Preppy the life amp deat.., p.13
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       Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One, p.13
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         Part #5 of King series by T. M. Frazier
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  she told me to stop and stay away, then I wouldn’t have felt like the torture Chop doled out was a pain only secondary to the hurt in my heart, put there by a little junkie. A pain that hit a lot harder than Chop ever could.

  CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

  DRE

  Sleep didn’t come easy. Or at all. I was restless, my thoughts on what had happened in the clearing. Preppy had said that he was over what happened to him as a kid, and although I was sure he believed it was the truth there was no way it was reality.

  I rolled over, tugging the blanket with me, when I suddenly felt an awareness as if I wasn’t alone. In the darkness, I caught a glimpse of the reflection in the full length mirror behind the closed door and, for a second, it looked as if someone was standing over me. At first, I thought it was just the haziness of sleep lingering over my eyes that caused the shadow.

  Until it moved.

  I sat up with a start, preparing to scream when a large hand covered my mouth, muffling my attempt to call for help. “How many times?” Preppy asked.

  I couldn’t answer him if I wanted to because his hand was still covering my mouth. He lifted it off my lips slowly, like he was waiting to see if I’d scream or not. When he was sure I wouldn’t he stood up and wandered about the room, looking over the pictures on the dresser. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Why are you here?”

  Preppy stepped up to the bed, turning around a picture of Mirna holding me as a baby. “I like this one,” he said, placing it on the nightstand next to the alarm clock. He sat down next to me on the bed. “How many times, Doc? How many times did they fuck you when you didn’t want them to?”

  My chest tightened as the panic set in. I shook my head. “I don’t want to talk about…”

  “Just tell me!” He rubbed his temples and looked more tired than I’d ever seen him look. “Please,” he said, lowering his voice to a whisper.

  “I don’t really know. It didn’t start until the end, before that everything was about the H. I wasn’t awake for all of it,” I said, hating to hear the words come out of my mouth because it made it even more true.

  Preppy nodded and in a move that surprised me, he reached out and took my hand linking his fingers in mine. I went to pull away, but changed my mind when he said, “Please.”

  “I was just a kid when it started,” he said, in a very serious and solemn voice. “At first, I didn’t know what was happening or why, but I knew it was wrong. The fucked up part was that I began to think it was normal. That being made to suck cock was just like taking out the trash or doing your homework.”

  I felt sick, wrapping my arms around my mid section.

  “Tim?” I asked. Preppy gave me a small nod.

  He swung his legs up on the bed, so he was sitting next to me with his back against the headboard, his hand still in mine. “By the time I was actually old enough for my dick to get hard, I began to like it.” He pinched his bottom lip and his shoulders shook in a small burst of sad laughter. “That’s the part that made me sick to my stomach. I’d throw up all the time, could barely hold anything down. I was like a walking skeleton. Told the nurse at school I had some weird disease that I looked up in an encyclopedia so she wouldn’t ask too many questions.”

  I squeezed his hand and he squeezed back.

  “I was nine when he first fucked me. Actual penetration. I hated him for it, but then when I was alone I couldn’t even get my dick hard without thinking about him, of all people.” He adjusted his bow tie. Something that I learned was pretty much his only nervous tick.

  “Where was your mom?” I asked. “You said she was neglectful. Did she work a lot?”

  “The bitch was right there. Right fucking there, under the same tin roof of the same piece of shit trailer. Tim, he was the guy who had his card punched the most in my mom’s ever revolving door of losers she needed to support her own habits.”

  “Where is she now?”

  Preppy shrugged. “She left me. With him. Just ran away and left me with Chester the Molester.”

  “You don’t need to joke.”

  “Doesn’t matter, it’s not fucking funny.” He ran a hand down his beard.

  “Do you know where she is now?”

  “Fucking rotting in the ground, hopefully. I don’t waste a lot of time thinking of someone who’s a waste of space on this earth.”

  “After Tim…” he glanced over to me, “left?” I smirked and this time it was Preppy who squeezed my hand first. “I was a wild kid and I was free. King and I got our own place and things were great. I realized that what Tim did hadn’t changed who I was deep down inside.” He smiled. “I especially knew this the moment I saw April Trenton, from ninth grade, in a tiny blue bikini top. That was life changing.”

  I laughed and nudged his shoulder.

  “King’s the one who told me that living with regret and hatred would just give Tim the power he wanted over me. Said it was no kind of life to be living, so I decided to embrace the good along with the bad and I did, never looked back. Stop being alive and start living, he’d told me and it stuck. Never even felt a shred of guilt for a damn thing I did since that very day until…”

  “Until when?”

