Romance Novel Excerpts | Book #7 | Parisian Billionaire Brotherhood - Interracial Billionaire Romance Novel
Happy 2019 everybody! This year, I'm going to be starting off with a BANG. And a GANG. Okay, I know some of you aren't into the uber-bad boys, so you'll need to be a little patient. If you're a lady with a dark side who loves kinky sweet romance and a black woman taming a white gangster into exposing his heart of gold, you'll LOVE the story of Sierra St. James and Ollie Cook. As you may have guessed, this new release is set in London -- perfect for BWWM fans who want romance novels set in England or romance novels set in London.
The London Brotherhood Books #1, #2 and #3 are the first three books in a LONG series that will have TEN books and completed by June of this year. Book #1-#3 are interconnected mafia romance novellas, but Book #4 will be a standalone Navy SEAL Romance novel so that the angels and good girls among you can get some love too.
For now, I invite you to indulge in this free romance novel excerpt of a mafia romance for black women who love romantic stories, read BWWM online for free and may enjoy stories from inspiring authors like Amarie Avant or Theodora Taylor.
If you have any questions about this series, please leave a comment below and I will answer any and all questions as soon as possible.
Before diving into this free sample, consider checking out the trailer. Click here to watch the trailer.
Free Romance Novel Excerpts | The London Brotherhood I
SIERRA ST. JAMES
“He took my mate’s girl, you get me? So I ‘ad to do something about it. I pushed ‘im up against the wall and ‘e started squealing like a pig. I took my knife and I pressed it up to him. He started shaking, scared like a little girl. I leaned in and laughed. I couldn’t ‘elp it. ‘E looked so weak. How am I supposed to respect ‘im. I didn’t do nothing though. I walked away. ‘E was scared enough.”
“Do you think there was any other way to handle him, Malik?”
“‘E disrespected me, innit? I ‘ave a right to defend myself.”
“I understand. It doesn’t feel good to be threatened, does it?”
“No Miss St. James. It doesn’t. I ‘ad to teach him a lesson, innit?”
“Was there any other way you could have handled him, Malik?”
“Let me tell you something, alright? Niggas like him get mad hench and think they can talk any way they want on the estate. You can’t show them weakness, innit.”
“I understand. But Malik, you have to remember what we discussed last time. It isn’t always the best response to jump straight to violence.”
“You think these pagans understand conversation?”
“Well, have you tried?”
“Miss St. James, I’m sorry, but it just wouldn’t work. I’m dealing with niggas darker than you could imagine.”
I paused, scribbling a note about Malik’s latest encounter in my record book, filled with accounts of tens of similar incidents, which had become progressively worse, not better throughout the course of our counseling.
“For example,” Malik continued, unprompted by any of my questions, “I’ve got bare problems on the estate. I’ve got beef. Real beef. I can’t show weakness. Last week, Butcher got my sister up against the wall with a gun to ‘er ‘ead. What do you think he’d do if I showed weakness.”
“So you’re doing this for your sister?”
“Yes. Maybe. Sort of.”
“You think if your sister got free of her boyfriend you would feel safer?”
For a child who raced to violence and responded emotionally to any perceived slight, I could always be surprised by Malik’s calm and rational nature that breached his estate programming during our sessions every once in a while.
“Is there anything you can do to get her away from him?”
“I could shank him.”
“Aside from that.”
Malik shook his head.
“No. He wants me to join…”
I raised an eyebrow. Malik had always been cautious with me not to reveal what I’d suspected since we started our sessions together. The brotherhood had been circling. My manager at the centre had warned us to look for the signs, underestimating the fact that our wards knew what we were doing and maintained a deep self-interest in keeping any potential gang activity far out of our sight.
Malik trusted me, and he’d just let his guard down enough for me to get information that I wanted. If the brotherhood was closing in on a new recruit, I’d have to tell someone.
“Malik, you can talk to me.”
“Oh I can, can I? So you won’t rat me out to Gemma?”
“You can’t lie to me. You’re too good.”
“I’m obligated to report to my superiors. That’s never been a secret.”
“Fine. Report me. But you don’t ‘ave to worry.”
“Mandem can’t make Malik join a gang if ‘e don’t want to, innit?”
“Then nothing to worry about.”
“What sort of pressure are you under? Do you think you can withstand it?”
“Me an’ Butcher ‘ave an understanding. That’s about it. I help ‘im out, sure. But ‘e knows I’m only doing it for my sister, you get me?”
“Of course. If you need any help, Malik, that’s why we’re here.”
“Why are you here Malik? You don’t have to come in for counseling. What do you want from us?”
“I want to make sure my sister is alright. I don’t want to do anything that gets me killed. I don’t want to do anything dangerous. I want to be the man she needs. I want her to get away from that Irish bastard.”
“Violence won’t solve anything with him. The brotherhood’s pockets run deep. Remember that.”
“Right, but you just told me about how you handled things before. Something like that won’t fly when you’re dealing with dangerous, dangerous men.”
Malik smirked and put his feet up, a cocksure grin plastered across his seventeen year old face. His russet brown face was too wise for his age. He shouldn’t have had to deal with the cards he’d been dealt — seventeen, living on the estate with his sister and a crazy asshole who would have the brotherhood circling Malik like vultures if they could find any good use for him at all.
“What do you know about dangerous men?” Malik taunted me.
“I know enough to know that you don’t want to mess with them.”
“Something’s different about you, Sierra,” Malik said, using my first name and leaning forward, his chin propped up on his hands as he stared at me, “You ain’t like the other counselors in this joint. You’ve seen things.”
“We aren’t here to talk about me.”
“I’m right though, ain’t I?”
“If I tell you something about me, will you answer my question honestly?”
“I had a brother who was involved in gang activity.”
“No. But you’ve had your answer, so now it’s time for you to answer my question.”
“When they come knocking, when they come calling for you, will you tell me the truth? Can you promise me that, Malik?”
“Fine. I promise.”
“Our session is finished today,” I announced, glancing at the old, loud clock in the corner of my office.
I rose and stuck out my hand to shake Malik’s. He lunged forward, embracing me in a tight hug. Hugging him made me realize how skinny he was for his age, how frail he was, and how a boy so young should never have his childhood on the line the way that Malik did.
“Can I walk you to your car?”
He wanted to talk more, I could sense it. One hour a week was hardly enough to push past all the barriers he had rightfully erected around people like me — people he saw as posh, people who didn’t understand the life he’d been born into on the estate.
“Do you have more to say to me?”
“Only about Butcher and what ‘e’s doing to ‘er.”
“Sure. Tell me.”
“Promise you won’t make things harder on her?”
“I’m only obligated to disclose gang related activity as it pertains to you.”
“Right. But you ‘ave morals innit. If you get all offended, maybe you’ll think about calling someone and make life harder for her.”
“I promise you, Malik. You can trust me.”
“Fine. Butcher ‘as gotten worse. It’s been harder to deal with, and I don’t know what to do about ‘im.”
“He could really kill her, Sierra.”
I didn’t stop Malik when he called me by my first name. Accepting any bit of relatability those teens could throw my way was the only way I could relate to them. The more comfortable they felt with you, the better. That’s what I’d found out throughout the past five years.
“What is he doing?”
“She’s terrified of him. ‘E keeps saying ‘e wants her to convert for ‘im, and ‘e’s more than willing to force her to.”
“Your sister is Muslim, right?”
“She converted for the last wasteman, I don’t see why she ought to convert for this one.”
“Butcher is a total idiot. He doesn’t get it and she’s out of her mind in love with him. She doesn’t care that he’s dangerous. That he’s a gangster. Last weekend, they got into an argument about ‘er scarf and he threatened to send her to Russia on a spaceship. ‘E’s fucked in the head.”
“Has he hit her?”
“Not recently. But she’s been behaving. It will start up again, mark my words.”
“Is he using?”
“Yes. MDMA, pills, everything ‘e can get ‘is ‘ands on.”
“He’s meaner when he isn’t using?”
“’E’s a mean bastard all the time.”
I walked towards the door of my office with Malik in tow. He held the door open for me, and we poured out into the centre. Hymns spilled out into the youth centre hallway, off-key, as usual. The choir director’s screech followed a particularly horrible note in Amazing Grace.
“NO, NO, NO! YOU HORRIBLE IDIOTS, WE’VE BEEN OVER THIS!”
“’E’s got a bee in ‘is bonnet,” Malik muttered with a grin.
“I’ve got to pick up my things at the locker. You coming?”
“Sure thing, Miss St James.”
We walked for a few feet down the hallway before Malik tapped his hand on my shoulder.
“Miss St James?”
“You mentioned your brother was involved in the gangs.”
“Will you tell me what happened to ‘im?”
“Will it scare you off joining if I did?”
“Right. Then I don’t see the point in bringing it up.”
At my locker, I slipped into my peacoat and changed my short heels into plain, black converse sneakers. Malik held my purse as I dressed.
“Same time next week, then?”
“Good. I’ll talk to Yasmin, then.”
“Keep in mind, she’s scared, and no matter what he’s done to her, she loves him.”
“I don’t get it.”
“How can she love a pig like ‘im? ‘E’s done horrible things, and ‘e’s an absolute bastard to ‘er.”
“Human beings aren’t logical creatures. We struggle to defy our conditioning.”
“That’s all there is to it then? You grow up on the estate, you end up with a roadman?”
“We all make our own choices, but some of us are more prone to certain choices than others.”
“You ain’t makin’ any sense, Sierra.”
“It’s complicated. People are complicated.”
