(NOTE: Contains explicit language and adult themes suitable for ages 16+)
© K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Loyalty Alexis Wallace
I was born on March 15, 1998 on a cold floor in the McDonalds bathroom, two months premature and addicted to crack cocaine. I probably would've died there if it wasn't for an employee calling 9-1-1. Believe it or not, my life only became harder after that moment. When I got older, my mama would always tell me the story of my birth on my birthday as if it was a fairy tale with a happy ending. She said there was fresh snow on the ground and she’d just come off her “shift” on the corner, hoping to fuck the manager at McDonalds just so she could get something to eat. As soon as she dropped to her knees behind the counter, she felt a gush of water flow from between her legs and ran straight into the bathroom. After thinking she was about to die, I came out covered in blood and screaming. She didn’t even know she was pregnant.
My mama, or Twiggy as everybody on the streets called her, was a prostitute. She told me that my daddy’s name was Alvin, but everybody called him Slick because he was a big-time pimp in Michigan back in the 90s. She was one of the select few that got to call him by his government name because she was his bottom bitch. You know, his main girl. Twiggy had been with Slick for the longest and always brought in the most money until she started doing drugs. Once she got addicted, things stopped becoming about simply putting a roof over her head and turned into when and where she was going to get her next fix.
Fast forward to me entering the picture and she tried her “best” to do better, but she’d been wrapped up in the devil’s arms for so long, she didn’t know how to let go. You’d think if not for my sake she’d at least have done it for herself, but she didn’t. She couldn’t. My mother died soon after my thirteenth birthday. I found her with a needle jammed in her arm in her bedroom when I came home from school one afternoon in April. Can you believe that shit? I’d been on earth for thirteen years and she still hadn’t learned how to be the mother I needed her to be before she fuckin’ died. Being that she’d cut off all of her immediate family long before I came around, and I had no idea who or where my father’s family was, I was left on my own.
It didn’t take long for Child Protective Services and the state of Michigan to get involved. Soon after my mother’s funeral, I was thrown into a group home with dozens of other parentless children to survive in that jungle until I turned eighteen. I always told myself that when I officially became an adult, I was going to press the restart button on my life in New York. I even secretly kept a picture of the Statue of Liberty from a page I ripped out of a magazine underneath my pillow. That was the only thing that gave me purpose and kept me sane. From the time I was old enough to work, I started saving up every dime I made. I graduated from high school a year early and really threw myself into my job, working every hour I could get. Then, on the morning of my eighteenth birthday, I packed my entire life into one bag, bought a Greyhound bus ticket and traveled over 600 miles to start my life over in the ‘Big Apple.’
I started working as a waitress in some strip club in the Bronx two weeks after I got there. I didn’t mind that the owners were paying me under the table because I wasn’t legally allowed to serve alcohol. They needed the extra help, and I needed the money so I could check out of the low budget motel I’d been staying in since I got there since it was the only thing I could afford.
One night in that darkened hole-in-the-wall my life changed forever. Montez or “Whip” as all the dancers called him, came in and made me feel like I’d just hit the jackpot. The first thing that caught my eye was the diamond earring sparkling in his ear and the Presidential Rolex on his wrist. It was the weekend, so his fade and line up were on point and his fully groomed beard complemented his tawny brown skin. I slowly approached his table to get a better look. Even sitting down, I could tell he would tower over me as soon as he stood to his feet.
“Hey, what can I get you to drink?” I asked.
“Two shots of Patron with a little of you on the side.” He smirked, licking his full lips.
Instinctively, I smiled back and then nodded. “Two shots of Patron coming right up.”
When I brought him back his drinks, he gave me the money to pay for them plus an extra two hundred-dollar tip. Needless to say, I was excited and shocked all rolled into one. As the night wound down, I made my way back over to him to see if he needed anything else before the bar closed, in hopes I could get another large blessing like before.
“The bar is about to close soon. Can I get you anything else?”
“I’m still waiting on a side of you.” He flashed his straight row of white teeth at me.
I smiled. “Unfortunately, I’m not on the menu.”
“You’re right. That is unfortunate.”
“Only for you.”
“Damn, she’s beautiful and she’s got some bite to her. I like that. You must be the one for me. What’s your name, beautiful?”
He outstretched his hand. “Nice to meet you, Loyalty. I’m Montez, but everybody calls me Whip.”
“It’s nice to meet you as well.”
“So, tell me something. What’s a beautiful girl like you doing working in this place? Shouldn’t you be in high school or college or something?”
“I’m done with high school, but um, I just moved here. I’m trying to stack up enough money so that I can get my own spot. Once I’m settled then I’ll think about furthering my education.”
“You should let me help you with that.”
“Help me how? I know you’re older than me, but you don’t look like the type of guy who works at a college.”
He blew air out of his nose and smiled a little. “Nah, I mean you should let me take care of you.”
“You heard me. I’d hate to see you waste away in here. This is the place people come to when they don’t have a way out. I wanna give you one.”
“Are you always this nice to strangers?” I asked, cocking my neck to one side.
“Only ones as beautiful as you.”
“I’m flattered.” I replied nonchalantly.
“You should be. Here, take my number down. If you call, I’ll know you’re interested, if not, then I won’t bother you about it again. Deal?” He asked, outstretching his hand for my phone so that he could put his number in it.
I reached in my apron and pulled out my phone to hand it to him. I watched him closely as he typed his number in and saved it under “Whip” then handed it back to me.
“I hope I’ll be hearing from you soon, Loyalty. Until then, you have yourself a good night.”
