Read Kiss the Ring Online

Authors: Meesha Mink

Kiss the Ring (4 page)

BOOK: Kiss the Ring
5.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

A hard head and hot behind kept her from listening to him. Thinking she knew it all and then some. Just dumb and young and filled with cum.

She needed that guidance and love from him and she fought it so hard. Then when she became a parent she never once mustered up the ability to offer the same to her child.

My son is dead and I hadn't laid eyes on him since he was less than a week old.

Turning from her image in pain she opened the top drawer of her dresser and removed the Payless shoe box snuggled with her socks and panties. She removed her dick pipe and loosely filled the balls with weed. She used to keep the pipe on the top of her dresser like an award or some shit, but coming home to find a mouse perched on the top where she placed her lips led her to throwing that one in the trash and buying another that she kept protected in a box.

She smiled at the first toke, enjoying how the first hit had a real subtle taste of lime. Dropping down onto the center of her bed, she picked up the remote and turned on the nineteen-inch flat screen sitting on top of many containers stacked along the wall. Most of them held her shoes or her beloved spandex or Lycra clothing that showed off her curves and never required ironing. That was a helluva twofer as far as she was concerned.

Knock.

She looked over her shoulder at the sound of the solitary rap of strong knuckles against the door in the kitchen that led down into the basement. With the hint of a smile, she took another toke and held it in her lungs as she rose to pull
on an oversize football jersey that dwarfed her curvy frame like crazy. The man who once owned the jersey had made her feel just as small by his size. The name TANK printed on the back had suited him well.

Exhaling the smoke of the weed that guaranteed her a delicious high for a straight four or five hours, Naeema walked across the length of the living room and into the kitchen that fancy white folks would call retro and she just called outdated. It was clear not a damn thing about it had changed since the late seventies, including the orange walls, dull walnut cabinet, and yellow appliances. The absence of her table and the bullets lodged in the floor where it once sat didn't upgrade things worth a damn.

“Hey, Sarge,” she said as she pulled the door open.

She eyed the gray-haired man in his mid-sixties as he entered the kitchen. The army vet was just as gruff in looks and manner as Fred Sanford. He rarely smiled and even less rarely ventured up the stairs from where he lived in her basement. If he heard her moving about the kitchen he would knock on the door leading from the basement and wait for her permission to enter. She guessed it was his way of still giving her some privacy.

She held her breath at the first sight of him but then remembered he now regularly used the shower in the small basement at her urging. She'd tried for way too many weeks to deal with the stench of an unwashed body until she had to straight handle that problem.

When she took possession of the house, Sarge was squatting in it, and after getting over the urge to press a Taser to the neck of the wild-looking man in the dirty army uniform she hadn't had the heart to put him out . . . yet. In
the depths of his eyes she had seen surprise at her sudden appearance but also a fear that the shelter he had come to cherish would be gone. Although his stink was high enough to rise to the heavens above and she had no idea if he would murder her in her sleep, Naeema's gut had guided her to let him stay. Unlike the bullshit decisions she'd made in her teens, Naeema had learned to trust her instincts in her twenties. Now they rarely led her wrong.

In truth, knowing he was downstairs was a comfort to her. It was a disjointed version of her former life living with her grandfather for all those years. Sarge had become a constant as she struggled to readjust to the recent changes in her life.

“That shit ain't good for you, Naeema.”

She shrugged one shoulder as she released a thick stream of smoke. Her nerves were still shot to hell from the bank robbery earlier that morning. That had been a big risk, but if it meant getting closer to the people she thought were responsible for her son's death, then it was well worth it. “You hungry, Sarge?” she asked, opening the fridge.

“The South Orange police department is currently investigating a bank robbery at the Township Bank this morning.”

“My belly full,” he answered gruffly.

Naeema barely heard him. Her body stiffened and her head cocked at the sound of the local news on the television.

“Four masked gunmen entered the bank just a few minutes after its opening and demanded the bank employees empty its registers.”

“Just wanted to lay eyes on you,” he said.

