I Knew You Were Trouble: Accidents Happen

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Authors: M. X. Potter
    "For what?' I said, hoping she wouldn't let go of me.
    "Everything and allowing my sister to come for dinner," Adeline whispered. Her lips tugged on my ear and her hands caressed my chest. I almost dropped the vinegar. I tried to turn in her arms, but she released me and took a step back with a devious smile.
    "You're teasing me," I warned with the best intentions.
    "Yes." Was all she said, though her eyes made promises. I laughed as she took my hand and the cart and headed to the checkout lane. She was watching me, her eyes alive, as she drove the cart right into a corner display, and a tower of cereal boxes came tumbling down. Not just one or two, but the whole damn rack.
    I watched life drain from Adeline's face and her confidence fly away. I thought it would be fleeting, but it lingered past a second, and I saw lines begin to form around her eyes. Her body jerked when the rack hit the ground. People turned and Adeline began to recede into herself. It physically hurt to watch those few seconds, my muscles strained and my throat thickened. I could not let it continue. I pulled Adeline into my arms. She didn't struggle as my lips found hers, my intent was to be there with her and let her forget. It only took a moment as the grocery store faded away, her hands found me and pulled me closer. I drifted with her, her soft lips embracing mine, through a world of our own making. She returned to me, stronger and more alive.
    "Excuse me, Sir," a man in white smock said to get my attention. I separated slowly from Adeline. Her eyes were sparkling, and my heart leapt to see it. I looked to the man, a grin glued on my face.
    "Sorry, I was distracted," I said, "the cart kind of got away from me." The man looked between Adeline and me and smiled. Adeline's arm wrapped around my waist and she leaned her head on my shoulder. She felt so comfortable there.
    "No problem, Sir," the man said on the verge of a chuckle, "if you pull the cart back, we'll get this cleaned up." I pulled the cart back as the man gave me another look. It was the you-lucky-son-of-a-bitch look. 'Damn right,' I thought.

    Chapter Eight
    The house smelled delicious. There was an exquisite smell of slow-cooked meat hanging in the air. My mouth had been watering, and Adeline wasn't letting me near my own kitchen. It was strange that I was letting her do it. I actually liked the idea that she had claimed a domain and declared herself dictator. I enjoyed the confident Adeline.
    "That smells wonderful," I complimented as I sat on the other side of the counter, "you would make a good chef."
    "That's my dream," Adeline admitted, "I always end up waitressing in the end." It wasn't depressing sounding. She was just stating fact.
    "Start your own restaurant," I continued as Adeline placed the lettuce she was tearing into a big bowl.
    "Kind of need money for that," Adeline said, "half a million just to build it and half that again to keep it going the first year." She had put some thought into it. I don't even think I could help her borrow that kind of money. Maybe, before the divorce, but now I was lucky to get a good rate on a car loan. The doorbell rang and ended the discussion.
    Cathy was much older than Adeline, and I couldn't see much family resemblance. Cathy's expression was severe when I greeted her. I felt I was being analyzed, and it was a foregone conclusion I would be found wanting. Her face brightened when Adeline came out of the kitchen to welcome her.
    There was something about Cathy I didn't like. I had expected to be vetted by her and knew that wasn't it. Something was off. Her sudden change when Adeline appeared didn't feel genuine. Their age difference was disturbing and I disliked the way Adeline seemed to defer to her with her posture and altered mannerisms. It was not a good start, so I decided to let my reservations go and begin anew.
    "I am glad you're here," I said, smiling,

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