We arrive at the meeting at Big Mama's house. When I walk in I can feel this emptiness. It's not that people aren't there. My father and mother are in the living room. My father looks over at me. His eyes cross over me as though I'm not even there.
"Hey you guys..." I state walking in to the house.
A part of me didn't want to say anything. A part of me wanted to be rude and just walk past them, but this is Big Mama's house. She wouldn't have wanted it to be like that.
I expect at least a hi. I'm not expecting much. Joyous isn't even speaking to them. He is just looking awkward.
"Hey Joyous," my father says.
Joyous looks over at me. I shrug. I know what he's thinking. He probably feels bad that my father is such a dickhead. What's even worse is what my mother does after that.
"Hey...Joyous and..." my mother says almost like a weak little mouse who is scared that the cat might hear her. She stops before she says my name. Maybe it's because my dad gives her this wicked look. She just turns back to the television and sinks into it forgetting I am even fucking there. I am completely annoyed by it.
"You just all going to act like you don't see me?" I ask my parents.
No one says a fucking thing at that moment. My dad grabs the remote out of my mother's hands and turns the television up.
"Where is Jamison?" Joyous asks.
"In the study," my father lets him know.
I want to stay in there. I want to argue. I know Joyous is probably going to say I'm here starting shit if I do but it is annoying the hell out of me.
Joyous puts his arm on my shoulder and we leave the hallway walk past them. It's killing me not to sit there and say something to him. How do you ignore the person that you gave birth to? How the fuck does that work?
He gives me a look, "You OK kid?"
"Not really," I shrug.
"It'll get better," he tells me.
"No it won't."
"Regardless I'm here if it doesn't," he lets me know.
The room we walk into has several people in it. A lot of them I don't know. I don't know why Jamison has all of these people in Big Mama's house but I'm really confused about the shit. The one person who I do realize there is Keon.
I would expect Joyous to be more concerned with Keon but he notices something else almost immediately.
"Who?" Joyous asks.
He's referring to Jamison's broken nose.
Jamison points to me, "That motherfucker..."
All eyes in the room look at me. I don't even know who any of these people are. There is a heavy set woman. There is a real skinny looking girl that seems somewhat sickly. There are a bunch of gangbanger looking guys in the room as well. It's an odd cast and all of a sudden I'm the center of concern.
"I had my reasons," I state, "I can share them if..."
I start digging in my pockets. I was ready for Jamison to try to get over on me for breaking his nose. He wasn't going to let that go easily. I knew Joyous. I knew what he was like.
"It was an accident," Keon states, "Isn't that right Jamison?"
Keon saying that burns me. If he had done it before I found out what their relationship was I wouldn't have thought twice about it. Now I know though. Keon had something going on with Jamison. Maybe Keon was the one who was able to tame Jamison's shadiness all these years. Maybe that's what he's trying to do now. Even though he might have good intentions it irks me that he has that kind of control over Jamison.
Fortunately, I'm not the only one who seems to realize Keon's involvement in this situation.
"You were there?" Joyous asks Keon, interrupting him.
"He wasn't there," Jamison lies, "It was an accident. We're not even here for all of that. We are here to meet about the club."
"Shouldn't Jamila be here?" I ask.
"You want to call her go right ahead. Otherwise we need to get to business."
"Who are all these people."
"Our staff," Jamison states.
"You hired staff without consulting with me?" I ask.
I'm pissed at that moment. I'm beyond pissed. We didn't even get the money in order. What the fuck was Jamison doing running around hiring staff at this moment.
"I took initiative," he says.
The words coming out of his mouth burn the fuck out of me. I want to go over there and break something else off of him. I think I even take a step forward. It's Joyous who stands in between us and stops me. He stops me just in time.
"Let's just see what Jamison has going on," Joyous states, "If you don't like any of the hires then they are out of the door."
I sigh. I am really impatient.
"This here is Lady Lucille. She's got a strip club downtown. She is going to get us some girls to work the club."
