Murder has Two Faces
Tonya S. Coley
For disclaimers see Part 1
Karen dialed Pizo's cell number when the sergeant told her that he and the captain had stepped out. Damn it, Pizo. Where the hell are you? She asked herself after dialing the number for what seemed to be the fiftieth time. She closed it in frustration as she entered the terminal to catch her flight back to North Carolina.
After clearing security she sat at the gate, her frustration becoming more evident to the passengers that were waiting along with her. Karen's swearing at the phone that she promised to destroy once she returned home garnered quite a few concerned looks from the American Airlines staff. She noticed the looks and knew she had to calm herself or she most likely wouldn't be allowed on the plane. Karen looked down at the phone in her shaking hand and dialed Maddie's number.
Maddie sat in her office looking over a file when the phone rang. She picked it up and absently said hello.
"Maddie, it's me." Karen shakily said.
"Karen?" Maddie asked as she removed her glasses. "Honey, are you alright?"
"No." She answered. "I am getting looks from the flight staff. They might not let me board the plane."
"What's going on?"
"I can't get in contact with Pizo."
"Did you try his cell?"
"Yes, and he's not answering. That's why they might not let me get on the plane."
Though their relationship was still new, Maddie knew that Karen frustrated easily. She had seen her throw a tantrum on more than one occasion. "Not being allowed to board the plane will not be a good thing, so you need to settle down."
Karen leaned her head back and sighed. "I know, but it is imperative that I get in touch with Pizo."
"Why's that?" Maddie asked. Her curiosity piqued.
"I know who Danny Scott is." She revealed.
"Oh my God, who is it?"
Abbott walked back over to the prosecution's table and pulled out another file. He looked through it until he found the paper that he was looking for. He walked back to the witness stand and began to speak. "Mr. Kenon, I have in my hand the testimony that you offered at the Henning trial. Would you read the highlighted portions, please?"
Tracy took the file and struggled to focus on the words. He wiped the sweat from his brow and started reading. "I had to lie about his Miranda warning. He was about to get away with it. He was guilty as sin, and it was not my fault that he continued to talk before I could administer Miranda."
"You're lying now just as you did before, isn't that right Mr. Kenon?"
"Do you make it a practice to lie in court when it suits you?"
"No, this is different. I am not lying. I know what I saw."
"Well lucky for the defendant that you remembered what you saw." He spat, with his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"Objection!" Bob exclaimed.
"Sustained." The judge ruled. "Once more counselor and you will be held in contempt."
"Yes, Your Honor." Abbott said. Damn you, Wooten. How am I going to be able to present my case if I have to coddle this jerk? "Mr. Kenon, how do you expect us to believe that you are not lying now when you have done so in the past?"
Tracy's hands began to shake, and he was sweating profusely. "I am telling you the truth. Henning was drunk when he was confessing to me. He wouldn't listen to me when I tried to Mirandize him." Tracy's head started pounding in his ears. "Then he was going to get off on a technicality. He was going to be put back into the home with his daughter." He turned to the jury. "Don't you see; I had to do what I could to protect her?"
"Your Honor, please instruct the witness to keep his commentary to himself." Abbott pleaded.
"Mr. Kenon, please answer the questions posed to you and refrain from making comments." Judge O'Connell ordered.
Tracy turned back to the judge, his eyes were glazing over. "Yes, Your Honor."
Johnnie touched Bob on his shoulder to get his attention. "Tracy doesn't look well. Maybe you should ask for a recess."
Bob studied Tracy's features. He noticed that he was sweating, and that he looked pale. He turned back in his seat to face Dr. Wilson. "Is he going to be ok?"
"I'm not sure." Dr. Wilson said. "I am thinking that he is stressed, but from his appearance he looks as if he may pass out."
Before she could continue, Abbott resumed his verbal assault on Tracy. "Admit it, Mr. Kenon. You are lying yet again to help someone who you think is in trouble."
"No. It's not like that."
"Yes it is. Your friend was about to be convicted for murder and you cooked up this little scheme to keep her from the death chamber."
"No!" Tracy yelled.
"Yes. You would lie to this jury just as you lied to the jury in the Henning case."
"Objection!" Bob yelled to the top of his voice.
Tracy grabbed his head and held it as Abbott continued his barrage. He could hear Bob objecting, and could hear the judge bang his gavel. Suddenly everything went black.
"We're almost there, Cap." Pizo said as he drove through the streets of downtown Wilmington.
"Just get us there in one piece, Detective." Mayor Ricotta added. "We have the evidence that can clear Ms. Green and it wouldn't do if we couldn't get it there."
Pizo looked back at the mayor with his rearview mirror and smiled.
"Park here, Petrillo." The captain ordered.
Pizo did as he was told, and they all got out of the car and ran up the courthouse steps.
Abbott leaned over the witness stand and looked at Tracy's bowed frame. He was caught unaware and gasped for breath as he felt a large hand grasp his tie just below the knot.
"You son of a bitch." A voice roared from Tracy that was not his own. "You fucking shysters are all alike."
The members of the jury gasped as they saw the prosecutor being manhandled by the witness. Bob, Johnnie and Dr. Wilson all stood up. Dr. Wilson moved from behind the partition to stand next to Bob.
Abbott struggled in vain to free himself from the vice-like grip that he was being held with to no avail.
"Not yelling and screaming now, are you?" The voice hissed as Tracy's body stood up.
