What do you do when the system you've sworn to serve and protect marks you for death...? Check out a preview from my latest novel, A Thug's Life Revisited!
It was another long day at the office for Jamal. He was completely swamped with a few cases that he and his partner Dante had recently closed out. Earlier during the day, a young man who only gave him the name George, had given him a package. With the size of his workload, he hadn’t had a chance to look through what was in the thick envelope. Jamal decided that he would put it off until the next day so he could get home in time to have dinner with his wife, Tiffany. Their two-year-old son was having a sleep over with Deisha and Maurice’s two children so they could finally have some alone time together. He promised Dante he would drop him off at home first.
“Yo homie, you ready to roll?” Dante asked as he approached Jamal’s desk.
“Yeah man, I was just finishing up,” Jamal replied as he stood up. He threw his jacket on and was about to walk away from his desk when he remembered the envelope that was given to him by George earlier that day. He snatched it up and he and Dante headed out of the precinct together.
“You never checked out what was in the envelope that dude gave to you earlier?” Dante asked as they walked over to the parking lot.
“Nah, I said I would look at it tomorrow since I’m off. Dude was real secretive about it like it was some Mission: Impossible type shit. It was weird.” He and Dante chuckled. Jamal took out his keys and hit the keyless starter. As soon as the car started, an explosion erupted lifting the car from the ground. The explosion caused multiple car alarms to go off and the blast knocked Jamal and Dante back into a wall. Jamal’s ears were ringing and his head and back hurt. Dante slowly moved to his knees and looked at Jamal in disbelief. Jamal looked at him wide-eyed.
“What the fuck was that?!” Dante yelled. Other cops ran from the precinct to see what happened. Jamal shook his head with a look of shock written over his face.
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
“Nah fuck this. You’re looking at that file tonight! Whatever is in it, they don’t want you to see it.” Dante grimaced. “Here we go again with this bullshit.”
Sirens from firetrucks and ambulances could be heard approaching the scene. A Sergeant from IAB stood in the window of the fifth floor looking down at what was going on. His cell phone rang. “This is Rutkowski,” he answered as he continued to stare down below.
“What’s the result?” a male asked on the other end.
“Targets were missed. We’ll get them though,” Sergeant Rutkowski replied.
“That’s not the answer we were expecting,” the man on the phone said.
“I know, sir. My apologies.”
“Save your apologies. Next time, be more efficient.” The man disconnected the call and Rutkowski put his phone back in his pocket. He continued to stare down at the scenery as the fire fighters put out the flames to Jamal’s 2015 Acura RDX as he plotted on his next move against Jamal Williams and Dante Smith.
“Jamal! Dante! You guys okay?” a uniformed officer asked as he ran over to them. Dante grabbed Jamal by the arm and helped him to stand up. They both coughed as the smoke from the blast and the fire danced under their noses. The uniformed officer looked them both over. “Holy shit! What the hell happened? How the hell did that car explode like that?” he asked before flagging the medics over to where they were.
Dante and Jamal looked at each other without responding to the uniform’s question.
“Tiff is going to be pissed. We just got that damn car not even a month ago,” Jamal said instead as he watched the fire fighters put out the flames.
“Yeah, but she’d be more pissed if her son had to grow up without a father. Y’all can get another car,” Dante said in return. The medics hurried over to Dante and Jamal to begin checking them out. Jamal was so pumped from adrenaline that he hadn’t noticed his vision was blurred. He mentioned it to the medic and told them he had a ringing in his ears. To make sure he didn’t have a concussion they convinced him to go to the hospital. Dante climbed in the ambulance with him. A captain came over to them and stopped the medic from closing the ambulance’s doors.
“What the hell happened, Jamal?” he asked.
“That seems to be the million-dollar question, Cap. I don’t know,” Jamal replied as he winced before putting a hand to his head.
“I’m going to need some answers from you and Dante. Cars don’t just explode for no got damn reason!” the captain said angrily.
“No shit,” Dante said as he looked at the captain coldly. Their captain stared at him for a brief moment and then shook his head.
“I’m going to send a couple of guys over to the hospital so we can get to the bottom of this.”
“I’m sorry sir, but we have to get them to the hospital,” the medic said to the captain. He excused himself and stepped to the side so the doors could close and the ambulance could get Jamal and Dante to the hospital.
“That was a fucking hit,” Dante said angrily as the EMT wrapped a blood pressure cuff around his arm.
