“Right,” she bit out, hands on her hips. “So let me get this straight– you and Minnie just happened to go out shopping for new ballet slippers even though Rory got some for Minnie last month for her birthday.”
“You know how hard she is on her shoes,” Gale said, with a straight face.
“Uh-huh,” Madge’s eyes narrowed. “And at the dance shop you just happened to run into a man who was going to the pet store that just so happened to be in the same complex of the said dance shop?”
Gale nodded. “You know there is one next door,” he said.
Madge’s mouth pinched. “Of course,” she gritted out. “And this man just so happened to be picking up supplies for the puppies his dog just had.”
“It’s true,” Gale said, swallowing.
“And these puppies just so happen to be the exact breed of dog you and Minnie both really wanted.”
“It’s not like golden retriever/poodle mixes are so rare,” Gale muttered weakly.
Madge’s glare intensified. “And he just happened to have one still left for sale, that just so happened to be with him in his truck! For a great price, which, if my memory serves me correctly, is significantly lower than the average price you’ve been seeing online lately.”
Gale finally broke her gaze, admitting defeat. Shit. He knew he should’ve cleared his browser history.
Madge was silent for a few moments, and Gale braced himself for the worst. Well, what was the saying? Don’t ask for permission before, ask for forgiveness after? Last time he was doing that.
“You’re just lucky she’s hypoallergenic,” Madge finally said menacingly, wagging a finger in Gale’s direction. “And you and Minnie are going to be diligent about training this dog– I mean it, Gale! I want bell training, leash training, and I want it done right. She can go on the furniture in the family room but nowhere else! She sleeps downstairs at night. I am not scooping poop in the backyard, ever. I’ll help take her on walks and buy her food and toys, but you are taking care of all the vet stuff, do you understand me?”
Gale nodded, obediently and frequently. “Yes, dear.”
Madge crossed her arms. “I am not happy about this,” she said, “and I am not happy with you.”
“But Maera can stay?” Piped up a little voice. Around the corner was Minnie, the little eavesdropper, her curly blonde hair blending in with the blonde curls of the puppy clutched in her arms.
Madge raised her eyebrows at the name, but sighed, giving her daughter a wan smile. “Yes, dearest, Maera can stay. Daddy’s going to teach you how to take care of her.”
Minnie squealed in delight, hugging little Maera closer. “You’re the best, Mommy!”
Madge smiled at her daughter, then turned another vicious glare at her now cowering husband. She stalked from the room, rolling her eyes, knowing that Gale and Minnie were high-fiving behind her.