The Heat Seekersby Zane
A national bestselling author and formerly a self-published phenomenon, Zane ushers readers into an exhilarating world that is rich with original,/i>/i>
Fast on the heels of her #1 Essence bestseller, Addicted, Zane steams our reading glasses with this smart and seductive novel depicting the volatile, sensual escapades of two unforgettable pairs of lover.
A national bestselling author and formerly a self-published phenomenon, Zane ushers readers into an exhilarating world that is rich with original, fresh characters. There's Tempest, barren from a botched abortion, who is a dedicated counselor at a teen pregnancy center. She unexpectedly falls head over heeels in love with Geren, a man who brags constantly about his desire to have a house fulll of babies. As their relationship blossoms, Tempest is anxiety-ridden over her secret infertility, only to be astonished when she discovers that Geren has a huge secret of his own -- which will take her life in directions she never imagined. To add to the drama, there's Tempest's best friend, Janessa, and her cheating boyfriend, Dvonté. Just as Janessa decides to give the troubling boyfriend a rest and get on with her life by entering pharmaceutical school, she becomes pregnant. When Dvonté turns his back, she has to make a difficult, life-altering decision.
The Heat Seekers is a wonderfully engrossing novel about friendship, love pain, and ultimately the ability to step up to the plate by being a responsible father and partner. A certifiable page-turner, this story delivers all the dramatic goods as it takes readers through a romantic journey in search of total satisfaction and self-knowledge.
- Atria Books
- Publication date:
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- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 3 MB
Read an Excerpt
Chapter One: the seekers
My hand hovered over the lighted dial pad of my cordless phone, debating about calling another sorry mofo. The first one wasn't home, and it was just as well. Giorgio was this brotha I met while I was in line at Starbucks waiting on a mocha cappuccino. He was attractive, nice and the perfect gentleman. We kicked it a few times together. Everything was kewl until I found out the nucca had six toes on his left foot. Yes, I said six damn toes. He had this miniature one hanging off the side. I discovered it one night when he treated me to a foot massage, and I decided to return the favor. Normally I would never venture to caress a man's feet, but I was being daring that night, and the shit will never, ever, ever, ever happen again. It freaked me out, that sixth toe, and it reminded me of that Stephen King flick, The Dark Half. I came to the conclusion that Giorgio had been genetically conceived as a twin but somehow swallowed his other half. For days after the gruesome discovery, I had nightmares about marrying him, waking up one morning, and seeing him standing there with a hatchet in his hand and grinning like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. No, that nucca had to go. I know it sounds shallow, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
I flipped through my version of the little black book, a tattered and worn four-by-six-inch plastic pink phone book with a black poodle on the cover. The only letters left from the word address were the a, the r, and the e. As I eyed the pages, a feeling of disgust overwhelmed me. So many names, so many sorry-ass mofos. And to think, I had allowed these nuccas inside my world, catered to their every desire and even performed on the parasites all the fellatio techniques I learned from that Monica chick's book, The Complete Guide to Tongue and Jaw Maneuvering.
Let me break it down for you.
Sorry mofo number one: Trent, a twenty-six-year-old systems analyst. Fondest memory: practicing tantric sex with him and basking in the afterglow of the numerous earth-shattering yoni (clit) massages he bestowed upon me. Most traumatic memory: walking in on him bestowing the lingam (dick) massage on his roommate Bill. I will never forget that day for as long as I live, mostly because I hurled up my partially digested lunch, kung pao chicken, all over the two of them and my favorite suit, a black wool number I snagged a great bargain on from a one-day sale at Macy's in Pentagon City Mall. I loved that suit. Damn them two homie-sexuals for ruining my shit.
There I was infatuated, with what I thought was a prime candidate for the Pussy Eater's Hall of Fame, when all along I was giving my sweet loving to a booty bandit, a rump wrangler, a sword swallower. No wonder he knew how to eat a pussy so damn good. Any man who can deep-throat nine to ten inches ought to be able to suck the lining and ovaries out of a pussy.
I shook my head in disbelief at the very thought of him, muttered an expletive, and then scratched his name out with a red Magic Marker. Goodness knows I would spread my thighs open for a three-legged baboon with one eye in the center of its forehead before I ration Trent another millimeter of puntang.
