A harrowing thrill ride you'll never forget.
Ebony Knight was raised by her mother to be on the lookout for the score, The One, the man who could bankroll a luxuriant lifestyle -- by any means necessary. Now, as the internationally sought-after dominatrix Supreme Mistress Ebony, she has found that man while catering to the kinky needs and fetishes of the ultra-affluent: millionaire Erik Johansen, driven by his twisted obsessions, will pay any amount for the pain and pleasure she doles out. And Ebony's not beyond using his secrets to her own advantage.
The lifestyle and all that goes with it -- cash beyond belief, twisted mind games, blackmail, and danger -- fits Ebony like a velvet glove. She's in control...until the night she crosses paths with Jeff Cardoza, a supremely sexy photographer who soon has Ebony playing by his rules. Falling in love with Jeff was never part of Ebony's plan -- but neither were the deadly deceptions that have her locked in a high-stakes power play with vengeful Erik Johansen. And just one slip will bring Ebony's house of cards crashing down....
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I woke up screaming with my wrists fastened to the rails of a hospital bed, unsure if what I'd witnessed was a dream or reality. I was scared as hell and I felt like the walls were closing in on me. I couldn't breathe. I looked around in a panic. My mind was hazy and I couldn't remember what had happened or how I'd gotten there.
"Oh God! Please help me! Please, somebody help me!" I screamed. A chubby, pink-faced woman wearing nurses' scrubs bounded into my room and ran to my side.
"Are you in pain?" she asked with a concerned look on her face. I was. I had cuts and scrapes all over my body that stung and tingled, but the pain was something that I could manage.
"I'm not in pain, but I want to know where the hell I am, how the hell I got here, and why the hell you've got me all tied up! Let me out of these goddamn things!" I struggled against the restraints and kicked my legs, flailing my body around like a fish out of water, but it felt as if all the strength had been drained from my body. I stopped and slumped in my bed, exhausted.
"Shh, calm down, miss. I'll go fetch the doctor. He'll answer all your questions. In the meantime, I'll get you something to help you relax."
"No, no," I said hurriedly. "I'm okay. I was just startled."
I didn't want to be drugged again. Who knew what these strange people were pumping through my system? I needed to be as lucid as possible, and I knew that I had to at least appear calm if I wanted the restraints removed, so I took a deep breath and smiled a tight smile.
"Fine then," she said, raising her eyebrow at me and turning to leave. "Suit yourself."
"Nurse," I called after her. "You're forgetting the restraints," I reminded her.
"No. I'm not forgetting. I can't remove them. Court order."
"The doctor will be here soon," she told me, and left.
A short, rotund doctor in a white coat and horn-rimmed glasses came to see me.
"Ms. Knight, how are you feeling?" he asked.
"I'm not sure," I replied. "Doctor, what hospital is this? Am I hurt? What's going on?"
"You're at Everglades Psychiatric Hospital," he said.
"Psychiatric hospital?" I shrieked. "Why? I'm not crazy!"
"Ms. Knight, no one is saying that you're crazy," the doctor said softly.
"Then why am I in a mental hospital?" I asked him. "You tell me that!"
"We've been through this before," the doctor said.
"We have?" I asked, puzzled.
"Yes, several times." The doctor looked at me as if he were frustrated. "Do you remember my name?" he asked.
"No," I told him. "We've met?" I was confused. I'd never laid eyes on the man in my life.
"I'm Dr. Patel," he said.
"Okay, Dr. Patel, nice to meet you," I said with a heavy dose of sarcasm. "Now, will you tell me why I'm being restrained?"
"You've refused treatment. A court order had to be obtained. It was deemed a medical emergency that you be held here."
"Emergency?" I asked. "What kind of emergency?"
"We had reason to believe you were a threat to yourself or others."
"Unbelievable!" I exclaimed. "I demand to be released!"
"Do you know your name?" he asked me, ignoring my demand.
"Of course! I'm Ebony Knight. I also know that I'm twenty-five, from Newark, and that I have a faint birthmark on my left ass cheek," I said crossly.
"Do you know what day it is?" Dr. Patel asked me.
"Yes, I know what day it is. It's Sunday," I said, exasperated.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, of course I'm sure. Last night I went to a benefit with my fiancé," I said. "That was Saturday the fifth. Today is Sunday the sixth."
