Chapter 16 and Epilogue
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.
Costa has Anita, Alexa, and Robelia in a very difficult position. His anger towards Anita rises to the top. Anita will be the first to die.
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.
Chapter 16 and Epilogue
“That went very well,” Alexa said as they entered the underground parking lot from the elevator. “So, now we have Francesca. We’ve never discussed boy’s names. We probably better start thinking about boy’s names. The odds are the next one will be a boy.”
“It doesn’t exactly work that way. The odds are the same for each child. When we decide to have another child, whether it’s a boy or a girl won’t matter. He or she will be our child, and we will love that child as we love each other.”
“That’s very romantic ladies, but I’m afraid that neither of you will ever live long enough to bear another child.”
“Costa!” Anita said in a rather venomous tone. “What brings you here?”
“You know damn well what brings me here. You and your friends have cost me considerably.
“Now, if you will kindly pass me your purses, we will return to your house and wait for the others to show up. I’m sure they will.
“I don’t know who you are lady,” he said to Alexa, “but unfortunately you will have to die too. I don’t have time to distinguish between the unfortunate and the guilty.
“I will get in the back seat with the baby, and you two will be in the front. If you try anything, the baby will be the first to go.
“Now drive out carefully and quietly. We do not want to arouse any attention. Luigi will follow.
Anita’s phone and Alexa’s phones started to signal, but they weren’t able to answer them, obviously.
“We know where you live. So don’t do anything stupid. If you do, this child will die and we will still go to the house. Please proceed.”
Anita and Alexa were powerless to do anything. They made the short drive from Chantilly back to their home off of Fox Mill Rd. in Reston. There was no time to think of some sort of action. Tommaso and Luigi led and followed the three into the living room.
“May I feed my child?” Anita asked. “She will get cranky very soon if she doesn’t get fed.”
“No, you will stay right here. No one leaves this room.”
“I wasn’t going to leave this room. I was just going to nurse her.”
“I thought that woman,” Costa said pointing to Alexa, “was the mother. The baby’s white.”
“Well, our daughter is three quarters white; if that matters to you. But it doesn’t matter to me. I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”
“I’ve just about had enough of your insolence, bitch. I don’t care if the others are here or not. You die now.”
He raised the gun, but never had time to do anything else. The shot caught him above his ear. His gun fell uselessly to the floor. A second shot caught Luigi in the right shoulder. His gun spun up against the wall. Robelia erupted in tears.
A middle aged couple entered the room from the kitchen area. “Is everyone okay, excluding those two?
“Anita, get their guns. You may keep them. You might as well get your purses, too.
“Now, everyone relax. It’s over. Costa is dead, and his empire will crumble. I’m sorry it took this long. My friend will secure Luigi. I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere.”
Alexa had been silent through the entire time that had taken less than a minute. Tears were streaming down her face, and she was close to sobbing. She was doing her best to console Robelia.
“Come here my child. Let me look at you,” The woman said to Alexa.
“Bu-u-u-t, you’re dead,” Alexa said as Anita took Robelia from her.
“I think that you’re obviously wrong,” the woman said.
“I must say that I highly approve. I knew this was the best thing for you. There just wasn’t anything I could do about it. Your father would have killed you had he known. Here, give me a hug.”
Alexa and Francesca hugged and sobbed for quite a while.
“How did you know?” Alexa asked when she regained her composure.
“I didn’t know for sure until you turned to me after I shot Costa. I would never forget my child. I knew your eyes. I had no doubt who you were. The names on the marriage certificate were my first clue, though.
“I think you need to introduce me to this beautiful woman,” she said looking at Anita.
“Madre, questo è l'amore della mia vita, mia moglie, Anita.”
“E chi è questa bella bambina?”
“This is our daughter, your granddaughter, Robelia. She is 15 months old. We are expecting a second daughter. Her name is Francesca. We had to keep the memories of our mothers alive.”
“Anita, tell your father that everything is over. We’re going to need an ambulance and the coroner. I imagine your father will know what to do.”
They moved to the dining area in the house. There was no need for Robelia to be exposed any more to what had happened. Anita went to the front yard to meet the expected arrivals. Robert and Jake arrived five minutes later. The police weren’t far behind them.
“Who are these people? What interest do they have in this?” Robert asked.
“One is Alexa’s mother. Everyone had assumed she was dead. Obviously, she’s not. The fellow she’s with hasn’t said much, but I think he’s Russian. I have no idea what their relationship is. Maybe they will tell us. Maybe they won’t.”
