“Excuse you, but you most definitely are not taking my things with you. And, I suggest you start explaining why you’re trying to take him, or he’s not leaving with you either.”
Sonna forcefully yanked the backpack from the officer’s grasp and gave him the nastiest look. Just that fast, she was defending and protecting me. Had I not been in this current situation, I would have been smiling my ass off. I damn sure didn’t see that coming with her.
“Young lady, don’t get yourself in some trouble that you can’t handle. This is a legal matter involving your boyfriend, but I don’t have an issue taking both of you in.”
Sonna tossed my backpack over her shoulder before planting both of her hands on her hips. I’d swear that she was about to swing based on the way she moved.
I didn’t mind her speaking up, but I damn sure didn’t want her caught up in my bullshit. Not like this, anyway. If I had to go down for possession and intent to sell, then I’d just have to take that hit. I was sure that my dad could get me out of it, but he would likely try to kill me right after, for doing exactly what he told me and my brother not to do.
“You see all of these people in here, right?”
She pointed to the spectators who were now stopped at various places in the hall outside of my classroom, watching what was happening.
I wasn’t thrilled about that, but at least the cops wouldn’t do anything stupid. Or at least I hoped that they wouldn’t. I was a black man who they were attempting to arrest, and that was apparently a death sentence these days.
When the cops didn’t respond to her question, she spoke again, but with a little more aggression. “Do you?”
“Young lady, what is your point?”
“My point is this, you are not taking me anywhere because I haven’t done anything wrong, and you’re not taking him until you explain why you’re here.”
One of the cops grinned at her and then glanced at me. “We’re here because your boyfriend has a little problem with his hands. There are two assault charges pending against him. One person, I’m sure you know very well.”
Assault charges? Two of them, what the fuck? Oh, shit, Ab narked on me, but who the fuck was the other person?
“Ab, did this? That asshole assaulted me, and Mekkah was just defending me. I–”
“No sweetheart, not just Abraham. I’m talking about Johnathan Martin.”
“My father? Are you fucking kidding me?”
“Not in the least.”
He smirked and then grabbed my arm while the other pulled out his handcuffs. “Let’s go.”
“Wait, where are you taking him?”
“Downtown. Mekkah Grant, you have the right to remain silent, you have a right to an attorney…”
I listened while one officer cuffed me and the other read me my Miranda Rights. This was some bullshit. Some straight up bullshit.
Ab, was a pussy so I could see that coming from him, but Sonna’s father, that shit caught me off guard.
After I was cuffed, I looked around and could hear the whispers coming from students who were watching.
My professor looked my way sympathetically, but she didn’t say anything else. When I had my eyes on Sonna again, she looked like someone had knocked the wind out of her chest.
“Mekkah, I’m sorry—”
“What did I tell you about that shit? Don’t apologize for anything that muthafucker did. Anything! My phone is in your bag, and my keys are too. Call MJ and let him know what happened. Take my car since you don’t have yours.”
“Alright, that’s enough. Let’s go,” the cop said and shoved me in my back.
I turned to him and grit my teeth.
“Put your hands on me like that again, and–”
He shoved me again and then smirked.
“Mekkah, don’t. Just go with him,” Sonna pleaded.
I knew that she was already stressed about the fact that this was happening, so as pissed as I was, I just let it go and went with them.
At this point, I’d take whatever my father was going to dish out just to get free so that I could deal with these muthafuckers.
A few hours later
“Grant! Come with me.”
I looked up when I heard my name and a uniform approached the holding cell that I was in and unlocked it. He stepped aside and waited for me to get up and join him.
When I did, he shut the cell but didn’t say shit to me.
“Where are we going?”
I didn’t have a lot of faith in cops right now, but I followed behind him anyway since I didn’t have much of a choice.
I hoped that MJ was there to tell me he made that call to our father to get me out of this damn jail.
The uniform stopped just outside of a room that was in the hall that we traveled down. I looked at him, and he still didn’t say shit to me. He simply stood there with his hands folded in front of his body.
Dude was big as fuck, so I was already processing how I would take him down if he took me in the room and tried to come at me. Cop or not, he wasn’t about to put his hands on me. Fuck all that.
I turned the knob to the door, and when I entered, MJ wasn’t in the room, but Karsen was. He had a suit with him, who I assumed was his lawyer.
Karsen was seated on the corner of the metal table that was in the room, while his lawyer stood in the corner just watching me.
I could tell that he wasn’t happy about being there, but apparently, he wasn’t man enough to speak on that to Karsen because he just stood there looking agitated.
“Close the door.” Karsen nodded to it, and I did as he asked. “Have a seat.” He then pointed to the metal chair at the end of the table, which I pulled out and sat in.
“Yeah, I’m straight. Why are you here?”
I didn’t want to seem ungrateful or come off the wrong way, but I was curious as hell about what led to me being face to face with Karsen.
“I’m here because you’re locked up in my city. I can fix that for you if you want me to, or you can use your one call to reach out to your father. I can imagine that won’t go too well, but that’s your choice.”
He smirked, and I wanted to be mad, but he was right. After the shit with MJ, I wasn’t exactly in a hurry to call and let my father know that I was locked up.
“How did you know I was here?”
“Kaden. Your girlfriend is Sonna, right?”
I nodded, and he continued.
“She called your brother, who was with my daughter, who then called Kaden. Long story short, I’m here to fix this shit for you, well part of it. We’ll get to that in a minute. You’re close to my son, and he asked me to see what I could do to help. Since your brother is with my daughter, I guess we’re more or less family.”
