After ending the call, Natalie threw her phone and stormed out to the garage. Her chest heaved as her face grew hot. She stood in front of her husband’s car, biting her lower lip. With hands trembling, she reached for the latch and yanked open the door.
Climbing in, her eyes darted everywhere. She reached under the seat and groped around. When she pulled back her empty hand, she felt the tension rush out as she relaxed her limbs.
While backing out, she spotted something in the backseat. Her heart pounded as she scrambled to the rear of the car. She flopped onto her belly, stretched out her arm, and freed the lace with her finger. Swallowing back tears, she scooted out of the car.
She swiped her sleeve across her face. Pulling her shoulders back, she held her head high and strode into the house. She wadded the camisole into a ball and hurled it at her husband’s head.
Dan covered his face with his hands and yelled, “Hey, what’re you doing?” He unfolded the shirt and held it up. A small smile crept across his lips as he wiggled his eyebrows. “Feeling frisky?”
“You-you-you idiot! Does that look like it would fit me?” Natalie put her hands on her hips and tapped her foot.
Dan started to open his mouth but quickly closed it again. He cocked his head and shrugged his shoulders.
Throwing her hands in the air, Natalie leaned closer. “Kim called and said that when I was out of town for the conference last week; she saw your car parked in the alley. You said that your buddies picked you up for the game; so please explain that!”
The blood drained from Dan’s face as he furrowed his brow. “Honey, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I’ve never seen that undershirt before.”
“Undershirt? Seriously? You think you can fool me with semantics? That's sexy lingerie and it’s not mine! You cheater, get out of my house now!"
Hearing a noise behind her, Natalie spun around; her eyes locked onto her daughter's. After taking a deep breath, she softened her tone. “Alyssa, I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were home.”
Her daughter looked at Dad and then back at Mom. “Do you really think Dad cheated on you?” Alyssa’s top lip curled up as she crinkled her nose. Tears filled her eyes.
Natalie reached out to touch Alyssa’s arm, but she jerked it away and stepped back. “I can’t believe you! You can be such a witch sometimes!”
Dan bolted out of the chair and waggled his finger at Alyssa. “You will not disrespect your mother, no matter what!”
Alyssa’s lower lip trembled. “But Daddy. . .”
Reaching behind him, Dan pulled his wife closer. “Your mother and I had a misunderstanding, but it’s between us and doesn't concern you.”
A snort escaped her nose as her eyes focused on the lacy camisole. She started sobbing and collapsed on the floor. “You thought Daddy cheated because you found that in his car?”
Natalie knelt in front of her daughter. “How’d you know I found it in the car?”
Crimson freckles speckled her face. “B-b-ecause it’s mine.”
Natalie’s head dropped like a deflated balloon as she listened to her daughter. “I took the car. Jimmy and I . . .uh . . . well, you know.”
Natalie assaulted her with questions. "Where did you get something so sexy? I didn’t buy it. Did you steal it? You do realize that taking your father's car without permission is stealing? Did you ask for a purity ring for your sixteenth birthday just to con us?”
Dan gently placed his hand on Natalie's shoulder and shook his head. Tears filled his eyes as he turned to Alyssa. "Why?"
“He said if I didn't do it he’d leave me. I love him so much but it didn't matter cuz he dumped me anyway. He said I was immature cuz I kept crying whenever I thought about what we did.” Her body trembled as she flopped into her mother's lap. “Are you still going to leave Daddy?”
Natalie's stomach lurched. She closed her eyes and rubbed her face as her shoulders slumped. After a brief pause, Natalie lifted her head. “Of course not, but you’re grounded until further notice and, oh boy, will we be talking every night." She cupped her daughter's chin in her hand. "No matter what though, remember that we will always love you."
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