Friday, March 28, 2014

Broken Time: Chapter 6

“I’ll make an ass of you..”

Nicki

Two Months Later

I hated freezing rain. It was the worst kind. And here I was awaiting his arrival in it.  I refused to meet him at my house. Too many memories had accumulated in it.

I avoided media at all costs and crawled into a hole of seclusion. It wasn’t something bad though. I was becoming who I should have been long ago.

“Fuck!” I jumped as a hard knock sounded against my window. It was him. Letting my window down, I gave the hooded figure a simple nod.

“My bad,” peering in the backseat, he spoke as the locks switched. But King wasn’t there.

“Grab the umbrella, Brey,” I slipped up with his nickname and earned a smile from him.

“Ready?” He appeared at my doorside with one hand stuffed in his pocket and the other holding the umbrella.

Drenched, I didn’t understand the point of umbrellas if rain was still able to get on you. Nonsensical it was.

Removing our shoes and shrugging off our wet jackets, we found ourselves in the empty restaurant. Well, with the exception of staff, it was empty.

I allowed him to pull my chair out although I didn’t care for his gratitude. We were not getting any step closer to being together again. This was strictly two parents having dinner.

“The world misses you,” Aubrey said before scanning the menu as if he didn’t already know what he wanted.

“Hmph,” I chuckled at his not so cryptic words. “You or the world?”

“Both.”

“I can only come back to one of those,” I leered and he wasn’t too pleased as his expression dropped. “Let’s not dwell on that.”

“Don’t become some emotionless person.”

“So because I’m not in tears over your ass and doing what I should’ve done long ago I’m some emotionless robot,” I chuckled a bit bitterly. “Don’t play yourself, Aubrey. I’ll make an ass of you.”

“So this is you now, huh?”

“You get what you give.”

“And what am I gettin’?” he smirked. He was such an asshole.

Drake

I smiled at the two dimples sitting in her lower back. Back turned to me, Nicki lied half-covered in the California King. This had been our routine for the past month when it wasn’t pertaining to our child. She thought it was just “sex” but she and I knew it was much more.  If it wasn’t, then her damn body and mine had me fooled.

“My goodness,” she seethed once trying to get up but my arm was wrapped around her face. “Bastard.”

I chuckled in response to her futile attempts. She’d give me hell for it swiftly.

“You keep doing the same shit. I don’t want the affection,” her head crooked my way quickly.

“Move my hands then. But if you aren’t, then stop with the front.”

“Is that so?”

“You here, right? I’m here right? So keep your ass still.”

“Fuck you, Aubrey! Don’t think you run shit because you fucked me good. We still aren’t on good terms. I still don’t like you or that bitch.  Just because y’all crashed and burn does not mean we have a chance rebuilding.”

“So what we doing here?” raising up, I motioned between us. “Don’t act like you’re innocent either, Onika. You’re very flirtatious with other niggas. You’re lucky I let that shit slide. And the whole Wayne thing.”

“Fuck you!” she shouted.

“You did that already. Just cut the shit. Forget the bullshit I said months ago.  I did what I did to fuck with her emotions and make an ass of out of her. I needed the world to see how contradicting she could be. So you comin’ home or what?” I ran my hand down my face.

It had been my plan all this time. I knew she and everyone else wouldn’t agree with the plan to begin with, so I just kept it to myself. The stuff I said was bogus, and at the time, Rih was just in the other room. Yes, it hurt seeing Nic hurt, but I really wanted her exposed at the time.

Not only had she pulled that crazy shit, but she was also just throwing me under the bus. Yet she was ready to hop on a jet to come to my shows. I could play along too.

“I don’t know,” she got quiet suddenly. “I kind of like being single.”

“What you mean you like being single?”

“Exactly, what I said. And then you’re throwing my flirtatious nature in my face. So maybe this break or whatever this may be is good.”

My jaw clenched as I looked on at her nonchalance and apparent seriousness.

“Kidding,” she climbed atop of me and placed kisses along my collarbone. “You’re not the only one who can joke.”

“You better get a leash on that flirting shit, Nic. I’m serious.”

“Yes, Daddy,” she smiled.

Nicki

My head ached from the sunlight peering through the hotel window. The events of last night were faded memories as I turned to face Aubrey’s muscular build. I rubbed the scruff of his maintained beard and noticed a gold band adjacent to the diamond ring I’d returned to him months ago.

“Shit,” I mumbled as I tried piecing things together. It only meant one thing. We’d impulsively done what we planned on doing in the near future.

