“Is it done?” Manny asked as Johnny tucked his cell phone into the inside pocket of his jacket.
Johnny nodded once, heading to the bar. “My contact will be able to get everything rolling soon,” he said, pouring himself a shot of tequila.
Their plan was getting under way. Getting up from the couch, Manny went to the door. Antonio was at his usual post. “Head over to Alcazar’s private hangar and make sure everything is in place.”
“Si, Senor,” Antonio responded. After making sure his post was covered, he left the house and climbed into the large black Navigator.
Lainey watched Elaina play on the floor of her office. “I bet its fun having two mommies,” she said.
Elaina nodded. “I haf my Mommy in Heaven and Mommy Sam. Daddy said my Mommy in Heaven watches over me.”
“How does that make you feel?” Lainey asked.
Elaina looked up at her. “It makes me special,” she said. “Daddy said I am . . . am . . . lucky!” she said, remembering the word and proud of herself for it. “I haf two Mommies who wuv me.”
Lainey smiled. It was obvious how smart this little girl was. “I can also tell you love your Daddy a lot,” she said.
Elaina nodded her attention back on the toys Lainey had put out for her.
“I bet it was pretty scary when Daddy was hurt, huh?”
Lainey watched as Elaina’s hands stilled a moment. Then she seemed to brush it off and went back to her playing.
When there was no response, Lainey pressed a little more. “Elaina? How did you feel when your Daddy was hurt?”
Elaina still didn’t respond. Instead, she left the toys on the floor and climbed into the comfy arm chair.
Lainey watched as Elaina tucked herself into the corner of the chair, curling into a ball. She made a note of this response.
“You don’t like talking about when Daddy was hurt, do you?” she asked gently.
Elaina shook her head back and forth. Her eyes were wide, but Lainey could see that they were shiny with unshed tears. She was sure Elaina was replaying what had happened and what she had seen and heard.
“I know it’s scary to think about what happened,” Lainey continued, keeping her tone gentle and soft.
Elaina did not respond, but she did nod her head a little.
“Your Daddy thinks you might be remembering while you’re sleeping,” Lainey said.
Again, Elaina nodded.
“What happens when you remember in your sleep?” She was hoping to get Elaina to start responding with more than just head movements. Their time together was almost up for today.
“The Ugly Man hurts Daddy,” Elaina whispered, her chin resting on her knees.
Lainey nodded in understanding. It was a start. “I bet thinking about all of this is pretty tiring,” she said. “Our time is almost over today, but I want to tell you something that might help when you sleep. Would you like to hear it?”
Elaina lifted her head and nodded.
Lainey smiled and leaned forward slightly in her seat. “If the bad man comes again and you wake up scared, I want you to try and remember that everyone who loves you is going to do everything they can to keep you safe. Do you think you can try that – maybe before running to Daddy’s room?”
Elaina thought about it a moment. “I twy,” she said. Then she climbed off the chair and started gathering the toys up.
Lainey watched her a moment. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“Cwean up. Daddy say I no haf maid. I had to cwean my toys,” Elaina matter-of-factly informed Lainey.
“How did the session go?” Lorenzo asked Jason as the other man walked into his office.
Jason dropped down into a chair across the desk from Lorenzo. “Lainey said it’ll be slow going in the beginning,” he said. “But she’s optimistic.”
“So far she likes Lainey,” he said. “She hasn’t given me a hard time about going.”
Lorenzo nodded. Like his little granddaughter, he himself had grown up in this world of danger and uncertainty. He just hoped it didn’t drag her down.
Jason watched Lorenzo. He had an idea of what was going through Lorenzo’s mind. Bringing up a family in a world of organized crime, of keeping them safe, and the guilt when you are unable to provide them with that basic sense of security. There was only so much that could be done – bodyguards, bullet proof windows, safe houses – but that was no guarantee. Jason knew that. He knew Lorenzo knew that. And it wasn’t always easy to live with.
“Where are we with Manny and Johnny?” he asked, effectively changing the subject.
Lorenzo sighed and leaned back in his chair. “Nothing new,” he said. “It’s been quiet – which is not good.”
