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Authors: K. Lyn

White Diamonds (3 page)

BOOK: White Diamonds
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A loud pounding on the front door caused Vicki to jump.  “Who is that?”

“Shh, I’ll be with you.”  Wilson could sense Vicki’s fear and he could feel the pounding of her heart.  Her eyes were huge and her hands were shaking as she pulled on her jeans and shirt.  Zipping up his jeans, Wilson followed behind her.  “Stay back a little,” he cautioned.  “Ask who it is.”

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, Vicki, open up.”

“Mike?”  Vicki began to shake until she felt two strong arms around her and a kiss on her cheek.  “It’s my ex,” she whispered.  Vicki began to feel cold and weak.

Wilson lowered her to the floor and laid her head on his leg.  He brushed her hair from her face and wiped the sweat from her forehead.  “What the hell did that man do to you?”

Vicki lay there exhausted until the familiar panic attack had passed.  She looked into Wilson’s deep set dark eyes and smiled.  “Thanks.”

“You don’t have to let him come inside.  This is your house, right?”

“Yes, but he’s a very powerful man.  He knows some very vile characters.”

“Damn, Vicki, he’s not in the mob, is he?”

Vicki’s eyes told Wilson something he wasn’t sure he wanted to know.  “I don’t know, but I have suspected that he might be.”

“Damn, woman, I was joking.”

Vicki struggled to her feet and held onto Wilson.  She whispered, “I have to let him in.”

“You want me to be gone?”

She held onto him tightly, “No.”  She slowly opened the door, but left the chain latched.  “What do you want, Mike?”

“Come on, Vicki, open the door.”

“The divorce was final!”

“So it was.  You wouldn’t know your next door neighbor, would you?”

“I just moved here, Mike.”

“Hmm.  Well, if you see him, let him know that his squatting days are over.  His was one of the last of the mortgages our firm acquired, and we don’t waste any time on deadbeats.”

Vicki reached a hand back to Wilson, but he wasn’t there.  “Is that it, Mike?”

“For now.”

Vicki closed the door and ran to the kitchen.  “Wilson?”  She stumbled on the stairs to her bedroom but kept on going as she called his name again, but he didn’t answer.  She ran down the stairs and out the back door.  Bursting through the back door of Wilson’s house, she screamed his name.  She heard pounding and followed the sound to the front door.

“What are you doing?”

“Pounding this sucker shut.”  He swung his hammer at nail after nail as he attempted to seal the front door.

“Why did you leave me?”

“Look, Vicki, do you know anything about organized crime?”

“I didn’t know his company was a part of that sort of thing, I swear.”

Wilson stopped pounding and turned to face her.  “I didn’t say you did, but I’m not going to be killed or kidnapped in my sleep.  There’s no way out when it comes to the mafia, Vicki.  Years ago a friend of mine went missing.  He was gone for several months and those of us who searched for him received numerous death threats, myself included.  Do you know where he was found?”  Vicki shook her head.  “He was found in Lake Erie, his decaying body tied to a tree and half eaten by who knows what?”

Vicki put her hand to her mouth, fearing she might vomit.  “It’s not worth it, Wilson.  Let them have the house.  Live with me.”  She couldn’t stop the words from flowing.

Wilson stared at her as if she had sprouted a second head.  “It’s not the house I care about.  Everything in this place has a history, and it’s my history.  My ancestors slaved, literally, to be free, to be acknowledged, to be a part of Americana.  Maybe you don’t understand that…”

Vicki slowly walked over to him, stood on her tiptoes, and wrapped her slender arms around him.  “Don’t you think I know?  I was married to an evil tyrant.  He took everything from me.  He took the one thing I had to give the man I truly love…a belief in love.  And I want to believe in love with you, Wilson.”  Wilson felt the tears from Vicki’s eyes as they slid down his chest.  He lifted her into his arms and kissed her lightly on the neck.  She wrapped her legs around him and tightened her arms around him.

“You give me everything, Vicki.  You open your body and soul to me.”  The warm tears sliding down onto his flesh touched something deep inside of Wilson.  No woman had loved him as Vicki did.

“I’m sorry, Wilson.  I’m so sorry.”

He held her tighter.  “For what?”

“Your house, your past, and this harsh world that is holding you hostage.”

