True to the game ii, p.1
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       True to the Game II, p.1

           Teri Woods
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True to the Game II


  Copyright © 2007 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 Web site at www.HachetteBookGroup.com.

  The Grand Central Publishing Books name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  First eBook Edition: November 2007

  ISBN: 978-0-446-50079-1

  Contents

  COPYRIGHT

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  READY, SET, GO

  LET THE GAME BEGIN

  MONEY AIN’T A THANG

  TAKE THAT

  HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL

  SAY CHEESE

  WIRED

  GENA’S SAKE

  ANOTHER DAY IN THE TRENCHES

  WHATCHA SAYIN’

  DON’T STOP GET IT GET IT

  SHE’LL BE COMIN’ ROUND THE MOUNTAIN

  DO I DO

  SKIP TO MY LOU, MY DARLING

  VISITING HOURS

  BUGGED OUT

  PAYBACK’S A BITCH

  SCHEMSTERS

  HOME SWEET HOME

  SNEAKY SNEAKY

  THE M IS DEAD

  THE VERDICT’S OUT

  YOU LOSE TO WIN

  ON AND POPPIN’

  DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  DEAR READERS

  AN EXCERPT FROMTRUE TO THE GAME III

  It would all be so simple for

  someone to rob her right now.

  Gena switched on her turn signal, slid over into the exit lane, and left the highway. Her eyes were glued to the rearview mirror. The BMW took the exit. Fear bordering on panic overtook her.

  It’s not supposed to be like this! Gena thought. They must know I got the money.

  She turned onto the access road and accelerated as hard as she could. She would head back to Philly, where she could lose whoever was following her in the tiny, narrow side streets she knew like the back of her hand. She would run back to safety and worry about stashing the dough later.

  The black BMW sped up, trying to keep her in sight. Gena raced down the access road. She could still see the halogen lights of the BMW in her rearview mirror. And with each passing mile, she became more of a wreck. She had her whole life ahead of her, and she didn’t want to die; not like this . . .

  I dedicate this book to my daughter, the most beautiful image of myself there could ever be, and to my baby boys, what a joy in my life, the greatest reinvention of myself. I love you all with everything I am. Always remember who you are.

  —Mommy

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  I would like to thank Hachette Book Group and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to be a part of something great. I am truly grateful to be signed to you. I would like to thank Karen Thomas, my editor, for believing in me and orchestrating my deal. I want to thank Linda Duggins, my publicist, for working so hard with me (you do have your hands full). I want to thank my publisher, Jamie Rabb, I love your style and I want to do numbers and I want to win! To Marc Gerald, my agent, who I always said would never be but I’m so glad you are. And to my publishing attorney, John Pelosi, you are simply the best. And last but not least, my life partner, Luke Riggins, for standing beside every step I take out here and for always wanting the best for me.

  READY, SET, GO

  The second time Gena saw the black BMW in her rearview mirror, she thought it a mere coincidence. The third time she saw the Beemer, she thought that it was just another car traveling east, among a plethora of other vehicles. And then she saw it a fourth time, and then a fifth. It was deliberately trying to keep its distance, trying not to be noticed, trying to blend in with the other vehicles on the highway. But she noticed it. And now she suspected that she was being followed. Who the fuck is behind me?

  She stomped on the gas, only to see the BMW increase its speed. When she slowed down, it too slowed. And now she was about to conduct the ultimate test. She was about to exit the turnpike and turn back around toward Philly. If the BMW exited the highway, and turned around with her, then she would definitely have her answer.

  Being followed was a frightening thing any day of the week, but being followed when you had millions of dollars in dope money in the trunk of your car was something else entirely. Maybe someone seen me, maybe someone else knows. Niggas had killed for less. And niggas had went hard in the paint to get paid. But this, this would be an easy come up for anybody. She had taken the treasure out of its safe hiding place, and now someone had painted a great big fucking X on her fucking forehead. It would be so simple for someone to rob her right now. She wondered if they even had instructions on how to do it. Peel back cap, dump bullets inside, take money, congratulations, now go live happily ever after, motherfucker.

  Gena switched on her turn signal, slid over into the exit lane, and left the highway. Her eyes were glued to the rearview mirror. The BMW took the exit. Fear bordering on panic overtook her.

  It’s not supposed to be like this! Gena thought. Who the fuck is following me? They must know I got the money. She hadn’t asked for this. She didn’t deserve to get fucked off, just because she claimed what was rightfully hers. Qua was her man. He was going to marry her, after all, and she was entitled to the money that he left behind. I should have never took that keychain. She had put up with a lot of bullshit for this money: bitches calling, bastard children, and hoes sweatin’ her man all the time. Yes, I shoulda took them keys, Quadir wanted me to have them, so he must have wanted me to have this money. She had lost her best friend, she had lost her man, she had lost Lita. She had earned that fucking dough. And nobody had the right to take it from her. Not jackers, not the Feds, not the Philly PD, nobody. Fuck this.

