“Price?” Braylon asked.
Seven loved the back and forth. He could tell that Ball wasn’t from where he was from because he didn’t fear Seven. Most hustlers would be afraid to haggle with Seven, but Ball took the meeting by the balls and fought for control. Both Seven and Ball knew who the real boss was, and they both knew that at the end of the day Ball would end up working beneath Seven. The negotiating was refreshing. Ball was about his business and his money, which caused Seven to respect him.
Seven smirked. “Reasonable,” he responded, referring to the price of his product, but not throwing out a specific number. Seven was smart and there was a mystique about him that drew both men and women in. Men wanted to emulate him and women wanted to be with him. Ball was no different. He was enamored by the enormity of Seven’s reign. He had done his research before walking into the bar. Seven wasn’t to be fucked with. A modern day gangster ... Seven was the stuff that legends were made of.
Lola sat silently by Ball’s side and she watched him closely. She looked for anxiety, for shade, noting his character. She could read a man like a book.
No closed fists, no clenched jaw ... he’s not nervous. He’s maintaining eye contact,
she noted thoroughly in her head. Nothing about Ball’s body language was throwing red flags. Even when Seven let silence linger in the air purposefully to rattle Ball, he remained composed. Seven and Lola locked eyes for a split second. That was all it took for Seven to notice the approval in Lola’s gaze. She had given him the thumbs up without saying a word. He trusted Lola’s word. She had never steered him wrong before. Ball was a go.
“I need to know a more specific price before I can say yay or nay, nah mean?” Ball asked.
“No you don’t,” Seven responded. “All you need to know is that those I have chosen to do business with in the past is getting money. They’re wealthy. Wifey’s happy, kids fed... . Are you in or out?”
Ball looked from Lola to Seven and nodded in consent, “I’m in.”
The connection had been made.
“Where are you staying?” Seven asked.
“The Hyatt,” Ball replied.
“Lola will be in touch,” Seven stated as he picked up his business phone and began to dial a number. Lola stood and Ball wasn’t quite sure if the meeting was over, but when Seven looked up from his phone call and said, “You’re still sitting here?” Ball knew there was nothing left to say.
He got up and headed out of the office feeling as if he had just made the biggest move of his life.
“By the way, I go by Ball. Call me Ball.” he said as walked out of the door.
Braylon sat straight up in his hotel bed and rubbed his eyes as he looked over at the clock that sat on the nightstand. It was 7:00
and he irritably got out of bed.
“Fucking room service ... I ain’t ordered shit,” he grumbled as he crawled out of bed and walked over to the door. He opened the door and to his surprise no one stood on the other side. In place of the voice was a large black duffel bag. Braylon stepped out into the hall and looked from one end to the other, but no one was in sight. He bent down and picked up the bag before carrying it inside his room. He closed the door behind him and then tossed the bag on his bed. He unzipped the bag to find the prettiest bitches he had ever seen. Ten kilo’s sat inside, neatly wrapped in clear cellophane.
Dumbfounded he pulled a brick out of the bag. It was uncut. He could tell by the way it sparkled and his hustler’s instinct quickly kicked in.
I can make these birds fly,
he thought. It was then that he realized that he was stepping into a league that he was unfamiliar with. He had been getting money, but Seven was on some other shit. He was hustling in a major way. He hadn’t even told Seven his room number and the room wasn’t registered in his name. Just the fact that Seven was able to locate him told Braylon how large he was and he silently hoped that he didn’t get in over his head. He was about to transform into Ball ... the hustler. He would have to play this role to regain his freedom. In actuality, it was the beginning of the end.
Exit Braylon, Enter Ball
Ball let the water cascade down his naked body as he rested his hand on the shower’s wall. He was impressed by the recent delivery that he had just gotten. Seven handled his business with swagger and professionalism. Ball was dealing with the upper class in drug distribution at that point. Honestly, he was nervous about stepping into this dirty game on the same side as the law. He stepped out of the shower and was startled when he saw a man standing at the door looking at him.
“Oh shit!” Ball yelled as he almost slipped on the floor. He noticed that it was Dame who had snuck up on him. He never thought he would be so happy to see a cop. He honestly thought Seven had sent one of his goons to kill Ball that quickly.
“What the fuck man?” Ball said as he stood there naked.
