No matter how many times she promised herself she wouldn’t go there, Reign couldn’t resist Jahiem, her best friend’s brother. Now caught between her friendship and her relationship, Reign is forced to prove where her loyalty lies.
Jahiem had no intentions of ever starting a relationship with Reign because he was already in a relationship with Samantha. Now that he’s broken things off with her, Samantha shows up, and she’s not alone. Jahiem finds himself in a difficult situation when he realizes he’s torn between two women who have more in common then he thought.
Samantha is used to getting what she wanted by any means necessary. She refuses to accept that Jahiem has moved on. Feeling betrayed and rejected by Jahiem and her birth mother, she vows to make them pay. She wants everyone to know that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Reign never thought that her relationship with Jahiem would cause her so much hurt and pain. Faced with secrets, lies, and deception, she feels her life spiraling out of control. When she reconnects with her childhood crush, she begins to realize how a woman should be treated. She knows where her loyalties lie and tries hard not to give in to temptation, but Jahiem isn’t making it easy.
Unbeknownst to Reign, she and Jahiem are about to face a chain of events that neither of them are prepared for.
Release date: July 26, 2022
Publisher: Urban Books
Print pages: 288
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
Reign and Jahiem
“You fat motherfucking bitch. I’m drunk, but I will never be drunk enough to suck your fucking dick,” she cursed at the owner.
After she said that to him, my blood was boiling, because if he had violated my mother, I was about to help her destroy his store.
“Muhammad, I know you wasn’t trying to get my mother to suck your nasty-ass dick,” I spat at him.
“Yes, the fuck he did. All I asked this punk was to let me get a box of Newports until my check come on the first. He said if I suck his dick, he will give me two packs, but he got me fucked up.”
“Take your mother and leave my store now before I call the cops,” he yelled.
My mother was still throwing shit around, so I joined her, knocking down all the cans off the shelves. I even went into the freezer and broke a few forty ounces before telling my mother to haul ass.
“Call the cops and I promise you that I will have this motherfucking store burned to the ground, so play with it if you want,” I told his ass before running behind my mother.
When we got inside our house, she burst out laughing at me because I was out of breath, bent over like I had just run a marathon.
“Mom, that shit not funny. I told you stay your ass from out of that store begging. I knew it was just a matter of time before his fat ass started treating you like one of those crackheads,” I spat, but all she did was cackle.
“He better be grateful I didn’t tell his pork-belly ass to pull that shit out, because as soon as he did, I would have cut off his little dick,” she laughed, pulling the razor out of her dingy jeans.
“How you know that man dick is little?” I asked, giving her the side-eye so she knew I didn’t think the shit was funny no more.
“You know what? Fuck you, Reign. Go to the store across the street from Muhammad and get me a box of Newports and a beer,” she said, pulling out a crumpled-up $20 bill.
All I could do was shake my fucking head because now I knew that she had run game on that man, taking his money knowing she wasn’t sucking no dick.
“You ain’t shit,” I said to her before taking the money and going out the door.
My mother had been drinking and partying for as long as I could remember, but she always took care of me by any means necessary. I would protect her at all costs whether she was right or wrong because she was my mother and I loved her. I wished anyone would disrespect the woman who gave me life. Any motherfucker who did must have a death wish. She was well known in the neighborhood because she had always been good to everyone, even on her drunken binges. She threw down in the kitchen, so she always fed me, my friends, and anyone else who was hungry.
“Yo, Reign, let me holla at you for a second,” Jahiem demanded, knowing damn well he wasn’t asking.
I already knew what he wanted, so I didn’t even want to go over there because most likely we were going to end up getting into it.
“What’s up?” I asked with a roll of my eyes.
“You have to get some control over your mom. She can’t be coming to the block wilding, making shit hot for everybody.”
I should have known Black, with his snitching ass, would call him, but I didn’t give a fuck because I was always going to be ready for whatever when it came to my mother.
“Last time I checked, my mother was a grown fucking woman, so as far as me getting her in check, it’s not going to happen. If you want to blame someone, blame that bitch-ass Muhammed for trying to violate her,” I told his ass, walking off with an extra switch in my walk.
“That smart-ass mouth is going to get you fucked up one of these days,” he barked, but I let that shit go in one ear and right out the other.
Jahiem knew that he wasn’t going to do shit, and he wasn’t going to allow no one to do shit to me, so I was far from worried. I knew that he had a thing for me, but I wasn’t trying to give his ass no play because of the many bitches he entertained. Fucking with him meant fighting all those thirst buckets he fucked with who’d be claiming his ass.
