The Wanted Short Stories Page 1

Author: Kelly Elliott

Series: Wanted #5.5

Genres: Romance , New Adult

Wanted Short Story

 

I stood at the kitchen sink, rinsing off vegetables, as I listened to Alex and Colt fighting—again. Alex had just turned nine, and she was well on her way to twenty-one. Colt would be eight in a few months, and he lived to torment his sister.

The phone rang, and I leaned over to pick it up. I was hoping it would be Gunner. He’d taken a job designing a lawyer’s new house in Fredericksburg. It was a favor to the architecture firm where he’d worked part-time after college.

“Hello?”

“I need a drink—a tall drink filled with alcohol—preferably served by my naked husband.”

I rolled my eyes. “Ew…really? Come on, Ari. No matter how many times I tell you that grosses me out, you just never stop.”

I could picture her sitting at her desk with her feet propped up, smiling her devilish smile.

“Tell me you don’t feel the same way…well, not about my husband serving the drink to you. Instead, it would be your cowboy.”

I closed my eyes and tried to picture it. “That would be heaven, especially since I hardly see him anymore.”

“That sucks, sweets. With as busy as the ranch is, I’m surprised he took this job.”

I frowned and glanced back to the kids since they had been way too quiet.

“Oh my God, Ari, if you hear me scream, don’t panic. I’m fixin’ to pull my hair out. I’ll call ya right back.” I hung up the phone and walked over to the table.

I looked down at Alex. “What did you do?”

I peeked over to Colt. Alex smiled and shrugged her shoulders as she sat down in the chair. She gently laid the scissors on the kitchen table and attempted not to laugh.

I turned back to look at my baby boy. I tried really hard not to laugh, and I bit the inside of my cheek. “Colt, why did you let your sister cut your hair?”

I glanced at Alex. “And is that a wash-out dye, Alexandra?”

She shook her head. “Nope.”

Colt jumped up. “You said it would wash out, Alex! You promised it would.” He looked at me. “Did she cut my hair good, Mama? She told me she’s been practicing on her Barbie dolls.”

I placed my fingertips on my temples and silently prayed for a miracle. I wanted the last five minutes to be erased, so I could get a do-over.

I let out a long and dragged-out sigh. “Alex, how in the heck did you find the time to dye his hair and cut it while I was on a three-minute phone call?”

Again, she shrugged her shoulders. “I’ve learned to move fast, Mama. I have to with Luke and Will.”

My mouth dropped open. I shook my head to clear my thoughts. I pointed to the door and said, “Go up to your room, Alex. You’re grounded.”

“What?” Alex said as she jumped up. “But, Mama, he was being so annoying. He wouldn’t stop talking. I had to do something.”

“So, you cut chunks of his hair out and dyed the rest?”

“Chunks?” Colt said with a concerned look on his face.

“I said, go to your room, Alex. Your father will deal with your punishment when he gets home because I’m too angry right now.”

“Mama, did you say…chunks?” Colt asked.

Alex turned and stormed off.

I looked down at poor Colt. “Baby, can you go into Mommy and Daddy’s shower and wash your hair like a big boy?”

He smiled big. “Sure, I can.”

As Colt headed off to our bedroom, I walked back over and picked up the phone. I was about to call Ari back when I decided to call my mother instead.

“Hello?”

“Mom?”

“Ellie, darling, how are you?”

I was about to answer her when Colt let out the girliest scream I’d ever heard.

“My hair!” he yelled over and over.

“Are you off work, Mom?” I said as tears formed in my eyes.

“I’m on my way.”

I shut Colt’s bedroom door and leaned against it. He had been crying nearly all night after I told him I had to cut his hair short, really short, to make it look okay.

I walked over to Alex’s room and opened her door. She was already in bed and sound asleep. If I didn’t know any better, I would say she had a smile on her face. I’d found out where she’d gotten the dye. It was from Luke, so Ari would be getting a phone call from me tomorrow.

I headed downstairs and smiled weakly at my mother. I made my way to the sofa and sat down next to her. “Mom, this is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.”

She put her arm around me. “I know, baby, I know. You have to admit though, it was kind of funny.”

I finally allowed myself to laugh. I nodded my head. “Yeah, it was.”

We laughed a bit more, and then I was overcome with sadness. I glanced over to the clock on the mantel. It was now after ten.

“He’ll be home soon, honey.”

I took in a deep breath and let it out quickly. “Something is wrong, Mom. Gunner is never this late. He never misses a baseball game or soccer practice, and he is always home by the time the kids go to bed.”

“Have you heard from him?”

I pulled out my cell phone and read his text message.

Gunner: Meeting ran late. Heading to dinner with client and Bill.

“Who’s Bill?” my mother asked.

“The owner of the architecture firm. If he says jump, Gunner will jump.”

My mother giggled. “Well, he won’t be out too late. I heard his daddy saying they have to fix the pump outside the well house, so they’re getting started early in the morning.”

I nodded my head. “Yeah, Jeff called earlier to talk to Gunner about that.”

My mother stood and stretched. “Are you okay now, darling? I should head back home before it gets too late. I’d better text Philip.”

I got up and followed my mother to the kitchen. She grabbed her purse, pulled out her phone, and sent Philip, my stepfather, a text.

We walked out to her car, and I leaned in the window to kiss her cheek. “Thanks, Mom, for coming over and helping me. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. I just don’t feel right.”

She smiled and nodded her head. “Ellie, you’re going through a hard time right now. I think you need to get out. Maybe you and Gunner should go away for a few days. You know Phil and I will watch the kids.”

I smiled. “Mom, that would be so amazing. I’d love to get away for a couple of days.”

“Plan a trip. We’ll make it happen.”

I kissed her one more time before saying good-bye. I watched the red taillights fade away as she drove down the driveway. I walked back into the house and picked up the home phone. I dialed Gunner’s phone number. I pulled out my cell and looked at it to see if he sent a text.

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