By that fall, things couldn't have been better in my life. I had Scott. I had fun-times with Rachel and Scott. I had Lucy. I had a place to stay, food in my tummy, and had learned how to build a hot-water heater. What more could a girl want?
Well, customers would have been good. Business hadn't picked up like it always did before. We had small work, repainting, some repairs, that sort of thing. But not a single big job. I have to admit, I never handled the bills around the junkyard. Scott paid the suppliers. I knew where the extra cash was and I took what I needed when I went on supply runs. We had another place for "household money" like stuff for dinner and drinks at parties. There was still money in there, though not as much. And we really didn't have much in the way of supplier bills seeing that we hadn't had much business.
Scott didn't seem worried, so I wasn't worried. Scott knew the business a whole lot better than I did. So if he thought we were okay enough that he could go out with friends, then why should I worry? And Scott really did have friends now. That was the other big change. I guess since he had someone that he could really talk to now, he didn't feel like he had to hide all the time for fear of letting something secret out. He could just hang with some guys and have a few beers and talk cars. Plus most of the guys knew about me and him and Rachel and they thought Scott was the biggest stud on the face of the planet. As long as he didn't get an ego problem from it, then I wouldn't have to deflate it. It was great though. He had friends. I had friends. We went out. We danced. We played. We worked when we had work. When we didn't, Scott tinkered on other things and I played with Lucy.
Scott was out with his friends one evening while I was with Lucy, working on some of the rough edges she had left. She was almost exactly as I had envisioned her when I got her last Christmas. I didn't think she would ever be completely done, and that I would always play with her, but I loved it. Her new paint job was done, and the only thing I had left to do on that was to wax and buff her until she shined.
I happily dug through Scott's tools, looking for the buffing pads. Now, normally, I never touch Scott's tools. He has his. I have mine. The communal tools are in the middle. He had the buffing pads because he always did the final buffing on a car. Not that I couldn't do it, but more like I hated dealing with the wax and the buffer and making sure I didn't put whorl lines into the paint and all that crap. It was a pain, and Scott was really good at it, so I did the interior, and Scott would do the paint. But Lucy was special. She was mine. I wanted to be the one to buff her paint. I had done everything else on her, and I wanted to be able to say that Lucy was 100 mine.
So that's why I was in his stuff. That's why I was in the stuff that I never touch. And that's why I found something that I never wanted to find in Scott's stuff.
I don't know how long I sat there. Hours, maybe. I just sat, tools forgotten, Lucy forgotten, holding a plastic bag full of white powder. I knew what it was. If you go to enough parties, you know what drugs look like versus sugar or baby powder. And it wasn't baby powder I was holding. Drugs. All this time. He had drugs in here. After all I had told him. He had his own private stash. My stomach rolled and heaved, and I ran into the bathroom, waiting to see if I could calm down or if I would just puke right there. I was still there when I heard the front door open.
"Where the hell have you been?" I demanded as Scott walked in the door and then to the garage.
"Out." He answered cheekily.
My voice strained, "Out?"
"Yeah." He yelled from the garage, "Out."
I yelled in frustration before storming into the garage, my mind in a mix between anger and shock. Scott was leaning over the engine of an old beat up Chevy truck. I had the sudden urge to slam the hood shut on his head. And this time, I wouldn't be taking him to the hospital. Instead I grabbed a two by four we were using for the bathroom reconstruction and slammed it down on the counter as hard as I could, causing Scott to jump and turn suddenly. His face drained of color when he saw what I was holding out towards him.
"What the hell is this?" I yelled angrily.
Scott shifted uncomfortably, his eyes shifting from the bag to my face and then back, "None of your business." He finally answered, grabbing at the baggie.
I moved my hand away from his quickly and glared at him, "Scott, I will ask you one more time before I flush this shit."
He glowered at me for a moment then sighed, "It's not for me."
My eyebrows shot up, ""You've got to think I'm as dumb as a pole."
"I swear, Kat." He insisted, "It's not for me."
My glare bore deep into his eyes, searching for the truth in the midst of my anger, "Who's it for, then, Scott?" If you're not using, then why do you have it?"
His eyes darted back and forth again, "It's…"
"It's what?" I shouted, "It's what! I was beyond furious, "What the fuck are you thinking? After all I've told you; after all I've told you about my mom and all the shit she got herself into? About all the drugs she fucked up our lives with? And now, guess what, Scott's got his own little stash. I should have dumped you the moment you woke me up."
Scott put his hands up, trying to calm me down, "Whoa, Kat, hold on. It's not my stash! I don't know who it's for!" Calming down a bit, I crossed my arms, waiting for more.
"I don't ask questions," he continued. "I just make the deals."
My jaw clenched before unclenching, "Oh, so you're not using, you're just dealing? Because that's better."
"It's the only way I can get money right now, Kat," he answered pitifully.
I looked at him with disdain, "What do you mean, 'the only way?' what about the cars? I thought we were doing okay."
