The Sex Opera ...Season 2

Friday, June 30, 2006

Chapter 2, part 6

“Sue, tell my found out something from all those bags of evidence,” Detective Owens said into the phone as he stared at the earring he twirled between his fingers that was found at the crime scene.

“Well, you may want to come down to my office so I can go over my discoveries with you. You’ll find them quite interesting.”

“Great. You’re ‘quite interesting’ are always interesting. I’ll be there in a jiff,” Owens said as he placed the phone on the receiver and slipped the earring in his shirt pocket before jumping up from his uncomfortable chair.

****


When Brie returned home, carrying nothing but her tired body under the threshold, Frank greeted her at the door with worry lines etched across his forehead and outstretched arms. His indented eyebrows were soft but intentional as he helped Brie into the house.

“What took you so long?” He asked before scooping her into his arms and carrying her into the living room.

“I had to drive back, Frank. Calm down, I’m fine. I don’t need you fussing over me,” she answered swatting at his burly arms.

Frank gently put Brie on the sofa and then sat next to her ankles. “Are you sure you don’t want to go to the doctor?” He placed his hand over her forehead, checking her temperature.

“I’m fine baby. Stop your worrying,” she said, pushing his hand away.

Frank crawled onto the floor and rubbed along the fullness of her midsection. Then he rested his head on her forearm and continued massaging. Brie never felt so adored.

“I just don’t want you getting yourself worked up and something happens to you or the baby.”

Brie moved her arm out from under him and stroked the top of his head. The smooth baldness was causing her to get excited. His warm hands upon her tight, stretched skin was working her over as if it was the first time he ever touched her in a loving manner.

“Frank, can you get the shea butter and massage my tummy please?”

Frank looked into her deep brown eyes and smiled. “Sure,” he answered before standing.

As he walked away, Brie took it upon herself to unbutton her oversized blouse followed by pushing the elastic band of her pants under her stomach to expose all of her taut skin.

Frank returned shaking the small bottle vigorously. “Ready?”

Brie nodded as he sat next to her hip and squeezed a small amount of cream onto the middle of her plump abdomen. The cool butter sent chills up her arms but was soon smoothed away by Frank’s hot palms.

With small circular motions, Frank worked the butter into her skin as hummed a Brian McKnight tune. Brie tucked one hand behind her head and smiled as she watched her man tend to her itchy flesh with such care. His fingers oozed the cream around her navel and then under the area she could no longer see. As if he knew what she wanted, his motions moved upward as he leaned over and kissed her moistened skin. Then he smoothed his face along Brie’s velvety flesh, testing her softness, as his hands traveled up toward her oversized melons.

With the pregnancy stretching out her body, Brie had taken on a whole new appearance. Her breasts doubled in size and her nipples were extremely responsive to the touch. Just the mere grazing of a bra caused them to swivel to rigid thimbles. Her full face looked angelic with her rosy cheeks and dimpled chin. Her neck had darkened in tone as if she had tan in that one specific area. Frank dared not mention the increased size of her nose because he knew that wouldn’t sit well with Brie’s self image.

With his teeth, Frank pulled down her pants and nuzzled his nose in her pubic area. His tongue traveled inside the untamed fur that he loved. Every inch of his tongue canvassed her curly hairs as he pinched her nipples. Brie’s areolas wrinkled to the size of prunes as he kneaded her teased skin while slithered his pink muscle along her slippery folds.

Brie could feel her juices dripping onto her panties as his digits journeyed along her body’s expanded curves. She wiggled her hips, purposely lowering her pants and undies with each scoot. Frank slid his hands down her sides and lifted her hips upward, where he took his time and pulled the waistbands to her knees and then her ankles. As if Frank was a perverted examining physician, he pushed her knees apart and slowly glided his hands along the insides of her thighs. Brie couldn’t stop her legs from quivering at his manipulating gropes as she soon felt the tip of his fingers directing their way inside the slick area between her legs.

“I don’t know what it is about you being pregnant, but you are sexier than you were before,” Frank whispered before dropping his face between her legs. Brie could hear him sniffing her before he extended his tongue onto her hot flesh. “You’re so wet. It’s like this pussy has been marinating for me.”

Brie wiggled her hips in a silly fashion and giggled as Frank continued to sniff her body. “And it smell so fuckin’ sweet too. What you got candy growing in there?”

Hot shit! Say that daddy-o! Bring it on to Mama! Brie thought as she allowed her legs to relax and accept his loving.

He played between flaps for what seemed like months. Stirring his fingers in the opening of her pussy was causing her body to react in the best possible way. As her honey dripped from her pulsating opening, Frank took his time licking it away and tantalizing her even more by circling his tongue along the outskirts of her vagina enjoying every drop of her being. The warmth of his tongue and breath were sending Brie over the edge to the point she wanted every inch of him inside of her in the worst way.

Frank heard her mental plea as he drove his tongue into her syrupy walls and salivated what she had to offer him. The sweet nectar of her pussy was all over his face, chin, and nose as he pushed his tongue so far inside of her that she thought she was going to give birth to his head. Brie placed her hands on top his baldhead where she stroked his clean-shaven skin the same way he stroked her soppy vagina with his tongue.

“Oooooh, shhhhhhit! Frank, baby don’t stop! Pleeeeease don’t stop,” she begged as her knees fell further apart. A blissful tremble resonated within Brie’s womanhood causing her to become impatient.

Brie bit down on her lip, fidgeted, and squinted her eyes tightly as she pulled at his ears. “Frank, baby please.”

“What do you want?” he whispered between breaths.

“Give it to me.”

“What do you want me to give you?”

“I want you to give me some of that black warrior dick! Please. I’m begging.”

Without removing his face, Frank wrestled with his pants and the next thing she felt was his hardened penis stretching her flesh to the hilt. The pain was so good that her body could no longer fight the urge of pleasure. She arched her back slightly as the quivers turned to vibrations, which soon led to her body squirting her hot lava onto his Mandingo. Brie screamed and moaned with pleasure while holding onto the sides of the sofa with tight grasps until her body relaxed back onto the comfortable cushions beneath her. Eventually her fingers loosened from the sofa as her loins released the tense reign from his member.

“Is that what you wanted baby? Is that the dick you wanted?” he asked in a low muffled groan as he slowed his thrusts.

“Hell yes. Yes, baby, yesssss.” She answered as she pumped against him. There was no way she was going to let him climb off of her without giving his cum to her.

It wasn’t much longer before Frank’s body shivered as he poured a substantial amount of semen inside her womb. Sweat trickled down his forehead as he huffed and moaned as his cock released all the warm juice from his deflating brown rod.

Carefully, Frank lay against her body; his sweat blending with hers. He kissed Brie’s navel and rubbed her lower back with his sticky fingers. “I love you, Brie,” he said between breaths.

“I love you more, Frank,” she whispered as she stroked his resting head.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Chapter 2, part 5

** Sorry for the two-day mishap ladies and gents, my server was down so I had to wait it out as you all did…but anywho…enjoy!**

The campus was overloaded with young, wild adults screaming and laughing. The lawn was recently mowed which gave everyone the free will to trample it by running, rolling, and simply relax on its needlepoint comfort. Athena walked along the sidewalk enjoying the brisk afternoon air as she walked toward the nearest convenience. She spotted a group of guys playing touch football on the far end of the lawn. Trying not to be detected she blended in with the moving crowd.

“Hike!” one of the yelled as he ran backward with his football swinging arm behind him. He scooped out the first available guy who was open and threw a high pass, which was caught several yards away, which the guy ran into for an imaginary touchdown. The guys hooted at the pass and gave the quarterback a few slaps on the back and high fives.

Athena checked the quarterback out with keen eyes. Her tall, dark statuesque was well formed from hours of weightlifting. She could tell by his sculpted arms and almond-shaped calves that peeked beneath his long basketball shorts. His contoured Afro was tapered along the sides that evenly blended into the connecting beard.

Dong! The excruciating pain in her forehead and nose sent her backward onto the ground and landing in a small puddle of water.

“Are you okay?” someone asked as she shook the excess hand from her hands.

“Yeah. Embarrassed more less but I’m fine,” Athena said as she gathered herself from the lawn.

The feminine voice said, “How could you not see that light pole. Didn’t you see everyone moving around it?”

Athena turned and looked at the chocolate girl with the heavy makeup and large hoop earrings dangling in her face. “No I didn’t I was too busy…neva mind.”

“Here let me help you out.” The girl reached her hand out and Athena accepted. “Damn, you’re gonna have a nice shiner in a minute or two.” Athena straightened her blouse. “You messed up your pants too. Do you live close enough to run home and change?”

“Yeah, I’m just across the way,” Athena said as she wiped her hands on her thighs.

“That’s good because you’re looking a wet mess right about now.”

Athena turned back to the quarterback and stared at him for a few moments. “Damn.” She thought. “I hope he didn’t see that.”

“Who you talking about?”

“Huh? Oh. That’s fine one right there with the wife beater and Carolina blue shorts.” Athena pointed across the field.

“You talking about Hasaan? Gurl, be careful with him. He’s got a reputation of being the campus ladies man.”

“One of those huh?”

“Yup.”

“How do you know him?”

“Who doesn’t know him? He’s one of the most sought after quarterbacks in the nation. The talk on campus is whether or not he’s going pro this year. Last year, he made a season high of twelve touchdown passes per game and now our games sell out before the tickets go on sale.”

“Really?”

“Yup. By the way, I’m Chris. Short for Christine.”

“Pleasure. I’m Athena. You can call me Atty.”

The girls shook hands and then turn back to the guys on the lawn who were huddled around one another.

“You wanna meet him?”

“What? Ah no. I don’t think so.”

“Oh c’mon, what are you scared? He’s just a man like all the rest.” Chris cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled, “Hey Hasaan! Hasaan!” Then she flagged him over.

