Moving from job to job, thirty-one year old Melissa Doolittle was still looking for the perfect one. When she interviewed for the CJ Construction Company, she thought she had finally found it. After a second interview, she was hired as an administrative assistant to the projects manager. Although she had no construction experience, Chris Johns, the owner, was sufficiently impressed with her intelligence and enthusiasm to offer her the job.
Her immediate supervisor was Tom. She took an immediate liking to his kind yet forceful manner. He stood about five inches taller than her, had chocolate brown eyes and matching brown, curly hair that framed his weathered and lined face. His tight-fitting jeans accentuated his manly parts, and on his muscular left forearm, he proudly displayed a large tattoo of an American bald eagle sitting on the American Flag.
I'm really going to like these working conditions, she thought - especially since her job duties included going to the actual job sites and working with the foremen. Oh yes, she thought, this job had the all the makings of THE perfect job.
For the first two weeks, she worked closely with Tom who taught her the ins and outs of her position. Besides learning the job, she also learned he was thirty-three, married, and had three children. He was encouraging and supportive, a nice change from her previous bosses who constantly criticized and belittled her.
They had all started out good enough; she seemed to hit it off right away with them. But then things changed and she was fired for improper conduct, missed time, and sexual harassment. I never harassed anyone, and what did I do that was so improper? she wondered.
But her Mr. Johns seemed willing to overlook those charges and give her a chance. She felt like she had really lucked out. If she had to work, at least it would be at a good job that paid good money.
When Tom’s previous assistant, Anne, gave her notice, he was thrilled. Although she had been efficient, her sour personality and dowdy appearance left a lot to be desired. So when Melissa came in for an interview, he had pushed to have her hired. Not only did she appear to be intelligent and quite capable of dealing with the men in the field, (accepting their sometimes off-color remarks with good humor, something Anne could not do,) but she was also pleasant to look at. She was about five-foot-four with a Kardashian body to die for. She showcased it with low-cut blouses and short, ass-hugging skirts. She had shoulder-length, brown hair, and clear blue eyes, the same color as the waters off Aruba where he went snorkeling. Plus she smelled good. He would have to find out the name of that perfume she wore and buy it for his wife. With any luck, it would do for him at home what it was doing for him at work.
After three years of Anne and her haughty sourpuss attitude, Melissa would be a nice change. He would just have to be careful to maintain a professional relationship with her.
Single, although not by choice, Melissa had dated quite a few men, slept with most of them, but none had ever appealed to her as marriage material. Yes, she wanted to be married, and yes, she wanted to have children, but she was still fussy. She had a list of criteria and would not accept anything less. Her last boyfriend, Charlie, had been nice enough, but had no ambition. And while she wasn’t out to become Mrs. Somebody, she did want a man who knew where he was going in life, and Charlie didn’t fit that bill.
But Tom looked like a hot prospect. Never mind that he was married; that made her even more determined to pursue him. She loved his sense of humor, and his self-assuredness, evidenced in the kind but firm way in which he managed his crew. He was demanding but compassionate; strong but sensitive.
Because most of their jobs had specific deadlines, he pushed his men to work harder and faster. But when Jeff Lourdes's new baby girl was born with a heart defect, it was Tom who organized a fund-raiser for his family, while asking the other workers to pick up the slack. They did without protest, because they knew that Tom would be there for them if, and when, they needed him. And it was Tom who sat with Jeff in the hospital waiting for word from the doctor performing the delicate surgery.
And when Mike Cisco's mother suffered a debilitating heart attack, Tom authorized his employee's month off under the family leave act. He also fought with Chris for Mike's continued salary, even though he was five months short of the required time - three years - to receive that company benefit.
He told Chris that Mike was a hard, loyal worker, and Chris should be happy to have him. Chris eventually gave in, but warned Tom not to make this a habit. An extremely grateful Mike promised Chris he would never regret his decision, and when he returned to his job, he worked harder and faster than anyone else did.
Oh, she definitely liked working with and for this man.
One Thursday, he asked her if she could work late a couple of nights the following week. The company was preparing to bid on a large contract and he needed her assistance to put their segment of the proposal together. Of course she said yes, and they set it up for Monday, and Tuesday to make sure everything would be ready by the end of the week. She was excited and nervous. This would be the first time they would be alone and it might afford her the chance to let him know how she felt.
That night she called her best friend to tell her how things were going with the job.