"No, Ms. Knight, it isn't," the doctor said. "It's not Sunday, it's Monday," he informed me. "It's Monday the seventh."
"The seventh? Oh my God! Have I been asleep all this time? I lost a whole day?" I asked him.
"No, you haven't," he said. "You've been awake quite a bit, but you haven't exactly been... coherent."
"I don't understand what you're saying," I said. "What do you mean, I haven't been coherent?"
"There is something blocking your ability to recall things," Dr. Patel said. "Do you remember what happened after the benefit?"
"After the benefit?" I asked. "Sure. My fiancé, Jeff, drove me home. We had an argument. He left me," I said softly, thinking back to the argument I'd had with my man. Somehow our idyllic relationship had taken a turn for the worse and we'd gotten caught up in a web of lies and betrayal. I'd been crushed; Jeff was my heart and soul.
"He told me he never wanted to see me again." I felt tears stream down my face and I wanted to wipe them away, but I couldn't because my hands were fastened to the rails on the bed.
"Then what happened?" the doctor gently prodded.
"I got drunk. I was so upset. Jeff is the only man I've ever loved. Doctor, does he know that I'm here? He has to be contacted. His name is Jeff Cardoza. Please, call him. Tell him I need his help. Tell him I love him."
The doctor looked uncomfortable. "I need you to focus on remembering, Ms. Knight. We'll get to Jeff in just a second," the doctor said. "What happened after you got drunk?"
"I passed out, I guess," I said. "I was pretty wasted. I just laid down on the couch and that's the last thing that I remember..." My voice trailed off.
"Yes, go on," the doctor said.
"That's all I remember," I repeated.
"No, I think you remember more. I think you don't want to, and I can understand that. It's not always easy to face the things you've done, but you've got to remember. I can't help you otherwise."
"No," I said to him. "I don't remember." I started to cry again.
"Please, Ms. Knight. Your future hangs upon your remembering the events of that night."
I took a deep breath and tried to speak calmly, but I couldn't.
"I passed out and then..." I began. I wanted the words to come out; I swear, they were on the tip of my tongue, but my mind was still hazy and I wasn't sure if the things that I was starting to remember were accurate or not. I knew that if I told the doctor any of the things I was recalling, there would be no turning back, so I stopped myself from blurting out what was in my head.
"Yes," the doctor urged me gently. "It's okay. You're in a safe place and I want to help you. Tell me what happened."
"I don't know!" I screamed. "Father Jesus, what's happening to me? It's the drugs you've been giving me, that's what it is. They're keeping me from remembering," I said accusingly. "You've been manipulating my delta waves, haven't you? They put things in rap music you know, like mind control. It's the drugs, I'm telling you."
"It isn't the drugs," the doctor told me. "Ms. Knight, I believe that you've suffered a psychotic break."
"A what? You've got to be kidding. Break, Jake! You're the snake! Snakes!" I screamed. "You're all snakes!"
"I'm not," the doctor said stoically. He continued to talk to me in a soft but patronizing voice. "There are no snakes. Ms. Knight, I need you to calm down. What I am trying to assess at this point is if it was brought on by post-traumatic stress or if there was an underlying problem that possibly went undiagnosed."
"What?" I asked. "That's psychobabble! You think I don't know psychobabble when I hear it? You trying to find out if I'm crazy! I know that's what you're doing. You're a snake!"
"You haven't heard me use that word," the doctor said, touching my shoulder gently. I practically jumped out of my skin. I can't really explain why his touch bothered me so much. Maybe it was the frustration of being so helpless, but I just wanted to get his hand off me.
"I know what this is!" I screamed. "This is a plot to destroy me. That bastard! He swore he would never let me go, that he would always be a part of my life. He's turned you all against me. Please, somebody, anybody, help!" I looked around the room in a panic. "Oh God! Get me out of here!" I yelled. "Don't you see what's happening? I'm being set up!"
"Calm down, Ms. Knight," he said. "I assure you that you're in the best of hands. It's okay," the doctor said soothingly. "You're safe."
"It's not okay. You don't understand," I said. I started to cry harder. "Please," I pleaded with the doctor. "Help me! He must have done this to me. He said he would destroy me."
"Relax," the doctor said. He pulled a vial and syringe out of his pocket.
"No! No drugs!" I told him.
"There, there," he whispered, and pricked me with the needle.
