Chapter 9

I wake up in the middle of the night. I don't know what wakes me up. Something about Ma Zoe is not sitting right with me. She was killing my grandfather and I had to find out why.

“I think I should tell Grandmother what he said about her. He's dangerous...”

It must be 4:00am. The walls in the living room are clear and I can hear arguing going on in Amethyst's bedroom. At first I'm not sure who she's talking to but as I walk closer to the door I see Rahmell's shadow. He is standing there by the lamp looking down at her. There is a clear distinction in his eyes.

“Don't,” Rahmell states.

“Why the hell not?”

“Lately your grandmother has been locking people up for strange reasons. He's your brother,” Rahmell states.

She only has one brother. They are discussing me. I press myself against the shadows of the dark hallway. I don't mean to spy but I have no choice.

“Did you hear him last night with these conspiracy theories?” Amethyst states, “I don't trust him.”

“He just wants the best. He just wants your sisters out of prison.”

Amethyst sighs at that moment, “Sometimes I think he resents me for some reason. Gem gives me these weird looks. He still hasn't even congratulated me about being pregnant. He seems spiteful and evil.”

I roll my eyes. I'm not surprised when Rahmell starts laughing at Amethyst. It's hard to take this girl serious. Spiteful and evil? She was going to those sort of lengths because I hadn't congratulated her.

“I'm sorry.”

“Why are you laughing. I'm serious.”

“You're being dramatic. Gem is your brother and he's my best friend. He's happy about this baby. He's going to have his first nephew or niece. This whole thing about your grandmother...I think he's just paranoid. There's a lot of stuff going on politically that we don't understand yet. Gem is just nervous. I know him. He'll get out of it.”

There's silence.

She sighs a little bit, “Are you sure?”

“Of course.”

“But what if he doesn't?” Amethyst asks Rahmell.

I turn the corner and look through the corner of my eye. Amethyst has a serious look on her face. This girl was really thinking that I was the dangerous one. Meanwhile I literally told her last night that our grandmother was doing some backhanded shit. But I'm the one who was causing trouble? I've never been extremely close to Amethyst but my chest burns. I feel a sense of betrayal.

Was this girl trying to turn my best friend against me?

“Amethyst...” Rahmell states.

I can't tell how serious he is being. He grabs on Amethyst. I watch as he pulls her into his broad chest and holds her. He has the type of body that looks like it protects. Rahmell has that strong nature about him. I could see why his sperm was so valuable. I could see why he was such an asset.

I could see why Amethyst was so in love.

“I overheard my sister Diamond talking to a friend of ours. She was telling him how she hoped that things worked out between you and my brother.”

Sounds like Diamond.

I stare at Rahmell at that moment. He looks like he's lost in the moment. He wasn't expecting Amethyst to come out and say something like that. Hell I'm not expecting her to come out and say something like that either.

“What are you saying Amethyst?”

“I'm you think that Gem is gay?” Amethyst asks.

Rahmell stands there for a while. He lets Amethyst go. He takes a step back. Amethyst is such a dummy. Of course I was gay. No shit. How the fuck did all my other sisters figure it out but Amethyst couldn't? How was she still wondering about my sexuality?

“What if he was?” Rahmell swerves around the question.

Amethyst shrugs and hesitates, “Have you----”

“Spit it out Amethyst.”

She's shy. She's one of those girls who barely had a backbone. She always reminded me the most of my grandmother. She was a domestic kind of woman. The kind of woman that just stood by her man and agreed with anything he said. Rahmell could tell Amethyst that the sky was red and she'd put on rose tinted glasses. I figured she always got that from my grandmother but now seeing the things my grandmother was up to...I wasn't so sure.

“Have you ever been sexually involved with my brother?” she asks Rahmell.

Rahmell looks bothered by this. It's clear. I can't believe it's hurting to see how much he's actually bothered by this and bothered by me.

“Fuck no. Yikes.”

My heart drops lower. Yikes? Really?

Amethyst must find this a relief because she's smiling, “I knew nothing was going on between you two. I don't know what Diamond was talking about. Hell Gem's probably not even gay. Maybe I'm the paranoid one.”

“Maybe you are,” Rahmell explains, “You should already know what means the most to me. Procreation is everything. That's the slogan of the District. In this world that's all that matters. Can you procreate or not? What's the point of being sexually involved with someone that you can't procreate with?”

