Maggie's Nightmare: Chapter Twenty-Eight
Hey y'all :-P
As I mentioned before, my muse has been on vacay forever now, so I appreciate your patience as I work to get these chapters up ;)
As always, thank you to everyone who has continued to read and follow this story ... I really do appreciate it.
Of course, I would like to send a Special Thank you to itslea, ZackB, Alice_Weekes, Char_, sowhat730, and Daryl'sDoll for commenting on the last chapter - you all seriously rock! I love you all!
This chapter is from a Guest POV – Lt. James … I wanted to give another perspective as to the events that are taking place inside the safety of the walls of Fort Benning. I hope y'all like it ;)
Now, back to our story …
Lt. James' POV –
"Think we got all that settled now. Hope talkin' to Beth helps y'all understand where I'm comin' from over here. I want y'all to know I'm gonna do everythin' in my power to keep everyone involved in this safe. That's my goal here. No matter what you may think of The Governor; hopefully, now ya know a little more bout the kinda man I am."
"I think we're startin' to, Lt." I was met with the silence on the other end for a moment. "We're real grateful for ya lettin' us talk with Beth. It's good to know she's doin' alright. We appreciate it."
"Alright. Well, suppose I'll be seeing y'all soon." I exhaled deeply; exasperated by this turn of
events. With my head hung low, I rubbed bridge of my nose and clicked the CB radio back on.
"If ya need anythin' before then, you know how to reach me."
Rick signed off and I shut the CB radio down. I sighed and looked up to find Beth still standin' in the doorway; her arms crossed and shoulder leaning against the doorframe.
She was a sweet little thing, and I could tell there wasn't a mean bone in her body. And, after this last conversation with the prison group and finding out about Maggie … and her baby – I was confused as to what course of action I should take here.
"Jesus Christ! The Governor is the baby's father? How could I have been so wrong? He's a rapist. And, he's a liar …" I thought to myself.
I couldn't believe it! He didn't even try to deny it … he actually wanted to celebrate the birth of this child! A child whom several people had now told me was the product of him raping Beth's sister … just to get information as to the location of this prison. It was a cold and sadistic thing to do in the first place, but then to follow it up with everything that he's done since … I questioned everything else he'd ever told me and I even questioned his sanity.
I'd had so much hope in him and for this place we were trying to create and it was all just crumbling.
Beth gave me a tight lipped smile; she had a solemn look on her face.
"So … ya talked to Maggie's husband?"
I nodded my head yes. "I did."
She walked into the room and sat down in the chair across from me.
"And? What did you take from the conversation?"
I took a deep breath; my eyebrows furrowed. I didn't even want to say the words.
"He told me about the rape. That the Governor is the father. And, I'm …"
Beth's eyes widened. "And, what?"
"I mean, The Governor admitted that the baby is his … he admitted it!" I was just in disbelief.
"Beth … I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for everything. You must hate me."
I couldn't even look her in the eyes.
"Hey …" She paused and stood up and walked over to me and sat on the edge of the desktop; close enough to touch me. She reached down and placed her hand on my shoulder. "Hey … ya didn't know what kinda man he was. You believed his lie and he gave ya every reason to. He gave ya hope, I get it."
I slowly looked up; her angelic face looking down at me.
I'd participated in the kidnapping of two young women … and for what?
"I am so ashamed. I should've known." I paused. "There were signs, ya know? That things weren't always as they appeared. And, what happened to your sister and you … Jesus!"
I looked away again. I was horrified that I'd taken part in this cruel act. There was so much more going on here than I ever could have imagined.
Beth must've seen the worry in my face.
"It's not your fault what he did to Maggie." She paused and her face turned serious; her eyes weren't as soft as before. "And, takin' us … me and Maggie. Well, ya should be ashamed; it wasn't right … and I ain't gonna sugar coat it for ya. But … I do think you're a good man. And, you'll do what's right."
Beth's innocence and understanding was astounding. She tried to comfort me as my eyes welled up with tears.
She continued. "James, I think you're supposed to help us get outta here … and end this once and for all."
