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Started From The Top Now I'm Here

Started From the Top – Now I’m here

An Urban Tale Of Riches To Rags

Shakespir Edition

Copyright © 2013 Lady Onyxx and Love Den Media Publishing

All rights are reserved. No parts of this book may be copied, transmitted, used or sold without the written permission of the Author Lady Onyxx or Love Den Media Publishing.

The only exceptions to this clause are E-Book Samples which are provided at various online retailers and from the Author and Love Den Media Publishing. Brief quotes may be used in reviews

Disclaimer:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Introduction

Sonnet Banks was what some would consider to be hood royalty, everything from her 3,000 sq foot condo to her massive Hermes collection spelled luxury. She was also the ultimate backstabbing bitch and didn’t apologize for it. She will do whatever it takes to come up in the game, even if it means hurting those closest to her. Despite having the gold digging game on lock, Sonnet’s selfish ways soon get the best of her. Find out what happens when this ghetto princess goes from hood rich to a lowly street urchin fighting to survive on Skid Row. The question is does she deserve a come up? You decide.

[* Chapter 1 -True Colors *]

“Can you as least move over so my ass don’t have to lay in the damn wet spot?” Sonnet griped as she playfully rolled Kenterris’s limp sweaty body to the left side of her king sized Serta mattress.

“Damn, can a nigga get some rest before round two?”

“Fuck you roll over.”

The couple shared a quick peck before Kenterris fell comatose from the massive load he’d just released.

I ain’t shit and I know it, Sonnet thought as she gazed upon the striking masculine frame that lay before her.

She knew that she was wrong as two left shoes for fucking her best friend’s man but as far as she was concerned she was entitled. Hell it wasn’t her fault that Cheron didn’t know what to do to keep a man faithful, especially one as fine as Kenterris.

He stood at an impressive 6feet 4inches tall, had smooth cocoa brown skin and a body that gave pro athletes a run for their money. The fact that he owned his own investment company didn’t hurt one bit either. In a slow year his company brought in six figures without batting an eye.

Despite Sonnet’s humble upbringing she had a taste for the finer things in life and Kenterris was just the man to give them to her. However aside from the Birkin bags and the red bottoms he threw in her direction on special occasions, she couldn’t seem to find a way to put the final nail in the coffin and have him to herself. Yeah he came through with a stack every so often, enough to cover her bills for a few months at a time, but she wanted more. She just needed to find a way to get him away from Cheron for good.

The corner of her mouth turned up in a sinister grin as she eased out of bed. After slipping on a beater and some boy shorts she tipped into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of iced tea. Kenterris had beat the pussy up so bad that she found herself easing down onto one of the pub chairs at the counter. She took a sip of the cold liquid and glanced at the clock on the microwave oven, which read 11:15.

Lemme see if this bitch up, she thought as she made a grab for the phone and dialed Lexi, her friend of 20 years and counting.

“Hello,” Lexi answered.

“Girl, wassup?”

“Shit, just got Quantez little ass down for the night. What you up too?”

“Just got off work,” Sonnet chirped sarcastically.

“Aww shit! Who you got over there hoe?”

“That ain’t none of yo damn business but just know that a bitch will have her car note and rent paid before his ass raises up outta here.”

The pair erupted in laughter before Sonnet went on to drop her knowledge on what needed to be done in her quest for digging for platinum, as well as how far along she was with her plan. The twenty seven year old beauty was so caught up in the conversation that she didn’t hear Kenterris arise to take a piss.

“Aye, where you at?” he asked as he staggered sleepily out of the bathroom.

“So, you put it on his ass like that?” Lexi asked.

“Hell yeah, I knocked his ass out cold. I will admit the dick is good, but you know these niggas ain’t no match for what I’m putting down.”

Is that so? Kenterris thought as he lingered in the hallway after hearing Sonnet’s voice coming from the kitchen.

“I gotta hand it to yo’ ass. You do know how to work a muthafucka over! I ain’t even mad.”

“Seriously, I mean I have to laugh my damn self at how easy it is to work these dumb bastids. When I’m finished with ole boy he won’t know what hit him. This shit is just the tip of the iceberg for what I have in store for his punk ass. After I get this loot tonight imma send his black ass packin’.”

“Yous a crazy hoe! You ain’t gon do the nigga like that is you girl?”

It took everything in Kenterris not to snatch this bitch up and choke the shit out of her greedy ass. And who the fuck was she talking to? He thought. It’s probably that ghetto bitch Lexi.

His heart raced as he continued to eavesdrop. He knew that Sonnet was a scandalous bitch but he had no idea to what extent. He knew they were both wrong for sneaking around behind Cheron’s back but he didn’t judge her too much on that subject, considering it takes two to tangle. He didn’t even mind tearing her sorry ass off every now and then since the pussy was good. And you know what they say; you got to pay to play, but this bitch was totally outta line.

“Trust me when I tell you, I got this nigga wrapped around my finger. I’m just going for the small shit right now. When it’s all said and done he’ll be handing over his black card and the keys to the Bugatti. It’s all about timing.

Sonnet pondered briefly in thought as she imagined herself one day becoming Mrs. Kenterris Davis Clark.

“Work yo’ magic boo, just make sure I’m invited to the wedding.”

“Invite? Bitch you gon’ be a bridesmaid.”

They once again shared laughter before being interrupted by the second line beeping in.

“Who the hell calling me this damn late?” Sonnet snapped before glancing at the caller ID to see that it was her younger brother Aviare.

“Girl this is Aviare, lemme call you back tomorrow.”

“Go head girl, I’ll talk to you later.”

Kenterris was frozen in his tracks. Despite seething beneath the surface he was shocked at the boldness with which she proclaimed her plot against him. His mind danced with the thought of walking away before he was discovered, but his legs were stiff. As far as he was concerned there was no need for a confrontation he had something better in store for this bitch.

“What is it Aviare? I know you want something.”

“Damn, hello to you too” he responded with an annoyed tone.

“Wassup, I can’t talk. I got company.”

“Aintee Maven wanna know if you picking us up tomorrow?”

“I knew it, for what?”

“You said you would give us ride to the market, remember?”

“Ain’t the busses running? Tell her I guess…. y’all act like my Lexus got a damn taxi sign on the roof. I hope y’all got some gas money.”

Kenterris had heard all that he could take. It was bad enough her leeching ass spent every waking hour trying to get over on niggas, but this hoe didn’t even give a damn about her own family.

“Why you gotta act like such a bitch all the time Sonny? It ain’t like we wanna ask you for shit.”

“Boy you betta’ watch your damn mouth. I don’t know who the hell you think you talking to. I’ll be over there early tomorrow morning. Have y’all asses’ ready cause I ain’t waiting, bye.” With that she hung up before he could get another word in edgewise.

“Damn can I just live my life for once without these begging muthafuckas wanting some kind of damn handout?” She gulped down the rest of her drink then switched her focus back to Kenterris. “Lemme see if this nigga ready for me to put it on his ass again.”

After making sure that her Yorkie, Gucci had enough water in her dish she found her way back to the room. She saw that Kenterris was still knocked out or so she thought. Once she slid between the sheets she climbed on top of his flaccid dick and began grinding. In an attempt to get him back up she began kissing his neck before working her way down to his chest.

“Get off me” he grunted as he pushed her head away from his body mid-kiss.

“Come on baby wake up” she whispered while sliding down in a failed attempt to take him in her mouth. Instead he pushed her off and rolled over, leaving his ass in her face.

Damn I wish I had to fart right about now, he thought.

Sonnet smacked her lips and rolled her eyes, the nerve of this nigga!

“So, it’s like that?” she groaned while popping her head from under the covers.

“I gotta get my rest.”

“Aww momma done wore you out huh? Alright then, night boo.”

Once Sonnet dozed off Kenterris got up and proceeded to get dressed.

“You leaving already?” she asked, rubbing her eyes.

“Yeah I’m out,” he responded dryly.

“So, was you gon’ still give me what we agreed on?”

He shook his head and laughed to himself. This bitch wake up with the quickness for that loot.

“I don’t have any cash on me right now.”

“But you promised. My rent is due tomorrow.” By now she was sitting up in the bed with her brows knitted in a frown.

“Get at me tomorrow, we’ll take care of it.” With that he slipped on his jacket and headed to the front door. “You don’t have to get up. I’ll see myself out.”

The next thing Sonnet knew she was sitting in the bed alone, and not a dime richer than before she let Kenterris drop by.

“I can’t believe I let this nigga tip his outta here without cashing me out. I gotta step my game up for real!”

Chapter 2 – Thinner Than Water

“I tell you the truth, that niece of mine ain’t worth the space she takes up.” Aintee Maven shook her head in disgust before taking a swig of Yak from her flask.

“You always talking about that child, I know she can’t be that bad. You say she picking y’all up to go to the market,” Viv responded.

Viv and Maven had been friends for over thirty years. Viv always searched for the best in people no matter what the situation.

“Y’all my ass, I ain’t riding nowhere with that little stuck up heffa. She owe her brother that much, she don’t do a damn thing for that boy since they momma died. Hell she ain’t doing shit else but running up behind these niggas.”

“Girl you need to stop! That’s your sister’s child.”

“Please! Imma send Aviare with a list, cause Lawd knows if I go imma be done got my pressure up. So it’s best I stay here. Hang on a second Viv this is her beeping in.”

“Aviare! Get ready, Sonny said she would be here about 4:00 and you know she don’t like to wait.”

“Yeah so anyway, it ain’t like she punching nobody’s clock. Got all that education and ain’t doing shit with it. She was supposed to be here first thing this morning and here it is 3:00 in the damn afternoon and she still talking ‘bout she running late. We told her ain’t nothing to eat here and she still taking her merry ass time.”

“I hate that I don’t have a car. You know I would pick y’all up, or at least drop y’all some food off,” Viv responded with concern in her voice.

“I know you would honey. If this ole hip of mine wasn’t acting up I would take a chance on the bus, the stop is just so damn far away. We’ll be alright though.”

“Maven don’t even think about it! You know it’s too dangerous for you be out there in them streets.”

“I’m just talking girl you know I ain’t going nowhere ‘les I got a ride. They done shot up the liquor store down here at the corner two days ago. That’s the reason I ain’t sending that baby way cross town, talking ‘bout shopping. It’s just too much going on.” Maven stared out of her living room window at the abandoned house across the street. What was once considered prime property in her neighborhood had now become one of the worst eyesores in South Central, LA.

“I hear you chile; it’s bad over here too. Listen I gotta run. I’ll talk to you later.

“Alright Viv, I’ll talk to you later.”

Chapter 3 – Get In Where You Fit In

The mist was thick in the air and the afternoon traffic had reduced itself to its usual rush hour crawl. Sonnet was having one of the worst days that she could remember in a long time. Not only did she have to drive to South Central, but also she was running late for her hair appointment and still had to pick Gucci up from the groomer. And to make matters worse, she hadn’t heard from Kenterris all day. Not only was he not answering her calls, he was sending her straight to voicemail.

Each time her phone rang she looked at the screen with the anticipation that it was him, but instead, each time it was Aviare. By now she was so annoyed that she was ignoring his calls altogether.

“Damn! Imma get to y’all when I’m done doing me!” She screamed as she threw her phone back in the console and zoned out at the red light. “That’s why I hate promising to do shit for them. They act like they can’t wait. Well they won’t see my ass till I’m done doing everything on my to do list. Talkin’ bout they hungry, peel a damn potato and leave me the fuck alone.”

Here’s somebody else begging, Sonnet thought as she shook her head at the homeless man standing on the side of the road. She pretended not to see him or his sign as she continued on her journey.

Once Sonnet arrived at the salon she was finally able to relax as the rush of warm water flooded her scalp. There was no way she was going to miss this appointment after all she went through to get there. Kenterris had temporarily blown the shine out of her candle but it was all good. She realized that he was a very busy man and that he would get back to her when he could.

Even though he had played her the night before on the money tip she always kept an ace in the hole. The “rent is due” would work on the next nigga in her roster just like it did every time with him. It was only a matter of placing a phone call or accidentally running into one of her niggas at the club. And although Kenterris was her main source of cash flow, he for damn sure wasn’t her only. That’s why she had to make sure that her shit was on point at all times. Sonnet took the game to the next level where most basic bitches fell behind, catching feelings for niggas and shit. There was no time for that. All she saw was dollar signs.

While the rest of these silly birds were out here falling for the okie doke, getting a meal at Red Lobster and a few cheap ass outfits at the mall, Sonnet was living in a 3,000 square foot condo, staying at the best hotels when she traveled, getting her bills paid, Chanel bags and her diamonds upgraded. Hell, even her dog Gucci wore nothing but Swarovski crystals around her neck and ate the finest gourmet dog food. For the life of her she couldn’t understand why people were broke when there was plenty of money in the streets to be made. Maybe that’s one of the reasons she didn’t feel much sympathy for her family.

True enough she and Aviare’s mother had passed from breast cancer and left them with barely two nickels to rub together, but what was she supposed to do about it? She was only 24 years old and had her whole life ahead of her when she died. Was she supposed to take Aviare in? Besides Aintee Maven had stepped in and took over where momma left off. And it ain’t like Aviare wasn’t getting that social security check every month. And Aintee Maven had her disability and Granny’s retirement and social security. It wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t budget her shit and make it stretch.

As far as she was concerned she had to hustle for her shit so they should do the same. She was determined that they weren’t bringing her down to their level. If they wanted to live like hood rats so be it, but she wasn’t the one to be supplying them with handouts every week. It was time out for that bullshit.

Sonnet stepped out the salon feeling like a million dollars. She had her weave freshly tightened, brows threaded, and a fresh coat of polish on her hands and toes.

Before pulling out she admired her reflection in the rearview mirror as she played with her new do. She applied a fresh coat of Dior gloss and blotted the excess oil from her face. She had to admit to herself that she was beyond a dime. Her 30 inch sandy brown weave complimented her smooth café latte skin beautifully. The tousled waves cascaded over her shoulders while delicately framing her face. She had seductive bedroom eyes and a pair of full sexy lips that men couldn’t resist. When she wasn’t handing her business in the streets you could find her at the gym keeping her abs flat and her ass round and tight. She was the perfect package all rolled up into a petite 5’4 inch frame.

In the midst of her pamper session she had totally lost track of time. It was now going on 7:30 p.m. and she still needed to pick up Gucci and she still had to take her family to the damn market. This shit was truly for the birds. She had talked to Cheron and Lexi earlier and they had agreed to go out that night. She just needed to call them and make sure the plan was still a go. Operation make a million was about to be in full effect and she didn’t need anything putting a damper on her plans that evening.

“Cheron, wassup? We still hanging tonight or what?” Sonnet asked.

“I’m down, what about Lexi?”

“I’m in traffic; get her on the three-way.”

Once she was on the line the trio set their plan for the evening, although it was met with hesitation from Lexi.

“Y’all always trying to go to them bougie ass clubs. A bitch like me can’t afford all that? Y’all the ones with the damn ballers. My ass is over here struggling,” Lexi complained.

“And yo’ ass stay broke cause you fuck with broke ass niggas” Sonnet chimed in. “It’s just as easy to fuck a rich man as it is a broke one, but you gotta go where they at.”

Cheron giggled at her friends bickering. “Well I have a man so I’m not looking. I’m just going to get out of the house.”

“That’s alright Cheron; you can help me school Lexi on how it’s done. You need to write a book girl, especially with that fine, rich ass man of yours.” A smirk spread across Sonnet’s face as she thought about how Kenterris had put the dick on her the night before.

“That’s right Cheron, yo’ ass done hit the jackpot girl,” Lexi agreed.

“Yeah he is a good man, I’m lucky to have him,” Cheron stated happily.

“Alright y’all bitches done got me geeked. I’m rolling, Sonnet you paying for me to get in right?” Lexi asked her.

“Shit, don’t I always?” she grumbled.

“So where are you right now?” asked Cheron.

“Girl just left the salon, ‘bout to pick up Gucci from the groomer then I gotta take my family shopping. It will probably be about 10:30 or 11:00 by the time I’m dressed.”

“Alright I’ll hit y’all up later” Lexi announced before hanging up.

“I’ll call you when I’m ready Cheron, wear something cute,” Sonnet told her

“I will, I’ll talk to you later.”

Once Sonnet picked Gucci up she decided to call Aintee Maven to finally tell her she was on the way. She had a total of 12 missed calls from Aviare and 4 messages from him that she didn’t even bother checking. The time was now 8:15 and she was just now getting around to the family despite the fact that she originally told them she would be there that morning. Last time she talked to Aintee Maven was around 3pm. There was no doubt in her mind that she would be talking cash shit when she arrived. Ten minutes into her journey she looked down and saw that the oil light had popped on.

“FUCK!” she wailed as she slammed her fist into the dashboard.

Normally she would have ignored the light however she had neglected it for the past few weeks. And the last thing she needed was for her shit to run hot on her once she got to the hood. Suddenly she remembered that the garage not too far from her house stayed open late on the weekends. The owner Derrick stayed there sometimes till the wee hours of the morning working on cars.

