The Arraignment

Lo sat in the back seat of the rented car since everything she assumed she “owned” had been seized. Life had truly taken a different turn and it was for the worst. Her foot tapped to a beat that didn’t exist, she didn’t even smoke but during the past few months, Lo picked up a nasty habit for anything that required a lighter. She was currently filling the car with some purple haze she copped from the teenager who stayed under her in the condominium that was in her father’s name.

Lo couldn’t believe her worst fear had happened, she missed her life, the glitz, the glam and unfortunately everything about it was now gone.

The windows were tinted way past the legal requirement so no one could see inside the car but Lo had been watching the steps before her. Reporters, cameras, bystanders and the law-abiding citizens protesting that they lock The Underworld up and throw away the key. None of those people personally knew her or any of the members of The Underworld, yet they felt compelled to make an opinion on their freedom and the future of their children lives. Who were they to point the finger? Who were they to say they deserved life sentences? Was it because they hated how The Underworld came in and took over the game? Were they maybe, envious because they slaved at a job they hated? Or was it because The Underworld supplied poison to the streets, took men away from their families and wrecked havoc all across the United States. But what about the good things that The Underworld did? Did anyone care to research that? In addition, if they did, maybe people would lower their poster boards and put down their bullhorns. Maybe Channel 5 and Channel 2 would go back to reporting something else other than The Underworld. For weeks now, her face and others had been plastered across television screens. Lo’s parents were embarrassed and completely surprised

that their daughter, the apple of their eye and their pride and joy was now known as a Drug Lord of some sort.

Lo begged them to understand, she demanded that they listened and heard her out. It wasn’t like that, she told them.  Her mother screamed out and asked with eyeliner and mascara running down her pouty face, “Well what is it like Lauren?”

Lauren couldn’t tell them that she didn’t mess with the bad guys nor did she touch the work.

 There was no way for her to convince the Christian family she was apart of that her job was completely innocent although she laundered money it was for a good cause, Lo had brainwashed herself to think this and over the years she really believed it.

Lauren “Lo” Howard, proud graduate of Howard University where she majored in Integrated Marketing and a minor in Business Administration…what was she now? Almost a convicted felon.

Lo looked down at the grey pantsuit she wore. Her lawyer suggested that she go for a corporate look. Lo eyed her best friend going into the club with her mother in tow, she missed Miko and she prayed that once all of this bullshit passed over they could talk like old times.

This fucking court case had the potential to ruin friendships, families and destroy everyone’s lives. The good times were now a thing of the past, the days where they woke up and flew to Dominican Republic on some bored type shit. Popping bottles in the club and having a few wild nights that no one dared to discuss the next morning were now a memory.

Lo hated that they were all in this predicament but unlike a few others...she didn’t point her finger at anyone because in her eyes they were all to blame.

She was a grown ass woman and she knew she was getting into when they approached her that day.

Gone were the roaring twenties, Lo had been in the game for almost fifteen years and the money she made was ridiculous.

 She peeped out the window once more to see him….walking into the courtroom. Lo’s heart broke seeing his wife cling to his side.

She rolled her eyes and told the driver, “Hopefully I’ll be texting you to say come get me” she tried to cheer herself up but it wasn’t possible.

Exiting the vehicle and crossing the street, Lo took her time going up the steps not wanting to be at the courtroom amongst people she considered her brothers and sisters.

If she could go back she wouldn’t change a thing, all she could hope for was that everyone stuck to what was agreed on in the beginning.


“Are you okay?” Jackie asked her beau.

Sean ignored her, What the fuck kind of question was that? He thought to himself

The sex they had this morning did nothing to ease his worried mind. Sean didn’t bother going to buy a new suit or get a haircut. This shit was making him fucking miserable and he just wanted to ask the Judge are we guilty or what nigga? Sean didn’t like his freedom dangling over his head and the fact that they couldn’t hustle at all during this time was making him more anxious. All Sean knew was hustle, he didn’t have hobbies, and making money was the only thing that he enjoyed doing.

“You want to pray?” Jackie asked

She just wanted to be there for him but Sean had been treating her as if she wasn’t even there or going through this shit with him.

Sean sighed and said, “You can pray” he told her. At this time, Sean wasn’t in any position to be turning down no prayers he needed all the miracles he could get.

