Rhapsody sat across from me in the plastic booth at the fast food joint. The same silence filled the air between us as did in my car. I watched her dip fries in a pool of ketchup while averting her eyes from mine.
“Are you going to talk to me?” I crumpled up my empty burger wrapper.
“You forced me to come to dinner. You didn’t say anything about me having to participate in any conversation.”
Rhapsody dipped another fry in the ketchup pool. This was going to be the longest fast food dinner in the history of fast food.
“Will you please talk to me?”
Rhapsody sighed and looked at me with raised eyebrows.
“Alright. Since you’re at least looking at me now, I’m going to say what I want to say.”
She stared at me blankly.
“I want us to be an us again.”
She snorted then went back to dipping the fry into the red blob.
“I know I fucked up.”
“Yup.” She slurped on her soda.
“I want to make things better.”
“How do you plan on that, Chord? I don’t know if I can trust what you say?”
“I know I have a lot of work cut out but-“ I was cut off by the buzzing of my phone. Glancing down I noticed it was Alec. Pressing ignore I flipped my cell over. “What was I saying?”
“You were telling me about how-“ Rhapsody was cut off by a ringing. She opened her bag and pulled out the offending phone. She had a weird look on her face.
She looked at the phone then back to me. “Was that Alec that texted you?”
I blanched. “Yeah. How did you know?”
“Cassie just texted me.”
“Ok. I’m not seeing the connection.”
“Look at your phone Chord.”
I flipped over my phone and immediately regretted it.
Alec: You’re needed at the Central PD
Alec: Chord? Pick up your fucking phone.
Alec: This is serious
Alec: Don’t make me talk to the dragon shrew
Alec: I had to talk to her. I hate you.
Me: What the hell is going on?
Alec: Fucking finally. What the hell have you been doing?
Alec: Never mind. Get down to the police department now.
Alec: You’ll see when you get here.
Me: You better not be fucking with me.
Alec: I wouldn’t do that
Me: Yeah you would
Alec: Yeah I would but this isn’t that. I’ll see you in ten.
I sighed and looked at Rhapsody. She was standing holding her purse. While I’d been texting my idiot cousin she’d cleaned our table and got ready to leave.
“I’m so sorry. It looks like there is some kind of emergency.”
“Alec wouldn’t tell you either?”
I stood from the booth. “What?”
“Cassie wouldn’t tell me anything but I have a feeling this has to do with our parents.”
“Fuck me.” I mumbled as I held the door for her to exit.
Rhapsody grinned at me. “That might be why they are in jail.”
“I doubt it. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.”
We got into the car and I pulled away. Rhapsody drummed her fingers nervously against her purse. The tension between us became thicker. I didn’t think that was even possible.
“Do you really think something happened between our parents?”
She shrugged. “This wouldn’t be the first time.”
“Apparently a few decades back when this whole feud started there was something with a television through someone’s hotel room and a stolen giraffe.”
“A stolen giraffe?” I looked over at her.
“Yep. Though it could be some other animal but I was probably five when I heard the story and I wasn’t listening that closely. The only thing I was supposed to get out of it was to stay away from anyone associated with Jimmy Ray. How was I supposed to know the one time I get drunk and have sex with a hot guy it would be Jimmy’s son.”
I bit my lip then said, “You think I’m hot.”
Her face flushed then she straightened in her seat. “You know you’re hot. I also think you’re an idiot. You should probably focus on that part.”
A laugh bubbled out of me as I pulled the car into a parking spot in front of the police department. I glanced up and the thought of me taking the pregnant mother of my child into a police department because of our parents struck me as hilarious. My loud laughter drew the looks of nearby officers getting into squad cars.
“Did I break you?”
Holding up one finger I put my head on the steering wheel and continued to laugh until I was heaving in breaths. Finally, the laughs stopped and I looked at Rhapsody. Her look almost made me start all over. She reached over and twisted my nipple.
“Ow! Why did you do that?” I rubbed my poor injured nipple.
“I figured giving you a purple nurple would keep you from laughing all over again. I saw the look on your face. You were headed down the laugh track again.”
I crossed my arms. “How would you like it if I did that?”
She let out a frustrated sigh. “Can we just find out what the hell is going on? Then we can go our separate ways.”
Her words were like a bucket of ice water. “I don’t want to go our separate ways.”
“Dammit, Chord. Focus. Let’s get things handled then we can figure our junk out.”
I gave her a long look then nodded. “Let’s go.”
We exited the car then walked up to the double doors of the police station. We could see Alec and Cassie having an argument with an officer standing between them. If we didn’t get in there we’d have to bail them out too.
“Jesus. I don’t have money for two bails tonight.” Rhapsody mumbled.
“It’s your aunt’s fault that any of this happened.” Alec yelled pointing a finger in Cassie’s face.
“Are you fucking high? You’ve got to be high. Officer I think you need to check this asshole for drugs. He’s saying ridiculously stupid things that only someone on an illegal drug would say.”
“I’m high? I’m high? You’re the one that got busted a few years back. You aren’t one to talk.”
“What?!” Cassie screeched.
“Cassie!” Rhapsody yelled.
