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Scene Title Vice
Synopsis Kain Zarek has a terrible confession to make about his role in the shattering of Kaydence Lee Damaris' family.
Date November 7, 2010

Outside New York - Damaris Residence

It's late.

It's gone dark by the time headlights wash over the front of the house, dark by the time Manny Calavera had been ordered back to the Linderman Building and given one important assignment to follow at all costs. His black Jaguar comes to a slow halt as it pulls up the long driveway approaching the house just outside of the city nearing the vicinity of Yonkers.

When the car comes to a stop, the headlights turn off and it takes a long while for the man inside to step out of his vehicle. When that door opens, Kain Zarek's emergence isn't in that of his pinstriped suits and business attire, but something more casual, clothes he hasn't worn in a long time. The ratty old gray and red hooded sweatshirt has a brown leather jacket over it, jeans are loose, torn at the knees, cowboy boots seem somehow fitting for the cajun.

As he looks up to the rambler, his cold eyes take in the chill of night, a few lights on inside — how many times is he going to do this to her? Tonight he's not drunk, tonight the revolver tucked away inside of his jacket isn't for him.

Circling around the front of the Jag, Kain makes his way up the front steps of the house, drizzling rain making water bead on the shoulder of his coat, makes the front lights shine wetly off of the steps.

He knocks, if only because the door is locked when he first tries it. Swallowing tightly, Kain closes his eyes and exhales a slow, steady sigh that blossoms as fog in the cold air.

C'mon Zarek, you can do this.

It isn't difficult to see Kaydence Lee's brown eyes peering through the segmented window adorning the top of the door before the deadbolt click!s and it swings open. "Kain?" The tone is confused. It's almost as if he's unrecognisable without his suit. She leans out the doorway to peer at her drive, and the Jaguar parked there. "You don't look like you jus' drove tha' thing," she drawls with a bit of a smile. Dressed in a pair of jeans and faded Cornell sweatshirt, she doesn't look like she's the type to drive a Jag either.

"Well don't just fuckin' stand there in the rain. C'm'in." The Widow Damaris ushers her colleague and sometimes-lover into the house. "I was just about to open bottle of Belvedere," she informs him. From what he was able to smell of her breath when she leaned past him to scope out his car, it's another bottle of Belvedere. "To what do Ah owe the pleasure of your company, Mistah Zarek?"

Blue eyes consider Kaydence warily once he's inside of her house. The last time he'd come here he was drunk and suicidal, now with something a little more tangible to live for, it's the first time he's ever thought to come here on his own without Jack Daniels or Jim Bean leading him this way. "Ah' ain't here for a social call, darlin'. Ah'm… sorry."

Haunted is one way to describe Kain Zarek, from the dark circles under his eyes to the sallow cast of his cheeks. He's been through a lot these last few months, more so than he ever expected to be, and his conscience bears a heavy burden of guilt now. "You got a good place we could sit down an' talk, 'cause— 'cause this' some heavy shit Ah've gotta get off'a mah chest, an' it can't wait no more."

Not with the world about to end; bang or whimper, it doesn't matter.

Perplexity etches itself across Kay's features. "Sure…" Her arm sweeps out to her right, indicating he should head toward the living room. "Make yerself at home. Ah'm just gonna go grab a drink, an' Ah'll be right back." She sweeps off to the opposite side from the entryway and into the kitchen.

Leaving Kain alone with the same photographs he may remember of the progression of the once happy family, broken, made almost whole again, and then broken once more. Wedding photos. A framed ultrasound. A tired Kaydence looking like she'd been through hell, but smiling proudly with a tiny baby in her arms and her husband at her side. Spencer watching on the beach while Kaydence holds both tiny hands of Colene Marcella, now a toddler, wading into the lapping waters of the ocean - mother in a bikini exposing the scar over the side of her ribs that oddly looks so much like half a strand of RNA. Kain's seen it once for himself. Family portraits progress through the years, then stop. Photos of Colene alone, or with the - conspicuously absent - Irish Wolfhound named Towser show her progression over a span of a couple years.