Naeema nodded as she swung the door to the fridge
closed and walked back into the living room. Her eyes were locked on the screen as she picked up the remote.

“The unidentified men fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. The robbers were pursued in a late-model white Lincoln Continental without plates but lost the police once the chase entered neighboring Newark, New Jersey . . .”

She raised the remote as her heart seemed to lurch forward in her chest.

Click.

“I helped to rob a motherfucking bank,” she mouthed, biting her full bottom lip as her eyes filled with the trouble she felt.

She took a few moments and then a few more trying to get her shit together before she turned. Sarge was standing in the doorway, the tips of the old and scuffed Timberland boots he always wore were firmly pressed to the metal saddle separating the two rooms. He never came beyond the kitchen, never crossed that metal line, like he thought he was a fly that would get zapped if he even dared to fuck with it.

He squinted his eyes as he shifted them from the television to her face.

Naeema forced herself to relax her face as she walked over to him. Before she could open her mouth he grunted and turned to walk away. She heard the door leading down to the basement slam.

WHAM!

She moved no farther.

The sudden silence was loud as a no-good motherfucker. The quiet had never been a friend of hers. “Fuck this shit,” she said, taking another deep puff from the cool ceramic tip,
then made her way to her front door, set the pipe on the floor, and stepped out onto the porch.

Futilely fanning herself to beat back the summer heat, Naeema closed her eyes and absorbed the sounds of the city. They were always present. Always vibrant. Large trucks grinding and rattling down the streets. Car horns. Music blaring through opened car windows. Raised voices. Children laughing. Police or fire sirens wailing in the distance. All kinds of noise.

She needed that shit bad as hell.

The sudden screech of tires seemed to override everything. Naeema stiffened in surprise.

THUMP.

The sound of a woman slamming her hand down against the hood of a rusted red vehicle echoed in the street. Naeema's body filled with relief. At least the car hadn't run her over.

“Get your high ass out the street!” the driver shouted out the window, his accent unrecognizable.

“Fuck you!” the woman shouted back, punctuating the exchange with a thorough-ass flip of her middle finger.

He maneuvered his car past her on the narrow one-way street lined with parked cars.

Naeema looked on in growing surprise as the woman scratched her ample ass in the brightly colored leggings she wore, stepped up onto the sidewalk, and pushed her tangled and matted weave from her face.

Naeema's eyes widened when she recognized one of her neighbors. Coko stepped up onto the sidewalk and stumbled, falling forward. “Well, damn,” Naeema gasped as she rushed down the stairs in her bare feet. She struggled briefly
with the wayward gate of the fence before running down the street to kneel beside the woman.

“Who da fuck are you?” Coko asked as she struggled to rise.

Naeema gagged at the stench of her breath, offended as hell. It smelled like a mix of shit and everything else fucked up in the world. The fuck?

“Get the fuck off me. Shit!”

Oh, to hell with this stank-breath bitch . . .

Naeema rose and stepped back while Coko fought like a bitch to rise to her feet in the scuffed and tattered heels she wore. Her movements made the funk of her unwashed ass rise up in the summer heat. Naeema didn't know what was worse: her breath or her twat smelling like cat piss and old sex juices.

Long after Coko moved up the steps and into her brick house just two doors down from her own, Naeema stood there thinking of the demons that had chased yet another woman into the arms of drug abuse. It was clear the death of her man, Keno, had pushed her with far too much ease toward getting high. Word was thick on the streets that Keno pissed off one of the factions of the Mafia when he took over an underground gambling and loan-sharking business after his best friend, Dane, got busted by the police. The only thing everyone knew for sure was somebody blew his ass up in a warehouse explosion.

In the year since Keno's death, Coko had slid from being a sexy thick chocolate chick to an ashy shadow of her former self. Even the little Asian “thot”—that ho over there—that used to trail behind her had stopped coming around. Still, though Naeema knew she was busy on the trail of her son's
killer, she'd had no clue Coko had fallen off so much. She was strung the fuck out and Naeema would bet her light bill money that some of her stench was from tricking to support her habit.

