He heard David’s shoes on the tiles walking towards him. All he could see were David’s black, highly polished, leather shoes. He wondered how David got them that shiny.
‘Are you listening?’ David asked.
‘I’m listening,’ Andre mumbled, but his eyes were on the syringe.
‘Good,’ David said. ‘I need you to listen very carefully. This is important.’ David sat down on the couch and stared down at him. ‘You’re going to find us another girl. Our client has requested a specific look and you’re going to find one that fits the bill. Is that clear?’
Andre stopped staring at the syringe and tried to focus on David. Fear gripped his already unhappy stomach.
‘I thought Angela was a one-off thing,’ Andre stammered. ‘I don’t think I can do that again.’
‘You will if you ever want another fix.’ David smiled. ‘No one else will supply you.’
‘You can’t do that to me,’ Andre whined as he tried to sit up. ‘Please, Mister Moore. I’m begging you. Don’t do this to me. I’ve always worked hard for you.’
‘Oh, but I can.’ David stood and walked towards the bathroom, stopped and turned to look at Andre as though he were an ant he was about to crush. ‘I’ll give you some time to think it over. If you’re a good boy and play along, I’ll keep you in constant supply.’ He pulled another small bag out of his pocket; this one was filled with heroin, and dangled it in the air. ‘If you decide not to play ball, well, I think you may have to join your friend from last night.’
David’s entrance into the bathroom was punctuated by a scream.
‘Bring him in here,’ David shouted at Bob and Alphonse. Andre felt their hands grip him under his armpits. His legs dragged on the floor behind him.
Something that had previously resembled a man was hanging upside down over the Jacuzzi bathtub. Blood dripped from what had once been his face, but was now just a pulpy mess, into the bath, and joined what looked like a few teeth and a couple of fingers.
‘Do you recognise this piece of sh*t?’ David asked Andre.
‘Can’t see his face. Too much blood,’ Andre said with a tongue that felt too big for his mouth.
David wiped some of the blood off what was left of the man’s face. He looked vaguely familiar. He looked like the cameraman from the night before, but Andre couldn’t be sure who the man had once been, so he shook his head slowly.
‘This f*cking useless c*nt was editing the footage from last night’s session and somehow managed to delete it all. He even lost all the backup footage. So your little girlfriend’s sterling performance will never be enjoyed by our client, who is, needless to say, very disappointed by this. Which is why we need to find another girl tonight, and she has to look exactly like your little Angela. Understood?’
Andre nodded. The movement was painful
‘Good,’ David smiled. ‘Because we don’t have any time to dick around on this. Now, give him his medicine,’ he said to Bob. David picked up a knife from the side of the bath and slit the man’s throat. ‘F*cking idiot tried to tell me that some girl wiped it all. What fucking bullshit,’ David mumbled, while shaking his head at the dead man.
Alphonse pushed Andre’s t-shirt sleeve up, but found no track marks.
‘Try his feet,’ David said. ‘Rent boys can’t be all marked up. Puts the rich men off.’
Alphonse took his shoes and socks off.
‘Holy f*ck,’ Bob said. ‘How do you walk on those things?’
Andre’s feet were blistered and scabbed from being injected with heroin. He smiled as he watched Bob remove the clean syringe from its packaging and suck up the liquid heroin from the spoon they’d used to cook it. The sweet smell of burned candy reminded Andre of one of his few good childhood memories, when his father was still around. His dad had taken him to the Pretoria Show and fed him candyfloss and candy-apples. The smell of cooking heroin always took him back there, to the only time when he was happy, when his father still loved him.
Most of the veins in his feet had collapsed, and Alphonse struggled to find a vein. But when he did, the drug hit Andre’s bloodstream instantly. His body and mind felt the effects. He was in heaven. It didn’t matter what happened. Nothing mattered except the feelings and sensations traveling through him. He was warm and safe in the arms of the Dragon. Memories of the night before disappeared along with the pain. He stopped worrying about what he would have to do that night. He stopped thinking. Nothing mattered anymore, nothing but the relief from the pain and the warmth flowing through his veins.