Murder Has Two Faces


Tonya S. Coley


For disclaimers see Part 1.

Chapter 21

As Johnnie, Alma, Tori and Ceecee entered the courtroom, Johnnie scanned the observers. She noticed her associates, all but Tracy, sitting in the second row. She released her grip from Alma's soft hand and walked forward to lean over Mike's shoulder.

"Hi guys. How are you this morning?" She asked them.

They all gave their salutations. Johnnie leaned closer to Mike's ear. "Where's Tracy?" She asked, concerned. "Is he not feeling well?"

"I stopped by to pick him up." Mike told her. "But he said that he would be here after lunch." He paused. "He seemed kinda despondent, like something was wrong."

"Keep an eye on him for me, Mike. Tracy has been through a lot." Johnnie told him.

"Sure thing, boss lady." He told her.

Johnnie turned back to Alma. She gave her a small peck on the cheek. "I love you, Alma." She whispered. "Today is a new day, baby. Everything is going to be alright."

"I know, Querida. I love you, too." Alma said.

Court was called into session. Judge O'Connell sat down, and addressed the court.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Green has requested to address the court." He said, and motioned for Johnnie to stand.

Johnnie stood, straightening out her navy blue pantsuit. She adjusted the narrow collar of her crisp white blouse, and began to speak. "Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to apologize for my outburst yesterday. I was totally out of line in disrespecting the prosecutor, and this court. The language I used was unladylike and offensive, and I sincerely apologize for its usage. Thank you."

She sat down, and court proceeded as Alma was recalled to the stand for the prosecutor to resume questioning.

Alma stood, and walked back to the witness box. She brushed her hand, undetected by everyone else in the courtroom, against Johnnie's shoulder. Johnnie watched her as she walked towards the witness stand. Alma wore the tan suit that Johnnie loved for her to wear. It fit her well, accentuating her curvy figure and not giving away her growing belly.

God that woman can really move. Johnnie thought to herself.

Abbott leered at Alma. That is a shame. Why would an attractive woman like that waste herself and those attributes on a woman?

Johnnie recognized the look Abbott gave Alma, and her blood began to boil. She managed to control herself, only glaring at the leering prosecutor. When his eyes left Alma, they were met with Johnnie's angry glare. He realized he overstepped his bounds, and quickly turned his attention to the papers in front of him.

"Mr. Abbott, are you ready to resume the questioning of this witness." The judge asked.

Abbott stood. "No further questions for this witness, Your Honor."

"Now why am I not at all surprised, Mr. Abbott?" The judge snidely remarked. He turned his attention to Bob. "Your witness, counselor."

Alma breathed a sigh of relief. She was afraid of a repeat performance of yesterday's chaos. While Johnnie was addressing the court, she watched the reactions of the jurors. Some seemed to accept her apology, while a few did not show any emotion. The jury foreman was the only one who didn't appear to be forgiving.

Bob approached her, with a calming smile. She returned his smile and then looked at Johnnie. Alma noticed that she was upset. A questioning look came across her face, and then she realized at whom Johnnie's anger was directed. She saw Johnnie glance back over at Abbott, and then she saw her shake her head, trying to regain composure. I must find out what all that was about. She thought to herself.

"Ms. Martinez, I don't have too many questions for you, today." He told her, with a comforting smile. "First off, could you please tell the court how long you have known the defendant?" He asked.

Thank God, an easy one. She thought to herself. "I have known Johnnie for over eight years."

"What were the circumstances of that meeting?" He asked.

"I met Johnnie at the police station where she worked. I was involved in a hit and run accident. The car hit my car and took off. Well, an officer came and took witness statements and told me to go and file a report. My mother took me down there, but had to return to work, so she had to leave me." She told him. "The police were shorthanded, as with almost everyone, they had their share of people out with the flu. Johnnie was the detective that took my report. She saw how distraught I was, and after finding out I had no way home, she offered to drive me."

