Hesitantly Yours by Mallory Funk
I let out a sigh as I looked out the window and saw the back lights come on again. Those lights were bright as fuck. I must have raccoons or something. The lights have been going on and off for a few days now. I never got Tech to check it out, but I guess that it wouldn’t hurt to look at the cameras.
I had told Crash last night, but I forgot to check the cameras when I woke up this morning. Now it’s the middle of the night, and again they are going off.
Deciding to finally do it, I pull the videos up and watch as I get up and ready to leave for my duties with the club. A small car had pulled into my driveway around the back into the woods. I check the camera that is facing that angle, and I see a woman and two little girls running into my shed. They have a couple of bags with them and, by their movements, I could tell that they were doing this for the last couple days.
My shed was far away from my house, so I never thought about looking there. I fast forward to when I came home last night. It’s dark out. The woman runs out to the car to get something and runs back, setting my lights off twice.
Fuck, do I have a homeless woman and her daughters living in my shed?
The weather is getting colder, fuck.
I let out a big sigh and shut off the lights, so that I can go to the woman without scaring her away. If she is in desperate need of help, I will definitely help her.
Walking in the dark to my shed, a shiver takes over my body. Fuck, it’s cold as fuck out here. Just being out there for a few seconds, and I can already feel the cold flow through my body.
I hear their hushed voices talking to each other.
“Hello?” I call out as I open the door. I try to keep my tone as calm as I can so that they won’t think I’m here to harm them.
There, bundled in blankets, is a woman and two little girls who are shivering from the cold. How many nights have they spent out here?
The woman looks at me with fear in her eyes. They are wide. She looks like a deer caught in the headlights.
I lean against the door frame.
“I’m Kid. What’s your name?” I ask casually, like they aren’t hanging out in my shed.
“Annalise,” she whispers softly.
I nod my head. “Want to tell me what you are doing in my shed?”
Her eyes fill with tears and her chin quivers. “I-I’m s-sorry, I-I didn’t know where else we could go,” she whispers brokenly.
I nod my head and gesture toward the house. “How about we head inside where it’s warm? I’ve got a guest room where your girls could sleep, and you could tell me your story,” I say softly, trying to appear non-threatening.
She looks like she’s seconds away from bolting. I throw my hands up in the air in a surrender motion. “I promise, I won’t harm you or your girls, but it’s getting cold out here and I’d hate for any one of you to get sick.”
Slowly, she nods her head. I think that it’s only the fact that her girls are shivering and you can see our breath when we talk that makes her say “yes.” Anything to keep them warm. She’s a protector, I can see that.
I grab as many blankets as I can as she grabs her girls’ hands, and we all walk toward the house. When we get inside, I set the alarm again. “Sorry. You can never be too safe,” I say with a shrug.
“Let’s get you girls something to eat, and then get you settled while you tell me your story,” I say softly, trying my best not to scare her.
Annalise just nods her head.
I grab some ingredients from the fridge to make sandwiches after asking if they are allergic to anything. Annalise just shakes her head. So, I make the girls ham and cheese. It’s simple, and most kids like it. Then I add lettuce, tomato, and mayo on the one I make for Annalise. I sprinkle some chips on the side of each plate, and then grab the girls a glass of milk, and a bottled water for their mom. I don’t think about my actions, I just mindlessly do it; like I have done it a million times.
They are all sitting at the table staring at me with wide eyes when I bring all the plates to them, and the girls don’t waste any time digging in.
When I’m settled with my own bottled water, I look at Annalise with a raised eyebrow.
She swallows her bite and then chugs some water before she talks.
“Well, I had nowhere else to go as I said. I needed to go somewhere where no one would find me,” she states.
I nod my head. “Who are you hiding from?” I ask.
“Their F-A-T-H-E-R,” she spells out.
I pause in my seat. There would be a damn good reason that she is hiding from the kids’ father.
“He hurt you?” I ask quietly.
She nods her head as tears well in her eyes. Then she removes the scarf around her neck, and I clench my jaw to stop from hollering out loud. Fuck.
I look at the girls more closely and see small marks on their cheeks. It takes everything in me not to react. I don’t want to scare them.
“There are women’s shelters…” I start, but she cuts me off with a shake of her head.
“He’s probably looking there. He’s well known throughout the community,” she says softly.
I nod my head in understanding.
“What does he do?” I ask.
“He’s a cop,” she says, and I freeze in place.
“Name?” I ground out.
“Dwight Adams,” she says. I think through all the names of men we were watching out for, and hold back a curse when I realize that he’s one of them.
“How long since you left?” I ask.
“About a week. I took what money he had in his wallet and left with my girls after…” she trails off, and motions to their faces.
“You guys can stay here. I have high security, and he won’t know to look for you here. I can pick up whatever you guys need. You will be safe. I’ll sort this mess out,” I state.
“Oh, I can’t ask you to do that,” she says, but I shake my head, stopping her words.
“You aren’t asking, I’m going to do it. I have enough room for all of you for however long you need it. I’m part of the Vicious Snakes MC. We take care of those in need. I’m not going to turn my back on you. Just write a list of stuff you and the girls will need, and I will take care of it,” I say firmly.
Tears well in her eyes, but she turns away to wipe at them.
“Thank you,” she says with her voice cracking.
“It’s nothing,” I say with a shrug.
“I will find a way to pay you back,” she says.
“Don’t worry about it,” I say.
“I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” she says firmly.
“Well, do you cook? I would love a nice home cooked meal every now and again. That’s all really. I ain’t hurting for cash,” I tell her simply.
“I can cook,” she says in a determined voice.
“Then it’s settled. I’m tired of take-out and sandwiches,” I say with a laugh.
I see a small smile on her face before she looks at her daughters who are finished eating and have fallen asleep with their heads in their hands at the table.
She picks up the smallest one, and I grab the other. Damn, I’m going to have to ask for their names tomorrow.
“Don’t worry about the mess. Let’s get you guys settled,” I whisper as I make my way to the guest room upstairs across from my room.
I had put a queen-sized bed, dresser, nightstands, and lamps in there. It’s pretty plain because I just got the stuff for if anyone in general needed to crash when they came over.
My mind thinks of little things that I could get for them to help make them more comfortable. The room next to this one is sitting empty. I bet a couple of princess toddler beds would fit quite nicely in there.
I don’t voice my thoughts because I know right off the bat that Annalise would just tell me that I don’t need to buy anything, but I want them all comfortable here.
I place the girl in my arms on the bed.
“There are clean towels in the bathroom, as well as spare toothbrushes and shampoo. I have my own bathroom in my bedroom, so you won’t have to worry about sharing the bathroom with me. I’ll see you all in the morning,” I say as I head out of the room.
“Thank you again, Kid,” she says softly as I shut the door.
I head to my room, and write a list of furniture, clothes, and toys that I plan to buy to help make my place more habitable for this family.
This might be the closest thing to a family that I will ever get to experience.