The Night Gardener by George P. Pelecanos

By George P. Pelecanos

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That much they could see for themselves. Diego still played Yes League basketball and Boys Club basketball and football; Shaka, now that he was in high school, knew he had to pick one sport if he was going to be serious about pursuing an eventual scholarship, and had chosen basketball. Both of them had dreams of playing college ball and professional sports. 'You keep them Exclusives fresh,' said Shaka, chinning at Diego's Nikes. ' 'Uh-huh. ' 'I got my eye on the new Forums,' said Diego. ' They talked about girls.

You're definitely wearing a thong,' said Holiday. ' 'You're bad,' she said. She mentioned the minibar in her room. Going up in the elevator, he moved on her and kissed her mouth. She parted her lips, and against the wood-paneled wall her legs opened like a flower. His hand went up her bare thigh and touched the lace of her black thong and beneath it the dampness and the heat. She moaned under his kiss and touch. An hour later, Holiday was walking back to his Lincoln. She'd been as needy and voracious as he'd expected, and when it was done he left her to her memories and her guilt.

They were both walking home from school, still carrying their books and stuff. ' 'Somebody had to throw the first punch,' said Ramone, speaking as a man and not a father. ' 'The other boy was bigger than Toby. One of those skateboarder kids. And he was the one made the challenge. ' 'And it was just the two of them. ' Ramone didn't want him to. But it wouldn't be right for him to come out and say so, because he had to play a role. So he said nothing. ' said Diego. 'Get ready for dinner,' said Ramone with a small, strategic nod.

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