After leaving the bodega with my mother’s cigarettes and her beer, I walked out of the store expecting to see him, but he was gone. I was low-key feeling his ass, but I didn’t have the time to be dealing with all the drama that came with him. I was cool with his sister Jamila, so whenever I was at their house, he was always trying to shoot his shot. I’d be trying to explain to him that I was not even fucking him, and his birds be flocking, so I wasn’t interested.
After handing my mom her things, I went into my room to finish my assignment I had started before my neighbor called about my mom. My cell rang, causing me to suck my teeth. I was never going to get this assignment done.
“What’s up, Jamila?” I answered.
“Jahiem just told me what happened at the corner store, so I was calling to see if Ms. Peggy was good.”
“You know Mom is always going to be good. She had me in that store ready to go to war for her ass when she robbed that nigga of his twenty dollars. She told him she was going to suck his dick, then once she got the money, she flipped the script on his ass.” I laughed, causing her ass to laugh too.
“Your mom be on that bullshit, but I admit that her ass got game.”
“She know what the fuck she be doing. Now she in the kitchen cooking like nothing happened with her crazy ass. Anyway, I need to finish my accounting assignment, so I’ll see you tomorrow at school. And tell your brother to stay up out of my business.” I smiled at the thought of him.
“Girl, stop fronting.” She laughed before ending the call.
After finally finishing my accounting assignment, I went into the kitchen to get something to eat because I was hungry. My mom was now sitting in the living room, talking shit to our neighbor, Ms. Trina. I knew that she only came over to be nosy about what happened up the street with her ugly ass. I always told my mother that ho be smiling in her face but talking about her behind her back, and I believed that she was creeping with Mr. Jimmy.
Mr. Jimmy was my mother’s on-and-off-again fuck buddy. He wasn’t shit. He stayed just as drunk as her ass. They both were functioning alcoholics, and because of that, you couldn’t tell either of them that they had a problem.
You wouldn’t believe that my mother held down a job for ten years before alcohol became her full-time job. Don’t get me wrong. She always had a problem with alcohol in my eyes, but it had gotten worse when my dad passed away.
“How are you doing, Reign? I just stopped by to make sure that Ms. Peggy was doing okay. I heard what happened down at the corner store, so you know I got her back,” she said.
I wanted so bad to pull her card, but I didn’t say shit because it was only a matter of time before my mother got in her ass. She must have been coming down off her alcohol, because when she had enough drinks in her, she’d be cursing folks out. The next day, all would be forgiven like nothing happened because no one really took her seriously.
“Reign, make Trina’s ass a plate so that she can take her nosy ass home,” my mother spat, but all Ms. Trina did was shake her head.
“Mom, why you do that lady like that?” I laughed a while later after letting Ms. Trina out and locking the door.
“Didn’t you tell me that bitch be talking about me behind my back? I know she didn’t care about what happened down the street. She was probably here to see if Jimmy was here, but I’m on to both of their asses. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, but when I catch them, I’m putting my foot in his ass.”
“Well, if you put your foot in his ass, you have to put your foot in her ass too, because she knows that you and Mr. Jimmy fool around.” I snickered.
“I don’t know how many times I have to school your ass. A bitch doesn’t owe you shit, because she didn’t make no promises or commitment to your ass. That nigga know he has an old lady, so if he creeps with the next one knowing that shit, then it’s his ass,” she said.
“Well, I don’t feel that way, because if a bitch claim to be my friend and is smiling in my face while fucking my man, it’s her ass,” I sassed.
“Watch your damn mouth,” she said, giving me that look to say she would still beat my ass.
I forgot that I was talking to my mother, so I apologized before taking my ass in the room before I got her started. Once I was done eating, I took a shower and took my ass to bed so that I could get up on time.
I woke up the next morning with a cramp in my damn neck because I had woken up in the middle of the night talking shit on Instagram. After showering, I got dressed, and before I headed out the front door, I went into my mother’s room to tell her ass to stay out of trouble. If she decided to get her ass in some shit that day, I wasn’t leaving school, so she would be on her own.
As soon as I parked in the school parking lot, I saw my ex, Byron, getting out of his car, looking good as always. He was with his new girlfriend, Shayla, causing me to cut my eyes at him. It pissed me off that the reason we broke up was because I accused him of cheating on me with her, which he denied, but here he was now in a relationship with her, wanting me to believe that he started dating her after we broke up. I didn’t care if he wasn’t messing with her before we broke up, because dating her a few weeks after the breakup still made his ass look guilty. I felt like making a scene, but I wasn’t going to give that bird bitch the satisfaction. It still bothered me to see them together, but I was that bitch, so in public, no one would ever know that I was bothered.