“The calm before the storm,” Jason said.
Lorenzo agreed. He hated this stalemate. It made him feel powerless to defend his family from attack without resorting to sending them away for their safety. The thought wasn’t far from his mind.
Everything was in place. Now all they had to do was make one call to get the ball rolling.
Manny nodded to Johnny.
Johnny removed his cell phone and made the call. “Do it,” he said.
“Alcazar,” Lorenzo answered the phone on his desk.
“Senor, I am sorry to disturb you at home.”
“What is it Miguel?” Lorenzo asked. Miguel was managing one of his properties in Venezuela.
“There is a problem.”
Lorenzo sighed. He didn’t need this now. “Go on,” he said. Once Miguel had finished telling him what was going on, Lorenzo let out a breath. “I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he said before hanging up.
Picking up the receiver again, he called his pilot. “Get the plane ready,” he said.
“You’re leaving?” Skye asked Lorenzo after he told her that he needed to leave town for a day or two. “Now?”
“There’s a problem that I need to look into and I have to do it personally,” Lorenzo said, knowing this was going to result in a fight.
“Why you Lorenzo? Why not Jason or Stan or even Diego?” Skye pleaded. She hated to be like this, but she didn’t want Lorenzo to leave.
Lorenzo closed his eyes a moment and took Skye into his arms. “I know the timing is not good Skye. But this is something I have to do in person. I can’t send someone else. It won’t work that way. I am leaving this evening and I will be back tomorrow night, the next morning at the latest,” he said as calmly as he could. “But you will be well protected here. Jason and Max and all the rest will be here.”
Skye pulled back. “Wait . . . you’re not taking Jason with you?” she asked. “Lorenzo, are you taking any security with you at all?”
“I need everyone here in case something happens,” Lorenzo answered.
“No,” Skye said, shaking her head. “You can’t go without protection Lorenzo. I understand you have to do this . . . I don’t like it, but I understand it . . . but you can’t go alone.”
“Listen to me Spinelli,” Jason said, hoping to be able to avoid a headache – which was inevitable when he was dealing with this kid. “Are you listening?”
“The Jackal’s ears are primed and ready to receive what Stone Cold has to say,” Spinelli said.
Jason sighed. “There’s a problem with one of our South American holdings. I need you to get into the systems and see what’s going on. Lorenzo is heading down there and I want you to email him all that you find. Can you do that?”
“Of course,” Spinelli said. “Stone Cold’s wish is the Jackal’s command.”
Jason rolled his eyes. “Just get it done,” he said before leaving the room.
Manny looked over the shoulder of his own tech expert. “Are you sure this is going to work?” he asked.
“It will work,” Eddie assured his boss. “There is no way anyone can break through the new defenses I put up. As far as the world is concerned – at least the cyber world – your accounts are clean and you are an upstanding citizen.”
“Good,” Manny said with a nod. “And don’t forget what I told you about Alcazar’s tech guy. He’s good.”
Eddie snorted. “Not as good as I am,” he muttered as he continued to safe guard Mr. Ruiz’s accounts. “Done,” he proclaimed with a final tap of a key.
Manny straightened and folded his arms across his chest. “Make sure you keep a close eye on it. I don’t want a repeat of what’s already happened. And I do not need Alcazar discovering where the Mendoza money is going.”
Johnny had given Manny access to the family accounts to fund their little plan. Without it, there was no way Manny would have been able to pull this off.
“Is there anything else you want me to look into?” Eddie asked, swiveling in his chair and looking at his new boss. Eddie knew all about who Manny Ruiz was when he took the job. Working for him gave him the chance to do what he wanted and be paid handsomely for it. And all he needed was his hacking skills. It was a sweet set up and he wasn’t going to jeopardize that for anything.
“Not right now,” Manny said. “But make sure your available at a moment’s notice.”
“Will do,” Eddie said as Manny Ruiz left the room. This was definitely not a bad deal at all.
Lorenzo settled in his seat on his private jet. His laptop was already open on the table in front of him. He was expecting information from Spinelli soon.