"He said he'd never let me go," I murmured. Then I blacked out.
I opened my eyes and blinked until my vision came into focus. I was in a different room. The restraints were gone and I was lying in a tiny twin bed with a hard, lumpy mattress. I rubbed my raw and tender wrists, sat up, and looked around. Dr. Patel was standing there. At first he called me by a name that I didn't recognize. I looked at him oddly.
"Who?" I asked.
"Ebony?" Dr. Patel asked.
"Yeah," I said, thinking that I must have misheard the doctor at first.
"Ebony, do you remember me?" he asked.
"Yeah. Dr. Patel, right?"
"That's right," he said, smiling. "How are you feeling?"
"Okay, I guess," I said. "Just a little sluggish."
"Do you remember anything?" the doctor asked me.
"All I remember is what I told you," I said. "I got drunk and passed out. Then I woke up here."
"But you remember your life before you were brought here?" he asked.
"Of course," I said. I saw that there were some generic-looking khakis and a white T-shirt sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I'm not going home, am I?" I asked him.
"I'm afraid not," he said, patting my hand.
I jumped off the bed, bypassed Dr. Patel, and headed straight for the door. The folks at Everglades Psychiatric Hospital were going to let me out or I was going to break out. I tried the knob, but it was pointless; the door was locked. I kicked at the lock, hoping to jimmy it open, but that was useless, too. All I ended up with was a sore foot.
"Fuck!" I muttered to myself, looking around. There were no windows. There weren't even electrical outlets or a fire alarm or anything. It was the most sparse room I'd ever seen.
"Ms. Knight, I don't want to have to restrain you again. Now, I think that you will make a full recovery, but you have to want it, too."
"There's nothing for me to recover from!" I yelled. "I'm not crazy!"
There was another door in the room, so I ran to it and turned the knob. It opened but led only to the bathroom. Inside, there was a towel and a bar of soap sitting on the lid of the toilet. The mirror above the sink was made out of semireflective metal or plastic rather than glass. There were no other toiletries, not even toothpaste or a toothbrush.
"Ms. Knight, if you don't cooperate, I'll have to give you a tranquilizer," Dr. Patel called out. Under no circumstances was I going to be drugged again. I walked back to the bed and sat down.
"That's better," Dr. Patel said.
"Look, Doc," I said, "I know right now I might seem a little... agitated. But you've got to understand how I feel. This whole scene is freaking me out. I don't understand why I'm here."
"Ms. Knight, the reason you can't go home is because you've been placed on a seventy-two-hour hold. In the meantime, I will determine if you are a long-term threat to yourself or others," he said. "I'm required by law to inform you that my findings may be used to determine if you are fit to stand trial or participate in your own defense."
"Defense for what?" I asked, my voice shaking.
"The police are looking at you as a person of interest in connection with a homicide," he told me point-blank.
"What?" I shrieked.
"There were two dead men found in your home. Do you remember?"
"No, no. That was a dream," I said. "That was a dream from the poison you're giving me. My body isn't used to all those drugs."
"It's a bit more complicated than that, Ms. Knight," Dr. Patel said. "I believe it's crucial that you receive psychiatric attention. It's what's best for you."
"What's best for me? You don't know me from a can of paint. How the hell do you know what's best for me? Psychiatric attention? I have a degree in psychology. I was accepted to some of the best grad schools in the world. I was going to get my PhD and be a psychiatrist at one point. I think that I of all people would know if I was insane," I told the doctor.
The doctor looked at me skeptically.
"You don't believe me?" I asked him. "Why not? Give me one good reason. Have you even bothered to check my background or medical history?"
The doctor exhaled and crossed his arms. "Since you've been here you've told me that you're close, personal friends with Carl Jung, you've claimed to be Sigmund Freud's illegitimate black daughter, and claimed that you've killed over four thousand Scientologists because they're trying to destroy the mental health profession."
"I what?" I asked him, laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. "I couldn't have said any of those things."
"You did. Right now I am trying to assess if you're suffering from a dissociative disorder or if you're schizophrenic," he said. "Possibly both."
"You gotta be shittin' me!"
Dr. Patel opened my chart.
"You've been in a catatonic state off and on since you got here. You've assumed odd poses and positions and held them while not responding to various stimuli. You've claimed to hear voices that no one else has been able to hear. You're needlessly agitated. And until very recently, you haven't been able to form a coherent sentence. Your thoughts have been extremely disorganized. These are classic signs of schizophrenia."
