Unconditionally Single

Unconditionally Single

by Mary B. Morrison


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758215185
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 643,829
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison believes that women must shape their own destiny. Born in Aurora, IL, and raised in New Orleans, LA, she took a chance and quit her near six-figure government job to self-publish her first book, Soulmates Dissipate, in 2000 and begin her literary career. Mary is the originating founder of Healing Her Hurt, a nonprofit that helps women recover from abuse. In 2006 she sponsored the publication of an anthology written by 33 sixth-graders. In 2010 and 2014, Mary produced a play based on her novel, Single Husbands, which she wrote under her pseudonym, HoneyB. Her wonderful son, Jesse Byrd, Jr., is the owner of Oiseau.co, lives in Dubai, and is writing novels for young adults. Mary currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit Mary HoneyB Morrison on Facebook @therealmaryb, Twitter @marybmorrison, Instagram @maryhoneybmorrison, and at MaryMorrison.com.

Read an Excerpt

Unconditionally Single



Copyright © 2009 Mary B. Morrison
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-1517-8

Chapter One


Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!

As I fired the pistol, my body hammered against the mat, forcing me back a few inches deeper inside the SUV. Four gold bullet shells lay in front of me. I had nine rounds left plus one in the chamber. I prayed I'd make it out of this situation alive. The sound of police sirens blaring close by, then fading in the distance gave little hope of my being rescued. My only option-escape. I squinted at the beaming sunshine, searching for an answer to my prayer.

Brain? Courage? Heart?

I should've put each bullet in Benito's forehead. I couldn't. I once loved him. How did we get here? How does any couple go from love to hate, a hate so deep they could kill one another? I was still in love with Benito's brother but this was not the time to have compassion for my enemies. Grant's abandonment of my heart made him my enemy too. He should've been man enough to stay with me.

"Ah!" Benito screamed soprano when the shots were fired, ducked, covered his face, peeped at me between his parted fingers. His .22 fell, clacked three times on the pavement, spun, stopped in front of his feet.

I flexed my toes. The charley horse had subsided. Pressing my lips together, I swallowed my chuckle.Benito's reaction reassured me I'd done right getting rid of him. Former pro-quarterback champion punking out in a shoot-out, intentionally grounding his weapon, terrified of being defeated by a female. If I were a referee, I'd throw a flag on the play, give Benito a fifty-yard penalty, and restrain him from coming near me again. Why was I still protecting Benito? Kill Benito, kill all my chances of getting back with Grant.

Lying knees to chin in the trunk, messing up my red designer pantsuit, inhaling exhaust fumes along with the new car scent oozing from the mat, I aimed my gun at Valentino's head. My target. The same place I'd shot and killed his bodyguard, Reynolds Ramsey, between the eyes. I wouldn't miss, if my brain prevailed.

Aw, damn. My cellular was partially exposed. Rolling onto my side, I hid my cell phone. The only person I'd phoned repeatedly in transit to this deserted location was the woman who'd given me Valentino's money and the one woman who could track down any man in America and wouldn't hesitate to kill him. Sapphire Bleu. Called her repeatedly, something they didn't need to know. Left her one message not to call me back. I'd call her again when it was safe.

"What the fuck is your problem, Valentino?" I said. "Onyx is not going to listen to you. Hand me your goddamn phone," keeping my gun and eyes fixed on him, with Benito in my peripheral vision.

"Benito, if you bend over to pick up that gun, I'll slap you upside your head, then shoot you in your ass."

Standing, Benito brushed his dingy black slacks, squinted, stared over his shoulder as though trying to figure out how I'd shoot him in the ass while he faced me. Maybe I should ask God to give him a brain.

"Nigga, I knew I shouldn't have trusted you with the gun," Valentino spat out. "Fuck what she say. Pick up the gun and shoot that bitch."

The last time I'd seen Valentino was the day Sapphire arrested him at his mansion in Las Vegas. Sapphire gave me a way out of the business without my having to figure out how to exit alive. What if she'd given him a way out too? Would Valentino have had a reason to kidnap me? I had what Valentino desperately needed. Kill me and he'd never get what he'd come for.

Why were these low-down dirty bastards agitating me to the point of wanting to blow their brains out? I could kill them both. Splatter the cells God intended as two male masterpieces against the scorching asphalt beneath their insidious souls. No one would know. But I didn't want to go to jail or go insane without Grant in my life.

