Authors: Jamie Salisbury
3 of the Tudor Dynasty series
Tudor Reunion Tour
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“She’s quite beautiful you know, Zara.
You and Amadeus must be so proud.”
That voice. I’d know that voice
anywhere. How in the hell did he get into my house?
“Johnny Roberts!” I hissed as he walked
slowly, cocky as ever from the shadows out of the corner of the room. “How the
hell did you get in here?”
“It wasn’t as hard as you might think,
Zara. That security Amadeus hired? Pretty damn pitiful excuse for a security
detail.” He held on to a screaming Elizabeth, her little body dangling in the
one arm he used to hold her. I had to get her away from him.
Johnny was the one person from his band,
Tudor Rose, Amadeus did not invite back to rejoin the group for this tour. This
was the exact reason why, his snarky attitude. Obviously he wasn’t happy about
being left out.
Lurching forward, catching Johnny off
guard, I snatched Elizabeth out of his arm. Not expecting my sudden move, he
let go of her quickly. I had no idea what he meant to do, but I wasn’t going to
let him do it without a fight. I could scream, but I didn’t think anyone would
hear me. I clutched Elizabeth in my arms. As I neared the stairway, I twisted,
kicked him hard in the shin, and started running up the stairs as fast as I
Johnny grunted and swore, “Bitch.”
There was a phone in our bedroom. I
slammed the door shut, locked it, wedged a heavy and stout wood chair beneath
the knob, and raced for the phone. Elizabeth was wailing at the top of her
lungs. Amadeus and I kept a portable playpen in our bedroom to put her in those
times she woke up early or I needed to work upstairs. I set her down in it, reassuring
her as best I could that everything would be fine.
My hands were shaking as I jerked up the
receiver and punched in the emergency number. I could hear Johnny outside the
door, turning the knob, swearing when it didn’t open, ramming his shoulder against
the thick slab of wood.
Wood cracked. Any second Johnny would
burst through the door. “You’re dead, you hear me, bitch? First I’m
fuck you, then I’m going to kill you.”
I was shaking now, terrified of what
would happen once he got into the room. Oh God! I put the phone down on the
table. Whoever answered would hear what was going on. I needed a way to defend
myself. For God’s sake—the gun Amadeus kept in the nightstand drawer!
I fumbled for a moment then picked it up
along with the box of shells. He didn’t keep it loaded. The cardboard cut one
of my fingers. My hands were shaking so badly I nearly dropped the box. I
shoved the bullets in, closed the cylinder, and aimed it toward the door.
“Get away from the door, Johnny! I’ve
got a gun in here, and it’s pointed right at you! Get away or I swear I’ll pull
“Zara, fuck you. Amadeus has no guns, he
hates them. No, I’m
kill you, and I’m
do it slow, real slow while your baby watches.” He
threw his weight against the door one last time, splintering the wood, and I
fired the pistol.
The shot was deafening in the small
bedroom. My ears rang as I pulled the trigger a second time, heard it rip
through the wood, then the door gave completely away and crashed onto the floor
in front of me.
Johnny Roberts sprawled on top of it,
his eyes bulging like an Easter Island
, arms and
legs bent in unnatural positions, blood pooling, a bright red puddle that
spread like a growing tide all over the door, pumping out of Johnny’s chest.
Suddenly his chest quit heaving. He was dead.
Elizabeth was terrified, sobbing
uncontrollably. I rushed over towards her, picking her up, trying to comfort
her. She was inconsolable. I realized the phone was still where I’d left it. I
put the receiver to my ear and heard someone on the other end shouting, wanting
to know what was going on.
“You need to send someone out to Peter McNichol’s
farm now! I just killed an intruder.”
“Are you alright ma’am?”
“Yes, hurry, please!”
I put the phone down and bounced
Elizabeth in my arms, trying to assure her that everything would be fine. But
would it? What the hell had I done?
“Come on, sweetie, let’s go downstairs
so we don’t have to look at this. I promise everything is okay now.”
I walked toward the bedroom door opening
and stopped. I knew I had to not disturb the crime scene, but I also knew I had
to get Elizabeth and me away from the horror.
No more had I made my way to the living
room than the sound of sirens coming down the farm road hit us and Elizabeth,
who had been calming down somewhat, cranked back up in a fitful wail.
I don’t know how much time had passed
from the time the police arrived. I sat in the kitchen and, in detail,
described everything that had transpired that afternoon to the inspectors.
Somehow Elizabeth had finally fallen asleep in my arms, exhausted, I was sure,
from all the madness of the day. I finally stood up and placed her in the
bouncy seat that was still on the kitchen counter.
I turned around to see Amadeus rushing
into the room. He came right to me. “God, Zara.” He gathered me closer, buried
his face in my hair, and I clung to him. “I’ve never been so scared in my life.
Are you okay?”
I nodded against his shoulder. “I shot
him, Amadeus. I killed Johnny Roberts.”
“You had no choice, Zara. He would have
killed you and Elizabeth if you hadn’t. I’m just thankful you remembered the
Crying now, I told Amadeus, “He and
Amber and Don and the lot of them? They’re behind everything. Angus had nothing
to do with any of it. They were setting him up.”
“I know, Zara, I know. The detectives
have been filling me in with what they know.”
“What happens now, Amadeus?”
“Well, we can’t stay here. The house is
a crime scene. As soon as the inspectors are finished with us, we’ll go find a
hotel to check into in Edinburgh.”
“Mr. McNichol’s farm manager said he was
trying to find him to let him know.” One of the detectives, or inspectors as
they’re known in Scotland, stepped into the kitchen. “There’s really nothing
more we need from your wife tonight, Mr. Tudor. Why don’t the two of you go on
to a hotel? When we lock up, we’ll be taping off the house until we have
finished processing the scene.”
