Read CHAPTER ONE Illustrated | Rough Diamond: The Origin - Enders series #4 #RomanticSuspense
Rough Diamond: The Origin (Enders Book 4) is out now! Read the full first chapter below
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Ten years ago
A week after his father was buried, Mason Maduka was on the hunt for pussy.
Not the animal.
But the part of the female anatomy designed to take a pounding.
Because that was what he needed right now. Rough, rugged, bed-quaking sex to make him forget, if only for a little while, that he’d buried his most favourite person in the world seven goddamned days ago.
The reason he sat on a leather couch in this dimly lit lounge, while thumping Afrobeat music rattled the graffiti-covered walls and women in little more than lingerie lined up in front of him.
They varied in size—slender and plump, short and tall, young and not-so-young.
Prostitutes, one and all.
Or sex workers, as they were termed these days.
He rather liked the newer phrase. An apt label—clear and concise. No danger of mistaking it for something else.
No way to mistake what these ladies of the night were offering. They fluttered lashes coquettishly, plumped up boobs, jiggled asses, and pouted their lips, all vying for his attention.
And they had his attention. They were preaching to the choir. He hadn’t had sex since the news of his father’s death six months ago. So he was raring to go. Excitement flushed his skin, and he darted out his tongue, licking his lips.
But it wasn’t just the nearly naked women getting him excited. The atmosphere of danger and dingy darkness spiked his heart rate and sent blood rushing to his dick. These women were up for anything.
He knew it. He’d been here before. The first time was his eighteenth birthday when his older brother Rocha took him to the brothel as a gift. It was as if his brother knew his tastes were beyond the ordinary. That just fucking the neighbourhood girls was never going to be enough.
Still, he hadn’t been here for a while. He had his share of uni babes and generally preferred the ‘runs’ girls who were more interested in the financial or other rewards after sex rather than any meaningful relationship. He loved the transactional condition of those encounters because they were clear and concise.
Same as picking a prostitute. So, yes. He was in his element, right here and now.
A deep inhalation drew cigarette smoke and weed aroma into his nostrils. He could light up, too, but he didn’t like being stoned during sex. He hated having his senses dulled or being out of control. He wanted to feel everything, not have his senses dulled.
Otherwise, what was the point?
Indeed, why was he delaying his selection? Any one of these women should do the job. Then again, he had specific requirements.
He eyed the woman with nipple rings showing through her crop top and a tattoo on her belly, which disappeared into her panties. Anyone who had a tattoo close to their genitalia would be into pain, surely, because it would have been excruciatingly painful when it was inked.
“Her. Tattoo girl.” Mason indicated with his finger.
The man standing in the shadows nodded at the girl, and she sauntered over. The rest of the women disappeared into the corridor, barely masking their disappointments.
He patted the cushion beside him.
Smiling, Tattoo Girl sat on it and placed a hand on his lap. “You want to go to the room?”
He grabbed her wrist and twisted her arm, not enough to injure her. But hurting sufficiently to cause discomfort.
Grimacing, she slipped off the sofa and landed on her knees to relieve the pressure. She looked up at him, pupils dilated, eyes widened.
Oh, she definitely enjoyed pain, at least a little. The sadist in him cheered, and his dick hardened.
“What’s your name?” he asked in a firm tone, not releasing her arm, keeping her on her knees.
She was heavily made-up, which wasn’t his cup of tea. But he didn’t come in search of a girlfriend. As long as the rest of her assets were functional.
“Jet, sir,” she replied, puffing out a breath.
A sizzle went down his spine, the sensation weird and yet pleasing.
She was older than him, probably mid-to-late thirties. So her addressing him as ‘sir’ should make him feel old. Yet, he felt powerful. Respected.
“Respect is earned by action alone,” his late father’s words played in his mind.
Without thought, his grip tightened on the woman’s arm, and her breath hitched. He loosened his grip and leaned back in the leather seat. His father’s words, while helpful, were not suitable for this moment. He shoved it aside and focused on the reason he was there.
“Jet,” he said. “I ask the questions. If I need you to do anything, I’ll tell you. Understood?”