  “Until today.” He looked me in the eye. “I didn’t mean.” He blew out a breath and looked at the wall. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

  “It wasn’t just you. I freaked out. I saw,” I sucked in a breath. “It’s just all so fresh.”

  He let go of my hand and rolled over onto his side, propping himself up on his elbow to face me. “I want us to be friends, Doc.”

  “Friends? Why?” I said, unable to help my smile. “Because your other friends aren’t around?”

  Preppy reached over and pushed some hair out of my face, his fingers lingering, tracing my cheekbone and then my lips. “I have no fucking idea. But what I do know is that I’ve never been friends with a girl before, so you’ll have to walk me through it.”

  “I don’t know how much help I can be. I pretty much ran all my friends off,” I said.

  “Good. Then we can learn together. Especially, since we’re kind of stuck with each other since I’m blackmailing you.”

  “That you are.”

  “And since we are going to be working together.”

  “Working together on what?” I asked.

  “Tomorrow, bright and early. I’ll show you what I mean.”

  Preppy stood up and I thought he was going to leave, but he kicked off his shoes and took off his shirt, folding it neatly on the nightstand. He tugged off his jeans revealing black boxers underneath. “What are you doing?”

  “We’re friends now, right?” Preppy asked, with an excited look in his eyes.

  “Yeaaaaaaahhhhh,” I drawled, suspicious of why he needed to be undressed for us to be friends. “But we’re not THOSE kinds of friends.”

  “The kind that have sleepovers?” he asked.

  “Are we twelve?” I wasn’t able to hide my laugh as Preppy maneuvered his body into the twin bed. I had no choice but to either scoot over or be crushed. The only way for him to fit was for both of us to lay on our sides. He laid his head on the pillow facing me, his thighs pressed up against mine. Our noses only inches from one another as our knees and thighs tangled together.

  “I don’t sleep much,” he admitted.

  “I don’t either,” I admitted. “Too much on your mind?”

  “That and the blow.” Preppy’s arms moved under the covers and suddenly a large warm hand was covering my breast. “Good night,” he said, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. I grabbed his wrist and pushed it back. “Friends don’t fondle one another.”

  “Bullshit, sure they do,” Preppy argued, his eyes popping back open.

  “Do you fondle Bear and King?”

  Preppy yawned, closed his eyes again, and settled into the pillow. “Ummm. Sure. Every day and twice on Sunday’s.”

  “You make me laugh, Preppy,” I said.

  “You make me confuse
d as fuck, Doc, but I realized something today.”

  “What’s that?”

  Preppy’s voice was a distant whisper as his chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm. “That we’re the same.”

  Oscar chose that moment to grunt his way into the room. He nudged Preppy with his snout. “Preppy?” I whispered.

  “Yeah, Doc?”

  “Will you please tell me what’s up with the fucking pig?”

  CHAPTER NINETEEN

  DRE

  Oscar was a service pig.

  This is not a joke.

  Apparently, a pigs sense of smell is better than that of a dogs and they’re smarter too, but since they aren’t as convenient as a dog they’d been passed over for that position and instead used for other things.

  Like bacon.

  “So you bought Mirna a pig?” I asked. We’d spent the morning in the grow-room and Preppy was showing me the ropes. And by ropes, I mean hoses. There were a million yards of different hose that needed to be installed in each of the rooms. The ventilation aspect of the operation was of Preppy’s own design and very impressive. It was disguised as a window air conditioning unit and it kept the smell of the plants not only from the inside of the house so the Granny’s wouldn’t be bothered by it, but it also kept passers by from smelling what was going on inside the house. He showed me how to install a basic system, while explaining to me how the recruitment process worked.

  “I did buy her a pig,” he said, laughing like the notion was ridiculous even to him. “I read an article online about service dogs for people suffering from dementia but those motherfuckers are expensive and the waiting list is years long. So I looked up alternatives to service dogs and BOOM. Now Mirna has Oscar.”

  “What exactly does he do?” I said, and as if he knew we were talking about him, the cow-colored pig came traipsing into the room as if he was supervising and checking on our progress.

  Preppy patted him on the head. “In a nutshell, he’ll alert us when the shit’s about to hit the fan.” He unraveled yet another plastic hose and opened a small tool box.

  “Where did you learn all this?” I asked.

  “From a fucking ten-year-old on Youtube,” Preppy said, unloading equipment from a box marked as dog food.

  “Shut the fuck up!” I said, covering my mouth. “There’s no way.”

