Mya can't undo the past, but she can do her best to help her dad get his future back on track. The trouble is, the streets don't forget, and the worst is yet to come. Soon Mya's world is shattered in the bloody crossfire of someone else's payback. Now, through the most bitter of tears, it's time for her sweetest revenge…
Praise for Her Sweetest Revenge
“Mya is an amazing character … I rooted for her all the way.”
—Mary Monroe, New York Times bestselling author
“An entertaining and drama-filled story.”
—RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Her Sweetest Revenge 3
By Saundra Jones
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Saundra Jones
All rights reserved.
We stayed in California four weeks after the shooting and everything still felt like a bad dream that I could not wake up from. For three of those four weeks, Todd was on life support, hanging on to dear life for as long as he could.
His mother, Louise, had received the bad news of him being shot over the telephone and took the first flight out to California to be by her only son's side. Upon arriving, she had been distraught past comfort, yet determined to see Todd live. After weeks of watching him lying there hooked up to dozens of machines with no change and hearing the doctor deliver the same speech to her day after day, she finally accepted the fact that there was no hope of him ever recovering. So with a calm, blank stare on her face, she reached for the pen and silver clipboard the nurse held out to her. Her hands shook violently as she signed the paperwork that sealed Todd's fate. He was gone. Rochelle was devastated. She had spent days in the hospital chapel praying. For days she didn't eat anything and she only drank liquid at the threat of the doctor hospitalizing her if she didn't. I knew without a doubt that it was my fault; no one said it, but I knew.
It was shortly after Todd died that Rochelle demanded that I tell her the entire truth about Squeeze. She had been in and out of consciousness when Monty had kidnapped her and she overheard Monty and me arguing. After putting two and two together, she figured out it was revenge for what I had done to Squeeze. But wanting to forget the entire situation she endured, she never asked, and I totally understood. But once Todd was killed, that all changed and she wanted to know everything. She said she had to make sense of why everything had happened and why every man that she loved had been killed. I told her without any reluctance, even though I understood the risk. I owed her that much. Now she knew exactly how much blood I had on my hands, including Charlene's, one of our once close friends. Who, in my opinion, had committed the ultimate betrayal — deceit. But only I looked like the monster.
Finally, after Todd's body had been shipped back to Detroit and the funeral held, life was slowly moving on. A couple of weeks had passed since the burial and I was back to work at the salon. I had to do something to keep myself busy. I just wanted to forget that I was ultimately to blame for all of the bad shit that had happened. But that was easier said than done.
"Mya." Keisha, one of Rochelle's regulars, called my name and pulled me away from my private thoughts.
I was sewing in her new round of blond-colored Brazilian hair. She wore it long down her back in big locks. She had been babbling a mile a minute and I had not heard a word.
"Damn, you daydreaming? Or your ears plugged?" she accused with sarcasm in her tone.
"Oh, my bad. I was thinking about something for a minute. What's up? What did I miss?" I chuckled to play it off. There was no way she would understand my situation.
"I was just asking when do you think Rochelle comin' in? I tried to call her the other day just to see how she was doing. She didn't answer, though."
I wanted to say, "Join the club," but I decided against it.
"Dang, what, you don't like my work or somethin'?" I joked as I stuck the needle back in to start a new row. I had to compliment myself, it was flowing just right.
"Whatever." She laughed. "Real talk, I'm just worried about my girl. That's all."
I saw the concern on her face in the mirror. Honestly, I knew how she felt. I felt the same way times ten. But I had to assure her that all was good. Rochelle wouldn't want me to say otherwise.
"I know, but she good, she just gettin' a little rest, that's all."
I reassured her with a smile. Just as I pulled the needle all the way through the track, Hood stepped in. I instantly knew something was up by the look on his face. What can I say, I know my man.
"What's up, Hood?" Keisha spoke. Her younger brother Drew worked for the Height Squad.
"What's up?" He spoke to her while looking directly at me.
He wanted to talk. It was written all over his face.
"Hey, babe, can I holla at you for a minute?" he finally said.
"Sure. Give me a second. I'll meet you in the back."
I always tried to remain professional or least I did my best. After pulling the needle completely out, I told Keisha I'd be right back.
"Ah, you straight," she said as she started scrolling through her Instagram pics.
Soon as I opened the door to the room that we use as sort of a break room, I found Hood pacing back and forth. Yeah, something was definitely up. I took a quick deep breath. Just in case I would have to ease it out slowly.
"What's wrong?" I braced myself but was still not prepared.
"It's Walt. He dead. Somebody rolled up on him at a red light on the block about an hour ago and pumped him full of bullets."
"You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me."
I was shocked. The dude had just started running the crew and already somebody put out a hit on him. What the fuck? The game was a bitch.
"What happened? Do you know who did it?"
"Word on the streets is that it was a hit from Florida. Niggas say he was in to some people back in Florida for some big money and a murder."
"So what you gone do?" That was my new concern. I really didn't want him to get involved.
"I can't do shit about that. That was on him. His old baggage, he shoulda took care of that. He knew the rules. I hate that he even brought that shit here. He told me he was clean. But whatever, that's done."
