September 29 2014, 08:27 AM
I stared up at the silhouette of Mosai and Ayanna, angry tears building in my eyes. I couldn’t take it but I couldn’t hurt her. I can’t. I repeated that multiple times until it was just me in my head. When I heard nothing more internally I gasped, my chest heaving up and down. The pressure, the frustration, the anxiety, I needed a release. My hand wrapped around it, squeezed so tight that it caused pain. When my shoulders fell, when I felt some return to normalcy Ayanna was gone and my hand was wet.
Blood ran down my fingers, a long gash across the center of my palm.
I hadn’t been without it since I lifted it without consent.
My mother’s knife was my new best friend ♥

I stared up at the silhouette of Mosai and Ayanna, angry tears building in my eyes. I couldn’t take it but I couldn’t hurt her. I can’t. I repeated that multiple times until it was just me in my head. When I heard nothing more internally I gasped, my chest heaving up and down. The pressure, the frustration, the anxiety, I needed a release. My hand wrapped around it, squeezed so tight that it caused pain. When my shoulders fell, when I felt some return to normalcy Ayanna was gone and my hand was wet.

Blood ran down my fingers, a long gash across the center of my palm.

I hadn’t been without it since I lifted it without consent.

My mother’s knife was my new best friend 

September 29 2014, 08:26 AM

56: Catalyst

LEAH

“I could’ve been a princess, you’d be a king. Could’ve had a castle and worn a ring but noooooo, you let me goooooo!”

Our very own Princess of China belted out the Rihanna assisted Coldplay song at top volume. I knew the reason behind her karaoke session but others in the neighborhood weren’t so understanding of the live entertainment. Washington Avenue at two in the morning was, for the most part, silent. Most of its residents were fast asleep but Ayanna couldn’t be told that and I was too much of a friend to stop her fun. Without a care, she sang perched on Liam’s back as we trekked home from a very eventful evening.

A pregnancy discovery.

A revealing/disturbing altercation.

A case of arson.

I had witnessed all three happenings and although none involved me directly, I was emotionally drained. And in dire need of the dark stuff. Me, Yoshi and Ayanna had located a watering hole per her request and proceeded to drink ourselves under the table. I guess that applied to Ayanna more than us. While we were almost too disgusted to really enjoy ourselves. Ayanna made best friends with the bartender. She was the life of the party, charming anybody she said two words to. She was enigmatic and carefree, the opposite of what she should’ve been after having the final showdown with Max. It was done this time, I could tell. Absolutely nothing was going to to align them again. I was relieved. I was saddened. I was a lot of things but dealing with my feelings would have to come later. Yoshi and I had agreed to show our friend a decent time, keeping our thoughts to ourselves.

We let her indulge.

Ayanna wasn’t sloppy drunk but she wasn’t feeling any pain either.

Since I deemed myself responsible for her, it was my duty to get her safely home. I could handle her on my own but Liam volunteered to escort us back, carrying her since it sped up the process. We had to look strange as we walked. I was holding Liam’s hand while Ayanna caught a ride on his back but I had insisted that she get special treatment. My guilt factored into that. After everything I’d heard, I felt the need to be overprotective. I followed behind Liam the four flights of stairs up to Ayanna’s room. She’d been between two places and ever since this morning, she had yet another residence. She told us about her home purchase but tonight she was going back to her old space. I needed to keep an eye on her. Liam deposited her carefully on the bed, seeing my worry before I could remove it from my face. I hadn’t filled him in on the events of the evening but he knew something unpleasant had taken place.

Ayanna sat up clumsily, letting her hair down. She patted my boyfriend’s hand, pulling him closer. “You know what Liam,” she said, “you are one down-ass white boy. Like the downest I’ve met. You are officially family. You’re my brother, okay? I got mad, mad love for you because you are there for my girl and you genuinely love her and not because you think she’s exotic or because she got pretty brown skin or because you assume that being with a black girl is some item to cross off your bucket list. You care about what counts and that is her insides.” She reconsidered. “Not those insides but the other ones. I appreciate that.”

Liam grinned. “Your approval means the world to me. You’re important to Leah which means you’re important to me. We’re here.” He directed his two fingers between the both of them and she gave him dap. “I’ll let your get your rest.” He leaned down and kissed me, sending a flurry of butterflies loose in my stomach. “And I’ll see you in a few.” He hadn’t said anything so enticing but in my mind, everything he did was suggestive. I would like nothing more than to see him in one of our beds but he realized that the welfare of my best friend was a current and pressing issue.

I didn’t have to choose.

I was left alone with Ayanna but the minute I had something concrete to say, her phone rang. Eyes half-closed, she found it and answered. “Yo,” she said tiredly. I was sure it was Mosai on the other end when a wide smile spread across her face. He was the only one who’d been making her smile like that for a while now.

“I miss you too lover,” she cooed. “Especially since I’m horny as I don’t know what right now.”

I looked away, covering my mouth to stop an embarrassed laugh. We shared a lot but I wasn’t sure I was comfortable knowing that information when I was sitting less than a foot away. I managed to hear Mosai’s reply. I knew for sure that I was not okay with their raunchy talk then and cleared my throat. Ayanna mouthed “sorry.” “Babe, let’s keep it clean okay. Leah’s not cool with our higher level of comfort…Yes, I’ve been….Uh-huh. Three Long Islands, a couple vodka tonics, some shots—basically the whole bar. I’m on cloud-motherfucking-nine…I went out with the crew but I’ll tell you what happened later…Yes, I’m safe and sound…Uh-huh…Tomorrow….Until…Love you lover.”

She let the phone fall and squinted at me. “The man says to tell you thanks. He knows you got me here in one piece.”

“You’d do the same for me,” I replied searching for something she could sleep in. When I found her XO t-shirt, I was prepared to put her in it but she politely avoided me. “Lee, I know it might not seem like it because I am pretty sloshed at the moment but I’m good. You don’t gotta hover. I’m not helpless and even if I was for a very short period of time, I’m not anymore. Nothing, I mean nothing, is on you. Please understand that.”

“But—”

“But I’m sorry that you had to hear what you did but I’m squared away. I don’t another choice but to be. That person does not exist for me. It’s done. It took me confronting him and blowing up a certain baby momma’s car but it’s over. I’m okay, you know why? Because that whole situation is finally behind me so take it easy on the guilt. You couldn’t have know what I didn’t show you. Other than that, I’m only trying to have a good time. Don’t read to much into my inebriation. I got it from here.”

I didn’t want to let anything go but this time Ayanna was adamant about it. I couldn’t make myself believe that she was totally okay but sometimes you did more harm than good by furthering a point. It felt like I was leaving her out there again but I conceded.

“Okay Ayanna but I’m right downstairs and I’m going to check on you repeatedly and….and….”

“And what?”

“And I’m so sorry for everything that happened to you,” I said that rushed, hugging her so quickly that it took her by surprise but she held me. It was only then that I realized I was trembling. To say that I’d been holding in my angst regarding this was an understatement. I’d been internalizing my feelings, trying not to place them on her or anybody else. I felt horrible. I felt like the worse possible person because even though this wasn’t my fault, it was my job to notice the signs and do something about them. I only did that after the fact. I was just having trouble with the notion that this was happening behind the same walls we shared.

Ayanna rubbed my back. “Fuck Leah, stop this okay? Don’t even think about crying on me. As this beautiful gay man once told me, we’re too pretty to cry. Trust that we’re going to have more shitty things happen to us. We gotta store up the tears for a later date and this is not the date. It’s over. I can see clearly now. The rain is gone.”

I didn’t want to but I laughed.

She caught a tear before it had a chance to fall and grinned. “I’m serious about unnecessary water loss. Leah you’re my girl. Thick and thin but don’t carry this. The actions of one person don’t have to do with you. Now I need you to get yourself together and get lose. You got a man to make use of and I gotta sleep shit off.”

I nodded. “I love you Ayanna.”

“Love you back.”

I followed her instructions and left her room. I undressed and went downstairs, my heart still heavy on the subject. Liam was laying across the couch in the living room. It was the one we practically christened the first time we made love but those feelings of lust weren’t there as I nestled against him. He slipped his arm through mine, brushing his cheek against my neck.

“What is it Leah?”

I made a tired sound and buried my face in his arm. His scent put me at temporary ease and made my words come out smoother than before. “We saw Max tonight. Him and Ayanna had it out and more things happened to her than she let on. He’s sick, Liam. What I heard, it makes me sick. I’m not naive. I know how cruel people can be but I keep getting surprised by then and it doesn’t feel nice. How could you be with someone, live with them for so long only to have them turn on you like you’re a stranger? And even a stranger doesn’t deserve that treatment. I just…it’s scary. You have to promise me that we won’t end up like that.”

He heard my distress. Max and Ayanna were a cautionary tale playing out right before my eyes. It was disheartening. If tragedy could occur between them, it could happen with anybody. Relationships didn’t come with a warranty, no insurance or safety net. Nothing was going to catch you and put you back on your feet when it was all said and done. You hit the ground, you hit it hard and it was you that would be left with the damage. Maybe it was foolish but I didn’t want that to happen. For once, I wanted something to withstand. I was committed. I was ready to go the long haul with Liam but the future might have other plans. I didn’t know what was going to happen, all I could do was hope and pray that if we did end, we didn’t end like Ayanna and Max.

“I promise,” Liam said holding me closer. “We’re not them and even if we became very different from who we are, we’ll know when to let go but that won’t happen because I’m going to always need you. I can’t exactly afford to live without you now.”

I blushed deeply. “You were doing it before,” I pointed out.

“Was I really?”

I sat up and looked down at him with a tender smile. Liam had the habit of saying the most heartwarming thing at the right moment. My worries were valid but not so acute now that he’d talked me into believing him.

“More than that. I don’t want you to ever regret your decision.”

We hadn’t had much conversation about me shutting out another man for him but somehow Liam was understanding. When I kept to myself or gave off the vibe that I needed space, he allowed me that because as much as I was secure with him, I couldn’t manage to forget another. Tremain continued to be on my mind and he wasn’t going anywhere. The need to reach someone became more pronounced when you couldn’t. Periodically I’d been calling his office. I just wanted to hear Tremain’s voice, I guess just to gauge how he was. There was a flaw in my plan because he had no interest in speaking to me. That message was delivered by his assistant. The last time I called he let me know where Tremain and I stood.

“He isn’t here,” he said. He then lowered his voice. “Leah don’t waste your time okay? The boss is not going to talk to you. He is how he is. He’s playing the part of the rock and you’re not bound to get anything out of him. I don’t know what happened between you two but he’s not feeling very hospitable as of late.”

I hung up feeling even worse than I already did.

We were broken up but I couldn’t turn off my feelings in accordance. Instead of letting that go, I was holding onto things. I didn’t regret my decision, I just regretted the consequences of it.

“I love you,” I told Liam. “That’s more important than anyone or anything else.”

