Town of Chance: Fight for Freedom(4)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

She shivered.

Bender gripped her cheeks.

“See, right there. You were thinking of something bad, upsetting even now when we’re talking to you.”

She shook her head. She felt the bile in her throat from the images she remembered. “I can’t,” she whispered.

“Shelby Ann, please,” Bender said to her. His hands were on her, holding her, keeping her close, and she felt so safe, so secure with him and Kenneth there, but she couldn’t do this. She couldn’t let them in. What would they say when they saw the scars? How would they react when they found out what Skip had done to her? What would they think if they found out what she allowed Skip to put her through, and made her submit to or die?

“I don’t want this, and I don’t want you or your brothers. Please leave me alone or I will call Max,” she threatened again, and she pressed away from Bender.

Bender released her and he wasn’t happy about it as he exhaled then clenched his teeth and held his fists by his side.

She hurried away from them and into Spencer’s. She felt like shit. Like the lowest possible piece of dirt for hurting them like that. But they were better off without her. Better off with someone who wasn’t scarred the way she was and emotionally unstable.

“Shelby, what’s wrong?” Caroline asked as she hurried to her, stepping away from Hunter. One look at her sister’s men and she could see their instant concern. It hurt to know that she could have that, too, if it weren’t for her past and for what Skip had done.

“I need to go home. Now,” she said to Caroline.

Caroline looked over her shoulder and squinted her eyes at Shelby.

“What did they do?”

She held onto Caroline and forced a smile.

“They didn’t do anything. I can’t give them what they want, Caroline. Please, understand.”

Caroline looked confused. Her facial expression went from concern to sadness. She had her hand on Shelby’s shoulder.

“I love you,” Caroline told her.

“I love you, too. Stay, enjoy the night,” Shelby replied, forcing a smile.

“Is everything okay over here?” C.J. asked, approaching.

“Yes, just fine. I need to head out. I’m not feeling well,” Shelby lied.

“Want one of us to give you a ride home?” York asked, joining them along with Hunter. Shelby was touched by their instant care for her, too. They didn’t need to look after Shelby. They needed to always look after Caroline.

“I’ll be just fine. I hope you are enjoying the party, C.J.,” Shelby said to him. He gave a smile and then wrapped his arm around Caroline’s waist and pulled her close. “Very good time. Thanks for coming.”

“Of course. Good night then,” Shelby said and the men kissed her good night.

“I’ll walk her out,” Caroline said. Her men weren’t too happy about that. Ever since the day she was abducted and C.J. was shot, they were super overprotective of her. Shelby wouldn’t want it any other way.

“I’ll go with them,” York said. “Come on, ladies,” he added and guided them from Spencer’s as Shelby said good night to other people and headed outside.

* * * *

“What are we going to do?” Kenneth asked Bender as they watched Shelby leave. York was walking her out. That should be them right now, not any other man and not her sister’s men either.

“I don’t fucking know. I swear, she’s hiding something scary. I can tell,” Bender replied.

“Do you think the sheriff knows? I mean, the rules are strict, and she did help her sister keep a secret about Cameron and that she was running and hiding.”

“If that’s the case then Max needs to confront Shelby. It could be a means to getting her to accept us as her guardians. We would be the ones he picks,” Kenneth stated.

“I don’t like that look in her eyes, when she’s lost in thought and it’s obviously something bad. She gets tense. Looks like she might cry or pass out of something,” Bender added.

“What’s going on? What the fuck happened outside?” Sam asked as he approached.

Kenneth explained and now Sam was upset as he ran his fingers through his crew cut and then looked toward Caroline and York as they came back inside and joined the others.

“So what do you think we should do?” Sam asked.

“Well, we have two choices. We go talk to Max, or we do a little investigating ourselves,” Kenneth said to them.

“If she finds out then she’ll get pissed off,” Sam pointed out.

“She’ll get over it. Here comes Max.” Bender nodded toward the sheriff as he approached. He greeted them and then looked over his shoulder before he spoke.

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