Excerpt from THE LAST ROUND
Sometimes the fight isn’t in the boxing ring.
“Why do you let him get to you?” Tia shouted.
They were in their hotel room after the fight. They’d been arguing since they left the arena.
“It seemed to me like he got to you, Tia. You seemed mighty nervous to be seeing somebody that you’ve known since you were kids. Why was that?”
Tia said, “Because I knew he was going to get a reaction out of you just by being at the fight. You need to stop tripping about him Jay. If I wanted to be with Ernest I’d be with him.”
“I thought you didn’t even like him.”
“Jay, you need to stop. Jealousy is not a good look on you.”
“I’m not jealous. But when somebody throws shit in my face I react.”
“Well there’s nothing for you to react to, and I’m tired of talking about it. Now are you going out shopping with me tomorrow or not, because I’m getting up early.”
“I don’t know,” Jamal snapped. “Let me check and see if Gaines is still going to be in town.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“What the fuck do you think it means?”
“You know what Jay? To hell with this. Let’s just get on the next plane out and go home.”
“Why? Is me going shopping with you going to ruin your plans?”
“Jay seriously, you need to stop.”
Jamal saw tears welling in Tia’s eyes, but now that they’d gone there he couldn’t stop himself from airing his feelings. “Maybe it would be better for you if I went back and you stayed here. Then you can do whatever you want to do, with whoever you want.”
Tia stepped to him in a hurry, drawing her hand back to gather momentum as she moved. She threw her entire body into the slap aimed at his face.
Jamal threw his left up on instinct, blocking Tia’s right hand blow. Her palm slammed into his forearm.
Tia wailed, “Ow! You motherfucker!” She swung her left hand at him. This time Jamal caught her wrist.
Tia struggled in his grasp, trying to break free as he held both of her wrists. “Quit it,” he said through clenched teeth.
Tia writhed in his grasp and shouted, “Motherfucker, let me go!”
Now her tears fell freely down her cheeks as she struggled to break free. Jamal could see the anger in her eyes behind her tears. He wasn’t going to let her go until she calmed down.
He held Tia’s wrists until she wore herself out trying to get loose. Then she stood still, glaring up at him and gasping hard. He couldn’t help but notice the way her cleavage heaved at the top of her strapless sequined black dress.
“Are you done?” he asked.
“I hate you motherfucker!”
“No you don’t.”
“Let me go so I can kill your ass.”
Jamal forced his eyes up to meet hers. They stared at each other. After a few moments he saw the anger in her eyes fade. He lowered his eyes, back to her heaving bosom, and then looked back into her eyes.
Tia’s eyes changed again, because she saw what was in his eyes. She shook her head and said, “You must be fucking crazy. Not in your wildest dreams, you bastard.”
Jamal let her left wrist go, and before Tia could blink he grasped the front of her dress and yanked hard.
The dress’s back zipper ripped and separated, and the garment fell to the floor at her feet. Jamal let Tia’s other wrist go and stepped back to look at her wearing only a thin diamond choker, a black g-string and black crisscross sandals with four-inch heels.
Tia looked down at the ruined garment, stunned. She said, “That cost twelve hundred dollars…”
“Then we’d better make this one worth it.”
Tia looked up at him, her eyes wide with surprise and burning, and not with anger. He watched her nipples stiffen right before his eyes.
She came at him again, threw her arms at him again. But this time she threw them around his neck, and her legs around his waist.
When she finally pulled her tongue out of his mouth she gasped, “You’re going to have to fuck me all night to make up for this.”
Jamal trained old school.
He trained for fifteen round fights.
All night wasn’t a problem.