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Torn Between The Game and Love

2





Courtney Monya

















COPYRIGHT NOTE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Copyright © 2017 Courtney Monya
Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

ISBN:

ISBN-13: 978-1976187490





DEDICATION



I dedicate this book to Jashay aka BunBun (lol). That is my other half, my best friend, but most importantly she’s my sister. She is the one who started me as an avid reader and inspired me to write. She introduced me to Wattpad and it was love at first read. Literally. I love you hunny.




Connect with me:

Please like/add my Facebook page(s): Authoress Courtney Monya

Courtney Monya Marshall

Follow me on Instagram: @Coachanel_

Twitter info: @CourtneyMonya





ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



First and foremost, God deserves all of the glory, without him I am nothing. I acknowledge my family and friends for always supporting me through it all. Also, I thank you guys for believing in me in the times when I didn’t believe in myself.


Previously on Torn Between The Game and Love…


"Papa! Granny! I'm getting ready to leave!" Monique screams from the front door of her grandparents’ house. She has her whole life packed in the back of her truck ready to make the big move from Louisiana to Texas.

"Are you sure you want to leave? You know you can live here as long as you'd like right?" Lester jokes covering his ‘grand baby’ with kisses. He leans her back tickling her like he did when she was a child.

"Yesssss papa,” Monique giggles.
"I have to make this move or I will forever be dependent on you guys," she continues, wiping her face of his kisses.
This is the last thing she wanted. She knew they wouldn't be there always.


***


Donovan paces the floor feeling some type of way. He grabs his phone in his hand contemplating on calling Monique and telling her to just run away with him, but he knows better. He dials her number but before he could hear that her phone was going straight to voicemail, he hangs up. He looks at the clock, realizing that he slept his whole day away.

Walking to the living room, he reaches into the trash can to pull out the letter. He walks to his room searching around for some type of paper. Remembering that Monique gave him a notebook to write down how he felt. He kneels under the bed reaching his arm out until he could grasp the notebook. Opening the book to its first page, he begins to think of what he should write. He walks into the kitchen and sits at the table. First, he straightens the letter so that he can read over it once more. He decides on grabbing his laptop instead of writing everything. He opens Word, before typing.

This is something that has been weighing heavy on me as well. Even though I have the courage to tell you, my pride won’t let me. From the time I first met you I knew that you were the one for me. I knew that you knew it too. You were trying so hard to act tough but I could see right through. You were as soft as they come but I admired your ability to show differently. When you came at me with the friends with benefits deal, I knew that wasn’t something you really wanted. So I just played along. I agreed, saying that I wasn’t looking for a relationship or didn’t have time when really I was afraid. Afraid to fall for you. Afraid to love you. Afraid for you to love me. Growing up my father didn’t give me the best example of how to love a woman, and my mama damn sure didn’t give an example of how a woman should be loved. So I had to protect your feelings as well as mine. I never knew that my actions caused so much turmoil in your life, when really I selfishly didn’t pay attention. I could think of so many reasons why you should find love for yourself.

Physically

1.     Your chocolate skin is so smooth like a hershey’s kiss.

2.     Your natural hair alone is beautiful. You don’t even need the weave but every hairstyle you get is different and it always compliments you.

3.     You have the body of a goddess. Your thick thighs, lovely hips, and big ol big ol booty. Lol. I never was a titty man but I would sleep on those pillows every night for the rest of my life.

You know I had to get my perv thoughts out of the way but your personality is a story of its own. You are so caring and loving and you always motivate me to do the right thing. You always know the right things to say at the right time, like the man above himself sent me my own personal angel. I know I have a pretty fucked up way of showing it, but Monique I love you more than you know, and after all of this is said and done, I will get myself together and hopefully we can move forward together. Monique Shante Brice you will be my wife one day and I will put about ten kids in that pussy. Mark my words.”

Donovan times the email to send to Monique in three days. By that time he would have gotten rid of Montana Jr. and things would go back to normal. He lied about the whole overseas basketball thing. He was planning on trying out but tryouts were already over until next year. He just didn’t want Monique looking for him.

Grabbing his phone he dials BeBe’s number.

Wassup zaddy.”

Get the fuck man. I’m coming to drop off your money.” He hangs up the phone before she could say anything. His phone vibrates, indicating someone has texted him. Opening the message, he sees that BeBe sent him her address with the tongue and eggplant emoji. This broad thinks she is about to get some. He walks to his closet putting on an all black jumpsuit with the hoodie. He walks outside to his Charger, getting inside. He types her address into his GPS before driving off. On the way there, he decides to try and call Monique.

You’ve reached the voicemail of Monique. You know what to do.” It beeps. He sighs then hangs up before sending her a text saying that he made it safely and to call him when she wakes up.


