Authors: Ashley & JaQuavis
Ashley & JaQuavis
1199 Straight Path
West Babylon, NY 11704
The Cartel ©copyright 2009 Ashley & JaQuavis
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews.
ISBN- 13: 978-1-59983-139-8
ISBN- 10: 1-59983-139-2
First Printing January 2009
Printed in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
This is a work of fiction. Any references or similarities to actual events, real people, living, or dead, or to real locales are intended to give the novel a sense of reality. Any similarity in other names, characters, places, and incidents is entirely coincidental.
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“Diamonds are forever.”
he packed courtroom was abuzz as the anticipation built, and the onlookers stared at the man who made it snow. Carter Diamond was the head of “The Cartel,” an infamous crime organization, and the entire city of Miami knew it. Scattered throughout the courtroom, the entire Cartel was in attendance, all of them wearing black attire.
With a model’s posture, he sat next to his defense lawyer, slowly rubbing his salt-and-pepper goatee, thinking about the weight of the verdict. Accused of racketeering and using his multimillion-dollar real estate company to launder drug money, Carter could potentially go to jail for the rest of his life. And the case had drawn a lot of heat when key witnesses began to come up missing or dead, including a politician who turned informant to save his own behind.
A slight grin spread across Carter’s face as he looked at the judge and realized that the chances of a guilty verdict were between slim and next to none. Just the night before, his accountant had wired the judge one million dollars to an offshore account. And just to ensure his freedom, eight of the twelve jurors had family members missing and in the custody of Carter’s henchmen. At 43 years old he was on top of the world. Fuck the mayor, Carter ran the city.
Carter glanced back at his family, his beautiful wife, daughter, and twin sons, who sat in the front row behind him. He winked at them and gave them his perfect smile.
It amazed Carter’s family that he could be in the scariest of situations and still manage to make everything seem all right.
He stared into his wife’s green eyes and admired her long, flowing, jet-black hair. Baby hair rested perfectly on her edges as her natural mocha skin glowed. Taryn, his wife, was a full-blooded Dominican and could have easily been mistaken for a top model. At age 38, she was just as beautiful as when she’d met Carter at 16.
Carter then glanced over to his daughter, Breeze, the spitting image of her mother and also his baby girl. At age 19, she was beautiful, intelligent, and being mixed with Black and Dominican gave her a goddess look. She had long, thick hair with green eyes, which made her every man’s desire and every woman’s envy. She smiled at her father, letting him know she was there to support him.
Carter looked at his two sons, Mecca and Monroe, AKA Money. They were the two oldest at 21, and although they were twins, they were completely opposite. Mecca was the wilder of the two. He wore long braids and was a shade darker than Money. His body had twenty tattoos on it, including the two on his neck, enhancing his thuggish appearance. He was the more ruthless one. Mecca, wanting so badly to follow in the footsteps of his father and become the next kingpin of Miami, was notorious throughout Dade County for his trigger-happy ways.
Money was the humbler and more reserved of the two. His Dominican features seemed to shine through more than his twin brother’s. His light skin and curly hair made him look more like a pretty boy than a gangster, but his looks were deceiving. Unlike his brother, he wore a neat low-cut and had no tattoos. Focusing more on the money aspect of the game, Money was a born hustler, and if the streets gave out degrees he would’ve had a doctorate. And although he wasn’t as coldhearted as his brother, he wasn’t to be underestimated.
It was in their blood to be gangsters. In the early eighties their Dominican grandfather ran the most lucrative drug cartel Miami had ever seen, and their father was his predecessor. Their family was “street royalty” by all means.
The media had a field day with this trial, covering it since day one. And CNN news cameras and several other stations had been broadcasting live footage of the spectacle for the last six months.
The sound of the gavel striking the sounding block echoed throughout the packed courtroom when the jurors filed into the courtroom after two hours of deliberation. The time had finally come for the verdict.
“Order in the court!” The judge looked over to the jury pool. “Has the jury come to a verdict?”
All eyes were on the juror as he paused before delivering the verdict, and all of the news cameras were pointed to Carter, trying to capture his reaction to his fate. The courtroom got so silent, you could hear a pin drop.
