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here WAS that girl?

DaShawn sat scrunched down in the car, like she told him, for as long as he could stand it, and then he sat up and looked around at the sorry farm. Damn, it was pathetic. How could white people live like this, way out in the middle of nowhere, everything all bare and all?

Damn, it was hot. He rolled down the window and then, after just a moment’s hesitation, stuck his head out for some air. Not like there was anybody around to see him anyway.

With the car baking in the sun in the driveway, it was STILL hot, though he could see some breeze wagging the tops of the trees out beyond the barn. What would be the harm of him waiting out there? Finding a nice shady spot to sit while she was inside doing her business?

He got out of the car and started trudging toward the barn, but then he thought, What if she came out to the car, didn’t find him there, and just drove away, leaving his sorry ass out here all alone in Honky Hollow? What if, sitting under the tree, he got chiggers in his butt?

And what if there was something wrong in there, if something terrible had happened to Baby Girl while he sat in the farmer’s shade? She said there was no one home, definitely, but what if she was wrong?

DaShawn was tired of being driver, fetcher, all-around lackey. He wanted a more active role. And that was going to start right here, right now, by his going into the house to get her. Besides, he really had to pee and he never could get a good stream going outdoors. His Ma and her standards had made sure of that.

The house was dark, cool, tidy, unpopulated. At first, all he heard was the ticking of the kitchen clock. She must be upstairs, downstairs, somewhere, searching out the articles. That’s what she insisted on calling them: the articles. When she shoulda just called them the guns.

Where was the john? Nothing on the first floor. He found the basement door and checked down there, but nothing below either. That left upstairs, for her and the toilet.

Climbing the stairs to the second floor was when he started to hear something. Moaning, screaming, banging, something. Holy shit. There was something wrong. Jesus.

His heart started hammering so hard it pushed all thoughts of pissing out of his mind. Truth was, Llewellyn had taken care of all security matters at the club. Kicking people out, breaking up fights, prying guys’ hands off of girls: That had been all Llewellyn. Plus, despite the stash of arms in the trunk, it hadn’t even occurred to DaShawn to carry his own weapon inside. Shit.

He could just leave. Turn around and run out of here, make his way back to the Go Go, pretend he’d never seen Taryn again and had no idea what happened to her. Better than getting his head blown off by some Nazi sadist.

But he was her partner. He’d promised her. In business like in life, things didn’t always go smoothly. Didn’t ever, lately, for him.

He approached the door. Heart in his mouth, lifted his foot and kicked it open.

And there, pale and round as a Milk Moon, was her ass, bobbing up and down on what looked like the considerable shaft of a young white kid.

“Holy shit!” he yelped, without even thinking.

She turned around, surveyed him coolly without breaking her rhythm.

“Well, what are you staring at?” she said finally. “Come on over here or get the hell out.”

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