The Maintenance Man Collector's Edition: It's midnight, do you know where your woman is?

The Maintenance Man Collector's Edition: It's midnight, do you know where your woman is?

3.8 9
by Michael Baisden
     
 

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Every Woman's Dream: Malcolm Tremell is handsome, charismatic and a great lover; but in his world sex is not a game...it's serious business. Every week his schedule is booked with secret rendezvous, extravagant dinners and sessions of passionate love making, all for the right price. But Malcolm begins to reflect on his gigolo lifestyle when he meets Toni, a

Overview

Every Woman's Dream: Malcolm Tremell is handsome, charismatic and a great lover; but in his world sex is not a game...it's serious business. Every week his schedule is booked with secret rendezvous, extravagant dinners and sessions of passionate love making, all for the right price. But Malcolm begins to reflect on his gigolo lifestyle when he meets Toni, a talented dancer and choreographer. But can her love transform him into the man he wants to be and the man she needs to make both their lives complete?

Editorial Reviews

Black Issues Book Review
In today's literature many authors are not willing to make the protagonist of their book a stereotype. While at times exaggerated, Baisden successfully incorporates the mythical gigolo into an engrossing read.

The Maintenance Man is a soap opera tale of a professional prostitute named Malcolm Terrell, who begins struggling with the morality of his sex-for-money career thanks to three influential figures in his life: his best friend Simon Harris; his mentor Melvin Butler; and the love of his life, Antoinette Grayson. Baisden first introduces readers to Malcolm 12 years earlier at his father.s funeral where we overhear his confession that he continues his father's using and abusing legacy.

From there the story dives right into Malcolm. s sexual adventures and hectic lifestyle which progress sensationally until he meets Toni, a beautiful brown-eyed classical dancer. The book also tells the other side of the "male gigolo syndrome". through Teddy, a stripper for hire who doesn't get paid, but profits from sleeping with his clients. The story offers a relatively realistic view into who these men and women are who supply and demand these services.

But the view can sometimes be too clear. Baisden is overly descriptive when setting the scene around the story. For example, the author spends a page and a half introducing Toni to the story. Too much time is spent on things that are not important to the overall story. Every time a character is mentioned, Baisden has a tendency to explain, in excessive detail, what they are wearing and how they look— down to the make of their sunglasses. The Maintenance Man is more like a nighttime soap opera mixed with a sitcom, than a love story. However, if you want a fantasy escape from everyday life, then Baisden's got your quick fix.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780984776511
Publisher:
Baisden Publishing
Publication date:
03/15/2012
Pages:
337
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

I was 9:10 P.M. when my flight arrived in Los Angeles right on schedule. I grabbed my garment bag from the overhead compartment and rushed to meet my limo. My appointment with Helen was at 1:00 A.M. and Tina was waiting downtown at the Marriott. I was determined to kill two birds with one stone.

When I arrived at baggage claim, there was a tall distinguished-looking black man holding up a cardboard sign with my name neatly printed on it.

"Excuse me," I said, while extending my hand. "I'm Malcolm Tremell."

"Hello, Mr. Tremell. Allow me to take your bag."

"Thank you, Mr....?"

"My name is Allen," he said, "but everybody calls me Big Al."

"Well, let's go. I'm in a hurry!"

When I stepped outside the automatic doors, the brutal Los Angeles heat welcomed me home. June was always humid in southern California, even at night. Big Al wiped his forehead with a towel as he laid my garment bag inside the trunk of the freshly waxed black limousine. Then he politely opened my door.

Once inside the car, he buckled his seat belt and put the car in drive.

"Help yourself to a cold drink," he said while pulling out into traffic. "The bar is stocked with everything from cranberry juice to Moët."

"Don't mind if I do."

I poured myself a shot of Christian Brothers brandy and leaned back against the soft leather interior. As we merged onto Highway 105, I tuned the radio station in to 102.3. The deejay's sexy voice serenaded me as we maneuvered through the dense L.A. traffic.