The look on his face showed that he meant what he was saying. That was it. To be honest, I was relieved that he was not going to retaliate. Something told me that this was not it, though; he had something else to drop on me.
"Then what is it, Hood? Tell me straight out. I gotta weave to finish." I was sarcastic on purpose.
I was agitated because I knew what was coming next.
Hood put both his hands on his head and rubbed back and forth, then sighed. "Well, as you already know, Walt didn't completely have the torch yet. I had planned to turn it over to him over the next couple of weeks. So technically, it's still mine. And the streets already buzzin' nonstop."
That I was not shocked about. These streets are monstrous twenty-four seven, they stay waiting for the next move or come-up.
I folded my arms across my chest and cleared my throat. "What's your point?"
I continued to play dumb. He would have to say it. I refused to let him off the hook easy.
"I have to take the streets now before a war gears up. These niggas ready to try to claim some shit. You already know I ain't havin' it. Besides, if I don't, dead bodies gone be all over the place, innocent people included. The word new territory make these niggas buck."
As much as I hated to admit it, he was right. The Height Squad had to have their leader or Detroit would become a war zone for their spot. Niggas for the trap houses and their territory, or at least territory they would try to take over, and addicts for their next hit, because if they couldn't cop they would trip out, too. Hood had no choice. These were the hard facts. As much as I wanted to fight him on this, I could not.
"I guess you gotta do what you gotta do."
I gave in as a single tear slid down my right cheek. My husband was back in the life that he seemed not able to escape. And his fate was ultimately mine. I took my hand and wiped the tear away. There was no need for it.
"I gotta get back to Keisha."
I turned to leave, my heart in my stomach.
Hood reached out, pulled my left hand, and turned me toward him. He looked me deep in the eyes with nothing but love and sincerity.
"I'm sorry. But I promise you right here and right now. This is not going to be forever. I promise you that." I so wanted to believe that. But was it true?
He kissed my forehead then my lips slowly before I turned and walked away.CHAPTER 2
After Hood laid that news on me yesterday, I felt mentally exhausted. I went home, climbed into bed, and slept until this morning. I wasn't depressed, just tired that so much was always coming at me. Almost like in a never-ending circle. My body had concluded that sleep would be the best method of dealing with it, and after waking up feeling fresh, I agreed. I brushed off my shoulders, pulled back my bedroom drapes, and said "good morning, world" to the sun that was shining beautifully outside. I jumped in my white Range Rover and pointed it in the direction of Rochelle's condo. It had been two full days since I had heard from her.
Pulling up to her condo, I noticed that she had her Lexus parked outside along with her new sports Mercedes-Benz truck she had copped right before our trip to California. Normally, she kept one or the other in her connected two-car garage. I jumped out of the Range and headed up to the door and pressed the doorbell. Three rings later, there was no answer so I started to knock. She knew how much I hated to wait, as I was known to be impatient. As my fist went up for round two of knocking, the door swung open.
The solemn look on Rochelle's usually happy face clearly said that she didn't want to be bothered. She pulled her baby blue Prada robe tighter around her body and asked, "Why didn't you call first?"
A slight frown rounded my face, because her question threw me off. I had never had to call before.
"Since when do I have to call first? And what took you so long to answer the door?"
I threw questions back at her since she wanted to be a grouch. Not waiting on her to give me an answer, I stepped around her into the condo. I instantly stopped. She had all the drapes drawn tightly shut. It was so dark that I could barely see in front of me to take another step. I turned to Rochelle, who then rubbed her hand through her hair.
"Look, I don't mean to be snapping on you, but I was just gettin' into a good sleep. And to be honest, I don't get that often lately," she admitted and I felt guilty.
"Sorry, I just wanted to check on you. But why all the darkness? I mean I can't see shit." I scanned the darkness again. And the results were the same pure darkness. Without answering, Rochelle hit the switch and a light came on, brightening the room. Finally, I could see and relief swept over me. Looking around the room, I saw a blanket on the couch and a cigarette tray full of ashes. It was obvious she had been sleeping and chain smoking. The smell of the smoke clouded my nostrils and filled my lungs at the same time. I coughed.
"Rochelle, what is going on?"
I was worried. I knew she had not been feeling well. But smoking packs of cigarettes back to back was not the answer. The look on her face showed her agitation just a little bit. She turned her head away from me.
"Nothing, Mya, just trying to get some sleep and relax," she stated as she pulled her robe even tighter, as if it could be any tighter. The grip she had on it was deathly and I understood why. She had the AC on frost. She headed to the sofa with the blanket, plopped down, and wrapped herself up.
"Why do you have it so damn cold in here?" I managed to say; my teeth were clicking to together from the cold.
"It helps me sleep better."
"Where is Tiny?"
I realized she was nowhere in sight. Tiny always came out of her room when Rochelle answered the door. I always joked that she was Rochelle's bodyguard.
"She's with Wynita. I'm supposed to pick her up later today. But I might let her spend one more night."