“Can I ‘elp you with that?”
I handed Malik my purse, which he slung over his shoulder without a second thought. How could this child be so sweet to me, yet tell stories about the horrors he inflicted on other people, from holding them up at knife point, to selling MDMA at raves, or ganging up on teachers after school to steal money and cellphones. Malik was two people at once: a child who wanted to fit in, and be kind and loved and excepted, and a man on the verge of making the decisions that would influence his entire life.
He stood at a crossroads, and I stood with him with the power to influence his choices. The weight of his decisions kept me up at night. He wasn’t the only teen I counseled at the centre, but he was the most vulnerable — not because he was weak, but because he had a fierce sense of where he had landed in the world and he was braver than most. He was more willing to press a knife to someone’s gut or to jump into fights with fists flying madly.
Malik held the door to the centre open and the frigid London air blew stiffly through the doors, whipping my wig nearly clean off my head. I wrapped my coat tighter around my waist. The weather in London was always a bit shit this time of year. Chilly October rains left a slick wet coat on the sidewalk. Puddles formed outside the centre, stinking of hot piss and cold mud.
Malik held my arm as I stepped around a puddle.
“Where’d you park the whip today?”
“A few blocks up. Let’s hope the meter didn’t run out.”
“I’ll sort it if it has,” Malik offered, a smile cracking across his dark, face.
“You don’t have to Malik.”
He pulled his hood up over his head, and for a moment, I saw the Malik from East London, feared by his peers at school and stalked by gang members who saw his terrifying potential.
“No. I do. I want to thank you, Sierra.”
“I’m only doing my job.”
“No. You get it. You may be posh, but you get what it’s like so when you talk to me, you don’t look down on any of us. With Gemma, it’s hard. She’s from the North end. She doesn’t get what it’s like in my ends, you get me?”
“Gemma tries her best,” I replied, defending my coworker publicly, but in secret agreement with what Malik said.
He was correct about Gemma. She didn’t get it. I, on the other hand, was raised like Malik. I understood how he thought the way he did, and I understood why he couldn’t see a way out of the life he’d been raised into, especially without a mother or father to guide him, and with a sister so wrapped up in her own drama that she couldn’t see the pain of the young blood she was responsible for.
“Gemma’s right peng, but she’s stupid,” Malik continued.
I stifled a chuckle, and instead chided him for his comment.
“Malik! She cares — about all of you. She’s only a bit naive.”
“A bit daft, rather.”
“Come on you,” I laughed, linking arms with Malik.
He smiled as we stepped over puddles and braced ourselves against the city cold. Businessmen raced past us, shiny suits and shinier loafers carrying them into their Beemers and Audi cars. They lived in a different London from the one that we lived in. They lived in a London of cocaine, money, riches, and relative ease. Life on an estate like the one where Malik was raised didn’t feel real to them. They lived in the London shocked by Grenfell Tower. We lived in the London where we knew it could happen to any of us, and the city council would hush it all up and cover it up with excuses and blames.
Two cities, two groups of people. The city’s diversity could feel like a myth.
As we approached my car, Malik continued to chat me up about Gemma, and the other youth counselors. Effie, the drug counselor had made a fool of herself recently since she’d shown up to a rave where a few of the teens had seen her drunk as a skunk and high off her ass on MDMA. Taking her seriously had become much more difficult after that. Nick, the athletics director, had made himself an enemy of the brotherhood recently, and according to Malik, rumor had it that one of the enforcers showed up at his house and forced him to back off their latest recruit.
Outside of my office, Malik spoke more freely than he ever had. He kept his walls up around himself, and even as we approached my car, I got the distinct sense that he might never open up to me. No matter how hard I tried to reach him, there would always be a wall between me and him which would lead to him joining the brotherhood. I could lose him the same way I’d lost my own brother. The thought settled in my stomach with unease.
You can get the extended, 10,000-word sample of this romance novel before the book launch 100% FREE by clicking here: GET FREE 10K SAMPLE NOW . The book is live now and discounted for all of 2019. Grab your discounted copy right here 👉 smarturl.it/londonbrotherhood
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⚠ONLY READ IF YOU LOVE FILTHY, REAL INTERRACIAL ROMANCE⚠
The man who has it all:
★A big, long, throbbing, thick, back-breaking, rock hard... ego.
★All the money in the bank to treat his black queen like royalty
★KIDS that he takes care of without being asked. ZADDY loves kids and he protects all of them with his strength.
★He LOVES single mamas and worships at the altar between their thighs
We may call a man "daddy" but "ZADDY" is something different...
This steamy hot interracial romance novella drips with filthy hot scenes that will make you sweat your weave out as you fantasize about the ZADDY you desperately crave to fill all the holes in your life. With 35,000+ words of spicy action, you'll love this kinky BWWM novel. Don't believe me? Take a peek inside and see what this novel has to offer...
Here's the trailer for this novella, 100% FREE on YouTube: smarturl.it/ZaddyTrailer
What do you think of the POPPIN' description to this brand new, upcoming interracial romance novella? If you dare take a peek before the launch, hit the "read more" to read the first chapter 100% FREE.
Romance Novel Excerpts | Zaddy: BWWM Pregnancy Romance
A successful cooking blog, two children and an escape to a home in Miami, had all been conjured up out of a big fat pile of B.S. Eliza considered the fame a blessing or at least a respite from every damned thing she’d put up with over the past decade. Life had been hard. Two kids, who she’d never regretted, had been harder and at thirty-five, she loved her daughters, her home, and life in the bustling, diverse Florida city. Eliza watched her daughters playing together on the newly carpeted floor of the living room, taking great care to avoid spilling their crayons onto the fresh, white carpet.
Karen and Sylvie wore their hair in matching afro puffs that spiraled towards the sky from their tiny brown foreheads. Sylvie was always more animated when they played, her large, dark brown eyes gleaming with mischief and excitement as her sister went along reluctantly with their new game.
Eliza looked at her watch before leaving the house. The solid rose gold watch had been her first big purchase when her blog had first sky-rocketed to success and reminded her of how hard she’d worked to build this life for her daughters — too hard. It should have been easier and she shouldn’t have done it alone but a hardworking woman knows how to get shit done — and she does it. Always.
5:00 p.m. After a long day of answering emails, talking on the phone and editing a lengthy recipe for bouillabaisse on her blog, Eliza had the responsibility of getting food for her girls. The irony was that running her cooking blog left little time for simple cooking for her daughters, especially on busy days like this one.
“Karen! Watch Sylvie for a minute. I’m headed ‘round the block to get some jerk chicken.”
“Yes mama!” Karen called back.
“And don’t forget Grams is just across the way.”
Eliza wouldn’t have left the girls alone if she didn’t share a duplex with her parents. It was just enough space that she could have privacy without worrying too much about her girls being alone up in that house.
She left the house and bustled towards Jemma’s Jerk. The streets were noisy, the Miami heat beat down on the tops of her thighs, causing sweat to pool between Eliza’s legs and her hair to stick to her neck before she got halfway down the block. She fingered the bills in her pocket, reviewing her order and pondering deeply whether or not she wanted one type of jerk sauce or another.
Food was Eliza’s life — her whole life — and even a decision as simple as what to order could zip her away to another world. A world where she wasn’t hiding out in Miami, on the run from her past and struggling to be the type of mother that she’d never planned on being: alone.
Eliza hated that her kids needed a daddy — and she hated even more that she couldn’t have a man around to take away the daily pressure of raising a family and running a business and working her ass off. There wasn’t any man who could live up to Eliza’s standards anyway. At least not in Miami. But she could still hope for the day when some magical stranger would just… whisk her off her feet.
There didn’t seem like there was much of a chance of that happening, but Eliza never lost hope.
Eliza arrived at the place two blocks away from her house faster than ever. Even if she’d been away from Trey for three years, she still couldn’t stop looking over her shoulder anxiously when she left the house alone. There was no way he’d trace her to Miami. She’d started using her middle name “Eliza” after the divorce and she’d started using her mama’s maiden name, Rice.
The line for jerk was long. Eliza silently cussed herself for not knowing better than to show up so late. The place was steaming hot; there was no air-conditioning to give the customers respite from the Miami sun. Eliza wrinkled her nose at the smell of the other customers’ sweat. She knew she must not have smelled too hot herself and she folded her arms, self-consciously swaying as the unabashed stinkers debated about their upcoming orders. There were still five more people in line before her.
Eliza folded her arms and popped in her headphones, listening to some D’Angelo while she waited in line. This place had the best jerk chicken in all of Miami but damn were they slow.
As Eliza waited, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in the store window.
I look tired. She thought to herself.
She’d looked tired for years now. Eliza remembered when she’d first moved away from Miami. She was seventeen and she’d run away with her boyfriend Trey Lane. Trey had convinced her that her family was no-good and he was the only person in the world that could love her.
They’d lived in Mississippi for a year until Eliza had turned eighteen. She hadn’t even graduated high school; Trey convinced her that she wouldn’t need to ‘cause he would take care of her. Looking back, Eliza realized how much of a fool she’d been to believe him. When Eliza turned eighteen, they got married and she’d gone from Anna-Mae Eliza Jackson to Anna-Mae Lane.
After they got married — a quiet, private service in Trey’s living room — life started to get worse for Eliza. Trey had lied about everything. He was over $120,000 in debt; he had no way of taking care of Eliza and he hadn’t quit his lifestyle of drinking and crime. Everything he’d sold Eliza on was a lie.
In quiet desperation, at 20, she’d had her first child, Karen.
