Preppy the life amp deat.., p.8
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       Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One, p.8
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         Part #5 of King series by T. M. Frazier

  “Some of us on our arms.” She pressed her palm over my chest. “Some of us in our hearts.”

  Some of us on our face. I absently ran my hand down the jagged raised scar on the side of my face.

  Mirna walked over to her dresser and grabbed a silver frame from one of the many crowding the surface. She looked from the picture to me. “Well, what do you know about that.” She handed me the frame.

  The picture was of Mirna wearing a very similar style dress, except she topped hers off with gloves and a white floppy hat. She was arm and arm with my grandfather as they smiled for the camera. My mother was young, standing at her feet holding a lunch box. Her blond hair and light features favoring my grandpa, while I was a spitting image of Mirna. I held up the picture frame and looked again at the similarity between a younger version of my grandmother and myself. It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. “You do look like me.”

  “It’s like we were twins separated by…decades,” I said as Mirna nodded and chuckled, taking the frame back from my hands and setting it back, exactly in the position it was before on the dresser, tweaking it left, then back right a few times before she was satisfied. “Mirna, exactly how old are you?” I asked, trying to do the math in my head.

  Mirna sighed. “Four hundred and seventy seven,” she deadpanned. We both broke out into a fit of laughter so hard I thought I’d rip the seam of my dress. When we reined it in she looked me over again, a look of satisfaction on her face, her lips twisted up into a beautiful smile. “You look breathtaking, my dear. Your grandfather would have loved to see you in that dress. You know, it was the very first one he sent me,” she said, waving off the emotion that had her temporarily at a loss for words. Her eyes watered and reddened, but she stood strong. Sniffling and straightening her back like she was daring the tears to come back.

  “Mirna…” I started, reaching out to comfort her, but she stepped back and waved me off.

  “Oh, don’t be silly. I’m just an old woman, which makes me just about as emotional as a pregnant woman,” she said with a sniffle, lightening the mood. “Samuel is going to love the way you look,” Mirna lamented.

  “What does he have to do with anything?”

  Mirna quirked up a white eyebrow. “Didn’t I tell you, dear? He’s the reason I remembered to give you the clothes I’d kept for you. They’re for your new job.”

  “My new job?”

  “Yes, your new job working for Samuel.” Mirna took one last look at my reflection and sighed with satisfaction. “It will be good for you. Give you a chance to clean your soul, start fresh.”

  “Is that even possible?” I asked, but I wasn’t sure if I was directing the question at her or me. “What if the stains are too great?”

  “No, you’ll see. It’s the stains that make us human,” she said, and with that I fell a little more in love with my grandmother. “I tell you what, you go water the plants while I go and find that meditation book for you. When you’re done, you can meet me in the backyard. We are going to have our first meditation session, and you are going to focus on the future and what you want out of life. We’re gonna clean that soul you think is so dirty.”

  Mirna could try her damnedest, but I was pretty sure that a soul as dirty as mine would need a lot more than some new clothes and meditation to be cleaned. I pointed to the stranger in the mirror, a girl who looked like she ALMOST had it together, I muttered, “At this point, bleach might be a lot more useful than a book on meditation.”

  Maybe I’d ask Preppy about how to clean a dirty soul, because although Mirna had enlightened me as to what he’d done for her, she hadn’t seen his eyes up on the tower.

  None of it made sense. A guy who helps old ladies in their time of need couldn’t possibly be the monster I thought he was. Maybe he didn’t have a dirty soul, after all.

  Maybe it was just me.

  * * *

  Later that day, Mirna gave me my first lesson in meditation. I was sans shoes in the grass, but every so often I’d open one eye and check to make sure they were still on the deck where I’d placed them, lovingly, in the shade.

