Read Loving Charley Online

Authors: Casey Peeler

Tags: #romance, #dating, #college life, #new adult, #southern literatrure, #mature young adult, #teen and young adult, #pretty little liars, #teen romantic fiction, #teen 16 plus

Loving Charley (5 page)

BOOK: Loving Charley
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As the movie ends, Joe and
Piper stand to go back to her house while the Kluft girls and Tessa
head upstairs. Cash and I stay in each other’s arms.

“I probably need to go
home, Charley. I’m sure my parents want to talk to me.” I know that
he needs to go home, but I can’t help but be selfish. I want him to
stay with me. If this is the last night I have with him, I’m not
sharing. Funny how he said the same thing to me about a month
ago.

“Cash, can’t you stay? Just
call and tell them you’ll be home before sunrise.”

“You know I can’t resist
you, don’t ya? Let me call ‘em real quick.” Cash takes out his
phone and calls his parents. They aren’t happy, but they
understand. He sets his alarm for before dawn and then pulls me
closer, and I fall asleep in the arms of my knight in a pair of
Carhartts and an F250.

We are awakened to the
awful sound of his alarm. He tries not to wake me by slowly sliding
his arm out from around me. It’s so sweet, but I know he doesn’t
think that I’m going to let him leave without a proper
goodbye.

“Mornin,’ Cash Money. Not
tryin’ to sneak out, are ya?”

“Of course not, but I really didn’t
want to wake you. You know you’re beautiful when you sleep. I was
really planning on hitting the snooze for five more
minutes.”

“Sounds good to me.” Cash
holds me tight for another five minutes before the snooze erupts
from his phone. As much as we both don’t want to leave each other,
we know we have to. Cash has to go home and prepare for what is
bound to happen with Dylan. I, on the other hand, have to prepare
to talk to a lawyer as well, but I know that the ball is in my
court on this one.

I walk Cash to his truck,
and we take as much time as we can to prolong the inevitable.
“Char-coal, I love you, and it’s gonna be fine. Now, go inside and
enjoy your friends, and I’ll talk to you as soon we get a plan
together.”

“Okay.”

He takes my chin in his
hand, and my eyes meet his. “I promise we will have our forever,”
he says as he takes control and crashes his lips onto
mine.

When we separate, my lips
tingle from his touch, and I make my way back to the house. Mom,
the Kluft girls, Tessa, and Dad are in the kitchen. We sit and eat
Mama’s fabulous breakfast as usual, but things are a little quieter
than normal.

As we finish, Georgia
speaks, “Char, we’re going to head back to campus today. We want to
stay with you, but we have practice, registration, and we feel like
you need to do this with your family. If something changes, we’ll
be glad to come back. We love you, but we feel like we’re in the
way.”

“Y’all aren’t in the way,
but I understand what you mean. I’d want to get back to normal,
too. I should probably call Coach.”

“No need,” Tori states. “I
already did. She said take your time, and your spot is there when
you get back. Oh, she also said that she’d get your registration
taken care of, too.”

“Thanks, y’all have taken
care of it all. I don’t even know what to say.”

Hayden starts to giggle.
“How about you take that mofo down?” We all start to laugh. I just
love these girls.

After breakfast, the Kluft
girls get ready and pack up to go back to Southern. Tessa and I
meet them outside to say our goodbyes. I’m sad, but I understand.
There are a few tears shed when they leave, but Tessa is there to
help me pull myself together. Never in a million years did I expect
to find a group of girls that are this special to me.

Tessa and I go inside to
talk to Mama and Dad. While we are discussing which lawyer we need
to see, Tessa says that Dustin has talked to the police about
Dylan, and he will be arrested as soon as he is out of the
hospital. Dad begins to make a call to a former classmate and now
lawyer in town, Becky Horn. She’s as good as they come, and she can
see us right after lunch today.

Glancing out of the window,
I notice a patrol car passing my house. I look back at Dad and
begin to freak out. I know this is the moment. The moment that will
cause my Cash Money to have to pay the price for me. I start to
stand, but Dad stops me. There is one problem; I can’t.

