This whole story was originally intended to be humorous... don't know when it became so serious and depressing. I had written an *entirely* different part than the one here. Not sure where this came from... gotta be the mother of all mood swings or *somethin’*, 'cause I only ever write like this when I'm depressed.

Part 7

Dave was concerned, of course, but he honestly didn't see what the big deal was. Sure, Johnny had no idea that he and Lisa had rekindled their romance, but that didn't mean anything, because Johnny and Lisa were divorced. Of course, as Dave remembered, he was a whole head shorter that Johnny...
Suddenly, as several worst-case-scenarios flashed through Dave's head, he was very afraid. But he still didn't understand why *Lisa* was so scared. Dave was about to ask her what the hell was going on when Lisa turned around and whispered, "I never told you- or anyone else- this, but on the night before Johnny left he was rally drunk and... and he hit me. *Hard*. And it wasn't the first time, either."
Dave felt his eyes widen. "Lisa, why didn't you-"
Lisa shushed him, as she turned her back to Dave and lifted up the back of her shirt just far up enough so that Dave could see a surprisingly large and very ugly red mark. "Oh my God, Lisa..." Dave whispered. He turned her around so that they were staring each other in the eyes. Dave had a million questions he wanted to ask about this unnerving new information. Lisa turned away and locked door. She then flung herself at Dave, burying her face in his chest. "I thought he was gone, Dave..." she whispered, almost inaudibly. Dave had no other response just to hold her. He couldn't even tell her that it would be okay, because he had no idea if it would be.
A sudden knock on the door ripped through Dave's thoughts and he felt Lisa stiffen. She looked up at him, searching his eyes. Another pounding knock at the door. "Lisa, I know you're in there!" a muffled shout came from the other side of the door.
"Dave, go call the police," Lisa said with a surprising calmness.
He just stood there, frozen. Lisa walked over the door. She looked back at him. "Dave. Now!"
God, he was scared. Dave was unwilling to leave her alone; the only thing that separated Lisa from her deeply disturbed ex-husband was a deadbolt lock. Despite his misgivings, Dave followed Lisa's instructions.

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Lisa stared at the door. Johnny continued to pound on it, and was beginning to scream obscenities and physical threats at her. She couldn't move. Lisa honestly feared for her life- that's why she made Dave leave. She didn't want anything to happen to him. Why, if Johnny saw Dave was there, he'd kill him. She was debating whether she should run and hide or not, when the door swing open. "Here's Johnny!" he announced in a slurred voice, as he drunkenly staggered into the house. "Didja miss me?" Johnny asked. He approached Lisa. "I'm here to take you back." Johnny tried to kiss her, but the smell of alcohol on his breath combined with his intimidating height was too overwhelming for Lisa. She backed away instinctively.
"Wuzzah matter? Johnny's not good enough for ya?" he asked. "Lisa, baby, that hurts."
"Get out of this house right now," Lisa said. The forcefulness of her voice surprised her.
"Is that anyway to talk to your husband? You're forgetting that when you hurt me, you leave me no choice but to retaliate." He picked up the poker that was leaning up against the fireplace and sung it threateningly.
Lisa swallowed hard. "Johnny, get out of here. I already have the cops coming."
Johnny laughed, as he pointed the tip of the poker at her chest. "You wouldn't do that. It's not like I'm gonna kill ya or anything," he said with false sincerity. Lisa couldn't even say anything at this point. Her eyes were trained on Johnny's makeshift weapon.
"Get the hell out of this house!"
Lisa almost turned around, but thought better of it. 'Oh, God, Dave, what are you doing?' she thought wildly. He had no idea of what Johnny was capable of when he was drunk.
"Dave Nelson? What a surprise. I should have known that you'd come make a move on my lady while I was gone. Too bad you have no clue what you've gotten into."

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Dave watched as Johnny pushed Lisa aside and staggered toward him. He was certain that Johnny was going to kill him. Or, at the very least, paralyze him from the waist down. He was scared as shit.
Lisa kneeling on the floor and crying silently. Dave noticed that she looked deathly pale. God, he hoped that Johnny didn't hurt her. Johnny may have a size advantage, but he was so drunk that he couldn't even stand up without wobbling.
"Dave... you of all people should know what I can do. You said it yourself- I'm evil! I could gut you like a fish if I wanted to. But I won't. Not yet," Johnny grinned menacingly. "After all, I've learned that you can't kill 'em first and ask questions later. And do I *ever* have some questions for you."
Dave figured he might as well humour Johnny. And the police wouldn't come for at least another six minutes, so it wouldn't hurt to stall him. "What kind of questions, Johnny?" Dave asked hesitantly.
"Oh, just a few simple ones. Like... oh, I dunno..." Johnny thought for a moment and then hollered, "What made you think you could come up here and try to steal my woman away from me?"
Not quite sure how to answer that question without pissing Johnny off even more, Dave tried to think of a reasonable and calm answer to Johnny's wild accusations. "Uh, gee, Johnny, I- I didn't come up here with the intentions of... of, um...taking Lisa away from you," he managed to stammer. When would the police get there?
Johnny thought about this for a while, his glazed eyes moving wildly the entire time. Dave had noticed that Lisa had gotten up and he wondered- almost as an afterthought- where she might have gone.
"So, Dave," Johnny continued, "Why *did* you come to New Hampshire? And why are you here in my house?"
"I'm here on... uh... *job-related* business," Dave answered.
Johnny laughed and hiccuped. "That's funny. I was under the impression that screwing my wife wasn't part of your job description."
Dave didn't have a response to that. Instead, he watched as Johnny, almost in slow motion, lifted up the fireplace poker and Dave quickly realized that he intended to beat him with it.

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Lisa, who had since gotten over the initial shock of Johnny's return and pulled herself together, watched in horror as Johnny swung at Dave with the poker.
"Johnny, I swear to God I'll kill you myself!" she screamed.
Johnny turned around and was looking down the barrel of Lisa's handgun. "Lisa, baby-" he started.
"Don't give me any more of your crap. I'd shoot you in a second if you give me a reason to," she said coldly through clenched teeth. "Now give me that damned thing before you make me even more upset."
Johnny shrugged and relinquished his weapon. Lisa tossed it across the room, far from his reach. "You jackass," she growled at him. "How *dare * you barge into my house and make threats. I have half a mind to blow your head clear off your shoulders."
He chuckled nervously. "Lisa, honey, surely you wouldn't-"
Lisa looked at him. "I'm glad you're so sure about that, 'cause I'm not."
Johnny looked utterly frightened for the first time that night.
"If you move a muscle before the cops get here, I swear to God I'll do it." Lisa kept her handgun trained on Johnny's forehead, ready to shoot in a heartbeat. Cautiously, she dared to look at Dave. He was sitting on the ground and looked a little dazed. "You okay, Dave?" Lisa asked with a mixture of deep concern and horror.
After a beat, he responded. "Yeah," Dave said, nodding his head slowly.
"You sure?" she asked.
Dave looked over at her. "No," he said, his eyes wild and unfocused.
Lisa turned her attention back to Johnny. "You son of a *bitch*!" Lisa screamed at him.
She was unable to control her anger towards Johnny- it was bad enough he had almost ruined her life, but he went and hurt the one person Lisa cared for the most.
Blinded by outrage and vengeance, Lisa recklessly fired a succession of bullets as the police barged through her front door.

Part 8