Charlie & Lucy

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He saved her, when he didn't know her. Now he loves her. When he finds her, she agrees to be his. Does she really want to belong to just one man? Charles Brewster, a gang leader, and drug dealer, though not by choice, met Lucy Legend, strictly by accident. When he first laid eyes on her, he was moved to help her out of a dangerous situation. When he saw her again, he knew that it was fated for them to get to know each other. Both from broken homes, their paths are the opposite of one another. Lucy on the path to help people in need for the better good, and Charlie, well his path was the path of a gang leader. Dealing with dangerous situations in order to gain wealth while not giving a damn about those who desired his services. Their relationship starts off with a few bumps, but eventually, everything evens out, and she becomes his woman. Enter, Stephen. Charlie’s eighteen-year-old younger brother who grew up in a home with wealthy foster parents. Though two years younger than Lucy, he is extremely attracted to her, even though she is the forbidden fruit. It is through Stephen’s actions that will send Lucy in a different direction than she should be going. After all, Charlie loves her, and that should be enough.

Romance / Drama
Kayresia A. Bass
Age Rating:

Chapter One


Brooklyn, late October. The weather is an average of thirty-six degrees at night. But on the east coast, at that temperature, it was a little on the chilly side. I didn’t care. Why was I out in that weather? I had to get away from my father who saved me from five years of foster care, only to take advantage of me for a year. He didn’t know me. He hadn’t known me for many years. He left me and my mother when I was very young. I’m not sure why that was. My mother never explained it to me. Perhaps she didn’t know either. But I will say that I was not happy with my current living situation.

My father was abusing me in the way that a father should never abuse his daughter. I had to get away. I planned my escape for almost a year. Every now and then, my father would get drunk and pass out. It was then that I would take a couple of dollars from his wallet and add it to my escape fund. After two years of stealing from him, and others, I finally had enough money to leave. That particular night, I gathered my money, my toothbrush, and toothpaste, a couple of pairs of underwear and bras, and threw them in a bag.

I waited until he was asleep and made my escape. I opened the front door, looked around at the meager surroundings, and closed the door behind me. Finally!

I had no idea where I was going to go, or what I was going to do. You would think that after so long, I would have some idea, but once the door was closed, I realized that my focus in all that time was my escape. I hadn’t thought past getting away.

I stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked around my neighborhood. Seeing as it was so cold, there wasn’t much going on. If it had been summer, there would have been lots of people, and perhaps some screams and gunshots. This night was eerily quiet. I looked back at my house one last time, afraid of the future, and took the first step into it. I had no idea what was gonna happen to me, but I had to get away from the man who sexually abused me for so long.

As I walked quickly down the cold street, I thought about the seven hundred dollars that I had on me wasn’t gonna last long in New York. If I had been in some mid-western city, maybe. But not here. I had to find somewhere to go, where I could find a job.

School? No longer a part of my life. I was on my own now. Survival didn’t include school. I just needed to figure out how to make it on my own. If I didn’t, I would end up back in the system. I didn’t want that. I was so close to escaping it.

Lucy Legend. Seventeen years old, and on my own. I was gonna make it.


I went into my mother’s room at the request of my sister. “Mom. Wake up. Shelly is hungry. She told me she was ready to eat.”

Shelly had a simple request that she was hungry. At nineteen years old, you would think that I was able to feed my siblings.

“You can feed her some noodles, Charlie. But before you do, I need you to help me. Tie my arm off please.”

I shook my head. “No mom. I can’t.”

My mom had an addiction. Heroine. I didn’t want her to do drugs. I needed her help in raising my three other siblings.

“Come on, baby boy, don’t you love your mom?”

“We need you. I won’t help you get high.”

Later that month, my drug addict mother died of an overdose, leaving four kids behind. As the oldest of my siblings, I did everything I could while my mother was alive to help her. Now that she was gone, I wanted to keep my family together. Soon enough, CPS would become involved, and who knew what would happen after that.

“I love all of you,” I told my three younger siblings. “Mom didn’t leave us anything. We may be separated for a while, but if we are, I will find you and visit as often as I can.”

“Charlie…” my younger sister Rebekah started.