Curling into the fetal position, I pulled the trigger to scare Valentino. Waited a few seconds, pulled it again. Valentino dodged my first bullet, escaped the second. He moved in the right direction both times.

"Slowly toss me the damn phone before I kill your ass for real!" I growled.

Valentino tossed his cellular inside the trunk. "Shoot her ass, nigga," he said to Benito. "Don't just stand there! You want her to kill me?"

I wanted to laugh. One toy gun between the two of them and it was on the ground next to Benito's worn black shoes that curled at the toes.

Valentino tightened his fingers into fists. "Bitch, you gon' give me my money before I bash your face in."

This time I had to do it. "Ha-ha, ha-ha-ha," I belted from my belly, keeping my gun aimed at Valentino. "Benito, get the gun. Give it to me." I pressed the speaker button on Valentino's phone, hoping Onyx was still on the line. I laid the phone on the mat, kept my gun aimed at him.

Money was the root of evil for the person who didn't have any. The cash was mine, a gift from Sapphire. I didn't owe Valentino shit. Neither did she. Easy come, easy go. "You didn't bust one nut for that money."

"The one I bust inside your pussy don't count?" Valentino asked. I hated to admit. Valentino and I were more alike than we were different. I'd fucked him once and it wasn't bad. If we'd met under more amicable circumstances, would we be friends?

My assistant Onyx shouted, "Honey, tell us where you are."

"McDaniel and University."

"At the university?"

Benito frowned at Valentino, eased toward me, kicked the gun closer to Valentino. Shifting my aim from Benito, I quickly pointed the gun back between Valentino's eyes. Coldly stared at him. Eased back the trigger.

"One wrong move and you're dead. I intentionally missed the first time. You're bad. Go on. Try me."

Benito sadly asked, "You fucked my girl, V?"

"Pussy can't come between us, nigga. Let's go. That bitch is crazy."

Sometimes a woman had to be a bitch to get a man's attention. But I wasn't crazy. I was a woman who didn't take shit off abusive men. Not any more. Dealing with two life-threatening marriages and these two fools here, I should be crazy, but I wasn't. The only people I was crazy about were Grant and my deceased sister, Honey.

I'd killed myself on paper, buried my birth name, Lace St. Thomas, then resurrected my sister's name, Honey, dropped the St. and kept the Thomas. Maybe if I were more like Honey, my past life of prostitution, being a madam and a murderess would perish and never return to haunt me.

"Onyx, I got this. Don't hang up. Stay with me."

"What? You're naked? I think we have a bad connection."

Valentino stooped to the ground, crawled alongside the car. "Lock that bitch in the trunk and let's go! I'ma personally put a bullet to the back of her head!"

Always smarter than Valentino's wannabe pimp ass, I'd organized and ran his escort service, Immaculate Perception. Managed his twelve escorts for a year. Now they were my girls, all except the one he'd killed. Losing Sunny made me retire the survivors from their pain and suffering, give them restitution, and let them live with me. I was proud of them and myself. They were no longer prostitutes and I was no longer a madam. Whoever said "Money doesn't matter" had enough of it.

Valentino had sufficient time to do whatever he'd intended. Instead he ran like a bitch. Valentino wasn't a coward-he was outgunned. He'd be back. I'd be prepared for his return. Next time I wouldn't have a heart. No talking. I'd shoot to kill.

I pointed my gun at Benito. He hadn't moved.

"Lace." His eyes softened. "Please give Valentino back his money. He'll give me half. Forget paying me alimony. I'll take care of you. You deserve that much from me. I met you first. My brother doesn't love you the way I do. I know you better than Grant ever will."

"Nigga, this ain't Deal or No Deal," Valentino said from the driver's seat. "And it's palimony, not alimony, nigga. Lock that smart-ass bitch in the fucking trunk and let's go."

Benito whispered, "Give us the money, Lace. I could never hurt you. Can't you see I'm still in love with you? I'd die before I'd kill you."

With no gun, he was right. Aim. Click. Turn. Pow, pow! Pow, pow! I shattered the front windshield, reminding those fools if they drove off with me in the trunk, that was their death sentence.

Benito reached for my ankles. I reached for Valentino's cellular. Two inches too far, I couldn't grab the phone. Benito pulled me out of the trunk. I stumbled to my feet watching him scramble into the passenger's seat as Valentino sped over the STOP sign and out the gate. With the rear door in midair, the SUV disappeared north down Mc- Daniel Street.

