It's that time of the week again...another round robin and it's my turn again. When last we left Harper and Grace via Karla's blog they were at the police station to see Owen. Let's see what happens next.
Grace looked at Owen incredulously. “You don’t want to tell her? Don’t you think she’s going to figure it out? And where is he anyway,” she demanded, looking around the kitchen as if Lucky would miraculously appear.
“I don’t know. He bailed as soon as we got home,” Owen said miserably. Turning off the water in the sink, he stacked the last of the dishes. Bonelessly, he slid into one of the white chairs that flanked the antique table his mother had lovingly restored. She always said nothing was so broken it couldn’t be fixed, but after today, O wasn’t sure.
She had been humiliated at work. And for what? A case of mistaken identity. No, it hadn’t been Owen that had accosted the teacher, but it had been one of her sons. Of that, Owen had no doubt.
When Harper showed up at the station with Grace and her older brother in tow, O used it as an opportunity to take the focus off the incident. He needed to speak to Lucky, but was paralyzed to do anything with everyone standing around watching him like a specimen under a microscope. Harper’s relief had been telegraphed loud and clear. Owen wasn’t responsible, but it was only a matter of time before she put the pieces together just as Grace predicted.
How he would handle that was something he could brood about later. Right now, he needed to find his brother. That meant he needed help. His truck was still impounded, and he couldn’t pick it up until tomorrow. No way could he call Harper; he didn’t want to explain. Putting that conversation off as long as possible was priority number one.
Grace had seemed a likely alternative. Thankfully, she agreed to come as soon as he called. “So where do you want to look first?”
Before he could answer, his mother pushed into the kitchen and flashed a tired smile. “Hi Grace. It’s nice to see you again. Are you guys hanging out tonight?”
Parent-speak for dating. Grace and Owen exchanged horrified glances before tripping over each other to set the record straight.
“Hanging out? No.”
“Hi, Mrs. Lancaster. Um, no, I was, er, um I was...,” shrugging, she threw a glance at Owen hoping for an interception.
“Looking for Lucky,” Owen interjected in a voice one octave higher, as if it were the winning answer to a game show question.
“Yes! Looking for Lucky,” Grace quickly agreed, slapping her hand on the counter.
“Oh-kay,” Mrs. Lancaster replied as her eyes darted back and forth between her son and the pretty blonde girl standing in her kitchen. She didn’t believe either of them. Retrieving a diet coke from the refrigerator, “I am going to get the kids settled upstairs with me and we’re going to watch a movie. Race to Witch Mountain. Again. Make sure you lock up if you go out, but check in with me when you get home.” Leaning over, she kissed the top of his head in a motherly gesture that sent a shot of envy piercing straight through Grace’s heart.
An hour later, driving around town, they were no closer to a Lucky sighting than when they started. “Where the hell is he?” Owen fumed.
“Maybe at a friend’s? Were there any parties tonight?”
“I already tried everyone I could think of.” Looking at Grace behind the wheel, Owen blew out a breath of frustration, “How did Harper find out about what happened anyway?”
Rolling her eyes, Grace huffed, “Kimmy Hendershott.”
“Jesus Christ.” Pure disgust laced his voice. “I’m sure everyone’s heard about it by now. How the hell did she find out,” he demanded?
Immediately recognizing a comrade, a fellow supporter in her campaign of dislike for Kimmy Hendershott, she explained, “Her mother works there. She was there today when they brought you in and immediately called Harp to tell her.”
“Just out of the kindness of her heart, right?” It was uttered in such a snarky tone Grace laughed.
“Not a fan?” she enquired.
“Not even close. That girl is trouble with a capital T. She tried to corner me in the music supply closet last month. Like a boa constrictor, wrapping herself around me.” He shuddered at the memory.
“What did you do?”
“I told her thanks, but no thanks. This was when things were going good between me and Harper. You know, back when I thought I had a chance.”
“Did you tell her that you had a thing for Harper?” Grace demanded.
“Maybe,” shaking his head, “Probably. I don’t remember. I didn’t see any reason to hide it.”
“Well that explains that,” Grace said as she made a left and headed toward the area behind the water tower where there was always a party and a bonfire this time of year.
“Why she’s suddenly Harper’s new best friend, following her everywhere. Of course Harper thinks she’s harmless,” Grace added.
“Harmless? Most people think Poison Ivy looks harmless, too,” Owen said.
Bouncing in her seat, Grace raised her voice and said, “I know, right? Plus, I think she hooked up with Truman recently.”
“Seriously,” he asked incredulously, even as his gaze raked the parked cars and the kids standing around as Grace pulled to a stop.
Shrugging in response, she said, “Yeah. Today was a real banner day all around. Then I got to watch her construction zone herself all over him at the Police station.”
Snickering as he emerged from the car, he met her eyes over the top and asked, “Construction zone?”
She whipped up a caustic smile, “Yeah. She was plastered all over him.”
Owen chuckled, “Let’s see if he’s here.” Twin slams echoed as they made their away around the front of the car and down the path to where the bonfire blazed past the tower.
Halfway to the fire, Owen saw his brother, swinging a beer can he stumbled forward, “Hey, O! Man, am I glad you made it.” Tripping over nothing, “I told her you would be here. Grace! Hey Gracie, you came, too.”
Neither Grace nor Owen noticed the lit cell phone he was clutching in his hand. Throwing his arm over her shoulder, he slurred and cackled at his own joke, “You aren’t still with that tool, Douche man?”
“You’re drunk, Lucky,” Grace stated.
Owen pulled Lucky away and said, “Dude. Uncool. What the hell happened today? What were you thinking?”
Angry, Lucky thrust back, “I just took care of your little problem, bro. By the way, you’re welcome.”
“Welcome? How am I going to explain this to Harper? Who–by the way–has no idea it was you that whaled on our teacher.”
“Yes, she does,” he sing-songed.
“What?” The quietness with which Owen posed the question in no way diminished the fury behind the word.
Stopping suddenly, Lucky flopped to the ground and sat with his legs extended. Hanging his head, he held up his right arm bringing his cell phone to the light. Rolling his head back, he smiled, “Owen, telephone.”
“Who is it?”
“It’s Harper,” he said on a hiccup, before crashing back and passing out.