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Author Topic: One Life: Episode 7 IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT (last page)  (Read 71663 times)
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« Reply #285 on: November 19, 2007, 10:48:52 pm »

Um...yeah, there was an intended update today. Maybe I should stop entering so many contests? tomorrow then, lovelies!

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« Reply #286 on: November 20, 2007, 06:23:23 am »

This is so cool! I feel so bad for John, having a)no idea about what his wife was really doing, and b)being in total denial about everything. if he isn't careful, his brain might pop!

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« Reply #287 on: November 20, 2007, 06:58:50 am »

I'm so glad you're enjoying this! Hands down, I've worked the hardest on this story (my creativity is just starting to really come back after having written a novel).
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« Reply #288 on: November 20, 2007, 07:03:36 am »

Nothing like a novel and contests to get your imagination back into gear Wink I'm starting (yet) another story after one of my contest entries :angel:

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« Reply #289 on: November 20, 2007, 07:07:23 am »

What sucks is that I've been working on the first one (my baby!) for 6 years, on and off. I finally finished it sometime in June. I'm just now getting most of my creativity back! And what do I do? Start another one:lol: I must be a glutton for punishment. My English teacher agrees.

EDIT: Ok, a lot of stuff came up today with college (gah!). I'm hoping to squeeze in an update this weekend.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 06:27:13 pm by babyblue1387 » Logged

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« Reply #290 on: November 25, 2007, 08:21:12 pm »

Ugh, sorry it's been a while since I've updated. Things have been getting really hectic with the holidays and whatnot. But, here we are!

"So, Mr. Irving, I want to start by saying I'm very sorry about the way things have been handled. Maggie told me that you knew what she did for a living."


"Magdelena. Your wife."

"The two of you were...closer then?"

"You could say. She was the best man in my wedding. Really a phenomenal, strong, beautiful woman. You're a lucky man."

John swallowed hard. He felt like the temperature had gone up in the near-empty restaurant. Yet, how was he supposed to tell a mob boss to lay off his dead wife? Sal gave him a stern stare before clearing his throat.

"Is there something you want to say, Mr. Irving?"

"No. No, there's nothing to say, Mr. Monella. She was a wonderful woman."

Mr. Monella nodded. He turned to his accountant, Jeoffry Lannister, who pulled out the Irving account. The folder thudded on the table. The man to Mr. Monella's right pulled out a laptop. Sal cleared his throat.

"Well, I think we'll get down to business. You remember Mr. Lannister? He's in charge of your account. This is my secretary, Mr. Ruben Black. He'll be keeping written record of this meeting. This is a tape recorder. It will be keeping a vocal record of this meeting.

"Now, we've had some interesting developments in this case. Maggie told me you knew what she did, and that you'd agreed to keep your mouth shut. This isn't true. My wife told me you didn't respond to any of the signals we normally use. I'd like to apologize on her behalf for the threats. She gets a little emotional in her pregnancy. You are entitled to $450,000 because your wife was killed on the job. This can, and will, be deducted from the total debt you owe. Unfortunately, it was found that Maggie stopped honoring her contract. We had no way of monitoring her because she was on independent assignment."

"We've determined that your wife stiffed us out of $30,000. That has already been added to your overall debt," Mr. Lannister chimed in.

"$30,000! No. No, that can't be right!"

Sal Monella laughed. "Well, I'm paying Mr. Lannister a lot of money to keep track of these accounts. I should hope that he's keeping them in good order."

"All my wife did was work for a charity. How did she get involved with the mob? None of this really makes sense."

"Mr. Irving, please stop kidding yourself. Your wife, our Magdelena was a mob QUEEN. Here. All of my employees have a lockbox. Whatever they keep there is their business."

Sal slid a key and a slip of paper across the table toward John.

"Mr. Irving, I never dishonored your wife. She loved you with all of her heart, and I understand why she did everything she did. Still, I can't forgive her for turning her back on me like that. I wish I could, but I can't I'll give you a little more time to decide things before we go into detail about payment plans. Your debt still stands, and I expect ever dime to be paid back."

Somewhat shakily, John took the key and paper. He stood up to leave, but paused for a moment. He felt like he had to suspend belief in order to understand everything that was going on. Sal nodded at him, and John took that as his cue to leave.

