Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Intimacy

Apologies for taking so long to update the blog. I've just been pre-occupied lately with driving traffic to my new website, www.reemafterdark.com (Stop by and check it out.)

Intimacy
by Keith Kareem Williams


My name is on every book cover so I think it’s safe to say that if I keep grinding away the way I do and remain dedicated, one day millions of readers will know it. The fly part is that she’s the only one that gets to moan it. I’ve always heard that “love is pain” so I suppose that I would bleed HER if I opened up my veins. She reads me like strangers read my books. The things they find hidden in the ink she knows from being in my presence. Intimacy is a sacred thing. Enjoy it and treat it as such when you share it.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Keith Kareem Williams - About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR-Keith Kareem Williams

August 24, 2013 at 5:55pm
For those that don't know me or haven't stopped by my website, www.reemafterdark.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keith Kareem Williams – currently resides in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York where he delicately balances his time between his responsibilities as a single father and the challenges of being a full-time author.
“I believe that a GOOD writer pulls you into their story. A GREAT writer makes the world around you fall away as you read. The LEGENDARY writers tell stories that become a part of you and linger long after you’ve read the last line of the last chapter. It was once said that the pen is mightier than the sword. I say to my fellow AUTHORS: Let's advance our craft until it's mightier than guns, grenades, bullets & nuclear bombs. If not, put your pen down and fall back because those of us who are serious about this will run you over as if we were riding in tanks.”


NOVELS BY KEITH KAREEM WILLIAMS:
Water Flows Under Doors - 2004
Open Spaces - 2010
Sometimes Brooklyn, Mostly Mars - 2011
Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls - 2012
War Angel - 2013

ANTHOLOGIES I'VE CONTRIBUTED TO:
 "The Prerequisites of Perdition" written for Crossroads: An Anthology
"Galerie Erotique" written for Eros 369 Volume III
"Bring Me Back" written for Untapped: Collection of Erotic Firsts
"Mosh's Rum Punch" written for Arc Book Club's Official Literary Recipe Book
"Stolen Kisses for Diamonds" written for Naughty Ink Press's Little Black Book

CONNECT WITH ME

Monday, August 12, 2013

After the Murder...another excerpt from "War Angel"

AFTER THE MURDER
another excerpt from
"War Angel" by Keith KareemWilliams

Lenox felt strong hands weaken and fall away from his throat as Jon collapsed at his feet in a twisted, sickening heap. The heavy, wet, thud woke Lenox from a murderous, crimson daydream. Later on he would wonder if it had been the side-effect of an adrenaline rush or if he had really lost himself. He stared at what he had done for a few moments, shocked, disgusted and fascinated. Once he was sure that Jon was dead, he stepped over the body, picked up his gun and left.
***
To Lenox’s dismay, Hector was gone and the car was locked when he got back outside. He wondered if leaving him stranded at the scene of a murder that he had just committed had been a part of Carmen’s plan all along. Without his car, his chances of quickly putting distance between himself and Jon’s corpse was impossible. He couldn’t just call a cab and there was no public transportation in such a swanky, private community. Even if there was, he was completely covered in blood. He almost laughed at how foolish he had been to get caught up in Carmen’s snare. That’s when Hector showed up, walking briskly from the shadows at the side of the house, carrying a small, black duffel bag.
“Are you crazy? Where the fuck were you?” Lenox asked.
“I used the key that Josephine gave Carmen to sneak upstairs without a fuss to steal money and jewelry,” Hector explained as he opened the car doors. “Now get in!”
“That ain’t what we fuckin’ came here for!” Lenox complained.
“No, it’s not but we needed to make this look like a robbery to protect Josephine. Oh, by the way, I broke the lock on the side door on purpose so I’m sure the silent alarm is going off as we stand here fucking arguing. It might be better if we finished our conversation somewhere else…unless of course you want to wait and explain things to the cops?” Hector asked before he got in the car and started the engine



