Authors: Shareef Jaudon
he cool? I mean everything’s a’ight right?”
“Everything’s fine man. I jus’ wanna keep things tight that’s all.”
I had just told a bold faced lie. The truth was that everything was not fine. In fact, everything was fucked up.
Things had gotten bad over the past few days and me and Angelique were barely talking. If you looked up stubborn in the dictionary, her face would be sharing space right next to mine. That personality flaw we shared made me resort to bunking in Dallas’s old room as she slept in the master bedroom along with my precious sharks. Whoever said relationships were hard most definitely was in one when they made that accurate statement.
Sway switched topics and snapped me out of my domestic thoughts.
do you wanna handle the new fish? We goin’ three ways on the money, equal split? You wanna tax him? I know you’re gonna get some info on his family jus’ in case he tries some bull shit.”
I picked up my cigarette from the ash tray
and flicked ashes from the smoldering tip.
“His life is jus’ as important as mine or yours. He gets an even third, same as you and me
, no tax. Second, if I felt I had to get info on his fam he wouldn’t be on this shit in the first place.”
ay nodded his curly head slowly. “I feel you Tyce, but how we jus’ gonna bust on stage without seeing how this nigga perform? This is some professional shit, not Amateur Night at the Apollo.”
I took a drag
from my cigarette and blew the smoke out as I smiled.
man, you know we gotta test that nigga first. Yeah, I heard magnificent things about lil’ ol’ Peck, but, I haven’t seen shit yet.”
a button on the remote control to pause the game.
“What’d you have in mind?” He leaned his muscular arm on the frosted glass table top.
I looked through the lazy smoke wafting around in front of my face. “I’m thinkin’ we should go shopping for diamonds.”
That didn’t go at all how I had planned it. I never intended to come at Tyce so directly. My plan was to ease into the conversation and take the advice that my mom gave me. She would say, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar Angelique.” I understood what she meant, but for the life of me, I forgot about that when I was face to face with him by the pool. I didn’t understand why thug ass niggas couldn’t do right once they had money. They all talked about stacking enough dough to leave the hood and start a business or a family. Hell, Tyce didn’t live in the hood. He had money and a family, so why on earth was he still taking penitentiary chances?
I could comprehend the art of the hustle, the strategy of the grind and even the high you could possibly get from robbing a muthafucka. Shit, I felt all those powerful emotions when I did it my damn self. I even felt the devilish joy of murdering my enemies and exercising extra sweet revenge on Dallas.
However, I did that because I had to at the time. Two years ago I was broke and lonely. I had to set things right as well as fight for my man, but I was a new mother. I could no longer think like a pretty thug, but Khari’s daddy on the other hand was still stuck in get it mode and was showing no signs of moving on.
Since the age of sixteen I was on a search for something. I ran away from home because what I was searching for was not there in that two bedroom apartment. My soul was yearning for love. Not the kind of love you got from your mom, or a close girlfriend, but the kind of love you received from a man. I foolishly thought I’d found that love in Biz, but I soon recognized that he wasn’t shit. Hell, to be frank, he was the shit that other shit didn’t like.
Enter Tyce, the boss of all bosses. He passed out sticky sweet orgasms to women like candy. He could make your pussy twitch just by smiling at you. The way his lips moved when he ate his food made you want to pop your titty in his mouth and let him nibble on it for a spell. He was kind, thuggish, tender and as cold as a Detroit winter; yet as warm as a grandmother’s loving embrace. He was my man. There was no question that I loved me some him, but love and like were not identical twins. They were very much two different things and I really, really didn’t like Tyce Adkins at that moment.
I watched in amazement as Sabrina took a bite from her veggie burger like she was in an eating contest at the county fair. I was eating one for the first time, but I could’ve sworn she was trying to finish hers before me.
“Damn girl, slow down. Y
ou ain’t in prison. You eatin’ like you’re pregnant. Are you?” I put my burger down with raised eyebrows.
She smacked her teeth. “Hell naw, I’m ain’t
havin’ no kid. I don’t even like kids. I mean, I love ‘em, but I don’t like ‘em.” Her dark eyes flashed.
I picked my lunch back up.
“Why don’t you like kids? I love kids myself. They’re so pure and wide open to discover life.”
“Yeah they may be all that
, but I tell what else they are. They’re nasty, annoying and they take
to grow up. Why can’t human kids be like all the other mammals? A tiger cub or chimpanzee don’t take eighteen years to mature! Shit, they walk, hunt and go off in the woods somewhere on their own. But oh noooo,
have a baby and it stays around forever. You come home from work and this grown ass nigga’s passed out on the couch in the same clothes he had on the day before! Or if you have a girl you gotta help raise the child she had with some ole’ retarded ass nigga that’s allergic to responsibility. Now her and lil’ Dante gotta live with you! Now, when you s’posed to be Stella gettin’ her groove back you end up being a forty year old grandma changin’ heavy ass diapers that smell like old bus seats! No thank you. Miss me with the babies, I’ll jus’ spoil my niece and skip all the headaches.” My opinionated sister took another huge bite of her deluxe fake hamburger.
I paused for a moment before I responded to her ranting session.
“So, I guess you and birth control are best friends huh?” I looked across the table at her.
She laughed, “You better believe i
t, me and ole’ Mrs. Ortho are like sisters.” Sabrina dipped a fry in ranch sauce. “Since we’re talkin’ ‘bout babies…how’s yours doin’?”
