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A Trip to the Grocery Store
“I can’t believe you let this happen” Haley mumbled, massaging her temples as she waited for her father-in-law to park the truck, still struggling to understand how this happened.
“I thought she knew,” Jared said with a sheepish smile and a shrug.
“We don’t have money for bail right now,” Haley said, not pointing out that they wouldn’t have the money to cover the lawyer either.
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. If they set the bail for violating a No Trespass order they’d have plenty of money to cover it, but nothing with Jason was ever that simple. It didn’t help that he was a Bradford and that the family was well known by every Judge in the county. If Jason got caught violating the store’s ban they were screwed. At least he was, because she’d sworn last the time this happened that she would bust out the fists of fury on his ass if he ever caused her to have make the walk of shame through the police station again.
“I’ll handle it since it’s my fault,” Jared said and she didn’t bother arguing with him, because he was on her shit list as well.
“Yeah, it is,” she said, getting out of the truck as soon he threw it into park. Before she stormed off to go kick her husband’s ass, she leveled a murderous glare on her father-in-law, which only made the bastard smile bringing her rage to a whole new level.
Narrowing her eyes on the bastard who was looking at her as though she was a cute little puppy, instead of a seriously pissed off woman on the verge of doing him bodily harm, she said, “You can forget about those brownies tomorrow night.” With that she slammed the truck door shut and stormed off towards the grocery store, trying to figure out how she was going to get her husband out of this one.
“B-but….he promised me cupcakes!” Jared yelled after her. “He tricked me!”
When she didn’t say anything, he yelled, “I’m the victim here!”
When she felt her lips twitch, she doubled her pace, intent on getting into that store and dragging her husband out of there before-
“But I love you!”
Shaking her head in disgust, mostly at herself for being so damn weak, she resigned herself to making the loveable bastard a pan of double fudge brownies with extra frosting later. It really should be a crime the way Bradford men were able to manipulate women, she mused as she stepped up onto the sidewalk only to jump out of the way seconds later when a woman came running out of the store, sobbing hysterically and hugging a metal serving tray to her chest.
Frowning, Haley turned around to watch the woman half run, half-stumble, across the parking lot. Swallowing back her dread, she looked towards Jared to find him gesturing to the truck. “I think it might be better if I just wait in the truck.”
Wishing that she could join him and pretend that this wasn’t happening, not again, she nodded numbly and forced her feet to turn her around and take her towards the store entrance. When the door slid open with an eerie whoosh, she stepped inside and looked around to only to find the normally busy grocery story deserted.
Half-filled carriages were abandoned all around her, plastic bags were strewn about on the floor, pennies and quarters littered the floor around one cash register while at another a bottle of Pepsi rolled ominously across the floor. She started to head towards the produce section when she heard it, the muffled sounds of someone sobbing.
“Oh God, not again,” she muttered, not sure that she could go through this, again.
“Hi, Aunt Haley,” Sebastian said with a nod, appearing out of nowhere with his brother Johnny right by his side, both boys wearing frosting covered grins as they headed for the door at a leisurely pace as though the ominous tension in the store was just a figment of her imagination.
“Is Uncle Jared out there?” Johnny asked, gesturing towards the parking lot and making her wonder how they knew that he was there.
“We’ll just go and sit with him,” Sebastian said, whistling a jaunty tune that had the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end.
She loved Trevor and Zoe’s kids, truly she did, but sometimes they just scared the hell out of her. Now, being one of those times.
“Oh,” Johnny said offhandedly as he stepped aside to let his brother walk through the front door, “you might want to untie Uncle Jason.”
Almost too afraid to ask, she asked, “Why is he tied up?”
With a careless shrug, Johnny waltzed out the door, throwing over his shoulder, “We needed someone to take the fall.”
Oh, that couldn’t be good………
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