Spillage - The Plug & The Privilege

RahMeek & Bella 6 

Synopsis

Reign Baylee Jones, daughter of the prominent couple RahMeek and Bella, is blossoming into a prepossessing disaster. With the pleasantries of her mother's beauty staining her frame and a vicious demeanor inherited by her father, Reign's journey into adulthood is one worth mentioning. Having the best of both worlds, Reign is equip with life lessons from her mother and shooting lessons from her father. While both parents were focused on balancing their daughter, and protecting her from the visible forces of the world, they neglected to warn her of the intangible, most ravishing, deadly, world-shaking, earthquaking force of them all -love.

The Plug & The Privilege by Mercy B Carruthers

 

(Unedited + Subject to change)

Hissing, R shoved his cell deep into his pocket. He was beyond the confrontational spirit that Mali had plagued him with. The fussing and the fighting was beneath him, and frankly he had better shit to do with his time than to waste it giving a dead situation his energy. After two years of unforeseen drama, R was ready to call it a quits with his girl.

However, there was a little human nesting inside of her womb that kept him grounded, and unable to flee. Hadn’t their daughter’s expectancy been announced as early on in the pregnancy as it had been, then this thing between them two would’ve been history. R had one foot out of the door, and the other just behind it.

“Don’t scuff my shit.” He said, coolly.

It was a decent enough night in the heart of October. The sun had made its debut at the top of the morning, but was now in hiding –making way for a slight breeze. R busied himself at the carwash while waiting for a very important call. Each time that Mali rung his cell, he fought the urge to answer and cuss her ass to death being that she was fucking up his vibe.

RahMeek and his father, Roc, were banking on him. Collectively, they’d hunted the most notorious Chemist in the United States, and offered him everything but their wives and children to solidify his position on the team. Being that their Chemist was in the New York area, RahMeek and Roc placed the responsibility on R. If all went well, there was a strategic operation in the beginning stages to make a clean exit from the streets and become the men behind the most potent strand of cocaine the world had ever smoke, snorted, or laced their blunts with.

As R waited for the call, Reign sat by her phone awaiting one as well. R had given specific instructions for her to withdraw the necessary amount of funding to supply Doctor Huff with the equipment and upfront cost needed to get the ball rolling.

“I got you boss man.” The fiend nodded. R went nowhere else to get his ride cleaned, because there was no detailing like hood detailing. Working for your next hit, you’d clean the shit out of a whip.

R’s eyes wondered across the street to the pizza parlor. Little soldiers hung near the utility poles, only maneuvering for traffic. R reclined in the plastic chair and pulled his pre-rolled blunt from his ear. Before lighting the spliff, he thanked the man above for never having to experience the block but having the heart of a nigga that ran a few.

Much like his father, R was ill-tempered. However, his spirit was calm and collective as his mother’s. Her soothing soul had lingered in his genetic make up, and he was grateful of it. Deadly, yet silent, he was an issue for anyone gambling their life to go against the grain.

Often, his light complexion, perfect physic, and unruffled demeanor sent the wrong signals. He was in no way the pretty boy that he resembled. Again, his parent’s had blessed him nicely. His and Reign’s features were so similar in contrast that they were often thought of as brother and sister. Neither deterred the false information, believing that people were entitled to their own opinion. Besides, they were just as close to one another as R was to his little brother and sister. The same went for Reign and Rafeeq.

R’s vibrating thigh jarred him from his thoughts as he puffed on the loud that he’d packed into his cone. His eyes found the sky, sensing that Mali was calling back. He rushed to his cell, ready to blow a gasket.

“YEAH!” he answered, the vein in his forehead bulging through his skin.

“Huff speaking.”

R’s demeanor calmed, and his posture softened. It was the call he’d been waiting for. “An hour tops.” There was no need for a lengthy verbal exchange. What was understood didn’t have to be reiterated.

“Ayo. Wrap that shit up.” R yelled to the neighborhood car washer.

“Man, I just put the soap on it.”

“Just wash that shit off, B.” R remained unbothered as he ended his call –only to start another. “Reign?”

“Yeah, RJ?” she and his family had yet to drop the J from his nick, and they probably never would. He was down with that, being that he was the namesake of Rockell Coleman.