Without further question, he accepted my words and thankfully, changed the subject. Soon our relationship would hit a milestone. We would both meet each other’s families, my now single mother was excited for me to meet Liam’s mom and even made me promise to make introductions via video chat. Things were coming together for me in a way I had never dreamed of but I guess life shaped up that way sometimes. I always had this idea that my disease would overshadow anything good in my life but I was finding out different.

I was going to be happy.

Except for a few details, I already was.

The only thing interfering with that was Tremain but I had to let that go. If he wanted nothing to do with me than I was in no position to push contact. I was going to have to move on regardless of any closure I might want to have. I would be shutting down that whole portion of my past after my last interaction with Spider.

“This is going to work,” I mumbled under my breath.

“What was that?” Liam asked stroking my arm.

“Everything is going to be fine,” I said. “I know it is.”

It just goes to show you how optimistic I wanted to be at the time. I was hopeful about my state of affairs but I wouldn’t be so positive the morning I sat down with an ex-criminal.





MAX

Last night was catastrophic.

Everything that could’ve been done to fuck up things for me had been done and the whole disaster was my doing. I was out here with my prospects even more obsolete than before. Things for me had met and surpassed the point of hopelessness. I was out here with nothing tying me down. I had no legs to stand on, nothing to my name. You’d think that would bother me, that I’d be crawling the walls trying to escape my skin but my mind wasn’t at any of those things. In fact, you’d think that my life was in perfect order and not in the shambles it was because I was cool.

Unnaturally calm.

It was almost like I accepted everything wrong with my existance.

I didn’t, of course. I just couldn’t break this calm I was under. It was so heavy that I was twisting underneath it. I shouldn’t be carrying on like all was in order but once again, my image told another story. The man staring back at me in the mirror had this cool reassurance and a twinkle in his eye. It’s what made me avoid any reflective surface. I was afraid. It was now a constant in my life because more and more I was getting swallowed by no other than me. I talked to Schafer, told her as best I could what it was I was going through and she related it to my conscious. She reasoned that I felt so much guilt and shame that I was unknowingly coping with it by creating some alter ego. She said that I wasn’t dealing and that when I truly began to, I wouldn’t have these split personality problems.

That was one theory.

Another one was that I was clinically insane.

That word was taken too lightly nowadays, thrown around and normalized but when you felt the decline of your mind, when you knew you were helpless to do anything about it, you couldn’t find the good or the positive of anything. I was lost and no one was coming toward me. Anybody that I wanted to turn to wasn’t there. My short list of close people was at a zero. Rodney was holding onto his promise not to make contact and Joelle? Well she thought it was  best for the both of us if I moved out of her place. Like the sad example I was, I stood on the other side of her door, bags in hand, trying to apologize for the total obliteration of her car by fire bombing. I promised her what I had saved and the sales from the show but with an exhausted shake of the head, she turned me down.

“I don’t care about the car and I don’t need your money,” she said. “It’s what all of this means. The situation you have with her—it’s impossible and I can’t be a part of it. I honestly don’t know what I’ve been doing with you all this time. I was kidding myself by thinking we could have some variation of a family but I get it now. You are never going to let her go. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t. I know that you love this baby, it shows in the things you do but you don’t love me. You never did. That doesn’t hurt so much anymore. We have to deal with each other but only for them. I’ll let you know when I have any pertinent appointments or anything changes but other than that, we are not connected.”

With a firm nod, she closed the door in my face.

I probably should’ve felt more about the mother of my child ending our relationship but she wasn’t the woman plaguing my mind.

“Eat something, you look pale.”

Observations by the other person who tied for most important in my life.

I would’ve taken offence to anyone else telling me about myself but when your mother decided to tell you her thoughts, you gave her the leeway to. She’d just gotten in from her job and found me sitting in her living room. Instead of relaxing and putting her feet up like I pleaded with her to do, she stood over the stove and made Lomo Saltado. My favorite thing to eat didn’t even spark my interest but I brought the fork up to my mouth anyway. Neither of us said much but I had to fill her in on my newest developments.

“If you are not at Joelle’s, then where are you staying Max?” Her tone was quiet, her eyes trying not to show their disappointment but like with everyone else, I saw it.

“I’ve got a place. It can probably be permanent if I want it to be.”

As long as I continued to give up my dick on demand.

The gallery owner, the lady I was now in business with, I was now conducting negotiations with in bed. We wound up sleeping with each other somewhere between me getting kicked out of my temporary housing and showing up at my mother’s. During the process of clothing removal, she had offered me the one-bedroom apartment she’d won during her recent divorce. At this point, I wasn’t in the position to turn down any place to live. Even if it came with strings. I wouldn’t be paying rent. My performance inside her had won me that. Trading my body for a roof over my head had never been something I’d had to resort to but this was a new day and I wasn’t a kid anymore. I would do what I had to do for survival and if that meant blowing a 40-year old’s back out every now and again I would do just that. It was all worth it in a way. My new place was in Brooklyn. I wasn’t going to label that as a coincidence, as fate’s way of bringing me closer to home but being back there had to mean something. It wasn’t Fort Greene but Clinton Hill which was just as good. Close to school and other things.

I cut into my food unenthusiastically, cognizant of my mother staring at me the whole time. She wanted to know what had happened last night at my show.

“She came,” I said finally. “I asked you for that and you got her to come. You have no idea how much I appreciate that but things didn’t play out the way they were supposed to do. I’ve done too much damage and I want you to know that I’ve learned my lesson. I can’t fix things. I realize that so I have no other choice but to back away. For good now. I love her but love isn’t always a good thing. My love isn’t healthy for her.”

I was saying all the right things and my sincerity was believable. For a few seconds I believed it even. I was poison to Ayanna. The wounds I had inflicted on her were more than skin deep and I’d seen it in her eyes that she was done with me but Joelle was right. I felt at my core that I’d never be quite finished with her. Now it was just about regulating the inevitable. Maybe that’s why I was so calm. I had accepted that I wouldn’t get over her, that I couldn’t. All I had to try to do was not make any waves. I couldn’t make a spectacle of myself. I had to have her in my life but not be in hers. It was all very complicated but I knew of a few ways to keep in touch with her without actual contact. I knew better than to say any of this to my mother. It sort of went against what I was telling her right now.

“I’m glad that you have come to this point Maximilian. You have to let people go sometimes. Ayanna is a beautiful person, a beautiful soul and she deserves some happiness. She deserves what you can’t give her.”

That stung but I nodded anyway. I was playing the role of the changed man. The reformed man. I was almost fooling myself into believing that I could live without her.

I spent the evening with my mother, doing all the things good sons do. I fixed a couple of things around the place, helped her with the dishes and danced with her to her favorite record. I almost felt normal. By night, my mother was in bed, aged photo albums across her lap. She was gushing over childhood pictures of me while I was almost indifferent to them. I was good looking. Nobody could look cuter with their hair parted to the side in a miniature suit but I looked like the perfect target. I was the kid you picked on in school, the one you wouldn’t let into a game of basketball, the one you picked last for anything. That had always been a constant for me throughout it all.

I felt weak most of the time.

I wasn’t that little boy anymore but that feeling of inadequacy was still there. If I hadn’t been saved by the girl with the big hair back then who knows where’d I be. If I hadn’t been sheltered and looked after everyday since, I wasn’t even sure I would’ve made it. I know I wouldn’t have. I wasn’t solid enough and what did that mean? That I was weak. I had lashed out, maimed, ridiculed all because I needed to prove to myself some measure of strength. Maybe it had to do with manhood, maybe it had to do with a power trip, I didn’t know but it all came back to that.

Because it all came back to her.

Ayanna was the blood running through my veins, she was my air and I was being deprived. I tried to stay in the moment, listen and respond to whatever my mother was saying as she reminisced but I was doing some remembering of my own. I recalled what had been done to me when I was thirteen and how I’d committed that same act with joy. I relished hurting her. I had taken personal pride in it. I could still feel her nails digging into her arms…her shaking…her sobbing…

I jumped off my mother’s bed, forcing myself to not look so out of it. “I better go, ma. I’ve got work to do and I need to sleep.”

She closed the album and got up. “Maybe that’s best. You should get your rest. Let me get leftovers for you, mijo.”

I was right behind her, practically itching to get out of the shoebox apartment even though all I had to look forward to was a potential booty call and the walls closing in on me. When you were permanently anxious, anywhere seemed better than the place you were. I dropped my keys and went down to get them.

That’s when I saw it.

It was a flat trunk, gold decorations around the corners. I pulled it from under the bed, curiosity making me open it. There were only sentimental items. Keepsakes my mother had held onto from Peru. A tattered diary, some faded postcards, loose photographs but under all of that was something more interesting. I picked it up, staring at it with appreciation.

“Max!”

I quickly slipped it into the inner pocket of my jacket and pushed the box back in place. “I’m coming.”






“Ladies and gentlemen introducing, Bae I and Bae II.”

That served as the caption on her latest Instagram post. @akelly had over twenty thousand followers and with this picture she was bound to gain even more. It was on the Internet already that they were pursuing something but an official confirmation solidified things. They were together and she was happy to tell the world. And coincidentally me. I was one of the twenty thousand. Not as myself of course. A dummy account was my access to her everyday life now. She’d never been huge on social media but with her sarcasm, humor and looks she’d gained some status. Most of Brooklyn knew Ayanna already but now people across multiple countries were in awe of her.

Everybody was catching up to what I felt since the beginning.

Between FEMME’s launch, her posted writing on Tumblr and everyday outings, I was kept up on what she was doing and today she was professing love. To him. And his daughter. Mosai was laying across grass with a book in hand while Davina rested comfortably on his back listening. A series of other photos showed all three of them with ice cream, Davina in Ayanna’s lap. She always claimed to be a bad influence but she looked beautiful with children. She’d have some of her own one day, they just wouldn’t be mine like I originally anticipated. Another wave of jealousy came over me, so intense that I gritted my jaw to the point of pain but very slowly I resisted the urge. I had to be okay with this. I had to keep reminding myself that Ayanna was happy. And that I couldn’t make her that way. I won out this time, no pop-up voices playing the devil’s advocate in my head but my restlessness couldn’t be helped. Cautiously, I removed the arm from around me and got out of bed. Valerie, my benefactor had come over for a evening of non-committal fucking and I didn’t turn down the chance to bury my frustrations in her but now it wasn’t enough.

I got dressed and took to the street, my hiding spot calling my name. I passed a few people, some girls tried to make eye contact but I had one focus. It couldn’t be coincidence that we had both moved to the same area. When I sat on the brownstone for days at a time and didn’t see her, I just thought she had moved in with her new man but hearing innocent conversation had informed me of the opposite. Leah and Liam had passed by me on our old block, talking about how they were going to go paint Ayanna’s “new place.” They passed right by me, not even noticing who I was. I was an afterthought to everyone. A reason to take a detour for others. Rodney happened to be in one of my classes and made it a point to sit furthest away from me every time. When there was only one seat left, he turned around and walked back out.

That was my influence now.

