Exiled by Ryan and Niki Traynor Chapter 9

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Chapter 9
Walter Lambert arrived home the day after Thanksgiving with his wife Valencia. Their daughter Joyce was found sleeping in the basement tied up with white rope, beaten to a bloody pulp. At the sight of her daughter bound and gagged, Valencia screamed bloody murder. The trauma was too much for her to handle, so Lambert sent his wife upstairs to call an ambulance while he untied the poor girl. Lambert’s colleagues were called to the scene of the crime straight away and they went to work investigating the house.
The neighbors were thoroughly questioned, but none of them had anything to report since they were either out of town or asleep at the time of the burglary. The investigators couldn’t find any fingerprints and were at a loss for evidence. The only thing recovered from the house was a necklace with a heart shaped pendant embedded with small diamond chips. When Lambert fixed his eyes on the necklace, the concern he felt for his daughter turned into violent rage against the owner of the necklace. That necklace rang bells in his head like alarms in a high school instructing kids to switch between class periods. He put on his poker face and told the investigators he’d never seen it before even though he recognized it instantaneously. The blood boiled inside his body as he thought about Michelle Rosenberg.
He’d met her one fateful night at that filthy strip club Essence. She had given him a few dances and made one hell of an impression on him. Stupidly, Lambert let her seduce him and they met up after the club closed at an all night diner a few blocks away. His marriage was having problems and he offered her three hundred bucks to sleep with him at a sleazy motel. She gladly accepted the money, but insisted she wasn’t a hooker. Michelle actually believed she was nothing more than an expensive mistress. It didn’t help that Lambert began to see her somewhat regularly; reinforcing the notion that she was indeed his girlfriend on the side. Being the cheap bastard that he was, the police lieutenant began to take her to his home in Chesapeake Hills when his wife was out of town. Eventually, they took a trip together to Las Vegas where Lambert bought her the necklace with the heart shaped pendant. When he found it at his house he thought it was almost as if she wanted to get caught, which would leave him defamed and meant his marriage was over. Maybe she left it behind to taunt him.
Lambert remembered the last time he saw her and thought that he’d scared her enough to leave him alone. It was the last and final time he’d gone to Essence. However, this time he wasn’t there to get a lap dance. That night he parked his squad car down the street so Michelle wouldn’t recognize it. He crept over and broke into her car, climbed in the back seat, covered himself with a dark blanket, and waited for her to get off work. The security guard walked her over to her car and neither one of them suspected anything. After she was buckled in and the ignition was turned on, Lambert made his presence known. The first thing he said was, “Guess who?” Michelle gasped and he put his hand over her mouth and told her not to make a sound or he would take her straight down to the police station. He asked, “Where the hell is the five thousand dollar tennis bracelet I bought for my wife’s anniversary? I know you stole it.”
The week before the incident, Lambert had a huge fight with his wife because she suspected him of cheating. Valencia had a business meeting with some potential investors. The venture capitalists paid for her to come out to Los Angeles to talk about expanding her business in Orange County. He could not help himself and he had Michelle over to the house as soon as his wife was gone because he wanted to have sex with her one last time before it ended. She thought she had the cop wrapped around her little finger until she was given the news and she flipped out.
Lambert went to get her a drink and she went through his briefcase and found the tennis bracelet he’d bought for Valencia soon after their fight.
It took him a few days to realize the bracelet had been stolen and he knew the only person that could have done it was Michelle. Not only was she the only one with access to his belongings, but she was also the only one with a motive. When he came to the conclusion that he had to confront her, he figured the best way to do it was using scare tactics. That brought him to the back seat of her car where he made empty threats. Nonetheless, he didn’t anticipate her calling his bluff. After questioning her about the bracelet Michelle replied, “How about I go to your wife and give the present to her personally?”

“You wouldn’t dare,” he said angrily. “Oh I wouldn’t, would I? Push me and see how far I’ll go to ruin your life,” she said slyly.
“You know I have my gun on me. I’ll be happy to put a couple bullets in the back of your skull if you mess with me. Just gimme the bracelet and we can both move on with our lives.” The words were menacing.
“So first you dump me, then you break into my car, and now you’re threatening to kill me. I can’t believe I ever had feelings for you. You’re nothing but a shit stained pig. Now get the hell out of my car before I call the real police.” She pulled out her cell phone as she finished talking.
“Please, Michelle, if you care about me at all you’ll hand it over.” The inflection his voice changed and he started to plead, “I can pay you some more money next month.”
“I don’t want your money. I just wanted revenge for the way you treated me. I told you I wasn’t a prostitute, and besides, I don’t even have your bracelet here and it’s not at my place either.”
“Then we’re taking a ride to get it,” he said cocking his pistol in her ear to let her know he meant business.

Michelle stammered, “Okay, okay we’re going to get it. Just please put the gun away.” Lambert put his nine millimeter back in its holster and sighed, “Thank you and I’m sorry it had to be this way.” She drove the car forward and he sat back in his seat hoping things would work out in his favor. Without warning, she bailed from the driver’s seat and the car crashed into the strip club with a loud bang. He jumped out of the car and saw the security guard approaching him. Lambert yelled the first thing that came to mind, “Listen up, she offered to have sex with me for three hundred bucks. She’s been doing it for months now except this time she stole my wife’s five thousand dollar bracelet.”
Right as he was thinking about it everything hit him like a ton of bricks. Michelle must have seen me punching in the security code one of the times I took her to my house, he thought. The numbers three, eight, four, and one flashed through his head. We were always drunk out of our skulls by the time we got there and I was a little too careless for my own good. Shit, she probably cased the joint while I was passed out. Lambert smacked his forehead and gripped his heart. It was beating overtime for a man of his age. He’d be celebrating his fifty-third birthday next month and his last doctor’s visit didn’t go too well. Lambert decided that he would find Michelle on his own. She probably moved out of that shitty condo, he assumed.
Lambert checked into it right away and found that she had moved out of her condo, but stupidly left a forwarding address. He staked out her apartment for ten nights straight but she never showed up once, which had him worried that she might have skipped town. The old lieutenant only grew more persistent convinced that she’d turn up eventually. Finally, he decided to drop off an oversized box in front of her door to get the attention of the management, who may tell her to pick up her package.
Sure enough it worked. He watched the apartment the entire day, and by nightfall Michelle came driving up to the office to retrieve her mysterious package, which was empty except for a bunch of crumpled up news paper and a couple small logs. Without hesitation she took the bait, letting him know that she wasn’t even worried. Lambert followed the worried ex- stripper across town to Buena Vista Apartment Complex and watched her walk into unit fifty- two. He drove away with a smile on his face and slept well for the first time in almost two weeks.
On his way out of the police station the next day, Lambert told his closest friend and associate, Detective Ron Jenkins, that he had a lead on the case. Jenkins had become Lambert’s confidant over the years and knew about his affair with Michelle. Being that Jenkins was a devoted family man; he lived vicariously through his friends exploits, but never got close enough to tarnish his own unblemished reputation. This would all change that particular night at Piccolo’s, a corner bar where more than a few cops hung out on a regular basis. Lambert ordered a couple shots of bourbon and asked, “How long have we known each other Jenkins?”
“Too long. I remember when you still had all your hair,” he said and drank the shot. Lambert smiled grimly and asked, “You remember Michelle?” “Don’t tell me your screwing around with that stripper again?” said Jenkins with a sigh. “C’mon, I told you earlier I had a lead on the case,” Lambert remarked. “You don’t think...” Jenkins voice trailed off. “Yeah, and worse yet, I have to deal with it myself unless I want things coming out that could turn my life upside down. Now, you know I would never ask you to help me if I didn’t have any other choice, but I can’t do this alone.”