"You're listening to KJLH," she announced. "Coming up next, your request for Anita Baker and Barry White. But first, an old-school classic by Kool and the Gang, 'Summer Madness.'"She paused as the intro began to play. "This song goes out to all you children of the night."

It was as if she were playing that song especially for me. I was definitely a child of the night, a moon child, a Cancer. It had been three days since I last saw daylight. My workdays began after 8:00 P.M. and ended before sunrise. On the days when I had no appointments, I kept my blinds shut and curtains drawn -- I lived like a vampire.

The drive downtown to the Marriott took thirty-five minutes. It was 9:55 P.M. and the clock was ticking. I gave Big Al instructions to pick me up at eleven-thirty then rushed into the hotel. Tina checked into Room 1001, like always. I hopped aboard the elevator hoping she was ready.

As I approached the room, I could smell the familiar aroma of jasmine incense burning. I knocked on the door and put my hand over the peephole.

"Who is it?" she asked apprehensively.

"It's the plumber, ma'am," I said, trying to disguise my voice. "We received a call that the sink was backed up."

"There's nothing wrong with my sink. Are you sure you have the right room?"

"I'm looking right at the job order, ma'am. It says Room 1001. Guest needs drain unstopped."

When I burst out laughing, she was on to me. Tina opened the door buck naked and popped me upside the head.

"Malcolm, you scared the hell out of me!"

"I'm sorry, baby. Let me make it up to you."

I backed her into the candlelit room and dropped my garment bag. Then I lifted her by the cheeks and carried her over to the bed.

"I love a man who knows how to take control," she said.

"And I love a woman who knows how to let a man be The Man." I gently laid her down on the bed and began taking off my clothes.

"Hurry up, Malcolm," she said while pulling at the buttons on my silk shirt. "I'm horny as hell."

"Slow down, baby. These clothes aren't cheap," I said while backing away. "Let me do this."

"Why are you worried about your damn shirt?" She sounded upset. "I can afford a thousand shirts."

What she really meant was her husband could afford a thousand shirts. Tina was going through an ugly divorce with a star point guard in the NBA. Every dime she had came out of his bank account.

I didn't want to ruin the mood so I poured two glasses of the Moët champagne she had chilling out on the terrace. Then I proposed a toast.

"Here's to six months of good conversation, good company, and great sex."

"I'll drink to that!" she said.

While I sipped on my drink, I casually looked over at the clock on the nightstand, it read ten-fifteen. I excused myself to the bathroom and immediately went into action. I hung my clothes neatly over the shower rod, brushed my teeth, shaved, and took a quick shower. Within ten minutes I was ready.

"It's about time," Tina said with an attitude.

"I promise you, it will be worth the wait."

I pulled a Trojan condom and a metal flask of baby oil out of my garment bag and heated the flask by the fire from the candle. "Turn over on your stomach, baby," I told her.

I poured the warm oil on her back and massaged it into her shoulders. Once she relaxed, I slowly ran my tongue from her lower back to the base of her neck.

"Ssss, do that again, baby," she begged.

"Say please," I insisted.

"Please, please, please, with sugar on top."

I used my tongue like a wet probe, boldly going where no man had gone before. Twenty minutes into the foreplay, Tina couldn't take it anymore. "Stop teasing, baby," she said, sighing. "Give it to me." I pushed her legs back toward the headboard as far as they would go then I dove in. The candlelight cast an erotic shadow onto the hotel room wall. It was like looking into a smoked mirror. I tried to concentrate but I kept staring at the silhouette of her body. With every flick of my tongue, she winced and quivered.

In a slow circular motion I ascended from her pierced belly button to her supple nipples. She inhaled, then turned her head to the side and let out a soft moan. "Oh, Malcolm, you feel so good. Don't stop. Please don't stop."

I moved my hand slowly down her long, smooth leg until I felt the warmth from within. I paused briefly to massage her, then I put on my condom and slid inside. Her head sprang up in one quick motion.

"Wha -- what are you doing?" she stuttered.

"I'm doing my job," I replied confidently.