  Gena turned onto the access road and accelerated as hard as she could. She would head back to Philly, where she could lose this motherfucker in the tiny, narrow side streets she knew like the back of her hand. At worst, whoever it was behind her wouldn’t be so stupid as to risk following her back to Gah Git’s house. Niggas weren’t trying to run up in Richard Allen and cause no static, especially at Gah Git’s house. Gah Git was too well loved by everybody in the hood for that shit to happen. Naw, she would run back to safety and worry about stashing the dough later.

  The black BMW accelerated hard, trying to keep Gena in sight. The driver didn’t want to be detected but could tell he had been spotted by the way Gena was driving.

  “Fuck!”

  There was no doubt he had been spotted and there was no doubt that Gena was trying to lose him. The good thing was that the mouse was heading back to the mouse hole, and that was exactly where she needed to be. She would be easier to catch that way. And so would the money.

  Gena raced down the access road, trying to get away from her pursuer. She could still see the halogen lights of the BMW in her rearview mirror. And with each passing mile, she became more of a wreck. She had her whole life ahead of her, and she didn’t want to die; not like this.

  A yellow light blinked on, and a soft chime rang out, causing Gena to look down at her dashboard. It was her fuel light. She had millions of dollars stuffed inside pillowcases in her trunk, and no gasoline in her tank. Damn, I ain’t never got no gas when I need it. What the fuck am I going to do now? Pull over, all alone, on the side of the road, with a gank of money in the trunk of my car, be robbed, or even worse, murdered. No, that bitch ain’t me, Gena thought, shaking her head. She was going to find a gas station. Maybe the motherfucker wouldn’
t risk popping her in front of so many witnesses; especially if she found a big gas station. An Exxon, Mobil, Valero, Shell, or even Lukoil; fuck it, we’ll take Wal-Mart out this bitch! Just somewhere where there’s a bunch of people around. She spotted the red, white, and blue Exxon sign just down the road, and a smile slowly spread across her face. She was going to make it.

  Gena left the access road riding on nothing but fumes and raced into the gas station parking lot. The black BMW exited with her and followed her into the parking lot. Gena pulled up to a pump, while the Beemer pulled into a faraway corner and sat idling. The black sedan’s dark-tinted windows prevented her from seeing who, or even how many, were inside the car. She climbed out of her Benz, hit her alarm so that her trunk would lock, and raced into the store.

  “May I help you, ma’am?” the store clerk asked rudely.

  Gena rubbed her sweating palms on her pants. “I . . . I . . . I . . . think that I’m . . . I don’t know.” She stuttered so bad, and her mind raced so fast, that she could not form a coherent sentence. “I . . . think. . . . Help me.”

  “What’s the matter, pretty girl?” a voice asked from behind.

  Gena turned in the direction from which the voice had come. She swallowed hard and shook her head.

  When Jerrell saw her, he recognized her instantly. Although he didn’t know her name, and he couldn’t place her face, he knew that she looked familiar.

  “What’s the matter, ma?”

  Gena shook her head. “I’m just . . . having a rough day, that’s all.”

  Jerrell smiled at her. “Well, what can I do to make it better?”

  Jerrell’s smile was infectious. It made Gena crack a slight smile.

  “There you go, pretty girl,” Jerrell told her. “That’s the way I want to see you looking. You feel better already, huh?”

  Gena exhaled and peered out the glass window. “I think I had somebody following me.”

  Jerrell frowned, as thousands of thoughts raced through his head. Why would someone follow this broad? She ain’t even wearing no jewelry. Let me find out this bitch got a stash. He would certainly stick around and find out. If not for some dough, then at least she would be a good fuck.

  Jerrell clasped Gena’s hand. “Show me who they are, ma. I’ll take care a them niggas.”

  Gena was startled. The nigga was fine as hell, mad cute. But even beneath his good looks, a motherfucker could tell that he wasn’t to be fucked with. Thank God, I’ve been saved. This nigga look like he can go round for round, and he talks like he might have a little gangsta up in him. Yeah, he can handle this shit, Gena told herself. And suddenly, she began to relax.

  “It’s that black car right there,” she told him, feeling every bit a snitch.

  Jerrell walked out of the store and peered in the direction that Gena had pointed. The black BMW was pulling out of the parking lot and turning back in the direction of the turnpike. Jerrell counted to ten, and then walked back into the store.

  “Did you see it?” Gena asked nervously.

  “I took care of them, ma,” Jerrell told her. “You don’t have to worry about them no more.”

  “Are you for real?” Gena asked.

  Jerrell nodded.

  “Thank you so much!” Gena told him. She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a hug. “I’m sorry, I don’t even know your name. What’s your name?”

  “Jay,” he told her. “My name’s Jay.”

  Gena shook Jerrell’s hand. “I can’t repay you for this.”

  Jerrell nodded. “Yeah you can.”

  “How?” Gena asked, lifting an eyebrow.

  “Let me pay for your gas, and let me walk you to your car and pump it for you.” Jerrell told her. “And then let me follow you back to where you are going, so that I can make sure that you make it home safely.”

  Tears fell from Gena’s eyes and she hugged him again. “I just met you, and you’re so nice. I’m telling you I was really being followed.”

  “Hey, don’t worry about nothing anymore, ma,” Jerrell told her. “You’re safe with me. I got you, okay?”