“Brey,” I shook his body but he didn’t budge. “Aubrey!”

“Shut up, Nic!” he grumbled and planted his face back into the pillow.

“Look at your ring finger,” I said. Resisting for several seconds, he finally did as told but was nonchalant of it. There was a band bigger but similar to mine.

“We’re married, so what? Take your ass back to sleep,” his arm flung over my waist.

“Are we?”

“Yes, last night when you got drunk off your ass again, I asked you to put the ring back on. Got the gold bands I had for the real wedding. But instead, we went to a nice little chapel and made it official there.”

“So you’re happy with what we did or no? I mean we agreed on waiting but if you want to see i-,”

“Why would I be upset? I married the love of my life. Ain’t no second-guessing. I love you.”

“But what if I’m a horrible wife? I mean I don’t want things to change, Brey,” I was near tears now. “We already have had plenty of problems. What if things get worse?”

Sitting up with a groan, Aubrey gripped my hips and pulled me in front of him and wiped my tears.

“We’re good. You know how many times we’ve broken up and gotten back together. We’re straight. At the end of all this, we’re only each other’s. No status is changing that shit.”

“You promise, Brey?”

“I promise, babe.”

---

“I’m nervous,” I bit my nails while readying myself for the photo. The veil from what remnants of last night we kept hung to the small of my back. I sat on the sea of sheets with my back to him in nothing but my black lace panties.  With my left hand placed in a way for my wedding ring to be shown.

“Ready?” Aubrey inquired.

“Yeah,” I relaxed and waited to hear the sound of the camera. “Beautiful.”

I found myself blushing at his choice words. There was no skepticism about spending the rest of my life with him. Although he sent me into a fury, Aubrey managed to make feel so good inside.

Butterflies gathered in my stomach and flew freely. I was so happy with him, and I didn’t care what events had proceeded.

“Posted.”

“What’s the caption?” I craned my neck his way.

Mrs.,” a smile tugged at his lips. “You know you’re married when the corny pictures begin. Everyone’s gonna be blowing our phones up too.”

“We won’t answer. This is our time.”

Drake

“I missed you,” she lied back against my chest as we sat up in the bed. Her fingers moved back and forth against my knee propped up. “Us.”

“You were talkin’ that shit though,” I kissed the back of her neck.

“Sorry,” she muttered.

“No problem. We’re where we’re supposed to be.”

“Uh, can I ask you something?”

“Shoot.”

“What if I wanted to have another baby?”

“Is your body ready for that?  I mean King isn’t a year yet. But I want what you want. We can have ten kids if you see fit.”

“Really? I was initially against it. But I want it all now. We can wait with our careers being busy an-,” her words were cut off by a loud knock.

“Get it,” she moved off of me and underneath the cover. I trudged taking my time to maneuver out the room and into the foyer. Getting up to the door, I looked through the peephole and saw everyone I’d been ignoring for the past two days.

“Shit,” I grumbled as I tightened the strings of my sweats.

“Fuck you!” was all said as I opened the door.

“Where’s Nic?” Court asked from behind them before they all busted in.

“In the bedroom.”

Chubbs, CJ, 40, Oliver, Mark, Future, Hush, Ryan, OB, everyone was here.

“Stop!” Nicki’s voice erupted with muffled giggles. “I’m sorry.”

“We found out from the fuckin’ Insta like we ain’t close to you niggas personally,” Hush griped with her thrown over his shoulder.

“It just happened. I don’t even remember shit. We’ll eventually have a real one.”

 “We wanna throw a party,” 40 added.

“Where?”  I asked, taking a seat on the little open space of the bed. They were just lounging like it was theirs.

“Shit, I don’t know.”

“Can I walk in to ‘Trophies’ on some G-shit? Or his verse on ‘Sh!t’ remix?” Nicki asked with a straight face.  I started cheesing then erupted into laughs as Hush let her down. “Imma wear a mink or some shit, Brey.”

“You wildin’,” Chubbs shook his head.

“Bitch, check the numbers, I’m the one who really get it,” Nicki rapped. “Y’all better do that shit or I ain’t comin’ in. Deadass”

“Fine. What you walkin’ in to?” 40 continued.

“He’s walkin’ in with me,”

----

“Niggas thought I was playin’,” Onika beamed as her mink dragged against the floor.

“I wished you’d take that off. Too fuckin’ warm in here for that shit.”

“Hoes are mad,” Nicki pointed at me and flipped her hair over her shoulder to hit my chest. She was definitely feeling herself tonight.

