~>The story written below is purely fictional. Not a fraction of truth is riddled between these words nor does the author imply that there should be. Most of the events in the pages to follow are created in the author's mind and thus should not be taken as fact in any way. He takes no responsibility for any illegal activity such as underage reading because it is done without his knowledge or sanction. The story's solitary intention is that of entertainment and nothing beyond.
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It is still there. He just has to take the initiative and go after what he wants. Both are relaxing their sore muscles after a couple of grueling hours at the gym. Their arms hurt. Abs are all crunched up into constricted knots. Leg muscles feel tender and weak. Laying on the blue workout mats is what manages to give both men back their strength; 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks. Breathing is harsh and the only sound in the still room full of equipment. The workout always seems to go by faster when there is someone there to talk to and relax with. After the ceiling stops spinning for both rappers, their breaths become increasingly less shallow as their bodies revert back to its normal homeostasis. Conflicting feelings flow through the air and the tenseness is only amplified by the dreadful silence. Banks cannot say anything. His heart and mind are not functioning as a cohesive unit. The older rapper's sweat-shined body next to him is distracting as he surreptitiously tries to adjust himself through his shorts. The thoughts will never leave 50's mind in peace.
"You like that?" 50 asks when he is fed up of the awkward silence.
"That workout was great. I'm still recovering."
"That's the way it's gotta be." Both men's eyes are stuck to the high ceiling of the imaginary gym.
"Muscles I didn't think existed hurts."
"Damn Chris man. I gotta get you in here more often if it's like that then."
"Shut up! We all can't be swollen up like your ass. You sure you don't use those steroids kid?"
"Oh that's fucked up nigga! I got the package right here that say I don't."
Lloyd Banks processes the words. Time will not change anything. "The room stop spinning for you?"
"Not yet. I've been working out so damn long but I'll never get used to it."
"It makes me feel like I'm flying or some shit."
"Yea. Like my body weighs as much as a feather."
"You so whimsical Chris," the buff rapper teases his best friend.
"You funny. You got jokes today fuck nigga."
"Aww come on. You know I'm just playin' around. You my boy."
"On the real tip? Am I?"
50 Cent looks at the slender rapper next to him as he is still gazing up into the heavens above. "Of course. Why wouldn't you be Chris man?"
"What's up? What's wrong with you?"
"Huh? What you mean?"
He cannot stop looking at him. The attraction is still there and keeps growing. "Talk to me."
"I dunno C man. Some part of me feels like I don't deserve any of this."
"Any of what?"
"The fame. The money. Your friendship---" Banks trails off. It is his ultimate insecurity come to life.
"Naw kid. You deserve everything good life gives you. You're a great guy. You got so much real talent. You got heart. You got me givin' you all these compliments---" he tries to be amusing and says. Seeing Lloyd Banks smile always melts him. He should do it so much more often.
"Why wouldn't you deserve my friendship Chris?" He is serious.
"Because of all the things I did. Said. All the things I feel but shouldn't."
"You forget how much shit I said and did too. I'd say we're pretty even with that," the G-Unit rapper tries to reason with the man lying next to him on the blue exercise mat.
"And what about the feelings?"
He sighs. "You know where I stand about that."
"Why can't I get it?"
"I'm not sure." The lie almost sounds real. He will never admit what is there.
The younger rapper finally peels his eyes off the ceiling and shifts his body to face his best friend's. Eyes instantly attract each other. "I can't have them. Why do they feel so real?"
"I dunno what to say Chris."
"Say you want me Curtis. Tell me you want me as bad as I want you."
The gym suddenly becomes quiet as the final words linger in the air forever. They cut through tension and continue to create more problems than they are worth. They had to be said though. Everything has to be out in the open if there is to be a chance of anything. A highly unlikely chance of something happening. Both rappers' eyes are locked as their sweaty bodies continue to face each other and look past all the defenses and into the light. A light that subdues everything in its path. 50 Cent sees something more within his friend's eyes. He sees himself, happy and wanting more. It is an illusion that teases and toys with his every emotion and he cannot take much more of it. Lloyd Banks never breaks the critical stare they share as he wonders what the older rapper is thinking. What he is feeling at the precise moment. It goes unnoticed when their bodies inch closer and closer together. Time stops and they are the only two moving, ever so slowly into the fantasy. Their lips are so close to each other's that a kiss is only logical. It is the only right thing.
