Alibi, p.1
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       Alibi, p.1

           Teri Woods
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  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

  Copyright © 2009 by Teri Woods

  All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

  Grand Central Publishing

  Hachette Book Group

  237 Park Avenue

  New York, NY 10017

  Visit our website at

  First eBook Edition: August 2009

  Grand Central Publishing is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  The Grand Central Publishing name and logo is a trademark of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  ISBN: 978-0-446-55206-6




























  This book is dedicated to Brian Murray.

  Thank you for believing in me Brian Murray, you helped me believe

  in myself. There would have been no hustle and no True to the

  Game if not for you. Thank you for your crap money for the night. I

  will never forget what you did for me.


  I would like to thank my family, Phyllis and Corel, Chucky, Dexter and Judy, Andrew, Christopher, Brenda and Carl, my children, Jessica, Lucas, and Brandon. I would like to thank my cousins, Lisa, Ndela, Shirley, Linda, Uncle Clarence and Aunt Vera, Louise, Debra, Sharay, LaLoni, Lori, and Ava. I would like to thank my friends, Aaron Freeman, Afriye Amerson, Aimee Minier, Alonzo Harris, Amber Ayers, Amil, Angelita DeSilva, Apalena Reynolds, Arturo of Love, Francesca Simons, Mary Ann, Bashir Cruz, Benedetta, Billy Vaughn, cousin Kim, Big Mike, Pop, Bowie, Branson Belchie, Brett Johnson, Brian Murray, Cathleen Trigg-Jones, Cavario and Khadijah, Tiffany and Kevin Chiles, Mobeys, Amy Ruths, Sylvia’s, Clayton, Corey, Neet’s, Sunny and Neet Viner, Mia X, DC Bookman, Devins Fish, Dion Ferron, Doug Mills, Elena George, Enjoh Palmer, Sheila Palmer, Eric, Celebrity Seafood, Farrah, Fernanda, Groovy Lou, Kendu, Rasun, Lou Hobbs, Lenise aka Queen Pen, Kashan Robinson, Jackie Rowe, Mike Tyson, Sticks, Horace Madison, J. Jesse Smith, James Ellis, Johnny Nunez and Angelique, Karen Morelli, Latoya Smith, Kenya Moore, Lamont Henchmen, Leon Blue, Manie Baron, Maria Nunez, Scott and Maria Werling, Evan and Joann Wexler, Bobby and Maria Schetilich, Mary Morrison, Meda, Melinda, Michael Coleone, Ms. Pauline, Crystal Lacy Winslow, Miz and Oh, Monica Childs, Tracey Childs, Thomas and Betty Jones, Linda and Al Salvador, Sharwin and Nancy Green, Natasha Bynum, Nia Hill, Noble, Novella Simpson, Oouii, Pam Johnson, Pam Nelson, Portia, Raina, Richard Holland, Ricky Winkfield, Don Carlo, Councilman Oscar James, Mayor Corey Booker, Robi Reed, Sabrina Woods, STK’s, Phillipe’s, Crustaceans, Professor Samuel V. Jones, Saskia, Scab, Scotty, Sean Raynor, Shontay Paige, Steve Bennett, Tia, Tommy Del Gatto, Grissini’s, Vella, Vic Most, and Village. To those in this industry who supported me, including but not limited to: Kedar Massenberg, Lamont Henchmen, Alan @ Koch Entertainment, Steve Rifkin @ Loud Records, Jeff Clanagan @ Code Black, Kevin Liles, Black Rob, Swizz Beats, Jada Kiss, Styles P, Sheik, Queen Pen (thank you for letting me stay with you), Amil (thank you for letting me stay with you), Jay Z, Damon Dash, Don Pooh, Remy Ma, Stevie J, Branson, Zab Judah, Keisha Cole, LL Cool J, Tyrese Gibson, Lil Kim, Hassan Johnson, Lauren London, Diamond and Arkell, Meda, Jay Ice Pick Jackson, Rocwiler, Red Man, Method Man, Des Ellis, Shauna Garr, Elle, Wendy Williams, and Hot 97. I would also like to thank all the people that give me their time, countless hours, and energy working with me. It is a pleasure to know and do business with you all, Jamie Rabb, Linda Dug-gins, Karen Thomas, everyone at Grand Central Publishing, Jeff Silver, Manny Haley, Joe Dinoto, Simon Rosen, Troy Carter, Tracey Braithwaite, The Portney Management Group and John Pelosi. And last but not least, a special thank you to all my favorite mom and pop bookstores, Barnes and Noble, Borders, B. Dalton, and Walden chains across the country that support me.



