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Places (Pt. 3)

Place wasn't sure how to react to Ericka’s very obvious infatuation with the handgun he had just given her. She stayed up late, admiring it and walking around the room with it. He asked her to lay down with him but when she did, she couldn’t keep still. She ended up staying up most of the night; plotting on the men who were working so hard to make her life a living hell. She thought about the new power that she had gained with having both Place and that Glock by her side now. Finally, she had the means to keep herself and her loved ones safe.

”You want breakfast love?” Place asked the next morning as he dressed. Ericka shrugged her shoulders, “that’s cool,” she said, without even looking up. She was distracted by her phone and he wondered what she was looking at. As they continued to get ready, Place thought that Ericka continued to act different, but decided to ignore it for the time being. They went downstairs to the extravagant hotel lobby. Place found the dining hall and escorted Ericka inside. After they ate, Place went to go make a call. Ericka rolled her eyes up in her head, a bit tired of his shenanigans as well. She was still unsure about how to react to everything that had transpired the past few days and she still worried about her sister's safety back at home. I’ll shoot them niggas myself, she thought as they traveled the elevator back to the suite. Whether or not Place was ready to go wasn’t her concern, Ericka needed to get back home.

“What time we leaving?” She asked when they returned to the room. Place was taken aback by her forwardness. “Damn! Hol’ up baby, I didn’t say I was ready to make any moves yet,” he said. “But I am,” Ericka insisted. Place blew out a deep breath. This was just what he was afraid of. Ericka was ready to move sporadically now that she had felt that chrome in between her fingers. “Like...I need to get back to Tori and to my crib," she said. Place understood, but he knew he couldn't return home yet. Especially not with Ericka. "I already made some calls baby, just give me a few days and we'll be on our way. You know I keep my shit impeccable. It's not just about me either, I got you and Tori too," he said.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. My eyes darted over and I saw Place grab his other gun as he walked over. I wondered who it could be. He peeped through the peephole and asked who it was. "Dahlia" I heard a man's deep voice say. Without asking, I knew that was some sort of code word. I blew out a sigh of relief. Place slowly opened the door and as I listened, I heard a familiar voice. I rose from my seat to see who it was. "Tori?" I asked, surprised to see my sister. Tori smiled and ran over to hug me. We held each other tight for a few seconds. Place had definitely helped to ease some of my anxieties by having my sister there with me. She looked at me, "I heard what happened Sis, and I told Place to get me here ASAP! Besides, you know that nigga Leo can't keep his mouth shut. Place arranged to have his Security bring me down here with you, until whatever that needs to go down, goes down," she said. I shook my head because I understood and appreciated her so much. We hugged again and I looked up as Place and his large security guard approached us. "This is Malik. Another one of my soldiers," Place said.

Malik stood there looking noble; big, black and full of muscles. He was tall and fine as hell, his face was so serious though. I walked closer and shook hands with him. I was impressed, plus he had gotten my sister to me safely. I pulled him in a little closer to me, "Did you make sure that yall weren't followed?" I looked him in his eyes when I asked. He scoffed a little. "Of course we weren't followed here, I took every precaution Sis," he said. Damn I thought of his baritone. Tori rode the whole way down with this sexy mafucka? Whew! I was hoping the way I felt wasn't showing up on my face, Place was right there. 

"Malik knows what he's doing baby," Place assured me. I saw him smirking a bit too. I shook my head, grabbed a blunt and told Tori to step outside on the large balcony with me. She had on some ripped blue jeans, a plain white fitted shirt and Nike Air Max's. I smiled at the similarity in our outfits. We stepped outside and I closed my eyes as the breeze hit me.  "What's going on though Sis...what's the fucking tea?" Tori asked. I lit the blunt up, took two long puffs and passed it to her. "Shit is fucked up, that's the real tea! Two days ago we were at the mall and I knew from the look on Place's face that something wasn't right. Five minutes later, I'm in the mall parking lot dodging bullets and shit. Place lied to me right there in my face when I asked him what was going on, right before it happened," I said. Tori shook her head. "He was just protecting you Ericka, he didn't want you to panic at that moment." I found it funny that Tori was now defending Place, after she was so skeptical of him not even a week earlier. I mentioned that to her. "I get it," she said and smiled. "But after witnessing how he brought you here and out of the way, then sent his boy to come get me, I can only respect that man. Besides, them niggas JR and Tay are the fuck outta control! Why you didn't let me know about all this shit Ericka? You forgot I'm your sister or some'in?" Now I felt bad. I was keeping secrets from Tori, but only for her own good. "I didn't want you involved Tori, because as we can see, these niggas are dangerous as fuck! Girl I found out last night that Place is actually the nigga in charge. He runs that entire crew and shit. He came to check on me because of what Tay was saying about me. And now, the nigga done fell in love. Ain't that some shit?" I asked, taking the blunt back from her. Tori just smiled before saying "that's in our genes Ericka. What nigga can resist the charms? I mean, Place better be glad he came clean about all of this shit before we found out. But after them niggas shot at yall, did he really have a choice?" She asked.

