Murder Has Two Faces

Part 6

by Tonya S. Coley


For Disclaimers: See part 1

Chapter 11

            Alma woke first. She smiled as she watched Johnnie sleep; she lay on her stomach with her loose hair covering her shoulders and face. Alma pulled the hair from her face a placed a soft kiss on Johnnie's cheek. This would have usually awakened her, but Johnnie was exhausted. Alma stretched and could feel the fatigue as it weighed on her own body. Being pregnant and participating in marathon sex took its toll on her. She went to the bathroom to shower. When she finished she donned a pair of shorts and one of Johnnie's police academy t-shirts and headed toward the kitchen to make breakfast.

         She was greeted by the smell of rich Colombian coffee as she made her way down the hall and entered the kitchen. Peeking in the refrigerator was Ceecee, looking for the makings for breakfast.

         “Good morning, Alma.” Ceecee said in a singsong voice. “And how are you this fine morning?”

         Alma sat at the table and sighed dreamily.

         “That good, huh?” Ceecee chuckled. “I can tell that you had a very stimulating night.” She added a wink and went back into the refrigerator to get some orange juice for Alma. “You know, you and Johnnie got Tori started last night. I didn't think she would ever get enough.”

         Alma blushed. “Well, I kinda started it.”

         “Really now.” Ceecee laughed heartily. “I know what you mean. I was very amorous when I was pregnant with the boys.” She paused. “I take it that Johnnie is ok with you being pregnant?”

         “Yes she is.” Alma smiled brightly. “She was talking to the baby last night. You should have seen her.”

         “You did all that worrying for nothing.” Ceecee said as she handed Alma a glass of juice. “What were you so afraid of?”

         Alma took a sip of her juice. She placed the glass on the table and looked at Ceecee. “I don't know. I thought she would be angry.” She paused. “She and Phillip were so close. At times I was a little jealous of the bond they had. I thought that she might have felt that it was too soon.”

         “Alma, I know you didn't think that Johnnie would ask you to abort the baby, did you?” Ceecee asked, feeling nothing but sympathy for her friend.

         “No, Johnnie would have never asked me to do such a thing, but I wondered if she would resent me.” Alma softly said.

         Ceecee took Alma's hand into her own. “Johnnie worships the ground that you walk on. She has nothing but the purest love for you. I don't believe in my heart that she would have resented you.”

         “I actually feel silly about thinking that she would ever turn her back on me.” Alma revealed.

         “I am glad things are working out. I knew she would be happy.” Ceecee said.

         Before they could continue the conversation, the telephone rang. Alma got up to answer it. “Hello.” Alma said.

         “Hello, may I speak with Johnnie?” A woman's voice asked. Alma noticed that is sounded very familiar.

         “Who's calling?” Alma asked.

         “This is Madelyn Marshall. Is she in?” Maddie asked, growing impatient.

         Who does she think she is, calling our home? “She's sleeping.” Alma snapped. “What do you want?”

         Maddie smirked. Ah, the little chica is jealous. “Is this Alma?”

         “Yes this is Alma. I'll ask again, what do you want?” She demanded.

         “I was concerned about Johnnie. I only wanted to know how she is.” Maddie said, feigning innocence.

         Alma smiled smugly. She knew the game and how it was played. “She's still sleeping. She didn't get much sleep last night.” How's that, bitch?

         Maddie tried to add fuel to a non-existent fire. “Yes, I know too well how passionate Johnnie can be. She always took a lot out of me when we made love.”

         Alma chuckled at the feeble attempt to make her angry. “I guess that means I am more woman than you were. It is a struggle for her to keep up.”

         Maddie became furious that her plan to make Alma jealous backfired. It was she who was now jealous. Her anger spilled into her voice. “She told you about us?”

         “Yes, she most certainly did.” Alma told her. “Do us all a favor and leave us alone. You are not her attorney or her wife. Leave her well being to me.” Before she hung up on her she added, “Have a nice day.”

