Young Hustler

Young Hustler

Young HustlerJamal knows that the streets only hold the promise of a dangerous, short life. Despite the risks, the young hustler decides to up his game and thought running up in a trap house full of dope boys and demanding all the cash and drugs would be a quick and easy come up. He was wrong. Dead wrong.

Even though Jamal literally dodged a bullet, he has a crushing debt over his head due to his folly. Slim, the despicably devious dealer pulling the strings, makes Jamal the leader of a stick-up crew that bends to his every want and desire. Wants and desires that violate Jamal’s manhood and sow the seeds of a longing for revenge deep inside the stickup boy.

Stacks of dough and a love he never expected can’t keep Jamal from stampeding towards his singularly focus: blind revenge. His pride won’t let him. But with more to lose than just his own life, he has to decide if its all worth it in the end. If he can find the satisfaction the streets would undoubtedly deny him.

WARNING: Young Hustler – Chronicles of a Stickup Boy, is an urban homoerotic novel containing very graphic adult situations. This 72,000 word novel is intended for those who are 18+. Reader discretion is advised.

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“Naw son,” Romeo yelled. “What the fuck you doing?”

His face twisted in anger as he jumped up from the corner of the bed and yanked off his PlayStation head set. He tossed his controller to the ground and looked down at Jamal as if the boy had stolen something. Romeo’s hands balled into fists. Jamal glanced up at Romeo and shook his head dismissively.

“Damn nigga, go ahead and play your little game.”

He ignored Romeo’s posturing and slipped on the second Air Jordan sneaker on his foot. He tucked in the loose laces and looked down at the shoes, admiring how they looked on his feet. Jamal took his time primping the shoes and cuffing his jeans to get the look he wanted. He knew Romeo was watching. Jamal savored every moment of the torture he was putting his boy through.

Finally, he looked up at Romeo with a smug grin on his face. Jamal looked at Romeo’s fists, noting how they turned red from him digging his finger nails in his palms. Jamal looked back up at Romeo’s face with a ‘what the fuck do you want’ expression.

“Jamal, my moms just got me those fucking shoes,” Romeo explained. His voice sounded more like a whine. “I aint even worn them yet.”

Jamal waved him off. “You be alright, nigga. Your moms always buying your ass some shit you don’t never wear. Those blue Air Forces been sitting in your closet for the last month, still in the box. All I know is, I’m bout to rock these motherfuckers today,” Jamal said. His voice was raw as a Pit Bull’s bark. He looked from the shoes back up to Romeo. “They look good, right?”

Romeo’s soft, brown eyes narrowed to a vicious scowl. His fists pumped on his sides and his left eye began to twitch. Sweat pearled on his forehead as his brow frowned. Romeo looked like he was about to explode. Jamal leaned back on the bed on his elbows, unbothered.

It took all of Jamal’s strength not to burst out into laughter. If Jamal knew anything about his childhood friend it was that Romeo was more bark than bite and even the bark wasn’t much to be concerned with. Romeo just wasn’t the fighting type. He lacked heart. He didn’t have that survival instinct that made other cats ready to rip another man’s throat out. Romeo wasn’t built like that.

All through high school, Romeo tried to put on a rough-neck, thug façade but it just wasn’t him. Watching Romeo try to go hard had always been funny to Jamal. Sometimes it was hard to watch because Romeo looked so pitiful trying to be something he obviously wasn’t. It was like watching a car wreck over and over again. You knew it was bad but pulling your eyes away was almost impossible.

At a little more than six feet tall and weighing about a buck fifty, Romeo was a slim, pretty faced, light-skinned dude. Despite his lean, athletic build, dudes in the neighborhood would punk him as soon as they saw the thick, bushy eyebrows, the clean corn rolls winding down to his shoulders and the deep dimples kissing his cheeks. He looked soft.

The one upside to Romeo’s appearance was that the females loved him. They wooed when they saw him. He had a bright, white smile that shined in sync with his sparkling brown eyes. It got the ladies every time. The tragic part was when he opened his mouth. As quickly as his looks hooked them, his mouth would have them cringing and sprinting in the opposite direction. Romeo couldn’t spit game if his life depended on it. All he ever talked about was PlayStation and basketball.