"Hmph...hell nah!" We said in unison and laughed. Wasn't shit funny though. The rawness of this entire situation hit me in the gut when I saw Place approaching the balcony door. He had a serious look on his face. Then he came outside to join us. "Everything has been taken care of back home, like I told you Ericka. Now, Malik is going to help us take all our shit to an AirBnB across town, just to play everything extra safe. Ericka and Tori, I want yall to stay close to each other, you understand me?" We looked at each other and shook our heads. "Of course baby," I replied to him. We all went back inside and I gathered the remainder of my things. I put my precious Glock 45 in its pouch and put it safely in my bag. Tori saw it and I winked at her. I knew that she would be asking me about it soon enough. We swept the room and let Malik lead the way as we walked down the side stairs and out one of the back entrances.

Place led Tori and I to the black Lincoln Navigator and we got in the backseat. Malik got in after us in the driver seat. Place was leaving his car at the hotel, for now and rode up front with Malik. He made a call to the hotel and then we were on the highway. We traveled down 64 East towards Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Tori put her headphones in and I watched everything around me closely. The ride was so smooth though, and for the first time in a few days, I sighed and let my mind rest. Before I realized it, I had dozed off in the comfortable seat in the back. When I woke up, we were pulling up to this remote and very exclusive beach house. I heard the lighthouse bells and saw seagulls flying, but no other humans. I stretched out in the back and waited for instruction. Place looked back at me and smiled. "Hey sleeping beauty," he said. I smiled and waited for him to come open my door. Malik opened the door for Tori, grabbed our bags and we all walked up to the double doors of this beautiful beach home. Place never disappointed when it came to accommodations. I had to give him that.

I got settled in one of the large bedrooms upstairs and had Tori join me. "You sure you want me to stay up here with you Sis? I thought you would be sleeping with Place. There are plenty of other rooms in the house for me girl," Tori said. "Yeah, I know. But Place told us to stay close to each other, so that's what we're doing. He can sleep in the conjoining room next door and I'm sure that Malik is going to sleep downstairs," I said. Tori smirked a little when I mentioned Malik. I caught wind of her trying to modify the sleeping arrangements so she could sneak around, if need be. "You feeling him?" I asked her, in a low tone. "He's cool," she played it off. "I mean, he looks good as fuck and I love a man that can protect me. But, me and Leo have our thing going on too. I don't want to be passed around the crew, unless I choose to," she said and stuck her tongue out. We laughed and she went in her purse. She pulled out what I knew was a pouch for a weapon. My eyes widened as I watched her unzip it. "Leo gave me this before I left," she said, handing me the Ruger SR22 with a purple body. I shook my head. "This gun is pretty as fuck. These niggas sure know how to keep us huh?" I took the gun and let it sashay across my hands. It didn't feel as good as my Glock, but I loved it nonetheless. Place lightly knocked on the door and walked in. He looked a tad surprised but then smiled. "Damn the Ruger though? That has my man Leo written all over it. When did he give you that Tori?" He asked. "Right after all this shit at the mall went down," she said in a sassy tone. Place shook his head. "Smart man. I decided to keep him back home, for now. You okay though Sis?" He asked her. Tori shook her head, "I'm good Place. As long as my sister is fine, I'm fine. And as long as Tay and JR are taken care of, I'll sleep better at night."

