the last button on a pink silk blouse with one hand as she made long brush strokes through her damp hair with the other. She was curious about her sister, Miriam, since she hadn’t heard anything from her in the past couple of days. She’d really been worrying about that girl since she’d gotten hooked up with that so-called pimping nigga ‘B.’ She hoped that Al wouldn’t recognize the afterglow of that hell of a fucking that nigga Don had put on her with his monster dick. Damn, that motherfucka felt good. Hell, it was the best dick she’d ever had, period. But right now she had to deal with this old-ass nigga Al and smiled demurely down at him. The tantalizing swell of her hips in a pair of skintight jeans caused his anger to subside momentarily with visions of sliding them off. She caught that look in his eyes immediately This old muthafucka thinks it’s all about him—good.
Al felt his nape stiffen when Don came back through the door with an Addidas saddlebag draped over his shoulder. Why I can’t shake this bad feeling about this nigga? Al continued feeling strange but he couldn’t grasp what the bad vibes meant. He’d have to figure them out later on. He really needed to concentrate on getting this business with these high rollers taken care of.
He waited until Don had slung the bag off his shoulder and leaned it against his leg with the strap dangling across his Timberland boots. He flexed his shoulders with attitude and walked over toward him.
He felt Don looking past him but didn’t comment on it and nodded for him to follow him to the game room. Don waited until he started up the steps before he reached down to get the bag. He raised his head and made eye contact with Mona. The lust in her eyes caused him to sigh. Luckily Al’s back was to them because even Stevie Wonder would’ve seen the sexual tension between them.
Mona couldn’t and didn’t want to control the moisture
dampening her thong panties. She gasped silently when her eyes lowered to his monster dick as it expanded inch by pussy-throbbing inch down his pants leg. Her pussy started convulsing while her eyes budged every time it throbbed. She pressed her stomach to handle the urges that were nearly uncontrollable.
She was thankful when Al began to turn around as he reached for the doorknob. She immediately smiled at him. “Honey, you want me to hook you up some greens and mashed potatoes to go with this here chicken?”
Al’s antennae bristled along his spine, but he stifled the urge to grit on them before he turned around. “Whatever, baby. Ah, what the hell, go ahead and burn a few of those catfish, too.”
Don squinted at her and then gritted at Al’s departing back as he disappeared down the stairs. He looked back up at her, licked his lips and winked as he silently mouthed, “I’m gonna tear that fine ass up later.” He followed Al into the game room.
Mona whistled a heavy sigh of relief and rubbed her pussy. When the door closed behind them, she headed back for the kitchen. Before she started preparing the meal, she went into the pantry and finger-fucked herself to a spasmodic climax with the thought of Don’s gigantic dick digging deep into her gushing pussy.
Beverly sighed heavily when the band reported a couple of arrests as she pulled into her parking spot at the station. Thankfully, none of her boy’s names were mentioned. Of those she heard, she knew that they were Jamaicans. That group was getting more and more airplay as the weeks passed.
She grabbed her briefcase off the passenger seat and opened her door. The first person she saw was RJ, the deputy chief. She
shivered with disgust at the sight of his pompous ass. What was he doing here this time of the day? Normally he worked the second shift, so she automatically became suspicious. There was something awfully strange about dude. He definitely had too much unearned, family-favored political clout as far as she was concerned. Damn silver spoon in his mouth from birth and all that. Luckily he was bent over in his car so he couldn’t notice her. She veered the long way around to avoid him, certainly not in the mood to put up with his bullshit.
She slipped into the elevator and her mind drifted to Sparkle. Damn him, the way he kept her heart aflutter. When am I going to build up the nerve to face him? Is he holding out to see if I’ll reach out for him first? We know it’s inevitable, so why all the stalling? Without realizing what she was doing her hand slipped to her crotch. She massaged herself several times before she remembered that there were cameras in the elevator. Her hand froze and she looked around the ceiling trying to locate its location. She made a mental note to check.
The doors split and the first person she saw was Sarah, her secretary and friend. They smiled at one another and she headed for her office, knowing she would soon follow. She pushed her office door open and immediately became aware that her special phone was beeping in its special code to let her know that one of her boys was reaching out to her. She looked over her shoulder. Was anyone watching? She sighed, praying that it wasn’t Sparkle. She wasn’t ready for him yet. She slid her briefcase on her desk and stared at the phone, wondering if she should answer. Aw, what the hell.
