Prologue A

Subject: open arms
Date: 11-13-96

Little Sister,

First, let me apologize for not calling when I got back home yesterday. I heard Peter call you from the hotel and fill you in on the outcome of this particular know, telephone, telegraph, tele-Shaolin. Please don't be angry that I didn't come straight to see you from the airport. I didn't mean to hurt you. Deja vu phrase coming from me, huh?

At this point talking face to face about what happened, or didn't happen, is beyond me. I was blind, Marilyn. When I saw Larson's name on my screen, the fury grabbed me and wouldn't let go. All I could see was David; lying in that box in his dress blues; white and cold; defeated and dead.

It almost defeated me. This time, I wasn't in control.

I wanted Larson to suffer and beg and die. David never had a chance to face death on his feet. That animal took his sanity and left him to die in a cloud of drugs and pain. Not like the man he became. Somebody should pay for that; pay for the shadow of doubt that forced overdose placed on David's badge, the badge he was so proud to wear. I'm just a cop because Blaisdell made me one. David was a cop because he lived it, believed it, honored it.

When Caine and Peter stopped me from ambushing Larson in the hotel the first time, Caine said that Larson was a killer in his heart but I was not. There was a time when I would have spouted some insult his way and laughed at his naive notions. Now, after all these years and the things I've done, I only pray that he's right. If Caine's wrong, if I do have the blood of a killer running through my veins, how can I ever again think of my brother without shame?

David was a good man. Right and wrong was always so clear to him. The law precious to him. It hasn't always been to me. I called myself David's savior all those years ago. Dragging him away from the drugs and giving him the chance for a future. Two days ago, he was my savior.

After I disarmed Larson, I told him that David's voice speaks louder to me than any other. They didn't understand, Marilyn....Well, maybe Caine understood. I meant it literally. That gun was in my hand and my first urge was to blow that trash to hell. Suddenly, David was in my ear. He said, "This isn't for me, bro. I don't want it."

I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I did the right thing but it is without comfort for me. Shouldn't I feel better? Relieved? Something? I don't. Same crap still rolls around in my head.

Maybe this struggle is what I am. Just like that hurricane. If the winds cease to blow, the hurricane will no longer exist.

Now, down to business. I was so caught up in my own twisted ramblings the other day, that I rained down all over you. I hope you can forgive me. Yours is the other voice that speaks to me. You've always welcomed me with open arms and no questions. I hurt you and I'm sorry. Attribute it to years of anger and temporary hardness of heart.

You drove all the way to Sloanville to talk to me about something and walked in on my drama. Looking back, I caught the flinch you made when I mentioned your new husband and the baby on the way. If I hadn't been so crazed at the time, I would have realized something was wrong. If you don't want to tell me via e-mail, then we'll talk when I drive up this weekend. And I'll make a special effort not to glare at what's-his-name. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Give the kids my love and tell them Uncle Kermit will come bearing gifts.

Love you always,


Prologue B-->