That Which Remains by Olivia Batker Pritzker

unnamed-7Vote on what will happen at the end of this episode!

Previously… Ms. Johansson and Roxy talk to Juliette, pretending not to know each other. Readers voted that Ms. Johansson speaks privately with Roxy, and Roxy ends up killing her.

Episode 19

There was the sound of a key in a lock, and the front door banging open, followed by a shout from DJ. “Jules! You home?”

Juliette stood up. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Roxy and Ms. Johansson. “I don’t want him to know about any of this, ok?”

Both women nodded, and Juliette hurried out of the room.

There was a pause.

“So.” Ms. Johansson raised her eyebrows. “I take it your sister is not dating my ex-husband.”

Roxy didn’t respond.

“Tell me,” Ms. Johansson continued, a cold smile playing around her lips. “Did the organization send you here to find the jewels or are you on your own? I know Jasper was sent by the organization, so either the two of you are working together or you’re playing a very risky game. Did you think that when you found the jewels and left town the organization would stop searching for them?”   

“Well what about you,” asked Roxy, avoiding Ms. Johansson’s questions. “Are you still working for the organization? Were you working for them when you killed Anne and Horace?”

Ms. Johansson smiled more widely. “No. That was my idea.”

“So aren’t you afraid the organization is going to come after you?”

“Please.” Ms. Johansson looked disdainful. “What do you think Jasper is doing here? All this time and he’s only learned my name? One of my names. I’m not worried.”

She looked intently at Roxy, a smile half forming again. “You, on the other hand, should be very worried. I hate to think how poor Juliette will react when she learns that her best friend is working with the people that killed her parents, and is only interested in finding those jewels. And I don’t think you are working for the organization. When Jasper learns that you’ve kept valuable information from him, there’s nowhere they won’t be able to find you.”

“Empty threats.” Roxy leaned forward. “Jasper won’t take your word over mine, and neither will Juliette. They’ll see right through you.”

“Will they?” Ms. Johansson said softly. “Juliette already trusts me, and Jasper – you think he’s going to believe you? He knows you’re hiding something. And the only person that can tie me to the organization is you.”

“And Calvin,” Roxy interjected.

At this, Ms. Johansson let out a chilling laugh. “Calvin! When we were married he was always begging me to leave my work at the organization. He thought I was “obsessed” with the jewels, kept saying wealth didn’t matter if we just had each other. It was Anne and Horace’s deaths that he couldn’t stomach in the end, so he left. But he’s always protected me. He’d never betray me now. Don’t think you have an ally in Calvin White.”

Ms. Johansson got to her feet, and Roxy stood with her. Ms. Johansson’s eyes were glittering strangely.

“In fact,” she said quietly, “I can’t think of a single person who would support your side of this “story.” Framing you for everything is going to be much easier than I thought.”

She started to walk around the table, but Roxy jumped in front of her. It happened in a few seconds – Ms. Johansson moved to push Roxy out of the way, Roxy grabbed the sharp knife she and Juliette used to chop vegetables off the counter and in one motion, slit Ms. Johansson’s throat. Both women fell to the floor.

The scene swam in front of Roxy’s eyes. Blood poured out from Ms. Johansson’s neck. Roxy let the knife clatter to the floor, and let the panic swell up for a moment before forcing it back down. She had to think. Should she run? Juliette and DJ were talking upstairs in his room. She could be on a train before they could do anything – or should she stay and make up a story? Or tell the truth? Part of her wanted to stay for Juliette, and a small part of her still felt the pull of those jewels, so close. The seconds ticked by and Roxy remained immobile on the floor, blood pooling around her. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.

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