Sunday, August 11, 2013

40 Chapter In 40 Days

40 Chapters in 40 Days

My 2nd novel "Open Spaces" showcases some of my best writing but I recently realized that I promote this book the least. I really had to take a moment to ask myself why that is. I think that it's probably because of the extremely personal nature of the material. That was the first time I ever wrote and poured so much of myself into the prose. Before that, I always used my writing as a way to escape a great many troubling things that were haunting me. In the pages of "Open Spaces" I confronted an army of ghosts, hurt feelings, and words left unsaid in real life. For me, every time someone reads it, it feels as if they're looking inside my heart. Readers who know my work will say that "Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls" was even more personal and felt like a memoir but, I shared a much more vulnerable side of myself in "Open Spaces." I also realize that it's almost a sin not to share something that so many people can relate to so that's why I decided to use that book in particular for my "40 Chapters in 40 Days" promo to celebrate the launch of my new website, www.reemafterdark.com . I will be posting the entire book for FREE for the first time ever. (You guys know that I don't do the "free book" thing very often for my own reasons. I'll blog about that later on in the week.) Follow the link below and don't forget to stop by daily for the updates.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

War Angel: Chapter 22-Party Favors

I hope that everyone is having a great Sunday and recharging for Monday. Here's another sample chapter from my latest release, "War Angel." Enjoy and feel free to leave comments. If you'd like to read more, the purchase links can be found at the bottom of the post.