Lady Lucille is a heavy set lady. She looks like some sort of 1800s Madame with heavy ass eye makeup, a corseted waist and bright red lipstick. I could swear she is a man even though she really doesn't have any hard features. She just seems very dramatic almost like some sort of drag queen or something.
"Strippers?" I ask, half laughing and half trying to keep myself from getting madder.
"What's wrong with strippers?" Lady Lucille asks.
"Nothing it's just..."
"Good. Nothing. That means he has no problem with Lady Lucille staffing the bartenders," Jamison cuts me off at that moment, "I also hired your boys for security, Joyous."
I look over at the boys he was talking about. Keon and a bunch of local thugs that worked for Joyous.
"Perfect," Joyous states.
I knew he would be feeling this.
I shake my head though. Keon was OK but some of these other guys were shady looking as hell.
"I'm not trying to offend anyone but..."
"That's what my brother says before he offends someone," Jamison acknowledges to the room who all nod as though turning on me immediately.
I ignore him.
"I'm not trying to offend anyone but I wanted this establishment to be legit. Do any of you know what Marchioness means?"
"We don't need no history lessons," Jamison states.
I ignore him.
"The Marchioness is the wife of a Marquis. This is a title of dignity, rank or position. I don't think strippers and thugs, no offense, are what we are looking for. So you can all leave. I'll be calling an employment agency to PROPERLY staff the Marchioness."
Strippers who probably didn't have bartending licenses and thugs doing security wasn't exactly the group that I had in mind.
There is a pause. I'm pretty sure I've offended everyone in the room. They all look at each other and then at Jamison. Jamison gets quiet. I'm sure if I didn't have something on his ass he would be arguing with me from here to Timbuktu.
Joyous gets quiet too. He literally just said he would be having my back. `
I'm surprised at the person who actually does say something.
"Jesus Christ," Keon states.
"Who asked you?" I immediately respond.
I'm annoyed with him. I'm past annoyed with him about his relationship with Jamison. He said he was "rethinking it" but god knows what that even meant. I wasn't even sure I wanted to be with Keon after he kept that little secret from me for this long.
"Listen. You were talking about how you were surprised at my lifestyle nowadays. Your grandmother wanted to make a difference. How big of a statement would it be making if you pulled people off of the streets and gave them jobs?" Keon asks.
Joyous wasn't even cool with Keon at the moment but he seems to nod in agreement, "He has a point."
I hated it. I hated Keon and his fucking points. I hated the fact that he knew just bringing up my grandmother and her intentions would get me rethinking this.
"It would be nice," I state, "To give back...but...we need to bring in a crowd Keon."
"That's why I'm here," someone else says.
The guy steps forward. He is a bronze tall guy. I hadn't seen him in the room before. He has big ears but they are kind of cute on him. He has a slim face and strong jaw structure. Almost immediately I'm looking at him and realizing this is a good looking man. I have to admit it. I watch how he crosses the room and he's just straight up dominating.
"Yo...DJ Battery?" Joyous states, "You got DJ Battery."
"I told you guys I had this taken care of," Jamison states.
"Hit that Battery dance," Joyous says.
DJ Battery laughs a little bit, "Nah. Nah. You embarrassing me."
They laugh. This guy had his own fucking dance? What the fuck?
All I wondered was how the fuck Jamison got this guy.
"I don't know your music," I state.
Joyous is fanning out, "Joshua. Yo. You HAVE to give Jamison his props. If we got DJ Battery people are going to flock to the Marchioness."
"I'll give him his props when I hear his music. No one is going to be the DJ at my club without me hearing their music."
"Listen you guys offered me a contract. 100k for a years' worth of events is a deal for me. I was just looking out because Jamison looked out for me back in the day."
"100k? Who the fuck is paying you that?" I ask.
"He's DJ Battery," Joyous states.
"I don't care if he was a triple A Battery with rechargeable cells," I respond, "No one is offering him that much money."
Battery gives me a look as though saying, `what's up with him?' He doesn't actually say it though but I think it is clearly written on his face. Yes, the Debbie Downer had just walked in the room.