Sean bowed his head and took Jackie’s hand in his as she prayed for his freedom, towards the end of the prayer Jackie added, “And God we ask that you cover the minds of Sean’s brothers, we pray that this situation won’t separate us at this time. Let us all remember that we are family in Jesus name I pray amen”

Sean picked his head up and asked, “What made you say that?” he was simply asking out of curiosity.

Jackie shook her head refusing to put negativity in the air but she had a feeling in the pit of her stomach that one of the members of The Underworld cut a deal and because Jackie had been around all of them for so long, she had a real good idea of whom the snitch would be. She wouldn’t say anything though. Jackie planned to play her position and sitting in the courtroom quiet as a church mouse and watching everything play out.

Luckily, Sean had prepared for days like this so God forbid if something was to happen she was well prepared to deal with any and everything. Jackie had more than enough rainy day accounts that had nothing to do with Sean.  She wouldn’t miss a beat if Sean was taken away and that was the big difference between her and the other wives/ladies of The Underworld. As much as Jackie loved her some Sean she never allowed all of her eggs to be placed in HIS basket.

Jackie held his hand as they pulled up to the courthouse.

“Whatever happens today we will be okay” she reassured him for the hundredth time this morning.

Sean reached over and kissed her cheek.

“I love you,” he told her meaning every single word.

Jackie smiled through the pain and she took a very deep breath as they parked and prepared to enter the courthouse through the side door to dodge the reporters and cameras.

As she took her seat in the back of The Courtroom, Jackie peeped the few members of The Underworld that had already arrived. It saddened her to see this day come; just a few months ago, they were all together on a private island celebrating their milestones and accomplishments and when they returned it seemed as if all hell had broke loose.  Not soon after landing at the private airstrip that The Underworld owned, everyone was arrested. Every single last one of them. Jackie took a deep breath and clenched her Givenchy purse. Sean appeared to be calm but she knew he was brewing on the inside and there was nothing she can do about it.


Papa watched his wife tend to their kids, not only was she barely holding it together but also on top of dealing with their three children, Demi was now pregnant again.

He shook his head at the bullshit he had to go face, his uncle words replayed in his head but he had been to foolish and now he could admit that he was ignorant as well. The money now meant nothing to him, Papa would do anything to predict how this shit would turn out but truth be told he had no clue. His lawyer couldn’t tell him anything until after the arraignment. He suggested that Papa plead guilty but Papa told him the Jewish man, “OVER HIS DEAD BODY” Papa wasn’t admitting to shit, in his eyes he didn’t do anything wrong.

Papa was a hustler and had always been, he wanted to know what another man would have done in his shoes if you had people to provide for. School wasn’t for Papa nor was working at a regular job. Papa didn’t fuck with anyone outside of The Underworld but it seemed as if everybody fucked with them.

He couldn’t wait to hear the evidence they had on him and his brothers, Papa was ready to see the snitches face to face, rumor was it that they had plenty.

“Sit back and let me tie your shoe,” Demi yelled at her youngest daughter.

Her daughter looked up to her with tears in her eyes wondering why her mama was yelling at her. Demi never raised her voice so she was quite surprised

 Papa decided to take over, “Go get dressed babe I got it”

Demi was frustrated and he didn’t want her taking it out on the kids, especially when they did nothing.

“I just need to….I need some fresh air” she said, with so much emotion in her voice.

Papa kissed his baby girl’s forehead and followed Demi out of the room.

“Come here Demi” Papa commanded but Demi kept on down the stairs.

 She just needed a moment to herself, she was feeling like everything around her was closing in, she couldn’t breathe or think straight.

For years, she had been with Papa, since she was eighteen years old to be exact and not once did she think they would separate. What bothered her more than anything was everyone knew this day was coming except for her. She didn’t plan this drastic moment or even see it in the forecast. Papa’s days of gambling or hanging in the streets were long gone. Papa was home by ten, the doting father and happy husband…that was Papa.

Papa probably did some ruthless shit back in the day but not anymore, Demi was sure of it.

She asked could she talk to the jury and tell him how supportive and loving he was.  Even though he didn’t attend church, he still tithed faithfully and helped her get the kids ready on Sunday mornings. She wanted them to know that Papa never missed a recital or PTA meeting. That's who Papa was…not the criminal they wanted to paint him to be.

