And we’re off! This is really not the first post for Wicked Chances. I started talking about this book a couple of days before as I surmised a lot of the Work In Progresses on the site.
Click here to catch up on Work In Progresses.
Check there before asking me about other works other than Wicked Chances.
Since this is the official first post of the book, I’ll post the synopsis and I will use this post to officially start everyone.
If you’re joining us for the ride, please leave a comment below and let us know where you’re hailing from and if this is your first livestory and/or how many books of mine you’ve read. I’d also like to know what do you think of the title and should I keep it.
Also make sure you share the post as well with other readers. I’d appreciate this.
I hope to finish this one by the end of NaNoWriMo! Wish me luck and a lot of blessings!
A woman with her children on the run from her past swears never to be another man’s whore. Now her baby’s father turns up dead and not only is his loan shark after her, but the police are after her as well.
Yet, when the malevolent, real estate accountant, Sterling Newman, finds out she is the key to completing his dream property, he blackmails her into marriage or turn her over to police.
Forced to marry in order to save her life and the life of her children, she vows to hate him forever. Yet, somehow he finds a way to make her body betray her heart.
PLEASE NOTE: Before beginning, no part of Wicked Chances may be duplicated anywhere without the express permission from this author. You may reblog and you may tag me in a twitter or on the social networks all you want!
Wicked Chances (c) 2012 Sylvia Hubbard
If you’ve never read any of my #LiveStory’s it’s always been helpful to draw on characters from other books. in this chapter , You’ll meet Nicole who originally appeared in Love Like This (free book). Here’s a link where you can download the book from.
Parker is unconsciously mentioned, but not really named. He’s from His Substitute Wife… My Sister, which is a work in progress.
And then there’s Shadow. Her story originally starts in other book, mainly in Hope Is Love. She’s too young right now to have her own love story, yet, by the time this story is over with, I might make it apart of the Heart of Detroit Series. I’ll see.
Looking at the thermometer, Blair Wright sighed and shivered at the same time already knowing what the mercury would read. She felt failure envelope her because she had no money to make things better for her children.
Looking at her sleeping babies bundled under four thick blankets, she wished she could just turned the thermostat and heat would pop out the vents to warm the one bedroom barely furnished apartment.
The back bedroom served as the bedroom for her children and herself. Since the room was filled with their body heat, it was the warmest room in the room. Bracing herself against the chill in the middle of the night, she had to empty her bladder and once that was done, she found herself going to check the thermometer.
The guilt and frustration she felt for not being able to provide for her children closed in tightly against her chest. Even sending he son to school was difficult when he had no warm clothes to wear outside. It’d only be a matter of time before someone would be concerned about him and start to inquire. Questions meant discover and right now, Blair couldn’t afford anyone being too nosey about her children.
Just the thought of them being caught and taken back to her old life made a chill of fear run down her back.
Getting another cover out the closet, she crawled next to her son and daughter. Lannie, who was a mini version of Blair, was two and Ray was ten. Funny, he looked more like Blair than his father and for that, Blair loved him even more always praying he would never turn out like his father. He was her man of the house because she had left their father, and helped Blair tremendously care for Lannie.
Ray Senior had turned into a drug addict in eight years. First weed, then crack and then anything he could stick up his nose or find in a needle. Blair hadn’t mind the weed and even had smoked some with Ray Senior, but the lackey-daisy and the docility drove her insane that she had to stop on her own.
By the time she had gotten pregnant with Lannie, things had gotten much worse. Soon Ray Senior was pimping Blair out to his friends and using her as his drug mule to get back and forth through to Canada.
The rumors of someone coming after Ray Senior for trying to circumvent the local dealers by bringing drugs through Canada and Ray Senior owing a very large debt hit her ears quickly. Blair wasn’t always one to believe the rumors, but when she had confronted Ray Senior about the rumors, he slapped her in the mouth.
Two days later, she listened in on a conversation he was having on the phone. His voice was filled with frustration. “Naw, I heard what Fats Junior would do if he caught Blair making trips again. I ain’t sending her too soon cause I don’t want F.J. to hurt the mother of my children.”
Blair wished he’d say more nice things like that to her.
Ray Senior continued in a very disappointed voice. “Ain’t nothing I could do about that now that King Heart bought the debt. You know he won’t stop at anything to get it unless I move everyone to Detroit, where I know that motherfucker won’t dare go if he value his life.”
Fearing for her life and the life her children might have to suffer, plus being tired of being tired, Blair put a stop to everything by leaving – Just packing up and leaving and moving to Detroit from Chicago where she prayed Ray Senior would never find her.
Since she couldn’t apply for aid without getting on the “radar” getting odd jobs had lasted only for a while until the economy slammed Detroit hard and odd jobs were a dime a dozen.
Daycare was impossible without a job or state aid. Since, she didn’t want to be asked about her identification, money was very tight.
Now it was winter. Three weeks away from Christmas and she was broke through and through.
A growling noise came from Ray Junior’s stomach. He flinched in his sleep. She could see his troubled face by candlelight. She remembered he had given his portion of cold rice to his sister and said he was full.
