We all watched as she started to speak. Then she stopped while her eyes moved across the room, nervously surveying the faces that were all focused intently on her and waiting for an explanation.
I had already sensed the answer that she was afraid to verbalize. Whoever she was, she knew my pops because she was fucking him, and apparently, he’d messed up and left a permanent reminder.
“Open your damn mouth, Tia. Why the fuck are you stumbling over your words? That muthafucker…” He paused as his hand raised with his finger extended in my father’s direction. “…just said that he thought you had an abortion. Why would he think that unless you had a conversation with him about having one? And why would you have a conversation with him about it unless that baby is his and not mine?”
“I didn’t… it’s not. Can we just—”
She took a step forward and reached for his arm, but he snatched it away. “Don’t fucking touch me. We can’t do shit.”
He knew. We all knew that baby wasn’t his based on her reaction and the look on my father’s face.
She now had tears streaming down her face in a steady flow, which didn’t change a damn thing with him. If anything, it pissed him off even more.
The tension in the room was thick as fuck, and my father and old girl were at the center of it.
“Y’all do what the fuck you want. Go to fucking jail and do a bid for these niggas if that’s what makes you happy. But don’t come crying to me when shit gets hectic, and you find out that you ain’t ready for what comes with dealing with these niggas.”
He glared at Reason first before he narrowed in on Teagan. After his stare lingered there for a minute, he pushed past everyone and left the room.
Not one of us tried to stop him, but old girl ran behind him in tears, looking like she was about to have a nervous breakdown.
“Ain’t this some shit?” I groaned before my eyes landed on my father.
“She’s young as fuck, Pop. Did you really get her pregnant?”
Brim was the first to address the most important part of this fucked up situation, and he sounded like he wanted to beat the shit out of our father. I couldn’t say I felt any different.
“She’s legal, and it’s my got damn business. You worry about yours since, apparently, you dropped the ball on that, which is the reason why your brother is here in the first place.”
“Aye, chill with that shit. It isn’t necessary. Me being here don’t have shit to do with Brim. I beat that nigga’s ass, not him.” I pointed at my brother with my eyes still on my father. “I just didn’t expect that muthafucker to grow a set and come at me like this, but shit happens. It’s handled.”
“Handled?” My father laughed arrogantly. “You didn’t handle shit. I did. All you accomplished was compromising your freedom.”
“I’m going to check on my brother,” Teagan said softly.
I could tell she was uncomfortable with the exchange between me, Brim, and my father, but she really didn’t need to be. This was how things played out with us when Judge Harris was in attendance.
“I’ll go with her,” Reason stated, but I grabbed her wrist.
“Nah, fuck that, stay. He can leave. I’m not with this shit right now anyway.” My eyes landed on my father.
“Me either. Teagan, let’s go.” Brim took her hand and stepped around our father.
He stopped at the door just before leaving to address me.
“I’m heading to your spot to get you some clothes ’cause I know you’re not staying up in this muthafucker tonight. I’ll be back in a few hours.”
Before he actually walked out, he gave my father one last menacing look but didn’t say a word. The conversation wasn’t over, but Brim was done with it for now, just like I was.
Knowing there was no point in trying to continue the discussion with me, my father ran his hand down his face and then looked my way. He held that stare for a minute before his eyes briefly landed on Reason and then back on me.
“We will talk. The three of us. I’ll be in touch,” was all he said before he moved to the door and paused with his hand on it. “And, son, I’m glad that you’re okay. I love you, Bronx.”
That last part was our father and not Judge Harris. The two had very different roles in my life.
“This nigga is un-fucking-believable.”
I growled before slowly taking a seat on the side of the bed. My side hurt like hell from the quick motion of me getting out the bed, but I couldn’t even be concerned about that right now.
My father had a baby on the way, and that shit was close to home. How the fuck did that happen? His old ass needed to be planning his retirement, but he was about to start all over with a fucking baby from someone half his age.
“You need to lie down.” Reason looked at my side before she focused on my face. She was stressed, upset, and if I wasn’t mistaken, worried about me.
That had a nigga smiling on the inside, but I kept it G.
Inhaling and then releasing it slowly, I shook my head and extended my hand to Reason. I wanted her close to me. That urge was quickly becoming a regular feeling, but I didn’t put too much into it.
“Nah, I’m good. I’m about to leave this bitch anyway.”
She moved closer and positioned her body between my legs. Her head was angled slightly as she looked down at me. Even with me sitting, we were almost eye level because of the height difference between the two of us.
“Do you know my cousin Torren?”
“I have never seen that nigga before that I know of.”
“Are you sure? He seems like he has some sort of issue with you for some reason.”
“A lot of people have issues with me. That doesn’t have shit to do with whether or not I know them, or they know me. Niggas just be in their feelings about the fact that they can’t get on my level. That makes them say and do stupid shit and forces me to deal with it. I don’t know that muthafucker, but I can get to know him if I need to.”
