Well, I finally found all of your wonderful comments. Somehow the system relegated about a hundred of them to the Spam folder. I had never bothered to look in the Spam folder for a comment. But last night I was just merrily pushing buttons and found 12 pages of comments. I am so sorry for having been remiss on this topic. For those who have asked me questions and I have not responded, now you know why. Now that the comments are found, I will take the time on Tuesday, to go through them all and answer any questions that I have missed. Again I am so sorry for this horrible mix up. I'm so glad that I never stopped looking for the comments that I knew were there.
The situation with Cali is getting a bit more convoluted. Once I got her past a specific point and allowed her to make a decision, the writing of her story fell into a rhythm that should carry her through to the conclusion of the story. She knows what she wants to do and I know where she is going so, in a way we are both happy.
Anyway, here's chapter 13.
She dismissed him like a dog, and held both phones out in front of her. Which do I use? She pocketed both, put on her shoes and slipped out the window. The rain was coming down. It was perfect for muffling sound. She found a spot that was fairly dry and away from any windows. She pulled the battery out of one phone, and with the other she dialed Angela.
“Hello Cali, where the hell are you and why haven’t you called?” Angela’s voice exploded from the receiver.
Cali smiled. “Hi Angie, worry much?”
“As a matter of fact… are you going to answer me?” She was demanding but, it was born of concern.
Cali had considered what she was going to say. “Angie, I think I’m in trouble.” But in the moment, she just blurted out what was on her mind.
“What…” The word was a wispy thing, breathed through stunned lips.
Cali did not miss the fact that she had shocked Angela. It comforted her to know that it was not Angela that represented danger to her. “I’m not sure from where exactly. But, I’m in trouble.” Cali had an idea from where. It was still only an idea.
“Cali, where are you?” She was both angry and scrambling. She had thought that she could count on Cali being safe.
“Nickola, has brought me to his Nonna’s house. It’s a little village… I don’t know where.” Cali could hear Angela breathing. “Did you send me a phone?” She had to ask.
“No” Silence. “Why did you go with him?”
“You sent him. I trusted that he knew where he was going.” It was a lame way of saying that she had not known which way to go when they had left the villa. It was also a way to avoid telling Angela that she had been destined to come here. Is that why Nickola seems torn?
“You were supposed to tell him where to go. Not the other way around.” Cali was exasperating her.
It was best to not address that last comment. “Is my phone still safe?”
“What is all this about a phone?” The impatience was beginning to come through in her voice.
“Nickola, gave me a new one and demanded my old one. Then told me to call you.” Angela sucked in air. “Don’t worry, I did not do as he demanded.” Angie let the air out.
“So… you are still using the phone that you had before?” She spoke carefully.
“Yes” So, she had been right.
“Did Nickola, have this phone in his possession for any length of time?” Fear still dominated her thoughts.
“No, only for a few seconds before I demanded it back. He was never out of my sight.” She knew that she needed to reassure Angela.
“Why did you demand it back?”
“My instincts told me something was wrong.”
“Well, they were right. It also means that he knows.”
“Yes, he was concerned about what I would say to you.” He was concerned, but for what reason…really?
“As well he should be.”
“Angela, I think that I have been drawn into your family feud.”
“Yes, I think that you have been. I had hoped that this would not happen.”
“Is Connie safe?” Connie was always her first concern. It was good to put someone else first. It was good to have someone that you wanted to put first.
“What… yes… I will made certain of it, just as I am going to make certain that you are safe as well. Nickola, will pay.” This was ruining her day and really pissing her off.
Well, she had expected that reaction, and so had Nickola, but he was willing to incur Angela’s wrath. Which meant Angela was either a worse threat than the alternative, or he was hoping that Angela would hear him out. “Wait… there was something odd about him. I don’t think he wants to betray you. I think that he brought me here for a good reason but, someone else now knows that I’m here. They want me, probably to get to you, and they will hurt anyone that stands in their way.”
“So, you think that he is defending his Nonna?”
“And everyone here. The problem is that someone here, told the other guy… whoever that is.”
“It could be any one of four people. Including my father.”
“How likely is it that this is Ben?”
“More likely than I care to admit. He is successfully consolidating the rest of the family under him.”
“So, you’re the underdog?”
“In a manner of speaking. I have the organization and the money. He has more influence and people and he is gaining family support. When we got here the war had already begun. He stepped in and started consolidating. But then he left and placed me in charge while he tended to some personal business. His business nearly cost us all the entire organization. So…”
“So, you took over and tried to push him out.” That didn’t sound like Angela but, Cali had no idea what had been happening all these years.
“I asked him to retire and let me run things.” She was reluctant to get into too much detail.
“He didn’t like the idea I take it.”
“He killed my husband.” She said it as dryly as she could manage.
Cali felt like she had been kicked in the stomach. “Oh Ang, I’m so sorry.”
Anger had been stomping down the pain. “I will mourn when this is over. But now, I must find a way to protect you.”
This woman had been her dearest friend in Ben’s home. She had defended Cali when she knew nothing about what was going on. It was Cali’s turn to help defend her. “You know what… do you know where I am? Can you come here? It will be a short visit. I know that you will be exposed but… I think I have an idea.”
“Is it like the idea that left you for dead?”
“Umm… maybe not quite so… umm… well… not for you or me.” I hope.
The girl just cant stay out of trouble.
Live well and be good to each other.