"I think we should hit the showers," 50 clears his throat and says right before it happens. It cannot.
Banks is defeated and ravaged. "Yea," he replies softly.
It takes a minute for their respective bodies to respond but the two G-Unit rappers eventually get up from the mat and walk to the showers. Their nerves are shot and they do not know what is going on or what is going to happen because it is not clear. It will never be. Lloyd Banks trails behind slowly and begins removing his tank top. He cannot look at the man in front of him. 50 takes his shirt off as well and drops his pants as they finally reach the showers. He is not shy about anything as he steps under an already running shower and begins to clean himself. The younger rapper is next to remove the last article of clothing sticking to his body and walks up next to his friend. His muscular legs and back are so sensual. His butt is so tight and round. His skin is glistening with the mixture of water and sweat. Banks cannot control himself. He wants it now. He wants that feeling again. 50 Cent's back is to him and he looks so adorable when he thrusts his head under the sprinkling water to wet his face. His body is a temple. Urges and impulses tug at his skin.
Lloyd Banks lathers soap across his body in an attempt to get his mind away. His eyes are a different story though. They will not stop looking at the phenomenal specimen beside him. The perfect skin tone. Those tattoos. A soft dick that felt so good inside him. He looks away and focuses on cleaning himself and getting out of the situation sooner than later. He fears that the longer he stays, the harder it will be to leave in the end. 50 Cent looks as well. His fellow rapper's cute butt and nice slim and toned body. Something he will always like. When they eyes do meet again, they stick together just like before. Suddenly, the running water on their skin does not matter. The denial does not matter. What should be there is and no amount of denying will change it. Their bodies are drawing together once again. The unexplainable strikes twice. Banks moans softly when he feels 50 protectively place both hands on his hips and pull them closer together. He rests his hands on the buff chest in front of him. Eyes click as they move in for a kiss. Closer and closer.
Cold sweat soaks the sheets and pillows are on the floor as the G-Unit member tosses and turns. He tries to find a comfortable position but it is a battle he fails. He jumps up and sits on his bed before resting his wet head on his wet hands. The dream is so real. The things they say manages to take him to a place he has never been before. A place that Olivia has never been able to show him. Why is that? 50 helplessly opens his eyes and looks around in the dark. His dark room. Where he is alone. Goosebumps runs all over the slick ebony skin of his body as his attention is outside. He cannot sleep. The built form of his body makes its way through the shadows to the great room, where he lays on the sofa and clicks the TV on. New light mingle with his naked body as he sees what is going on at four o'clock in the morning. 50 Cent's mind cannot stop thinking about it. His self-induced insomnia is only validation of that. He wants it. More than anything. The fight is lost. He is unaware when his eyelids become heavier and manage to take him away.
A new day arises and the estranged rapper goes about his usual morning routine as everything is gray and bleak outside. New York is in a slight snow storm and the Sun is nowhere to be found as he munches on his breakfast. Last night is too much for him to handle. 50's mind starts to list off the things he has scheduled for the day but it all comes crashing down. He cannot go out into the real world the way he is. His mind is way too distracted and his body does not respond to its commands. Everything is a mess. Nothing will be done today. He will talk to no one. Not even look at his phone. The isolation is his intervention to himself. The G-Unit founder is going to take the now useless day he finds himself in and make it productive by sorting everything out. The insecurities and confusion and uncertainty cannot go on. Resolutions must be thought up and this brand new day is just the opportunity he needs. 50 Cent has wanted this for so long as he sits in his quiet suite and becomes vulnerable to himself. It is the only way. Thoughts will be silenced.
There are no sounds. No televisions on. A cell phone turned off. The hotel's phone disconnected. Everything is gone. He sits by himself at the large dining table and starts to write. 50 Cent writes everything he feels, thinks, and wants to say since he noticed the change in his life. A change that all started with Lloyd Banks. Pages upon pages become full with his less than perfect handwriting as he forces himself to open up and go to that susceptible part of his personality that no one ever sees. Not even his own son. This is for his own good. The constant bombardment of thoughts and mixed feelings he cannot take anymore. It will eventually drive him insane. The buff rapper massages his temples and continues to write, wracking his brain to make sure no thoughts are left unspoken and unwritten. The process is painful because 50 finds himself admitting things that would not have ever been possible in his life a year ago. Six months ago even. He rips apart every layer that comprises him and peeks into his bare, chaste soul. It is something frightening.
