BOUND TO CHANGE: IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

“Imagination Does Not Become Great Until Human Beings, Given The Courage And The strength, Use It To Create” – Maria Montessori

 

Chapter 1  In The Beginning

 

“The Word Was First An Image

What You Believe, You Can Become

Harken To Your Inner Vision

And Your Song Will Be Sung” – Walter Paxton

After spending a couple of hours hiding behind a tree, Luca Amadeo had almost had enough. Maybe, he thought to himself, if he kicked the door in to room number six fast enough, he could jump on Szabo without taking a bullet.

The full moon hung heavy in the sky over the Pacific. Looking up, Luca felt like the man in the moon was mocking him for his stupidity. Again he cursed himself for not taking his gun with him when he went to the store for smokes. Now Marita was trapped inside room number six.

But Luca knew that Szabo wouldn’t dare harm her because he was loyal to her father – Don Luigi Campese. And the Don would want her safely returned home to him along with all of his money – and the head of Luca Amadeo.

Riddled with guilt, Luca realized that if it wasn’t for him, Marita would already be back home, safe in Montreal. Plus, when they had left Montreal she was close to finishing all of her studies, and she would have received her bachelor’s degree in English literature by now.

Then again, if he had never met her, had never gotten involved with her, then he would never have known such love. To him, her exquisite features were like a delicately chiselled masterpiece. And when he looked in her eyes, he melted inside because he knew that the light that shone within them whispered of hidden pleasures.

When he thought about her while practicing the guitar, a mystical quality seemed to emanate from the strings. Which was why his composition simply titled “Marita” had some of his best playing in it.

With the rest of the world, he never let his guard down, but with her he could be himself. He let her alone see inside of his soul, yet here he was cowering behind a tree unsure of what to do.

Shivering, Luca rubbed his arms. Lighting a cigarette, he huddled around the flame for what little warmth it could offer. In the fresh early morning air, as he inhaled, the smoke parched his lungs and throat.

Promising himself that if he made it through that night alive he would quit smoking, Luca suddenly realized that if he didn’t go to the store earlier for smokes that he would probably already be dead.

On his way back from the store, he had noticed a Mercedes-Benz convertible parked alongside the road just outside the motel’s perimeter. It wasn’t there when he had left, and as far as he was concerned there was no valid reason for it to be parked along a coastal highway in the middle of night.

Driving past the motel, he parked his car a block away on a side street then walked back to the Mercedes to investigate.

The license plate revealed that it was a rental car. Pulling his Swiss army knife out of his back pocket, Luca extended the longest blade, looked around, took a deep breath, and braced himself.

Quickly cutting a slit in the ragtop, he reached in and unlocked the door. With the car alarm screaming out into the night, he jumped into the car, found the fuse box, and started pulling out wires from underneath the dash until the alarm died mid scream.

Jumping back out of the car, he slammed the door shut then he ran, dove into the ditch, and waited. If the car’s owner, or the police showed up, he could hide behind the thick shrubbery beyond the ditch.

After waiting several minutes and after several deep breaths, Luca crept back out of the ditch. This time when he slipped back behind the wheel of the Mercedes, he noticed the new car smell.

Trying to relax a bit more, he picked up two cd cases from the console and positioned them in the streetlight so that he could make out their titles: The Best Of Paganini and Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas.

He opened the glove compartment and pulled out some papers. Among them was a rental car agreement from an agency in Vancouver that was dated three days before.

Unable to make out the signature on the agreement, he pulled out his lighter and sparked it up. As a wave of nausea hit him like a ton of bricks, Luca sank back into his seat and closed his eyes remembering the first time that he had ever laid his eyes upon Julius Szabo.

As he was entering Don Campese’s office, he passed Szabo, who was on his way out. A short man with a kirpan scar on the left side of his face that gave him the impression of having a permanent scowl, Szabo’s dark brown eyes were almost black, and the intensity of his gaze sent out vibes that had made Luca’s skin crawl. And with just cause.

Although he was half Italian as well as half Hungarian, his nickname was “the Hungarian Hitman.” Szabo had made his bones, so to speak, in the 1970’s and 80’s in Montreal.

The mafia had found that it was in their best interest to help perpetuate the biker wars, so they had Szabo plant several car bombs that were either blamed on the rival biker gangs, or on the French terrorists known as the FLQ.

The biker gangs would usually blame each other then retaliate with vengeance. Therefore, the mafia would inadvertently get some of their major competition to eliminate each other.

It also took some of the heat of off them because the police and the media blamed the bombings on either the bikers or the FLQ. Which made the mafia look better in comparison because at least they didn’t maim and kill innocent people – or so it was thought.

