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Several hours later, Clementine and Pebbles returned to the hotel. They each carried a half dozen sacks. Ford was waiting in the lobby for their return.
“What’d you do, buy out all the stores?” Ford asked.
“Just about!” Clementine answered.
“Just put the sacks down, Clementine,” Pebbles said, “I’ll have room service take all this up to the Suite. I know your father wants to get you home! We’ll see you both, first thing in the morning!”
“C’mon, Hannah Montana,” Ford said to Clementine, “I’ll run you home!”
“See you tomorrow, Pebbles!” she called out, as her and Ford left the hotel lobby.
“Goodnight, Clementine!” Pebbles replied.
As Ford drove her home, he had some questions he wanted to ask his daughter.
“What are you gonna tell your mom, when you go off on this adventure?” he inquired.
“Oh, I’ll tell her I’m going on a school field trip!” Clementine answered.
“Field trip!” Ford exclaimed, “don’t stuff like that require signed parental permission slips and such!”
“Already taken care of!” Clementine said.
“How?” Ford skeptically asked.
“I’ve used the computer at the library in the past,” Clementine explained, “to print out some field trip permission forms, like this one!”
Clementine pulled a copy out of her pocket that she and her mom had signed for one of her previous “field trips”.
“So, I’ll just tell mom, in the morning,” Clementine continued, “about tomorrow’s last minute trip and have her sign a new slip!”
“Could I see that?” Ford asked.
Clementine handed him the slip.
“What about the school?” Ford asked, “ain’t they gonna wonder where you’ve been and where you are?”
Clementine smiled, “There’s a guy in one of my classes that likes me! He’s sorta a computer nerd. Every time a teacher marks me absent and turns the attendance report into the office, which in turn gets entered into my records, I just text him and ask him to do me a favor and hack into the school’s computer that evening and mark me present! So, problem solved!”
“Terrific!” Ford mumbled.
Ford soon dropped Clementine off. Her mom hadn’t yet come home from work.
“Wanna come in and visit awhile?” Clementine asked.
“Uh, thanks, no,” Ford replied, “I don’t think your mom would be too cool ‘bout me suddenly showing up unannounced in her living room!”
“Probably not!” Clementine grinned.
“I’ll pick you up in the morning,” Ford said, “meet me down the block, so your mom doesn’t see me. Or both our hides will be tanned!”
“Will do!” Clementine said, as she hopped out of the car and headed up the sidewalk to her front door.
“Later days!” she called back to Ford.
Ford waved. “Yeah, later days,” he skeptically mumbled.
However, as he drove away, he took another glance at Clementine’s forged permission slip, that she had forgotten to take with her, and smiled ever so slightly.
Next: Chap. 10 “Sugar Daddy”