I killed one of my characters in Resilience. Here is a little unedited teaser.
RESILIENCE – coming soon.
Johanna squinted against the light. Shit. She had forgotten to close her blinds again and the morning sun flooded her small bedroom. She hated this place. Her bedroom in her parents’ basement was much better. But since Louis had moved the children to another school without her consent, instead of fighting with him and placing the kids in the middle of their disagreements, she chose to move closer to their new school.
The banging on the door restarted, adding to her annoyance. Johanna rolled over and glanced at the electronic clock on her nightstand. 6:01 a.m. Who the hell is up at this hour? She hated mornings and she hated people. She hated people who could do mornings.
Rolling out of bed she mumbled some swearwords directed at whomever stood on the other side of her door. “This better be important,” she groaned as another pound on the door seemed to shake the wall.
“I’m coming! No need to break the damn door,” she shouted while walking the short distance to the door, still in her pajama.
She opened the door and her eyes landed on a fist ready to knock again. The fist belonged to a bulky man whom Johanna recognized instantly. Ted Lewinsky, Louis’ partner. Was Louis okay? For a moment she wondered if she asked aloud.
“Johanna White?” The tone sounded practiced. Distant. Surely he knew who she was so why was he asking her name as if he had never seen her before.
“Yes, Ted, that’s me,” she said letting a bit of sarcasm flow in her tone.
When she and Louis were together, Ted had joined her and Louis for dinner several times. After she and Louis separated, Ted acted polite but cold toward Johanna. As if to make it clear to her that he was on Louis’ side. She wasn’t shocked. Everyone was on Louis’ side because everyone knew Louis by the façade he presented to the world. But now, for Ted to pretend he didn’t know her, that was just rude and she opened her mouth to give him a piece of her mind.
Ted pulled one side of his jacket to show his badge. “Detective Ted Lewinsky. Ma’am, you are under arrest for—”
The rest of his words were lost under Johanna’s squeal. “I know who you are.” Then as if just registering Ted’s words, Johanna lowered her voice. “What did you say?”
“Put your hands behind your back. You’re under arrest for the murder of Louis White. You have the right to remain…”
Ted’s words trailed off and morphed into Johanna’s muddled thoughts. Louis was murdered? How? When? A day ago his lawyer told the court that he had gone undercover. Yeah, that was always dangerous but why would they blame her?
“For the thousand time,” Johanna shouted, “I had nothing to do with Louis’ death. How many times can I tell you the same thing?”
Ted’s eyes remained on her face. “Until you actually tell me the truth.”
“Are you crazy or deaf? I didn’t kill Louis?”
“Well, some people seem to disagree.”
Johanna blinked in surprise at his remarks. So in his eyes she was guilty as charged and he was the judge, jury, and executioner. Why the hell look for the real killer when he had made an arrest and now he could go back to his waiting box of doughnuts. “Oh, let me guess. Karol.”
Ted remained unyielding. “Are you going to deny that you threatened to kill Louis? Because there are a few witnesses who will testify that you did.”
She had threatened Louis. In a public place. But that was because she was mad at him for letting Aidan suffer. She didn’t really mean it. Dammit! She and her big mouth. How was she going to get out of this? Motive.
“What motive would I have to kill Louis?” she blurted.
Ted shook his head. “Fighting for custody for four long years, I think that’s plenty of motive there; don’t you think?”
Johanna gritted her teeth. This didn’t look good. The more she looked at it, the more she realized how deep in trouble she was.
“Louis was the one dragging me to court.”
“I know. He thought you’re a pretty unstable parent.”
Okay, that’s enough. Johanna rose and slammed a fist on the table separating her from Ted. “Louis lied!” she screamed. “The judge is just beginning to see through his lies.”
“That must have angered you.”
She slowly sat back in her seat and lowered her voice. “Frustration. That’s what I felt when he and I crossed paths. He has killed every other feeling I had toward him. In the beginning I was angry with him, but I slowly realized that I had no control over what he does.”
Ted nodded. “Control…”
Johanna raised her eyes and studied him for a moment. This man was not here to help her. He was here to bury her. What was she doing sharing her feelings with him. “You’re not even going to look for another suspect, are you?”
He raised an eyebrow. “I already have a suspect.”
She nodded. “I think we’re done her. I want my lawyer now,” she said matter-of-factly.
Ted picked up the folder in front of him and slammed it on the table. “Fine. Have it your way,” he said then he walked away.
“Ted…” Johanna called after him. He stopped but didn’t turned around. “If I were you, I’d investigate this with an open mind. I didn’t do this, Ted.” Her voice sounded somewhere between wishing and begging.
Ted nodded once but didn’t reply and walked out of the room.