“That call came through. Where you at?”

“It’s Thursday, RJ.” Reign reminded him.

Though her life was anything but repetitive, one could find her in the same location each Thursday night as she dined alone. The evening was reserved for self, but business was the only exception. Truly her father’s daughter, there were barely any restrictions when it came down to that aspect of her life.

“Where’d you park?”

“Closer to 7th.” Reign replied, forking a shrimp, and popping it into her mouth.

“Aight.”

R stood from the chair that he’d been perched in for the last 30 minutes. Stretching his hands above his head, he got himself together. The night’s breeze was rewarding, and he had no complaints. Digging into the pockets of his Gucci jeans, R retrieved a bill and tossed it to the fiend that was finishing up his ride.

“I’ve got shit to do.” R shrugged.

“Aight yo. I appreciate that.” He replied, gratefully, throwing the damp towel over his shoulder.

A selfless man, he whispered one up to God for the young ones he’d been monitoring across the way and for the delivery of the brother’s soul that he’d just blessed. He was certain that he was about to go smoke the entire hundred dollars when he had a family back home that needed those dollars more than his body did more poison.

R was at Havana Central in record time, given that Time Square was near and traffic was always neck to neck. He couldn’t grasp the fact that Reign was so addicted to the little Spanish joint. Their food was barely even decent in his opinion. After trying a few dishes on the menu, he wasn’t the biggest fan of the diner. However, he was cool with the atmosphere. The whole vibe in the place was dope.

Pulling his Mercedes to the furthest end of Havana Central, closer to Time Square, it took him only a few seconds to spot Reign’s ride. They were gifts from their parents, and they both used them for business purposes. Other than pickups and drop offs, neither of them were quick to jump into the rides.

Not giving much thought to the traffic piling behind him, R parked his car mid-street and exited. He sauntered over to Reign’s, and used his key to unlock the doors. Horns honked in rapid speed, while a few yelled out of their window.

“HEY MAN!”

“YO! What you doing man?”

“Asshole, we need to get by.”

Insult after insult flew from the honker’s vehicles. Seating himself in Reign’s car, he started it by pushing the ignition switch. The hairs on his smooth skin lifted, his jaw tightened, and his hand moved from the steering wheel to the butt of his glock –in which was at his waist.

“Don’t you know it’s people who have shit to do! Move your piece of shit so that we can get back.”

“Move it?” R questioned with a smirk.

Standing from the car, he towered over the chubby Italian with the heavy accent. He looked him up and down before flipping his lined bomber jacket backwards and exposing his gun. The fat guy’s eyes followed R’s, and bulged from their sockets.

“Make me.” R hissed. “I only pull it when I have to use it, and my finger is itching.”

“Sorry man. Take your time.” He held up his hands, and wobbled back to his car.

“Nah. Come here, man.” R called out. To make the process a bit faster, he could use the fat motherfucker.

“I don’t want any problems.”

“You won’t have any if you bring your ass over here.”

“Okay. Okay.”

“Pull this car in front of mine, and wait in the driver seat until I park my whip.”

“I…”

“I… shit. GO ahead. I got something for you when you finish.” R went back to his car, and waited for the guy to pull Reign’s ride out. After doing as he was told, R pulled his car into the spot that Reign once occupied. He, then, ran to his car, threw two bills in the lap of the Italian and demanded that he get out.

“Thanks man. Thanks so much.”

“Yeah.” R waved him off, jumped in Reign’s car, and freed the never-ending pile of traffic that he’d caused.

R and Reign had matching sets of keys to each other’s vehicle. Plus, she hated for anyone to disturb her time alone, so R refused. She worked her ass of as a wife and the family’s accountant, so she deserved some peace at least once out of the week. Even though they were a few months apart in age, with him being the eldest, R suffered from an overwhelming urge to protect her life, heart, and sanity.

With their family living in Philly, he carried the weight of her world and his within a nutshell. While his uncle was not in their city, he considered himself as the protective father, brother, cousin, and whoever else he needed to be. Fortunately for him, Reign could handle herself. He was simply the enforcer if needed.

