The Ringer

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Vote by March 24, 2014!

In the previous episode, readers voted that Clark agrees to help kill Evie in an attempt to get Scarlett to stay with him.

Episode 17

Scarlett, apparently assuming his decision would be not to help her, walked over to the door and held it open, sarcastically bowing and motioning with her hand for him to leave.

Clark stared at her just another moment before he clenched his teeth and said, “fine, I’ll help you.”

She looked almost startled at his answer although she quickly threw back on her big-girl façade. She closed the door and walked over to the table, sitting down and crossing her arms again before saying, “Great, what’s the plan then?”

“You don’t even have a plan? You’re asking me to help you with this and you don’t even know what you wanna do yet?!” He was almost yelling.

“Relax!”  She responded, putting both hands in the air, palms facing him, to get him to back down. He sat down in the chair across from her and put his head in his hands.

“What I meant was, what are you comfortable doing. I don’t particularly care how it’s done as long as it gets done.” Scarlett continued.

Clark rubbed his face and looked up at her before saying, “again, you asked me to HELP you do this. Why does it sound like it’s entirely up to me?”

“First of all,” Scarlett started matter-of-factually, “it would be easy to pin me with a motive given the whole cheating bitch scenario so any true involvement from me would most likely lead to my being caught. Secondly, more people involved means higher risk of getting caught in general. I help with the plan; you do the actual killing part. Or is that too much for you?” She finished with a condescending tone as though she was trying to get him amped by belittling him.

Clark tried hard to maintain his temper. He didn’t like being talked down to and he was struggling to remind himself why he was doing all this. He wanted Scarlett to stay with him and if this is what it took for her to get over everything, he was going to do it. Putting his emotions aside for the moment, he tried to think practically. How could he pull this off quickly and without arousing suspicion?

“Why don’t we just stage a mugging? It’s quick, it’s easy. I shoot her, take her purse, run off and she’ll bleed out.” He said finally.

“Fine, if you’re sure that’ll work. When are you going to do it?”

Thrown by her agreeableness but not letting it hinder him, he responded, “How should I know? It’s not like I follow her around all day and know where she goes-“ and before Scarlett got the chance to point out the irony given that he had spent all that time following her around, he held up his hand and rolled his eyes to create a “don’t you dare” gesture.

“Ok. We used to take that yoga class together. I haven’t gone in a while with her but she still goes. It’s on the shady side of town so it’s not impossible that a mugging could happen there.” Scarlett had her own plans she wasn’t about to let Clark in on but even with those helping her keep a firm grasp on who she really was, she surprised herself with how thoroughly she actually seemed to think this through.

“Fine, then that’s tomorrow night, we’ll do it then –“ Seeing her face when he said we he continued, “Ok, I’ll do it then. So you’ll stay with me?”

Right, Scarlett had forgotten about that part of the agreement. “Actually, I’ll stay with you after this is done. The point is for you to prove I can trust that you won’t try and hurt me again by helping me with this.”

“Well where are you going until tomorrow then? You can’t stay here!”

“I don’t plan to. You brought my purse and everything back to me, remember? I’ll use my card to stay in a hotel for the night.”

He called her stubborn but agreed and went with her to a hotel nearby.

****

Scarlett was on edge the rest of the day.  She worried constantly about if she was making the right decision and while she always convinced herself that she was, she also couldn’t shake the feeling that she was going to be hauled off the prison for the rest of her life. She wasn’t entirely well-versed in the law and was just hoping everything would work in her favor.

Her evening consisted of consuming very little food and responding to many texts from Clark who apparently couldn’t help himself constantly asking where she was or what she was doing. She tried to imagine spending the rest of her foreseeable future with him and shuddered to think of the control freak he might be if they ever were together.

After yet another night of futile attempts to sleep, her morning began with a knock on the door and Clark asking to be let in.

“Why are you here?” She asked.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, you sent me a text every ten minutes yesterday asking where I was or what I was doing and now you’re here, I assume to keep tabs on me in person? And I’m not sure what you’re expecting to happen today until later tonight. I’d really be more comfortable if we didn’t see each other for now.”

“I just wanted to bring you breakfast,” he said, holding up a white paper bag, “and make sure you still want to do this. It’s something that’s going to weigh on your conscience forever knowing you were a part of it and to be honest I’m shocked at how easily you’re accepting that. I expected you to be, I don’t know, scared or concerned or something.”

He didn’t realize that in reality, she was, but she had no intentions of letting him know it. She needed to maintain her confidence in front of him because so far showing weakness when he’s around hasn’t worked out in her favor.

“I don’t know a way to explain why I’m okay with it any better than I tried to yesterday. But yes, I still want this to happen. In the meantime, though, I would still be more comfortable if we didn’t see each other again until after it’s over. My phone is on if you really need me but I’d like you to leave now.”

Clark looked almost beat down. He seemed to be struggling with doing this because apparently it broke his “pattern” but to Scarlett, killing is still killing.

“Ok,” he said as we walked towards the door, “but think about it some more please and let me know if you change your mind.”

He proceeded to open the door and turn around to face her once more as she said, “I won’t. Goodbye Clark,” and closed the door.

***

Scarlett spent the day doing what she had to do to make things right and prepare for what was to come that evening. Shockingly, she hadn’t heard from Clark for some time despite the fact that they were within a few hours of the “big event”, as far as he knew.

Scarlett’s phone went off as she was sliding her key card to get back into her room and she fumbled for it as she made it through the door. A number she didn’t recognize showed on the screen and she briefly debated hitting ignore before deciding to answer it.

“Hello?”

There was a loud static noise as what sounded like a voice-mail message attempted to play in the background and as it cut out, the only piece of the message Scarlett caught was asking if she wanted to accept the charges from a collect phone call within the local police station.

She chose to accept and Clark’s voice came over the phone, “Scarlett? Scarlett, I got arrested!”

She just about dropped her phone when he said it, part of her believed it would never happen.

“Why did you get arrested?!”  Vote below on what will happen next or click Take Our Poll.

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