Jumping up from the table,
I run out the side door and head toward the Montgomery’s farm. I
have to get to him. I can’t let this happen. In the middle of all
this chaos, I see my world crashing and rebuilding at the same
time.

Knowing that I can’t make
my way to him by foot, I grab my four-wheeler and haul ass to his
house. As I approach, I see the officers making their way toward
the front porch. They wait, and then Cash answers the door. I pull
the throttle more as I urge to get to him. I know I can’t save him,
but I need to be there for him like he was for me.

As the officers stand and
begin to explain the charges and read Cash his Miranda Rights, I
close in on the house. Hopping off the four-wheeler, I sprint to
Cash as tears begin to fall as I watch them place him in handcuffs.
An overwhelming wail comes from within me, “Noooooooo! Please don’t
take him. I’m begging you!”

As I reach for him, the
officers remove my hands, and I crumble toward the ground only to
be comforted by my dad.
When did he get
here?
I briefly think before continuing to
fall to pieces. Knowing that I need to be strong, I pull myself
from my self-pity with my dad’s help.

Standing, I can see Cash
being placed into the back of the cop car, and I begin to slowly
make my way toward the car with Dad by my side. I have to tell him
I love him if nothing else.

“Officer, can you wait a
minute?” I ask between sniffles. He nods.

Walking to the glass, I
place my hand on it, and Cash does the same. I look through the
glass into his eyes and tell him I love him, and he does the same.
Blowing him a kiss, I back away and watch as the car pulls down the
driveway. When I can no longer see him, I turn to my dad and bawl
my eyes out.

Chapter 8

As I continue to cry, I hear the voice of Mr.
Montgomery. They are eager to find out the outcome once Cash comes
face-to-face with the magistrate. Wasting no time, they call Cash’s
lawyer and make their way to the police station.

Dad wraps his arms around
my shoulders and hugs me close. He guides me to the truck, leaving
my four-wheeler, and we drive in silence back to our house. When we
arrive, we don’t get out. Instead, Mama and Tessa meet us and get
into the truck. It’s time to talk to a lawyer about the situation
with Dylan. The sooner this is over, the better.

There aren’t but two sets
of attorneys within Grassy Pond. As we arrive at the small brick
building, I notice the place looks pretty well maintained, unlike
several of the offices in town. We get out, and Dad tells the
receptionist that we are here to see Becky Horn. She picks up the
phone, and we take a seat for what feels like an eternity. Finally,
we are called back to Mrs. Horn’s office.

Walking into the office is
very intimidating. There is fine furniture around, perfectly placed
books, chairs, and the smell of dominance permeates the air. I
think I like her already. I know someone strong is going to have to
be up for this battle, and Becky Horn is it.

We take our seats around
the long table as she takes out my file. Without saying a word, she
reads it quietly and then removes her reading glasses. She places
her hands in her lap and begins to speak.

“Miss Rice, I’m Becky Horn.
I’m glad to meet you, but not under the current circumstances. I’m
sure you do not want to hear this from me, but before you got here,
I was on the phone with the district attorney. We will be working
together on the case. He informed me that Mr. Sloan has been
arrested as well. He’s getting booked as we speak.” Panic fills my
eyes as I look at Tessa. She knows what I’m thinking. Cash is
getting booked, too. Now, if that ain’t some shit, I don’t know
what is. As if she can read what I’m thinking, she continues, “They
aren’t going to be near each other if that is what you are worried
about, sweetheart. That has been made sure of already.”

Relief washes over me, and
I’m able to actually listen to what she has to say. “Charley, I
wish you would have come to the police about this sooner, but I do
understand why you didn’t. These four walls are completely
confidential. You need to tell me everything that you can and not
hold back any information. I know that we have solid evidence, but
the Sloans have big money and are going to do what they can to make
you look like the bad guy. No matter what, we are coming out on
top. So, are you ready for this?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I
answer.