As expected, Reign was just as protective of him as he was her. She wanted his girlfriend Mali to burn in hell with gasoline draws on. Reign felt as if she was immature, looking for a dollar, and dumb as a box of rocks. Her beauty was undeniable, but it was about all that she had for herself. After years of acquaintance, her character had even tainted her beauty. She had become ugly from inside out.

“Reign.” R boasted into his cell.

“Did you really have to halt traffic like that?” Reign shook her head. R was a very special case. He expected the entire world to understand the manner in which he operated without knowing his operation.

“I did what needed to be done.” R shrugged. “I’m in your spot.”

“I know, R. I’m on my way out, now.”

“Alright.”

“Who is this guy that you’re meeting again?”

“Reign…” R sighed.

Intentionally, the family withheld information as such from their precious jewel. Her father had brought her on board as his accountant simply because he needed someone he could trust. For the duration of his operation, Mason, his father, had been the head of accountant and many other aspects. However, his age was increasing, and Meek wanted him to enjoy the rest of his days.

“I just thought that I would try.” Reign chuckled. “Is your location on?”

“It’s shared with you 24/7, but don’t be trying to pull up.”

“I’m not. Dad would have himself a cow.” Reign rolled her eyes into the sky. “I swear he is the weirdest ever –like he hasn’t taught me how to gut a man with a knife and dispose of his body parts.”

“Those are the rules. We decided on them collectively.”

“Whatever. Keep your eyes open.”

Reign ended the call as she reached R’s matching Benz. She slid in, relaxing against the leather seats. Full as a tick after a fresh bite, Reign rested her bones before starting the car up and pulling off. Relief consumed her, happy to have R scoop her car that was lined with over $750,000 in cash. It was the initial payment for the new business venture that her father and uncle were concocting.

Using the controls, Reign connected her Bluetooth before lugging out from the curb. Once her cell was connected, she sped dialed Rowe. Although diner was done, she was in for a girl’s night. The two drinks that Reign had consumed had her feeling rather nice. Hadn’t Fabian been tucked away preparing for his game the following day, she would’ve driven straight home to feel his rod deep within her ocean. The thought caused a smile on her face as the lights of the Time Square shined across her it.

 

 

R checked the GPS, certainty parading through his head. He was familiar with the Chelsea area, being that he’d frequented it a few back when business required his presence. Pulling into the three car garage, R admired the set up. It cost a fortune to park on the streets of New York, but this old man had obviously had a garage built for his ride.

Whistling, R understood his method. The matte gray Ashton Martin was worth the hassle and the fee. There wasn’t many on-goers who could afford to replace even the mirror if they swiped it on the street. Nodding his head in approval, R gave credit where it was due.

“Evening.” A young man appeared, looking to be just a few years R’s senior. R managed to close the door behind him before extending his hand to connect with the other guy’s outstretched arm.

As their skin meshed, R noticed how much darker the young man’s hands were from his own. It was an uncanny distinction between the two. This nigga black as fuck. R joked around in his head. Clearing his throat, he locked Reign’s ride, and then began to speak.

“Here to see Huff.”

“Right this way.” He instructed R to follow as he took the lead.

The two were silent as they retracted back into the crisp New York air. R’s senses had heightened, completely aware of his surroundings. Continuously, his neck swiveled and his eyes darted through the dimly lit street. At the sound of feet, he drew his weapon, heart pumping, and adrenaline hiking –immediately.

“Champ. What are you doing, mommas?” R heard, confusion striking him. The guy placed his hand behind him in a non-confrontational way –warning R to lower his weapon.

“Hey Doc. I was waiting for you at the school dance. You said that you’d come.” From what R could see, the young girl was visibly upset.

“AH. You’re right. I had some important business to handle. Can you accept my apology?”

“But you didn’t come!” she stomped her little feet, causing a slight smirk to cross R’s lips.

“I’m going to make it up to you, and you know this. Right?”

“Right?” she lowered her head, and then lifted it back up. This time, her frown was gone, and sadness was no longer in her eyes. “Only if you pinky promise.”

They looped pinkies and recited, “Pinky promise.”

At his waist, his gun hung as he stared at the beautiful little one before them. Her smile was bright as she spoke to the guy that was ahead of him. Discretely, he replaced his weapon.