The bailiff ran toward the two to help get Abbott free. Tracy's added height made it look as if Abbott were being hung. When he reached them, he tried to pry Abbott away. Tracy' hand reached for the bailiff's gun and retrieved it from the holster. The gun immediately went to Abbott's head.
"Get the fuck away from me, or Perry Mason gets it." The voice yelled.
"Tracy, hold on. Just let Abbott go." Johnnie said in a calm and easy voice.
"How does it feel to have a gun at your head?" He yelled at Abbott.
"Please let me go."
"Why should I? Maybe I should just pull the trigger. The world won't miss you, Abbott. Hell, I may even get a medal for this."
Dr. Wilson moved a little closer to the witness stand. "Tracy, listen to me. This isn't the way."
"You shut the fuck up, bitch. You don't know shit. You don't even realize that your precious Tracy isn't in control anymore?" He spat.
"Tell me who you are, so that I can help you." She said softly.
"I ain't telling you shit. You just want to get rid of me."
"No, I want to help you."
"Can it, lady. I knew what the plan was all the time. I heard you say that you wanted to help Tracy. You just want to get rid of me like he does." He said as he stepped from the witness stand with one hand still gripped around Abbott's tie, and the other holding the gun at Abbott's head.
"Tracy, please don't do this." Johnnie begged.
He laughed evilly. "I am not Tracy, damn you. I could never be that punk assed fudgepacker."
The judge sat quietly in his seat and he looked over at the jury motioning for them to remain calm. He could see the fear in their faces.
"Don't talk about my friend like that." Johnnie spat.
"Your friend wouldn't even have been put in this position if it wasn't for your stupid ass. You should have kept your black ass home that night." He smirked.
The words that she heard stung and she had berated herself continuously about that very thing. She remembered that it wasn't her friend talking, but some entity that had taken control of his body.
"We can help you if you let us." Dr. Wilson said.
"We don't need your help. If you take me away, who will protect Tracy? He needs me, just like he needed me when he was a kid. Where was all this help when his old man and the old man's friend were giving it to him up the ass?" He yelled. "I was there. I protected him. I gave him a place to go so that he wouldn't have to endure that. Not you, but me."
"Tracy is an adult now, and no one will hurt him like that again." Dr. Wilson reasoned.
"You didn't help him when this asshole was attacking him." He said as he shook Abbott.
Johnnie moved closer while he was preoccupied with Dr. Wilson. Suddenly she launched herself into the two men.
Alma, Tori and Ceecee were startled when they saw Pizo come in with the captain and the mayor. Alma stood up and walked over to them. "Pizo, what are you doing here? What's going on?"
Pizo grasped Alma by her arms. "Johnnie is innocent, and now we have the proof we need."
Tears started rolling down Alma's cheeks as she thanked God. "Finally, it's over." She said.
The celebration was halted when the heard a gunshot echo through the courthouse.
Karen sat as calmly as she could and hit redial on her cell phone for the hundredth time. She still couldn't get in contact with Pizo. C'mon Pizo, pick up the phone for crying out loud. Karen thought as she listened to the phone ring with no answer. "Damn it!" She swore as she slammed the phone shut.
Her comment garnered a look from the older woman seated next to her. She closed her book and sat up in her seat. "What's wrong, dear?" The woman asked.
Karen rubbed her forehead, hoping to ward off the headache that her agitated state was about to bring on. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"
"I was asking what was wrong."
"Oh, it's just that I am trying to get in contact with a friend of mine. It is very important." Karen explained. "I'm sorry if I seem like a nutcase."
The older woman patted Karen's forearm. "No need. My husband, God rest his soul, was an impatient man as well."
Oh lord, not another lecture on the virtues of patience from the Blue Haired Brigade. Maybe if I growl at her she will leave me the fuck alone. Karen thought and grinned evilly. She looked over at the woman and the sneer immediately left her face as she recognized the look the older woman had.
"I know what you're thinking, and don't even try it." The woman said in a no nonsense tone. "My Albert used to give me that look too."
"Yes ma'am." Karen said after feeling chastised.
"What you need to do is calm yourself down. It's not gonna make your friend answer his phone any faster by acting the fool on this here plane." She told her.
Karen sighed as she placed the phone in her jacket pocket. "I know, I know." She studied the matronly woman. "So, you gonna take my mind off my troubles or what?"
The woman smiled and patted Karen's hand. "What shall we talk about dear?"
"What the hell was that?" Tori asked as she quickly walked over to Pizo and Alma.
"I don't know, but you ladies stay here." Pizo lied as both he and Captain Hill drew their weapons and ran in the direction of the shot.
Alma knew immediately what the sound was and her knees buckled. "That was a gunshot, Tori. Something is wrong."
Tori wrapped her arm around Alma and then she and Ceecee helped her over to the bench. Mayor Ricotta volunteered to get some water.
"Now Alma, there is no need for you to worry. I'm sure that this has nothing to do with Johnnie." Ceecee assured her. "They search everyone that comes in here. Maybe it was a car backfiring."
Alma tried to calm herself, but it was to no avail. "I was a cop's wife, Ceecee. I know what a gunshot sounds like." She rubbed her stomach in efforts to soothe the butterflies of nervousness that made her feel ill.
"Drink this, Mrs. Green." Mayor Ricotta said as she handed the cup to Alma. She had to cup Alma's trembling hand so she could take the cup without spilling it all over herself.
Alma took the cup, barely able to keep from spilling it, and took a few sips. "Thank you." She said as she passed the cup back to the mayor. She was unable to stop the trembling of her hands because she knew that something terrible had happened.
