~>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.
~> Plagiarism of any part of this, or any other story without the author's consent is immoral and not to mention unlawful.
~> Inquiries and opinions are encouraged. Send your thoughts to email@example.com and put something related to the story on the subject line so the author does not overlook it.
The flight across the country is arduous in that 50 Cent cannot get any sleep because the seats are uncomfortable and there is a small child crying in first class. His body is begging him for some rest but the only time that will be able to happen is when they are finished in the studio. It is impossible to determine when they will be done though because it can range anywhere from an hour to many more; it all depends on the level of creativity each man feels during the session. He knows that there is a push to get Lloyd Banks' album out so they will be there for a while, whether they create anything or not. There is also afterwards; which is what the buff rapper is dreading the most. He knows they will have to talk about what happened between them, seeing as he and Banks haven't spoken since then. Everything replays in his mind over and over and he tries to come up with some rational reasoning or excuse but fails miserably. He does not want to do this. 50 hates not knowing what to say or how to explain himself.
Shortly after landing in LAX, the rapper gets cleared and leaves the airport in a hurry because he is late. The traffic surrounding the airport is horrendous as the driver weaves in and out of lanes to make it to their destination faster. 50 does not know why at first but his stomach is feeling strange. It feels like butterflies but he will not admit that to himself. Of course he wants to see his best friend because he misses him but the talk after is what he is dreading. Why did that night happen? Why didn't he just stop it when he had the chance? Why does Banks like him that way? 50 Cent is swimming for answers but only drowning in the presence of more questions. It is overwhelmingly frustrating and he suddenly wants to punch something; anything. The driver informs him that they are at the studio and he opens his eyes and gathers up his stuff before getting out and walking into the studio. The receptionist guides him to the studio where he needs to be and his heart palpates when he enters and sees Banks, who is in the studio.
"What's good Dré ?" he asks as he shakes the producer and his friend's hand.
"Late as usual Fifty man," Dré says. "Where were you? We already started recording," he states, motioning to Banks in the studio.
"Sorry man. Got caught up in some stuff. I wanted to see Marquise before I felt New York."
"How's the munchkin?"
"He's good. Getting more and more handsome, just like his daddy."
"If you say so. You ready?"
"Aight. Let's get this done."
50 opens the door and walks into the studio to greet his friend, who is writing some lyrics to go with a new beat Dr. Dré is experimenting with. The two shake hands and hug briefly and Lloyd Banks smells his best friend. He smells good, like he always does, and his mind instantly forgets his lyrics and focuses on the rapper in front of him, He cannot help it. They talk as if nothing happened between them because this is business and nothing comes in the way of making money in the industry. Dré is busy mixing and producing various different beats while the two rappers are in the studio writing lyrics. Banks knows he is distracted but fights with himself to concentrate on getting his album done. There will be plenty of time to talk and figure out what happened that night later. And he is going to get his answers one way or another. It is not about that right now though. Together, they rhyme words, come up with clever puns, and write extreme lyrics to match the sound of the music. The creativity is there from the three men.
The buff rapper leaves the studio and sits outside as his friends begins to spit on the first track. His scruffy voice can be heard tied to the music and the lyrics match the beats better than either man expected it to. Everything is strictly professional between all three men but Banks is having more trouble putting his feelings away than he thought he would. It is not to the point of sapping away at his concentration but it is in the back of his mind and bothering him. He continues to recite his rhymes in the booth however, much to the satisfaction of both producers. 50 Cent and Dr. Dré converse amongst themselves about the freshly laced track while the young rapper sits inside the booth, writing more in a notebook. The two producers experiment with more beats, rhythms, lyrics, and hooks that will match up with the theme of the upcoming album. It is supposed to be a more mature and sophisticated record in that there are no responses to beefs or putting anyone on blast. This one is for the fans to get to know the real Lloyd Banks.