The Reston Police were obviously very interested in what had happened and were in their post shooting mode. Jake explained things to them in the simplest terms. The IDs of four of the adults helped ease their concern. They explained that Francesca and her friend were foreign agents (an assumption at this point) with whom they happened to be working. They convinced the police not to put up the crime scene tape. Obviously, some neighbors had heard the shots, and most heard the sirens. The ambulance and coroner’s truck furthered their curiosity. Anita told those who bothered to ask, that there had been a home invasion and they had shot the invaiders. Everything was undeer control and no one other than the invaders had been hurt.
Leslie had arrived shortley after the police. She took in the carnage and noticed her still somewhat distraught grandchild. It would be a while before things at the Da Rimini household would be back to normal. “You’re welcome to stay at our place until they get this mess cleaned up,” she offered.
“That would be nice,” Anita said. “They’re going to have to replace the carpet, patch the wall and do a little repainting.”
As the police and ambulance departed, the chief of detectives showed up in an unmarked car. Jake, Robert, and Anita met him in the yard.
“Would you folks mind telling me what the hell is going on? I am Captain Anderson of the Detective Division. Officer Presley told me what happened, but some things don’t quite compute. Could we go inside away from prying eyes and ears.”
“Everyone is in the rear of the house. I’d prefer to stay out of the living room for a while,” Anita said as she opened the door and led them in.
“I think introductions are in order,” Alexa said as the officer took in the crowd. “I’ll start with my mother, Francesca Mongini. I haven’t seen her in many years and assumed she was dead. I’m not sure who the gentleman is, so I’ll let my mother introduce him.”
“Since my husband was killed two years ago, I have officially reverted to da Rimini, my maiden name. My companion is Eugene Onegin. We have been together for many years. Our story is very complicated, and is of no importance at this time. We are Interpol agents, and have been trying to take down Tommaso Costa for a long time. By the way, I killed Costa. He was going to kill my daughter-in-law. Eugene took out Luigi Bottardi. You are welcome to check out our identification.”
There was a quick and satisfactory verification of identifications.
“Yes, I guess we do have a lot to talk about, mother,” Alexa continued, “Anita is my wife, Robert and Leslie are my father-in-law and mother-in-law. We all do work for the same agency as does Jake Axelroth. Jake is our boss. We don’t need to go there. Little Bobby is my brother-in-law. Figure it out. And Robelia is Anita’s and my daughter.”
She didn’t tell him that Leslie also worked for a government agency. He didn’t need to know that.
“I’m sure Mr. Axelroth would be glad to help you with any reports. Obviously, this doesn’t need to be publicized quite yet.
“This has been a very stressful day, and I think our families need some time alone for a while. Just go through proper channels, and we will be glad to help.”
“Thank you everyone. I think I understand a little more. Thankfully, the media has not shown up yet. I’ll be on my way.”
“I’m going to call the remediation folks so we can get this mess cleaned up. I think I could use a drink, just one,” Anita said. “We’ll meet you at the house in a little while. As soon as we figure out who they rented the car from, we’ll have them pick it up on a roll off. I imagine it will have to be impounded. I think we can get by it okay.”
“We’ll get our car,” Fracesca said, “and will meet you at the other house.”
“Where is your car?” Robert asked. “It is the blue BMW, isn’t it?”
“So you saw us.”
“Yes, you drove by twice.”
“We parked next door at the back of that huge church. It was easy to get here. I picked the locks, and Eugene disabled the alarm system, then reset it so no one would know it had been tampered with.. He is very good at that. We were in about 10 minutes before they arrived; just in time, I would say.
“Pizza’s on the way,” Leslie said, as she welcomed her step daughter and daughter-in-law. “Bobby’s asleep, and it looks like Robelia could use a nap.”
“Robert, Jake, and Eugene are having a beer, and Francesca is enjoying some prosecco.”
“Prosecco would be fine. I think we need to get to the bottom of things,” Alexa said, as she sat down next to her mother. “Where have you been? I was told you left with Eugene Onegin, but many of us were sure you were dead. We thought you might have been dropped into the Mediterranean. Then Costa moved the operation to Haiti.”
“Adolpho’s plan was to kill us, but we were long gone by the time he found out where we were. We fled to Odessa, Eugene’s home. I had long before decided to flee. Your father was such a cruel man. I was afraid he would hurt you. When you went to the US, I talked to the man who was in charge of the physical education department at your school. I wanted you to be able to protect yourself until you could get away. But you never did leave.”