Damn, their gun was on the ground and Valentino's cell phone and mine were in the trunk of their SUV. "Fuck. Now what?" I was certain that SUV belonged to Valentino's baby mama, Summer. Some women really were insane. How could Summer love Valentino after he'd killed her twin sister, Sunny? I couldn't figure that out. Maybe Summer was plotting revenge for her sister.

No money. No phone. No transportation. But two guns. I stood in the middle of the deserted parking lot, placed my gun back in the holster under my arm. Tucked their gun inside my pants behind my back, exhaled, then said, "It's too early and too hot for this bullshit."

Red stilettos clicking against the black sweltering asphalt, sweat dripping from my head, soaking my hair, rolling behind my ears, down my neck, I was too exhausted to cross the street to the paved sidewalk. I trampled on the grass instead. Bypassing a hair salon, a restaurant, I walked up University Avenue through the heat wave toward the interstate.

I was too weak to drag my aching body and throbbing feet underneath the freeway to the north entrance of I-75/85 and hitchhike home to Buckhead. I leaned against a pole with a black and white sign that read 54-S and held up my thumb.

Chapter Two

Red Velvet

If the women took care of the women, the world would be a better place.

I'd come to Honey's office to invite my girl to lunch. Pop champagne and celebrate my exciting news. Thanks in part to Honey, I was on my way to Hollywood to star in my first feature film, Something on the Side. My juicy booty and big titties wore my leopard hip-hugging dress that stopped right above my knees. My mani and pedi were the new hot color all the celebs were sporting since Obama was elected, black. My long brown hair swayed across my back. My juicy red lips and dramatic eyelashes commanded attention. Honey told me it was better for a woman to command attention by the way she presented herself. Stripping for a few years at Stilettos, the switch in my hips made men beg to lick my clit.

Posing with my hand on my hip, I was not prepared to hear Onyx tell me, "Honey has been kidnapped." Honey didn't adhere to the law, she lived by her own rules. I had to admit her methods were unorthodox but highly effective. I prayed Honey was okay.

Kneeling on the plush gray carpet, I buried my face in my hands and screamed, "Noooo," then held tight to Onyx's smooth-shaven leg. Clawing my way up her skirt, I held her curvy hips, gripped her waist, then clamped her biceps. Her muscles were firm, her stance was weak as mine. My trembling hands slowly slid down her silky jet black skin to her long slender fingers. I interlocked my fingers with hers, then squeezed real tight before letting go. Two inches from her face, I cupped my wet cheeks, crying between sniffles. "Where is Honey? Please tell me where she's at. Is she all right? What are we waiting for? Let's go get her."

Onyx held up her hand. "Red Velvet, please stop. You're not helping."

I backed away from Onyx. She wasn't aware of my feelings for Honey. I was Honey's first pro bono client. Honey had tracked down my son's father, Alphonso, blackmailed him, got me seventy-two grand in back child support from the creep, a sleazebag who'd raped and impregnated me, then threatened me not to call him ever again 'cause he didn't want his wife to know he'd fathered our son, Ronnie.

Onyx and I were alone in the office. Onyx came to me, held the phone behind my back, hugged me, pulled my nose to hers, then whispered, "I'm scared too. Before you walked in, I heard gunshots."

"Huh ... gun?" I cried. "God, no. Don't take Honey." I was four years younger than Honey. An only child with a child, I'd felt like Honey's baby sister when she'd come to my aid.

Onyx slapped her palm to my mouth, smearing my red lipstick. Her large brown irises swept hard against her eyelids, loosening the edge of her lash. "If he hurts Honey, I swear, I'ma kill him. No questions asked."

Could I kill? For my son, definitely. My mother, absolutely. Honey, maybe. Honey believed in my dreams of becoming an actor. She'd accompanied me to Los Angeles to meet with my agent and took us to Alphonso's house unannounced so that Ronnie could meet his father for the first time. When Honey boldly invited herself, my mother, and Ronnie in, I stayed in the car. While questioning Alphonso and his wife about Ronnie, Honey discovered Alphonso was Sapphire's stepfather and later learned from Sapphire that the scumbag had repeatedly raped Sapphire when she was sixteen.

The triangle of triumphs uniting Honey, Sapphire, and me was no coincidence. Scared to tell her mother, Sapphire became a runaway or as the system had labeled her, voluntarily missing. At the age of sixteen, Honey had been kicked out of her house. I'd never met Honey's mother but any woman who'd put her child out was mean.

