Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Rating: This is a very, very, very strong R. Implied discussion of rape and killing.
Summary: Making amends can be the hardest thing in the world. But sometimes the chaos is worth it.
Pairings: Alex/Addison George/Callie Meredith/Derek implied Mar/Izzie possibly
Author's Note: This chapter was the easiest to write because it happened *exactly* the way I envisioned it. That's why you're getting it so quickly. Be warned, however ... it's graphic and extreme. It can be triggering if you've ever been the victim of a violent crime.
Author's Note II: This Icon? So Callie's life right now. :)
The Upper East Side of Manhattan was hopping with activity when Callie and Addison arrived at the brownstone. The two security guards that had traveled with them carried in their luggage. After patrolling the bottom floor, the guards headed upstairs. The women made themselves useful and removed the slips that had been secured on a majority of the furnishings in the living room to keep it free from dust.
Callie was impressed by what little she had seen. There were unbelievable paintings on the wall and a ton of photographs depicting the city at nightfall and sunrise. "Who’s the photographer?"
"I used to be." Addison folded the remaining coverlet. "Derek kept some amazingly long hours so I needed a hobby."
"I thought Mark was your hobby."
"Now he was a good nude subject."
"Please don’t elaborate and *never* show me those pictures." Callie moved from one photo to the next. "These are breathtaking."
"Let’s take some back to the apartment. We need art."
Addison smiled at her. "Alex is paining one to go behind the couch."
"He paints now?!"
"I volunteered to be his canvas."
Callie shot her a look, picked up a small wastebasket, and pretended to heave into it. Addison threw a small decorative pillow at her, smiling the entire time. They could hear the guards tinkering around upstairs and Callie cocked her head to one side. "What the hell is that rustling sound?"
"HOLY SHIT!" Callie screamed, leaping onto the sofa. She frantically pointed just behind Addison.
Addison whirled around and gave a wail of her own. A huge rat was scurrying toward them and she shook her crutch at it, all the while hopping toward the couch. "Kill it!"
"You freakin’ kill it! It’s your rat! It’s in your house!"
"I’m about to piss my pants!" Callie took her shoe off and threw it. It hit the rat dead on and it squealed pitifully and ran into the wall several times. "Oh god! I’ve given it brain damage. Tonight ... it’s going to seek revenge while I sleep!"
Addison threw her crutch and hit the first guard to make it down the stairs in the stomach with it. He had his weapon drawn and when he whirled toward the women, they both covered their heads and hunkered down. "Don’t shoot!" Addy cried.
"Yes, shoot! Shoot the rat!" Callie yelled.
"Rat?" The guard scanned the ground, seeing nothing. "Where?"
"It’s laying in wait. It’s the size of a rottweiler." Callie took her other shoe off, drawing it back. "Can rats climb stairs? Because that’s where all the bedrooms are. Right?"
"Right." Addison shivered a little. "We’ve never had rats before. It’s because the place has been closed up for so long."
"Well, let’s close it up again and run, not walk, to the nearest hotel."
"I could probably get on board with that."
"Pipe down!" the guard snapped, rubbing his stomach where the crutch had hit him. "You’re in New York City! Rats outnumber people a million to one here."
"Go to your happy place. Go to your happy place. Go to your happy place," Callie chanted.
The second guard came into the living room, his flashlight firmly in hand. "I didn’t find a rat. Or rat droppings."
"You think we’re lying?" Addison asked, wide eyed. "That thing was big enough to gnaw my leg off!"
The guards exchanged the same skeptical look. Miles, the guard who had previously given them a lengthy tongue lashing about taking their safety seriously, crossed his arms over his chest. "Listen, you two, and listen good. We’re in a strange place and it’s just Clark and me. We don’t have cameras or the luxury of police aid so every single time you scream like that it’s our alarm system. And every time you cry *wolf* it puts us all at risk."
"Wolf!" Callie balled her fists and hopped off the sofa. "We didn’t cry wolf! We cried rat!"
"It was roughly the same size," Addison added. "And you’re the *men*. You do rodent patrol!"