Sorry mofo number two: Hezekiel, a thirty-two-year-old produce manager at the friendly neighborhood supermarket. I know what you're thinking. What woman in her right mind would date a brotha named Hezekiel? Sheeeeeeeiiiitttt, every sistah I know wanted to break a piece off to his fione ass. As for you brothas, you shouldn't even fake the funk. If a sistah looked like Halle Berry but her name was Kizzy Kunte, you would be screaming out, "Work it, Kizzy! Work it!" in the bedroom.
Anyway, enough of defending myself. Back to the matter at hand. Fondest memory: the way he used to like to get freaky and suck on my fingers, toes, and everything in between. I don't know if it was due to his grassroots upbringing in the foothills of Kentucky or not, but the brotha was born with a platinum tongue. He told me once that he had a nipple fetish because it reminded him of milking his papa's prizewinning cow, Bessie. To hear him tell it, Bessie won the blue medal at every Kentucky State Fair for ten years in a row. Whatever it was, the brotha had mad skillz. Not skills, but skillz. He used to make me scream out his name in forty-two different languages. Most traumatic memory: letting him have $800 to get his BMW fixed. I gave him the money out of the goodness of my heart. It wasn't even a loan, mind you. It was a straight-up gift. Okay, I will confess. I was whipped. Tongue-whipped. At least until I found out the BMW was not even his but this beanpole anorexic bitch's. I saw the two of them cruising down at Haines Point in it while I was jogging. The bastard had the nerve to almost run me over after his nerves got riled up from spotting me. I cussed his ass out, but all he did was haul ass and leave me in a cloud of exhaust. Even though the money was a gift, I contemplated taking his skank ass in front of Judge Judy and perjuring my ass off by claiming it was a loan so I could recoup my money. Trick ass!
Needless to say, the chances of me ever letting him suck on anything else, even my asshole, are slim to none, and Slim's scandalous ass is out of town kicking it with some hoochie at 135th and Fifth Avenue in Harlem. I put my Magic Marker to work again, and my phone book began to look like a toddler's drawing pad.
Sorry mofo number three: Scott, a twenty-nine-year-old graduate student. Fondest memory: having him recite his original poetry to me on our romantic five-day vacation at Hedonism II in Jamaica, making love in the sand under the island moon, erotic dancing to reggae music, and seeing if he could fuck me in every position known to modern man without breaking my back or putting himself in traction. Most traumatic memory: receiving my American Express bill and finding out the trifling-ass son of a Gila monster had charged the whole damn escapade on my card and neglected to mention it to me. That vacation cost me a grip, and if I ever see his venomous, hideous black behind again, I will unload my entire three-ounce can of pepper spray in his beady little eyes and finish him off with my stun gun. Twelve thousand volts to the head of his dick will set his ass straight but good. I scratched his name out so hard, I ripped the page.
Sorry mofo number four, and you are going to absolutely love this one: Kenny, a twenty-five-year-old bum extraordinaire who also happened to be my high school sweetheart and the one who busted my cherry bomb. Fondest memory: discovering the joy of sex together, sitting on the balcony of my aunt Geraldine's apartment after cramming some of her delicious soul food into our guts, and making plans for the future together. Most traumatic memory: finding out from my best friend Janessa that Aunt Geraldine and Kenny not only were knocking boots but had gotten hitched by the justice of the peace the day before he was supposed to take me to our senior prom. I figured Kenny must have been out of his fucking mind, so I asked him, "Are you out of your fucking mind?" You know what that stinking, malicious relative of Godzilla told me? He said the only reason he chose her over me was because she was on public assistance, and therefore food stamps would keep him from starving, and their rent would only be twenty dollars a month. The really sick part is that Kenny is three years younger than my cousin Marcus, Aunt Geraldine's son. I am tooooooo through with both of them, and I hope her old ass gets a leg cramp one night while they are fucking and ends up stuck in a pretzel shape from now until Armageddon. I ripped his old number out of my book and hers, stomped into the bathroom, and flushed them down the toilet.
I was still holding the cordless in my hand when I came back out into the living room. I tossed it on my black leather sectional and headed to the kitchen in search of the pint of double-chocolate-chip HÄagen-Dazs ice cream I kept hidden in the back of my freezer especially for nights when the maggots invaded my thoughts. I don't know why I let them bother me. They were all out of my life, somewhere getting their freak on with another woman -- or man, in Trent's case. Yet here I was working myself into a hissy fit over the fetid shit they did to me.
