The love/hate relationship between Diane and Kendra Williams takes mother-daughter drama to entirely different level.
Diane is a single mother who prides herself on being a master manipulator. She has no problem using anything or anyone to get what she wants. Whether it’s treating her sister, Celia, as her personal ATM or seducing unlikely, unsuspecting men, she will do whatever it takes to get ahead.
Her daughter, Kendra, is a hardworking student who does a better job parenting her younger twin sisters than their mom does. She is determined to be nothing like her mother, and instead, strives to follow in her Aunt Celia’s footsteps to get the car, house, and career of her dreams. After meeting Bilal, a handsome, streetwise entrepreneur, she may just land the man of her dreams as well.
When tragedy strikes one of the twins, instead of being there for her family, Diane sees it as one more opportunity to exploit for her own personal gain. And when a secret that both Diane and Kendra have been keeping comes out, the entire family is ripped apart. Will Kendra be able to hold on to everything that means the world to her, or will her mama’s drama snatch it all away?
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
La Jill Hunt is a native of Mobile, AL who burst onto the literary scene in 2003 with her debut novel, Drama Queen. The memorable characters she created and the entertaining stories she told quickly drew bestselling success and a following of fans, young and old. Although known for her urban chick-lit novels, she has also contributed to the street anthology series Around the Way Girls, and penned an urban romance, Another Sad Love Song. Her erotic short story, Catch 22, is currently available as a digital download. Currently residing in Virginia Beach, La Jill enjoys spending time with her daughters, family, and friends.
Read an Excerpt
It had been a rough week, and some good dick was exactly what I needed. Darnell certainly didn't disappoint. I swear that man had a way of hitting my spot just right. He would have me shaking so bad that I was damn near convulsing like Mr. Crawford, one of my patients with ALS. The orgasms he gave me were almost enough to make me feel guilty about fucking him. Almost.
I hadn't planned on coming straight home when I got off from work this morning, but when he called and told me Celia was spending the morning with Kendra, I suggested he meet me at the house and enjoy a little "breakfast in bed." He obliged and did not disappoint.
Round one was over, and I decided to grab us something to drink before we commenced to start round two. I climbed off of Darnell's sweaty body, not even bothering to cover my naked ass because, like most men, he enjoyed looking at it so much.
"Damn, you got a fat ass, D," he said as I was walking out of my bedroom.
I turned and smiled at him. "Did you just call me fat? Clearly, you're getting your people mixed up."
"Trust me, ain't no way I could ever do that. That ass you got is one of a kind." He laughed.
"And don't you forget it." I winked then walked down the hallway and into the living room where I nearly jumped when the sound of Kendra's voice caught me off guard.
"Mama." Her face was full of hurt, anger, and disappointment.
"What the fuck are you doing home? Why the fuck aren't you at school?" I demanded, wondering how long she'd been home. I'd made sure to lock the front door, but I didn't remember if I'd closed my bedroom door before Darnell and I went in. It definitely wasn't closed when I walked out. Kendra wasn't a dummy, and she knew how I got down. There I was standing butt-ass naked in the living room, so it was clear. But, even still, I hoped that even if she knew what I had just finished doing, there was a chance she didn't know who I'd done it with.
"My teacher cancelled class today." She stared at me.
I folded my arms against my chest and asked, "Don't you still have work?"
"I don't go until later. Mama, what are you doing? Why would you do this?"
"Don't you question what the fuck I do, Kendra. I'm a grown-ass woman, and even though you act like you my mama, you ain't. I'm yours," I snapped at her. There were only fourteen years between us, and there were times I treated her like my sister instead of my daughter. I wasn't about to stand there and let her berate me like some teenager who just got caught. "I thought you were out with Celia anyway."
Kendra stood up. "How do you know I was out with her? I didn't tell you or anyone else I was going anywhere with her. Who told you?"
"Stay the fuck outta my business, Kendra," I warned.
"This ain't even about your business, Mama. This is about you sleeping with Uncle Darnell. You do some jacked-up stuff, and I try not to say nothing, but this is just wrong. I can't believe you. Why — "
"Kendra, shut the fuck up." I went to walk away, but she stepped in front of me.
