Since he had been thrown out of his house, Freddy Ford had barely been able to hold anything in his stomach. He had lost almost ten pounds off of his already thin frame. The T-shirt he wore now hung loosely on him. His jeans dropped from his narrow hips, and his hair had grown long and unruly.
He looked over his shoulder again after ringing Nate Kenny’s doorbell. None of Mr. Kenny’s neighbors were around.
Freddy heard the door unlock.
He quickly reached behind him, pulled the gun from the waist of his jeans, and pointed it at the door. When it opened, Mr. Kenny stared straight into the barrel of the weapon.
“Freddy,” Mr. Kenny said, all cool, like there was nothing wrong. “Our business is done. I told you that three weeks ago.”
“Step into the motherfucking house,” Freddy said.
Freddy cocked the gun.
“Fine.” Mr. Kenny turned, walked back into the house. Freddy walked behind him, the gun pointed between his shoulder blades.
Images popped into Freddy’s head. He shut his eyes, trying to black out those images. He saw his mother crying, as the sheriffs had all their furniture dragged from the house and thrown to the curb. An image of his girlfriend raced through his head, her feet in stirrups, an overworked doctor in the middle of performing the abortion, slicing his unborn baby into pieces and sucking it out of her.
When Freddy opened his eyes, the stain of those images still soiled his thoughts.
It was this man’s fault, Freddy told himself, the gun shaking in his hand. He had to pay.
All of a sudden Mr. Kenny spun around. He was smiling. “I tell you what I’m gonna do.”
Without a thought, Freddy squeezed the trigger of his gun and shot Mr. Kenny in the chest.
Then he shot him again, in the stomach. There was something comforting about the gun going off in Freddy’s hand, something calming. Freddy fired two more times, his arms absorbing the shock of the small piece’s kick, a lifeless expression on his face— once in the thigh, and again in the chest.
Mr. Kenny staggered back, horror in his eyes, bloodstains blooming large on his white shirt.
There was a scream.
Mr. Kenny turned and yelled, “Monica, no!”
Freddy whirled around and blindly fired the gun.
A single bullet tore into the side of the forehead of the woman who was standing by the bedroom door wearing only a bath towel.
It was Monica, Lewis’s old girlfriend.
The towel fell, leaving Monica naked—her body dropped to its knees, then fell flat on its belly.
By then Mr. Kenny had fallen across the sofa. Freddy could see they were both dead.
Freddy hadn’t meant to kill the woman, but maybe it was for the best. After another moment, he turned and was about to walk out of the house when he heard movement behind him.
Freddy turned again, the gun pointed in front of him.
“Mommy. Daddy.” There was a small boy standing in the entrance of the kitchen. The child ran to his father and pulled on his bloody arm.
Freddy walked over to the boy, stood over him, and pointed the gun into the child’s face.
This must be Mr. Kenny’s boy.
The nagging image of Freddy’s unborn child forced its way into his brain again. If it wasn’t for Mr. Kenny, Kia never would’ve aborted their child.
Freddy moved the gun closer to the little boy’s face. The child was bawling and seemed oblivious to the gun.
An eye for an eye, a child for a child, Freddy thought, applying pressure to the trigger.
Freddy envisioned the bullet ripping through the child’s neck, dropping him to squirm in his own blood and die. He pulled on the trigger a little harder, but hesitated slightly.
“Do it, dammit!” Freddy grunted.
But he could not.
He lowered the gun, shoved it back into his jeans, then turned and walked out the door, hearing the sound of the wailing boy.
The Million Dollar Demise
• The scandalous end: RM Johnson’s eagerly anticipated denouement lures us back into the tragic, soap operatic love triangle that has riveted readers since The Million Dollar Divorce. The tension and suspense are ramped up to an all- new high in an ending to the series that will not disappoint.
• Fan favorite: The Million Dollar series had Johnson’s fans raving and begging for more. The Million Dollar Divorce was a terrific success and The Million Dollar Deception is exceed- ing expectations out of the gate. As the track record clearly shows, this is a saga that readers have sunk their teeth into.
• The author at his best: Picking up where The Million Dollar Deception left off, Johnson’s well-known cast of char- acters are at it again, engaging in a tableau of backstabbing, duplicitous, vengeful behavior that only he could paint with such riveting depth.