"Knock it off!" Clark snapped, holstering his gun. "Miss Montgomery, there is a very strong chlorine smell coming from the master bedroom. Any idea what that could be?"
"My psychotic ex boyfriend poured an entire bottle of bleach on the bed when he found out I was moving to Seattle," she replied.
"Mark?" Callie asked.
"Yep." Addison accepted the crutch that Miles held out toward her. "I figured it would have dissipated by now."
"Why the hell would he bleach the bed?"
"Because I told him I’d set it on fire, preferably with him in it, before I’d ever sleep in it with him again."
"So he bleaches it instead?"
"He bleached my *clothes* which were spread all over the place while I was packing." Addison frowned. "You know, this place brings up many wardrobe nightmares. Derek threw all my clothes, and me, out in the rain when he caught me cheating with -"
"Sordid though your love lifes undoubtedly are," Miles interjected. "Can we focus here? One bedroom upstairs in uninhabitable. The two of you will need to bunk together in the spare room. Clark and I will be spending most of the night patrolling the neighborhood on foot and in the car."
"Why don’t you just stay in here?" Callie pointed to the couch.
"Ma’am, our goal is to keep this guy as far away from you as possible. If we’re inside the house we can’t apprehend him unless he’s also inside the house."
"We’ve decided that he’s long gone," Addison replied.
"I hope he got the memo," Clark replied. He handed both ladies a wristwatch each. "Personal alarms. If anything happens, you hit the button and we’ll come right then."
"Awesome!" Callie took hers, examining it. "This is just like Alias! I’m Sydney! Addison, you can be ... well, not Nadia, because she died. Oooh, you can be Lauren. You know? The chick who stole Vaughn from Syd."
"She was *evil*," Addison cried. "And not even remotely cute!"
"Well, there is that."
The guards left without a word.
Three hours later, both women leaned back in their chairs and rubbed their bellies. Addison had ordered takeout and they had gorged themselves on subway sandwiches and chocolate cake. Callie peeled the label on her beer and sighed. "I’m bored."
Getting to her feet, Callie walked to the window and peered outside. She could see Miles and Clark in the car. They appeared to have two laptops open, because the interior of the vehicle glowed. "They’re just sitting in the car. Probably looking at porn."
"That’s so obvious! If the Pink Prowler is lurking out there he’s going to see them right away."
"The Pink Prowler? Nice." Callie took her seat again, opening a fresh beer. She held it up and said, "A toast. To surviving the Pink Prowler, rats, and relationships."
"In no particular order." Addison clinked their bottles and grinned. "I’ve decided I don’t like our guards. They’re rude. And not very personable."
"Probably in their profession they can’t afford to be personable. I wonder how often the people they’re hired to protect actually die."
Addison’s eyes widened. "Way to go, Callie! You just killed my buzz."
Callie gave her an evil smile. "Let’s test their response time. See if they’re worth what Pop is paying them."
"That would be so mean." Addison rubbed her hands together. "What did you have in mind?"
"Follow my lead."
Addison cupped her hand over her mouth when Callie pressed the button on her watch to stifle her giggle. She mentally calculated the time, slowly counting off the seconds. When she arrived at thirty two ... the front door was practically kicked off its hinges.
"LADIES!" Miles shouted. "Show your location!"
"Kitchen!" Callie called. "Hurry!"
The two guards raced in, wild eyed and in attack mode. "What’s the problem?" Clark demanded, scanning the room.
"We’re almost out of beer," Callie replied casually, taking a sip of her brew. "Can you guys go get us some more?"
"You want us to -" Miles closed his eyes, breathing deep.
"Are you counting to ten?" Addison asked.
"No, ma’am. I’m praying that Clark will shoot me before I strangle you both."
Mack was a patient man.
As a child, he had stood on the sidelines, watching as his siblings achieved scholastic and personal accolades. He had been the quiet one, the loner. The most he had ever accomplished with his life was a tour of duty in Vietnam and nothing could ever compare to the exhilaration of taking down the bad guy. While most of his fellow soldiers would rush headlong into the fight, guns blazing, Mack was patient. He would enter the killing field after the worst of the shooting and search for people who were clinging to life.
