The Return of the Hustle

“We soaked the sheets pretty good, don’t you think?”


I laid there, pretending to be asleep, regretting nothing. After a few moments of silence, my male concubine leaned over and started to kiss me.  He started to make a trail of kisses from my face to the small of my back.  I continued to play possum while he tried to coax me into another round.  After I felt his tongue gliding across my asshole, I opened my eyes.  I looked back and saw him, dick in hand, waiting to have his way with me again.  


“Babe, can you give ‘ol girl twenty minutes to snap back? You worked a sista out!”


“That’s my mission.  I”m gonna make you forget about Christian tonight”


Now why in the hell did he have to go and say that?  Quinton was gorgeous and all, but he was the king of bad timing!  Buddy also had diarrhea of the mouth. I had to stop getting my weekly massages because he couldn’t be discrete at the parlor.  Last time I was there, I noticed that some of the staff were gawking and giggling at me as I went into his room.  I even caught him giving another guy the nod when I left.  So when I voiced my concern, lover boy offered his apartment as an alternate.  No. Fucking. Way!  And we damn sure couldn’t go to my house!  But instead of stopping the affair, I agreed to drive over an hour to keep my name out the streets. 


“Quinton please.  Let’s just enjoy the day, okay?”


Quinton laid next to me on the bed.  His facial expression was serious.   I could feel the mood starting to shift.  And then, he asked the dreaded question: 


“So what are we Tiffani?”


I knew at some point this would happen.  No matter how forward you are in the beginning, people feel like they can always change your mind.


“What do you mean Q?”


“C’mon Tiff.  You know what I mean”


“You mean are we a couple? Girlfriend/boyfriend?”




“Quinton, I told you that I was married.  We can’t be more than what we are right now”


“Yet you keep driving out here every month.  Tell me this.  If you’re not happy with him, why not just be with me?”


“Q, it’s not the simple baby.  Relationships are complicated and are built on more than just sex”


“But we’ve been doing this close to two years now”


“Two years? I think you’re exaggerating a little”


“No, I’m not Tiffani.  It’s obvious we care for one another.  Why can’t we go out on a date?  Why can’t you come over to my place and hang?  Why can’t I meet Xa . . .”


I shook my head in solid defiance.  He knew that speaking about my child was totally off limits!


“Quinton, you know why we can’t do that”


“Why don’t you just tell your husband that you’re unhappy with him?  Leave him and be with me!  Don’t you see, I love you Tiffani”


I could see the water starting to well up in his eyes.  I wanted to wrap my arms around him, but that would just diffuse the clarity that was needed.


“I appreciate your affection for me, but how could you possibly support me and my son, Quinton?  You want us to come and live with you and your brother?”


“So it’s a money thing?  I don’t make enough money to afford you?”


“Quinton, it’s a survival thing!  I don’t want to go back to working two jobs just to make ends meet!  I’m comfortable where I am”


“So let me see if I got this straight.   I’m good enough to fuck, but I’m not good enough to be your man?  Did I get that right?”


“Quinton it’s not like that”


“Nah, it is.  I thank you for being honest.  You’ve been upfront with this arrangement from day one.  It’s my fault for falling in love with a married woman.  Somehow, I thought that you felt the same way that I did, especially after today.  You came like you never had before!  I thought we were in tune emotionally.  I was wrong”


“Quinton, I’m sorry your feelings got involved.  It wasn’t my intention to hurt you”


But it was too late.  Quinton was too far gone as he retreated to the bathroom.  Meanwhile, I refused to feel sad.  I grabbed my drink glass from the night stand and went over to the mini fridge to pour myself a cold one.  As I returned back to the bed, Quinton emerged from the bathroom fully dressed.  Shit!  I didn’t even see him gather his clothes!


“Where are you going?”


“I’m going home”


“Quinton, I still care about you.  Why don’t you stay and we can work this out?”


“Nah, I think I better take my leave”


I could see the disgust on his face, but I didn’t want him to go.  I rose from the bed, grabbed his hand, and placed it in his favorite place.


“Quinton, we’re not done yet, babe. You feel how wet I am?  Let me mount that dick before you go”


  He looked at me as if I was an over-the-hill hooker.


“Tiffani, I need to go.  Busy day tomorrow”


He removed his hand and grabbed his bag.  I stood there as he walked out of my life, allowing the door to slam behind him.  A part of me felt heartbroken for him, but he knew the rules before he played the game.  It’s not like I told him I was single and then he found out I was married?  Right?


I poured myself another drink and turned on the television.  It was only a quarter to five.  I sat on the bed and started to fiddle around with the channels.  As I started to watch cartoons, my phone began to light up.  No doubt it was Quinton wanting to apologize for his actions.  


“Hey babe!”