"So the rest is history, as the saying goes." He said smiling, and then he paused. "The state of North Carolina does not recognize your union, but how long have you two been life partners?"

"We have been joined now for almost four years." She proudly told him, looking directly at the jury.

"Could you tell us, when the defendant found out that she was under investigation by the mayor, how did she react? He asked her.

"Johnnie was hurt at first. She felt betrayed, because she worked hard, and she nearly lost her life doing her job." Alma shakily told him. "When the mayor took this so-called investigation to the press, she became livid. He insinuated that she was dirty, on the take. Because we are financially secure, he said she received money for looking the other way; like she was crooked."

"Did she confront the mayor about these allegations?" He asked.

"Yes, after she returned from Virginia and found out that he had someone dig into our finances. She first went to the police station, then to his office." She said.

Bob, not wanting to give Abbott a chance to object, did not asked what happened. He knew that it would be ruled as hearsay.

"How did these allegations change your lives?" He inquired.

"The reporters began hounding her at her office, and then…" She trailed off, "they came to our home."

"I know this will be difficult, but would you tell us about the day your son, Phillip, died?" He asked her.

"I will try." She told him, as she focused her attention to Johnnie. She needed to look at her for strength. "We woke up a little late that morning. Phillip had come into our bedroom, and jumped on the bed. He kissed us both good morning. After a tickle session between the two of them, Johnnie noticed the time, and quickly got ready for work. He wanted to play some more, but she had to go, so she promised him that they would play when she got home. He was disappointed, but I reminded him that we had to go shopping. We went shopping, and while we were out, he wanted to buy something for her. He wanted to get his mama some music. He knew she loved music."

Tears welled up in both Johnnie's and Alma's eyes.

"They were close?" Bob asked.

"Yes, very close." She told him, looking directly into his eyes. "They did everything together. They played together, watched TV; she read to him every night. They were going to go on their first fishing trip this summer. Phillip told me that I wasn't allowed to go, just him and his Mama." She said, with a soft chuckle.

"He called her Mama?" Bob asked.

"Yes. He called her Mama, and called me Mami." She told him. "He was a bright boy. When we found out that we were going to have a baby...."

"Objection." Abbott interrupted.

"Overruled." The judge said, in a tone Abbott could not mistake for annoyance. "You may continue, Ms. Martinez." The judge told her.

"When we found out we were going to have a baby, she read to my belly every night, throughout the entire pregnancy. She made sure I ate right. She did all the things any expectant parent would do." She told him. "She was with me throughout the labor and delivery, and she even cut the umbilical cord."

"Tell the court what happened when you returned from your shopping trip, please." He requested.

Alma began to shift in her seat. The pain of losing her child was beginning to overwhelm her, but she held it together as best she could. "When we got back, there were reporters on our lawn. As we pulled into the drive, they descended on the car like a pack of wolves. As soon as I opened the car door, they were bombarding me with questions. It was a struggle to get out, and after I did I turned for Phillip. After getting him, I put him down to get a couple of bags. With all the questions, and the cameras going off, he was frightened and ran away into the street. He was hit by a car." She tried, but was unable to control her tears. "This did not have to happen."

"What happened immediately after the funeral?" He asked, taking her hand.

Alma was choked up with tears but she continued. "We had just buried our son, when Ballantine showed up with the press, supposedly to extend his sympathies. Johnnie lost it, and charged at him."

"He brought what seemed to be the very cause of your son's death to the cemetery?" He asked.

"Yes, that's why Johnnie lost her temper." He told him. "After we got home, I could tell she was blaming herself for all of it."

"What did she do?" Bob asked.

"She mingled with our guests for a while, and then she went downstairs, where she remained for a long time. Pizo went to get her, and when he came back he told me she was coming right up. It was a while and she still hadn't shown up. That's when we discovered that she had left. Johnnie was really hurting."

"Thank you, Ms. Martinez. No more questions, your honor." Bob said.