As he walked to his car, John made up his mind to go visit that lockbox immediately. He hoped that could clear up this whole mess. When he got to the bank where the lockboxes were, John had the impression that all eyes were on him. Mostly everyone was well-dressed. Diamonds and gold and silver flashed off the lights in the ceiling. Few of the patrons turned to look, but the guards posted around the bank turned to him. A man in an expensive suit sauntered up to him.

"Can I help you, sir?"

"Um...yeah. I'm looking for this lockbox."

John handed the man the paper Sal had given him. The man's eyes grew wide.

"Oh my, my my. I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Magdelena was a wonderful woman. Here, Mr. Irving, all of Mr. Monella's employees are kept downstairs."

Downstairs turned out to be fifty feet underground in a titanium vault guarded by four armed guards. John was nervous. He didn't want to know what was in most of those lockboxes, and he wasn't so sure he wanted to know what was in his wife's. It was too late to turn back, though.

"Well, here we are, Mr. Irving. Do you have your key? Just insert it here, and I'll leave these two gentlemen to guard you."

John put the key in the box. The two guards had their backs to him as he opened the box. Inside, there were stacks and stacks of money. His jaw dropped. There two pieces of paper. John picked them up and read the note.

John melted to the floor, his head spinning. He didn't want to think of his wife this way. He didn't want to believe that she had lied to him about something so important. There was a number at the bottom of the paper. He contemplated calling the number  right away. When he pulled out his cell phone, John found that he had no desire to talk to anyone. He closed and locked the box.

"Are you finished, Mr. Irving?"

John nodded. The two armed guards led John back to the first floor. The man in the expensive suit waved at him as he left the bank. In his car, John angrily beat on the steering wheel. He rolled down the widows and let the cool spring air hit his hot sckin.

It didn't cool the anger and disappointment in his heart. John looked at the note again, and wished the words would change. He wished and hoped that it wouldn't be his wife's neat handwriting. Anything to mean it wasn't true. The paper remained the same. The address and phone number at the bottom remained a glaring reminder that his wife had lied to him for their entire relationship. Everything that he'd founded his love on was a lie. John pulled out of the lot and headed home.

At home, John tried to sleep, but the note always weighed heavily on his mind. He was thankful that the kids were in school. The silence allowed him to think things through, but his mind would entertain no other thoughts. It was clear to him what he must do. He didn't wasn't to think about the lies his wife had told, but the curiosity was there. John grabbed his keys and headed out.

The neighborhood was very upscale; it was typical suburbia. Every lawn was neatly manicured, every driveway had a nice car, every house was freshly painted. Birds chirped, and the sun shone brightly. John rolled his eyes. He pulled up in front of a neat, light blue house. Cautiously, he got out of the car and rang the doorbell. There was a little noise before the door opened. John couldn't have had a bigger shock.


John tried to talk. He tried to close his mouth, but his body wouldn't respond to his commands. The lady at the door smiled at him.

"John Irving. So nice to finally meet you."

The tears started welling up in John's eyes. The lady pulled him into a hug, but that was the last thing he wanted.

"We all loved Maggie. There's so much you need to know. I'm so sorry you had to loose her this way. None of us wanted this to happen."

The woman who looked just like his wife pulled him into the house. She sat him down on the couch before going into the kitchen.

"You like green tea with honey, right? It was Maggie's favorite."

John couldn't bring himself to say anything. It didn't matter because a minute late, a microwave beeped and the woman re-entered the room carrying two cups. She sat one down in front of John who took a sip.

"There's no need to beat around the bush. I'm Maggie's sister. Her twin, Sofia."

Sofia paused allowing John to digest the new information.

"So her family's not dead?"

"No. It's...Maggie loved you so much. he didn't want you to get involved in this side of her life. The only way to do it was to keep you in the dark. You see, you could say mob services is like our family business. The Monella family has been doing business with our family for a long time. Sal grew up with us. He is a business man, though, and we didn't expect him to cut Maggie much slack. He could have done something, though. Dad's pretty sure Sal had her taken out."

"Taken out?! He told me he didn't know she'd stiffed him. He told me that he just found out, and tacked more money onto my debt!"

