Authors: Xyla Turner
Line of Duty Series
By Xyla Turner
ZINA MEDIA PUBLICATIONS
237 Flatbush Avenue, #187 Brooklyn, NY 11217
an original publication of AZINA MEDIA PUBLICATIONS.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2015 AZINA MEDIA PUBLICATIONS
Cover Page by Dynasty Cover Me
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To my family, friends, co-workers, supporters, fellow authors and fans!
I love you all and I thank you dearly for your support!
Shatisha, I’m not sure what I’d do without you.
I appreciate all of your hard work, motivational words and awesome talents!
To my sister, who patiently, let me seclude myself and write this book
Love you, girl!
To Him that I seek after!
Someone was banging on the door, but it wasn’t mine. The droplets fell from my body as the green shower rug absorbed the water like it did every morning. This reminded me to get them washed soon. It had been at least three months since the last cleaning cycle.
Stepping out of the shower, I heard more banging. Then there were voices. The walls were thin as paper in the old housing project so I could hear the banging and the words
as if they were in my apartment.
Oh, it was just another cop knocking on doors, probably looking for someone. As long as it wasn’t my door, I did not care.
After I had dried off and put on my clothes to get ready for my eight o’clock class, I grabbed the coffee mug that was under my prized
brewer. I saved up five months of income for that machine and I needed it now more than ever. I just enrolled in Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and this was my second semester. The first half was tough and even while taking the four classes, I was still able to end with a three-point-eight grade point average.
This was a significant achievement since I was twenty-three, living in public housing with my younger brother because our mom was strung out on crack. The high rise apartments or projects, better known as
, were home to many on public assistance. The number of killings, shootings, stabbings and violence that took place in these doors were way beyond what was ever reported. Nobody ever said anything about it because that was the code. Keep your mouth shut and things will go more smoothly for you.
This was life for Zee, my brother, and me. It was all we knew and we were making it. Since we were on public assistance, they paid for my education, which I finally decided to take advantage of. I was sick of trying to figure things out, so after my life program advisor suggested it for the fiftieth time, I finally agreed. Then I was hooked. In class, I met people like me who were trying to get out of their current situations and others that were in designated fields and successful. Some wanted to change careers and others wished to get a salary bump. I could dig both and those were the people I tried to talk with often. The only people I knew that were successful were on television and they were usually drunk and the words “
” was in front of the TV show title. There was nothing
about them, but for some reason the fact that they were on television meant success to me. My goal wasn’t to be on TV, I just wanted to get out of the hood. Get out of
, more to be exact.
My only saving grace was that Kash liked me. Well, at least he saw me as a little sister, so I was protected. He was top dog when it came to drugs, girls, and clubs. He owned it all and mostly everyone was employed by him. The man was probably one of the cutest guys around or it might have just been his power that was attractive, but he was also one of the meanest. I witnessed him pistol-whip a man because he came up short with money and/or drugs. The only reason I saw it was because when I stepped off the urine-ridden elevator on my floor, I walked right in the middle of the beat-down.
At my gasp, he turned around and so did his three flunkies, Lay, Blue and Taz. Blue glared at me while Lay and Taz looked appreciatively up and down my body. Shivers went through me at their gazes, then nausea.
“Move out the fucking way,” Kash barked at them. “Let baby girl through.”
My eyes looked up at him, then he said, “Sorry, forgot this was your floor. Won’t happen again.”
He didn’t owe me any explanations, so I nodded and advanced to my apartment. That was three years ago. His respect for me had started two years before that. We were all at the public pool and one of his many kids decided they knew how to swim and began to drown in the deep end. Since I had started my lifeguard training courses, one of the first things they covered was CPR. Moving on instinct, I dove in, pulled the little girl to the surface and started to resuscitate her. Her mother, at the time, was Kash’s wife and it was heard around the neighborhood that I saved her. Since then, I had his protection. He even paid for the rest of my lifeguard classes. He told me that if I ever needed anything, just ask him. I never did because I knew how he got his money and I also knew my mom was hooked on that shit. It felt like a betrayal to condone his choice of a career when it was killing people I knew and my entire neighborhood.
A door creaked open, which reminded me that I needed to give the guy next door some of my WD-40 for his hinges.
Wait, they were knocking on his door. This man would have parties every few months that went on all night, keeping me and Zee up. I tiptoed to the door to hear what they were saying.
“Is Shi-isha here?” I assumed this was the police officer asking and butchering her name.
“No,” my neighbor responded.
“When was the last time you’ve seen her?”
“A few days ago,” he muttered back.
“Do you know where she is?” Another asked again.
It sounded like two different cops and they kept asking the same question in different ways. When my friendly neighbor kept saying ‘she’s out,' I figured they would get nowhere and decided to put on my shoes.
