Santana Jackson is one of the flyest chicks in her Atlanta 'hood. At least until her golddigger mother snags a pro baller, and they move to the other side of the tracks. Worse, Santana's boyfriend has made a move, too-on her rival. Now Santana's obsessed with winning him back in time to shine-until she unexpectedly finds herself falling for a brainy nerd. . .
Dynasty Young has learned about life the hard way, thanks to her drug-addicted mother and MIA father. Then she meets City, a boy with as much money-making potential as swagger-and who could be her ticket to a better life. But when he stands her up, Dynasty realizes that sometimes true love is right next door. . .
Patience Blackman is going to hell. Just ask her father, the famous Bishop Blackman. Torn between what's good for her and what feels good, Patience just wants to have fun-and a hot date for the party-until she stumbles upon a gorgeous churchboy who has her rethinking her bad girl ways. . .
"An amazing tale that is sure to delight, teach, and intrigue teens everywhere!" -Ni-Ni Simone, author of Upgrade U
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
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By KELLI LONDON
DAFINA KTEEN BOOKSCopyright © 2011 Kelli London
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSANTANA JACKSON
Santana burst out of the classroom and into the hall. She couldn't take it anymore. Not the classroom. Not the students. Not the teacher or her rules. It was summertime. Boyfriend—Pharaoh—and boosting—clothes—season. She had things to do, and plenty of time as far as she was concerned. Well, at least now that she was skipping the rest of the day she did.
"This school can kiss my entire asssk me no questions and I'll tell you no lies!" Santana mumbled as loudly as she could, breezing past Beekman, the summer-school principal. She wanted him to hear her, just not be able to prove what she'd said. Cursing in the Atlanta public school system was forbidden—a major violation she thought ridiculous and refused to be penalized for. She didn't do detention, and had no plans of starting today.
She had more important things on her agenda like shopping and meeting her boyfriend, Pharaoh. Besides, if her mother didn't care what she said, who were the teachers to question what escaped her lips? Plus, being on lockdown in a classroom was raggedy with a capital R. But rappers, thugs, and corner boys—hustlers around her way who made things happen by connecting the dots—they were a different story. Who didn't want a dude who was saucy, could feed your pockets, stomach, and mind, and spat "shawty" through platinum and diamond grills covering his teeth?
Pausing in the middle of the hallway, Santana turned and mean-mugged Beekman, who'd quietly fallen in step behind her. She silently dared him to question her being in the almost desolate hallway during class time, then shrugged her shoulders in a what's-up-whatchu-wannado gesture. When she wasn't met with opposition, she mouthed I didn't think so to the principal's lack of action, then hoisted her book bag over her bra strap, swooped her index and middle fingers through her belt loops, and hiked up her too-tight jeans to cover her butt that Rashad, her neighbor, referred to as an onion. An apple. A badonkadonk that served as an asset in the hood. Then she exhaled, realizing she'd been holding her breath and that she had an audience. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth when she noticed two boys staring. They were admiring what was beneath the denim separating their eyes from her juiciness, so she got her sway on, moved her hips like a pendulum while their eyes followed the switch of her hips. She was fly and knew it.
"A'ight, Santana!" they greeted with a head nod.
"Yep." Santana threw up the deuces and kept it moving. Yes, they knew her name, but so did just about everyone else in the school. She was Santana Jackson. Pharaoh's girl. And they were just fans.
Her phone vibrated in her purse as she pushed her weight against the door, exiting with a bang. It was almost one o'clock, close to their predetermined meeting time. Her feet lightened with each step as her shoes connected with the concrete beneath them. As always, she couldn't wait to see Pharaoh. Not only was he her dude, he was the man. His name rang bells, and his hood power preceded him. There wasn't anything that Pharaoh couldn't do—except Santana. She wasn't going to give in to him or be like one of the floozies who dropped their panties to guys because they were fly. She knew better and vowed to heed her mom's example: If you give a guy what he wants, he has nothing to stick around for, but if you give him just a smidge of what he wants, he'll stay for the rest.
" 'Bout time! I was just calling you. I thought I was gonna havta come up in there and jailbreak you," Meka Blackman, Santana's best friend, said, snapping closed her cell and leaning next to the door.
"I know, right? I tried to leave faster, but Principal Beekman was parading around like he running something, so I had to walk the halls for a minute," Santana answered as they left the grounds and turned the corner.
"So we scared of principals now?" Meka teased.