Jamal shushed him. “Not here.” He glanced at the EMT who pretended not to be listening but prayed they continued talking.
“You know it was!” Dante hissed.
“Yeah I know,” Jamal agreed.
“And you know why,” Dante replied in the same tone.
“Yeah… I know,” Jamal said again.
“You already know how I gets the fuck down. You come for me, I can go from zero to a hundred real fucking quick. They don’t want D-Ball back in this bitch…” Dante ranted.
“Dante,” Jamal said firmly. He looked at the EMT and then looked back at his friend. Dante closed his mouth and shook his head. He was beyond pissed. The ambulance arrived at the hospital and Dante and Jamal were met with two wheelchairs.
“I ain’t cripple, man get that shit outta here. I can walk,” Dante said angrily.
“Sir,” the nurse began, trying to reason with Dante.
“Please, he needs to walk. Just let him walk,” Jamal replied in a very tired voice. He declined a wheelchair as well and let the nurses lead them to their exam rooms. They were both given a quick assessment and then told that the doctors would be with them in a moment. After the door was closed, Dante walked over to where Jamal was sitting.
“Open that shit,” Dante said as he pointed to the envelope that Jamal was holding onto tightly.
“You really gotta calm down, man. Seriously.” Jamal said in return.
“Calm down? Calm down. Nigga, a muthafucking car just exploded and knocked us back to puberty. Your car, my nigga! That car bomb was meant for both of our black asses and you talking about some calm down. The fuck!” Dante said with base in his voice as he paced back and forth in the hospital room angrily. The floor squeaked beneath the soles of his sneakers which caused Jamal to wince.
“Don’t you think I fucking know that! But snapping and shit ain’t gonna solve nothing. We’ve been through this shit before, D-Ball. This ain’t new,” Jamal argued.
Dante laughed sarcastically. He couldn’t believe how calm Jamal was acting as though shit exploded around them every day. “Gun battles, nigga. A bullet proof vest can solve that provided they ain’t coming at us with armor piercing rounds or is a good enough shot, fuck around and pop one of us in the head. But a bullet proof vest ain’t stopping no fucking car bomb! They blew the muthafuka up and you all calm and shit like niggas get blown up around here every day, B. Did you hit your muthafucking head? They just tried to blow us the fuck up! What the fuck is in that envelope?!”
Jamal shook his head and closed his eyes. He was trying not to be angry with Dante because his friend and partner had a very good reason to be as upset as he was. But he was tired, exhausted in a way that he couldn’t rationalize in his head. And he was not in the mood to deal with Dante’s rants. His phone went off and he saw that it was Tiffany. He hadn’t even thought of what he was going to tell her. He sent her call to voicemail promising himself that he would call her as soon as the doctors finished with them. Jamal opened up the envelope and pulled the stack of papers half-way out before glancing up at the door to make sure no-one was coming. Dante sat next to them and they both looked at the papers.
“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me,” they both said at the same time. They both continued reading through the paperwork that George gave to Jamal, neither really taking a breath. The door knob turned and Jamal quickly stuffed the papers back into the envelope. His mind raced as he tried hard to process the little bit that he and his partner had just read.
“Detective Williams and Detective Smith?” the doctor asked as he looked from one to the other.
“I’m Williams,” Jamal said as he casually waved his hand. The doctor came over to him as he looked at his chart.
“You have a slight concussion, a few minor cuts and bruises. Nothing too serious considering what the alternative could have been. Take a few days off from work, get some rest. If you start having headaches or migraines more severe than usual, if you experience any dizziness or if you faint, if you have any nausea or vomit over the next 48 to 72 hours, come back in so we can run further tests. Outside of that, follow up with your primary care physician and get you some rest.” The doctor then turned to Dante. “Same goes for you, Detective Smith.”
“Thanks doc,” Jamal said as he took his paperwork. Dante took his paperwork as well without saying anything. When the doctor left, Jamal’s phone rang again with Tiffany calling. He hesitated a moment before declining her call, still not sure what to say to her.
Dante looked at him. “Are you trying to scare her?”
“No,” Jamal mumbled. “I’ll call her in a minute,” he replied as he thought about something.
“What’s on your mind, partner?” Dante asked.
Jamal shook his head. “Nothing much, I just need to ask the doctor something real quick.”
“You got me on a ride home?” Dante smirked.
Jamal laughed lightly. “You funny as shit for that one. Call a cab, nigga. I’ll be right back.”
