Betrayed (Whiskey Nights #4)

By: Suzannah Daniels

“What do you mean you can’t make bail?” I asked, keeping my voice low and even, so I could communicate my desperation without waking her baby.

She sighed, and I thought she sounded as exhausted as I felt. “I mean I don’t have five hundred dollars. I’ll have to wait till I talk to the judge.”

“Jess, you have to get out of jail. I know nothing about these little….” I glanced down at his small head. “…creatures.”

“Maybe your mother will help you.”

No way in hell was I driving back to Creekview alone with a baby. “I’m coming to get you.”

“I don’t have any money, Paxton.”

“I do.” And it was worth every penny of the bail money to relieve me of my duty by putting this one safely in the hands of his mother again.

“I don’t know when I can pay you back,” she said.

“You don’t have to worry about paying it back. When you show up at your court date, they’ll refund the money. I can get it back then.”

She didn’t respond, and I knew Jessica. She was mulling everything over in her head, trying to come to terms with the entire situation.

“I’ll see you in a few minutes.” I hung up, not giving her the chance to refuse the money.

Slowly, I slid out of the passenger side of the car and placed Joseph in his car seat, feeling damn proud of myself when I managed to fasten him in without waking him.

“Let’s go get your mommy,” I whispered. I paused a moment, watching his face in the dim overhead light glowing from the interior as he worked his lips around an imaginary pacifier. His chubby cheeks jiggled with the movement, and I took a step back and softly shut the door.

Five minutes later, I pulled up to an ATM machine in the drive-through of a local bank. After making a withdrawal, I drove to the county jail, pulled into a parking spot, and killed the ignition. I glanced in the backseat, wondering if I could manage to get Joseph out of the car seat without waking him up.

I got out of the car, closing the door as quietly as I could, and walked around to his side. With my hand on the door handle, I hesitated, saying a silent prayer that he would sleep until I could hand him off to his mother. I opened the door and paused before daring to continue. When he didn’t stir, I carefully unclasped the seat belt and raised it over his head. He began working his mouth, and I stood motionless until he settled back down. I gently scooped him out of the seat, making sure I supported his head. I laid him against my shoulder and pushed the door with just enough force that it partially latched. One quick shove, and it closed completely.

I let out a small pent-up breath when he didn’t waken. Crossing the parking lot, I entered the glass door of the county jail.

“Can I help you?” a tall, skinny man who stood behind the counter asked.

“I need to bail someone out.”

He pointed down the hallway to my right. “First door on the left.”

Following his directions, I opened the door and stepped into a small room with wood paneling and a small glass window that peered into an office on the other side of the wall. A bell alerted my arrival, and a heavyset, plain-looking woman with short, curly hair turned to look at me through the window. “Who you looking to bail out, honey?” she asked. Her eyes appeared small in her round face, and she focused them on me.

“Jessica Beacham.”

As I headed toward the window, she glanced down at her paperwork and flipped through a couple of sheets before finding Jessica’s information. “Five hundred.”

I grabbed the money I had retrieved from the ATM, counted through it, and handed it to her. I watched as she counted the money and wrote me a receipt. “Here you go. Have a seat, and we’ll send her out in a jiffy.”

Turning to see a man sitting quietly at a small table in the corner, I took a seat in one of the metal folding chairs lined along the wall. A moment later, the door opened and a jail employee escorted a thirty-something-year-old guy who was sporting a mullet into the room. He immediately joined the man in the corner. “About damn time you got here,” Mullet Man squawked angrily.

“If you don’t like it, stop getting arrested,” the elderly man in the corner told him.

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