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Me, Myself and Why?

MaryJanice Davidson





  MaryJanice Davidson







  Table of Contents


  Author’s Note


  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-one

  Chapter Twenty-two

  Chapter Twenty-three

  Chapter Twenty-four

  Chapter Twenty-five

  Chapter Twenty-six

  Chapter Twenty-seven

  Chapter Twenty-eight

  Chapter Twenty-nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Chapter Thirty-one

  Chapter Thirty-two

  Chapter Thirty-three

  Chapter Thirty-four

  Chapter Thirty-five

  Chapter Thirty-six

  Chapter Thirty-seven

  Chapter Thirty-eight

  Chapter Thirty-nine

  Chapter Forty

  Chapter Forty-one

  Chapter Forty-two

  Chapter Forty-three

  Chapter Forty-four

  Chapter Forty-five

  Chapter Forty-six

  Chapter Forty-seven

  Chapter Forty-eight

  Chapter Forty-nine

  Chapter Fifty

  Chapter Fifty-one

  Chapter Fifty-two

  Chapter Fifty-three

  Chapter Fifty-four

  Chapter Fifty-five

  Chapter Fifty-six

  Chapter Fifty-seven

  Chapter Fifty-eight

  Chapter Fifty-nine

  Chapter Sixty

  Chapter Sixty-one

  Chapter Sixty-two

  Chapter Sixty-three

  Chapter Sixty-four

  Chapter Sixty-five

  Chapter Sixty-six

  Chapter Sixty-seven

  Chapter Sixty-eight

  Chapter Sixty-nine

  Chapter Seventy

  Chapter Seventy-one

  Chapter Seventy-two

  Chapter Seventy-three

  Chapter Seventy-four

  Chapter Seventy-five

  Chapter Seventy-six

  Chapter Seventy-seven

  Chapter Seventy-eight

  Chapter Seventy-nine

  Chapter Eighty

  Chapter Eighty-one

  Chapter Eighty-two

  Chapter Eighty-three

  Chapter Eighty-four

  Chapter Eighty-five

  Chapter Eighty-six

  Chapter Eighty-seven

  Chapter Eighty-eight

  Chapter Eighty-nine

  Chapter Ninety

  Chapter Ninety-one

  Chapter Ninety-two

  Chapter Ninety-three

  Epilogue: The First

  Epilogue: The Second

  Epilogue: The Third

  This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

  ME, MYSELF AND WHY? Copyright © 2010 by MaryJanice Davidson. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

  Book design by Elina D. Nudelman

  ISBN 978-0-312-53117-1

  First Edition: October 2010

  10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  For my husband, who tries so very hard to make me stick to a daily schedule. Strictly for my own good, of course, and not because he’s insanely jealous that I get to sleep whenever I want. Love you, sweetie!


  First, a thousand thank-yous to my ridiculously supportive editor, Monique Patterson at St. Martin’s Press. When I thought up a trilogy about an FBI agent with multiple personality disorder, I wasn’t sure anyone would go for it. The truth is, this book presented challenges I’d never faced before.

  However, though I was cringing like a craven dog at the task before me, Monique was nothing but enthusiastic and fearless, from my casual “what if?” pitch over burritos and throughout the writing and editing process. Monique’s faith never wavered. This was comforting, if terrifying.

  My agent, Ethan Ellenberg, who worked hard on a deal for the Me, Myself and Why? trilogy, and never complains when I consistently lose paperwork. You know how some people believe everyone’s hell is individual? My hell will be to be reincarnated as Ethan’s assistant and forced to deal with authors like me. Memo to me: Embrace the horror.

  Thanks are also due to my father, Alexander Davidson, who was a terrific sounding board when I was trying to figure out when to sign on the dotted line, and gave me much valuable advice during contract negotiations.

  Special thanks for my dear friends Cathie and Stacy, who love me enough to worry about me when I get jammed up with deadlines and forget to e-mail back . . . and I’m even more grateful for their patience when I disappear from the online world. They are much better friends to me than I am to them.

  Speaking of disappearing from the online world, thanks are also due to my Yahoo! group, who are very patient when I don’t post for weeks on end. They are the friendliest, least flaming-est group on the Web; you can check them out at

  Thanks to my sister, Yvonne, who always stops what she’s doing on a business trip to call and tell me which airport is carrying my books.

  Thanks to my mother, who forces my books on her unsuspecting colleagues at various antique shows.

  And thanks, always, to the readers, who don’t mind following me down the occasional strange path.

  Author’s Note

  In the real world, the FBI tends to screen out mentally disturbed applicants (at least, that’s their official stance). Also, there aren’t nearly as many serial killers out there as the movies (and perhaps this book) would have you believe.

