“How far is Phoenix? she asked
“About a hundred miles, give or take a mile or two”
Seeing the last passenger get on the bus, Bridget quickly made her way over to the bus and stepped inside. Within a few minutes, the driver stepped outside and opened the luggage area and put a suitcase on the ground. Bridget descended the steps carrying a medium size carry-on with a backpack slung over one shoulder. Peter quickly went over and picked up the suitcase as Bridget walked up to him. The door closed with a hiss and slowly made it's way out to the road. Bridget watched it until it was just a speck on the horizon, wondering if she had made the right decision or not.
Taking a deep breath, Bridget turned to Peter and asked, “Well, where do I stay? In one of your jail cells? Or is there even a jail?”
“Yes, there is a jail and no, you are not going to stay in one of them.” Peter said laughing. “Ms. Hendrick has some rooms she rents. In fact I rent one myself.”
Suddenly Bridget found herself wondering if she had made a mistake getting off the bus. She only had a couple of hundred dollars to get herself established and renting a room in such a small town might actually be too much to spend.
Seeing her just standing there, staring off into space, Peter broke into her thoughts and asked, “Ready to head on over?”
Knowing she had no choice but to go to Ms. Hendrick's house, Bridget nodded her head. “Lead the way sheriff.”
As they made their way to Ms. Hendrick's house, neither one was aware that they were being watched by Mandy, Peter's sister.
“Damn fool boy,” she muttered to herself “always was a sucker for a sob story. Wonder what this one's story is?”
The bell above the door tinkled as Peter rushed through the door.
“Hey sis,” Peter said as he grabbed her in a bear hug and lifted her off the floor.
“Put me down and just tell me what you want Peter.” Mandy said laughing “Bet it has something to do with that stray you dragged over to Ms. Hendrick's.”
“Her name is Bridget, and she is not a stray. She is running from something or someone.”
“Oh great, the sheriff is now helping runaways,” Mandy complained. “One sure way not to get yourself re-elected.”
“Oh hell Mandy, you know no one else wants this damn job.”
Snorting, Mandy told him, “Out with it. What do you want?”
“I told Bridget that you were in need of some help one day a week so you could go to Phoenix so you wouldn't have to close the store, and also on Saturday.” Peter explained “And she is eighteen, so technically she is not a runaway sis.”
“A job!” Mandy hollered “You promised her a job without consulting me first!”
“Yeah, but just think sis. You go to Phoenix and you won't have to close the store.”
“But she could be a thief and steal us blind.”
“And how in the world would she get out of town? Walk? She came in on the Greyhound for gosh sakes sis. Give her a chance.”
Thinking on a moment, Mandy finally said, “Okay, bring her over so I can meet her.”
“Thanks sis, you are the best.” Peter said as he hugged his sister and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Before Mandy could say another word, Peter was out the door and halfway to Ms. Hendrick's house, which was just across the street. Mandy shook her head and went back to checking her stock to see what she needed to get on her next trip to Phoenix. Just as she finished writing down her order, the bell over the door tinkled again. Smoothing down her apron, Mandy walked toward the front of the store to meet her newest worker, As Mandy approached the two, she immediately saw that Bridget was thepregnant girl she had waited on earlier. She flashed Peter a mean look and he just shrugged his shoulders.