"He's your sister's husband. Out of all the dudes in the world you can deal with? Really, you choose to fuck him, Mama? Him? Aunt Celia's husband?" Kendra was breathing so hard that I could see her chest rising and falling as she yelled. She wasn't a crier, so I knew the tears forming in her eyes meant that her anger was on a whole other level.
"Girl, you better get the fuck outta my face. Who the fuck do you think you are? Who I choose to fuck ain't got nothing to do with you. I'm a grown-ass woman."
"I can't tell, because you damn sure don't act like one," she spat.
Before I could stop myself, I grabbed her by the collar. Her eyes widened in fear, and I loosened my grip a little. I hardly ever put my hands on her; she was such a good kid that I rarely had a reason. I could count on one hand the number of times I spanked her. And yeah, I knew how much she loved my sister, and I knew she was upset. But there was no way I was gonna let her, or any other bitch for that matter, talk to me any kind of way.
"Have you lost your damn mind? Who the fuck do you think you are?" I put my face close to hers. "Don't get yourself fucked up."
Kendra snatched away from me. "Get your hands off me."
"Little girl, you better calm the fuck down before I calm you down."
"I don't expect much from you, Mama, because when I do, you always disappoint. God knows you've done some messed up stuff, but I expected a little more than this. This is just evil."
"You don't know what you're talking about. You know what? I don't have to explain myself to you anyway."
"Hey, is everything okay out here?" Darnell walked into the living room and asked casually as if nothing was wrong. Fully clothed and showing no signs of having me riding his dick a few minutes earlier, he looked quite dapper in his gray slacks and a yellow button-down. Not only did his body look like it belonged on the cover of Muscle and Fitness, but his face was reminiscent of Blair Underwood back when he was on every black woman's wish list. His wavy salt-and-pepper hair and matching goatee gave him a distinguished look. I was slightly disappointed that our playtime for the day was over.
"Everything is fine, baby," I told him.
Kendra didn't say anything. She just stared at both of us in disgust.
"What's up, Kendra? You good?" he asked, walking toward her. She backed away, wiping the tears from her cheeks.
"She's fine. You know how emotional she can be." I shrugged and stepped closer to him. He raised an eyebrow, and until I saw him glancing at my perky breasts, I had forgotten that I was naked. For a second, the look of lust in his eye turned me on, and I arched my back a little more so my chest stood a little higher.
"Well, I'm gonna go ahead and get out of here," he said. "Are you sure everything is okay?"
"I'm positive." I looked over at Kendra, who was still pouting and said, "She ain't gonna say shit to nobody. She knows if she says one word, she's gonna find her ass homeless. And her sisters, too."
Kendra looked up at me. My threatening to kick her ass out didn't matter to her, but I knew she would go to hell and back for Avery and Ashley, so that was my ace in the hole.
"Good." Darnell reached into his pocket and took out a handful of folded bills and passed them to me.
"Thank you so much." I winked and took it from him.
Kendra stormed out of the room and down the hallway.
"You sure she's gonna keep quiet?" He gave me a concerned look.
"I'm sure," I said and wrapped my arms around his neck, kissing him full on the mouth before he walked out the door. When he was gone, I counted the money and smiled. Not bad. It was more than what I needed and way more than I expected. I wondered if he had given me the amount because of our being caught by Kendra. In that case, her coming home unexpectedly had actually been a good thing. But now that she knew what he and I were doing, I wondered if her knowing would cost me more than I imagined.CHAPTER 2
It took two trips for me to take all the shopping bags out of the trunk of my car. I locked the door of the car and then entered my house through the side door of the garage. I had just made it upstairs into my bedroom with the last of my newly purchased items when my cell phone rang. I reached inside my Michael Kors bag and pulled it out. When I saw it was a number from the office, I didn't answer. I had taken a much-needed day off, and the last thing I wanted to talk about was work. Whatever it was, it was gonna have to be handled without me. I was about to put it back in my purse when it rang again. This time, after seeing the caller's name, I answered.