The jurors scattered when the deputy's gun went off. One of the other bailiffs ran over to the tangled heap of people. Abbott moved from beneath the struggling adversaries and crawled over to the defense table. Johnnie managed to get on top of Tracy and place her forearm over his neck while the bailiff retrieved the gun.
"Stop struggling Tracy. It's over, it's over." Johnnie hissed in his ear. Tracy's body went limp. "That's it." She whispered. "Take it easy."
Tracy's eyes rolled back in his head and his body convulsed. Johnnie loosened the pressure she had on his neck. "Johnnie?" He asked as his eyes focused on his friend. "Wha…what happened?"
"Is that really you?" Johnnie asked as she removed her forearm from his neck.
"Of course it's me. What's going on?" He asked. "Why are you on top of me?"
"Are you ok?" She asked as she looked him over. She saw blood on his shirt. "Oh my God, you've been hit."
He placed his hand on the bloodstain. "No I haven't." He looked up at her and then his eyes moved immediately to her shoulder. "Johnnie, this is your blood. You've been shot."
Her adrenalin level was lowering and she could feel the pain as she pressed her hand onto her shoulder. "Damn it." She hissed.
Dr. Wilson made her way over to Tracy and Johnnie. "Tracy, are you alright?"
"I'm fine, Doc. Johnnie got shot." He answered. "We need to get help."
Pizo and Captain Hill made there way to the courtroom. They both stood on opposite sides of the door. Pizo saw Mark walking toward them out of the corner of his eye, and he motioned for him to go where Alma and the others were. After Mark was safely down the hall, Pizo and the captain charged into the courtroom to find that the confrontation was over. Pizo found Johnnie sitting on the floor surrounded by Dr. Wilson, Bob and Judge O'Connell. Tracy sat in a chair with deputies around him. Pizo and Captain Hill walked over to where Johnnie was seated.
"Is everything ok?" Captain Hill asked.
Dr. Wilson stepped back and Pizo saw Johnnie's shirt covered in blood.
"Fuck, did someone call an ambulance?" He asked as he kneeled in front of his friend while Bob held pressure on Johnnie's wound.
"Yes, an ambulance is on the way." Dr. Wilson said. "There is no exit wound, so the bullet is still lodged in her shoulder." She looked over at Tracy who seemed lost. "If you will excuse me, Tracy needs me now. Just keep that pressure on her shoulder." Bob nodded and she walked over to her patient.
"What are you guys doing here?" Johnnie groggily asked. She had lost a fair amount of blood and was becoming weak.
"The mayor found Ballantine's tape recorder. He was doing dictation when you walked in." The captain revealed. "The whole fight between you and him was recorded. He was indeed alive when you left his office."
Johnnie breathed a sigh of relief. "That's what Tracy was testifying about when all hell broke loose. I'm glad there is evidence to corroborate it."
"What happened here, Johnnie?" Pizo asked, looking into his dear friends unfocused eyes.
Johnnie's eyes glazed over just before she passed out.
"Tracy, are you alright?" Dr. Wilson asked as she placed her hand on his shoulder.
He looked up at her with tears in his eyes. "Wha…what happened? I don't understand what's going on."
"Tracy, your other personality took over." She revealed, and then told him of the events that took place only a few moments earlier.
Tracy listened in disbelief as Dr. Wilson gave him the details of his actions. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he started sobbing pitifully.
"Tracy, we are going to take you to the hospital now." Dr. Wilson calmly said as she kneeled in front of him. "We can get you thorough this. You will have all the help and support you need."
"I nearly killed someone who was not threatening my life." Tracy whispered as he looked over at the shaken prosecutor.
"You were not yourself." Dr. Wilson assured him. "You had not idea what was going on. You had no control over it."
Tracy lowered his head and buried his face in his hands. "I will never be rid of him. I'll never be free. He won't leave."
"Tracy, calm down." The doctor soothed. "You will get through this."
"How can you be sure?" He asked. "He said that he would never leave."
Dr. Wilson lifted his head. "Do you trust me?"
"Then believe me when I tell you that I will do everything humanly possible to get you through this. You will get your life back, Tracy."
Abbott's team helped him from the floor. "Are you alright sir?" His second asked him.
"What do you think?" He spat as he tried to keep from shaking. "I was almost killed. That animal should be locked away forever."
Judge O'Connell walked over to him with angry strides. "I do believe that this trial is over, and I can finally tell you that you are an asshole."
"What do you mean? He nearly killed me and you are calling me an asshole?" Abbott demanded, not masking the outrage in his voice.
"None of this would have happened if you hadn't pushed him over the edge. If I were you, I would remember this for a long time. You might not be as fortunate the next time." The judge said and then walked away.
Abbott stuck his hand in his pocket and immediately pulled it out when he felt wetness. He looked down and saw the urine stain in his slacks. Embarrassed, he gathered his things and left the courtroom using the side entrance.
"What could be taking them so long?" Alma asked as she paced back and forth.
"Alma, please sit down." Ceecee said. "All this pacing is making me nervous."
Before Alma could respond, the sound of sirens halted any more conversation. Mark stood up with Tori and Ceecee and waited as police officers and EMTs entered the courthouse.
"What's happening?" Mark asked as the newcomers rushed right by him. "I'm going to find out what's going on."
"I'm coming with you." Alma said.
