“Fuck,” Logan muttered. “Is that a dildo over there?”
Her dad had an old truck parked on one side. The other side had a yellow-stained refrigerator where Harold stored his beer. He liked to drink while he played around with his truck. He kept the ‘good stuff’ inside the house. Two worn plaid couches that were torn up, from the cat sharpening its claws, sat next to the refrigerator. A small table with a coffee can full of cigarette butts on top was placed between the couches. There were empty bottles lined up next to the couches Kate’s uncles used to spit their chew in.
“Smells like someone died in here.”
“Watch it,” I warned when Logan hopped off the steps leading from the house. “There might be a dead animal in here. This is where her dad skins his kills.”
“You’re talking about animals, right?” Logan wrinkled his nose up before covering it with his shirt. “Man, this place really stinks.”
This was Kate’s world. It was f**ked up and I didn’t want to be there longer than I needed. I went over and got all of Sam’s clothes, making sure the cat hadn’t pissed on them. They smelled fine. Sam’s vanilla body spray was still on them.
Logan had opened the refrigerator. “Holy shit. Why don’t we party here?”
“Used to party here?”
“Oh yeah. You know what I meant.” The smirk lingered on Logan’s face as he grabbed a beer from inside. Twisting it open, he took a good swig before he pointed at the mannequin. “So what’s our plan for that thing?”
“No clue, but I know where they get the things.”
“Sashes and Bows.”
“Say again?” Logan had lifted the beer to his mouth, but paused before he took another drink.
“Natalie’s aunt. Her clothing store.”
“Oh.” He bobbed his head up and down. “Makes sense now.”
I tried to see if there was anything else we should grab. Once Kate realized we’d been there, the extra key would be moved somewhere else. I didn’t know if she would warn her parents about me or not. Her mom worked at the hospital eighty hours a week, and her dad was always gone with his buddies. When Harold was home, he was drunk. If nothing else, I knew where Kate’s mom stored her purse at the hospital. Kate told me the combination.
“Let’s go,” Logan started to say, but broke off at the sound of car doors slamming shut.
Going to the garage door, we saw Kate’s and Natalie’s cars.
“Come on.” I grabbed the mannequin and went to the side door. It led to the outside and I shoved the thing into Logan’s arms and pointed to the road. Kate lived in the country. Her house was surrounded by trees, and there was a road that led around to the back of her dad’s barns and property. We had parked the Escalade behind one of the barns and crossed through the woods to sneak into the house. I didn’t know who was going to be here, so coming in from the north side kept us hidden. It helped Logan now as he nodded and took off with the mannequin.
I stayed behind. I wanted to hear her reaction.
“… isn’t that what we’re doing? I mean, come on. The girl just can’t lay down and take it … Oh, holy gawd!”
The door banged against the wall, and Jasmine’s voice stopped abruptly. I grinned to myself.
“OH MY FUCK! FUCK-FUCK!!”
“Calm down, Kate,” Natalie drawled. Her voice fell halfway through her statement as if she’d stepped to the side. “You don’t have to screech so loud. I just had flashbacks to my mom.”
Someone snickered. “From last night, you mean.”
“Shut it, Parker,” Natalie snapped back. “And speaking of, where were you last night?”
“What are you talking about? I was with Nate. Kate told me to see him.” Her voice rose sharply. “Kate, you told me to go see him. I wasn’t supposed to?” Her voice was near hysteria.
Everything got quiet.
A door opened and closed. Then the truck’s doors were both opened and slammed shut. A thud came next before Parker asked again, quieter now, “Kate?”
“Kate, why are you flipping out like this? Stop screaming. I didn’t give up a shift at Str8t to hear this.”
“Shut up, Natalie,” Kate shot back.
Something hit the garage door. She was throwing shit. That was good. I didn’t think they’d look out the side door, but I tucked my head down in case. It was on the opposite side of the truck, but I didn’t know for sure. I tried to blend in with the shadows as much as possible. Then I heard Kate start screeching again. Something else thudded into the garage door.
“Hey,” Jasmine spoke up, “where’s that whore’s clothes?”
Natalie laughed. “You got rats in here, Kate? I’m sure they were attracted to her musk.”
“For the last time,” Kate’s voice turned ominous. “Shut. The. Fuck. Up. You’re not worried about her clothes?”
“Well, yeah. We need them for the whole thing. It was pointless to borrow my brother’s camcorder, and I won’t enjoy doing his chores for the week. Punk kid,” Natalie grumbled. A smaller item was thrown against the garage door. “Little does he know that he’s going to pay for that.”
“You guys are pissing me off.”
“Tell us something we don’t know,” Natalie threw back.