I was ostracized from the group I had always known so I didn’t feel bad about this. It didn’t violate anything. She said if she saw me, I’d be in for trouble but that wasn’t happening. A full week and she hadn’t noticed me. She wouldn’t. She was all that I had and if sitting across the street from her loft was the only way to establish a one-way connection than I was going to do it. She was always alone and sometimes she forgot to pull her curtains closed. This was another one of those nights. I waited for her to appear but when she did come into a view it was with him. My heart clenched. I wanted to see her. Just her. That way I could ignore that I wasn’t a factor in her live anymore but that notion was crushed. The windows were open so not only could I hear but I could see. Ayanna pushed Mosai down on the windowsill with a smile, discarding her t-shirt and his. She got on his lap, her hands spread across his back as she moved back and forth. Her pretty face tensed, her hair falling over her face and his head but the soundtrack provided me with enough detail. Ayanna was moaning softly, murmuring something in his ear I couldn’t make out.

She hadn’t been that way with me.

She’d showed her appreciation, made some noises, let me dominate her but she hadn’t submitted. She hadn’t given me all of her, that higher-level of intimacy was apparently reserved for Mosai. She was soft in a way that I had never seen because he brought that out of her.

The only thing I’d gotten was fear.

And disrespect. She fucking disrespected you.

I shook my head, attempting to squash my inner monologue. “No,” I mumbled. “I did that to her. She deserves something of her own.”

"She deserves to be punished. She left us to be with him. Him! This pretty boy fuck. He doesn’t know her. You know her. You’re what’s best and even if you aren’t, that doesn’t matter. You want her, you get her. That simple. Listen to them. Listen to her moan. That bitch is ungrateful and she doesn’t know her place. It’s your job to put her in it. The motherfucker too.”

I paused, a few of those words making me consider them.

“It’s okay to hate her. There is no love without hate but you have to do something about it. Sitting out here, watching her night after night is weak. It’s pathetic. Do something about her.”

I stared up at the silhouette of Mosai and Ayanna, angry tears building in my eyes. I couldn’t take it but I couldn’t hurt her. I can’t. I repeated that multiple times until it was just me in my head. When I heard nothing more internally I gasped, my chest heaving up and down. The pressure, the frustration, the anxiety, I needed a release. My hand wrapped around it, squeezed so tight that it caused pain. When my shoulders fell, when I felt some return to normalcy Ayanna was gone and my hand was wet.

Blood ran down my fingers, a long gash across the center of my palm.

I hadn’t been without it since I lifted it without consent.

My mother’s knife was my new best friend.




LEAH

It started like any other day.

Alarm at 6 am, run around Fort Greene, shower and breakfast. I took my meds, I got dressed and I went about my normal activities. The only thing different about this morning was that I would be coming into more money than some people saw in their lifetime. Millions of dollars were going to be at my disposal but I wasn’t going to use a dime of it. Not for myself anyway. I wasn’t unfamiliar with the premise of dirty money, I knew for a fact that my father was involved in something opposite of the law but I didn’t have to be okay with the idea of it. I had all I required, more than I needed but others weren’t so fortunate. I could help with my time, energy and attention but cash did a lot to assist also. My list of charities and organizations locally and nationally was compiled. All I needed were the funds. It was going to be a simple, quick process. Meet with a former gangster and all around bad guy along with his lawyer and collect a check. This would take no more than ten minutes and I felt okay. Enough to go alone but I was still grateful for her not taking no for an answer.

No matter what the occasion was, she had your back.

Ayanna just inspired a feeling of safety. Even in a cat-eared beanie and flannel shirt. I was dressed unremarkable in a t-shirt, sweater and jeans, the business at hand more important than how I looked. As always, Liam complimented my looks. He’d probably find me attractive in a garbage bag, he was just that in love with me. I had the same feelings when it came to him but I was more than justified. My boyfriend was nothing less than beautiful. He wanted to come, to support me but he had things to take care of at school. A dreaded  trip to Columbia’s Financial Aid Office was in store so Ayanna was my company. Liam and I would be spending more than enough time together shortly. In exactly two days, we’d be in Scotland. Ayanna and I headed to the subway station hand in hand, behaving like our former selves, the versions before some of our most treasured relationships had to end. I had settled nicely into my life with Liam and Ayanna? I don’t think I had ever seen her happier. She wasn’t even smoking as much. We were both in good places and it was as miraculous to me as it was to her.

“This is gonna sound bad but this feels too weird not to mention,” Ayanna said when we boarded the G train. “I have nothing to complain about in my life right now and it’s bugging me out. Mosai and I are banging like bunnies, we talk, we laugh and my love for him is more than I ever thought it could be. We’re deep and I can’t ask for more.”

I smiled, more  happy for her than I was for myself. She deserved all the good things bound to come to her. Hell, we both did. We crossed the river into Manhattan bringing us that much closer to our destination.

Less than fifteen minutes later, we were entering Cipriani Downtown. I was sure the place wasn’t open for breakfast but this was no regular sit down or for the purpose of sharing a meal. The restaurant was empty except for the two men seated at one of the middle tables. One was a balding, white with an impressively expensive suit. He was a lawyer. From what I had heard the lawyer to the criminal du jour. If you were high profile enough and had the cash to afford his retainer and hourly rate, he’d represent you no matter what you were guilty of. The prime example of that was the other man sitting next to him. He was Romel, otherwise known as more dead than alive. It felt strange now that I had ever been intimidated by him at all. This person who represented my darkest nightmare was slowly becoming a fading memory. The fading part applied especially because Romel was not who he was from just a few weeks ago. He was smaller, eyes gaunt, his hand shaking when he attempted to gip his glass. He didn’t even stand when we approached. Not because he lacked social graces but because it would do him more harm than good.

“Leah,” he greeted plainly. “Miss.” He held his hand out to Ayanna but she glared at him. He chuckled. I don’t think he’d take her so lightly if he really knew what she was capable of.

We sat, both of declining to order anything. For whatever reason I was suddenly nervous. Not about receiving the money. Once it was signed over it wasn’t going to be mine anyway. No, something else was making me feel uneasy. I just couldn’t place it. Ayanna seemed to pick up on my angst and gave me a wink. I took a breath and we got down to business. Multiple signatures were required, the lawyer reading the required statements but it only took me twenty minutes to come into 3.45 million dollars. Once the transfer was confirmed in my name, it hit me that I was actually going to be able to help a great deal of people. It felt nice that I could back up my service with real funds. I didn’t feel a “thank you” was in order. I could never thank the man that had infected me but I needed to say something.

“You did the right thing,” I said as we got up.

It was only then that I noticed he was walking with a cane. And not very well. The lawyer excused himself, climbing into the back of a chauffeured car, leaving the three of us. Ayanna had stepped literally two feet away, still vigilant. Like me she couldn’t dissociate Romel from his former self.

“After a life of wrong, that’s what I was aiming for,” he replied, coughing into a handkerchief. “I’m just glad I could do this. You’re trustworthy. You’ve always been a good girl and you always will be.”

Those were his last words.

Romel opened his mouth to say something else but he only gasped for air. There was a popping sound, blood spraying me across the face. My hearing went out, my outside perception following. Everything became muted. The sun was shining too bright, I was too cold and there was a lifeless body at my feet. I looked up slowly barely recognizing who stood there. My heart dropped into a level lower than my stomach, a dangerous bout of nausea threatening me. I shook my head as Ayanna muttered a surprised “fuck.

“What did you do?” I think I asked.

The answer was obvious even more to the two nearby cops. A lifeless body, a smoking gun and a black man all wrapped up in a very apparent crime. I jumped as he was tackled and wrestled to the ground. His face was shoved into the pavement but he managed to look up at me. The look on his face I couldn’t decipher but I could make out the smile he gave me. It was numb, like none of this was touching him. My heart stopped. Everything stopped. People surrounded, more cops came an ambulance arriving. I got examined but nothing on me was hurt, not externally. I couldn’t take my eyes off him and he didn’t dare to look away. He stared at me from the back of a squad car while blood was cleaned off my face, that same smile haunting me. Sirens blared, him mouthing something to me.

“Because I love you.”

Tremain  was giving me the motive for his crime 

 

September 29 2014, 07:56 AM
Anonymous
Are we still writing this story tho?? its bn over a month since the last update.... are you thru wid the story?

Still writing. Just suffering from a combination of exhaustion and procrastination. I can do better, it’s just that sometimes I just don’t 

September 18 2014, 03:43 PM
Anonymous
I just wanted to say that I started this story like over a year ago and like a few days ago I remembered and I found it and started reading again. I totally ship Najm and Ayanna even tho it's wrong lol I hate Max and.. I'm excited to see what's going to happen, cause I still have a few chapters left to read :)

I’m glad you found your way back. A few people seem to be drawn to Najm and Ayanna’s relationship even though it’s “unethical.” What’s going to happen next will (in my opinion) summarize things up until next time 

September 18 2014, 03:41 PM
So yeah, i started reading this story this week, on chapter 20 and wow. I must say you are an excellent write because you have me reading things i never would. but the way you drew your characters have me wanting to understand their turmoil and hoping for the best for them. everyone needs help in some arena, the bravery is asking. I saw that this is a fan fic, do you have a character list?

Thank you very much for the compliment. I do have a character list it’s just under construction at the moment 

September 18 2014, 03:40 PM
yikes at ayanna burning up joelle's car. for some reason, i kept feeling like it was the wrong car lol. as much as i want max to stay out of dodge, i doubt their talk is gonna stop him.

Nope that was Jo’s ride. Max is a tortured soul right now. Nothing concrete is getting through to him 

August 31 2014, 07:29 PM
“Ayanna, no!”
That was Leah for you. She knew me and my capacity to cause trouble but it was too late. I threw it and the car went up in flames. It wasn’t very exciting to begin with but soon it burned angry and fierce and beautiful. I undid my shades and placed them on. Behind black lenses I watched my creation consume. Metal twisted and snapped, the heat brushing my face with a harshness I found strangely appealing. I inhaled my smoke, let the cloves hit my lungs hard before I exhaled deep all the while enjoying the view.
I’d set off a bonfire.
Not because I wanted to damage property or because I had some private urge to be a pyromaniac, this was a motherfuckling cleanse. As absolvement of something that was no more ♥
55: BONFIRE

“Ayanna, no!”

That was Leah for you. She knew me and my capacity to cause trouble but it was too late. I threw it and the car went up in flames. It wasn’t very exciting to begin with but soon it burned angry and fierce and beautiful. I undid my shades and placed them on. Behind black lenses I watched my creation consume. Metal twisted and snapped, the heat brushing my face with a harshness I found strangely appealing. I inhaled my smoke, let the cloves hit my lungs hard before I exhaled deep all the while enjoying the view.

I’d set off a bonfire.

Not because I wanted to damage property or because I had some private urge to be a pyromaniac, this was a motherfuckling cleanse. As absolvement of something that was no more 

55: BONFIRE

August 31 2014, 07:28 PM

55: Bonfire

AYANNA

Polvorón and green tea.

They were the pretext of a conversation neither of us wanted to have.

