I was halfway up the stairs to the co-op Trey and I shared with two other families when I heard a heavy click clacking of heels followed by a smoke stained cough. Rolling my eyes I turned to find my mother, Mahogany, standing in front of me, hands on her bony hips. She looked fifteen pounds lighter in the loose zebra print dress that swathed her small frame. My lips formed a thin line as I walked back down the stairs to talk with the woman who was responsible for making my early years a living hell.
“What are you doing here?” I hissed, looking around to make sure no one I knew was walking by.
Mahogany adjusted the cheap blonde wig she wore. “I need some money.”
“You need money?” I repeated incredulously. “I gave you money last week.”
“Vixen, that wasn’t nothing but some change.”
“You call five hundred dollars ‘change’?”
“It lasted me only a week; so yes, I call that ‘change.’”
“Well then here’s a couple pennies,” I said, pulling out a twenty and tossing it to her.
“What the fuck is this supposed to do?” she asked loudly.
I could see Mark, my neighbor, a few blocks down, squinting in our direction. I sucked my teeth and grabbed her arm, pulling her out of his view. “Make that last you tonight and I’ll see what I can do tomorrow,” I said through gritted teeth.
Mahogany sneered at me, yanking her arm from my grip with surprising strength. “You better make something happen unless you want me to come back over here scaring all your neighbors.”
“Stay the hell away from here.”
“It’s not my fault you’re scared, Vixen,” she continued as if I hadn’t spoken. “You’re scared that all these people in this neighborhood will see you for who you are. ‘Cause no matter how nice your clothes are or how good you look, you ain’t nothing but a whore like me.”
I walked away from her and shoved my key into the front door. After a few seconds I heard the sound of her cheap heels click-clacking down the street and knew she was gone.
“Hey,” Trey said the moment I entered the apartment.
My heart dropped when I saw where he was sitting. Putting on my brightest smile, I managed a bright, “Hey.”
“So,” he said lightly as he got up from the seat we kept by the window. “Who was that?”
“Just some stupid crackhead bothering me.” I said lightly, walking into the bedroom so he couldn’t see the tears pouring down my cheeks.
“She was there for a while.”
I slammed the bathroom door shut, turning on the shower to drown out the sobs that racked my chest. Trey knocked on the door, calling my name. I ignored him, too hurt by my mother’s harsh words to be bothered. The steaming hot water streamed down my face, mixing with my tears as I let go of the tidal wave of emotions that overcame me. My mother was right: behind my expensive clothes I was nothing but a whore and undeserving of a decent man like Trey. He loved me now, but I was sure once Trey knew the real Vixen he would treat her as such.
Title: A Brooklyn Love Affair: Vixen and Gino’s Story
Author: Tya Marie
Genre: African-American urban fiction
Vixen Williams has always been known as a woman of many faces. The fiercely devoted one she uses for her best friend, the one of a lover and confidant to her fiancé, and the real one she keeps reserved for looking in the mirror and battling her inner demons. Life is fairly normal for Vixen until her verbally abusive mother reenters her life, dredging up traumatic childhood memories, and bringing a handsome stranger into the mix with her devious antics causing Vixen to reprise her role as caregiver and bread winner.
Gino Romano is infamous for many reasons: his notoriety for being one of the youngest king pins in New York City, the cold manner in which he handles business, and the notable political ties he’s managed to create along the way through “profit sharing.” However, the most prominent thing he is known for is the ice fortress he has built around his heart. Because of his past, Gino keeps women at an arms length, believing it hard to find one who could accept the scarred past he comes with. Until he lays eyes on Vixen.
Brought together for all the wrong reasons, Vixen and Gino find a common ground that not only develops into a budding friendship, but sparks a love affair. From the moment they become one they must fight to protect their love from those who plan to destroy it by any means necessary, one of which being the very reason Vixen ran away from home ten years ago in the dead of night.
Will the forces determined to see Gino and Vixen destroyed win? Or will their love prevail?
Set in a spicy Brooklyn backdrop, A Brooklyn Love Affair brings to life pain, forgiveness, and the never ending possibility of finding love.
Born and raised in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Tya Marie has always had an overactive imagination. So much that she would daydream and make up “movies” in her head, which would eventually turn into the stories she would later pen. By the age of twelve Tya decided it was time to take her daydreams to life and began writing young adult novels which helped her hone her skills and provided the literary fix she needed after plowing through her entire book collection. It wasn’t until she reached sixteen that she became intrigued by urban fiction and related to it more than she did the mainstream fiction she binged on. Deciding that she wanted to bring her own heart and soul into the urban fiction genre she penned countless novels and has continued to do so over the past eight years with A Brooklyn Love Affair: Vixen and Gino’s Story being her first published piece. Tya still resides in Brooklyn where she continues to create new love affairs.