Gradually moving his way up through the ranks, Szabo became Don Campese’s number one enforcer. He was known as a tracker who enjoyed stalking his prey then striking a venomous blow when the time was right. And now Szabo had somehow picked up on Luca’s scent.

Opening his eyes, Luca slowly got out of the car and looked around. Then he went back into the ditch and squatted down to think.

Szabo could be hiding in the motel’s parking lot waiting to ambush him, or he could already be in room number six with Marita.

Then Luca remembered that he had left his cell phone in his car. After they had left Montreal, he and Marita had thrown away their old cell phones then they bought new ones just in case they ever needed to call each other.

He walked back to his car then got in and called Marita’s number. It rang four times then went to voicemail, but he didn’t leave a message. Then he called again, but again she didn’t answer.

After walking back to the motel, Luca snuck up to the entrance of the parking lot and peeked around the fence. There were two cars parked there, and at the far end of the periphery of the lot was a tree.

Figuring that if Szabo was hiding in the vicinity that the tree would be the most likely spot, Luca laid down on his stomach and crawled around to the inside of the fence. Then he started sliding his way along the grassy perimeter.

Despite the cool breeze blowing in from the ocean, Luca started to sweat. He could just wait by the Mercedes for Szabo to eventually appear, but he knew that the waiting would drive him nuts.

Besides, if he was going to die on this night then let it be done because after all, life without Marita would no longer be worth living.

 

Chapter 2 – The Heiress Of The Spectrum

 

“Deep In The Matter

Upon Billions All Told

Lurks The Slumbering Empress

Escaped From The Fold” – Walter Paxton

Once a month, mostly out of ritual more than anything else, Ayla Valentyne went to visit her grandmother. Grandmother was a medicine woman who descended from a long line of shaman, medicine women, and seers.

Grandmother rarely spoke. She spent most of her time in her rocking chair out on the front porch just rocking back and forth.

One afternoon when Ayla was eight years old, while she sat playing with her dolls out on grandmother’s front porch, an uneasy feeling crept over her. Sensing that her grandmother was staring at her, Ayla stopped playing and looked up.

Grandmother’s vibrant eyes sparkled in the sun. They belied an intelligence and a wisdom that shone from within. The deeply etched lines on her face spoke of the years left behind. Her long hair flowed down her chest in silver waves.

As she rocked back and forth, her intense stare permeated into Ayla’s soul. With her fingers intertwined on her lap, grandmother had a calm, peaceful look upon her face. In Cree she said, “Come sit by my feet child.” Respectfully, Ayla went over and sat down.

Grandmother began to tell Ayla the tale that had been told to her when she herself was just a child by her mother – Ayla’s great grandmother. And great grandmother had in turn been told the tale by her mother, and so forth on down the line it had been passed from generation to generation.

In a gravelly voice weathered with time grandmother spoke,”Somewhere in time and thought, many tides before the ships of destiny came across the waters, her eminence the Spirit of White Dove summoned together all of the tribes from all across the land. From mountain to meadow, from the plains to the sea they came.

“At the great gathering, Spirit of White Dove stood amid the bonfires with her arms outstretched towards the heavens as she enlightened the esteemed council of the vision that had come upon her in the silence of the night.

“‘With ashen skin the curse of oppression will drift into our minds upon the tides. They will unleash a contagion from enslaving potions that shall take hold upon our seed.

‘They will offer us agreements in the name of goodwill, but time and time again with potent animosity they will violate our women and slaughter our men. They will taint our waters, befoul our winds, devour our lands, and exterminate our creatures.

‘For many generations, like footprints in the snow after a mighty blizzard, we will lose our path. Yet there will come a passage in time, beyond two winters after the twin fires in the sky inside the beast from the east, there will come a child with great powers.

‘Born under the sign of the twins, she will do toil with both good and evil. When she is born a blood red moon will fill the sky, and the mighty serpent of life and wisdom will take form amongst the stars.

‘Her father will be of the others, but he will not be of the same mind. Born under the sign of the water bearer, he will absorb the waters of wisdom, yet swim against their flow. And he will be like the nightingale.

‘Her mother will be of the Cree nation long since scattered. She will be born under the sign of the fish, but she will not swim long in the waters of wisdom. She too will be like a songbird.

‘The others will search high and low for the empress child, but she will have a protector that will keep her safe.

‘The child will not know of her true birthright until such a time that the fish float upon the waters, and the birds fall from the sky. After the lawmakers and the financiers have robbed the masses of their just rewards. When gold and silver once again take their rightful place.

