Wow, did this week go by quickly or what? I can hardly believe that it's Sunday. I'm so sorry for not writing. It has been super crazy what with the government shutdown. I'm working with people that are not getting paid to come to work, yet there they are. Congress actually has to approve any back pay for them. If they don't approve it then many of my co-workers will never be paid for standing their posts in protection of our country. Normally I don't write about political things, but this stuff is hitting close to home, because I may be joining my co-workers soon. Right now those that are on furlough are under specific orders. I am not under those orders, but have been told that if the government is still shut down at the end of the month those of us like me, may be furloughed as well. In which case I may need to shut down my website for a while. If I don't get paid I have to concentrate on my rent, not my website. So, if that happens I will let you know.
In the meantime, I would like to continue to share with you Cali's new adventure, The Look of Evil.
Cali released a small hide-a-door and flipped one of three switches inside. “Okay, now we can talk for real. First off, how are you? Did they hurt you? Who was that man?” She reached over and took Connie’s hand and pulled it to her mouth. She tenderly kissed the red line on Connie’s wrist.
Connie couldn’t help but smile. When Cali had finally stopped resisting their obvious attraction towards one another, she had become a regular romantic and even more protective. “I’m fine honey. That man was Glen Devine. Do you recognize the name, because I don’t? But, you saw the ring on his finger, and he clearly spoke as a representative of the Devine family.”
“Really… hmm… I saw the ring, but you know that I’m not in organized crime, so I don’t recognize the name, but I most certainly will find out who they are now.”
“Do you know what all the buzz was about?”
The smile erupted on Cali’s face.
“Did you do that?”
Cali nodded and laughed. “Yeah, that was me… well to be fair… me and Angela and some really amazing special effects and proper planning.”
“What did you do?”
“We knew that the C.I.A., Interpol, M.I.5 and half a dozen other organizations were watching Ben’s house. We knew that there would be pictures. That’s why we had the umbrella. But to insure reasonable doubt, we got a prop gun and rigged it with a blank. Then we put the activation button on the backside of a small nude bandage. I stuck the bandage to my knee. If anyone saw it they would think that I had cut myself shaving and forgotten to remove the bandage. I pushed the button when I put the blade to Ben’s neck. That way the cameras would pick up a small caliber flash at the same time that Ben started to bleed. No matter from which angle that a picture was taken, it will look like he was shot in the neck and bled out. In the resulting confusion, and all the shooting, it will be assumed that the shooter escaped and left his gun behind.” She looked incredibly pleased with herself.
Connie looked at her with a stunned expression for only a moment and then broke out in laughter. She calmed herself long enough to ask a question. “So you pointed out the gun in the bushes to them, right? They hadn’t even bothered to look for any other explanation.”
“That’s right. I told them that I was dazed when I hit the ground, which wasn’t far from the truth. But I also told them, that before Ben had begun to fall on me, I had seen something in the bushes, which also was nota lie. Then I pointed out the nice gun in the bushes. Let them figure it out from there.”
The both laughed.
In truth, Italy was glad to be rid of Ben. For them Angela was a better choice. She was working with Italian officials to help clean up certain aspects of the underworld. Because of her friendship with Cali, Connie was cutting out her father’s human trafficking trade, and helping the government crackdown on other offenders. She was a far cry from a model citizen, but she would keep her own house in order and help clean up Italy as well. Italy did not care if someone had killed a mobster. It happened all the time.
“Now, as for this Glen Devine, what did the two of you talk about?” Cali was still nuzzling Connie’s hand when she pulled the car into a parking spot in a large park. She put the car in park and left it running. Finally she released her seat belt and turned to face Connie.
Connie was already facing her. Connie related the conversation as she remembered it. She was sure that she was missing something but, if it was important, she would remember it later. “Do you think that he had any power to help us get released?” She asked when she was done.
“I don’t know. It would be quite a bluff if he didn’t. I wouldn’t put it past the mob having at least a toe hold in the CIA. I’ve heard of plenty of Police forces that still have known Mafia affiliates that also carry a badge. But, I’m pretty sure that the reason that they let us go is because of the pictures that they hadn’t really looked at.” The pride had gone out of her face. She was playing with fire and she knew it. Those Agents had meant business.
“But, there is no crime. America can’t prosecute or even arrest a person for a crime that didn’t happen in a different country. That’s just ridiculous.”
Cali giggled. “Ahh sweetie, you’ve had time to think about it.” She tweaked Connie’s cheek.
Connie slapped her hand away. “Don’t condescend to me, you shit!” Her remark was only half joking.
“I’m sorry honey.” Cali was not joking. “I didn’t really mean it.” She took in a deep breath and let it out in a huff. “It’s been a long vacation. I’m glad to be going home. Maybe I can relax a bit… well once we’ve had the place swept for bugs.”
“Don’t be sorry. I’m sorry. It’s been a real rollercoaster for you. It couldn’t have been easy, doing what you did.” She put her hand on Cali’s cheek. “You cared for him once.”
“No… well yes, at one time, when I was a child, I did care for him. But, those feelings have been dead and gone for a really long time. I just had not realized it until that whole fiasco with the FBI.” She leaned her cheek into Connie’s hand. “I hate to say it, but it wasn’t hard to kill him.” She looked at Connie, with tears in her eyes. “Admitting that… scares me. Am I becoming hard and cold? Am I becoming what I hunt?”
Connie reacted. She grabbed Cali’s head in her hands and climbed up onto the seat so she could pull Cali’s head to her chest. “No, honey you are not becoming that. You wouldn’t be crying or worrying about it, if you were. I don’t know what this thing makes you, except free.”
Cali cried with her head on Connie’s chest. Eventually they moved to the back seat so Connie could climb off of the arm rest. They talked for over an hour before finally resuming their trip home.
On the way Cali explained that until she was certain they would need to be careful what they said in their home, but both of their vehicles would be safe if the damper was activated. When it was on the only thing anyone heard was music. Any bit of conversation concerning Cali and Angela’s wayward adventure with Ben was a forbidden topic on any phone, at least for a while. If they never spoke of it, the very lack would seem suspicious. So they decided on exactly what they would talk about, how much they would say and how they would say it.
“So, Angela is sending a sweep team tomorrow, right?” Connie was just making sure she had the facts.
“Right, and I go back to work on Monday.”
“Okay, so we can pretend to have our argument about being stopped by the CIA at the airport today and then after the sweep team leaves we can get back to normal life?”
“Yeah, that’s the sum of it.” Cali said with a big smile.
“Good, I don’t like the cloak and dagger stuff. I’m a fashion designer, not Nancy Drew.”
I hope you are liking my new book. I'm really enjoying twisting it up a bit. You can't see it yet, this is only chapter 3, but trust me, it's coming.
If you are of a mind, please pray for my situation, if that's not your style then please just send some positive energy this way.
Live well and be good to each other.