War Angel
by Keith Kareem Williams

CHAPTER 22 – Party Favors

H
urry up or we’re going to be late!” Jahaira shouted from the bathroom as she put on her make-up. She believed that this was the first time her mother would get a chance to meet her man under normal circumstances and she wanted to make a good impression. She had even picked out the clothes she wanted him to wear just in case.
Lenox was getting dressed slowly, like a kid who really didn’t want to get ready for school. He was not eager to go over to Carmen’s house for dinner.
“I’m hurrying,” he answered, slowly buttoning his shirt while sitting on the edge of the bed.
Jahaira bolted out of the bathroom with the back of her dress still unzipped and one of the thin straps hanging off of her shoulder. The fit wasn’t tight at all but the way it was cut showed off every voluptuous, feminine, curve.
“Come, let me help,” she said, motioning for him to stand up.
“Yes ma’am,” he answered jokingly.
As she buttoned his shirt, the other spaghetti strap on her dress also fell off of her shoulder. The front of her dress sagged and exposed enough of her cleavage that he wanted to kiss the soft flesh of her breasts. His eyes roamed to the wide hips and thick thighs that he loved. He could smell the perfume that she daintily doused her neck with.
“Don’t start,” she told him as he tried to slip his hands under her dress.
“Why not?” he asked and leaned forward to put his lips to her neckline.
“Because we don’t have time.”
“I’ll hurry up.”
“Oh please. You don’t know how to hurry up. You’re too greedy to finish quick.”
“But I thought you like it when I take a long time?”
“We’re late, we’re late, we’re late,” Jahaira repeated, sounding like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland as she jogged back to the bathroom barefoot.
He loved the way she jiggled and bounced. When she finished applying her make-up, he watched her slide on her pantyhose and then slip on her heels. When she stood up in them, her legs seemed to stretch all the way to the sky. It made him think about what they would be doing when they got back home that night which was much better than thinking about the dinner party that had her all worked up. Carmen wanted to celebrate Caesar’s birthday which Lenox thought was silly, considering that the man had died only a few weeks before. He had told Jahaira as much but she insisted that it was probably part of her mother’s healing process to continue with the tradition. He didn’t think so but he didn’t dare explain his true feelings about it. Instead, he agreed to go although her mother’s house was the last place he wanted to visit. When Jahaira was finally ready, she was beautiful but there was still a sadness about her that dulled her glow.
“Ok, I’m ready,” she said.
***
Carmen greeted Jahaira at the door wearing a white dress that was almost the exact style as the black one she had worn to her husband’s funeral. What immediately caught Jahaira’s attention was her mother’s dark lipstick and eye-liner. Carmen had always used tones that made her skin glow warmly, to make her appear younger so the sudden switch to something so cold and morbid was somewhat shocking. Jahaira immediately began to feel guilty for leaving her mother to grieve alone while she sought comfort and solace in Lenox’s arms. She had never been particularly close to her mother but that didn’t mean that she didn’t love the woman who had brought her into this world. With her father gone, Carmen was the only parent she had left.
“You’re late,” said Carmen.
“Well, hello to you too Ma. Sorry, we got caught in a little traffic,” Jahaira answered, grabbing her mother in a suffocating bear hug before she planted a big, wet kiss on her cheek.
“Wow! Where’s all of this love coming from?” Carmen asked while looking over Jahaira’s shoulder at Lenox, who purposely avoided her eyes.
“What? I haven’t seen you for a while,” Jahaira answered, taking Lenox by the arm as she stepped inside her mother’s house.
As Lenox passed Carmen in the doorway, he didn’t say a word. Instead he played it safe and greeted her with a subtle head nod.
“Well, I’m glad you’re here. I just finished cooking,” said Carmen as she shut the front door.
Jahaira smiled as she caught a whiff of the delicious dishes her mother had prepared in the kitchen. She was a good cook but she had always been jealous of how much better her mother was.
“Smells good. I miss your cooking,” Jahaira complimented her.
“Everyone is already waiting at the dining room table…at least those who want to eat anyway,” said Carmen, clearly disgusted.
“Who comes to a dinner party and doesn’t eat? I mean really…who does that?” Jahaira complained while shaking her head.
As soon as the words had left her lips, they all walked by the den and Lenox’s heart stopped beating for a few seconds when he saw three of Carmen’s guests.
“Oh, of course…THEM!” said Jahaira when she spotted them as well.
In the den, her aunts were sipping wine, gathered around the fireplace, speaking to each other in hushed voices. The flickering light of the flames illuminated their faces eerily and made them appear even more fearsome. The twins were dressed in white with blood-red rose patterns on their dresses. The elderly sister wore a green blouse with leaf patterns and a brown skirt. The colors of their clothes were more festive than their funeral blacks but made them no less intimidating. There was just something off about them that set other people’s nerves on edge in their presence. As Carmen and her newly arrived guests passed by, the sisters abruptly stopped whispering. They turned to watch them but their gazes pierced Lenox’s soul alone. He could feel their eyes focus on him but he dared not look back in the direction of the Weird Sisters as he had come to call them in his mind.
