The drama continues in WHITE LINES 2: BORN by Essence bestselling author Tracy Brown.
Life with Born seems good, but all his love can't save Jada from a crack addiction. Completely strung out, Jada will stop at nothing to get the white lines she endlessly craves—even if it means selling her body for drugs and cash. But how far can Jada fall before she truly hits bottom?
About the Author
TRACY BROWN is the Essence bestselling author of White Lines II: Sunny, Aftermath, Snapped, Twisted, White Lines, Criminal Minded, Black and Dime Piece. She lives in Staten Island, New York.
Tracy Brown is the Essence bestselling author of Aftermath, Snapped, Twisted, White Lines and Criminal Minded. Writing has always been her passion, and she finds it an honor to depict for her readers the things she’s seen and heard. She is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Staten Island.
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White Lines II
By Tracy Brown
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2007 Tracy Brown
All rights reserved.
BONNIE AND CLYDE
Born picked Jada up from Shame's place on Steuben Street one day in August 1995. Jada had paged him from a pay phone at the corner store. He called the unfamiliar number right back, and was glad to hear her voice when she answered it. Ever since their initial encounter, he had waited patiently for this very phone call. Jada hoped that he would be free that day, since Shante's boyfriend was back at her apartment. Jada needed to get out and do something to occupy her time. But Ava was going to take her SATs that day, and Jada had no money to occupy herself while Shante and her man played house. Born was glad that Jada had paged him, since almost a week had passed since their first unexpected date. He suggested that he come and get her, so that they could watch the movie they never got to watch the first time around. He pulled up in his Benz just as she came outside.
Jada walked over to the car, wearing a red T-shirt and some Guess jeans. Born saw potential in her. She was so pretty that he was eager to see what she would look like all dressed up, with her hair done professionally and wearing some jewelry. He noticed that she wore no earrings, no jewelry of any sort. She was plain, and still stunning, as she climbed inside his ride.
"Hello," she said.
Born grinned. "Wassup, pretty girl? You ready to pick up where we left off?"
Jada grinned right back. "Yup. Let's go."
Born drove off, and headed for his place. He was curious to find out which movie Jada had brought to watch on his large-screen TV. So he asked her. "You said you were gonna bring the movie. So let me see what you got."
Jada pulled a movie out of her bag and showed it to him. Born looked at the movie in her hands, then looked at her as if she was crazy. He looked back at the movie, hoping his eyes were deceiving him. Then he looked at her again. "You're kidding, right? You want me to watch Grease?'
Jada laughed. "Yes, I want you to watch Grease with me. I love this movie." Jada knew Born would be reluctant to watch a movie about two white kids falling in love in the 1950s. But it was Jada's favorite movie.
"Why do you love that movie?" His face was contorted, as if he was really puzzled by this.
She laughed again. "Grease is about two people from opposite sides of the tracks who fall in love. And in the end, they're both willing to change so that they can be together. That's a beautiful story, right?" She smiled.
Born sighed, exasperated. "Next time, I'm picking the movie." Jada laughed, and sang along quietly with the Anita Baker song playing on the radio. He glanced at her from time to time as he drove, still amazed by her beautiful facial features and her glowing light brown skin. She seemed a little less edgy than she was the first time. "I don't think me and you are from opposite sides of the tracks, though." He said it as he turned down Forest Avenue.
Jada looked at him. "No? You think you come from the same type of shit as me?"
He nodded. "I know I do. You told me that your sister was in trouble, and she tried to kill herself. You said you been on your own since sixteen, been through all kinds of shit, seen all kinds of shit. So that says it all right there. I've been through my share of bullshit, too." He looked at her as they stopped at a red light. "I think we have more in common than you think."
Jada shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe we're not from opposite sides of the tracks," she said. "But you can still enjoy Grease G
Born laughed as he turned into his building's parking lot and found his usual space. He parked his beloved automobile, and then he and Jada headed for his place. When they got inside the lobby, Born pressed the button for the elevator, and looked at Jada from head to toe. She noticed his scrutiny, and she frowned. "Don't do that," she said.
He smiled, innocently. "Don't do what?"