"That's just how my brother is," Jamison states.
I'm not sure who this DJ Battery is but he must be a big deal. Joyous doesn't ever fan out to anyone. I watch as Joyous walks over and gives him a quick hand shake. Joyous is smiling ear to ear. I hate it. What the fuck was all this about?
"Listen if you want me to walk, I'll walk," Battery states.
"Have a good night," I respond.
DJ Battery looks like he is about to walk out but Jamison stops him. Just at that moment Jamison gives Joyous a look and I know before he even does it that Joyous is going to come try to sweet talk me into this shit.
He walks over there.
"C`mon lil' bro..." Joyous states.
"No. Fuck no. We have a budget. Money is serious. You have no idea... I'm not spending a fifth of what we have for a DJ. We didn't even start the redesign. This is backwards. Jamison has no idea what he's doing."
"Please," Joyous responds, "Just listen to his music."
I look over at Battery. I look over at the other people in the room. I understood what Keon said. I just hated that Jamison was already blowing money before we started.
"Five minutes," I state.
There is an audible sigh of relief from the people in the room. Weird that you would think so many people were placing their bets on this club.
"You got speakers?" Battery asks.
"There's some upstairs..." Joyous states, "Room to the right. Go up there and listen to the mix with him."
We get upstairs.
DJ Battery is setting up his music in the guest bedroom. I'm standing there crossing my arms at that moment. Annoyance isn't enough to describe my mood right now. I'm beyond pissed that I have to deal with this fucking shit.
"I heard you were a handful," he tells me.
I knew it. I knew Jamison didn't have the resources necessary to get someone like him in here.
"You are Keon's connect aren't you?" I ask, "Jamison had you lie and tell everyone that you were his."
"Just a little white lie," DJ Battery explains, "Keon didn't want to get too involved in your family drama. Me and Keon go way back though. When he hit me up and told me that you needed help, I knew that it must be something big. It has to be special. Keon never called in favors even when I hit it big."
This guy had an ego about him. Just the way he dressed. His swag. The way he moved around the room. It was clear that DJ Battery definitely felt like he was a big man.
"Whatever man, just play the music," I state, "I don't want no small talk. I'm about business. You say you are worth 100k then prove it."
He laughs as though he is honestly entertained by how short I am being with him. We sit on the bed and I watch him take out his computer and just start mixing through his computer. It's a pre-recorded mix where he has already edited a bunch of the songs.
I'm sitting on the bed and immediately the music starts blasting and I'm transported. He adds these techno samples to hip hop beats. I want to nod when I hear it. I want to do something but I don't. I don't do anything because he's watching me. He's staring right at me the entire time.
"It's cool..." I state.
"OK. It's good. 100k is a lot of fucking money."
He starts switching up to the slow songs.
I roll my eyes, "OK."
"So it's the end of the night. You see that girl in the middle of the dance floor that you been eyeing all night. This mix comes on. Slow jams. You look at her. She looks at you. You finally take that step towards her that you been wanting to take."
He takes a step towards me.
He gets close. Real close. He's all in my personal space actually.
"You mind?" I ask.
He ignores me, "You stare her in her eyes. You lick your lips. You know she plays hard to get but you like that feisty attitude. It turns you on. A boss can spot a boss from miles away. You know almost immediately that you've found your boss and you're ready to make your move. And you know your boy has been trying to get at that girl in the club but your boy fucked up his chance. So when your boy is gone you realize that now is your shot to get with that girl that he missed his shot on."
He does the oddest thing then. He grabs me. He pulls me into him. DJ Battery is right in front of my face. His lips are inches away from mine. The only thing that is separating us is my hard dick at that moment as I'm interacting with him.
He's grinding into me slow dancing. Hs hand sweeps behind me. It lands on my butt. He squeezes it. DJ Battery is breathing heavy. I'm breathing heavy. I forget we are in a bedroom. I'm transformed to the middle of the club as he grinds on me. I hear the heavy bass. I hear the chords. I hear the familiar samples to all my favorite 90s songs thrown in at random times.
