Chapter 14

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Thankfully, he wasn't awake when I came in the front door loaded down with shopping bags. I soundlessly made my way to my room, flinching with the slightest rustle of the bags and tissue paper. He was in the living room, laid back in his chair, snoring, a bottle of rum in his right hand and a pack of cigarettes lying on a small table next to him. The whole house reeked of smoke and alcohol. That was nothing new.

I quickly unloaded the bags, hanging up the new clothes in the very back of my closet, unseen, then wadding the bags up and putting them into the trash. I kept on Lily's clothes, including the new winter coat she had picked out for me. Black, with a fur trimmed hood. It was beautiful and warm. I didn't even want to think about how much we charged on her 'mom's' credit card.

Taking a deep breath, I walked back out into the living room. I knew I had to wake him up, or we'd be late to the meeting. It frightened me to think of what might happen if I let him sleep. Then again, he was going to be grouchy from me waking him up.

I sighed, "Here goes nothing", I whispered.

I walked to his chair, ignoring his snores and said loudly, "You need to wake up, meeting's in ten minutes!"

For a moment, nothing happened. Then in one swift motion he flipped down the footrest of his chair and stood up, setting the bottle of rum down by the cigarettes, and taking a swipe at my face. I dodged the blow and went to the garage to wait in the car.

We arrived at the junkyard ten minutes later. I had forgotten about the two girls that had wanted the weed. They were sitting on the hood of a broken down Nissan, smoking and talking to none other than Nick. Putting on a blank face, I helped my father lug the bags of items to the customers. The two girls saw me and completely ignored me the whole time. They had managed to get some weed from Nick, their mission accomplished, I was completely forgotten.

I tried not to look disgusted when I heard Nick whisper about them making payments to him later. That boy was such a creep. I couldn't believe I had ever shown any kindness to him and made a promise to myself never to do so again.

Lily wasn't there, thank goodness.

As people lined up to get their stolen treasures, I was appointed cashier, as usual, and silently took their cash, making sure no one snuck by and 'forgot'.

I ignored the comments of them, telling me I charged too much, and instead looked up at the sky. There was no moon tonight, so everything looked darker and more dangerous. The little fire that had been lit cast an eerie glow on everyone's faces.

The rest of the meeting went on without any excitement. People were leaving and I was helping put out the fire when I felt hot breath on my neck.

"You need any help with that?" Nick whispered in my ear.

I instantly turned and shoved him away.

"No, as a matter of fact, I don't," I said, putting on a brave face, hand on hip, "Why don't you run along now, and be with your two little friends."

He chuckled, "Oh, Jessie, what am I going to do with you?" he said looking at me as I clenched my fists in anger.

"Nothing," I hissed and stalked off to the car.

"We'll see about that," I heard him murmur.

As I waited in the car for my father, I tried to calm myself down. He can't hurt you, there's no way he will.

Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong.

I watched the remaining people outside of the car. Nick was talking to my father. My window was rolled down and they were talking in hushed voices. I couldn't hear a thing.

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