Sofia nodded. "I'm almost sure that Sal knew she'd bailed on him. Sal's not careless. He knows where and what his employees are doing. He was probably pissed that Maggie wanted out."

John felt like a pawn. He'd probably played right into Sal's plan. He didn't have the money to pay the man back. He didn't want to pay the man who'd had his wife killed.

"Tell you what, John. I'll send you to see Dad. He'll help you out with your 'Sal problem.'"

"What if I go to the police?"

"And the police would do what?" Sofia exploded. "Your wife worked for the mob! Is this how you want your children to remember her?As the police will paint her to be? A beast?"

John felt pain and hopelessness. He couldn't go to the police. He didn't want to pay.

"John, I don't think you really understand what's going on here. Maggie and I are mob princesses. You call the police, I go down, my family goes down, you go down."

"I go down?"

"You'd be considered an accomplice. But here's what you can do. GO visit my father. He'll be expecting you. call him Father. He likes that."

Sofia handed John a slip of paper. Another phone number, another address. Sofia nodded at John. The two stood up, and Sofia pulled him into a hug.

"Be careful John, It's a dangerous game you're going to play. Just follow Father's advice."

Inside the supposed safety of his car, John wondered if he really should get involved. Going to see Father could be the death of him. Still, he knew Father was expecting him, and he didn't want to blow Father off. Sofia nodded at John from the window. He started his car and drove off.

After driving across town, John arrived at the address written down on the paper. There were people outside waiting for him. A man in a dark suit came up to his car.

"Good after noon, Mr. Irving. Father is waiting for you."

Slightly shaking, John followed the man inside the big house. The inside was splendidly decorated. John took a couple deep breaths as he followed the man in the dark suit down a hall filled with pictures and expensive vases and flowers of many sorts. There was a door at the end of the hall. The man opened the door and ushered John in.

The wood panelled room was warm and inviting. An older man worked at a desk as a fire crackled in the stone fireplace, despite the nice weather they were having. The man didn't acknowledge John's presence, even after the man in the navy suit closed the door after leaving. There was a heavy sigh, and the old man sealed an envelope.

"John, please make yourself comfortable."

John shuddered. It felt weird having everyone know who you were.

"John. The light of my daughter's life. How are the kids getting along? Are you alright?"

"We're...we're managing. I suppose we're doing ok. Lauren and John are doing better than I thought they would. They're in a lot of activities, now."

Father nodded. "Have you met with Sal yet?"



"He told me how much money I owe him. I can't believe Maggie would ever take out that much money."

"Here's the thing, John. Sal Monella is jealous of you. He always was jealous of you. Magdelena would never borrow such massive sums of money from anyone. What this is, is blackmail. Sal was pissed when she married you. He'd spent no less that $2 million trying to woo her. Now he's making you pay for his foolishness."

"But he's married."

"He and Seraphim haven't been married too long. Most of that $2 million came from his youth, anyway."

John felt anger and hatred building inside of him. He'd been cheated. His wife had been payed. Sal had taken them both for fool.s Father looked at John and smiled grimly.

"I could offer you a chance for revenge."

"Revenge? Against a mob boss? No, no no. I--I've got my children to think about. I can't do anything so reckless."

"There's a fire in you boy. You'd just let it die?"

"What can I do?"

"What Sal has done, killing my daughter, cannot be forgiven. I'm not got to let that slide. Help me bring Sal Monella down."

John took a deep breath. He could join one mob, or another. He was angry. He hated this man, not only for killing his wife, but for trying to make him pay as well. Still, he had his children to think of, and couldn't just do whatever his impulses told him to do. There were others to think about. Father sighed.

"You will find that Sal can be a kind man. He will be your best friend so long as you keep the money flowing. The moment you are late, though, I can promise you that he will become a different person."

"My children--"

"They are all I have left of my dear Magdelena. You can be sure that I will take good care of them."

The two men looked intently at each other. Father could see the pain and turmoil in John's eyes. John was the first to break the state.

"I can't do it."

"You and your children will be safer with me than without."

"I can't take that risk."

And yet you would risk Sa'ls wrath? That's just too bad. He knows you're here. I can guarantee that."

John turned away from Father.

"I just can't bring myself to do that."

"You know, just by coming here you've signed a contract."

"What? How? That doesn't make any sense."