The quarterback turned once he heard his name and then gave a heads up before tossing the pigskin to one of the other guys.

“Oh shit! He’s coming over here! Why did you do that? I’m all wet and shit,” Athena said as she fixed her hair.

“Don’t worry about it.”

In a matter of seconds, Hasaan stood before them dripping sweat from his chin onto his thin white tank top. “Wha’sup, Chris?” he asked, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand.

“I want you to meet my new friend, Athena. She was checking-”

Athena elbowed her in the side.

“Ouch! I mean, I thought you two should meet.”

Hasaan turned to Athena and flashed an award-winning smile. His pearly whites almost blinded her. He had the most beautiful teeth that made Colgate want to be proud sponsors.

“How you doing, Athena?” H extended his hand. “This your first year?”

Athena shook his palm. “Uhm…yes. You?” She winced as she just remembered what Chris told her.

“Nah, my second. Hey I gotta get back to my game, maybe I’ll see you around?”

“Okay,” Athena said before she started walking.

Chris leaned over and punched her shoulder in a friendly manner. “So wha’cha think?”

“That guy is fine as all outdoors. He had me sweating and I’m not the one playing catch.”

“Hey, did you know your ass is wet?” Hasaan yelled from behind.

Athena’s face felt as hot as a cast-iron skillet left on the stove too long. Chris started laughing but quickly muffled her giggles. “He’s checking you out girl!”

“Shut the hell up!” Athena huffed as she picked up her walking pace.

****

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chapter 2, part 4

The phone fell from her hand and landed somewhere she couldn’t see. “Oh God!” Brie prayed as she knelt down and sat on her knees with both hands holding her full belly. It didn’t feel like it was the baby moving, this pain was more excruciating than what she experienced earlier.

“Frank…” she started as a Target employee spotted her on the floor.

“Oh my God, are you okay?” the young woman asked as she hurried over to the ailing Brie. She was carrying a handheld machine that looked like some sort of scanner. “Do you need me to call someone?”

Brie could hear Frank calling her name through the phone.

“My phone…my phone…” Brie managed to say as she pointed in direction of the device.

The woman found the cellular and put it to her ear. “Hi. I’m here with your wife, she looks like she’s in a lot of pain.”

She talked to Frank for a few minutes and then slowly, Brie gathered herself from the floor.

“Hold on.” The woman grabbed Brie by one arm and assisted her to a standing position. “I think she’s going to be okay. She’s standing up now.” The woman handed Brie the phone. “I have some paper towel in the fitting area, you’re sweating,” she said to Brie as she helped stabilize Brie in a waiting room chair. “Here you go. I’ll be right back.”

“Frank?” Brie said into the phone between heavy breaths.

“Brie, baby, are you alright? Do you need me to come get you?”

“No…No…”she huffed. “I’m okay. I’m just going to come on home and lie down. I’m not feeling so good.”

“Do you want to go to the doctor to get checked out?”

“No…no…I’m cool.”

“Do you think its contractions?”

“Couldn’t be. It’s probably gas from that big breakfast I ate.”

“Okay, you be very careful coming home.”

“I will.” Brie replied said as she caught her breath.

****

Rico signed in the employee in/out binder and scanned the dry erase board to see who was on schedule to work the floor. He knew that he was going to be shorthanded this day because Dana, his regular day shift cashier, told him the previous night that she had a dentist appointment for a much needed root canal.

As he looked over the board, he couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand for his mind kept thinking about how he was going to branch out his operation on the eastside of Detroit.

“Did you get a chance to check in the inventory that came in?” a voice from behind asked.

Rico turned and peered down at Ashante Miller, his seasonal part time worker he gave job right out of high school. He had been trying to get Ashante to work more hours, but crazy as it sounds, he refused on account it was impeded on his time with the ladies.

“No I didn’t. Are those the new Jordans I ordered?” Rico asked as he turned back to the board.

“Yeah, I’ve been waiting for you to get in so I can pull my size to the side.”

“Nigga, you always tryin’ to be the first with sum’thin’. You need to be savin’ yo’ money for other shit, like movin’ out your moms crib.”

“What the fuck I wanna do that fo’ when I get to eat, shit, and sleep for free?”

Rico shook his head and laughed. “Man, you triflin’! That’s why you ain’t got no woman now.”

“What the fuck I want one of them fo’? Sure I’ll fuck ‘em when I need some skins, but I don’t need no bitches running my shit. Then they’ll be houndin’ me to move in with they asses.”

“Wouldn’t that be betta than sleepin’ under your moms’ shit?”

“Nope. Cause when moms ain’t there, I can fuck different broads and push them out the side door.”

“What if they wanna come back?”

“Shit that’s when I tell them that I live with my moms. They don’t come back after that so the shit works out in my favor either way it goes.”

Rico turned and walked away from his employee, thinking, “That’s a silly nigga if I ever met one.”

****

Jaleesa and Brad sat comfortably in her living room as he held her against his chest. Her tears were unstoppable as he stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head from time to time.

“You know. Me and my sister were very close until I met the likes of my ex boyfriend. It was then things became distant between us.”

“You know you’ve always avoided talking about him.”

Jaleesa swallowed and sniffled. “I don’t want to go there. Let’s just say he was horrible and nothing that I had expected he would be.”

“You don’t have to tell me about him until you’re ready.”

Jaleesa rubbed her moist Kleenex under her nose. “Reese and I used to always play practical jokes on one another, even as adults. She would call and tell me that there was a mad clearance sale at my favorite store and then I would race the the mall and find out that she made a fool outta of me. Or I would cook her something and put too much hot sauce on her food.” She giggled. “I loved her so much.”

“Jaleesa, hold onto those memories whenever you get down. Your sister is still with you just not sitting where you can see her. Something tells me that she’s in this room right now.”

“I can feel her spirit too. I hope Sheila is going to make it okay. She loved my sister as much as I.”

“Do you need anything right now? Some tea or warm milk?”

Jaleesa sat erect. “Brad, there are a few things that separate black people from white, warm milk is one of them.”

They both laughed.

“Sorry I didn’t know that. I guess I have a lot to learn from you. If you keep me around.”

The sincerity in his eyes warmed her. She leaned over and softly placed her lips upon his. “I think you’re a keeper…for now.”

After blowing her nose for the umpteenth time, Jaleesa excused herself. She went into the bathroom to throw a few splashes of water on her face.

“On second thought, Brad, I will have that cup of tea. I have some tea bags in the pantry next to the refrigerator.”

“How do you take it?”

“One teaspoon of sugar,” she yelled.

“Any creamer?” he asked. She could hear his body peeling away from the furniture.

“Again, that’s something that separates our races. No cream in my tea please. That sounds rather gross to be truthful.”

“Actually, it’s not that bad once you try it.”

Jaleesa dried her face and went one of the spare rooms to change into a dry tee shirt. When she returned to the living room, she saw Brad standing over the stove dipping a tea bag in a ceramic cup. His muscular arm flexed with each movement, which led her eyes to his wide neck and broad shoulders. It was nice seeing a man taking care of her once again, one whose intentions weren’t to hurt her. Being with mark made her appreciate the simple pleasures of being involved with someone who genuinely cared for her and didn’t have an ulterior motive.

Brad turned and saw her staring at him and smiled at her. “What’s on your mind, pretty lady?”

“Oh nothing much. I’m just watching you being all domesticated, that’s all.”

He chuckled as he continued dipping. “Domesticated? You make me sound like a pet.”

“I didn’t mean to. I just that I’m not used to seeing a man in my kitchen. Haven’t seen a man in a kitchen in long time really.”

“Well, hopefully, that all will change. I like catering to my woman. Not that I have in a long time really, but it’s nice to feel needed.”

Jaleesa stepped into the kitchen and trailed her index down his forearm until her hand slid against the back of his hand and her fingers linked with his. He turned to face her as she leaned forward and placed her lips upon his cheek.

“Thank you for being here with me. I do appreciate you.”

After opening his eyes, Brad leaned against the counter, grabbed her gently by the waist and pulled her toward him. “I’ll be here as long as you need me.”

Jaleesa tilted her head to the side and slowly closed the space between them. Her face was close enough to smell the mint-like scent from his nostrils before she pulled away. Brad remained still as she pulled away and walked back to the sofa.

****

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chapter 2, part 3

Brie’s cell phone vibrated on my hip, startling her as she made her way back through Parker’s backyard.

“Fuck! I know that’s Frank. What the hell didn’t I hear before I got back home?” She opened the phone and rejected the call. Brie carefully stepped over toys and moved as quickly as she could to the car. “What did they say to Frank? God, I hope they say anything that’ll set him off.” She tripped over a plastic wagon and cursed herself for stubbing her big toe. “Shhhit! Why does Parker boy have all these damn toys? He’s barely walking.”

Her phone vibrated again. She checked the number and sighed. “I’m sorry, baby, I’ll call you from the store.”

After thirteen attempted calls, Brie parked in the expectant mother’s spot and made her way through the Target entryway. She waddled between racks of maternity clothes when her phone vibrated for the fourteenth time this time forcing her to flip it open and answer.

“Brie, why didn’t you answer your phone?”

“I’m sorry you know how much I love your sound system in your car. I didn’t hear it ringing. Whassup?”

“I thought I should tell you that a couple of detectives came over here fishing around for some answers about your husband.”

Brie shifted through the hung clothing as if she didn’t have a care in the world. “What?”

“Yeah, two white detectives pulled up just about the time you left and was asking about your whereabouts. Of course, I gave them no clues but they’ll be coming back. I can assure you that.”

Heat singed her ears and instantly her heart raced, which caused her hands to tremble. Even though she heard the meat of the heated discussion between Frank and the detectives she couldn’t keep her emotions under wrap. Brie held onto the silver rake, glancing around the floor for any passersby, and steadied herself for what else Frank had to say. “Wh-What did they say?”

