We were falling awayI was already late for church and so I told them all to go ahead and I would catch up with them. To save me a seat. I couldn't get the zipper of my dress up, couldn't find the earrings I wanted to wear, couldn't find a second shoe, slammed my finger in a bathroom drawer, couldn't keep up with text messaging Caleb, couldn't shake the headache and figured if nothing else I would hit the Starbucks drivethrough and then sneak into the sanctuary and sit in the very back if it came down to it.
You left me with a bittersweet taste
But when I send my heart your way
It bounces off the walls you made
But then my car didn't start and everyone was already gone. I gave it a little gas and tried again and then I got out and opened the trunk. It looks....well, it looks like it's not going to be something very obvious and my skills are completely limited to seventies muscle cars or seventies trucks anyway. I know nothing about a flat-six.
And all the trucks are gone. There's a motorcycle and a jeep in the garage and I have no idea on earth where the keys are.
So I try again.
I leave the lid up and try to turn it over again and nothing. Not a whimper. Not a gasp. Not a chance.
Well, shit. How come this only happens when no one is around? But then New Jake comes around the side of the house. He asks if I am having problems.
It won't start and everyone's gone. Can you jump it with your bike?
Why not just ask Batman for his car?
It's fine. I'll just message Lochlan.
No one's home?
Church started ten minutes ago.
Ah. What about August?
He's there too.
Just wondering if you were alone.
My intuition abruptly snaps to attention. Your house full?
Batman's in London, remember? That's why I wondered if you would just ask him for his car. It's not being used.
Oh. Right. I forgot.
Or you could play hooky and come over for a early brunch.
I can't. Thank you.
You have other plans? He smiles, running his finger along his lip like it's a gun. Shoot me, please.
I ignore the question and stare at him.
I have coffee, he offers. Come over for an hour. Then go home.
It's a bad idea, Jake.
Those are the only kind I have, Bridget. He smiles again and I feel like the heat of his grin could melt steel. It probably does and I'm too stunned to notice.
He steps closer and I look up at him. Don't turn into trouble or they'll find a reason for you to go.
Not their house.
His eyebrows go up slightly.
You don't get to decide for yourself?
There's a hierarchy.
How do I get on that list?
Wait around a dozen years. Make yourself invaluable. Beg for me. I don't know.
I'll beg if it means-
I got this, Jake. Thanks. Schuyler's voice cuts through the tension with a blade that's sharp and loud.
You're still here!
I have a blistering headache and I sent Daniel ahead with Gage.
I have pills for you if you'd like.
I would, actually. Bring one over? I'll make sure you get a coffee. He stares Jake down until Jake mumbles a quick exit and is gone in a flash. Meet me in five in my kitchen, Schuyler tells me, following Jake. I'm glad I'll miss whatever's next. Schuyler never suffered a fool for one minute in his life. Not sure how he ever dated Ben but it explains why they didn't last.
I run up and find the good stuff in the drawer. Percocet. Probably expired but something is better than nothing for Schuyler. They never did a thing for me.
Schuyler takes the pill from me gratefully, swallowing it with some cold tea when we get back to his house. Then he turns and smiles and asks me if I wanted to know why he came out.
Your car. When you tried to start it, did it turn over at all?
No, it just clicked.
How would Jake have heard that from three houses away?
I don't know, my hearing is broken.
My eyes aren't. He was in your backyard watching you through the fence. And I fucking caught him.