Prologue and Meeting Trixie and Dixie Wilder

10/20/2020 T. M. Swafford Hiding in LA The Hell Riders Series





Marshal Duval was climbing out of the black S.U.V. as the sun starts to set in the

west. After 16 months of looking for Trixie and listening to every call in or out of the Wilder’s phones. Marshal finally made a breakthrough.

The bitch had slipped up and called her father! He knew she would; it was their wedding anniversary, after all. Furthermore, he was betting the farm she would phone them. Moreover, he was right, just like the good daughter always doing the right thing for mommy and Daddy. Marshal spat out a flower seed hull on the dirt road. He was parked on the other side of the cornfield from the Wilder family home. Listening to Trixie, speak to her parents. Now he had her, and he knew where to find her.

He had his tech guy go into their home months ago and clone both cells and tap the home phone. He wasn’t giving up. They may not know where she was, or at least that’s the story they told him, and the police report stated. She left the hospital, came back, and took her sister’s car, and it was found at the McGhee Tyson airport in Knoxville just five days after the Bitch took off. Now he had an area to start his search for her. Moreover, time started now.

He was pissed and would bring her back home with him no matter what it took to find her, and he would.

She was his runaway fiancé. Once she had been taught this valuable lesson.

That he won’t tolerate her disobedience and this disappearing act, ever again. Now he had an area where she was. All he had to do now was go to Los Angeles, California and hire an investigating service to find her, so he could take back what belonged to him.

Trixie would be the well-behaved woman that he had been training her to be. She would be the best wife for all to see. And then Trixie would obey his every rule. Otherwise, she would meet the same fate as her twin sister Dixie!

Sixteen months earlier, on that Saturday afternoon, when her whole life ended as she knew it. Although she knew that if she called her sister, there would be Hell to pay. But she had no other choice. Not this time! She was hurt and hurt badly.

Being as discreet and vague as possible, she told her sister that she needed to get to the hospital and hurry. Because she had no idea when Marshal would return home from playing golf.

Then she hung up the phone and winced. With even the slightest bit of movement, the pain was excruciating; she got dressed. Waiting for her sister to arrive, she made a getaway plan.

This was the last time he would ever lay another hand on her. She went to the hidden safe that she was not supposed to know about and emptied it of all cash. She packed a few clothes and bathroom supplies and waited anxiously for her twin sister!

Dixie pulled up to the locked gate and saw Trixie stumble onto the concrete driveway with two suitcases, an overnight bag, and beat all to Hell. Her face was so swollen she could barely see anything, let alone carry her stuff.

Dixie jumped out of her car and ran to her side. With tears in her eyes, she helped Trixie into the front seat. She threw her bags in the trunk and sped off without so much as a backward glance.

"Dammit, why didn’t you call the fucking police and have his ass locked up, Trix? That son of a bitch has gone too far this time.

But first, we need to call Mamma and Daddy and tell them that I’m taking your ass to the hospital." Dixie was so upset; she could almost feel every pain her twin felt.

But she had to keep it together. She needed to get her somewhere safe from that monster who had done this. The hospital would call the police, and Trixie could make a report then.

Why hadn’t she known what was going on inside that damn house? Dixie was mentally beating herself up for not seeing the signs. And they had been right in front of her this whole fucking time.

Dixie pushed the Bluetooth button on her steering wheel and said out loud. “Call Daddy’s phone.” After 2 rings, her dad answered.

"Daddy, it’s Dixie, I have Trix, and we’re on our way to the hospital. She’s hurt, bad Dad. I just picked her up in front of that prison he bought." The phone fell silent to the point Dixie thought that she dropped the call.

"Daddy… Did you hear me? Did you hear what I said? Hello, Dad?"

"Yes, I’m here, sweet girl!" Her Daddy said with what sounded like fear in his voice.

"Your Mamma and I will meet you girls there! And Dixie, please drive like you got some sense about you. Are you hearing me, girl?"

"I am Daddy! And Daddy, she packed a few things. I have them in my trunk."

Dixie hung up the phone and took her sister’s hand in hers.

With tears starting to fall, she glanced over to Trixie in the passenger seat, who was unconscious.

Dixie mashed on the gas, turned on the flashers, and hurried to the hospital. She pulled up right at the emergency doors, shoved her car in park, and laid on the horn for help.

