Sterling-A Montana Dayton Novel Chapt.7

ec556-moonthumbI swore only five minutes had passed when I heard my phone ring.

“Hello.” I grumbled, hitting the green button on my cell.

“It’s almost noon, what are you still doing in bed?” My sister, Zoë asked.

“Are you sick or did you have a late night with Max?”

“Neither, how do you know I’m still in bed?”

“The tone of your voice.”

“Oh.” I couldn’t believe I slept in late again. “Hold on sis.” I stumbled out of bed and down the stairs to a growling Killer, almost moaning out loud, my scars were killing me.

“I’m so sorry boy. I promise I’ll set my alarm from now on.” I mumbled, letting him out.

I wandered to the coffee pot and poured a thick cup of tar, added loads of cream, and turned on the espresso machine. I was going to need it pumped through an IV into my arm today.

“Already.” I sat down at the table.

“Already?” My sister laughed.

“I’m still half asleep what do you expect? I feel like I haven’t gotten much lately.”

I combed my fingers through my hair and felt an odd heaviness on them. I brought my hands up to my face and squinted, my eyes weren’t fully awake yet either.

Oh Shit! Oh Shit! I did it again!

“This is important sis, so what I want you to do is have a cup of coffee, take a shower, wake up and call me back. Can you do that?”

“Yes, give me an hour.”

“Okay.” I could hear her laughing as she hung up.

I didn’t even bother with the salve this morning, if my scars were still bugging me when I stepped out of the shower I would take half of another pain killer; happy I still had a few left from last winter.

I started my espresso in a clean cup, poured the rest of the tar down the sink then headed out back for a smoke.

Apologizing to Killer again I sat down, lit a smoke, and pulled three rings off my fingers.

Max was definitely not welcome to spend the night with me any time soon, I thought, sighing. I examined the rings, all three of them had a gold band, but each had a different stone.

The first ring I examined had a huge emerald set into the band, the second ring had an even bigger diamond, and on the third was a cluster of opals.

I squeezed my eyes shut, shook my head hard then reopened my eyes, hoping they would disappear. They were still in my hand.

The funny thing was I didn’t even like gold or diamonds. I refused to buy either of those, so why would I steal them? I preferred silver.

It took every ounce of strength I had to resist throwing them into the sand.

I stood up.

“Another day of searching for stolen jewelry in the papers,” I told Killer.

I wasn’t going to cry, yet. I considered myself a pretty tough person, but now I had two necklaces, three rings, and no memory of how I acquired them.

I sighed heavily, I would cry later if I had to. “That’s right after a quadruple shot of java, a shower, and calling my sister.”

A low growl came out of Killers chest.

“Oh, get over it. I already told you I was sorry, twice.” I headed back into the kitchen. “You’re normally more forgiving than this.”

I brewed more espresso, fed Killer, and jumped in the shower, then searched for some under eye concealer. I was beginning to look like a raccoon. My scars were feeling better, so I avoided taking the pain killer, but used the salve anyway.

Once I felt more human I called my sister back.

“What’s up sis?” I asked when she answered the phone.

“Dick Nibbledink.”

“Are trying to be rude?” I asked, chuckling.

“No!” She replied, laughing. “I couldn’t control my laughter the first time I heard his name either, it fits him.”

“Fits who?”

“The idiot!”

“Okay, now I’ve joined the conversation.”

Dick Nibbledink must be the owner of the mansion and the man Shawn was having problems with.

“He’s claiming liability or some nonsense; I’m not good at keeping track of those things. Anyhow, Shawn, is pissed. The tile that Dick,” she spat his name angrily, “wanted for his mega extra room was discontinued. Shawn couldn’t get it, so Dick’s screaming that he’s going to sue. I mean it’s not Shawn’s fault the company, or whoever, discontinued it right after he ordered it! Ugh! Shawn says he’ll take care of it, but this guy has buku bucks, a whole lot more than we do. He could bleed us dry and I think he will!”

I pulled my cell phone away from my ear a tiny bit, she was getting hysterical, but she also needed to finish her rant.

She took a long, deep, breath then whispered into the phone. I almost didn’t catch it.

“I really need you to find something on him. Don’t tell Shawn, we’ll fix this ourselves. Can you do that?”

“I will.”

“I’m hoping we can just wave whatever you get under his face and he’ll go away. Sis, I’m pregnant again, we want to be really happy about it, but this idiot’s ruining it for us by stressing us out so much. I don’t want anything to happen to the baby and I don’t want to be in the poor house because of him.”

“Don’t worry I’ll take care of him.”

“Thanks so much. I have to go, Shawn’s home with Charlie. Love you!” She hung up.

I reached for the rings and glared at them for a minute. I would deal with them later. Gathering up the rings and necklaces made me feel sick. I set them in my safe and locked it before heading downstairs for a smoke.

I was feeling mighty stressed myself. I had to figure out where the jewelry was coming from. Max wanted to be partners. And it could take me weeks to dig up enough info on this guy. Not to mention I haven’t felt like I slept in age’s.

I zoned out on the waves of the ocean, deep in thought.

Zoë was right; she should be celebrating with her family, not worrying about Dick Nibbledink. I giggled; I could come up with a ton of jokes with that name. I’d give Max a chance and see what happened. And the jewelry? Well, hopefully that would sort itself out. Without me ending up in jail.

I gave Killer a scratch while dialing Max’s number. He’d stored it in my phone last winter, just in case I needed to call him, and I doubted he’d changed it since.

“Montana, how are you?” Max purred on the other end.

I couldn’t help but smile; this might actually be the first time I’ve ever called him.

“I actually need a big favor from you. Do you have a few minutes to drop by?”

“Always, give me 15.”

“See you then. Thanks.”

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