"Don't look at women like that. We don't like it." Jada boarded the elevator when the doors opened. Born followed her, his eyes glued to her ass.
"How did I look at you?" he asked. "I didn't mean no harm."
Jada rolled her eyes, though she wasn't really as annoyed as she pretended to be. "You know what look I'm talking about. Men have a way of looking at a woman and making her feel naked. Don't do that, please."
The elevator doors opened, and Born smiled facetiously. "So, you don't like being naked?" he asked.
Jada shook her head and laughed at his joke as she followed him down the hallway to his apartment. She found it in the same condition as the last time she'd been there, except this time there was a razor blade, a plate, and a digital scale sitting on the table. She quickly surmised what he had been doing before he came to pick her up. Finding a comfortable place on his couch, Jada sat while Born went to the kitchen to retrieve snacks for the movie. He came back and placed the popcorn, pretzels, potato chips, two glasses, and a two-liter bottle of soda on the table. Born sat close beside Jada and looked at her. But this time when he looked at her, Jada didn't feel like he was undressing her with his eyes.
His eyes looked serious. They seemed intense. Again, she wondered why he looked at her like that.
"I like you," he said. "I don't know what it is about you, but I like you." Jada held his gaze, feeling her pulse quicken, strangely. Born nodded his head. "I must like you a whole lot, because I can't believe that I'm about to watch Grease."
Jada laughed. The ice had been broken. Born stood up and put the tape into the VCR, and then sat back down on the sofa. For the next couple of hours he found himself enjoying the antics of the crew from Rydell High. Jada knew the words to all of the songs, and Born watched her enjoy the movie. When it was over, Born went to the kitchen and got a beer out of the refrigerator. He offered Jada one, and she accepted. Plopping down beside her, he handed her the Heineken, and took a long swig of his own.
"See? That wasn't so bad, right?" Jada asked. "I could tell you liked the movie, so don't try to front like you didn't."
Born smiled, showing the dimples Jada loved so much. His pager went off, and Born glanced at it. Recognizing the number, he quickly grabbed the phone, and had a very animated conversation as Jada listened.
"What the fuck! Yo, why y'all niggas ain't call me as soon as you got the shit?"
Jada listened closely.
"So who got it now? Yo Mike! Don't let them niggas give my shit to nobody else! I told them that I wanted first crack at it. Aiight!" Born hung up the phone and rubbed his head, as if the conversation had stressed him out.
"What's the matter?" Jada asked. "You want to call it a night? I can come back another time."
Born shook his head. The last thing he wanted was for their time together to end so soon. He grabbed his car keys off of the table. "Nah, I don't want to call it a night. Can you wait here for me for a little while?"
Jada looked around the cluttered apartment and felt uncomfortable at the thought of being in his place by herself, although she was flattered that he trusted her to stay there alone. "Can't I come with you?" she asked. "Where do you have to go?"
Born looked at her as if he was trying to figure out if he should bring her along. "I gotta drop off something to my boys."
Jada nodded and stood up. "I'll come with you, then," she said. "How bad could it be?"
They proceeded downstairs and hopped back into Born's car. He drove to York Avenue, where he turned and pulled up in front of a rundown shanty with boards on its windows. Jada looked at him inquisitively, and he smiled. "You said you're from the streets, right? So come on. This shouldn't be nothing."
Jada climbed out of the car and followed Born to the run-down house. He didn't climb the collapsing steps. Instead, he led her through the knee-high grass to a side door. He knocked on the door five times in quick succession, paused, and then knocked twice more. Then the door swung open, and Born entered the seemingly abandoned house. Jada was right behind him.
They walked into what looked to Jada like a dark dungeon. Born greeted two young men who stood silently by the heavy door just inside the entrance. Both of these guys met Born with a warm reception, and neither one said a word to Jada. After talking to Born and indulging in a brief conversation, they separated to allow passage to him and his guest. Both of the young soldiers took in Jada's neatly voluptuous appearance, but neither spoke to her directly. Born offered no introduction as he ushered Jada past them, and into the confines of the darkened house. She saw more young men who looked to be about Born's age sitting around on old battered sofas spread throughout the spacious front room. There was money stacked on a table that had one of its legs missing, and Jada knew immediately that these men were up to some type of illegal activity. They stood and greeted Born when he walked in, each of them receiving him with enthusiasm and smiles.
