Murder Has Two Faces

Part 7

By Tonya S. Coley



For Disclaimers: See Part 1




Chapter 13


Johnnie walked with Alma toward her office so that she could turn off her computer and retrieve her things. Johnnie noticed Tracy sitting at his desk with a despondent look on his face. Johnnie stopped just past his door.

"What is it, Johnnie?" Alma asked.

"I’m gonna talk with Tracy for a minute while you get your things." Johnnie said quietly. She walked back to his office door. "Hey T, what’s going on?"

Tracy had been crying. He looked at her and tried to smile, but he couldn’t. "Nothing, Johnnie. I’m ok." He said, wiping the tears from his face.

Johnnie walked over to his desk, and sat on the edge of it. "Don’t lie to me, buddy. I can see that you are upset." She waited for a response but got none. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"I was just thinking about some stuff. You know, reliving the past." He acknowledged, managing a weak smile.

"Yeah, I can understand. All the things that are going on now have brought up a lot of things for me, too." She admitted. "We can’t allow those things to take over, T. They were in the past and that’s just where they should remain. You are better now and things are going good for you." Johnnie tried to move on to a happier topic. "Is Mark back yet?"

Tracy began to smile. The very mention of his lover’s name always made him feel better. "Yes, he’s home. I really missed him. Three days without the love of my life was pure torture."

"Mark is a good guy, and I’m glad you two found each other." Johnnie said as she smiled along with her friend. "So, are you leaving soon?"

"Yeah, Mark’s going to pick me up and we’re going out to dinner." He said.

Johnnie was glad that she could cheer her friend up. "That’s great, T. Alma and I are going out, too. Truth be told, I’d rather stay in, if you get my meaning."

Tracy laughed. "I can only imagine."

"I don’t know what it is, but when Alma is pregnant I can’t get enough of her." Johnnie admitted. "It’s like her body is giving off sex pheromones or something."

Before Johnnie could say any more, Alma stopped by Tracy’s door. "Hey, Tracy."

"Hi, Alma." He greeted her with a smile. "Sorry I didn’t get a chance to speak to you before now. I’ve been in and out a lot."

"I know you guys are busy, so no problem." She smiled. "Honey, are you ready to go?" She asked her wife.

Johnnie stood up and slipped on her jacket. "Yeah, baby." She turned back to Tracy. "Keep your head up, kiddo. Everything is gonna be fine."

"Yeah, I know." He said. "See you guys tomorrow."

"Goodnight." They both said as they left arm in arm.

As Johnnie rinsed the conditioner from her hair, she heard the shower door slide open. She turned and saw Alma, naked and holding ‘Little J’. "I guess we aren’t going out tonight after all."

Alma said nothing as she strapped Johnnie. Johnnie touched Alma’s breasts, feeling the nipples swell beneath her fingers. Alma’s breathing hitched as Johnnie teased her nipples, rolling them between her fingers. When Alma was done Johnnie pulled her close, kissing her neck and jaw line. Their mouths met; one tongue exploring and entwining with the other. Alma broke the kiss and licked her way down Johnnie’s neck to her chest. Her hand teased one nipple, while her tongue teased the other.

Johnnie moaned her pleasure. Alma used her tongue to ignite Johnnie’s passion; working her way down Johnnie’s stomach and tracing the cut of her abs. Johnnie put her hand on Alma’s head, running her fingers through the dark curly hair. Alma dipped her tongue into Johnnie’s navel, eliciting moans of pleasure from her. She kneeled before Johnnie and seductively traced the head of ‘Little J’ with her tongue. Johnnie, seeing this, became overwhelmed with desire and pulled Alma to her feet. She feverishly kissed her as she pushed Alma against the shower wall.

"Alma," Johnnie rasped between kisses, "I need to fuck you."

Alma’s head was thrown back; her eyes were filled with desire. "Please, Querida." She whispered, while Johnnie rubbed the head against her yearning entrance.

