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De'nesha Diamond is the award-winning, national bestselling author of more than twenty previous novels. She lives in Georgia.
Prologue Miz Cleo
Summertime is hell in Bentley Manor. The Georgia heat is enough to drive you mad and folks around here start actin' like they's ain't got no sense. I've seen a lot in my seventy-three years and I've experienced pain I wouldn't wish on my worse enemy. But heartache is nothing new in Bentley Manor. In fact, it comes with the territory.
As I sit out here on this stoop with my best friend Osceola Washington by my side, I look around this U-shaped complex marveling how it's getting harder and harder to tell the days apart. I've been living here since June of '69. Lost my husband in '71. After raising four children, one grandchild, I'm now strugglin' to raise my great-grandbaby.
And I'm tired.
Over the years, or rather, over the decades, Atlanta has gone through some changes. Bentley Manor started off as regular apartment complex, but in the late '70s it was the ghetto, in the late '80s the projects. Now, it's the hood.
This place is crawling with the worst of the worst and I've seen my fair share of pimps, dealers, playas, and killers. Too many, in fact.
Some wonder how people survive places like Bentley Manor. To that, I can only shrug my shoulders and ask "what choice do we have?"
The hood life is all we know....
Copyright © 2009 by Niobia Bryant and Adrianne Byrd
1 The Pimp
Pussy is big business.
And I'm a businessman -- a damn good one. Yeah, I dibble and dabble in a few other things. Who doesn't? If a nigga wants to carve himself a piece of the American pie, he's got to get his hustle on. You feel me? I'm sure you do. Tavon Johnson is the name and pussy is my game.
'Course, on the streets they call me Sweet Diamondtrim Johnson. Diamonds are my trademarks. So much so that each of my girls keeps their pussy shaved and sport diamond tattoos inches above their clits. I want my customers to know they're getting diamond quality.
If you're wondering how I got into this business, I guess you could say I sort of fell into it. I popped my first cherry at twelve. Her name was Renee Collins. I swear to this day that she has the sweetest pussy a nigga ever tasted. And 'course I bragged this shit to my best friend Destin. Bragged so much that he promised to give me his allowance for a full month if I let him have a go at Renee himself.
Being an entrepreneurial nigga even at that age, I took the deal -- only if I was allowed to watch. Hell, Destin's parents gave him five dollars a week, and in '82 you have no idea how many hours of pinball that gave a nigga.
Renee was pissed, but it had been easy to convince her fuckin' Destin was her chance to prove how much she loved me. I gotta tell ya: watching her in action with my best friend was an incredible high. Watching her do a few more boys behind the schoolyard and under the gym bleachers convinced me that I really did love her.
All in all, it was just another reason in a long list of why I married her. For the record, she still has the sweetest pussy I've ever tasted.
So what's your fantasy? I have every kind of ho you can imagine: Black, white, Puerto Rican or Asian. You name it, I got it. You want a streetwalker, a glamorous escort, a porno star, or maybe you're one of those down-low brothers. Don't matter. I got a few dicks on the payroll, too. It's all pussy to me.
Being in the biz for a quarter, I've seen it all. You can whip them, tie them up, and you can even piss on them, if that's your thing. It's all negotiable. But don't get it twisted; pimpin' ain't easy.
From time to time I catch whiff of a few girls talking 'bout how they're going to leave. I laugh at that shit. Where the fuck are they going to go? What are they going to do, shovel fries at McDonald's, convince one of their johns to marry them? C'mon. Once a ho always a ho.
Besides, they're not going to find another nigga that's going to treat them better than I do. Like the Disciple Curtis Mayfield said: "I'm their momma, I'm their daddy, I'm that nigga in the alley."
I'd be lyin' if I said from time to time one doesn't leave the nest...but they come back. They always come back. Bottom line: they love me, they hate me, they love me. I can live with that.
As long as the bitch has my money.
That's the key to my success. While all these ashy Negroes scramble around tryna turn everybody and their momma into crackheads, I'm building an empire off the best commodity there is -- and I do mean the best.
From rap stars to government officials, I keep the juices and the money flowing.
I grew up poor and I ain't never going back. Fuck that shit.
Of course, I don't whine and moan like most. A sad story in Bentley Manor is a dime a dozen. We don't need anyone to tell us that we got the short end of the stick. The question is: How are you going to play the hand you were dealt? Me? I didn't choose pimpin'. Pimpin' chose me. The first girl I had to protect was my own damn momma.
Now, some men have a problem havin' a ho for a momma. Not me. I recognize my momma did what she had to do to put food on the table for five children (all of us with different daddies), and I ain't got nothin' but mad respect for her game. Of course, for a long time, she lied to us and to herself by telling us that the men who marched in and out of our apartment were good friends of the family -- friends who left money on the bedside table after they "wrestled naked in her bed."
Once, my older brother, Kadrian, and I hid under her bed and found out what really went on in that room when she closed the door. And let me tell ya: Momma had skills. Niggas would call out her name like she was Christ Almighty. A lot of them brought her gifts and some even thought to bring us something, too.