Based on her expression and the tension that quickly formed in her body, she read between the lines. I knew Torren was her people, but none of that mattered to me. A problem was a problem, and I solved them all the way they needed to be solved. If he wanted to present himself as a problem, then oh-fucking-well!
“Tonight has been a bit much. I think that—”
“No, hell no. You’re not running because shit just got complicated. Fuck your family, and fuck mine too. This thing with us is all we need to focus on right now. Are you really about to try and jet on a nigga because of some shit that doesn’t involve us?”
I waited with a hard stare, which I couldn’t help because I was annoyed as fuck. Her cousin’s feelings about the two of us being together and the fact that my father dropped his seed in old boy’s girl didn’t have shit to do with Reason or me. I damn sure wasn’t about to let it play a factor in our situation, and she wasn’t either if I had a say in it.
“No, I feel like I should, but then again, I feel like me being here for you right now outweighs that.”
She bit down on her lip and moved further between my legs. That wasn’t the best move, given my current circumstance.
“You might want to chill with all that unintentional seductive shit. You know I don’t have shit on up under this.” I pointed to the hospital gown that covered my body. It was the only thing that covered my body at this point.
“If it’s unintentional then I have no control over it, and how are you even thinking about that at a time like this?” Reason grinned as her eyes rolled.
“That’s what happens when you have the good shit. Blame yourself. I’m just an innocent bystander when it comes to all this. But we need to discuss that too.”
Lifting my hands, I positioned them on her waist and pulled her to me. I released one and slipped it under her shirt, raising it enough to plant a kiss on her stomach. This wasn’t the time for me to be physical with her, but I couldn’t help it. Her little sexy ass had that effect on me.
“Discuss what?” Reason looked down at me with concern.
“I asked you earlier when we were on our way to my brother’s spot about birth control. You said no, but we didn’t use any protection the other night. It was my fuck up, so I’m not saying anything about that, but this thing with us is brand new, and…”
“Relax. I’m not trying to have a baby either. I got a Plan B and birth control earlier today. We got caught up, and it was stupid. I should have insisted, but I didn’t.”
I felt a sense of relief. A little piece of me was stuck on what Brim said about Reason possibly having an agenda, but my mind was contradicting that.
She didn’t seem like the type. I had dealt with enough women who were that type to distinguish between the two, or at least I thought I could.
“You took it already?”
“Yes, it just made sense. I assume you’re okay with that. You don’t seem like the fatherly type.”
She grinned, and I knew she was simply trying to make light of an awkward situation.
“Fuck you mean, I don’t seem like the fatherly type? I’ll be a dope ass father. My shorty would be chilling and shit, and cool as fuck, just like me. I’m just not trying to fuck with that right now. Hell, not anytime soon if I can help it.”
That was honestly the first time I ever really thought about having a kid in a good way, and I had to laugh at myself because the concept wasn’t as foreign as I thought it would be. I meant what I said, though, and I wasn’t trying to procreate anytime soon.
“That right there tells me that you’re not ready. Kids are hard work, which I’m not trying to commit to. I barely have my own life together. Well, forget, barely. I don’t.”
“You seem straight to me.”
“Far from it, trust me.”
“Does that shit really work, whatever you took?”
“It better,” she said and released a nervous laugh.
I searched her face trying to see if she had any feelings about actually taking it, but she seemed to be good with it and on the same page with me. I was happy as hell about that and would make sure we didn’t have that issue again.
“You’re praying that shit works, but do you know how many women would be happy as fuck to even have the possibility of carrying my seed.”
I smirked, and she rolled her damn eyes, causing me to chuckle. It was true.
“I don’t want to process that thought, and you might already have a lucky participant.”
“Man, fuck that. Misha isn’t carrying my seed. You’re the only person I made that mistake with. Trust me. I’ll gladly take a DNA test and pay for that shit because I know what the results will be. They’ll print in bold letters and all caps. Zero fucking percent.”
“You sound real sure about that.”
“Shit, because I am.”
“Mr. Harris, we have your paperwork ready. We just need you to sign here that you’re refusing to accept doctors’ orders to stay 24 hours and are leaving of your own free will.”
“You really should stay. It’s only until tomorrow,” Reason said as the nurse approached with a stack of papers and a pen.
“For what? There isn’t shit they can do for me here except annoy the fuck outta me coming in and out of my room all night. I’d rather be at home in my own bed.”
I accepted the papers and placed them on the bed next to me. After signing in the designated areas, I handed them back over to the nurse.
I could feel Reason watching me the entire time and could only imagine the look she was giving me. I had never been shot before, but other than being sore as fuck, I knew I was good. I was taking my ass home to sleep in my own bed with her next to me, or on top of me if I could convince her.
“Give me just a few, and we’ll have you all processed. Nurse Anderson will check your wounds once more and provide you with pain medication and care instructions. After that, you’re free to go.”
I delivered a slight head nod, and she smiled before heading to the door.
“Are you sure he’ll be okay if he leaves? Like nothing could happen, right?” Reason asked with a strained look on her face.