Mayor Ricotta stood in front of the determined pair. "I think we should do as Detective Petrillo told us. It could be dangerous." She warned.
"My wife is down there, and I'm going to find out if she's ok." Alma firmly said. "Now move out of my way, please."
The mayor looked at the determined face of the pregnant woman and decided not to challenge her. She, along with Tori and Ceecee, decided to follow Alma and Mark down the corridor.
Mark rushed over to Tracy's side and started to panic when he saw blood on his shirt. "Oh my God! Tracy, are you alright?" He asked as he placed his hands on Tracy's shoulders.
Tracy pulled away from him. He felt guilt, shame and helplessness as he went over what Dr. Wilson had told him. "Go away, Mark. You don't need this."
"What's going on here?" Mark asked. He looked to Tracy who would not even look at him, then turned his attention to Dr. Wilson. "Please tell me what happened."
"I will, but first we need to get Tracy to the hospital." Dr. Wilson said. She motioned for the officers to escort them out of the courtroom.
Alma was not prepared when she saw the EMTs placing Johnnie on the gurney and her shirt covered in blood. She stood motionless and unable to breathe as they strapped her wife onto the gurney.
"Ow!" Tori yelped as she felt a vice grip on her forearm. She looked at Alma, and then followed her line of sight to Johnnie being wheeled out on the gurney.
"What happened?" Ceecee asked Pizo as he walked in front of the EMTs.
"Johnnie has a shoulder wound. She's lost a lot of blood." Pizo told her. "Can you guys bring Alma to the hospital?"
"Yes." She responded. She turned to Alma. "It's a shoulder wound, Alma."
Alma said nothing as she held fast to Tori's forearm.
"Did you hear what Ceecee said?" Tori asked, hoping that Alma would release her arm. She snapped her fingers in front of Alma's face. "Earth to Alma, can you hear me?"
"Oh God!" The mayor rasped. "I think her water just broke."
"It's too soon." Tori yelled as she looked down at the puddle that was forming around Alma's feet. "She's only seven months."
"Yeah, well tell that to the baby." Ceecee said. "Alma, honey we need to get you to the hospital."
"Yeah, hospital." Alma finally responded, not releasing Tori's arm.
"Honey, your water just broke. We need to get going." Ceecee whispered.
"C'mon Alma, let's go." Tori quietly said as she led Alma out of the courtroom.
Karen and her traveling companion walked down the concourse of Terminal C at RDU on their way to baggage claim.
"Now, you just remember not to be so impatient when things don't go your way." The older woman advised. "You have to learn to let go of things that are not in your control. Just learn to, as you young folk say, go with the flow."
She laughed at the older woman's use of the term. "Yes ma'am." Well, the Blue Haired Brigade isn't as bad as I thought.
"Well dear heart, I think this will be where we part company. I have to make a pit stop." The woman said as she pointed toward the ladies room. "The bladder isn't as strong as it used to be." She added with a light chuckle.
"Alrighty then, you have a great day." Karen said as she patted the woman's shoulder.
"You too, dear."
Karen continued the long trek down the concourse and dialed Pizo's number again. Where the fuck are you, Pizo? She stopped walking when she saw a special report on the television in one of the restaurants. Oh my God, no wonder he's not answering the phone. She guessed as she listened to one of her former colleagues give details about the shooting at the New Hanover County courthouse. Johnnie's been shot and you are at the hospital. She ran out of the terminal forgetting about her bags and hailed a cab. She jumped in and quickly closed the door. "Get me to the Medical Center and step on it."
Don Salvatore Romano placed the phone back onto the receiver. He sighed as he looked out of his window and gazed upon the Manhattan skyline. He drummed his fingers on his mahogany desk while he waited for the person he summoned to appear in his office.
Everything has gone to hell in a hand basket. The Don thought. How could this have spiraled so out of control?
The door opened and a lone figure entered. Don Romano cleared his throat. "Vincenzo, we have two loose ends that need to be taken care of in North Carolina. Things are coming to a head, and I don't want any trails leading back to the city."
The enforcer stood and listened to the Don. He could see the tension etched on the worn face of his employer. Romano attempted to stand, and Vincenzo was by his side in a flash. He helped the feeble man stand, and guided him over to the window.
"All of this is happening because of an arrogant man and his quest for revenge." The Don said as he looked down upon the city. "Well, this ends here and now."
Vincenzo silently listened as the Don spoke.
"I will no longer allow underlings to try and keep me in the dark. This mistake is as much my fault as it is theirs." He paused thoughtfully. "From now on, I will be on top of things. Allowing others to think that they are in charge is very dangerous. This will never happen again." The Don turned and Vincenzo helped him back to his desk. Once he was seated, he looked up at the mountain of a man and gave the order. "Go, Vincenzo and right this terrible wrong.
The enforcer nodded and walked out of the office knowing what he needed to do.
Karen ran into the hospital through the emergency entrance. She went up to the desk gasping for breath. "Has Johnetta Green been brought in?"
"Are you family?" The nurse asked, not bothering to look up from her paperwork.
"No, I'm a…"
"Then I can't give you any information." The nurse interrupted.
Karen did her best to rein in her temper and keep from snatching the nurse from across the desk. "Do you know if Detective Petrillo is still in the hospital?" She hissed through clenched teeth.
The nurse looked up when she heard the agitation in Karen's voice. "I have no idea, ma'am." She replied with equal attitude.
Karen arched her eyebrow. "Well, do you think you can fit it in your busy schedule to page him for me?"