“Lemme see if Derrick can hook me up real quick” she thought as she scrolled through her phone looking for his number.

She didn’t see any reason why he wouldn’t if he was there, especially since his ass been trying to holla since day one. In his mind Sonnet was the most beautiful, sexiest woman that he had ever laid eyes on but she wouldn’t give him the time of day simply because he was a blue collar man.

“Thanks so much Derrick, that’s so sweet of you. I’m on the way.”

“Ok Gucci, momma ‘bout to drop you off at home before anything else happens. My baby hasn’t eaten all day. Mommy got you boo.” She glanced in the rear view mirror as she conversed with the freshly groomed canine in baby talk. “They just gon’ have to wait a little while longer. They done waited all day, what’s another hour? Walmart stays open all night.”

Chapter 4 – Payback Is A Bitch

“Ok so the plan is set. My girl said that they should be at the club between 11:00 and 12:00. I’m stopping by her house so I will tell you what she’s wearing, plus you already know what she looks like. Its gon’ be three of them,” Kenterris instructed.

“Yea I know what your girl looks like but you said it would be three of them. How am I supposed to know which one is Sonnet?”

“Trust me bro’, you will know. She will be the fine one, besides my woman of course. The one they call Lexi is the loud, ignorant one. She’ll probably be dressed like a stripper and you can’t miss that damn fire engine red weave.”

“Damn man it’s like that? Tyler laughed. “So you sure you ready for me to go through with this?”

“Nigga I ain’t never been so sure about nothing in my life. She’s a user and she treats people like shit. It’s about time this bitch got a taste of her own medicine.”

“Alright nigga, I’ll call you once I’m in.”

Kenterris gritted his teeth in rage each time he thought about the conversation he had overhead between Sonnet and Lexi. He knew that he wasn’t perfect but she had an inflated sense of self- entitlement that couldn’t be denied. Up until now he had ignored her little rants, dismissing them as her being a spoiled brat. However he cringed each time she vented to him about doing something for her family, because despite of his whorish ways, family meant everything to him. And although he was a successful self-made millionaire now, he knew what it was like to do without.

His father walked out of his life when he was just five years old, leaving his mother to raise four children by herself. She held down three jobs at certain points, just to be able to put food on the table and to make sure her babies had everything they needed. He also remembered what it was like to have relatives who had it to give but didn’t.

Even though Sonnet’s mother had passed away she was beyond blessed. She was living the life most women from her same background could only dream about. She was educated, beautiful, lived in a beautiful home, and drove expensive cars. Not to mention the fact that she didn’t have to work and had a flock of niggas willing to drop a stack in her lap on any given day, but it wasn’t enough….

Once Kenterris learned of Sonnet’s true intention of taking him for as much as she could possibly get her hands on, her greed pissed him off. And the fact that she wasn’t willing to share with the people closest to her that needed it the most spoke volumes about her character. This bitch drove around in a new vehicle but complained about being asked to take her sick Granny to a doctor’s appointment.

Seeing Sonnet for who she truly was made Kenterris take a look at himself and his relationship with Cheron. He knew that she was a good woman but like most men in his position of power he had to experiment to see if the grass was greener on the other side. He couldn’t have been more mistaken. Not only was it not greener, the shit was actually a field of weeds. He made a vow to himself from this day forward that he wouldn’t not only stop cheating on Cheron, but he would appreciate her and treat her like the queen that she truly was.

Chapter 5 – Wishful Thinking

“That will be $24.99,” Derrick announced as he gave Sonnet the once over. She was even prettier than he last remembered.

“Here you go, keep the change,” she responded, handing him $40.00.

“So uhmm you still not trying give up that number?”

“Nah…. I’m sorry boo but I’m off the market.” Sonnet was lying though her teeth. Derrick was a cutie and he seemed nice enough, but she just couldn’t see herself with a labor worker. True enough he did own the garage but what if that shit fell through? What if his back went out? That nigga couldn’t even bring home a decent paycheck. Plus how would she look with a man on her arm who couldn’t even afford to keep up her basic salon visit? The risk was just too high. She appreciated him letting her drop in on such a short notice but that was as far as it went.

“Well I hope he’s treating you good. Cause I’ll be right there to slide in and take his place.” Derrick handed Sonnet her receipt and shot her a sexy grin.

In yo’ dreams nigga, is what she was really thinking.

“Thanks so much for everything Derrick. I really appreciate you. I’m in a hurry so I gotta run boo.” She gave him a wave as she pulled out of the garage.

Derrick stood in the doorway and watched as she drove away.

“Damn its hard being the object of these niggas fantasies,” Sonnet smirked as she glanced at him in the mirror and drove off into the darkness.

Chapter 6 – Don’t Kill My Vibe

“I know I said I would be there at 3:00 but I got tied up. I have a life too you know. I can’t just drop everything when y’all call. I’m in a hurry so tell Aviare to have his little ass outside,” Sonnet demanded before hanging up on Aintee Maven.

Upon reaching the house she noticed that Aviare hadn’t come outside. This further infuriated her. It was bad enough she was taking time out of her schedule to run errands for them, but they couldn’t even give her the common courtesy of following directions.

Sonnet proceeded to lay on the horn with both hands. BEEEEEPPP, BEEEEEPP, BEEEEEP.

“That’s her Aintee Maven, you sure you don’t want me to go out there?” Aviare asked as he peeped out the blind in the front room. “Dang why she gotta blow up our spot like that? I’m ‘bout to cuss her out right now!”

“Naw nah I done told you to stay put. Imma have a talk with Sonny. I’ll call you out when I’m done.”

This had to be the most degrading moment in Maven’s life. Not only had they waited around all day for Sonnet to arrive, she couldn’t even have the satisfaction of telling her to kiss her ass. The truth was, not only did they still need a ride to the market; she also needed to borrow money as well. She hated asking anyone for a hand out. Her pride just wouldn’t allow it. She would just as soon live off of beans and crackers before she stooped to the level she was about to go with her niece.

One of the worse parts of being broke was trying to explain why she needed the money. If it were anyone else in the world Maven could have asked she would have. Sadly they didn’t have much family and the few friends she did have had fallen on just as hard times as everyone else in the hood. Life was hard in the ghetto. Families did whatever they needed to do to survive. It made it very difficult to ask for help from people who were suffering just as hard as the next. She could have asked her sister or brother but the truth was, she had already borrowed from them several times in the last few months and she didn’t want to wear out a good thing.

Aintee Maven worked as a meter reader for the city of South Central for 18 years until her hip went out. She ended up going out on disability over three years ago and was still waiting to have replacement surgery. The city had decent benefits that would have covered the surgery; however, she was spooked by one of her coworkers who had recently died from blood clot complications after having the same procedure. She prayed every night for God to help her overcome her fear. Until then she endured the grinding torment of bone against bone with every step she took.

Come on! What the hell are they doing? Oh God what now? Sonnet thought as she watched Aintee Maven hobble down the front steps and make her way to the car.

Once she approached the vehicle Sonnet didn’t bother to open the door to let her in. Instead she opted for rolling down the passenger side window.

“Wassup Aintee, y’all ain’t going?” Sonnet asked in haste.

“Yes we still need a ride Sonny. We’ve been waiting on you all day. I thought Aviare mentioned to you that we needed some food in the house pretty bad,” Maven responded in a reprimanding tone.

“Yeah he did, but I didn’t think it was THAT serious. I can’t believe y’all didn’t have anything at all.” She shot a skeptical glance in Maven’s direction before turning her attention to her reflection in the rearview mirror.

“We made due Sonny, but that’s not the point.”

“So, what is the point? Are y’all going or not? I got someplace to be.”

“The point is your family needs you. Aviare needs you. You always got somewhere to be except here. You always putting them damn niggas ahead of your own blood. Well I got news for you baby, a pussy full of tricks ain’t never kept no man. That game you playing is gon’ run out sooner or later, mark my words.”

“You should know, the way Uncle Leroy ran off and left you,” Sonnet replied, being a straight smart ass. “Look I didn’t come here for no damn sermon. It ain’t like you always been no saint yourself.”

“Your momma would turn over in her grave if she could see how you done turned out.”

Sonnet shook her head in disbelief of the conversation that was taking place.

“Is this why you called me over here, to lecture me? This is some bullshit if I ever seen it. I guess y’all don’t need a ride after all I’m out.”

Just as she put the car in drive Aintee Maven repositioned herself in the entrance of the rolled down window.

“Can you please move so that I can leave?”

“Or what? You gon’ pull off and drag me?”

Sonnet sighed. “No Aintee Maven I’m not gon’ drag you. What do you want from me?” she asked rolling her eyes in agitation.

“I want you to stay put ‘till I say what’s on my mind. It kills me to even have to ask you but I need $60.00 to help on the groceries.”

“$60.00! What are you doing with your money? I know y’all got at least 4 checks coming up in here.” Sonnet narrowed her eyes and gave Maven a grimacing stare. Trying to line her pockets with my money talking ‘bout some damn grocery money. She must think I’m a fool.

The last thing Maven wanted to do was explain her situation to someone that it wouldn’t make a world of difference to. However these were desperate times and she had to get food in her household any way she could.

“Chile that ain’t no money, you know that yoself. I’m just trying to get a few thangs till my check come. And if you must know, Granny’s checks go to paying her medical bills and the nurse that comes out. You know she didn’t have the best insurance and Medicare only covers so much. Plus they done put her on this new medication that cost $150.00. I don’t know how we gon’ swing that.”

Maven dropped her head in depression as she shared the struggles of her household. “You know I can’t work and that little disability I get is barely enough to cover the rent and utilities.”

“What about that check Aviare gets from momma?”

“Leave him outta this. That chile needs all the help he can get. He’s a young man Sonny and you know his clothes ain’t cheap. Lawd knows I wish I could give him more. It’s all I can do to keep that baby from selling that stuff. He’s a good boy, trying to do right. He just needs somebody to help him. He’s ‘bout to enter his freshman year in college without a dime. I told you before, he only got a partial scholarship. His check has to pick up the slack. I know he gon’ find him a job, but it’s hard out here.”

“Ok, I done heard enough. Here take this little $60.00. Imma need you to use $20.00 of it to get y’all a cab though ‘cause I’m really short on time now” Sonnet sneered as she noticed the time on the radio read 9:45. “You gon’ pay me back on the first right? Cause I need my money like everybody else.”

“Yes Sonny I’ll pay you back on the first.”

“That’s all I needed to hear. I gotta run. I’ll call y’all tomorrow.”

Maven stepped away from the car and watched Sonnet drive off. Her bottom lip trembled as she turned to make the long tread back up the walkway. She had never been so humiliated in her entire life. She never imagined she would see the day that she would have to literally beg her own family to help put food on the table. She wrapped her arms around herself as she choked back the tears. She didn’t want Aviare or Granny to see her upset. She would later cry herself to sleep that night. This would be last time she would ask Sonnet for a dime. If that meant going to the food bank or getting donations from the church then so be it. Nothing or no one was worth her sacrificing her dignity.

Chapter 7 – Basic Bitches Fall Back

Sonnet stepped out of her house looking like a bag of money. The Herve Ledger gold metallic bandage dress hugged every curve. And her strappy 6-inch red bottoms boasted her impeccably manicured feet. The scent of Tom Ford lingered in the air as she sashayed to the car and slid in.

“I hope these hoes ready. I look too damn good to be waiting around for some basic ass bitches who ain’t even on my level…..”

No matter how much Sonnet complained about her friend’s taste in clothes and overall style, it was that very reason she preferred their company on girls nights out. What she considered to be their shortcomings eased the insecurities she had about herself, regardless of the air she put on.

Lexi had a killer body; she was a classic pear shape with a fat ass and a tiny waist with a cute face to match. She sported what Sonnet considered to be the classic hood rat uniform of lip and nose rings, numerous visible tatts, and candy colored lace fronts. Her outward appearance closely resembled her personality. Not only was she loud and sharp tonged she always packed heat to back up her mouth.

Despite growing up in the hood with a hard disposition Lexi had a heart of gold that was stained by learning to suck dick and hands up her skirt when she was only ten years old by two of her uncles. In her adult life she was often taken advantage of by men, and even more often by Sonnet, the only person she ever confided in about the abuse besides her mother.

Whenever Sonnet needed a favor, Lexi was her go to person because to put it quite simply, Lexi looked up to her. Not only was Lexi her yes woman, she was her flunkie as well. Even when she knew Sonnet was wrong she always took her side, even if it meant her getting the short end of the stick, which she did many times over the course of their friendship. She endured being mistreated basically because she did not want to lose her as a friend.

Sonnet had everything that Lexi always dreamed of, beauty, a to die for wardrobe, money and a shitload of men falling all over her. The abuse she had taken from Sonnet over the years in terms of backhanded insults slid off her back like melted butter. In her heart she felt like Sonnet didn’t really mean the snide remarks that she flung at her and Cheron every chance she got. She just took it as constructive criticism and figured she needed to step her game up. After all the bitch did have it going on, so who was she to question perfection?

Cheron posed a bit more of a threat to Sonnet because not only did her smart ass jabs carry less weight, because she could afford to buy anything Sonnet owned and then some, and with her own money. She also had the very thing that Sonnet wanted badly to possess, Kenterris. Even though the pair had been creeping for over 6 months, no matter what she did she couldn’t convince him to leave Cheron to be with her. She tried everything from cooking for him to living out any freak fantasy he desired. She even had a threesome with another female hoping it would seal the deal but nothing worked, and quite frankly the whole routine was getting old to her.

Sure she had plenty of other niggas sweating her but what made Kenterris her main target was the fact that not only was he loaded, he was a challenge. She never had to work this hard in her entire life for a man. For the life of her she couldn’t see why he would choose Cheron over her, especially as fine as she was. What Sonnet failed to understand was despite the fact that Cheron was about 20lbs overweight, and was what some considered pretty in the face but thick in the waist, she was wifey material.

Not only was she well educated, she owned her own business as a distributor of urban greeting cards, a company that she started from the ground up. She had an understated beauty and style about her that oozed class and self-confidence with just the right amount of sex appeal. Her sweet, girl next door persona drove men of all races crazy, and the fact that she was about her business, didn’t run the streets and could put her foot into a pot of collard greens didn’t hurt one bit either. Cheron always seemed to attract men who wanted to take care of her and give her everything, even though she didn’t take them up on their offer. These were the type of men Sonnet could only dream of. True enough she did have her share of men willing to tear her off but they were only temporary. And most of them didn’t stick around.

For this very reason Sonnet deeply envied Cheron and made it her business to screw many of her men over the years, most of which she never found out about. And the ones that she did bust, she chose her and Sonnet’s friendship over them. Mainly because Sonnet would break down crying and deny everything, claiming that they came on to her. Much to Sonnet’s disappointment each and every one of Cheron’s men she hooked up with dipped out shortly after they either got the pussy or once they got hip to her gold digging ways.

Somehow Sonnet thought she was above the disrespect these men dished out to her, even though she was fucking her so called best friend’s men. She couldn’t wrap her brain around the fact that not only did they cut her off, but the only reason any of them left Cheron in the first place was because she broke up with them, many of which pleaded to come back.

Not only did Sonnet hate the fact that her plus sized friend pulled, and kept men who wanted to wife her, all of them chose Cheron over her in the end. The only satisfaction she got was being able to look her in the face and smile, all the while knowing she was fucking one of her men. Putting it plain and simple Sonnet was the type of friend that would smile in your face while twisting the knife deeper in your back.

Once she Lexi and Cheron arrived at the club she spewed out instructions for them to follow as she pulled up to the valet.

“Now look, don’t embarrass me when we get in here,” Sonnet told them.

“What the hell you talkin’ ‘bout don’t embarrass you?” snapped Lexi.

“Bitch you the main one I’m talkin’ ‘bout. This place is upper elchon. Don’t get yo’ ass up in here ordering up no damn Moscato.”

“Fuck you; you know that’s my shit. I got paid yesterday so I’m sipping on some Moet tonight.” Lexi giggled and played with the ends of her Matador Red, 24-inch lace front.

“Leave her alone Sonnet. We’re here to have fun, let her order what she wants,” added Cheron.

“Yo’, ass got paid then you can pay your own way in, Oh and don’t let me even get started on you Cheron.”

“Come on Sonnet you said you were paying,” Lexi pleaded.

As they stepped out of the Lexus Sonnet shot a glance at Cheron’s black stilettos.

“Hoe, where are you going in some damn Nine West? This ain’t no damn revival.”

Cheron let Sonnet’s insult fly over her head like she didn’t exist. She was used to getting shade from her friend whenever she got dressed up. Despite the fact that Cheron dressed impeccably, kept her naturally curly hair in tip top condition and her complexion flawless, Sonnet always seemed to have something to say. Deep inside she felt as though Sonnet was secretly jealous of her, but she never confronted her on it.

Even though Sonnet and Lexi went further back, she and Sonnet had been tight since high school. When Sonnet’s mother was alive Cheron would hang out at their house almost every day to avoid going home to an empty refrigerator and watching her father smoke crack with one of the hoes on the block. Her mother had already died when Cheron was only 5 years old from a brain tumor.