“Well, anything could happen, but he’s in good shape physically.” She smiled a little too hard then continued. “The wounds were minor, so as long as he keeps them clean and doesn’t overdo it, I’m sure he’ll be just fine. Staying here overnight is just precautionary.” She smiled again, but this time, less seductively, and then whispered, “And a way to get more of your money.”
She winked at me and then left us there.
“See, you’re worrying for nothing. She said that I’m in good shape, physically.”
The smug grin spread across my face caused Reason’s hand to land flat on my forehead, moving my head back slightly.
“I’m worrying because you got shot. Not because she paid way more attention than necessary to your physical state.”
Again, I placed my hands on her hips and moved her body to me, but this time, she allowed her hands to rest on my shoulders.
“You’re all jealous and worried. You must be feeling me.”
“I’m generally concerned,” she said with a smirk, being stubborn as hell, which I expected.
“Aight, then, you can be generally concerned in my bed while you tend to my needs.” My eyes moved along the length of her body, enjoying every curve. “All of them.”
“See, you’re doing too much.”
Reason pushed gently on my shoulder before trying to step away from me. I held her in place to prevent it.
“Nah, you haven’t experienced me doing too much just yet, but trust me, you will.” I bit down on my lip and eyed her body.
Yeah, she was about to get all of me, physically that is, and she had better be ready to receive it. I just hoped those stitches held up.
“Will you please let me explain? I just need you to listen to me for a minute.”
“Listen to you? Why the fuck would I do that? Are you going to tell me the got damn truth? That the baby you’re carrying isn’t mine, and that you had sex with the old muthafucker, unprotected sex, and let him get you pregnant?”
Tia dropped her head, and I knew that everything I said was true. That infuriated me even more.
“You think I want to hear that shit even if it’s true? The fuck you think this is, some Maury type shit?”
“I made a mistake, one mistake. You can’t really judge me based on that. We both know that you had multiple partners since we’ve been together and recently.”
She followed me as I headed toward my car. It was all she could do because I wasn’t trying to hear shit that she had to say, but that single statement stopped me dead in my tracks. I turned quickly, and with so much force, moved to her with a quickness that caused her to instantly freeze.
I was about a foot and a half taller than her five foot five stature, so my body towered over Tia’s as it brushed against hers.
“Yeah, I fucked other females and a lot of them. I won’t deny that. But that in no way, shape, or form compares to this shit that you just pulled. None of them are pregnant because I cared enough about you to never let that happen. You didn’t give a fuck about me because you let that nigga fuck you raw. And not only that, you tried to convince me that his baby was mine. You really think one cancels the other?”
My eyes were slits, and my jaw twitched as I glared at her.
“DO YOU, TIA?”
“No,” she said lowly, just barely audible.
“Have a good fucking life because this shit is over,” I barked at her before turning to leave.
“I’m sorry,” I heard drifting from behind me.
It felt like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest. Was this my karma for all the fucked up shit that I had done? I wasn’t the best I could have been to her, but I would have never put her in the position that she put me in. NEVER!
As much as it hurt, I knew it was over. This was some shit that I could never overlook no matter how much time passed.
It was time for me to move the fuck on, but right now I was about to hit these damn streets and make this money.
Apparently, that was the only thing in my life that I had control over. Teagan and Reason had just said fuck my advice and were now tied up with Bronx and Brim.
I didn’t have anything personally against them before now, but that didn’t mean I wanted my sister and cousin caught up in their lifestyles. I just knew how they functioned. Bitches were always in heavy supply, but it made sense. Bronx was New York’s one, and he and Brim both had street fame. Niggas respected and hated them because they couldn’t figure out how to be them.
It wasn’t like they were running the city or no shit like that, but they were important, and people knew it. Hell, I knew it.
There was a time when I considered trying to be a part of their team, but then Dorian happened, and I didn’t need to.
Now this shit. My sister thought I was just being overprotective, but for good reason. When she comes home with blood all over her clothes holding onto a gun that I was more than positive had a body on it, her naïve ass needed to be protected.
Right now, she wasn’t trying to hear me, but I’d give her time. I didn’t want that life for her. She was better than that. Hell, I was barely in it myself, and the shit that came with it was enough to let me know that she wasn’t built for it.
Teagan and I would be having a conversation real soon, but right now, I had other things to deal with. This money wasn’t gonna make itself, so I was about to get on it.
My head bobbed to the beat that surrounded me as I downed the last of my drink and then placed my glass on the small table in front of me. I was drunk and high as fuck, and the feeling brought a smile to my face.
I needed this shit. I had made about three grand and was done for the night because I was out of product, so I decided to chill, enjoy the show, and maybe get a private dance. Fuck, I was single now, right? Why the hell not?
Looking around the club, I admired all the beautiful women who were on the clock. Most of them were only in thongs, with the upper half of their bodies exposed.
Prestige only employed the baddest looking women with the sexiest bodies, which was why the cover to get in this bitch was a hundred dollars.
