Read an Excerpt
Shame On It AllA Novel
By Andre Harris Zane
Atria BooksCopyright © 2001 Zane
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Whitfield Sisters
Ten Years Later
Harmony was strategically positioned at the bar so she could view the front entrance of the BET Soundstage in Landover, Maryland. As usual, both of her trifling-ass younger sisters were late. That's the very reason she never agreed to meet them for lunch during the week. She knew they would be at least a half hour late, take damn near an hour to eat because they would be too busy running their loud mouths, and spend another fifteen minutes on long-ass goodbyes in the parking lot.
However, it was a Saturday so it was all good. Besides, Harmony took pleasure from chillin' at the bar alone. Her frozen daiquiri was the bomb, she'd spent the early-morning hours at the salon getting her hair and nails hooked up, and the brotha working magic behind the bar was so handsome, she wanted to give him a candlelight bubble bath and then lick him dry. She was wearing a new black, designer pantsuit and sporting that bad boy with some gold hoop earrings and black pumps. All things considered, what more could a sistah ask for?
She was pondering that very thought and was halfway mesmerized by Ginuwine's fine ass doing his rendition of Michael Jackson's "She's out of My Life" when someone slapped her upside the back of her head.
Harmony swiveled around on her stool, ready to give some sorry mofo a tongue-lashing and possibly a knee to the groin. Instead, all she encountered was her crazy-ass sister.
"Bryce!" Harmony exclaimed as she gave her a love slap across the cheek. "Gurlllll, I was about to go the hell off!"
"Harmony, give me a break." Bryce rolled her eyes. "You know good and damn well your ass is not about to go off on a complete stranger. Lucky and I, yes. Stranger, no."
"Hmph! You never know. I've been doing those Tae Bo tapes. I might drop-kick a nucca every now and then."
"The hell you say!" Bryce plopped down on the stool beside her, looking exhausted.
Harmony eyed her sister up and down in awe, wondering how in the hell she got into the skintight, white bodysuit she was profiling in. "Damn, Bryce! You wear the tightest-ass clothes I've ever seen. Who are you supposed to be? Lil' Kim or Foxy Brown?"
Bryce flipped her the finger with one hand and waved the sexy-ass bartender over with the other one.
"What can I get for you?" he asked. Bryce was immediately turned on by his deep voice.
She leaned up over the bar and was all too obvious about peeping the dick size. "Well, actually, I'd like two drinks. A sloe screw followed by an orgasm. Unless, of course, you want to break a sistah off with the real thing."
"Damn, Boo!" He flashed a happy grin, realizing that freaks don't always come out at night. "So it's like that, huh?"
"And you know this."
He sucked his teeth like a death-row inmate about to receive his last meal, a pussy burger with no mayo, and walked to the opposite side of the bar to retrieve the bottle of gin.
Harmony gawked at their ghettoized version of Romeo and Juliet. "Bryce, have you no tact?"
"No tact at all," Bryce proudly announced, and leaned up farther over the bar so she could peep the ass.
He glanced at Bryce over his shoulder, licked his lips, and blushed.
Harmony had a streak of jealousy in her, but hell would freeze over before she ever fessed up to it. She secretly admired that Bryce was so outgoing with the male species. Harmony was the shy, conservative type, but then again, she had an aggressive side. She'd proved that on Memorial Day weekend. She bit her bottom lip, reminiscing about the wickedness she'd done and wondered if either of her sisters would even believe her if she spilled the beans over lunch.
"Here are your drinks," the bartender said provocatively, placing two glasses in front of Bryce along with a number scribbled on a cocktail napkin. "And here is my number. Give me a call sometime so we can discuss the real thing."
He winked and walked off.
"You know he's a playa," Harmony remarked. "He didn't even ask your name. What are you gonna do? Call him and say, 'I'm the hoochie who had on the white outfit so tight you could see my pubic hairs?'"
"You're just jealous 'cause he wants me."
"I doubt that, Sis! That man probably has more bitches than the electric company has switches."
Bryce and Harmony were busy checking out a matronly-looking woman on the video screen when Lucky pranced in sporting a Negro League baseball jersey and black, wide-legged jeans. Bryce thought it was so cool for the BET Soundstage to put people on the screens who were celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries. Most people only get ten minutes of fame in their entire life and that was one of them.
Before Lucky could even attempt to hug one of them, Harmony was whisking toward the hostess station to see if they could get a table right that second, and Bryce was up and running with a drink in each hand.
