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“His mom.”

Chapter Eight

Doe

There was no doubt in my mind that King was capable of the kind of things most normal people couldn’t fathom, but what kind of person kills their own mother?

Preppy asked me the same questions King had about who I was, and I told him my story. The difference between Preppy and King is that Preppy actually listened to me.

I gave him the short version.

No memory.

Group home.

Living on the streets.

Nikki.

Attempting to sell myself for protection and shelter.

Also unlike King, Preppy seemed to actually believe me.

I drank every last bit of broth, and Preppy changed the bandage on my ear. It was already starting to itch as it scabbed over.

“Why don’t you let me go?” I asked, bunching the waistband of the sweatpants he’d given me to wear in my hand so they wouldn’t fall down. “You can just tell King that I escaped.”

Preppy shook his head from side to side. “That’s not going to happen,” he scoffed, like there was something wrong with my question, not the fact that his friend had a girl handcuffed to his bed against her will.

Preppy uncuffed me. Temporarily, he made sure to tell me, and led me to one of the doors in the room I’d assumed was a closet but turned out to be a small but clean bathroom.

I hadn’t realized how bad I had to pee before then. I let the sweatpants fall to the floor and was about to push down my underwear when I noticed the door still stood open and Preppy watched my every move.

“Can you please close the door?”

“Sure.” Preppy took a step inside and shut the door behind him.

“Not exactly what I meant.”

“Sorry, kid. Boss-man told me not to let you out of my sight.”

“Do you always do what he tells you to?” I asked, bitterly.

“For the most part.” Unable to wait a second longer, I pushed down my underwear and sat on the toilet.

Nothing came out.

“Don’t have to go anymore?” He asked.

“I do, but I can’t pee with you staring at me like that. Just turn around. It’s not like I’m going anywhere. This room doesn’t even have a window.”

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t aware that your highness had stage fright,” Preppy said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.

He opened the bathroom door again and this time he turned his back to me. The second I knew he wasn’t looking, my body was able to relax and let go. The relief felt so amazing I moaned out loud.

“I may appear nice, kid, but don’t get it twisted. King and I are cut from the same cloth.”

“If he asked you to kill me, would you do it?” I asked, needing to know if he would be the one to possibly end my life.

“Yes,” he answered. No hesitation.

When I was done, Preppy led me back to the bed and secured my cuff around my wrist. This time, he connected it to a lower rung on the headboard so I wouldn’t have to sit with my arm raised above my head.

“Prep,” King’s deep voice boomed from the doorway, startling me. He motioned to Preppy with a lift of his chin. Preppy tightened the cuff around my wrist and left the room. King glanced at me for a brief second, then followed Preppy out, closing the door behind them.

Did they find Nikki? Did she tell them I didn’t have anything to do with stealing from him? Or maybe, she turned on me and told them it was all my idea. Nikki was oddly overprotective of me when she was sober, but when she was high she was unpredictable, and if her life or her drugs were on the line, there was no doubt in my mind that she would throw me to the wolves.

I heard a door slam, and then their muffled voices rose up to the window from outside. I strained my neck and peered out. King and Preppy were on the lawn, just beyond the deck. The sun was just setting; the sky glowed orange.

I stretched out my leg and slid the window open a crack with my bare foot.

“Found the redhead,” King said. He lit a cigarette.

“Where?” Preppy asked.

“Andrews’ place up the highway. That old motel with the pool in the parking lot.”

“You get the cash?” Preppy asked. He leaned back against the railing and crossed his arms over his chest.

King shook his head and blew out the smoke.

“I think she’s telling the truth, man,” Preppy said, gesturing up to my window with his hands. I ducked in reaction although from that angle there was no way they could see me. “I think you know I’m pretty good at detecting a liar, and this girl doesn’t scream thief to me. What did the redhead say about her?”

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