“Whatever Sonnet, you know that’s not my style,” Cheron responded as she rolled her eyes and adjusted her shrug around her shoulders.

“I’m just saying girl, why would you even consider wool when cashmere exists? I mean it ain’t like you can’t afford it. I could see if we was talking about Lexi’s broke ass,” Sonnet insulted.

“Ain’t that a bitch, I bet you will be calling my “broke ass” when you need somebody to do you a favor,” Lexi replied.

“Girl you know I’m just playing with both of y’all. Y’all know I wouldn’t trade y’all for nothing in the world.” All the while she was thinking, these bitches ain’t bout that rich life.

Lexi let out a sigh, almost as if she was relieved that Sonnet was reaffirming their friendship.

“I know you are girl. And I got to tell you those shoes are giving me life!”

Lexi giggled like a teenager with a crush as she walked ahead with Sonnet. As they approached the door Cheron shook her head in disbelief of the way Lexi was riding her clit. Damn this going to be an interesting night, she thought.

Chapter 8 – Missing You

The music bumped in the dimly lit club as the trio made their way to the first available table.

“Damn it’s some fine ass niggas up in here tonight!” Lexi exclaimed as she switched extra hard, making sure to draw full attention to her ample backside.

“You a trip!” Sonnet chuckled at the show her friend was putting on. “I ain’t mad at you though, do what you gotta do boo.”

Once they were seated and placed their drink order Sonnet excused herself to go to the restroom. When Lexi instinctively tried to follow her she reminded her of how men don’t like approaching women in groups and advised that she went after her. Normally whenever Sonnet went out with other females she made sure to distance herself from them in an effort to keep the all attention on herself.

However that was not the case this time. The real reason she wanted to be alone was so she could call Kenterris for the 10th time that night. She still hadn’t heard from him and the fact that he was ignoring her calls drove her nuts.

“Who does this punk bitch think he is? Trying to ignore me?” she mumbled to herself as she made her way in a stall, slammed the door behind her and dialed his number.

“Look Kenterris I don’t know what kind of fucking game you trying to play, but you need to know that you ‘bout to lose me for good. I know you seen my texts and I know damn well you been getting these messages. If we have a problem call me so we can talk about it. I’m at the club with Lexi and Cheron but you know I’ll drop these hoes in a heartbeat if you wanna get together. I’ll talk to you later. Call me, bye.”

After she gave herself the once over in the mirror she took the long way back to the table, stopping a few times along the way to chat with people she recognized. It was shame that tonight almost felt like a waste. Despite all the men with the potential to fuel her “project make a million” plan that stepped to her that night, she couldn’t get her mind off of Kenterris.

“Damn I know this nigga ain’t got me sprung. I must be losing my touch.”

Chapter 9 – Chocolate Smooth

“Damn didn’t I tell yo’ ass I was gon call you once I got in?” Tyler grumbled.

“What’s taking you so long? You in or what nigga? This bitch keeps blowing up my damn phone,” Kenterris replied equally annoyed.

“Yea I just got here. I can barely hear you over this music.”

Once Tyler made his way to the men’s restroom, he got the full description of the Sonnet and her friends. He then stepped out in full swag mode. His plan was to sweep Sonnet off her feet right in front of her girls. Kenterris assured him that she would eat up the attention like candy and he couldn’t have been more correct.

“Damn, who is this luscious piece of chocolate walking this way?” Lexi cooed as she licked her lips and straightened up in her seat.

“I don’t know, but the brotha is fine as hell,” Cheron agreed.

Before Sonnet could speak a word Tyler was upon them flashing a sexy smile.

“How y’all beautiful ladies doing tonight?”

“We fine, just like you. You got a wife?” Lexi asked bluntly as she eyed him from head to toe.

Sonnet turned beet red from embarrassment. This bitch was totally killing her vibe.

“You have to excuse my friend she don’t get out much,” She scolded, giving Lexi the sideeye.

“It’s all good.” Tyler laughed and introduced himself to the ladies before making his move on Sonnet.

“I gotta say that I’m impressed. Most brothas don’t step to women while they are with their girls.” For the first time that night Sonnet’s mind was off of Kenterris and on the sexy chiseled frame that was standing in front of her.

“That’s because I’m not like most brothas. I spotted you from across the room and I wanted to see if you were as fine close up as you are from a distance. And must say now that I’m here you are absolutely gorgeous.

Lexi and Cheron giggled as Sonnet blushed from the compliment.

“Alright you can cut the act now. I know you probably spit that line to every woman you meet” she responded with skepticism. This nigga just wanna hit, just like all the rest, she thought.

“It’s no act. I saw what I wanted and I went for it. And for your information I don’t use this line on every female I meet. If you give me the chance to get to know you, you might be surprised that I’m really a gentleman.” Tyler looked Sonnet directly in her eyes as he spoke softly to her. He had a way about him that made her feel as though no other woman in the room existed except her.

“Aww shit! You betta snatch his ass up, cause if you don’t I will!” Lexi blurted out.

Sonnet had to admit this brotha did have game. And not only was he fine as hell, he had money judging by his Armani suit and Audemars Piguet wrist watch. “So what’s so different about you Mr. Tyler?”

“I can show you better than I can tell you. You ladies mind if I steal her away for a little while?” He asked as he held out his hand for Sonnet to take. She waived bye to her friends as he led her upstairs to the VIP section.

After a night of being wined and dined by Tyler, Sonnet was completely under his spell. As a matter of fact she didn’t think about calling Kenterris for the rest of the evening. The only reason the pair finally pulled themselves away from one another was because Tyler promised Lexi and Cheron he wouldn’t tie her up for the whole night. In all actuality, Sonnet could have cared less whether or not she ever caught back up with them even though they rode with her.

As far as she was concerned her mission was accomplished. She had hit the jackpot with Tyler. Come to find out he was one of the youngest attorneys at one of the most prestigious firms in the city. Not to mention, he was also a savvy businessman with an eye for the stock market and growing money in general. The couple exchanged phone numbers and went their separate ways. But not before Sonnet agreed to meet up with him later that night after the club.

Shit I ain’t got nowhere to be in the morning. I’m fucking this nigga and sealing the deal tonight, Sonnet thought as she made her way back to the table to find it empty. Both Cheron and Lexi were on the dance floor. She was beyond tipsy at this point from one too many glasses of Cristal. As she sat alone reflecting on how Tyler had changed her whole view on men in a matter of a few hours her focus soon switched to Cheron as she watched her laughing and having a good time on the dance floor.

Uhmm hmmm, look at that bitch living it up, she thought. That hoe done been a thorn in my side for the past six months with Kenterris. His black ass wanna act like she the second coming. Like I wasn’t good enough, well Tyler proved both of their asses wrong tonight. Fuck her and Kenterris.

Sonnet was so caught up that she didn’t see Lexi approaching the table from the opposite side.

“Damn girl that nigga finally let you out of his sight? What y’all been talking about all this time?” Lexi asked.

“I told you to fall back and watch a bitch work, you might learn something” Sonnet gushed before the two of them busting out laughing.

“Seriously though Lexi, I think I done met the one!” Sonnet exclaimed looking dreamy eyed.

“For real? What he say girl?” Lexi’s eyes were wide as she gave Sonnet her full attention as though she were leaning on her every word.

“Girl did you see the watch that nigga was wearing? He’s an attorney And his ass know all about that stock market shit. He’s supposed to be teaching me how to grow my money. Now you know that nigga had me when he told me he would help me stack my loot!”

“Hell yea! That’s the shit I’m talking ‘bout. A man with a plan is sexy as hell.”

“It’s not just that Lexi; believe it or not it’s not just the money with this dude. I think I might actually like him. He treated me like queen the whole time I sat with him.”

“As he should have, girl I’m so happy for you. That nigga must have yo’ ass mesmerized ‘cause you looked like you was in deep thought when I walked up.”

Sonnet grinned and shook her head. “Girl if you only knew the half of it, you would die…”

“What is it? I know yo’ is ass hiding something.” Lexi leaned over in her seat close to Sonnet. She couldn’t wait to hear every juicy tidbit she was about to drop.

“Look at yo’ ass foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. You just itching for some damn gossip. You know damn well I can’t tell yo’ ass shit, the way you be running off at the mouth.”

“Fuck that, you done brewed the tea. Now yo’ ass got to pour it!”

“Promise me you won’t say a word to nobody,” Sonnet protested. “Not even to that nosy ass cousin of yours because you know she can’t hold shit.”

“Girl I promise, what is it?” By now Lexi was on the edge of her seat. Nothing could have prepared her for the bomb that Sonnet was about to drop.

“I’m fucking Kenterris,” she replied smugly while eyeing Cheron.

“Bitch what did you just say? Kenterris as in Cheron’s Kenterris?”

“You should see the look on your face, yes Cheron’s Kenterris. We’ve been getting it in for about six months. That nigga is sprung too girl.”

“Daaaaammmnnn! How did that shit happen? I thought Cheron was your girl?”

For the first time since they had been friends Lexi looked at Sonnet in a different light. Normally she would cosign with all her ratchetness but this shit right here was just foul. Especially the way Sonnet skinned and grinned up in Cheron’s face.

“Shit just happened. We couldn’t deny the chemistry if we wanted to. That’s why my ass just be sitting back giggling like hell when she goes on about what a good ass catch he is. Little does she know that nigga be up in this pussy so deep they damn near have to send the coast guard to find his ass.”

They laughed so hard that Sonnet was about to piss on herself. Before they knew it Cheron was back at the table.

“Let me in on the joke. What so funny?” she asked breathing heavily as she wiped the sweat from her brow.

Lexi and Sonnet were both caught off guard looking like a deer in headlights.

“Huh… oh we were laughing at some of the lines these niggas spitting up in here tonight,” Sonnet replied giving Lexi the hush face.

“Tell me about it girl. I’m so glad I’m booed up I don’t know what to do. How did your little rendezvous go with ole boy?” Cheron asked.

Lexi choked as she tried to swallow a sip of her drink. Before a word could slip from her lips Sonnet kicked her under the table.

“It went perfect. Thank you for asking. He has it going on girl. As a matter of fact I hate to cut y’all night short but he wants to hook up later,” Sonnet responded.

“Aww hell naw. I know you ain’t going for that. You just met this man Sonnet,” Cheron objected.

“I gotta agree with Cheron on this one. You don’t know shit about him. I don’t care how fine he is,” Lexi cautioned to her friend. “What are you always telling us about being careful? You need to follow your own advice.”

“I know enough to know that he is a cut above the rest. This nigga is a prime specimen and I ain’t ‘bout to let one of these thirsty ass bitches in here snatch his ass up. Shit y’all lucky I’m dropping y’all off first. I should make y’all asses take a cab.”

“Like yo’ ass ain’t thirsty? Look we came here together, we leaving here together” Cheron fumed.

“Okay!! I said I was dropping y’all off. And I don’t want to hear y’all yapping on the way home about me making a mistake. I don’t care what y’all say. I’m meeting him tonight and it’s not up for discussion.”

Later that night

“What the hell do they want from me at this hour? Sonnet was beyond agitated at the amount of times that Aviare had tried to call her. Each time she would send him straight to voicemail. She saw that she had five new voicemails as well as multiple text messages, none of which she bothered to check, she even when as far as to completely shut her phone off for the rest of the night. It was already certain that she wasn’t going to be hearing from Kenterris anytime soon and she was good with that. And if she needed to catch up with Tyler she had another phone that her family didn’t have the number to.

She had just finishing having the time of her life at the club. She couldn’t remember when she had this much fun. Not only that, she had met Tyler, the man who would hopefully complete her dream of becoming a millionaire. She needed to clear her mind without any outside distracts, she needed her sex game to be on point tonight.

Sonnet had just dropped off Lexi who lived a few miles away from Aintee Maven. She could have easily swung by to see what was so urgent at this hour but she refused to subject herself to another tongue lashing from her. Plus she had to hurry home and freshen up to meet her new boo. He told her that he would have his driver pick her up when she was ready.

“Humph… Kenterris ain’t got no damn driver. This nigga is running circles around his ass. I done finally met a man to give me all the things I deserve and these niggas think I’m ‘bout to mess it up by dropping everything to do a charity run? They got me all fucked up.”

Sonnet ranted as she turned onto the freeway and blasted Rihanna. “All I see is signs, all I see is dollar signs” she sang as she danced in her seat. She couldn’t wait to see what Tyler had in store for her.

“I might even suck that niggas dick tonight. If he got any other hoes they will be a distant memory once I’m done putting this pussy on his sexy ass.”

Chapter 10 – Desperate Times

“Man I can’t believe this shit!”

Aviare exploded in anger as he roamed the deserted street looking for anyone who could give them a ride. His voice echoed in the darkness through the abandoned houses as he screamed for help. The few neighbors they did have were either not home, didn’t have a car, or chose not to get involved. Consequently the block had been riddled with so much gang violence that people were literally prisoners in their own homes.

Granny had been complaining of shortness of breath for the past two hours. He and Aintee Maven were keeping a close watch on her when all of a sudden she clutched her left shoulder before falling unconscious. They called an ambulance over twenty minutes ago and it still hadn’t arrived. Despite the endless calls and texts from Aviare’s phone to Sonnet’s she refused pick up. She was their only hope at this point to try and rush Granny to the emergency room.

By now Granny’s breathing was shallow and her pulse was weak. Aintee Maven was a nervous wreck but she managed to lie her down and elevate her feet. It wasn’t uncommon for ambulances and police not to show up in their hood till hours later. Not only was the area crime ridden, the local hospital was low staffed and over worked from the bullet wounds that made their way through the door every few minutes.

Aintee Maven knew time was running out for Granny so she sent Aviare out to look for anyone with a car that could take them to the hospital. Despite the attitude that Sonnet left with earlier that night she still tried to call her to give her a heads up about Granny’s situation, hoping that she wouldn’t get any worse, and if she did by some miracle she would come back and help them. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Not only was Sonnet ignoring their calls as usual; Maven didn’t even have a friend close by with a car. Everyone she knew took public transportation. Calling a cab was a joke at this hour and most pizza delivery drivers and cabbies didn’t go anywhere near certain neighborhoods after dark. Maven was so desperate that she even tried the fire department and just like the paramedics, they insisted that help was on the way.

“I hate that bitch!” Aviare wailed as he crammed his phone back into his jacket pocket. The tears streamed down his face as he jogged to the next block. His heart raced as he approached the porch of what appeared to be a drug house based on the numerous cars parked out front.

“What the hell you want?” the voice on the other side of the door yelled.

“Please we need a ride to the hospital. I think my Granny had a heart attack!”

“Nigga this ain’t no damn cab stop, git yo’ ass from around here before yo’ ass git lit up.”

Just as Aviare turned and was about to head for the next house he heard the door open behind him.

“Man what the fuck is you doing? That shit could be a damn setup!” one of the men yelled out.

“Shut up fool! Hang on lil man. What you need?” another asked.

Aviare turned around to see a huge dark figure standing in the doorway. He swallowed the lump in his throat and replied in a shaky voice.

“Uhmm we need a ride.”

“Yo’ lil ass got balls of steel banging on this damn door. You must gotta go somewhere mighty damn important,” the man bellowed in a deep tone.

“Yes sir….. my Granny is sick and we can’t get an ambulance.”

“Man I know you ain’t fallin’ for dat shit! Lemme smoke this lil bitch!”

“Nigga fall back!” the man yelled.

The large man stepped out onto the porch to get a better look at Aviare. Upon closer inspection he noticed that he was just a kid and that he was of breath. He also noticed that he had been crying.

“That ain’t no surprise around here,” he replied as he looked up and down the quiet street. “Come on I’ll take y’all. Where you live lil man?”

“On the next street. Thank you!”

As the man walked down the front steps Aviare was able to see his face clearly. He was wearing a black bandana tied in the front and had a huge scar over his right eye. He walked with a slight limp. He looked to be around 6’0 with a stocky build.

Two other men stepped in the doorway in place of the first man and grimmed Aviare from head to toe.

“You alright nigga?” one of them asked the man.

“I got this,” the man answered as he headed towards the light blue Charger in the driveway. Just as he and Aviare were about to bend the corner they heard the wail of sirens. An ambulance zoomed past them and stopped at Aintee Maven’s house. The man pulled up behind the ambulance and offered to follow in case someone in the house still needed a ride. Aviare declined, thanked him and rode in the truck with Aintee Maven and Granny to the hospital. He had already made up his mind that he was never forgiving Sonnet for this day.

Chapter 11 – Erotic Interlude

As Tyler and Sonnet made their way to the elevator of the Beverly Hilton she could feel his eyes probing every inch of her body. He was literally almost foaming at the mouth thinking about all the wicked things he wanted to do to her. Once the elevator doors shut he pulled her close to him and they began exploring each other’s bodies. Her stomach quivered as he slid a hand under her blouse and caressed her titties as they kissed. Sonnet’s pussy was soaking wet. She hadn’t been this turned on by anyone besides Kenterris in a long time. It was like he knew all the right buttons to push.

