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By WAHIDA CLARK
DAFINA BOOKSCopyright © 2007 Wahida Clark
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Fuck the groom! I'm here for the bride, she's my woman. Can you tell her Snake is here and he needs to talk to her?" As if on cue his boys came inside. There were five of them and every one of them was strapped.
"Snake? You're Keenan, her ex!" Trina glared in disbelief. He gave her this look that said what the fuck you think? When she got the message she made a mental note of all the niggas he had there for backup. "Aiight, then. Wait right here and I'll go get her."
"Yeah, you do that," he said to Trina's back as she walked away.
"Ooooohhh, shit! Ooooohhh, shit!" Trina kept mumbling as she wove around and in between the many hotel guests as she was trying to rush to the elevator. "Ooooohhh, shit! That nigga is alive and kicking!" She kept banging on the UP button as if that would make the elevator move quicker. She looked up to see what floor they were on, but only one of the elevators was moving. The other one appeared to be stuck on the eighteenth floor. She kept pressing the UP button. When it finally opened she pushed her way on without even giving the guests an opportunity to get off.
"Excuse you!" a young sister shouted at Trina as she mean-mugged her.
"Bitch, this is New York and you're excused!" Trina shot back.
"Trina, why you always gotta start some shit?" Jaz teased. "And what's up, who got your G-string all in a bunch?" Jaz was all hugged up on Faheem. They were the last two to step off the elevator.
Trina grabbed Jaz's arm. "Aw, shit. Come here, y'all. Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit! Guess who's here?" Jaz and Faheem just stared at her, both of them obviously not up for any guessing games. Sensing that, Trina yelled out, "Muthafuckin' Snake! That nigga is in the building!"
"Snake!" Jaz and Faheem said simultaneously. "Who the fuck is that!" Faheem needed to confirm. "Not Snake. You mean the pimp? I thought he was dead." Faheem had a puzzled look on his face.
"You and everybody else! It is on now!" Trina said, ready for some drama.
"You sure it's him?" Jaz was skeptical. "How do you know it's him?" she pressed. None of them noticed that they were just riding the elevators as if they had no destination. Surprisingly no one got on.
"It looks like him. He said it was him and he said for me to go get his girl."
"That's impossible." Jaz was shaking her head no. "What you been smokin'? You up here imagining things and shit."
"Imagining? I didn't imagine that he had five niggas with him and I know they're carrying some heat!"
"What?" That got Faheem on full alert. "Aw, hell no!" Faheem was looking at Trina to see if she was for real. Jaz could see Faheem's killer qualities kicking in.
"Faheem?" Jaz said as she squeezed his arm.
"Where's Kay?" he asked Trina, referring to Kaylin.
"I think in Angel's room."
"I need to go holla at him." He hit the button to the suite level. "Trina, go get Kyra. I'ma go tell Angel."
"Naw, you go get Kyra. I'ma go tell Angel. I'm not missing this!" Trina stood next to Faheem. "Later for Kyra. If I was you I'd go with the rest of us."
"Kyra is her cousin. She needs to be there." Jaz was getting agitated with Trina.
When the elevator doors opened they followed behind Faheem to Angel's suite. They heard laughter from behind the door. Faheem knocked as if he was the po-po.
Kyra opened the door. She had tears in her eyes. Everyone looked behind her and immediately knew why she had tears of joy cascading down her cheeks. Angel looked simply stunning. She was glowing as the photographer snapped pictures of her and Kaylin, then the bride by herself, then the bride and groom with all of the parents.
"Yo, Kay! I need to holla at you, man." Faheem didn't care about interrupting as he stepped inside the suite.
"Hold up." Kaylin kissed his moms on the cheek and walked her to the door.
When Kaylin came back to the bar area Faheem said, "Get your wife."
"Get me for what?" Angel was already right behind Faheem and immediately detected the tension in his voice.
"We got a problem."
"Damn. What now? We gonna start in exactly fifteen minutes," Kaylin said. "Whatever it is will have to wait until my day is over."
"Y'all got some unwanted guests and niggas is packin' that heat. I don't think that can wait. I suggest you get your squad ready," Faheem warned Kay.
"Them niggas stay ready. But I need to know who the fuck is tryna throw salt on my wedding and why I gotta get my squad in place."
"Me too," Angel chimed in.
"That nigga Snake."
"Snake?" Angel and Kaylin both said, confused.
* * *
In the meantime on the eighteenth floor ...
Tasha was riding with one of her twin sons, Shaheem, on her hip, while glad to be spending some time with her little brother, Kevin. "I miss you, you little punk," she teased.
"I miss you too, you big punk." He looked at his sister in admiration.
"I worry about you all the time, Kevin."
"Don't do that, 'cause what's gonna happen is gonna happen." As soon as Kevin pressed the UP button the elevator doors opened and their eyes went to Trae lying on the floor bleeding.
Kevin mumbled, "What the fuck?"
