When We Were Married Ch. 04C

byDanielQSteele1©

She took a deep breath.

"I don't know why, but I do feel a little better. But...I can't help wondering if maybe...there are some things I shouldn't know. Sometimes when you know things..you have to act...and.."

"This is probably the psychiatrist in me, but it's always better to know than to be ignorant. If you know what is behind your emotions, you can deal with them, or accept them. But you have to know first."

She took a deep breath. Even though she had done nothing but sit on a couch, she felt exhausted.

"Alright. When -- when do you want to see me again?"

"How about Monday, Wednesday and Friday, an hour a day, let's say right about now -- 4:15 p.m., at least at the start."

"I don't know that I can afford that"

"I know for a fact that your husband's insurance will cover-"

"I don't want Bill to know anything about my seeing you."

"Alright. Your insurance at UNF covers my services. I know that because I have other UNF officials as patients."

"I don't know how much longer I'll have that insurance."

"We'll work something out, Mrs. Bascomb."

"How?"

"I'm a physician, Mrs. Bascomb, and I come from money. I can treat the patients I want to treat, and you have aroused my curiosity and interest. Don't worry about the cost. We'll work it out."

When she left he leaned back in his chair. Abby stuck her head in the door and said, "Mr. Cassel is here."

"Tell him I'll just be a minute."

Knowing Bill Maitland's background and history with his wife would make her treatment a little easier, he thought. He already knew that there was an underlying gulf between the two caused by Maitland's doubts about his ability to hold or be worthy of his wife. It was very possible she had picked up on that, at least subconsciously, and was aware that he didn't think he was worthy of her.

If she was, the contempt and drawing away was almost inevitable. You walk around with a 'kick me' sign on your back, visible or invisible, and someone was going to kick you. People respond to you the way you expect them to.

But, beyond that, there was no indication in talking with either of them, that they had had a particularly troubled marriage before Maitland joined the State Attorney's Office. That meant a relatively happy marriage for at least eight years. During the last ten years she had drawn away from him, flirting with other men, fantasizing and finally letting herself be seduced by a younger, more physically attractive man.

All of that understandable, almost textbook. But where did the anger, the violent rage come from? If she had been telling the truth and the only thing he did was disappoint her, that rage wouldn't be there.

No, something had happened in the last ten years. More likely the last five. There had to be some triggering event. Something she was hiding, or might not even be aware of.

He smiled. Cases like this were what he lived for. He sometimes thought he must have been Sherlock Holmes in a former life, if Sherlock Holmes had been a real person and if he believed in reincarnation.

He called to Abby: "Send Mr. Cassel in, Abby."

A moment later a tall, stoop shouldered man with thinning brown hair shambled into the office. Why couldn't' he stand up straight? For a moment irritation flared in Teller, but then he let a professional mask of calm slip back over his face. If Martin Cassel was aware of just how pitiful a shambling hulk he appeared to be, his wife wouldn't have cheated on him and Teller wouldn't have had to hold his hand for the last three years.

"Doctor."

"Good afternoon, Martin. This will be our last session together."

"What?" Cassel sat bolt upright. "Why, doctor? Have I --"

"You haven't done anything. It's just that I'm overbooked and I've given your appointment times to a new patient."

"Doctor Teller, you can't do that. How-"

Teller leaned forward and motioned for silence and Cassel abruptly stopped talking.

"I don't mean to be cruel, Martin, but there comes a time when action has to take the place of words. You came to me three years ago when you learned of a continuing affair that your wife was involved in with a coworker. The affair is over. Two years ago. We have discussed the affair and why your wife did it and your responsibility for what happened.

"We discussed your inability to come to terms with what your wife had done and your inability to leave her and forge a new life for yourself. Over the years you have grown to see that while she was at fault, you shared some fault as well. Unfortunately, while you were deciding how you felt about her, she had another affair. So we had to go into depth over that one.

"You still haven't taken any steps to win back your wife, although we decided long ago that that was what you wanted to do. At present, you have not had -- successful -- sexual relations with your wife for nearly three years and you and I both know that if something doesn't change she will either have another affair or she will divorce you."