The way he asks the questions solidifies everything.

Amethyst smiles, she leans into him. She wraps her hands around him in the most feminine way. He seems to like it. He holds her by the smalls of her waists and slowly cuffs her small butt. They kiss, gently at first but then more and more aggressive.

“Exactly,” Amethyst responds.

I fade back into the shadows. They are probably going to make love right now. He's kissing her heavily. He'll probably fuck her standing up. And at that moment I realize just how ridiculous I've been beating with Rahmell.

Rahmell will never love me.

He let me know. Semen was the most valuable thing in my world. People would die for it. People would kill for it. People would go to war for it.

In this world procreation was everything.

What was the point of a gay relationship?


I wake up the next morning heated. I expect the two of them to be asleep but they aren't. Rahmell is in the kitchen. He doesn't have a shirt on. Amethyst has her arms wrapped around him. She doesn't have anything on but the shirt that Rahmell had on last night. It is a button up shirt. Her hair looks messy and she's looked like she had the most amazing night of her life. Looking at them I feel a ting of jealousy but I've made up my mind.

I was done with Rahmell.

I was completely done being the fool that he wanted me to be.

“Hey, I know they have all these District contraptions out here or what not,” Rahmell notices me walking into the room, “But I decided to cook you guys an old fashioned breakfast.”

“I'll pass,” I tell him.

I'm short and to the point. Rahmell seems surprised when I am being so short. Normally I would be the shirt wheel. I would sit around this fucking kitchen hoping to God that Rahmell gave me the time of day. Not anymore though. Fuck him leading me on.

“You sure. It's your favorite. Bacon and eggs. Scrambled the way you like it. I even toasted the bread with the jam already on it like you like it.”

“He's good Rahmell. I'll have some though,” Amethyst states.

Rahmell isn't taking no for an answer. He brings the skillet over to where I am. I'm just drinking a glass of water and he's literally attempting to spoon feed me eggs. He puts the spoon to my mouth, waits desperately for me to chew. He's made it just the way I like it. I'd assumed he'd gotten lazy in the District with all this technology. I was wrong. He's always known how to cook and things haven't changed with him. I look at the eggs. I look at Rahmell staring at me with those hopeful eyes and for a minute he makes me weak all over again.

But I can't let myself do this.

I can't let myself fall for this shit.

“Look maybe you should feed your pregnant girlfriend,” I explain to Rahmell, “I'll be fine.”

I try to exit the room but Rahmell grabs my wrist. He wrinkles up that sexy ass forehead of his with his perfect hairline. His eyebrows tense up and it's clear he knows me enough to know that there is something wrong with me.

“What's wrong?” he asks.

“Nothing just not hungry.”

“Bullshit. You love breakfast. You love eggs. You've never said no to them in your life,” Rahmell states, “No body knows you like I do. You get in your feelings about something and you don't make eye contact. I know you...”

It hurts.

It hurts when you've met someone you've known all your life and you feel like they are your soulmate. Rahmell could read me up and down. He could read me in and out. I could do the same with him. I couldn't even fake passive aggression.

“I'm fine,” I stick to my lie.

Why tell him how I feel? He's heard enough of my annoying emotions. I know how he feels now and that's all that matters.

“Where are you going?”

“Meeting with someone.”

“Grandmother sent us a message through Georgette Hayes. She says we need to come home. Now.”

“Well then go.”

“I'm not leaving without you,” Amethyst states.

I wonder why. I doubt that Amethyst was so concerned about me. So that left either two options and Amethyst wasn't doing a good job of hiding either of these options.

  1. She didn't trust me around her boyfriend. She knew Rahmell and I had had a bond that she'd never be able to have with him. She'd been collecting the breadcrumbs everyone else has been throwing about my sexuality and she was finally putting two and two together.

  2. Grandmother told her not to leave without me. For whatever reason Grandmother was losing trust in me. Maybe that's why Grandmother sent Georgette Hayes of all people to the District.

“Where is Georgette?” I ask Amethyst.

“She has a business meeting.”

“Doing what?”

“ It's none of your concern,” Amethyst tells me.

“She's very busy for a pregnant woman,” I tell Amethyst and cross my eyes looking suspiciously at her, “So are you.”