Johnnie lifted Alma so she could wrap her legs around her waist. She looked into her eyes as she positioned the head for entrance into Alma’s aching womanhood.

"Now, Johnnie." Alma husked. Johnnie slammed into her. "Yes!"

Alma’s shoulders were placed against the corners of the shower. Johnnie had one arm wrapped around Alma’s waist, while her free hand held on the safety rack. She plunged in and out of Alma with animalistic ferocity, sucking and licking her engorged nipples. Alma’s arms were wrapped securely around Johnnie’s shoulders and neck. She met each of Johnnie’s powerful strokes with her own. Her movements caused the appendage that stimulated Johnnie’s clit to stroke her mercilessly. Johnnie had to retard her thrusts because she was about to release. Alma tried to make her pick up the pace, but the way Johnnie began to roll her hips did things to her body that she couldn’t resist.

"Oh yes, Querida, just like that." Alma husked throatily, chest heaving. She felt like putty in Johnnie’s hands.

Tears streamed from Johnnie’s eyes as she watched Alma respond to her. Alma opened her eyes and she saw the raw emotion in her wife’s eyes. She could see the love and passion in Johnnie’s tearful, dark brown eyes. Alma also caught a glimpse of fear. Johnnie knew that Alma had seen the fear that tried to rear its ugly head. Alma’s mouth sought contact with Johnnie’s and with that one passionate kiss, Johnnie’s fear fled.

Johnnie stepped out of the shower with Alma still wrapped around her. She walked out of the bathroom into the bedroom. Soaking wet, she sat down on the bed, allowing Alma to loosen the vice grip she had around her waist. Johnnie laid back and cupped Alma’s breasts, teasing the engorged nipples with her thumbs. "Have your way, baby." Johnnie whispered as she thrust her hips up against Alma, driving the phallus deeper.

"Oh, Johnnie!" She moaned as she began to ride Johnnie like she was a bucking bronco. Johnnie grasped Alma’s hips as she thrust into her with long, powerful strokes. Alma leaned forward to allow Johnnie to suckle her breasts. Johnnie captured one of Alma’s breasts, latching on to it like a newborn.

Alma’s breath began to hitch as she felt her orgasm nearing. She tried to fend it off, but the things that Johnnie did to her nipple with her tongue made it a losing battle. "I…I…oh god I’m coming!"

"That’s right, baby. Come for me." Johnnie groaned, her orgasm building in the pit of her belly. "Give to me what’s mine."

"Si, si." Alma shuddered as her orgasm coursed through her. She fell on Johnnie, her body spent.

"Mine!" Johnnie growled as she rolled them over, placing her on top. She stroked Alma as if she were possessed, not only bringing forth her own release but also eliciting another from Alma.

They were lying together in bed, Alma on her back and Johnnie with her head on Alma’s chest. Alma gently stroked Johnnie’s head, entwining her fingers in the long, silky hair. She knew that something was troubling her. "What’s bothering you, Querida?"

Johnnie sighed heavily as she made circles on Alma’s belly. "I’m worried about Tracy, baby."

Alma was quiet, hoping that Johnnie would continue. When Johnnie remained quiet, she broke the silence again. "Why are you worried? Is something going on between he and Mark?"

Johnnie moved and propped herself up on her elbow and forearm. "I’m not sure, but I think Tracy may be slipping into another depression."

Alma sat up and looked Johnnie in her eyes. "Another depression? I never knew that he suffered from depression."

"It started when he left the force." Johnnie paused. "He wasn’t strong enough to fight the tactics that Ballantine and his cronies used to expose us."

"What that evil man must have put you all through." Alma whispered.

"After Tracy left, he fell into a deep depression. He went to a psychiatrist for help." Johnnie said as her eyes welled up with tears. "Um, the doctor prescribed some anti depressants, and one night Tracey took an overdose hoping to end his pain." Alma put her hand to her face in shock as Johnnie continued. "Fortunately for him, the pills he was prescribed if taken in large quantities would not produce death, but make him violently ill."

"My God." Alma said. "He must have been so lost, the poor man."

