Penny, Tony and Imogene took the kids out, including Suzy’s brother and sister, Thomas and Deneya. First they went to The Burger Bar to eat. Penny and Imogene went up to order while Tony stayed with the children, though he was paying no attention, instead texting Jasper, his business partner.
Jasper: Heya T, things aren’t running too smoothly today. Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well, but is there any way you could come in?
Tony: Sorry Jasper, some family things have come up, we aren’t running very smoothly here either. Is it anything I can help with by phone?
Jasper: Really not.. CTD Ltd. are being difficult, demanding to speak to you, today. But I’ll keep trying, are you prepared to come in if we’ve done everything we can and they’re still being dicks?
Tony groaned, sent back a quick ‘Sure.’ and put his phone away just as Penny and Imogene came back with the orders. Penny took on look at her husband, placed a hand on his shoulder and gave a little squeeze.
“Everything okay sweetie?” she asked, passing him a gigantic burger. Tony gave her a tight lipped smile.
“Jasper says CTD Ltd. are being difficult and I may need to run off and sign something briefly later. He’s doing his best.” Penny frowned but nodded, and passed a burger to Thomas and Nala, while Imogene handed Deneya and Suzy theirs. Everyone dug in, even Suzy who hadn’t been eating very well recently. Nobody mentioned it, but it was a step forward, wasn’t it?
After they’d all eaten, they piled into the two cars again, Deneya, Nala and Suzy with Penny, Thomas, Imogene and Tony in the other car. With everyone buckled in and sorted they drove off towards the mall. Deneya was going to get together with some friends, Tony was going to take Thomas to the pet shop while Imogene and Penny helped the girls find their school supplied. In the car Suzy elbowed Nala in the side, making her yelp.
“Suzy! What on earth was that for?!” She growled, rubbing her sore ribs, though that stopped when she saw what Suzy had written in her notepad.
Your Dad is following us!!
Nala felt her blood go cold, she turned in her seat and glanced at the car behind them, looked like her Dad’s, tinted windows, shiny black paint, clean white rimmed wheels. Then, she saw the number plate.
“Mrs. Golde, don’t freak out, but my Dad is following us.” Penny drew in a quick breath, looked in her rear view mirror and cussed under her breath. Without missing a beat she pulled out her phone, dialed Tony’s number and waited.
‘Penny?’ Tony asked as soon as he’d answered. ‘What’s the problem?’
‘Peter is tailing us.’ She replied, her voice steady enough the kids couldn’t tell she was worried, but not steady enough to fool Tony.
‘Oh, shit! Alright, I’m going to pull over somewhere, leaving enough room for you, and only you, to park in front, and we’ll see what he does. Don’t worry, everything will be fine.’ and with that said, he hung up and drove until he found two parks. He took the back one, indicating well in advanced so Penny knew the plan. He turned the car off and waited, watching Penny pull in in front of them, and watching Peter park behind. He waited, holding his breath, there was no movement for almost 40 seconds, then Peters car lights turned off and his door opened. Tony waited until Peter was out of the car and had locked it before he jumped out of Imogene’s car.
“What do you think you’re doing?? How are you out of the holding cells already??” Tony spat, glaring at the horrible man standing before him.
“Hi, T, nice to see you too. See, I’m one of the best lawyers around, meaning any chance to get out, I can see it. So I took it, and won. I have bail until the court case, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” A evil smile spread across his face as Peter watched Tony struggle to keep himself together. In the car, Penny could see this too. She grabbed her phone and dialed the number Officer Hugh had given them. It didn’t even ring twice before he picked up. “Penny, what’s the problem?”
“Peter is out of the holding cells, he followed us when we went out. Tony is confronting him now, but I think it’s going to turn nasty unless we get someone here. Please help?” she asked, trying to keep her voice low, but seeing as the car was small the kids heard everything.
“Alright, Penny. Is everyone with you? All the children? Imogene? Are they all in the car?” he asked, Penny told him everyone was, except Tony, and he groaned. “You need to try and get him into the car, to move on. I’m on my way now, but you need to get Tony back in the car before he does something stupid to mess up the court case.” Even though she knew he couldn’t see her, Penny nodded and hung up. She turned around and looked the children.
“You’re all to stay in the car, understood?” and before they answered, she stepped out of the car. “Tony?” she called, wearily. Tony turned and looked at her.
“Penny! Get back in the car!” He called, but she shook her head and took a step towards him.
“I will when you do. What do you think you’re going to do? Please, just get back into the car.” She looked at him with her pleading eyes, the eyes she uses every time something big and important is going to happen. Tony stared at her for a few moments, then nodded. Penny smiled and walked back to the car, waiting till she saw Tony climbing back in before she did too. Before their doors were even shut, she heard police sirens and saw a navy blue mufti cop flying around the corner, he pulled up next to Tony’s car, jumped out and held up a taser gun.
