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Authors: Kiki Swinson

Playing Dirty

BOOK: Playing Dirty
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Playing Dirty
Also by Kiki Swinson

Wifey

I’m Still Wifey

Life After Wifey

Sleeping with the Enemy
(with Wahida Clark)

Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Playing Dirty
KIKI SWINSON

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

http://www.kensingtonbooks.com

My children definitely mean the world to me, so I have to dedicate this masterpiece to them. We have weathered many storms, and God has brought us through them every single time. I am totally grateful for that. He is truly awesome!

To my editor, Selena James, I know I plucked your nerves throughout this entire project, so I have to thank you for your patience. Just know that I work better under pressure.

To my agent, Crystal L. Winslow, I know I plucked your nerves, too, but you and I have been working together for years now, so you’re used to it (
smile
). Just kidding! Thanks for always having my back!

To all my readers out there, I love y’all so much! And thanks for making Kiki Swinson a household name.

From the Beginning

“O
kay, Yoshi, it’s your time,” I whispered to myself. Iran my hands over my Chanel pencil skirt to smooth out the wrinkles. Then I turned toward the large bathroom mirror and checked my ass—along with my silver tongue and beautiful face, it was one of my best assets. I stood in the old-fashioned marble courthouse bathroom, making sure I looked as stunning as always before I made my way to the courtroom. My assistant had just texted my BlackBerry to tell me the jury was back with a verdict. The jury had only deliberated for one day. For a defense attorney, that could spell disaster. But that rule stood for regular defense attorneys—and I’d like to think that I was in a class by myself.

The trial had had its moments, but through it all I shined like a star. On the second to last day, I had all but captured the jury in the palm of my hand. I used my half-Korean background and my native Korean tongue to appeal to the two second-generation Asian jurors. My mother would’ve been so proud. As a proud Korean, she always wanted me to forget that I was half Black. She spoke Korean all the time. It had everything to do with the volatile relationship she had with my father before he packed up and left New York to go back to his hometown in Virginia when I was only eight years old. Him leaving the family devastated my mother, but I was okay with it. I got tired of listening to them fuss and fight all the time. And it seemed like it always got worse on the weekends when he came home drunk.

That wasn’t the life my mother’s parents had in mind for her after they emigrated all the way from Korea to Brooklyn, New York. I’m sure they felt that if she was going to struggle, then she needed to struggle with her own kind. Not with some African-American scumbag, alcoholic, warehouse worker from Norfolk, Virginia, who only moved to New York City to pursue his dreams of making it big in the music industry. My mother, unfortunately, picked him to father me. When I got old enough to understand, my mother told me that as soon as my grandparents got wind of their relationship, they disowned her. But as soon as my dad packed his shit and left, they immediately came to her rescue and wrote her back into their will. They were so happy that nigga left, they got on their knees and started sending praises to Buddha.

I couldn’t care one way or the other. I mean, it wasn’t like we were close anyway. From as far back as I could remember, I pretty much did my own thing. After school I would always go to the library and find a book to read, which was why I excelled in grade school. After graduating from high school, I thought about nothing else but furthering my education in law. I had always aspired to be a TV court judge, so I figured the only way I could ever have my own show was to become an attorney first. So here I was defending my client, the alleged leader of the Fuc-Chang Korean Mafia, who was on trial for murder, bribery, and racketeering. Now I knew he was guilty as hell, but I pulled every trick out of the bag to make the jury believe that he wasn’t.

“Ms. Lomax, the jury returned its verdict after just one day of deliberation. Are you worried?” a reporter called out as I made my way down the hallway toward Judge Allen’s courtroom. A swarm of reporters surrounded me, shoving microphones in my face. I never turned down an opportunity to show up on television.

“A fast verdict is just what I expected. My client is innocent.” I smiled, flashing my perfect white teeth and shaking my long, jet black hair. And right after I entered the courtroom, I switched my ass as hard as I could down the middle aisle toward the defense table. All eyes turned toward me. I could feel the stares burning my entire body. My red Chanel suit was an eye-catcher. It showed off my curves and it made me look like a million bucks. When potential clients approach me for representation, they are not surprised to learn that I charge a minimum of $2,500 an hour. They don’t even blink when the figure rolls off my tongue. The way they see it, you never put a price on freedom, and with my victory rate, how can they lose?

Right before I took my seat at the defense table, I looked at my client, Mr. Choo, who was shackled like an animal and guarded by courtroom officers. He appeared cool, calm, and collected, unlike the men in black across from him. The prosecutors sat at their table and fiddled with pens, bit nails, and adjusted ties. They looked nervous and frazzled, to say the least. I was just the opposite. In fact, I was laughing my ass off on the inside because I knew I had this case in the bag.

