Jared(8)

By: Teresa Gabelman


“Well, tell her I said hello.” Tessa stood gathering the empty McDonalds bag, cleaning up. “Whenever you two need a night out don’t forget to call me. I would love to babysit.”

“I sure will, but I don’t think I could get her away from the little guy long enough to do anything.” Mark laughed as he helped her grandfather to his feet.

Tessa threw the garbage away then went to hug her grandfather. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” She hugged him tight. “Don’t break too many hearts, ya hear?” As she pulled away he clasped her face between his large hands staring deeply into her eyes, sadness and something else shadowed in their depth before he let her go.

“I love you Gramps.” Tessa stood still waiting patiently. Every once in while he would speak and she loved the sound of his voice, the voice that had calmed her as a child. She yearned for that voice. He once again pulled her into his tight embrace before patting her cheek. This time his huge smile reached his eyes and made her day much brighter because that was his way to say he loved her too.

Heading out of the nursing home Tessa groaned. Mr. Weston was buzzing his wheelchair towards her, bless his old soul.

“You got my condoms?” Mr. Weston’s saggy wrinkled face jigged as he sneaked a peep behind him to make sure no one was around.

“Excuse me?” Tessa all but choked. This little old man surely did not just ask her for a rubber.

“Adam said he would get me a box.” His anxious face turned sour. “He didn’t send them with you?”

“Ah, no. No, he didn’t.” Tessa eyed him, wondering if the little old man could even….ugh, okay not going there.

“Well don’t that just chap my ass!” The old man huffed. “I got women lining up at my door and I got me a hot date tonight with Laverne.”

Tessa could not believe she was standing in the hallway of Villa Springs Nursing Home talking to an eighty something year old man about condoms. She was going to kill her brother. “I’m sorry.” Was all she could think to say. Seriously, what could she say?

“You’re sorry?” The old man huffed again as he buzzed past her in his automatic wheelchair. “You ain’t the one who’s gonna have a case of blue balls.”

Standing there in complete shock she slowly turned to watch the old man make his way down the hall pinching every ass he passed. A huge smile broke out across her face, uncontrollable laughter close behind as she quickly made her way out of the nursing home. Yeah, she was definitely going to kill her brother.

********

This time Tessa parked in the driveway. Anxious, she jumped out of the car and ran into the house. “Adam.” She called out throwing her bag on the couch as she passed. “I am going to kill you. Old Mr. Weston cornered me at the nursing home wanting to know if I had his condoms. What in the hell are you doing promising that old man condoms? He pretty much is going to blame me if he gets a case of blue balls….” Tessa stopped cold as she stepped into her now very crowded kitchen.

“Hello Red.” There leaning against her kitchen sink was the warrior she had silver chained to the chair wearing a grin that sucked the breath right out of her and he wasn’t alone. Two other warriors stood in the room. A noise from behind her was fair warning she had passed a fourth warrior on her way in.

Fear like nothing she ever felt before paralyzed her. Okay be cool she told herself, but being cool with nervous sweat breaking out on her body was hard to pull off. “Who are you?” She was proud her voice held strong. Playing dumb was the only way she might be able to get out of this mess. “What are you doing in my house?”

Everyone looked to the one leaning against the sink. “It’s her.” He told them, his eyes never leaving hers. “I smelled honeysuckle a mile away.”

He tossed her baseball hat and sunglasses on the table which pretty much shot the playing dumb card down the toilet. Dammit. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She took a step back, but ran into something hard. “You need to leave now before I call the police.” She demanded pulling out her cell phone. A huge hand snaked around her grabbing it.

“Sit down.” The one behind her gave her a small push toward the kitchen table where he just threw her phone.

“Hey.” She reached for her phone but was pushed into a seat and had to grab the edges of the chair before she hit the ground. “What the hell is your pro…” The words died in her throat when the biggest, scariest man she had ever seen snarled down at her with huge fangs, eyes black as midnight.

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