Chapter 8

"Why do I have to come?" I asked Miguel.

"You need to get out your shell and come back to the world."

We had arrived on South beach. Miguel had invited Tony and Felix to hang out. We knew them or whatever but now that we were all part of GGG it was more of a bonding kind of thing. South beach was hot. We were walking up and down Ocean Drive. The restaurants were popping to my right and to my left was the warm beach sand. Endless miles of sexy men and women barely wearing anything as they walked the shores.

I just happened to be one of those barely dressed men.

"He acting like he's shy with that body," Tony stated. Felix grunted. He barely ever spoke really. I didn't know much about the dude except that him and Tony were close friends with Rashad. They had been close friends with Lamont as well when he was alive.

"What body?" I asked making my pecs jump a little bit.

"Fuckin' show off," Miguel laughed.

"Don't be mad cause I'm papi chulo," I replied.

We were walking down the boardwalk. We had been drinking. The alcohol was fire. I had to admit. I had been in the house since Lamont had died. I had been dead to the world. I had ignored everyone and everything. The only thing I cared about was getting back at WAF. The only thing I cared about was making these straight dudes pay.

It felt good to be out in the world again.

"You need to bag some of these shorties...damn, mad sexy bodies out here," Miguel replied.

We had started walking on the beach. We were close to 12th street beach which was the gay area of South beach. The guys were definitely wearing nothing much but speedos out here. I had on some swim trucks that were real short. Tony was a good looking dude. Him, Miguel and me definitely seemed to be getting stares as we walked down the beach. I was glad that I wasn't the only good looking dude in my crew. I wasn't trying to get all the attention.

Felix was a little bit older than we were and had on a t-shirt.

Still. I was getting a lot of stares as we walked down the beach towards the water. People were damn near glaring at us. Three sexy, masculine papis with sexy faces and a body. Yeah. We were getting attention. I just wasn't sure I was ready for that kind of attention.

I had to admit though. I had been horny as fuck since Lamont died. My bod was screaming for attention but my heart was till scared.

"Ayo, we should head back soon. You know we got that GGG meeting," I replied.

"Man can you chill?" Miguel stated, "You need to worry about pulling one of these sexy ass shorties out here."

"Stop being thirsty," I replied, "Ain't you trying settle down with what's his name---"

Miguel shot me a look.

"You know his name," Miguel replied, "Stop fuckin frontin all the time, shit's not funny."

He said it in a salty ass way. Was he being shady? I couldn't tell sometimes with Miguel. He played so much that when he was serious I didn't know. I still felt some type of way but I shook it off. i wasn't going to make a big deal out of it.

I just shrugged, "Well what happened with you and Shay then?"

Miguel shook his head, "Don't worry about it. I'm single ain't I?"

Was he mad or something?

I wondered what happened between them. Not too long ago Miguel swore up and down Shay was going to be the dude he was married to or something like that.

I put my arm over my cousin's shoulder and pulled him close, "Well whatever it is, I got your back. You feel me? No need to rush back for the meeting. Let's relax a little bit."

Miguel seemed to lighten up when I said that as he took a sip of his pina colada, "Real talk."

He had walked the length of the beach. Miguel was being super thirsty whistling at dudes, flirting, getting numbers. I mean Miguel was a natural flirt but I knew something was wrong. He was trying way too hard. It was almost that way you act when you are trying to get a rebound after a break up. Thing is. Him and Shay were never dating. He was still acting like a man, scorned, though.

"You the only one who ain't pull a number," Tony said looking over at me.

"Felix ain't pull no numbers."

"Felix don't talk."

I shrugged, "Neither do I..."

"You need to relax bra. You don't see no body on the beach that you like?" Tony asked me.

I shrugged, "None of these dudes my type."

"What's your type then?"

"I dunno. Slim, a little shorter than me. A fat ass. Dame ese. Give me that. I need a good personality too brah. No lame ass motherfuckas."

"I dunno about no personality bullshit, but look at that ass right there..." Tony pointed out.

He was pointing down the beach at this dude laying in the sand. There were two of them. At first I didn't think nothing of it but as I looked close I realized who it was. Even from the back I knew I would recognize that ass from anywhere. My heart started beating faster already. It happened every time I was near him.

