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Carl Weber's Kingpins: Houston

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Life is perfect for Donna and Kim Boon when they move in with their Aunt, until her murder unearths a secret that will alter everything they've ever known.

Donna and Kim Boon moved to Houston, Texas with their aunt Lisa when they were orphaned at ten years old. Lisa raised the girls as her own, showering them with everything a young woman could want. The girls have grown up into beautiful and privileged Houstonites and are two of the most eligible bachelorettes in the city, with more suitors than they know how to handle. Life seems perfect, but when Aunt Lisa is gunned down in cold blood, the girls discover a family secret that will change their lives forever.

ISBN-13: 9781945855610

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Kensington

Publication Date: 12-18-2018

Pages: 336

Product Dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.57(d)

Series: Kingpins #14

Treasure Hernandez served eight years in a federal penitentiary. She has paid her debts to society, and now lives in Atlanta, GA with her daughter. She is presently working on future projects for Urban Books, including co-writing a book with New York Times bestselling author Carl Weber.

Read an Excerpt


One Year Before

"Aunt Lisa, we know," Kim started, her voice jerky. Aunt Lisa let out a short snort and glared at her nieces, looking from one to the other. Kim looked over at her sister, Donna, for help. Donna lowered her eyes and didn't even bother to say what she was about to say.

Aunt Lisa's Christian Louboutin heels sounded off on the Italian marble floors of the mini-mansion she shared with her nieces. Kim looked up again and opened her mouth, but an eye-dagger from Aunt Lisa drove Kim's eyes to the floor, and every few seconds, she would see her aunt's feet pass her eyes. Kim and Donna weren't sure what was coming next, because Aunt Lisa, who had been their guardian since they were ten and twelve, had a serious poker face.

Aunt Lisa paced in straight lines, her shoes making the eerie sounds like a soundtrack to doomsday. Not a good sign for the girls. Over the years, Kim and Donna had witnessed their aunt's soft love, but most of all, her tough love. Aunt Lisa had raised the girls to be confident, beautiful, and sophisticated, but also stealthy and streetwise.

Now, they both watched as Aunt Lisa bit her bottom lip and continued burning holes in the floor as she moved with no real destination. Aside from her footsteps, it was so quiet they could probably hear a mouse pissing on cotton.

A loud knock at the door rattled all of them. Kim's heart started galloping like she'd just run around the block. She started chewing on her bottom lip like it was a piece of steak. Donna exhaled loudly and played it cool, but her eyes said something different.

The door rattled again. Aunt Lisa stopped moving. She stormed to the two huge, cherrywood and stained-glass doors and pulled them back tentatively. All the air seemed to rush out of the room when Keraun walked smoothly through the doorway. As usual, his facial expression was hard to read, and his swagger was on a million.

Kim swallowed hard and looked over at her sister. Donna darted her eyes from Kim to Aunt Lisa to Keraun, and then back again.

Aunt Lisa nodded at Keraun knowingly. He nodded back and looked at Kim and Donna. He smirked, since smiling wasn't something he did.

"Why y'all so tense up in here?" he asked, his smooth baritone changing the mood in the room from serious-as-cancer to almost light-as-a-feather. Kim and Donna relaxed a little bit, but they still waited for the word from Keraun and the approval of their aunt. He turned toward Aunt Lisa and tilted his head. Kim was holding her breath. Donna's eyes were closed.

"These girls ain't no joke outchea. You taught them well, Lis," Keraun announced. "Ain't nobody coulda asked them to do it any better than this. On point shit, Lis. They grew up fast ... but good," Keraun said, his eyes falling on Kim as usual.

She shivered a little bit. Kim had loved Keraun, or King K as he was known in the streets, since she was a little girl. He wasn't as old as Aunt Lisa, but he was still much older than Kim. He was the only man directly in their lives. The girls always thought their Aunt Lisa and Keraun were getting it in on the low, but there was never any real evidence to say that was so.

