Pink Maxwell's independent debut novel A Scorpion's Sting is an ingenious tale of heart-wrenching love, pain, and egotistical desires. The story centers around Tammy's relationships with family, friends, and lovers as she forges through adulthood, paves her way to self-discovery, and fights an ongoing battle to forget her abusive past that constantly terrorizes her dreams. Her dreams suddenly becomes a live nightmare when the people of her past resurfaces and she is pulled between two worlds of finding forgiveness and seeking revenge. Family secrets, lies, and a deadly vengeance will be the reason she finally fights back with a sting.
A Scorpion's Sting is perfectly blended with eroticism, drama, and a sweet dose of revenge. You'll be fully satisfied with its original, page-turning plot!
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.68(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A SCORPION'S STINGA Novel
By PINK MAXWELL
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2012 Pink Maxwell
All right reserved.
"I could kill you," she said to me through the receiver.
"You too? I have enough people wanting to do that."
She wasn't in a laughing mood. Her eyes hung low with sorrow. However, I was high from her presence alone.
To tell you my story, I have to start with her on this particular day. This was the day I changed how I viewed and treated the women who came into my life. The one person I trusted, the one person I loved to the core of my soul, turned her back on me.
She looked at me with a combination of anguish and despair. The glass partition that separated her from me, the love of her life, was stained with fingerprints of old lovers wanting to touch each other. In a sense this place took away her freedom also. They listened in when she said "I love you." They watched over her when she shed her tears. They controlled the time she had with me. What they couldn't control was the yearning we had, feeling our skin against each other. She touched the glass, leaving her own stains.
She said she couldn't stand to see me, her man, in the condition I was in, from my uncut hair to the dirty jumpsuit I wore. It was orange, her new least-favorite color. I didn't know I was her ex just yet. That was the reason behind her surprise visit: she wanted to tell me in person.
I never expected her to go out of her way to see me in upstate New York. She was too bourgeois to be seen in a prison. I'd written her three times during the four months I'd been incarcerated, and she had yet to respond to any of the letters. So seeing her in the flesh sent goose bumps all over my body. I wondered what message could be so important that it couldn't come in the mail.
"I missed you. Why haven't you written me? I thought you didn't love me anymore. I was over here losing my mind," I told her. I swallowed hard awaiting her answer.
She didn't know how to explain her absence to me. She looked down at her nails, which she'd nearly chewed off. Chewing her nails was a bad habit of hers. I could tell she was nervous.
"You know I love you, Tony. I've loved you for the last three and a half years. We've been together since that day I found you lying on the corner, barely breathing. Don't ever question that," she said. Her voice cracked a bit, filled with pieces of sincerity and impatience.
"I'm sorry, but you've been MIA since the day I was sentenced. Of all people, I thought you would be the one here for me. Do you know what they call a 'ride or die' chick? A woman who sticks by her man no matter what hard times he goes through. You are my ride or die and you're going to be here for me," I said in a way that may have made her feel like she was my child and not my first love because of her changed expression.
"Excuse me?" she snapped. "You're telling me or you're asking me?"
I checked my tone and said more softly, "I mean, come on. Don't do this to me. I have no one and you know this." And I really didn't. My foster family hadn't been around since I'd finished high school a few years back. When I accepted my diploma, she was the only one cheering me on who meant anything to me. That was the day I knew I was going to love her for a very long time. She was my only family now and definitely reaped the benefits of it. Once she had my heart, her reputation and popularity at school had soared to a level she had never imagined. No one had the heart to disrespect her, even after I left the school. I spoiled her with money and gifts that I always conveniently presented to her in front of her friends. I was the king of her life, and now she was sitting there feeling sorry for me. She understood that I had gone through a lot of bad luck growing up, but she constantly reminded me that I had control of this situation, and my choices had led me here.
"You did this to yourself, Tony. For years I told you to leave it alone. But no, you just couldn't. You let that hate grow inside of you like a breeding fungus," she scolded.
"Do we have to go through this again? It happened. Nothing we can do now. When I get out of here, we are going to pick up where we left off."
"Where we left off? You have more years to do than we have been together!" She had an incredulous look on her face, and I knew her well enough to know that facial expression meant she was not okay with what I'd said. My stomach twisted the way she twisted the cord around her fingers. Her beautiful fingers that I missed so much. She was talking crazy, as if she was not going to wait for me. I didn't like that at all.
She always told me that the day that she received "the call" would be the last day of our relationship. To many people, that would seem like treason, especially since I adored her so much. But she wasn't the "do the five-to-seven bid with him" kind of girl. When she answered the phone and heard I was arrested, she didn't have to ask me what happened. She already knew.