Demi held her chest as she stood on the balcony that set off from the living room. The million-dollar home that they lived in had been a surprise from Papa for their five-year anniversary and they had lived there ever since. Demi loved this home and she questioned Papa on several occasions would they come and take it from her…he promised that they wouldn’t.

 “Demi come on babe we really gotta get to the cou­­rt house” Papa came out on the balcony and told her

She didn’t bother to turn around, not being able to face the man of her life and even her wildest dreams. In fear that Papa would see the worry in her eyes, she just couldn’t turn around. She knew that Papa didn’t expect her to be the warrior in this.

“Demi” he said her name again

“I’m going to stay here with the kids,” she blurted out.

Papa remained silent, not knowing what to say.

“I don’t know if they keeping us or not” he told her.

Finally, she looked his way.

“That’s not what you told me last night,” she shouted.

“I didn’t wanna worry you but it seem like some people on the back end is handling shit like baby this ain't ya normal case,” he told her

“Papa I can’t…I just can’t do it,” she told him sadly

Papa said, “For me? Demi I need you there”

Her heart went out to him and so did her soul.

“Let me get dressed” she told him.

Papa held his hand out for hers but she walked past him and back into the home

Roberto “Papa” Huffington probably had the most charges out of everyone since he was the one who did typically did shit without thinking twice.

Papa wanted to smoke just one more blunt but he knew he was already higher than high so he decided to skip out on the smoke. He reentered their home and went looking for his uncle who was probably much more sad and disappointed than Demi.

“Unc what you doing?” Papa asked his Uncle Andre.

“Making me a sandwich” Unc told him.

“You not dressed” Papa said.

Unc sat the butter knife on the paper napkin and told his nephew, “Yeah I’m going to stay here with the nanny and give her a hand with the kids. I don’t like courtrooms and shit I’ll be here when you get back and we can chop it up”

Papa wondered what the fuck was going on around here.

“Word” he said not being able to go back and forth with his uncle.

“Five minutes Demi” Papa called up the steps

Papa buttoned his suit jacket and grabbed his keys off the table that sat in the foyer. His eyes glanced over the small hand held bible that had been on the table for as long as he and Demi lived in the house. Without much hesitation, he grabbed it and tucked it in his suit jacket.

“I need you with me Lord,” Papa said to himself

Demi watched him over the foyer and smiled inwardly.

Papa feeling her spirit as he always did looked up and asked, “You ready D?”

Demi told him with not much confidence but just enough to get her through the day, “As ready as I can be”


Miko rubbed her stomach, "It's okay mama, its okay" she tried to soothe her baby who seemed to be tap dancing on her uterus. Her lawyer smiled at her but Miko being the person she was saw the sympathy in her eyes. It was that, "You're going to jail and your baby will be raised by your mother" look. Miko refused to expect the worst especially when she had been praying for the best. She didn't always do things the right way that much was for sure but lately.... Her life had been moving in the right direction. It was as if life said, "Oh no bitch. No happy ending for you" 

Miko turned around and smiled at her fiancé, against his publicist wishes Nash was there in support of his girl. She had been completely honest with him about her life and the dangerous career path that chosen her since she damn sure didn't choose it. Nash caught so much hell during a recent interview when he was asked on MTV Jams how did it feel to be living out his lyrics, “Got the baddest bitch in the game and she might take the rap for slanging them thangs”

Nash was floored when he was asked the question on live television. She was so fucking embarrassed she didn’t know what to do but he answered the question like any retired G would. She was thankful that he had put his tour on pause to support her and to spend as much time together as they could; especially not knowing what was to come for their union. Nash told her on several occasions that he was riding with her no matter what he even suggested a quick wedding before the trial started but Miko told him no. she had dreamed of her wedding day for many years and would be damned if she had to settle for a rented dress in a stuffy room. Miko wasn’t having that shit at all.

The door to the courtroom opened and in walked her oldest brother and his wife. 

Miko's heart stopped at the sight of him, she had never went this many days without speaking to him and she was very surprised that he hadn't tried to get in contact with her. He flashed her a smile of regret and Miko sent him one right back. She blamed him for this and as immature as that may sound she simply didn't give a fuck. Miko was minding her own business at The White House. When her brother found her and asked for her help. 

Although, the money she made in the last few years was plentiful it didn't matter now that she was engaged and pregnant. Miko wanted to walk around bare feet and enjoy her new man as they planned the fairytale wedding of her dreams.