"And you're telling me this whole situation make sense to you? Somehow, I think not. IF you weren't curious, you wouldn't have shown up here. If you weren't willing to do something against Sal Monella, you wouldn't have stayed this long. If you had intended to just dish out all that money..."

John had no answer. He didn't like being read like a book. He didn't want to pay Sal Monella all that money. Finding out this was blackmail had only made him agrier.

"You are reluctant, and I understand that. Here's my business card. Go home and think about this situation. You'll do what's right for your family. You'll be back."

John took the card. There was one name and one phone number. Anatoli. John recognized it to be his wife's maiden name. The two men shook hands, and John was escorted out of the house. There was much to think about. John knew there was a lot to what Father had said. Anger ebbed and flowed inside him. There were choices he had to make. Decisions abounded, and all he felt was confusion. Do the right thing or...

But there was no "right thing," was there?
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« Reply #291 on: November 26, 2007, 11:44:20 am »

Wow, sneaky bastard. This is shaping up really well Smiley

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« Reply #292 on: November 26, 2007, 11:54:16 am »

YAY great update Cheesy i wonder what he will do???

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« Reply #293 on: November 26, 2007, 04:59:46 pm »

I'm glad you guys are enjoying it. It took way longer than I expected them to. Whoo!

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« Reply #294 on: November 27, 2007, 09:10:30 am »

wow by the way. this is super impressive. waiting anxiously for an update.

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« Reply #295 on: December 02, 2007, 09:33:10 pm »

Another update. They should be coming a little more frequently as the semester is about to end, but I make no promises on that one;)

"From here on our, everything we do is illegal."

"But why would she hide this from us?"

"Your mother wanted to protect us all."

"She didn't do that, though, did she?"

"Lauren, your mother--"

"Don't lie to me! I've had enough lies! She didn't protect us at all. She left this! Where are we going to get $2 million from?"

"Lauren, mom didn't want us to be involved. Didn't you hear what dad said? We weren't supposed to have this debt."

"I'm going crazy. I-I can't take this."

"Lauren, please! This isn't any easier for me or your brother."

Still, John pulled his daughter into an embrace. He felt her body shake as she began to cry. Had he done the right thing? Was the truth really worth destroying the image of his wife?

"I won't let anything happen to you. I promise to protect you. Always."

John pulled his son into the hug, too. They all had to fit this new Magdelena, this new character, into their lives.

"Go get some rest, kids. It's been a hard day. I think we could all use...some rest."

The air seemed to float out of John at the same time a weight was placed on his shoulders. None of them deserved this. A soft rain beat down on the windows, and John allowed himself to sink into the ambiance around him as his children went to their rooms.

Five minutes later found John sitting in the kitchen, in the dark, a half empty bottle of whiskey his only companion. His now murky brain wouldn't grasp any of the events he was trying to digest. His vision swam and John believed he saw his beautiful Maggie in front of him. He reached out to the Maggie he knew, but it didn't matter because the image swam before him until it became Magdelena Anatoli - Hitwoman extrodinaire. Not his wife. His drunken mind saw "clues" everywhere. Business trips, extravagant gifts. He was a fool not to see this sooner. But who suspects their wife of being a hitwoman?

The doorbell rand at an early hour. Still somewhat asleep, Lauren answered the door. She quickly woke up when faced with the man who would cause her family so much trouble. Lauren narrowed her eyes. Before she even realized what she was doing, Lauren raised her hand and slapped Sal Monella. Fear didn't trump the anger in her heart. She looked the villain right in the eye and dared him to do something.

"Please, let's not be stupid, kid."

Sal violently pushed Lauren aside. When John entered the living room, he saw Lauren on the floor, and Sal's angry face; fear rose in him. Sal roughly grabbed john's shoulder and nearly flung him into the kitchen. The front door closed with a loud bang. At the back of the house, John could hear his son stirring. John couldn't suppress the shaking. There was an undeniable force of evil and malice in his house, and there was nothing he could do to make it go away.

"You've got a beautiful daughter there, John. I'd be very careful with her. Don't let her attitude get out of control. I don't take very kindly to insults."

John noticed Sal's slightly reddened cheek.

"Here is the contract, your payment plan. $1,000 a month, every month,  until your debt is paid off. You will pay interest. I do not accept late payments, and you'd better be glad I didn't add extra money for that little girl's attitude."

