"The cause of death? Suicide by hanging."

Why am I not surprised? I asked myself, finding my palm on my forehead again. My hand grazed my hair. "Okay, Roosevelt. Just calm down...it's okay…"

"I reckon you're the husband?" The officer questioned, grabbing his belt with one hand and holding a notepad with the other.

"I...no. We were dating." I explained, watching the body bag uneventfully leave the house. I stared it down as her image laid just beneath the covers. My stomach turned. "I feel sick."

"You...need to sit down."

"Sit down? No, I'm not gonna faint." I paused, sitting down on the curb with my head in my hands. "I can't understand what's happening. I rushed down here with a fear of this happening, and...I'm shocked. Why?"

"Roosevelt." Sasha crouched in front of me and wrapped her arms around my body. "I'm so sorry."

I was silent as I gave her a hug back. Using her shoulder to cry on was practically necessary with the state of mind I was holding.

"Why don't you come sleep at my place?" She asked, her warmth and friendly desire both keeping me from saying 'no'. "I know it's gonna be hard going back in there…"

We each agreed to spend a night with each other, eating pizza and staying up with the liquor that would ace my test - tequila. It was my favorite beyond many others, and Sasha knew it. She poured us each a couple of glasses while Lose Get played quietly on the television, and as we laid there on the cotton mattress with our inebriated eyes fixated on nothing, Sasha made an intoxicated move on me by slipping her hand down my boxers.

A sad, drunken Roosevelt fueled on pizza and Lose Get? He was way too careless to decline. I gripped her wrist and maneuvered it onto my dick, allowing her to pull up and down before taking her shirt off with my shaky hands. Before I knew it, I had buried myself in her body and experienced the best sex of my life.

...

I woke up with a horrible taste in my mouth; my spit tasted like a mix between metal and pus while my tongue was doing a weird slimy thing like I had rubbed ranch dressing all over it. I rolled over on my right side to grab a bottle of breath mints off my side table, only to realize I wasn't in my bed, nor was I in my house...nor was I in my clothes.

I sat up quickly and searched for any article of clothing, finding my t-shirt slung over the television in the center of the wall on the entertainment stand. Grabbing it while walking on my tiptoes, Sasha woke up and watched me fumble my tired body into the shirt from the comfort of her own bed.

"Good morning." She said with a sensual sweetness to her voice. "Sleep well?"

"Sleep well?" I questioned in a small fit of rage. "I got about two hours. Why? Because we drank until we had pity sex and I spent the early morning hours in and out of consciousness while Jessica terrorized my train of thought. Speaking of Jessica...hm…" I stalled. "I don't know what I was gonna say."

She smiled. "Are you okay?"

I sighed while walking back over to the bed. I sat in my spot on the bed and felt the dirty sheets I had been sleeping in. A tear hesitantly fell from my eye. "No...I'm not okay." I wiped it away. "I had sex with my best friend...hours after my longtime girlfriend killed herself. Should I be sad? Yes. Should I be sleeping with other women to make myself feel better? No! Jessica would hate me."

"Roosevelt, you were drunk. No one means it when they're drunk."

"Oh?...You didn't mean it?"

"Roosevelt!" Sasha exclaimed out of surprise, naturally calming down out of realization. "...Did you want me to?"

I shrugged. "I mean...I don't want to think you weren't attracted to me for that short period of time."

"Oh...in that case, I was. Very." She said, placing her hand on my naked thigh. "We didn't go two rounds for nothing."

"Two rounds? We went two rounds?" I asked, wishing I had remembered both through my drunken haze. "Damn. I don't even know what I did."

"Roosevelt, tell me if you want to talk. We can make coffee and discuss, clothed." Sasha added the last part for my sake. "We can forget all about last night. It didn't have to have happened."

"You know what?" I stood up when I spotted my boxers wrapped around the floor lamp. "Why should I feel so bad about what I did last night? It's not like I never loved Jessica or anything...she was basically everything I had, and even though I moved into this neighborhood to fulfill my dirty desires and fix a gaping hole in my heart, I'm still wrecked about what happened...I honestly don't know how I'm gonna go on without her. That sex was to keep me from joining her in whatever afterlife may exist."

"Roosevelt...I think we need to talk, okay?"

...

"Hey! Charlie!" A man sitting on his motorcycle called her from across the Smoking Raisin parking lot, occasionally eyeing a rival gang riding toward them on their own collection of bikes. "We've got company!"

Charlie recognized who was approaching them and rode her bike over to the messenger. "Stand strong, Di. We can't afford to give up another standoff. Help me get the upper hand this time instead of staring down Jiao-Myn's shirt."