Having a baby had only made things better for a little while. Trey had stopped having violent outbursts and he’d stopped drinking for a spell. He promised Eliza that things would get better, that he’d start making more money and really start to provide for them.
That “change” hadn’t lasted long and Eliza had started to fantasize about escape. That wasn’t so easy. She had no high school diploma. Trey refused to allow her to get a GED or a job, she was estranged from her family and too ashamed to tell them that she’d been a fool. Plus, she knew her mama would flip if she found out that she had a baby.
So Eliza stayed, even if she knew Trey could kill her without a second thought. He’d certainly threatened it enough and Eliza could still smell the whiskey on his breath as she remembered him threatening to cut her body up and throw her into the swamp. Trey’s drinking kept her hooked. He’d convinced her that he couldn’t survive if she left. He’d convinced her that he’d find her and kill her if she left. He convinced her that if she weren't such a gold-digging whore, he’d be able to find the motivation to get a better job.
So Eliza stayed.
At twenty-eight, Eliza felt like a shell of her former self. With an eight-year-old daughter around, Eliza feared that she was ruining her daughter’s life. Trey never hit Karen, and by God, he never touched her, but he had no problem slapping Eliza up in front of her. Eliza wanted to escape. She’d started to make plans and had everything all set up to run in the middle of the night.
Then Trey found out. He held her down on their marriage bed, threatened her life, and as she screamed, that’s how he’d given her Sylvie.
Luck had set Eliza free in a morbid kind of way. Trey had been out late drinking one night and he’d gotten into a car accident. When Eliza got the call from the hospital, her hands shook and she had promised him that she would be there soon. She took her one year old child and her nine-year-old and all the cash she had to rent a car.
That was how Miami started.
She had never looked back, never checked on Trey, and she’d left a life behind with no clue how the hell she was going to keep going forward. Eliza had to keep going because that’s what strong women do… With the protection from her mama and papa, she’d filed for divorce. Eliza’s Southern cooking blog had started to really take off right after she’d arrived in Miami. After a long, traumatic legal battle, Anna-Mae became Eliza. Mrs. Lane became Ms. Rice. She was free.
Recovery had been a long hard road and Eliza hadn’t dated anyone else seriously since Trey. It wasn’t just out of fear, but because of her daughters. Eliza’s ultimate motivation in life was to keep her daughters safe from their ain’t shit daddy forever. Karen had already suffered enough watching her mama get beat up by Trey. Eliza knew what she had to do. She had to stop.
When her blog started to make bigger and bigger bucks, Eliza had found a way to hustle her way into a duplex. Her mama and papa shared one half; she lived in the other with the two girls. Eliza had bought herself a nice 2013 Ford Focus and she was working her ass off to save more and more cash for a rainy day. With Trey out there still, a rainy day could come any time, a fact that Eliza was painfully aware of.
The line grew shorter ahead of her, but the Jamaicans were always slow with the service and all the huffing and puffing you could do wouldn’t make a damned difference when it came to dealing with them. Eliza tapped her fingers on her thighs, still stuck in the past.
Physically Eliza had changed a lot since she was that skinny 17-year-old that Trey had snatched from her home. She’d gained about fifty pounds so her body had a little shape to it. Having two kids had definitely affected Eliza’s figure. Even if she ate right and exercised, she had plenty of stretch marks all over her tummy and legs.
By some stroke of luck, her large breasts still sat up perky in her top and her face still had the youthful look of a woman in her early twenties, despite the fact that her thirty-fifth birthday had only just passed.
As a regular at Jemma’s Jerk, Eliza just hoped she’d be able to get out of that place soon. Beads of sweat were starting to build up on her forehead and Eliza worried she’d sweat her wig clean off.
The girl at the cashier yelled, “Next customer!”
Eliza peered around the line. Her favorite cashier Kelly was working. That would definitely mean her food would come faster. The Jamaican girls working at Jemma’s Jerk weren’t afraid to play favorites.
“Ay pendejo!” Two of the people in line in front of Eliza started arguing and mumbling to each other in Spanish.
Eliza sighed and smiled. Sometimes, she just had to appreciate the slow pace of this part of Miami. The city was incredible diverse and everywhere she went she met Cubans, islanders and other immigrants. The city bubbled and broiled with heat, energy, and spices.
The door to the jerk joint bust open with a bang. All the customers jerked their necks around, unafraid to let the aggressive entrant know they were watching him closely.
The man who entered was tall, white and buff. He wore a black tank top and denim shorts. His arm was covered in a black ink tribal tattoo that wrapped around his bulging biceps.
“KELLY! YO KELLY!” He yelled running to the front of the line, practically pushing the customers out of the way.
Kelly kissed her teeth, “Wha’ di rass Brett? Get di hell outta ‘ere!”
“Naw. I ain’t leavin’ till you give me a straight answer.”
Kelly started yelling, “Lemme come ‘round this counter, an’ I’ll buss yuh ass.”
“You’re full of shit Kelly. You don’t know a damned thing about what happened and I swear to god if you mess with me again—”
“Get di FOCK outta mi restaurant!” Kelly yelled.
“Fuck you Kelly! Just fuck you!”
“Mama! Jemma!” Kelly screamed.
An old dark-skinned Jamaican woman erupted from the back of the jerk joint.
“Get di fock outta mi restaurant Brett!” Jemma screamed.
“Fuck you both. I ain’t leavin’ till you tell me why Destiny called the fucking cops on me!”
Jemma glared, “Watch yuhself white boy.”
Kelly folded her arms and smirked, “Yuh ‘eard ‘er. Get di hell outta ‘ere!”
Brett looked from left to right and noticed that all eyes in the restaurant were glued to him. His face was bright red and he slammed his hands on the counter staring Kelly right in the face. Kelly kept smirking and she hardly flinched.
“Fockin’ waste man,” She spat.
“Watch yourself Kelly. If you fuck with me ever again I’ll show you how much of a fucking deadbeat I can really be.”
The man turned around and left the restaurant. As he did the tension melted away. Eliza slunk back into her position in line. Phew. That was crazy. The Miami heat could sometimes bring out the worst in people. She rolled her eyes and exchanged glances with a couple other customers. What a psycho.
Finally, Eliza arrived at the front of the line. Kelly smiled. When she wasn’t angry her hard Jamaican accent softened up quite a bit.
“Hello dearie Eliza. How are you and the children?”
Eliza smiled, “They’re good. Picking up two jerk pork and one jerk chicken.”
“Only on one of the jerk porks.”
“I got you girl. That will be $15.”
Eliza fished into her wallet for fifteen dollars and glanced behind her. The restaurant had emptied faster than she realized.
“What was going on with that guy?” Eliza asked as she rest her money on the counter.
Kelly kissed her teeth again, “Brett? He just come ‘round here lookin’ for trouble with me and mine. Waste man…”
“I was worried shit was ‘bout to pop off.”
Kelly loved drama, and Eliza knew it. But that guy had more darkness than the usual bad boys that Kelly was always embroiled in altercations with.
Kelly rolled her eyes, “He’s all talk. Just mad ‘cause he can’t handle business.”
Eliza smiled, “An ex?”
Kelly rolled her eyes and kissed her teeth again, “Oh hell no! Not an ex. Just trouble.”
After a few minutes, she brought out the jerk pork orders and the chicken. Kelly bagged up all the takeout containers.
“Can I get a Ting? The girls would love to split it.”
“Sure thing,” Kelly answered, reaching into the fridge for an ice cold Ting.
Eliza reached into her pocket for four quarters and put them on the table.
“You tell the girls I say hi. Next week mama’s bringin’ some special patty and coco bread.”
“I’ll be sure to stop by. Thanks Kelly!”
Armed with dinner, Eliza burst out of the hot restaurant into the slightly-cooler Miami air.
She saw the man who had raised the scene inside of Jemma’s Jerk standing on the corner. Without the raging, Eliza noticed that he actually looked pretty attracted. He reached into his pocket for a box of cigarettes and Eliza tried to avert her gaze quickly. She didn’t want any “incident” before arriving home.
Eliza didn’t go unnoticed despite her best efforts to keep her head down and away from this mad man.
“Ma’am! Excuse me, ma’am!”
She tried to keep her head down but Brett ran behind her and gently tapped her arm.
“Sorry, didn’t hear you,” Eliza mumbled as she turned around to face him.
She continued, “Listen, I don’t have any money.”
Brett grinned, “Name’s Brett. Not hustlin’ you for money ma’am. Just lookin’ for a light.”
As Eliza fished around in her pocket for a lighter, Brett kept talking.
“So what’s your name ma’am?”
Eliza shot him a sideways glance.
“Sorry ‘bout all that commotion… That’s not the man I really am.”
Eliza didn’t want trouble and she got the distinct sense that disagreeing with this man would bring trouble.
“What’s your name, pretty lady,” he said, a broad smile plastered across his sun-tanned face.
“Eliza… Wow… Eliza… That’s a beautiful name.”
Brett flicked the lighter once, twice and then finally got his cigarette lit. Eliza tried her best not to enjoy the fumes wafting in her direction. She’d quit smoking the day she left Trey and she’d never looked back. The lighter in her pocket was an old habit that she’d never managed to quit.
“Live around here?”
“Why should I tell you where I live?”
Brett chuckled, “Sorry ma’am. It’s just… you’re awful pretty and I wanted to walk you home.”
“It’s only a couple of blocks.”
“So you won’t stay and talk to me here then?”
Eliza rolled her eyes.