He continues to test words and express thoughts while the other men come up with different sounds for him to utilize. After a few more tracks are created, the buff rapper enters the recording booth and grabs his friend into a hug and congratulates him on the great job he is doing. Banks hugs back for a brief moment before they break apart and he tells 50 that he is having trouble with some lyrics for the next song. The pair sits on a nearby sofa and start rhyming out words that makes sense for the song. Dr. Dré is still producing beats but stops for a while to take an important call on his cell. They all decide on a short break so Dré can handle his business and they can come up with a good chorus and hook for the song they are working on together. As 50 Cent reads the lyrics from his friend's book, he beings forming a rap in his mind to go along with it. It isn't half bad and he asks Banks to give him a beat while he recites it aloud. With a couple of adjustments from the younger rapper so it flows better, both agree on it and to put him on the track. He tells Dré about their plans and steps into the studio before putting on the earphones.
It proves to be a smart decision because 50's voice on the track next to Banks' sounds perfect as it fills the entire studio. He gets it down perfect with his third try and exit's the booth to see Dré wrapping the song up. The younger rapper is next to him but he is too busy writing lyrics down to notice anything and 50 Cent finds himself staring at him. He is intimately connected to his friend. They had sex. Everything's different now and his mind slowly starts to realize that. He suddenly just wants to take that night back or somehow wipe it from their memory. It feels weird being around his best friend knowing that he saw him naked and was inside of him. Neither man say anything as they continue doing what they are currently doing; the buff rapper staring off into space, deep in thought, Dr. Dré trying to finish another record, and Banks busily rhyming and writing words. The trio accomplish manage to wrap seven tracks in their session and each are excited because the album is that much closer to being a complete project.
"Aight boys, I gotta head outta here," Dr. Dré says as he starts wrapping things up in the studio.
"Damn, it's that late?" Banks finally notices the time. He wants this moment but then he doesn't.
"Yea. We should get outta here," 50 says as he grabs his hat from the sofa and rests it on his head.
"Ay good work Banks man. I'm loving this shit. This album's gonna make you millions."
"My favorite number Dré ."
"If the next session goes like this one then we should be able to put this album to bed."
"When we gonna meet again?" the buff rapper wants to know.
"I'll see when I'm free. Catch y'all niggas later," Dré says as he shakes both rappers' hands and walks out of the studio, busily dialing on his cell phone.
The butterflies return to 50's stomach. "That was some good shit man. Tight rhymes," he says, looking anywhere but his best friend's eyes.
"I'm glad we got so much done. Less shit to worry about."
"I feel ya. That one track with me and you's gonna kill `em," he states, trying to keep the conversation about work only. He can't deal with the other stuff right now because he is tired and hungry.
"Who knows, it might be the first single," Lloyd Banks manages to say in an uncaring mood. This is the first time he's seen the rapper since that night and he needs answers. They have to talk.
"What you been up to man?"
The young rapper has enough of the small, somewhat forced talk. "You just gonna act like nothing happened C?"
"What you want me to tell you man?"
"Let's get outta here. Come back to the hotel with me," 50 Cent responds to his friend.
Lloyd Banks follows the buff rapper out of the recording studio after gathering up all his belongings and jump into an awaiting car. Nothing is said during the long ride through the dark city en route to the hotel because neither man knows what to say. The younger rapper has all these questions in his mind to ask but now that he is so close to 50, everything seems to have just disappeared from his brain and he cannot form coherent thoughts for the life of him. It isn't fair because he thought he had this whole conversation figured out but it is a completely different scenario now that he is so close to getting the answers he has wanted since that night. The older rapper stares out the window and the many passing streetlamps illuminate his face for mere seconds before fading away once again. Why did he put himself in this difficult situation? He does not know what to say and hates it because he is always on control. A part of him feels missing and somehow wounded. 50 Cent swipes the card to his room to let them in.
"You want something to drink?" he asks his guest in a preoccupied voice.
"Naw I'm straight."
For the first time, he finally looks Banks in the eyes. "I'm sorry I haven't called you the past couple of weeks Chris."
"Why is that?" the young replies in an almost icy tone.
"I dunno," he says as they sit on the sofa.
Lloyd Banks sits on the loveseat to the side of his friend and looks at him, not knowing which emotion to feel first. "What happened?"
"The reason we haven't talked in almost a month."