Shay. Fuck.

"Let's go."


"SHAY!" I heard Miguel scream out. Miguel had been a little bit behind us walking with Felix. He hadn't heard me and Tony having the conversation that we were having. I knew that Miguel would be the one to notice Shay and try to get some attention from him. This was exactly what I was trying to fucking avoid.

Fuck. It wasn't even just Shay on the beach. It was Shay's brother. They looked up.

"Oh fuck, that's Shay," Tony stated.

"No shit," I whispered back.

"Yo. There's two of them!" Tony stated, patting me hard on my back, "Miguel got dibs on Shay but what about his brother...please tell me his brother is gay."

He was. I didn't want no drama though. I wasn't the type to be pulling anyone out of the closet that didn't want to be pulled out of the closet. I ignored Tony's question instead of lying to him. I noticed Miguel running over to Shay. It was almost like he completely forgot the fact that he was playing hardcore and acting like he was all over Shay when he saw him.

I had no choice but to walk over there with Tony to join Miguel and Felix. As we joined Shay and his brother for some reason Shay didn't have his normal smile on his face. His brother wasn't making eye contact. They were both looking a little funny almost like they didn't want to be bothered or something.

"Why didn't you text me?" Miguel asked Shay, "I was asking where you are. I was going to invite you down here to the beach with me."

"Had plans," Shay stated, "With my brother. But um...wassup guys. Wassup...Fidel."

Shay looked at me.

I nodded my head at him, "Wassup."

He looked sexy on that beach. He had his tight little chest and his curvy body. Shay had on some tight trunks that fit him like a fucking glove. They were white and his ass was so fat that I could see it from the front. I tried not to look at him too long. I tried not to be thirsty. Kenyon was just as sexy as Shay. He had on baggy shorts that didn't show his frame as much as Shay though. They had the same facial features. It was kind of crazy really. They could really pass for two sexy ass dark skin twins with different dreadlock styles.

Miguel stepped in front of me. It was almost like he was blocking my view of Shay. Yeah. Dude was definitely acting weird. I was not making this up.

Kenyon looked over at Shay, "We should head back to the bar, get something to drink."

Shay looked over at him, "Go ahead I'll be right there."

Kenyon seemed anxious. He looked over at us. He specifically looked over at me. Then he turned back to his little brother. He seemed uncomfortable for some reason.

"You sure?" Kenyon asked.

"Go ahead," Shay replied.

Kenyon walked away at that moment. I watched Tony and Felix watch him walk away. Damn...gays was so thirsty when it came to straight guys. Shay was the gay version of Kenyon and honestly probably more attractive, but they would always go nuts over the guy that they thought they couldn't have. It was either that or just about everyone knew by now that Miguel was obsessed with Shay.

"So you coming through to the meeting later?" Miguel asked.

I wanted to smack my cousin in the face. He sounded so extra.

Shay shook his head, "Naw man."

"What you mean you ain't coming?" Tony asked.

Shay looked over at them, "Look. A lot has been going on in my life. After my brother got jumped the cops have been on my case. I think they are even following me and shit. They heard about the video. They think I may be linked to it. I don't know. I don't know if I want to be down with GGG anymore."

"No one quits GGG," Felix said.

We all turned to Felix. It was probably the first time I heard him speak to be honest. I was shocked. The way he had said it was stern too. The way he had said it was almost like he was telling Shay.

"Who the fuck said that dumb shit?" I asked.


Tony jumped in at that moment, "Felix is right. No one quits GGG. Those the rules."

Shay laughed at that moment, "You can't force me to be in your fucking gang nigga, what the fuck?"

"You think we a joke, moreno?" Tony asked.

Tony took a few steps towards Shay. I was shocked. This dude actually leaped forward at Shay. He had gotten that offended by it or something. What the fuck was going on? I watched as he jumped forward. I was even just as surprised when Shay met him half way. Shay definitely wasn't taking that shit. Before Tony could land a finger on Shay, Shay had pushed him. He had pushed him kind of hard.

Shay pushed Tony so hard that Tony fell into the sand below him.

"I'm not scared of you."