  We sat Indian style across from one another in front of her flower box, our hands on our knees, palms up. Oscar grunted around the backyard. Both Mirna and even Preppy seemed to care for the animal, so much that I’d yet to ask why the heck my grandma had an enormous pig as a pet, but when he nudged my shoulder with his dirty wet nose I shooed him away, pretending to be annoyed at his interruption. I placed my index finger across my lips and Oscar got the message, trotting back up to the fence and sniffing under the gate, like a dog smelling for other animals. Were all pigs that smart?

  I took a deep breath and attempted to rein in my thoughts and concentrate on the meditation. Mirna’s chin was tipped up toward the warm sun, her famous cat eyes were simple perfection in the bright light that made her wrinkled, yet flawless skin, look as if it were glowing.

  Unable to help myself, I snuck another peek toward the back deck to check on my new shoes for the hundredth time, and for a second my heart stopped beating. One was missing. I was about to bolt to the neighbors house to call 911, or the fire department, or poison control, or the president himself, when a shadow fell over me. I shrieked and tried to jump away, but he grabbed me by the arm and held me down. I fell sideways across the intruders lap, all the while Mirna remained in her meditative pose.

  The intruder laughed. And I glanced up to find Preppy holding the missing heel over my head.

  “Nice shoes, wanna fuck?”

  CHAPTER ELEVEN

  PREPPY

  What in the fuck was she wearing? Her dress was hugging her tiny waist and pushing out her tits, and suddenly it was as if I’d gone deaf because all I could hear was the blood rushing to my cock. Everything in me was shouting at me to bend this girl over and fuck her until we both fucking DIED.

  I didn’t care that Mirna was sitting right there. I didn’t care if the Pope and the Dalai Lama were watching on the sidelines with Jesus himself. All I wanted was to see that glossy red lipstick smeared all over my motherfucking cock.

  Rein it in shit-head. I scolded myself, you have more important things to be focusing on, other than her tits.

  But those tits…

  It looked like Mirna had roped in another one. I was glad too because as much as I liked her, when she’d insisted on teaching me to meditate I mostly played a recap of American Ninja Warrior in my head until she told me we were done. Her current pupil had been shocked and amazed by how good I fucking looked and had fainted across my lap, unable to get a grip on her swoon.

  OR, I’d scared the shit out of her and she fell onto me.

  It was definitely one of those two things.

  Regardless of how it happened, what stood out most to me was where her hand had landed when she tried bracing her fall. I’m not gonna lie, it was actually kind of cute when she blushed after realizing it was right over my cock.

  I admit that when I first saw her sitting there in that dress, with her hair all done up in shiny waves, and her lips painted bright red like the star in my favorite fifties porn, Rosie the Rectal Riveter, I didn’t even recognize her. My first thought was very caveman. Must put cock in pussy. But when I realized it was Dre behind that get up, it added a whole new layer of intrigue to the girl who already had me intrigued.

  I had tasted that pussy, and I liked it.

  No, I fucking loved it.

  A fucking lot.

  I wasn’t going to tell her that, but omitting information isn’t the same as lying. I wasn’t a liar. I would even go as far as to say that my strength had always been in my amazing ability to be completely and brutally honest. Of course, the gift of honesty was in addition to my sense of humor, wit, charm, character, striking good looks, phenomenal—yet classic—sense of style, and last but not least, the tribungus slab of man meat dangling between my legs.

  But I motherfucking digress.

  So when my phone vibrated, and I found myself listenin
g wordlessly to some guy, who I quickly realized was Dre’s dad, launch right into an apology for turning his back on his only daughter, followed by a plea for me to tell him where she was so he could bring her home, my first instinct was to tell him the truth and take all the glory and credit for being the individual who successfully reunited the estranged father and daughter duo. After all, that’s what Dre had said she really wanted more than anything, to go home to her dad. And there I was—holding the capability to do just that in the palm of my hand.

  Dre plucked the fuck-me heel I’d taken off the porch from my hands. I was about to tell her that it was her dad on the line when I remembered the reason I came over in the first place. I froze with my mouth open and the phone to my ear, like Zack Morris had paused time, Saved by the Bell style.