I'd helped to create this mess, but I wasn't exactly sure of what to do next. I was dumbfounded for the moment. I suppose I was still in shock of this newest revelation. But, I did know one thing … I'd have to do something to help these girls and to help their group. I'd have to make this right somehow.
I nodded in agreement. "I understand now, Beth. And, I'm gonna help y'all any way that I can." I wiped the tears from my eyes with the back of my hand.
Beth softened her gaze and smiled.
"I need you. We… need you – me and Maggie. We need ya to help get us outta here. And, I need ya to stop this whole meetin' or whatever this thing is that The Governor's got planned." She paused for a moment. "I know for a fact that it's a set up. He wants to kill em. He told Maggie … and she told me."
Shit! This was going to get REAL complicated.
I nodded my head. "You're probably right, Beth. He's lied bout a lot things, it seems." I rubbed the back of my neck. "Only thing is, I can't just call it off."
Beth stood up abruptly. "Why the hell not?!"
"Now calm down …!" I paused, trying to think of how to best explain the situation here. "Listen Beth … I've got several hundred men here, and their still livin' under his command. They believe what he told us – just like I did. They want those prisoners freed."
Beth raised her voice; I could tell she was getting upset.
"But, you're their leader too. Can't ya just kill him or … over throw him or somethin'?"
"Keep yer voice down!" I barked at her rather gruffly.
Beth's eyes widened and she crossed her arms, as if to hold herself … she looked a little scared. I kinda felt bad for yellin'. I was takin' out my frustration bout the Governor on her. She just stood there silently, while I continued.
"Sorry. Just can't be havin' this conversation to be heard by anyone outside this room." I motioned for her to sit back down. "There are a lot of men that would follow me no questions asked. But, there are still a lot that would consider what you just said - a coup; they could try to kill me, take the camp for themselves … they'd become like a pack of wild dogs should anythin' happen to both me and The Governor. I can't risk it. We gotta make sure we think this through … do this right. Or, else, there's no tellin' what would happen to you, your sister or the rest of your group."
This whole thing could blow up in my face … and Beth and the rest of em would suffer for it if it did. That is one thing that I knew for sure.
Beth was obviously still very worried about the meeting that was now just a few days away.
She leaned towards me and whispered; desperation filled her voice.
"But, ya just gotta do somethin' …! Daryl, Glenn, Rick … they'll all be there. He'll kill them! I know he will!"
I stood up and walked in front of her and then grabbed Beth by both of her arms; gently and pulled her close. I wanted to let her know that I was serious about helping her and her friends and family.
I quietly responded.
"Listen …" I tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "I ain't gonna let nothin' happen to yer people at this meetin'. I promise ya. I can take care of that. Anythin' he's got planned … I can make sure that it doesn't happen. But …"
"But, what?" She demanded.
"But … I need time."
The way she looked back at me reminded me of just how young she was; there were many things in this world that she still had yet to learn. In many ways, she had remained quite innocent through this whole disaster. I admired that about her.
"Time for what, exactly?"
Her lips tightened. I could tell she didn't think there was any valid reason I could give.
"If I'm gonna keep you, your sister, my men and your group all in one piece … I gotta make sure
I've got things in place, if I'm gonna help y'all. And, to do that … I need to see if I can get some sort of proof about the lie. I need to see exactly how many of the men will follow me. And, I need to know what I'm gonna be up against if this turns bloody."
Beth's frustration seemed to subside; she seemed to understand that there was more at play here. It was a complicated situation that wouldn't be ended by just killing The Governor.
"I think I understand … do ya really think ya can help us outta here and keep everyone safe?"
"Well, that's what I'm gonna try to do. Okay?"
Beth leaned in and wrapped her arms around me and held on to me tightly; her head rested against my chest. It had been a long time since any woman had been so close to me. It was shocking … I'd forgotten what it was like to be hugged, by anyone for that matter. She looked up at me from within her embrace.
"Thank you, James."
Her big blue eyes were filled with gratitude. She was so innocent and so … beautiful. Actually,
she was very beautiful and she smelled like a woman should.
It's been so long since I've been with a beautiful woman …
I shook my head a bit as my mind wandered into dangerous territory.
