In this unorthodox tale of power plays, love affairs, and betrayal, two ambitious sisters learn that everything comes at a price—and what may feel good isn’t always good for you.
Pink lips can be a sign of grace, class, and beauty, but for sisters Willow and Kail, it means power and respect. They will do anything under the sun to become part of the higher echelon, so they pay a massive fee to join an organization and get their lips etched in pink. And life is good for the pair—until an accidental phone dismantles the whole organization.
With their lives upended, Willow and Kail flee to the streets of their hometown, Philadelphia, for a fresh start. With a new clientele and a hunger for money, they try to resurrect the organization that ended at their own hands. Money is the main goal for everyone involved until Willow meets Duke, a neighborhood hardhead, and is bitten by the love bug.
Kail objects to the relationship, but Willow ignores her sister’s warnings, falling deeper and deeper in love. As the sisters turn against each other, skeletons hidden in the closet are revealed, and the saying “blood is thicker than water” is tested to the fullest. Will they be able to come to an agreement, or will blood be shed first?
Pink Lips One Sweat poured profusely from the doctor’s face as the barrel of an ice-cold 9mm pressed against his temporal bone. His nostrils flared as the smell of gunpowder danced around, lingering in the air surrounding him. The room was so silent that only the ticking from the Audemar watch snugging his wrist could be heard.
He had wished that he had gone straight home after work. He had no idea that a late-night movie to get away from his problems at home with his nagging wife and kids would be the death of him. The moment he was dragged away from the movie theater in broad daylight at gunpoint let him know that he was going to die. And the fact that no one helped him assured him of such.
“It’s a girl,” the doctor huffed as healthy cries boomed throughout the spacious bedroom. His heart stopped playing hopscotch as he cut the umbilical cord and laid the baby on her mother’s chest. “Can I leave now?”
“No,” a voice demanded from the shadows of the room.
Ernest “Rock” Evans stood up from his seat to walk over to his newborn daughter that wasn’t even a few minutes old. He untied his purple label tie as the jewelry on his body shined, playing hide-and-seek with the lights in the room. The heel of his pure alligator shoes pattered as his fingers ran across his freshly shaved beard. His six-foot-three stature flashed shadows on the wall as the smell of his signature cologne followed his every step.
He looked around the castle-like room as his loyal goons respectfully watched him approach the bedside of his beautiful wife, Anoki. He kissed her forehead as a thank you for giving birth to his first daughter, then moved down to her lips. He grabbed the ice chips on the marble-topped nightstand next to the California king-sized bed and softly rubbed them around her chapped lips.
Anoki panted slowly as her hair, as black as the darkest skies, rested wildly underneath her on a plush pillow. The imported silk sheets gushed with bodily fluids as she squirmed around to look directly into her daughter’s eyes. Her bronzed skin glistened under the light of the diamond-encrusted chandelier that hung from the high-end ceiling above as she rubbed her freshly manicured finger on her little girl’s soft cheek.
“She’s perfect,” Anoki spoke out softly, her body exhausted from the delivery and pain she had just endured as her husband sat next to her, his slacks used as a towel, soaking up the fluids on the sheets.
“I can see that.” Rock grabbed his daughter and gently held her in his arms. “So this is the little girl that’s going to make me kill a lot of little boys?”
“Yes,” Anoki whispered as she managed to sit up, “she’s already beautiful.”
“She has your eyes,” Rock said, referring to his wife’s soft greenish-brown eyes. “She has your skin tone, too,” He stood up to get a better look at his future daddy’s girl. “Welcome to the world, little girl, I’m your pops, and as long as I’m here, you won’t need for anything; this I promise you.”
“Please, I need to leave,” the doctor pleaded as fear rushed on his face.
Before the good doctor could fall and hit the floor, Rock snapped his fingers and a bullet pierced through the man’s head, killing him instantly. His body was caught in mid-air stopping it from falling, then carried out of the room before a sprinkle of blood could hit the Italian marble floors.
“See how Pops had to end that disrespectful motherfucker’s life?” Rock asked his daughter as he kissed her on the forehead without a hint of remorse in his voice. “That’s what happens when niggas forget who I am.”
“A name,” Anoki called out as someone pulled the straw she was sipping on away from her mouth, “we need to choose a name for her baby.”
“Let’s let Junior choose.” Rock decided as he signaled for someone to go get his firstborn.
Junior busted through the door walking with his hands in his pockets. He was only four years young, but his posture and facial expressions mimicked his father’s. The perfect mixture of both of his parents, he stood there with a serious face as his eyes, the exact eyes his mother and new little sister shared, paced back and forth around the room.
“What?” Junior asked as he held his hands behind his back.
“We want you to meet your little sister,” Anoki said, smiling at her erratic son.
“I don’t want a sister. I want a brother,” he yelped.
“Junior,” Rock said as his son looked him in the eyes. “What did I tell you about expressing to us your wants?”
“You said I can have everything I need and some of what I want,” Junior responded, speaking better than every kid his age that they knew.
“That’s right. So you have a little sister and that’s what you need right now, so get used to it.” Rock leaned down. “Come here,” he signaled as Junior approached him and the unnamed infant. “It’s your job as a big brother to protect this little girl at all costs. After me, you’re next in line and you have to make sure she’s always protected.”