Kobe Bryant’s soaring dunk had the Philips Arena crowd in an uproar when Johnny Bee, the third of the amigos, felt his cell phone vibrating on his hip. He’d always considered himself the flyest dresser of the crew, even when they were hooking junkies and hoes on the Ave back in the day, hoarding their ends to keep Beverly and Yolanda as the top girls in the neighborhood. He was dressed to the tee as usual in a gold silk lounging outfit with a brown felt fedora and matching brown gator shoes.
He was feeling much too dapper to have his lock-a-ho phase of the game disturbed by an unwanted call. He snatched off his designer shades and fumbled for it with his left hand, being that his right arm was pinned to his body by the wailing female he’d brought to the game. He felt an urge to yank her by the neck and scream out her name, but he couldn’t recall it to save his life. What was it? Ah, Mariah, Marisa, damn, it’s Marsomething. Damn, aaaah what the fuck. What difference does it make anyhow? As long as she could fit into his harem of boosters, it really didn’t matter what her fucking name was.
Johnny Bee somehow managed to squeeze the phone from between their bodies. It was hard to hone in on the voice on the other end with her yelling to the top of her lungs and using him as a human teddy bear. All that wailing and the deafening sound of the crowd made it nearly impossible. But he did manage to decipher enough of the conversation to cause him to jerk angrily away from her.
The suddenness of his reaction surprised the hell out of her and she leaned away, frowning as he shouted into the phone. Her female curiosity was pushing her to say something, but the words froze on her tongue when she saw the fire blazing in his eyes.
It was like he was an entirely different person from the one she had met in Underground Atlanta when they had gotten caught
up in a Michael Vick autograph frenzy at the bottom of the stairs. He’d been so gentlemanly and cordial. And in the weeks since, as he had wined and dined her, she felt herself falling in love with him without even realizing that it was happening. But now as she looked into his angry eyes, it seemed as though she didn’t really know him at all. As the deafening roar of the crowd calmed, allowing her to hear her own thoughts, she realized that she didn’t really know anything about Johnny Bee. With a mesmerizing jolt, it dawned on her that he had started dominating her time and thoughts as no man had ever done before. A mystery man had swept her off of her feet and now she couldn’t figure out what to do about it.
As if he was able to read her thoughts, he quickly reverted back to his captivating mode. After all, he considered himself a practiced technician on matters of a woman’s heart. Countless of times over the years of copping-a-ho, locking-a-ho, pimping-a-ho and blowing-a-ho, had certainly given him an honorary degree on the subject.
He put on his hundred-watt-dazzle-a-bitch smile as he measured the inner woman with the baby face features. Unbeknownst to her he was mentally calculating how her natural innocence would fit into the conning schemes that his other girls were at that very moment putting down somewhere in the city. He enjoyed this part of the game the most; the chase, the art of turning a honey out to the street life. So even though the news he’d received was disturbing, he forced it to the back of his mind and tried to concentrate on, damn, he couldn’t remember her name. It’ll come to me sooner or later. He pocketed the phone inside the vest of his brown raw silk suit, leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Yo, baby girl, I hate to tell you this but we’ve got to spilt.”
Disappointment was written all over her face. It wasn’t every
day she got to wear one of her sexiest outfits to a Hawks game, especially one with her favorite player, Kobe Bryant, in it.
She blinked innocently hoping to change his mind for she was having a ball. But it only took her a few seconds to realize that the game was over, for her anyway. So she let out a heavy sigh, stood up, took his hand and allowed him to lead her along the aisles of screaming fans.
On the way through the Omni parking lot, he eased his car keys into her manicured hands. She looked over at him. She was surprised and disappointed. On one hand, it meant that he trusted her, yet it meant that he was about to depart her company. Even though she was wrapped in mixed emotions, there was a flow of exuberance because no man had ever put that much trust in her, especially giving her the keys to a luxurious, customized Chrysler New Yorker.
He knew the kind of effect it had on her. What she didn’t know was that the car didn’t really mean a damn thing to him since he’d gotten a crackhead bitch to lease it to straighten out a dope debt. It was something he did on a nearly weekly basis. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her. And it was good food for his massive ego, keeping a bitch locked on a magic carpet ride.
He smiled at her and placed his hand on her shoulder. “Sweet-heart, something has come up that I have to handle immediately.” She opened her pretty mouth to say something, but he quickly placed a finger on her lips. “Shhhh, just listen and do what I tell you to do, okay?”
