“I can’t believe I’m going with you on this dummy mission atthree in the morning!” Arielle sighed as she stared out the window of her bestfriend’s Porsche Panamera.
“It ain’t a dummy mission!” Mahari insisted as she mergedonto exit 11 off I-440, heading towards IHOP. “I’m tired of dat ***** cheatin’on me! I’m gonna check his ass tonight though!”
“Yeah okay,” she replied unconvinced. She had heard Maharisay that too many times to actually take her seriously.
Mahari rolled her eyes before continuing her tirade, “I’m forreal this time!” She nodded her head knowingly. “This bitch must be the reasonLoKey been givin’ me the food stamp dick.”
Arielle laughed but Mahari was dead serious. “What the hellis that?”
“You know. When your ***** gets lazy and shit in the bed…”She waved her friend off. “I forgot that you wouldn’t know shit about that,huh, Ari? The last time you got some dick was when…” She pretended to think itover. “In February when you was with Mayhem from high school?” Mahari chuckled.“It’s June now, bitch! Your pussy probably got cobwebs on it.”
“Fuck you,” Arielle said, flipping her a bird. “And fuck Mayhem.Puh-lease don’t bring him up.”
“Okay, okay!” Mahari removed her hands from the steeringwheel briefly to raise them in mock surrender. “I won’t.”
“All the bullshit yougo through makes me grateful for the single life.” Admittedly, Arielle did missthe company of a man but whenever she thought about the heartbreak and thebullshit that seemed to be a package deal, she would rather pass on everything.
Mahari shrugged. “Maybe but LoKey’s guilty gifts more thanmake up for the shit he takes me through. What bitch you know gets a Porschewhen her ***** cheats?”
“I mean, but he did giveyou a STD,” Arielle reminded her, shuddering at the thought. “I hope you’vestarted making that dirty dick ***** wear condoms now.”
“You know he hate the way that shit feels. I told himthat he better start strapping up with them hoes though.”
Arielle rolled her eyes. She couldn’t believe how nonchalant andcareless her friend could be about something like her health. If LoKey didn’t givea damn before, how could she trust him not to do it again? Deeper than that, Arielleknew they were still taking antibiotics for it and LoKey was already out withanother chick.
It couldn’t be me, Ariellethought. It’s ****** like him that arethe reason why I keep to myself…
“If you got some maybe you would stop being so uptightthough,” Mahari offered. “All you do is go to work and go home. Live a little!”
Arielle opened her mouth to interject but Mahari continued, “I’mnot saying you gotta jump on the first dick you see but you don’t think you shouldstart dating again?”
“Three words: ****** ain’t shit,” they stated in unison.
“I knew you was gonna say that but every ***** ain’t like Key—orthose losers you been with before. Look at Dollicia and Finesse,” Maharipersisted. “They’re happy and that ***** treats her like gold… Wish I couldasnagged him.”
Arielle knew that Mahari was right. All ****** weren’t thesame but the vast majority was. After having her heart broken before, she wasreluctant to let another man in. She knew that sex led to her catching feelingsso she stayed celibate. Truthfully, she was prone to catch feelings even beforethat. Arielle was a sucker for love.
“I can’t believe Key’sactually here!” Mahari yelled in disbelief, spotting his fire engine red JaguarXK parked in front of IHOP.
“I mean, Dollicia toldyou he was, right?”
“Yeah but…” Her voice trailed off as she pulled into the semi-fullparking lot searching for a spot.
It was a Saturday night and the restaurant was known to getpacked with the after-club crowd. Rarely did anyone come to eat, most justwanted to be seen. Women were choosing and men were trying to get chose. Fightswere notorious for breaking out and the police would waste no time clearing theplace out if things got too rowdy.
Mahari quickly whipped into the first spot she found. “Hurryup, Ari! I wanna make sure I catch this ***** in the act!”
“What are you gonna do?”Arielle asked, struggling to keep upwith Mahari’s long strides.
Mahari stood at 5’8 and had legs for days. A beautiful,exotic Amazon was the perfect description for her thanks to her Filipino,Vietnamese, and African American heritage.
“It depends on what the hell they’re doing. This ***** winingand dining some ho while I’m at home. Hell no!”
“It’s just IHOP,” Arielle giggled, unable to hide the humorshe found in the situation.
“I don’t give a fuck.” Mahari swung the door to the entranceopen widely and scanned the dining area for LoKey. “There he go.”
Arielle followed the direction that her friend was pointingin. Sure enough, LoKey was sitting at a huge, round u-shaped booth in the back.He was hugged up on a Nicki Minaj wannabe and surrounded by his DSM crew. Theywere laughing and eating.
It made Mahari sick.
“I’m bout to blow this ***** whole spot up!”
“Table for two?” the hostess asked. Her question went ignoredas Mahari brushed past her.
Arielle could see the rage in her friend’s eyes and knew thatshe had to speak up before some shit popped off, “Mahari. Hold up.” She grabbedher hand. “Let’s just play it cool. Don’t say shit to that *****.”
Mahari looked at her like she was crazy, “Why the hell not?”
“’cuse me, sweetheart,” a man said, placing his hand on thesmall of Arielle’s back as he attempted to ease past her.
“My bad,” she apologized before she got a good look at theman. “Oh my God.”
The man looked at her puzzled by her reaction. Staring at herfor a moment, he finally shook his head as his memory had been refreshed.“Goddamn… What’s up, Ari?”
“Mayhem?” she asked stunned, not believing that he wasstanding in front of her.