Skye still hadn’t been thrilled about his plans and he hated leaving her with all that was going on. He had spoken to Max and increased security on Skye – he hadn’t wanted to leave her and their unborn son totally vulnerable without him.
Closing his eyes and leaning his head back, Lorenzo tried to sort out all that was going on and what he was going to do to keep his loved ones safe.
“Mr. Alcazar,” came the pilot’s voice over the intercom system. “We’re about to start take off. Please make sure you are buckled up.”
Sighing, Lorenzo fastened his seat belt. He was going to make sure to get this business over with as soon as possible and get home to his family.
Antonio checked the gauges before prepping the plane for take-off. He was a licensed pilot and it hadn’t taken much effort for him to subdue Alcazar’s regular pilot and take his place.
Getting the okay from the tower, Antonio began to taxi down the run way. A flight plan had been submitted, but Antonio had other plans for Mr. Alcazar. They would not be reaching their destination any time soon.
“Did you find anything?” Jason asked Spinelli a couple of hours after Lorenzo had left. Jason knew that Lorenzo should be landing soon and wanted to make sure he had the information he needed to get everything settled and over with as quickly as possible.
Spinelli sighed in frustration and flopped back against the couch. “Nothing,” he said.
“What do you mean nothing?” Jason asked. “You’re supposed to be good at this, aren’t you?”
“I am the assassin of cyberspace, but according to the systems . . . there is nothing nefarious going on with Big Al’s South American accounts.”
“Then dig deeper,” Jason instructed. “Something is going on and I want to know what it is.”
“I don’t like this Jason. I don’t understand why he had to go alone. It’s not safe.” As soon as Lorenzo’s limo left the driveway, Skye found Jason in Lorenzo’s office and cornered him.
Jason sighed. He knew Skye was not going to be okay with this – Lorenzo had already given him a heads up. “Skye, Lorenzo can handle this trip and he didn’t want to pull any guards from the property.”
“There are more than enough people on the house Jason!” she exclaimed. “Lorenzo needs protection just as much as the rest of us!”
“Skye, you need to calm down,” Jason said calmly. “This was Lorenzo’s decision. Yes, we could have spared someone to go with him, but Lorenzo was adamant about not leaving anything here to chance.”
Skye sighed. “His life is just as important Jason. He’s taking chances with his own safety and it’s not fair.”
“He’ll be home before you know it,” Jason said gently, putting his hands on her shoulders. “What you need to do is not get yourself all worked up. You have your son to think about. Focus on doing that and before you know it, Lorenzo will be home.”
Jason was right and Skye knew it. “Okay,” she relented. “But please, please Jason; keep me posted on what’s going on. I told Lorenzo and now I’m telling you, I don’t want to be shielded from what’s going on.”
“I promise,” Jason assured her.
Spinelli finished compiling what information he could find – although it wasn’t as much as he had hoped for and sent it off to Big Al’s email account.
Once that was done, he decided to check on his boss’s flight plan – just for the hell of it.
What he saw had his eyes practically bugging out of his head.
“Are you sure?” Max said into the phone. “You better be right about this,” he added. “Check the site. Call me back with any information.”
Max snapped his cell phone closed. He didn’t like what he just heard.
Antonio flipped open his phone and hit the speed dial. “It’s done,” he said. Then he closed the phone and slipped it back into his pocket.
Spinelli ran into Jason’s office. “Stone Cold! I have the most . . . distressing news,” he said, practically bouncing on his toes.
Jason looked up from the papers in front of him. “What is it Spinelli?” he asked.
“Umm . . . the Jackal regrets to tell you this . . . it’s still a shock . . . I am not sure if I even believe it myself . . .”
“Spit it out Spinelli!” Jason snapped. He didn’t have time for this.
Clamping his mouth shut, he put his laptop in front of Jason and hit a button.
Jason watched – his eyes widening. “What is this?” he asked.
“This was sent to me just after I emailed Big Al the requested information,” he said. “It’s a live action shot . . . of Mr. Alcazar’s plane going down.”
Return To Other GH Fan Fiction
Return To Lianna's Tales