         Ceecee was smiling and quietly cheering her friend on when she noticed that Johnnie was leaning against the doorframe. Johnnie stood there amazed at how Alma handled Maddie. She knew that Maddie could be manipulative, but she had no idea that Alma could handle her and keep a reign on her temper as well as she did.

         “I don't even have to ask who that was.” Johnnie said as she wrapped Alma up in warm hug and kissed the top of her head. “You did good, baby.”

         “I think I let her know where we stand. We don't need any help from her.” Alma said as she took refuge in Johnnie's arms.

         Johnnie kissed Alma softly on her lips, and then moved to her ear and down her neck. Alma moaned her pleasure.

         Tori walked sleepily in the kitchen and caught her friends. “Oh, geez you two, give us a break, please. Didn't you get enough last night?”

         Ceecee looked at her. “I didn't hear you complaining. As a matter of fact, you were cheering them on. That is, until your nature started to rise.”

         Tori blushed furiously. “Well, I couldn't help it. All that headboard thumping, screaming and begging got me all charged up.”

         Johnnie and Alma laughed as Ceecee walked over to her wife and placed a kiss on her chin. “It's ok, baby. You did your own headboard thumping too.”

         Tori smiled and puffed out her chest. I can give just a well as you can, Johnnie.

         Johnnie recognized the posturing Tori was doing, and walked over and gave her a high five.


         “That little bitch!” Maddie hissed as she slammed the phone back into its cradle. Who does she think she is, speaking to me like that? Well, if that's how she wants to play it, let's dance. She buzzed her secretary and told her to bring in the Green file. After a moment her secretary, Mrs. Franklin, came in with the file she requested.

         “Here's the file, Ms. Marshall.” She said as she placed the file on Maddie's desk. “Is there anything else?”

         Maddie took the file and opened it. “Yes, there is. I want you to call Jonas Peters at the mayor's office and set up a meeting with him, and have Fred Wilson come in here.”


         Fred Wilson entered Maddie's office. “You sent for me, Maddie?”

         “Yes.” She said. “How would you like second chair on the Green case?”

         Fred was astonished that Maddie would ask him. Although he was a good attorney, he didn't think that with the way office politics were set up, he would ever be considered for such an important case. “Second chair? I'd be honored.”

         “Good. Have a seat and let me get you up to speed on this case.” She said.

         As they reviewed the evidence and went over case strategy, Maddie's secretary buzzed on the intercom. Maddie answered it. “Yes?”

         “Mr. Peters will be here this afternoon at three.” She informed her.

         “Wonderful.” Maddie said, as she rubbed her hands together. “Johnetta Green is going to pay for what she has done.” She said, looking over a Fred. She will suffer for rejecting me, too. They both will.


         Johnnie met Bob at his office. “Hey, Bob.” She said as she extended her hand.

         “Good morning, Johnnie.” He smiled, shaking her offered hand. “How are you?”

         Johnnie sighed. “I could be better.”

         “I know, Johnnie.” He said sympathetically. “Hopefully we can get this mess cleared up.”

         Before Johnnie sat down, she handed him the files that she had received from Tori's cousin. “This is what I had so that I could destroy Ballantine. I don't think we can use it, though.”

         He looked inside the envelope, taking some of the sheets out. He read them, and then he took out a few of the photos. He grimaced as he quickly slid the photos back into the envelope and disgustedly threw the envelope on his desk. “He was a sick son of a bitch.” He paused. “We can't use them now, but they may come in handy later on.”

         “I understand, Bob.” She said. “We have an even bigger problem right now.”

         He leaned back in his chair. “What is it?”

         “The DA is gunning for me. She is on a mission to put me behind bars.” She informed him. Bob opened his mouth to speak, but she put up her hand and continued. “Not just because it is her job, but because she is angry with me.”

         “I don't understand, Johnnie.” He said.

         Johnnie told him of there former relationship, and also informed him of confrontation that she and Maddie had before she was released on bond.

         Bob immediately reached for the phone. “We can't have that now, can we?” He dialed numbers and leaned back in his chair until the call was answered.