  If Dre went home, then I’d lose my one last chance at getting Max back for King. I mean, it’s not like I hadn’t done anything for this chick, I reminded myself. I’d let her live and all.

  Motherfucking generous is what I really was.

  King had saved my life, several times over. Shit, he’s the one who gave me a life to begin with. And as far as heterosexual life-mate’s go, I’d won the fucking lottery when he showed up on the playground that day and knocked the fuck out of a bully, who I may or may not still have egged his mother’s house on a regular basis.

  I walked off and waited until I was at the back gate, far enough away, where I was positive there was no chance of Mirna or Dre hearing me before I uttered a single word. “Who the fuck is this?” I asked, inserting as much annoyance as I could into the question, interrupting Dre’s dad, who hadn’t stopped talking, his fast speaking made it almost impossible to make out his frantic plea.

  “This is Adnet Capulet. Who…who is this?” he echoed my question, anger and confusion replacing the desperation in his voice.

  “Adnet, I’m the guy who picked up the ringing phone,” I sang, “And you’re the guy who called and made the phone ring. Go ahead, ask me another one. This is fun.” I bent over to pick a sand spur from the side of my boot. One of its unholy devil points stuck into the side of my finger. I shook my hand several times before it finally detached from my flesh, flicking it into the brush where it would undoubtedly find another unsuspecting victim to torment, with their ability to cause just enough of an injury to throb mildly in the middle of the night and wake you out of a deep sleep. Those little cunt-seeds were so annoying, they were like the plant version of Dancing with the Stars.

  Again, I motherfucking digress.

  I sucked the drop of blood that pooled on my fingertip. “My daughter,” Adnet started, “her name is Andrea. She called me a while ago from this number. I want to talk to her. Please, if you know where she is. I made a mistake. I just want her to come ho…”

  “Let me stop you right there, man. You sound like a nice guy, maybe a little high strung, but nice. Unfortunately, I have no fucking clue who you’re talking about. The payphone I was about to use started ringing, so I answered it. Sorry, man. Might want to look into getting her on the side of a milk carton, STAT.”

  I hit END and was about to shove my phone back into my pocket, when it vibrated again. “Listen,” I snapped, the irritation in my voice no longer fake. “I told you that this is a public phone and I don’t know where the fuck your daughter is but, I’m trying to make a call here…” Bears booming laughter interrupted me.

  “Oh, it’s just you,” I said, and if a voice could snarl, that’s how I spoke to Bear. Snarly. I held the phone under my chin and picked at the tall grass that had grown over from the connecting field and wrapped its way around the gate latch.

  “Whatever’s going on, you got it handled?” Bear asked. “Or is this gonna end with me finding half-burnt body parts in the fire pit?”

  “Jesus Christ. You put one fucking body in the fire pit and suddenly it’s a big thing.”

  Bear must have been somewhere near a highway because I could hear passing cars and honking truck horns. “Seriously Prep, everything okay down there? We just hit the Mississippi state line and stopped to gas up. Figured I’d check in while I could.” Motorcycles roared to life. Men shouted to one another over the noise of their engines.

  “You don’t need to check in on me. I’m not a toddler,” I pointed out, sucking on the tip of my finger, where blood had pooled into a drop from the sand spur from hell.

  “Yet, I can hear you pouting through the fucking phone.”

  “I just got a lot of shit going on,” I muttered, pulling the gate closed behind me. Understatement of the fucking year.

  “Like someone calling and asking the whereabouts of their daughter? Yeah, I’d call that a lot of shit. What did you get yourself into now?”

  “No, it’s not like that,” I argued. “It’s just some guy looking for a girl who doesn’t want to be found,” I lied, and if lying to Dre’s dad didn’t feel quite right, lying to Bear felt like I was coming down with a case of something I didn’t know how to cure.

  Guilt. A disease I wanted no part of.