Jamal left the room as Dante called a local taxi service. Twenty minutes later, he left the room they had been in and saw Jamal signing some papers.
“What are those?” he asked as Jamal was handing the papers to the doctor.
“Nothing. I just forgot to sign some insurance papers, that’s all.” Jamal replied before taking a breath.
“Oh alright. Well the cab is here my nigga. I need to take my ass home. My girl all worried and shit.”
A text came through on Jamal’s phone. “Babe, where are you? How come you’re not answering my calls??”
Jamal looked at his wife’s text message and tapped his phone as he thought of a response. “Ran into a little problem after work. I’ll be home soon. Love you,” he texted back. He stuffed his phone in his back pocket as he followed Dante outside where their cab was waiting for them.
“I got this homie, hurry up and get home to Tiff. He can drop you off first,” Dante told him as they climbed in the back.
“Thanks,” Jamal said to him. They rode in silence, but it was a silence that was bugging Dante. He couldn’t understand for the life of him why Jamal was so nonchalant about the attempt that was just made on their lives.
“What’s really good, Mal?” he asked his partner in a low tone.
“What do you mean?” Jamal asked back.
“You been real blah-zay-blah about what happened tonight. That ain’t like you at all.”
Jamal shook his head. “I’m just trying to wrap my head around everything, you know? I’m finally at a point in my life where shit ain’t chaotic. Just when I thought I had finally gotten some peace, this shit pops up. I’m just fucking tired, man. I’m tired. All I wanna do is enjoy my life with Tiff and my son and I gotta deal with this bullshit again. Again. It’s like it never ends.”
“So what are you saying?” Dante asked. He felt like Jamal was quitting.
“I don’t know, man. I’ma just enjoy my night with Tiff and tomorrow I’ma hit my dad up to see what all he knows about this shit.”
“You think he might know something about…?”
Jamal cut his friend off. “This is Andre we’re talking about. You saw what was in that file. It would be a big fucking coincidence if he didn’t know.”
Dante nodded his head. “Yeah, you right.” They fell silent again as the cab driver continued driving them towards Jamal’s house in Mount Airy. They pulled up in front of his single, three-bedroom home on Mount Pleasant Avenue and Jamal gave Dante a firm handshake.
“Watch yourself out here, nigga.” Jamal said to him as he held his hand tightly during their handshake.
“You know a nigga’ll never get caught slipping out in these streets.” Dante smiled in return.
“Alright, peace God. Text me when you get in.”
“Alright!” The cab sped off as Jamal stuck his key in the top lock of the house he and Tiffany shared with their son. He closed his eyes thinking briefly on what he was going to tell her. Before he had a chance to turn the lock, Tiff was unlocking it from the other side and snatching open the door.
“Jamal!” she exclaimed as she looked him over. He could see the look of worry all over her face. She then looked behind him. “Why was a cab dropping you off? Where’s the car?” She stepped to the side so he could come in and then closed and locked the door behind him. Jamal wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly. “Baby, what’s wrong?”
“The car is gone,” he said flatly.
“Gone? Like somebody stole it?” Tiff asked as she let him go and searched his face.
Jamal sighed and sat on the couch before pulling Tiffany onto his lap. “No,” he said as he shook his head. “Me and D-Ball were coming from work and I pressed the start button on the keychain. When the car started, it exploded.”
Tiffany looked at him with a frown and then shook her head in disbelief. “Wait, wait, wait… what the hell do you mean the car exploded? Cars don’t just explode, Jamal. What happened?”
“I don’t know,” Jamal said quietly.
Tiffany searched his face feeling like there was something he wasn’t telling her. She then thought back to three years prior when they went through everything with his uncle and cousin being killed and how Jamal was targeted as well. “No Jamal… not again.”
“Babe… I don’t know. All I know is some guy came to the precinct with this file that he was instructed to only give to me by a cop named Felix. A cop who I believed up until about an hour ago was dead, but apparently he’s alive. Very alive and my father is working with him…”
“Andre is caught up in this mess again, too?” Tiffany asked loudly.
“Babe, calm down.”
“Nah babe, cause see when your dad comes around, bullets and death seem to follow behind him. I mean, isn’t that the nickname Dante gave to him; Death? And let’s not forget the knife wound I got.”
“Babe, I didn’t forget,” Jamal said. Tiffany fell silent as she rubbed her hands across the back of Jamal’s neck. She could feel the tension in him and moved his hands off of her waist so she could get up from his lap. She motioned for him to sit between her legs and she began rubbing his neck and his shoulders.
