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Corrupted Chapter 10, Page 2

Omar Tyree

  “I mean, why would you do that though?” the heartbroken artist asked her through the door. He felt foolish and wouldn’t let the incident slide.

  Chelsea took a deep breath and couldn’t believe it. She did feel guilty, but that didn’t mean she planned to correct anything. Instead she asked him, “Do you know how many girls get dogged out by guys every night? How many girls have you dogged out? So just look at it as karma.”

  He said, “I’m saying though, it don’t have to go down like that.”

  “Well, how do you expect it to go down? I’m not letting you back in,” she told him.

  This motherfucker must be crazy! she told herself. He’s not getting anywhere near me again. I guess he thinks I owe him something.

  “All you gotta do is do me back, and it’s all good,” he commented, confirming her thoughts.

  Chelsea heard that and began to smile. She couldn’t help herself. She was nearly ready to laugh at him through the doorway. “I mean, are you serious?” she repeated. “Are you that pressed tonight? I mean, for real? You can go get anybody to do that.”

  “But I’m saying though, I just did that for you though.”

  Chelsea snapped again, “I don’t give a fuck what you did. I don’t owe you shit! And if you didn’t want to eat my pussy, you shouldn’t have done it then.”

  The big bruiser smiled out in the hallway again. He stepped up real calmly and said, “Look, to make all this go away, all you gotta do it take care of my boy, G., blaze him off right quick, and then you can go right back to sleep. That’s all he’s saying. He did you now he wants you to do him back.”

  The big guy even sounded convincing. But Chelsea still wasn’t going for that shit. She said, “I got a better idea. How ’bout I call downstairs to security and tell them that Mr. Gervin Thompson, in room twenty-thirty-four, is up here harassing me at my door, with some big-ass, smooth-talking football playing motherfucker, and I’m afraid that they want to sexually assault me. So I’m ready to scream at the top of my fucking lungs in here.”

  The bruiser continued to smile and shook his head. He said, “I don’t play football no more.”

  “Whatever. You used to.”

  The big man nodded thoughtfully and looked to the much smaller singer. Their late night show was over. He said, “Let’s go, man. It ain’t happening.”

  G. Flow took a deep breath and sighed, still standing there in the doorway. He looked toward the room and made one final plea. “I just want you to do me back. That’s all.”

  Chelsea stopped and starred into empty space before she responded to him. “Okay, well . . . you need to go write a song or something about it, because your friend just told you, ‘It ain’t happening.’ And it’s not. So gon’ on back to them girls that you’re used to in Gary.”

  The big man behind him continued to smile and chuckle at it. He had tried his best, but he wasn’t planning on going to jail over something that obvious. Gervin had taken a loss and he had to deal with it; plain and simple. So he grabbed the singer by the arm.

  “Come on, man. Go write that song,” he joked.

  G. Flow sucked his teeth like a teenaged girl, and snapped, “Fuck her!”

  “Fuck you!” Chelsea responded through the door. “That’s why you got your little face washed and your feelings hurt! You can’t handle a grown-ass woman. Go back to them little girls!”

  The singer turned back as if he was ready to break the door down to get to her, but the big bruiser stopped him with one massive right arm.

  “Naw, dawg, let’s go. Leave it alone.”

  On cue, a white couple in their thirties stepped off the arriving elevator and headed in their direction. But Gervin didn’t care. “Fuckin’ bitch!” he cursed as they walked forward.

  The white couple looked wide-eyed and alarmed, especially at how big Gervin’s friend was; bodyguard or whatever. The man was even bigger inside of the hallway. They figured they would need to hug the walls just to squeeze by him. And that’s what they did; they held hands tightly and angled their bodies as closely to the left wall as they could to get by.

  Back inside the room, Chelsea was still pissed. She paced the room and fussed to herself. “See now, if I was a different kind of person, I would make a few phone calls and have his ass fucked up in here! That boy just don’t know. Bitch-ass nigga!” she peaved. “He need to be the fuckin’ girl. Bitch!”

  She was all wired up now, just after being ready to take a rest ten minutes ago.

  Maybe that’s karma for me too though, she admitted to herself. I didn’t have to toy with that boy like that. Maybe’s God trying to tell me something . . .

  I was flat-out wrong, she concluded. I did pressure him to go down on me. But guys toy with girls all the time like that. Look at what Damon was doing with me and that Dominican girl tonight? Did he catch karma too?

  She continued to pace her room, asking herself questions about everything. The gender games never seemed equal.

