Read The Joneses Online

Authors: Shelia M. Goss

The Joneses (3 page)

Cindy Bell, my latest girlfriend of one month, would be the one to make me forget everything tonight. We were both naked by the time we made it in to the bedroom of my condo.

“Lovie, I love you,” Cindy said, as she rode me like a stallion.

I ignored her declaration of love, and continued to enjoy the ride. I did my best to maintain my cool, but Cindy knew how to push me over the edge. I screamed out in ecstasy, and dumped my sperm in the Magnum condom before rolling over and going to sleep.

During my slumber, I felt my body shake.

“Lovie. Some woman claiming to be your mama is on the phone,” Cindy said, waking me from my deep sleep.

I snatched my phone from Cindy. “You shouldn't be answering my phone anyway.”

“Your phone kept ringing. I thought it was an emergency.”

“Whatever. I think it's time that you go.” I sat straight up in bed.

Cindy fussed, but she got her stuff and left out of my room. I heard my front door slam. “Mom, you there?” I asked.

“Yes, and I heard all of that drama. I've told you, you're a Jones and you need to be careful. These hoes will do anything to trap you. I hope you at least used a condom.”

“Mom, we're not going to have this conversation.”

“Lovie Lee Jones, you're twenty-six-years old, but not too old for me to put my foot up your behind if you try to sass me.”

“Mom, I'm just saying. What I do in my personal life is just that—personal.”

“As long as I'm footing the bill for that condo you're in, I have a lot to say.”

“That's just it. I don't need you to do that. I got my own money coming in. I've been meaning to tell you that for a while now.”

“So now you don't need your mama? After all I've done for you,” my mom ranted and ranted. I pulled the phone from my ear, but could still hear her.

“Mom, calm down. I appreciate everything you and Dad have done for me. I really do. But, I'm a man now. I just want to make it on my own. Know what I mean? I'll talk to you later.” I hung up the phone without waiting for her response.

My mom was trying to stress me out and it wasn't even nine o'clock in the morning. I got up and turned on my fifty-inch television and PlayStation. I sat on the edge of the bed. Before I could get five minutes into my game, I heard a knock on the door.

I looked through the peephole, and there on the other side of my door was my mom. It wouldn't do me any good to ignore her. “Coming. I need to put some clothes on.”

“Boy, I birthed you. Open up this door. Now!” she yelled.

I unlocked the door, rushed back to my room, and threw on a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt.

When I returned to the living room, my mom sat on my sofa with her legs crossed and a frown on her face.

“Lovie, I want to know how you're making enough money to pay your expenses.”

I sat on the opposite end of the couch. “Duh. I do work. Don't you remember?”

“That job you got as the manager of that club isn't enough to pay my dry cleaning bill.”

“It's legit, so you should be happy.” Of course, I wasn't going to let her know that it was a front for the other business I had going on. I was good at numbers. My customers weren't your average businessmen. I handled the books for men who got their money by dealing, hustling, and yes, even killing and stealing. At least I was putting my accounting degree to good use.

“Son, you should be working for your dad. He really needs you.”

“He's been doing fine all of these years. I'm sure me working for him wouldn't make or break him.”

She reached for my hand. “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Son, we are going broke. Your dad has mismanaged the funeral home's funds and is about to put us in the poorhouse.”

“What's going on?” I asked. I was really concerned. There was no way my mom could go back to living the type of life she grew up living.

“Business at the funeral home isn't as lucrative as it once was, but what really put us in this fix is your dad. Royce made several bad investments with the funeral home's money.”

I looked at her in disbelief. Not my penny-pinching Dad. He liked nice things, but he was as thrifty as it comes. It's my mom who liked to splurge.

This was serious. Real serious.

CHAPTER 6
Lexi

I
had to think of a way to get Lovie to see why I needed him. I needed him working at the funeral home in some capacity. I couldn't lose everything. I couldn't go back to being poor. I refused to, and I wouldn't.

