Calhoun knew Madge was sick of him badgering her about helping him in another one of his schemes. He also knew she only participated in his schemes to keep him away from her and that she was secretly scared of him—so scared she’d done things no daughter should do, all on his say-so. He couldn’t help but smile at the sight of her and those men, his friends, and all the happiness she’d brought to each one of them.
“Once this job is done, and you procure the land, I’m finished helping you con people out of their property,” Madge said.
“You best watch what you say.”
“Why do I always have to be a part of your messes?” Madge said, her voice rising. “I can almost sympathize with Quincy for not selling his land. Don’t you think he deserves a legacy to pass down to his children or his sister’s children? Why do you always want things you can’t have?”
Calhoun rose from the table and walked around to her. With his face inches away from hers, he spoke. “Since I had to raise you after your mother up and died, you owe me. I could’ve put you in an orphanage, but I did the fatherly thing and raised you all by myself. Now you’re such an ingrate! You make me sick to my stomach!” Calhoun needed her to help him. He had exhausted every other possible way of getting the farm from the Bryce family. Madge was his last hope. If his daughter was unable to help him, he was going to kill everyone in Quincy’s house.
“Sometimes, I wish you did put me in a home for children. At least I wouldn’t have to be involved in all your crap. Once this scam is over, you can find yourself another partner in crime.” She paused for a moment to get her breath. “Matter-of-fact, I’m sick of dealing with you. Every time I look at you, I have to think of what you allowed those dirty old crackers do to me.” Madge had spent her life trying to keep anyone from knowing about her past. She didn’t want anyone to know she’d been pregnant before. Her pregnancy had occurred two weeks after she’d began her menses. Just as she had been trying to deal with her body’s normal changes, discovering she was with child had been devastating. She never knew who the father was, because she had been having sex with several men each week. After her father left the room, she’d sleep with any man who was left in the room with her.
Most of the men who visited her bedroom wanted to do finger penetrations, fondling her genital or having her fondle their penises, or have her perform oral sex on them.
“Your friends were a bunch of perverts. What gratification did you get from allowing them to use me? Were you peeking through the peepholes too? Were you, Daddy? Were you getting off on me just like your friends?” She believed her father was into voyeurism like his business associates.
Calhoun swallowed hard, barely in control of his temper. If he didn’t need her so much, he’d beat her silly—maybe even kill her— for saying what she’d said. But he calmed down and said in an even voice, “Those dirty old men, as you call them, have provided most of the hooch for your club. With their connections, I made a decent living and supported you after your mother died. All you need to do now is use your imagination on Quincy Bryce, the same way you did with Dr. Perry. Tell him you’re pregnant with his child. I don’t care how you get pregnant—just make him believe you’re with child. Do I have to explain everything to you?”
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