“Do you have something you'd like to ask?” Amethyst asks me.

I shake my head.

“No. No I don't.”

Rahmell looks over at me, “Listen why don't you and me spend some time together. I can show you the other side of the building where they have seminars.”

“I'll pass.”


“Have a good day Rahmell.”

I can feel his eyes staring at my back. I've never shut Rahmell down like this. Not really. I almost can tell the look of confusion that he has going on.

Truth is I can't trust my grandmother. I can't trust Georgette Hayes. I can't trust the Amazons.

Now I knew I couldn't trust Rahmell either.

“Well look what the cat dragged in,” Shaddius states.

I had to go to him. He's the only person who seems to have some sort of distrust for my grandmother with me. When he warned me I didn't listen but now things were starting to add up. Things were definitely not making sense.

“Are you going to invite me in or are you going to gloat?”

“Last time I met with you I believe you called me a sick fucking man who just lies,” Shaddius explains, “So excuse me if I'm not the most welcoming to you.”

“Fine. I'll leave.”

“Boy come on in. You lucky you got a nice ass.”

I roll my eyes at Shaddius and walk into the room. As I walk in I notice that Shaddius isn't alone. Karington and Quincy are sitting on the couch. They have some ladies with them and it's clear the ladies are all over the guys. Shaddius is a good looking guy and even in the District where guys are plentiful it is clear that he's still getting his fair share of attention. I watch as some local slut wraps her arms around him as soon as he walks into the living room.

Shaddius knows this is annoying to me because he crosses his huge football-like player arms and gives me this confident, cocky look that only someone like Shaddius can give.

“I was hoping that I could speak to you in private,” I tell Shaddius.

“Anything you can say to me you can say to my people,” Shaddius responds.

He's still being cold. He's clearly still holding a grudge over the argument we had last time we met up.

“My sister Opal returned to New Florida. She seems like she's scared as fuck. My other sister Diamond has been thrown for a strange case of treason that I'm not understanding. My mother sent a local crazy extremist to take my place. I'm pretty sure my grandmother has been poisoning my grandfather. She wants him out of the picture so she can plan something and I have the feeling that World War 3 is about to break out.”

A few jaws drop at that moment. I watch Quincy down his entire glass of wine and Karington pushing some floozy chick off him at that moment.

“OK everyone out,” Shaddius states.

“Gladly,” I hear Quincy whisper under his breath.

Shaddius looks serious all of a sudden. Whatever smug look he had on his face is gone. He waits until everyone leaves the room and even after they leave I watch him hesitate for a few minutes. He crosses his arms. It's almost as though he's trying to consider everything going on.

Shaddius shrugs, “Your grandmother has been poisoning your grandfather?”

“I think so,” I state sitting on the couch.

Shaddius leans over, “Here take this. Think you need it more than I do.”

It's a bottle of hard liquor. I take it to the head and feel it burn my chest. Not everyday someone is thinking that something so crazy is going on but right now I have way too many questions and way too much skeptism. Something bad was about to happen. I didn't know what but I had that feeling that animals had when a storm was coming.

I sigh at that moment, “My grandmother was always a classy woman. She was always the perfect First Lady back home. She took care of the capital building. She cooked and clean and hosted tours. She was a diplomat. She cared about children's fitness and reading.”

“She sounds like the perfect housewife,” Shaddius explains.


“Then what changed?”

“My grandfather started getting sick. And she starting to do strange things. Me being's strange. I need your help.”

Shaddius grabs the bottle out of my hand. He goes to the bar and pours some over rocks. I watch how he just seems to be thinking about it.

“My country has decided to join the District in the war against New Florida.”

Jesus Christ.

“What's that mean?”

“That means me and you are kind of enemies right now,” Shaddius explains, “It's the reality of the situation. We're sending ground troops into New Florida right now to join the District.”

“We already stood no chance of winning,” I explain.

Shaddius crosses his arms, “Maybe that's not so bad.”

“Excuse me?”

Shaddius shrugs, “Listen. You clearly aren't trusting your grandmother. Maybe the District taking over New Florida isn't such a bad idea. I mean what kind of woman poisons her husband?”

“New Florida is more than just my grandmother.”

Shaddius sighs at that moment.

He seems like he's struggling with this.