Place looked at me but didn't say anything. Then he nodded his head and quietly left the room. Tori came to sit next to me and gave me another hug. "I'm glad you're aight Sis. Are you okay though, like for real?" She asked. I sighed. I had to admit that having both she, my man and my Glock by my side made me feel safer than I ever have before. "With yall here, I'm more than okay, for real," I replied. Tori shook her head to indicate that she understood me. I hung up my new clothes from the mall and we got settled the best we could. Tori put her headphones back in while laying out on the bed and then I joined Place in the conjoining room. "Hey boo," he looked up and said as I approached him. We embraced and I lay down on the large bed. "I'm glad we didn't go back home yet. You were right for having us lay low for a few more days," I admitted. He shook his head and smiled. "I know baby. And I know this shit had you all eager...eager to pull that trigger. Let me find out I just gave you a new love for guns," he said. I smiled. "I mean, I was always infatuated. Now I know how it feels. But with much power comes much responsibility. I know that for sure." Place joined me on the bed. "And powerful you are. I knew that from the beginning," he said and kissed my forehead. That made me think of the first evening I spent in his condo. I decided to tell him about it. "You know Place, I never told you but, your Grandmother blessed this union from the beginning. She spoke to me the night I saw her picture at your house," I said. Place smiled and didn't look surprised at all. 
"That's Grandma Gene for you, always in my business. She's my favorite and she used to always be on some wild shit like that. Telling people about their dreams or talking to the rain. She used to visit me all the time when she first passed," he said. I was taken aback. Place was a Gangsta that was unafraid of the other side. "Hmph, interesting," I responded. He smiled as if he was reminiscing. "She always told me that she would test the woman that she knew was for me though. It's confirmed now, that's you Ericka."

My mind was blown. "The fact that you're comfortable telling me that Place...it makes me want to share my deepest thoughts with you too." I looked him in his eyes to see where he was. "Please do, mi amor," he said, still smiling. I sighed. "The thing is, I feel the same way about you; you feel like home Place. And the crazy thing is, you have deep connections to the most frightening time in my life. It's crazy how life works sometimes. One of the most tragic times for me resulted in me finding you. And there's no doubt that you care about me, and my family. I just hope that we can get back to normal when we go back." Place grabbed my hands. "I am home for you Ericka, and you mean the same to me babe. But I have to be honest with you - things will never be the same, or normal when we get back. Now that you're fucking with a nigga like me, and after all this shit that's gone down..." he pasued and shook his head. "But I promise, I'll always do my best to be here with you, everyday." He lit his blunt up. He looked so sexy when he was smoking and looking at me with low eyes. "You know how I feel about you, but you also have to understand what comes along with this lifestyle Ericka. And your sister Tori does too, especially if she's gonna fuck with my man Leo," he said.

See, I had fucked with drug dealers before, but none like Place and Leo. These were real Street Kings with fucking affiliations. I mean, considering that I wasn't ready to navigate life alone and Place was the realest nigga I ever met, I had to oblige. I decided right then that I would actually bow down to the man and be his true Queen. I couldn't let him know it - not all the way, yet. But without warning, I did get on my knees, pull his dick out and suck it like my life depended on it. I needed my man to know how much I loved his ass. That's right, sure I loved him. So I let him enjoy my mouth as he smoked his tree. Though we hadn't uttered the words yet, all of his movements let me know that he loved me too. From the passion he would have when he grabbed me, to kiss or hug me. To the way he would eat my pussy for an hour and then give me backstrokes of heaven. To the way he cooked me meals and always provided, and most importantly, he gave me his undivided attention and time. His grandmother Gene and my Grandmother had one thing in common; they both told me that the most valuable thing a man can give you, is his time and attention. That is what truly shows that he cares.

I let him nut all down my throat and then I went to the bathroom to spit it back out. I'm not with the swallowing shit and that's my personal choice. I came back out and Place was laid out on the bed. "Come here," he said to me, eyes low. I walked over to him and landed in his arms. He pulled me close and kissed my lips, my forehead and my neck. Then we kissed again, and again and again. And more and again until I felt the sensations all through my body. Only he could make me feel that way; safe and dangerous at the same time. I didn't know why but I loved the rush it all gave me. I glanced around at his guns, his money and his jewelry, all laid out around the room. Then I looked at his toned arms, fully covered in tattoos with pictures of street life and ghetto Psalms. He was my Thug Angel, my Street Disciple sent to me from the heavens above. This is how I felt. 

He broke me from my daze with whispered words in my ear. "You don't need to be checking on that chick Dee though Ericka. Didn't I tell you about her in confidence? So there was really no reason for you to ask your sister to bring you information regarding shawty," he said. My jaw was dropped. He was lying behind me, cool and sweet breath on my neck. And the shades were closed; I wasn't sure if he could see my face or not. But how the fuck could he know that about me inquiring about the girl Dee? I had just asked Tori about the shit the night before on the phone.

