Love, honor, and respect.
The motto has maintained the Torres crime family for decades. It’s why they were always ten steps ahead of their adversaries. It’s also why they were the most-feared crime family in all of New York. It’s also why there was such a brotherhood between Pablo Torres, and his right-hand man/best friend, Clyde Lewis.
The two men formed a solid bond when their children became best friends, attending each other’s birthday parties, graduations, and other celebrations in a twenty-five year time span. The sons grew up to become mafia dons in their own right, controlling all of Harlem.
But all good things must end.
When an associate of the Torres’s mistakenly takes out a member of the Lewis family, all love, honor, and respect is thrown out of the window and is replaced with hate, disappointment, and revenge.
But what happens when the grandchildren of the rival families fall in love with each other?
H.E.R. is a two-part series dealing with revenge, true love, and if time really heals. It’s a modern-day remix of Romeo and Juliet.
“Julia was just here,” Rodney looked around, “I wonder where she went to.”
Roman looked up and tried to search for Julia. She couldn’t have been hard to miss. All he had to do was look for a girl who was looked…bright in loud colors. “She’s here?”
“Oh, there she is!” Rodney nodded over towards the kitchen area. “She’s getting some punch.”
Roman followed his uncle’s lead and looked over. He blinked once. Twice. The awkward girl in funky colors and no sense of fashion because poised, odalisque, and stunningly gorgeous. “That’s…Julia?”
“Yeah. She grew up.” Rodney smiled. “My baby girl.”
“I’ll say…” Roman murmured.
“Anyway, I’ll need to go meet with a few people. Catch me before you head out again, neph.” Rodney said.
“Yeah,” Roman couldn’t take his eyes off Julia, “I sure will.”
Roman pulled out a compact mirror to see if there was any food stuck between his teeth. He double-checked his eyebrows to make sure they were in order. Was his breath funky? He quickly popped in a breath mint.
When Roman turned back, Julia disappeared. His eyes searched for her all over the room. She seemingly vanished. “Damn it,” he cursed himself, “now I need to try to find her.”
Roman slightly jumped and turned around. Staring at him with wide eyes and a bright smile was his new muse, Julia herself. Her face was completely made up and the bronze brought out the best in her rounded cheeks. She looked stunning. “You,” he gave a smile.
“Romeo,” she returned his smile, “I’m so glad you came!” She leaned in and gave him a big bear hug.
Lord have mercy. The god sister who was a little nerdy, a little awkward, and a little unconventional grew up to become a grown-ass woman. She wore a simple, black dress with too loose spaghetti straps that kept falling down her bare shoulders. He suddenly wanted to kiss her just right there.
Julia was tall and her brown skin, a rich sepia color, shimmered beneath Roman’s skin. He felt his breath lodged in his throat when he wrapped his arms around her back. Jesus. She smelled like strawberries and mangoes. Suddenly, Roman was hungry for just that.
Roman wanted to think pure thoughts but feeling Julia’s breasts pressed against him made all X-rated fantasies suddenly appear. When she pulled away, he inwardly growled at the loss of her.
Roman suddenly reminded himself who he was and who Julia was. She was his god sister. He was her god brother. They were family. They grew up playing Sega Genesis and Crash Bandicoot. They had birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s together. They were each other’s first kiss.
Now all he wanted to do is pin her beneath him as he thrust into her, begging her to submit while she cried and begged him not to stop.
“It’s great to see you,” her voice was soft, yet smoky. “I’m glad you were finally able to come here, Mr. Fashion Designer. Big fan of yours, by the way. No one believes me when I tell them we used to play together.”
Roman felt his cheeks turn hot and beet red. He’d heard that compliment numerous times over the years yet it sounded different from Julia. He wanted to play with Julia, all right, and it wouldn’t be GTA V. “Vanessa was like a mother to me. I couldn’t miss this for anything.” He looked around and saw everyone was talking in their own groups. He suddenly had an idea. “Do you want to go somewhere private?”
“Gosh,” Julia dragged her bare feet along the sand at the nearby playground, “I haven’t been here in so long. I’m glad they still have this.”