While calling Trixie’s name and shaking her, trying to wake her up. A security guard saw what was happening and grabbed a wheelchair, rushed to open the door, and get Trixie inside for treatment.

Their parents were right behind them as they took Trixie back into a room. Trixie sent Dixie back to their parent’s house to feed the animals. Hours went by without a word from her. Then Trixie received a text telling her she would take a small nap and then come back to the hospital. It wasn’t long after that she received another text from an unknown number. But the photograph shown sealed everyone’s fate. It was of Dixie lying face down in a pool of her own blood. She was dead. She had been murdered.

Trixie left the hospital against the doctor’s orders and fled back to her parent’s house after the police had left. She and her parents came up with a plan to keep her from Marshal. Trixie would take on Dixie’s identity and never come back home no matter what.

That’s the night I took my sister’s car and headed to the airport with my parents’ blessing and a heavy heart. My sister was dead! The other half of me was gone! And I could not stand the blame I put on myself for her and my parent’s family and friends. Would they ever look at me again without thinking of my sister?

The answer is no! Hell, I can’t even look in a mirror without seeing her face. Somehow, If I had been stronger, I might have been able to change the outcome of the rest of our lives forever. However, here I sit in a lonely airport looking at the times and places to fly to. When I hear a lady behind me talking to her friend about the lifelong dream to get to L.A., California. I think I’ll do just that. I WILL make myself a stronger person. Not a victim. Never again.

I’ve got enough money for a little while, but it won’t last long. I’ll look for a place to rent as soon as the plane lands. Then find a job. And take as many self-defense and awareness classes as I can. Just in case that son of a bitch Marshal comes for me, I’ll be ready for him! This time I’ll know how to fight back...And I won’t go down without a fight!

The voice comes from everywhere Now boarding at Los Angeles’s international airport gate 5! Gate 5 for Los Angeles’s international airport!

I grabbed my carry on and stood in line to start the next chapter of my life: no family friends or even a place to live. But I had to go. There was no coming back home ever again.

My heart was pounding so fast from the fear of the unknown. And the sadness I felt for my sister. Dixie was gone, and I could have prevented it. But I didn’t. I was too wrapped up in my own personal life.

How could I have been so blind? In the next 6 hours and 47 minutes, I’ll be on my own for the first time in my life. Truly alone, without Dixie, my family, or friends. A life in hiding.


                                                       Chapter 1

Sixteen months have passed from that fateful Saturday afternoon!

Waking up, I smell coffee and something like burnt toast. Sue must be cooking again. I made a low grown, then flung the covers back, and got out of bed.

I Went to my bathroom, grabbed a quick shower, brushed my teeth, and got dressed for the day.

I walked down the hall into the smoky kitchen. Sue was waving a towel over by the sliding glass patio door, trying to get the smoke out.

“Have you been cooking again”? I ask her with a giggle in my voice. “Oh, shut up and help me get all this smoke out of the house,” Sue said with annoyance.

I turned on the vent over the stove. And took the towel off the handle of the oven and began to wave it around. We looked so silly flapping around like a pair of birds trying to learn how to fly. Soon the air was clear enough to get a real breakfast started.

I poured myself a mug of coffee and added my French Vanilla creamer. Just the way I love it. “

“Sue, just what were you thinking about trying to cook in the first place? If you are hungry and wake up before I do. Then wake me up so I can fix you something before you leave for work”! I scolded her.

“I was thinking about you and that this is the first full weekend you’ve had off in like forever. And I wanted to surprise you with breakfast in bed”! She said with a pouty face and sadness in her eyes.

I gave her a huge hug and kissed her on the cheek, and said. “That’s so sweet of you. But we both know that coffee and delivery are your strong suit, not cooking. And besides, why don’t we get breakfast out? My treat!” I said with what hopefully looked like a happy face.

But the real truth was I couldn’t stand the burnt and smoke smell. Turns out, Sue burnt not only the toast but also the scrambled eggs as well. My brand-new egg skillet was ruined.

“You get dressed, and I’ll clean up in here, and we can go out and have some girl time. What do you say? You in?”

Asked well, gave her an order, but hey, don’t judge me! I know my best friend, and sometimes her heart is in the right place, but her manager’s brain is not.