“I’m not forcing you to do anything you don’t want too,” Tyler said reassuringly.

Damn why does he have to be such a gentleman? Sonnet thought. Forcing me? Hell if anything I’m about to rape HIS ass!

“I’m all yours tonight boo,” she purred.

Upon reaching the Presidential Suite they quickly undressed each other. Sonnet tried to play it off and not stare when she saw that he was hung like a donkey. She was about to remove her bra and panties when he stopped her.

“Damn you are beautiful,” he growled as he gritted his teeth while deciding which way he was going to take her first. He raked his belongings to the side on the dresser, picked her up, and sat her in front of him. Her pussy throbbed as he worked his way down with his full lips sucking on her erect nipples. He slid down her Victoria’s Secret undies to reveal her tight shaven pussy. Tyler’s skin glistened with perspiration as he worked her over from head to toe.

This wasn’t the first time Sonnet had fucked someone on the first night she met them and it surely wasn’t going to be the last. But there was something different about Tyler. It was almost as though this nigga had a spell over her. She chalked it up to being a combination of her rebounding from Kenterris and the way he was treating her, although she couldn’t lie to herself, his money most definitely stepped up his swag factor.

Sonnet moaned in ecstasy as his huge hands wrapped around her neck. He slammed her against the wall and plunged his thick black snake deep inside of her. She almost passed out from the waves of multiple orgasms pulsating through her body. She whimpered softly as he started pumping her at lightning speed, eventually letting out a howl as he exploded inside of her.

They would get it in three more times that night before they finally collapsed from exhaustion.

“Damn girl, you put on my ass,” Tyler whispered as he stroked the stray hairs from Sonnet’s face.

“Well I aim to please,” she responded proudly.

“I guess I shouldn’t be killing the mood right now by asking how many other brothas you screw on the first date.”

“Hell no! That’s none of your damn business. You was right about one thing, you sure know how to kill the mood” Sonnet snapped as she pulled the covers up around her.

“I’m sorry baby. I wasn’t trying to offend you. And I damn sure don’t judge you. I just wanted to know am I on a long list of brothas or is this something new for you? I know it is for me. I guess what I really want to say is, I really like you Sonnet and I want to see you again. I wanna spend more time with you and get to know you. I don’t want this/us to only be about sex.”

CHA CHING! Sonnet thought as her eyes lit up. She snuggled under Tyler and slid his arm around her.

“This is my first time ever doing something like this. As a matter of fact I’ve been celibate for almost a year. I guess that’s why you saw the freak come out in me” she laughed and reveled in the fact that she hadn’t lost her touch. This dude was making Kenterris look like chopped liver. For the first time since the pair had been creeping she was actually rethinking her plan to get him to marry her. There was no need to when her blessing was lying right here beside her.

“I like you to Tyler and I would very much like us to spend more time together.”

Momma always said if you treat people right good things would come to you. And my good thing has come to me. I done found my prince, Sonnet thought as she smiled and drifted off in Tyler’s arms.

Chapter 12 – Hard To Say Goodbye

Etta Mae Wiggins, known to family and friends as “Granny” was pronounced dead at 6:25 am. Aintee Maven was beyond grief stricken. She held the hand of her mother’s lifeless body as she waited for the other family members to arrive. The only solace that she got was knowing that Granny was not in any pain when she passed on.

The doctors stated that not only had she gone into cardiac arrest three times; she went brain dead shortly after from lack of oxygen to her organs. Aintee Maven knew in her heart that the length of time that was taken to get her to the hospital played a huge role in her passing and this hurt her deeply. Once her brother Joe and her sister Rita arrived they held each other and wept in a circle.

Aviare took her death particularly hard because Granny had been his biggest cheerleader besides Aintee Maven since his mother had died. He sat with a blank stare on his face in the waiting room. Seeing how broke up Aintee Maven was tore him apart and he had to step away. If only he had a car none of this would have happened. He already knew that they couldn’t count on any city services being implemented in the hood. He couldn’t blame Uncle Joe and Aunt Rita because they lived too far away to be of any help. And the mere thought of how Sonnet thought of no one but herself further fueled his desire to drop out of school and start slinging dope. He knew Aintee Maven wouldn’t approve but he was hell bent on them not having to ask that bitch for anything.

Chapter 13 – Too Little Too Late

“Now let me see with these bloodsuckers wanted,” Sonnet said to herself as she waited to for her phone to reboot. It had been turned off since the night before. She had ended a wonderful night with her new boo Tyler and she hated coming down off of her high. She had just taken her shower and stretched out on the sofa with a slight pout to her bottom lip knowing that reality awaited in the form of messages, missed calls and texts. She did have to admit that despite her new found adoration for Tyler, she was curious to see if Kenterris had returned any of her calls.

“What the hell? Oh shit!”

Sonnet dropped the phone and quickly jumped into the first outfit she saw in the laundry basket. Normally she wouldn’t dare rush out the house without being put together but this was an emergency, Granny was sick.

Once she arrived at the hospital she screeched into a parking space and jumped out. She frantically roamed the halls looking for the unit that Granny was on. After she found her way to the waiting room she saw that most of her family was there along with Aviare.

“How is she?” Sonnet asked him.

“Thanks to you she’s dead!” Aviare yelled.

“What! Oh no!”

The tears streamed down Sonnet’s face as she made her way to Granny’s room to see Aintee Maven slumped over in an arm chair weeping and Aunt Rita caressing Granny’s limp hand.

“What happened Aintee?” Sonnet asked Maven.

Maven rolled her eyes in disgust and stormed out of the room slamming the door behind her.

“Damn, I don’t know what her problem is, but now is not the time. I wish somebody would please explain to me what happened,” Sonnet hissed in an authoritative tone.

“I see you still the same,” Aunt Rita sobbed before joining her sister out in the waiting room.

Sonnet said her goodbyes to Granny and gently kissed her on the forehead that was still warm to the touch. She couldn’t believe the way everyone was acting all brand new when she showed up. She knew her family was messy, but she didn’t think they would stoop as low as blaming Granny’s death on her.

“I don’t care if they grieving or not I’m ‘bout to check they asses with the quickness.”

Sonnet arrived in the waiting room to overhear Uncle Joe consoling Aintee Maven.

“Maven you know if we could have gotten here any faster for momma we would have.”

As soon as Maven called Joe and Rita they jumped into action. They had driven over three hours, breaking every speed limit along the way but still weren’t able to see their mother alive one last time.

“I know y’all had a long way to drive, its ok Joe,” she sniffled.

“No it’s not ok; somebody should have been here for y’all. You would think that little bitch of a niece of mine would have at least tried to help,” he fumed.

“Wait just a damn minute. I know y’all ain’t trying to blame Granny’s death on me! And who you calling a bitch?” Sonnet yelled.

“Ma’am can you please lower your voice?” asked one of the nurses.

“Bitch, I didn’t stutter. You heard me right!” Uncle Joe grimaced as he stood from his seat.

“Joe please! That’s not necessary, it won’t solve anything. It’s not gonna bring momma back,” Aunt Rita pleaded as she attempted to stop him from causing a scene.

“Naw let him speak his mind Aunt Rita!” Sonnet replied.

“Please everyone calm down. I’m going to have to call security,” the nurse stressed.

“He’s right it is your fault! I can’t stand yo’ ass,” Aviare chimed in.

“Nigga who the hell do you think you talking to? I will slap the black off of you. Yo’ ass done got just a little bit too grown!”

“You ain’t gon’ touch that boy, you hear me!” Uncle Joe warned as he stood between Sonnet and Aviare.

“Or what? Get yo old ass out my damn face! You don’t run me. I’m talking to my brother and this ain’t got shit to do with you,” Sonnet yelled and attempted to push him out of the way.

CRACK!

Uncle Joe backhanded Sonnet so hard that she flew into the soda machine. She grabbed her face and looked at him in disbelief. An elderly white couple in the waiting area nervously backed out of the room while the rest of the onlookers shook their heads and talked amongst themselves.

“Yea, where is all that mouth at now?” Uncle Joe yelled.

“Joe please stop it!” Maven begged.

“Naw Maven that shit was long overdue. You took them kids in and raised them like your own children. She needs to learn some damn respect! She can hoe her ass all over town but ain’t got one damn minute for her family! Little spoiled ass! You ran up on the wrong one today, didn’t you bitch? Run up on me again, niece or no niece imma dot that eye the next time.”

“Fuck you!” Sonnet snarled. She snatched away as one of the nurses tried to help her to her feet.

Before Joe could get out another word two armed security guards pulled his arms behind his back and escorted him out of the room with Aunt Rita and Aviare following behind them.

“Y’all trying to blame me! If anything y’all need to be trying to sue the damn city. How is this my fault? Y’all know I hardly ever answer my phone for y’all. Hell I would never had a life if I jumped every time y’all rang!”

Sonnet straightened her clothes before picking up the scattered belongings from her purse.

Aintee Maven sat sobbing uncontrollably as she listened to Sonnet justify every reason why she couldn’t be bothered with her, Granny and Aviare and none of it made any sense. She wouldn’t let any of the other family members get a word in edgewise. As far as she was concerned she was done arguing about the subject, not to mention the fact that the hospital had instructed them they all had to leave because they were causing a disturbance.

On the way out of the hospital Sonnet passed Uncle Joe and the officers in the hallway.

“You betta hope I don’t press charges! My man is an attorney and he will have yo’ ass under the jail,” Sonnet tormented.

“Go straight to hell!” Joe yelled back.

“And don’t be calling me talking ‘bout we ain’t got no money for a headstone, Granny need a casket…. I ain’t got shit for y’all broke asses!”

Sonnet stomped out of the building and peeled out of the parking lot vowing to not speak another word to her family until the funeral. And even then they better tread lightly. The nerve of these sorry ass low lifes blaming me, she thought. If they asses weren’t always crying wolf, begging to go to the damn store and shit I might have answered.

She didn’t feel one bit of remorse about the fact that she was only a few blocks away at the time they were trying to reach her. Instead she was more concerned about the bruise that was now forming on her right cheek. She was the picture of perfection when Tyler met her and she wanted to keep it that way. She had to figure out how to make the swelling go down before the next time she saw him.

Even though she was a good liar she didn’t have time to be explaining why she was hit in the face by her ignorant ass uncle. He was a refined business-man from a good family and she had no doubt in her mind that if he had any incline as to how ratchet her family was he would run for the hills, and she wouldn’t blame him one bit.

After she made it back home for the second time, she applied an icepack to her face, and then called up Lexi and Cheron. She wanted to give them the news about Granny plus she knew that they were dying to hear about her time with Tyler.

Chapter 14 – Time To Check In

“Damn nigga! Would you look at this office?” Rayquan beamed as he walked in the elegantly decorated room and looked around.

“Man watch your mouth, this is a place of business,” Kenterris scolded as he looked around to see if anyone heard.

“Oh my bad, I’m just saying how can a brotha’ like me be down? Do you need an assistant? Hell I’ll mop the floor, work in the mail room or whatever.”

Kenterris laughed as he offered his friend a seat on the rich Italian leather sofa.

“You want something to drink?” Kenterris offered.

“Nah man I’m good. You done spoiled the hell out of me already” Rayquan responded.

Rayquan and Kenterris had been friends since the 9th grade. Despite the direction both of their lives turned Kenterris still kept in touch with him. He tried to help Rayquan on numerous occasions, but he just wouldn’t prove himself responsible. At the end of the day he was just like every other nigga in the hood that lived in his momma’s basement with numerous baby mommas. The job he was doing for him now was just Kenterris cashing in on a favor that he owed him for the many loans that were never repaid.

“So, did she fall for it?” Kenterris asked.

“Is fat meat greasy? She fell for that shit hook line and sinker. You weren’t lying about how thirsty that bitch was?” Rayquan boasted.

“I told you man! Tell me what happened.”

“First of all I told her my name was Tyler.”

“No you didn’t, you a fool for that one,” Kenterris chuckled.

“I gotta give it to you man; you had my ass looking like Don Juan last night in that suit. And yes I dropped it off at the cleaners like you said. You should have seen the way her ass was eyeballing that damn watch.”

“I know she was all over that shit,” Kenterris replied as he leaned back in his executive chair.

“Hell yea, I didn’t have no problems hittin’ that. And the pussy was quite good I might add.” Rayquan looked at Kenterris to read his reaction.

“It’s all good. I told you I didn’t care if you hit it. I’m done with it.”

“That’s all I needed to hear. Hell, I had the time of my damn life last night. I can’t remember when the last time I had a lobster dinner. It felt good to dress up, you had me looking like real gigolo. Shit you know I had to pawn all my suits to keep my ass out of jail for that damn back child support.”

“Man you killing me,” Kenterris bent over in laughter.

“I ain’t lying. My ass was sipping Cristal and eating shrimp scampi and shit. Ain’t nothing but Four Loco and Joose done touched these lips before that. I done been laid up all night in the Beverly Hilton, got me some ass and a free limo ride. What else could a broke ass nigga like me ask for?”

The men laughed and chatted for the next hour about Sonnet before Kenterris let him listen to the many messages that she had left on his phone.

Wassup Kenterris, I see you still trying to ignore me. Well it’s all good. I just called to tell you that you done officially fucked up and lost me. That’s right, I got me a real baller so you can keep yo’ tired ass over there with Cheron.

“That ain’t shit, listen to this one,” Rayquan added.

Hey Tyler, I miss you boo. Thank you for the good time last night, my pussy is still singing. Call me when you get this message, bye baby.

“Did she just say her pussy was singing?” Kenterris howled in laughter.

“You heard her. I laid the pipe deep on that ass. Speaking of that, how long you want me to run this little scheme. You know she gon’ be asking to stop by the crib in a minute. What imma do then?”

“Don’t worry about that. Just follow my lead. I got you covered with anything you need. By the time she starts pressing you about wanting to come over, your ass will be in the wind and she won’t know what hit her,” Kenterris smirked and rubbed his palms together.

“Alight if you say so…. ‘cause you know I ain’t above bringing a female over in mom’s basement.”

“I can see her ass now! That bitch would drop dead on the spot!” The imagery made both men laugh ‘till their sides hurt.

Chapter 15 – My Name Is Sonnet Bitch

A week had passed and Sonnet had yet to hear from Kenterris. She couldn’t believe he didn’t even respond when she told him about Granny passing. She had incredible sex with Tyler twice more since the night she met him. Aside from Granny’s death everything was finally going right in her life.

Tyler had truly shown her how to let her hair down and have some fun. Not only that, he was breaking the financial game down for her. In the short amount of time that she knew him he had gained her trust as a true professional when it came to investing and making money grow. Everything from his suits to the way he wined and dined her spoke for itself. It was like she had met a unicorn among a sea of pit bulls. And to put the icing on the cake, he was all hers.

There were no baby momma’s hanging around. No exes sending him texts every ten minutes. As a matter of fact whenever she was with Tyler he gave her his undivided attention. The only thing he hadn’t done yet was take her back to his place. It was all good. She didn’t want to rush things, plus she was enjoying every minute of what they currently had going on. Sonnet had no doubt in her mind that if his home was anything halfway like the suites he took her too it would take her breath away. He even promised to fly her to Paris in his private jet once he was able to clear up his work schedule. What else could a girl ask for?

So why the hell was she still obsessing about Kenterris? She thought she had gotten him out of her system but that feeling was short lived. Sonnet’s pride was hurt more than her feelings. It was like all of a sudden he dropped off the face of the earth. She had niggas that went ghost on her before but this was totally out of character for Kenterris. Later that day she planned on having drinks and dinner with Cheron. Not only would it give her a chance to vent about her crazy ass family, she could get the inside scoop on Kenterris. Maybe he was super busy at work or wasn’t feeling well. Whatever the case may be she had plans to pick Cheron till she found out the real deal.

Later that evening

“I’ll have the Shrimp Alfredo and a garden salad please,” Cheron placed her order then took a sip from her glass of white wine. “Damn girl I’m so sorry about your Granny, you know she was like a grandmother to all of us in the old neighborhood.”

“I know. I’m gonna miss her so much. She was one of the realist people I ever knew. And one of the few people that always had my back,” Sonnet reflected as she stared off in the distance.

“Well, you know I’m here for you. If you need anything don’t hesitate to call me. Have y’all finished all the final arrangements yet?”

“Y’all? Girl I ain’t participating in that circus! I didn’t tell you what went down at the hospital. My trifling ass family trying to blame Granny’s death on me instead of the city of South Central. Like it’s my fault the ambulance didn’t show up.”

“Oh my goodness. Are you serious? That’s terrible.”

“Yes girl! Aviare got a stick all up his ass talking ‘bout he hate me. But it’s cool, that little nigga will need me long before I need him. I was about to check him till Uncle Joe jumped in front of him. And don’t let me even get started on that bastard. Do you know he had the nerve to slap me?”

“What the hell Sonnet? Are you ok?”