I couldn’t tell from the way he explained his reason for being there if he meant it as a good thing or not, but fuck it. At this point, I’d take what I could get. If I could get out of this without my father being involved, then I was down for that.
I had a feeling that if he had to fly out to Philly one more time for something that me or MJ were involved in, then some real shit was going down. My dad was not a very patient man, especially when it came to me and MJ fucking up. After the life he’d had, our father would be fucking pissed about the fact that both of his sons had ended up in jail behind some dumb shit.
“Okay, so what’s the catch?”
Karsen looked at me seriously as hell before he glanced at his lawyer, who nodded and went to the door.
“There is not a catch. Like I said, we’re family. Your father and I didn’t have the best introduction, but that’s because we share the same passion for our children. I love Azzy and Kaden the same way I know he loves you and your brother. I can respect that, so I’m here to help. You have two charges, the Abraham kid, I can likely make go away. The Martin guy is a bit of a problem. He filed in their city, which I can’t do anything about, legally that is, but I can do some things to him.”
The look he gave me let me know exactly what that meant. As much as I wouldn’t mind Sonna’s father coming up missing, I knew that Sonna would be affected by it. He was a fucking pervert, but he was still her father.
I didn’t like that shit, but because I cared about her, I had to respect it.
“Nah, I can’t do that.”
Karsen nodded and then looked me in my eyes. “Look, son, I know that you don’t want to hurt her, and that’s a good thing because it means that you really care about her. Right now, it comes down to that respect you have for her and your freedom. You need to do some serious consideration in terms of what that means. You’re free to go for now. That much I can do, but either her father is handled, or you end up in court. Like I mentioned, the charges were filed in Jersey where he lives. I know a few people, so I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t make shit happen there like I can here. I can cancel a few lives easy, but the court systems are a little tricky if you don’t have the right people in your pocket. Here, that’s not an issue, but there, I can’t make you any promises.”
“I understand that, and I appreciate you doing what you can. I’ll think about it.” I gripped the back of my neck and looked his way.
“Alright, just let me know. I’ll make the situation with the Abraham kid go away. If he happens to come your way, stay away from him. I’ll have my people get the case closed so that you won’t have any issues with that.”
He looked me right in my eyes again. “If you put your hands on him again, I can’t guarantee anything, so stay away from him no matter what. I made a few calls, and he no longer resides at the complex where your girlfriend lives. That should make it easier for you to do that. Now, let’s get out of here.”
He stood, and I followed. We both made our way to the front where his lawyer was waiting. I also noticed Sonna was there too, but MJ wasn’t.
After closing out the paperwork, Karsen let me know that I was free to go and told me to call him if I changed my mind about him handling Sonna’s father. I thanked him, and he left right after.
“Are you okay?”
Sonna threw her body against mine and hugged me as soon as she was able to get close enough to me to do so.
I chuckled at how dramatic she was behaving. I was so fucking pissed that I went to jail, the one place I never wanted to be and had promised myself that I would never end up, but it wasn’t her fault.
“Yeah, I’m straight. Are you okay?” I teased with a snide grin.
“Don’t ask me that. I’m not the one who got hauled off to jail.”
“True, but you seem more upset than I am.”
I brought her back to me and kissed her forehead. “I’m good.”
Once I let her go, I took her hand and led the way out of the precinct. When we reached the front, I stopped and looked around.
“Over there.” She pointed to my car, which was parked alongside the street, and then handed over my key fob that she had balled up in her hand.
“You left my car parked on the street like that? Do you know how much my car is worth?” I said with a smile just to fuck with her.
“A lot, but we’re in front of a police station. I would hope no one is stupid enough to bother it out here,” she said with a slight frown.
I chuckled, and we started down the steps to get to where my car was parked. After I opened the passenger door to let her in, I then went to the driver’s side.
Once I was in the seat, she looked at me like she had something heavy on her mind.
“I know that Mr. Karsen got you out, but are you going to have to go back? Like, what happens next?”
“The situation with Ab is handled, and I’ll figure out the rest.” I didn’t really want to have a discussion with Sonna about her father, so I left it at that. “But, I’m not going back. I promise you that.” I said that with the utmost confidence.
“But, how can you say that? They filed papers, my father’s pressing charges.”
“Sonna, let it go. Fuck him and those damn charges. I said I’ll figure it out.”
“I’m sorry that my father—”
“Stop fucking apologizing for him. Don’t ever do that shit again, and I mean it. I don’t know how many times I have to say it Sonna. Just let me handle it.”
Her eyes were on me for a few minutes longer before she nodded and changed the subject.
“I have your bag at my place. I didn’t think that it was a good idea to have it with me.”
I grinned at how serious she was.
“’Preciate that, and you’re right.”
I pulled off, and after a few minutes of silence, I placed my hand on her thigh. “You know that was sexy as hell the way you bossed up for me. Your ass wasn’t playing no games with them cops, shorty.”
She shrugged and then smiled, exposing those damn dimples. “They were wrong, and I wasn’t about to play with them like that.”
“Gangsta ass.” I squeezed her thigh, and she laughed.
“I’m really not, but when it comes to you, I’ll be whatever I have to be.”
“That’s your word?”
“That’s my word,” she repeated and confirmed.
I guess I had me a ride or die in the making. I could definitely get with that. Now, if I could just figure out how to get out of this shit without putting a hit out on her father, life would be one hundred.
