It was almost time for a shift change and even though Malik Davis was pulling a double, he felt ready to bring it down for the night. He walked a pretty decent beat and was cool with most of the criminals who lived in his sector. He’d been raised on these urban streets and he knew them well. Most of the knuckleheads he busted had either grown up with him or gone to school with him. It coulda got kinda tight busting brothahs he used to run with, but he tried hard to maintain a good relationship with everybody, and even when he had to cuff a niggah it was done with such affable respect that it was all good.

He was looking forward to taking off for the next few days. Baby Brother was going off to college on Monday, and him and his brothers Antwan and Raheem were gonna fly out West with him and make sure everything was straight.

Malik was proud of his youngest brother. Already he was achieving more than the rest of them had put together. Yeah, he had a decent grind as a NYPD cop, and most of the other Davis boys was holding it down pretty righteous, not counting the twins, but Baby Brother was special and he bragged about that kid to anybody who would listen.

He was pushing through the precinct doors as his man Wiley was coming out. “Yo. Whattup, Wile. You working a double tonight?”

Wiley reached out and put his hand on Malik’s shoulder, urging him to turn around and walk back out the door. “I need to holla at you real quick before you go in there, bruh. I got some bad news.”

Malik stared at Wiley, apprehension rising in his gut at the look on his man’s face.

“What’s poppin’?”

“It’s your brother, man.”

Malik sighed. Farad? Nah, probably Finesse. Two-strike felon, and busted again.

“Yo, he smoked a girl,” Wiley went on, shaking his head. “Gunned her down in the street. They caught him holding the burner, man, with blood all over him.”

Damn, was all Malik could think as his heart sank. Their moms was probably turning over in her grave. But something just didn’t feel right about this. Finesse was brutal, but he had never been violent toward women. He couldn’t think of one reason his brother would have to pop no female. It just didn’t add ufl He shook his head. It was hard being a street cop and having two major drug dealers for brothers. They was extra tight, and he would lay down and die for either one of them, but sometimes living with the bullshit in their lives was real hard.

“They got him down at Central Booking,” Wiley said. “I just figured you’d wanna know.”

Twenty minutes later Malik had rolled up at Central Booking and was skimming a roster looking for his brother’s name. He had a few boys who were on shift, but none of them remembered seeing one of his brothers being brought in. Malik got with a cop he knew from Van Dyke projects who gave him their prisoner log. He was dragging his finger down the paper and checking the long, detailed list for recent arrests when his eyes slid over a familiar name. What he saw made his hands shake and his mouth go dry. Prisoner number 837R2006 was not Finesse. It wasn’t Farad either. It was Davis, Zabu Xade.


Finesse studied the young girl who was bobbing her head in his lafl She claimed he was her first, but he couldn’t tell it. She gave top like a professional. He watched his joint sliding past her lips and disappearing into her mouth and wondered how the fuck she took it all without choking.

He pushed the flat of his palm against her forehead, raising her ufl This bitch was a liar. Wasn’t no cherry in her throat. She had this neck game on lock. Her technique was too tight to be light.

He had to chastise her. Storyteller. Scratch a liar and find a hoe. He slid both hands through her hair, his fingertips colliding with glued-in tracks. Winding up two fistfuls, he gripped her weave and stood, pulling her up with him.

“Get outta them clothes, girl.”

The young girl giggled, then turned her back on him and shot him a smoky look over her shoulder. She was wearing a canary-colored belly-shirt and a matching skirt in a slinky, flowing material. She slid the shirt upward, the toned muscles in her stomach clenching and unfurling. Her firm young breasts practically jumped free when she pulled the shirt over her head, and Finesse sucked his bottom lip, loving her moves. She inched the bright yellow skirt down over her hips, tantalizing him with enticing gyrations. She was naked underneath and Finesse swore there was a trail of steam seeping from the triangle between her legs.

