Three deputies, two males and one female, stood cross-armed with guns holstered against the door of the holding cell. Millicent sat by herself, handcuffed, on a stainless steel bench. She absorbed the tension of the room until a knock echoed behind her stern-faced company. She allowed a smile when her attorney, Reeve Mattox, walked in. He carried a cup from a gourmet coffee shop and barked at the deputies.
“I want to speak to my client, alone!”
The deputies left without speaking. When the door closed, Reeve sat next to Millicent.
“Here’s a cinnamon dolce latte with extra cinnamon, Millicent.”
Her hands rested on her lap. The deputies were instructed to not uncuff her after she dosed the cola cans of two other deputies with sleeping pills during her trial for the murders of her of two ex-boyfriends and the female neighbor of one of them. That escape attempt was stopped when the courtroom’s elevator stopped working.
“Reeve, can you take the top off so I can smell the cinnamon.”
She bit her top lip and winked at Reeve. He grinned and moved his left hand over his salt and pepper hair that thinned at the temples. Popping the plastic top, Reeve held the cup to his Millicent’s nostrils. Her eyes glimpsed blue ink written on the inside of the lid.
“Bathroom. 2nd stall. now”
Millicent and Reeve mouthed the words “I’ll miss you” to each other . He rose and walked to the door.
“My client needs to go to the restroom, immediately!”
The tall, slender female deputy opened the door, grabbed Millicent by the right elbow and escorted her. They entered together and the deputy grumbled.
“Stingley, you’ve got five minutes. I’ll be outside the stall with my hand on my revolver. Understand?”
Millicent rolled her eyes and went inside the stall, locking it with her restricted fingers. When the latch clicked, she heard a buzz and a thud. A familiar voice beckoned.
“Millie, open the door and shut up. We’ve got three minutes, tops, to get to the parking garage.”
Millicent smirked, unlatched and peered out of the stall.
“Paulette, oh how I’ve missed you. You look tan.”
The deputy lay a few feet away, unconscious, but alive. Pauley spoke through a clenched jaw while unlocking Millicent’s handcuffs with the deputy’s keys.
“Damn it Millie. I said shut up. Put this on and let’s go.”
Millicent took a blonde bob wig and used the restroom mirror to push her brown hair underneath. She followed Pauley as they walked at a brisk pace down three flights of stairs and into the parking garage. After a few hundred feet, Pauley opened the door of a black Lexus.
“Paulette, do you want me lie down in the back?”
Pauley shook her head.
“You watch too many movies, Princess. You’re a blond, right now, in a car belonging to a lawyer that frequents this courthouse. Get in the passenger seat.”
Millicent looked out her window as they drove away.
“Paulette, can I talk, now?”
Pauley looked in the rear view mirror.
“Well, I was enjoying the silence, but sure.”
Millicent smiled and thought about whispering Butch’s name to Reeve, weeks earlier.
“So, where did you get the great skin tone? The Caribbean?”
Pauley turned the Lexus onto Peachtree Airport Road. They were within a mile of a private plane.
“The guy you ran into at the Atlanta airport a couple of days before we met is handling my business.”
Millicent remembered the handsome, well dressed man she shared drinks and almost spent the night with.
Pauley mouthed “unbelievable”. She turned the car into the airport and headed to the tarmac.
“I can’t believe he told you his real name. Yeah, Stanley. He was scouting you for our casino job. Stanley handles my business, now. Your lawyer called him. He tried to get him to be a witness for your defense. Instead, Stanley offered something else.”
Pauley stopped the car about fifty yards from a white and blue Sessna. She reached behind the driver’s seat and pulled a duffel bag. She took out jeans, a solid purple t-shirt and brown loafers. Millicent pressed her back against the passenger door.
“Absolutely not, Paulette! Look I’m wearing a wig and we’re at least thirty minutes ahead of anyone. I’ll wear my dress on the plane.”
Pauley unhooked the holster on her ankle and brandished her gun at Millicent. She responded in a calm, but firm tone.
“Millie, I’d rather blow your brains out than let you or me get caught. They’re looking for a stylish woman, not a casual one. You don’t have a choice. And there’s no potions around.”
Millicent snarled and snatched the clothes.
“Unzip me. But if I ever see you again and you’re holding something other than Milan’s fall collection, expect your iced tea to taste funny.”
Pauley laughed and put her weapon away. She helped Millicent change clothes. Two minutes later, Millicent was transformed. The women smield at each other.
“You know, Millicent, I like it when you call me Paulette. My mom did that the entire time we were together.”
Pauley reached in the duffel bag and took out an envelope. Millicent accepted it and looked inside. There was a passport with the name Vivian Alves, along with several bricks of cash. Millicent shrugged.
“Where am I going?”
Pauley waved at the pilot.
“I know you speak Portugese so you’re headed to Brazil. There’s enough money for you to do whatever you want when you get there. After that, you’re on your own. But don’t come back like I did. I can’t help you, if you do.”
“In college, I thought about opening a dress shop in Buenos Aires and changing my name to Madeline. But Vivian will do. I’m glad we found each other, Paulette.”
Millicent got out of the car and sauntered toward the plane. Pauley looked into the rear view mirror and smirked.
“One day, Millie, Brazil will make a good vacation for me.”
This is the final chapter to one of the most rewarding writing experiences I’ve ever had, a summer blog series co-written with my friend and writing partner, Tara aka @Tara_R on the twitter from Thin Spiral Notebook.
You can find the rest of the chapters here:
Part 1 – Let it go to voice mail
Part 2 – Remedy
Part 3 – Dressed to Kill
Part 4 – She’s in Fashion
Part 5 – Keep your enemies closer
Part 6 – Hustle and Cuss
Part 7 – Clothes make the woman
Part 8 – Divine Thing
Part 9 – Girls night out
Part 10 – All the plans
Part 11 – Family obligations
Part 12 – The Jack
Part 13 – All in
Part 14 – She’s So Mean
Part 15 – Criminal
Part 16 – Big blind
Part 17 – Name Dropping
Part 18 – The Quiet Things
Part 19 – Lies people tell
Part 20 – Runaways
Part 21 – Return to the scene
Part 22 – This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen
Part 23 – When it hits the fan
Part 24 – Getting Even
Part 25 – Flight plan
Part 26 – Go To Sleep
The final song is a lighter one, but the lyrics, sentiment and texture are perfect for the story. Here’s Denver piano rock band The Fray with You Found Me: