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Choose You: Billlionaire Brothers, #3

Choose You: Billlionaire Brothers, #3

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Choose You: Billlionaire Brothers, #3

ratings:
5/5 (3 ratings)
Length:
454 pages
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 16, 2013
ISBN:
9781393039532
Format:
Book

Description

Trevillo Nelson is not your average guy. He wears that sharp business suit, but it sure as hell doesn't fit. He lives by his own rules, on his own terms. He's his own universe.

A man of singular tastes, the thirty-two year old, oversexed demon doesn't do young chicks.

Are you single, free, disengaged?
Sorry, he's not into you.

Are you off the market?
Well, he's most certainly interested. And best believe he'll seduce your underwear right down to your ankles, leaving you no choice but to give in.

That's how the real estate mogul has always lived his life—backwards.
But things take a drastic turn, both for better and for worse, when twenty-five-year-old interior designer, Krissan Kingston, walks into his office…


This is Trevillo and Krissan's story. The final book of the Billionaire Brothers series.

Publisher:
Released:
Nov 16, 2013
ISBN:
9781393039532
Format:
Book

About the author


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Choose You - S. Ann Cole

authoranncole@gmail.com.

Dedication

FOR ALL THE ONE-WOMAN soldiers out there, treading life’s rocky roads on their own. This is to let you know, you are not alone.

Never stop believing in yourself because others have stopped believing in you.  Everyone, that includes you, has their season. 

Just wait...

Success is counted sweetest

By those who ne'er succeed.

To comprehend a nectar

Requires sorest need.

Emily  Dickinson

Appetizer

Broken Wing

(Written in Shakespearean English)

ANGEL,

Perfection is thy name.

But, Angel,

Why art thou maim?

Angel,

You were sent to mend.

But, Angel,

Why on I doth thou depend?

Angel,

I await from thee my token.

Wait, Angel,

Art thou wing truly broken?

Angel,

I art a sinner,

I art a mortal,

I art too blemished

For thy perfection

But, Angel,

If thou sayest

Thou art imperfect

I’ll mend thy wing

To thy satisfaction.

And, Angel,

If thou druthers

To stay impaired,

I’ll give thee a smile

For being as guile

Because, Angel,

I stumbled in love

Upon first sight,

With an eye of flaw

With emotions raw.

Angel,

I prithee,

Say thou art imperfect,

So I can free thee,

And make thee my perfect...

Mortal.

Table of Contents

Dedication

Appetizer

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Series Epilogue

Natalio & Sadie

Love & Axia

Trev & Krissy

Trev & Krissy

Father Nelson

Acknowledgement

About the Author

Hit Me Up Anytime!

Social Media

CHAPTER 1 - T. NELSON

Angel’s Feather

HIS NAME WAS TREVILLO Marco-Dean Nelson.

And he was a hellion.

Okay, okay, he wasn’t really a hellion. But people tended to refer to him as such; he merely acknowledged it being said.

Rakehell, miscreant, asshole, Devil Boy were just a few of the disparaging names he’d been dubbed.  For the life of him, though, he couldn’t understand why.

He wasn’t a bad person. Not to himself, at least. He was an extremely wealthy man who provided jobs and opportunities for a decent living for thousands of people around the globe. He governed incalculable charities, fed the poor, clothed the unclothed, and helped the underprivileged. For heaven’s sake, he rebuilt an entire parish after that bitch of a hurricane twirled her destructive little skirt tail across several states and uprooted a vast amount of lives and homes. Talk about ‘home-wrecker’.

So, you see? He wasn’t too bad. Actually, he considered himself as normal as any other human being.

There were just two (2, dos) small (teeny, tiny) defects of his—or unredeemable habits, one could say, that made truly normal people deem him rotten:

One, he fucking swore a lot.

Two, he was a proud enabler of adultery and consciously steered clear of any female sector whose ages were below his on the calendar.

Did it make him a hellion because he enjoyed spraying F-bombs on everyone like a swear-word confetti gun? Or because he enjoyed dating screwing around with women who were five to ten years his senior, married, engaged, or otherwise entangled?

No? He didn’t think so either.