“Walt, I don’t know about this. Plus, you know I can’t get involved. My wife would kill me if she found out anything.”
“First off, you haven’t even heard me out. Second, I saved your damn life and I’ve never asked you for anything.” The memory of that ill fated night burst into Jenkins’ mind. A drugged out pimp pointing a gun at his head and Lambert sneaking up behind the oblivious bastard quiet as a mouse... Most of the time, that night seemed like a lifetime ago. But as he sat there ordering another beer at Piccolo’s, it seemed like it happened only yesterday. They were on patrol and picked up a call on the radio. It was a simple noise complaint that turned out to be more than he bargained for. The call took them to a rough part of town and Lambert had a bad feeling about it so he went around back while Jenkins knocked on the front door. He heard a man and woman yelling back and forth. Unexpectedly, the door flew open and a long haired man stood there holding a gun. A woman stood behind him with a bloody nose screaming out that he was a pimp and that he had a kilo of cocaine hidden in the back room. That was when things became grave.
“Now, will you at least hear me out?” asked Lambert, displeased. “I know what you did for me and I’m sorry. You’ve been a good friend. Just tell me what’s going on,” said Jenkins. Lambert began by telling him about the bracelet and the night at the strip club. “You saw what happened to my daughter Joyce right?” he asked.
Jenkins nodded and asked, “But how the hell did you know it was her?” “I found a broken necklace at my house that had to have been hers,” he said. “How could you be sure? It’s just a necklace,” replied Jenkins. “Because I bought the damn thing for her. She loved the stupid thing and wore it around everywhere. I figured she’d thrown it away after things ended. Not to mention, she was the only person who would have known where the key was hidden in the backyard. And this is the worst part of all, I think I let her see the pass code to the alarm system,” he said sullenly.
Jenkins stared at him, trying to think of something to say. Lambert continued, “I know it was stupid for me to ever get involved with her and if I could do it all over again I would. Dammit, I might even have been able to change the locks on the doors, upgrade my alarm system and forget about it if Joyce hadn’t been hurt. But now, that little bitch is going to pay.”

“What do you propose, Walt? We kill her and bury her in the woods? We’re cops; we have the law on our side. There’s no need to take it into our own hands,” Jenkins said adamantly.
“I just want to confront her and maybe scare the shit out of her and whoever she’s living with at that apartment complex. I don’t even care if I get any of my stuff back, but I’ll be damned
to hell if I don’t deal with this myself. We take her down to the station and it’s all going to come out. Valencia will leave me and my kids will never speak to me again, especially my little girl.”
“So that’s it, you just want to confront her? We’re not going in there to hurt anybody right?” he asked assertively. “No, no of course not, we’ll resolve this amicably.”
“Fine. When?”


Exiled by Ryan and Niki Traynor Chapter 8

Since I posted that last chapter up late, I thought I'd go ahead and add another chapter for you guys. Thanks so much for reading! Don't forget-if you have any questions or comments about this chapter or the book, please post it down below in the comment section.
To read all of the chapters in this book, click here. 

Chapter 8 

Weeks would pass by and Cheyenne believed with all her heart and soul that she was done. She hoped and prayed that she’d overcome it. For God sakes, I have a daughter to raise and a husband that loves me with all his heart and soul, she reasoned. But when the internal struggle was over, she would end up back at Freddy’s sticking a needle in her veins. She had met Michelle several months prior and they became friends almost immediately. Drugs have always been a powerful social tool. Their friendship remained incognito because Cheyenne couldn’t allow Noel to make any connections to her secret life. The guilt ate away at her, exasperating the pressure already weighing down on her regularly. Thoughts of suicide were only alleviated when she was shooting up, which compared to Freddy and Michelle, wasn’t that often. Cheyenne had also been informed of Michelle’s own trouble’s involving the loss of her job and the crazy customer that tried to rape and possibly murder her. 
Freddy was worried because Michelle hadn’t worked since the unpleasant incident and wondered if she was ever going to find a new job. Fortunately, she’d sold her condo for a healthy profit. All the same, she was blowing through the money at an absurd rate. She had found a new luxury apartment and paid off the entire year in full. It seemed like a good idea at the time except now all she wanted to do was either get high or drunk at his apartment. Ever since Michelle signed the lease and moved her possessions into the new place, she’d spent almost no time there. Worse yet, she was becoming agoraphobic, which would have been fine if it wasn’t in his home. Freddy dreaded coming home to what had been his sanctuary for half a decade. 
This was toppled with the truth that he had unintentionally turned his best friend’s wife into a dope fiend. He couldn’t even face Noel knowing what he’d done; for fear that he might be pummeled or even murdered in his sleep. Noel assumed they were on nothing more than another hiatus, which would come to an end in due time. Besides, he was busy with his own life that included a full time career and family. 

