Careful of the Company You Keep

Careful of the Company You Keep

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by Angie Daniels
     
 

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From the acclaimed author of Trouble Loves Company comes a smart, sexy, heartfelt new novel about friendship, love, lust—and a whole lot of trouble in between.

After finding her husband in a compromising position, romance author Renee Moore goes back to her hometown, hoping to start over. But once again, she finds herself looking for love in all the

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Overview

From the acclaimed author of Trouble Loves Company comes a smart, sexy, heartfelt new novel about friendship, love, lust—and a whole lot of trouble in between.

After finding her husband in a compromising position, romance author Renee Moore goes back to her hometown, hoping to start over. But once again, she finds herself looking for love in all the wrong places. To make matters worse, just as she decides a healthy relationship may not be her destiny, her ex delivers shocking news that could change her life forever.

Practical nurse Danielle Brooks' professional life is picture perfect, but her personal life is a mess. Her daughter is about to give birth to a baby believed to have been fathered by Danielle's ex. In an attempt to mend her shattered heart, Danielle has been dating Calvin Cambridge, a truly nice guy. But when Calvin proposes, Danielle wants to be sure she is ready to commit. She enlists Renee to test his fidelity, but when the seduction goes too far, all their relationships may be in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, their best friend is getting married, and she is counting on Renee and Danielle to help her plan the wedding—whether they are speaking to each other or not. But with Renee now being threatened by a mystery woman, and Danielle facing her most serious crisis yet, they can not help wondering if it is all going to get worse before it gets better.

As things come to a head in each woman's life, there is a whole lot of praying going on—and Renee and Danielle soon realize they are blessed in spite of it all—with faith, second chances—and each other.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758217479
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
414,064
Product dimensions:
8.28(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.98(d)

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Careful of the Company You Keep


By Angie Daniels

DAFINA BOOKS

Copyright © 2008 Angie Daniels
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-1748-6


Chapter One

Renee

There are a lot of things I expected to face in my life. Walking in on my husband with his dick stuck in another man's ass was not one of them.

Shock was an understatement. I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe and damn near choked. All I could do was stand there and watch John and another man racing to the finish line in my bed. They were so busy fucking neither of them heard the bedroom door open or noticed me standing there.

Think, bitch, think!

Inhale. Exhale. I knew I had to do something quick, fast, and in a hurry because any second now and the moment would be lost. I reached down to my waist, removed the cell phone from my hip, and aimed it in their direction.

"Cheese, mothafuckas!"

As soon as both of them fags looked my way, I pressed the camera button on my phone.

Priceless.

John jumped back so fast, he tripped over a shoe and fell flat on his ass. "Renee! What the hell?"

"My words exactly. You should have taken that booty bandit shit to a hotel." I moved in for a close-up and pressed the button again.

John held up his hands in a panic. "Hold up, baby! I can explain."

I glared at his fat ass. "Save it for someone who cares, because I don't give a fuck."

At a loss for words, John just sat there breathing heavily while Shemar scrambled for his pants. I looked at him and rolled my eyes in disgust. To think, I've been fucking his faggot ass for the last couple of weeks. Angrily, I snatched the first thing I could get my hands on—a bottle of scented lotion—and tossed it across the room and got pretty boy on the side of his head.

"What's wrong with you?" Shemar shouted, then ducked out of the way before my hairbrush got him in the forearm.

"What's wrong with me?" Oh no, he didn't just ask me that. "What's wrong is finding you ... bent over ... like some bitch ... with my husband fucking you!" I tossed John's aftershave, and it hit the wall and shattered. "What's wrong is knowing my husband ... my husband ... fucked you in the bed that I bought!" I kept on screaming and throwing shit at the two of them.

John's eyes grew wide with guilt. "Renee, please, let's talk about this," he pleaded.