John didn't want to sign the contract, but felt that he didn't really have too much choice. Under the watchful gaze of Sal Monella, John Irving found a pen and scribbled his signature on the designated lines.

"Heh, you're a rational man, John. stay the hell away from the Anatoli family. They're no good for you. Bitterness and jealousy spreads like the plague. Seven days until your first payment is due."

Sal walked out of the house, giving Lauren an evil look on the way. When the door closed, Lauren and John Jr. came running to their father.

"What are we going to do? We can't do this!"

"Dad, he put his hands on her! He pushed Lauren!"

John had no comforting words to offer his children. He had no comforting words to offer himself. He couldn't even protect them. They were being watched. Their home had become a prison. What choice did he have but to pay?

When Jeoffy Lannister and a couple "collection agents" came exactly seven days later, John wrote out a check for $1,000. Mr. Lannister shook his hand and said it was a pleasure to do business with him. John bit his tongue. The men were barely out the door before he let loose.

"This isn't business, this is extortion!"

Mr. Lannister slightly turned his head. John knew he had been heard. What did it matter, thoug? He didn't even get to grieve for the murder of his wife. This whole mes had started three days after the funeral. These people were ruthless, mean, insensitive. They didn't care. Why should John respect them if they wouldn't respect him.

"They're bigger than you, and they'll kill you. You don't have the heart to kill a man."

John slumped against the wall. A vicious cycle was forming.

For four months, John endured. For four months, John payed, too afraid to contact the Anatoli family. Four months and things had finally begun to settle down into a routine. John hadn't realized just how much money Magdelena brought into the house. He couldn't afford to continue paying $1,000 every month. With seven days until Sal's minions showed up again, John reluctantly drove back to the bank to get the money Magdelena had set aside.

"Where'd this money come from?"

"Magdelena had it in her lockbox."

Sal sneered. "That's my money anyway. now where's that thousand?"

John was floored. "This money is to cover the debt! There's you thousand! $400,000 right there!"

"Didn't you her me? This is my money anyway. Magdelena was stealing from me."

"Stealing? Maggie would never steal."

"Shows how much you know."

"I'm her husband--"

"But she didn't trust you enough to tell you she worked for me."

"What the hell is your problem? What more do you want from me? You take this $400,000 and you deduct that from our debt. What do you want us to do? Go Broke? I've got my kids to take care of, you thieving bastard!"

John didn't know what hit him--man or truck. There was a loud booming voice that sounded like thunder and rattled his brain.

"Two thousand next month, and you better watch your mouth!"

The front door slammed and the children came running to where John was slumped against a kitchen counder, dazed. His vision swam, but he was moderately sure Lauren was crying. His face hurt like all heck, but he felt good inside. He'd stood up to Sal Monella, mob boss. He could do it. He would take a stand. He would defend his family.

The next month, Sal came again. The two men stared at each other. John knew he was on thin ice--one doesn't retaliate against the mob. Still, John had his children to think of.

"Two thousand."

"You took it."

"Let me show you something."

John sat at the table with his arms crossed. Sal reached into his bag and produced the contract John had signed.

"Do you see this?"

Without warning, Sal struck John with the heavy stack of paper. John was flung out of his chair. His heart told him to fight back, but his mind kept him from making an even bigger mistake.

"Do you see this contract? Do I need to remind you of what it says?"

Sal continually beat on John, but John wouldn't give in. Sal was becoming frustrated. He started to punch and kick John as well as beating him with the large stack of papers. Finally raging and out of breath, Sal Monella ceased his savage attack.

"Don't be stupid. I'll be expecting $3,000 next month."

Again, the front door slammed, and again Jay and Lauren came rushing to their father's aid.

"Dad, please. You can't keep doing this . You're not protecting us, and you're no good to us if he kills you. Lauren and I need you alive."

John looked at his son and smiled through a bruised and bloody face. Lauren dabbed at her father's injuries with a damp cloth.

"Next month we're paying him. You can't afford not to. Getting beaten within an inch of sanity isn't ok. Not every month, not ever."

John touched his daughter's face. She was so loving, so much like the Magdelena he thought he knew.

"We're not paying that man another dime."

