A Riverstill Angel Ch. 02byMINKX©
Lindi took Jack off for his ice cream, buying him a disgustingly huge triple decker of bubble gum, chocolate and praline pecan. She didn't even have to ask old Mr. Andrews, the owner and sole employee of the old fashioned soda fountain, to go heavy on the whipped cream and cherries.
He took one look at Jack's split lip and swollen nose, then turned away to slam down a sixty year old ice cream bowl so violently she was surprised it didn't explode into crystal fragments.
She was even more startled at the grandfatherly mans ability to curse viciously and fluently under his breath. He didn't let up once, the entire time he was violently slam dunking generous dollops of ice cream into the bowl. He didn't repeat himself either. And Lindi would never again be able to look at an innocent canister of Cool-Whip without considering the potential use of it as a weapon of retribution.
The bad thing was that he was scaring the shit out of Jack with his mutterings and violent abuse toward dairy items and innocent cherries.
"Linni Lin?" Jack whimpered softly and Lindi sighed. Poor Jack, now he thought Mr. Andrews was mad at him to.
She popped a gum drop in his mouth. Like half the town Lindi always had at least a few of Jack's favorite candy tucked away in a pocket and kissed his cheek.
"You're not in trouble Jack."
"Gramps!" She hissed softly. "It's all good."
Gramps-he wasn't actually her grandfather, but anyone under the age of 30 called him that-whirled so fast, still holding the weirdly lethal seeming Cool-Whip that Lindi almost dived for cover.
"Darn it, don't do that!" She whined.
Gramps sighed, and set the canister down.
"I'm sorry angel, I guess I have my dander up. This just isn't right."
Lindi leaned over and snagged the overflowing bowl of ice cream, shoving a spoon into Jack's eager hand. "Eat up sweetie. Then we'll go see if Mr. Denue has any new Power Ranger shirts in your size."
He would, of course. He always made sure to have at least one Power Ranger T-shirt on hand at all times. And he'd know just which Ranger Jack was enthralled with at the moment.
Lindi moved down the counter, leaving Jack shoving huge, messy mouthfuls of ice cream, Cool-Whip, strawberry, caramel, and hot fudge topping into his eager mouth.
"Gonna love giving you back your fancy ass silk T-shirt, rich boy." She gloated maliciously to herself. "Hope it was one you really liked, fucker!"
"What are we gonna do, Gramps, other then what we all try and do?"
Gramps sputtered, then sighed and closed his mouth.
Lindi mock scowled at the man she still remembered holding her while she bawled like a bereaved calf the day her momma died.
"Sorry angel girl, shouldn't be talking like some ill mannered cur in front of a lady."
"Can I tell my daddy you said "shit" in front of Jack and I, when he finds out what I did? Might take some of the heat off me."
"Oh no Lindi, what did you do girl?"
Gramps tried hard not to break into bellowing laughter. He'd known this girl, and all her brothers, when they were still little bumps hiding beneath their momma's apron.
"Well, let's see now...I'm pretty sure I broke the nose of the creep that slapped Jack and split his lip. It sure erupted blood, at least."
"Your daddy will understand that honey child-course you're still gonna get a good lecture."
Lindi sighed, honest as always. "I spit on a guy. And he...well, he kinda knocked out the guy who hit Jack and was looking to probably hit me to."
Gramps eyed Lindi, and then Jack, who seemed to be wearing at least as much ice creamy goodness as he'd eaten.
"Fancy shirt Jack's wearing."
Lindi nodded glumly. "Yep, that young guy gave it to Jack. Just before I kicked him in the shins and knocked him on his butt. Dad is gonna ground me for a month." She whined.
Gramps almost swallowed his dentures, trying not to laugh.
"Angel girl, a lady does not spit. And when a man attempts to make amends and show some decent colors, it it not polite to do him violence."
Lindi sighed. She'd known it wasn't the right thing to be doing even as she'd lashed out at the young man. "I know Gramps, but Jack...the blood, and he was trying to be so brave and not cry. And then Jack made this sound and darn it, I just did without thinking. I'm really sorry and I feel horrible about it now!"
