8:00pm Mike Logan sat on the floor with Little Len and Mikey and played with them while talking to Lennie. “You’re sure you haven’t given her any wrong or bad signals, Len?” he asked gently. “No...the only thing I haven’t done is....well, you know...” “Lennie! Come on, that’s the ONE thing you need to keep doing! She needs to know that you love her physically as well and mentally and emotionally. Whew! Gimme a diaper, Len. Your kids are great, but someone just stunk up the house!” “Probably Mikey. He’s good at that for some reason! I wonder who he takes after...” “Listen, I know it ain’t me! Just because the kid’s named for me doesn’t mean he has to follow me in example and stuff!” He finished changing the diaper. “That’s better. You smell like a baby now, kid!” he laughed. Lennie grinned, then got serious. “Mikey,” he said finally, “Do you think she regrets marrying me?” “No,” Mike replied, “I think, with being cooped up in this apartment for almost a year, not going anywhere except to the courthouse, wondering who’s going to try and kill her MIGHT be getting to her. I don’t think YOU are the problem. Give her some time, Lennie. She’s dealing with a lot--especially watching Mastroanni go to jail. That had to take some stuff out of her.” “Oh, yeah, that reminds me.” Lennie reached for the letter. “ ‘Nita got a letter today. No return address. Take a look at it!” He handed the letter to Mike. “Well, it’s not a letter-bomb,” Mike concluded after looking the letter over. “Does she know about it?” “Not yet. I’ve been so worried about her that I haven’t had the opportunity to tell her. She’s moping around, snapping my head off and generally being...well, a BITCH to live with! She’s starting to remind me of my first ex!” “All right, Lennie...all right,” Mike replied. “Here’s the plan: I take the boys for a while. Katie’s cooped up in the house too and she’s going just as stir crazy, so I know the distraction will help her and she wants to see them. YOU---seduce your wife! Then call me when you want the boys back!” Lennie smiled mischievously. “What if it’s tomorrow morning?” “Hey, that’s OK,” said Mike. “I’ve got cribs up the wazoo at my place! It seems like every relative Katie has has sent us a crib! They’re all hinting. It will give me practice in setting one up anyway, so if I set up two...” Lennie laughed. “Ok, ok...but seriously, will Katie be able to handle it? ‘Nita said she’s having problems. I don’t want to be a cause of anything!” Mike smiled that lopsided grin of his. “Don’t worry about Katie, Len...she’s all right. Worry about ‘Nita. You DO still love her, don’tcha?” Lennie glanced out of the window. “Yeah....I do...” Then something got his attention outside. “Mikey...remember the day someone fired a gunshot through the window?” “Yeah....why?” “Well...I’m not sure but I think the car’s back. Take a look.” Mike looked. “Hmmmm...black Lincoln 4-door, license plate 289-CG1.....same car, same plate! I’ll call the station. I don’t like this at all.” At that point, they heard Anita screaming in the bedroom. Lennie rushed in to see an unidentified man pulling Anita’s hair, trying to drag her to the fire escape. “FREEZE!” Lennie and Mike both pulled their guns. The assailant let go of Anita’s hair and reached into a pocket to get something. “Hold it! DON’T MOVE!” Mike yelled. The person pulled out a gun, aimed at Anita.... Just at that moment, Lennie took a plastic plate, threw it across the room and hit the gunman’s hand. The gun fired, hitting the wall and throwing plaster all over Anita. Mike vaulted the bed, grabbed the shooter and threw him against the wall. “You bastard, trying to kill my partner’s wife! You’re under arrest! You have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning. DO YOU UNDERSTAND, PUNK?” Mike yelled in the shooter’s ear. Lennie held Anita, who was shaking and crying. She was trying to tell Lennie that she knew who the guy was, but she was too hysterical. “The guy....Mastroanni...pulled my hair...told me I was dead...” she blurted out. “Honey, it’s OK...the guy’s been arrested. Don’t worry, he’s not going to hurt you,” Lennie said soothingly. She just held tightly to Lennie, crying and shaking. “Len, I’m going to run this jerk-off in. You wanna come down later and file charges?” “Yeah, a lot later. I gotta make sure ‘Nita’s all right.” Suddenly, Anita got up, ran in the other room, and screamed incoherently. “OH, GOD!!!! Thank God the babies are all right!” She picked up both of them and just held them tightly. Then she walked over to the rocking chair and sat down. “Mikey,” Lennie said quietly, “I think, if you would, call Olivet for me. I think ‘Nita’s going to need to talk to her.” “Sure. This whole thing has just got her rattled,” Mike replied. “I’ll be back later to take care of the boys. You two need each other right now.” Mike left with the shooter. Lennie ran his hand through his hair, looked at the nervous wreck that was his wife and thought back to when they realized they were in love. She’s one totally jangled nerve right now. If I disturb her, she’s going to fall apart, he thought.
Will 'Nita make it?. Serenade Part 11