I shook my head. “I know. I’ll figure out how we can stay together. I won’t abandon you I promise.”

“I love you, Charlie,” Rebekah said.

I smiled at her, as a serious pain stabbed my heart. “I know, Rebekah.”

My brother, Stephen, all of twelve, looked into my eyes. “Charlie, can we talk away from the girls?”

I nodded and led him to the hallway. “What’s up?”

“How long do we let her body lay there until we call somebody?”

“Not long.”

“Charlie, mom is dead. We can’t leave her there.”

“But as soon as we call someone, you know what that means right?”

“You already promised we would be together. Don’t disrespect our mother. We may not be able to bury her, but someone can.”

I tapped my younger brother on the shoulder. “Look, after the folks come to pick up mom, I’m gonna go talk to my friends to see if I can get some money so we can eat.”

Stephen shook his head. “Don’t leave.”

“You all are going to need food. I have to do something.”

Stephen sighed. “Okay. Don’t be gone long.”

I had no idea how long I was going to be gone, but I wasn’t going to tell my younger brother about my insecurity. “I won’t.”

After the city came to collect our mother’s body, I walked out of the front door of our two-bedroom apartment in Bensonhurst. Stephen gave me the please come back look, and I closed the door behind me. I knew where I had to go.

What my siblings didn’t know, is I was doing all I could do to get money to help keep them alive even before our mother died. They had no idea that I was a part of the dark underworld. Stealing and robbing people had become my thing. Everything was fine and going my way until our mother died. Suddenly I was the head of my family, and I knew deep down we were doomed as soon as my mother died.

I made the almost one-hour trip to Bed-Sty. I was going there to see Big Yak. The leader of my crew.

“Yak, my momma died.”

Big Yak put his cigarette to his lips and took a long drag. He blew out the smoke before he said anything. “So, what now, Brewster? You gonna be in the crew full time now?”

I just told him my situation, and he ignored me. “Didn’t you just hear me, man? I said my momma died.”

“Not my problem she was shooting up. What you want me to do about it?”

I was a little intimidated by my leader, but I still had to ask. I looked Big Yak in the eyes and asked, “Can you pay for her funeral?”

Yak laughed and then hit his cigarette. “Hell naw, man. She was just another junkie to me. You didn’t give a shit about her either. Let the state bury her ass, and you come to work for me.”

I thought about my brother and sisters. If I did work for Big Yak full time, they would have the money to eat, and maybe pay the rent for a little while. I would do anything to keep our family together, even though my mother didn’t do a very good job at it.

“Alright. I’ll do it.”


The wind picked up, and the sudden chill scared me. My father wasn’t the best man, but his house was a place I could lay my head and be warm. However, I would endure the elements, and go hungry, just so he couldn’t put his grimy hands on me anymore.

I needed someplace to go for the night. I was freezing. I walked until I found a cheap hotel; one that hookers slept with their johns. I was tired and had to think of what I was going to do next. At seventeen, I didn’t have lots of options.

“I need a room,” I said as I stared the desk clerk in the eyes.

“For how long?”

I didn’t know. “A couple of days.”

“Two days, thirty dollars a night.”

“Sixty bucks?”

“Yeah, kid. Be happy that I’m not going to charge you full price. Legally, you have to be twenty-one to stay here. But you look cold. I’m willing to make an exception.”

I put my hand in my front pocket and caressed the money I stole from my father. I had to know how long I might be able to stay. “You gonna call the cops?”

The desk clerk shook his head. “No. But I do need a favor.”

I knew where his head was, and just what he was thinking. He was just as slimy as my father, but I asked anyway. “What’s the favor?”

“You hang out with me for a while.”

“Hang out with you?”

“Yeah, you know. Sit back and chat. Maybe an occasional kiss. Hang out.”

“So, what if I don’t want to do that?”

“I call the cops, and you go back to whatever you were running from.”

I was trapped. “You would do that?”

“Hey, I would like a pretty girl to hang out with. You don’t want to hang with me, then I tell the cops you are a runaway. I bet your parents are probably looking for you. It’s up to you.”

He was short, and not the least bit attractive. But I would do what I had to remain free. My father, not an unattractive man, but I wanted no parts of him. I would rather lay with a stranger if it meant I wouldn’t have to go back to him.