The nurse rolled her eyes and snatched up the phone so that she could page Pizo. Karen watched as the nurse made the page.
"If he's here, he will be calling on the courtesy phone behind you." The nurse spat as she placed the phone back into it's cradle.
"Thanks." Karen growled. Bitch. She muttered as she walked over to the phone and waited for it to ring. "Pizo, its Karen. How is Johnnie?"
"She's still in surgery. Where are you?"
"I'm down in emergency. I have been trying to get in contact with you all day."
"I'm on the second floor in the waiting area. Come on up."
"I'll be there in a few minutes."
Karen stepped off the elevator and found Pizo immediately. "Have you heard anything? Is she going to be ok? What the hell happened?" She asked, not even pausing to take a breath.
"Whoa, slow down." Pizo said as he grasped her shoulders in efforts to calm her down. "I haven't heard anything. She is still in surgery."
"Well, what in the hell happened?" She frantically demanded.
Pizo looked around because he knew that they were being watched by the others in the waiting room. "Come on, let's have a seat and I will tell you all I know." He pulled her over to an unoccupied corner of the room and made her sit down. He sat next to her and told her of the events as he knew them.
"Get away from me!" Alma screamed. "I am not having this baby without Johnnie."
"Alma, you need to calm down." The doctor said firmly. "We can't wait any longer. Your baby is ready to make her appearance."
"I can't do this without her. She would want to be here." Alma pleaded. Her breathing had become labored and she was in a lot of pain.
Ceecee wiped the sweat from Alma's face and neck. "Alma, you can't wait any longer. I know you have been trying to hold off as long as you could, but these are special circumstances. Johnnie will understand that you had to go on without her."
The door to the room opened and Alma sat up as best she could to see if it was her wife. She let out an exasperated breath when she realized it was her mother.
"Rosa, thank God you are here." Ceecee said as she walked over to pull the woman to her distraught daughter. "Alma is trying to keep from having the baby because Johnnie isn't here, and we can't get her to see reason. She has already cursed at Tori so much that she was near to tears. I had to send her out so that Alma couldn't terrorize her anymore."
Rosa clasped her daughter's hand and leaned close to her ear. "Mija, you have to do this without her. Johnnie is in the surgery. I know she wants to be with you, but she can not." She straightened herself and took a firmer tone. "Now stop being silly and have the baby. Johnnie will understand."
"But Mami, I need her." Alma gasped with tearful eyes. "She has to be here to see the baby, our baby, as she takes her first breath."
"What are you going to do, cross your legs?" Rosa mockingly asked.
"If I have to, I will" Alma hissed as another contraction hit her. "Johnnie, please! Dios mio!"
"Alma, we have to do this now, or you will be putting the baby at risk." The doctor yelled from between her legs.
"Do you hear that, Mija? You're putting the baby in danger." Rosa said; her eyes wide with fear for her daughter and grandchild. "You have to let the baby come."
"Alma, do it." Ceecee begged as she wiped the sweat from Alma's brow.
Alma gasped for air as another contraction tore through her. "Alright, I'm ready."
The doctor and nurses were making sure that all the neo-natal equipment was in place. Ceecee positioned herself behind Alma. "Are you ready to see your baby?"
Alma nodded. The pain was almost unbearable and she was truly ready for it to be over. "Si."
The doctor sat down between Alma's legs. "Ok ladies; let's get this show on the road." She paused. "At the next contraction Alma, I want you to start pushing."
I have some news Pizo." She said quietly. "I found out who Danny Scott is."
"Well, are you gonna keep me in suspense?"
"Danny Scott now goes by the name of Drew Best."
Pizo looked as if the wind had been knocked out of him. "I…I can't believe it. My former partner is Danny Scott. I worked with him everyday. How could I not have known?"
"I have documents to prove that he blackmailed Judge McFarland into giving him a new identity. I also have a tape that shows the final transaction as it went down." She revealed as she handed the thick envelope over to him. Karen studied the look of disbelief that covered his face. "Pizo there was no way you could have known. He had a new identity created for him; birth certificate, social, school records, the whole nine. He fooled everyone."
Pizo sighed as he looked through the documents. "I wonder why he did it."
"I think he was going to try and help his sister in some way." She looked at Pizo and could see the tension in his face. "We will just have to ask him."
"I need to call the captain and let him know." He said. Reaching inside his pocket he found his cell phone. "I forgot to switch it on when I left the precinct." He started dialing Captain Hill's number when the doctor came in. He stopped dialing and stood up. Karen stood beside him. "How is she, doc?"
The doctor looked at Pizo and then Karen. "We were able to retrieve the bullet without causing any permanent damage to the nerves along her arm. Ms. Green was very fortunate that the bullet didn't enter a few centimeters to the left. If it had, she would have lost the use of her arm. With some therapy, she should make a full recovery. She is doing fine and is being moved to post op as we speak."
"Thanks doc." Pizo said as he shook his hand. "This is great news. I have to go down to labor and delivery and inform her wife."
"Alma is about to have the baby?" Karen asked Pizo, her voice full of surprise and concern. "She's early isn't she?"
"Her water broke when she found out that Johnnie had been shot." Pizo told her as he grasped her arm and pulled her out of the waiting area. "I need to let her know that J is ok."
