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After the Hurricane Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek of After the Hurricane

Excerpt from After the Hurricane from Chapter 7: Manning Up

Boom, Boom, Boom, I heard as I fought to stay asleep. It sounded like someone dropped my unconscious body into a warzone, and I accepted my fate as a civilian out of his element since I wasn’t ready to wake up and face the world again. My eyes opened abruptly as I remembered Jarrah was here with me. I immediately remembered the promise I made to Mama Charmaine at the homegoing ceremony Jarrah, Theresa and I had for her. I slowly scanned my living room as I gradually gained awareness. The pressure from Jarrah lying in my arms drew my attention to her. She was beautifully still asleep, and for a second, I got lost in her beauty, but that moment was ruined when I heard the sound again. Finally, my ears registered the unwarranted alarm as a knock on my apartment door. I slowly lifted Jarrah off of me and gently laid her back on the chair once I was free of the weight of her body. I glanced at her again to make sure I didn’t disturb what looked to be a very peaceful sleep before I made my way to my door. No one knew where I had moved to except for Monalisa, Donald, and Jarrah. Monalisa still thought I was dead, so I knew it wasn’t her, which meant it could only be one person. As I peeped through my peephole and confirmed Donald’s identity, I breathed deeply as I decided how I would handle him. Before I opened the door for him, I walked back into my living room and retrieved my cell phone from my coffee table. I found Dario’s number in my contacts and shot him a quick text message. Come to my apartment ASAP. We might have a problem. Shoot me the location. 1400 Briarcliff Rd. Atlanta, GA 30306 Apt. 83G. I’m on the 8th floor. OMW. It’s gated so use my pin 184730 to get in. Word. After I read Dario’s last text message, I put my phone back on the table and went back to the door. I took a deep breath before I unlocked the door and twisted the doorknob. I hadn’t seen Donald in a few days, so I didn’t know what he was on. The last conversation we had didn’t go well since he was angry at me for ruining our plans since I gave Jarrah my word that I would drop my vendetta against the twins. He disappeared for a while, and it slipped my mind to alert the security at my apartment complex not to allow him back inside. I should have done that and changed my PIN, but I was so caught up in getting my life together that I forgot. He had shown up at my door unannounced, and I didn’t know what to expect. That’s why I hit Dario up before I opened the door for Donald. If something popped off, I didn’t want Jarrah to be caught in the crossfire. Finally, I opened the door so Donald could stop knocking. It was almost midnight, and he was going to get me reported for disturbing the peace if he didn’t chill out. Plus, I didn’t want him to wake Jarrah because I didn’t want him to know she was here, for her safety. I also didn’t want her to see he still had access to me. I worked hard to get her to trust me again, so I wasn’t planning to break it. “What’s up,” Donald greeted me once we were face to face. I stood in front of the door so he wouldn’t walk inside my place like he usually did. “What’s up? I thought you went back to Indiana,” I told him. He grinned at me. “There’s no way I could leave without saying goodbye to my partner in crime,” he teased. I looked at him stone-faced and unamused. He was a pest to me, and I regretted I dealt with him in the first place. However, he saved my life, so I felt like I was indebted to him. “Is that why you’re here? To say goodbye,” I inquired because I knew better than that. He smirked at me, and it gave me chills. There was something more sinister about his energy this time. “Something like that,” he responded. “So… aren’t you going to let me in?” I sighed deeply before stepping back and allowing him to come into my apartment. Before he could make his way to my living room, I redirected him to my dining area, so he wouldn’t see Jarrah on my couch. Once we were in there, I walked to the bar and poured the two of us a shot of whiskey. I needed to get some liquor in his system so I could be at an advantage if things popped off. I only lived about ten minutes from Mama Charmaine’s house, so I knew Dario would be here soon. However, I didn’t want to take any chances. I handed Donald his drink and stared at him as I waited for him to drink it. He kept his eyes on me like he knew I was up to no good, but he took the shot after a few seconds. I threw mine back right after him and poured us another one. “So, what’s up? Why’d you come here so late,” I questioned as I nursed my second shot. I wasn’t lightweight, but I wanted him to take a couple before I drank another one. After Donald threw back two more shots, he looked at me, and said, “In case you’ve forgotten, I ain’t from here, so I don’t have a place to go.” “Then, where have you been for the past few days,” I questioned. He glared at me. “Aren’t you going to drink that? I’m five shots in and you haven’t even touched your second one,” he pointed out, dodging my question. I took my second shot, so he could shut up about it. He poured me another one after taking another one. I knew alcohol was his weakness, so he wouldn’t hesitate to fill up on it if I offered him a drink. Although I knew he wasn’t stupid, I knew he couldn’t resist the urge to get drunk since that was his favorite pastime. If you looked up the word alcoholic in Webster’s dictionary, there would be a picture of him wearing a sombrero and holding up a bottle of tequila with a lime in his mouth. I drank my third shot and winced as it burned the back of my throat. I hated the sting of alcohol, but I drank it anyway. I wasn’t an alcoholic like Donald, but I had a love-hate relationship with the bottle of spirits. I had seen my mother