Crushed Velvet & Cashmere Sneak Peek: Chapter Two (Snippet)
© K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com, 2023. 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 directions to the original content.
Kasim “Kas” Barnes
Jrue’s scent of brown sugar and shea lingered long after she’d left my presence. I was so intrigued that I allowed my eyes to follow her as she made her way down to the bar. I leaned over the balcony and studied her as she prepared the bottles for our section and parted through the mass of patrons and poles alike with flickering sparks attached to large liquor bottles to light her path. Usually, I wouldn’t have been caught out politicking with every nigga in the city who pushed a Benz or had a stack in their pocket, but it was my older brother’s bachelor party, and I was determined to show him a good time. Meeting Jrue only seemed to be the icing on the cake for me. Even through those sexy, coy-ass smiles she kept giving me, I could tell she was far from innocent. She was a natural beauty with walnut bronzed skin, a cupid’s bow on her top lip, and devilishly inviting eyes. All I could think about was how good those long-ass twists she was rockin’ would look wrapped around my fingers.
Before I could approach her again, my younger brother Kamil slammed his drunk ass body into mine, hooking his arm around my shoulder. “You havin’ fun, nigga?” he asked, the smell of tequila and lime hopping off his tongue.
“Don’t worry about me. What about you? Are you havin’ a good time? You and Koda ain’t had a free lap or hand since we got in this mothafucka,” I told him.
Koda joined us, barging in on our conversation. Both drunk as skunks. “You mothafuckin’ right I’m havin’ a good fuckin’ time! It’s my last night as a free man, and I’m going to enjoy the fuck outta myself and get my dick as wet as I want tonight!” He boasted before pulling his long, jet-black dreads back into a ponytail.
I shook my head. Although we were two years apart, I was the middle child and closest to Kamil, who was three years younger than me. Mentally, I was light years ahead of them both. As reckless and disorderly as he was acting, I understood it. He was set to marry Cena McQueen, daughter of Silas McQueen, a big name in Philly’s drug scene. According to our father, their marriage would strengthen the bond between our families. While Koda was marrying for family,
Kamil had been lucky enough to marry for love. He’d been in love with Janessa Underwood since they were teenagers. So, it was nothing for him to put a ring on it, especially when she was from a family that worked alongside ours. I was happy he’d found someone who understood our lifestyle and all that came with it without the need to ask a lot of questions. His wedding was set to follow soon after Koda’s. I couldn’t believe he was excited about tying himself down to one woman for the rest of his life, but as long as he was happy about it, then so was I.
“Do whatever you want tonight; just be safe. I ain’t tryna have to kill nobody over you two tonight, nigga,” I warned.
“Loosen up, Kas. Shit, everything is all love tonight. Have some fun. Get you a drink and some pussy or somethin’, aight?” Koda advised.
I chuckled. “Yo, those two drinks are runnin’ through a nigga. I’ma head to the bathroom, and then we need to be out in another thirty minutes max. A nigga still gotta get you down that aisle in one piece like I promised.”
Koda frowned. “Nigga, don’t kill my vibe.”
I patted him on his back and went to the bathroom. On my way back to my section, I saw Jrue heading toward the bar. I changed course and met her in the middle of the dance floor.
I called out to her over the music. “Yo.”
“Look who managed to stay awake after all?” She chuckled.
“Yeah, and somehow you’re still floatin’ around in those four-inch heels with grace.”
“Trust me; it takes a certain amount of mastered patience to deal with drunk ass niggas every night. I’m not floating gracefully; you’re just seeing double or something. Besides, most niggas don’t care what I look like buzzing back and forth through here. They’re all determined to play out the fantasy of bringing home the sexy stripper, bottle girl, or bartender like the T-Pain song. But let me stop rambling on and on. Can I get you anything?” she asked as we approached my section.
“I don’t need shit but your company tonight, Jrue.”
Her long lashes fluttered upwards, revealing the mystery in her eyes. “Well, you’re lucky because I happen to be great at keeping people company.”
Jrue followed me back to my section, and we talked shit for the next forty-five minutes. In a short amount of time, I learned her full name was Jrue Solène Norwood, she was twenty-five years old, the oldest of two, and a Philly jawn born and bred.
“I’m probably gon’ fuck around and get fired from being up here all this time,” she admitted.
“Why you don’t sound like you give a fuck about somethin’ like that happenin’?” I quizzed.
“This is not my only job, and it’s damn sure not what I wanna do for the rest of my life.”
“Oh yeah? What you wanna do?”
She rolled those beautiful brown eyes of hers. “A bitch got goals or whatever!” She smacked her lips before belting out a cute laugh.
“Tell me your goals then, Jrue.”
“Well, I launched my interior design business, Jrue Interiors, a little over a year ago. I do great work and shit, but it’s hard to attract the type of clientele I need to get me to that next level, so I don’t have to work jobs like this, you know?”
“Yeah, I do. You got a website?”
“Yeah, it’s w-w-w-dot-jrueinteriors.com. Check it out and if you or any of your rich baller friends need somebody to redo a room, a house, a store, a business, or anything, tell them to holla at your girl.”
“Your name is Jrue with a J and not a D. I’ve never seen that before.”
“Yeah, most people think it’s weird.”
“I think it’s sexy,” I admitted.
She smiled bright and wide. “You’re the one with the cool three-letter name, Kas.”
I shrugged. “My full name is Kasim.”
“That’s a nice name too.”
Knowing it was on me to respond and keep the conversation flowing as it had been, I parted my lips to speak. Before my thought could make its way off my tongue, I heard Kamil’s voice loud and clear over the music.
“What the fuck did you just say to me, nigga?” He yelled before shoving a nigga I’d never seen before, knocking him back three steps.
I instinctively sprang to my feet and rushed over to Kamil’s side. I didn’t know who was stupid enough to have beef with us, but I was serious when I said I didn’t want to have to body a nigga.