The new additions are a photo of Kaydence Lee and her daughter, with Matthew Parkman and his teenage daughter, Molly Walker. A couple more depict the girls alone. One picture frame on a shelf above the television has been tipped over, leaving its face down.

Kaydence fortunately doesn't leave her guest waiting too long, and she sets a fizzing glass of what is likely vodka and tonic on a coaster on the coffee table for him, cradling her own in her hands and sipping from it gingerly before she takes her seat across from him. "What is it that's got'cha down? Ah didn't think Ah was the person you'd come'ta for a thing like that. Somethin' Ah need'ta cover up?" If she only knew.

Kain hasn't sat down, just lingered in the room like an unwanted houseguest, and despite Kaydence's hospitality that's still what he feels like. Looking to her when she returns, Kain shakes his head and lets his eyes fall shut. "D'you… remember when Spence died?" Kain is direct, to the point and blunt about the delivery of his topic.

When he looks back up, he's reaching out to take the photograph of Spencer and Kaydence with their daughter.

Swallowing tightly, Kain looks back over his shoulder to Kaydence, breathing in deeply and then looking back to the photograph of the happy family again. "Was fuckin' miserable that night…"

Kain's voice cracks on the delivery, his hand holding the picture frame begins to tremble.

Kaydence's expression quickly hardens from curiosity to something steelier. It's tense. Not quite indifferent. There's too much fire burning in her eyes for her to ever pull off indifference. "We don't much like Christmas in this house," is how she chooses to answer if she recalls the night of Spencer's death. "He, an' Matt, an' Jude were supposed to come on over for dinner after Spence and Matt got off patrol. Ah… Ah just thought they were runnin' late. There was just so much snow…"

There are few people who've witnessed The Bitch become properly depressed. Unfortunately for Kain, this is not the first time he's gotten to witness it. It's one of those things that once you've seen it, you don't unsee it. Where every angry action suddenly has a new context, and instead of the angry Bitch Kaydence Lee has the reputation of being, you can see the woman that has to hold on to anger to keep from falling apart.

"There was… this girl. A prostitute. She was… sixteen. Fuckin' pimp was gonna shoot her for talkin' to a cop." Kaydence snots and shakes her head. "And mah big damn hero put himself in the way. One man dies, a young girl lives.

"Merry fuckin' Christmas."

Kain grows silent, setting down the photograph back where he'd gotten it from. Eyes shut, and when they open he's looking to the door. His throat tightens around his words, they're stolen from him by fluttering breath and a rapid heart beat. Then, eventually, truth. "Pimp didn't get him," Kain offers in a hushed tone of voice, his fingers curling into a fist at his side, the hand that had been holding the picture frame remains open, Kain's tired blue eyes focused on the creases in his palm.

"Pimp pulled a .38 special, shot him square in th' chest, but the dinky little round only made your boy mad. Popped two in the chest on ol' Slick, dropped that fucker straight to the ground. Spencer wasn't alone, didn't go runnin' off half-cocked. You remember Brent Silver?" Kain's attention diverts up to Kaydence, brows furrowed and frown cutting his lips low.

"He was there…" Kain admits, voice low and hushed, "Ah' was too."

Kaydence just about chokes on a swallow of her drink, setting it down on the table quickly and thumping herself once on the chest to clear her airways. "What?" Tears from the coughing fit are blinked away rapidly as an incredulous look is levelled at Kain. "Ah never heard any'a that. The fuck are you talkin' about? What do you mean you were there?"

Spencer Damaris and Kain Zarek weren't on the same side.

Kay's face falls.

It takes a deep breath to work up the nerve to continue, but Kaydence Lee Damaris will not just let Kain walk out with a never mind this time. Biting down on his bottom lip, Kain looks up to Kaydence, then away to the window where rain patters softly against the glass. "Spencer was part've an investigation in the NYPD inta' Danny. He… was gettin' close t'diggin' up some stuff he weren't meant t'find. Came down t'mah desk that Spencer needed t'be approached about this, made t'keep quiet."

