I blinked staring at the men in the room and the bitcheteers.
I took a breath and steadied myself. “My what?”
A grin appeared on Giovanni’s face. “Your pledge ceremony. This is your acceptance into the Atlanta Cobras.”
He tugged on his jacket, walking over to me and held out his hand. After contemplating his gesture, I cautiously took his hand.
His hand was soft like a cotton glove but, the thing about gloves are that they always get dirty. He gently pulled me towards the centre of the room.
In front of me was a table with two wine glasses, a wine bottle in a tray of ice and a type of metal pencil. I looked up at all the faces staring at me, my eyes locked with Vanni’s baby blues and he gave me a small smile. As if saying ‘You’ll be fine’.
I relaxed and took a deep breath.
“My comrades, we are here tonight to accept Shaneil Gemelia Jakes into our family. We are here to witness her pledge to our cause, to protect our family, to grow it and to fight for it,” his facial expression hardened and he looked like a dictator. “She has been training for this chance since she was a child and now is her time to step up to the plate. At age sixteen, she will be one of the youngest members to join us. So, I ask as senior members of this growing family to accept her with open arms, show her the ropes and how to grab the bull by its horns. To serve the family, live for the family and die for the family.”
I gulped as he said the last sentence. Die for the family? Did I even want to be in his family? Do I really want to pledge allegiance to this family?
They have been there for me from that day, training me, grooming me for this day so I could be one of them. So I could become an Atlanta Cobra... But do I really want to be a part of this?
“I’ll protect you. I’ll be your friend. Your knight in shining armour, I’ll protect you from the boogie man."
“I will keep you safe my little gem for, Shania.”
We were a family. Giovanni. Vanni. They vowed to protect me. They played their parts, helping me and caring for me in their own ways.
Even though Vanni went away he did his part for the first two years and so did Giovanni. He was like a father to me, he was Daddy G. He was my teacher and he kept me safe.
This was nothing different from what we already had.
I was only verifying my loyalty to them. I was already apart of there family so this was just a miniscule thing, it changed nothing.
Giovanni turned to me after pouring wine into a glass. He placed it in my hand and took up the other glass. “Do you wish to continue with your pledge?”
I nodded and he smiled.” Very well, repeat after me.”
I repeat a long speech in Spanish. It was their pledge, it spoke of commitment, trust, loyalty, protection of each member and that betrayal was punishable by death. Betrayal was not something taken lightly, it was the worst thing to do to your family and thus, it will be their pleasure to execute you for your treachery. “Now, we drink.”
He looped his arm holding the glass with mine and turned the wine to his head; I followed his action.
The liquid ran down my throat and it washed my taste buds in its berry flavoured goodness. He pulled away his hand and took the glass away after I drained it. Holding my shoulders, he stood beside me and turned to the crowd.
“Your new hembra. Shaneil Jakes.”
They all clapped, even the bitcheteers.
Giovanni ordered the party to commence and everyone started to socialize.
The music was lively and the members knew how to lose up and have fun.
The bitcheteers each grabbed a guy and grinded on them when dancing songs came on, while devouring their wine. Elia stalking her claim on Giovanni.
Soon Vodka was brought out along with sodas to trace it and a few liquors.
I got congratulations from many members, some I knew others I didn’t but have seen them around; they came in a little after the pledge. Only the important members were to witness that.
I stood in the corner, watching everyone. I had a Smirnoff Ice in my hand and I took small sips. I wasn’t use to the party environment so I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.
I watched as a hazel eyed man in a black suit came up to me.
“May I have this dance?” he asked holding out his hand.
Maybe it was the liquor or the fact that Vanni was watching with jealous eyes as the guy asked me but I accepted without a second thought.
He pulled me out of the corner, maneuvering me in front of him and placed his hands on my hips. He swayed to the beat and I was a bit slow to pick up on the rhythm.
“Just feel the beat,” he whispered in my ear.
I moved my hips against him as I don’t mind by Usher ft. Juicy J came on. He pulled me closer to him and moved against me as the song played. I caught on quickly and I was moving effortlessly against him, singing my heart out at certain parts. Letting go.
A shadow came over us and I looked up to see Vanni staring at us. He was stiff and looked cold.
“May I intrude?” he asked.
I looked back to see the guy nodded with a gulp and walked away. I looked at Vanni and grimaced. I was having fun and he had to mess it up. I was about to walk away when he grabbed my hips and pulled me on him.
Down on me by Jeremih ft. 50 cent came on and he started to get me into the rhythm of the song. I moved my hips to the beat, rotating them and bracing back on him as he pushed on me. I ran my hand in my hair and swayed my hips, his body moving smoothly behind me.
As the chorus came in I started to rotate my hips descending to the floor and he followed me, tackling my wine.
I laughed lost in the moment, the fact that I was avoiding him was at the back of my mind.
We returned to our upright position and his satisfactory groan serenade my ear, knocking me back to reality.
I grabbed his hands and pried them off my hip. I turned and looked at him. His eyes were darker, lustful.
Vanni grabbed my arm pulled me towards the corner and pushed me against the wall. His breath tickled my skin, his eyes was entranced by my lips and my breaths came out in pants. He was so close. I was itching to kiss him. He leaned towards my lips.
“My friends!” boomed Giovanni’s voice. “The time we’ve been waiting for is here.”
Vanni grunted and pulled back. He walked away from me with a grunt, running his hands in his hair. I sighed and stepped towards Giovanni.
“Time for the mark,” he said with an evil grin.
I stared at him. Mark? What mark? I wasn’t cattle so what does he mean by marking me?
“What mark?” I asked a bit offended.
He grabbed the metal pencil and showed me a needle at the end. He smiled at me as a few members grabbed my shoulders and placed me on the couch.
“A tattoo, to show that you’re one of us.”
I gulped. “Tattoo?”
Giovanni unbuttoned his shirt and showed me the tattoo on his peck. It was a detailed tattoo of a King Cobra.
“Don’t worry. It only hurts a lot,” he chuckled. “Now, you’ll get it where our female members normally get theirs.”
Was he sadistic or something? He was grinning at the fact that it will hurt?
I can’t believe I’m doing this.
After a few minutes of waiting, the needle came in contact with my skin and I grunted in pain.
“Feel free to scream Gem,” Giovanni stated as he continued his torture to my skin.