Kevin called for an officer to escort Anna to the police station while he and Scott and Monica raced to the hospital. There wasn’t a clear sequence of events but from what Kevin pieced together Anthony went to the office looking for Anna, by now he’d figured out a way past the security guards. Once upstairs, he ran into Willow in the hall…she didn’t know who he was but their brief interaction left her terrified. She went to the elevator and pressed the button, signaling a ‘ding’ just in case he was listening…she then ran down a flight of stairs and alerted a security guard who then called for backup and the police.

Willow couldn’t wait, she had to help Sharon. Against the security guard’s orders she ran back upstairs. The office door was open and Anthony, beaten and bloodied, stood kicking Sharon in the stomach. Willow jumped him from behind and tore at his already blackened eyes, giving Sharon enough time to catch her breath. Anthony flung Willow off and delivered a blow to her face.

Anthony must’ve heard the security guards approaching because he took his eyes off of the ladies…they rallied and jumped his ass. It took all five guards to pull them off of him.

Most of the damage Sharon suffered was a result of being kicked: Two broken ribs and a bruised kidney while Willow walked away with a broken jaw, both suffered several lacerations which they compared carefully at the hospital. Sharon couldn’t breathe much less laugh but she tried to keep her spirits high for Willow’s sake. But, by the time Grant and Mr. Fitz arrived, the pain medication had given up the ghost and she was in agony.

Something snapped when Grant saw Sharon lying in the hospital bed. The doctors warned him of the state he’d find her in; however, when he rounded the corner to her room, she wasn’t as battered as he imagined. Her left cheek was bruised and swollen as was her eye and lip. The black and blue marks were so numerous that his beautiful fiancé vaguely resembled a Dalmatian, or at least that was her assertion. The bruising was superficial compared to the broken ribs and soreness which plagued her entire body.

“Where is Mr. Fitz?” Sharon strained to ask Grant when he sat at her bedside.

“He’s outside on the phone with my mother. She’ll be here shortly. My father is out of the country.” He surveyed her face. “How are you feeling?” he asked Sharon, which caused her to roll her eyes. “That bad, huh?”

Again she rolled her eyes and asked, “Willow. Did you see Willow?”

“I’m having her moved next door so we can keep an eye on the both of you.”

“Thank you,” she cringed. “Babe, it hurts so badly.”

His heart broke, he wanted to touch her but the doctors advised against it. “I know it does.”

“We kicked his ass,” Sharon gave a weak smile.

Grant laughed. “Yes, you did. I don’t think he’ll ever touch another woman again.” His laugh tapered off and he sighed sorrowfully seeing her in distress. “I love you, Sharon.”


Dr. and Mrs. Greene met Anna at the police station. Lord knows she needed their support as she gave the officers her account of Anthony’s activities and purposely droned on in hopes of seeing him in passing. She wanted to look him straight in the eye and give him a piece of her mind. She wanted him to see her resolve, she wasn’t afraid of him anymore. It was true, what Mrs. Greene once told her: You can only kick a dog for so long; eventually he’s going to bite you.

Anna couldn’t wait to show her teeth.

After being released from the hospital and being processed, Anthony arrived for questioning under heavy security. Cuffed, shackled and beaten, Anna stared straight through him as if he were a perfect stranger—given his pitiful state of emaciation he looked strange. He in no way resembled the man she’d fallen in love with and she didn’t feel an ounce of grief…not the smallest amount of guilt for what she was about to do to him. He deserved what was coming to him. He’d terrorized her and her loved ones, people she depended upon, who reached out to help her when she didn’t have a pot to piss in. The man she loved was dead and it was time to do away with the miserable wretch who’d taken his place even if it jeopardized her own freedom in the process. 


Joy and Mrs. Fitz met Mrs. Ellis at the airport and were en route to the hospital when Joy received a call from their office building manager requesting someone from Cara meet with them immediately; they had a few questions. Boiling with anger, Joy instructed the driver to change route and head to their office. She called and gave Kevin the change of plan seeing neither Monica nor Scott answered their phones.

Kevin found it rather unorthodox that they’d contact her when there was an ongoing police investigation; if anything, he figured they would close ranks pending an inquiry. He didn’t voice his concerns. Nonetheless, he sent one of his men to meet Joy at the building and make a detailed record of the conversation.

As soon as Mrs. Ellis stepped from the car and caught a glimpse of the name engraved on the buildings’ placard, Morton-Bedford, she understood why Joy had been called. They do act fast, don’t they? She laughed to herself. She waited for Mrs. Fitz, Joy and the officer to busy themselves with the buildings’ management, who were out in full force, and then she sneaked off to use the phone.

