Suddenly, Olivia came running through the backyard gate through the patio, through the patio doors, and into the kitchen. Grandma Bennett and Jane sat up in their chairs and looked at Olivia, then at each other.
“Momma, Momma! There are three guys in a pickup truck sitting across the street and they’re watching our house!” Olivia cried.
Brielle sat the newly finished birthday cake down on the table.
“Olivia, what are you talking about? There’s no one watching the house,” Brielle scolded, “Stop imagining things.”
“Oh, yes there is,” Olivia interjected as she grabbed her mother’s hand and led her through the living room, out the front door, and into the front yard where they could see the street. Bandit followed behind them.
Sure enough, just as she had described, there were three men in a pick-up truck, parked on the other side of the street, looking dead at them with furrowed brows and narrowed, squinty eyes that conveyed danger. Bandit stood there, growling and snarling at the men in the truck. The dog’s ears pointed back and lay almost flat against his head as he hunched downward, preparing to lunge. Bandit raised his lips above his gums and viciously bore his teeth as he continued his deep, gutteral snarl. His back slightly arched upward and the fur of his long coat bristled and stood at attention. Brielle grabbed his collar before he could charge the truck.
The Town Has Eyes
“Easy, Bandit! Easy, boy,” Brielle gently said, trying to hold the dog and at the same time, pet him to get him to calm down.
Bandit went nuts, letting out a stream of loud, vicious barks as Brielle took a firm grip on his collar pulling him back. Bandit continued to bark as he reared up on his hind legs, trying his best to break free of Brielle’s grip and charge the men in the truck.
“Somebody, take Bandit in the house! Fast!” Brielle called out.
Jesse came running and gently took the dog by the collar.
“Easy, buddy. Cmon, now,” he soothed as he tried to calm the snarling dog. Bandit was incredibly strong and, as much as Jesse hated it, he had no choice but to all but drag the fighting dog into the house. He then shut the door.
Brielle stopped and returned the threatening glare. She stood there, feet apart, and placed her hands on her hips, as if to dare the men. Grandma Bennett and Jane joined them in the front yard. Grandma Bennett glared at the men and mirrored Brielle with her body language.
Bandit the Protector
“Whatever you have in mind, you’d better rethink it! Now get outta here! Get the hell outta here! Now!” Brielle shouted at the men.
The driver cranked the truck and, ever so slowly, lurched forward. As the truck slowly pulled away, the three men continued to threateningly glare at Brielle and her family. The looks caused chills to run up both Jane and Olivia’s bodies.
Jane turned to her mother.
“Who are those creeps, Mom?” she asked.
“I don’t know, honey. But I intend to watch for them from now on. In the meantime, I’d appreciate it if you girls stayed in the back yard until further notice. The front yard is off-limits. You go outside, you play in the back yard,” Brielle told them.
“Aw, Mom! Aren’t we a little old for that?” Jane groaned.
“Yeah, that’s not fair!” Olivia whined.
Brielle the Mama Bear
“Listen to me! I don’t know who those guys are or what their intentions are. For all we know they could be child sex-traffickers watching you both! Now, I intend to keep you both safe and if that means keeping you both in the back yard then that’s how it’s going to be!” Brielle said sternly, “Now, I don’t want to hear any more about it.”
Jane and Olivia both sighed as they all turned and walked back into the house. Brielle already had her suspicions, she already suspected that the video she’d plastered all over the internet would more than likely ruffle some feathers. Was this why the three men in the truck were watching them and looking at them in such a threatening way? Was it all just to intimidate Brielle and instill fear into her, or was it a warning that worse was coming down the pike?