She flopped back down onto the pillow and began to shake violently. Seconds later she let out a loud scream. "Oh, shit, that's the spot, baby, right there!" Her legs tensed as she grasped the sheets into her small fists. "I'm cumming. I'm cumming!" Tina bit down on her lip and frantically tossed her head from side to side. If there was an Academy Award for best orgasm she would have won, hands down. When it was over, she rolled onto her side, clutched the pillow between her legs, and dozed off. Talk about perfect timing. The clock read 10:55 P.M. Her time was up.

I grabbed my garment bag and stepped into the bathroom. While the bathwater ran, I pulled out my black book to confirm my next appointment. I recalled writing 1:20 A.M. but my notation read: Helen -- Melvin's Jazz Club -- 12:00 A.M. "So much for a long, hot bath!" I said in disgust.

I pulled the shower lever and quickly jumped in. While I washed in the hot drizzle, I tried to relax. The four-hour flight in from Chicago had me worn out. I thought about canceling my appointment, but Helen was a priority customer. According to the article I read in Fortune magazine, she was worth ten million dollars. I wasn't going to disappoint my golden goose, not for a basket case like Tina. She had more drama in her life than a soap opera: death in the family, relatives in jail, the dog being run over by a car, and an impending divorce. I couldn't help feeling sorry for her. So, I penciled her in as a courtesy fuck.

By 11:15 P.M. I was rejuvenated and ready to go. When I stepped out of the bathroom, I expected Tina to still be asleep but she was standing outside on the terrace buck naked, smoking a cigarette. The moonlight accentuated her tanned skin and long silky hair that extended to the middle of her back. I paused to admire her one last time. As I was about to announce I was leaving, she muttered something.

"Did you say something, Tina?" I asked while walking toward her.

"You heard what I said, men are no damn good! All they do is tell lies, get you pregnant, and then move on to the next young piece."

"I don't know what kind of drug you're on, but I don't have time for another one of your tantrums, not tonight. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to collect my money and leave."

She turned suddenly, her eyes filled with tears. "Fuck you, Malcolm!" she shouted. "I knew you didn't give a damn about me. All I am to you is another trick."

She tossed her cigarette over the balcony then stormed past me looking for her purse.

"Here, is this what you want?" Tina pulled five crisp hundred-dollar bills out of her wallet and threw them in my face. "Take them!"

I looked at her like she was out of her mind. Then I calmly took my black book out of my suit pocket and began writing.

"What are you doing?" she asked, sounding concerned.

"I'm scratching your name out of my book."

"But I want to see you next month." Tina quickly composed herself, clearing her throat and wiping the phony tears from her eyes.

"Next month? I'm scratching your crazy ass out for good," I said. "I'm sick and tired of these dramatic episodes. This is the third time in six months I've had to deal with this shit. Enough is enough!" I put my book inside my pocket and headed for the door.

"Where do you think you're going?" She tried to block my way with her naked one-hundred-and-twenty-five-pound frame. "I paid you for your time, plus a hundred-dollar tip."

"You think you can throw money at me like I'm some kind of cheap prostitute? I couldn't buy a decent pair of shoes with that chump change."

"I'm sorry, Malcolm. Don't go. Please don't go." Tina gathered the bills off the floor and handed them to me. "You know this divorce has me under a lot of pressure."

"I can't believe you're still dealing with this nonsense," I said. "Let it go and get on with your life."

"I gave that bastard the best ten years of my life. I'm not about to let him walk away scot-free."

"Scot-free?" I asked sarcastically. "He offered to settle out of court for five million dollars, the house, the Mercedes, and twenty-five thousand dollars a month in child support. What more do you want?"

"I want to break that son of a bitch, that's what. He just signed a twenty-five-million-dollar contract with Nike. I'm not going anywhere until I get paid!"

I lifted her by the waist and tossed her onto the bed. "You're nothing but a gold-digging tramp."

"You'll be back, Malcolm," she said seductively while caressing her breasts. "I'll give you a call when I get my first million. We'll spread it on top of the bed and fuck on it."