Every time Freddy thought he wouldn’t be hearing from Cheyenne, she would show up at his door step begging for a hit. Meanwhile, he knew in the back of his mind that Michelle was almost out of money. To make matters worse, Michelle and Cheyenne had developed a bond that was escalating out of control. Like most women, Cheyenne loved expensive luxury goods and had the nerve to ask Michelle if she could borrow money for ridiculous items. Michelle acted as if there was an endless supply of money and gave it to her to buy designer sunglasses, shoes and handbags. Each individual item wasn’t terribly over priced, but the debt slowly accumulated and began to add up rather quickly. 
The month of October passed by in a flash, Michelle was tapped out and Freddy was on thin ice at his job. He missed another day of work due to drugs and had used up his allotted sick days long ago. His manger warned him that if one more mistake occurred he’d be out of a job. The pressure got to him a few days later when one of his machines came to a grinding halt. Freddy knew what the problem was the instant the machine started smoking; he hadn’t added the proper machine tool oil. His boss probably would have forgiven him if it had been his first offense, but he had no choice but to let him go. That night Freddy came home from work ashamed and went directly to bed without saying a word. Lying in bed, he decided to buckle down, quit doing drugs, file for unemployment, and find a new job right away. 
The situation was becoming desperate. When he woke up, all good intentions had gone out the window. The only thing on his mind was waking up his girlfriend and shooting up some smack. The night came and the deranged couple hatched a sinister plot; one that could solve many of their chief problems. Michelle spoke of how she wished for revenge on the lieutenant that assaulted her many times since the confrontation occurred. His name was Walter Lambert and his address could be found pretty easily. Since he wasn’t listed in the phone book, the couple followed him home one night after his shift was over. He lived in a ritzy part of town with his rich wife known as Chesapeake Hills. The house was a three story Victorian covered in white bricks on the first floor. It had an enormous front porch with four massive round pillars that became thicker as they went downward. The ornate pillars had ivy vines that stretched almost to the top. The roof had light green clay tiles and eaves jutting out, revealing the fabulous third story. There were probably thirty or more windows that looked to have been replaced with thermal panes with the exception of a gigantic picture window with maroon curtains. 
The front beautifully landscaped yard was elevated and surrounded by grey retaining wall stones. A cement staircase with thick iron railings led down to the street level. Lieutenant Walter Lambert pulled into the driveway on the right side of the house and pressed a button that opened an automated gate on a slide track. After the gate slid open, he pulled around the back of the house where the four car detached garage was located. Freddy noticed the top of a basketball backboard popping over the fence and asked Michelle, “Do you know if there are any kids that live there?” 

She replied, “Well, when we were on good terms, we used to hang out at the club. Like I said, he was a good customer at first and we used to talk about different stuff. To answer your question, no, he told me he had two children, a son and daughter. The son lived with his wife and had a family of his own and the daughter goes to college on the other side of the state. Still, we have to do this before school ends or he might show up and stay with them for the winter vacation.” Freddy nodded and asked, “So, when should we do this baby?” Michelle responded, “The sooner the better, obviously.” “Right, but we have to be careful and they have to be out of the house for the night,” he said. 
“Last year, Lambert told me he was going to celebrate Thanksgiving at his mother’s house near Lake Geneva. If they go there this year, I assume they’ll spend the night and come back the next day.” 
“And if they don’t?” asked Freddy with a cynical tone in his voice. “Then the plan is off, I guess. But we won’t know for a few weeks, will we?” she sounded frustrated. “So let’s plan it out as if everything will go in our favor.” 
They rounded up what little money was left and figured out all of the logistics. Every other night Freddy went out of his way to stake the place out late at night. The street was as quiet as a graveyard past ten o’clock and it appeared as if the neighborhood was composed mainly of old people in their seventies. He didn’t like how lit up the block was, but if everything went smoothly there would be nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, he decided to park four blocks away in back of a small strip mall with a movie rental place, a dentist’s office, a floral shop and an eye doctor with a big neon sign in the window in the shape of an eyeball. 
In the meantime, Michelle went to the local mega mart and bought stereotypical gear such as black ski masks, flashlights, black leather gloves and a duffel bag to carry out the stolen goods. The next stop was the shoe store to buy a couple of good pairs of black sneakers for sneaking. She then decided to go all out and bought a brown wig to cover her blonde hair and black wig for Freddy along with a couple pairs of sunglasses. This was followed by a trip downtown to talk to a few pawnshop owners about taking old unwanted jewelry. The preparation was done in no time at all and the week before Thanksgiving crept up on her like a lion in the savannah. The anxiousness to get the job done was reaching an all time high, so she shot up every day in order to calm her nerves. 
That week was more hectic than either one of them could have believed. They fought like crazy, doling out the specific duties and trying to think of every last detail. On three separate occasions that week Freddy opted his way out of the robbery, but was sucked right back in all three times with promises of gold and diamonds. He was told that they would make a few hundred thousand dollars, which really spoke to him loud and clear against his better judgment. The day before Thanksgiving came and he knew there was no way out. He was committed for better or worse and thought that maybe it would have been easier if Michelle had never come into his life. Would of, should of, could of. It was time for action. The clock was ticking down and it was decided that they’d arrive at the strip mall around eleven thirty at night. From there, Freddy would take a short walk around the neighborhood to canvas the area for cops and other hazardous figures. He would stroll by the Lambert’s home to make sure nobody was present before they made their move. 

