Authors: Pam Ward
Want Some Get Some
during the Los Angeles riots. After the Rodney King beating, L.A. was seething. Some people took that rage to the streets. Also during this time, another famous video was circulating around. Jayne Kennedy, the Halle Berry of her day, was an actress, model, and TV personality whose image was shattered after a videotape of her was leakedâthe first “sex tape” in L.A. It was a devastating fall from grace, which ruined her career.
Trudy's character was inspired by Kennedy's ordeal. I wanted to create a female character who was viciously exploited by a salacious tape. How would it make her feel? What would she do to get back at her ex Lil Steve, who sells her image?
, the first part of Trudy's story, Trudy is harrassed mercilessly after Lil Steve sells her explicit videotape. Joan, Trudy's jealous mother, tosses her “tramp” daughter into the street. When Tony offers Trudy a slot singing at Dee's, she finally feels alive, but this puts her in the path of hustlers and thieves. Working as a teller in Beverly Hills, Trudy schemes to rob the bank and plans to let Lil Steve take the fall. She romances Charles, a mail carrier she doesn't want but needs, until he agrees to her plan. But Charles has a hothead girlfriend, hell bent on revenge, who is gunning to catch Charles in the act. And now Trudy thinks Jimmy, her last romp before leaving town, may be a cold-blooded killer with no qualms about hurting girls. Their adrenalin-pumping attraction pushes Trudy into full panic, but she downplays this fact to her friends. And although she resents being compared to her mother, a conniving, man-stealing snob, this bank job requires Trudy to lie, steal, and cheat.
Can Trudy's hairdressing friend Vernita get her to see the danger in this bank-robbing scheme? Is getting even with Lil Steve worth risking their lives? Keep reading to find out how a simple robbery turns Trudy's life into vengeful, sex-fueled drama . . .
Want Some Get Some
Bad Girls Burn Slow
Published by Dafina Books
Kensington Publishing Corp.
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
To my supersonic daughters
Mari and Hana
Much gratitude to: My wonderful, sassy mother, Bonnie Moore, who drove us around in a VW bus and taught me the meaning of
my unstoppable father, the architect, James Moore, who zoomed his 911 with zest (rest in peace, Daddy); my blood sisters, Linda and Lisa, whose cars died or blew up on freeways and who helped and hoorayed me in countless ways; my brother, Jimmy, whose ride always stays clean, thanks for all the raw material and always being there; my cousin Rachel who typed this from chicken scratch, we won't say how many cars she had; to all the rest of my family, especially my sweet Grandpa George who gave up driving at 90 but still has steam in his eyes.
To Michelle Clinton and Bob Flanagan of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Foundation; to Leonard Miropol's proofreading eyes; to Eso Won Books, the World Stage and Beyond: Wendy, Wanda, Vee, Nancy, Michael, FrancEye, Peter, El, AK, Merilene, Kamau, Watts Profits, Rafael Alvarado, SA Griffin and to Eric Priestley who peeped me some game; to Terry Wolverton and Heather Haley of the Woman's Building and to Guava Breasts: Michele Serros and Nancy Agabian; to Arvli who encouraged all my artistic endeavors, to Rob Cohen of Caffeine; to my homegirls, Alane O'Rielly, Claudia Bracho, Jeannie Berrard and Francine Lescook; to my new son, Ryan, to Michi and Ron Sweeney and the entire Abrahams family.
To my amazingly tenacious agent, Stephanie Lee, who believed in me from day one; to Selena James at Kensington and to my editor Stacey Barney who put gasoline to this dream. And lastly, to my beautiful and brilliant daughters, Mari and Hana, wear your seatbelts and roar and to
, Guy Abrahams, an Olympian who held my hand the whole way and showed me the road to true bliss.
Want some get some,
bad enough take some!
A schoolyard threat sung before a fight.
immy slammed on his brakes and hung his head out the car. “Get the fuck out the street, you broke muthafucka!”
A wino had stumbled out into oncoming traffic. He did a knee dance near the edge of the curb and just laughed.