“Oh, really?”

“Yes,” she finally shrugged it off. It dropped to the balcony floor and a tight, pink dress with thin straps was revealed. “But you’ll keep your eyes on me tonight.”

My lips curved upward as she attempted to walk away but I grabbed her waist. I pressed my lips against her cheek.

“Dance with me,” she said when Party’s Muse came on.

“Up here?”

She had me wherever she wanted.

Nicki

“Let’s get lost,” I found myself thinking out loud. I was on a high as my body fell back against the bed.

“In what?” he posed. And I couldn’t exactly answer it as such.

“Everything, I suppose,” my eyes diverted to the ceiling’s mirror.

“What’s everything?” he mused rhetorically.

“Whatever we want it to be.”

“And that is?”

“Good, bad, everything.”

“So you want the bad?” his hand brushed against my arm and down to my hand. Our fingers entangled and grasped each other’s. It was a little gesture but meant so much to me. All I ever wanted was his touch, the warmth of his being.

“Everything,” I nodded. “We wouldn’t be us if there weren’t the bad times, Aubrey. I may not like them but I appreciate them. Every time we experience a bad time we grow stronger in bond and connection. No one can take you from me and vice-versa.”

“You just gotta work with me, alright? Trust me.”

“I do. I just…I guess I get a little angry with you at time. You never talk much about what’s going on inside while I wear my heart on my sleeve. We have to give each other what we’re taking.”

“Likewise. I know my rep with women but you have the eyes of many men. And I hate that shit especially when you kind of egg the shit on.”

“I just kid, I don’t want them, Aubrey.”

“Yeah, but they don’t know that.”

“So you don’t want me being friends with them or what?”

“Do you, but don’t do something you wouldn’t want me doing.”
---
One hand stayed in the air while the other gripped the red solo cup. I was a little buzzed but well aware of how to behave. And honestly at this point, I couldn’t care about her being here. She had already lost to me.

This was something she couldn’t take away. And for a moment, I felt for her. But once I recollected her harmful intent, those feelings washed away quicker than they had come.

Frankly, she could take nothing that was never hers.

Her eyes zeroed in on my ring finger and back to the stage. A sly smile slid on my face every time she took time to acknowledge it. Shit, it felt beyond great because it was real, and her facial expressions were just icing on the cake.

“I’m being good,” I said to 40 as he basked in the knowing. He quickly threw an arm over my shoulder and laughed.

“As long as you know and she knows.”

I knew better but I couldn’t say the same for her. Hopefully, the night wouldn’t go awry.

----

“Pizza pie,” I smiled at my own box in front of me. Leaning over to peck Brey’s cheek, I giggled as the guys faked their sentiments in feminine voices.

There were so many people backstage. It felt like more than had been here before my abrupt departure.

“You drunk?” he asked.

“Nah,” I shook my head. “I got a little buzz though.”

“Pay her no mind.”

“Did you know she was coming?”

“Nah, I didn’t.”

“Well, then we’re good,” I got up from my seat on the couch. “I’ll be back.”

Navigating through the numerous people, I kept ahead to the table for the sake of my thirst. I wanted something to drink. But I guess we were both thirsty, her in more ways than one.

“You rang?” I said to Rihanna while letting my eyes scour the drink choices.

“So it’s true?” she said with uncertainty in her voice.

“I didn’t know you needed confirmation.”

“We were just together.”

“And?” I now turned to her. “I don’t think you’re willing to play yourself right now, babe. You already look desperate; don’t do this to yourself.”

“Ok,” she smirked. “You know that was gonna be me right? I coulda married him.”

“And what stopped you?” I crafted my question carefully. She began to chew on her bottom lip, hesitating to answer me promptly. “Huh? Speak up.”

“You c-,” she started but I cut her off.

“Answer my question,” I demanded but she wouldn’t. “Me. I stopped you, bitch. I’m his biggest fan. What are you? I’m the mother of his child. What are you? Most importantly, I’m his wife. What are you, Robyn? You’re no better than the next bitch off the street. You just got fame. And luckily, I’m not like other women out here because if I was your ass would’ve been beat long ago. This is the nicest it’s going to get. But keep fuckin’ with me, and I’m going to give you that awaited ass whoopin’. Get in a line like every other bitch.”

I had spoken too soon. It was too soon.

Drake

All hell broke loose swiftly.  Shit had escalated. I knew Nic had been waiting for this moment but more than likely hadn’t fought without good reason.

