Let me take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Sylvia’s alter ego. Just kidding. But I truly feel that we are connected to each other. I’m hoping that I can fill her shoes just a little bit, at least. This month, I want to let you take a peek at my upcoming suspense novel, Payback, Inc. Now I’m sure many people on here would love it if there were truly a service to “pay back” someone who’s done us wrong…or maybe that’s just my way of thinking. But that’s how the idea for Payback, Inc. came about. It’s the only legal revenge service in the world–a service that puts something on a man’s mind that’ll stick.
Enough of my chatter, here is the first installment. And as always, enjoy!
PS. Please give feedback!
The atmosphere in the bar was electric. Smoke hugged the ceiling like smog; strobe lights barely penetrating. The speaker’s volume was obviously turned up to LOUD AS POSSIBLE. It took great effort to think, much less converse.
The crowd on the dance floor was gathered around a couple. Center stage. The floor all to themselves. The man was extremely tall, dark and impeccably dressed as was his partner, an equally tall, mocha-colored, blonde bombshell. Their bodies writhed to the samba music. Swing in. Swing out. Twirl. Like spinning tops whirling across the floor. But this samba wasn’t the usual. They’d added an African flair to the Latin dance—exaggerated pelvic movements and thrusts. Dry-humping.
My lower lips twitched as the man’s tongue followed the curve of the woman’s neck, saliva glistening in the light. Fine-boned hands massaged her stomach then skimmed up, ever…so…slowly, to cup her fabric-encased breasts. I crossed my legs in agony; gave the barstool a futile private lap dance.
As the hormones zinged through my body, I reminded myself of why I was there in the first place. Him. The mark. The errant husband sexing it up with whoever, whenever. This whole scene was courtesy of his wife — the one footing my bill.
Hands shaking, I snapped a few shots of the couple’s antics with my spypen. The music ended with the man’s lips—succulent lips meant for licking, biting, sucking, kissing—pressed deep between the valley of the woman’s breasts. In fact, his lips had me so ensnared, I failed to sense the danger behind me.
Turning back to the bar, I found my eyes captured by a pair of hazel ones surrounded by a goateed, enigmatic face. Cologne teased my nostrils. Strobe lights illuminated him in snatches. From what I could see, I liked—caramel, tall and built like a male brickhouse. Danger was tattooed on his forehead like a neon sign. He was the kind of man your mama warned you to watch out for…the kind of man you wanted to sheet wrangle without even knowing his name.
I should be scared, but I’m not. Cassieta Modine ain’t afraid of too much. Just God and a gun and he’s neither.
He glanced at the couple leaving the floor, bodies fused. “Know them?” His deep voice rumbled like cello plucking my backbone.
My eyes darted to the couple then back. “No.”
Who is this man?
“Looks like you want to.” No facial expression. Danger pheromones strummed my nerves.
“Naw. They were just putting on a show. I don’t want to miss the encore if there’s one,” I flipped, determined not to be ruffled by this unnerving stranger.
“Ahem. A voyeur.”
I coughed over my drink before regaining some composure. “Not really. But, hey, if you don’t mind screwing where I can see, I’m damn sure gonna watch.” I struggled to sound confident.
“Touché.” His hands lightly touched my exposed back.
This is a bold brother here. Putting his hands where nobody asked him to; assuming that it was okay with me…I don’t tell him to remove his hand.
“I’m Meylon. Let me buy you a drink.” His lips parted, showing blinding white teeth that belonged on dentures.
“I’m Mo. I’ll have another Singapore Sling,” I tossed back along with the last of my drink.
He placed the order while his fingers continued their light assault over my back.
“Mo, huh? The only Mos I know are guys. Is that short for anything?”
Here we go. I usually get this question when I give them my name and it always rubbed me the wrong way.
“Meylon. Is that short for anything?” Sarcasm dripped from my voice.
“No. It’s the name my mama gave me. You?” Eyebrows lifted, daring me to lie.
