“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel it’s warmth.”~ African Proverb He didn’t wake up heartless. Hurt people, hurt people. Adrian Jones’s life abruptly changed when his grandmother died, forcing him to live in Murphy Homes with distant kin. His younger cousin didn’t roll out the welcome mat or ease the bumpy transition. But—why would he? D’Wayne King’s too busy running wild, racking up bodies all over town, and chasing his dream of heading the BBC, which reigned supreme over West Baltimore’s streets. Though he never fits-in or fully adjusts, strait-laced Adrian stays above the fray. With time, he also comes to better understand D’Wayne’s rage. Their dawning bond is tested when a well-intentioned, but hastily conceived act, goes awry, forcing each, to look his demons in the eyes. Living on borrowed time, Adrian knows his only hope is an escape. But how? At what cost? With adulthood years away and their building set for demolition, each wonders if he’ll survive long enough to witness it. Lead Babies is the final story in the collection that includes, After the Reign: A Baltimore Love Story, JoJo: Part One, and JoJo Part: Two. It contains dark themes, triggers, explicit content.