* * *
“That sounds pretty perfect to me,” Taylor said. He lifted his glass of wine to his lips and finished the last few sips. Then he grabbed the bottle and poured himself another.
“Wow, I’m impressed,” I said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you drink more than one glass of wine before.”
Taylor shrugged. “It’s a special occasion. We are celebrating tonight.”
I took a bite of bread with butter. It was so good it was practically addictive.
“You don’t think there will be any problems with it? Everything should go off without a hitch, right?” I asked.
I was so nervous. I’d spent three years planning and re-planning the perfect revenge plot to take Ted down. Three years and now it was time to get it done. There was no more practice, no more rehearsal. And I was ready. I knew it. I had to be ready.
“I think it will be fine,” Taylor said. “I still think you should just go to the authorities. You are a brand new woman. You are healthy and fit. The man is raising your kids and he tried to kill you. I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but how do you know he hasn’t gotten rid of your kids? Or something…worse?”
I could see that it pained Taylor greatly to say that, and it was something I’d thought about before.
“Because he would never really harm his own kids. He is a neglectful parent, for sure, but he is too narcissistic to ever hurt his own offspring. To him… that would be like cutting off a limb. The kids belong to him. If he wanted to kill them, he would have left them with me in the fire.”
Taylor nodded thoughtfully. He took another bite of his pasta. I could tell he was behind me and that he wanted to be supportive, but he didn’t fully understand my reasons behind this plan.
I knew what Ted was capable of. I knew how devious he was and how his mind worked. If he even thought that I might be alive he’d pay someone to kill me and it would be done. If I sent him to prison, the money he had stolen from me through his legal maneuverings would have accomplished the same thing. Taylor was such a sweetheart that he had trouble thinking like a criminal, despite being such a brilliant man. He didn’t have it in him to hurt a fly. He only knew how to help and to heal. That was what he had been put on this earth for.
And I couldn’t have loved a man more than I loved him.
“I see,” Taylor said. “Ok, so let’s go over it once more to make sure we aren’t missing anything.”
“First, you get close to him. How do you suppose to do that?”
“Well, I was thinking I’d meet him randomly on the street. You know just follow him and then when I meet him I can flirt a bit and get him interested. And then once that happens I’ll just start getting ingrained in his life. Then I just have to find a way to get proof that he tried to murder me and to find a way to get my money back from him so that he has no legal right to any of it. After that, he will be ruined and he will spend the rest of his sorry ass in prison. It won’t be easy. But I’m going to make it happen.”
“I just hope you understand; it may not work out the way you plan.”
I leaned back in my chair and sipped my own glass of wine. It felt so great to be out in public again. I felt like I’d just been released from prison, which in a very real sense—I had been. I’d also noticed that other people were watching me, mostly men. I almost forgot that I was as attractive as I was now. I’d been considered attractive before and I’d never had any issues getting men interested, but now it was so much worse. Even sitting there across from Taylor, as I glanced around just surveying the scene I caught several men with dates staring in my direction. They looked away when I made eye contact with them. It was kind of a bizarre game.
“Yeah, I know. But I’m prepared. Are you worried about me?”
Taylor look surprised. “Well, no. I know that you will be fine. I don’t have a care in the world about that.”
Taylor broke down and smiled at me a little bit embarrassed. “Yeah. I’m worried. I’d be stupid not to be. You are walking into the tiger cage with a hungry tiger. This psycho has already tried to kill you once. What happens if he somehow figures out who you are?”
“He won’t. But it’s so sweet that you are worried.”