"Tracy is one hell of an investigator. He wasn’t really involved in anything when I asked him to join the firm. He was turning his life around, and had just met Mark. I didn’t hire him because I felt sorry for him, but because he was good at what he did." Johnnie conveyed as she moved and sat on the side of the bed.

"I know you didn’t." Alma whispered.

Johnnie stood and pulled on her robe. "I’m going to go and fix us a snack."

Alma could see that her lover was upset as she watched her leave their bedroom. Ballantine put them through a lot. It’s a wonder that Johnnie was able to maintain her sanity. She grabbed her robe and made her way to the kitchen.

I hope that Tracy can hold it all together. He’s stronger now and has Mark in his life. Johnnie thought as she took a sip of the drink she had quickly fixed. She sat the drink on the table while she prepared a couple of sandwiches for Alma and herself.

Alma walked into the kitchen and saw Johnnie making their snack. She also noticed the drink the drink on the table. Oh no, baby. No drinking.

Johnnie looked up and saw Alma, noticing the concern that was on her face. Here we go. She thought. "It’s only one, Alma."

Alma moved toward the table, standing on the opposite side. "Honey, it’s not going to help matters." She paused. "I didn’t mean to upset you."

Johnnie’s frustration was beginning to surface. "I’m not upset. Don’t worry about it."

"I know beloved." Alma said with some hesitation, hoping not to exacerbate the situation. "It’s just that one will lead to another."

"Alma, it’s only one. Don’t worry about it." She growled.

"Please don’t drink." Alma begged.

"Damn it, Alma, leave me the fuck alone!" She said through clenched teeth as she continued to make the sandwiches. "I am and adult and I can do as I please."

Alma stood in tearful silence. When Johnnie looked at her, she could see the hurt in her eyes. Shame and guilt rushed over her. You know that you are hurting her. She only loves you and is looking out for you, knucklehead. She can see clearly where you only see darkness and despair. Pull yourself together and fix this. Johnnie picked up the glass as Alma watched her. She walked over to the sink, and poured it down the drain. She walked over to Alma and stood before her, looking down into her eyes. "Baby, I didn’t mean to talk to you like that." She whispered repentantly. "It’s just all the pressure that I am under…"

Alma placed her fingers over Johnnie’s lips. "I understand. You are not alone in this, beloved. I am here for you." She moved closer to Johnnie; taking her into her arms, offering her comfort. Johnnie sighed and melted into the embrace. "We will get through this." Alma assured her.


"Johnnie, you have a call on line one." Laura told her via intercom.

"Thanks, Laura." Johnnie said as she picked up the line. "Green. Talk to me."

"Hey partner, it’s Pizo. How are you holding up?"

Johnnie smiled. "Hey buddy, I’m fine under the circumstances."

"I know, J." Pizo sighed. "I’ve been working on clearing you. It seems that Ballantine had his hands in a lot of shit. He was as dirty and corrupt as they come."

"We know what that slime ball was up to, Pizo." She informed him. "We have been on this for a while now, since he started this shit."

Pizo chuckled. "I figured you did. I just thought we could compare notes."

"Sounds good. Come by later and give me a rundown on what you have." She told him.

"Alright, I’ll be there after my shift." He said. "Later, J."

"Bye, partner."

Johnnie stood quietly at Alma’s office door, watching her as she put away some of her files into the filing cabinet. Damn she looks good. That ass of hers is to die for. She is really working the hell out of that skirt. Johnnie thought as she eyed her wife. She looked as Alma bent over to a lower cabinet, granting her full view of her wife’s assets. Her lower regions began to throb. Down girl, loving in the office is a big no-no.

Alma knew that Johnnie was watching her when she bent over. "Do you like what you see, Querida?"

"Very much so." Johnnie said, her voice lowering an octave.

Alma shuddered and stood upright. She knows what that does to me. "What do you want?"

Johnnie moved closer. "Well…"

"No, no hanky panky." Alma interrupted.

