Chapter Five - A Surprise Meeting
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Romany was very embarrassed to have woken the Bunch household with her nightmare. Jack tried to placate her, sensing she was deeply distressed but Romany found the house felt claustrophobic to her now and stopping only to express her gratitude for the hospitality, she left sharpish.

Once again, feeling the need to distract herself from the terrible flash backs of her dream, she went to Central Park and threw herself into mooching. She was so close now, to that $16000 simoleons, only $3000 left to go and she would be able to buy her very own lot. She shouldn't be wasting time dwelling on things she was unable to change.

She choose a volumptious lady, clearly a fashion victim, so presumably had more money than sense, for her first mooch.

Unfortunately, the lady was not very forthcoming and casting a disdainful eye over Romany's shabby clothes, ugly scar and dirty cheeks, she walked off without a word. It always hurt Romany very deeply when that happened, but on the streets you had to be tough and she would never show it. She kept such hurts locked away for a time when keeping up appearances were not needed.

Trying not to lose heart, she tried her luck with a woman dressed in black and white. It just wasn't her day today however as the woman snorted at her request for simoleons and said 'One doesn't fund drug habits!' before sauntering off up the path. Drug habit indeed!

Disheartened and emotionally wrought, Romany plonked herself down beside the fountain, letting its cooling spray calm her temper. This was just no good, she was getting hungry and hadn't earned a single simoleon. Mooching was off the cards for today. She thought of the Simlife googles she had found from raiding trash. Perhaps she would fare better rummaging in the neighbourhood bins.

Raiding the bins was such a disgusting thing to do and she really detested doing it, but she wasn't going to get any food from the park today or any simoleons, needs must.

She trudged out of Central Park and began to eye up prospective bins. There was no point raiding the bins from poor looking homes. The people whom lived in poor homes had sense and didn't waste what they had. Nope the rich pickings were in the wealthier person's trash. She spotted a posh looking house that seemed empty and snuck into the yard where the bin stood, in all its trashy glory. Her luck was about to change, she could feel it. Pulling off the lid, she held her breath and got stuck in.

'Ewww now that is disgusting!' said a deep, shocked voice. Romany, with her head in the bin, froze. Who on earth could that be? The house had looked empty!

'Erm...would you believe, I threw something away in here earlier, I need it back!' she improvised from within the depths of the bin.

'Oh really?! And what would that 'something' be?' said the voice, skeptically.

'This....this...this sock! As you can see, I am missing one!' she stated, groaning inwardly.

'Can you take your head out of the bin please. I would like to see whom I am speaking to,' requested the voice.

Romany sighed. Nothing for it. She unfolded out of the bin, raised her chin and looked square at her addresser. Then quickly looked at her toes. Oh dear, he was quite a handsome looking chap, no doubt he would not be as impressed with her.

'Not able to look me in the eye then? Must be up to no good. I think you had better come with me, dont you?' the handsome man said. He smirked a little. A sock indeed. Good job he had a sense of humour.

'Come with you? Where?! For a walk in the park?' She said sarcastically.

'No no, to the cells for the night for disorderly behaviour and for giving cheek to an undercover policeman' he replied sharply. Romany gulped. This really was turning out to be a really bad day. She supposed there was nothing for it but to do as he said.

'I am PC Dunham, your name please?' he queried, taking her arm and leading her to the car nearby.

'Emily Dawson,' she replied quickly. No way would she tell her real name, she had ran away from 'home'. The word could be out. She sat gingerly in the back of the unarmed car and looked at the floor. When she next looked up, they had arrived at the local jail. PC Dunham escorted her quickly inside.

'Take your hands off me! I can put myself in the cell thank you very much!' she said snappily, pushing him away.

PC Dunham frowned, but stood back until she was inside the cell. She stood, looking at the floor, getting to be quite a habit, feeling sorry for herself. At least there was bed. If you could call it that. It smelled and looked as though the sheets had never been washed. Considering she slept on a bench normally, she wasnt one to be fussy. It would do. There was also a shower and a toilet. There was also another cell. It had a fellow inmate. He was stood with his back to her.

'What are you in for?' she called, curious as always. The inmate turned slowly, until he was facing her.

'Ah Pike, love what you have done with your face,' he sneered. Romany backed away in horror. It was Seth. She was in jail, with Seth Snape.

'You, you, you stay away from me!' she shrieked, backing away until she couldn't back any further.

