Chapter Nine

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Chapter Nine

Caden

 Groaning, I rolled over and checked the time on my phone. Three minutes past five. Great, I thought to myself, no sleep and a full day ahead.

Placing my cell phone back on the nightstand, I reached for the remote. A moment later, the screen glowed to life. The meteorologist reported a cloudy day with a fifty percent chance of showers.

Sitting up, I rubbed my eyes and yawned. Swinging my legs over the side of my bed, I started to get up, but then paused as a breaking news banner scrolled the bottom of the screen.

"We have been covering the horrific accident that took place last night on the north side of town, where a hit and run has resulted in a fatality. The police do not have any suspects at this time and they are urging any witnesses to please come forward."

I chuckled. No more mystery guy for you, Hadley. Now you're all mine.

The reporter paused and placed her hand to her earpiece.

"This just in," she said looking into the camera, "the police have released the name of the victim of the fatal hit and run. The victim is forty-year-old, Charlie Andrews, a local psychologist, better known as, "Dr. Charlie."

My jaw dropped and I blinked hard.

With a solemn face, the news reporter nodded and said, "We will continue to follow this story and update you with further developments."

"No, no, no, no," I murmured, burying my face in my hands. It was supposed to be the guy she was with last night! Not Dr. Charlie! Where did he come from? Why was he by Hadley's place? What the HELL happened?

Shaking my head, I began rocking back and forth. No, no, no, no! Hadley is going to be devastated! I've ruined everything!  

Grabbing a pillow and holding it to my mouth with a clenched fist, I let out an anguished scream.

What have I done?

Seconds felt like minutes, ticking by, slower and slower.

What am I going to do? How am I going to fix this?

The background noise of the television hummed in my ears as my heart hammered away in my chest.

I dropped the pillow and turned off the television. Taking a deep breath, I tried to clear my mind of all of the negative thoughts. Okay, it's over and done with, right? Now it's time to move forward, I tried to convince myself. First, I need to get my car fixed. I can't drive around town with a banged up bumper.

Forcing myself to the shower, I turned on the taps and stood as the hot water washed over my body.

"Wait," I said aloud to myself. "No more Dr. Charlie means..." I trailed off as a wicked smile took over my face. "No, more Dr. Charlie, now THIS I can work with..."

***

"Thanks, Gustav," I said as I handed a short man with a potbelly a fat wad of cash.

He smiled, revealing two missing teeth. "It will be ready in a few hours."

I nodded and walked out of the garage.

Across the street, a stocky man with a black hat shook hands with a disturbingly thin woman wearing a short skirt and a tank top. She leaned in toward his body and whispered something in his ear. The man shrugged his shoulders and took a step backward. The woman scowled, then shoved her hands in her tiny pockets and stomped away.

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