Miego “MJ” Grant Jr
The next morning
“So, that’s how we’re doing it? You won’t do time for me, but you’ll do time for your girl? That’s fucked up, Mek.”
I hopped on the counter in the kitchen while I watched my brother pile way too much shit on the sandwich he was making.
“I didn’t go to jail for her. I was in lock up because her father is a fucking pussy.”
I wanted to laugh because he was on ten, but I kept it cool.
“So, what did Karsen say? I was heading down there, but he thought it was best that just him and his lawyer showed up. It made sense seeing as how I had just done a tour there myself.”
Mekkah placed the top of his sub roll on the sandwich that he was making and then leaned against the counter before taking a big ass bite.
After a few chews, he decided to answer me with a mouth full.
“He’s fixing the case with Ab. The charges were filed here, and he knows people, but that shit with Sonna’s father is out of his reach to a certain degree. The charges were filed in Jersey where she’s from, and they live, so he can’t really do shit about that.”
“Damn, so you have to go to court and shit? I know you don’t want to, but you might want to call Pops. He can’t make it go away, but his lawyer should be able to.”
“I will if it comes to that.”
He looked at me before he took another bite of his sandwich and then continued talking. Why in the hell did he want to wait until his mouth was full to answer?
“He offered me another option.”
“Aight, so what’s that?”
The look Mek gave me told me exactly what that option was. Knowing the type of man that Karsen was, I didn’t have any doubts about whether or not he would make good on it.
“You open to that?”
Mekkah looked me right in the eyes before he turned and placed his sandwich on the counter behind him. He moved his hands on the side of his body and gripped the counter.
“Shit, I don’t know. Me, hell yeah, I’m open to that, but then I have to think about Sonna. I don’t know if I can do that and it not affect our relationship. I’m not willing to risk it.”
I just stared at him for a moment and moved my hand across my hair. I wasn’t trying to let my brother do time over some bullshit. I also knew he was smarter than that. Mekkah would make the right call, so I wasn’t worried or about to stress him over it for now.
“Love is some complicated shit, isn’t it?” I said and chuckled.
He shook his head and lifted his sandwich again.
“Hell yeah, it is. It changes everything about who you are and how you operate. As much as I don’t like it, I’m in chest deep, so I have to make it work.”
Mekkah walked off, still eating his sandwich, and I headed to my room to get dressed. I needed to head out soon, or I would miss my eleven o’clock class.
My brother seemed good, so he didn’t need me here for now, and I wasn’t trying to fuck up my grades and not graduate on time.
I stopped and looked over my shoulder when I heard a female voice call my name. She smiled wide when our eyes met, but I kept my expression neutral.
I didn’t know her and didn’t want to give her any ideas.
“Hey, where you heading?”
Her question was odd as fuck being that I didn’t know her. I was sure it showed on my face because she started rambling.
“I’m Sydney, well Syd.”
She extended a hand to me, which I just looked at. That caused her to drop her arm by her side again. Technically, I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I didn’t know her like that and needed her to get to the damn point.
“I know you don’t know me, but I see you around campus all the time and thought maybe we could talk sometime.”
I could tell that she was nervous from the way she kept looking around and only occasionally had her eyes on me.
“Talk?” I questioned with raised brows.
I already knew what she was getting at. She was cute, but I wasn’t trying to make new friends. Especially not these type of new friends. Me and Azz were in a good place, and I wasn’t trying to be the one to fuck that up.
“Yes, you know like maybe grab a bite to eat or something,” she further explained. This time she smiled again.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I have a girlfriend and—”
“I just want to be friends. I mean, I’d like more, but I know that you don’t know me like that yet, so we can at least be friends. There’s nothing wrong with friends, right?”
I shook my head and laughed. “Nah, there isn’t anything wrong with friends, but I’m grown as fuck, and I think I’ve passed the play date stage, shorty. I don’t need any new friends. I’m good with that.”
I got ready to walk away, and she stepped in front of me.
“It’s not what you’re thinking. I mean, I am attracted to you. How could I not be? But I’m not one of those crazy people that can’t respect the fact that a man is in a relationship. I just want to be friends.”
Now I’m really not fucking with you like that. Who you just said you weren’t is exactly who you are.
That’s like an addict saying, ‘I’m not an addict,’ and really meaning that shit, just before they take their next hit because in their mind they believe it’s true.
“Look, I don’t really care what you are or who you’re saying that you’re not. It won’t change the fact that I don’t need any new friends, and I damn sure don’t want any who are clearly telling me that they’re attracted to me. That would be disrespectful to my girl, and I’m not the one for that. Pick another victim, shorty.”
This time, I walked off, and she didn’t stop me. Maybe I was being rude, but I didn’t really have any fucks to give about that.
I wasn’t about to jeopardize what I had with Azz on a right here right now when I was trying to build something solid.
For some reason, that little situation had me feeling like I had done something wrong, even though I really hadn’t. I didn’t entertain her suggestions in the least, but it still had me feeling off, so I decided to run through and check up on my baby.
I knew she had practice right after her class, so my plan was to just roll up on her to see that pretty smile, steal a few kisses, and then be on my way.
I had plans with my brother, Kay, and Cole later, so I wanted to get me a quick hit of Azz’s pretty ass before it was time to roll out with them. I had a feeling we’d be doing a lot of smoking and drinking, so I likely wouldn’t see her until the next day.
After I arrived at her campus, I parked and made my way to the building where I knew she’d be on her way to. It housed all the suites that she reserved for practice.