  Hey, Lance, come here, look,” whispered Jeremy, standing in an alleyway pointing to a window in what appeared to be an apartment row home on the 2500 block of Somerset Street in North Philadelphia.

  “What, I don’t see nothing?” whispered Lance back to him.

  “The window—it’s cracked. It’s not shut all the way, right there. You see it?” asked Jeremy as he pointed to the window. His keen vision surpassed that of Lance, who was nearsighted and unable to see far when he wasn’t wearing his glasses.

  “You sure they in there?” Lance asked, trying to figure out what the next move should be as an alley cat jumped out of a tree next to him, scaring the living daylights out of him. “Nigga, I know you not laughing,” he said to Jeremy, who couldn’t help himself.

  “You shoulda seen your face… Naw, for real though, I’m telling you, I followed them all day. They’re in there.” He shook his head, showing no signs of uncertainty in his voice. “I watched them go in there with two duffel bags. They went in and they haven’t come out, neither one of them. And them duffel bags they had were chunky, real chunky. They holding a lot of money or a lot of coke. Damn, they holding.”

  Many different thoughts rushed around in Lance’s head, the first one being how much money and how much coke their competition was holding in the house. Right now, more than ever, he needed a come up. A strong come up and he knew in his heart that this was it.

  “You sure it’s just the two of them in there?” Lance asked again, his heart starting to beat a little faster as the adrenaline rushed through his veins.

  “Man, I’m telling you. We can take these jokers. They caught off guard. They won’t even see us coming. We got one chance, Lance, just one, and this is it.”

  Lance needed to play the whole scene out in his head. He wanted no stone to be left unturned. There could be no mistakes, no mishaps, no fuck-ups. Jeremy might be right—this just might be his one and only chance or better yet his golden opportunity to come up. Times were hard and the only nigga in the city moving weight was Simon Shuller. Simon Shuller had been getting money for years. Everyone knew it too. Not only was he the largest drug dealer in Philadelphia, he had to be the police as well. There was no way he could run drugs, dope, and numbers year after year and not be in jail by now. But he wasn’t in jail and Simon Shuller, police or not, was the man with the golden hand in the city, the big kahuna with all the money, and those two unknown suspects inside the row home on Somerset were his runners. Truth was they could have left the door wide open, ’cause anybody crazy enough to mess with anything belonging to Simon Shuller had to be plum out of their minds.

  “Man, I must be crazy listening to you,” said Lance, looking at Jeremy.

  “Shit, you crazy if you don’t, my friend. I’m telling you, we might not ever get this chance in life again. We could s
neak in, take what we came for, and sneak right back out.”

  Lance thought for a minute longer. Maybe Jeremy is right, we sneak in, take what we came for, and sneak back out. How hard could that be?

  “Okay, come on, let’s do the damn thing,” Lance commanded, feeling nothing but heart.

  “That’s what I’m talking about, baby boy. Don’t worry, I got this caper all figured out already. Come on, let’s get the car and park it close enough to make our getaway.”

  Up on the fire escape, Lance looked at Jeremy, who was silently cracking the window open. He turned and waved his hand for his friend to come on. He climbed through the window and into what might once have been a bathroom. Jeremy turned again, to find Lance on the fire escape climbing through the window behind him.

  “What the fuck died in this motherfucker?” whispered Lance, as a foul stench filled his nostrils.

  “Shh, come on,” said Jeremy as he embraced his nine-millimeter and peeked around the corner of the doorway, looking like he belonged on the force.

  What the fuck do this nigga think he doing?

  “Whah, why you looking at me like that?”

  “Nigga, you ain’t no god damn Barnaby Jones and shit. What is you doing?”