She gave the little brick house one last look over her shoulder as she made her way back to her own home. Naeema wasn't one to judge. She had come close as fuck to crossing the line into addiction herself. These days she relied on her medicinal weed to elevate her but she could just as easily have become Coko years ago when she was young and trying anything a young boy with a hard dick and a slick tongue offered her.

Drugs wasn't shit to play with because there was no way to win in that game.

She jogged up the stairs of her house and entered, pausing long enough to pick up her weed pipe before she lifted the door and then firmly shut it by pressing her body against it. Feeling the effects of the weed, she set the dick on the dresser and opened her Louis Vuitton handbag—the only authentic bag she owned. She pushed aside the wad of fifty-dollar bills—her share of the take from the bank—Bas had surprised her with to grab one of her two cell phones. One was a touch screen that she'd had for over a year. The other was a twenty-dollar throwaway or burner phone she used just to chitchat with the Make Money Crew. The cheap flip phone was lit up. She had three missed calls from Vivica.

“Fuck her,” Naeema muttered, dropping down to sit on the stool in front of her full-length mirror.

Honestly, she knew she shouldn't be so hard on Vivica. When she saw her name listed as Red's girlfriend in the police report, Naeema had gone to their address and
followed the woman until she found a reason for them to meet so she could get in with Bas and the crew through her. It was clear real quick that Vivica loved Red, shopping, and clubbing. One stop by On Your Back, her favorite clothing store downtown, and Naeema had chatted her up about clothes and clubbing. Soon “Queen” and Vivica became the best of friends. Just a few weeks later Vivica introduced “Queen” to Bas at Club 973.

Truly she knew she owed Vivica big time.

Anytime in the last couple of months that Naeema went deep undercover, it was Viv and Red's apartment where she slept. She lied and said she lived with her mother and hated going home. They bought it. She was in. She became like Vivica's shadow and soon she was hanging out at the church with the crew. She had been accepted. Step one was complete.

She needed a break from them motherfuckers. On and off for the last two months she had gotten lost in their world but she needed to shut the door on them. Everything about her dealings with them mofos was fake as a five-dollar pack of weave hair. For just one night she wanted to forget.

Forget the revenge.

Forget the crime she helped commit that day.

Forget the murder she planned to commit.

Forget that she was an “ain't shit” mother with a dead son she never knew.

Tears, guilt, and pain welled up.

“Shit,” she swore, reaching in the bag to pull out the wad of cash.

She held it tight as hell in her fist and wished she wasn't so broke that she could burn the money and feel all
righteous about not making a dime off her son's death. Coulda, shoulda, fucking woulda.

Standing up, she flung the wad against the opposite wall, knowing the whole time she would be on her knees looking for that loot first thing in the morning.

Naeema picked up her cell phone and hit 69 on her speed dial. It rang twice.

“Whaddup, Na?”

“Come thru,” she said in a whisper filled with her need.

The line stayed quiet for a few seconds.

“Who dat, Tank?”

Naeema tensed at the female voice questioning him from the background. She instantly felt hot with anger and jealousy.

“Yo,” she stressed, pressing her eyes closed. “Fuck her. Come
thru
.”

“Naee—”

Click.

She hung up on his protests and checked the time on her phone, then dropped it onto her bed and crossed the room to the small bathroom just behind the stairs leading to the second floor. By the time she'd finished a long hot shower and douched she heard the roar of a motorcycle come up the drive. With nothing wrapped around her curves but her damp lime-green towel, Naeema made her way to the front door and opened it just as the lights of the Harley blacked out and a tall figure climbed off it to cut through the opening in the side gate. She bit her bottom lip and leaned back against the door, her eyes heavy from the weed and from straight wanting him to make her forget like only he could.

She turned and walked back inside. She spotted the wad
of money just peeking out from under the radiator and she dashed across the room to push it out of sight with her toe.

BOOK: Kiss the Ring
5.62Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Lost Days by Rob Reger
The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon
Sunrise West by Jacob G.Rosenberg
Escape from Shangri-La by Michael Morpurgo