A light G-Unit sweatshirt adorns his muscular chest and a pair of loose black jeans wraps safely around his hips and drape down into oblivion. He applies lotion to his dry skin; the wicked winter is making this possible, and tries to find a hat to match his outfit through the mess that is known as his closet. He really should clean it up and put everything back where they should be that way articles of clothing will be so much easier to find. The silent day does wonders for 50 Cent. It unscrews his head and organizes every thought to where they should be. He continues to get dressed as an enormous orange ball of light sets into the west. Tonight is the first part of the test. His accomplishments or lack there of, for this night will determine how much harder he will have to work to get his way. What he wants. The rap superstar finds his hat and a coat to drape over his sweatshirt and is almost ready to go. 50 steps into the bathroom and stops when he sees his reflection in the mirror. It is someone he does not recognize. He leaves the suite after.
The ride to her place is long. Reflections tease his skin as the quiet ride continues; his mind is far less confident than when he was by himself in his room. Nothing will break him though. The driver tires his best to traverse through the snow-filled roads of New York City to get his client to where he has to be tonight. 50 is playing on his phone, a nervous habit, and notices that he misses a call from Young Buck. It must have happened occurred while he was in the shower. The G-Unit leader cannot call his friend back because he is not mentally able to handle work right now. If he allows his mindset to change to that of business then all his work will be lost without any way of recovering it. It will have to be dealt with tomorrow, or some other time. Tonight has to happen for him. When the driver notifies him that they have arrived, 50 Cent instructs him on when to return and tips him before bundling up and walking into the hotel. With his phone safely back in his pocket, the elevator ride begins. It all races to the edge. The door is assaulted with a swift knock.
"Hey baby," Olivia answers, surprised. She does not expect him this night. "What are you doing here?"
"Can I come in?"
"Of course." She moves aside to let her boyfriend into her hotel room. "What's going on?"
"I know you wasn't expecting me right now---"
"If I knew you were coming I would've put on something a little more sexy," she says in a tone that 50 is unaffected by. The door shuts behind her and she rests her hands on his strong shoulders while moving in to steal a kiss from him. It happens.
The superstar rapper takes her hands into his own and looks into those eyes; his expression is more than serious. "I gotta talk to you."
"About what? Are you okay? Something doesn't feel right."
"Something isn't. I---" The words will not come.
"Here. Let's sit on the sofa. Would you like something to drink?" Her heart speed is increasing and she can tell by just looking at the man that something is seriously wrong. She gets up to make her way to the kitchen.
"No," 50 takes her by the hand and leads her body onto the sofa next to him. "I need you to listen to me."
"Okay. What's going on Curtis? Is everything okay?"
"Can't what? Baby talk to me. I'm really worried here."
"We can't. Anymore."
The first lady of G-Unit looks at her boss and boyfriend with a clearly bewildered look written on her face. "I'm not following---"
"I don't want to hurt you."
"I know you don't. You're a caring man."
He sighs and closes his eyes. "We can't be together anymore."
"Curtis---why?" Her tone crumbles and she feels tears in the back of her eyes soon after.
"Where is all this coming from?"
"I'm not doing this to hurt you. It's the last thing I want. It's all me. It's always been me."
"What has? Please help me understand why you're doing this to us."
50 Cent looks at her. Tears begin to slide down her face. He gently rubs some of them away with the ball of his thumb. Her skin is so smooth. "I can't give you what you want. I can't give you what you need. I realize that now."
"You gave me everything I ever wanted in a relationship. We're perfect together."
"No. You're perfect. You're beautiful, smart, funny, and talented. I don't deserve you. You deserve someone who can give you as much as you give them. I can't."
"Yes you can baby. You showed me so much of yourself that I couldn't help falling in love with you. You're who I want. I'm not perfect. I'm only perfect when I have you. I don't understand where all this is coming from. I thought we were doing so good," she sobs. It is hurting them both. He cannot stand doing this to her but there is no other way.