“Kathryn, this guy is just so nice. Maybe if I play my cards right…,” she said, dreaming of the possibilities. Melissa lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling. Her right leg was raised, bent at the knee, and she wondered what it would feel like if it were Tom’s hand rubbing it instead of her own.
“Come on now, Mel. Remember what you promised when you took this job. Don’t blow it by getting involved with your boss.”
A little annoyed with her friend for crashing her party, she replied, “But he's so nice. And we're so perfect together. Not like those other the miserable bastards I’ve worked for.”
“Well, just remember how much you like it there. If you feel the urge to put the moves on this guy, you call me, okay?”
“Yeah, okay Kath, whatever you say,” she responded, her annoyance starting to show through.
“Promise?” Kathryn needed to hear her friend say that word, if only to reassure herself that Melissa understood the consequence of her actions.
"Yes, I promise. Now can we please drop it?”
But Melissa couldn’t drop it. Or forget it, either. When Monday came, she found herself watching the clock, unable to concentrate on anything but counting down the hours until quitting time. She had formed her plan over the weekend, and waited breathlessly for the day to end.
Mr. Johns had a complete bathroom in his office, including a Jacuzzi tub and a shower. That was one feature he had made sure he told her about when she was hired. He let her know that it was only to be used by a few select people and he had given her a list of names with the instructions that should she ever see anyone else try to use it, she was to let him know immediately or she would be fired. This was non-negotiable and a terminable offense. Thankfully, Tom’s name was on that list.
A little after 4:30, he returned to the office, job specs in hand. He gave her a big smile and told her that he needed to shower because he had been out in the field all day and he didn’t think she’d want to work that close to him until he did.
While he was cleaning himself off and changing clothes, she looked over the proposal. But thoughts of Tom in the shower, washing his private parts, interfered with her focus.
As Tom showered, he was getting a hard-on thinking about Mel. He and his wife had married the day after high school graduation. They had had sex for the first time two months before (on the night of her eighteenth birthday) and wouldn’t you know it, Louise had gotten pregnant. Of course, he did the right thing; that was the way his father had raised him. And it wasn’t as if he didn’t love her; he did. It’s just that he had wanted to join the navy and see the world before settling down. But responsibility came first. So they were married, and he went to work in his father’s concrete company.
Four years later, his father died from a stress-induced heart attack. He was only fifty-six. Tom decided that he didn't want the stress of owning a company so he sold it. He had then gone to work for Christopher Johns. Less responsibility, less stress, and a lot less money, but he was happy.
Starting as a journeyman, he had worked his way up the ladder quickly until, eleven years later, he had reached his current position of projects manager. Along the way, his pay increased and he was now making more money than his father had ever hoped to see. In addition, the job offered fully paid medical benefits, which was important because his youngest son, Brandon, had been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect when he was three years old, necessitating numerous operations and costly medications. In addition to his oldest, Tim, now fourteen, and his youngest, they had a daughter, Sarah, now twelve. He felt he had a full and complete life, and he was content.
Although his job put a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, his new assistant was making his life a lot easier. Plus, she had all the right ingredients to make a great lover, he thought. Down (or should he say 'up') to her short skirts and six inch heels that showcased her long, shapely legs. She was hard to resist, but he knew he had to. For the sake of Louise and the kids, I absolutely have to.
He had never cheated on his wife, and he wasn’t about to start now. Why mess up a good thing? he thought. But any resolve he had dissipated when he stepped out of the enclosure. There was Melissa. Standing there, a towel in her hand.
“What are you doing in here?” he asked, surprised, as he grabbed the towel from her and wrapped his body in it.
“Oh, I just came in to see if you needed a hand. But I see you have everything under control, so I’ll just wait for you in my office.”
But as she turned to leave, he grabbed her arm, letting the towel fall, and pulled her to him.
An hour later, as they lay satisfied on the bathroom rug, he said to her, “You know this was a mistake. I’m married and you’re my assistant. This never should have happened.”
She turned on her side and propped herself up on her arm, and with her other hand, started rubbing his penis. “Are you sure?”
“I’m married,” he whispered. Despite his protests, he was responding to her touch.
“You said that,” she replied.
“Mel, stop,” he said, removing her hand. “I love my wife and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. This was nice, but we can’t do it again. Besides, we have to work on that proposal. Chris is expecting it on his desk first thing in the morning. Now please, get dressed and let’s get started.”
