The Cracker

a Story by Kellis

Summer, 2007



I parked the van, careful to lock it, and strolled along the St. Pete waterfront among the whores holding up the lampposts.  It was hot as it often is in St. Pete but the sea breeze helped a lot.  Each girl smiled as I approached and offered a tentative “Hi!”  One even dared to suggest, “You look lonely, fellow.  How about some company?” ― which surprised me because of the recent stiffening of local law, wherein some judges were reported to consider such a question tantamount to solicitation.  But I found myself unmoved, even by Miss Rash.  The brightly metal-colored knee boots each wore ― the style that year ― put me off, causing me to wonder that the exacting judges had failed to make the connection between such boots and the beach front.  But a good-natured guy like yours truly hates to reject willing women, however they reach that state.  I gave each a smile before shaking my head and pushing on.

A bit farther along I came across a different specimen.  She was sitting under the palms on one of the park benches facing the surf, hatless with stringy blondish hair below her shoulders, wearing a sleeveless cotton blouse adequately filled in front and a pair of threadbare jeans holed and faded beyond even teen taste.  One leg was crossed over the other, leaving the imprint of a shapely calf, with dusty thong sandals on her feet.  I particularly noted the lack of boots.

She didn’t look up until I stopped beside her bench.  Although absent makeup or even lipstick, her oval face was surprisingly pleasant with light wrinkles in the eye corners that put her age about thirty.  Her face and arms were mildly tanned.  When we made eye contact, she smiled just a little ― not the falsely welcome smile of the others, more a smile of confirmed expectations.

She said brightly, “Took you long enough!”

I returned the smile.  “Waiting for me, were you?”

She stood up, breathed deeply.  “And I’m ready to go.”  She was almost tall as I.

I nodded and chuckled.  “At least you’re not afraid I’m a cop.”

“Ha, ha!  Which way?”

I tilted my head.  As I walked away she followed me, drawing abreast.

The other girls gave me one curious glance each as I approached but immediately turned their heads.  Usually when you choose one from a gaggle of whores, the others exhibit envy of their successful sister, expressed as a snort at the chooser’s poor taste, but in this case they ignored her so far as I could tell.  Here the passed-by were invariably younger and better painted, even if afflicted with bright boots, so the absence of snorts was even more noticeable.

Nearing the van, I unlocked it with the radio button in my pocket and opened the passenger door for her.  She looked at me as if startled but pivoted docilely into the passenger seat.  When I entered on the driver’s side, I found her looking around the interior.

She chuckled.  “That’s an air mattress.”

“Sometimes I like to sleep in here.”

“Oh.”  She nodded.  “I guess so.  How’d you find me?”

“That was easy,” I answered with a smile.  “No boots.”

To help her begin the negotiations, I cranked the engine and pulled away from the curb.  She sighed audibly and said, “I’m lucky I’ve still got jeans.”

Traffic was light.  I studied her, sitting quietly in the seat.  Neither of us had bothered with seat belts.  “You look healthy.  Business can’t be that bad.”

“Business!”  She sighed again.  “Business can be awful, especially in daylight.” 

Now I understood her hesitation: the sympathy angle.  “I thought it was good 24-7 in St. Pete.”  I smiled.  “Maybe I can help you out.” 

“Oh, yeah, you’ll help,” she muttered sarcastically.  “At least I’ll eat and drink.  Where we going?  That turn back there is the way downtown.”

“Not much further.  I’m in the Ocean Seven.”

Suddenly she was studying me thoughtfully and thoroughly at last.  “You want a quickie first, do you?  Will you at least get me a coke?”

A quickie first?  I barked a laugh.  “What’s on your mind, honey?  You think I’m a cop?”

Her eyes widened slightly.  “You mean you ain’t?”

It was my turn to study her again.  My eyes flicked back and forth between her and the traffic.  “You thought I was from the beginning, didn’t you?  Why?  Do I look like one, for Christ’s sake?”

She repeated herself.  “You mean you ain’t?”

“No, as in hell no!”

“Well, then, wh-what’s happening?”

I grinned.  “Putting you to work.  I’m Blake.  Who’re you, honey?”

“S-Sandy.  Oh, god!”  Her hands rose to her face.

“What’s the matter?”

“What you gonna do with me?”

“What I had in mind was to take you to my air-conditioned motel room, fuck you two or three times in two or three different ways, feed you supper in a nice place and put you back on your bench a hundred bucks richer.”

“You thought …  B-but …”  Her eyes had grown even wider.  “But I’m not dressed like them.”

“Which is why it’s you sitting here.”

“You mean … you don’t like boots?”

“You got it.  And I do like your worn look.”


“Leaving off the makeup is part of it.”

“You like that?”

I chuckled.  “And no purse on your shoulder.  I know what it adds up to.”

“You do?”

“I know you girls will do anything the john wants, but most are coy about it.  Your style says, ‘Let’s cut to the chase.’  Why’d you think I was a cop?”

“Because you came straight to me.”