“Get on some clothes and meet me in the front. Quick.” Dame demanded as he left out. Ball grabbed a robe and headed to the front where Dame waited at the small dinette table.
“What the fuck you sneaking up on me for?” Ball said as he dried his ears with a towel.
“First of all ... I can do whatever the fuck I want. You are state property until I’m done with your ass. Let’s be clear on that.” Dame said with a stern tone as he pointed at Ball.
“Whatever. Hold on. I got good news.” Balls said as he walked to the closet. He grabbed the duffle bag that Seven had arranged to be dropped off to him and walked to the table where Dame was seated. Ball then emptied the plastic wrapped bricks onto the table.
“Who gave you this?’ Dame asked as his eyed looked on in awe.
“Seven did. So I’m done right? I got the drugs, now go arrest his ass and send me on my way,” Ball said.
“Seven actually gave you these himself?” Dame asked with skepticism all over his face.
“Well, not exactly. This morning I heard a knock at the door and when I answered this is what I found. But I saw him the previous night and he basically told me that he was going to hit me with the bricks.”
“That’s not good enough. If we want to put him away for a long time, we have to build a case. This is not going to happen overnight. This is a slow grind that I handpicked you for. You have to get in his circle and move like him. We need to get him to trust you and let you in. This way you can get us to the source. You have a get out of jail free card. You can basically break any law and not worry about getting in trouble. Any law except murder.”
“Is that right ... ?”
“So I want you to do what you do best nigga ... hustle. I want you to do what you do and don’t think about what’s at the end of the road. It’s either you go all the way in or don’t go at all. I don’t have to tell you the alternative do I?” Dame asked as he stood up and tossed one of the bricks to Ball. “Jail for a very long time. Think about it.” he said just before he left the room, leaving Ball alone to think to himself.
Snitching with Benefits
Ball dropped the dope off to Dame at the boxing gym and Dame gave him more money to re-order with. They were about to slowly build a strong case against Seven. Dame brought Ball to the backroom where a young man with a briefcase was waiting for them.
“What the fuck is this?” Ball asked as he stared at the young light-skinned man in front of them. He closely resembled a Hollywood model with his good grade of hair and high yellow skin.
“This is Gary, he’s a police officer who is about to go undercover.”
“Okay, what does this have to do with me?” Ball asked.
“I want you to introduce him to Seven as a potential buyer. We have never had someone get close to Seven like you have. We need a more experienced person working on the inside.” Dame said as he folded his arms and leaned against the wall.
“You got to be kidding me? This nigga?” Ball said with skepticism as he pointed at Gary. He began to look Gary up and down and knew that Seven would sniff him out a mile away. “You trying to get me killed? I can’t do that. This nigga ain’t been in the streets a day in his life.”
“You do not know anything about me nigger,” Gary said as he stood up and poked out his chest. Ball couldn’t help but to burst out in laughter.
“First of all, it’s nigga, not nigger. This is the shit I’m talking about. This nigga ain’t street. And you need to sit yo’ punk ass down before I pistol whip yo’ ass,” Ball said with a smile stepping into Gary’s face.
“Hold up!” Dame screamed as he stepped in between the two men. “Settle down! And Ball, you ARE going to introduce him to Seven. If not, I’ll ship your ass back to prison so fast that your head will spin.”
“I can’t believe this bullshit. Okay, I’ll do it.” Ball said after an extended moment of silence. “At least tell me you don’t want me to introduce him as Gary. That shit sounds weak.”
“No, I go by G-Dog.” Gary said proudly in protest. Ball couldn’t help but to chuckle.
“Look, your name is G. That G-Dog shit is corny as fuck. And please go get you some new clothes and not none of this bullshit you got on.” Ball said as he shook his head and put his hands on his waist. Gary remained silent as he looked down at the clothes he had picked out as street gear.
“Cool. Now come over here and let me show you something.” Dame walked over to the table and flipped open the briefcase. He exposed several pieces of platinum and gold jewelry. All of the pieces were shiny and diamond clustered. Ball immediately knew they were real and expensive by the way it looked.