"Nigga I don't know what to tell you."
"This shit's fucking confusing me. I dunno what to think right now."
"Why didn't you call me? You putting all this on me."
"So why didn't you call me?" 50 questions him.
"And say what?"
"What you wanted me to say to you if I had called?"
He rests his head on his hands. "Why this happened."
"You should be happy. It's what you wanted isn't it?"
"What the fuck? Who said that?"
"You did. You said you liked me."
"I do. But I didn't want it to happen that way."
"I can't believe you're gay."
"I'm not fucking gay!" the young rapper says defensively. "I still like girls."
"When you started feeling like this?"
"I dunno. Blind-sighted me."
"So you woke up one day and just wanted to jump on my dick nigga?" 50 starts to lose his patience. Nothing is being resolved.
"Fuck you! Don't say shit like that to me!"
"Chris, I'm really trying to be patient here."
"You making it seem wrong that I like you like that. I don't understand this shit either aight?"
"I never said that."
"Fucking putting me down. I can't help the things I feel. Who the hell can? Fuck you! This shit was a mistake coming here," he screams as he gets up to leave. He is shaking because it all hurts so bad.
"Sorry. Sorry! I didn't mean to dump on you like that. We gotta fix this. We can't be walking on eggshells around each other."
"You think I want that? Why'd you let it go that far?"
"What? You gonna blame this on me now?" 50 Cent asks. He can't contain himself. He is getting angry.
"Nigga you were there. I didn't force you to do shit."
"You can't blame me for what fucking happened! I'm not into niggas like that. I'm not fucking gay!"
"Did you do anything to stop it?" Lloyd Banks looks as his best friend stares at him hard.
"No. I didn't. But that doesn't mean I started it. This is getting nowhere. We're fighting over stupid shit."
"Fuck this! I'm outta here. It's not worth it anymore." He gets up once more and steps toward the door, his back to the buff rapper.
"That's how you gonna deal with all your problems? Run away like a bitch?"
Blood reaches an immeasurable degree within Lloyd Banks and complete rage takes over his body. He balls up his fist as tightly as they can go before quickly turning around and taking a swing at the other man. 50 is unaware of this at first but feels it when his friend's tight fist connects with his jaw, knocking him back in the process. The young rapper's eyes flare and look red as he continues to pound away with all his might at the man under him. Adrenaline is mixing with his blood and he doesn't care anymore because he is hurt, upset, confused, and slightly dazed. Everything is rolled into one and it defeats him. 50 Cent uses his hands as a shield to cover his face from the assault. His jaw writhes in pain and he feels blood trickling down his nose before finally managing to push Banks off of him. He stumbles back and crashes onto the floor hard, the back of his head and lower back searing with pain. He feels it when the older rapper punches him in the face. He tastes blood because his lip is busted open. Everything is over.
"Fuck you nigga! Faggot ass bitch!" he manages to say out of breath.
Lloyd Banks lies on the floor, his body in too much pain to handle. The room is spinning as he closes his eyes and tries to cope with it all. Beads of tears escape his eyes. "..." He tries to speak but cannot. Blood falls to the carpet.
"Shit! Shit!" 50 says as he rushes over to his best friend's limp body. "Chris? Fuck! Chris? No! Chris?"
The scared rapper keeps yells his friend's name frantically but gets no response from his body. His heart races a million miles a second as he tries to shake Banks awake. The younger rapper's body is lifeless on the floor, suffering a mild concussion because of the hard hit to the back of his head when he fell. 50 is frightened as he picks the man's body up from the floor and takes him into his room. He rests the rapper on his bed and uses two pillows to elevate his head higher than his body. He cannot think straight as he rustles to find a rag to wipe the fresh blood trickling out of his Banks' nose and swollen lips. Both his hands shake as he tries to wipe the blood because he is so worried but also because the adrenaline high is wearing off and he has to deal with the reality that the man in front of him is not waking up, no matter how hard he calls his name. A grueling few minutes go by before the older rapper finally begins to see movement in the lifeless body on his bed. He places a damp, warm rag on the man's forehead.