         “This is Bob Wooten. I would like to speak with Governor van Benthuysen, please.” He paused. “Yes, I'll hold.” He looked at Johnnie. “This will only take a few minutes.” He paused again. “Andy? Hi, this is Bob.”

         Johnnie looked on in amazement. She had no idea he even knew Governor Andrew van Benthuysen. She listened to the one sided conversation.

         “Yeah, we need to hit that fishing spot again before the season is over.” He chuckled. “Andy, we have a little problem here in the DA's office. You know of the Ballantine murder?” He paused. “Yeah, it is unfortunate. Anyway, I am defending the accused, and she and the DA have a history.” He paused, rolling his pen between his fingers. “Ok, Thanks, Andy. Give my love to Audra and the kids. Bye.” He placed his forearms on his desk and smiled.

         “Well?” Johnnie asked.

         “Governor van Benthuysen is assigning a special prosecutor to this case. Ms. Marshall is out.” He revealed.

         Johnnie's brilliant smile told how pleased she was. “Thank you. I don't know how this case would have gone with Maddie as prosecutor.”

         “At least we won't have to worry about her making this case personal.” Bob said.

         Johnnie stood to leave, offering her hand once more. “I had better get home. Tori and Ceecee are leaving this afternoon.”

         He shook her hand. “I'll call you and let you know who will be handling the case as soon as I find out.”


         “Thank you both for everything that you have done.” Johnnie said as she hugged Ceecee goodbye.

         “We were glad that we were able to help.” Ceecee softly said. She turned to Alma and they embraced, tears flowing from both of their eyes.

         Tori and Johnnie stood by, watching the exchange. They both rolled their eyes at the emotion their wives were expressing.

         “Do you think they will let each other go soon, Johnnie?” Tori whispered.

         Johnnie shook her head. “I have no idea.”

         Sad tears turned happy as Cee Cee and Alma both laughed and gave them glaring looks. Tori and Johnnie laughed as Johnnie patted Tori on her back. “I'll give you a call as soon as a trial date is set.” Johnnie said.

         Tori smiled. “Good. I'm going to put things in order at my office, so Ceecee and I should be able to be with you guys as long as it takes.”

         “I really appreciate it, we both do.” Johnnie said as Alma's arms wrapped around her waist.

         Tori opened the door for Ceecee to get in, and then she jogged around to the driver's side and got in. “Call us if you need anything.” Tori told them.

         “Give us a ring when you get in.” Alma said. “Tori drive carefully.”

         “Ok.” They both said in unison, and then backed out of the drive.


         Johnnie channel surfed in the living room while Alma prepared dinner. She stopped at The Cartoon Network, when she noticed the Power Puff Girls were on. She felt the tears well up in her eyes.


         “Mama, dey girls, dey can't fight.” Phillip said.

         Johnnie laughed. “Son, they can fight just a good as the rest of the super heroes.”

         “But Mama, dey girls.” He insisted.

         “I tell you what, let's just watch this episode and if you still don't like them we won't watch anymore. How does that sound?” She asked, hoping that he would like them because she loved them. Buttercup was her favorite.

         He sighed heavily as kids do when they are not convinced of something. “'Kay, Mama.” Phillip then climbed into Johnnie's lap and they watched the show.

         When it ended Phillip looked into Johnnie's eyes. “Mama, dat was good. Dem girls can fight.” He told her, his voice full of excitement.

         “I told you so.” Johnnie said as she smiled at her son. “Girls can do anything boys can do.”

         “Yeah, dey were tuff.” He added as he turned in her lap to face her.

         Johnnie kissed him on his forehead. “So, which one is your favorite?”

         “Bu…Buddercup, Mama. She tuff. I like her best.” He answered.

         Johnnie smiled. “You mean Buttercup?” She was pleased that he liked the same one she did.

         “I said dat, Mama. Buddercup.” He said as he shook his little head at her.


         Johnnie was shaken out of her reverie when she heard Alma calling her. She wiped her tear stained face and went into the kitchen. Alma knew immediately that Johnnie had been crying. Forgetting about what she needed, Alma walked over to Johnnie and embraced her. Johnnie pulled her close, and they both allowed silent tears to fall.

