The room he stayed in was ill lit and cramped, but clean. It contained a cot, a dresser, and a straight-backed chair, which was all he needed. He did his homework on the bed, or the table in the cluttered living-cum-dining room.
In exchange for his meals—and as she termed it, 'the little bit he paid for rent', Miss Millicent taught him to take care of her sexual needs.
By then, Reece was fifteen and found her demands too much for his growing body. No matter how early he went to bed, he could barely stay awake in school.
His mother's death freed him from having to perform nearly every night. He was desperate to get out from under Miss Millicent's roof, and so when another woman stabbed and killed his mother in a fight at a dance, he seized the opportunity that came to him.
Reece persuaded his mother's landlord to rent him the two-room shack. He didn't disclose where the payments would come from, but ended the man's objections by paying two months' rent up front.
Miss Millicent stopped talking to him when he told her he was moving out.
Since Miss Millicent turned him on to sex, Reece gathered experience not only from the wealth of things she taught him, but widened his reach among the females in the neighborhood. He wasn't handsome, but the combined package of his athletic body, golden-honey eyes, and sculpted lips stirred something carnal in the women around him.
Reece used his physical attributes to get what he wanted, conscious that he was no better than his mother.
Miss Millicent had schooled him in the wisdom of using condoms, and he never went anywhere without them. He worked his body until he was in a position to stop. Then he turned his efforts to using his brain to earn his keep and gather wealth.
Sherryn came into his life when he'd established his business. She helped him with its gradual expansion and stuck with him until now. With so much history between them, living without her was not something he cared to contemplate.
His hand caught the cold surface of the glass, which brought him back to the kitchen. He ate another handful of chips, finished the juice, and plodded upstairs, prepared for a sleepless night.
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