The senior court officer moved to the front of the jam-packed courtroom, ordered everyone to stand, and announced Judge Allen. I looked up at Judge Mark Allen, with his salt-and-pepper balding head and little beady eyes. Mark is what I call him when he’s not in his black robe. As a matter of fact, it gets really personal when he and I get together for one of our so-called romantic interludes. Last week was the last time he and I got together, and it was in his chambers. It was so funny because I let him fuck me in his robe with his puny five-inch wrinkled dick. He thought he was the man, too. And when it was all said and done, I made sure I wiped my cum all over the crotch of his slacks. Shit, Monica Lewinsky ain’t got nothing on me. I wanted him to know that I had no respect for his authority or his courtroom. After I let him get at me, and I bribed a few of the jurors, all of the calls in the courtroom went my way. The prosecutors never had a chance…. It was amusing to watch.

The judge cleared his throat and began to speak. The courtroom was “pin drop” quiet.

“Jury, what say you in the case of the
State of Florida
versus
Haan Choo?
” Judge Allen boomed.

The jury foreperson, a fair-skinned Black woman in her mid-fifties, stood up swiftly, her hands trembling. “‘We, the jury, in the matter of the
State of Florida
versus
Haan Choo
, finds as follows: to the charge of first-degree murder…not guilty.’”

A gasp resounded through the courtroom. Then the scream of some victim’s family members.

“Order!” Judge Allen screamed.

The foreperson continued without looking up from her paper. “‘To the charge of racketeering…not guilty. To the charge of bribery…not guilty. And to the charge of conspiracy…not guilty.’”

Mr. Choo jumped up and grabbed me in a bear hug. “Yoshi, you greatest,” he whispered in broken English.

“Order!” the judge screamed again. “Bailiff, take Mr. Choo back to booking so he can be released.” He had to go through his motions to set Mr. Choo free. I looked over at the prosecutors’ table and threw them a smile. I knew they all wished they could just jump across the table and kill me. Too bad they hadn’t taken what I had offered them after the preliminary hearing. Both assistant district attorneys were new to the game and overeager to take on their first high-profile case. Out of the gate they wanted to prove to their boss that they both could take me on, but somebody should’ve warned them that I was no one to fuck with. With a smile still on my face, I strutted by them and said, “Idiots!” just loud enough for only them to hear. Then I threw my hair back and continued to strut my shit out the courtroom.

After I slid the city clerk’s head administrator ten crisp one-hundred-dollar bills, it only took about an hour to process Mr. Choo’s release papers. Money talks and bullshit runs the marathon! And before anyone knew it, Mr. Choo and I were walking outside to greet the press. He and I both were all smiles, because he was a free man and I knew that in an hour or so, I was going to be $2 million richer; that alone made me want to celebrate. But first, we needed to address the media. Cameras flashed and microphones passed in front of us as we stepped into the sunlight. Mr. Choo rushed to the huddle of microphones that all but blocked his slim face from view. “Justice was served today. I am innocent and my lawyer proved that. I no crime boss, I am family man. I run my business and I love America,” he rambled, his horrible English getting on my nerves. I waited patiently while he made his grand stand and then I took over the media show.

“All along I told everyone my client was innocent. Mr. Choo came to the United States from Korea to make an honest—”
Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!
The sound of shouts and then screams rang in my ears. Then I heard someone in the crowd yell in Korean, “You fucking snitch!” The shots stopped me dead in my tracks; my words tumbled back down my throat like hard marbles, choking me. I grabbed my arm as heat radiated up to my neck.

“Oh shit, I’m hit!” I screamed. I dropped to the ground, scrambling to hide…and saw Mr. Choo, his head dangling and his body slumped against the courthouse steps. His mouth hung open and blood dripped from his lips and chin. Before I could figure out what to do next, someone snatched me up from the ground. I didn’t know where we were headed—my thoughts were on my throbbing arm and my racing heart. Then suddenly my vision became blurry and the world went black.

 

My career changed after Mr. Choo’s trial. Shit, after having almost lost my damn life, I would not accept anything less than the best.

After the shooting, the law firm of Shapiro and Witherspoon was thrown into the media spotlight like never before. I became known as the “ride-or-die bitch attorney” that would take a bullet to get a client off. I became the most sought-after criminal defense attorney in Florida. Sometimes I didn’t know if that was good or bad. But one thing was sure, my life changed and my appetite for money and power grew more and more intense. I started living each day as if it were my last.

Years ago, I never thought I would have turned out to be the way I was today. When you look at it, I had become a heartless bitch! I could not care less about anyone, including my own damn mother. Even when having a nightcap with my flavor of the night, I never let my feelings get involved. Once I put the condom on him, I reminded myself that it was only business and that my client’s freedom was on the line, so everything worked out fine. That’s how I kept men in line. After the shooting, I vowed that my heart would remain in my pocket forever.

BOOK: Playing Dirty
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