“As long as I get him to release one of the fish on his line, you can do whatever you like with him.”
“Sounds like a plan. Who is the fish we’re trying to disentangle?”
There’s a short silence and then Wright says, “Why do I think this isn’t going to be as fun as I’m making it out to be in my head?”
“Because if we don’t do it right, Abigail could get hurt.”
“Yeah, I gotchu.” Wright sounds disappointed but he’s in and that’s the important point.
“Can you wait outside?” I ask Layla as we pull up to the front of Meierotto’s. We are currently waiting for the car in front of us to move so that we can turn into the parking lot.
“No.” I turn to look at her, surprised by her answer. I know I shouldn’t be, but she usually gives me some room to navigate whatever I need to on my own. Her face carries no expression.
I open the car door, stepping out before she can park it. I know this way that I’ll have at least a thirty second jump on her. I know it’s a crappy thing to do. Guilt fills me because I don’t want to be this way to her. I stop walking and stand next to the curb waiting for her to catch up to me. I shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t take her long.
“Are you done having your little fit?”
“Probably not.” I sigh. She shakes her head at me but I see her give me a half smile. “Come on. I want to get this over with.”
“Whatever it is that you think you have to hand over, you don’t have to. There are other options.”
“I just need time,” I tell her as a man in a black suit opens one of the glass doors for me. “I also have no idea what I’m doing,” I admit.
“I think I know. I’m only glad you didn’t ask me to take you to a pawn shop.” She gives me a look. No, I didn’t ask her to take me to one of those. I’m not going to lie, that was my initial thought, but I knew there was no way that a pawn shop would give me the amount of money that I need. They would lowball me and I don’t have the luxury to not get every dime I can in order to help my brother.
I don’t even make it a few feet into the building before someone is on me.
“Can I get you something to drink?” He smiles at me.
“I’d like to speak to Ms. Meierotto. Is she here?” The man’s eyes flick over me. “I’m Abigail Weathers. Can you please tell her that I’m here?” I hate using my husband’s last name to get things, but it does get people to move faster. I know that the power his name holds will help me secure exactly the amount I need. Nerves fill my belly, knowing that I’m taking a risk with this move. Ms. Meierotto could easily call Con, and I have to be ready to deal with that at any moment.
“I’ll let her know you’re here. Can I get you something to drink while you wait?”
“I’m good but thank you.” He hurries off. Layla remains quiet next to me. I know she wants to say more, but I also appreciate her silence right now.
“Mrs. Weathers,” the older woman says as she comes toward me with a smile. She holds her hand out for me to take. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Her ring looks like it weighs more than her hand.
“Thank you. It’s a pleasure to meet you too.”
“I have a feeling you want to talk in private.”
Am I that easy to read? “If you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.” She motions for me to follow her. Layla stays at my side as we enter the back of the store into an office. “I take it you’re not looking to buy.”
I shake my head no, placing my oversized purse onto the table. “I want to see how much you would advance me for this. You’d only be holding it for me until I’m able to get you the advanced money back.” I pull out the box and open it, allowing her to see exactly what I’m talking about.
“You just got these.” She looks surprised that I’m here with this piece. Which tells me that jewelry shops gossip amongst each other. She is likely thinking that I’m trying to leave Con or something.
“I did,” I confirm.
“Do you want cash?” This is a whole lot easier than I thought it was going to be.
“How much will you give me?” The price has to be right for me to even go through with this entire thing. If it’s not, I’ll need to come up with something else.