She looked into his eyes and nodded shyly. He handed her a sheet of paper and licked his lips before he ran his hand across his mouth. “Go to this apartment in Candler East. A friend of mine named Yolanda is waiting for you. She’ll tell you about some things you need to know. If she isn’t there just let yourself in and make yourself at home. She’ll be there shortly.”
He ran a hand down his face, then coughed in his fist to clear his throat. “Girl, just do like I ask you, okay? I wish I could tell you what’s going on but I can’t put that burden on you; you too new to the crew. I’ve got a lot on my mind right now and none of it concerns you, but I’ve definitely got to handle it.” He kissed her on the forehead and he looked up into the sky impatiently as he waited for her to insert the key.
“I’ll call you when I find out what’s going on.” He smiled and tapped the side of the door before he walked away. She watched stunned as he disappeared among the other cars.
She was wondering what kind of a dude she’d let herself get so emotionally involved with. That same curiosity soon turned into a smile as she pulled onto Houston Street and headed toward I-20 and the Candler East apartments in Decatur. She was excited with the anticipation of the unknown.
Being caught up in her thoughts, she didn’t notice the dark sedan as it pulled out behind her, following at a safe distance. Its occupants conversed with each other while one of them took instructions on a cell phone.
‘B’ was locked in conversation with his boys on his cell as he headed for Five Points to catch the train. “Damn, man, y’all ain’t got no idea who done that shit. Well, let’s just go over there and brace his ass about it... Y’all on the way over there now. Good, I’m about to get on the train in a minute… Bet, see y’all in a few then. Hey, dog, don’t you think you talking a little too much here? You need to go on the chill, for real, yo. Let’s finish this up after we all get over there. I don’t like talking on these cell phones. Which car is y’all in? In a few, then I’m out.”
His thoughts were running wild as he started toward the turnstiles. He felt a headache coming on and started wishing he’d put some coke in the heart locket draped around his neck. He’d left
it behind because he was developing this new girl for the grind and wanted to hide that aspect of his life.
So here he was stuck with this oncoming nasty headache on the rise with no coke to curtail it. Hopefully Rainbow or Sparkle would have some on them.
The MARTA train to the Eastside had just set out when he sat up in the seat. “Man, what’s wrong with me?” He took the phone out and punched some numbers. When a husky female voice picked up, he started shouting orders. “Bitch, who there with you? Okay good, meet me at the Krispy Kreme on Lee Street. I need a little something for this headache trying to crush my head. Hell yeah now, I’m almost there myself. Beat me there, bitch.”
He clicked off, smiling before he shouted, “What?” to a pair of nosey women sweating him across the aisle. When they immediately diverted their attention, he resumed his relaxed position and muttered under his breath, “Damn, it still feels good to be a muthafucking king.”
On their way to rendezvous with Johnny Bee, Rainbow stopped to pick up the twins at his rundown apartment complex in Butter- milk Bottom where he used to sell dope. If nothing else, they would serve as a good cover if something unforeseen went down and the police felt like digging at a couple of fly niggas. The twins had proven to come in handy with gunplay in the past; especially Cheryl with her trigger-happy ass. Both she and her identical twin sister, Sherry, were gorgeous and had the heart of lionesses. Talking about spit-image lookalikes; hello to Diana Ross in her heyday. They also had the attitudes of real-life divas, to boot.
Sparkle was happy to be in the company of the twins again.
They’d been influential in getting him re-accustomed to the streets the first week he’d gotten out of the joint. They’d definitely come in handy when they’d introduced him to the many girl dope pushers along the I-20 hotel strip. At the time he’d really thought that their brother, Percy, and JJ, his sister Debra’s ex boyfriend and former prison gambling partner, were running things in the dope game. Boy, had that ever proved to be a lot bullshit. Hooking up with the twins had proven to be quite beneficial in other ways as well. Rolling around with them had led to his getting locked in with Violet, his legendary boosting queen and main woman.
As they pulled into the club’s parking lot they saw their boy’s dark blue Caddie with its gold ragtop glistening under the street lamp. Two of ‘B’’s favorite boosting hoes, Pinky and Laurie, were sitting on the hood acting as if they didn’t have a care in the world. They popped gum and snake-rolled their heads in the snappy, animated way that street hustlers did. Both Rainbow and Sparkle knew they were watch dogging the Caddie to make sure that ‘B’ wouldn’t come out with his carriage setting on bricks. It was definitely that kind of neighborhood.