Shit …! Damnit, man … ya can't think like that. Not ever!
This post-apocalyptic world can twist even the best of men, if they're not careful. That was somethin' I always tried to remember; it was the reality of this new world.
I pushed her away gently. Better to keep her at a distance, at least physically.
Don't want to be crossin' any boundaries here …
"Alright. Well, don't thank me yet. Not till things are settled."
Beth nodded. "Okay. But … thank you anyways …"
"Sure." I huffed.
I knew I had to act fast and make sure that I put things in place so that no one else was hurt in this situation. I had a couple hundred men here at Fort Benning, Beth, Maggie, the baby and all of those people at the prison to think about. There was a lot at stake here and I needed to be smart about what actions I was going to take in the days to come.
I needed to speak with The Governor again. I needed to hear him explain himself and see if I could determine what his real intentions are and have been. I needed some answers. I needed some proof that I could take to the men.
"I'm gonna go talk to The Governor. I need to get some answers from him."
I walked to the door and turned to say goodbye.
"I'll be back in a bit. Don't ya worry bout a thing."
"I'll see ya later."
I nodded and closed the door. I made sure to lock all of the additional locks placed on the apartment; not to keep her from getting out, but to keep others from getting in.
As I drove to The Governor's apartment, I thought about the conversation I had with the group at the prison; I was havin' serious doubts … about everythin'.
How could I have been so blind?
I couldn't figure out how the man who'd been leadin' us all this time had lied to us about so many things. How he had manipulated all of us. The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. It was very unlike me to be so fuckin' off about someone.
I needed think back to my training. I needed to ask him the hard questions and really assess his answers; his body language. I needed to confirm this one last time, before taking this before my men.
I have to be 100% sure.
Once I arrived at The Governor's apartment, I walked towards his front door and noticed he'd upped the number of men guarding his door from two to four.
That's new, I thought to myself.
As I approached, each of the four men took the chance to salute me; I returned the salute.
"At ease, men."
I rapped on the front door and The Governor answered; he looked slightly annoyed.
"Yes, Lt. James? Can I help you?"
I looked over his shoulder and saw the apartment was empty. I had thought perhaps Beth's sister might be back from the hospital with the baby already.
"I need to speak with you bout some things. Can I come in? Is Maggie here?"
"No, Maggie and Evie aren't comin' home till this afternoon. Come on in."
It was for the best that she isn't here …The Governor will probably talk more freely in her absence.
I nodded and walked in. The Governor closed the door behind me and then walked towards his back office. He unlocked the door and took a seat behind the desk.
He crossed his arms over his chest.
"Just wanted to talk to ya … bout this meetin' comin' up."
"Well, I … I spoke with Rick and a few others at the prison earlier today."
The Governor just nodded his head and stared back at me blankly.
"Seems like everythin's set."
"That's excellent news."
I paused and an awkward silence fell between us for a moment … there was obviously an elephant in the room that needed to be addressed. I had something to say to him, and I wasn't sure how well it was going to go over. I hesitated.
"Is that all, James?"
"No, I … wanted to ask ya somethin' … it's personal."
He didn't flinch, which I took as a good sign.
"Okay … shoot." He raised his arms and placed his palms on the top of his desk. "I'm an open book."
Sure ya are …!
Open book my ass. I was gonna call him out on his shit. I just hoped I got what I needed from him.
"Well, Boss … Maggie has a husband, doesn't she?"
"Suppose she does." He cocked his head to the side; his lips tightened. "And ...? What does that have to do with anything?"
"Last night you called for a celebration. You said that baby was yours … that you were her father."
The expression on his face changed; the Governor's eye narrowed, a crooked smile formed on his face like some comic book villain.
He was proud of this fact, I could tell.
"Why wouldyou think you're the father of her baby if she has a husband?"
The Governor sat back into his chair, folding his arms once again on his chest. I paid attention to every gesture; his body language immediately told me that he was holding something in; he had something to hide.
"Not that it matters, but during my interrogation of her at Woodbury … things got …" He paused and looked up at the ceiling, seemingly searching for the right word. "Heated."