“Alright. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Okay.”

She ran off into the dark, but R didn’t miss the tent that she crawled under a few feet away. He was consumed with grief as the depth of her situation penetrated his mental. She was homeless. Not one to ask many questions or mind anyone’s business but his own, R continued on his path.

Down a narrow set of stairs and into a white door, R was presented with the cleanest facility in his adult history. The lab resembled a well-kept doctor’s office or hospital. The air inhaled within the space even smelled fresher. Testing material and colored liquids were stored in a glass cabinet while the four tables were pure white and void of substance.

R searched the room for another living being, but to no avail. Finally, he spoke out. “He meeting us down here or some shit?”

His demeanor was bizarrely tranquil. The world could be tumbling and coming to an end, and R would more than likely be the most serene of all human kind. He wasn’t moved by much, unless it was concerning his people or his money. And even then, his feathers were ruffled only slightly. Getting under his skin was nearly impossible.

“Who?”

“The nigga I came here to see.”

“You talking to him.”

“Nah. I’m looking for the Chemist. The old cat.” R rebutted.

“You’re looking at him.”

“Huff?” R questioned.

“That would be me.” he confirmed, shuffling papers around his desk in order to make room for business.

“Wait.” R was dumbfounded. “You’re the nigga that I’m meeting?”

“Doctor Huff,” he chuckled. The awe moment was normalized at this point in Huff’s life. A young, black, successful doctor was hard to come by these days. “That’s exactly who you’re supposed to be meeting. You didn’t do your research?”

“We have people for that.”

“Understood. Have a seat.” Huff extended his arm and directed R to the seat in front of his desk, and the exchange began.

An hour into the meet up, R’s phone was sounding off nonstop. Mali wouldn’t let up, and R was losing his patience with her consistency. Reaching into his pocket, he silenced his cell for the tenth time. Shortly after, his burner vibrated in his pocket. Sensing defeat in the air, R excused himself to answer his business line. Mali didn’t have privileges to that source of contact, so it was safe to pick up.

“What’s good?”

“I need you to get to the hospital, R. Mali is having complications. We’ve been calling you for an hour.” His mother barked into his ear. “Dammit!”

She cussed through her tears, causing R’s chest to tighten. He hadn’t seen his mother cry since he was a little one. The broken tone scared him shitless. She was vocally stressed, so he could only imagine what the sight of her was like.

“Your father and I are on our way to the city. You’d better have your ass at the hospital by the time I get there.”

Silence swept and it was a moment or two before R realized his mother had hung up on him. His mind went into overdrive as he ran towards the garage that housed Reign’s ride. Huff was hot on his heels as he took off.

“Where does the garage lead to?” R questioned. There was a single door, that he hadn’t missed when coming in earlier.

“Pardon me?”

“Nigga. Where the fuck does the door in the garage lead to?”

“A private elevator.” Huff was unbothered by his brashness, aware of the state of emergency.

“Good. I hate to dump this shit on you like this, but I’ve got to roll.” R popped the trunk of Reign’s car and beat down on the trunk twice. He tapped the side once, and then the other side. The base of the trunk lifted, stunning Huff into silence.

Without hesitation, R began chunking the duffle bags filled with cash onto the ground. One after the other, they thudded onto the ground. R finished up, kicking them all out of his path. Hopping into the car, he reversed, and sped forward.

“I’ll be in touch,” he barked as the garage opened to allow his freedom.

Huff stood, perplexed. He’d expected a wire transfer of some kind, but this nigga had left him with straight cash. In that moment, he understood that he was fucking with clients of a different caliber. Any man that rode around with $750,000 in cash without a worry or means of security besides the glock on his side was one he wanted to remain in company with. Like himself, he could see the lack of fear present in his eyes, emitting through his pours.

“How the fuck am I supposed to get all of this shit inside?”

 

Loud screaming could be heard from down the hallway, by reason of excruciating pain. “Excuse me. I’m here for Mali Manson.” R revealed, despairingly.

“Give me one second, sir. Let me finish up here.” The nurse continued pecking away at the screen in front of her.

The hospital walls began to close in on R. He’d never felt so worked up in his life. The nature of the situation was eating away at him, slowly. Yet, he couldn’t control his rapid loss of control. Before he knew it, his teeth were grinding, and venom was spewing from his mouth.