“They were asking was I your husband and if I were expecting you to return anytime soon.”

A woman and her young daughter stepped in the clothing department and shifted through the full figured clothing. Brie turned away from the two and covered one hand over her mouth.

“Oh Jesus,” she mumbled and looked around the store to make sure no one was else hiding behind clothes. “It’s probably nothing,” she stated.

“Are you sure about that? They didn’t look like it was nothing. What is this about your husband? Didn’t you tell me that he left you?”

Brie rolled her eyes upward and took a deep breath while continually paying attention to her surroundings. “Yes I did,” she muffled into the phone.

“And you haven’t heard anything else from him?”

“Nope. That slimy sonofabitch left me bone dry with bills and Athena and the air in my lungs. I don’t have a clue as to why his family thinks something happened to him.”

“What makes you think it’s his family that asking about him? Do you know more than what you’re telling me?”

“Oh shit! Not you too Frank. I can’t deal with this right now. Not now,” she thought when suddenly, the pain in her stomach resonated. “Ah…ohhh…” Brie groaned as she clutched her midsection and hurled over a bit.

“Brie? Brie!”

“Ahhh…mmph…” She sucked in some air and counted to ten wishing the ache to fade.

“Brie! Are you all right? Is it that pain again?”

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chapter 2, part 2

“Yes, I’m Detective Bolden, and this is Detection Jessie, we need to speak with Miss Brie Higgins.”

“Well, as you can see I’m not her.” Frank went to close the door.

“Ah, is she home?” Detective Bolden spoke up.

“No she isn’t.” Frank looked at both guys taking in their appearance and rigid demeanor.

“Do you know when she’ll be returning?” Jessie asked.

“No I don’t.”

“Are you her husband?”

“I don’t think that’s any concern of yours but no I’m not.”

****


“Oh shit! I forgot my calculator,” Brie huffed as she activated the blinker and prepared herself for a U-turn in the middle of Eight Mile Road. She checked to make sure it was safe to circle the median and waited for the oncoming traffic light to turn green.

Within minutes she drove down her street where she saw an unfamiliar car parked in front of her home. Frank stood in the doorway, with his arms folded across his chest as two men stood in front of him with notepads and pens on hand.

Brie drove two house down, and parked in a vacant home drive way. She walked up the sideway and up to parker’s driveway. Without out catching the attention of Frank or the unknown persons he spoke with, Brie cut through Parker’s backyard and into her own adjoining yard. She unlocked the backdoor and crept through the kitchen to catch the conversation between Frank and the two men.

“Well, we’re here investigating the disappearance of,” Bolden flipped open his notepad, “Bruce Higgins.”

Brie cupped her mouth and stared blankly at the wall separating she and her fiancé. Frank stood frozen. “I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re talking about. Maybe you guys should come back another time to talk with Brie. I’m sure she has nothing to hide.”

“Apparently she does. We’ve received information that led us to believe that Ms. {last name] husband didn’t run out on her.”

“Who would tell you such bullshit?”

“Someone who has a vested interest in the missing party.”

“Well, I can assure you, Brie has nothing to do with any wrongdoing. Her husband left her to fend for herself and her daughter. If anyone has doubts that they should have their head examined. Brie couldn’t hurt a fly if it landed on her food.”

“That’s nice. But we need to talk with Mizz Higgins whenever she becomes available. Do you know when it’s best for us to return?”

“I don’t know. Just pop up like you did today.” Without waiting for any more conversation exchanged, Frank rudely closed the door and traveled back up the stairs, skipping one step at a time.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Chapter 2, part 1

“Frank, I’m on my way to Target, do you need anything while I’m out?” Brie yelled from the landing of the staircase, struggling to put on her coat. Ever since her stomach started expanding everything was a darn wrestling match.

“No, I’m okay,” Frank muffled from the bathroom.

He was busy brushing his teeth when Brie left from atop the stairs. She loved Frank to pieces but she yet to figure out how many teeth he had because he could brush them for an hour straight. She guessed he never had to worry about cavities.

“Okay, I’ll be back in about an hour.” She grabbed her keys and tugged on the belt of her wool jacket. With the fall season vastly approaching she noticed that she was getting colder a lot faster than normal. She chopped it up as the baby taking all her nutrients. She made a mental note to see her doctor to verify if she needed to up the ante on her prenatal pills.

Brie walked out the side door and noticed that Frank parked his car in behind hers. Instead of waiting for him and his teeth cleaning, she searched her key ring and unlocked his driver’s side door. Once inside the car, Brie called her boyfriend and left a message on his cell phone that she was taking his car so he had to use hers.

She slowly pulled out the drive and coasted toward Seven Mile Road.

****


Once Frank’s car was out of sight, a dark colored vehicle pulled into Brie’s driveway. The daytime running lights faded as both driver and passenger doors opened. Out stepped men dressed in khaki slacks, one with a white button up shirt, the other wore a forest green tee shirt. Carrying nothing but a notepad, both men cut across the grass toward the concrete porch.

Parker stepped out onto his porch and noticed the men slicing across Brie’s lawn and grew curious. Who ever they were they looked official and by their stern expression and lack of communication, they were strictly business.

He rolled the rubber band from the bond paper and flipped the coiled bundle of news outward but didn’t look down for he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the official-looking guys as they walked onto his neighbors approach.

****


After three hard knocks, Frank trotted down the stairs and answered the door without asking for a name. He swung the door open and stood behind the glass screen.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Chapter 1, part 6

“There’s nothing wrong, Athena. I was just a little distracted by the television that’s all. Whassup, have you gone to pick up your course schedule yet?”

“Yeah, I got four classes. English 101, of course, Beginner’s Algebra, Sociology 110, and Creative Writing 105.”

“Creative Writing?” he asked as he sat on the back of the sofa.

“Yeah, you know I dabble a little in poetry from time to time.”

“Actually, I didn’t know that. Interesting. So when are the majority of your classes?”

“I took evening courses. I knew most of the morning classes were going to be full so I elected to take classes when I knew everyone was busy partying or getting high.”

“Smart thinking. Have went to meet any of your instructors yet?”

“Not yet but I did walk the grounds to get a feel for the campus and to find my classes.”

“Again, smart thinking. But try not to walk alone. College campus may look safe but there are still a lot of knuckleheads on grounds. You’re always going to have predators wherever you go so just be aware of your surroundings at all times.”

“I will. I’ve heard all the stories before.”

“Especially at night. That’s the most dangerous for girls.”

“I know. I know. You can stop worrying. I’ll be fine. I’ll be sure to have some big neck guy walk me home. A nerdy big neck guy.”

“Well, I’m glad you called to let me know you’re okay. It’s always nice to hear your voice.”

“Thanks, Mister Parker. I…I needed to hear that.”

“Okay, now it’s my turn. What’s wrong?” Parker asked, tucking one hand into the fold of his arm.

Athena didn’t answer right away. “I guess I just wanted to hear a reassuring voice.”

“You know, Athena, even though I helped with some of the expenses, I think your mother would have loved to have heard your voice in this manner. You gotta remember that you are her only child and you’re no longer here for her to worry about now you’re far away for her to worry about.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I think I will call her so she’s knows I’m doing okay.”

“You do that. That’s not to say not to call me anymore. I too like to hear your voice, but just remember you’re mom misses you as much as I do.”

He could feel her smiling on the other end of the phone and for that brief moment, he realized how much he was going to miss his former babysitter.

****


“Detective! We have something here.” One of the officers yelled from the living room as Owens scooped samples into a small plastic bag.

“Come in here.”

“We found a pair of women’s underpants in between the sofa.”

“Sounds great. I found a few pair in here as well, along with cigar butts, used condoms, and possible traces of cocaine.”

“Looks as though our victim was a bit of a lady’s man.”

“To say the least. You guys about done out there?” Owens asked as he slipped a pair of panties into quart-sized bag.

“Just about. The techs are still dusting in the kitchen and the living but for the most part, I think we should be done in about thirty.”

“Good, I ready to get these things back to the lab as soon as possible. Tell your partners to move it along a lil’ faster.”

“10-4.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Chapter 1, part 5

Parker


After having a cup of orange juice and apple-jellied toast, Parker took a seat in front of the television in the living room where the morning news was airing.

“Local Seven was the first to bring you this story last night. A young woman was found shot dead here on Stahelin Street. The victim’s name was Reese Nathans. Apparently, the woman was gun down by an unknown assailant who neighbors said they heard a single gunshot and saw a dark colored vehicle speeding away from the scene.”

Parker’s mouth fell open as he heard Jaleesa’s sister’s name mention. Immediately, he reached over the arm of the sofa and grabbed the cordless phone from the charger. He dialed his soon-be ex-wife’s mobile number and it went directly to voicemail.

“Jaleesa, I just got the news. Damn what happened? Call me as soon as you can. If you need me don’t hesitate to ask.” He ended the call and placed the phone by his hip. He turned the volume up on the television.

“This just in, Local Seven is the first to arrive on the scene here at Evergreen Gardens on the westside of Detroit where authorities have found the body of young man in his late twenties who was shot dead execution style. The police have not released the young man’s name but they do suspect who the male is.” The camera switched to a uniformed officer. “We believe the deceased may be connected to the Reese homicide last night. There’s evidence that can linked the two parties. We won’t know until we run ballistic on the weapon we discovered on the victim’s person.”

Parker’s tuned out the remainder of the story as he thought about Jaleesa. Was there something going on between Reese and Mark that Jaleesa found out about? Did Mark go to her sister’s house in hopes of finding Jaleesa and didn’t like the answer he received and then decided to kill her? When did all this take place? Before or after their fight?

Parker’s pulse quickened causing him to rise from the sofa and pace the floor. “Shit! This doesn’t look good,” he said as his steps slowed in front of the television screen. “Wait a minute. I don’t have anything to worry about. I have an alibi. Brie and her friend where there on that night. There’s no way the police could pin his murder on me.”