I found my ice cream, grabbed a spoon and a Pepsi, and headed to my bedroom to drown myself in sorrow. I flipped on Jerry Springer, got undressed, and threw on one of my home-alone nightgowns, a tee I picked up in New Carrolton Mall with "I Just Can't Stand a Broke-Ass Man" imprinted on both the front and back. I saved the good supply of nighties for when there was a man in the house, a rare occurrence. I laughed at the women who were fighting over sorry-ass mofos on a talk show, but I am not sure whether I pitied them or related to them and was really laughing at myself. Whatever the case, I tore into my unhealthy snacks and settled in for yet another boring Friday night.
Friday night. Millennium night. There were only two shows I was absolutely crazy about, other than Jerry Springer of course, 'cause everyone loves Jerry, Millennium, and The X-Files. Something about that supernatural, alien, not-of-this-world shit gets to me. It was the season premiere, and I was as excited as a virgin teenage boy in a whorehouse about to get some. I waited all week to see the show, listening to plugs for it on WPGC 95.5 and catching a few of the previews on Fox. I even stopped by Giant Food on my way home to pick up some Pop Secret Movie Theater butter popcorn for the big night. Don't you know someone in my family had to ruin it for me!
Most of the time on Friday nights, my parents turned in early, since Momma was the type who still got up at 5:00 a.m., even though she had been retired for more than ten years. Pops preferred to pass the hell out after he got in from his maintenance job. My lard-ass brother Fred pissed me off though. His ass is so big, he could shut off a water main eruption with the crack of his anus alone. There he was, laid out on the couch, snoring and sounding like an off-key chorus of hyenas. He had his shoes and socks off, and the au naturel odor emitting from them bad boys was stronger than the butter flavoring on my popcorn. I turned the TV up louder with the remote and held my nose with one hand while I shoveled popcorn into my mouth with the other. I made a mental note to definitely get a tube for my bedroom on my next payday, 'cause something had to give.
It was hot as hell up in the crib that night. Felt like Satan was breathing down the nape of my neck. I hated living in the projects. No central air. Roaches as big as rats, rats as big as dogs, and enough hoodlums to fill a state penitentiary. For months, I had considered asking Tempest if I could crash at her place. I knew she would say yes, but I also knew she would go into her mother-figure mode and get all in my grill about shit. I got enough of that from my real mother, so I didn't even go that route. I give props where props are due, though. If it wasn't for Tempest, I never would have gone through with night school and gotten my GED. If it wasn't for her, I never would have taken the postal exam and landed a job as a clerk at the local branch.
Millennium went off. The part I heard of it over Fred's snoring was pretty damn good. I was going to watch Jerry Springer, but the baked beans Fred had eaten for dinner kicked in, and the farts emitting from his ass could have been bottled as weed killer. I couldn't take the madness one more second.
I went up to my bedroom and tried to crash, but I had to leave the window open so I wouldn't suffocate. All hell had broken loose outside, and the noise was way past ridiculous. It was the first of the month, the busiest day of every month for the liquor stores and drug dealers because that's when all the junkies and addicts cash their welfare checks to pay for their habits instead of providing for their children. The crack house across the street, the one run by that homeboy of Ripuoff's, Lewis, was jumping that night. I hear Ripuoff is doing twenty years to life in Lorton for manufacturing that Niagra shit. Too bad I didn't get a couple of grape jelly jars full before he got sent up the river. I know some brothas who could use that shit for real.
I couldn't sleep, my nipples were harder than Ping-Pong balls and my beeper had not gone off all day. Where were all my dicks? Where was the beef? I knew the answer. They were out getting their jollies off with some hoochie mommas or hitting the clubs with their boys.
I needed a car bad. I was willing to settle for a hoopty if I had to. I didn't care if the ride was held together by duct tape and sounded like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as long as it could get me from point A to point B. I sat up in the bed and said, "Fuck it!" I knew Tempest would be pissed if I called and threw her a guilt trip about leaving me at home with Fred's stank ass, but I just had to get out of there. I was bored, I was lonely, I was horny. I had gone without getting my kitty kat stroked for more than four months, and I was reasonably sure Tempest hadn't had sex since Kangol hats were the bomb. We needed to get out and explore our horizons. We needed to do the sistahgurl thing and hang out. We needed to find some fione-ass men. I got up off the bed and headed back down to the living room, which smelled like a natural gas explosion, to find the phone.
