In this explosive addition to the New York Times bestselling series, Ashley Antoinette brings you pain, pleasure, love, hate, as YaYa struggles to hold it all together before life blows up in her face, in The Prada Plan 5.
Disaya finally has it all. The man she fought for is hers at last. Her name is Mrs. Indie Perkins and their daughter is safe. Leah is gone. Life is supposed to be good. So why isn’t she satisfied? Why does life suddenly seem so bitter? YaYa’s Prada Plan had worked but with the riches comes pain.
She and Indie have grown apart, and with Parker now a permanent fixture in their lives, Indie is pressured to juggle it all. But YaYa’s patience is running thin. Indie is loving her wrong. Her life isn’t what she wants. Her Prada Plan has changed…and now, it’s time to pursue a plan B in order to get what she really wants…
About the Author
ASHLEY ANTOINETTE is one of the most successful female writers of her time. The feminine half of the popular married duo, Ashley and JaQuavis, she has co-written over 40 novels. Several of her titles have hit The New York Times bestsellers list, but she is most widely regarded for her racy saga The Prada Plan. Born in Flint, MI, she was bred with an innate street sense that she uses as motivation in her crime filled writings.
Read an Excerpt
The Prada Plan 5
By Ashley Antoinette
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2017 Ashley Antoinette
All rights reserved.
"Mommy!" Skylar's voice broke through the crowd as soon as YaYa stepped off the escalator and into baggage claim. YaYa smiled the kind of smile that only a child could produce as she bent down and scooped their three-year-old daughter into her arms.
"Hey, big girl!" YaYa shouted as she rained kisses all over Sky's juicy cheeks. Her baby's sweet laughter filled her ears. It was amazing how much she had grown. She was an inquisitive, beautiful, and lately talkative little girl. She was their love in human form.
"Daddy don't get a hug, huh?" Indie said as he kissed Sky on the forehead. Indie's mother, Elaine, walked up behind Skylar, winded from keeping up with the likes of a young child.
"Welcome home. How was it?" Elaine asked.
"It was amazing," YaYa said, grinning. "I'm a lucky girl."
Elaine smiled at the couple. YaYa and Indie were a lovely sight. After a tumultuous few years, they had finally gotten things together. "Well, Little Miss Skylar here just had to meet you two at the airport. I'm parked right out front. I'll take her back to the car and wait for you guys while you get your luggage," Elaine said.
YaYa was floored. Life had never felt this normal. She had never been the regular girl with regular circumstances. She dwelled in the routine of it all for a moment, scoffing in disbelief. Indie turned toward her and frowned curiously.
"You good, ma?" he asked. There was no worry, no fear or heartbreak in her eyes. It was the first time he had seen her this way. Ever since he met her, burden lived within her soul. She looked happy, and Indie made a mental note to keep her that way.
"I'm good," she replied as she walked toward him. He wrapped one arm around her, pulling her close as they went to gather their belongings.
Newlywed love was the best kind. Indie couldn't keep his hands to himself. He wanted to touch YaYa and not only sexually. He had to feel her, be connected to her, even if it was just the grace of a finger on her chin. He hadn't felt this much pride since the day he found out he was a father. Becoming a husband gave him the same joy. He was accountable to her, and oddly it didn't terrify him. He knew exactly what it felt like to walk through life without her, and he would do everything imaginable to make sure he never had to endure that again.
As they grabbed their bags and made their way to the car, she paused abruptly before walking out of the airport.
Indie turned to her. "What's wrong? You forget something?" he asked.
YaYa shook her head. "Once I step out these doors the honeymoon is over. Good times don't last long with me."
"Do you trust me, YaYa?" Indie asked as he moved her to the side so that the flow of people coming out of the doors wouldn't complain.