The emergency technicians rolled a gurney with a black body bag to the back open doors of the ambulance as the reporter stood a few feet away from the scene and spewed her recount of the police’s discovery.

The telephone rang, snatching Parker’s attention away from the television. He stepped to the phone and answered in a low tone.

“Mister Parker? Is there something wrong? Why are you talking like that?”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chapter 1, part 4

Rico

Waiting for his uniform to finish tumbling in the dryer, Rico checked his watch and estimated how much time he had left to get to the mall to start his shift. He resumed ironing a crease in his pant leg and brushed his goatee into a smooth foundation. After the dryer buzzed, indicating the cool down cycle was beginning, Rico snatched open the horizontal door and grabbed his warm shirt and socks and slipped them on with the quickness before gliding his hot pants on. Within minutes he was dashing up the basement staircase into the kitchen breakfast area.

“Isha, I’m on my way out. You gon’ be here when I get back?” he asked as he buttoned his shirt at the front door. “I hope not,” he mumbled.

“No. I have to run over to my daddy’s house and get my car fixed.”

“Okay, well, make sure you set the alarm. I’ll talk with you later.”

Rico grabbed his keys from the vestibule table, stepped outside the door, and sprinted to his car. As he unlocked the door and disengaged the alarm to his black-on-black Monte Carlo he gave himself a mental note to run the car through the local car wash for its daily spin under the soft clothes.

After locking his doors, and securing himself behind the seatbelt, he flipped open his cell phone that he kept in his secret dash board compartment and pressed the chirp button. As he waited for an answer, he adjusted the CD player to his favorite cut by Game and nodded his head to the heavy bass the permeated his eardrums.

Chirp. Chirp. “Whassup?”

“Aye, Jamal, wha’chou got up?”

“Shit. Where you at?”

“On my way to the mall to get ‘dis lil’ cheddar. Wha’chou got up lata on?” Rico asked, backing out of the driveway carefully.

“Nuttin’ much, why? Whassup?”

“I need to meet up wit’ you so we can go ova’ some shit. With dat nigga Mark out da frame we need to strategize on how we gonna get his peeps on our camp. You know wha’ I’m sayin’?”

“No doubt. Wha’ time you talkin’?”

Rico directed his car toward Eight Mile Road as he thought of his response. “Shit, I dunno, let’s say ‘bout nine. Dat cool?”

“Yeah, dat’s straight. Hit me up when you ‘bout to leave da mall so I can meet up wit’chou..”

“A’ight,” Rico said as he turned on his blinker to turn right into traffic.

“A’ight man.”

“One.”

****

Jaleesa arrived at the hospital a half hour from the initial call from Stephanie. When she raced in the emergency room, she was greeted by sobbing faces that she hadn’t seen in years. Her parents, George and Teena, were in attendance as well as some old friends that she remembered from high school. Stephanie sat in a chair rocking with a handful of Kleenex clutched against her nose.

Jaleesa walked across the room taking in all the wet, swollen faces that huddled in corners. Her mother cut her eyes as Jaleesa she moved closer to her sister’s partner in life. Without any words exchanged, Jaleesa’s sadness reemerged as Stephanie opened her arms to her and they hugged tightly. After they released one another, Jaleesa’s mother walked across the room with her arms folded across her chest, sniffling.

“I don’t know why that callous boy did this to my child. But he’ll pay for this. I personally see to that.”

Jaleesa wiped her nose and said, “You don’t have to worry about him any more. He’s answering for his crime right now.”

Teena turned her nose up. “What do you know? The last we heard from you you were strung out on drugs and probably doing God knows what to get high.”

Jaleesa’s nose twitched as she held her composure. “What do you care, Teena? You never gave a damn about me anyway.”

Stephanie stepped between the women and kept them more than a few feet away from one another.

“Guess that should rang true with that baby of yours. I don’t see how you can stand here and act like you gave a damn about anybody other than yourself.”

Jaleesa held back her mean thoughts. Her mother always had a way of pushing her buttons. It had been that way since her teenaged years. The years of arguments and verbal assaults had made Jaleesa despise her mother for being such a callous woman who always thought the world revolved around her. Her father, George, was quite the opposite. The easygoing character that everyone got along with. He loved his wife unconditionally no matter how hurtful things she said or did.

“I wouldn’t be surprised that this happened to be related to some shit that you did to your sister.”

Everyone is the waiting room stood silent listening to Jaleesa and Teena’s verbal exchanges. George stormed across the room, wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist and pulled her back.

“That’s enough, Teena.”

Jaleesa fired back, “I guess you would say some shit like that. You never did love me like I deserved to be loved. Maybe it’s because of you I couldn’t love my son like a real mother should. It’s because of you I couldn’t love myself let alone my child.”

“Hey, hey, this isn’t the time or the place,” Stephanie advised as she tugged at Jaleesa’s pant pocket.

“Fuck her!” Jaleesa said. “She’s not my mother. She was just the incubator.”

Teena covered her mouth in distaste and walked away with her husband by her side.

“That wasn’t necessary, Jaleesa. You’re mother is grieving like everyone else here,” Stephanie said in calm manner.

“You don’t know her like I do.” Jaleesa turned around and glanced about the cold room. “Excuse me while I go see about my sister.”

She walked across the floor and stopped at the nurse’s counter. Before scribbling her name on the visitor’s clipboard, the automatic sliding doors opened ruffling the papers as she picked up the pen. She glanced over her shoulder and there was Brad standing in the entryway searching for her with worried eyes.

Jaleesa dropped the pen, ran to him and threw her arms around his neck and began crying as if she just received the news. “Thank God you came. Thank you so much for being here,” she whispered.

Brad massaged her back as he held her tightly against his chest. “I’ll always be here for you.”

Jaleesa could hear footsteps shuffling about the room as she clung onto Brad with all her might. She turned around only to stare into the disapproving faces of her mother. Teena’s face was tight as if she just witnessed a brutal lynching of a runaway slave.

Still clinging to Brad, Jaleesa watched her mother turned to her father and whisper something in his ear. Jaleesa pulled away from Brad and grabbed his hand. “Come with me.”

As she strolled across the room, she overheard someone say, “Here we go another sister dating the white man.”

Jaleesa stepped in front of Teena and clucked her tongue. “Not that I see the need to introduce you, I’m going to see my sister.”

She pulled Brad in direction of the nurse’s station. Stephanie stood to the side of her and pinched her thigh.

“I’m sorry Brad, this is Stephanie, my sister’s partner.”

Brad extended his hand and softly said, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Stephanie nodded with a short, polite smile. “Thank you. I’m glad you’re here for Jaleesa.”

“Has anyone had the chance to see Reese?” Jaleesa asked Stephanie as Brad held onto her hand.

“No one has but you can try to see if they let you see her being that your immediate family.”

Jaleesa nodded before turning to Brad and kissing him on the cheek. “I’ll be right back.”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to come?”

“I’ll be fine. You stay here. I’ll be back shortly.”

Jaleesa went back to the nurse’s station where a Caucasian nurse sat as she wrote something on the clipboard.

“Excuse me? I’m here to see my sister.”

“What’s the patient’s name?” the nurse asked without looking up from the clipboard.

“Reese Nathans.”

“Reese Nathans.” The woman closed her eyes as if she looking for the answer in the back of her eyelids. “I’m sorry but she’s went down the morgue and we’re not allowed to let any one down there. Your family has to make arrangement for your funeral director to come and have her picked up.”

Not having the will to fight the nurse’s words of rejection, she nodded as one tear dropped from each eye and landed on her cheeks. The nurse reached out and rubbed her hand. “I’m so sorry, honey. But it’s hospital policy.”

Jaleesa nodded again and turned away from the counter. Her blurred vision distorted Brad as he approached. He wrapped his arms around her waist as she cried on his shoulder.

“They won’t let me see her,” she sobbed.

Brad led her out of the hospital. “I know. You can see her tomorrow. I’ll come with you.”

“Get me outta here. I need to go home and rest,” she instructed as she held onto his coat.

“Okay. Let’s go.”

Monday, June 12, 2006

Chapter 1, part 3

Jaleesa

Jaleesa returned home to find the message light on the answering machine blinking. She dropped her purse and bag on the floor before walking across the room to the end table and pressing the ‘retrieve’ button. As the machine rewound, she went into the kitchen, grabbed a cereal bar from the countertop, and tore open the foil wrapper.

“Jaleesa, hey baby, it’s Stephanie. I need you to call me as soon as you get this message.” The woman sniffled and then blew her nose over the recorded. “As soon as possible babe.”

Surprised to hear Stephanie’s voice on her answering machine she immediately knew something was wrong. Stephanie never called. Reese and Stephanie had been seeing one another for over ten years. It wasn’t a surprise to Jaleesa when her sister announced to the family that she was gay and had been living with Stephanie right after high school.

Reese had all the tell-tell signs that she was gay but the family never recognized them. The flannel shirts, baggy pants and the hatred toward anything girly or considered feminine were proof enough. However, despite her masculine ways, Reese carried herself like a woman by remaining dainty in many ways like getting her hair and nails done on a regular basis and wearing light makeup for appearance purposes.

Immediately after hearing Stephanie’s distraught message Jaleesa called her sister’s home number but there was no answer. Jaleesa pulled her purse from her shoulder and rummaged through the contents until she found her cell phone. She scrolled down her contact list and found “Reese Home’ and pressed ‘talk’.

Thinking she would be greeted by her sister’s voice, Stephanie’s voices echoed. “Jaleesa? Is that you?” she sniffled.

“Yes. How you doin’, Steph?”

“Not so good gurl. Something terrible has happened to Reese. I can’t…I can’t…”

“Wait slow down a minute. What’s going on? Why are you crying? Was Reese in some sort of accident? Is she in a hospital or something?”