I tried to digest what the doctor told me, but it was like the circuitry in my brain had overloaded.
"On the other hand, you've taken on what appear to be additional personalities and you've lost chunks of your memory, which is consistent with a dissociative fugue."
"I think you should contact my mother," I told the doctor, giving him her phone number. "She can clear a lot of this up, you know, give you my medical history, get my records and stuff. She can help. Meanwhile, can you contact my fiancé, Jeff?" I asked.
"That's not possible," the doctor said.
"Why not? I know we had a fight, but he's not going to leave me hanging, not at a time like this," I said. "My man still loves me, even if he has been angry with me. I know that in my heart. We had a connection that was beyond love. He's probably been calling me like crazy, trying to get back with me. He has to be worried sick about me."
The doctor rubbed his balding head.
"Fine, I will call him myself. Don't I get a phone call or something?" I asked the doctor. "You can't hold me against my will and not let me call anyone."
"Ms. Knight, there is no easy way to tell you this, but your fiancé, Jeff Cardoza, was one of the men who was found dead in your home, along with a man named Erik Johansen -- "
"Slow down, Doc," I said, cutting the doctor off. I felt bile rise in my stomach, and my head was reeling. I blinked uncontrollably and shook my head.
"There has to be a mistake. My man is dead?" I asked. "My Jeff? You're telling me that Jeff is dead?"
"Yes," Dr. Patel said, holding my hand again and rubbing it gently. "I'm sorry."
I couldn't speak. All I could do was curl up into a ball and cry. I cried until my stomach hurt and my eyes were nearly swollen shut and I fell asleep.
I was woken up a few hours later and told that I was going to begin counseling. I didn't feel that I needed counseling unless it was from a lawyer, but I was told that I didn't have a choice.
"I'm Dr. St. John," the psychiatrist said. She was pretty in a conservative kind of way; I'm sure she could have even been hot if she lost the glasses, did something with her hair, and put on a little makeup. I shook her hand and sat down in a big chair in front of her desk. "We're going to have a little chat."
"All that needs to be said is that I'm not crazy," I told her.
"Ms. Knight, no one has said that you are crazy," Dr. St. John said.
"You all keep saying that no one has said that I'm crazy, but here I am in the fucking nuthouse against my will!" I yelled.
"You're here because you displayed some disturbing behavior the night of the murders at your home."
"Do most people who are stalked act normal? Do most people who witness a double homicide act normal?" I asked.
"That depends on what you consider normal," Dr. St. John said. "You say you witnessed a double homicide. Why don't you tell me what happened?"
"You know, once this is all cleared up, I'm going to sue," I said, not answering the question.
"Who are you going to sue?" she asked.
"The police department, this hospital, and if you lead anyone to think that I'm insane, I'm going to sue you, too," I snapped.
"I can't lead anyone to think anything positive or negative unless you open up and talk to me."
"Why can't I just talk to Dr. Patel about this?" I asked her. "He's the one who I've been seeing. Seems to me he'd be the person to clear it all up."
"I'm the forensic psychiatrist assigned to your case. Dr. Patel handles intake and emergencies. You'll be talking to me from now on," she informed me.
"Forensic? My case? You make it sound as if I've been charged with a crime," I said.
"Your diagnosis will be shared with the police and the district attorney's office, but you haven't been formally charged with anything. It's just procedural," Dr. St. John said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
"Yeah, well, I won't be here long," I told her. "This is all a mistake."
"Tell me why you feel that way," she said.
"Dr. Patel said he thinks I might be schizophrenic and that I've displayed alternate personalities. I'm not schizophrenic and I certainly don't have a split personality. I don't know what's in your little folder, but I'm sure it's all wrong," I told her, motioning toward the file folder that was sitting in front of her.
"I'm not big on what's in this folder," she said, shutting it. "I'm much more interested in getting to know you as a person. I'd rather hear what you have to say about yourself."
"You're biased," I said. "How do I know that I can trust you, that you won't twist my words?"
"I promise, I'm not biased," she said. "I want to find the truth. The truth will bring closure to everyone involved." I looked at Dr. St. John and wasn't sure if she was going to truly be objective, but I didn't feel like I had much of a choice. I had to clear my name.
"I don't know where to begin," I told her.
