Sloane found Evil hyperventilating, lying in a sodden pool of bloody marys and fear with his caftan up around his waist.

You pathetic joto, thought Sloane. Why didn't he kill you? Like I should have us both back when.

Evil buried his heavy woolen head in Sloane's empathy, whimpering disgustingly, blubbering remorsefully over Pedro's behavior.

"He did not have to say those things! I let him do anything he wants!"

"He'd have done anything he wants, you nelly chingadera!"

Knowing they'd seen the last of Pedro for a while, Sloane helped Evil sit up. It was like lifting half a ton of congealed guacamole and beans. Evil's thighs were bruised. Stripes of blood from Pedro's scourge had leaked through his gown. His lower body was covered in a thin rind of Vaseline, or K-Y, whatever these unimaginative bastards had used to grease their progress.

"Where'd he go?!"

"Oh, Gordo--"

Sloane bitch-slapped Evil quick and sharp, like an Israeli commando dog-trainer treats the runt of the litter, the next step being Darwinian extermination:

"I told you never to call me that, hijo de la chingada!"

Evil snuffled out his apologies:

"Lo siento, Gordon. Sssorry. He did not say where he's going. I ask him to leave. He was not treating me good. Lo sien--"

"You asked him to leave!?"

Sloane hit the poor miserable creature again, full in the face with the back of his hand. It hurt both of them, but Sloane had grown frantic. It wasn't supposed to go down this way.

"Dignity…" Evil burped. "Quiero still my dignity."

In a dead pig's eye thought Sloane.

Consider the scene: The Third World's most notorious strumpet queer lay bloodied within six inches of his life in a rented nine million dollar Malibu beach house, sex toys and drug paraphernalia strewn from one end of the place to the other. He has spent the night being buggered by a sadistic convicted murderer who happens to be Gordon Sloane's business partner. And business has by no means been concluded.

"Where's the dope?" Sloane demanded. Evil motioned weakly to the nightstand:

"There. He give me the nicest little bejeweled box--"

"No, you stupid cow! The merchandise! Not your pinche trinket! MY dope!"

The Evil One looked confused and dazed. His frightened red-rimmed eyes darted this way and that.

"Evil? Where's my shit?"

Evil shook his head, terrified.

The sick-hearted feeling Sloane had carried with him ever since Fellini's, since Bolivia, the sense that his life was threatening to spin dangerously out of control, was starting to make him physically ill. Sloane scuttled over to the nightstand and helped himself to some of Evil's coke. As usual, it was primo.

"Si," said Evil. "Si. Es puro!"

Good shit and Mexican queers thought Sloane. The story of my life.

Something resembling panic had begun to well up inside Gordon Sloane. He fingered another blast of blow onto his gums, and another into both nostrils at once. His life was starting to feel like an outtake from Scarface, only Al Pacino was nowhere to be found. The machine-gun pistols were about to be leveled on him, and his only defense was his sleep-deprived coke-besodden brain and his frayed-around-the-edges charm. He had to find Pedro, and fast.


Sondra loved Badedas. She poured three capfuls into the bath she had drawn at a perfect hundred and ten degrees and lit a joint. As she eased her aching body into the green kaleidoscopic swirl, her antic mind flew back to Germany, to her modeling days, to the time Before Gordon, to first tastes and the summer of baubles and the Glamour layout in the schloss auf Heidelberg.

There in the ancient castle she had learned to love The Camera. There she had learned to bare to the world that trifle that was her teen-aged soul, in that non-specific all-women-to-all-men sort of way that had earned her a fortune by the time she was twenty-three, but which was of course, in truth, a lie.

By the time she hooked up with famous cinematographer Gordon Sloane, a million miles down the road, a quintillion lines of Peruvian flake gone by, Sondra hardly knew who she was anymore.

All she knew, all that the ache in her heart, in her head, and in her bones told her, was that she was a prisoner--to the drugs and to the man who would beat her because of the drugs. She knew she loved them both.

And this, indeed, was no trifling matter.