"One way'r another."

Lifting up one hand to rub at his forehead, Kain's hand soon sweeps his hair back from his face as he starts to approach Kaydence, his cowboy boots clunking with each step on the hardwood floor. "Silver tried t'get him t'back down, take a bribe. Would've set you kids up nice, better'n what he was pullin in. Fuckin'— " Kain's eyes shut, "Fuckin' white knight wouldn't do it."

Sliding his hand down his face, Kain closes his eyes. "He didn't suffer none."

Kaydence's fuckin' white knight wouldn't take the bribe. After after he died, she did. The widow stands up from the couch and paces determinedly away from Kain at first, then whirls back around, that wildfire in her eyes threatening to consume everything in its way. Her chest heaves as she takes in deep breaths to keep her from losing it entirely.

"Did you know Ah was his wife?" seems a good place to start. And it's likely she doesn't mean when he killed Spencer. More to the point, Kaydence needs to know if he knew the connection when they first met. When he made a comment about her wedding ring. "What was Ah? Some fuckin' trophy to ya all along? Is that what all of that was?" From head to toe, she's shaking. Not at all for the same reason the man across the room from her is.

"Of course Ah' knew, it wasn't— " Kain's venom isn't rightfully spat at Kaydence, he can't make himself be angry at her when he's angry at himself. "Of course Ah' knew…" comes more regretfully, lifting his hand to cover one side of his face as he slowly turns away from the brunette.

"Th' fuck was Ah' s'posed t'tell you? Yeah, Ah' shot th' man'a your dreams an' left yer little girl without a fuckin' daddy?" Anger Kain deserves is lashed out as he whips around, lowering his hand from his face. "Ah' shot 'im, back'a th' goddamned head! You didn't even bury him."

That much is wielded like a knife.

"Danny didn't want nobody findin' out 'bout what happened, an' this was before we had ol' Zachary at the morgue under our thumb. We had a flesh manipulator come in, dress up a body t'look like Spence', one that had th' appropriate injuries an' blood type. Weren't no need for a DNA test."

Kain's throat tightens, and his eyes well up with tears despite his tone. "Me'n Silver buried 'im up in a field by some power lines off'a highway 87, just before here'n Yonkers. Back few years ago, when that Danni girl was found all cut up an' burned up in Yonkers, Silver flipped th' fuck out, thought they'd dug up Spence'.

Kain's eyes close and he rubs his hand over his mouth again. "Had me come all'a fuckin' way up t'check on it. Ah've been doin' Danny's dirty-work fer too long, an now that his fuckin' time's over, Ah'm— Ah'm done lyin' fer him. Ah ain't his murderer no more."

Kay's face goes so bloodless it's a wonder she can remain standing. But the more she listens, the more the colour returns until her skin has turned a shade so red, it's nearly purple. "That isn't mah husband in the fuckin' ground?!" There are no adequate words for this whole onslaught of sudden truth.

"You son of a bitch!" She starts to stalk toward the man, her chin tipped down, looking past sharply angled brows in a scowl, but stops herself short. "Why did you tell me this? Don't you realise Ah was happier not knowin' all'a this?!" Though to really say Kaydence was happy at all the past couple years may be a stretch.

"Ah fucked you!" Which is likely such a point of fixation because she had hoped it would happen again when Kain showed up at her doorstep. "You were the first one after—" Kaydence recoils in disgust, mostly with herself. She turns away again, slowly pacing away until she meets the wall next to a doorway that leads to her daughter's bedroom. She's almost too still for a moment, save for the rise and fall of her shoulders with her heavy breathing.