“I know, Pops,” he said, reacting to the situation like an adult.
“Also, your mom and I were thinking you should be the one to name this little girl. She is going to be your little sister, after all.”
“I like the name Willow,” he blurted without thinking.
“Willow,” Rock looked at Anoki for approval, “what do you think, baby?”
“That’s fine with me,” she said, smiling at her son’s intelligence.
“It’s time to bounce,” Tony, Rock’s best friend and right-hand man, advised as the beeper on his waist chirped nonstop.
Rock nodded his head as he placed Willow into Anoki’s arms. He rubbed the top of Junior’s head as he smiled at the family he built despite the duties and time-consuming work associated with being a drug lord. At that very moment he was glad he didn’t keep the promise to never have a family. He kissed his wife and without explaining, which he didn’t have to because she knew the job, he and his goons left.
Anoki let out a sigh of exhilaration as she looked into her children’s faces. She couldn’t believe that a girl from the slums of Hawaii had found love and was living the good life. She handed her newborn to the live-in nanny as she swooped to the edge of the bed, her stilettos that she kept on during her labor meeting the beautiful marble floor beneath her.
Anoki watched as the nanny walked out of the room with the newborn in her arms and her toddler’s hand in her hand. As soon as the doors closed, the hired help surrounded her, cleaning her from head to toe. The clothes on her body were changed and brand-new heels, fresh out of the box, were placed at her feet. By the time she stood up, she was as beautiful as ever and no one would have believed she had just spent the last sixteen hours in labor. Her long majestic curls flowed timelessly as she walked to her large his-and-hers bathroom to fix her makeup.
The bathroom alone was bigger than any house she had ever stayed in back in her little hometown of Hata. Tears rolled down her bare face as she smiled at her first memories of Rock. It baffled her how two months of fun on the shores of Hawaii had turned into years so quickly.
She was sixteen when she first met Rock. Upon her first glance, she knew that he was a drug dealer, that he was even trouble. She had seen his kind come and go all of the time for the drug connects in Hawaii, but she had a feeling that she would be with him. When he looked at her for the first time at the little restaurant where she was a waitress, his eyes pierced through her own, and it was love at first sight. His plump lips made her heart palpitate, and when he asked her what her name was in his deep Eastern accent, her heart was taken.
Rock was just as intrigued with her. He had never seen anything so beautiful in his life. The way her babydoll-like curls bounced as her petite frame took orders to tables enticed him. Her eyes drew him in and he could see the potential in her to be his queen. She was a diamond in the rough and he was willing to buff her into perfection.
They spent the next two months on the ocean getting to know each other. Their lust blossomed into love as their bodies became one over and over again. Anoki knew that giving her body to a man was dangerous. She had been warned by every woman who had ever been in her life. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t resist Rock’s thuggish charm. He was her first and she prayed that he would be her last.
Although Rock was young, his business mind-set captivated Anoki. She had never seen a man dress so debonair and it impressed her on how clean-cut he was. He showed her that she could live the lavish life, too, and although he was only twenty, he promised to provide it for her and she believed his every word. He showered her constantly with gifts to give her a taste of what life would be like with him. He even paid her boss to let her off from the restaurant just so he could spend every free minute he had with her.
As time grew closer for him to leave, Rock begged for Anoki to follow him back to his home in Philadelphia. His pleas were like cries on deaf ears. Anoki wanted to leave, but she was scared all at the same time. Reality set in when his business in Hawaii was finally over. She accompanied him to the airport to part ways. While waiting, nausea took over her and the contents of her stomach spewed all over the place.
Taking a pregnancy test a week prior, Anoki knew that she was pregnant. Out of fear of his reaction, she kept it from him. When he asked for an explanation on her sudden sickness, she broke down and told him the cause. He insisted that she follow him and, with no bonds holding her, she never looked back. She knew that her life was about to change for the better.
It took Anoki some time to get adjusted to being the queen of a drug empire. Rock had molded her, slowly watching as she transformed from a girl into a woman. A woman that every man who crossed her path wanted and every woman hated and wanted to be. He would sit back and smile at how polished Anoki had become.
Anoki understood that staying on top of her game was a must. She had the hottest nigga in the game around their way and she didn’t want to give him any reason to stray. She stayed laced up in the most lavish designer pieces, and if anybody else around could get it, she didn’t want it. She was royalty now and had to remain as such in order to keep the flame between her and Rock always lit.
She smiled as memories played over in her head like a broken record. She grabbed her powder-pink lipstick, the only color she would wear, and colored her lips. She stood there, in front of the wall mirror that complemented the walk-in bathroom, four years later with no reservations. She knew that she had done the right thing by following Rock. She was just as in love with him today as she was the day she had met him. And she was determined to make sure the feeling was mutual.
Andre D. Jones, a Texas native, is an up-and-coming author with stories as blazing as the heat in his state. With a love and passion for his art form, Andre writes as much as he can, anywhere he can, on anything that he can. He is currently working on his next novel in his hometown of Waco, Texas.