“What happened tonight?”
Jamal sighed and closed his eyes, feeling the magic that her fingers were working on his neck and shoulders. He took a deep breath and began telling her what happened from the moment George gave him the package until the car exploded and knocked him and D-Ball into the wall. He then told her briefly what he saw in the file. “I thought I cleaned the department out when everything went down with Kristoff. But that was just one isolated group. Apparently there’s some wild shit going on in the department. Murder cover-ups, witness intimidation, putting hits out on cops…” Jamal said.
“Yeah… cops like you and Dante.” Tiffany added. “Why don’t you call your father and see what he knows?” Just as the words fell from her lips, Jamal’s phone rang. He leaned upward so he could pull it from his back pocket and saw that it was his father calling him. “Speak of the devil… sorry,” Tiffany grimaced.
Jamal chuckled. “It’s cool, babe.” He answered the phone. “Yeah pops, what’s up?”
“I was waiting to see if you were going to call me but you took too long. What are you doing?” Andre asked his son.
“I was talking to Tiff. We were supposed to go to dinner tonight…”
Andre cut him off. “Talking to Tiff? Son, you were almost blown to smithereens tonight and you’re chit-chatting with your wife like it’s all gravy?”
“Dad…” Jamal sighed.
“There’s a price on your head. The less you say to Tiffany the better, you know that. You know that! This isn’t just you anymore, son. You have a wife and a son and these muthafuckas got zero fucks to give when it comes to taking out a target. Bitches and kids can get it, too.” Jamal looked at his phone with a frown. “I’m not calling Tiff a bitch, ‘Mal. Chill out.” Andre replied as though he could see his son’s facial expression. Jamal shook his head.
“Put your dad on speaker,” Tiff said. Jamal shook his head no at her and she squeezed the part of his neck she was rubbing.
Jamal winced in pain. “Alright, woman!” he grimaced. Tiffany chuckled and kissed his cheek. Jamal put his father on speaker phone and held the phone up.
“Hi, Dad!” Tiff perked. Andre shook his head. Though he liked Tiffany and thought she was perfect for Jamal as well as a great wife and mother to their child, he believed she had no business knowing about or being a part of this upcoming battle.
“How you doing, Little Lady?”
“I’m fine. Just trying to keep your son safe and happy.”
“Tiff, I know you love my son and you’ve already shown that you have his back no matter what. But this business is not your business and for your safety and my grandson’s safety, it cannot be your business. Do you understand?”
“Jamal is my business. That makes whatever this is my business as well,” Tiffany said firmly.
“Do you want to see your son in a coffin, Tiffany? Do you want your son to see you in a coffin? Do you want my son to see you and Jamir in coffins? Because he tasted that defeat before, I’m betting he won’t be able to handle the taste of that kind of defeat again. And I don’t think you or your son deserve that either. So again, this cannot be your business. Do you understand?” Tiffany thought on his words which caused her to be slow to respond. “Tiffany,” Andre said with base in his voice causing her to jump. “Do you understand?” he asked again, slowly.
“Yes sir. I understand.” Tiffany shook her head. Jamal grabbed her hand and kissed her palm as he waited for his father to speak.
“Both of you listen to me and when I’m done, take me off of speaker phone, Jamal.”
“A call has already been made to your superiors with the Cheltenham School District, Tiff. You are officially on a leave of absence. Pack you and Jamir’s bags, because you’re going on a vacation,” Andre instructed. “Get off of speaker phone.”
“Wait…” Tiffany stammered bewildered by what Andre said. Jamal shushed her as he took his phone off of speaker and stood up.
“You’re slipping, Jamal.” Andre warned.
“How you figure, Dad?” Jamal replied as he began to pace.
“A hit was put out on you and your partner tonight and you went home to chit-chat with your wife. Do you want to die? Are you out of your fucking mind? And then you start telling her about what was in the file like they won’t tap your shit to see what you know. What the fuck were you thinking?” Andre scolded.
“I wasn’t…” Jamal started.
“That’s right, you weren’t thinking.” Andre cut him off. He blew out air as he tried to calm himself. “You cannot involve her in this.”
“She’s my wife, Dad.” Jamal replied as he glanced at Tiffany.
“You CANNOT involve her in this. Be ready in ten minutes. I’m on my way. We’ve already been on the phone too long.” Andre disconnected the call and Jamal closed his eyes.
“I’m not leaving you,” Tiffany said as she stood up.