They had proven in the past that they would come in handy with some guns if it came down to that.
As they pulled into the club, they saw their boy’s dark blue caddy with the gold ragtop glistening under the street lamp. Two of B’s favorite boosting hoes, Cheryl and Laurie, were sitting on the hood acting as if they didn’t have a care in the world. But they knew they were watch dogging the caddie to make sure that he wouldn’t come out with his carriage sitting on bricks. It was definitely that type of neighborhood.
They had planned on easing into the club unnoticed, but Cheryl, with her shit-starting ass, had to say something. “What’s up, hood rats? I see that B’s got
y’all stank asses just where y’all belong; playing watchdog.”
“Fuck you, slut, ooops I mean sluts,” Laurie, a petite sassy-mouthed, black-as-midnight vixen, replied in a voice full of venom.
“Y’all still licking those vanilla and chocolate lollypops for dime rocks?” Cheryl shot back with just as much nastiness.
“Mmmmm-hmmm, and saving the dusty Ziplocs so y’all can get a decent back,” Pinky, a juicy-bodied redbone, clad in some shiny silver daisy dukes cuffing her donkey ass that matched the halter top and Hercules strap sandals yelped. She jumped off the hood and coiled up like a viper ready to strike. “Dat’s right, bitch, I mean bitches. I said it.”
Seeing her sister outnumbered, her twin, Sherry, quickly joined in the fray. “Aw aw, y’all, I smell a catfight. I just know yall funky hoes ain’t ready to throw down, for real.”
“Oh hell yeah we is, hisssssss.” Laurie snarled as she lifted her long designer nails into a pair of deadly claws. They started circling each other, snarling and feinting back and forth.
“Man, why you looking all hype for? Dem silly hoes ain’t gonna do nothing but act stupid,” Rainbow shouted over his shoulder as he headed into the club.
Sparkle started to follow him when the girls started screaming and shrieking. He expected to see a real throwdown, but those crazy hoes were laughing and dancing.
“I’ll be damned,” he muttered, shook his head and turned away, mad because he was hoping to see female talons windmilling in large circles. He laughed at the clowning foursome and pushed through the door. As he swung through the Old West-styled swinging doors he was immediately mesmerized by the black and red blinking lights that made the undulations of the scantily clad dancers seem mystically herky jerky. He paused for a brief moment
admiring their alluring movements. Won’t nothing like a well-endowed honey shaking what her mother gave her. After a moment of lusting at their glistening bodies, he started looking around the club for his boys. He spotted them at the bar in a heated conversation with Bertha.
Now that was one helluva tough honey, that Bertha. Back in the day, when Rainbow was first getting his feet wet in the pimping game, she’d been one of the first real stud streetwalkers that he’d scooped. If the truth were told, which Rainbow would never admit, she was the one who had shown him how to be a real mack man. A big-boned, exotic redbone, Bertha had a squeaky little girl voice that shocked everyone she met.
“I done told y’all poor hustling muthafuckas that I ain’t gonna be waiting no hour for y’all to be answering no godayum call,” Bertha spat and rolled her eyes.
“And I told your fat ass that I was in a jam on I-20. My batteries ran out and there ain’t no phone on the fucking interstate woman,” Rainbow lied with a snarl between sips of Heineken beer.
“So whaddafuck you want me to do? The dude was in a hurry shit. Aw fuck you Rainbow I ain’t gonna bend over backwards to try to please your yellow ass,” she spat back immediately.
He pinched his nose and sniffled with a heartwarming smile. “You used to?”
She bucked her eyes and laughed. “Yeah, nigga, that was when I was young, dumb and full of come. I mean, cum, aw fuck you, man.”
He stuck his neck over the bar. “Shiiit, looks like ya still toting enough to hold a whole lot of yo favorite treat.” He licked his lips seductively before adding. “Uh, Rainbow pimp juice, uh-huh.”
She wrinkled her nose and playfully mushed his face. “You wish.” She turned away to pick up a tray of glasses.
He reached over the bar and slapped her big ass. It vibrated like a bowl of Jell-O. “Uh-huh, wish I could rock dat ass til you go to speaking in tongues like you used, too.”
She blushed and stuck out her tongue. “Sho nuff, lover boy, as if that giant dick of yours could stay out of all this even if you wanted to.” She was smiling seductively as she looked back at her massive butt and made it jiggle.
“Fer sho, jam ain’t never shook like dat there.” He winked.