  Gena nodded.

  “Which car is yours?” Jerrell asked.

  “The blue Mercedes,” Gena told him.

  Hot damn, that’s what I’m talking about, Jerrell thought. Let me find out this broad is rolling. No wonder she thinks she was being followed. Niggas was probably trying to jack the bitch for her ride. Probably a bunch of youngsters trying to make a quick come up. Jack her car, take it to a chop shop, make a few thousand. See, that’s what’s wrong with youngsters today; no fucking vision.Why yank the bitch from the car, and risk catching a carjacking case? All you got to do is just finesse these broads out here; stroke ’em, fuck ’em, and milk ’em until they credit card bills look like a New York lottery number. Youngsters these days have no finesse, no G in their game. But I’ma show ’em how it’s done, baby; old-school style.

  Jerrell tossed a twenty-dollar bill onto the counter. “Put it on the blue Benz,” he told the cashier.

  Jerrell clasped Gena’s hand and led her out to her car, where he sat her inside the vehicle and closed the door. Then he pumped her gas.

  Inside the Benz, Gena closed her eyes and leaned her head back on the headrest. She felt something that she hadn’t felt in a long time. She felt that she had someone looking out for her again. She felt like she had just met a really good man, one who wanted to take care of her and keep her safe. Wouldn’t that be something? She missed that feeling. She missed being able to wrap her arms around a man and feel safe. She missed having the man of life in her life.

  Jerrell finished pumping Gena’s gas and then walked to the driver’s side window, which she had rolled down.

  “Hey, I want to call you tonight,” Jerrell told her. “I want to make sure that you’re okay.”

  Gena nodded, pulled a pen from her purse, and wrote her number on the corner of an envelope. She tore the number off the paper and handed it to Jerrell.

  “I’ma follow you home to make sure that you’re safe, okay?” Jerrell told her.

  Gena smiled. “Thank you so much, Jay. You’re the nicest guy that I’ve met in a long time.”

  “No problem, pretty girl,” Jerrell told her. He caressed the side of her face, and then turned and headed for his vehicle, climbed inside, and waited for Gena to pull off. Jerrell pulled off just behind her and trailed her as she headed onto the turnpike, back to Gah Git’s house, and back to safety.

  His fucked-up crew had blown through all of his bread while he was locked up, and he had spent the remainder of his dough fighting that bullshit case. And now, now he had been given a beautiful, lonely, scared bitch to fuck. Ain’t life grand? And it’ll be even grander if this bitch got a couple of dollars so I can come up again.

  “Woooooeeeee!” Jerrell let out an excited scream, as his imagination ran wild. He dreamed of fucking Gena on top of a pile of money, and then suffocating her in that same pile of Benjamins afterward. It was obvious that she didn’t know who he was, and it was obvious that she was feeling all of the nice, concerned, protective shit that he was throwing her way. Which meant she was lonely and didn’t have a man to turn to. Maybe her man’s in jail or maybe the nigga’s just steppin’ out on her every night. Either that or the nigga is a weak motherfucker and don’t know how to protect his bitch. Either way, I got to find the story out on Ms. Gena.

  Jerrell had made up his mind and he had decided that he would get to work on that as soon as time permitted. But first, he had major important things to attend to; like catching up with all them niggas that fucked up his dough and had nothing but excuses about why he was broke. Yeah, he would take care of them, and he would get with his baby girl too. One thing at a time, though. One thing at a time.

  “Don’t worry, Boo,” Jerrell said to Gena’s taillights. “Daddy’s here! Daddy’s gonna spank that monkey real good, and give you all the man that you need!”

  Jerrell settled in for a long drive back to North Philly, d
reaming of what he was going to do to Gena and everybody who owed him. I can’t believe them niggas fucked up my money. They must’ve never thought I was coming back home. Never once did he realize that the treasure he so deeply desired was only fifty feet away from him, in the trunk of Gena’s car.

  LET THE GAME BEGIN

  Lieutenant Mark Ratzinger lifted his bottle of Advil liquid gel caps and tossed two of them into his mouth. He tossed the bottle back onto his desk and washed the pills down with a couple of sips from his coffee mug. He was up to about ten caplets a day. Those little green caplets, and his gallon of caffeine-laden coffee, were the only things that seemed to be sustaining him these days. Why, he didn’t know.

  He was divorced, twice, to be precise. With his last headache gone, he didn’t know why he was so stressed out. Once the ink was dry on his divorce papers, he shouldn’t have suffered from another headache, or at least that’s what he thought. Getting rid of that bitch had been the best moment in his entire life, and to top it all off, he didn’t have to give her a damn thing. She made twice as much as he did, and they had the good fortune to not have any little rugrats, so the divorce was quick, clean, and sterile. Kind of like his ex–psychotic whore, the one he called a wife, was in bed; quick, clean, and sterile. What kinda sick bitch cleans her pussy with an alcohol swab after making love to her husband? Yeah, he was real glad to be done with her.

  Lieutenant Ratzinger rose from his desk and strolled down the hall of the busy police station and into a conference room where several occupants were waiting impatiently.

 
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