Preppy the life amp deat.., p.3
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       Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One, p.3
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         Part #5 of King series by T. M. Frazier

  Despite everything, I still wanted it. Craving the high that had nothing to do with being up on the water tower.

  Heroin.

  I don’t remember who got it or when we first decided to try it. I only remember the wave of euphoria that took over that very first time.

  I was lost and somewhere along the way heroin took notice and moved in and took my place. It decided my every move. It was the reason behind my every terrible decision. It didn’t just take over my life. It was my life. The more the heroin did the thinking for me, the less I had to do for myself. Heroin allowed me a retreat that sobriety couldn’t.

  An oblivion.

  I’d chosen that oblivion over my friends, my family, college.

  I scooted to the end of the platform, dangling my feet over the ledge. One of my shoes, cheap flip-flops from a gas station, slipped off my foot. I leaned over the railing to watch as it flitted down to the ground, gaining enough momentum to send a small poof of dirt billowing into the air when it smacked against the earth.

  A crazed laugh that sounded nothing like me burst from my mouth, echoing across the tops of the pines lining the dirt road beside the tower. I kicked off my other shoe and watched in wonderment as it followed the path of its mate, landing only inches away in another poof of dirt and dust.

  I wondered what it felt like. To fly. To be a bird above it all. Maybe it would end just like my shoes…poof.

  I stood up too quickly, falling back down onto my boney ass. My knees wobbled and gave out. I tried again, this time much slower. Holding on to the railing, I focused my gaze down on my shoes as I lifted one bare foot onto the bottom rung of the rail. The sharp metal cut into the flesh in the crease of my toes. My entire body began to shake more violently than before, almost as if I was having a seizure. It wasn’t just because I was needing a fix. It was my entire being recognizing and realizing what I was about to do.

  This was it.

  Bending at the waist, I raised my other foot and was met with the same cut of flesh. I shifted my hands to the top rung and slowly straightened my knees until I was standing upright, the only thing keeping me from falling over the side was the thin guard bar pressed against the middle of my thighs which bent against my weight.

  With my hands at my sides, I used my fingers to slowly pull up the hem of my t-shirt until I had enough of the material in my hands to lift it up over my head. Raising it into the night sky I released my clenched fist and watched as the breeze picked it up and carried it into the pines, and I was glad to see it go. I gave a quick press of my lips to the silver cross Mirna had given me for my first communion and let it fall back between my breasts. I carefully removed my shorts and underwear, lifting one foot at a time until I was standing bared to the world.

  Clean.

  It was the beginning of the end.

  A baptism into death.

  I stretched my arms out wide, embracing the night.

  I was ready to fly.

  On the count of three.

  One.

  Two.

  Three.

  * * *

  I don’t want to do this.

  But it was too late. It wasn’t as if I could jump back and change my mind. I was already falling.

  Until I wasn’t.

  I was ripped back from the very edge of death by strong arms and for a naive second, I thought it might have been God himself who’d heard my last second change of heart and saved my life. A life I’d so stupidly chose to throw away in a moment of delusion and weakness.

  What the fuck is wrong with me? What am I doing here? I thought, coming back to my senses as my body was thrown sideways, elbows, shoulders, and knees crashed against metal, railing, wall, and finally flesh. My spine arched off the platform like a fallen cat as my tailbone landed unceremoniously with a sickening crunch that made my eyes water.

  I was pushed onto my back. Powerful thighs straddled me, and again I was stupid enough to think that maybe I was being protected. That thought was short lived when my wrists were jerked above my head and held at an awkward angle that made my arms throb. After a few excruciating moments, the pain in the base of my spine dulled to an ache and I was able to open my eyes to the blurry world around me.

  I blinked rapidly. When my vision cleared I found myself staring up into the dark amber-colored eyes of a man who most certainly wasn’t God.

  He was older than me, but only by a few years at most. I’d never seen anyone like him. One side of his neck was covered in colorful and intricate tattoos that disappeared into the collar of his yellow button-down shirt. When he adjusted my wrists, his sleeves rode up his forearms, revealing very little unmarked skin there as well. His sandy-blond hair was shaved short on the sides, longer and slicked back on top. His beard was neat, short, and several shades darker than the hair on his head.

  For a brief moment I was relieved that whoever the man was, at least he wasn’t Conner or Eric.

  However, that relief soon gave way to unadulterated panic.

  I didn’t recognize him. Not at first, anyway. Not until he smiled and my gaze traveled from his full lips and straight white teeth, down to his pink and yellow polka-dotted bow tie. Then the recognition slammed into me like a freight train.