***


Meanwhile, across town Romeo is speeding down the deserted highway where you hardly see any police. He picks up his phone, dialing Toney’s number.

Wassup bro?”

We got a problem.”

Hold on let me step outside right quick.” Toney hears the serious tone and knows immediately that something is up.

What’s up Rome?”

They got Monique, Tone.”

They? Who the fuck is they and what you mean got Monique?”

Somebody kidnapped her and I’m on my way to the location she sent me.”

You don’t think this a setup huh?”

Romeo glances at the phone before placing it back to his ear.“Nigga this Monique we talking about.”

I mean, I don’t know.” Toney sighs, grabbing his keys out of his pocket. “Just send me the location and I’ma send the word to DaeDae them.”

Bet.” Romeo nods his head, satisfied, knowing that DaeDae and their crew might beat both him and Toney there.


***


Donovan sends BeBe a text letting her know that he is outside. He sends Monique a goodnight text when his door opens. BeBe slides in his passenger seat with a bra and boy shorts on.

What you got for me?” She seductively leans over. Not even paying attention to her, Donovan reaches behind him grabbing the duffle bag full of money.

It is all there.” He presses the unlock button hoping she gets the clue that she should get out.

Her eyes widen. “All 10k is in this bag right now?” She raises the bag staring at him. He nods his head. She begins to climb over the middle to straddle his lap when he grabs her by the arms, stopping her.

She scoffs, creasing her forehead. “What’s your problem? You acting like you gay or something?”

I’m gay because I’m not trying to fuck with yo hoe ass?” He looks at her like she lost her mind. “Get the fuck out,” he blows, starting the car.

BeBe mumbles something under her breath before getting out, slamming the door behind her. He opens his door, leaving the car running, before sprinting over to her side and slamming her into the door.

What the fuck you say; and slam my door again.”

BeBe rolls her eyes. “Don’t you have somewhere to be? I’m sure they’re waiting on you at the spot.” He raises his eyebrows, confused to how she even knows about the spot.

The spot? What you talking about and who is they?” She looks him up and down taking in his attire.

I figured you was on your way to the spot to take that bitch out.”

What bitch?”

The one from the restaurant last night.” He searches his mind a second before grabbing her head and slamming it into the car. He grasp her around her neck before speaking through gritted teeth.

Tell me everything you know now and I might let you live.” Fear is written across her face as she begins to stutter. His grip on her neck tightens. She lets out a breathy ok causing him to let her go. She instantly begins coughing grasping her neck with one hand and her head with the other. Tears start flowing from her eyes.

After I did what you said about putting the tracking device, I linked up with my homegirl and her brother for a little and they were talking about plotting on this female.” She glances at Don to see him listening closely, irritated.

It ended up being the same girl from the restaurant that they were plotting on.” Donovan walks off before getting in his car slamming the door. He thinks about something before rolling down the window.

Wait who is your homegirl?”

Her name is Quana.”

Who the hell is Quana? He thinks to himself.

Quana? Well who is her brother?”

His name is Quaylo.” Donovan clenches the steering wheel, putting the car in gear, and speeding off. He pulls off so fast that all you can smell is the burning rubber from his tires. BeBe clenches her chest, thinking that he was about to run her over.

As Donovan speeds to the spot his thoughts began to run wild. How could he be so stupid. Why would Quaylo want to harm Monique and who the hell was his sister? What did she have to do with it? Driving so fast he doesn't realize that he speeds past Quan’s car.

What the…” Quan dials Donovan’s number only for it to ring once and go to voicemail. He decides to take off behind him knowing that he’s probably headed to the spot; especially this late because there’s nothing else really in this direction.

As Donovan is driving, he hears his ringtone playing. He pulls out his phone instantly ignoring it, seeing the missed called from Quan. He dials Jefe’s number.

Bueno.”

Jefe. I’m headed to the spot right now. Please tell me you have nothing to do with this.”

With what Don?”

Don’t play stupid with me. You knew Quaylo was plotting on Monique, huh.”

Woah woah Don. Watch your tone. I have no idea what you are talking about. I am in Puerto Rico.”

I’m not watching shit. You listen and you listen clearly my nigga. If anything happens to her God himself couldn’t come down and stop me from hunting you down and offing you myself.”

Before Jefe can say anything Donovan hangs up. Lost for words, Jefe grabs a cigar and lights it. He puts it to his mouth taking a long drag from it, letting it ease his mind. Grabbing his phone, he dials Quaylo’s number.

We’ve got the girl, Jefe.”

Loverboy is coming to the rescue. He’s no longer one of us. We see where his loyalty lies.” Quaylo chuckles, happy that his plan is going accordingly.