Sue runs a string of hotels here in L.A.! And she is damn good at her job. The only problem is her boss is a dick! A full-fledged caveman. Women are to be in the kitchen and bedroom instead of the workplace. He’s a real gem. But if you sleep with him, you might get an exceedingly small raise. Sue has turned him down more than I do my covers at night. And that’s saying something.

“Hey, what’s the temp going to be today”? I hear coming from down the hall. “I don’t know, let me check”! I holler back. I turn my cell over and hit the weather app. “Partly cloudy a high of 91 today 20% chance of rain.” I read off to Sue.

“Ok, thanks. I just need to know how to dress today. It is going to be an enjoyable day. My desk clerk set me up with this hot guy for an afternoon date. I want to look super cute. And speaking of dating,”

I cut her off right there. “You know why I don’t date. I don’t lie very well. And what if I get close to a guy? Then what. Keep telling the same old lie. And if he found out, there goes any trust we might have had. No, thanks.” I said, looking over my almost cold coffee.

“Tell me about this blind date? What do you know about the guy? Have you ever seen what he looks like”? I asked her to take the heat off of me, dating anyone.

“Yes, miss gotta know every detail. Stephanie, my desk clerk, is his cousin. She showed me his picture before I agreed to the date. He is a computer programmer for some huge office building downtown. And his family is loaded. His grandfather was some old western movie star or something like that.” Sue said as she was waving her hands in the air. I swear if someone tied her up with her hands behind her back, she couldn’t say shit if she had a mouth full.

Leaving in her 2015 Beetle convertible. Sue loves her old car. The thing has over a hundred thousand miles on it. But it still runs great.

We pull into the parking lot of the restaurant and go inside.

After we eat, Sue decides we need to go shopping. Retail therapy, she calls it. We head to the mall. Once inside, she drags me into a swimsuit shop. “What are we doing here?” I asked her with a deep gnawing in my gut that says it is not for her. We are here for me.

Knowing how much she hates my suit. She says it looks like a grandma suit, not something a 26-year-old woman with a body like mine should wear.

I reluctantly enter the store and look around. Some of these things don’t cover up anything. I have seen a bandana cover more. Sue is flipping through a rack of what is supposed to be bikinis. And a very tall tan blonde young girl walks over to us and offers her services. “Can I help you find something?”

“Yes! You can!” Sue said with a very devilish smile. “We are looking for something hot, spicy, and that will show off my girl’s curvy body. I am thinking of something in a bright color. She only wears grandma suits. We need to show her a real suit just for her.” And with that, the young girl takes off, asking me to go to the dressing room. And for the next hour, I try on all kinds of swimsuits.

I’m gettin tired of this stuff by now, and Sue knows it. She talks through the door.

“Ok, I think we both can agree on this one. It’s technically a 1 piece, but it shows enough skin to be a two-piece. Try this on and come out. I want to see you in it.”

She tossed it over the door, and I gasped. It is a beautiful pink rose color, with a top that covers my boobs. And a bottom that I can live with. The middle and back have small strings attaching the pieces together down both sides of the suit. I put it on, and I looked hot in this thing. I walk out of the dressing room, and both women whistled. I turn like I’m on a runway like a model would do.

“What do you think? Is it me? Do I look all right in this one?” I ask, chewing on my thumbnail. “Hell YES,” I heard both girls say in stereo. “Ok, then I guess this is the one,” I told them. I went back to my cubby hole to change.

I didn’t notice how much the suit cost until I went to pay for it. I almost choked from sticker shock. 158 dollars, and that was at 20% off for being a new customer. I put my wallet back into my purse and told the lady I couldn’t pay that much for a swimsuit. Then Sue slapped her credit card down on the counter and said!

“You’re not, I am!” I tried to protest, but she was not listening. I said thank you, and we left the mall and headed back to the apartment, so Sue could get ready for her date.

While she was gone, I thought about putting my new suit on and going to lounge around the pool. She thought that was a great idea. But warned me not to overdo it in the sun. Because I always burn.

Sue looked great. She had on a halter top dress with purple flowers and a black background. It is about knee length, and the sandals she was wearing were mine!

After Sue left for her date, I was alone and thinking about things that I couldn’t change. Missing my family and friends. I missed my cousin Carol and our lifelong neighbors and friends, April and Lizzy. But I miss the other half of me most of all.

I quickly realized that I was about to throw myself into a depression that I didn’t want to get to. So, I looked outside and thought to myself.

