Call me lazy but I can’t get anything done on my computer without it freezing every ten minutes (I’m writing this post from my phone right now).
OR I could be getting braver because I’m letting more than a handful of people see this for once. Why not open it up to the world if I plan on publishing it next month anyway?
I’m going to go with option number two because it makes me sound better.
Without further ado, here’s an excerpt from my first novel, Deadly Colors! If you find it interesting, shoot me an email or contact me through my (duh) contact page, and I’ll email you a free review copy. Visit my ‘Books’ page to get a full[er] description of the book.
Deadly Colors Excerpt
Garrett’s desire to change the past led him astray. When he walked through Rashaud’s office door, butterflies rummaged through his stomach.
Through the doorway, he surveyed the man that would be his new leader; soon, his new father figure.
Rashaud’s six foot three, muscular figure was an intimidation factor in and of itself; but it was his leadership of the Krown Bloods of Cedar Ridge that intimidated those around him the most.
That being said, Rashaud’s smile seemed welcoming enough.
But those eyes, Garrett thought. He could see Rashaud didn’t smile with his eyes. The cold, dark caves gazed holes into Garrett’s soul. Those are a killer’s eyes.
“Thanks for coming through, Garrett. Go ahead and take a seat,” Rashaud said, gesturing to the flat-black leather chair facing his desk. Even Garrett could tell the desk was something special. The exquisite patterns across its shiny dark brown surface suggested luxury and value. Garrett took note of the desk’s color—the wood was stained the exact shade of Rashaud’s piercing eyes.
“So how’s the eye?” Rashaud asked, pointing at the dark edges that circled Garrett’s left eye.
Speaking of eyes, he thought, and then shrugged the idea away. “It’s fine—a little sore—but okay.”
Rashaud nodded. “Yeah I know it’s hard to go through that. But it’s part of the process, you know? Everyone has to get jumped in—even me. You wanna wear that color, you gotta do what it takes to earn it, ya got me?”
The color Rashaud referred to was red. Below Garrett’s bloody forehead, black eye and busted lip, a red bandana hung from the front of his neck like a cowboy would wear in an old western.
“Yes sir, I got ya. Ya know I’d—” Garrett broke off. He tried to think of the best way to complete his thought without breaking down in his new boss’s office. “I’d do anything to follow in my brother’s footsteps, man. He was my hero.”
“I understand that, but he’s gone. If you need someone to look up to now, let it be me.”
“Yeah, for sure,” Garrett said
Nobody ever accused Rashaud of being modest. Garrett didn’t know too much about the dangerous man sitting in front of him, but his arrogance, he knew all too well.
Garrett was anxious to get his real question answered, but couldn’t think of a good way to ask. He looked all around and saw art, expensive furniture, flat screen T.V.’s and numerous other items littering the room that screamed wealth. He couldn’t help himself, he had to know.
“So what made you call me in here? I mean…I know you don’t like most of the guys hanging around your business. Kevin told me that—” he trailed off once again thinking of his brother. The wounds embedded themselves too deep in his psyche for him to think about it without feeling the hurt that inevitably followed.
For the first time Garrett saw Rashaud’s eyes soften. He saw the understanding and sympathy in them.
“That’s exactly why I called you in here. Kevin was one of my best men. I’m sure you already know what he brought to the Bloods—he was your hero after all. Let me fill you in on even more detail if ya don’t mind.”
Garrett nodded in approval.
“Kev was one of my top guys. He ran kilos and did a few bank jobs. I’m not sure how much of the story you know, but he died doing a bank job. Some guy he had run ins with in the past set the whole thing up.
“I just want you to know, when the Crips killed your brother, I shed a few tears. He meant as much to me as he did you—I believe that,” Rashaud gestured all around the room, “without your brother I’m not sure all this would be possible.”
No fucking way. My brother was everything to me, Garrett thought, but of course he didn’t say; couldn’t say.
“When I saw you at his funeral, I saw him in you. The spirit of Kevin Moore is in you, Garrett. I believe that. I need you to fill his shoes. When I need a man to push grams on the street, I’m calling you. When I need someone to make a deal with the cartels for kilos, I’m calling you. When we need to erase a Crip—” Rashaud paused to emphasize the magnitude of what that meant, “—I’m calling you. You got it? You’re gonna be the new Kevin. Why? Because I need you to. Or in terms one might understand better, because you need you to.
“Your mom ain’t gonna be able to support you and your little brother by doing hair. You’re gonna have to grind for it, G. If you want your family to eat, it’s on you now. How does it feel to be the man of the house?”
Garrett tried to think of a strong, masculine answer, but came up with nothing. He decided on the truth instead.
“It’s hard, sir. I don’t know how I’m gonna be able to keep it going, ya know?”
“See this place? This was nothing before me. Now this is the top high-end furniture store in Cedar Ridge because of me. You know how that feels?” He paused to take a sip of the whiskey in front of him.
Garrett assumed the question was rhetorical, so he kept silent.
“You’ll learn how it feels to build something in time. Truth be told, I hate this place. Its main use is to pump drug money into the system.”
Garrett squinted, showing the slightest look of misunderstanding. Rashaud decided to go into more detail after sensing Garrett’s confusion.
“How it works is—my runners pay me. I buy some furniture and sell it for a higher price. To the IRS it looks like a legit furniture store, you see? That’s all it’s there for. I don’t like selling couches to rich snobs, but I’m proud of this, Garrett. I built it. If you build a better life for your family, you’ll know the feeling I have. You don’t have to like what you do. You just have to be damn good at it. If you put everything into it, you’ll see all the benefits in the end.”
“I understand, sir. I wanna see my little brother in college, and my mom in the suburbs.”
“And what about you?”
“I don’t know,” Garrett said. He told the truth again. He cared about what happened to his family, but didn’t have a care in the world about what happened to himself. His brother’s murder numbed him. It took his innocence in a way.
“Well, you need to figure it out. That’s a choice you’re gonna have to make.”