“If you’re going to play the part ... you have to look the part. These are pieces that were confiscated from drug dealers over the years. Raids, seized items, and evidence inventory had stockpiled over the years. Take your pick.” Dame said as he stepped back and let them pick their jewelry. Gary instantly went for the biggest piece in the briefcase. He grabbed a platinum chain with a diamond encrusted Jesus head. The piece was custom made and was one of a kind. He put it around his neck and looked down in pure admiration. He always fantasized about wearing one and he finally had the opportunity to put on a chain worth more than his house.
“I am going to take this,” Ball said as he grabbed a modest platinum Rolex with a diamond front. It wasn’t too flashy, but it looked like money. It was a perfect fit for him.
“Great. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. We have to build a case on this man and take him down. Let’s take our time and try to get deep in his organization.” Dame said as he closed the briefcase and walked out. “Have a goodnight gentleman. And remember, I’m always watching.” He said as he exited the room, leaving the two men alone.
Ball looked at the corny dude next to him and shook his head, knowing that he wasn’t fit to play the part. Fucking around with Dame’s people was sure to get him killed. He would never introduce anybody to Seven again. He was going to do it his way from that point on. Period.
New York State of Mind
Club Karma was rocking. Seven and his crew were in the building in the VIP section. It was a particularly special night. It was Lola’s birthday and everyone in the city came out to show love to the first lady. The Goon Squad along with Seven and Lola, posted in the roped off section in the rear. All eyes were on their section but no one could come close to the infamous crew. The goons posted front and center making sure no one crossed into their section. The bass thumped through the speakers and it was a couple of ticks before midnight. Lola danced by herself with her hands in the air as her favorite song came through the speakers. A bottle of Rose’ was in her hand and she drank the thousand-dollar champagne like it was water.
Ball sat at the bar and sipped on a vodka and cranberry, periodically glancing at the VIP section. He got wind of the party and under Dame’s order, was forced to go and mingle. Ball pulled out a wad of money and peeled off a fifty to pay for his drink. He told the waitress to keep the change as he turned his back on the bar and scoped out the place. Ball noticed men and women’s heads beginning to turn as a woman walked by. She had the biggest ass Ball had ever seen in his life. Her thin waist made her look like drawn cartoon figure, rather than a real person. Her body was simply amazing. She wore a tight fitting dress that hugged her figure, leaving nothing to the imagination. She wore red stilettos and a short bob hairstyle similar to that of actress Nia Long’s. Every time she took a step, her weight shifted from one plump butt cheek to the other. Her juicy behind jiggled every time her foot hit the pavement and the men drooled over her as she made her way to the bar. She approached and stood right next to Ball, ordering a drink.
“What’s up daddy?” she asked as she looked over at Ball and smiled, showing her pretty smile. Her smooth, brown complexion and dimples solidified her beauty and Ball was definitely impressed.
“What up,” he answered coldly as he looked her up and down and then back at the dance floor.
“Nice watch.” She added as she glanced down at the diamond encrusted Rolex. It seemed as if her eyes lit up when she saw the jewelry on his arm. She couldn’t hide it. Ball caught on.
“Thanks.” Ball said uninterested. The girl could feel his unwelcoming vibe and she quickly jerked her head and rolled her eyes.
“Your loss,” she said as she got her drink and walked away. Ball smiled and shook his head at her ignorance. The word gold-digger oozed from her personality and Ball saw right through her. He didn’t want any part of her. Zoey was the only girl that was on his mind, so hooking up with a chick was the last thing on his mind.
“Shorty got a fat ass though,” Ball said to himself as he watched her walk away. His eyes followed her as she walked to the corner of the room where two guys were leaning against the wall in black hoodies. She whispered something to one of them and walked away. Ball’s antennas instantly went up, but he dismissed it when a tap on his shoulder took his attention. It was Lola.
“Yo, what’s up homeboy?” she asked holding an extra bottle in her hand.
“Hey Lola,” Ball said as he smiled and looked her up and down. Although she dressed casually, wearing skinny jeans and a small jacket, she still had sex appeal.
“I got your text. You done with them joints already?” Lola said referring to the bricks that she hit him with.
“Yeah, I’m on the last joint. I need to re-up,” Ball said confidently as he took a sip of his drink.
“Yo, come up to VIP with us. I saw you over here looking lonely,” Lola joked as she unleashed her smile. She handed him a bottle and led him back to their section. Ball bobbed his head to the music and approached the booth Seven and a couple of ladies were sitting at.