Taken care of.” Quaylo turns to his sister filling her in on the small conversation.

I knew his dumb, in love ass would fall for it.” Quana smirks, picking up her phone to dial BeBe.

He knows.”

I know, BeBe. I just called to say thank you bitch.”

You know it is nothing hoe. I just don’t think I want to do this scheming shit anymore.” Quana looks at the phone in disbelief before placing it back to her ear.

Don’t be going soft on me Be.”

I’m not Quana. it is just that my life has been threatened so much since I agreed to do this for you. I don’t think I’m cut out for this.”

Chill out bro. Just wait till it is all over. You’ll be able to buy whatever you want without having to step foot back into another strip club.” BeBe smiles at the idea of not having to strip anymore.

I have to call you back tho BeBe.”

Wait, Quana!”

Wassup?”

What beef do you have with this girl?”

Quana smiles to herself before speaking.

Just know we have history.” She hangs up the phone. She walks out of the hallway back into the underground room that was made as the torture room. When she walks in she sees Monique tied to the chair in her underclothing.

Time to wake up sleeping beauty.” Quaylo smiles before walking away.

I’ll grab a bucket and fill it with water.”

Fuck all of that. I don’t have the patience.” She rears her arm back before forcefully slapping Monique across the face. The impact is so hard that Quana thought she snapped her neck. When she sees Monique’s eyes flutter before opening wide, she’s delighted.

Damn bitch. Thought I had killed you too soon but now we can have fun.” Monique groans before her eyes roam the room. Where am I she thinks as she watches the unknown man, Quaylo, walking towards her. Her eyes roam some more till they land on Quana’s smirking face.

We meet again bitch.”

Chapter 1


Monique squints her eyes to examine Quana’s face.

“Again? I don’t know you”

Almost instantly Monique’s head whips to the side harshly from the slap she receives. Quana grabs her face tightly between her fingers, squeezing it.

“Look closer”

The realization is clear on Monique’s face when Quana leans in and gives her a quick peck on the lips. Monique rocks in the chair, furiously, trying to loosen the ties on her body with no luck.

“I swear you are lucky I am tied up bitch and I see you still rocking the latest synthetic, suh”. Monique pettily shakes her head from side to side causing her long natural hair to flow from side to side down her back.

With so much hate on her face, Quana looks over her shoulder to see her brother standing there watching them interact.

“Don’t just stand there you idiot! Teach this bitch a lesson”

Quaylo’s face twists up as he looks at his sister, wondering who she thinks she is talking to. She was always treating him like he is not the big brother. He turns his attention to Monique while licking his lips. His eyes roam her face, seeing her lip busted and face bruised still seemed to turn him on. The fire in her eyes is so intense causing him to chuckle before he realizes it.

“What’s so funny, stupid?”

“I can tell by the look in her eyes, Quana. If she wasn’t tied up she would beat your ass right now.” He doubles over laughing so hard that it triggers a coughing fit. He clears his throat before glancing at the salty look on Quana’s face. He tries to stifle the laugh from escaping his mouth again. Quana flips her hair over her shoulders and folds her arms.

She huffs. “If you won’t teach the bitch a lesson then I will”. She walks over to a black duffle bag on the ground, pulling out a machete. Monique’s eyes double their size when she realizes what is in the bag. She takes a big gulp. The tears are threatening to flow from her eyes but she holds them in. Her brother, Quan’s, voice plays in her head letting her know to never let them see her sweat. She regains control over her face although her heart is racing a thousand beats per minute.

Quaylo takes a step back out of habit, intrigued to see what will happen next. Quana holds the machete with both hands in front of her face, examining it. She walks closer to Monique before walking behind her.

“You don’t have much to say anymore I see.” She leans over placing her ear near Monique’s mouth.

Why am I here anyways? Why are you doing this?”

“Why am I here? Why are you doing this?” Quana mimics her voice in a childlike manner before putting the cold machete against Monique’s neck. “Shut up bitch. You speak only when spoken to, hear?”

Monique remains quiet as her blood boils, wishing she was free so she could beat this goofy. She feels fingers grip in her hair before her head jerks back surely giving her whiplash. The blade of the machete is pressed a little deeper into her skin, barely breaking the skin. She hisses sharply from the pain. She feels the small trickle of blood as they fall from her wound.

“I said do you hear?” Monique nods her head, relieved when the blade is removed from her skin.

“Good girl,” Quana seductively walks to the front of Monique before squatting down in front of her. She slides the machete under Monique’s bra before pulling it towards herself, cutting the bra off. She glances over her shoulders as her brother watches intently, rubbing his hands together.

