Thomas J. Comer
Street Candy Reflection
It was finally warming up enough at night so that Chloe could dispense with the fur coat she wore during the winter. Early summer was the best time of year in Chicago; comfortably warm and yet no sign of the oppressive humidity that the months of July and August would bring. As she walked along Rush street, she knew she looked good. Her short, forest green dress hugged her petite, five foot-three frame in just the right way. The spaghetti straps were the only thing on her otherwise bare shoulders. Along with black nylons and heels, it was her signature outfit. All of her dresses were this style, only the color changed. Sometimes they were black, sometimes white, and on rare occasions, yellow. Green, however, was her favorite. It was the perfect shade against her short red hair and green eyes. If she could change anything about appearance, it would be enhancing her B-cup chest. Despite the fact that her breasts were pint-sized compared to the gallons most of the other girls carried, she was still one of the more popular choices along the Rush street skin buffet. Her pimp, Andre, said this was because she possessed an innocent sweetness that many of the other girls lacked. He often told her she was his favorite and that he had plans for her.
Down at the next corner Chloe saw her two friends, Mika and Karen, talking to the new young beat cop, Officer Stevens. Mika was black, with short, reddish, wavy hair, the type of woman the black men called a 'redbone.' She wore her usual gold spandex pants and a matching tank top. Karen was white, even whiter than Chloe, with long, straight black hair. In her red lace top and tight white pants she was a looker. Both of them were fellow members of Andre's stable.
"Hi," said Chloe as she walked up to them. "I see it's gonna be another slow night." Business had been down lately, most of the cars on Rush Street were just driving by and glancing at the girls instead of slowing down or stopping.
"You girls need to watch yourselves," Officer Stevens warned. "It isn't safe out here."
He was a young, extremely good looking black man. He was tall and wore a perfectly pressed uniform.
"Baby we're veterans, okay?" Mika called everyone baby. "Besides, it's the johns who should be worried."
"Did it happen again?"
"Not since the last one three weeks ago," Karen said as she lit a cigarette.
Over the past couple of months three men had been murdered. All of them had been frequenting prostitutes and rumor had it that the killer was one of the working girls. Obviously this sort of thing was not good for business. Not only were customers afraid, but the district was crawling with cops, both uniformed and undercover.
"I like you girls," said Officer Stevens. "Please be careful. Just imagine strolling in upon this chick while she's killing a guy, do you think she'll just swear you to secrecy?" Each of the girls nodded as the young policeman walked away.
"Do you think it's true they had their balls cut off?" Chloe looked at her reflection in a parking meter.
"I wouldn't doubt it, Baby," replied Mika. "They probably deserved it too."
"From what I know they were ass-holes." Karen dropped her cigarette and stomped it out. "I knew one of them, he slapped me around a little and gave me an extra twenty bucks for my trouble."
Chloe had heard the same thing. All three of the dead men were what they commonly referred to as 'shit.' Her friend Sapphire always told her; "One has to take the shit with the sugar, but hopefully the sugar becomes regular more often than the shit.'
The girls' chat session ended when Andre's white Lincoln cruised slowly by. The windows were tinted dark, but the speed of the vehicle was his way of saying that he wanted them working not talking. Chloe moved off down the strip walking in her best sultry jaunt doing what she could to attract some business. She couldn't say she liked selling her body, but she didn't hate it either. Since leaving her home in Wisconsin two years earlier she'd managed to make a little money and get paid for doing what her stepfather had forced her to do for free. Andre took most of her money of course, but she still managed to put a good share away.
As pimps went, Andre was better than most. Chloe felt safe with him watching over her. Besides, she was special to him and his favorite. He told her he'd better not find her using hard drugs because it would destroy her innocence and ruin his plans for her. Yet, he didn't care that most of his other girls were on all sorts things ranging from heroin to crack. There was also no denying his violent streak. The previous fall a girl he'd suspected of holding out on him ended up with a broken face and left in a ditch. He was a pimp in every sense of the word, but, at least to Chloe, he was a kinder, gentler pimp than most others.
Of course Sapphire loved to tell her; "Pimps just steal your money. You don't need them." Her friend did not work under a pimp and instead was her own entity. She was an exception rather than the rule because most women who tried to blow off the controls of the pimps ended up dead. However, Sapphire had managed to keep out of harm's way by not working all that often and just occasionally appearing on the street. She was different from the other girls in many ways.
