I have recently been blessed with the inspiration to write another chapter in Calisto Gabrielle Casey's life. A couple of days ago, I shared with you a chapter of the new book. I had thought that the chapter would go somewhere in the middle. However, I have decided that it will be the opening chapter of the new book. This way I don't have to change a million things about it to make it fit in between two other things, I can use it as it was given to me. I have also decided, that it is difficult to write so many different things at one time. I cannot consistently write a book, keep up with the freelance writing and write a good blog every day. But, I don't want to not share with you every day. So, I have decided that since there was such a positive response to the first chapter, I would just share with you subsequent chapters as I write them. I hope that you enjoy them as much. Please remember that this is the first draft. There will be tons of mistakes so please bear with me. If you have comments, please share them. If you have questions, ask. This is book #7 in the series, so since I know that only I have read all of the previous books, you will have missed a lot. So without further adieu...//////
Darkness descended. The rain increased and began to come down in sheets. Nickola didn’t slow down. He knew where he was going. It didn’t take them long to leave the small town. Nickola found a road that led further into the dark, and sped down it.
Cali allowed her mind to wander. She thought back on how she had ended up in this car on a rainy day, heading for… somewhere. It had started in Tahiti. Well, that’s not entirely true. It had started in Maine. It had begun for her when she had confronted, or been confronted by, her father’s ghost. That little encounter had not gone as expected. His condition, everything about him, had caused her to feel guilt. She had not always done nice things in her life. But, she had never felt guilty about them. Not until she had met her father’s ghost face to face. Of course she could never admit what she had felt. Not even to Connie, maybe, especially to Connie. The problem was, after the affair with Wren and the other children,Cali had told Connie. She had blurted it out while lying on the beach. Connie and Bobbie both had immediately chastised her. Even Pooky had given her a disapproving look. Still, in her heart she knew that she had been wrong. No-one deserved what had happened to her, not even them. What she had done was lower herself to their level. Her act was no better than theirs. In fact it was worse. At least they had the… what… balls? To stick around and watch what happened to her. Cali had thrown them into the pit and walked away. It was then at that moment, while tuning out the protests of her lover and her friend, that she decided that once she was healed completely, she needed to contact Ben again and face what she had done.
About eight weeks later, when she finally removed the bandage that covered her left hand, she knew it was time. She also knew that Connie, Bobbie and Pooky needed to go home. This was something that she was not prepared to share with them. She might need them, but she would not traumatize them with this. It would be hard enough on her. Cali didn’t think that she would be able to handle the questions or the… the what? The disapproval from them?
They were not happy about Cali traveling to Italy without them. Connie was especially not thrilled with Cali getting caught up with Ben again. It was beyond dangerous. But Connie knew, there was no arguing with Cali when she set her mind on something. At least this time, Cali was healthy.
Cali sent her loved ones home, and made a phone call. Angela picked up the phone. “Hello”
“Hello sissy, it’s Cali.” She tried to choose her words wisely. There was no telling how a phone call right now, from her, would be received. Their last communication was supposed to have been final. But… Cali had been given this number and told to commit it to memory.
Angela did not respond. Cali could hear her breathing.
“I’m no ghost, Ang. I’m sorry that I have to call you.”
Still, there was silence.
“I know that I said we should never speak again. That can still be. All I need is for you to send someone to be a liaison.” Cali continued to speak and very briefly told Angela what she was doing, rather what she wanted to do. She heard sniffing on the other end of the phone. But, still no communication. She didn’t want to hang up. I made the first move. Maybe I should hang up and let Angie think on it a bit. Still, she couldn’t bring herself to push the button. “Ang, say something, please.”
Angela sighed. “Cali, I had never wanted to hope to hear your voice again.” Angela’s voice had developed an accent. She was acclimating to Italy.