“You think the cops want you?”

“I know they do.  They got paper on me.”

“An arrest warrant?  For peddling ass?”

“I’m a cracker.”

“As in Florida Cracker?”

“As in crack whore who deals on the side.”

“Well!  You’re frank.”

She sighed.  “Frankness is about all I got left.”

“What are you charged with?”


“Are you hooked?”

“Yeah, I am.”  She met my glance without looking away.

“How long since your last fix?”

“Four hours.”

“Aren’t you getting overdue?”

“Just about.”

“You got another?”

“I got a couple rocks but no horn.”


“You know: a glass dick.”

“Ah, yes, a crack pipe.  They call it different things in different places.”

Her face showed curiosity.  “You a user?”

I shook my head.  “My addiction is pussy.  And everything nearby.  They tell me crack is kind of like that.”

“How do you mean?”

“You get a great bang that’s over in a couple minutes.”

“That’s so, mostly.”  She thought about it.  “But you ain’t hungry for a while.”

I nodded.  “The same as pussy.  Where can you get a horn?”

“Any convenience store.”

“Really?”  We were approaching one.  I pulled into the parking lot and handed her a ten-dollar bill.  “Go get what you need.”

She took the money.  “This is enough for a soda too.”

“So get a soda.”

“You want one?”


I wondered if it was enough for her to bolt, but she came out in a few minutes chugging down a Pepsi.  The can hit the trash before she got in the car.

“What’s in the bag?” I asked.

She showed me a thin glass pipe, a bit longer than the width of her hand, with … a tiny flower molded in one end.  She burped powerfully without comment.

“What’s that supposed to be,” I asked, “a rose?”

“Yeah, makes it legal, I guess.”

“I understand the propane lighter.  What’s the steel wool for?”

“Goes in behind the rock, acts like a filter.  Mind if I smoke?”

“Let’s wait till we get out of sight.  You implied you need food.  Which do you want more?”

She took a deep breath.  “Ain’t got no food.  Here’s your change.”

“Keep it.”

At the next corner was a McDonalds.  I wheeled to the curbside window and ordered two double-cheeseburgers and a coke.  “This’ll tide you over,” I told Sandy.  She accepted the food silently and consumed both sandwiches before I reached the motel, two blocks further along.

Waiting while I unlocked, she looked around and sniffed.

I laughed.  “It’s not much, but it’s private.  Come on in.”

As I closed the door, she smiled blissfully.  “God, I love air-conditioning!”

“Private and cool,” I said.  “Go through to the bathroom.”

She marched ahead of me, her flip-flops slapping the thin carpet.  I was wearing a T-shirt, slacks and loafers.  Period.  It’s called planning ahead.  I was naked by the time I reached the bathroom door.

She was sitting on the toilet under the bright lights, jeans and panties around her ankles, pissing.  The convenience store bag was on the sink counter beside her.  At sight of me her eyes widened and she giggled.  I stopped in front of her, caught the edges of her blouse and pulled it over her head.  She raised her arms to help.  Reaching behind her, I unhooked the ragged bra and tossed it along with her blouse through the door.  Obviously she had not bathed recently, but I was about to fix that.

I knelt and worked one leg out of the dropped jeans but when I turned to the other, she said, “My shit’s in my pocket.”  Her eyes were worried.

“I won’t bother your shit.”

“Can I get a smoke?”

“Not yet.  I want you to take a shower first.”

“What’s the difference?”  She showed more spirit.  “You know I won’t give a damn what you do to me when I’m high.”

“I want you to get a good shower.”

Her eyes narrowed but she raised the foot and let me remove her pants.  I held them up to her.  “Put your stuff on the counter.”

She withdrew a small aspirin bottle from her pocket and put it in the bag.

“That’s all you need?”

“Yeah, but I do need it.”


“Everybody uses aspirin.”

I tossed her pants into the next room, turned to the combination tub and shower and started the water.  While I waited for it to heat, I studied her body.  This was no bikini girl; the tan on face and arms faded out on her chest and back.  Her tits were round and droopy but plentiful, with big brown nipples and a few cellulite marks on the sides.  She stood up and turned to flush the toilet, revealing the start of a paunch and several mother’s marks.  Arms and legs showed no tell-tale pinpricks.  The buttocks were well filled.  The tapering thighs were also stretch-marked.  Her tits and ass cheeks were spattered with little bruises.  She was not skinny, despite her drug habit.  My cock stirred.

“You’ve born kids,” I observed over the splashing water.


“Where are they?”

“With my mother.”

“You married?”

“Far as I know.”  She came closer.  My free hand lifted a heavy tit.

“Where is he?”

“In a Louisiana prison.”

“The father of all three?”

She grinned wryly.  “Not of my three.”

“How long you been hooked on crack?”

“Four years, off and on.”

“And you started dealing.  They catch you at it?”

“Sent me up for 48 months the second time, got parole after 12.  That was last year.”

“How long you been hooking?”

“A year.”