They were probably looking for the older lady that stayed there. I rarely saw her, but on occasion, she would just pop up. I figured she was the guy’s mom or something. Who knew? I kept to my own business.
When I was ready to leave, I had not heard the cops or my neighbors, so I assumed they were long gone. It was February, so that meant the New York weather would be more than chilly. As a native New Yorker, it was instilled in you to look at the forecast for the day and dress accordingly. Mother Nature was not kind and especially in the brutal east coast city.
As soon as I opened the door, I immediately turned around so I could hold the table that always wobbled when the door slammed. Therefore, I was backing out of the apartment with my book bag leading the way. When I could not move any longer, I realized I was bumping up against something, causing me to clam up and quickly turn to see what it was.
Light, gray, squinted eyes hit mine. I gasped and his lips parted like he was just as shocked.
“Sorry,” I said automatically.
He did not respond, causing me to look up and down, realizing that he was a cop. A tall cop who had more than a few inches on me. I quickly turned back around and secured all three of my locks.
When I finished, he said, “Good morning ma’am, do you have a minute?”
“No, I don’t,” I answered again on auto.
For the most part, the unspoken rule always boiled to mind your business. Don’t speak to the cops and if you do see something, you never say nothing.
I put my keys in the pocket of my waist length down jacket and headed for the elevator.
“It’ll only take a minute,” his deep voice followed me.
Turning to look at him, he was in a navy Parker that had the word police on the front in thick Arial lettering, navy pants, those ugly black shoes and his dark hair was in a crew cut. He was definitely young because who else wore their college ring unless you just received the prized possession?
Exhaling loudly, I made my way to the elevator. The cop would get no response from me and he must have known that. He asked, “You know the lady next door to you?”
My eyes stayed glued to the broken elevator signal above the painted steel doors. The only way I knew it was close, was because it would scrape something on the 22nd floor and I lived on the 25th.
“Ma’am, we really need your help.” He continued to plead.
The scrape happened and never in my life, was I excited about the coming of the urine infested elevator. He’d have to leave me alone.
When the doors opened, I hastily walked on and turned to select the ground floor. To my amazement, he hopped on with me.
“Hey guys, I’ll be back,” he called to his cop friends who were in the hall.
“All right,” I heard one yell.
I didn’t really want to stand in the corner closer to where the urine was actually released, but I had no real choice. The cop stood in front of me and said, “Ma’am, can you help us?”
My eyes refused to meet his, as I looked at his ugly ass boots for what seemed like an eternity. I saw his hand come up, but I wasn’t sure what he was doing until it had been done. He lifted my chin with his finger and thumb, then stepped closer to me, putting him in my personal space.
My lips parted at the gall of the man. Who in the world did he think he was? I slapped his hand away from me, and snapped, “Don’t you fucking touch me!”
“Ah, she speaks and Kitty has claws,” he smirked.
I moved to the side and he slid with me. Then he lifted my chin again in the same manner. That was when I started to slap his hand again, but he caught it and moved me against the wall. The only thing I could think about was my clothes smelling like pee.
“You live in this hell hole and when people try to help, you say nothing, but then you call us to protect you. You make no sense.”
“Excuse me,” I breathed.
“You heard me.” His nose was centimeters away from mine. “I’ve done nothing to you, but you completely ignored me, like I’m not even there.”
“You’re a cop and this is
. What the fuck do you expect?” I shook my head. “Get outta here. I can’t help you.”
“You could, but you won’t. That’s the code right?” He leaned further to the point our noses were touching.
I heard the scrape. Dammit, that meant I had 22 more flights to go.
“You said it.” I grated through my teeth.
“It’s stupid. How else can we help?”
“How about do your job.” I snapped back, moving away from him.
“I’m trying.” He was staring at my lips.
I pushed him away and he went, letting me go.
“Fine, let’s try another tactic,” he said. “How about I walk with you through the neighborhood and show everyone how acquainted we are?”
“You wouldn’t,” I gasped.
“Why not?” He crossed his hands over his chest. “You’re fucking beautiful, no man could blame me.”
Turning my head, I thought about the repercussions of that. However, people knew me. They also knew I was protected so his bluff would not work.
“Well, if they see me struggling with you in the neighborhood. You’d be a marked man. So,” I raised an eyebrow and smirked, “suit yourself.”
“Oh, one kiss. If you gave me one touch or lick of your sweetness. You would
be struggling.” He raised an eyebrow.
Why my traitor breast perked to life and my panties turned wet with his words, were not to be explored. I crossed my arms over my chest and hissed, “Gross. You’re a fucking cop. I would never.”
“Never, say never,” he taunted.
The bell dinged. I pushed past him. This time, he did not follow, but I turned and said with my upper lip raised in disgust, “Never.”