Sterling-A Montana Dayton Novel Chapt.4

ec556-moonthumb“Okay Killer, okay. I’ll get up as soon as you get off me, stop breathing in my face.” I mumbled as I tried to push the dog off my chest. He was heavy and his breath stank.

“If I decide to buy this place you’re getting a dog door and mouthwash too. Come to think of it I should get something for your breath today. Yuk.”

I pushed Killer harder until he jumped over me, off the bed, ready to go outside. I rolled over, picked up my robe and grabbed the salve out of my dresser drawer. My scars were burning with a vengeance this morning.

“What is the deal with my scars lately Killer?” I said, wandering down the stairs with him, taking a slight detour to the automatic coffee maker before letting him out. As we stepped outside I took a sip of coffee, choked and almost spit it out.

“I’ll be right back Killer.” I stumbled back into the kitchen to look at the clock; it was already 11:00, no wonder my coffee tasted like tar. I added extra creamer to try to tone it down a bit then went back outside to join Killer.

After putting some salve on my scars I lit a smoke. I was exhausted and I couldn’t figure out why; I went to bed at a decent hour last night. I shook my head, held my breath, and drank down the cup of tar. That should help, I thought.

“This is ridiculous, maybe I’ll pick up some vitamins when I get you mouthwash.” I mumbled more to myself than Killer.

Seeing a little clearer I called him and we headed back inside to start a new pot of coffee before I showered.

As I started the coffee I caught a reflection of myself off the door of the microwave. I stared at it for a minute before grabbing at my throat. My hands started shaking as I took the pendant and a pearl necklace off of my neck. I quickly dropped them into my robe pocket as I walked to the front door.

Max was pulling up outside, somehow his energy had penetrated my barriers, because I could sense him and he hadn’t even stopped the truck yet. I was sure this was a good thing right now. I would know when he was here and would be able to hide the stolen jewelry, instead of getting busted with it.

I yanked open the front door, waved him in, demanded my hands to stop shaking, and poured two cups of coffee by the time he stepped into the kitchen.

This was all I needed. I was a thief, who couldn’t even remember stealing anything, and I didn’t have time to contemplate that fact because Max was here.

The jewelry weighed heavily in my pocket when I shifted. I smoothed out my robe, making sure I didn’t have a big bulge showing from the necklaces.

I handed Max a cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. He sat down across from me but didn’t say anything. I was still trying to steady my nerves and was afraid my voice would crack giving me away, so I waited patiently for him to start the conversation.

“What are your plans now that your family has left?” Max asked.

“I’m going to stay here for a while.”

At least until I figured out what the hell was going on and hopefully returned the necklaces to their rightful owner or owners.

I pictured myself sneaking back into a house to put them back and almost cringed. I didn’t even want to think about breaking into a business to return the goods!

“Good.” Max grinned wide, temporarily jarring me out of my thoughts.

This didn’t sound good to me.

He leaned in closer to me. “I’ve picked up a job in town, so I’ll be here for a while.”

“Is that so?” I replied, sitting up straighter in my chair. Great, this was just what I needed.

Okay this was the second time I’d thought that in less than a half an hour, it couldn’t be a good sign, but on the bright side he wouldn’t be constantly under foot.

“Yes.” He sat back, “I’m hoping the job won’t take longer than a week.” He glanced at his watch. “I have to get going, but I would like to take you out to dinner tonight.”

He stood up. “I would really like to do this the right way this time around Montana. Get to know you better, instead of invading your space. Take you out on a few dates.” He raised his eyebrows at me, waiting for an answer.

I was a cat burglar and he wanted to date me?

Of course he didn’t know that yet, but I was sure he would find out soon.

“Okay Max. No invading my space, and I don’t need your protection from anything. We’ll see how it works out.” I watched the satisfaction flitter across his face before he concealed it.

“I’ll pick you up at 6:00.” Max said, turning to leave.

As soon as he closed the door behind him I ran upstairs to my bedroom, locking the door behind me. I wasn’t sure what I was thinking saying yes to Max, but I couldn’t think about it right now. I had to figure out what I was doing with this jewelry.

It dawned on me when I stepped out of the shower that my scars weren’t burning anymore, so I quickly got dressed and opened my laptop. The first thing to do was check the news and see if anyone had reported these necklaces stolen.

I searched the web for what seemed like hours not finding anything about stolen necklaces in town or around the surrounding areas. I closed the laptop then picked up the jewelry, thoroughly examining it.

The diamonds and ruby sparkled and heated up in my palm. I quickly dropped it on the bed. The pearls had to be real I thought as I bit into one of them, definitely not plastic. I picked up the pendant by the chain and stashed both of them in one of my drawers.

They looked very expensive, maybe I burglarized a store. I tried to imagine myself as a cat burglar, I couldn’t see it.

I applied a touch of makeup then grabbed my helmet and jacket. It was time to go gather up some actual newspapers. I would read those and watch the 5:00 news. Maybe I would find something that could explain this.

On my way out the door I wondered if there was some way I could blame this on Max, every time I saw him weird things happened.

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