Betrayed (Whiskey Nights #4)

By: Suzannah Daniels



“I’m not asking you to bail me out,” Jessica informed me.

“I’d rather bail you out than babysit all weekend unless you have a better idea.”

She remained silent.

“Call me,” I instructed.

Jessica handed Joseph to me. “Don’t forget about the medicine, and get some baby nail clippers and clip his nails so he doesn’t hurt himself. I’ll pay you back as soon as I can.”

The officer removed his handcuffs from his belt and walked toward her. She put her hands behind her back without him having to ask, and he ratcheted them around her wrists. When she glanced back at me, I could see the tears streaming down her face in rivulets. She mouthed the words thank you.

I looked at Joseph, half expecting him to burst into tears, but he didn’t. He smiled at me and reached for my face. Apparently fascinated with the stubble on my jaw, he continuously ran his soft hand along my cheek.

The officer closed the back door, walked around the car, and slid in the driver’s seat. Joseph and I watched as the cruiser pulled away and exited the parking lot.

I frowned. “Well, now what?” I asked him, and his eyes widened in response as he coughed, again.

Medicine and nail clippers. Since I was standing in the parking lot of a drugstore, I carried Joseph inside and hunted down the medicine aisle. I took the crumpled note out of my pocket and began the search for his medicine.

“Holy shit,” I grumbled. Dozens of boxes lined the shelves in an assortment of brands and colors. Joseph grabbed my lip and pulled as I plucked one from the shelf and compared the label to her note. The one I had was orange flavored, and she’d written down grape. I had no idea if that really made a difference, but I placed the box back on the shelf and grabbed the grape flavor, which was right beside it.

“I like grape flavored, too,” I told Joseph, “although I usually like mine in the form of wine.”

He smiled his approval as he reached for my face again, his nails scratching me. “Nail clippers.” I walked along the main aisle until I saw the sign hanging from the ceiling that indicated the aisle with the baby products. There were two choices, and I didn’t know the first thing about how to tell which was better. After a silent game of Eeny, many, miny, moe, I snatched one off the shelf and headed toward the cash register.

“He’s cute,” the cashier said as she scanned the medicine. She was young, probably still in high school.

“Thank you,” I said, having no desire to participate in small talk.

“He looks just like you.” She blew a bubble as she scanned the clippers. It popped, and she worked her lips until the gum was back in her mouth. “I can tell you’re a good daddy.” She told me the total and bagged the items. “Not many daddies come in here to buy their babies medicine. It’s usually the mommas.”

I mustered a smile and handed her the cash. Talking about babies made me squirm. I just wanted her to check me out, so I could get the hell out of there.

She gave me the change and smiled. “Thank you. Come back and see us.” She picked the bag up and handed it to me.

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. I hope your baby gets better.”

As if on cue, Joseph sputtered. I looked at the girl, nodded, and headed to my car.

With all his wiggling, it took me twenty minutes to strap him in. Once I’d finally accomplished it, his face crumpled and he screamed bloody murder, which ended in a coughing spell.

Grabbing a rattle from his diaper bag, I shook it in his face, and he promptly grabbed it and hurled it across my car. It landed in the floorboard with a violent clashing noise.

“Well, okay then.”

He looked at me as tears streamed from the corner of his eyes, his mouth open as he emitted a piercing scream.

“Shh,” I said softly, though I doubted he could hear me over his own vocal cords. “Maybe Mommy will call us soon.” Damn, I hoped so. I had no idea what to do with a squalling baby.

Searching through his diaper bag, I found a bottle. I offered it to him, but he turned his head as he waved his arms in anger.

“It’s okay, Joseph. We’re going to get your mommy back.”

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