“Now, what’s your name gorgeous?” he asked. Rheta just stared at him with more loathing than I’d ever seen in her face, refusing to answer his question. The man gave a sharp, quick laugh. “I can see why your boyfriend here is so fond of you, sweet cheeks. With a fire and boldness like that, makes a man wonder where else you get huffy and puffy.”
I was surprised that neither Mom nor Rheta contradicted him on me being Rhe’s boyfriend. Both had given a raised eyebrow at the comment, but neither had done more than that. I was internally grateful for this as it wouldn’t go against the story I’d given to my contact.
“Ok, if you don’t want to tell me your name that’s fine, I’m sure that we’ll hear it later. But since I need to call you something, how’s about we go with Bitch?”
“Don’t you call her that!” I couldn’t help myself from saying that.
“Easy, Loverboy,” he said without turning to look at me, but I could hear the threat in his voice. “While I commend you on your chivalry, it’s your girl’s own fault for not giving me something to call her by. But, back to what I was doing. Now, Bitch, I find myself in need of a seat. Would you be so kind as to show me where I can get some?”
Standing tall, Rhe pointed outside and said, “The snow plow pushes all the fluffiest snow into the middle of the road; I’m sure even you and your partner would be able to find spots big and comfy enough if you just laid down.”
The man gave a genial laugh as he fought the urge to double over. “Haha! Oh, you clearly have a set on you, don’t you Bitch? Telling us to leave and that we’re fat and stupid all in one comment; I’d be jealous if I wasn’t impressed.” He seemed to finally regain control of himself as, without looking, he turned his gun away from Rheta, and pointed it right at me. “But impressed or not, I grow tired of your misbehaving. I will not explain myself again: obey what I say, or I start shooting.” He paused as he and Rhe glared at each other. “Where can I find some chairs?”
“Down the hall is the dining room,” Mom said when Rheta hadn’t said anything after ten seconds.
Turning his head sharply to look at her, the man waved the gun still pointed at me forward. “Put him on the couch.” At these words I was brought forward and shoved onto the couch, crashing down on top of both Mom and Rheta. “Bring some chairs.”
As I sat up and situated myself between Mom and Rheta, as well as between them and our intruder, I apologized for falling onto them like I had. When they just squeezed my hands in reassurance, I knew that they forgave me. The partner returned to the room with a chair in both hands, placed them in the middle of the room and went to get another. Turning to Rheta I whispered, “Just do what he says and we’ll be fine. I love your bravery, but I don’t want any of us to get hurt.” Playing the part of her boyfriend, rather than her brother, I leaned in and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. Or, I at least intended it to be quick.