“I don’t think you understand, but I don’t have a second, not another one of them bitches at least. I have a friendship with bad luck, and I feel as though my child’s life may have fallen victim to this shit. Now, if you will, please lead me to Ma-li Man-son.” R hadn’t even realized he’d gripped a hold of the top of the computer screen. Looking downward, he witnessed the white of his knuckles as his grip tightened. He withdrew his hand, fixed his top, and stood back to allow the nurse to do her job after realizing she’d gotten his point.

“Room 128, to the left and straight down the hall. She’s on the left hand side.” She was afraid to look into his eyes as she rattled off the information that she read from the chart.

“Thank you. My apologies.” R responded, apologetically. He’d lost his cool for a bit.

Taking her instructions, R neared the hospital room that he’d been directed to. The smell of pine and plastic incapacitated his nostrils, reminding him that he was in the emergency wing of the hospital. The older lady mid-hall pushing the mob and bucket explained the bulk of his discomfort.

Finally, R noticed that the screaming he’d heard earlier had yet to cease. In fact, it grew as he drew closer to room 128. His heart dropped into his sneakers when he pushed the door open, and saw Mali’s legs shoved into the air, the doctor perched between them, and the opening of her vagina stretched to capacity.

Though he was no doctor or medical professional, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to identify the birthing procedure. Closing the gap between himself and the other occupants of the room, R searched for confirmation of his revelation. The same vagina that he’d sexed religiously was beyond recognition as crimson fluid soiled the bed beneath her. R’s eyes trailed up Mali’s body, and sadness drew him to tears. This couldn’t be his reality.

At only five months, R was certain that they had a-ways to go before their daughter’s debut. The floor shifted beneath his feet as the room seemed to crowd. Mali’s screams became distant, and sweat beads littered R’s face. Reaching, grabbing, hoping that the air he was fisting could break his fall, he was unsuccessful and out of chances. R’s body collided with the ground, and darkness shielded the bright lights of the hospital room.

“Give him some room.” R heard as chased the light that had left him behind. “He’ll be fine.”

His mother’s voice was coaxing, assisting him with the regaining of consciousness. Batting his eyes, R found his way again. The dryness in his throat didn’t do much for his lips as he licked them to lubricate the sand-papered flesh. R grabbed his forehead, which was still banging something awful.

Kelly, his mother, was the first face that graced his sight. She was in utter disarray. Her face lacked the confidence that she wore proudly, her shoulders slummed, and defeat was heavy in her posture. Her pain trickled down to R as he wondered what the matter was. But quickly, it was replaced with rage, a trait of his father’s.

“RJ, drink some water son.” He heard his father’s voice, and a cup was upon him.

“Sit up, first.” Kelly instructed.

With his free hand, his father grabbed his limb arm and pulled him up on the couch that he was resting on. “Urgh.” R groaned, rubbing the back of his head once he’d lifted. There was an obvious knot that was sore to the touch.

Hissing, he tried to recall how he’d gotten it. As he thought back, R accepted the cup from his father’s hand, and sipped. Both of his parents stood in front of him, blocking his path and waiting for him to come to. The sound of the door cracking open caused them all to shift in position.

“Shhhh.” Kelly held her finger over her mouth. “She’s sleeping, now.”

It was Reign and Rowe entering the hospital room since their trip to the parking lot to properly do away with R’s car. In the heat of the moment, Reign pulled it into the nearest spot, which happened to be a towing zone. As Kelly spoke, R looked up between his parent’s bodies. In the bed, just feet away, Mali laid. She looked peaceful as she slept, machine beeping and buzzing.

Like a dodge ball to the face, R’s memory returned. The tilted cup slipped from his hand, and the water he’d just sipped spit from his mouth. His thoughts aligned with the situation at hand, and his eyes fell upon Reign’s. Their senses were kicking in. The two were connected as if they’d been womb mates and separated at birth. Nodding, Reign tilted her head to the side, and did nothing to conceal the pained expression on her face. She felt him, and as his protector she was ready to step in.

