The Tools of Seduction
With February coming up, each week next month I plan on posting a romantic excerpt from both my published and soon to be published novels. The sidebar title will be “The Tools of Seduction” where the main characters have a romantic encounter when the opportunity arises:
Motorcycle gang member falls for Somali Bantu refugee, in the ebook RUSH
Aiden’s RUSH excerpt:
He pulled onto my street, knowing those kids would hear the music and chase after his truck like he was the Pied Piper of ice cream. Dude was really a prick, ‘cause he always used our dead end to turn around, and each time he never stopped. But not today.
When he saw me standing in the middle of the road blocking his way out, he had two choices. He could go to the right, but by doing that he’d hit the sidewalk and probably mow down most of the bikes lined up next to the clubhouse. Or he could go to the left where the kids were now congregated. Mama Bear was standing with them, cursing him out.
“Ay, what are you doing, man?” He threw his hands up and turned his head, like he had an invisible companion sitting beside him wondering the same thing. “What’s with you?”
“Park the truck.”
“What?” He seemed to wilt before my eyes, just like the volume of that annoying tinker toy music his truck always blared. The gun I pointed at him probably had something to do with it.
“Let ’em get some ice cream.”
He nodded in the direction of Mama Bear and the kids. “They don’t have no money. Look at ‘em.” He said it with such smugness I was willing to bet he expected me to agree with him. “For you my friend, I’ll stop. I’ll even give you ice cream on the house.”
“Park the damn truck, motherfucker! Cos today is free ice cream day. For everybody.”
Once the kids heard “free” and “ice cream” they started bouncing up and down like the ground had turned into a trampoline. More bikers ambled out of the clubhouse. A few of ‘em had pool sticks in their hands, trying to figure out why I was directing a busted up truck to pull over by the sidewalk of the refugee houses. The surprise was how the ice cream driver got all smiley faced as he slid the customer window open. He asked each kid what they wanted, but no matter what they’d ask for he’d give ‘em a freezy pop. He kept reaching down to pat the kids heads or laugh real loud after each transaction, and he’d look straight at me after he’d do it. A lot of his gestures seemed like they were for my benefit, just so I wouldn’t hurt him. As word spread about the free treats even Aaliyah came out of the house, handing off her baby brother to an older girl.
“This is taking too long,” I said, ordering him to open up the back door so that I could hop in and personally serve her.
“Okay, okay. I don’t want no trouble, man.”
His fear was just the thing boosting my cockiness. While I rifled through the freezer, he sat in the driver’s seat looking upset as hell. “Hey,” I held out two popsicles for Aaliyah. “One’s coconut, the other’s chocolate fudge. Take your pick.”
She gave me a little smile, timidly walking towards the truck. At first she reached for the fudge, thought about it, then decided to take the coconut popsicle. Without all that hair her features were in sharp focus. Wide set eyes that looked black without any make-up, full lips I could place kisses on all night . . . At first I’d thought she was just real cute. Now I was certain she had the promise of being a heartbreaker.
I tore the wrapper off the chocolate popsicle, letting my tongue play on it, licking it up and down, nice and slow. My lips were being coated with fudge, so I licked them ever so slowly, hoping she’d get the hint. As she unwrapped the paper covering and slid the coconut popsicle in her mouth, her stare never left mine. Her mouth got good and glossy, so when white popsicle juice dribbled from her bottom lip, all kinds of thoughts ran through my head. I wanted to hear her say my name. Not that made up shit that Turk had given me. My real name. The one I remembered but was never allowed to say.
The rest of my popsicle was gone in one swallow, and I savored the icy burn going down my throat. Then I took an armful of products out of the freezer and hopped off the truck. Soon as I did that my new “friend” stuck his head out of the passenger side window, asking, “Did you leave me anything?”
“No,” I told him, ignoring the angry pout deepening on his face, ’cause I was too busy making a mental note of how Aaliyah really wasn’t a little thing, just malnourished looking. Her forehead came up to my chin and with me being six four, there was no reason she couldn’t be strolling down a runway in Milan or Paris. That’s how willowy tall and beautiful she was. And with those big, expressive eyes of hers, I could just imagine seeing her face staring back at me on some fashion magazine one day. Now that the ice cream truck was gone I could feel my crew staring, so I dumped the rest of the popsicles in her arms. She was surprised, ‘cause she wasn’t finished with her own.
“There’s more coconut ones mixed in the pile,” I said. Then I lowered my voice, so only she could hear. “Give me the one in your mouth.” I added “Please” just so she wouldn’t think I was trying to bully her. I kept my back to the clubhouse, so they couldn’t get a direct view of what we were doing. I could see Mama Bear out the corner of my eye. She’d taken a seat in her chair, fanning her long skirt and humming, like there was nothing unusual about Aaliyah bending slightly, her arms full of cold treats, and plucking the one she had in her mouth to hand over to me.
Aaliyah watched intently as I savored the taste of iced coconut, swirling the doubled sticks in my mouth. When they broke apart I offered her one of ‘em back. “This is me and you. Maybe one day-”
Her shoulders flinched at her father’s call, making me angry for her. The kids called her Aaliyah, but that’s not how he pronounced her name. It sounded like he’d called her Ail-yah, and I kind of liked that better because it was different. I cut my eyes his way. Staring back hard at me were some of the darkest, most soulless eyes I’d ever seen. His door opened wider, and I could swear he was even larger than the last time I’d seen him. The rustle of boots on the other side of the street coupled with low, muttering voices had me stepping away from Aaliyah. If her father tried anything, my crew would be on him in an instant, showing no mercy. So I headed back to the clubhouse, gripping that wooden popsicle stick in my back teeth, biting down hard so that I wouldn’t say what I really wanted to.
Russell looked at me, then over my shoulder. “He’s still giving you attitude. Want me to-”
“Naw,” I said. “If he wants a piece of me, he knows where I am.”
Someone put a beer in my hand and I took it. But not before I put that empty popsicle stick in a safe place inside my vest, right by my heart.
Want to read another excerpt from RUSH? Then click the link below the photo:
This ebook delves into the complex history between Somali and Somali Bantu via fictional characters. The heroine and her caretakers/community ties are Somali Bantu. There is also an exploration of tensions between Africans and African Americans within the story.
The Somali Bantu lead male character from RUSH has his story continued in MAKE ME YOURS