The following night came and they executed the diabolical plot as planned. As they pulled behind the strip mall, Freddy turned off the ignition and put on his ridiculous black wig. He chose not to wear the sunglasses because it was almost midnight and he didn’t want to draw any more attention to himself than absolutely necessary. He wore a gray sweatshirt over his all black get up and made his rounds to ensure a safe passage to and from the house. When he was sure the coast was clear, Freddy returned to the car to find Michelle fully geared up and ready to go. Freddy suggested she leave the sunglasses behind insisting they did more harm than good, but she refused to take them off and was convinced they completed her disguise. He didn’t have the time or energy to argue with her, so he grabbed the duffel bag, shoved his ski mask in his pocket, and they took off. Luckily nobody saw the odd looking couple strolling down the street. Had it been broad daylight they would have stuck out like a sore thumb, but the cover of night cloaked them and they went about their business without any of the neighbors knowing the wiser. 
As they came upon the house, the two thieves sped up the lawn and hopped the fence leading to the backyard. They shoved their wigs and thin grey sweatshirts into the duffel bag leaving plenty of room for the take. After the ski masks were on their faces and properly adjusted, Michelle headed to the back door alone just as planned, while Freddy kept a look out on the side of the house. She walked directly over to a round stone and lifted it up revealing a gold key. Taking the key in her hand, she unlocked the backdoor and walked right in, listening to soft beeping sounds emanating from the security system installed throughout the vicinity. Walking in the direction of the key pad that sat on the wall a few feet away from the back door, she typed in a four digit code and silenced the system instantly. Now that the alarms had been disarmed, she walked back outside and retrieved Freddy. They entered into the Lambert’s home and Freddy checked the downstairs for valuable goods while Michelle headed upstairs with the duffel bag. After she traversed the long staircase, Michelle stepped into the bedroom and went directly to the jewelry boxes and emptied them into her bag. She walked back downstairs and instructed Freddy to follow her into the basement. On their way down, he suggested stealing some electronic equipment, but it was decided that they were too bulky to carry four blocks to the car. The main room in the finished basement appeared to be a den/library. There were five different bookshelves filled with fiction and nonfiction alike. An old Encyclopedia Britannica graced the bottom shelves of the largest one, which was made of oak and had wonderful designs carved on it. A large desk was placed against the far wall and a beautiful painting of a mountainous landscape was hung right above it. A brown leather couch sat on the opposite wall and a sizable Persian rug covered most of the ceramic tile floor. 
They rummaged through the desk drawers and Freddy went to check out the other rooms. Michelle grabbed the painting off the wall that hung above the desk revealing a wall safe. She called her accomplice back into the den and showed him what she found. They proceeded to the garage where a large sledge hammer was found on top of a work bench and excessively large tool chest. It was lying in the corner behind some old shovels and rakes. Freddy took it back to the den and took a few swings at the safe. The combination lock and handle were sufficiently destroyed, but the safe remained shut, so he broke apart the wall surrounding it. Large holes were made in the wood paneling and drywall. Michelle jumped in to help and cleared away what she could, but found the safe bolted to the two by four studs. Freddy went back to the garage to grab a socket 
wrench to remove the bolts as Michelle cleared away more drywall with a small crowbar. The ski mask became unbearably hot and was drenched in sweat, so she took it off to get some relief. 

They removed the bolts and freed the locked safe from the wall. It weighed about sixty pounds and promised a great reward once opened. Freddy hoisted the safe across the room when they heard the front door open. The couple looked at each other frightened. Michelle put back on her mask and Freddy put the safe down quietly. They turned off the light and rushed upstairs to meet their unexpected guest. A young girl walked through the foyer and started turning on multiple lights throughout the house. Her name was Joyce Lambert and she had decided to travel all the way across the state to see her family for the long weekend. She knew her parents wouldn’t be back till the next day, but she preferred to drive home that night to make the best time possible. Since it was a six hour drive, Joyce thought it would be a good idea to travel when the roads were deserted. The good news was she made great time. The bad news was, if she had gotten there twenty minutes later the people burglarizing her parent’s home would have been gone. Joyce might have noticed that the alarm system wasn’t activated had she not been so tired, but fatigue from the trip left her usually sharp mind sluggish and vulnerable. 
Freddy crept to the living room and heard the unsuspecting girl walking around in the kitchen. He motioned for Michelle to follow him and they calmly crossed the house ready to subdue their victim. They entered the enormous kitchen and Freddy said softly, “If you scream, I’ll kill you bitch.” Joyce turned around startled and saw her assailants coming toward her. An island stood in the center of the room and she darted around it making a pitiful attempt to escape. She was intercepted by Michelle, who was about the same size, and she began to thrash wildly, ripping at her clothing. Freddy walked up behind her and put his arms around her and threw her to the floor with a powerful thump. During the commotion, Michelle’s gold necklace with a heart shaped pendant broke and fell to the ground, which went completely unnoticed by anyone. Freddy walked up to the girl and punched her directly in the face like an ultimate fighter. Her head flew backwards and blood spurted from her nose. 
The adrenaline flowed through Joyce’s body and she lunged at Freddy with all her might, but to no avail. Freddy grabbed her by the throat and slammed the side of her head against the fridge. She cried out in pain and Freddy put his hand over her mouth. She bit down on his fingers and he elbowed her teeth in finishing off his attack with a punch to the stomach knocking the wind out of her. “Grab me something to tie her up!” Freddy yelled to his girlfriend. Without making a sound, Michelle scurried to the garage and located a length of rope to tie up Lambert’s daughter. While Freddy waited for Michele to return, he subdued the girl by wrapping his legs around her waist from behind, locking his feet together and squeezing tightly. He choked her out with a ferocious headlock, using his right arm, and simultaneously silenced the screams by covering her mouth with his left hand. This time around, she didn’t have the strength left to bite his hand in retaliation and had no choice but to succumb to whatever lied ahead. Michelle hurried back to the kitchen and began to tie up the girl’s legs. She worked her way up to the victim’s arms and then shoved a filthy dish towel in her mouth and held it in by tying a rope across her mouth like a bridled horse wearing a harness. They dragged her to the basement and then carried the safe upstairs. Michelle grabbed the duffel bag and told Freddy to pull the car around so they could make their getaway. At first, he disputed the idea, but soon backed off realizing he was low on energy and could not stealthily carry the safe four blocks back to the car. He dragged the safe outside and the duo carefully lifted it up and over the fence hiding in the shadows. After that, he pulled off his mask, put on the wig and dashed to the car. The seconds ticked by excruciatingly slow as Michelle waited for him to come back. 

About ten minutes later, Freddy pulled up in front of the house with his headlights turned off and mud wiped over the license plates to hide its identification. Jumping out of the car, he headed back up the lawn to grab the safe while Michelle ran to the car holding the duffel bag over her shoulder. With everything accomplished, they slowly pulled down the street two blocks and 
turned the headlights on. Freddy stopped at a nearby gas station that stayed open all night and wiped the mud off his license plates in case he happened to pass a cop on the way back to his place. 
Their retreat from the crime scene had gone successfully and they made it back to Freddy’s apartment without rousing any suspicion from anyone. About five minutes after their arrival, they busted out the dope and cooked it up. Freddy sighed with sweet relief smelling the familiar aroma of heroin. With no time to spare, the junkies plunged into the inebriated state they loved so much and tried to forget what had transpired that night. 
The next day, they slept in until it was dark and crawled out of bed only to take another hit of dope. With that accomplished, they went straight back to bed and tried to sleep their way straight through to the next day. Freddy woke up multiple times in a cold sweat. He couldn’t shake what had happened and kept having nightmares involving Lambert’s daughter. She looked like hell when they had left in her in the basement, all bruised and battered. The guilt of what he had done ate away at him even as he slept. His bad dreams turned to haunting nightmares in which he was being arrested for his crimes and then found guilty in front of a judge and jury. The lucid dreams seemed so real that he stumbled to the bathroom in the middle of the night and vomited a couple times. 