"Where are you?" Nikki, my best friend, asked. "And don't lie. I came to surprise you and take you to lunch, and you're not even at work."
"Oh, that must be why the office was calling. I saw the number and didn't answer." I laughed. "I took a day off. Lord knows I needed one. You know that place has been stressing me out the past few weeks."
"I know, and I'm glad you took off. You should've called me, though, so we could hang today."
"I started to, but I decided to spend some time with Kendra this morning. We went to eat and then to the mall."
"How is she? She's still in school, I hope."
"Girl, yes, and she's doing good. You know I like to grab her when I can and make sure she's good. With her being in school, working, and taking care of the twins, it's been hard for me to catch up with her."
"She's still being the mama, huh? Where is Diane these days?"
"Kendra says she's a CNA and works for some home health company. I guess it's working out for her, though, because she ain't hit me up in a couple of months for no money. So, I guess that's a blessing."
Normally, my younger sister constantly had her hand out, asking for me to help her out with bills, food, etc., so I was surprised when I hadn't heard from her. That was another reason I invited my niece out. I wanted to talk to her face to face and make sure everything was okay. Kendra had a habit of telling me things over the phone that were fine when really, they weren't. One thing she would not do was lie to my face.
"Well, I'm glad she's finally getting herself together. It's about time." Nikki sighed.
"It is. So, why the hell were you taking me to lunch? What did Patrick do now?" I asked, sitting on the bed and preparing myself for the latest relationship fiasco involving Nikki's bum-ass boyfriend of two years. I had tried telling her time and time again that he was no good for her, but she seemed to think that somehow, he was miraculously going to stop lying, cheating, and spending all of her money. Her acceptance of him, despite the bullshit he brought with him, was due to the fact that he was a deacon at their church. That, to me, was an oxymoron. Deacon or not, he was trifling. Nikki swore he had potential, but I didn't see it. I definitely couldn't understand how someone who couldn't get their own lives in order could direct folks on how to live theirs. But Nikki adored him, and so did a bunch of others, not only in the church, but the community, too.
Patrick was as slick as a snake oil salesman. He was one of those guys that grew up in the streets but decided to turn his life around. He spent a lot of time still hanging out in his old stomping grounds, under the guise that he was encouraging young guys to turn away from crime and turn to God. Let Nikki tell it, he was the next Rev. Run. But even if he did suddenly see the light and become the decent man she thought he could be, nothing was gonna change the fact that he had a baby mama from hell.
"Why do you think what I gotta tell you has something to do with him?"
"Just tell me what he did." I sighed.
"Fine. Why did I get a call from some apartment complex looking for him because he's behind on his rent?"
"Wait. He moved out? When?"
"Hell no, he didn't move out. He's been living with me for the past year. How about he let his baby mama get a place in his name? Here I am trying to help him get his credit together so we can buy a bigger house, and he's over here creating more bills with Tiesha's ass," Nikki whined.
"Girl, listen, don't let this stress you out. As long as he ain't get it in your name, then don't even worry about it. How the hell did they get your number anyway?" Not only did I wonder if Patrick had been stupid enough to list Nikki as a reference or something, but I also was curious as to why Nikki felt the need to get a bigger house than the one she currently owned. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a den, and a family room were more than enough room for the two of them. Surely she wasn't thinking about having a baby with this fool.
"I don't even know. I swear, every time we get closer to our blessing, the devil gets busy and tries to tear me and him apart," Nikki responded.
I decided I wasn't even going to try to reason with her. It was pointless, because all the advice I'd attempted to give her in the past had fallen on deaf ears. She'd come to me with a complaint, and I'd encourage her to leave him alone and try to point out that she could do bad all by herself. Truthfully, she was the one in the relationship doing well, so in all actuality, she wouldn't be doing bad at all if she told him to leave her the hell alone. Nikki was the Director of Nursing at one of the most prestigious nursing care facilities in the city. She made an exceptional salary, which was good, because neither one of Patrick's current career choices, deacon or community activist, were paid positions. His only source of income was Nikki.