“Jaleesa, sit down.”

“I don’t wanna sit down! Why don’t you go ‘head and tell me? Please, what happened to my sister?” Jaleesa demanded with a straight face and her heart beating rapidly.

“Last night, some guy knocked on the door and…”

Jaleesa remembered the radio announcement where she heard breaking news of a fatal shooting on her sister’s street as she drove to Mark’s apartment on that fatal night. “No…don’t tell me. Was that-”

“Yes, he shot her. That cold-hearted sonofabitch stood at the door and just shot her. I didn’t know what to do. He took off running so fast that I didn’t get a chance to see him. We’re at Sinai Grace right now…”

Jaleesa hands went numb as her legs gave out and her throat closed. The phone fell from her hand as she stared blankly forward. Her chin quivered before her pain revved. She screamed at the top of her lungs as she dropped her knees and cried out loud.

That callous asshole got the last laugh, she thought as she let the tears fall onto her lap.

Jaleesa rocked as she tried to get herself together. Her cell phone chirped twice, indicating an incoming call. She crawled across the floor to the device and flipped it open. It was Brad. She flipped open the phone and mumbled a hello.

“Jaleesa, are you okay? What’s wrong? What’s going on?” he asked in a frantic tone.

Jaleesa managed to wipe away from of her streaming tears. “It’s…It’s m-my s-sister,” she stuttered as she struggled to hold the phone next to her ear. “She was killed last night, B-Brad.”

“Oh my God! Mary mother of Christ! Do you me need to come over there?”

“No. I’m on my way to the hospital. Can you meet me there?” Jaleesa struggled to stand. Her knees buckled once again forcing her to sit down on the sofa until she was capable of holding up her body weight.

“No question. What hospital?”

“Sinai Grace on Outer Drive,” she pointed in direction of the hospital as if he could see her through the phone, “and Schaefer right pass…”

“I’ll find it. I’ll be there before you know it.”

Jaleesa closed the phone with unrelenting tears soaking into her skin as she sat rocking and holding onto the arm of the sofa. Time seemed to stand still as she poured her heart out to her sister. It had been so long since she had stopped by to say hello or at least go out and enjoy dinner with her beloved. Now her last time to see her would be in the hospital morgue.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chapter 1, part 2

“What was that?” she thought as the pain subsided. Afterwards she prepared her plate, stacked the soiled pots and pans in the sink, and made her way upstairs.

“One, two, three…” During the short hike, she lost her breath and leaned against the wooden banister for support. Brie closed her eyes and took short, quick breaths as she counted out her discomfort. “What the hell? Maybe you’re not that hungry,” she said down to her stomach. She gathered her balance and slowly toward to her bedroom. “Four, five, six…”

As Brie stepped into the room, she noticed that Frank had only taken a few bites from his toast and demolished all of the bacon leaving nothing but a puddle of maple syrup in its place. With slow movements, she sat down on the bed next to Frank. She handed her plate to him and swung her feet onto the bed.

“Are you okay?” he asked between chews.

Following a sigh of relief, she answered, “Yeah, why you ask?”

“Well, your sweating and breathing heavy.”

“Really?” she asked as she patted her forehead, hairline and ears with her palm. “I guess it’s the heat in the kitchen, that’s all.”

Franks plump jaws and happiness indicated he was indeed enjoying his breakfast entrée. “By the way, this is the best French toast I’ve ever eaten and I’ve been to France.”

Brie smiled. “You’re so silly but I’m glad you like it. I added a little sum’thin’, sum’thin’ to the batter to give it a kick.”

“Whatever it is, keep doing it. It’s delicious.”

He held her plate until she positioned her pillow behind her back comfortably. Brie tucked her legs under the comforter, folded down the edge and carefully rested her plate on the round of her tummy. The high elevation of her midsection made for the perfect breakfast tray, however, whenever the baby kicked it was hard keep her dish steady.

Brie picked up her fork and butter knife and sliced into her short stack of pancakes. “You know when I was down in the kitchen I had a strange pain in my tummy.”

Frank stopped chewing and turned to Brie with a look of concern.

She cut out a three-tier stack and said, “It was nothing really. It was a passing pain, but rather annoying at the same time. Nothing I’ve ever experienced before.”

Frank sat his fork down and stared at Brie’s tummy. He swallowed chunk of food and cleared his throat. “Is everything okay now? Are you still having this discomfort?”

“No, no, no…I’m fine now. It was just a touch and go thing. I’m okay.”

Brie chewed on her bacon but Frank hesitated to resume eating. He rubbed her lower stomach and kissed her forehead. “Well, I’m glad you’re okay. By the way, who was that at the front door this morning?”

Totally caught off guard, Brie almost knocked her plate off her stomach as she steadiest her hand. “Ah…uh…umph…Jehovah Witnesses coming to spread their word.”

Frank nodded while keeping a watchful eye on her trembling hand. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Mmm-hmm…just fine,” she said, shoveling a forkful of pancakes in her mouth.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Chapter 1, part 1

The smell of fried turkey bacon and cooked grits made the baby churn as if it knew food was on its way. Standing over the stove, Brie flipped the bacon and then stirred the grits to prevent sticking while cutting down the heat under the small pot. Being that eggs hadn’t agreed with the baby, Mama-to-be Brie opted for buttermilk pancakes and made Frank a side of French toast. The kitchen grew warm and humid from the oven that kept the pancakes and toast hot.

With her long tresses pulled into a loose ponytail, Brie’s glowing brown skin glistened with perspiration as she hummed Hello Detroit in her head. Her fuzzy slipper-covered feet shuffled to the refrigerator and grabbed six oranges from the ‘fruit and veggie’ drawer from the bottom. She sat them on the table, reached across the table for the small steak knife she used earlier to cut over the bacon package, and sliced the fruit horizontally before pressing them into the juice maker.

After filling one glass, Brie went waddled back to the stove, turned off the pilots and grabbed three plates from the overhead cupboard. She wiped her forehead with the back of her forearm, placed the dishes on the table and paused. “Oh my God. Athena isn’t here anymore.” She smiled to herself. “I was just about to make her a plate.”

Athena, her daughter was away at Howard University beginning her first year at college and embarking on her life away from home. Accustomed to preparing a breakfast meal for her, it totally slipped Brie’s mind that it was no need to fix her daughter’s meals any longer. Frank would now fill that void.

Searching high and low in all the wrong places for someone who made her toes tingle, Frank slipped into her life and has been bringing her joy ever since her meeting.

Thinking about Frank made her excited as she applied a small amount of hot cereal to his plate. Frank, a wealthy grocery store chain owner, came into her life when she needed it most. After being victimized by countless men and raped by someone she had known briefly, Frank was her savior when she thought all was lost. He courted her like every gentleman should. Buying her flowers, squaring away all her debt and staying by her side through as she carried a child that wasn’t his were proof that he loved her.

Brie gathered the platter of hot food from the oven with her mitten-covered hand and put three slices of extremely hot bread on his plate. With the pulp-coated knife, she split the toast diagonally and sprayed some butter-flavored liquid on top of the bread. She went back into the refrigerator and grabbed a bowl of raspberries and decorated his plate as if a famous breakfast house restaurant catered his morning meal.

After putting his side of bacon next to the toast, and extracting the last bit of orange juice from the machine, Brie went into the pantry and grabbed the serving tray and stacked the sticky bottle of maple syrup, utensils and plate, next to the glass of Vitamin C. She sauntered out the kitchen, resting a portion of the tray on her high round tummy. She carried the breakfast tray up the staircase, counting each step being that she couldn’t see her feet. Brie memorized the number of steps it took before she reached the top of the landing to ensure a safe journey. Her swollen ankles limited her to one or two trips up and down the stairs before she had to sit down and rest so she had to make this journey up the flight of stairs count.

****


The hearty aroma of bacon engulfed Frank’s senses causing him to open his eyes and await the wondrous meal that Brie had prepared. He cupped the pillow close to his head before he rolled onto his back and stretched his arms overhead as he released a loud yawn. The bright sunshine beamed through the open window. The chirping birds were a welcome sound as Frank readied himself for the warm plate that would soon reside in his empty stomach.

As the door creaked, Frank turned to see Brie walking through the door carrying a wooden tray before her. A smile pulled at the corners of his mouth as he propped himself into a sitting position. He tucked his two pillows at his lower back and clapped his hands like a toddler at a birthday party celebration.

“Hmmm, that smells good.” Frank closed his eyes as Brie draped the tray over his thighs. He grabbed Brie gently by the back of her neck and guided her face toward his. He kissed her lovingly. “Thank you for this lovely breakfast, beautiful.”

Brie giggled and licked her tongue against his bottom lip. “Enjoy, sexy.”

She pushed his back and waddled away from the bed. “I’ll be right back to join you. I have to make my glass of juice.”

“I’ll try not to eat too fast. It all smells so damn good,” he said, grabbing his knife and fork.

Frank quickly started cutting into his French toast and Brie smiled. “You might want to slow down before you cut a hole through that ceramic plate.

“I’ll try but I can’t guarantee anything,” he said before feeding himself a heaping mouthful of fried bread.

****

“Ten, eleven, twelve,” Brie counted as she made her way back to the kitchen. She wobbled to the dinette table and inserted more orange slices into the juicer and pressed the auto button once again. This time when the appliance powered up, there was a tightening in her stomach that she hadn’t recognized before. Brie cowered over and rubbed the bottom of her rounded tummy, wishing the pain away. She patted her forehead and thought happy thoughts as the pain resonated along her spine and down her anus.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oops...I forgot the Prologue!

The Prologue


Brie stood dumbfounded as she pulled her housecoat closed. “I don’t understand why you guys are here, Detective.”