The apartment was empty when Freddy awoke. Michelle had gotten up early and left a note on the counter saying she would be back by noon. He looked at the clock on the microwave and saw it was only ten twelve. He poured a bowl of cereal and turned on his computer. His conscience was filled with doubt as he ate his cornflakes. Checking the internet was the first thing that came to mind to see if there had been any news coverage on the robbery. Was his daughter alright? Freddy wondered. The young man didn’t know what had come over him when she showed up. The only thoughts that revolved around his head were- don’t get caught or you’ll go to prison for sure. The memory of her battered face could not be ignored, so Freddy walked to the fridge, pulled out a beer, and lit up a cigarette. He figured he’d move on to something harder after a couple beers to try and dull the pain of regret. Scrolling the internet and finding nothing should have been comforting, but his self loathing was becoming more and more unbearable with every drink. Then, out of nowhere, a foreign proposal entered into his brain. Freddy hadn’t lived the life of a saint before this, not even close, but he never considered himself an evil person; maybe a stupid, selfish, eccentric, inconsiderate, disrespectful guy who toyed with the law, but out-and-out evil... never. The self image he’d had as a human being was turned upside down into an unrecognizable figure that deserved unrelenting punishment. Go on and hurt yourself, he thought. Do it, kill yourself cause worthless pieces of shit like you are a waste of space. Find a gun, wrap your lips around the barrel and pull the trigger. The world will be a better place with you gone. Every breath of air inhaled into your lungs is just one more thing you’re stealing from good people. He felt dizzy and then realized tears were streaming down his cheeks uncontrollably. Walking to the bathroom, he tripped over his shoes and kicked one of them against the wall hard enough to make a good sized dent. Freddy made it to the bathroom, looked at his face in the mirror and bellowed loudly. It was as if his black pupils were the abyss and he was staring directly into it. Get a hold of yourself man, you’re freaking out. Don’t do anything stupid. You didn’t walk into the house intending on hurting anyone. The situation became you against the world and you had to fight for survival. “No! This is all your damn fault,” he screamed, picking up the clay soap dish and throwing it against the mirror. Shards of glass fell into the sink and on to the floor. He picked up a large one that broke into a piece resembling a jagged knife and gripped it tight not knowing what his intentions were. Blood dripped from the bottom of his palm and splattered into the sink. Looking at his hand as if it had a life if its own, Freddy laughed maniacally. 
The door to the apartment slammed shut and Michelle called out his name. The rustling of plastic bags aroused his curiosity and he walked into the living room to see what she had. When Michelle looked up and saw the bloody glass shard in his hand, she gasped just like she’d done while watching a horror movie as a kid. “Freddy what’s going on?” she asked, staring at the jagged point on the tip of his makeshift weapon. Momentarily, she feared for her life and then said, “Put it down baby, so we can talk about this.” He began to breathe heavily and at the same time gripped the glass harder than before, causing the red drips falling to the carpet to intensify. This time Michelle feared for her boyfriend’s welfare and walked up to him and hugged him tightly, noticing his body was as tense as a cable on the Golden Gate Bridge. She whispered in his ear, “I know we messed up, but this isn’t going to solve anything. Please baby, if you love me put it down so we can talk about what you’re feeling right now. I can help you.” 

Freddy’s muscles relaxed and the glass shard fell to the floor on top of the blood stained carpet. He said in an exhausted voice, “So what now? We shoot some smack and forget about what happened?” 
“What are we supposed to do, turn ourselves in?” she replied. The thought of going to prison made Michelle cry. Freddy held her and rubbed the back of her neck saying, “I guess not. Where were you?” 
“I went to the home improvement warehouse on Roosevelt Road and picked up a few things to get the safe open.” She pointed at the brown plastic bags sitting on the kitchen table. There was a hacksaw, an electric drill gun, and a plastic box filled with large drill bits. Freddy looked at the tools and decided they weren’t going to be sufficient. He grabbed his cell phone, opened up his contacts list and scrolled down to Noel Brighton. There were three rings and then a response came. “What’s up man? I was hoping to hear from you,” said Noel in good spirits. 
Freddy put on his business voice and stated, “Hey what’s going on Bright? I need to ask a favor of you.” 
“Should have known the only reason you called was cause you wanted something,” Noel said with a touch of mock anger in his voice. 
“I uh...” Freddy stammered feeling uneasy with where the conversation was going. “I’m just messing with you man. Relax. Whatever you need, I got you. I know you’ve been busy working and beating the ladies off with a stick,” he said jokingly. 

Freddy laughed and said relieved, “You know how it is. I can’t even keep their names and faces straight.” They both laughed. “Listen, I need to borrow your saws-all and a few other tools for a little project I’m doing at my mom’s house. Can I stop by tonight and grab em?” asked Freddy. “Of course, just try not to break anything or cut your fingers off. And by the way, if you need any help I can free up my schedule later this week and give you a hand,” Noel offered. 
“Well, I could use someone to stand over my shoulder and make smart ass comments.” They both laughed again. Freddy continued, “Don’t worry about it Bright, it’ll only take me an hour or two. My mom just wants me to cut that old clothes hanging post in the backyard down and do a few other little jobs here and there.” 
“Sounds good, I’ll see you tonight,” said Noel. “Cool I’ll see you later and thanks again.” With that they hung up. The tense couple put a movie on, cooked up some heroin and dreamed about what was in the safe. Afterwards, Freddy cleaned up the bathroom, bandaged his hand, and got dressed. They went to get some dinner and then Michelle was dropped off back at the apartment. Freddy strolled over to his best friend’s humble abode hoping that he could avoid Cheyenne, but things never work out that easily. 
When he arrived and knocked on the door, Cheyenne answered with a surprised look on her face. She asked alarmed, “Freddy, what are you doing here?” 