“I can't stand them fools!” Jimmy said loudly at the man. “Raggedy-ass bums make me sick!” His twenty-inch rims lapped against the low curb. The bum had to leap to avoid the SUV's tires and fell feet first in the street. Grimacing, the bum cursed them as they drove by. Trudy lowered her eyes and studied her hands.
Jimmy turned off Crenshaw traveling west from Leimert Park and started the slow climb up the hills. Trudy watched as they rolled along through the Dons. Don Felipe. Don Miguel. This was all residential. Stucco homes with pools and well-cared-for lawns. Baldwin Hills was the Beverly Hills of black Los Angeles and was immaculately groomed compared to where she lived.
They pulled in front of a Spanish-style home with a beautifully tiled roof and stained glass windows.
Jimmy jumped out and opened her door.
“Who lives here?” she asked.
“I do. Come on in. ” Jimmy opened the heavily locked door and entered a six-digit security code on a small panel right inside the door. As soon as Trudy stepped in, dogs were barking like crazy. There was a loud, angry chorus of harsh, ferocious growls and claws scratching over wood doors. There was a banging sound, as a dog broke loose from the room. He viciously raced over to where Trudy stood.
“Prince, Prince, stop!” Jimmy yelled at the dog.
Prince was a large Rottweiler with a heavy, wet jaw. The dog paid Jimmy no mind at all. It bolted past him and went straight for Trudy's legs. It jumped at her and then shoved its snout inside her crotch, growling while showing fanged teeth. Trudy screamed wildly and dropped her purse to the floor.
“Prince! Got damn it, Prince, stop!” Jimmy cussed at the dog, socking its face with his fist. But the dog was too forceful. He darted back and nuzzled right inside Trudy's thighs. Trudy screamed again, frozen in her tracks.
“Prince!” Jimmy hollered again, grabbing the dog by its black studded collar. He took a golf club out of the bag near the front door and beat the dog down. Beat it in the legs, the rump and the head. Beat it so bad it lay down on its back, whimpering with its hind legs pointing up toward the ceiling. Jimmy grabbed the dog's collar, dragging him across the smooth floor, shoving him in a room and slamming the door.
“Shit!” he said, wiping dog hairs from his suit. There was a small trail of blood on the marble.
“I told Lemont not to leave the animals in the house. Sorry about that, baby. You going to be all right?” Jimmy gently placed both hands on her shoulders. “I didn't mean to scare you like that.”
Trudy felt that horrible old feeling of dread. Like someone was playing the black notes of a song. Her breathing became labored. She started to wheeze. She cupped her hand over her mouth and breathed her carbon dioxide back in. She hadn't told anyone about these panic attacks. Trudy's whole body felt woozy.
“What's wrong?” Jimmy asked, seeing her horrified face.
“Come on, girl. You'll feel better after you have something to eat.”
Jimmy led her to a dining table elaborately set with fine china and long-stemmed glasses. In the center was a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers.
“Those are for you, songbird.” Jimmy held her hand and Trudy managed a weak smile. She took a large gulp of her wine and fanned her face with her hand.
, she told herself.
Breathe deep and don't panic.
“Look, baby, don't trip. Them dogs ain't nothing but protection. I been hating on dogs since I was seven.”
Jimmy buttered his bread and took a huge bite. “I used to walk to the store for my mama to get eggs and junk. Used to be a German shepherd stayed locked inside a chain-link fence next to Grady's store. Me and Cabbage would toss Coke bottles over the fence and run. Man, that was fun. When them bottles would crash, that dog went mad. Dog lost his mind trying to get back at us. We messed with that hound every day. Growling and barking, tearing up the yard. Man, we both laughed till we cried.” Jimmy wiped tears of laughter from the corner of his eyes.
“But one day Grady left that gate open.” Jimmy stopped laughing and leaned up in his chair. “We couldn't tell 'cause it was one of them kind of gates that opened off to the side. When me and Cabbage threw the bottle that day, all we saw was molars and fur. Cabbage took off, but the dog got my jacket.” Jimmy took off the cuff link on his left sleeve and rolled it up. He showed a thick, rough row of pale, jagged scars.