I usually complained about that, but tonight, I didn’t care. I was there to make money and maybe get some pussy. I’d even be willing to pay for it. Not all the women there offered that service, but the ones who did were sure to let you know.
“Would you like another?” a pretty, mocha toned beauty asked as she lifted my empty glass onto her tray, which was already full.
I squinted to take in her features and noticed something was off. I was drunk, but not that damn drunk. She was different from the chick who had been feeding me these overpriced drinks all night.
Shit, what was her name? Si, Sena, Shirley, Shonna? Yeah, Shonna, that was her name.
“You’re new, where’s Shonna?”
“Gone. She left early tonight, but I’ll be more than happy to get you another drink. What would you like?”
For some reason, her question triggered a flood of memories and thoughts of the scene from the hospital to rush through my head.
“I’d like for my life to not be fucked up, and for my girl to not have tried to pass another nigga’s baby off as mine. But that shit ain’t gonna happen, so just let me get a Heineken. I’m fucked up and probably don’t need anything stronger.”
I grinned and ran my hand down my face before my eyes met hers again.
She frowned a bit and then chewed the corner of her lip. I admired her body while she was thinking. She was in some tiny ass black shorts, and what looked like a sports bra.
It was sexy on her and exposed a lot, just not as much as the other naked bodies that were gliding through her.
“I think maybe you don’t need that either. How about I bring you some water? We’re closing soon, and you’ll have to get yourself home.”
After chuckling at her immediate concern for my wellbeing, when she didn’t know shit about me, I then checked her out again.
I wasn’t sure if it was her job to care so that this place wouldn’t get sued for me ending up wrapped around a tree, or if she genuinely cared. But, either way, I was appreciative after the fucked up night I had.
Holding up one hand as she spoke, I nodded. “Water it is.”
With a pleased smile that was just fucking beautiful, she returned a nod. “I’ll be right back.”
After watching her fine body move away from me, I let my eyes close, and my head fall back against the sofa that I was on. I was tired as shit, and my mind was heavy. I must have faded out for a minute because a hand on my thigh woke me up.
“Here you go.”
My eyes peeled open slowly as much as they could, and I noticed a nice figure extending a bottle of water my way. After accepting it, I got it together and sat up enough to reach into my pocket.
“On the house.” She smiled and was about to walk off, but I stopped her.
“Hold up. Here.” I offered a twenty, which she frowned at. “I pay my debts. It helps me keep a clean conscience.”
“The water’s only five,” she offered.
“I don’t have anything smaller than a twenty. Keep the change. But what’s your name?”
Of course, she accepted, but then delivered a devious grin. “Girl who brought you a bottle of water,” she said and then walked off.
I had no energy to move, so chasing after her wasn’t an option. I just kept my eyes on her until she was no longer in my view.
I shook my head and laughed at her slick ass. She wasn’t trying to fuck with me like that, but it was cool. I didn’t need that right now anyway. My life was complicated enough, and it was best to let that settle before I even considered anything or anyone new.
Not being able to help it, I looked in the direction that she had gone, and to my surprise, she was visible again and looking back at me.
Her face showed the embarrassment of being caught, so I simply turned up my water and winked at her. That caused her to quickly turn away and hurry into the crowd again, allowing her to disappear.
I finished my water and then left. It was time for me to take my ass home and sleep this shit off. I had a lot of things to deal with and needed my mind to be clear in order to do that.
The next morning, I woke up feeling like shit. I was passed out on the sofa still in my clothes from the night before. The sofa was as far as I made it. I vaguely remembered the process of getting home, so I said a quick thank you that I made it.
Truthfully, I didn’t even remember how the fuck I got home because I was totally out of it. I had to do better; that shit wasn’t safe at all. I sat up slowly because my head was pounding, and my body felt weighted from all the drinks that I had.
When I was able, I stood, surveyed the room, and found my phone and keys on the table in front of me.
Shit, my car.
I dragged myself over to the window to peek outside and breathed a sigh of relief when I noticed my Charger parked in front of my building. It was crooked as fuck, and partially on the curb, but it was there.
My next move was to go see if my sister came home, but I had a feeling that she didn’t. Even still, I checked her room, which, of course, I found empty.
“Fuck,” I grumbled before going back to the living room to get my phone.
I headed to my room while I checked messages. I had several missed calls and voicemails from Tia along with a text begging me to talk to her. That shit was dead.
There was also one from Reason, which stated that we needed to talk and that she hoped I was okay. There wasn’t shit from Tegan, but she was stubborn as fuck, so I didn’t expect there to be. We shared that trait, and right now, she felt that she was right and I was wrong. So, she didn’t have shit to say to me in her mind.
Tossing my phone on the bed, I began to remove my clothes and caught sight of the stamp on my hand from Club Prestige. Shorty who brought me the water crossed my mind briefly, but I shook the thought.
I needed to shower and dress, and then I planned to head out to my sister’s school to catch her alone so that we could talk. As mad as I was at her, she was my baby sister, and I loved her. I wasn’t thrilled about her choice, but it was hers to make.