Those were the ones he enjoyed taking out.
The ones who were dying.
Because they begged for mercy. Their eyes, their foreign tongue, all of it reflected their pain. They would hold their hands up to him, imploring him to help, and he would help.
Because he was a patient man.
Dying could come awfully slow when he wanted it to.
Mack was also an angry man.
There were medications he could take, medications that his parents purchased with their social security money, but Mack couldn’t be bothered with it. If he controlled his anger then he would lose the drive to do what must be done. What had to be done. The enemy now was just as deadly as the Vietnamese enemy and he had a plan.
He would silence her.
Maybe even keep her tongue as a trophy.
One person had always believed in Mack. One person had always listened to him, sympathized with him, and accepted him. They had grown up in the same house, but that was the only thing they had in common. Roy was several years younger and had been the golden boy, the boy with the singing voice of an angel, the boy who all the town girls wanted to be with. Out of four brothers, Roy was the only one who ever treated Mack like he was someone, despite all the evidence to the contrary. When Mack was arrested for setting fire to the neighbor’s dog, something Mack had enjoyed very much ... Roy was the one who gave him an alibi. When Mack had been so close to being expelled ... it was Roy, not their parents, who weaved a story that was pitiful and engaging enough to convince the principal to keep the boy in school.
And letters came like clockwork from Roy while Mack did his extended tour of duty. There were always photos included and Mack kept one in his pocket at all times: a grainy image of Roy with his daughter. Mack didn’t care too much for the concept of being an uncle. Roy having a kid simply meant that when Mack left the service, he wouldn’t have his brother’s full attention anymore. Roy had created a new family that didn’t include Mack. It hurt. It stung. The only thing Mack had to be grateful for was that Molly’s mother had died during birth ... when Mack found out, he celebrated by wiping out a family of farmers.
When Mack returned from Vietnam, he was shocked to learn that Roy had taken Molly and moved to New York City. With twelve dollars in his wallet, Mack had hitchhiked to Manhattan and eventually found their house. Molly was about five years old and took an instant liking to her uncle. Mack didn’t particularly care for this new development, but he endured the hours she spent curled on his lap, brushed her hair when she begged him to, and even pretended to care about the Barbie dolls that she constantly showed him.
He pretended to care because that meant he could be closer to Roy.
Eventually, Mack took a job in the city as a window washer. He enjoyed cleaning the hulking buildings, enjoyed staring in at the pretty business ladies who wore short skirts and very high heels. One lady in particular caught his eye. She was on the twenty fourth floor of an unpleasant building to clean. Birds had a tendency to fly right into the side and it was constantly messy. She waved at him on his fourth day on the job and from that point on, he was crazy about her.
When he wasn’t working, he took to stalking the building, waiting to see her on the street. A chance meeting on the subway, when he was heading to the theater with Roy, dashed any hopes he had of a future with her. He was standing in middle of the car, clutching the handle, when he saw her a few feet away. Her blond hair was unmistakable and he was drawn to her like a moth to a flame. He brushed against her and smiled when she turned and looked at him.
"Hey! You’re the window washer!" she said. "I’m Valerie."
"Mack," he replied, extending his hand. "It’s nice to meet you, Valerie."
She shook it and turned, taking the hand of the man next to her. "This is my boyfriend Trang. Trang, this is Mack."
Mack had refused to shake hands with the Vietnamese man. He had called her every vile, race traitoring name he could think of and Roy had eventually pulled him away from the dazed couple. The dreams began that night. He lost his job the following Monday, but he still stalked the building and waited for the chance to see her again.
Three months later, while watching the news, Roy saw the woman’s face on the screen with the words ‘missing’ underneath. Mack had continued eating his dinner with relish, a small smile drawing the corners of his mouth. When Roy asked the inevitable question, Mack admitted his guilt and assured his brother that they’d never find her.
Roy had shocked him, then.
Roy had tossed his head back and laughed for what felt like hours.
It was then that Mack realized that they had a little more in common that he thought.