‘When all of the brothers and sisters of all colors from all the nations join hands to reclaim this world from the pilfering fools that squandered its beauty. Then the Heiress of the Spectrum will claim her fate as a divine messenger.

‘It will be a time of great rejoicing. With the powers of the rainbow at her command she will usher in the Age of Mind, and she will rethink this world.’ ”

As if she had made her point, grandmother stopped talking. With a furrowed brow she looked at Ayla and said,”It is your duty to tell this tale to your daughter, and if…and if your daughter leaves this world before her time then it will be your duty to tell this tale to your granddaughter. As it was my duty to tell it to you.”

Ayla watched grandmother’s eyes moisten over. Grandmother looked at her and said,”You may go now child.” Ayla stood up and said,”Thank you grandmother.” Then for the first and for the last time, Ayla saw her grandmother smile.

 

Chapter3 – Misery Loves Company

 

“How People Treat You Is Their Kharma, How You React Is Yours” – Wayne Dyer

Sheree Dumas loved three things most of all in life. The first was jelly donuts. It didn’t really matter what kind of filling was inside, just so long as they were fresh and heavily laden with icing sugar.

The second thing she loved was being the president of her union. It enabled her to regularly take a couple of days off per week with pay to take care of important union matters, which usually meant hanging out at the donut shop, looking over a few papers. However, the best thing about being the president was the job security.

The third thing she loved was her job. When she was in court, she could distort the facts and lie so well that even she was in awe of her own prowess. As she was leaving the courtroom she often felt like she had just given an Oscar winning performance.

When it came to her clients, Sheree loved to see them squirm. Most of the idiots had no idea what the rules were, so she could make many of them up as she went along. She could also virtually provoke them with impunity because her supervisor would always backed her up.

Very few of her clients could afford a good lawyer, so they usually had to settle for a legal aid lawyer, and very few of those ever got involved in the interactions between the social workers and their clients because all they cared about was the money.

Sheree’s home life was sheer misery. Her husband usually worked late and came home too tired to do anything except lie on the couch watching sports for the rest of the night. They never talked anymore. They never did anything anymore.

Sheree wondered if he was having an affair but if he was, she really didn’t want to know about it. After seventeen years and four kids together it was too late to find someone else. Besides, she was comfortable with him. The sex was non-existent, but so what? She had her jelly donuts.

Her kids however, frustrated her immeasurably. She had to constantly nag them to do their homework. They didn’t seem to have any respect for her at all. Unlike her clients who were forced to respect her, or pay the price.

Sheree escaped her miserable home life through her work. It was a totally different world there because she was in control – she was the boss.

She loved provoking the parents because they had to watch their mouth or get written up. She would watch them squirm in their seat, their face turning red with their furrowed brow telling the tale of their inner turmoil.

To Sheree Dumas, misery loved company, and occasionally when some loser snapped and dared to raise their voice to her, she savored those moments. They were just as sweet as biting into a fresh jelly donut.

She would stay calm, then with a knowing smirk, she’d pull out her black book and write them up. She had them – checkmate loser.

Their body posture would change when they realized that they had just blown it. Now they were back to square one. Then she would tell them that because of their little outburst, they now had to take an anger management course.

In protest they’d tell her that the only reason they got mad was because she provoked them. Then with a huge grin, she would tell them that it was part of her job to provoke and lie to them.  Besides, if they couldn’t stay calm with her then how could they be expected to stay calm with their children?

Then they would sit there quietly for a while until they saw the method to her madness, and they started apologizing profusely, but it was too late.

Sheree had always wanted to be a police officer. If they didn’t get respect then they could beat it out of you. And she couldn’t recall all the times that she wished she could have handcuffed one of her clients and then taken a billy club to them.

But when she found out that the police had weight restrictions, and that exercise was part of the training to become a police officer – her career as a cop ended before it began.

Even as a child Sheree was overweight. The other kids always laughed and made fun of her in gym class. Children could be so cruel, which was part of the reason that she hated the whiny little brats that came under her jurisdiction so much. Plus, they were always crying and blaming everything on their parents.

But one thing she did like about children was that they were even more naive than their parents. She could tell them almost anything and they would believe her. It was amazing to her how malleable their minds were.

Sheree considered herself to be the master of false dream syndrome, taking enormous pride in the fact that she had personally manipulated more than fifty children into testifying in court to things that never actually happened.

She knew when the parents were innocent, but that didn’t matter. If they were stupid enough to get themselves into a predicament like that then they deserved to rot in hell.

Sitting down with a fresh box of donuts, Sheree thought about how much she loved jelly donuts. The feel of the fresh pastry as she bit into it. The way the fruit filling exploded into her mouth – it was ecstasy.

