COMING FEB. 10th!
In the city of New Orleans, crime is at an all-time high as the streets are flushed with drugs and poverty as most inner cities are. This city is different; however, one of the major players in the drug game is a female, which is unheard of on the streets.
For years, Sharice has worked to build her reputation to survive in the male-dominated drug game and has almost made it to the top in the Faction, a criminal organization that consists of three different bosses who control several major cities. With all the work she’s put in, Sharice feels she’s earned the right to become the organization’s first female boss.
While she has the backing of Atlanta Boss, the mafia connected John ‘Johnny Boy’ Bianchi, due to her support in the past, she’s yet to sway Miami Boss Rico Hernandez, or her own Boss, ‘Money’ Mike Rashad. Tensions run high when a local dealer decides to test Sharice and her crew to take back what he believes is his territory.
With schemes and betrayal going against her, a new FBI investigation specifically targeting her, and an old flame returning to her life, this is a tale of one woman trying to maintain as things around her begin to crumble. Will she sacrifice everything she believes in and everyone she loves in order to achieve the top spot?
In an old abandoned building in the area of New Orleans known as ‘The East,’ several street hustlers are gathered around Manny, who is bloodied, tied up and naked, sitting on top of a crate in the middle of the floor. Manny is a street hustler from uptown who was trying to make his mark in the Faction controlled drug world. He took his chances and was successful, initially claiming several neighborhoods for his crew, the Pena Gang. He overreached, however, as the Faction was well connected in several cities and was not only able to push him out of their territory, but claim what remained of his territory for themselves. Manny is the final loose end they needed to tie up.
All is quiet as Manny begged for his life to the Faction soldiers standing around him when Harold walked in with a couple of bodyguards flanking him. He took a look at his surroundings with a bunch of discarded furniture and dust filling the area, making sure to avoid the broken glass that seemed to fill out most of the floor. He also noticed a couple of what appeared to be rats in the building as well, which caused him to look on in disgust.
As Harold approached Manny and the others, a smirk grew on his face, which really exposed the scar he had on the left side of his face.
“Uptown Manny, the last of his kind,” Harold mocked as he walked up to his defeated foe. “I bet you didn’t think when you woke up this morning that you’d be in this position, did you?”
Manny recognized Harold’s thin frame out of his one good eye because the other one was swollen from the beating he’s already gotten. Unlike the others in the room, who are dressed in a variety of jeans and t-shirts and tennis shoes, Harold was dressed in an expensive suit, equipped with high-end shoes and jewelry.
“Look, Harold, this is bullshit,” Manny exclaimed. “Y’all won, ya dig! Ain’t no reason to go no further with this!”
Harold chuckled as he approached his captive.
“Nigga, you must be out your mind if you think you gonna talk your way out of this shit,” Harold responded. “You took territory that didn’t belong to you. You think Money was gonna let that shit go?”
“I ain’t have no beef with Money! That bitch Sharice was provokin’ me,” Manny responded. “She’s the fuckin’ one who should be here! Let Money know I’ll handle that bitch for free! Come on, man. Get him on the phone.”
“So, you looking to take out Sharice now?” Harold said with a smirk. “You really think you got it like that?”
“That bitch is shady, for real! Money can’t trust her. She got dreams of doing some shit, my nigga. If that bitch was here right now, I’d-”
“That bitch is here right now,” a voice from the distance announced.
Harold and the others turned around, noticing Sharice and her second in command, Connie, walking towards them. Manny went silent when he saw Sharice approaching him. Sharice’s eyes peeked out from her shoulder-length hair bob with blonde highlights. Similar to Harold, Sharice was dressed more professionally with a tight but professional all-black business skirt suit. She’s extremely cautious walking through the scattered broken glass with her stylish and expensive heels, waving away the dust in her path, hoping to avoid ruining her makeup.
Manny’s face filled with fear as Sharice stood in front of him.
“I’m here, so what you gotta say?” Sharice said, waiting for a response.
Manny refused to say anything as Sharice nodded her head with disappointment.
“So, you got me in this fucked up building that I’m totally not dressed for to hear what is probably gonna be your final words, and now you get all quiet,” Sharice mocked. “You said, and I quote, ‘If that bitch was here right now, I’d…’ I’m here now, so finish the statement.”
