Katelyn had been my friend since vocational bible school over twenty years ago. She had moved to Atlanta, Georgia after high school with Brent, her sugar daddy. Katelyn had it made with her millionaire boyfriend and money to burn. She had invited me to Atlanta for a visit while Brent was on location interviewing celebrities for the Red Carpet of the BET award show. Even though I had never been to Atlanta, I went thinking that Katelyn and I would hang out with her million dollar kids and catch up. To my surprise, when I arrived, the kids were nowhere in sight and Katelyn was surrounded by men wearing dresses and heels I could never walk in.
"Oh come on in girl!" She spoke between lipstick changes. "Y'all this is my best friend Ariona from North Carolina!" Simultaneously everyone yelled, "Hey girl!" Sitting by the window watching Katelyn's hair being flipped and twisted, flat ironed and sprayed with chemicals that permed my nose hairs, I noticed a black Expedition S.U.V pulling into the horseshoe driveway. Two men exited and walked up the brick trail to the mansion. Just then a husky man wearing baggy stoned washed blue jeans with a white t-shirt walked into the room. The imprint of his man boobs sickened me.
"Yo! Katelyn, Dama is downstairs." Katelyn uncrossed her legs and thanked the team of stylist for a job well done.
"Send him up! He knows he can come up!" As soon as she said that Dama appeared right before me. He was the multi platinum rap artist that sold the most albums in one day than any other rapper had sold in one week. Not to mention, Dama, whose real name was Irwin Jones, was extremely sexy. Yes, he had an overbite and yes, he was short,(by that , I mean a few inches taller than me and I was five foot six), even so Dama had dated all the super models worldwide and was even a family man with two children. Of course he wasn't with the children's mother(s), but he had a family.
"What's up? What's up?" Dama had the sweetest voice in the world. Soft but stern. Katelyn introduced us and my heart melted.
"Hey sweetheart." He came over and shook my hand. I smiled said,"Hi." really soft. Dama smiled then went to sit next to Katelyn on the black leather sofa bed as they began to chat like high school girlfriends. I still sat near the bay window in shock that a person I had seen on television was three feet from me.
During the conversation, Dama had invited Katelyn and me to his club in downtown Atlanta. Without a second thought, Katelyn agreed and Dama said goodbye and left.
Katelyn and I went to a local coffee shop to chat some more. She went on and on about who to talk to and who to avoid. Fashions of this season and the exception of some of last season. My mind went in circles.
"Here." Katelyn gave me five hundred dollars like it was one dollar. It surprised me that Katelyn had changed so much from the weed smoking, club fighting, stripping, welfare recipient to the splurging, gold digging, cocaine sniffing, restaurant fighting, exotic dancer. Suddenly Katelyn jumped, then reached for her cellphone. All I heard was"baby" this and "sweetie" that. It must have been Brent.
"What was all that for?" I asked sipping on the $10 dollar latte. Katelyn smiled, showing me the huge blinding diamond ring she wore on her finger.
"He is in the media a lot. I have to make sure I butter him up at all times. This business is pure competition." Still confused, I had to ask more questions.
"But he just interviews celebrities about their lives, right? Like a T.V reporter?" Katelyn frowned. She shook her collagen filled head.
"Brent Davis is an ex football player that co-hosts on ESPN and for more publicity, he interviews other athletes to stay in the game." It didn't seem to bother Katelyn that her man was a washed up athlete trying to stay relevant, so it didn't bother me either. Especially since I didn't have a man myself, rich or poor. We continued to chat and eat grilled chicken with string beans that were also grilled. Not the soul food I was used to, but I wasn't hungry afterward, so I couldn't complain. Katelyn had taken me to Savanna Georgia to meet another friend of hers. I just knew that this friend would be stuck up as Katelyn had become, but she was the total opposite.