She could always tell what kind of filling would be inside just by smelling it. First, the pungent aroma would fill her nostrils. Then she would lick some of the icing sugar off of it, playing with the donut – teasing it – nibbling around the outside. Then when she couldn’t take it anymore, she’d clamp down on it as it exploded in her mouth.

 

Chapter 5 – Lest Ye Be Judged

 

“The Course Of True Love Never Did Run Smooth” William Shakespeare

The downpour spattered hard against the window. Looking out, Marita watched as the front gate opened into the courtyard. Locked in her room like a prisoner, she flinched when she saw her father’s limousine drive through the front gate, then her tears started to fall as profusely as the drops of rain outside on the window.

She was scared of her father, although he had never hit her, his possesiveness and his intense stare often felt worse than any slap in the face ever could.

She remembered how much she loved him when she was a child. How he often read her a bedtime story, then tucked her in and kissed her goodnight on the cheek.

He seemed happy back then. He regularly took the time to play with her. They often played board games – usually checkers, and he always let her win.

She was the apple of his eye; she was daddy’s little girl, but everything changed drastically after her mother died.

Gina Vespuccio had known Luigi Campese since they were children in Palermo, Sicily. They went to the same school together, and Luigi walked her home almost everyday, carrying her school books for her.

Luigi always let it be known that he had a crush on Gina, and that one day he would make her his bride. Gina always giggled at his over-zealous exuberance and she would say, “Never.”

But deep down inside she was flattered, and even as a boy Luigi was a leader who had a way with words, and Gina always admired his confidence.

When they were sixteen years old, Luigi told her that he was running away to America, promising that he would return one day and take her away with him to be his bride.

Even though he didn’t tell her, Gina knew the real reason that Luigi was leaving town. He said that he had been working in Napoli, but she had heard otherwise and so had the police.

He had gotten himself involved with some bad boys, but he was an enterprising young man, and he had given her some rather lavish presents with his ill-gotten gains, so who was she to question him?

Before he left, Luigi took Gina out for dinner, then afterwards he took her in his arms and kissed her for the very first time. Again he confessed his love for her and vowed to return for her when the time was right.

Luigi had always kept his word, and Gina vowed to herself that she would wait for him. She always regretted not telling him that she loved him too when he had kissed her that night, but her heart was beating so fast that she could hardly catch her breath, let alone speak.

Luigi left Palermo with his good friend Leno Bellini. They ended up in Montreal because Bellini had some family there that were involved in the construction business, which was mostly organized by the mafia.

Leno’s uncle Roberto took a liking to Luigi and treated him as one of his own. At night, while Leno went out gallivanting with the other youths, Luigi would visit with Roberto.

They played chess, and Roberto would talk about business. He taught Luigi about how his construction business was perfect for laundering all the money that was made from his extra curricular activities: drugs, prostitution, gambling, and loan sharking.

Luigi had a natural talent for negotiation, organization, and collection of payments, so over the next couple of years with his help, Bellini Construction and their black market subsidiaries grew substantially.

Hungry for wealth and power, Luigi developed a network of connections on his way up through the ranks. Yet still, he did not forget about Gina.

They wrote to each other regularly, and Gina savored every word of every letter. Fortunately, both of them found it easier to express their deepest feelings for each other on paper.

Every month Luigi sent her more than enough money so that she lacked for nothing, and Gina always graciously accepted it without question.

When everything was in place, instead of taking the risk of going back home, Luigi sent Gina the airfare to Montreal. She flew first class, of course.

Despite being raised to wait until she was married, Gina gave herself to Luigi on her first night in Montreal because after all, Luigi had proposed to her that night, and she had said yes.

With Gina by his side, Luigi’s empire grew. Gina never questioned how her husband became so wealthy. He provided her with an opulent lifestyle and that was all that she needed to know.

Don Luigi, as he came to be known, had many philanthropic endeavors. He was also well loved in the community because he never abused his power.

Marita grew up more than a bit spoiled, but Luigi taught her to respect money. The more you had, the more you had to give, and sharing was a gift to both parties.

When Marita was a teenager, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luigi spent a fortune and used his many connections to get her the best care possible. For over two years he prioritized his wife’s treatment.

After Gina passed away, Luigi fell into a deep depression and started drinking excessively. Whereas before he was known as a level headed negotiator, now he easily ordered a hit on anyone who became problematic to his business.

He also became overly possessive of Marita. He had her taken out of public high school and sent to a private girls school. She also could not leave the estate without just cause, and without two bodyguards in tow. Occasionally, her best friend Amanda could come over on weekends, but that was about it.