She nodded, but that wasn't entirely true. He had hurt her. She had hurt him. Trust was hard to rebuild. It was one of those things that just didn't bounce back right once tarnished. The skepticism in her eyes was evident. That look he hated to see decorate her face was back. He couldn't judge her. He couldn't even be angry with her because he had planted the insecurities in her head the day Parker walked back into his life. The day he hesitated in choosing YaYa had changed their relationship.
"Trust me, YaYa. If you can give me that, I got everything else. I'll keep your heart whole. That's for me to worry about, not you. But you got to let me back in. All the way. Okay?" he asked as he leaned into her, his forehead touching hers.
She sighed deeply and nodded.
"Okay," she whispered.
Skylar's chattering was the only sound that filled the car on the way home. She was blossoming into a beautiful little girl, but despite how infectious her energy was, YaYa just couldn't catch it. Her mind and heart were racing. Elaine could feel the tension in the air and remained quiet as well until they pulled up to their home.
YaYa exited the car and grabbed Skylar's hand. "Thank you, Elaine."
"Anytime," Elaine replied. As Indie grabbed the luggage out of the trunk, Elaine looked at him and whispered, "She's your wife now. She comes first always. Even if Parker —"
"No offense, ma, but that's the last name I'm trying to hear right now," Indie said.
"The fact that her name bothers you that much means she still has a hold on you. The only woman who should be able to make a man mad is his own. You'll have to settle this thing with Parker, and you need to do it soon. It'll be better for everybody if we just get this paternity test over and done with."
Indie absorbed the statement but didn't respond. He kissed his mom on the cheek.
"I'll call you later, old lady," he said, before disappearing into the house.
* * *
The buzzing of his cell phone interrupted Indie's restless sleep, thoughts of Parker haunting his dreams. He had felt something for her, something that had been strong enough to disrupt his relationship with YaYa, and it disturbed him that she was still on his mind. He had loved her once, and a part of him still did, but her deception and lies had turned him cold. The moment he found out that King may not be his son, he became jaded toward her. Yet despite Parker's flaws she still crossed his mind. He had thought marrying YaYa would put an end to his indecision, but it hadn't. Indie needed closure with Parker. He needed to know why she had betrayed him. He wouldn't rest well until he knew. It was this that urged him out of his bed, cell phone in his hand as he snuck out of the room.
"Hello?" he answered, his voice deep with irritation. He had known Parker a long time. He knew that she had rehearsed what she would say for the past few weeks. He had always had the power to stifle her, to turn her mind to mush; with just the sound of his voice, he knew he had erased her well-prepared apology. "Why you keep calling my line, Parker? What do you want from me?" he asked. He wished the words had come out harsher than they had. Instead he'd spoken them desperately, as if distance was the only way to ensure that he didn't fall victim to her seduction. His intentions were to be faithful to YaYa and to push Parker as far out of his life as possible, but something about his history with her weakened him. Parker had been the one to teach him that he was more than what society labeled him as. He was young and thugging when they had met; she had taken the time to see his potential. He didn't have it in him to hate her, but his disappointment at his weakness toward her was overwhelming.
"So this is where we are? I can't call?" Parker asked, a subtle break in her voice revealing the fact that she was crying.
Indie sighed as he swiped his hand over his face and walked farther away from the bedroom, where YaYa slept. "There's nothing to talk about."
"How can you say that?" Parker asked. "I know you're mad. I should have told you the truth —"
"That you were fucking my brother?" Indie said, louder than he intended to.
Parker sniffled. "Indie ... please, just meet with me. You can't tell me that you didn't feel what I felt, and King, he needs you."
"Is he my son?" Indie asked.
"I don't know," Parker replied honestly.
Indie had wandered through the house and now sat at the island bar in his kitchen.
"I'll contact a doctor to get a DNA test. I need to know," Indie said. "Until that's handled there's nothing to discuss. I'll be in touch."
"Indie ..." Parker said.
