Who are you?”
Stepping from the tub Liza wrapped the thick white towel around her body.
She’d turned the heat up before getting in the bath, but there was still a chill once the air hit her wet skin, but it was worth it. She’d spent the past hour soaking in the tub and her hair.
It had taken forever to remove the tracks of matted hair, but she’d finally gotten them out. Then she soaked her hair in conditioner to untangle it, and get all the blood and grit out of it. She didn’t know how long the tracks had been in, but she was relieved to have them out. Her head felt lighter, and her scalp could finally breathe.
She’d stayed in the tub until the skin on her toes and fingers puckered, but it felt so good letting the warm water run through her curls.
Once Liza dried off, she wrapped her head in a thick white towel and stood in front if the mirror to admire her work. The bathroom smelled of lavender and cocoa butter a shower gel she’dfound in the cabinet.
She didn’t look that different. The resemblance to Trina was still there, but it wasn’t as pronounced. Trina was famous for her long voluminous hair.
She still had the same caramel complexion as Trina but without the heavy makeup and hair Liza looked more like Trina’s close relative rather than her. With the tracks out and only her natural hair the difference was more pronounced, but the same could probably be said for Trina without all the hair.
Liza stared several minutes at the woman in the mirror touching her cheeks, her nose, and her full lips. Pulling at the dark curls on her head she marveled at the way they sprung back. She’d always kept her hair short. Not out of vanity but because it was easier to work with. Liza relied on wigs her entire adult life, but when she was off the clock, she didn’t wear them.
Using a comb, Liza pulled it through her hair watching with satisfaction as the shiny dark curls stretched into fuzzy lines before snapping back across her scalp. Before she thought about it, she reached for some leave in conditioner and started twisting strands of her hair together into little twists. With each repetitive motion Liza felt a sense of peace come over herself.
Before long she had dozens of twists lying neatly all over her head in a lovely pattern that kept her in the mirror longer than she’d intended. It felt good. For the first time in days Liza felt like herself.
If only she could be her real self, but she shook her head at the thought. It was impossible she knew but a nice dream. Once she finished this mission she would be on her way, leaving the Davenports behind. Within a month she’d have forgotten all about them, at least that’s how it usually happened.
Liza’s thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell. Liza ran back to her room to get dressed. Quickly she pulled on a pair of sweats and an old t-shirt she’d found in one of the drawers. Mrs. Davenport was already sleeping, and Leena and Zuri were gone to a basketball game at the coliseum. Liza ran her fingers through her hair releasing the twists until the curls sprung from her scalp as she ran towards the front door.
It wasn’t late, just a little after eight o’clock, but no one said anything about expecting visitors. Liza peeked out the peephole, her muscles tensed instantly. A familiar face appeared sending a shiver down her spine. Unlike before, Liza was ready for him. She opened the door, and as soon as she unlocked glass door was pulled open.
Blackfoot stepped forward pushing Liza backwards into the house by his much larger frame. When her back hit the wall Liza let her body go limp not resisting. She let him believe she was giving in to him as she allowed the calm to envelope her.
His body came closer and closer until Liza could feel his body heat against her skin. She didn’t smell alcohol on his breath, but her first thought was he was under the influence of something. His strength was apparent, but Liza wasn’t scared.
“I don’t think you are really who you say you are,” Blackfoot said his smoky hot breath caressing the fine hairs on her cheek. Liza watched his Adam’s apple bobbing in his neck waiting to strike.
Everything was moving in slow motion even Blackfoot’s eyelids. Liza could count each blink.
“Who are you?” he said quietly.
“Since you know everything, why don’t you tell me.” Liza’s eyes locked on his; She shivered as a chill passed through her body.
“Who are you?” he said again this time he was so close she could feel his lips on her ear. Then he pulled back grabbing hold of her shoulders. He gripped her tightly when she didn’t answer him back.
Liza felt her head bump against the wall once, then again. She felt a flash of anger but it died just as quickly as it came replaced by the calmness rolling in like the tide onto the shore each wave growing bigger.
“Do you really want to know?” Liza heard a voice say. It took a moment before she realized the voice was her own.
“Who are you dammit,” Blackfoot said digging his fingers painfully into her shoulders. Liza felt the last shred of his control slip loose before she let the calm take her.
Liza was aware of everything but no longer concerned about the consequences. Her only thought was to free herself.
The calm took over.
Liza heard a voice to her left, but she didn’t recognize it. All of her attention was on the detective and the vise like grip he had on her.
Unlike the bookstore attack, this time she was present for every second from the moment she removed Blackfoot’s grip from her shoulders. She felt the crunch of his fingers beneath hers as she squeezed enough to make Blackfoot’s bones crack. She stopped short at breaking bones, but caused enough pain to satisfy her need for revenge.
She felt the pop the moment Blackfoot’s shoulder was dislocated when she flipped the much larger man to the floor then shoved her right foot in the pit of his arm and pulled, manipulating the joint out of socket savoring his grunts of pain when it broke loose. Then she placed her bare foot on his neck.
“Remove your hand from my leg or I will break your neck,” Liza heard a voice say, it was her voice. Blackfoot stared back at her in shock from his position on the ground for a second before letting his working arm drop to the ground. She stood over Blackfoot as she weighed her options.
She wasn’t out of control nor was she afraid. Both emotions she knew Trina would have felt, but did not register anywhere in Liza’s body. In that moment she thought about what it would take to dispose of Blackfoot’s body before the rest of the Davenport clan arrived if she were to snap his neck.
Going through the scenario in a millisecond Liza realized she could do it. In fact, Liza thought it would be relatively easy only she didn’t have an order for it.
“Damn Central,” Liza whispered as she applied more pressure. The creak of the floor board behind her broke the calm.
“Let him go,” Mrs. Davenport said.
Liza froze. Disposing of one body was one thing, but two would make it more difficult. She lifted her foot off the man. Liza didn’t want to harm the older woman. She’d given her the only respite she’d had since arriving in town. As for Blackfoot she had no qualms of killing him whatsoever. From the look in the man’s eyes as he cradled his right arm with his left, she saw he received her message loud and clear.