[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. Her sister Vicky still lives back in the city. Here are the posts in order so far:
Dan opened his news app as he nursed his third cup of coffee. It had been another sleepless night and he couldn’t focus on work. He hadn’t been able to focus on much of anything lately since Jim had been killed six months ago by that trigger-happy cop. They should have known his brother wasn’t going to hurt anyone; he was sick, and he’d needed help. His wife had run out on him instead of trying to help, but that was women for ya. Dan shook his head and clicked from one article to the next.
He found himself scrolling in the event section. Bunch of crap. Ren faires. Concerts. Festivals up and down the coast. Dan was about to close the app when a photo caught his eye. Happy couple, heads close together, smiling… wait a damn minute!
He scanned the article, but she wasn’t named. It was about a project way up in Otter Village to benefit the animals. Whatever. He’d know his sister-in-law anywhere, even if she’d chopped off her long brunette locks and dyed them red. Those eyes! That smile! And she was with a new man already, just six months after her husband had died? Women, right.
Pacing back and forth in the office hallway, Dan cursed under his breath. He wanted justice! He wanted his brother back! It wasn’t fair! That cop who killed Jim didn’t even have charges filed against him. So what if Jim had a gun? He only fired it because he was scared. Nick had already talked him into setting the women free, and the only reason Nick got wounded was because the other cop was a hothead. Now Jim was dead, Dan had no family, and Alexandra had a new guy plus her all the love and support of her big, happy family.
Well, she might be 500 miles away in some remote village, but Vicky wasn’t…
“Leave it, Ginger,” Vicky said to her puppy, who was trying to sniff something gross. It was a beautiful afternoon and Vicky was thankful for her lack of appointments so she could enjoy the cooler weather. So nice to have the park almost all to herself on a weekday. She’d make up the work later.
“Vicky,” a male voice behind her. “I need to speak to you.”
She whirled around, suddenly nervous. Oh, it was only Dan, Lexi’s brother-in-law. “Hi, Dan. How are you?”
“Not good.” He raked a hand through his hair. “Not good.”
“Sorry to hear that. It’s understandable.”
“Don’t patronize me!” he shouted. “You still have your whole family!”
Ginger woofed, but she was just a little puppy. Vicky backed up. “Okay. Right. I see you’re pretty upset. Maybe we should talk about this later. Did you follow me here?”
Dan shrugged. “I’m sure not gonna come knocking on your door when you’ve got a cop in the house.”
Vicky backed up another step. “I see. Well, maybe we can chat more tonight. I have a few errands I need to–”
Dan shook his head and stepped in front of her. “It’s always later with you people, isn’t it? You and your sister. Always avoiding problems. Never able to deal with reality when it’s not pretty and prefect.”
“Dan, hey. I’m really sorry about Jim. But it’s not my fault. Or Lexi’s. You know she tried really hard to save that marriage, to save him. But he wouldn’t go to a doctor. He refused counseling. He–”
“Lexi!” Dan laughed. “So, that’s what she’s calling herself now? Typical. Run away and change your name. God forbid you deal with your responsibilities.”
Vicky took a deep breath. She saw that Dan was in a rage, out of control, unable to listen to reason. Just like his brother.
“I found her, you know.” Dan gave Vicky a smug smile. “Yep. Otter Village? I tracked her down, and I have a thing or two to say to her. You bet.”
“Leave her alone!” Vicky yelled, pulling her phone out of her pocket to call Nick. “Just stay away from my sister! She’s been through enough.”
“Put your phone away, you coward.” Dan stepped back. “I’m not doing anything but talking to you in a public park. I haven’t threatened anyone.”
Vicky watched him storm away, knowing this wasn’t the last she’d be hearing from him. After she picked up Ginger’s latest offering and put it in the doggy trash, she pulled out her phone again.
“Lexi, it’s Vic. Sorry to leave a bummer of a message but Dan just confronted me in the park and apparently knows where you are. Stay alert. He seems really upset.”
[to be continued]
©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.