Aunt Lisa turned toward her nieces and finally, approval glinted in her beautiful, slanted hazel eyes. She winked at them. Kim's shoulder's slumped, and she blew out a windstorm of breath. Donna smiled and rubbed her hands together like an excited kid at Christmas. They were all feeling the same thing — a hella relief and a whole lot of satisfaction.

Kim and Donna had officially pulled off their lick, thanks to the teachings of Aunt Lisa and Keraun. At first, when they hadn't heard from Keraun, and Aunt Lisa looked like she wanted to take their heads off, they didn't know what to think.

Kim had been so nervous when she'd set up their latest mark, because she wasn't sure if the plan would work. She also wasn't sure the dude had fallen hard enough for her striking beauty that he hadn't done any kind of homework about her. The setup took more time than it usually did. Kim had almost lost her nerve a few times along the way. Donna had to console her and help her keep her head in the game. They took risk, but it had paid off.

One thing was for sure: neither Kim nor Donna wanted to ever let Aunt Lisa down. She had given them everything after their parents had gone missing, never to be seen again. They felt like they could never repay her.

After their parents disappeared, Aunt Lisa was there. She kept them clean, fed, and wanting nothing. Well, there was only one thing the girls wanted: their parents. Although Kim and Donna pleaded with Aunt Lisa to tell them why their parents left or where they went to, she always told them it was better this way. After a few years, Kim and Donna decided that their parents were dead and Aunt Lisa just couldn't bear to tell them the truth.

"Y'all did damned good," Keraun said, moving closer to Kim again. "You did real good." His voice went lower, sexier.

Kim could feel the heat from his words on the side of her face. She immediately got goosebumps. Shit, she thought. Kim was instantly wet and tried her damndest to hide it.

Keraun was such a smooth-operating dude. He'd been in the streets of Houston for years, and he knew all the old heads, the new niggas, and the real flashy, easy marks who, although they didn't have real money, were so easy to set up and rob they couldn't pass on them. Keraun walked and carried himself with so much swag that it was hard not to be attracted to him. Keraun always dressed impeccably. Kim and Donna had never seen him look one bit disheveled. His thick, neatly trimmed beard was never sloppy, his nails were always neatly trimmed and freshly manicured, and his sneakers were so clean they gleamed. Keraun always wore a brand spanking new Houston Rockets fitted and never repeated one. He was sharp as hell.

Keraun spent his days partnering with Aunt Lisa to teach Kim and Donna about life. He always stressed that Kim's striking beauty would ensure that Kim and Donna stayed fed, stayed rocking the best clothes, and stayed living the life of luxury that they lived now, even if he and Aunt Lisa weren't around to take care of them one day.

"I guess we taught them well," Aunt Lisa said, moving between Keraun and Kim. Aunt Lisa gave Keraun a stern, raised-eyebrow look. Keraun smiled nervously — one of the only times he allowed himself to smile. They all knew the smile wasn't actually a smile. Instead, it was Keraun's guilt about his obvious lust for Kim and the fact that he knew Aunt Lisa was super protective of her nieces.

"Well, if we did such a good job, tell us what's up," Donna said, sitting on the edge of her seat, her legs moving in and out in anticipation. Kim nodded her agreement as she eyed the big black duffle bag Keraun held. Aunt Lisa had her arms folded across her chest, but Kim and Donna knew their aunt's heart was probably thumping like crazy. The rapt anticipation in the room was palpable, to say the least.

"C'mon, Keraun. Let me see what my little protégés got done out there. Your ass know the damn suspense got my guts bubbling and shit," Aunt Lisa complained. She looked like she wanted to run up on Keraun and snatch the duffle bag.

"Your ass is beautiful when you mad," Keraun joked. He was right. Aunt Lisa had held on to her youthful beauty; she always got mistaken for Kim and Donna's sister, not their aunt.

Not only did Aunt Lisa keep her body right and in shape, but she always wore the best clothes, down to her socks and bras. Nothing Aunt Lisa wore was anything less than Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balmain, and Chanel. She had very rich taste, and she made sure her nieces did too. Kim was the most like Aunt Lisa. She liked to follow Aunt Lisa's lead with makeup, perfume, high-end clothes, expensive bags, and shoes — lots of shoes.