I was shocked. Since when did Shay develop some balls? I honestly had assumed he was some kind of push over. I wasn't shocked though when I saw Kenyon running back. Kenyon had clearly been paying attention to us talking from a distance and must have saw Tony jump at his brother. Kenyon was back over there faster than a fucking track runner.

"Yo what's the problem with ya'll faggots!" Kenyon stated.

Tony had gotten up and Kenyon was immediately in his face.

"Faggots?" I asked more shocked than anything.

This was coming from the motherfucker that tried to kiss me? Shit was getting heated. I wasn't even trying to back up the stupid shit Tony and Felix were saying. God knows what kind of bullshit Rashad had gassed their heads up. I had noticed they followed him around like his sick puppies. Regardless right or wrong though Tony and Felix was still in my set. They were still in my gang. This shit was new and we had to stand by each other or fall apart completely.

"You heard me," Kenyon stated, "Faggots. Ya'll punks need to keep that sissy ass drama away from my fam. You hear me? You think I'm fucking playin' with you."

"Pot calling the kettle black," I replied.

"Fuck you say, bitch boy?"

Kenyon got in my face now. I wasn't for that shit at all. I slowly put my drink on the beach. I wasn't scared to go at him right here and now. This motherfucker had the nerve to call my people faggots when he had just kissed me the night before. If I had let him Kenyon would have probably been sucking my dick last night and loving every moment of it. Now he wanted to call me a faggot.

Before I knew it Kenyon and I were bumping chests in the sand.

"Whoa...calm down," Miguel stated, "Shay can you get your brother?"

Shay grabbed Kenyon. He pulled him away at that moment. I could see him trying to calm his brother down on the other end of the beach.

I felt like shit. I honestly did. I wasn't trying to come at Shay. It was just that I wasn't with his trippy ass brother coming over here and acting all funny.

"No one leaves GGG," Felix repeated.

"Yo can you shut the fuck up with that dumb shit," I stated, "You was the one who started with that. If dude wants to leave he can leave the squad. Ya'll starting to take this shit too serious..."

"Take it up with Rashad, yo," Tony replied.

"I just might."

At that moment Tony and Felix walked away. It was probably best. I looked over at Miguel. He was still there. He was staring down the beach at Shay and his brother.

"Miguel come on..."

"Yo this shit is crazy. Rashad did say that shit though. He said it the other day. He said wants you in. You in. You know Rashad ain't all the way there in the head. What if he try some shit with Shay if he tries to leave?"

"Bring Shay to the meeting."


"We'll fix it. We'll fix everything."

I was shocked when Miguel walked over and shook my hand at that moment, "Thanks yo."

It was that moment that I knew Miguel really did care about Shay. This dude was actually worried about Shay. I had to admit. He was right. Rashad was down for GGG. It was a good thing but it was also a bad thing. He took this gay gang shit serious. I had seen how serious he took it that day.


It was night time before we knew it. We had gotten home and changed after the beach. I had a nice little tan and was kind of happy about how I looked. We had called a cab and when we got to the warehouse later that day Shay was waiting for us outside. Somehow Miguel had convinced him to come to this thing. He was standing outside but by the look painted on his face I could tell Shay wasn't happy to be there. Something must have happened. He just seemed off.

"You good Shay?" I asked.

"Can we get this over with?" He replied, "I only came because of Miguel."

He walked away from me at that moment. Damn. He was being cold. At first I kind of took it like a smack in the face for real. Shay was one of the nicest dudes I met in Miami. He was cool as fuck. The fact that he was being so short with me and walking away like that seemed to cut me.

I couldn't blame him though. I honestly hadn't been the warmest to him either.

"You hear that?" Miguel whispered over to me with a silly ass smile, "He only came for me..."

"Shut the fuck up kid," I replied rolling my eyes.

I followed behind Miguel and Shay as we walked into the warehouse. What we saw when we walked into the warehouse shocked us. There were more people. There were about 10 guys that I didn't know. The meeting had already started. All I heard at that moment were people clapping.

Miguel looked over at me. He seemed just as confused as I was.

"Look who it is," Rashad stated, "Three of our original members. Shay, Fidel and Miguel! Mi hermanos for life. Ain't that how you papis say it, Fidel? Hermanos? Ya'll hear that my speech? We bout to take over this motherfucking city. You hear me!"

