There was a man sitting on her bench.
And that irritated Molly. She liked her solitude, and he was intruding on it. There would be precious little of it when her daughter flew in from Bakersfield next week and put her in the retirement home like she’d been trying to do ever since Dan had died three years ago.
“Mama, it’s not safe for you to be rattling around in that big old house by yourself,” Leanne had said. “I didn’t worry when Daddy was alive to watch out for you, but now…”
Molly had wanted to laugh. Dan watch out for her? It’d been the other way around. She had taken care of him, waiting on the hateful jerk hand and foot while he cussed and bitched and moaned. But she hadn’t told their daughter that, not wanting to speak ill of her daddy. Why, the shit she could tell Leanne about Dan would curl the girl’s flat-ironed hair!
For two years following Dan’s death Molly had basked in solitude, going about her business with no one to answer to other than herself. Then she’d slipped on a patch of ice on the front porch, tumbled down the steps, and broke her hip. Continue reading “Time After Time”
Marlena wouldn’t have opened her door to just any man, a girl had to be careful after all. But when she’d parted the curtains a smidge and got a gander of the pretty man standing on the stoop, she about tripped over her own feet getting to the door and flinging it open.
“Well, hello there,” she said, pasting on a saucy grin. “What can I do for you?”
Light bugs and moths danced around the porch light, throwing flitting shadows over a scarred but handsome face. He quirked a black eyebrow. “Marlena Bledsoe?”
“The one and only.” Must’ve been asking about me down at Rudy’s. She tucked a bleached-blonde curl behind her ear, cocked a hip.
“It’s time to pay.”
The smile slid from Marlena’s face. Her belly knotted up. “Huh?” But she knew…
“Hassie sent me.”
“Who’re you?” And she knew that too.
“Cicero.” His golden eyes met hers. “Here’s what you’re going to do…” Continue reading “Pay The Fiddler”
Marlena was going to have to do something about the sheriff.
“You be nice to me, and I won’t pay Marshal a visit,” he’d said last night, his hot damp hand squeezing her thigh. “Won’t go poking around in the woods out back of his trailer, see what I can find.”
She had been taking a break between shows at Rudy’s, slumped in a back booth sipping a beer when Leroy Jones, sheriff of Rooker County, had plopped down beside her and delivered his ultimatum. She’d known what he meant by being “nice”, she hadn’t fallen off the turnip truck yesterday. The nerve! She might strip for a living, but that didn’t make her a whore.
Now, she was between a rock and a hard place. Either give the sheriff what he wanted, or see her brother, Marshall, get hauled in for growing marijuana—wasn’t like he cooked meth or nothing bad like that—leaving his wife and five kids to fend for themselves.
Yeah, she was going to have to do something, and that was the reason she was here now, crawling at a snail’s pace down Forked Tree Road, risking tearing the bottom out of her old Thunderbird, to pay a visit to Aunt Hassie.
‘Cause everybody knew that Aunt Hassie could fix most anything—for a price. Continue reading “Good Enough”