“Maybe for a minute…”
Brett’s face lit up. Eliza saw his bright smile and wondered if maybe he wasn’t so bad after all. Brett was tall and he had a body built with the brute strength of a farmer. His biceps bulged out of his tank and his denim shorts were worn from the work of an outdoorsman.
Brett had a classic Southern look. He had longish dark brown hair with streaks bleached from so much time in the sun. His face was soft and kind, with a few light wrinkles around the corners of his eyes and the area of his mouth that cracked into a smile.
“So what was Kelly so mad at you for?” Eliza asked.
Brett shrugged, “Ain’t nothing important. Just got mighty heated over an argument we had over some mutual friend.”
“Must have been a pretty big argument for you to cuss up a jerk chicken joint.”
“Hell, I know I got a temper on me. It’s the Irish blood. Sorry you had to see it. I promise, that’s not the man I am.”
“Yeah,” Eliza replied nonchalantly, “I knew a man who would say the same thing.”
She tried to rid herself of the sad look in her eye. There was no need to drudge up all the messiness of her divorce with a total stranger who was obviously trying to flirt with her.
“So what do you do for a living Eliza?”
Eliza answered, “I’m a chef. Cooking blogger now, really. My parents are Jamaican but I was born and raised in the South so I do a blend of Southern and Jamaican cooking.”
“Well I oughta have you cook for me,” Brett teased.
Eliza continued trying to feign interest, “What about you? What do you do for a living?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Brett whispered.
Eliza rolled her eyes. Okay, this guy had to be full of it.
“Sure you’re ready for this?”
“Yup, I’m sure.”
“I’m a millionaire. So now I just invest in a few projects here or there, keep my portfolio stable.”
Eliza folded her arms, “You’re right. I don’t believe you.”
Brett let out a full-bellied laugh as if her disbelief were the funniest thing in the world.
“Why don’t you believe me?”
Eliza pursed her lips. She wasn’t going to get trapped like this. She was sure that this was Brett’s idea of a joke but she didn’t find it particularly funny.
“I don’t know.”
“Oh c’mon. You know. You don’t believe a man who talks like I do and who dresses like I do could be a millionaire.”
Eliza shrugged. Brett was right but she didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that.
“Well I’ll tell you how I did it if you let me walk you home.”
“Nice move,” She began, “My kids must be getting hungry anyways. You can walk me home. But I still don’t believe you’re a millionaire.”
Eliza started the walk home. Brett offered to carry her bag with the jerk chicken cartons, so she let him.
“Well, my mama’s the daughter of some Atlanta multi-millionaires. They didn’t want a damned thing to do with her when she married my paw. He’s a poor farmer, owned a place ‘bout fifty miles outside of Miami. So they cut my mama out of the will and when my granddaddy died, all his money went to his grandchildren.”
Brett took a drag of his almost-finished cigarette.
Then, he continued, “Well my granddaddy banked on my aunties havin’ kids but none of ‘em did. Both of ‘em got hitched to other women and fled up north. I was the only grandkid left kickin’ round. My granddaddy died ‘bout eight years ago and I inherited everything he had.”
“What about your grandma?”
Brett shrugged, “She died a week after he did. From grief. Can’t figure out why. He was an old bastard…”
Eliza flinched at Brett’s harshness but she had to admit that she found him appealing. She wasn’t sure if she believed his story. It could have been true or it could have been some well-crafted tall tale to impress her. Either way, she nodded along as if she believed him.
“So you’re a multi-millionaire.”
“Yup,” Brett nodded, “My mama’s part of the Colton family in Atlanta.”
“Hold on… Like Colton Hardware?”
Brett nodded, “Yup. My granddaddy sold the place years ago but that’s us.”
“But you aren’t…”
“Naw, I ain’t a Colton, bless the Lord. I’m Brett Carver and I thank the Lord I’ve had a normal life. There was a reason my mama wanted to escape Atlanta and I’m glad she did.”
Brett grinned, “What’s crazier is how beautiful you are.”
“Whatever,” Eliza replied, unimpressed.
Smooth talkers like Brett ran the south and they left babies everywhere their sweet-talk worked. Eliza wasn’t so stupid to find herself falling for cheap lines from tanned Southerners with cigarettes hanging from their mouths.
“Are we close to your place?”
He followed his compliment with a deep, penetrating stare as if he was searching for something in Eliza’s eyes. She hadn’t realized how attracted to him she felt until she the heat started rising to her cheeks and she felt her bosom heaving with desire. What the heck?
Sure, he was good looking, strong and he had a certain amount of charm. But Eliza knew better than to pursue every twinge of attraction she felt for a man. After Trey, Eliza knew that she had to be careful. All those years of pain meant she’d learned a valuable lesson about letting men into her life just because of the way they made her heart flutter. Something about Brett put a pause on her desire to suppress every positive sensation stimulated in her by a man.
“So tell me more about yourself, Eliza?”
Eliza’s heart quickened with a mixture of fear and excitement. Why did he want to know? He wouldn’t give it a rest if she didn’t answer; Eliza could tell that much.
Eliza sighed, “Well I got two kids, my own business, own a duplex that I share with my parents and by the time I’m forty-five I want to retire.”
Brett grinned, “Two kids?”
“Yup. Sylvie and Karen.”
“Are your daughters as beautiful as you are?”
Eliza grinned, “Yes. They are.”
“You shy, Eliza? Don’t get complimented like that often?”
“I get complimented just enough thank you very much.”
“Quit the sass ma’am, just tryin’ to find out if there’s any other dogs barkin’ up your tree.”
Eliza wrinkled her nose, “No, there aren’t any dogs barkin’ up my tree. And that phrase is disgusting by the way.”
“Just part of my Southern charm…”
“We’re only a few houses away from my place.”
“Lemme guess, that gorgeous white house is yours.”
Eliza was surprised that he’d actually guessed.
“Yes…” She admitted, “What are you, some kind of stalker?”
“Naw. I can tell you’re a classic kinda woman. You wouldn’t belong in any other place but that what. It’s nice, Southern and fit for a Queen.”
“Oh yeah?” Eliza teased, “So a ‘millionaire’ like yourself doesn’t look down on my humble little abode.”
“Just ‘cause I’m rich don’t make me a snob. I never knew money my whole life,” Brett confessed with a shrug.
Jada wasn’t sure that a single part of her believed him. Just ‘cause he kept saying it, didn’t mean he was truly rich. Brett reached into his side pocket and pulled out another cigarette. Then he reached into his back pocket for a lighter.
“Found yourself a light huh?” Eliza asked.
Brett threw up his hands, “You caught me… That was just an excuse to talk to you. I noticed you standing in Kelly’s and damn, even if I was mad as hell you caught my eye.”
“Well your little ploy worked… But I’m at my place so I’ve got to leave you now Mr. Carver…”
“And I guess I’d better leave you Mrs…”
“Not Mrs. I’m Eliza Rice. Miss Eliza Rice.”
“Alright Miss Rice. Are you sure I can’t come in?”
Eliza shook her head.
“Sorry Mr. Carver, my kids are up there and they are hungrier than a pack of coyotes.”
“Well maybe I can see you again some time?”
A date. He was asking her on a date all up front like that. Eliza was intimidated by how forward he was. All of this had happened so suddenly. Moments ago, he was causing a scene at Jemma’s Jerk and now he was asking her on a date?
In theory, it seemed like a bad idea. But Eliza had enjoyed her walk home with Brett. He pricked her nerves, but he also made her heart race in that warm and delicious way that happens when there is new love. She’d enjoyed his stories, his liberal compliments and the gentlemanly way he’d carried her food all the way to the door. Eliza wasn’t a fan of the smoking but she could tolerate it. At least it was better than drinking. As usual, drinking made her think of Trey, which served as a sober reminder to slow down when it came to men — especially men who could turn on the charm like that.
“I don’t know…”
“I know you want to say yes,” Brett asserted.
He was right too. Eliza did want to say yes. Even if it was unconventional for her to go out with a man she’d met off the street. He made her want to say yes.
“You’re right. I do want to say yes,” Eliza started, “So yes, yes we can see each other again.”
Eliza nodded, “Sure.”
“I’d better give you my number then,” Brett said.
He reached into his back pocket for a his wallet and a ballpoint pen. He scribbled his phone number on an old receipt and handed it to Eliza.
“You know where you can find me,” Brett added with a wink.
“Thank you, I really appreciate it.”
“No trouble at all missy,” Brett said, “See ya later.”
Eliza waved goodbye and then entered her house. Karen and Sylvie sprinted towards her. They’d been waiting quite a while for their dinner and they were voracious. Eliza sat them down and shared out the heaping portions of jerk pork and chicken. She sat around the small dining table with her daughters and they started to eat.
“Did y’all call grandma and grandpa?”
“No mama,” Karen said.
“And you minded your sister?”
Sylvie’s face broke out into a mischievous grin.
“Karen fell asleep!” Sylvie announced.
“Sylvie shut up! You such a damn snitch!”
“Hey! No cussin’,” Eliza chastised Karen.
Her daughter glared at Sylvie who stuck out her tongue in retaliation.
“Y’all better fix your mood once you eat that jerk. I don’t wanna see no more of this fighting.”
“Yes mama,” They replied in unison.
Eliza felt blessed by her daughters’ ability to get along with each other. There were many difficult aspects to being a single mother but her daughters made life both easy and worthwhile. As she ate dinner and listened to her daughters talking, Eliza’s mind wandered to her pending date with Brett.