“I need to pack a bag. For all of us,” I
heard myself say to no one in particular.
As if reading my thoughts, Amadeus took
my hand. “Come on, I’ll take you upstairs. Elizabeth will be fine.”
“Be careful what you touch up there,”
the inspector called out. “This is a crime scene.”
We made our way to the bedroom, being
careful not to disturb anything along the way. I packed a bag for myself, and
as I finished that, I noticed Amadeus packing one for himself as well, trying
to help me out. I went into Elizabeth’s room and packed a large bag, knowing we
could always go out for diapers later. Just take enough to get us through the
Johnny Roberts lost his life because of
jealousy. Pure and simple. Top it off with anger, anger because Amadeus had not
included him as part of his band for an upcoming concert tour. Anger and
jealousy of the three successful Tudor brothers. It all made for a deadly
combination with a disastrous result for Johnny.
How the police found me as quick as they
did I have no idea; I’m just thankful they did. The mere thought that I could
have lost Zara and Elizabeth is incomprehensible. The fact that it had been one
of my oldest friends who had done this was unbelievable. No, actually, it wasn’t.
It seems that Zara and I can’t trust anyone anymore. People I have known for
most of my life all want to do me or my family harm. And for what reason?
Jealousy, one of the roots of all evil.
Johnny had no reason to be jealous. I
paid him well, better than most I like to think. But he wanted more. He wanted
what he couldn’t have. Look what it got him. Thank God, Zara remembered I kept
that gun in the night stand. I don’t even want to think of what the outcome
might have been if she hadn’t.
And then there’s my brother Angus. I
dread to think what could have transpired. He was accused of some pretty
horrific things. He had been sitting on a landmine and couldn’t let anyone
know, not even the police. Who would have believed him? Now with Johnny gone,
perhaps everything would come out in the open, once and for all.
The world has gotten way too small any
more. Zara and I left Seattle to escape exactly this type of thing. Jealous
people. We’d had to endure all sorts of things no couple ought to. I was
poisoned, most likely by Don Roberts. He’s been a suspect, but the police have
never been able to prove he was involved. Nothing concrete. If Don and they
were out to kill me, it didn’t work—I landed in a coma for five or six months.
Poor Zara, she looked after me the entire time, putting me above herself and
our unborn child. A son, Wolfgang, who we lost.
It played hell on our marriage. I blamed
her for everything and I almost lost her, lost the one constant in my life. But
thank goodness Zara is as strong as she is. She knows me well enough to know
when to back away and let me stew in my own juices. In the end it all worked
out, and I’d like to think our marriage is stronger because of it.
We moved to Scotland, had Elizabeth, and
were looking for a place of our own. Now I don’t know if that’ll ever happen.
It seems we can’t hide from anyone. All I want is for our life to be peaceful
and as normal as we can possibly make it. We’ve had a lot of good times here,
and I’ll make sure we have many more.
Knowing Zara the way I do, she’ll be
resilient. There’s no keeping her down. After the initial shock wears off, she’ll
be business as usual, which with Zara can be a good thing or a bad thing. All
too often she compartmentalizes things in order to keep everything running as
close to normal as possible. She forgets about herself, thinking about others
Two months later…
Trying to make things go away…make the
horrible images disappear. It’s working…barely. But as they say, time heals
everything, right? Right now it’s too early in my book to tell if it does or
Amadeus, Elizabeth, and I moved back
into the cottage a few days after the incident. Amazing how the little fairies
got to work and cleaned the entire house up. You’d never know someone had been
shot and killed right on the threshold of Amadeus’s and my bedroom. The door
has been replaced, and the wood floor is clean and shiny. Yep, pretty amazing.
I’ve started running, too. I’ve always
gone on long walks, especially since we started living on the farm. Now I’ve
progressed into running when Amadeus is at home. He’s always been a runner of
sorts. He learned early on it was a good way to get exercise on the road while
touring rather than hit the hotel gyms. I would sometimes join him but found
out I was no match for him physically. Until now…
When he’s not at home, which has been
almost never since the incident with Johnny, or if the weather is too bad, I
hit the treadmill set up in the spare bedroom. I’ve always used it to walk,
especially here on the bad Scottish days when I can’t take Elizabeth outside.
Now I’ve progressed to running on it like Amadeus does. Running, running,
running…I have to constantly stay moving any more, like I’m afraid to let my
guard down or relax.
The idea of putting Tudor Rose back
together with some of Amadeus’s original band mates since the Johnny incident
is a no-go. Amadeus had been doing just fine, career wise without them, a backup
band was enough. Once again, the old feelings from when we lived in Seattle and
Amadeus had been hospitalized came creeping through. The idea has simply been
put on the back burner--permanently.
Amadeus was preparing for a short
European tour with Peter McNichol. I encouraged him to go ahead with the plans.
We had to get our lives back to some resemblance of normal. Grace and I would
join the pair from time to time. She would either visit Elizabeth and me on the
farm, or we would venture down to London and spend time with her.
It was during one of her visits to
Edinburgh that I surprised her pleasantly in regards to a subject everyone was tiptoeing
around. She, Amadeus, and Peter had all dropped hints since the shooting that I
should perhaps see a shrink to help me deal with my feelings. Peter went so far
as to give me the name of a gentleman he and his grown children had gone to
when his wife had passed away. He told me that it had worked wonders helping
them deal with the loss. I graciously accepted the card and placed it in my
planner where I’d see it every time I opened it.
I never refused to go. I simply wanted
to do it on my own terms. When I was ready. I knew from having dealt with the
death of our own son that talking it out, along with all the mess that
surrounded Amadeus and Tudor Rose at that time, helped with the healing