Category Archives: Fiction

Write In The Middle Of It: Next Segment

IMG_0674

Mekayla was shocked when she saw Brett smiling up at her. He began climbing the fire escape to join her on her landing.

“What are you doing?” Mekayla snipped.

Brett stopped at the landing below her with his eyebrow raised. “Coming up to see you.”

“Why?” She said frowning.

Brett’s face took on an expression of confusion. “Because I haven’t seen you all week, is something wrong?”

“If you only knew.” She answered while toking again on the little joint she had left.

Brett slowly continued up the fire escape. “So why don’t you tell me.”

Mekayla just watched as Brett made his way up to join her on the landing. She instinctively backed up against her bedroom door.

“Because I really don’t want to talk about it.” She answered handing Brett the roach.

Brett took it from her and inhaled what little bit was left.

“Was that a peace offering?” He said through smoke.

Mekayla shrugged her shoulders, “I guess.” A breeze had picked up and she began rubbing her arms to keep warm.

“Do you want my coat?” Brett asked as he tried to nuzzle his way closer to her.

“No.” She said pushing him away trying to avoid the wave of warmth trying to creep in between her thighs.

Brett frowned, “What’s the problem?” He asked with the utmost sincerity.

Mekayla chuckled, “You’re a trip!” Then exclaimed.

“How are you gonna act like everything is okay, like nothing happened between us last week?”

He decided to back off a little bit and sat down on the steps.

“I’ll admit I was wrong. But since then I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind.”

She sighed heavily in disgust.

“Did I say something wrong?” He asked.

“No, no not really.” She said almost whining.

“Then what’s the problem?”

Mekayla didn’t answer him. It wasn’t because she didn’t know the answer, it’s because she didn’t like the answer. She liked Brett. She liked him a lot more than she was supposed to like him. In the beginning she was just using him as creative inspiration so she could write her book with a deeper more passionate perspective. That within itself was wrong. But it was dead wrong, to actually admit to herself that she liked the attention that he showed her. Albeit sometimes it bordered stalking, still she became aroused anytime he was close to her. She wanted him to touch her. But Mekayla’s own past experiences had taught her that Brett’s attraction would probably end the minute she gave in to his advances. At this moment she was overwrought with guilt as to why she was continuing the game, the game that ultimately ended her relationship with Kevin.

Mekayla tried to think rationally about it but every time she did it made her head hurt. Technically she was wrong for not fighting Brett off completely. But even if she didn’t kiss him, it still doesn’t excuse the fact that Kevin was dancing with that woman.

Who the hell was she anyway? She didn’t recognize her, so was this someone new in his life. Why was it that Kevin seemed to make time for everyone in his life except the woman he supposedly loved the most?

“Are you okay?” Brett asked her interrupting her thoughts.

Mekayla was annoyed to be disturbed and let her emotions show on her face.

“Like I said, I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Okay,” he said, “I’m only asking because I care.”

His words seemed to soften Mekayla slightly and she smiled at him.

“I know. I have to get back in Erik will be here with my dinner.”

Brett let out a grunt of disapproval.

“What was that for?” Mekayla said through a chuckle.

“Nothin. You two are really close huh?” He asked.

“Like I said before, he’s my best friend.”

“And you weren’t lying about him being real protective of you,” he said smirking.

“Why you say that?” Mekayla said perplexed.

“Let’s just say he got one in when I asked about chu.”

“He did what!” She said angrily.

Brett saw her face become flush with anger and knew he had her back where he wanted her. He got up and gently took her hand.

“Don’t worry about it sweetie. I guess if I was him I wouldn’t like me either.”

Just then they heard Erik unlocking the front door and shuffling through the house.

“Shit,” Mekayla sighed, “Lemme get back in there, before he gets all pissed off again.”

“Can we finish this later?” Brett asked hopefully.

“Sure,” she said with her hand on the door.

Brett jolted up and planted a kiss on Mekayla’s mouth. She instantly became weak, grabbed the collar of his coat and kissed him deeper. When it was over Brett pecked her sweetly on her nose.

“I’ll call you,” he said.

“Okay.” Mekayla answered in full surrender. She entered her bedroom and locked the door firmly behind her. When she went into the living room, Erik was in the kitchen getting himself something to drink and a spoon for Mekayla’s soup.

“What’s up,” he asked, “You fire up without me?”

“A little,” she answered nonchalantly.

“Well I have some more,” he said smiling.

“Good,” Mekayla said taking her soup off the counter, “Cuz we need to do some heavy talkin.”

***

Brett stretched out on the onyx satin sheets and he brushed Mekayla’s arm. He sighed and slightly chuckled to himself when he kissed her shoulder. Mekayla moaned softly but did not stir. Brett continued to rub her bare skin in amazement of how soft she felt. Even the satin sheets could not compare to the luxury of her buttery skin. He glanced around the crimson room and saw all of the miniature kittens delicately placed on the built in wall shelving. He hated those little statues.

If Mekayla didn’t express how much she loved them he would have gladly taken them out her back door and tossed then over the fire escape.

He returned his concentration back to her soft skin. The onyx sheet that draped down her naked back contrasted with creaminess of her complexion in such an enticing manner he couldn’t help but to put his mouth on her spine. She let out a soft sigh then rolled over to meet his face. She managed to smile before her eyes fluttered closed again.

He kissed her slightly parted lips. She returned the kiss softly at first before Brett lingered on her lips and drew her into his passion. He then slid on top of her and moved her arms above her head.

She automatically grabbed the black bars of the headboard.

As Brett entered her he hissed because she was so warm.

Soft like feathers.

The passion was so intense between them.

No matter how tight Mekayla held on to the headboard, it still thumped against the wall. The bed shook vigorously making it impossible for Brett to keep his balance on the slippery sheets. The headboard knocked harder up against the wall.

Mekayla moaned.

Brett started sweating, pillows fell off the bed.

The thumping became louder.

Urgent.

The kittens fell off the shelves and crashed to the ground. Brett saw the last kitten falling above him and tried to cushion the fall with a red velvet pillow.

Mekayla began screaming at him in Spanish and pushed him off of the bed.

Brett hit the floor pretty hard but when he opened his eyes again he immediately jumped up and looked at his small, empty, dingy bed.

Of course Mekayla wasn’t there.

Why would she be? She deserves the onyx satin sheets and velvet pillows. She deserves to be caressed.

Down below the yelling and screaming of the Spanish lady interrupted his thoughts.

He went over to the window, peered through the sheer curtain and by way of the streetlamp, saw her throwing glass bottles at the building. The older lady and her husband lived in the room below him and they constantly argued. Except for the street cuss words, Brett had no idea what they argued about. He never finished Spanish in high school.

The pounding on the door startled him. He cautiously walked over to the door and peeked out the dirty peephole. On the other side of the peephole stood a stout, older police officer. Brett felt his heart jump into his throat as he took a step away from the door.

“Who is it?” Brett bellowed in a voice two octaves below his normal range.

“Police.” Officer Mancuso bellowed back in the same octave.

“May I help you?” Brett asked cooperatively but still not willing to open the door.

“I’d like to ask you a few questions.” Mancuso answered. Brett uneasily unlocked the door and opened it just enough to poke his head through. He rubbed his head as if to signify to the officer that he had disturbed him from his sleep.

“What’s this about?” Brett asked.

“Mr. Brett Saunders?” Mancuso asked as if he didn’t know.

“Yeah, something wrong?” Brett asked as if he cared.

“This young girl was found beaten in an alley not too far from here. Do you have any idea who she is?” Mancuso stuck an old high-school picture of Sadiah Gibson up to Brett’s chin. Brett took the picture and although the face smiling back at him was younger and far more innocent looking than he remembered Sadiah ever being. He shook his head, tried to hand the picture back to him and said,

“No.”

Mancuso’s face stayed stern as he didn’t accept the picture back.

Brett felt a chill go up the back of his neck as the officer said,

“Take another look.”

Brett knew all he had to do was stay calm. No matter what kind of mental breakdown he was having on the inside as long as he remained cool on the outside no one would know a thing.

That’s one thing about being crazy. Crazy people know how to improvise.

“Like I said,” his voice not reflecting the emotions within, “Neva seen her.”

“Really?” Mancuso smirked, “Because we went to her job and she listed this you and this address as her emergency contact. You sure you have never seen her?”

Brett pretended to study the picture a little longer while he felt the nausea rise up into his throat to meet his heart.

“Nah,” he said handing the officer back the picture while he shrugged, “Maybe

she lived here before, but I never saw her around.”

Mancuso took the picture back and handed Brett a card.

“Well how did she get your name?”

Brett shrugged, “I have no idea.” He again said without any emotion.

Mancuso looked at him skeptically, “You ever been to Daddy’s?”

Brett shook his head unconvincingly, “Nah, what’s that?”

“Strip club, outside town?” Mancuso frowned

“Possibly, I went but I never knew the name of the place.” Brett answered knowing he possibly dug himself into a hole.

“And you don’t remember that girl?”

“Like I said officer…” Brett said to get his name

“Mancuso, John Mancuso.” He replied.

“Officer Mancuso, like I said I don’t know the little girl.”

Mancuso snarled at the reference Brett made to Sadiah and said, “Well Mr.

Saunders, if we have any more questions for you we’ll be back.” He removed his foot from the ajar door and while it was creaking shut he said,

“Have a good night.”

The door snapped closed and Brett instantly locked it.

“Yeah you too,” he said under his breath. He walked over to the sink and pulled the cord to turn on the light. He ran the water and splashed some on to his face before looking at his reflection. .

I have to get out of here. I have to get to Mekayla, he thought to himself as he began packing what little belongings he had.

to be continued…

Write In The Middle Of It: Next Segment

IMG_0674

The corner store was unusually cold that evening. In between blowing her hands warm, Prudence mechanically put away cigarette cartons behind the counter. Apparently she had made a promise to the owner’s daughter that she would accept the cigarette delivery so she could watch her son’s Christmas Pageant, but she didn’t remember the actual conversation. Prudence was on her hands and knees putting the last carton in its slot when bells clanging against the opening door startled her. The store had been closed for an hour and she was sure she locked the door behind her.

So who came into the store?

She quietly crawled dragging her knees across the gray wooden slats on the floor and she noticed her knees were bare.

No wonder I am cold; I am wearing shorts and my knees are ashy. Her heart was galloping out of her chest with anxiety because Prudence thought she wore her brand- new boot-cut slacks this morning. Now she was going to have to confront this stranger who entered the store and do so without lotion.

But this is a corner store; I know they have lotion in here.

She peeked over the counter but saw no one. She then made a mad dash to the back of the store where they sold the beauty supplies. Prudence grabbed a bottle of lotion but had problems taking off the plastic seal. Just then the door clanged again, and Prudence dropped to her knees.

Who is coming in here?

Her heart now ran at top speed. Her eyes darted all over the store looking for an escape. She then noticed a kitten peeking its head out around a package of winged sanitary pads.

The bells clanged again and another kitten ran down the aisle.

Another clang produced four more kittens. The clangs were repetitive until the whole store was covered in kittens and their meowing sounded like an alien invasion.

When Prudence opened her eyes she darted straight up in bed and stared at her alarm clock. It said twelve thirty-six. After slapping at the alien invasion a few times she realized that it wasn’t the alarm going off rather her cell phone ringing. She straightened the scarf on her head and groggily grabbed for the phone that was sitting on the charger.

“Hello?” she said in a disgusted tone.

“Hey.”

Prudence rolled her eyes as she recognized the voice on the other end of her phone.

It was Kevin.

Kevin for the twelfth time this week has called Prudence to ask her why Mekayla hasn’t called him. For the first twenty minutes Prudence would entertain his small talk and then Kevin would clam up. Forcing her to ask him the obligatory -are you okay?

Kevin would then ask her the same questions over and over again.

Why hasn’t she answered the phone?

Why won’t she call me?

When do you think I should call her again?

Should I drive up there?

Prudence stuck to the answers she gave the first five times Kevin asked those questions, but not tonight. There was a time that she actually thought about giving him some but after she saw how emotional he got over Mekayla, Prudence lost all interest. She may have confessed at one point that she wished men would be more sensitive, but after twelve straight days of trying to console this man, Prudence had enough.

“Hey Kevin.” She said with an annoyed tone.

“Were you asleep?” Kevin asked.

“Not anymore!” She said angrily.

“I’m sorry Pru, you want me to let you go?”

“Actually,” Prudence clicked on the light that was on her nightstand, and grabbed a cigarette to light, “No I want you to talk to me. In fact I want you to talk to me until you get all of the talking out of your system. I want you to talk to me until you come to a decision about what you are going to do about Mekayla. Because to be brutally honest Kevin, if you continue to blow up my phones the way that you do I may be forced to change my numbers.” She took a long hard inhale and let the smoke out slowly.

“Damn,” Kevin said meekly, “Is it like that?”