Coming up to a red light at a corner, Chloe struck her best pose, but the cars just drove by once the light flashed green. Nobody was getting much action tonight. At twenty, she was in the middle of the pack as ages go, many of her sisters of the street were less than eighteen and some were more than thirty. Would she still be hooking at that age? She hoped not. Sapphire sometimes told her she'd never get out of hooking, but then again her friend was often a bit negative.
Sapphire first came into her life on one of her first nights in the windy city. It was at a homeless shelter and an old guy was hassling her. Chloe wasn't sure how to handle it. The guy was grabbing her ass and backing her into a corner. Suddenly Sapphire was there kicking the hell out of the guy. She'd never forget the sight of the old man laying there in pain on the filthy floor. Since then Sapphire had come in and out of her life a few times, sometimes staying around for a few nights and at others disappearing for weeks at a time. She felt that her friend was probably a housewife in the suburbs, but whenever she asked her about her life she got a quick and hateful "Shut up, bitch."
The main thing Chloe learned from Sapphire was street smarts. Over the past two years she'd given her sound advice on how to handle johns and protect herself. She even gave her a small, extremely sharp switch blade and showed her how to keep it in her shoe so nobody would ever see it. It was something she kept to herself, besides, she'd never use it anyway. More than once a john had beaten her up a little and she didn't even consider fighting back. The most likely scenario in that situation would be the john taking it away from her and killing her. Now with three murders having taken place she definitely told nobody about her weapon for fear of them suspecting her.
Chloe knew who was killing the johns, but there wasn't a chance of turning in Sapphire. Of course she'd never have the guts to ask her friend if she was the one, but she knew it none the less. She was the only one she could think of that had the anger to do it and the intelligence necessary to get away with it. Besides, her tempestuous friend hadn't been around since the last murder and before that had been talking about plans to leave Chicago. Part of her felt she'd never see Sapphire again.
Walking slowly by an adult book store, Chloe was suddenly aware of a sleek, black Lexus cruising along side her at a purchaser's pace. At the corner she turned and walked down a side street which had far less activity and stopped. The car pulled up and the passenger window slid down. Inside was a middle-aged but attractive white man. He was well tailored in a dark suit and he had perfect white teeth in his smile.
"Lookin' for a date, Hon?" Chloe leaned into the window and could smell the leather of the tan interior. The man had short hair and his fingernails were perfectly manicured. There was no chance of this guy being a cop.
"I might be," he said. "Are you free?"
"Free?" Chloe laughed. "I am never free, but I am worth every penny."
The obviously wealthy man laughed. "A poor choice of words, I grant you. How much do you charge?"
"Depends on what you have in mind."
The man smiled and shifted nervously. The aroma of fine cologne mixed with the leather inside Chloe's nostrils.
"How about a blow job for a hundred bucks," Chloe offered. It was normally fifty, but this guy could afford more and she hoped he'd get in the mood for a lot more.
"I'd like that, thank you." He seemed relieved. This was probably a shy, married, businessman. His gold wedding band gleamed as he gripped the wheel.
Without another word, Chloe got into the car.
"I'll show you," said Chloe. She was going to take him to one her spots. "This is a beautiful car."
"It gets me where I'm going."
"I bet it does," she said in her best sexy voice. "What's your name, Hon?"
A lot of men didn't like giving a name and even when they did it was usually fake, but Chloe liked having a name, even if it was an alias.
"I'm Chloe," she reached across and rubbed his leg. "I'm glad you noticed me."
The warehouse parking lot that was dark and out of the way. As soon as the car was parked, the john puled out his wallet and counted out five twenty-dollar bills. She hadn't even had to give him the song and dance about business coming before pleasure. The crisp bills fit nicely into a pocket on the inside of her dress.
"Thanks, Hon." Chloe raised the arm rest and slid over on the seat a few inches. Her hand moved up his leg and found what felt like decent sized, semi-hard manhood. "Are you ready, Jeff?"
"Yes," he whispered.
Chloe smiled at him and then turned her attentions down below. She unbuckled his belt and unzipped his pants, reaching inside his bright white briefs and caressed his member. Clean underwear was always a welcome sight to a working girl. He raised himself to help her get his pants lowered to the point she needed.