“I don’t care about the house, Vicki.  Freedom is much more than a house.  But this is my legacy, the paintings and antiques, and the gold band on my finger.”  Vicki gently touched the ring on Wilson’s little finger.  “It was my mother’s wedding ring.”

Vicki’s heart was breaking for this man.  She couldn’t ask him to give up on his home.  “How much do you still owe on the house?”

“About half.”

Vicki guessed that Wilson’s house was about the same value as hers and she could barely afford her own mortgage, although she would love to help him.  If only there was a way to pay it off quickly.  Vicki knew that wasn’t the real issue.  Wilson didn’t want a handout.  He wanted to be a part of society…a recognized vital part.  She would move in with him, but selling her house wouldn’t help much.  She had no equity in it.

Wilson carried Vicki to the sofa and gently set her down.  “Look, honey, this isn’t your problem.”  He winked at her and stroked her hair.

Vicki closed her eyes.  She would never escape the hold her ex-husband had on her no matter where she tried to hide.  She tried to pretend that she wasn’t afraid of him and his kind, but the truth was that she was terrified.  His was a life of crime that she learned about after they were married.  She should have known that in a city as poor and corrupt as Detroit, Michigan, someone with as much money and property as her husband was probably involved in something other than an honest living.  She would never forget her first limousine ride.  After that, she was hooked.  The six-carat diamond engagement ring was flawless and when she sold it, she had been able to afford the down payment on her house.

“Vicki, you okay?”

Vicki’s eyes focused on Wilson.  Through her tears, she said, “I knew.  I knew he was with the mob.  I didn’t know until after we were married, and there was no way out, but I should have told you.  I should have admitted it, but I’m ashamed to admit that I fell for something like that.  I didn’t see it until it was too late.”

Wilson hung his head.  He sat on the floor at Vicki’s feet and laid his head in her lap.  Vicki lightly stroked his face as she thought about what she had done to this kind man.  Then Wilson stood up and turned away from her.

“Where are you going?”

“You think you understand me?  I’m not your pity project, here to make you feel good about helping the black man.  You don’t know what it’s like to grow up in the projects.  I do.  I feared getting shot on my way home from school, and there were days when I didn’t go to school at all.  If it hadn’t been for my mother’s death…”

Vicki wrapped her arms around him, begging him to stay.  “What, Wilson?”

“I was sent to live with my aunt in Iowa.  It was an entirely different way of life, with corn fields, rolling hills, and nothing but white folk as far as the eye could see.”

“Did you like it?”

“It was alright.  I lost my virginity to a cute little thing with long blonde hair that curled at the bottom into loose ringlets.”  He realized that Vicki was looking up at him and he stopped.

“What happened?”

Wilson shook his head.  “Oh, you know, we were kids.  She went to the state college, and I went to the University of Michigan…football scholarship.”

“Wilson, that’s amazing.”

His eyes had a faraway look.  “Yeah, it was.  It was just too bad that my mother had to die so that I could live.”  He freed himself from Vicki’s hold and got a beer from the refrigerator.  He popped the top and opened one for Vicki.

“Thanks.  So, why did you stay…in Michigan?”

“I don’t know, trying to resurrect the dead, I suppose, as a matter of speaking.  I needed a place for Mom’s stuff.”  He winked at her, indicating that the conversation was over, but Vicki needed more answers.

“You wanted to prove that you could make it here in Michigan, didn’t you, because your mother couldn’t?”

Wilson leaned against the living room window and set his beer can on the ledge.  “You think you have all the answers, don’t you?”

“Not all of them, but we’re not that different.  My parents were killed in a car accident when I was still in college, and who knows, maybe if they had lived I wouldn’t have married into the mafia.”  Vicki raised her beer can in a toast, “To two lost souls.”

“Shiiiit, Vicki, you landed on your feet.”

Vicki walked over and joined Wilson on the window ledge.  “You can start over.”

“Honey, you’re living in a white bread world.”

“But you have a great education and you had a good job.”

“I had both of those in a white man’s world.”

Vicki was not giving up.  She welcomed this fight.  “Don’t you think I would have a better job if I were a man?  Of course I would.  No one takes me seriously.  I’m just the dumb blonde who married a mobster, and my past will never stop hurting me or the people around me.”  She looked at Wilson as if to challenge him, but he looked away.  It was her mafia ex-husband who was determined to take his home.  He got up and walked toward the kitchen.

