I know you all have salivated for the past 2 days for more of the story. I had a legit reason why I wasn’t posting…I was at the day job. Fun stuff.
So here’s chapter 5.
I could feel John’s body tense against mine. I wanted to listen to him and believe it was all a misunderstanding, but how could I trust him?
“Anne, do you love him?” he asked quietly.
“I-I don’t know, John.”
He sighed heavily and buried his nose in my hair, “It still smells like cinnamon.”
“I know,” I mumbled.
“What are you going to do?” he asked.
“I don’t know, John. I haven’t forgotten about that compromising position I found you in.”
“There was nothing compromising about it! I told you, she got the wrong idea, and I pushed her away. I don’t even see her anymore.”
I pushed away from him and turned back down the alley, “Give me time to think.”
“How long?” he asked.
“I can’t put a time on it,” I wiped a tear from my eye and ran into the house.
I stood in the kitchen taking deep breaths trying to steady my heart, and trying to suffocate the screaming sobs that wanted to escape.
“Are you alight, miss?” Beverly, our plump and cheery cook asked.
“I don’t know, Bev.”
“Come sit and tell me all about it.”
I bit my lip and looked at the floor.
“I’ve got fresh rolls,” she said, smiling at me.
“That’s not fair. You know I can’t resist your fresh, baked breads.”
Her smile spread across her face as she dusted her flour covered hands on her apron and pulled a tall stool out of the corner for me.
“Fresh butter from the dairyman too,” she cut open a warm bun and lathered it in the sweet, yellow substance.
“Okay.” I climbed onto the stool and nibbled at the bread.
It was something I had done a million times as a kid. Any time I had a problem, Bev was there with her bread and a kind word.
“So, tell ol’ Bev your troubles, girl.”
“Oh, Bev, I don’t know what to do!”
“About Thomas and the Inspector?” she asked, going back to kneading another mound of flour caked dough.
“The answer is simple, sweetie.”
“Of course. Follow your heart,” she smiled, while punching the soft mound under her hands.
“That isn’t simple!” I moaned.
“Sure it is. Who do you love?”
“Who do you want to be with?” I opened my mouth to answer but she raised her hand to me, “Don’t answer right away. Sit there and think about it.”
So I sat, and I thought. My mind was racing. I had no idea who I wanted. I had no idea where my heart really was. There were things about both Thom and John that I loved. Of course my mind went to my parents. As much as I didn’t want to abide by their ridiculous rules, a small part of me wanted them to approve. I wanted them to be happy with me like they are with Elizabeth. They’d never approve of Thom, but they loved John. I mean how much more respectable can you get than head of the police force?
“You know,” Bev smiled up at me, her face had streaks of flour where she swiped the back of her hand across it.
“I do,” I said, getting up and retreating to my room with the rest of my roll.
Thom stepped in my way at the top of the stairs, “What were you and Bev talking about?”
“Just some stuff,” I muttered, pushing past him.
“Why did you go out after the Inspector?” he pushed.
“I just did, Thom. What’s the matter?”
“Are you thinking about being with him?” he asked.
“No,” I grumbled, closing my bedroom door behind me.
I stood near the window staring down at the alley, wishing John was still there. I had to blink a few times though. In the shadows near the Brown’s house a large person in black slid into the daylight. He, or she, was covered from head to toe in black clothing with a very familiar black hat. It turned its red eyes up towards me. I stumbled backward and out of sight. My stomach did a somersault and my heart slammed against my rib cage.
It was the monster from the night before. It had followed me home.