"Dad this not the time to be stubborn! You can't keep taking these beatings. Look what they're doing to Lauren! Do you know she cries herself to sleep every night? Her grades are sufferening! We can't keep watching you do this."

"I'm doing this for you!"

"No dad, you not. This is all about your ego. You found out you can stand up to this man, and now you're going to do that just because you can!"

John struggled to stand up, struggled to look at his son. His legs were weak, his body unstable. Lauren came to his side to support him.

"Do you think I like getting beat up, John? Tell me, does this look like fun to you?"

"Dad, listen, this isn't good for you--"

"I try to protect you--"

"You're not trying to protect us--"

"And this is how you act?"

"If you were trying to protect us, you wouldn't act like you've got some kind of crazy deathwish!"

"I'm not going to let that man take everything we've got. It's just not going to happen. I've worked too damn hard--"

"That was mom's money."


"Mom made most of the money."


"Don't think I haven't noticed. Since she died, we've had to skimp on a lot of things. If you were making so much money, nothing would have change."

"Don't you dare!"

"Dad, Jay, please! Don't do this!"

Father and son stared at each other, a quiet resentment growing between them. The protected no longer felt safe. The protector no longer felt able to shelter. Lauren felt lost, left to bridge the growing gap. She so desperately wanted to believe that her mother wasn't a bad woman. How could she ignore the posthumous pain they were being put through?

"Is that what you really think of me, Jay? Do you really think I'm worthless?"

"I think we need to pay Mr. Monella."

"I give him this, and then what? You suppose he'll leave us alone? Do you think he'll just go away?"

"I'm not stupid, dad, but what if you're doing more harm than good. Call the police--"

"So he can kill us?"


Tears poured wildly from Lauren's eyes.

"It's killing me to see you going after each other like this..."

John melted into a chair as Lauren stormed out of the kitchen, dragging her older brother with her. Their family was falling apart, but John was determined to keep something resembling a family together because he did truly love his children. He didn't want them to be forced to fend for themselves. He was their father. He was their last hope for a normal life.

In the cabinet under the counter was a half empty bottle of whiskey. Desperate and lonely, John dug in. Through the glass, he was able to conjure the image of his wife. His dear Magdelena, through whom all things started to change. He looked to her distorted form for strength and wisdom, but nothing was to be found at the bottom of the whiskey bottle. Maggie started to fade, and John dug out another bottle, hoping to keep her with him for just a little while longer.

"You're going to kill yourself, babe," she said to him. Or was he just imagining things?

Another glass made her image clearer. He could smell her perfume. She smelled of sweet jasmine. The smell of heaven. She faded and blurred as John began to cry, and came back into focus as he downed another glass.

"John, pace yourself."

"I don't want to see you go."


"I love you so much and now I'm lost without you."

There was the soft pressure of Maggie's hands on his shoulders. The smell of her sweet jasmine was closer, and he could feel her breath on his neck. She nuzzled close to him, and he closed his eyes, bathing in the presence of his wife.

"Don't leave me, Maggie."

She sat down opposite him. The sun was beginning to rise, the day was coming.

"It's too late for that, John."

"Don't leave me--"

"I already have."

"Stay with me."

"I'm always with you."

"Where? Where, Maggie."

"Here, in your heart."

Tears and whiskey and pain made the world unclear. John wasn't truly sure who he was talking to. It couldn't be his Magdelena. She was dead. And yet this woman was so like his beautiful Maggie. She smelled of sweet jasmine, her skin was so soft. John could smell the shampoo she used.

"Help me. Please Maggie, I'm lost."

She cooed softly in his ear as if he were a saddened child. Soft hands took the glass and whiskey bottle away from him. Sweet jasmine laid his head down the on kitchen table. Heaven covered him with a blanket. Angels helped him to sleep.

"Help me. Help..."

"Go to Father. Hi will be your salvation."

Delicate words, suggestions of whispers, drifted into his ears. They nestled themselves in the back of his mind as he turned to the back door. She was leaving, but he was too tired to reach a hand out to her, too tired to move his mouth. She was leaving again, but there was nothing he could do to stop her. She was leaving. She was gone. He was alone.

