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Yours, Mine, and Ours, Page 1

MaryJanice Davidson

  Dedications are always so boring unless you’re the author, or having sex with the author, or gave birth to the author, so I’ll speed this up: This book is for my husband, Anthony, who’s awesome, in bed and out.


  Title Page



  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48

  Chapter 49

  Chapter 50

  Chapter 51

  Chapter 52

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54

  Chapter 55

  Chapter 56

  Chapter 57

  Chapter 58

  Chapter 59

  Chapter 60

  Chapter 61

  Chapter 62

  Chapter 63

  Chapter 64

  Chapter 65

  Chapter 66

  Chapter 67

  Chapter 68

  Chapter 69

  Chapter 70

  Chapter 71

  Chapter 72

  Chapter 73

  Chapter 74

  Chapter 75

  Chapter 76

  Chapter 77

  Chapter 78




  Author’s Note

  (Yet Another) Author’s Note

  Also by MaryJanice Davidson

  About the Author


  “It’s time for us to call a truce. None of us likes this situation, but if we want to win out we need to unite against the greater enemy.”

  —William Beardsley, Yours, Mine, and Ours

  “Curiosity killed the cat, so don’t wonder.”

  —Sybil Dorsett

  “I don’t think that they had too much of a trial.”

  —Lorraine Binnicker Bailey, at the murder trial of George Stinney

  “Honey, there are a lot of things you’ve never seen me do before. That’s no sign I don’t do ’em.”

  —Nunnally Johnson, The Three Faces of Eve (screenplay)

  “He was like my idol, you know. He was very smart in school, very artistic … We had a good family. Small house, but there was a lot of love. It took my mother a long time to get over it. And maybe she never got over it.”

  —Katherine Stinney Robinson, on the execution of George Stinney

  Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.

  —FBI Motto, est. 1908

  Factious Bitching Inmates

  —George Pinkman, Special Agent, FBI

  “With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to the truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two.”

  —Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  “You don’t get it, do you, Finch? You’re my job. You’re what I’m paid to do. You’re about as mysterious to me as a blocked toilet is to a fucking plumber. Reasons for doing what you did? Who gives a fuck?”

  —Detective Will Dormer, Insomnia

  chapter one

  “—doing in here?”

  I blinked at the woman across from me. She was not pleased, not even a teeny tiny bit. Her hair, which was once probably a lovely brunette pageboy, now looked as though the woman had been combing it with a wire whisk. Her face was red and shiny. Her clothes were a mess—a run in her pantyhose, her blouse untucked, one shoe missing—and she was standing ankle-deep in a drift of snow. Her brown eyes were really, really starey.

  “Well? What do you have to say for yourself?”

  “I didn’t miss Christmas, right?” I asked. This wasn’t an idle question. The last thing I remembered was December, but hardly any snow—it had been a weirdly “green” winter.

  “That’s your question?”

  I wondered if she had a hearing problem. “Um. Yeah. That’s my question. I really, really hope I didn’t miss Christmas again.”

  “Didn’t you hear me?” the woman croaked. Her voice was hoarse, either because she was ill or she’d been screaming. Probably at me, poor thing. Unless she was hoarse and ill. Poor thing! “The cops are on the way! This is … it’s … it’s destruction of property! You think I don’t know that? Everybody knows that! You’re … you are a destroyer of property! My property!”

  Well, that certainly sounded bad. I nodded encouragement (“yes, my, sounds terrible, really, just awful awful awful”) but it didn’t calm her down, not even a little.

  I tried to figure out where I was. There were no newspapers around, so I had no idea what city I was in or what the date was. No TVs running with a CNN stream. Windows, sure, but too high for me to see billboards or the Golden Arches or any sort of landmark. (Mmmmm. Arches! Suddenly I wanted a Filet-O-Fish or five.) Nothing indicating the name of the building the poor thing and I were trapped together in. Just barking.

  Lots of barking from, I would deduce (being a trained investigator for the FBI, I could do that; I could deduce all over the place), lots of dogs.



  I looked down and observed that the “snow” I was standing in was actually mounds and mounds of poodle fur.


  “That’s it? That’s all you have to say for yourself? After what you did?”

  “Um … oh, crumbs?” (Profanity was for the unimaginative.) “And … I’m sorry?” An apology seemed like the right move. When I woke up in a strange place with enraged strangers who were wearing only one shoe while standing in poodle fluff, it was almost always the right move.

  “And there they are!” she shrilled, pointing with a flourish at the approach of two police officers. “You boys! You come over here and … and get her.”

  “Get me?” I asked, appalled. “But you don’t even know me.”

  “Don’t say that like we haven’t spent ten horrible minutes together.”