It is such a beautiful day. I finally got a whole weekend off work, and no one was waiting or wanting anything from me. That has got to be a record of some kind.

I think I will grab a towel, put on my new suit, and go lounge around the pool. Catch up on some reading and just make the entire world go away today. Nothing but some much needed me time.

Suzette will not be back home until later.

She texted me earlier and said she was surprised she was having an exciting time with this guy. She was told that he was a total bore!

And Suzette Harper never does boring with anything she does. From 1 nightstand to relationships and her work. She is always bubbly and happy.

Eager to help. I am only glad Sue posted that ad on Craigslist.

After talking on the phone for about 30 minutes, I knew that we would be incredible friends.

Not as close as my two best friends back home. Lizzy and April, we were never apart until I came here to L.A.! And my cousin Carol, well she is like my sister. They grew up on both sides of our farm—Lizzy, and April down the road to the right. Then Carol and my Aunt and uncle lived just to the left and across the creek from us. Its family-owned property.

I grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, population 53,374 as of 2017, maybe more now. Our family is remarkably close. From blood relatives to friends who feel like family.

My parents are very respected on our side of the world. My Momma is a lunch lady at our grade school. And my Daddy owns a construction company called TD CONSTRUCTION. My Momma’s name is Triva, and my dad’s name is David Wilder.

They met right after my dad left the Marine’s and went into business for himself 29 years ago. My parents met at a Friday night church dinner. And have been together ever since. They still go to the same church to this day. I had an identical twin sister. But she was murdered. That’s why I ran away from my home, family, and friends. Just to keep them all safe from my ex-boyfriend Marshal Duval.

That is how I wound up calling Sue that day, my plane landed in L.A. I knew I had to find somewhere to live, and Craigslist was the best way to find it. I found her ad, got the number, and hoped the room was still open.

I called, and as I said, we talked for 30 minutes. Laughing, joking, talking about the apartment. I told Sue my name was Dixie Wilder, knowing that was a lie. But it was safer than telling her the truth. Then we talked about how much a month and what my part of the bills would be. I told Sue I would take a cab to the address, and I would meet her at the apartment. But she insisted on coming to pick me up at the airport. I was a little worried about her picking me up. How would I explain the way that I looked and no real luggage? I would have to come up with something and fast.

I told her that I lost my sister Trixie in a massive car wreck, and I could not handle living without her anymore at home. That is why I flew to L.A. with nothing. I wanted to start life over again. That’s all anyone needs to know. Over the next 2 years, we became friends, and now we are besties.

I’m sure that I’ll get all the Deets when she gets home, or hope I do. At least one of us has a real-life outside of work and family. I know my life is way too messed up for anyone other than Sue; to get close to. Or remotely think about dating anymore.

I walked out to the pool area, grabbed the lounge chair, spread out my towel laid-back, and began to read. A dark cloud came over my head, and I glanced up.

I could not believe my eyes. There stood the hottest man I have ever seen in my life.

Just across the pool, there are two other men there with him. I have seen them once or twice around the pool area before and think they live here in the complex.

This Adonis was right out of a smutty novel that ladies read when they think people do not know. With shoulders broad and thick. Massive eye candy arms, thick muscular legs, and that ass is like biting into a ripe red apple. He sure filled out that black tee, and that leather vest looks fine as Hell. His chest was broad and thick. Looked like he worked out. A LOT! He walked with pride. He walked like my Daddy, a Marine, maybe? Just the way he carried himself with his head held high, back straight, and that constant strut, I have known my whole life. He had that same confidence in his walk.

He had to be at least 6ft. 2in. Maybe even taller. Either way, he was one fine-looking man. But I sure ain’t seen him here before. Because a girl don’t forget a chest like that or those massive broad shoulders. Not to mention that olive skin and long black hair. Lord o’ mighty, he’s fine! Dixie thought to herself.

And then I realized that I was a stalker, but who could blame me. A man like that, you just have to look! RIGHT? I mean, he was every girl’s fantasy, something that you only see in magazines or even movie stars. This guy was to die for! This hunk of a man was grade “A” prime beef, and he was just across the pool from me.

Was it getting hotter outside, or is it just me? Because the temperature had just gone up another 20 degrees. Dixie thought to herself. Who can read with all this distraction?

I mean, really, the guy is just too fine. I think it is time to put this book down and go for a swim. I got to get a better look at this guy. I really want to see what his eyes look like because everything else about him spells S. E. X. sex.