“Peter Lark, get on the ground now!” Officer Hugh called, stepping towards the man. Peter glared at him, then Penny, and lunged at her.
“You stupid, interfering little --” before he reached her, or finished his sentence he was on the ground, body convulsing as the electric current was shot through him.
“Peter Lark, you’re under arrest for tailing and harassing innocent town folk. You have the right to remain silent.” Officer Hugh ran through the Miranda Rights then put Peter in the back of his car and walked to the window of Suzy’s car. “You saved the day.” he said, giving her a smile. “Stopped your husband from getting in any trouble and Peter from hurting anyone, well done.” he said, then looked into the back and saw the three, stunned children. “Sorry you had to see that, luckily nothing really bad happened right?” he gave them all a wave, stopped by and said a few words to Tony and Imogene, then was on his way to the police station with the shocked, angry Peter.
Once they got to the mall, they all headed in and went to get a milkshake.
“I think we deserve one after all that!” Penny said, trying to keep the smile on her face. The kids looked at each other and shook their heads, well, all the girls did anyway.
“We’re not really thirsty Mum, I just want to go meet my friends, I’m already too late for us to make the movie we wanted to see.” Deneya said. Penny nodded and patted her oldest daughter on the back.
“Alright, go have fun. We’ll text you when we’re leaving and you can decide if you want to come back with us or get a ride with one of your friends. No walking or busing home alone. Understood?” When her daughter nodded that she understood all the rules, Penny let her go, Tony and Thomas went to get their milkshakes while the girls went to look for school gear.
The first shop they entered was a clothing store. Their school didn’t have uniforms so they got to wear what they wanted, as long as it meet school criteria. In the past both Suzy and Nala had gone for bright pink, purple, blue or any other colour clothes that take their fancy. This time, while looking through the racks all the clothes that they liked the look of were dark. Black, purple, blue and any other dark fabrics and patterns that took their fancy. Penny and Imogene frowned but they had agreed never to tell their children what to wear, so brought everything the girls chose. Shop one down, two to go.
Entering the shoe shop, Nala and Suzy went off to separate sections of the shop. Nala liked boots and heels, while Suzy liked flats and sneakers. Suzy looked through the section she normally chose from, but none of it caught her eye anymore, so she walked over to where Nala was and looked over a few. There were a few she liked, but didn’t think she could walk in them. Nala looked over and saw Suzy looked and smiled.
“Try them on,” she said, handing her a pair. “They’ll look great on you!” Suzy took them and looked them over, then sat down on a seat provided to switch her shoes. Once they were on she stood up and took a few steps, she was surprisingly good in platforms. They were black with silver buckles to do them up, and they had dark purple stars on each side of the ankle. Once Suzy realised she could walk in these shoes she chose a few pairs similar to them, Nala chose a few pairs and they left for the last shop.
The girls walked into the Stationary shop, Mothers following closely behind.
“Are you going to get matching pink lined books as usual?” Imogene asked, taking a step towards the yearly isle, but she was stopped when both Suzy and Nala shook their heads.
“Actually, we need to look at the older section, you know, since we’re in High School this year.” Imogene and Penny looked at each other and shrugged, following their girls into the older sections. The books were all plain, ready to be used for school work, and if you wanted them decorated you had to do it yourself.
“Can you get all the books and folders we need while we find the stuff to decorate the books?” Nala asked their Mothers, the ladies smiled and nodded, walking off to the counter to get the school stationery list, while Nala and Suzy walked to the decor and accessories area. They’d never really browsed there before as their books were pre decorated, so they were shocked at all the variety.
I’m fed up with pink, it’s too girlish and cheerful.
Suzy wrote, showing the note to Nala, who nodded in agreement. So avoiding the big, bright section they were drawn to the darker colours, and loved the variety. Black, dark purples and blues, little skulls and cross bones. It was great!
I’ve seen most these designs on the senior books when we pick Deneya up! Suzy wrote, while admiring all the options. Nala smiled.
“Yes, and now it’s our turn.” she walked up to a black roll with pink cross bones and skulls, studied it, then picked up two more rolls. “I’m just going to stick with one colour and pattern this year. I like these. Suzy looked at them and nodded, then looked over some of the dark purple and blue selections. One of the dark blue rolls had a lime green dog paw print, and bone, and collar. She grinned and grabbed a few rolls of that, showing them to Nala who frowned. “They’re childish Suze..” Suzy looked down and put them back, picking up the same pattern as Nala had but with a dark purple background. This time Nala nodded and they went to find their parents.
“Oh Suzy, no! It’s so dark!” Penny exclaimed, shaking her head furiously. “You can’t seriously want something like that?? Just because Nala wants it doesn’t mean you have to.” she said, but Suzy shook her head and thrust the rolls of paper at her, Penny sighed and gave in. “Okay, but you can’t change your mind half way through the year..” Suzy nodded and gave Nala a tight lipped smile as they paid and walked out of the shop.