Rih had gotten a punch or two in and a scratch here and there. But it was noting compared to what Nicki had done.

Rih’s left eye had now been painted black, and blood leaked from the pores of her face. Nicki had transformed into something otherworldly as everyone looked on. I wasn’t one to normally let women fight but this was something bound to happen.
Still, once I believed both had enough, I pulled them apart and took Nicki off into the distance.

Her monstrous nature had disappeared and she was now silent. Laying her head against the window, she sat away from me in the backseat as the driver took us back to the hotel.

The patter of raindrops was all heard throughout the vehicle. And at the moment, it was best. We needed no arguments or confrontations.

I reached for her hand and held it.  When she didn’t turn me away, I knew we’d be fine.

---

“Don’t touch me, shit,” she hissed. Nicki huffed out of frustration when trying to find a comfortable position in the bed. Something else was obviously bothering her but she chose not to speak on it.

“Talk to me,” I encouraged.

“You fucked her,” she spoke rather than asked. “And she threw that shit at me like some damn poison. But that wasn’t even why we fought. She tried to ask me how King was and said she was sorry for keeping you from him.”

“I ai-,”

“What else needs to be said? I’m here, Aubrey. I’m going nowhere even if she keeps at it. We’re only going forward even if that means I gotta deliver a few ass beatings along the way. This thing we got is it.”

“No one else,” I told her.


“No one else, Brey.”

About time, right? :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Broken Time: Chapter 5

 “Don’t get mad at me; I’m only the monster you created.”

Nicki

My hands irritated the back of my dress as it kept rising. I was a tinge incapacitated but knowledgeable of everything around me. And I was livid.

"You good?" Aubrey asked. Sipping my drink, I ignored him and smirked at her while she stared back at me. "Don't do anything crazy."

"Don't tell me what to do, Aubrey!" I sassed childishly. "The bitch is trying it."

"Ignore her," he gritted in my ear. But I wasn't listening. No liquor was stronger than the courage I already had.

"Stop talkin' to me."

The fact he had once began to mend their relationship gave her the notion that it was ok for her to come around. And it wasn’t because I’d yet to forgive her. No reason had been given to do otherwise.

"No, you stop talkin', and sit your ass down somewhere," He kissed my lips but I didn’t reciprocate it. He pointed at the couch in our section of the club. But my eyes stayed focused on her. Smiling our way with a wave, she was full of shit.

“Touche,” I laughed then took another sip from my cup before cocking my head aside and flipping her off. I was going home.

 Drake

"Don't fuckin' touch me," she spat before falling back on the bed.

"Stop," I begged, trying to remove her dress.

“Don’t touch me!”

“Chill out, Onika. I’m serious,” I gritted, clearly pissed that she was drunk off her ass. She could already barely hold her liquor but it was even worse that she was so sloppy and temperamental.

"All of you niggas are full of shit. Y-You no love me, Aubrey?” she slurred a bit.

"I love you not her."

"Give you a-a," she hiccuped, "a baby and she still has one over me."

"If I wasn't in love with you, a ring wouldn't be on your finger." I was beating a dead horse with her intoxicated state. I knew I hadn't exactly been Prince Charming but I didn't expect her to feel as though I didn't care. Robyn was just who she was.  And even then, you never knew what you were getting with her.

Our relationship and friendship had its volatile times but only because she played with my emotions. I always felt she wanted me when it was convenient for her and soon got tired of it. And of course, there was a time I still loved and wanted her but she didn't want me. I’d found Nicki, and she was it.

Yet some type of tolerance was needed for the sake of our lives. And Rih was a good person when she wanted to be; her irrational thinking just skewed that sometimes. We were in a good place. Even when I found myself wondering about what could’ve been, I was thankful for what has been.

“St-Still lyin’ to me, Brey,” she sang with that foolish smile. “But it is ok, k?”

“You’re wasted,” I sighed.

“Maybe,” she held her hands up and shrugged. “But I don’t care.”
---

Her vanilla scented curls roused me from my sleep. Nicki’s body basically lied atop of mine, so I just stayed put for a bit.  Brushing the hair from her face, I was able to get a good glimpse of her face. She was a beauty.

“Uh,” she groaned. “No.”

“You good?” I mused while she now had her head planted into my chest.

“Shut up, Aubrey! Fuck,” Nicki cried. “This isn’t cool. And you steady takin’ jabs.”

“Yeah, you got drunk off your ass and are paying for it now. But I can’t poke fun.”