Jeff was slowly coming to life in her mouth. Chloe worked him in slow, wanting him to enjoy this because he had money to spend, and he tasted clean and smelled good. With every movement he became harder and harder. Slowly she reached down and pulled a condom out of her nylons and with one hand expertly opened the wrapper. The john wouldn't even notice as she pulled off of him for a second to put the ultra thing rubber into her mouth. However, when she tried to come off she felt his hands on her head. Forcefully she twisted away from his hands and swollen cock.
"Jeff, we're having a good time," she said. "But no hands on my head, okay?" He muttered an agreement and she went back down on him, getting the condom ready inside her mouth. Once again his hands were forcing her down.
"Shit," she yelled as she pulled off again. "I said," she started to say but suddenly was in a painful daze. The punch had come out of nowhere.
Jeff's hands were on her again and her face was slammed into his knee. It felt as if her nose exploded. Before Chloe realized what was happening, she was being dragged out of the car and found herself face down on the pavement. Her hands were forced behind her, handcuffed, but this was no cop. The taste of blood was in her mouth and she could hardly see for the pain and swelling. Her head was yanked back and what felt like a ping pong ball was shoved into her mouth before tape was wrapped around her face. Fear was pumping through her body as she wondered what the hell was happening. Seconds later she was hoisted up and thrown over the hood of the Lexus. She could feel him spreading her legs. He was laughing at her.
"Separates nylons, no panties, what else would one expect from a slut."
Chloe screamed a muffled cry and tried to breathe out of her swollen nose. She was terrified and helpless. Punches were suddenly raining down on her back and arms.
"Shut up," he said. "You got your money!"
Chloe was beaten, raped and sodomized. When finished, Jeff pushed her back to the pavement and removed the cuffs. He left without a word.
As Chloe lay there she couldn't move her arms, agonizing pain was all she felt as she tried to move. She lay there crying, trying blow the blood out of her nose. There was no way to tell how long she lay in the parking lot before she heard voices. It was a female. Sapphire? No, it was Mika.
"Oh Baby," she said as she began getting the tape off her mouth. "Karen, go find Andre!"
Over the next three and a half weeks, Chloe slowly but steadily recovered. The attack left her with a broken nose, severe swelling on her left eye and cheek, and horrid bruises on her back and arms. For the first week she only got out of bed to shower and use the bathroom. After that the pain decreased a little quicker and she began to move around a bit. By far the biggest bruise she'd suffered had been the one to her ego. She never saw it coming and felt stupid. What would Sapphire say? "Stupid bitch, letting yourself get handcuffed." Hopefully she'd left and wouldn't even hear about it.
Karen had told her that there had been no more murders since the third guy. So it had been nearly six weeks. Sapphire had split for good, she was sure of that now, though part of her hoped the jerk in the black Lexus would run into her friend.
Andre had been wonderful during her recovery. He'd put her up in his apartment and took care of her. He'd brought in a doctor who owed him a favor and made sure she took her medication properly. He kept saying he was not going to let her become addicted to pain killers. Chloe felt as if she owed him her life and was determined to show him her gratitude. She prepared a fine steak dinner to surprise him.
Living with Andre of course meant sleeping with him. They shared the bedroom of the large, four room flat, which was furnished with fine leather furniture. Once she was physically able, they became intimate and it was almost as she was his wife. He even held her in his arms.
Andre arrived home at about six that evening. He was in khaki slacks and a red button down silk shirt. Chloe loved looking at him; his chiseled six foot frame, the smooth mahogany skin and his shaved head. His eyes were dark brown, almost black, and contained a mixture of strength and kindness that filled her with desire.
"What have you been up to, sweet cheeks?" Andre flashed his best smile. "It smells great."
"I hope you like steak," she called from the kitchen. "Go and clean up and I will get it on the table." Chloe hoped this would go on forever.
A few minutes later they were sitting down to eat. Chloe wore her black dress with spaghetti straps. She was beginning to look good again, not quite all the way back, but close.
"Chloe this is delicious," said Andre. "You have become so domestic. It's sweet. I like it."
Chloe reached across the table and caressed his hand. "You have been so good to me, Andre. I want you to know how much it means to me."
"I've liked taking care of you, sweets. You're my innocent, unaffected girl." He took a bite of his meat and continued. "I'll tell you another thing, when I find the guy who did that to you he's going to be in the hospital for a year. Then again, maybe he'll pick up the wrong girl and get his nuts cut off." Chloe really didn't want to think about any of that, preferring to smile and let him vent.
