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Baby momma drama [text (large print)] / Carl Weber.

By: Weber, Carl.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2003Description: 560 pages ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0786254238 (alk. paper).Genre/Form: Romance fiction.DDC classification:
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Large Print Davis (Central) Library
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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Jasmine My neck was stiff from sleeping the wrong way most of the bus ride, but I didn't let that bother me. The only thing I was really concerned about was that my hair was gonna look like shit from leaning up against the fogged-up window. Lord, please don't let my hair be messed up. My hair is my strength, kinda like Samson. When my hair is a wreck, I'm a wreck. But as much as I hated what these long trips did to my hair, the thought of seeing Derrick every weekend was the only thing keeping me together. Yes, I hated the fact that it was Thanksgiving Day and I'd be missing my mom's smoked-turkey dinner. And the Lord knows I didn't wanna hear my sister Stephanie or my grandmother, Big Momma, about me missing all my family from out of town for the second year in a row. But Derrick was my man, and he had to come first no matter what. I met Derrick about four and a half years ago. At the time I was working in the downtown Richmond, Virginia, branch of the Post Office as a clerk. When he walked into the lobby my tongue nearly fell out of my mouth. He was so fine in that designer suit, I wanted to jump across the counter and tongue him down. Six foot one inch tall with an olive complexion highlighted by blue-green bedroom eyes, and hair black as coal, with big, soft curls. His face was narrow, with two of the cutest dimples I'd ever seen. He wasn't just fine. He was fiiine! And I wasn't the only one licking my lips. Every woman in the lobby was staring him down, even the stuck-up old woman who always complained about our service. When he walked up to the front of the line, he must have known I was looking, 'cause he gave me a smile that could have melted Mr. Freeze's heart. "Can I help you?" I blushed, practically begging him to come over to my counter. "I'd like to mail this priority." He leaned over the counter in a seductive stare. I looked down at the package and noticed that it had a large white label with a James Center law office as a return address. Damn, fine and a lawyer! I think I've died and gone to heaven , were the only thoughts I could muster at the time. "I'm a lawyer," he said, showing me those gorgeous teeth as if he was reading my mind. "My name's Derrick Winter." "Nice to meet you, Mr. Winter. My name's Jasmine. Jasmine Winter. Oh, my God, I mean Jasmine Johnson." I couldn't help but blush again. "Well, Jasmine Johnson, you taking time off your supermodeling job or what? 'Cause baby, I've never seen a post office clerk look as good as you." I know it was just a line, but the way he said it made me turn three different shades of red. Not only was he gorgeous, he had a way with words that made me weak. He eased me into small talk so smoothly that I ended up talking to him for five minutes at my counter. Somehow, small talk became an invitation to dinner, and a post office line full of angry customers. When I saw my supervisor walk into the building, I jotted down my address and phone number so he could pick me up later that night, and watched the man of my dreams walk away. It took me almost two hours to get ready for dinner that night, and Derrick, unlike most brothers I'd dated, was on time. There I was, standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a curling iron in my hair, trying to decide if I should open the door or just let him wait until my hair was done. I decided on the latter and ran to the front door, shouting. "Just a minute, I'm still getting dressed!" I ran back to the bathroom and my curling iron, praying he would understand. I don't know how long I left him outside, but he was the perfect gentleman when I let him in. He just smiled at me with those pearly white teeth while I admired his dimples. "Damn, baby, if I'd known you were going to look this good, I could have waited outside all night." He smiled seductively, looking me up and down. I spun around so he could see all the curves that my tight-fitting mini dress would reveal. Taking my hand, he led me out the door to his Porsche and whisked me away to The Tobacco Company, one of Richmond's nicest restaurants for dinner and atmosphere. Derrick treated me like such a lady that night. When we arrived at The Tobacco Company, he wouldn't even let me order. It was as if he knew exactly what was right for me from that point on. We ate shrimp scampi and drank Moët till I was silly drunk, then we walked over to the club After Six and danced until they were ready to close. Derrick was having such a good time, he bribed the owner and DJ into staying open an extra half hour. It was the most perfect evening I've ever had, and quite honestly the most fun I've had in my adult life. It was as if that perfect date would never end. By the time I awoke from my fairy tale, it was two weeks later and we were a couple. A month later, he'd moved in. Derrick had shown me romance in ways I'd never dreamed of, showering me with diamonds and furs. He even bought me a new car. There is no question that those were the happiest six months of my life, and if you knew my life, you'd know happiness was rare. Yeah, those were happy times, all right. That is, until Big Momma got involved. God, I remember it like it was yesterday. Big Momma was at the house eating dinner when Derrick looked at his watch. "I've got to go to court," he said, kissing me as he got up and put on his sport coat. "What kind of lawyer did you say you were?" Big Momma asked him with that tone she used when she thought we were lying. "I'm a defense attorney. I do mostly legal aid work through the night courts," he answered, no doubt expecting Big Momma to shut up. But he didn't know Big Momma at all. She never said anything unless she was going to make a point. "Ohhhh, so that's why you leave my grandbaby every night and don't come home until the wee hours of the morning?" She lit a cigarette, and that scared the hell outta me. 