Santana shrugged and walked up to the passenger door of the borrowed pickup Meka was driving. "I ain't scared of nothing. But I'm not doing detention for nobody ... especially not two days before summer school lets out—I'm not trying to risk doing a repeat. Ya heard?" Meka clicked open the locks with the car's alarm remote. Santana stepped up into the cab of the truck and asked, "How long you got this one?"
Meka stuck a key in the ignition, turned, and winked. Throwing the gear in DRIVE, she brick-footed the accelerator. "Until whoever's-this-is pays my brother. He must owe him big time 'cause the rims alone on this godda be at least ten stacks. Don't worry, I'll get you to your man on time. First we got biz to handle, though. Then after that I need to check on my cousin, Patience." The truck blew down the street on the ten-thousand-dollar rims, zooming faster than any speed limit in the country, blasting music. "You ready?"
Santana held on tight. "You mean your church cousin with all the money?"
Meka nodded, adjusting the radio dial.
"That's what's up. When's she hanging with us?"
Meka turned, and deadpanned. "Either when hell freezes over or heaven warms up. My uncle The Bishop Blackman ain't having it. He don't want our ways tarnishing his daughter!" She turned up the radio, nodding her head to the music.
"Turn that up! Is that Trill's new song, 'Talum'bout'? We godda cop us tickets to his next concert."
"Yeah ..." Meka agreed, nodding her head to the song. "That's that ish." She turned up the radio. "Okay, enough. We got biz to handle." She muted the speakers when the hottest teen rapper's song went off.
"And I'm ready too. You got my silencer?" Santana asked, referring to her boosting bag, the one they'd lined with foil and magnets and others things that prevented store's security detectors from sounding off when they exited the store with stolen goods.
Meka smiled and took a sharp corner on Peachtree, headed toward Lenox Square Mall. "Nope. I didn't bring your silencer, sis...."
"... I brought you two. Your old one and a new one. Check in the back. Now fix your face! Over there looking like someone pissed in your cereal," Meka said, then laughed.
Santana joined her, then reached into the backseat of the truck and retrieved a big brown, recycled shopping bag. She was proud of her friend. "Even thieves are going green!" she teased.
"Ha-ha. I made some extras this morning 'cause I got orders to fill," Meka continued while Santana pulled a new tote from the brown bag.
"This the new Gucci? Jungle tote? The two-thousand-dollar jammie?" Santana's jaw fell in her lap while she admired the bag.
"Yep. And it's a silencer. Merry Christmas in the summertime. Don't say I ain't never give you nothing," Meka rattled. "ADT, Brinks ... Atlanta Police Department—they can all kick rocks. Ain't no alarms gonna ring with all the stuff I lined our bags with!" She laughed and whipped into Lenox's parking lot.
Santana hugged Meka as soon as they hopped out of the truck.
Meka shrugged. "Don't be too happy. It's a knockoff, but no one can tell. Not even the employees that work at the store. Trust me. I returned one knockoff last week."
The M.A.C. counter was calling her name when they entered the mall and walked past Macy's, but she knew she didn't have time to stop. She was there to "shop" for a few items, maybe pick up some new Js, and then meet Pharaoh out front. He was due to pick her up in less than one hour.
"Where you wanna hit first?" Meka asked, smoothing out her sundress, then her extra short hair that was styled to perfection as usual. "You need a new Louis, right?"
Santana walked beside her, shouldering her dressed-up boosting bag and rocking her black and purple high-heeled Air Jordan 8s. There wasn't a soul who could tell her she wasn't a showstopper. Pausing in front of a store window, she checked her reflection. Fingering the top of her hair that was expertly spiked in a Mohawk, she turned sideways and admired how her graduated length cascaded down her back. Even if I didn't grow this, no one can tell me my hair isn't fire.
"I do, but wrong mall. Louis is in Phipps Plaza across the street. You always forget."
"Right. Phipps. Too expensive and too much security for me. I'm not trying to get locked up again," Meka answered, capping her lip gloss and putting it in her purse, signaling she was done and ready. "You're cute. Come on," she added, interrupting Santana's beauty session.
"I know. You too."
Meka grabbed her wrist, then pushed Santana's hair from her face. "What? When did you get these," she asked, fingering Santana's earrings. "These are ultra hot!"
Santana blushed. "Pharaoh had them made for me. If you look carefully, you can see Ps in the design," she squealed, proud of her man.