I had no idea what he saw in this trick, who was always dressed as if she were about to walk the ho stroll. It boggled my mind as to why the college never sent her ass home when clearly, they could see her attire, which consisted of a whorish lace tank that showed her hot pink bra. She had on jeans so tight that they looked as if they were painted on with six-inch heels, looking stupid.
I was convinced that she had to have a relative that worked in the dean’s office because her attire was against the dress-code policy. This was my second year at LaGuardia Community College, so I had witnessed females being asked to leave for wearing things that didn’t come close to what she was wearing.
“What’s up, Reign?” Byron fixed his face to say to me.
No, I didn’t have no words for him, but I was going to speak to him just to piss her ass off. I knew she was already pissed that he had spoken to me from the look on her face, which he ignored.
“How are you?” I smiled, causing her to roll her eyes at me.
“Byron, you do see me standing here, right?” she spat.
“I’m good. Are you still fucking with that nigga Dame?” he asked me.
He was being mad disrespectful to his shorty right now, but I was loving it because she hadn’t cared when she was disrespecting me by calling and texting his phone when she knew that he had a girlfriend. I had spoken to her woman-to-woman to let her know that his ass was spoken for because I knew how men be lying. She sat on the phone, stating that she didn’t know that he had a girl and how she wasn’t going to call or text him anymore—all lies. So, the last time she called his ass, I beat the brakes off her ass and sent his ass to be as single as a fucking dollar. I refused to allow any man to keep disrespecting me when I knew my worth, so his time was up.
“I don’t know where you’re getting your information from because I was never fucking with Dame,” I told his ass.
“Yeah, a’ight.” He smirked.
That was my cue to walk off, because all I had wanted to do was show her ass that if I wanted him back, I could get him back. I was still chuckling when I walked inside of the school because he was a damn joke. These bitches swore that they were winning when they got the man, not realizing that they had got that nigga by default.
Thirty minutes later, inside of my macroeconomics class, his ass was messaging me. That was probably how long it took him to calm her ass down, but I left his ass on seen.
After my classes were done for the day, I called Jamila to see why her ass hadn’t shown up for classes that day, but she didn’t answer. I decided to do a drive-by to make sure that her ass was good. If she wasn’t going to make it to classes, she would have called me, so I was worried that some shit done went down.
Pulling up to her house, I saw her blue Charger parked out front. Her brother had gotten it for her birthday last month. I knocked on the door. It took her so long that I was about to walk away, until I heard the locks being turned. She opened the door wearing nothing but a damn nightshirt that was turned inside out, letting me know what was up.
“I came over here to find out why you didn’t bring your ass to classes today, but I think I know why,” I said.
“I’m sorry. I should have called you, but Anthony came by last night, so you already know.” She smiled.
Anthony was her on-and-off-again boyfriend for about three years now, so she was right. I already knew. Whenever he found time for her, she would drop every damn thing for his undeserving ass, but who was I to judge?
“Call me later so that I can tell you about Byron’s ass,” I told her.
As soon as I pulled up to my block, I heard a commotion, already knowing that it had something to do with my mother without even seeing her. Getting out of my car, I could now see Mr. Jimmy manhandling my mother. I was ready to whoop his old ass until I saw he was trying to stop her from beating the shit out of Ms. Trina. My mom had one hand wrapped around Ms. Trina’s hair, and she was punching her with the other hand.
I told Mr. Jimmy to grab her other hand while I pried her hand from Ms. Trina’s hair. This shit was so embarrassing because they were too damn old to be out there fighting like this.
“You came in my house pretending to be my friend, but I catch you sucking my man’s dick with your ho ass!” my mother screamed as I was pulling her toward the house.
“Mom, stop it,” I snapped.
I loved my mother, but she was starting to make me second-guess not moving out, because this shit was becoming too much. I didn’t mind her when she was just talking shit, but lately she had been getting physically out of hand.
Mr. Jimmy was trying to come inside, but I told his ass that he had to go. I told him from the beginning not to get involved with my mother if he wasn’t going to do right by her. His old ass wanted to cheat with Ms. Trina, so this was the end of him in my eyes. He was almost 55 and still cheating, giving me little hope that men could ever grow the hell up.
“Why did you talk to Jimmy like you grown? You don’t dismiss my company unless I tell you to dismiss them.” She was now shouting at me.