Miko eyed Lo, her best friend enter the club looking like a recovering alcoholic. Her heart went to her friend who had no one in the courtroom for moral support. Lo came from a big family but in truth, The Underworld was her family. Lauren spent her birthdays and all holidays with The Underworld year after year, to the kids she was auntie Lo-Lo. She swore that children wasn’t for her but Miko that was some bullshit ass excuse she had brain washedherself to believe

Lo desired love and real happiness just as any other established woman who worked hard and was financially stable. Miko always minded her business when it came to Lo’s relationship status but she wanted more for her friend.

Miko had to admit that it felt weird going to the nail shop this morning with Lauren in the car with her.

Her lawyer strongly advised that she kept her distance from everyone and that's what she had done. Miko knew that Lo was probably losing her mind and breaking down on the inside, that’s just how Lo was….the biggest drama queen ever.

No man could tame her….except him.

Miko’s unborn child kicking at her stomach snapped her out of memory lane.

Miko rubbed her stomach once more, praying that the favor she called in at The White House came through. She needed it now more than ever. 


 Mary Jane popped another Percocet before the flight announced they were about to take off. She was headed to Belgium and was never coming back, her clean-shaven head and blonde eyebrows were something to get used too but she didn’t give a damn. For her freedom, peace and sanity Mary Jane would have cut her titties out if she needed too. She couldn’t go to court; she couldn’t be at the arraignment. Mary Jane wasn’t no dummy, she knew they were about to haul all of their asses to jail and jail was not for her. Mary Jane needed her incense and dashikis, she had to have her shrimp patties and cigarettes from the corner store.

Mary Jane lived a very peaceful life that many didn’t understand and frankly, she didn’t give a damn.

She didn’t expect anyone to be loyal to her or look out for her and that was cool because she did what was best for her and that was leave.

Mary Jane held her husband’s hand, he picked it up, and kissed it, “Everything is going to be okay Queen” he reassured her.

“Are you sure you not mad?” she asked him

He shook his head, “We gotta do what we gotta do”

Mary Jane then saw two guards walking down the aisle and her heart began to pulsate to the point where she just knew she was about to have a heart attack. She felt it happening, everything had been going to smooth especially when she paid her neighbor a million dollars to report her missing a few days ago….

Reporter Natasha Robinson was live on the scene on behalf of Channel Fox 5 News, it was her job to get the scoop and report it to the residents of Brooklyn, New York and surrounding boroughs.

She scoped out the scene deciding that after she reported she would ask a few of the residents that were standing around.

“Natasha Robinson here reporting live in front of this brownstone behind me where a woman has been reported missing. If you have any information on Mary

Jane Glover, sources say she was a twenty-five year old woman who was known as “MJ” in the neighborhood.  Now many people may know that Mary Jane has been tagged as one of the members of the infamous The Underworld. With the trial set to begin in the next seventy-two hours, it’s not a surprise that she may be “missing” Her neighbors began to worry after not seeing MJ around the neighborhood in a few days. The woman is about 5’6, brown stature and black hair. Tune in at eight pm for an update on Mary Jane Glover” Natasha said in one breath.

Once the camera man cut the camera, Natasha walked around to see could she possibly get some information out of by asking a few questions.

 “Excuse me maam, if you don’t mind me having a few minutes of your time. I will greatly appreciate it” Natasha asked an elderly woman.

The woman looked around to make sure no one was watching her.

She motioned her head to the corner; Natasha looked around to see if the woman was indeed pointing to her.

“Girl come on,” the lady hissed.

Natasha followed the woman to an alley.

“You did not hear this from me,” the woman said quickly.

Natasha pulled out a pin pad from her pocket.

“Chile put that up just listen,” the older woman told her.

Natasha closed the pad and waited on the woman to speak, “MJ had everybody around here fooled but not me!” the woman boasted.

“What do you mean?” Natasha asked.

“She was a drug dealer!” the woman whispered.

Natasha nodded her head, “That’s what’s been reported so are you saying you think it’s true?”

The woman nodded her head, “Yep see I don’t sleep. I’m up when her lil sneaky ass come in late at night with big bags full of money. And she always having company but they use her back door they never come through the front”

Natasha was surprised to hear this.

“So why do you think someone reported her missing?”