My mom would never put me out. Not much to say about my dad. No man I'd ever met had put me first, including my dad. Not the way Mr. President treated our First Lady. I saw the love in President Obama's eyes for his wife, Michelle, his daughters, Sasha and Malia. I wanted a man to feel that way about me. The possibility existed. I knew it did the moment I saw how Grant looked through me (without speaking a word) and saw Honey. I felt his love for her was ingrained in his eyes, his heart, his pores, his spirit, and his delicate touch. Grant and Mr. President showed me that if a man didn't look into my eyes with passion and compassion, that meant he was reserving that special part of himself for someone else.

It was too quiet in the office. Onyx's face was expressionless as she held the phone to her ear. "What are they saying?" I asked her.

"Nothing. I'm pissed at Valentino. He didn't earn the money. We did." Onyx mumbled, "Men ain't shit."

I'd lost faith in men when my father abandoned me, left my mother to bear the burden of raising me alone. Had my father forgotten I was alive? He'd taken the initiative to get my mom pregnant, but did he expect me to take the initiative to contact him? There was a part of me that maintained hope that all men were not selfish like Valentino and my father. So far, I'd been wrong. I refused to give up my dream of believing good single men existed. Had to maintain that sparkle in my eyes so my son wouldn't become the type of man his father was. And so my childbearing hips could spit out a baby for my future husband. Whoever he was.

No pity party for Velvet Waters. I was blessed. Thanks to my mother, I knew love and I knew how to love. I was grateful to have a mother who sacrificed treating herself like a queen in order to make me her princess. Couldn't imagine life without my mother. Other than my mom, Honey was the only woman who had shown me love. I had to help find Honey but had no idea where to go.

Onyx wiped her tears. "Before you came in, Valentino demanded his money back. Wants me to get it to him. I'll gladly give him the million dollars Honey gave me. I'm sure the other girls would do the same, but he wants fifty million, not eleven. If I don't get him what he wants, I don't know what he'll do.... He might ..." Onyx drew me closer to her.

What was I getting into? Scared, I cried harder, praying my life wasn't endangered over money I didn't have or have access to. Onyx spoke about millions of dollars as though it was no big deal. Honey was a megamillionaire? I stared at the dangling black diamonds in Onyx's ears, the Rolex watch, and the large square emerald surrounded by diamonds. The ring fit comfortably on her middle finger. Onyx was rich for real? The other girls were too? They seemed so ordinary, down to earth. I was more diva-ish than Onyx. With so much going on, I hadn't dwelled on the fact that thanks to Honey, I too would become a millionaire once I made it to Hollywood and picked up my check from my agent.

Pulling away from Onyx, I matched the intensity of her hatred for a man I hadn't met. "You sure you heard gunshots?" I was outraged. A real man would never take money from a woman. Before she answered, my voice escalated. "Who the fuck does Valentino think he is? Where is he? I'ma kick his ass." I was cute but I'd fight if I had to. Kicking his ass was better than killing him.


Excerpted from Unconditionally Single by MARY B. MORRISON Copyright © 2009 by Mary B. Morrison. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Unconditionally Single 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
beautifulljean More than 1 year ago
You must read SWEETER THAN HONEY, THEN WHOS LOVING YOU, AND THEN UNCONDITIONALLY SINGLE. It's like a soap opera you can't stop watching, or reading in this case. I read Unconditionally Single in one day and can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loooved this book cant wait for the next one. The honey series are all wonderful books be sure to read sweeter than honey, then whos loving you. They are the begining to this adductive ride. I love mary b morrisons books they are all awesome.
GRD More than 1 year ago
This book was so good I finished it in one day. I was waiting for it to hit the shelves or online. I've read all of the other books and I can't wait for the next one to hit the stores. There has got to be another one coming. And I can't wait. The best writer out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't get enough of honeyB, she keeps me coming back for more in every book! I would definitly recommand this book to my people who love drama....I am definitly one of them and love every bit of this page turning book! ENJOY!!
Monique Locke More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Honey B never disappoints me. I can't wait to read Darius Jones which is supposed to wrap her series up. It's been fun reading all of her books! Keep them coming Mary B Morrison aka Honey B!
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Sxylegz_com More than 1 year ago
Great Read
getmine More than 1 year ago
mary does not let this is a great book
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drecake More than 1 year ago
now she is running things to help other woman ! to make better so other woman don,t be in the streets!
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