I sat down on the concrete stairs and pulled out my phone to shoot Mekkah a text while I waited. I hadn’t heard from him all day and just wanted to make sure he was good.
“That better be me you’re texting, but since my phone doesn’t have any notifications, I’d say it’s not.”
Azz smiled at me and held up her phone, which was currently in her hand. She looked cute as hell, with hair pulled up in a high ponytail folded into a bun. She was dressed in dance gear, tights that stopped at her calves, and a sweatshirt that was ripped across the bottom, so her midsection was exposed.
On her feet was a pair of Fly Knits. And, of course, her clothes matched her shoes, but that was all day every day.
Appearance was important to Azz, which I appreciated. I was always on my shit, so I needed a female who always matched my fly. Azz was definitely that.
“I was checking in on Mek, smart ass.”
She climbed the steps and stopped in front of where I was sitting, giving me a visual of my favorite thing. The way her leggings hugged it tight, showing how fat it was, had me considering a quick trip to my truck, but I knew Azz wasn’t going to go with that. She didn’t play about school or dance, so I erased the thought and gripped the back of her thighs, forcing her further between my legs.
“Mmmhmm, I bet. I’ll check up on that later,” she said and sucked her teeth.
I chuckled and looked up at her. “You don’t need to check behind me, A’Zara. The fuck I need to lie for?”
“Most people don’t lie because they need to, they lie because they can or because they want to.”
“Well, that shit doesn’t apply to me because I damn sure ain’t most people, which I’m sure you already know.”
“Whatever. To what do I owe this honor?” She placed her little ass down on my knee and slid her arms around my neck.
“I just wanted to see you since I probably won’t later.”
She stuck her lips out quick as hell. “I forgot.”
“Don’t be a brat. It’s one night, and you have been up under me 24/7 for the past month, Azz. Let me chill with my people tonight without you pouting and shit.”
I kissed her, and when I let her go, she still had that same pouty ass look on her face. I laughed at her spoiled ass.
“I’m not a brat just because I like spending time with you.”
“Nah, you’re a brat because you pout when you can’t get your way.”
Azz frowned at me and lifted my arm to check the time on my watch. “I’m not a brat. I have to go, though, or I’ll be late for my session.”
“Give me another kiss first,” I said, gripping her chin to pull her face to mine.
After a real kiss, I pecked her lips a few times and then slapped the side of her thigh so she would get up.
“Ouch, MJ, that hurt.” Her face was all balled up again, and she began rubbing her leg after she stood.
I stood right after her and was about to rub the spot too, but she blocked my hand.
“Don’t touch me, and you better answer when I text you later,” she said with her face still all balled up as she climbed the stairs toward the entrance.
“And if I don’t?” I grinned at her, and she looked at me with raised brows.
“Just don’t answer, and you’ll see.”
She turned and switched her fine ass through the door that she had just pulled open, and I watched her until it closed again.
I wasn’t scared of Azz, but I would answer if she called or texted me. She knew that much, so if I didn’t tonight, then she’d feel like something was up.
I thought about not responding just to fuck with her little grown ass because she thought she could boss up on me, but I wasn’t about to have my little shorty stressed like that. I cared about her too much.
“Why do you have her locked up like this?”
“She isn’t locked up. That’s her home, and she’s in that thing because she peed in my damn shoes. Or did you forget that? She can be out when you’re here, but when you’re not, she’s staying in that.”
“Cole, you can’t do that. It’s mean.
He just looked at me like I was saying something crazy.
“Did you hear what I said? That damn cat peed in my Jays, Hayven. You better be glad she’s still here. I wanted to throw her out the damn window when she did that shit, but I know you care about that damn cat more than you care about me, so she got a pass. One pass. If she does that shit again, she’s gone.”
“I do not care about her more than I care about you.” I smiled as I walked over to her carrier and freed her. Once I had her in my arms, I nuzzled my nose into her soft fur.
“Yeah, aight.” Cole let out a cocky laugh and then continued getting dressed.
“Cole, don’t be a baby. There is no comparison between you and Princess. I love you both.”
He glanced at me over his shoulder as he lifted his phone and slipped it into his pocket. After he lifted his watch and had it securely on his wrist, he walked over to where I sat on the bed and towered over me.
“That’s the shit I’m talking about. You can’t love me and that damn cat the same. How you even say that?”
“Okay, maybe I love you a little more, but at least Princess doesn’t leave me home alone all night to go hang out.”
Cole smirked as he looked down at me. “Now, who’s being a baby? It’s one night, Hayven. I know you’re not stressing about that, and I won’t be late.”
“No, I’m not stressing, but that doesn’t mean I want to be here all night by myself.”
“You won’t. I said I won’t be late and don’t you have to finish that paper that you’ve been crying about all week but not working on?”
“Shut up. I have not been crying about it. I just hate History.”
I let Princess out of my lap, and she crawled onto the bed and snuggled up on Cole’s pillow. He frowned at her and then looked at me.
“You see that, right? I swear on everything if she pees on my damn pillow, I’m tossing her ass over the balcony.”
“Cole, stop saying things like that.”
“Why? I mean it.”
“I swear, you’re so hateful. If you would just be nice to her, then—”
“Then she would still pee in my damn shoes. Fuck all that.”
I just shook my head at him and stood. When I was close enough, I worked my arms around his waist and pressed my body against his.
He didn’t move at first, but then he gave in and hugged me back.