“You just gonna stand there or what?” Quaylo makes his way over with a devilish grin on his face. He aggressively grabs a handful of one of Monique’s breast. Her face strains as his grip gets tighter. His hands begin to roam over her bare chest causing her chest to heave from the vomit trying to make it's way up her throat. She squeezes her eyes shut trying to think of happy thoughts.

He looks at his sister before nodding his head to the back, signaling to her that he wants to be left alone. Before Quana leaves she walks closer to her brother before saying.

“Bring this bitch down two notches. She must thinks she Beyonce or something”

Quaylo smirks before greedily examining Monique’s exposed body once more. The only thing that is left to cover her is her lace boy shorts she is wearing. The warm tears begin to pour down her face as Quaylo runs the machete over her panties.

“Let’s get these off why don’t we?” Monique looks up to him with pleading eyes.

“You don’t have to do this.”

He looks back to her mockingly with the same pleading eyes before chuckling.

“I know I don’t but,” he runs his index finger down her face “Don didn’t tell me you would be this fine.” Monique’s eyes nearly pop out of her head at the mention of Donovan’s name. She gulps and turns her head away. The hurt that crawls from deep within almost becomes unbearable. She wonders if Donovan really has something to do with her getting kidnapped. No longer being able to contain the betrayal, she becomes hysterical.

“Aww poor baby didn’t know your little fuck buddy was down bad and dirty huh?”

Monique continues to ignore him as her thoughts are clouded with memories of Don and her.


***


MONIQUE

"Wait! Nique, can I talk to you for a minute?" Don asks, pulling my arm to face him.

"We have nothing to talk about Donovan," I say putting an emphasis on his name.

"Bro, cut the bullshit. Come talk to me. I know you want to just as much as I do."

"I'm not your bro," I say snatching my arm from his grip.

"I'm not about to chase behind you and you know that," he says before seeing the expression on my face.

"Come walk with me Shante," he sighs calling me by my middle name.

I smirk, "Okay Keith. Let me put on my shoes first." I grab my Jordan slides from beside the bed before sliding my feet into them. I walk to the door opening it when I feel a pinch.

Ouch! Quit playin bruh that shit hurt.”

I couldn’t help myself, Nique.” I start to head back out the door when he pinches me again. I swing my arm back connecting to his chest with a closed fist. He grunts then grabs me by my waist placing me over his shoulders. Slapping my cheeks with one hand, he manages to get the door shut while securely holding me against my will. I kick as he walks down the stairs making beats on my cheeks.


If I lose my balance then that’s yo ass. Literally.” He laughs at his own joke.

You’re so lame….OUCH!” This nigga bit the hell out of me. He rubs the sore spot before kissing it and placing me on my feet. I’m so thrown for a loop that I don’t even know how to respond.


"Unfold your arms," he teases pulling my arms apart "with ya soft ass."

"I'm not soft.... I'm sensitive," I say crossing my arms only for him to grab them; pulling me closer to him where our lips are lightly brushing against one another.

I pull back from him immediately getting agitated.

"I'd rather not take it there. I'm tired of this back and forth, hot and cold shit you trying to play," I say waving my arms between us.

"Me?" He says pointing to himself. "You're the one who randomly decides that one minute you're fucking with me and the next minute you're not.

Why do you do that?" He adds.

I sigh, "You and I both knew from the beginning what it was right?"

He nods. " Well sometimes I feel like I'm doing too much. So when that happens I fall back some."

"What you mean doing too much?"

"Exactly what I said, doing too much," I reply getting a slick attitude.

He smirks at me causing me to get even more agitated.

"I don't know what's so funny," I say crossing my arms out of habit.

"Get your soft ass on Nique," he teases.

"I'm not soft," I blow.

"Yeah, I know you're sensitive," he says grabbing my chin in his hand placing a soft, but passionate kiss on my lips.

"When it comes to me right?" He questions, looking me in my eyes for confirmation.

I stare back at him, at a loss for words. It seems the longer I stare at him the bigger his smirk gets.

After a while, I can no longer contain my grin from mirroring his.

"I hate you," I laugh, laying my head on his shoulders.

"Yeah, I love you too Monique." He chuckles, rubbing the back of my head.

I lift my head, looking him into his eyes.

"You don't love me," I say playing with my fingers out of nerves.

"You don't know that," he says placing his hands over mine.


***


Quaylo trails kisses from one shoulder, to her back, and to the other shoulder. Monique is staring off into space, but it does not bother him.

“How could he?” She says barely over a whisper.

“Money can make man do a lot of things sweetheart.”

She jerks her shoulders forward making his lips lose contact with her skin. “I don’t believe you.” Quaylo kneels down at her side, grabbing her face with great force. He looks her square in the eyes then reaches into his pocket pulling out his cellphone. He scrolls through some things before clicking on something and holds the phone in her face.