“I came by to borrow a few tools from your punk ass husband. Where’s he hiding?” As Freddy finished talking, Noel popped up behind his wife. 
He said, “Go around to the back so I can grab that shit out of the garage.” Noel turned to Cheyenne and said in a phony military voice, “Top secret business ma’am. Please step aside.” Cheyenne gave him an irritated look and pretended to slap his face with the back of her hand. Noel walked past her, pinching her on the butt. She shut the door and the two jokers walked out 
to the garage. Freddy tried to hide his hand, which automatically drew attention to it. Noel asked, “What the hell happened to your hand?” 
“Oh, this.” Freddy held it up. “I hurt it on one of the machines at work the other day but its healing fast.” He felt his cheeks turn red as he lied to his best friend face to face.
Noel didn’t notice and continued to make light conversation. “What you been up to lately besides almost chopping your hand off at work?” 
“Nothing,” Freddy said in response trying to keep the nervousness out of his voice. “I, uh, been trying to stay out of the bars, but I haven’t seemed to cut down on my drinking. Know what I mean?” 
“I hear ya. You think it’s the bar and you realize it’s you,” Noel said snickering. “How are the ladies treating you?” 

“I’m still dating the stripper Michelle... well, ex stripper now. I’m pretty sure we need to break up, but things have become insanely complicated. I don’t wanna bore you with the details, but let’s just say she’s crazy.” 
“No way is a girl that takes her clothes off for money crazy,” he replied sarcastically. “And let me guess, she’s got a few daddy issues too?” Noel said with phony surprise as he opened the garage door. 
“Ha, ha, ha, you’re hilarious you know that? She’s pretty much moved into my apartment and it’s becoming harder to tell her to leave with each passing day. Seriously, what am I suppose to do, just tell her to get out?” asked Freddy. 
“Whoa, I still can’t get over that you let some girl move into your apartment,” said Noel. “I said practically moved in. She still has her own place,” Freddy retorted. “Why don’t you do what you’ve always done? Stop calling her, stop inviting her over, and start looking for someone new to spend time with. Maybe try hitting the bar scene for a little while. You never seemed to mind over paying for your booze and dancing around like a drunken fool to impress women. Plus I’m sure the local clubs sorely miss your asinine behavior.” 
“True, I am a man of many talents,” Freddy replied as he punched at Noel’s groin. “Then again, maybe, we’re meant for each other. We really do have a lot in common. Namely being monumental screw ups in life.” 
Noel obtained the tools Freddy requested and said, “If you say she’s not a stripper anymore than maybe there’s some sort of future for you two. I’m not saying get married, but maybe you should give the relationship half a chance before kicking her to the curb.” They carried the tools to Freddy’s car and put them in the trunk and Noel asked, “So when are we gonna hang out, just the two of us? We gotta have a guy’s night out like old times.” 

“Soon man, soon. I just have some work to do this week, but I’ll call you and we’ll go out and have some drinks next weekend. That is, if the wife gives you permission,” he said wagging his finger in Noel’s face, grinning like a clown. 
Freddy hopped in his car and went home fully prepared to crack the safe wide open. He considered taking it somewhere else so he didn’t disturb his neighbors with the noise, but then just decided to go to the surrounding units and alert them that it would be loud for an hour or two. During the renovations, the tenants had become accustomed to the sound of power tools whirring day in and day out. Fortunately, only one of the tenants bordering his unit was home and completely understanding. Michelle helped him lug the tools inside and they went to work right away. They began by trying to open it with hammers and chisels. Not a whole lot was accomplished, so they moved on to the three foot crowbar, but couldn’t find any where to wedge it to get the proper leverage; even if they could, that was no guarantee it would work. Freddy then pulled out the saws-all, which was an electric saw shaped like a gun. Noel had given him fresh saw blades that were specifically designed to cut straight through metal. After burning through five new blades, Freddy was able to successfully cut the three hinges off the door. They shimmied open the back and jammed in the crowbar in the gap. After another hour of work, the slide lock bent enough for them to slide the door out of place. 
Michelle took the contents out and laid them on the floor for her boyfriend to see. The stolen goods inside the safe consisted of a thick stack of hundred dollar bills in the amount of fifty thousand dollars, thirty-two one ounce gold coins, five one ounce platinum coins, and seventeen silver bars each weighing one quarter of a pound. A number of important paper documents also resided inside the safe including birth certificates, social security cards, savings bonds, stock certificates and other miscellaneous items. The jewelry was laid out on the coffee table and it seemed very valuable though they had no way of knowing for sure. Many of the pieces had exceptionally large diamonds and or other valuable stones embedded in the precious metal. They had hit the mother load and were about ready to celebrate when Freddy posed another problem that required attention. Where were they going to unload this type of merchandise? Thank goodness the cash was in the safe, thought Freddy as he recounted the money one more time. They decided the easiest thing to do was split the money in half and then plan on taking the goods out of state. They considered going into major cities like New York City or Los Angeles to cash them in, but it was a decision that could be made later. This was thought to be their only option if they didn’t want the merchandise to be traced back to them.


Mutigge Off The Shoulder Top And Ripped Jeans Review


My little fashionista and her new outfit. It comes with a pair of ripped jeans, off the shoulder top with attached sleeves, and a headband that you tie yourself. Very different style, but I love it. She’s just so happy trying on new fun outfits like this one. This outfit is available in smaller and a bigger size than what she is wearing.
You can find this outfit here 

My Little Fashionista and Her New Outfit

Whenever I tell my soon-to-be four year old daughter that I have some new clothes for her to try on she starts dancing around with a big smile. She absolutely loves dressing up. Do your kids like to do the same? I'm not even a kid anymore and I know I still like to play dress up. Haha. 

Here is what her latest outfit looks like

Image may contain: shoes

It comes with a pair of little ripped jeans, an off the shoulder white top, and a matching white headband that you can adjust to size. 
Can you say STYLISH??  
I, myself, own a few pairs of ripped jeans because I really like them. Now her and I can match!

Check out my daughter's happy little face when she tried it all on

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

The shirt has an elastic lining along the top edge, as well as along the top of the attached sleeves for a better fit. The denim jeans have an elastic waistband and yes, there are pockets too. 
This outfit can be paired with some cute sandals or even little low tops like the ones my daughter is wearing in the photo. You could probably even pair it with some hightops if you just roll the pant legs up a little. Either way, it will still look pretty fashionable. 