  Well. We hadn’t. She and I, is what I meant. She had spent time with my body, but not with me. Don’t worry: it’s not as depraved as it sounds.

  “She committed felony assault on all my show poodles!”

  Scratch that. It was at least as depraved as it sounds.

  “Ohhhhh, that sounds bad,” I said as the officers hurried up. They were St. Paul police, I noted, as I nodded politely and tried to look the opposite of dangerous. Both big and blond and puffy, one with blue eyes and one with brown.

  “You called in the assault, ma’am?” Blue Eyes asked

  “I think, yes, Officer,” I said, well into helpful mode.

  “You shut up! I did.” She blew a hank of hair off her forehead with a gusty, egg-scented puff. “She committed assault all over everything and I’ll lose now and months—months!—down the drain!”

  “You should probably arrest me,” I agreed. I went to set down my mocha, then realized my hands were empty. No wonder I was thirsty. “I’ll come along quietly.”

  And I did.

  chapter two


  I looked up and stifled a groan. My partner, George Pinkman, was standing just outside the holding cell bars, clutching his stomach with one hand and pointing at me with the other. “Oh my God! I thought the police report had been exaggerated. But you really did it. Shaved poodles!” He hee-hee’d for several seconds; I’d rarely seen him in such a good mood.

  “You did not think that,” I said, appalled. “Cops wouldn’t exaggerate on a government document.”

  “Like I give a shit,” he replied, instantly bored … the classic mood swings of a clinical sociopath. He eyed the contents of the holding cell, which looked and smelled exactly like holding cells all over the country. I had reason to know, I was sorry to say. “Okay, so, this could still be interesting. My situation can be salvaged.”

  See that? My situation. Like I said. Classic.

  He looked up and down the corridor. “So, is there some kind of Chained Heat thing going on here?”


  “Don’t take this away from me,” he begged. “I have so little in my life. Caged?”


  “Bare Behind Bars?”

  “Are you trying to make me throw up, or is it just a side effect from talking to you?” Zow! I must be grumpier than I thought. I could usually be a little more civil. “Sorry.”

  (I was a compulsive apologizer. I saw a doctor for it and everything. I was a get-along girl; if everyone wasn’t content I apologized. My sisters hated it. Hated.)

  “So Young, So Bad? Women In Cellblock 9? Cell Block Sisters?”

  “I’m sorry to have to point this out.” Really. I was! “And maybe you’ll remember I’ve told you this before, but there’s something deeply wrong with you.”

  He cursed me. “Goddammit. Reform School Girls, at least?”

  I shook my head. “The terrible things I find out about you when I’m stuck in a holding cell.”


  “No thanks. I’m a cocoa girl.”

  “I mean you should buy me coffee, you useless harpy.” He yawned and ran his fingers—pianist’s hands, surgeon’s hands, psycho killer’s hands—through his thick black hair. “Goddamned Michaela called me at the crack of dawn, and I had to haul my firm and wonderful ass down here to get you out. On my day off, I had to get up early and rescue your sorry ass!”

  “It’s two o’clock in the afternoon.”

  “Shut up. I had stuff to do first.” He rubbed his eyes, which were a fine, pure green. “Hey, I said “crack” and “ass” in the same sentence. Let’s go.”

  I turned to the three women I’d been spending time with. Two of them were in the far-left corner. The other one was crouched beside the lower bunk. They were all staring. My, what big eyes you have, cell mates. “It was nice talking to you.”

  “Please don’t hurt us anymore.”

  “No, no,” I soothed. “Of course not. And, um, I’m very sorry.” For whatever it was I did.

  If I had to guess (and I didn’t have to guess; I knew), I’d say my sister, Shiro, had paid them a visit. That was bad, but if my youngest sister, Adrienne, had come, things would have been much, much worse.

  Natch, I couldn’t remember a thing. This was behavior I was used to, but never cared for. I remember reading Sybil, by Flora Rheta Schreiber, years and years ago and thinking Thank goodness somebody gets it somebody really gets it this woman is writing about me!

  Sometimes I hated the sorry fact that my sisters could hijack my body, make it do all sorts of odd and unacceptable things, and then return the body back to my control … usually after they’ve used it to commit various felony acts.

  All that to say, I don’t know what nonsense my cell mates pulled, nor did I know what Shiro did for payback, but I was never one to hold a grudge.

  “So. Um. It was nice meeting you all.”

  The gal by the bunk was going to have a gorgeous shiner. As for the other two, the moment I got my body back I’d been able to stop their nosebleeds after a couple of minutes. I’m not one to badmouth, but I really think they blew this whole thing out of proportion.

  chapter three

  Cadence was right. They blew this whole thing out of proportion.

  chapter four

  “—she do?”

