The R.L. Mathewson Chronicles are intended for adults 18 years and older.
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The List: Part II
The Bradford Invasion
An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
The Day After Book Bash……….
“Go away,” Jason muttered, trying to roll over, but Haley wasn’t having that.
“What the fuck?” Jason demanded, suddenly wide awake as he scrambled off the bed, his hand shoved down the front of his boxer briefs as he frantically searched for the handful of ice that she’d been forced to use.
“Oh, good,” she said, smiling brightly, “you’re awake!”
His glare shifted from her to the alarm clock on the hotel room’s nightstand and then back to her. Eyes narrowed in accusation, he said, “It’s not even seven in the morning.”
She sighed dramatically as she nodded, “I know. I let you sleep in.”
“Sleep in?” he repeated back in disbelief as his eyes shot back to the alarm clock.
“Exactly,” she said, picking up the pile of folded clothes that she’d set out for him last night when they’d dragged their exhausted butts into the hotel room, which she’d expected to happen after Book Bash.
What she hadn’t expected was to miss Book Bash completely, because of her husband and his cousin. She also hadn’t expected to spend most of the day and night trying to bail them out of jail or tying to talk the angry and frightened restaurant manager out of pressing charges. It had taken her ten hours, a call to her father-in-law and his credit card to get them to drop the charges.
Well, that and the promise to stay away from Orlando, Florida for the next five years and the restaurant that they’d closed down for the rest of their natural lives. The guys hadn’t been happy about Orlando, but they’d grudgingly agreed after she’d threatened to leave their asses in jail for the night. They’d tried to argue the restaurant stipulation, because apparently it had great fried chicken and the guys weren’t willing to give that up. It had taken Jason’s father, Jared, and the reminder that a restraining order pressed against him would probably cost him his job at the school to fix things.
Grudgingly, Jason and Trevor had agreed to the terms. Once the manager had the damage assessed and Jared had paid over the phone, they’d been released. Unfortunately for her and Zoe, that hadn’t happened until around midnight. With Book Bash over and the after party winding down, they’d had no choice but to call it a night.
“But it’s our vacation,” Jason pointed out with a pout, his glare gone as he sent the bed a look of longing that had her rolling her eyes even as she gestured for him to get his butt in the bathroom and get dressed.
“Uh huh,” she said, absently returning to packing her bags, “and according to the agreement that you signed last night it ends in four hours when the police escort is scheduled to bring us to the airport.
With a grumble, he grabbed the clothes and headed for the bathroom.
“You know that they’re making a big deal out of nothing, don’t you?” he yelled from the bathroom.
“I know,” she yelled back, knowing no such thing.
She hadn’t been at the restaurant so she really couldn’t say for sure whether or not the restaurant staff and customers had overreacted, but knowing the Bradford men the way that she did she doubted it. There was absolutely no doubt in her mind that it had been just as horrifying as all those people crying and hyperventilating in the precinct had claimed. Actually, she’d be willing to bet that it was actually ten times worse, but she knew the mind had a way of protecting people from horrifying realities by dulling memories so that they could function without breaking down.
As she picked up her makeup bag and packed it, she couldn’t help but shake her head in disgust. She’d known better than to trust Jason and Trevor on their own, but she’d let the excitement of attending Book Bash and seeing Jamie and Nick distract her. Normally when they went on vacation she kept an eye on Jason, making sure that there were no buffets within a fifty-mile radius and if there was, she’d normally kept him distracted with sex to keep him out of jail and off the eleven o’clock news.
She’d known that Orlando had buffets, a lot of buffets, and she’d planned on keeping Jason distracted at the signing by talking about his possible promotion, but….well……..she’d spotted Tina Reber walking into the hotel and she may have completely forgotten that Jason even existed, never mind was in danger of causing a state of emergency. Zoe had spotted Mrs. Reber and turned her attention away from her husband to watch the authors walking inside and Trevor and Jason had taken advantage and snuck off, but they hadn’t gone far.
An hour later, just as they were stepping into the large room that held Book Bash, her phone had started to ring. Without looking, she’d taken it out of her purse and held it out for Jason, too distracted by all the authors in one room to answer the phone. When the phone had chimed a minute later, letting her know that she had a missed call and had a voicemail, she’d realized that at some point her husband had snuck off. Her stomach turning with dread, she’d pulled her phone out, hit the play button for the voicemail message and closed her eyes, cursing the Bradford appetite to hell and back.
Now, Jason and Trevor were going to have to work off their debt to Jared by working weekends for the next two months while every Bradford alive rushed to go to Orlando to hit the buffets before the family was placed on the banned list again. The family had just got off the banned list less than a year ago and already twenty-five Bradfords were banned from Orlando, Florida and in some cases, the entire state. It was only a matter of time before the state officials and the restaurant owners realized that all the incidents were connected and issued another family ban, which was why every Bradford male was in a rush to get down here.
“Is my razor out there?” Jason yelled over the sounds of the shower.
With a sigh, she grabbed the razor that he’d left in his duffle bag and headed for the bathroom, wishing that she’d at least got the chance to meet one of her favorite authors yesterday to make this trip worth it. Knowing that Jason would do whatever it took to make it up to her, she shrugged away her disappointment. She also loved Jason too much to stay mad about this. She knew that he hadn’t done this on purpose. He’d been looking forward to returning next year with the kids as much as she had so-
“Thank you,” Jason said against her lips, his wet body suddenly pressing against her, getting her clothes wet as he wrapped his arms around her and picked her up.
“What are you doing?” she asked breathlessly as she struggled to think straight, but it was kind of difficult to do with Jason nibbling on her earlobe in the way that drove her crazy as he carried her over to the bed.
“Getting an early start on my apology,” he whispered as he dropped them onto the bed and……..
To be continued…………
© Rerum Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
As you can see, I am having a little fun by bringing the characters of The Reclusive Heart and NFH books together. I had so much fun at Book Bash last year that I wanted to incorporate the event into a Chronicle. The List will continue for at least another month. I hope you enjoy it.
P.S. It was Jenn’s idea to end this Chronicle as a teaser 🙂