It’s not like he was strapping goddamn bombs to his chest, robbing banks, blowing up airplanes, hitting on pregnant women, peeping through little boys’ windows with his dick in his hand, or sending naked pictures of himself to underage vaginas...

Guess the world saw him in a different light than he did. To himself, he was just Trevillo Marco-Dean Nelson: a good guy. A really good guy.

You’ll see. Then, perhaps, you’ll agree.

At present, he was trapped within the confinements of his office with his gayer of the gayest male assistant, Milo, browsing through potential design plans for one of his new tower loft constructions. And he was scowling with sheer displeasure. The designs were drafted by one of his best designers; yet, they came across as trite and uninspiring.

With a sharp shake of his head, Trevillo leaned back in his comfortable leather chair, I’m done.

Milo glanced at him from across his large oak desk, brows raised.  You’re cutting her? Sarah James is your supposedly ‘best’ designer. You’ve been using her on all the top projects for years.

Exactly. And now she’s grown comfortable, which has rendered her predictable. She keeps recreating the same thing every time. I need newness. Innovation. Daring designs. Sarah’s just not delivering anymore.

Milo nodded in agreement.

An exceptional assistant for the last five years, he was about five feet four inches short, with a wiry frame and a gay attitude. He kept his hair trimmed in a spiky blonde Mohawk, had a wide gauge piercing on one ear and a cage piercing on the other.

Trevillo didn’t force him to wear a three-piece suit—he himself detested suits—he permitted Milo to wear whatever he wanted, so Milo was always dressed in his customary steel-toed boots, tight jeans with studded belts, and stretchy rocker T-shirts.

Many times, he was asked why he hired a freak for an assistant. A careless shrug would always be his reply. Why not hire a freak for an assistant?

See, Trevillo Nelson was unconventional in every sense of the word, so he was perpetually doing the opposite of whatever was expected. Screw world order. He was rich, he was powerful, he was the boss, and he could do whatever the hell he wanted. Some called it rebellion, but he called it shitting-on-dumb-ass-rules.

Milo wasn’t a freak, anyway. He was just gay.

"That’s true. However, you can’t drop Sarah at this moment. The Skylark penthouses, or shells, are already two months behind your planned schedule, and they need to be completed and crossed off the list. You’ve got a lot of food crowding your already laden table, so you need to clear some of these small dishes before the big ones start falling off and smashing into pieces.

"Taking a chance on a different designer—who you’d be putting a helluva strain and pressure on, by the way—to get these penthouses ready on time, might not be the smartest idea right now. You can always dump Sarah after this project."

That was the answer he never offered to people who inquired about his freak of an assistant. Milo wasn’t a mere assistant. Milo kept things leveled, pointing out the obvious to him when he was being blind and irrational.

Being the boss didn’t deter Milo from telling him point blank when he thought he was sticking his head too far up his ass. Milo knew his shit better than those sniffy punks in sharp charcoal suits.

So, there you have it, he hired a weird, gay assistant because he kicked ass...or licked it...or sticked it...or all the above.

You’re right, Milo. But as you know, these apartments are unfairly overpriced. They’re all sold out because pompous buyers are expecting something above what’s already out there. This, Trevillo said, turning around his laptop to face Milo, "is average. The same ole’ shit that’s been in Sarah’s last three projects, with just a slight difference.

"You know what kind of customers I have. Customers who never question price because they know The Dean’s Realty always delivers. If each new building doesn’t transcend in creativity, notices will be made that I’m a fucking dickwad with my prices. Which I am, of course. But, who gives a shit about the price tag as long as they’re happy with the product? Sarah’s not gonna work."

Milo glanced at the computer screen and shrugged. So what’re you going to do, then? Want me to send out notification emails to the buyers, informing them completion dates are being pushed back a few months? It’s construction. I’m pretty sure they’ll understand that shit happens sometimes.

Shit happens. But not with me. I’ve got a rep to maintain. Trevillo rubbed his forehead in thought. Who do I have that can deliver this project on time with a commendable design?

Milo raised a censorious brow, "All your designers are not just good, but great at what they do, or else they wouldn’t be working for you. You’re the one who chose to put Sarah above everyone else because she brought in praises for the Lions penthouses she designed a few years back. That doesn’t mean she’s better than anyone else. It’s just the hype you gave her."