"Why not begin at the beginning," she said with a warm smile. "Let's start with your childhood."
"Isn't that a bit clichéd?" I asked, irritated.
"Perhaps. But it is very helpful," she said. "Your childhood can help provide me with insight as to why you've suffered a breakdown."
"I didn't suffer a breakdown. I'm perfectly fine, at least as fine as someone who is grieving the loss of her fiancé can be. But I'm not going to talk about my childhood, so you may as well drop it," I said adamantly.
"Were you abused as a child?" Dr. St. John asked. "Is that why you don't want to talk about it?"
I said nothing.
"You know, talking about childhood trauma can really help you in the process of healing," the doctor said. I still said nothing.
Discussing my youth would create more problems than it solved. There were things in my past that needed to stay there. I could tell that the doctor was frustrated, but I wasn't about to open that can of worms, there was no way in hell I was going to do that. Dr. St. John and I sat there staring at each other for a good five minutes without speaking.
"Look, I was born. I went to elementary school, then junior high, and then high school. When I was done with that I went to college. That's all you need to know about my childhood. So let's skip all the rigamarole. Why don't you just ask me about the present. I promise that I'll answer everything you ask me the best that I can."
"Very well, then," the doctor said, sighing. "Do you have a history of substance abuse or are you currently addicted to alcohol or street drugs?"
"Sometimes I drink, but nothing too heavy. I've smoked weed on occasion. That's all, though."
"Have you in the past or recently misused any prescription medication?"
"Do you ever hear voices telling you what to do?" she asked.
"Sometimes. Doesn't everyone have a little voice inside of them?"
"Do the voices ever tell you to hurt yourself or others?"
"No. They aren't those kinds of voices. It's my conscience."
"What does your conscience tell you?"
"What's right and what's wrong. It isn't a voice as much as it is a feeling," I explained. "Call it women's intuition, my gut, whatever."
"Do you ever feel like you're having an out-of-body experience?" Dr. St. John asked.
"From time to time," I told her. "Not like an out-of-body experience, but more like a rush and then the feeling that my body doesn't belong to me."
"When do you get these feelings?"
"Like when I'm making love and I come. Sometimes when I'm jogging, I feel, like, a runner's high. Sometimes I get the rush from my work. But isn't all of that perfectly normal?" I asked. Dr. St. John just smiled.
"Let's talk about your work," she said.
"Let's not," I said, laughing.
"You may be a little uncomfortable talking about my line of work," I said.
"Why would you say that? I've been a psychiatrist for over fifteen years. There is very little that makes me uncomfortable," Dr. St. John said.
"Do you know what I do for a living?" I asked.
"I'm not really clear," she admitted. "I have some notes, but I'd rather that you tell me."
"I imagine your notes can't be painting a pretty picture of me right about now," I said.
"Why don't you pick up the brush and paint it, then." Dr. St. John smiled at me warmly.
"Fine. I'm... let's just say I'm an adult filmmaker and I'm an entrepreneur. I'm worth seven figures and I'm not even thirty. And just like Frank Sinatra, I did it my way."
"Did what your way? Pornography?" she asked.
"Just like I figured," I said angrily. "You don't know shit."
"Then explain it to me."
"What I do is not pornography. I'm not a porn star. I don't have sex on camera. I don't show others having sex on camera. I don't cock my legs open for a measly two Gs so some ugly, hairy, greasy jerkoff can degrade me. I am a goddess."
"At least that's what my loyal slaves see me as. I'm not a porn star. I am a dominatrix. I have my own production company and I make and sometimes star in my own movies."
"You make bondage films?"
"I make fetish films," I said, correcting her. "Sometimes there's no bondage involved. Sometimes my movies are so innocent they merely feature a woman chewing gum while sliding her shoes on and off, or a woman popping balloons or putting on lipstick. Fetishes take nonsexual things and make them erotic and sensual. It's not always about pain or physical restraint."
"But you do tie up and whip men, don't you?" she asked.
"Sometimes. It all depends. Like I told you, it's not always all about that."
"Tell me what it's about, then," she said, removing her glasses. I chuckled. People were always intrigued when I told them what I did for a living.
I looked at Dr. St. John, sizing her up. I decided she was someone who was on the up-and-up, someone who took her work seriously. She was one of those curious types who liked to figure out what made people tick and was undaunted by the crazy characters she came across in her work. We had that in common.