“Now you haven’t called me that in a long time”


My heart stopped!  I took a breath before I pretended to be the wonderful, long suffering wife.  


“It’s not often you call me while you’re at work.  You normally wait until you leave the office”


“I’m trying to do better.  What are you and Xavier up to?”


“Xavier is with his godmother.  As for me, I’m sitting here watching some anime.  How was your day?”


“Work was great today!  As a matter of fact, your husband got a promotion!  You are now speaking with the new Chief Financial Officer”


“Oh babe, that’s great!  You’ve been working so hard!”


“Indeed.  And I wanna celebrate with my favorite girl tonight!”


“But aren’t you in Houston?  That’s a long drive!”


“Yes it is.  I guess that’s why the boss is lending me the private jet”


“Private jet?”


“That’s right!  We can have dinner when I touch down”


“Babe, you know I don’t feel comfortable going out to eat during this time”


“I know, but the boss has an exclusive venue that adheres to all precautions.  We’ll have our own room and everything”


“Ooooooh, okay!  So what time should I be ready?”


“I’ll be landing in Atlanta around seven.  We have reservations for seven thirty”


“This venue must be near the airport?”


“It’s not too far.  I’ll have the driver take me straight to the venue. I’ll text you the address so you can meet me there”


“Okay babe.  See you soon”


After I gathered my toiletries, I looked at my phone to get the address:


“4470 Commerce Drive SW, Atlanta, Georgia”


I loaded the address into my GPS.  The calculations said that I could make it there in forty minutes, which meant an hour give or take fifteen minutes.  I put the phone down and quickly went to my overnight bag.  These were the times that I was thankful that my aunt taught me how to pack whenever I traveled.  I pulled out my cute, light green sundress and jumped into the shower.  I took my time as I meticulously cleaned my private parts and my cellulite creases.  I couldn’t have any trace of my lover on me as I partook in dinner.


T.I. gave me the energy I needed as I sped down I 20.  I felt free as I bounced back and forth to the beat.  Unfortunately, all the good vibrations stopped as I turned onto Commerce Circle.  I saw a sign that said “Trapeze” pointing me to my destination.  When I pulled in, there were only three cars present  The place felt abandoned even though it appeared very clean.  I started to wonder if Christian had found out about my affair?  But how could he?  I did everything right.  No messages were on my phone.  I never talked to Quinton using the home computers.  My rendezvous always coincided with his trips out of town.  I used a different hotel and paid in cash every time.  I always had an excuse ready if he inspected the miles on the car.  There was absolutely no way he could have found out!  No way!


After I convinced myself that there was nothing to fear, I got out the ride and made my way to the entrance.  Before I could pull on the door, my body froze!  


“C’mon Tiffani!  Get it together!  Get it together!”


I took two deep breaths and activated my swag.  I walked in, head held high, as if this were my own joint!  Before I could get my hips to create a good current, I was stopped by a big oak of a man.


“Mrs. Tiffani David?”


“Y . . y . . yes”


“Please follow me”


I stared at him for a second.


“I’m sorry, but who did you say you were again?”


“I didn’t.  Now if you please”

His facial expression remained unfazed.  At that very instant, my fears were being confirmed!  Christian told me the rumors about Mr. Houston.  How he killed people for sport.  How he actually set a guy on fire and roasted marshmallows as he burned!  Christian stated that Mr. Houston had eyes everywhere!  That no one dared to cross him!  And that no one included me.


I did as I was told.  The two young ladies smiled at me as I walked past with the earth giant.  This whole scene was the beginning of a bad dream.  To lighten the mood, I asked


“So what does Christian have planned for dinner tonight?  Short ribs?  Honey glazed salmon?”


The tall ogre simply looked down upon me and smirked to himself.  My heart raced as I thought I was going to meet my end.  We stepped through a room filled with seats.   Next was a room with mounted televisions everywhere, playing various porn movies.  All of a sudden, fright held me hostage, holding my feet in place as we neared a blood red door.  The simple giant motioned me to follow, but I couldn’t.


“C’mon lady!  I’m missing the Celtic game right now”


I shook my head no as tears started pouring down my face.


“Have it your way!”


The giant came my way in a huff.  Before I could swing, he hoisted me up and threw me on his shoulder.  He walked me through that dreaded door.


“Terry!  Really?  Put her down!”


“I didn’t want to, but she refused to move!”


“Put her down!  I’ll take it from here”


I couldn’t stop crying.  I fell to my knees in search of forgiveness.  Instead, I was given a handkerchief from a lady who I had never met before.  Her red tresses were like flames upon her head.  She had the softness of an angel, but her eyes told a different story.


“Good evening Tiffani.  I’m April Carrington, the new owner of the Trapeze”



Written by the Wednesday Gentleman

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