Chapter 7 – Float Like An Angel
She could hardly believe the way she was acting herself. This was totally unlike the sweet lady-like persona she always tried to exude. But it felt so freeing to finally just let go and be herself even if it was only for a few minutes longer.
“Well, come along, Johnny. Let’s get this over with. You boys run along and get your story straight to tell the cops when they come around.”
Hamilton nodded at Johnny who swallowed hard and nodded back at him. He looked at April and held out his arm like a real gentleman. At least he had the courtesy to treat her like a lady even in the end. They started to walk out the door, but Hamilton yelled after them.
“Hey! Where are you going? We said to make it look like an accident.” he indicated with his head toward the balcony.
“Well, if you want the cops to think she jumped off to commit suicide, why would you have her jump from Crowley’s office. Let me handle it from Tony’s balcony. When you hear her scream, you send Tony over to wait in there. He can say they had an argument.” Johnny retorted sullenly as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Oh, right! Good thinking, son.” Hamilton replied.
He waved them on out the door.
“We’ll be right behind you, but we don’t want poor Tony to see nothing. So, be quick about it.”
“Sure,” Johnny said.
April continued to walk with her head held high holding tightly to Johnny’s arm. She was grateful for the support, even he was going to kill her in a moment. She couldn’t believe that Tony was just going to go along with this thing. And since he was, at the very least, her husband could have the decency to be with her at the end. But she refused to allow herself to look back at him or even acknowledge him.
As they continued to walk down the hall, April realized that the only thing that kept her going right now and allowed her to place one foot in front of the other was the pure, unadulterated rage that flowed from her heart. She was so hot with rage that she could feel her heart pounding throughout her body. Her thinking was crystal clear and razor sharp.
She noticed every detail of the environment around her as she walked down the hall. The tiniest detail right down to the sweat mixed in with Johnny’s cologne. The buzz of the fluorescent lamps overhead as they walked under each one. As she entered Tony’s office for the last time, she didn’t even feel like she was walking but rather just floating along beside Johnny.
When they reached the edge of the balcony, she grabbed on to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Make it quick, Johnny.”
‘Here, put your legs through these,” he said.
April complied obediently. It felt like a strange way to make it look like she was going to commit suicide.
“Is this gonna make it look like I had a bungee jumping accident instead of committing suicide. Oh, thank you, Johnny.
I don’t want people to think that of me. Especially not my father.”
Johnny pushed her away and tried to tighten it around her waist.
“Quickly, before they get here,” he said in a hushed whisper. “Scream as loud as you can when I push you over the edge.”
You don’t have to push me, Johnny,” she said.
“Don’t jump out. Just a take a short step off the ledge,” he said.
She took a deep breath and forced herself to step onto the ledge without looking down. April didn’t want to wait for Johnny to push her. She didn’t want to give herself time to grieve and mourn. She had lived a long and happy life. She could truly say that she had lived a good one. The best that money could buy.
April had no regrets, except for loving Tony. That sleazy scumbag of an old man. He had been almost twice her age when they had gotten married. She was his second wife. People said she had married him for his money, but that wasn’t true at all. She had her mother’s inheritance and had started making good money straight out of college. She really had loved him. All these years. Been faithful and true. And this is how he treated her. Oh, poor Tony, if she came across him in the afterlife wherever that happened to be. If she recognized him, she would make him pay.
She felt Johnny’s hand pressing on the back of her calves. “Hurry,” he said. She closed her eyes and stepped off the ledge.
April felt the wind blowing up through her hair in the free fall. Her hair whipping around her face. Her arms raised above her head. But she didn’t scream. She refused to scream. She wouldn’t give those dirty old men the satisfaction of listening to her scream as she fell to her death.
She waited for the impact. And waited. And waited. After a few moments, April opened her eyes and realized that she was still descending quickly, but she wasn’t in a deadly free fall. Whatever Johnny had tied around her waist was lowering her speedily but safely.
As she saw the ground coming up quickly, several men dressed in black reached up to grab her and pull her free. They carried her around the corner of the building and towards a waiting van.
April saw a body lying on the ground near where they met her. She looked back to try and understand what was going on.
Was she dead?
Were these her angels coming to drive her away into the afterlife?
When they got to the van, one of the men pulled off his mask and helped her enter. It was the Blue Wolf. Suddenly, everything made sense. This was part of his escape plan.
“That woman?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yes, your clone. Tony had some made a while back. We kept one of the extras that didn’t make it.”
“And Johnny?” she asked.
“Yes. He’s started to see the light as well. When he knew that Tony was onto you, he contacted me and told me to be ready to do whatever it took to save you. We had no idea that it would be tonight, so we had to improvise,” the Blue Wolf answered.
“So, how did you set it up so fast?”
“We had several contingency plans in place. This was Jonny’s idea. If they caught you in the building, he would suggest that they make it look like suicide from Tony’s office.”
April felt wave after wave of relief washing over her. Relief mixed with anger and fury at Tony. Gratefulness to Johnny and Blue Wolf for protecting her.
Blue Wolf put his arm around her. She cradled her head in his shoulder and let the sobs take over. Huge heaving sobs. She couldn’t contain the fear and the rage any longer. She began to wail and cry loudly while Blue Wolf held her tightly.
“I’m sorry, my angel. I didn’t mean for it to come to this.” Blue Wolf whispered softly over and over again to calm her down.
After a bit, April managed to compose herself. The same calm that she had felt before returned once again. She knew it would take her time to get over this grief. She would cry many times again before she got it all out of her system. But for now, she was alive. And that was all that mattered.
“Blue Wolf,” she said.
“Yes,” he answered quietly in the darkness just loud enough to be heard over the hum of the wheels on the asphalt and the blowing of the air conditioner.
“Promise me that we are going to do whatever it takes to bring LocTech down, but I don’t want anyone to kill Tony until he’s seen us destroy everything he has built.”
“Hmm,” was his reply in the darkness. April couldn’t see his expression.
“Promise me,” she whispered pleadingly. The rage screamed vengeance in her ears as her heart pounded her blood furiously through her trembling body.
“Don’t worry, my dear. We will make sure to let you do the honors when the time comes. Tony will know it is his little angel who has returned to exact her revenge.”
April smiled. She liked the sound of that. There was a lot to do over the coming days and months. The first thing she was going to do was pick back up on her martial art training.
“We’re almost home,” he whispered tenderly in her ear. “You can sleep. Tomorrow we will decide what to do from here on out. What do you want to do first?”
“Release the clones,” she said immediately without even thinking. “We’re going to release all those ‘insidious’ in Sector Seven.”
“Hmm,” he said sleepily. “I like the sound of that. Come, Juanita will show you to your room. Breakfast is normally served at six thirty, but don’t worry. You must get your rest. Tomorrow we will serve you breakfast whenever you get up.”
“Thank you, Blue Wolf,” she said as she hugged him. “Good night.”
April followed the small girl to the room she was shown. She didn’t bother taking off her clothes. She threw herself on the bed and fell into a deep and dreamless sleep willing herself not to feel anything until the next day. It would come with its own troubles and challenges.
But for now, she was alive. She was safe. And she would sleep.
April’s story continues in Rise! (Book 1 of the Edge of the Universe series) that you can download free at various book retailers or from my blog at DaveBailey.me