Brand New Day by Dellani Oakes – Part 62

It’s time for Janet to go home. Her father comes to get her.

Her father took her home. She persuaded him to take her to her house, not his.

“I’m fine, Dad. I just need time to think. I’ll be okay on my own.”

“I’ll call and check up on you.”

“I know, Daddy. I’ll be okay.” She kissed him.

Evander left reluctantly. There still hadn’t been a word about Tex. They had police and Coffey’s men combing the city and outskirts. They were using all kinds of sophisticated equipment to find him, and there was nothing. He didn’t like leaving Janet on her own, but he took heart knowing that two of Coffey’s men were watching her. They were in a black SUV parked in front of her house. He waved to the car as he passed. He knew someone was inside, but he didn’t see anything through the tinted windows.

Janet needed a shower. She’d been in the same panties for more than one dance. Making sure the house was locked up and the alarm was on, she put on some music and sang as she bathed. She got out of the shower, wiping the fog from the mirror as she toweled her hair.

A sound in the bedroom alerted her to the fact she wasn’t alone. Thinking it might be Danny, she almost called out. Something made her stop. She continued to sing as if she hadn’t heard anything. Humming and singing, she finished toweling her hair and got dressed. Her gun was locked in the drawer as always, so it wouldn’t be any good if the intruder was already in the room.

Starting another song, she cast about the bathroom for a weapon. About the only thing she had were an old pair of barber sheers Diego had used to trim his sideburns. She took them out of the drawer and put them in her back pocket.

Nerves jangling, she walked to the bedroom, giving it a careful check before walking out of the bathroom. The closet door wasn’t quite shut, and she knew that she’d left it open. The sight of herself in the mirrored door shocked her. She had dark circles around her eyes, her cheeks were sunken and her complexion sallow.

“You can come out, Tex. I know you’re here,” she said more bravely than she felt.

The door slid back, squeaking the last half inch. That was the sound she’d heard in the bathroom.

He was wild eyed, gaunt, haggard, filthy. He was covered in dirt and, she suspected, feces. He’d probably made his escape in a sewer.

“Can’t fool you,” he said simply, his voice dry and brittle.

“You need to leave,” she said calmly, taking a step toward the bed.

He moved quickly, cutting her off. “Don’t bother looking for your gun. It’s not there. I know your habits—.357in the bedroom drawer, sawed off in the closet. Oh, sorry, the police have that, since I threatened to take your son’s head off with it last night.”

Tex frowned, swallowing hard. Tears lingered in his eyes. “Did you think I was so dumb I wouldn’t figure it out? Did you think I didn’t know your body so well I couldn’t tell you were pregnant? I knew. I fooled you into thinking I didn’t. Pretty good actor, huh?” He swallowed again, chin jutting forward angrily. “Did you ever love me, Just Janet? Was I ever number one? Or was it always that dirty Mexican?”

She shivered. Head up, she stared him down. “It was always him. You were a good substitute for a while. You’re damn good in bed, I’ll give you that. Better than him, at some things. But he would never treat me the way you did.”

“Oh, no. He just goes around killing people for a living.”

“At least he didn’t kill our son.”

“Damn kid probably wasn’t mine, anymore than the other two.”

“You’re wrong, Teddy. The baby I lost was yours. Unlike you, I’m loyal.”

“Oh, it was loyal taking up with him while I was in jail? That’s loyalty? Having two kids with him, that’s loyalty, too. Huh?”

“I wanted a divorce. You wouldn’t give it to me. That’s not my fault.”

“What is your fault, baby?” He raised her .357, aiming between her eyes.

Janet faltered. He was a good shot. Point blank range, she’d be dead before she hit the floor.

“Things went wrong,” she said quietly, praying for help. “We were both to blame.”

“You don’t really think that,” he growled. “You blame it all on me. All the fault of the man with the redundant name.”

©2020 Dellani Oakes

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