I am still trying to figure out why I let Dvontè talk me into going clubbing that night. Looking back at it now, I realize it must have been fate. I was exhausted after a long day at the firm, and the last thing I needed to do was deal with a smoke-filled room full of desperate women. That's all I seemed to run into, desperate women in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life.
Some of them were subtle in their endeavors, but most were those kind who frequent churches and cabarets looking for Mr. Right. The ones at nightclubs generally came right out with it and held nothing back. Tits and ass busting out of dresses two sizes too small, brushing up against me and sneaking a feel of my dick on the dance floor, whispering nasty thoughts in my ear. Sure, I slipped a few times and took advantage of the sexual favors they were offering. The only problem was they would expect me to fall in love or lust with some imaginary bomb-ass pussy in the span of one roll in the hay and a hundred pumps, when all I'd ever wanted was a quick sexual release.
I decided there would definitely be no more of that. Times are hard, and penicillin no longer cures everything. Frankly, I preferred taking care of business myself somewhere between flipping through the pages of Ebony Male or Sports Illustrated on the toilet and hopping in the shower to get ready for work. It was safer, and my palm never expected me to propose to it afterward with a three-carat diamond.
Dvontè, on the other hand, was a hoochie-loving man. His philosophy was, the more punanny the better. I used to tell him he was going to run up on some lethal pussy one day and pay the piper, but he always replied, "We all have to go someday. I want to die laid up in the bed with my dick inside some hot, juicy pussy!"
Dvontè was my boy, but his playa behavior was getting old, and our outlooks on women and relationships were far from mutual.
All I ever really wanted was one woman who could satisfy all my needs, and not just my sexual ones. I am an avid believer that once there is an emotional bond and friendship, everything else falls smoothly into formation. Unfortunately, most of the sistahs I had dealings with were not on the same wavelength. I have never been anyone's fool, and my eyes were wide open to the fact that women were after me for two reasons: my looks were above average, and I had money. Lots of it.
There were a few sistahs who I honestly believed were genuine until they started asking me for things right and left. One even had the nerve to ask me to buy her a Lexus after the third date. She never heard from me again, and I suspect she is still catching the Metrobus unless she lucked out and hooked up with a so-called successful drug dealer who simply didn't give a fuck. Any self-righteous man who attained his wealth the honest way, through hard work and perseverance, wouldn't fall for an obvious gold digger like that -- although I must admit that sports figures and entertainers do have a tendency to do that very thing. They are so overcome by the legions of pantiless groupies flinging themselves at them that they fall for the game. Fools, I tell you, because Geren Kincaid would never go out like that.
Looking around the club, I spotted all the various categories of women. First, there were the spandex queens. You know the type. Sistahs who have the nerve to squeeze into a size-six spandex outfit when they really wear a size twenty-six. More breast meat hanging outside of their tops than inside. Pants so tight that it makes a brotha want to break out an ink pen and play connect-the-dots on the rolls of cellulite protruding through the material. Sistahs who have to take a deep breath before they even attempt to sit down because the outfit is so tight they can't bend their legs. I am not saying I have anything against large women. I love all my black queens, but I prefer women who carry themselves with class. If a woman puts on high heels in the morning and they are flats by the afternoon, common sense should tell her she has no business sporting spandex. That's all I am saying.
Then there were the pedestal women, sistahs who think they are so damn fine a man better not even attempt to approach them. They come to the club early and take up all the good seats at the bar or at the tables by the dance floor so they can sit there and talk trash about other people all night, so worried about what other people are doing, what other people have on, how people are dancing, that they don't even want to take a potty break for fear of missing something. They are not even fooling me! Half of them sit there sipping on the same drink the whole damn night because they can only afford one and still make their rent payment. Often you only see these sistahs at clubs around the first and fifteenth of the month, after they've cashed their paychecks. Ninety-nine percent of them get paid on Friday and are pinching pennies by Monday morning.