Rena Thompson was as laid back as I was. Her hair was different colors and her condo had pictures of famous jazz musicians covering each wall. Rena was comfortable with the fact that she was a professional groupie. She ran down a list of celebs she had slept with for me. I didn't believe it, but then what could I say. Maybe it was true. I wasn't too shocked that Dama was on the list. Rena was beautiful. Puerto Rican with long flowing brown hair. Big breast (silicone), big booty (fat injections), but I could see why Dama or any man would be interested in her. Even thought Rena wasn't REAL, she was REALLY beautiful so it didn't matter. Rena said that Dama was a cool person, but there was nothing to "grip" in his pants. That night Brent called Katelyn and invited us all to dinner in an exclusive restaurant in midtown Atlanta. I pulled Katelyn to the side.
"I thought we were going to see Dama tonight?" Not trying to sound as excited as I really was. Katelyn just shrugged.
"He has parties all the time. It's not that important." Then she wrapped her manicured nails around her Chase credit card and shopped up and down Buckhead. With the five hundred dollars I received earlier, I brought a fitted black dress and that was it. That dress cost me three-hundred and fifty dollars, but it made my petite girlish body catch up to twenty-eight year old woman wearing it. There was no way I could leave without shoes. But I had no choice, since all of the shoes were a hundred and fifty dollars and up and there was no way I was spending my last on a pair of shoes. Luckily, I found a cheaper shop and brought a pair of comfortable heels for forty bucks.
"Why you smile in that man's face and not chill with him when he invites you to his club?" Katelyn's stylist was flat ironing my hair to blend with the Indian Remy hair Katelyn didn't want because it wasn't expensive enough, (whatever!) While we were getting dressed to meet Brent for dinner, I expressed to Katelyn how I really felt about her blowing off Dama's invite.
"I wouldn't do Dama like that. He asked and I would like to go." Katelyn just laughed in my face, really loud. I could even hear the stylist chuckling behind me.
"Dama does that all the time! He always asks me if I'm coming to his club. I mean I go sometimes, but I have other plans tonight. Really, it's just conversation. He won't be disappointed if we don't show up." That crushed my entire night. For forty-five minutes straight, Brent talked about his earlier football days and how he was working with the youth and blah, blah, blah. I had to admit that the best part of the evening was the food. It was on point and very fulfilling. After we left the restaurant, I saw Katelyn whisper something in Brent's ear. They both glanced at me then chuckled. I wanted to punch Katelyn in the face! She had changed. In my mind, I knew this was the last time I would see her.
After driving for about fifteen minutes, we arrived at a place called Damano Effect. The beat of the music could be felt while we were still inside of the car! Once inside, the bouncer escorted us upstairs to the V.I.P room. My heart sank when I saw Dama. He was standing with a group of other celebs laughing at something stupid they all had done the night before. Katelyn just walked up and pretended to bump into Dama, who in return hugged her and slapped hands with Brent. Katelyn had reminded Dama of who I was and he hugged me really soft and said, "Hey sweetheart." in my ear. Damn!, did that sound good. He smelled of an Old Spice or new spice, whatever it was, it tickled my nose. SEXY! I never really drank, especially when I didn't have money to buy alcohol, but that night all the drinks were on the house for us. There were brand names I had never heard of like Ciroc and X-Rated. I was scared to try that one, but I did and I loved it! Dama sat beside me and actually tried to get to know me. We would chat for about five minutes, then one of his buddies would come over and grab him. Dama would say he'd be back and after an hour or so, he would always come back. Even though we didn't talk for very long, I learned that Dama was very funny and highly intelligent for a rapper. When I left Damano Effect, I was tipsy, full and my cheeks ached from laughing all night.
Two weeks had passed and my funds for the hotel room were dwindling. I called Katelyn to catch a ride back to Buckhead to return the dress.
"Noooo! You can't return that dress! Are you crazy?!" Katelyn screamed at me like I was her child. So I screamed back at her like a rebellious child.