Mayhem towered over her by at least a foot and a toothpickhung lazily out the side of his mouth. A gray ADIDAS hoodie hung off his leanfigure. The latest Jordans adorned his feet and his Levis jeans sagged off hiswaist, revealing his black Ralph Lauren boxers. Mayhem’s dreads were tied backin a low ponytail, stopping at his shoulder blades. A black New Era ‘AtlantaBraves’ fitted cap sat atop his head.
“You just as bad as I remember,” he complimented whilesmiling in admiration, putting his gold, bottom grill on display. Mayhem lookedher up and down while giving a nod of approval.
In fact, Arielle was even badder than he’d remembered. Shewas a pretty shade of mahogany with big, brown eyes framed by naturally thicklashes. A dimple was present in her left cheek and her hair hung past hershoulders. She was a natural beauty, needing no makeup other than a dab of lipgloss to her full, heart-shaped lips.
Arielle’s J. Crew skinny jeans clung to her like a secondskin and her fitted blazer accentuated her tiny waist. She was sexy even whenshe wasn’t trying to be. While she only stood at 5’ even, Arielle was stillthicker than a milkshake with weight in the right places.
“What’s good though?”
Before Arielle could respond, Mahari piped up. “Aww shit!” Shesmiled, recognizing him instantly. “What’s good, boo?”
“Whassup, Mahari?” he asked.
“Nothing much. It’s good to see you though. We need to catchup!” she chatted excitedly. “Where you sitting and do you have any friends?”
He laughed. “Yeah. My pot’nah at the table. C’mon.”
Arielle raised an eyebrow, none too thrilled with Mahari’ssuggestion. “What about LoKey?” she hissed.
“You said ‘play it cool’ right? If that ***** wanna play thefield, so can I.” Mahari started after him, pulling Arielle along. “Besidesthat, you and Mayhem have some unfinished business.” She winked as she followedthem to the back. They were seated only about three booths away from whereLoKey was sitting.
Perfect. Mahari putan extra switch in her walk before sliding into the booth seductively, causingher short bodycon skirt to rise a little.
“Damn, lil’ momma,” Mayhem’s partner commented as he took thespot next to her. “I’m Gutta,” he introduced, “And you?”
“Meh what?” Gutta asked, struggling with the pronunciation.
“Mahari… like Ferrari,” she flirted with the Young Jeezylookalike. Her eyes were glued in LoKey’s direction but he hadn’t seemed tonotice the party of four.
Gutta smiled. “I like that shit, ma.”
“What’s good witcha? Ibeen tryna get up with ya,” Mayhem turned to Arielle.
“Yeah okay,” shereplied unconvincingly.
Mayhem frowned. “What’s up with the attitude, shawty?”
Arielle crossed her arms and rolled her eyes. “I’m not gonnatalk about this with you right now.”
“Why not? You ain’t doin’ shit else. You might as well.”
She exhaled noisily. “You just gonna pretend like shit didn’tgo down the way it did?”
“You know, I always wondered what happened between you two,”Mahari said, joining the conversation. “Ari been tightlipped about the shit somaybe you can answer that question for me, Mayhem?”
“This yo’ new *****?” a voice intruded into the conversation.
Everybody looked up to see LoKey standing there. His jaw wasclenched and his angry tone held a hint of sarcasm. LoKey’s eyes were slightlyred so it was apparent that he was high.
“Is that your new bitch?” Mahari asked, matching his tone.
“Get yo’ high yellow ass up before I…” LoKey threatened.
“Before what, Key?” she challenged. “Before you beat my ass?”
He opened his mouth to answer but changed his mind. He shookhis head instead. “A’ight. I gotchu.” LoKey headed back over to his booth witha smirk. “Enjoy yo’ night. Me and Breanne will,” he called over his shoulder.
Mahari’s eyes were trained on him as he took a seat next to Breanne.He wrapped his arm around her waist and whispered something in her ear thatcaused her to giggle.
“Key, you so silly, boy!” she said loudly.
Mahari quickly crawled over Gutta and sauntered to theirtable. A broad grin was plastered on her face. “So what’s good? Y’all fuckingtonight?”
Breanne rolled her eyes, “What’s it to you, bitch?”
LoKey started to open his mouth but Mahari butted in, “Well,make sure you strap up, honey booboo chile! That ***** got Chlamydia!”
Her eyes grew bigger than the double D’s on her chest. “Saywhat? Key, you—”
“Y-you, lyin’ ass bitch!” LoKey stammered, noticeablyembarrasse d. “I ain’t got shit!” If anyone had thought Mahari was lying, hernext words would make them a believer.
“Oh yeah?” A devilish grin formed on her face. “Look in hispocket. You’ll find them damn pills wrapped up in a paper towel!”
A couple of ‘oh shit’ and ‘damn’ remarks were made from someof the patrons but nothing was louder than Mahari’s raucous laughter. LoKeylooked like he could murder her with his bare hands… Honestly, he wascontemplating it.
“You said that was Ex,” Breanne spoke up, reaching in herpurse for the napkin in question. “You nasty bastard.” She hurled the small,white pills at LoKey disgustedly.
“Enjoy your night,muthafucka.” With that last syllable, Mahari reached for a cup of sweet tea ontheir table and splashed the contents in LoKey’s face.
“Bitch, you lost yo’muthafucking mind?!” As soon as the words left LoKey’s mouth, he had lunged forMahari. “I’mma’ fucking kill yo’ ass!”