Her answers, issued in indifferent tones, had the ring of truth.

“Did something happen to your suppliers?”

“Got took down too.”

The water was warm to my liking, not so hot as women seem to prefer.  I urged her over the lip of the tub and handed her a bottle of motel shampoo.

“Wash your hair.  It stinks.”

She stood under the spray, eyes closed, and soaped her long hair.  “I stink all over.  A john let me have a shower last week, I think.”

I rubbed her pubes.  “You’ve shaved here more recently than that.”

“That was Old Man Tuck.”

“What do you mean?”

“Homeless guy, likes to shave cooze.”

I said admiringly, “Nice work if you can get it.”

“Work?  He’ll lick you afterwards, even if you’re broke.”

“And if you’re not?”

“Then you give him a couple of bucks.”

“As I said, nice work.”  I began to wash her torso with soapy hands.  Soapy tits may be the world’s best feeling flesh.  Belly and ass cheeks don’t lag far either.  I noticed about a week’s worth of hair under her arms.  Now I had a full boner.  She stepped back under the shower to rinse her hair.  I laid my boner on her hip and put two slick fingers into her cunt, another two up her ass.  She shuddered a little as the last two went in.

“That hurt?”

“I’ve still got some feeling there.”

“What you have there are hemorrhoids.”

“Yeah.  That comes with crack.  Makes turds big and hard and far between.”

“When did you shit last?”

“Before my hit this morning.”

“So you’re good for a day or two?”

“I don’t care if you fuck me up the ass, if that’s what you’re getting at.  That is, I won’t after my hit.”

“I’ll bet these itch,” I suggested, fucking the puffy hole with vigorous fingers.

Her head went back and her mouth sagged despite the spraying water.

I laughed.  “You love it up the ass, hit or not.”

“How’d you know?”

“I’ve had them too.  Hold on to me and I’ll wash your feet.”

“My feet?”  But she threw an arm around my shoulders and let me lift her foot.  Her calves were scratchy with stubble.

“If you want to finish shaving,” I said, “I’ll loan you a razor before we go to supper.”

“Oo-oork!”  It was the first time I heard her shrill cry, the product of overpowering sensation, a soprano squeal that terminated on a rising pitch.  “That tickles!”

“I’m scrubbing your feet,” I explained after a while, “because I love a woman’s body, every part of it, even one as abused as yours.  Somebody pinched the hell out of your tits and ass cheeks.  They’ve turned yellow but must be half a dozen marks on each one.  Who did that to you?”

“I didn’t notice.”

I shook my head.  “Which shows why crack is bad stuff.  Come on out.  I’ll dry your back.”

“Want me to wash you?”

“Just my cock, but I’ve got a better bath in mind for that.”

When she was dry, except for long hair flying everywhere, she looked at me anxiously.  “Can I smoke now?”

“I think I could make you enjoy the sex if you didn’t.  But maybe not.”  I shrugged and gestured at the counter.  “Go ahead.”

She began by tearing off a piece of the steel wool then separating it into smaller parts.  She stood before me, bent intently over the counter, her ass towards me invitingly.  I spread her cheeks while she worked.  The hemorrhoids were purplish puffs of flesh surrounding her asshole.  I reached past her for the motel sample of cold cream and slathered my cock head.  She flinched when the cold tip touched her and shivered as it pushed through the puffs.  Her asshole was relaxed and loose.

“Ooo!” she murmured as I slid the shaft slowly up her ass.  No hard turd blocked the path.  I let my cock linger at full penetration.

She took a deep breath.  “I knew you’d do that.”  She pressed backward, grinding her butt around to scratch her affliction on my pubic hair.  “Oo-oork!”

I chuckled.  “I love that squeal, Sandy.”

“This feels almost as good as a hit.”

She soon ceased to grind in favor of her work with the “horn,” carefully spilling a greenish quarter-inch pill from the aspirin bottle into the glass tube, followed by a judiciously chosen pinch of the steel wool, all tamped down by a thinner glass rod that she had first pulled out of the tube.

I commented, “The law has to know this ‘rose’ tube is what they call ‘drug paraphernalia.’”


“But maybe not until it’s found on somebody with drugs.”  I was amused at myself, thinking of such matters with my cock completely sheathed inside a woman’s hot gut.

“Back up, Blake, honey.  I’ve got to hold still for this.”

So she had noted my name!  I would have withdrawn, but her buttocks followed me back, retaining the cock up her ass.  She bent down until her face was even with the countertop.  With elbows braced on the counter, she lit the propane lighter, holding the flowered end of the horn in the flame.  All was still except for the hissing of the lighter.  After a moment the horn issued a distinct pop followed by a crack, the onomatopoetic substance name.  Her head bent further and she sucked on the cool end of the glass tube.  She had hardly begun before I felt her sphincter tighten.

She settled lower as if beginning to kneel.  I caught her hips and helped support them.  The horn continued to crack and she to suck it, holding each breath in her lungs.  In less than a minute the lighter fell from her hand to the countertop.  She rose up slowly and leaned back against me, sphincter still clamping my cock.