  Oh fuck.

  This man was my savior.

  He was also anything but.

  “I see you remember me. Well, at least now it all makes a fuck of a lot more sense,” he said, his voice a deep rumble that I felt in my chest as he leaned down over me, his lips a breath away from mine. I tried to struggle, to free myself of his grip, but he only chuckled and held me tighter. He was right by laughing because my fighting back was exactly that. Laughable. I was weak.

  Too weak.

  “What exactly makes sense now?” I managed to bite out, blowing out a breath of frustration at my lack of ability to fight him off.

  “It’s a common knowledge around here that anyone who steals from me or my partner has got to be either dumb-as-fuck or suicidal,” he said, leaning back onto his knees. Still holding my wrists with one hand, he gestured with the other to the ledge I’d stood on seconds earlier. “The truth is that when I followed you up here I had my money on dumb-as-fuck, but hey, you surprised me by trying to take the final leap over there, I didn’t expect that. Almost didn’t catch you in time.” He then leaned back down and had the audacity to pinch my cheek, the way a crazy aunt would.

  “So what? You only saved me from killing myself so you could have the honor?”

  “Maybe,” he admitted, adding, “You should be proud of yourself, kid, ’cause nothing much surprises me these days. In a way,” he paused and looked around into the night sky, taking a deep breath through his nose, releasing it with an audible sigh out of his mouth, like he was sitting in an open field, relaxing and literally smelling the flowers. “It’s kind of refreshing. I hope those other two stupid fucks surprise me like you have, but I doubt it.” He looked back down at me and winked. “My money is staying on dumb-as-fuck when it comes to those two.”

  “What did you do to Mirna?” I asked, my words as shaky as the rest of my body.

  “Is that a new thing? Is that what the kids are all doing these days? Ripping people off, then pretending like they give two fucks what happens to them?”

  “Please. Tell me. Is she okay?”

  He chuckled, like the panic in my voice was amusing to him. He leaned down, his cheek firmly against mine. “I’m. Not. Telling. You. Shit,” he said, squeezing my body hard between his thighs, as if to prove to me that it was all it would take to crush me.

  That’s when I saw it.

  That thing I’d never forget that made the hair on my arms stand on end and my mouth open with a gasp.

  Whenever I thought of someone who was “scary,” I thought of men from movies or books. The overly muscled type with no necks, wearing black clothes with scowls on their faces. Someone like a security guard or bouncer or biker who could warn people away with their large statures and brooding silence
. Someone you wouldn’t want to cross in a dark alley, never mind a lit street.

  The man on top of me could never be described that way. He was far from a brute with his lean build. And his clothes consisted of pastels and suspenders, not exactly big scary-man attire. In essence, he looked as if he’d stepped out of a page from The Notebook.

  Upon first glance, the guy was about as scary as the Easter Bunny.

  Until I saw IT.

  It was a spark. Just a glint of depravity lurking behind his amber eyes. I saw it in the way he smiled as he held me down. I heard it in the way he told me I was dumb-as-fuck and adorable in the same breath. And when he spoke about his plans for revenge, I felt it in my soul.

  It was then I knew he was capable of things I couldn’t even fathom.

  Where Conner and Eric were bad guys in an obvious way, they didn’t instill in me the same kind of fear this man did.

  I’d thought I’d known true fear when I’d stood on the ledge and decided to recklessly end it all, but I hadn’t. I hadn’t even known it when Conner and Eric had beat me, brutalized me, and then took turns forcing themselves on me.

  Into me.

  No.

  I never knew true fear until I met pure evil.

  He wore a smile and a bow tie.

  CHAPTER FOUR

  PREPPY

  The night had taken a turn for the worse when I showed up to Mirna’s house on the tail end of being robbed of my fucking plants.

  However, I was now straddling a naked chick on top of the water tower, which was one of my favorite places in Logan’s Beach.

  Shit was looking up.

  Although, when I followed her up to the tower I hadn’t known she was planning to defile my sacred space by tossing her boney body off of it.

  There was something about her, something almost familiar, although I knew I hadn’t met her before. I watched as she stood stark naked, with her face tilted toward the sky, and her arms out, like she was king of the world on the front of the motherfucking Titanic. She was fascinating.

  The bitch was in rough shape. Bruises and dried blood patched all over her skin made her look like a puzzle missing some pieces. I’d stood there in the shadows, taking in the sight before me for such a long time that I almost missed the slight tilt of her body in a forward motion. If I was a nanosecond later in making a run for her I’d be calling for a clean up instead of sitting on top of her, caging her in with my thighs. Fuck, if she hadn’t been such a tiny waif of a thing, she probably would’ve pulled me over with her.