Disappointed, she donned her clothing and returned to her office.
By 8:30, they had finished the preliminary work-up and were getting ready to leave for the night. “Thanks Mel. I appreciate your help.”
“Oh, no problem. Anytime you need me, you just let me know.” She walked over to him and put her arms around his neck. She started kissing him and despite his attempt to ward off her advances, he again found himself responding. Another hour passed before they were totally spent. He took her hands, pulled her up off the rough Berber carpet, and led her into the boss’ bathroom.
He turned on the water in the Jacuzzi tub and while they were sitting in it waiting for it to fill, his cell phone rang.
“I have to get this,” he said. “It’s Louise.”
He turned the water off, put his finger to his lips, and said into the phone, “Hi baby.”
After telling his wife that he and Melissa were still working and he’d be home in a couple of hours, he turned the water back on and the two lovers sat at opposite ends of the tub and talked about their new relationship.
“Look, Mel, you know this is probably not a good idea.”
“Maybe not, but you are enjoying it, aren’t you?” she purred, scooting closer to him.
“You know I am,” pulling her into his arms and kissing her.
“Tom,” she said, coquettishly, pulling away until she was again leaning on the opposite side of the tub, “I didn’t plan this. You have to believe that. I just thought about you in that shower, and well, I guess my urges got the best of me. But you’re right. It never should have happened, and it should never happen again. Do you think we can go back to just being boss and assistant?”
He again pulled her to him until they were locked in an embrace, her legs wrapped around his hips, his penis finding its way into her. He kissed her before answering, “We have to.”
“Right,” she answered breathlessly, kissing him back.
The next day, Tom called her from the field to let her know that they would have to work late again that night. Melissa was prepared. She had not worn any panties under her skirt.
When he arrived back in the office after everyone had left, she walked over to him, took his hands, and, put them on her thighs, guiding them under her skirt. Once they were both fully aroused, she led him into the bathroom where she had the tub ready for them.
"Oh, baby," Tom panted as she lovingly washed his penis, "this is so wrong."
"Should I stop?"
He looked at her through half-closed eyes. "No," he panted. "Don't ever stop."
Their affair continued for the next year, only they relocated to an adult motel where various accoutrements, especially a Jacuzzi tub, were readily available to them. For Tom, this was the best sex he had ever had. He felt so free and alive with her, something he hadn’t felt with Louise since the children were born. Sex with his wife was dull and boring. Same old position, same old routine. But with Melissa, he could try new positions and use the various "tools" to increase the pleasure for both of them.
For Melissa, the sex was fantastic; unlike any she had ever had with her numerous previous lovers. She found herself falling in love, and was ready to take this relationship to the next step.
One night, after they had finished making love and she lay curled up in his arms, she said to him, “So what now? Where do we go from here?”
“What are you talking about,” he asked, lazily playing with her long brown hair splayed across the pillows.
“When will you tell your wife about us and ask for a divorce?” she asked, fingering the thick mat of hair on his broad chest.
“Whoa,” he said, pulling his arms free and sitting up. “What makes you think I want to divorce Louise?”
“Well, I just assumed. You told me you loved me. You know I love you,” she said, sitting up, leaving her breasts exposed.
“Mel, I said that in the heat of passion. I think you’re a great lady, but…” He got out of the bed and started to dress.
“But what? I’m good enough to fuck, but not to marry?”
“Hey,” he said, getting angry. “You’re the one who started this whole thing. You said you could handle it.”
“Well, I changed my mind. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you. Now that I have, it changes everything.”
“Not as far as I’m concerned. I love my wife and I’m not about to leave her for you. So get that notion out of your head,” he snapped as he put on his shirt. “Look, this has been fun, but it has to stop. If you can’t go back to just being my assistant, maybe you should quit.”
“Why should I quit? You didn’t turn me down when I first approached you, so why should I be the one to suffer?”
"Melissa, I don't know what to say." He hung his head. "You came on to me," he said, lifting his head to gaze at her still exposed breasts. I never would have…"
"But you did." She grabbed her extended nipples and began rubbing and pinching them. This always had an effect on him.
“Look, sweetheart,” he said, moving to the bed, “It's been fun, and I’m willing to continue it as long as you realize that nothing more is going to come of it.”
“Okay,” she responded. She pulled him down and ripped open his shirt. “We’ll see.”
