“But why can’t I go outside!”
“Self-serving, dirty-rotten, dickless wonder…” Ally grumbled under breath, stirring the less than adequate meal she was about to serve her kids. Mac & cheese and the last of a bag of carrots split between the twins and her youngest was going to be considered a feast when tomorrow they were forced to split the few remaining generic Cheerios at the bottom of the box.
“Maaa’um,” ‘But why’s’ whine had grown over the last few weeks into full-on drama-mama mode, even though she was still on the young side. Right now her traumas were playing outside vs inside, but what was Ally going to do once the upset turned to boys and friends and all things estrogen?
“Not now, sweetheart, dinner is just about ready.”
“Food, yes. What are we have—damn, not that again, shit!” Twin two, or “I’m hungry” as she was going to rename him, kicked over the chair in a fit of anger directed not at the lack of food, but rather the missing father who’d stranded him, all of them, in Talbot’s Peak, MT.
“Pick up the chair, apologize to all of us for your gutter mouth and sit your butt down.” She was one to talk considering dickless wonder was the least offensive word rolling though her head in relation to her soon to be ex.
“Sorry,” he mumbled to his drama infused sister and the perpetually bored boy who looked just like him.
“Shit, shit, shit…”
“Sweetheart, nine is too old to pretend you’ve learned a new naughty word. Apologize and let’s eat.” Ally set the creamy orange pasta on the table and split the ten carrots between the kids, popping the odd man out into her mouth before heading back to the sink for glasses of water.
Talbot’s Peak was to have been a vacation spot only when her husband, God she could wait to add the ex to that, mentioned it last month. ‘It’s a beautiful town with scores of unexplained phenomena happening,’ he’d said. ‘We should check it out,’ he;d said. ‘Don’t be such a stick in the mud, worry-wart,’ he’d said.
What he hadn’t said was that he was going to meet a sexy, young gazelle-like woman and run off to heaven knows where with their car and most of their money. He also hadn’t said word one about the people in Talbot’s Peak being standoffish to outsiders. She’d hoped her friendly first attitude would have helped her score a job in this town, but no such luck yet.
“Mom, I’m bored.”
“How can you be bored during dinner, dear?” Ally set a glass of water in front of each of the eating kids then spooned a quarter of the remaining pasta, onto her plate. It wasn’t much, but her kids were more important.
“I don’t know, I just am. Can we do something when we’re done?”
“What would you like to do?” A loaded question if there ever was one, but maybe one of them would come up with a free activity.
“Ice cream parlor.”
“And we have a winner!”
The boys groaned knowing theirs were not the winning suggestions, but continued to eat. It was a hell of a thing telling these kids, who’d not only lost a parent, but also everything they owned and the life they were used to, no to something as simple as an ice cream. Tomorrow better be the day she finds a job, because with no money left and the week almost at a close, she had no way of extending their stay in this hotel room.
Talbot’s Peak was a gorgeous town, but she had yet to see anything resembling a homeless shelter.
Hawke watched the strong, graceful woman usher her children out the door before phasing into sight. He walked the small parameter of the room where they were staying and cursed the man who’d subjected his family to such indignity.
He would kill the man when he lived again.
First though, he would care for the family he’d just adopted into his soul. There would be food at the door upon their return and a job offer waiting for her at the front desk. Being dead did not stop Hawke’s business, nor would it deter him from making these kids his and Ally, she would be his heart, his breath—his woman.