“Oh god!” she said with a mighty sigh.

I don’t think I ever before fucked a standing woman up the ass.  It helped a lot that she was about my height.  I moved slowly, cock sliding in and out only an inch or two.  Her sphincter relaxed as I pushed in, tightened as I pulled back.

“Is that automatic?” I asked.

“Mmm, auto …”

Suddenly she sagged, disconnected us.  I caught her under the armpits and steered her out the door, stumbling over our clothing on the floor but managing to keep my feet.

I laid her facedown on the bed and bent over her, cock in hand, planning to put it back into her ass.  But I’d heard crackheads get over the rush in five or ten minutes.

An arm under her tits lifted her against me while the other turned down the bed.  She ended up on her back atop the sheet, eyes open and staring up.  Her pupils were dilated almost totally.  Of course I had never opened the drapes and the room was dim except for the light from the bathroom.  Curious, I went to the mirror over the dresser and studied my own pupils.  Hers were wider.

I returned to the bed beside her.  Here was a lush female bod available to me, even if its mind was effectively shut down.  I amused myself by cupping and stroking the tits, pinching and sucking the nipples.  They stiffened despite the crack; must be a pretty basic reflex.  But her clit didn’t thicken when I addressed it.  She grunted when I tried to put fingers in her dry cunt, so I went to the bathroom for the cold cream.  My fingers entered successfully after a good slathering.  I compressed her flesh between thumb on clit and three fingers in cunt.  After a while I got an “Ooo!” out of her.

“Coming down?” I asked.

She turned on her side and looked at me.  My fingers kept working.

“Thank you,” she said.  “I needed that.”

“Figured you did.  Now I’ll get my fix.”

“What do you use?”

“Pussy.  You.”

“You said that before, didn’t you.”  She parted her legs.  “It’s all yours.”

I slipped between them and put into her easily.  A grunt as I parted the flesh was her only reaction.  I pushed a few strokes but caught her by the hips and exerted myself to roll her over on top of me.  Her torso flopped like a rag doll and our heads banged together painfully.  With one hand on her butt keeping us coupled, I used the other to position her squarely atop me.  The big tits flopped out on the sides of my chest and her chin hooked over my shoulder.  I began a slow fuck.

At first she only let me.  I turned my head and licked her ear with broad strokes.  After a minute of that, her belly muscles tightened and she began to move as a woman on top does when it feels good: forward and back instead of and up and down.  Her tits ground my chest.  It also felt good to my cock.

As a distraction I asked ― not that I gave a shit, “When did you last get fucked?”

“Yesterday…  No, the day before.”

“Who was he?”

“Two of ’em.  Twin brothers.”

“They fucked you at the same time?”



“In my bottom.”

“You loved it, didn’t you?”

“Sure.  Gave me enough for several rocks.”

“I bet you knew them already.”

“They look me up every week or so.”

“What’s a rock cost these days?”

“Sixty bucks for the ones with baking soda.”

“What’s the alternative?”

“Ammonia.  It’s cheaper but I can’t stand it ’less it’s all I can get.”

“Your twin brothers don’t have a shower?”

“Not behind the dumpster at Waterfront Steakhouse.”

“Cheap shits, eh?”

“Well, they spend their money on me.”

“Which you then have to spend for a shower ― if you get one.”

We fucked on.  She said, “Thank you for that too.”

“While you’re feeling grateful, put it up your ass.”

She disconnected, sat up on my upper thighs, leaned back on one arm and caught my cock with the other hand.

I said, “Cold cream on the night stand.”

“I don’t want no cold cream.”

She hitched her butt forward against the tip.  “Ooo!” she murmured, shivering.

“What you want is to scratch,” I accused.

With a twist or two she worked the dong into herself.  The puffy flesh was sticky but the loose sphincter eased my entrance.  It may feel better to push through a tight one if everything is well greased, but hers was special even for a cock that was only pussy-wet.

Now her motion was different.  Kneeling over my hips, she bounced up and down, let it rest for half a second and bounced again.  I could just reach the headboard lamp.  I stuck a pillow behind my head and watched my cock reappear and disappear up her ass.  Her eyes burned on mine.  “Oo-oork!” she squealed.

I chuckled.  “I know what you love.  When it goes in, it takes your piles with it.”


Her head went back.  Of her face I could only see the point of her chin, but each bounce of her ass was reflected prettily in her tits.  I reached up and grabbed them, kneading the flesh, pinching the nipples.

“Oo-oork! … Oo-oork!”  She shuddered and increased her speed.

I took the game away from her by grabbing her hips and fucking her powerfully and fast.  She tensed up.  “Oo-oork!”  Her hands closed on my arms.  “Oo-oork!”

“You can’t be coming,” I told her fiercely, beginning to pant.  “There’s no clit around your asshole.”