Oh, my lil’ tiger cub is fine. She’s tryna walk everyday and she’s gettin’ so big.” I sipped my grape juice while she soaked up my sarcasm.
“Ha Ha, I meant Angelique. People in relationships forget that the baby came after the two of them. You should always put each other first
and then you both raise the kids. Otherwise ya’ll will be filling out divorce papers wondering what the fuck happened. I wanna know how you two are doin’. I can tell somethin’ is wrong because you got that look in your eyes.”
I blinked. “What look?”
shit aint right look
.” She stared at me.
I had to admit
that my sibling was beginning to know me too well. You would think we grew up around each other since childhood instead of just reconnecting over a year ago. I enjoyed having a sister because it gave me the opportunity to get the opinion of a woman around my age that I hadn’t fucked.
“She’s trippin’ ‘bout this armored truck job. She don’t want me to do it. Angelique wants me to change and stop running the streets
she wants me to turn my back on my nigga. Shit, I ain’t with that nonsense.”
do you feel about that?” She kept staring at me with her green eye shadowy eyes.
“I feel like this, if she wanted a nine to
five nigga then she should’ve got herself one. I’ve been in the streets literally since I was born. She can’t change that. That shit’s in my DNA. I ain’t never got a paycheck, child support, little league trophy, or even so much as a Band-Aid if I scraped my knee from nobody. I had to adopt the mentality of bigger and better or else I’d be dead. I can’t jus’ turn that shit off like an oven. There ain’t no expiration date on my mentality. She acts like I can’t get money and handle all the domestic shit. On top of that she’s askin’ me to go against the code of conduct. If you ride with me, I ride with you, simple. She’s askin’ me to punk out and Tyce Adkins ain’t no punk ass nigga. I pop punk ass niggas like balloons!” I flexed my chest.
d her empty hands up.
“Alright alright, I see I asked the right question. You got all amped up on me.” She smiled.
I shook my head and rubbed the light facial hair covering my cheek. I twisted the sparkling two carat diamond stud earring in my ear as I began to calm myself down. However, the next question Sabrina asked took me in a whole different direction. She moved a wisp of black hair from her emerald colored eyelid as she focused those brown pupils directly on me.
“Do you think Dallas would have asked you to change?” She didn’t
blink. She just continued to stare right through me.
Instead of answering her, I took a bite of my burger like a ravenous daddy tiger mimicking my
sister’s style of eating as I let the substitute meat block my response.
Early Monday morning Tyce’s sugary vanilla colored Range Rover pulled up and parked three blocks away from the Gem Stone Connection jewelry store on Rodeo Drive in swank Beverly Hills. Inside the quiet cabin he sat with me and Sway.
Following Tyce’s strict instructions, I was dressed business casual in straight leg jeans, black square toed dress shoes, a white dress shirt that I’d tucked in and a dark blue suede blazer. Absent was the regular urban style of dress that I was accustomed to wearing. Also missing was the baseball cap, slightly baggy jeans and tattoo revealing T-shirt. I’d even covered all the unsaid details, including an expensive leather belt, a knock off Movado watch and a new corporate swag. I even went as far as to get a manicure for the mysterious occasion.
look the part.” Tyce looked at me over his muscular right shoulder from the driver’s seat.
I was the new comer, so I smoothed my hands over my
blue jeans while looking at both men.
Thanks. What do you think Sway?” I shrugged my shoulders in the snug blazer.
“You look like a sports agent.”
I look like Eminem’s accountant.” I rolled my eyes.
“You look like a white man who can look at a hundred dollar bill without asking where it’s been all your life.”
Sway chuckled as he
glanced out of the window at a slender woman who was walking down the sidewalk. I assumed that she was somebody’s wife, because she had that well-kept look about her. When she slid him a sexy wink as she strutted past his window, I assumed that she was
I’d noticed the flirtatious woman, but I was too busy wondering what Tyce had planned. Plus, I was already spoken for and on top of that I was a fan of chocolate, not vanilla.
, what’s up fellas? We gonna sit here and stare at broads with fake titties all day?” I asked as I held my palms up.
Tyce lowered his eyes. “
Nope, me and Sway are gonna sit here and look at broads with fake ass titties while you go steal a three carat princess cut loose diamond from that jewelry store.” Tyce pointed in the direction of a steel, gray building in the distance.
looked out of the back window at the store knowing that it was a test I couldn’t afford to fail. They wanted to see what I was made of. They wanted to see what I could do on my own without help and I was all set to show them.
Cool, one three carat diamond, no sweat.”
After I g
rabbed the gun from the seat next to me, I cocked the barrel.
“One diamond comin’ right up. G
imme about three minutes and keep the engine running, cuz I’m comin’ out fast like a baby covered in Crisco,” I joked as I grabbed the door handle.
Hold up playa. You won’t be needing that gun.”
crept up on my face. “What the hell am I supposed to do? Ask them if I can steal it?” I put my hands in the air in surrender.
“I like the fact that you were ready to bust out the truck and get it poppin’. You need that type of fuck it attitude to do what we do, but any nigga can rob a spot with a gun. It takes brains and balls to pull it off without one. I want you to use this.”
Tyce handed me
a princess cut cubic zirconia that looked to be about three carats in size. I took the fake stone from Tyce with disappointment in my eyes.
I supposed to do with this?” I asked.