The great thing about this outfit is that not only is it stylish, but it also is made from good quality, comfortable material. They do have this particular outfit available in different sizes for your little one. 
You can find this outfit right here.

Disclaimer: I received this product in exchange for my unbiased review. 


Exiled by Ryan and Niki Traynor Chapter 7

Sorry for the delayed post. Very busy week! But here's the latest chapter of our book, Exiled! If you need to get caught up, read all of the chapters here. 

Chapter 7 

Freddy sat in his apartment alone, high as a kite, listening to old John Lennon songs. An old syringe sat on the floor next to a dinner plate filled with other used paraphernalia. A month and a half had elapsed since the Bears game and he found himself dodging Noel’s phone calls. One night a couple weeks prior, he’d even pretended not to be home and sent Michelle to the door to get rid of him. Freddy felt he had enough problems of his own to deal with and didn’t want to get tangled up in their sad state of affairs. A thick beard grew on his face and his hair was a mess. A stained sweat shirt was draped over his back like a cape. The only other thing he wore was a pair of plaid boxer shorts. The apartment was freezing cold because the heat hadn’t been turned on all day. 
He heard a knock at the door followed by a woman’s voice calling his name. He assumed it was Michelle and yelled, “Come on in baby cakes.” Cheyenne stepped through the door and gasped. 
The only thing she was able to murmur was his name over and over. She began to cry and dropped to the floor by his side. Freddy managed to get to his feet and put his hands in front of him stuttering, “Che- Che- Chey, thi- this isn’t what it looks like.” 
“It looks like you’re shooting heroin,” she responded still in shock. He took her hand and told her she couldn’t tell anyone about this. She ripped it away and headed for the door, which stood wide open. Freddy expected her to walk right out without saying another word, but instead she closed it and locked the deadbolt. She looked at him and stated, “I came here to talk. I knew you were screwed up, but dammit Freddy. What the hell is wrong with you? Heroin! I mean come on. I know your father died when you were a child and your mother didn’t hug you nearly enough, but there are other ways to cope with the world.” 
“Oh yeah, like showing up at a junkie’s apartment to get marital advice?” he retorted. “Alright, I’m leaving,” she said in defense. “Wait, Cheyenne that was a joke and you know it. Maybe we can help each other out. You can listen to my sob story and I’ll listen to yours. And hey, if you don’t wanna hear mine I can at least listen to what you came to talk about and give you some hazy advice.” 

She looked at him wearily, “Okay, but clean that shit up. It’s making me uncomfortable.” “Your wish is my command my lady,” he said with a bow.
 “And stop saying things like that. Now I’m going to the restroom, which should give you plenty of time to put on some clothes and make this place somewhat presentable,” she said taking off her coat. Freddy did as he was told and put his drugs away. After they were put away, he walked into the bedroom and threw on a pair of cargo pants and a navy blue t-shirt. Cheyenne walked back into the living room and decided she didn’t want to be at the apartment, so they took a trip over to a local coffee shop and ordered dinner. 
Freddy decided to get a burger while Cheyenne went for the Cobb salad. Cheyenne did most of the talking. It mostly involved her fights with Noel and her severe postpartum depression. She explained how unhappy she’d been for the past year and that she’d even contemplated suicide. “Does Noel even know where you are right now?” Freddy asked concerned. 
“No,” she responded. “We got into another argument about Lilith. I think he was angry because you’ve been avoiding him and he was taking it out on me. When he got home from work, I’d fallen asleep, but in my defense I made sure Lilith had been fed and put down for a nap. He called me an irresponsible bitch and a bad mother. I wasn’t going to stand for that, so I told him I was leaving and I stomped out. He asked where I was going and I said I didn’t know. I took the car and peeled out of the driveway, which was a horrible idea because I almost hit a truck.” She stopped to compose her thoughts and Freddy started laughing beneath his breath. 

“Listen Chey, I need help. I gotta tell you about Michelle.” “The stripper?” she said in a downward tone. “Yes, the stripper, but trust me that’s the least of her problems.” Freddy told her the story of how they’d met and the progression of their relationship. He finished by saying, “And now she thinks we have some sort of special bond or something. She definitely thinks she’s my girlfriend and I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think we’ve talked about marriage a couple times when we were all jacked up.” This time it was Cheyenne’s turn to giggle. 
They drank coffee and talked until the place closed. Both of them agreed not to tell Noel what was going on since they wouldn’t even know how to approach the situation without freaking him out entirely. Cheyenne went home, made up with her husband once more and told him she was at an old friend’s place, which wasn’t a total lie. 
Michelle was sitting in front of Freddy’s door waiting for him when he arrived. She looked upset, but also relieved to see him alone. They went inside and shot some smack. While they were high, she told Freddy that she had lost her job over some crazy customer who basically tried to rape her in the parking lot. 
“The asshole turned the entire thing around on me,” she said. “He was one of my regulars, you know.” Freddy nodded his head. “Somehow he knew which car was mine and he was waiting in the back seat after my shift was over. I’m so stupid; I must have left the door unlocked. Normally, I don’t have to worry about that sort of thing because there’s security outside the building. So, I jumped in my car, having no idea he was laying in the back seat! I was a little tipsy from a few drinks the customers gave me and I wasn’t paying any attention. Next thing I knew, there was a hand over my face and a guy whispering in my ear not to make a sound or he’d kill me.” 