She’d been so focused on their first meeting that she hadn’t really thought about it. She might have first caught Brett at a bad time but he wasn’t broke, he was handsome as hell and he had a daredevil attitude that made Eliza’s heart race.
A date with a man like Brett` would be a very interesting change of pace.
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Mr. Too Big, a steamy hitman novella came from an idea that I had while talking to my husband. Yes, it sounds corny but it's true, my HUSBAND inspired "Mr. Too Big". Infer what you will from that one! I couldn't wait to get the novel written and I actually had it done two weeks before I published it. I had no idea what to do with the book and my mind was RACING with questions...
Will my readers like this book?
Is this book good enough to publish?
Will the kinks in this book be "too raunchy" for Amazon?
I can tell you right now that the book is HOT. It's almost too raunchy for Amazon. Oops. I guess I couldn't help myself. The book was definitely good enough to publish and to this day, I get emails about Mr. Too Big from readers who were pleased to stumble across my steamy novella. Sometimes it's better to believe in yourself than to cloud your head with doubts...
I don't want to spoil too much of this story for you, but let's just say our hitman JAY will have you drooling. I know you need a new book boyfriend, so dive into the sample ASAP
BWWM Books Novella Sample: Mr. Too Big
One more job, and then I was out.
Isn't that what they always say in movies, right before the shit hits the fan?
I guess maybe it was only too appropriate, then. Because things were about to go down for me like they'd never gone down before.
As I would soon find, I'd gotten far too big to try and pull out now...
I sat across the street from a towering skyscraper in the middle of downtown, outside a small cafe. In another lifetime, I would have been sitting with a newspaper pressed against my nose, trying to look inconspicuous in order to hide what I was really up to. These days, though, a guy like me reading a newspaper would have stuck out like a sore thumb- six foot one, jacked and rugged, occupying his time with a relic of the previous century.
So instead I sat stooped over an iPad, blending in a lot better that way, a set of shades concealing my persistent glances toward the building on the opposite side of the street. I kept pressing my earpiece closer and closer like there might be something going on that I was missing. I'd bugged my target's car, then watched as he and his bodyguards made their way out into the building in question. I knew there was nothing that I should be listening for, but I guess I was just a little bit on edge.
This was the job to end all jobs. The payday that was going to get me out of this shit once and for all. And I was going to do everything in my power to ensure that it went off without a hitch. That any one of a million different things didn't manage to fuck it up for me.
I'd been following my target around for weeks, hoping to gain some insight into his schedule. A mister Ray Philips, one of the most contemptible sons of bitches I'd ever been assigned to take out. Day trader. Arms dealer. A major player in the pharmaceutical industry, who'd made a fortune jacking up drug prices for those who were most vulnerable, and most unable to afford them.
I'd never been proud of how I made my living. It wasn't that I'd chosen the life of the assassin, so much as it had chosen me. Having enlisted as a soldier and seen things that no man should see, and doing things that man should ever do in good conscience, I found myself unable to reshape myself into the mold of a healthy, everyday life. The violence was in my blood. My soul craved peace, and a reprieve from all the horrors I'd witnessed and been a part of. But I still needed to make money, and at the end of the day, I realized there was really only one thing I'd ever been good at.
I worked for a man called Hillary. Marlon Hillary. A rich jackass in his own right, he'd kept me around as his gun for hire for the past five years. I took care of his enemies for him. The business rivals who posed too much of a threat. Those who were willing to get their hands even dirtier than he was, and who seemed as though they might serve as a problem for him in the long term.
I harbored no delusions about what I did. I was a murderer, pure and simple. But at least in this position, I had some say over who bit the bullet. I could say no to a job if I had to if my conscience started objecting too loud, unlike in my previous line of work.
I did have a moral code, even if it wasn't much of one. I'd always refused to take out the innocent. To hurt anyone who didn't have it coming, and then some. I'd turned down a few high profile clients who'd requested such services of me- asking me to kill men and women who, obnoxiously wealthy and corrupt or not, had done nothing worthy of the death sentence that had been asked of me to impose upon them.
I'd lost a pretty penny that way over the years, believe you me. I could have been done and out of this game by now if I hadn't shown such restraint, but here I was, still in the game, and only just now on the threshold of getting out of it.
I didn't even want to think about how much of my soul I would still have left by the time I finally did get things wrapped up...
Thankfully, this Ray Philips was like the best of both worlds to me. He was both rotten to the core and worth a fortune in my pocket- easily the largest bounty I had ever made an effort to claim.
Then, at last, the moment I'd put the bullet through his temple and washed the blood from my hands, I had plans to pack up my fortune, buy a first class ticket to Belize, and leave this life forever, spending my remaining time on earth making my best effort to forget that any of it had ever happened.
Not that I would forget.
I could never forget all that I'd done. The sins these hands were responsible for. The lives they'd taken. But at least, for once, I could try to rest. I could lay my head down in contemplation, and try to figure things out for myself. What I was meant for. What I was put on this earth to do. If, indeed, I really had any business being on this forsaken rock at all.
The only problem right now with my ingenious plan was that Ray Philips didn't seem to stick to any kind of reliable schedule that I could make out. All the days I'd been following him, I had hoped to take note of a recognizable pattern of some kind. Something that would make it easy for me to catch him when his guard was down, and when I stood the lowest possible risk of getting caught.
But of course, I really should have learned by now, nothing was ever really that easy for me...
Apparently, having his fingers in so many pies at once kept Philips as busy as a bee, flitting from one flower to the next, his movements erratic, unpredictable. He must have done enough coke to never have to spend ten consecutive minutes asleep at a time.
And so, I decided, I was just going to have to take the plunge one way or another.
I made up my mind that today would be the day. I was ending this, tonight, as soon as he was at home and, with any luck, asleep.
And then I was out of this, at long, long last.
I'd lapsed into a reverie in the heat of the early evening sun, and let my vision fall out of focus without meaning to. I jerked awake at the sound of static in my earbuds, then footsteps clacking across the sidewalk toward the Mercedes in which Philips had been driven here.
“Okay, men. We're done here today. If Esposito doesn't want to listen to reason, I'll just take things into my own hands. I'm done playing games with such a goddamn child. Now, take me the fuck home, I need some rest. I haven't slept a fucking night clear through this entire goddamn week.”
So much of the time I kept my cool so well. Now, though, I let myself get too excited. I leaped up from my chair without meaning to, keen to follow after my target, even though there was no imperative need to do so just now. I knew where he was going. I should have waited a while instead of trailing them too directly, but I wasn't thinking.
Across the street, Philips didn't notice me. Nor did the large, thuggish bodyguard opening the back door to the Mercedes for him. The one at the driver's side did, however.
Through two lanes of heavy evening traffic, my eyes met those of the driver through his shade, making my heart skip a beat.
Damn it... Damn it... Damn it! I thought to myself, freaking the fuck out that my cover was about to be blown at best, and that at worst I was about to wind up with a bullet in my own head.
I thought fast, though, trying to minimize the damage.
I stretched, as though my eyes meeting those of Philips' brute had been nothing more than a coincidence. Then I took the last sip of my coffee, and laid some money on the table, as though I'd become totally oblivious of all that was ensuing on the other side of the street. I sorted out some change from my pocket and left a far too generous tip for the young woman who'd brought me my coffee- if this worked like I hoped it would, it might have just been her that ended up saving my life.
Then, keeping up the charade, I set off down the street, away from the Mercedes, away from where my bike was parked nearby, striding as though I knew exactly where I was going, and why I was going there. I really had no clue, except that I needed to get as far away from Philips as I could, as fast as possible.
I didn't dare look back over there again, back over to the building where Philips had been. I did, however, squint into the glass windows of the building I passed on my side. The knot in my stomach unclenched at the sight of the Mercedes pulling away, the bodyguard's suspicion of me evidently minimal enough for him to let me off the hook.
I let out a sigh of relief and decided I would circle the block once for good measure.
There was no rush to get to Philips this instant. I would wait until tonight when conditions were more favorable, and then I would end this, once and for all.
I could almost taste the fresh air of freedom on my lips...
I'd parked my bike in the woods outside Philips' mansion several hours ago, then hiked over to a spot overlooking his place. I'd watched his house through the scope of the rifle I carried with me until every light had gone out, and a vehicle had pulled away out the driveway- the vehicle, I hoped, of Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum, his bodyguards.
I couldn't be certain that Philips was the only occupant in the place but now felt like as good a chance as any. At that moment, it honestly felt like my only chance.
I crept down to the house like a phantom, switching instantly into combat mode. I'd learned to turn off all of my inhibitions, to cast aside all of my doubts whenever the moment of truth arrived. I was no longer a human being anymore. But a machine. My actions swift and decisive. My decisions, my responses, purely rational. Dedicated to getting a job done, and nothing more, nothing less.
I pushed a fist through the glass panes of his front door, and made swift work of disabling his security alarm- I'd cracked the code the previous week while he was away one afternoon. I stepped through the door with soft, but speedy footsteps, and glided my way up the spiral staircase for the second floor, heading for his master bedroom.
I was normally so good about all of this. So skilled at making an entry, and doing my job, and disappearing without a trace. As I made my way down the hallway, however, and the door to his room came closer and closer, and so did my freedom, I felt my blood pressure rising. It all seemed too good, too perfect to be true.
And suddenly, I realized that it must be.
Something wasn't right...
I stopped, dead in my tracks.
I didn't know what was off. But something was. There was just a sense of it. A feeling in the air, that I couldn't quite seem to put my finger on.
And then I heard the sound of a footstep, trying to be lighter than it could manage to be from around a corner.
