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Dirty Game

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Kenny "Ken-Ken" Greene left his days as a hustler behind him when his wife was killed during a scam gone bad, leaving him with a baby daughter. Now he's a cab driver, doing what he can to put food on the table and give his daughter, Destiny, everything she needs. In spite of his past or because of it, he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep Destiny off the streets. But when he is shot and paralyzed during a robbery while on the job, Destiny knows that she has to step up to the plate to take care of the father who has provided for her. Allowing herself to learn from one of the fiercest street hustlers, Destiny becomes his lover and soon her skills rival his. But the longer she stays in the game, the deeper into the game she falls.

ISBN-13: 9781250623843

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group

Publication Date: 02-11-2020

Pages: 304

Product Dimensions: 5.68(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.79(d)

Shannon Holmes wrote his first novel, B-More Careful while in prison. When it was published, B-More Carefulimmediately became a #1 bestseller, making him a major name in a new generation of hip hop fiction. He followed B-More Careful with the bestsellers Bad Girlz and Never Go Home Again. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two daughters.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

As the ten-car, graffiti-covered, northbound Number Two train, commonly referred to as the iron horse, sped down the elevated train tracks toward the 176th Street subway station, it brought with it an unmistakable sound. A deafening, ear splitting, thunderous noise, it echoed off the various closed storefronts, car lots, parking garages, and buildings that lined Jerome Avenue. The train came to a sudden halt, making its designated stop at the station and depositing its minority residents back to their desolate urban neighborhood, back to their dismal reality.

This section of New York City was known as the South Bronx. First it was hit hard by a rash of tenement building fires started by greedy, unscrupulous landlords seeking a big insurance settlement from properties they deemed worthless, rundown, or beyond repair. They figured that torching their buildings was more profitable than spending the money to rehabilitate them for low-income residents to reside in. They'd rather rid themselves of these undesirable properties and turn a profit in the process. Their decisions were strictly from a business standpoint, motivated by pure greed, nothing more and nothing less.

What they never took into account was the effect that this crime would have on the buildings' residents or the Borough of the Bronx. Soon a rash of copycat criminals began repeating this crime, over and over again. Irreplaceable personal items went up in smoke along with these tenement buildings. Countless lives were ruined or altered. Many families were forced to relocate from their place of birth to even worse living conditions like the city shelters or the tough city housing projects.

Like a bad case of the chicken pox, this insurance fraud scam quickly spread across the South Bronx, making it resemble a ghost town in some war-torn foreign country. Where buildings once stood and life once flourished, there were now vacant lots with mounds of rubble. The concrete structures were replaced by shattered dreams and lost souls.

The abandoned and charred skeletal remains of these buildings were evident as far as the eye could see. Later, the crack-cocaine epidemic came along and finished off the job that the arsonists had started. It killed off any remaining hopes, dreams, or chances that the neighborhood had of recovery or revival, further crippling the Bronx for decades to come. This section of New York City was amongst the poorest in the nation. The boogie-down Bronx, the home of hip-hop, became known as the burnt-down Bronx.

On a chilly fall evening in the South Bronx, a trap was being set that would bring about some deadly consequences. Parked in a car underneath the train station was Kenny Greene, also known as Ken-Ken. He was a tall, dark-skinned, well-built ladies' man whose specialty was strong-arm robbery. He was also one half of a duo, husband-and-wife con team.

Ken-Ken's wife, Maria, was a gorgeous Puerto Rican woman with long straight red hair that flowed down to the small of her back. She had a light trace of hair just above her juicy lips and a beautiful black mole that sat atop them. It was the kind that women always artificially added with a black eyeliner pencil, in an effort to enhance their facial features. Maria was also naturally blessed with a body that could stop traffic. She had a pair of firm breasts that stood at attention, a butt big and wide enough to sit a drink on, a flawless caramel complexion, and long sexy legs.

Dressed in a red-hot miniskirt with a matching leather jacket and six-inch stiletto pumps, she looked every bit like the hooker she was desperately trying to portray. Unbeknownst to everybody except family and friends, Maria was seven months pregnant with the couple's first child.

But looking at her, one wouldn't be able to tell. Her pregnancy agreed with her. And besides that, the men, paying customers, tricks or Johns, were too busy lusting off her bodacious body to closely examine her stomach. Even if they had noticed, it probably wouldn't have mattered.