  George stepped aside as the duty officer unlocked the holding cell. Officer Crayon (the poor man! what a name), too, was careful to stand far back as I exited.

  “Sorry, George? I didn’t catch that.” Most people would think Huh, I must have drifted off or Golly, guess I wasn’t paying attention. I never drifted off. Stupid fargin’ MPD. Shiro must have popped back in the driver’s seat, probably to show off by coming up with a silly obscure fact. Less frequently, it was to agree with me.

  And again: I was trying to keep my internal whining under control. It could have been worse. There are much worse things than putting Shiro in the cockpit.

  “I said—and try to stay in your body for half a minute if it’s not too much damned trouble—what’d you do to those poor bitches?”

  “Don’t call them that!” I was so shocked, if they hadn’t closed the door I would have fallen back into the cell. “They are human beings, George Pinkman, and deserve respect.”

  “They’re two whores and a dyke-beater.” He turned, walking backward, the better to talk to my former cell mates. “For the record, I’m into that. Hey, domestic abuse should apply to everyone, not just heteros. So keep up the good work, gals. Hip-hip-hooray for equal rights!”

  “You shush your big mouth!” I was frantically waving my arms, trying to hush him up. “They can hear you!”

  “You look like a duck trying to take flight when you do that. And of course they can hear me,” he said reasonably, with no idea why I was upset. “We’re only eight feet away. Now, after we walk through this big iron door and they clang it behind us, then they won’t be able to hear me.”

  “You … you never get it, do you? And you never will. You look at them, you look at me, you don’t see people with feelings. You don’t see people at all. Just things to play with. Toys. At best.” I wouldn’t say it. I wouldn’t say it! “Sorry.”


  George yawned. This wasn’t anything he hadn’t heard from any one of his number of bosses, therapists, coworkers, family members, or random strangers. I didn’t know why I was wasting my breath. I didn’t know why his yucky crapola was getting to me more than usual.

  Yes, I did know. I promised my psychiatrist I would make a real effort not to lie to myself so much. “We lie best when we lie to ourselves,” he said, which I thought was profound and accurate, though my sister Shiro thought

  chapter five

  I thought it was obvious, and idiotic. Trust Cadence to be charmed by the yappings of a fortune-cookie therapist.

  chapter six

  it was idiotic. But Shiro could be strangely close-minded sometimes.

  I pinched the bridge of my nose, then rubbed my eyes. The month had barely started (at least, in my head) and I was already tired of it. And tired of George’s ickiness.

  “—more pathetic than usual. Are you all right? For you, I mean?”

  No. Though I appreciated George’s attempt to fake empathy. He, too, received regular instructions from a platoon of therapists. But at least in my case, there was hope. George would be out of luck for the rest of his life. There was no cure for sociopathy.

  My sisters and I could theoretically be put back together, like a grumpy Humpty-Dumpty, b
ut no one can grow a conscience past, say, the age of five. When George wasn’t being a big mean poopie, I felt sorry for him.

  “Did one of those bitches get a shot in before Shiro took them out?” He instantly turned on his heel. “Hey! Nobody smacks, taunts, or bruises my partner except me! And maybe a random bad guy! Which one of you worthless cows—”

  “Stop it, please. I’m getting a headache. They didn’t bother me. Just … stop being mean for five minutes. Please?”

  “No.” His gaze was on me, green eyes narrowed. “If that’s true, if they didn’t hurt you, then what’s your problem?”


  “Oh, God! You’re actually gonna tell me. Christ, I can’t believe I’m opening myself up to more whining … you don’t have to tell me. In fact, I’m officially withdrawing the question.”

  What was wrong with me was the thing that was always wrong with me. I was tired and scared. I didn’t like waking up in holding cells. I didn’t like being sprung by sociopaths. Two-thirds of a murderous trio were in the wind. I was expecting my period any second.

  Oh, and the bigger problems (yes, bigger than two-thirds of a murderous trio out in the world somewhere plotting against me)? My psychiatrist was trying to kill my sisters. My boyfriend wanted to date my sisters … and me. My best friend wanted her brother, also my boyfriend, to go away—which, since he was about to close on a house in the area, was problematic. (These weren’t two different men! I was a good girl, not some skeevy, sleep-around, icky, yuck-o slut puppy.)

  “A day without a lecture on morality from Cadence Jones is a day that is really, really great,” George was saying. His yakking was giving me a headache. So was his tie: decapitated goats against a lime-green background. George was not a subtle man. Any stranger could tell after a glance that he was good-looking, smart, deranged, and had odd taste in men’s neckwear. “Really really really really really really great.”