"Well, damn, chicas! I guess I'll just show ya'll some sisterly love later!" Lucky clucked her tongue in disgust.
Bryce had a change of heart, turned around, and managed to hug Lucky without spilling the drinks. "Hey, Baby Sis! How's it going?"
Lucky returned the embrace and kissed her lightly on the cheek. "Just chillin', Sis. Med school is kicking my ass though."
"You're a Whitfield and Whitfields never quit."
"Gurl, you ain't never lied."
"Are you two coming sometime today or what?" Harmony brushed past them, following the hostess to their table.
"What's with her?"
"Hell if I know, Lucky," Bryce responded. "You know how Harmony gets when things aren't picture-perfect. She lets emotions ball up inside her like a knot and then explodes."
Lucky nodded in agreement. "True that!"
Once they were comfortably seated in a booth with their own little personal video screen kicking out various music videos, Harmony suddenly became peppy and almost scared both Lucky and Bryce half to death.
"So, what's new with you ladies?" She gleamed at them with her big, sepia eyes, and her natural beauty was never more forthcoming. "How's school, Lucky?"
"Fine." Lucky only spoke one word because she sensed Harmony's demeanor was the calm before the storm. She'd been through the ordeal too many times not to recognize it.
"That's great!" Harmony opened her menu and then glanced over at Bryce. "How are things going at the investment firm?"
"Everything's cool," Bryce answered, waiting, too, for the other shoe to drop.
Bryce and Lucky, who were seated on one side of the booth opposite Harmony, gave each other that uh-oh look.
Harmony ignored their interchange. "I think I'll have a crab-cake sandwich with some black beans and rice. I love their rice recipe."
Other than their ordering their food and another round of drinks, there was silence at the table for a few minutes. Lucky spent the quiet time checking out all the brothas walking past their table or lounging at the bar.
The lack of conversation became too much for Bryce. "How are things at the temp agency, Harmony?"
"Marvelous," Harmony reiterated.
Damn, not that marvelous again. Bryce sat there trying to figure out a way to break the ice.
"I may not tell you this often enough, Harmony, but I'm extremely proud of you. Starting your own temp agency and everything."
Harmony crossed her freshly manicured hands on the table in front of her. "Thanks, Bryce. I'm very proud of you, too. Both of you."
Lucky was only halfway paying attention. She was caught up in Jon B's "They Don't Know" video.
Harmony ignored her blatant disregard of the compliment. "So, what's the younger generation been up to lately?"
That comment didn't hardly go unnoticed. Lucky put her hands on her hips out of pure habit, even though no one could see them underneath the booth, glared at Harmony, and objected, "You're always on this younger-generation kick. You're only three years older than Bryce and five years older than I am. Geesh!"
"Well, I'm still older," Harmony snapped back. "I would implore you to remember that."
"Implore?" Lucky put her elbows on the table and rested her chin on her palms. "Now I'm positive Bryce and I are in for it. You only start acting prissy and using big words when you're pissed off."
"I'm not pissed off!" People in the adjoining booths began to stare, so Harmony lowered her voice to a near whisper and repeated, "I'm not upset."
"Whatever," Bryce stated, and went back to watching videos.
Harmony decided that she wasn't even going out like that. She would show them. "For your information, I did something over the Memorial Day weekend that I'm very elated about." Well, kind of elated about.
"Really?" Bryce questioned with skepticism. "What might that be? Did you volunteer to feed the homeless or some other holier-than-thou activity?"
Harmony threw daggers at Bryce through her eyes. "Very funny!" Bryce and Lucky both snickered. "Actually, I had sex. Wild, freaky sex. The sort that makes your hair frizz up and look like you lost a fight with the lawn mower."
Bryce and Lucky eyed each other before they both inquired, "And?"
Lucky added, "You've been fucking Zachary since Momma thought Billy Dee Williams was the sexiest man alive. Big deal."
"Um, pardon me, gurlfriend," Bryce interjected. "But Billy Dee is still the sexiest man alive. Did you see the way his ass cheeks looked in those suits in Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues?"
"Zachary and I broke up over a month ago," Harmony blurted out while she had the nerve.
"Say what, Sis?" Bryce was all ears, completely forgetting about Billy Dee. "You and Zachary broke up? Fa reallllllllllllllll?"
"Yes, we mutually decided the most feasible solution was to part ways."
