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Authors: Trae Macklin

Tags: #FICTION/African American/Urban Life

Flippin' the Hustle (23 page)

BOOK: Flippin' the Hustle
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Once he was finished, there was a large section of the framed window missing, giving him a clear entrance into the house.

Whispering into the tiny microphone, he asked, “Is the coast clear?”

“Our little birdies are still at it.”

That was all Ishmah needed to hear before he carefully pulled himself through the open section of the window.

Chapter Thirty-one

N
aria stretched in the passenger seat as Trina navigated the SUV through the streets of Miami's South Beach.

Collins Avenue had the same festive feel that it had months before when they'd visited. Even though it was dead winter, the night air in Miami still had a Caribbean feel to it.

Looking into the backseat, Naria smiled as Raven and Carl lay fast asleep. It had taken them nearly two days to make the coastal journey, yet the women had made the drive a memorable one.

“There's a hotel right there,” Naria pointed.

“I know, but it looks expensive. Besides, it's not the same hotel we stayed in before,” Trina replied.

“Aw, girl. Let's live a little,” Naria stated.

Reluctantly, Trina pulled into the entrance of the hotel Grand Marquis in South Beach. Instantaneously, the bellboys and doorman bombarded the vehicle, grabbing bags and children, and then transporting them into the hotel.

It wasn't long before they were checked into a suite on the fifteenth floor of the exquisite hotel.

Staring out of the window at the beautiful scene before her, Naria said a silent prayer for Derrick's safe arrival as the lights from the many vessels dancing on the night ocean dazzled her eyes.

* * * * *

Derrick had Dominique sprawled in the middle of the floor pounding into her frantically.

“Fuck me, Derrick! Oh God, please don't stop fucking me!” she yelled.

Just as Derrick felt his sperm rise from his groin, he could have sworn that he'd seen a reflection in the tall glass cabinet nestled in the corner of the room. Paying close attention to the reflected image, he continued to stroke himself in and out of Dominique.

Suddenly, Derrick's eyes became big as saucers once the image became clear. There, in his house, a man stood at the entranceway with what looked to be a gun.

Derrick knew that if he didn't react precisely, he would be murdered. Taking the biggest risk in his short life, he continued to stroke his rapidly deflating organ into Dominique's womanhood. All he needed was a split second to react and get near his gun, and he felt that by keeping the assailant oblivious to his own knowledge of his presence, he had a chance.

Counting back from three, Derrick made a move so swift and quick, he nearly flung himself past the spot where his gun lay in the rumpled clothes.

In response to his abrupt movements, Dominique began to protest. “Derrick! What are—”

The assassin's gun burst to life. “Boom! Boom!” Instantly silencing Dominique by taking half of her skull off.

Derrick miraculously retrieved his gun, and shot wildly in the direction of the assailant. Rolling over onto his stomach, Derrick could feel his entire right shoulder go numb. With just the light from the moon lit sky, he noticed the warm blood staining his white carpet.

“Boom! Boom!” The assassin fired again, ripping holes through the couch Derrick hid behind across the room.

Immediately, Derrick knew that whatever caliber weapon the murderer was using outnumbered his own considerably. The burning sensation in his shoulder became so tormenting he nearly jumped up and surrendered. Nonetheless, the fighter in him kicked in. The trained DEA agent surfaced from within him. Placing his gun in his left hand, he pulled himself up and rested his back against the short couch. Taking deep breaths, Derrick steadied his heart rate and prepared to live.

Listening to the slow methodical footsteps of his attacker as they stepped on cracked glass, Derrick used his tactical training to attack.

He measured the distance to the large bar in the room. Derrick lay flat on his back with his gun outstretched over his head. Again, he impersonated a circus act by tumbling across the room. “Bop! Bop! Bop! Bop!” He fired, rolling across the floor. Once he was safely behind the stone and marble bar, he knew that he'd hit his attacker. He just didn't know where.

“Boom! Boom! Boom!” The attacker fired at the bar, causing chips of stone and marble to fly everywhere.

As Derrick attempted to regain control of his breathing, he actually took the time to brainstorm where his attacker might have been. “Only time will tell,” he stated to himself.

* * * * *

Ishmah nearly chuckled when their prey had hit Tareek in the leg. He'd always warned his lifelong friend of his brashness when it came to battle.

Ishmah was the total opposite of his partner. He used more calculation than hastiness. At that very moment he was simply waiting for a clear shot to send the man they only knew as ‘Tree' to the afterlife. There was no question in his mind whether the man they'd hunted for the last two months would pay for committing the ultimate sin against a Muslim. The thought of what the man had done, suddenly filled Ishmah with an invigorating rage. Holding his hands out, palms up, he said, “Bins Mullah.” Then moved in for the kill.

* * * * *

Derrick crouched behind his strategic barrier running his list of options through his head. His increasingly bleeding wound was beginning to wear on his consciousness. This, in addition to his low ammunition count, had him at a definite disadvantage. For the first time in Derrick's life, he faced death, a feeling completely foreign to him.

Fighting the sudden rush of despair, he peeked around the corner of the bar and noticed that a bullet had impeded his attacker's progress. He aimed his weapon expertly at the crouched figure's head. Derrick pulled the trigger on his .40caliber and watched as the man's head exploded like a watermelon. Allowing a deep breath to escape his lungs, he pulled his naked frame to a standing position.

Looking around the room at the havoc that had been hand delivered by the unknown gunman, once again Derrick wondered who'd sent the man to kill him. Observing Dominique's badly disfigured face, he knew he had to escape the scene immediately.