The conversation came to an abrupt halt when her attention was drawn to the entrance. The guys’ heads snapped in the direction she was staring.
A low moan hummed through the crowded room as all eyes followed the entourage of cops dressed in black riot gear stepping stiff faced towards the bar. Flanked by the half dozen menacing giants was the oriental black widow herself, the dreaded Lt. Woo, terror of the wards Red Dog drug squad. Even the hardest players in the joint turned away from the crazy bitch’s cold-hearted gaze, giving her all the respect she expected. The conniving little monster deserved every bit of it too with the way she stretched the rules as dirty and hard as she could.
With her eyes narrowed to nasty little slits she walked straight up to Rainbow and hissed, “What’s up, fellas?” in a low birdlike voice.
‘B’ responded to the unwanted intrusion. “Ain’t nothing kicking, Woo, just us plain dudes and chicks enjoying a little drink.”
She placed her talonlike fingers on his neck and squeezed. He hunched his shoulders grimacing in discomfort.
“Hold up there, Miss Kung Fu shortie. You can’t just come in here harassing my peeps.” Bertha snarled, obviously the only in the club willing to stand up to the little bitch.
Woo snorted, pinned her with angry eyes and snarled right back at her. “Whatcha say there, big momma?”
Bertha continued staring defiantly and spread her thick forearms on the bar gritting. “I said don’t be bringing your slanty-eyed, wannabe gangster ass in here scaring my peeps; that’s what the fuck I said.”
Woo leaned on the counter and spit angrily. “And if I don’t, then what?”
Bertha’s nosed flared fire as she growled. “I’ll call downtown and find out why the fuck not, bitch.”
Woo smiled impishly and looked over her shoulder at her crew. “Mmh, Bigga mama here must can stand a shakedown.” She turned her mouth down and snarled. “I heard that y’all got some underage girls dancing up in here, Miss Smartass. Whatcha gotta say about that?”
Bertha straightened up, folded her arms. “Underage my ass, either you produce some warrants right fucking now, or take these dumb-ass storm troopers of yours and make some tracks up out of here.”
Woo casually lifted a Kool cigarette out of a crumbled pack in her arm pocket, took her own good time lighting it up and blew a stream of smoke into Bertha’s face. Bertha didn’t so much as flinch as she continued her fierce stare.
Woo cocked one eye. “I’m gonna let your big ass slide this time, girlfriend, but you can bet that I’m watching your ass really close from here on out.”
Bertha turned her mouth down. “Whatever, get a microscope, bitch, do what you gotta do but do it legally—and right now since your little funky ass ain’t legal, you can just ride on up outta here and take your fake-ass muscle heads with you.”
Woo smiled slyly, stumped the cigarette out in a freshly cleaned shot glass, spun around angrily and exited with her crew. On the way out those nasty-ass troopers gave menacing stares to anyone who dared to make eye contact.
Rainbow spun around on the stool, leaned his back against the bar. “Whew, what in the hell was that all about, damn?”
Bertha wheezed tight little gasps of air to try to control her temper and began organizing glasses under the counter. She finally took a deep breath. “Aw that evil little bitch just be trying to catch a ho short. She been doing that dumb ass shit there every other week or so just to let a nigga know that she’s running things, which I hate to admit but she damn sure is.”
Sparkle picked up Rainbow’s beer and took a large gulp. “Well, big sexy, all I can say is to keep it tight around this bitch, because I don’t think that little monster took too kindly to you shining on her like that.” He reached across the bar and lifted her face so he could look her in the eyes. “Especially in front of a crowded room like this and without a doubt in front of her goon squad. Shit, I’d watch myself if I was you, home girl.” One could easily see and feel the pride swell up in the former street walker, who had seen it all from A to Z. She raised her head matronly. “And fuck her, too, especially in front of my peeps and her goons,” as she defiantly hefted her voluptuous breast and squared her shoulders like a real soldier.
The whole room stood up and saluted her for protecting her turf the way she had. And ‘B’ threw his two cents’ worth in as well. “You the dog, uh dogette shawtie, a bitch of a dog but you definitely the dog, uh doggette.”
Rainbow touched her cheeks and nodded towards the other side of the club. “Let’s catch a booth so we can kick it, yo.”
As they made their way across the room, the rhythm of the club picked back up since there wasn’t going to be a shake down. Bertha went back to serving drinks and the dancers got back into their thing.
