Introduction: In a sense there is a connection to this story and several other non-magic stories I’ve written. Two characters from Mike and Ashley show up briefly. They would be Mike and Ashley. This story, Like “Mike and Ashley”, “Discovery”, and “Cynthia and the Queen of Knight” takes its storyline from the work of someone else. In this case, a production by an Italian fellow named Joseph Green. The story is 16 chapters in length plus an epilogue. I’ve done as much tweaking as I can. Any errors are mine and I will gladly accept constructive criticism; as long as you’re nice.
Many secrets are found out as Peter and Anita get better acquainted. Things are going to get a bit complicated.
This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.
What choice did she have? She could run, but if she did all the work everyone had done would be flushed down the toilet. There was always the chance that her mistakes had been overlooked, but somehow she had trouble believing that. Peter was no idiot. He was well educated, and rather cute in sort of a feminine way. Why would she think that? If he knew what she thought he knew, it was all over before she even started. Still, there was the chance that he hadn’t noticed what she’d done.
No, she was not going to quit now. She might still have a chance to pull this thing off. If she failed, it would probably be over quickly. The only prisoners they took were the young women who were there to keep the men happy. They were probably the lucky ones, she thought. She had trouble imagining what some of those who were sold off to the sex trade were enduring, if they could. She thought back to the previous year when she woke up in the hospital. She knew what had happened to her; every second of it, and she couldn’t do a damn thing about it. She remembered thinking that she would just kill herself. As she recovered, her attitude changed to the point where she decided she would hunt each one of them down and kill them with her bare hands. By the time she felt capable of doing that, her four rapists were in jail. That was the best solution. She could start over after the trial, and move on.
Well, here she was moving on, and she’d already shot herself in the foot: maybe worse. She would just have to face the music. Maybe she’d blown it, maybe she hadn’t.
Peter greeted her with the golf cart at the chopper pad. “So, in spite of my warnings, you decided to take the job.”
“Why would I do anything else? I want to open a restaurant, and this will give me the financial strength to do it. Monsieur Costa has given me this opportunity, and I plan to take full advantage of it. What he does here is none of my business. He wants a cook, I will be the best damn cook he ever had.”
“Obviously, I hit a sensitive spot. I’m sorry.”
“No, my fault. It’s my time of the month, and I got a little air sick.”
They traveled the last few hundred yards in silence. He opened the door to the cottage for her. “Your other things will be here in a couple of hours. Cocktails and wine will be at 6:30. Dress is informal.
“I’ll have to take your phone, but it will be returned to you when you leave the estate. You may use the phone that’s here, if necessary. Photographs inside the walls are forbidden. You have unlimited access on the internet, however, it is strictly monitored. Hopefully, your firewalls are sufficient. I wouldn’t go anywhere you don’t want them to know where you are going. As Marietta told you, the television access is almost unlimited. Many of the employees enjoy some of the less than savory channels.
“Laundry and linen service is weekly. If you need something cleaned sooner, just let Maria know.
“Your privacy in this cottage is sacrosanct. What you do outside here is not. You are free to use any of the facilities that any of the other employees use, including the gym. There is some excellent scuba diving around the bay. Costa and his guests frequently use the facilities. Scuba gear is in the shed at the top of the stair. Armando, you will meet him in a day or two, is in charge of the equipment. Costa also takes clients on fishing expeditions.
“I will see you at dinner.”
“Is it too late for lunch?”
“The kitchen is yours. I imagine you can fix just about anything you want.”
“Have you had lunch, yet?”
“How about I fix us a couple of sandwiches? We can sit and talk and you can brief me on the rules around here.”
“Okay, I think I’d like that. I will have to take your phone to security. I’ll see you in the kitchen.”
It would probably be another two hours before her goods arrived, so she left things where they were, locked the door behind her, and made her way to the kitchen. All was quiet, but she could hear some music coming from another part of the house. It sounded like opera; at least she thought it was. Opera had never been her thing, and it certainly wouldn’t be something a ‘poor black girl’ from a village north of there would be interested in.
Inside the refrigerator she found part of a large turkey. The container was date marked the day before. She was glad to see that because it meant there was an inventory system. A bowl of hard boiled eggs was also date marked. Goodness, there was fresh lettuce that had to have been flown in. There also were several containers of pickles and olives all neatly labeled.
“May I help you Señora?”
“Why yes, I was going to make sandwiches for Signor Mongini and me. I was looking for some ingredients. Do we have bread?”
“Si, we get fresh bread every day. It is in the pantry.”
“I think I have a lot to learn. Would you please slice some fresh bread for sandwiches while I’m putting the ingredients together.”
She shredded some of the turkey breast in the processor, added mayonnaise, freshly ground celery, dill, chopped onion and parsley. She spread the mixture on the freshly sliced bread, and then added some thinly sliced tomato to top it off. She found two bottles of Peroni in the beer refrigerator. All in all, it made a very nice presentation with a little fresh lettuce with Italian dressing on the side.
“That looks very nice,” Peter said as he approached the table.
“I hope you like it. It’s the first meal I’ve prepared here.”
“This is wonderful. Is this a Haitian recipe?” Peter said after taking a couple of bites.