The mission that the couple was currently on had been Maria's idea. With a baby on the way she wanted to stack all the money she could, while she still could. Pretty soon she'd be way too big, too far along in her pregnancy, to even think about doing things like this. She came from a family where breaking the law was a way of life. It was accepted and maybe even expected of her. Both of her brothers and father were currently serving time in various prisons in upstate New York for their parts in various crimes. For the Torres family, lawlessness was in their blood.

Maria was taught the art of pickpocketing, or jostling, as it is known in New York City, by her brothers. She in turn passed her knowledge along, teaching her then boyfriend, Ken-Ken, how to pickpocket successfully.

Now Ken-Ken and Maria were the picture-perfect couple. Growing up as kids, they lived in the same building and couldn't stand each other. Maria and Ken-Ken constantly argued, staying at each other's throat. As they grew older the arguments became more heated, and several times they almost came to blows. Maria's brothers even contemplated doing severe bodily harm to Ken-Ken. They issued threats to him on several occasions, warning him what they would do to him if he laid a hand on their sister.

A long time ago older people in the building predicted that one day they would be a couple since they always fought like one. Sure enough, as they headed into puberty their hormones took over. Suddenly they stopped fighting and became strongly attracted to each another. After a few years of fooling around, dating, the breakups, and the make-ups it was decided by Maria's mother that they should get married. The couple agreed and they got hitched downtown in a small ceremony at City Hall.

It was a small, simple ceremony with only a select few friends and family members in attendance. Though the couple married young, they still managed to maintain martial bliss. Never second-guessing their decision, Ken-Ken and Maria never thought about what they gave up, only what they had gained—everlasting love.

Ken-Ken was old-fashioned in certain ways. He thought that the man should always provide for the woman. He took pride in being the family provider and hated the idea of having his woman in on a criminal caper, in harm's way. He knew that on the street nothing was certain and anything was possible. But he had no choice. Maria insisted that she be included. They were a family that did everything together, literally. They were a team criminally, codefendants to the end.

Besides that, Maria was critical to the success of the trap. She was the bait. While Ken-Ken waited in a car nearby Maria lured the tricks to a secluded side block under the pretense of prostituting. Then Ken-Ken would arrive just before she was to perform some lewd sexual act, preferably while they were discussing a price, and knock out the trick. If things went according to plan, the two would then relieve him of all his valuables, cash, and credit cards and flee the scene.

As the minority commuters began to trickle down the train station steps, singly, in pairs, or in groups, they quickly dispersed and went their separate ways, heading home. Amongst the last few remaining groups was a livid, young, black couple. From all the noise they were making and their body language, they appeared to be engaging in a heated argument. This scene captured Ken-Ken's full attention.

"Muthfucka, you ain't hardly slick!" the young woman yelled. "I seen ya black azz starin' at dat bitch on da train. Ya black azz thought I didn't see dat? Well, think again, nigga!"

The young man replied innocently, "Whut girl? You buggin'! I don't know whut da fuck you talkin' 'bout! I wuzn't payin dat bitch no mind. If anything she wuz lookin' at me! She wuz sweatin' me. I can't help dat."

"Nigga, don't play dumb! Ya azz ain't az stupid az you look! But since you got amnesia, you can forget 'bout hittin' dis tanite! Go get some pussy from da bitch, you lil-dick muthafucka! You can't fuck anyway!" The young woman picked up the pace of her walk in an effort to distance herself from him.

Unable to control his anger any longer, the young man resorted to violence, figuring it was the only recourse that he had. Since she had publicly insulted him, attacking his manhood, without warning he struck. Running up on the young lady from behind, he kicked her straight in the butt.

"Fuck you, hoe!" he shouted at the top his lungs. "Ya pussy iz trash anyway! You bum bitch!"

The woman stumbled, almost tripping over her own feet, from the unexpected force of the blow. After a few missteps she regained her balance. Instinctively she bent down in the gutter, picked up a half-empty glass soda bottle, and with all her might she launched it at his head.

Luckily he ducked just in time, displaying a catlike reflex to avoid the projectile. The bottle went whistling by his head before shattering harmlessly on the ground. It broke into thousands of pieces, littering the sidewalk with tiny shards of glass.