Standing up with my book in hand, I marked my page with a dog ear. Set it down in the chair that I was just lounging in and walked over to the pool.

I think I am just going to swim across the pool over to the other side. I really must see those eyes. Then into the water, I went. I swam slow, hoping that he didn’t notice me. But just as soon as I got to the other side and came up for air, I couldn’t catch my breath.

I didn’t know if it was from the swim or those huge, beautiful mind-blowing caramel eyes that a person could just get lost in for days. Those eyes told a huge story behind them. If I were not in the situation I’m in, I would really want to know his story.

But the looks he gave me made my heart pound. As if he was thinking the same thing about me. It couldn’t be true. No one looks at me anymore. I stay, inconspicuous! Not only do I stay away from others, but I also try not to make a scene or a point to be seen.

I splashed around in the water for a while then decided to go back to my chair!

I walked over to the lounge where all my stuff was piled up and quickly dried myself off. I took one more glance over to where the guys were sitting only to find that they were leaving.

I couldn’t think, let alone read anything. I decided to lay in the bright sunshine and roast myself for the first time of the year. Generally, if I burn once or twice, then I can get somewhat of a tan. It was late May and was a perfect temperature to just layout for a while and relax

I decided to hang back for a few minutes before I went back to the apartment. The sun made sure I was red as a lobster as always.

I hope that Sue was having a fun time. Who wants to go on a date with someone that must live a lie? I wouldn’t want to be that person even though it is done for the right reasons! I shook my head and decided I didn’t want to think about that anymore. It was too depressing. I drew in a deep breath and let out a massive sigh because only myself, my roommate, and my parents knew the truth!

Besides, with all the hours I work, I don’t have time for a social life. I was good with my roommate and my job, and then my classes. I didn’t need anything else. I thought to myself as I left the pool area to go to the apartment.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the hunk of a man at the pool. I think he was just checking me out, but I am not sure. Is that just dreaming on my part? No hot guy like him would ever look at anybody like me. Would he?

I checked my phone to see if I missed any calls or text. Let us be honest the only people who text or call me are either working or on a blind date.

My parents have my number, but they never call. They say it’s easier this way, and I tend to agree with them.

I decided not to think about that, so I went to my room, grabbed some comfortable clothes, and headed to the shower. When I get into the shower, my mind takes me to places I know I can never go—the dream God in the blue Hawaiian trunks.

After my shower, it was an excellent time to relax. The swim and laying in the sun today felt really lovely but somehow wore me out. I grabbed a blanket, my laptop, and headed into the living room for a little rom-com therapy. I was watching my favorite movie when my phone chirped. It was a text message from Sue.

Sue. Hey, having a wonderful time here. We are going out for drinks, please come.

Me – I’m already showered and in my PJ’s,

Sue - You are wasting away there. Come hang out with us and have a couple drinks. What do you have to lose?

Me - Where at?

Sue – Shenanigans, it is a place where you do not have to feel like a teenybopper and can just dance and have fun.

Me - What should I wear?

Sue - Go to my closet and pick something.

Me - Your clothes are all from Sluts R Us, no offense.

Sue - None taken, now go put a dress on and meet us here quickly.

Me – Fine, see you in a bit.

Sue - I want a picture of what you have on.

Me - Don’t you trust me?

Sue – Nope! See you soon and hurry. Makeup is required, L.O.L.

I turned off my movie and headed to what I like to call the slut shop. To find something to put on that, my boobs will not fall out of, and my ass will be covered. Not as easy as you might think. Not from Sue’s closet anyway.

I find an electric blue spandex dress with matching heels. I go to my bathroom and apply the minimal amount of makeup I know Sue will let me get away with. Let my long, wavy hair hang down my back. Take one quick picture, hit send, and wait for the approval text. Sue responded with a winky face, and I called for an Uber. Grabbed my keys, my clutch purse, and I dropped lipstick and eyeliner in it. Walked out the door and locked up behind me.

Standing outside, waiting on the ride. I think to myself. How do I let Sue talk me into this stuff? But she is right. I have the whole weekend off, and having a few drinks and dancing doesn’t sound too bad.

The driver pulls up, I tell her where I’m going, and then she wants to talk. I swear I must have tell me your life story tattooed on my forehead or something. Because it happens to me all the fucking time. I thought to myself as I was sitting in the back seat of the car.