“I know what I did. Don’t chastise me like I’m your fuckin’ child,” she finally rolled off of me and onto her side, pulling the cover back over her body. Onika always acted like this hard ass but was a big baby when she could be.

Still most of the time, she was a little too emotional. She wore her heart on her sleeve, which was a good and bad thing. I’d hurt her because of it numerous times. And I was still dealing with the aftermath. Onika liked to put up the façade that she was good but obviously is still scarred or coping. We were gaining ground though, and this wasn’t helping our progress.

“Talk to me,” I said.

“Leave me alone, Aubrey,” her voice was muffled so I pulled the sheet off her head. “I’m just tired. Give me this time to sleep, shit!”

“Tell me what’s wrong?”

“You know what’s wrong. She’s always around, and I can’t take the shit anymore. I’m not up for the smilin’ and wavin’ shit. You need to set some fuckin’ boundaries with your ‘friend’ or it’s somebody’s ass, preferably hers. I’m not doing the crying mess anymore. If she keeps tryin’ it, then that’s her ass. No lie, Brey. Check her or I will.”

“You won’t be doing anything,” I said seriously. We were parents now and neither one of us needed to be getting in altercations.

“Don’t tell me what I won’t do. Obviously, you can’t handle the situation like I asked of you. You’re leaving me with no choice if she keeps it up. Fix it now or else.”

Without much of a word afterward, she knocked out.


Nicki

“Champagne,” I sang loudly as I danced in my seat. King’s fat legs moved along to the beat. We were all at sound-check getting ready for the European leg of tour.

Every now and then Aubrey would steal glances at us and smile. I was actually happy with him since we’d gotten engaged again. Although my actions during the run-in with Rih probably showed otherwise, I really was. My anger didn’t stem from him; it was just toward the situation we’d been put in because of her.

“OVO crew, nigga, thought I told you. Aye!” I continued with him and exclaimed when I rapped that part.

“Stop,” he laughed.

“I can’t,” I giggled. “I love the way you rapped it, and plus, I’m an honorary OVO member.”

“You can’t just join.You gotta be initiated or some shit.”

“Please,” I rolled my eyes. “That’s like me saying you can’t fuck me because there’s secret password to get passage. You’re my fiancé; you get it anytime.”

“That was not a good analogy, but I see your point,” his hearty laugh I loved finally sounded.

Drake

She slipped out of the bed and pulled her dress on like we hadn’t just had sex.

“Where you going?” I asked.

“You thought I’d stay?” she mused. “You all up on this bitch and think I’m gonna stay. Never underestimate me. Shit doesn’t feel too good, huh?”

“We only performed.”

“And I’m only leaving. We’re even,” she pulled her hair to one side and slid her heels on. “Shit, let me not forget. Here’s your ring.”

She tossed it to me easily without a second thought. And I figured it was over.

“Maybe I’ll finally get my song like everyone else. Or better yet I hope to get a few subs here and there. I applaud you though. You’re one hell of an actor.”

“Don’t do that.”

“When you’re done playing and try to come back, just know you can’t. You and I both know you’re gonna come back, and I swear to you I won’t be accepting this time.”

“I love you.”

“Yo, you’re really playing yourself right now. ‘Love.’ This hasn’t been love for a while now. We’re good on that.”

“We-,”

“We don’t have shit but a son together. I know when your tour ends, so that’s when I’ll start accepting calls again. Don’t have none of the crew calling me or delivering your messages because this shit is dead.  I will be changing the locks too. This was your last chance, and you blew it with your trifling ass. Don’t get mad at me; I’m only the monster you created.”

Nicki

My gaze was not particular, one without any focal point. My throat hurt from crying and my head too was pounding because of the events taken place this week.

King lied in my arms, sleeping peacefully. I wanted to be him, incoherent of what was happening and at ease.

I kept my promise and shut my phone off. I was clueless to what was to be done. We were never apart even when we were apart. Us being together was always understood, and I no longer felt that way.

I didn’t want to do a lot of things anymore. I no longer wanted to be in the public eye. I just wanted to be a mother and away from all the drama. It was time to.

To grow.  To move on. To be happy. And he’d never allow it because it had to be done without him. Now I felt cold and callous toward him, wanting nothing more to do with him.

“About time you arrived,” I spoke sarcastically once his body came in view. Saluting the rest of the guys, I smirked at his fatigued appearance. It still wasn’t enough though.


“I’ll take little man,” 40 spoke and grabbed King from me.

“Oh, no you guys aren’t leaving. Whatever he has to say will be said in front of you all.”