"Could you kill the big words and just get jiggy with it," Lucky snapped. "It's hard enough to understand your ass half the time as it is. Why did you guys split? Was he going downtown to only window-shop and not actually buying anything?"
Bryce and Lucky started snickering again.
"You are so nasty," Harmony hissed.
"Hmph! If you only knew. Wait till you hear what I got into Memorial Day weekend. Better yet, it was more like what got into me."
"Well, what I did tops everything the two of you hoochies did put together," Bryce boasted with pride. "Harmony, your hair might have been messed up and mine would have been tore da hell up, too, if I didn't have this fly-ass weave."
"It's fly all right." Harmony chuckled. "Fly if the person looking at it is half-blind in one eye and can't see a damn thing out the other one."
Bryce flipped Harmony the finger. "Whatever, heifer."
Lucky reached over the table, giving Harmony a high five. "Good one, Sis!"
Bryce rolled her eyes and smacked her lips. "Like I was saying, what I did put whatever you two did to shame. My hair was straight, as always, but my makeup was smeared like crazy afterwards."
"What is this? A hoe competition?" Harmony shook her head. "Shame on it all!" "Come off it, Harmony. So you got some wigger. Big fucking deal," Bryce chided as she took another swig of her orgasm.
"Okay, Bryce, forget it. I was going to tell you all the freaky shit I did, but I wouldn't want to bore you."
Lucky's eyes widened as she jumped up in her seat. "I wanna hear about the freaky shit you did! Who'd you fuck? Huh, huh? Who'd you fuck?"
Harmony curtained her forehead, trying to hide her embarrassment while one of the male wait staff dispersed their plates to them off a large, brown tray.
After he was out of earshot, Harmony glared at Lucky. "Calm the hell down!"
"This is so damn silly." Bryce added her two cents. "Harmony may have gotten some dick, but her ass didn't do nothing freaky."
"Are you sure about all that, Bryce?" Harmony challenged her.
"I'm damn sure." Harmony started throwing eye daggers again. Bryce added insult to injury. "Hell, Zachary probably dumped your ass because you were boring the shit out of him in bed."
Lucky punched Bryce in the ribs with her elbow. "That's a low blow, even for you."
Bryce turned her attention to her steaming-hot platter of baked fish. "Whatever!"
Lucky started chowing down on her Cajun shrimp, but Harmony didn't even pick up her fork.
"Harmony, could you stop staring at me like that while I'm trying to eat?" Bryce rolled her eyes and stuck out her tongue. "You're getting on my last nerve. Geesh, if looks could kill."
"If looks could kill, you'd be one dead hoochie. And keep that nasty tongue of yours in your mouth. We don't need any germs floating all over our food. There's no telling where your tongue has been lately."
"Whatever!" Bryce took a swig of her drink. "It's been someplace your tongue hasn't. That's for damn sure. Licking all over a big, juicy, elephantine dick. Your ass is too prissy to suck dick. That's why Zachary flew the coop."
Harmony pushed her untouched plate to the side. Lucky wished she had a hair weave like Bryce as a protective helmet from the verbal bullets about to be fired. Much to her surprise, Harmony's voice was rather calm. "All right, Bryce. Since you think you're sporting the bomb-ass pussy between your legs and have such an exciting sex life, amuse me. Tell me, tell us, what you did Memorial Day weekend."
"No, you go first, Harmony," Bryce replied. "Age before beauty."
"What, you're scared now? You're worried that I might have actually done something more erotic than you?"
"Erotic? Chile, please! The closest you ever get to erotic is ordering lace drawers from the Victoria's Secret catalog."
"Hmm, just like I figured," Harmony lashed back. "Chicken!"
Lucky laughed and started flapping her elbows, almost knocking Bryce's plate on the floor.
Bryce caught it. "Okay, since you seem to be so damn interested, I'll gladly tell you. But, there's one condition."
"Which is?" Harmony asked with a lifted brow.
"If I tell the two of you what I did Memorial Day, you both have to do the same and not hold anything back."
"Deal," agreed Lucky.
Harmony nodded and also agreed. "Deal."
"Cool! So, we don't leave here until all the dirt flies. Period!" Bryce pushed her plate aside so she could have some elbow room while she was relating her erotic adventure.
"Aiight, here it goes. Ironically, it all started when this nucca called me a bitch."
Harmony smirked. "Figures!"
Excerpted from Shame On It All by Andre Harris Zane Copyright © 2001 by Zane
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.