I finally got part three of the paranoia series out, and it only take me over two years! If you haven't read part one "Drowning" or part two "A Trail of Blood," I suggest you do. How long is it going to take me to put out the final story of this series?

Doggy Dog World

Part Three of the Paranoia Series

"You got a what?"

"A puppy!" Maya replies excitedly. "It's a brown, black, and white Beagle. His name is Warren."

"Warren? That's the name of your boyfriend in eighth grade."

"I know." I hear her snickering through the telephone. "The puppy reminds me of him. Hell, he looks almost identical to him."

I chuckle a little. "Well Maya, you know I won't be coming over your house anymore."

She gasps. "Oh, c'mon Iroquois! Warren won't bite. He's friendly."

I scoff. "Maya, we've been best friends for how long now? You know I'm terrified of dogs."

"But Iroquois…"

"But nothing." I glance at the clock. "I've gotta go, Maya. See you tonight."

"Yeah, changing the subject."

"Good-bye."

"Bye."

I hang up the phone and stretch. I move toward the mirror. Picking up my hairbrush, I stroke the bristles through my lengthy sandy brown hair. My hair has grown over the summer. At the beginning of summer, my hair touched midway down my back. Now it reaches the top of my butt.

I've always thought about cutting it off, but Maya says she will kill me if I do since her hair is much, much shorter, and she and about a million other women would love to have hair like mine.

Whatever.

It isn't as glamorous as Maya thinks to be me. A lot of people automatically judge me because I am an attractive, petite cheerleader, but there's more to this five feet one, one hundred three pound sixteen year old who speaks her mind no matter what than cat green eyes, honey colored skin, a taut stomach, and cartwheels.

Styling my hair in the habitual ponytail, I set the brush down and exit my bedroom. Trudging down the steps, the smell of breakfast alarm my senses.

"Morning all," I greet as I stroll into the kitchen.

"Morning Iroquois," Mama replies as she sets a mushroom omelet in front of Daddy.

"Hey Big Head," Daddy teases.

"I don't have a big head," I play whine as I sit down, and Mama places a plate in front of me.

Everybody is fascinated with my background. My father is African-American. My mother is African-American also, but she also is mixed with Mexican, Asian, Native American, and Arabic. Cool, huh?

Mama sits at the table and opens a jar of banana baby food. She directs her attention to my six-month-old sister Belize. She makes baby noises as Mama feeds her.

I remember the day Mama told me she was pregnant about a year ago. I was complete shock and kind of devastated. For fifteen years I had been my parents only child and now I had to share. I knew we wouldn't be able to travel as much as we did since there was going to be a baby in the house. We used to vacation to many unique places, and sometimes Maya would go with us.

I stare at Belize sitting in her highchair as I eat my omelet. I guess I've learned to adjust. Sometimes it gets difficult, but I overcome it though.

Still, I miss being the only child.

A smile spreads across my face. Baby Belize looks identical to Mama and me. She is going to be one gorgeous girl.

"What time does Janelle's flight arrive?" Daddy questions, breaking my train of thought.

"Uh, about three o'clock." I respond.

"You're picking her up, right?"

"Yes. Afterwards I was going to the store to pick up some items for my sleepover. Oh, and go to the video store to rent some movies too."

"When you come back I need you to watch Belize for a while. " Mama says. I roll my eyes, and she adds, "It'll just be for a little bit. I'll be back in time for your little sleepover."

"I guess," I reply.

This is one of the many times I wish to still be the only child.

"Janelle!" I call, and she notices. She scurries toward me, drops her luggage, and we embrace. "Girl, it is so good to see you. It's been what… two years?"

"Actually one year and nine months. I haven't seen you since you all came to New York for Thanksgiving," Janelle answers in her heavy Brooklyn accent.

Janelle is my daddy's sister's daughter (in other words, she's my cousin) from Brooklyn, New York. (Obviously.) I eye her five feet two frame.

Janelle is dark skinned, slim, sixteen, and a tennis player. She also has hair that is so thick, that when she wears it in two or three braids, a single braid could be bigger than my arm.

She is dress in a blue jean tube top, khaki hip hugger pants, and blue jean three-inch sandals. Silver earrings drape from her ears, lip-gloss shimmers on her lips, a silver necklace with the Baby Phat logo hangs from her neck, a metal piercing protrudes from under her bottom lip, nails are did with many colors, patterns, and rhinestones on them, and her thick hair frames her face.

She looks fantastic.

Did I mention that she is bisexual?

Not that I have a problem with this though.

