This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
All names, characters, places and incidents are invented by the author or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental. All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author.
“Whoa . . . WTF was all that about?” Deijanna laughed, while Nicole’s palms covered her eight year old brother Gabriel’s ears. Deijanna constantly dropped F bombs but Gabriel didn’t need to hear them. Nicole didn’t like listening to Deijanna’s love affair with cursing either, only she couldn’t tell Deijanna that, not if she wanted to remain friends. They were running towards the luxury cars parked on the grass, except Deijanna owned a current model and Nicole was driving her mother’s much older Benz. “Quit acting up or you’ll get arrested just like that boy,” Nicole said, yanking Gabriel’s baseball cap down over his eyes just as he placed his bat and mitt into the trunk of their car. “Stop it!” he whined. “I’m gonna tell dad. Why’d you come anyway? Why isn’t he here?” “Don’t ask me, ask Deijanna. It’s her mom making him work late,” she told him, delegating the explanation to her fast talking friend. Deijanna’s mom was the principal of the private school they both went to. Nicole’s dad was a science teacher and a long time faculty member. Even her mother worked there at one time, as an accountant in the business office, so Nicole couldn’t figure out why a science teacher would be doing accounting work. “Uh-huh. Don’t get me mixed up in this,” Deijanna said, flipping her weave over her shoulders. “I think they’re reviewing the school budget or something.”
“See, that’s why he couldn’t come.” Nicole placed a comforting arm over Gabe’s shoulders as he squirmed away. At his age having any girl touch him, even his big sister was gross. “Hey, I was here,” she said, realizing just how much he looked like their father as he scowled. “And I’m real proud of you. I’ve even got some good video of you too, when you stole second base.” Gabriel seemed to like that, even asking to look at the camcorder so he could watch himself. Then he started complaining about how long it was taking her to unlock the car doors. Well, the remote for the relic she drove didn’t work, so unless the key turned they were totally screwed. “Dang, Nicole. Your mom’s car looks like a hooptie.” Good old Deijanna. Another pity poor Nicole as a thinly veiled diss. Sliding onto her leather, cream colored driver’s seat, Deijanna finished with, “You need to let her know that you can’t keep riding around in that a piece of crap.” “Hey,” Gabriel pouted. “Don’t talk about our car-” “Shut up Gabriel,” Nicole quickly cut in. “Just be quiet and get in.” His bottom lip poked out even further and he just glared when Deijanna pulled off, waving and laughing at his expression. A crushed soda can on the floor board hit Nicole’s ankle and she wound up cursing, realizing that Deijanna was right. Everything about her family was going downhill. Their car had seen better days, long before cigarette burns marred the fabric along with stains from Gabe’s friends cramming into the backseat after a game, dropping pizza toppings and milkshakes. Her mom claimed the car was a classic, but it just looked and drove way too old. As Gabriel struggled to roll down the window using the hand crank, Nicole fumbled with her mother’s ginormous key chain, the one that held totally unnecessary old keys, like those to every door in their house and even keys to cars they didn’t own anymore. Gabriel kept fidgeting, excited about the police leading some blonde kid who was handcuffed and still acting up to a patrol car. She ignored him like she always did when he started talking too much, and turned the key in the ignition. The car shook in a loud rumble of thunder, the
carburetor firing off like a double barreled shotgun, making everyone look their way. Nicole cringed, wishing she could disappear under the floor mat. “Well, better embarrassed than arrested like him,” she muttered. “Yeah. I’d rather be in a car that won’t start,” Gabriel agreed. Just as quickly his mind turned to food. “Hey, can we go by McDonald’s?” “No. And didn’t I just ask you to be quiet?” she snapped. “You’re always hungry. You’re gonna turn into a Happy Meal. I just want to pretend like you’re not even here, that’s how quiet you better be. Okay?” Gabriel scrunched lower in his seat, an even angrier scowl on his face her answer. A couple more tries and the car finally began to purr, though it still sputtered as if it would cut off at any moment. She set it in drive and was just about to pull out when that police car cut right in front of her, but it didn’t move because another squad car blocked its path. “Oh come on!” Nicole screamed, itching to honk the horn even though they were cops. Just great. Even better was how her car idled to a stop. She waited, said a prayer and then started the engine again. Just inches away from her, sitting in the back of the patrol car was that boy, just staring. She bit out, “And what are you looking at?” under her breath but was too chicken to stare back at him, preferring to drop her head on the steering wheel, straining to hear whether the motor was about to conk out. “God, he is so rude...” Gabriel practically climbed on her lap to see for himself. So on top of a car that could shut off at any moment, leaving the two of them stranded, she was wrestling with a sweaty eight year old. The teen with the bloody nose watched her playfully give Gabe a big sloppy kiss on the cheek. Of course Gabe howled, wiping his face in disgust, so she had to laugh. That made the kid in the patrol car grin. But his blood stained jaw and busted lip gave her a sick feeling. She saw his head jerk away from the window as he angrily lashed out at one of the officers who’d said something to him. And silently Nicole counted her blessings, thankful that she wasn’t in his position. All
things considered her life was good, and her future even brighter. Right now, there was no possible way it wouldn’t be . . .