“We didn't have no doctor money, so mama dipped a rag in some Dr. Tichnor's and kept it covered, rubbing cocoa butter until the skin grew back.”
Jimmy dipped a large shrimp in the horseradish and bit. “Ol' Grady never did find that dog.”
Trudy sat quietly. She watched him chew his food. His light brown eyes held her gaze until she looked away. She scanned the huge room. All the furniture was ornate. It looked like a lavish hotel lobby.
“I see your eyes popping behind that wine. You think I'm some kind of baller, huh?” Jimmy laughed.
Trudy looked at Jimmy. She was beginning to feel okay. “Stock market must be good, or do you just have nice friends?”
Jimmy ignored her and poured more wine in her glass. His eyes went stony. He stared out the window. “You ask too many damn questions.”
Trudy studied his hard face. He reminded her of her mother. Cold-blooded eyes. A harsh, icepick stare. An anger that was always right there. The agonizing silences she endured during dinner. The awful slow chewing of food. Trudy had become expert at judging Joan's moods. How she got out of the car. How fast she washed her hands. If she walked in yelling, “Why isn't there any food on this stove?” Trudy would have holy hell to pay. When her mother got mad there was no bad word she wouldn't use, but her all-time favorite was “slut.” If your bed wasn't made, you were an ol' lazy slut. If the dishes weren't done, you were a filthy ol' slut. Anytime Mr. Hall said he couldn't come by, her mother flew into a rage. Trudy looked at Jimmy and smiled again. She was glad he didn't ask about her family.
“Come on,” Jimmy said, tossing his napkin on his plate. “Let's go out for a ride.”
It was five in the afternoon and Trudy had some packing to do. “I have to get home,” Trudy said, standing up.
But Jimmy grabbed her hand like he hadn't heard and strolled back out to his car. He walked strong, like a man sure of where he was going. His head was held high. His feet moved with purpose. He walked like he owned the whole block.
“Do you have to leave now?” he asked, pressing her against the car, leaning her over his hood. “You got anything like this waiting for you at home?” Jimmy stretched her arms back against the hood. She felt vulnerable but could feel Jimmy's muscular body. It was a strange mix of fear and desire.
The only thing Trudy had waiting at home was a big, bulging stack of pink past-due bills and a sink brimming with dishes. But she wasn't any fool. This was a dangerous brother. But something about that was incredibly attractive. Her body fought hard against her good sense. Every vein was yelling, “I want him to touch me. I want his big hands on my skin.” His silky shirt revealed hard, chiseled abs, and his biceps stood out like grapefruit. It wasn't like she couldn't. She'd done it before. She'd gone home with Billy last month after knowing him for as long as one slow song, but Jimmy was different. Jimmy was rich. Rich boys were used to getting what they wanted. She had to make him wait. Make him beg for it first. Trudy could hear Pearl's voice in her head.
“Girl, you got to hold out, make 'em beg for it first. Let 'em sniff some bone before slicing 'em some meat!” Pearl had smacked her own ass for effect.
“You don't fuck no first date unless you a paid trick. Dick needs to be teased or it don't take you serious. You make him wait and a man starts thinking he's special. Thinks you saving it up just for him. Besides, you need to find out who some of these fools are before you lay down with 'em, chile! Men'll tell a whole gang of lies just to get in them panties. Once they drop, watch how fast they clam up,” Pearl would say.
“I have to get home,” Trudy said, pulling away. “I'll give you a call tomorrow.”
But Jimmy was forceful. Even his eyes didn't blink. His hard body had her wedged over the car.
“Don't go yet. Come while I make this quick run. It'll only take a minute, I promise.” Jimmy held her arms tight and would not let go. She wanted to say no but he was so damn aggressive. And when he kissed her, all down her throat and almost to her breasts, her body was winning the fight.
Jimmy stopped and pulled back before it got too far. “Let's go,” he said, opening her door and letting her into his car.
Jimmy took her down Stocker, past the oil fields off LaBrea. Trudy watched the sad rigs slowly bend toward the ground, like an old field hand picking cotton. They turned and traveled west, until they hit Culver City. They pulled in front of this old-looking tract home. Some of the shingles had come off.
