Love by Any Mean$: A Short Story
© 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.
(NOTE: Contains explicit language and adult themes suitable for ages 16+)
“One, two, three hundred thousand…” I said.
Jericho and I sat there staring at the neatly stacked piles of money spread out all over my teal comforter. I glanced over at him and he smiled wide.
“What you smiling so big for?” I asked.
“I can’t believe we pulled this shit off, Bria.” He said, taking a puff from his blunt.
“Hey, you were the mastermind behind the plan, baby. I just drove the getaway car.”
“Well, your driving got us almost half a million tax free dollars.”
“Yeah, I guess it did.” I inhaled.
Stealing was nothing new to me. I’d been a scammer all my life. That’s how I kept clothes on my back and food on the table long before Jericho came along. Although we’d only been together for a few months, I loved him. There were things he still didn’t know about me, and there were things I probably didn’t know about him, but when we were together, none of that mattered. I wasn’t going to lie and say his actions didn’t make me question his sanity at times. I’d just watched him rob his rival, not to mention one of the biggest connects in the city, and he didn’t seem to be the least bit concerned.
“You sure you good?”
“Yeah, I just…I just worry about you sometimes.” I admitted.
“What do you mean?”
“This plan of yours…robbing Smoke. I don’t know him like that, but I don’t think a nigga like that is going to take the shit lightly once he realizes his shit is missing.”
“Babe, will you relax? Nobody knows we were the ones that took his shit except for the two people in this room right now, and I sure as hell don’t plan on tellin’ anybody. Do you?”
“Hell no. I wanna be as far away from this place as we can.”
“And we will be, tomorrow morning. I already booked the flights.”
“I still don’t see why we couldn’t have left tonight. I don’t know…I just got a bad feeling about all of this…”
“Stop stressin’. We gon’ be good. I promise.”
“You believe me, don’t you?”
“Yeah.” I nodded.
“Look, Bria. You’re the Bonnie to my Clyde. When I tell you I got you, I got you. I’d never lie to you about that.”
Jericho got up and walked over to the closet. I glanced over by the door at my suitcase standing next to his. I couldn’t wait until the sun came up. I was finally going to be able to live a life that didn’t consist of always looking over my shoulder.
“You never did tell me why you ain’t like his ass.” I said.
“Does it really matter?”
“If it didn’t, I wouldn’t have asked.” I told him.
Jericho walked out of the closet with a black duffel bag in his hand. He unzipped the bag and started shoving the money inside.
“My sister Jhene got mixed up with him a few years back…and um, you know, she let all his money and shit go to her head and cloud her judgment. I told her not to fuck with that nigga, but she ain’t listen to me.”
“The heart wants what the heart wants.” I mumbled.
“Yeah, well her heart got her killed. A nigga like Smoke don’t go long without making new enemies, and one night they caught his ass slippin’ right outside the club. They shot his truck up with my sister inside. She died right on the spot.”
I lowered my head in silence. “I actually think I heard about that story. It was all over the news, right?”
“Yeah. That nigga survived without so much as a scratch on his bald ass head. Those bullets were meant for that nigga, not my sister! I’ve spent every day of my life since then wishing he’d die.”
“So why not just kill him? Why’d you want to rob him?”
“Like I said, a nigga like Smoke don’t go too long without making enemies, so I knew after that hit, he’d have his goons ready to go at any given moment. He’d see me coming and trying to retaliate before I could even cock my gun. Nah, I wanted to hit him where it hurts the most, his wallet.”
I nodded. “I understand.”
“Do you really?”
“Yeah, family over everything. I can respect that.”
Jericho walked over to put the bag beside our suitcases when his phone vibrated against the dresser. He quickly picked it up and looked at the screen, sent a text message then slid it in his pocket.
“Who was that?”
“If it was nobody, then why you tellin’ me to chill?” I asked defensively.
Jericho sighed and shook his head. Instead of responding, he walked over and crawled in the bed beside me like everything was all good.
“So you don’t hear me talkin’ to you?” I asked, folding my arms tightly across my chest.
He turned around and looked me dead in my eyes.
“Are you done?”
“Hell no I’m not done! What kind bitch do you take me for, Jericho? I’m not to be fucked with!”
“All I’m saying is we just hit one of the biggest come ups and you wanna argue about some bitch texting my phone?”
I quickly rolled over on top of him, pointed my fingers in the shape of a gun and slid them inside his mouth.
"Look, this is the last fucking time I'm gonna have this conversation with you, nigga. Let me catch a bitch texting you again and it's over for you AND her!"
I quickly pulled them out when he attempted to bite me. "You know I love it when you get mad, right?" He said, snapping at my fingertips.
"Stop! I'm not FUCKING playing with your ass, Jericho! I'm tired of you having me lookin' crazy out here to these hoes that you still feel the need to entertain!”
I could feel myself getting emotional and tried to roll to the other side of the bed before I felt a tear slip down my cheek. If there was one thing I hated, it was looking weak; especially to a man, but I was tired of the games.