For a few years, we were the envy of most our friends: sportin' the new canvas sneaks, rockin' the latest dookey rope chains and carrying the biggest boom boxes imaginable. Then crack hit the streets and Momma got hooked.
First, she tried to maintain, but that didn't last long.
Soon, thugs and drug dealers replaced the niggas with money. Our fly-ass gear disappeared about as fast as the food in the refrigerator. Within three months, Momma was out on the streets, offering to suck dicks just for a hit. Some started beating on her. The strange thing was she acted like she didn't care. All she wanted was to get high.
Well, I cared. And nobody was gonna whup my momma's ass right in front of me or my hood. So me and my brother started looking out for her -- collecting her money, making sure that she got paid.
Hell, we had to eat.
This arrangement pretty much went on through our teen years. But all our protecting couldn't prevent her from coming up HIV positive a couple years ago. That fuckin' sex fiend Junior spread that shit to a lot of girls when he was stayin' up at Bentley Manor. If his wife hadn't capped his ass, I sure the fuck would have.
But live and learn. All my girls get tested on the regular and I screen their johns like the motherfuckin' FBI. What can I say? I have to protect my investment.
My three sisters, Candy, Brandi, and Cherry, followed our mother's footsteps. They call themselves Video Vixens now, but you know, a ho by any other name...
Me, I keep doing what I'm good at: protecting and selling pussy.
My big brother, Kadrian, didn't make it out of his teens. He got caught up in gangbanging and took a couple of bullets to the chest. Not a day goes by when I don't think about him, wishing he was here counting this money with me.
Pimpin' ain't like what you see in the movies. Sure there are some guys who walk around draped in gaudy jewelry, iron-pressed curls, and dress like it's 1972, but those are little boys fulfilling their Superfly fantasies. Pimpin' is a business and I dress like any other CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Ten-thousand-dollar suits from William Fioravanti, Caraceni, and Oxxford, with a little tasteful bling from De Beers and my ass look ready for the cover of GQ every day.
"I'm sorry, sir," Anderson, my driver, says over his shoulder. "Doesn't look like this traffic is gonna let up anytime soon."
I pull my gaze from a So-So Def billboard to meet his eyes in the Bentley's rearview mirror. "Take your time. I'm not in a hurry."
He nods and I return my attention to that ridiculous billboard and continue reflecting over my life -- all thirty-seven years of it.
It wasn't easy, but I finally got my girls off the street corner. Found safer ways for us all to do our jobs. Yeah, I own a couple of private strip clubs, book a couple of booty-shaking dancers for rap stars and keep a hefty amount of city government officials sexed up so good that they stay off my back.
All of this is good money, but it all pales in comparison to what I make off the Red Light District Web site: videos, CD-ROMS, DVD, Video on Demand, and sex toys. Again, name your pleasure and I can hook you up.
After all, I'm a freak, too.
At long last, my nut sack starts tingling. I close my eyes and loll my head back to give the mouth around my cock a little more room.
"That's it. Don't stop," I moan and pump my hips. Out of all my girls, including Renee, no one sucks my dick the way Destiny does. No one. I place my hand on the back of her long flowing weave and bob her head down to a faster rhythm.
Shit. I'm ready to come and I know this trick is gonna swallow my full load and then keep sucking until my toes curl.
"Aw, shit. You nasty motherfucker," I growl as I hold her head down and finally explode into that wonderful mouth.
Like a true sex soldier, Destiny keeps going and I start to inch up the leather upholstery because my shit is suddenly sensitive. Finally, I have to shove her off and try to catch my breath.
Destiny chuckles and reaches for her purse to retrieve her compact and lipstick. "I don't know how Renee is still number one when she can't deep throat like I do."
I tuck my dick back into my pants and stare at her as she fixes her makeup. Well, technically, she is a he and quite possibly the best damn transvestite I've ev...
This book gives inside view of urban hood life. I felt like I was there with the characters. I really like the bookPublished 2 months ago by Peggy Thweatt
This book could of done better then that. It's like you know what's going to happen next. Too much like a book. Thats why I gave it 2★Published 4 months ago by P. Richmond
I finally finished reading and I thought it was pretty much a good read if they were to make this out of a movie I would most definitely be there to see. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Niecy
OMG!! This was a great read and a major page turner I could hardly put it down. It gives a different outlook by telling Bentley Manor from a male's point-of-view.Published 8 months ago by Rosh
I loved it. Really kept me interested waiting for what was going to happen next. Can't wait for more from Meesha Mink!Published 10 months ago by Jermaine C. Wiley
I read the other two books before this one and this book Is just as great as those are. The story continued with the Men of bently manor and it was just as cray as the women were,... Read morePublished 11 months ago by rie33
I read the Hood Life and I must say it didn't disappoint at all I truly enjoyed the characters and I would really enjoy a sequel I would like to confirm what happen to Sweet,and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by yolanda s.
it was nice to see a writier protray both the male and female side in the series of the booksPublished 14 months ago by Whitney Washington
" The Hood Life"-good sequel, i hope there is another one coming! it was great. they really put it down on this one!!!Published 14 months ago by michelle kettrles