"I know, Doctor Teller, but-"

"I want you to buy flowers -- I think you said she loves roses --and take them to her along with a bottle of wine -- I think you said she loves white wine -- and I want you to do your level best to get her drunk tonight. I want you to be as sweet to her as you can possibly be. I want you to attempt to have sex with her tonight.

"If she allows it, I want you to definitely have oral sex -- with her as the recipient. Don't worry about yourself. I want you to do everything possible to bring her to climax. Even if she doesn't climax, I want you to focus on her pleasure. If she will not allow you to have sex, I want you at the very least to do your best to stay in the same bed with her and hold her.

"I want you to do the same thing tomorrow. No roses or wine, but find something that she will enjoy. A movie video, a CD of songs she likes. Attempt to have sex with her again. Don't be obnoxious, but let her know that you want her. Again, use your mouth, your fingers, anything she will let you.

"I want you do the same thing every day for the next 30 days. No exceptions. If she is completely unreceptive to physical advances, I want you to try to talk with her. About anything. No television. No work, on your part. If she completely turns you down, no sulking. Find something to do and do it while she ignores you.

"And the next day I want you to do the same thing. Successful or not, I want you to launch an unrelenting attempt to seduce your wife. And if she asks you why, tell her the truth. You've lived with secrets between you for three years. Tell her you're aware of her affairs and that you have decided you want to save your marriage. Tell her you will continue pursuing her until she tells you she wants a divorce."

"What if-"

"What if she tells you she wants a divorce? Tell her that unless she's throwing you out of your house you will continue pursuing her for the remainder of the month. And do it. The worst that will happen is that your marriage will be over. And, to be honest, Martin, what kind of marriage has it been? Really? You've been in pain for three years. Your marriage is not supposed to be the place where you suffer. It's supposed to be the place you go to find comfort and peace.

"I'm -- scared, doctor. If she leaves me..."

"You will survive and I will find a new appointment time for you. I won't leave you out in the cold, Martin. But, this is something you have to do. We can talk about your emotions and what you want from your wife and out of your marriage for the next 40 years, but nothing will happen until you DO something."

"You really think this is the right thing to do?"

"I do. And no matter what happens, I want you back in a month. Hopefully you'll tell me that you and your wife are trying to build a new relationship. I honestly think you have a chance. But you have to step up."

After Cassel had left, Teller leaned back and filled his pipe again and drew in a lung full of aromatic fumes. Sometimes his work was just plain depressing. But, what kept him going was that, sometimes, screwed up people managed to straighten out their lives. He hoped Maitland and his wife would fall into that category.

############################

Thursday, July 21, 2005 -- 3:30 p.m.

As I walked into the State Attorney's Office and headed to my office Cheryl darted in front of me. A courthouse bailiff had his hand on his illegitimate .38 in his holster. All courthouse personnel were supposed to be carrying Glocks, but a lot of the older guys preferred their favorite hardware.

"Mr. Maitland, I'm sorry. I tried to stop him but he was so fast. He was in there before I could stop him."

The bailiff, an older man I thought was named George something stepped in front of me with his hand on the .38 and said, "You want me to go in there first?"

I shook my head. It could be anybody. An irate parent wanting a break for a kid busted for pot or a psycho carrying an axe out to kill The Angel of Death.

"What'd he look like, Cheryl? Did he give you a name?"

"Big, tall black man. Very well dressed. Slim. He didn't look that dangerous, but...there's just something about him."

"He give you a name?"

"He just said....Tyrone had come by to say hello. He said you'd know who he was."

It clicked and I knew who he was, although it had been a long time. It would be like him to just stroll in to stir up things. I held a hand out to George and said, "Hang loose just outside the door, but don't come in unless I call you."

I was a little nervous as I walked into my office, but not much. If it was the Tyrone I remembered, he'd be too smart to just walk into a prosecutor's office and shoot somebody. It wasn't his style."

He was standing near my desk looking at the pictures of me with the famous and near famous. He looked around at me and then his eyes widened.

"Damn, Maitland, somebody did a job on you. Tell me who it was and I'll send a couple cases of some good beer to them -- maybe Double Diamond. It's a very understated beer, but quality, man. Quality. Anybody can do that to you, deserves a quality beer."

