A Penny For Christmas Chapter 40: Out Of The Game

He did the unfathomable.

It hit Judge Wilcox like a thunderbolt in the wettest of days. As he watched the news with the utmost concentration, he felt his heart race uncontrollably.
There was only one thing left for him to do now. He took another look at his watch as he planned his exit. He rang the alarm bell underneath his desk. His bodyguards were at the entrance in a flash.
‘Take me home. I need to catch a flight.’
The two men glanced briefly at each other like the judge had to be insane to fly in this weather. He caught the gesture just before it disappeared. If only they knew what was coming. To be in New York under these circumstances would be suicide.
The drive home was so tense that the judge sunk into his seat for fear of a stray bullet bursting through the windows and ending him.
The doctor had cracked. He must have.
Timothy couldn’t be sure. As he burst through his front door, he called out to his wife. “We need to leave, now!’ he yelled. She raced towards him and stopped when she saw his unraveled state.
‘What’s going on?’ she asked, shakingly. Timothy tried to remain calm. He needed her sane. ‘We need to go to France. It…it’s work. Urgent work. ‘
‘I thought you were closed for the holidays, ‘ she reasoned, cleaning the sweat off her brow with her apron. The judge blinked twice. She was preparing to have her sister’s kids over for the New Year. His heart sank. She loved to cook, and he reckoned she would have preferred to turn the kitchen inside out like she was doing now for her own kids.
Unfortunately, his missteps in his youth robbed her of her right to become a mother, but he gave her everything else or tried to at least.
Now, his job was to keep her alive.

‘We don’t have time. We have to leave at once!’ She didn’t argue. Over time, she understood that her husband’s dealings were questionable, and this one must have gone array.
‘I’ll pack a bag,’ she said as she hurried to their bedroom.

The judge slumped on the sofa, listening to the squeaky sounds his wife made as she prepared for their trip. ‘What did you do?’ the judge wondered aloud. His heart raced again. He almost expected the demon to burst through those doors and wriggle the life out of him.
He leaped towards the windows and sighed in relief when he saw his guards in the same position he left them.
He was losing his mind. Clara was downstairs in twenty minutes, appropriately dressed and with two suitcases, and he moaned.

She deserved better.
He took the suitcases and ushered her out the front door, but they froze afterward.
Call for the demon, and he will appear. His stone-cold demeanor eluded triumph, and the smirk lingering on his lips as he watched the judge tremble in fear grew.
His men surrendered their firearms and stood in confusion as the Chief’s men surrounded the building.
‘My, my, were you going on a trip, old man?’ the Chief asked, walking towards him.
‘We..we are going to Europe on holiday,’ the judge answered shakily.
The Chief raised a brow while he stared at Timothy with his cold black eyes. He knew! Timothy thought wildly.
‘In this deadly weather!’ the Chief exclaimed. ‘you shouldn’t put your beautiful wife through such perils,’ he ran his thumb across her cheek, making the judge squirm.
‘I insist you return to your house at once,’ the Chief ordered. The judge unlocked the door and motioned his wife to return with the bags. He placed a reassuring palm on hers as she passed him.
‘There’s no need to worry,’ the Chief called out to her. I’m just here to conduct some business .’
‘Please don’t hurt her,’ the judge pleaded. ‘now why will I do that?’ the Chief asked, puzzled. ‘Isn’t it obvious that I came here to gloat?’
He burst into a deep laugh, and his expression became murderous. ‘I want nothing more than to wipe you off the face of the earth. But I can’t, you see?’ His hands dangled around the judge’s neck, causing Tim to take a few steps back.
‘Christopher wants you alive. He wants to make you pay for everything you did to him. I promised. ‘
The Chief stepped back and looked away in regret.
‘So I can’t hurt you. Yet.’
The judge closed his eyes and steadied the rhythm of his heart with slow breaths, but a loud thud yanked him back to reality as the Chief towered over him. ‘ The price for your life is your loyalty. You don’t breathe. You don’t think. You don’t even s***t without me knowing.’

‘Yes,’ the judge concurred quickly. ‘Now, we came for something. We will get it and leave,’ the Chief explained.
He nodded in agreement as the Chief’s henchmen shoved him aside and started ransacking the house.

They confiscated everything from his case files to his photo albums and extracted the safe behind his large wedding portrait from the wall.
The Chief watched the judge intently as he rocked and shook his head in his arms in disbelief. ‘Did you think you could come after me and win?’ he asked as his men moved documents out of the house.
‘You weren’t even the dangerous one, and look how he turned out!’ He turned to leave when his left eye caught a glimpse of the judge’s phone between his knees.

‘Take it!’ he ordered the man standing by him.

It was a short battle, but the Chief had the phone moments after his men pushed the judge to the ground.
‘Let’s go, boys,’ the Chief barked.
‘The Almighty Judge Timothy Wilcox is done! ‘

They left.

He looked at the destruction they left behind. They must have planted bugs, he thought. He didn’t care. It didn’t matter. He had sent the message and deleted it before they seized his phone.

He had done his part.

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