With a frustrated scream, Kaydence throws a punch, putting a dent in the drywall. And another. And a third before she's turning around again. "Yer gonna have'ta kill me, too. Or was that part'a the plan all along? Ah'll go to the District Attorney on this. Ah don't even care about mah career. Ah don't fuckin' care if Ah go to jail for all the wrong Ah've done." Just so long as someone else does, too. "Ah'm a dirty cop. They will eat. it. up. if I show up and agree to give them everybody in the Group that Ah can."

"Do it," is Kain's catch-all answer. What he'd come here for all along. Kain had played Judas Isacariot once before, and those words coming out of Kaydence's mouth are his figurative silver coins. "Ah'm done with Danny, with th' group, with this fuckin' mobster life Ah've made fer mahself. Ah'm done, Ah'm out."

Tears have rolled down past Kain's lashes, across his cheeks and into his beard. "Ah' tol' you 'cause you deserved t'know, an' you deserved t'take out a holy goddamned wrath on that white-bearded fucker for what he's gone an' done." Swallowing tensely, Kain looks over his shoulder, then back to Kay.

"Ah've been keepin' this secret fer too many years now. Goin' on a long damn time. Got so much blood on mah hands Ah' ain't never gon' get it clean. Me'n you ruin lives, lives like Spencers, like yer kid's. Ah' ain't lettin' that happen t'nobody else no more. Ah'm done. Ah' ain't lettin' nobody get their hands on Danny's fortune, on his power, on nothin'."

Sliding his tongue over his lips, the spite in Kain's voice is evident. "Ah'm done bein' everybody else's hit man. Startin' here, s'time t'turn over a new leaf. If you let me walk out that door, that is."

"Ah shouldn't." Kaydence looks down at her hands now, trembling and bloody where her knuckles have split. "Ah should do to you like you did'ta mah Spencer." Her eyes turn skyward. "Oh, mah God. Spencer." Finally, she too begins to cry.

"Ah'm no better'n you." Her voice is quiet, defeated. "Ah've killed people because Linderman wanted me to." Kaydence raises her hand to her lips, gingerly sucking at the wound while her mind tries to sort her jumbled thoughts, and make some sense of emotions that aren't rage. "Maybe we should just agree to try and kill each other like civilised people," she proposes. "Winner gets some kind of revenge, and the loser doesn't have to live with guilt anymore." Just one of the benefits of being dead, right?

"We both got kids," is Kain's brutally honest answer, "that ain't an option now, darlin'." There's something unusually blaise about Kain's delivery of that revelation, but it also seems to be a point he's digging his heels in. "It ain't safe here, not even this far out from th' city. You best go get your girl, wherever she is, and get yourself away from New York. Ah' don' care if'n ya'gotta go all'a way out t'fuckin California, just get yourself away from this God-forsaken place before you get dragged down too."

Kain's throat tightens, a dry swallow comes next. "Danny's dirty laundry's gettin' aired. Ain't no way Ah' can stop it now, partly mah fault fer riggin' this all up. Ah'm the Brutus t'his Caesar. Now Ah'm gonne wind up t'blame for th' fall'a th' Empire." Kain Zarek may seem the part of a backwater hick, but a surprisingly well-read man he is.

"Ah' came here t'give mahself some closure, give you closure, truth, an' t'give you a head start." Kain's cold, blue eyes narrow. "Get out while th' gettin's good. An' don't look back."

Suddenly… things begin to fall into place. "That was… decent of you." As furious as she is, Kaydence just can't quite bring herself to hate the man in her living room. Perhaps because she's gone so far down that dark path herself. Even if he did shove her those first few steps, the decisions from there were her own. She could have tried to turn back.

Instead of never looking back.

Kay splays her fingers again, peering down at the split skin. That's going to hurt a lot more later, she's sure of it. "You'd… probably better…" Go? Her head tips downward, eyes tracing a path over the blue carpet toward to the doorway. "For what it's worth, I hope the Feds," because any case against Linderman will be a federal one before very long, "don't give you the chair." They perhaps both deserve it.