He wore a designer suit that looked like it came off a New York fashion catwalk, had real --I'm sure -- diamond cufflinks, had no gold teeth but two gold earrings in dollar-signs twinkling with more real diamonds, and I'm sure wore shoes that came straight from Rome. He was slim, his shaved head glistening in a way I just couldn't make mine do.

He had a warm smile, a trim figure on his 6-4 frame, and the charisma of a warm and fuzzy sabertooth tiger. And he had probably murdered a hundred men with his own hands, with guns, knives, ball-peen hammers, and other things I didn't want to think about.

He reached into his jacket and I tensed for a moment, but he came out with a silver cigarette case, opened it and took out a slim cigarette. He moved so quickly I almost couldn't follow him and a similar monogrammed silver cigarette lighter appeared like magic and a touch of flame lit the cigarette.

"There's no smoking in this building."

"Hmmm..I wasn't aware. Well, let me just finish this one and I'll start following the rules."

He look a drag and then released scented smoke. And smiled at me.

He moved toward a chair directly in front of my desk and sat down in one graceful motion. That was the word that described Tyrone Biggs, local homeboy made good, South Florida crime boss, pimp, pusher and murderer; he was graceful as hell.

He looked me over and said, "I saw your picture on a web site and I heard all about that Angel of Death crap, but I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Shaving your head, going black, getting into fights....and you're as whitebread as they come. You must be going through one of those midlife crises I've heard about. Although I don't have to worry about that for awhile."

I sat down behind my desk and wondered if I could get my Glock out in time to stop him if this was more than a social visit."

"Have you missed me that much, Tyrone? If so, come on back and give me a reason. I'll send you to Raiford and I promise to keep in touch once you're inside."

His smile almost wavered and I knew I'd got to him, but he just shrugged and said, "Enjoying the hospitality of the Florida prison system was an educational experience once, and for that I thank you, but once was enough."

I put my hands on my knees and leaned forward. It would only take an instant to get the drawer open and get to the Glock and I had a man with a gun standing just outside my door, but damned, Tyrone was fast.

"So to what do I owe the honor of this visit? You go away and forget all about me for eight years and then all of a sudden you blow back into town. You miss me? Or what?"

He took another drag on the cigarette.

"Nothing special, Maitland. I've been busy down south, but I wanted to come up and see Derrick. You know he's in that prison camp over toward Tallahassee; Got two more years to go and I wanted to make sure he's doing okay. I got people in there watching over him, but I wanted to see with my own eyes that he's okay."

"I'm glad to hear he's alright. Why don't you do him a favor and leave him alone. He's made some mistakes, but I hear from the Camp commander that he's doing pretty good. He's working on his GED, has expressed an interest in learning a trade...an honest one. If he's your brother and you love him, why not give him a chance at a decent life?"

Tyrone shook his head and expelled another puff of smoke that had a vaguely licorice-type smell to it. He didn't go for a lot of jewelry, but he had a lion's head ring on his middle finger with rubies for eyes and a large diamond set in the mouth. I didn't want to even guess what it might have cost.

"Yeah, he's my brother and I want him to work his whole life for just enough to afford a three-bedroom for a wife and three or four brats and never get enough to go the places I've been or see the things I've seen. I want him to settle for some fat broad that opens her legs to him instead of some of the finest pussy on planet earth, which I've sampled and which I'm going to enjoy as long as I live."

"Until somebody you trust, a friend or a subordinate or a girlfriend, slips up behind you one night and puts one in behind your ear. You know that's how it's going to go. You might ride high for a few years, maybe a few decades, but how many guys in your line of work ever retire and live to be old and senile?"

He stared at me and said, "Could be, Maitland. Could be. It's an old argument. Is it better to burn brightly for a few years and then Nova, or die slowly for an entire boring lifetime? I'm choosing to live while I'm here, and I want that for my brother."

Then he gave me a small smile.

"Anyway, I just came back from Derrick and realized I could swing by here and thank you."

"Thank me?"

He sat up straight, and somehow it felt like I was watching a viper coiling itself up preparing to strike.