Only after she legally became an adult and begged her father to let her go to public college did Luigi let her have some semblance of normalcy to her life, but boys were strictly forbidden.

All through college, Luigi had her driven to and from the campus. He also had her spied on regularly during school hours.

Marita always got extremely high marks and proved herself to be a serious student. After she graduated from college, Luigi gifted her with a Bentley Continental T, and only then did he loosen up on the leash a little bit.

During her first year in university, Marita met Charles Stokes, or Chuck as she liked to call him. Despite being forbidden to date, she felt that as an adult, she did deserve to have a life.

She was aware that her father had her spied on regularly, so she made allowances for that. For almost a year, she arranged regular secret meetings with Chuck by coordinating their agendas. She also dropped some of her classes and started wearing a disguise, so that she could sneak off campus with him.

Chuck accepted that her father was overly possessive, but because Marita did not tell him exactly who her father was he did not fully understand the possible repercussions of getting involved with her. However, he did find out abruptly.

After Don Luigi found about their relationship, instead of having Marita taken out of school, he had Chuck beaten up so severely that he couldn’t finish out the semester, and of course, until he was too scared to ever see Marita again.

Marita hated her father for what he had done to Chuck, but she remained determined to graduate from university. Yet she wouldn’t even dare look at another young man out of fear of him being threatened or beaten to a pulp.

When she first saw Luca Amadeo in her father’s home office, she knew. Although Luca tried hiding it, there was no denying the spark of desire that flashed in his eyes.

His stature, his very essence exuded an inner confidence, and his dashing good looks turned her insides to jelly. Marita made up her mind right then and there that if an opportunity ever presented itself, he would be hers.

Then she found out everything that she could about mister Luca Amadeo. Which was easy because she often overheard her father and his cohorts talking about Amadeo because they were all so impressed with him.

Marita had loved Chuck in her own way, but he came from a well-to-do family, and he was a bit soft, whereas Luca was a tough looking wiseguy who wouldn’t cow down to anyone.

She often went downstairs to her father’s home office in hopes of seeing Luca again, but she didn’t see him again until a few months later when he suddenly appeared at their country estate.

On that fateful Friday night when he was invited for dinner, in order to discuss business with Don Luigi, it was all Marita could do to hide her excitement. When she heard that he was to spend the weekend in their guest house, she knew immediately what she must do.

She knew that her father would stay up late drinking too much, as was his custom, so she served him a few extra strong drinks herself just to make sure that he would sleep late the next day.

After Chuck had been scared off, Marita got a prescription of valium to help her sleep, and on that Friday night she crushed some up and slipped it into a few of her father’s drinks, and those of his two bodyguards.

Bruno and Johnny had been with Don Luigi for many years and they had become good friends. They often drank with the Don when they were off duty, so they also kept the same hours as him, and Luigi usually went to bed drunk around three o’clock in the morning and woke up around noon.

Marita got up early that Saturday morning to shower and shave her legs, then she put on her bikini bathing suit and left the mansion undetected.

She planned to knock on the door of the guesthouse, then while striking a pose, ask Luca if he wanted to join her for a swim in their private lake, but just before knocking she heard the faint sound of music coming from around the side of the house.

Peeking around the corner, she saw Luca sitting on the beach playing guitar. Listening intently, she was surprised to hear him playing a classical piece.

Approaching from behind, she waited until he finished playing then she applauded. Luca jumped up and glared at her, but when he noticed that she was in a bikini his face mellowed out.

“Good morning, sorry that I startled you, but that was a lovely song you were playing.”

“Yes, good morning. That’s okay… that was one of my own compositions, so I’m glad you liked it.”

“I just came to see if you might like to go swimming with me? My father rarely gets up before noon nowadays, and I’m sure that Bruno and Johnny are probably sleeping one off too.”

“Yeah, they sure out drank me last night,” Luca said, “so…well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

“Ah yes,” Marita said,”that saying never gets old, especially to us Italians.”

When Luca came back out of the guesthouse with his shorts on, Marita was just as stimulated by his physique as he was with hers.

For the next couple of hours they swam and had fun in the sun sitting on the beach. The conversation just flowed. and Marita was impressed. She was a well read university student, and Luca was able to converse with her on virtually any subject. He also had a penchant to doth poetic, and she loved poetry.

Luca on the other hand, found Marita to be interesting and intelligent, but he often found it hard to concentrate on what she was saying. The sun cascading off the surface of the lake sparkled in her enticing brown eyes, and her healthy, tanned skin conjured up images in his mind of her ancestors filling up their baskets full of grapes on some Italian hillside.