She grabs her luggage, and we head out the airport to my car. When we finally reach it, Janelle exclaims, "Damn, girl! This car is tight! I shouldn't be surprised that your spoil ass has a new Saab convertible."

I open the trunk. "I'm not spoiled."

"Well, not anymore since the baby arrived." She places her luggage in the trunk. "I can't wait to meet my baby cousin. She looks so cute in the pictures Auntie Libya sent."

"That's right. Belize only looks cute in the pictures."

Janelle scoffs as we climb in the car. "I'm telling Auntie you talking about her baby," she teases, and then adds, "Don't be so bitter about your baby sister, Iroquois."

I snap, "I'm not bitter." I pull out of the parking space. "I have to watch Belize for a while today when I get back home. Mama promised that she would be back in time for my sleepover."

"You still go with what's-his-name?" Janelle asks abruptly. "Bryan."

"Yeah."

"Didn't you cheat on him?"

Why does everyone like to bring that up?

Gritting through my teeth, I respond, "Yeah; I told him about it, and we worked it out."

"So, you all's relationship is going well?"

"Yes." I stop at a red light. "What's with all the questions? Do you know something that I don't?"

"No, it's just that a man usually don't just accept the fact that his woman cheated on him. Normally there are repercussions."

"Well, he knows better than to cheat on me." Janelle's raises an eyebrow at this. "I made a mistake when I did what I did, and two wrongs don't make a right therefore he wouldn't do that."

"Hmmm-mmm."

The light turns green, and I drive off. "What? It's true."

"Of course it is, Iroquois. Of course it is."

"Iroquois, it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly insane you are," Janelle comments as a flash the twelve year old twin neighbor boys. We all giggle as I lower my blinds.

We are playing Truth or Dare in my bedroom, and Janelle has dared me to display my boobs to the preteens, and of course I do it.

Mama had kept her promise and had been back in time to get Belize before my sleepover. She and daddy had gone out for the evening, dropping Belize at one of their friend's residence; therefore leaving the house to us.

"You're not around her twenty-four/seven," Maya states. "This doesn't even tip the crazy things that she does."

I roll my eyes. "Just because I'm not tedious like you. I like to have fun and actually do something." I grab a buffalo wing, commence munching on it, and plop on my beanbag chair.

"I'm not tedious!" whines Maya.

"Whose turn is it?" Briana asks.

I finish my wing. "It's my turn to ask Tia," I squeal excitedly.

Everyone glances at Tia who is sitting on my bed, eating a slice of pepperoni pizza. She polishes it off and states at me.

"Okay."

From these past few weeks that Maya and I have been spending with Tia, I've learn that Tia is a very quiet and timid person. She's not the stuck-up, big titty heifer like I once thought and is a cool person to be around.

"Truth or Dare?"

"Truth."

"Ah, I shoulda figured you'd pick that."

She smiles, her full lip-glossed lips encasing her white teeth. She is stunning as always. She no longer is wearing the flipped curls, but has finger waves now. Even though finger waves are kinda played out, they look nice on her. She has on a black and red horizontal stripe low-cut halter-top, red jean capris, gold dangling earrings, and her "Tia" necklace that rests on her breasts.

"Hmmm, lemme think. Oh! Who was the first person you've had sex with? When and where?"

She flashes an unreadable expression, and then says, "Nobody. I'm a virgin."

One would think Tia has just grown three heads from the way we gaze at her.

"Are you serious?" Maya questions, incredulous.

She nods.

"Not even with Dexter?" Briana says, and Tia shakes her head.

"Or Raphael?" I ask and instantly regret it. I glance at my best friend who is curl up on the sofa beside Janelle. "I'm sorry, Maya."

She mumbles, "It's cool," when I know it's not. Sometimes I speak before I think.

It has been five weeks since Maya's boyfriend Raphael drowned. Maya has been dealing pretty well with it, but her grieving has taken its toll. Maya has gain thirteen pounds on her one hundred ten pound figure; she's not as lively as she once was, and she seems sad a lot of the time.

Maya rakes her hand through her hair. She doesn't have her micro-braids anymore. She has her wrap again. Her short dark hair is down, with a part in the middle, resting halfway down her neck.

"Why is it such a big surprise that Tia's a virgin? Just because the girl is cute and has a body on her doesn't mean she has to spread her legs," Janelle proclaims. "Just because she is…how tall are you? Five feet nine?" Tia nods. "Five feet nine tall chocolate goddess with smooth legs, perky breasts, round ass…"

"Tia isn't bisexual, Janelle," I interrupt. "She doesn't want you."