"Why not?! I have to get back home!" The fact that I was yelling at Katelyn didn't hide the laughter in my voice. Was she really serious? I returned clothes, appliances, shoes all the time. Hell, I even returned a pack of notebook paper because I needed the dollar to wash my clothes. That kind of stuff didn't bother me, but it ripped Katelyn's heart out.
"I will give you money to get home. It's not that bad!" Like she would know. Katelyn kept her word though and gave me a thousand dollars to get home. That next morning I was barely awake when Katelyn called me. I just knew she wanted her money back. But before I could even say hello, Katelyn began rambling. All I heard was model, Michelle and meet me at my house in ten minutes. Then the line went dead. Hustling over to see what the hell Katelyn was talking about, I jumped into the rental I purchased the day before from the thousand dollars Katelyn had given me.
When I arrived, Katelyn opened the door with a wide stupid grin on her face. She rushed me into her living room where a small petite woman with short spiky hair sat.
"This is Ni'Chelle, the owner of Ni'Chelle Boutiques! She owns a store in every major city. You know that lovely black dress you brought a few weeks ago? That was one of Ni'Chelle's designs." Katelyn acted as if the president was was sitting there. I had no idea who this broad was. She just sat there with an accomplished smirk on her face. Katelyn and I sat down and Ni'Chelle began telling me what she wanted me to do for her.
"I attended Dama's nightclub a few weeks ago. I instantly recognized my dress and thought your body frame would be a perfect fit for a new line I'm starting for a friend, Sleek Petite. I have models but they are too sleek if you know what I mean. Your body would fit the designs exactly. So be at this location tomorrow morning at 9:30 and wear sweats because you need to dress and undress quickly." Then she stood up and thanked Katelyn as she walked her to the door. When Katelyn returned her cheeks were flushed.
"Aren't you excited!!!!" Screaming and falling on the floor like she had caught the Holy Spirit. Katelyn had stopped and stared at me as if I was the insane one.
"Why are you not celebrating? You are going to model for Ni'Chelle!" I sat there stuck in the twilight zone.
"Katelyn, I'm going home, today! I have responsibilities back home. I don't even know this chick for her to talk to me like I owe her something. I just came here to hang out with you and......." Katelyn just walked off into the kitchen.
"Uh....excuse me? I was talking." I stood up and headed for the front door. This girl was too much for me.
"This is a great opportunity for you to make real money!" Katelyn shouted, "I mean, how much do you get paid to work in a doctor's office typing information?" I joined Katelyn in the kitchen. "All she wants you to do is try on a few designs and take pictures, maybe even do a runway show. There are so many girls dying to work with Ni'Chelle and she asked you!" Katelyn slammed her black mug of green tea on the counter, spilling most of it and stormed off.
Apart of me could have cared less that girls were dying to work with Ni'Chelle. But the fact that Katelyn was so upset about it made it apparent that this meant something to her. She had given me a thousand dollars and took me to see Dama when she really didn't want to. So bright and early I arrived where I was supposed to be and did what I was supposed to do. Katelyn met me there and gave me a huge hug and a thank you. When I finished, Katelyn invited me out to lunch. Since I had a late start that day, I decided to stay in Atlanta and leave the next morning. When Katelyn and I left the design studio, we bumped into Dama, accidentally this time.
"Hey, what's up?" His smile made me want to smile. Dama hugged Katelyn as usual, this time he gave me a hug without an introduction. "Hey sweetheart." I gave a quick hello as usual before Dama asked us what we were doing there very loudly.
"Well, Ariona just demolished a photo shoot with Ni'Chelle for the new clothing line!" They all jumped with joy patting me on my back. I had actually done the shoot and still didn't see the big deal.
"Cool, she found you." Dama licked his lips and my panties became a lot less dry. "She asked me at the club who you were, but I just told her to call Kate. Anyway, hello, I'm your new boss!" He laughed. It turned out that Dama and Ni'Chelle were partners and he wanted to appeal to the more petite women with a clothing line. His clothes were for women with big butts and Ni'Chelle specialized in petite wear, they just had to find the right model, me!