I spun on my heel, whirring back around in the opposite direction.
I saw the flash of light before I heard the sound.
I hurled myself down to the ground as the bullets missed me by nothing greater than a few millimeters. Once I was to safety, I didn't even think about it. I lifted my gun up to what I calculated to be the man's knees in the darkness, and I fired.
“Jesus Christ! Motherfucker!”
He shot at me again as he was falling, but only managed to hit a vase atop the stand beneath which I'd taken cover. He hit the ground like a timbered tree and was already rushing to point the barrel of the gun back up at me, but I was too fast for him.
I pointed at his head and fired, and that was the end of him.
He lay there, motionless in silent in the middle of the hall. I waited, for just a fraction of a second, long enough to be sure that he was as dead as a doornail. Then I sprang up, and rushed over to him, and saw that it was the man from the Mercedes. The one who'd locked eyes with me across the street.
Clearly, the place hadn't been left as unguarded as I'd hoped.
I'd largely been suspecting that, though.
I let out a light sigh, not wanting to let myself be too relaxed just yet. My gut told me that this was the only guard in the place, but I still had Philips left to go. And something told me he would be on a high alert after I and Tweedle-dee had just made enough noise out here in the hallway to summon up the living dead.
I hastily weighed my options at that moment.
Retreat? Fuck no.
I was getting this job done, dead or alive.
Wait? For what? For Philips to have more time to get his guard up? To call the authorities? Not that I imagined he would, given the many dirty dealings he was connected to in some way or another. Still, though, the principle was the same. The longer I let that son of a bitch stay alive, the longer he had to come up with a plan to stop me.
Time was of the essence here, and whether I liked it or not, I was all out of time...
I stepped up to his door, staring at it for a moment with dread, instead of the naive optimism I'd allowed myself to feel at the sight of it, only a few short moments ago.
I lifted my hand to the knob, and almost made the mistake of stepping inside. But then I checked myself. I twisted the knob, just enough to get it started. Then I stepped off to the side so that I was no longer positioned directly within the doorway. I lingered for a moment, then pushed my foot against the door's lowest panel, kicking it open from off to the side, still standing next to the hinges.
Immediately once the door was open, a mad volley of automatic gunfire exploded through the door, the bullets pelting wildly against the opposite wall, tearing the drywall to smithereens.
I heard Philips yelling over the sound of the bullets, his battle cry the sad mimicry of a middle-aged man who's never been in combat but who's watched Rambo on TV at least a dozen times.
He moved slowly out into the hall, still firing, too blinded by the pulse of the gun to see that he was hitting nothing whatsoever, save for his own house.
I waited until my shot was clear, then I jerked my gun up, and aimed it right for the side of his head. He became aware of me just as I started pulling the trigger, and started turning in my direction.
The bullet raced clean through his head, but he was facing too me way too much as he fell, and the gun was still going off in his hands as he fell. Streams of bullets whipped and whizzed through the air in my direction, seeming to leave these white hotlines in their wake like miniature chemtrails, fading only very slowly from my field of vision.
And then I felt something hit me, in spite of my very best efforts to avoid the barrage.
I yelled out in pain and was sure in that moment that this spelled the end of me. The impact had been against my head, and no sooner had I felt it than I watched my life flashing before my eyes. All the horror. All the carnage. All the mayhem, and all the heartbreak.
No! No! Fuck! Fuck! Please, please, don't let this be the last thing that I see before I'm ushered in through the gates of hell! I'll have all eternity to look at all that... Just please, don't let this be the end!
I was lying on the ground by the time it dawned on me that I hadn't been mortally wounded. A scalding teardrop was rolling down along my cheek, thick and viscous. It seeped in between my lips, and I felt it on my tongue, and I realized that it was blood from my wound.
I touched my cheek, and it stung but realized with relief that I'd only been grazed.
I wasn't about to die. Not yet, anyway.
It took a while past the ringing in my ears to recognize the sound of voices ringing out in the background. I leaped back to my feet, instantly on my guard again, and the adrenaline of survival the only thing that was keeping my legs from collapsing.
I held my gun pointing into the room but thankfully didn't fire. The afterimage of gunfire finally faded away from my field of vision, and I could see that there were two naked women, cowering in fear in the opposite corner of the room.
I sighed and lowered my pistol. Then I looked down into Ray Philips' wide eyes, the gaping red hole in his temple a sure sign that it was over at last. I'd done my job. And I was finished.
“You two could really do better,” I said to the two of them, with a last look inside the room. Then I pulled the door shut again behind me, and took off down the hall at top speeds. I should have felt victorious, elated, freed at last from the shackles of this line of work.
Instead, though, I just felt sick. My blood pressure was high. My pulse was skyrocketing. I never felt great after a kill, but this was something different. I wondered whether it was the fact that I'd come so close to death, or maybe that I'd taken a life I hadn't intended to take when I'd signed up for this job.
I didn't think it was either of those things, though.
I think, somehow, my body was trying to warn me. I think it was a sense of foreboding, to let me know what I had no way of knowing yet, but that I probably should have anyway- by instinct, if by nothing else.
That, quite simply, this wasn't really over. It was only just getting started...
Right now, though, I ignored all of that. I rushed into the woods, and hopped onto my motorcycle, and took off down lightless back roads like a bat out of hell, increasingly on edge. I could hear the sound of sirens blaring like mad from the highway, and could see the red and blue lights flashing toward the crime scene as I made my escape- Philips might not dare have called the cops when he was alive, but I was sure the two women he'd probably paid to sleep with him would have.
I told myself I didn't give a damn. That there was no way in hell I wasn't getting away with this.
I just kept going and going, the momentum perversely soothing, as all the while the whole world seemed to be crashing in around me.
I started taking my clothes off the instant I stepped through the door of my apartment, and I was naked in the shower within a minute, the water cranked up to full heat, filling the bathroom with steam.
I leaned forward against the far wall, panting so deep and so hard I thought I was hyperventilating. I didn't know what the fuck was wrong with me. As often as I'd done this, I'd never reacted to the way that I was now. Was it the girls maybe? Was it that glimpse of something I could never have in my life, making me feel so guilty, so paranoid?
I still couldn't say for certain.
I looked down at my feet, gasping, and watched the blood of Ray Philips and his bodyguard swirling down the drain amidst the scalding whirlpool of water. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. And then, without totally being aware of it, I noticed my hand finding its way between my legs, grabbing a nice, firm hold on my cock.
I'd been hard ever since I put the bullet through the head of the bodyguard.
It sounds terrible. I know it does. Like I get off on killing or something. But that's not it.
Ever since I'd started doing this, I always got rock solid from the danger of a hit. I think it was something to do with survival, and biology, and all that shit. Like my body just knew, instinctively, that it was in danger. That its chance to reproduce was drawing to a close, and it demanded that I give it one last shot before I turn my back on life.
I always had to cum after a kill. And right now I was aching for it like I'd never ached before.
I wrapped my fist around my rock hard cock and started rapidly pumping myself beneath the shower, grunting as my hand slammed back into my balls, needing so badly to get this out of me, thinking that once I did it would finally be enough for me to be able to react. I jerked my growing inches of solid manhood with a vengeance. Like the job wasn't actually finished until I'd completed this crucial, cleansing ritual. I was pulsing so hard, and my tip was getting unbelievably swollen, and I wanted to get this heat out of me so fucking bad.
But the pressure wasn't building. No matter how hard, how relentlessly I pumped myself, how desperately I needed to see this through to completion, my mind wasn't where it needed to be. I closed my eyes and tried to think. Tried to conjure up whatever it might take to get my rocks off, but couldn't figure out what the hell that might be.
I tried picturing the two girls back at Philips' place- taking both of them at once- but of course, that only made matters worse. Then I tried thinking about Julia, my ex-fiance, who I'd dated all the way back before enlisting. Sometimes, she did the trick for me. That woman knew how to screw a man like it was nobody's business, and sometimes I could still taste her on me if I concentrated hard enough. Still feel the tight, rhythmic pulsing of her tight slit around my cock as she rode me.
But then I would start thinking about everything she'd done to me. How badly she'd broken my heart, once I came back from combat so profoundly changed, so different, like she hadn't known what she was signing up for when I enlisted.
This took me in the opposite direction. I started feeling bitter, and resentful, and about as far away from turned on as it was possible to be.
And so I thought again. I shifted my focus. I tried to draw forth a name from depths of my mind. A name, and a face, of anyone who still filled me with any sort of tenderness. Instead so much pain. All the crushing heartbreak that had been inflicted on me by nearly everyone else in my life.
And that was when someone strange came to mind.
It almost caught me off guard at first.
I certainly hadn't been expecting it.
Keisha, the daughter of my boss, Marlon Hillary. The two of us had only met a handful of times over the years that I'd ben in Marlon's employment. There had certainly never been anything between the two of us, as such- Marlon probably would have had me killed if he even caught me thinking about it. But the couple of times we had run into one another, there had been something unaccountably striking about her.
Poise, and graciousness, and of course beauty. There was something mature about her, for a girl who was only twenty-one years old. A bit young for a blondish silver fox in his mid-forties? I'm not going to pretend otherwise.
But on the occasions I'd seen her, I'd thought I saw some glint of those rich, mahogany eyes of hers. An expression of longing, unspoken, but very clear, and very present. I want you, she seemed to say, without speaking, and at that moment, beneath the boiling water, and with the last of Philips' blood draining away beneath my feet, something seemed to click.
I wanted her. Badly. Like I'd never wanted a woman before in my life.