Jonas Peters was on his evening run along the shoreline at Wrightsville Beach. He noticed that he was being followed by a car that rolled slowly behind him on the street. He ran towards a wooded area, hoping to shake whoever it was that seemed to be following him. He looked behind him and could no longer see the car. Jonas smiled because he felt that he was being paranoid, and continued running. It's all over. Though the Green woman may have gotten off, they still will have to find the true killer. He shook his head. I need to get out of here. Maybe I should take a trip to the Caymans. His musings were halted when he saw the black car that was following him earlier idling in front of him. He took off onto the hiking trail, hoping that he could get to the short cut and back to his car before he could be followed again.
Jonas ran as fast as he could but stumbled over a branch and fell, twisting his ankle. He sat down to survey the damage. "Damn it." He spat as he rubbed his ankle. He was unaware of the huge man that eased behind him. Jonas died with the expression of shock on his face that he had when the ice pick entered the base of his skull.
Pizo's pace quickened when he saw Ceecee and Tori sitting in the waiting area of labor and delivery. Karen matched his strides. "Is Alma ok? How is the baby? Did the baby make it?" Pizo asked.
"Calm down, Pizo. You're gonna pop a vessel." Ceecee told him. "Alma is fine, and the baby is fine. She and Johnnie had a little girl."
"Thank God, they are both ok." Pizo said. "Where is the baby?"
"She's in the neo-natal unit." Tori revealed. "I don't think she will be in there for long, though."
"Why do you say that?" Karen inquired, arching an eyebrow at the smirk Tori's face held.
"She weighed six pounds even." She informed them. "I would hate to think how much she would have weighed if she had gone full term."
"Is there any word on Johnnie?" Ceecee asked.
"Yeah, she's gonna be ok. The doc removed the bullet and there was no permanent damage." He informed them.
"Thank God." Tori said.
Pizo squeezed the envelope that he held in his hand. "I need to get back to the precinct. Can you let Alma know how Johnnie is for me?" Pizo asked.
Tori smiled and patted Pizo on the shoulder. "I'll be glad to tell her."
Tori and Ceecee went into Alma's room. They looked at their tired friend and smiled. Alma opened her eyes and gave her visitors an exhausted smile.
"Hi guys." Alma softly said.
They moved closer and each took one of Alma's hands. "How are you feeling little mommy?" Tori asked.
"Pooped." She replied. "I'm surprised you are still speaking to me after the way I treated you in the delivery room." Alma repentantly whispered.
Tori blushed. "It's nothing that I haven't heard before. Ceecee called me everything but a child of God when we had the boys."
Alma smiled, comforted that her friend didn't think badly of her. "Have you been by to check on the baby?"
Ceecee smiled broadly. "We sure have. She's gorgeous."
"She most definitely will be breaking some hearts." Tori added.
"Is she ok?" Alma asked. "There aren't any problems?"
"I think she's going to be just fine, Alma. Try not to worry." Ceecee said as she patted Alma's hand.
Alma tried to sit up in bed. "Is Johnnie ok?"
"She's going to be just fine, too." Tori assured her, guiding her back down on the bed. "They are going to let us know as soon as they take her from recovery and put her in a room."
Alma breathed a sigh of relief. "I hope that she won't be upset with me."
"Alma, don't worry about it." Ceecee said. "Johnnie will understand."
The sun was shining brightly as Johnnie sat along a riverbank. She was skipping stones on the water as she watched Phillip and a little girl play in the grass. Johnnie noticed how the little girl resembled Phillip. The toddler struggled to keep up with the older boy, moving as quickly as her chubby legs would carry her. They both laughed and played. Johnnie smiled and got up to walk over to the playing children.
"Hey Champ, who is your little friend?" Johnnie asked.
"Baby, Mama. My stister." Phillip replied as he took the toddler's hand and pulled her close to him. "I love her, Mama."
Johnnie looked confused as she listened to her son. "Your sister?"
"Ms. Green, its wakey wakey time." The nurse whispered in Johnnie's ear Johnnie moaned and turned away from her tormentor. "Don't you want to see your new baby?"
"Baby? What baby?" Johnnie sleepily asked.
"Your wife just had the baby." The nurse revealed.
Johnnie's head lolled back and forth. "No, it's too early."
"Yes, your baby has arrived Ms. Green."
Johnnie's eyes snapped open. "Alma had the baby?"
The nurse smiled at her. "Yes ma'am, she did."
"I gotta get to Alma. Is she ok? It's not time for the baby. Are you sure?" Johnnie questioned as she tried to sit up.
"Whoa!" The nurse said as she gently pushed Johnnie back down. "You have to let the anesthesia wear off and then you can go and see your wife and the baby."
Dr. Wilson sat in one of the psychiatric observation rooms with Tracy, while Mark stood outside looking through the one way mirror.
"Tracy, I think it would be a good idea if you talked to Mark." Dr. Wilson advised.
"There is nothing to say. I am damaged goods." Tracy said quietly as a teardrop fell on the table. "I don't want him to spend God knows how long waiting for me to get my life together."
Dr. Wilson placed her arms on the table. "Don't you think that he should have some say in this?"
Tracy laughed humorlessly. "Who would want to be saddled up with an emotional cripple like me?"
"You're not an emotional cripple, Tracy. You are a man with issues that you desperately need help with." She paused. "Berating yourself isn't going to help matters. This is something that you can work through if you give it half a chance."
"Don't you get it?" Tracy spat. "I will never be free of him. He will always be there. I can't put Mark in that kind of danger. He raped him, and used my body to do it." He placed his head in his hands and started crying.