“Look who I found in the crowd,” Lola said as she slid in the booth next to Seven.
“The new kid on the block,” Seven said as he smiled and extended his hand. He slapped hands with Ball, greeting him.
“What’s the word?” Ball asked as he scoped the VIP scene. The club had roped off the whole section for Seven and his crew. Only Goon Squad was allowed. Of course, a couple of special females were granted access. Bottles were flowing and they owned the club.
“Just celebrating my little sister’s birthday,” Seven said as he downed the rest of his champagne.
“Happy birthday, Lola B!” One of the goons yelled as he held up a bottle. He also let a couple of girls into their section. Lola stood up and whispered to Seven that she was about to use the restroom. Lola stood up and headed toward the restroom while the goon unhooked the velvet rope and stepped to the side, letting the stampede of stallions gain entrance. All eyes were on the girl in the red dress with the gigantic ass. She was the same girl that had approached Ball just minutes ago.
Seven leaned over toward Ball and said, “I hear you making them things move. Your whole supply gone in seven days; I see you out here,” Seven said as he nodded his head in approval. Just as Ball was about to respond, the girl in the red dress slid next to Seven. Seven’s attention immediately diverted to the voluptuous woman who had just sat down.
“How you doing, mister?” the woman asked.
“I’m good, ma. I saw you from up here. You got the whole club’s attention,” Seven said as he downed another shot of liquor that was in front of him. Normally he wouldn’t drink that much but he was determined to celebrate on behalf of Lola’s special day. Ball looked toward the corner of the room and saw the two men that the girl in the red dress whispered to, watching closely. He instantly knew something was up.
Look like stick-up kids to me
, he thought as he let the situation unfold.
“Hi, I’m Kim,” the girl said to Seven.
“I’m Seven. Nice dress.” He said with a slight grin.
“I hear you run this town,” Kim said to Seven as she placed her hand on his lap.
“Is that right?” Seven answered in a slurred voice. The drinks had him feeling good at that point.
“Yeah that’s right. I have been watching you all night. I’m not going to lie ... you make me horny as hell,” She said cutting straight to the point.
“Damn baby. You don’t hold any punches do you?” Seven asked as he sat up and looked down at her thick hips.
“Naw, not really. I’m from BK and we don’t beat around the bush. I’m here for the weekend visiting my cousin and I’m trying to have a goodtime,” she said as she licked her lips while looking deep into Seven’s eyes. Her sex appeal was undeniable and she had mastered the art of seduction. She slipped her hand over to Seven’s croch area. He quickly removed her hand, but she went right back to it. Persistence was the key.
“Brooklyn huh? You are a long way from home sweetheart,” Seven said as he felt the woman palm his manhood as she begin to stroke it. He wanted to remove her hand but it felt so good. His thin Armani slacks didn’t make it any better. He felt his manhood began to grow.
“Everybody saying you the man around here, and I only fuck with the best. I want to taste you,” She said as she inched closely to him, putting her lips on his ear. She let out a slight moan and licked his lobe, sending chills up his back.
“Damn, ma,” Seven said as he closed his eyes. He had women throwing themselves at him all the time, but with the influence of the liquor and the woman’s skills ... he was weak.
“Let’s talk somewhere a little more private,” she requested as she slid from underneath the table and stood up. Her big juicy behind was in direct eyesight of Seven and it only enticed him more. She wiggled to pull down her dress over her hips and it was like she was moving in slow motion. Seven’s joint instantly got rock hard and he slid from underneath the table also.
“Tell Lola I’ll be right back,” he said to Ball as he smiled and winked. Ball smiled back as he looked at the girl’s body. Seven pulled the girl through the back entrance where his crew had parked. Ball looked over at the dudes posted on the back wall as they exited through the front door almost simultaneously with Kim and Seven. He knew something was up. The rest of the goons were so busy partying and bullshitting, they didn’t notice what was about to go down. They didn’t even notice that Seven had slipped away. Ball was from the East Coast so he could spot a stick-up plan from a mile away. It was the advantage of having a New York state of mind.