  “I’m trying to make sure the coast is clear, man—let me do what I do,” said Jeremy, a tad bit annoyed.

  What with their whispering back and forth, neither of them heard the footsteps coming down the hallway. Not until the footsteps were right on them and the bathroom door came flying open.

  “What the fuck? Y’all niggas lost?” said a tall, brown-skinned fellow, wearing a Phillies jacket and Phillies baseball cap.

  At first he thought they might’ve been crackheads, but then he saw the shiny chrome steel and knew differently.

  “Shut the fuck up, before I kill you in this motherfucker,” said Jeremy, quickly maneuvering his gun and pointing it straight at his victim’s head. “Come on, let’s go.”

  Jeremy held the man on his left side, close to his body. He held his gun in his right hand up to the man’s head as they began walking back down the hallway. They heard another guy call out from the living room.

  “Yo, Ponch, we need more vials. You gonna have to run down to the—”

  His sentence was cut short as he saw his man, Poncho, being led by Jeremy and Lance through the doorway with a gun pointed at his head.

  “Don’t even think about it, Shorty,” said Lance, pointing his gun at the guy sitting at the table stuffing tiny vials with two hits of crack.

  “What the fuck?”

  “Nigga, you know what it is. Bag that shit up, put it back in the duffel bag and don’t nobody got to get hurt.”

  The man at the table, Nard, quickly surveyed everything that was going on. These dudes ain’t wearing no masks. That can only mean one thing. And even though Jeremy and Lance’s intention wasn’t to kill, just rob, Nard felt otherwise and being a true thoroughbred for Simon Shuller, he’d rather die fighting than give them niggas a dime, even if the coke wasn’t his. Some things in life were just more important, and his reputation for being a “real nigga” was one of them. Nard was a youngster with mad heart, and for the dough, he had love. For the streets, he had respect, and for a principle about some bullshit, he would fight tooth and nail. He slithered his arm, without a glance, under the table. Right where he had put it earlier was a tiny .22, a piece of duct tape keeping it suspended upside down. Mmm hmm, we gonna see now, motherfucker. Nice and smooth and just enough to do damage, he was ready, ready to pop off. Quickly, his fingers fondled the cold steel, until his grasp was tight. Nard came from under the table so fast, no one saw it coming, not even Poncho. He shot Lance one time in the chest, the bullet piercing his heart. Lance dropped to the floor holding his chest with one hand and his gun in the other, the bullet moving inside him. He looked up at Jeremy, gasping for breath and collapsing in a red pool of blood.

  “Let him go, motherfucker!” shouted Nard.

  “Nard, take this, nigga. Take him. I know you can, baby boy, take him,” Poncho yelled.

  “Shut up, shut the fuck up,” said Jeremy, now nervous, as his man was gasping for air, gurgling blood, and reaching for him to help him.

  “Let him go, let him go. Let him go and I’ll let you live,” said Nard, meaning every word he spoke, but trying to be calm as he talked Jeremy into letting his man go.

  “Nigga, give me what the fuck I came for or both you motherfuckers is gonna die,” said Jeremy, with lots of heart, pushing the gun harder into the side of Poncho’s head. He looked down on the floor. Lance was dead. Oh, my god, he killed him, he killed Lance.

  “Motherfucker, I ain’t giving you shit. Let him go!” Nard yelled again.

  “Take him, Nard, what the fuck is you waiting fo…”

  The shot from Jeremy’s gun seemed unreal at first, a mistake, a misfortune, something that wasn’t suppose to be, a gap, a space, time that needed to rewind. In slow motion, so slow, Jeremy felt Poncho’s body slump to the floor as Nard watched Poncho, his main man, die right in front of him. Poncho’s blood, and fragments of his head, landed all over the wall and covered the entire side of the room. His blood even splattered on Nard, all this within a matter of seconds.

  Instinct moved through Nard, like a thief in the night, and like lightning, the bullet from that tiny .22 pierced through Jeremy’s chest and threw him back several steps, as his body began to slump against the door. His fingers unable to grasp, he dropped his gun and looked down at the blood pouring out of his body, then fell to the floor, lying on his back. He stared up at the ceiling as his body stopped breathing. Jeremy didn’t even see it coming, it just happened so fast. Nard hit him with the strike of magic and poof, just like that, Jeremy was gone.

