The Billionaires Love Curves

By: Cj Howard


Lacey Butler was in a dream world again. It was the only thing that kept her sane in the overcrowded apartment she lived in with her kid brother Lucas, her mother and the latest daddy she'd brought home after a night at the local trashy bar.

“Hey, Lucas.” Lacey looked up and tried to focus in on her brother. “Don’t mind me. I'm just looking at a picture of a business woman in her suit and dreaming of wearing one just like it someday.”

“You will, sis, I believe in you.”

Lucas was a sweet kid and it was Lacey who had to raise him because of their mother's drinking habit. So Lacey lost her chance to go to college. But she started working when she was able; waiting tables, working in a dry cleaners and serving behind a bar, just so she could put herself through night school. Eventually, she studied journalism at a community college and was about to graduate. After saving almost every penny she could, Lacey bought herself a smart outfit and started going on interviews.

Friends from her neighborhood told Lacey she was wasting her time going to night school because people like her never got anywhere in life.

“Girl, what you want to study at night for, when you could be out partying with the rest of us? All you're gonna do is end up pregnant and claiming benefits, just like everyone else around here.”

But Lacey had been planning for years to move out from under her mother's feet, get out of East Flatbush altogether and start renting her own place in Brooklyn Heights.

Lacey was twenty-two now and since the age of fourteen, she'd stuck pictures of all the influential black women she knew on her bedroom walls and decided she could be just like any of them. She read success story after success story about people making it out of the slums, and she'd be no exception.

“Listen, Lucas, I've got to go out for a while, you do your homework and I'll bring us back something nice to eat.”

She took the train to Brooklyn Heights. In her purse was the newspaper where she’d circled an advertisement in red about an apartment to share. She'd told no one about her plan to finally leave Flatbush – not even Lucas.

She arrived at the four story apartment building and looked up. She smiled to herself, moving out was not the only secret she had to reveal to her family when she got back home.

When Lacey entered the vestibule, she hit the buzzer for Apartment 6. She was greeted by a lot of music in the background and a voice shouting, “hello” into the intercom.

““I'm Lacey Butler, I've come about the apartment, and I spoke to you earlier.”

“Come on up. Third floor, just follow the noise.”

The door to apartment 6 was open and the music was even louder now. As Lacey entered, she saw a girl wearing just a bathrobe and a pink towel wrapped around her head. The girl was tall, slim and elegant looking. She was leaning out of the living room window watering the tall sunflowers on the balcony overlooking the street.

“Hey, come in. I'm Elaine.” She rested the watering can by the window. It was a warm, summer's afternoon. The busy traffic was adding to the heat and noise in the spacious apartment. Lacey looked around and took in the comfortable red sofa and polished coffee table before speaking.

“Nice to meet you,” she said to Elaine, not knowing if she should offer her hand or not.

Elaine turned off the music, looked Lacey up and down and said, “You’ll do.”

“I'll do?' Lacey said. “That’s it? You don't want to ask me questions or anything about myself.”

“Well, you don't look like an ax murderer.” Elaine smiled, tightening the cord to her robe. ”So as long as you can pay the rent on time, then welcome to your new home. I'll show you around.”

Elaine unwrapped the towel on her head and shook out masses of damp red hair. She threw the towel over her shoulder and held out an arm as she spun in a semicircle around the room before announcing, “This is the living room.”

Lacey nodded.

“I have to warn you,” Elaine said. “I have a very quick temper. At least that's what I'm told but I can tell you'll be a calming influence on me.”

Lacey followed her out of the living room and into a small hallway. She opened the door to a large bedroom with a double bed under a tall window. There was a deep rug at the side of the bed.

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