"And if you're wondering how I know, I'll tell you like I keep telling you, I'm the fucking King Ericka." He paused before he continued to talk, "and this King loves you, and he's gonna always protect you." I felt so many emotions that I could cry. His obvious anger and protective energy was very much an aphrodisiac for me. I turned around to face him and placed my thigh upon him. He pulled me closer to him by my thigh and kissed my lips. "I love you too Terrell," I said, looking into his eyes. "Mmmm," he moaned a little and continued to kiss me. We couldn't stop. Before I knew it, he was deep inside of me, under the covers. As his body moved on top of mines, I pulled his face to me and sucked on his bottom lip. He reached under me and pulled my ass up, pushing his love deeper inside. I let my head fall back and let more tears fill my eyes. I was speechless. Hearing his moans and watching him work me was the best view. He bit his bottom lip as he focused on pleasing me. That was that love shit, I could feel it and I knew it. We finished and I lay there in his arms, on a cloud. I heard his phone ring and with minimal movement, he was able to answer it. 

"Wassup," he said, in a tone suggesting some urgency. I heard a deep voice on the other end of the phone. I wondered if it was Malik, Leo or another one of his men. "I already know. Tell the Misses I'll be in touch. Other than that, I haven't heard from you and you haven't heard from me," Place said. I figured then, it was Leo. Those were his eyes back home. I knew that Leo probably had news to deliver, regarding the people to be "taken care of." For every name that Place mentioned the night before, I knew there were more bodies that would be dropped. And in the midst of the love magic, a logical thought had me wondering whether to love or fear a man willing to kill so ruthlessly, for me. It''s your choice, his Grandmother Gene's whispered to me in the wind. Just remember, there's a certain type of woman that Terrell needs...

I drifted to sleep and when I woke up, it was the night time. Place was in the hallway talking, probably on the phone and I wasn't sure where my sister was. I decided to get up and find my clothes. Once I was dressed, I went into the conjoining room but there was no sign of Tori. I found my phone and read a text from her saying that she was going to ride with Malik to get dinner for everyone. Though it seemed harmless, I knew my sister and I knew the feeling that it gave me. Malik was fine as fuck, no doubt, but she was already dealing with Leo. I believe that Leo really liked her too. I went to find Place and I told him to walk into the room with me. "Wassup baby, you good?" He asked. I chuckled a little. "Soooo, Tori went with Malik to get food?" I asked. "Yeah, they went to get dinner for everybody. I know you love Mexican so that's what they went to get," he said, none the wiser. I mean, was he serious? "So, you won't let me go anywhere and we're basically on the fucking run because niggas back at home are being handled right now, and you send my sister out for food with the Security?" I asked. Place sighed. "I knew this was gonna happen," he said. "What was gonna happen?" I asked back, naturally. "I knew you would be upset that I sent Tori out. But as always Ericka, you have to trust me. They'll be back baby, with fajitas and shit. I know you like that." He gave me a kiss on the cheek, squeezed my butt and then walked out of the room. I decided to sit down and just wait it all out. There was nothing I could do at the moment and besides, I did trust my man. Place came back in the room with me a few moments later and sat down with me. He cut the TV on and we found a movie to watch while we waited.

I heard Malik and Tori walk back in downstairs and I looked over at Place. He chuckled and then so did I. "Why are you laughing?" I asked him. "Why are you laughing?" He asked me back. I rose from my seat and then he rose from his too. He pulled me close by my waist and then whispered into my ear, "I have something to tell you Ericka...but it'll be after dinner. Just be cool," Place said. I looked at him suspiciously and he looked away. I decided to not press him for answers right then. We went downstairs to join our people. Tori was setting up plates on the table and Malik was taking all the food out of the bags. Bottles of Patron, Jose Cuervo, red wine and a variety of fruit juices were there at the table. Tori got glasses and an ice bucket to place down as well. I waited and then took a seat. Both Malik and Tori were avoiding my eye contact. 

"Wassup Sis?" I asked Tori. She looked over and smiled, "Wassup boo," she responded. "You have fun when you were out?" I asked. She stopped and turned around, "it was aight. Malik drives real smooth," she said and winked. I looked over at Place and he was chuckling silently. He came over to join me at the table and I wondered what the fuck was so funny! I really hope that Tori wasn't making plans to fuck Malik. That's sure what it felt like. I would be sure to have a talk with her before she did something so reckless.

