Copyright © 2020 by Keta Kendric
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior written permission of the author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
Deleted Scene – Unedited
Helping Cousin Rayland
Desiree stood in front of Rayland’s door like the discharge police. Her sneaky little grin grew wider at the sight of me. After a quick hug, we pushed into the room to find Rayland’s girlfriend helping him to get dressed. His boney black ass was a lead-in to a nightmare, especially seeing that he was going commando.
“You ready?” I asked Rayland while Desiree was in the corner talking to his girlfriend Lisa.
“Yeah, but don’t you start with that abusive shit, trying to beat on a nigga and shit. Your ass is plum crazy.”
“Thank you so much for the nice compliment. But, I’m not going to start any shit if you open up your fucking ears and listen. Me and your sister want you alive long enough for you to at least become an uncle one day or for her to become an aunt.”
He burst into a fit of laughter, shaking his head as he attempted to wipe the mirth from his face. “Desiree, yes, but you having a baby, hell no!”
“I didn’t say shit about me having a baby,” I replied, my face pinched into a tight frown.
“I know,” he said, his chuckle still going. “But, it made me think about you with a baby too.”
My lips pursed as my unblinking gaze lasered into him long enough for him to drop his gaze and pretend like he was packing the few personal items he had. The idea of me becoming a mother sent shivers of terror racing up and down my spine.
Lisa and Desiree approached, breaking apart my horrific thoughts of leaking breast and shitty diapers. Lisa pulled Rayland into a hug and left without another word.
“Where is she going? Why did you run her off Desiree?” he asked with hurt flashing in his gaze and seeping through his tone.
“Because she feeds you drugs whenever you ask for them. Me and Mecca would like for you to spend a little time with her friend Stormy. She’ll keep you clean and healthy for a little while.”
His reluctance was apparent, but I wasn’t going to give his ass a choice because Stormy already had his room ready.
We took Rayland to one of his favorite places to eat, Swirk Soul Food, and enjoyed ourselves reminiscing about the good old days before I drove him out to Stormy’s.
The questions were stacking up and stress started to thicken in his voice the closer we got. His erratic movements in the back seat increased when he noticed how far off the grid Stormy lived.
Like Khane, she lived tucked within the folds of the mountains and her cabin contained every modern amenity available.
“I don’t know about this Mecca,” Rayland stated, when we turned down an unpaved road off an already desolate highway. “This shit is just a little too far out. Don’t you have friends that live closer to the city?” He was already contemplating how he would get a fix way out here. “Solar panels. She don’t even have electric,” he mumbled under his breath.
We parked next to Stormy’s black SUV and exited. A big shit-eating grin broke out on Rayland’s face when she stepped out of the door and onto the porch to greet us. He leaned into my shoulder, his hot breath touching my ear. “She’s fine as hell.”
Good. He was distracted by her appearance, which would hopefully make convincing him to stay that much easier. Stormy was a five-foot-seven honey-skinned sister with a pixie cut and a brick house body that drove men crazy.
She was the daughter of one of the most notorious criminals in mob history, but it was the main reason she had chosen to live off the grid. Her father, Richard Giancana, was known as, ‘The Torture King,’ with such an intense career that his skills were shared among two crime families.
Half Black and half Italian, her looks fooled many, but what the world didn’t know was that she had been being trained by her father until he was killed when she was nineteen. Her mother had never been in the picture, so it had always been just her and her father. He had taken out ten cops and had been shot seven times before the final fatal shot took his life in the streets of New York.
Law enforcement poured their energy into Stormy for information about her father. They had been so determined that they had nearly gotten her killed twice, once in a car chase and another time when one of the family’s her father had worked for suspected she was talking. They would have killed her if she hadn’t been smart enough to find a way to secretly record the conversations she’d been having with federal agents.
She disappeared nine years ago from the only place she’d lived, New York, and made the decision to go underground and live the life her father had groomed her for. Her specialty was torture, but she also had the patience of a monk, sometimes keeping prisoners for months, and in a few cases over a year to get what she wanted from them. She had at least five houses across the country that I knew of, each equipped with the tools of her trade.
In the case of Rayland, all we needed was for him to be reprogramed about his drug addiction. I was also interested to see if he had any idea of where his sneaky ass father had gone.
We sat around Stormy’s living room chatting and laughing, but when it was time to leave, Rayland stood with me and Desiree. The way that he had been rubbing at his arms and unable to sit still on the couch revealed to us that he was already fiending for a fix.
“I appreciate you wanting to help me, but I can’t stay here,” he said, looking around at each of us. Desiree glared in my direction and gave a nod that he noticed. His body tensed as he took us in, realizing that something wasn’t right.
A few steps put me close enough for his gaze to lock with mine. “You are under the impression that you have a choice.”
His brows tensed into tight knots at my words before his lips pinched into a thin line.
“I do have a choice. It’s my damn life.” He hissed out his words while rubbing his hands roughly up and down his arms. He turned away from me and Stormy and put his begging eyes on Desiree. “Sis,” was all he said.
I didn’t have to see his face to know that tears were forming in his eyes. He didn’t fully know what we had planned for him, but he knew it would involve him not being able to get his precious drugs.
My gaze met Stormy’s before she extracted a syringe from her back pocket, being careful not to let him see it as she sneaked in behind him. The thin metal tip of the needle was in his neck before he could spit his next words to Desiree.
At the first hint of the pinch, he spun intending to hit Stormy, but she ducked out of his way before he took a stumbling step forward and stopped.
“What the fuck did you give me?” He asked with his hand clamped over his neck. “Desiree, are you going to let them do this to me?” His words had started to slur.
He turned to me, pointing an accusing finger at my face. “Mecca don’t do this shit. I know this was all your fucking idea.”
His body drooped and he swayed like a wind-tossed branch before he fell sideways into the couch, resembling an uprooted tree falling in the woods.
He spit his useless cursing at us while his tight angry face glared at us standing over him. I motioned my head towards his left arm and I gripped the right as me and Desiree worked to stand him on his weak legs. We followed Stormy into her basement, half dragging Rayland’s limp body.
When he noticed that her basement was nothing more than his prison, he attempted to fight us, but the drug had rendered him useless and all he was left with was the slew of slurred curse words he tossed at us.
The size of a large bedroom, the basement contained two stacked and neatly dressed twin mattresses without the frame, a small open bathroom area equipped with a shower and toilet, and a bookshelf built into the wall stocked with hundreds of books. One light was housed in the high ceiling, shining over a large pillow chair where he could sit and read.
Nothing else but dusty white cement enclosed the space. The only view of the outside was two small barred windows at the top of the east and west walls. The ceiling was so high he’d need a ladder just to reach the windows.
“You can’t do this shit. I have rights. I’ll report your asses to the cops,” he promised as spit flew from his hanging bottom lip. His body jerked and wiggled as he attempted to break free of our hold. We sat him on the mattresses and watch him fight to stand before he slid to the floor, growing weaker with each passing second.
Desiree bent and gave him a quick hug that he attempted to jerk away from. She stood glaring at him, no doubt hoping this last attempt at saving his life would work.
Was my cousin ever going to forgive me for what I was about to do to him? Better yet, was he ever going to forgive his sister for agreeing to it?
***End of Deleted Scene***