The old lady laughed, “Chile I wouldn’t be surprised if she paid them to do that, that’s just how she is”

Natasha still was confused, why would she want to be known as missing if she knew it would only incriminate her more.

“Do you think she had enemies that may be looking for her?” she asked.

The old woman said, “I thought the girl was gay so hell don’t ask me. I don’t know but I do know she not missing somebody is lying. I won’t be surprised if she around here watching all of this getting a good ole laugh”

Natasha told the woman, thank you and walked off.

Heading towards the cameraman, but when she saw the detective on the case she went towards him to ask a question of her own.

“Do yall have any leads?” she asked.

The detective said, “Come on now young lady you and I both know what’s going on here”

Natasha suddenly felt like she was being watched and her instincts were right but she brushed it off and got in her car.

Across the street and on the highest floor, Mary Glover but better known as MJ was standing in the mirror with a gun on her hip, her arms crossed.

“I’m going to kill Louise old hating ass,” she mumbled.

Her husband laughed as he puffed a cigar.

“What are you mad at her for? You knew this was coming,” he told her.

MJ turned around and eyed him sexily, at a time like this she shouldn’t have sex on her mind but hell she couldn’t help how attracted she was to him.

“Will I always feel like this?” she asked him, as she walked towards him and straddled his lap.

Al smiled at her and put his cigar in the ashtray, he loved how delicate and light she felt whenever she sat in his lap.

“It’s still the honeymoon stage ask me that in a few years” he joked.

Mary Jane smiled and kissed his lips.

Never had she felt this way before but for all she went through to capture his love, right here in this very moment it was truly all worth it and if needed be she would do it all again.

Mary snapped out of memory lane and held her chest as the police officers got closer, closing her eyes and praying to Allah that these motherfuckers did not arrest her…


Malachi Morgan climbed out of his wife’s pussy and crawled backwards of the bed.  Jade watched him as she propped her body up using her elbows.

“Want me to shower with you?” she asked, her chest heaved up and down. Morning quickies were the best especially when you were married and she loved her husband’s sex more than anything…but mainly in the morning, oh and when he was drunk.

Malachi was a beast when he had alcohol in his system.

“Nah babe I’m going to shower in the guest room,” Malachi told her.

Jade tilted her head as she got a good view of his tight ass and defined calves; her husband had always been a sight for sore eyes.

“Okay well I’ll have your suit out for you when you’re ready,” she told him, finally deciding to close her brown legs and get up so she too, could bathe and prepare for today.

Malachi had been very quiet around the house these past few days, especially these last two days. He didn’t want to go anywhere nor was he currently taking any calls. Even when Nasir stopped by to talk, Jade stayed near his man cave and she didn’t hear him say much. Which was odd because normally the tables were turned and it was Malachi who was full of charisma and charm and Nasir was the silent yet deadly one.

Jade hated to admit that she knew her husband as well as she did, but hey, after being together almost twenty years that’s how shit panned out.

Malachi was nervous although she knew he wasn’t a man that operated in fear…he was still worried and it was obvious.

Jade enjoyed their union so much that God forbid if they were to take him today, their love would suffice. She was prepared to do any and everything she needed to do to hold him down and support him.

Malachi had her love and loyalty since day one. After being there for her through some very dark times, she didn’t think twice about assuming the position of “Ride or Die”

Jade loved her man and she loved everything he stood for

Malachi kept her in the dark about his other life so technically, she didn’t know anything and that was the honest God truth.

Jade didn’t question when he left nor when he returned, would dinner be ready and pussy on chill for dessert.

When Malachi confided in her during the wee hours of the morning that he wasn’t sure what was about to happen, Jade ran her hands through his curly hair and held him close to her chest. She allowed him to think and talk when he felt like it and Malachi barely mumbled more than fifty words to her last night.

She was just there, like a sex slave. When he continued to wake up during the night with a hard dick and a slick tongue she removed the sleep bugs from her eyes and prepared herself to do whatever he requested of her.

Jade was now sore but at least her husband wouldn’t be going to court with blue balls.

On the other side of the house, Malachi sat his naked ass on the toilet seat and rolled a blunt

He couldn’t even light it without shedding tears; he wasn’t ready for this shit. No matter how tough a nigga thought he was, the heart of any hustler didn’t matter either. No one liked jail.