“Things did get complicated. The Costas wanted me to marry their daughter, Eleonora.”
“Oh dear, she was a nasty piece of work as a child.”
“Still is, I imagine. If she had been a nice person, someone who was understanding, I might have thought about it; however, when Anita showed up, I never thought about anyone else. We have a lot to talk about.
“You’re with Interpol.” That was not a question.
“Yes, Eugene recruited me. I can’t tell you exactly what we were doing, but we were keeping close track of Costa’s operation. Then we heard that Adolpho had been killed.”
“I killed him,” Anita said. “I told him that I was pregnant with his grandchild. He didn’t believe me. I had to kill him, I had no choice.”
“Wait a minute, do you mean ...?”
“Yes, Mother, I am actually Robelia’s real father as well as Francesca’s. Robelia was conceived the old fashioned way. You have to understand that I am very much in love with Anita, and it didn’t take much for her to fall in love with me. When she found out about the real me, it became very easy to make love.”
She described how her attempt to escape failed, and how Costa intended to kill her. The fact that Anita refused to leave her, and what she did to keep her from dying, had Francesca in tears.
“Mother, why are you here?” Alexa asked.
“To kill Costa. We couldn’t touch him in Haiti, but we had eyes and ears there. We knew Adolpho had been killed, and then you disappeared. Of course, it was difficult to get details. We were able to find out about Anita. I was very impressed. It was just a little while ago that we found the marriage records of an Anita Okoye and an Alexandra da Rimini. I remembered when you were small and your girl name was Alexandra. You were only four or five at the time. Anyway, I was certain it was you. The name couldn’t have been a coincidence.
“Finding your home was no problem. Our original intent was just to meet you there; however, if we could find your home, Costa could, too and we expected him to act very soon. So we broke in, hid, and waited. You know the rest.”
The men retreated to the patio. Eugene wanted a cigarette.
“May I ask a personal question, Alexa?”
“Certainly, you’re my mother.”
“Are you ...?”
“Complete, a woman? Most certainly. The government paid for everything. They put me in the Witness Protection Program, but I didn’t want to be away from Anita, and she didn’t want to be away from me. So we had my facial feminization surgery done fairly early. We bypassed the normal administration delays. So what do you think?”
“You are very beautiful, and without a doubt my daughter. You were always my daughter. And the rest?”
“All done about eight months later. Everything works fine, if you’re interested.”
“You just told me. I’m very happy for you. More children?”
“Certainly, I made a few deposits for the future. When we have a boy, he will not be named after my father.”
Anita and Alexa had had a neighborhood party shortly after moving into their new home, and most of the neighbors were very welcoming to the mixed race, same sex couple with a beautiful daughter. Like many, they thought that Alexa was the natural mother. That would be dispelled after the birth of their second daughter.
After the exitment of the shooting died down, they thought it would be a good idea to have another neighborhood get together. By this time Anita was visibly pregnant. Someone asked how she got pregnant. Was it by invitro fertilization? “Certainly,” Alexa responded, “we haven’t been able to have sex that way since I had the operation.” Everyone laughed at the joke. Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense.
Francesca and Eugene married a few months later in Valletta. The Okoyes and Da Riminis managed to spend a week on the small Island. Francesca and Eugene would come to Washington at least twice a year. They would usually spend their time there at Alexa and Anita’s home watching their grandchildren grow, and meeting their new grandchildren. They were very happy grandparents. They also met with several agencies that were on both sides of the Potomac.
The Costa empire crumbled rather quickly. Paolo Medini disappeared with his millions never to be seen again. The Costa millions had dwindled away. Marietta Costa and Eleonora Costa tried to flee the island in their jet; however, the government had impounded it. They had no desire to go back to the compound as there was no way they could control things. Fortunately for them, they had access to some money, and they were able to return to Italy where they lived far below what they’d been used to. Every once in a while they would sell a piece of their jewelry to help them make it through another year or two. Eleanora finally met a woman who decided she would let Eleanora live with her. There were rules, lots of rules, and if they weren’t obeyed, there was punishment. Eleanora frequently broke the rules. She was very happy – that also resulted in punishment.
Things at the compound were reduced to chaos. Some had left, but others had nowhere to go. The Costa’s yacht and fishing boats were never seen again. The interior of the big house was ransacked, as were the cottages.
The Haitian army took the place over. They had no record of any of the people, with a few exceptions. So they just put them in a line and gradually processed each individual and couple. There was no question that the police knew what had been going on. The girls, young women and a few boys had come from all over the world.