Manny remained quiet as an agitated Connie pulled her gun out and aimed it at Manny’s head.
“You heard her! Finish the fuckin’ statement, nigga,” Connie said.
Unlike Sharice, Connie was more aggressive with her approach. While she’s cute, she’s also the exact opposite when it comes to style than her friend. Her hair was normally braided to the back, and her attire is more of a street thug than a business professional like Sharice. Connie was a hothead, which made even the fiercest men take notice on the streets. Even now, it’s unclear if Manny is more afraid of Connie than Sharice as she cocked back the hammer on the gun, trying to persuade Manny to finish his statement.
“I swear I’m gonna cap yo’ ass if you don’t answer her in the next five seconds,” Connie threatened.
Manny finally broke down and began sobbing, causing Connie to shake her head.
“Look at this bitch ass nigga,” she said, looking towards Sharice.
Sharice waved her off as Connie uncocked her gun and backed away. Sharice looked at the sobbing Manny and shook her head as well with disappointment.
“You know, when you watch the movies, there’s always that epic showdown,” Sharice said, looking around at the soldiers in the area. “It’s always after a big battle and shit. There’s always that final one on one confrontation between the leaders of the opposing forces, the one that you anticipate throughout the entire movie. Eventually, someone always comes out on top, but there’s normally a certain level of respect that goes on between our two combatants. This… this though, isn’t one of those times.”
Sharice looked at Manny, who was still avoiding eye contact with tears streaming down his face.
“You’re nothing more than an annoyance, a fuckin’ rock in my shoe. And you have the nerve to bring Money up like he’s gonna be your savior? I work for Mike, and he’s the one who ordered this, so what in the fuck did you expect to happen all of a sudden?” Sharice questioned. “You think he was gonna say, ‘You know what? You’re right, kill that bitch?’ You wanna call him now and ask?”
Manny remained silent as Sharice threw her hands in the air, tired of waiting for her defeated foe to respond.
“So be it. Let the record show that Manny’s last words are ‘If that bitch was here right now, I’d…’” Sharice said as she nodded to Connie, who aimed her gun at Manny.
“Sharice, wait! Please-” Manny cried before he was forever silenced with a shot in the head from Connie’s gun.
Connie also shot him twice in the chest for good measure as Sharice turned to Harold.
“Clean this shit up,” she ordered.
He turned to the other members in the crew and nodded his head as they started to move Manny’s body, and began to clean up the crime scene.
“No problem, lady boss. I got you. What about that other uptown problem we had? Dre? You want me to handle that too?” Harold asked.
“Nah, I got that. I need to catch a flight out to Atlanta here shortly, but I’ll handle that when I get back. Shouldn’t be more than a couple of days,” Sharice said. “I swear these fuckin’ uptown niggas.”
“Yeah, they a mess, but Dre is fallin’ in line though lately. He finally got some act right, and is kickin’ up to me like he should,” Harold said to Sharice, who waved him off.
“He disrespected my name, Harold. Ain’t no pass for that,” she said to Harold, who nodded in agreement, but still tried to sway his boss.
“I get it, Reese, but it’s gettin’ real in them streets. Five-o is jumpin’ like a bitch lately and these bodies are starting to get national attention, which I know the bosses don’t like,” Harold responded. “I was just talking about taxin’ him and shit. He puts a lot of cash in our pockets, I’m just sayin’.”
“I don’t give a fuck,” Sharice snapped back, causing Harold to back down. “My fuckin’ name is my name, and I don’t need niggas like that draggin’ me through the dirt!”
Harold nodded his head with understanding as Sharice sighed, regretting snapping on one of her most loyal members.
“My bad, Harold. I didn’t mean to go at you like that,” Sharice apologized before thinking for a moment. “You sure about your man there? Dre?”
“I mean, he hasn’t disappointed so far, but if you gotta cap him, it’s cool,” Harold responded.
Sharice pondered her options for several more moments as she and Harold began walking out of the building, followed closely by Connie.