Three months later as they again lay in the waterbed after a long night of lovemaking, she said to him, “Tom, let’s go away together next weekend. I know this great bed and breakfast place about an hour up the coast. We could leave Friday night after work and spend the entire weekend together. Just imagine. No cell phones. No wife, no kids. Just you and me and a big, soft bed.”
“Mel, I can’t. Tim’s basketball game is Friday night, and Sarah’s soccer game is Saturday. And my wife has tickets to the theater on Sunday, so I have to stay home with Brandon. Even if I could get away, I don’t think it’s a good idea. I told you, I couldn't give you any more than this. An occasional night out, but that’s it. I thought you understood that.”
“Well, you thought wrong,” she said annoyed. “I haven’t invested all this time just for you to tell me that this is all there is. I love you, Tom. I want to be with you. Not once a week, but all the time. Can’t you see that?”
Tom jumped out of bed. “Now wait just a minute. You assured me you could handle this, but it's obvious you can't. I think it would be best if you find another job,” he said, more annoyed with himself than with her. How could I have let this happen? he thought.
“You can’t fire me.”
“I can and I just did,” he said as he started to dress. She got out of bed and walked toward him. But this time, he held her back with his forearm. “I’m sorry Melissa. I really thought this could work.” He finished dressing and left.
“Oh Margie,” she cried to her friend that night. “What am I going to do? I not only lost my job but I lost my lover and best friend. I thought I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t criticize or judge me. I blew it.”
“Yeah you did, Mel. I told you to leave it alone, but you wouldn’t listen. So you have no one to blame…” Margie said, feeling the pain of her friend’s plight.
“Yeah, I know. You don’t have to say it. But he shouldn’t have fired me. That was wrong.”
“Well, what did you expect him to do? You came on to him, even when you promised me you wouldn't, and then you expected him to leave his wife. He told you he couldn’t give you anything more, but you kept pushing. He wasn’t about to jeopardize his wife and family for a fling, and that’s all you were to him. You left him with no choice.”
“Well, we’ll see about that.”
“Mel? What are you going to do?” her friend asked, worried.
“I’ll talk to you later,” she responded, and hung up.
The next day at work Tom approached Chris. "We have to talk."
Once behind locked doors, Tom said, "I had to fire Melissa."
"She came on to me and wouldn’t stop."
"Did you tell her you weren't interested? That you were a happily married man?"
Tom hung his head in shame.
"You didn't. Please tell me you didn't start something with this girl."
"I didn't want to, it's just that…."
"Oh, dear mother of God. How could you Tom? Does Louise know?"
"No. And I want it to stay this way."
"Damn it Tom. You put me in a really awkward position. If I fire her now, she'll say it's retaliation for a consensual affair. What the hell am I supposed to do?"
"I don't know. I am so sorry, Chris."
"Wait a minute. I got an idea." He walked to the filing cabinet in the corner, opened it, and pulled out a file. Laying it on the desk, he said, "Here. This is our out."
"What is? What are you talking about?"
"Here, look." He turned it upside down, and pushed it across the desk.
Tom picked it up and began reading Chris' notes. Upon contacting her previous employers for references, he learned that this same thing had occurred in her last two jobs, and that’s why she had been terminated.
“And you didn’t think you should have told me?” he asked his boss.
“Unfortunately, I did this background check after I had already hired her. But I did call her into my office one morning and warned her that I knew the circumstances under which she was let go and that I would not tolerate that sort of behavior here. She seemed to understand.”
“Well, I guess she didn’t. She doesn't seem to understand much of anything. Anyway, we need to find me a replacement.”
“No problem,” Chris replied. “I think I just may know someone.”
“Well, do me a favor and make sure she’s old, married, and ugly.”
Over the next two days, Melissa made plans. On the night she knew Tom would be at a monthly project meeting, she drove to his house and knocked on the door. When his youngest son opened it, she asked if his mommy was home.
“Mommy, door,” he yelled running up the stairs, leaving the door open. Melissa stepped into the living room, closed and locked the door behind her, and looked around while waiting for Louise to appear. The room was in a shambles, toys strewn everywhere, the couch cushions askew, dirty plates on the coffee table. The television was playing loudly, the roadrunner was being blown up yet again. I'd never let the kids get away with this when I become their mother, she thought.
“Yes? Can I help you?” came a voice from behind her.