“What is that?” She doesn’t even look at the phone in front of her. He moves it to where it is directly in her vision. Her eyes roam the screen for a few seconds. She can't believe her eyes. Almost immediately she recognizes the number. She shakes her head trying to wake herself up from this nightmare.

“This is his number right?” Monique nods her head lowly, defeated.

“And that is your picture with your full name, address, and truck type right?” He gets no response. She is just staring at the ground.

“I said do you hear me?” He growls. Still no response. Slowly getting agitated, Quaylo grabs her by the throat forcing her face upwards to look at him. She looks up at him with pure disgust. She smiles her best smile. His face mirrors hers absentmindedly. He bends over to place a kiss on her lips. There is silence between the two.

“Ahh! You stupid bitch! You spit in my face?” He wipes his eyes with the backs of his hands, glaring at Monique. His eyes widen when he realizes she has somehow untied her and is running towards the door. He takes off running towards her. Her hands reach the handle just as he catches up to her yanking her along with the door open.

“Oh my God!” Monique screams as Quana’s lifeless body falls to the floor revealing a furious Donovan. She feels woozy as vomit threatens to come up. Quaylo reaches down to assist his sister when he feels the barrel of the gun to his forehead. He immediately stops in his tracks. When he looks up, he's met with Donovan’s cold stare. He kisses his teeth, annoyed.

“You motherfu-”

“Say it and I promise you I’ma squeeze this bitch till it start clicking,” Donovan says through gritted teeth as his grip tightens around the trigger.

Quaylo begins laughing insanely. He must take me for a joke.

Donovan tilts his head at him, daring him to make the wrong move. Suddenly, without hesitation, he grips the gun by its barrel quickly striking Quaylo so hard that you hear the cracking of his jaw. Monique jumps back terrified at the sight of so much blood. Donovan stoops down beside Quaylo before cupping his hand around his own ear like he is listening for something.

“You’re a dead man walking,” Quaylo wheezes before spitting blood on Donovan’s shoes. "Mothafucka just wait till,” he continues. Three gunshots ring off and then there is silence.

Quaylo’s now limp body jerks with each shot it receives and Donovan is not letting up on the trigger sending every bullet through the already lifeless body. When he hears the clicking of the empty clip it is like he comes out of some trance. Looking over, he sees Monique just standing there like a statue with her eyes focused on the two bodies in front of her. Immediately, Donovan feels horrible. He never wanted Monique to see this side of him. He knew she was not built for this life. He had it all figured out. For him. For them. Where did he go wrong, he wonders. He drops the gun and holds out his hands, slowly walking towards the still motionless Monique.

“Nique, please let me explain myself. I didn’t want you to see any of this.” She nods, oblivious to what he actually just said. He lets out a sigh of relief before removing his shirt, trying to give it to her. He bunches the shirt up to where he has the head of it in his hands. Putting her head through the hole, she puts her arms through absentmindedly, still stunned from everything she has seen. He adjusts the shirt to where it is covering most of her body. Her eyes dart in his direction, wide with terror.

“Get away from me!” She tries to run back from him but he grasps her by the arms.

“Monique please don’t do this to me. I’m not trying to hurt you”

“Not trying to hurt me? It is way too late for that don’t you think?”

She continues to back up, looking between Donovan and the door wondering that if she were to run right now, would she make it. He follows her stare, almost instantly reading her mind. Seeing how much her body is trembling with fear breaks his heart. She is really afraid of me he thinks.

“You’re scared of me?” His voice trembles. She stares blankly back at him then glances at the door again, contemplating.

“Look at me Nique please,” hearing the sincerity in his voice, she calms down a little looking him into his begging eyes. “I know this whole situation seems a little fucked up but I promise if you can just give me 4 minutes to say what I gotta say so that I can explain everything to you”. She scoffs.

Monique taps her chin as if she is really thinking.

“Okay Avant, 4 minutes.” Donovan smiles big at the fact that she still manages to hold on to her humor even in times like this. He takes a step towards her, immediately raising his hands in surrender when she takes a cautious step back.

“As crazy as this might sound you have to believe me, okay?” She lifts her hands motioning for him to continue.

He sighs. “So I haven’t been completely honest with you about what I’ve been up to.”

“No shit sherlock”

“Save it Monique,” he says sternly. She shrugs before shifting her weight on one leg and crossing her arms.

“I’m a trained hitman for this Spanish dude that I call Jefe and one day he approached me with this new mark." He notices the confused look on her face. "A mark is someone that I get paid to take out." Her face remains the same. Her eyes grow wide as it dawns on her. She opens her mouth to speak but nothing comes out. She tries once more and her voice comes out almost foreign to her.

