King of Paine: Sample Page 9

“You think raping me is going to get even with my father for stealing that…that…hussy from you?” she wailed, trying to wrestle free from Carlisle’s grasp. “I haven’t even spoken to Daddy in years! I have nothing to do with him or Simone Perlow!”

“Easy, Miss—” Reyes looked to Carlisle for help.

“Johnson,” she said. “Penny Johnson.”

Ralston wiped a spot of blood from his bruised cheek. “Oh my God. She’s Henry Johnson’s daughter?”

“Like you didn’t know!” Penny snapped, rivulets of tears streaming down her face.

“I swear I never knew Edna’s real name or even saw a picture,” Ralston said, flustered, looking from face to face for an ally. “You’ve got to believe me. Henry’s not a pleasant man, and he’s dying.”

“He’s making all this up!” Penny cried. “He called himself Bud Davis when he talked to me. I told him my name, where I worked, and I can prove it! He sent me flowers this morning at the hospital. And he’s been angry at my father since Simone Perlow quit her job to join Doctors With Cancer.”

But Ralston claimed he could prove his version of events, too. He said he no longer bore any ill will toward Henry Johnson or Simone Perlow, and records of his instant messaging sessions would confirm EdnaTurnbad set up the simulated rape.

“The chat logs will speak for themselves,” he concluded. “I’m not saying another word without my lawyer.”

Reyes glared at him, a look of pure contempt he seemed to have mastered, Frank thought. “Even if what you say is true, engaging in forcible sex without confirmation of consent is wrong. The Atlanta D.A. may want to prosecute for sexual assault under Georgia law.”

 Copyright © 2011 by Larry Kahn

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