“Don’t hit me.”

The desk clerk gave me a smirk. “Why would I hurt a young girl as beautiful as you? I only want your company.”

Two hours later, I was prey to a man who cared nothing about me as he continually probed my body. When he was finished, I fell asleep. I woke up to two hundred dollars on the pillow next to me. Had I become a hooker and not known it? Perhaps I did. I got up from the bed and took a shower, scrubbing away the disgust I felt.

Once my shower was finished, I pocketed the two hundred dollars and got as far away from that hotel as I possibly could.

I didn’t have a hat or anything, and the wind bit at my ears. I had to find somewhere warm to go, and not be harassed by people who didn’t know me.

After hours of wandering the streets, I made my way to the Tillary Street Women’s Shelter. This is where I would stay for the night, and maybe longer. At least here, there were no men trying to get in my pants.

Twelve hours later, I wished I passed the red brick building by. I had to fight off three women who attempted to take my body. I didn’t succeed. They took my body and all of the money I had on me.

Bruised, and hurt, I lay in my bunk and I cried myself to sleep. Upon waking, I left not knowing where I was going to go. It was bad enough that I didn’t have a permanent home, now I had no money. I walked out of the Tillary Street Women’s Shelter in search of someone who would take me in and properly take care of me. I didn’t know if I would ever find it.

The wind picked up, and without a proper coat, I was freezing. I knew I had to find somewhere to go, or I would die on the street. I didn’t want to die. If I didn’t find somewhere to go, I would be forced to go back to my father. Not an option. I kept walking.

A few hours later, I came across Providence House. A faith-based, woman-focused agency headquartered in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community of Brooklyn. I looked up at the sign and read the word faith. God? I thought. Gotta be better than the streets.

I walked into the building, and it was warm. That, I was grateful for. I sat in the nearest chair just trying to warm my bones when I was approached by a bright skinned woman with a huge smile. “Welcome to Providence House. My name is Yolonda. What’s yours?”

Was she serious? I looked into the woman’s eyes and saw nothing but sincerity. However, I didn’t trust her. “Lucy.”

“Welcome, Lucy. You look cold. Come, let’s get you something to eat.” I hesitated. “Come on, there was chicken on the menu tonight. Do you like chicken, Lucy?”


“Well come on. Let’s go to the kitchen.”


Yak died. He was shot in a raid that I barely escaped. Not sure if I was going to stay with the crew, I thought about my siblings. It had been months since I saw them. By this time, the state had discovered my siblings living alone and sent them all to foster care. I had yet to discover their locations, but I was not going to give up on my family. I was going to find a place big enough to house all of them, and me too. When I had enough money, I was going to get them back.

I walked into the Little Flower Children and Family Services of New York. That is where I discovered my siblings were located.

Walking up to the desk I gathered all of my courage, took a deep breath and said, “My name is Charles Brewster. I am looking for my brother and two sisters.”

The woman at the desk looked me up and down. I presume she was looking at how I was dressed but asked her question anyway. “Their names?”

“Stephen, Shelly, and Rebekah Brewster.”

The woman typed their names into the computer. “Ages?”

I had to think for a moment. It had been six months since I’d seen them. “Stephen is thirteen, Shelly is eleven, and Rebekah is nine.”

“Okay,” the woman said typing on her keyboard again. After she was finished, she looked up at me and asked, “Do you have some identification, Mr. Brewster?”

“ID? What I need that for?”

“To prove you are who you say you are. This is the only way we allow anyone to see minors in our care.”

I smiled widely, “They are here?”

“I didn’t say that Mr. Brewster. I said they are in our care.”

“Okay, so what do I have to do to see them?”

“You need to show me your ID, so you can prove you are truly Charles Brewster and set up an appointment with their caseworker.”

“They are my brother and sisters. Why can’t I see them now?”

“That is not for me to decide, Mr. Brewster. So, if you would please hand me your ID so we can get everything going.”

I didn’t have an ID, but I knew how to get one. I didn’t want the lady behind the desk to know, so I faked it. I felt my pockets pretending to look for my wallet. “Um…”

“Any time now, Mr. Brewster.”