Kain's dark brows furrow, lips sink down into a frown and a haunted look crosses his face. In his mind, he'll clear the distance to Kaydence, throw his arms around her and apologize, and the two of them leave together. In his mind, it's a storybook ending where the mobster finds his heart and escapes into the sunset. Bonnie and Clyde probably had such similar dreams.

They died by the gun. Kain's fairly sure there's no storybook ending for him.

"Ah'd deserve worse," is his murmured response, looking over his shoulder to the door before squaring attention back on Kaydence again. "Ah' never wanted this fer' your life, Kay. You deserved t'be happy, an' Ah' fucked all'a that up fer us." He swallows, tightly, and looks away with shame written across his face, brows furrowed and head down, starting to turn to show himself out.

"Ain't no happy endings fer people like us, though…" His voice hangs at the end, silence filling the long breath between words. "Jus' what we deserve."


Sometimes, life can be like that storybook. Kaydence is the one that crosses the room and rather than deliver a fist to the cajun's jaw, she pulls him into a tight hug. For all that came before, so much as passed between them since. Her head nestles against his shoulder, nose nudging against neck, inhaling his scent for what could be the last time with what's to come.

Lips press a kiss to the skin of his throat, trail up to jaw, taste tears on chin and cheeks, touch temple. "I forgive you," is whispered into his hair. Not just for him, but for Kaydence as well.

Surprise flashes across Kain's face, acceptance, then immediate regret. He lurches, in the way someone might when something bitter is swallowed down reluctantly. Kain breaks away from the kiss, eyes watering and one hand gently pushing Kaydence away with a touch to her collarbones. "Don't say that," is Kain's murmured response, his brows furrowed and frown so deeply cut across his lips.

"Ah' ain't th' type what gets forgived," and his voice hitches on that very notion. "You take care'a yourself an' your little one, make sure she gets t'grow up knowin' her momma'. Ain't— ain't nothin' worse than a kid havin' t'grow up not knowing who their folks are." One calloused hand comes up to brush at the side of Kaydence's cheek, stroking dark locks of hair from her face.

"Y'make a better blonde," the Cajun jokingly admits, his laugh bittersweet.

"Ah have to, ya dumb son of a bitch," Kaydence chides, trying to turn one corner of her mouth up in a smile. "If Ah can't forgive ya, Ah can't begin to forgive mahself for all the bad things Ah done because Ah've been so mad."

When he comments on her hair, Kay does finally manage a genuine, if shaky smile, reaching up to cover the back of his hand with her own. "Blonde was always mah Vice look…" She tips her face further against his touch. "And you were always mah vice." The smile fades, and she swallows a lump forming in her throat. She is not about to start bawling in front of him again. He deserves better from her.

"Can ya promise me jus' one thing?"

You were always my Vice.

The words make Kain's heart twist inside of his chest, and when he swallows down his emotions tightly, his expression he affords Kaydence is a guilty one, but one that never the less feels compelled to afford her that one favor, that one request.

"Name it."

"If we're both still alive, and not in prison in a year… We meet in Niagara." It's a big if. But maybe that's what makes this a safe request. One that they won't have a chance to actually fulfil. "Ah'd say N'Awlins, but Ah have a feelin' neither of us should be retracing our roots if we manage to 'void prison." The laugh is rueful, bitter. Oh fuck, this is really going to go down.

"Ah mean, 'less you wanted to grab hands an' start runnin' now." It's a joke. See, it's funny. She's— Okay, well, Kaydence Lee meant to laugh at it. It just didn't quite happen. Died in her throat.

"Always wanted t'go t'Niagra," Kain laments as he takes a step back from Kaydence, his throat tight and expression serious despite her attempt at a joke. The direction Kain is running is in the other direction, however, not into Canada but into the fires of hell itself, to give the Devil his due with a smile.

"Ah' got a feelin," Kain appends, turning for the door, "if Ah' ever make it t'Niagara, it'll be goin' over the falls."

"Head first."

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