"Listen to me. You deserve the world. More than that. I can't give you that. I don't know how to."
"I don't need the world. I don't want anything. I just want you. I love you Curtis."
"I'm sorry. We can't be together."
"Is it because I said I loved you?"
"No. When you said it, I felt so good inside. But I know that I can't give you the kind of love you have for me. I'm not capable of it and it's not fair to you."
"We can learn together. I'll wait for you. This can't be over. You're the perfect man for me. The only man."
"I'm nowhere near perfect," the G-Unit rapper says truthfully. "I can't love you like that so you have to move on and find someone else who can."
"So that's it? You expect me to turn off my feelings for you just like that?"
"So why do this?" Olivia's voice is battered and broken.
"It's the only way," the rapper replies sadly.
"Is this what you really want Curtis? Is something forcing you to hurt me like this?"
"No. I never wanted to hurt you. I had to tell you before we got in too deep."
"We made love. I told you I love you. It doesn't get much deeper than that," she states matter-of-factly. There is a slight tenseness and anger to her voice. The tears still steadily stream as well.
"Please." This is defeating him. "Can't you see how hard this is for me too? I could've been selfish and said nothing until it was too late. But I couldn't do that to you. You don't deserve that."
"So I deserve this?"
"No. You deserve to be happy. And I can't make you happy. Please understand that."
His girlfriend stares into his brown eyes and as much as the impulse is there to slap him and hit him and yell at him, it all subsides because she sees the rapper's soul though his defenseless eyes. Everything is genuine. He is truly hurting as well. "I've never seen what I'm seeing in your eyes right now."
"It's everything I try to hide from the world. I'm not doing this to hurt you," he tries to convince her once again.
"But it does hurt Curtis. You're breaking my heart. I can't stop feeling what I feel for you. It's too strong."
"I don't know what to say."
"I'll always love you. You showed me what a true relationship could be like. I don't understand---"
She crawls next to him and cups his masculine jaw in her hands before kissing him one last time. This is something she will never be able to do again. Tears flow free when she feels her now former boyfriend's hand gently caress the back of her head as he kisses her back. It is done. The test is over and although 50 Cent passes it, he is in no mood for celebrating. Olivia stretches out on the sofa and lies on his lap as he strokes her hair. The buff rapper feels her soaking tears on his jeans as she cries, letting it all go. Nothing is said. She cries herself to sleep on his lap. After an eternity of being lost in his thoughts, he gets up and replaces his lap with a nearby pillow. She does not wince at the intrusion and he notices the mascara stains around her eyes. 50 softly kneels down and observes her in the limited light before putting his lips to her cheek. There is still no sign of life from her, aside from her body cascading up and down from breathing, and he apologizes once again before officially leaving his former girlfriend. The door closes when he walks out.
The snow is less abundant in Atlanta, Georgia but it is still a freezing cold temperature as Lloyd Banks hears his phone go off next to his head. The Sun has not yet conquered the Moon as he sits up and stretches out his limbs before shutting the device off. He is instantly chilled to the bone when he removes the blanket from his almost naked body and walks into the bathroom to get himself mentally prepared to be grilled by one of his good friends, DJ Murph Dawg of the Beat Morning Show. It is supposed to be a laid back and relaxing interview but he never knows what his friend will try to throw at him so he has to be on his guard always. A very hot shower wakes the slim rapper up fully and manages to keep him warm as he reenters his room and finds something to put on. A heavy jacket keeps his upper body warm and thick jeans keep the rest of him at a safe temperature. Banks finds a hat and gathers up the essentials before leaving his warmer suite. The Sun finally makes itself known as he steps outside into the new day. A white and peaceful day.
Except for promotional events and when it is an absolute necessity, the G-Unit rapper and 50 Cent do not speak to each other. They have not had a decent conversation since the fight. It is better this way. Only the business aspect of their relationship remains and this is how it should have been from the beginning. Adding feelings and emotions into the relationship only manages to complicate things and hurt the two who are involved. Banks will never forgive himself for sleeping with his buff former best friend. How could he ever think that was for him? He just had to learn it the hard way and that he did. No more. There are still days like this though. Days where he cannot stop thinking about the other rapper and the things that went wrong between them. The fault this time lies solely on the car ride. There is heavy traffic entering downtown and everyone is extra cautious because of the slippery, snow-filled roads. Only fifteen minutes late, Lloyd Banks walks into the radio station and into the green room before an intern comes and retrieves him.