“Yes, sir.” She nodded but didn’t move from the floor.
He gestured for the man in the shadows to draw the wooden partition, secluding their section. He didn’t want to go to a room since there was a high likelihood of a camera being set up there. Not that he had a problem exhibiting himself. But he would rather it wasn’t recorded without his permission.
Then again, there was his family to consider if the photos went public. Still, he wasn’t doing it for them.
“Think about your family,” his mother’s voice played in his mind.
What the fuck? Now, he needed to remember something his brother said for him to need the nuthouse.
What was wrong with him? He came here to get lost in pussy. Instead, he was being jolted by memories he’d rather forget.
“Strip off your clothes and suck my dick,” he said in a growly voice.
Maybe the woman’s mouth and naked body would distract him from his thoughts.
She shuffled forward, pulling her top off and exposing her breasts. Then she shoved her panties and manoeuvred to pull them from her legs.
He widened his legs, undoing his belt buckle. He leaned forward, pulled the string of flavoured condom packs from his back pocket, and placed them beside him. He reached into his boxer briefs, tugged his semi out, pulled it a few times until it filled out, and then rolled a condom on.
She watched him, licking her lips as if she couldn’t wait to taste his erection.
He grabbed her head roughly and shoved it down onto his dick. She gasped as the breath left her lungs, and he pulled her up and repeated the action until she got used to the rhythm he wanted. Then, he loosened his grip and allowed her to do her job.
He reached down and tugged at her nipple rings repeatedly, causing her to moan and writhe each time. The blowjob was okay, but she seemed to enjoy it more than he was. He couldn’t quite get there or shake the lingering grief and anger. And he would start deflating soon.
He pulled out of her mouth, flipped her onto her stomach and shoved her face to the carpet. With the other hand, he lined up his dick and slammed into her. Hand gripping her neck tightly and roughly, he rammed into her repeatedly, his belt buckle digging into her skin with each slam. But she didn’t complain, seemingly loving the pain. Instead, her moans filled the space, and her body soon quaked with multiple orgasms.
Still no luck for him.
Frustrated, he pulled out and sank heavily into the sofa.
“Make I finish am.” She reached for him.
“Don’t touch me,” he growled, smacking her hand away and standing instead.
He rolled the condom off, wiped himself with some tissues and stuffed his partially erect dick away, tidying himself up.
He pulled an envelope out of his wallet. Although he’d already paid upfront before he made his selection, there was no reason he shouldn’t tip the woman. She’d done her job. The problem was in his head.
“For you.” He dropped the cash on the sofa and headed towards the exit.
“Thank you,” she called out behind him.
He heard the racket as soon as he stepped outside, away from the music.
“Ashawo, give me my money!”
Mason had seen street fights before and had never butted in. If someone was going to pick a fight, they better be ready to defend themselves or take what was coming to them.
However, it had been a week since his dead father was buried, and he was hurting. Hurting to unleash the ball of rage in his gut. Hurting to be used as a punching bag. Hurting to inflict pain and to receive enough physical pain to mask the emotional ones. He’d attempted sex, but it hadn’t worked. He was still a ball of rage waiting to explode.
Why had his father gone so soon? He’d been diagnosed with bowel cancer, and within a month, he was dead. Mason had been away at university. His family hadn’t informed him until it was too late. He hadn’t had time to say goodbye. To tell his father he loved him. To listen to the man tell him stories of his youthful exploits one more time.
As the second of two sons, Mason was closest to his father. His father had been his favourite person in the world until his death. The older man had been strict but fair, a hands-on father who had been there for his children in whatever capacity they needed him.
“Why should I give you all my money? I do the fucking work.”
The commotion roused Mason from his melancholy. His hands clenched and unclenched. He’d come to this part of town tonight because this was where the brothels were located. And he’d thought some rough sex would ease his grief. Instead, it looked like he would bloody his knuckles instead.
Angry, he took steps towards the crowd gathered on the street. A huge man in a black shirt and green trousers held a girl's throat and slapped her. Petite, she was in a fitted black blouse with tiny buttons and hot pants. Her shirt was ripped, revealing bruises on her flat stomach. She looked no older than Mason, about mid-twenties. Blood dripped from her mouth.