"When you say take out you mean k-," she gasps when Donovan nods his head.

He continues. "After giving me the background of dude and how important it is for our business to have him gone, he pulls out these pictures. It ends up being pictures of you and dude.” He clenches his fist at his side just thinking about Romeo.

“Me and what dude?”

“Romeo”

She rolls her eyes at the nerve of him. “You are really sad Donovan. You know that?” She scoffs.

“Sad?! How?” Before she can even answer, the sound of gunshots go off. One bullet whistles right past her ear, followed by another. Donovan grabs Monique and rushes her behind a wall. Out of breath, Monique breaks down crying.

“What’s going on?” She hysterically screams.

“I don’t know.” He peeks around the corner to see Jefe and Lucky standing there fully armed. Jefe has this sinister look to him. One that Don, himself has never seen. Donovan reaches into his waistband pulling out his glock 40mm. Monique gasps beside him.

Oh my God Don, you’ve been shot.” Looking down, he sees the blood pouring from a small wound in his left side. His adrenaline is so high that he didn’t even notice it. He looks at her to see tears forming in her eyes. He rips his eyes from her. Seeing the sadness in her eyes tugs at his heart. Now is not the time to get distracted he thinks.

“Stay. Right. Here”. Right as he tries to get up Monique grabs him by his pants pulling him back right in time to miss the bullet that was surely aimed for his head.

“Come out, come out my friend,” Jefe says looking to his left. Lucky is standing as still as a statue, aiming at the spot where Don and Monique is. No response. He nods his head, motioning for Lucky to move forward. He begins to slowly make his way towards them with Jefe following close behind.

“You could’ve been my best hitman Don, but you had to let el coño get in the way," he says, almost tauntingly. Three gunshots ring through the air.

Chapter 2



DONOVAN

Lucky and Jefe duck from the wild shots I let go over the barrier.

“Tsk tsk tsk,”

I shake my head at the sound of Jefe’s voice.

“It is over Don; you’re outnumbered.”

“This between me and you Jefe! Let Monique go.”

He laughs. I hear Lucky let out a dry chuckle. This is my first time hearing anything even close to a laugh coming from that nigga.

“Now why would I do that when she’s the piece which leads us to Romeo.”

Monique looks to me, questionably.  “What do y’all want with Romeo?,” she whispers.

“When we get out of here I promise that I will explain everything to you but right now I need you to listen to me.” She watches attentively. I look around the corner to see Jefe practically hiding behind Lucky. He is really bitch made like I thought. I chuckle to myself when I hear Monique blow beside me. This girl and her attitude. She does not care when, where, or why. She has to be dramatic.

“What is it Shante?” I bring my attention to her face.

“What the hell could you be laughing at, at a time like this?”

“Nothing. Just listen to me,” I blow “Lose the attitude bro”

“I am not your bro,” she pushes her finger into my forehead “I don’t know how many times I- ahhh!” Two gunshots go off making the dust from the wall fall down onto our heads. She quickly covers her mouth with her hands.

I peek around the corner to see them making their way towards my side. I glance over to the left, seeing a clear path straight to the door for her.

“Jefe’s aim is horrible, so what I need you to do is when I start shooting? You run.” Her eyes go buck.

“You’ve got to be kidding me Keith. Why would I do that?” She starts talking fast and frantically asking where would she run, what if he catches her, and her words begin to run together. I cut her off by pressing my lips to hers. She shuts up, kissing me back. Her body relaxes against mines. I pull back quickly.

“You’ve got to trust me Monique, we don’t have that much time to just sit here so we need to catch them off guard.” I peek around quickly to see them closer than before. When I turn my head our eyes meet and all of these emotions hit me at once.

“I love you so much Monique. You are my wife.” She just blankly stares back at me. I have this weird feeling in my chest but I hastily shake it off before gripping my fingers around the trigger. I take a deep breath, getting into the zone.

“On the count of three, okay?” She nods. “One, two,” I start shooting as I yell three, instantly hitting Lucky’s shooting hand causing him to drop the gun. Like second nature I run to pick his gun up, aiming it to his head.

I wouldn’t do that if I was you Jefe,” I say with amusement in my voice. He looks back to see my gun pointed at him. I see Monique running towards the exit, shocking me. She is running faster than I ever imagined she could. Well if my life was in danger I'd be hauling ass to I chuckle at my thoughts. I bring my attention from Lucky to Jefe and back.

Lucky is holding his wounded hand with this pained look on his face. Yet, he doesn’t make a sound.

“Put y’all hands up and I advise you to let the gun go, Jefe.”

They both look at me before looking at each other, not making a move. I pull the trigger, shooting between them and purposely missing. Lucky doesn’t flinch even a little but Jefe on the other hand jumps out of his shoes, literally, dropping his gun.