“You got her for me, you can’t get rid of her.” I pouted as I looked up at him.
“That look doesn’t mean anything to me, Hayven, so you can dead all that.”
I laughed because he was so serious, and it was sexy. I let it go for now because no matter how much he disliked Princess, he was not getting rid of her.
“I think I might go back to my dorm tonight. It’s been a while, and my dad hasn’t shown up. I think maybe he got the message and left.”
Cole had a strange look on his face but only for a brief moment. I wasn’t sure what was up with that.
“You can, but you don’t need to do that. I won’t be late. I already told you that.”
He pecked my lips and then walked away from me.
“I know, but I don’t want to be here all by myself. And I haven’t seen Kira in a while. She might have sold all my stuff for all I know.” I delivered a smug grin, and he laughed.
“You haven’t seen Kira because you don’t want to see Kira. You don’t even like that damn girl.”
“I like her, we’re just not best friends or anything.”
It was true. She and I were cool. I didn’t dislike her, per se, but I wasn’t trying to hang or anything.
“Just go chill with Ky and Azz. I’m sure they’ll be sitting around pouting tonight too, but what you really need to do is that damn paper.”
“You can be Zaddy, but not Daddy. I’m grown, and I don’t need you telling me what to do. I’ll get it done. I just thought that maybe you needed some space. I don’t want you to get tired of me.”
I watched Cole as he sat at the foot of the bed, putting on his shoes. “He looked up at me when he was done. “Did I say anything about being tired of you?”
“Aight then, chill with all that. If you want to go by your dorm to kick it with Kira, who you don’t really like, then do it. Just be here when I get home.”
Seconds later, he was on his feet and up on me. After leaning down enough to kiss my neck, he walked past me heading to the door of his bedroom. He then stopped and looked at me.
“Come walk me out.”
I lifted my arm, checked my watch, and realized it was just after eight.
“It’s early. Why are you leaving now?”
“I told you I wasn’t going to be late. We’re heading out now so that we’re not out all night.”
“And you’re going to Kay’s father’s club?”
“No reason, just checking.”
I knew that club was busy all the time, but I also knew that the upper level was a strip club. I didn’t really know how I felt about that.
“We’re just chilling, Hayven. I’m not interested in anything in there.”
“Did I say that?” I said, mocking him.
“No, but your face did.”
Cole laughed and then walked out the room, leaving me there. I followed him down the hall to the living room, moving slowly like that would somehow prolong his departure, but I knew better.
When we got to the door, he stopped to unlock, it not seeming bothered by my current mood.
“You have your key, right?”
“Stop damn pouting. I got you spoiled.”
“At least you recognize that this is your fault.”
Cole laughed and shook his head before he grabbed my arm and pulled me to him.
“Yeah, I do, and I like that, though. It’s annoying as fuck, but I still like it.”
“Are you just going to Traders?”
“I don’t know what the plan is. But even if we go upstairs, I already told you, I’m not interested in anything in there.”
“You better not be, or you don’t have to worry about Princess peeing in your shoes or me sleeping in your bed.” I tilted my head to the side and looked up at him.
Cole pushed his palm into my forehead and laughed. “Lock this damn door before I cuss you out for saying that dumb shit.”
He could think it was a joke all he wanted, but I was dead ass serious. Let me find out he crossed any lines tonight, and me and Princess would be done.
“If you leave, text me when you get back, so I know you’re good,” Cole said just before he walked out the door.
After he was gone, I locked up then went back to his room to change so that I could head out.
I had a lot of my things there, but most of my stuff was still in my dorm, and I wanted to go check on it. I meant what I said, Kira might have had a dorm sale and got rid of everything I owned. I’d beat her ass if she did, which I was sure she knew, but I needed to just pop up to see what was going on.
“Hey, boo, where you been? I never see you around here anymore.” Gold, who lived two doors down from Kira and me was the first person I ran into as soon as I stepped off the elevator to my floor. She was standing outside of it waiting to get on.
“I’ve been staying with a friend.”
I smiled politely but kept it vague. There was no reason to give her information about my personal life.
“I hope where you are is better than being here. You heading to your room?”
“Nothing, you’ll see.” She smirked and stepped on the elevator. “I’ll see you around,” she said, just as the doors closed.
I swear Kira had better not be up to some dumb shit.
As I made my way down the hall toward our dorm, I was already mentally playing out how I was going to put my hands on her if she was.
When I made it to the door and tried it, it was locked, so I used my key to let myself in. Nothing seemed out of place or worth worrying about until I heard a familiar voice coming from her room.
“See, this is why I hate bitches,” I said to myself as I immediately turned and headed that way.
I stood outside of her room for a minute just to listen and be sure.
“Shit, just like that. I missed this, Kira.”
Dante’s voice flowed with ease from her room.
Placing my palm flat on the door, which was not closed all the way, I pushed on it. Sure enough, she was on her knees with a mouth full while Dante sat on the side of her dorm bed.
“So, since you missed this, I assume it’s not something new. How long you been fucking my roommate?”
My voice caused his eyes to open, stretch wide, and then he pushed her off of him. Kira fell back on her ass, and Dante was on his feet, pulling up his boxers and sweats.
“Hayven… what are you doing here?”
“Uh, this is my dorm, why wouldn’t I be here?”
“Because you haven’t been here. You stay with your new man, remember.” Kira glared at me as she stood while wiping her mouth at the same time.
“Yeah, I do, but this is still my shit. I pay for it, so there needs to be no explanation as to why I come and go.”