The tiny kitchen window with the prison bars and the tired yellow paint had been dressed up as much as possible but it gave off a forced cheerfulness, not an actual one because this place hadn’t seen a whole lot of happiness. Pain, disappointment, grief, it all kind of lingered about like an active haunting. That was the ambiance when the lady of the house had been through her fair share of hell. The scent of vanilla, the fresh baked cookies and the framed picture of Micaela Villegas only helped the mood some. La Perricholi was like the 18th century Peruvian version of Marilyn Monroe, a famed entertainer who was allegedly a mistress to a dude in high places. Her Mona Lisa smile seemed to indicate that everything was relative, that it was all going to be okay but the verdict was still out on that. I was seated with the woman I considered to be an honorary mother. Having a sit down with her was all good and well, I enjoyed her company tremendously, I just wasn’t feeling the reason why we were face to face. At this point, we were past pleasantries and small talk. The only thing left to go over was the real.

Magdalena was having some trouble broaching the uncomfortable so I took it upon myself to get this started. I wasn’t intending to go for the jugular but I couldn’t be delicate with this.

“Do you remember the first time?” I asked. “I don’t want to but I do. It’s in crystal clear, HD quality. We were arguing. It got bad. We were too emotional, I felt that but I never thought that would happen. I don’t know, I’ve never been one to put anything past somebody but I wasn’t prepared for that. How could anybody be prepared for that? Five fingers to the face is not anything I had ever experienced before. There was this still moment I had right after he did it. I was so caught up, so mentally blown, I didn’t know how to react. It set a precedence because everytime after that, I paused. He puts a hand on me and my first reaction is the most dangerous: no reaction. I’m frozen. I’m paralyzed. I’m afraid. I legitimately fear someone that I love at the same time. If that’s not the ultimate conundrum then I don’t know what is so I’m asking, was that how it was for you?”

My words had to have struck several chords because her eyes filled up. I didn’t want to inspire tears but apparently, I had done a number on the both of us. I wasn’t cognizant at first but then I felt wetness on my cheeks. I thought I was done with that but I guess my experiences weren’t finished with me just yet. I told Mosai I didn’t want to talk about everything that went down because articulating what still remained fresh on my mind felt impossible. Writing was a start but it would hardly begin to cover what I had buried deep. The only reason I hadn’t spun out and damaged myself further was because of lover. My self-respect was another reason but I knew my own pattern. Something happens when I feel wronged. I get this streak in me. A fuck-everything streak that made me react first and think later but not this time. I had a human buffer. I was good. I was excellent. My life was shaping into something nice and I was sitting her shedding water for someone who reduced me to fragments. Two months give or take and I had been transformed into someone unrecognizable. Having space from that only hit home more how fucked I was.

It hurt.

I was still hurt.

Magdalena was feeling that.

It was probability that 1 out of 4 women in their lifetime would experience domestic violence but we were 2 for 2 at this table.

“I am so sorry,” Magdalena said wiping at her face with the back of her hand. “He would not tell me anything in detail but even if he had said nothing at all, I would’ve know. I know my child and I know what his father used to do to me. I pray. Every since he was born, I pray that he would be nothing like him but my wishes were not heard. I can do nothing to change what happened to you but I apologize. From the depth of my heart, woman to woman, I apologize.”

I reached over and rubbed her hand. “It’s not your place to account for actions that weren’t your own. None of this is your fault. He’s not your responsibility.”

“Don’t you see that he is? I am a mother Ayanna. He is my flesh and blood, my image and he disgraced himself. I let all of those things happen to him.” She put her hand over her chest and I knew the weight there was nothing nice. “I don’t know how to feel. I am so angry, so let down, so appalled at his character and then I think of what he experienced and I could falter. He is repeating a cycle, not because he wants to but because it was already written for him. Like you were. If Max had not crossed paths with you, he would be dead right now. You saved him. You saved him and now he abandons you. He loves you. I cannot question that but his love has become too much. He loves you too much.”

With some people that  might not be such a horrible thing.

Love was supposed to be sent out in mass. You were supposed to give it in abundance and once you got it, you gave it back. It was a reciprocal process but I’d gotten a raw deal. Being on the receiving end of love had broken me into pieces. I had been put back together thankfully, built back up by those in my life who really cared but all of them sharp edges, those cracks, they were still present. Invisible but still there. I hadn’t forgotten how his touches felt and I probably wouldn’t ever but dwelling on that was only going to bring me back to square one and since I had already collected my cash and passed green, I wasn’t revisiting. I was going to be happy, even if it killed me. Not having Max around cut, I wasn’t resolved with that yet but I wasn’t asking to be. I wasn’t going to be square when it came to him for sometime to come but I knew better than to repeat my mistakes. I was starting to realize that I loved myself way more than that.

He didn’t.

“Max might think he knows what love is but any definition he’s going with don’t measure up to mine. Magdalena, I’m okay. I wasn’t at first but I’m getting there. I know who’s real around me. I understand my worth better and I’m in love. I have someone who thinks of me like a princess, no it’s more like he treats me like a queen but Max, he made me out to be common. I’m not that. I mean this as respectfully as possible but su hijo es un monstruo. Él es el mal.  Él tomó mi alma but the scariest part of all of this is that couldn’t even help it.”

“He can and he will because he has to. Ayanna he needs you. You are the only one who can get through to him. I know I am wrong for asking, for even thinking that you’d want anything to do with him but I am begging you. There are no expectations, all I can do is hope that you’ll reach out to him. He is suffering. Max is so gone. I see him just yesterday and his hand is broken. No explanation as to how, just another platitude. I cannot lose him and I’m going to without your help.”

I wanted to turn the table over.

I had every right to show outrage over what was being presented to me. For her to pose this to me was out of bounds but I couldn’t act out. Not with her. Magdalena looked so small. So tired of fighting and defending someone she knew in her heart of hearts was damaged beyond repair but you had to respect the drive. Max had this woman going insane on his behalf. He was steady pounding her heart and she was steady braving blow after blow. She didn’t like who Max had become but disapproval didn’t dismiss love.

As fucked up as it was, this lady loved her kid.                                          

And that, above all else influenced her to ask the impossible of me.

There was more going on here though. I knew who really was the mastermind here.

“He asked you to to do this, didn’t he?”

Magdalena’s lack of reply told me that. This fucker was bold. He couldn’t get at me any other way so he had his mother do his dirty work. The desperation was that real and sent up more than a few red flags. I almost preferred the stalking activities to this. This was getting an innocent involved. I always tried to project it but I wasn’t heartless and no matter how much I didn’t want to be, I was affected. She meant something to me and he knew that. Ever since I met Magdalena, I felt for her. This woman was warm and kind and she loved me like I was hers. Staring at her burden made me falter.

“I’ll see what I can do, okay?”

An inkling of hope crept into her face. “You are his angel and you are mine.”

I got up and wrapped my arms around her. She squeezed me hard, kissing my cheek. “I’m far from that but thanks for thinking so. Do something nice for yourself. Nobody else but you.” I had slipped greenbacks into her pocket, not for her to donate or give to some downtrodden neighbor or family member. Magdalena was one of those people that never lived for her own pleasure but others. If I could help her enjoy herself, then my day was a little brighter.

She shook her head, wanting to remove the cash but I held her hand still. “You’re a beautiful woman, you should have something for yourself. I mean it woman.”

She gave me a long stare then nodded, seeing me to the door. “Thank you Ayanna.”

“You’re welcome. Chau mami.

Chau.”

I waved going down the rickety steps from her apartment and kept my smile until I cleared the door but when I got back to my car, it faded. Things were sinking in. I had agreed to let Max back in. It was no grand gesture but making it would mean more to him than it actually did. I wanted to back out of it. How could I willingly reach out to him? What were we supposed to discuss? 100 ways to humiliate your significant other? How happy I was to see the man that graced my eye with his fist? It made no sense for me to be doing this but I didn’t divy out my word unless I was meaning to keep it. I could do this. Not over the phone or via keystroke either. I was going to take this one step further.

“Call Yoshi,” I said out loud as I took off.

The hands-free system rang a good fifteen times before Queen B picked up. “Yeah?”

“Three hours. I need you dressed and ready to go in three hours so tell Rodney to get his last in.”

“Is there some reason you’re interrupting my all day fuck-fest?”

“Yes but you won’t know until I come scoop you. Be outside. You know I hate buzzing and double-parking.”

“Fine. To be so little you’re very bosy but I’ll bite. I’ll be there but you better make whatever this is good. I have an endless supply of bud, numerous potions and a stiff dick all at my immediate disposal. Show me a good time.”

“Don’t know about good but I can guarantee you interesting.”

I called my other sister next.

“Leah T, my best of the best buddy, my sugar, honey and iced tea, light of my life, I need you to roll with me somewhere.”

“And you had to go through all of that to ask me?” she joked.

“Had to add some flair.”

“I’ll go with you but where are we going?”

“Somewhere you’d least expect.”

With my two person crew assembled, I went back to Mosai’s place only to feel extreme guilt about what I was going to do. I didn’t want to qualify this as deception but for me, right now, it was better that he not know about my plans. Even better that he wasn’t here and couldn’t be reached until a lot later. If he knew where I was headed he’d tie me to the bed and barricade every door. I appreciated his protectiveness even in the theoretical but I was doing this. I didn’t contemplate my wares much, I just had a color palette in mind. One color: black. It was the only suitable for this occasion. High-waisted 80’s jeans tucked in boots, sports bra and my trusted army jacket. I hadn’t pulled that out in sometime but tonight was as good a time as any. Severe top knot, monster hoops, black lipstick and I read ready for war. My shades got tucked into the top of my shirt as I went to the safe in our closet. My hand hovered over my tool of choice. Peggy sat in good company along with some other weapons. Mosai was a pretty boy but that didn’t mean he couldn’t carry himself. He was toned down but he wouldn’t hesitate to turn back up if the situation called for it.

It didn’t tonight.

I’d let my gun rest. It wasn’t going to be that kind of party. No battles just a very brief detente. Pocketing a fresh pack and a matchbook. I started to head out but stopped and picked up the framed photo sitting by the bed. Mosai had silently transferred the photo of him, Cai and shorty to Davina’s room. Now one of us was there. We were at a restaurant a couple of weeks ago when a couple of eager photographers had snapped at us while we were cozied up at a table. I sat on his lap, offering him a pull from my smoke. To the outside world we were the couple to hypothesize about, people were always interested in who a model was dating but between us we were just two people who just really dug each other. We needed no public proclamation or notoriety to be who we were. We were secure, nestled in our own world and that’s how it would always be.

I loved him something crazy because at his core, Mosai was a man.

A real fucking man who put his daughter at the highest level, who took care of his, who never made me feel unsafe. He had pissed me off extraordinarily, we’d had major misunderstandings and we’d both hurt each other but the deciding factor with him was that he had never made me feel fear. When it came down to it, he wouldn’t put me in real danger. He wouldn’t cry to express his love and he wouldn’t break any bones in my face to show it. Abuse was a non-factor with him because he wasn’t the person to take his anger out on a woman’s body. He had the ability, just not the mentality.