My baby boy looked at me with confusion in his eyes. “Mom, what can we do to save the business?”

“I've been up most of the night trying to figure it out. First thing we need to do is fire Jason and hire someone else. That's where you come in. You're a CPA. You should have been doing your father's books anyway, and maybe we wouldn't be in this fix.”

“Mom, you know me and Dad don't always see eye to eye, so working together wasn't an option for either one of us.”

“It's time to squash all of that. Your dad needs you.
I
need you.”

Lovie rubbed his forehead. “Does Dad know you're over here?”

“No, but if you show up at his office, he's not going to turn you away.”

“I don't think it's a good idea. You know he can be stubborn. If he calls me and asks me, then yes, I'll come help him out. But if he doesn't, count me out.”

Lovie got up and went to the kitchen. I followed him. “You two are trying to drive me crazy.”

Lovie looked from behind the refrigerator door. “Are you staying for breakfast? I still make a mean omelet.”

“No, dear. I'm going to the spa. I need to relax my mind.”

“See, if you're still able to go to the spa, things aren't as rough as they seem.”

“I hate smart-alecks,” I responded.

“But you'll always love me. I'm your only son.” Lovie walked up to me and pulled me into a hug.

He was right. He was the oldest, and we had a special bond. He would always be my baby no matter how old he got.

“You know how to soften me up,” I responded.

“Have Dad make that call and I'll be there, but until then, just let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.”

“Well, there's something else you can do, but I'll wait to discuss it with you later. I'm hoping we won't have to resort to it.”

Lovie escorted me to the front door. “What? You got me curious.”

“We'll talk later. Love you.” I gave Lovie a quick peck on the cheek and left.

Thirty minutes later, I was lying across a massage table with nothing but a towel covering me. I closed my eyes as tension left my body with each touch from the masseuse. For the next forty-five minutes, I pretended to be trouble free.

After the massage, I got dressed and went to the room designated for manicures and pedicures. I felt like a million bucks afterward. I reached for my credit card out of habit but recalled there was no money available. So, I retrieved cash from my wallet.

I heard some laughter from behind me. I paid my bill, turned around, and came face-to-face with Julie Washington and Mattie Adams. The cackling hens were the two women who tried to make my life in Shreveport a living hell.

“Lexi, darling, we're surprised to see you here.” Julie's voice sounded like fingernails scraping a chalkboard. She'd been the product of one too many facelifts. There wasn't a doctor alive who could fix her face now.

Mattie, looking like Julie's twin, added, “Yes, word on the streets is your credit is no good around these parts.”

Without flinching, I looked directly in Mattie's eyes. “Jealousy is an ugly color on you. So why are you all up in my business?”

Julie grabbed Mattie's arm. “Come on, Mattie. Don't even entertain her with a response.”

Julie and Mattie rushed passed me and in to the spa.

“Y'all better go because I'm from the West Side. I still know how to throw down with the best of them.” I stood with my arms crossed.

“She still has no class,” I heard Mattie say as they walked.

The clerk at the front desk looked away, but not without me catching a grin on her face.

“I'm sure the rest of your day will be boring compared to the scene you just witnessed,” I stated, before leaving.

Women like Julie and Mattie got under my skin. No matter how hard I tried to fit into their world, they were always trying to look down on me. Royce said I shouldn't care, and he's right, I shouldn't.

Speaking of Royce, he and I need to have a little talk. He purposely didn't talk to me last night and left before I got up this morning. He can run, but he can't hide.

CHAPTER 7
Royce

A
voiding Lexi hadn't been easy, and it seemed that it was all for naught. I heard her coming long before she made it to my office. I looked up toward the door awaiting her entrance.

Lexi stormed in my office enraged. “Royce, you can run, but you can't hide. You caused this problem and you're going to fix it. Now tell me how you plan on doing it, so I can deal with other things.”

Lexi plopped down in front of my desk.

“Hello to you, too, my beautiful wife.”