Then there are the leeches, hitting up every brotha they can grab by the elbow for a drink. All the young hustlers love those kind of women, because they automatically think if they buy a couple of drinks, the sistah will give them an obligatory fuck. Most of them end up sitting in the bucket seat of their Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer by the end of the night whacking off to Puff Daddy and the Family -- mind you, with about fifty dollars less in their pockets.
Let us not forget the video queens -- sistahs who have more fake stuff on them than real. Weaves, colored contacts, acrylic nails, gold caps on their teeth, silicone breasts, the whole works. Inside the club, under the dim lighting, some of them look fine as all hell. Wait till you get them outside, though. Some of them are straight up hurting. I mean hurt!
I stood there, leaning on the bar and sipping on a Hennessy and Coke, trying to keep myself from busting out laughing at Dvontè. Speaking of hurt, the sistah he was trying to mack looked like she could play the lead in A Bug's Life. He was sinking low, even for him. Brotha man must have wanted some bad to be talking to her. She had eyes that looked like they were about to burst out of her head and was so skinny, if she swallowed a marble you would have swore up and down she was nine months pregnant.
I saw him glance over at me, darting his eyes down at her breasts, trying to get me to size her up. The only problem was, there was nothing to size up. My twelve-year-old baby cousin Rhonda had a better-built body than the sistah he was trying to get up on. She was so skinny, her nipples were touching.
I pulled up the sleeve of my navy Hugo Boss suit and glanced at my watch. It wasn't even midnight yet. We'd gotten there about eleven, and I was ready to go ten minutes later, but I promised Dvontè we could hang out. If nothing else, I am always a man of my word.
Geren was getting on my last damn nerve. Always trying to playa hate. Like they say, "Don't hate the playa. Hate the game." He was just mad because the only woman who had tried to step to him looked old enough to have an autographed copy of the Bible. I mean, she looked older than my grandmother. The sistah was probably a waitress at the Last Supper. I chuckled because he had some ugly woman eyeing his ass. I know he sensed her, but I don't blame him for not looking her way. She was so ugly, it looked like her neck threw up. Truth be known, though, if she could give good head, I would have closed my eyes and let her suck me like a lollipop.
I've never in my life used a woman. They use me. I just happen to get a little ass in the process. Hell, if it were not for men like me, there would be hundreds of thousands of lonely sistahs in the world. I make a woman's life complete. Give her something to look forward to after a long, stressful day at the office. Put a little pep in her step.
Let's face it. Most women, and men for that matter, spend the better part of every day doing something they hate to do: working. The majority of people work to pay bills and make ends meet. The only time they really get a chance to live it up is after work. I'm there waiting for these ladies when they come home with wet lips and a savory dick. What more could they ask for?
I'm a precious commodity these days -- a black man with a job, a place, and no secrets hiding in the closet. I'm heterosexual, drug free, and I'm not a convicted felon. That alone makes me worth my weight in gold. Add to that the fact that I work, have my own crib and car, and what you get is a man's man. That's me. Dvontè Richardson is a prince among men.
I have always been straight up with the sistahs. I want to get some ass and then roll out. I never fake the funk. If they don't want to play by my rules, then they can get to steppin' and tell their story walking. Sistahs always blame the man when something goes wrong, as if they weren't even present when the shit hit the fan. Like they were having an out-of-body experience, witnessing the whole sordid mess from afar. Who the hell are they trying to fool? I know my rights! I have the right to remain as freaky as I want to be for as long as I want to be. Simple as that! Looking back on things now, I should have kept my ass at home that night. Most of the sistahs were tore up from the floor up, and the one I ended up getting with almost ruined my whole damn life, even though she was fine. There is something to be said for making it a Blockbuster night. No doubt I would have been better off watching rented flicks.
Copyright © 2002 by Zane
Meet the Author
Zane is the New York Times bestselling author of Afterburn, The Heat Seekers, Dear G-Spot, Gettin’ Buck Wild, The Hot Box, Total Eclipse of the Heart, Nervous, Skyscraper, Love is Never Painless, Shame on It All, and The Sisters of APF; the ebook short stories “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “Everything Fades Away”; and editor for the Flava anthology series, including Z-Rated and Busy Bodies. Her TV series, Zane’s Sex Chronicles, and The Jump Off are featured on Cinemax, and her bestselling novel Addicted is a major motion picture with Lionsgate Films. She is the publisher of Strebor Books, an imprint of Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. Visit her online at EroticaNoir.com.
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