"Aight ATL, you know who this is in ya AM and I got that world exclusive Lloyd Banks interview on the other side of these commercials. Keep it locked," Murph Dawg energetically says as he flips a switch and he sees one of his producers give him a thumbs-up, signifying that he is temporarily off the air.
The G-Unit rapper steps onto the set and the DJ gets up to hug his friend. "What's good with ya kid?" Banks asks as he sits and formally begins his day.
"Chillin' nigga. Just tryin' to keep my ass on this radio show no matter what."
"I feel ya. You do what you gotta do."
"Been born ready," he confidently remarks and smirks.
"You going down then."
"Bring ya A game."
Another signal from the same producer and it begins. "What's goin' on Atlanta? It's ya boy Murph Dawg holdin' it down on the illest morning show on the planet. As promised, especially to all you ladies out there, I got the sexy Lloyd Banks in the house."
"Sexy as all hell," he cockily responds. "And only for the ladies," he says.
"Say good morning to everyone out there in radioland."
"What up Atlanta? Lloyd Banks is takin' this mess over right now!"
"Tryin' to steal my job man? We always in competition. Ever since back in the day," the DJ reminisces.
"I remember. Now I'm on top and you here---"
"Forget you aight! We all can't be multi-platinum recording artists these days."
"I hear ya. It's gettin' harder to stay alive in the game."
"That's good. It'll just get rid of the whack ass artists out there."
"Oh yea. Gotta have talent to stay in this piece," Banks says.
"Speaking of, Chris. Mind if I call you Chris on air?"
"You just gonna have to get over that buddy now aren't you?" his friend slickly teases him.
"You got jokes. Aight, go ahead."
"Who you think is whack as hell in the game right now? I got a few in mind but you know I can't say jack."
"Oh it ain't even `bout that for me. I ain't startin' drama with nobody. I'm just doin' me and that's it."
"Come on!" the DJ coaxes. "Put some of these weak wannabes on blast. You sittin' high now."
"Hell naw. It ain't `bout them anyway. Them weak ass rappers know who they are. I don't gotta point anything out. They can only deny it for so long."
"What about the whole Rule thing? And that Jada mess?"
Lloyd Banks gives his friend a look over his mic. Both know the look. "You got me confused with someone else in G-Unit boy."
"Oh word? So who we talkin' `bout here?"
"You the DJ. You should know."
"Yo boss. He low key these days."
"He doin' his own thing." Banks has almost no emotion within his voice.
"Since you in G-Unit, shouldn't you also have beefs with people who your fellow members have beefs with? Fifty got beef with Rule and Kiss. Why you ain't go after them in the album?"
"That ain't me. He got beef with those dudes. Not me. Doesn't mean I'd work with them but I ain't got anything against those boys."
"Damn!" he almost screams. "Coming on my show and setting all these records straight. Told y'all this was an exclusive," he says to the listeners.
"Got too much on my mind to pay any attention to other cats' beefs. It ain't `bout that for me."
"I hear ya. So tell me about this female in the group now."
"What about it?"
"What's she there for?"
The G-Unit rapper stops and contemplates for a moment. "She got talent. Fanbase is only gonna grow because of her. Got nothin' but respect for her."
"I see why. Your single with her dropped into number one. The fans requesting it day and night over here."
"That's what I wanna hear. We laced down that song in only a few hours."
"Damn. Dré ain't playin' no games. And when can we expect Buck's album."
"In the next few weeks."
"Okay, back to you. I hear through the grapevines that you got a girl. You gonna disappoint all your female fans like that?"
Banks laughs at the insinuation. "What grapevines you connected to because you dead wrong."
"You gonna lie to me like that? I thought we were tighter than that."
"There ain't no one kid. I'm too busy to deal with any relationship drama. Don't need or want it right about now."
"Only room for one body at the top."
