chapter 26

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Chapter 26

Lucky left a second message for the lawyer that she and her mother and were sharing. Today she needed a conversation with Ann Davila – her mother’s situation, in all its desperation and confusion, was swamping her life.Not to mention her father, healing from a gunshot wound. A gunshot wound! It all seemed so unreal. She reminded herself to hold onto a couple of items of faith: Her mother did not shoot her father, and this would all get cleared up. She crossed her fingers for a moment.

“Who was that?” Jake stood at the kitchen island, spreading cream cheese onto half a bagel.

“Registered mail for Mom. She has to be in court tomorrow. This is so out of control, Jake.”

“Why does she have to go?”

“I guess it’s just to turn in her statement about Dad getting shot. But what if they arrest her again?”

Unexpectedly, Jake stepped close and threw a one-armed hug around her shoulder. “Chill, Lucky. This is Montpelier, not New York City. Nobody’s going to arrest Mom for something they know she didn’t do. It was just a mistake yesterday.”

“But who did do it? Who shot Dad?”

Roger’s knock on the door interrupted. “All unlocked,” he reported. “Just in time, because what’s her name, Josie, right? The one who works in your mom’s store? She just got there, said she wanted to make sure things were okay for the day. She kind of freaked out when she saw the bathroom ceiling taken apart, as well as the broken door. But she said she’d call a locksmith right away and change all the locks, and get somebody your mom knows, some carpenter, to come fix the door and the ceiling. Sound good?”

“Sounds good,” Lucky confirmed. Her shoulders felt a little lighter, with one set of issues turned over to someone else. “And Mom will be there soon, Jake said.”

Jake glanced down at his vibrating cell phone. “She’s there,” he confirmed. “She says Jon’s okay with Dad, and she’ll be in the store all day.”

Lucky thumbed a quick text to her mother: “Morning. You have courthouse Friday 9:30, turn in statement. Headed to Dad’s store. Catch you later.” She realized Roger and Jake were standing by the door, jackets and boots on, waiting for her. “Oh, sorry. You’re going to see Sean Perkins’s father, right? I’ll walk downstairs with you. Gotta get those books from the Rivendell desk and catch up with Sandy and Terry at the State House.” She slipped her father’s cell phone into her pocket with her own, and geared up for Vermont winter.

Sun on fresh snow sparkled, blinding her for a moment. She fumbled in her pocket by habit, but her sunglasses must have stayed in her dorm room. Well, of course, it was storming yesterday – who needed them? Roger and Jake headed toward the back parking lot, while Lucky perched on a ridge of grainy snow at the edge of the road. She waited out the long traffic light at the corner of Main and State streets and crossed over to Rivendell Books.

A strand of yellow and black police tape dangled at one side of the front doorway, and she tugged it loose and stuffed it into her jacket. She circled around to the rear door by habit, then remembered they’d blocked it with boxes of books when the man on the snowmachine was threatening them. As she reached the front door for the second time, she heard her name called out.

“Lucky! How’s your dad?”

Bundled in a hot-pink down jacket that rounded her into someone three sizes larger, Pauline, the long-time assistant for Rivendell Books, panted as she hurried to meet Lucky at the doorway. She repeated, “Your dad? Is he coming along okay? I knew you were all with him, so I didn’t want to come up to his room last night, and besides, those ICU nurses sometimes won’t let anyone else in.”

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