Born seemed to fit right in among these strangers, and Jada felt like an outsider in their midst. After a lengthy exchange with the fellas, Born introduced Jada to the room. "This is Jada, everybody. Get used to her face. You'll be seeing it a lot more often from now on."
Jada didn't know what to make of Born's comment, so she simply smiled awkwardly, and waved at all of them. "What's up, everybody?" she said.
One of them — a tall, light-skinned brother with slanted eyes and a thin mustache — stood up and put both of his hands in the pockets of his jeans. Born turned to Jada and said, "I'll be right back. Wait out here for a minute." Born and the light-skinned man walked down a short hallway and into an adjoining room. They shut the door behind them, and Jada was left standing in a room with five men she didn't know. All kinds of thoughts ran through her mind, and she wondered if this was a setup. Would they gang-rape her? And if they did, who would believe her? She didn't know Born from a hole in the wall. And like a stupid little schoolgirl, she had followed him into an abandoned house full of young thugs. She tried not to panic.
"So, Jada, how long you been Born's girl?" one baby-faced stranger asked her.
She shrugged her shoulders, and shook off her paranoia. "I wouldn't say I'm his girl. I just met him. He seems like a nice guy, though."
The guy laughed and slapped his cohort playfully on the arm. "I knew this nigga couldn't have a girl this fine." The cohort didn't laugh, but only shook his head at his friend's theatrics.
"So you met him on some hustling shit, or what?" This clown was irritating Jada with his questions. He walked over to her. "You know, real recognize real, so I can tell you got a little hood in you." He sized her up, lustfully.
"Nah." Jada shook her head, chewing her gum. "You don't know me, so you couldn't possibly know what I got in me."
The baby-faced clown grinned at Jada and fiddled with the toothpick in his mouth. "I like you, shorty. Word up. Got a little spunk to ya. That's kinda nice. You got a sister or something, 'cause I'm trying to make it happen?"
"Nigga, if you don't get out her face, I'll embarrass you in here." Born emerged, carrying a large dark blue duffel bag, with the light-skinned man right beside him. The expression on his face was dead serious. "Don't get fucked up, Jamari." Born looked at Jada, and his gaze softened a little. "Jada, don't talk to strangers, baby girl."
Jamari looked at Born and held his hands up, defensively. "I was just playing, son. I was only messing with shorty."
Born stared Jamari down, and the light-skinned guy he had gone to the back room with stepped in to break the tension. "Yo, Born, holla at me later on." He gave Born a pound, and steered him toward the door. Jamari stood there, as if he had no idea why Born was upset. Jada watched Born gather his composure and turn away from Jamari. She said nothing as Born said his good-byes to all the men in the room. She followed Born to the door, and the young soldiers held it open. They left without any further conversation, and climbed back into Born's car. He was silent, and she couldn't tell whether or not he was still upset about his confrontation with the guy inside the house. Jada didn't question it, and she buckled her seat belt. When he drove away, Jada turned to him, and asked, "What's in the bag?"
Born looked at her sideways, and then nodded toward the bag sitting on the backseat. "Tools."
"What are all those tools for?" Jada sat wide-eyed, staring at the large gym bag filled to capacity with something heavy.
Born shrugged. "A couple of them are for me and my niggas. But most of them shits is for sale, knawmean?"
She looked at him, knowing full well what kinds of tools were contained in that gym bag. Guns. Jada sat, wondering who this man was and if it was safe to be with him after all. He seemed to read her mind, and he said, reassuringly, "Don't worry. You didn't give me a reason to hurt you yet. You don't have to get nervous."
Jada smiled, uneasily. "So what if I was a cop?" she asked. "What if I whipped out my badge right now?" Born looked at her, then turned his attention back to the road. "You ain't a cop," he said. "But if you were, I would kill you. It's that simple."
Jada believed him. But strangely, she wasn't afraid. She looked at him again, and said, "So you're a gunrunner? Is that all?"
Born glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that."
