The sun greets me with a warm kiss on the cheek. Once again, I’ve fallen asleep on the sofa. The pleasing aroma of bacon and maple syrup fill the air. Praise Sweet Baby Jesus, Ashley’s cooking! Giddy, I get up, shuffling my way to the kitchen.
“Well hello Chef,” I say seductively.
Ashley’s dressed in a hot pink lace slip. I debate on whether I want to attack her or that plate of bacon. The woes of a pregnant woman. Ashley sways her ample hips back and forth.
“I know what you want. Come and get it.”
She didn’t have to tell me twice. Walking up behind Ashley, I wrap my arm around her waist, tickling her stomach. She moans. My fingers trail past her stomach, grabbing two slices of peppered bacon. Ashley turns, spanking me on the ass with her hand.
“Move greedy ass,” she demands, giggling. “Breakfast will be ready in a few.”
Frowning, I stomp over to a bar stool at the counter. Watching Ashley pour the last of the batter into the waffle maker, I realize it’s now or never.
“Did you pay Nick off?”
Silence…until the waffle maker beeped. Ashley seizes the opportunity to avoid answering my question. Placing the hot waffle and a pile of bacon on a plate, she cautiously places the food in front of me. I lightly grab her arm.
“The truth Ashley. I want the truth.”
Defeated, she slumps against the fridge.
“As soon as you told me about that Halloween party, I made a financial arrangement with Nick to keep our secrets.”
She’s fidgeting, which means she’s withholding something. With my fork, I gesture for her to continue. She wipes her forehead with a paper towel.
“Jesus Susan, what else do you need to know?!”
Did she just fucking say that to me?!
“Two can play this game Ashley. Why would Nick tell you to pay Yelena?”
Ashley’s face pales with guilt.
“I…I…,” she stutters, her body shaking, tears rolling down her face.
“STOP BULLSHITTING ME!!!” I scream, throwing the fork in her direction. She ducks, waving her hand.
“Dammit!! Okay! Okay! Yelena and I dated for 18 months before you and I got together. When we got together, I broke up with Yelena.”
I say nothing and continue eating. A couple of minutes of silence should scare her. As I chew the last of my food, I stand up and walk towards the den. Minutes later, Ashley follows me.
“Say something!” she yells, her voice shaky.
Standing in front of the bookshelf, I reach for a vintage-looking dictionary. I open it, taking out my beloved Smith & Wesson M&P .357. Ashley gasps.
“Where…how long…a gun…”
“I inherited it from Uncle Jeff. He always told his nieces to never rely on anyone to protect you. Taught me the art of the take down with one bullet.”
I walk over to her, gun by my side, and brush her hair out of her face with my free hand.
“He also taught me that money doesn’t keep crazy away.”