"If I had the money, I'd set up a place like the dagos have. Customers come inside and it's better for them and it's better for the bitches."
"Like in Vegas, huh?"
Andre nodded but then looked out the window. "Unlike Nevada, it's not legal here. Need a good place and plenty of money to operate it and pay protection costs."
"How much money?" Chloe loved his talking business with her. This, like his holding her, made her feel as she was a real part of his life.
"Shit-loads," he replied. "But I'm not desperate enough to get into that drug trade. Too much time if you're caught and with all the snitches and undercovers you're guaranteed to get pinched."
"Andre, I could go back to work any time."
Andre shook his head. "I just need to get my hands on a little cash, then I could turn that into more. All it will take are some hard choices."
"Never you mind, sweet cheeks," he assured her. "Besides, I like having you around here."
"Okay, but I hate to see you worried."
"Let's drop it."
There was a knock at the door and Andre smiled as he rose to answer it. A man was there with a package and after being tipped he disappeared while Andre came back to the table with a long garment bag. He was beaming with pride. "I bought you something," he said. He slowly unzipped the bag and pulled out a stunning, expensive-looking evening gown. It was green with silver trim and it was the most gorgeous dress Chloe had ever seen.
"Try this on for me."
"Andre, it's beautiful." Chloe kissed him and then ducked into the bedroom to put it on.
She'd never owned anything near this exquisite. As she gazed at herself in the mirror, he felt every bit the classy lady. When she walked out into the living room, the expression on her man's face clearly indicated the same thing.
That night they made love three times. Andre held her tight and she loved being there. Every time he entered her she quivered and melted under his touch. This was love. Chloe knew it.
Two days later, after getting back from the market, Chloe received a phone call from Andre. He told he'd be bringing a guest home, something he rarely did. She explained she'd make a nice dinner for all three of them, but Andre told her dinner was not necessary and to be in her evening gown and looking good when they arrived. She was thrilled. They were obviously going out on the town and she immediately began to prepare herself for the evening.
Chloe looked herself over and had to admit she was perfect. The dress was formed perfectly to her body, her hair was washed, shiny and pulled back like she'd seen Audrey Hepburn do in a movie. Her make-up was applied to show a hint of sex appeal but not covering up the innocence Andre loved. She was ready. The only thing she needed was a matching handbag, perhaps she could pick one up later.
Andre arrived in his white pants and yellow shirt, Chloe loved him in bright colors. He smiled at her, obviously liking what he saw as he held the door open for a middle-aged white man. For a fleeting moment her heart skipped a beat as she thought it was Jeff from the Lexus. It wasn't. This man had receding, graying hair and was not nearly as attractive as the man who'd beaten and raped her. He was, however, extremely well dressed in a suit, brown from head to toe. His right hand sported two huge gold rings.
"You look lovely, Chloe." Andre shut the door.
"Thank you." Chloe blushed, wondering what was on for the night.
"I'll say she's lovely," the guest said. His voice was accented, maybe Italian. "Andre, you have the taste of a connoisseur."
The man was slightly more than six feet tall and had a bearing that made Chloe feel as she was a piece of meat for sale. She wasn't prepared to be looked at like this while wearing such an upscale outfit. The obvious deference Andre was showing him made her even more uncomfortable.
"Well done," said the man. He pulled out a thick white envelope and tossed it on the table. Chloe looked at Andre for an explanation but her pimp was busy looking at the contents of the envelope and avoiding her gaze.
"Do you know who I am, my lovely creature?" The guest traced his finger along her face, but Chloe backed away. "I'm Santino Boriello."
"What? Andre?" Chloe realized she was being sold. The Boriello family was a well-known mob family. All of her romantic notions of she and Andre being in love were being washed away like remnants in a toilet.
"Chloe," said Boriello. "That is your name, correct?" He put his hands on her shoulders.
"Don't touch me," Chloe spat with an angry but fearful tone. She moved toward Andre. "I thought you liked having me here? Andre, please...."
"I told you I had some hard choices to make," said Andre. He backed away from her. "You belong to him now. Don't make this hard. The deal is done."
"You'll like it with us," Boriello said behind her. "We do not allow our girls to be abused or beaten."
Chloe was staring on the floor. Her world had been ripped to pieces.
