Switching Sides

  1. All In A Day’s Work 
  2. Let’s Start The Day
  3. Picking Up A Friend
  4. Forgotten Birthday Dinner
  5. Mikey
  6. Party Crashers
  7. We’ve Got Some Catching Up To Do
  8. The Other LaVine
  9. Brotherly Love
  10. Party At The LaVine’s
  11. Caught Up
  12. Never Thought I’d See You Again
  13. Mr. Young’s
  14. Smitten
  15. A Slippery Slope
  16. Funny Seeing You Here
  17. “Friends”
  18. Another Date
  19. Wildfire
  20. The Morning After
  21. You’re Looking A Little Blurry
  22. This Has To Stop
  23. Ronnie LaVine
  24. An Unexpected Visitor
  25. What A Mess
  26. It All Comes Out
  27. Lying With Pigs
  28. Let’s Put A Pin In That
  29. A Snow Storm Is Coming
  30. Switching Sides
  31. It All Happened So Fast
  32. This Can’t Be The End
  33. Leo LaVine
  34. Catching Them Up
  35. Aftermath

Before you start this, have you read ‘A Snow Storm Is Coming’?

After getting the news about Pauly and Vinny’s plans, Dani and Paula decided that Paula would return to her father and play it cool. As far as Pauly and Vinny knew, nothing had changed. Paula apologized for her ‘little outburst and the LaVines went back to business as usual; Or at least that’s what her father and uncle thought.


In reality, Paula collected as much information as she could and relayed it to Dani. At first, Paula was scared, if she was caught her father would surely kill her. But the memory of Ronnie and the thought of hundreds and thousands, maybe even millions, of people having to go through the same thing she went through when she’d learned that her brother had taken his own life, there was no doubt in her mind that this is what she had to do.


It was child’s play really. All she had to do was sit around with her father and uncle and do what she usually did. She set up the meetings and sat in on them and pretended as if all was well. The hardest part of the whole thing was pretending to be okay with it.


The shiteating grins that Pauly and Vinny wore as they talked about the money they’d make made Paula want to put her fist through a wall. But even worse than that, was watching Mikey morph into their father. Gone was the timid, warm-hearted baby bother. The boy who showed up at her condo wanting to reconnect with his family and live a better life was now gone. Now Mikey was an obedient little puppy. Like the rest of her father’s men, Mikey jumped on command. 


Just a few months ago, Paula admired the way her father commanded a room. She used to love watching him in meetings and in his day-to-day interactions. Pauly always seemed so tall and mighty, so business and goal-oriented. But now, watching her father closely, Paula could see the cracks. It was all an illusion. 


He reeked of fear and greed. When he felt threatened or challenged he’d bark, and not even like a big dog. Watching her father closely, Paula could see that Pauly LaVine was the personification of ‘fake it till you make it’, only he wasn’t making it; not even close.


The only good thing that came from all this was Dani. After a long day of dealing with the nonsense of her father and uncle, Paula would make her way across town and crash at Dani’s.


Paula quickly made herself at home. Though she still kept her apartment, Paula usually stayed over at Dani’s. 


When Jackson first found out he was livid. He even ordered Dani to take a drug test because this was so out of character for her. But after weeks of grilling Paula, Jackson eased up a bit. He still tailed Paula, but Paula didn’t mind. She had nothing to hide, and honestly, if she were in Jackson’s shoes she probably would have felt the same way. 


Shaking the thoughts away, Paula pulled into the parking lot behind the police station and made her way inside. As she walked through the station, the officers and detectives stared at her as if she were an alien. This was weird for her too. Prior to meeting Dani, the only time she ever set foot in a police station was to either bail one of her father’s men out or if she herself had been arrested.


Paying the officers no mind, she made a b-line straight to Jackson’s office. 


Inside she found Dani sitting in her usual spot on the corner of her father’s desk, her partner, Clark sitting in one of the two chairs across from Jackson’s desk.


“Paula! What can I do for you?” Jackson asked as Clark and Dani turned to look at her.


“I come baring gifts.” Paula said, holding up a red folder.


Making her way to the chair beside Clarks, she handed Jackson the folder before sitting down.


Clark and Dani crowded around Jackson as Paula leaned back in her chair.


“Who still uses pen and paper?” Clark asked as he looked down at the notes in his boss’s hands.


“Old men who can’t work iPads.” Dani and Paula said simultaneously. 


Jackson gave the women the finger, causing them to laugh before Jackson closed the folder and dropped it on his desk.


“So this is it. We’re finally going to get theses fuckers.” Jackson said leaning back in his chair.


Paula nodded. She thought this would be harder; thought she’d crack and blow her cover or chicken out. But the memory of Ronnie and the pain his death caused kept a fire lit within her. Family or not, she wouldn’t let what happened to her happen to some other family, not if she could help it.


Looking towards Clark, Jackson gave him a look that Clark seemed to read like a text. 


“I’m gonna go get some coffee.” He said, making his way to the door.


As the door shut, Jackson leaned forward, placing his hands on the desk with his palms facing upward.


Without thought, Paula leaned forward and placed her hands in his. Jackson’s hands were warm, and soft, such a large contrast from Pauly’s icy, sand-paperlike hands.


“I know this isn’t easy, but I wanna thank you for trusting us enough to do this.” He said softly.


Jackson truly cared. Unlike her father, the police captain didn’t play any games. He was open and honest and after dealing with her father for so long, that was refreshing for Paula.


Paula simply nodded before Jackson gave her hands a little squeeze and leaned back in his chair.


Cutting the heaviness in the room, Dani hopped off her father’s desk and suggested they all go get some subs. So, after shutting his office down, the trio made their way out the door and to the deli down the street. 


Maybe things would be alright for Paula.

So I guess Paula’s a good guy now? What do we think about that? Can she really be trusted? Do you think her father will find out?  Anyways I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment. Like I always say, if you liked it, go ahead and hit that star. Also, if you’d like to monetarily support the site, you can buy a cup of coffee. Thank you so much- C

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