“Val, I’m not doing this. Not out here.” Johnny motioned for me to follow him inside. “Why would you try to embarrass me in front of everyone like that?” He glared at me. I shrugged in response. “I shouldn’t have to explain myself but you already know that I’d never cheat on you. It really hurts that you think so low of me. I’ve done nothing but be a good father and a devoted husband.” I stared at the dark spot on his neck suspiciously. “Then what is it?” I mumbled, not quite ready to let it go yet. “You always assume the worst.” He remarked. “I noticed it when I got up this morning…I don’t know where it came from, I swear.” He told me solemnly. “What’s happening to us?” I sighed deeply and leaned against the fireplace with Lemon in my arms. “I don’t know…but I hate it. I miss you, Val. I miss how things used to be.”
“Me too.” I admitted. I know you don’t want to hear it but we have to leave…it’s ruining us.” He stared at me for a moment then ran his fingers through his hair. “You’re probably right.” He nodded. “But where are we going to go?” I was nearly ready to jump with joy. “Anywhere! We’ll figure it out later…let’s just go while everyone is distracted by the party.” Nancy cleared her throat and walked out of the corner she was eavesdropping from. “Well, well. I suppose you’d rather shack up with your father and her mother. Did Val tell you that they’re an item now?” Johnny slowly turned his head from Nancy to me, his face flushed with anger. “What is she talking about, Val?”
“Oh, you didn’t tell him?” She smiled at me. “How long were you planning to keep it from him? From me?” She asked innocently. “I just found out! I was going to tell you, Johnny! Please believe me.” I begged him. “Liar! She’s known the whole time she’s been here!” Nancy hissed. “I’ve dealt with your crazy accusations over and over again for months now. You were pointing your finger at me when the whole time it was you hiding something! You promised you’d always tell me the truth, Val. How am I ever supposed to trust you?” Nancy watched with glee as Johnny towered over me lividly. “You can’t, son. But it’s best that you found out her true nature before it was too late. You should go get some rest now.” She cupped his cheek tenderly. “I’ll handle this.” Without a second glance at me, he retreated to a guest bedroom and slammed the door behind him.
Nancy turned to me and rubbed her hands together. She’d won and she knew it. “Valerie, you may stay here tonight but first thing in the morning, you’re leaving. The baby will stay with us, of course. No need to worry though, she’ll have everything she could ever want for.” She pat my shoulder and backed away quickly. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a party to get back to.”