“So, what are we going to do, Vicki?”

Vicki didn’t follow him this time.  She sat on the window ledge and waited for him to return to her.  She could hear him rummaging around in the kitchen as if he were looking for something.  Vicki didn’t know what she was going to do for herself, much less what she could possibly do for Wilson.  They barely knew each other, but she had never been happier than she was when she was with him.  They had met under very strange circumstances, so that had to mean something, didn’t it?


Vicki heard something hit the floor and she ran to the kitchen.  “Wilson, what did you do?”

“I sliced my damn hand.”

Blood was everywhere and Vicki nearly fainted.  She wrapped a towel around Wilson’s hand and led him to a chair.  He had been making a sandwich when the knife slipped.  “How bad is it?”  He uncovered his hand and Vicki could see that the cut was deep.  “You need stitches.”

In obvious pain, Wilson managed to gasp the words, “No insurance.”

“It doesn’t matter.  We’ll make payments.  Please, Wilson.  Let me take you.”

He closed his eyes and laid his head on the table.  If he lost consciousness, Vicki didn’t know what she would do.  She ran back to her house, got her purse and keys, and headed back to Wilson.  Sweating and dizzy, he could barely stand, and Vicki feared that he would pass out.  “Come on, Wilson.  Let’s go.”

With a stitched hand and a sore arm from a tetanus shot, Wilson agreed to stay with Vicki.  “Mmm, couldn’t wait to get me into bed again,” he mumbled as she pulled back the covers.

“I only have one bed,” she smarted back.

The soft sheets and heated mattress felt good to Wilson, and Vicki helped him off with his shirt and then she unbuckled his jeans.  “Woman, I just went through major surgery and you’re trying to get into my pants?”

“I’m just making you comfortable, and you didn’t have major surgery.  You want me to get your pajamas?”

“Pajamas?  I’m not a child.  I sleep in the nude.”

Vicki ignored him and eased the zipper down and slid his jeans down and off.

Wilson teased her by opening his shorts.  “Just making room for my buddy.”

Vicki pulled the covers over him.  “Don’t tempt me.”  She kissed him softly on the lips.  “Get some sleep.  That pain pill the doctor gave you should keep you out for a while.”  She looked back when she reached the doorway, and Wilson was sleeping soundly.

Vicki tiptoed down the stairs, quietly begging them not to creak.  She went into the hidden room at the far end of the living room and looked at the names that were barely visible on the cement wall.  Running her hands along the wall, she touched each name with the tip of her fingers.  They were more than just names to her now.  Each name represented a real person, a life with its own story, and a family that was torn apart.  It had been so easy for her to exist, taking everything she had for granted.  Seeing the world through the eyes of a black man made her ashamed of her country.  What have we done to you, Wilson?  And now she was personally responsible for his pain.  If he moved in with her, she knew that it would only be a matter of time before her ex-husband would try and take her house, too.  He was determined to hurt her for the rest of her life.  With a group of mobsters backing him, the man could do anything and no one could touch him.

Vicki went upstairs to check on Wilson who was still sleeping soundly in her bed.  She stood in the doorway and watched him sleep.  He seemed troubled even as he slept.  When she turned to walk away, she thought she heard something coming from the lower level.  If someone was breaking in, she didn’t know what she would do.  She grabbed the rifle from the closet in the kitchen and slowly made her way to the front door.  When she heard a scuffling noise behind her, she turned on her heel, but no one was there.  “I know you’re there.  Show yourself or I’ll shoot.”  She followed the sound to the door to the basement.  Opening it slowly, she turned on the dim light and walked downward into the smelly underground room.  She had only been down there one time, when she had inspected the house prior to buying, and she didn’t want to go there again.  She felt along the side of the wall until her right foot was on the cement floor.  It was dusty and threw her into a sneezing fit, nearly causing her to drop the rifle.  She could still hear it, the unsettling rustling sound, as if someone was going through her stuff.  But there was nothing down here.  Vicki didn’t need the extra space, so she had installed a lock on the door to keep out the ghosts that her overactive mind had created.  Now she wasn’t so sure that they didn’t truly exist.  She lifted the rifle and aimed toward the sound.  She screamed as a mouse ran out from behind an old table that had been mounted to the floor in the corner.  She set the rifle down and decided to check out what the mouse had discovered that made so much noise.

BOOK: White Diamonds
6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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