Dr. Wilson stood up and walked over to Tracy's side, placing her hand on his shoulder. "I know that you haven't had any success with your previous therapists, but I think with treatment you will be able to get your life back."
Mark watched helplessly as his lover broke down into tears. He felt in his gut that Tracy was going to send him away, walk out of his life. I can't allow that to happen, Tracy. I won't allow you to run away from me. He took a deep breath, opened the door and walked in. Dr. Wilson and Tracy both looked up and saw him standing in the doorway. "May I come in?" He shyly asked.
"What do you say, Tracy?" The doctor asked.
"What do you want, Mark?"
"I want to help."
"There is nothing that you can do." Tracy said and then turned away from him.
"Tracy, do you think that you are going to push me out of your life?" Mark demanded. "Do you really believe that I would allow you to do that?"
"You have no choice." Tracy said as he looked down at his hands. "I can't risk you being with him. Don't you understand?"
Mark kneeled in front of his lover. "Dr. Wilson thinks that she will be able to help you. Please don't give up on yourself, or us."
"Mark, he raped you!" Tracy yelled. "God only knows what else he would do to you. I can't take that risk. I love you too much to take that chance."
"Well if you love me, then let Dr. Wilson help you. Let me help you." Mark paused. "Please Tracy."
Tracy looked into eyes that were as tearful as his own. He hesitantly reached over to wipe a tear from Mark's cheek. "Alright." He conceded and looked up at Dr. Wilson. "Ok Doc. What do we need to do?"
Dr. Wilson smiled. "There is a facility in Chapel Hill that we can go to. I will make the arrangements." She moved to leave, but Tracy stopped her. "What is it, Tracy?"
"Will you be coming with me?" He asked.
"Yes. I will make arrangements for you to leave tonight, and I will be there tomorrow. I just have to make arrangements for my other patients." She assured him.
"After what happened at the courthouse, do you think that it will be difficult for me to leave?" He inquired.
She patted his hand. "Under the circumstances, I think that you should have no problem." Dr. Wilson looked at Mark. "Come with me, Mark. I need you to help me with the paperwork."
Mark nodded and stood. He looked down at Tracy, and then placed a kiss on his forehead. "We'll be back soon, love."
Tracy gave him a weak smile. "I'll be waiting."
Pizo and Karen went into Captain Hill's office with the proof that Drew Best was actually Danny Scott.
"Cap, we have the evidence on who Danny Scott really is." Pizo told him as he placed the envelope on the captain's desk.
"How did you get all this information?" He asked as he opened the envelope. The captain gasped when he read the name of Drew Best.
"I did some research, Captain." Karen spoke up. "As you can see, Judge McFarland is the person who gave him the new identity." She paused. "All the information is in there."
The captain glanced through the paperwork. "McFarland is dead. How did you come across this?"
"Mrs. McFarland gave me all the info on her husband's dealings with Danny." Karen replied.
There was a knock at the door that interrupted the conversation.
"Come in." The captain said.
A young man from the lab came in. "Cap, I have the tape you wanted to be enhanced."
"Thanks Kirby." The captain said as he took the tape player. He waited until Kirby had left before he played it. He turned it on and they listened, immediately recognizing the voice of the man that killed Mayor Ballantine.
"D…do you know who that is?" Pizo stuttered. "That's Drew Best."
"You mean Danny Scott." The captain said as he picked up his phone. "This is Captain Hill. Get a squad car over to Drew Best's house right away." He hung up the phone and grabbed his jacket. "We'd better get over there, too."
"Karen thanks for all your help." Pizo said as he turned to her. "I think it would be a good idea if you stayed behind. This could turn into a dangerous situation."
"I understand, Pizo." Karen regrettably admitted. "You go do what you need to do. I have to make a few calls anyway."
Johnnie opened her eyes to see Glenda and Laura sitting by her bedside.
"Hey Bosslady." Glenda said as she stood and walked over to the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"Like I was hit by a fucking truck." Johnnie said. "What are you guys doing here?"
"Johnnie, don't make me slap the shit out of you." Laura teased. "Where else would we be?"
"You guys seen my baby girl?" Johnnie asked.
"Yep, and she is gorgeous." Laura said. "She has the blackest hair that I have ever seen on a child."
Johnnie smiled broadly. "How is Alma? Is she ok?"
"Alma came through it like a champ." Glenda said. "I heard they had a hard time convincing her to deliver because you weren't there."
"I hate that I had to miss it." Johnnie said, defeated. "I wanted to be there."
"Well, it couldn't be helped. The baby was early, and you were in surgery." Laura took Johnnie's hand into her own. "No regrets. Just be thankful that they both came through it with flying colors."
Johnnie wiped an errant tear from her cheek. "I am thankful, Laura." She smiled. "Now all I have to do is wait for the doc to give me the ok so I can go and see my family." She paused. "Have you heard anything about Tracy?"
"He will be going to Chapel Hill to get treatment." Glenda informed her. "Mike is with Mark helping him pack."
"I hope that he can work through this and get his life back." Laura said.
Johnnie sighed. "So do I."
Danny Scott sat at his desk in his home, writing a letter. He took a sip of bourbon and sat back when it was completed. He heard the door to his den as it was pushed open.
