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(continued)

Anacortes, WA

December 7th, 2018

It didn’t take long for Clinton to come sauntering back into her life, as his knock at her door was expected the next day. He’d never stayed away for more than a few days at a time, even when she was extremely pissed off at him. Somehow he never got the hint that he should just move on. Of course she’d never given it this strongly.

“Babe, let me in,” he said through the door, knocking once more with his knuckles.

She’d sent Linus to stay with their Aunt Linda for the night, for which he had been very grateful and excited. Linda was a good person, though she wasn’t their aunt. She had certainly earned the title since she had helped them both out numerous times when Clinton had been drunk and especially combative. When she had decided to tell Linda the whole story the older woman had taken one of her hands in both of hers and nodded, ending their private moment with “You tell that nice man to make sure he doesn’t come back.”

She’d nodded with a smile of thanks to the old woman before telling Linus she’d see him tomorrow. Linus had barely acknowledged that she was leaving, he was always excited to go to Linda’s since she had grandkids that she spoiled horribly and as such this meant that there was a room dedicated just for toys and came complete with a game system that had more games than Maple could ever afford. Linda was very good to them, and thankfully her family loved them as well, as the younger children thought Linus was a kick to be around since he spoke their language.

At this moment though her blood was running cold, and not because she was afraid. It was because she knew what had to happen, and why. Clinton wasn’t the type of guy that would stop. He would keep coming back again and again, acting like the victim, telling her that he was so sorry but that she brought it out in him. It was time for this to stop, and it was time for him to get the point.

Taking a deep breath she nodded to the other figure in the room as he nodded in return, going to take his place just out of sight as she went to the door. Opening it she was almost bowled over as Clinton tried to walk on in, no doubt thinking he owned the place as usual. Maple thought about slamming the door right in his face, literally, but instead stuck to the plan as she stepped aside, letting Clinton come barging in as he was already talking a mile a minute.

“I’ve had a lot of time to think babe and I want you to know that I’m sorry, and I forgive you. I know you don’t think I should be forgiving you because you don’t think you did anything wrong, but calling a man a thief when he hasn’t done-hey, where did you get that?”

As he’d been talking Maple had raised her right hand, displaying the silver ring that she’d kept in her jewelry box ever since it had been given to her. She smiled sardonically as she replied, “Someone found it for me.”

At that moment Todd came walking out of the shadows, coming to stand between her and Clinton as he backed away a step, no doubt remembering the last time he’d tangled with Todd just a little too well.

“What the hell?!” Clinton exclaimed, looking at Maple, or trying to as she was now behind Todd. She did offer Clinton a parting glare as she then exited the room, speaking the words she’d never thought to say to anyone and meaning them.

“ICU, not the morgue.”

Todd just nodded, lowering his gaze as he glowered at Clinton. As the door snicked shut behind her Maple just waited for the ruckus to end.

Surprisingly it didn’t take that long.

The End

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