“It’s gotten like that.” Prudence finalized her rampage. Kevin was slightly apprehensive to continue the conversation but continued on anyway.

“It’s been a week Pru.”

“Then go see her Kevin.”

“What if she won’t see me? What if…”

She cut him off in mid sentence, “What if she does? What if all she wanted was for you to go see her and grovel on your hands and knees and beg her to forgive you? You will never know unless you go see her.”

Kevin frowned and snapped, “That night you told me not to go after her!”

“Your foot is broken Kevin!” Prudence yelled through clouds of smoke.

Kevin looked down at his foot and shrugged. He was disheveled as if he hadn’t had a personal hygiene regimen in a week. He rubbed his thumb and forefinger through his stubble and replied, “Yeah, you right. But I get my cast off next week.”

“Then go next week.” She said putting out her cigarette.

“You think I should?” Again he asked meekly.

“Kevin!” Prudence shouted at him.

Kevin kind of chuckled which caused Prudence to chuckle and then the two broke out in a hearty laughter.

“Have I been that bad Pru?” He asked still smiling.

“Yo, I have been tempted to change my phone number Kev.”

“Are you serious?”

“Completely.”

“Man I’m sorry, it’s just…” Kevin stopped in mid sentence.

“I know sweetie, I know.” She said trying to be supportive.

“Okay I have a doctor’s appointment Friday evening and then after that I am going up there. I have to make this right.”

“Good for you.” Prudence said clicking off her lamp.

“So, why you in the house on a Saturday night?” Kevin asked.

Prudence decided that the gory conversation was out of the way; it was okay to entertain Kevin with some more small talk.

“I ended my evening early.”

“How come?”

“I had a date.”

Kevin frowned slightly, “And you ended your evening early? I don’t understand.”

Prudence clicked her lamp back on again and lit another cigarette, “Well you know that party we went to last week?”

“The freaky party?” Kevin asked raising his eyebrow.

“Yeah,” She said chuckling.

“Ok and?”

“My date was the guy who threw it.”

“Are you serious?” Kevin managed to sit up placing his cast on the floor.

“Completely.”

“What happened?” Kevin said through a sinister laugh.

“He was too short.” Prudence blew smoke out with her response.

“You nasty ass!!” Kevin exclaimed.

“No you idiot,” she said rolling her eyes, “I meant he was about five-four.”

“Oh. Well what’s wrong with that?”

“Kev, I’m five-nine.”

“Point taken.” He nodded in affirmation then he gave a sheepish grin, “But before you let him go did you at least get a discount card?’

Prudence’s eyes became as big as saucers, “Oh who’s the nasty ass now?”

“I’m sayin. If Mekayla doesn’t take me back I may have to expand my horizons.”

All of a sudden Kevin was becoming aroused and he didn’t understand why.

“Well at one point in time you coulda came over here.” Prudence mumbled.

Kevin laughed, “I know.”

Prudence chuckled back, “Oh did you?”

“Men always know.”

“Whateva playa, you don’t know shit.” She said chuckling.

“Yeah aiight. But you said coulda. You mean to tell me I still couldn’t.”

“I thought men always know.” She teased.

“Shut up. So I can’t?”

“Nope.” She said putting out her cigarette again.

“Why not?” He asked raising his eyebrow.

“Because I don’t like you.”

They both laughed.

“Well look man,” Prudence said. “I’m goin back to bed.”

“Aiight baby girl, thanks for listening.”

“I would say anytime, but the next time you call me you better ask me out to dinner.”

“Aiight shorti.”

“G’nite.”

Prudence clicked her phone shut and smiled to herself. She started caressing her legs and when she reached her knees seemed to remember her dream from earlier. She lifted her satin pajama leg and sighed a sigh of relief at her meticulously lotioned knee.

After clicking off the lamp again, Prudence continued to caress herself as she wondered what the kittens meant in her dream.

***

There was good news, and there was bad news. Sadiah suffered from a severe traumatic brain injury, which caused her to be in an indefinite coma. She could wake up tomorrow, or she could wake up ten months from now, there was no way of knowing. The good news was that the type of injury that Sadiah had did not require surgery. Also she was breathing without the aid of a machine. Good signs, but the uncertainty was wearing down on Mr. Gibson-Daddy and Pete.

They would watch her in shifts with the doctor’s advice that verbal stimulation was not good for Sadiah so Pete and Mr. Gibson would speak in whispers around her.

With most of her facial swelling gone, she looked like an angel sleeping. It took everything Pete had not to tear up as he watched Mr. Gibson fuss over his daughter. He gently reached out and touched his shoulder.

“Hey, Stephen.” Pete said.

Mr. Gibson turned around slowly, “Good evening Pete. Is it that late already?”

“Fraid so,” Pete responded. “Any progress today?” He asked hopefully.

Mr. Gibson shook his head slightly, “No. I thought she may have fluttered her eyes but I guess I was just tired. I’m imagining things, ya know?”

Pete nodded his head in caring affirmation and pulled a chair over to the opposite side of Sadiah’s bed. The pair sat for a while listening to the incessant hums and beeps of the machines monitoring her progress.

“I just wish I knew what kind of animal could do this to a little girl and just leave her there, in the trash.” Mr. Gibson said stroking Sadiah’s forehead.

“The police are looking into every lead they can,” Pete responded. “I’ll call Officer Mancuso to see if he turned up any leads at the club.”

Mr. Gibson just shook his head, “I don’t understand how she got like this. Sadiah was always a smart little girl, a little sheltered maybe but, smart.” He paused so he could look up at Pete. “Did you know the doctors told me she had heroin in her system-heroin?!”

Pete just looked at him with pity as Mr. Gibson did in fact tell him this several times during the course of the week.

“And to work in that place, that God awful place! She’s only sixteen Pete! I can only imagine what kind of derelicts came in and out of that place.”

Pete continued to offer silent comfort as Mr. Gibson would rant at least one an evening. He reached over the bed and patted his hand.

“Maybe we should talk about more positive things,” he said tilting his head towards the unconscious Sadiah. “If she hears you upset all the time, she may be hesitant to come out of it.”

Mr. Gibson quietly got up and kissed his daughter on the forehead. “I know, man

I know. I just wished I knew why she left me.” He looked at Pete who dropped his eyes to look at Sadiah.

That was the fourth time Stephen asked Pete that rhetorical question. That was the fourth time Pete’s blood ran cold when he heard it. He knew the answer and as much as he wanted to tell Stephen, he promised Sadiah he wouldn’t. There was no way he would betray her trust, especially now when she couldn’t answer for herself. Not only that but he heard Stephen refer to the Horrible Ms. Howard as The Mrs. on several occasions. It was hard for Pete to fathom that while he was supposedly so distraught over his baby girl that he married that woman.