"Yes, James. Heated."
The Governor's eye glazed over as he started to recall the night.
"I was tryin' to get information bout the prison group. They're like terrorists, ya know? I had to find out what I could. While I was questioning Maggie, she … seduced me." He laughed; rubbing his chin and cavalierly continued. "Suppose she was just usin' me; tryin' to get me to free her and that Chinese fella." He paused and looked up at the ceiling as he continued. Another sign of deception. "Anyways, like a fool, I fell for her lies. I slept with her. It was wrong of me to do, I shouldn't have, but it had been so long since I'd been with a woman. And, she's a beautiful woman … what can I say …?"
The Governor shrugged his shoulders; he seemed so resolute in his reply. It really looked like he believed this line of bullshit he was feeding me.
He's fuckin' delusional if he thinks I'm gonna by this!
"So, you're sayin' … Maggie had sex with you?"
The Governor's hand came to his mouth as he started to talk. Liars often try to cover their mouths, when they speak. It's he unconscious trying to hide the lie coming out of a person's mouth as they talk.
"Yes. She wanted me to let her go, let … Glenn go. I know it was wrong, especially, since I never had any intention of letting them go. But, yes. I had sex with her and … guess I got her pregnant."
I didn't believe any of this. He was lying to me … he wasn't telling me the truth but his body language told me all I needed to know. He may not verbalize that he raped Maggie, but he was telling me that he did, nonetheless.
"Maggie and you, huh?"
He shook his head no, while replying.
"Yes. Me and Maggie. Funny how things work out. This world still has surprises for you."
I tried to sound convinced.
"Yeah, that's quite a … surprise, Boss."
He was a liar, but he'd managed to not outright tell me a raped her. I still had more questions, so I tried to seem at least semi-convinced that The Governor was tellin' the truth.
"Another question, Boss. Did you know bout the baby … bein' yours? I mean, this whole time?"
"No, James. Not till I got Maggie back to fort. She told me on the drive back." I chuckled. "It was certainly a shock, and I didn't really believe her until after I saw Evie." I took a deep breath. "Ya see … Evie looks just like my … my Penny."
I nodded. "I see …."
Of course, I'd heard of Penny. He'd spoken of her on occasion. It always seemed like a painful topic, so it was never somethin' I brought up. The Governor made a mention every now and again, especially, if we came across any little girls that we'd come across that were walkers.
"Yes. She looks just like my Penny; the resemblance is uncanny. There's no question in mind … Evie is mine. Man … Penny woulda been a wonderful big sister."
Jesus, he's sick! I don't know how much more of this I can take.
"Got it. Well … glad we cleared that up, Boss. Just was a little confused, is all. Ya can understand, right?"
"Of course. Of course, I understand. I can see how that would be confusing."
I needed to get the hell outta there already; I'd heard enough. I stood up to leave.
"Suppose I'll be on my way then …"
Although, I was done questioning him bout Maggie, guess he wasn't done with me.
"No, no … sit, sit back down, James." I paused and then took a seat. I wondered what he could possibly want to talk bout now. "Sit back down, please." I took my seat again, as The Governor continued. "Since we're gettin' personal … thought I might talk to ya bout somethin' as well."
"Ok, Boss. What's on yer mind?"
"Well, I've been wantin' to follow up with you and see how things were goin' … on the home front?"
Home front …?
"What's that? What d'ya mean?"
"I'd l like to know how things are goin' with the gift I gave you. How're things with you and Beth."
Where's he goin' with this?
"I'm sorry, Boss. What do you want to know exactly?"
He started to laugh loudly; The Governor seemed quite amused.
"Oh, come on James … no need to discreet. How's the sex? Good?"
What a sick fuck!
He's delusional if he actually thought I was the type of man that would forcibly have sex with one
of our hostages … or any woman for that matter. He knew that, so why was he askin'?
I nervously shifted in my seat … I was seriously uncomfortable with where this conversation was going.
"Well, I … umm …"
I could barely form words at the moment.
He was unbelievable!
"Seriously …? Was she a virgin or did that fuckin' redneck Daryl pop her little cherry?"
I didn't even know what to say.