Rashad had a gun in one hand and a bottle of tequila in the other. As he announced us walking into the room he started to bust his gun in the air. The gun shots fired at the roof of the building. He took a deep drink of tequila as he made his way across the room to meet me. At his side were Tony and Miguel.

I noticed Venus who was sitting his his wheel chair in the middle of the room.

"Yo Venus. Who the fuck are all these people?" I asked.

"New recruits. Rashad's been busy. The video we uploaded went Viral. People want to be a part of GGG."

How come I didn't know about this? Rashad was really acting like he was taking over or some shit. He was really acting like he was the boss. I watched how he walked across the room, his dick leading him as though his balls were so big that he wanted to show them off. He was a cocky motherfucker. I had to give him that much.

"What's good son?" Rashad stated, "We getting branded down?"

"Branded?" I asked.

Rashad showed me his arm at that moment. He had an infinity symbol on his arm. Between the loops were two Gs. Right after he showed me it, Felix pulled out his arm and showed me. They had this proud look on his face.

"Yo...that shit goes hard!" Miguel stated.

"Tony, take him over to the back. I got my boy from Fort Lauderdale here, doing them."

I looked over at Miguel. Miguel had completely forgot about the whole Shay situation. Dude was all hype to be branded like it was nothing. This motherfucker thought it was cool. Who the fuck discussed this though? Who the fuck even came up with the logo. The look on Rashad's face made it seem like this dude really thought he was calling all the fucking shots or something around here.

"Naw son, you ain't going no where?" I stated pulling at Miguel.

"What's wrong? Everyone else is getting one."

"Miguel shut the fuck up," I replied.

Rashad looked over at me. He could tell that I was annoyed. He had no idea how annoyed I was though. I had been spending time mourning Lamont and this motherfucker was using my absence to completely take over this gang. I wasn't with that shit. This motherfucker was really going nuts over here.

"I told you he been tripping," I heard Tony whisper to Rashad.

Just like a punk. I just rolled my eyes though. I wasn't scared of these motherfuckers. I could speak for myself.

"Rashad who said anything about branding?"

"Straight gangs brand all the time," Rashad replied, "Why you tripping?"

"I'm tripping cause who made you leader? I'm saying. You bringing in recruits and shit. I don't know these motherfuckers. These aren't motherfuckers we run with. Tony---do you know these motherfuckers? Felix---do you know these motherfuckers? Exactly. I didn't think so. These is fucking strangers. You got us running with strangers now and shit like its nothing. Branding us like we fuckin' cattle."

"We need the numbers. They get that brand, they fam...for life," Rashad stated.

"There you go with that for life shit too pa," I replied, "Ain't nothing for life. Shay wants to leave and I think it's fine by me. If Shay got some shit in his personal life that he wants to leave for then he can go."

Rashad turned to Shay, "You want to leave?"

"Whoa...don't talk to him. Talk to me," I replied stepping between them before Shay even got the chance to reply, "And didn't I just fucking say that he wanted to leave? My word ain't good?"

Rashad wanted to act street. I was going to bring him the street. He was about a few inches shorter then me. I was definitely soning him and he knew it. I wanted to make sure that he knew it. I was talking loud enough that people in the room had stopped what they were doing to turn to hear us talking. Rashad noticed it as well. He probably noticed all these new recruits looking at him like he was crazy.

Everyone knew who was the alpha dog in this shit and that was me. The fact that Rashad was going behind my back and making all these fucking decision was pissing me off. I was about to check him right here and right now.

" need to chill shorty," Rashad said.

"You need to fuckin' chill. You really acting corny right now."

I was already hype from the beach drama with Shay and Kenyon. Right now I was even more hype. I didn't know what made me take a step forward. At that moment I knew that I had to show that I wasn't no punk. That was the only way to get respect in this gang. The only way to show who was really in charge of this shit. There couldn't be two heads. That shit wasn't going down.

"Who you getting buck with?"

I looked Rashad up and down, " the only person I'm talking to right now."

"GGG...this shit is mine," Rashad stated, "I started this shit. Them rules that we got. I made them. Shay can't leave the gang. We need him."

