Chapter 16-a tell-
Kalinda had sensed him as she had gotten out of her car, but she refused to let herself be guided by fear. His last words to her the former evening haunted her, but she had to believe it had been a bluff. If she thought otherwise she simply couldn`t breathe. She opened the trunk as he approached her and took the baseball-bat in hand, quickly shifting it to get a better grip as she turned to face him.
`What do you want?`
She felt amused as she saw him raising his arms in defeat and taking several steps back. But the pleasant feeling was short-lived. She was tired. Tired of him, tired of fighting, tired of running and hiding, and most of all tired of being scared.
`Just… inform you. I come in peace.`
`I thought you had given all the information on the case to Alicia.`
Although she knew he wasn`t talking about that she saw her little game was working. He assumed Alicia had talked to her about the meeting in the dressing room. He expected her to be upset about it. And even though she was, she sure as hell wasn`t going to show him.
`Actually, this is about you.`
His eyes sparkled with evil as he observed her reaction, but she was surprised that her lack thereof didn’t seem to have any effect on him.
`You have a tell.`
Even though Kalinda had not expected this turn of the conversation, she did her best to keep her face unreadable, clinging a little tighter to the weapon in her hand.
`You came all this way to inform me that I have a tell. How kind of you.`
`You know I have been spending all my time trying to come up with a `why`, only to find out, it all comes down to `who`. `
Trying to make sense of his cryptic words, Kalinda simply stared at the man who had disrupted her life. Slowly some parts of the puzzle started to fit, but she wasn`t able to see the bigger picture yet.
`All the time I was investigating you, I got the feeling there was nothing you gave a damn about. But, that`s where your tell comes in.`
`So are you going to tell me what it is?`
Sounding impatient, Kalinda controlled the quiver in her voice by forcing herself to take a deep breath.
`You haven`t listened. It`s not about `What`, it`s not about `Why`…`
Her heartrate picked up as she sensed where he was going. But he couldn`t know… Could he?
`It`s all about `Who``
She felt weak and had to consciously maintain a tight grip on the heavy weapon in her hand, before she would drop it.
`Every time I get close to her, you overreact. The first time, you smashed my car, then, just for talking to her, you smashed my ribs, -thanks for that by the way- and now, you came to look for me, simply because I talked to her after her interview.`
He circled her, like a vulture would his dying prey but she had stopped to follow him with her eyes.
`Alicia Florrick is the only thing Kalinda Sharma gives a damn about… Which is quite interesting, don`t you think?`
The impending doom in his voice made Kalinda sense what was coming. She had sensed it since she had heard Alicia`s recording, maybe she had known before. She didn`t know how he had found out, but he had, which meant she had to get to Alicia, before he could.
`The facts were not so hard. Although it was strange there were no records of Kalinda Sharma before you started working at the State’s Attorney’s office, but then I found Leela, and everything made sense. Peter did a very good job on the papers, so don’t blame him. You just should have thought to tie some speeding tickets or something or other to Kalinda Sharma, prior to his legalization of your ‘ little change’ .’
Kalinda felt how a weakness, a numbness started to take over. He knew. He knew. How did he find out? Only she and Peter knew and he would never talk about it.
‘ You must have been very grateful to him.’
He came closer, approaching cautiously as one would a wounded predator. She felt how she started to shake, but she willed herself to keep standing, to hold on just that little longer.
‘You slept with him.’
He spit the words in her face, stating them like a fact, not a question. She saw in his eyes his certainty. Smelled it on him, the cockiness of being right.
‘ It’s not true.’
Her defense sounded weak, that of a child denying she took a candy.
‘ Oh, Leela, don’t waste your breath lying.’
He turned around as if ready to walk away, but then moved slightly to face her. His body was close to hers, and she couldn’t help but back up. The stone pillar felt cool and hard against her back, her hand, holding the baseball-bat, was sweaty and she felt she wouldn’t have enough strength to use the weapon.
‘ Do you dream about it, Kalinda? Do you fantasize about the night you spent with him?’
It confused her, how he was off, but also gave her some hope. He may have seen through some parts of her life, but some secrets still remained. At least she thought so. But then she saw his face change and readied herself for a final blow.
‘ And do you put her in his place, when you do so?’
As the sound of his footsteps echoed through the parking lot, further and further away from her, Kalinda felt her knees give way. As the bat slipped out of her hand she used the bodypart to cover her face that she knew had told him what he had wanted to know. He had played the game perfectly, chosen his words, his actions carefully. He had beat her, harder than he could have done with any weapon. He had beat her, with the truth. And, as she sat there, alone, against the cold concrete, she knew it.