"Bria, come here." He said sternly.
Jericho rolled over and pressed his dick against my ass.
"I said come here." He whispered in my ear. His deep voice instantly sent shivers up my spine.
"Oh, you really want me to stop?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Nah, I don't think that's true." He said as he began kissing my neck and nibbling on my ear.
"Ugh." I groaned. "Stop. I’m serious.”
“Not until you stop being mad at me.”
“I’m not mad, now stop!”
“Say it again, and this time, make sure you mean it.”
“I swear I fucking hate you!"
"I love you too, baby. And I'm about to show you just how much…"
Jericho flipped me over onto my back and climbed on top of me. Before I had a chance to object, his tongue had gently parted my lips. He kissed my neck as his fingertips slowly ran circles around my nipples, making them poke through the thin fabric of my tank top. He lifted my shirt and made his way down to my breasts. I shivered in pleasure as his long tongue swirled across my chest. He left a trail of kisses from my breasts down to my stomach.
“Mmm.” I moaned.
My body jolted forward when his lips touched my sweet spot through my panties. I shifted my body upwards as he slid my panties to the side and slipped his finger inside me.
“Mm, this mine, right?” He growled.
“Yes.” I purred.
I looked in between my thighs and saw the passion flickering in his eyes as his lips smacked against my wet flesh.
“Oh shit, don’t stop, baby.” I moaned while running my fingers through his waves.
Jericho’s lips glistened as he reached up to squeeze my breasts underneath my shirt. Just as I was about to cum, the front door burst open. I screamed as Jericho quickly turned around. As soon as our eyes focused on who’d kicked in the door, we were both facing down the barrel of Smoke’s gold-plated pistol.
“Move and both you mothafuckas die.” He gritted.
“Fuck…look, Smoke, chill out and just let me explain.” Jericho said, as he slowly moved away from me and lifted his hands in the air.
“Explain what? How you and your bitch stole my fuckin’ money? What the fuck, did you think I wouldn’t find out?”
“Nah, it’s not like that. Just let her go, aight? This shit is between me and you. She ain’t have nothin’ to do with it, I swear to God.”
“Is he tellin’ the truth?” Smoke asked me. “You didn’t have anything to do with this shit?”
I glanced at Jericho and then back at Smoke, who was impatiently waiting for an answer.
“No. No I didn’t.” I told him.
“Is that my money over there in that black bag?”
“Yeah—yes. It is.”
“Get up and pass me my shit.” Smoke demanded.
I quickly scrambled to my feet, being sure to cover my private area and walked over to get the duffel bag to hand it to him.
“That’s a good girl. Now here, shoot this nigga for disrespecting me and taking my money.” He said, handing me his gun.
“Wait. What?” I asked.
Tears started to flow out my eyes as my trembling hand outstretched to take Smoke’s gun.
“Please…please don’t make me do this.” I begged, barely above a whisper.
“Cut the bullshit, Bria. You gon’ let this nigga disrespect me like that?”
“Hold up. How the fuck do you know her name? Bitch, did you set me up? Are you fuckin’ this nigga or somethin’?” Jericho interjected.
“Fuckin’ me?” Smoke laughed. “Nigga you funny. She’s my fuckin’ sister.”
“What the fuck!” Jericho yelled.
I wiped my face with the back of my hand and straightened my posture. As much as I didn’t want things to go down the way they were, I knew Smoke wasn’t asking me to kill Jericho, he was telling me. If I didn’t do it, I knew my body would be laying right there beside his.
“So you really gon’ do me like that, Bria? Huh? After what I just fuckin’ told you! I thought you said you loved me!”
“Love?” Smoke scoffed. “Nigga, she more coldhearted than me. She don’t love nobody but herself!”
Jericho looked me in the eyes with so much pain. “Bria, please. Please don’t fuckin’ do this!” He pleaded.
“I’m sorry, but…I am my brother’s keeper. This is for him.” I said and pulled the trigger.
I watched Jericho’s body fly back onto the bed with two bullets into his chest. I quickly dropped the gun down to my side as warm tears flooded down my cheeks.
“What the fuck are you still crying for? I got my money back, everything is all good.”
“Is it the money you’re worried about? Don’t worry, you’ll get your cut.” He chuckled.
“I loved him.”
“Man, fuck that love shit. It’s family over everything.” He said as he pulled me into a hug.
As soon as my body touched his, then gun went off again. Smoke looked at me with a confused look on his face as he stumbled backwards.
“What…what the fuck?” He groaned, holding his bleeding stomach.
"That's for the man I loved..."
I watched him slide back against the wall and sink down to his knees. I stood over him, watching his breathing slow down by the second.
“Nah, that’s where you’re wrong, brother. It’s money over everything.”
I quickly tossed the gun inside the duffel bag, threw it over my shoulder and grabbed my suitcase. There’s no turning back now, I thought as I locked the door to Jericho’s apartment, leaving the two men I loved for the one thing I loved the most, the money.
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