Johnnie moved closer and embraced her. Alma molded her body to Johnnie’s. "I know, Iron Maiden." Johnnie chuckled. "I just wanted to let you know that I was headed over to Bob’s office."

"Do you want me to come with you?" She asked.

"No, I’ll be fine." She whispered. "You feel so good."

"It’s not going to work, Johnnie. We are not doing the nasty." She laughed as she tapped Johnnie’s butt. "Are you going to be back in time for lunch?"

Johnnie kissed her lips softly. "We should be finished by then. Do you want to go out for lunch?"

"Yes, I’m in the mood for a steak." She said.

Johnnie kneeled in front of her. "What about you Little One? You want steak, too?" She then changed her voice to speak baby talk. "Yes, Mama. I want some ‘takes." Resuming her normal voice she said, "Well, whatever my baby girl wants, my baby girl gets." She stood up and faced a grinning Alma. "What?" She asked, arching her eyebrow.

"You beloved, are a nut, and I love you." She said, grinning for all she was worth.

Johnnie blushed. "Well, I, oh forget it." She kissed her and walked out of her office, with Alma’s laughter following her down the hallway.



Chapter 14

Johnnie arrived at Bob’s office a few minutes earlier than her appointment was scheduled, dropping off files to the other associates. They were amazed that she was still able to concentrate on her work, with all that had been going on in her life.

She finally met Bob in his office. He was smiling, as usual. "Good morning, Johnnie. How are you?" He asked as he shook her hand.

"I’m fine, Bob, taking things one day at a time." She told him, as she stood in front of his desk. She opened her briefcase and pulled out the files she had on Ballantine, and handed them to him.

He looked at her, and then to the files. "Johnnie, what’s all this? It’s as thick as the phone book."

"This is everything that I have on Ballantine." She said. "He was involved in money laundering, bid rigging, embezzlement, illegal campaign contributions." She sat down. "You name it; he had his grubby little paws in it."

Bob smiled broadly. "Now this we can use. After all his lies, and what he has put you and your wife through, why would you want to kill him. You have enough here to ruin him forever. Anyone with common sense can see reasonable doubt in this murder charge."

"Killing him would have been too easy. I wanted him to suffer, to feel just a hint of the pain the he has caused me." She admitted. "Have your people come up with anything?"

"Yes they have, and my people just gave it to me." He smiled. "Johnnie, why would I get anyone else to investigate this for me? You and your associates are the best."

"Thanks, Bob, I appreciate that." Johnnie paused. "I just hope that we can get me out of this mess."

"Don’t worry, Johnnie. You didn’t do this, and we are going to prove it." He assured her.


Johnnie and Alma decided to have lunch at Madison’s Steak House.

"Baby, are you sure that you will be able to eat all of the house steak?" Johnnie asked.

"Querida, I am hungry. It seems that I have another Bigfoot inside me, so yes, I will be able to eat it all." Alma said as she smiled and caressed Johnnie’s hand. She looked up and her smile faded at the entrance of her newfound archenemy and whom she assumed to be her flavor of the month. "Shit." She hissed through clenched teeth.

"What’s wrong, honey? Are you ok?" Johnnie asked, her tone heavy with concern. "Are you sick?"

Alma turned her attention back to Johnnie. "I’m fine, baby. It’s nothing like that." She leaned closer to Johnnie. "Johnnie, don’t get upset. Maddie just walked in."

"Now why would I get upset? She only wants to see me executed." She said, her voice full of sarcasm. "Where is good old Maddie?"

"Johnnie, just ignore her." Alma warned. "Don’t let her get the best of you."

The hostess was escorting Maddie and her companion, a young African-American woman in her early thirties, to a table when Maddie noticed Johnnie and Alma. Jealousy reared its ugly head. Well, if it isn’t Dead Woman Walking and her little chica. Think I’ll have a little fun. She sighed loudly and asked, "I wonder if the patrons of this fine establishment realize that they are dining with a murderess?"

"Oh shit." Maddie’s companion grimaced.