"The witness is excused." Judge O'Connell said.

Alma stepped down, and walked back to her seat. She stopped beside Johnnie, and Johnnie took her hand and kissed it.

"That is an abomination before God." A man, Caucasian and in his late forties, yelled. "You will burn in hell and that bastard son of yours is already there."

Not again. The judge grimaced and started banging his gavel.

Johnnie flew from her seat and turned around. By the time she found who had spoken, Annie had the man by his lapels, and was shaking him violently. A scuffle ensued because he had a few supporters with him. Tori began pummeling a man that charged for Johnnie and Alma. The judge continued to bang his gavel, and ordered that the courtroom be cleared. A woman spat at Johnnie, and Glenda slapped her, knocking her to the floor. It took all of Alma's strength to keep Johnnie from joining the melee. Ceecee was pulling at Tori, as Mike and Pizo pulled Annie away from the instigator. Bailiffs and Sheriff's Deputies were separating the fighting people. Pizo arrested the instigator, but not before being barraged with scriptures from the Bible, and threatened with God's wrath.

When order was restored, and the courtroom was cleared, the judge ruled that from now on no one would be allowed in the courtroom that was not going to be called to testify, and those that were scheduled had to remain outside until they were called. He then recessed court until the next morning.

As they left the courtroom, Johnnie held on tightly to Alma, making her way through the sea of reporters. A cameraman had his camera in Johnnie's face, as the reporter demanded a comment.

"You want a comment?" Johnnie yelled; she was thoroughly pissed. She turned to the cameraman. "Get that fucking camera out of my face before I break that piece of shit. There's your goddamn comment."

"The people have a right to know what's going on." The reporter yelled.

"Fuck you, lady. And I use the term loosely." Johnnie growled, as she pushed past her.

Tracy was packing a couple of suitcases. He was in tears at the knowledge that he hurt Mark the night before. He could tell that Mark was a little afraid of him. What is going on with me? I would never willingly hurt Mark. He thought to himself as he entered the living room. He is terrified of me. What am I going to do? I love him with all my heart. What will I do if he leaves me?

Why shouldn't he leave you? You're such a fucking wimp.

Tracy jumped, and looked around the room. Whoa. Where did that come from?

'Last night was probably the first time he was really fucked since you've been with him.'

Tracy stood up, trying to see where the voice was coming from. He walked to the door, and heard the shower running, so he knew it wasn't Mark.

'You should go in there and give him some more. You know he liked it.'

"What in the hell is going on with me?" He mumbled.

'Your balls have finally dropped, fudge packer. Since you prefer assholes instead of pussy, it's time you started to let me enjoy it. None of that gentle shit, I'm gonna go in that bathroom, and fuck the hell out of him. Last night was only a warm up.'

Tracy shook his head, as a wave of dizziness threatened to take over. He felt his hand stroke his penis through the sweats he wore. He started walking towards the bedroom, but he stopped. No, this is not going to happen. He struggled with himself, and managed to reach his keys on the hall table. He walked to the kitchen, nearly blacking out. He opened the door to the garage, and stumbled through it. I gotta get outta here.

He managed to get in the car. He pulled out of the driveway and headed straight for I-40, trying to distance himself as far as he could from home, and Mark. Tracy started to calm down as he drove, and the dizziness left him. He made it to the interstate, and began to look at exit signs for a nice hotel. Suddenly, a searing pain ran through his head. "Oh God." He gasped. He looked in the rearview mirror, to see if he could change lanes to pull over. He saw his brown eyes well up with tears. He looked straight ahead, and then checked the mirror again. This time instead of brown eyes, he saw black ones, full of hatred and evil.

Turn the car around, faggot. I need to fuck Mark.

"No!" Tracy yelled.

Punk ass motherfucker, its no wonder the old man beat your ass.

Tracy struggled with himself, and tried to keep the car from running into other cars. The voice in his head was laughing.

