Ted kept pacing. He tried calling Anita but the line was switched off. If only he could speak with her, he knew he could change her mind and make her drop the charges.
“Ted!” Ted stopped and turned at the sound of his mother-in-law’s voice. He walked up to her.
“Where is she?” Mrs. Baker asked.
“In the interrogation room with two officers. My lawyer is on his way, he’ll soon be here.”
“Don’t bother; I brought mine.” A middle-aged man came up behind Mrs. Baker.
“I’m Scott Daniels,” he introduced himself, shaking hands with Ted.
“I’m Ted Bourbon; thanks for being here.”
“It’s my job. Where’s your wife?”
“In the interrogation room.”
“I’ll go ahead then,” he said and excused himself. Ted and Mrs. Baker sat.
“What happened?” She finally asked after a minute of silence.
“It all started when she found out that Allen was now seeing Anita.”
“Your Anita?” He nodded.
“Was it set up?”
“That’s what Lucia believes. He was harassing her with phone calls so she went over to confront him. Anita happened to be there, they argued and apparently, Lucia pushed her and she fell.”
“Was she bleeding when she left?”
“She doesn’t know; she left right after that. I can’t believe she’s doing this.”
“Can’t believe? I knew she’d fight back for what happened to her but I just didn’t think it would play out like this.”
“How bad can it get?”
“Not that bad; we would have to compensate her of course. Considering her deep hatred for you both, I must say, we should brace ourselves to pay an unreasonable amount.”
“That I’m ready to do,” Ted said. Mrs. Baker glanced at him.
“It is nothing compared to her dragging us all to court and causing more damage. I don’t want Lucia to get more traumatized than she has already been.”
“Fine.” A few seconds later, the door to the interrogation room opened. Scott and Lucia came out. They both got up.
“Lucia,” Ted muttered as Lucia walked into his arms. Her mother touched her hair.
“The complainant has put up a strong argument but I’m sure it will all go away with a settlement offer,” Scott suggested.
“Get on it and let me know her number,” Mrs. Baker said. She turned toward the couple and said, “Take her home and tuck her in bed. This past hour has been traumatizing enough.”
“Thanks, mum,” Lucia said gratefully and Ted led her to his car. They drove away.
“Are you okay?” Ted asked after they took off, their fingers intertwined. Lucia wiped the tears from her face with her other hand.
“I can’t believe I’m about to get a record,” she said.
“You won’t. I’ll get my lawyer on board and both of them will do everything in their power to vindicate you.”
“When will this all end? When can we be truly happy; when she has found someone else to terrorize, when she’s dead?”
“When all this has blown over, we’ll get a restraining order issued against her and we’ll be fine.”
“You really believe that?”
“We can’t lose hope, Lucia. Yes, Anita has proven to be more dangerous than either of us anticipated but together we can and we will defeat her. You just have to believe in us.” She nodded. He squeezed her hand affectionately.
“I believe in us,” she said.
They arrived home and they went straight to the bedroom.
“Take a shower, maybe?” Ted asked.
“I prefer to stay in the tub for a while.”
“Sure; I’ll get it ready.” Lucia collapsed on the bed and closed her eyes. Ted came out of the bathroom and took off her shoes.
“I think I’ll take a rain check on the tub dip. I just want to lie down,” Lucia said.
“Nah, you need it. Come on,” Ted said, taking her hands and pulling her up. He took her to the bathroom. Lucia stared at the tub whiles Ted undressed her.
“One can really do damage with this water,” Lucia remarked. Ted cast a sharp glance at her. She smiled.
“Don’t worry, I might have flight tendencies, but I’m not suicidal.”
“Good to hear.” Ted got up from his knees after taking off her skirt. Lucia began to unbutton his shirt.
“Um…what are you doing?”
“You’re going to join me…you didn’t think I was getting in alone, did you?”
“I have to clear the table…we kind of left in a rush.”
“We’ll do that later…please…you’re not going to abandon me when I’m so emotionally distressed, are you?” Lucia asked with pleading blinking eyes. Ted smiled.
“You’re taking advantage of the situation, aren’t you?”
“I’d say I’m making do with the situation.” Lucia leaned on Ted’s chest as they lay in the tub. Ted wrapped his arms around her and kissed her hair.
“What was going on in your mind when you were being taken away by the police?” Ted asked.
“Nothing; it was completely blank. No thought came to mind to make me either sad or hopeful. It was just blank. It felt surreal; like I was watching a movie. Have you heard from her?”
“Who, Anita? Nope. She’s taking this too far.”
“I killed her baby. I took this too far.”
“It was an accident.”
“She knows that but she hates me and she’ll use this to hurt me.
“Then I’ll tell her to bring it on. After all, two is better than one.” They sat quietly for a while with Ted stroking her hair.
“I’m hungry…are you hungry?”
“A little…I can’t believe I still have an appetite after what happened.”
“Anita isn’t worth losing your appetite over.”
“But her baby is.”
“Don’t feel guilty. We both wished the baby gone and now it is. Let’s just pray this all blows over soon. Would you like some pizza?”
“Pizza sounds like appropriate comfort food,” Lucia agreed. Ted attempted to get out of the tub.
“Where are you going?”
“To order it; the pizza isn’t going to get here by itself.”
“Wait for five minutes; I love being in your arms.”
“I know but we’re hungry and we need pizza.” Ted got out and wrapped a towel around himself.
They both wore bathrobes and ate the pizza in the kitchen.