Then I feel it.
He's kissing me. His tongue is down my throat.
We kiss hard.
Before I know it he has me pressed up against a wall. He's grinding slowly into me. The music is something you want to make love to and I'm giving in to this stranger without even knowing him. All I know is that my pants are at my ankles.
His tongue is in my ass. It's so wet. He's eating me out. There is so much spit. There is so much fucking spit at that moment. I keep doing it over and over.
I'm panting. Low. Hard. I'm transported by the music. It has me in the fucking mood. I feel drunk and I haven't even touched the least bit of liquor. He is doing this to me. He's slapping his tongue up against my hole. His biting down on my ass cheeks.
He inserts a finger and he pushes, pressing against my prostate!
I squirm feeling my body rock, "AHH!"
I don't realize I'm doing it until I nut. My dick is still in my underwear. There is a big wet stain in the front of my fucking pants at that moment. If that wasn't enough there is a knock on the door. I'm quickly fixing my pants at that moment, pulling them up.
He stands up.
He goes to get the door when my pants are up and I'm turned to the side to conceal my wet spot.
"How's it going?" the person states.
It's Keon. He must have come up here to check on me and his friend. I look over at Keon. He went way back with this guy huh? I wonder exactly how much Keon told this DJ Battery about me. All I know is that when Keon opens the door his face is very suspicious.
"We were just listening to music," DJ Battery states.
His face is wet. It's covered with saliva from eating me out all sloppy. He is licking his lips probably still tasting me. Keon isn't stupid. The look on Keon's face right now makes me know that he wants to fight. So he had been telling his friend some things. It's clear.
Did he share with DJ Battery that he liked me? Did he share with DJ Battery that he fucked things up with me when he got with my brother?
"Yo don't fuck with me man," Keon states.
"You want the truth?"
"Well it's good news. He just ate me out...but the good news is that he's hired."
It's the next day when Joyous wakes me up. It's the day to really start planning out our budget which would include a 100k DJ.
"Yo what happened with Keon yesterday?" Joyous asks, "Him and DJ Battery got into that shoving match. What the fuck was that about?"
"I don't even know. I missed it."
It had happened the day before. They were about to fight but something had stopped them. I'm not sure what. I'm being petty. I'm being super petty. Keon looks like he is about to straight up kill that boy and I had to admit that I loved every second of it. Now he knew what I felt when he got with Jamison.
We get to the front door and I'm shocked when I see who opens it. It is Jamila. She has this smile on her face. She actually has her hair done for the first time in a long time. Joyous and I look at one another. We are really shocked by what we're seeing here.
"Jamila?" he asks.
I don't recognize her.
"Hey guys," she says, "I got your message Joyous. Decided to show up..."
"You get messages?" I ask.
The girl doesn't answer her phone unless she wants something.
"I wanted to be a part of this club. I know we are going to take the money to the bank today. I think it's important to be involved," She tells me.
"Since when do you care about the club Jamila?" I ask.
I'm in disbelief. Somehow she is here though. And somehow she actually looks good. I wonder if she is just hiding how high she is or if this is legit. She leads us into the living room. The first person I see is Jamison. He gives me this nasty look but I realize he isn't alone.
There is someone else in the room.
"What the fuck is he doing here?" I ask.
Travis Kim is sitting there.
"I invited him," Jamila states.
"This dude ride with Sosa. You bring the enemy in my grandmother's house?" Joyous asks getting really hype.
Joyous getting hype puts Travis Kim on his guard. He stands up immediately. He seemed to be having a really good conversation with Jamison. Maybe that's why Jamison steps between them when Joyous is about to forcibly kick Travis Kim out the house.
"Let's calm down guys. This is Jamila's friend," Jamison states.
That's when I see something that makes me sick. Jamila goes up to Travis Kim and he puts his hand over her. The guy just looks like a snake. No wonder he seems to be getting along with Jamison. Birds of a feather flock together. I'm not with it.