I trusted that.

I trusted him.

At this time in my life, that was worth everything.

Mosai was everything.

I knew where my allegiance was now. Whatever happened tonight wouldn’t change that. I left out, feeling secure. That sensation didn’t falter when I walked into my destination and saw myself. Not like in a mirror but I was reflected. I was everywhere. People were marveling at me, discussing me with complimentary wine and refreshments in hand. Some of me had been sold, red stickers indicating that I’d been bought. I was being distributed because I was goods. It was strange for me but stranger for them. One step in the gallery and I was being stared at like an optical illusions. I was in two places at one time.

In the flesh and on the walls.

I forgot about this, that the whole evening was geared around me. I easily ignored the inquisitive and lingering looks.

“Is this—”

“Yes,” I said.

“And that motherfucker is—”

“Uh-huh.”

Yoshi and Leah stood to my left and right, both unpleasantly surprised at where I’d brought them to. From their expressions, they were both wearing, they didn’t approve of this outing.

“What in actual fuck are we doing here Ayana?” I took a glass from a passing waiter and stepped up to the largest painting of myself. Like the first time I saw it, I didn’t know how to take it. I looked like myself but at the same time something was off about this depiction. I turned around and faced my girls.

“Culture of course. We can all use it.” Their screw faces turned more sour. “Look, I gave my promise that I’d take a step forward so that’s what I’m doing.” I nodded along with The Weeknd’s “What You Need.” That selection was purposeful of course. Nothing made me more agreeable than Abel Tesfaye and his sorrowful yet sex voice. Again I got quizzical/head scratching looks. I was standing in the gallery showing of a man who had for a time crushed my very spirit and was rocking to the music like that was nothing.

They didn’t understand.

“I get that you want to bust up the joint and give everyone a taste of the real deal but you don’t need to be here. This fuck doesn’t deserve to be in your air space, let alone get a moment of your time,” Yoshi lamented.

“He got enough of that,” Leah added.

“Ladies, there are no misconceptions here. We’re not going to kiss, make up and run off into the sunset. I’m not inviting him to touch me, I’m just here to show my face because his mother says he needs that. If seeing me will help her help him, I’m for it.”

Yoshi sucked her teeth. “I get it. Mothers are gold, we gotta protect them but you’re better than me. I’d leave his traitorous ass to his demons and send a Hail Mary up on Moms behalf. I don’t forgive and I damn sure don’t forget. We’ll follow your lead and by that, I mean we’ll actually tail you.”

“Nothing’s going to happen.”

“That’s right because we’re going to be with you every step of the way.”

That was Leah backing Yoshi up.

My friends were all business and part of that was them willing to go toe to toe with Max. We were at his show, on his turf and there was no kind feelings around. I had nerve. I had audacity. I had the balls to be walking through here like everything was fine and dandy. Strangely, it was. I didn’t feel so apprehensive. I felt like a cool breeze but like breezes, I shifted and ended up committing a crime.

I was leaning against Leah, pointing out the embellishments of one painting when people parted and she stood there. I guess I should’ve seen this coming. She would be here, she’d had her claws in him for a while now. It could be my fault. I had brought her around again but who knew that birthday sex would result in this treacherous chick still slithering around? Leah and Yosh stopped talking, noticing my switch. Joelle came up to me and I stood there gearing up for whatever was going to take place here. With half an inspection, I noticed that something was off about her. Her looks were different. She’d gained a little but it was more than that. I quietly wondered if Max was getting warmed up with her but I stopped myself from asking. I stopped myself from speaking at all.

“Ayanna I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Yoshi snorted. “That’s the best she could do?”

Joelle decided to ignore that, attempting to warm me up more. “I know we’re not friends, we’re not acquaintances but I’m sorry for what happened to you and I think you’re owned the truth. Max hasn’t given either of us that lately so I will. I’m pregnant. I just thought you should know that.”

To further demonstrate that, she placed one hand under her stomach. Sure enough there was a bump. This bitch had a plus one and somehow she thought that information was supposed to fill me. It filled me alright. With the need to wrap my bare hands around her neck. I smiled widely because if I didn’t, I was going to snap and losing it on an expectant mother was not how I wanted to be remembered. I didn’t hate the baby, you couldn’t hold a grudge on somebody innocent but I could despise his or her’s mother. Her and the super sleazy son of a bitch motherucker who hadn’t bothered to pull out. I wasn’t the only one feeling negatively. Yoshi vocalized her feelings while I felt a stinging disapproval from Leah. If Joelle wanted to be a crowd favorite, she wasn’t going to win over my squad.

I bit into the inside of my mouth, twisting my lips like I found this shit most amusing. “You thought I should know so I could have just cause to bash your face in right? That’s how I’m feeling right now.”

Joelle took a step back. “I don’t want any trouble.”

I covered that distance and invaded her personal space. “You’re right. You don’t want any with me. Congradulations. You won. You wanted him and you got his sperm as the grand prize. Now that you got that off your chest, take you and yours and get the fuck out of my face.”

That was a bully move but I didn’t really mind her thinking bad of me. She needed to understand that I harbored nothing but ill will toward her. Joelle wasn’t a punk but she wasn’t stupid either. The signals I were sending out said I was in no mood to be tried. She walked off but her words still lingered. I had one of those moments then. Nothing made sense because again, it was like the rug was being pulled out from under me. Why care right? An illegitimate had little to do with me or my life but it did. I wouldn’t be feeling like my chest was going to pop open if it didn’t. The lies, the amount of them, the magnitude of them was unbelievable. This was not a recent discovery. She was more than a few months which meant this pre-dated anything Max and I had. He knew and he kept his new family to himself. I was guilty of a lot, I could be casting the first stone and shit but when you were with someone in a “relationship” capacity, it should make you automatically privy to whether or not you could potentially be someone’s stepmom. I didn’t how I looked but it couldn’t have been good.

“And it gets worse,” Yoshi commented. “This is really thick. Baby momma bitch making confessions like she just listened to Usher. I’m sorry about that but now you know who you’re really dealing with Yanna…Ayanna?”

“Where are you going?” Leah called out.

I heard them, I did, but my focus was elsewhere.

On him.

He was standing in the opposite corner of the room, talking with some silicone broad, too eager to have his attention. She lost that the second our eyes met. I didn’t cause a scene, didn’t approach at all. I walked by. He’d follow. He always did. I left the main floor and went back into staging area of the gallery and down some narrow steps that led to what looked like storage. A shadowed, pretty secluded area was not the best environment to meet up with a confirmed batterer but anger invalidated any reasonable concerns I had for my safety.

There were footsteps and then he was there.

Handsome as always in a leather shirt and jeans. The hair I had ran my fingers through on so many occasions was out, framing his face and his manicured beard. Take our experience away, our past and I’d want to get to know him. I’d butter him up with my wit, listen to him go on about his art and I’d probably take him home after. I almost wished that were the case. That this was our first meeting, that I didn’t know about his daddy issues, his sexual issues, his confidence issues but wishing never solved any real problem and time machines were hard to come by so I put that thought away and returned to reality.

“She wasn’t exaggerating about the hand,” I said. “How’d you come by that?”

Max didn’t answer at first, he seemed dumbfounded right now. He touched the cast going up his arm. “Ask your man that question,” he replied. His brown eyes filled with the anxiousness of a starving man. It was the personification of fanaticism. A look I was, unfortunately, familiar with. “You came…I asked, I just didn’t think that you would…” He saw the hardness of my features and stopped rambling. “You look amazing. I’m glad that you came, that you found it in your heart to come. You don’t know how much it means. I’ve been fucked up since everything happened and seeing you, it makes a difference. I’m sorry Ayanna. I’m so sorry. For all of it. It’s beyond forgiveness, I know that but I’m working on not being that man. I’m going to therapy again and I—-”

“Where you ever going to tell me?” I interrupted his apology session because I wasn’t there for it. I trusted nothing he had to say because I didn’t have a grasp on him anymore. My bullshit detector with him was out of commission so I was choosing not to listen to him. All I was looking for was the truth. The little light we had vanished overhead. My back up had come to stand watch. Leah and Yosh fixed Max with looks severe enough to melt you on contact but remained quiet. This was my conversation.

“What? I don’t know what you’re talking a—”

“I think you do. Your namesake, your offspring, the fruit of your loins—when were you going to tell me about your span?”

He dropped his gaze, his face drawn with defeated recognition. His baby mother had just added a whole other dimension to this. “I was going to.”

“Eventually right? When it was most convenient for you, when you had me suckered and screwed so much that I would’ve just went along with your bastard.”

“It wasn’t good timing. You’d just had your own situation.”

I looked off into space trying to figure that one out. “Oh, so you were thinking of me when you decided to be dishonest because somehow me making the correct choice for me and having an abortion stopped you from opening your mouth? What the hell is wrong with me then? I should be grateful that you cared just that much.”

I cackled at the ridiculousness of what we were now and decided that I was going to kill our relationship this time.

“Well, since we’re both in the revealing mood, let me put you on to a few of my activities. I bet you thought you were it, that you and you alone were hitting this, so let me clear that up for you: you had some competition and you didn’t even know it. You caught onto Mosai. That was a no-brainer because you’ve been threatened by him since introduction. Why wouldn’t you be? Unlike you, he’s a man. Even if he didn’t put it down the way it does, I’d still be attracted to him but because he beats it up something nice, I’m even more into him.”

Max swallowed. I continued.

“You knew about him but you weren’t aware of Malik or Dean or my chick on chick interaction with Kristina. Who else am I forgetting? That’s right, Silvio. You remember him, you got to. He was that waiter you were trying so hard to flex on. I had to make up for your behavior Max and I did that orally. You might’ve detected something extra when you kissed me after. You were getting another man’s sample. I personally enjoyed it but you I’m guessing you can’t say the same.”

“That’s not…you’re lying.”

“I have no reason to do that. Homie was seven inches give or take but that width? It was a beast. Keeping control of my gag reflex was difficult but you know me, I love a challenge.”

Max closed his eyes, his skin slowly turning green. “Close your mouth.”

“That’s exactly what I didn’t do.”

I felt his rage building but it wasn’t enough. The Hulk wasn’t the Hulk until he was bulging and coming out his clothes. We were almost there. I just needed to ice this cake. I put my hand up, telling my security team not to intervene. I didn’t need the assistance. I wasn’t scared. Max was very small to me right now.

“I would’ve given you the same treatment willingly but I don’t do my best when I’m pushed to my knees and shoved into. I don’t know about you but I’ll never forget that morning. Me crying hysterically, you still going at it anyway.” I got on top of him, my body against him and him against the wall. I slapped my hand against it, slower than faster. “That was the rhythm. I just knew you would be finished quick but you kept going like a rigid body was what turned you on the most. Control has that effect on some people.” I yanked up his good hand and gripped his fingers. “These went down my throat and this,” I said grabbing his dick, “this went into an unsanctioned hole. You don’t know love until you have rectal bleeding.”