  “So, he actually thought that I owed him something just because he ate me out. But if I go down on him and suck his dick, I would just be a nasty ho and could expect nothing from it,” she fumed. “Or, if we go out to get something to eat, and he pays for it, then I owe him something for that too.”

  She shook her head and snapped, “Petty-ass guys be trippin’. That’s why I’m so damn glad I got my own money. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even bother with most of these guys.”

  Finally, after another five minutes of fussing and cussing, Chelsea climbed back into bed and took a few deep breaths to calm her nerves.

  “I’m out of here tomorrow morning anyway. Good riddance to New York,” she stated. “I got work to do back at home. And now I got plenty of new material to write about.”

  Chelsea’s new inspiration to write would fit Vincent perfectly. She had never let him down, and her thousands of fans had never let her down. Fantasy-starved readers bought Chelsea’s hot sex on a platter books religiously, and she continued to give it to them the way they wanted it; was no-holds-barred. Vincent couldn’t say the same about the rest of his authors. He thought about that during his late-night train ride back up to Harlem.

  What did a writer have to do in the changing marketplace to keep a career? he asked himself. Really, you just have to choose the right genre and stick to it with a heavy dose of hot sauce, he mused on his late night train ride. Lauren would have begged him to stay at her place that evening, but she already knew that he wouldn’t. Vincent liked to dress and be fresh each morning, so he rarely spent the night anywhere without a change of clothes or his hygiene items. Besides, he had one full day left at the BEA to prepare for.

  “Hey, aren’t you a book editor, Vincent something?”

  Vincent looked to his right and at an older black man who he had never seen before. The man had a full gray afro and looked distinguished in his fifties.

  “Yes, Vincent Biddle,” the editor answered him. “Do we know each other?”

  “No, we never met, but you took a picture at a book event with my daughter at Sylvia’s Restaurant years ago. And I think she used to work with you.”

  “Oh, well, who’s you daughter?” Vincent asked him.

  “Brittney Enis.”

  Even though he was shocked by it, Vincent heard that and kept his cool. Indeed, he had never met Brittney’s father and had never viewed any pictures of him. She had only spoken about him sparingly, so he related the conversation to that.

  “Oh yeah, Brittney spoke about you once or twice, but we mainly discussed books and our work in the publishing world?” he alluded. He was tempted to add that he was proud of her new position at Impact Publishing as a leading African-American editor, but he didn’t want to press his luck. He realized that he could easily be busted with one quick phone call to Brittney from her father, so he chose the safe approach and pleaded the Fifth.

  But her father spoke about it. He grinned and said, “She told me you two talked about a lot more than that.”

gain, Vincent maintained his cool with a smile. “Oh, did she?

  “Yeah, she did.”

  Is this guy trying to pull my strings here or what? Vincent wondered. Is someone trying to punk me late night on the train?

  He even looked around the train for hidden cameras and a camera crew, but not one fit the bill. They were all weary-looking travelers, getting in late from work or from the New York nightclub scene. And the tourists rarely took the trains that late up to Harlem.

  Well, Vincent did have a short fling with Brittney. However, he doubted if she would ever talk about it. She was another private one, unless she and her father had an open relationship, where they could discuss any and everything. But if so, Vincent imagined she would have talked about her father more. And as he sat there on the train and studied the man in silence, he noticed that Brittney favored him, especially considering the strong grade of hair that she also chose to wear natural.

  “Naw, I’m just messing with ya’,” the man finally confessed to him.

  Vincent nodded and chuckled. “I don’t know what it would have been, but . . . Okay, you had me going there,” he admitted. “What’s your name if you don’t mind me asking? Is it Mr. Enis as well?”

  He nodded and said, “Yeah, Paul Enis. So how’s the publishing industry doing now anyway? Is it as crappy as everything else? Or are people still finding the time and money to buy a good book to read nowadays?”

  Vincent began to wonder how often the man talked to his daughter, because surely Brittney would have filled him in on the state of the publishing industry. She loved the book world as much as he did. So he became skeptical again.

  “Well, I’m sure your daughter told you all about it,” he hinted. “And she doesn’t have any reason to lie. So, whatever she told you is probably true.”

  “I never asked her,” he responded. “We mainly talk about father, daughter and family stuff.”

  “And how is the family?” Vincent questioned. He began to think about his own family, with his mother, brother and sister all living in New Rochelle to get away from the immediate city.

  “Well, we ain’t been much of a family since her mother died. That’s been about fifteen years ago now. I guess my daughter wanted me to stop dating, but a healthy man can’t do that,” he explained. “What do you think kept me healthy?” he joked.

  Hearing that, Vincent immediately began to wonder if he had been sleeping around before Brittney’s mother passed away.

