Preppy the life amp deat.., p.9
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       Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater, Part One, p.9
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         Part #5 of King series by T. M. Frazier

  It wasn’t like she gave a fuck about her life, I told myself.

  So why should I give a fuck about ruining it?



  “Samuel, would you like to join us?” Mirna asked, without opening her eyes.

  Dre shot me a narrow glare.

  “Sorry for the interruption,” I said, sitting down on the grass, “Mirna, but your granddaughter looks like a younger, less attractive version of yourself, so I couldn’t help but stare.”

  “Samuel!” Mirna scolded, but I could hear the hint of laughter in her words.

  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, feeling Dre’s stare on me.

  Her body heat.

  A hand touched my shoulder and my eyes shot open. I looked up to find Mirna hovering above me. “Samuel?”

  “Yeah?” I turned to get another look of Dre’s tits, but she wasn’t there. The sun wasn’t either. It had been early afternoon when I’d gotten there.

  Hadn’t it?

  “Did I fall asleep?”

  Mirna laughed. “You’ve been in the same position for three hours. I don’t think you were asleep.”

  Mirna helped me up off the grass by my elbow, and I tucked her arm under mine as we walked back to the house. “I believe they call it transcendence,” she said, extending her hand toward the sky and making the shape of a rainbow, like she was talking about something out of this world.

  “Transcendence?” I asked, scratching my beard. “Oh yeah, I know what that is.”

  “You do?” Mirna asked.

  “Yeah, I had it once after a bad batch of shrooms, had to get my stomach pumped.”

  “You’re a smart ass just like my Andrea,” she said, pinching my arm. I took a seat at the table while she opened the oven and used her finger to check on one of the cookies on the tray. The kitchen filled with the sweet smell of chocolate that made my mouth water. “Don’t let the state you found her in fool you, my granddaughter is a lot more than just a screwed up kid.” She pulled a photo album from the shelf above the table and tossed it onto the counter in front of me. “Look for yourself.”

  I opened it up and discovered that it was full of report cards. All with the name Andrea Capulet.

  “Wait, Capulet? Like Romeo and Juliet shit?”

  Mirna smiled and nodded. “Yup, exactly like that. When Becky married Andrea’s dad, Rick and I thought it was quite endearing, not realizing it would end almost as tragically.”

  Although the colors of the report cards, as well as the teachers names and the subjects changed, the letters of the grades remained the same on every page of every card.

  All A’s. Not a single B. Not even an A-.

  “Wow. My report card was a lot more diverse than this one,” I said, flipping pages.


  “There was a lot more of the alphabet used.” I closed the album and slid it back across the desk.

  “Yet, you are the smartest young man I know.” She opened the cabinet and took out her favorite teacups.

  “Awe shucks, Mirna,” I said, dramatically batting my eyelashes. She swatted me with an oven mitt.

  “But if those grades don’t show you how smart she is, this should,” she said, lowering her voice to a whisper. She opened a drawer and pulled out a large envelope. She slid a thick stack of paper over to me.

  “Why are we whispering?” I asked.

  “She doesn’t know that I know this. Look.” It was pages upon pages of cancelled checks, stapled to reports. All the checks were made out to cash. A stamp over them read FRAUD in bold red.

  “I assume that these are the ones she forged?” I asked.

  “You would assume correctly.”

  “Forging signatures doesn’t prove she’s smart. It proves the opposite, actually,” I pointed out.

  “Samuel,” she said, sliding the papers back to me. “She didn’t just sign the checks. She MADE the checks. Security seals and all.” And, although Mirna should be pissed that Dre ripped her off, there was no mistaking the pride in her voice.

  I looked closer, ripping one out of its stapled hold and sure enough, security seal and all, watermarks, account code, it was a masterpiece. “Wow,” I said, impressed.

  “If you’re not pissed, why don’t you tell her that you know?” I asked.

  “The same reason I haven’t told her that I know she had a part in robbing your plants.” She breathed deeply. “Because I’m losing my mind, Samuel, and I refuse to lose my granddaughter again before it’s gone completely. There isn’t enough time for anger or alienation. Not anymore.”

  “You know, if Grace hadn’t already sort of adopted me as her own, I’d totally cheat on her with you,” I said.

  “Oh, no. Grace is one tough bird. She’s been dealing with you boys for a long time, and I’m not sure I could have done half as good of a job as she has.” Mirna checked on the cookies again, this time removing the tray and replacing it immediately with another uncooked batch. “Besides, I’m pretty sure she could kick my ass.”

  “Yeah, I don’t want to fuck with Grace either,” I said, reminding myself to call the cancer center when I left to check up on her.