Mrs. Horn informs us of
everything that will happen once Dylan goes before the magistrate.
She believes the judge will not go lightly on him. Even if he has
bond, she thinks it will be high with a lot of restrictions. He
will most likely not be able to leave the county. I am able to do
pretty much what I like, and she believes that I should return to
school and keep things as normal as possible until the hearing. My
parents, Tessa, and I agree, but I know I don’t want to leave Cash.
I ask what might happen to him, and she explains the worst-case
scenario. Needless to say, I’m hoping the judge sees that he was
defending me.

Once we discuss a few more
items, we shake hands and leave. We won’t have to do much until the
court date is upon us, but that will be like a huge cloud lingering
above my head. I don’t say much as we get into the car. Tessa takes
my hand and just holds it. That’s enough right now. Honestly, it’s
not enough. I need to know what is going on with Dylan and
Cash.

Rather than driving back to
the house, Dad stops at the general store for a few items for the
farm. Tessa and I don’t get out. I stare out the window unaware of
my surroundings. I’m brought back to reality when Tessa gets a
phone call from Dustin.

I wait anxiously for her to
hang up. She gets very quiet on the phone, and I’m unsure what type
of conversation she’s having with him. Uneasiness fills my veins. I
know that I will get a few answers, but in my heart of hearts, I’m
uncertain if I want to hear them. She hangs up, and I give her no
time to process her conversation with him.

“What did he say?” I
question.

She looks at me, and tears form in her
eyes. “He said that he can’t see me right now.”

“He what?” I ask as I snap
my head toward her. “What the hell? It’s not your fault.” Realizing
I need to push my emotional roller coaster to the side, I know it’s
time to let Tessa lean on me. I slide close to her and let her cry.
“Ya know, maybe it’s his parents. You know he loves you, and y’all
are perfect together. Just let this pass and see what happens.” She
nods, but the tears continue to stream down her face. I don’t
bother asking about Dylan or Cash, because right now, my sister is
what is important.

Mama and Dad are taking
their time, and I’m glad. Tessa begins to brush away the tears. “I
know that’s why; he’s doing what makes them happy. He used to tell
me all the time he wished he wasn’t a Sloan. Hopefully, once this
is over, things will be okay, but you have to know what else he
told me.”

“You don’t have to, ya
know.”

“Yes, I do. He said that
they just got the verdict from the magistrate.” I listen carefully.
“You want the good or bad news first?”

“Bad, I guess.”

“Dylan is being held on a
$95,000 bond with a court date in a month. He can’t leave the
county, though, so he can kiss his college career and swimming
career goodbye.”

“Okay, but $95,000 is
nothing to his family. I’d be surprised if he’s not on his way out
already. So, what’s the good news?”

“They ran into Cash’s
family because he was next in line. They hung out long enough to
see what was going to happen to him. He got a $7,500 bond until his
court date in a month because they have their own
lawyers.”

“That’s awesome.”

“What do we do now,
Char?”

“Well, it’s like this. We stick
together because we always have and always will. You were my best
friend before Cash, and I know that we will always be there for
each other.”

“I love you, Char, even if
I don’t say it enough.”

“You don’t have to because I know. I
love you too, Tess.”

We wait until our parents
return to make it back to the farm. I’m dying to hear from Cash or
his parents, but I really want to talk to Dustin. I have to know if
he’s pushing Tessa to the side because of his family. If so, I have
to tell him to fight for her because she’s not worth
losing.

Chapter 9

Once we are home, all of us try to get back to a
normal day. Dad goes to work on the farm, Mama starts figuring out
what she is going to cook for supper, and Tessa and I try to keep
our minds occupied. Tessa decides that she doesn’t want to stay
home and goes to her friend Sally’s. I’m on pins and needles to
hear from Cash, but as soon as Tessa’s car is nothing but dust on
the road, I try to get a hold of Dustin. Picking up my phone, I
call because there is no need to text. I need to hear his voice and
know how he feels. Just when I think it’s going to go to voicemail,
a hesitant voice answers.

BOOK: Loving Charley
2.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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