“Come on, Nic.”

“Come on, what? This shit would’ve worked on any other day but not today. Still, my interest is piqued. I’m desperate to hear what you came up with. Continue, love,” my tongue ran across my bottom lip. He was frozen, a wonderful site to see. For once, he didn’t have a way with words.

“I got nothing.”

“And you’ll continue to have it,” my hand collided with his face and the sound echoed.

“That’s enough,” Chubbs pulled me back.

“No, fuck him! I fuckin’ hate him! I hate you so much, Aubrey! You hear that? I hate you!” I exclaimed in a hushed tone but it was enough for us to hear. “And it still doesn’t compensate for the pain you’ve caused. How does that feel, huh? I hate you, you bitch! I fuckin’ hate you. I hate him. I hate him.”

“You gotta calm down, baby girl,” Chubbs’ gentle voice worked to ease me. He carried me off in the distance.

“I hate him. I hate him,” I repeated out of desperation to halt my tears. “I hate him.”

But I love him.

----

I wanted to muster hateful words to spit at him for making me miss my flight but couldn’t.

“Here,” the man of the hour appeared with two aspirins and a glass of water. I wanted nothing from him but to be freed. So I knocked the glass out of his hand and watched it shatter on impact.

My heart it looked like.

 “Bastard,” I found strength to mutter.

“I agree,” he bellowed, ignoring the pieces of glass and taking place by me on the hotel room’s bed.

“I hate you...so much.”

“That’s fine.”

“You can’t make me stay any longer.”

I was beyond broken and couldn’t be repaired.

“I know but for one night…I-I’d. I don’t know.”

“Go to her. I want nothing of you,” I punched with my words. “Nothing. Words mean nothing. The ring meant nothing. To you I mean nothing.”

“Everything and more,” he responded with a genuine look in his eyes. But I refused to let up.  “So much more, you can’t be mine. You’re right, Onika. I gotta figure this shit out. And maybe when I do, you’ll have me.”

“Never,” I hoped to appear stronger than I was weak.

“And that’s ok because I’ll fight as hard as you want me to.”

Placing his index finger on my chin, he lifted it and kissed my lips softly. My body caved and tears escaped.

“Stop,” I whimpered.

“Lay with me,” he gave a hopeless smile.

“No,” I spoke but my actions proved otherwise once I allowed him to pull me back into him. Placing the blanket over us, Aubrey gripped my waist tightly, so tight that I knew he knew it was over.

“I love you,” he voiced against the back of my neck and pecked it.

“I love you too.”


But I knew I’d hate him in the morning, next week, next month, maybe next year. And I’d hate how I allowed myself to still love him.

So I definitely plan for the story to go in this direction, but sometimes it creates itself. This will be the last bit of relationship drama between them though. Sorry it took so long to post.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Broken Time: Chapter 4

Nicki

My head rested against Aubrey’s shoulder and legs across his lap as everyone boarded the jet. I was more than under the weather; my symptoms were flu-like.

“King’s fine, right? Does Sandi mind watching him these few days? I don’t wanna push him on her,” I spoke through an aching throat.

“He’s her grandson, Nic,” he chuckled. “She had no problem with it and said she’ll take good care of him.”

I really had no one on his trip. Aubrey and I were gradually getting somewhere but I hadn’t talked to anyone since the ordeal. We were still family in my eyes. If I could grow to forgive Aubrey, then I could do likewise with those involved. They’re loyalty would ultimately lie with him before me.

“I’m not mad at them,” I croaked.

“Who?” He peered at me.

“The guys. Tell them now.”

This was their trip. I wanted no parts in making it less enjoyable for them.

“The war is over!” he yelled to them. “Nicki loves us all again.”

“O-M-G!” 40 yelled like a girl. “Our main is back! Yas! We love you, Queen Nicki!”

“Love you too,” I struggled to yell out but did.

----

My head lied across his chest while watching TV.

“I’m gonna get ready in a few,” he spoke into the phone, ironically giving no notion of doing such after hanging up.

“You know you need to get dressed any minute now,” I yawned.

“Maybe so,” he shrugged.  “But I’m not leaving ‘til you’re comfortable and asleep.”

“I’m fine,” I told untruthfully. I wanted him here but he had obligations. He wasn’t to be faulted for it, but I loved the feeling of him holding me, placing small kisses here and there.

“Well, help me pick out what to wear.”

“Suit?” I suggested with hope of his compliance.

“Ok,” he smiled. “Black or teal?”