Jada's gaze remained fixed on Born's face. "You sell drugs, Born?"
He looked at her, then returned his focus to the road ahead. "Drugs sell themselves," he said. Then he turned up the radio, and no further conversation took place until they pulled up in front of 55 Holland Avenue.
Born got out of the car and greeted a young man dressed in an oversized black T-shirt and jeans standing at the side of the building. Born reached inside the car, and passed the bag to the young stranger, with only small talk between them. He climbed back into the car, and the stranger headed back into the building. Jada took it all in, and sat silently as Born drove away.
He pulled up in front of a row of town houses, and got out of the car once more. "Come on," he said.
Jada followed him as he headed through a courtyard to an area where residents milled around and kids played tag. A tall, older black man, who looked old enough to be Born's father, headed toward them, walking with a very determined stride. Born broke out in laughter.
"Look at you, Moe Black! Where you goin', nigga? 'Cause you walkin' tall and looking straight!" Even old Moe Black had to laugh at Born's sarcasm. Moe was usually as high as a kite, so for Born to see him looking so sober was surprising. "Only thing missing is a big stick, Black. Walk tall and carry a big muthafuckin' stick!" Black, still laughing, gave Born five. Jada laughed at Born's sense of humor. He explained to Jada that Moe Black was once one of his father's cronies. "My father loved this nigga like a brother. So Black is like family to me."
As if on cue, Black chimed in, "Yo, I need one, Born. But I'm a little short."
"How you short now and you owe me from last time, too?" Born asked, in amazement.
"I know —"
"What do you know?"
"Yo, Born, I ain't got it, man. I'm waiting for my wife to get back from bingo. She ain't home yet."
"Every time you get ready to give me my money, your wife ain't get home yet."
"I'ma have your money."
"Sunday, man. I'll give it to you at the? A meeting they have in your mother's building."
Born roared in laughter and looked at Jada. "You hear this shit? He gonna pay me for drugs at the Narcotics Anonymous meeting!" Born was in hysterics. Jada laughed uneasily, as well as at the irony in the situation. Inside, she cried for that old man, knowing how thirsty he was for a hit of that pipe. She knew all too well what that was like. Moe Black, meanwhile, waved off Born's mockery and pressed for what he needed. "Come on, Born."
"How much you got now?"
Black rummaged through his pockets, and came out with a bunch of bills and some change. "Seven dollars and ninety cents."
Born shook his head. "Seven dollars and ninety cents." His tone was very matter-of-fact. He looked at Jada once more. "See what I go through?" Jada smiled outwardly, but if Born had taken a moment to look closer, he may have seen the torment in her eyes. Jada remembered feeling what that fiend was feeling. Remembered what it was like when she just needed that high.
Excerpted from White Lines II by Tracy Brown. Copyright © 2007 Tracy Brown. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.
Table of Contents
Note from Author,
Two of a Kind,
Chapter 18 Bonnie and Clyde,
Chapter 19 The First Time,
Chapter 20 Partners in Crime,
Chapter 21 Party over Here,
Chapter 22 Birds of a Feather,
Chapter 23 Loose Ends,
Chapter 24 Ulterior Motives,
Chapter 25 Blindfolds,
Chapter 26 Blown Away,
Chapter 27 Tangled Webs,
About the Author,
More from Tracy Brown,
Reading Group Guide
Jada left home at the age of sixteen, running from her own demons and the horrors of physical abuse inflicted by her mother's boyfriend. She partied hard, and life seemed good when she was with Born, the neighborhood kingpin whose name was synonymous with money, power, and respect. But all his love couldn't save her from a crack addiction. Jada goes from crack addict and prostitute to survivor and back again before she finds the strength to live for herself and come out on top. And her stormy romance with one of the fiercest hustlers on the streets makes White Lines one of the most unforgettable urban loves stories of the year.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading the first book I had to purchase the second and Ive throughly enjojed
Read the 1st one, this one was even better about to read part 3. My suspension is killing me!!!
Man, I have just been sitting back just waiting for another book to come out and then BAMM. It happened. So in love with the White Lines saga! Concoction143 Happy Reading Nook Lovers