"Stop fucking with me, nigga. Get the fuck down to business," Aunt Lisa said, kicking off her heels like she was getting ready to fight.

Keraun threw his hands up. "Oh, shit. Don't beat my ass now," he said, laughing.

He set down the duffle bag. Everybody in the room had their eyes on that bag. The sound of the zipper seemed so loud in Kim's ears. She didn't even realize she had been holding her breath again. Keraun stretched the top of the bag open. Everybody's eyes fell down to the same spot. Aunt Lisa was the first to react.

"Get the fuck out of here!" she yelled, clapping her hands together. "You bitches did it! I fucking love y'all!" she exclaimed excitedly.

That was everyone's signal that celebrations were in order. The stacks of money smelled like weed from being in the trap house, but they didn't give a damn. That shit looked like the most beautiful thing they had ever seen. Kim and Donna jumped up and started screaming and hugging each other. They had finally taken everything Aunt Lisa and Keraun had taught them over the years and put it to use. Together, the girls had pulled off one of the biggest licks since they had starting setting niggas up. After it was all said and done, their lick had netted them three hundred and forty-five thousand dollars. All of that money, free and fucking clear — or so they thought.

Kim hugged her sister, then Aunt Lisa, and finally Keraun. He held onto her a little longer than she expected, and secretly she loved every minute of it.

* * *

The squeals and loud laughter reverberated through the house as Kim and Donna celebrated their lick. Kim took two handfuls of cash and tossed them up in the air, letting the money rain back down over her and Donna's heads. Kim squealed with laughter, and she whirled around in the cash.

"Sissy, we caught a lick! We caught a lick! Bitch, we rich! We caught a lick!" she sang jokingly.

Donna laughed. "Over three hun'ed thousand! We just get better with time, baby sis! Next time we taking a nigga for half a mil!" Donna declared.

Kim continued to jump around. She felt like they had just hit the lottery. The girls were as happy as a faggot with a bag of dicks, as Aunt Lisa always said when she was overjoyed about anything.

"Listen! Stop all that bullshit. Y'all sound like some li'l girls in love or some shit. We can't be getting all crazy," Aunt Lisa chastised. "I know y'all happy and shit, but this how bitches get sloppy ... let they guards down. Don't act like this the be it and be all, because if you feel like you got it all now, you won't work as hard and be as careful every time. And, remember, ain't no spending going down until shit die down. Yes, we live up in this white neighborhood, but you know how y'all is, always got one foot in the hood showing off. Calm the hell down. And I mean it," Aunt Lisa said seriously. She was blowing their high, for real.

Kim and Donna both tried in vain to simmer down and keep a serious face while Aunt Lisa was standing in front of them, but inside, they were still bursting with excitement. Aunt Lisa had spent years providing them with the very best of everything, but this was different. This was all them. It felt damned good to go out there and get their own shit.

Kim's insides were bursting with laughter, and after a while, she could no longer hold it in. She was about to explode and couldn't help but let out another round of squeals. Aunt Lisa's eyes fell into tiny dashes so small they were almost closed. She stepped over and gave Kim and Donna a serious side-eye, one that was familiar to them since childhood. It meant Stop playing with me! Again, the girls tried to be serious. Even Donna, the one who often played shit cool, could barely contain her smiles.

"Oh, y'all wanna play with me? Y'all think shit funny?" Aunt Lisa snapped, but before she could move closer to her nieces, Keraun grabbed her arm.

"C'mon, Lis. It's their big lick, and they killed that shit. Let them have some laughs. Shit, if they wanna swim in that money, let 'em. They ain't stupid. They know how to conduct themselves. You taught them everything they know, right?" he said in that smooth, even tone that made Kim's insides melt. "We gon' have to let them grow up now. They ain't babies no more," Keraun continued, his eyes instinctively falling on Kim. It was like he couldn't hide it sometimes. Kim blushed.