We sat and ate dinner; chicken and shrimp fajitas with Mexican rice, black bean pupusas and an array of tequila cocktails. With my eyes low from the drinks and tree, I secretly watched the movements of my sister and this mysterious friend Malik. She seemed to be distracted by her phone. We were playing loud music so as I danced around, I also watched her check her phone every few minutes, after Malik would check his. It didn't take long for me to figure out that they were communicating. I shook my head, appalled at my sister. First of all, she should've let me know the deal before getting herself into a situation like that. We already discussed how dangerous these niggas are, and now she wants to bring her hot ass down here and act a fool for some dick? As the moments passed, my anger intensified. I specifically asked her if she was feeling Malik earlier and she lied right to my face. Or perhaps something had transpired on that ride they took to get food. Either way, I had to know. Pulling her away from everyone right then would be obvious, so I went on about my business and stepped to one of the outside balconies. I enjoyed listening to the breeze and the sound of waves from the ocean. I tried not to focus on my sister and her sinister ways. It was just like her to stir up more trouble. That's why I had kept all this shit from her in the first place, she would find a way to be involved, for all the wrong reasons. She always loved to come around the men I was dealing with and try to fuck their friends. This was not one of those times that she could be so reckless though. How did she think fucking with Malik would make Leo feel?

Right then, she came out to join me on the balcony. "Girl what you out here doing? Place is looking for your ass," she said. I looked at her. "He'll be fine. What's going on with you though Tori?" I asked. "Nothing much, I'm coolin'.  Why'd you ask me that though?" I looked down and shook my head at her. "Tori, I know you not out here tryna fuck wit' Malik, with Leo back home and shit. Please tell me my intuition is wrong this time," I said. She cracked a smile and then laughed a bit. "Sis you wild as shit! Why you say that?" She asked, still half-smiling. "Stop fucking playing with me Tori. These niggas ain't no regular niggas. Did you forget why the fuck we're out of town in the first place? This isn't the time to be focused on getting some dick!" She looked offended. "Oh really? Well your ass was focused on Place's dick just a little while ago, weren't you? I heard your loud ass," she said to me.

As usual, Tori was missing the point. Or she was pretending to be. Either way, I was done talking to her. "You're a dumb ass," I said, flat out. "Who's dumb? Why the fuck you calling me names now?" She asked, almost whining. When she talked like that, she reminded me that she was my little sister that I always had to protect. It made me love and hate her more at the same time.

"Because nigga, you can't be fucking with Leo and his man Malik. What do you think that nigga Leo will do to you if he finds out? He done gave you a gun and showed you his safes and shit. The man must trusts you. Why can't you just be satisfied with that?" I asked.  She looked down and I thought that maybe she would reconsider her actions. But instead, she looked up at me and said, "Because, none of these niggas own me Ericka. I'ma fuck with Leo, Malik and maybe their friend Jamall if I want to. All them niggas want me, and they all flaunting their money to get me too," she said. She didn't know how foolish she sounded. "It's not about a nigga owning you Tori, it's about you owning yourself. What do you really get out of entertaining all these niggas? Dangerous niggas, that run together at that! You think that shit is cute Tori? It's not. Your actions are not just affecting you right now. Besides, can't you stay focused on what we need to? I thought you really liked Leo too..." I said. "I do. He's cool and shit but, he's just not the only one I like," she admitted. i shook my head. "Oh really? Well do me a fucking favor; don't go and fuck each and every one of these niggas in this circle Tori. It's a lot of drugs, money and murder caught up in this situation and for once, you need to listen to me. This is the one time I need to you keep your eyes open and your legs closed." I was damn near begging her. We both were in over our heads with this one. I knew she saw the concern in my face and heard it in my tone. She sighed and looked out at the ocean. "You're right, and you're lucky I love your ass Ericka - because I wouldn't let anyone else get away with talking to me the way you just did. But I understand what you mean. I'll stop flirting with and texting Malik," she said. "Thank you. And please tell me the truth when I ask you about anything from here on out. These aren't the niggas to be playing with. I'm still trying to piece some things together myself. But I appreciate it Sis," I said. "Anytime Ericka...but look, there's something you need to know," she said. "Something like what?" I asked back. Tori looked inside to make sure no one was listening. "I don't think Place is telling you everything," she looked at me and said. I wondered if she was trying to somehow get back at me or if she was being genuine.