Dante cut his eyes at Kira and took a step toward me. He was moving slowly, which I knew was because of what Cole had done to him.
“I know you’re not mad that I’m with her. You made it clear that you didn’t want shit to do with me.”
“You’re right, and I don’t. I’m just curious to know if she was on that list before us, during us, or after us?”
“During! Why does it matter, though? You have a man, don’t you?” Kira stepped to me and folded her arms across her chest.
For some reason, that pissed me off, and I smacked her ass so damn hard that it took her a minute to get her head right before she could react.
“Bitch, you just hit me.”
“Yeah, I did. You wanna do something about it?”
“I fucking hate you.”
She charged at me, and Dante held his arm up to block her. She tried her best to get around him, but he wouldn’t let her go.
“Don’t hold her, let her stupid ass go. I have been waiting a long time to put these hands on her stupid ass. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but I knew she wasn’t shit, just like I knew you weren’t shit.”
“Why are you worried whether I’m shit or not? If you’re happy, you shouldn’t care whose dick I’m sucking”
I laughed because she sounded so damn ridiculous. “Do you hear how dumb you sound? Yo, you’re not even worth it. I’m out.”
I turned to leave, and Dante pushed her back while calling my name.
“I know you’re not about to chase after her. She left you, and her new man did that to you.” She pointed at his legs, and he cut his eye at her again.
“Mind your fucking business. I knew dealing with you was a bad idea.”
“Yeah, well it wasn’t a bad idea when you used to get out of bed with her then sneak in my room and eat my pussy right after you ate hers.”
“Oh my God, do you even hear yourself? You’re a dumb bitch.”
I laughed and walked away with Dante on my heels.
“Hayven, I said wait, damn it,” Dante said, coming right behind me with Kira behind him.
“Dante, save it. I’m not interested at all. I’m sure I made that clear.
“You must be since you’re putting your hands on her dumb ass. You wouldn’t have done that if you didn’t care.”
“You know what, fuck you Dante, and fuck you too, Hayven.”
I guess little miss Kira wasn’t feeling Dante’s reaction.
I smirked. “I’ll pass, sweetheart. I’m not into the hoe type. And for the record, when I leave, if you touch my shit, any of it, I’m beating your ass. Now try me if you want.”
She looked at me like she was thinking about doing just that.
I planned to take anything valuable with me now just in case she did try something stupid, but I was still making good on my promise.
“You better be glad I’m not in the mood to deal with your shit today.”
Kira’s scary ass turned on her heels and went back to her room. She slammed the door, and I laughed. I knew she wasn’t going to do anything. No person in their right mind would let you slap the shit out of them and not try for some get back. Even after Dante had let her go, she wasn’t going to do anything. Fuck her.
“Hayven, just talk to me, damn. Forget her.”
Dante was now grabbing my at my arm as I started toward my room.
“If you don’t get your hand off me—”
“Then what, your boyfriend will pay me another visit? He already fucked up my season. I had one fractured shin bone and so much bruising around my knee that I’ll miss the first half of the season. I couldn’t even explain that shit to my coach.”
“I guess you should have listened to Cole then and stayed away from me. You might want to think about that now.”
“I should be heading straight to the cops to tell them what the fuck he did, but I’m not. You wanna know why?”
“No, actually I don’t because I really don’t care.”
I turned to leave again. As soon as I made it to my bedroom door, he spoke up.
“I’m not going to go to the cops because of you. I care about you, Hayven. Even with the way you treated me, I still care. That has to count for something.”
“The way I treated you?”
I turned on my heels quick as hell. “You lied, you cheated, and you never respected me. This little situation proves that. You don’t care about me. You cared about the idea of me. I was what you wanted but what you weren’t man enough to have, and as for you not going to the cops, that didn’t have anything to do with me.” I smirked. “I know Cole, and I’m sure it has everything to do with him. You’re stupid, but you’re not that stupid. Please don’t ever waste your time trying to talk to me again.”
I entered my room and slammed my door. I hoped he was gone when I got what I needed, but if not, I didn’t care.
He wasn’t going to do anything to me because that meant he’d have to face Cole again. I was sure he wasn’t up for a round two.
At that point, I didn’t even care what happened to him. Maybe that was wrong of me, but knowing, and I mean really knowing the type of guy Dante was made me lose whatever little feelings I had buried in me when it came to him.
“Aye, send somebody up.” I pointed to the section that we had reserved for the evening at Traders.
Cole, MJ, and Mekkah were already in route, but I stopped at the bar to let them know that I was there so that I could get bottle service poppin’.
“How many you need?” Max asked while he looked around at the crowd. “We’re busy as fuck tonight, even as early as it is.”
“We should be good with just one, and we don’t need her to stay. What’s going on tonight? Why are there so many people here this early?”
Max nodded at the DJ booth, so I looked in that direction and noticed X-treme.
“I thought he was on tour.”
DJ X-treme was the shit when it came to the music industry. Anything on the radio lately was connected to him, so that explained the crowd.
“You know he’s loyal to your dad. He flew in for one night, just because your father asked him to.
I nodded. That made sense. X-treme started at Traders. He was from Philly playing small hole in the wall venues because no one would give him a chance, but he came by Traders and begged my dad to put him on.
My dad took a chance on him, and he had the club packed every night that he DJ’d. About a year later, someone just happened to see him at Traders and hooked him up with the right people. He was now that hottest thing popping in the industry right now.
“He came off tour for one night?” I shook my head. That was some deep shit.