Shay looked at him and shook his head, "For what?"

"Your brother is in WAF. You set that whole thing up. We need Shay. Period. We need that inside man. You can't be down with the crew then all of a sudden get scared. That's the rules. Those are the rules of GGG. You down with us, then you down for life."

"Man fuck your rules," I replied shaking my head.

There was a big chorus of voices that raised up when I said that. I knew I was disrespecting Rashad. I was standing up for Shay. Maybe that was what was making me so aggressive. All I knew was that I didn't want this motherfucker sitting around and telling Shay what to do. He didn't know Shay's life. I had a glimpse of what Shay was going through. I had sat at his table. Shay literally had to have dinner with the enemy every day. We didn't have to deal with it. If Shay didn't want to tear his family apart then why the fuck were we forcing him to?

"Everybody calm down. EVERYONE SHUT THE FUCK UP! Ok. Alright. We get it. Ya'll not agreeing on this shit. We need to settle this like men," Tony replied.

Venus nodded, "Tony's right. We can't be beefing in the crew. We need to settle this."

"A fight then," Shay stated.

We all turned to Shay. Shay crossed his arms.

Rashad looked at me funny all of a sudden, "Man I ain't fighting him."

Shay rolled his eyes, "That's how straight gangs do it. Don't you want the straight gangs to take us seriously? If we gonna be serious then we got to be gangstas right? What's wrong, Rashad? Scared? I mean I would be too, I'm just saying....look at Fidel."

I saw what Shay was doing. He was smart. I had to admit it. Shay was definitely smart. The more I got to know him the more I had to admit that he was a sly motherfucker. He was basically calling Rashad a pussy in front of all of these people. Rashad wasn't that much smaller than me. It honestly would be a fair fight. Rashad always talked about how hard he was. I guess he thought being dark, hard looking black dude made him tough as nails. I wasn't scared of this motherfucker. Spanish dudes bruised more easily but I was quick on my feet.

"Ain't no body scared," Rashad stated.

He looked like he was going to say something else but I just cut him off, "Fine then. A fight. First man that gives up wins and he is head of GGG."

Rashad looked over at me at that moment.


Shay looked over at us, "Ok a fight. We all need to agree. If Rashad wins, he is head of GGG. I have to stay in GGG. We all have to get branded. He makes the rules going forward. If Fidel wins then Fidel is in charge. Is this good."

Rashad nodded.

I was born ready.

"Who got tape?"

At that moment we separated. I went to one corner and Rashad went to the other. I could hear the screams of the members of GGG, from the members I knew and the members I didn't know. They had formed a circle that was sort of like a ring in the middle of the floor. I had to admit I was nervous but still excited at the same time. I was a brawler but so was Rashad. Rashad had spent some time in jail and I knew he was far from being some punk or pussy.

I looked over at the other side of the room. Rashad's hands were being taped up by his right hand man Felix. Tony was standing over Rashad as well. Even though we were one gang I knew there was definitely a split when it came to things like that.

Miguel was over my shoulder.

"You don't have to do this," Miguel stated.

Shay nodded, "Right I'll fight that motherfucker if you don't want to. I'm sick of having people fight for me. This is my issue anyway..."

I looked at them.

"Ya'll think I'm gonna lose or something."

"Rashad is shady," Miguel replied, "Be careful yo..."

Shay nodded, "Yeah don't get hurt..."

I looked at Shay. Was he worried? I had to admit I thought it was kind of cute. I couldn't help but to smile. I wondered if Lamont was here right now whose corner would he have been in. Would he have been in his best friends or mine? It sucked that I had to even wonder that. With Lamont I honestly didn't know.

With Shay though. I just knew that he had my back.

"I don't mind being your knight in shining armor," I stated.

I don't know why it came out. Shay smiled at me at that moment. He was looking at me with this bright smile. For a moment I was lost in it. It wasn't until I realized that Miguel was still there that I snapped out of smiling back at him. Miguel was giving me the ILLEST look at that moment.

"Better focus," Miguel stated.