  “Why are you telling me this? Why is it important that I know that she’s smart?” I asked.

  Mirna grabbed my hand in hers. “Because I want you to know that I’m losing my mind. I’m not stupid. I know the way business works. I know the way your business works. She’s around because you showed mercy.”

  “I wouldn’t call it mercy, exactly,” I said, although, I didn’t know what I actually would call it. “She gets a pass because she’s your granddaughter and that fucks with business on a different level. It’s not a big deal.”

  “What did you do to the person who did that to her?” Mirna asked, her forwardness taking me off guard.

  I sat back in the chair. “What do you think I did?”

  “You forget that I’m a perceptive old bird. Been around the block or two myself,” she paused and sighed. “From what she’s told me, I think you saved my granddaughter and did what you had to do to protect your business and her…and I thank you for it. You didn’t know she was my granddaughter when you did that and it is a big deal to me, even if it’s not to you. The reason I need you to know how smart she is, is because I need you to know who you’ve given a second chance to.” She nodded to the stack. “Look in the back.”

  I did what she said and realized what she had me looking at was two documents. A power of attorney and a last will and testament. Leaving every decision and every possession of Mirna’s to me. “What is all this?” I asked.

  “You’ve given me so much, Samuel. This is me giving you the only things in this world I have left to give. I’d give everything to my Andrea, but it’s too much for her to handle right now on her own. There are some stipulations, but you don’t have to decide on them now. Not right away, anyway. Those copies are for you. Take them. Look them over.”

  “Mirna, this isn’t why I…”

  “I know. I know,” she said, opening the refrigerator. She cleared her throat, “Doesn’t Andrea look beautiful? The dress she was wearing today. That was mine you know.”

  I stood up and rounded the counter planting a kiss on the top of her head. “She doesn’t hold a candle to you.”

  She blushed and busied herself pulling plastic covered plates from the fridge and handing them to me. “Can you set these on the coffee table? The ladies from the church are on their way over for tea.”

  I did what she asked and was about to go find Dre when Mirna handed me a clear syringe. “Do me a favor, Samuel, and give Andrea her vitamin shot for me? I need to go freshen up.”

  “She can’t do it herself? Insert joke about her already knowing how to use a needle?”

  She frowned. “That’s precisely why she SHOULDN’T be handling one.”

  “Okay, you’re the boss, Mirna. One shot coming right up.” I had an idea. “Where do I give her this?”

Any muscle, dear. It’s a bigger gauge then the one I’ve been using, so anything fleshy will work,” Mirna answered, flitting about the kitchen with a knowing smile on her face. She wiped her hands on a towel and tossed it into the sink. She patted my cheek as she passed me and went into her room.

  I didn’t know what Mirna was up to, but I didn’t have time to think about that or the now overflowing file weighing me down, in more ways than one.

  I held up the needle and smiled. I had a motherfucking job to do. I pushed open Dre’s door, without knocking. “Paging Dr. Clearwater.”



  “Where’s Mirna? Why isn’t she giving this to me?” I asked. I’d been lying on my stomach on the bed, flipping through the brochure for the assisted living facility Mirna was on the waiting list for, when Preppy barged in. It looked like a nice place but it wasn’t somewhere I thought she belonged.

  Not yet, anyway.

  “She’s getting ready for some ladies from church to come over, so she asked me to do it. Now, come on. Time to strip. You need some music? Make sure you start slow. Teasing is key,” he rambled.

  “I don’t have to be naked to get a shot,” I argued.

  “Well aren’t you just a fun-sucker.” Preppy held up the needle, smiling confidently. “Don’t worry, Doc. I’ve seen like three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, so I’m practically a licensed doctor. Now, be a good girl and bend over, show Dr. Preppy that ass.”

  “Mirna gives it to me in my arm.”

  “This is a new one. Different needle gauge or some shit,” Preppy answered.

  Reluctantly, I did what I was told, but only because I wasn’t feeling all that well and I knew the shot would make me feel better, regardless of where it was shot into.

  I bent over the bed and hiked up my dress, dramatically. “You’re a horrible junkie and an even worse stripper,” Preppy commented. I felt his heat as he approached the bed. My lower spine tingled as his legs brushed up against mine. I held my breath and started counting in my head, when the sudden need to push back against him surged through me. My nipples tightened, and I was glad he couldn’t see my face because I was sure I was flushed. “Why does it have to be administered this way again?” I managed to choke out.

  Preppy chuckled. “It doesn’t.”