After they got seated, ‘B’ addressed Rainbow. “Man, I told ya
a couple of months ago that I’d started noticing groups of dreadlocks hanging around yo dope spots, but naw, you wouldn’t pay me no mind as usual.”
Rainbow massaged the corners of his mouth with his thumb and index finger before he squeezed his bottom lip. He lifted his head. “That’s because up until now I’ve always figured there’s enough business out here for anybody who wants a piece of the action, dreads included.”
‘B’ arched a brow and shot back, “Yeah, well, it looks like some people want a lot more than just a piece.” He snorted and cleared his throat. “To tell you the truth I was really hoping that y’all had a little more to go on.”
Rainbow nodded. “Uh-huh, I feel ya on that, but I be kicking it with the dreads and I don’t see them doing no small robberies like that. Matter of fact the way they be ousting niggas outta they spots is to up the quality and quantity. Mmh, that’s just what I see.”
‘B’ placed his glass on the bar with a thud. “So whatcha saying, dog, that it’s some other bastards? Come clean, nigga.”
Rainbow leaned back and stretched his arms along the back of the lounge seat. “What I’m saying is the girls that got took, ain’t mentioned no dreads, man.”
Sparkle raised his hands and spread his fingers out.
‘B’ growled, “Yeah, nigga, what? Raising your hand like you need permission to speak or something.”
Sparkle shot him a bird., “You ain’t acting like you wanna say it but we can’t rule this nigga Don out of the picture. Hey, it ain’t like he appreciates you dropping boulder rocks around the spots he wants to dominate. And straight up, the nigga don’t particularly like that Mercedes was swept from under him like that, know what I’m saying.” He gave both of them the evil eye. “Hell, probably ain’t the only ho y’all done swiped from that fool either. You just don’t
know who had some of these hoes y’all be snatching up like bags of candy, yo.”
Rainbow frowned and pinched his nose. “Damn, I hadn’t even thought about it that way, but shit that’s the rules of the game, cop and blow; every player knows that. Come to think of it, some hoes be spilling rumors that he had some bitch iced for talking about his business out in the open. And he has been spitting out some nasty bricks about losing that little Mercedes that he considered a diamond.”
Rainbow’s cell phone started vibrating on his hip. He raised his shirt to view the blinking light. Sparkle could see that it was Duke’s code. Damn, big boy must’ve really jetted down the way this time, he thought. He felt Rainbow hunching his hip and slid over to let him out, wondering why he needed to talk to Duke in private.
Duke, a six-four, 300-pound hunk of street nigga, was the fourth member of their dude gang-turned-bank-robbing crew. They’d found themselves trapped in a big dope scam that had them in a position where they had to get the kingpin’s digits or die. After that initial debt-clearing adventure, it became their main source of getting the big dough. After a couple of years of good licks, they’d gotten busted when ‘B’ had run into a fire hydrant a few blocks from Five Points during their escape. That first mistake had cost them five years in the joint. From that point, Duke had stayed strictly in the dope game. The rest of them had stayed in whatever game had made them the most money. Eventually, it led to each of them doing a couple of more bits apiece; most recently it had been Sparkle’s latest venture in the lion’s mouth.
While he was gone, they made plans to get their girls together to go on a boosting run through Alabama. “Yeah, dog, you gonna really like this little diamond Mercedes; she’s funnier than a mug. She out there right now getting the ropes from Yolanda and Violet,” Sparkle said.
‘B’ sat there wondering why he hadn’t been told about or introduced to this Mercedes yet, especially since his main squeeze Yolanda was investing her time in the bitch’s development. He frowned. “Whatcha just say?”
Sparkle repeated himself and ‘B’ frowned some more. “Aw, man, I just sent this new diamond with the prettiest smile a nigga done ever seen that I just scooped over to the crib to hook up with Yo. That’s why I’m over here with Laurie and Pinky because I put a little seal on the deal by letting her groove with the Chrysler. How long they been out, man?”
Sparkle pinched his nose. “Couldn’t be no more than a hour or so.”
‘B’ started nibbling on his bottom lip as he considered what to do. Then he patted Sparkle on the shoulder. “Looka here, dog, I’ve got to make a few runs, so y’all keep me up on what y’all wanna do. You know I’m down with whatever way y’all want to handle it.”
Sparkle gave him some dap before he left and sat back to wait on Rainbow. He was sure that he’d give him the ups on the Duke thang when he returned. Still he was more than just a little disturbed about all the secrecy.