With that, Pete shook Stephen’s hand firmly, “Stephen, go get some rest.”

“I’ll try and if…”

Pete cut him off, “I know Stephen, if she makes any movement at all, I’ll call you.”

Mr. Gibson nodded and kissed Sadiah one more time on her forehead before he left. Pete was left with incessant humming and beeping as he watched over her. He wondered why Mancuso hadn’t contacted him yet and it frustrated him a little. Normally when there was no news, it meant no progress. Pete wished he had pried a little more about Sadiah’s boyfriend. He was sure that he put this poor child in a coma.

There was too much malice in the attack for it to be a random trick. Pete shuddered at the thought of this young girl compromising herself to make money. He shook his hand as if to clear it from those thoughts and gripped Sadiah’s hand firmly.

“Don’t worry baby, you are going to get through this, I promise.” He said to her.

“Can you squeeze my hand if you hear me?”

Sadiah sat motionless.

***

The church was filled to capacity and glowing in an electric blue. Sadiah was sitting on the choir loft with Mama singing their favorite selection. The pianist was smiling at them, the pastor was smiling at them, and the congregation was smiling at them. Tears streamed down Sadiah’s cheeks and Mama cupped her face in her soft hands and kissed them away. As she closed her eyes she inhaled her mother’s fragrance.

The music faded out and Mama caressed her daughter’s hair as she put her head on her shoulder.

“Baby,” she said, “You have to go back now, Daddy needs you.”

The electric blue hue of the church turned neon red. Sadiah shook her head violently.

“No Mama, I’m not ready.” She turned her head and looked towards the back of the church where she saw Brett and Ms. Howard, stone faced and dressed in black. Sadiah grabbed her mother tight and began crying and wailing.

“Please I don’t want to go back there. Please let me stay with you.”

Mama gently eased out of her daughter’s grasp. She pointed to the back of the church. “They can not hurt you anymore Sadiah. I will not let them hurt you.”

Sadiah refused to open her eyes, “No, Mama, I want to stay with you.” The church became unbearably warm and she opened her eyes to see her mother gone and the church empty. Sadiah began screaming at the top of her lungs but no sound was coming out. She watched Brett coming towards her and with each step she became hotter and hotter until her veins popped open and blood began spewing from them. She crawled under a pew and prayed to God to send the demons away.

Pete was asleep holding Sadiah’s hand, unaware of the spiking in her temperature and the activity of her heart monitor.

to be continued…

 

 

How to Skin a Sociopath: Connect the Dots

blog

“Mother…”

“Gas, please! Just don’t answer it.”

Gaskin’s wife reached over and snatched the cell phone from her husband’s blanket, tossed it in the cooler, and slammed the lid shut. They could still hear it ringing and vibrating.

“Sarge tells me to use my time or I’m gonna lose the shit. So what do I do babe?”

“I know hon, but people don’t stop dying just because you decided to have a cup of coffee with your wife in the morning.”

“See that’s the thing.”

Gaskins repositioned himself on his blanket so he could kiss Dee on the forehead. Then he thought about it and kissed her lips, face, and neck.

She giggled.

“More people need to be married.” He continued.

“See, I don’t know about all of that. Aren’t the stats for domestic homicides up around here lately?”

Dee knew her shit.

“Yeah well that’s cuz they ain’t us.”

Now Dee erupted in laughter, “Man please. It wasn’t always like this. Half the damn time I couldn’t stand your ass.”

Gaskins was chuckling and attempted to kiss on Dee’s neck again, but she had reached into the cooler and was handing her husband his ringing phone.

“I see how you are.”

Gaskins took the phone from his wife, “Yeah what?! …My bad Riley. No., no you good. How many? Jesus. Ok, I’m on the beach give me at least a half. Ok.”

“See you ever notice every time I’m tryna get me some lovin from you, you give me somethin else to do?”

“Don’t blame that shit on me, Gas, you chose this job.”

He sighed picked the cooler up, and helped his wife up from the blanket.

“But I also chose you.”

“Bamma please, if I remember correctly. I did the damn choosing. And we live right on the beach, why did you tell that girl you were a half hour away?”

Gaskins wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist and nuzzled her neck, “Because Mrs. Gaskins, I’m choosing to go in late today.”

“Gas,” Dee said with concern.”

“Look babe, those bodies aren’t gonna miraculously come to life if I rush…”

The mocking and loving continued up the porch and into the house.

***

“Riley, where the fuck is Gas?! We gotta get to the crime scene!” Hedges yelled at he put on his coat.

“You told him to take some time, Sarge. He’s about thirty minutes away from the squad.” She replied chasing behind him. They headed to the roof where the chopper was waiting and climbed inside. They flew over a remote part of the desert, and Riley noticed a white crime scene tent and what she could assume were workers scurrying below. Her eyes darted over the landscape and she saw another tent.

And another.

For what looked like a couple of miles.

to be continued…

How to Skin a Sociopath: Icy Mint

blog

Yolanda poured the last of the wine into Peyton’s oversized glass. The kids had been asleep for over an hour and the girls were having a good time.

“Peyton, where did you get these glasses? These are more like goblets.”

“I’m pretty sure I got them online during one of my retail therapy binges.”

“One of them? How many have you had?”

“Girl. Let’s just say it costs him every time I catch him in some shit.

They clinked their glasses together.

“You gotta do what you gotta do.”

“To be honest, Yolanda, I would sell all of my shit, all of it, if it meant my husband would be faithful to me. The shit hurts.”

“I know. Believe me.”

“That’s what I wanted to ask you. How can you still stay in your marriage knowing your husband is cheating? You said earlier you knew he was with some other woman. How do you do it? How do you keep your sanity? Do you know how tempted I am to call his superiors? Have them article fifteen his ass? But if I do that, they garnish his pay. And who suffers? Me. The kids. Is that how and why you keep calm?”

Yolanda chuckled and lit a cigarette. “I’m his wife. I do my best to encourage him. Sure babe, take that tour overseas. No I don’t mind that it’s in Thailand. Go. Experience life. Have fun. I’ll be here when you get back.”

She paused for affect.

“Not only will I be here when you get back, I will strap up your dick. Twice. Fuck the shit out of you then convince you to do this tour in Iraq, because we really need this money, babe. I really want to go back to school and to do that, I gotta to be able to afford to put the youngest in day care. It’s only for three months. Can you do this for us?”