She'd had a doctor's appointment scheduled the day before. I wanted to know if he had found anything wrong with her.
"What did the doctor say?"
"Nothin' much. According to him I just need some rest. And to be honest, I agree, and that's exactly what I'm trying to do."
Throwing the blanket back, she reached for her pack of Newports off the table. She lit a cigarette, took a drag, and relief instantly displayed across her face. Pushing her hair off her face, she looked at me and exhaled. A cloud of smoke rushed the air.
"But I should be back to work soon."
"Don't worry about that right now. I want you to get better first."
I smiled at her, but she didn't smile back. Instead, she took another drag from her cigarette and released another cloud of smoke. I almost felt like those clouds were accusing me of something. But I released that crazy thought as quickly as it had come.
Suddenly I had a good idea. It had been a minute since we had been out to lunch together. Actually, it had been back before the California trip and that felt like a lifetime ago. Nothing had been normal since. Not that anything in my life ever was.
"How about we grab some lunch? I'm hungry as hell. I haven't had anything to eat since lunchtime yesterday," I admitted. After Hood had laid that information on me, I completely lost my appetite — and two pounds.
Blowing out more cigarette smoke and sitting forward on her couch, Rochelle put her cigarette out in the ashtray.
"Not today, Mya, I just want to get back to sleep. But maybe some other time."
She wrapped back up in her blanket and lay back. I almost felt like she was kicking me out and I was running out of things to say. Feeling like shit about my best friend's grief, I told her bye and bounced.
After grabbing myself a quick bite, I headed to the salon for the day. Leslie had a two-thirty appointment with me to get her hair done.
"What's up, boss lady," Pam spoke as I strolled through the door of my successful establishment.
As always, when I entered my salon I felt a bit of bliss. I was a proud business owner, because I had literally started from the bottom but now was here. I mean my life was not squeaky clean, as everybody is already aware, but I knew God was good and I had hope.
"Ain't nothin'. I'm good." I followed up. "Is everything running smoothly around here?" Since Rochelle had been off, everyone's workload had increased. But we kicked butt as a team with no complaints.
"Yeah. I just booked a squeeze-in for Fantasia Barrino. She's in town for a show and her stylist fell ill. And of course, we were referred as the hottest in town. Her bodyguard and her assistant will be bringing her by in about three hours."
"Is Trina ready?"
"Of course. She already knocked out her first three for the morning. She just stepped out to lunch and will be back in time. And she has three more scheduled for late nights." Pam beamed.
"All right, that's what's up." I smiled as well.
The news made me happy, not only because Fantasia was coming, but because in the last six months our celebrity clientele, which included K. Michelle and Coko from SWV, to name a few, had increased through referral. My girls, Pam and Trina, were always on the top of their game. Rochelle too, when she was here. We had a good team. I was proud of that. The salon had been getting quite a buzz for being the top salon in the Detroit area. And I didn't take for granted that without my team and their efforts, this would not be possible. Hood had even suggested I think about opening up another one somewhere else. But I just wasn't sure if I was ready for that yet. My personal life needed to be a little more stable first.
"Okay, I'm going back to gear up for Leslie; she should be here soon. Just send her right back when she arrives."
No sooner than I sat my bloody-red Coach bag down and turned on my curling iron set, Leslie popped through the door.
"What's up, chic?" Leslie spoke as she glided across the floor and landed right in my chair.
"Shit, girl. Ready to lay your wig to the side." I meant every word: doing hair always helped me relax.
"I hope so because I need it. I been so busy I couldn't even get in here last week."
Yes, Leslie was one of those every-week clients. And she didn't look for a discount just because we were cool. I despised people like that. No, she paid full price on the strength for me to keep her looking fabulous.
"I know with your new dating life and all," I joked.
Leslie had recently met someone who kept a smile on her face. She kept his identity a secret, though. She had never brought him around.
"Oh no, he ain't the reason. I'm talking about the things I been dealing with, period. Things just been crazy, but it's all good, though. I'm getting it together. What about you?"
"The same old thing, coming up in here daily and gettin' it in. I been helping out with Rochelle's clients so I have been super busy. It's all good, though, because that's what we do, have each other's back."
Excerpted from Her Sweetest Revenge 3 by Saundra Jones. Copyright © 2016 Saundra Jones. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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
Well, Author Saundra does it again! In her third installment of “Her Sweetest Revenge,” Author Saundra delivers a continuing tale of the life of Mya Bedford. As proof positive that “normal” life is not in the cards for Mya and her family, the streets maintain the truth that the streets don’t love anybody. The death of her best friend’s fiancée, catapults the downfall of their sisterhood, as the truth of Mya’s involvement in his death is revealed. On the home front, her marriage is tested as her husband, Hood is pulled deeper into a lifestyle that he previously promised to leave. Adding fuel to this already consuming fire, her father is released from prison. He may be a free man, but he’s not free from his debts to the streets. Once again, Mya finds herself experiencing painful loss and soul torment. When will it all end?
I have read all three books i hope there is a fourth book coming soon cnt get enuff of her books they are good books to read