  Before I could push off the bed, he pulled the cotton of my panties over into my crack and plunged the needle deep into my skin. It burned, but only for a second. When he pulled it back out I went to get up, but he pushed me back down onto the mattress. “Got to make sure it goes into the muscle,” he said, his voice a deep rasp as he expertly massaged the injection site with his fingers in a circular motion that had me moaning inwardly, and even more mad at him all at the same time.

  My breath caught in my throat when his hand started roaming over my ass cheek, slowly tracing circles on my skin, nowhere near the injection site, heading further and further toward the place between my legs that was suddenly tingling with awareness. “I love those fucking heels,” he said, his voice lower than I’d heard it before. Raspy.

  Fucking heels. That could be taken so many different ways, but my mind couldn’t process any of them because his fingertips grazed the trim of my panties, just as Mirna walked in the room. I jumped up, covering myself again with the skirt of my dress. Where I was frantic and looked guilty, although I didn’t know what I felt guilty about, technically nothing happened, Preppy smiled and plopped down on the bed, bouncing on the mattress like a little kid.

  “It’s not what it looks…” I started, but stopped when I noticed there was something different about Mirna, about the way she kept glancing from me to Preppy with her eyebrows drawn tightly together. The doorbell rang. “Samuel, when did you get here?” she asked. “And who’s your friend?”

  * * *


  Mirna sat with three ladies from her church in the living room. I stood behind Dre, who leaned up against the wall of the hallway just out of sight, listening to Mirna tell stories about her past as if they’d happened that very day and not decades before. With each passing minute Dre’s shoulders fell further and further as she watched her grandmother, in the grips of her dementia, introduce herself to women she’d known for decades.

  “Why does she always remember you?” Dre asked, without turning around, a hint of jealousy in her voice.

  I scratched my head. “Fuck if I know. When she’s like this she’ll forget an entire week’s worth of our interactions, people she’s known for fifty years, but she usually knows who I am. Your guess as to why is as good as mine.”

  I came up to stand next to her, she brushed her hair from her eyes. “Come on,” I said, grabbing her hand. “I want to show you something.”

  “But,” Dre glanced back at Mirna.

  “Ladies,” I announced. “We are going to step out for a moment. You cool here for a bit?”

  Hilda, a woman bigger than Bear, turned around and nodded. “Take your time. We’ll be fine.”

  “Hear that? They’re having a lovely tea.” I grabbed Dre by the hand and pulled her out the front door to my car. I opened the door and gestured for her to get in, but she stood there staring at the passenger seat. “It’s not going to bite you,” I informed her.

  Dre looked back at the house. “What if she needs me in there?”

  “She’ll be fine. Get in, I have something I want to run by you.”

  She shook her head. “I can’t.”

  I was growing irritated. “Don’t pretend like you’re the doting grandchild now. You kind of missed the boat on that one.”

  “Pretending?” she said, pointing at herself. “You’re the one who puts on this fucking act so you can get elderly women to do your bidding. You’re the one who’s pretending. Not me!”

  “Careful,” I warned. “You don’t know a god damn thing about me, Doc.”

  She crossed her arms over her chest. “I know you’ve got Mirna fooled into thinking that you’re some great guy she thinks is her savior, when you’re just using her to get what you want.”

  “Guess you got me all figured out then,” I said sarcastically, rounding the car to the passenger side and closing the space between us. “Now get in the fucking car.”

  She took a step back, as if she had to prove her defiance. “Does she really even know who you really are? And I’m not talking about the guy who makes her laugh and listens to her stories, I’m talking about the other side. The side I caught a glimpse of on the water tower.”

  “You don’t know shit about me, and now you’ve just proved you don’t know shit about Mirna, either. Your grandmother’s got dementia, she’s not fucking stupid.”

  “Does she know you killed Eric?” she asked, staring me right in the eyes, challenging me. Fully expecting me to tell her no.

  I put on my shit eating grin. “She sure as fuck does, Doc.”

  “Bullshit.” She put her hands on her hips.

  “Mirna not only knows, but it’s been Granny approved, Doc. I have a feeling I could have taken out half of Logan’s Beach and she wouldn’t give a flying fuck as long as you were still alive, because unlike you, Mirna knows what family and loyalty is all about.” Dre’s eyes widened at my admission and her shoulders fell, but just for a second, before straightening again and assuming a defensive stance. “Wait, never mind, you do know something about loyalty if you count giving that shit-bag Conner a pass for some obscure reason you refuse to share. I mean, I could say you were loyal to heroin too, but here you are two whole weeks sober, one conscious, so I guess you fucked that bitch over, too.”

  Dre drilled me with her eyes, her plump red lips a hard line. We were standing so close I could feel the warmth radiating off of her skin and smell her light flowery shampoo. “And you know so much about being loyal?”

  “Fuck of a lot more than you do.”

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