Whip pushed himself away from the table and left another one hundred-dollar bill beside his empty shot glasses for me before turning to leave. I couldn’t believe my luck. The man of my dreams had entered into my life and offered to pick me up and dust me off. I️ thought I️ was going to be living the dream and all my problems would be solved from just hearing the words flowing from his silver tongue. Saying that he swept me off my feet would be an understatement. Three weeks after meeting Whip, I let my immoderate quest for attachment take over, leading me to quit my job at the club and move in with him. I thought he was everything I ever wanted, until he wasn’t. In fact, after I️ met Whip, my life seemed to spiral even more out of control. His true colors started to show after the first six months of us being together. That’s when I learned about his three baby mamas, his issues with monogamy, anger and money, and most importantly, how he really got the name “Whip.”
I know you’re probably thinking that anybody in their right mind would’ve left, right? Wrong. What was my alternative? Going back to waiting tables for mediocre tips by dirty ass men at the hole-in-the-wall of a strip club? Nah. So, I stayed trapped in my subpar environment, taking the bumps and bruises as they came, and tried to stay out of his way until I saw a way out. I thought about killing him plenty of times to speed up the process. I must've thought of over 1,000 ways to do it, too, I just never acted on it. All I could do was thank God I didn’t look like what I’d been through.
Looking back, I don’t think Montez ever really wanted me. At least not in the way I initially thought he did. He was eight years older than me and was tired of dealing with the women his age. He just saw me as an opportunity to try something new and wanted to possess me like a child with a brand-new toy. I was something shiny he could keep locked up, but once I got my opportunity to break free, that’s exactly what I did.
Nevahn “Lourde” Belmonte
My eyes slowly cracked open to a dark sky. The wind outside the window made the tree branches dance as a sheet of steady rain poured down. I looked around my bed and noticed I was still in the company of the two exotic models I’d met the night before. One was on each side of me, and I had no recollection of either of their names. I surveyed the contour of their naked bodies and smiled to myself. As soon as I made the move to get up, one of them stirred and then ran her pointy red fingernails across my bare chest.
“Good morning.” She purred with a heavy Spanish accent.
“Morning.” I told her as I gently moved her hand and proceeded to get out of my California King bed.
My lungs expanded as I drew in a deep breath and stretched out my limbs. Then, I headed to the bathroom. I fished around in the dark for the light switch and then drained my bladder. After washing my hands, I tossed some cold water on my face to fully wake up and looked at my reflection in the mirror. Water dripped down my beard into the sink and I reached for a small towel to dry off. My eyes were still glassy from the turn up the night before as I scraped the crust from the corners.
Whoever said that all men were created equal was wrong. Belmonte men were above all other. My father, Furious Belmonte had been the head of Bell Transportation, a multi-million-dollar trucking company right in the heart of New York for over two decades. Not only did his company transport wood and steel all over the U.S., he was also the head of the biggest drug trafficking ring on the East Coast, and for the past few years, I’d been his right-hand man. We had men trafficking the purest product from the North to the South and from the East to the West.
My father always told me that if I worked as hard as he had, I’d become successful in my own right. A good job, a nice house, kids and plenty of money, that was his “American Dream.” Over the years, he’d achieved all of that and more, and I knew it was only a matter of time before he handed his legacy down to me. I was his oldest child and therefore, the heir to the entire Belmonte family business. My father had been grooming me to become his successor since I was eighteen years old. Outside of wanting to be like him and soaking up all his knowledge like a sponge, I spent my free time entertaining beautiful women. Because of my last name and the tax bracket I was born into, women of all nationalities flocked to me and of course, I welcomed them with open arms and a hard dick. At twenty-four, I was taking full advantage of my bachelor lifestyle, making it clear to everyone around me that my “American Dream” was nothing like my fathers.
I snapped out of my daze when my phone vibrated against the marble countertop. I shook the excess water off my hands and looked at the screen. It was Alfonso, my most loyal worker. He only called me directly when some shit was about to go down, so I pressed accept and quickly placed the phone to my ear.
“Fonz, what’s up?”
“Lourde, you remember you told me to call you whenever I saw that nigga Whip that owes you money? Well, I just saw him riding down the interstate. You want me to get at him?”
“Where are you at right now?” I asked.
“Right on 95. What you want me to do? He’s about four cars ahead of me.”
“Tail him and let me know when he pulls off. When he does, hold his ass until I get there. I’m on my way.”
I pressed the end button and then walked over to my bedroom door and pressed the intercom button.
“Yes, Lourde?” The butler answered.
“Tell Lawrence to pull the truck around in five minutes. I’ve got business to handle.”
“Right away, sir.”
“Oh, and once I’m gone, wake my guests up and get them out of here. I don’t want them here when I get back.”
Once I threw on some clothes, I walked to my safe in the back of my closet, grabbed my gun and headed downstairs. It was chillier than I expected when I walked outside, and it was still raining. I scrunched my forehead up and squinted my eyes as the wind blew the rain straight toward my face. A couple minutes later, my driver Lawrence pulled up in one of the private company trucks, a black Cadillac Escalade. He walked around and opened the door while I answered my vibrating phone for the second time.
“You got ‘em?” I answered with a question.
“He just pulled off on exit 310. There’s an underpass nearby. I’ll get ‘em there.” He assured me.
“Good. Get that mothafucka. I’m on my way.”
“Where to, sir?” Lawrence asked.
“Exit 310 off of I-95.”
I sat back and let the warm air blowing out of the vents dry my damp clothes as my head rested against the cushioned leather seat. I could hear my father’s voice playing inside my head saying, “The Belmonte family is kind to those who are kind to us, but if there’s disrespect, then the violence is ruthless…”