Trevillo shot him a disgusted look. Are you my goddamn assistant or my consultant? You’ve got too much to say, dude.

Milo smirked. And you listen. Because you know whenever I open my mouth, it’s not hog shit spraying out.

Trevillo waved him off. So? Who do we have?

The design department of The Dean’s Realty has 110 interior designers. So the answer to that is ‘you have a lot’.  The real question is ‘who’s not working on a project at the moment?’.

Trevillo glared across his desk with a look that told his assistant if he didn’t cut the excessive chatting, he was going to knock his ass out. Cold.

Milo burst out laughing and held his hands up in surrender. Alright, alright. Lemme check.

He flipped open his MacBook and tapped a few keys, while Trevillo opened a drawer on his desk and retrieved his stress ball. He wanted out of this damn office.

Okay, so everyone’s contracted, but a handful will be available soon. Lisa Monroe will be free from the Barley project in four weeks. Katy Lesley will be free from an addition at Crissida Cove in two weeks, and Krissan Kingston will be free from the Jamz nightclub project in two days.

Whoever’s closest to being available, Milo. Christ.

That would be Krissan Kingston, but she specializes in commercial venues, nightclubs, etcetera. Would be better to wait on Katy Lesley.

No one without versatility would be hired in my company, Milo. Unless you’re telling me I need to fire the manager of the design department for hiring inept workers? he asked sternly. She must’ve worked on some residential projects before. Pull up her profile. Check.

Milo tapped around on his MacBook again then shrugged and slid it across the desk to him. This is her work on Willow Land from two years ago. That’s the last house project she did.

Trevillo leaned forward and clicked through the designs. There wasn’t anything awe-inspiring. But then, that was two years ago. If he remembered clearly, people were more than happy with the Willow Land town homes. Where’s the flaw?

Milo rolled his eyes and gave an exaggerated sigh. Mr. Nelson, all your designers are worthy. It’s you who favored Sarah above everyone.

This Krissan person it is, then. She’ll just need a little pressure and brow-beating to understand the importance of being assigned to projects like Skylark. 

Trevillo didn’t think putting pressure on any interior designer of his was even necessary. Once someone was called to his office to be directly hired by him, common sense should tell them that their best was required. Being contracted for a high-end TDR project meant one expectation: success. His penthouses were bought by people with status. Somebodies.  And that was all his designers needed to understand when handed their marching orders.

Well, she’s been turning down contracts for residential work. Like I said, she’s only doing commercial venues.

She works for me. If I want her to design my damn apartments, she’s going to design them or get sacked.

Technically, you’re her boss’s boss’s boss.

Which spells: BOSS.

She—

Too much fucking lip, Milo! Go. Now. Find out if she’s in today, and have Mike send her up.

Milo got up and brought his hand to his forehead in a salute gesture. Yessir. He swaggered toward the door with his anti-male gait and said, I bet you have no idea what Krissan Kingston even looks like, then hurried out the door before he could respond.

Aside from his main team, Trevillo didn’t see the need to give a squat about knowing his workers. He was rarely ever in one place for too long, anyway.

He came in to the office only on Mondays and Wednesdays for meetings and major issues, because frankly, he hated being in an office. Everything else was left for his trusted team to sort out. Papers and numbers bored him.

Trevillo was a physical man. He preferred to see what words and numbers translated into. Therefore, the bulk of his time was spent on his work sites. Traveling, viewing, purchasing, making deals in unconventional, staying-out-of-offices and sleep-inducing-meetings kinds of ways.

That’s what made him him. He did things his own way, on his own terms. Society could create whatever rules it wanted. Just don’t expect Trevillo Nelson to follow them.  Sitting in an office sifting through emails and sending proxies to do the physical work didn’t pan out for him. Offices made him feel caged. So he stayed out of them. Just as he did with relationships with the opposite sex.

Ten minutes later, Milo returned to his office with a petite little thing in tow. Miss Krissan Kingston as you requested, sir, he announced with mock formality, which was rather inharmonious with his Mohawk-hair and tight-jeans. You can do this, Krissy K, he whispered to the tiny figure beside him.