Now Lindi wanted to cry, and her green-gold eyes glimmered with the tears she couldn't let fall. Jack had had a rough enough day and he didn't need to see his beloved Linni Lin start spewing tears like an old faucet.
Gramps reached across the counter and roughly petted Lindi's shining hair.
"You're a good girl angel child. You know what needs to be done."
"Yeah, but how come doing the right thing is nastier then swallowing a spoonful of nanny Anna's constipation remedy?"
"If it was easy then it wouldn't prove the worth of a man. Or a young woman."
"Nothing is ever easy." Lindi muttered petulantly and went back to collar Jack.
"Come on messy boy, we gotta get you that shirt and then get you back to your momma. She can give you a bath. I have some crow to go eat."
Jack hopped up willingly. "Crow Linni Lin? Is that good eating...like ice cream?"
"Not usually good eating, Jack. But it's like medicine. Sometimes you just have to do it. Doesn't seem like it would, but it makes you feel better. And it maybe keeps your dad from grounding you until you're ninety." Lindi added under her breath.
She got Jack his Power Ranger shirt...the pink Ranger this time. When Mr. Denue saw Jack's battered face, he wouldn't even let her pay for it, just went off back into his little, cluttered office area where she heard him ordering THREE more Power Ranger T-shirts, and muttering under his breath.
"Linni Lin, what does motherfuc..."
"Never mind, Jack, never mind! Mr Denue is French. It's probably something French. Let's get you home. With all that ice cream on your shirt bees are gonna try and make a bee hive on you."
That got Jack moving fast. Lindi felt a little guilty, but Jack did NOT need to go around greeting tourists with the word motherfucker. That was a world of hell no.
She dropped Jack off with his mom. For once the woman was not only sober but alone and Linni decided to head back home. She'd confess her sins to her dad. He'd probably hold off on the grounding long enough to allow her to try and find the rich boy she'd not only spit on but knocked off his feet so she could at least apologize.
She kept dragging her feet but eventually she got back home. She was wondering if the story had made it this far yet. She knew her brothers would scold her just as fierce as her father. But the minute he wasn't close enough to hear they'd be demanding names. Or at least good descriptions. Then they'd call their friends, and with the Quinn boys times three that amounted to probably half the young men in town.
Come tomorrow there would be a lot of outsiders sporting black eyes, swollen noses, and split lips. And that would just be pay back for what had been done to Jack. Lindi hoped like hell no one would be stupid enough to mention to the Quinn brothers that their baby sister had looked to get slugged while protecting Jack.
Because then it would get very, very bad. And nothing she might say to her brothers would stop that. Then it would be baseball bats and broken arms. Because in her town you did not hit a woman. The people of her town were "weird" that way. The cops never dealt with domestic abuse calls. You messed with your wife or your kids,the "boys" from your church, or your work, or one of the three local bars took you into the back forty and gave you a good "talking" to. And even that was rarely if ever required.
What the outsiders did, that was their business. As long as it didn't involve any town folk.
"This is gonna end up bad." Lindi moaned, walking slow as molasses up her long driveway. "Cassy and Anna don't have the brains of week old road kill. They're gonna tell someone that jerk was gonna hit me. Shit, I should have stopped off at their homes first and told them to keep their traps shut. That wouldn't have helped...they'd have forgotten and blurted it out to someone a day later."
She finally made it to within a few dozen yards of her front door, and almost had a stroke when a shadow slipped out from beneath a pine.
"Jesus Christ!" She whisper screamed, pulling back the fist that had gone flying out. "You fucking people didn't cause enough trouble already! I'm sorry that I kicked you and I really shouldn't have spit on you. I'll be grounded half the summer if that makes you feel better. Forget about the T-shirt because trust me you don't want it back but get the hell out of here because I have three brothers and if they already know and you're the first target they see they're gonna kick the shit out of your dumb ass!"
She ran out of breath for snarling at the young man and stood there panting.
"You didn't believe me when I told you I don't condone what was done to your friend Jack."
Lindi gaped at him. Was he insane? Did he miss the three brothers and the whole kicking the shit out of you portion of her rant?
She sucked a lung searing, painful breath in and started her spiel again. "Whatever but you have gotta get the fuck outta..."