I stopped glaring at Shay at that moment and made my way to the center where Rashad was already waiting for me. Rashad had taken his shirt off and I took that as a sign to take my shirt off. I threw it over at Miguel. Miguel ignored my shirt though letting it hit the ground. Yeah. I probably shouldn't have told Shay that I wanted to be his knight in shining armor. That shit was definitely suggestive as fuck.

I had to focus, regardless of the look Miguel was giving me at that moment.

Rashad and I started to circle around one another. I looked over at Shay. I don't know why I was thinking about him at this moment. Shay was counting on me. I couldn't let him down.

"Come at me bra..." Rashad stated.

We were circling each other. I put my guard. My hands made soft circles. I took a few steps towards him. Rashad put up his guard pulling it up to his face. He had this southpaw fighting style. I had never fought someone who held his arms like that before.

As we got closer I jabbed at him once...just testing his speed. He blocked it and swayed his head a little bit. He took a few steps back and I jabbed again.

This time I had got closer to my face. He seemed shocked by how fast he was. I heard someone hollering from behind me. I imagined it was Shay but I was too focused to turn around and look. It made me want to fight harder though imagining that it was Shay cheering me on. God why the fuck was I still feeling this way about him.

I struggled to clear my mind and see my opponent in front of me.

"Where you going, papi," I stated before switching it up to Spanish, "Ven aca..."

He came at me at that moment. Rashad swung at me. He cut through the wind. There was a force being his punch and I could by the noise it made as it cut through the wind. He was sloppy though. I ducked down punching him in his side. I hit him once and felt his stomach clench up. Rashad took a few steps back at that moment and tried to grab me. He managed to get me down and threw me on the floor.

Rashad started to wail at me wildly at that moment throwing punches at me as soon as he got me on the floor! He was aggressive. He was fighting like a wild dog. I honestly thought we were about to box or something but this was street fighting!

There were so much noise. I struggled to push away but Rashad was following me every way I turned. His hands were wailing at me. He was hitting me but he was going so fast and sloppy that the punches didn't really hurt. He must have been using up all his energy.

I was eating his punches.

But I still couldn't get from under him!

"Get up! GET THE FUCK UP!"

This time I was sure it was Shay. Shay was cheering me on. I don't know why that put a fire under my ass. Ain't no way I was going to get beat the fuck up in front of Shay.

I don't know where the energy came from but I pushed at Rashad dead in the center of his chest. I knew it would get him off of me but I didn't expect Rashad to go flying backwards and landing on his ass.

I had the chance to go jump on Rashad like he did me but I let him get on his feet. I didn't have to fight dirty to win this. That wasn't my style that was hit.

He got up back up to his feet.

"Fuck." he said.

He had saw how strong I was when I had tossed him. I knew he was rethinking this fight. I looked behind him to see Felix and Tony. They were looking at one another. They were worried their head honcho was outmatched in this one. I noticed Felix above everyone else. He clearly looked bothered.

"Don't lose!" Felix told Rashad.

Felix was older than Rashad and I thought Rashad was in charge but the way Felix was talking to him. The way Felix was talking to him was dirty. It was almost like he was trying to put this shit into Rashad's mind. It was almost like he needed Rashad to win. Well it didn't matter. I had Shay behind me and Shay needed me to win.

I started at Rashad again. This time I wasn't going to slip up. I faked a punch and watched him put up his guard to his face. When he did that I followed up with my left hand and hooked him in his side. His hands dropped from his face and I delivered a powerful punch dead to his face!

Rashad fell back at that moment to the ground gushing blood.


"It's over?"

"Wait...wait please.." Rashad stated.

I had to admit I kind of felt bad for him. I had knocked the wind out from him. He looked embarrassed. I had turned at that moment. This shit was over. He needed to just give up. He was outmatched when it came to these hands. He was outmatched.

I scanned the crowd and put my hands. They were screaming for me. They were screaming.

"Fidel! Fidel! Fidel!"

For that moment in time I felt like I was the shit to be honest. That was when my face landed on Shay. Shay wasn't celebrating. Matter of fact Shay looked...worried.


The voice came from Shay. He was pointing behind me.

I hadn't seen what happened. All I saw was Felix throwing something at Rashad. I didn't see what it was at first. I turned and before I knew it I saw Rashad CHARGING at me.

