I called this meeting for two reasons, ladies and gentlemen,” she said, getting up from her seat and walking around the table until she was standing directly behind me with her hands on my shoulders. “One, to inquire about our next business venture or conquest. And two, to make it perfectly clear that my brother will be taking over now that he’s home. I want no misunderstanding, because we’ve all benefited handsomely from our alliance, but any question of my brother’s authority will not be tolerated. It’s because of him that we’ve been able to thrive as one, and so I believe my demands of respect are reasonable. Do you agree?” she asked the eleven sets of eyes staring at her, pulling my chair back and sitting in my lap. This gave me access to her gun while concealing its view from everyone else.
I could hear the minds of the men working rapidly, weighing out the pros and cons of a war versus continued wealth. A request for respect would’ve immediately been agreed to without hesitation from any party, but it would not have lasted very long. Respect was never requested, it was demanded at all costs.
“What’s your rank, homie?” Bezo asked, something like mild irritation heavily lacing his words when he spoke. My focus wasn’t on his words, though. I was studying his body language for any sign of aggression while slowly taking ahold of the pistol at Keyz’s back.
“I’m a four-star today, but who knows, I could be a five-star soon,” I answered politely, making my threat clear.
“You was a four behind the wall, but I’m asking what your rank is now,” he said, not wavering in the slightest. I had two choices, and I knew what they were. This man was questioning me in a blatant, almost disrespectful, way. And to make matters worse his direct superior was sitting right there saying nothing. I took a sip from my water bottle to bide my time and reel in the emotions that were trying to come into play within me.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say, my nigga. In other words, what is it that you really want to ask me? But before you answer, I want you to be mindful of how you talk to me,” I told him, my voice only slightly above a whisper. A deadly whisper.
“Be mindful? Nigga, who you are? You might’ve been some types of big nigga on the inside, but here you’re just a little fish in a big pond,” he bellowed with malicious laughter. Insults could be tolerated. Laughter? No, that wasn’t even in the cards.
“Gentlemen, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to insist that we conclude this meeting for now,” I said, calmly setting the water bottle on the table and locking eyes with my daughter, sending her a silent message.
“Aw, what, we not friends no more?” Bezo asked, evoking laughter from the rest of his team.
The first two shots were so close together they sounded like one as Candy and Deshana made quick work of the still-smiling females. Pushing Keyz off my lap, I made equally quick work of G-Mack, Zo Pound, and Bone, training my pistol on Bezo while thoughts of his pistol were still trying to formulate in his mind.
“Murda Heart, this ain’t got nothing to do with you or your hood, but all the same, it’s probably good that you see this first hand so there won’t be any questions later,” I said, walking slowly around the table and nodding at my team of two to keep their weapons on the remaining five generals.
“Do you know what you’ve just done, nigga?” Bezo asked, shaking either from fear, anger, or both.
“What I’ve done? Yeah, I know exactly what I’ve done, you stupid muthafucka, but do you?” I questioned, knocking out his two front teeth while forcefully shoving the gun into his mouth. “You couldn’t leave it alone, could you? You had to keep pushing when common sense demanded that you just let it go. $600,000,000 a year, nigga, and you’re worried about my rank? My rank?” I yelled, shaking as the rage seeped into me and took over. “You asked who I was, right? Well, nigga, now you know. I be dat bloody nightmare,” I said, pulling the trigger and letting his lifeless body fall from my grasp.
“Now,” I said, retaking my seat and addressing the silent — and visibly shaken — rest of the committee. “The way I see it is that since we’ve been in business together this long, it’s only fair that I offer you half of Shine’s territory for the East, because make no mistake, gentlemen, I fully intend to take it over.