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21-year-old Keyana Hayes is smart, educated, beautiful and a bit naïve when it comes to the streets due to her parents sheltering her from the real world. The last few months of nursing school had been challenging, but she’s well on her way to graduating. Having a man in her life was the last thing on her mind until she met Ice, Atlanta’s most honorable drug lord. He evokes something inside of her that she never saw coming. 

The handsome Christian Carter, better known as Ice, had everything he could ever want in life. Everything except love. He’s a man with power that feels it’s better to be feared than loved. That’s until he met Keyana, a woman that warmed his heart as he becomes enamored by her beauty. He now has to choose between the woman he loves or take the final kill his father authorized him to take, which is someone dearly close to Keyana’s heart. 

Keyana and Christian become tangled together once his friend East crossed paths with Keyana’s friend Dawn. As their relationship quickly turned into something serious they set the bar high for Christian and Keyana. Keyana caught up in love with a man she truly knows nothing about cost her a lot of heartache. Will the newly couple call it truth and let their upward love die or will they fight together against all the odds against them?

CHAPTER 1

 Keyana

    “Dawn, thanks for helping me with Mr. Walters, he really should be a three assist,” I expressed. Being a certified nurse aide for four years had been challenging. I’d felt underpaid and unappreciated. However, I had a few more months left before I graduated nursing school to become a registered nurse. 

    “Girl, I’m not even a nurse aide and here I am, helping you. I just came in here to remove his trash. You need to be calling that bitch Hazel to help you,” Dawn voiced with her flared nostrils. I placed clean sheets under my patient and fluffed his pillow. 

“You know I don’t fuck with her, and I hate working with her. Plus, she don’t help me anyway. I might as well work the east hall by myself.” I placed his dirty clothes in the bin next to the door, washed my hands, and walked out of the room after Dawn washed hers as well. 

“I’m so happy it’s Friday, and we got thirty minutes before we clock out. You want to go out tonight?” Dawn asked with her dimpled smile. 

“No, not tonight. You know I told my mom I’d come over and spend the evening with her. After that, I plan to go back to my apartment and study for my test next week. I have to pass this test,” I told her. 

“You always pass your tests. I’m so proud of you, Keyana. You really doing this school shit. I know you miss Trey, but it’s been almost two years now. He would have wanted you to live your life.”

“Dawn, you say that shit every other week. Yes, I loved Trey, but did you forget that nigga stayed cheating on me? I think he finally got his shit together before he got killed, but I will never find out. I’m just tired of these niggas. If and when I do meet someone. he has to be a man who stands on business about me. I don’t have time for these niggas to take me through shit to figure out I’m the one. Girl, don’t get me to preaching about these niggas. How are things with you and Dugi?” I questioned. 

“You know I deaded all that shit last night. I heard Hazel been trying to get at him. I’m so happy this my last week working here, because now if I beat that hoe ass. I don’t have to come to work and look at the black eye I’m gone give her.”

I laughed at my girl Dawn. She was as thorough as they come, and I loved her for being a real friend. We’d been friends since high school. She had my back just like I had hers. 

“Don’t remind me that you’re leaving me here with all these messy hoes. I’m proud of you though. You’re going to be a great dental assistant,” I told her. 

“Thanks, boo. Let me get all this trash and go finish my rounds. I’ll meet you at the time clock,” she stated as she went on about her business. 

I did my last rounds and gave report to the next nurse aide. I was so happy it was my weekend off, and I wasn’t due back to work until Tuesday. I’d needed that time off to study. I gathered my stuff out of the breakroom, and that’s when I noticed Hazel in the corner on her phone. She gave me a stank look.

“Girl, I can’t stand that hoe. Nah, I’m on break. I’m staying over today. I gotta stack this paper, so I can go to my boo’s birthday party next week. I gotta make sure my hair nice and my fit is right,” Hazel said as she talked on the phone. I assumed she was probably talking to her girl Star, another chick I didn’t like. I didn’t mess with them because they were so pressed on me. All I did was work and mind my business, and they were so bothered because a nigga they liked or wanted, wanted me. When I was with Trey, all them bitches gave me hell. The one thing I could say is that Trey kept his hoes in line for the most part. He didn’t allow anyone to disrespect me but somehow, he didn’t understand him cheating in the first place was disrespectful.

I was about to walk out of the breakroom when Hazel decided to say something to me after she got up and threw her stuff away. 

“You better tell Dawn of the dead next time she helps you with a patient, I’m telling. She is not trained to be providing care to those patients.”

“Hazel, remember when you didn’t report that fall on your patient last Monday and luckily, he was okay because I would have reported it?” I mentioned. 

Hazel glared at me and lightly bumped me on her way out the breakroom. I wanted to beat her ass so bad, but I knew it wasn’t worth it. She would still be the same person even after that. 

The day went by fast. It was finally time to punch out. I stood behind Dawn at the timeclock when Hazel walked by us and strolled outside while on her phone. She was smiling so hard, and I could only imagine what nigga she had coming to see her. It was late April and the weather had finally changed to the mid-sixties, but it still wasn’t warm enough to wear shorts or sleeveless tops. 

“Girl, I need to stop by the mall. I know you want to go home, but do you mind if I make a quick stop?” Dawn asked me as I clocked out and followed her outside. She and I took turns driving each week since our schedules were the same. I would give her gas money if she drove, and she’d do the same. 