Do what? she asked.

But Milo turned and left without a word.

Confusion etched on her face, she looked to Trevillo. A pleasant good afternoon, Mr. Nelson. It’s quite an, um, honor to be in your presence. May I ask what this is about? Did I do something wrong? Was there a complaint about me or something?

Trevillo didn’t answer right away, because he was waiting on his brain to explain to him why the fuck he was all but paralyzed in his seat. Why he was staring without so much as blinking at this ethereal girl standing in his office.

This girl, who was like a falling feather from an angel’s wing. She seemed too delicate and unreal to be a complete angel. No, she was a pluck of a feather from an angel’s wing—an imperfect angel, that is. A sacrosanct white feather floating on the wind.

As aforementioned, Trevillo was a man who didn’t care for younger women. Tried his damnedest to avoid them and their hearts and chocolates and love poems bullshit at all costs. If a woman was any younger than his own age, bedding them was out of the question. Neither did he sleep with single, available women – any age. The ‘I want more’ talk, he wasn’t up for it.

Of course, he got hard for younger women; he was a man, after all. But he’d never before seen a young woman who struck him speechless. Not only was this woman young, she was petite and looked delicate in every possible way a woman could be.

Trevillo estimated her height without heels to be around five feet one or so. Though she was slender, her breasts were full, and her hips curved out tauntingly, leaving her waist looking sinfully slim. He figured he could easily span her with one arm and still leave room.

Her light blonde hair was cut low on her head, but with thick sharp bangs sweeping across her forehead. With her hair that low, he was able to appreciate her long, slim neck—a neck he was imagining himself trailing his tongue all over...

Her lips were a deep cherry-red, and he couldn’t tell if she was wearing that glossy crap women put on their lips, or if they were natural. An exotic blue, her eyes seemed unreal—a strong meet between cerulean and sapphire blue, so bright, they were her most prominent feature.

For a normal workday, Trevillo thought she was overdressed, as her small frame was clothed in a short red skirt, a gray silk blouse, and a pair of skin-tight black boots meeting the hem of her skirt. She was adorned with large, gold hoop earrings and some showy gold crap on her wrists. Fake accessories, for sure. She couldn’t afford such large pieces of gold. He deduced she was one of those girls who liked to play dress-up.

Unable to help it, his eyes drifted to her fingers to check if she wore her nails long or clipped, and his unruly dick hardened when he saw they were fairly long and painted blood-red.

‘Sas Christ, who the heck was this girl?

Mr. Nelson? she called, in a soft, whispery voice, like lace sliding against silk.

Just like her eyes, her voice was unusual, sensual, like nothing he’d heard before. Apart from her attire, she looked young, innocent, fragile. Her age couldn’t even be guessed; she could easily pass for an eighteen-year-old.

How long have you been working for me? he asked in an unintentionally gruff voice.

Her perfectly plucked brows knitted in a frown, which told him she was wondering what kind of question was that. Probably thinking he should know these things, but he wasn’t God. Kudos to any businessman out there who knew all their workers’ resumes by heart.

Five years. Right out of college, I interned in DD for a year until Mike Levi offered me a position.

How old are you?

She gave him a leery look. He knew the age question was a forbidden question in the workplace, let alone for most women, but he needed to know.

Twenty-five, she answered, quickly adding, I turn twenty-six in three months.

Cancer or Leo? he whispered.

Why the hell did he just ask that? And why did it come out as a whisper?! The fuck?

The angel’s feather took a small step backwards, watching him warily as if she expected him to pounce on her at any minute. Leo. Um, I’m just going to be honest with you: I’m hella nervous right now. Getting called to your office is like getting called to the Principal’s office in high school. It’s never good news.

Trevillo almost smiled. She was nervous. And she was cute. A downright sexy combination that had his snake head rearing up in its cage.

Relax, Miss Kingston. You’re not endangered. You were summoned here to be informed of your new contract. That is, the Skylark project.

Taking another step backwards, her eyes widened.

Damn those eyes.

What? No! Instantly, her hand flew to her mouth at her outburst, and then she said in more polite manner, I mean, I can’t.