It took a few more weeks before I was handed my first paycheck in the amount of five thousand dollars. Katelyn took me to celebrate at Damano Effect. Dama had popped open a bottle of the pink X-Rated liquor that I liked with a red ribbon wrapped around the neck. The music was pumping and Dama kept me by his side all night and introduce me to his closest friends. He danced with me in front of everyone on the dance floor to his new song, "Charming." It was an upbeat tune about his usual style of being a player. Hanging out with Dama was a lot of fun. He always made sure I had a good time. Even though the photo shoot was a one time deal, Sleek Petite had soared to the number one clothing line in the country! At that point, I felt what Katelyn was talking about. I was apart of a trend. Women were buying clothes because I had them on and they liked the way it looked.
Dama had surprised me showing up to my hotel room. He wanted to take me to a secluded place where he liked to go and relax. Another hotel. There was a concierge service that catered to our every need. We laid across the king sized bed looking up at the mirror on the ceiling. As crazy as it was, I asked Dama why he wanted to hang out with me.
"You don't ask for much." He lit his cigarette and took a few puffs. "Most girls want diamonds and fall over themselves to get at me, but you hide yourself. You liked to be chased."
"Could it just be that I'm not attracted to you like that?" Lying my ass off. Dama crossed his eyes and looked at me smiling.
"You crazy girl, I'm sexy." We both burst out laughing. Dama invited me to go to Las Vegas for a sponsorship he had with Ford. There was a Caribbean theme to the hotel room we were occupying. Dama and I enjoyed reggae and cannabis. We had a long conversation about family and the life we both led. It surprised me when Dama opened up about the death of his mother. He had never told anyone that he saw his father kill her with an extension cord. He wrapped it around her neck and strangled her in the kitchen. Dama was supposed to be at school, but he was sent home for fighting. He blamed himself for not doing anything.
"My body just froze. All I thought was, she's gone." Instantly my arms cuddled Dama like a baby and held him close. He also commented on why he never married.
"Money is easier to give, than a person's heart." That was a special night for me.
Dama and I were attached at the hip. Wherever he was, so was I. He had rented me a condominium, bought me a car and even gave me free clothes from Sleek Petite. It had been a total of three months since I had known Dama and his generosity wasn't a well kept secret. Rena saw me drive up to the studio where Dama made his hits, in my brand new midnight blue Ashton Martin.
"Oh shit! I know Ni'Chelle ain't paying like that!" It was all over Atlanta about Ni'Chelle asking me to promote Dama's clothing line.
"Naw, just the company car." Rena glanced me over a few times.
"So how was it?" She smiled.
"It was okay. Something I can't get used to." Rena's smile didn't sit right with me. "Yeah modelling is a challenge."
"Yeah. So what's up with you and Dama? I saw y'all leaving the club the other night. I waited at your hotel, but you never showed." There was that devious smile again.
"You know I gotta a cellphone?" Rena giggled. I just looked at her.
"I figured you were, busy." She then ran her index finger underneath the necklace I had hidden inside my t-shirt that Dama had given me the night we bonded. "Nice chain." Then she walked away. Tucking my necklace back in my shirt, I walked into the studio. Dama was smoking a blunt and so was everybody else. When he saw me, Dama put the blunt in the ashtray and stood to give me a hug.
"Hey sweetheart." Like usual, but this time Dama added a bit more squeeze to his hug. Not being there for five minutes, Dama escorted me out of the studio and into my car. We drove to our secluded spot and hung out for the rest of the day.
