The Price Of Lust, Book One of Faces In the Crowd: Chapter 1.3

III. COZY HARTFORD

In the midst of all this pain, I began to reason that mama had also been a victim of the plot that had taken daddy from us. I had to find the people who’d killed them. I didn’t realize that neither death was even remotely related. Mama had died of a mysterious illness that she inherited from her mother, while daddy was murdered.

Still, in my young mind, I thought that they had both been murdered. So, I went in search of my daddy’s killers. The town no longer stood, due to the scattering of it’s inhabitants out to other towns and cities. But, still, I believed that each would bear the mark of Cain…or something like that…so that I would be able to recognize them immediately.

Although it didn’t work that way, I stuck to my belief and began my search. It was in the middle of this search that I met with Cozy Hartford. He was a tall, slender young man with light brown hair, gray eyes, and well defined muscles. He had a beautiful personality, and a way about him that would turn any woman into a blubbering fool. And that’s exactly what he did to me.

Though I wasn’t looking for a lasting relationship, I was open to a one-nighter that I could get some gratification from. And Cozy offered just that. It was my first time, and he knew it. But he was willing to teach me. And teach me, he did.

The next morning, as agreed, he was gone. I showered and got ready to move on. Yet, I felt different. I wanted more. It was as if I hungered for the feeling, and then, I hatched my plan.

I would sell my body as a means to catch up with them. I smiled to myself. The thought made me giddy. Little did I realize, but Cozy had been one of their sons.

I’d unwittingly caught up to them already. But they were everywhere! They’d been scattered to the ends of the earth, and many were no longer alive. All that remained of those who were no longer alive were their children. So, I continued on my mission…my first stop, the ghost town that they once lived in.

There, I would research names, births, faces, and any information that would help me find them all. And I did. It was there that I learned of Cozy’s link to the town. I smiled sardonically.

Perhaps my ill will had rubbed off on him. Perhaps he was dead or dying at that very moment, I could only wish. I wished them all dead. In my search, I learned that the majority of the town folk had moved to Tulsa.

So, that meant that their sons and daughters were all still there…or in the vicinity, at least. I determined that I would go there and put my plan into action. And, thus, my life as a prostitute began in earnest. In Tulsa, I bought myself a home near the outskirts.

It was a two story mansion that was rumored to be haunted, but it was perfect for my plans. I bought lavish furnishings and made it into a pleasure palace beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Into this setting, I began to pull the young ladies that had been members of that vile small town. I advertised a willingness to hire any who was experiencing financial troubles.

Ninety percent of those who answered my call were former residents of the town where I had been born. Soon, my ‘home’ was filled with the desperate daughters of those who’d killed my parents—or so I believed— and they would soon suffer greatly for their parents’ wrongdoings. I would personally see to their brothers, uncles, and cousins. Even their friends wouldn’t be safe.

They were mine to command. They understood what line of work they’d entered, but they no longer cared. They had reached their desperate hour. I became their madam, and they referred to themselves as my bitches.

I was in control and they knew it. I called the shots. We gained a name for ourselves quickly. I gained the reputation of being the companion to every politician, lawyer, and married businessman that had roots in that little town that had destroyed its self.

I had gained my greatest victory. I watched their marriages crumble, and their careers, with newfound satisfaction. Yet, not one of them knew my real name. To them, I was Sadie.

From time to time, Cozy would wander in and I would personally see to his desires. I no longer wished him death, but I did charge him for my services. Every time he came around, it was the same. He asked for me. I obliged him by giving him what he came for.

I actually looked forward to his visits. He was my favorite customer, by far. He wasn’t a sleazy politician or lawyer. He wasn’t some businessman cheating on his wife. Hell, he wasn’t even a pervert looking for a peepshow.

He was a true gentleman. It was he who talked me into selling the business out to the girls…which I did. I sold it to them for every penny they had. I, then, took to the road and headed back north, waiting for the last act of my revenge to unfold after I’d gotten far enough away to feel safe. And it did unfold…right after I reached Chicago. It was at that time that the police raided the cat-house and the girls were all put in jail. Cozy, for some reason, had protected me.

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