Anthony was in a such a good mood as he got home. His wife was off at some convention or other, and he had just spent the better part of an evening flirting with a 22-year-old named Allison. It had been seven or eight years since he’d made a move on a young perky thing like that—and he hadn’t been sure he could still pull it off, but they had swapped numbers and the way he had hugged him good-bye, oh yeah—he had an in there.
He hummed to himself as he came in the door and threw his keys into their bowl. He sang as he kicked off his shoes and grabbed a beer out of the fridge. He was wondering how soon was too soon to try texting Allison while he plopped down on the couch. It wasn’t until he reached for the remote when he realized that he wasn’t alone in his house. Two shadowy figures were in his dark living room—one either side of his still quiet TV.
“You can take anything you want. I think there is even a box of jewelry in the top drawer of the bedroom dresser. It’s worth a lot. Just, please, don’t hurt me.” Anthony pleaded.
“I don’t want my sister’s jewelry,” A voice came from behind Anthony that made his blood freeze in his veins. “Nice of you to offer that up over any of your top of the line game consoles or the wad of cash you keep hidden in the left of your leather loafers though. Kind of helps prove my point.”
Melanie came around the side of the couch, turning on the lamp next to the couch as she passed it. She looked like she always did, in jeans and a t-shirt, no make-up, hair in a ponytail. She shouldn’t have been threatening at all. And yet, he was terrified. How could she be here today? How could she know? And who had she brought with her?
“I wasn’t going—“ Melanie held up a hand and Anthony felt the words catch in his throat.
“Don’t waste your time. We both know the truth and you won’t convince me or yourself.” Melanie dropped down onto the couch next to him, so causally, so comfortably. “You were about to start with Allison what you had done with Madison against your first wife. Word of advice, Anthony, when you’re trying to get away with wrong doing, don’t follow the same pattern as before. It makes you painfully easy to track.” She took the beer from his hand, popped it open, and tossed the lid to one of the still unmoving men near the television, who reached out and caught it without moving anything else. “It was disappointing, to be honest. I was hoping you would be at least a little bit of a challenge.”
“This can’t be real,” Anthony sighed Melanie took a long swig of his beer, “I fell asleep. It’s a dream.”
Melanie laughed. “Yeah, like you’d have a guilty enough conscience to dream this.” She slammed the beer down hard on the coffee table. “I warned you, Anthony. I thought we had an understanding that I was not what I appeared to be. I thought you understood that nothing good would come to you if hurt my baby sister. Couldn’t even make it a decade.”
Melanie stood up, glaring down at him. Something had switched. Anthony couldn’t have stood up or said a word to defend himself, even if he had something he could say. Was she a witch? What was this?
“You have one chance, Anthony. You may only tell me the truth. What were you going to do?”
“I was going to see if Allison would put out,” Anthony brought a hand up to his throat, as if that could somehow prevent him from talking. “Best of both worlds, having them both. And then when Madison stop putting out I’d get rid of her.”
Melanie sighed. “Shame, Anthony. I didn’t trust you, but I was rooting for you. For my sister’s sake.” She turned around and headed towards the door, picking up the beer as she went. “Take care of it guys. You know the deal.”
Anthony watched Melanie leave through the front door, not sure what she was leaving him to, but knowing more than ever he should have listened to her.