“Yea I’m cool but I told them not to call me for shit. Broke asses always needing a damn hand out. I don’t know how they paying for this funeral and I don’t care,” Sonnet sneered resentfully.

“Don’t you think you are being a little harsh? I mean regardless of what went down, you helping out financially is so your Granny can be put away nicely. It has nothing to do with them. Sometimes you have to put differences aside in times like this.”

Sonnet rolled her eyes. “Not you too, I don’t need no damn lessons in humanity. If they want to apologize they know where to find me. I mean I guess I could have rolled through there that night seeing as they were wearing out my damn phone and I had just dropped off Lexi, but shit how was I supposed to know she was sick?” she replied defensively.

“By answering your phone,” Cheron responded with a raised eyebrow. The more she tried to ignore Sonnet’s selfish ways the more they were exposed. Nothing or no one could have stopped her from checking in on her family if she were that close, especially knowing how much they needed her. The bottom line was Sonnet had a lot of growing up to do.

“Sigh…. can we please change the subject? What have you been up to?” she asked hoping to get an earful about Kenterris. Little did she know that Cheron was more than happy to oblige and she ended up getting more than she bargained for.

“I’ve been laid up with my baby. Girl I don’t know what has come over that man but he has been turning me out the last few days.”

Sonnet could feel her blood pressure rising, “Oh really?”

“Yes girl, he’s been super romantic all of a sudden, it’s like he can’t get his mind off of me. He’s been sending me little lovey dovey texts throughout the day. And look at what he bought me!” Cheron beamed as she flashed her three-carat diamond tennis bracelet.

Sonnet’s eye began to twitch so was so pissed off. Her mind raced to come up with a response that didn’t sound like she was jealous. His funky ass can’t return even one of my calls but he can text this bitch all day. Nigga didn’t even square me off like he usually does but his ass buying bracelets and shit.

“Oh wow, that’s beautiful. But you know what they say don’t you girl? If a man is acting that good all of a sudden he must have something to hide.” No matter how much she tried to hide her displeasure she couldn’t help but to throw a little shade.

“My God Sonnet, can you at least be happy for me just once?”

“Girl you know I’m just talking mess. You and Kenterris probably gon’ grow old together and have a ton of babies. Besides I ain’t hardly worried about y’all when I got my own boo chasing after me.”

“Oh yea, how is that going?” Cheron asked.

“Couldn’t be better. The nigga is PAID! Do you hear what I’m telling you! He been having my ass laid up like a Princess. As soon as he gets some time off work he’s taking me for a ride on his private jet. We going to Paris girl! And did I mention that the sex is off the chain?” Sonnet gloated. Uhmm hmm yo’ ass always think you winning. Top that one bitch!

“Sounds like y’all are really hitting it off.”

“Oh we are. And he’s helping build my cash flow. I’ve already given him a thousand dollars to invest for me. He says he can turn it into three in a matter of days.”

“Are you serious? How much do you know about this guy? I think you need to slow down and rethink this. Can you get your money back?”

“I knew yo’ stiff behind wouldn’t understand. Can’t YOU be happy for somebody for a change” Sonnet groaned. That’s what happens when you try to share good news with haters; they always try to come up with some bullshit excuse as to why you shouldn’t try to get ahead, she thought.

“I am happy for you. I’m just saying that you need to be careful.”

“I get it…. you concerned about me. Well in case you haven’t noticed. I’m a grown woman. I’ve been taking care of myself all this time. And I think I can judge whether or not if somebody is being shady. This guy is the real deal and if he wants to upgrade me so be it. Damn I done lost my appetite.” Sonnet dropped her fork and threw her napkin over her plate.

“Sonnet I’m sorry… I..”

“Nah you good, nothing more to be said. Can we get the check please?” she asked beckoning the waitress. It was time to cut this dinner short.

What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy for her? Sonnet thought long and hard on the drive home about her feelings for Kenterris. In her heart she knew that she didn’t love him. So why was she so damn jealous of what he was doing for Cheron? The only conclusion that she could come up with was the fact that he cast her to the side like she was used goods. And the blow stung extra hard because she had planned the whole time that they would one day be together. As luck would have it, history would repeat itself and Cheron won again. Once again Sonnet was left in the wind by a man she thought she could steal away from her friend.

The fact that she had been beaten at her own game grinded her gears. The only reason she was fucking Kenterris in the first place was so that she could come up. It wasn’t like the nigga was spending quality time with her, not that she wanted him to. He didn’t own a jet, nor did he give her half the things that Tyler had given her in the short amount of time they had been kicking it.

“And this nigga got the nerve to be dissing me for that fat bitch!”

Once she finally settled in for the night she downed several shots of Patron before going through her phone reading all the messages she had sent Kenterris. She couldn’t believe that it was really over, just like that after six months. Even though she already had a new man lined up it always felt good to have one in the trenches. Kenterris had always been her backup plan when shit went sour with the other niggas on her list. She had to admit that it was kind of scary not having him to lean on when she needed extra loot. She had gotten use to her “payouts” after their sexcapades.

Tyler hadn’t given her any money yet, but it was only a matter of time before he cashed her out. What would have taken years to accomplish messing with broke ass wanna be ballers would be a drop in the hat for a man like him. The more she thought about it, she really didn’t have a reason to hate on Cheron. She could have Kenterris’s sorry cheating ass, but not before she got some closure. She was determined to have her final say whether he chose to acknowledge it or not. Sonnet always kept a little dirt in her pocket for when she needed to drop a bomb on a muthafucka and this was one of those times.

“I know his punk ass ain’t going to answer cause he probably with her, but I’m getting this shit off my chest anyway.”

“Just as I guessed you not picking up. It’s cool though. I had lunch with Cheron today and don’t nobody care about that raggedy ass bracelet. I saw that little Cubic Zirconia, electroplate bullshit you gave her. You might have fooled her dumb ass but I got an eye for quality. Anyway that’s not the reason I called you. The real reason is I needed to set some things straight.

You really think you the fucking man don’t you? You thought you could just use my ass and kick me to the curb when you got finished with me? Well I got some news that’s gon’ bring you down off of that high horse of yours. First of all the dick wasn’t all of that.” Sonnet knew that she was lying through her teeth with that line, but she wanted to hit him where it hurt.

“Secondly, do you remember that slip up we had a few months back when I was pregnant? Well guess what? I had yo’ black ass pay for an abortion for another niggas baby.” She was telling the truth this time and she reveled in every second of rubbing it in.

“I would pay $1,000 to see the look on yo’ face right about now. I bet you feel simple as hell. Thinking you was rolling through saving a bitch. Nigga you wasn’t the only one. You never were! I played both of y’all silly asses. I knew I was pregnant long before you came over drunk and hit it raw that night. The real daddy was sweating me hard as hell.

Talking ‘bout a damn relationship, love and all that bullshit. That fool just didn’t know he was nothing but another paycheck. I knew he would have been trying to get me to keep that little crumb snatcher and you know I wasn’t having that shit. I had an abortion with your money and that nigga was none the wiser.” She was about to continue on but the answering machine cut off.

She took another shot before calling back to finish her verbal lashing.

“Yea so like I was saying, I knew yo’ ass would jump to pay that shit with the quickness cause your bitch ass was running scared, hoping Cheron wasn’t gon’ find out about us. It was the perfect set up. I got rid of that niggas seed at your expense. Now tell me how that shit feels? I bet you feel dumb as hell don’t you? Well it’s no better for you. You fucked over the wrong bitch Kenterris. You better be lucky that’s all I did to yo’ ass! We could have had it all but you wanted to throw it all away. You tried to throw me away, but didn’t you know I’m like cream nigga; I will always rise to the top! You and your fat bitch can both kiss my ass! And if you even think about retaliating just know that my man is a lawyer.” With that she hung up.

She felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. For once she had the upper hand over one of Cheron’s men and it felt glorious.

“These niggas out here got the game all twisted. But I’m ‘bout to solve all of that. I done had enough of playing with these juveniles. They ain’t seen shit yet. It’s time to show these bitches how I roll with a real man.”

Chapter 16 – The Big Payback

“Damn nigga you trying to take her all the way down,” Rayquan replied to Kenterris’ request.

“You damn right, I was just gon’ have you get that bitch for a few thousand then bounce. But considering these new developments there’s been a change of plans. I want you to clean her ass out. And whatever she gives you, you can keep,” Kenterris promised him.

Kenterris’s eyes were narrow and his voice was stern as he gave Rayquan exact instructions on what he wanted him to do to Sonnet. Not only had she fucked over him, she had gotten rid of a baby without the daddy having any knowledge. And not only did she make him pay for it, she laughed about the shit like it was a joke. Well the joke would soon be on her. Once Rayquan was finished weaving his web of destruction that bitch would be on skid row. Kenterris knew that it wouldn’t take long to reel her in. Her greed would be her downfall.

Sonnet did her dirt and didn’t give it a second thought and it was time to pay the piper. It was bad enough she had screwed him but the worst part was the way she referred to Cheron as his fat bitch. She had no idea how Sonnet really felt about her and if she knew the truth it would break her heart.

“Remind me never to get on your bad side.”

“Aye nigga you know the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Well I done made up one of my own. Hell hath no fury like a nigga bent on revenge.”

“Damn! Well I’m down with it. A nigga like me need a come up. And from the sound of it this bitch is scandalous as hell, fucking over niggas left and right.”

“Yeah it’s females like her that give women a bad name. So did you really tell her you had a jet?” Kenterris asked.

“Hell yea, I told her I was flying her to Paris,” Rayquan replied.

“Nigga are you crazy? I don’t have no damn jet! You putting too much stank on the shit now. You can’t be naming off shit I can’t come up with. I mean I could rent one but this bitch ain’t worth all that.”

“My bad dog. I got carried away. Shit I’m thinking about going into this business full time after this gig.”

“I don’t care what you do as long as you disappear from around here when it’s all over.”

“As many hoes as I got looking for me? You know I ain’t got no problem with that!”

Chapter 17 – Turn This Mother Out

The sounds of the organ bellowed throughout the First Missionary Baptist church as one of the choir members crooned Precious Lord Take My Hand. When Sonnet stepped into the sanctuary all eyes turned to her. She not only made sure that she was fashionably late; she was sure to glide past the entire congregation and linger at Granny’s casket. She wanted to make sure everyone saw how good she looked in her new Donna Karan pant suit, complete with her veiled church lady brim tipped to the side. She lifted up the side of her dark Channel shades to wipe away a tear that was about to drop.

“Grannnnyyyyyeeee!! Oh God!!” she wailed as she flung her body over the casket.

Look at this dramatic hoe right here, Aintee Maven thought.

Sonnet screams echoed though out the room. One of the nurses placed a hand on her shoulder to comfort her before helping guide her to a seat.

Uncle Joe immediately became vexed by her mere presence and he didn’t hesitate to make it known when she attempted to slip in the front row with the rest of the immediate family.

“No respect…..” he grumbled as he shifted in his seat. “She couldn’t ride in the family car with everybody else. Now she got the nerve to show up late and wanna sit her ass in the front row.”

“Bout time,” Aviare announced in a loud whisper.

“Boy move over.” Sonnet pushed on his firmly planted leg in an attempt to sit beside him.

“Hush!” Aunt Rita scolded as she moved to the side to make room for Sonnet.

As the service progressed Sonnet looked around the crowded room at all of the family and friends that had come out to pay their respects and say their final goodbyes. Not only was her grandmother very active in the church before she had taken ill, she was also very popular and respected in the neighborhood for her many years of dedicated service at the community center.

One by one her colleagues came forward to speak on her behalf and to give words of comfort to the family. There was not a dry eye in the house when Aviare stood up and read a goodbye poem he had written to his Granny. When the pastor asked was there anyone else that would like to say a few words about the departed Sonnet took this as her opportunity to shine.

All these people are here for my Granny. They need to see that her whole family isn’t ghetto. They need to know that at least she had one granddaughter with some class, she thought as she raised her hand to go next.

“Ain’t this a bitch?” Uncle Joe mumbled to himself as she stepped into the pulpit.

“What can I say about my Granny other than she was my role model? She taught me the meaning of family and what it means to be there for one another,” Sonnet announced.

“Amen!” someone called out in the audience.

“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for Granny’s guidance and wisdom.”

Aintee Maven and Uncle Joe looked each other in disbelief. They couldn’t believe the show Sonnet was putting on.

Aviare jumped to his feet. “Sit down now!” he hissed through his teeth. Aintee Maven tugged the edge of his suit jacket and demanded that he have a seat, but he wouldn’t budge.

Sonnet pretended not to see him or feel the tension as the congregation whispered amongst themselves as she continued to speak.

“My Granny was there for me when my momma died. I don’t know how I would have made it through that time in my life without her. She stepped in and was like a second mother to me. For that I am forever grateful. She was there for me when I needed her that’s why I was always there for her. Granny knew she could count on me to come through for whatever she needed day or night.”

Not only was she lying about being there for Granny, Aintee Maven was actually the one who stepped in and raised her and Aviare. Sonnet had just taken it upon herself to use this opportunity to get Maven back and hurt her by not acknowledging her.

“That’s a lie! She ain’t never been there!” Aviare blurted out.

“Aviare! This is not the time or place!” Aunt Rita chimed in. Unfortunately her voice was overpowered by the mumbling of the crowd.

“Y’all will have to excuse the ignorance of my family. Clearly I was the only one who inherited her class.” Sonnet gave her family in the front row a vexing stare.

“Who you calling ignorant bitch?” Towanda, one of Uncle Joe’s twin daughters belted out. “Her bougie ass always did think she was better than everybody else.” Her twin Trina nodded in agreement.

“Please! Hold your tongue! This is the Lord’s house,” Pastor Miles reprimanded before advising that Sonnet go back to her seat.

“Now I don’t know what kind of problems this family is having with one another, but nothing is too big for my God to solve. I would like for everyone to please lift this family up in prayer and ask that they resolve any conflict that they have with love and understanding.”

“Damn that pastor! This little ungrateful trollop done disrespected my momma’s funeral!” Uncle Joe shouted.

“See that’s the shit I’m talking about! Sonnet yelled as she made her way back to her seat. “If anybody has been disrespectful it’s been you and your trifling ass kids!”

“That’s it! I’m going to have to ask both of you to leave the sanctuary this minute!”

Pastor Miles prided himself on being a man that was slow to anger, but never in his thirty years of preaching had he seen such ignorance.

By now the entire congregation were talking amongst themselves and pointing at the front row. Aviare left completely out of the building while Uncle Joe, Sonnet and his daughters took their battle to the hallway. Tempers flared as the church members and ushers tried to defuse the situation.

“So what? You gon’ swing on me up in the church?” Sonnet asked Joe as she reached in her purse for her car keys.

She was beyond ready to leave and was glad to see Lexi had made her way to the exit because she didn’t want to wait. She had caught a ride Cheron, but Sonnet was taking her home. Cheron was still trying to fight her way through the crowd, but was unable to get to them in time. It was just as well. That was the last bitch she wanted to see right about now.

“Naw but I am bitch! I got yo’ trifling waiting for you right in my damn trunk. Bring yo’ sidity ass on outside!” Towanda cracked her knuckles and took off her earrings.

“Ain’t nobody scared of you Towanda.” Sonnet snarled as she stood toe to toe with her cousin.

“Sonnet girl, it ain’t worth it, come on girl.”

Lexi grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her towards the exit while Aunt Rita and the ushers held back Towanda until she left.

“This is exactly why I didn’t want to come.” Sonnet was so furious that she was trembling.

“You had to pay your respect to yo’ Granny. Don’t even sweat them,” Lexi told her.

“That’s right! You and Ronald McDonald betta’ get the hell on!” Trina yelled as she followed them out to the lot.

“Is this bitch talkin to us?” Lexi asked whipping her head around and stopping in her tracks.

“Fuck her Lexi. Let’s get out of here.” Sonnet hopped in the car and motioned to her friend to join her.

At this point the ushers had put Towanda and Uncle Joe out of the church.

“Look at that lil hoe running!” Towanda yelled. “Who is this bitch up in my sister’s face?”

“Lexi let’s go!” By now Sonnet had turned the car around and popped the door open for Lexi who was now arguing with Trina.

“Yo’ bougie ass friend ‘bout to leave you. I suggest you take her advice,” Trina sneered.

“Bitch you don’t know who you fucking with do you?” asked Lexi as she prepared for battle mode.

Sonnet knew she had to hurry up and get Lexi in the car or all hell would break loose worse than it already had. Especially when she saw her opening her purse, she knew she didn’t have much time.

“Get in the car!” Sonnet jumped out, grabbed Lexi by the belt of her trench coat and shoved her into the vehicle.

“Lemme go!” she protested as she fought to get loose. “That bitch don’t know me! Imma show her ass who Ronald Mcdonald is!”

No sooner than Sonnet got in the car and locked the doors Lexi rolled down the window.

“Put that up!” Sonnet yelled, frantically trying to raise the window from her side of the car.

The next thing Sonnet knew she and Lexi head a loud crash. Towanda had thrown a brick through the back window of the Lexus and took off running towards Trina’s hooptie.