His heavy breathing was his only response. He could hear the remorse in her voice. The way she said his name, it had always moved him. The melody of her voice made him feel like the bad guy when his only "crime" was exposing her lies. He knew what her next words would be, and he didn't want to hear her say them. In fact, he couldn't. Professions of her love would only cause him to feel guilt, and he didn't need that. He didn't need her storming into his life, disrupting the way things were with the thought of the way things could have been. He wouldn't have it. He wouldn't break YaYa's heart again, not for Parker or anyone else. So to avoid the past from haunting him, he would ignore it for as long as he could, and that meant putting Parker on a long leash until he could determine if King was his son.
"Who was that on the phone?" Indie was taken off guard by the sound of YaYa's voice, and he immediately ended the call.
"Just business," Indie replied. He could see her hesitation. They both knew that he had just spoken a lie, and he instantly regretted it. He should have told her the truth. He should have admitted that there were things unresolved with Parker. She knew that King could potentially be his, but Indie didn't want to pop the newlywed bubble they dwelled in. Instead he had poked a tiny hole in it.
With one single lie, the look in her eyes had changed. The confidence in her stance had diminished, and defensiveness had taken over her body. He knew that this was the reality that she had feared. It was easy to love one another in seclusion. It was instinct to be good to one another in the middle of nowhere, where only sunsets and sunrises distracted from the flow of love. Returning to New York as man and wife would test them. It would test their relationship like nothing had ever before. Indie told himself that he was lying to YaYa to protect her.
"Business?" she shot back skeptically. She then shook her head incredulously. She wanted to ask to see his phone, but her pride wouldn't allow her to confront the obvious. "Okay, Indie," she said before walking out of the room.
Indie wasn't this type of man. He wasn't perfect, but he wasn't the type to manipulate his way through life, spreading chaos and insecurity. He knew he had to grab the reins in his family and resolve this once and for all before things spiraled out of control.
Morning came too quickly. YaYa tossed and turned until the sun snuck up. This wasn't how marriage was supposed to be. It was supposed to make everything better. It was supposed to fix what was broken between them, strengthen them. Right? YaYa's head spun as she tossed the covers from her body and stood. She looked over at a sleeping Indie and felt like she didn't even recognize him, and suddenly this entire thing felt like a mistake. Nothing was resolved between them. She had slept with Ethic, and Indie had left her for Parker. That couldn't be swept under the rug. It couldn't be dismissed just because they had gotten married on a whim, especially with Indie sneaking off to take secret phone calls in the middle of the night.
Everything in YaYa's life from childhood until now had been dramatic. She had endured big problems; she had dealt with stalkers and murders, and hustling and deception. Now that life had settled for her, she realized that it was the little things that were the hardest to deal with. YaYa wasn't used to these types of problems. These were grown-woman problems, and she had no idea what do about her own life. The absence of trust in Indie meant the presence of pain, and she felt every bit of it.
YaYa walked out of the room and peeked into Skylar's bedroom before going into the kitchen. As she moved around it, playing wife, playing Mom, wearing the roles with expertise while preparing breakfast, she wondered why the routine felt so foreign.
It wasn't long before the smell of bacon and eggs awoke the entire house. When she felt Indie's arm wrap around her waist as she flipped the pancakes on the stove, she sighed.
"I wish I could stay and eat, but I've got to get out of here. Zya's coming to the city today," Indie said. "There's a board meeting at Vartex this morning. I need to move some pieces around before I meet with her later this evening."
"Is that who called you last night?" she asked.
Indie hesitated, thrown off by her question, but quickly recovered. "Yeah. It was just business. I'll call you later, a'ight?"
She nodded, but didn't turn to him. YaYa wanted to accept his word as truth. She couldn't live with this knot in her stomach every day. The unrelenting suspicion would drive her crazy, and she decided then and there to just trust him. You can't go off of a notion. Leave the past in the past. You have to trust him until he shows you otherwise, she thought. It took all that self-coaching for her to simply answer, "Okay."