“Teal. Do the extra-ordinary,” I sat up in the bed.

Once he put his suit on and returned to the bedroom, a broad grin found way to my lips. Leaning over to adjust his bowtie, I said, “Handsome.”

“Thanks,” he appeared to blush.

“No problem. Just have fun and be safe.”

“I wished you could come.”

“Well, I’m sick and don’t need to get any sicker.”

“I know. Call me if you need anything, alright?”

“Alright, sir,” I saluted playfully. “Love you.”

“I love you too,” he pecked my forehead. “You gotta save me a dance.”

“Of course,” I replied as he grabbed his phone and room-key. “See you.”

“See you.” It was just me and the bed as my New Year’s date.

Drake 

The grip on my phone remained tight the entire night. I missed her. And she was all I thought about or even allowed my thoughts to acknowledge.

Maybe she was ok and that was reason for not calling me. Or maybe she didn’t want to talk and was in one of those moods again. Either way I’d rather be where she was.

Loosening my bowtie, I was met with cameras flashing before entering the hotel. There weren’t many people inside as expected because of the New Year. And I was thankful.

Making it inside the room, I expected to find Nicki lying in the bed but found otherwise. She wasn’t there.

“Shit,” I hissed as I almost lost my footing while venturing to the suite’s kitchen. And there she sat at the bar with headphones on and eating a bowl of ice cream. Creeping up behind her, I removed her headphones and made her jump a bit.

“You scared the shit outta me,” she palmed her chest and laughed.

“Sorry,” I kissed her cheek and took a seat by her.

“Back so soon?”

“You say that like you didn’t miss me.”

“Did I say that?” she glared at me.

“No. But you didn’t deny it either.”

“My God,” she smiled. “I did miss you, Mr. Graham. Why else would I be up at two in the morning eating?”

“I love you,” I spewed easily.

“I love you sometimes,” her voice came out hoarsely now and coughs erupted. “Bullshit.”

“Yeah, bullshit,” I smirked. “That’s why your ass is sick now.”

“I was only kidding. I love you all the time even when you piss me off as now.”

“I’m sorry,” I touched her hand and interlocked our fingers. “You wanna have some fun. It’ll make you feel better.

Arching her eyebrow, Nicki tilted her head to the side then spoke, “What do you have in mind?”

----

I walked down the hall with Onika hoisted on my back. I looked up to make sure she was fine before making our first stop.

“You ready?” I asked and got a nod from her.  Using the spare room-key, I was able to get in the room a few of the guys were staying in. Poised, I let Nicki off my back.

“Here,” I handed her a water-gun out the duffel on my shoulder. “A minute tops, ok? We meet up back here and go from there?”

“Bet,” she replied and I leaned down to kiss her.

Going our separate ways, I crept into the room and saw Ryan awake, watching TV on one of the couches. His hands shot up once he glanced at my hands’ hold but I motioned for him to come here and take the other gun. He was saved but would be helping us.

“You got Niko, Chubbs, and 40. Nic has OB and Hush while I got Mark and CJ,” I whispered.

“Nic!” someone yelled from where Nic was.

“Go before they wake up. A minute tops, alright? Meet me back at the front door as fast you can.”

We split up, and I moved carefully.  Hoping not to make a sound, I stood at the entrance to CJ and Mark’s room. The only light in their room was the bathroom’s light as they lied sleeping. This was going to be way too easy.

Nicki

Seeing their faces was hilarious and exhilarating at the same time. I don’t think I’d had this much fun in a long time. Everything with us had become so serious within months, so it was hard to. If we weren’t busy with King, then we were angry with each other, well at least I was angry with him. The arguing had come to be overbearing and hard to deal with. It had taken its toll, and all wanted was sanity.

But this was who we were. Nothing was ever consistent with us, so why was I hoping for something that was to always be temporary? I mean, my love will never be temporary but what about his ways? If there was no King, would there even be an “us”? I didn’t want to ruin it, us. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the what if’s and maybe’s.

“What you thinkin’ about over there?” he asked as the sun’s rays peered through the room’s window. The scruffiness of his facial hair teased my collarbone while his head lied in the crook of my neck.

“Nothing,” I shook my head and looked up at the ceiling. I wasn’t going to allow myself to start second-guessing once again. I needed to believe him because I loved him. We needed to trust one another. “Shouldn’t you be doing promotion or something? An appearance”

“I have nothing. And I’d rather be here with you,” he grumbled and pecked my neck. “What? What’s wrong?”

He wanted to know so I would tell him.