The young man suddenly began thinking to himself just how funny this situation was. He burst out in uncontrollable laughter. Running off into the opposite direction, he continued to laugh nonstop while taunting the girl.

He didn't care about the girl, anyway. She wasn't his girlfriend. She was just somebody he was trying to lay up with for the night. He only came around her when he wanted some sex.

"You bitch azz nigga! I'ma get my brotha ta fuck ya punk azz up! Watch!" she cried out at the fleeing figure. "You gone get yourz! We see whut'z so funny when my brotha beats ya azz down! Nigga, laugh now and cry later! You gonna get yourz!"

"Whuteva, bitch! Fuck you and ya soft azz brotha!" he yelled back over his shoulder, not the least bit worried about her threat. As far as he was concerned, he had too much backup around the way to let anything happen to him. If her brother or her people came to his block looking for him, there would be problems for them.

From the comfort of his car, Ken-Ken watched the entire incident from start to finish. He was very much amused by the ghetto dispute.

As minor as the distraction was, it temporarily caused Ken-Ken to take his hawklike eyes off Maria, diverting his attention from the task at hand. This momentary lapse of judgment would prove to be critical. He would live to regret this moment. It was an instant frozen in time, one of those life-altering events that in retrospect, if he could have done it all over again, he would have been more observant. He would have concentrated harder, thus eliminating any distractions.

A few feet up the block, Maria had flagged down a potential vic. He was a thin white man dressed in a blue pinstriped three-piece suit, driving a burgundy 300E Mercedes Benz with New Jersey license plates. This particular strip of Jerome Avenue was frequented by white men from across the Hudson River, who came over to the Bronx in search of black and Hispanic female crack whores.

"Hey, good looking! What ya got cookin?" the trick calmly asked, repeating some corny line from some seventies TV show.

Maria replied, "Name ya pleasure. I got cable out here. HBO, head, booty, and other things. I'll take you around da world and back again."

To Maria, this white trick looked and smelled like new money. He was probably some big businessman from corporate America. She just knew he'd be loaded with cash and credit cards. Maria would bet her life his wallet was filled with Visas and MasterCards with an unlimited lines of credit. After this heist they were gonna be straight for a while, she figured. Maria was going to do a lot of shopping for the baby at the expense of this trick.

But what Maria didn't know was that this man was a demented regular customer out for revenge. He had caught gonorrhea from some Hispanic crack whore a few weeks ago. This set off a chain of devastating events in his life. After contracting the disease, he in turn took it home and gave it to his wife of twenty-some years. When she got diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease during a routine check-up, she then promptly filed for divorce.

Currently she was in the process of taking all his assets in court including the house, the three European luxury sedans, and his six-figure bank account. Everything she could get her hands on. And it was all because he had to satisfy his insatiable craving for minority crack hookers. In his sick mind the hookers were to blame, not him.

This homicidal maniac swore he'd find and kill the whore who burned him and ruined his life. It didn't matter to him that he might spill innocent blood in the process. So be it. It didn't matter that Maria wasn't the one who burned him, she'd do. In his mind somebody was gonna pay. Motivated by revenge, the man couldn't think clearly. It led him to strike out at the first Puerto Rican hooker he saw that night. And as fate would have it, that person was Maria.

Nervously the trick glanced around for any signs of the cops. He didn't want anything to interfere with his murderous intentions. He had an appetite for destruction that he had to satisfy, right now.

"Get in the car, sweetie, I'm trying to go around the world." He grinned slyly. "You think you can take me there? Huh?"

"Hell fuckin yeah!" Maria snapped. "I sure can! Quick, fast, and in a hurry!" From past experience, Maria knew she had to engage her tricks in this type of flirtatious conversation in order not to alert them to her larcenous intentions. She had to exercise a little patience in order to make the mark feel at ease, just long enough to rob him.

"You gotta pay to play, Daddy! No romance witout finance, as they say. Know whatimean, good lookin?" Maria seductively said while licking her lips. "Now first things first, let's see dat cash, honey. Money makes da world go 'round, Daddy. And money makes me freaky, ifyaknowwhutImean? Show me sumthin. Get my pussy wet!"

The trick quickly complied, removing a large wad of money from his jacket pocket. He hoped that the sight of the money would entice her enough to get into his car. He would then take her to some seedy motel to rape and sodomize her before killing her.

Copyright © 2007 by Shannon Holmes. All rights reserved.