"Well, let me put all this stuff I bought away before Darnell gets home. I don't wanna take a chance of him seeing it and hearing his mouth." I hurried and made an excuse to get off the phone.
"You know Darnell doesn't care. He loves for you to have nice things. Heck, didn't he just buy you that MK purse and matching boots last month? You need to be thanking God every day for blessing you with such a good man. I told Patrick the other night he needs to hang out with Darnell. I'm hoping they can be a positive influence on one another."
"What? How?" I asked, wondering what kind of positive influence Patrick could have on my husband, who had been a postal employee for fifteen years, paid not only our mortgage but the majority of our household bills, and was attentive and faithful. Nikki was right about one thing: I had a good man.
"Patrick could motivate Darnell to come to church with you."
She had me there. One thing Darnell didn't do very often was attend church. He believed in God, but he wasn't very religious and would only go on Christmas or when I was doing something special on the program like the Women's Day celebration.
"Well, maybe. Listen, I'll call you later, and you may wanna pull your credit report and make sure Patrick hasn't jumped out there and gotten anything in your name behind your back," I suggested.
"You think he'd do that? Naw, he wouldn't." Nikki answered her own question.
We said goodbye, and I ended the call. I began unpacking my shopping bags and thought about how blessed I was. I couldn't imagine being single and having to deal with men like Patrick.
I knew when I met Darnell ten years ago that he was a good man, and when he saw I was a good woman, he made sure to make me his wife. We made a good team.
I picked up my phone and called him, but he didn't answer. He told me he had a doctor's appointment this morning, and I wanted to make sure everything went okay. I sent him a quick text, finished putting my things away, and decided to take a quick nap. I woke up an hour later, surprised by Darnell, who walked into our bedroom.
"Darnell?" I asked groggily as I sat up.
"Uh, yeah, baby. Who else would it be? You expecting someone else?" he teased.
"You're not funny. What are you doing home early? I called to see if you wanted to meet for dinner somewhere, but you didn't answer." I looked at him. "How was your appointment?"
"My what?" He seemed confused by my question.
"Your doctor's appointment?"
"Oh, yeah. It went fine. How was your, uh, outing with Kendra?" He reached for the TV remote and turned to ESPN before sitting at the foot of our California king-size bed.
"It was good. You know we had a good time as usual, but I do need to talk to you about something."
Darnell quickly turned around with a worried look on his face and muted the television. "What is it? What's wrong?"
"Well, you know how close Kendra and I are, Darnell."
"Yeah." He frowned.
"She's the closest thing I have to having my own child, and I love her and her sisters, and despite our differences, I love my sister too."
"Celia, where are you going with all of this? If you have something to say, just say it."
"Well, I want us to go on a family vacation. All of us: you, me, Kendra, the twins, and maybe Diane," I told him.
"What? A vacation?"
"A family vacation. A cruise, or maybe just rent a beach house for a week. We can all get away. Kendra truly deserves it, and I know she won't wanna go without her sisters." I waited for him to say okay. Darnell enjoyed traveling, and we had started tossing around ideas of where to go next. I figured now that my nieces were older, he wouldn't mind them tagging along.
"You want to bring a bunch of kids with us on vacation, Celia? I don't know about that." Darnell exhaled and rubbed his temples.
I was totally shocked by his response. No wasn't a word that I heard from Darnell very often. Not that I was spoiled, but because I never really asked for anything extreme. To me, inviting my family to join us on vacation shouldn't have been that big of a deal, so I was kind of put off when he resisted.
"They're not children, Darnell. They're teenagers," I told him.
"That makes it even worse. You know how teenagers are: they drink, smoke. ..."
"You know my nieces aren't like that. Don't even try it. They're good girls."
"I'm not saying that they aren't. And Diane? Y'all can hardly be in the same room with each other, and now you're talking about going on a cruise with her? That's crazy." He shook his head. "I don't want to spend my vacation playing referee between you and your sister. You know how crazy you sound right now? Naw, Celia. That's a horrible idea. I can't believe you would even suggest that."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "My Mama's Drama"
Copyright © 2018 La Jill Hunt.
Excerpted by permission of Urban Books, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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