I tapped my chest and my back pockets again. “It seems that I must have left my wallet at home.”

“Well, you can come back when you collect your wallet. This office closes at six.”

I looked up at the clock on the wall behind the woman’s head. I only had an hour to come up with state-issued identification. “Okay, I will be back.”

“See you soon, Mr. Brewster.”

I walked out of the door, frustrated, but not disheartened. All I had to do was go back to my crew and let them know I needed some ID.

Walking into the house a couple of hours later, I witnessed my new leader, Frankie, Yak’s second in command, sitting on the couch watching a movie with his girlfriend, Cardenas. A small Hispanic woman with long dark hair, light brown eyes, and an incredible figure

“’Bout time you got back, BG.” Which was what Frankie called me. A Baby Gangster. “Did you get my brick?”

I pulled out a carton of Marlboros from my jacket pocket. “Yeah,” I replied as I tossed the carton to Frankie.

Catching the soft cardboard box, “Good looking out, BG.”

I stood in the living room and watched what was on TV for a moment. Then I turned to Frankie. “I need some ID, Frankie.”

Frankie chuckled. “What the fuck for? You planning on going legit on us?”

Not wanting to reveal my secret, “Naw man, nothing like that. I just got something personal I need to take care of, and I need some ID to do it.”

I knew Frankie was suspicious. Though our crew made fake IDs to bring in a little money, none of us ever asked for one unless there was something illegal involved. I announced to my leader that my business was personal. Not good.

Frankie’s smile faded. “Yo, BG. You planning to go to the po-po or some shit like that? Cause if you are, you already know if we go down, you go down. Only, you will go down first.”

I looked away from Frankie’s threatening stare, took a deep breath, and decided to tell the truth. Dead, I would not be able to see my siblings ever again, and I didn’t want to die, and they never know what happened to me.

“Naw, Frankie. I just…”

“Out with it, BG.”

“I have a younger brother and two young sisters. I haven’t seen them since the state found out my momma died. The lady at the foster care place said I couldn’t see them without ID.”

Frankie sat for a moment with a stern look on his face. Moments later he broke out laughing. “Aw man, for a minute I thought you was going legit on us. Yeah, sure you can get some ID. Just go see Ghost at the playground. He’ll hook you up.”

I sighed in relief. “Thanks, Frankie,” I said turning to leave.

“No problem, BG.”

The following day with a new ID in hand, I made my way back to the center, excited to see my siblings. I showed my “state-issued” ID to the woman behind the desk, and she made me an appointment to see Clara Bass.

I entered Clara’s office and it was obvious that she recognized the look. “Please have a seat, Mr. Brewster.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Bass,” I said sitting in one of the chairs located in front of her desk.

Clara sat. “I understand you want to see your siblings.”

“Yes. I haven’t seen them in six months.”

“So, can you tell me why it has been so long since you have seen them?”

“Well, my momma died, and I left them to try and make some money, you know?”

“Why didn’t you stay with your siblings, Mr. Brewster?”

I shifted in my chair. “I have some friends that I thought would help.”

“I see,” Clara said also shifting in her chair. “So, your mother dies, and you just leave a twelve-year-old boy who can’t even get a job to take care of your ten and eight-year-old sisters.”

“I didn’t just leave them, Miss Bass.”

“So, being gone for a week is not leaving them?”

“I was coming back!”

“Your brother told me you did. He said you brought them some food, left them some money, and you were gone again.”

“Yeah, well, I-”

“Do you have a job, Mr. Brewster?”

“Not really. But I can provide for my brother and sisters, Miss Bass. I just need a little more time.”

Clara sat back in her chair with a smug look on her face. “Is that so, Mr. Brewster?”

“Yeah, it is.”

“You do realize that I cannot let you see your siblings right now.”

I instantly got angry. “Why the hell not?”

“Because you are unable to take care of them. You don’t have a place of your own to provide a roof for your siblings. You earn illegal money, which is not safe for them. As far as I know, you can’t even cook. You cannot take care of them, so you can’t see them.”

“Bitch! What the fuck do you know about me? You don’t know shit!”