  Also, the psychiatric community, as well as its bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (aka the DSMMD-IV—nothing like a catchy, yet puzzling, acronym), has reclassified multiple personality disorder as dissociative identity disorder. I use the former wording for its familiarity to most readers.

  A few things in this book remain true, however. Grown women do occasionally lick mirrors to turn on their partners, partners who work together can begin to resemble each other, rushed federal agents park government-issue sedans on public sidewalks, baking is lucrative, and it’s possible to wake up on a Monday morning with no memory of Sunday night.

  So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  Multiple personality disorder (MPD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by having at least one “alter” personality that controls behavior. The “alters” are said to occur spontaneously and involuntarily, and function more or less independently of each other. The unity of consciousness, by which we identify our selves, is said to be absent in MPD. Another symptom of MPD is significant amnesia which can’t be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.

  Part of being sane is being a little bit crazy.


  Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes . . . the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things.



  First comes the blood

  And then comes the

  First comes the blood

  And then comes the

  Screams, then comes the screams,

  then comes the screams, and

  The wheels on the bus go round and round,

  Round and round,

  It’s so loud.

  I just want to sleep, and the screams come around,

  Alllll the daaaaay looooooong.

  And I just want to leave, and disappear,



  I just want to leave

  And third comes the geese, alllll daaay loooong.

  Are the geese really third, did they come third,

  Really come third,

  Or were they first?

  I just want to leave, and disappear,

  Alllllll geeeeeeese loooooong.

  The screams won’t find me, round and round,

  Never will, round and round,

  No they won’t they never will,

  Say goooood-byyyyyye.

  Chapter One

  The lilting strains of thrash metal crashed through my skull and I sat bolt upright in bed, clutching my ears. Someone—probably my psycho sister—had set my alarm to WROX and cranked it. It was a lot like being awakened on an airport runway by an approaching DC-10.

  I clawed for the snooze button, missed, swiped again, knocked the radio to the carpet, slithered off the bed, fell on top of the snooze button, and, mercifully, the Sweet Jerkoffs’ new release, Raining Hell on Your Stupid Face, stopped.

  Don’t ask me how I knew the song and the band. I won’t tell.

  “Too early,” came a sonorous voice from the bed above. What the—? “Sleep more.”

  I cautiously peeked over the edge of the bed. A strange, nude man was tangled up in my Laura Ashley sheets. His long dark hair covered half his face and flut-tered as he resumed snoring. He had a tattoo of Donald Duck performing a sexual act on Daisy; it was almost four inches across!

  And—what the—?—I was naked, too.

  Over his slurred protests (he smelled like he’d fallen into a tequila vat on the way to my apartment), I pulled him out of bed as efficiently and politely as I could. I found his jeans under the bed, his shirt hanging over my bedside lamp, his boxer briefs on top of the heating vent, one of his shoes in the bathroom, and the other in my kitchen sink. It was tough work getting him dressed while not looking at his penis, but I managed.

  Don’t ask me how; I won’t tell.

  After the stranger was gone, I set about cleaning up the empty tequila bottles, the gnawed lemon slices (one was nestled beside my toothbrush like a bedraggled yellow comma), the spilled salt shakers (my moo cow shaker! in the toilet! darn it all!), and something that looked like a small purple whale.

  I was studying it, hoping it wasn’t what I knew it was, when it started to buzz in my hand and I dropped it. What was that doing in the fridge?

  Never mind. Never mind. I—I had to get to work. Mustn’t be late! Mustn’t be late!

  I kicked the vibrator across the kitchen floor until it was close to the garbage, then darted into the bathroom. I took a quick shower, dried at light speed (my blond hair looked all right, but my eyes were bloodshot—what had my sister been—never mind, never mind), and dressed in my best conservative navy suit.

  Then I grabbed a breakfast Hot Pocket (ham & cheese) and headed out the front door. I had a splitting headache, but some iced coffee ought to fix that nicely . . . along with about ten Advils. No time for makeup, but I twisted my hair up into a large barrette.

  “Morning, Ms. Jones,” Ben, the doorman, said on my way out. “Late night, huh?”

  I had no idea what he was talking about, as my last memory was of walking down Lake Street at 5:30 p.m. the day before (a peek at the newspaper assured me of the date), but nodded and waved my Hot Pocket at him.

  It took ten minutes to find my Mitsubishi Eclipse—I was thankful it hadn’t been towed again, intruding crookedly on the sidewalk as it was—and another twenty-five to drive (a bit more quickly than usual) to BOFFO headquarters, located on Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis. It looked like an office building, maybe the corporate headquarters for Target or one of those financial-adviser firms that did so well until 2008. But this was no office.

  Well, it was in that there were printers and desks and things, but it was actually a branch of the FBI, the Bureau of False Flag Ops.

  After I parked, I took the elevator to the correct floor, slid my key card through the slot, waited for the retinal scan, then popped in. Five minutes early! Victory was mine.