“Hell yeah, he did. He has respect to for your dad, and that ain’t changing.”
“Aight, I’m heading up.”
“I got you. I’ll send Karlie.” Max smirked, and I laughed.
“You ain’t shit. I’m trying to stay out of trouble tonight. Who else you got?”
“That’s it. I told you we’re packed, Kay. You see all these damn people.”
“Aight, tell her to hurry the fuck up, though.”
I wasn’t thrilled about Karlie being our bottle girl, and I hoped she behaved. She and I had a little history. The type that would have Ky mad as hell if she knew about it, but that was then, and this is now. As long as Karlie’s fine ass stayed out of my personal space, then we would be good. I just knew that was asking too much though, so I said a quick prayer as I climbed the stairs to join my people.
“The fuck took you so long, and where the drinks at?” MJ said as soon as I walked in.
He was on one of the sofas next to Cole, so I sat down on the other end of the one that Mekkah was on.
“She’s on her way. Damn, be patient, muthafucker,” I said with a smirk, and he shot me a bird.
“I got your patience right here. How the fuck are you the host, but I don’t have a drink in my hand? Host some shit, muthafucker.”
“Keep it up, and you’ll be out there with general population. Real shit.”
“What the fuck ever.”
I was about to say something, but I noticed Karlie heading our way. Still fine as ever. Karlie was about 5’5” banging ass all natural body, and caramel skin. She had a cute little round face that was currently framed by a jet black bob. I knew it was a wig because Karly kept her hair cut short. Her chinky eyes were on me as soon as she hit the stairs, and it made my dick jump. Contro,l Kaden!
“Who the fuck is that?” Mekkah asked when he noticed where my attention was.
“Damn, she’s nice,” he said with his fist balled up, covering his mouth.
“You hit that?” MJ asked, but instead of answering, I stood to greet her.
My arms circled her body, and I kissed the side of her neck.
“Did you ask for me?” Karlie said with a cute ass smile.
“Yeah, he hit that,” MJ said, answering his own question.
“No, but Max said you were the only one free.”
She released a cute laugh and then looked around. “I bet. He knew what he was doing. Who are your friends?”
“Mekkah, MJ, and Cole,” I announced, pointing to everyone. Cole looked at me like he was ready to fight.
“Nice to meet you, handsome gentlemen. So, what are we celebrating?”
“Just chilling, no celebration,” Mekkah said, checking her out.
I was about to cuss all they’re asses out. Even Cole. I know I shouldn’t have cared, but damn. We were all committed as fuck, and all three of them were checking her out like they wanted to hit.
“Yeah, so can we get a few bottles?” I said, bringing her attention back to me.
“Yes, sir. Top shelf only, I assume.”
“You already know. We’ll start with a few bottles of Deleon.”
“Aye, let me get a bottle of Henny.”
“I’ll take D’usse,” Cole added.
“And for you, handsome?” She smiled at Mekkah.
“I’m good with the Deleon.” He winked at her, and I mugged the fuck out of him. He just laughed.
“Okay, I’ll be right back. Welcome to Traders, and enjoy your evening, gentlemen.”
I left with her and stopped right outside the VIP section we were in. I could feel them watching me, but it wasn’t about that. I just needed to get my shit.”
“You got something for me?”
“Oh, I almost forgot.” She slipped her hand into the small pocket in the front of the short black waist apron that she wore and removed a small Ziploc bag of Karsen’s finest.
“’Preciate it,” I said with a smirk.
“From what I hear, you have a girl. You shouldn’t be jealous of your friends checking me out, Kaden.”
I laughed because she peeped that. “Nah, nothing like that.”
“Yeah, I’m sure, but I know intimate details about what they’re checking out. You can’t blame me for feeling some type away about that,” I said truthfully.
“Don’t worry. I won’t fuck your friends.”
“Shit, you better not,” I said, looking her right in the eyes.
“But if you want to slip away later, I’ll fuck you. Have fun tonight, Kaden. And let me know if you need anything.” She turned to walk away and then looked over her shoulder. “From the bar, that is.”
I shook my head and laughed before heading back in.
“Yo, don’t make me crack your fucking jaw on behalf of my sister, Kay,” Cole said as soon as I was seated.
“Chill with the threats, muthafucker. I’m not doing Ky like that, and what about you? Your ass was damn near drooling. How you think Hayven would feel about that?”
Cole laughed. “Hayven isn’t my sister.”
“We’re all guilty, but damn, it couldn’t be helped,” MJ said. “She’s older too. How long you been tapping that?”
“Past tense, not present, and long enough,” I said proudly.
“How old is she?”
“Word, I was giving her twenty-five. She looks good as fuck, though. I give you your props, Kay,” Mek said.
I just tossed the bag that Karlie gave me to him. “Roll up so we can get this shit poppin’.”
“Aight, we can do that, but what’s up with the business? You said you had a solution to our hands on problem. What’s the deal with that?”
“Yeah, what’s the plan because I had about a ten year bid on me when the cops picked me up the other day. I’m not trying to fuck with that. Thank goodness Sonna G’d up for me.”
“You getting a ten year bid don’t have shit to do with you having product on you. You need to keep your hands to yourself. How the fuck you just hit her pops like that?” I asked.
“He deserved that shit is how,” Mekkah said.
“Aight, damn, you look like you want to hit me.” I laughed because he was heated.
“Forget all that shit, just tell us what you got in mind. We’re not trying to complicate the evening,” Cole said.