Liar! Just like his father, but the sweetest and the most thoughtful boy. Ray Junior was wise beyond his years, but he didn’t deserve to make hunger sacrifices.
Sighing, Blair closed her eyes and tried to sleep. Tomorrow, she would see what she could dig up for them to eat and then concentrate on getting some heat to their apartment… even if it meant…
Soon as she woke, she lit the candles in the bedroom and then ran into the bathroom and quickly washed up with the freezing water. Looking at herself in the mirror, she sighed. Even though she was just turning thirty, Blair felt eighty on the inside. So much stress and worry filled her and with no way to make things better, her body felt so strained. Worry lines were starting to appear in the corners of her large brown doe eyes and the twitch she often did with her nose was creating more wrinkles to be in her laugh lines. Laughing was something she hadn’t done in a very long time and the sorrow in her eyes showed. Taking the braids out of her thick dark brown hair to make her hair naturally curly, it was the best she was going to do for the grade Z hair that she just knew connected her to her African ancestors.
At only five feet six, Blair felt she was decent looking. With a little makeup and maybe a better hair style from a real hairdresser she would be able to turn heads with her full figure and small waist. Her breasts were a handful and her hips were wide. At a size ten, she remembered how Ray Senior’s friends would pay top dollar to want to be with her.
Sadly, none of that money came back to her and like a fool she convinced herself at the time it was to make their lives better, but in truth; all that money went up Ray Seniors nose.
Pushing away the past mentally, she fluffed up her hair, put on some Vaseline to her lips and tried to look like she smiled more than she cried.
Getting back into the room, she hurriedly changed into some clean clothes and then put on her jacket.
“I’ll be right back,” she promised Ray Jr.
He looked distrustful for just a second, but then nodded. His sister was busy playing with her toys in her own word. Both were triple wrapped to keep the cold away.
“Keep this door closed and don’t go near the candles,” she ordered.
He nodded again.
Closing the door behind her, she prayed the Lord would keep them safe as she stepped into the cold streets and walked the block to the laundry mat on the main street.
If the owner was there, she could convince the woman to give her a job cleaning up the floor. To her satisfaction, the green family van was parked on the side and Blair knocked on the door instead of going through the front.
Nicole Black, the part owner opened the door. She was a very beautiful and kind black woman about five years older than Blair, but she was also very young and worked hard for what she had. The laundry business had originally belonged to her grandmother and then her uncle had almost sold it before Nicole had skillfully worked out a plan with a rich businessman to buy it back and expand it. Not only did she just had the Laundromat, which a lot of times she let homeless people come in and wash their clothes for free, but she did private laundry services and dry cleaning. She was familiar with Blair, because Blair often brought their clothes up to get washed – at least once a month. All the other times, Blair would wash them in the cold water.
Blair’s back was too the wall. In three days, the landlord told her he would go down and start the eviction process or she could use her body to pay up. He also threatened to call child services if she didn’t turn the heat on, but coming up with twelve hundred dollars was going to be even more difficult than coming up with the thousand she needed for rent.
Now she just needed to get some money for dinner tonight. She’d worry about everything else after she got money for that.
Soon as the door popped open and Nicole smiled a genuine greeting, Blair said, “Hi Nicky. ‘Member me?”
“Blair? Right?” Nicole guessed.
“Where’s your cute little girl?”
“I had to…” She was about to admit she left the children at home by themselves, but knew that would be a bad idea to share. “She’s at school.”
“Really?” Nicole asked. “She’s only three.”
“Headstart,” Blair quickly said.
Nicole nodded. “So come in, Blair.”
Blair was glad for the invitation and hurried inside the back office of the Laundromat. The heat hit her hard and was so welcomed. There was a big plate of donuts on the table and hot chocolate.
“Want some?” Nicole offered pointing to the food Blair was drooling over.
Quickly, Blair thanked her and stuffed three donuts down her throat. Guilt filled her as she thought about her cold babies back at the apartment huddled together for warmth hoping she would bring something back.
Nicole turned away to get some napkins and Blair stuck two donuts in her pocket quickly.
Handing her a napkin, Nicole pointed to a chair for Blair to sit down while she sat next to her. “You look tired.”
“A little. Umm, you got something for me to do around here?”
“Not off the books, Blair,” Nicole said. “Ernie gets here so early and just does everything for us and at night Foster comes by to keep the place clean inside and out.”
She knew Nicole was an honest businesswoman and if there was work to be done off the books, Nicole would have definitely given it to Blair.
“You know anyone who might?”
“Not offhand,” Nicole said. “I’m sorry Blair.”
There was a knock on the office door. Blair gritted her teeth knowing it was probably someone else looking for a handout.
Nicole went to open the door and welcomed the guest in. To Blair’s surprise it wasn’t another beggar but a nicely dressed black woman about Blair’s age, with kind eyes just like Nicole.
“Hey Blair, I’d like you to meet my new sister in law, Jona,” Nicole introduced the woman.