'Cause when Big Momma lit a cigarette, one thing was for certain: trouble was about to raise its ugly head. "Big Momma, why you askin' Derrick all these questions?" I interrupted. "Hush, child. Let the boy answer for himself. He's a grown man." She smirked at Derrick. "Well, Derrick, is that why you leave my grandbaby all alone at night?" I could see Derrick sensed trouble, but he still played it pretty cool. "Yes, ma'am, night court doesn't close until four o'clock in the morning." I sighed with relief. Big Momma was up to something, but Derrick seemed up to the task. "So I guess you know Judge Jackson and Judge Jones?" "Yes, ma'am. I've had a chance to be in both their courtrooms quite a few times," Derrick answered with confidence, although he did look a little agitated. "Then how come neither of them seem to know you? They both belong to my bridge club, and I asked about you." Big Momma tilted her head as she released the smoke from her lungs. "Well, there's a lot of lawyers in Richmond, especially in night court. You know the night court judges are pretty busy men." Derrick was visibly nervous as he glanced back and forth from Big Momma to me. "They probably don't pay attention to a young lawyer like me." "That's not what Judge Jones said. He told me that night court was actually a very small world and he made it his business to know every lawyer that came into his courtroom." Big Momma took a long drag on her cigarette, then blew the smoke in Derrick's face. "How old are you, young man?" "Twenty-four," he answered meekly. "And how old were you when you finished college?" I could see Derrick doing the math in his head. "Twenty-two." It sounded almost like a question rather than a statement. "Lord have mercy. Either you're the smartest man in the world or the dumbest! 'Cause in addition to college, law school takes three years to complete, and your math don't add up." Big Momma shook her head and stared Derrick in the face. "Now, young man, what do you really do for a living?" Derrick was so embarrassed that he walked straight out the door without saying another word. I got up from my chair to chase him, but Big Momma grabbed my arm. "Child, if I told you and your sister once, I told you a thousand times. A good man is hard to find, and that is not a good man." I sat down reluctantly and listened to her lecture. Derrick didn't return home for three days, and I was sick to my stomach with worry. It didn't matter what Big Momma said; it didn't matter what anyone said. Derrick was a good man. He was probably just a night watchman or factory worker who got caught up in a lie he couldn't get himself out of. I promised myself right then and there that if God sent him home to me, I would forgive all his lies and be supportive in whatever he really did for a living. But I must admit I never expected what he would finally tell me. "Hey, baby," he mumbled, walking past me into the bedroom. I followed behind him and sat on the bed as he opened the closet and pulled out his suitcase. "What's that for?" I asked, taking the suitcase out of his hands. He looked at me like I'd just asked the craziest question. "You're not leaving me, Derrick. I love you too much to let you leave me." "Look, Jazz, I'm not a lawyer. I'm the furthest thing from a lawyer." I could see he was embarrassed. "I know, and I don't care if you're not a lawyer. You lied to impress me? Well, baby, I'm impressed. Not with you being a lawyer, but with you as a man. I love you, Derrick. I just want to be with you." I walked over and placed my arms around him. "Jasmine, I love you, too." He hesitated before continuing. "But baby, I'm a hustler, a drug dealer. When you first met me I was leaving my lawyer's office trying to beat a possession charge. My lawyer asked me to do him a favor and mail a package." I'd be lying if I said I wasn't shocked. For some stupid reason, I never even imagined that he could possibly be a drug dealer. I suppose the tons of cash he always carried should have tipped me off, but I was blinded by my love for this man. He always seemed so mature, nothing like those roughneck gangbangers whose pants hung halfway down their backsides. I looked up at him. Nothing about him said "drug dealer." "Our whole relationship is built on a lie, Jasmine." He reached for the suitcase. "That's not true. Our relationship is built on love." I felt compelled to reassure him of my love. So without thinking or caring I said, "If you're a drug dealer, Derrick, then so be it. Just make sure you're the boss and not some unimportant street-corner gangbanger. Be the best drug dealer you can be, 'cause I don't want my man to be anything but the best." I could see the shock on his face as I pulled him onto the bed. We made love right there, sealing a relationship that would end up with Derrick spending three years of his life behind bars and me traveling up every weekend to see him. I was stunned out of my thoughts when the PA system for the bus blared, the driver's voice announcing that we had arrived at Roanoke Regional Prison. As usual, I got the chills when I looked at the tall, castlelike structure of the prison. This place gave me the creeps. Thank God Derrick only had six months to go. It took almost an hour before I finally reached the visiting room. By then I was dying to see him. I smiled, eagerly telling the captain I was signing in to visit Derrick Winter. A brief look of jealousy came across his face but disappeared just as quickly. I bet he was wondering why a