"We ain't got shit to talk about!" I screamed. Was he smoking crack? What could he possibly have to explain? I moved over to my dresser and started throwing everything in reach. I snatched up a bottle of Diamonds perfume and was about to toss it when I remembered how much I paid for it. I put it down and grabbed the cheap shit instead. By now I was throwing anything I could get my hands on in their direction, including a pair of three-pound dumbbells I kept on the floor in the corner. Both of those bitches were bobbing and weaving and trying to cover their heads. "As soon as you get dressed, get the fuck outta here!"

"We ain't going nowhere!" Shemar screamed like a little bitch. "Tell her, John. Tell her you're my man now and this is ... this is your house!"

John looked over at Shemar and cut his eyes. "Shemar, this is not the time."

Shemar propped a hand at his waist. "The hell it ain't. What have we been talking about for the last several months? You promised we'd be together, and I'm tired of waiting. Dammit, John, you belong to me!"

What the fuck? I couldn't believe this gay shit. The longer I looked and listened, the angrier I got. I reached for a pair of scissors and lunged at Shemar, who saw me coming and hurried into the adjoining bathroom and slammed the door. I was moving so fast the blades stabbed the wood. I yanked the scissors free and headed toward John, who ducked, then grabbed my wrist and wrestled the scissors out of my hand.

"Let me go!" I screamed. I balled up my fist and started beating him across his face and chest. And just like a bitch, he let me tear his ass up.

"Go ahead, Renee. Do what you have to do, but it's not going to change anything."

"Fuck you!" I shouted, then swung hard and got him in the nose. Finally he grabbed my hands and I jerked away from him. I was breathing so hard I was hyperventilating. Leaning over, I placed my hands on my knees and tried counting to ten to catch my breath. "How ... could ... you ... do this to me?"

John moved and took a seat on the end of the bed, holding a T-shirt up to his nose. It was bleeding. Good.

"As soon as you calm down, we can sit down like two adults and talk." I could tell by the tone of his voice that he never expected me to find out this way.

"I said we ain't got shit to talk about! I've been tolerating your itty-bitty limp-dick ass for the last five years, and this is how you treat me?" No wonder his dick half worked when we made love. Part of me felt like laughing—and probably would later, because this was the excuse I'd been waiting for to finally get out of my marriage—but right now, it was too humiliating for words.

"I can no longer hide how I feel."

"You sick bastard." I was so mad I didn't realize until I saw John holding the side of his head that I had hurled my wooden jewelry box at him.

"Quit it, Renee!" he ordered and tried to reach for me, but I jumped out of the way.

"Fuck you, John!"

I was too through. I had to bite my tongue to stop from telling him how I really felt about the last five years of our marriage. Big Mama taught me a long time ago not to bite the hand that feeds you, and I needed John to keep supporting me until I could figure out a plan. The best way was to play on his sympathy by making him think I was hurt to discover our marriage was over. No, I wasn't hurt. I was pissed the fuck off. "How could you do this to me?" I forced myself not to blink so my eyes would become misty, and tears eventually appeared.

"I ... I never expected you to find out this way. I'm really sorry. How—"

I cut him off before he could finish.

"Sorry, my ass!" I screeched. "Both of y'all get out of my house!"

"Bitch, this is my man's house!" Shemar screamed from the other side of the bathroom door.

"Faggot, shut the hell up!" I ran over and kicked the door and hurt my damn toe. I screamed at the top of my lungs, then started pacing the length of the room.

John just continued to sit there holding his head with one hand and applying pressure to his nose with the other. I removed my cell phone from my hip and went ahead and sent those pictures to my e-mail address just in case one of those gay mothafuckas decided to get bold and try to snatch the phone. My hands were trembling with anger.

"What're you planning to do with those pictures?"

I rolled my eyes in John's direction. "Nothing just yet, but if you fuck with me, I'm going to send them to everybody, including your uppity-ass mama."

I expected him to lunge from the bed and snatch the phone from my hands, because the last thing John wanted was to tarnish his image. Lenore never did think I was good enough for her son. Shit, if she only knew.

However, instead of wrestling me to the floor, John just sat there like a bitch with his hands on his lap, looking at me like what I saw happening never really happened. As if it had been my imagination. "Quit trippin'," he finally said.