After eating our fill of delicious, tender Porter House steak with jumbo garlic shrimp, mashed potatoes and gravy, Dama and I relaxed to Sade as we cuddled and talked. With a gentle kiss to my cheek, Dama slowly undressed me. Evey kiss became deeper as he began to remove his clothes. His lips felt like heaven. Dama focused on my neck, massaging every muscle with his mouth. I was too nervous to move, but the last thing I wanted Dama to think was that I was stiff. So slowly I moved to his groove. He kissed me, I kissed him back. Then he filled my mouth with his tongue and set me off. Instantly, a rush of heat shot through me like I had been struck by lightening. Dama opened my legs to find that I already had an orgasm. My heart raced as Dama climbed on top of me. His soft body rubbing against mine, swaddling me with those hard tattooed muscles. Once inside me, Dama took his time stroking back and forth, left to right, in and out. I moved to his groove, swaying my hips with his, causing him to deeply moan in my ear.
"Ahhh! Oh shit!" Dama tensed up like a rock. The intense pressure forced my legs to open wider accepting more of Dama. His soft sensual touch around my shoulders and back became a tight death grip. As he began to roughly pound me, I could hear and feel the meat of my body smacking against his. It felt so good, it hurt a little, but the sound of my voice had hit a certain octave that made Dama feel like he had conquered the world. And after a final shake, he fell limp.
The next morning I waken to a stiff neck and sore back. Dama was still asleep. I damn near cried trying to get out of bed. With every move my thighs ached. Finally, I made it to the restroom.
"Oh man!" I cried seeing two big ass bruises one my neck and the other on my back. My neck hurt at every turn. Dama woke up and ran into the bathroom.
"What's wrong sweetheart?" Showing him the black and purple bruise on my neck and back, Dama gently kissed me.
"I'm sorry baby. I got a little excited." Rubbing my hands and kissing me again, Dama went into the kitchen for an ice pack. Dama took care of me all that day. He even bought us matching friendship bracelets. Throughout the course of our "friendship" Dama perfected his sexual techniques. Things were great until his ex-girlfriend threw him a surprise party for winning an award for the best selling album of the year. It was all over the Internet. I confronted Dama about it and he shrugged it off.
"She does that. It's nothing." To make me feel better, Dama took me to my favorite Jamaican restaurant for some ox tails and steamed cabbage. Katelyn and I attended a promotional party for the Atlanta Falcons and there they were again, Dama and his ex taking pictures together. I politely accepted the phone number of the star quarterback and his invitation to dinner that night.
Dama called me to hang out at our usual spot, but I declined. He acted so shocked that I had something to do. I always succumbed to his demands, now that I had some connections, Dama felt insecure.
"Where are you at?" The questions kept coming all night. It was funny until Dama showed up at the restaurant where we were. Words were shared and Dama flipped over our table. The star quarterback punched Dama in the face and Dama's friends attack the quarterback. I tried to help him, but Dama pulled me away. When we were alone that's when the trouble began.
"Get your ass in the car!" I sat in the S.U.V shaking from what I just saw. For Dama to be a little dude, he laid a heavy punch on that thick ass quarterback. Dama drove out to our spot. Getting out slamming the driver side door, he opened my door.
"Come on." Inside of the hotel suite, Dama shoved me into the bedroom. He straddled over me on the bed, holding my wrist.
"Get off of me!" Dama had a tendency of leaving bruises on me.
"I spend almost every night with you! I even do all that checking in bullshit to make you happy!" Dama was right. He called occasionally throughout the day to tell me he was thinking of me. Sometimes he would send me a silly text to make me laugh while he was working on a new song. Dama had signed a new artist to his label and the listening party was that night. Someone told him that I was at the restaurant with the quarterback, therefore, making Dama leave the party to see about my bullshit. At least that's the way he was spitting it in my face. Dama eased off the bed then stared at me with the angriest eyes I had ever seen.
"Don't fuck with my money." With that being said, Dama left slamming the door so hard that the painting on the wall came crashing to the floor.