But she could ― or she was putting on a good imitation, shuddering left to right.  The “Oo-oorks!” were continuous, like a birdcall.  Suddenly she collapsed forward upon me, despite my hands again full of tit, and lay still except for a sphincter that clamped and released, clamped and released.

That fetched me too.  I pushed her chest off me.  She stared at me dumbly, mouth hanging open.  “That’s right,” I ordered.  “Suck it.”

She wriggled backwards and slurped up my straining cock without hesitation.  Her nostrils flared and her eyes regarded me blankly.  My hands clutched her head and I managed to fuck her mouth for two or three strokes before the first spurt.  God!  I’m sure I let out a groan or two.

She sneezed and sprayed my stuff back over my belly before flopping backwards on the bed between my feet.  Her asshole pointed at me accusingly, purple hemorrhoid puffs re-emerging as I watched under the headboard lamp.

She rose up on her elbows.  We stared at each other over the exposed, angry genitals.  Residual semen glittered on her chin and drained from my wilting cock.  She coughed more onto her lips.

Then she grinned and produced a giggle.

“What’s funny?”

She shrugged with one shoulder, wiggling that tit.  “Nothing.  I just like a good ass fuck.”

“Sure you’re not laughing at my jism belly?”

Her face went solemn.  “I did that, didn’t I?  That happens if you let go down in my throat.  It tickles.”

“Well, don’t apologize.”

“I ain’t.”  Her hand went to her mouth and she giggled again.  “It’s your own stuff.”

She rolled over me, got to her feet on the floor and went to the bathroom, emerging with a clean face plus a wet cloth and towel that she used to wipe my belly and genitals.  “Good enough?”

“Thank you,” I said.  “You surprise me.”

She grinned.  “I didn’t think you was through with me.”

“I’m surprised you’re that alert.  Does your smoke have such a brief effect?”

“The crack high don’t last long, not if you smoke it, but it leaves you feeling kind of good for a few hours.”

“Like now?”

She stretched, tits lifting and arms straightening too far in the womanly way, and grinned.  “Just like now.”

Her grin faded.  She stood, looking down at me, obviously waiting.  I thought I saw a hint of goosebumps on her arms.

“You cold?”

“I’ll get back in bed.”

“Wait a minute.”  I stood up, pulled a T-shirt from the dresser drawer and handed it to her.  “Put that on.”

Her eyebrows rose.  “You don’t want to admire my boobs?”

“I was thinking of your tonsils.”

She blinked, face blank.  I walked around her, patting her ass as I passed, picked up the TV remote, turned the single overstuffed chair partly sideways and sat in it with my legs spread wide.

“Put it on and come here.”

She obeyed.

“Sit between my legs and lean back on one…  No, don’t squat.  You’ll get tired of that.  Get a pillow off the bed and sit on it.”

As she sat down I turned her enough to see the TV past my other leg.

“Now suck me.”

She leaned in, mouthed the whole flabby cock and suckled it noisily, cheeks collapsing.  I watched her until it firmed up then turned on the television.

“What kind of TV do you like?”

She blinked at me, looked astonished and took the tip out of her mouth long enough to say, “Who watches TV?”

“Sometimes I do.”  I found a golf broadcast, nice and leisurely, somebody lining up a long putt while the announcer spoke in low tones and the gallery kept respectfully silent.  “Especially when I’ve got a pretty mouth to put my cock in.  You don’t have to suck much, just hold it in your mouth.”

She shrugged but kept it in, turning her head enough to follow the progress of the putt.  It missed.

For the next half hour we watched the tournament, Sandy with a mouthful and me enjoying her raspy tongue.  Unlike others I had tried at this favorite task, she was not at all restless.  Her hand squeezed my balls gently while she suckled.  Some good things can be said of a crack cocksucker.

At a commercial I turned off the TV.  When she looked up, I patted her head.  “You getting hungry again?”

She nodded a little.

“Then spit out the cock and play valet.”

She drew back her head.  “Play what?”

“You saw where I got your T-shirt.  Bring me some clean underclothes.”

She blinked, rolled to her feet, went to the dresser drawer and returned with white cotton.  I stood and held out my arms to her.  She blinked again but got the idea, opening the T-shirt, pushing it on me and pulling it down my sides.  One after the other I lifted my feet and she pulled up the jockey shorts, grinning as she made a tent to cover the still hard cock.  But the grin faded.  She reached into the shorts and enclosed my gristle proprietarily.

“You afraid it’ll get away?” I asked.

She took a deep breath, tits heaving.  “This was a good afternoon.”

“Yes, it was.  You’ll find a fresh shirt in the upper drawer.  Break it out for me.”

She took it from the laundry’s plastic wrap, brought it to me and held it for my arms.  “Want me to button it?”

“I’ll take care of the rest.  You’ll find a comb in my travel case if you want to do anything to your hair.”

She picked up her scattered clothing as she went to the bathroom.  In a couple minutes she returned, dressed as I had originally seen her, hair combed back in natural waves.

She eyed my fresh clothing.  “This is all I’ve got to wear.”

“Don’t worry about it.  You look good to me.  Come on.”