  “It’s the truth. We’ve been having issues with our source, guys a real douche. When King was sentenced I wanted to come up with a plan B, so I set this in motion. I first thought about buying a house and setting up our operation in there, but growhouses are kind of obvious. Usually, a guy that looks like a thug coming and going is kind of a tip off. The smell is harder to handle on a mass scale, as well. So I wound up on Youtube, watching videos of how these young kids were growing it in their closets and using these intricate filtration systems they set up with tubing from hamster cages and science projects. Figured we could do the same thing. Smaller scale of growing scattered around the town.”

  “Ahhhhh, so that’s when it all started.”

  “Yes, it is. So we look for older women. Someone who lives alone. Not a lot of family to ask too many questions. Someone needing to supplement their social security check. It was actually a lot easier than I thought to get people to agree.”

  “Why women? Why not an older man?” I asked, dropping the drill I was holding when Oscar ran into me like a bull from behind, taking out my knees and knocking me to the floor. “Thanks, buddy,” I mumbled.

  Preppy helped me off the floor, and I rubbed the spot on my tailbone I’d landed on. “Want me to get that for you?” he asked, eyes gleaming with mischief.

  “I think I can handle it.”

  “Report back if that situation changes.” Preppy went back to his tools, and I drilled another hook into the wall.

  “There are a few types of people my charm and wit doesn’t work on. Old men being one of those kinds of people. Besides, old ladies make the best cookies. We have four now, but in order to stop getting supply from the asshole we get it from now we’re gonna need more. A lot more. That’s where you come in.”

  “So not only am I forging documents for you, but you’ve somehow roped me into co-conspirator of your drug ring?”

  “Yep.”

  “Sneaky bastard,” I said, pointing the drill at him and pushing the trigger, giving it a few spins. I looked around at the progress we’d made. “This is actually kind of a genius idea.”

  “Yeah, I think so, too,” he said with a cocky smile. “It doesn’t raise suspicion and the Granny’s are compensated well. It’s win win all around.”

  “So you make your pitch and they hand you the keys to their house?”

  “Something like that. Some prefer not to know what I’m doing in their guest bedroom. For those who want to know, I try and make them see that I’m not dragging them into a torrid drug trade.”

  “How do you prefer them to see it?” I asked.

  He grinned from ear to ear. “Subletting.”

  Preppy passed me one end of a tube and we each climbed one of the ladders set up on opposite ends of the room.

  “Was Mirna your first?”

  He scoffed. “Far from it.”

  I flashed him a middle finger salute with my free hand. “That’s not what I meant, although I wouldn’t doubt that your first time was with an elderly woman who seduced you with cookies and reruns of the Golden Girls.”

  “It was Jeopardy,” he deadpanned, before his face cracked open into a smile. “Would have been cooler if that were true, but if you must know, the truth was I was fourteen when a woman stole my precious virtue.” Preppy got down from his ladder, and crossed the room to pass me the nail gun.

  “And what was this lucky lady’s name?” I asked, tacking my side up with a lot more finesse than Preppy had.

  “Her name?” He laughed. “Anything I wanted it to be.”

  “You lost your virginity to a hooker!” I said. Preppy grabbed me by the waist and brought me down from the ladder.

  Preppy opened the top of the filtration system. “I sure did. Best birthday ever, thanks to King. Turned into kind of an annual thing after that.”

  I stood there gaping. Not that he’d done it, but that he admitted it.

  “What?” he asked, when he saw me staring with my mouth open. “Your family doesn’t have traditions?”

  “Something tells me that you don’t have a lot of skeletons in your closet.”

  Preppy shook his head. “Nope, I don’t keep evidence.”

  Oscar darted out of the room. “Are all pigs that fast?”

  “Not sure. He’s the only pig I’ve gotten to know on a personal level.” Preppy stripped some wires while I sat on the floor untangling extension cords. “So what about you, Doc? When did you lose your virtue?”

  “What is this, Pride and Prejudice?” I asked. Preppy narrowed his eyes at me. After his admission last night, the least I could do was come clean. “It was…” The look on Preppy’s face told me that I didn’t need to continue, he knew exactly what I was about to say, that I’d lost it when I was raped by Conner and Eric. His jaw tightened and he was white knuckling the screwdriver in his hand so hard, I thought his knuckles were going to pop out of his skin. Suddenly, his entire demeanor shifted.

  “So that’s the only time you’ve ever fucked?”

  “Way to beat around the bush about it,” I said dryly, biting my lip as embarrassment and shame washed over me. Suddenly, Preppy was crouched down in front of me. He lifted my chin so I could face him. “What?” I asked, as he searched my eyes.

  He cleared his throat and for a second I thought he was having a stroke, because I’d never heard him go quiet for so long. He took
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