The Lucky Winner

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Chapter 55

DAD

“Do you like it? I found this sexy store down the street,” Misty gushed as she twirled so Dad could get a 360-degree view of her newly purchased, see-through lingerie.

Realizing leaving her alone and unattended was a very bad idea, he’d returned to the hotel the following day. Meanwhile, we thought he was back on the way to California.

“I didn’t expect you here so soon,” she said as she took his hands. “You must have missed me terribly.” Back to the seductive Misty from the abandoned kitten, she looked up at him erotically as she wiggled her body against his.

“Misty,” he pushed her back uncomfortably.

“Fine,” she turned around. “Can we go eat then? I’m starving.” She slid out of the lingerie, and threw a couple of dresses onto the bed.

“We need to be careful. We can’t afford to be spotted by anyone.”

“We won’t be. This isn’t even your town. Don’t be so paranoid,” she scolded him before sighing audibly. “What do you expect me to do then? Hide in this hotel forever? When you won’t even fuck me?” She approached him and jabbed her index finger in his chest several times in quick succession. “All because of your controlling wife.”

“Misty, stop,” he shifted uneasily and looked at her. “Listen. Honestly, I don’t know how this can ever work, I mean, having you here. I can’t lie to my family like this. I’m going to tell my wife I lost my job. Then… I don’t think I can see you anymore. I’m sorry.”

“I thought we were gonna think of a plan and make it work,” she said as she glared up at him. “Just like we made the murder and everything else work.”

His wavering eyes returned her gaze with all their might. “I’ll give you some money. I’ll fly you anywhere you want. Anywhere. Where did you dream of going when you were a kid? Paris? I can fly you there.”

Misty held her gaze until a sadness crept into her eyes. As if to hide it, she looked away.

Dad remained strong. He couldn’t afford to lose. He had to end this no matter what. Sure, it seemed that her unfortunate past was responsible for her way of being, and he couldn’t deny how much it hurt him to see her sad. But he refused to sacrifice his family. He had to be strong.

“Okay…” She muttered, her voice quavering.

“Really?” He replied, surprised, but of course, immensely relieved.

She nodded. “I see you’re really suffering. And I don’t want you to. I guess I really like you,” she forced a small chuckle, which made her look even sadder.

“Thank you. Thank you for understanding.”

“I do have one request, though,” she looked up, and her face returned to the abandoned kitten. “Could we have one last good time? Just one? Like a real couple? Then when you leave, I won’t bother you again. Ever. I promise.”

That sounded like a decent—even excellent—proposal. If he could go back to his life after that, as if none of this happened, it was well worth it to have one more good time with her, one last time. “Of course,” he said with a gentle smile.

The two of them spent the next few days like a couple on their honeymoon. He tried to shut out everything else temporarily and dedicated himself to enjoying his last days with her. They spent most of their time in bed, eating, drinking, chatting, watching movies, and so forth. He convinced himself that it was a small expense for him to pay in order to finally get out, free and clear.

Dad woke up to a phone call.

They’d fallen asleep after a leisurely champagne brunch. The whole Frank thing must have exhausted him pretty badly if he could sleep for hours in broad daylight.

The call was from home.

He rolled out of bed and pressed his index finger to his lips to Misty who awoke just then.

“Dad, we have a problem,” I said from the other end. “I know you’re not supposed to come home for another three days or so, but… Are you driving right now? Is it safe to talk?”

“I just pulled into a truck stop,” Dad replied as he squeezed his eyes shut, hating to lie to his own daughter. But knowing it would end soon. Very soon. “What’s the problem?”

“Someone knows. Someone was in the house.”

“Sweetheart, this again…? Did Mom call ADT?”

“She did. They had her test the system a couple of times. And it works just fine.”

“But it didn’t go off again though she thinks someone broke in. Is that right?”

“Yes.”

“Then why are you bringing it up again?” He asked, implying it must have been just as before—Mom’s imagination.

“Because we found a note this time.”

“What note?”

“It says, I’m watching you, bitch.

There was a pause until he replied, “What…?”

He hung up the phone, deeply disturbed.

“What happened?” asked Misty, rubbing her eyes.

“I think it’s Frank’s men. They went to my house. What should I do now…?” He despaired, squeezing his forehead in his hands.

However, that didn’t quite sound like something Frank’s guys would do. Leaving a note? And it was obviously addressed to Mom because of what was written on it. Or to me.

“I’m sorry for what your family’s going through,” Misty said as she stroked his back comfortingly. “What can we do?”

He had no idea. All he knew was that he needed to go home and return to us. However, he was supposed to be on the road for three more days, still far away from home. It would look weird if he returned home right then.

Maybe stay an extra day in the hotel to be safe, then go home, he thought.

The next evening, Dad was getting his stuff together and preparing to leave while Misty was in a shower. The shower stopped and she came out of the bathroom naked as she towel-dried her hair.

His phone rang.

It was from me again.

“Ella?”

“Dad, I know you can’t do anything from the road, but I called to tell you Mom’s down at the ER, and Kyle’s foot got caught in a steel-jawed trap.”

His face froze as he failed to comprehend my words. Eventually, he barked in panic, “Kyle’s foot got… what? And Why is Mom at the ER?

“They think she was poisoned.”

What?” It felt as if he were having a heart attack. “Where are you? Which hospital? The River Medical Center?”

“Yeah. I have to go now. The nurse is calling me.”

“I’m coming over right now.”

“What do you mean? You’re still on the road.”

“I got back way sooner than I thought. I’m closeby. See you in a bit, okay?” He hung up the phone, utterly exasperated.

“Is your wife okay? What happened?” asked Misty.

“I have to go…” Heavily disoriented, he was in no condition to explain anything to her.

He pulled out the rest of the money he’d gotten from the hacker and handed it to her. “Bye, Misty… Take care of yourself, okay?” Then he stumbled his way out.

And that was the end of it with Misty.

Or not.

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