"What is it exactly that you want to know?" I asked.
"Tell me what you do in your movies and when you're in your sessions with clients. Help me to understand you."
"There's not much to understand about what I do. It all boils down to this: I provide a mind fuck for my clients. Sometimes pain is involved and sometimes it isn't, but what they're really coming to me for is to have their mental boundaries challenged and pushed."
"So you manipulate their minds?" she asked. Dr. St. John was baiting me, but I didn't care.
"I guess you could say that," I admitted. "But it's business, not personal. It's what my clients pay me for."
"Do you have a lot of clients?" she asked.
"No. I provide an exclusive service that very few men can afford. If the average everyday Joe wants to experience my domination, he needs to buy one of my movies. All of my clients are millionaires. All of them are powerful and wealthy."
"All of them have a lot to lose," the doctor suggested.
"Yeah, I guess so," I told her with a shrug.
"And why is that?"
"What do you mean, 'why is that'?"
"I mean, do you purposely prey on men who have a lot to lose?"
"Okay, first of all, I don't prey on men. They come to me. Second, what is wrong with seeking out clients with the most money? Why wouldn't I want to charge the most I possibly can for my services? That's not predatory, that's the American way!"
"That's fair," Dr. St. John said. "Tell me more about the kinds of mind games you play with your clients."
"Humiliation and degradation," I said.
"Those aren't games, those are actions," Dr. St. John said, correcting me.
"Not when I'm doing it," I said with a chuckle. "When I do it, it's a game. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my work. I'm a dominant woman professionally, sexually, in business. Being a dominatrix is just as much about who I am as what I do. But I try not to get too emotionally invested in my clients, so although I make things seem as real as possible for them, I think of everything that I do as a game.
"At the same time, to really humiliate and degrade someone means you have to really get inside of them. Learn what motivates them, find out their fears and their insecurities. You have to extract information from them, find out their weaknesses. Otherwise you're just hurling insults and that can be hit or miss. My clients are in the upper echelons of their professions. They didn't make it to where they are by having thin skin. They're tough and smart. The reason they like me is because I'm able to see inside of them, I'm able to read them. My work really isn't as easy as some people might think."
"I see." Dr. St. John scribbled some more in her pad. "What other activities do you engage in with your clients?"
"Interrogation fantasies, financial domination, blackmail, tease and denial, corporal punishment. In the past I've done some showers: golden, brown, even a Roman shower or two. I don't like them, though. There's been some edge play and breath play. I mean, shit, what haven't I done?"
"I must confess, I don't know what all of those things are," Dr. St. John said.
"And you probably don't really want to know," I told her, laughing.
"You're right," she said seriously. "I want to know about the financial domination, as you called it, and the blackmail."
"What's there to know? It's just what it sounds like. Financial domination is when men get a thrill from having their money taken from them and their finances controlled by a dominant woman. Don't ask me why they like it. I don't know why and I don't really care. Sometimes I blackmail men, threaten to expose their secret desires and such if they don't give me a certain amount of money by a certain time. It's just a fetish some men have. They want it to be as realistic as possible. They want to believe it."
"I see," the doctor said. "And you claim to have been stalked? Was your stalker one of your clients?"
"I was stalked, there's no claim about it, and yes, my stalker was one of my clients. It was Erik Johansen," I told her.
"The other man who was found dead in your home," the doctor said.
"Yes," I said. "Just wait until my lawyer shows up. She can prove it. I gave her all the letters and things that were delivered to me. She was going to file a restraining order and arrange for me to have security. She handles a lot of my affairs."
"How long had Erik Johansen been a client of yours?"
"For years. He'd helped to make me a very wealthy woman, but he was a very disturbed man. He had issues. I tried to cut him off, but he just didn't want to let me go. He was so obsessed with me." I shuddered at the thought of Erik.
"And what about Jeff Cardoza? What was your relationship like?"
"I loved Jeff so much. We were going to get married and make mainstream movies and start a life together." I started crying. Dr. St. John responded by scribbling in my folder.
"You are one insensitive bitch," I said. "You don't even have the respect to look at me while I'm talking to you about my dead fiancé. What the hell are you writing?" I asked.
"Just some notes," she said.
"You need to stop all that damn writing and help me to remember what happened the night my fiancé and Erik died," I demanded. Dr. St. John kept writing. "I need to know who killed my man."