“Well, apparently, your husband’s family states they have been looking for him for some time and they found it suspicious that you two parted and they never heard from again,” the detective explained with a stern expression.

“I don’t know what else to say, Detective. I like I told them before, after he left me I never heard from him again. He didn’t call, or even write a letter to his daughter. I assumed he had another family someplace else and didn’t want to be found.”

The detective jotted something on his scratch pad. “We may need to you to come to the precinct for some questioning just to set the record straight ma’am. Just procedure.”

Brie shrugged. “That’s fine. Whenever.”

“We’ll be in contact.”

“I’m sure you will,” she said before closing her door.

Brie leaned against the door and wished her heart rate to slow. “Why are they opening up this old wound? The Negro is dead and gone. Why won’t they leave well enough alone?” she said under her breath.

“Brie, who was at the door?” Frank called from upstairs.

After their passionate love making from the night before, Brie was surprised he would be awake this early.

“Ah, nobody, baby. Go back to bed, I’m going to start on breakfast.” She said as she dead bolted the door. Her unborn baby had awakened and was starting to stretch inside her womb. Brie caressed her midsection as she walked to the kitchen. “All right. All right. Breakfast is coming for you too.”

****


Jaleesa held onto the gasoline nozzle and whistled along with the jazzy instrumental playing from her car radio. Not paying attention, the fuel squirted onto her leather glove.

“Shit!” she said as she released the nozzle. She bent over to remove the handle and slipped it back on the pump holder.

Jaleesa climbed back inside her car and grabbed her cell phone from the cup holder. She dialed Brad’s number and waited for him to answer. It was time that she ended her marriage once and for all. Hopefully, Brad knew a good divorce attorney that wouldn’t make her permanent separation from Parker a smooth transition.

****


As Jaleesa dipped into her car, a white moving truck pulled along side her vehicle at the diesel pump, shielding Evan’s view of her from across the lot.

“Fuck!” he said as he lowered his gun that was pointed at her head. “Lucky bitch!” he put the safety back on and then reached over and put the gun back into the glove compartment. “Next time, pretty bitch, next time,” he mumbled as he shifted his car into drive.

****

Parker tossed and turned in his sleep after the throbbing pain in his knuckles subsided. After the fight with Mark, Parker paced the floor wondering why Jaleesa had yet to return his urgent message. He didn’t want to overload her voicemail with repeat messages so the only thing he could do was wait. In the meantime, his body was dead tired and without so much as a shower, he carried himself to bed where he let his body fall onto the goose-down comforter.

“She’s going to be okay,” he told himself as he drifted into a solemn state of solitude.

As his body transcended he thought back to Athena. He pondered how she was going to handle the college life now that she was away from everyone she’d known her whole life. He knew she was excited to be out from under her mother’s overbearing wings, but would she accept the different challenges that college life brings? Only time would tell and he was interested in hearing how she was doing.

****

Rico traced his fingers along the clear packages of dope. “Damn, I can’t believe that woman outsmarted Mark like that. Here she walked up in his shit and took him out like an unwanted cockroach. It’s a good thing she did too. It had to be done either way you look at it,” Rico said as he stared at his nearly acquired kilos of cocaine and pounds of marijuana, thanks to Jaleesa and her wit. “Paying her that money was a pleasure for getting rid of my competition. Shame though, I liked seeing her. Hopefully, I can hook up with her later for an unrelated occasion.” He thought as he reached in his desk drawer and extracted a small calculator to add the amount of profit he stood to make from his newfound wealth.

****

The detectives canvassed the room in hopes of finding any clues that would point them to person who was responsible for committing such a heinous crime. Detective Owens, the lead officer, sat on the sofa wearing a pair of latex gloves staring at the blood splattered pattern on the leather loveseat.

“You see, by the way the blood is spewed across the sofa and table, it appears this was a point blank hit. The blood doesn’t cover much area so I’m giving the shooter maybe a couple feet distance.”

“Well, there wasn’t any residue on the victim so he had to be standing before him before the shots were fired,” Detective Stephens responded as he jotted down a few notes in his notepad.

Stephens crotched down and stared at the floor. “Wait a minute. I think I have something here.”

“Wha’cha got?” Owens asked while still looking over the sofa.

“It looks like an earring of some sort.”

“You sure it’s an earring?”

“I’m not for certain, but I’ll bet you a beer that it’s some type of jewel that is worth taking to the lab to lift some DNA.”

Owens scooped the silver piece of jewelry into a clear plastic bag and slipped it into his pocket. He strolled into the bedroom where he noticed the bed was in disarray. “Looks like someone was having a bit of fun in here,” he committed under his breath.

He pulled back the comforter with the top of his pen and noticed splatter patterns. He whistled for one of the forensics techs. Within a few moments, one of the technicians stepped into the room.

“I need you to get lift samples from the sheets,” Owens directed before his eyes caught glimpse of a satin material beneath the bed skirt. “While you’re at it.” He scoped the brim of the underwear onto his pen top. “See what you can get from these as well.”

“Sure thing.”

Owens glanced around the room to see if there was anything that stood out from the ordinary. He leaned over and checked the alarm clock and noticed the safe beneath the end table. He pushed the door open. “Well, well. What do we have here?” There were money bands on the floor of the safe as well as a powdery residue on the iron door.

“Owens, I’m going to check with the leasing office to see if there was any other name on the lease,” Detective Stephens yelled from the living room.

With his eyes still affixed on the white substance, Owens answered, “Good idea. I’m going to stick around here for a minute.”

Sunday, June 04, 2006

recap 3

Following twenty-three minutes of driving, she shut off the ignition and sat in the silence. She stared at the door waiting to see if anyone would exit. After ten minutes of nothing, she reached in the backseat and grabbed her leather gloves, jacket, and hat. She dressed herself as if it was ten degrees below freezing and opened the door. Leaving the keys in the ignition, she climbed out the car and made her way to the door. The long walk through the parking lot seemed endless until she coiled her hand around the silver door handle.

She quietly stepped inside and made her way to the elevator. She glanced over at the security guard who was sleeping soundly at his post. She pressed the up button. As she waited a man walked into the lobby wearing a leather jacket and fitted cap pulled down over his eyes. He stood next to her and pressed the down button. She glanced over at him, noting the toothpick nestled between his lips.

He turned in her direction. “How you doin’?” he asked with a deep, raspy voice.

“I’m fine and yourself?”

“I’m cool.”

Ding. The elevator opened and she stepped inside, pressed the designated floor and focused her attention on the mechanic numbers above the door.

Michael Bolton unmistakable voice came through the speakers. “Why did that man ever decide to make another album after the first? Jesus he makes my skin crawl, gosh damn whiney man.” She said as the metal doors opened. “Here’s goes nothing.” She grabbed her purse and held it snuggly against her side.

She knocked on the door and waited, counting in her head. The door opened when she reached eight. She pushed pass the door, stepped inside, and stared in the face of the man she had grown to hate and despise with everything in her heart. “Mark, I hate to bother you at this time of night.”

He took a sip from his forty-ounce malt liquor bottle. “Yeah, whatever, man. You got my fuckin’ money?”

Her fingers grasped the purse tightly. “Yes, it right here.”

He shrugged. “Well? What the fuck is you waitin’ on? Give me my shit!” He took a seat on the sofa.

Jaleesa accessed his bruised face and noted his squinted facial expressions as he made himself comfortable.

“I see you haven’t changed since I’ve been gone. You’re still drinking cheap corner store booze and keeping the place a wreck.”

“Shut the fuck up and get to the point.”

Jaleesa stepped across the room. “Are you okay?”

He cocked his head to the side. “Are you genuinely concerned or just stallin’?”

She clasped her hands together and stared at him intently. “I’m genuinely concerned. What happened to you?”

“I walked into a door. Now give me my fuckin’ money.”

“Excuse yourself for being so anal.”

“Oh, yeah? Well pardon me for saying this, but your fuckin’ ass wasn’t too concerned when you stole from me so why all of sudden you expect me to bow down and kiss your fuckin’ ass when you should be kissin’ mine?”

Jaleesa grunted. “You got a point. But I was in a bad way then. I wasn’t thinking of the consequences that I might incur. I knew I was going to have to make amends for what I did and that’s why I’m here.”

“Yeah, well, it’s nice to see you, now give me my fuckin’ money,” he said dryly as he took another swig from his brown bottle.

Jaleesa reached inside her purse and withdrew the brown envelope and tossed it across the room to him. “There you go. It’s all there. The money I took and all the money for the value of the drugs I used.”

Mark didn’t respond as he tore open the package. Jaleesa strolled into the kitchen and started on the cold water. She grabbed a dingy kitchen towel from the cupboard and wet it under the running water. After wringing the excess water, she opened the freezer and retrieved the ice tray. Twisting the plastic tray, she forced the cubes to loosen before dropping several blocks of ice onto the towel.

“You know, Mark, I was nothing but good to you,” she said, wrapping the towel into a tight pack. “Even though it was wrong for me to get involved with you, I wanted to build my life around you.” She slammed the freezer door and shut off the water. “I thought we had something that was special, but that was in the beginning, I guess basically you were courting me just to win my trust so you could have your way with me.”

“Bingo! The bitch does own a brain,” he said, raising his bottle in the air.

She stepped back into the living room and stopped at the sofa. She peered down at him and placed the ice pack against his cheek. “Hold that there.”

He swatted her hand away causing the ice to fly across the room. “You’re not my damn mother! Get the fuck away from me with that bullshit! Save that shit for your son.”

Jaleesa eyebrows curved. “You know a little appreciation would be nice.”

“Fuck you!”

She reached behind her shoulder and swung her leather-covered hand forward, planting the back of her fist across his jaw.

He grabbed his face and stared at her. “Bitch! I wouldn’t try that shit again.”

“Oh yeah, well what the fuck are you gonna do? You’re lucky I didn’t knock out one of your teeth.”