  “Why did you save me?” she suddenly asked, pausing her adorable struggling which was getting her nowhere fast.

  “Awe, thats cute,” I said, peering down into her doll-like eyes that were so dark, they were almost black.

  She huffed, her small perky tits heaved up and down as she tried to catch her breath. So did her rib cage, which was outlined under her purple and yellowed skin. Her collarbone was sharp and so were her elbows. She reminded me of one of those starving dog commercials with the sad music playing in the background. “What’s cute?” she asked on a strained exhale.

  “That you think you’ve been saved.”

  “Well, I’m not dead,” she argued.

  “Yet,” I shrugged. “It’s hard to get answers from a flattened corpse. Trust me. I’ve tried.”

  She growled and tried to free her arms from my grasp, and that’s when I got a better look at the inside of her arms. Suddenly, it sunk in that this chick wasn’t just covered in bruises, these were pock marks. She wasn’t just some skinny bitch.

  She was a junkie.

  Bruised. Broken.

  Vulnerable.

  She was shaking like a fucking leaf, and with every tremble my dick grew harder until it was begging to be free of its khaki confines.

  She gasped, when she felt me hard against her leg, “What…why?”

  I raised my eyebrows. “Really? Why? My cock only knows that I’m on top of a naked chick. It’s simple biology. Don’t feel too flattered, I once got a chubby when the lady who runs the deli tried to wipe a mustard stain off the front of my pants.” If she really knew that I was thinking about how her bruises and dried blood looked like art under the moonlight, and how I’d like to paint a line or two on her skin myself, she’d probably scream.

  Loud.

  I grew even harder.

  “What’s your name?” I asked, easing up on my grip, slightly.

  “Why?” she asked, warily, her voice now a whisper.

  I rolled my eyes. “So I can know what to doodle on the cover of my notebook,” I said, sarcastically. “Okay, so here is how this is gonna go. I’m going to let go of you and let you sit up. Then I’m going to introduce myself, and then you’re going to introduce yourself. Got it?”

  She tipped her chin in agreement and never took her eyes off me, even when I let her go. She tried to sit up but was struggling, her muscles visibly shaking from the strain. At the rate she was going I’d be next to throw myself off the tower from the pure boredom of waiting. She swatted at my chest when I picked her up by her hips and pulled her up to a sitting position, pressing her back against the wall. I grabbed her hands in mine. “No hitting,” I said, shaking my index finger at her like I was scolding a toddler.

  I released her again and plopped down next to her. This chick was exhausting, but shit I was kind of having fun.

  Junkies. Who knew?

  “I’m Samuel Clearwater,” I said, extending my hand. I didn’t wait for her to take it, instead I picked up her hand off her thigh and shook it hard, as if to show her how introductions were done. My gaze dropped to the tiny patch of light colored curls between her legs. My mouth watered.

  Huh.

  Dark hair on her head.

  Light body hair.

  Interesting little druggie.

  “But everyone calls me Preppy.” I gave her delicate hand a hard squeeze. “And you are…”

  “Andrea, but most people just call me Dre.”

  “Like Dr. Dre?” I asked, excited by her unique name. “That’s fucking awesome. Please tell me you have a sibling named Snoop. For the love of all that is holy, please tell me that. Shit, never mind, don’t tell me, I’m just gonna pretend that you do.” Her eyebrows squished together like she was trying to figure me out.

  Good-fucking-luck to her. She wouldn’t be the first one.

  “So Dr. Dre, you strung out?” I asked, already knowing the answer.

  “Fuck off!” she spat, turning her head. I grabbed her chin and forced her to face me.

  “I can fix that for yoooouuuu,” I sang. Her lips parted. “I can get you what you need to turn this little frown upside down.” I released her chin.

  “You just pointed out that I’m strung out, but you’re offering me a fix?” Her pupils dilated, like the junkie part of her already knew the answer to my question.

  “Listen, I could take you to a twelve step meeting or I could offer you an all expense paid trip to rehab, but if you haven’t noticed, I’m not your parents, or Dr.-Fucking-Phil, so that’s not gonna happen. A life changing solution, I ain’t got. But H? H I can get you with one little phone call.” She turned her head to the side. “So. What’ll it be, Doc?”

  “What do you want??” she asked, and that’s when I knew she was considering my offer. Although, there was more to it than that. MUCH, MUCH MORE.

  “Your buddies.”

  “What…what are you going to do to them?”

  “Does it fucking matter?” I asked. “Let’s just say that they
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