"That's what's up. He's claiming his woman! Now it's time to get to work." Meka tilted her head; then they both nodded. If they were going to boost, they decided long ago that they'd better do it dressed to the hilt so they would be inconspicuous. Being raggedy would make security hawk them.
A crowd of dusty teenage boys walked past them and headed back toward the entrance of Macy's. Rundown sneakers, last season's clothes, jeans sagging too low and voices talking too loud, they were definitely targets for mall and department store security. They were also the distraction Santana and Meka needed to keep them under the radar.
"Guess Macy's it is," Santana said.
Silencer bag filled to capacity, Santana exited the third store they'd hit and headed toward the escalator. Her adrenaline rushed, her heart raced, and she was sure she was shaking. It took every ounce of willpower she had not to turn around to look to see if they were being followed. She was nervous. Just nervous, she told herself.
"We need to go upstairs. That's where the Js are," Santana said, leading Meka through the mall, past the Starbucks, and finally to the escalator. "One of us needs to buy something. I'm gonna cop the Js for Pharaoh." She stepped on the ascending stairs, then turned around so she could check their surroundings while she was speaking to Meka. "We're good. Nobody's thinking about us."
Meka's expression was twisted. "Why you buying Pharaoh something? Shouldn't it be the other way 'round?" she asked, hopping off and following Santana.
Santana laughed, then entered the store. "Girl, nah. He always buys me stuff. A pair of Js ain't nothing. Plus, for what I'll get in return ... it's a good investment. Anyway, I want my man to look good."
"Don't keep him looking too good. You know them floozies at your school be after him. Especially Nae."
Santana sickened. She couldn't stand Nae, her ex-best friend who'd gone after Pharaoh at a party. "Meka, forget it. Don't even bring it up. He don't want Nae. How could he ... after this?" Santana swung her weave while strutting over to the men's sneaker section. She grabbed the new Js and Ones off the display, then asked a salesperson to bring her a size-twelve pair of each.
"Hmmm. Don't ever say what ya man won't do. K?" Meka said, following Santana to the counter.
Santana turned on her three-inch-heel Jordans. "Why Meka? Is that a warning or a hint? You know something? Talk to your girl, Meka!" she said, peeling off a few big bills, paying for the sneakers.
Meka eyed the money.
"Courtesy of Pharaoh." Santana took the bags from the salesperson.
Meka walked out, shrugging. "I'm just saying, Santana. Don't ever be so sure. K? Nae may not be fire like you but, just like ya man, she gives courtesies too. Maybe not cash, but her courtesies rhyme with cash."
"And I'll kick her in hers if she tries me again," Santana pointed out as they exited the mall. "There's Pharaoh's car over there. I'll call you later, Meka." She blew her best friend air kisses, then sashayed toward her man. " 'Ey, baby!" Santana waved and cheesed so hard she was sure her teeth would shatter. The wind swept her weave off her back and moved her closer to him.
Pharaoh played with the chew stick in his mouth, biting and turning and sucking on it as if it were sugarcane. He gave Santana a head nod, reached over and opened her door.
"S'up, shawty? You lookin' kinda right in dem there jeans."
Shaking her head, she put her bags in the backseat and suppressed the melting feeling that swept through her every time he was near. Pharaoh had a way of appealing to her senses, starting with his street talk. Everything he said, no matter how simple, was beautiful to her because she loved his ghetto-fabulous country grammar. Sliding into the seat next to his, Santana leaned her weight to the left until her shoulder touched his, then wrapped her arms around him and met his lips with hers, giving him a sweet peck. They could've shared a seat and, still, she couldn't be close enough.
"Thanks. You what's up. Where're we going?"
Pharaoh roared the Charger's engine and spread his soft lips into a sneaky smile, revealing a platinum and rose-gold grill.
"Er'where Shawty. Ya know? If you still rollin'." He threw the gearshift in drive, released the brake, and accelerated until their heads indented the headrests like they were on a roller coaster.
Santana powered down her window, letting the warm Atlanta air flow in and the blaring music out. She bopped her head, reached over, and ran her palm over his arm, loving the way his skin felt on hers. It was intoxicating knowing how powerful her man was. There's nothing he can't do. T.I. was rapping in the background. Paper-bag brown, fresh low cut with natural waves, he had just the slightest under bite that made his chin jut forward, causing him to look hard all the time. She took her hand, rubbed it over the hair he was growing on his chin.
"What up? You don't like that, shawty?" He looked over, flashed a slight crooked-tooth smile that revealed his platinum lower teeth, then stopped the car at the red traffic light.