“What the fuck!” Sonnet yelled as she drove off with Lexi hanging out the car window.

CRACK! CRACK!

The gunshots rang out. Lexi grazed Towanda’s thigh, causing her to shriek in pain before shooting out Trina’s back tire.

“Yea bitch! You want fries with that!”

The members screamed, scattered and hit the ground as Sonnet peeled out of the parking lot.

“What the hell is wrong with you Lexi?”

“She stepped to the wrong one today. I got a happy meal for any muthafucka’ that wanna get served!”

“Lemme hurry up and get yo’ crazy ass home!” Sonnet griped as she looked in the rearview mirror at her shattered window. Granny was probably turning over in her grave at the ratchet bullshit that had just gone down today.

Chapter 18 – Time To Reconnect

“No wonder I haven’t heard from you in the past few days. I was beginning to get worried about you. Are you sure there’s nothing I can do for you?” Tyler asked with concern in his voice.

“Nah… thanks baby. I just needed a few days to myself to get my head together,” Sonnet responded.

“I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. It sounds like you must be taking it pretty hard.”

“Yeah I’m really close with my family. I’m really gonna miss her” Sonnet responded with an air of sadness. It was true, she did miss Granny but that wasn’t the only reason she had been avoiding Tyler. She hadn’t shared with him what went down at the hospital or at the funeral for fear he would think she was too low class for him.

Aside from the fact that she also had to get her back windshield replaced she was also trying to lay low in case one of her crazy ass cousins popped up on the scene and wanted to retaliate for Lexi shooting at Towanda. She still couldn’t believe that she set it off at Granny’s funeral. And even had the nerve to cop an attitude when she checked her about it.

“I just wished you would have told me she passed earlier. You know that I would have been there for you. There is no way I would have let you go through this alone.”

“Awww I know you would have baby, but I’m good I promise.”

“Guess what? I think I might have something that will cheer you up,” Tyler announced with excitement.

“What is it? I’ll take anything I can get right about now.”

“Remember that grand you gave me to invest? You got a profit. I’ve turned it in $3,000.

“Are you serious? Oh my God Tyler that’s the best news I’ve heard all day!” Sonnet gushed. Damn he was good. She knew her instinct didn’t lead her wrong.

“I’ll be by with a check for you later.”

“Nope I want you to keep it and flip it again. Let’s see what you can come up with this time.” Sonnet was more than confident that Tyler would make a wise decision with the money she had just earned. That was a $2000.00 profit in a matter of days. There was no telling what he could do if she gave him some real loot.

“I tell you what; I’ll be by later anyway. I want you to see the check with your own two eyes, plus I just want to see you. That is if you are up to it.”

“I would like that. I’ll call you later after I run a few errands.”

“Cool, see you later.”

Sonnet looked around the house at the clothes that were thrown about and the dirty dishes in the sink. She had been lying around for the past few days and hadn’t done anything to the house or herself. All of that was about to change. Her man wanted to see her so she needed to get herself together as well as tidy up.

“Mommy has got to make herself beautiful Gucci.” She rolled the pampered pooch over on her back and rubbed her belly.

There wasn’t much time to convert her apartment into a love nest. This would be the first time Tyler was really coming by to visit instead of sending his driver and she wanted to make sure everything was perfect, especially since she had no intentions of him leaving tonight.

Several days had passed since they had sex. Sonnet wanted to make sure he didn’t start looking elsewhere. Tyler was the type of man that could have any woman he wanted, and he chose her. Now her only challenge was keeping him.

Chapter 19 – Trying To Survive

The scent of wet stray dogs filled the night air as Aviare trudged across the huge empty lot across from Scottie’s Liquor store. Aintee Maven begged him not to leave out this time of evening but he couldn’t stay cooped up in that house a moment longer. Not only was Granny’s death weighing on him, but also the anger and resentment that was festering inside of him was starting to take control.

Aviare felt like everyone he loved had left him. His father was hit fatally in a drive by shooting when Aviare was only three years old. Then his mother passed, and now Granny. Aintee Maven was the only person he had left in the world who cared about him as far as he was concerned. Regardless of how many times he told Sonnet that he hated her, he knew in his heart that he was lying. She was his only sibling and he loved her dearly. It hurt him to the core to know that she would barely give him or Aintee Maven the time of day.

Somehow he thought that if he did good in school and stayed out of trouble she would be proud of him, however that wasn’t the case. Not only couldn’t he get her to spend time with him, she wouldn’t contribute a dime towards his education or any of his necessities either. It wasn’t like he was a spoiled kid that asked for a lot.

Aviare understood that Sonnet was his sister and not his parent, but he still felt that she should at least try to help him out seeing as she was all he had outside of Aintee Maven, especially since she was sitting in the lap of luxury.

As he looked around at the ruins of the neighborhood and the crackheads begging on almost every corner, it once again reinforced his desire to sling dope. Aviare was smart enough to know that it wasn’t a life that he would easily be able to shake once he got into it but a poor black kid growing up in the hood didn’t have many options when it came to making money.

Each time his foot sank into the wet grass he cringed at the moisture that found its way inside his holey Air Force Ones. He bobbed his head to the music coming from the rides of the hustlers that cruised the block.

If only I could be like that. All my troubles would be over. I could have enough money to pay for school and help Aintee Maven out, he thought.

One thing that was for certain, he didn’t blame Sonnet one bit for not wanting to come back to the stench of poverty. He did however blame her for leaving him behind. You would have thought that growing up on welfare cheese and powdered eggs would have been enough to humble anyone and keep them grounded once they made it, but not Sonnet. Her head was so far in the clouds that she couldn’t see anything but money. And if a nigga (family or not) wasn’t talking about how she could get more of it she didn’t have nothing for them.

“Aye man you got a quarter?”

“Nah man…” Aviare responded to one of the bums that hung outside of Scottie’s.

Aviare circled the snack isle three times trying to figure out what he could get for the measly $1.39 that he had in his pocket. He picked up a bag of .99-cent chips then sat them back down.

“Damn this Snicker is looking good.”

It killed him that he didn’t even have enough money to grab some basic junk food. One by one he turned up and down the aisles as the clerk watched him on the camera. It wasn’t uncommon for kids to steal anything they could get their hands on, even food. For that reason Scottie had cameras positioned at every angle.

“Buy something or get the hell out of here,” the clerk mumbled as she watched the young boy on the TV screen.

Little to her knowledge someone had overheard her.

“Y’all don’t let a lil’ nigga catch a break do y’all? Ain’t nobody trying to steal shit outta this run down muthafucka’,” a deep voice responded.

“Excuse me?” the Middle Eastern woman replied.

The man didn’t answer; instead he walked down the aisle where Aviare was finally settling on a few small bags of chips. He figured he would spend the rest in penny candy.

“Hey lil’ man what you lookin’ for?”

The man’s voice startled Aviare. He was slightly relieved to see it was the man who had helped him the night Granny got sick.

“Hey wassup man? Trying to get me some grub.”

“You got enough?” the man asked, sensing that he didn’t.

“Yeah I’m good.”

“Nah you ain’t man…. go ‘head and get whatever you want. I got you.”

Aviare knew that he shouldn’t be taking money for someone he didn’t know but no matter how much he declined the man insisted.

Once they made it to the register the man peeled a hundred dollar bill from his stack and slid it under the bullet-proof glass while eyeballing the clerk.

“Thanks again man.” Aviare grinned from ear to ear while firmly gripping his bag of snacks.

“It ain’t nothing man, come on I’ll give you a ride.”

Aviare could barely wait till he got in the car before he ripped open the bag of chips and crammed a handful in his mouth.

“Damn lil nigga you putting a hurtin’ on them chips,” The man chuckled, causing Aviare to stop eating out of embarrassment. As he looked at Aviare it reminded him of himself at that age and he felt bad for teasing him.

“They call me Ace, what’s your name lil’ man?”

“Aviare….,” he responded after taking a swig of his fruit juice.

“How yo’ Granny doing? Did y’all get to the hospital in time?”

Aviare looked down and tried to hold back his tears, “she died.”

“That’s messed up, sorry to hear that man. This yo’ crib right?”

“Yeah this me….” Aviare sniffed and wiped his eyes before thanking Ace for the snacks and the ride home.

Aintee Maven had been impatiently waiting for his return. She had been watching out of the front window when she saw him get out of the stranger’s car.

“Boy you done had me worried sick about you. Don’t leave outta here at this time of night again,” she scolded.

“This time of night? It’s only 7:00” Aviare rolled his eyes as he took off his jacket.

“Don’t give me no lip boy. It’s still dark outside. And whose car was that I saw you get out of?”

“That’s Ace.”

“We don’t know nothing about no Ace? Is he one of them drug boys from over on the next block?” she asked as she paced the floor with folded arms.

“What if he is?”

“Aviare you know I don’t play that. I don’t want you hanging around that crowd, do you hear me?”

Aviare pretended not to hear what she was saying; instead he continued to take off his wet shoes and sat them by the door on the mat.

“Boy, do you hear me talking to you?”

“Ace was the only one who helped me when Granny got sick? Do you know how many doors I knocked on?”

“That’s all well and good, but I don’t want you hanging around his type, you understand?”

“Yes ma’am…..”

“Good now go on and get washed up for dinner.”

Chapter 20 – Make It Rough

“That’s right suck that dick” Tyler moaned as he grabbed Sonnet’s hair in both hands. He held her head in place while he fucked her mouth causing her to gag each time the tip of his dick grazed her tonsils.

Damn I can’t believe I’m going out like this, Sonnet thought a she struggled to wrap her lips around Tyler’s ten-inch bat.

Her plan was for them to eat the gourmet carry out she ordered, give him some pussy to tide him over, and then get back to the business at hand, making money. She wanted to learn everything there was to know about investing so she didn’t have to depend on him every time she wanted to hit some switches in the financial world. However that was a far cry from what actually went down.

After Tyler showed her the check for the money he had made for her, they made small talk for a few moments before he jumped right into action. He was all over her, damn near pushing her to her knees to suck his dick.

The average nigga would have gotten cussed out for even thinking about some shit like that but Tyler was far from average. He was her ticket to the top, whatever this nigga wanted so be it.

My baby done got horny as hell waiting around for me, she thought. This nigga must have been missing me bad as hell.

Tyler’s eyes rolled back in his head as he pumped Sonnet’s mouth full of cum. Her eyes watered as she tried to accommodate his load.

“Swallow it,” he moaned as he mashed her face into his crotch.

Sonnet gagged down as much as she could before pulling away to spit out the rest and catch her breath. She couldn’t believe how much of a slut she was turning into for Tyler. Before he came along Kenterris was the only man that had that type of power over her.

After resting ‘till he regained his erection he instructed her to bend over the sofa so he could fuck her in the ass.

This nigga is trippin’, she cringed at the thought of giving up the ass, but she had to do whatever it took to keep him hooked.

After slipping on a rubber Tyler squeezed a glob of Astro Glide on the tip of his dick before attempting to ram it in Sonnet’s backside.

“Damn! Slow down!” she squealed. Tyler was never this rough with her. She didn’t know what came over him all of a sudden.

I’m letting this nigga blow my ass out, it damn sure betta be worth it.

Tyler eased the huge bulbous head in causing Sonnet to wince in pain. Once he got past the second sphincter muscle he rammed the full length of his meat inside of her, causing her to scream out in agony.

“You like that?” he panted as he reached around to cup her tits as they bounced up and down.

Sonnet was in torment but she didn’t want him to think she couldn’t take the dick. After all, what she wouldn’t do some other bitch would. The bottom line was she had to grin and bear it. If this is what came with the territory then so be it.

This nigga is killin’ me, she thought but she never let on.

“Yes baby… it… feels good…” she replied, choking back the tears.

Kenterris was right, this bitch will do anything for that loot, he thought as he pounded her ass over and over till he finally released for the second time.

Once they were finished Sonnet laid across the sofa on her belly, unable to lie on her back because she was too sore.

“That was kinda rough…. what came over you?” she asked sarcastically.

“I’m sorry baby. I just missed you. And you looked so sexy I just couldn’t control myself. I’ll be gentle the next time I promise,” Tyler replied as he sat down on the sofa next to her.

Sonnet had to admit that she felt some type of way about how he had just man handled her. Low key she had a major attitude, but she tried her best to hide it. As far as she was concerned her work was done and he could push on, especially since he wasn’t taking her out anywhere. She wasn’t in the mood for that sweet talking bullshit tonight.

“Don’t be mad at me baby,” Tyler whispered as he stroked her back. Imma make it up to you.”

“We going to your place the next time?” Sonnet asked hoping to get an invitation.

“Better, I’m taking you away this weekend.”

“For real?” Sonnet sat straight up, forgetting about the stabbing pain in her backside.Was this it? Was he finally about to take her on his private jet?

“Am I gon’ get the chance to ride on your jet?” she asked starry eyed.

“Not yet… I got something better in store, just wait….”

Now they were getting somewhere. If he wasn’t gon’ talk business the least he could do was set up their plans for the next time they went out.

The anger Sonnet had for Tyler earlier in the evening soon faded once she realized that he wanted her to be a part of his future. The couple ate, drank, and chatted till the wee hours of the morning. Much to Sonnet’s surprise Tyler actually wanted to stay the night. She thought for sure if they weren’t at some swanky hotel he would be in a hurry to get back to his extravagant accommodations at his own place.

I think this nigga getting sprung like all the rest.

She smiled as she watched him drift off to sleep. There was no telling what he had in store for her this weekend but whatever it was she was going to make sure she showed him how grateful she was. The gravy train was about to roll in and she wanted to take full advantage of it. If she played her cards right she would have the key to his crib in no time.

Chapter 21 – Make It Smooth

By the time the weekend rolled around not only had Sonnet completed a head to toe pamper session; she even bought herself special lingerie for the occasion.

That nigga’s nose is gon’ be wide open when he sees me in this, she thought as she admired her reflection in the full-length mirror in her bathroom. If all this good lovin’ I been puttin’ on his ass ain’t got me a key to the crib, I know this leather and fishnet will do the trick.

Once she removed the teddy and thigh highs she neatly packed them in her bag. Tyler said that he would be having his driver pick her up at about noon. It would be nice if he came to get her himself just once. Not only was she curious to see what type of car he drove; she wanted to floss and bend a few corners with her man driving. She constantly had to remind herself that this is what came with the territory. Hell if the man had enough paper to have mofo’s at his beckon call who was she to complain? If anything she needed to get use to the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Once she made her way up in his crib she knew without a doubt that she would have her own driver as well.

“Damn I sure can get use to this life….”

Sonnet tried to imagine where he could be whisking her off to. For all she knew he was really taking her to Paris and was trying to keep it as a surprise. Upon coming to this recollection she darted around the house, tearing through her extra closets trying to grab a few more outfits just in case.

“If my baby taking me to Paris I better make sure my ass is fly.”

Just as she was placing the last shoe in her bag the phone rang. A huge smile spread across her face once she saw that it was Tyler.

“Hey baby.”

“Wassup baby? You ready to roll?”

“Yep I’m packed and ready to go. I’m so excited. You got my ass over here on pins and needles!” Sonnet squealed.

“I’m not gon’ keep you waiting long. My driver will be there in less than three minutes.”

“See you in a few, bye babe!”

Before Sonnet could finish gathering all her belongings her doorbell rang. She looked out the peephole to see an older Caucasian man in a black suit and white gloves.

“Yes, can I help you?”

“Yes ma’am, I’m here to help you with your bags,” the driver responded.

“That’s the shit I’m talking about! My man is on a level these niggas can’t even comprehend on!”

When she made it to the limo she took her time getting in.

I’m stuntin’ on all these hoes, she thought as she proudly flung her freshly coifed hair over her shoulder, hoping that her neighbors were watching.

Once the driver opened the door for her she was pleasantly surprised to see that Tyler was inside. She thought for sure he was going to have her ride by herself like the last time.

The couple shared a quick peck on the lips before she was showered with roses, candy, stuffed animals, and champagne.

“Thank you so much boo, now, where we going?” Sonnet’s eyes danced like a child as she looked out of the tinted window trying to imagine what Tyler had in store for her. She was rather disappointed that not only weren’t they going to Paris; they weren’t even going out of town. The weekend end get-away was actually to another hotel in Los Angeles.

“So, this is your idea of taking me away for the weekend?” Sonnet asked ungratefully as they pulled into the parking lot. She rolled her eyes and sucked in her breath as she waited for his response. It wasn’t like she didn’t mind getting a room with him for a few days, but he shouldn’t have hyped it up to be more than it was.

“I’m sorry you aren’t pleased baby girl. But once we drop these bags off I have something that might change your mind,” Tyler replied giving her a reassuring smile.

Sonnet had to admit that this nigga did know how to have her laid out in style. The accommodations at this hotel were twice as plush as the Beverly Hilton. It almost made up for the fact that she was only a few miles from her home. Whatever he had for her it better be good, especially the way he tore her asshole up the last time they were together.

