“How much do I owe you?” “Well seeing as how you have a little girl to take care of why don’t we just say this one is a freebie.” “Thanks… what’s your name again?” “Tommy but my friends call me Tom, so do you and the kid have a place to stay for the night?” “No we’ve been on the run for a year now from her father my ex he’s a very abusive man and I couldn’t let my daughter be around him any longer.” “Well I’m sorry to hear that but you’ll welcome to stay with me I have a place about hour and half from here.” Tracy smiles at him and picks up Pepper whose half asleep “that sounds perfect.”
3 weeks later…
“Mom... mommy” “wha...what Pepper… can’t you see… mommy is busy…?” She grabs a bottle of scotch and takes a big drink “mommy I’m hungry.” “Go talk to Tom” she takes another drink of scotch as Pepper walks off in search of Tom. She finds him counting money upstairs in his office. “Tom… um… can I have something to eat please?” “Sure you can, what’s your mom doing?” “She’s laying on the couch with a big bottle drinking dark apple juice. She told me to come find you.” “Yeah she likes her apple juice... so how about a grilled cheese sandwich for you with a glass of milk?” “That sounds good I like grilled cheese” “yeah me too so let’s head down to the kitchen and make some.”
After dinner Tom takes Pepper up to the room that she’s been staying in for the past three weeks. “Pepper I have a surprise for you” in a very excited voice she starts jumping up and down “what is it, what is it?” He opens the door while telling her “calm down I bought you some new clothes and shoes.” She runs over to the bed where three pairs of jeans and five new brightly colored t-shirts are laid out. There are two pairs of shoes one pair are bright white teeny shoes and a small pair of bright yellow flip-flops.
“Do you like them?” “Yes thank you Tom they're so pretty I can’t wait to show mommy.” “You can show her later she’s outside…. taking care of something. Why don’t you get ready for bed because tomorrow is a big day for you.” “Why’s that?” “You’ll find tomorrow so change into your pajama’s and I’ll tuck you in ok?” “Alright...” Tom walks out of her room shutting the door behind him, he walks back in 5 minutes later and Pepper climbs into bed he pulls the covers over her and turns on her night light before turning off the light. “Night Pepper get some sleep you’re going to wake up bright and early tomorrow.” He shuts the door behind him and she hugs her stuffed pig and falls fast asleep.
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