Melissa turned and examined her rival. Short, overweight, rather plain with mousy brown short hair, desperately in need of styling. No contest, she thought. “Yes, hi. My name is Melissa and I’m a friend of your husband’s.”
“Oh, yes. He told me all about you. But he’s not here right now. He’s still at work.”
“Yes, I know,” she said, pulling a gun from her oversized handbag and pointing it at her ex-lover’s wife. “I just thought you should know that your husband and I have been having an affair for the past year. He won’t tell you, so I will. He wants a divorce. If you agree, you live; if you don’t, you die. It’s your choice. What’s it going to be?”
“What? You’re crazy,” Louise said, her voice reflecting more bravado than she really felt. “You better get out of here before I call the police.”
“So then I take it your answer is no? Too bad,” she said and fired the gun twice, hitting Louise in her mid-section.
“Mommy!” cried a voice from above. Melissa looked up to see Brandon standing on the second floor landing. She climbed the stairs, took the little tow-headed boy by his hand and led him out of the house, pushed him into her car, and drove off.
When Tim and Sarah returned home from his basketball game, they found their mother on the living room floor, blood seeping from her belly. Tim ran to her and checked for a pulse. Finding none, he yelled, "Sarah, call Dad. I'll call the police."
When Tom arrived home, he had to weave through a throng of police officers and reporters. When he finally got to the front door and saw his wife's body, he screamed in agony.
“Where’s Brandon? Who could have done this? Where's my son?” he asked the police, holding his other children close to him.
“That’s what we were hoping you could tell us. I'm Detective Doug Merrick and this is my partner, Detective Sue Hopper. I'd like to ask you some questions.” He looked at Tom's children who were huddled against their father.
“Kids, why don’t you go into the kitchen with this nice lady so your dad and I can talk?” But the children didn’t want to leave their father’s side.
“It’s okay, kids,” Tom said to them. “Go with Detective Hopper. I’ll be right here.” He kissed each of them on the top of the head and ushered them off.
Once his children left the room, he turned his attention to the detective. “Do you have any clues? Any idea who did this?”
“Let me ask the questions,” the police officer said.
Just then, the devastated man's cell phone rang. “Hello?”
“Tom? It’s Melissa. How are you?”
Shocked to hear from her, he replied, “Not good, Melissa. This is a really bad time. What do you want?”
“Why? What’s the matter?”
“My wife’s been shot and my youngest son is missing. I’m really not in the mood to talk. What do you want?”
“How is she? Was she hurt badly?”
“She’s dead. What do you want Mel?”
There was silence on the other end of the phone. Then he heard a small voice cry out, “Daddy?”
“Brandon? Brandon is that you?” Tom put the call on speaker so the detective could hear the conversation. “Mel, did you do this? Did you shoot Louise? What do you want?”
“The same thing I’ve always wanted, Tom. For you and me to be together.”
The officer motioned for him to keep her talking.
Tom took a deep breath to quiet his racing heart. “You’re right. We do belong together. Where are you?"
"Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I believe this sudden change of heart? Give me more credit than that. Are the police there yet?"
Detective Merrick shook his head no.
"No, not yet. I just got home and found Louise…I haven't called the police yet. Look, you know I care about you…."
"Care about me? That's all you got?"
Detective Merrick whispered, "Get her to tell you where she is."
"I'm sorry Mel. But you have to give me some time to absorb all this. I have to get used to the fact that Louise is gone, but now that she is, I'm free to say, 'I love you.' Now if you'll just tell me where you are, I can pack up the kids’ stuff and meet you. Then we can all run off together.”
“No, I changed my mind. I don’t want the older children. Just you and me and Brandon.”
The detective pushed him to find out where she was.
“Okay,” he responded. “If that's how you feel about it. Maybe I can drop off Tim and Sarah at my sister’s house. She always loved them and would be happy to make them part of her family. That way it could just be the three of us. Just tell me where you are.”
"Just like that? You'd give up your other children?"
Tom clenched his left fist, wanting to kill her. Never in a million years could he have imagined such a strange and horrid situation. It was killing him to say the words she wanted to hear. But this woman left him no choice. He took a deep breath to quiet his nerves. "I'll do whatever it takes to be with you."
“Now that's what I'd like to hear. We're at my house,” she said, and gave him the address.
The police surrounded Melissa’s residence. While one officer wired Tom, the other briefed him on what to do and say before sending him in.