Yolanda gaged the look on Peyton’s face before continuing. She seemed confused but that was better than upset.

“Then he goes away. And I patiently wait for his head to come back in a different box than his body, because being his wife, I am the beneficiary on all of his life insurance policies. He dies a hero and my kids and I get can smooth get the fuck up outta here.”

She watched Peyton go to her pantry, pull out another bottle of wine, open it and top off Yolanda’s goblet.

“So wait, that’s our future? Hoping our husbands die?

“Well, there is another option.”

***

The room was exactly a room. It was a huge walk in freezer in the basement of the garage at Dr. Swan’s estate. In that freezer completely naked and chained to the floor was Lance Corporal Jackson and Mariah. The freezer was completely covered in plastic from floor to ceiling. Jackson heard Mariah whimpering.
“Babe, try to calm down.”

“Babe my ass. Calm down my ass! My body has been butchered and I’m naked and wet in a fuckin deep freezer, Jackson. So fuck your calm ass!”

Everything became quiet.

Until they heard the chainsaws.

Next Segment: Write In the Middle Of It

IMG_0674

“What did you just say to me?” Mekayla blurted out between sobs.

The cabby looked at her via the rear view mirror and softly smiled, “I asked you if you wanted a napkin to wipe your face.” He handed her a napkin over the seat.

“I usually keep tissues in the cab, you know for situations like this.”

Mekayla took the napkin and sighed. She didn’t notice the cabby when he first drove her to Kevin’s because she had more pressing issues on her mind. But when she looked at him now she noticed the brother had really kind eyes framed by stylish glasses. He wore a light brown leather coat with matching skullcap. His slight smiled accented by a meticulously groomed goatee.

“You have a lot of situations like this?” She asked wiping away at her eyes.

The cabby smiled a little wider showing his gleaming teeth.

“Sweetie, I have worked the late shift on this cab for about three years now. I have seen it all.” He seemed to know where he was going without taking his eyes off of Mekayla.

“That your man?”

Mekayla nodded, “So I thought.”

He took his focus off of her to concentrate on the road. “So you think you caught him? See that’s why I tell my woman to never come over unannounced. What looks like ain’t always.”

Mekayla huffed, “Well if you are gonna cheat on your woman, I guess that’s the best advice to give her.”

The cabby laughed, “No, no. You have me all wrong. I would never cheat on my lady. She’s a good woman, has a head on her shoulders and she loves me to pieces. I’m sayin sometimes a man gets himself in situations that look worse than they really are.”

“Yeah well, that wasn’t the situation in my case.” Mekayla shrugged now wishing she never entertained this conversation.

“Oh yes it was.” The cabby said unveiling his full, beautiful smile. “Did you notice how that man ran after you? He wasn’t messing with that girl. Whatever you saw, you saw, but he wasn’t cheating.”

“He was too busy to come see me this weekend and yet he had a girl in his apartment, drinking and dancing with her!!” Mekayla’s voice became louder, “He never dances with me.”

“Did he try to explain anything to you?”

“I didn’t give him a chance to.”

The cabby chuckled again, “Yeah I kinda figured as much by how fast you darted down those steps. I barely had enough time to put your fare in my wallet. You shoulda stayed and talked to him. I’m sure he had an explanation.”

“Figures a man would say that.” Mekayla snapped.

“No,” he said matter of fact, “Not just a man, but a wise man that has seen this situation before, many times.”

“You really don’t know anything about my situation.” Mekayla sighed and glared at the pleasant looking cabby through the rear view mirror.

“I know more than you think. You guys have been in a long distance relationship,

I know because I picked you up from the train station. It’s serious, because you took out your key to his place before you even paid me my money. And you aren’t exactly guilt free yourself.” He said now locking eyes with Mekayla through the mirror.

Mekayla frowned at him. “What makes you think I’m guilty of something?”

He smiled widely, “Why else would you come unannounced in the wee hours of the morning, with hardly any luggage?”

Mekayla’s mouth dropped open. He had her. Read her like a three-day-old newspaper, quickly and without concern. She sighed but did not take her focus off of his smirking face. “I’m sorry what was your name?”

“I never gave it to you, “he said smiling, “but it’s Ebon.”

“Well Ebon,” she huffed sarcastically, “I’m not paying you for your advice. I’m paying you to drive the cab. So no disrespect, but drive the cab.”

“Okay lady,” Ebon said, “but you ain’t payin for this cab ride.”

“And why is that?” Mekayla snapped.

“Because I am doing you a favor. I could tell by the way that man damn near fell down those steps that he loves you. And no matter what it is you think you saw, it can be worked out. Shit she could’ve been teachin him how to dance so he can dance with you for all you know.”

Mekayla was now feeling he face become flush with anger, “And what exactly does that have to do with me paying for this cab ride?”

Ebon smiled “Everything. That man will be at that train station within ten minutes after I drop you off. You all will argue make up and you will be in another cab on his way back to his place for some great make up sex and breakfast. I’m just savin you the extra fare.”

Mekayla now rolled her eyes, “Whateva.” She had to smile at him. “What if you are wrong?”

Ebon cleared his throat, “I’m not. But to humor you, I never take money from women in distress. That includes pregnant women, drunk women, women coming back from the police station, and women I pick up in the wee hours of the morning that think they catch their men cheating on them. So if I am wrong, at least I’m charitable.”

Mekayla’s expression softened as she looked out the window, “Let’s hope you are right Ebon,” she said softly, “Let’s hope you are completely right.”

“I don’t believe this shit!!” Kevin yelled as he hobbled back up the steps with Prudence’s assistance.

“It will be okay, Kevin, just call her on her cell and explain it to her,” Prudence said consolingly. “Hell I’ll even talk to her if you want.” As they made their way into the apartment Kevin began hopping around knocking over things overturning stuff as he went. Prudence sat on the arm of the couch.

“She doesn’t have a cell.” Kevin snapped.

“She doesn’t have a cell?” Prudence said in shock.

“Nah, she hates them.” Kevin said as he continued his hopping.

“What kinda of women livin in the city doesn’t have a cell phone?!” she asked following him with her eyes. Kevin hopped into the bedroom, came back out, looked in closets, on his desk, and then banged his injured foot on the coffee table as a beer bottle came crashing to the ground.

“Dammit!!!” he yelled.

Prudence chuckled to herself and then assisted him over to the couch to sit down.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Nah,” he said wincing in pain. “I think I may have sprained it. Go look in my jacket pocket,” he asked her.

“For what?”