Maybe she should’ve taken that ride from Coach Aiken. But Nicole left him
sitting there in his SUV, his tie undone and the passenger door open in anticipation of her joining him upfront. She thought about the fast food wrappers and discarded coffee cups hiding his armrest, and the rumpled clothes piled in the back seats that he always said were going to the cleaners. Somehow he’d never gotten around to it. Just like somehow she’d put off visiting her grandparents, never getting around to it until today. Turning down a ride didn’t seem like the smartest move once she was on the other side of town, lost with no real sense of where she was supposed to go. She kept on the lookout for landmarks, like a bank and a boarded up laundry mat, all the while dodging traffic until she almost ran head first into a light pole plastered with flyers, many of them showing a boy with a mischievous, familiar half smile. It was her younger brother Gabriel. She was used to the flyers. But not the spray painted R.I.P. covering the words Have You Seen Him? That all too painful reminder almost made her walk past her grandparent’s street. Turn right at the corner . . . it’s the third house, the third one near a real huge maple tree. Her ponytail bounced atop her head, the ends flicking against her cheeks and shoulders as she anxiously readjusted her backpack, again faking a bravado she really didn’t feel. Girls around her age who were lounging on a front porch cut their eyes her way, while a group of kids chased each other in the street. A few stopped and gaped at her, all because she was new. “Hey, is that your real hair? I bet it’s not. I bet it’s a weave.” The taunt sang out from across the street as she stopped in front of a colonial with a vague familiarity about it.
“Who you looking for?” a male voice barked from the porch next door. The owner was a blonde haired teen who sounded just like a raspy, shouting in the microphone rapper. “My-” Nicole didn’t get a chance to finish. Her grandmother came whizzing down the driveway, her bubble woven house coat flapping open, using a pigeon soft coo as she ooh’ed and aah’ed about how glad she was to see her grandbaby. Gathering Nicole in her arms Jamesetta Torelli gently touched her granddaughter’s shoulders and hair as if to make sure everything was in place. “Oh you look so pretty, grandma’s baby . . .” “What’s she wearing? That’s so corny . . . is that a uniform?” came another observation from across the street. “That outfit’s ugly. I still say that’s all weave-” “It’s her hair!” Jamesetta shouted, tugging Nicole’s ponytail so hard her head snapped back as proof. “My husband’s Italian, so her daddy’s half Italian. Now shut the hell up!” Nicole grimaced, her scalp and pride wounded while her grandmother kept giving the evil eye to someone refusing to take Jamesetta’s advice, swearing up a storm because they just knew that old woman wasn’t talking to them. In-between being mobbed by a bunch of little kids stroking her school jacket and tugging at her pleated skirt, Nicole nervously smiled down at them only to get shy giggles in return. “Never mind those fools across the street,” Jamesetta said, her hands lovingly cupping Nicole’s cheeks. “I wanted to meet you at the bus stop, but your grandfather’s been acting up today.” A bright eyed little girl with short dreads crooked her finger into Nicole’s backpack, asking questions all the while her grandmother talked. Nicole kept a frozen smile plastered on her face, her eyes wandering back to where that blonde kid sat on his porch. Was it always like this, just a wild street full of nosy eyes and tongues quick with the insults? Okay, she could do this. She’d made friends with the hugely popular Deijanna, the most feared girl in school, so whatever these kids could dish out surely she could take it and
then some. All she had to do was convince the leader and the rest would follow, just like in school. If she only knew who that person was . . . “Shut up before I come over there and wrap that dog around yo damn neck. Now say something else.” It was that blonde kid, charging down the steps, giving off a menacing heat that clearly showed he was all set to harm the loudmouth across the street. Her grandmother smirked wider and carted her off, to the delirious laughter of children surrounding them. “Come on, you don’t need to be around all this foolishness.” Good old grandma. With kids slowly trailing behind them, hanging on their every word, they walked up the driveway towards the back door. “Did you say something’s wrong with grandpa?” Nicole finally managed to ask, still trying to keep an eye on the angry exchange between teens. At least it seemed to die down as she watched them meet in the middle of the street, utter a few more threats, then from out of nowhere a football spiraled high and long through the air, with most of the boys going long for a catch. “This morning he snuck out the house again,” Jamesetta said, opening the back door wide enough for them both, a security door that was decorated with so many bars Nicole couldn’t make out if there was any glass in it. As it shut with a disheartening heavy clang, it seemed to be an omen of how life would be if she stayed with her grandparents. Those bars weren’t meant to keep strangers out. They were there to lock her in.
End of Excerpt
A free, six chapter excerpt will be available for downloading Friday (August 2nd) on Amazon.com
Ebook release is next week. For more info on our books, please go to http://wikkidsexycool.com
Coming in August:
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?