He was charging at me with whatever Felix had thrown to him and before I could block him I felt it hit the side of my head. The glass shattered.

It was the tequila bottle that he was drinking on.



This time it had come from Shay.

I wasn't sure if the shock of what Rashad had done had caused the room to get completely quiet or if it was actually the bottle hitting me on the side of the head. It took a minute laying there bleeding on the side of my head for me to realize that it was a mixture of the two.

"You give up?" Rashad stated.

"Yo you fuckin' cheating ass motherfucker!" Shay screamed out.

Rashad laughed, "You made up the rules Shay. Ain't no playing fair in these streets. We want to be gangsta, remember. We trying to run these streets. You never said we had to fight with just our hands. See...that's why we need rules. That's why we need the rules that I make. He shouldn't have slipped up."

I could feel myself trying to get up, "I can still fight...I can still----"

"Stop. He GIVES UP!" Shay stated at that moment, "He gives up!"

I noticed why Shay was saying that. I noticed he was saying it because my head was bleeding like crazy at that moment.

Rashad looked over at me and laughed, "Now...shit is settled. I run this shit."


I felt like shit. It wasn't even the cut on my head. It was the fact that I had to get branded and then sit there and watch as Shay got branded. We had given our word. The vibe in the room had changed. Everyone had been celebrating before but now everyone was whispering. I wondered if they were talking shit on me. I wondered if they were basically saying how stupid I was for letting my guard down and letting Rashad hit me with a bottle.

I squirmed in pain as I watched Shay get branded. The look on his face. He didn't want to be down with this shit. It was clear. I had let him down.

"I'm sorry," I told Shay.

It was the only thing that I could think of saying. He had finished getting his brand and he had walked over to me. We were still in the warehouse. Rashad was on the other side of the room with his boys. They were drinking tequila and talking about the fight. Everyone else in the room was kind of quiet. There were whispers here and there. I had separated myself from everyone. Shay had walked over to me.

We had matching brands now with the original members of GGG and all these recruits that I never saw and didn't know. What kind of dumb shit was this? Still...Rashad had got the better of me. It was my fault for dropping my guard. I had got lost in the moment. I had got distracted by being Shay's champion.

"Sorry for what?"

"For losing."

"That motherfucker cheated," Shay stated, "Didn't you hear everyone? Everyone is saying the same thing. Everyone has been talking about how shady Rashad is. They are saying you should be in charge."

I looked around the room. I did notice that people were acting funny.

"Dam...I noticed everyone was getting quiet."

"They're pissed. So am I."

I shook my head, "I should have won."

"Stop it. You need to go to the hospital."

"Naw I'm good...I already look like a pussy tonight..."

"Yo shut up. Well if you aren't going to the hospital then come here. I got this clean rag. Let me take a look at that cut..."

He walked over to me at that moment. Shay was so close to me. He smelled so good. He had this odd smell. It smelled good almost signature to him. It was this smell of cinnamon. It smelled like a warm cabin in the wintertime. It smelled like pies. It smelled like home. I took deep inhale of Shay at that moment and my heart started to slowly race in my chest. I had never felt like this with Lamont.

"Fuck!" I screamed all of a sudden.

He had pressed too hard on the cut. I had grabbed his hand. I held onto his wrist and then for some reason my fingers held onto his hand. His hands were soft as fuck. Now came that romantic, awkward, mushy bullshit that I wanted to avoid. It came like at me harder than Rashad and that bottle. We were so close and we were staring at each other as I held his hand.

Little shorty did something to me and i didn't know what it was.

Shay laughed, sending waves of minty cool tones into my nostrils, "The cut ain't as bad as all that. You'll be good. You won't need stitches or nothing. Now you're being a pussy."

I looked up at him, "You're enjoying this aren't you? Seeing me in pain."

"Why would I enjoy that?"

I shook my head.

"I been a dickhead to you shawty," I replied, "Ever since Lamont died. I said I didn't blame you but I acted like I did. That is the same thing. I'm sorry. So yeah. I'm sure you enjoy seeing me in pain. "

"I am enjoying this."

"I deserve it."