“Can this time be different? No more lying,” I huffed. “I hate when you lie to me. I know you’re forced to have this persona with your career as do I. But don’t give me the bullshit everyone  else sees. The women, cars, money, all of it comes with the superstar territory.  But you’re my child’s father and I’d like to believe my soul-mate. I deserve much more than what I’ve been dished out. I give you my best always.”

“Put the ring back on,” he murmured. It wasn’t a response I was ready for.

“It’s not that easy, Brey. No matter how much I love you; it ‘s just not.”

He moved away from me and went to the sitting-room. I quickly got out of the bed and followed after him like a lost puppy.

“What do you want me to do?” I asked as stood near the couch.

“I want you to come back, dammit! I want you to come back to me, Onika! You said you would, and you still haven’t. I’m not messing up anymore. I swear to you I’m not,” he shook with so much emotion. “You said you would come back when I need you. I need you. I need you more than you could ever imagine. And I messed up more than should be accounted for. But it never meant I didn’t love you. I did; damn, I do! You’ve been ready to come back but you won’t because it makes you weak.”

“You’re being unfair,” I whined with silent tears.  “You’re using my love for you against me. I keep coming back and looking like the fool.”

“I’m not hurting you again.”

“I don’t know.” My teeth took a deathly hold onto my bottom lip. It would surely bleed if I kept at it.

“Put the ring back on,” he repeated, reaching in his pajama pant pocket. He walked close to me before kneeling at my feet and looking up at me. My left hand rubbed my right arm out of nervousness.

It had only been a month and a half break. Yet here I was across the country with him, lying in the same bed with him and displaying affection like our tiff was non-existent. It had to mean something. We meant something if I was here.

“Ok,” I whispered and he slid it back on to my finger. Pulling me into him, my eyes had to have dampened his bare chest. There would be no going back this time. It was now or never.

“It all begins today,” he spoke with a underlying happiness in the tone. His big arms scooped me up and placed my legs around his waist.

“I love you,” I grumbled. “I love you.”

He kissed my hair before carrying me back to the bed.

Drake

Everyone’s eyes washed over the shining jewelry on her finger before she could even announce the engagement again. But I sensed they wanted confirmation just to be sure.

“Y’all good?” 40 asked in more ways than one. Nicki had yet to say anything to anyone.

“We’re back on if that’s what you wanna know, Noah,” she spoke before looking up at me.

“Finally,” he sighed as if a weight had been lifted off his own shoulders. “I’m just glad I don’t have to be around him so much.”

“I wasn’t that bad,” I interjected quickly.

“Like hell you weren’t. Annoying as shit,” 40 exaggerated. I don’t know why he was fronting. We were brothers, and he loved my company when I was “single.” I was the only one willing to play videogames with his competitive ass.

“We get the gist of things, guys,” Nic rolled her eyes. She had been annoyed the entire way to the restaurant.

“You pregnant?” I blurted. Her eyes cut and dimmed at me quickly.

“Are you?” Nicki smarted off.

“No.”

“Well, there you have the answer, smartass.”

“Woah!” I threw my hands up. “Someone's on edge today.”

“Well, you’re no girl, Aubrey. You don’t see Mother Nature every month nor are you sick, so leave me be. I just wanna eat my damn food then go back to the room and sleep.”

 “Sorry” and “Damn” was all said or mumbled at the table.

“Yeah, but,” she paused. “I guess that’s no excuse for my behavior. I’m just really not feeling good today.”

The damn switch-up of emotions was no joke at all. Her attitude right now was something lethal.



“You didn’t apologize though,” I said.

“Did I say I was going to? Y’all better take what y’all get and be happy,” she continued as the waiters sat our plates in front of us.

----

“Why can’t everyone be calm and collected like Chubbs and Future?” Nicki sighed. “You niggas are always on one.”

“And you aren’t?” Hush laughed loudly, causing us to join in. “All those faces you be makin’ and shit.”

“You’re so wrong,” she finally stifled a laugh. “I get more bitches than all of you though. Cause I be schemin’ on the low.”

“Cocky ass,” I muttered as she nudged me.

“You’re not mad are you? I can and will take any bitch you bag then be glad. Get it?” she chortled as if it was the funniest thing ever. ”Like the Glad garbage bags. Bars for days, Brey. Bars for days, boo,” she pecked my cheek.

Everyone was enjoying this a little too much. She was funny but not that funny.

“Stop gassin’,” I gave a slight chuckle before pressing my lips against hers, love of my life.