“We’re in the same boat.” The lie slid from my tongue easily.
I glanced at the couple now situated in a booth. Still going at it. The man’s hands were now inside the V of her dress, her tongue flicking over her lips.
My stomach clenched involuntarily. I needed another photo but how the hell was I gonna get one with Mr. Meylon breathing my air in as I breathed out?
Meylon followed the direction of my eyes. “You sure I’m not intruding?”
I turned my legs back to the bar, keeping the couple in my periphery. “No. Why’d you say that?”
“Looks like you’re more interested in them than me. That’s a first,” he laughed, motioning to the bartender to refill my drink.
While waiting for the bartender to slide my drink over, I scanned him from his closely cropped head to his indented waist down to his Stacy Adams encased toes. His statement was probably true.
I sipped my drink before replying, “Like I said, I don’t want to miss any encores.”
He leaned closer. “We could be the encore. Excuse me for being so forward, but Mo…I so want to be up in you.” His liquor-sweetened breath caressed my face.
Two pairs of eyes locked on each other, both of them smoldering with sexual energy. My pelvis tilted on its own accord. The alarm in my head screamed. I squeezed my thighs tighter and took a gulp of my drink, trying to cover my jangling nerves. Mental images of his unclothed physique made my body flit hot, cold. Flashes of what it would be like to have his lips on my ni—Oh! Stop it, girl! My attention was mercifully diverted as the couple suddenly rose from the booth, coats in hand.
“Your friends are leaving,” Meylon said in my ear, his breath searing my lobe.
I leaned back; slowed the pace. “They aren’t my friends,” I emphasized.
He straightened and opened his jacket. “Mine either,” he growled just before the nose of the .45 cleared his coat.
Shit! Guns, particularly ones I’m not holding, are something that do scare me.
Before I could react, the couple was upon us. “What the hell are you doing?” I yelled, body tensed, eyes looking for an opportunity to disarm him.
He ignored me as he slid from his stool and stopped in front of the man. “Oh, this how it is? You think you can run around and screw my woman and this woman and that? I’ll kill you!” he sneered, gun aimed at the man’s chest.
Someone in the crowd screamed “He’s got a gun!” and people surged towards the exit.
The man’s face was contorted in fear. The woman’s, a portrait in fright—eyes wide; mouth in the proverbial “O.” The dick of a man roughly pulled the woman between him and the gun.
You chickenshit, you!
Knowing that I needed to get control of this situation, I lashed out with a front kick towards Meylon’s gun hand followed by a chop to his exposed neck. I heard him grunt, but he held onto the gun.
I punched at his head, neck and chest; felt the solid thuds. But…they didn’t seem to faze Meylon. This was a confirmed fact when he pimp-slapped me with the gun. I flew backwards; thudded into the bar. Crazed eyes pinned me to the floor.
“Bitch, you’ve lost your damn mind!” he sneered.
I knew this was not a Matrix moment for me as I watched his finger slowly cock the gun, my body refusing to respond. What about our conversation?! What about how you wanted to be all up in my stuff?! my mind screeched. I saw his finger squeeze the trigger—
The dream ceased.
Everyone knows that if you die in a dream, you’re dead for real.
I heard the clock ticking on my nightstand, affirming that I was still alive.
Suspended between consciousness and sleep, unable to will myself to move, speak or even open my eyes. Ineptness. A state in which I’ve always been afraid. Scared of…I don’t know. Maybe ghosts communicating with me. Maybe the devil holding me captive. Maybe of being suspended in this state…forever. I pushed those thoughts to the side; willed myself to not be afraid because I know I’m alive. The incessant ticking constantly reminded me.
Yet, I almost died. A black belt in judo, numerous self-defense training sessions and…I choked. This helplessness gnawed my brain, worried my soul. Would I fail when I needed me the most?
My mind slowly calmed; heart rate followed suit as the dream world slowly pulled me into its depths.