"Oh my God! Trae!" She shoved Shaheem into Kevin's arms, who was just standing there. "Get my baby outta here. He can't see this!" she screamed. "Give me your cell phone. Oh my God!" She kept her eyes on Trae as she dialed 911. "Trae baby." She knelt down beside him as she felt his weak pulse. "Trae baby, don't do this to me. Don't you do this to me! I need an ambulance to the Hyatt Regency." She spoke firmly into the cell. "We're on the eighteenth floor in the elevator. My husband is bleeding, his pulse rate is probably about thirty-eight, his breathing is very shallow, and ..." As she put her ear to his chest, she said, "I can't tell if there is bubbling in his lungs. I think I'm losing him!" she screamed into the phone. "He was shot in the chest and leg and I think the shoulder or arm, I can't tell, there's so much blood." She noticed that his gun was lying next to him. She ran her finger over the barrel and it was still warm. "Please hurry!" She ended the call while tearing a strip off the bottom of her dress. She tied it as tight as she could around his arm, went under the armpit up to the shoulder. Then she tore another piece off and tied it tight around his leg. "Trae, if you can hear me, I love you, baby, and you're a fighter. I need you to fight. Fight for me, baby. Fight for me and our boys. We need you, baby. I can't do this without you. Don't make me do this without you. Do you hear me, Trae?"
I hear you, baby. Trae was talking to her, but no sound or words were coming out of his mouth. He felt as if he were floating out in orbit.
"Stay with me, baby."
I'm with you.
Just then hotel security came off the elevator. "Holy shit!" He pressed the TALK button on his walkie-talkie and said, "They're here on the eighteenth floor in the B elevator. Blood is everywhere."
The shooter obviously had pressed the emergency STOP button. So hotel security got on with them, hitting the same button. "We're coming down to basement level now," he said as he hit the B2 button. "The ambulance is waiting, ma'am," he said to a crying Tasha, who had Trae's head resting in her lap. He had never seen a live and up-close gunshot victim before.
"Okay," she mumbled. "Please, baby, don't die on me," she whispered.
When the elevator doors opened, the paramedics rushed inside. "Ma'am, we need you to step outside please." The older paramedic helped her up. "Is this your husband?" She nodded yes. "We need to get him stabilized. You said he was shot?" He noticed the tourniquets that she had made and was impressed.
"I think three times." She watched as they ripped his clothes off and set up an IV line, all with tremendous speed. She heard them say "One ... two ... three ..." and he was on the gurney being loaded into the back of the ambulance. When Tasha tried to climb up onto the back with them the older paramedic shook his head no.
"What are you shaking your head no for? That is my husband and you best believe that I will be riding with him." Tasha was about to lose it.
"This is a high-trauma case, ma'am. We need to be alone with the victim," the older paramedic told her.
The two other paramedics were working on Trae as the female paramedic tried to calm Tasha down. But she was holding on tight to the back of the ambulance door.
"You're wasting precious time, ma'am."
"Fuck you! That is my husband and I'm not leaving him!"
"Ma, what the hell happened?" Omar, Trae's cousin, apparently had been running. So was Kevin and two other guests, because they were right behind him.
"They shot him, Omar, and these muthafuckers are tryna tell me I can't ride with him. They got me fucked up! I'm riding!" She climbed up onto the back of the ambulance. She screamed, "Don't you touch me! Don't fuckin' touch me! I am going with my husband!" She was spookin' the older paramedic who was trying to grab her arm.
That's right, baby, Trae was saying.
"Kevin, I need my purse. Meet us at the hospital."
"Which one?" Omar looked at the older paramedic.
"Right down the street." And he closed the ambulance doors.
Omar took off to get his car. Kevin went to get Tasha's purse.
"Oh, God, please." She closed her eyes and prayed as they went to work on Trae. She hoped that when she opened her eyes this would have all been a nightmare.
"C'mon, people, we're losing him!" the older paramedic yelled, snapping Tasha out of her trance.
"Damn you, Trae, don't you do this! Don't you die on me!" she cried. "Fight, baby!"
I'm trying, baby. It burns. It feels so good when I don't fight. It feels like I'm floating.
"Fight for me and the boys. Don't forget we have another one on the way. I need you, baby. We all need you. You are my world," she said back as if she could hear his thoughts.
I love y'all more than anything. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. Y'all are what I live for, baby. But I did a lot of bad shit in the past so now I gotta reap all the bad shit that I've sown. I want you to stop crying. You know I don't like it when you cry. I love you forever.
"Trae, don't you do this! I need you to stay with me."
The heart monitor was getting slower, his vitals were dropping. She didn't want to believe that he was going downhill.
"This is too much of a blood loss!" the female paramedic said.
"Is he gonna make it? He's gonna make it, right?" Tasha was grasping for any ounce of hope.
"I can't promise you anything, ma'am. We're losing him fast."
Kaylin looked over at Angel. "What the fuck is going on, Red?"
Angel looked as if she was hyperventilating. But Kay didn't give a fuck. She was looking straight ahead; no words would come out of her mouth. This ain't real. This can't be real. Kay was talking to her. At least his lips were moving, but her ears felt like she was under water. She heard nothing.
Kay grabbed one of her shoulders and yelled, "Everybody get the fuck out! Now, goddammit!" Everyone scattered and the photographer grabbed all his equipment just like the piano player in the Color Purple did when Squeak slapped Sofia.