"Just get your son to a safe place, then give us the word. We'll take it from there. Any questions?"
"Yeah. Just one."
"What is it?"
"Do I get to kill her first?"
Detective Merrick laughed. "You're a funny guy," he chuckled.
"I'm not kidding."
The Detective's face sobered. "Neither am I. Just make sure your son is safe, then call us. We'll take care of the rest. Got it?"
"Yeah, I got it."
He walked to her front door and knocked.
"That you Tom?"
"Yes. Can I come in?"
"Are you alone?"
"Okay, come on in."
He slowly opened the unlocked door and entered the small house. He didn't know if the room was small or oversized. All he saw was Melissa sitting on the couch with Brandon next to her. Her right arm was around his shoulders; the gun was pointed at his head.
“I’m here, baby,” he said. His blood boiled at the words. “Why don’t you put the gun down and come over and give me a kiss?”
“You do love me, don’t you?” she asked tearfully.
“Of course I do. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” he responded. He was trying hard to maintain his composure when all he wanted to do was kill her.
“You know,” she said, tears spilling from her eyes, eyes that he had once found so alluring and irresistible, “that I wouldn’t have shot Louise if I thought there was any other way. You do see that, don’t you?”
“Yeah, baby. I do." He held out opened arms. "Now why don’t you come over here and let me show you how much I love you?” The words stuck in his throat, the bile from his stomach threatening to erupt. Keep it together, he thought. Get her away from Brandon. “Come on, baby,” he said again. “Let me show you how grateful I am to you for getting rid of the only obstacle that stood between us.” He wanted to strangle the life out of her, but he had to remain calm for Brandon’s sake.
“You mean it?” she asked, hope reflected in her words.
“Of course I do. Now come here and let me show you how much.”
Melissa laid the gun on the coffee table and walked over to him. Tom wrapped her in his arms and yelled “Now!”
The police burst through the door, and in a flash, they arrested and charged Melissa with murder and kidnapping. At the same time, Tom ran to his traumatized child, enveloped him in his beefy arms, and comforted him.
He was dreading testifying at Melissa’s trial and having to reveal the humiliating and sordid details of his affair. But the hardest part would be watching Brandon testify. He pleaded with the district attorney to work out some kind of plea agreement that would allow Melissa to get psychiatric help. Thankfully, Melissa's public defender, with Margie's help, was able to talk some sense into her, and she pleaded not guilty due to diminished capacity. The jury didn't buy it, not once they learned of her obsessions with prior "candidates" for husbands.
She was sentenced to fifteen years in a mental facility.
Tom sold his house, quit his job, and moved his family to Pennsylvania where his oldest brother lived. With some family therapy, the children were eventually able to move on and create new lives for themselves. However, Tom, believing that everything was his fault, (if he had never gotten involved with Melissa in the first place, none of this would have happened,) had the a hard time adjusting to life without his beloved wife. He believed he alone was responsible for this tragedy.
“Maybe not,” the therapist had told him. “She was unbalanced to begin with. Otherwise she would not have fixated on you."
"But I encouraged her."
"No, you didn't encourage her. You responded to her advances. You're human, Tom. From what you've told me, and from the pictures I've seen of her, no one can fault you for your actions. And if they did, they're lying to themselves. Look, I've been married to Cary for thirteen wonderful, happy years. But if some sexy thing showed me the attention this woman showed you, I can't guarantee I would have responded any differently. Does that help?"
Maybe, he thought, but he still had a hard time relieving himself of the guilt.
In the psychiatric facility, Melissa worked her charms on one of the young orderlies, and convinced him it was all a misunderstanding, and if she were free, she'd be able to prove it. She asked him to help her escape and prove her innocence. Then they could run off and start a new life together. He believed her and managed to sneak her out of the building. Once free, she stabbed him and somehow (the police are still not sure exactly how,) she learned where Tom was living.
When he learned of her escape and that she may be headed his way, he again packed up his family, said goodbye to his brother and took off. He kept in touch with Detective Merrick who updated him of her last sightings. But every time they got close to capturing her, she had moved on, leaving a trail of bodies (mostly men, who, presumably, she had befriended in her quest to find a compatible partner.)
Meanwhile, Tom and his children hopped from town to town, trying to stay ahead of her. As far as he knows, she’s still out there somewhere, looking for him.