Once Carmen took them into the dining room, Lenox quickly discovered that there was a very slim chance of the night ending pleasantly. Hector was seated at the table, smug and looking more sinister than the last time they’d met. Two women were also seated at the table with him. Jahaira rolled her eyes at Hector after he winked at her. She knew when he was up to no good.
“Everyone, this is Lenox, Jahaira’s boyfriend,” Carmen announced.
Lenox nearly jumped out of his skin when Carmen gripped his arm as she introduced him to everyone. Immediately, both he and Hector looked into each other’s eyes with the intensity and ferocity of two chained pit bulls, about to be let loose for a fight to the death. Carmen calmly continued with her introductions.
“This is Hector and these lovely young ladies are his cousins, Jennifer and Linda,” Carmen told Lenox, pretending that he and Hector weren’t already acquainted. That lie was for Jahaira.
The pale-skinned brunette with the short, close cropped haircut was Jennifer and honey-colored Linda’s blonde curls fell to her shoulders. Neither one of them even acknowledged Jahaira except to send her the occasional dirty look. However, they both waved enthusiastically at Lenox when they were all introduced. The dinner table had been set to seat six. The two flirts sat together on the left side and Lenox and Jahaira were to be seated opposite them on the right. Carmen and Hector would each sit at the heads of the table. Carmen wisely thought it best if she kept the two men as far apart as possible.
“Jahaira, come and help me in the kitchen pumpkin,” Carmen asked.
“Sure, no problem Ma,” she answered reluctantly.
Jahaira kissed Lenox passionately enough to make everyone else in the room uncomfortable while keeping one eye fixed on Jennifer and Linda. Hector’s blood boiled and his cousins rolled their eyes at her as she walked out of the dining room with her mother.
“What’s good killa?” Hector asked Lenox sarcastically once Jahaira was gone.
“Same shit, different day,” Lenox answered.
“Your girlfriend is pretty,” Linda told Lenox, her compliment peppered with a slight hint of malice.
“Thanks, I guess,” he answered.
“Well, it’s not like he ain’t handsome. She’s lucky…real lucky too,” said Jennifer.
Lenox didn’t respond. Everything continued to feel like a set-up and he wanted Caesar’s birthday dinner to be over as soon as possible. In his gut he knew that any moment, things were about to go seriously wrong, batty, ape-shit crazy.
***
“So, how have things been with you and Lenox since you moved in with him?” Carmen asked while taking food out of her pots to fill her serving dishes and bowls.
“Ma, I thought you needed my help serving food?” Jahaira asked, finding it humorous that her mother had maneuvered her into a cross-examination in the kitchen.
“What? I can’t ask how things are going?” Carmen asked, playfully pretending that her feelings weren’t slightly wounded.
“Of course you can but this feels like an ambush.”
“Well, since I don’t know anything about this man that you’re living with, I would like to know something. I mean, it’s not like you used to talk about him when your father was alive.”
As soon as she mentioned her deceased husband, a dark veil of sadness fell down over Carmen’s face. Jahaira noticed and hugged her tightly. Although she hadn’t been by to visit since her father’s passing, now that she had, she instinctively placed a greater value on the one parent she had left. It was weird at first but it eventually felt as if some invisible barrier had dissolved between mother and daughter.
“I know Ma. I’m sorry. Things are good. I’ll stop by this week and we can talk, woman to woman.”
“I’d like that,” Carmen answered.
She smiled warmly, welcoming and relishing the opportunity to spend a genuine, pleasant afternoon bonding with her daughter.
“Good. Then maybe you can teach me how to cook this chicken the way you do,” said Jahaira, in ecstasy as she inhaled the delicious aroma.
“Well, I don’t know about all that but we’ll talk about it,” Carmen joked.
***
Back in the dining room, the atmosphere was still unbelievably tense. It was obvious that Hector’s cousins hadn’t stopped flirting since right after Jahaira left because Lenox sat uncomfortably at the table and looked like he had a live grenade stashed in his back pocket. Jahaira was not pleased. She only stopped aggressively setting food on the table when Carmen placed a reassuring hand gently on her shoulder. Once everything had been served, Jahaira took her seat next to Lenox and held his hand under the table as her mother began her speech. Carmen lifted the bottle of red wine from the table, poured herself a glass and then took a sip before she addressed everyone.
“First of all, let me thank all of you for coming over tonight to celebrate my husband’s birthday. He’s gone now so I know it seems somewhat silly to carry on with the tradition. Truthfully, at first I didn’t want to. I had planned to visit his grave instead but I just couldn’t. For me, the pain is still too near,” she started to say before she got choked up.
Jahaira reached out and touched her hand. Growing up, she was so used to watching her mother play the role of Jolly Polly that it was heartbreaking and disturbing to see her so torn up. She appeared to be more distraught than she had been at the actual funeral and Jahaira felt sorry for her. Lenox however felt differently. He found it impossible to trust Carmen or believe that she was being sincere. He had looked deep into her eyes and found nothing but deceit and wickedness. In her most pleasant smile he had seen the teeth of a beast. Still, he concealed his contempt as best he could as Carmen continued her speech.
“I appreciate all of you coming over to keep me company tonight. I love you all,” she finished, squeezing Jahaira’s hand before she finished the wine in her glass and sat down.