Sharp pain stabbed through Tracy's head. "God help me." He groaned.

Chapter 22

"That has got to be the worst fit of violence in the history of the North Carolina court system." Alma said.

"I heard about those Bible thumpers and how they were, but I never thought I would get the chance to do some thumping on them. Damn, it felt good." Tori added.

"Yes, Victoria, you really thumped some sense into that guy's head." Ceecee sarcastically added.

Tori knew she was in big trouble. Ceecee only called her Victoria when she was angry with her.

"That was so ladylike, how you continually pounded your fist into his face." Ceecee continued in her sarcasm.

Yes, she was in for it. "Baby, he asked for it. Didn't he Johnnie?" Tori pleaded for help.

"Oh no you don't. You're not dragging me into it." Johnnie said, trying to find some humor in this ridiculous situation. She had calmed down considerably; thanking the powers that be that Alma kept her from becoming involved. She could see Tori's eyes, pleading for help in the rearview mirror so she gave in. "Thanks, Tori. It would have looked bad for me to be kicking his ass in front of the jury."

Ceecee knew that Johnnie was right, but she wasn't letting Tori know that she was off the hook.

"See, baby, I kept Johnnie out of trouble." Tori appeased.

"If you say so, Victoria." She said, not letting her see the smirk on her face.

Tori drove further down I-40, and suddenly noticed a major traffic jam.

"Aw, hell, what is this?" She grumbled. "Isn't the morning rush hour over?"

Alma sat up, peering over Tori's shoulder. "Looks like an accident."

Ceecee looked, too. "Yeah, it is. It looks like a bad one, too."

The state troopers were directing traffic. Tori pulled closer. Johnnie looked at the car, and something familiar struck her. "That looks like...nah couldn't be." She said, sitting up. The car was mangled beyond recognition. She looked at the car. "Damn, whoever it was could not have survived that."

Johnnie noticed the 18-wheeler was jack-knifed inside the median. The front end was smashed in. As they passed the rear of the vehicle, she noticed the license plate. 'TRACZ-AM'. "Shit, pull over. That's Tracy's car." She yelled.

"Oh, God, no!" Alma yelled.

Johnnie was out of the truck before it completely stopped. She ran as fast as her long legs would take her back to the scene.

A trooper stopped her. "Ma'am, you can go up there."

"Move it Smokey, that guy is one of my best friends." She yelled.

"Who, the driver of the car?" He asked.

"Yeah. I need to get up there." She told him, panic-stricken.

"You can't help him, now. I'm sorry, but he didn't make it." He told her.

"Oh, God no. Tracy!" She screamed.

Alma finally made it to where she was. Johnnie immediately turned to her. "He's dead, baby. Tracy is gone." She said, crying.

Alma held her, and tried to comfort her, when she heard one of the paramedics yell, "I got a pulse."

"He not gone, baby. He's fighting." She told her.

They loaded him into the ambulance, and left immediately for the hospital. Johnnie and Alma quickly ran back to the truck, to follow it. Johnnie reached for her cell phone, and frantically dialed Mike's number.


Mark stepped out of the shower. His he was still very sore, so he decided that he would see if his doctor could fit him into his schedule without an appointment. He dried himself off and dressed in the bathroom, not wanting to take a chance on being naked in front of Tracy. My God, Tracy, what are we going to do now? What has come over you? His mind switched gears. I wonder if it has anything to do with his headaches. Maybe the doctor can fit both of us in this morning. I love you, Tracy, and I don't want to lose you.

Mark finished dressing, and walked into the bedroom. He noticed Tracy's bags were still open on the bed. He was afraid, but called out to him. No response. He walked out to the kitchen, and then the living room. I wonder where he is. As he looked out the window, he noticed Tracy's car was gone. He can't be gone far, his bags are still here. He sighed. "Where do we go from hear, my love?" He said aloud, to no one.

"Caruthers." Mike said into his cell phone.