He chuckled. “It’s funny how a bitch gets brave when they bring they debts to zero. Whoopdeedoo.” He twirled his finger in the air. “Get the fuck outta here with that shit!”

Click. Clack. Her footsteps echoed throughout the apartment as they tapped against the hardwood floor as she stepped away. “Where are all your women?” She glanced down the hall with her hands in her pocket. “No one wanted to come over and take care of their pimp?”

“Fuck off. Why don’t you show yourself out? We have nuttin’ else to discuss.”

“Oh, I think we do.” She walked toward the door. “You know the other day, I was stopped in the grocery store by some familiar faces. You know those guys you had rape me?”

A chuckled came from his throat. “Oh really?”

“Yes. I wanted to tell you in person that I didn’t appreciate you sending your gang squad on me.”

“Kinda like I didn’t appreciate you stealin’ from me?”

“True that. But I wanted to make sure that before you to get on the horn and call off that hit you have on me.”

“That’s it? After I make the call, you’re going to take your sorry ass the fuck outta here?”

“I promise.” She reached for the cordless phone on the coffee table, pressed the talk button, and threw it at him like a quarterback on Monday night football. The phone hit him in the chest, bounced off him and landed on the sofa.

He clutched his chest in pain and mumbled something under his breath.

“Shut up and dial,” she demanded as she stepped toward the door. She pulled at her leather gloves and stood at the door.

Mark dialed a number quickly. “Hey, what’s up? Listen I want you to call Stone, Chase, James, T-pain and Dominic and let them know the bitch is free and clear.” He stared at Jaleesa as she stood with her hand on the doorknob. “No. She’s covered her ass. I’m sittin’ here right now countin’ my money. She’s all good.” He ended the call and tossed the phone back to the coffee table. “Are you happy now?”

“Yes, but not as happy as I’m gonna be.”

“What the fuck is you talkin’ about?” he asked.

“You didn’t think it was really going to be that easy did you?”

“What?”

“I mean you think that deceiving me, having me raped, slapping and beating was fun for me? I was scared to cross the street in fear that you would be lurking around waiting to attack me.”

“And you should’ve been.”

“No that’s where you’re wrong. Dead wrong.”

She twisted the doorknob, opening the door. The guy with the toothpick stood at the door with his hands behind his back. Jaleesa waved him inside.

“What the fuck is this?” Mark asked with a low tone.

“Let’s call this a little payback, muthafucka,” Jaleesa said with authority. “Now I want that money I just gave you, the money in your safe, and the drugs you got stashed around this place.”

“What makes you think I’m gonna give you my shit? Bitch, you must be crazy.”

Jaleesa stepped in front of Mark and patted him on his swollen cheek. “You damn right I’m crazy and now I’m going to show you just how crazy I am.”

The toothpick chewer stood by her side and reached behind his back, extracting a handheld gun with a silencer at the opening.

“Now, let’s try this again. I know you’re not the brightest star in the sky, so I’m going to say it one more time.” Her voice deepened. “Where’s the shit?”

Mark sat with his mouth open as the guy aimed his caliber weapon at his head. The red beam zeroed onto the middle of his forehead.

“Ohh, Mark, heeeey, Markiepoo, can you feel that?”

“Feel what?” Mark asked with his eyes staring in the hole of the gun.

Jaleesa clucked her tongue and smiled devilishly. “Your heart beating three times its normal speed. Thumping so fast that you can hear it outside your ears. That hot moisture forming in the pits of your arms as you try not to move an inch. Oh no, how about the prickling pain that bolting through your stomach as you wish this moment wasn’t happening. That’s called fear. It’s not a very pleasant emotion now is it?”

He shook his head and formed a frown.

Click. Clack. Click. Clack. She stood in front of him, snatched to the envelope from his hands. “I’ll take that. Thank you very much.” She turned to her guard. “Keep an eye on him while I get what’s rightfully mine.”

She made her way to the bedroom and the hit man stepped across the room with the gun still aiming at his head. Within minutes, Jaleesa returned to the living room carrying a large satchel.

“Whoa! I hit the jackpot didn’t I, Mark? You were living large. I thought you were small in this drug game but I was sadly mistaken. You got a lot of shit in there.” She said, counting through bound money. She juggled a couple of huge sacks of marijuana. “I have to go get a bag and load this shit up. I didn’t think I would need a suitcase to clean your raggedy ass out. This is too fun.”

“I told you I was hustla. I wasn’t lying about that.”

She giggled. “You’re right about that. You’re big time, it’s too bad your reign has to end.” She trotted back to the bedroom and came back with a traveler’s bag.

She reached in the black suitcase and handed a smaller bag to the hit man. “This is for you. It’s filled with a couple of pounds of weed and jewelry. Oh wait a second.” She turned to Mark. “Take that shit off.”

“What?”

“Oh don’t play simple, stupid. The watch, the rings, and those chains, give ‘em up nigga.”

With a snarl, Mark didn’t hesitate to strip himself of his jewels. He winced and groaned as he undraped the necklaces from around his neck. He threw them on the table and she gathered them and stuffed them in the hit man’s bag.
Mark’s face was hard as stone. “You lucky you got your boy wit’ you or I would’ve…”

“You’ve what, nigga? From the looks of your face, you weren’t going to do shit. Oh, what you thought I was going to do the J-Lo and come in here and whoop your ass?” She shook her head. “Nah, I’m not stupid. I know I couldn’t over power you physically, so instead I just had to out smart your dumb ass.” Click. Clack. Click. Clack. “Well, Mark, I want to take a moment to thank you for the gifts.” She waved once and then clapped her hands together. “I think we’re done here. Now I’ll bid you a farewell and I’ll be on my way. I’m going to meet up with my partner and it was pleasure having you by my side.” She patted gunman on the chest and showed herself out the apartment.

Before stepped out the door, she turned and blew Mark a kiss, “Good night, Beeyatch!”

The gunman walked backward giving himself five feet of distance before he squeezed the trigger, expelling six bullets into Mark’s body. Without blinking, he shot hot metal in chest, two in the stomach and lastly two in the head. Mark’s body slumped over with blood eluded from his wounds, dripping down his body onto the sofa. The gunman blew the end of his gun like an old western movie and walked out of the apartment, closing the door with his leather glove covered hand.

****

“With everything that’s transpired, I can’t believe this day is coming to an end,” Brie said, snuggling against Frank’s chest.

“You’re right. You know I hate to admit it but I wanted to blow Mark’s brains out with the gun. Just the thought of what he put you through, I was just…”

Brie pressed her fingers against Frank’s lips. “Shhhh…let’s not think about it. Mark will meet his maker one day. Let’s let bygones be just that.”

“You’re right. I’m not going to think about it anymore. I’m going to concentrate on you.” He paused. “However, I do wonder how your neighbor his doing right now.”

****
After bandaging his cut knuckles, Parker stared at the ceiling until his eyelids could no long sustain the torture. He turned off the lamp next to his bed and called it a night. Finally.

“I pray for you Jaleesa. I pray that you’re safe from harm’s way,” he said before he drifted into a light slumber.

****

Jaleesa arrived at Rico’s place right on schedule. She knocked on his door, and he answered the door soon after.

“Come on in,” he greeted. “Did everything go well?”

She stepped inside wearing a dazzling smile. “Yes, it did and I’m so glad it’s finally over.” She rolled the suitcase full of drugs toward him. “There you go. It was actually more than I bargained. I’m not sure of the street value is but I think you will be pleased.”

Rico accepted the bag. “Please have a seat, Jaleesa.”

“No I can’t I need to be leaving.” She reached in her purse. “And here’s the money I borrowed from you too.” She handed it over and smiled. “Thank you for all your help with everything.”

“Piece of cake. Anyway, I should be really thanking you. You helped me get rid of my competition and made me a rich man. Do you know what this is?” He reached inside the case and held up a brown wrapped package.

“No, but something tells me that you’re happy to have it,” she answered.

“This is a kilo of coke which has a street value of over one hundred thousand dollars.”

Jaleesa’s eyes widened. “And if I’m not mistaken, there are several of those in there.”

“That’s right.” He smiled. “So you take this envelope and…” he reached in his desk drawer and handed her a large gift box, “…this is a special thank you.”

She opened the box and stared at three stacks of crisp hundred dollar bills. “I can’t accept this.”

“Psst, please. As much money as you just handed me. That’s the least I can do for you,” Rico said.

They shared a laugh.

“Jaleesa, if ever you need anything, you be sure to call me. I don’t care how big or small.”

She nodded slowly. “Thanks. I will.”

They shook hands before Jaleesa stepped out of the house.

She walked to her car, swinging her keys on her index finger feeling like a new woman as she got into her car. When she started the engine the low fuel indicator flashed on.

“Oh, isn’t this great? Now I gotta fill up.” She reached on the backseat and smiled. “But who cares!” She opened her present and grabbed a fifty-dollar bill from one of the many rubber-band money bundles. She didn’t bother counting how much she made out with, but she knew she would be well set for the immediate future. She shifted the car into drive and drove away with the smooth sounds of jazz playing as her theme music.

“I’ll fill ‘er up in the morning.”

Friday, June 02, 2006

Recap 2

Click.

Frank grabbed him from behind and the gun fired. Parker jumped out of harm’s way and tackled Mark as soon as he saw the Frank had the gun secure. Parker pounded his fist into Mark’s face repeatedly until Mark was about to pass out. His eyes glazed over as blood flowed from his wounds.

Parker was about to land the deadliest blow and held his shaking fist over his head.

“Go ahead, punk. You’s a coward any fuckin’ way,” Mark said before he spat in Parker’s face. He released a hyena type laugh, instigating Parker to coiled his fingers and prepared to give Mark the final blow.