  Telling Bear about Dre. Or my new plan to have her help me with the growhouses while I took care of the Max situation, was off the table, at least until I knew it could actually work. Getting him or Grace’s hopes up, only to crush them if it all turned to shit, wasn’t something part of my plan.

  Again, omitting isn’t technically lying.

  “You sure you’re not just shacking up with some chick, Prep?” Bear asked, laughing at his own ridiculous statement.

  “Yeah man, forgot to tell you. Me and Sylvia got something going on. It’s real serious, too. I think she might be pregnant,” I shot back, rolling my eyes like he could see me.

  Sylvia was a one of the other founding Granny Growhouses.

  She was also ninety-two-years-old.

  “But seriously, Prep, this girl, the one who don’t want to be found. She in some sort of trouble?” Bear asked, raising his voice above the background noise, which had only grown louder.

  “She’s Mirna’s granddaughter. She showed up out of the blue, all strung out and shit, and beat the fuck up. She’s gonna stick around with Mirna and watch over my plants until the facility in Sarasota has a spot.” Which was sort of the truth.

  I took the file out of the back waistband of my pants.

  Bear was now yelling above the noise, when he asked, “You fuck her?”

  “No.”

  Although, I think about it. Although, I’ve gotten a taste.

  “She’s fucking strung out, has the shakes all the time. One eye is like way bigger than the other and she’s got this huge hump on her back. I mean, I’m not against it, but it’s not like she’s first on my to-do list.”

  “Does she live in a bell tower, Prep? ’Cause your girl sounds a lot like Quasi-Moto.”

  “She’s not my girl. Don’t try to do that thing you do where you make this into something it’s not. I just made the shitty mistake of letting her use my phone, and now I gotta get a new fucking number so her daddy stops fucking calling me wanting to know where his junkie daughter is.”

  Suddenly, I was very grateful that Mirna didn’t have a phone. If I were him, and just as desperate to get in touch with her, Mirna’s house would’ve been one of the first places I’d call.

  “Whatever, Prep.” Bear laughed, like he knew something I didn’t, which pissed me off and was probably the reason why the need to defend myself had me spewing my next line of bullshit.

  When did life get so fucking complicated?

  “You guys are looking for new BBB’s over at the clubhouse, right? Didn’t Puerto Rican Fury and Robert Dinero leave recently?” I asked.

  “Yeah, Jessica and Ivette left. Jessica is knocked up and marrying some dentist, and Ivette disappeared into thin air, but you know how that goes. We could definitely use a few new faces around the MC.” Bear ignored my use of two of the nicknames I’d come up with for his club girls over the years. I’d named the one girl, Puerto Rican Fury, for good reason, she was in fac
t Puerto Rican, and always pissed off about something. The other I called, Robert Dinero, because like the actor, she could pass for either Spanish, Italian, or Jewish. However, her smokin’ body was a lot more banging than her male counterpart. “Why? You think the junkie girl would want to give club life a go?” Bear asked, before telling me to “hang on a sec.” He didn’t bother covering the phone when he barked orders out to his men. I held my phone away from my head, in order to avoid permanent damage to my ear drum, as he yelled out for everyone to be ready to ride out in five. “Okay, so yeah. The girl,” he said when he came back on the line.

  “She’s got Daddy issues and a drug problem to boot. Think this one was actually born to be a BBB,” I pointed out.

  “All right, bring her over to the clubhouse when we get back.” There was a commotion in the background, rowdy voices and crunching metal. “Fuck me. Gotta head out, natives are getting restless.” Engines revved and became so loud I either A) didn’t hear him say “bye” or B) Bear hadn’t said it at all and just hung up on me. Knowing Bear and his stellar manners, plus the fact that the guy was allergic to shirts and all that went along with that, I went with B.

  Dre jerked her head down when I turned back around, like she hadn’t been caught staring at me.

  She might have been the one to try to kill herself, but I was the one on borrowed time. It was time to show Dre what else I needed out of this deal of ours, before she found out the truth about her dad and Conner.

 
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