Despite the civil conduct of everyone at the table, the friction in the room was overwhelming. After Carmen, no one else spoke much and everyone seemed to just want to get through the evening in a hurry. Malicious eye-contact and grumpy, one-word answers fueled the fires of the subtle conflicts at the table. The only good thing was that Carmen was really talented in the kitchen and before long, everyone had cleaned their plates. As suspicious, distrustful and wary as Lenox was, he had even asked for seconds. Once everyone’s belly was full, a peaceful lull came over the guests at the table. The atmosphere even seemed somewhat friendly. It felt so unnatural that Lenox thought the food must have been charmed with some sort of potion or magic. Because of the things he had seen, he almost believed that anything was possible in Caesar’s house. The wine also played a role in keeping everyone relatively drowsy, docile and tame. No one seemed as eager to strangle anyone, at least for the moment.
“Jahaira, can you help me clear away the dinner plates and get dessert?” Carmen asked, taking her daughter by the arm.
“Sure,” she answered.
Jahaira rushed to get the dishes cleared. She definitely didn’t want to leave her man alone in the presence of the she-devils that Hector had brought to the dinner party, probably out of spite, hoping to cause mischief. She wasn’t even out of the room yet and already they had started to greedily eyeball Lenox. Normally, she wasn’t an insecure woman at all but lately, with all of the open spaces that seemed to be widening between them, she had started to be driven crazy by her own jealousy.
“Where’s the bathroom?” Lenox asked, right before Carmen and Jahaira left the room.
Apparently, he wasn’t eager to be left alone with Hector and the two beautiful monsters either.
“Come, I’ll show you,” Jahaira answered, quickly taking his hand and leading him down the hallway like a kindergarten kid.
***
“Don’t worry. I see how he looks at you. He’s not going anywhere,” Carmen joked as Jahaira walked into the kitchen with a stack of dirty dishes.
“It’s not him I’m worried about. It’s those two vultures that Hector brought with him,” she answered.
“A man is going to be a man. Your father taught me that,” said Carmen.
Jahaira didn’t know how to respond as she tried to decide if her mother was innocently giving her heartfelt, womanly advice or if there was more to it. It definitely wasn’t what she wanted or needed to hear in her frame of mind.
***
Lenox made sure he put the toilet seat down after he finished and flushed. Living with Jahaira had taught him well after she had cursed him out a few times for leaving it up. He wondered why women simply didn’t take a split second to look before they sat down. As he washed his hands, he hoped that by the time he got back to the dining room, everyone would eat dessert quickly and call it a night early. There was way too much animosity coming from Hector and weird sexual energy being thrown his way from his two cousins. He knew how vulnerable Jahaira had been feeling lately because of the way he had been acting and the last thing he wanted to do was make things worse by allowing unwanted attention that he had done nothing to encourage cause her even more distress. He turned the knob on the bathroom door to leave and as he stepped out into the hallway, he stumbled into Hector’s busty cousin, Jennifer.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said after they bumped into each other.
If her face had been an inch closer to his, they would have been kissing.
“It’s cool,” Lenox answered.
He tried to take a step forward, hoping that she would back up and let him pass by but she didn’t. Instead, he found himself pressed even closer to her. Her soft, ample, breasts were squeezed up against his chest. He took a step backwards to separate himself from her.
“Oops,” Jennifer whispered deviously before putting both of her hands on his shoulders.
All he kept thinking about was how it would look if Jahaira walked up on them at that exact moment and saw that woman’s hands all over him.
“Excuse me, I need to get by,” he told her, pulling her hands off of him.
As soon as he took her hands off of his shoulders, she put one on his chest and the other on the back of his neck. All of her movements were so smooth, fluid and quick that it felt like she had eight arms. He grabbed her by the wrists again but this time, she leaned in close enough to kiss him if she wanted to.
“What’re you doing?” Lenox asked.
He forcefully grabbed her by the wrists, hoping that would make her back off. It didn’t. The pain didn’t seem to bother her as she whispered in his ear.
“I just wanted to ask why you’re with that bitch?” she asked and bit his ear gently.
Then, the entire world seemed to move in slow motion. From the corner of his eye, Lenox saw Jahaira storming towards them. In one, fluid, violently graceful, deliberate, motion, she started to pull her hair up into a ponytail and kicked off her heels as she got closer. He had never seen her face like that. He knew how it must have looked from a distance and he expected that whatever was about to happen was going to be bad for him.
“Wait! Jahaira wait! Let me tell you what happened,” Lenox pleaded as she got closer.
Jennifer turned her head and saw her coming too. She took her hands off of Lenox, put them on her hips and turned to face Jahaira with a smug, and what? expression plastered on her face.
“Oh, I KNOW what the fuck happened!” Jahaira answered.
Lenox turned and closed his eyes, expecting to get slapped. That’s when he heard Jennifer yelp like a dog that had just got hit by a car. When he opened his eyes, he saw Jahaira with her fists clenched tightly, her chest heaving as she stood there enraged. Blood was gushing from Jennifer’s nose.