I just needed to make sure she was safe, and more than that, I needed her to now that I was mad as fuck about her being with Brim after I warned her not to be. But we were family, and I still had her for whatever, no matter what.
Once I arrived on campus, I parked and checked the time. I decided to meet Teagan at her actual class to make sure I didn’t miss her. She should be letting out soon, so I hurried to the communications building where I knew she was. When I got to the room, that shit was empty.
I stood in the doorway and looked around frustrated. I guess they got out early or something.
Since there wasn’t anything that I could do about it, I pulled out my phone to call her, and of course, she didn’t answer. Right when I was about to leave, I ran right into a body that was entering the room as I exited.
“My bad, shorty,” I mumbled, not even looking down at her.
I started to move around her body to leave, but her voice caught me off guard.
“Are you looking for Professor Glee? We got out early today. He had a family emergency,” she announced from behind me.
When I turned, her face wasn’t visible. She wore a pink ball cap that was pulled down low on her head obstructing my view.
“Nah, my sister, Teagan.”
“She wasn’t here today.”
“You sure?” I asked, feeling concerned.
“Very. It’s a small class.”
“Fuck, man,” I mumbled.
I was about to walk off, her voice stopped me again.
“You look a lot better today. I’m glad you made it home safely,” she announced, causing me to tilt my head slightly to peer at her.
“Do I know you?” I questioned with my eyes affixed on, her trying to see who she was.
Tilting her head back a little, she then smiled. “Not really, but we’ve met.”
Extending her hand, she continued, and the pretty smile became familiar. “Hi, I’m girl who brought you water.”
I smirked, remembering her from last night. “Ah damn, my bad. You look different with clothes on, and that hat is hiding your face.”
I accepted her hand and shook it, holding on instead of releasing it back to her custody.
“I had on clothes last night, just not a lot.”
“True, this is still a good look for you. You know you have to give me your real name now, though. Meeting twice in less than 24 hours is fate,” I said, and then bit down on my lip.
She laughed a little, and it was cute, kind of kid like.
“Not fate, just a coincidence. What makes you so sure that you don’t already have my real name?”
“Black parents exaggerate the fuck out of names, but yours damn sure isn’t girl that brought me water.”
Again, she smiled, exposing the craters in her cheeks. “Ayah.”
“Like Eye and Yah? That’s different and cute. And it definitely fits.”
“Thank you, and you are?”
“Pleased to meet you while sober, Torren.”
I still had possession of her hand, and she hadn’t tried to take it back.
“I’m kinda in a hurry right now. Can I get your number or something? I’d like to hook up later if you’re okay with that.”
“Hook up?” She frowned at me.
“Not like that. Just dinner or drinks, or whatever you’ll agree to.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. You were very vocal about your life last night, and I’m not trying to be another complication for you.”
“Then be a solution and not a complication. Don’t judge me by what you think you know about me. Even if I was the one who unwittingly told you because of my inebriated state. I’m a good guy and worth at least a meal. After that, you can make your own decisions about who I am.”
She studied me for a minute, and then pulled her hand from mine. “Let me see your phone.”
I smiled and handed it over.
After she keyed her number in, she gave it back.
“If you call me, you get one meal that you’re paying for, and I’ll meet you there.”
“Oh, I’ll definitely call you, and don’t play me like that. If I’m requesting your time, then I will definitely pay.” I nodded, and she smiled again.
“Have a good day, Torren,” she announced before moving away from me.
I watched until she rounded the corner, and then I headed in the opposite direction to leave the building.
I was going to try to find my sister, and then, after that, I was going to make plans with Ayah later. She seemed like just the type of distraction I needed right now.
Bronx groaned from behind me. I knew he was in pain but too damn stubborn to let up. Besides, I didn’t want him to. As sore as I was, the feel of him gliding in and out of me far outweighed that little hindrance of being sore.
Arching my back a little deeper, my fist tightened around the covers that were balled up in them as Bronx smoothly delivered long, deep strokes that had my entire body on fire. I could feel him so deep in me that I was on the verge of shutting down.
Last night, he managed to learn my body and was now applying that expertise to deliver just the right amount of everything to have me losing it.
Moving one hand to my waist and the other around my neck, Bronx delivered a gentle squeeze as he repeatedly plunged into me. His movements grew more aggressive, and it was followed by his low, raspy voice.
“Fuck, I’m about to cum.” He grunted again, pushing deeper into me with each stroke.
Being that he was already hitting my spot, my legs began to tremble, and my body bucked as it quivered from the rush that coursed through my body.
For the third time that morning, I came harder than I wanted to, and after pushing into me twice more, Bronx came also.
His arm was around my waist, holding me against his body, which prevented me from collapsing onto my stomach like I wanted to. So, I pulled his hand until he growled at me.
“Stop fucking moving, damn. Let a nigga recover first.”
I immediately stopped pulling at his hand and remained still until I felt his lips graze my back and then my shoulder as he slowly pulled out of me. My body trembled a little more from the feeling, and when I felt him upright behind me, I let my body fall onto the bed.