         Chapter 12

         Michael Gardena stared out the window of his Central Park West penthouse. He was a short, middle-aged man. He wasn't considered the least bit attractive, but his status in the Roman family afforded him luxuries that he alone would never be able to obtain. Gardena cursed the failure to eliminate Johnnie while she was in jail. How in the world did she manage to stay alive? That incompetent idiot should have found someone capable of completing such a simple task.

         Gardena was interrupted from his thoughts by the prostitute that he had hired the previous evening. The young Asian woman, in her early twenties, moved closer to him. “Is there anything else I can do for you lover?” She asked as she touched his face.

         He pulled away from her as if she disgusted him. “Nothing, now get out of here.”

         She looked at him and shook her head. “That's too bad. Are you sure you don't want to go another round?”

         “I said get out.” He angrily spat. “What did you think; you'd fuck me so good that I would want to keep you? Is that it, whore?”

         “Fuck you, asshole.” She hissed and retreated back into his bedroom to retrieve her clothes. Once dressed, she returned to the living room.

         He stood there, smirking at her. “Here's your money. I don't think you were worth it. A thousand dollars is too much for a lazy fuck.” He tossed the money in her face. It fell to the floor.

         She picked up the money and stood. “When you get some weight on that penis of yours, give me a call. It was hard to fake an orgasm with that needle dick.”

         “Get outta here, bitch!” He growled as he pushed her. She nearly stumbled, but managed to keep her balance. Gardena was about to hit her for insulting his manhood, but was interrupted when the phone rang. He glared at her, and then turned to answer it. “Hello.” He snapped.

         “Mr. Gardena, this is Jonas Peters.” Jonas said.

         “Why in the hell are you calling my home, Peters?” He demanded.

         Jonas was nervous. “I just wanted you to know that I am being investigated.”

         “Why are you telling me?” Gardena asked. “It's not my problem.”

         “Green is relentless.” Jonas said, his voice nearly pleading for help. “She can find out things that may cause problems.”

         “Look, Peters, that is of no concern to me. The only thing that they can connect me to Ballantine is the campaign contributions.” He yelled. “This is a mess that you and Ballantine created.” His tone turned menacing. “Don't call me anymore. If you try to implicate me in the shit that you and Ballantine were doing, you will be sorry.”


         Alma was working at her computer when Johnnie came into the den fully dressed. She pulled her glasses off and studied Johnnie. “Are you going back to work today?” She asked.

         Johnnie leaned down to kiss her and smiled. “Yeah, baby. I have a lot of work ahead of me so that I can clear my name.”

         Alma stood and embraced her. “I love you, Querida. Be careful.”

         Johnnie placed her hands on Alma's waist. “I will, baby. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine.” She kneeled in front of Alma and began to talk to her belly and the growing baby inside. “You just do what you do, chill out and take care of Mami for me.” She placed a kiss where she figured the baby would be. “I love you, little one.”

         “No masculine nicknames for this one, eh?” Alma asked as Johnnie stood back up.

         “Nah, this one is a girl.” Johnnie confidently told her. “I'll call her Little One.”

         Well, she was right with Phillip. Perhaps she will be two for two. Alma thought.

         Johnnie leaned down to kiss Alma. It became very deep and passionate. She pulled back. “Honey, I have to go. If we get started, I'll never leave. Don't you have some work to catch up on?” She asked, trying to distract her.

         “Yeah, I do.” Alma said, sighing heavily. “I guess I had better get started.”

         For you to be such a good detective, you can be as dumb as a stump. Get a clue Green; she doesn't want to be here alone, without Champ. Johnnie suddenly realized why Alma was trying to keep her at home. “Baby, I'm sorry. I didn't think.”

         Alma held up her hand to interrupt. “I'll be ok. You go ahead.”

         Johnnie thought for a minute, looking into Alma's eyes the entire time. She came up with an idea. “Download all your files, pack up your things and come to the office with me. I have some space you can use until its time for the baby. I don't want you here alone all day.”