He’d seen enough. He turned her around and bent her over. “Let me in baby,” he barked, pushing himself into her as deeply as he could. Yeah, she was a liar ’cause he’d slid right in. They went at it stroke for stroke. Her hands were on her breasts as she squeezed and flicked her own nipples. Finesse panted and pounded. He felt his nut rising. It turned him on to see her so turned on. He was about to lose it. His eyes was fluttering, his toes was curling, and he was just about ready to erupt when his cell phone rang.

“Shit!” He pumped real hard, almost there.

The cell jangled again, but this time shit sank in. This wasn’t no regular call. His phone was spittin’ a special tone. One reserved for the most crucial, dire emergencies. A tone that demanded his immediate attention. A matter of life or death.

He slapped the girl on the ass, snatching his pipe out of her and putting a freeze on both of their nuts. He grabbed the phone off a table and flipped it open.

“Who?” he demanded, and the response on the other end of the line not only wilted his erection, it damn near stopped his heart.

“What?!?” With the phone still pressed to his ear, he pushed his soft dick back down inside his boxers. He shook his head, trying to clear it. He couldn’t even wrap his mind around the shit Malik was telling him on the line, and a steely mask came down over his face as rage settled in his nuts. They’d gotten the wrong one. The wrong one. Somebody was about to get fuckin’ blasted and Finesse was ready to spark shit off.

“Initiate the chain, muthafuckah,” he told his brother. “I’m rolling out.”


Farad blacked the fuck out.

He was in Riverdale Houses playing Spades with some homeys when the Chirp came through. The score pad said Us and Them, and of course Farad was on the winning team. Game was five hundred, and they had 430 on the board and had taken a blind seven. His partner had just cut a book and saved them from getting set, and now he had come back in diamonds and was waiting for Farad’s next play.

But the Nextel was pressed to Farad’s ear and he couldn’t see shit and he couldn’t hear shit neither. The only thing that got through to him was the voice on the other end of the line.

“You sure, man?” he finally managed to say. “Malik you gotta be wrong, niggah. C’mon. Tell me you got your information wrong.”

“I just seen him, man,” Malik said, sounding close to tears. “They got him in a fuckin’ holding cell, man. A pissy little holdin’ cell with all kinda foul motherfuckers up in there with him.”

Farad cursed. “Don’t even worry about them niggahs, Leek. Baby Brother can hold shit down with his hands, man. That’s truth, niggah. He’ll be all right for a good minute, but what we gotta worry about now is getting him the fuck outta there.”

He heard Malik take a deep breath. “Aiight. Let me see what I can do. He’s gone be having an initial hearing in a little bit. I’ll get down there early and talk to the judge. See if I can work something out for bail or whatever. But I don’t know man…they charging him with murder, yo—”

“Just try,” Farad interrupted forcefully, knowing how slim the odds were that a judge would agree to something like that. But for real tho, with Sari dead and her psycho brother motherfucker Tony on the loose, it mighta been better to just leave Baby Brother where he was for a minute. Fuck no! “Yeah, Leek. Just get your ass in there and try.”


Ain’t this some shit! Kadir thought, laughing out loud. This big-ass fuckin’ white boy was pissin’ down his leg. Scared like that. The little one was scared too, but at least he wasn’t pissin’. He was standing against the warehouse wall with a resigned look on his face like, “Shoot me if you wanna, niggah, but I’ma go out holding my nuts.”

“Y’all eating lead tonight, motherfuckers,” Kadir taunted. Motherfuckers just didn’t learn. Gambling was a fuckin’ disease, and nobody knew that better than him. Some people inherited heart disease, and others inherited cancer. Kadir was his father’s son. He had inherited the betting disease, and just like Cameron, he had a sixth sense about the odds and was a top shark in the game of chance.

But no matter how much his hunches paid off, there was always some low-level motherfuckers who got in over their heads. Idiots like these two here, who took one look at him and pegged him as a pretty niggah who could be dicked around like an herb.