Releasing a cocky laugh, Bronx’s hand landed on my ass so hard that it stung, but I was too exhausted to do anything but clench my teeth.
“You act like you’re the one who got shot,” he tossed over his shoulder as he made his way through his room and to the bathroom.
I rolled my eyes and then allowed them to shut tight.
This man was unbelievable. As soon as we made it to his apartment last night, we ordered in, ate, showered, and climbed into his bed.
I was exhausted and had all intentions of going to sleep, but Bronx was tugging at my clothes to get me out of them so that he could get in me. Needless to say, we spent hours finding different positions for him to bless me without breaking his stitches.
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I was functioning off little to no sleep. Bronx woke me up this morning to the same thing, and I had to be at work in a few hours. Kill me now!
Inhaling deeply, I managed to remove myself from his bed and join him in the bathroom where I found him standing in front of the mirror examining his side.
The perfection of his naked body had me sidetracked from the fact that his bandage showed tints of red. I got over my lustful state and moved to his side. I gently placed my hand on him to remove the bandage while he grit his teeth and flinched through the entire process.
I replaced his bandages so that he could shower, and then redressed it after he was done. While he dressed, I hopped in the shower and then joined him in his bedroom. He was sitting on the edge of his bed scrolling through his phone, but as soon as I was in the room, all of his attention was on me.
“What time do you get off today?”
“You sure you don’t want to stay here and play nurse for me?”
As I was passing by him, he reached for me and flinched as he caught my arm and forced me between his legs.
“You don’t need a nurse. Last night and this morning proved that.”
I grinned at him, and he chuckled.
“Ain’t shit wrong with my lower half, but I am in pain and could use some special attention.”
“If you’re in pain then stop doing so much and take those.” I pointed to the bottle of pills on his dresser, and he frowned at me.
“Hell no. I don’t know what’s in that shit. I’ll burn a few and be straight, but you can just chill here with me today, and I’m sure it will damn sure make me feel better.”
My body quivered when his hand slipped under my towel and between my legs. I was sore to the touch from all of our sessions, but his fingers moving across it actually felt nice.
Maybe it was just the fact that any way Bronx touched me felt nice.
Even still, I had to push his hand away, or I would never make it to work.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. You need to rest, and I have bills. So, unless you’re volunteering to pay them, then, I’m going to work.”
He grinned, and his eyes moved past me to the stack of cash that was on his dresser. At the same time, his hand moved under my towel again.
“How much? I’ll pay—”
“I’m not a prostitute, asshole.”
I punched him hard in his chest and tried to step back, but he grabbed me firmly by the waist. His fingers dug into my sides while he delivered that hateful ass stare of his.
“Chill with that shit. First of all, I don’t pay for pussy because I don’t have to, and don’t be cutting off my sentences and assuming shit. I was going to say I’ll pay for the time you miss at work. Fuck outta here with that prostitution shit. You really got me all fucked up.”
For some reason, his reaction was funny as hell to me. I laughed, which made it worse.
“The fuck you laughing for?”
“Because you care more about the fact that I was accusing you of paying for sex than you do about the fact that you offended me.”
“How the fuck did I offend you when I just said I wasn’t trying to pay for your pussy. That shit is on you, shorty. You shouldn’t be so damn quick to assume shit. And hell yeah, I’m mad about that shit. The fuck I look like paying for pussy? That ain’t never gonna happen.”
“You so don’t even get the point.”
I rolled my eyes and worked my way free from his hold, but he was up from the bed, groaning through the process, and walking up to me from behind.
I wasn’t mad, and I really wasn’t offended, because I honestly didn’t think he viewed me that way. It was just kinda funny that he got so annoyed.
Bronx’s arm moved around my waist as he pulled me back against his firm body, and it felt better than I wanted it to.
I felt his lips against the side of my face before his voice vibrated against it. “I care that I offended you. I might not be the most sensitive person, but I’m not that fucking bad. Plus, I wouldn’t offer you money for this because it’s already mine.” His other hand moved under my towel and between my legs again, causing my body to relax a little more against his.
“Now stop tripping like you really think that’s what I meant because you know it’s not.”
Bronx had no personality whatsoever most of the time, but every once in a while, he showed me that his hard exterior had a softer side to it. It was impossible not to be attracted to him, or maybe I was just as crazy as he was. Who knows/
Either way, I was falling for him and trying hard to fight against it. Unfortunately, that seemed to be a losing battle.
While I dressed, Bronx worked his way through a very strong blunt, which I tried my best to avoid because I didn’t want to be at work smelling like it. At least he offered to drive me to work, though, which I was happy about. I refused a few times, but he insisted.
Even with all the insanity of last night, it felt good to be around him, but that all took a turn in the opposite direction as soon as we stepped out of his apartment. We were greeted by a very hostile looking female with blond braids that looked to be months past their expiration date.
They fell loosely down her back and just past her waist. The second she laid eyes on me, the braids went swaying as her head snapped to the side.