"Trippin'? Trippin'!"

He gave me a dismissive laugh. "Yes, Renee, trippin'. It's not that big a deal."

"Oh, it's not? Okay, then let me show you how big a deal it is!" I ran across the room to the large walk-in closet we shared and started fumbling on the top shelf. John must have heard me loading his gun because he hurried into the bathroom with Shemar and shut and locked the door just in time. I aimed, and a bullet pierced the wall only inches from the door.

"Renee, what the hell are you doing?" John screamed. "Put that gun down!"

"Shut the hell up!" I yelled and shot at the door again. Shemar was screaming at John to "control that crazy bitch." I pulled the trigger again and screamed, "Shut up, punk, before I give you something to cry about." He must have realized I was serious because everything got quiet. "That's more like it. Now listen and listen good. I want both of you gay mothafuckas out of my house by the time I get back. Otherwise, I'm shooting y'all fags for real!" I decided it was time for me to bounce before one of the neighbors called the police.

I couldn't get out of that house fast enough. I took the stairs two at a time and grabbed my purse from the table. A retired couple who lived across the street was standing on the porch. As soon as they saw me coming out the door with a gun in my hand, they raced back in the house.

I climbed into my Lexus and peeled down the driveway and onto the street. A mile up the road, the tears began to fall and I angrily wiped them away. "Don't you dare cry over that gay bastard."

I was driving, thinking over everything that had happened, and trying to figure out how in the hell I missed the warning signs. I hear women all the time talking about how they had no idea their man was on the DL, and I always say to myself, "what the fuck ever." The signs were there. Hell, most of the time I could spend five minutes with a man and could tell he was gay. Yet I had no idea about my own husband. But then ours was a weird relationship from the start.

Our marriage was a one-night stand that turned into a five-year commitment. We'd barely dated a month before he proposed. My ass was unemployed and about to be homeless. With two little kids, that was not an option. So when John proposed, "marry me now and love me later," I jumped at the opportunity.

And that's what your stupid ass gets.

Yep, I should have left him years ago. Quit talking about it and be about it, that's the shit I say to my friends all the time, yet I didn't follow my own advice.

I was ten miles from home, speeding down the highway, when my cell phone rang. I looked down and saw I had a private call. I bet you five dollars and a Long Island iced tea it's John's gay ass.

"What?"

"I'd appreciate it if you'd not share those pictures." He said the words so slowly that it gave me an eerie feeling.

"That depends," I stated calmly.

"Depends on what?"

"On how much you plan to pay, mothafucka!" Even with the windows down and the wind whipping across my face, I could hear Shemar yelling something in the background. "Tell that fag to shut the hell up!"

John covered the mouthpiece and mumbled something, then came back. "Sorry, he's upset, too."

"Who give a fuck how that fag feels?" I screamed. This was some straight-up soap opera shit.

"Don't be like that," he scolded.

"Don't tell me what the fuck to do before I come back over, shoot both y'all gay asses, and then plead temporary insanity."

"Listen, Renee, we can work this out if you'd give us a chance. I love you, Renee, but I'm not going to lie to you, I love Shemar as well. You didn't mind sharing me before, so what's different about now?"

"It was your idea to start swinging with other couples, and it was you who thought you weren't satisfying me sexually, so you invited Shemar to fuck me while you were in the room watching. Nowhere in that conversation did you say you would be fucking him as well. Huh? Tell me, John, because not once in the five years that we've been married did you mention anything about being gay."

"I'm not gay," he barked defensively.

"Then what the fuck would you call it?"

There was a brief pause before he answered, "I would call it ... liking variety."

"And I call it liking dick!" I was screaming so hard the lady in the next car was staring nervously at me. I flipped her off for not minding her own business. "I'm divorcing yo gay ass. And according to our prenuptial agreement, if either of us catches the other in a compromising position, the other gets paid. And I'm getting ready to milk yo ass!"

"And what about the men you've been with? Remember, I have home videos," he reminded me.