Her ample bosom and curvaceous hips filled him with a yearning that he had never known before. He had to keep telling himself that she was Don Luigi’s one and only daughter, and that Don Luigi was not a man to fool with.

Marita however, had already made up her mind. She refused to spend the rest of her life catering to her father’s overprotective insecurities. She was a good girl. Only once had she gone against her father’s wishes, and she had paid dearly for that, but enough was enough.

As soon as she graduated from university she planned to write her first novel, and one day she would have a husband and some children and a life.

Her mother had died, and in a way so had her father, but the time had come for her to spread her wings, so to speak, and leave the nest. She knew that she had to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity, or she’d forever live in regret.

Just before ten o’clock that morning Marita said,”Luca, I’m getting chilly, why don’t we go inside for a cup of tea?”

Inside the guesthouse Luca sat at the kitchen table watching Marita prepare the tea. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Walking around the kitchen in her bikini, arching her back while she poured the water – she knew what she was doing.

Luca was grateful that the tabletop top was hiding what was underneath – his prodigious manhood as it throbbed in appreciation of Marita’s efforts to entice him.

He kept telling himself that it was okay to talk to her and to look at her, but nothing more. He couldn’t let himself get involved with Don Campese’s daughter. He was his Don, and to be disloyal to him could be fatal.

He kept repeating that over and over again in his mind, and it seemed to be working, but then Marita leaned over the table to give him his tea.

Her cleavage spilled over before his eyes. He could smell her femininity, and he ached to taste deeply of its pleasures.

“You want to know something Luca?” Marita said.”My father is a well respected man who likes to control everything, but I’m twenty-four years old now, and it’s time for me to break free from his tyranny.”

Luca throbbed even more when Marita moistened her lips with her tongue seductively and leaned closer to him.“Luca, do you find me attractive?”

His manhood started pulsating in sync with his rapidly beating heart. Forget about Don Campese. Mesmerised by Marita’s beauty and intoxicating aroma Luca said, “You’re absolutely stunning.”

Moving in closer to him, Marita said. “Then kiss me.”

Later, at around eleven thirty in the morning, Marita slipped her bikini back on. She was going to dive into the lake then make her way back into the mansion. If anybody saw her then she would just tell them that she had gone for a swim. “Luca, that was incredible. I’ll see you later at dinner, okay sweetie?”

Smiling contentedly, Marita left the guesthouse thinking that Chuck was nothing compared to Luca, and she already felt that she was head over heels in love with Luca.

With his heart still pounding rapidly, Luca lied motionless on the bed staring up at the ceiling in disbelief about what he had just done.

He had always been a risk taker, but not a fool. The rush of adrenaline from breaking a few rules had always been a weakness of his, but this time was different.

He had always calculated the risk factor into his decisions. He had always weighed the pros and cons of whatever he did, but not this time.

Then after he recalled the earth shattering experience of their intimacy, he decided that it had been worth it. It’s all right – she’s a goddess sent from heaven. And although it seemed a bit too soon to him, he knew that he was already in love with Marita.

For close to six months after that day, Marita would sneak over to Luca’s place to visit him whenever she was sure to get away with it. Every golden moment was savored by the both of them.

Marita grew to hate her father even more for making her sneak around with the man that she loved, so she devised a plan – two weeks later she intentionally let herself be seen sneaking out of the mansion so that she would be followed to Luca’s place.

The next day, Don Campese sent Bruno and Johnny around to give Luca a talking to that was intended to be much worse than the one that had been given to Charles Stokes. However, there were some major differences between Charles Stokes and Luca Amadeo.

Bruno and Johnny had spent too many years relying on intimidation. As Don Campese’s personal bodyguards they were still respected and feared, but too much pasta and vino through the years had slowed them down. Conversely, Luca ate well, exercised often, and practised self-defense regularly.

Luca did what he had to do to defend himself, and both Bruno and Johnny ended up with broken noses and a couple of broken bones each.

Their lives had been spared because Luca knew first hand about all the legal repercussions involved in taking a life – even in self-defense.

Marita needed things to reach the breaking point because she longed to be with Luca all the time. She intentionally let herself be followed to his place because she knew how strong he was, and she had watched him practice his zen karate combat techniques.

Stealing from her father was easy. He had a fortune in blood money, and he had profited greatly from the addictions and misery of others.

All of her life she had been a good girl, but what did that get her? Lonely and broken hearted, or sneaking around like some kind of criminal with the man that she loved.

Marita sometimes wondered how many lives her father had taken with his own hands on his way to the top, and how many people he had ordered to be killed since then.