“Who do you think Allen is more loyal to?” Ted asked.
“Loyal, why do you ask?”
“He’s the only witness to what happened. When push comes to shove, who do you think he’ll stick his neck out for?”
“Well, if it’s true it’s my name he screams out in orgasm, I think I’ll win,” Lucia said with a shrug.
“What?” Ted asked whiles sipping his drink, almost choking and spewing it out. Lucia laughed.
“I knew that would get to you.”
“You really want me to repeat that? The first time was a joke, second time is just wrong.”
“I’m going to kill the guy. Are you saying he’s still not over you?”
“Hello, have you seen me? I’m not the type people get over easily.”
“I’m over Anita…” Lucia gave him an ‘are-you-serious’ look.
“Are you seriously comparing me to Anita Morgan? She’s hot and forgettable and I’m sweet and addictive.”
“Good point. And I’m glad I’ve got you all to myself.” He kissed her.
The next day, Lucia went over to her parents’ abode after her mother called her to do so. Her father gave her a bear hug when she arrived.
“Hope they didn’t manhandle you, honey.”
“No, dad. They were gentle.” As they were chatting, the doorbell rang and Mrs. Baker went to open it. It was Ted’s mother.
“Thanks for calling me, dear. I’m sure these two would have kept it all to themselves and would have dug themselves a deeper pit.”
“I don’t disagree.”
“Mrs. Bourbon,” Lucia said, getting up. They hugged.
“Your mother called me and told me what happened. Why didn’t you call me?”
“It was late and it happened so fast. I was planning on telling you after we have dealt with it.”
“Dealt with it, how?”
“Ted talked of…”
“He’s not going to see her, is he?” Lucia couldn’t answer.
“Oh dear Lord…” Mrs. Bourbon took her phone and called her son.
“Ted, don’t go over to Anita’s. Come over to the Bakers’ and we’ll talk about this.”
“I’m in front of her place. I’ll be quick,” Ted said.
“No, turn around and come here. Don’t you dare enter that woman’s house.” She ended the call.
Ted put the phone down and glanced at the apartment. Anita was watching him from her window.
“I knew you would come,” she said happily to herself.
“What is he doing?” she asked herself when she heard Ted start the engine. He drove away.
Anita knocked off a photo frame onto the floor.
The two families had dinner together.
“We think extending her a settlement offer will do the trick,” Mrs. Baker asked.
“How much exactly?” Mr. Baker asked.
“Knowing the snake that she is, she would appreciate a lot of zeros so I’d say a million.”
“ A million dollars?” Lucia asked.
“Do you have a problem with that, my dear?”
“People are compensated much less for much more damage. Who knows, her womb was hostile to begin with!”
“That could be true but with such an amount, we could get her to sign a confidentiality document to keep her quiet. It is a good deal,” Ted’s mother explained.
“I think we should take it,” Ted said to Lucia.
“Okay. What if she refuses?”
“What if she does? It’s obvious it’s not the money she wants, it’s my head. What happens if she says no? Are you going to add on to the amount?”
“The amount doesn’t matter as long as this doesn’t get to court,” Ted said.
“Oh but it does. I’m not going to let that snake drain us of our money because she has us in the palm of her hand.”
“Let’s see how it goes tomorrow, shall we?”
The next day, Anita and her attorney met with Lucia, Ted, Scott and Mrs. Bourbon.
“We wouldn’t want to waste anyone’s time so we know we have to settle this quickly.”
“What’s your offer?” Anita’s attorney asked. Scott pushed a folded sheet of paper towards him. He took it and opened it. He showed it to Anita.
“No,” she said.
“In case you can’t read, that’s a million dollars, honey not a hundred thousand. Are you sure you want to forfeit that?” Ted’s mother said.
“Oh I can read perfectly and a million dollars isn’t going to cut it.”
“Why not?” Lucia asked.
“Because it wasn’t just any baby that you destroyed. It was Bourbon blood and you and I know how much that is worth. Will you sell out your child for some crumbs of a million worth?”
“It wasn’t a child. It was barely months old,” Scott said.
“And you have forgotten to add the cost of my emotional distress. Since you all very know how much emotional damage you have caused me, you should know a million dollars is not even close to all hurt you’ve caused me.”
“We are only concerned with the damage caused with the termination of your pregnancy and not of your heartbreak,” Scott clarified.
“My client has made it clear that your offer is not enough.”
“Give us your counteroffer,” Ted said.
“Ten,” Anita said.
“Ten what, ten thousand, ten hundred thousand?” Lucia asked sarcastically.
“Very funny. Ten million.”
“Ridiculous,” Ted’s mother said.
“That’s my final offer.”
“That’s an outrageous amount,” Scott said.
“Then I guess we’ll see you in court,” Anita said, getting up.
“You seriously want to take this to trial?”
“Uh huh and just so you know, when it does get there, I’ll be asking for fifteen so you better wise up.”
“Excuse us,” Anita’s attorney said and they walked out.
“That girl is crazy. I can’t believe I didn’t see it earlier. I almost forced you to marry her, Ted.”
“Yeah and I forgive you for that. What do we do now?”
“We go to trial,” Lucia said. They all stared at her.
“We have a card to play. Allen is the only key witness; I just have to make sure he’s on our side and we’ll win and the best part is that we don’t have to pay that slut a penny,” Lucia said.
“You better get to him before she does,” Ted’s mother said. She nodded. Ted sighed. Scott shrugged.
“We have a plan,” Scott said.