As the sunrise inched its way into the morning sky, the six foot two inch, muscular, mulatto male frame shifted restlessly on the leather of the driver’s seat. Behind limo tinted windows he watched the front door of a framed house with malicious intent. His eyes ablaze with anger and his face filled with hurt. He watched a smiling Desiree waving goodbye to the man at the door, back out of the driveway onto the residential street, and disappeared. His eyes narrowed when the door finally closed and his target moved away from the window.
An exhausted James Jones Taylor had followed me to this house and waited all night for me to leave. He could feel his heart pounding in his ears as he marched up the walkway, rang the doorbell, and quickly moved out of sight. The door opened and the seriousness of the situation became all too real. A shirtless, Raymond Humphrey was barefoot and wearing nothing but a pair of black cotton pajama bottoms. He held his hands up and slowly backed away from the barrel of the gun.
"Listen, you don’t want to do this."
"Yes I do." James said with fire in his eyes.
"It’s not what you think." Ray said keeping his eyes locked on James’ trigger finger.
"Save it you sorry son of a bitch!" James said pressing his way forward into Ray’s foyer. As he navigated his way into the house he noticed the enormous canvass painting out the corner of his eye. "What the fuck is that?"
Ray looked up at a wide eyed James and then over at the painting. "It’s nothing. Just some art."
"That’s Desiree! That’s my wife!" James shouted in disbelief. "How long have you been fucking my wife?!" The rage in the center of his body began to boil over and spill out into his words.
"That’s what I’m trying to tell you! We aren't fucking. I’m in love with her, yes, but fucking her no. She was here because she is a good woman and wanted me to know that she is yours," Ray said almost babbling. "This whole thing was a set up that didn’t go as planned."
"What the fuck do you mean set up?” James said cocking the gun. “By who?"
"You’re boy Wesley, that’s who!" Ray confessed. "I just got hip to it myself. The only problem is he couldn't control the variables – that’s us man."
"How do you know Wes?"
"He was a friend." Ray looked down at the gun and tried to figure a way out of the life and death situation suddenly in front of him.
"I should kill you where you stand!" James said slightly lowering the piece of steel.
"Why? What will that solve?" Ray asked in an attempt to temper the situation.
"It would mean payback is a bitch," James said sternly. BANG! James fired a single shot into Ray’s thigh.
"Fuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkkk!!!!!!" Ray screamed and grabbed his leg.
"Now I feel a little better," James said walking over to where Ray had fallen. "You silly muthafuckas think you’re so goddamned slick. But I appreciate you confirming what I already knew," James said tapping Ray’s cheek.
As Ray writhed in pain on the floor, James walked over to the mantle where the gigantic painting of his wife rested. He took a moment to stare at the features of the face when he felt his eyes water. James pulled the painting off the mantle and knocked it to the ground. The large wooden frame that held its contents gave way with a crack as the image landed face up. There they were, my big brown eyes staring up at him. James stood over the painting and focused on my face. He raised his leg in an attempt to deface the image but found himself feeling a wave of guilt and remorse. The chain of events that led to this very moment didn’t seem this big or this drastic. It was one simple mistake. One. He thought to himself. Who knew all of this would be the end result.
James turned to find Raymond had moved toward the door. He quickly regained his composure and hurried to stop him. "Look, I love my wife. I would do anything for her. Anything to keep my family together," James said waving the gun. Ray paused to assess his means of escape.
"I can understand that but this is not about her. Right now I need to get to a hospital and fast."
"Trust me you will."
"I don’t mean in a body bag."
"You are crazy!" Raymond asserted.
"Isn’t everybody a little crazy?" J.J. said with a raised brow and a smirk.
"Let’s stop playing games! Wesley is the one that had it out for you from the very beginning.”
“Explain.” James said curiously, pointing the loaded gun at Raymond's side.
WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS? GO. GET. THE. BOOK.