A week later and the diner was professionally cleaned and ready to go. Max found himself staring at the spot where Ted died. During the downtime, Max paid the wait staff and the new cook. In his limited time as a business owner he came to understand that when you find good people, you do whatever is physically sound to keep them. Pay people what they are worth. Most of them were coming back, and the one holdout sent a check repaying Max for the pay she was sent after the diner closed. He had hoped that Alice would take part in the reopening, but the morning sickness was catching up to her with a vengeance. Ying was still recovering from the gunshot. Tina volunteered to help, but Max didn’t want volunteers. He told her that he would hire her for however long she wanted if she got her parent’s permission first. He spent an hour showing her how to bust tables while Ying and Alice told her how to take orders. The diner was officially reopening the next day, but Max wanted Tina to see what it could be like, so he went and found enough people to fill the diner and let the chaos ensue.
Max went to the diner to make sure it was closed. He found that someone had set a eulogy with flowers and teddy bears at the door. They were there when the community started to bloom, and the diner had a special place in people’s hearts. All Max could see was the place where his past killed his future. He didn’t know if he could ever reopen the diner, but he also started to understand that it needed to be reopened for the community. As he went to leave a car pulled into the parking lot. It was Sara and her father. He had come to town that night after seeing the news about Ted. Sara asked if she could pick up Ted’s stuff. Max said, “you don’t want to go in there right now. Let us clean it up. Don’t let it be the last thing you remember about Ted.” Sara put her hand on her belly and said, “no he will be what I remember of Ted.” Max looked to the diner then back to Sara and said, “Ted was a partner in the diner, and as his wife, that part is now yours, so I am asking you do you want us to reopen?” Sara seemed surprised at the mention of the marriage. Max said, “the man had a terrible poker face.”
The customer load was a little lite in the diner with just about eight customers. It had been about a week since Max or Alice had been around, luckily the new hire was working out. He was supposed to work that morning, but Ted liked days like this. The days were the customer flow went from five to fifty in minutes. It was a long way away from that first day when he cracked a dozen eggs on the floor. Flo disappeared from the diner about the same time Victor did. Ted tries not to think about what is happening in Victor’s van when the van starts to rock, although it has become harder not to think about it. Victor was about thirty years younger than the seventy-something Flo. Ever since they met around that fourth of July cookout, they have been spending time together, much of it on her breaks in his van.
Ruth slipped a copy of the book over to Wendy. She said, “this is his end game. He’ll try and find someone to publish this until someone does. I think he will kill enough people to make someone take notice.” Wendy said, “I hope that bastard comes looking for me. I really do.” Ruth opened the book to near the end. It gave details on Wendy’s operations in New Mexico and Arizona. He named names from her new love to the twins she took in after their parents died. Ruth said, “he won’t come to you he’ll let the authorities take you down. When Victor was cleaning up after Alice, he found a message from David to that man. He let him know that Alice and Ying were going after him which means he knows what’s happening here.” Wendy shook her head saying, “I see that coward Victor isn’t here.” Ruth knew that something happened between them at some point. They were never really that friendly, but now they can’t be in the same place without a fight. Ruth said, “take the book and think about a plan to escape also reach out to anyone that could help find David.” Wendy took the book and got up. She said, “my escape plan involves an AR15 and a lot of dead people.”
Eve was summoned to her mother’s house. She was worried the old girl died before she could get the power of attorney that would allow her to take the company completely over. She was already the acting president of the company with her husband in his grave. It was a very convenient heart attack. She tricked her sisters into signing away their rights to the company. All that was left was to become her mother’s guardian then cut her blonde bitch niece out of the will. Her mother thinks she is giving Jennifer fifty percent. Eve killed to take control of the company, so killing to keep it would be easy.
Ying and Tina cut their last class and met in an unused classroom. Makeup sex in their favorite venue made it even more special. As a trusted student mentor Tina knew all the right spots to be alone. Her mother was starting to suspect something was different. How she never dates and spends all her time with this Chinese girl. They were having a harder time spending time together. Tina also didn’t react well to the news that Ying and Alice were still killing people. Ying had mind-altering news. The people that sold her as a child into the sex slave industry were now either in jail or the ground. That included the man that named her Ying. His name or his code name was Yang. Tina found that Ying was a different person with this news. Like a weight was lifted and she was free to do whatever she wanted. And what she wanted was Tina.
Alice went to Vegas to meet with her one-time boyfriend Max and his new family. Over the last few months, they contacted each other through email, Facebook and on the phone. Alice wasn’t sure just how much of her story he should know. He knew about Max and Ying as well as the life they built in New Kent, but they never talked about the time between him leaving and her reemergence with a call to his father. In that call, Alice had learned that she was supposed to go and live with Mark’s father Sam in Phoenix if anything happened to her father. Her life would have been very different if it had not been for David. Just maybe she wouldn’t have killed all those people. She also thought about all the people they helped including Ying. She knew that the what if questions eventually led to nowhere and it was just best to accept what was.
Ruth called Alice to see if she was busy. Alice told her she and Ying were going to see a doctor about an infection. She turned her phone off and started the car. Alice and Ying drove to a small town in California. Alice drove while Ying changed from her school clothes into her shorts and red top. It was a hunting trip, and she needed to be in her hunting gear. The ledger led them to a man actually named John. At first, Ying didn’t remember him. She didn’t know their names just their faces and smells, but when she saw him, she couldn’t remember him. He looked like a generic every man. Someone you would find on a site that sells clip art for the internet. He was in his fifties with graying black hair underneath a brown flat-cap. He had on brown slacks, a white button-down untucked shirt and an orangish-brown vest under a tan jacket. He looked like an old man in a hipster costume. Ying said, “I can’t be sure at this distance.”
Ying and Alice pulled into their driveway and went inside the house. Victor sat in a van on the next block watching the house using some cameras he placed. He planned to wait until they went inside and place a GPS on the car. He and Ruth decided to follow Alice to see if they were up to anything dangerous. After the last meeting and what he and Ruth thought was a bull shit story, they decided to look for any patterns. There they found a pattern of missing dealers as well as suspicious deaths. Many of the people killed were proven to be pedophiles. One man had a strong connection to Ying’s past. He was an insurance agent that controlled the estate of a family that once owned the house where she was in the sex trade. Victor started to think that just maybe Alice and Ying were killing these men in some act of vengeance. Victor suspected what Alice and Ying were up too, but he didn’t tell Ruth. Part of him wanted concrete proof while another part wanted in on what they were doing.
Max went to the Diner while Alice and Ying went shopping in Las Vegas. Ying knew that this was just code for hunting. Ying decided she wanted to talk about what was happening. She asked, “do you think they could connect us to them?” Alice said, “no I don’t see how. What we are doing has no connection to them.” Ying thought about how Max’s parents became “them.” Alice pulled over and looked at Ying. It was clear that she wasn’t comfortable. Alice said, “just maybe we should put a hold on what we are doing. Dealing justice to the dealers and Johns while necessary can’t be all that we are. Maybe we can let it go.” Ying said, “this is just a crazy idea. Just maybe we could go shopping.” Alice looked out at the strip and asked, “are there any shops around here?”
At sixteen Alice was the typical all-American girl. Lean, fit with long strait blonde hair and fair freckled skin. An artist rendering of the typical high school girl. No one could tell she was a stone-cold killer. Alice kills drug dealers.