"Boss, I … I dunno …"
His eyebrow arched above his one good eye. The Governor wanted to details, he continued to pry.
"Well, did she bleed?"
I figured I'd just lie; give him some fake details. He'd never know the difference anyways. No one but me and Beth knew the truth bout our sleepin' arrangements, or if I'd actually slept with Beth or not.
I puffed up my chest and began my tale. I'd give him a few morsels to chew on, and hoped he'd leave it alone after that.
"No … no she didn't."
"Hmm … that's unfortunate. Well, there's no accountin' for the Greene women's taste in men.
Sorry bout that." I paused. "Hopefully, you still are findin' her … enjoyable."
I exhaled deeply. The sleazy smirk on his face was startin' to really grate on me. I nodded yes.
"Yes, Beth is a wonderful woman to have around. She's very sweet."
"Sweet indeed! So, tell me … was she, ya know? Difficult to break in? She put up a fight?"
What the fuck? Really?
"Jesus, Boss … I ain't discussin' this with you."
He sat up straight in his chair and slammed his hands down on the table.
"Answer the damn question, Lieutenant!"
He was obviously startin' to boil over, but I wasn't gonna do this with him. He may be The Governor, but I don't gotta put up with this shit! I was over this conversation, and I let him fuckin' know. No more pussyfooting around. I was done!
"I'm not comfortable talkin' bout that with ya … if ya don't mind?" I growled.
He got the point …finally!
He threw his arms up in the arm.
"Fine, fine …!" He laughed. "Maybe another time."
I glared at him; he knew there wouldn't be another time. I wasn't gonna talk to him bout these things. I wasn't like him and I didn't even feel comfortable lyin' bout it to get him off my back.
I didn't have to put up with this shit! And, I wasn't gonna …
"I'm gonna head on out ..."
"Alright, alright. I'll be seein' soon then." He took a seat in his chair behind his desk and grabbed a book and started to leaf through the pages. "James?"
He didn't even bother to look up from the book.
"Let the boys at the front door know that Maggie will be here within the hour. I want dinner brought up at 5:00pm – sharp."
He raised his hand and waived me off.
What an asshole!
I stomped through the apartment and felt my blood start to boil the minute I stepped outside. I could feel the heat rush to my face as my pulse quicken. I was on fuckin' fire, I was so pissed.
One of the guards reached over and shook me.
"Ya alright Lieutenant?"
"Huh? What …?"
"Lieutenant? Ya alright?"
"No … I mean, yeah. I'm fine."
I shook my head to regain my faculties.
"Governor wants dinner at 5pm boys. Make sure it ain't late."
I turned around and thought about my encounter with The Governor while I walked back to the car and as I drove back to my own apartment. I pulled the truck over. I just couldn't face Beth yet. Knowing that I'd been a part of bringin' here; bringin' her into this mess … I just felt like shit.
I just wish I'd seen The Governor for who he really is.
I must've sat in my truck for an hour, just thinkin' bout things. Tryin' to figure out some way to get this resolved and spare as many lives as possible. When I finally felt I could face Beth, I returned back to the apartment. Beth was waitin' there; she was on the couch readin' a book.
"Hi." She quietly greeted me as I walked in.
I sat down beside her on the couch.
"Had a … real nice talk with The Governor."
She set the book in her lap.
"Did you? What'd he say?"
"Told me … things got heated with your sister and him."
"The hell does that mean?"
"He didn't admit to the rape. He said it was consensual. Maggie seduced him in an attempt to free herself and Glenn."
"That's bullshit, James!" Beth got real fired up. "Ya shoulda seen her when she got back. Maggie, she was covered in bruises. There were literally handprints on her from where she was grabbed so hard!"
"Calm down. Calm down … I know he was lyin'. He spent the better part of an hour lyin' to my face. I know that …"
"Good. I can't even believe he would say that bout Maggie. After what he did, what nerve?!"
"Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinkin'"
Before we could continue, there was a loud knock at the front door.
I got up and opened the door and was surprised to find Nick Foster on the other side. He looked like crap; like he hadn't slept for a couple of days.
"Can I help you, Nick?"