“Oh, I know plenty. I’m not stupid when it comes to gangs, Mr. Brewster. I once had three brothers. My oldest brother is dead. The other two helped put my mother in the grave because she worried herself to death. They are active members to this day. If it hadn’t been for my aunt, I would have gotten caught up in the system too. So, you see Mr. Brewster I know enough. I would rather you not see your siblings until you can prove to me that you can be a contributing member to society, and not a menace.”

“So, you saying, I can’t even talk to them?”

“Your brother is at a delicate age. You will corrupt him.”

“He is my brother bitch! If anyone has corrupted him, it’s you!”

Clara stared at me for a moment then said, “My momma used to watch as my oldest brother would lose his temper. She prayed for him and asked that I pray for him as well. At that time, I was only ten. I didn’t understand what was going on, but I did as my mother asked. Soon, my oldest brother was gone, and my momma cried. Oh yes, he would come back every now and then. He would get into fights with my momma, and he would leave. Again, my momma cried. My brother who followed him in age by two years, suddenly started hanging out with my oldest brother. Before we knew it, there was another one gone from our house. Two years later, after my momma begged and pleaded for my brothers to come home, she died. So yes, I understand more than you think, Mr. Brewster. You get away from the gangs and into a decent environment, and you can see your siblings. If not, it’s a no go.”

I sat for a moment absorbing the story I was told. I stood up and glared at the woman before me. “I’ll be back.”

Clara nodded, and I walked out of the door. I made my way back home to find Frankie kissing on Cardenas. I cleared my throat to let them know I was in the room. Frankie looked up. “What’s up, BG?”

“I need a place of my own.”


“It’s personal. Can we talk about it later?”

“Yeah. Later, Baby Gangster.”

“Night, Frankie.”

The following morning, Frankie and I discussed the terms of me having my own place.

“If I do this for you, BG, you have to take care of the place.”

“But it will be my place, Frankie. It shouldn’t matter to you what I do.”

“I will be paying your rent, and most likely your utilities as well. You are responsible for your phone. If we need you, I need to be able to contact you. If you are knee-deep in some strange woman, and you don’t answer the phone, I’m coming over there.”

“There won’t be any strange women in my place because my younger siblings will be there.”

“Still on about the rug rats I see.”

“Yeah, so what.”

“They are gonna make you soft. If you want to stay with my crew, you gotta remain the hard-ass you are now. I don’t want to hear that you can’t show up to a raid because your little sister is sick.” I stared at my leader for a long time. “Yeah, BG. You are more important to me than your brother and sisters. Basically, this is a test. You can live rent-free and take care of those that are important to you, but you still have to be down with our crew. The first time you don’t show, I’m cutting you off, and depending on my mood, I may even take you out. Is this what you want?”

I thought about my baby sister. “Yeah. I can handle it.”

“It’s a bet, BG. I’ll be watching.”

I nodded and walked out of the room.

It took a while before Clara allowed me to speak to my siblings. I told them that I had a place large enough for them to have their own rooms and looked forward to us being a family again. Even after all of that, Clara would not release my siblings to me. I fought with all I had, yet the state would not let them go.

Three years I fought. Through that time, my resolve was diminishing by the day. One day I concluded that I was no match against Clara and the state of New York. I gave up. I went to see my siblings one last time. I made sure that I told each one of them I loved them before I never saw them again.

A heavy heart without tears brought me to my leader’s house. I walked in as a member of the family to find Frankie sitting on the couch next to his girlfriend watching television with a huge amount of coke on the table. I looked at the table first, to my leader, then to Cardenas. She shook her head, basically telling me not to say anything about his obsessive drug use. I nodded.

“Thanks for helping me out all this time, Frankie. But I think I will stick with the crew.”

“Told ya, BG. The state is a bitch. Maybe one day.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

Frankie smiled. “Hey, I been looking for a second that I can trust. You wanna be my second?”

Not sure what Frankie was up to, I asked, “Is this some pity bullshit? Cause I know that Ghost is your choice for your second.”

Frankie snorted a line of coke before he answered. “Ghost is dead, BG. Shot by the police earlier today. And yeah, it is some pity bullshit. I know you will not be right in the head if you don’t have a shit ton of things to keep you busy. So, what do you say? Wanna be my second?”