When Indie walked out the door in his suit and tie, she exhaled in relief. They hadn't even been married a week, and YaYa was already lost. It was days like these that she wished she had a mother to turn to. YaYa had figured out everything on her own, from bra sizes to menstrual cycles. It was one of the reasons why she had accepted Indie's proposal in the first place. She didn't want her daughter to come up without both parents. When Skylar needed her father, YaYa wanted Indie to be there, not laid up across town with Parker and her son. YaYa felt like she was in a race for Indie's heart, and Parker had been her opponent. Now that YaYa had won, she questioned if there was actually a prize to behold after all. Even with the flawless diamond that rested on her left hand, her position in Indie's life felt threatened. YaYa was on the defensive, and she would be until they all sat down face-to-face to settle this once and for all.CHAPTER 2
The view of New York City from the top floor of Vartex Pharmaceuticals made Indie feel like he was on top of the world. He had pushed many illegal drugs through these boroughs, and he had never predicted that all his years of hustling would lead him here. He had transcended the struggle and achieved the impossible ... he had retired from the coke game. With Zya as a silent backer, Indie was about to come into the type of money that would set his family up for generations to come. He was like a chameleon. The designer suit he wore allowed him to blend in at an executive level. He spoke their language, related to their politics; he could even swing a decent eighteen holes on the golf course. They assumed he was the product of some six-figure education, some establishment of higher learning, when he was bred in the streets. He had learned all he needed to know about business hand over fist, and now he was taking over corporate America. He could run the streets in his sleep, so handling old white men with long money was a walk in the park. If only life at home was so easy, he thought.
"Mr. Perkins, they're ready for you," his assistant, Emma, said as she stuck her head through the cracked door. Indie nodded and tightened the knot on his silk tie before walking toward the conference room.
* * *
"Glad you could make it," Jefferson said. Alec Jefferson was the chief financial officer at Vartex who had detested Indie's involvement with the company from day one. "What exactly are we here for? My schedule is pretty tight today."
"I can loosen that schedule a bit," Indie said as he unbuttoned his jacket to make himself more comfortable and took a seat at the head of the table. It was common knowledge that he was a majority shareholder with the company. He held sway over whether Jefferson maintained his position at the top. "Perhaps CFO is a bit demanding. We can discuss other options if you'd like," Indie stated.
Alec cleared his throat as he nervously tapped a pen against the table. "After one of the most profitable quarters of the company's history, I think you would agree that things are fine as they are. The numbers are in the black."
"Then just make a bit of time on that schedule, and they can remain that way," Indie said, no smiles, no chuckles. He didn't need to disguise ill intent behind the façade of laughter. He meant what he said, and he pulled no punches when delivering a message. Alec Jefferson would respect him, or Indie would put the motion on the table to replace him. Indie had secured the vote of the majority way before he ever stepped foot inside Vartex so that things would run smoothly for him. Alec didn't want to test him.
"Of course," Alec replied.
"Now," Indie said as he looked around the rectangular table at the rest of the board members. "I think we need to rethink the distribution company we've recently contracted with." Indie looked at the contract he had made with Ethic's company and immediately felt anger pulse through him. There was no way he was going to partner with Ethic to distribute product. Too many lines had been crossed. Despite the fact that he was doing his dirt, YaYa was his wife, and he could never be in business with a man whom she had been intimate with. He and Ethic had come together under extreme circumstances to save her life, but even then, Indie had wanted to body something. It would be a war of titans the next time he and Ethic crossed paths. Only reason he was even giving him a pass was out of respect for Zya, but there was no way he was going to eat with Ethic. A man that would sleep with his woman was a man that would slit his throat. This was one enemy that Indie wouldn't keep close.
"This is the same company you advocated for. Why would we terminate the contract now?" Alec asked.
Excerpted from The Prada Plan 5 by Ashley Antoinette. Copyright © 2017 Ashley Antoinette. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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