“Alec!” I approached my cousin.
“Rhapsody! Finally! I’m sorry I had to drag you from your alone time but this is something you need to handle.”
Rhapsody rolled her eyes. “Thanks. Now, if you shut up and go sit over there I can talk to this nice police officer about Emmerson.” She moved past Cassie and the other officer to speak with someone at the desk.
“What the hell is going on, Alec?”
“I told you I didn’t want to talk to the dragon shrew.” Alec crossed his arms as if that sentence made any sense.
“I have no idea what the hell your talking about. Why do I need to be involved when you are Jimmy’s manager.”
“I had to talk to her.” Alec pointed to Cassie. She stuck her tongue out at him. “She’s impossible.”
“The agency won’t let me handle Jimmy’s troubles any more. They said you or Miranda needed to.”
“You didn’t call Miranda because…”
He gave me a horrified look. “I already had to deal with one shrew. Did I really need two?”
A tension headache was building behind my eyes. “Fine. Go sit over there and act like a civilized adult.”
Alec glared over to Cassie then sat in a chair across from her. I shook my head then went to the desk where Rhapsody was talking to the officer.
“…she can’t just burst into a hotel room and pour jello all over someone’s bed.” The officer explained.
“I understand officer but I didn’t realize a prank was an arrestable offense.”
“It’s not but when she broke into the room and effectively stole Mr. Ray’s guitar strings and condoms it was.”
Rhapsody rubbed her bridge of her nose. “How much will this cost?”
I cringed. “I can take care of it.”
“No. Emmerson is my problem. I think you have your own problem with Jimmy.”
Looking at the officer, I asked. “What did he do to get him in here?”
“Well, when Mr. Ray discovered Ms. Lee was the culprit he burst through the hotel room door, assaulted Ms. Lee with a pillow then absconded with her…uhm..”
“What?” I asked.
“Her sexual assistant devices.” The officer blushed.
“Emmerson has an extensive collection of vibrators and dildos.” Rhapsody voice was matter-of-fact.
“What the hell is with them?”
The officer shrugged. “It will be seven hundred for you, too.”
I wanted to bang my head on the counter, but I figured if I did that they’d send me to the asylum or worse in the jail with Jimmy. “Alright. How does this work?”
“I need you two to sign these then I can go get them.”
Rhapsody and I signed identical papers effectively taking responsibility of our parents.
“Thank you. I will have someone bring them out now.” The officer took the papers then began typing on his computer.
I looked at Rhapsody. “I guess we wait.”
“I guess so. “ She winced as she rubbed her belly.
“Are you ok?”
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “Yeah. I’ll be fine. We better sit with them before they decide to go another round.”
I walked over to Alec and sat next to him.
“Did you fix it?” He asked.
“Yeah. They are bringing him out now.”
“Not Jimmy. Did you fix your issues with Rhapsody?”
“What?” I furrowed my brow then I understood what he said. “Oh. No. I was in the middle of trying to convince her that I wouldn’t act like an idiot any longer but this happened.”
“Sorry, man. If I could have handled it I would have.”
I leaned back in the chair and closed my eyes. The fluorescent lights were making my headache worse. It was only a few minutes later when a commotion drew all of our attention.
“You miserable son of a bitch.” Emmerson Lee’s voice echoed through the police station.
“I’m miserable? You’re the miserable one. You have all those sex toys because you need to get laid. Maybe then you won’t be obsessed with me.” Jimmy yelled.
“Obsessed! Obsessed? The only thing I’m obsessed with is making your life miserable. Next time I’ll cut off your cock. Maybe then you’ll learn.” She screeched.
“Did you hear her officer? She’s threatening me. I feel threatened.”
I watched as Jimmy covered his junk with his bound hands while Emmerson tried to kick him as the officer tugged her away from him.
“Mother!” Rhapsody’s voice snapped.
In that moment, I envisioned Rhapsody using that voice to correct our little bean.
“Rhasody?” Emmerson asked.
I met Jimmy’s eyes.
“If you don’t knock it off, I’m not…“ Rhapsody stilled.
“Rhapsody are you ok?” I stood from the chair.
She nodded but I watched all color drain from her face. With a speed I didn’t know I possessed, I made it to her just in time to catch her before she hit the floor.
“Fuck! Rhapsody!” Cassie slid over to where I was sitting with Rhapsody’s prone form.
“Rhapsody? Sweetie?” Emmerson’s voice wavered then she turned to Jimmy. “See what you did? I swear if anything happens to her…”
“How the hell are you blaming this on me? I didn’t do anything to her.” Jimmy protested.
Emmerson Lee reared back readying herself to got at Jimmy again.
“Will you two knock it off?” I yelled.
Everyone froze. By the looks on Jimmy’s and Emmerson’s faces it had been a long time since anyone yelled at them.
“I’m taking Rhapsody to the hospital.” I picked Rhapsody up then turned toward Cassie and Alec. “I need you two to handle these two.”
Cassie and Alec nodded as I walked past them. Worry cooled the blood in my veins. If anything happened to Rhapsody and little bean our parents would feel what wrath really felt like.