“You bitch!” Jennifer mumbled from behind the hand she had pressed to her face as she tried to stop the steady flow of blood. “Look what you did! I’ll fuckin’ kill you!” she continued, unwisely.
“You want more bitch? Ok!!!” Jahaira yelled and charged at her again.
This time, Jahaira knocked her to the floor and sat on top of her. Lenox stood frozen in disbelief. Jennifer had managed to grab a handful of Jahaira’s hair but that didn’t slow down the punches that connected with her face. Lenox tried to restrain her but Jahaira only stopped hitting Jennifer long enough to push him away. With the fury that burned inside her along with adrenaline, she had the strength of ten women. Jennifer’s screams brought Hector and Linda out of the dining room. While Hector stood frozen in just as much shock as Lenox, Linda rushed Jahaira in hopes of saving her sister. Those hopes were dashed to the wind right after she jumped on Jahaira’s back. Without missing a beat, Jahaira turned her wrath on Linda, flipped her to the ground and gave her the same business she had just given to Jennifer. The ensuing brawl consisted of haymaker punches, hair-pulling, a robust, colorful flow of vulgar profanities, torn dresses and broken bra straps.
“What the hell?” Carmen shouted as she ran out of the kitchen. “Help me break this up!” she yelled at Hector.
It took both of them to separate the three. Jahaira kicked, screamed and spewed curses as they struggled to hold her back. That’s when Lenox felt the touch of four icy hands grab him and drag him down the hallway into the den.
***
“Welcome hero,” Lenox heard three voices say in unison as he found himself in the flickering light cast by the flames of the fireplace, surrounded by Caesar’s creepy sisters.
It took him a few moments to find the courage to speak. They made his blood run cold and he was sure that they had some vile agenda, maybe even worse than Carmen’s.
“What do you want from me?” he asked.
“I don’t believe that we’ve been formally introduced,” the withered, eldest sister answered. “I’m Anna, Caesar’s oldest sister. The twins are his baby sisters, Anika and Anya.”
“Still didn’t answer my question,” he said, ignoring the shiver that shot through his body from being in the same room as them.
“You sure you really want to know?” the twins asked, speaking together with one voice.
“Yeah, as a matter of fact, I would. Every time you three are around, bad shit happens to me.”
“Oh, you have no idea. We haven’t even begun to play with you,” Anna cackled while poking her wrinkled index finger in his chest.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because we know what you did. We know how our brother died. We saw it in a dream that he died because of you,” the twins whispered.
They were both close enough that he could smell their perfume. The fragrance was sweeter than anything he had ever smelled and was almost too pleasant. It was powerful on purpose, as if it was covering up something else, something more sinister. Then, his mind went foggy and his grip on reality started to slip away.
“What now?” he asked.
He was already Carmen’s puppet. He was angry and eager to hear what these witches wanted with his life. He didn’t see how things could have gotten much worse.
“What now?” Anna responded, mocking him and his question.
“We’ve already begun,” the twins continued.
It had started to freak Lenox out how they always spoke with one voice and finished each other’s sentences. Everything about that moment felt surreal and warped. Images of his previous encounters with the weird trio popped into his mind. He remembered when one of the sisters had touched his gun. Then he saw the image of the same gun jamming during his encounter with Jon. After that, even more random visions or dreams flashed through his mind, too fast to hold on to any of them and too confusing to know if they were real. Then his eyes opened and he found himself back in the present, feeling as if he had just escaped a nightmare. He swayed as if he would collapse but once again found himself sandwiched between the soft bodies of the twins. As they supported him, Anna dug her fingers into his chest, right over his heart.
“We are nowhere nearly done with you. Before the end, you’re going to wish that we had killed you tonight. There are consequences for everything you do, hero. And…when your heart is completely broken, that’s when we’ll come for you,” Anna promised.
***
When Lenox woke up from what he believed was a hallucination, he was still in the den but Jahaira was on the couch next to him being scolded by her mother. Her hair was a mess, her dress was ripped and apparently, she had given both of Hector’s cousins proper beatings.
“Are you alright?” Carmen asked as Lenox sat up.
“I guess so. What happened?” he asked. His mind was still foggy.
“After we broke up the fight, we found you passed out on the couch with my sister-in-laws hovering over you, mumbling some silly incantations like some fairy-tale witches. They claim you were drunk and passed out so they were praying for you. Those three are so crazy, I swear,” Carmen explained.
As soon as she told him, he remembered what Anna had said to him and he clutched his chest where she had touched him. An inescapable feeling of doom gripped his heart.
“Where are they?” he asked, paranoid and fearful.
“Gone. Everybody went home. It’s just you, me and Jahaira. Are you sure you’re ok?”
“Not really but I’ll live,” he answered.
“Well, you too should go home and have a good night. I’m sure you both have lots to talk about after all the excitement tonight.”
Jahaira hugged and kissed her mother before she helped Lenox to his feet. Carmen held Jahaira’s hand as she walked them both to the front door.
“Goodnight Ma. Love you,” Jahaira told her as they walked down the steps.
“Love you too,” she answered.

Carmen waved to Lenox. He didn’t wave back.

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