After a grueling 15 minutes, she stopped at the front door of the bar. I paid for the ride and headed inside. Did I mention that I am short? Trying to see over people is like a mouse looking over a wall. Not going to happen unless I climb. So, I do the next best thing. I go towards the dance floor, pull out my cell, and text Sue.

Me – I’m here, where are you?

Sue – Great, bathroom, be right there, meet us by the dance floor.

Me -Already here waiting on you.

I look around and find an empty table, grab it, and waved down a server to order our drinks. I am not sure what the guy she is with drinks, but I know I want a hurricane, and Sue will want a whiskey sour.

The place was packed. The music was deafening and pumping. The band playing “Bad Moon Rising “was not too bad. The lead singer is damn attractive. The guy has short stylish blonde hair, but that bass player was a Hell of a lot better looking of the 4. He had a sexy smile and an even sexier wink.

The banner above the stage reads. “Sandy Beaches”! The dance floor is looking full as well. And the smell over all of the different cologne’s almost knocks you down. The friendly server comes over to our table to take our drink orders. I order for Sue and myself, so he can order his own. At least for this round.

I look around, taking in the atmosphere. It’s kind of small but not too small.

The tables look like old whiskey barrels with tops on them. They have wooden chairs to complete the look. The décor is something like a biker bar you see in the movies. And as I pulled up, I did see a few bikes out front. But the people seem nice and friendly. I could see myself coming here occasionally just for a few drinks and dancing.

The server comes back with our drinks, and I take a good long pull of the straw in mine. I was worried if they could make them the way I like them. Not too sweet, but no burn either. It was perfect. It had the right color and taste; Sue’s looked right also.

I might get to know this place if I can ever get over the fear of Marshal showing up, and doing God knows what.

I decided I didn’t want to go down that thought process, not tonight. Sue is right. Maybe I do need more friends. And get out more to have fun and start living my life like a normal girl my age would.

I should be dating and having fun, not hiding and waiting for the murdering monster to show his ugly face. Waiting for him to jump out from the dark spaces of my mind to get me. I came out here to hide from him and start my life over, not to waste it.

I was jamming to the music when I heard a male voice saying, “What’ll you have?” I look up and see Sue and her date are near the table.

Sue grins while holding her date’s arm and begins to introduce us!

“Dixie Wilder, Eric Price. Eric, meet my best friend and roommate, Dixie Rose Wilder.”

I nod and shake his hand. “Nice to meet you!” I say with a smile that is so forced; I think it is going to break. This guy is nowhere near as good looking as the Adonis I saw today.

I told them I already ordered for us but didn’t know what he was drinkin. He nodded and headed towards the bar.

“I can’t believe I finally got you out of that damn apartment,” Sue said as she grabbed me in a hug. “Well, I figured if I didn’t, you’d never let me hear the end of it.” I deadpanned. “Damn straight, can’t dance without my girl. It’s just no fun without you.” Sue said, grabbing me by the hand, dragging me towards the floor. “Hey, let me at least get one drink in first before we tear up the damn floor!” I said, flopping back down into my chair.

“What do you say to tequila shots to get this party started!” Sue squealed with a huge high five to Dixie. Dixie thought for a bit and nodded her head yes. She couldn’t believe she agreed to do shots, let alone tequila shots. Dixie wasn’t a drinker and never had been. But sometimes it was fun just to let loose, and that is something she hadn’t done in an exceptionally long time. That’s when Dixie realized she really wasn’t living. She’s just existing. Hiding from ghosts and bad memories. But at the same time, she needed to be careful of her surroundings and life not only for her sake but for Sues as well.

Sue being so nosey about her love life, and now she knows way too much. Not all but enough to know that hiding is the only way to stay alive from HIM. Because he would come for her one day, this she was sure of.

Her Daddy told her he had been driving around their place with his vast Bullmastiff Shark Face. That dog could scope her out from 3 blocks away. She loved that dog. But he was just another pawn in Marshals game of let’s torcher Dixie. But tonight, Dixie decided not to let anything stand in her way. She was going to dance, drink, and have a good time with her friend.

When the drinks arrived, Dixie let herself have a good long pull and the shot. The rest of the night, she would just nurse her drinks and play it safe but still have fun. Her mind was made up, and she told Sue, “Let the Fun Begin.”

T.M. Swafford