HIDER IN THE HOUSE – Episode Five
Thomas grinned. She liked his grin. A little too much. “No, you didn’t.”
She couldn’t help but smile back. In the interest of partial honesty, she said, “I did snoop through your mail, though.”
“That couldn’t have been too interesting.” He scooted back his chair. “So, what’s your plan?”
She watched him carry his plate and mug to the sink. She liked his walk. And the way he looked in those jeans. She liked the way the tee shirt hugged his biceps. Damn.
She set the bacon plate on top of hers and carried them over. “You cooked. I can clean up.” Anything to divert his mind from his last question.
“Nice try.” He elbowed her out of the way and started rinsing the dishes. He opened the dishwasher. “You do realize you can’t stay here.”
She’d realized nothing of the sort. She simply needed to persuade him. And if that meant throwing herself on his mercy, she’d damn well give it her best shot. She leaned on the counter and watched him work. “I have nowhere else to go.”
“First of all, your predicament is not my problem. And second of all, how is that possible? Don’t you have friends? Family? Someone who will house you or hide you or whatever it is you need?”
“I do have friends. But most of them are in D.C. And I do have family. My brother who I know for a fact will help me.”
“Great. Call him.”
Thomas paused in the act of scrubbing the skillet. He gave her the side eye. “And why is that?”
“He’s out of the country.”
“Of course he is.”
“But he’ll be back.”
“No. No way. If you think you’re staying here for two weeks, think again. It’s not happening.”
Oh, it’s happening. “Why not?”
“Because this is my house. My life. You don’t just get to barge in and take over.”
She picked up a towel to dry the pan. “I’m not taking over.”
He, reluctantly it seemed, passed it to her. “Kind of seems like you are.”
She set the pan on the counter. “Look. My brother is on his honeymoon. In Australia. I know he can help me. When he gets back. But until then, I have to lay low.”
Thomas dried his hands and turned to face her. “You’re not doing it here.”
“I’ve got nowhere else to go.” Hysteria was not the way to go. She kept her tone matter of fact.
“Sorry. I’m not in the business of solving other people’s problems any more.”
“What does that mean?”
“Nothing. Look, I fed you. I didn’t call the cops on you. And there’s a good chance that will come back to bite me on the ass. I presume you were wearing shoes when you arrived. So get them. Put them on and skedaddle.” He waved in the direction of the door.
Hallie crossed her arms. “No.”
“Fine. Then I’m calling the cops.” He reached for his phone which was on the counter. The second he picked it up Hallie tackled him. She hadn’t planned her move very well because she was operating in pure survival mode. And Thomas had been unprepared for an attack. Her weight threw him off balance and he went down with a surprised “oof” and she landed on top of him. He’d managed to hang onto the phone and Hallie grabbed for it.
Her strength was no match for his. She couldn’t pry it from his fingers, but she refused to give up. Even though in some part of her brain she knew her effort was futile. A point Thomas proved when he switched tactics. He stopped wrestling and simply rolled on top of her, pinning her down easily on the unforgiving tile.
He’d managed to pin both her arms and his entire weight rested on top of her. Something that wasn’t entirely unpleasant. She stared up at him and he offered a gloating smile. “I could just drag you out the door and throw your shoes out after you, you know.”
“I know.” That came out breathlessly because her lungs were being crushed.
“But, I think what we have here is a home invasion. So cops it is.” He brought the phone’s screen to life, but before he could dial the ring tone sounded. The expression on Thomas’s face changed drastically from smug to pure terror. “It’s my daughter. Not one word out of you. Not. One.”
He swiped the screen and stood up. “Hi, Bec. I was going to call you later. Everything okay?” He pointed a finger at Hallie and gave her a vicious look, both of which she interpreted to mean stay where you are.
Hallie propped herself up on her elbows. She could hear every word Bec said. “Mom and Richard are fighting again and Mom says she needs a spa day. She says it’s okay if I come stay with you. She’ll even drop me off.”
Hallie could see the panic consume Thomas. She grinned. “Uh, when were you thinking of coming?”
“We’re already in the car. I would have called sooner except Chelsea texted me. Nolan Richardson told Jason Wiboski who told Meredith Trent that he likes Chelsea. Nolan’s supposed to Facetime with her later and she didn’t know what to wear.”
“Great, hon. What time do you think you’ll be here?”
“Mom says about five minutes.”
Thomas covered the phone so his daughter couldn’t hear the strangled sound he was making. “Wonderful. I’ll see you then.”
The moment he disconnected the call, Hallie scrambled to her feet. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to spend quality time with my daughter.”
Now it was Hallie’s turn to panic. She couldn’t risk anyone else knowing where she was. “What about me?”
“You?” He began frog marching her toward the bedroom. “You go under the bed. And stay there until further notice.”
©Barbara Meyers 2019
Hider in the House is a work in progress I’m sharing with readers as I’m writing it. This material is copyrighted and is not to be copied but these blog posts may be shared.
ABOUT HIDER IN THE HOUSE EPISODES: I started this “story” in 2017 and then I got distracted by other writing projects. I unearthed it yesterday and wrote 2000 more words. I never intended to write it as a book, but…maybe I will. Someday. Right now it’s only on my blog. You are reading it as I write it. Should I keep working on it? Let me know in the comments. If you want to read the earlier episodes you can find them here:
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