Return to Poughkeepsie

Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

Book: Return to Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia Read Free Book Online
Authors: Debra Anastasia
other table lined up, clearly excited at the thought of living in this huge mansion. Mary Ellen came to sit at the right-hand table, across from Eve. She waited until the rest of the ladies were out of the ballroom, gazing at the spectacular view of the mountains just beyond, dotted with house lights.
    She turned to the small group of women at the table. “So, after that group is done, I’ll have the boys show you your view.”
    As the first gunshot popped, eyes widened all around the table. Most of the women seemed confused, curious, but Eve knew it was a .48 Magnum with a silencer. The second and third shots drew their attention. Eve knew if she looked she’d see the girls falling boneless to the stone patio. She didn’t look. Eve watched Mary Ellen instead. Horrified screams now came from the remaining girls on the terrace. Eve bet they were starting to run, trying to escape.
    With each shot, Mary Ellen’s mouth crawled up into a larger smile. When the last shot sounded on the patio, she was grinning like she’d just won a puppy.

    Tits Okay
    “M OTHERFUCKER .” B ECKETT T HREW H IS K ENO T ICKET on the floor. “I swear one day I’m figuring this shit out.” Then he stood and picked up the damn ticket. He slid his sunglasses on just as Chery opened the front door to the liquor store. The morning sun felt like knives in his head, even with his sunglasses on, and he cringed.
    She was flustered, dropping her keys as she began apologizing. “Sorry, boss. I’m late—I know I’m late. My sister was late to the program, and I’m late, and I’m sorry.”
    “Settle yourself, baby. It’s okay, baby! Monday morning is not a hot time for liquor. I’ve been playing the fucking Keno game, and I swear on my left, slightly hairless nut that this damn thing is rigged.”
    He picked up a few receipts that had fallen like leaves from her messy purse. Chery was wearing a turtleneck on an unseasonably warm day. She did that a lot, actually. At first he’d thought her boyfriend was a sucker—got off on leaving his open-mouthed mark on his woman. But the last two times Chery was late, she’d worn thick makeup as well. The lights of the liquor store worked like an x-ray, and he could see the bruises she’d tried to cover. Didn’t take a genius to know Chery was getting knocked around by her “man.”
    “Just get behind that thing and make sense of the sales I forced it to take,” Beckett said, sliding away from the register. “You’re good. No worries, baby.” He made sure Chery gave him a smile before he whistled through his teeth, and Gandhi snorted himself out of his deep snores. “I’m going to sort out that shipment in the back.”
    Chery nodded and his ugly dog followed him, passing gas with every step. Beckett shook his head and slid his glasses off, hooking them on the back of his T-shirt. “I used to be cool. I had some swagger before you came farting along, G.”
    The dog gave him an open-jawed smile, his tongue lolling out.
    Beckett’s office was in the back. G had a nice fluffy bed, which he immediately curled up in. Beckett grabbed the inventory list and began sorting the booze. His mind drifted with the manual labor…to Chery. He was desperate every damn day, trying to be a better fucking guy. It was like an addiction, his need to bust people’s freaking skulls for being assholes. This girl he had on the payroll was a hot mess when she’d applied for a job about eight months ago—nervous and shifty during the interview. She had huge gaps in her résumé. Just the type of person he tried to hire.
    He didn’t need the goddamn money. Mouse had set him up so sweet he didn’t need a damn thing. This liquor store had been an impulse buy. It was a sack of shit. But it was his church now. He collected people: patrons, employees, the local hookers. They found their way here, and he tried to give them a damn chance. Loan them money that didn’t have their blood on the note. He was shocked how damn

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