Arching a brow at her audacity, he figured it was time to snap out of his school-boy lusting. "May I ask what sane person tries to turn down a contract for a high-end project coming directly from me?"

Aside from the fact that I’m currently contracted on a nightclub, I-I don’t specialize in residential projects. Let alone tower lofts and penthouses.

Staring back at her, Trevillo realized she was genuinely frightened by the idea of working on a project this big. Which was both unfathomable and unacceptable.  A designer is a designer. Whether it’s a club, house, store, office...designers design.

"Miss Kingston, if we have given you a position here at The Dean’s Realty after your internship, then it’s because you fit the criteria of everything we look for in our designers. We don’t hire inept idiots or cowards. Also, if I have called you to my office to speak to you in person—which is a rarefied action—then it’s because I’ve seen your work and believe that you can suit my needs. Are you a coward, Miss Kingston? Are you inept?"

No, but I—

Your current contract is up in two days. On Friday, you will be taken to Skylark’s work site so you can view what you will be working with. If you prefer a virtual tour of the building emailed to you instead, no problem. Seven days is all I’m giving you to create your designs. I need three different options to choose from. Please bear in mind the type of project that Skylark is. The best requires nothing but the best.

She took a step forward this time, her hands clasped under her chin. Please, Mr. Nelson, I ca—

Do you remember when I said you weren’t endangered, Miss Kingston? It was only but a minute ago.

Yes, she said with caution.

Well, I lied. If you turn this down, then you’ve automatically relinquished your position here at The Dean’s Realty. You also will not receive any referrals from this company when you try to seek another employment.

She shifted her gaze and fixated it on his topaz birthstone that had a real scorpion embedded inside it, sitting proudly on his desk, used as a paperweight. Worrying her lower lip, she watched the stone for a long while, then sighed in defeat. Okay. But, can I at least have two weeks to—

Seven days, Miss Kingston, he clipped, leaving no room for debate. You’re dismissed.

Nodding, she turned and slipped through the door.

Trevillo watched the door long after she went through it, every feature of the peculiar girl who was just standing in his office burned into his mind: from her exotic blue eyes to her plump red lips to her whispery voice...

An ache throbbed below, telling him it needed some attention, or it would blow. Leaning back in his chair, he adjusted his crotch to ease the ache.

Who was that girl?

She was young. Twenty-five. So why was he so goddamn affected? The last time this shit happened with a younger woman, it was with his brother’s fiancée. Even then, it wasn’t this bad. No woman had ever rendered him speechless or temporarily paralyzed before, younger or older. None. So much so that he’d just sat there and shamelessly raped her with his eyes.

Talk about unprecedented.

Trevillo glanced down at the bulge in his pants and sighed. He needed to sort this shit out. A press of a button on the receiver connected him to Milo. How may I help you now, sir?

He could hear sarcasm in the jackass’s voice, but he hadn’t the time to deal with Milo’s BS right now. Is Marie in?

Out for lunch.

Lisa Pinnock?

Out for lunch, too.

"Who isn’t out for lunch?"

Nira Simmonds and Felice Gimbs are still in. Milo fake coughed while he garbled, inappropriate.

Trevillo ignored it. Yes, he was that kind of man. He shit where he ate and had absolutely no qualms about it. Grab Nira for me.

Mind if I ask how things went with Krissy K? He could almost sense the sonuvabitch smirking on the end.

Piss off, asshole—wait, you’re acquainted with her?

Who isn’t? She’s like the queen of fashion. We consult her for fashion tips all the time.

Yet you still dress like a queer douchebag?

"I am queer, and I’m most certainly a douchebag. So that means I’m getting it right."

Just send Nira in and shut the hell up, cock breath.

A few balls-aching minutes later, Nira walked through his office door. Brunette, tall, shapeless figure, she wasn’t anywhere near the angel’s feather who had left him with this hard-on, but any mouth would do at the moment.

You wanted to see me, Mr. Nelson?

Trevillo swiveled his chair away from his desk and shot her a side-long glance. Yeah. How’s Mr. Simmonds recovering?