He moved, tried to get my hands off of him but I wasn’t letting go. He hadn’t. We were going to switch roles and to effectively do that he needed to understand what it felt like to be ruined inside and out.

“It ended with me choking on spit and you unloading all over me. It’s a toss up but I think I’d rather be spewed on then have you cum inside of like last time. You have no idea how quick I took the kill pill after that. My ass could barely walk but I made it to the drugstore because having a piece of you inside me was out of the question. Getting knocked up before  was bad but I think our situation would’ve trumped that. I’d rather have a kid with deformities than have one from a pseudo-rape.”

It was too much for him to hear his crimes. This simulation was a bit too real for him. Max pulled away from me violently, his eyes wild. “Shut up. Shut the fuck up.”

“There you are. I was wondering when the real you would make an appearance. We’ve had our fair share of experiences. You’ve backhanded me across the room, nearly crushed my ribs in your hold and left me with some beautiful bruises but we’ve never officially met. I’m Ayanna, the girl you couldn’t help but put your hands on.”

“Stop it.”

“You won’t get a chance to handle me again but you can get practice in with Joelle. She’s the mother of your child. What the hell, you might as well fit the full stereotype of the black and brown male.”

“What are you trying to do?”

“Nothing anymore. When you see Max, the other one, tell him that his best friend, the bitch who gave him eight years of her life is through. Let him know that shit between us isn’t salvageable, that he destroyed everything we could’ve had. I don’t know him. To tell you the truth, I really don’t know either of you. And another thing, that stalking routine you got going on, give it up. I see you anywhere near me or anybody else I know and Joelle is going to be a single mother.”

I walked away, up the stairs and back into the event that showed me like I was some enigma. I wasn’t. I wasn’t some fetishized fantasy to be depicted and defiled. I was real but we weren’t anymore. It didn’t seem like an appropriate ending through. All the time, all the energy, the bloodshed, the pain and devastation there had to be something else to conclude this. A gesture needed to be made. Yoshi and Leah followed behind me closely, not sure what to say about what they’d just heard. They knew about the abuse in basic terms but no details like that had been given. We walked in tense silence for a few minutes when I stopped and turned.

“One of you mind getting the ride? I’ll stay here.”

I tossed the keys. Yoshi caught them. “I’m on it,” she said simply. She gave Leah a pointed look, telling her to keep me from manhandling any unsuspecting passersby. I appeared calm but after what she’d witnessed, she wasn’t taking any chances. Leah stood next to me, not knowing what to say.

“Ayanna…are you okay?”

“Mmhm.” I pushed up my cheeks and nodded like I’d never been better. She couldn’t see how that was possible but since I wasn’t making any rash movements, Leah decided not to talk about my mini-meltdown. Like a real friend, she allowed me my silence. Yoshi pulled up and Leah proceeded to get in but I went around the back. I took out what I needed and casually walked across the street where a Jaguar XJS V12 sat. It was an original from 1986. Classic shit but soon it was going to be extinct. I really hoped the driver of it was up to date with her insurance. I placed the red container on the ground and swung my tire iron like Sosa in his prime. The windshield crashed in, glass littering that lovely leather interior. The alarm went off as I gave the same treatment to the other windows.

Yoshi jumped out of my car. “The fuck are you doing?” she shouted.

I held my finger up. I needed a minute. Picking up the red container I doused the car with my emergency gass. My cigarettes and my matchbook came out next. I struck, holding my hand over the small flame as I lit tobacco.

“Ayanna, no!”

That was Leah for you. She knew me and my capacity to cause trouble but it was too late. I threw it and the car went up in flames. It wasn’t very exciting to begin with but soon it burned angry and fierce and beautiful. I undid my shades and placed them on. Behind black lenses I watched my creation consume. Metal twisted and snapped, the heat brushing my face with a harshness I found strangely appealing. I inhaled my smoke, let the cloves hit my lungs hard before I exhaled deep all the while enjoying the view.

I’d set off a bonfire.

Not because I wanted to damage property or because I had some private urge to be a pyromaniac, this was a motherfuckling cleanse. As absolvement of something that was no more. There was nothing left between Max and I. Three more pulls and I flicked my cigarette away, successfully having my Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale moment and walked off. People had stepped outside by then and were peeking through windows. It wasn’t fireworks but a couple tons of metal being charred was still a spectacle. Especially when a small explosion rocked the ground. I was in the back of my car by then, waiting patiently for my girls to get with the program. When both doors slammed shut, two pairs of eye focused on me.

“That’s not his car,” Leah pointed out.

“No, it’s hers.”

Guilt by association. I was going with the premise currently. You laid down with someone and you could get got right with them.

“You’re a regular Timothy McVeigh,” Yoshi said. Her sarcasm was as dry as Seinfeld’s. It was the most serious I’d seen her. She was concerned but she didn’t need to be. I was chill. I offered them a knowing smirk as reassurance that I hadn’t just flown over the cuckoo’s nest.

“C’mon guys, I’m looking to get a drink and to have some form of Skype sex with my man, let’s get the fuck out of here. My work here is done.”

I eyed the fire with a lack of interest as we pulled off, not bothering to glance at it again.

It didn’t serve a purpose.

From this point on, there was no looking back for me ♥

August 31 2014, 07:19 PM
This story is life honestly like oven been so into it's ridiculous. I was starting to think some of the best stories on tumblr don't get that many notes but they get a whole lot of feedback and u proved me correct cuz I kno I'm a loyal reader but I don't like chapters I leave feedback. And ur story is fuckin amazing boo

THANK YOU. Really appreciate you saying that. Likes are cool but that’s not the only measure of success in my book and you pointed that out. So glad you’ve stuck with the story. We’re almost at the end which is becoming a relief to me ♥

August 25 2014, 09:42 AM

Glass Heart V: A Short

image

AYANNA

One woman.

One question.

The only question that counted when it came to me.

I thought about it, tried to sort out how I had come to this place. Regular mental functioning was not a luxury for me these days but for the millionth fucking time, I tried. I sat back in hard plastic, running my hands over my sweats. From there, I glanced down at my socks and issued foam sandals. This getup wasn’t doing much for my sense of style but who was checking for labels in here? I had traded in Balmain, Tom Ford and FEMME for rubber soles, scrubs and smocks. I wasn’t going to be on any best dressed lists anymore but I wasn’t losing sleep over that. My chronic insomnia had a far more interesting source.

The question, or more so the answer, kept me from closing my eyes at night.

I looked up, disoriented almost, missing the pair of cool blue eyes fixated squarely on me. They were different from the last pair but familiar. The others before were Henny brown, just as warm as the inside of her thighs. I couldn’t figure out why but they gave me her as the first one. I guess I was supposed to be subdued by a straight lady in her forties but she was nothing but a mark. So ill-equipped to deal with the likes of me that conquering her was almost boring. I had two fingers deep in my married mother of two before the ink had dried on my first assessment. Her professional opinion changed of course after our little interaction was discovered but I did that on purpose. Anybody that folded that quick to a conniving smile and the promise of phenomenal head, wasn’t for me. Of course my process of selection had scared away the others. I’d gone from hopelessly demented to a sex fiend with predatory tendencies. They had it all wrong. I wasn’t a hunter. How could I be when my kills made their way to me? Ever since then I had trouble identifying them by anything but eyes and parts.

That wasn’t an issue with this one.

Our past made this slightly easier but history wasn’t enough to get a straight answer out of me. She knew that from experience. I decided that I couldn’t give her what she asked for but I could offer some insight. She knew me then, not now.

"I don’t know,” I said contemplating, “after a while, all the bad things, all the things that pose a threat to you and your life, start to feel good because that’s just how screwed things are in your head. You start enjoying the perverse. You like the pain because at least you can understand that. Happiness, joy, what the fuck is that anymore? The concept of those two things are so utterly foreign that you wouldn’t recognize that shit if it knocked you dead in the face. You can’t see good and when you can, what are you supposed to do with it? It never lasts. Nothing lasts. That’s just how life is, temporary but the hurt, you can reach that. You can always access it because which do you remember: the sting or the caress? I can’t speak for anybody else but I hold onto the agony because hate, distress, malice It feeds you. One thing holds true about the world is that there’s always more bad than good. Good dies at first fire. Good offers no remuneration. You don’t get rewarded for good but bad? Bad gives you everything you can’t admit you want. It taps into that sordid part of you and it makes you aware of things you didn’t know we’re there. Bad is good. Bad makes you who you really are."

“And who are you Ayanna?”

“Criminally insane. That’s what I’m supposed to be copping to right? I’m supposed to admit to being bat-shit crazy.”

“Is that what you think?”

“It’s what I know. This is how this goes. There has to be an explanation. A double homicide and subsequent psychiatric hold has to spelled out, it’s gotta symbolize something. Why else would someone kill so barbarically? For the enjoyment alone? That’s not who I am.”

“And who are you?”

“To some, I’m filth. I’m deplorable, morally bankrupt, inhumane. To others, I’m the making of a modern day cult classic. I’m like the poster child for those too modest to carry out their twisted fantasies. I had some notoriety before with the pastimes and the company I kept but I’ll be cashing in on notoriety if things keep going the way they are. I’m getting fan art, Doc. Some dude from Ohio made me into some noir villain. AK the Deadliest Gun he titled it. I’m fucking iconography to them but then there’s the last segment of the public. They’re the ones  pathetic enough to give me sympathy. They believe I’m sick.”

“And you don’t think that of yourself?” She flipped through my file, the thickness of it, rivaling a novel. “Your three prior therapists all noted that you seemed to have no remorse for your actions, that you found enjoyment in them even.”

“I guess they weren’t as useless as they looked. Their deductions weren’t half bad. I regret nothing and you couldn’t pay me to feel bad about that. Doesn’t mean I’m sick though. Look at who you’ve dealt with, you’ve seen sick. Sick irrational. Sick is tossing acid onto the face of a woman who was gangbanged against her will. Sick is shooting an unarmed black teenager then leaving his corpse in the street to be cooked well done in the sun. Sick to me is organized religion. I’m not sick. All I am is scorned. Might not appear that way but I’m not aimless. That’s not how I choose to view things.”

“How do you view things?”

“You’ve heard of the Butterfly Effect, haven’t you? Apply that logic to my set of circumstances. One small occurrence offsets everything after and it has. The minute our blood mixed…” I paused, attempting to steady the anxiety that threatened every time I remembered. “The minute our blood mixed,” I said louder, my eyes closed, “all of my actions from then on were decided.” I opened my eyes and took a staggering breath. “I never realized until that night but there’s this beautiful clarity in chaos. My mind is wilderness more often than not but it wasn’t then. People want to believe that there’s such a thing as coincidence but it don’t exist. Random is a figment. Real motherfuckers know that. I don’t expect anyone to understand what I did but all those looking from the outside in should know one thing.”

My old friend Dr. Schafer removed her glasses to stare at me. “What’s that?”

“There’s a reason behind everything I do.” I shook my head and smiled bitterly. “Nah, I’m not sick. I’m fucking justified. I got what was due” ♥

August 24 2014, 05:14 PM
Anonymous
Where's naji?