“You are,” Jamal replied.
“Tiff!” Jamal said loudly making her jump. He had never raised his voice at her before. She looked at him as though he had lost his mind. “I can’t do this with you and my son here. I can’t do this if I’m constantly worried about you, if I’m constantly worried about him.”
“We’ve been through this before,” Tiff argued.
“Yeah and you almost died.”
“But I didn’t.”
“You think because you shot a couple niggas, that you a gangsta now, is that it?”
“No, I’m not saying that. But Jamal, haven’t you learned anything yet? Hiding me and Jamir away is not the answer. It didn’t work with Tamera and your brother…”
Jamal looked at her with fire in his eyes. “Don’t,” he said coldly. “You pulled that card last time and I listened to you. You almost got killed. It’s not just you this time. It’s Jamir too, and I will not put him at risk because you think you have to be this ride or die chick. I don’t need you to be my ride or die chick. I need you to be my wife and a mother to Jamir.”
“I am your wife and a mother to our son, what are you talking about?!” Tiffany argued.
“Then don’t fight me on this, Tiff.” Jamal said loudly, silencing her. They stared at each other for a moment before Tiffany finally gave in. As much as her gut told her not to leave him, he was her husband and she believed he knew best, so she submitted to him. Jamal put his arms around her and held her tightly. “I love you, Tiff. I don’t want anything to happen to you or our son.”
“I love you too, babe.” Tiff replied back. They held each other a little longer just listening to one another breathe. Finally, Jamal let her go.
“Go grab some things for you and ‘Mir real quick. Dad will be here in a few minutes,” he instructed her.
“Okay,” Tiffany replied quietly before heading upstairs to their bedrooms. She grabbed a Louie Vutton duffle bag and threw a few pairs of jeans, shirts and lounge-wear inside along with her under clothes and personal items. She was about to walk out of their bedroom when she saw a picture of her and Jamal on the mirror. His arms were around her and he was nibbling on her cheek while she laughed. The moment was so perfect. She pulled the picture from the mirror and stared at it for a while longer. She then heard the doorbell and knew that had to be Andre so she rushed to Jamir’s bedroom and grabbed some of his clothes along with his favorite stuffed froggy and a couple of bedtime stories that he liked.
“Tiff, we gotta roll babe, come on.” Jamal yelled up the stairs.
“I’m coming,” she yelled back to him. She looked around making sure she didn’t forget anything and then turned Jamir’s bedroom light out before closing the door behind her.
“Where’s Lil Man?” Andre asked.
“He’s with Deisha and Maurice. They were going to let him sleep over so me and Tiff could have a quiet night,” Jamal replied as he opened a small hall closet in the dining room. In the wall behind a few cases of water was a safe. Jamal opened it quickly and pulled some cash as well as a gun and two clips from it.
“I see Norman taught you well,” Andre smirked remembering the similar set up in his deceased brother’s home.
“Hell yeah,” Jamal replied as he quickly counted out five thousand. He handed the money to Tiffany. “No debit or credit card transactions. You understand me?” he said firmly. Tiffany nodded her head and put the money in her purse. He then handed her the gun and out of habit, she checked to make sure the clip was fully loaded and then chambered a round.
“Because a girl can’t be too safe in these crime ridden times,” she said, repeating what Jamal always taught her when he first began taking her to the shooting range in the beginning of their relationship. Andre smiled at her as he watched her put the safety on and stick it in the pants holster that she slipped on while she was upstairs.
“Alright, let’s go pick up Lil Man…” before Andre had a chance to finish what he was saying, a gun went off hitting him in the chest. He fell back into the table and slid to the floor.
“Dad!” Jamal yelled out. Tiffany snatched her gun from her waist and began shooting at two men coming through the front door. One of them pulled out a sawed off shot gun and Jamal pushed her behind the island.
“Go out the back,” Andre grimaced as he pulled both of his guns. “I’m okay, I have my vest on.” He fired over the top of the island to give them room to run. The two shooters jumped back and ducked. One had already been hit by Tiffany’s quick shooting. Though he had a vest on, it ripped through the side and he was bleeding profusely but still trying to go for the assigned kills. Andre peeked from behind the counter and shot off a few more rounds. “Go!” he yelled to them.
