Authors: Eric Jerome Dickey
Also by Eric Jerome Dickey
A Wanted Woman
The Education of Nia Simone Bijou
An Accidental Affair
Tempted by Trouble
Dying for Reveng
Waking with Enemi
Sleeping with Strangers
Drive Me Crazy
Naughty or Nice
The Other Woman
Milk in My Coffee
Friends and Lovers
Voices from the Other Side: Dark Dreams II
Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing
Griots Beneath the Baobab: Tales from Los Angeles
Black Silk: A Collection of African American Erotica
Mothers & Sons
Got to Be Real
River Crossings: Voices of the Diaspora
(six-issue miniseries, Marvel Entertainment)
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Copyright Â© 2015 by Eric Jerome Dickey
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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-I
Dickey, Eric Jerome.
Naughtier than nice : a novel / Eric Jerome Dickey.
pages ; cm
1. Domestic fiction. I. Title.
This book 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.
FOR TOMMIE M
In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.
Lady Windermere's Fan
We want the ones we can't have, and we crap all over the ones we can. Rinse and repeat.
This Is Where I Leave You
FOR FRANKIE M
All you need is to tell the truth. It's always heartbreaking.
In revenge and in love, women are more barbaric than men.
, Beyond Good and Evil
FOR LIVVY M
Everything is about sexâexcept sex.
Sex is about power.
House of Cards
Sometimes you have to lose yourself to discover who you are.
Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Betrayed. My rage was bottomless.
My younger sister Tommie told me that I suffered from dysphoriaâa state of feeling unwellâdue to overthinking, insomnia, and depression. My middle sister, Livvy, said I was just pissed the fuck off.
I agreed with Livvy. I was pissed off to a level of pissivity previously unknown to womankind.
I scowled at what had been my engagement ringâa two-carat Petra Gems platinum engagement ringâand cursed Franklin Carruthers. It was a ring that looked like the truest of true loves. We'd flown to New Providence Island, leased a suite at Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa, and had a driver take us to John Bull on Bay Street. While the luxury of Gucci, Cartier, Rolex, Bulgari, and Citizen's lines surrounded us, we picked out amazing rings, then set a date and planned a beach wedding in Turks and Caicos. I'd had the ring appraised. Twenty grand. If only love could be appraised to see if it's true or just a chunk of cubic zirconium. After we'd come home from the Bahamas, we had all gone out to a sunset dinner in Marina del Rey, and Franklin eased down on his knees in front of my sisters, Monica, Tony, and Blue. Franklin had asked me to marry him, gave a speech praising me and made it official, slid a ring on my finger knowing bigamy was illegal.
Franklin Carruthers. We used to call ourselves
Frankie and Frankie
. I'd seen a chance Christmastime meeting with a man who had been christened with the male version of my name as a sign. I
thought I'd found my knight in shining armor, but he was just another liar wrapped in aluminum foil.
We'd announced to our friends and on social media that we were going to be Mr. and Mrs. Franklin and Frankie Carruthers. I changed my status from
to let other men know they'd missed out on the last single McBroom and to let other women know I'd been bumped up to first class. I had imagined our entire life together, up until the end. The wedding was to be my rebirth. I'd expected both of my sisters to be with me in a thousand photos. Had imagined Tommie, Livvy, and me with big smiles and tears of joy as the McBroom girls stood near the shore and its turquoise water. Life was a false perfect.
We'd become one of those sickening, attention-seeking couples on social media, broadcasting our love for each other at sunrise, having public conversations from the time we left each other to the moment we were back in the same space, tweeting witticisms, and pretty much uploading a new amorous photo every day. We were both entrepreneurs, a power couple living life to the utmost.
We'd taken time from our respective businesses, wanted to be alone, and traveled the world. Our sabbatical from Cali lasted two months. We handled all of our affairs by phone, proxy, e-mail, and fax.
He was going to be my husband, so there were no holds barred.
So many memories were captured in more than ten thousand digital photos.
In Italy, Franklin pulled me to a concealed outdoor location, and as people walked by unaware, that country boy gave cunnilingus like I was better than Momma's baked chicken. My 'Bama man was a wicked double dipperâwould feast on me, rock me real good, then, while it was hot, ease down for seconds. After the loving, we rushed by Renaissance and Baroque architecture, laughed as we passed by the world's finest collections of sculptures, carvings, frescoes, and paintings to rejoin the walking tour for the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, Raphael's Rooms, and St. Peter's
Basilica. Having an orgasm, then looking up and seeing incredible frescoes by Michelangelo was like being in God's living room. Photo after photo, my love hangover had me giggling, glowing, before the beautiful
sculpture. We tried to behave but acted like out-of-control teenagers with
tattooed in invisible ink across our foreheads. The magnificent engagement ring on my hand told me this was the start of perfection.
It hurts to remember how big a fool I was. Two months of traveling, and there was no foreshadowing of what was yet to come. The ones we make love to today will screw us tomorrow.
Before we had taken our vacation, we had gone to see a renowned specialist in Beverly Hills. It blew my mind. We were
to make a baby while we were in Paris, Italy, and Africa. Not an
baby. I wanted to be pregnant before my middle sister, Livvy, and definitely before our younger sister, Tommie. I was the oldest McBroom sister on this branch and that was my right, to have the first McBroom grandchild. After we had taken our sabbatical and returned home, after we had been greeted by all of our friends and family, we were in my house, in my master bedroom.
had been unsinkable, the
indestructible, the Luftwaffe unbeatable.
My relationship with Franklin was supposed to be as unbreakable as the Chicago Bulls during the 1995â1996 season. I'll never forget that night when my romantic illusions came to an end.