The patrons stopped what they were doing and looked at Maddie. Then they looked around and saw Johnnie and began to whisper.

Alma was seething with anger at Maddie’s statement, but she knew that she had to control her temper in order to help Johnnie get through this. She could see that Johnnie was trembling with rage. Alma placed her hand on Johnnie’s arm. "Ignore her, baby." She whispered.

"Johnetta Green is enjoying her life, while Mayor Ballantine is in a grave at Elmwood Cemetery." She said, even louder.

"That tears it." Johnnie growled, throwing her napkin on the table as she stood. "What is your fucking problem?" She demanded as she walked purposely toward Maddie.

"No problem." Maddie said as she felt her bravado fleeing her. "I just wanted people to know that a killer is among them."

"You, an officer of the court, should know better." Johnnie yelled. "I see why you were thrown off the case."

Maddie was stung by Johnnie’s words. It was she who was being humiliated in public, and not Johnnie. "I was thrown off the case for making the fatal mistake of sharing a bed with you over ten years ago, not because I couldn’t do my job."

"Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?" Johnnie roared.

Alma stood and walked behind Johnnie, placing a calming hand on her back. "Please, Johnnie, she’s not worth it." She whispered.

"Hard to be innocent when your prints are all over the murder weapon." Maddie angrily spat.

"Johnnie, let’s go." Alma said, pulling at Johnnie’s arm. "This should be tried in a courtroom, not the streets."

"You’re right, my love." She said to Alma, pulling her close and kissing her forehead. "It’s good to have a woman who loves me." They walked back over to their table, and Johnnie threw some money on it. She took Alma by the arm and walked out of the restaurant.

Maddie stood there, hurt by Johnnie’s words. Unbeknownst to her, there was a reporter from the Wilmington Observer listening to and recording every word.

Johnnie and Alma were in the parking lot, going to their truck. Alma was quietly cursing in Spanish. Johnnie got Alma situated in the truck and walked back over to the driver side, when an older man and his wife stopped her.

"Excuse me, Ms. Green." The man said quietly. "We would just like to say how sorry we are for the reprehensible way that you were treated inside. Actions like that are inexcusable, especially by an attorney." The woman nodded in agreement.

"Thank you both, but unfortunately she can get away with it." Johnnie said feeling defeated.

"As an everyday citizen, she could get away with it. But as an officer of the court, she can’t. There is a Code of Ethics that we attorneys have to abide by." He looked back at the restaurant, then to her. "From what I saw and heard, she has broken many of them."

"You’re an attorney?" Johnnie asked, arching an eyebrow.

"Yes, and I am also on the review board for the North Carolina Bar Association." He informed her. "I am obligated to report that spectacle that went on in there. She should have known better."

Johnnie sighed. "Yes, she should have." She looked at her watch. "Thank you, but please excuse me, I have to get back to work."

"Certainly, and good luck Ms. Green." He told her.

Johnnie got into the truck. "Did you hear that, Alma."

"I heard every word, beloved." She said.

Johnnie smiled. "My mother used to say that you should never dig ditches for other people to fall into. Somehow the ditch winds up being your own."


Maddie’s companion, Dr. Vanessa Bell, could see that Maddie was upset. "Maddie, do you still want to have lunch?"

"No, let’s get out of here." She said as she fought back her tears. "We can order in at my office."

Back at Maddie’s office, they had ordered sandwiches form Schlotzky’s Deli. Maddie just toyed with her sandwich; her appetite had long since left.

"Maddie, do you want to talk about what happened back at the restaurant?" Vanessa asked.

Maddie sighed. "No Van, I’d rather not." She knew that she had gone too far and wanted desperately to take it all back. It’s too late now.

"Maddie, I’m your psychiatrist as well as your friend." She paused. "After all these years you still are not over her, are you?"

"Unfortunately for me, no I’m not. I still love her, but because she won’t be with me all I seem to do is hurt her." She paused and looked at Vanessa. "Why haven’t you helped me get over her?"