“Put. Your. Fucking. Hands. Up. Next time I won’t miss,” I say through gritted teeth. They raise their hands.

“Now walk backwards,” I cock the gun “SLOWLY!”

As they make their way backwards, I follow, kicking the gun out of the way.

“I should empty the clip in both of y’all but I just have a question. Comprende?” I put on a fake Spanish accent, purposely to get under his skin. Jefe's square ass just nods despite his annoyance.

“Since you’re about to die, you might as well answer it anyways.”

I squeeze the trigger, shooting Lucky in the arm that reaches behind to his waistband. His arm instantly goes limp.

“I was really starting to like you Lucky. Now look at you. Can’t even raise your arms.” I shake my head before putting a bullet in his forehead. His eyes roll to the back of his head before his body slumps over with a loud thud. Jefe gasps watching the life drain from his friend’s body. The gun smoke rises out of the hole in his head, followed by the blood. I hardly flinch at the sight of blood anymore. My first body was different though. I thought I would never get over the trauma.


Quan walks up to me with his highschool sweetheart, Shaquana on his arms. He daps me before throwing his arms around her shoulders. "Wassup Quan?" I cut my eyes to her, "Quana." She rolls her eyes at me, bringing her attention to Quan. She stands on her tiptoes kissing him before telling him that she will meet him after school. I dramatically shudder my body in disgust. I pretend to stick my finger down my throat to make myself throw up as she passes by.

"Bro, what did I tell you about letting her ass kiss you?"

He laughs it off as usual. "That's my girl dude. Of course I'm going to kiss her." I shrug.

"Alriiight when yo damn lips start looking like the craters in the moon, don't say I didn't tell you."

"Chill," he says defending his wild ass girlfriend. I throw my hands in the air, shaking my head. How the hell did my best friend fall for the school slut-bucket? "Alright man. I forgot she took your virginity or something, soft ass in love dude." He playfully punches me in my chest. Right as we square up with other, we hear Mrs. Peters, our principal, clearing her throat.

"Get to class you guys or it's detention for the both of you." When she walks away we both flip her off at the same time. As we begin to make our way to class, Quan begins to look around, suspiciously. I look around to see what he sees. "What you doing, dude?" He pulls me to the side, letting a couple of students pass by.

"You remember when I told you that Quana big brother said he was going to put us on some work?" I nod. "Well, he just texted Quana telling us both to meet him at The Courts.” I look at him, uncertain of how I want to answer.

He wants us to meet him now?” He nods. “At the courts?”

He huffs. “That’s what I just said ain’t it?”

I sigh, “I don’t know man. I don’t have a good feeling about this.”

He firmly grasps my shoulder, pulling me into a side hug. “I know you grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth, sucking on your mama titties but it’s time to man up my brother.” I remain silent, contemplating. He stands in front of me with his arms on both of my shoulders, pushing me arm's length away. “You were the one that said you were trying to get it on your own, huh?” I nod. “You were the one who said that you’d be damned if you worked a nine-to-five right?” I nod again. He smiles. “Then what’s the problem, fag?”

I chuckle, rubbing my neck out of nervousness. “You’re right, bro. Let’s go.”

**

As we’re walking into The Courts, I notice a blue sedan creeping up behind us. My body immediately tenses. Quan notices and asks me if I am alright. My body relaxes when the sedan passes by. I nod my head, relieved. He shakes his head, chuckling.

You can’t be this damn scary right now man, get it together.” I shake my head and shoulders in hopes to get rid of this bad feeling.

Shit,” I drop my phone. I reach down to pick it up, falling behind Quan. When I raise back up I feel something cold and hard against my neck, immediately grabbing my full attention.

What the-,” I begin.

Don’t. Fucking. Move,” the unfamiliar voice says. Quan turns around and we instantly lock eyes. We both exchange a worried look, but his look is quickly replaced with anger.

Slowly walk over to your homeboy.” It is like my mind wants my body to move, but my body does not want to coincide. He nudges the barrel of the gun into me, forcing me to move. Right as I make it to Quan it seems as everything shifts into hyper drive. Quan tackles the dude to the ground, disarming him. The gun scatters over towards me. Everything in me is telling me to grab it. I just can not get my body to oblige. I watch as the guy quickly regains his composure just as Quan goes to punch him. He hastily rolls out of the way, dodging the stomp that he was about to receive. He hits Quan once, then twice, knocking him off of balance. Although this dude is twice Quan’s height, Quan is built solid. He is holding his own right now, but it does not seem like for long.