“I look like your poor relation from the sticks.”

“So what?”

“Or a crack whore you found on the beach.”

“Which you are, so what’re you afraid of?  Think about the food.”

“What about my stuff?”

“We’ll come back for it.”

She looked doubtful but followed me to the car anyway.  I took her to a steakhouse, where the hostess looked Sandy up and down with something akin to horror, again as the flip-flops clapped on the parquet floor, but seated us without comment of course.  I ordered filets for both of us.  Sandy refused a glass of wine in favor of a coke.  Her table manners were what you’d expect, not bad except for an impatient finger holding food for the fork and forgetting the napkin.  But her other manners were far more important to me.

Half-way through I said, “Sandy, how many guys have fucked you?”

She shrugged.  “I didn’t count ’em.”

“I mean since you started hooking.”

“It’d be easier to say how many before.”

“Five a week?”

“Maybe.  I really don’t know, Blake.”

“But the point is, you’re not afraid of men.”

“Well …”  She grinned.  “Not like I was ten years ago.”

“I’ve got a proposition for you.”

Her eyes twinkled.  “That’s different.”

“It is in your case.  You still haven’t mentioned money.”

You mentioned it.”

“And I’ll do what I said, if that’s what you want.”

“You got something else in mind?”

“Yeah.  How about coming with me?”

“Do what?”

“I travel a lot.  I think I need a very personal maid, somebody like you.”

She grinned a little.  “Somebody who’ll bring you your clothes?”

“And help me watch TV.”

“Them’s the easy parts.”  Her grin vanished.

“What do you think is the hard part?”

“Taking all my bread.  Withholding my crack till I’ll fuck a dog.”

“I won’t be your pimp, Sandy.”

She studied me.  “What do you do for a living, Blake?”

“Nothing.  I don’t need money.”

“Everybody needs money.”

“Put it this way: I’ve got enough for both of us.”

She shook her head slowly.  “So you come out with this just like that.”

“Why not?  I love your attitude.  Your asshole too, in case you didn’t know.”

“Everybody’s got one of them.”

“Not everybody loves a cock up hers.”

“Okay.  What else would I have to do?”

“Not much.  Ride around with me.  Laugh at my jokes.  Fuck me.”

“And who else?”

“Well …  You did say you’re not afraid of men.”

“Who else?”

“Actually I don’t know.”

She stared into my eyes and chuckled a little.  “You want me to help you get men, is that it?”

I’d thought of that.  Under some circumstances …  What the hell?  If she wouldn’t, now was the time to find out.

“I might.”

“You might.”

“That’s right.  But none that would slam you around or beat you.  I won’t stand for that.  And it’ll be a lot different from roasting on a beach, not sure where your next meal is coming from.”

“You travel to other cities?”

“Yeah, all over the country.”

“Just looking for whores?”

“Mainly.  If you’re worried about your crack supply, I’m sure it’s easy to find everywhere.  And the cops won’t know you.”

“You don’t care about my crack?”

“I think it helps to explain your attitude.”

“Hmph.  You’ll keep hiring whores?”

“Yeah.  If you like girls, you can play too.”

“I’ve done it.  They’re missing something.”



I would have grinned but his was an important point.  “We won’t have a romantic relationship, Sandy.  I’m not a one-woman guy.”

“You know what they say about a man who can’t find what he wants in a thousand women.”

“I’ve heard it, but I’ll admit being surprised you have!”

She shrugged.  “Sure you ain’t looking for a boy, Blake?”

“I do find what I want: the thousand women!  I also like them more than one at the time.  You could help me with that.”

She studied my face.  “The cops are after me.”

“Which should give you another reason to go with me.”

“You don’t care?”

“It’s just the St. Pete cops, right?”

She shrugged.  “How long do I have to think about it?”

“Until you ask to go back to your park bench.”

Walking out of the restaurant, she snuggled closer to me until our hips rubbed.  “You’re thinking about it,” I noted.

“Blake, it’s too good to be true.”

“Try me.  Say the word and we’ll go buy you a wardrobe.  If you stick with me, I promise I won’t leave you nearly as bad off as you are now.”

At the motel I found a note stuck to the knob.  It read, “Call 744-0128.”  I showed it to Sandy.  “This for you?”

“Huh!  Where would I get a phone?”

“In here.”

But when we entered the room, she dropped it on the table indifferently.  She strode back and forth, obviously thinking.  I sat down and turned on the TV to watch the evening news ― not that anything was new.  They should call it the “evening olds.”

When I turned the device off, she planted herself in front of me.  “What if I want to kick my habit?”

“Crackheads don’t want to quit.”

“Oh, but I do!  You don’t know how much.”

“Then I’ll put you in a rehab clinic, but it worries me, Sandy.”


“Your most attractive asset is your attitude.”

“My attitude?”

“Who else would suck me for half an hour while I watch TV?”  I regarded her curiously.  “How long will you do that, an hour?  Two hours?”

