Marissa stepped onto the street, emerging from the boutique at midtown. She had accomplished everything she had set out to do and neither her husband nor her devil of a son knew anything about it. Nor would they. Wycross had seen to it that none of the city’s police force knew that she’d come into the station. Not even the Commissioner knew, nor the chief. But, then, the sheriff had always been good at hiding the real evidence from the city boys.
He hadn’t trusted the City’s police force since he learned who had bought the majority of them off. That had been over two decades ago. But with the evidence that Marissa had just given him, she knew he could take down the whole department. She also knew that he had proof that Toffer could no longer bribe the police. Hell. She had given him a list of officers and officials that were under Toffer’s command.
She smiled. She felt as if a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. If she could have, she would have fled into shadows never to be seen or heard from again. But that wasn’t possible. She had to make Toffer and Toby believe that she knew nothing of what was about to take place.
She was sure that she could hide her involvement. But how well? And for how long? Toby was a weasel. He could find out almost anyone’s dirty little secrets.
That was how he manipulated so many girls and was able to force them to do things. But, then, he had learned from the best. Toffer had been the same way. She shook her head.
Had been? He still was. He was still the conniving, blackmailing, violent ass he had always been. Only fatter and uglier.
She snickered, in spite of herself when she thought of how toad-like Toffer had become. How fitting it was, for such an evil man, to become a warty old toad. Too bad he didn’t come down with a sudden attack of conscience. But, then, that would be asking too much of someone who’d never had a conscience.
She shrugged. No matter. Things were about to get interesting. She couldn’t wait to see what happened next.
Wycross stood across from Michael, the recordings and files from Marissa’s visit in his hands. “I need you to hold on to some new evidence, Mike. Seems even Marissa French is willing to step forward. It is no secret what Toffer did to her. It was just a shame he got away with it and the fear he put into her that made her marry his worthless ass.”
Michael nodded. “True. Yes, I’ll hold onto the evidence.”
The sheriff looked at him. “Have you heard back from Washington?”
Michael nodded. “Yes. Everything is proceeding as planned.”
Wycross smiled. “Good. That son of a bitch needs to be taken down. Along with his minions in our state and city government.”
Michael smiled. “True. But one step at a time. We can’t get the politicians on anything except corruption. And we can’t really get them on that yet. We have to take out Toffer before the rest will fall.”
Wycross nodded. “I understand.”
Toffer looked up to find Toby standing in front of him. “What the heel do you want?” He croaked.
Toby frowned. “I want satisfaction.”
Toffer’s eyes narrowed. “I thought I told you you weren’t allowed in here.”
Toby sneered. “I do as I please, Pops. You know that.”
Toffer hit his desk. “One of these days, boy, you’re gonna get yerself hurt.”
Toby shrugged. “I don’t care. I want satisfaction.”
Toffer didn’t blink. “What d’ya think this is, a duel to the death? Satisfaction. Hmmmph.”
Toby stood his ground. “I want something done about the 47 after what they did to me. You owe me.”
Toffer’s brow furled. “I owe you nothing, boy. As for the 47, ain’t nobody can do a damn thing about them hoods. They are nobodies. Will never amount to a hill of beans.”
Toby allowed his anger to show. “Well, then, you need to do something about yer slut. She just decided to go out.”
Toffer moved fast for a fat man. His arm suddenly lashed out and the back of his hand caught Toby up side the head. “You better show respect fer yer mother.”
It was not the first time his father had hit him. But this time, it had been the hardest. It would leave a bruise. Toby preferred his father’s acid tongue to his backhands. At least words didn’t physically hurt.
Toby turned and left the room. Toffer was known for his violence. Even Toby knew of his violence. He had felt the losing end of it more than once.
The punches, the kicks, the slaps, the backhands–they all left their mark. At least the verbal assaults didn’t leave anything physical behind. But the hits and kicks, they always left something behind. Broken arms. Broken legs. Broken ribs.
Those all took time to heal. But he never healed mentally. Not really. The more pain inflicted, the more cruel he became. Maybe his mother had the right idea.
He went back to his room to think. Down below, he heard the door open. His mother was home. For once, he didn’t care where she had gone or what she’d done.
Marissa returned home at eight. Toffer was still in his study and Toby was still in his room. No doubt Tobias had told his father of her having left. But it didn’t matter. Not anymore.
Toffer could do anything he liked to her now. Except kill her. Every bruise, from this point on, would just add to the mounting evidence against him. And she hoped he made a few. She wanted desperately to put him away. But the only way would be to show the world what kind of monster he really was. She smiled.
It was finally time. Toffer would pay for his deeds. Michael Morrow would see to that. She went back out to the pool and sat in her favorite chair, a smile of contentment spreading on her lips.