“My keys.”

“You are going after her?!” Prudence asked again in shock.

Kevin’s eyes got wide, “Uh hell yeah.”

“Like hell you are.” Prudence snapped.

“Why not?!” he yelled.

“You can’t drive on that foot.”

“You know how to drive a stick?” Kevin asked her hopefully.

“Unt uh.” she said shaking her head.

“Fuck!” He yelled more in anger at himself than Prudence.

Prudence put her hand on his shoulder, “Listen,” she said. “It ain’t gonna do you no good anyway, trust me, I know, I’m a woman, an educated woman like Mekayla.”

Kevin just smirked.

“And no matter what you tell that woman right now, as educated as she may be, she’s not gonna believe you. So I suggest you sit here”, she said taking a pillow off of the couch and placing it on the coffee table.

“Elevate your foot,” she helped a wincing Kevin lift his foot on to the pillow, “and let her cool down. Call her first thing when the sun comes up. Shit you weren’t doin nothin wrong. If anything you should be mad her coming over unannounced. And you can explain that to her later.” Prudence got up, grabbed her purse, and pulled out her cell phone.

“What are you doin?” Kevin asked more out of confusion than concern.

“Callin me a cab. This way if her crazy ass comes back I won’t be here.” She walked over to Kevin and patted his head as if he were a child. “Trust me, y’all will be planning y’all wedding by Christmas.”

“Let’s hope you’re right Pru.” Kevin said under his breath “Let’s hope you’re right.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One-Week Later

Brett made sure to walk by Mekayla’s fire escape in the alley at least once a day.

Even though there was no glowing light from her back door, he knew she was home.

Early Sunday morning, Brett watched Erik and Mekayla enter her building and to his knowledge no one had left her loft since. He wanted to call her but since the altercation with Erik, he didn’t want to chance him intercepting the call. Brett wasn’t in the mood for Erik’s bullshit, but he was worried about Mekayla and really wanted to see her.

He wasn’t sure what happened, but he hoped he wasn’t the cause of it. He figured he’d give her another day or two. In the meantime he would stick to his daily vigil by her fire escape, looking for her bedroom light through her back door.

Brett also realized that he hasn’t seen Sadiah in over a week either. However to be honest, he hadn’t given it too much thought. She was probably out on one of her binges, or maybe she checked into rehab again, maybe she met someone else, he really didn’t care. Brett was glad she was gone. But he had no idea how far gone she was.

Pete and Daddy rotated shifts cleaning up the healing scars over Sadiah’s eyes, which the doctors said may never open again. .

Erik watched a Law and Order marathon as he twisted Mekayla’s hair while she slept. He shifted an oversized pillow to give his back more support. She called him when her train stopped to refuel, and he couldn’t believe his ears. Kevin was cheating on Mekayla and she caught him.

Not the perfect wonderful Kevin that Erik had heard so much about.

Not the man Mekayla told him on several occasions he needed to be more like.

He hated to tell the girl he told her so but everyone knows that long distance relationships are a relative nightmare. Trust is always in question no matter how much reassurance is given.

Assumptions are made when communication is lacking.

Feelings cannot be understood adequately when not expressed face to face.

Emotions are put aside so that weekends are not spoiled.

Erik knew all of this but when he heard her crying over the phone, he decided to keep it all to himself.

The light on Mekayla’s answering machine was blinking since they had come in the door. She told Erik to turn off the ringer to the phone and turn down the volume to the answering machine.

Erik looked at her skeptically but respected her wishes. At the end of the second night, when Mekayla finally got around to taking a hot bath Erik took the opportunity to listen to some of the messages. There were six. Five from Kevin, and one from Prudence. Erik decided not to erase them in case Mekayla was up to listening to them later.

He had been there for about a week and the most that Mekayla asked for was something to drink and what time it was. He was starting to get cabin fever and wished she would get up and talk to him so he could yell at her for taking this so hard. She had to pull herself together. Erik was sure that Kevin wasn’t sitting around moping over her, so why should she stop living because of him. There had to be more to the story but he would wait for Mekayla to tell him.

During a commercial Mekayla lifted her head and squinted at the TV.

“Hey you, ” Erik said, “How you feel?”

“Hungry.” Mekayla said through a yawn.

“It’s about time,” Erik said playing in her hair.

Mekayla rolled over so her head was laying face up in his lap. She looked at him with a confused look on her face,

“And I had this dream, that I was Briscoe from Law and Order.”

Erik busted out in laughter.

Mekayla frowned her face, “What?”

“It’s a marathon,” he said smiling.

“Oh,” she said unfazed and closed her eyes.

Erik kissed her forehead, “What do you want to eat?”

“Mmmm, “she said with her eyes still closed, “I guess I should go light so my stomach don’t go into shock.”

I can’t believe that you are carrying on the way that you are.” Erik said.

Mekayla just gave him a confused look.

“Don’t look at me like that,” he snipped.

“Are you mad at me?” Mekayla said sounding hurt.

“Not mad just sick of seeing you mope around here feeling sorry for yourself.”

Mekayla sat up in anger, “I caught my man cheating on me. I have a right to be angry!”

“No, in all actuality, you saw your man dancing with another woman. That is not cheating,” Erik responded.

“Infidelity is the committing of any act that would anger you if you knew your partner did it.” Mekayla spat back.

“I’m really sick of hearing you say that.”

“It’s true,” she said lying back down on the pillows.

“Well in that case,” Erik asked, “Weren’t you an infidel by giving Brett your number?”

“No,” Mekayla paused, “I was an infidel when I let him kiss me.” She got up and went over to the kitchen to get herself a glass of water. Erik speechlessly watched her until she came back over to the pillows to lie down. They continued to stare at each other until Mekayla blurted out,

“What?”

“What the fuck you mean what?” Erik snapped frowning.

“So I was wrong for that?” Mekayla asked smirking.

Erik sighed and hung his head, “You have anything to drink in here?”

Mekayla shook her head no.

“When did this happen?” He asked.

“The night I left.”

“And why are you just now telling me this?”

Mekayla smirked, “Please, if I were to tell you this, you woulda been pissed at me.”

“I’m pissed at you now!” Erik snapped.

“Why?” Mekayla whined back.

“You can’t be serious?”

“I am.”

“Would you listen to yourself?” Erik said. “You have been in a functional coma for almost a week because you think Kevin was cheating on you, and reality is…”

“Reality is,” Mekayla interrupted, “I was on my way down there to tell Kevin what I had done and then…”

There was an awkward block of silence between the two of them. Erik got up and shifted his position so he could twist Mekayla’s hair again.

