Authors: Michaela Strong
By Michaela Strong
Copyright© 2016 by Michaela Strong. All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
If Dana closed her eyes, she was right back at that moment, struck with the realization her now ex-boyfriend had been sleeping with another woman.
Instead of her.
Their sex life had been decidedly absent and she had become increasingly inventive. She chalked the turn of events in their relationship up to "every couple goes through this" and regarded it as an interesting challenge. This called for wigs and heels, she thought. And dialogue. They talked about it.
"It's that I don't have a job, sweetheart. I don't feel like a man to you," he told her and she assured him. She held his hand. She brainstormed for jobs. They were even having a great moment, over Sunday brunch at a favorite restaurant. They had stopped going out at all, even though Dana made a good enough living for both of them, because he said just like sex, he didn't feel like it anymore. Blamed it on depression, played on her compassion and sympathy
So there they were, Dana and Sean, laughing over cappuccino, foam mustaches and all, when he did it. Called her Kayla.
. She absolutely hated that name.
People made slips all the time, she told herself. Dana once called her Biology teacher dad. But this mistake instantly put a different spin on the problem they had been having. Colored everything he had been saying as bullshit, because Sean Logan had to be scolded more than once about, "Just be honest with me honey."
He tried to back pedal making it about her being an overbearing wife. It was true she suspected he didn't want to work and to do whatever else he wanted. He made such an issue when she had to say what he wanted was beyond her limit. But then after a half-hearted attempt of saying the name slip didn't mean anything, he just said, "Fine. I'll move in with her. Makes no difference to me." And then he leaned across the table to slice her, "And she's a few years younger than you, too. Mm, mm, mm."
Dana stood up from that table and told the waiter, "Give the bill to him."
"Come on Dana, how am I supposed to cover this?"
"Mm mm mm, that's your problem. Figured it out."
Those were the last words she spoke to her beloved boyfriend of two years. People would say to her, "You're lucky it was just two years." She didn't feel lucky. She felt stupid. Just like she did now. Sitting in front of the man she dove right into a full blown, hot and heavy, sex-a-thon for the past few days, giving everything she had to him, as intimate in some ways as she had ever been. With whom she had just had awesome sex by the roaring fire.
And he called her Suzy which was not even remotely close to Dana.
It wasn't his fault. His was an honest accident. It was a mix of bourbon and grief. He'd just told her about losing his wife, and they were in the house he'd shared with her, and had just stripped the dead woman's clothes off of her. But the slip destroyed Dana. It wasn't his fault that his mistake triggered the utter hostility she felt for her husband that Dana realized she had been too numb up to this point to feel.
"Listen to me," he ordered as she scrunched up her eyes to try to escape the full weight of the utter degradation of the "just two year" relationship that had scarred her forever.
"I don't want to and please let me go."
If Dana had her druthers though, Rory would never let her go. Throughout all the lonely time she spent before, during and after her breakup, Rory was iconic of what Dana wished for in a man. That made him a dream come true. And though it was completely unrealistic because after all, people don't fall into life-long love after jumping into bed, a lot, after first meeting. Let alone love at all. Though it felt like she had indeed fell in love with Rory, Dana reminded herself, it was just the amazing chemistry talking.
Apparently it wasn't saying the same thing to Rory. And Dana got that. That didn't make him a bad guy. It made him a stable, reasonable guy. The opposite of her thieving, cheating ex. But while her emotional issues weren't his fault, she couldn't just snap her fingers and get past them. And it seemed every bump in the road for her and Rory triggered something new and painful.
Dana was about to tell him you don't have to explain anything, that she got it, when someone knocked on the door. Who on a Sunday in the middle of an uncharacteristic December thunderstorm didn't know how to use the phone?
Rory released her, and threw his clothes back on before going to answer the door. It was the captain. She scrambled into the bathroom to freshen up. The captain wanted to talk to her. Dana could hear every word that was being said. She eavesdropped.
"I tried calling, Pensacola. I am going to blame it on the storm and leave it at that. How she doing?"
"We're doing fine," Dana heard Rory say.
"Oh what happened now? Where is she?"
"She's, uh… indisposed."
"Ok, enough said. I don't want to be sorry I asked. So we go the boyfriend."
"Ex-boyfriend, "Rory adamantly corrected.
The captain laughed. "You are absolutely right. But I need to bring your girlfriend down for some preliminaries."
"I'll get my shoes," Rory said.
"I don't think that's a good idea," said the captain.
‘Why not?" asked Rory.
"Well for one Rory, you didn't protest when I called her your girlfriend. This is intended to be a Q&A not a homicide. This piece of shit is worse than I thought. Did she tell you he's been arrested more than once for domestic violence? Never convicted, of course. She wasn't the first and probably won't be the last. And as much as I'd love to see you give this scumbag a taste of his own medicine, neither one of us needs that kind of paperwork. Hey!" The captain swore as he doubtlessly realized this was all news to Rory
Dana could hear a rush around the house like someone was tearing up the place and then she heard the door slam. The captain called to her. "Ms Emery?" She emerged. She was wrought with humiliation that Rory knew that she had let herself be abused. After pressing charges once she swore she'd never tell a soul. Especially not someone like him. Someone strong and brave who'd never let himself be victimized.
"What happened?" she asked, completely deflated.
"I fucked up," the captain admitted. "I am calling over now, but we have to go to the station and head Big Dog off before he becomes my next arrest."