"Well, we were," he sputtered. "But now we don't have jack left from the cars. We haven't in a while. I just didn't want to worry you."
"How can we be out of money already?" I asked, my temper flaring a bit. "Did you spend it on drugs?"
Scott glared at me, "Hey! You know I'm just as against using as you are. But it's not as if it's cheap to live here, Kat. Food, drinks, everything. Prices go up and down every hour here. We had plenty saved, but then…hospital bills and all that. The cops are demanding more and more to not notice that we're here."
"But do you have to sell drugs?" I spat.
He sighed and ran a hand through his scraggly hair, "I don't know what else to do. Right now it's the only thing that's paying off."
I looked away from him, a tear slipping down my cheek. I wiped it away furiously, "How long?" I persisted, "How long has this shit been in my house?"
"About three weeks." He admitted.
I nodded, biting my lip and clenching my eyes shut, trying to keep myself from beating him senseless. "Kat…" he began, then stopped as I held up my palm towards him,
"It would be advantageous for you not to speak at this moment." I took a deep breath and then glared at him, "How could you?" I almost whispered, fired in my eyes, "How could you fucking do it?" I screamed this time.
Scott's gaze leveled with mine before he growled in anger, grabbing one of the smaller tool boxes off of the counter and throwing it across the room. I ducked as it hit the wall, knocking the hanging tools to the ground "How could I keep money in our pockets so we can survive?" He yelled back, "How could I provide shelter and food? My god, you're right, Kat. What was I thinking?"
We both glared at each other, staring each other down. Scott was the first to back down. He looked around the garage at the scattered tools. Taking a deep breath he tried a different approach, "I swear to you, Kat. On everything I own. I am not using. I am just selling."
I shook my head and began to pace back and forth, "I can't deal with this. I can't. I can't even fathom how it can be the only thing. How is that possible?"
I felt a hand fall on my shoulder and I yanked away violently, glaring once again at Scott, "Touch me again, and I will break your fucking hand."
Scott swallowed and stepped back, trying again, "It really is, Kat. Short of prostituting myself on the streets. I'm sorry you don't trust me enough to believe that." Defeated Scott went back to the truck, "Do what you want with that baggie, but know that it's that baggie that has your next meal in it."
I let out a breath and walked out of the garage, throwing the offensive baggie into the sink before sinking to the bed and screaming furiously into one of the pillows. I was too angry to see the logic or truth in what he was saying. I didn't care, all I knew was that he had betrayed my trust the moment he brought drugs into our home.
Looking around the small shack another tear slipped down my cheek, "Thanks a lot." I whispered silently, trying to stop the flood of tears I could feel behind my closed eyelids. "How could you do this to me, Scott?" I choked out before curling up into a ball on the bed and crying myself to sleep.
The next morning I had that odd feeling like I was being watched again. I never understood that about Scott, he seemed to like watching me sleep. It wasn't the first time I'd woken up with his eyes on me. Sometimes it was okay, but when my eyes met his and I remembered the conversation we'd had last night it took everything in my power not to jump him and beat him to death. I sat up and sneered at him, "I thought I told you I hated it when you watched me." Okay, that's not actually true. Despite it's creepiness I couldn't deny that Scott watching me sleep was equally cute so it wasn't actually cause for me to hate it.
Scott walked up behind me as I was getting a drink of water, "I'm sorry." He said, placing his hands on my waist, "I really am."
I was tempted to move away, but figured that it wouldn't really help anything. Instead I turned away from the sink and faced him. If I wasn't so mad at him I might actually think he looked sexy with his guilty eyes and his hands on my hips. No, I was angry at him. Clearing my throat I looked into his eyes, "You swear you're not using?"
He held out his arms for me to see them, "No track marks, no red around my nostrils, no dilated pupils, and if I could I'd piss in a cup just so you could test it for any sort of drugs in my system."
I looked away from him for a moment, "No." I whispered, looking back at him and hugging him, "I trust you." He had trusted me with a secret that would get us both killed. Why would he start lying now? Scott's arms wrapped around me and we stood, embracing for a second before I pulled away, "If you're lying to me and I find out about it…I'm so kicking your ass." I warned.
"If I'm lying," he smiled, placing a finger over my lips, "I won't fight when you try to shove your foot up my ass."
I chuckled and pushed him slightly, "Smart ass."
Scott grinned arrogantly, jutting his chin out, before his expression suddenly sobered and he looked at me, "How did you find it?" he questioned. "You're not using are you?"
Looking him in the eye I shook my head, "Nothing more than alcohol and cigarettes and that's only when I'm out partying with Rachel." "And one day I am going to quit the smokes."
"Okay," he nodded, "Just checking."
I hugged him again, "Thank you for caring enough to ask."
He nodded and let go of me then walked towards the bed, "I'm going to sleep now."
I looked out the window, "But its morning."
"Yes, and I spent the whole night working in the garage and then watching you sleep," he mumbled from the bed.
I turned to look at him, "Why?"