“You know you are wrong, don’t chu?” He eventually said to her.

Mekayla nodded ever so slightly as to not disturb Erik from his twisting.

“You know you can’t be mad at him right?”

“No, I can still be mad,” Mekayla answered, “But I mad at him for the wrong reasons.”

Erik chuckled, “Okay explain that to me.”

Mekayla let out a huge sigh, “It’s like this. I have been asking Kevin to come see me for weeks now and every week he has another excuse why he can’t. Now they are valid reasons, mind you, but nonetheless, I still don’t see him. Then, I go down there, and he is drinking and dancing with another female, that I don’t even know. It’s funny that he doesn’t have time for me, but he has time for everyone else.”

“So you cheated on him?” Erik paused twisting her hair for a moment.

“No the kissing was before I went to see him, and I know why I did that.”

“Do you really?”

Mekayla turned to look at Erik, “Yes, I do.”

“May I ask why?” He asked.

“Mekayla turned around, “What are you my therapist?”

Erik went back to twisting her hair, “Someone needs to help you.”

“I did what I did because I’m not getting enough attention.” She said hesitantly.

Erik sighed, “So why didn’t you tell Kevin this?”

“For what, to start and argument?” She asked.

“No. You are the one that always says communication is the key. So why didn’t you communicate?”

Mekayla shrugged, “I dunno. I guess I was scared.”

“Of Kevin? Erik said somewhat surprised.

“You say that like you know him.” Mekayla responded.

“No, I know you. And from what you tell me Kevin wouldn’t harm a hair on your head.”

“I’m not talkin physically.” She closed her eyes as if looking for thought.

“What if he is doing everything he can to make me happy, but I’m still not happy?”

“Since when were you not happy?” Erik asked.

Mekayla just shrugged.

“What is it then?”

“I’m hungry.” She answered dismissively

“I could run down to the Italian deli and get that slimy stuff you eat.”

Mekayla opened raised her eyebrow at him, “Ugh, what slimy stuff?”

“That soup,” Erik responded also wrinkling his nose.

“That’s Italian Wedding Soup, and it’s not slimy.” She said shutting her eyes.

“Well what’s that green stuff?” He said still frowning.

Mekayla sucked her teeth, “Spinach.”

“It looks slimy.” Erik said pushing his point.

“Not as slimy as okra.” Mekayla snapped back.

“You say that like I eat okra?”

“I’m sayin.” She paused for quite some time, “Are you gonna get me my soup?”

She whined looking at him.

“You a pain in the ass.” Erik said playfully as he lifted her head off of his lap so he could get up. “Is there anything else you want?”

“A gun.” Mekayla responded matter of fact.

“Lawd I’m afraid to ask.

Mekayla sighed.

Erik poked his head in on the way out the door, “Pepsi?”

“Yes please.” She said not looking up. “I love you.”

“Love you too.” Erik said on his way back out.

“Erik!!!” Mekayla shouted.

“What dammit?” He said playfully after reopening the door.

Mekayla looked over her shoulder, “How come we never hooked up?”

“Cuz I don’t like you.” He said smiling.

Mekayla laughed and Erik just winked at her and shut the door. Still smiling she got up and walked over to the answering machine and toyed with the idea of listening to the messages. She decided against it. Instead she walked over to her desk drawer and took out the joint that she put in there over a week ago. She lit it, took a hard hit and straddled the computer chair while resting her head on the back of it. She couldn’t figure out what made her more upset, than Kevin was cheating on her or that she found out because she was cheating on him. She spun herself around a few times as she contemplated what she was going to do.

As bad as she wanted to talk to Kevin, she had to sort her own feelings out first. She was confused and hurt in the same breath. She stopped spinning and went into her bedroom. She looked at the back door and took one more hard hit off of her joint before unlocking it and stepping out onto the fire escape. When she did she saw Brett looking up at her from the alley.

Next Segment: Write In the Middle of It

IMG_0674

“And what is your relationship to the victim?” The admissions clerk asked over a desk.

Pete cradled Sadiah’s delicate, bloody frame in his arms like a baby. His face contorted in anger, “Who the fuck I am ain’t none of your business! This baby needs some help!”

“Sir if you don’t calm down, I’ll be forced to get the police.” The nurse replied as she made check marks on a clipboard.

“Fuck that I’ll get them!” Pete hurriedly passed the admission area and slammed through the doors leading to emergency room. There were a few doctors standing around filling out paperwork but no one looked extremely busy. Looks of shock formed on their faces as Pete yelled,

“Doesn’t anyone work around here?!”

At that point Sadiah was carried from Pete’s arms, taken over to an examination room, her body was swarmed over by the doctors and then the curtain snapped shut in his face. He walked over to make shift waiting room, sat in the first chair, and buried his face in his hands. He felt his forehead become moist and looked again at his hands, which were covered in Sadiah’s blood. Pete sighed and shook his head and began pacing back and forth. He knew he should have pressed Sadiah a little harder to get her address, but she wouldn’t give him any more information.

Possibly because she was protecting that boyfriend of hers,

Because the injuries were done with such malice there was no doubt in Pete’s mind that he did this to her. If Pete weren’t out scoping the streets for her, he would have never heard the muffled sound of what he thought was an abandoned baby. He almost vomited at the sight of Sadiah’s battered face.

For what seemed like an eternity, the doctors worked behind the curtain. They only appeared to get more supplies or summon more doctors. Pete patiently waited and struggled with calling Sadiah’s father. He decided to wait until he knew more about her condition.

No sense giving him any kind of false hope.

Someone put a hand on his shoulder and when Pete looked up he saw the same admissions clerk standing over him. He rolled his eyes and sighed deeply.

“Sir, I’m sorry,” she said more annoyed than concerned as she handed him a clipboard, “but we need you to fill some paperwork out and provide us with any insurance cards…”

Pete cut her off, “Does the girl look like she had insurance?!” He winced when he realized he referred to Sadiah in the past tense but he has seen too many cases where that was the outcome. He snatched the clipboard and filled out some basic information, then attached a credit card to it before thrusting it back at the nurse.

“Bill me. Will that do for you?” The clerk’s expression changed from annoyed to embarrassed in a flash and off she stomped through the doors to her neat and orderly desk. Her presence was replaced by a city police officer.

“Pete.” The officer said extending his arm out for Pete to shake his hand.

Pete stood up and firmly shook the officer’s hand. “John.”