She regarded me grumpily.  “Other girls won’t, huh?”

“Not reliably.”

She sighed.  “Let me see if I get it.  You’ll feed me, clothe me, put a roof over my head.  Give me money for my habit?”

“Plus money to spend.  And medical expenses.”

“Okay.  And for all that, I have to fuck you whenever you say and suck your dick for hours while you pay me no attention.  And help you get other girls, maybe fuck other guys for you, while we travel all around.  Is that about it?”

“And the little things.  Picking up after me.  Playing valet.”

“A lot like a wife.  What if I get pregnant?”

“Can you?”

“I don’t know.  I ain’t been careful.”

“We’ll get you a checkup.  And pills if you need them.”

“Shit, Blake!  It’s a sort of a future ― least till you get tired of me.”

I grunted.  “Hell, you’ll become indispensable.”

“Yeah,” she agreed dryly, but her face changed.  “I didn’t think I had a future.”

“Does that mean you accept?”

She took a deep breath.  “For a while, I guess.”

“Where do we go to get your things?”

“What things?”

“All right.  Shall we buy you some clothing and a suitcase tonight or wait till tomorrow?  Would you like to try a beauty salon?”

She looked at me.  The strange expression deepened.  “You’re serious, ain’t you?”

“I am.”

“Blake …”  She sighed.  “You have to make an appointment at the salon.”

I gestured at the telephone.  “Make one for tomorrow morning if you can.”

“They’re all closed now.”

“So call them first thing in the morning.”  I grinned suggestively.  “In the meantime let’s watch some TV.”

“Can I smoke first?”

“You need it already?”

“It could wait.  But I can ‘watch TV’ longer if I ain’t hungry.”

“Point.  Go ahead.”

She vanished into the bathroom.  I turned on the TV and immediately found an old John Wayne movie, Hondo, in which I remembered him experimenting with a plain-jane heroine.  The similarities amused me.  I was about to settle down and soak it up again when a sharp rapping sounded at the outside door.  Good thing I hadn’t taken off my slacks.

I set the limiting chain and opened it a few inches to see a uniformed cop who asked promptly, “May I come in, Mr. Clayton?”

It was the name I had signed on the motel registry.  “No, but I’ll come out.”  I released the chain and opened the door.  He stared quickly around the room over my shoulder before stepping back.  I pulled the door closed behind me, hearing the lock click.

“What can I do for you, Officer ―” I checked out his nameplate “― Barnham?”

Although the sun had set, the sky still glowed brightly.  He took a photograph from a shirt pocket and passed it to me.  “Do you recognize this woman?”

Of course it was Sandy, younger and prettier, made up with her hair set in waves.  I shrugged and handed it back.  “Not that I recall.”

The policeman grinned like a fox at a rabbit hole.  “That’s funny.  She was seen getting in your SUV about three o’clock.”  He pointed off to his left.  “That one right there.”

“So what?”

He shook his head.  “Look, I’m not vice.  We got a john law in this town but it ain’t her john I’m after.  We know you left here with her about six.  All we want is to hear where you dropped her.”

He hadn’t seen me return with her but obviously knew she wasn’t on her park bench.  I had a couple points to consider before answering: the hour we’d spent at supper and my lack of familiarity with the neighborhood.  But I knew one location.

“That’s all, huh?  And what happens to me after I tell you?”

“Nothing.  You can get back to your Western.”

I took a breath as if reluctant.  “If I’d known it was that far, I wouldn’t’ve done it.  She wanted to go into Tampa.”


I grinned.  “Would you believe right across from the sheriff’s office on North Florida Avenue?”


“I wouldn’t either if I hadn’t let her out there.”

His eyes took on a distant look.  “Goddam!  Those sons-a-bitches’re at it again.”


“Selling crack.  You didn’t know your playmate was a crackhead?”

I shrugged.  “Nothing to me.”

“All right, Mr. Clayton.  Thanks for your cooperation.”  He nodded, turned away and walked rapidly toward the sheriff’s cruiser parked beyond my SUV.

I latched the door behind me, threw shirts, underwear, trousers and laptop into my bag, grabbed it and ran into the bathroom.  Sandy, dressed as I had first seen her, sat on the john, head thrown back against the wall, eyes closed, her horn on the counter still emitting a wisp of vapor.  I gathered my shaving stuff into its bag, stuffed her horn and aspirin bottle in the white convenience bag, hesitated a moment and finally zipped her bag into mine.

I opened the high glazed window that I’d carefully greased.  Windows in bathrooms are rare in motels, but when the room has no back door I insist on them.  I stood on the bathtub edge and poked my head out, looking around carefully.  No sheriff’s car was evident, not that it meant much.  Taking chances is part of life, and they had no reason to suspect me of anything but whore-hopping.  Not yet.  So I tossed my bags out.

“What’re you doing?” asked Sandy.

“Leaving.  A cop was at the door.”

“Where’s my stuff?”

“You’re going too.  Come on.”

She stood up and came to me uncertainly.  “Through that window?”