five-foot-eight-inch-tall, caramel colored Tyra Banks lookalike would be visiting a convicted drug dealer. Well, it was none of his fucking business. I hated black correction officers more than any law enforcement officers, mostly because of the stories of abuse Derrick had told me. They always seemed to be harder on the black inmates because they needed to prove to the white officers that they weren't cut from the same cloth. I wanted them all to know that someone like me was out of their class. The captain flipped through his book, managing to keep one eye on my chest at all times before he found Derrick's sign-in page. He smirked as he handed me a pen. I almost cursed out loud right then and there when I looked down at the sheet. There on the sign-in sheet for the previous day was Wendy Wood's name. She was Derrick's baby's momma, and I couldn't stand that bitch. She'd been trying to take Derrick away from me ever since we started goin' together. I sighed heavily, tempted to turn around and not visit him at all, though I quickly changed my mind. I had traveled three hours to see him, so I was going to stick around to have the satisfaction of cursing his ass out. I stalked into the visiting room and found Derrick sitting at a table, waiting for me. Even in those orange prison overalls he was so damn fine. I almost wanted to forgive him for Wendy's little visit. But I couldn't let him get away with that. I had made too many trips to see him and brought too many pairs of sneakers, not to mention the two and a half years of celibacy I was going through. He wasn't gonna play me, especially not for that big-ass, weave-wearing bitch he had a baby with. Hell, no! "Damn, baby, you think you could look any better? Every week you seem to get finer and finer. Mmm, mmm, mmm, come 'ere and give your man a kiss." He smiled flirtatiously, and I almost melted at the sight of his gorgeous dimples. He was doing it to me. He was making me blush even though I was mad at him. God, I hated the power he had over me. I was mad. He had done me wrong. Nonetheless, a smile was creeping over my face and I was about to give in as I felt his hands wrap around my waist. "What the fuck was Wendy doing here?" I pushed him away as I regained my resolve. I could have plenty of attitude when I wanted, and I needed it then. I had to, because he was going to kiss me, and if he did it would have been all over. "I asked you a question, Derrick! What the luck was Wendy doing here?" He raised his eyebrows in surprise, then looked around to see who was watching. "Sit down and I'll tell you," he ordered me through gritted teeth. "What you tryin'a do, make me look like a punk?" He guided me into a chair. "This had better be good, Derrick, or this is the last time I bring my black ass to visit you." I sat down but wouldn't let him touch me. My hands were trembling with anger. Derrick was silent for a minute. I was tempted to slap him across that pretty-ass face of his, but I waited for his explanation. Finally, he spoke in a whisper. "A couple o' the fellas and I started a little business selling weed to the other inmates. Part of our agreement was that each of us would recruit someone to bring weed up to us each month. Now, baby, you're my woman, so there was no way I was gonna ask you. I don't want you gettin' into no trouble." He smiled. Continues... Excerpted from Baby Momma Drama by Carl Weber Copyright © 2003 by Carl Weber Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Weber gets down and dirty with a couple of bed-hopping African-American couples in his latest, a raunchy, over-the-top romantic romp that reads like a cross between a soap opera and a Jerry Springer episode. The protagonists are a pair of sisters, Jasmine and Stephanie, who have enough man trouble between them to last most families several generations. Jasmine's gig as a postal supervisor in Richmond, Va., gives her the edge in stability over her younger sister, Stephanie, but she happens to be dating Derrick, a drug dealer who is serving out a jail term as the book opens. Stephanie, meanwhile, lands a better boyfriend when she hooks up with Travis, a stable, staid army sergeant who is willing to marry her and adopt her young daughter, Maleka. But Stephanie screws up the relationship when she slips into the sack with her ex, a seedy hustler and absentee father. Jasmine has similar problems when Derrick gets out of prison early, just after she meets Dylan, a potentially stellar new beau. The novel's first half is reasonably solid, but drugs, sexual escapades, venereal disease and loud, melodramatic confrontations dominate the proceedings once the basic plot is outlined. The four primary characters are well drawn-though cartoonishly addicted to sex-but virtually every secondary character in the book is introduced for the purpose of bedding one of the major playas. Weber starts off with an entertaining setup, but the frenzied booty calls and out-of-control plotting spoil a potentially good read. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

This compelling novel is the hardcover debut of the author of the best-selling Married Men. In Richmond, Virginia, Stephanie and Jasmine compete for affection from their grandmother, Big Mama. The oldest sister, Jasmine, is waiting on her boyfriend, Derrick, to get out of jail. After three years of loyalty and celibacy, on one of her visits she finds Derrick in a compromising position with his baby's mama, Wendy. The hurt of that encounter causes her to seek out her friend, Dylan. Their relationship starts off shaky when his ex-girlfriend claims that she is pregnant. Little sister, Stephanie, has a daughter by her high-school sweetheart, Malek, who left her to pursue a music career in Washington, D.C. Throughout all of the "baby's mama drama," Jasmine and Stephanie learn that they actually have more in common and that no matter what they will always be sisters. --Lillian Lewis