“I got you. Don’t sweat that shit. Tonight isn’t about business. We’ll deal with that shit later. We can all meet up, and I let you know what the plan is.”
“Nigga, just tell us now,” MJ said, getting annoyed, but Karlie walked up with her tray full of bottles, so we all focused on her.
“Alright, gentleman, here you go. I have one more trip, and then you should be all set.”
I stood and lifted two bottles, handed one to Mekkah and MJ stood and grabbed his. She handed Cole his.
I pulled out a few hundreds and placed them on her tray. “Send the tab to the bar. We’ll do tips up here.”
“Yes sir,” she said with a smile before leaving.
After that, everyone had bottles turned up, and Mekkah was in the process of rolling up. I assumed that business could wait, so I settled in to enjoy the night with my people.
“I’ll meet you after your last class. I’m done for the day. I can only stay for a little while, and then I have a meeting with Mek, MJ, and Cole.”
“So, you were out all night with them, and all I get is a few hours, and then you’re leaving me for them, again?”
I pulled my apartment door closed and placed my key in the lock while I listened to Ky complaining.
“Did I say that? I have to meet up with them, but it will only be for about an hour. Then I’m all yours for the rest of the night. Spoiled ass.”
After I turned the key to lock the door and then turned to leave, I looked right into a face that I damn sure wasn’t expecting to see.
“You better stop calling me spoiled before I really show you what spoiled is.”
“Ky, let me call you back. I need to do something real quick.”
Our eyes stayed connected while I spoke to Ky.
“Do what, Kaden?”
“Ky, it’s important. Let me call you right back, baby. I promise it will only be a minute.”
“Fine, but you better call me right back, Kaden. I’m not playing. I have twenty minutes before I have to leave for class.”
“I got you,” I said and then ended the call without giving her a chance to say anything else.
“Baby? I thought I was the only person you called baby.” Samantha smiled at me, and I wanted to wrap my hands around her neck.
I was almost positive she sensed that because her smile dropped.
“I only kidding. Was that your—”
“What are you doing here?”
“I wanted to talk to you.”
“Talk to me?” I laughed sarcastically before I continued. “What the fuck makes you think I want to talk to you? How do you even know where I live?”
“You’re a Karsen. You’re not hard to find, Kaden.”
She ignored everything else, which was typical Sam avoidance. I then chose to do the same and walked right past her. “Don’t come to my place again.”
She hurried to catch up with me. I felt her hand on my arm and looked down at it. She moved it in a hurry.
“Sorry. Can I just have a minute?”
“For what, Samantha? I don’t have shit to say to you. I said everything that I needed to say the last time I saw you. You remember that? The day you killed my baby. A baby I promised you that me and my family would take care of even if you didn’t want it.”
I could see the disappointment on her face as she stared at me. “I know that you don’t understand, but I was eighteen, Kaden. I wasn’t about to have a baby that I didn’t want. I couldn’t do that. Why do you even care so much?”
“Why do I even care? You’re selfish as fuck, Sam. I care because that was my got damn kid. That may not mean anything to you, but it meant something to me. It was your body and your choice, so I can’t really say shit about it, but that doesn’t mean that I had to be okay with that shit. I wasn’t then, and I’m still not now. Yeah, we were young, and we messed up, but you know I would have done my part. Hell, all I asked you to do was just have it. You could have walked after that. I wouldn’t have held that against you, but the choice you made fucked up anything we were or could have been.
“But I couldn’t just walk like that, and you know it. You’re not a woman. You don’t know how that goes. Do you really think that I could have a baby and then just go on with my life like it didn’t exist?”
I looked her right in the eyes. “Yeah, I think you could have because you damn sure killed one, and then went on with your life like it didn’t exist.”
“Kaden, that’s not fair.”
“You killing my kid wasn’t fair, but I had to just get over that shit, didn’t I?”
I walked away from her as I spoke over my shoulder. “Stay the fuck away from me. I mean it.”
That was the last thing I said before I left her there and headed to my car.
When I was inside, my fist crashed against my steering wheel enough times to make it start throbbing.
After a few minutes, I let my head fall back against my seat, and I closed my eyes. As much as I hated Sam, I loved her too. Hell, she was the first woman besides my mother and my sister that I ever loved.
True enough, I was young, but we did five years. It started with that kiddie shit, but Sam eventually took my heart.
My father raised me to be a man, so when I found out she was pregnant, I was ready to do whatever. My family was too, but Sam wasn’t trying to hear that.
Her family was in her ear talking about don’t get tied up with a Karsen like that. You need to live your life.
I guess she cared more about their opinions than mine because she killed our kid and wasn’t even going to tell me. I found out from one of her friends and showed up right before she was going back, begging her not to, but she told me to leave. She wouldn’t change her mind for shit and acted like she didn’t even care.
That was the last time I talked to her. She tried reaching out to me days, weeks, and months after, but when I wouldn’t entertain it, she eventually left for school, and that was it. Fuck her.
I pressed the button to start my car and pulled out of my parking lot. I didn’t see Sam, so for all I knew her ass was still standing where I left her. Either way, I didn’t care. I knew I was wrong as hell and should have allied Ky back, but after seeing Sam, I needed a minute before I could talk to Ky.
If I called her now, I knew I’d take out my frustration on her, and I didn’t want to do that. She damn sure didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of anger that I was experiencing because of another female. I’d make it up to her later, and that was a promise. But, for now, I just wanted to be left the fuck alone.