Rather than staying at school, Aiden leaves, going over the the satellite college campus down the road. He intends to see some of the girls from the golf team, who were contemporaries of Wendy’s. He tells the girls about his baby girl.
“Oh, honey!” Fonda and Inez chorused, hugging him.
“You must feel even worse, finding her poor, battered….” Inez gulped, putting her hand over her mouth to stifle a sob.
Fonda’s tears were silent, making them the more moving. She was the one who had aborted Bullock’s baby. She hadn’t wanted to abort it, but her parents had refused to take action. She’d been seventeen at the time. The child’s death had haunted her ever since. Aiden put his arm around her shoulders, taking Inez with the other. They sat in quiet misery for a long time.
“She came back to take on Bullock,” Inez said. “She wanted us to come forward. She had a couple other girls she was talking to.”
“Why didn’t she come see me?”
“I don’t know,” Inez said. “But she spoke about you often. She was still fond….” She gripped his fingers. “But then, you’ve always been a sweetie.” She kissed his cheek. “How do we contact this Weinstein?”
Aiden hugged them both and gave them Vanessa’s number.
“Do you know how to find Jimbo?” he asked as he was standing to leave.
“Why do you want him?” Fonda’s scathing tone wasn’t lost on Aiden.
“I wanna know where he is.” His voice was hard, demanding.
“He went in the Marines,” Inez said. “I remember them saying at the awards ceremony. He got a scholarship. He was good friends with Otto Wren. That weird Austrian dude with the greasy hair?”
Otto was another exchange student, sent by a different company from Eoin. The two had not gotten along, nor had Aiden liked him in the least. Otto was as weird and twisted as Jim Butcher, and not in a fun way like Eoin.
“I remember Otto,” Aiden sneered. “Is he in town?”
“Daytona,” Inez said. “Last I heard, he was working as a bouncer at some club. That biker bar near the cemetery.”
“Yeah? Shit. I can’t get in there, they check IDs at the door.”
“You can’t, we can. And I bet Eoin would too,” Fonda said. “We’re cutting class,” she announced. “Do you know where tall, dark and dreamy lives?”
Puzzled, Aiden frowned. “Who?”
“Eoin,” she heaved an exasperated sigh. “He might be gay, but he’s gorgeous.”
“He’s not gay, he’s does a cross-dresser who does a fantastic drag show. Might be bi, but as far as I know, he likes women only.”
“A straight cross-dresser?” Inez was confused.
“He said there is a lot of money in it. He’s good, he’s snuck me in a few times. And yes, I know where he lives. Why?”
“Because we need backup at the bar, and he can provide it. Road trip.”
“I have to be back to pick up my brothers.”
“No problem. It’s barely eight. Off we go!” Fonda led the way to his car.
“How did you know this was my ride?”
“Your dad has driven this heap for the last seventeen years,” Fonda said. “He and my dad play golf, remember? I’ve seen it more times in the last three years, than I have you. Inez, you take shotgun. She gets carsick in the back.”
They hopped in the car and took off to Daytona.
“I can’t explain the gas use. Dad will notice and I’m tapped.”
“I’ve got it,” Fonda said. “Just put in a good word for me with Eoin.”
Aiden laughed. “You got it!”
She and Inez gave him cash, which he stuffed in the cup holder.
“And what about you, Aiden?” Inez asked. “You on the market?”
He glanced at her, puzzled, nearly running a red light. “Um…not—not taken. Why?”
“Because you’re all kinds of hot,” she said, patting his hand. “Even if you are a kid.”
“Almost nineteen,” he admitted, his ears turning a fiery red. “Next month.”
“Oh, not such a baby as I thought. I’ve never dated a younger man.”
Heading up US-1, they drove to Eoin’s home in South Daytona.
Bullock gave every indication of pacing, though Vanessa had left him chained to the table. He hadn’t appreciated that in the least, and had complained, cursed and fussed for the last forty-five minutes. Once he finally ran out of steam, she walked in the room with Scott. They took seats opposite the prisoner, and neither said a word, their expressions impassive.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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