Clementine burst out laughing. “Poor little puppy!”
“What’s so dogdamned funny?” asked Turner.
“Your face! It’s all purple! Open your mouth, okay?” she said. Turner complied. “Well, that’s good. At least they didn’t break out any of your teeth. ‘A tooth is more precious than a diamond.'” Then she laughed again. “I told you they were gonna kick your ass.”
“You were right. But they’re also gonna give you back your money, Clem.”
“No way.” She went from disbelief to serious. “Really?”
“Yeah. But they want to give it directly to you. Let’s go.”
“You know what?”
“You’re really cute when you’re scared shitless.”
“I’m not scared.”
“Which means you’re pretty much cute all the time.” She hopped out of the car.
When they walked into the Sig Ep frat house the living room was filled with the entire brotherhood. Galen and Powers were the only ones sitting. The hatred was so thick you could eat it. “Hi, fellas!” she said, and mock curtsied. She looked at Turner and said in a stage whisper, “I’m so nervous!” Then she turned to Galen. “Where’s the little girl’s room? I have to pee.”
“Up there, whore,” he said, pointing to the staircase. “Second door on your left.”
The next five minutes lasted forever. Turner was sopping wet with sweat and fear. The frat brothers had formed a phalanx around the couch, and looked at him with loathing and contempt, but no one said anything.
Clementime skipped back down the stairs. “Is this it?” She pointed to the stack of bills in front of Galen.
“Yeah.” He began counting it out. “One hundred, whore. Two hundred, whore. Three hundred, whore.” He was taking his time. Each time he said “whore,” the brothers joined in, like a chorus. Finally he reached the end. “Twenty-four hundred, whore.” He shoved the stack of tens and twenties over to her.
She curtsied again and scooped them up. “You still owe me a hundred.”
“Shut up, Clem,” Turner said. She ignored him.
“I counted fifty-two little squirt guns last night, times fifty, minus the hundred you gave him.” She pointed at Turner. “You still owe me a hundred.”
Galen surged up from the couch, his fists clenched. “You fucking cunt!”
But Powers pulled him back. “Give her the money,” he said.
Trembling, Galen reached into his pocket and dumped out the final hundred dollars. Clementine scooped them up, too, and put them in her purse. “Thanks, boys!”
She spun on her heel and headed towards the door. At the moment when the furious brothers would have set upon them and torn them to shreds, she clasped Turner’s loose hand and pulled him along with her. The tsunami stayed itself. They walked out the door.
The moment it slammed shut, she let go of his hand. “Run, dammit, run!” Clementine sprinted off, and Turner followed. They went around the corner and jumped into the car. Turner was bewildered. “Go!” she shouted. “I said go, goddammit!”
He put the car in gear and sped off. “What’s going on?”
They hit Lamar and he turned right. She began to laugh. Then she pulled out her purse and took out the money, setting it neatly in her lap. Next, she pulled out another large stack of bills and began counting them, her feet up on the dashboard and her skirt riding down towards her lap so that he could see the white fabric of her panties. “One thousand, seven hundred, and forty-six!”
“What the hell is that?”
She didn’t answer, but divvied up the stack. “Here’s your share. $873. Not bad for a morning’s work, huh?”
“What the hell is it?”
“It’s your share.”
“My share of what?”
She giggled. “I might not have gone to the bathroom.”
It took a second, but it sank in. “You’re kidding.”
Turner now saw himself being arrested. “Clem, how could you?”
“They’re a bunch of fucking thieves. As soon as I saw ’em all downstairs I figured I would just pop into the bedrooms, real quick, and empty a few wallets. Fuck ’em.” She dumped Turner’s share in his lap.
“Now, if you don’t mind, make a right.” Turner steered the car down the street. “And park it right here.” He parked. “Okay, get your bike out of the trunk. Let’s go.”
“I don’t know. Your apartment, maybe? You still owe me eighty bucks.” They had circled around back to West Campus and had parked the car underneath some large, shady oaks on a quiet street near the Scottish Rite girls’ dorm. Clementine took a knife out of her purse and methodically slashed all of the tires. Turner had taken his bike out of the trunk and watched, stupidly, as the air hissed out.
“I have no idea what’s going on, Clem. I don’t want this money. I’m now guilty of receiving stolen property. That’s a felony. Jeez, Clem. I don’t want it.” He stuffed the money back into her purse. “This is all fucked up. See you, Clem.”
“I’m going with you.”
“No, you’re not. You’ve slashed the tires on your own car. You’re nuts. Your roommate is gonna kill you. I’m going home.”
She grinned again, walking happily alongside him as he pedaled. “It’s not my roommate’s car, Turner.”
He hit the brakes on his bike. “What the hell does that mean?”
“Don’t be such a dummy.”
“Dummy? You said it was your roommate’s car.”
“After you assaulted me by pushing me out of the truck and breaking my wrist … ”
“I didn’t do that!”
” … I walked back to the party and borrowed one of the cars that had the keys in it.”
“You’re fucking kidding me.”
“I borrowed it from some nice fraternity fellow while he was drunk and having fun with the nice stripper lady and now I’m returning it. The fraternity brother will be glad to have his car back, won’t he? Or should we go pee in it, too?” She was giggling, but serious.