“I know. They've got you. Their gem,” he tells me and shakes his head at that moment, “But it's too late. Nothing I can do.”

“You can help me.”

“To what end?”

I haven't thought that far yet. One one end the District was attacking New Florida. On the other end I didn't trust my grandmother. I didn't know which one of these things were more important at the moment.

I had to choose.

“Help me figure out what my grandmother is up to. You know things. You have resources. Maybe if I bring some evidence back home people will rise up against my grandmother. Maybe we'll be able to make peace before New Florida doesn't exist anymore.”

“You are talking about a coo?” Shaddius asks, “You're talking about overthrowing your grandmother?”

“If necessary. Yes.”

This was treason. If I was back in New Florida I'd be arrested for this. I'd be thrown in jail longer than Nelson Mandela regardless of if I was Ma Zoe's grandmother. My heart was beating. I may be joining Diamond in a jail cell sometime soon. That would mean the majority of my sisters were locked up either by New Florida or by the District.

There was a war and either way we'd be prisoners of it.

Shaddius shakes his head looking at me, “I could talk to my government. If there is a chance that you can overthrow your grandmother maybe they'll consider backing off and even convincing the District into standing down.”

Holy shit.

“You'd do that?”

“I said that I could,” Shaddius responds, “I'm an ambassador not a charity organization. What's in this for me?”

“What do you want?”

“The same thing I've always wanted...” Shaddius states.

Shaddius isn't shy about it. He isn't playing coy about it either. Shaddius walks up to me at that moment and locks his lips around my mouth. He pulls me down to the couch forcefully. When I'm out the couch he is over me kissing me.

At first I'm thinking about Rahmell. Yeah. I loved Rahmell. He was the love of my life but Shaddius was sexy as hell and he actually seemed like he knew what he wanted.

Maybe sometimes soulmates didn't work.

Maybe sometimes you had to go with the next best thing...especially when the future of your country was at stake.

What's an ambassador to do?

“Stop,” I say.

I push Shaddius off me.

Shaddius looks down at that moment. His dick is hard in his pants. He's staring at the print, then staring back at me and then staring back down at the hard dick print in his jeans.

“You can't do this to me right now,” Shaddis responds, “Why are we stopping?”

“I want to taste you to taste
me first.”

A smile spreads across his face almost instantly as Shaddius drops to his knees. There something unbelievably sexy about having a big, brolic guy dropping on his knees to please you. He unbuckles my fly at that moment and lets my dick fly out. Shaddius begins sucking it almost immediately, desperately locking his lips around my shaft.

He lets his saliva run down my dick, “Mhmmm you're so big.”

My dick is wet with the stuff in a matter of seconds and I lean my head back letting out the most ignorant moan that I've ever let out before. My heart is beating faster and faster. Shaddius is sucking
my dick. He's taking his time going down deeper and deeper.

He doesn't deepthroat but he makes an attempt gagging a few times. The soft pulls of his soft lips up against my dick almost make me want to nut.

“This shit feels so good.”

“Does that mean we've come to an agreement ambassador?” he asks looking up at me.

I nod at that moment. My mouth is dry. Right now with my dick in his mouth Shaddius could sell me air and I'd be signing on the dotted lines.

I arch my back, thrusting my hips deeper and deeper into his mouth. I force my head back. I grasp my hair and allow myself to start feeling that familiar tingling all over my body.

“I'm cumming!”

“Good. Close the deal,” Shaddius responds.

Shaddius wraps his lips around my mouth, letting the head of my dick rest up against his tongue. I start nutting in mouth and Shaddius takes every last drop of it. He tastes every drop of it and sucks it all up. I bite my lower lip and we make eye contact as we do it. Shaddius rubs the sides of my thighs as I nut in his mouth.

When he's drained me he raises his head, swallows and licks the last droplets off his lips.

All I can do is let out a soft and exaggerated, “Fuck.”

“Looks like we got ourselves a deal,” Shaddius responds, “Now that I've tasted you is it time my turn?”

Shaddius steps back. He whips his long dark beautiful brown dick out of his pants and my mouth waters at that point. Shaddius stands back letting me take a look at his beefy body and that bold thick dick of his that seems to match perfectly with his meaty sexy appearance.

“Eh erm...” I hear a voice say.