The process was over-simplified. If a man and woman appeared as a couple, they would first determine if they were legally married. Then the women were asked separately if they wanted to remain with their spouse. They said yes. Most were pregnant, had a child or children. Two unmarried couples also asked to be married. What to do with all of them was another matter. Then there were those individuals who had nowhere to go. There were more than 100, and every one of them was 18 years old or younger. Most had been abused. The Haitian government, who had become a lot bolder since Costa’s demise, would have prosecuted more than a hundred of Costa’s men had they remained. Most had fled to places unknown.
The helicopters, fully fueled, had headed to South America. The Haitian Government would have loved to acquire them. They were occupied by ten of the hard core drug runners and ended up with competing cartels. The boats and yacht probably ended there, too.
The solution to the problem came much more quickly than anyone had expected. It’s amazing what money can do. Mike Donatella showed up with a cash offer for full title to the entire property as soon as Costa’s death became public knowledge. Actually, it was much sooner. Included in the offer was that they would take care of all who remained, including those couples who would stay to work there. Mike and Ashley’s parents actually provided the cash.
Six months later, The Donatella School for Orphans opened its doors. It was for children from age five to eighteen, and scholarships for those who went on to college. The place was to have an atmosphere that was conducive to mental and physical health. All the physical education facilities, including the golf course remained open. The golf course was open to the public for a fee. Most who played there were visitors to Haiti. Mike moved a portion of his sport fishing fleet there. The gate had long since been removed, and the fence overlooking the pier was reduced to a protective fence to keep people from falling. They did have full time security.
The orphanage in Port au Prince remained, but they transferred the older children to the new school. Although the administration was strongly Catholic, the school was never touted to be a Catholic school. Many of the teachers were nuns; however, the curricula had to be secular. The little chapel continued to hold services, and they had a fulltime priest.
Years later, Marietta Costa was found dead in her little flat. She was close to 70. Everything pointed to natural causes. The doctors found a picture of a very attractive black woman clutched in her hand. They had no idea who she was.
Some clarifications: The core part of the story is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s monumental opera, Aida which was set in ancient Egypt. Aida was a captive Ethiopian princess. In this case, Egypt became the Costa compound in Haiti, and Anita/Aida became a US agent disguised as a Haitian cook. Of course details had to change a bit, and there had to be some personality changes to make this work in the modern day. In the original story, we had the Egyptians at war with the Ethiopians. There never really was a clear cut ‘good guy’ or ‘bad guy’. For those familiar with the original story, the crypt should have been obvious. In the opera, the two lovers die in there. That has always bothered me as the suffocation death came too rapidly, and really didn’t make sense. I wasn’t going to let them die, and thanks to Jacque Cousteau, there was a way to save them until a rescue could be put in place. Their death in the original opera comes at the end; however, there were many things to resolve in this story. I am still not totally satisfied with how the ending is presented. I revised it a bit, but I feel it is too easy.
The names of the people in the Costa Empire are actually the names of the singers who portrayed the characters in the first performance of the opera in 1872. Although Pietro/Peter/Alexa is transgender, there is far more to this story than that. I think this story is more about love and how it goes beyond gender. Anita never transferred the disgust of her rapists to other men, and the fact she let Peter make love to her was probably cathartic. Of course her knowledge of the inner Peter made it easier.
The location of Anita and Alexa’s home is in a housing development on Fox Mill Rd. in Reston, VA. It is easy to find on Google Earth as there is a huge church complex just to the north. Our good friends had a home there before they moved to Florida. We’ve been there dozens of times. It is a very nice PUD.
I think RJ pinged on Eugene Onegin. Francesca da Rimini, a real person, was depicted in Dante’s Inferno. Eugene Onegin is a famous opera by Tchaikovsky, and he wrote a symphonic work about Francesca da Rimini.
Cast of Characters
Aida/Anita Anita Okoye
The King of Egypt/Head of Costa Empire Tommaso Costa
Amneris/Daughter of King Eleonora Costa
Radames, son of the Head of Security Peter Mongini
Head of Security Adolpho Mongini
Amonasro, Anita’s father Robert Okoye
Ramfis, High Priest- Consigliore Paolo Medini
A Messenger/Gofer and executioner Luigi Bottardi
High priestess/Costa’s wife Marietta Costa
Rapist at Fort Campbell Major Jonathon Drake
Leslie Baumgarten Okoye Robert Okoye’s second wife.
Francesca da Rimini Mother of Pietro/Peter/Alexandra
Eugene Onegin Interpol Agent with Francesca
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.