Too Tasty

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Did You Miss Me?

"Max, you're welcome to hang out here if you'd like. Or you can hail an Uber to go home," I said after munching on a piece of toast.
"I'd like to stay. I promise I won't bother you guys," Max said. Surprisingly, he wasn't cocky or being his average childish self.
Aww, he's learning manners! : )
I bit back a grin after I saw Teela's face brighten at his request.
"Yeah Max, go for it. I need to have a girl talk with Teela and then buy some groceries but after that, you and Teela can chill out together," I said. I finished my toast and rinsed out my mug as I listened to Max squeal in delight.
I shot Teela a look and waited for her to follow me upstairs. The staircase was really only four steps but it was easier to call it upstairs.
"So before going to sleep last night, I did some research on the pill bottles and it turns out that the man was in the news for being a drug addict. He was high when he killed someone in a car crash. There's no motive anywhere," Teela said. She frowned as she racked her brain for more information.
"Well, what about the man's records from a couple of nights ago?" I asked. I was worried that we'd be at a dead end.
"It shows that he was prescribed oxycontin because he'd gotten leg surgery a while ago to remove a tumor. I think it's possible that he was also blackmailed into delivering the pills to Maven in exchange for drugs or something else," she said. She pulled at her strawberry pink hair as she thought some more.
"So we're fucked. No leads. Quinton texted me a couple of hours ago saying that the prints were in the database already and that they matched the patient's prints," I grit out. I was getting agitated with the lack of options we had.
Teela continued to mess with her hair and frown. "Shoot Karina! We need a new plan."
"No shit sherlock. When did you become so mature?" I asked sarcastically.
"Since never. Maven's important," Teela said and I nodded.
"How about this? I'm going to go run some errands and stop at the cafe for a coffee. It'll give me time to think and you can enjoy your day with Max," I said. I had a lot of items to stock up on considering I hadn't gone to do household shopping in weeks.
Teela nodded and clomped down the stairs. I ran to my room and grabbed my MK bag, shoving my keys and wallet into it. I waited for the Uber near the curb and climbed in when I saw it.
I went into Woodland because I loved their grocery store the most and the cafe there had the best cappuccino.
I walked into the cafe and placed my order. A couple of minutes later, I had a delicious treat in my hand and felt energized. Now I could start devising a plan to stop my father from hurting any of my friends or family.
Why's he after me? What's motivating him? His hatred or some twisted form of love?
Could I negotiate with a man who didn't know right for wrong in exchange for freeing my loved ones from his "plans?"
He got out of jail early by paying off somebody in jail but why bother? There's literally an arrest warrant out on his head. It's not like he'd be able to come in public. Unless he gets plastic surgery.
He's rich but he never once shared his wealth with my mother and sisters. My father was someone who showed off to the world but didn't do shit for his family. Asshole.
"Hello there, Karina. Did you miss me?" someone said. I gasped when I recognized the voice.
Please don't let it be who I think it is.
The man grabbed a chair across from me and sat down. His baseball cap covered his face from the security camera's in the cafe but it was obvious that my father was here.
I was clusterfucked. I could hold my own in a single fight but against several people, probably not.
"What do you want daddy dearest?" I asked in a sickenly saccharine voice.
"Wow, I feel the love. No, I miss you's or where have you been's? You shouldn't have left with your sisters Karina," he said in a mocking tone.
I sipped my cappuccino to cover my trembling lips as I thought about what to do.
I waited for him to speak.
"I'm going to propose a deal. I'm feeling generous today. Beware, this is a one time only deal that expires if you leave this cafe," my father said. I put my coffee cup down and clenched my fists underneath the table. My arm muscles were clenching and taut.
"What deal?" I snapped but kept a cool demeanor.
"It's quite simple. In exchange for your sister's freedom and your friends safety, I want you to come with me. Forever and ever. You'll have all of the luxuries you want from my wealth but you'll never see your friends and sisters again. That's the offer. Take it or leave it," he said with a condescending smirk.
He drives a tough bargain. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
"What guarantee do I have that you won't send Seth and his pissface friends after my friends and family?" I asked.
"I knew you were just like me. Good question, you'll be able to say goodbye to them and after that, you leave with me from Maryland to wherever I want to go," he said.
I grimaced in disgust and said, "How do I know you won't just kill me? And if I said yes, how much time would I have to say goodbye?"
"There are no guarantees in life sweet little Karina. You'd have one day starting tomorrow. After tomorrow night, you'd be leaving with me. And don't forget, if you say anything about our deal, I'll come after everyone. What was his name? Tyler Harrison right? You don't want anything to happen to him, do you?" my father said with a grin.
I was disgusted with his mindset but at least it would keep my family safe.
To gain something, you have to lose something.
Safety for my family and friends in exchange for my freedom.
"If anything happens to them after I come with you, I will make your life a living hell!" I whisper shouted at him.
"Is that a yes?" my father asked. He sounded pleased and I wanted to clock him in the face.
"It's a deal," I said as I rose to leave the cafe. I practically ran to the grocery store and smiled in relief as I saw Lucio standing at the cashier counter.
"Hey there," Lucio said and I forced a grin as I grabbed a cart. I started throwing pasta, chips, snacks, bread, and dairy products into the cart without even looking. I grabbed a couple of sweet chocolates for Max and Teela while pushing the cart down the aisle. Laundry detergent, soaps, shampoos, etc were all thrown into my cart as well.
I walked over to the check out lane and cringed as I watched my bill go up to $500 dollars.
Ouch. But it is necessary to make sure that Teela and Maven have access to food for a bit after I leave.
I helped Lucio package my foods and items into a bunch of bags but stopped to call an Uber. Once I was ready, I dragged the cart near the curb of Woodland's main street and waited.
How was I going to tell Teela?
She wouldn't be able to handle it.
And Maven? She was still unconscious in a fucking hospital. I hoped that she'd wake up tomorrow so I could talk to her one last time.
No pain, no gain.
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