They weren’t the first two to make that mistake, and they probably wouldn’t be the last. There was something about the thrill of the bet that made niggahs get stupid. White boys too. Overstating a bet and floundering at the table was no crime. It could happen to anybody. But trying to stiff a cat like him outta his cash was an unforgivable atrocity. Kadir had popped more than one lame niggah who thought he could beat him outta what was rightfully his. These two white boys would be no fuckin’ exception.

He was enjoying himself though. Like a cat, he played with his prey a little bit before he snuffed them. Big Boy was cryin’ and pissin’ and Kadir wanted to see what else he would do. He’d test the limits of his manhood. There was no way to predict what a man would do when he knew he was facing certain death. Some dudes got brave, like the short cat with the blond hair. They accepted death with courage and faced that shit square on. Others, like Big Boy, pissed up their clothes and begged. Kadir cocked his gun. He liked it when they begged.

Right on cue, Big Boy started blabbing.

“W-w-wait! Kadir! I got you, man. I’m telling you, I got you!”

Kadir laughed. “Oh you got me, huh? How you figure that, motherfucker? You holding my money in one of your pissy pants pockets or something? ’Cause that’s the only way you got me, muhfuckah!”

“I can get it!” His face was red and tears rolled down his cheeks. “I swear on my mother, I can get it!”

Kadir listened.

“My uncle brings in trucks at a warehouse. Sometimes shit falls off the back of them and lands in my garage. He’s expecting a shipment from the big guys in North Jersey. Guns. All clean. Squeaky fuckin’ clean. I can hook you up, dude, give you a whole crate. Make that two fuckin’ crates! For real, I—”

Kadir laughed. Who the fuck did he look like? Was he supposed to go out there and fence off some stolen Mafia guns to get back his own money?

“Man, you must be stu—”

His cell phone vibrated. With his gat still trained on the two cowering white boys, Kadir reached for his phone without glancing down.

“What it do?”

He listened for a moment, his mind going numb. Farad’s voice was low and deadly on the other line, and the information he relayed was enough to make Kadir start popping off his pistol right then and there.

“What about them Santos dudes?” he asked, his eyes never leaving the cats who were staring into the business end of his gun.

“Yeah. You know that. Some big shit too. Aiight. I’m there, baby. Y’all hold it tight till I get there.”

He stuck the phone in his pocket and stepped toward the two young men. Big Boy turned his body sideways and ducked his head, like he could see the bullet coming.

“Y’all muthafuckahs just got saved by the phone.” He swung the gun toward Big Boy. “When’s that shipment coming in?”

“Tomorrow night. Late. Maybe eleven, but no later than midnight.”

Kadir nodded. “I tell you what. I like you. Both of y’all. So I tell you what I’m gonna do.” He trained the piece on the short guy, the one who was scared but not a coward. “You been betting high for a long time, so I’ma come to your house first,” Kadir told him. “And I’ma pop your woman, right in front of your kids. Then I’ma take your babies down. One by one. While you watch. Next, I’ll find your moms. She’s gonna get it bad too, but I respect old people, so I’ma do her kinda quick. But not until I explain this whole thing to her so she knows just how bad you fucked up this time.”

Kadir was satisfied by the look on the dude’s face. He mighta been brave, but he wasn’t a fool. “Then I’m coming for you, Big Boy. But by that time I’ll probably be pissed off. Don’t count on me to treat your people proper, homey. I get stupid sometimes too, you know. Especially behind my money.”

Ten minutes later Kadir was alone in the warehouse, his prey having scurried away with the promised assurances to deliver a package to a designated location in Brooklyn the next night.

Kadir waited until they were gone, then jumped behind the wheel of his Lexus coupe and headed north. His mind wasn’t on them low-level cats and it wasn’t on no money either. The only thing he could see in front of him was about 70 miles of bad road. Road he was about to burn rubber on so he could get back to his moms’s crib and join his brothers as they tried to figure out how to get Baby Brother outta jail.