Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Startled by a crash, Stephanie woke and fell from her couch to the floor. The boom reminded her of the episode last winter when a car skidded into their front porch taking out a corner post. Gripping the leather cushion, she sat up, swept her hair back from her face and stared into the dark corners of her living room. The red display of a digital clock on the entertainment center read three forty-two.
Another thump vibrated the floor seconds before the door which lead to the garage burst open. Light spilled across the carpet. Gene was home, finally.
“Damn kids.” His words were slurred and the alcohol he’d consumed over the last six hours while at his weekly poker game preceded him by about twenty feet.
“Stephanie, I’m caught. Get this damn thing off of me or I’ll—“
“Will you keep it down?” She scurried to her feet and hit the light switch to the high-hat lights above the fireplace. “The kids are sleeping. They have to get up for school in two hours.”
“This is my house and I’ll yell at them for leaving their freakin’ bikes lying in front of the door anytime I want.”
Em’s bike had been parked against the wall where it was supposed to be. Gene probably knocked it over making his not-to-steady way inside. However, arguing with him while he was in this state of mind was not going to do her any good. He’d only get more boisterous and eventually wake the kids just to scold them for something they didn’t do, and was his own fault. God, she was tired of Gene’s partying. He was married, a father of two. What example did he set for Bobbie? Would he ever grow up?
The sadness which filled her cemented the truth in place. No.
Gene fell forward and she grabbed him under his arms. As he struggled to free his foot from between the railings of Em’s bike, he leaned onto her and Stephanie’s nose became buried in his beer stained tee shirt. “My, God. How much did you have tonight? You didn’t drive home, did you?”
Em’s bike clattered against the garage’s concrete floor. “Damn straight I did. “
Over his shoulder, she caught a glimpse of their wedding portrait and wondered where that happy, young couple went wrong.
Disgusted, she pushed Gene away. “So you’re a cop.”
“Yeah." He shrugged and then scratched his stomach, pulling his tee shirt up over the flat abs he worked hard to maintain since he quarterbacked for their high school football team. "Don't worry. The guys won't ticket me.”
She folded her arms across her chest in order to keep her hands from reaching out and strangling some sense into him. “What about hurting yourself, or God forbid, someone else?”
“I didn’t, okay.” He waved her away. Then with dithering steps, he made his way into the kitchen and flipped on the lights. “What’s to eat?” He called over his shoulder. “I’m starved. Rosie got pissed with Tony and threw the pizza we ordered at him. ”
Steph drew a breath as she raced after him hoping he wouldn’t reach the pots and pans before she could block him. His buddies probably ordered the pizza after midnight and the delivery guy woke Rosie’s seven-year-old twins. Poor Rosie.
She stepped between Gene and the stove just as he reached for the knob to turn it on. “Why don’t you go get a shower and I’ll—”
His frown turned wolfish as he grabbed and pulled her close, grinding his hips into hers. “You’re hoping I’ll fall asleep aren’t you?” He nuzzled her neck. “After I grab a couple eggs, I’ll be ready to take care of you, babe. Why don’t you whip them up for me?”
Not in the mood to be manhandled, she pulled away from his clutch. “Stop it, Gene. I’m not in the mood for your games. I’m going to bed.” Stephanie turned only to be stopped by the bite of his fingernails on her arm.
His eyes narrowed. “I said I’m hungry.”
“And I want a divorce.” She yanked her arm free. “See who gets what they want first.”
Author's note: I hope you enjoyed Stephanie's Story. The official release date for Evil's Witness is June 18, but it's on sale now at The Wild Rose Press, as an early bird special. Here is the link. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
Also remember, if you leave a comment on either John's story or Stephanie's, your name will go into the June 23 contest drawing. I'm giving away one e-copy of my January release Obsessed By Wildfire, which has received two GREAT reviews. You can check out those at my website. Because OBW is rated spicy, you must 18 to win. If you're under 18, I'll send you a great gift via US snail mail anyway. If you've already bought OBW, and many of you have, thank you very much, you can choice to receive a $5.00 Starbucks ceritifcate. Each time you comment, your name goes into the hat, so comment on both posts.
Make a memory today. AJ
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