I groaned and started slamming my hand against my body, pumping my shaft again at double the rate of before, jerking my fist along all those solid tumescent inches of mine.
I pictured my tongue in her throat. My hands on her perfectly portioned breasts, squeezing them, pinching those dark, luscious nipples. I pictured her thighs, just the right amount of wide, and her tight, juicy ass, and imagined how wonderful it would feel, kneading those buttocks between my greedy fingertips.
I savored the imagined touch of her rich, ebony skin, and the contrasting cool and heat of her body, and how hot and how tight she would feel around me if only I could be inside her.
Finally, I pictured her down on her knees, and my cock in her throat and her tongue twisting around me, sucking me off with a kind of urgent desperation like I just couldn't cum for her soon enough.
I started roaring and pounding myself, and I felt the pressure building, at last, building toward its sweet, inevitable, perfect crescendo.
Then I let out a yell at the top of my lungs. Every muscle in my body seemed to spasm. Every part of me was seized by orgasm, gripped from head to toe, the bathroom seemed to spin around me, the steam making me lightheaded, and my heart thundering to escape from my chest.
My cock spilled over, pulsing, leaping, pumping its hot cum everywhere. It plunged across my shifting hand, and hit the wall of the shower, and poured along down the drain. And all the while, as I just kept cumming and cumming, the whole of my being on fire with pleasure, was how fucking amazing my cum would look all over Keisha's skin, and dripping from her mouth, and spilling down so slowly between her perfect breasts.
At long last, I felt the thrill of climax dissipating. I gasped, and shivered, and felt a devastating emptiness wash over me. All of the sudden, I was reminded of just how far I was from the girl I'd fantasized about. How ridiculous it was for me to imagine that kind of thing in the first place, knowing that a man like me could never settle down. Never have anything even remotely resembling what I craved to have with her.
Best just to put her out of my head, and be grateful for what she'd done to me.
Getting the toxins of murder out of my system, and allowing my heart to finally settle down to something even remotely resembling a normal rate of beating.
I gave my shaft a last few deep, slow pumps, then practically slid along the tiles of the shower to the floor, exhausted, in so many more ways than I could count.
“Fuck,” I gasped, tilting my head back, closing my eyes, and letting the steam from the water sweep me away.
I tried my best to ward off my looming depression. To tell myself that I was all okay. So, I couldn't have what I really wanted. I could never have it. But I was out of this life now. I'd made enough on that hit to be finished with it. Gone for good.
No looking back.
That, as far as I was concerned, should have been enough.
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The first installment of the BWWM Captive Series, SEAL's Captive was nothing like what I had expected. I first published this book under the title Bringing The Heat. The only issue? There was no heat. I got everything wrong and the book was a total flop.
I could have given up, but I didn't want to. I loved the story, and I knew with some more work, I could bring you a book that you would love just as much as I did. I made big changes. I consulted with a cover designer and told her that I wanted the best look for my readers. She came up with this cover you see here. But that wasn't enough...
This is the beginning of a story that's about both love and sisterhood. Three black women are connected by a father that they barely know and his death sends the heiresses spiraling into a dark world that they'd grown up knowing nothing about. In this extraordinary world, they find men capable of loving them more than they'd ever anticipated and from the darkness that they are thrust into, they find a beacon of light...
These stories aren't "too serious" either... I made them plenty steamy with hot new locations for hanky-panky that will have you heading out to experiment with hubby TONIGHT. Don't believe me? Check out this free sample and read the available books in the trilogy. You'll have a WILD time, I promise.
Romance Novel Excerpts: SEAL's Captive | Book #1 BWWM Captive Series
Gigi barely knew her father. She knew that he was wealthy and that her mother had been knocked up at nineteen years old by a man a decade older than her.
Jerome Jackson had always been a mysterious absentee figure. To Gigi, he was daddy, the person who paid for her education, the person who sent her to horseback riding camp, he'd sent her on trips to Mallorca and Bangkok, but he'd never been there.
Gigi could count on her hands the number of times she'd seen him in person.
Gigi stood next to her two half-sisters looking down at the body of the man she barely knew. Jerome Jackson — born June 11th, 1958, died February 14th, 2017.
Dinah was the one who had found him. As she told it, he’d been sitting in his study with his hand clasped around a glass of whiskey.
Gigi stood next to the sister that she barely knew and slipped her hand into hers. Dinah was crying, but neither Gigi nor their third sister Tyra could muster up tears yet. Neither of them knew Jerome quite the way that Dinah did. Dinah was the only one who had grown up with him.
The funeral would start in forty-five minutes. Strangers would fill this room and gawk at her father’s body. Most of them would probably know Jerome better than Gigi ever had. Her father, the stranger.
Even if he had been a stranger, Jerome had ensured Gigi had the best of the best. She’d attended the best private day schools in New York and then she’d been shipped off to a New England boarding school for high school. All on her father’s dime.
In her community, Gigi’s life had caused whispers. Despite her expensive education, she had grown up in a small two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Her mother’s job as a public school teacher could never have afforded her all the luxuries she had growing up.
She’d only met and hung out with her sisters three times in the past. When Gigi was eighteen years old — Tyra, sixteen, Dinah, fifteen — Jerome persuaded Gigi’s mother to let Gigi join him for a special summer vacation. He thought it was important for all his daughters to know each other. After much pleading, Gigi remembered her mother reluctantly allowing her to go.
She remembered being eighteen and standing in line at JFK, ready to meet her father in person for only the tenth time in her life. She remembered the image she had constructed of him from his letters alone and filled in by her active imagination. She remembered picturing her sisters in her head; she imagined they would all be perfect copies of her, the best friends she’d been searching for her whole life.
Gigi cracked a smile as she recalled that vacation. It had been far from perfect. Tyra and Dinah were nothing like her and they were used to being “only children”. Jerome hadn’t been the perfect father either on that vacation. Instead of spending time with them, he’d given them each a credit card and sent them off on their own. Gigi and her two sisters had an insane month in Paris together followed by a month in London. There had been laughter, shopping... and more fighting than ever.
Those were some of the best and worst memories Gigi had of Jerome. She reached out and touched his stiff hand in the coffin. Those tears finally found their way out of her eyes. Dinah squeezed her hand tightly and rested her head on Gigi’s shoulders.
“I don’t know if I can do this today,” Tyra whispered.
“Well. We have to.”
“I know,” Tyra replied, “But I think I’ll need a drink.”
“Don’t drink too much,” Gigi warned.
“Easy for you to say,” mumbled Tyra.
“I think I’ll have whatever you’re having.”
They walked into the other room. It felt strange having the funeral out of Jerome’s house, but that was what he requested. He'd been specific too. He wanted the viewing, the repast, and funeral in the foyer downstairs and then he’d be cremated later that week. Each of his daughters would get 1/3 of his ashes and 1/3 of his assets.
He might have been more absent than not, but he’d always provided financially, even in death.
Dinah had hired an event coordinator to manage the entire affair. They approached Jerome’s bar and each ordered a drink. Tyra ordered a stiff whiskey on the rocks (Jim Beam, just like her father drank).
Dinah ordered a glass of white wine. Gigi ordered cranberry juice with a splash of vodka in it. She wanted the presence of mind throughout this entire affair. She wanted to remember — even if remembering would hurt like hell.
She felt sad that Jerome had died but not from missing him. Heck, she’d grown used to missing him her own life. What really gnawed at Gigi’s heart was all the time she didn’t get to spend with her father. She realized all the things she didn’t know about him. She knew that he’d made millions of dollars in investment banking and investing in technology. She knew that he was a renowned womanizer who hadn’t just dated their mothers but a number of celebrities.
But Gigi didn’t know how he liked his coffee. She didn’t know what her father liked to do in his downtime. All she knew was that he’d worked, provided and then died. His personality would always be a mystery to her. His death was so painfully final. She downed as much of her drink as she could manage, her racing mind causing her to rethink her abstinence from alcohol.
“What happens next Dinah?” Tyra asked.
Dinah morosely took a sip of her wine before answering. By some cruel fate, the youngest of them had been completely responsible for putting all of this together. She was the only one of them who really knew Jerome. She’d grown up in this very mansion and ultimately, she’d been the one to find her father’s body. It was like Dinah was suffering just for being the only one of Jerome’s children he’d paid any mind.
“I meet with the estate lawyer and the accountant. You guys don’t have to stay here. Once you send me your banking information and addresses, I should be able to sort it all out.”
“Jesus,” Tyra mumbled.
“It’s a lot of money,” Gigi confirmed.
Dinah smiled, “I guess it is. I’m just so used to all this, you know?”
Tyra nodded, “Lucky you. I grew up in East L.A. Daddy provided for me but mama would have never let any of this get to my head.”
Dinah furrowed her brow a bit.
“Don’t mean any offense.”
“None taken. It’s just… Sometimes I wonder how daddy could have left y’all across the country. Why me?”
Gigi shrugged, “My mama had me at nineteen. It was a long time ago. Maybe with you he just wanted things to be different.”
“I guess. But it still bothers me. Doesn’t it bother you? That we didn’t grow up together?”
Tyra and Gigi exchanged glances. Yes, it did bother them. Of course, it did. Their father was internationally renowned and incredibly wealthy but for a reason, neither of them knew, he’d only picked the youngest of them to take care of properly.
To them, Jerome was a more of an idea than a person. Dinah was the only one of her sisters who had grown up with a real father.
“I guess it bothers me,” Tyra mumbled.
“Well, we have a chance to get to know each other now,” Gigi offered.
