I was totally shocked by how involved I had been with the Irishman. I had to wonder, was it a software change, or was I evolving somehow. It did not matter one bit to me, which it was. The only thing important to me was how wonderful it had felt. I know what a cliche it is. but I had felt really alive during the experience. Maybe I felt that way for the first time, since I died. There I said it. I had died when they took my memories. It was the price I paid for eternal life.
It had been so good with the Irishman that I didn’t even mind that he had most likely gone from my bed to the realty whore Kate;s bed. It was possible that I had been second and he was coming from hers. Damn I was just so damn cynical.
When the sun came up, the droopy feeling left me and I felt amazingly relaxed, not that I ever got nervous. Hell I had all kinds of, almost, new feelings running through me since that last visit to the farm. Of course I wondered what they had done to me, but I knew it was a waste of time to ask. I was their Manhattan project, double, super, top secret.
Sylvia told to expect the new client at ten, so I got an early start on the day. I was at Helen’s by 7:20 AM. and it had been a chilly bike ride that early. Not to me, but to anyone else it would have seemed so. I could see the looks of sympathy on the faces of the cops, firemen, and paramedics as I came in holding the bike helmet.
“Tell me your truck is broke down Max, I don’t want to believe you are dumb enough to ride that bike on a day like this,” one of the police sergeants suggested.
“Hey, I have to keep my girlish figure somehow,” I said with a smile.
“You are too skinny already Maxine, you look like a teenage boy,” one of his buddies remarked.
“I do that, for that little bit of pervert in all you guys,” I said with a grin.
“I don’t know about the rest of these guys, but I like a little meat on my women,” another one said.
“Now you tell me damn it. Well this morning I am going to have the giant cinnamon roll breakfast,” I said. “That’s start on the new ‘fattening of Maxine’ project.” I said.
The giant cinnamon roll breakfast was just that. One giant iced cinnamon roll with coffee and orange juice. The cake in Helen’s cinnamon roll wasn’t white or even white with a hint of yellow. The damn thing had so many eggs, and so much butter, it was absolutely the color of butter. The icing somehow was hard enough to be a candy all by itself. Helen had admitted to me once, that the recipe came from the file of recipes she had bought from the mill’s caterer’s daughter. The cinnamon buns had to be able to withstand being rolled around on a snack cart all day, and still be something that the mill workers wanted to buy at the end of the third shift. They were a complete meal, even it was a heart attack wrapped in wax paper.
For the new ‘sugar at any cost’ me, it was absolutely perfect. That and the bitter black coffee, which I had taught Helen to make, was the ideal new breakfast for me. After the breakfast I was on what could only have been a sugar high, if I got those kinds of feelings any more.
I went from Helen’s to the mall for a quick walk. Not really a quick walk, it was more like a short walk. I didn’t mind cutting it short, since the really old fogies were walking around. When I lapped the same guy twice, I knew it was time to leave.
So I was back home drinking the thick day old black coffee, when she came. She knocked on my front door, so I got a good look at her even before I opened it. She was not as thin as me, but still thin. Unlike me she had beautiful blond hair poking from under a head scarf. It was thick and well done I could tell even from the small amount showing. She wore large dark glasses as well as the scarf. At first I thought it was to hide her identity, however once she got inside, I knew that it was because both her eyes were bruised.
“You must be Lydia?” I suggested.
“Yes and you are Maxine Stone of course. I am so glad that you agreed to see me. I really have nowhere else to go,” she said.
“First of all, how did you get those injuries?” I asked.
“When I asked my husband for a divorce, he went crazy.” she said.
“Did you go to the hospital?” I asked.
“Yes I did. I filed a police report as well, but I’m sure it never got into the system,” she said almost sadly. She seemed to have given up.
“Oh why is that?” I asked.
“My husband is Harold Timmons,” she said. When she saw that it didn’t mean anything to me, she added, “Superior court judge Timmons.”
“Ah the good old boy network in action. Did you file a restraining order?” I asked.
“I called all over town yesterday, no lawyer will take my case,” she informed me.
My logic circuit kicked in. “Lydia how far are you willing to take this?” I asked
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“Are you willing to destroy him in order to get away?” I asked.
“He will kill me, if I attack him,” she said.
“No, he won’t kill you, but he will find a thug to give it a try most likely. I can find a couple of thugs to prevent that from happening. First, we have to take his power away, before we can really protect you. So I ask you again, how far are you willing to go?” I repeated.
“I will do whatever it takes to be free and stay alive,” she said honestly. I could tell from her body language that she was being perfectly honest.
“So where are you staying?” I asked.
“In a motel,” she said.
“We will be moving you. It is too easy to find you in a motel. He will have his cop buddies on it by now.” I said.
