• Author K.L. Hall

To the Only Thug I'll Ever Love Sneak Peek #3 (final)

© K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com, 2021. 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.comwith appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


*UNEDITED*



Bellamy Daniels


I’d been in love with music all my life, or at least as long as I could remember. As soon as I heard Lauryn Hill’s “The Sweetest Thing,” I knew becoming a singer was what I wanted to do with my life.


Boy, don’t stand too close to me or I might just fall in love/

Love the way my body fits in your arms like a glove/

I never thought I’d fall so hard for someone I just met/

Other girls want you too, but baby, I’m as real as it gets.


I wanna get to know you, boy in every kind of way/

Every time I talk to you, you know just what to say/

You must be an angel ‘cause you treat me oh so good.

Have me feeling ways that I never thought I would.


I finished writing the lyrics to my newest song inside my notebook and closed it as soon as my cell phone vibrated. Usually when I was in my zone, I sent all of my calls straight to voicemail, but I decided to answer it anyway.

“What you want?” I asked, smacking my lips.

“Where you at, hoe? Mama is gettin’ ready to put Sunday dinner on the table,” my older sister Tatiyana told me.

“Tell her I’m on my way now. I’m just leaving work.”

“Okay, well, hurry up. There’s someone I want you to meet.”

“Who?” I quizzed.

“You’ll see whenever you get here. Bye!”

I rolled my eyes as I started the engine to my car and pulled out of the Sephora parking lot. I’d been working as a makeup consultant there for over a year and a half, not once getting the opportunity to put my associate’s degree in music to good use. Nevertheless, I was a makeup consultant by day and a bartender at night to keep a roof over my head. There was no way I could go back to living under the same roof as my mama. No matter how much I loved her, I’d grown out of not having any privacy and having to answer to where I was going and when I planned to be back even in my almost mid-twenties.

I swung my cherry red Nissan Altima into my mother’s driveway, parking next to a snow white Bentley truck I’d never laid eyes on before. “Whose ride is this?” I mumbled to myself before reapplying my lipstick in the visor mirror and stepping out of the car.

My heels clicked against the ice-paved driveway as I headed up to the front door and knocked. I rubbed my hands together before sliding them in my coat pockets for warmth.

“It’s about time you got here,” Tatiyana snapped as soon as she opened the door for me.

“Whatever,” I said, swiping past her and taking off my coat. “Who fancy ass car is that in the driveway?”

“It’s mine,” I heard a male voice say from behind me.

I quickly snapped my neck around to put a face to a voice. My eyes met that of a man I’d never seen before, and God was he gorgeous. He stood towering over my frame even with three-inch heels on, landing him somewhere over six feet tall. His poreless caramel skin looked sweet enough to eat, not to mention his wavy jet black hair, supple lips, and freshly groomed facial hair. Perhaps his most intriguing feature was his smoky gray bedroom eyes; with those alone I knew he could charm the skin off a snake.

“And you are?” I asked.

“Bells, this is Jaron, my boyfriend,” Tatiyana interjected, swiping her shoulder-length bob behind her ear.

“Oh, so this is the surprise guest you wanted me to meet,” I said, extending my hand to him.

His large hand swallowed mine whole as he shook it while giving me a glimpse of his set of cocaine white teeth. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” I told him.

Before I had the opportunity to grill him, I heard my mother’s voice in the background. “Dinner is ready!”

The three of us shuffled into the dining room and took our seats around the table that seated six. As much as I couldn’t stand living with my mother, I could still appreciate her love for tradition. Ever since our father passed away, she made it her business to keep up the tradition of family dinners one Sunday a month with both Tati and me. Only this time, Tati had invited a boyfriend that I was sure neither I nor my mother knew about.

As soon as each of our plates were filled with helpings of fried chicken, collard greens, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, I kicked off the conversation. “So, Tati…how long have you and…”

“Jaron,” he answered.

“How long have you and Jaron been dating? Must not have been long since this is the first time I’m hearing about him.”

“Me too,” my mother chimed in.

We both let out a cackle and then I directed my attention back to my sister to answer the question.

“Actually, we’ve been together for about six and a half months now.”

My eyes widened. “Really? And yet somehow you managed to keep him under wraps this entire time?”

She rolled her narrow eyes at me while arching her brows. “Everything I do ain’t your business, Bells. Besides, he spends a lot of his time out on business.”

I tossed up my imaginary white flag. “Touché. Jaron, I hope you know you’ve got a feisty one on your hands,” I warned him.

“Oh, I’m quite aware.”

“So what is it that you do, Jaron?” My mother asked, taking over the conversation.

“Oh, I’m a music producer.”

“As in, in a studio?” I asked for clarity.

“Yeah, Jaron has a studio downtown,” Tati answered for him.

“Own? Wow, that’s pretty cool. Tati got herself a nigga with a big boy job,” I teased.

“Watch your mouth at my table, Bellamy!”

“My bad, Mama! My bad!”

“Actually, I’ve been telling him about your songs and how good they are,” Tati told me.