"I can’t help you do something that you yourself don’t want to do, Maddie. You haven’t tried to make a relationship work with anyone else since she left. How can you move on if you won’t let go?" She asked.

Maddie stood and paced her office. "I know, and you are right. I have a lot of unresolved issues with her. If I could get all the things I would like to say to her off my chest, then perhaps I could move on." She whispered.

"Episodes like the one in the restaurant are not going to help you." She told her. "Throwing tantrums every time you see them together is not going to help you move on, Maddie." She looked at her watch. "Sorry, but I have to go. Do you have any plans for this evening?"

"No, I was just going to go home. Why?" She asked.

"Well, how about joining an old friend for dinner?" Vanessa asked.

Maddie sat back down and sighed. "Sure, why not. I have nothing better to do."

"Gee, thanks Maddie. You are so good for my self esteem." Vanessa chortled, feigning hurt feelings.

"I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking." She said, managing a smile. "You know what I meant."

"Good. Meet me at my office at six." Vanessa told her. "We can leave from there."

"Okay, see you at six." She agreed.


Vanessa was seeing a patient to the door, then asked her secretary to get Johnnie Green for her.

"Green. Talk to me." Johnnie said.

"Ms. Green, this is Dr. Vanessa Bell." Vanessa said.

"What can I do for you, Doctor?" Johnnie asked as she worked at her computer.

"I realize that this is short notice, but I was wondering if you could stop by my office, say at a quarter to six?" Vanessa asked. "I need your help."

"Indeed it is short notice, Dr. Bell. I was leaving for home soon." Johnnie said.

"It’s urgent, Ms. Green." Vanessa implored. "Please."

"Can’t we discuss this over the phone?" She inquired.

"I’d prefer to do this face to face." She paused. "I really need your help."

Johnnie held the phone for a couple of seconds, and then sighed. "Alright. Give me your address."

"Thank you. The address is 5434 Caldwell Drive, suite 21-A." She said.

"Sweetheart, I have a meeting with a potential client before six." Johnnie said as she sat on the edge of Alma’s desk.

"Okay. Do you need to take the truck? I can catch a ride with Laura." She suggested.

"If you don’t mind, honey, I’d appreciate it." She kissed Alma’s cheek. "Hopefully it won’t take to long. I’ll cook when I get home. We can have those steaks that we didn’t get to enjoy earlier."

"Sounds good, baby." Alma said. "What about Pizo?"

"I asked him to stop by the house later, and I told him to bring Diana. We can all have dinner and give them the good news." Alma smiled. Johnnie leaned down to kiss her, giving her a little tongue. "I’ll see you later."

Johnnie arrived at Vanessa’s office on time. Her secretary led her into Vanessa’s office. Johnnie walked around the office, noticing how nicely decorated it was. She was looking at the many degrees on the wall when Vanessa walked in.

Johnnie turned around and was shocked to see Maddie’s companion from the restaurant standing only a few feet away from her.

"Ms. Green, thank you for coming, I’m Dr. Bell." She said, extending her hand.

Johnnie stepped back. "I’m sorry, but I can’t help you." She moved to leave.

"Please wait, I need your help." Vanessa said in efforts to stop her.

Johnnie turned around to face her. Her anger was evident in her eyes. Vanessa took a step back. "With what? Do you need more ammunition to feed Maddie so she can humiliate me again?"

"I need your help so that Maddie can get over you." She said, trying to calm the irate woman standing before her. "That way, she can move on with her life."

"I wouldn’t piss on that bitch if she was on fire." Johnnie spat. "You have some nerve asking me to help her after what she did today."

"She has unresolved feelings for you." Vanessa reasoned. "You owe it to her to help her get over them."

"I don’t owe her a goddamned thing. Fuck Maddie and the horse she rode in on." Johnnie yelled. "You tell that sick bitch to stay the hell away from me and my wife."

The door to Vanessa’s office swiftly opened. "Vanessa, what is going on in here?" Maddie asked. She was pinned on the spot by Johnnie furious glare. "What the hell is she doing here?" She demanded.