"I know why you are here." He said, taking another sip of his drink. "I just have one request. Please let Mr. Romano know that I am sorry for the mistakes that I made. My sister knows nothing of what I was involved in." He paused. "She knows nothing of the dealings I had with Ballantine or my involvement in his death. Ask the Don to allow her to live out her time in peace." He leaned forward and took his sister's picture and held it to his chest. Danny placed his shield on his desk next to the letter. "I had no problem with killing Ballantine as Don Romano ordered, so please ask him to take pity on my sister." He then closed his eyes and waited for the blow to come. The last thing he heard was the sound of the arm as it moved through the air.
Captain Hill and Pizo arrived to find a number of squad cars parked outside of Drew's residence. "What's going on here? The captain demanded as he and Pizo walked up the steps leading inside the house. One of the responding officers told them what they had found when they arrived.
Pizo went inside and walked through the modest house and entered the den. He saw his former partner slumped over his desk. He felt sorry for the troubled young man, and everything that Danny and his sister had gone through while growing up. Another detective was placing a letter that was stained with blood into an evidence bag. Pizo walked over and took the bag and started reading.
I am sorry for all the trouble I caused you. I wish I could have spoken up for you when you were being tried for Dad's death. If I had only been man enough to stand up to him, then you wouldn't be in prison now. I'm sorry that I was a coward, and I'm sorry that Mom lied and said that you attacked him. I made things worse by asking you to scare Mary so she wouldn't testify at the Green trial and reveal that Jonas Peters was the man who made the deal with her. I had no idea that she would try to kill you. I always fuck things up. Please forgive me.
Nette, I just want to say goodbye. I know that you told me that you never wanted to see me again. Seeing all the trouble I have caused you, I can't blame you. I could have only hoped that you would find it in your heart to allow me to be a part of your life. We can't have that now, because I know that my time is short……
Pizo became frustrated when he couldn't read anymore because of the blood that covered it. "He knew he was going to die." He looked at the captain. "This was a hit, Cap."
"I know, Petrillo." The captain said as he shook his head.
The nurse had wheeled Alma down to the neo-natal unit a few hours after delivering her beautiful new daughter because Alma was making a fuss. She stood up and walked over to the incubator and looked down at the bundle of joy. You were anxious to get here weren't you, mija? Alma thought as she adored her baby. She suddenly felt a warm presence behind her and immediately knew that it was her wife. She leaned back into the strong presence.
"You just couldn't wait for your Mama, eh?" Johnnie asked quietly as she looked down at that dark haired infant. She then kissed Alma on her temple and wrapped her good arm around Alma's waist. "You did good, Babygirl."
"Thank you, Querida." Alma said. "I tried to wait for you, but your daughter would have none of it."
Johnnie chuckled quietly. "Have you come up with a name?"
Alma pursed her lips and thought. "I kind of like that name Nadina. What do you think?"
"Hmm." Johnnie replied. She leaned closer to her daughter. "How do you like it, Little One?" When the baby wriggled her fingers, Johnnie laughed. "Nadina it is, then."
Alma looked back at her wife. Ceecee had filled her in on Johnnie's surgery. "How is your arm?"
"Strapped to my body so tight I can't move it to scratch my tit." Johnnie grumbled.
"Aww, poor baby."
"Gee, thanks for all your sympathy. It just warms the cockles of my heart." Johnnie sarcastically retorted.
Alma smiled, but then her expression became somber. "Did you hear anything about Tracy?"
Johnnie straightened herself. "Laura and Glen stopped by a little while ago."
"Yeah, I know. They stopped by my room to see how I was. I forgot to ask them myself."
"Tracy is going to a hospital in Chapel Hill so that he can get his life on track again." Johnnie informed her.
"That's good." Alma said.
Johnnie nodded her head. "He has endured so much. With Dr. Wilson's help, Tracy will be able to recover."
"She seems to be an excellent doctor." Alma commented.
"Yep, and she also seems to be compassionate." Johnnie added. She noticed that Alma looked a little fatigued. "You tired Babygirl?"
"I am. I need to lie down."
"Well come on Mrs. Green. Let's give Nadina some time to get adjusted to her surroundings." Johnnie suggested.
They both blew kisses to the latest addition to the Green family, and headed back to Alma's room.
Epilogue…Six weeks later
Johnnie sat at the butterfly press in the rehab center doing her reps. Sweat dripped from her body as she pushed herself to regain strength in her arm. She stopped and picked up her sports bottle to get a drink of water.
"Hey stranger." Karen said as she stood beside Johnnie.
Johnnie looked up and smiled broadly when she saw her friend. "Hey G. What are you doing here?"
Karen handed her a towel. "I just got back this afternoon." She paused. "How's the baby?"
"Growing more every day." Johnnie proudly told her as she wiped the sweat from her body. "I just wish she would learn to sleep through the night."
Karen laughed. "I can only imagine."
"So tell me. How's the job going?"
"It isn't." Karen said. "I've postponed starting there for a while."
"Why's that?" Johnnie asked as she stood up.
"There's something gnawing at me about the Scott woman." Karen revealed. "I don't think she belongs there."
Johnnie sighed. "Neither do I."
"Have you gone back to work yet, Johnnie?"
"Not yet. I'm hoping that I will get the green light next week." Johnnie arched an inquiring eyebrow. "Why? What do you have in mind?"
"I'm going to do everything I can to prove that Annette Scott is innocent, and I need your help."
"Let me take a quick shower and we can discuss this further."
"I knew I could count on you." Karen smiled.
Now before you all start booing and hissing at me because of the unanswered questions, there will be another story coming Summer 2004. The working title is Justice Delayed, but it's not written in stone.
Thank you for reading Murder Has Two Faces.
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