"Mike, it's Johnnie." She said in a panicked tone. She was out of breath from racing back to the truck. "Tracy has been in a terrible accident. You have to go to his house and get Mark. Bring him to Cape Fear Valley Med. That's where he's being taken."

Mike was shocked. He couldn't speak.

"Mike, did you hear what I said?" She yelled. "You have to get Mark."

Mike's voice returned. "Y...Yeah, I hear you. How bad is it?" He asked, his voice cracking while he made a U-turn.

"It's bad, Mike. I don't know if..." her voice trailed off as she choked back a sob. She continued. "See if you can contact Laura and Glen, please. I can't reach..."

"I'm on it, Johnnie." He said, hanging up.

Mark was pacing in the living room. Where is he? He wondered. A feeling of sorrow washed over him. He tried to shake it off, but couldn't. After a few more minutes of pacing back and forth, he heard a car pull into the driveway. Good, he's back. I hope we can work through this. He walked over to the door and opened it, to see an upset Mike. "What? Has anything happened to Johnnie?" He asked.

"No, Mark. Nothing happened to Johnnie, it's Tracy. He was in an accident." Mike told him.

Mark leaned against the door. "W... what happened?" He whispered, in shock.

"Mark, we can talk about this on the way to Med. Come on, we have to go." Mike told him, gently taking him by his arm.

"Y...Yes, we have to go." He said, as he grabbed his keys.


"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Pizo told the still scripture spewing man as he dragged him into booking. "I wonder how pleased God is with you getting ready to have a record?"

"The Lord God Almighty will forgive me for this. It is man's law that has been violated. Not his law, heathen." The man angrily spat.

"Now you are judging me?" Pizo asked. "Now that is a blatant disregard of scripture. 'Judge not, that ye be not judged.' Matthew 7:1. I think you need to read the whole Bible and not pick and choose what serves your purpose."

The man was speechless, and then his anger rekindled. "How dare you speak to me in that manner. I read my Bible everyday."

"Then get someone who understands it to interpret it for you, because I don't think you get it." Pizo spat.

Drew, Pizo's partner, walked over to the two men. "What's going on here?"

Pizo smirked. "I was giving the brother here a little lesson on scripture." He shoved the man over to the desk so he could be fingerprinted.

"Well what did he do?" Drew asked.

"He caused a disturbance at the trial. Said some pretty nasty things about Johnnie, Alma and Phillip." He informed him.

"That man has a right to say anything he wants. You do remember freedom of speech?" Drew said.

Pizo looked at him like he had grown another head. "Yeah, I know he has the right to spout garbage, but I ran him in because he disrupted court proceedings."

"Yeah, but you did it more so because he insulted Green." Drew accused.

Pizo's temper began to flare. "You know what? I am beginning to think that you have a grudge against Johnnie. Either that or you hate homosexuals, too."

"Now, calm down partner. I didn't say that." Drew countered.

"It sure seems like you did." Pizo spat. "If you have a problem working with me because I am not homophobic, then say so. I will not work with someone who is a bigot."

"I don't have a problem with them." Drew yelled. "I do have a problem with murderers though."

Before Drew knew it, he was sprawled out on the floor. Pizo had hit him square in his jaw.

"Johnnie is innocent." Pizo yelled standing over Drew. "I know her and she wouldn't kill anybody." He paused. "I am going to the cap and I'm requesting a new partner. I don't want anything to do with the likes of you." He stepped over him and walked away.

Drew sat up and rubbed his jaw. "Stupid asshole."


Johnnie and her companions arrived at the hospital shortly after Tracy arrived. The ER nurse would not tell them anything about Tracy's condition. Johnnie was livid and pacing when Mike arrived with Mark.

"How is he?" Mark frantically asked.

"That bitch won't tell me shit, Mark." Johnnie yelled.

"They'll tell me." He said, walking purposely for the nurse's station.

