The List: Part IV: An R.L. Mathewson Chronicle
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The List: Part IV
The Bradford Invasion Continued
“Man up!” Haley hissed as she gave Zoe another shove towards the hotel lobby.
“Stop doing that!” Zoe hissed back, slapping the insistent hands that kept pushing her to do the one thing that she’d been trying to build up the courage to do for the last twenty minutes.
“She’s going to leave soon!” Haley whispered more urgently as she once again gave Zoe another shove towards the lobby where Tina Reber stood, talking with Maryse Black, the organizer for Book Bash.
“Then you go talk to her!” Zoe whispered harshly as she was once again forced to slap the hands that kept shoving her, away.
“Only because you keep pushing me, midget!”
Haley gasped even as she shoved against Zoe, still determined to force Zoe to do her bidding. “I’m not short!” she hissed with another shove. “I’m perfectly proportioned!”
“Uh huh,” Zoe mumbled, deciding that it was pointless to argue, mostly because she was just barely taller than Haley.
Another shove followed by another slap was immediately followed by a frustrated growl.
“She’s going to leave soon!” Haley pointed out in that hissed whisper that was starting to attract the attention of the concierge.
“Then you should get your ass over there and ask her,” Zoe pointed out with a sigh, having had more than enough of being pushed around for one morning.
“You’re the one who dragged me down here,” Haley decided to point out, apparently giving up her attempts to push Zoe into doing something that they were both too chicken to do and was now attempting to manipulate Zoe with a pout, a pathetic yet, cute pout, but a pout nonetheless.
Shaking her head in disgust, she focused her attention back on Tina Reber, who was now talking to what looked like a very excited fan. “You do realize that only works on men, right?” she felt the need to point out, because really, it was just getting sad at this point.
The pout was instantly gone as Haley shrugged and joined in on staring at Tina Reber in a non-stalker kind of way, but they both knew, short of the author getting into a car or making a run for it, they would both follow her until one of them had the guts to ask her for her autograph. Then again, with the way that they were staring at Mrs. Reber, they’d most likely be speaking to the very nice security guard standing by the door, eying them suspiciously before they got the chance to ask for her autograph.
Zoe sighed. “We need a better plan.”
For a moment, Haley didn’t say anything, but her lips did purse up in thought so at least her friend was giving this some serious thought, which was for the best since the State Police would be here within a few hours to escort both their husbands to the airport.
“We could go get Trevor and Jason and ask them to do this,” Zoe suggested, more than willing to take the chicken’s way out of this and get her husband to do her dirty work for her.
“Ummm,” Haley said, clearly biting back a smile and clearing her throat before she continued, “I don’t think Jason would be up to it right now,” she finished as a little snort of amusement escaped her.
Zoe wondered what that was about for all of ten seconds until she decided that she most likely didn’t want to know. So, instead she narrowed her eyes on the woman that she was stalking, nibbled her bottom lip and struggled to come up with another plan that would land them with autographs and a chance to say hello to one of their favorite authors without them babbling like idiots and scaring Tina away.
“Why don’t we do this together?” Haley suggested, sounding a touch desperate and for good reason. A middle-aged man stepped out of the café and announced to Tina that their table was ready. So, unless they were willing to take this level of stalking to the next level and try to get a table next to Mrs. Reber’s and make this situation even more awkward, they had to get this over with now.
“O-kay,” Zoe said, reaching down and grabbing Haley’s hand to give it a reassuring squeeze only to find her hand in a death trap as the smaller woman decided that it was now or never and dragged Zoe towards their prey.
“Do you have any new pictures of your pack of deer?” they heard Maryse ask Tina as they closed in on the pair.
Smiling, Tina nodded as she pulled out her phone. “I took some new pictures of Fluffy and the pack the other morning when we left. I just haven’t had a chance to post them online yet.”
“I love your videos!” Maryse beamed as she stepped closer to Tina so that she could see the pictures.
“I have this really good video of Fluffy,” Tina said with all the pride of a new mother.
“Is R.L. still threatening to kidnap Fluffy?” Maryse asked, smiling down at whatever Tina was showing her.
Tina chuckled. “Yes, but I’m not too worried. She can’t seem to keep the deer that she has now. They keep dumping her.”
Maryse laughed as well. “It’s pretty sad. Last I heard the wild turkeys that lived in her woods wouldn’t even touch the corn that she left out.”
“She just doesn’t have the touch,” Tina said, amusement sparkling in her eyes as she continued to show Maryse more pictures.
“Umm, Haley, maybe we should-” Zoe started to say as they neared the pair, not sure that she could really go through with this just as Haley said, “Mrs. Reber, could we-”
“What the hell…….,” Tina murmured, apparently unaware that they were now standing less than two feet away from her as she frowned down at her phone.
“Is…..is that Fluffly?” Maryse asked with a frown of her own as she looked down at the phone, looking like she wasn’t exactly sure what she was seeing.
“Oh my God!” Tina gasped.
“There’s no way that she pulled it off,” Maryse said, shaking her head in disbelief as Zoe sent Haley an imploring look, praying that her friend would take pity on her and let them make their escape before they were noticed.
“S-she’s got Fluffy,” Tina said in a hollow voice. “She’s got my Fluffy!”
“It can’t be Fluffy,” Maryse said, looking just as stunned as Tina. “She’s in Boston this weekend. That’s why she couldn’t come to Book Bash,” she pointed out, not really sounding all that sure.
“That’s definitely Fluffy and that’s definitely R.L. sitting next to her with a huge grin on her face!” Tina said, her eyes narrowing on the phone. “She planned this whole thing!’
“Haley!” Zoe hissed as she gestured with a nod of her head towards the elevators where they could make their escape.
“Oh my God, did she really post a ransom note on Facebook?” Maryse asked, her lips twitching with amusement as Zoe decided that enough was enough and yanked her hand away from Haley’s, turned around and walked into a very broad, muscular chest that she would recognize anywhere.
“You left the bed before I was done with you,” Trevor hissed softly, yet dangerously as he grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder before she could get out a proper squeal.
“But it was for a good reason!” she pointed out, not bothering to struggle her way to freedom when she knew that it was pointless. Trevor was determined to finish what they’d started, well, what she’d started when she’d decided that if she had any chance to meet the authors that they’d missed yesterday that it had been now or never. Perhaps she shouldn’t have gotten him all worked up before she’d sent him to take a shower and made a run for it, she mused as she watched an equally determined Jason storm across the lobby, grab Haley, who managed to get out a proper squeal as she was thrown over her husband’s shoulder, and storm off.
Everyone in the lobby around them threw them nervous glances, the security guards looked weary as Tina Reber and Maryse Black stood there oblivious to their kidnappings as they continued to stare at the phone in Tina’s hands. As she was carried to the elevator, she sighed heavily as she came to terms with the fact that she was going to have to continue stalking one of her favorite authors from afar via Facebook for just a little while longer, at least until the ban was lifted and they could attend Book Bash again.
That is unless she managed to wear Trevor out and sneak back downstairs to-
“One million dollars!” Tina shouted just as the elevator doors closed behind them, killing all her hopes and dreams in that instant, because she knew without a doubt that Tina Reber would be busy for a while, at least until she figured out how to kidnap Fluffy back away from R.L. Mathewson.
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