“Remember how we used to play here all the time?” Roman chuckled as he sat beside her in the swings. “You always were so mean to me in tag.”
“It’s not my fault, you couldn’t hang with the big kids,” she stuck out her tongue.
“You’re only eight months older than me. Only.” He shook a finger as he lightly swung. “Even though you often acted like my big sister.”
“I guess I was protective of you.” She glanced over at him. “Now I see I didn’t have any reason to be.”
A sensual air passed between the pair and Roman cleared his throat. “So, how’s L.A.?”
For a moment, Julia thought Roman left her hanging. On second thought, he did leave her hanging. Maybe she as just imagining things and seeing her god brother all grown and sexy was playing tricks on her. “L.A. is L.A. Lifestyles of the Classy and Trashy. You can stop by Little Tokyo and get an overpriced ice cream sundae and walk just a few blocks down to Skid Row and see the human existence in its worst form.”
“That’s L.A. for you. Hell, that’s everywhere.” Roman shook his head. “It’s not that better in London, let me tell you.”
“Really?” Julia glanced towards the sky. “I’ve always wanted to go to London. Hell, I’ve always wanted to travel outside the U.S. Just to see what’s out there.”
“You should come visit me in London,” Roman offered. “I’ll show you around the city. It’s a lot bigger than what everyone thinks it is. It’s rather huge.”
“Oh?” Julia was surprised. “How big?”
“About the same size as L.A. if not bigger.” Julia’s eyes widened. “Yeah, it’s pretty big. There’s a lot to explore.”
“Are you going to introduce me to the Queen?” Julia teased.
Roman chuckled. “If you’re into that type of thing, we can swing by Buckingham if you like.”
“I don’t care about that shit,” she giggled and he joined her, “I would love to visit you.” She locked eyes with him. “And see how the other half lives.”
“Other half, huh?” He slowly licked his lips.
Julia suddenly thought how wonderful Roman’s lips would feel on her body. She blinked the thought out of her head. That was her god brother, for Pete’s sake. He probably still thought she was nerdy and weird. “I see your fashion designs have really taken off.”
Roman noticed the topic change and didn’t push it. “Yeah. I would say luck but it’s a lot of hard work and a bit of talent.”
“A bit of talent?” Julia shook her head. “Your designs are brilliant.” She paused for a beat. “And expensive as heck, too!”
“If you want a discount or free clothes, just let me know.” Roman reached out and grabbed Julia’s hand. “I’ll hook you up.”
She grabbed Roman’s hand and felt the warmth pass between them. “I can afford your clothing.”
“Are you really turning down free clothes?” He chuckled. “I’ve never met a woman turning down free clothes ever!”
“Fine, I’ll wear some of your clothes. I’ll give you my address so you can ship them to L.A.”
“I thought you wanted to see how the other half lives in London?” His eyes quickly perused over her body.
Julia felt a weird sensation. It wasn’t a shudder. It wasn’t uncomfortable. It was….lust? “Once I can afford to go to London.”
“I’ll pay for it,” he interrupted, “and even put you in a nice hotel.”
A nice hotel. Julia didn’t know why she expected Roman to invite her to his home. She also didn’t know why she was disappointed she wouldn’t be there. “Not Buckingham?”
“Sorry, I’m not that cool with the Queen and them.” He smiled.
Julia received a text notification. Her brothers were looking for her. “I guess we should be heading back now. Everyone’s looking for us.”
“Not a problem.” Roman got up and helped Julia off the swing. “I hope this did you some good for a little while. I’m really sorry to hear about your mom. She was like a second mother to me as well.”
“It did a lot of good and I’m glad you came, Roman.” She turned towards him. “I’m really glad you came. It means a lot to me.”
Julia’s eyes were a dark brown, almost as dark as melted chocolate chips. They were just as warm and soft. “I’ll do anything for you, J.” He gave her a warm embrace. He immediately started planning her trip to London. Unbeknownst to her, she was going to move in with him by the end of the year. “Anything.”
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