Chapter 11 – Is everything all right?

Bette passes me the baby and picks up her vibrating phone from the table. Angie’s been awake for a couple hours today, and while she’s starting to fade, she’s been a ton of fun. Bette and I have been playing with her on the couch and I’m finally getting a glimpse of what family life will be like when she’s more present. She is so much like Bette in her mannerisms that it kills me. If someone told me that Bette wasn’t the biological father, I’d be more shocked than if someone told me that she was. They are two peas in a pod, and it endears them both to me.

I put my feet up on the coffee table and lay Angie on my raised legs as I play with her hands. Both she and Bette grunt, one at me and the other into the phone. I smile again at how similar they are and make quiet faces at Angie. Her strange facsimile of a smile is getting better as her wide eyes look at me like I’m from another planet. She’ll figure it out any day now.

Bette puts the phone down and turns to me with a radiant smile. “That was Duffy.” I raise my eyebrow at her and she sighs contentedly before turning to the baby to continue. “She wants us to come into the station at about six o’clock tonight. They’re going to arrest them both on their way out of the Gallery.” Her smug smile constricts my heart and I feel a twitch decidedly lower.

I look away from her and play with the baby resting on my legs. I need to let that go for now. Bette’s been a little better since Doctor House laid it out there for her, but she’s not 100% yet and sex is by far the least important thing we have to deal with. I just want her so badly. I can’t help but want her. Who wouldn’t?

Bette puts her arm around my shoulders and uses her other hand to tease and tickle Angie’s stomach. Angie’s face scrunches in an awkward laugh again and we start laughing at her. “She’s almost got it…” We both stop as she joins us in a real giggle. A very real giggle. We look to each other with wide, surprised eyes and Bette tickles her tummy again. She giggles again and tears well in my eyes at the sound of it. Bette does it one more time to make sure it’s not a fluke and Angie doesn’t disappoint.

Bette turns her doe-eyed gaze of innocent wonder on me and I’m lost. I lean in and kiss her before we both lean in to kiss our daughter and pull giggle after wonderful giggle from her with wide eyes, hearts, smiles, and joy.


Bette and I walk into the police station and Duffy motions for us from the restricted area behind the counter. We approach her and she smiles brightly. “They’re en route in one of the squad cars. Should be here any time now. I wanted to thank you for that information, both of you. I’ve been trying to get something to stick to her for a while.” Bette frowns and Duffy seems to be considering something. “Did she mention anything to you about her late husband?”

I raise an incredulous eyebrow and Bette’s eyes go wide. “Late?”

Duffy nods her head and says, “What?”

Bette stutters but manages to get the words out. “Um… she, she told me that they divorced. How did he die?”

Duffy’s eyes go dark again and I can see a lifetime of painful stories play across her face. Her eyes meet my own and she softens as she opens her mouth to speak only to be cut off.

“You have no fucking right to do this! Do you have any idea who I am, who you’re dealing with?!”

We all turn our heads to see Leo and Kelly with a full entourage of policemen. They’re both handcuffed and being escorted to the holding facility just past the area we’re standing in now. Leo has his head down and won’t meet our eyes as he’s escorted past. I hear Bette murmur, “Fucking coward.” I smile up at her sadly and stroke her back.

The office goes very quiet and I turn to see Kelly standing right in front of us, staring at us in openmouthed shock. “It was you…”

Bette squares her shoulders and steps in front of me and the baby as she stares Kelly in the eye. I don’t know how she does it. I can see the insane crazy behind the almost too wide orbs without looking deeply for it. It’s disconcerting enough from a distance. “If you’re referring to me turning you in to the police, then yes. If you’re blaming me for your current perdicament… well, I’m sure when you’re stable enough, they’ll eventually let you have a cell with a mirror.”

Kelly smiles an insane smile that stretches her lips to an unnatural degree. Even the line of her teeth appears unnaturally longer. “You should have just said, ‘yes,’ Bette…”

Bette eyes her like she’s forgotten her meds, which may not be too far from the truth. “Or what, you’ll kill me like you did Deke?” I look up at Bette shocked and Duffy smirks. I shake my head. This is worse than I thought.

Her smile doesn’t falter at all but she furrows her brows low over her gleaming, wide, wild eyes as she seems to consider something. Some obtuse thought snaps awkwardly together and she laughs as the policemen drag her away fighting.

Duffy calls out to Kelly’s escort, “Williams…” A black woman with hardened but kind features and a severe ponytail turns to her. “Put her in solitary and keep her under suicide watch.”

The woman nods her head curtly and says, “Yes, Lieutenant.”

She turns to start walking again when Duffy calls out, “And Tasha, good job for your first bust.” The woman doesn’t turn but I can faintly see the hint of a smile as she continues to drag Kelly away.

Bette meets my gaze and I wonder how she figured out that Kelly killed Deke. Duffy wonders as well because she asks, “How did you piece that together?”

Bette smiles a sad smile. “What other reason would you ask about him and want to nail her to the wall so badly. You were homicide…”

Duffy smirks. “You should go through the academy.”

Bette furrows her brows indignately. “Thank you, but no.”

Duffy chuckles and says, “Well, with the evidence you supplied the DA, I doubt they’ll need much more than a witness statement. Either way, we’ll be in touch to let you know.” Bette shakes Duffy’s hand and we both thank her. I walk ahead of Bette and beat feet for the exit. I don’t want my daughter in this place any longer than she already has been. Bette pushes the door open for us and smiles at me. I think she’s on the same wavelength.

Continued in Chapter 12 – Yes. Everything’s all right.

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