You’ll see ♥

August 24 2014, 05:11 PM
Anonymous
I began this story maybe two weeks ago and I'm totally caught up. This is the best thing I've ever read. Not just on Tumblr, period. And I'm a reader. Thank you for what you do.

THANK YOU for bothering to say this to me ♥

August 24 2014, 05:11 PM
Anonymous
Did you take down the character page?

I did 

August 18 2014, 08:12 PM

"We kissed and even though we were exhausted we began again. With urgency, I turned her over, placing her on all fours. Out of my mind with lust and love and hunger I had never known, I sank my teeth into her wonderful ass. I slapped it after, eliciting a deep groan of approval. We were already down three but at the rate we were going and considering how mad I was for her, twenty one climaxes was looking more and more like a modest estimate. We connected, our bodies merging over and over. It was paradise. She felt like the afterward because I couldn’t be alive and feel this good but the extreme bliss didn’t help. No matter how many times there were, I couldn’t get close enough.

I wasn’t truly satisfied.

I didn’t realize it now but later I would.

My need for her was a curse disguised as a blessing 

54.2

August 18 2014, 08:03 PM

54.2

AYANNA

He was uneasy.

My internationally known, once drug slinging, now reformed bad boy from Brixton was uneasy.

I think when he promised to give me whatever I wanted, he hadn’t been expecting this. I wasn’t trying to place him in an uncomfortable situation but tonight I was channeling my inner Anais Nin. Like her, I had no taste for anything vanilla. Like my writer role model, I wanted the absurd, the questionable, the abnormal. The married senior citizens up ahead were just going to further my agenda. The late hour, the relative seclusion—it said they wanted privacy. They had probably have an evening stroll, maybe they’d gone on a date before and now they were simply having conversation. Me and Mosai here were going to give them even more to talk about. I gave him a nod of encouragement and walked toward them. He didn’t want to do this. It crossed some level of wrong in his head but he’d have a change of heart soon enough. Together we approached, looking every bit the attractive youngsters they’d been years ago. We were well-dressed and seemingly harmless. I hated that I had to crush their assumptions but I had some desires and as fate would have it, they were going to play a crucial part. In order to make this less awkward for everyone, I decided to introduce us.

“Hi,” I said politely. “I’m Ayanna and this is Mosai. He’s my boyfriend of an hour or so and he made me this pact that I could have anything I wanted tonight and I decided that I want to fuck him in front of you. I hope you don’t mind.”

Mosai was quietly embarrassed but sat on the bench opposite of them and unzipped his pants. He sprang forward, already wrapped for my enjoyment. This might be taboo to him but the forbidden always had a way of making you hard. I lifted my dress. It was no surprise that I had nothing on underneath. Holding the material up around my waist, I moved over him.

Foreplay wasn’t going to be put into play in this instance. I was going for the gold. Inside, he went. I made a growling sound. We were just getting started and my knees were buckling. You already know how I felt about the first entrance. It was something like magic, otherworldly, as religious as a girl like me was going to get. With great concentration, I tried to go slow and savor every sensation but every time I pushed down on him, he touched me where it hurt. Where it felt like I could black out. I needed that. Repeatedly. I picked up pace, twisted my hips while I found the right rhythm. I don’t know how but I seemed to forget we had a captive audience. I couldn’t imagine this getting any better but their expressions made a good thing, a great thing.

There was shock, there was anxiousness and then, here was curiosity.

Pops realized  that he was watching live sex and how morally wrong that was. He stood, about to take his church-going woman away from active sin but old girl wouldn’t budge. She sat there engrossed. Grandma was enticed. This wasn’t Wheel of Fortune, this was straight fucking. Her man sat back down, trying not to look but not able to look away. I laughed but it turned into a long moan. I had to get at this from a different angle. I bent over holding the snakes around my ankles and proceeded to bounce my ass. I peeked through my hair, holding on for the ride.

“I know this is disrespectful but I just can’t help it. He’s mine now and I just want to take advantage. You know what that’s like right? When you’re so heated for someone you’re likely to do anything? Would you look at him, who wouldn’t want some of that?” I said.

Grandma pepped Mosai closer and sat up in her seat like some action was happening with her too. This man was a model. The god-given looks were a given but there was more to his sex appeal. The body was crazy, the tattoos and that something extra that made you have to cross your legs. He was a walking wet dream and sparking something in our spectator. I sat back and put Mosai’s arms around me. He was still shy, trying to preserve some dignity but he was also holding me with an unrelenting grip. I turned my head and kissed him.

“Say hi, Mosai.”

“Hello, ma’am. Damn.”

I beamed as he cupped my breasts. He was going to pop and so was I but we had a request. Grandma was openly interested now. “Can I see?” she asked.

I leaned back against Mosai’s shoulder, running my hands against his arms. “Babe help me out.”

He grabbed the top of my dress and pulled it down. My B cups were exposed and it felt nice. There was nothing like having air on your skin and the appreciation of another. Grandma looked like she loved what she was seeing but I wanted to get her man involved. Mosai was handling me up top so I worked the bottom. I opened my legs wider, giving them a front row view. The dual senses of him filling me up and me rubbing my clit were going to put me in shock. All the noise I was making wasn’t for anyone’s benefit but my own but Grandpa reluctantly looked. I caught his eye and held it even when he pretended to be disgusted. He was pretending because his nicely starched slacks were stretching out in a certain area.

“How does it feel?” Grandma asked.

“Like heaven,” I sighed. “Better probably.” I was vibrating, that indescribable feeling radiating through me. My eyes threatened to roll back, every part of my drowning. Mosai pressed his face into my shoulder breathing raggedly.

“I would like to see,” Grandma said. “The both of you.”

I nodded. “Did you hear that Blondie? Don’t stop until you have to.”

“You don’t either. I want you to come Kelly. Can you do that for me?” Mosai asked.

“You know it.”

He gripped the back of my neck, pushing me forward so I was teetering in my heels. I thought it could get no better but with this position, I lost it. I dug my nails into my own thighs, my grimace scary. An orgasm ripped through me, my legs going all over the place. I couldn’t stop moving because it felt that good. The duration couldn’t have been more than a minute or two but the aftershocks were nothing to mess with. I suffered through the tremors, that wonderful pain and then I focused on him. In my mind, nothing counted until both parties reached a mutual finish.

“You there honey?”

Mosai wa still using me and if he kept on, I was going to pass out here. “Almost,” he groaned. “Almost.”

“Just say when.”

He clutched my hips, his strokes more frantic. “When.”

“Now?” I asked.

Now,” he thundered.

I got off of him and quickly removed the condom. Mosai reached for me, pressing his face into my chest as he heaved. I held his head, stroked his hair while he went through it. That beautiful part of him tilted upward and spewed. He shot out like a stream. The Mrs. eyes went wide. The performance was so good that she clapped. Mosai was weak. So weak that I had to help him to his feet. I carefully tucked him back into his pants and let my dress down.

“Thank you for your participation,” I said sweetly.

Granny touched her husband’s hand, her fingers slipping into his. “Thank you, young lady.”

I blew Pops a kiss and steered Mosai around the mess he’d made on the ground. We exited the park. We didn’t speak for a moment as we began walking to the hotel. Finally, Mosai broke the quiet.

“Are you going to say something?”

I glanced over at him. “Only that we have one orgasm down and twenty more to go.”

He smirked, keeping his hand on my ass as we walked, while we checked in and until we got to the room. It was plush, laid like some stuff you saw on tv but I wasn’t fixated on the ornate decor. I cared about the man in front of me. I don’t know how it was for me before. I guess I was wrapped up in other things, in other people but right here, right now, I was unbelievably overwhelmed with how I felt for him that I was going to break open.

He had me on my knees before but now I was splayed.

I loved this motherfucker.

For once, that love wasn’t tainted or marred by something else. We had no familial link, no drawn out saga-like history that would cloud my judgment and make me lose my life. We were pure. As pure as two people in this day and age could be. He was my shot at normalcy and I was going to take it.

Mosai swept his hands from my shoulders up to my face. “What’s your fantasy?”

Once upon a time that might’ve been a complex question to answer but now it was crystal clear. “Besides letting an elderly pair watch us have sex? You. You’re my fantasy. I want you to get whatever it is you need. Anything. I will do anything for you just as long as it’s what you want. I’m here only for you.” I took my dress off and stood there.

“Now what are you going to do about that?”



MOSAI

Her words stirred something in me.

Or it could’ve been the vehemence in her eyes while she spoke. Ayanna told you like it was but this was a whole other level to that. I had stayed rigid since the park, for the whole walk here. I’d done what I never had before, was feeling a way I hadn’t in so long all because of her. She made me want to sing and I couldn’t carry a tune. I wanted to do cartwheels and run through the street professing my feelings because I was loosing my damn mind. I didn’t want it back though. My blood was boiling, most of it shooting to specific areas.

It was a toss up between my heart and my penis.

Things were becoming a rage for me.

I think I had other ideas about how I wanted this to go but as the night had already predicted, surprises were in store. I stroked her face, gripped it harder than I meant to. If she were another woman, if she wasn’t my woman, she might take my gesture the wrong way but she understood. She got that she was my priority now, that I loved her in a way I couldn’t fully fathom. That much power laid behind my eyes. She saw it and it stunned her. My Kelly stared up at me like a deer caught in headlights right then. I was making her nervous and she didn’t try to hide it.

I kissed her slowly, made her think I was in the mood to make love when my mind was set on ravishing her. I grabbed her hair, pulling it on top of her head while I walked her backwards toward the waiting bed. I pushed her to lay down. Our lips met again, her trying to bring me down on top of her. I resisted the calling to plunder her, we’d get there soon enough. I caressed her most sensitive part, that soft flesh between her legs like satin, her heat mind-altering but I wanted more.

“When I come back,” I said, “you’d better be ready.”

I got up, leaving the room.

In the front area of the suite, I called to the main desk, requesting candles. I lowered the lighting and docked my iPhone, searching for the right mood music. When I found it, I undressed, answering the door five minutes later completely nude.

“Sir, you asked for candles but you didn’t specify how many. Is ten enough?” The uniformed valet kept a cool facade as he wheeled the cart in.

“For now,” I said finding my pants. I fished out cash tipping him heavily. “I apologize for my lack of clothing.”

“No need Sir. I’ve seen stranger things.”

With that he backed out, knowingly placing the “DO NOT DISTURB” tag on the door. He had the right idea. I wanted no interference for the foreseeable future. I lit half of the candles, took the media remote and pushed the cart into the bedroom. Ayanna was still in bed, patiently waiting. She was past beautiful as she layed there. With a raised eyebrow, she looked from my erection to the candles.

“Either you started the party without me or it’s my birthday. Either way I’m interested.”

“Close your eyes,” I told her, “and don’t open them until I say you can. Only feel.”

“Feel what?”

“This.”

I dragged her body to the end of the bed and leaned down as I separated her legs. I kissed the inside of her thighs, avoiding what she really wanted me to kiss. I tormented her until she was twitching, until I had her where I wanted her. I pushed her legs toward the headboard, making her hold them out of my way. I had a task.