         “Beloved, I'll be fine.” She said, trying to hold back her tears. “You go to work.”

         Johnnie cupped Alma's face and placed soft kisses on each cheek. “Alma?” She whispered. “I won't take no for an answer. I'll download your files and gather your things. You get changed.”

         Alma smiled and did as Johnnie asked. When she returned, Johnnie had her things packed in a box and already loaded in her SUV.


         Gardena left his apartment to meet with his superior, Salvatore Romano. Romano was the head of one of the most powerful families in the country. Gardena arrived at the Four Seasons at noon, sharp. To be late would be an insult, for Romano frowned on people who were not punctual.

         “Good afternoon, Don Romano.” Gardena said nervously. He was terrified of this man, and with good reason. Romano had his very own nephew beaten to within an inch of his life for failing to take care of some important family business. If he would treat his own blood like this, what would he to someone who was not family?


         “I failed you, Don Romano. It wasn't my fault that the police came in and seized the drugs.” Salvatore said.

         Romano held up his hand when Salvatore was about to continue. “No more excuses. I am tired of how the police always know when an important deal is going to go down.” He said, his voice not reflecting the anger that burned him to his very core.

         Johnny K leaned over to Gardena and whispered, “Watch this, Mickey.”

         A young Gardena looked, not fully understanding what was happening. He had not been in the upper echelon of the family long. He only knew of street justice. Gardena knew that Sal was going to be killed, but he figured that they would take him for a 'ride' like they did on the streets.

         “The Feds seem to only raid the deals that you are involved in, Sal.” Romano's accent was thick and his anger was beginning to flare. “I brought you in with good faith, Sal, and you betray me like this?”

         “No, Don. I would never betray you. I have always been loyal.” Sal tried to convince the Don, and himself. He began to back away, until he felt 6'5” of solid wall behind him. Sal knew it was over, because “The Pick” was standing behind him. Sal was dead before he hit the floor.

         “Did you see that shit, Mickey?” Johnny K asked.

         “Yeah, I see it.” Gardena said. It was at that moment that he knew he would never betray Don Romano.


         A non-family member would always die. Gardena thought to himself.

         “Sit down, Michael.” Romano told him.

         Gardena studied Romano's face, searching for any sign of anger or displeasure. He could find nothing. “Is something wrong, Don?”

         Romano took a sip of his wine. “It has come to my attention that there is a problem with our beneficiaries in North Carolina.” He paused. “Ballantine was murdered and now Peters is under investigation. Why didn't you tell me of these things?”

         “I thought I could take care of this, sir. I meant no disrespect.” Gardena said. “It's nothing, really.”

         “Nothing? Don't be stupid, Michael.” Romano said through clenched teeth. Remembering where he was, he regained control of his temper. “Tell me about this Green woman.”

         Gardena knew he had better make this good. “Sir, she is a filthy, disgusting lesbian. Green was a member of the police force but she is now retired. She poses no threat to us.”

         “You are an idiot, just like that pervert Ballantine.” Romano spat. Gardena was surprised that he knew about Ballantine. “Oh, I know about his nasty little habits. You should have kept a tighter reign on him. If it got out that this family had associated itself with a pervert like that, we would lose credibility.”

         Gardena began to speak. “Don, I assure you that…”

         Romano held up his hand to silence Gardena. “Why would he go up against someone as formidable as the Green woman?”

         “You seem to know a lot about her. Why is that, if you don't mind my asking?” Gardena inquired. He began to suspect that Don Romano had an informant telling him what was going on.

         “When I heard about what Ballantine was doing, I made it my business to know all the players. If you were worth a damn, you would have, too.” He told him as he leaned forward on the table. “He destroyed her family. No wonder she went after him.”

         Gardena began to sweat. Romano knew too much. “I will take care of this, sir.”