“Yes, I learned it from my mother many years ago. It was one of my father’s favorites.”
They ate in silence for a while, sipping beer from the ice cold bottles between bites.
“Anita, you’re going to make someone a wonderful wife one of these days.”
“Merci. That will be a long time in the future. I thought I’d found the right one years ago, but things happened.”
Peter turned to Maria, “Maria, please clean up. I need to show Señora Dangervil some things about her cottage.”
“More orientation?” Anita asked.
“You might say so,” Peter responded.
Once back in the cottage, Peter locked the door behind him.
Damn, Anita thought, was she going to have to fend him off. She could probably handle him in spite of his alleged skills. Maybe the smart thing would be to give in. Then she remembered telling him she was having her period, which was the truth.
Then came the first of many shocks she would have that afternoon. He handed her cell phone to her while putting his finger to his lips. He motioned to his ear and pointed around the room.
Oh my god, she thought, he wants me to check for bugs. He must know about me. I was right. I blew my cover.
Anita, turned on her phone and quickly checked the rooms for any bugs or cameras. It was clean.
“I blew it didn’t I,” she said in English. “I realized the other day that I’d probably given myself away when I got on that chopper. A ‘poor little black girl’ from the Haitian hinterlands would never have been so nonchalant getting on a helicopter. So, am I dead meat?”
“Hardly, you’ve been very convincing. Marietta wants you to entertain her, and Eleonora, that bitch, is right in line behind her.”
“Yes, Marietta made her intentions known very early on. She mentioned that Eleonora was also interested. Does that bother you?”
“Not a bit, I know that’s part of your cover. Concerning the helicopter, no one noticed, but I already knew. I knew the first time I saw you in the restaurant.”
“How could you have possibly known? I don’t think I understand,” Anita said, obviously a bit confused.
“Well, I got my undergraduate degree at Austin Peay University. Does that help?”
“So, you found out what I did in Africa?”
“Yes, that and many other things. The medal presentation was on local television. They described what you did in broad terms. You saved a lot of lives that day. Your father must be very proud of you. I’m sure your mother would have been. I did a little research and found a bootleg video of what was left out of what was released to the media. I am rather envious of your skills. One thing though, why did you kill him? He wasn’t going to be able to do anything.”
“I shouldn’t have. He dared me. We went to high school together. He was always bullying me and other gay students. I largely ignored him, but he attacked me one day and I broke his nose. Never had a problem with him after that.”
“Remind me to never piss you off. I’m good, but not nearly as good as you are. Besides, my skills are mainly defensive.”
“You said you knew other things. May I ask what?”
“The court martial: it didn’t get the same media exposure, but a friend in Clarksville told me about it. I was able to get copies of the newspaper articles. She saved them for me. I think those bastards got off pretty lightly, all things considered.”
“I thought about killing them at one time, but decided, I didn’t want to have to go through a trial and spend the rest of my life in prison. I’d let the justice system take care of them.”
“By the way, how many languages do you speak?”
“Arabic, Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, English obviously.”
“What about Italian?”
“My comprehension is very good. I’ve not had much practice in speaking it.”
“Let’s keep it that way. When you are at the table, they will speak mostly French, in deference to you; however, they will, as you’ve noticed, speak Italian if it’s something, they don’t want you to hear. Just keep going the way you have been.”
“So, where does this leave us?” Anita asked. “You don’t seem very concerned about having a spy in your midst.”
“I am very concerned. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“Why is that?” Anita suddenly had a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach.
“You’re my ticket out of here. If your people can’t shut down this operation, I am going to be stuck in a loveless marriage to a woman I despise, while I am forced to support a business I hate. They want us to have children to carry on the family heritage. I’m not very excited about it, but I suppose I’ll have to give in to her. These are evil people. They murder at will. If you cross them, they have a particularly nasty way of getting rid of you. You asked about the large crypt. That’s the death chamber. They’ll lock you in there, seal the place up, and flood it with nitrogen. They’ll wait a day or so before taking your body way out to sea and feeding it to the sharks.”
“Yes, they caught her stealing some silver. They just gagged her, tied her up and took her up there late one night. I understand it’s pretty quick.”
“So, you want me to get you out of here. I can’t say that I blame you. This isn’t going to be easy, though. At this time, there’s no real plan. That’s why I’m here. We’re trying to find out what sort of operations are going on and when they might be most vulnerable.”
“I can’t appear to be close to you, but obviously, I am going to do what I can to get away from here, or die trying.
“There is something else you need to know.”
“What might that be?” Anita asked, not sure what to expect.
“There was something about you that got my attention. That has to be obvious. I guess you could say that I became infatuated with you. My heart ached for you when I found out about the rapes. But when I saw you that first night at the restaurant I knew for sure that I loved you. Everything that has happened since then has only reinforced that feeling.
“I want you to look at me,” he said as he stood in front of her and released his hair from the confining man bun. “If you can, I want you to peer into my soul. Can you see the real me?”
She peered into his dark eyes. There were some tears. Then she could see everything. “Oh baby,” she said as she hugged his sobbing body to hers.
Things begin to accelerate in their relationship. Things will not be easy, but they finally get the break Anita was hoping for. Mother nature does them a favor.
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