"You're pathetic," I said. Then I picked up my garment bag and rushed out the door.

While I waited on the elevator, I searched through my bag for aspirin. The stress of playing the role of lover and psychiatrist was getting the best of me. My reflection in the corridor mirror spoke volumes. My eyes were red and my hair was graying in places I didn't recall. For the first time in twelve years I contemplated retiring from the business. As I stepped onto the elevator I popped two Tylenol and nervously laughed at the thought.

Copyright © 1999 by Michael Baisden

Chapter 2

We arrived at Melvin's Jazz Club at 11:50 P.M. The line wrapped around the corner and the valet parking was full. I told Big Al to blow the horn and flash the headlights three times. The valet stepped aside and the bright orange partitions parted like the Red Sea.

"You must be a regular," Big Al said.

"Let's just say it's a popular place for people in my line of work," I replied with a sly grin.

Every city has its professional hangouts. In Los Angeles, musicians and gigolos congregated at Melvin's. It was just a coincidence that Helen wanted to meet there. I'm sure she was unaware of its infamous reputation.

"Good evening, Mr. Tremell," the valet said as he opened my door. His name was Rosco. "I can see you remembered the signal."

"Sometimes it comes in handy, Rosco," I said as I slipped him a ten. "Thanks for the hookup."

"You're welcome, sir."

Big Al was standing on the driver's side of the limo with his mouth wide open. The women standing in line were attractive and dressed provocatively, most of them wearing miniskirts that barely covered their asses.

"Excuse me, Big Al!" I shouted to break his concentration. "Would you like to join me for a drink?"

"Am I off the clock?" he asked.

"As far as I'm concerned."

"In that case, it would be my pleasure!"

He rushed a comb through his graying hair and popped a Tic Tac in his mouth. After he handed over his keys to the valet, he escorted me through the rowdy crowd. Big Al stood six-five and weighed at least two hundred and sixty pounds. His wide body made for a perfect wedge. I never saw people move out of the way so fast.

When we entered the club, Melvin, the man himself, was waiting to greet us. He was sporting a white pinstriped suit, a matching brim, and like always, he was chewing down on his trademark Cuban cigar.

"Hey, Cool Breeze!" he shouted in his deep, raspy voice. Then he threw his arm around me. "When did you get back?"

Melvin was like a surrogate father to me. Ever since I came to L.A. back in 1991, he had taken me under his wing, teaching me about the music business and about life. At seventy years old, he was the closest thing I had to a father. The nickname Cool Breeze was his idea. He said I stroked the piano keys so smoothly that I sent chills down his spine.

"I flew in a couple of hours ago," I told him. "I had business on the East Coast, then I stopped off in Chicago to check on Mama."

"How's she doing?" he asked, sounding genuinely concerned.

"She's fine. I'll be sure to tell her you said hello."

"So, what's up with the big fellah." Melvin looked at Big Al from head to toe. "Don't tell me you've hired a bodyguard to keep the women off you."

"This is my driver, Big Al. Big Al, this is the famous Melvin Butler."

"It's an honor to meet you, Mr. Butler," Big Al said nervously.

"Thank you, young man," Melvin replied while shaking his hand. "But, please call me Melvin. Any friend of Malcolm's is a friend of mine."

"Are you in the mood to jam on the piano tonight?" Melvin asked. "I've got it tuned just the way you like it."

"You play the piano, Mr. Tremell?" Big Al asked.

"He does more than just play the piano. He makes love to it," Melvin boasted. "Malcolm is the most talented jazz pianist in L.A. And I should know, I've heard the best."

"Okay, that's enough ego stroking for one night. My head is starting to swell," I said, smiling with pride. "But I'll have to take a rain check, old man. I'm here on business tonight."

Melvin knew what I meant and didn't press the issue. He chewed down on his cigar and gave me an inconspicuous nod.

"Let me get you a table in the VIP section." Melvin signaled the host. "I'll be over to check on you later: Meanwhile, enjoy yourselves. Drinks are on the house."