He’s alright. Still beside himself that he’s been able to overcome his surgery. So kind of you to ask, she smiled sweetly.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I don’t really give a shit.

And your son? he asked, leaning forward to shrug out of his jacket.

Oh, just amazing. He’s on the honor roll!

Out of things to ask, Trevillo jumped straight to her purpose as he started to undo his belt buckle. I’ve got something I need you to take care of for me.

Nira’s eyes lowered as she watched him undo his fly and freed his length, rock-hard and throbbing. Her pink tongue darted over her lips, and without another word, she sashayed across his office, around his desk, and sank down to her knees.

Head tossed back, Trevillo breathed a satisfying sigh when Nira’s wet lips wrapped around him.

Chapter 2 - K. Kingston

The ‘B’ Word

I WOKE UP TO A SUNNY Friday morning, and Fear was still sleeping on the other side of my bed. Ever since the visit to Trevillo Nelson’s office on Monday afternoon, I’d been nothing but a big, crumpled ball of nerves. The man was assigning me to one of his top-of-the-line projects, and that alone was frightening.

Trevillo Nelson was the real estate tycoon, crowned king of this business. Anything he did was incontestable, turned to gold. He topped it all. Didn’t do normal. Didn’t do typical. Every tower loft, high-rise, gated community he built stood out from the rest, his signature recognized.

This project he assigned to me was what we considered one of his ‘success projects’—sold out long before construction even began, because buildings such as those were constructed for a certain set of people: politicians, movie stars, celebrities, etcetera.  Other normal projects were what designers like me usually got contracted on. Projects affordable to the middle-class.

We’re required to be innovative and unique so that work done by TDR employees stood out from others, but we did so without the constant pressure to go all-out extraordinary, make-it-to-the-magazines crazy. To make it worse, I hated working on residential contracts. Commercial was where I shined.  All commercial contracts came directly to me, because everyone else in the design department at TDR shied away from them.

The Dean’s Realty was a rather large company with all things real estate under one roof, ranging from interior designers to development and construction.

Being an interior designer, I worked in the design department (DD) under my boss, Mike Levi. Mr. Levi’s boss’s boss was Trevillo Nelson. Therefore, employees like myself almost never got to meet face to face with the head man.  Aside from business news, business magazines or Internet blasts, I’d never before yesterday seen the man in person. So one must imagine the utter shock and confusion I was in when I was summoned to his office. Right up to the 39th floor.

Before then, I’d never been past the 5th floor.

Then, when I entered his imposing office, the way he stared at me sent my nerves into overdrive. His blue gaze was searing, raking me over from head to toe. Whether he was leering or glaring is still in question.

Trevillo Nelson carried a hard, intimidating demeanor with a hint of wickedness. One could look scrutinizingly at him and detect, beneath that sophisticated suit of his, a barrel load of danger.

Full-on danger.

The kind of danger that’ll leave a girl traumatized, with PTSD, with a leaking, porous heart. Trevillo Nelson himself resembled danger.

But that wasn’t for me to care about. A job I wasn’t too ecstatic about was still waiting for me to start. That’s what I should care about.

It’s not as if I’d never done houses before. I had. It was the weight and pressure and high expectations that came along with working on projects like Skylark that scared the bejesus out of me.  Meeting those assumptions would be damn hard. Those contracts were for the bigger heads, like Sarah James.

In fact, Sarah James had been working on all the major projects for the last couple of years. Now, out of the blue, I was picked to work on a project she should was working on? That’s where I was baffled.

My theory is they were running behind schedule and just needed the next available designer. There was no other reason I could come up with for why I was chosen when I haven’t accepted a house project in two years. And now, if I didn’t deliver, I risked losing my job.

Oh, God, I mumbled as I rolled out of bed.

Trundling to the bathroom to freshen up, I raked my fingers through my choppy blonde hair and noted the bangs were growing a bit too long. Marsha would be receiving a visit from me real soon to shape them up and add some highlights.