Malachi had a family, a big one at that. He had business on the line, employees that expected to be paid twice a month. Malachi had the world on his shoulders and he was feeling like he let so many people down.

For the first time in his life, he felt like a fuck-up, a failure, a cop out, a horrible person.

Malachi finally lit the blunt and told himself to pull it together, this could very well be his last inhale and exhale of that Cali bud and he planned on smoking the extendo until it was a roach.

Malachi Morgan, New York’s Finest, the heart of The Underworld caught up in some bullshit, it couldn’t be so but the reality of the situation was that all good things must come to an end.


Noel Knight walked into the courtroom in a white pantsuit designed by Dior, her head held high and she didn’t stop to answer any of the questions that the reporters threw her way.

“How do you think your father feels, the infamous Christian Knight?”

“Is it true that your mother is here today under a different disguise?”

“Will you be pleading guilty or not guilty?”

“What do you have to say about the rumors of you being a Kingpin although you claim to be an artist of some sort?”

Noel rolled her eyes behind her designer frames, her aunt Neeki stood once Noel got near and handed her a small folded note.

Noel could only imagine what her mother wrote on the paper, she opened it discretely once she took a seat next to her attorney, well one of the four her mom had hired.

“Keep your mouth SHUT and don’t make eye contact with the judge”

Farren wasn’t telling her anything that she didn’t already know, Noel was going for the regretful person, she planned on playing on the jury emotions if she needed too.

She just prayed that it didn’t get that far, Noel wasn’t in the mood for none of this shit. She wished that she was in the stable right now with her horses. Noel would really miss her horses if she were sent to prison.

Noel’s attorney whispered in her ear, “Take those shades off”

Noel removed the shades off and placed them on the inside of her Chanel clutch.

 She got a good glance at Miko and Lo, they were cool girls but Noel never really got close to anyone enough to consider them family.

Noel had always been a quiet person ever since the death of her sister and the man she considered her real father, Jonte…Noel hadn’t been the same.

The fact that she had experienced so much heartbreak early on had turned her heart cold at a young age.

Noel grew up with a chip on her shoulder and although she possessed her mother’s beautiful heart, she didn’t have her amazing personality.

Learning from her father’s mistakes of trusting too easily Noel kept her distance from everyone which is why she concluded that everyone thought she would snitch, but it wasn’t in her blood for goodness sake, she was Christian Knight’s daughter.

Noel crossed her legs and sat back in her seat.

“Noel please sit up” her attorney asked.

 She stared at him with irritation on her face, What the fuck was his issue? She thought to herself but she did as he asked knowing that her mama was spending real cash on these lawyers.

Noel fumbled with her wedding ring, she loved it being that she designed it herself. She was missing her hubby so much and the Face time call this morning wasn’t long enough.

 Noel hated the United States just as her mom did; she currently resided in India where she and her husband lived.

Noel saw the bailiff approaching the microphone and before he could say anything, she got ready to get up and stand in her red bottoms before her attorney could tell her to do so.

She eyed the courtroom one more time and noticed two people missing, Sasha and Nasir. Although Sasha left The Underworld many years ago, Farren told her that they were still trying to tag her to this shit.

She figured that she would show up and present her case saying that she was now a supermodel but Noel must have been wrong.

She turned around wondering where Nasir was, especially since she saw his wife sitting near the back with shades on her face.

Noel just knew this nigga didn’t show up but then again it was Nasir, when he was not doing something that wasn’t predictable

Nasir reminded her so much of the stories she heard of her daddy growing up it made her sick to her damn stomach.

“All Rise” the bailiff said….

In addition, that’s when Noel heard the doors of the courtroom open and she then turned around to see Nasir King, Leader of The Underworld walk in.


Nasir King, the coldest, coolest, wise, powerful, articulate, mighty, capable, influential, persuasive, vigorous, and suave and indeed he reigned supreme. Dressed in a Tom Ford custom designed suit by Tom himself, since he was a friend.

Nasir sat on a bench outside of the courtroom with his head bowed, something that he never did in public…and that was pray.

Nasir had been doing so much praying these past few days, his wife’s pastor had moved in with them. Every morning he was praying and fasting.

Many people may shake their head at the sinner who was now so into God but Nasir couldn’t focus on another person’s opinion because he had to do what was best for him and that was connect to God.