“Uhh, what’s all this?”
“None of your fucking business.”
Bronx’s voice was hard and uncaring as he addressed her while locking his door. I inhaled and prepared for the bullshit because she was definitely a bullshit type of person.
“Did that bitch stay at your place last night? You ain’t never let me stay here.”
She pointed a cat claw tipped her finger at me as her eyes moved across my body from head to toe and stopped at the overnight bag that was pulled up over my shoulder.
I chuckled and dropped my bag. I wasn’t the one for that and wasn’t about to be. My reaction had nothing to do with her showing up at Bronx’s place because we were new, and technically he wasn’t mine.
I knew that sex didn’t guarantee anything, but the fact that she called me a bitch was about to guarantee her an ass whopping.
I popped her ass right in the face as hard as I could before she could even finish her statement. I was about to keep swinging, but Bronx intervened.
“Oh shit, hold the fuck up.”
He stepped between us while using one arm to hold me behind his back. Although he grunted from the quick motion, Bronx was a lot stronger than I thought because I couldn’t break free of him.
His visitor lunged at me, but he shoved her back. “If you don’t take your ass on. I wish you would try to put your hands on her like you have the right to.”
“She hit me,” Blondie yelled, and I laughed.
“You called her a bitch. The fuck you thought she was gonna do? Why the fuck are you here in the first place?”
He growled at her in an annoyed tone that was signature for him.
“I heard what happened and wanted to check on you, but I see you got another bitch handling that.”
“Call me a bitch one more time, and I’m knocking your fucking teeth out your mouth.”
She opened hers to speak, but Bronx cut her off. “Aye, if you say that shit, I’m letting her go, and I’m pretty sure she’ll beat your ass. You don’t want that shit,” he warned and almost sounded amused.
Her eyes landed on me before she focused on him again. After flipping her dusty ass braids over her shoulder, she adjusted her top and then pointed to him.
“Fuck you, and fuck her too. This no good ass nigga ain’t gonna always be around to save your ass. I’m blocking your damn number too,” she snapped as she marched off down the hall toward the elevator.
“No the fuck you ain’t, so stop fronting. But I’m not gon’ use that shit anymore anyway,” he yelled behind her before he picked up my bag.
She shot him a bird just before disappearing into the elevator.
I looked at him and shook my head.
“That’s what you like?” I pointed toward the elevator, and his eyes followed the motion.
Bronx grinned at me and shrugged. “Her head game is dope as fuck, and she can do shit with her body that I have never seen before.”
“Wow. I have no words for that.”
I shook my head and tried to take my bag from him, but he pulled it back.
“You asked. Why the fuck you mad about that?”
“I’m not mad, just amused at how low your standards are.” This time, I shrugged, and he burst out laughing.
“Not every female can be a starter. Some of them have to come off the bench. She’s a bench player.”
“And what am I?” It flew out of my mouth before I could shut off the thought.
Bronx delivered a devilish grin that had me tightening my thighs.
“You’re a franchise player, the whole got damn team, but you already know that.”
Don’t react, don’t react, hold that smile Reason. Lord don’t let him know he’s getting to you.
“Even still, I can’t believe that your standards are so low.”
“My pussy standards are high as fuck, shorty. I don’t care what package it comes in because the only time I’m with them is when they’re sliding down my dick or I’m hitting it from the back.”
I wanted to punch him in that snide ass grin that was now on his face.
“I can’t even with you.” I had to laugh at how serious he was.
“But, if it makes you feel any better, I love your package. All of it.” The lustful way he looked at me had me blushing again. “I don’t even mind being seen in public with you. That’s some serious shit, and it’s sexy as fuck to know you got them hands on you. I damn sure didn’t see that coming.”
He winked at me and then started toward the elevator. I had no comeback for that other than the rush of heat that hit my cheeks from the fact that I was blushing.
Bronx was Bronx, and it was up to me to take it or leave it. For now, I was taking it.
“We need to talk!”
I jumped at the sound of Melvin’s voice, and my heart instantly began to pound in my chest. I knew that he would show up eventually, just not this soon. It had been less than 24 hours since the bomb dropped that I was carrying his baby, and I was still trying to process what was next.
After turning the key, which I already had in the lock, I removed it and gripped it tight in my hand to try and control the anxiety that I was feeling.
As turned on as I was by this man, I was equally afraid of him. Especially now, knowing that he was well aware that I had lied to him about this baby. His baby.
“There’s nothing to discuss. We don’t need to talk, and you have nothing to worry about. This baby is mine, and I won’t be forcing it into your life.”
His eyes landed on my stomach for a brief moment before they moved up my body to my face. Normally, I would be turned on, but the look he gave me made my body shudder for another reason.
He was angry. Even if I couldn’t see it in his eyes, which, unfortunately, I could, I felt it radiating from his body.
Melvin moved closer to me, and I took a step back. I didn’t have much room to escape because my body was forced against my door while he stood tall over me.