Scooting her way through Kelly and Roc, Reign sat on the couch next to R. Pulling him into her arms, she placed his head on her chest. Shielding him from the world and its outside forces, she gave him the approval that he sought out to let go of all that he was feeling.

Low and deep, his belting moved the entire room. R had never faltered, rarely allowed anything to bother him, avoided confrontation, and remained emotionless in nearly every aspect of his life. But this, this killed him.

The room cluttered immediately, everyone’s tears filled the small space. Kelly was a mess as she tried gaining strength to be the mother that her son needed in the moment. Roc’s face was somber, as he rubbed his wife’s back in support. His heart was broken. Their first grandchild had succumbed to death before living.

Rowe stood at the door, watching as her two best friends had their moment. Knowing how much of a connection the two shared, she kept her distance and offered her support just by being present. The hoarseness in R’s throat as he spoke ripped at her chest, opening wombs that she hadn’t known she wore.

Feeling as if the scene was all too familiar and disheartening, Rowe turned for the door. With one quick peep backwards, she exited with plans to return shortly. But at the moment, she needed to gain self-control. This wasn’t her moment. It was R’s, and that was her one concern.

Get it together. Get it together. She repeated over and over. After realizing she needed to put distance between herself and the hospital all together, Rowe took off for the nearest exit. Minutes later, she found herself sitting alone on a bench made for the hospital staff that needed a breather or was on break. Rowe didn’t care much for rules, so she took her chances and had a seat.

The wind blew, taking her away with it. Rowe wiped the wetness from her face, and rested her eyes. Sighing, she started the breathing exercise that Reign had taught her. Slowly, she returned to herself. Opening her eyes, she was blessed with R’s presence. He, too, must needed some fresh air and space to allow his mind to roam. Her anxiety melted at the sight of him. Even in the dark, his figure was less aroused. He’d been overthrown. Life had gambled his heart and lost the match.

Lifting from the bench, she ran over to where R had been standing. Mid-stride, she’d witness him lower himself to the ground. Right next to him, she sat at the edge of the concrete sidewalk, and leaned her head on his shoulder. A sigh left his mouth, followed by a slight chuckle.

“I was foolish to think that after all the bad I’ve did; God would bless me with such goodness. He’s forgiving, but not so much.”

“R…” Rowe started to correct him, but he continued.

“I saw her.” He nodded his head. “I saw her little face. She was as beautiful as I could’ve imagined.” Using the back of his hand, R wiped the tear away from his eye. “They were still cleaning her up.”

“I’m sorry.” That was all that came to mind.

“It’s my fault.” R admitted. “I should’ve answered the fucking phone when Mali kept blowing my line down. I thought she was being her normal self, but she needed me. She needed me and I wasn’t there. They needed me. Now, look at this shit.”

Rowe could hear the pain in his chest as it pumped profusely. His heart rate was rapid, beating like a drum. While Rowe listened, she hated to hear him speak so ill about himself. What the doctor had informed them of was a much different narrative than what R was currently explaining. She wanted to break the news that it was Mali who had induced such tragedy, but understood that it wasn’t her place to speak about it. Although much like family, Rowe wasn’t willing to cross some lines. Even in friendship, boundaries had to be made.

“Don’t say that.” Rowe chastised. “This isn’t anyone’s fault. We can’t think like that. It’s all in God’s plan. Yes, it hurts, but baby girl is in good hands.”

“Raelee.” R responded. “Raelee was her name. It’s what my aunt Bella and uncle RahMeek had plans to name Reign.”

“It’s beautiful.” Rowe cooed.

“A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”

Silence was the next best thing. Although R had quieted, Rowe could sense the pain radiating from his body. She wrapped her arms around his frame, kissed his cheek, and rested into his right side. Rowe wished that delegation was apart of pain’s nature. In that instant, she wanted to gather his hurt, even if it meant the breaking of her own heart. She was accustomed to witnessing R at his best, never having a slip in his ways. The person that she was sitting next to was foreign, assuring her that the amount of pain he must’ve been feeling was unreal and unreadable.

Time got beside both Rowe and R. No words had been necessary after the initial ones. Neither bothered each other as they sat in a comfortable silence. Rowe’s eyes began to close and her head roll off of R’s shoulder before she realized how late it must’ve been.