  “Fuck!” yelled Nard, holding his head in his right hand, his gun still in his left. “Fuck, god damn it. Fuck you come here for, stupid-ass motherfuckers?” he yelled, angrily interrogating a dead Jeremy and a dead Lance. “Damn, what the fuck am I gonna do now?”

  He surveyed the room as he talked and cursed the dead bodies around him. “Motherfuckers!” he said as he kicked a lifeless Jeremy. What am I going to do? What the fuck? He checked the three bodies lying on the floor for a pulse, starting with his man, Poncho.

  “Damn, Ponch, man. I’m so sorry, man. I’m so sorry,” he said as he felt Poncho’s wrist. “I love you, man. I love you. Fuck!” He started thinking about the consequences of what had just happened. “Fucking police, man. Fuck, what am I going to do?”

  He just couldn’t think straight, his brain was overwhelmed, to say the least. He threw all the crack, vials, and other paraphernalia into a duffel bag that was lying under the table and left the other one, which was empty lying on the floor. He looked around the room, grabbed everything that belonged to him, tried to wipe off the table, doorknobs, and everything else he had touched in the crack spot and quickly ran out the door and down a flight of stairs.

  “Hey, Nard, be careful, they shooting in the building.”

  He quickly turned around, his gun still in his hand, but tucked inside the front pocket of his hoodie.

  “Hey, Shorty,” he said as he looked at a kid standing in the vestibule. He couldn’t have been more than nine, maybe ten years old. He didn’t know the kid’s name, but this kid knew his. “Yeah, you be careful too, kid.”

  He quickly brushed past him, threw his hoodie over his head, made his way out the door, and quickly walked down the street to his car.

  “DaShawn, get in here! Don’t you hear them shooting? Come on, boy!”

  Nard looked up and saw a young black girl hanging out a window, hollering for the same young kid that Nard had just brushed past inside the building.

  “I’m coming, Ma. I’m right here.”

  Nard could hear the little boy as he walked away from the spot.

  Please tell me this kid ain’t no problem, or the window chick. Fuck, man, fuck! I need me an alibi. And where the fuck is Sticks? Simon is gonna be heated, b
ut at least I got his coke. That’s all I need to do is get at Simon. I got to get rid of this gun, too. Yeah, that’s all I’ll need is an alibi and I’m good.


  Nard drove through the park and made his way to West Philly. Even though he hustled down North, he actually lived in Southwest Philly with his grandmom and Uncle Moe on Fifty-seventh and Hatfield Avenue. He opened the door, and as usual Moe had fallen asleep in an old recliner in the far corner of the living room. He tiptoed right past him, glancing at the clock hanging on the wall in the dining room behind an archway that separated the dining room from the living room area. Too dark. He flipped on the light switch and quickly flipped it off. Damn, it’s three-thirty in the morning, he thought to himself. He quietly made his way upstairs, tiptoeing by his grandmom’s bedroom door. He walked down the hall to his room. He opened his closet door and put the duffel bag inside it. He sat on the bed and thought back over everything that had happened. Where did they even come from? What the fuck was they thinking coming up in there trying to rob us like that? Fuck! But of it all, he kept hearing Poncho over and over yelling inside his head.

  “Take him, Nard, what the fuck is you waiting fo… what the fuck is you waiting fo…”

  What the fuck?

  He got up and shook the spirit of Poncho out of his head as he paced around the floor. His adrenaline was in overdrive and his speed had bypassed the limit the instant his .22 dropped Lance to the floor. He had committed a double murder. As it stood he had two bodies. Why they have to come in there? He could honestly say that had they been wearing masks, the situation might have played out completely different. But the wheels of time had already been set in motion. And he couldn’t bring time back.

  He picked up the phone and dialed Sticks’s pager. Wait till he finds out what happened. This shit is all his fucking fault. Had he been there on the lookout, things could have really been different. Damn it! And that god damn little boy, DaShawn, and his fucking mother hanging all out the window.

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