'In case you haven't noticed, Pike, we are in Jail. J.A.I.L. See these metal bars between us? Unfortunate, but we will have to hook up when I get out tomorrow,' he said menacingly.

'Why are you in here?' Romany asked, fearfully. Had he hurt someone else, like he had her?

'Oh I got caught by Pc Plod over there, in this little abandoned park, helping myself to some simoleons. I thought the park was abandoned, but it looked like someone had been sleeping there. You wouldn't happen to know who, would you...Pike?' he sneered.

Her simoleons! He had been taking her simoleons! She knew that he knew it was where she had been staying. There was nowhere else in Sunset Valley, barr the graveyard, to hide out. Things were going from worse. She had to speak to PC Pl...Dunham, and find out what had happened to her money.

'PC Dunham! Pc Dunham,' she yelled. He stuck his head around the door to the cell area.

'What do you want Dawson?' he muttered.

'I need to talk to you please. Please, I do really need to talk with you,' she pleaded. She could feel Seth's eyes on her, watching her every move.

'Oh, it better be important,' PC Dunham retorted, thinking of the macaroni cheese he was in the middle of cooking. He was due a dinner date with the lovely Bethany tonight and ever the romantic, he was cooking it especially for her.

'What is it then Dawson,' PC Dunham said, appearing before her cell.

'You found some simoleons today didn't you, that he was going to steal,' she whispered to him, jerking her thumb towards Seth.

'And whats that got to do with you Dawson?' he replied.

'Its MY money!' She cried, 'All $13409 of it!'

'How do you know how mu....oh. A likely story. How would someone, like yourself, come by $13409 simoleons, bound to be illegally,' he stated, looking at her coldly.

'Look!' she said, catching hold of his hand, 'It IS my money, I pawned some items, I have the pawn tickets here to prove it. Okay it doesnt account for it all, but for most of it. I was living in the park, I am homeless and that money was for me to buy my own place with. Please, I need it back,' she beseeched him.

Tobias Dunham stared at the little tramp before him. She had soulful eyes. He found himself wanting to believe what she was telling him. He had a good heart and despite his job, tended to want to believe the best of people.

'Oi, PC Plod, come 'ere! You dont believe that little tramp do you? She is a liar!' Seth called, from his cell.

'And how would you know Snape?' snapped Tobias. He didnt like Snape, he talked to himself too much and generally made Tobias feel pretty uncomfortable even though he was no coward.

'I know her name is not Dawson for a start, is it PIKE?' he spat at her.

'' she stuttered. Tobias turned to her.

'Is that correct?' he frowned.

'Yes, yes it is,' she sighed, 'but I had to give a fake name, you see I have ru-'

'BE QUIET! A liar, that is what you are. I don't want to hear anymore from you, other than your real name. What is it?' Tobias ordered.

'Walked right into that one didn't you Pike?' Seth chuckled, darkly.

'Don't you speak to me Seth,' Romany seethed. 'You are insane, you need help!'

'I am waiting Pike?!' reminded Tobias tartly.

'Okay, okay, its Romany, Romany Pike. But you have to believe me, it IS my money and he IS insane, he is the one that gave me this scar!' She pleaded with him. Tobias looked at the terrible scar across her face and felt a little part of him begin to soften.

'No...NO, I dont believe you, you raid bins and you tell lies, I am going back to the staff room and I dont expect to hear from you for the rest of tonight Pike! I suggest you get some sleep!' Tobias barked before spinning on his heel and stalking off back to the staff room.

'Yes Pike, get some sleep, you will need your energy for tomorrow, when I get out of here,' Snape said darkly. He climbed into bed and turned his back on her, giggling quietly.

Romany felt tears of rage, or was it fear...prickling her eyes. Pc Dunham would not believe anything she said now, and Seth really seemed to have it in for her. She feared tomorrow, where could she go that would be safe?

There was nothing more she could do tonight and feeling vulnerable, she did climb into bed. Eventually she fell asleep.

She dreamed about butterflies at first. Then some pretty fish, being an angler. But then images of Seth filled her mind and she tossed and turned. What would the morning bring?

For the reader, can you guess Tobias traits? One of them is Family Orientated.

Click Next: Chapter Six - Sometimes Dreams Do Come True to continue...

Back to: Chapter Four - Unanswered Questions Next: Chapter Six - Sometimes Dreams Do Come True
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