He was glad that Alissa must be feeling better this morning and a little frisky!
Devra got up and grabbed a towel. Dale walked out of the bathroom.
Devra’s real motive had been to try again to seduce Dale. She not only wanted to prove to Alissa that Dale would be unfaithful, but she also wanted to prove to herself her own desirability . That Alissa was not now more attractive than she was. Before the years of drug abuse had begun to take their toll on her appearance, Devra had always been able to get any man she wanted, and Dale was a very attractive man!
The fact that he was her daughter’s husband didn’t matter to her. She ignored her own instructions to Crystal to behave herself. If Alissa threw her out, so be it! It just meant that Alissa couldn’t stand the competition. If things worked out the way she planned, they wouldn’t need to stay here after today anyway!
“You know I might believe you, if I didn’t know that there are two other bathrooms upstairs besides yours. As well as the fact that there is another bathroom down here besides this one! I can’t keep making excuses for you Devra!” She couldn’t keep the anger and disgust out of her voice.
Alissa felt totally betrayed by her mother. Dale was her husband! This was a personal attack on something basic within her as a woman. Alissa wanted to slap Devra, but she knew that would undo any progress that she had made with her sister.
It took every ounce of her self control, but she just stood there looking into her mother’s smug face.
“There’s no more discussion, Alissa! Either they leave or I’m leaving!”
All of her patience was gone. She couldn’t seem to stop the quick anger that boiled up inside her at his ultimatum. In her heart she knew Dale was right, but still she kept fighting.
He forced himself to calm down. She just refused to be reasonable about this.
“Alissa, you leave me no choice. I’m leaving, and I’m taking the children.”
As soon as the words left her tongue, Alissa wished she could take them back!
“We both know that you don’t believe that. So there is no point in apologizing. You only said it because you knew it would hurt me. That’s not like you, Alissa. It’s just another example of why they need to leave! I’m taking all three of our children, and we’re staying at a hotel. You have until the weekend to get through to your sister. That’s just three days away. After that, they are out!”
He put the suitcase on the floor.
“Sharlee, let’s get some things together for you and put them in the suitcase. We’re going to stay at a hotel until the weekend. Then your grandmother and your aunt are leaving!”
“Really, Dad? They are leaving?” Sharlee’s happiness at their departure was in her voice!
“Yes. They are leaving Saturday!”
“No, she wants to spend a little more time with them, but we don’t have to!”
Sharlee happily helped him pack some things and then went to eat her breakfast.
Dale went out on the balcony to check on Alissa. She was standing on the beach. She looked so dejected and alone, but this was how it had to be. He knew that if he remained under the same roof with her mother, he would lose his temper. He had never hurt a woman, but she might be the first.
“Sure, I’ll cover for you, Dale!”
“Dale forget about the hotel. I talked with Lala, and we want you and the kids to stay with us. Why don’t you come over now and bring the kids. Sharlee can catch the bus here, and Lala can take the twins to preschool! She’s got a great manager working for her at the bookstore; and so, she doesn’t have to be there as much! This way, we can both get to work on time!”
“We want to, Dale! You’d do it for us without question! You are all family to us, now!”
“Alright, we’ll be right over!” Dale rushed the kids over to the Rutherwell’s, and then he went to work.
Alissa stood out on the beach long after Dale left. She knew he was right. Why did she keep fighting him? She would not have blamed him if he had said that he wasn’t coming back. How could she risk her relationship with Dale, and her children’s happiness and security the way that she had? Was she more like her mother than she realized?
She decided to make a doctor’s appointment for the next day to verify her suspicion. If she was right, then she would talk with her sister heart to heart one more time and then that would be it! They would have to leave. She and her family couldn’t handle any more stress from Devra and Crystal!
After Devra entered the club, she signaled to Anthony and Link to join her outside. After they joined her, she got right down to business. She badly needed a fix, but she had no more money. Alissa didn’t have any cash in her purse. She had checked.
“Do you have the cash?”
“Maybe I can join your organization? I have a lot of experience.”
“My daughter’s inside! You’ll be her first!”
They headed for the door!
They whispered together for a few moments. “Okay, but this is your last chance. Here is a downpayment.” He slipped her a few meth tablets. “She’d better be worth it, or we’ll take it out of your hide!”
Devra gave them her description and told them her name.
Devra went inside and got Crystal’s phone to send a text to Alissa. She felt no guilt over what she was doing. “Alissa owes me! Besides, Ms. High and Mighty needs to be brought down a notch!” She thought to herself.
“Dale we need to talk with you! There are some things that you need to know about your mother-in-law.”
They sat down in the livingroom, and Lala told him about Devra’s past and what she was doing before she left Sunset Valley. Lala had spoken with her mother that morning and found out more information.
“Crystal was expelled from school because she was caught using and distributing meth and oxy at school! She is on probation and was not cleared to leave Sunset Valley.”
“What!” Dale said.
“That’s not the worst of it! Devra is under investigation for the robbing and bludgeoning of one of her suspected clients. The police were still gathering evidence in their investigation, and she too was not to leave the jurisdiction!”
Dale thought for a few moments. Ordinarily, he knew that Alissa would readily agree that her mother and sister should leave, but she was being so unreasonable and contrary right now. He had promised her until Saturday. However, they needed to be out tonight!
“Dale, why don’t I have Alissa come over here for a visit. You know she’s missing the children! Then you and Brandon can go to the house and make Devra and Crystal leave. Threaten them with the police if they try to contact Alissa again. Then Alissa will think that they just left on their own while she was gone! She won’t have to feel guilty, and she and the children will be safe again!”
“Safe! I never really thought that her mother might harm her physically, but who knows. Devra’s tried to hurt Alissa emotionally at every opportunity. You’re right! Call her now, please! I have to get those two away from her as soon as possible!”
“Hello Alissa. I was calling to invite you over to spend the evening with me and the kids. I know Sharlee called and told you that they were staying with us. Dale and Brandon have gone out somewhere. So I thought that we could spend the evening together too!”
Dale and Brandon left the Rutherwell’s house.
“Alissa, I don’t like it here at this club! Devra refuses to leave. I don’t feel safe taking the subway home alone from this part of town! Can you please come and pick me up?” She included the name of the club in the text.
Alissa thought for a few moments. Every town had its bad areas and that club was in one of them. However, she felt that she had no choice. She couldn’t leave Crystal there!
Besides, the fact that she had asked Alissa to come for her showed progress. Crystal was beginning to trust her! She called Lala back and told her that she had to make a stop first and would be over after that. Then she headed to the club to get Crystal.
“Come on! Let’s go Crystal!”
“Crystal, I got your text! I thought you wanted to leave!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Alissa! I’m not ready to leave!”
“Aren’t you tired of places like this Crystal. Not knowing how you’re going to get home. Aren’t you tired of walking around in a fog?”
Alissa turned to face the man who called her name.
“Maybe they moved out!”
He looked in their rooms and saw that all of their belongings were still there. He and Brandon sat down in the living room to wait for them to return.
“Dale, Alissa still isn’t here! She said she had a stop to make on the way over, and she isn’t answering her cellphone!”
She was shocked to see Alissa on a stretcher being wheeled toward an ambulance.
The club employee told her. Now everything was clear to Crystal. She had wondered why her mother had used her phone and sent that fake text message to Alissa. Devra had used Alissa to pay for her fix! Crystal was suddenly afraid. She knew that Alissa was right about Devra.
Thanks Princess Lala for your suggestion on how Brandon and Lala could help Dale get Devra and Crystal out of the house while making it look like they left on their own!