“Jordan?” She lifted the sleeve of her hoodie and peeked at her smart watch. “What are you doing here?” She pulled me inside her door, into a tight hug. “You look awful.” She pushed me away, and closed the door. “I mean, not awful. You look beautiful, but you look like you’ve been through hell.”
“I have been,” I said. “Can I stay here for a few days?”
“Of course,” Khloe responded. “What’s going on?”
She took my bags and set them aside and ushered me over to the couch. She disappeared into the kitchen, and a few moments later I could hear a cork popping out of a bottle. It was still morning, but I could certainly use a drink. Khloe came back into the room, holding out a flute glass with an orange liquid inside.
“A mimosa,” I said lovingly as I took the drink. It was perfect for helping me deal with what had happened with Harrison.
“Okay, out with it,” Khloe said, settling down onto the couch next to me and took a sip of her drink.
“Well, you know how I’d told you my nanny gig had ended up being more than just one family, but it was actually six?” I began.
“Yeah,” Khloe said. “All single dads, right? Weren’t you getting involved with them?”
I nodded. “Yeah. It was just a sort of fling thing at first, but I messed around and let my heart get involved and now I’m in love with them.”
“Well, what’s wrong with that?” Khloe said. “Didn’t you say they were really into you too?”
“Yeah, but…” I took a deep breath. “I just found out that one of them, Harrison, wasn’t who he said he was. He’s a murderer who killed his ex wife! And there’s no way that the other guys didn’t know the truth; they’re so tight-knit. They might have even been involved too. They all have these jobs that are ideal if you’re undercover killers.”
“Oh my god,” Khloe yelped. “Are you serious? Do you think they were going to do you too?”
My heart was breaking talking about the guys in such a negative tone. “Yes! The woman in the picture that was sent to me looks just like me.”
“Wait, picture? What are you talking about?” Khloe asked.
“That’s how I found out. Someone sent me some pictures anonymously and a couple of threatening letters,” I replied.
Khloe took another drink of her mimosa. “Wow, so someone who knows them found you and sent you the letters? Aren’t you curious about who sent it to you?”
I hadn’t thought about that. I was so concerned with the fact that it had happened, that I hadn’t stopped for a moment to actually consider who sent it. All I knew was that it scared me that I’d somehow gotten myself caught up with murderers.
“It all scares me,” I responded simply. “I just had to get away from that.”
“Of course you did,” Khloe said. She reached out and rubbed my hand. “Well, it’s okay. You can stay here as long as you need.”
“Thanks,” I said.
I wasn’t sure how long I was planning to stay away. I knew that pretty soon the kids would be realizing that I wasn’t there to pick them up, and that thought broke my heart. Some of the kids had even started thinking of me as a mom to them, and given that all of them lost their mothers earlier in their lives, I hated thinking I was letting them down too. I started to cry, and Khloe must have realized I was losing control of my emotions, because she scooted closer to me in very ‘time to dish’ type fashion.
“Okay, wanna hear a story to take your mind off of it all?” she asked, reaching up to wipe the tears away from my face.
I nodded. “Yes please.”
“So, I’ve been working this wedding for this woman right, and you remember the hubby’s seven groomsmen I’ve told you about?” she began, recounting what she’d already told me before. “You’ve heard of bridezilla, or even groomzilla? This is groomsmenzilla.” I started to chuckle through my tears. “I’m serious!” she whined, laughing along. “They’re insufferable. They’re pulling me in all these different directions, and they would be satisfied to have this wedding in a sports bar with BBQ wings and sliders.”
“Stop it,” I managed to squawk out.
“Girl, they’re too much,” Khloe continued. “It’s worse because they’re all drop dead gorgeous, and charming, so they’re convinced they can get away with anything they want, and from what I’ve seen, they aren’t wrong.” She let out a long, deep, exasperated sigh. “They’re going to be the death of me.”
“You’ll figure it out,” I told her. “You always do.”
“Maybe,” she replied. “But believe me when I say I need this mimosa too.”
We continued to enjoy our brunch drink and chatted about subjects that kept things light, but my heart still felt heavy. I wanted nothing more than to rewind the last 24 hours and act like they had never happened. Harrison meant so much to me. Of all the dads, I trusted him the most, and he betrayed that trust; suddenly I was painfully aware of the fact that I had no reason to believe anything any of them had told me. Were any of the others closeted criminals? Why would they hurt me so badly?