The sound of Angela’s voice brought a smile to Cali’s face. She was no longer enchanted with Ben, in fact she had spent a lot of time exercising any fond thoughts of him, but Angela, she was a different matter altogether. “It’s good to hear your voice again.” She paused to see if Angela wanted to add something, she did not. “Will you help me?”
“What you ask for is… dangerous, mostly for you, but also for me and my family.” She let the implication sink in. “But, I will help you of course. Promise me only that you will continue to be honorable towards us.”
Angela gave Cali the unspoken implication that she was not the head of the Vinccencio family. “I feel almost insulted that you would feel the need to ask for that promise. But, I understand. Of course you have nothing to worry about. This is personal, and you know how I am about personal matters.”
“Yes, I do know.” Again she paused. But this time it felt like she was fishing for something else to say, just to keep Cali on the phone. “You know, that this number… I keep it only for you. Not even my father has this number. Only you and I know it.”
The revelation struck Cali like a brick. “I… had no idea.” Her mind worked over the information. “Now, I’ve compromised it. I’m not on a secure cell. I’m sorry…”
“It’s no matter. I expected this. I’ve developed a contingency. If someone is listening, they can only hear your side of the conversation so…”
“Oh… well… right.” Suddenly Cali felt like a big fool. She should have anticipated this. She was dealing with an international criminal organization. All she had done was incriminate herself.
“I’m sorry…” Angela broke out in laughter. “I’m sorry…” She repeated when she could breathe again. “I’m just pulling your leg. If someone is trying to tap your phone, they will find that they cannot. I had your phone fixed while you were in the hospital. It was a simple matter to put a small chip inside of it. I knew that one day you would call. I couldn’t take the chance that you would place yourself in danger by talking to me.”
Cali wanted to slap her friend for letting her sweat like that. “You’re a brat.” She said it as dryly as she could manage through her smile. The thought of prison time had briefly flashed through Cali’s mind.
“It was worth it to hear the fear in your voice. You should be more careful.” She giggled like a school girl. When she spoke again, she had put the school girl away. “But… clearly this is important to you. Still, we cannot be seen together. We both have surveillance watching over us. So, since I already know that you did not anticipate being tapped, allow me to do all the talking now. First to reassure you, you were careful enough telling me what you want. You have not given yourself away. Now to ask your forgiveness, please do not be angry with me… I have a man that is watching you right now. I will have him make contact. He will give you some information. Follow the instructions.” She sighed again. “I knew someday you would ask for this. I am still not happy about granting it, and honestly, I don’t think you will be happy in the end either. But… I know you, my sister, you always have to punish yourself with the truth. Sometimes the lie is better.”
Cali caught all of the hints, all of the subtly spoken chastisements and all of the innuendos. She smiled for the camera that she was now sure was aimed at her, and silently kicked herself in the ass. She thought back on all the conversations that she had with Connie and Bobby about what she wanted to do. Did her surveillance know how to read lips, did they have bugs in her room, did they have listening devices for long distance? She could still be in a pile. But, she couldn’t worry about that now. “Did you get just my phone?” She spoke as she turned.
“No… your girl sleeps very hard. Don’t worry, part of my man’s job is to protect you. He makes sure that whatever they get, they don’t keep.” Cali could hear the smile in her voice. She was enjoying playing big sister to the naïve big time Police Detective.
“Hmmm. Then he’s been busy the last few days.”
“Yes, he has.” The sound of a door shutting came over the receiver. “Now, go sit at that nice bar by the pool and have a drink. Enjoy what’s left of your vacation, and let me make some arrangements for the next leg…. By the way my dear, I’m glad that you’re finally healed. I’ve missed you.”
“I love you too.”
Cali hung up and headed for the pool area. She doubted that she would hear from her gangland body guard today or even tomorrow but, she might as well enjoy the next few days, because once she embarked on the next leg, it was most certainly not going to be pleasant.
/////Cali will soon be off and running. I hope you all can keep up.
Live well and be good to each other.