"Yo, nigga, what's up?" Faheem asked Kay. "We gonna do this or what?"
"Oh, fo' sho'!"
"Aiight, then." That's all Faheem needed to hear.
After everyone left, Kay turned to Angel. "Red, what the fuck is going on?" "I don't know, baby." She was holding her chest as tears began streaming down. "I thought he was dead."
"What the fuck you crying for? Don't tell me you still got feelings for this nigga."
"I'm just as shocked as you are."
"You still got feelings for this nigga or what?" Kaylin pressed. Angel was still holding her chest as she sat down.
"Answer me, Angel!" he yelled, causing Trina and Kyra to jump away from the door. They had had an ear pressed hard against it.
"Why are you screaming, Kay?"
Kay obviously had snapped, because before you knew it, he had one hand around Angel's neck and he was holding her up in the air. "Do you still have feelings for him? Answer me, goddammit!" She wanted to but she couldn't because she couldn't breathe. He threw her back down onto the couch. "Ain't this a bitch?" He began kicking stuff around. Angel was crying harder and trying to catch her breath. "Ain't this a muthafuckin' bitch!" He went storming into the bedroom. As mad as he was she knew exactly where he was going, and what he was going to get and what he was going to do with it.
She ran behind him kicking herself for not making him leave those guns at the house. "Baby, don't do nothing irrational. He ain't worth it."
"Do you want to be with him?"
"No, I don't. And you know that. Kaylin, I need you to listen to me."
"It sure took you long enough to answer. Obviously there's sumthin still there being that you had to think about the shit." He was making sure that both of his gats were loaded.
Angel panicked even more. "Kaylin, baby, don't do this please."
"Why not? 'Cause you wanna be with this nigga?"
Angel hauled off and smacked the shit outta Kaylin. His lip began bleeding. "Nigga, will you listen to me? If you accuse me of wanting to be with that nigga one more time, I swear I'm walking outta your life forever."
He just glared at her. Kind of shocked from the slap while feelings of jealousy, anger that was off the meter, disappointment at the thought of her not wanting him anymore and at the thought of him losing her. Damn, do she want to be with this nigga? Picturing him showing up at their wedding and asking to speak to Angel enraged him even more. "That's what you want to do anyway! Go ahead and say it, so I can kill your ass too! 'Cause I'm definitely taking this nigga out today!"
She smacked him again. "Stop it, Kaylin. Listen to me. Why can't you understand that I was caught off guard? The nigga I used to be in love with for years and was gonna marry disappeared. I wrote him off as being dead. Now all of a sudden he shows up and asks for me? Consider what I'm feeling for a minute, Kaylin. Come on now. Why the fuck you acting so damn insecure? This ain't you!"
"Oh, I'm getting ready to kill my insecurities right now." He tried to brush past her but she ran to the door, locked it, and threw her back up against it.
"Don't do this, baby. He's not worth it. Listen to me, Kaylin."
"He's worth it. How a nigga gonna show up at another nigga's wedding and ask to get with the bride? What kinda shit is that? Sounds like disrespect to me." He was foaming at the mouth.
Angel had never, ever seen him this mad before. "Do you hear yourself, Kay? You catching a murder charge is more important than me and the baby I'm carrying?"
"Move out of the way, Angel."
"No!" She pushed him. "Now it's your turn to answer me!" she screamed.
He grabbed her by her throat again and tossed her onto the bed. Before she could get herself together he was gone outta the room. When he opened the door, Faheem and the crew were right there. Faheem already had the game plan mapped out.
Chapter TwoWhen Kaylin stepped into the hallway, ready and waiting were his brother Kajuan, Bo, Marvin, and Angel's brother Mark.
"Who the fuck is Snake?" Kajuan wanted to know, his Puerto Rican accent very thick.
As they headed for the elevators with Kaylin in the lead he was firing off in Spanish who Snake was. When the elevators opened, they were met by Supreme, Kwame, Vicious, and two other dudes who were in Kaylin's crew.
Bo nodded to them and they jumped on a different elevator.
Fuck, Faheem said to himself as they rode the elevator down. The older couple getting off reminded him that it was broad daylight and they were in a very public place. "Yo, Kaylin. This ain't the place, nigga. You gonna have to take a rain check on rockin' son to sleep. That is unless you ready to take the Express bus upstate. Ain't no way all of us niggas won't draw unwanted attention. Plus, even if we are able to do this pussy, what about cleaning the shit up? What about security cameras? You feelin' me, lil' nigga?"
"He right, bro," Kajuan cosigned. "I know you heated right about now, but fuck him! You got the girl. The girl of your dreams is what you told me. Go ahead, get married and catch this nigga slippin' some other time." Kajuan gazed at his younger brother. "You got that, man?"
"I hear you," Kaylin mumbled.
"I know you can hear. But do you understand, nigga?" Faheem interjected.
"I got y'all."
Excerpted from THUG MATRIMONY by WAHIDA CLARK Copyright © 2007 by Wahida Clark. Excerpted by permission.
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