Jamal pulled his gun from his waist and they crawled hurriedly over to the basement door with Tiff heading down first. Jamal took a quick glance back at his father not wanting to leave him there when he heard Tiff’s gun go off in the basement. The loud boom from her glock caused him to jump. He snatched her by arm and jerked her back into the kitchen. They were trapped with a couple of guys coming through the basement and the one guy left in the living room. Tiffany fired into the living room to give herself a chance to jump to the next wall. She dumped her empty clip and put another one in as she looked at Jamal. Jamal nodded at her. Loud gun fire erupted from the living room as well as the basement. Jamal could hear cursing and yelling along with more gun fire and he closed his eyes letting out a sigh of relief.
“Pussy!” Dante spat vehemently. He fired another shot into each of the gunmen’s heads to be sure they were dead and then stepped over them like they weren’t shit. Tiffany peeked into the living room and saw Dante’s girlfriend Nicole tucking her gun in her holster. She walked over to Andre to make sure he was okay.
“This shit is like dejavu,” Dante said as he came up the steps. “How many times have I saved your ass on some spur of the moment shit like this?”
“Don’t mention it,” Jamal said as he shook his head. “What the hell are you doing here anyway?” he asked. “
Shit, you might not think your car exploding was that deep but I do, nigga. Besides, you left something in the cab and I wanted to bring it to you. Nicole was driving her sister’s car and decided to bring me. We saw when the two niggas shot through the window and peeped the other ones creeping around back. Nicole pulled her burner and said she’d take the front. I said fuck it, I got the back and we bodied them niggas. You ain’t the only one with a rider.” Dante said with a smirk.
“Good looking Nicole!” Jamal shouted to her before peeking in the basement. Dante had laid out four guys. Looking at them laid out in his basement left him feeling pissed and slightly scared. No way he, Tiff and Andre would have been able to take them all out and make it out alive. And what if his son had been there? He trembled in anger as that final thought crossed his mind.
“No problem, bro!” Nicole shouted back. She fixed Andre a glass of water and helped him into a chair as Tiffany dialed 9-1-1. Jamal snatched the phone from her and hung it up.
“What the hell did you do that for?” she sneered at him.
“Who do you think sent the fucking hitters, Tiff?” Jamal sneered back. “Okay, but you don’t have to snap on me like that!” Tiffany yelled. She breathed heavily, angry and close to tears. Jamal sighed as he tried to calm himself. He then grabbed her and hugged her. As soon as his arms were around her, she burst out in tears.
“I’m sorry, babe. I’m sorry.” Jamal said softly in her ear as he rubbed the back of her neck.
“Our son could have been here, Jamal. Our son!” she cried hysterically.
“I know, babe. But he wasn’t. Just be glad that he wasn’t.”
“Jamal, let me holler at you for a second, man.” Dante said to his partner.
“Hold up a second,” Jamal said. He reached in his back pocket and pulled his phone before calling his captain directly. He briefly explained what happened and asked for him to send specific officers and detectives to the scene to make sure no one random came. After he hung up, he checked to make sure Tiff and his father were okay before stepping out front to speak with Dante. Neighbors had already come out of their homes to be nosey.
“Jamal, is everything okay?” an older woman asked.
“No Mrs. Jenkins, but I got it under control. The cops will be here soon.” Jamal replied.
“I called them also. Were those gunshots?” she asked trying to be nosey.
“Yeah. Thanks Mrs. Jenkins, but I got it from here.” She lingered on for a little longer before going back in the house. “What’s up, man?” Jamal asked Dante.
“You left something in the cab when you got out, man.” Dante said as he reached in his jacket pocket and pulled out the folded up papers. “You signed a DNR? What the fuck for?”
Jamal took the papers and put them in his back pocket. “Don’t worry about it, man.” he said as he shook his head.
“Don’t worry about it? Yo, what is really good with you, nigga? You got something you wanna tell me? Does Tiff know about this shit?”
“It ain’t nothing to tell and Tiff doesn’t need to know about this.”
“She’s your wife,” Dante hissed.
“Yes. She’s my wife, D-Ball. Just let it go, man. Let it go.” They heard the faint sirens of the police cars and ambulances approaching, getting louder and louder as they got closer. “We need to deal with this shit for now and then figure out what our next move is. But we can’t do a damn thing worrying about my personal shit. Let’s get to Felix and this guy George so we can figure out what the fuck is going on before we’re not so lucky with the next attempt.” Jamal stepped out to the curb to wait for the first cops responding, cops who he knew were not the ones he asked for. He immediately did not trust them, but put his game face on as though he didn’t suspect that the department were the ones who put the hit out on him that could have killed his wife, his father and his son.
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