He sighed and propped himself up on his elbows, "Well, I didn't want to get into bed with you because you might've tried to kill me, and I didn't want to sleep because if you found me sleeping, you might have tried to kill me," He looked at the ground, "or worse, you might have just left."
A lump caught in my throat. I hated everything about it, but he was right, and I knew it. I had paid the astronomical medical bills. I knew that little was coming in to replace it. I sure as hell wasn't going to start tricking and I didn't want Scott to either. "I should have listened to you last night," I started but Scott stopped me.
"No, I should have told you about it from the start."
"I never would have let you," I argued.
He nodded and fell back on the bed, "Still, at least you would have known."
I stood, watching him for a moment before I spoke again, "I've been thinking." I started, watching for a reaction from Scott, "I want to help." Yeah, I know that seems like a sudden change of heart, but I've never been one to back away from hard times. Life sucked and you dealt with it however you could. If this was the only way, then how the hell could I let him take all of the risk?
Scott didn't move but I could tell he had heard me. I walked to the bed and lay down next to him, resting my head on his chest. "I'm serious, Scott. If cars aren't bringing in the money then I have to earn my keep another way. We both know that I refuse to do the prostitute deal, so if I have to help you with this then so be it."
That got a response, "No."
"Yes." I fought him.
"It's too risky." He argued, opening his eyes and looking down at me.
I rolled away from him and crossed my arms, "Oh, so you can risk your life selling drugs but I can't?"
Scott turned to me, "Kat, I don't want you to get involved. Not after what you've been through."
"Yeah," I spat, "well what about what you've been through? And what about the deal we made. I get to help out. I refuse to live here free of charge."
Scott sighed, defeated, "Fine. You can help. But you are not going to be doing any deals."
"Okay," I equally backed down, "So what will I do?"
"You can be my delivery girl."
"Kat, that's where I need the most help at," Scott broke in. "You know the people at parties. You could bring anything in and nobody would ask questions. If a cop saw me with a backpack, he might search it. You're such a fixture, that nobody would think about it. You just go in, give the right person the stuff and leave."
"What about money?"
Scott shrugged. "I don't handle the money. They make the deals in advance with other guys. I just pick up the order and give it to the buyers. I get paid by the sellers usually." He looked down. "Kat, please change your mind. In three weeks, I've already been threatened at least six times about what would happen to me if the stuff was bad."
"I'll be okay," I said. God, I hated this. Drugs, stinking, rotten drugs. It was the worst thing I could think of getting into, and here I was, fighting to get involved. "This is just temporary, right?"
Scott looked up. "Absolutely. As soon as we start making enough to live on again with the cars, we're out of there. We just have to be careful in the meantime. Business can't stay slow forever, and Garrett said that as soon as I wanted out, there were no problems."
"Garrett? Mr. T.A. Barron got you into this?"
"Not exactly," Scott said. "I called Garrett to see if he had any side work needed. He said that they didn't, and asked if I was low on cash. I said that work was slow, and he offered me a part-time job. We got together and he told me the deal. I figured it would just be a few times, but it's gotten to be every night now. Sometimes more than once a night. With all of the work we've done for Garrett before, I guess he thinks he can trust me more than other guys. I can't complain because I get paid by the delivery." I had been wondering about his newfound socializing. In a way it was a relief to hear that Scott was working and not hanging out with the guys. I knew Scott was a workaholic; if he had changed that much this fast, I would have been worried.
"So how are we going to do this?" I asked, getting down to business. "If we get more runs done, then we can get cash stashed quicker and get out of this mess."
"I'll pick up from the suppliers and give it to you. You make the drops and give me a call. I get paid from Garrett's flunky." Scott looked at me again. "Are you absolutely sure about this?"
"No," I replied. "But I'm not going to stay here on a free ride."
He nodded and then stretched out on the bed. "I'm going to get some sleep," he said. "This kind of living is usually made at night anyway."
I went into the garage to let Scott sleep. If I was going to be hauling this crap around, then I had a problem because it was going to be in Lucy, and there wasn't a good way to hide things in Lucy, barring throwing a blanket over it. Yeah, that wouldn't get a cop's suspicions moving. I thought about it for a while, and then started tinkering with some ideas for hidden compartments. I worked until the afternoon, and was quite pleased with the results. It was nowhere near done yet, but I had figured out a way around a few problems and when I was done, there was no way these compartments would be noticeable to the casual observer – or even an interested searcher.
I figured that if I was going to start helping, then it might as well be tonight. Time to get cleaned up and start my new life. As a drug-dealer. I sighed. If it was the only way that Scott and I could make it, then I was going to have to try. For a moment I thought about splitting, but there was no way. Especially when I walked into the shack and gazed at Scott still sleeping. I might be able to ditch a boyfriend, but Scott was a lot more than that to me. And whatever we were going to have to do to survive, I was just going to have to deal with it. Scott stirred in his sleep, muttering my name. I smiled. I wasn't going anywhere. Pulling up a crate next to the bed, I sat and tried to figure out what Scott found so amazing about watching another person sleep.