"Chris man! I'm so sorry Chris! I'm so sorry!"
Lloyd Banks opens his eyes but his blurry vision prevents him from seeing anything. It takes his body a second to adjust to the light before he can see clearly once again. His heads feels as if it is spilt into two and his whole body hurts. He looks over to see 50 Cent and the worried look on his face and he wonders what he is doing here and what is going on. The severe pain is making it hard for him to think straight at the moment. The younger rapper waits until he has enough energy before sitting up on the bed and then rubbing his head. He is confused as to where he is and why he is in so much pain. 50 gets up and walks into the bathroom to get some painkillers and then to the kitchen to get his best friend a bottle of water. Upon his arrival back into the room, he instructs Banks to take the pills and hands it to him along with the bottle of water. He looks up into the older man's eyes before taking the pills and water. While looking into the buff rapper's eyes, everything starts becoming clear in his mind once again. He swallows the pills.
50 sits on the bed next to him, still worried. "You okay Chris?" he asks with genuine concern.
"You had me worried man. You weren't answering me when I was calling you---" he begins frantically.
"Stop talking so loud. My head is killing me."
"I'm sorry about everything."
"What's everything?" Banks asks unknowingly. His mind is still processing everything that is happening.
"About earlier. Sorry I pushed you and hit you."
The younger rapper knows he hit him too. "I'm sorry to C. I dunno why I flipped like that."
"I shouldn't have said that. I know you're confused about everything that happened between us."
"You're not? We fucking slept with each other."
"No I am. But we can't let that come in between our work and our professional relationship."
"You're right," Banks agrees as he begins rubbing his temples with his index and middle fingers.
"It was a mistake."
Hearing 50 say their night together is a mistake hurts him inside but he is careful to not let it show. He lies. "Yea."
"Are you sure you okay man? You need some more pills? Water?"
"No. Thanks. I gotta go though," he says as he moves to get off from the bed. His body is in so much pain.
"No. You're in no shape to go anywhere."
"I gotta go. I have shit to do tomorrow."
"Stay here. I feel bad and I know you're hurt. Don't make me beg."
"I can't. I'm okay. Really."
"Stop lying! You can't even walk to the door."
"I can. I can't stay with you Curtis. It'll be too confusing."
"How? We already fixed that shit between us. It's in the past now. Plus if you stay, that shit won't happen again."
"I dunno---" he trails off.
"You're hurt nigga! Stay your ass right there," 50 Cent orders.
"Where you gonna sleep huh?"
"On the sofa."
"Naw man. Stop being so stubborn."
"Look, just shut up and relax aight. You hungry?"
Banks feels defeated in more ways than one. He sighs. "Yea."
"Good. The menu's right there," the rapper states as he points to it on the nightstand. "Order me whatever while I jump in the shower."
"What you want?" Banks asks as 50 takes his shirt off and tosses it aside.
"Doesn't matter to me. No salad though."
Lloyd Banks stares at the perfect specimen that is his best friend's body. Everything confuses him about the man in front of him. "Whatever you say."
"That's more like it," 50 says as he flashes a sexy smile toward the younger rapper before tossing a towel across his shoulder and walking to the bathroom.
"What the fuck's wrong with me?" he asks himself in a hopeless voice before staring off into nothingness. The painkillers are finally aiding his body in dealing with the physical pain.
After he manages to find himself in the fog of his thoughts, the warn out rapper grabs the nearby menu and flips through the thick pages, looking for something good to eat. He hears the shower turn on and continues to examine the menu, deciding to get steak and rice for them both. Banks places the menu back where it belongs before calling to place his order. Blood is still on his tongue because his bottom lip is still bleeding. The rapper does not know what got him so mad as to strike his best friend. He can't even remember the precise moment it happened because everything is so clouded. His mind is still not at ease because there are still more questions than answers. He really does not want to stay the night here but 50 is right, he has no choice because he is hurt. Lloyd Banks leans back against the headboard and closes his eyes; everything is stressing him out. The room becomes quiet to him and he does not notice when the buff rapper emerges from the shower with a pair of black boxers on. 50 looks at him for a minute.