"Yeah, and your bitch ass is in every one!" I was no fool. From the first day we started trying to add a little flavor to our marriage, I made sure every time John pulled out the camcorder, he was in that home movie as well. All the things that we had done with Shemar and the others started racing through my head. Hell, I even sucked Shemar's dick. Oh my goodness! I'm going to be sick. I was so nauseous my dinner tried to come up. I choked, then pushed that shit back down.

"Are you okay?"

"Hell nah! What the fuck? I just walked in on you fucking another mothafucka in his ass and you have the nerve to ask me if I'm okay?"

My response was met by a wave of silence.

"Renee, I don't know what else to say other than I'm sorry and hope we can work this out."

"What the hell is there left to work out?" This shit was so unbelievable I didn't know what to think or how to react, and that's rare for me. Never in a million years would I have expected to walk in on my husband, or any man for that matter, banging another one in his ass. I don't even watch boy/boy adult videos. I got sick watching Brokeback Mountain. "I want my monthly allotment doubled and don't even think about canceling my insurance benefits. You got one hour to pack yo shit and get the fuck out of my house. Oh yeah ... and take them sheets with you!" I screamed, then ended the call.

Tears were running down my face. I don't know why I was crying over that fool.

John had never been good in bed. His thing is too little and he spends more time tweaking my damn nipples like they were knobs to a transistor radio than anything else. Nevertheless, he was rich and I told myself it was a small consequence for everything he had given me. Bigass house. New ride. Private schools for the kids, and money in my own personal bank account. In exchange, all I had to do was give him some pussy three times a week. It was easier in the beginning, but the last three years, I started feeling like it was too much damn work. Hell, if I wanted a job, I would have gone out and applied for one. So to escape, I started writing and was now a published best-selling author of erotic romance. What I wasn't getting in my bed, I was getting in my books, and plenty of it. And when that was no longer enough, I started fucking around with every Tom, Dick, and Jerry I came in contact with. But after a while, I still wasn't happy.

Somehow, John sensed my misery, and two months ago, he invited Shemar to our bed for a ménage à trois. I thought cha-ching, I had hit the jackpot. Shemar and I would fuck while John sat back, beating his meat and watching. Then John and I started swinging with other couples. The husband was banging me while John was poking the man's wife. I thought I was getting the best of both worlds. Only the joke was on my black ass.

I guess I can't blame anyone but myself. I should have known that it was too good to be true. That's what I get for thinking I was getting something for nothing. I'd been talking about leaving John for years, and now that the time had come I had to quit talking about it and be about it. Starting right now, my life was beginning anew. A tear streamed down my cheek because I wasn't sure if I even knew where to begin.

Chapter Two

Danielle

I turned the burner down low on the stove, then moved up to my daughter's room to tell her it was time for dinner. After knocking on her door and not getting an answer, I stepped in and found the room empty. Hearing water running in the bathroom at the end of the hall, I realized Portia was taking a shower.

Seeing dirty towels on the floor, I reached over and grabbed them. No wonder I can't find half my damn towels. They are here, buried in Portia's room.

I reached for a large gold bath towel and something dropped. Looking down, I spotted a small leather-bound book. I reached for it, flipped it over, and realized it was Portia's journal. Staring at it, I was tempted to open it, but I try to respect my daughter's privacy ... most of the time. But curiosity got the better of me and after several seconds I had convinced myself that I'm the mother and had a right to know what my teenage daughter was up to, because the majority of the time she was up to no good.

"I'll look at just one entry, then I'll put it down," I murmured to myself and flipped to the center of the book.

I saw Ron's dick today. He wasn't too happy that I walked in on him, so I played it off and stepped out of the bathroom. I've never seen a thing with the skin still on it. But dang, it was big! I promise you I'm going to get some of that before the school year's over.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Careful of the Company You Keep by Angie Daniels Copyright © 2008 by Angie Daniels. Excerpted by permission of DAFINA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

ANGIE DANIELS grew up on the South side of Chicago but later relocated to Columbia, Missouri. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration as well as a Master's degree in Resource Management. Daniels lives in Missouri.

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