"Exactly. And you lookin' at that one body right here."
"Straight. So what's next for you? By the way, I saw your VMA performance. Tight work."
"That's how ya boy Banks do it. I dunno what's next for me. A G-Unit album definitely. And Olivia's gonna be in the studio pretty soon. This ain't the end."
Murph Dawg's eyes shift to his producer, who is telling him to wrap it up. "Aight Chris man, it's been real but you got anything else to say to the kids before we cut out to break?"
"Gotta thank all the fans who copped that album and had it sittin' pretty at number one for three weeks."
"Of course. Congratulations on everything man. Continued success. You wanna take us out?"
"Aight. Ay ay, this is G-unit's own Lloyd Banks here in ATL chillin' with my homie Murph Dawg on the pimpest morning show on the planet. Keep it where you got it," the slender rapper advertises for his friend.
He removes the earphones and shakes his friends hand and does some personal catching up with him until the producer informs him that he has less than a minute before he is back on the air. The two men hug and Lloyd Banks makes his way back to the green room to pick up his jacket before leaving. The Sun's rays illuminate through gray clouds as he steps into the awaiting car and continues to tackle the rest of his day, which composes of his first major solo endorsement deal with T-Mobile and going to the gym. The cell phone carrier wants to sample all of his songs and make them into exclusive ring tones for T-Mobile customers. His publicist thinks the deal will be worth millions but he is not sure yet. The slender rapper proceeds through a McDonalds drive through to get himself an early lunch and eats while he is driven into the heart of downtown Atlanta to complete the rest of his hectic day. He is excited because it is a great accomplishment for him. His hard work and effort are being rewarded. Not him and the group; no G-Unit. A solitary effort.
The hotel room is quiet and dark as he enters it; the day is long but very rewarding to him as he signs his first multimillion dollar endorsement contract with the cell phone giant T-Mobile. The G-Unit member does not take but two steps into the deserted room before he phone sounds off deep in his pocket. It is his publicist once again, who informs him of an industry party in downtown Atlanta and highly recommends he attend. Lloyd Banks takes the advice but does not know if he will choose to go or not. The shower will decide for him. Something in the back of his mind is telling him to go though. It is strong and the slim rapper has never experienced this feeling before. He cannot put his finger on it but silences it as he tries to adjust to his body just relaxing. A warm, soothing shower relieves all the tense muscles in Banks' back and chest as he leans against the tiled wall of the shower to support himself as water continually beats down onto him. The days are becoming increasingly longer and harder but the rewards are more intricate and addicting.
A late dinner satisfies the man's body and thoughts of whether he should reenter the world again or stay within his own clouds his mind. The voice is back. It never really leaves and it wants him to go. Badly. The TV does not hold his attention at all and the young rapper finds himself staring outside for no reason. Snow lightly sprinkles from the sky above as he is mesmerized by it. In a split second, he flicks the television off and heads into his room to find something to wear. The urges and impulses are way too strong for him to control and they will not let him concentrate on himself. He is not that tired. A night out on the town will be good for him. Being around other people of his own caliber and just hanging out will relax him for sure. Banks throws together a casual outfit of blue jeans and a white t-shirt before finding some Nikes to compliment the ensemble. His snow jacket is still needed because the temperature outside keeps dipping lower and lower with each subsequent day. A white du-rag and hat will keep his head warm and he leaves.
It is amazing to see the line of people outside of the club, despite the freezing temperature. They all scream for the rapper and he stops to shake hands, sign autographs, and take a few pictures with the ladies before he is ushered into the club by one of its beefy bouncers. Inside is a cozy temperature and he immediately takes off the heavy jacket and entrusts it to an employee there, who takes it and hangs it in the coat room. Lloyd Banks looks around and adjusts his mind to take it all in because it is a lot. People are grinding on the dance floor while others are mixing it up at the bar and celebrities stay reserved in their private section. Something is missing; a drink. He goes light on the alcohol because it is not about that tonight. The G-Unit rapper is here to mellow out and hang with his fellow peers. He takes a few more pictures with his fans before making his way to where he wants to be. Where he knows he can be himself and identify with others just like him. The V.I.P. section is less crowded as he enters and looks around. He makes the right decision.