He grabbed his pants and struggled to pull them over his waist with his wounded shoulder. Placing his gun between his jeans and his bare skin, Derrick scooped his keys up and headed to the door. Just as he reached for the doorknob, he heard the distinct sound of glass being crunched under someone's shoes.

Instantly, Derrick froze and began to reach for his gun with his well arm.

Without warning a shot rang out, crashing into Derrick's forearm. The powerful slug caused his gun to drop from his grasp and his bones and ligaments to become mangled and distorted.

Helplessly, Derrick turned and stared at the short man with the bulging beard.

“Tree, I'm sorry we had to meet under such circumstances. However, I've been sent by the power of Allah to render your life,” he stated, and then began to croon, “Inna-Lil'lahi-wa-inna-ilaihi-raji-un.”

Derrick stared at the man on the brink of losing consciousness. Eyeing the man as he raised his gun, Derrick braced himself for the blow of death. Bracing his eyes shut, a thunderous boom quickly filled the room. Derrick's already trauma-induced body went completely numb. Shortly thereafter, sleep engulfed him.

Epilogue

Naria walked the sands of her oceanfront home with Carl and Carlessa in tow. Life had dealt her a vicious blow directly to the heart, yet she'd managed to pull herself together and administer love to her two children.

After finding out Derrick had been brutally murdered in their home, Naria nearly had a nervous breakdown. If it wasn't for Trina and her undivided love and support, she probably wouldn't have made it.

Nonetheless, once Naria escaped her postpartum depression, she and Trina found themselves staying in a hotel on Virginia's Seaboard. The pair's finances had been consumed, in addition to most of their tangible belongings, by living on the lam. Both women contemplated returning to the city that held nothing but negative memories for them.

On their way from a pawnshop located just outside of Virginia Beach in Chesapeake, Naria's SUV caught a flat tire.

As the two women struggled to open the rear hatch where the spare tire was located, a handsome young man pulled behind the women in a white SUV and cordially offered his assistance.

Unfazed by the guy's attractiveness, but appreciative of his help, the women allowed him to dig into the SUV's rear in search of the replacement tire.

After only a few seconds of searching, the young man turned and held out a Louis Vuitton duffel bag. “If you were planning to put this on, then I'd suggest you at least put a rim on it,” he joked.

Naria and Trina eyed the bag suspiciously, and then slowly approached the bulging bag.

Needless to say, it didn't take long for the two inquisitive women to realize that they'd literally hit the lottery. They'd found the key to their financial woes in the form of a flat tire. When Derrick first sent the women to Miami, he never allowed them to know he'd secretly placed nearly two million dollars in the compartment designed to house the spare tire in Naria's X-5. From that day forth, Naria and Trina lived the lives of well provided for Divas.

Turning toward Carl, who was playfully kicking at the powerful waves, Naria smiled at the strong resemblance her son had to his father. “Carl, don't get too close to that water,” she warned.

“A'ight, Mommy!”

* * * * *

Damien ambled his scrawny frame through the dayroom of a notorious Atlanta Federal penitentiary and picked up a phone at one of the cluster booths. With 324 months to serve, he knew life had been transformed to the alien surroundings that he now observed through attentive eyes.

Ever since the news of RJ's murder, he viewed it with a mixture of joy and pain. Joy for the death of the man who'd turned his children's mother against him and back to the streets. Pain because now that RJ was dead the government no longer needed his assistance, sticking him with a twenty-seven year sentence.

Unable to get through on the phone, Damien decided to face the inmate whom he'd been assigned to house with. As he made his way to the room, he noticed a rush of prisoners entering the unit. He ignored the influx of prisoners and headed in the direction of his assigned room, until he heard, “Ay, yo! Son!”

By the lingo being similar to his native New York slang, he stopped and looked in the direction of the voice. Damien observed a brown-skinned dude with a distinctive glitch in his walk that he'd over time made to look cool approaching him.

“Ay, shorty! You from Brooklyn?” he asked in his distinguishing accent.

Hesitantly, Damien eyed the man and finally replied, “Um, yeah, I'm from Brooklyn.”

Smiling, the dude said, “Yeah. You ‘D', right?”

Returning the smile, Damien said, “Yeah, I'm ‘D'.”

With the quickness of a cheetah, the seemingly harmless dude produced a long ice pick and thrust it into Damien's chest numerous times.

Damien was so surprised by the man's actions. All he could do was watch as his life was abruptly taken from him at the hands of a man he didn't even know.

Reading Group
Questions

Flippin' The Hustle by Trae Macklin

Reader & Discussion Group Questions

  1. As a law-abiding citizen who was a federal agent, do you consider Carlos a snake for turning his back on the FBI and becoming a drug dealer?
  2. ​
    Was it justifiable for Carlos to sell drugs since he was doing it to save his mother's life?
  3. Do you consider the love and loyalty RJ extended to Carlos to be genuine?
  4. Was it foul for Carlos to kill RJ, considering that RJ was his business partner and the brother of his son's mother?
  5. Should Naria have told her brother about Carlos' true identity and his goal to bring him down?
  6. Was it the money or the lifestyle that kept Carlos in the game after he became wealthy?
  7. Should Naria have left Carlos because of his lifestyle and how it could affect her and their child?
  8. Was it a wise decision for Carlos to engage in an affair with Dominique, knowing that she worked for the FBI?
  9. Should Carlos have left the game behind once he was certain the FBI was investigating him?
  10. Did RJ accept Carlos into his fold too quickly?
BOOK: Flippin' the Hustle
2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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