  As always, I was greeted by Opus, the custodian for my floor.

  “Hi . . . Cadence.”

  “Hi, big guy. Have a nice night?”

  Opus gave the question careful thought before answering. “Yes.” Opus didn’t understand the concept of small talk—he had savant syndrome (never, never use the phrase “idiot savant”; soooo twentieth century!)—but he could do incredible things with numbers, even if he couldn’t write out a grocery list. He was a shambling bear of a man—well over six feet tall, with shaggy brown hair, bushy eyebrows, mud-colored eyes, and thick forearms. His two-piece brown uniform made him look not unlike a grizzly bear. With a mop.

  I’ll admit, I had a soft spot for the man. I’d had to defend him from occasional taunts from some of my less sensitive co-workers, “rain man” being a popular insult.

  It was almost funny that anybody who worked for BOFFO would have the nerve to insult anyone else who worked for BOFFO. After all, we all had—

  “Cadence!” George Pinkman was actually dancing from one foot to the other. “I got the new Halo! You should come over and help me blow shit up.”

  “Some other time,” I replied sweetly. George gave me the creeps. A textbook sociopath, he didn’t think anything was real except the world of violent video games. Why BOFFO needed him I would never understand, but I was certainly in no position to complain or judge. I mean, jeepers! I was a federal cop, not King Solomon. “But thanks.”

  “Maybe your sister, then.”

  I shivered and moved past him to my desk. He really was crazy. Well, sure. He had a BOFFO ID card, didn’t he? And he’d fooled a lot of people with those big green eyes, aquiline nose, and firm jaw. His eyebrows were slashing commas across his forehead, and although he had a slim build, he held no fewer than three black belts. He often dressed and talked effeminately to provoke the local rednecks. Then he’d lure them out into the parking lot and break various bones. All in the name of self-defense, of course, while sporting one of his huge collection of incredibly garish and tasteless neckties.

  The one he wore now featured a single cartoon puppy in a dead-Christ pose, against a background of rainbows.

  I scanned the morning faxes, checked arrest reports, did some work on the computer, and heated up my Hot Pocket, which I gobbled in six bites (so hun-gry!). I got a Frappuccino from the vending machine, balanced it on my Hello Kitty mouse pad, and began gulping it with a few Advils. This would, I hoped, take care of my hangover.

  “Cadence Jones!”

  I swung around in my chair, nearly spilling my drink. My supervisor, Michaela, was framed in the doorway of Da Pitt (where all her field agents congregated to fight crime and work on their Secret Santa drawings). She was a fifty-something woman with silver, straight chin-length hair and amazing green eyes. Pure green, not hazel. Like leaves! Hair the color of precious metal, eyes the color of wet leaves—
she’d have been gorgeous if she hadn’t been so scarily efficient and surrounded by cubicles and printers and mail carts. And today, as usual, she was dressed in Ann Taylor.

  I squashed the urge to shake the ringing out of my ears—the boss lady had the volume and pitch of a steamer whistle. “Weren’t we going to work on our inside voice?”

  “Debriefing! Thirty minutes!”

  “I know, I saw the e-mail.” I pointed at my computer screen. “But thanks for assuming I hadn’t learned to read in the first grade.”

  “Leave the mouth at your desk!” Thankfully, she vanished through another doorway.

  Now how was I supposed to do that? Physically, it was impossible. Figuratively, it didn’t make any sense, since my mouth was essentially what made me valuable to BOFFO. Maybe Michaela was coming off an odd night, too.

  George shoved, hard, and his chair shot over to my desk. “It’s Miller time!” he chortled, pounding his fists on his thighs.

  It was a bad joke, of course. Connie Miller, who had poisoned four of her five children in seven years

  (Why did she let the oldest live? What was it about the others? Why why why did she)

  was being remanded for trial this morning; George and I were to baby-sit her until the local cops came. It was essentially some last-minute paperwork before transfer. Strictly custodial. Mornings like this reminded me that for fearless minions of the federal government, an awful lot of what we did was cleanup. For which we received full medical and dental, so it wasn’t all bad.

  Connie Miller creeped me out as much as George did, but for entirely different reasons. Call me old-fashioned, but it was against the laws of nature when moms killed their kids.

  And Munchausen by proxy? Getting off on the attention you got when your kids got sick (by your own hand) and died? Weird. Repulsive. Horrifying. I was superglad my sister had helped make the collar; there was no way I could have taken her on my own.

  It had become a matter for BOFFO when Miller moved from California to Minnesota. George and my sister had managed to track and nail her. Now the only thing left for BOFFO was routine paperwork, and putting the dead babies out of our minds. Two of the babies she had killed she’d conceived only after spending a great deal of time and money on fertility treatments.