Nick peaked over my shoulder; his neck craned; he was obviously lookin' for Beth.
"Just wanted to see if I could, umm … talk to Beth."
I looked over my shoulder and Beth looked back curiously; her eyes wide. She stood up and walked towards the doorway.
"Nick? What do you want?"
"I need to talk to ya bout somethin'. It's real important."
"What's so important, Foster?"
"It's just …" He spoke this time just to Beth. "Beth do ya mind? I got somethin' to talk to ya bout that I think you'll wanna here."
Beth walked up closer and was now standing in between me and Nick.
"I do …" He leaned over and whisper in her ear. Beth's head shot up after receiving whatever news Nick had brought her.
"James …? I knew Nick from the prison. Ya think I could have a minute with him?"
She asked so sweetly. Plus, if there was anythin' I could do to ease her pain or make her stay here more comfortable then I was all for it. If she wanted to talk to Nick, then I'd let her talk to Nick.
"Sure, why not?" I let Nick inside. "Come on in." We all just stood there in silence awkwardly for a moment, so I took my cue to leave. "I'm just meet with a few of my Sergeants. Mind keepin' an eye on her for a bit Foster? Maybe an hour or two?"
"Of course, lieutenant."
"Alright, then I'll let the guard go for a break then since you'll be here. Alright with you?"
Nick walked in and stood closely to Beth. They seemed to be friendly enough and apparently
Beth didn't have a problem with him.
"I'll be back in an hour or two."
Nick nodded exuberantly.
"Thanks, Lieutenant! Thank you …!"
"Beth you gonna be alright here?"
"Yes, I think so. Thank you, James."
I gave her a quick smile leaving her in the care of Nick, while I set out to find my Sergeants and some of my other most trusted allies here. If I was gonna pull this off, I'd need their help and support.
"If anythin' happens to her … it's your head, Foster – literally!"
And, I meant it!
"Oh, I know, lieutenant. I know."
"Ya need anythin'; you know how to reach me Beth. Channel seven on the CB, alright?"
Beth nodded her head yes. She looked pretty excited to see Nick; I was startin' to get real curious as to what he could've possibly whispered to her.
What was goin' on in the pretty little head of hers, anyways?
I supposed that I'd find out when I got home after Nick left; figured she'd tell me all about it … now that her and I were on the same team now. I was definitely team prison now … The Governor was delusional that's somethin' I was sure of. He had to go and I'd speak with my men tonight bout some possibilities for a successful take over.
END OF CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT
So, I wanted to bring in Lt. James again, so I could address his concerns and so you can learn more about him as he has a "reoccurring role" in some of the upcoming chapters. Things for The Governor are unraveling; however, he doesn't quite know it yet. Since things are gonna start to get a little crazy from here on out … I had a few questions for y'all :)
QUESTIONS for my readers:
1. Now that Lt. James knows about The Governor and the baby, do you think he's going to be able to convince his troops about what to do about the prison group? Will they even care?
2. Lt. James wants to get everyone out of this situation alive and well … do you think he's going to be successful?
3. If someone has to die out of these characters (Rick, Glenn, Karen, Tyrese, Carol, Sasha or Daryl), who would you prefer it to be? And, why? (LOL)
4. So … Nick's back! And, he's got Beth all alone. Beth seemed pretty excited about what he told her. What do you think he told her? And, do you think he's there to help?
So, let me know what you think; like it, love it, hate it ... let me know your thoughts. If you've got a moment, please leave me a note or comment on your way out ... I'd love to hear from you all :-D
** Also, I have Chapter 29 outlined and ready to get started on ... So, as soon as this chapter gets 6 reviews - I'll get started on the chapter and get it up as soon as I can!
To all of you that consistently review … I just want to thank you for your continued support and thoughtful comments.
Author's Note: This review challenge is really more of inspiration for me; every time I see a new one comment - it really does make me smile every time I see a new review and let's me know that you guys are all enjoying the story as much as I enjoy writing it :-D
Here's a Teaser Chapter TWENTY-NINE: Maggie comes home from the hospital with the baby and receives a "warm welcome" home from The Governor.