As we walked through the dimly lit room, I felt right at home. The rhythm of the music, the aged brick walls, and the chatter of the crowd created a cool ambience. There's no place on earth like a jazz club, especially one with a history like Melvin's. You could practically feel the ghosts of the immortals like B. B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday.

The VIP section was situated across from the stage and consisted of six tables and two booths. Some people perceived this as a place of status. For me it was a comfortable seat away from the disgusting cigar smoke and annoying conversations. Melvin's was a haven for wanna-be players who wore makeup and expensive jewelry to compensate for their lack of class and self-esteem. I always got a kick out of watching them talk on their cheap cell phones as if they had important business.

"They should call this place Perpetrators R Us," I said, laughing.

"You can say that again. This place is a circus," Big Al said, as he glanced across the room, "and we're sitting in the center ring."

Beautiful women from all sides of the room smiled flirtatiously trying to get my attention. I caught the eye of a blonde who dipped her finger in a wineglass, pulled it out, and sucked on it. Another woman, who was with a date, gestured for me to meet her at the bar. She thought it was cute, but to me it was disrespectful.

"Do you always attract this much attention?" Big Al asked while watching the performance.

"In my line of work, attracting attention is considered free advertising. You'd be surprised how far an expensive suit and the scent of cologne can get you."

"I hope this isn't too personal a question, but what is it that you do exactly?"

As a rule, I never discussed my business, the only exceptions were Melvin and my best friend, Simon. Even my mother didn't know what I did for a living. She thought my full-time job was selling real estate. But I felt comfortable with Big Al. Call it intuition.

"I own an escort service," I said.

"Escort service? Is that a fancy way of saying you get paid to have sex with women?"

His ignorance was not surprising. Most people don't know the difference between a gigolo and a prostitute.

"Any bum off the street can stick his dick inside of a woman," I said defensively. "Being a professional gigolo is about having class and intellect."

"Are you telling me these horny women are spending big bucks for deep conversation over a cup of tea?"

"Sometimes that's all it amounts to."

He paused, looked straight in my eyes, then burst out laughing. "Get the hell outta here! Women today are no different than men. They want to get their freak on."

"This business is not about sex," I told him. "Most of my clients are married women who need an escort to a social function."

"Why would they hire you if they're married?"

"Because their rich husbands are too damn lazy or too busy fucking their secretaries, that's why!"

"So, basically, you're an expensive arm piece?"

"I see myself more as a therapist. And nothing gives me more pleasure then sending my patients home to their sorry-ass husbands feeling beautiful and desirable."

"Sounds to me like you're a high-priced maintenance man."

"Exactly!"

Our conversation was interrupted by the waitress excusing herself to set three glasses down on the table, two glasses of water and a glass of cognac. She placed the cognac in front of me.

"Thanks for the water, but I didn't order a drink," I said.

"The Courvoisier is from an admirer." She pointed in the direction of the bar.

I looked over and there was a beautiful black woman wearing a red sequined dress. She smiled at me and lifted her glass in a friendly toast. I did the same to show my appreciation. I was hoping she wouldn't perceive my gesture as an invitation to get better acquainted. Unfortunately she did. A few seconds later, she gestured to the woman next to her to watch her purse then started toward me.

"Well, Mr. Maintenance Man, I hope you've got your toolbox handy," Big Al said as he stood up from the booth. "Looks like you have more pipe to lay tonight."

"Very funny, Chris Rock. Now, if you don't mind."

"No problem, boss," he said jokingly as he stepped aside to allow the woman in red to sit.

Her timing could not have been worse. It was 12:30 A.M. and I had a feeling Helen would arrive at any moment. Even if she didn't show, I was in no mood for casual conversation. My mind was focused on one thing: getting paid.

"Hello, I'm Stephanie" she said while extending her hand. "What's your name, handsome?"

"Malcolm."

"So, where are you from, Malcolm?"

"Chicago."

"Chicago? I love Chicago!" she said enthusiastically. "In fact, I'm going next week to visit my girlfriend. Her name is Kim Jones. Do you know her?"