"You aight?" he calls out as he walks into his closet.
"Yea. Just tired."
"You ordered already?" 50 hollers from inside the closet.
"Yea. Got steak and rice."
"Straight," the rapper says as he emerges from the closet pulling down a tank top over his chiseled abs. "That should be them," he says, hearing a knock on the door.
"That was fast."
"Wouldn't have it any other way Banks man."
50 leaves his bedroom for the door. After a generous tip, the rapper shuts the door and sees Banks walking out to where he is. The young rapper gets his food from the cart and sits on the sofa, his entire body feeling weak. He starts eating because he knows that putting food in his system will only help him. 50 Cent brushes against his arm as he sits next to him, offering him some orange juice in a glass. The buff rapper grabs the remote control from the coffee table in front of them and clicks on the TV. They cannot decide on anything to watch so the pair settle on a late night talk show. It is almost one in the morning when the two rappers finish eating and Banks' body is already feeling stronger and more focused. Another talk show comes on after the first one and they just watch it, not saying much of anything because even though there are still issues to be resolved between the friends, tonight is not the time. They are both warn out and it is not worth it to get into another fight. Each stays quiet, contemplating and trying to relax.
Lloyd Banks is deep in thought and hears himself say, "I can't explain why I did what I did."
50 looks at his friend. He is genuinely confused about his feelings. He feels bad for him. "Don't worry about it Chris."
"No Curtis. I'm sorry it all went down like this. I really am."
"I believe you."
"I dunno want to think. To feel. I hate this shit."
"I know. It's hard. Just take your time---"
"Time didn't do shit to help me. We haven't spoken in so long but that didn't help me with anything. Every time I thought about that night or what I wanted to say to you, my mind would start thinking about something else because it was too---"
Banks looks straight into his best friend's eyes. "Painful. I don't want it to come in between our friendship."
"It won't man. Don't worry about that."
"Why didn't you stop it?"
"I dunno. It was like I couldn't or something. It sounds stupid I know. Why didn't you?"
"I was curious."
"Why?" the buff rapper wants to honestly know.
"I---I dunno. I guess to see what it's like. But it left me with more questions than answers."
"Yea. It's made our friendship really hard since then."
"I never wanted that. I should've stopped it."
"What's done is done right? Don't look to the past, look to the future Chris. It was a mistake remember?"
A small part of the young rapper still will not allow him to admit that his night with 50 Cent, no matter all the consequences they saw after, was a mistake. He instead changes the topic. "I like how the album's coming."
"Hell yea! That track with you and me's gonna kill them."
"Yea. You're all it needed to sound right."
"Shit's gonna be big. I can feel it. You feeling better?"
"Yea. Guess I just needed those painkillers and something to eat. I think I should go," Banks says in a small voice. "I don't wanna put you out."
"We still on this? You staying man and that's it."
"Come on. I appreciate it Curtis man but I'm okay now."
"Can you stop? I'll feel better if you stay with me for the night."
"Because it's my fault you hurt."
"I told you I'm good man."
50 Cent tries one last ditch effort to get what he wants. "Please Chris. Please stay here."
Something clicks inside Lloyd Banks' mind. "That's what you said to me that night."
"Yea. But nothing like that's gonna happen. I'm just worried about you. You my best friend, I have to worry about you."
"Even after I punched you like that?"
"Even after that. My jaw still hurts by the way."
"Sorry," he says shyly.
"You wanna make it up to me?"
"What, you gonna watch over me or something?"
"If that's what it takes. Look, I want things to go back to how it was before this shit between us happened. Before, you wouldn't even think twice about sharing a hotel room with me."
"Things change man."
"Let them change back. I want my friend back," 50 says in an almost pouty way.
"Okay, okay nigga. I'll stay. Don't gotta pout like a kid though."
"Good. I gotta give Tré his props. Pouting does work," he says as he laughs.
"Like father like son. How's the squirt?"
"You know Tré . A busy little guy. I told him I'd bring him out here sometime."
"That sounds cool. He'd like it."
"I miss him."
"I can't imagine what it's like."