  “I’m sorry to hear that,” he stated. “I didn’t know,”

  “Yeah, Brittney won’t talk about it much, or about me. Her mother was my third wife, so Brittney has plenty of half-sisters and brothers too.”

  Vincent continued to nod, taking it all in. He said, “I see. Well, how did she die?” He was still stuck on the break-up of the family part.

  “High blood pressure and a stroke. And she was only thirty-nine years old.”

  Vincent did his quick math and imagined that Brittney was still in college at the time. “I guess Brittney took that pretty hard.”

  “Oh yeah, but like I said, you won’t get her to talk about it much. And after that, she dove straight into her work.”

  Vincent could image it. The girl had always been driven around him, so he pictured Brittney having success in the future, he only questioned her straight-by-the-book methods for generating real industry results.

  Before Vincent could say another word or ask another question, Paul Enis climbed to his feet as the train approached 82nd Street.

  Mr. Enis stopped and extended his right hand to Vincent. “Good to finally meet you in person. And the next time you see my daughter, you get her to loosen up a bit? Tell her it’ll be good for her.” Then he cracked an white-teeth smile.

  Vincent shook his hand and smiled back at him. “I’ll tell her, but she’ll never listen to me,” he commented of Brittney.

  The man laughed and said, “You sound like me now. But you tell her anyway. She gotta listen to somebody.”

  When the man stepped off the train, Vincent reflected on the revelation about his daughter.

  Of all people to randomly meet on the train, he pondered. But why now? What does that mean? Do I need to start looking out for Brittney? Is her threat of a bidding war over Darlene for real?

  “. . . Nahhh, I doubt it,” he concluded. And before he knew it, it was time for his stop at a 136 Street.

  Vincent gathered his things from the BEA, including two new manuscripts to go over, and headed out of the subway in the wee hours of the morning in Harlem. Even then, with few people still out to share it with, the zest of the Harlem streets seemed to speak to him. The tall apartment homes, front doorsteps, cement pavements, and the fire hydrants at the curb all spoke of busy families, children, visitors and hot summertime fun in the streets.

  Few people knew that Vincent owned two Harlem buildings now, both valued at over a million dollars, including the four-story Brownstone that he lived in on the third floor at 137th. Only the owner of the management company he hired to organize the rent payments and repairs housing knew it, and he had agreed never to discuss that fact with his staff. So as far as they knew, Vincent Biddle was just another tenant, complaining about the major and minor repairs like the rest of them.

  Vincent liked it that way, where he could play the unassuming role of Mr. Biddle, a regular Joe who loved books, clothes and wine. Not even his family members knew that he owned prime Harlem real estate, only a few of his trusted friends, his lawyer and none of his associates. That way, none of them could ask him for money or assume that he had any. But since he did own the place, Vincent took it personal each night and day when he arrived home to his Brownstone on 137th. Like tonight, where he found that someone had left an empty pizza box on the second step that led up to the front door.

  Vincent sighed and casually grabbed the box to discard it in the big brown trash can at the curb.

  Once inside of his building, he made his usual trek up the stairs and to his apartment at the front of the third level. He at least wanted a front-step view of his own building. That way he could spy on anything ridiculous that approached instead of being the last to know from an apartment without windows or a useless view of the back alleyways.

  As soon as he entered his tall ceiling apartment with three bedrooms; the smaller of which was used as his personal office space and the other a wall-to-wall library with hundreds of books, Vincent set his things down on his living-room nightstands and walked into the guest bathroom, while wondering about his tenant next door.

  He always wondered about his neighbor whenever he arrived at home late at night. A recent graduate of medical school in is late twenties, the man worked at the Harlem Hospital just a few blocks away on 135th. With good looks and crazy intern hours, the young man often had late night visitors to entertain; all young and available women.

  So as soon as Vincent finished with his leak, he tossed off his jacket and grabbed a tall glass from his kitchen cabinet to go and eavesdrop in his office room, which happened to share a wall with the master bedroom next door.

  And it wasn’t as if Vincent had planned it that way, he had come across it by accident one night while reading through a Jackson Smith manuscript in his office, when he heard the faint sounds of bed movement and soft moans through the walls. Once he decided to investigate the curious noises coming from the wall next door, through the amplified echoes of a tall glass, the practice became addictive and intoxicating, especially since the young doctor in training loved to fuck so much.

  And sure enough, when Vincent placed his best echo glass up against the wall in his office again, he found that he had hit the jackpot.

  “Mmmm . . . mmmm . . . Oooohh . . . oooohh . . .”