by Marvin Mason
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Urban Fiction
A double cross sends a couple of friends on the adventure for their lives.
A chance run in with an old friend becomes a run for their lives when Sherry Rose and Benny Freeman have a misunderstanding with local drug dealers. Witnessing the massacre of friends of Sherry’s double crossing boyfriend leads them to be hunted down by corrupt law enforcement.
Having a near death experience gives them a chance to start a romance they never knew the other wanted.
Will they survive when the bad guys close in on them and finally find the love they always wanted?
As I entered the house, I could see straight through to the kitchen which was brightly. I’d known Cornell for years, also going back to high school before he decided he would have a better education in the street. No matter what degree a street education got a person, I knew the house wasn’t his but Big Nat’s.
Cornell emerged from a back room in a pair of jeans with his boxers sticking out, Air Force Ones, and no shirt. His six foot two ripped frame was a cocoa brown. He gave a smile as he saw me. I assumed he was happy to see what Ray sent me with.
“Cherry, Cherry,” he announced. “To what do I owe this honor, Love?”
My chest heaved as I watched him saunter toward me, his eyes locked on my titties like a lion moving in on a meal.
I slung the bag from my shoulder and held it out for him to see.
Licking his thick crusty lips, this sleepy eyed brother stated, “So, Ray got you muling for him now or what?”
Immediately, I took offense to Cornell’s suggestion that I moved product or weight or was a mule although at that moment I felt like a jackass as he moved closer to me until he was leering down on me. At five foot four, Cornell easily towered over me. His slim physique of complete muscle was ready to pounce on me. He snatched the bag out my hands and stared. I dared to return his gaze, but I gave him a moment before I rolled my eyes toward the television monitor. I really didn’t want him to know how scared I’d suddenly become as he bounced the bag to feel its weight.
“Ray asked me to drop it off,” I answered. “So, I am,” I said as I turned to head for the door. Mission accomplished.
“Hold up,” he commanded. “Where you going, Love?”
At an instant, I stopped. All I could imagine was making it for the car and letting Benny take me as far away as possible.
“Ray asked me to drop this off,” I repeated myself. “And I did.” I turned to face Cornell as I gave a what I thought was a definitive answer.
Cornell shook his pointy shaved head, “No, Love, it don’t work like that,” he said. “I have to check the contents first. Once I’m satisfied, then you go.”
Again, I sighed, then shrugged, “Go ahead then, check out the contents,” I said giving my best cocky stance.
“Alright, Love,” he laughed as he flung the over his shoulder and headed back toward the kitchen.
Big, tall, and bald pressed against me licking his lips like he saw something savory on a menu. “Figures your boy would send you out. Jasper wants him real bad. I don’t blame him for not coming out. Especially with the bounty on his head.”
“Wh-what?” I stammered as I thought about the patrol car posted outside the alley earlier. “What are you talking about?”
“Oh, you didn’t know?” he laughed with the yellowest rotted teeth. His breath was choking me as it fell upon my air passage.
My eyes rolled past him to the girl lying on the couch like a hound dog that was too pooped to hunt. I could only imagine what she was there for with five guys as she was dressed in a low cropped top and a pair of ripped Daisy Dukes with the top button opened. Upon further review I could see she wasn’t lounging where she laid. Sister was worn out. But from what I could only imagine as I glanced d at her weave sitting crookedly atop her head with the lace peeling away from her edges.
“Hey!” I heard Cornell bellow. It scared me half to death. “Bring that bitch back here.”
My eyes floated toward Sleepy Dead on the couch when ‘Darkness’ grabbed my arm and flung me forward. I tried to wriggle my arm free when he tightened his grip. I felt the pressure as his long bony fingers tapped the bottom of his wrist.
He dragged me past a darkened bedroom with shades drawn beyond the window frame with a camera system and unkempt bed in the center. My shoes hit linoleum patches in the kitchen as my feet slid while he pulled me toward an open doorway.
Inside the expanded bedroom was a set up like a chemistry classroom with weights like the one Justice has for truth. I saw plastic baggies of grass that resembled broccoli stems. The baggies were etched with black markings on top reading CP, for Cherry Punch the blend Ray Ray had been moving for years for Big Nat. Except he mixed his with a secret recipe. It was the reason he moved up in ranks with Big Nat forcing he and Cornell to be more like rivals.
In Cornell’s left hand was the black duffle bag I’d brought. His right hand rummaged around as he grimaced at me.
“What’s this shit, ho?” he spat as he pulled out clothing, dirty underwear, Ray’s dirty underwear and tossed it to the floor. “Tell me what’s up, bitch?” he said as he retrieved a folded sheet of paper. He shook the sheet open and briefly glanced at it. He chuckled, then handed the paper to “Darkness’ who pulled me with him as he grabbed the paper. As his eyes fell on the sheet, Cornell dropped the bag to the floor with his eyes on me.
“Well, Love,” Cornell began. “Your boyfriend pulled a slick one on us. But if you cool with his terms, I’m cool. I just need to clear this with Nat, then we a go.”
“I-I don’t understand,” I nervously muttered. “What terms?”
Cornell’s eyes rolled away from me toward me bodyguard. “Give her the note,” he instructed.
The paper waved in front of me. I snatched it to see Ray Ray’s scribbling for handwriting. My eyes grew three times its size as I read the illegible print. If I hadn’t been with Ray as long as I had, I wouldn’t have been able to decipher the words.
A mixture of emotions shot through me. First fear, then regret, but the bitter taste of betrayal shot through me.
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About the Author
“Marvin Mason has arrived as a refreshing new storyteller with this fun adventure of young people and African-American Midwest life, the seemingly quiet but oh-so interesting world that molded me but rarely shows up in the media.”
Kalisha Buckhanon, American Library Association ALEX Award-winning author of Upstate and Conception, winner of the Friends of American Writers Literature Award.
Since his debut Mason has brought you novels such as Expert Witness and Interstate that took his audience on a thrilling ride.