Beautiful Americans

Free Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag

Book: Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lucy Silag
direction than we came, toward St. Gervais. “Run, Alex!” he grunts at me. I don’t even answer my Blackberry, I just go .
    My stomach lurches as I force my legs to move. If I learned one thing from all my escapades last year, it should have been to eat before you party, but I of course skipped dinner so I could spend more time diffusing my hair properly before going out.
    We circle the church and find ourselves on the empty, darkened plaza facing the back of the Hotel de Ville, Paris’s City Hall.
    “Call your Blackberry,” I instruct. “Find out what happened. Should we go back?”
    George dials and listens for a second, but Drew doesn’t answer.
    I’m busy trying not to throw up and still look hot and alluring. Let me tell you, it is no easy task. “Come on, babe,” George gestures at me. Despite him holding me for so long before, we don’t touch as we walk swiftly down the Rue du Pont and toward the café.
    “Shit!” George curses quietly. “What did they do?” There are cops surrounding the table we’d all been sitting at. There are at least four of them, each of them looking sternly at Drew, PJ, Olivia, and Zack, who are staring at the ground. The record player has been turned off, and other patrons are getting up to leave in the commotion. George and I hang back, unsure whether to wait or escape.
    “This isn’t a playground,” I hear one of the cops say to PJ in harsh French. “You kids are causing a lot of trouble here tonight. This is a quiet neighborhood, not your personal discothèque !”
    “Where did the others go? The ones with the drugs?” another cop demands.
    “ Non, monsieurs, vous vous trompez, ” a tinkling, melodic voice says in French. It’s PJ!
    PJ slips out of her old oversize cardigan and stands up to her full six feet, revealing just a thin white camisole and a wrap skirt. Her hair glows in the candlelight, spilling down her shoulders in messy waves.
    She gives the cops surrounding the table an expansive, open smile. I hold my breath. Even I knew Mme Cuchon was serious when she told us drugs were totally off limits in this program. If the cops saw us in the alley, George and I will be booted out of the Lycée for sure!
    One of the cops leans in to make his point. “In France, there are serious punishments for troublemaking kids. That’s a promise.”
    “Oh, don’t be silly! Drugs?” PJ exclaims, wrinkling her nose like a supermodel bunny rabbit. She’s acting like she has known these cops since they all went on family picnics together as young children. “Our friends? They’ve just been to get some chewing gum . See? Here they are now. Alex, cherie , show them the gum you just bought.” She reaches out to me, pulling me close to her and keeping her slender arm firmly around my shoulders.
    As a dedicated smoker who is also dedicated to having fresh breath, I always have several packs of gum on me at any given time. Anyone who knows me at all knows that, even PJ. I reach into my tote bag and pull out an unopened pack of Orbit.
    “Yup,” I say stupidly, hearing my own voice tremble. “I’ve got the gum. They sent me for gum. And I went and got it. And my friend here”—I cock my thumb at George, who is standing frozen to my right—“he came with me, because he’s so nice like that.” The cops’ unyielding expressions remain unchanged. We’re so busted. I close my eyes and start rehearsing how I am going to spin this to my mom. After everything that happened last year, she is not going to look on this fondly.
    PJ takes the gum from me and pops a piece into her luscious mouth. “Hmmm, great flavor, Alex. Want to try some?” she offers the cops. “It’s delicious.”
    They watch her mouth as she chews. Then they look at each other, their shoulders relaxing a bit.
    Each cop takes a piece.
    I shove a big wad into my own mouth to mask any lingering pot smoke smell. We are all standing there, noisily chomping on the gum. George, Olivia, Drew, and Zack are all

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