Dinah sighed, “But how? After this… you’ll head east and Tyra’s going to head west.”
“And then you’ll be the baddest bitch left in Costa Rica,” Tyra grinned.
The three of them laughed. It was the first time that the three of them had shared a proper laugh since they’d arrived at Jerome Jackson’s tropical mansion. This was the country that Dinah had grown up in while Gigi was away at boarding school and while Tyra had attended a private day school in California.
“Well, since we only have a few minutes, why don’t we just have another drink,” Dinah said.
They were starting to realize that like it or not, they would have an emotionally exhausting day. They ordered second rounds of their drinks as time ticked towards the start of the funeral service.
“Do you remember Paris?” Gigi asked.
Dinah cracked a smile.
“Yes, I remember Paris. It was insane… The drinks, the shopping…”
“The fighting…” Tyra finished.
“What did we even fight over?”
“Everything,” Gigi smiled.
“It all seems so silly and so far away,” Tyra replied.
Dinah nodded, “Daddy barely even spent any time with us that vacation. We had no clue about anything but we ran around the streets of Paris like little African princesses.”
Gigi had never really thought of herself as African, but Dinah wasn’t wrong to refer to them as such. Their father, Jerome Jackson was an African immigrant who changed his name when he was eighteen years old to the alliterative, Americanized name Jerome Jackson.
Gigi had no clue who her father had been before he’d changed his name. Growing up in Brooklyn, she was utterly cut off from her Nigerian heritage. She never even thought about it. As far as she was concerned she was just a regular African American girl. Tyra felt the same way.
“Have you been to Nigeria?” Tyra asked Dinah, letting Gigi know that they were probably thinking the same thing.
Dinah pushed the hair from her wig out of her face and she nodded.
“Yeah. I went last year to daddy’s mansion in Maitama. It’s beautiful out there.”
“I can’t believe I’ve never gone.”
Dinah shrugged, “Maybe we should go there sometime. After the funeral.”
“If I can get time off work,” Tyra answered.
Gigi wondered if Tyra was serious.
They would each be inheriting something to the tune of $42 million dollars each. They would co-own his mansion in Costa Rica, his apartment complex in Chicago and the mansion in Maitama.
For the rest of their lives, they could sit back and relax. With a team of investors to manage their portfolios, accountants, and lawyers, they would never have to work again. Gigi always knew her father had money, but she didn't realize it was this much until he'd passed.
Once learning about the inheritance, she struggled to imagine working again and heading back to the daily grind.
She’d struggled in her adulthood since graduating from college and she didn’t feel ashamed about putting an end to that struggle, whether or not she earned the money to do it. Tyra was different.
Maybe things are easier out in California, Gigi thought to herself.
They sat back and they reminisced about Paris. They reminisced about the boy that Gigi had fallen for in France — a black twenty-year-old Parisian named Christophe. They reminisced about the time Dinah drank so much they had to sneak her into the apartment through the back entrance. They reminisced about how Tyra had almost had them kicked out of a nightclub because she tried to fight a loud-mouthed bully on Dinah’s behalf.
As they reminisced, they did everything to try to forget the fact that their father’s body was dressed up in a custom Italian designer suit only a few feet away.
They tried to forget the fact that this might be the last time they all saw each other. They tried to forget about all their anxieties about growing older, about love, happiness and the lot of it.
“Are any of you married?” Dinah asked.
Gigi and Tyra both shook their heads.
“Do you ever want to be?” Dinah asked.
Tyra shrugged and Gigi nodded.
“I do. But I’ll need to meet the right guy. Maybe I’m getting too old though.”
“Nonsense!” Tyra said, “There’s no such thing as too old.”
Dinah replied, “Well, I don’t think I want to get married. I watched daddy go through three wives in my childhood. None of them could have kids and none of them lasted very long.”
They were silent again. Even if they tried, they couldn’t help but think of Jerome. The good, the bad, the ugly — they were forced to confront all of it now in his death.
“I never knew he was ever married.”
Gigi knew about her father's other children but she didn't know enough about him to know he'd had spouses.
“After I turned eighteen,” Dinah said, “But I still lived here after college and during vacations. So I got to see a lot of it. I wonder if any of them ever really loved him.”
“Are any of them coming today?” Gigi asked.
Dinah shook her head, “They all made excuses when I called.”
They were silent again as they were forced to confront another unpleasant truth. Jerome had a string of women on his arm but his actions had also made him many enemies throughout his life.
They talked until guests started to pull into the driveway. Black cars manned by mixed race Costa Ricans with thick dark curls and walnut brown skin pulled up and then all manner of Americans and Nigerians descended upon the Jackson mansion for Jerome’s funeral.
Gigi, Tyra, and Dinah waited by the door, playing the part of perfect daughters and loving sisters. They greeted everyone who came. A man gripped Gigi's hand with tears in his eyes and told her that her father was the most loving man he'd ever known. Gigi couldn't muster up tears in response, but it moved her to know that her father had impacted someone like that.
Maybe he wasn't all bad. Maybe he just couldn't do family the traditional way, she mused.
The house was filled with upwards of 100 guests who all fit into the viewing room. The priest arrived somewhere in the middle of the pack and Dinah pulled him aside to discuss the proceedings. Gigi took in the room before making her way to the reserved seats in the front.
The room smelled like new leather and designer perfumes. Gigi had never been surrounded by so much wealth in her life. The odd venue for the funeral bothered no one. The ultra-wealthy are accustomed to eccentricity.
Gigi's mind wandered as she waited for the priest to begin. She'd never understood what Dinah’s life had been like until now. In Paris, she remembered thinking Dinah was clueless, some barely-black Oreo who couldn't possibly understand what she'd been through. Now, she empathized with Dinah, for having to be enveloped in such a cold, stiff world.
The start time of the funeral drew near. Tyra joined Gigi in the front and their eyes moved over to Dinah as they waited for her to join them. The priest stood in the front of the room waiting to officiate and Dinah stood off to the side talking to a short, gently tanned latino man.
When Dinah finished speaking to him, she joined the duo.
“Who was that?” Gigi whispered to her.
Dinah whispered, “A friend of my father’s. He helped me get everything together today before you guys arrived.”
“Oh. I see.”
Before Gigi could ask any more questions, the funeral service started. The priest began to speak about her father’s life. Gigi started to learn things that she’d never known about Jerome. She learned about his childhood in Nigeria, where he'd been the smartest of his brothers who were now all dead.
His parents had pegged him out for success and he'd attended Oxford for two years before dropping out to begin his enterprises.
Enterprise was a good word for it, Dinah thought to herself. Neither her sisters nor the guests knew as much as she did about what her father had done to make his money. Except for Luciano, of course, the bearer of her father's secrets, the guests were ignorant.
When it came time for Jerome’s eulogy, Luciano was the one who stepped up to the podium to speak. Gigi drew her eyes to him, hopeful that she could gain some final lasting insight into the man her father was.
Luciano spoke with a thick Spanish accent, but he eulogized Jerome well. He spoke about their memories together in Costa Rica and all the times that Jerome bailed him out of trouble. He spoke to the heroic image of her father that Gigi had always carried with her (whether intentionally or not).
The image Gigi had of her father persisted as a Nigerian man that loved laughter, liquor, and making love with equal vigor. He had been boisterous, untamable and loyal to a fault once he decided you were worthy.
Gigi could feel tears spilling out of her eyes involuntarily. Dinah was weeping softly and Tyra sat up stone-faced. She never allowed her grief to be on display in the room full of people. Dinah and Gigi couldn’t help it. They all gripped each other’s palms as Luciano said his final words.
“…And I want to say a final goodbye to you, amigo. I promise that I will carry you in my heart forever and I will make sure that nothing happens to your beautiful daughters. Adios.”
Luciano left the podium and Gigi watched as a single tear streamed down his face. The room was filled with people who were either weeping or looking sullenly forward. The priest continued with the rest of the service and when the collection box was passed around, people dropped $100 bills into the box as if it were nothing.
Everything about that day had felt utterly surreal, including the ease with which a room full of people parted with what would total up to a year’s worth of her rent.
Gigi made mental notes of everything going on so she could remember to tell her mother. Her mother had declined the invitation, but Gigi promised her she'd spare no details about what happened.
Towards the end of the service, they sang and a friend of Dinah’s played the piano. And just like that, the funeral service was finished. The gangly events co-ordinator led the guests to the other room for a small wake while Gigi and her sisters said their final goodbyes to Jerome.
The end drew closer. Jerome's requests would be followed and carried out by his team of assistants. Their lives would change and three regular black women who barely knew each other would become heiresses overnight. Jerome would be cremated and the ashes would be split in three and shipped priority mail to Gigi and Tyra. This was it — their last time with their father.
Gigi’s chest balled up like a fist as she stood above her father’s body for the last time.
“Goodbye,” She whispered through her tears.
Tyra handed her a handkerchief which she used to dab beneath her eyes. Dinah planted a kiss on their father’s forehead and Tyra just stood there staring at him. Gigi thought her head seemed like it was swimming with thoughts. There was a lot to think about and a lot to mourn.
When the funeral home arrived and the coffin closed for the final time, Gigi felt the fist around her heart clench even tighter. They had to go back out there and face the folks who had all come expecting to see the three of them after the funeral.
“I’m starting to think the next part is what’s going to be the hardest,” Gigi said.
Dinah sighed, “You’re right. But… We can do it. I know we can.”
“At least we’ve got each other for this next bit.”
“Let’s go then.”
They pushed open the doors into the next room and walked out into the…
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