“Mom, this behavior has to stop because I’m getting sick of it. You just fought Ms. Trina, claiming that you caught them together, so why the hell would you want to invite him in?” I spazzed.
“I was inviting him in because all he’s going to do is go to Trina’s house, being his ass don’t have nowhere else to go.”
All I could do was shake my head because I was standing there witnessing shit from my mother that I had witnessed in high school. If she wanted to let him in after she had just said that she caught Ms. Trina sucking his dick, then that was on her. I grabbed my cell and keys and left the house because I needed a breather from the crazy lady.
Mr. Jimmy was still standing out front, probably already knowing that she was going to let his ass back inside. I didn’t say two words to him as I walked to my car, getting in and driving away. I had no idea where I was going, knowing that I couldn’t stay out too long because I had assignments to complete.
I ended up going to Starbucks. I could sit in there and get my work done before going back to the house. I placed my order for a vegetable panini with an iced coffee before taking a seat in the back.
When I looked up, I saw Jahiem walk in the front door with a female, causing me to roll my eyes with a twinge of jealousy. His ass always claimed to be single, so seeing him with another female made me even more happy that I didn’t give him the time of day. He must have felt my eyes on him, because he turned in my direction, smiling at me like he wasn’t with a female.
“Hey, you,” he said with a smile on his face after walking over to my table.
“How are you, Jahiem?” I rolled my eyes playfully as if he were bothering me.
“Why are you always giving me attitude? You be acting like you not feeling a nigga when you know damn well that’s not the case.” He smirked at me.
“Well, it really doesn’t matter how I feel about you at this point,” I said, pointing over to the female who was now waiting for him.
“I see you got jokes.” He laughed.
“Nah, I’m just pointing out the obvious,” I said to him.
He walked over to the female and returned a few minutes later, taking a seat as if I would be impressed that he had dismissed her.
“That was rude,” I spat, but he just stared at me. “What?” I asked with a roll of my eyes.
“I’m just curious why you always be in your feelings. You always fix your face to say you not feeling a nigga but always stress when you see me with a female.”
“Trust me when I say I’m not stressing. It’s just comical to see the look on your face when I do see you with another female, Mr. I’m Single.”
“What do I have to do to convince you that I’m single?” he questioned.
“For starters, it would be nice if you stop saying you’re single. ‘Single’ to me means not entertaining these females.”
“Well, we have a different definition of what it means to be single. When I say that I’m single, that means not one of these females could put claims on me,” he said, still staring at me intensely.
I knew that I was cute with my cinnamon complexion, hazel-brown eyes, and full lips, but I needed him to stop staring.
“Why you staring so damn hard? I heard if you take a picture, it lasts longer,” I joked.
“I wouldn’t have to take a picture if you would stop playing and be my fucking girl,” he responded seriously.
I couldn’t even look him in the face because he had my ass blushing, so I knew he was smirking at me right now. I’m not going to lie and say the thought of us together had never crossed my mind, but a bitch was scared to go there with him.
“Jahiem, I’m not trying to catch a case fucking with you,” I said, just as serious.
“Do you think that I have been pursuing you all this time just to break your fucking heart? I’m not that nigga.”
I wanted to believe him, but for as long as I’d known his ass, he had a hard time being with just one woman. In all my 20 years, I played the fool only one time for a nigga who wasn’t worthy of me, and I was not trying to do that shit again. He was my first heartbreak, so I wasn’t trying to ever go through that kind of hurt. That was something Jahiem needed to understand.
“Jahiem, I don’t know if I’m ready to be in another relationship right now. When I do decide that I’m ready, I’m going to need a man who is going to respect me. When I love, I love hard, so I don’t think that I could deal with another nigga playing with my heart,” I told him.
“On some real shit, I would never disrespect you. You already know that I been feeling you for a minute, so do you think that I would fuck the shit up? Any bitch I’ve ever entertained will be nonexistent as soon as you say that you will be mine.”
I hadn’t met a street nigga yet who was able to fuck with just one bitch, but if I agreed to be his girl and he hurt me, it was his ass. I didn’t know how Jamila was going to feel about me dating her brother, but I guessed I’d find out soon enough. I knew she was probably going to say that her brother was too old for me, but I begged to differ, especially when he was only four years older.
“So, are we going to do this?” he asked.
“Do what?” I responded, messing with him. “Jahiem, we’re doing this, but I swear that if you hurt me—”
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he cut me off.
“Okay. Now, I just hope that your sister isn’t going to stop speaking to me for going out with your ass.” I smiled.
“She’ll be okay being she already knows how I feel about you,” he assured me.
