Chapter Forty-one

As planned, Jackie made it out to Yonkers and picked up Ronnie. While he put on the clothes she’d brought for him, Jackie couldn’t wait to tell him that she had met Me’shelle, and that she was fine. “He wouldn’t even ride out here with me.”

“What part of that surprises you? Pussy-whipped nigga.”

“Look who’s talking,” Jackie shot back. “You calling him pussy-whipped, but some bitch left you out here butt naked, with no truck and no money.”

Ronnie laughed. “I guess she didn’t appreciate me calling her a triflin’ money grubbing bitch.”

“I think that’s enough to piss her off. You should be glad that all she did was leave you here asleep. She could have cut your dick off.”

“Maybe,” Ronnie said and thought about a few other things that a pissed off Paulleen could do to get him back.

Me’shelle and Travis drove over to her apartment to get ready for dinner. On the way over, Me’shelle told Travis that she thought Jackie was sweet. “But should I be afraid of her?”

“Even though Jackie is at best bisexual, I don’t think that you have anything to worry about,” Travis assured her.

While Travis waited in the living room and channel surfed, Me’shelle wandered around her bedroom, trying to decide what to wear. The doorbell rang.

“That’s probably your friends,” Me’shelle said as she went to answer the door. She stepped out of her apartment into the foyer and looked out the window. Outside were three men she’d never seen before. It was Miller, Jordan and Blue. When they began to bang on the door, Me’shelle ran to get Travis.

Travis came out to take a look. “They’re armed,” Travis said as he took out his gun. “Is there another way out of here?”

“Through the basement and out the back door.”

“Come on.” They ran down the steps into the basement just as Blue kicked in the door. As Me’shelle escaped out the back door, Travis settled himself, ready to shoot the first one who came down the steps.

Blue was the first to come running down, followed by Jordan. Miller went into Me’shelle’s apartment and began to look around. In the basement, Travis took aim and fired, but he missed. Blue fired back wildly, and Travis ran out the back door.

Me’shelle ran through the yard and climbed over the fence to the street. Travis was right behind her. He made it over the fence just as Jordan and Blue came out the back door blasting. Me’shelle ran down the block but stopped to look back for Travis.

“Keep goin’!” Travis yelled, but she waited for him anyway. Jordan and Blue hopped the fence and began shooting. Travis and Me’shelle ducked behind a car and Travis shot back. When Jordan and Blue took cover, Travis and Me’shelle took off running.

“Where do those woods lead?” Travis asked as they ran.

“It comes out on the next block,” Me’shelle answered, still running.

Inside Me’shelle apartment, Miller was tearing up the place, looking for whatever he could find, getting angrier by the second because there was nothing of any real value in the entire apartment. Miller was just about to search the bedroom when he heard voices.

Jackie and Ronnie approached Me’shelle’s apartment building and noticed the door had been forced open. The wood on the frame was splintered and the door was hanging off its hinges.

“Do you hear that?” Ronnie asked.

“Hear what?”

“Sounds like gunshots.”

“What part of that surprises you?” Jackie asked as she stepped into the foyer.

As Jackie stepped inside, Miller came out of Me’shelle’s apartment. He raised his gun and fired at Jackie.

“Gun!” Jackie yelled as she pushed Ronnie back out the door.

Miller fired a couple of shots through the window before running into the basement and out the back door. Once the shooting stopped, Jackie and Ronnie went to the car, armed themselves, and came back to the building. They went inside the open apartment and looked around for Travis. Not finding him there, they closed the apartment and went to the basement, moving carefully down the steps.

By the time they got down there, Miller was gone and the basement was empty. Ronnie went out the back door. He could hear gunfire coming from down the street. “Get the car, Jackie, and meet me around the block,” he instructed then ran though the yard, jumped over the fence and moved cautiously in the direction of the shooting.

Ronnie stood at the edge of the woods and waited for Jackie to get there with the car. “I don’t hear any more gunfire, but I’m pretty sure that they went in the woods,” he told her when she arrived.

“These woods come out on the next block. I’ll drive around and meet you on the other side.”

“Okay,” Ronnie agreed and headed into the woods.

Travis and Me’shelle made it through the woods and hid behind a car. Travis knew that he had to be almost out of bullets. He looked at Me’shelle. She was out of breath and she looked scared, but she was surprisingly calm under the circumstances. “You okay?”

Me’shelle nodded, but she was scared, very scared.

“Get under the car and stay there no matter what,” he told her. Me’shelle quickly complied.

Jordan and Blue came out of the woods and looked around. “You go that way,” Jordan said, then he and Blue went in different directions.

When Travis heard them, he raised up from behind the car and fired, but in the darkness he missed. Ronnie heard the shots and ran in that direction. Jordan started firing back at Travis, who quickly ducked behind the car again.

Travis cautiously came up from behind the car and fired twice, hitting Jordan with two shots in the chest. His now lifeless body fell to the ground. Travis looked at Jordan’s dead body in the middle of the street. But now he had to wonder where the other assailant was.

When he heard Travis’s shots, Blue turned around and saw Jordan hit the pavement. “Shit!” he hissed. But now he knew where Travis was. He moved slowly toward Travis’s hiding place. A car was coming down the street fast. Its headlights momentarily distracted Blue.

Ronnie came to the edge of the woods and saw Blue moving in the shadows toward Travis. He shouted “Hey!” When Blue turned, Ronnie fired at him. Blue fired back.

The car kept coming down the street as the two men fired at each other. Ronnie started running toward Blue, still shooting. Blue shot back then turned toward the car and froze. The headlights were so bright they were almost blinding. Ronnie was now close enough to get a clear shot at him. He fired and hit Blue in the head.

Jackie slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the two dead bodies in the street. She jumped out of the car with her gun drawn. “Everybody all right?” she yelled.

“There’s one more. There were three of them,” Travis shouted as he came from behind the car.

“That must have been the one that was searching the apartment. I don’t think he came this way. He musta got away,” Ronnie said as he approached Travis and Jackie.

“Who are these guys?” Jackie asked.

“I don’t know. They just showed up at Me’shelle’s door,” Travis said as he went back to the car to help Me’shelle. She crawled out from under the car.

“We gotta get outta here before the cops come,” Jackie said as she got back in the car.

“That might not be for another half an hour,” Ronnie said.

Travis helped Me’shelle get to her feet. “Are you all right?” he asked as they rushed toward the car.

“I’m all right,” Me’shelle answered in a quivering voice.

They got in the car. Jackie drove away quickly, leaving the two dead bodies in the street.

“Thanks for coming when y’all did. You saved our lives, ’cause I was damn sure out of bullets,” Travis told them.

“Ain’t that what friends do for friends?” Jackie said.

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