Instant identities make themselves known to him. Jay-Z is busily talking away on his phone; Beyoncé is nowhere near him. He recognizes Terrance Howard talking to a group of women who look like they are fans of his. Jermaine Dupri and Mariah Carey are sitting at a booth together catching up while Mary J. Blige is signing a slip of paper for a male fan. There is a truly mixed crowd at this Atlanta hot spot as the G-Unit member tries to find himself an empty table, which will prove to be impossible. To the very corner of the specialized section, he sees the rappers Nelly and T.I. sharing a booth together; talking, laughing, and generally having a good time. They notice him looking and wave as he does the same. Banks would really like to work with both of them and figures that is what they are talking about, trying to find a way to collaborate on a record together. It is all about networking; it is the main function of these industry parties. After chatting it up with his fellow rappers and friends, he finally sees an open booth and takes it over.
The G-Unit rapper is glad he decides to come because although the club is packed with celebrities and crazy fans, the party feels very low-key and there is no pressure to mingle with anyone. These people are his family though. He has so much respect for everyone and everything each individual talent manages to bring to the table. Banks spends a great deal of time talking to one of his personal mentors, Jay-Z, but it is not about work. They just have a natural rapport that it seems so easy to talk to him. The rap icon hugs him and leaves the club around midnight because of business he has to complete tomorrow. He also notices Nelly and T.I. inconspicuously leave at around the same time but thinks nothing of it. It is possible that they could just be staying at the same hotel. It is a little past twelve when Lloyd Banks decides to call it a night and is about to get up to leave when he sees him. Him of all people. Why here? Why now? They have to stop meeting at these parties. Like an uncanny force of attraction, there eyes meet. Like always. It is sin.
"Thought it'd be damn petty if I didn't see what's up with ya," Ludacris comes over to the table and says loudly over the blasting music in his irresistible southern accent.
Lloyd Banks shakes his hand. "What's going on?"
"Straight chillin'. Things been pretty hectic lately. Mind if I chill out?"
"Naw. Go ahead."
He sits and notices those eyes on him. Those eyes he likes so much. "You good?"
"Oh yea. Been so crazy my damn self. Just wanted to come out here to chill."
"I feel ya."
"Why do we keep running into each other?" the G-Unit rapper hears himself ask. One minute it is a thought in his mind and the next it is spoken; real.
The DJ turned rap artist looks at his past and still sees it all there. The meltdown between them has not deterred him in any way. "I dunno. Faith I guess."
"Why you say that?"
"It was a joke. Chill out."
"My b. I'm tired as hell. I think I'm `bout to leave in a in a minute."
"Because I'm here?" he sincerely asks. The truth is still being elusive.
"Naw nigga. What's that got to do with anything?"
"You got something to say to me?"
"No. Should I?"
Lloyd Banks examines his former lover carefully. They may not have been together long but he can tell the older rapper is keeping something from him. His innocent eyes give him away. "Suit yourself."
"Can I talk to you?"
"Isn't that what we doing now?" he replies but it is not meant to be sarcastic or condescending in any way.
"I mean away from the screaming people and loud ass music."
"About what? What do we gotta say to each other?"
The DTP rapper swallows hard and lowers his voice. "Please."
"Yea sure. Where and when?"
"Let's head back to my place. I drove myself tonight."
"Okay," he reluctantly agrees.
They make plans to exit the club without anyone noticing them leaving together. Ludacris informs him that his car is parked on the third floor of a nearby parking garage and he leaves a short while after. When the G-Unit member finishes his drinks and says goodbye to whoever is left, he walks out the back of the club and through a short, dark alleyway until he sees the entrance of the parking structure. On the elevator ride up to its third floor, thoughts, emotions, and raw feelings resurface and sting against his already bruised skin. Why do they keep bumping into each other? What does it all mean? What does he want to talk to him about? When Lloyd Banks exits the elevator, a car is waiting to greet him; an ice blue, slick Lamborghini Diablo. It is an elegantly beautiful creature as he stares in awe of it before walking around and lifting the door up to get in. Both look at each other for a split second before the southern rapper speeds down and out of the garage. Nothing is said. He feels uncomfortable but he wants to see where it will end for them.