During the visit from Colonel Shay, they view a video showing the woman who trashed Frank’s car. He recognizes her as the woman he calls the Prom Date from Hell. What he didn’t know was that during their time together, she got pregnant and had his son. Shay and the others contend that they don’t believe that the vandalizing of his office and home are related.
“That makes them all the more fun to play with,” Frank mused, pulling on his lip. “So. . . .”
“What’s the plan?” Marka asked calmly, gazing at each of the men in turn.
“I’d like to find out why Britt was trashing my car. Get that out of the way, I can concentrate on the rest,” Frank said quietly. “I’d like to know what makes her go nuts on me now. I’d love to put the bitch in jail, but she’s got a kid—my kid. You’re sure he’s mine?” He appealed to Clark.
The older man nodded, hands deep in his pockets.
“Do I want to know how you know?”
“Not really. Suffice to say you’re due a few Father’s Day cards.”
“How does that make you feel, Frank?” Marka asked, touching his arm gently.
“Don’t know. How should it make me feel?”
“Confused. Angry. Sad?” she suggested.
He shrugged. “Numb. That’s all. I can’t think about this right now. I need. . . I need to find her, find out. . . .” He headed for the door.
Shay’s voice stopped him. “Frank. It’s nearly midnight. You can’t go hammering on that girl’s door in the middle of the night.”
Frank sat heavily on the floor, his legs giving out on him completely. His strength and energy were gone. Overwhelmed by foreign emotions, he sat with his head on his hands, trying not to cry.
“Why is this happening? What did I do?” He sighed heavily, shaking his head. “Aside from killing people. . . .”
“You were in a war, Frank,” Marka said.
“I still killed them. I have their blood on my hands.”
“A soldier follows orders,” Shay began.
“That only goes so far, Arnold. I can try to sooth my conscience with that platitude all I want. The fact is, I broke God’s law. Were it not wartime, I’d be a mass murderer.”
No one pointed out the obvious. If it hadn’t been a war, Frank wouldn’t have killed anyone.
“Damn near every soldier is,” Shay replied, lips pinched. “We don’t like it, but that’s the nature of what we do. We’re trained to kill.”
“And some of us are better at it than others. That’s where this is heading, right?”
“You’re one of the best,” Shay replied rather harshly.
“Is it okay if I don’t take that as a compliment?”
“Statement of fact. You’re damn good at what you do. . . .”
“Did. I was good at killing. And I’m not proud of it. Now, I’m good at this.”
“Son, you’ve been good at anything you ever turned your hand to.”
“Save the fatherly tone, Colonel. I’m not your son. . . .”
“I’d be mighty proud to have a son like you.” Shay paused, exhaling slowly. “I think we’d better be going.”
The men filed past Frank. Clark was last, he stopped to help Frank stand.
“We’ll figure this out,” he said. It was the kindest thing he’d said and he sounded like he meant it. “Dr. Ventimiglia, despite all this. . . . Well, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, ma’am. I apologize.” He took her hand, bringing it to his lips.
“Tomorrow will be better, ” Marka said. “We’ll be seeing you, I take it?”
The men nodded.
“We’ll keep it on the down low,” Phil said with a sly wink.
Marka saw them out. The room seemed empty and quiet without them. Frank stood in the middle of the room, unmoving. He hardly blinked and his breathing was shallow. Marka did a quick assessment. Deciding he was fine, just preoccupied, she took his hand and led him to the couch. Instead of sitting down, he took her in his arms, kissing her deeply. After many minutes, he sighed.
“God, I want you! And I’m suddenly so tired, I can hardly keep my eyes open.”
“Then you need to go to bed.”
“I don’t want to. I want to make love to you all night. I want to dive into you repeatedly until you scream my name, I want to. . . .”
“Shh,” Marka whispered. “I know. I want that too.”
“I was hoping. . . .”
“I know. It hasn’t been the right time yet. It will be. I need to go. . . .”
“Stay with me. Even if we don’t make love, just stay.”
“Frank. . . .”
“Please. I feel like I’m falling into this endless pit. The only light I see at the top is your smile. I can’t do this without you.”
He looked and sounded so desperate, she relented.
“I do need to get some things.”
“I’ve got a better idea. I’ll bring some things and we’ll go to your place.”
“You’re sure? You don’t care what people think?”
“Baby, they all ready think we’re fooling around. If bothers you. . . .”
“No. What bothers me is they think we’re having a lot more fun than we’re actually having.”
He laughed softly. “Yeah, well. . . .”
“Soon,” she promised, touching his cheek. “Get your stuff.”
© Dellani Oakes