I put her hands on top of the window frame.  “Hook your fingertips over that and lift while I push.”  I guided her feet through the opening and shoved her butt after them.  She disappeared into the twilight.  I followed her, falling astride the crouched body, knocking her onto hands and knees.  She crawled out from under me easily.

“Sorry,” I muttered.  “Hope that didn’t hurt your knees.”

She smiled beatifically.  “Nothing hurts now.”

Let’s hear it for crackheads!  I reached back through the window, dug a fingernail into the putty under the glass and pulled it closed until it latched.  If nobody looked close, its availability as an escape hatch might not be noticed.

I gathered my two bags in one hand and caught her elbow with the other.  “Let’s get out of this parking lot.”

I hurried her toward the street.  She looked at me over her shoulder.  “What about your van?”

“It’s a rental.  I’ll mail them the key.”

Across the street was a park full of palms and flowering bushes.  I pushed us in deep and flopped with our backs against a palm.  “What’s the next street over?” I asked.

She thought a moment.  “130th.”

“And the name of this park?”

“I don’t know.  It’s the only one on 130th.”

I unzipped, pulled out the older of my two throw-away cellphones and got the number of a taxicab company.  Its operator agreed to pick up two passengers at the park on 130th Street.  I took Sandy’s hand and led us across the park to a bench next to the street, where I put my arm around her shoulder.

“You never kissed me,” she said.

I thought briefly of all the cocks that had passed those puckered lips, but none of them was in there now.  I tilted her chin toward me and tongued her deeply.  She sighed nasally and responded in kind.  Her tongue tasted like every other one: like my own.

She laid her head against mine contentedly.

“You’re not interested in the cop?” I asked.

She sighed again.  “That didn’t surprise me.”

“Oh, yeah?  Well, it did me.  Don’t think I ever heard of the law chasing a hooker into a motel room.”

“They keep real close tabs on me.”

“But still let you hook and buy drugs.”

She giggled.  “Sounds strange, don’t it?”

“Why such interest in the most worn-out looking hooker on the beach?”

She said with mild annoyance, “They’re the reason I look like this.”

“You mean they drive off business?”

“Word has got around.”

“Word about what?”

She took a deep breath.  “I hate to tell you but I will.”

“Tell me what?”

“You’ll drop me like a hot potato.”

I studied her.  “They’re using you for bait, are they ― something bigger than john bait?”

She bit her lip and begged, eyes lowered, “Don’t run me off, Blake.”

“I can’t imagine doing that.”

“All right.”  She continued tremulously, “My husband’s supposed to know how to find a big stash of horse, worth a ton of money, that got lost when his gang went down.  The cops think he told me where it is.”

“I … see.”

“They check on just about everybody I meet, pull me in if I start spending too much money, look for me if I’m out of sight too long.  What did you tell them?”

I grinned.  “That I dropped you off in Tampa at the sheriff’s office.”

“Oh!”  She smiled at me.  “You used to could buy crack across from the one on North Florida.”

“I took a lucky guess.”

She giggled but sobered.  “Theirs ain’t so lucky.”

“Their guesses?”

“That I know something about that heroin.”  She sniffed.  “Tally never told me shit about it, and I asked him particular the last time they let me see him.  In fact I don’t think they ever was any big stash.”

Carefully I watched her face and listened to the tone of her voice.  She spoke in exactly the same manner she had used when telling of her children, addiction and jail time ― all of which I had previously known to be absolutely true.

I’m not a man to dally.  Other buttons got pushed on the cellphone.  The receiver only rang twice.  “Yeah?” said a man’s voice.

“A message for Manello.”

“Who’s this?”


“Go ahead.”

“Tell him the hole is dry.”

The phone was silent for a moment.  “He ain’t gonna like that.”

“Tell him exactly that: the hole is dry.  I’ll send him my bill.”

“Got it.”

I dropped the cellphone to the sidewalk, stomped it with my heel until the case shattered and threw the larger pieces into the adjacent trash can.

Sandy watched me with curious composure.  When I sat back down, she asked, “Who are you, Blake ― or is it Carber?”

“Keep calling me Blake.  I’m a P. I.”

“A what?”

“A private investigator, one with a certain reputation.  I don’t need the money but like to keep my hand in.  I’ll work for anyone who can afford me and who knows how to reach me.”

“So you are a cop!”

“Okay, a private cop.”

She giggled.  “I knew you were coming to get me!”  Her grin faded.  “Well, you sure got me.  Will you at least take me back to my park bench?”

“I think you’ll feel a lot less pressure now, Sandy, even from the cops.  But I meant what I said.  If you haven’t changed your mind, you’re going with me.  My next job is in St. Louis.  Want to come along?”

A taxi drifted down the street.  I stood up and waved it to the curb.  “Well?” I said to her inquiringly, holding the back door open.

She got into the car with me.

“Where to, Mister?” asked the cabbie.

I said, “Airport or beach, Sandy?”

She grinned.  “How about the mall?”