I sighed. “Give me until tomorrow, Frankie. Got a lot of shit on my head right now.”

“Fair enough.”

I woke up to find Frankie face down in his drug of choice. Cardenas was nowhere to be found. Feeling totally obligated to Frankie, I alone made the arrangements for his funeral.

After Frankie’s funeral, the crew called me Leader. No longer, Baby Gangster, but O.G. Original Gangster. I promised my crew I would do what was necessary to keep them together, out of jail, and out of the grave, and they believed me. In all this time, I didn’t have a woman. I thought back on what my mother told me once.

Every strong man needs a strong woman at his side. Without her, he is vulnerable. I set out to find a strong woman to be my right hand.

After Frankie died, Cardenas, stayed a part of the crew. I was glad since she was the best runner I had ever seen. All backed down from her, even men. She was pretty scary, but I appreciated that.

We didn’t deal on the street, but we did sell to some rich cats in the city that wanted to keep their shit on the down-low. We had a small supplier to handle this part of our business.

Everything was cool, until one day she came up just a bit short. I really didn’t care about that, but as her leader, I had to let her know that how she was handling her business was not cool. I had to have a conversation with her that wasn’t intended to be pleasant.

“Cardenas! Get your ass in here!” I yelled from my office.

Moments later, she made her way to my office door. She had huge attitude, and I wasn’t sure why that was, but she was accepted as she was. She left the door open as she addressed me.

“What is it, O.G.? I was going out.”

“Did you pick up my drop from JC?”

“What the fuck, O.G.? Of course, I did. Talk to Ezra. He has the money. Can I go now?”

“No. Close the door.”

She did as I asked. “Charlie, I really need to get going, what do you want?”

“You will go when I say you go. Right now, I need to talk to you. Sit down.”

She sat her little sexy ass down in the chair in front of my desk. “What is it?”

“Where you going?” I asked. Not really interested, I just wanted her to stay.

“Out with my girls.”

“What you gonna do; out with your girls?” I asked, looking at her like I wanted to taste her.

“Charlie, what the fuck? Come on.”

“No seriously, what are you gonna do?”

She shifted in her chair and sighed loudly before she answered. “Get a few drinks and maybe hang with a dude or two.”

“That’s all?”

“That’s all. Why do you ask?”

It was my turn to shift in my chair. I took a deep breath and replied, “Because I don’t want you to. Tell me something. Did you love Frankie?”

“Of course, I did. Why?”

“You loved him because he was the boss.”

Cardenas rolled her eyes. “Frankie was good to me, Charlie. That is why I loved him.”

“So that is all it takes? For a man to be good to you?”

She glared at me hard. “Yeah. As cliché as this may sound, a good man is hard to find. Frankie loved me and took care of me. That is all I ever wanted. But it doesn’t matter now, he’s dead.”

I moved so fast I don’t even remember it. The next thing I knew, she was in my arms, and I was saying things I would have never said to any woman.

“I can take care of you.” She didn’t reply initially. She just looked deeply into my eyes, breathless.

“Charlie, what are you doing?” She finally said.

I wasn’t sure what I was doing. But she was beautiful, and since she was in my arms, I decided that I wanted her.

“Let’s hang out, me and you,” I said.

She pulled away from me. “I love and respect you as my leader, O.G. I could never be your girl.”

I let her go. “Why not?”

“Because you have baggage. I’m not about to be in your life and I know you have siblings out there who are waiting for you to show up.”

“What the hell are you talking about, girl?”

“How would you introduce me to your baby sister? Hey sis, this is my girl, and she runs drugs for me.”

I sighed. “You have a point. And since we are on that subject, you came up short today. Where is the rest of the money?”

“I’m not short, Charlie. You talk to Ezra, and we can get this worked out. I would never short you, O.G. Talk to Ezra.”

Her honesty gave me a huge hard-on. I pulled her close to me again and this time I kissed her. The next thing I knew, clothes were coming off, and I had sex with Frankie’s girl. She was good. Oh my God, she was good. She had a hold on me from that moment forward. If I was the marrying type, I would have married her just so no one else could claim her.

But Cardenas really wasn’t for me, though I didn’t know it at the time. The woman for me lived only a few blocks away.


