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Back in high school Samaya Martin was no exception to the old saying, “every girl loves a bad boy”. The only issue is that that “bad boy” grew up to be the sadistic and bloodthirsty drug lord of the Coup D’état Gang, Damian Richardson. Over the years, Samaya has had to sit back and watch the streets transform him into someone unrecognizable from the teenager she fell in love with as he bathed the streets red in a river of the blood and corpses of anyone who’d dare cross him.

 

Tired of all his cheating, abuse, and neglect, she turns to the only person who understands her pain, Taryll. Taryll Cunningham got caught up in the drug game with Damian. Throughout it all, he’s served as Damian’s number one runner, his enforcer, and his right-hand man. Which is why having an affair with Samaya is the very last thing he should be doing. He can’t control his heart and the two have a deeper connection than just a lustful affair. It’s a connection that if Damian

found out the truth — he’d make sure that their souls wouldn’t receive eternal rest.

 

Driven by love, their connection, and done with the drug game, Samaya and Taryll decide to run away. Abandoned by his two most trusted and enraged, Damian ensures that Samaya pays the full price for sneaking off with a drug lord’s hitta.

Prologue 

Graduation Night - Taryll

“Abusive Sexual Contact, Aggravated Sexual Abuse, Assassination, Blackmail, Child Abuse, Child Exploitation, Child Pornography, Cyber Crimes, Drug Abuse Violations, Drug Smuggling, Drug Trafficking, Embezzlement, Extortion, Molestation, Money Laundering, Racketeering, and Rape. As I’ve just listed you can see that Congressman Caprice Coleman is facing a laundry list of charges that were uncovered throughout the entirety of his political career.” Don Lemon spoke on TV outside the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse. “With all of these charges and mounting evidence, it’s truly not surprising a ‘guilty’ plea was entered by the Congressman’s legal team. We take you now to statements made earlier today by his son and Academy Award winning actor, Christian Coleman.”

I sat there on my living room couch in complete disbelief. I just heard the long list of charges and the fact that Congressman Coleman had plead guilty, but I still couldn’t believe it. A fifteen plus political career was over. The mighty had truly fallen.

My mother sat next to me with a look of disappointment. Congressman Coleman was known far and wide as one of the greatest black men of our time. Hell, he even came to our high school during Black History Month during Sophomore year. And now, we discovered that it has all been a lie. She turned the TV off in disgust as Congressman Coleman’s daughter-in-law, Aziza, was talking.

“Ugh,” she groaned. “This one sour way to end y’all graduation day, huh?” 

“Hmm?” I quizzed. 

Looking down to see that I still had my graduation gown on. I was so engrossed in the news that I literally forgot that we just hosted a party. It was a party that ended an hour ago. The only people left were my best friends, Damian and Samaya, who graduated with me. 

“Naw, it’s cool, Momma. It was a great party. Let’s not let all that political stuff ruin the night. We’re supposed to be celebrating.”

Momma’s lips kissed my forehead before looking at her phone. “Well, y’all can keep celebrating without me. It’s eleven and I’ve still got to go to work in the morning.”

“A’ight, goodnight, Ma.” I said looking towards the kitchen and all the leftover alcohol she’d left down here for us.

Damian watched my mom like a hawk until we all heard her bedroom door close. I was eyeing Samaya’s ass as I knew she was headed to the kitchen. Damian turned the TV back on to Christian and Aziza talking about Congressman Coleman’s legal shit storm.

“Damn, look at these niggas turning on they cash cow. If I was Coleman, I’d put money on all their heads.”

Samaya’s laughter sounded behind us before she handed us each an opened beer. “What are you trippin’ for? Ja’Meer and Laila told us this was what was gonna happen.”

Damian sipped some of his beer. “I know, but where’s the loyalty?”

I downed some of my own beer, laughing. “Loyalty?”

“Yeah,” Damian nodded. 

“This coming from a nigga who just murked his homies before walking across the stage to get his diploma?” 

Damian smiled. “You weren’t saying shit putting a bullet through their domes right there with me.” 

“True, but for real, for real . . . we have loyalty. Them niggas…” I pointed to the TV. “. . .That’s called ‘covering your ass’.”

“He’s right, Dame.” Samaya interjected. “You know they were all in on it at one point or another. All the other Colemans went straight after his granddaughter, Trinity, got married — it wouldn’t surprise me if they all weren’t involved in giving up evidence. You heard all the charges. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did something to one of the women in his family and they took him down for it.”

Damian shook his head. “Shit, I never thought about it like that. If he betrayed his own then he definitely deserves all the shit he’s getting now.” 

“He most definitely deserves this shit. For years, he talked about black power this, black power that . . . he made all them fuckin’ speeches. Did you see the look on my Mom’s face? The disappointment was real.” 

I took a long sip of my beer. If my Mom was disappointed in Congressman Coleman then I knew for damn sure she’d be disappointed in how I spent the first half off my morning before graduation. Damian and I were hitters, working for Ja’Meer and Laila Rouse — two twenty-six year old newlyweds who had ties to heavy players in the drug game. 

The tri-state area was ruled by Congressman Coleman and anyone who stepped out of line was taken out. It was a revolving door for years until now — until tonight. While Damian had been in the drug game since I met him in freshman year, since the beginning of senior year, and I had killed, made drug drops and exchanges right out of the gate as Ja’Meer and Laila seemed to see something great in us. 

Tonight, the last major domino had fallen and we were getting ready to take the streets over. It was out with old and in with new. I shook off the sight of my mother’s look of disappointment in my mind. She wanted Damian, Samaya, and I to go to college — make something of ourselves that way. She was cursed when I told her that I was immediately entering the “workforce”. She didn’t like it now, but she wouldn’t have anything to say later when after all my hard “work”, I’d be swimming in enough dough to take care of her and myself with no issues. 

Then my thoughts were interrupted by my phone ringing. Damian muted the TV. I didn’t even have to look at the caller ID. I knew who it was. It was the only person who would call me at this late hour.

“What’s up, Ja’Meer?” I answered the call. 

“First off, congratulations for graduating highschool. That’s all I wanted y’all to do before we get to making super moves. Y’all see what’s happening on the news?”

I smirked at what was on my muted television screen to see Aziza and Trinity crying their eyes out with tissues in their hands while Christian and Trinity’s husband, Shamir comforted them. “Yup, I almost didn’t believe you because of how much power he had, but he’s actually down and out . . . so what’s the move now?”

“We win.” Ja’Meer told me as the three of us eyed each other — truly eyeing our future.

SNEAK PEEK

*unedited*

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