Plus, the more than quarter of a million dollars in cash that she took from his home safe was only a minute fraction of what would one day be hers. But if she had to wait until her father died in order to be free – she would rather lose a fortune, but gain a life.

Of course, she always knew that her father’s home safe was behind her mother’s portrait above the fireplace, and that the combination was her mother’s birth date.

What might be a fortune to many was a mere pittance to the mighty Don Campese, but with that kind of money her and Luca could go almost anywhere.

However, it would be too risky to try to get out of Canada right away because she knew that her father would immediately have all of the border crossings, airports, train, and bus stations monitored.

Disguising themselves and driving out west was so simple. It was an adventure driving across Canada, and everything was going so well until Julius Szabo found them on Vancouver Island.

And now here she was all alone like a prisoner in solitary confinement and for what? For falling in love? For daring to live her life?

Shaking, Marita closed her eyes and pictured Luca. His lopsided grin with the one dimple, the powerful physique that could be so gentle, and those piercing green eyes that seemed to look right into her soul.

Her heart ached to hold him, to keep him safe. He was her soul-mate and she could never give up hope. She just couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing him again.

Her eyelids flew open at the sound of the key unlocking her bedroom door. Then she heard her father’s heavy footsteps approaching until she could see him standing behind her reflected in the window.

Determined not cry, Marita did her best to compose herself. She could not let this man that she had grown to despise take control of her emotions.

However, Luigi saw the fearful look on her tear stained face reflected in the window, so he went and sat on the edge of her bed.

Waiting, hardly able to breath, Marita didn’t know what to expect. Whatever it was that he had to say, he would say it, and it would be done. Just like all moments in time, eventually this too shall come to pass. Luca had taught her that.

At first, she thought that she heard some distant thunder growing louder, but after listening intently, Marita realized that it was her father starting to sob.

“When you were a little girl, you were the greatest joy in my life. I would deal with the cold outside world then I would come home, and you would always run up to me shrieking “daddy”, and I would lift you up in my arms, giving you a hug and a kiss.”

But that was long ago and far away, thought Marita.

“I was never happier than when I was with you and your mother together. I did what I had to do to provide for my family as best I could. I wasn’t proud of some of the things that I had to do, but I wasn’t ashamed either. Another time and place, and I would have been other than what I was.”

Marita had never heard her father talk like that before. It was certainly better than what she had feared might happen.

“Such is fate, such is life. You do your best with the hand that you are dealt, or you lose the game.

“I never wanted anything more than to be with you and your mother, and for the both of you to be happy and healthy.

“And I knew that one day some lucky young man would ask for your hand, and that I would let you go as all fathers must do. But somehow, I lost sight of that when I lost your mother.”

As she listened to her father’s sobbing grow louder, the tears began rolling down Marita’s cheeks again.

“She was my love, she was my life, but she was also your mother, and I am ashamed that I was not stronger for you, and… I am sorry Marita,”

As she heard her father get up and slowly walk towards the door, Marita wanted to run over and give him a hug, but then she remembered what he had done.

She also wanted to ask him about Luca, but she just couldn’t. She had to believe that Luca was still out there somewhere in the world, and that one day they would be reunited.

She heard her father close the door, but she didn’t hear him lock it. Still stunned, Marita sat there motionless until the wave of nausea hit her.

Just like she had done for the past few mornings, Marita ran to the washroom to throw up. At first she thought that it was because she was so worried about Luca, but now Marita wondered if maybe it was something more.

 

Chapter 17: In The Line Of Fire

 

“Our Brains Become Magnetized With The Dominating Thoughts Which We Hold In Our Minds”*

The slightly opened windows up in the front of the van gave Billy little reprieve from the summer heat. Lying there drenched in sweat, looking through the sight of the rifle barrel, he still had some time to think.

Every night and day for the past several weeks he had asked himself if what he was planning was the right thing to do. He understood that he no longer needed to do it, but his tormented mind ached to carry out the deed.

Weeks before, just to get a feel of what it might be like, he cut out a small hole in the back of his van. Now, lying there aiming his rifle out of that hole, Billy questioned what had taken hold of him.

At night, tossing and turning in his bed, all of his thoughts were filled with visions of vengeance. Walter had talked to him about a God of some kind, and Billy had to admit that there did seem to be some kind of intelligent life force inside of everything, but some people just seemed to push their luck.

He didn’t get it at all. How come some people thought that they could lie to his face, falsify evidence in court, and basically kidnap his kid under the guise of the law, and think that they could get away with it?

If he did that to somebody, he would fully expect to have some serious repercussions come his way. But then again, he would never be that cruel.