I looked at her like she was stupid. How any rational human being could expect you to know one person out of five million is beyond me, especially with a common name like Kim Jones.

"I don't believe I know her," I said while conspicuously looking down at my watch.

"Are you expecting company?" she asked.

"As a matter of fact, I am." I was intentionally being short, hoping she would get the hint. But she was persistent.

"Girlfriend, wife, or just a friend."

"That's personal, don't you think?"

"I thought this was a personal conversation," she said while sliding her phone number over to me on a napkin.

I was becoming irritated by her awkwardness. I was already tired from my flight, Helen was a half hour late, and worst of all I was hungry.

"Look, Stephanie, let's not waste each other's time with all the small talk" I said in a soft but stem voice. "I don't date or fuck for free. My feels two hundred dollars an hour, plus expenses. Now, if you can afford that then leave me your business card and I'll call you to set up an appointment. If not, please stop annoying me with your boring-ass conversation."

Her cheerful smile quickly changed to a look of disappointment. She covered her face with her hand to compose herself. When she removed it, she was noticeably upset. One look into her big brown eyes and I knew I had made a terrible mistake.

"I don't have a damned business card" she said with contempt. "I'm a cashier at Wal-Mart."

"I'm sorry," I said compassionately. "I didn't mean to come off so harshly."

"You don't have to apologize to me, Mr. Ladies' Man. I'm nobody special," she said as she stood up from the table. "I don't have any money. I don't drive an expensive car. Hell, I can't even afford this dress I'm wearing. I have to take it back to Saks tomorrow for a refund." Her hands were on her hips. "But I'll tell you what I do have, Malcolm, I have a good heart. That probably doesn't mean much to a coldhearted son of a bitch like you." She picked up my glass of cognac and threw it in my face. "By the way, you're welcome for the drink." Then she calmly walked away.

I felt like a complete heel. My face was soaked with Courvoisier and my jacket and shirt were stained. Some of the people in the club saw what had happened and were gossiping and snickering. Big Al rushed over with a stack of paper towels and handed them to me. I could tell by his expression that he had been laughing, too.

"What happened?" he asked.

"I got what I had coming," I said as I stood up to wipe myself off.

"I think I'm going to change your name from Maintenance Man to Rain Man."

We both burst out laughing as we walked out of the VIP section headed for the door. On the way out I said my good-byes to Melvin. He gave me a fatherly hug and told me to stay out of trouble. He didn't say anything about the incident to my face but I heard him laughing his ass off when he closed his office door. It definitely wasn't my night.

When we walked outside, people were still lining up to get inside. The valets were running around like maniacs trying to park all the cars. Big Al decided to get the limo himself. While I waited, I thought about going back inside to apologize to Stephanie. My ego was bruised and my conscience was kicking my ass. Before I could decide, a white stretch limousine drove up and Helen stepped onto the scene wearing a black Armani mini dress with matching pumps and a Branda bag.

For a woman in her late forties, she had one hell of a figure, 36-26-38. No woman should be so rich and sexy, I was thinking. While the men in line gawked, I stepped up to greet her.

"Hi, Malcolm, sorry I'm late," she said nonchalantly. "But you know what they say, business before pleasure."

I looked down at my watch, it read 1:15 A.M., then I pulled out my appointment book.

"Well, I have a saying of my own" I replied as I scratched out her name. "Phone first!"

"Excuse me?"

"You heard what I said. The next time you expect to be late, have the common courtesy to call in advance."

"I know you can't be serious, Malcolm," she said while stroking my face with her hand. "What if I pay you another five hundred. Will you forgive me?"

"I wouldn't give a damn if you paid me five thousand dollars, I don't tolerate inconsiderateness," I told her. "Now, if you will excuse me."

When I turned to look for Big Al, Stephanie and her girlfriend walked right past me. I grabbed Stephanie by the ann to get her attention.

"Stephanie, can I talk to you?"

"I don't think I can afford your time," she said sarcastically and pulled away.