I was hungry. I had a taste for some potato chips. I went to the kitchen to hunt some. Opening up multiple cabinets, there were none in the house. I was not going to be able to sleep until I had the taste of deep-fried potato crispiness in my mouth.

I looked up at the clock. It was only six in the evening, but it was pitch black outside. I really wanted those chips.

“Yolonda, I’m going to the store. You need anything?” I asked, very happy in my new environment.

“No sweetie. I’ll see you when you get back.”

We had become so close, Yolonda and me. So crazy how the woman offered me something to eat, and I latched on to her like flies to shit.

I was happy in my new home, with my new role. I worked to help other young women like myself get back on their feet. It was fulfilling work and I did it for what seemed like a million years. In fact, it had only been three years. That is a story for another time.

“Okay, be back soon!”

I put my purse on my shoulder and started on my way to the store that was three blocks down and four blocks over. I knew that I should be careful as I went to the store. I, however, had my mind on other things and was not looking out as I should have been.

Thinking about how my life had taken a turn for the better, I was suddenly dragged into an alley. With a strange hand over my mouth, I froze.

“You give me all you have, and I’ll let you go,” the stranger said quietly in my ear.

I wasn’t going to give away anything. I struggled to get the stranger’s hand away from my mouth, so I could scream.

“Be still damn it, or I’m gonna have to hurt you!” the man said firmly. I wasn’t going down that easy. I was a New Yorker who had been through several atrocities in my life including assault and abuse from my own father. I managed to move the man’s hand from my mouth long enough to get a good scream out. Not that it was going to help me. I lived in Brooklyn, and a woman’s screams were common, and almost all screams went unanswered.

“Shut up bitch!” my assailant yelled, and he punched me in the face. I fell and couldn’t get up fast enough before my attacker was laying on my back, pinning me to the ground.

“See, I was gonna let you go. But since you wanna fight me, I’m gonna get what I really want.”

I knew that I was about to be raped. Afraid, I yelled for help again. The man had me pinned to the ground on my stomach. With one of his hands, he unzipped the zipper of his jeans. I screamed, and cried and struggled to get away, but he was a big man and stronger than I was.

Once his zipper was undone, he raised my skirt and ripped my panties from my body so he could penetrate me. I screamed for help louder, as I braced myself for the pain I knew was going to come.

“Shut the fuck up. Bitches like you need a little dick in your life,” my assailant whispered in my ear as I felt his manhood very close to the entrance to my body. I wondered if he even cared about which hole he was going to enter. I was afraid for my life and I screamed once more.

With that last scream, the weight of my assailant was suddenly lighter. Did he raise up to get into position? Not at all. I looked up to find someone had my attacker by the back of the collar.

“Go!” my rescuer yelled.

I didn’t hesitate. I ran and didn’t look back.


I came home that night slamming things. I was upset that I got involved with something that happened in the hood on a nightly basis. I didn’t want to get involved, but something I was not aware of, pulled me in. I slammed two shots of whiskey and went to bed.

The following morning, I sat in my living room with the television on, hardly watching it. The news was watching me as I went over my actions from the night before. Why did I save the woman who was screaming? That wasn’t something I did. I was raised in a gang. Unless what was going on was going to directly affect my family, we let things happen in the hood.

“What’s up, O.G.?” Ezra asked.

I looked up to see my second in command. “Nothing. Just thinking.”


I sat for a moment and remembered her beautiful chocolate skin. “Some girl in trouble yesterday is all.”

Ezra chuckled. “She must have been fine.”

“Yeah, she was pretty.”

“Pretty?” Ezra asked.

“Yeah, pretty.” I looked at my second who was also my best friend. He was grinning widely. I rolled my eyes. “Ezra, get the fuck outta here and leave me alone. Get the rest of the crew in line and go make us some money.”

“Whatever you say, O.G.”

Ezra left the room laughing out loud, and I ignored his laughter. Instead, I thought of her soul-sucking eyes filled with fear as she ran, and how badly I beat the shit out of her attacker. I wondered who she was, and how I was going to get closer to her. For the first time in my life, I was really attracted to a woman and had no idea who she was.

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