“You’re carrying a baby that shares my DNA. A baby that you tried to pass off as another man’s, and that you lied to me about and told me no longer exists. That’s a problem for me. It compromises who I am, and even more importantly, it threatens my career. Appearance is everything when it comes to my standing in this city, and for me to have fathered a child with you, is something that I don’t want or need floating around the city that I control.”
His hands were in the pockets of his slacks, and his tone was low and calm. He didn’t have to touch me or speak aggressively for me to understand the impact of his feelings on the matter.
“It won’t be a problem for you,” I said lowly before I attempted to step around him. However, Melvin moved quickly to prevent it.
In one fluent motion, his hand slipped from his pocket, and his palm landed flat on the door that my body was aligned with. I was now blocked in, and he moved forward enough for me to feel his body on mine.
Shit. I was turned on and intimidated at the same time.
“Just because you opened your legs for me doesn’t mean that I trust you. Clearly, your character has lost some validity with that little stunt you pulled. How did that work out for you, by the way?”
His grin was sinister, but it only lasted for a brief moment before that hardened stare returned.
“You already know the answer to that,” I spoke with aggression because I felt a prick of anger from the shots that he was sending my way.
“Yes, I do. That also poses a problem for me. Dorian works for me. Your pussy ass ex works for him. For some reason, Dorian has a soft spot for him. I know this because he talks about the little fucker all the time and appears to be very loyal to him. That means, that if for some reason Dorian finds out about this…” Even though his body was pressing mine against the door, his eyes dropped to my stomach for a brief moment, and then they were on mine again. “Then that might disrupt the business deal that I have with him. I don’t like when things fuck with my money. That stunt you pulled potentially fucks with my money, Tia.”
“I can’t do anything about that.”
“You’re right, you can’t, but it still poses a problem for me. I don’t like problems. I fucking hate problems. You’re forcing me to have to deal with one, and that doesn’t make me happy.”
Melvin removed his hand from the door and firmly gripped my chin, forcing my head back so that I had to look up at him.
“The only thing that’s saving you is that I like you. Even after you tried to fuck me. You’re also carrying my child, and like it or not, I can’t do shit about that.”
His lips connected to mine, and again, I was turned on. I enjoyed it when I knew I shouldn’t.
“Keep your fucking mouth closed about that baby. As far as you’re concerned, you don’t know who fathered it. I’ll be in touch when I figure this shit out.”
Melvin backed away from me and then turned to leave.
I hated myself for lusting over him, but I couldn’t help it. He made me do that. He was addicting in a way that I couldn’t avoid.
That didn’t stop my mind from racing with thoughts about how he was going to deal with the so called problem that I had created.
That problem was Torren. Was he in danger now? Had I put that in his life? Shit. What the fuck was I supposed to do with that information?
It wasn’t until then that the memories of time I spent with Melvin started to make sense. I had disclosed information to him about Torren that maybe I shouldn’t have.
It never appeared to be a big deal because Melvin seemed more interested in my relationship with him and not Torren’s career choice.
Now that I think about it, he did ask questions about that, just not enough to seem suspicious or for me to question his motives. I had no idea that Melvin knew Dorian, and I damn sure didn’t know that Dorian worked for him.
Melvin was a judge, a very famous, influential judge in New York. He was an important man, so why the hell would he be tied in with a man like Dorian? A Drug dealer?
Shit, his sons sell drugs. Maybe they were all tied in together.
What the hell had I gotten myself into? Had he known all along about me, about Torren? Maybe it was no coincidence that we even met.
My hands moved to my face, and I pressed my forehead into my palms before wiping the tears that were now falling.
How the hell did I end up here? I was tied to a crooked judge, lost my heart, and could potentially lose him permanently.
I felt my breathing become restricted, and I started hyperventilating. My heart rate sped up, and I felt light headed.
Grabbing the door to brace myself, I focused enough to get in under control. I needed to talk to Torren, but I already knew that would be no easy task.
He hated me right now. I was the last person he wanted to see or talk to, but even if I lost what we had, I didn’t want him to lose more because of me.
I needed to have a discussion with him, and soon. If nothing else, he needed to know everything. As much as it was going to kill me to tell him, I had to. I owed him that much.
As I left my building heading to work, I dialed Torren. As expected, it went straight to voicemail. I tried two more times, and when I didn’t get an answer, I left a message.
“I know that you hate me right now. I hate me too, but I need to talk to you. It’s important. It’s about your situation with Dorian. Please call me back.”
I had no idea if he would even care, but I assumed that the mention of Dorian might actually make him call me back.
Shoving my phone into the pocket of my jacket, I started my walk to the train. Right now, the only thing I wanted to do was crawl back in my bed and cry, but I knew I had to work. I was about to be responsible for all the bills at my apartment, and I had no idea how I was going to do that.
Torren had been doing it until this point, but I had a feeling that I would no longer be able to count on his money. He wasn’t an asshole, but after what I had done to him, there was no way I was even a second thought to Torren anymore.
My entire life was currently fucked, and I had no one to blame but myself.