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Broken Love Story (Love 3) Natasha Madison 2022/8/3 13:53:53

“Is that so?” I say, and she laughs again.

“Go to sleep,” she says, “and call me later.” After she hangs up, I grab the pillow she used when she slept in my bed, and her smell helps me fall asleep.

When I pull up to my parents’ house, the front door is unlocked. “I’m here,” I say loudly, walking into the kitchen while my mother pulls out a pot roast. “That smells so good,” I tell her, kissing her cheek. “Where is Dad?”

“He’s coming,” she says, and he walks into the kitchen right then. I see him look at me and then my mother. I wait for us to sit before I ask the loaded question.

He looks at my mother and then at me. “The Schneiders are going to be putting Samantha’s house up for sale after the trial.”

“What?” I say, my heart speeding up.

“I got a call from the lawyer this morning; it seems they own the house. Eric got it as a wedding gift. But they are going to gift it to their other son.”

“They can’t just do that?” I say, pushing away from the table, not even hungry anymore. “What about the girls?”

“They feel they’ll get custody of them, so they don’t want Samantha staying in their house. So …”

“Does she know?” I ask, and my father nods his head. “I told her this afternoon.”

“What did she say?” I ask him, worried now how she must be doing.

“She actually laughed and said that she would give them whatever they wanted as long as she got the girls.” He looks down and then up again. “She wants me to sue them for payment.” My eyebrows pull together. “She figures she’s maintaining the house, like a janitor, so she wants back pay. Oh, and money for her paint.”

I throw my head back and laugh. “Well, I can’t say she’s cowering in the corner.”

“Son,” he says softly, “they have a shit load of witnesses.” He looks at my mother. “They have many willing to sit on the stand and tell everyone she tricked him into marriage, getting pregnant without his consent.”

“Oh, please”—I roll my eyes—“how can she force him to make her pregnant?”

“I know, I know.” He holds up his hand. “But she has two people on her list.”

“Well, then we gotta make fucking sure that we bury Eric even deeper than they have him.”

“Son”—he looks at me—“you know they are going to try to paint you into a corner.” He looks down and then up. “Especially now.”

“Especially now what?” I ask.

“Son, she spent the weekend at your house.”

“I’m her friend,” I tell him, and my mother laughs, rolling her eyes.

“So she slept where?”

“In the spare bedroom,” I tell them, and I’m not lying.

“Alone?” she asks, and I close my mouth. “Exactly.”

“I don’t think we should put you on the stand,” he tells me. “We can put your mother instead.”

“There is no way Samantha is going to be okay with that,” I tell them.

“You’re right,” my father said. “She shot it down and took your name out of it also.”

“What?” I whisper, looking at him.

“She said there was no way you were going to be painted as the bad guy; she didn’t give a shit,” he said. “Her words, not mine. She has the letter Eric left plus the letters from the teachers. I think her case is strong.”

“Dad, she can’t lose those girls,” I tell him; my heart hurts with even the possibility that it might happen.

“The social worker is going to talk to Lizzie tomorrow, and then Daisy the day after,” he tells me. “The court date is scheduled for next Friday,” he says. “I take it you’re coming?”

“Yeah,” I say and then look at them. “I think I’m going to go.” I look at my mother who only nods her head.

“Son, these people. I wouldn’t put it past them to have someone following her and tracking her.”

My head snaps up. “It’s not going to look good in court if you spend the night.”

I run my hands through my hair. “Fuck.” I didn’t even think of that. “One week,” he tells me, “just one more week.”

“Dad, I swear to God …” I look down, tears coming to my eyes. “If they hurt her …”

“I know, son,” he says, and my mother sniffles, so he covers her hand with his. “I know.”

I sit and eat, the food sitting like lead in my stomach. I FaceTime her as soon as I get home, and she must see it on my face. “What’s the matter?” she asks.

“Is there something you need to tell me?” I ask her. “Something perhaps you should have maybe called me about?” I see her try to hide a smile and then bite her lower lip. “Yeah,” I say.

“So,” she starts, and I see that she is in bed, “apparently, my in-laws want me out of their house.” She rolls her eyes. “Which I’m more than happy to do.”