"You didn't have to hit Derrick with the least time possible. You didn't have to recommend that he go to that minimum security camp instead of Raiford."

"He was just a stupid kid. I didn't do anything for him I wouldn't have done for any other young idiot."

"I don't like you, Maitland. You stole two years of my life. My mother died while I was in prison and I wasn't able to go to her funeral because of you, you son of a bitch. But...

"Most prosecutors are assholes. Most prosecutors if they got their hands on my brother would have used him to try to rattle me or screwed him to the wall to get at me for being smarter than you guys. You didn't. You treated my kid brother as if you'd never heard of me. And you gave him a chance."

"I'm touched, but you don't owe me anything, Tyrone, except getting the hell out of my part of the state before you kill somebody up here.

"Well, whether you want to accept it or not, you've got my thanks. Now I've got business to attend to down south. It's been real, but I hope we don't see each other again soon."

He walked past me to the door of my office and stopped. He looked back at me.

"Oh, by the way, I still have friends around here. Just heard an interesting story. They say some local would-be kingpin in one of your special cells got his head separated from his shoulders. Bad stuff. When people can be killed behind bars, it shakes your faith in the criminal justice system."

He stepped out, moving gracefully around Cheryl who burst into the room saying, "Mr. Maitland, Chief Brown is on the line." Brown was the man who ran the jail.

I picked up the phone.

"Maitland, all hell is breaking loose down here."

"What happened?"

"You know Deaven Thompson, the one you had in that holding cell isolated from everyone? Well, he wasn't isolated from everybody."

"What?"

"He was checked on by Lieutenant Colton at 3 p.m. and he was okay, seemed to be taking a nap. When Colton came back at 3:30....the bunk was soaked in blood and Thompson was under a blanket. They pulled the blanket back and...somebody cut his damned head off. Cut it clean off."

I looked toward the doorway, but I'd have bet Tyrone was not in sight.

"And that's not the worst of it."

"There's worse?"

"They....cut his genitals off...his entire dick and his balls and stuffed them into his mouth. It was gross, goddammit. I had veteran officers throwing up."

"And no one saw anything?"

"Colton and two other jailers had to be down on the second floor to break up a fight, actually two fights. With one thing and another, every officer we had in there was busy for a half hour or so."

"Alright, get someone to pull the videotapes. His cell and the walkway were being monitored, right?"

There was a long silence.

"We do have videotapes, right?"

"That's the first thing I thought of. I went to the command center. Riley and Kitty Wells were on duty monitoring. They were both out cold. They had ordered coffee and said they got it up about 3 or 3:10 and that's the last thing they remember. The tapes for the cameras monitoring Thompson's cell and the corridor and that whole area are missing for the last hour."

"Who brought up the coffee?"

"Jimmy Miller. He's a trustee, but he's due to be out in two months. He's scared shitless. Swears he didn't do anything and just picked up coffee from the commissary. I've already had officers down there checking, but nobody will admit to seeing anything.

And honestly, nobody pays any attention to who goes through there. Who expects their coffee to be doped --in the jail?"

I sat back and rubbed my lower lip. Talk about mixed emotions. I couldn't be sorry the son of a bitch was dead. But somebody had waltzed into the heart of the criminal justice system and committed murder. I knew who had done it, and I guessed why, but I doubted I'd ever be able to prove anything.

"You've got detectives crawling all over everything?"

"Yes. This hasn't gotten out, but what do we tell the press when they start calling."

"Sheriff Knight is in charge, you do what he tells you, but I'd keep my mouth and the mouth of everybody under you, shut tight until we figure out the best way of handling this."

I hung up and when I looked at the doorway, Charlie Case filled it.

"You heard?"

"Yeah" I said. "Hard to believe anyone could do that. And it makes you wonder who would want to kill and leave that kind of message."

He shrugged those huge shoulders.

"Deaven was not the most pleasant person I've ever met. I have a hard time believing he didn't acquire a lot of enemies along the road to the top. Remember, the Browns, the little boys' family and their friends, they're not the most peace-loving bunch around. They wanted a piece of him. And there are other gangs out there."

I looked him curiously.

"That's the strange thing, Case. I could understand his rivals or the Browns having him killed, but the way they did it..."

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