         “You failed me. This family has a long-standing reputation that you and your cronies from North Carolina may have damaged. You are a stupid little man, Michael. I know about the attempt on Green's life while she was in jail. I cannot tolerate your continued failures.” Romano spat. At that moment a shadow fell over the table. “Vincenzo, take Michael home. He is no longer hungry.”

         Gardena looked up and saw “The Pick” standing over him. He began to plead for his life as two of Romano's bodyguards removed him from the table.


         “Querida, this really isn't necessary.” Alma said as Johnnie got her settled in the spare office.

         Johnnie looked at Alma, and then touched her face. “Baby, it's not a problem. You get along with everyone here, and they all like you.” She paused and pulled Alma close. “Besides, when I get restless and in need, I can just buzz you and you can come to me.” She added with a wink.

         “Oh, I get it. You want me here to service you when you get horny.” Alma said, acting as if she were shocked.

         Johnnie laughed. “No, baby, that's not what I meant.” She cupped Alma's buttocks. “Although I did like it when we made love in the office. It was intense.”

         “I am here to work, not be your love slave. You can just get those ideas out of your head, Valentina.” Alma stated firmly. Johnnie jaw dropped in shock. “Now get out of here, I have work to do, and so do you.”

         Johnnie pouted. “I thought it was gonna be fun having you work here.” Alma chuckled. “Can I at least have a kiss to tide me over until we get home?” She gave Alma a puppy dog look.

         “Oh alright, stop begging.” Alma said, and then kissed her.

         Glenda walked in and started laughing. “You two cut that shit out. This is an office, not your bedroom.”

         Alma laughed, while Johnnie groaned. “I tried to tell her, but she insisted.”

         “We all know how Johnnie is when she wants something.” Glenda added.

         “Are you two ladies through talking about me as if I wasn't even here?” Johnnie asked, shaking her head. Alma kissed her on the tip of her nose.

         “If you can tear yourself away from Alma, Mike is waiting in your office with some info on Peters.” Glenda informed her.

         Johnnie kissed Alma and then said, “See you later, baby. If you need me, call me, okay?”

         Alma smiled. “I will.”


         “Ms. Marshall, there's a Mr. Abbott from Raleigh to see you.” Mrs. Franklin buzzed her. “Shall I send him in?”

         Maddie massaged her temples. “Yes, send him in.” She told her, and then she stood to straighten her skirt.

         Abbott entered her office. “Good afternoon, Ms. Marshall. I'm Jeffery Abbott from the Attorney General's office. I was told that you would be expecting me.” Abbot was a man in his mid forties, not too tall, and had a muscular build.

         “Yes.” Maddie acknowledged as she extended her hand. “Our office is at your disposal.”

         “Thank you.” He shook her hand. “I only need the files on the Ballantine murder case.”

         “You will need office space. We can accommodate you.” She said.

         “That won't be necessary. We have acquired office space.” He told her. “May I have those files now? I'd like to go over them.”

         “They are prepared, I have them here.” She said, pointing to the stack of files on her desk. “I'd like to offer myself to be your second, since I am familiar with the case.”

         “That won't be necessary.” He said, impatiently. “If you would kindly turn the files over to me, I can get started.”

         Maddie controlled her outrage. He dismisses me like I am just a law clerk? You are an arrogant asshole. “Of course, Mr. Abbott,” She said, begrudgingly handing the files over to him. “If you should need my help…”

         “That won't be necessary.” Abbott interrupted, taking the files. “Have a nice day.” He turned and walked out.

         Maddie was seething with anger. You reject me for that pipsqueak Alma. Then you get me kicked off a career advancing case. Johnnie, you are a bitch, and you will pay for this. One way or the other you will pay. She grabbed her jacket, and then stormed out of her office.


         “Ballantine and Peters were siphoning city funds into their personal accounts. Ballantine has property, here and abroad, and bank accounts to die for.” He told her. “Peters wasn't as greedy as Ballantine was.”

         Johnnie was in shock. “Everything that bastard accused me of doing, he did.” Johnnie leaned back in her chair. “What about the out of town contributors?”