She rolls her eyes and smiles lasciviously. "Shoot, I wish I would have waited."

"Me too because doing the pokey-in-the-holey ain't the best thing in the world," Briana replies, and I stare at her, sitting on the bed next to Tia. I wonder why I associate with her. She sure ain't my friend, and I don't even like her too much. I guess because she is a cheerleader along with Maya and me and her mom is friends with Maya's mom and they all went us to hang out and be friends. She can be cool at times, but her stupid ass says the lamest things at times.

She takes her glasses off and cleans them with her shirt. I used to think that the black square frames makes her look like a dork, but now she seems conservative with them on.

Shit, why am I lying? The bitch is ugly as hell. She recently breaks up with her boyfriend Craig; she doesn't elaborate on want happen. I believe Craig discovers he can't take Briana out on nights with full moons because her hairy ass will turn into a werewolf.

"It's Tia's turn to ask Briana something," declares Janelle.

"Truth or Dare?"

"Dare."

As Tia's deliberates on Briana's dare, my mind flashes back to Tia's blank expression before she answers the sex question, and then it hits me like a ton of bricks. She is probably uncomfortable answering that question due to the circumstance with her mama's boyfriend. He sexual assaulted her three weeks prior and it turns out he has been abusing her for years.

Again, I say things before I think sometimes.

Ricky is in jail and waiting his court hearing next month in September, and like Maya, Tia is dealing with the event.

My heart goes out to my two friends. They have been through a lot this summer.

Things always happen in three. That statement stays with it, and me makes me wonder am I next.

I wake up hastily from a dream of David Boreanaz (Angel from the TV show "Angel") and me getting freaky. He is so cute to me, even thought Maya doesn't understand why I find him attractive. I think part of the issue with her is because he's white.

There is a string sensation in my bladder. Guess I had too much Vanilla Coke.

I slide out of the bed quietly. Briana and Tia are sleeping in my queen size bed with me. Maya and Janelle are sleeping on the let out sofa. I glance over there. Well, they are supposed to be. No one is on the bed.

Maybe they went to get a late night snack – well actually early morning snack since it was nearing five am. We had only gone to bed an hour ago.

I tiptoe down the hallway to the bathroom. The bathroom door is open slightly, and I hear soft moaning. Instantly I think something's wrong.

"Are you okay?" I ask as I push open the door. My mouth forms a perfect O at the picture in front of me.

Maya's backing is resting against the sink while Janelle's body is leaning on hers. Their tongues are involve in an erotic dance, and Janelle's index and middle fingers are rapidly moving in and out of Maya's vagina.

I could pee on myself right now.

"Holy shit."

Janelle halts jamming her tongue down Maya's throat, and gazes at me. "Iroquois." She removes her fingers from Maya and steps back. "I…uh…we…"

"Don't…don't…don't…there's no need to explain."

Maya says nothing. She pulls up her panties and shorts from her knees and hurries pass me. Her shoulder gently brushes mine.

"It's not what it looks like."

"So you weren't just fingering my best friend?"

"Yeah, uh…"

"Look, I don't care. You all do what you want to do." I walk deeper into the bathroom. "Now if you would excuse me now. I have to pee."

"Okay," she replies as she ambles out. "Good night."

"Good night."

"So you caught those two in the bathroom?"

"Hmm-mmm," I hum as I trace Bryan's nipples with my tongue.

"Damn."

It is Monday afternoon, two days after the bathroom incident. Maya, Janelle, and I haven't spoken much since then either, and Bryan is the first person I've told it to. It's not that I disapprove of them doing what they did. I'm just a little mind-boggled, and Maya – I didn't know she liked girls.

"Ready for another round?" I ask him.

"Sure."

I remove myself from the straddling position and turn myself around. I am on my hands and knees as Bryan eases to me on his knees. He pushes my long hair over my head, and just as he's about to enter me, he exclaims, "What the hell is this?"

Oh, shit, I think. The hickeys!

"Nothing," I lie. He sits back on his heels.

"I'm so sick of this shit, Iroquois!"

I went to a party yesterday and made out with this boy. I manage to eradicate the hickeys he put on the front of my neck, but forgot about the ones he places on the back on my neck.

"I'm sick of you making out with numerous men. I don't know what it is in your book, but in my book that's cheating. I'm also tired of you flashing and mooning people. Why can't you keep your shirt down and your pants up?"

"It's just harmless fun, Bryan." I creep closer to him. "I'm with you, and only you, baby." I caress the abs on his chest, and he pushes me away.

"How do I know you're not cheating on me? You did it before."