“Barry,” she said confidently to their family attorney. “Tell me what you know about Morton-Bedford.” 


Unable to speak, Willow glanced around the room at her friends and family, some of which she hadn’t seen in months. In many ways her inability to speak was a good thing; she actually listened to her father without the dreadful need to reply and in her drug induced fog his pointless dribbling made perfect sense. Her father had a knack for pulling everyone together in times of crisis and his stories and cheerful manner was exactly what everyone needed. She heard the commotion coming from Sharon’s room when Scott, Monica and Kevin arrived and collapsed against her pillows. She smiled to herself. She may not have won Scott’s heart but she had plenty to be thankful for.

Paul, her older brother, was congratulating her on her victory when Scott came through the door. Paul introduced him to everyone while Willow flagged him down. She hastily scribbled a message on a small white board given to her by the nurse to communicate—it was one step up from using carrier pigeons but what other choice did she have. She thrust the message at Scott, it read:

“Don’t start! I’m fine. I would’ve done it for anyone. Take your guilt elsewhere.”

Scott looked up at her smiling. She fanned him away playfully and took back her board.

“Thank you,” Scott said.

“How’s Sharon?” she wrote.

“She’s hurting. Monica is with her now. How are you?”

“I’ve been better. We kicked ass!”

Scott laughed. “So, I’ve heard.” He sat on the bed facing her. “Seriously, thank you. If you hadn’t been there who knows what would’ve happened. Wait!” he perked up. “Why were you there?”

Willow sighed and flopped her limp hand back and forth and frowned which meant it was a long story, too much to write. Hopefully Sharon had come up with a believable lie because she was fresh out. Thank goodness her jaw was wired shut.

“Thanks all the same.” Scott kissed her forehead.

Her feelings for him remained but the knot of desperation which besieged her gut grew a little less intense with his kiss. She no longer pretended to see some glimmer of hope in his actions; she took them for what they were…nothing more than friendship.

And his kiss was the first step to getting on with her life.

“What I’m trying to understand is what Willow was doing in the office.” Monica said to Sharon and Grant.

Again, Sharon rolled her eyes.

“It had something to do with Dr. Greene’s retirement party,” Grant answered with the same lie Sharon had served him before her medicine kicked in. “She’s on the planning committee and stopped by the office on her way home.”

“I bet she never saw it coming.”

“Apparently not, but, like Sharon said, they kicked ass.” He grinned at Sharon who was now fast asleep.

When Joy, Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Fitz arrived Kevin excused himself, giving the family their privacy and seeing the icy glances passed between Grant and his mother, he figured he’d get out before the screaming began. Outside, he trekked across the street to a 24 hour convenient store for nourishment. Not that a bag of chips, a Coke and a pack of Skittles were real food but under the circumstances, they’d suffice.

Objectively speaking, Kevin was fascinated by the dynamics of Anna’s circle of friends. Their backgrounds and upbringings were night and day yet they meshed seamlessly and trusted one another without reserve. And given Anna’s current state of affairs she’d rely on them more than ever. His deduction of Grant was somewhat frayed, he couldn’t get a proper read on him. He didn’t know the guy but for a man whose fiancé was brutally attacked mere hours ago, Grant seemed placid and more concerned with Sharon than plotting a murder spree.

Kevin looked at his watch, he’d gotten wrapped up in calls from the station and before he knew it nearly an hour had slipped by unnoticed. He returned to Sharon’s room to tell everyone goodnight. No surprise, save Mrs. Ellis and the Fitz who were already gone, everyone was staying the night in the hospital. He promised to call them the next day with more information and offhandedly mentioned his concern about the building manger contacting Joy.

At this, Grant’s jaw twitched.

Rightfully, Kevin decided it was neither the play nor time to discuss ‘the look’. He said his farewells and hauled his weary bones downstairs and out of the building. A shiny black Town Car pulled to the curb and stopped in front of him.

Mrs. Ellis rolled down the window. “Can I offer you a lift to your car?” she asked.

Kevin stepped closer. “No ma’am. I’m parked just over there.” He pointed to the garage.

“You’re not parked there any longer. Get in, I’ll take you to it.”

Perplexed, he wearily reached for the car door and hadn’t taken a proper seat before the driver put the car in motion. Mrs. Ellis was amiable enough, he judged. He couldn’t imagine her having any conversation far beyond afternoon tea with the girls—however, her sophisticated Cruella de Vil demeanor told him to sit back and listen.

“How’s your case coming along?” She crossed her ankles. “I assume Anthony has been questioned.”