He knocked on the door for a real long time before someone turned on the porch light. A small face peeked out from the window.
A white man who looked like he was in his late fifties slowly opened the door. He stood firmly on the porch and didn't let Jimmy in. Even though the man smiled, he didn't look friendly. He looked like he was trying to explain something important. But Jimmy kept pressing, kept inching up until the older man called out to someone in the house.
A younger man, about Jimmy's age, appeared at the door. The older man disappeared into the back. The younger man looked like the older man's son. He wore big, baggy shorts and an oversized T-shirt. He wasn't wearing any shoes. Jimmy asked him something and the younger man shook his head. Now Jimmy was the one who smiled but didn't look happy. Jimmy stepped real close to the young man's body. Trudy could see something change in Jimmy. It was barely visible. It was more in his movements. He stood very close and was whispering something serious. The boy's movements changed too. His body seemed to stiffen, like a chill ran down through his bones.
Suddenly the father came out again. His face was as tight as a mason jar.
Without looking at Jimmy the older man opened his wallet. He peeled off some bills. He handed them to Jimmy. Jimmy stared at the bills until the man peeled off a few more. Jimmy smiled and put the money in his pocket. He patted the young boy on his back, turned around and came toward the car.
Trudy watched the man and son look toward her.
Jimmy jumped in and angrily backed out the car. He made a sharp U-turn, and the giant SUV felt like it might tip over.
Trudy sat silently in the passenger side. She felt stupid coming with him now. But there was nothing she could do.
Jimmy ran through a stop sign and drove dangerously close to the parked cars. He looked determined and never once looked at her. “I have to make one other stop.”
Trudy shrank back as his tires dared another red light.
“Slow down, baby. What's the big rush?”
Jimmy sat staring straight ahead.
Trudy was getting more and more nervous. He had already run two reds and was edging someone else off the road. A yellow truck honked angrily at them as they passed.
Jimmy pulled up next to the man. He rolled down his window and screamed from the car, “You want some of this, you no-driving punk?” The truck driver quickly sped away.
Jimmy drove to a residential area in Beverly Hills. Trudy looked out the window. “Ah shit,” she said to herself. It was the house of the tan-suit man she'd followed home from the bank. Jimmy leaned out and rang the buzzer until the metal gate slowly opened. Trudy scooted way down in the passenger seat. She didn't want the tan-suit man to see her face. She was glad when Jimmy didn't invite her in.
“I'll be right back,” Jimmy said, closing the door hard.
But he wasn't. Jimmy was gone a long time.
Trudy sat in an orangey haze for almost an hour. And when the sun ducked behind a house and the street immediately turned gray, she yawned, putting her palm across her mouth. She was bored looking at the same manicured front yards and clicked opened the glove compartment and began rummaging inside. She saw a crumpled map and a pair of black gloves. She saw an envelope from the DMV. She pulled it out. It was the registration for the car. Trudy pulled the paper all the way out. The name on the outside of the envelope wasn't Jimmy's. The car was registered to somebody named Zeno. Then she saw a little black notebook. Trudy flipped it open. It was a list of deposit amounts and dates. She saw a flowered organizer shoved way in back. The organizer looked girly, like it belonged to a woman. Trudy pulled it out and unzipped both sides. Inside was a large metal gun. Trudy heard a door close and looked quickly up. Jimmy and the tan-suit man were closing the trunk of a Lexus. They lifted a tire and put something inside. Now Jimmy was coming. The tan-suit man came too.
Oh my God!
He'll recognize me.
She zipped the flowered case but the zipper got stuck. She tugged at the zipper but it wouldn't go any more. She saw the tan-suit man at Jimmy's side. They both were almost at the black SUV's door. Finally the zipper broke through the snag and rolled around the case. Trudy shoved the case inside the glove box and shut the small door. She pulled on the seat latch until she lay completely flat. She peeked and saw Jimmy two steps from the car. Trudy closed both her lids just before he opened the door, pulling her sweater up close to her face.
“What, you asleep?” Jimmy asked, shaking her a little too hard.
Trudy pretended to yawn and opened her eyes. Jimmy placed a small satchel behind his front seat.