Authors: Allison Hobbs
Brick chuckled as he began taking items out of the shopping bag.
“You’re laughing, but I’m serious, Marvin. People take shit for granted, but I know what it feels like to go without the basic necessities in life.”
“My name isn’t Marvin,” Brick corrected. “I made that up. Call me Brick,” Brick said, refusing to divulge his government name.
“Brick? Is that short for brick house?” she asked, laughing as she surveyed his muscular body.
“Nah, another long story. I picked up the name when I was a kid.”
A kid transporting bricks of marijuana in my backpack.
His mind wandered to his horrible childhood. Abandoned by his mother. Abused by his stepparents. Molested and mutilated by the neighborhood drug dealer—the man who’d trained him to sell drugs and who’d dubbed him Brick. Reflexively, Brick’s hand went to his cheek, expecting to feel the cruel, jagged scar his molester had left on his face.
Thanks to Thomasina, the scar had been surgically removed. Yet it always came as a surprise and a great relief when his fingers slid easily over smooth, textured skin.
And then there was his past with Misty. Recalling the perverted path they’d taken together filled Brick with shame and regret.
“Hey, Brick, there’s another TV in here,” Anya called from the bedroom.
Lost in thought, Brick hadn’t realized Anya had left the kitchen.
He shook away the painful memories and strolled into the bedroom.
Anya turned down the covers of the king-size bed. “Look at this! Crisp, clean sheets. This is heaven! I’m gonna sleep so good tonight!”
“They only gave us one bed? I asked for a room with two queens,” he stated, frowning. “Oh, well. Fuck it. I have to be on the job at seven-fifteen in the morning. I gotta get some rest. I’ll deal with the room change after I get off work tomorrow.”
“The sofa has a pull-out bed; I can sleep in the living room,” Anya suggested.
“Nah, you’re all excited over this big bed. I can nod off in the living room.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m positive. Can you excuse me while I take a quick shower?”
“Sure.” Anya left the bedroom, giving Brick privacy.
ompared to the grungy, hot room Anya had been sharing with C, this suite was a palace. While Brick showered, she pulled out the sofa bed and made it comfortable with the extra set of sheets and blanket she found in the hall closet.
She was surprised at how compassionate Brick could be. Attitude-wise, he’d done a complete one-eighty. She’d been petrified when he’d come barreling into her and C’s room, making unspeakable threats and holding them hostage. Her dislike of him had been immediate and profound. His good looks were hard to recognize while he was terrorizing her. Now that he’d changed his disposition, kindly giving her food and shelter—even offering her the big comfy bedroom, she could appreciate the strong, masculine features that shaped his handsome face.
Anya had no intention of taking advantage of Brick’s kindness. The pull-out sofa bed was too small for a big hunk of a man like Brick; she’d sleep here in the living room.
Anya could hear the sound of the water running in the shower; it had a soothing effect. She hadn’t felt this safe and protected in a long time. That wedding band on Brick’s finger had her curious. Was he married to Misty, the comatose woman?
She had been stunned when Brick and C started talking about the rappers, Smash Hitz and D.B. Spydah. Anya knew someone was after C. She’d assumed he had beef with a local thug. Never
in a million years would she have imagined that C was hiding out from a big-time celebrity. And the news that Smash Hitz was into transvestites… Wow! That was some juicy information. Scandalous!
She wanted to be nosey and ask Brick to fill in the blanks about C’s involvement with this Misty chick and Smash Hitz, but Anya knew better than to pry. At the moment, Brick seemed to be in a fairly decent mood. The mere mention of Smash Hitz’ name might set him off—might prompt him to begin another round of intense questioning. And Anya didn’t have any answers for Brick. It was best to let sleeping dogs lie.
She clicked on the TV and gazed happily at the vivid, high-definition images on the screen. A feeling of contentment washed over her. Hopefully, she could stay here with Brick until her money came through.
In a few weeks, she’d be visiting the lawyer. After that, she’d be Miss Independent. With a few million in her bank account, she’d never have to depend on anyone again.
But she wouldn’t be able to enjoy the money until she found her father. She had to help him; had to let him know she understood everything now. It was so important for him to know she loved him. That she forgave him.
She’d shower him with material things. First thing on the list would be a home of his own. A decent wardrobe. And a car. Whatever it took to make him feel like a contributing member of society.
And she also had to deal out some personal justice.
Pondering the options money could buy, Anya suddenly decided that Brick might be the perfect man to get the job done. But she needed to act fast…approach him with an offer before he cut ties with her and took off for Miami.
I need someone killed. I can pay.
Are you interested?
She shook her head. Seriously, how could she ask him a question like that? Brick acted like a killer, but he had a personal vendetta against Smash Hitz and the unnamed transvestite. Killing for money was a different story.
She’d wait a couple of days. Get to know him better. Determine if she should try to negotiate a deal. Having Brick take care of the job was more appealing than contacting an anonymous assassin online. Crazy as it sounded, a person could find damn near anything on the Internet. Including a hit man.