"I want to know the condition of Tracy Kenon." He said.

"Are you a family member?" The nurse asked, tersely.

"No I'm not." Mark yelled. "But I am his contact person, so I'll say it again. What… is… the… condition…of…Tracy…Kenon?"

Johnnie looked at him with amazement. "Remind me never to piss that little man off." She whispered to Mike.

"Mr. Kenon is in emergency surgery. As soon as the surgeon returns, I'll have him notify you, sir." She told him, a little intimidated. "You can go to the surgery waiting room; it's on the second floor."

"Thank you." He said curtly.

Laura and Glen arrived just as Mark walked back over to his friends. He began to tremble, as the adrenaline level was lowering in his body.

"He's in surgery; we can wait in the surgery waiting room." He said, swaying on his feet.

Johnnie moved closer to him, to support his body with hers. "Let's go."

They had been waiting for hours, when the surgeon finally came to let them know how Tracy was.

"Kenon family?" The doctor asked, looking around at the faces in the room.

Mark jumped up. "Yes, how is he doctor?"

"It was touch and go for a while, but he is alive. Mr. Kenon suffered massive head and body trauma. Both legs were broken, his right arm, too. He has broken ribs; a punctured lung and we had to remove his spleen and his right kidney. Mr. Kenon is in a coma; for how long, we don't know. The next 48 hours will be critical. If he can make it, then he stands as better chance for survival."

"May I see him?" Mark asked.

"For only a few minutes." The doctor said.

"Doctor, these people are Tracy's only family. Can you make sure that they can see him with no interference from the staff?" Mark asked.

"Of Course, I'll take care of it." He told him.

Mark turned to Johnnie. "Will you come with me?" He asked.

"Of course, Mark. Thank you." A relieved but still anxious Johnnie told him.

When they reached ICU, Johnnie noticed that Tracy was in the same room she was in, all those years ago. He had numerous tubes running in and out of his body. A heart monitor, respirator, and defib crash cart were placed strategically in the room. She remembered what she saw the night she died and was brought back to life. Johnnie remembered how distraught Alma was.

Mark was in shock. He could not believe the condition Tracy was in. His face was bruised, and head bandaged. He wearily walked to the side of the bed.

"You have to talk to him, Mark. He can hear every word you say to him. I know I did." Johnnie told him. "I heard Alma talking to me every day. Hearing her made me fight to come back to her."

Mark looked at her as she spoke to him. He turned his attention back to Tracy. "Tracy, I want you to fight. Fight for me. Fight for us. I love you." He softly said as he fought back his tears.

He leaned over him, and kissed him ever so delicately on his lips. "Come on, Tracy." Mark whispered. "Fight."

Johnnie moved closer to the bed. "Hey buddy. You gotta come back to us. I need you, Tracy. We all do." She choked back the sobs, and gave a dry chuckle. "Who will Glen fight with for the last Pepsi in the fridge? I don't think she could take not having you to fight with."

The nurse came in, and told them that it was time for them to leave. Johnnie patted Tracy's hand, and Mark kissed him softly on his lips.

They returned to the waiting room. All the worried and exasperated faces touched Mark. It made him feel better knowing that he was not going to be alone in this.

"Johnnie," Glen said, "You need to go home and get some rest. You have to be in court tomorrow."

"Mark shouldn't be here alone, Glen." Johnnie told her.

"He won't be alone." Mike interjected. "I'll stay tonight; Glen will take over in the morning. Laura will be here tomorrow night."

"You've already worked this out, eh?" Johnnie asked.

"Yep." Laura answered. "Now take your ass home. You still have a long road ahead of you. I know we will see you after court."

"Yes ma'am." Johnnie said.


Tori drove them home. Johnnie was completely silent the entire trip. I wonder if Tracy blacked out behind the wheel. Those headaches were hell on him.