It just wasn’t right he reasoned, and someone had to take a stand and that someone was him. For all of the families that she and her kind had torn apart. For all of the parents who had been falsely accused and had their lives ruined, he had to do it for them.

He couldn’t let her ever put anyone else through that living hell ever again, she had to be stopped. Yet still, what would happen if he got caught? Ten years in prison, or maybe more.

And what if Walter was right about the law of the boomerang as he had liked to call it – the law of cause and effect? Billy really didn’t get that, but what if all things really did return?

Walter was the wisest person that he had ever known, but it seemed as though lots of people go through life hurting others without getting back what they deserve, and many of them didn’t even seem to feel guilty about it either.

Just then Sheree Dumas came out of the front of the office building where she worked. With his forearm, Billy wiped the sweat from his brow and took aim.

Watching as Dumas made her way to the front step, he was repulsed by her immensity. The thick folds of flab quivered like jello with her every step. As he watched her, Billy was filled with a hate that he had never known before.

Lining up her skull in his cross sights, Billy started to gently press down on the trigger, but then he let up on it  because he started to snicker at her hair.

Dumas had gotten her afro straightened out and her hair dyed a copper blonde, and Billy thought that she looked ridiculous.

After taking a deep breath, Billy squeezed his left eye shut and lined her up in his rifle sight again, but then a drop of sweat singed its way into his right eye.

“Damn it!” Wiping his eye with a sweaty palm only made it worse, so he crawled up to the front of the van to get a kleenex to wipe it with.

Getting back into position, he blinked several times, took a deep breath, and lined Dumas up again. She had only gone down two steps, then after going down another step, she stopped to catch her breath. As she held onto the rail, she got ready to go down another step.

Billy started to press down on the trigger again, but then he stopped to question himself again. The smell of the gun oil suddenly started to make him feel nauseous. Looking at Dumas struggle her way down the stairs, Billy realized that in a way, she was already getting what she deserved.

Dumas was orca fat, and that in itself must cause her suffering in several ways; poor health, limited mobility, and people must often gawk and laugh at her. She must feel dreadful about her weight and maybe, Billy thought to himself, that was why she was so mean to others.

No, he realized that killing her would only put her out of her misery. Yes, he would be doing the world a favor, but he would also be doing her a favor.

Then he remembered how she had kidnapped his daughter under the guise of the self-righteous, hypocritical justice system, and for that, she did deserve a bullet to the brain.

It wasn’t only that though. In most of his encounters with her, Dumas had often blatantly lied to him, and Billy always found it to be an incredible insult to his intelligence.

And she had constantly provoked him. So many times he had to hold back the urge to get up out of his chair and kick her in the teeth like she deserved. But, he didn’t do it for Peyton’s sake.

Then he thought about Ayla. Dumas had stolen her baby virtually right after she had been in labor for a full day. She just walked right into the hospital room with her lies and kidnapped their baby. Billy remembered the smug look on her face when Dumas had left the hospital room.

Again Billy questioned what he was thinking of doing. It was the ultimate sin, but then again, the police, lawyers, judges, and social-workers did many illegal things. Then they helped each other cover them up.

Then again, if he got caught, his life would be ruined. Then he’d be singing to the boys in cellblock C or wherever, instead of up on a stage.

Billy came to the full realization that there was no way that he could handle a cage. Then he thought to himself, then you better make damn sure that you never get caught.

The first bullet hit Dumas right in the center of her stomach. Stopping, she looked down in disbelief and put a hand on her belly. Then she pulled her hand away, looking wide eyed at her blood stained palm.

The second bullet went in through the front of her right shoulder and tore out the back. Dumas started to spin around, but her legs gave out and falling to her knees she lurched forward as the third bullet penetrated her left thigh. Then she fell forward and rolled down the stairs.

A man who was walking up the stairs saw her roll on by, so he rushed to her side to help, then called 911. A small crowd formed around her, and after taking her pulse, the man said, “Stand back everyone and give her some air.”

As he heard the wail of a siren in the distance, adrenaline filled Billy’s veins with an excitement that was only comparable to when he sang up on stage in front of a huge audience.

Starting up the van, he carefully made his way into traffic. He had intentionally aimed his shots in order to maim Dumas and not to kill her, and as he looked over at the scene on the stairs, it reminded him of a group of people standing around a beached whale wondering what to do.

Then with a smug grin on his face, Billy said out loud, “ Well, I guess Walt was right…all things do return.”

 

These are exerts from Bound To Change: Imagine The Possibilities an original book by Herb Norcott.

*Any resemblance of these fictitious characters to real people is purely intentional, however the story is just a figment of my imagination.

 

 

 

 

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