Di blushed, adjusting his pants and lowering his jacket to cover any sudden activity that could happen. "Got it."

"Unbelievable...why are they even here?" Charlie got off her bike and popped the stand with her heel, waiting patiently for the group of five to appear before them.

Upon arrival, all of the members of the rival gang climbed off of their bikes, while only one of them, the "leader", approached Charlie with malicious intent in his eye. He walked briskly before stopping with his face an inch away from Charlie's. "You're fucked."

"Fucked?" Charlie softly pressed her forehead to his, touching noses momentarily. "What the hell did I do, Frieda?"

"What, besides slander our name for the sake of lousy vigilantism toward Sleet's hard work?"

"Me? Waste my precious time slandering that cocksucker's name? You've gotta be joking."

Jax Frieda pulled his head away from hers and walked slowly toward her bike. With a quick strike of his foot, the bike fell over in a heap on the concrete below. "You're joking, bitch."

Charlie lunged at her enemy and punched him in the jaw, and before she knew it, an entire fight broke out in the parking lot of The Smoking Raisin. As fists flew for thirty or so seconds, a bartender finally ran outside to attempt breaking it up, and as soon as Charlie heard someone calling 911, she picked her bike up and fled the scene without the rest of her crew. Halfway to the neighborhood, she felt her face to notice blood for the first time, refusing to let her first slipup get to her head.

"I had him right where I wanted him...and I'll be damned if I make Frieda a KING amongst a posse of criminals. He's gonna get more than a bruised jaw if he picks a fight with me again." She stopped thinking for a second as she took a turn onto a residential area. "I don't usually cower like that, but if I get taken in again, the bond's gonna be raised to amounts of money that will be impossible for Goatfly to steal. He's done enough for me...I can't make him risk anything else."

Charlie continued down the road until her eye spotted Sasha's house on the left side of the road. "Ah! Sasha! She knows how to cure a damaged ego. I might as well stop by for a visit."

Sasha opened the door knowing who was on the other side, familiar with the signature knock she used. "Charlie! How're you doing?"

"Charlie!?" Roosevelt yelled from the couch.

"Was that Roosevelt?" Sasha nodded. "What the hell is he doing here?"

"Oh, you didn't hear?" Sasha whispered loudly in her ear. "His girlfriend killed herself."

"I know what happened, Sasha." Roosevelt said, standing up to get a better view of Charlie. "Charlie...what happened to your face?"

"My face?" Charlie covered her cheek with her hand. "It's nothing...I just got into a scrap with Gleech, is all."

"Again?" Sasha asked, shaking her head solemnly. "Cut it out with The Smoking Raisin. You know that's their spot on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

"Are you saying I was asking for it?"

"Well...were you?"

Charlie chuckled. "I don't know, really. Not purposefully, of course."

"No one ever does. Have a seat and enjoy some coffee!" Sasha exclaimed. "Roosevelt and I were just finishing up our chat."

"We were?" Roosevelt blinked. "Oh, yeah...I guess we were."

Charlie took a seat on the couch and Roosevelt on the cushion next to hers, both of them across from Sasha, who sat on the loveseat. Roosevelt and Charlie looked at each other silently, as Sasha watched from a safe distance. "You're bigger than I remember."

Charlie laughed. "Bigger, huh? Was that a compliment?"

Roosevelt chuckled nervously. "Er...yeah, of course. You're beautiful."

Charlie blushed, her entire face turning red with heat from the rare compliment. She changed the subject before her mind subconsciously tore her clothes off in front of Sasha. "What are you here for, Roosevelt?"

"Jessica."

"Oh, right." Charlie playfully hit her head with her hand.

"What about you?"

"I keep getting in trouble with the fuzz and Gleech. Apparently going to The Smoking Raisin and causing trouble. Of course, if I had my druthers, I would bring those punk-ass miscreants a pulpin' every once in a while...but that's beside the point. Sasha makes me feel better about myself when I probably shouldn't."

"Hey, you didn't do anything wrong." Roosevelt defended her with the knowledge credited to her autobiography. "Those guys don't know the difference between their heads and a baby's liver. They'll do whatever it takes to get their hands on a piece of crime, while you guys do the opposite. Making yourselves out to be the bad guys is just a waste of time on their part, and everyone should realize that."

"...Did i ever tell you I loved you?"

"No, but that'd be nice."

"You guys don't seem to need me anymore...anyone care for a game of strip poker?"

"Strip poker? With Charlie?" Roosevelt watched her follow Sasha into the dining room with what he hoped to be little amounts of clothing under her leather jacket. "I must be dreaming...I might as well bet everything on purpose!"