“Well, I have to get home because I have an early class tomorrow morning,” I said to him.
“What time do you get out of school tomorrow?”
“My last class will be over at two. Why?”
“I want to spend some time with you tomorrow, so I’ll come scoop you up about six so that we can do something together.”
“Okay.” I stood, and he pulled me into his arms, hugging me tight. He smelled so good that I didn’t want to move out of his arms. I knew I had to let go if I was going to leave and not go with him back to his place.
When I got home, my mom was sitting on the couch with Mr. Jimmy, causing me to shake my head. There was half a bottle of Bacardi Light sitting on the table, so he most likely bribed her with liquor to let his ass stay. I was on cloud nine right about now, so I wasn’t going to let my mother’s twisted-ass love life ruin my good mood.
After going into my room and putting my things away, I sat on the bed to call Jamila so that I could tell her I was now dating her brother.
I prematurely asked Reign to be my girl knowing that I was still fucking with Monica, but in my defense, I didn’t think she was going to say yes. I had been trying to get with her for a long time now, and she always shot my ass down.
I had just pulled up to Monica’s crib to tell her that I couldn’t fuck with her anymore, and I already knew she was going to be pissed. I wasn’t in love with her. She was basically something to do because she was cool as fuck.
When I walked in, I could already tell that she had an attitude. I had told her that I was coming to chill with her last night, but I had stayed at my homegirl Ginger’s crib. Ginger was who Reign had seen me with at Starbucks. I could have told Reign that she was just my homegirl, but I loved that jealous side of her. I thought that seeing me with Ginger might have forced her hand to stop fighting her feelings for me. She probably thought that Ginger was someone I was interested in, but that shit was far from the truth.
“What happened to you coming through last night?” Monica asked with attitude evident in her tone.
Just looking at Monica, you wouldn’t think that someone as petite as her would be an aggressive person. Whenever she got upset, she was a force to be reckoned with, so most times, I just walked away from her ass to avoid putting hands on her.
“I didn’t make no promises about coming through last night. I told you that I would come through if business was handled, which it wasn’t,” I lied.
“So, you couldn’t pick up the phone and call to say that you wasn’t going to come through? I don’t know what’s been going on with you lately, but the shit is starting to blow mine,” she spat.
“Well, that’s why I’m here now, to talk to you about this thing we been doing,” I said.
“What about it?” She rolled her eyes, getting defensive.
“I think that it has run its course, so I feel it’s best that we not see each other anymore,” I blurted.
“So, when did you decide that we shouldn’t be together anymore? Because you wasn’t saying none of this shit before. You never expressed to me that you were unhappy with our arrangement, so what changed?” she asked.
“I’m not going to stand here and lie to you because that wouldn’t be me. I been crushing on someone for a long time, but she refused to give me the time of day. She believes me to be a player, so to be with her, I need to prove her wrong. We both know that we have been spending time together, but we never was in a relationship where I claimed you to be my girl. I will admit that we talked about it, but that was mostly you who wanted more than I was willing to give,” I said, keeping it real with her.
“Who is she?” she asked on the verge of tears.
I never understood why females always wanted to know who the person was, as if knowing was going to make them feel better.
“You don’t need to know who she is because it’s not going to change anything with you knowing. I’m not trying to hurt you, but if you keep it real, you know that we were just friends with benefits.”
“Wow. Trust, if I thought we were only friends with benefits, I would not have been wasting my time with you. I thought I was in a relationship, so don’t try to downplay the shit now because you want to be with someone else.”
“I didn’t come over here to argue with you. I said what I needed to say, so I’m going to get up out of here,” I said.
“Why the fuck would you do this to me? You really want me to believe that we were just friends with benefits for all these few months, Jahiem?” She was now crying.
“We have been kicking it off and on for a few months, so don’t make it something that it wasn’t, Monica. You’re acting like you didn’t know I was fucking other females. If we were in a relationship, why would you accept that from a man who was supposed to be your man? I don’t want this shit ending with ill feelings, so all I ask is that you respect that I’m going to be with someone else.”
“I’m sorry if it’s easy for you to do, but it’s not that easy for me to just move on when I have feelings for you. I can’t promise you that I won’t have ill feelings, because I’m pissed right now at how you chose to handle me.”
“Would you rather I continued to fuck with you and fuck with her too?” I asked.
She was hurt, and I felt bad, but I wasn’t going to continue fucking with her just to appease her when I didn’t want to be with her. She needed to find a man who was going to feel the same way about her that she felt about him. I wished that we could continue to be friends, but I knew. . .
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