Romeo always got his ass kicked on the games online but he was a pretty good baller. He was one of the best power forwards in the state and he knew it. Romeo had been a notorious ball hog since junior high. Jamal and Romeo did almost everything together except for play on the same basketball team even just in a pickup game. It didn’t matter though; no coach wanted him on their team. They’d sooner take Jamal and he was mediocre at best. For that reason and his horrible grades, Romeo was eighteen years old and still living with his mom in the projects instead of going off to college on an athletic scholarship.

But despite all his flaws, Jamal looked at Romeo like the brother he never had. They had been close since elementary school. Even back then Jamal didn’t take shit from anyone. He saved Romeo from a fifth grader trying to take Romeo’s leather jacket. The two of them were in the third grade when it happened. They’d been boys ever since. But like any big brother, Jamal punked Romeo every so often. That was just the nature of their relationship.

Slowly, Jamal stood up from the bed. He was eye level to Romeo’s lips. Although Jamal was shorter than Romeo, he still had the physical advantage. He was stocky. Jamal had the build of a college linebacker and the hands of a golden glove boxer.

Jamal glared up at Romeo and tilted his head. His eyes traveled up and down, sizing Romeo up as if he were only two inches tall. Romeo gritted his teeth and flexed his fists, again. It was a fight or flight moment and Jamal never backed down from a fight. The two had play fought before. Jamal never hurt Romeo too badly but he made sure his boy knew he meant business when his fist flew.

After a minute of standing there, Jamal balled up his fists too. His nostrils flared as he stared down Romeo. The line had been drawn in the sand. Romeo’s eyes jumped nervously from Jamal’s face to his hands and back. Doubt filled his eyes. The fire in his belly had been squelched.

With a loud sigh of defeat, Romeo backed up and flopped down onto his bed, his head hung low. Jamal grinned, enjoying the moment. He shook his head as Romeo grabbed his controller and turned back on his game. Part of Jamal wished Romeo had at least put up a fight. Sure, he would have lost but at least he would have shown he had some heart for once.

Jamal walked over to the closet and opened the door. He looked at himself in the mirror hooked on the inside of the door. Jamal heard the game going but he felt Romeo’s eyes on him and the Air Jordan’s on his feet. Jamal looked over his shoulder nonchalantly. Romeo sucked his teeth when their eyes met.

“Damn, Jamal. I aint even get a chance to take those bitches out the box,” Romeo said, mumbling the words. “Ol’ grimy ass nigga.”

The disdain and hurt in Romeo’s voice held no sway over Jamal. Yea, I’m rocking these motherfuckers today, Jamal thought. A nigga look fly as shit. He closed the closet and looked at Romeo.

“Aye, what you got up for the day, son?”

“Shit,” Romeo answered. He shrugged his shoulders and put his headset back on. “Might ask my moms for the truck when she gets off work so I can ride up to the mall and scoop me a female.”

“Really,” Jamal asked. Disgust lingered on his tongue. “The only thing you looking forward to is pulling bitches in your mom’s truck?” Jamal shook his head and sucked his teeth loudly. “Nigga, don’t you want your own shit? Don’t you want your own dough in your pockets? Don’t you want to push your own whip?”

Romeo shrugged and kept playing his game. Jamal walked over and stood in front of the flat screen, blocking the game. He crossed his arms over his chest and cocked his head.

“You need to come with me and make this money, nigga,” Jamal said. “Sitting here playing this dumb ass game waiting for your moms so you can ride and find some pussy. That shit is weak, even for you.”

“Whatever. Move, nigga,” Romeo squealed and nudged Jamal out the way with his long arm.

Jamal grinned and pulled a blunt from behind his ear. He lit it, took a long drag and blew the smoke right in Romeo’s face. Romeo’s eyes shot wide open. He jumped up, flailing his arms in the air.

“What the fuck?! You know my moms don’t like that shit in the house. You trying to get me in trouble? She already don’t want you in the house after she caught us smoking last time. Damn, nigga!”

Jamal took another hard puff and passed the blunt to Romeo.

“Then why the fuck we still in the house?”

Jamal was out the door before Romeo could offer an answer to the rhetorical question. Jamal didn’t have to look back. He knew Romeo would chase behind him, especially if given the chance to get high. Jamal waited at the foot of the front steps as he heard Romeo coughing the weed smoke from his lungs and locking the front door.

“Here,” Romeo said, passing the blunt back. He smiled. “That’s some good shit.”

“If it aint some exotic I don’t fuck with it. That right there is some Loud. I can’t even fucks with Reggie or Mid. Can’t put that dirt in my lungs no more. It don’t get me high no more.”