I turn at that moment.

Fuck. Rahmell.

“The door was open,” Rahmell states.

Rahmell is standing there in the living area of the suite we are in while Shaddius goes to lean himself up. It's awkward as fuck and I know Rahmell's face when he looks at Shaddius. I've seen Rahmell look at people like that before. I'm surprised Rahmell is holding his tongue for this long but I know that as soon as Shaddius leaves the room Rahmell is going to go the fuck off on me.

“Are you joking?” Rahmell asks me.

“No...of course not,” I say.

“You just had sex with this guy? A Carolinian? Have you been watching the news today? The Carolinas have joined a collision to go to invade New Florida. They are calling themselves the Allies...JUST like World War 2.”

It must have been everywhere. I feel my heart dropping. People back home probably were panicking. People back home were probably shaking their heads in agony right now.

I know that. And Shaddius is going to help me,” I stated, “All I have to do is prove that my grandmother is up to something. And the Carolinas will support a coo.”

“So you're having sex with him because he's helping you.”


I say it quicker than I realize. I notice Rahmell's face too late. He squints at that moment. This isn't the face of a stranger. Rahmell is looking at me like I'm his little brother and I just told him that I was out here walking a stroll or something.

“So your prostituting yourself?” Rahmell asks.

“Of course not.”

Just at that moment Shaddius walks out of the room. Shaddius takes a look at Rahmell and then takes a look at me. He grabs my ass. He gives it a hard squeeze at that moment and I swear Shaddius gives no fucks.

“I have to head out. The First Lady is having a special brunch for some ambassadors. I have to attend. But when I get back we'll solidify that plan of ours and present it to my country. I'm sure they'll love it.”

Shaddius leans over and gives me a kiss. I'm not even paying attention to his kiss. I'm just staring at Rahmell. I can't help myself. I'm just staring at that look on his face as he watches me.

“Thank you Shaddius.”

“You guys are free to sit around and talk if you'd like. Just close the door on the way out. Bye baby,” Shaddius states.

Shaddius is pushing the envelope and I know it's because Rahmell is here. He thinks something is happening between Rahmell and I. Shaddius is wrong.

“Baby?” Rahmell asks me when Shaddius leaves.

I'll get used to it.”

“He's not your type,” Rahmell argues.

“What's my type? Rahmell you don't even know much about the gay side of me.”

“You aren't JUST a gay person,” Rahmell responds, “You're family oriented. You love conversation. You like people who are humble but not too into themselves. You like sitting around having long conversations about absolutely nothing. You always dreamed of living away from the city. Does Shaddius know any of these things about you? You out here calling this FUCKING cocky son-of-a-bitch your baby? Does Shaddius know any fucking thing about you—-at all?”

Rahmell is getting heated. I can tell.

“He's helping me.”

“To what end? To overthrow your grandfather.”

“ grandmother. She may not be president but she's acting like she is,” I explain, “You wouldn't understand. You are taking your girlfriend's side.”

I roll my eyes at Rahmell.

Rahmell grabs me, “I would never take anyone side over you.”

'”I heard you last night.”

Rahmell struggles.

Oh shit.”

“Yeah. Oh shit.”

“Listen I can explain.”

“I don't want to hear it Rahmell.”

“I just said that to shut her up so she wouldn't tell your Grandmother that you're suspicious of her. I didn't want your Grandmother to stop trusting you. Listen, I don't fucking believe anything Amethyst was telling me last night.”

My heart stops.

“You don't?”

“Fuck no, I don't,” he responds, “She's full of shit. Last night just solidified that me and her can't actually be in a relationship. We both wanted a baby of our own that I don't have to share with the District. Last night I decided that's all that I want from her.”

“I thought that you had like turned on me.”

Rahmell grabs me. He holds me there, “Yo. When the Stingers beat your ass that one day what did I tell you?”

I sit there and think about the many times the Stingers jumped me over one stupid argument or another. My sisters were always mad about something. Then I remembered the one thing that Rahmell said that always stayed consistent.

“You said that you were always in my corner...”

“Hell yeah, just like a boxing match. I'm the man in your corner cheering you on. Why did you think I showed up here? I wasn't taking Amethyst's side last night. I was saying what she wanted to hear so she wouldn't snitch on you. It's just about you. I'm the one in your corner. Always. Why do you think I came here?”