lose herself in bottle after bottle when I was a little boy, so I loathed it, but not enough to not drink it at all. Donald slid the bottle over to me so I could pour my fourth shot, and I immediately slid it back over to him. “Nah, I’m good. You gone answer my question or what?” “I went to see some distant relatives of mine,” he lied. I knew he was lying because I knew he didn’t know anyone here. His family was from Indiana, and they all remained together since they were in the Mexican Mafia. Summer told me how obsessed her father was with keeping the family together during pillow top. That’s why he sent Donald after her when she flew to Chicago to help me out. It was like they had a tracker on her, and she desperately wanted to escape their stronghold. Fucking with me got her what she wanted permanently. That was the one thing I regretted out of this whole ordeal. I shouldn’t have included her in my bullshit. I knew she was in love with me, and she would have done anything for me, and I used that to manipulate her. That was fucked up on my part. “That’s the story you gone spin to me,” I quizzed as I stared at him. He laughed loudly. I slowly turned my head toward my living room, afraid that he would wake Jarrah. He must have noticed my paranoia because his laughter abruptly stopped. “Is someone else here with you,” he asked me. I quickly turned my attention back to him. “No. What would make you think that?” He studied me for a while before saying, “You’ve been acting a little suspicious since I came here. Questioning me and shit like you don’t owe me for saving your fuckin’ life. So, it would make sense if you were hiding something from me. Are you… hiding something from me, Quincy,” he inquired. His crazed eyes glistened as we stared at each other. I tried to keep my cool even though I was worried about what would happen if he found out Jarrah was here. “I don’t got shit to hide,” I answered as I poured another shot. “Oh really? Then, why are we sitting at this uncomfortable ass table instead of the living room like we usually do? You got a lady friend in there waiting on you,” he pressed through a creepy smile. I rolled my eyes and sighed deeply. “I said no. Besides, if anyone is acting suspicious it’s you. Talking about you went to see family when I know full well you don’t have family here. I’m not stupid nigga.” “Nigga? ¿Me parezco una nigger para ti? The only nigger sitting at this table is your black ass,” he spat in the most condescending tone I’d ever heard. His racist ass was sitting here acting like he wasn’t half-black. Just because his skin was lighter than mine, didn’t mean he wasn’t a black man. You would have thought he was raised by a slave master the way he hated the black in himself. “If you call me a nigger again, I will-” I started to say, but before I could finish my statement, Donald stood up like he wanted to fight me, so I stood up too. I may not have come from the background he came from, but I was going to defend myself when I was disrespected. I didn’t care that he was in a gang. Nothing about him scared me. We stood up and glared at each other from opposite sides of my dining room table, and waited to see who would make the first move. Suddenly, Jarrah’s voice permeated my apartment like an alarm. “Quincy,” she called out to me as my chest heaved. Donald frowned at me as he processed Jarrah’s voice. Before he could make a move, there was a knock at my door. A sense of relief came over me as I tried to decide what I would do first. Jarrah was looking for me, so I knew it was a matter of time before she got up and started walking around my apartment to find me. However, Dario had finally arrived to pick her up. I didn’t want her to know Donald was still around, so I quickly walked to my door and opened it for Dario. I was glad to see that he brought Dustin and Deandra’s husband with him. “She’s in the living room. Go take care of her while I handle things in here. I don’t want her to know Donald’s here,” I explained to Dario. He nodded at me and walked to my living room. Dustin followed him while Jerrell followed me to my dining room. “What are you guys doing here? Where’s Q,” I heard Jarrah ask the twins. I hated that this situation escalated to the point that I had to ask Thing One and Thing Two for help. I may have squashed my beef with them, but I still didn’t care for them. Donald was sitting down when I got back in my dining room. He must have seen the twins pass by and realized he was outnumbered. He grabbed the bottle of whiskey and took another shot. Then, he stood up and started out of my apartment. When he got closer to my front door, he turned to look at me before saying, “My business with you isn’t finished in the slightest. You owe me, and I’ll be back to collect when your posse ain’t around.” Then, he walked out of my apartment. Upon hearing those words, Jerrell started to my living room, and I followed behind him. I was glad they arrived before things got ugly. The last thing I wanted was for Jarrah to get hurt because of me. Donald was on one from the minute he arrived at my apartment, that’s why I didn’t take any chances with him. When I got in my living room, Dario was putting Jarrah’s shoes on, and Dustin was helping her put on her jacket while Jerrell gathered her things. It was weird watching them wait on her like she was a queen, but I couldn’t be mad at it. I hadn’t done any of those things for her, ever. As strange as they were to me, I couldn’t help but be happy she had people who loved her the way they clearly did. Even Deandra’s husband loved her. I could tell because he made sure Donald wasn’t a risk to her before he went to see her. She had all of them eating out of the palms of her hands, and I was low-key amazed at her for it. As crazy as it was, it made me love her more.

To Be Continued...

After the Hurricane book cover
After the Hurricane


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