"What you mean, he's not telling me everything?" I asked, keeping my voice down. "I got word today that JR and Tay might not even be the ones responsible for the shit that went down the other day at the mall," she said. I jerked my head back. "The shooting you mean?" I asked, for clarification. "Yeah girl. That might've been some entirely different niggas shooting at yall," she said. I immediately thought of Place telling me that he needed to share something after dinner. Now I was anxious, I didn't want to rush back in the house though. At first I was anxious about Tori and her shenanigans and now I was hearing this about Place. "Ok, that's cool. Thank you Tori." I turned back around to face the ocean and looked out from the balcony. After a few seconds, I heard her scoff. "So you not gonna say nothing to the nigga?" She asked me. "It's really none of your business, but hell yeah - you know I'ma address it. Unless you suggest otherwise..." I spun around and looked at her. She smirked. "I just wanna know what the nigga says. I wonder how he's gonna get himself out of this one," she said sarcastically. I turned around and didn't respond. I knew she was alluding to the fact that I let Place get away with shit. But she didn't even know the half. If she did, I wouldn't have had to school her about trying to be a buss down pass around for some real street niggas. I made a mental note to never introduce her ass to any more men I dealt with after this. "After we survive this Tori, I'ma have to reevaluate some shit with you shawty. You really tryna throw me off right now," I said to her. She squinted her eyes at me and looked away. No one knew my sister better than I did. She got a rush from all these shenanigans. I knew because I did too.

I heard the balcony door slide open and saw Place there. "Yall aight?" He asked. "Hmph! Fucking perfect. Excuse me Place," Tori said, squeezing past him. I paid her ass no more mind and continued to face the ocean. Place walked outside with me and closed the balcony door behind him. "What's wrong with your sister?" He asked. "Funny you ask. You tell me Place..."

He didn't respond right away, I knew he would be strategic with his words. He sat down on the comfy couch out there before he spoke. "Don't think that I don't know about what Tori has been doing. I know she's been sneaking around, trying to find some dirt on me...for whatever reason," he said. I looked at him, trying my best to keep a poker face. "How you figure?" I asked him. "Between her inquiring about Dee and then asking questions, niggas talk Ericka, and you know that. What issue does your sister have with me?" I decided to be truthful, for I wasn't sure what Place already knew. "She seems to think that you're hiding some things from me. I constantly explain to her that when dealing with certain men, they can't tell you everything, and I understand that. She's still young though, still trying to figure all this shit out. She doesn't understand this world. She thinks it's all about money, nightclubs, dick and pussy!" Place laughed at me but I was serious. "You sound just like me when I had to school my young niggas," he said. "Come sit with me love."

I joined him on the couch and he pulled me close. "Remember I told you that we needed to talk after dinner? Well here we are. Your sister wildin' Ericka. Malik told me that she pulled his dick out in the truck earlier when they went to get food. Nothing went down, but how is she really moving right now? Does she think Leo is a bitch ass nigga that's about to go for that? If she just wanted to get fucked, she should've let it be known! Or is she letting it be known now? Plus, all this asking niggas questions about me and shit..." I put my hands up to stop him from talking. "I know, I know Place. These are all the things I was just out here talking to her about. That's why she has an attitude. Just to be real, this is how Tori operates; she functions and thrives on drama sometimes. I don't know why, but she does. I told her that Leo trusts her and she shouldn't be doing what she's doing. And as far as her asking around about you, let's just attribute that to her love for me Place. She's protective over me. Crazy girl, but protective as fuck. I'ma talk to her again, don't worry. And as far as Leo goes...that's on her. It'll play out how it plays out," I said and shrugged. Place shook his head and then kissed my cheek. "I knew you would understand Ericka. And that's why I don't keep shit from you. I really don't know what the fuck Tori was talking about. Should I ask her to come out here and explain it though?" He asked. I shook my head. "No Place, that's unnecessary! I don't want to stir up any more drama between you two," I said. "Yeah, I hear you, but I've shown your sister nothing but love since I've met her. Shit, maybe I should've just let Leo bring her down here, instead of Malik. I didn't think it would be a problem though..."