“Tell you what. I’ll go ahead and pay a visit to Mr. Dre. Just to make sure he’s clear about keepin’ my name outta his mouth. Don’t let him know I’m passin’ through though. I wanna see the look on his face when he sees me for the first time. Get a read on him.”
Harold smiled as he nodded his head with agreement.
“Is the count where it should be?” Sharice asked.
“We on it, lady boss, you know that,” he responded.
“Alright, make sure you get with Mike’s people this evening then. He’ll be back tonight after I leave out from what I heard. Don’t feel like hearin’ his mouth on us being late, especially with all that I got goin’ on,” Sharice instructed.
“Is today the day you finally make boss?” Harold asked with a slick grin on his face.
“With these fools, who knows,” Sharice responded, trying not to get her hopes up. “I ‘then put enough money in all they fuckin’ pockets for several lifetimes. I think I’ve earned it, but even in the underworld, politics reigns supreme.”
Sharice and Harold finally made it outside of the abandoned building, revealing it to be some sort of fenced off warehouse off the main highway. Connie walked over to a nearby white Escalade, quickly jumped into the driver’s side, and revved the engine as Sharice and Harold had parting words.
“Aight, have a safe trip, Reese. Hopefully, when you come back, I won’t be calling you lady boss anymore,” Harold said, causing Sharice to chuckle.
“Nigga, please,” she responded. “I’ll always be your lady boss.”
Harold laughed as Sharice hopped into the passenger’s side of Connie’s Escalade. The vehicle slowly made its way out of the fenced area, heading towards the nearby main road.
As the vehicle made its way down the road, Connie shook her head with a look of disappointment on her face. Sharice noticed her mood.
“What?” Sharice asked.
“I dunno. I think you being weak on that Dre shit,” Connie responded with her strong native drawl. “I mean, you start lettin’ people ride, more niggas gonna follow. You then built this shit up too far for some bullshit to knock you down, ya heard me.”
Sharice smiled as she looked out the window before responding.
“Harold is right on this one. Can’t keep droppin’ folks for no reason. If we can settle this shit without cappin’ niggas, why wouldn’t we?” Sharice asked.
“Harold is a nigga, though,” Connie replied. “We ain’t. You know they looking for anything to fuck over us.”
“True, but we gotta be smarter, that’s all. We need to build our ranks up. Only problem is most females in this game make a livin’ on they backs. One name is ringin’ out, though. Girl named Michelle, I think. I heard she out there wackin’ fools left and right. Body count that rivals even you, if you can believe it,” Sharice said, causing Connie to wave her off.
“Ain’t no bitch me,” Connie said with a hint of jealousy. “Maybe tryin’ to be me, but not me.”
“Either way, get word to her. Send Bull if you want. I wanna meet her at the club when I get back. Let’s see if she really is Connie Jr. or a perpetrator,” Sharice said with a smile, continuing to push her friend’s buttons. “So, you got any plans tonight?”
“I’m gonna hit up a card game tonight. See if I can bust a lick, ya heard me,” Connie said with a smile on her face.
“I just never picture you as a card player,” Sharice pointed out. “You remind me of a back alley dice game nigga for real.”
Connie chuckled, nodding her head with agreement.
“Yeah, baby girl, I ‘then came up since them high school days. Back before we had two pennies to our name. You was still at your grandma’s house, and I was, well, wherever. Used to break them niggas in the back of the gym on them dice,” Connie said as she reminisced. “Now, I’m just trying to come up like you, Ms. Bougie.”
“You could start by dressin’ with class, instead of some street thug,” Sharice pointed out.
“Oh, so now you’re gonna give me fashion tips?” Connie said while laughing.
“Hey, you want the title and respect, you gotta dress the part. Shit, you ain’t never heard the phrase dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” Sharice asked her friend.
“That’s that bougie world shit right there,” Connie fired back with a grin. “See, I don’t forget where I came from. I’m reppin’ the hood for real.”
“Can’t rep the hood forever, Cee. Shit gets old. Eventually, everyone's time comes — either jail or death. Gotta have a plan to get out of this shit, girl,” Sharice said to her friend.
“Then why you tryin’ to get boss then?” Connie asked. “I’m just sayin’, seems to me you gettin’ deeper into the shit.”