"He doesn't ride with Sosa," Jamila states, "He saved me from Sosa. He paid Sosa the debt that I owed him. He has no loyalty to Sosa, Joyous. I promise."
Joyous seems confused. He looks over at me and says, "What do you think bro?"
Jamison seems shocked by this. It's worth it. At least someone seems to care what I think in this fucking family for once. I don't know how long Joyous is going to be playing his part of a good brother but I was damn sure going to take advantage of it while it lasted.
"And what does he want in return?" I ask.
I'm suspicious as fuck.
Travis shakes his head, "Nothing."
"So you happen to be here just when we are getting the money out of my grandmother's safe?" I ask him, "That's real convenient."
"Listen. I know you guys are opening up a club..."
"Clearly. You tried to buy it."
"Jamila explained what the club means to your family," Travis states at that moment, "And honestly I respect that now. I don't need to own anything. As you know I own a lot of properties. If you guys ever need help..."
"We don't need help," I state.
Jamison shakes his head, "He doesn't speak for us. Mr. Kim has connections. He knows how to actually make clubs. What the fuck do you know Joshua?"
I knew this guy looked like a fucking opportunist.
Joyous interrupts, "I'm the oldest and I speak for us. We don't need help. Like Joshua said."
Jamison looks like he is going to say something. I pull out the camera at that moment. I brought it with me just in case. One look at the camera causes Jamison to immediately switch up his tune. He steps back and sits his annoying ass down.
I can tell he is steaming.
"We won't need your help Mr. Kim," he tells Travis.
Travis looks at us. He's shocked we are turning down his "assistance". God knows what this guy is up to but I don't trust him, not even a little bit.
"Well if you change your mind..."
"We won't," I tell him.
Travis nods and awkwardly looks at the only person in the room fucking with him right now, "Jamila I'll call you. I may have overstayed my welcome."
He starts leaving and like a stranded dog Jamila is chasing him down calling for him, "Travis...wait, Travis!"
I roll my eyes. My sister is pathetic. When she comes back in the room she is steaming. She comes straight at me pushing me hard in my chest.
"What the fuck?"
"You don't want to see anyone else happy do you?" she asks me.
"Jamila that man don't want you."
"He helped me. He says he'll help get me sober. That's better than what you motherfuckers do."
I'm surprised. Travis Kim was trying to get my sister sober? I still didn't trust it.
"He don't want you Jamila."
"Like Keon don't want you right?" she asks.
I'm shocked she says what she says. How the fuck did she know? Who had she been talking to? I look over at Jamison. He is just as confused as I am.
Joyous gives her a weird look, "What you talking about?"
Jamila is so pissed that she sits in the nearest chair. I don't know why she brought Keon up. It was almost like she knew what happened last night. But the only people that were there were Jamison, Keon and me. Jamison and I exchange looks. He's panicking. If it wasn't me and it wasn't him then Keon had to be talking to Jamila. Did he tell her that he didn't want me?
Even if he did, I want to protect Keon. If Joyous found out what Keon was up to, Keon would be a dead man. Jamison seems to want to protect him too. Or maybe he just wants to protect his own secrets.
Either way, it's Jamison who surprisingly interrupts Jamila's lose lips.
"She isn't talking about shit," Jamison interrupts, "She's just mad. Ignore her."
"Jamison's right. We came here to get the money to remake the club."
Joyous doesn't seem satisfied but Jamila isn't going to say anything else. She is too pissed. She always shuts down when she gets mad. We all knew that.
Joyous agrees, "Fine. Let's get to this safe."
The safe is in Big Mama's study. It is closed but all four of us were given the code. Joyous is the one who goes to open the safe at that moment.
As he opens the safe it is clear something is wrong.
Panic sets in. We all run over to confirm what Joyous is saying is true. Only four of us had the code to my grandmother's safe.
This is why I hated being a part of this family. I look at my three siblings in straight up disbelief. Who would be grimy enough to do this? Who the fuck would cross this line and betray the entire family?
I say what everyone is thinking.
"One of you came in here and stole the money."
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