Blair shook the woman’s warm soft hand.
“Oh Jona, maybe you know something. Blair’s looking for some off the book work.”
Jona’s beautiful unique colored eyes surveyed Blair. “You’re a mom,” she guessed.
“How’d you know that?” Nicole asked amazed.
Blair was interested in that too.
Jona pointed to the crust at the leg of Blair dark red ankle length coat. “Your babies like to grip your coattails to keep up,” she guessed
The woman was right and very perceptive.
“So you know anything?” Nicole asked again.
Jona looked a little wary for a moment, but then said, “Eastern Market on Fridays and Saturdays have something you can do.”
That was all the way at the end of the week and Blair needed something today. “Thanks, but do you got anything sooner?”
Nicole’s phone went off. “I’ll take this call and we can go after that, Jona.” She left the room leaving Blair alone with the sister in law.
“What kind of money do you need, Blair, honestly?”
“Just something to feed my kids.”
Jona gave a real hard serious glare. “I’m not talking about your immediate needs, Blair. Give it to me straight. I’ve been on the streets. That’s why Nicole asked me and I know how hard it can be going from meal to meal. I didn’t have the hardship of kids tagging along with me, but I know it’s gotta be difficult to feed more mouths than just yourself. So what’s the total damage?”
“Thousand?” Jona asked.
“It’ll get me out of the pickle I’m in and at least hold off homelessness until after the holidays.”
Jona walked up to her and pushed up both arms of the coat to check Blair’s arm.
“I’m not on anything,” Blair assured her.
Jona took a deep breath as if she was trying to gauge Blair fully and bravely Blair gave full eye contact. If this woman could honestly help her get out the grave she had dug herself in, she would be forever grateful.
“What’s your deadline?”
“Friday,” Blair answered without hesitation.
Jona sucked air in her teeth and then blew air out through her nose. “What are you willing to do to get the money?”
“To be honest. Almost anything. My old man sold me to get the stuff up his nose and I ran away from that.”
“Are you clean? Have you been tested?”
The implication of what Jona was suggesting didn’t scare Blair away.“Just last month. I got a full work up at the clinic.”
“I know someone who can help, but it don’t involve sex – well, all the way sex. I’ve never done it but I know they can get you on that path to the money you need right away. You’ll be safe though. I promise.”
In desperation, Blair admitted, “I’m willing to do anything right now.”
Grabbing a pad off the desk with a pen, Jona wrote down an address. “I’ll give you bus money, but call this number in two hours exactly. Ask for Zilla. Whatever she tells you to go be very clean when you get there, pull your hair back in a ponytail and don’t ask too many questions.” Jona handed her a paper with a phone number. “Put it away,” she ordered.
As Blair stuck the paper in her pocket next to the donuts, Jona handed her a twenty dollar bill. “Get the kids some real food and make the call. You didn’t hear anything from me though.”
Blair nodded taking the twenty, just as Nicole was walking back in the room.
“Did you think of anything?” she asked Jona.
“Not right now,” Jona lied. “But if I do, I’ll certainly let you know so you can tell Blair. Are we ready to go?”
Blair walked out with Nicole and Jona. Waving goodbye, she rushed home. Giving Lannie and Ray Jr. the donuts and then leaving again to get some bread, celery, tuna, milk, cereal and juice. That would be dinner tonight and breakfast in the morning. Twenty dollars could go a long way, but she didn’t want to spend it all in case she needed to catch the bus somewhere.
While she was at the grocery store two hours exactly passed and she asked the manager who she often cleaned up for to see his cell phone. He allowed her too because he knew she didn’t have one.
Dialing the number from the paper that was drenched in donut stickiness, the line picked up on the first ring.
“Who’s this?” the voice growled.
She couldn’t tell if it was a woman or a boy. “My name’s Blair. I’m looking for Zilla.”
Relieved she had gotten the right person. “Yes.”
“What you willing to do?” the person asked suspiciously.
“If it’s legal if possible.”
“That’s a matter of opinion,” Blair said.
There was a pause and Blair could hear a small hum in the background. “I got something tonight. Eight hundred dollars.” the voice said. “Weirdo asked for a strange request. Can you?”
“What’s involved?” Although for that amount of money, she was willing to throw all morals against the wall.
In exasperation, the voice went high, “Didn’t Jona tell you?”
“No, she didn’t.”
“But she did specify no questions right.”
Dammit! “Yes,” Blair said hoping she hadn’t ruined her chance to get some money to help with her problems.
“At four tonight, come clean, keep your mouth closed and don’t ask any questions. Are you ready to take down this address?”
Grateful and eager, Blair said, “Sure.”
- Week 19 ‘THE NEXT BIG THING’ BLOG HOP (tag: @janayablack, @tenitajohnson @kaiology) #NaNoWriMo (sylviahubbard.com)
- Smashwords and NaNoWriMo (sahmataineking.com)
- #nanowrimo.org is on &popping… AGAIN! WICKED CHANCES +author’s updates on MI3 #wip #amreading #lawritingchallenge (sylviahubbard.com)
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