And then all hell broke loose with shrieks and yowls and the sound of some furious, brutally bloody battle erupting in the brush to the right of them.
"Shit!" Lindi screamed. "Daddy!"
She lunged, intending to throw herself into the bushes, and the young man reacted, grabbing her by the arm and trying to pull her away from the sounds of battle.
With no time to waste in explaining, Lindi did the only thing that came to mind. She punched the young man in the face, ripped her arm free and plunged into the bushes, shrieking like an Irish banshee.
The outdoor lights came on blazing as bright as hell fires, and the front steps rumbled, rattled, and almost collapsed as well over a thousand pounds of Quinn males came charging out in full battle mood.
"Get the hell out of my way!" The father of the brood roared, shoving his eldest off the second step and into the peony bush beside the door. "Michael, get my god damn bag!" He commanded the second son. "And who the hell are you boy?" He growled as he passed the young man still trying to recover from a Lindi attack.
"Fuck!" Lindi squalled, reeling out of the brush, apparently trying to fight off, contain or get free of a huge puff ball of black and white fur.
Blood was flying everywhere, and not knowing if it was coming from Lindi or the howling, yowling, screaming creature she fought to hold onto made the normally athletic and smooth moved Quinn males fall into a Marx brothers kamikaze of stupid errors.
Leon, the oldest, was knocked back into the clutching Peony bush by the youngest son. On purpose, or by accident, he pulled Matt down with him. That dissolved into a rolling, thrashing battle that threatened to tear the entire six foot, thirty year old bush out by the roots.
Michael managed to throw his father's vet bag to wards his dad. Unfortunatly it clipped the older man in the head and knocked him off his feet.
Before Michael could yell out an apology the family's hundred pound mix of a mutt shot out from under the porch, baying with gleeful excitement and exhuberant energy and bowled Michael off his feet. Michael managed almost a full double flip before slamming down flat on his back, without even enough breath left to wheeze or curse.
And the puff ball raked all her claws the full length of Lindi's arms before shooting free, hissing, spitting and screeching with feline fury.
Straight towards the outsider boy.
"Grab her! Oh god grab her! Her belly's ripped open, she'll die! Please grab her!"
And the young man whipped his sweater off his shoulders, where it had been tied all perfectly rich boy yuppie, and smoothly wrapped up the yowling ball of hell spawned, snarling, pissed off cat.
Lindi threw herself at the young man and grabbed the cat, unsnarled neatly in the sweater, before it could get free.
The cat screamed, a horribly pain filled sound, and erupted from out of the sweater. It's claws sliced down and hooked brutally into the back of Lindi's gently clutching hands. It looked up into Lindi's own cat eyes, it's emerald orbs almost insane with agony, and yowled pitifully.
"Shh-shh baby. I know. It hurts. DAD!" She yelled.
"I'm here." Her dad growled, and gently stuck a needle into the sliced open creature.
The injured animal relaxed, and the claws slid out of Lindi.
Damn that really hurt." Lindi whimpered softly. "Dad, can you save her?"
Her dad was already heading for the house, and the animal clinic that was housed in the back.
"No promises angel. She's obviously a fighter but she's split open from crotch to throat. You know I'll try."
"Shit." Lindi whispered, blinking hard to keep back tears.
She'd forgotten about the young man.
"I'm sorry. I hope the cat will make it."
Lindi started. "You gave her a chance. If she'd got away from us she'd just have curled up somewhere and died. So thanks."
"Am I maybe at least partially forgiven then?"
Leon and Matt had finally stopped trying to kill each other and the innocent peony push, and Michael had got both breath and feet back.
All three brothers froze, and narrowed threatening, predatory glances onto the...
"What the hell is your name anyhow?" Lindi groused with ill humor. "You did catch the cat. And hey guys, you sure took that bush out. And are you ever gonna stop letting Lunker knock you on your ass Michael?"
While her three brothers were trying to make excuses she yanked her maybe not a total bastard outsider out of range.
"My name. It's Aidan."
"Well, I'm not yet willing to say it's nice to meet you Aidan. But I will at least try to stop hitting you."