“We should get going back inside.” She announced.

“Your parents are probably wondering where you’ve gone.”

“Was you inside when the doctor spoke to my parents?” R questioned. He felt as if they’d been withholding details when they spoke about the probable cause of the loss of his daughter.

Rowe’s eyes fell to the ground as she lifted herself.

“Rowe.” R called out. “What did you hear?”

“The doctor said that he’d speak to you once you woke.” R sat on the ground, still.

“And what else?”

“What do you mean?”

“If you heard that, then you heard the rest.”

“R, come back inside so that you can talk to the doctor for yourself.”

“That’s why I’m asking you.”

“Why?” Rowe’s weight shifted from one side to the other.

“Because I’m not going back in there. I can’t. For what?” he shook his head, locking his fingers with one another and looking towards the ground. “My baby girl is gone. Ain’t no sense in me going back in there.”

“R…”

“Tell my people I’m out, but I’m sure they already know so.”

With that, R stood to his feet and dusted the back of his jeans. He turned to leave, demeanor much of the same. Rowe was cornered, but she wasn’t willing to give him the information that he wanted. She just couldn’t.

“Furthermore, I thought we were better than that.” R called over his shoulder as he walked away. Rowe didn’t respond, knowing what was meant by his words. She closed her eyes and willed herself not to speak. Instead, she turned towards the hospital and headed back inside.

 

Hours passed before Rowe walked through her front door. She was emotionally drained, and sleep was screaming her name. There was no problem maneuvering through her small townhome, even in the dark. She found her room in under a minute, stripping as she walked through the door.

The smell of liquor stung her like a bee on a summer evening. She, now, understood that she was not alone, and her company had gotten familiar with her collection of liquor in her absence. Shaking her head, Rowe continued undressing without reservation.

She fingered combed her curly tresses into a pineapple before tying the elastic band that was on her wrist around her head. In her undies, Rowe flung the comforter back and climbed into her bed. The heat from the body of another eased her mind as she got comfortable, pulling the cover up towards her chin.

Seconds later, she felt an arm cross over her core, pulling her near. Sniffing was heard behind her. Thanks to her berry crème flavored shampoo, the smell of her hair was pleasurable. Rowe’s body relaxed under the circumstances, and she waited for sleep to overcome her.

“What did he say?” midway to la-la land, Rowe was brought back to her current space.

“Get some rest. You need it. I can smell the liquor on your skin.” She whispered.

“Tell me.”

Heavy-hearted, Rowe sighed –knowing that there was no avoiding the situation. “She disobeyed the doctor’s wishes to stay bedridden. She went for a run this morning to relieve the stress she’d been feeling lately. It kick-started labor. By the time she reached the hospital, there was nothing more that they could do to save the baby.”

R didn’t mumble another word. Instead, he threw the cover from his body in an attempt to exit the bed. So full of it, he could barely find the floor. When he finally made it to his feet, he bounced back down on the bed. Rowe didn’t bother getting up to go after R, because she knew he wouldn’t get far. He wasn’t a drinker, and the liquor was on his ass. Minutes later, Rowe heard snoring.

R had passed out in the awkward position that he’d fell back in. Being the person that she was, she wouldn’t allow him to sleep that way, so she helped him back into bed. Then, she allowed herself to fall asleep as well.

 

The next day was low-spirited and dreadful for the Jones and Coleman clan. They’d all traveled to the city in support of R, but he’d disappeared after leaving Rowe’s place the next morning after she departed for work. The family had gathered at Reign’s to discuss the situation at hand. Though Kelly was in pain, she couldn’t help but feel scorn by Mali’s stupidity as well. In her first trimester, the doctor had already stressed the importance of not indulging in her rigorous exercising habits due to an incompetent cervix. If she overworked her body at any given point, she was placing the health of her baby at risk –and that’s exactly what she had done.

“What are we doing about Mali?” Meek questioned, cleaning his nails with the filer that was equipped with a sharp end.

“What do you mean?” Reed questioned.

“In my opinion, her little stunt was just like any other motherfucker pulling the trigger on one of our own. Though Raelee wasn’t here in the flesh, yet, she was still apart of us.” Meek clarified himself.