"Her injuries have healed nicely," Boriello said to Andre. "We have a doctor on the payroll for any lingering problems."
All of Andre's tenderness and caring were that of a man protecting his investment. She was a fool. This was what he'd been referring to when he spoke of his plans for her.
"Please baby," she pleaded, still staring at the floor. "I will work longer hours. I will do anything. I want to stay with you." She felt tears welling in her eyes.
"Shut up!" Andre screamed. "You are a bitch that has been sold. This is business and a lot of bitches would jump at this chance to get off the streets. Are you stupid?"
Humiliation and defeat swept over Chloe like a blanket. She had no real choice and fully realized these men were not above killing her. Reality hit her as hard as she'd ever been hit by a man.
"Please go into the bedroom," Boriello said. "I need to sample the merchandise as it were."
Chloe said nothing as she turned toward the bedroom. She was a whore. A woman to be used as these men saw fit. It was a lesson she'd never fail to remember the rest of her life, she told herself.
"We won't be long, Andre," Boriello said as he shut the door. Chloe heard her former pimp call the man "Sir."
"Sit on the bed, sweetheart."
Chloe sat down and felt a numbing fog coming over her as she saw Boriello undoing his pants. She knew what he wanted of course. A small, black automatic pistol was visible inside his suit, which didn't surprise her at all. She was scared. She was helpless. However, she had no choice, and before she realized it, she heard herself saying, "I'd rather kneel." Pulling up her gown as she went to her knees, she willed herself not to faint. But she was getting weak. Something was wrong.
"I do like a girl to know her place." He stood in front of her now, lowering his pants and revealing a small, limp cock. "Let's see what you can do."
Chloe felt sick. Things were spinning about and she couldn't see.
"You okay?" Boriello was getting angry. "Are you sick, baby?"
"No," she said calmly. "I'll be fine." She leaned forward and kissed his stomach, moving down toward his penis. Her left hand cupped his balls. "I bet I can get this bigger." Her right hand moved toward her shoe.
"I know you can, sweetheart," groaned the Italian. "Show me."
Boriello's scream filled the room as the knife plunged into his scrotum. He fell to the floor trying to get the gun out of his coat, but he couldn't. Blood was everywhere, on him, on her and the floor. She stabbed him quickly and furiously. To end things she shoved the blade into his neck and removed his pistol. He was gurgling as the carpet was sopped with his life force.
Andre crashed into the room with shock and horror on his face. "You stupid bitch!" His eyes fixated on the lump of flesh that used to be Santino Boriello. "You have killed us both, Chloe. Do you know that?"
"I'm a mess, Andre," she laughed. "Blood is a hard stain to remove."
"You were killing these men all along, Chloe." Andre was furious and moved toward her. "It was you? You stupid fucking whore!"
She fired the gun three times, using the pillow as a silencer. Andre fell back against the wall and slid to the floor, his eyes wide pen. "The name is Sapphire, ass-hole."
Ignoring the carnage around her, Sapphire threw the gun on the bed and peeled off her soaked gown. She went into the bathroom to shower and clean up. Seeing her reflection in the mirror, she berated Chloe.
"He was right. You are stupid. Stupid ass street candy." She spit into the mirror. "Thinking you were his lover. Letting that other jerk-off get cuffs on you. Did you think I would come out and take it in the ass for you?" Sapphire started the shower water before turning back to the reflection. "Maybe it's time I took over for a while. I'm sick of cleaning up your messes."
After showering and freshening up, Sapphire put on the short yellow dress, packed some other clothes, fit her clean blade into her shoe, and decided to keep Boriello's gun. Finding the envelope on the living room table she opened it up and counted out seventy-five $100 bills.
"Your love was worth seventy-five hundred bucks, Chloe. Stupid little girl."
The money would come in handy, thought Sapphire. It was high time she left Chicago and headed west. Arizona maybe, or San Diego. However, first there was a little business to take care of with a man who called himself Jeff. She'd noticed the Lexus had a sticker for staff parking at Northwestern University. Chloe never saw it, but she did. Before leaving town, she would pay him a little visit.
Sapphire never looked back as she left Andre's apartment. She strolled down the hall and took the elevator down. Outside the weather was warm and she took a deep breath as she gazed at the lights of the city. With a confident stride, she walked along the street and felt as if she was the queen of her element. In seconds she disappeared into the night to which she belonged.
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