My hair used to be eighteen inches of near-white blondness, but it was too thin and wouldn’t hold curls. When I added extensions, they only rendered me an itchy scalp with dandruff galore. Fed up one day, I just sat in Marsha’s salon chair and ordered her to chop it all off. Everyone fell in love with the short haircut, and since then it’s been my signature look. Sometimes I let it grow out and go all pixy girl for a while, and sometimes I cut it extremely low and bleach it platinum blonde. In addition, I had full, plump lips that were abnormally red, so whenever I went platinum-blonde, the look rocked.

After freshening up, I headed downstairs, praying that Jahleel was up and preparing breakfast and not busy cutting an early morning round with his bimbo of the moment. I couldn’t cook to save my life, so I relied on him to feed me.

A satisfying smile pulled at my lips when I entered his kitchen and found him flipping pancakes.

Morning, I sang as I took up residence on a stool at the breakfast bar.

Jahleel glanced over his shoulder and flashed me his signature crooked grin. Mornin’, bad girl. Just pancakes and eggs. Feelin’ too lazy for anything healthier.

Lazy or fucked-out, whore?

He chuckled. It’s because I’m fucked-out why I’m feelin’ lazy.

Jahleel Kingston was my brother. Well, kind of. Because I could only think of him as my brother in my head, otherwise I’d earn a cold stare and an "I’m not your fucking brother!" barked at me. However, on paper, we were brother and sister.

At six months old, my parents decided they no longer wanted a child and left me on a beach close to the shore. I was found soaking wet and hollering like the baby I was. Crash after crash of ocean waves washed over me, but didn’t move me. Neither did the waves drown me. I guess my parents figured a big old wave would wash me away, which was stupid. They could’ve just tossed my wailing ass in the ocean. Even a running river would’ve been better.

Idiots.

To cut a long story I don’t care a crap about short—even though it’s my sad story—I was found by whomever and brought wherever and when I wasn’t claimed, they thought whatever and threw me in foster care. So I grew up in a tiny apartment with around ten other brats and a mean old witch for a foster care mother.

At six years of age, Jahleel’s parents adopted me and my other brother, Trey. They wanted more kids, but didn’t want to repeat the long process of giving birth, nursing and nurturing, and waiting for them to grow. They wanted immediate noise and liveliness in their home. As a result, they went out and got themselves two ready-made kids: Trey and I.  Plus it gave them a good rep in the public eye.

Howard and Elizabeth Kingston were world-renown religious figures who owned the Kingston Faith Ministries. They aired weekly on a Christian channel, toured the world from Africa to Israel, feeding the poor and healing the sick and whatever else God’s people did to get through the pearly gates.

So, yeah, we grew up in church, drowning in the word of the Bible and daily two hour long prayer meetings. Still, Jahleel and I were unreformable. He’d taken to me the minute the Kingstons brought me into their home. We grew close. Closer than normal, more affectionate than normal. We were kindred spirits who simply loved each other. And while Trey was busy trying to please his new parents and answering all the questions in Bible study sessions, Jahleel and I sneaked around listening to ‘worldly’ music and watching ‘worldly’ music videos with half-naked video vixens.

While I was fascinated with decorating and designing, Jahleel loved dancing. One could tell Jahleel was born to dance; he only got to watch and practice dance moves when our parents were away, yet he was like the greatest dancer alive. Jahleel ate, slept and breathed dancing.

When he told his parents what he wanted to do with his life, they weren’t having it. So he decided to leave. At nineteen, he left the comfort of his parents’ mansion and went out on his own. He was admitted into a dance academy, and not too long after, got a job teaching dance classes on the side to make ends meet, since the Kingstons had cut him off.

Not a single day passed when he didn’t call me. Until one day he told me flat-out he needed me by his side. I think his exact words were: "I need you everywhere in my life, Krissy. In every space, every inch, all up in my air. I need you by my side. Please. Please, come and stay with me."

There was no second thought about it. I loved Jahleel more than I loved my adoptive parents. So one Sunday, I feigned being sick to opt out of going to church, and as soon the Kingstons were gone, I packed up and ran off to live with Jahleel in his dingy apartment. We downgraded from our posh life to a tiny apartment. But it didn’t matter because we were happy to be ourselves.

A couple of months later, our parents found out where we were staying. As they barged into the apartment, Jahleel shoved me behind him, telling them he wouldn’t allow them

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