“Mosai, I appreciate all this time and attention but—”

“But you want my tongue,” I said giving her that. “And my fingers.” I gave her those. “And something to drown out your moans.”

I hit play on the remote, FKA Twig’s hypnotic voice filling the space. Papi Pacify played. The selection was purposeful, just for her, but Ayanna failed to notice at that time. I had already buried my face against her flower, savoring the taste. I could never understand how foolish some men were about this. It was a man’s privilege to pleasure a woman this way. Eating pussy was a delicacy and should be treated that way. I didn’t become this intimate with the majority of my past partners but when I did decide to have my meal, I ate like I was starving. I dragged my tongue up and down her slit before hooking it under her clit. Ayanna squirmed, gripped my head. I threw her hands off, smiling to myself as I bit down gently. She lost hold on one of her legs then and I promptly shoved it back.

“Let go again and I’ll stop,” I threatened. I worked her more, eyeing the candles I had lit. I picked one up carefully  and held it near. “I won’t hurt you,” I said stroking her thigh. “Not permanently.”

Ayanna turned her head from side to side, writing. “That’s comforting.”

I placed my lips back inside hers and tilted the candle. Hot wax hit her stomach. Ayanna jerked and gasped, the pain sharp but delicious. I tried it again, receiving the same response. I spilled the rest, leaving a trail across her belly. She arched, opened her mouth like she wanted to speak but there were no words for this. I continued that treatment until the wax had dried on her skin, the path reaching her Brazilian. We’d been at it for a while but with my fingers buried deeply inside her and tilted upwards, she grew stiff, her muscles  shaking slightly. She was choking on her own air until she couldn’t breath at all. When I felt the outpour, I knew what was happening. She realized when it was all over.

“I just…”

“Yes you did,” I said proudly.

“I’ve never before. I mean, I’ve been almost there but there was never any proof.”

“Now there is.” I took her ankles in one hand and tossed the duvet cover on the floor. Ayanna had come, leaking onto it. Her pleasure had seeped out of her, rendering her helpless. The female ejaculation was no mythical thing. It was very much real. A peak I was happy to contribute to.

“How about we jump right into round three,” she suggested. She dug under a pillow and pulled out a string of condoms. I laughed and reached for one but she yanked it back. “No, no, no, let me do the honors.”

She stared up at me while placing one on me but gave me the courtesy of positioning her. I put her on her back, our eyes locking as I was welcomed back inside her. She ran her hands up my arms, her expression priceless.

“Go slow,” she told me. “I want to see.”

“Do you now? Then we should probably get you a better view.” I took the extra pillows by her head and placed them underneath her rear. It hoisted her up until she could clearly watch my movements. I adhered to her speed, took my time slipping in and out of her as she slowly drove me insane. The music stopped but Ayanna fumbled for the remote. Papi Pacify started all over again.

She said, “You couldn’t have picked a better song. Her voice, the lyrics…I can’t fucking get enough.”

“Yeah? Why don’t you sing it for me?”

Knees sinking into the mattress, I brought her up, gripping her backside like it was the only thing keeping me alive. Ayanna wrapped herself around me, one arm over one shoulder, another under the other. Her legs folded around my waist, her nails going into my back. She was sweating. I was sweating. Both of us were feverish but so unwilling to let go. Skin against skin, we grinded into each other as she kept up with Twig’s as best she could. She was off-key, voice strained but you couldn’t tell me she didn’t sound like an angel. Her tone was throaty, hoarse but so damn sexy. Then she inhaled, gasped one last time and put me over. Her body contracted around me, spasms squeezing around my shaft. She was out of commission after that, not able to perform at all. Her voice got lost as another orgasm followed the first. I didn’t reach mine until she was slumped against me, whispering in my ear to “keep it up and that I better not stop.”

I couldn’t anyway.

I was delirious, my thrusts practically involuntary. When I reached that inevitable point, I think I let all of Manhattan know. I collapsed, taking her body down with me. I went blank for the longest. The only thing I could do was attempt to catch my breath. Ayanna rubbed my back like she felt sorry for me.

“You went for broke man.”

“So did you.”

“Had to. I gotta step my game up to yours.”

“No need. We’re nearly equals.”

“Nearly? Fuck you, I was being modest.”

“Fuck me? You just did. Thoroughly.”

She slapped me on the rear and shoved me off her. “I’m going to remember that for our next turn. I’m going to ruin you.” Ayanna peeled my protection off carefully, apparently wanting this turn sooner rather than later.

“I look forward to it,” I yelled she walked naked to the bathroom. When she returned I pulled her down on the bed, shifting on my side. “Tell me again.”

She didn’t ask what I meant. Touching my lips, she smiled and said the words. “I love you.”

“Until when?”

She tapped her chin, giving it some thought. “Until 3005.”

“You know that’s forever for us right? I have you now, there’s no way I’m giving you back.”

We kissed and even though we were exhausted we began again. With urgency, I turned her over, placing her on all fours. Out of my mind with lust and love and hunger I had never known, I sank my teeth into her wonderful ass. I slapped it after, eliciting a deep groan of approval. We were already down three but at the rate we were going and considering how mad I was for her, twenty one climaxes was looking more and more like a modest estimate. We connected, our bodies merging over and over. It was paradise. She felt like the afterward because I couldn’t be alive and feel this good but the extreme bliss didn’t help. No matter how many times there were, I couldn’t get close enough.

I wasn’t satisfied.

I didn’t realize it now but later I would.

My need for her was a curse disguised as a blessing



AYANNA

We couldn’t stop.

We were bordering on being sickening and still we couldn’t stop.

It was like we were two magnets perpetually attracted to each other. Mosai and I, we couldn’t keep from sucking face. It probably looked disgusting but it felt like magic. This love thing, it was that. This wasn’t my first time descending into this but it was the first time I wasn’t wearing any guilt with it. I was free and clear of any wrongdoing on this one. I could say without a doubt that I loved him deeper, stronger than before. It had only been two days. Two days and I was drunk off of him.

Let’s not even mention the unlikely amount of sex we’d had.

We had met and surpassed the goal set. Every surface in that hotel room had been christened. The bathroom floor, the shower, the counter, the balcony (no less than five times), a desk, a couch, up against several wall, in windows…you get what I’m saying. I was bruised, I was sore, I was fucking happy.

But not so much now.

“Before you know it, I’ll be back,” Mosai assured me. “We’ll do anything you want then.”

“I’m holding you to that just be safe okay? No dark alleys, sketchy neighborhoods and don’t talk to strangers.”

He kissed my forehead at the gate, wrapping his arms around me. “I talked to you and look how well that went.”

I grinned and put my head against his shoulder. “You lucked out man.”

“Of course I did.”

We kissed repeatedly before the flight attendant cleared his throat. “Sir, that was the last call.”

“I love you,” Mosai said using his hold to emphasize his words.

“Love you, lover.”

He stood there like he couldn’t move. I pushed him. “Go. You can’t come back until you go.”

He walked away, looking over his shoulder. I blew him a kiss. He winked. I watched until he disappeared then turned, feeling lost for a minute. My bubble was burst as I made my way back to my car. I was so screwed up, I couldn’t even play music. I sat there in complete silence the whole way from JFK. I had no real aim today since Yoshi was taking some personal time.

With Rodney.

I heard his voice on the other end of the line. Her and him were enjoying each other’s company but she promised me a late night of strategizing and planning tomorrow with the FEMME team. Leah was figuring out traveling plans, getting things together for her trip so for the very near future, it was just me. Since I had so much time on my hands I thought it would be good for me to check out an open house.

I really had no idea why I parked and followed the signs to the fifth floor. It was a walkup, one of those tenement buildings that still had an old-school flair. It didn’t look so run down though. Somebody had kept the small lobby freshly painted and swept. I got to the highest floor and knew for certain that I was out of shape. I looked for other doors to signify other apartments but there were only one set of large double doors toward the middle of the hallway. I understood why when I entered them. This was a studio and a loft, the very open-floor plan enormous. The only wall in the place was shielding the bathroom. Ductwork ran the length of the 16-foot ceilings, windows with huge height running along three sides. The kitchen looked industrial, all chrome and steel. The wood floors had been loved but were original. Brick walls whitewashed. It wasn’t luxurious, shit it was spartan in quality but with a little TLC it could reach its potential. It said something to me.

Something like “buy me.”

I got approached by a suit who I was assuming was the agent. He looked like he had a sales pitch all ready to go but I was already sold. “How much?” I asked before he could use his opening line.

“We’re asking half a million and the owner isn’t willing to accept anything less.”

I could see that he’d thrown that in as a warning. I got it. A twenty-something black girl with big hair and an “interesting” taste in fashion couldn’t possibly have that amount of money on hand and therefore needed to be judged. It was shit like that that worked my nerves because little did he know I had the means to buy him if I wanted to.

I shot him a tight smile then looked around. “I’ll part with twenty percent more. All cash offer and I’m prepared to sign today contingent on an home inspection of course and two conditions.”

He brightened at those prospects. He could put away his racial cautiousness if it meant dollar signs. “Go ahead.”

“I need a quick closing.”

“How quickly?”

“Today.”

“And the other condition?”

“That I don’t deal with you.”

I watched him get flustered. He stepped away and called whoever would be replacing him. Somebody else would be getting this commission. With a wire transfer, a stack of paperwork and a thorough inspection, it took hours but that’s what happened when you made such an impulse purchase. Keys in hand, I went back to my spot and walked around the emptiness. I sat in the middle of the floor, then laid down.

This shit was a big step.

Not the owning part, the never having lived on my own part. It had never just been me someplace. Just my things, just myself. I don’t know what that was about but it was time that I do this. I loved the brownstone, it had been base for so long but change was happening all around. I had to just roll with it. This probably wouldn’t go over so well with Mosai but he’d get it. He couldn’t be too mad anyway. I’d only moved a neighborhood over to Clinton Hill. We were practically an arms reach away. I was more than willing to have sleepovers here and there. It would work out. It already was. I grinned to myself as I recalled the last two days of my life. I was still cheesing when I picked up my ringing phone.

“Hello.”

“I was hoping I could reach you.”

I sat up too quickly, making my head hurt. It was the motion or maybe it was the person on the other end. “It’s been a while,” I said evenly.

“I know you weren’t expecting me to have your number but your roommate, that nice girl Leah, she gave it to me. I was calling because—”

“I know why you’re calling. There’s only one reason why you would be.”

“I suppose that is true. I ask you humbly if we could talk.”

I took a deep breath. “We can. Is your place in a couple of hours okay?”

“It is. He will not be here Ayanna.”

I didn’t reply to that as I hung up.

It was funny how both of us had the same tense, apprehensive tone in our voices at the mere mention of our common factor. We were tiptoeing, being careful not to step on the broken glass or anything that might detonate on impact because that’s what he had become to his mother and I. Somehow I’d always felt it but now I knew it for sure.

Max was a ticking time bomb.

He could blow any minute