Don man!!,” he yells, bringing me out of my thoughts. “Shoot him!,” he pleas. I hurriedly pick the gun into my shaking hands. I fumble with it, threatening to drop it with each time Quan calls my name. The guy picks up something and hits him in the head. He is out cold. The guy brings his attention to me with pure fire burning in his eyes. His face is bloody and his nose is obviously broken.

We both know you’re pussy and not going to use that gun, so you might as well send it over.”

I twist my face up at him, “and why would the fuck I do that?,” I say putting extra emphasis on fuck. I raise the gun up, putting my hands on the trigger.

I will shoot this bitch if you keep walking up on me, bro.” Before I can ask him he charges me. I close my eyes, squeezing them tighter as I pull the trigger. The kickback on the gun jerks my arm completely back. Adrenaline rushes through my body and the excitement that settles in is almost intoxicating. I feel energized for some reason. I open my eyes and immediately throw up my insides. Somehow he ended on his stomach. I look at the gun in shock before throwing it to the ground. Remembering Quan, I run over to him to shake him awake. He opens his eyes with a groan.

Mannnn, I just had the weirdest dream, we-”. Before he can finish his sentence, his eyes land of the body in front of us. His jaw slacks slightly. He jumps up, triumphantly.

My motherfuckin nigga man!” He tries to dap me up. I stare at him like he just grew an extra head on his shoulders. He walks up, kicking the body then spitting on it. I grab him back forcefully.

Now is not the time. You know twelve is going to be coming soon and I don’t know what the fuck to do”. I begin to panic. I glance at the body and immediately hurl again. Part of his shoulder blade is missing and there is a big hole from where the bullet came out.

Check his pockets”. Quan quickly says.
“What?” I stare at him in disbelief.

Check his pockets!!” He walks over to the body, turning it over on the opposite side. I feel sick. The bullet burned through his shirt and shattered his chest open.

Bro, it just got hot as hell?” I am suddenly burning up. It is like I have tunnel vision right now. All I see is Quan searching dude’s pockets, when these little sparkly lights come in to view. My knees go wobbly and before I can say anything else, darkness surrounds me.


I shoot past Jefe’s ear. I aim both guns at him. “Back to my question and who told you to put your hands down?”

Jefe raises his arms above his head, “Anything you want to know my friend.”

“First question, what is your real name?”

Beads of sweat start to roll down his face. He begins to lower his hand to wipe it when I shoot him in it, leaving a hole. All you smell is the burning of flesh. I am so used to it now that it doesn’t even bother me.

He groans, clasping his hand with the other. “My name is Horacio Javier Rodríguez.” He speaks through gritted teeth.

“You really have it out for Montana and his son, right?” He nods.

“You mentioned before that y’all go way back, is that right?” He nods again, trembling.

“And how is that?”

He closes his eyes for a second before opening them, “They’re mi sobrino y hermano ”. I was not expecting that; the betrayal does not sit right with me.

“Explain,” I say, raising both guns to his head.

He takes a deep breath before beginning to speak.

“Romeo Alejandro Montana and I were born in a small town called La Perla, next to El Morro”. I crease my forehead at him. “La Perla is a shanty town near Old San Juan in Puerto Rico”. I nod my head, understanding where he is talking about. Most of the times when Quan and I went to re up on product, we would take the trip there. “Although we grew up in a poor area, we had it made. Our late father, may he rest in peace, was head of the largest cartel in Puerto Rico. They supplied some of the purest cocaína y heroína coming from all over South America to the U.S. Business was great because it took less than a day getting product to their distros. I grew up front and center to the action and it peaked a big interest in me. Mi hermano on the other hand, not quite so much. He would much rather go to school or read. As we became of age, we were both hired into the business for means of income for ourselves. Our father whose health quickly degenerated due to lung cancer, begin to prep us on the operations of business. Being the oldest, I was sure the cartel would be handed down to me,”. He grimaces. “Upon him dying, he left in his will the cartel to Alejandro and for me to be his underboss,”. He looks to me for a response. Both of my guns remain on him.

“I’m two seconds from ending you right now. Your point is?”

“My point is, from that moment I was consumed with jealousy and anger that I began to plot on my own brother”. He begins to get emotional. I cock the gun to show him I am unfazed by his tears. As he opens his mouth to speak, I hear footsteps approaching, followed by more. I bring my attention to the doorway. Jefe does the same. In runs Quan, followed by some others. Taking this moment, Jefe runs off quickly dodging the bullets I send his way. He quickly slips through a door that I never noticed was there. Out of sight.

Quan approaches me. “What the fuck man? What’s going on?”

Suddenly, I am winded. I double over, grabbing my knees to support me.

“Jefe. Betrayed me man”. I gasp for air trying to catch my breath when everything turns to black.


***


ROMEO


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