         “Gardena Construction is a major player in the out of town contributors, but get this; Gardena Construction is one of the fronts for the Romano Family.” Mike paused, and shifted nervously in his seat. “Johnnie, this is getting deep. Are you sure that you want to go this route.”

         “I don't give a damn if Romano himself is involved in this.” Johnnie said, her anger rising to the surface. “Ballantine was an asshole and deserved what he got. All this drama has cost me the life of my son, and may cost me my life as well. My wife is pregnant, and I am determined to see this baby grow up. I am not gonna rest until I prove my innocence, Mike.”

         “Neither will I, Johnnie. We will clear you of this.” He assured her.


         “You can't go in there, Ms. Marshall.” Laura told her.

         Maddie pushed right past her, and burst in on Johnnie and Mike's meeting. Johnnie glared at her, and Mike made a hasty retreat out of the office. Maddie slammed the door behind him.

         Johnnie stood and walked around her desk. “What the fuck is your problem? Why are you here?”

         “Like you don't already know, Johnnie.” Maddie hissed. “You had me taken off this case. How could you?”

         “How could I?” Johnnie mocked. “I wanted a fair trial, not one that would be twisted because I don't want you.”

         “You arrogant bitch.” Maddie yelled. “You thought that I would try to make this about you and me? I do my job, Johnnie.”

         “Yeah, and you would have really would have done a job on me.” Johnnie spat. “You're a vindictive little bitch and you know it. I remember the things you said to me.” She felt things were getting out of control, and she didn't know how much longer she would be able to control her temper. “Maddie, just leave. I don't need this bullshit right now.”

         “You are going to listen to me.” Maddie ordered. “I love you, that's true, and I would love to rebuild a life with you. That is personal, and I keep that out of my professional life.”

         Johnnie's voice increased in volume and intensity. “Bullshit! The way you reacted when I told you that I wouldn't leave Alma told me just how “objective” you could be.”

         “Bitch!” Maddie screamed as she slapped Johnnie's face, making her head snap to one side. Johnnie slapped her back, knocking her to the floor. Maddie was stunned because Johnnie had never hit her before. Her eyes filled with tears.

         Johnnie looked down at her, and then she realized what she had done. “Maddie, I am so sorry.” She whispered as she helped her from the floor.

         Maddie was still in shock as the tears fell from her eyes. “How could you, Johnnie?”

         “You shouldn't have come here, Maddie.” Johnnie told her. “Please leave.”

         “You really don't have any feelings for me, do you?” She tearfully asked.

         “I told you that I love Alma.” Johnnie said, her voice full of remorse for striking her.

         Alma burst in. “What's going on in here?” Laura stood at the door.

         “I was just leaving.” Maddie said, turning to her. “There's nothing for me here.”

         Alma noticed the bruise forming on her cheek. She turned her attention to Johnnie and saw a little redness forming on her cheek. Oh baby, you didn't?

         Maddie straightened her suit, wiped her face and cleared her throat. “You know what, Johnnie? I am going to take pleasure in watching them strap your ass to that gurney and stick that needle in your arm.” She spat, her voice heavy laden with venom.

         “You fucking bitch!” Johnnie yelled as she charged at Maddie, making her step back.

         Alma stepped in front of Johnnie. She knew that it was the only way she could stop her furious wife. She placed her hands on Johnnie's chest.

         “Get the fuck out of my office and stay the hell out of my life, you fucking cunt!” Johnnie shouted.

         Maddie stormed out, brushing past Laura. Laura closed Johnnie's door, giving her friend some privacy. She knew that Alma would be able to calm her down.

         Alma wrapped her arms around Johnnie's trembling body. She could feel the fury that radiated from Johnnie. Please Querida, calm down.

         Johnnie calmed down and held on to her wife. Alma whispered calming words to her, hoping to bring Johnnie from the dark place that she had gone to.

         Maddie cried as she drove home. She had called Mrs. Franklin on her cell phone and told her that she would be out for the rest of the day. I could have helped you Johnnie. Now you are going to die. Since I can't have you, Alma won't have you either.

part 7

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