Sometimes, they took turns with the women they ‘caught’. Roy would tuck Molly in at night and nod at Mack, who would lead the way to the shed out back. Some women were more fun that others. Some would fight, tooth and nail, and breaking them was incredible. Others accepted their fate and never uttered a sound. Those were the ones that died quickly. There was no fire in them.
For years, it worked out beautifully.
Then Mack was arrested for stealing a car and went to prison.
It was there, serving his second year, that Mack’s world came to a screeching halt. Roy had apparently been arrested for the kidnapping and rape of two children. That was a strange concept to Mack. They had never taken children before. He followed the trial closely, fighting with anyone who dared turn the channel, and when the brothers were reunited behind bars, they were a force to be reckoned with.
But Mack was released. He didn’t want to be. Didn’t ask to be and had nothing to look forward to anymore. He had returned home to his parents, who were old and feeble enough to welcome him back with open arms, and tried to exist. Oh, he still killed -- mostly animals. Except for that one girl who had stopped at the auto shop he worked at to ask for directions ...
Then Roy had called and said that the unthinkable had happened. Through luck and nothing more than that, there was going to be a parole hearing. New York usually had the strictest laws about parole, but somehow, some way ... Roy’s case would be heard again. They could get back to old times. Roy convinced Mack to pay Molly a visit.
She had not been happy to see her uncle, had refused to let him in. Her appearance shocked him. She had no hands, her hair was unkempt and messy, and her eyes were practically swollen shut from crying. As she spoke to him, he could barely understand her words. She was too hysterical. He had pushed his boot into the small crevice that the chain lock afforded on the door, and said, "If you show up to testify, I’ll kill you."
In the end, he had not been required to.
Word came down the following morning that Molly Marie Porter had killed herself.
One down. One to go.
Finding Dr. Torres had proven to be incredibly difficult. Roy had somehow found out that she had gone to medical school and had taken an internship on the West Coast, but pinpointing her was time consuming. It became much easier when Mack, dressed in a stolen suit, visited her alma mater and claimed that he was searching for her to settle an insurance claim with her. The receptionist had been easy enough to woo, he likened her eyes to the ocean and her smile to a sun filled day. She told him that Dr. Torres had studied Orthopedic Surgery and that narrowed the playing field considerably.
The broken arm he received once he arrived in Seattle, courtesy of a man on a ferry who had taken offence to Mack groping his girlfriend, had been a godsend. He got to see the bitch up close and personal. She was a pretty one, but he hated the air of authority about her. She seemed to think she was too good to give him her full attention, had acted distracted and sullen to the point of being annoying. When he balled his fist and punched her ... it had felt *good*.
The pink cast, courtesy of the hospital chief, had been less than good. He had taken it in stride, mocking the chief, pretending not to care. It definitely hampered his options and slowed him down, but it had also paved the way for him to meet Jenny. Jenny was a hooker and he had told her all about Dr. Torres and the hearing. They had cased the hospital together and when they saw Dr. Torres and the red haired woman leave one day, they had followed.
The plan to slam into Torres’ car had been Jenny’s idea. She claimed to have seen it in a movie so they quickly hotwired two automobiles and carried out their ill conceived plan. Jenny drove just ahead of Dr. Torres and when he saw her pass through the intersection, he gunned the SUV and slammed into her. Of course, he wasn’t going fast enough to do any real damage and it infuriated him to think he had wasted his time carrying out such a lame attempt.
Jenny died that night.
It had been *her* idea.
A couple of days later, he saw a blurb in the newspaper about a man with a pink cast being sought for the hit and run attack on two doctors and he left Seattle within the hour.
Mack returned to New York, knowing instinctively that Dr. Torres would return for the trial. Fortune favored the brave, he found, and when he brazenly called the hospital, the twit on the other end of the line had given him plenty of information on where Callie would be staying. He arrived at the brownstone early in the day and was pleased to note that it sat empty. Wearing coveralls and a baseball cap, he carried a flashlight and a bag over his should as he slipped into the backyard. He was inside the crawl space and checking for a secondary entrance within moments. Most of New York’s buildings are old and many of the brownstones had been equipped with cellars. The cellars could easily been accessed through hatch in the floor, usually concealed by a throw rug. He was pleased to note that this house was no exception to that rule. Within moments, he had worked his way inside the building and quickly got a feel for the lay of the land.