Anya reached inside her bag and retrieved a plastic case filled with toiletries. She tugged off her shorts, planning to jump right in the shower after Brick finished.
That nigga was shot out…crazy as hell when he was angry. But damn, he was hot! Assuming his wife was the chick in a coma, the poor man could probably use some loving. Anya sure could. She was long overdue for some skin-on-skin action.
While staying with C, it was easy to ignore his sexual advances; she wasn’t feeling him like that. But Brick. Whew! His name should be Mr. Muscles. His arms were cut and looked as hard as steel. She could only imagine what his bare chest and all the rest of him looked like. Yeah, Brick could get it. Trouble was, he didn’t seem to want it.
Anya sighed. She was too intimidated by Brick to flirt with him. Maybe he didn’t think she was attractive enough. She stood in front of the wall mirror. Frowning, she scrutinized her face. Her eyebrows needed to be waxed. She unloosened the knot in the back of her scarf. Her hair was a wreck. Dry and in desperate need of a perm. But there was nothing she could do until she could afford to go to the hair salon.
Her wardrobe sucked, too. It was hard to make a fashion statement with only a few tops, a couple pairs of jeans, and some
shorts. Nothing glamorous. Nothing that was feminine or sultry enough to entice Brick.
She turned away from the mirror and slumped down on the sofa bed. Sulking, she tied the bandana around her head. She didn’t even feel sexy enough to try to be seductive. Brick might feel disrespected if she came at him all half-ass and dead wrong. Having already experienced his lunatic tendencies, Anya decided to leave Brick alone. He was a loose cannon, capable of whipping her ass and possibly breaking a few bones during the process.
Curled up on the pull-out bed, Anya closed her eyes and fantasized that Brick was tossing her around, smacking her ass and fucking her like he was a wild-ass stallion. Ramming her, taking out all his frustrations on her pussy.
Substituting dick with a finger, she pulled her panties to the side; her middle finger traveled to her hot spot.
By the time that Brick finished showering, he found Anya softly snoring. He was ready to switch rooms with her, but shawty was knocked out. She was lying on top of the covers and wearing only a bra and panties. Brick respectfully covered her with the blanket. He turned off the TV and switched off the lamp.
Back in the bedroom, he noticed a missed call on his cell.
Had she called to tell him that Misty had passed? In a sudden panic, Brick set the phone down. His heart was thumping and he needed a moment before he talked to his wife. If Misty was gone, he’d need all the emotional strength he could gather to try and console her mother. Then again, maybe Misty had made a miraculous recovery. Maybe Thomasina was willing to forgive him.
He called Thomasina. “Hey, babe.”
There was no response on the other end. Only sobbing. Choking, mournful sobbing. Brick’s heart sank. “What’s wrong—Misty didn’t make it?” he questioned.
“She’s still alive. But she’s slipping away fast. The doctor doesn’t expect her to make it through the night.”
“Do you want me to come over?”
“No! I hate you, Baron. I never want to see you again. Misty didn’t stand a chance. I’m her mother; I was supposed to protect her, and I left my helpless child alone in the room with you, a ruthless murderer!” Thomasina wept bitterly. After she regained her composure, she stated coldly, “I’m going to see a lawyer; I’m getting out of this marriage.”
“Thomasina,” he said in a strangled voice. “No matter how guilty you think I am, I swear, baby. My hand to God…what I did, I did for Misty. Why can’t I make you understand? Baby, she was sick of living. She wanted to find peace.”
“I’m sick of you telling me that you did what was best for my daughter. She was paralyzed and she was unhappy, but my child was alive! Before you took it upon yourself to overdose her, she could talk—communicate. On good days, my daughter could laugh and smile. Misty could talk to me. Now she’s on the brink of death. You had no right to take matters into your hands. Oh, God! I shouldn’t have allowed you to be anywhere near her.”
“I respect everything you’re saying. Do what you gotta do. Look, I don’t have a permanent address yet, so send the papers to my job. I’ll sign them, Thomasina. I’m tired. I won’t fight you on this.”
“You’re tired? Oh, poor Baron. What about Misty? Do you think after you sign the divorce papers, everything will be all right? You should be behind bars for what you did to Misty. Do you hear me, Baron?”
“Yeah, I hear you,” Brick mumbled.
“Don’t worry about your next permanent address; I have one for you. The state penitentiary, you murderer! My lawyer will be sending the divorce papers to the pen.” Thomasina took a deep breath. “I’ll never forgive myself for letting you into my daughter’s room. But you’re not getting away with it. You’re sick in the head, Baron. Nothing but an animal!” Out of breath and running out of insults, Thomasina disconnected the call.
There was no getting through to her. She was out for blood. Not only was their marriage over, she wanted him to be behind prison walls for the rest of his life.
Brick slept fitfully. Two restless hours passed, but sleep refused to claim him.