Haddie baked an Apple Pie as soon as she returned home. Morgan had told her all about what Petey had said before Ash’s appearance had set off the chain of events. She hadn’t realized things had gone that far. A crush between cousins was normal. It happened all the time. But for it to have gone so far that Petey had mentioned marriage. Haddie shuddered.
The pie was perfect and she quickly bundled it up to take it to Pete Sr. When she got there, he was nearly frantic.
“I haven’t seen Petey since the day before yesterday.” He told Haddie.
“That isn’t all that unusual is it?” Haddie asked.
“No, but his bed don’t look like it’s been slept in.” He opened the door to show Petey’s room. All but one poster of Ghost Wheeler had been torn from the walls. A picture had been smashed against the wall. Most of the wreckage lay on the bed, making it unusable.
Haddie stepped into the room. It had been torn apart in a rage. She crouched down and picked up the photo. It was from eight summers ago. The five of them; Haddie, Serena, Morgan, Pete Sr. and Pete Jr. They had gone on a picnic. Some passer by had taken their picture with Serena’s camera and she’d given everyone a copy of the photo.
The door of the house banged open and Pete turned around and stomped to the front door. “Pete Jacobs Jr. where the hell have you been?”
“Nowhere,” came the sulky answer. Haddie heard Petey push past his father.
“And where do you think you’re going right now?”
Haddie stood in the doorway, blocking Petey’s path. His eyes flashed angrily at her. She placed a hand on his shoulder. An image of her husband flashed in her mind. “To the table, young man, there’s explaining to be done.”
“Damn straight there is.” Petey muttered. Any other time Haddie would have taken him to task for talking back. Instead she just turned him around an marched him to the kitchen table. His eyes lit up at the sight of the Apple Pie. “That for us?”
“Might be.” Haddie stated. “Pete get in here and leave your anger at the door. That goes for you too Petey.”
The two boys sat opposite each other. Each one ignoring the other. Their eyes instead focused on the pie that Haddie was now cutting. Three slices cut and placed on plates. Three forks set nearby. Haddie sat and looked from son to grandson. “The truth is out,” she sighed, and pushed plates with forks to the eager recipients.
“What truth?” Pete asked, through a mouthful of pie.
“That Morgan’s my cousin,” came Petey’s mumbled response. As soon as he swallowed his bite, his head shot up. “You could have told me Pa! You could have saved me a lot a heart ache!”
“It wasn’t his call.”
Petey rounded on Haddie, “Who’s was it, Grandma B? Yours? When were you gonna tell me? After I proposed?”
“What the hell are you talking about Petey?” Petey rounded on his father, but Haddie’s voice rang out.
“Yeah I had about enough.” Petey stood and walked out to the surprise of both Haddie and Pete Sr.
Haddie put a hand on her son’s arm before he called out after the boy. “He’s old enough to take care of himself.”
“I just want to know where he thinks he’s going.”
“Devil’s Flat.” Pete turned to her worried. “Relax," she assured him. "Half the rumors you hear aren’t true. Besides this family has been it’s protectors for years. I've been wondering when it would choose between my two grandchildren.” She ate her slice of pie, while Pete Sr. watched confused.