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The next day was Summer’s big day, she had talked about nothing else for months now. Today she finally headed to the spa to finish the paperwork that would make her an official partner in the Sharma Day Spa. Bradley got up earlier, got Silvester ready for school and surprised his wife with flowers along with coffee and breakfast.
The rest of the day he spent alone in his big house, waiting for Summer to come home, just kind of killing time with housework and other obligations he had putting up for a while. When his lovely wife was finally home he suggested they use the hot tub and relax a bit together. He figured Summer’s mum must have really loved baths, she had a big and comfortable tub on every single floor and she also had a fully functional hot tub right in her bedroom. He was glad Summer suggested they wear their swimsuits in there since Silvester barged in as soon as he was home, and with a friend in tow too.
“Hey can we join your parents? Those bubbles look so fun!” The little purple haired boy asked once they had said hello and Silvester introduced the boy as Maegon Targeryen, a friend from school.
“No. Come on Maegon, we’ll go pillow fight in my room.” Silvester said and lead him out.
“Are they gone?” Summer asked. Her eyes were closed and she was leaning back fully stretched in the large hot tub.
“Yup, we are all alone.” Bradley said and moved closer, wrapping a hand around her shoulders. “He isn’t even a teenager and we are already embarrassing him.” He said with a chuckle.
“Maybe it is not such a good idea to let them wreak havoc on their own upstairs…” Summer spoke without opening her eyes. “One of us should go and keep an eye on them…”
“Did you and Harry keep an eye on the kids yesterday?” Bradley asked furious at the tinge of jealousy in his own voice as he imagined his wife in this very spot with a blond, handsome, young man while he was driving one killer to meet other bad men in a town far away… Summer must of heard it too because she straightened up and opened her eyes.
“Yes we did. They played royal court, Vaela was the queen and Aenar and Silvester were her knights. Afterwards they talked, our wonderful boy told Aenar doing well in school is really imported and he gave him one of his favorite books to read. Aenar seemed really happy about it.” She said it all in a cold voice and Bradley wanted to apologize but he couldn’t because he hadn’t really said anything so he desperately wanted to change the topic.
“Anything new at the spa?”
“Rita and her husband came over. She is still on maternity leave but she brought her kids over for us to meet. Six kids can you believe… All twins, all girls…” Summer chuckled. “I admire them for not going crazy in the midst of it all…” They talked a bit more, about townspeople, about Summer’s work, about the spa…
Bradley’s life went more or less calmly in the following weeks. He still did work with Susannah, worked he loathed but he would come home to his family and be able to forget it all as he talked with his wonderful little boy, with his beautiful hard-working wife… Susannah hardly concealed anything from him anymore, so when one night he was driving her away from Bridgeport he knew she had been part of a gang that robbed a jewelry store, that night he also got a nice bonus because she was feeling considerably generous. He used the money to buy a new computer for the study and was teaching Silvester how to use it to write down his stories. He loved the computer and he loved the opportunities it presented to him so much that Bradley was able to not think about what he had to be a part of in order to get it.
But it was not so easy not to think every time. There were nights when he would close his eyes and see Sara bleeding on the floor, he would see Jesse Hoves fall to the floor, he would hear gunshots and screams and sleep just wouldn’t come. He would go up and go for a run around the town whenever that happened. And he wouldn’t stop until every muscle in his body ached and he could throw himself on the bed and fall asleep instantly…
And then came time when running just wouldn’t do, no matter how much Bradley exhausted his body. The problems started with Lucky’s campaign. Laquita Hoves had been Bradley’s classmate from the day he started elementary school here in Sunset Valley. And as a child he had, more then a slight crush on her. She was one of the nicest girls he had ever known, and he wasn’t sure he what would happen to him after his sister Kari’s death if he didn’t have Lucky as a friend… And then there was that one night right after graduation, the Llamas were playing in the finals and he and Lucky had watched the game together drinking in a sports bar near the stadium, nothing happened… But even now, years later Bradley felt as it easily could have if they both weren’t seeing other people…
Lucky Hoves father had been Jesse Hoves. She was running for city council and her picture was all over town. It was hard for Bradley to run anywhere without seeing her face smile down on him and he just couldn’t bare it… More often then not he would run away from the town but the steep hills surrounding it didn’t provide a very safe environment for nighttime running and he gave it up pretty fast.
Then one day for some reason he thought of Harry Prentiss in his pristine white kimono, talking to his charmed wife. Thinking of that gave him an idea and so one day he headed to the SimFu Academy in one of the surrounding hills he tried to run in. Smashing (or trying to smash) foam or wooden blocks, and fighting with the sparring dummy did help him, he would wear himself down, took a shower and headed home for at least a few hours of blissful sleep.
But one night something out of the ordinary happened, Bradley was heading down to the showers but when he had opened the door someone spoke behind him.
“Excuse me mister…” Bradley turned sharply. He hadn’t expected anyone down here, it was pretty late and the place was usually deserted. He found himself facing a frail looking young man, he was pale with dark hair and glasses and wearing a light blue suit.
“Yes?” Bradley said and the man stepped closer.
“My name is Miha’il Kerry. I work for Skalle. You have probably never really heard of us but we are in a business of creating fitness assisting devices.” He spoke rather fast, as if from some prepared script. “We know you like to run around town a lot and we were wondering if you are interested in helping us test one of our new devices?” When Bradley didn’t respond immediately the young man produced a slick little band from his pocket. “You see we have this little bracelet here, you just put it on… It works on either hand and then it monitors your heart-rate, counts the distance passed. Pretty cool, eh? And right there is an app for your phone that helps you monitor all this… Could you show me your phone?” Bradley had already let the man fasten the bracelet on his left hand and now handed him his phone.
He watched as the thin man whose name sounded vaguely familiar clicked away on his phone. When he was done he showed him the app he mentioned. It all looked and sounded rather cool Bradley had to admit and before he knew it he had agreed to help test his new product.
“Great. We will be in touch Mr. Frail.” The young man said and smiled handing him his visit card.
Still there was something nagging at Bradley when he got home. He searched for the company and the man and he found all the data on the internet. It appeared it was genuine and he had no reason to concern himself so he quickly forgot about it….