"It's not a problem, just a misunderstanding. And while we're on the subject, tell me Place, are you sure that JR and Tay are the ones who were after us the other day?" He shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Here we go...is that what she told you Ericka?" He asked. I just looked at him, answering with my eyes. "I understand that your sister is protective, but she has to understand that she can't keep coming to you with all these wild stories and shit. I already told Leo to stop speaking with her in so much detail about shit. Because I know she likes to twist shit up. And now look..." He looked upset and irritated. I grabbed his hand and spoke. "Look, you can't control what Leo tells Tori anymore than I can control what she decides to do with that information. All we can do is be truthful with each other and be here for one another. So can you answer the question for me. Are JR and Tay the ones responsible, or no?" I asked. Place sighed, real hard. "Let me get back to you on that Ericka," he said, scratching his neck a little and smirking. Honestly, I didn't give a fuck though. The fact that JR and Tay were both in the ground now gave me a sincere peace of mind. Place confirmed for me that both JR and Tay, the chick Dee, Duece and Floyd (the shooters at the mall) and two other co-conspirators had been killed, with no witnesses. As far as I was concerned, we were safe. 

I went upstairs to Place's beach house bedroom without another word to anyone. I got my bag and changed into some small shorts and a tank top. I got in his bed, just desiring for him to hold me. He returned to his room a few minutes later, stripped down and changed and then joined me in the bed. Body to body, he felt so good. He wrapped his perfect arms around me and kissed me on the back of my neck. The day had been long, so I closed my eyes and began to drift. I knew that Tori and I had agreed to sleep in the same room, but I was just next door. I figured that she would be heading to bed soon anyway. Just as I was headed to my dream state, Place jerked up and it woke me. He went to get his ringing phone. I hate that damn thing, I thought. He answered it and I heard Leo's voice on speaker, "My nigga! What the FUCK is going on down there right now. Why my girl Tori texting me all kinds of wild shit?" I heard him say. That made me jump up. What the fuck had just happened? Two seconds later, there was a knock at the door that connected the bedrooms. I got out the bed, gave Place a look and then went to answer the door. Place was in the background talking to Leo saying "Hol' up...chill Bro. Ain't nothing happening man. I'm 'bout to talk to my girl about it now."

There was Tori at the door when I opened it, looking terrified. She grabbed me by my arm into the room with her. "Damn bitch, what's going on?" I asked. "Bitch! I done sent the wrong text message to the wrong nigga," she said in a low tone. My eyes grew wide. "I told you to stop fucking around Tori! This nigga Leo just called Place and he was fucking tripping. You gonna make this nigga ride down here tonight!" I said. "Noooo, please tell Place to talk to him. Nothing even fucking happened. He won't even answer my calls now though, keeps sending me to voicemail and shit," she said. I had to think fast. "Give me your phone Tori..."

I looked at the exchanges between her and Leo and between her and Malik. She had accidentally sent the text meant for Malik, to Leo and it stated "I can't fuck with you tonight, or ever really. Just forget everything I said...and did." I read it and just shook my head. "Bitch - this is bad," I said. "But nothing that we can't fix. Just give me a moment." I told Tori to have a seat and I went back into the room with Place. He gave me a look with wide eyes and shook his head, listening to Leo vent. I just looked back, shaking my head too. He put Leo back on speaker and then I jumped in. "Leo...this is Ericka. Look, I know you're upset, but please calm down. Tori made a mistake and sent you the wrong message. I know it's fucked up, but that's the truth," I said. I heard him blow a deep breath. "I hear you E, but see, Tori knows better than any of that wild shit, if she fuckin' wit' me. Answer me this though, was that the message that she was sending to my man Malik down there?" Leo asked. I closed my eyes and then looked at Place, still shaking his head. "Leo, now that's a conversation you'll have to have with my sister," I admitted. "You right E, and that's why I'll see all yall in about 3 or 4 hours. Aye Place, see you soon my nigga. I'm riding down tonight to get this shit straight," Leo said and hung up. Tori walked in the room, still looking scared and I let her know, "Leo's on the way babe." Her eyes widened and she looked at Place, "you couldn't talk him out of it?" She asked. "That's between yall Tori. Just wait til' he gets here so yall can talk it out," Place said. There was no need for me to remind Tori that she was now asking for help from the same nigga she was down-talking just about an hour earlier. See what I mean about her?

A notification on her phone went off and I knew it was Leo. She read the text aloud to us, "See you and that nigga Malik soon," is what Leo sent. And now all we could do is wait. Being as though the beach house belonged to Leo, I wondered how far he would go to preserve his Place....

To Be Continued....

1 comment

  • This was complete genius. I love this. I can’t wait to read more.

    Thank you.

    Erin Kilpatrick

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