–Excerpt from Bodied, by Arsen Ward (Edited for Language)
Kennedy from her perch near the bar watched it all, but no one paid attention to her. She pulled out her phone and called Danny again. “Is he falling for it?” Danny asked soon as she answered. Kennedy shook her head.
“He looks like he’s skeptical.”
“Of course he is. Alright, I’m coming out now. Wait until you see shit get heated before you pass the drink over, alright? Then, I want you to go straight to the bouncer and tell him your cousin’s drunk and you don’t want her to do anything crazy. People need to see us get carted out of here before he goes down so they don’t suspect anything. You should be able to handle that, or is that breaking too many rules for you?” Danny asked with a smirk. Kennedy hung up the phone.
Back in the ladies’ room, Danny, giggling at pissing Kennedy off, peeked over at Chloe, who had her back against the restroom door to ensure no one got in. People were pounding, but the door was locked. She was sure there was a line growing out in the hall, women getting antsy about her spending so much time in there. “Chloe, you ready?” Chloe nodded and threw the door open wide, and the two of them strutted out.
Chloe scrunched up her face in disgust as they strolled past the glaring faces of women waiting for the bathroom. “The fuck y’all looking at?” Danny held her purse in the crook of her arm, unbothered, and kept a sedate pace ahead of Chloe. They made it to the dance floor, from where Danny zeroed in on Lacey with her hand on Bryce’s arm, smiling into his face. Bryce didn’t look like he was fighting too hard to dead the flirtation, either. Danny shook her head.
“This [guy] here,” she muttered.
Chloe nodded in agreement. “Mm-hmm.”
The two women ate up the short distance, and (as planned) Danny snatched Lacey around and jabbed a finger in her face. “What the fuck are you doing?”
Lacey laughed gaily. “We just talking, Danny!” Danita almost punched her for real, as convincing as her acting skills were. Chloe had to drag Lacey away, and Danny turned her fury to Bryce. He had both hands up in surrender.
“Wassup,” he smirked, attitude not matching his hand gestures. “What you running up for?”
Chloe posted up next to Danny with her arms crossed. “[Man], we see you,” she said. “Double the fuck-up on your part! First, you got my girl, Danny, name in your mouth last weekend. Now, you up here tryna get with another one of our clique? [Man], whet?”
“Nah, it ain’t like that. Your girl came over here and tried to talk to me!”
“Lying ass!” Danita mushed his face, forcefully shoving his head back so that it hit the wall.
Nunez quickly stepped in between them before Bryce could retaliate. The men grappled together while Danny watched with a half-smile. “Ay, ay, girl! We ain’t gon’ have none of that!” Nunez shouted.
“Get the fuck out of my way!” she snapped. Danny tried to hit Bryce again but couldn’t reach over Nunez’s tall shoulder. She wildly swung her purse and managed to clip Bryce in the chin, hard.
“Bitch!” His eyebrows clashed together, and he reflexively swung back, but Nunez tackled him to the wall.
“I said chill! …you tryna catch a charge?!” Nunez sputtered.
“Get the fuck off of me and get her ass!”
“You ain’t gone do shit to me!” Danita retorted. She peeked over at Kennedy. People were looking in their direction, some crowding around for a better view, others darting away to get out of the threat zone. All of the commotion was enough of a distraction for Kennedy to do what she needed to do.
With Bryce pinned by Nunez and both men’s view obstructed, Kennedy hurriedly grabbed Bryce’s beer bottle and switched it out for the one she was holding. She dashed across the dance floor as fast as she could to get to the bouncer.
“Big Mike!” Kennedy called out. “Big Mike, I need you!” It was a small town, and everybody knew everybody. Her and Mike had gone to the same church, so the minute the burly bouncer caught sight of Kennedy running towards him, he looked alert.
“No! It’s my cousin, Danny! She’s into it with her ex, and that nigga just swung on her!”
“Man, fuck!” Mike growled. “Come on!”
Running through the crowd alone to get to the bouncer had been like getting through an obstacle course, but with Mike barreling ahead of her, they pummeled through the onlookers grouping around the altercation, and Kennedy thanked her lucky stars when she saw things hadn’t gotten too out of hand in her absence.
Danita was trying to punch Bryce when Mike grabbed Bryce and pushed him behind his rotund frame. “Hey! You know we don’t do that up in here, Danny! Now, won’t you and your girl go cool down outside? I got this nigga.”
Danny scowled in disgust. “You know what? That trick ain’t even worth it!” she smarted back. “Let his broke ass drink his cheap beer and enjoy himself. Come on, ladies.” Danny yanked her purse back up on her shoulder and headed toward the door. Lacey and Chloe fell in line right behind her, and Mike stared after the women, confused. That was the fastest he had ever diffused a fight.
Mike turned back to Bryce and Nunez. “Y’all fellas straight?” The way he asked was more menacing than consoling. He glared at Bryce.
Bryce popped his collar and straightened his shirt. He reached for his beer, staring after Danny with a frown. “Yeah, we cool. Keep them bitches from over here,” he muttered.
The bouncer gruffly made his way back to his post. No one paid much attention to Kennedy lingering back by the bar watching Bryce take sip after sip of the spiked beer. “Got ‘eem,” she whispered.
Arsen Ward is an emerging urban erotica writer making waves at Wrought Iron Reads, a circle of writers headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hailing from the Big Easy, Arsen enjoys contemporary art and has an eclectic taste in music, and his favorite thing to do is listen to his vinyl collection while drinking chicory coffee and toying around with story ideas.
When it comes to his writing style, Arsen skillfully blends fast-paced plots with gritty sexual encounters for the ultimate quick-read experience. He caters to a variety audiences with works that capture all walks of life, from the hard knocks of the streets to the tailored suits of the corporate world. This talented author can’t wait to wow you with an exciting array of short stories and novels coming to an online bookstore soon.