For the rest of the night, I vomited. My head felt light and my wrist ached from being squeezed. There was no word from Dama. Sharp cramps electrocuted my lower back and abdomen. I attempted to dump all the contents from my purse trying to find some vicodin, but the pain grew too intense. I reached for my car keys, but they weren't there. I searched all over for them crawling on the floor like an animal. With tears pouring from my eyes, it was hard for me to see the slight instep that connected the bathroom to the bedroom. I slipped and fell. Instantly a gush of blood poured down my legs. Pulling out my cellphone, I dialed 911.
It all seemed like a dream, a blur. There I was in the hospital crying over a baby I never knew existed. Two months pregnant and never knew it. Dama shoving me and all the rough makeup sex didn't help either. I was too weak to leave, so for two days I sat watching award shows, backstage interviews and rap videos. Apart of me wanted to tell him, but then apart of me didn't think he'd give a damn. Money was all Dama lived for since his heart had been broken so many times. On the day of my release, the hospital held me until someone came to pick me up. I was still a little sore, but was mobile. Katelyn and Brent went to Los Angeles for Brent's family reunion. Rena was never my friend from the beginning, plus she was talking all kinds of shit about me when she found out how Dama spoiled me after the first time we made love. All she got was a few thousand dollars and the opportunity to meet her next clients after swallowing Dama's babies.
Hesitating to press the send key of Dama's highlighted phone number, I opted to call a taxi. The ride from the hospital to the hotel felt like an eternity. The total fare was $185.09 and I didn't have a dime on me. Slowly getting out of the taxi, I walked into the suite stepping on broken parts of the door due to the paramedics having to break in to save me. I found my purse still laying open on the floor. Grabbing my wallet, I pulled out two hundred dollars and paid the driver. I sat in the living room staring into the bedroom where I almost died, but my baby did. When I gained enough strength, I threw the blood soaked blankets and sheets in the trash. That did no justice. Our blood had soak all the way through. There were even blood stains on the carpet underneath the bed. All I wanted to do was leave. I packed my bags and walked out to the car. The doors were locked. I searched for my keys, but could not find them. Dama! Whether I wanted to or not, I had to call him. Better yet, I called another taxi and went to the studio. Luckily, he was there. With the meter running and no money, I was hoping to get my keys and grab my emergency cash in the glove box. Dama's security guard hugged me and opened the door to let me in, but I insisted that Dama come outside.
Dressed in all black, Dama stood before me staring at me with disgust. Though it was a warm day, the slightest breeze whipped me.
"Do you have my keys?" My voice shook when I spoke. I felt like I would cry at any minute. Dama just looked at me. His eyes dismissed me.
"I need my keys to get some money out of the glove box. I have to pay for this taxi." Dama appeared unimpressed. He hated me.
"What happened to all of your money? You're broke after what... three days?" The only thing I wanted was to leave and Dama wouldn't even give me that much. My next move was to throw a brick through the car window and just take the money out.
"Dama, I had a really bad experience in the past three days. All I want is my money out of the car. You can have the car. Please just give me the keys!" Out came the tears.
"I don't care about your fucking money! Call that fool and tell him to give you cab fare!" Dama began to walk away. When I lifted my arm to wipe the tears from my eyes, the bodyguard tapped Dama on his shoulder to turn back around. I had forgotten to take the hospital band off.
"What happened to you?" Flicking his cigarette to the ground, Dama walked up so close to me, I thought we would kiss. After telling Dama what happened, his expression changed dramatically. He reached into his pant pocket and gave me the car keys.
"Let me talk to you." Dama paid the cab fare. We sat inside of Dama's car and talked for two hours. He held me as we both cried wishing things didn't happen the way it did. Dama apologized over and over again. He begged me to stay so that we could work things out, but seeing his ex in the studio when the bodyguard opened the door, gave me further indication that I needed to just go home. Dama kissed me with tears falling from his eyes. I pushed myself away. Dama sighed, told me to take care of myself and then wrote me a check for $100,000.