 He wasn’t sure of what to expect with today’s arraignment.

During the past few days, he had been meditating and reflecting on so many different meetings and trips. When did they drop the ball? After almost fifteen years in the game, did he lose his touch? Did he get sloppy with the work?

Nasir was a very careful person; he didn’t do anything on impulse. He thought everything through two or more times.

Nasir wasn’t a dummy either, he could spot a rat a mile away but in this current situation, he didn’t know who to point the finger together. Nasir ran with a tight circle and there was not one person in The Underworld who he could possibly think to had turned on the family.

They didn’t rock like that and that’s why Nasir believed it was someone on the outside that had been plotting on the low for quite some time.

His bodyguard bent down near his ear and said, “Slide to the rest room”

Nasir looked at him and knew not to ask a question although the reporters wasn’t allowed in the courtroom he knew there were probably  a few that managed to smuggle their way in .

Nasir didn’t want his lips caught on no tape or recorder.

He stood to his feet and buttoned his suit jacket and made his way towards the door with the blue sign that read, “Men’s Restroom”

His long time bodyguard said, “No, that one” he pointed in the opposite direction.

Now Nasir was suspicious, his lawyer specifically said to be on time and he arrived thirty minutes prior.

Nasir watched his brothers walk in the courtroom and killed it him to not be able to get up and hug them but he just couldn’t...shit was fucked up right now.

Nasir walked down the hallway and peeped over his shoulder but his bodyguard gave him a nod saying everything was cool and clear.

Nasir opened the door to the bathroom that was labeled, “Handicap” and saw a woman in a grey trench coat and an oversized hat with shades. Her back was turned facing the towel dispenser.

She said, “Lock the door”

Nasir sighed.

Farren Knight.

Women like Farren Knight were a rare breed, Nasir knew this simply off how people reacted in her presence….they crumbled under her as if they were peasants and she was the Queen.

Nasir knew that she was different, special and unique from the first day he laid eyes on her in the flesh…what he had heard about her was real. The rumors couldn’t be denied.

Not only was she one of the most beautiful species he had ever come into contact with but her external matched her internal

At any given moment or time of the day, Nasir could call Farren or fly out and see her. They would have tea and eat beignets and talk. Farren listened while he vented. She then asked him how did he feel which would in return force Nasir to sit back and really evaluate how he felt…was he worried, anxious, hurt, and nervous.

Farren was that person who you would go to finalize any decision you had trouble with concluding on your own.

She never forced her own opinion or views on it but she would allow you to somehow see things how she did.

Nasir appreciated her coming to the trial and as much as he wanted to feel that she was here in support for him, he knew that her child came first

Noel Knight was a member of The Underworld but it was definitely by default.

She wasn’t like her mom at all; Noel had a wall up that a bulldozer couldn’t break it so Nasir stopped trying a long time ago. Every now and then, they would have a heart to heart then Noel would go back cold and he wouldn’t bother with her again for a very long time.

“What are you doing here?” he asked her.

“Now you and I both know I had to be here for this shit, Noel leaves out all of the good details,” Farren told him turning around and smiling

Nasir normally offered her a warm smile in return but it was too much going on for him to be smiling especially when he didn’t know what the future held for him.

Nasir waited on her to continue speaking but she didn’t say anything she just stared at him, he knew she was looking at him although she had shades on.

“Wasup” he said impatiently

“Just worried about you” she told him in a very sincere tone.

Nasir told her, “I’m good”

Farren knew that Nasir probably felt like his back was against the wall but she wasn’t the enemy.

“Everything is going to work out” she promised.

Nasir remained silent.

 He didn’t need no empty promises or no prophecies.

This case was Federal, the fucking government was charging them there was no getting out of this one, and trust Nasir had explored every possible option.

Farren came closer to him and Nasir backed up towards the door, he looked at Farren as a mother figure and throughout the years, he had confided in her about a lot but never did Nasir allow himself to get comfortable in her presence. For goodness sake, she was Farren Knight.

“I gotta go,” he told her.

Farren took her shades off to get a better look at him, Nasir reminded her so much of Chrissy it was fucking ridiculous.

Nasir carried himself with so much dignity and respect, people couldn’t help but to fall in line and do as he said.

He didn’t speak much but when he did, you had better tune in because it wasn’t guaranteed he would repeat himself.

“Who would you save?” she asked him.