Flashes of every painful experience that he had endured with his marriage had come from this pool of diseased vermin. The demise of his marriage, his trust in women, and all the hatred that he felt was all because of him. But when would it all end? When would he let go of the anger that he felt that ate away at him?

Parker lowered his fist and rose to his feet. “Get the fuck off my lawn.”

Brie and Frank stood in silence. Frank wrapped his arm around her waist as she rested her head on his shoulder.

Mark crawled backward. His eye was puffy and blood seeped from his nose and mouth. “This shit isn’t over nigga. Tell that wife of yours that I want my fuckin’ money.” He looked over his shoulder at Frank holding the gun. “And you can keep that. I got plenty more where that came from.” He gingerly climbed to his feet and began walking toward his car.

Brie ran over to Parker. “What was he talking about? How does he know Jaleesa?”

“That’s who she left me for. That’s the man my wife felt was a better lover than I.”

Brie gasped and covered her mouth. “You’re joking, right?”

Parker gave Brie the meanest gaze.

“Okay, you’re not kidding. I can’t believe you’re telling me this. That monster is a drug dealer and a pimp. He’s probably got Jaleesa doing God’s know what.”

“Jaleesa is fine,” Parker retorted, checking his bleeding knuckles.

Brie grabbed his hand and looked at with loving eyes. “How do you know?”

He snatched his hand away. “I know. Trust me, I know.”

Frank walked beside Brie and grabbed her by the hand. “Brie, I think we should go inside.” She squeezed his hand in acknowledgement while he handed Parker the gun. “I think you should keep this.”

Parker took the gun and reached in his pocket for his keys. “I’m going to bed. I had a long fuckin’ day.”

****

“Well, I’m glad that we were able to sit down and enjoy each other’s company,” Brad said, sliding a twenty-dollar bill across the bar.

“Me too. I really wanted to apologize for being so standoffish at our first meeting. I didn’t want you to think I was a total prude.”

“I didn’t. From my understanding, your previous relationship was very detrimental to your self –esteem. I just hope that you’ll allow me into your life. I know that being friends first is important and like I said before I’m not going to rush you into anything that you’re not ready for.”

Jaleesa checked her watch. 10:45 p.m. “Brad, it’s getting late and I have an early morning appointment.”

“Okay, I know when a woman is getting rid of me. You’ve been looking at your watch all night like you were timing yourself.”

“Ha-ha…Was I? I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.” Jaleesa took a quick sip of her drink and divert her eyes to the approaching bartender.

The bartender placed Brad’s change on the counter and stood with his hand behind his back. Brad thanked him and slid him five dollars for his service. The bartender nodded and moved to the opposite end of the bar.

Brad turned back to Jaleesa and flashed his bright smile. “Well, Miss Jaleesa, I hate that you have to leave me, but I truly understand that you have to get going.” He stood from his seat and opened his arms. “Do you think I can get a hug this time? A friendly hug.”

“But of course.” She rose from her seat and wrapped her arms around him as he did her. She enjoyed the sweet smell of his skin before she pulled away. As her mind drifted from serenity, her cell phone rang.

“Hey, you got a cell phone?”

“Yes, I picked one up recently.” She checked the number. It was Parker. “Hmm…I wonder why he’s calling so late.” She pressed the decline button. “I’ll call him back a little later.” She reached down into her purse and pulled out a pen and a slip of paper. She quickly jotted down her new number and handed it to him. “Feel free to use it when you feel the need.”

“I’ll definitely be sure to do that.” He tucked the number into his jacket pocket and held his hand out.

She accepted it and he walked her out the door. As they made their way across the parking lot, her voicemail indicator sounded. Brad opened her car door and helped her climb inside.

He placed one hand on the hood and leaned over. “So can I call you tomorrow after lunch?”

Jaleesa fastened her seatbelt and said, “I would like that.”

“Good.” He kissed the back of her hand and closed her door. “Be careful and make sure you call me when you make it home safely.”

“I will.” She started the ignition and Brad made his way back to the valet station.

She shifted into drive and pulled out of the lot. She turned the radio on and heard the announcer.

“It’s a tragic story that we have to report. A young woman has been found dead at approximately one hour ago on Stahelin Street off Six Mile Road. Police have made no arrest but they are looking for a suspect neighbors described as tall, wearing a full leather coat and driving a dark model car…”

Jalessa’s mind went blank and she changed the station. “I hope my sister is okay. She lives on that street.”

As she turned the corner, she reached for her phone. She pressed the speakerphone feature and accessed her voicemail box.

“You have one message marked urgent,” the prerecorded voice said.

“Jaleesa, listen. Mark came by the house and let’s just say that he’s sorry that he did. But besides that, be careful, that punk has it out for you, something about some money that you owe him. He’s hell bent on finding you and made it clear that he wouldn’t stop his search for you, good or bad. So be careful. He’s out for blood. Call me when you get this message. I need to know that you’re okay. End of message.”

Jaleesa hands tightened around the wheel after she turned off her phone. She activated the right turn signal and directed the car onto the highway while powering up the radio to the smooth jazz radio station.

“I’ll call you later, Parker. Right now I have some things I need to take of.” She said as she speed dialed Rico’s private line.

Rico answered on the second ring.

“Hey, I’m on my way.”

“Okay, I’m on it,” he answered.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Recap from Season 1

Parker pulled into his driveway. “Thank God I’m home and Tyler is with Miss Ruggs. I don’t think I have the strength to hold him right now.”

He shut off the ignition and rested his head on the headrest for a brief moment. He stared at the ceiling and began counting. “On ten get out the car, Park,” he chanted. He pulled the door handle.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. He swung his legs out and sluggishly stood from the vehicle. He slammed the door and activated the alarm. As he stepped to the lawn, he heard another car door slam. He thought nothing of it, probably the neighbor just making their way home.

“Aye my man!” the male voice yelled.

Parker searched through his key ring for the front door access key. He turned around and saw the guy walking in his direction. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, you can. I’m looking for Jaleesa Patterson. You some kin to her?”

“Who wants to know?” Parker squinted to get a clearer view of his face. Instantly, his eyebrows concaved toward his nose.

“Don’t fucking worry about who the fuck wants to know. That bitch owes me a lot of money and I’m here to collect. From my understanding you’re the sorry muthafucka I stole her from.” He stepped from the curbside onto the concrete slab that led to Parker’s home.

“Nigga, you got a lot of damn nerve walking up on me like I owe you something.” Parker clenched his hands into deadly weapons. “So why did you ask if I knew Jaleesa if you already knew who the hell I was?”

Mark’s pace increased. “I wanted to see if you were gonna be a punk and give me some lame ass answer.” He waved his hand vigorously as he continued stepping across the lawn. “Anyway, fuck all that. Where’s Jaleesa?”

Parker stood strong and shoved his keys in his pocket. “I haven’t seen Jaleesa since I saw her sucking your dick.”

“Oh, you saw that? Whacha think? The bitch has mad head skills, but I bet you already know that, huh?”

“Sorry, I didn’t have the luxury of getting that while we were married.”

“Damn, that’s fucked up. You were missing out big time. The shit that broad does with her tongue and lips are remarkable. Come to think about it, I’ve kinda missed that about her. Especially the way she grabbed my balls and sucked…”

Without waiting another moment, Parker launched the first blow to Mark’s jaw, sending him stumbling backward. Mark regained his stance and lunged his fist at Parker, missing by inches. Parker ducked and threw an uppercut to his chin, causing him to bite his tongue. Blood spew from his mouth as he tried to throw another blow. Parker dodged his left-handed attempt and threw two jabs to his middle section, causing Mark to heave over in pain.

Parker grabbed a fist of his dreadlocks and held his head low where he rammed his knee into his face. The crackle of bone shattering gave Parker a reason to continue his abuse. He pulled him again by his hair and dragged him across the lawn, slamming his face into the truck on his pine tree. A loud groan came from Mark as Parker increased the tension he had of his fisted hair.

Footsteps paddled across the lawn. Frank ran in behind Parker. “Are you okay?”

“Oh yeah, I’m fine,” Parker said as he shoved Mark into the tree against, this time his shoulder collided with the base of the tree.

Mark screamed out in extreme pain and belted over and stumbled sideways. “I’m guessing you just dislocated his shoulder,” Frank said in a condescending manner.

“You punk ass muthafucka! You ain’t about to get the best of me,” Mark said with blood flowing from his mouth.

Frank stared at the bleeding man in disbelief. “Oh, I don’t believe this.”

Parker turned to him breathing heavy, shaking his pain stricken knuckles. “What?”

“That man broke in your house yesterday. I tried to chase him down, but he bolted away in his car before I could lay a hand on him. And here he is standing in front of your house getting his ass whooped. How ironic?” Frank chuckled under his breath and covered his mouth with the back of his hand.

Mark staggered to gain his balance. “Yeah, that’s right. I broke in your shit. I was looking for my bitch. It’s a good think I didn’t find her ass neither because I would’ve fucked that pretty bitch on your bed.”

Parker’s nostrils flared as he stormed toward the showboating wounded man. Mark swung out his arm and connected with Parker’s chin, sending him faltering sideways. Frank backed out of the way and made his way over to Brie’s house.

Parker quickly regained his composure and drove his shoulder into Mark’s stomach as Mark landed punches to his ribcage. Parker stood erect, forcing the top of his head into his opponent’s chin. Mark’s arms flew out wildly as if he was about to take flight upward. As he bowed over, Parker forced his knee against his face once again, forcing Mark onto his back in agony. Mark held his nose as he wallowed in pain. By the way he clenched his face, Parker could tell that his nose was broken.

Mark reached behind his back. Frank and Brie came running out the house in a panic.

“Oh my God! He’s got a gun!” Brie yelled.

Frank bolted toward Mark as he held the gun directly at Parker. “Fuck you, Parker!” Mark’s finger curled around the small metal piece as he pulled the trigger back.