I watched again as the man in the red suit was shot down. I watched as his bodyguards fell beside him and a man, obviously Caucasian tried to stand over him to finish the job just as reinforcements came and the shooter ran. I frowned and played it back again. I didn know what I was looking for but I could also hardly believe what I was seeing. I sat in my office transfixed by this video.

It was eight A.M, and I sat in my robe and pajamas in my office, re-watching a video that made my hand twitch. An hour ago at seven in the damn morning, my phone began to ring. I initially ignored it, thinking they would text or leave a voicemail. I was not a morning person. I wasn myself at all before coffee. The way my phone continued to ring, the person calling back to back you would think someone had died.

Imagine my horror at the fact that someone I cared a great deal for almost had. The video was from almost five days ago and my contact had just now reached out to me. I was pissed about that, but not as pissed as I was the moment my mentor hit the ground. The worst part? He hadn called me at all and I had no idea how the video ended.

With a snap, I closed my laptop as Terrance walked in. In his hands were two steaming cups of coffee. I smelled it even from this distance, and the room was not small. He smiled a little but his eyes were skeptical, he was probably wondering what I was doing and why I was hiding it. Terrance was sharp as a take and I knew I hadn gotten anything past him. I wondered if I woke him with my yelling earlier, I had been kind of loud. Usually, he would be sleeping. Neither one of us was an early riser.

Terrance said nothing as he took a sip of his before handing me a mug. The sweet dark liquid was just what I had been craving but too distracted to go get it. I took a sip and moaned as it went down. It was just how I liked it, black with three sugars. He nodded and went to look out the window of our library office. I sat back enjoying my coffee and watched him. Terrance was someone anyone would notice in a crowd. He stood out and it wasn the fact that he easily towered over most men. It was his energy. Like a gravitational pool people navigated towards him wanting to know more.

People asked me all the time why we lived together. Other people just assumed we were together like a couple and every time he brought a woman home I had to explain we were just friends. Not many people believed us and I could see why. We were insaperatable. If you saw T you saw me and if we weren side by side one of us was on the way. Not to mention he was fine. He had matured beautifully over the last few years. His hair even at this crazy time of the morning framed his strong face on each side in thick black natural waves. He wore a tanktop and you could literally see each muscle in his chest. He had two golds and they made his smile seem special. He was definitely easy to look at, but we were just friends. We were besties and since saving my life in that warehouse we had gotten close. Taking his call that day had been one of the best decisions I had ever made. I truly didn know where I would be without him.

For the unpayable debt of saving my life, he had simply asked that I take care of his grandma at night while he went away to do a six-month bid in the Justice Center. I had asked why he thought I was the best person to do that. After all, I was a gangster and practically a stranger. He told me I had a soft side and he didn trust anyone else to do it. I had been skeptical all the way up Until I met Ruby Mae.

His grandmother had been the happiest most thoughtful woman I had ever met. She appreciated everything and the highlight of her day was her stories. Followed by a visit from yours truly. The way her face lit up whenever I came to see her. To her no-nonsense attitude when I tried to lie and tell her her grandson was away on business. She was quiet most days but said her peace. She had been dying of pancreatic cancer but she didn let it get her down.

She smiled often, got out when she could, and loved to get her hair and nails done. Towards the end, I began doing her hair and painting her nails. When she got really bad I moved into this mini-mansion of a house I still lived in. Like I said Ruby Mae appreciated everything I did and at some point, she wrote me into her will. She always tried to pay me but I kept refusing and in the end, she had still found a way to repay me. She left me and Terrance her house.

This five bedroom, three bathroom house. It was huge and I had expressed on many occasions how much I loved the white stone and pink house. It was the biggest on the block and had two kitchens, a foyer, a library, and a sitting room. The table in the dining room could easily seat ten and the backyard was spacious and beautiful. I loved this house and Terrance had no problem sharing it with me. So we cohabitated and we had each others backs. He wasn really part of The Family or as the streets labeled us F-Mob, but he was an honorary member via me.

”So whats got you up at this time of the morning? Even the roosters are still sleeping and you babygirl are up and yelling. Took me a minute but then I come in to find you sitting at the laptop like you working, but that was video right? You closed it rather quickly. ”

I smiled at the way he talked, like an old man. He said words most people in St. Louis often didn bother to say let alone pronounce. It was cute and added to his charm.

”It was nothing important, ” I replied.

He hummed and then tipped back his cup, before placing it on my desk. He reached for my hand and began playing with my fingers. ”You wouldn be lying to your buddy here would you? ”

I clasped his hand in mine and blanked my face. I was lying and nothing he could say would change that. I shared a lot with Terrance but I refused to share my connect. I never wanted to be part of his demise and therefore he was my best-kept secret, but then again if anyone was to meet him it would be Terrance.

”No, ” I replied but pulled my hands free of his and put them in my lap. ”So any big plans for tonight? ”

”Why? ”

It was a simple question but it was loaded. We used to go out all the time, before the Christian situation. In the last few months whenever he asked it was a flat-out no. Sometimes hell no. However today after being woken up to a disturbing call I promised myself I would make the most of this day. It was time I let Christian go. I had to move on and enjoy my life while I could.

”Because maybe I feel like shaking my ass. Getting way too drunk and probably hooking up with a random stranger. ” I said not missing the look of surprise, I smirked.

He recovered quickly, and replied, ” How about The Club house? ”

The Clubhouse had gotten a few updates over the years. It was now an upscale club at night and a bar and grill during the day. It was always a guaranteed good time and Cheri just so happened to be having a white party tonight. I looked good in white.

”Bet, ” I said standing and putting away the laptop.

”That was too easy. ” He said standing as well and following me into the kitchen.

I topped off my coffee before heading upstairs to get dressed. ”What was difficult about it? ”

”What are your plans for today? ” He asked, all in my business like always.

If it wasn Terrance someone else was on don let Anna kill anybody duty. Like I said I had kind of been in a bad place lately. That was over now though, I wanted my life back.

”Im gonna go visit my mama. Then I will have lunch at R and Ws with Tish, maybe ill invite her out tonight because she been begging me to go out with her. After that, I was going to go meet up with my godfather, I need to check in. The guys will be at the cleaners later, so I was going to go there before coming back to prepare for a night out, that hopefully ends with me bringing someones son home. ” I added a small smile and an eyebrow lift before turning and continuing on my way.

I was at my door when he said. ”Are you really back, A? ”

I didn need to ask what he meant. I already knew. ”Yeah, ” I replied smiling and meaning it for the first time in a long time. ”Im back T. ”

”Meet you at the R and W? ”

”Sure. ”

He nodded once before backing away. I was good and I was back. Fuck Christian James.

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