“It’s a means to an end, baby,” Sharice said as she looked at her cell phone. “Sooner I make this money, the sooner I can set myself up for better things. After that, we’ll see where the world takes me. First things first, though.”
Connie nodded her head as she continued to navigate onto the freeway heading towards the airport.
Outside of the luxurious Whitley Hotel in Atlanta, an unmarked FBI van was parked across the street quietly surveying the area. Inside the vehicle was FBI Agents Davis and Daniels, who were surveilling the area through their various forms of equipment. Daniels yawned as he adjusted his glasses. It had been a long stakeout, and looking at the monitor had taken its toll on him. He’s older than his partner, Davis, and doesn’t have the energy he once had on cases like this.
Although they’re partners, Daniels was the lead agent on this case due to his seniority with the Bureau and his familiarity with the Faction criminal empire. It was a big responsibility and honor to have such a title, especially for a black agent Daniel’s age. He was somewhat a hero in the Bureau, taking down several mafia criminal organizations in the past. His fieldwork was second to none, which is why he was assigned this case. Nobody in the Bureau could get anything going with The Faction, but with Daniels’ impeccable record, the Bureau had faith that he would be able to gather the evidence needed to bring them down.
Davis, on the other hand, was still youthful, around ten years younger than his partner. He’s still trying to make a name for himself in the Bureau and leaped at the chance to work with a veteran such as Daniels. He’s always wanted to do some undercover work, but because this is a major minority organization they are investigating, for the most part, there wasn’t much work for a blond-haired blue-eyed white agent outside of surveillance and in-house casework.
Daniels readjusted his eyes at the right time as a limo pulled up of great interest.
“Hey, I think we got something,” he said as Davis glanced at the video monitor and noticed several individuals exiting the limo.
“Looks like we have Money Mike arriving on site,” Daniels said as he checked his watch. “Document time of arrival as fifteen forty-six.”
Davis documented the time while they continued to watch the monitor observing Money walking into the entrance of the hotel with his entourage following close behind. Money was flamboyant, wearing an expensive button-down silk shirt and loose-fitting slacks to match. He was laced with several pieces of high-end jewelry including an expensive watch that exposed itself when he scratched his faux hawk hair with blonde sponge twists.
After several moments, an SUV pulled up behind the limo, and another person of interest hopped out of the passenger’s side. Daniels’ eyes lit up once more as he called Davis’ attention to the screen again.
“Is that Rico Hernandez?” Davis asked.
“It is,” Daniels confirmed. “Mark his arrival time at fifteen fifty.”
Davis jotted down the info as they watched Rico, and several of his men head towards the entrance of the hotel as well. Unlike Money, Rico was a little more laid back, wearing cheaper clothing and minimal jewelry, consisting of a small chain around his neck, and an inexpensive watch on his wrist. The Miami-born Hispanic raised his shades, looking to get a better view of things before finally making his way into the entrance.
Davis had a cryptic smile on his face as he moved back to his seat on the other side of the van.
“All three Faction bosses in one building. Something must be going down,” he said excited before Daniels calmed him down.
“Doesn’t matter,” Daniels said with disappointment. “Without any video or mics in the place, there’s nothing we can go on other than what informant 6840 tells us, and how reliable is that going to be? All we can report is the comings and goings for now.”
“It’s a start though,” an upbeat Davis reminded his partner.
Daniels sighed. He took a sip of his coffee and continued to monitor the screen for any additional intel he can get.
Inside the luxurious hotel was a massive conference room decked out with food and drinks on each of the tables. As Money, Rico, and their crew entered the room, a smiling John “Johnny Boy” Bianchi greeted them as they walked in. John, a New York-born Italian, was the oldest of the three bosses. His head was full of gray hairs with his skin looking a little discolored. His age, however, didn’t affect his sense of style because he’s wearing an expensive black, full Italian Mafioso suit.
After he greeted everyone, he and the other bosses all waved their crews out of the room as the three men took a seat at the conference table.
“Thank you for coming,” John said to his two counterparts. “This place has been swept for bugs, so you can speak freely here. Let’s get down to business, shall we?”
Rico nodded his head as he started the meeting.