Mason pushed aside two men just standing there. How could they watch a man beat up a woman and do nothing when the power dynamic was so evident? People were sick. Cruel.
Adrenaline tingling through his veins, he yanked Mr Green Trousers’ shoulder. “Leave her alone.”
The man turned, snarling. “Small boy, waka pass. You know who I be?”
He was beefy, older, probably in his late thirties or forties. Eyes cold and deadly. He could probably beat Mason to a pulp.
However, with zero concerns, Mason felt reckless. Desperate to feel something other than overwhelming grief, he was prepared to take a beating if it happened. Prepared to dish out some pain too. He flexed his muscles in preparation for a fight. “I don’t care who you are. Just leave her the fuck alone.”
“You dey mad?” The man turned to face Mason, shoving the girl aside.
He didn’t wait for the man to charge. Instead, he allowed six months of rage to flow through him. He took a quick half-step backwards, raised his left leg in a fluid motion and landed a front kick into the man’s groin.
The man grunted and grabbed his crotch, eyes bulging in unexpected pain.
Mason followed up with a jab and a hook, fists connecting with flesh and bone. The man toppled, face-planting on the road. Out cold.
The emotional constriction in Mason’s chest eased. The man deserved a dose of his own medicine.
Wincing, the young woman pushed off the ground and stomped on the man’s back. “Bastard!”
Nose bleeding, she turned to Mason with the most ridiculous smile he’d ever seen. Not exactly what he expected to see from someone being choked to death only minutes earlier.
“Thank you,” she said, still smiling and wincing. “You for leave me, make I beat am, well well. I just dey prepare myself.”
Surprisingly, he chuckled for the first time in months because she claimed she would’ve beaten up Mr Green Trousers any minute. Brave that she could find humour in her situation.
“No need to thank me. It was the only way I could get to where I was going. You guys were in my path.” He spoke with wry humour as he stepped over the prone man and continued his journey.
The crowd dispersed, returning to whatever they’d been doing before the commotion started.
She grabbed her handbag on the ground and followed him, half laughing and half coughing. “In your path, eh. So where exactly are you going?”
He shrugged and stopped, facing her. “You should go to a hospital. You’re injured.”
“Hospital?” She laughed-coughed again. “So, some quack doctor can take my hard-earned money. I don’t think so. It’s nothing that won’t heal with time.”
“Go home and rest, then.”
“Home? Are you kidding me? The place I stayed belongs to Bomba over there. Can you imagine what he will do to me when he wakes up? No. I’m not staying to find out. Everything I own is in this bag.” She lifted the fake leather tote slung over her shoulder.
He frowned. “Don’t you have friends or relatives you can stay with?”
She rolled her eyes. “You think if I had friends or family, I would live with a pimp? I go find hotel. Somewhere wey cheap, sha. But not in this neighbourhood because Bomba and his friends will find me. So, I am following you. No one else around here has been brave enough to stand against him. So right now, you’re my security.”
She flashed her pearly white teeth at him again.
“Oh.” Mason rubbed his shaved chin, unsure of what to do. He hadn’t come here to play the Good Samaritan or pick up strays. Yet, he couldn’t abandon her. “What’s your name?”
“People call me Sophie. And you?”
“I’m Mason. I’ll get you to a hotel.” He would get her somewhere safe tonight and leave her to sort herself out thereafter. He didn’t have the emotional capacity to take on her problems. He had his own demons to wrangle.
“Then we better hurry because Bomba’s boys are coming,” she replied, jogging ahead.
He glanced back to find a group of men heading in his direction. Heart racing, he started running. The men gave chase, footsteps pounding on the road.
Rough Diamond: The Origin
This is the becoming of an antihero and his undoing.
Before Mason became the Yadili fixer and acquired the Mace nickname, he learned to navigate loss, grief, and treachery. Then he meets Sophie and briefly experiences respite with a woman who matches his wildness. But can he hang on to her?
Mason’s and Sophie’s story unfolds in two parts. The Origin is part one.
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