For over three years I had plotted revenge against my enemies, Damian and Tyrone. She had wanted me to stop talking to her about it, but I wouldn't. I couldn't. My lust for revenge was equally as passionate as my love for her. So she listened to me vent day in and day out about how they were going to get what they deserved. I made sure I stayed out of trouble so I wouldn't get arrested before retaliating. She always liked that part of the plan. She just hoped I never got around to doing the retaliating. But in my eyes, my enemies' fates were already sealed. She warned me that she wouldn't be there if I had to do hard time. No compromises, no exceptions. But I was confident a ring on her finger would change that.
I wanted to propose to her in front of her family on the day she graduated from high school. It would be a shock to everyone because they had never met me before. For almost four years she had been afraid to bring me home because I was older than her. When I met her, she was a freshman and I was the oldest senior in high school. But now that she was leaving the nest, I no longer had to be a secret.
Too bad I never had the chance to meet them.
The day I went ring shopping was the day I finally saw the men I was looking for. I had walked out of a third jewelry store in downtown Brooklyn, disappointed at the selection of quality diamonds they offered our inner-city citizens. Tyrone was exiting Albee Square Mall, and I surprise-attacked him. In the heat of the physical battle, I shot him three times. Everyone on Fulton Street scrambled in all directions. The high school kids no longer cared for the latest fashions and ducked for cover.
When my deed was done, I blended in with the crowd and left the crime scene. Tyrone was on the ground, face contorted, screaming in pain and yelling out every expletive man ever created. Leaving him undead was part of the plan. He would live to suffer and would never be able to walk again. This is what happened when you broke your alliance and slept with the enemy.
Part two of my plan happened later that night. Two other men were with me, and we staked out in front of Brooklyn Hospital on DeKalb Avenue around midnight. I knew Damian would come to visit Tyrone. Damian was just as dangerous as I was, so we were prepared with the necessary armor.
As if it was scripted and on cue, Damian walked out of the emergency room—unfortunately for him, by himself and unarmed.
We ambushed him and took him to the basement of an abandoned building in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. After binding him to a chair by his wrists and ankles, we tortured him and sliced him the way he had sliced many faces in the past. But that wasn't all I had planned for him. One of my conspirators handed me a needle filled with almost one gram of liquid heroin. I wanted to poison him and watch him die. Damian defecated on himself when he saw the needle point. The smell of his feces permeated the room as he wildly jerked his body, vainly trying to free himself from the bondage. His wrists were tied so that his forearms were turned upward. I knotted a split rubber band around his forearm until a vein became visible through the skin.
"So you have the head of the dragon?" I asked rhetorically. Not expecting a response, I pricked his vein and forced the drug into his system. Within seconds, he slumped over.
I had won the battle but lost in the end. I was locked up like an animal, and now I had to face this young woman with tears in her beautiful eyes. She said she didn't want to break down in front of me but it was hurting her more to keep how she really felt inside. She was disappointed in me, as was I.
She had tried to make me see that our relationship was more important than Tyrone or Damian. She said me being here proved that I didn't share that same ideal. She didn't understand that it would have consumed me alive if I didn't get retribution. "They got what they deserved!" I screamed, slamming my fist on the desk. She stared at me, wide-eyed and silent. She would never understand. "I sat back and dealt with the streets whispering about me for years, saying how I didn't have heart anymore because I didn't retaliate immediately. Damian tried to take me out. Don't you fucking get that?"
"And look at you now! Where are the people on the streets? Home, Tony. They are home," she said, as if she couldn't stress it enough.
Trying to understand each other right then was like grasping straws. I breathed heavily into the phone. I couldn't control the heaving of my chest. I was venting, angry, and losing my patience. I desperately wanted her to understand my point of view. Why couldn't she see it my way? But it seemed no matter what, she just couldn't.
"I'll be home before you know it with good behavior. My lawyer came up with a brilliant self-defense case because they found a loaded gun on Tyrone. I only got the gun charge. You'll see me again before you know it," I said. I tried giving her my best smile. Nothing seemed to work to get her to smile at me. Her smile was infectious. It was the pump that kept my blood flowing through my veins, and she was denying me my lifeline.
"I know, Tony. I was there at every trial. You talk about it like you're proud of what you did. Haven't you learned your lesson?" she asked, losing her patience now.
No matter what she said, she couldn't get through to me. In many ways I was being stubborn. I bit off my nose to spite my face. She had tried to convince me before to let things go and just be thankful that I was alive. But I was an unyielding man. Once my mind was set, it was very hard to convince me to change it. The determination to seek revenge had given me the fuel to never feel forgiveness for my enemies. It was the Scorpio in me.