“Close your eyes and don’t peek.”

Sonnet obliged. As bad as she wanted to look she kept her eyes tightly shut as she heard Tyler open his briefcase. She stood completely still as she listened to the papers rustling around. Before she knew it she felt his hand on hers. He opened her right palm and faced it towards the ceiling before placing a piece of paper on it.

“Open your eyes.”

Sonnet screamed out once she saw that it was a check for $10,000.

“Oh my God Tyler! Is this for me?”

“Yep, it’s all yours baby girl. That’s what I turned that $3,000 into.”

“Thank you so much!”

Sonnet couldn’t believe that she was actually crying tears of joy. She threw her arms around Tyler and hugged him so tight that he thought the she was going to cut off his circulation before finally releasing her grip.

“Nothing to thank me for; that’s only a fraction of what I’ll do for my woman.”

“Your woman?” Sonnet asked as she wiped her eyes and listened intently.

“That’s right, my woman. That is if you will have me. It’s not every day a man runs across his queen. I think I have found mine. If you give me the chance, I’ll give you the world.”

He slid his hands around her waist and kissed her tenderly.

“Well…. I’m waiting for my answer.”

“Yes! I’m all yours.”

Sonnet beamed from ear to ear. She had officially nabbed her baller and wasn’t shit nobody could say about it. The saying “one door closes so another one can open” rang true in her ears tonight. She was on cloud nine and nothing or no one could bring her down.

Not only did Tyler want to be exclusive; he had made her a grip of cash. This was the biggest lick she had hit thus far. Her man came through like a champ and she wanted to thank him properly. After changing into her leather teddy and black fishnets she danced for him before putting it on him all night long. When it was all said and done, the couple never ended up leaving the room that evening.

Tyler said that he was going to make up for how he treated her the week before and he went over and beyond the call of duty. Not only was he super romantic; but he also made love to her just right that night. He was gentle when he needed to be and rough when the moment called for it. He hit all of her spots leaving her begging for more.

“The sky is the limit,” were his final words before they finally drifted off in each other’s arms.

The next day while Tyler was at the gym Sonnet thought long and hard about the decision she was about to make. This man had made her $7,000 in less than a week. She didn’t know how he did it, but she knew was that this shit needed to be on repeat.

As she stared at the check he had given her it didn’t take long for her to come to the conclusion that she was going to give everything to him to invest for her. Along with the money she had just made she was sitting on almost $20,000. This nigga was like a magician. If he could turn $3,000 into $10,000, surely he could turn $20,000 into $100,000 or something close to it, top that with the fact that now she was his lady so the perks were about to be endless.

As far as she was concerned she could sit on the money he made her, especially considering she would most likely move in with him soon. She wouldn’t have to worry about bills from this day forward. Her only job would be to look good and cater to her man’s needs like the rest of the Hollywood housewives. This was the moment she had been dreaming of and she planned on giving it her all.

Chapter 22 – Parting Ways

“I can’t believe that this trick is really trying not to answer the phone. I know her ass ain’t still salty,” Sonnet frowned as she attempted to call Lexi for the third time. She hadn’t heard from her since the day of the funeral. Plus she wanted to tell her about Tyler making it official. Sonnet had checked Lexi hard about how everything went down and she didn’t feel the shade was warranted considering that she was helping her friend out.

“I know her ass been getting my messages.”

The phone rang five times before Lexi finally answered.

“Wassup?”

“Damn is that how you answering the phone now a days?”

“What you want Sonnet? I’m kinda busy.”

“Seems like you been busy since the funeral. Personally I think you just avoiding me.”

“So what if I am?” Lexi responded boldly.

Sonnet wasn’t use to her friend talking to her this way and she didn’t like it one bit.

“Damn, who lit the fuse on your tampon? Do you have something you want to say to me? I know you ain’t still mad about the other day.”

Lexi’s voice shook when she spoke out of anger and pain.

“My problem is I didn’t appreciate how you fronted on me after the shit hit the fan. Hell you know who I am, who I always been. And you know I ain’t taking shit off of nobody. I try to help you out and this is the thanks I get?”

Lexi was heated. For the most part she never confronted Sonnet on any of her actions, but this time was different. For as long as they had known each other she always had Sonnet’s back. Not once could she say the same thing when the tables were turned.

“Believe me I know who you are, that same immature chick that acts like we still in high school. You need to grow your ass up Lexi before you catch a case, or even worse a beat down. Acting like damn Madea waving a gun every time somebody pisses you off. That shit gets old girl; I’m trying to tell you. I mean come on you shot at one of my family members.”

Lexi was Sonnet’s girl but she felt the need to tell her about herself. The hoodrat antics that she frequently engaged in had run their course. As far as Sonnet was concerned she was on the path of success and there was no room for messy little birds, friend or not. It was time Lexi stopped acting so damn ghetto or else she would have to cut her loose.

“Yeah well this immature chick done saved yo’ black ass on more than one occasion. You know yo’ ass can’t fight Sonnet. Yo’ cousins was about to beat that ass if I hadn’t come along. It’s the same as it was when we were kids. You talk all that shit but ain’t gon’ back it up. You heard that bitch crack on my hair, calling me Ronald McDonald. Was I supposed to just take that shit? And you know the shit got real when that bitch bricked your window; it was either them or us.”

Lexi felt that her outburst at the funeral was perfectly justified. She was never the one to start shit, but she would damn sure finish it if you brought it to her.

“Well I can see this is going nowhere fast. Let’s just drop that subject,” Sonnet replied with disgust. It was clear that she was wasting her time trying to bring Lexi up to her level. If she wanted to stay in the gutter messing with wanna be trap house niggas so be it.

“Another reason I called you was because I wanted to tell you about Tyler.”

“That fine nigga you met at the club? Y’all still kickin’ it right?”

“More than kickin’ it, he asked me to be his woman,” Sonnet replied with pure giddiness.

Hmph… he probably somebody else’s man, Lexi thought.

It was a time she wouldn’t have given Sonnet’s dirty deeds a second look but fucking Cheron’s man right under her nose was some low down shit, even for her. She never let on what she was really thinking; instead she decided to be happy for her friend. “Aww shit! I gotta give it to you. Yo’ ass stay winning.”

“Girl you ain’t heard the half of it. Why did he flip my money and turn that shit into10 grand?”

“Are you serious? Shit I need to give his as a piece of change.”

“For sure! Just gimme a minute to get up in the house then I will really work my magic.

“So he’s moving you into his spot?”

“Well he hasn’t said it yet, but I know it’s coming I can feel it. I’m ‘bout to build my life with this man Lexi.”

“Well congratulations to you! I’m happy for you girl. I got a little bit of news myself” Lexi answered coyly.

“What is it girl?” Sonnet asked.

“Remember I told you that Quantez’s daddy was back in town on a job? Well he’s been coming through spending time with us. I have to admit that shit felt pretty good. It was like we were a little family again.”

Sonnet could hear the tone in Lexi’s voice change. She could tell that she was really happy about catching up with Darius. Truth be told she knew that she was still in love with him despite how he treated her like shit when they were together.

Sonnet sighed.

“I know what you thinking but Darius is getting his shit together. His probation is almost over and he done held down a steady job for the past year. He was just telling me last night how he regrets not treating me right. He wants us to get back together and I told him I was down with it. I mean fuck it; I might as well try to make it work with my child’s father over some other nigga.”

“Lexi you know that nigga ain’t shit. Do you really think he’s changed? Why do you think they call that shit the past? Cause that’s where it needs to stay. I remember how he use to talk down to you, had your self-esteem all fucked up. It’s only gon’ be a matter of time before his true colors show.”

Lexi laughed at Sonnet’s predictable response.

“Yea I remember how he had my self-esteem fucked up, talking down to me, kinda like you…”

Sonnet was appalled at Lexi’s remark. Where the hell did she get off trying to read her? If anything she should have been glad somebody was trying to teach her little low budget ass some class.

“Oh really? So, is that how you feel? You know any criticism I’ve ever given you over the years was outta love and because I wanted you to come up right along with me. But what was that line you said earlier? That’s what I get for helping out a friend.”

“Whatever Sonnet…. listen I gotta run.” Lexi really didn’t have anywhere to go but she was tired of the bullshit she was being fed. Sonnet was right about one thing, she needed to step her game up, come up to the next level, and part of that might have to be cutting some people loose starting with her.

Sonnet was totally caught off guard by Lexi’s new change in attitude.

“I can’t believe she hung up on me. Since when did her ass start getting a damn back bone? Oh well, while I’m calling folks lemme call Aintee Maven and see what they up to. Hell I’m surprised they mooching asses ain’t called me.

After a few rings Aintee Maven picked up.

“Hello”

“Hey Aintee, what’s good?”

“So you finally decided to call us. Ain’t a damn thing good. Your brother lost his grandmother and I lost my mother. And the worst part is the poor woman couldn’t even be laid to rest in peace. You had to turn it into a damn circus just so yo’ ass could be seen.”

“Now hold up! I will admit Lexi was wrong for shooting at Towanda but they had that shit coming. Did you see how they was fronting on me? Did you hear how Uncle Joe was talking to me? Oh, but I guess that don’t mean nothing.”

“Fronting on you? Chile you been looking down your nose at us for as long as I can remember. If Joe said anything out of line it was because he was hurt, we all were. Listening to yo’ ass stand there telling all them damn lies talking ‘bout you being there…”

Maven wanted to go on but she was too choked up.

“So I was lying about me being the only one in this family with some class? Please, we all know the answer to that. Answer me this Aintee, you still shopping at the swap meet? Huh, I don’t hear anything. Talking about me looking down my nose. I don’t have a choice, all y’all do is beg. I try and better myself and everybody thinks I’m the snooty one. I do everything in my power not to get on the damn welfare and rise above life in the sewer. Forgive me if I don’t wanna chauffer y’all broke asses to the church for handouts.”

If it were one thing that Sonnet could count on, it was Aintee Maven to bring her down off her high. She hadn’t heard from her or Aviare since the funeral and decided to check on them, but low and behold misery loves company.

Maven blew her nose before responding. She knew that this would be the last time she talked to her niece until she changed her ways. She had taken her and Aviare in when they didn’t have anyone and loved them as her own. They may not have lived in the lap of luxury, but they made due. It was bad enough that Sonnet was so disconnected that she didn’t remember what the struggle felt like. Now she was actually looking down on people who had less than her. To make fun of where someone shopped for their clothes when they couldn’t do any better was downright low.

“Honey if you don’t come down off that high horse of yours you gon’ have a rough life, mark my words. You always so quick to stick your nose in the air when it comes to government assistance, but you don’t seem to realize that nothing in life is guaranteed. The same people you judge today are the same people you might be standing next to in line at the welfare office the next day. Just remember that.”

Sonnet yawned and rolled her eyes as Aintee Maven preached. She had heard it all before. She figured that she would let her get her little rant in before hanging up.

“You done?”

“Not yet, I got one more thing to say. You don’t have to be bothered with our “broke asses” ever again. It has been a shame and a disgrace how you treated us. We ain’t did nothing to you but loved you, and you don’t want nothing to do with us ‘cause you shamed of where you come from. You need to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself can you live with the ugly ways you got, if you can so be it, but until then you are not welcome to step foot in this house. I’m sorry to have to do this to my sister’s child but I’m cutting you off.”

“Ha! Cutting me off? From what? Living like damn savages? Fine have it any way you want it but y’all will be calling me before it’s over. And if you think I wasn’t answering before…”

Before she could finish Aintee Maven interrupted her. “Goodbye Sonny,” with that she hung up the phone.

Chapter 23 – Catfished

It had been an exhausting but exhilarating weekend. Not only did Tyler make Sonnet the happiest woman on earth by asking her to be his woman; but project make a million had taken hold and wasn’t letting go. Despite plans to end their getaway on Sunday night, the pair couldn’t pry themselves from one another ‘till Monday morning.

There was just enough time to swing by the bank so that Sonnet could make a withdrawal before Tyler had to be at work. This was it. She was taking the ultimate leap of faith and pulled out every dime. Sonnet’s mother use to tell her that you had to strike while the irons were hot and that’s just what she was doing.

Tyler was like Hoodini when it came to turning a little money into a lot of money, and in a short amount of time. At the rate she was going she figured they would be at Jay and Bey’s level in no time. When it was all said and done she handed over $19,979, her entire life savings and didn’t give it a second thought.

And just as she guessed, they discussed plans for her to move into his 6,000sq foot raised ranch. He promised to take her by to see it once it was done being fumigated. Sonnet couldn’t care less. There was no rush. She still had to pack and give the leasing office at her condo a thirty-day notice. It was amazing how things had worked out. One minute she was dreaming about living like the other half, the next an educated, wealthy man practically fell in her lap. And just as luck would have it her family and friends were too busy worrying about petty shit to be truly happy for her.

True enough she hadn’t told Aintee Maven about her relationship with Tyler, but what was the point? All she would do is find some way to shoot it down, especially since she didn’t have anyone. Crabs in a barrel ran deep in her family. That was evident by the fact that Aintee Maven no longer wanted anything to do with her.

Family just can’t stand to see somebody getting ahead when they ain’t got shit going on, Sonnet thought as she gathered her dirty laundry. And I know she done poisoned Aviare against me with that bullshit but it’s all good. Me and my baby ‘bout to keep to ourselves anyway. We don’t need all these sorry ass muthafuckas all up in our business.

Six hours had passed since Tyler had dropped Sonnet off at home. By now he would have sent her a text saying how much he missed her even though they had only been apart a few hours. No matter how busy his day was going he always took the time out to touch base several times.

“They must really be working my baby like a slave. Imma send him a message.”

“Thinking about you, call me when you get off.”

Once Sonnet was done texting Tyler she gathered up some snacks, a glass of wine, and the remote and prepared to lounge on the sofa for the night. After she found a movie on demand, she snuggled under her faux mink throw with Gucci curled up at her feet. She got about a half hour into the movie before dozing off. When she woke up she checked her phone to see if Tyler had called.

That’s weird, Sonnet thought. It was 8pm and not only had he not called her, he didn’t return her text. When she tried to call him she got a busy signal. His phone must be tripping, no wonder he hasn’t called me.

Sonnet rolled over and went back to sleep. When she woke up the next time it was almost 11pm.

“Damn he still ain’t called, what’s up with that?” It wasn’t like her to be sweating a man but this was out of character for Tyler. Usually she would be the one ignoring one of the many texts he sent throughout the day. When she tried to call him again she once again got a busy signal.

“To hell with it, He’ll call me tomorrow.”

Sonnet didn’t attempt to call Tyler the next day until almost 4p.m. She figured by now he had to know his phone wasn’t working not only that, she had given him plenty of time to have it fixed.

By now she was agitated. “Hell you would think a nigga ballin’ like that would have more than one phone. Or at least call me from work. Imma let his ass know when I talk to him.” As far as she was concerned she had to nip this shit in the bud from the jump. “Nigga think that just ‘cause I’m his woman he can start getting comfortable, he gon’ learn today. The way he got me is the way he gon’ have to keep me.”

Sonnet dialed Tyler’s number expecting to hear a busy signal. Instead she heard a woman’s voice.

“The number you have reached is no longer in service.”

“What the hell?” A look of confusion painted her face as she scrolled through her phone looking for the other numbers he had given her. Finally she landed on his work number that he told her to only use if absolutely necessary.

“You have reached a nonworking number.”

Sonnet’s mouth fell open when she realized that she didn’t have any other way to contact Tyler. In her haste to snatch him up she didn’t even get an email address. At this point she couldn’t even go by his house to harass him because she didn’t know where he lived. As a matter of fact the more she thought about it she realized how much she didn’t know about him. By the time she put two and two together her heart was in the pit of her stomach. She sank on the bed to keep from passing out. She hit herself in the head as the tears rolled down her cheeks.

“My money! I done gave this nigga all my money!”

She raced over to her computer to do something that she should have done the day after she met him, she Googled him. I know this nigga gotta come up somewhere with all the money he got. She typed in his full name Tyler Donald Thompson.

“Got yo’ ass now!” She snapped as she clicked on the first link that came up. It was for Linkedin and matched his description perfectly right down to the name of his firm Morgan, Lewis and Thompson. Once she was in she quickly scanned the profile only to realize that it wasn’t him. Even though all the information matched him perfectly there was a photo of a Caucasian man.

“What the hell?” That can’t be right.”

One by one she clicked on every link that had his name. All of them, including the Google Plus and Twitter accounts pulled up the same white man with all of Tyler’s credentials, including his age and where he went to college.

“It’s gotta be some kind of mistake. I mean of course it is. This guy is white. But why does he have the exact same company name and logo as my Tyler?”

After doing hours of investigation Sonnet was once again hit with a dose of reality. Tyler had stolen this man’s identity. She shoved a stick of gum in her mouth to help kill her urge to vomit. Every dime she had to her name was given to a complete stranger.

“What the fuck was I thinking? Who the hell was I fucking?” she sobbed. She couldn’t believe that she had been played. Not only didn’t she know Tyler’s real name, she had no idea where he lived or even any of his friends. She tried her best to think back to the night at the club to see if she could remember anyone he was hanging with that night. But the truth was he was rolling solo.