“That asshole!” groaned Freddy, slightly slurring his words. 
“Yeah I know. He told me to drive, act cool and not to try anything stupid.” She sniffled and then continued. “I swung around the building and luckily saw Matt the security guard was making his rounds to the left of me. I threw myself out of the car while it was still moving. It hit the club and Matt came running over. The guy jumped out of the backseat and swore up and down that I’d promised to sleep with him for three hundred bucks. He had a gun on him, so Matt told him to back off and that’s just what he did. He turned around calmly and walked away. Apparently, Matt had spoken with the guy before and found out he was some big time police lieutenant. He was married to some rich bitch who runs every one of those all night gyms for women called Pro Sessions.”
 “Yeah I’ve seen a few of those places while driving around,” said Freddy. He looked at Michelle and saw the water works dripping down her face, smearing the mascara on her long eyelashes. “So, I went inside with Matt and we told Bill, the owner, what happened. He was pissed about me hitting the building with my car. When Bill heard the part about me getting paid three hundred bucks to sleep with that guy, he flew off the handle and fired me right then and there,” she said and continued to sob quietly. “I was sure the guy was going to rape me and maybe worse.” Freddy grabbed her hand and held it tight. He wanted to say some comforting words, but none came. They decided to sleep on it and figure out what to do the next day. 
That morning, Freddy headed out to work before Michelle woke up. He stopped at the gas station and grabbed a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. No matter how hard he tried not to think about Michelle’s predicament, it kept bouncing around his head like a pinball machine. Half of him wanted revenge, but the other half just wanted her to go away. Maybe, she could get another job and this time it doesn’t necessarily have to be a strip club, he thought. After he got to the factory, his boss laid into him because they were behind schedule, primarily due to the two machines Freddy was in charge of running. He knew he was falling behind his quota, but somehow thought he would have made up the difference by now. A preoccupied mind was cumbersome at a time like this. Accepting the challenge, he buckled down and worked double time, almost completely catching up on his work. He was pumping out finished parts at a records pace and before he knew it the day was done. 

He clocked out, and headed home again burdened by Michelle’s problems. Hoping she wouldn’t be there when he arrived, Freddy went straight home to try to get to bed early. Moreover, dope was the last thing he needed to do tonight, which would have been almost impossible if Michelle was sitting there waiting for him to get high. Driving into the complex, he came to the conclusion that she most likely was. Even though the lights were turned off in the apartment, he still crept in expecting to see her lying in his bed asleep or in the bathroom taking a shower. But to his relief, she was gone. He’d had a long day, so he cleaned up and cooked a frozen pizza. After Sports Center was over and the pizza was devoured, he turned off the television and went to bed. 
Three hours later, he heard a knock on the door. He wished that whoever it was would just go away. The knocks kept on coming sporadically and were not going to stop till he answered. His only thought was, Please don’t be Michelle. A sigh of relief came, as soon as he peaked through the peep hole. It was Cheyenne, a woman whom he had little to no obligation to. He opened the door and she started in right away, “I’m sorry to wake you, but I really needed to get out of the house.” 
“Another fight with Noel?” he sighed followed by a long extended yawn. “No. I felt restless and depressed. Noel’s been asleep for hours,” she said sadly. 
“Lucky him,” Freddy said somewhat annoyed. “I don’t want to bother you. I really don’t. Can I just sit and watch TV or something and clear my head? These hollow feelings are relentless and I don’t know what else to do. I took some prescription meds, but I don’t think they’re working.” Cheyenne had been given antidepressants by her doctor a few months prior. 

“Chey, I have to get some sleep. I’m sorry, but I’m dealing with a ton of bullshit myself, and I...” he was cut off mid sentence. 
“Yeah of course, I won’t bother you. Go back to bed and get some sleep. I’ll only be here for a little while and then I’ll make sure I lock up the place before I leave.” She looked on the verge of tears. 
Freddy turned around and walked to his bedroom saying, “Fine, but make sure you lock the door.” Cheyenne was hoping he was in a better mood. She really needed someone to talk to, but didn’t want to push her luck. Still, her antsy frame of mind left her fidgety and unable to calm down. An hour of reruns passed by, but her attitude did not change. Disparaged, she reached for his pack of cigarettes on the coffee table and lit one up. Taking a drag left her light headed and nauseous, but both sensations passed rapidly, leaving her with a smoke filled room and seven minutes closer to death. Some people used to say that every cigarette one smokes takes seven minutes off of their life. It’s one of those arbitrary unsubstantiated facts that no one can prove. 
As her outlook darkened, she began to feel desperate for relief and the more she tried to calm herself down the worse it got. Cheyenne had never experienced a panic attack before. However, she was convinced it was occurring in that little apartment. The room felt as if it was closing in on her and she couldn’t fend off the anguish that tormented her. When it finally became too much to handle, she ran to the bathroom and began rummaging through the medicine cabinet looking for some sort of medication or sleeping pills to calm herself down, but found nothing. Upon returning to the living room, she noticed an open drawer out of the corner of her eye. The drawer belonged to a small end table with a lamp perched on top of it next to the couch. The 
porcelain lamp was made to look like seven off white skulls stacked unevenly below the light bulb and grey lampshade. She had fond memories of him getting the lamp at a flea market in college and telling everyone what a fantastic deal it was. 

She walked over to the drawer, closed it and then reopened it because she thought she noticed a bottle of Aspirin. Sure enough a half empty clear bottle of generic Aspirin sat at the top of the drawer on top of several books including the Gideon Bible, probably stolen from a motel room. Seemed like something Freddy would have done on one of his trips out of town. She looked farther expecting to see small bars of soap and miniature shampoo bottles, but instead found a leather pouch with a zipper on top. It looked like a gas station pouch the manager used to hold money. Cheyenne picked up the pouch and feeling like a snoop put it back in the drawer. She opened the bottle of Aspirin, took three tablets out and swallowed them. Earlier, she’d seen some orange juice in the fridge, which she helped herself to before sitting back on the couch for about twenty minutes. Still feeling horrible, she stood up to leave, but decided to look in the pouch before she went. Even though she knew it was rude to go through her friends belongings, she couldn’t help herself. She knew curiosity killed the cat, but she scurried over to the end table, opened the drawer and pulled out the black leather pouch. 
Just like a kid on Christmas, she held it up to her ear and shook it, listening to the contents rattling around on the inside. With her interests sufficiently peaked, she opened the bag and found a couple of burnt up spoons, syringes, and heroin. When Freddy woke up early the next morning, Cheyenne was still there asleep on the couch. Lying on the coffee table was a menagerie of illegal contraband. Stunned and visibly shaken, he raced across the living room and woke her up immediately to make sure she was alive and well. As soon as she was awake, he made sure she was coherent and then yelled at her all morning until he left for work. 

Cheyenne drove home, not feeling quite as bad as she thought she might after such an experience. She anticipated Noel would be angry when she got in, but luckily, he was still asleep. Today was his day off and Lilith made it through the whole night without fussing. Relieved, she took a shower and put a band aid glazed with antiseptic over her track mark, hoping it would heal promptly.