Asked about regrets, Hugo first mentions money. The girls are an afterthought. "I never meant to hurt anyone," he swears. He seems sincere, yet still proud of the playboy lifestyle he once lived. "Would I take it back?" he wonders. "No way."

In his hand is a letter from Giggles, the temperamental blonde. It's written on stationery with hearts. He reads it in a soft Cuban-accented baritone: "I just wish things could have worked out differently."

Hugo's father, an inspector for the City of Hialeah, has since "spent all of [his] retirement plan on [his son's] lawyer fees," he says. It seems to have paid off. In six months, thanks to the time Hugo has accrued, he will be a free man.

The girls will likely have a harder time leaving the sex trade. Many still work as prostitutes or strippers. Peaches, the voluptuous brunette, found "a normal job" as a cook, she says, but is having trouble adjusting to the long days and meager wages. Nobody throws tips at her anymore.

L.G. is back living at home with her mom and working as a waitress. The other minor has since been busted for burglaries, dropped out of beauty school, and returned to Vegas.

In the meantime, Hugo's ex-wife, Nataly, has been raising their 10-year-old daughter. "Hugo will do fine for himself," she says. "He's a very smart man."

Pebbles's future doesn't look as bright. On a recent weeknight, she sits on the outskirts of a trailer park in west Hialeah, looking tired. Her sticky-cheeked toddler, crying and clutching his stubbed toe, climbs onto her lap.

Although she dreams about becoming a nurse, she's convinced the only way to support her four kids is by turning tricks or filming porn videos. "How else am I gonna pay for my babies and my bills?"

A week later, over the phone, she tells New Times she just got some bad news: "I'm pregnant again. I'm not gonna be able to work." She pauses as if she's waiting for someone to save her. "I really don't know what to do."

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2 comments
amariskeys
amariskeys

I still can honsetly say ive never met a man more honest n kind hearted he changed people for the better n always gave chances to make ur life better if u wanted to n the lucky ones lived like stars

amariskeys
amariskeys

I loved hugo he was the best i dont care wat anybody says hugo always looked out n i never felt safer

 
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