“Gentlemen, I believe it’s time we take our business to Houston. I know we discussed this previously and were doing a little more fact-checking, but in my estimation, I believe we have all the facts we need to move in and take over,” Rico said with his strong Hispanic accent.
“I don’t know about that shit,” Money said, giving his opinion. “I’m just gonna be real. We struggling to keep up with demand now. You was supposed to have been increased my supply last month and ain’t shit change. How you gonna add new territory without supply?”
Rico smiled as he poured himself a drink from a nearby bottle.
“I’ve spoken to my man on the other side. He’s ready to handle the increased load. As I told you before, last month was short because one of our shipments was busted en route to the US. Certain changes have been made to ensure that will not happen again,” Rico said before taking a sip of his drink.
“While I do share the same concerns as Money with our supply, if you can guarantee that we won’t have any other setbacks, then I vote yes on the move,” John replied.
Money yawns, but eventually nods his head in agreement.
“Yo, whatever, man. Long as we have the shit we need, I’m with it,” he said.
John smiled and nods his head with agreement.
“Secondly, I know this has come up before, but I think it’s important we discuss it now with the move to Houston. With a new city, comes new responsibilities. I think it’s well overdue, and would like to nominate Sharice as a new boss to lead the way,” John said, much to the disgust of Money.
Rico also hesitated, but John continued to try to pitch his idea to the others.
“This thing, it’s growing. As much as we don’t wanna admit it, broads are on their way up. They have certain assets we need, so why not have a representative that we can bring to the table?” John said.
“What the fuck is this, Hollywood?” Money snapped back. “We part of the women’s movement now?”
“I would think you would be the first one on board with this, Money,” John responded. “I mean, she puts a shit load of money in your pockets, doesn’t she? In fact, she runs your docks too in New Orleans from what I understand. So, I’m curious, what exactly is it that you do?”
Money went on the offensive as he leaned forward towards John.
“How I run my shit is my business,” Money fired back. “I’m not all in your wop shit, so you need to stay the fuck outta my shit!”
“Careful, Money, wouldn’t want you to go all nigger on me,” John fired back as both men jumped up from their seats to face each other.
“That’s enough, you two,” Rico exclaimed as both men backed away slightly from each other. “Can we for once have a meeting without you two going after each other’s throats?!”
John smiled, taking his seat again while keeping his eyes on Money, who had a frown on his face. Rico sighed as he tried to keep the meeting on track.
“John, all due respect, I agree that a woman boss is a little too much for what we do. We’re only as successful as the top allows us to be. You add a woman, no matter how respected, people will start to second guess us,” Rico explained as tempers simmered down. “I know what she did for you, and you feel that you owe her, but right now, I’m going to have to vote against her becoming boss for now.”
“Money is money. Who gives a fuck who’s it coming from?” John said. “It doesn’t matter if they have a dick or a cunt, earnin’ is earnin’.”
“Be that as it may, old friend, you’re outvoted here,” Rico explained to a disappointed John. “Tell you what, let’s get Houston in order, and we’ll revisit this once we’re up and running. I need this infuse of fetti. It’s getting harder and harder in Miami, my friends.”
“That’s ‘cause them illegals tearin’ up y’all shit,” Money said. “Government all on they asses right now. Hard to move shit when half your street folks are deported and shit.”
Rico frowned because Money was right about the issues he’s currently facing.
“Regardless of what my current problems are, I’d like to use my men to go in and get things cleaned out in Houston. Does anyone object to this?” Rico asked.
Neither John nor Money responded as they are all in agreement.
“Very well. I’ll get things planned out, and keep you all in the loop through our various back channels,” Rico said.
John nodded his head as he and the others stood up from their seats.
“Gentlemen, a pleasure as always. You and your men are welcome to help yourself to all the food and drinks you would like,” John said, walking over to the pool entrance. “I’ve also made some special arrangements.”
John opened the pool door, and in walked about a dozen scantily dressed women, much to Money’s delight.
“You see, this the shit I’m talking about,” Money said while licking his lips.
The other members of the bosses’ crew all finally made their way into the conference room as well. Each began to indulge with the treats that surrounded them.