Nasir looked at her, not sure what she was insinuating.

“Pardon me?” he asked in his native tongue.

Farren loved his accent if she was just a few years younger she would probably would have jumped his bones but Kool kept her happy so she erased the lustful thoughts from her mind.

“Out of all of yall, who would it be? Who would you save?” she asked again.

Nasir said, “If it’s not all of us then none”

Nasir wasn’t about to be in here playing mind games with Farren, he wouldn’t turn on his family.

“Not even Lo?” Farren questioned.

Lo wasn’t up for discussion. Never.

Nasir ignored her, “I gotta go can’t be late” he told her.

“Malachi? Papa? Which one” she pressed

Nasir unlocked the door and left.

He could only hope that if the shoe was on the other foot they would have done the same for him.

Nasir walked down the hallway, gritting his teeth and shaking his right hand to calm his nerves.

A young boy from the island of St. Lucia, Nasir was dirt poor growing up with a lesbian for a mother and a gypsy for a grandmother. Never in a million years did he think he would have been worth over ten billion dollars. After escaping death and even the laws a few times, Nasir was starting to think he was untouchable for real, but those flashing lights once he hopped off his private plane brought his ass back to reality real quick.

Naisr wouldn’t lie or deny the fact that this case was making him more humble

He was never a flashy man but he thought that money could buy him out of anything and it was obvious that some people couldn’t be bought.

Nasir dapped his guard up and his guard told him, “We got this son”

Nasir didn’t bother responding because right now nobody had anything.

His guard opened the door to the courtroom and in he walked

Head held high, jaws relaxed, shoulders pushed back. Placing one foot in front of the other as he made his way towards his attorney.

Nasir placed a stick of gum in his mouth not knowing that chewing gum was a sign of arrogance, hell Nasir just really wanted to cut the smell of Scotch from his breath, nothing more nothing less.

Once he made it to his attorney, he patted him on the back.

His attorney whispered, “Did you make a decision?”

Nasir sighed

How does one make a decision on whether to plead guilty or not guilty?

Nasir didn’t feel like he should be punished, he did good deeds daily in the community. There were tons of kids walking around with no worries all because of Nasir King.

Nasir turned around and winked at his wife, she smiled at him but he didn’t know if it was genuine or not and that bothered him that he couldn’t pick up on her spirits any more

 There was a time when he had her mind wrapped around his finger but it seemed like the roles had been switched?

Nasir discretely scanned the room to see how everyone was feeling but Papa, Malachi, Noel, Miko were all stoned face.

Even when Nasir visited Malachi last night, he was very distant and that wasn’t how they rolled.

 Nasir was hurt, he hated the separation.

It was true, that Nasir was the last one to come around to the whole family thing, for many years he had ran a tight ship and kept his distance from words like brother and family.

Polo was the one that told him to cut the shit and welcome them in.

“Youngblood, them niggas… they love you, they all grown true enough we all know that but they look up to you don’t make them feel like they workers…if you do you’ll regret it in the long run”

And in that very moment, Nasir looked at all of them once more, wondering is that how they felt. Did they feel like everyone was not in this together?

In fact, it was he that suggested a round table meeting and no one responded.

Was this all his fault? As the leader of The Underworld, it was his job to protect them; did he fail at his job?

Years of hard work and labor now meant nothing to him now that he was possibly facing twenty-five to life.

Even his happiness took a back burner to the hustle but what now.

Nasir knew his grandmother was rolling in her grave at this bullshit.

His life was so promising, soccer was supposed to be his way out of the streets but instead he chose that work.

That work got his ass paying an attorney nine hundred and fifty dollars an hour to present him as a good citizen who wasn’t even technically suppose to be in the states.

Getting one more good look at his team before noticing that some people was missing.

Nasir wondered where was Mary Jane, knowing her ass she flew away on a magic carpet.

He smiled thinking about MJ and her crazy ass; damn they had some good days.

He caught someone staring at him in his peripheral and it was Lo, Nasir knew he couldn’t look her way. He couldn’t dare stare at those dreamy eyes and see the sadness in her eyes.

He had brought her into this dark world and her love for him had her here today, nothing else; and he hated himself for that.

“Guilty or not guilty?” his lawyer pressed for an answer

Nasir looked at him and asked himself that mentally for the millionth time.

“Guilty or not guilty?”