I assemble Indian style on the bed. "Because I'm not cheating. Damn. Why can't you just trust me?" I question irately.

Bryan states coldly, "You lost my trust as soon as you spread your legs to that other nigga."

A flood of anger reels through me. "Why the hell are you with me then if you don't trust me?"

"Good question." He steps out of the bed and begins redressing.

"Fine. I can find other man to replace you and fulfill my needs."

"And I can find a girl who won't be a hoe that makes out and fucks every guy she meets."

"Fuck you!"

"Just did," he responds and slams my bedroom door.

"Asshole!" I scream as I hurl a stuff animal at the door. "I don't need him," I murmur, knowing damn well that I love him.

I sit there in a daze, replaying what just happen. "I don't need him," I repeat, and hop out of the bed. I snatch a pair of panties, shorts, and a tank top from my drawer and dress in them. I pull my hair in a haphazard ponytail, slide into my white flip-flops, exit my bedroom, and descend down the staircase.

Janelle is in the living room, watching a talk show on television and playing with my baby sister.

"What the fuck happened up there? I hear screaming, and just a few moments ago Bryan stormed out of the front door."

I state the obvious. "Bryan and I had a fight."

"Oh."

I flop down adjacent to her. "It was about my promiscuous ways," I say in barely a whisper. Janelle raises her eyebrow. "Don't…don't say 'I told you so,' please."

"I wasn't." There is silence between us as Belize babbles in baby noises. "About Maya…"

I sigh. "You don't have to explain."

"I want to, though." She shifts Belize to her other arm. "Maya and I had been talking because we couldn't fall asleep. You, Briana, and Tia had gone to sleep. We got to talking about various things: her fear of water, how you all used to hate Tia, Raphael's death. We really bonded. She got up to use the washroom, and I followed her. Next thing I know my lips were on hers, my tongue in her mouth, and eventually my fingers were working her down there."

"So you expect me to believe that my best friend Maya, whom I've known for most of my life and had no signs of indicating she liked girls, let you do this to her willing."

"I don't care what you believe. That's what happened."

I exhale again. I really don't feel like arguing. "Okay."

"Besides it's been a while since she had some, and I knew she had sexual tension pent up in her." I simply stare at my cousin. "So, you're cool with what went down?"

"Sure."

"I probably would have gone down on her if you hadn't interrupted us."

I know Janelle stated that to gross me out. Nevertheless, I stand erect suddenly. "Alrighty now. I'm about to go for a walk."

"Alright. See you later."

"Yeah, see you."

"Maya, do you have a minute?"

"Actually I have a minute and more. I'm on my lunch break now."

"Oh, good."

I didn't plan it. One minute I am walking through my neighborhood, and the next I find myself at Maya's job. We go and sit at a table outside of the ice cream parlor.

"Okay, what is it?"

I inform Maya all that went on the morning with Bryan. When I finish, I don't look at her. Instead I gaze at the people walking, running, skating, and riding their bikes along the beach.

"What are you going to do?"

"I don't know. I hope that we can work pass this." I look at her now. "I do love him."

"Well, I know where he's coming from. You do some pretty wild things."

"I know."

I study Maya. Her hair is brushed back into a pigtail. She has a dab of lip-gloss on and has her work uniform on with her nametag attached to the shirt.

Sick of my silence, I blurt out, "Are you bisexual?"

"No," she replies, and I send her a you're-lying look. She continues: "What happen with Janelle and I wasn't anything. She knows it. I know it. It was something that made me feel good. As lame and corny as that sounds, it's the truth. I don't like girls, and it was just a new experience to me." She plucks an eyelash out. "No one was supposed to know. So if Tia or Briana has anything to say…"

"I didn't tell them what happen."

"Oh." She rises to her feet. "I'm about to go to that hotdog stand right there. Are you coming?"

I shake my head. "No, you go on. I-I think I will go home and see if I can contact Bryan." I rise to my feet also.

"Okay. Call me and tell me what happens." She begins walking away. "Good luck."

"Okay," I mumble and head in the opposite direction. As I walk, people race past me on skates, bikes, and by jogging. Normally I would something in the middle of the sidewalk to trip them, but I am not feeling like being evil.

I know. Part of the reason people got frustrated and even angry with me was because of the way I act. If I have to change my ways to win back the man I love, I will.

I continue to saunter, and a very familiar thing catches my eye: Bryan's black Monte Carlo. I recognize it's his because of the license plate: I8PusC

I move around to the driver's side and try to peer in. It is hard to do since the windows are tinted, but the window is crack a little, so I gaze in to discover something very startling.