Aunt Lisa relaxed a little bit as she seemed to take what Keraun was saying into consideration. She relaxed the tensed muscles of her jaw and cracked a halfhearted smile. It wasn't lost on Kim and Donna that Aunt Lisa probably would've done anything for Keraun's smooth-talking ass. Sometimes the girls felt Keraun also knew he had Aunt Lisa's heart, but he never crossed the line. They were sure he definitely could have.

"Just stop playin' so much — and get this damn money up. I don't care what K got to say. This ain't a game," Aunt Lisa said.

"Y'all don't worry. We gon' go celebrate tonight," Keraun told the girls.

Kim laughed out loud again. She just couldn't contain the elation she felt. At that moment, surrounded by stacks of money and all the people in the world that she loved in one place, Kim decided she never wanted to be without any of them.

"Yeah, let's get real pretty and go celebrate," Kim said.

Aunt Lisa grunted a bit, but they all knew she couldn't turn down a good time. Since they were young, Aunt Lisa was known for her spunk and party spirit. She loved to dress up, kill bitches with her straight-from-the-runway looks, and have men drooling. Kim was definitely just like her. Donna preferred to be a little more low-key, but she could throw herself together when she had to.

"Y'all gon' have to give me a few hours to find a makeup artist and shit," Aunt Lisa mumbled.

They all started laughing. Keraun winked at Kim on the low.

"I'll see y'all tonight," he said. "Make sure y'all ready to slay on these hoes outchea."

"Oh, you already know," Kim said. With that, she turned and sauntered away, knowing damn well he was watching.

* * *

Kim and Donna were still riding high when they returned to their wing of the house. Kim walked over to the picture of their parents and picked it up.

"D, you think Mama and Pop would be proud of us?" Donna looked at her sister, suddenly solemn. "Hell yeah, they would. We was young when they went missing, but I always feel them. I swear I can feel them."

Kim wiped at the new tears that sprang to her eyes. "Me too. I will never forget what happened that night they disappeared. Never."

"Neither one of us will ever forget," Donna agreed. They both stared off into the distance ... remembering.

15 years earlier

That fateful night, loud crashing noises erupted through the house. Donna was the first to be jolted out of her sleep. A cold sweat broke out on her forehead when she heard deep, muffled voices. It sounded like men were talking in harsh murmurs right outside of her bedroom door.

More loud noises sent a shot of panic through her chest. It was as if people were ransacking the house. With her heart hammering, Donna flipped back the covers on her bed and rushed over to her little sister's bed.

"Kim," Donna whispered. "Wake up." She shook Kim's legs frantically. It took a few long minutes for Kim to finally rouse from her sleep.

"Whaa ...?" Kim whined.

"Shh!" Donna threw her hand over her sister's mouth. "Listen," she whispered, her breath coming out in raggedy, jagged puffs.

Kim sat up, and they both listened. There were strange men laughing, but not in a happy way. As young as they were, Kim and Donna could tell it was evil laughter, something sinister.

"We have to go out there and see what's happening," Donna whispered directly in Kim's ear.

Kim nodded her head. She had always been the outspoken, courageous one anyway. She was a year and a half younger than Donna, but she was more spirited and bossy. In that moment, she was worried about her parents, whom she loved very much.

Kim and Donna crept from the bedroom and hid behind the wall at the top of the grand staircase in their house. The men were still talking, and their words were clear now.

"Make him look at me!" one of the men instructed, taking obvious delight in in what he was doing.

Kim inched over and almost fell backward when she saw her father on his knees with a gun at his temple.

"You thought you was the boss? Huh, nigga?" one of the men snarled. He hit her father with the butt of the gun, and it snapped his head back, left and right, each time they took turns hitting him. Another blow to the face caused something to crack so loud that Kim and Donna heard it all the way from where they stood. They watched in terror, seemingly rooted to the floor. Their father couldn't even open his mouth to let out a whimper, much less a scream.


Excerpted from "Carl Weber's Kingpins: Houston"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Treasure Hernandez.
Excerpted by permission of Urban Books, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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