He knew that there were guards in tow. Torres came from millions and he had seen the apartment building she had moved into swarming with armed men. As he returned to the cellar, he was careful to make sure that the small rug concealed the hatch once again. He had already found the perfect hidey-hole in the dank, musky, rat infested place. A sizeable trunk rested in one corner and when he finally heard a car pull to a stop in front of the building, he smiled and crawled inside.
Mack was, after all, a patient man and he knew that good things come to those who wait.
Callie hung up the phone and sighed. There was still no real change in Harold’s condition and she was worried. Infection was an unfortunate risk that ran hand in hand with surgery. Sometimes a person’s body could handle it and sometimes it couldn’t. She sat down on the bed and ran a brush through her hair as she thought about it. The human body was a miracle rivaled only by the human spirit. Callie figured if Harold had one half the spirit that George had, he would pull through.
George had a ton of spirit. George had so much spirit, so much heart, that he had offered to fly out that night to be with her. She had declined of course, but it had touched her so much that she started to cry and then felt instantly guilty when he insisted that he come. It had taken effort on her part, but she calmed down enough to tell him that it was just her nerves and that she wasn’t upset that he had stayed behind. They had talked for over an hour and when she hung up, she felt even more determined to speak at the hearing and then close that door forever. She had a life to get on with.
She grinned like an idiot when she scrolled through the photos on her phone and stopped on one of George. She had taken it while he wasn’t looking at Calliope’s Garden. He really couldn’t sit a horse very well. It was adorable.
Addison walked into the bedroom, took one look at Callie, and said, "What?"
"Your face! You look like ..."
"I’m in love?"
"I was going to say gassy."
Addison helped her turn down the cover on the bed and slipped between the sheets. They had put fresh linens on it, but even the fresh linens had taken on a musty smell. "Maybe we should have stayed at a hotel."
"This place is fine." Callie had already changed into her gown and had freshened up in the bathroom before she called George. She slipped in beside Addison and said, "You better not be a cover hog."
"I probably am. Do you snore?"
"I don’t know. It’s been a long time since I stayed awake all night to find out."
"You’re so weird."
Callie smoothed the cover over her legs and lay back, closing her eyes. "You’re the one who dated a guy who bleached your bed."
"You slept with him too!"
"Yeah, about that!" Callie kept her eyes closed. "I firmly believe that if you never speak it out loud it ceases to be true."
"Whatever!" Addison reclined against the headboard, flipping her magazine open. "What’s a four letter word for sex."
"In your case? Alex." Callie opened one eye. "What the hell kind of crossword is that?"
"Mark had a hidden dirty magazine stash. He ‘accidentally’ left it out so I would find it, I’m sure." Addison chewed the lid of the pen. "Oh! Mate!"
Callie sat up, taking one of the magazines from the pile. She opened to the centerfold and gasped. "What the - is she blowing bubbles with her - I don’t even want to know."
Intrigued, Addison took it from her and studied the image. "Bubbles aside ... what the hell is wrong with her breasts? Her nipples are practically rubbing her chin they’re so high."
"You know, looking at crap like this is what inspired Sloan to go into plastic surgery. If this is the best that they can do, then someone had to freakin’ improve upon it."
"I’m sure he just read the articles." Addison handed her the magazine again and picked up her own, returning to the crossword puzzle. "Did you unpack your dress for tomorrow?"
"Yeah. I can’t believe Chloe picked it out. It’s totally beautiful."
"Chloe has some amazing taste. I really loved the Prada shoes she had on at dinner. She’s stylish as hell."
"I’ve never cared for designer labels." Callie shrugged and turned the page on the magazine, wrinkling her nose. She closed it and put it back in the pile. "Or skin mags."
Addison concentrated on the puzzle, then glanced down at her, pushing her glasses up on her nose. "Are you ready for tomorrow?"
Callie shrugged a little. "When I’m not thinking about it I’m definitely ready for it. When I start thinking about it ... I get the urge to slip into a coma."