"Oh, like you didn’t know that I was going to be here." Johnnie snapped.

Vanessa intervened. "Maddie had no idea that I called you."

"What in the hell are you doing, Vanessa?" Maddie hissed as she moved toward her friend.

"Fuck all this bullshit, I’m leaving." Johnnie spat as she moved to leave.

"Please don’t." Vanessa begged. "I desperately need your help to resolve this."

"I can’t help you." Johnnie turned toward the door.

Maddie’s eyes filled with tears. "That’s right, Johnnie. Just walk out, you are good at that."

Maddie arrived home early, hoping to surprise Johnnie with a romantic dinner. She had been extremely busy working on a very important case, and had been coming home late every night for the past month. I’m going to take a nice hot bath, and then fix my baby a home cooked meal. She thought as she unlocked the door.

She went into their bedroom and began to undress. When she opened the closet doors, she saw that it was half empty. Everything that belonged to Johnnie was gone. Maddie began to panic. She went over to the dresser drawers and saw that Johnnie’s were empty. She screamed when she realized that Johnnie had left her. She ran around the house looking for a note, but could not find anything explaining why Johnnie left.

Johnnie stopped, and then slammed the door closed. "What in the fuck do you want from me, Maddie?" Johnnie bellowed.

"I want you, Johnnie, but I know that is impossible." Maddie hissed. "You love Alma, and there is nothing I can do about it."

"Then why won’t you leave me alone?" Johnnie yelled.

"I want to end this as badly as you do." Maddie yelled back.

After what seemed to be an eternity of shouting back and forth, Vanessa interceded. "Calm down, both of you. You will never get anything accomplished if you yell at each other."

Johnnie sat down and glared at Maddie. "I want you to leave us alone, Maddie. We have enough drama in our lives right now, and we don’t need any more from you."

Maddie sat across from her. "You have moved on, and I haven’t. I never even tried. I hoped that you would come back to me; that we could start over. You never did." She began to cry.

Johnnie looked at her, expressionless. "What does that have to do with me?"

"Go ahead, Maddie." Vanessa encouraged. "Tell her everything you are feeling."

"You abandoned me, Johnnie. I came home from work to find you and everything of yours gone." She said. "No note, no phone call, nothing. You walked out on me with no warning."

Johnnie softened. "I did warn you, Maddie. You never listened; you weren’t there for me. All you thought about was your career."

"That’s not true. I thought about us all the time." Maddie told her. "I had a lot of work to do. I never complained when you worked on an important case."

"That’s because you weren’t there, Maddie. I never let my job keep me from coming home to you. I wouldn’t go weeks without spending time with you. I grew tired of it. I needed something more." Johnnie revealed. "I told you how dissatisfied I was but you were too busy to listen."

"I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that I was doing that." Maddie whispered. "It has cost me the best thing that I ever had."

"Maddie, I’m sorry for how things ended between us. I was hurt and I felt rejected. I never meant to hurt you." Johnnie paused, and spoke softly to her. "It’s time to move on, Maddie. I have and I am very happy. Alma is the best thing that ever happened to me. I floundered around for a while, drifting from one woman’s bed to another. Alma taught me what love is really about. She taught me how to love. You can find that, too. You just have to start looking."

Maddie looked into Johnnie’s eyes and saw the kindness that was there when they were together. "I’m sorry for everything that I have put you through, Johnnie. I didn’t mean those horrible things I said. Can you ever forgive me?"

"I think I can in time, Maddie." She said. "If you start moving forward and find someone that will make you happy, we will be even." Johnnie looked at her watch. "I’m sorry, but I have to go. Take care of yourself." She stood, and walked out of the office.

Vanessa sat next to Maddie as she openly wept. "It’s going to be ok, Maddie." She whispered. "Now you can move on."

"She is an incredible woman. We could have been good together." Maddie said between sobs. "I blew it, I know that now. Goodbye, Johnnie."

To be continued in Part 8

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