The head juror stood up with a small piece of paper in his hand. “Yes, Your Honor, we have. We the jury find Carter Diamond not guilty on all charges.”
As the courtroom erupted with a mixture of victorious cheers and disappointing sighs, Carter nonchalantly loosened his tie and winked at the judge just before he firmly shook his lawyer’s hand.
“Congratulations, Carter,” the lawyer said as he gathered his files and placed them into his briefcase, the flashes from the cameras flickering nonstop.
“Thank you.” Carter turned around to celebrate with his family.
When Taryn ran to him with open arms, he smoothly spun her around and kissed her passionately as if they were the only two in the room. He looked in her eyes and whispered, “I love you.”
“I love you too, Carter Diamond,” she replied as she hung from his neck.
Carter focused his attention on his kids. He kissed Breeze on the cheek, and she whispered in his ear, “Diamonds are forever.”
“That’s right, baby girl.” Carter embraced her with one hand and grabbed Mecca’s head with the other. He kissed him on top of the head and then did the same to Monroe.
Carter looked at all the reporters and photographers flocking in his direction and said, “Let’s get out of here.” With his wife and daughter under his arms, and his family around him, he made his way out of the courtroom.
News reporters tried to get a comment from him, but members of The Cartel stopped them before they could get close.
As soon as Carter exited the building, he embraced his right-hand man, Archie Pollard, AKA Polo, who was waiting outside of the courtroom, along with a wave of thugs wearing all black.
Polo leaned close to Carter’s ear and whispered, “We did it, baby!”
“No doubt,” Carter said. “This city is mine.”
Carter stood at the top of the steps, feeling on top of the world. He pulled out a Cuban cigar and lit it, his diamond cufflinks blinging as he gave the world a view of his exclusive accessories. Looking out onto the streets, he noticed that the cops had sealed off the area to maintain traffic control. Everyone in the city was trying to get a glimpse of the “king of Miami.”
Money noticed something wasn’t right. As he looked at each officer and saw that they all had one thing in common. They all seemed to be of Haitian descent. By the time he realized what was happening, it was too late. One of the fake news reporters pulled out his 9 mm and pointed it at Breeze.
“Noooo!” Money screamed as he tried to warn his sister.
Polo became aware of what was about to happen and shoved the Haitian, causing him to tumble down the stairs before he could let off a shot.
All of a sudden, two dreadlocked Haitians popped out of the oversized dumpster, both with AR-15 assault rifles, and began letting off shots at The Cartel. It was complete pandemonium as shots rang out, hitting innocent bystanders, all in an effort to take out Carter Diamond.
Outnumbered, the members of The Cartel were defenseless. And Carter and his family were moving targets. As everyone scrambled for cover, Carter grabbed his daughter and wife and threw them to the ground, shielding them with his body.
A bullet ripped through Money’s arm, and he fell to the ground. Mecca ran to his side, trying to protect his twin brother.
Meanwhile, Polo had pulled out his 9 mm and began to return fire. He had managed to keep the Haitians off long enough for the rest of The Cartel to come and help.
As the two crews traded bullets, many people got caught in the crossfire. The scene was a total bloodbath, with dead bodies sprawled out across the steps of the courthouse.
Carter, totally disregarding his own safety, tried his best to cover his two favorite girls from the raining bullets.
The police officer who had escorted Carter out of the courtroom shot at the Haitians. “Come on! Follow me,” he yelled. He looked at Carter and waved his hand, signaling them to follow him.
Carter hated police, but at that moment he was happy to see one. He gathered up Taryn and Breeze and followed the officer back into the courthouse.
“I parked my police car in the back. Come on! They’ll be coming in here after you any second now,” the cop said as he closed the courthouse door.
“Let’s go, y’all,” Carter yelled in a panicked voice to his wife and daughter as they followed the policeman down the stairs and into the basement.
Carter thought about his sons outside, but he knew they could hold their own. His main concern was the women. They raced through the court halls and finally made it to the exit. Just as the cop said, he had his squad car parked in the back. Carter felt relieved. They all got in, and he frantically searched his wife’s and daughter’s body, making sure they were okay. “Are you hit? Are you guys okay?” he asked as he continued to search their bloodstained clothes. He realized that the blood was not from them, but from all the blood flying from the other people.