"Do you not hear me?" I asked, snatching the pen out of her hand. "Let me see what you wrote," I said, reaching for her notepad.
"That is against policy," she said, pulling it back.
"Well, your policy is bullshit!" I yelled at her. "I still have rights. I have a right to know if what you're saying about me is true or not. I have rights!"
"I'm not violating your rights," the doctor said calmly.
"I swear, all you government people are the same," I said, frustrated. "You see what you want to see, do what you want to do, and you don't give a fuck about who pays the price as long as you get what you want. I don't want to talk to you anymore," I told her. "I think I've had enough for the day."
"I'm not the enemy," the doctor said. "I can help you."
"Yeah, right," I said. "No one in this place can help me because I don't need psychiatric help. I just want to go home and try to put the pieces of my life back together again."
"I'm standing here in front of a row of multimillion-dollar homes on Miami Beach where a few nights ago two grisly murders took place. This home in particular belongs to the main person of interest, a woman known as Ebony Knight, a dominatrix and adult film star." I was watching a television reporter standing in front of my home, which was taped off with yellow-and-black plastic strips. I had been allowed to sit in the common area of Everglades Psychiatric Hospital after my initial session with Dr. St. John and the TV was turned to the news.
"That's a lie! I'm a filmmaker!" I shouted at the screen.
"That's a lie!" the patient who was sitting next to me on the sofa repeated after me. "It's a goddamn dirty lie! Wash their mouths out with soap and save them hellfire and damnation." I looked at her and rolled my eyes.
"The story is unfolding like an episode of CSI: Miami as police begin to uncover how Erik Johansen, a prominent businessman, and Jeff Cardoza, a gifted photographer, became involved with a woman who specializes in sadomasochistic activities, and ended up shot to death in her home," the reporter continued. A picture of me flashed across the screen.
"This is bullshit!" I yelled.
"Bullshit!" the woman next to me repeated.
"Hey, you!" a nurse shouted at me from behind a desk. "Quiet down over there!"
"I will not!" I yelled back. "They're talking about me on the news, but it's all lies!"
"They talk about me, too! They tried to buy the rights to my life. I wouldn't sell them. I'm not a sellout," the woman next to me said.
"Shut up!" I screamed at her.
"Knight, who was found bloodied and disoriented at the murder scene, is currently at Everglades Psychiatric Hospital undergoing an emergency evaluation, and despite the fact that Knight hasn't been charged with a crime, Erik Johansen's widow has been very vocal about what she thinks of Knight's involvement with her husband," the reporter continued.
"Ebony Knight is a manipulative and calculating woman who has been extorting money from my husband. I don't know what kind of hold she had on him, but she convinced him to make her the beneficiary of a three-million-dollar life insurance policy. Then after she had taken all she could from him while he was alive, she murdered him. She is a deranged individual who needs to pay for what she did. I hope she never sees the light of day," a fifty-something redhead said to the camera with tears in her eyes.
"You fucking bitch!" I yelled at the TV.
"I said, quiet down!" the nurse barked.
"Fuck that! I need to talk to my lawyer!" I stood up and walked toward her. "I should be able to use the phone," I said.
The nurse got up and walked over toward me. "If you can't watch television without disturbing the other patients, then you won't be allowed to watch at all," she said.
"I don't give a damn about watching TV. I need to talk to a lawyer. That woman is slandering my name. They're making me out to be a lunatic!"
"Am I going to have to give you something to keep you calm?" the nurse asked.
"What is it with you people? Why is it that the minute anyone raises their voice, you all are ready to stick them with a needle or shove pills down their throat? Why won't anyone listen to me?" I asked, throwing my hands in the air.
The nurse simply laughed and walked away, leaving me standing there mad as hell.
Copyright © 2008 by Méta Smith
What People are Saying About This
"With street savvy, swagger, and strength, my girl Méta brings drama...like a seasoned vet." Foxy Brown, Grammy Award-nominated rap artist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great and unexpected twist and turns... i didnt feel like i knew what was going to happen before I read it. Luv it nice guilty pleasure read
This book was so good! I was intrigued by the cover and once I opened it up, I couldn't put it down. Ebony Knight was a trip! The plot was intricate and mysterious, the characters were colorful and the ending wasn't what I was expecting at all! I can't wait for the sequel to come out next month!