It was the second time within days that Dana entered the police station but this time the handsome man holding her hand, leading her through, was the police captain. As they rounded the corner, Rory came into view. His larger-than-life figure, his magnificent body and his gorgeous face, intent and being as patient as he could be, waiting just outside the room that the captain was taking Dana to.
"I know what you're asking, Pensacola. I don't think it's a good idea."
"I'll be good," Rory insisted. "I just want to be there, listen."
Dana could see Rory was really upset and this might have been a little about her but this was there was something else going on, too. She had the intuition that Rory had to right some previous wrong. Being in that interrogation room was something really important to him. "I'd like for him to be there, Captain." She held her hand out to him. "I won't feel safe unless he's there."
The captain sighed before caving. "Dana, you are perfectly safe. But if this is the way you want it, against my better judgment, I'm going to grant you your wish. But if anything happens in there, Pensacola, it's your ass."
"It won't. I swear."
"Yeah, right. Look, play games all you want with that piece of shit." There was a trace of a smile beneath the captain's exasperation. "Just remember to pull your punches."
As the captain opened the door for Dana and Rory, Rory let go of her hand. He held a chair for her across from her ex, while taking a seat the end of the table at the opposite end of the head of the table where the captain would sit. He was acting like he was just one of the regular cops.
"Mr. Logan, I'm Captain Michael Thomas. This is Agent Rory Wilson, U.S. Marshals.
"Fuckk," Sean Logan swore, a flash of panic on his face. But he quickly recovered and smirked at Dana, tilting back in his chair casually. "Why does she have to be here, again?" he asked the captain.
"Because you laundered money through her account," the captain replied. "And please sit your chair squarely on the floor.
Sean ignored the captain's admonition and continued rocking. "Yeah but it was not her money," he reasoned.
"It figures," Dana quipped. "The one time I get money from you, I can't keep it."
"Shut the fuck up you dumb bitch," Sean snipped at her.
The table shook. It was such a sudden distraction Dana and the captain both looked at the table as though it were animate while Sean toppled over backwards. Dana watched as the captain glared at Rory who put his hands up innocently and mutely asked, "What?" He looked at Dana and winked.
Dana gazed at him. She was no longer hurt that he had called her by his dead wife's name. She could only sit and stare as he returned to her in kind, while the captain tried to help a stunned and wailing Sean Logan off the floor. "Agent Wilson, could you help me here?" the captain asked.
"Certainly," Rory said. He deftly sprung across the table and stole a kiss from Dana, silently while Sean could not see. Dana thought the captain was going to pop. Rory leaned down and lifted the back of Sean's chair. "Careful. Do you think we should have someone look at him? Are you okay to continue?"
"I think I might need to get checked out. I think I would like to have an attorney now. I think I want to press assault charges."
The captain stole a glance to Rory. "Assault?" he asked Sean.
"Yeah against my dumb bitch ex-girlfriend."
Rory took a giant step up on to the table that separated Sean and him and charged him.
Captain!" Sean squawked.
"That wasn't assault," Rory roared. "This is assault!"
The captain frantically split his efforts between calling for help on the intercom and trying to pull Rory off of Sean. In short order, a rush of men and women burst through the door and separated Rory and Sean. Sean was lifted to his feet while he gripped his neck dramatically.
"Oh knock it off," Rory chastised. "I didn't even touch you there."
"I need an ambulance," Sean spoke directly to the captain. "And I would like to press charges."
"Press away laundry boy. You're about to be charged with a dozen felonies, and that's just the local stuff. The feds are going to have a field day with you, asshole. Not to mention the evidence we have of you stalking and repeatedly stealing from Dana. And given your previous arrest for assaulting this woman, you don't have a leg to stand on."
Rory crossed his massive arms and grinned at Sean. "Go ahead, shit-for-brains. Do your worst."
Dana watched as Sean had an epiphany. He looked at Rory and then he looked at Dana. He smiled. "I get it. You're doing each other aren't you?" He laughed. "I have to ask myself, not that I'm gay in any way, you're a good looking guy. What's in it for you? I mean I did it to get by you look like you're doing alright."
"I do very well," Rory replied coolly. "Thanks to her."
Sean's face changed but he wasn't quite credulous. "How is that?"
"Oh you didn't know?" Rory rebutted. "While you were busy trying to scam her out of a tiny bit of savings, she's loaded, dumb ass. She wrote a best-seller last year. Used a pen name so you'd never find out, and has a pile of money you could choke on. Hell, this woman's practically my sugar mama."
Sean was shaking, furious. "Bullshit. She couldn't write a grocery list. Besides, I looked into her bank account and I didn't see any millions."
Rory was a great actor. "A person can have more than one bank account. A person can have a private corporation," he said smugly.
And it worked. Sean stared at her, searching her to see if it was true or not. Dana did her part and just sat there, grinning.
"Fucking bitch whore."
"Watch the language, laundry boy," Rory sang.
The captain cuffed Sean Logan and helped to stand. "You never said anything about that money. We went through everything. Your finances, taxes, everything. Kayla and I dug into every corner of your life and there's no sign of it. That's criminal. You'll end up in jail right next to me," he said triumphantly.
"No I won't," Dana said coolly.
"Yes you will, bitch. And I'll laugh." he replied, smirking.
"No you won't," she mocked. "Because there is no money. We just said that to see you would say. See if you'd incriminate yourself more. And you did. Stupid."
Sean's public defender popped his head in the room and said, "Not another word." Sean's lips locked. He pounded the table with his fist in total frustration.