Dreams Die First

Dreams Die First by Harold Robbins Read Free Book Online

Book: Dreams Die First by Harold Robbins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Harold Robbins
She brushed her long brown hair back from her face. “And I know filing, too.”
    “What’s your name?”
    “Denise Brace.”
    “Where do you live, Denise?”
    “At the workshop.”
    “How old are you?”
    “Seventeen. I’ll be eighteen next month.”
    “How come you’re not living at home?”
    Her dark eyes met mine. “I got pregnant. My father threw me out. Reverend Sam took me in and looked after me.”
    “What about the baby?”
    “Reverend Sam arranged for it to be adopted. It was the best thing. I was only sixteen when it happened.”
    “And you’ve been at the workshop ever since?”
    She nodded. “Reverend Sam is wonderful to me, to all of us. All he wants for us is to be happy and to serve the Lord.”
    “And when you work, you give all your salary to him?”
    “No. To the workshop.”
    “Don’t you keep any for yourself?” I asked curiously.
    “Why?” There was an earnest look on her face. “I don’t need anything. The workshop gives us everything we need.”
    “Are there many like you in the workshop?”
    “About sixty or seventy. More girls than boys.”
    “And they all do the same thing that you do? Turn their money over to the workshop?”
    She nodded.
    “What do you do when you’re not working?”
    “We spread God’s love. We sell tracts and pamphlets. We keep busy.”
    “And all the money goes to Reverend Sam?”
    “Not to him. Reverend Sam isn’t interested in money. It goes to the church and the workshop to help in the good work.”
    Lonergan was right. Reverend Sam had a better thing going than either of us. I looked at her clear, guileless face. “You know you’re a very pretty girl,” I said.
    “Thank you.” She smiled. But there was coquettishness in her smile.
    “I don’t know whether I could have you work for me,” I said. “It would be too tempting. I might want to make love to you.”
    “I’d like that,” she said simply.
    “I mean real love, not just petting and kissing.”
    “I know what you mean.”
    “What about Reverend Sam? Isn’t that considered sinful?”
    “Not to Reverend Sam. He preaches that our bodies have needs as much as our souls and that love can be expressed with both.”
    I thought that over for a moment. “Is there a great deal of sex in the workshop?”
    “Not much. Just between those that like each other.”
    “Aren’t you afraid you’ll become pregnant again?”
    She laughed. “No chance. The head nurse makes sure we take our pill at breakfast every day and those of us that can’t take it are fitted with an IUD.”
    “And Reverend Sam? Does he go with any of the girls?”
    “No. Reverend Sam is above all that. He lives on a higher plane.”
    “You mean he doesn’t have any sex?”
    “I didn’t say that. We all live on different planes. I’m on the fifth plane. I’m allowed to relate to people as high as the third plane. Only those on the first and second planes can relate physically to the Reverend.”
    “I see. What does it take to move up to the other planes?”
    “Good work. Devotion to the church. Complete honesty in your relations with others.”
    “That’s all?”
    She nodded.
    “But you have to turn your money over to the workshop?”
    “No,” she said quickly. “We don’t have to. We do it because we want to.”
    “Would you still do that if you came to work for me?”
    “Yes,” she said. Her eyes looked down into mine. “May I ask you a question?”
    “Sure.”
    “I know Bobby’s in love with you. And I think that girl Verita is too. Are you in love with them?”
    “I love them,” I said. “I’m not in love with them.”
    “But you have sex with them?”
    “Yes.”
    “I would like to have sex with you. Do you think I might join you sometime?”
    I didn’t answer.
    “You wouldn’t have to give me the job,” she said quickly.
    “That’s not it.”
    “What is it then?”
    “You’re way ahead of me. For one thing, you’re on a higher plane; for another, you’re not eighteen

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