I left Helen standing there looking foolish and I went after Stephanie. She crossed the street and began Walking toward the parking garage. I crossed in the middle of the intersection to cut her off and damn near killed myself trying to dodge traffic.

"Stephanie, please wait!" I shouted from behind. "Just give me a minute!" She stopped. I saw her reach inside her purse to give her girlfriend the car keys. Then she stood still and waited for me to catch up.

"What do you want, Malcolm?" she asked with an attitude.

"I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for being such an asshole. What I said to you was totally uncalled for."

"Apology accepted, now good night," she said abruptly. Then she began to walk away.

"Hold up," I said as I blocked her way. "Don't act like that,"

"How do you expect me to act? You hurt my feelings," she said emotionally. "I thought you were a gentleman but you're no different than the rest of these creeps in L.A."

"You're wrong about me, Stephanie! But I can't change your mind, not in one night," I said. "I just need to know that you sincerely accept my apology so I can sleep with a clear conscience."

"I already told you, I accept."

"Can we at least shake hands or hug or something?"

"If I give you a hug, will you leave me alone?"

"I promise, cross my heart and hope to die." I made an X over my chest.

"Okay," she agreed, "but don't try anything fresh."

When she put her arms around my neck I squeezed tight and carefully slipped something into her purse. She was involved for a moment then pulled back. "That's enough," she said while straightening out her dress. "Now leave me alone like you promised." I stepped aside and allowed her to go on her way.

Once she was safely in her car I headed back to the club. Big Al must have seen me coming because he made a U-turn right in front of the club and headed toward me.

"Need a taxi, sir?" he asked as he pulled up to the curb. I took off my jacket and jumped in. Once inside I lay back and took a deep breath.

"So, where do we go from here?" Big Al asked.

"Home," I told him. "I want to go home."

Just as we were about to drive off, there was a knock at my window. It was Stephanie. I cracked my window just enough to hear her.

"Malcolm, I can't accept this."

"What are you talking about?" I asked, playing dumb.

"I'm talking about the three hundred dollars you put in my purse."

"Stephanie, you better put that money in your purse and get your ass back in the car!" her girlfriend screamed from the car behind us.

"Why don't you take her advice?" I said to her.

"Malcolm, let this window down so I can give you this back."

"The window is broken."

"Well, open the door."

"The door is broken, too."

"If you don't take this back, I'm going to leave it here on the street."

"That's your prerogative," I told her. "I would rather you use it to purchase that dress," I said in a serious tone. "You look like a queen in that dress, baby. And I want you to have it. Consider it a gift"

I signaled Big Al to pull off and we sped off down the street. As we merged back onto the expressway, I was feeling good about myself. I lay back and turned on the radio hoping to hear something relaxing. Right on cue, a song by the Ohio Players called "It's All Over" came on.

"Hey, Al, remember this old cut?"

"Of course, I remember. Back in those days I used to throw rent parties in my basement."

"My father used to throw those parties, too. He always played this song right before he kicked everybody out," I said, laughing. "Those were the good old days."

"Where is your father now?"

"He died back in eighty-eight."

"I'm sorry to hear that," he said with compassion. "What did he die of? Cancer, heart attack, stroke?"

"No, he died of an overdose of women," I said sadly. "I just hope I get out of this business before I.O.D., too."

Copyright © 1999 by Michael Baisden

Meet the Author

Michael Baisden is the bestselling author of Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat and Men Cry in the Dark. His electrifying personality has earned him repeated appearances on national radio and talk shows. He lives in Houston, Texas.

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The Maintenance Man Collector's Edition: It's midnight, do you know where your woman is? 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never wrote a review on a book before, but i decided to with this one..this was not a good read at all. It was very slow and boring... the catchy title caught my attention...this was so not worth the money. This was more of a $2.99 read..the first time i paid this much for a book, and i got suckered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I need to see what Malcolm looks like. Lol. But any way, it kept me interested, but it was a bit all over the place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great book. Keeps reader wondering what's next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! Typical storyline but was good!