Pete knew John from another case he had worked on in the past. John was from a good, strong Italian family with teenage daughters of his own. He respected Pete for the diligent work he did. John shifted his belt around his potbelly and took of his cap to run his hand through his gray hair.

“Is this one gonna make it?” John asked placing his cap back on his head.

“Dunno.” Pete said as he began pacing back and forth.

“Any suspects?”

“I’m pretty sure her boyfriend did it.”

“We have an address?”

Pete shook his head. “Nah but she works at that club.”

John smirked, “Yeah don’t they all.” There was uncomfortable silence between the pair. “Any folks?”

“I’ll call her father as soon as they tell me somethin.”

“You know anything about the boyfriend?”

“Nah I just recently made contact with her. She didn’t tell me nothin, I guess she thought she was protectin him.”

“A lot of good it did her.” Pete shot John a knowing glance and resumed his pacing. “I’ma go see if I can get any of her info from the owner. I’ll come back if I hear anything.” John watched Pete pace for a minute and then put his hand on his shoulder startling him a little bit.

“Pete?” When Pete turned to look at him his face wore a worrisome expression.

“Take it easy, aiight?” John said more Italian than usual.

Pete nodded, “Yeah ok.” John walked away leaving Pete to pacing while praying for Sadiah.

***

 

Brett flew out of the alley and sprinted the seven blocks back to the room. He was half hoping that Sadiah was there lying on the bed, but he knew that she wasn’t. When he rushed in the door he saw what he feared, an empty bed. Brett threw himself on the floor and gathered all of Sadiah’s belongings and threw them on top of the bed. He then grabbed the trash can and dumped its’ contents on to the floor replacing it with Sadiah’s belongings. He didn’t even lock the door when he left and barreled down the stairs. When he reached the door to go outside he ran smack into Erik.

“Damn dawg.” Brett frowned.

Erik pushed him back forcefully, “Damn yourself. Slow the fuck down already.”

Brett a little stunned from the knock changed his expression because now was not the time for bullshit.

“You right, my bad.” He attempted to keep walkin when Erik grabbed him by his shoulder.

“Yo, have you seen Mekayla.”

Brett frowned again, “What’s it to you?”

“Look mothafucka, I was just lookin for her that’s all.” Erik growled.

“Yeah well, I saw her. We were at The Basement, then I walked her home.” Brett said as if he accomplished somethin.

Erik’s expression changed from disgust to concern. “She ain’t answer her door.”

“Maybe she don’t want to see you!” Brett said growing some balls again.

Erik sucked his teeth and balled up his fist and clocked Brett right in his jaw. The blow sent Brett flying backwards, scattering the contents of the trash bag all over the street. Erik saw Sadiah’s underwear, make-up and her left over drug paraphernalia. He picked up a pair of panties with the spoon and straddled Brett, who was propped up on his elbows holding his jaw. Erik threw the spoon at Brett’s head.

“I knew you were a bitch, but damn man, panties?” Brett went to get up but Erik pushed him back down on to the sidewalk again.

“Nah don’t even try it. And stay the fuck away from Mekayla.” Erik stepped over

Brett,

“Damn freak.” he said as he continued to walk down the street kicking the contents of the trash bag as he walked.

The fuck if I will. Brett thought. As a matter of fact, as soon ad I cleaned up this garbage, I’m going to go see her before Erik gets to her.

to be continued…

How to Skin a Sociopath: Lime and Cranberries

blog

Riley gathered up two stacks of files and made her way over to the cabinets in the back of the squad room when Gas appeared with three large pizza boxes and put them down on her now empty desk.

“When do you think the office will be completely computerized, Gas? How long do we have to hold onto all of this paper? It’s ridiculous.”

“Woman, do you really expect me to answer a question about how this place works? Sit down, eat.”

Riley turned around and the look on her face beamed with gratitude.

“Are one of those…”

“Yes.”

“You didn’t even know what I was going to ask you.”

“Riley I grew up in a house with three sisters. If I didn’t know what you were going to ask me, my home training would be in jeopardy.”

Riley raised an eyebrow as she pulled out plates, napkins and cups from out of her desk drawer and put them on top of the pizza boxes.

“Carry on.”

“Yes one of those pizzas is yours and yes it’s the one with all of the veggies, I’ve peeped how you eat.”

Riley smiled and sat down. “Thank you.”

“None needed.”

Then from Gaskin’s pocket his personal cell blared the ringtone Gypsy by Stevie Nicks. Riley chuckled as she opened a box and grabbed herself a few slices.

“Talk to me. Sis…sis…Ti….Tina! I’ma need you to slow down. Okay start again.  Are you hurt? Good I ain’t gotta kill a motherfucker then. Do you like him? Are you happy? Then what the fuck are you trippin about? You don’t need anyone’s permission to do shit. Be happy. When he doesn’t make you happy anymore, leave. No that doesn’t make you a…right. It makes you human. Me? I’m good. But I’m about to finally eat my lunch. Yes I know it’s four o’clock, but I had a case. Okay, I’ll take better care of myself. I promise. I’ll call you one weekend, maybe we can go to the beach. I’ll tell her. Okay. I love you back. Bye.”

Gaskins opened the box and grabbed more than a few slices of meat lover’s pizza and slapped them on a pile of paper towels.

“You’re sister?” Riley said screwing the top on a large sip cup and handing it to her partner.

He nodded and took the cup. “The baby. She’s got a beautiful heart, but she’s bat shit crazy. Well not really, she’s just had it rough.”

“Haven’t we all? It’s good that she has you though. It’s always good to have a male perspective from someone who doesn’t want to sleep with you.”

“Well fuck Riley, she’s my sister. That would be fuckin sick.”

Riley giggled, “Precisely my point. Do you know how many times I wished I had a brother I could talk to?  As platonic as I thought some of my friendships were, the minute I would get all sensitive and weepy, it’s almost like they would wipe my tears then stick their tongues down my throat. Shit’s for the birds.”

Gaskins chuckled. “Tell me about it. You know how many times I have seriously contemplated carrying lime in the trunk for some of these fuckers. One of the dudes she fucked with is still on my list. If I ever catch that bamma…”

Riley held up her hand, “Eh, stop. That would make me privy to some knowledge…”

“Don’t worry, I have plans B through Z. You won’t be privy to shit.”

He took a sip from his cup and wrinkled up his face, “Speakin of shit, what am I drinking?”

“Organic cranberry juice.”

“Fuck that’s nasty.”

“What you rather have soda?”

“No you damn health nut. It needs vodka.”

“When you’re off the clock, do what you want.”

“Great, I got an office wife now.”

to be continued…