"It’s going to be over before you know it. Right?"
"And then we go home and you start working on that happily ever after that you told me about."
"True, that." Callie picked up her phone again and set her alarm for eight a.m. the following morning. "Addy?"
"I get that you’re trying to titillate your senses, but I’m exhausted and the light is not my friend."
"What are you ... a gremlin? Bright light! Bright light!"
"Addison! Stop with the eighties pop culture!"
"Fine!" Addison dumped the magazines off the side of the bed and turned the light off. She flopped down next to Callie and said, "But the eighties were fun. Hair bands, leg warmers, slouch socks and ... wait for it ... the Rubik’s Cube!"
"Yet you didn’t know what an Atari was."
"I was just kidding about that."
"Callie!" Addison whispered, shaking her friend. "Callie! Wake up!"
Callie sprang upward in the bed and Addison clapped her hand over her mouth. "Shhh! Listen."
Both women held their breath. The unmistakable sounds of the stairs creaking caused both of their eyes to widen. Callie slipped out of the bed quickly, grabbing the watch from the bedside table. She pressed the button. Then pressed it a second time for good measure. "Give me your crutch," she whispered.
Addison fumbled for it as quietly as she could, grateful that the streetlamps outside were in working order. The room was illuminated enough to see. She handed Callie one of her crutches and kept one for herself. She used that one to support her weight as she climbed from the bed. The creaking had stopped, but as she listened, she heard the familiar squeak of the master bedroom door being pushed open. The optimistic part of her psyche attempted to point out that it was probably Miles and Carter, but no ... they had maintained that they were staying in the car. Her second thought was the rat, which was more appealing than the final option.
Because if it wasn’t a rat ... then the Pink Prowler was just a few feet away.
Callie caught her eye and reached for the door knob. Addison frantically flapped her hands, imploring her not to open it.
In the end, Addison got her wish.
The door was kicked open, slamming into Callie and knocking her off her feet. Addison watched in horror as her friend hit the wall and slid into the floor. The unmistakable flash of pink, from the cast on the man’s arm, caught her eye and Addison raised the crutch above her head and slammed it down on his head as he reached for Callie’s prone form. He grunted and stumbled and Addison screamed at the top of her lungs, bringing the crutch down again and again.
Callie fought hard to regain her breath, which had been knocked out of her. It took mere seconds, but Callie felt like it was an eternity before she finally regained her footing and picked up the crutch beside her. She joined Addison, both of them pounding the man. "You son of a bitch!" Callie growled.
"Hit him some more!" Addison shouted.
Callie’s crutch bent, the metal warping slightly from the force, so she reared back and kicked the man, hard. He grabbed her leg and tried to bite it. Addison reached down and slapped his face before he could, then she drove the rubber stopper from the crutch into his mouth. "Bite on that, asshole!"
Callie would have laughed if she wasn’t having a nervous breakdown. She landed a nasty blow on his face and he rolled onto his stomach, trying to shield his head from the blows that Addison was still raining on him. Callie seized the opportunity to grab his uninjured arm. Her profession was to set bones and she did it well. She also broke them with the same ease. Twisting his arm, she heard the distinctive ‘pop’ and when he began to scream, she stepped away from him and grabbed Addison’s before she could hit him again.
"Did you break his arm?" Addison asked, breathless from the fight.
"Oh my god, Callie!"
"He had it coming!" Callie flipped the light on. She stared down at the man, then rolled him onto his back and drove her fist into his gut. "Who are you?"
"Screw you!" he bellowed, cradling his newly broken arm to his chest. "You fucking psycho."
"You’re one to talk!" Callie growled. She yanked on his hair until he willingly sat up against the wall.
Addison saw the knife that the man had dropped a few inches away and used her crutch to slide it further away. "Callie-"
Furious, Callie leaned down and gripped the man’s head. She slammed it back against the wall twice, until he yelped in pain. "I’m going to break your neck if you don’t tell me who you are. I mean it!"
"I’m your worst nightmare!" he spat, blood from his mouth splattering the front of Callie’s gown. "What you did ... the lies you told to land my brother in jail --"
"Your brother? Roy Porter is your brother?"