"Everyone keeps telling me that my career is what's supposed to be most important to me. I used to listen to them because I felt I had no choice."
"It's different now huh?"
"Yea. That little boy means the world to me. I love him so much and he means so much more to me than the money or the music or the fame."
"I never thought I'd say that though. I was so wrapped up in blowing up in the beginning," 50 admits to the man across from him.
"Yea. We all change though. Some for the better and some for the worse. I'm glad you changed for the better. Marquise is a special little guy."
"You have no idea. Sometimes I think he's too good to be my son. He's so smart and caring and everything."
"Don't think like that Curtis. He just has better opportunities growing up than we did."
"You're right. I thank God every day that he doesn't have to grow up the way I did. See all the shit I saw you know?"
The headache and pain in Lloyd Banks' body is gone but he is tired as the pair continues to talk as if nothing happened earlier between them. He still feels guilty about 50 sleeping outside but he is not going to take no for an answer so the young rapper gives up on trying. The TV is still on in front of them and he continues to watch it until he looks over and sees his friend sound asleep next to him. The blanket rests on the chair next to him as he turns off the TV and spreads the other man out on the sofa. He draws the blanket over his buff body and turns off all the lights in the suite; 50 Cent is not aware of anything because he is gone on sleep. Banks looks at his sleeping friend in the dark for a moment before walking into the room and getting into bed. As soon as his head hits the pillow, he is knocked out because his body is so worn out. Los Angeles is illuminated by many lights, including that of the Moon and stars, as the city sleeps. The two rappers sleep in the suite as the Moon lights shadows on their unaware bodies.
The Sun conquers the Moon and another morning is upon the busy metropolis of Los Angeles. Lloyd Banks' eyes struggle to open as he hears the alarm on his phone go off because he does not want to get up. After reaching around for his phone and clicking the noise away, the rapper sits up on the bed and rubs his face. He squeezes the muscles on his neck because they are tense before looking around for his shirt to put on. It is half an hour past six when he flips open his phone and calls for a limo to pick him up. The busy rapper has to do a couple of things from an early morning television appearance to a meeting with management to discuss his new album and upcoming projects. His body is pleading with him to get back into bed and rest but he cannot. Banks quickly walks into the bathroom to wash his face and then gathers up all his stuff because he has to go back to his place to shower, brush his teeth, and change before he can get can get his day started. It is still dark as he looks outside for a brief moment.
Last night is the furthest thing from his mind until he walks out of the bedroom and sees 50 sleeping on the sofa; the coverlet and pillows on the floor and the rapper in a pair of white boxers alone. Banks concludes that his friend woke up last night to take his clothes off as he stands there and stares at him while he sleeps. His tattooed ebony skin and the cute expression on his face and his nice butt all catch the young rapper's attention and he cannot help but keep staring. It feels weird inside him but right somehow. Something comforts him but he cannot figure out what it is and he is brought back to reality by his cell phone vibrating in his front pant pocket. Lloyd Banks clicks his phone and then reaches out his hand. It hovers there for a moment because of his hesitation but his feelings get the best of him once again and it rests on 50 Cent's firm chest. He leaves it there for a while before feeling the older rapper's nipple with his thumb and them moving over to where his heart is. He feels the soft, slow beats within his palm.
"I can't shake them," he says before retracting his hand and silently exiting the hotel room.
The rapper tries his best to shield his face with his hat although it is still early. His mind is enveloped with many thoughts biding for his attention as he walks through the opening doors of the elevator and into the deserted lobby, where he rushes outside into an awaiting black car. After instructing the driver to take him back to his room, he tries to relax himself and put all of his thoughts concerning his best friend away. He cannot afford to think about them because he knows they will only distract him and he has to concentrate on getting through his day. Still, it cannot be helped that 50 Cent is on his mind because a part of him wants to keep thinking about the older rapper. The streets of the city are full with people on their way as the young rapper looks at his hand, the same hand he rested on 50's smooth chest. The same hand that felt the other man's heart beat. It is a surreal experience to him. He jumps out of the car and races up to his suite to shower and get ready for his day. It is going to be a long one and he knows it.