Seven watched as Kim played with her clit while sucking him off. He threw his head back in pleasure while sitting in the back seat of his spacious Cadillac truck. The way she used her tongue was nothing short of amazing. She took him in her mouth and circled her tongue around his throbbing shaft. The sexy sound of her wet box getting popped by her fingers was driving Seven crazy. She was a certified freak and he had never seen anything like it. She began to move her hips in a grinding motion and she inserted her two fingers inside her vagina.
“Oh my God,” Seven said as looked down at her neatly shaven vagina.
“I wanna feel this big dick inside of me,” she whispered as she sat up and began to stroke his manhood. She pulled her dress over her head, revealing her small perky breasts. Her nipples stuck straight out like little fingers and Seven instantly began to suck them. Kim straddled Seven as she reached for her purse. She pulled out a condom and put it on Seven’s manhood. She then removed the gun that was on his waist.
“This thing is poking me,” she said as she tossed it in the front seat. That must have been the signal, because as soon as she tossed it, the back doors flew open taking them by complete surprise. It was one of the two men from inside the club. It was a setup. Seven couldn’t believe this was happening. The girl quickly hopped off his lap and pulled down her dress.
“Aggh!” she yelled as looked around in confusion.
“You know what time it is homeboy! Take us to the bricks and the money.” The masked man said as he held the gun to Seven’s head. Seven began to laugh as he put his hands up.
“Do you know who the fuck I am?” he said as he shook his head from side to side, knowing that the youngsters didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.
“Shut the fuck up,” one of the masked robbers said as he struck Seven across the face with the butt of his gun. Seven instantly grabbed his nose as it began to bleed. The robber pulled Seven and the girl out of the car. Seven was thrown onto the ground and the masked man stood over him.
“Take me to the spot or I’ma blow your bitch’s brains out and then yours,” he said. A Jimmy truck pulled up and the door opened. It was the other guy from the club.
“Yo, let’s put him in the trunk and get the fuck outta here,” he said as he got out of the trucwk with his hands up. “Hurry the fuck up!” he added. He never saw who was creeping up behind him.
“Thank you very much,” Ball said as he relieved him of his gun, while digging his own into the stick-up kid’s neck. “Drop that homeboy or I will blow this mu’fuckas brains out.” Ball said as he looked over at the other assailant that had a gun to Seven. Ball instantly saw the shaking hand of the gunman.
Ball pulled back the hammer of his gun and calmly said, “Now I’ma give you one more chance. If you don’t let my man go, I’ma dead this nigga right here. One ...” before he could even get to the next number Seven grabbed the gun from the man and put his own gun in his face.
“Bitch-ass nigga,” Seven said as he struck the man across his face. Ball pushed the man he had been holding at gunpoint on the ground next to his partner. He and Seven stood over them with guns in their faces.
“Bitch, you get down there too,” Ball said as he pushed Kim onto the ground. Seven looked at Ball like he was crazy for pushing Kim, thinking she had nothing to do with it.
“That bitch set it up. I saw the whole thing,” Ball said as he caught Seven up to speed.
“Oh, yeah?” Seven said as he looked at the woman who laid in front of them speechless. Seven pulled back the hammer of his gun and pointed it at the woman. Ball instantly got nervous and grabbed Seven’s arm.
“No, not here. There’s cameras all around this mu’fucka,” he said trying to avoid catching a murder charge.
“Yeah, you right,” Seven said as he looked around. Just as he was about to say something else, Lola and his goons bust out of the back door with their guns drawn.
“Y’all a day late and a dollar short,” Seven said through clenched teeth. He was furious that his team didn’t catch the caper. “If it wasn’t for this nigga, I would be in a trunk right now. Put these niggas in the car. Dumb mu’fuckas!” He said angrily as he put his gun in his waist and walked away. He threw his arm around Ball and walked him to his truck.
“Roll with me for a minute.” He said as he shook his head in disbelief. And just like that it was over.
“What are they going to do with them?” Ball asked as he looked back to see the goons stuffing the stick-up crew into their own trunk; all three of them.
“They’re just going to smack em’ up a little. This isn’t the first time niggas have tried to test me. I have to stay on my shit. If it wasn’t for you and your alertness ...” Seven stopped and looked into Ball’s eyes. “I don’t wanna even think about it. Let’s go have breakfast.... on me.” He said as the jumped into the truck. Seven knew that Ball was a great asset to his team and he needed someone sharp like him. It was the beginning of something real.