"Yes, he is," Mack told her, his eyes flashing angrily. "And he told me all about you."
"Funny," Callie replied. "He never mentioned *you*, you worthless piece of shit!"
Addison grabbed the watch and hit the alarm again. For good measure, she called 911 from Callie’s phone and took a few steps away to talk to the operator. She kept her eyes on Callie and the man, however.
Mack glared at her. "They can put me in jail, lady. But I’ll get out again. I always get out. And when I do-"
Callie twisted his neck hard enough to make him scream. Addison almost dropped the phone as she struggled to pull Callie away from him. "Stop, Callie! That’s enough!"
"Did you kill Molly? Did you!?" Callie screamed at him.
"No!" Mack shouted, tears blurring his eyes. His arm throbbed, but not nearly as bad as his pride. Two women ... he had been bested by two good for nothing women! "I didn’t have to! She couldn’t live with her lies anymore!"
"We didn’t lie!" Callie shouted, reaching for him again. He kicked out at her, landing a decent shot to her thigh and it infuriated her to the point of seeing red. She turned, grabbed her purse, and pulled the small can of mace from it. "I know you’re already down and are too pathetic to move, but breathe deep, dickhead!"
She sprayed him straight in the face, not stopping until the can was discharged of all the liquid inside. While he screamed and writhed on the ground, she landed a kick so hard between his legs that testicle retrieval would likely be needed.
By the time the guards decided to take the alarm seriously ... Callie was sitting on the bed ... hoping very much that Roy Porter’s brother would die from lack of oxygen.
The police arrived and removed Mack Porter, who had dissolved into a blubbering mess as he lamented his failure at killing Callie to anyone who would listen. Miles and Carter were both positively distraught over the fact that they had ignored the distress signal. Miles muttered something about ‘crying wolf’ and Carter offered to go buy beer. Addison seemed to enjoy reading them the riot act and when she told them to fly home on their own, she was so impressively pissed off that the burly guards practically ran from the brownstone.
Callie laughed at that long and hard, until eventually the laughter gave way to tears and she retreated to the bathroom for over an hour. In her mind, she had taken what comfort she could in the fact that Molly may not have killed herself after all. As barbaric and cruel as it sounded, the idea that Molly had been a victim once again was easier to swallow than Molly giving up, giving in. Molly had never really given in before. She rose above everything that had happened and made the most of what she was left with. She had no hands, but Callie never doubted for one second that the girl could touch the world.
Addison knocked a couple of times, but Callie hadn’t replied. She hadn’t been able to form words at all. Sometimes the air that filled your lungs was a very bitter thing to take in.
When Callie finally emerged, Addison was sitting on the top stair. Her backside ached from the extended wait, but she had been hell bent to remain close to Callie. Except for the few minutes she had taken to call Alex, who promised to call George, she had remained steadfast in her vigil outside the door.
Addison struggled to get to her feet and Callie helped her. "Your crutches are probably demolished," Callie told her.
"I’ll buff out."
Addison hugged her. "It’s over. It’s really over now."
"Is it?" Callie walked back into the bedroom and sat down.
"It will be soon." Addison used the crutch that hadn’t been bent to support her weight as she joined her friend.
"I’ll probably just have to come back and testify to put this guy in jail!"
"On the plus side ... I’ll have to be there, too."
"You were shocked that I broke his arm. Weren’t you?"
"Well, you did take an oath to use your powers for *good*, but shit happens."
"That’s exactly what Alex said to me the other day."
"We even think alike." Addison smiled. "Do you have something prepared to say today?"
Callie glanced at the clock. It was just after five a.m. and the hearing was mere hours away. "Not so much."
"You didn’t write anything down? Because I could proofread it or offer suggestions. I dunno. I could help."
Callie shook her head. "If I just read something it’s not going to matter. I have to really say it."
"Are you sure? We could make index cards or something so that you make sure you hit all the high parts."
Callie grinned a little. "You were that girl in high school, weren’t you? The one with the perfect notes? The first one to raise your hand in class. A total Hermione Granger."
"HOW ARE WE EVEN FRIENDS!?"