“Since when you got money to only smoke Loud?” Romeo asked. “You was smoking ‘dirt’ with me last Friday. Ol’ flexing ass boy.”

“What can I say,” Jamal teased, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. “I’m a hustler. I makes my money. Feel me?”

Romeo sucked his teeth. “Whatever nigga. So where we going?”

“The corner store,” Jamal said, pointing down the street. “I’m thirsty as fuck.”

“Naw, I meant, where we going to make this money?’”

Jamal looked at Romeo like he was stupid. “How else? We going to rob some niggas.”

Romeo stopped in his tracks as Jamal pushed into the corner store. Jamal took a perverse pleasure from rattling Romeo’s cage. He knew the off cuff remark would shock the shit out of Romeo. For some reason, Jamal like unnerving his best friend. It made life interesting.

Jamal bought a pack of Cigarillos and two forties. The store owner didn’t even look up when he set the bottles on the counter. Jamal had one of the bottles turned up before he stepped back outside. He handed Romeo the other forty and started walking. Romeo was right on his heels.

“Who you talking bout robbing, Jamal?” Romeo asked. His voice was shaky. “I aint trying to do some stupid shit, man.”

“Damn nigga. Why you sounding all scared and shit like we aint never robbed some niggas. If you don’t want to make no money then take your pussy ass home. I don’t need no scared, bitch nigga watching my back.”

“I aint scared and I aint a bitch nigga,” Romeo said defiantly. “And stop calling me a pussy, Jamal. That shit aint cool. Just tell me what the plan is. We taking some niggas sneakers again?”

“Naw, that’s some light shit. We going for some heavy weight. Make some real fucking money,” Jamal said. He looked at Romeo, savoring the curious anxiety written all over his boy’s face. “There some niggas from North Carolina that just set up shop down off Cascade. I figured we welcome the niggas to the ATL properly.”

“You want to rob some drug dealers?” Romeo asked and then laughed nervously. “Wait. You serious aint you? Nigga, you crazy or just got a death with? Or both?”

“Neither. I’m bout making that bread and I aint scared to take it. You in or what?”

“Fuck naw. That shit sound crazy. Besides, how we gonna rob some drug dealers and we aint got no guns?”

Jamal grinned and pulled up his shirt, brandishing two Glock 9s. Romeo stumbled back and gawked at the steel tucked in Romeo’s pants. He pointed at the guns like they were snakes ready to strike.

“Where’d you get those?”

“Nigga, why it matter? We got guns. So come on. All we need now is a car.”

Romeo shook his head. His mouth hung open as he stared at the guns. “You know my moms took my car after I picked up that misdemeanor. And if I get caught wiring another car she said she was going to let me sit in jail next time instead of posting bail.” Romeo finally pulled his eyes away from Jamal’s hip. “I aint trying to sit in Dekalb County Jail, Jamal. That shit aint for me.”

“We couldn’t use your car no way. Why would we rob some dope boys in your car and they recognize that shit, dumb ass?” Jamal said. He shook his head and look at his boy like he was a deaf/mute. Jamal pulled his shirt back over the guns. “Naw, we gotta steal a car. Aint no other way. We going to rob them niggas and ditch the ride. Could take it to Billy’s chop shot if we wanted to.”

Romeo frowned. “Why not just steal a couple of cars and take them to Billy? I won’t get caught if you got the lookout.”

Jamal knew Romeo would try to just steal some cars. Jacking cars was the one thing Romeo was good at. He could get any car, even the newer ones with all the hi-tech security features on them. The only reason he got caught was because he was trying to flex and take a Bentley to the club. Either way, boosting cars wasn’t on Jamal’s radar today.

“Cause I’m tired of robbing cars and shit. You just said you aint want to be in the county jail. Stealing a bunch of cars gonna land your ass there. And you know Billy don’t be giving fair prices on them cars. Besides, we rob them niggas and they can’t do or say shit to nobody. They aint going to the cops talking bout some niggas stole they stash and dope money, feel me?”

Romeo scratched his head and looked at Jamal for a long moment. “Fine. Fine. So we going up to the Underground garage to get a car?”

“Yep, hop on this Marta and get this shit going,” Jamal confirmed. He looked at Romeo wondering if his boy had the heart to carry out what he had planned. Ready or not, they were about to be some stick-up boys.

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