He had every right. He had every right to look at me crazy. I had treated him like shit. He had every right to not even want to speak to me again. I would completely understand. I don't know when I came to my senses. Maybe it was seeing how much I wanted to fight for him. Maybe it was the fact that this dude was the one in my corner with no doubt at all. Either way I just felt like shit.

"I meant I'm enjoying seeing you vulnerable," Shay stated at that moment, "I enjoy seeing you put your guard down for once and be a real dude. So how about we start over?

Shay was so fucking sexy.

I nodded, "Yeah, start over. How about about I take out."

He laughed, "You asking me on a date bra?"

"Naw chill," I blushed, "Just like an apology. Or whatever. Shit. We officially GGG for life and shit now. I got hit with a bottle fighting for you and shit. Least we can do now is, you know, break some bread. Or whatever. You know, papi, damn. We got to let the bad blood go between us."

"Sounds like a date," Shay smiled and laughed.

"He's right it does..."

I turned at that moment to see Miguel.

I hadn't noticed Miguel. Fuck.

Everyone time I was around Shay it was almost like I forgot about everyone and everything around me. It was no doubt when I had slipped up and got hit with a bottle because I was searching for Shay's expression through the crowd.

Shay looked at Miguel and saw that expression. The shit was priceless. Miguel wasn't even being coy anymore. Miguel was fucking pissed.

"I should let you guys talk," Shay stated but then stopped and looked at me one more time, "Text me...about that um...thing, Fidel. Just text me. We can plan something."

Shay smiled at me again. When he smiled at me it was almost like I forgot Miguel was mean mugging my ass. Shay walked away and I couldn't help but to watch him walk away. At that moment I knew I had to face Miguel and I knew it wasn't going to be good but still...I knew that I liked Shay so fucking much.

Miguel shook his head at me, "What the fuck is that about?"

Shay was gone. I had snapped back to reality and reality didn't look sweet. Miguel was beyond pissed at me.

"Look. I was going to tell you," I stated.

"Tell me what?"

I took a deep breath.

"Son. Ok. I kind of..."

"Kind of what cous...spit it out..."

"I kind of got a thing for Shay," I finally admitted, "I was trying not to. I had one for him even when Lamont was alive. I'm not trying to play you. I'm really not. It's just. Something about dude. You know when you meet someone and you just..."

I stopped talking. I stopped trying to make this shit sound smoother to him. Miguel had a shit stare. He wasn't having it. He looked betrayed. I knew how he felt. I felt like shit for making him feel this way. I thought it was best that I should have been honest.

"You think you slick huh? You wasn't interested in him until I was," Miguel stated shaking his head, "Ever since we were kids you just trying to upstage people. Just like you tried to upstage Rashad today. Man...matter fact I'm glad Rashad beat yo ass."

"Rashad ain't beat my ass first off----secondly, it has nothing to do with me trying to upstage you. I met Shay first."

"You were married. Shouldn't you be concerned with your fuckin' dead husband? A few weeks later and you chasing the only thing I got going for you."

Miguel was going for low blows! I was shocked. I found myself standing up. If it was anyone else because my younger cousin I would have laid his ass out on the floor right now. I was pissed. This motherfucker was really coming at me like this. He wanted me to keep it real.

I was about to keep it all the way real.

"Cous...he's not into you like that. I'm sorry to say it. Clearly me and him have a connection. You ain't dumb. You got to see it. He don't fuckin like you! Stop actin pressed!"

I felt bad that I had to keep it real like him but I didn't regret it. I didn't regret as the words came out of my mouth. Miguel stood there for a minute. He stood there for a minute angrily looking back at me.

Then he turned to me and said, "If he don't like me then why he let me fuck him?"


He nodded up, "Yup. I fucked him."

"You fuckin lying."

"Whatever papi. Remember that day I came home all wet. Where you think I was? I was in Shay's pool fuckin him. So you ain't doing shit right now but chasing behind your baby cousin's sloppy seconds..."

They had fucked?

I wasn't the leader of GGG. I had got hit with a bottle. I had a stupid ass lifetime brand on my arm. My cousin hated me.

And now on top of ALL of that.

The only person that was in my corner had already fucked my cousin.

It felt like my whole day just went from bad to horrible.

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