Little Peach

Free Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Book: Little Peach by Peggy Kern Read Free Book Online
Authors: Peggy Kern
pill and drink the juice and wait for the warmth to swallow me. Kat takes hers, too, and we sit together on the edge of the bed. Waiting.
    “Where do they come from?” I ask.
    “The men.”
    “The tricks?”
    “Yeah. How do they know where to find us?”
    Kat stands, checks herself in the long mirror by the door. Dark-blue jeans like tights, ankle-high boots, a white shimmery top draped across one shoulder. She arches her back, like she’s practicing. “Online mostly. Daddy sets it up. That’s why he always checkin’ his phone.”
    “How much do they pay?”
    “Depends. Daddy takes care of the money. Why you askin’ so many questions?”
    I’m starting to feel warm. “Sorry,” I say, and I laugh a little though I’m not sure why. “But we’re saving, right? He said we’re saving money, so we can go somewhere better. All of us.”
    She shrugs.
    “We’re gonna save up, right? So we don’t gotta do this?”
    I picture a big house with grass and food inside.
    “Where will we go?”
    But Kat doesn’t answer. A shadow falls across her face, sits on her shoulders. They sag.
    My eyes are dissolving. The room gets soft, my blood all cozy in my veins.
    Knock knock .
    Kat draws a smile on her face. Her skirt flips all happy-like as she opens the door.
    “Hey, sweetie,” she purrs, and trails her long fingers down his shirt.
    There is a man, a white skinny man with baggy light-blue jeans and a bony face that looks like it might cave in. Behind him in the darkness on the gravel by the road, in this place called Coney Island, with its fake moon, are Devon, Boost, Reek, and the others. One of them barks into the night. The others answer.
    You see me, Mama? You see me, Calvin? Here I am, circled by guys who want me to be here. Devon wantsme here. He put his name on me.
    Try to touch me now. I dare you.
    “What’s wrong with her? She don’t do nothin’.”
    The trick lies on top of me, pressing me into the saggy mattress.
    We are naked. I can feel him down there. I don’t look. I don’t move. Just hurry up, please, and get off me.
    His hands grab at me. His sticky skin clings to me like we’re glued together. He kisses, licks my face, wiggles around. The pillows smell like smoke and a thousand sweaty men. His breath is rotten and hot.
    Shove. Shove. Shove.
    It burns so bad between my legs. It hasn’t stopped, not since three days ago when I had sex with Reek. Hold still. Just hold still and he’ll finish.
    “Oh, c’mon. You gotta be kidding me.”
    Kat lies next to us, strokes his sweaty back, and glares at me. “She’s just new, baby. She learnin’. C’mere. I’ll take care of you.”
    The man peels himself off me and I roll onto my belly, smushing my face into the pillow. My tattoo is raw against the scratchy sheets, still scabby like a wound.
    “I ain’t payin’ for that,” he snaps, climbing onto Kat. “I didn’t come here to be no teacher.” And then he’s moving fast on her, her legs up around his back, her mouth saying words—embarrassing words that make me want to hide.
    Harder .
    You like that?
    “Yeah, girl,” the tricks yells out. I close my eyes, but Kat’s sharp elbow hits me.
    Sit up. Pay attention . Her mouth keeps talking to him, but her eyes lock with mine and I can see deep inside them, to the tiny corner where maybe she can curl up like I wish I could, away from him. Away from what he’s doing to her.
    I watch them, Kat pinned beneath the man’s pink bony body, and pull the sheet over my own.
    “You can’t do that again,” Kat commands once he’s gone. “You gotta learn to act the part. Word gets back to Daddy that you ain’t doin’ shit, he gonna come down on both of us. Take another half a pill if you need to. Whatever. Just quit actin’ so sad. Tricks, they want happy. They want girls that smile and know what theydoin’. Understand? That’s how we get paid.”
    I swallow another half. It fixes me right up so I’m not too scared. Like Kat. I

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