She blushed. "You know I do." She reached in the back, retrieved the bag with his fresh kicks in it, then handed it to him.
He accepted the bag, then looked in it. He opened it and pulled out the Nike box first. A smile surfaced, followed by a low laugh. He nodded. "That's why I'm wit you, shawty. You a good girl and you know what it is. That's why I got a surprise for you too. Stick wit ya man, baby, and we going everywhere. Straight to the top, shawty."
Chapter TwoDYNASTY YOUNG
Dynasty was tired of the nonsense. Super exhausted of her surroundings and the people who inhabited them—inside the apartment and out of it. Especially her only friend, Rufus, whose underwear had been in a twist ever since she ignored his crushing on her, and had made it a point to try to get under her skin any way he could. She shook her head. She couldn't wait to escape, and she would. Her dictionary would be key in her breaking free, she believed, mentally repeating the definitions her ever-expanding lexicon required she feed her brain.
"Dy-nas-tee. Dyyy-nasty! Die nasty. Die nasty!" Rufus's insults blew through her opened bedroom window from one floor down.
Dynasty pulled back the dull white sheer and stuck her head out into the warm sunshine.
"You better get away from here, Rufus. Or I'm gonna come down and split your head with a brick. You hear me?" she spat, teasing and almost hating that she'd ever taken time out of her life to be nice to her mentally challenged neighbor. Rufus wasn't really handicapped; he'd just started to act like he was when she wouldn't kiss him—which was grosser than gross since they'd been close forever, and she viewed him more like family than anything else. Well, at least I did, she thought. They'd only hung out exclusively for a couple of months—as friends—and he'd acted as if they were a couple. She shook her head. She couldn't understand Rufus, or why he was so upset. She'd never treated him like they were together.
"What you gonna do? Hit me with that dictionary you always reading? Come down and do it," six-foot-five Rufus dared, his voice gruff and deep like a man twice his age. Everything about Rufus was to the second power. His height. Weight. Neediness and attitude. Ever since he'd been put on steroids for his rumored heart condition he'd vehemently denied having for months before she made him spill the truth, he'd ballooned like a jellyfish and wore his insecurity like a cape he thought was invisible. Dynasty could see it, though, because with each rejection from either neighborhood homeboys or some silly girl, it grew thicker and more apparent, and she was always the one to cheer him up.
Excerpted from Boyfriend Season by KELLI LONDON Copyright © 2011 by Kelli London. Excerpted by permission of DAFINA KTEEN BOOKS. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
BOYFRIEND SEASON tells the interrelated stories of three teenage girls from Atlanta--Santana, Dynasty and Patience. Santana spends her days skipping school, boosting designer items from the local mall, and hanging out with her hustler boyfriend Pharoah. But then her mom finds a new man, a wealthy lawyer who wants his stepdaughter to live a better life, and Santana finds herself attracted to a nerdy boy who sees who she is inside. Will she pick the life she had, or the life she could have? Dynasty's mother was a drug addict and abandoned her to live with her bipolar aunt in the housing projects. Dynasty is desperate for a better life and finds herself attracted to the new boy in the neighborhood--a wealthy guy named City who makes money with some shady business practices. Should Dynasty trust the new guy, or an old friend who has always had her back? Patience is the sheltered daughter of a wealthy minister named Bishop Blackburn. She catches the eye of a famous rapper named Trill who wants to use her to rehab his reputation, but Patience finds herself drawn to a choir boy who loves God and family. Will she choose the bad boy or the good one? BOYFRIEND SEASON deals with the themes of wealth and fame, overcoming poverty, and finding self-worth. Personally, as a white adult female from the suburbs, I found it uncomfortable reading about some of the choices the girls made and the lives they were leading. I found myself saying to the characters, "Stop stealing!" and "Don't trust him!" and "You're putting yourself in danger!" As the book proceeded, though, the characters underwent a true transformation, and I was left with a happy feeling on the final pages. The author managed to avoid being moralistic, while still describing some of the pressures that teen girls face.
OMG!!!!!! This book is a really good read. It'll have so drawn in you won't wanna put it down.
Boyfriend Season can relate to most girls who come from the same enviroment as Santana, Dynasty, and Patience. With the drama of the corner boy, rapper,and etc boyfriends that the young girls like myself may want but in reality the best thing for you is right infront of you and you may have to change your ways to realize it.
Omg the book juss left me hanging!!!!!!!