“Don’t have me in this mall all night. It’s two o’clock right now, so we should be out before three o’clock.”

“Okay. I just need some new panties, and I need to go to Bath and Body works. They got the candles on sale again,” she stated. 

“For real? Oh yeah, we can go.”

She knew I loved candles and would spend all my money on candles if I could. 

Dawn and I both looked up to see Hazel standing next to an all-black Maserati. It was very nice, and I had to admit it was my dream car. I always said I wanted that or an all-black Mercedes Benz. The windows were half-way down, but we still couldn’t see who was in the car. Then, a chick hurriedly got out of the back and headed inside. She was looking down, so she didn’t even notice us. She was late, so we figured that’s why she didn’t speak. I thought about it and knew she was the new girl I trained. I’d only trained her a few days on first shift, but she worked second shift, so I infrequently saw her.

“Ain’t that the new girl that started last week?” Dawn asked. 

“Yeah, that’s her. I think her name is Luna,” I responded back. We walked by and the look on Hazel’s face was commercial. She always did the most when she was trying to show-off. Hazel rolled her eyes at us and turned back toward the car. 

“So, you know I got you. I get off at six o’clock, we should link up later on,” Hazel said. 

I shook my head because even though she was a pretty girl, she played herself like a hood rat. We didn’t hear the guy’s respond or whoever it was, and we really didn’t care to. We continued on about our business. Dawn popped the truck, and I got my purse out, headed to the passenger side, and got in. 

It took us thirty minutes to get to the mall. I was honestly in a good mood until every other guy tried to get at us. After the fifth dude, I was beyond irritated, and I didn’t even want to get my candles that I loved so much. 

“Dawn, I’m ready to go home and shower. I should have known the mall would be packed. And why you tell that dude I would call him? His side tooth was missing,” I said. 

“Bitch, you is funny. He was cute though. Y’all would make some pretty babies,” she said, eyeing me. 

I glared at her but deep down, I couldn’t front. He was gorgeous which led me to believe he could possibly be gay, but with his looks and mine, our kids would be beautiful. I was shy of being five foot three. My dark creme with a pinch of rich honey skin was free of any blemishes. I took pride in keeping my skin flawless. I had almond shaped eyes, curtained with thick lashes of my own. I often wore fake lashes but really didn’t need to. I adored my full succulent lips the most; they came second to my high cheekbones. My nose was slightly aquiline shaped. I knew I was fine, but I was humble. Life would make you that way. Men flocked to me because of my face, but my assets first. I had a nice heart shaped booty, and perfect sized breasts. To some I was perfect but often, I wished I was taller. 

Dawn, on the other hand, was only a few inches taller than me, but baby my girl had ass for days and them hips stayed swaying to its own beat. Her skin was flawless as well with a mole right next to her lip, giving her that extra spice. Her face was slimmer than mine and she had Asian, droopy eyes, high cheekbones and a beautiful smile blessed with dimples. Many labeled us as beauty and brains in high school but still, we made many stupid mistakes. I can’t tell anyone how many times I was on punishment throughout high school. I knew it was mainly because my parents were strict.

“You know I got my roast in the crockpot,” I reminded her. 

“Oh, yeah. I’m getting some of that too,” she stated as we exited the mall. 

Once outside, we talked about the weekend. She begged me to go out with her but again, I reminded her that I was chilling with my mom this weekend. My mom lived an hour from me, and I didn’t get to see her or my dad often since I was in nursing school. I really didn’t make a habit of visiting them, but I was tired of hearing my mom complain about me not coming over.

“Girl, who is that parked in front of my car like that?” Dawn asked as she squinted her eyes. She knew she needed her damn glasses on. I never knew why people that needed glasses wouldn’t just wear them. I focused on the car and noticed it was the same car that was at our job. 

“Girl, wasn’t Hazel talking to somebody in that same car?” I asked. 

“Yep. If that bitch trying some crazy shit I swear I’m going to jail today.” 

We strolled toward her car and when we got a few feet away, the passenger door on the Maserati opened. 

“Sup, shawty,” a handsome guy said. I knew he was talking to Dawn. Dawn looked over at me, and I looked at her. She unlocked the door, and I hopped in, opened her glove compartment, and pulled her gun out. We weren’t for the bullshit, and my aunt taught me to act first and explain later. I’d never shot a gun, but I knew it couldn’t be hard.

“Sup?” Dawn asked as she marched closer to the driver door of her car.

“Aye, I know this shit crazy. I saw you at the nursing home, and I knew I had to come check on you to let you know,” he told her. He was tall as hell, but then again, everyone was tall to us. And did I mention he was fine.

Dawn placed her hands on her hips and looked directly at him. “Check on me for what?” 

“You know summer right around the corner. I’m just making sure you know it won’t be a hot girl summer this year. You been in the streets long enough, and it’s time to come be with your man,” he said, licking his lips.

I knew my girl was turned on by that shit. Hell I was turned on for her. I also knew she was crazy as hell too. 

“That’s cute, but I’m not interested,” she told him. 

“Oh, yeah? So, you for the streets?” he asked. 

“Nigga, you don’t know me. I advise you to ask your boy to move from in front of my car.”

 I looked toward the driver side but still  couldn’t see inside with the window being tinted. 

“He can do that,” he said as he walked further up on her. I honestly didn’t feel threatened by him. Something about him let me know he was serious about getting at her. 

SNEAK PEEK

*unedited*

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