As I watched her on the other side of the partition, I started to wonder about her real intentions for this visit. I knew she hadn't come up here just to talk about what had happened. She had better not tell me she had another man. No other man could ever penetrate her. I had taken her virginity and was her only lover. She belonged to me.
"Tony, I have something to tell you." She sighed through the phone.
I leaned back in my chair as I prepared for the truth.
I sat straight up. "Where are you going? You just got here. I said I'm listening," I said with a frown on my face.
"No. Not right now. I'm leaving New York. I was accepted to USC."
I felt a littlerelieved. She hadn't mentioned a man. She was just moving across the country—I could handle that. If she decided to stay there when I was released, I would move to California to be with her. I had never lived outside of the five boroughs, and that would be a good change for me. She looked at me as if she was waiting for my approval or congratulation.
"That's good. I'm happy for you. USC is a good school. You've always been a nerd at heart," I said in an attempt to lighten up the mood. But she was still frowning.
"Tony. When I say I'm leaving, that means you too," she said, looking down at her fingernails.
"Huh?" My mind instantly turned into a cobweb of confusion. What is she saying?
"I'm leaving you. I have to focus on me and my studies. I can't commit to it one hundred percent if I'm worried about you being in here." She looked me in the eyes when she said it. She really meant it.
I was in disbelief and never felt lonelier in my life. She was the only one who kept me sane and in line. None of the birds who flocked around me loved me like she did. She fed me when I was hungry. She made me laugh when I needed it. Her ugly faces were so damn beautiful when she was at her orgasmic peak, calling out my name. When I prayed, I thanked God for taking his time creating her and putting her in my life. I would lose my mind in prison if I never heard from her again.
She was crying—well, she should have been. She should have cried those selfish, backstabbing, crocodile tears. She had other plans in life that did not include bus rides to upstate New York. But what about me?
Our relationship had had its ups and downs. At times we bumped heads because we were so much alike. I was a jealous man. She was possessive. We could hold grudges against each other for days, but we had never let any of that come between us. For one thing, we had always stayed loyal to each other.
But she was also independent. She couldn't rely on me to keep her happy while I was in this jungle built with steel-barred trees and concrete grass. That's why she had decided it was best to just let me go.
At that moment, I tucked away my pride and begged her to stay.
She decided that the conversation was over and laid the phone down so she couldn't hear me begging anymore. That was a slap in my face. I felt like she didn't have the heart to talk about it anymore.
She read my lips.
Pick up the phone. Please.
She left it there.
I slammed my fist on the table, striking the guards' attention.
I called her name over and over again. My face was wet from my own tears and perspiration. The guards came to grab me and escort me out of the visitation area. I shoved one of them, trying to get back to the phone. He punched me in my jaw and the other grappled me around my neck, forcing me down to the floor.
I fought for her love.
She stood up.
I gave up the fight.
She couldn't hear me speak, but I knew she felt my heartbeat. It beat loud and only for her. I kept calling her name. I said "I love you" over and over again. I was losing my mind in front of her very eyes.
She mouthed the words, I love you too. Sorry. And the tears flowed freely from her beautiful light eyes.
I was dragged out in cuffs with my head hanging low, humiliated. Now I would have to fight to prove myself in this prison. I had to prove that I was not sensitive or weak. The other inmates watched me with all kinds of expressions, some with smirks and others with understanding. I had a notorious reputation in Brooklyn. But it meant nothing here. She was my only everything on this earth—the only one who could get me in that state of mind. No one and nothing else mattered.
I was pulled away, feeling once again like a derelict child. It seemed like everyone I loved abandoned me. She was being selfish, and it was literally killing me. I knew she hadn't meant for it to go down that way. Who would hurt someone like that on purpose? She'd hoped I would be more understanding. But how could I? She was all I knew.
I would be bitter and she would be in pain. She would miss me until she was all cried out. I would miss her until my love for her turned into an abomination. My hurt would turn into anger. I would hate her until it was irrevocable.
But she would eventually get over it and move on with her life. She couldn't look back. She wouldn't. All she had to do was keep on running forward.
That running forward would be to get away from me.
Chapter Two1986—The Beginning
My life had always seemed a little bit rougher than the average kid's growing up in Far Rockaway, Queens. But I didn't live in the projects, and both of my parents raised me in the same house for a good number of my childhood years. On the outside, we were the perfect working, middle-class, black family.
But what went on behind our bungalow's red-painted door could sicken anyone who lived a life of normalcy and morals. No one would have suspected the abuse that went on for years. My mother Stephanie worked the night shift at the hospital, so she was never home to witness any of it. She was oblivious to what was going on when she wasn't around.
Excerpted from A SCORPION'S STING by PINK MAXWELL Copyright © 2012 by Pink Maxwell. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. 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.