44 But that doesn’t mean you get to put dentistry on your resume

Jesse went back to work. The client, once she believed Michel had control of the situation and the ex couldn’t call for backup, worked like a woman possessed, getting as much of her stuff out as possible. Once again, it wasn’t the furniture or books, it was the photographs, the kitchen gear and the mementos. She didn’t even take much of her clothing, since it was all in a style that suited hubby.  “I don’t give a shit about this house,” she said at one point.  “He can keep it for all I care.”

After about half an hour, she started hiding in the house again.  The cop was out of the car, and Michel was saying, “You can go back in when she’s out.” The cop looked cold, wet, not quite scared and very, very white under the ghostly streetlight.

As Jesse came up to find out why the hell Mr. Piggy was out of the car, Michel called, “Why do women marry? It’s not like it’s a game they can win.”


“Never been more glad to be who I am,” Michel said in disgust.

“I’ll find her,” the cop said abruptly. “She’ll never testify against me.”

“I just showed you pictures of your last day, doing all kinds of horrible shit, and you’re worried about a court case with her? Shouldn’t you be worried about your job?”

“That’s all inadmissible evidence,” the cop said contemptuously.

“Once I figure out how to get it on the internet, who cares?” Michel said. “You’ll help me with that, right?” he added, turning to Jesse.

“Sure,” Jesse said. Speaking with care, he said, “Sir, I don’t know what you’re thinking right now, but if you assault or harass our client, we’re going to respond.”

Michel added, “My cousin got the Chief of the VPD on speed dial, so don’t be an idiot.”

“Seriously, we should drive him someplace remote and tie him to a tree and leave him there,” Jesse said.

“When I’m done with you you’ll be wearing dentures and shitting in a bag in a wheelchair,” the cop said.

“George won’t let me,” Michel said, ignoring the threat. He wiped away imaginary tears with the backs of his hands.

“Give me back my phone.”

Michel, not even trying to hide what he was doing, snaked his arm across the ground, picked up the sodden phone from where he’d thrown it, smashed it to bits on the roof of the car, and carefully handed what remained to the cop.

“Your phone, as requested,” Michel said. “I gotta find something that will motivate you,”

“Pull his teeth out,” Jesse said, angered by the threat. “It’s non-fatal and it’s what he promised me, so he must think it’s an appropriate punishment for people who piss him off.”

“Oooh, summary justice,” Michel said. He shoved his right hand into the cop’s mouth and emerged with a molar, bleeding with bits of flesh attached.

“Auuugh!” the cop yelled.  He tried to run away and sadly, tripped. Blood poured from his mouth.

“Not ’til I’ve pulled out all of your teeth,” Michel said. “After that we’ll have to get creative.”

“I think maybe we should not be so angry and, you know, vengeful.” Jesse said. The cop’s distress was truly heartbreaking. Deserved, but heartbreaking.

“You suggested it.”

“Honestly, I didn’t think —“

“I’m not angry,” Michel pointed out.  “He hasn’t seen me angry.”

Jesse wished he hadn’t been so spontaneous in his suggestion.

“Just let me go. You guys are crazy.” He spat.

“I don’t beat my wife,” Michel said pointed out, “And if I was dumb enough to get one I’d treat her like she wanted.”

“Crazy? I don’t think any of us meet the legal standard, even you, you fucking asshole,” Jesse said. “Tie him back into the car and we can push him off a bridge when we’re done.”

“No, no, don’t do it!”

Michel took the hint. “I think it’s a great idea. The coroner’s gonna have his hands full with this one.”

Michel gagged and bound the cop, returned him to the car, and they finished loading.

Jesse and the client went to the truck. Michel ungagged the cop, and as the cop realized that Jesse, who had not actually harmed him, and his wife, who didn’t spare a backward glance, were leaving, and that he was now alone, injured and unarmed in the company of the biggest fucking crazy goon he’d ever met, he finally panicked. Michel could feel the fright wash over him and grinned to himself.

“I need medical attention,” the cop bleated.

“What?” Michel said, handing back the car keys. “Drive.  Dead men don’t need medical attention.”

“You can’t kill me.  You won’t get away with it.”

“Got away with it every other time, didn’t I? Not that you knew that, but now you do. Turn left.”

“Where are we going?”

“The bridge.”

After a very tense and silent drive, they were on the Port Mann Bridge. Michel told him to pull over.

“It’s strictly against the rules, but there’s hardly any traffic this time of night. Look at me.”

Reluctantly, he turned his head.

“Mike Peller, you got two choices. Leave your wife the fuck alone or get pictures of you banging a streetwalker in your car on the internet. Fuck up again after that warning, and I’ll bring you here and shove you off this bridge myself.”

All Michel got was a nod. He got out of the car. “I’m keeping the tooth,” he said. “And the gun. I like souvenirs.” He moved out of anyone’s sightline, and vanished. The car took off east across the bridge, fishtailing and skipping across lanes.

Mike Peller took early retirement and moved to Thailand, which was probably sorry news for someone. Candace Peller, who immediately reverted to her maiden name, was not one of those people.