“Oh, really?”

He nodded. “Yeah, she said you were dope.”

I smiled. “Tati always did tell the truth.”

“Nah, but for real, if you’re as dope as she’s hyped you up to be then you should bring your songs and I’ll play you some of my beats and we’ll see what we can cook up,” he told me.

“For real? You’d do that?”

“He’d do anything for me,” Tati beamed.

I watched her reach out for his hand while showing all 32 of her braces-straightened teeth. I knew first-hand how many toxic relationships Tati had been in over the years. I’d sat and listened to her cry over nigga after nigga on a million different occasions. She had a way of falling fast and hard for men and always ended up getting her heart broken in the process. It was good to see a genuine smile on her face and it didn’t hurt that it was all due to the fine ass nigga on her arm.

“Yeah, bring it by and let me hear somethin’ soon.”

“And whatever it is, you better make it good! Don’t embarrass me!”

I sucked my teeth. “We all know I’m the only one in this family with any true talent anyway.”

“Bellamy!” My mother scolded me.

“So tell me, how’d the two of you meet? I mean, you’ve been together this long and neither of us ever heard of you. I’m just curious about all the secrecy.”

“We met on Instagram,” Tati said.

“I would’ve come around sooner, but I travel a lot, doing business with different artists, so I’m rarely ever here.”

“Must be hard to keep your relationship strong like that,” Mama mumbled, while pushing her food across her plate.

Tati smiled, raising her elevated cheekbones even higher. “Mama, Jaron and I are good. In fact, we’re more than good.”

“And what exactly does that mean? I better not see no babies comin’ around here without a ring on your finger!”

“No, I’m not pregnant, but Jaron and I have decided to move in together. My lease is almost up and being that he’s hardly ever home, it just doesn’t make sense for us to keep paying separate bills because when he’s in town we spend every waking moment at one another’s places.”

“Don’t you think it’s a little too soon for y’all to be shackin’ up?” I asked, egging on Mama’s suspicions.

“My sentiments exactly.”

“With all due respect, we’re grown and we’re in love.”

“So you gon’ do what you wanna do. We get it,” I told her.


*****

After dinner, Tati and I both helped Mama with the dishes while Jaron sat in the living room watching TV.

“You been workin’ on any new songs?” Tati asked me.

“You know me, I’m always workin’ on new music.”

“Then why don’t you go in there and talk to Jaron. I mean, I like music just as much as the next girl, but I don’t connect with it like y’all do.”

“I don’t know what to say,” I admitted.

“Don’t think, just go. He’s harmless, I promise.”

I shook away the butterflies that were producing in my stomach and told myself that Jaron could be the key to my big break. The last thing I wanted to do was mess it up by letting the moment pass me by. Who knew if or when I’d get another one? I walked into the living room and stood a couple feet away from him.

“Hey, you got a sec?”

“What’s up?” he asked.

“I just wanted to talk, you know, and pick your brain about this music shit.”

“No problem. I can play some beats for you that I have on my phone. You want me to play ‘em in here or outside?”

“The acoustics in the car would probably be better, right?”

“Definitely.”

“Cool, I’ll grab my coat.”

“So, how long you been into music?” He asked as he unlocked the doors to his luxury truck.

I shrugged. “For as far back as I can remember. What about you?”

“Shit, me too. It’s just somethin’ about it that speaks to my fuckin’ soul, you know? Pardon my language.”

“I’m not my mama, Jaron. You ain’t gotta censor yourself around me.”

“So you gon’ let me hear you sing somethin’ or you too shy?” he asked.

I immediately felt those butterflies fluttering in the pit of my gut once more. “I—uh, yeah sure. Play me somethin’ and I’ll see what I can come up with on the spot.”

“Bet,” he said, scrolling through his phone. After finally selecting a beat, he let the melodic tune set the vibe as he turned the volume up. “Go ‘head.”

I closed my eyes and slowly nodded my head to the melody.


“Boy, don’t stand too close to me or I might just fall in love/

Love the way my body fits in your arms like a glove/

I never thought I’d fall so hard for someone I just met/

Other girls want you too, but baby, I’m as real as it gets.


I wanna get to know you, boy in every kind of way/

Every time I talk to you, you know just what to say/

You must be an angel ‘cause you treat me oh so good.

Have me feeling ways that I never thought I would,” I sang.


“Yo, that shit was fire! Tati wasn’t lyin’ you are talented as fuck! You just came up with that shit on the fly like that?”

“Yeah, earlier today when I got off work.”

“No lie, that shit was dope.”

“Thank you!” I beamed.

“Lemme see your phone real quick.”

“For what?” I asked.

“I’ma call my cell from your phone, then I’ll text you the address to the studio and you just let me know when you tryna fall through.”

“It’s just that simple?”

“Pretty much. Come through. I always got bottles on deck when I’m in town. Anything you need.”

“Well, I appreciate it, more than you know.”

“It’s nothin’. I’ll do anything for Tati, so if that means helping out her sister, then so be it.”

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