“Save the pleasantries for your customers.” Lexi held her hand in the air and then looked around. “Snap! There are no customers.”

“Calm down. If there were some, you would run them off with that mouth of yours.”

“Calm? How can I be calm when according to you, we're going broke?”

“Look. We still have money, but just not as much. So yes, I need for you and the kids to be more responsible and stop spending money like it's water.”

“I refuse to go back to the life I knew before we got together, Royce Jones. You promised me the good life, and I'm holding you to that promise.”

I threw my hands up in the air. It's clear where Charity and Hope got their drama queen antics from. From the Queen of Drama herself, my wife, Lexi.

“Wipe that silly smile off your face,” Lexi snapped.

“Baby, I need for you to bring your tone down a notch or two. I'm not your kids, and you will show me some respect. Or, you can leave.”

I listened to Lexi complain, before calming herself down. “Royce, sorry, but ever since I got embarrassed at the country club, this has been eating away at me.”

I rose up from my seat and walked behind Lexi. I massaged her shoulders. “Baby, I know it has. I promise to make things right. Things are going slower than I had anticipated, but I will make it right.”

Lexi placed one hand on top of mine while moving her neck from side to side. “I know who can help, too. Lovie is a CPA. Have him come in, look at the books, and see what else needs to be done.”

“Lovie is not living up to his full potential. He may be a CPA, but how has he utilized his license? He's managing a nightclub. He could be working for a firm or even have his own.”

Lexi stood and glared into my eyes. “But Royce, it was always my dream that you two would work together.”

“At one time, I thought it would be possible. But we are too much alike. Our relationship is fine now, but if we work together, believe me, it would be strained.”

“Please. At least get rid of the accountant you have now.”

“Jason's a trusted friend. He's the only one I trust to look over my financial affairs.”

“Well, I don't trust him and neither should you.”

“Don't be taking out your frustrations on an innocent man.” I hugged Lexi.

Her body tensed up before she hugged me back. “In your eyes, Jason can never do any wrong.”

I let go of Lexi. I shut the door and locked it. I was frustrated in more ways than one. Lexi held a drink. I removed it from her hand
and placed it on the desk. I didn't want to talk about Lovie, Jason, or the business. I needed a stress reliever.

Before Lexi could respond to me taking away her drink, my lips were on top of hers. The moans seeping out of her were enough to make me turn it up a notch. My tongue dipped in and out of her mouth. I picked her up and carried her to the brown leather couch in the corner of my office.

“Royce, maybe we should—”

Before Lexi could finish her sentence I had her moaning. I didn't want others to hear us. I placed my mouth over hers to quiet her as my hand roamed over her body. We tore each other's clothes off. With a glazed-over look in her eyes, I entered Lexi and we both escaped into our own private world. Our eyes locked as we climaxed together.

The door jiggled. Lexi and I looked at each other and giggled.

“Who is it?” I yelled out.

“Mr. Jones, you have a customer,” Shannon yelled from the other side of the locked door.

“I'll be there in a minute.” I responded, as I eased off Lexi.

I went to the bathroom attached to my office. I looked under the sink for a towel and began washing up. Lexi took the towel from me and washed my lower body. My manhood stood at attention again. I looked down at it and back up at Lexi. “I guess he's not finished.”

“I see. Well, I'll take care of him some more when you get home.”

We dressed and I walked Lexi to the door.

“Think about what I said about Lovie. He can be an asset to the company.”

“I'll think about it.” I kissed her on the cheek.

She left, and I went to console a grieving family.

CHAPTER 8
Charity

A
lthough I haven't had a paying job since I interned in college, I've been working. I work with several charities and I host events. In fact if this job interview at the art gallery doesn't go well, I'm thinking about using my party planning skills and starting my own event planning business.

It took me fifteen minutes to decide what to wear to the interview. I opted for the blue power suit. I picked up the pearls that were given to me on my eighteenth birthday and held them up to my neck.

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