The drive to Seduction was fast and caitlin felt sick. She’d had to bring Callie. Ever since the fire, Callie had never been left alone at the house or anywhere. If someone was home Caitlin would leave her but not when the house was empty and Emily had left for her trip to Hawaii hours ago. She stroked the golden lab’s head to sooth herself as Jay raced toward North Hollywood. The security guy had said the computers had been taken and the CCTV had been smashed. The safe had been taken and it had been trashed. Caitlin had tried to ask JC who had done it, the security service had said on the up side, they hadn’t realised there were two sets of cameras and thankfully the ones they smashed were the fake ones. Jay looked furious and she sensed his fury so did not engage in conversation. She knew her boyfriend well enough to keep quiet when he was angry and forced to think about who, why and how to repay the treachery.
JC glared ahead at the road, foot to the floor, determined to get the formalities over with so he could get his hands on the scum who dared to try to ruin his and his girl’s future. Since meeting Caitlin, his life had changed. Gone were the days he was hustling to stay alive and fed. Now he was driving a Lexis, wearing store bought clothes and rocking some nice jewellery. He’d moved out of the hood and he was now living with his girl in a nice house in Glendale that he was paying a mortgage for. He’d already called his boys to alert them to the situation. The police and security firm knew who it was and so did he. Even before they’d told him the name of the perpetrator, he’d known who had dared to cross him.
There was a locksmith already at the Glendale house and one of his friends who owned two particularly nasty guard dogs were now in position in the back yard. No wonder Ebony hadn’t been around, she was too busy giving the information she could to the ones responsible for the break in. He’d never trusted Ebony, always out for herself, ever since a little girl. She’d steal the last cookie at Big Mama’s and blame it on one of the other kids. She was born lying Big Mama used to say. When she had befriended his older sister Leah, she’d been nothing but trouble. They’d gone to the same high school and JC had known she’d be trouble. Leah had been living with their aunt Leila and he’d been at Big Mama’s in Compton. There was no way he could have saved his sister from Ebony’s crew and prevent her from ending up on the path she did. She was dependent on prescription drugs and led a less than full life now. Ebony had done that to Leah. It wasn’t enough their brother Dante had raped her, but then their cousin had to get her hooked on coke and heroine, leaving her with debts and an addict she’d probably never quit. JC hadn’t seen Leah since the last time she’d been in rehab and he’d vowed never to see her again. His siblings were nothing but a headache. Leah and Dante were his siblings on his mother’s side but his father was the proud daddy to eleven kids. He and Leah were full siblings and shared Kris Ellis’s genes with nine other kids. He didn’t know all of them and the ones he did made him not want to know any more. Three of them were already dead, gun shots to one and drug overdoses to the other two. They’d lived in Watts and JC had never met them. He wasn’t even sure his waste of space daddy had met them either. Then there was Felicia, Corinna and Talisa who lived in Compton. As far as he knew, he and one of the overdose kids were the only boys his father had donated sperm to. His sisters were nothing but worthless hood rats who had a bunch of babies to different daddies. His family tree was complex and he was happy to think it was he and his grandmother. She’d been the only constant in his life. Everyone else just wanted something from him and now he wasn’t willing to give it. The only ones he’d stick by were those who had stuck by him all the time and Ebony and his siblings were not among them.
They pulled up as the cops were talking to security. The popo were another new effect he was feeling. In Compton, he was a drug running hustling gang banger but here, he was a business man and respected. It was a new feeling and one he wasn’t sure he’d ever adjust to.
“Mr Carter?” The heavy set white cop asked. JC responded with a curt, “Yes, sir. What has happened here?” Caitlin stepped out of the car, leaving Callie sitting in the footwell as she felt her way around the car to stand by Jay’s side. The police officer looked toward her and Jay turned, taking her hand and smiling politely responded to the police officers’ silent question. “This is my girlfriend and manager, Caitlin Dawson.” “Hello, miz Dawson,” The police officer said quickly and turning back to JC told him what had happened. He knew the play by play before the cop even spoke though as he’d known who was responsible before they’d said the culprit’s name. Break down the shutter with a crow bar, prize open the lock with a credit card, punch in the number, given courtesy of Ebony and the rest was history.
“We have a call out for the arrest, both were on the CCTV footage,” The police officer informed them. “Who did this?” Caitlin spoke up for the first time and both men turned to look at her, almost forgetting she was standing there with them. JC sighed and took a deep breath.
“Ebony, which I think you already suspected,” His deep tones were tired and filled with weariness. Caitlin nodded and he continued, “My sister Corinna’s baby daddy Mitch. He’s always wanted to be included with what he calls family business. When I didn’t entertain him, he’s always tried to get one over on me. I also suspect some of Battle’s boys are involved somehow. Mitch never cared about loyalty, just getting his.” The officer waited patiently for him to finish and Caitlin nodded. So, family were involved and Battle’s boys again? Surely not them? Surely that was long since over? Wasn’t it?
JC had alerted everyone to the ongoings at Seduction. Rico and Big D were sitting in a dark coloured chevy waiting by the small, run down house on Colburn Street. What they were waiting to see happened. A dark red mustang pulled up and Ebony and Mitch jumped out and walked calmly up the path to the house where Corinna, Jay’s older, fat, good for nothing sister lived. A quick signal with a thumb and Nate was hot-wiring the mustang. They watched as his quick and nimble hands flew across the wires and as the engine started, he leapt into the passenger seat where his twin, Malakai was putting the car into drive. Rico and Devaughn sped down the street but Devaughn spied the look of horror cross Mitch’s face. The coco coloured skin of his face drained faster when he saw two of JC’s henchmen coming toward him. A few moments later the white removal van that Malakai’s dad used to use drove by and an OK sign showed they had both Mitch and Ebony safely in the back. Devaughn text JC, “All sorted homie”.
The contents of the club that were taken had been in the back of the car. They drove to Viva and put all the stuff in the office. There would have been no way JC would have allowed the cops to deal with this and although he knew the cops would have been called, he’d placate them somehow. They already knew he was dodgy but he didn’t care. They couldn’t prove a thing.
As they drove away from the police and the security, having secured the club, JC told Caitlin it was all sorted. They’d get cleaners in and it’d all be OK.
“What are you going to do?” Caitlin asked, her mouth dry. She knew the answer really but wanted to hear him confirm it. “I’ll deal with them, baby girl,” He drove onto their street and they entered the house.
“When we’ve made enough money, I’ll ensure our safety, baby girl,” He pulled her to him. “I’ll make sure we’re safe.” She kissed him. “I am safe with you, Jay, I am.” He kissed her gently and nodded but he knew to keep the assholes off of his money and his girl, he’d have to move to a house with high security fences and guard dogs. Somehow, the clubs were not enough to go legitimate so he’d have to find another way. Where else in Hollywood could he make money than the rap game? He could rap himself, although he’d never been serious about trying but his friends had been trying to get signed for years. Maybe the clubs could offer a starting block. Maybe, just maybe he could venture into the world of music and going totally ligit for his girl. What was happening to him? He was changing for her and the nicest thing was that she hadn’t even asked him to. No matter where he went, what he did, he knew the ill will would never end but he could protect himself and caitlin from it.