It’s been a while since I’ve hosted Velia Armano from the Bull Rider Series for a Short Snippet Saturday post. This one comes from Howdy, Ma’am.
Set-up: A couple days before this snippet, Velia’s father and two of his men had flown in from Chicago to accompany her to court in Tucson, Arizona. While in court the day before this snippet, her ex had threatened her. Her dad sent one of his, ahem, men home with Velia in case Justin followed her back to where she rented an upstairs apartment from an elderly couple. It also happened to be the first night Velia had invited Caulder to dinner. Caulder had arrived right after a horrific incident to find Velia passed out on the floor. This snippet takes place the next morning.
Revised from the original to avoid spoilers.
Ric and Lidia Armano arrived at the door the next day. Roy promptly followed his boss to the car where they met Nero. They stood talking for some time.
Later, she walked back and forth from her window to the door, debating on going out. Her mother sat on the bed, watching her pace across the room. Velia’s head pain had eased, but her bruises had worsened. When her mom saw them, she cried, and when her dad saw them, he’d probably send for his lawyer to take care of Justin in court…or otherwise.
Why couldn’t he leave well enough alone? What would he have done if Roy hadn’t been here? Would he have hurt Alice and Edward? Would she be alive today?
She wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the chill from the horrible thoughts. Lidia hugged her and Velia cried. Her mother’s familiar, loving arms comforted her, and she let it all out as her mom smoothed her hair and cuddled her like a child.
“Your father will be in soon. You can’t hide from him forever.” She handed Velia a scented lace handkerchief like she’d done when she was small. She inhaled the perfume that spoke madre. Velia wiped her eyes then went to the bathroom to hold a wet washcloth over them and reapplied makeup to the non-swollen eye.
She headed downstairs when Edward let her father inside. Her dad wrapped his arms around her. His eyes misted when he saw the bruises. “He has done this before. I do not understand why you didn’t tell me. You’re a strong woman. Why did you put up with this, Velia?”
Velia wanted to think up a lie, but she had done enough lying while living with Justin.
“Why did you not tell me?”
She whispered, “I know what would’ve happened.”
“Sì, and then…” He pointed to her face. “This would not have happened.”
“I’m sorry.” Velia lowered her voice. “I couldn’t allow something to happen to him.”
“So you sacrificed yourself?” His voice grew louder.
“I suppose. What’s going to happen to Justin now?”
Ric shook his head. “Our lawyer will encourage the prosecutor to ask for time in jail for assault and breaking and entering.”
“But he didn’t break in, padre.”
“Yes, he did. Did he not break in, Roy?” her father asked.
“Yes, sir,” Roy replied. “He nearly broke the door down.”
Velia glanced at Roy. She knew it had to be this way. “He’s a crazy fool. Do you think he’ll get out on bail? I have to leave for my tour with Caulder soon, and I don’t want to worry about Justin following us.”
Ric placed his hand on her shoulder. “I can’t say for sure, but Lauren will do what he can to keep him in jail.”
“If he gets out, I won’t go with Caulder. I’ll be putting him and who knows who else in danger.”
“I understand this, angel, but Justin will never hurt you again.” Ric lowered his voice and embraced her. “You’ll be safe, even if I have to send Roy on tour with you. Si?”
Velia knew if her dad said it, it would be true, but she’d never allow Roy to babysit her on the road. She didn’t want to know what else her dad had planned concerning Justin.
Learn more about the Bull Rider Series on the series page here. Available at Amazon.
Meet Velia on the Meet Our Heroines page.
Read an interview with Velia.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy your weekend.
If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. ~Flavia Weedn, Flavia and the Dream Maker, ©Flavia.com