“Thought you were looking for Shaddius.”

“Fuck no. I was looking for you,” he responds, “I wanted us to come up with a plan together. Not you
and Shaddius. I wanted me and you to come up with a plan. Why are you running to some guy who doesn't know you when you already have someone who is always in your corner?”

My heart races.

It has to be the realest shit someone has ever told me.


“Yo don't start crying. I know you with your emotional ass,” Rahmell laughs.

He knows me so much to know that it's way too late. By the time I'm shedding tears Rahmell grabs me and pulls me close. He hugs me for a minute. It's way too close for comfort.

“Ok I'll stop, I'll stop.”

“Please do you're fucking up my shirt,” Rahmell responds, “So stop sobbing and let me know what plan is.”

I punch him in his side but realize he's just joking because he still hasn't let me go. He's still hugging me close. I know it's real. I know it's real because he's hugging me tighter than he would ever hug Amethyst. I know it's real because he's smiles at me. He stares down at me. His eyes tell me the truth. I know this man more than he knows himself. I know this man enough to know that he would never hurt me. I should have never doubted him.

“We need to figure out why my grandmother sent your crazy ass mother offense,” I explain.

For the first moment I feel like I have someone helping me figure what my grandmother was up to that didn't have anything. Clearly Rahmell didn't want me. Clearly he was just doing this to help for the sake of helping.

“None taken,” Rahmell states wiping my eye with his thumb, “This morning my mother woke up early. She didn't even acknowledge me. She told Amethyst she was going to get ready for the Ambassador's

“The same brunch that my Shaddius is attending?”

Rahmell nods, “The very same.”

“My grandfather locked up your mother several times. But my grandmother released her. Do you remember what kinds of things your mother was locked up for.”

Rahmell sighs, “She was a feminist. An extremist.”


“What particularly did she do?”

“She was just a terrorist,” Rahmell explains, “She hated men. She used to look at me and tell me to my face that I was her biggest mistake. Just because I was a male. Just because I was born with an XX gene and not an XY gene. She used to tell me that she'd never have another child because of me.”

“And now she's pregnant.”

Rahmell sighs, “I can't believe it either. I mean my mother is in her late 40s. I didn't even think she could physically have a child if she wanted to.”

“So she went is having a baby even though she swore she never would again.”

“Maybe she isn't...”

“What?” I ask.

“She wouldn't do that...not that...” Rahmell states.

I'm confused.

“Oh my god Gem. We need to get to that dinner. We have to stop my mother...”


We're racing through the halls of the Convention pushing past robots and running through holograms. I don't have the time to find out what Rahmell is talking about. He isn't even waiting for me. Rahmell is running as fast as he can.

“What's happening?” I ask.

Rahmell is in such a rush. I've never seen him panicking like this.

From the balcony of the main dome in I can see the First Lady on the microphone. There are ambassadors from the different countries all around her.

“Thank you all for coming...” The first lady welcomes the ambassadors.

The chairs are there. Cameras are rolling. It looks like it's a big deal that the First lady is speaking. I'm watching as the whole room is crowded up. We are on the second floor podium and Rahmell is racing past several people to get to the staircase to make his way down.

That's when I see her.

Georgette Hayes.


“C`mon...” he says.

Rahmell your mother...”

He turns to the stage. We are on the second floor and the First Lady is welcoming Georgette Hayes of
all people up to the stage.

“I would like to introduce a special guest of mine,” The first lady states, “This is Georgette Hayes.”

“It's too late...”

“What's too late?” I ask.

People are surprised that this pregnant Amazon lady is on the stage. People are just watching and whispering. I can tell they are talking shit on the Amazons. They probably don't understand why this uncivilized woman is standing on stage barefooted in the way that she is.

They don't notice the First Lady leaving.

They don't notice the way Georgette grabs her stomach.

“Good afternoon gentlemen,” Georgette tells the ambassadors, “I'm on this stage to announce my baby. Isn't this what you've all wanted. Procreation is everything. Isn't that the slogan for this place. Well congratulate me. My baby. It's coming...”

Georgette rips open her shirt and right underneath a few layers of skin there are stitch markings. Something has been sewed into her stomach.

And in the next second there is an explosion and death all around us.

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