When they got home, Johnnie excused herself and went into the bedroom. She took off her suit and put on sweats and a t-shirt, and then walked over to the CD player. Johnnie picked up the CD that Phillip had picked out. "Phyllis Hyman." She read aloud.

Alma heard Music coming from their bedroom. "She's listening to the CD that Phil picked out for her." She told Tori and Ceecee. "I'll give her a few moments to settle down, and then I will go to her."

Johnnie was lying across the bed propped on a pillow with her legs crossed at her ankles. She heard the door open and saw Alma. "It's ok, baby. C'mon in." She said as she patted the spot on the bed next to her.

Alma climbed on the bed, placing her head on Johnnie's shoulder. She rubbed small circles on her stomach. "Do you want to talk about it, Querida?"

"It was just like when I was in the hospital, baby. He had tubes running from his chest, oh my God.........." Johnnie's eyes filled with tears.

"Shh, it's ok, baby." Alma whispered. "He'll pull through. He has Mark, and all of us. He'll draw strength from us, beloved. You'll see."

"I hope so, Alma. I hope so." She whispered.

'Just look at us; another fine mess you've gotten us into.' The voice said.

'Stop it. I don't want to fight. I'm too tired.' Tracy's inner voice whispered.

The voice, with a little more force, replied, 'Oh no you don't. I'll be damned if you're gonna leave this mess for me to fix by myself this time. You're gonna have to help, too.'

'What do you mean, this time? Who are you and what do you want from me? Why are you bothering me?'

'Now you try to act like you don't know me. I am your strength, jackass. I am your protector. I kept you from feeling all the pain that the old man gave you.' The voice paused. 'I kept you safe from him, and this is the thanks I get.'

'I don't know what you are talking about. My father never did anything to hurt me.'

'Oh yes he did. He beat your ass, and when the old lady wouldn't put out, he came to you.'

'You're lying! Stop it. My father would never…'

'Would never what? Beat the hell out of you and that pitiful excuse for a mother?'

'Shut up!'


'He found out that you liked boys, and that pissed him off. The first time he did it he used the excuse he was teaching you a lesson; that it was wrong to feel anything for men in that way. That man was a sick bastard.'

'I remember him coming to my room and telling me how much he loved me.'

'Yeah, and it was then I would send you away. You couldn't take it. I remember the first time…'

'I'm tired, damn it. Now leave me the fuck alone.'

'Didn't you hear your bitch crying for you? Whatever will he do without you? He wants you back. So you better get your ass in gear.'

'I hurt him. I can't ever look him in the eye again.'

The voice growled, 'Listen to me, pussy. You are gonna help me out of this mess, and you're gonna get started NOW! When this shit is over, one of us is going to have to go. I can't continue to be saddled up with a punk ass wimp like you.' Laughter echoed. 'Maybe I can beat you're time with blondie over there. I fuck better than you do, anyway.'

'You said that you sent me away. Have you touched him before? The times you sent me away, did you touch him?'

The voice chuckled. 'No, pansy, "dookey love" wasn't my thing. I had him the other night because I was horny. Can you believe it? My first time had to be with a man. Guess you take whatever you can get.'

'You'll never touch him again. If you try, I'll kill you, I mean it.' Tracy growled.

'Well fag, you know what you gotta do then. Help me get us out of this mess.'

Tracy agreed. 'I will, then you have to go.'

Mark looked at his lover's face. He touched his fingertips, then slowly and softly moved up his arm. He looked at the cast that was on Mark's right arm, then down at the casts that covered both his legs. He slid the gown back, and saw the tube leading from his chest to a container that held a mixture of blood, and phlegm. The beeping and clicking of the machines made Mark's heart heavy with fear. "Tracy, I know you can hear me. You have got to fight. I don't want to live without you. I love you. When you get better, I'm going to help you get over these blackouts you've been having. We'll find the best neurologist in the country to help get you better." Tears flowed freely from Mark's eyes. "We're going to get through this, love. Together, we find a way through all of this."

To be continued in part 12

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