“I done slipped big time. How the hell did I miss that shit?”

Sonnet sat silently weeping as she looked around her room at the beautiful décor, her massive shoe and boot collection, and clothes with the tags still on them. None of that meant shit without any money in the bank. True enough she could probably hit a few licks to tide her over till the next loser came along to help her build her money back up. However it was going to be rough without Kenterris in her corner.

“Fuck you Tyler! Or whatever the hell your name is!” She screamed as she smashed one of her perfume decanters onto the marble floor. “What am I gon’ do now?”

Meanwhile in the Dominican Republic

“Hello! Kenterris it’s me man, Rayquan!”

“What up nigga! Did you make a clean break?” Kenterris asked, judging by the excitement in Rayquan’s voice he had.

“Hell yeah! I did exactly what I said I was gon’ do when I called you. After that bitch gave me ALL her money, do you hear me man ALL of her money, I hurried up and got me a ticket for the DP. Man it’s some fine ass hoes over here! I wasn’t expecting the bitch to cave in that quick but them checks had her ass wide open.”

“Damn fool you in The Dominican Republic?” Kenterris laughed and put Rayquan on hold. He paged his secretary and told her to hold all calls until further notice. That bitch Sonnet had finally got what was coming to her and he didn’t want to miss one grimy detail. After biting the tip off of one of his Cuban cigars he lit it up and put Rayquan on speakerphone.

“Say baby can I get a refill?”

“Man, what the hell are you doing?”

“Nigga I gotta thank you again! My ass laid up! I’m poolside getting turnt up! If you ever need somebody to pull off another one of them gigs I’m ya’ man….. Damn her ass is fat!”

“I don’t think I’ll be needing anything like that ever again.” Kenterris lounged back in his executive chair and puffed his cigar with complete satisfaction.

“Alright I’m just saying… and you did say I could keep the whole twenty grand right?”

“Yep, think of it as payment for a job well done. Yo’ crazy ass better be trying to save some of that loot to hold you over ‘till you get a job. Don’t blow all that shit then come back looking at me. This ain’t no revolving door.”

“Man you ain’t talking ‘bout shit! As long as I was holed up in my mommas basement? I’m ‘bout to have me some real fun!”

“Well while you havin’ fun I hope you dropped all my shit off at the house.”

“Nigga I told you followed the plan to a tee. I stopped by your house and dropped off all your clothes and jewelry with the maid just like you said. On the real, yo’ ass almost came up short on a few of them watches though.” Rayquan joked before taking another swig of his Mama Juana. “Aye sweetheart lemme get an order of that yaroa.”

“Whatever fool, you know I would have tracked you down. Anyway I just wanna thank you again for hooking a brotha up, I really appreciate it. Now finish telling me how you reeled her dumb ass in.”

Chapter 24 – Fallin’

Three months later

“Eviction notice!” Sonnet yelled as she stared at the pink slip of paper in her hand. ”I told these bastards I was gon’ try to get them the money. Damn they can’t even work with a bitch. I’m calling that damn leasing office and cussing that hoe clean out.”

“I’m sorry Miss Banks, but you were warned thirty days ago that if you didn’t respond to the first two notices that we would pursue legal action. We have been more than lenient with you.”

“I’m trying to get the money damn! Y’all can’t even work with me?”

“I’m sorry, but there is nothing else we can do.”

“No this trick didn’t just hang up on me.”

As much as Sonnet wanted to complain she had nobody to blame but herself. When she found out that she had been scammed she did nothing to prevent her current situation. As a matter of fact she hurried it along by opting to stay in her $3,600 a month condo instead of seeking a smaller dwelling with less expensive rent. She refused to apply for public assistance and working was not an option. She figured that she had made it this long without punching a clock, why should she start now?

Not only hadn’t she spoken to Aintee Maven or Aviare in months, they didn’t have a dime to contribute if she did. Things had gotten so bad that she had to resort to selling off most of her bags and shoes on Ebay. Even still it wasn’t enough to cover the rent for the current month. The little money she did make was just enough to cover the utilities and cable, put some food in the fridge, and a few trips to the salon. She insisted on keeping up her hair, brows, and lashes considering she was auditioning for her next baller. Plus she had to keep up appearances.

Everybody seemed to have disappeared when she needed them. She would kill to be back with Kenterris right about now. So far she had spoken to no one about her situation. She and Lexi had drifted apart since their last conversation and she didn’t dare let that bitch Cheron know what was going on. She had to figure out a way to get on her feet without any help from them.

As the days passed by Sonnet’s situation became bleaker with each passing moment. Not only had the Lexus been repossessed, she could get any of her usuals to fall through. The dudes that would normally be there in a heartbeat either weren’t sweating her at the moment or had been snatched up by their other females.

The competition was stiff and if she didn’t keep her hand in the game she was bound to fall short, hell she already had. No one could have told her a year ago that she would be broke as hell and with no way of getting her hands on any loot. She couldn’t even roll up in her usual spots where all the niggas hung because she didn’t want to be seen pulling up in a cab. And for that matter it wasn’t like she actually had fare.

“This is some bullshit if I’ve ever seen it. I got to calm my ass down and think this thing through. I know with enough persuasion Kenterris will bring his ass over here and help me. That nigga ain’t forgot how good I worked this pussy on him.” Sonnet ranted as she finished up her bowl of cereal.

She stood in the bay window of her apartment and watched the children walking to school as well as her neighbors leaving for work. The maintenance men were manicuring the lawn and the scent of fresh cut grass was in the air.

“It’s a beautiful day today. You wanna go for a walk Gucci?” she asked the pooch who was bouncing at her feet. “Ok go get your leash, momma gon’ take you out. That’s right lemme get my ass out of here and clear my head so I can think.”

Once she and Gucci were on their way she looked around at how beautiful the upscale neighborhood really was. She had never taken the time to pay attention before because she was always in a car. And when she did let Gucci out it was only in the small area where the dumpsters were kept, most of the time she paid one of the neighbor’s kids to walk her.

“To hell with it imma swallow my pride and call this nigga.”

She scanned her phone for Kenterris’ number and dialed it. He hadn’t spoken to her in months but she had to do whatever she could to try and get him back. Based on the time he should have just been arriving at work.

“Hello.”

“Hello? Kenterris?” Sonnet stopped walking and stood there in shock. She couldn’t believe he answered and quite frankly she had no idea what she was going to say.

“Who else would it be?” he responded sarcastically.

“I’m just glad to hear your voice. How have you been?” Sonnet replied nervously.

“I’m great! Couldn’t be better. And what about you? How are you doing?” Kenterris asked knowing full well that she had hit rock bottom and that was the reason for the call.

“I’m good…. listen baby I’ve been thinking about us. I miss you. I need to see you.”

Kenterris chucked “Oh really? You wanna see me? What happen to that baller you told me you had?”

“You know I was just talking shit cause I was mad about the time you been giving Cheron. My feelings were hurt that’s all. That nigga wasn’t nobody to me. I been kicked his ass to the curb. He wasn’t you… and you know he wasn’t laying the dick like you…” Sonnet cooed hoping to soften him up a bit.

“That’s not how I heard it. If memory serves me correctly you told me the dick wasn’t shit, I paid for another nigga’s baby to be aborted, and me and my fat bitch could kiss your ass.”

“Baby you know I was just playing… like I said I was just mad. I don’t ever want any bad blood between us.”

“Oh it ain’t… everything is all good,” Kenterris smiled and nodded. “Me and my WOMAN ‘bout to live happily ever after. Bye Sonnet.”

“Damn that felt good!” Kenterris thought as he hung up the phone then deleted Sonnet’s number.

“Ain’t this some shit? Well fuck you then nigga! I don’t need you! I don’t need nobody!” she screamed and rolled her eyes at the people walking by staring. “What the hell y’all looking at?” Come on let’s go home Gucci.”

Once Sonnet bent the corner on her street she was met with chaos. There was a crowd forming in front of her condo. When she got closer she realized that her belongings were being thrown in the street.

“What the hell is going on!” She yelled as she attempted to shoo away the gawkers that had started to congregate. “What the fuck are y’all staring at? Get out of here!”

She was torn between trying to stop the men who were cleaning out her home and trying to stop the spectators who were now actually looking through her belongings. Her entire life was about to be put out on the street and there was nothing she could do about it.

“Imma kill that bitch in the leasing office,” she raged and stormed towards the entrance, only to be met by two police officers.

“I’m sorry ma’am but you cannot enter the premises.” They handed her the court’s order of eviction and blocked the entry, only stepping aside when the movers needed to exit with another load.

Sonnet fell to her knees sobbing as she watched her sofa, love seat, then her bed being tossed on the lawn. She thought she would die from embarrassment. She was completely mortified.

“Get away!” She frantically shooed away people who were now pulling up their cars and loading their trunks.

When it was all said and done everything she owned was tossed outside like garbage. She had no other choice but to call someone for help.

“Lemme call Lexi. I know she’ll come and get me.”

“Hello.”

“Hey girl it’s me. Imma need you to pick me up I got put out?” Sonnet cringed with each word that passed through her lips but what choice did she have? She was sitting outside on a pile of clothes without a dime to her name.

“Put out? What the hell you talking about girl?” Lexi hadn’t heard from Sonnet in months. It was just like her to call when she needed something. “I don’t have the car, Darius has it. How did you get put out?”

“That bitch ass Tyler ran off with my loot!”

“Tyler? You mean that ballin’ nigga you was screwing? What you mean he ran off with yo’ loot?”

“Girl the nigga was running a scam the whole time. He stole somebody’s identity. I don’t even know what his real name is. I fucked around and gave him all the money I had in the world. I was trying to get my loot built back up before it came to this but I haven’t had any luck. Look, I’m sitting outside with my shit. I don’t have time to chit chat, you coming to get me or what?” Sonnet was fuming. She was trying to reach out to Lexi for help and here she was asking for a damn explanation.

Lexi sat with her hand covering her mouth. She could not believe what she was hearing.

“Damn girl so you gave all yo money to a complete stranger? What the hell was you thinking? You didn’t stop to check the niggas credentials at all?”

“Look I said I fucked up ok? I need a ride, and see if you can find somebody with a truck for my shit. Oh yea, Imma need to crash with you for a while.”

Lexi was immediately put off with the demanding tone in Sonnet’s voice. Granted she was in a bind but this wasn’t the first time she had called her with some bullshit. Before she knew it she was flooded with memories of each time she was in trouble and Sonnet was nowhere to be found. And quiet as it was kept; she felt some kind of way about letting her up in the house with her man.

Darius was staying over almost every night. The last thing she needed was Sonnet all up his face, walking around the house half naked. Hell if she did it to Cheron what would make her any better? There was a time when she wouldn’t have given it a second thought, but she had finally had enough of Sonnet’s bullshit. She was just going to have to get one of her many niggas she bragged about to help her out this time.

“I’m sorry girl, but like I said Darius got the car. And I really don’t have room…..” she was about to finish when Sonnet cut her off.

“Ugh! So you still with that nigga? And he got your car? You know what never mind. I don’t why I even called you.”

And that was it, without even a goodbye she hung up in Lexi’s face. She had no other choice but to call Cheron. She had a sinking feeling that if she messed this call up there would be nowhere else to turn.

“Hey Cheron it’s me.”

Chapter 25 – That’s What Friends Are For

Despite their differences Cheron jumped into action when Sonnet called.

“Oh my God! Honey I’m on the way, just stay put!”

When she arrived she jumped out of her car and gave Sonnet a huge hug. The tears fell freely from Cheron’s eyes as she looked around at all of Sonnet’s belonging strewn about.

“Sweetie, why didn’t you call me before things got to this point? You know I would have been there for you?”

“I know you would have,” Sonnet sniffled. “I was just too ashamed to admit I needed help.”

“We all need help sometimes. You know we like family. Come on and get in the car, you can put Gucci in the back seat.”

After Sonnet sat in the car for a few moments to gather her wits and thank Cheron for coming they got out and began stuffing the vehicle with as much as it would hold. Once the car couldn’t hold anymore they got back in to wait for Cheron’s brother Larry. She had already called him when she was on the way to tell him to bring his pickup truck with the trailer attached.

When the sun went down that evening Sonnet had a place to lay her head.

“I really appreciate this Cheron, more than you know. And thanks for not judging me. I know that was some stupid shit I did.”

“Girl we all have done something in life we regret. I just hope that you have finally learned your lesson. Now I know this isn’t how you are used to living but I will try my best to make you feel comfortable. Just make yourself at home. And feel free to help yourself to anything you see in the refrigerator. I have some leftover Spaghetti and garlic bread from yesterday if you want some.”

“Yes! That sounds delicious.” Sonnet was beyond excited to finally take a hot shower and eat a good home cooked meal. This had been a horrible day and she was completely drained.

After wolfing down two plates of spaghetti Sonnet hopped in the shower then made her way to the den. Cheron had made the couch up for her as well as placed one of the phone extensions in the room. There was a 42-inch flat screen as well as extra pillows and blankets.

“What the hell I look like sleeping on the couch? Damn since she invited me in I was hoping she had a guest room with a bed,” Sonnet grumbled to herself as she slid under the comforter.

“You ok in here? Let me know if you need anything,” Cheron asked before turning in for the night.

“Nah I’m good, thanks.”

Sonnet woke up the next morning to the smell of bacon and fresh coffee. Lord knows she couldn’t wait to dig into a nice breakfast. Since she had fell on hard times all she was eating were graham crackers and cold cereal for breakfast.

“Good morning, I was just about to come and get you. Breakfast is ready if you want some.” Cheron greeted Sonnet as she stepped out of the bathroom.

“Damn it smells good. Lemme let Gucci out and I’ll be right there.”

When Sonnet settled at the kitchen table she was met by a colorful fruit salad and fresh squeezed orange juice.

“Help yourself to the fruit salad. Bacon and eggs are coming up.” Cheron smiled and handed her friend a glass for her juice. “So, how did you sleep?”

“Like a baby, I must have been exhausted cause I was knocked out as soon as my head hit the pillow,” Sonnet replied as she proceeded make herself a bowl of fruit.

“I can only image, after all you been through I’m surprised that you stayed up as late as you did. Here you go.” Cheron placed a plate of scrambled eggs, bacon, and a croissant in front of Sonnet. “You want grape jam or blackberry preserves for your croissant?”

“I’ll take the grape jam. This smells delicious!” Sonnet couldn’t wait to dig into the hot plate of food. Cheron offered her seconds and she didn’t decline.

“Damn girl you done out did yourself on these eggs. I didn’t know you could burn like this. I’ll take two more if you don’t mind.” Sonnet announced as she dug into the second helping of the hot fluffy eggs.”

She was so busy chowing down that she didn’t see the side eye that Cheron was giving her as she added more butter to the skillet and cracked two more eggs.

Damn she must be starving, Cheron thought. Sonnet had already eaten four eggs and a half of pack of bacon and she was still going strong. I done cracked open six eggs already just for her. I had no idea she could eat like this. I’m going to have to make a run to the market.

As they ate and made small talk they were suddenly interrupted by the doorbell ringing.

“I wonder who that could be this early.” Cheron placed her napkin over her plate and made her way to the door. Sonnet continued eating until she heard a man’s voice in the foyer. It was Kenterris!

“Hey bae what brings you by so early?” Cheron asked greeting him with a hug.

“I’m going in late today and I just wanted to stop by and get me some sugar to get my day started.”

“Aww that’s sweet. I think I can handle that.” Cheron giggled before sharing a passionate kiss with her man.

Sonnet sat in the kitchen smiling and waiting for Kenterris to enter the room.

“Come on in and have some breakfast.”

Cheron headed towards the kitchen with Kenterris following close behind.

“Damn baby what’s all this junk?” he asked looking confused. He almost tripped over a duffle bag. Cheron normally kept her place spotless, but there were boxes and bags everywhere.

When he walked in the kitchen he could have died right at that very moment. He could feel the blood draining from his face as he stared in the face of the last person he wanted to see. What the fuck is she doing here, he thought.

Sonnet’s eyes danced as she finished munching on a slice of crispy bacon. Victory never tasted so good. “Hello Kenterris.”

The End

Lady Onyxx

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Started From The Top Now I'm Here

Sonnet Banks was what some would consider to be hood royalty, everything from her 3,000 sq foot condo to her massive Hermes collection spelled luxury. She was also the ultimate backstabbing bitch and didn’t apologize for it. She will do whatever it takes to come up in the game, even if it means hurting those closest to her. Despite having the gold digging game on lock, Sonnet’s selfish ways soon get the best of her. Find out what happens when this ghetto princess goes from hood rich to a lowly street urchin fighting to survive on Skid Row. The question is does she deserve a come up? You decide.

  • ISBN: 9781310838095
  • Author: Love Den Media Publishing
  • Published: 2016-03-13 03:40:17
  • Words: 30535
Started From The Top Now I'm Here Started From The Top Now I'm Here