Guilty – (sequel to Rollercoaster)



“We find the defendant guilty on all counts.”

Mission accomplished. I clapped. It didn’t matter now if the judge threw me out of the court for unruly behavior. We had the bitch dead to rights. Despite her best efforts, we’d won.

Gina Antonelli turned to me and if looks could kill, I would have been ashes. But they can’t, so I returned her glare unflinching and mouthed ‘for my father’, the good cop she’d taken down to get her start. She cursed and fought against the restraints. I smiled. She didn’t scare me. Not after all she’d done to keep me from delivering the star witness to court on time. The witness who’d hammered enough nails into Gina’s coffin so it looked like a sieve. The witness whom Gina had been stupid enough to piss off. The witness who had turned me inside out.

Angelica Narduchi. I remember the first time I saw her. I was drawn to the beautiful face with the cat-like green eyes and full lips. The curly hair that fell in waves down her shoulder hadn’t hurt. But it was the anger that sizzled around her that sealed the deal. I could tell she was the one who would help me bring Gina down the right way—stripped of her power and behind bars.

I didn’t know then how right I was. Angelica never complained at being cooped up with mostly me for company. Never complained about moving from place to place without a moment’s notice because another agent had been bought off. Never complained about the imminent threat of going out in a blaze of bullets. She just never complained, wearing her anger over Gina’s actions like a protective cloak.

And over time, especially the last month when we could only depend on each other, I came to respect the person she was. Trust the person she was, knowing she had my back. In the end, she was protecting me as much as I was protecting her. Maybe because of that I came to see the shades between black and white—me, who had always seen only right and wrong with nothing in between. I came to understand how she could have been a part of Gina’s world and still be a decent human being. And I came to enjoy the time spent with her. To enjoy watching the way she moved, the way she reacted, they way she was. In the end, I came to enjoy her.

But now it was over. With Gina’s conviction, it was no longer my sworn duty to keep Angelica out of harm’s way. She would be joining the witness protection program, secreted to a new life that didn’t include me. That didn’t include intense gazes from her expressive green eyes that made my blood race. That didn’t include talking and strategizing with me about Gina’s next move. That didn’t include being around me every day.

As much as I wish it didn’t, the thought of being without her hurt. Despite my best efforts, she’d gotten under my skin. Deep under. For the first time I was questioning what I wanted to do with my life and I wasn’t sure being an agent with no personal life was it. That unsettled me almost as much as she did.

I left the courtroom, absently responding to the congratulations from colleagues only to catch a glimpse of Angelica being led away by U.S. Marshals. Maybe she felt my presence for she turned around and caught my eye for a second that seemed like a lifetime. Then she was gone. No doubt on her way to the arduous journey that would lead to a new identity.

Shit! It was really over. I blew out a sharp breath, knowing it was time to let it go. Time to forget about what had never been. Hell, time to figure out what the rest of my life would be. I couldn’t go back to the way it was. Not with the driving force behind bars. Not with my thirst for justice for my father, assuaged.

With doubts swirling around my brain, I hit the only place a sane person would—the dark, smoke-filled bar around the corner from my apartment. After two drinks, I’d almost convinced myself my life wasn’t so bad. I still had a good job and a place to hang my gun. Sure I’d let the only women I’d ever gotten close to go without once giving in to the temptation she oozed with each breath. But that was a good thing. The kind of behavior expected of me. The kind of behavior I’ll look back on in thirty years and be proud of. Then why was my heart telling me it was the kind of behavior I was sure to regret?

I shook my head and signaled for another drink. I was obviously still too lucid, too coherent when all I wanted was not to think of her, of anything.

“Mind if I join you, Special Agent Washington?”

The husky voice sent shivers down my spine. She’d ditched the conservative black suit she’d worn to court for a breast-hugging tank and form-fitting jeans. Her curly hair settled about her shoulders, making me want to run my fingers through it. I could only stare and wonder if she’d been conjured up by my thoughts.

“Well, would you mind?”

Her smile, the perfect mix of sultry and amusement, hit me dead in the stomach and slid below the belt. Any lingering fuzziness was cleared from my brain. “Uh…no. Where are your handlers?”

“Guarding my room.” She settled across from me and took a sip of my drink. “I learned a lot about evasive maneuvering under your care.”

“Right.” She’d taught me as much as I’d taught her. “And you don’t think I’m the first person they’ll come to when they discover you’re gone?”

“That’s why I’d like to go someplace else,” she said, stroking my arm. “Someplace where it’s just you, me and no annoying gunfire to interrupt anything we might start.”

I wanted to scream ‘yes’. Wasn’t this what I’d been thinking as she walked out of the court house? The last shred of reason made me asked, “Why? Why me?”

“I could say it’s because you made it possible for me to take the stand and throw the last stone. And although, that meant a lot to me, I won’t lie. This has nothing to do with gratitude and everything to do with you. Your character, your integrity and your fucking hot body that’s been driving me crazy since the moment I saw you.” She let out a big sigh and playfully fanned her face. “I want you. Have wanted you from the very first time I saw you. Time spent with you has only made it worse.”

Maybe if she’d only said my hot body I might have been able to resist being with her. I might have been able to turn away from the temptation and escort her back to the Marshalls like a good agent should. But she hadn’t and I couldn’t. “Yes.” Her smile was like the rising sun, lightening her face, her eyes. Only a fool would turn her down. It didn’t matter what she was offering. I would take what I could get, hold it close and take it out for comfort later, when I was alone. “Let’s go.”


Content Copyright © 2013-2015 Dillon Watson. | Site maintenance by Site Doctor 911