"What the fuck?" I yank open the door, reveling Bryan's head between Briana's legs.

Bryan lifts at his head. "Iroquois?"

"The one and only."

Bryan hops out of the car. "Baby, let me explain."

I punched him in his mouth. Briana adjusts her skirt and removes herself from the vehicle. "Iroquois, before things get ugly…"

"You little bitch!" I ball up my hands and commence to pound her face. We fall to the ground, so I scratch her face and snatch her hair until I am thrown to the side like a rag doll.

"Well, well, well…it looks like the tables have turned." Bryan replies, helping Briana to her feet. "Doesn't feel too good, does it?"

"Go to hell!" I scream, rubbing my skinned elbow.

"Already been there by being with you."

I stand to my feet. "Look at the happy couple," I spit out sarcastically Briana is wearing an awkward manifestation on her busied face while Bryan has a malevolent expression. "I hope you give each other AIDS!" I childish exclaim and run off.

"If I do give her AIDS, I got it from you!" I hear him yell back.

I jog until I am back in the residential part of Miami where I slow down to barely a walk, dragging my feet on the ground behind me.

Doesn't feel too good, does it?

No, it doesn't.

I can't blame him for what he did since I was doing the same.

Still, it didn't lessen the pain.

Blinded by tears and consumed in thought, I am unaware of my surroundings. That is until a one hundred and ten pound Pitbull clamps onto my fragile arm.

The dog hauls me to the ground, and I hit it with my free arm, but the vicious creation will not let me out of its jaw trap.

"Help! Someone help me!"

I manage free my left arm, but the creature locks onto my neck, ripping into my throat.

So this is how I am going to die? Being killed by my greatest fear.

As the pain sears through my body, I close my eyes no longer struggling with the beast. This shouldn't take long, I say to myself, and I begin to think about Bryan and me.

"I really like you, Iroquois."

"Huh?" I am half-listening because I am devouring a box of chocolates he had given to me.

"I said I really like you."

"I like you too, Bryan."

"Even though the sex is mind-blowing, that is not why I am with you. I think that we may have something serious and real."

"Me too." I place a fake smile on my face because I am looking past him at the Cuban cutie that I know I have to get a piece of.

I hear noises that sound like objects being tossed, so I open my eyes to see an array of pop cans, twigs, and rocks being flung at the canine.

"Get off of her!" It's Bryan. He approaches the dog and kicks and punches it, but the creature can tolerate the pain.

I shut my eyes again, ranting to myself: "Please, let me die. God, please let me die."

A single gunshot rings through my ears, and teeth are no longer embedded into my neck. I open my eyes to see Briana with tears streaming down her face position next to a man holding a rifle.

"The paramedics are on their way," Bryan tells me. "Just hang on, Iroquois. Help will be here soon."

Throughout the whole ordeal, I haven't shed any tears. I am sure shedding them now.

Things are never going to be the same.

"You should have let me die," I sob. "You should have let me die."

Seventy-four stitches and three surgeries. This is what it takes to repair the impairments. I guess my dream of becoming a model is as dead as that dog.

"You can still model," Maya reassures me. "You are still very pretty, and make-up can cover the scars."

"Give it up, Maya. It's useless."

I find out that the man who killed the dog was a resident of that block. He witnesses the attack from his living room and goes into the bedroom to retrieve his rifle. Outside, he sees Bryan attempting to beat the dog of me. He fires at the dog's head, killing it instantly.

Another thing I learn that even though it felt like hours, the dog attack only last two to three minutes.

There have been numerous complaints about the animal to the owner because his pet has been terrorizing the community, but this is the first attack.

Lucky me.

After the incident, the owner takes off, and he has yet to be found.

Briana and Bryan visit me several times presenting me with balloons, flowers, teddy bears, cards, and candy – probably because they feel partially responsible for the attack.

Even though they are very generous, Bryan makes it clear that he and I aren't getting back together because he wants to be with Briana.

The doctors state that I very fortunate. The Pit could have severally punctured my larynx, making me unable to speak; it could have damaged my arm to the point of it needing to be amputated; and of course, it could have killed me.

I do not feel so lucky.

I can never become a model.

I have to live with the emotional and physical scars for a lifetime.

I will never walk anywhere alone again.

I have to face the humiliation that a lame like Briana stole my boyfriend.

I have lost the one male that actually treated me like a girlfriend, and actually cared about me.

Women complain all the time that men are dogs. Well, some of us women are too.

End of Part Three. Hopefully the last story will be written soon.