“I know this won’t be cheap, but I will do anything, pay anything to be free,” she said turning on the fire hose.
I let her cry it out before I called Jennifer. “I want to talk to your boss and I want to talk to her now.” I said to Edsel who answered Jennifer’s private number.
“Yes Ma’am, Ms Stone,” Edsel said.
“What the hell did you say to Edsel, she is as pale as a ghost?” Jennifer said seriously.
“I am not in the mood for bullshit this morning. Do you know Judge Harold Timmons?” I asked.
“Sure, everyone knows Harold,” she answered.
“Are you in his pocket?” I asked.
“You know better. I’m in no one’s pocket. Now before I take offense and hang up, what the hell are you really asking? she said.
“I have his wife here. She has been beaten and she wants a divorce. She is afraid the police report, she filed Sunday night, is going to go missing. She thinks that, because so far no lawyer will take her case. She came to me looking for a body guard, but I can’t help her until we strip that fuck of his power. So are you in or out?” I asked.
“You are asking a lot, but bring her over here and we will talk. Do it now Maxine, before I come to my senses,” Jennifer demanded.
I rode to Jennifer’s office in Lydia’s Mercedes. Once we were there she went back to talk to Jennifer alone. I sat in the reception room with yet another new receptionist. Edsel put in an appearance. I half expected her to demand an apology, but she seemed to be sufficiently cowered to just look at me, then leave.
Jennifer called me back after about twenty minutes alone with Lydia. “So here is how we get this fuck. First I file a restraining order based on the incident Sunday night. I did manage to find the police report after I explained that there were hospital workers who would not fear the good judge. Ones who would testify not only to her condition, but also to the fact that the police took a report. The Tryon chief’s office came up with the report in five minutes. He was probably looking at it, while he spoke with me.
Next I spoke with a friend of yours from TV 3, She is going to do an interview with Lydia as part of a piece on domestic violence.” Jennifer said smiling at us both.
“My aren’t you the little dynamo?” I asked.
“Well you have to do an interview with her as well. I promised you would talk about your part in domestic violence giving tips on how to avoid it.” she informed me.
“What the fuck do I know about avoiding domestic violence?” I asked.
“Who cares you give good interview, as she said to me,” Jennifer added.
“Now until that cocksucker resigns his job in disgrace, you keep my new client safe. By the way you are working for me, so you are covered under the very large privilege umbrella.” It was the smile of the cat who ate the canary that Jennifer flashed at me at the end of the meeting.
“This is not going to be cheap, but it will be fun,” I suggested as we went out the door.
On the smarter than smart phone I placed a call to Jerrod. “Hey there are you bored yet?” I asked.
“I am so bored you would not believe it.” he said.
“I want you to be Kevin Costner for a few days,” I suggested.
“Who am I going to be?” he asked obviously confused.
“A body guard for a few days till we pull the teeth of a sitting judge,” I said.
“Now that sounds painful, but fun, Where do I meet you?” he asked
“For now meet me at my place. We are going to have to wait for Sylvia to find a safe house.” I admitted.
“Be there in half an hour,” he said.
“I think I can keep her safe that long,” I suggested. I made another phone call when I finished with Jerrod. “Vlad how do you feel about fucking up a judge?”
“Oh my, I do love that thought. It will be great fun, but will I make enough for a bottle of good Russian vodka?” he asked.
“Not if you want to fly to Moscow to pick it up. We can probably use Anya as well. Simon is taking the first watch. I will have him call you when he needs to take a break.” I said into the phone.
“Fair enough, I don’t want to work all that hard anyway,” he said.
When that call ended, I turned to Lydia. “Now listen up, if you know any really nasty shit on the Judge, he will be after you big time. It might be more than a couple of slaps with his open hand, so prepare yourself for the worst.”
“I don’t want to destroy him, I just want to get away from him,” she said.
“Sweetie, that face of yours tells me you are going to have to destroy him to get away. Whether you use it or not, just knowing shit on him is going to have him coming after you big time. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t think so.” I said.
“I consider myself very lucky to have met Sylvia Sunday night. This could have gone so wrong otherwise.” she said.
“How did you meet Sylvia,” I asked.
“She was working at the hospital emergency room. Some kind of nursing thing, I’m not really sure.” she said.
It must have something to do with her school, I thought. Probably getting in her practical experience part of the course. Community colleges were big on that kind of thing.
So how would you like a nice Krispy Kreme Donut and some really awful coffee?” I asked.
“I don’t usually eat that kind of thing. Harold has, or had, me on a diet constantly. Nobody wants a fat trophy wife,” she said.
“Well sweetie who gives a fuck what Harold wants now?” I asked.