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« Reply #296 on: December 03, 2007, 11:21:16 am »

Aaawwwww poor john good update:)

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« Reply #297 on: December 04, 2007, 07:40:09 pm »

Oh my god! Wow! That was brilliant. Tch, men and their egos! Poor Lauren, from the sounds of things, if life doesn't start getting easier, she's likely to go mad! Can't wait for the next update!

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« Reply #298 on: December 05, 2007, 06:38:52 am »

I might update today, but either way, I promise you more tears, more beatings, more family destruction, more love, more more more!

Glad you guys are enjoying this.

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« Reply #299 on: December 08, 2007, 11:56:59 pm »

Somehow, today translates to three days later! I hope this isn't too graphic, but if it is, let me know and I'll tone it down. I tried to imply as much as possible. I promise, this is as graphic as the story will get.

A bell tolled for the Irving family. Lauren looked around nervously. She was glad bother Jay and her father were out. She only hoped she was doing the right thing. A knock at the frond door sent her heart racing.

"Oh? You're father's not home? I hope he doesn't think it'll get him out of paying."

"No, I have the money."

"Let's hope you're a little more reasonable than your father."

Lauren pretended not to hear the remark. She suspiciously eyes the big burly me who hung around the living room while Sal took care of business in the kitchen. She showed the group the stack of money.

"This is the $3,000 owed to you from the past months."

Sal looked at the money and smiled.

"That wasn't so hard, now was it?"

"Yes, Mr. Monella. Actually, it was. We don't have that kind of money now that mom's gone. We're stretched thin, even though dad tries not to show it. We're doing the best we can. We still have other bills."

"Well, that's not my problem, now is it?"

Sal took the stack of bills, stuffed them in his pocket and began heading out of the kitchen. Lauren felt lost and hopeless. Her family was going to the poor house. She couldn't allow that to happen.

"You loved my mother, right?"

Sal Monella stopped walking, his back to Lauren.

"You loved my mother. If any ounce of you still cares for her, then please, for her, cut us some slack."

"You're mother knew exactly what she was getting into."

"You loved her. What has changed so much that you'd turn your back on her? Didn't you want her to be happy?"

Sal laughed evilly. Lauren felt her eyes sting. She clinched her fists, afraid to lash out too much.

"Here's the deal, kid. Your family owes me money. Your family pays me money. Your mother's dead. Dead, kid. She has no more bearing on this situation."

"But you loved her--"

"Say that one more time, and you'll regret it for the rest of your life! Believe me when I say I can make you pay, and not just money. This isn't truly about your money. Here I was thinking you were smarter than your father. He's not the only idealistic fool in this house."

Lauren couldn't take the punishment anymore. Her anger boiled over, even though she knew her actions were dangerous. She flung herself at Sal, landing a solid punch to his jaw. His bodyguards had been just as unprepared for the attack as Sal had. Lauren was able to get in a couple good hits, even kneeing one guard in the groin. Her flurry of attacks didn't last long. She tried to steel herself against the retaliation she knew would come.

But it didn't.

"Don't hurt her. Heh. The kid's got spunk. Unfortunately for her, spunk isn't going to do her any good. You hit like your mother." Sal spat blood on the floor, then came close to her, grabbing her face. "You're just as defiant as Maggie ever was. We'll break you of that habit. Don't worry."

The men left the house. Lauren lay on the cool kitchen floor, shaking. What was wrong with her? Hitting a mob boss was a stupid thing to do. There was not telling what kind of consequences would be put on her family now. She was sure they'd have to pay more. But pay more, how?

A car pulled into the driveway, and Lauren recognized the familiar rumble of her father's sports car. He and Jay were home. Quickly, Lauren sucked up any fear and anxiety that she might have been feeling. Whatever happened she couldn't let her father know she'd paid Sal with her life savings, or that she attacked him.

The next month, Sal didn't come to collect payment, though his thugs were watching them again. The rain was falling heavily, and John took comfort in the curtain of grey that separated him from the men in black suits. They were nearly washed out in the haze. He could see their vague shapes; ever were they a reminder of pain, suffering, and extortion. How much longer was he really willing to endure such torture?

A couple hours later, the rain had let up significantly. The kids would be coming home from their activities soon. Outside, the men in black coats still kept watch over the house.

"They're like vultures."

The kitchen door opened, and Jay came quickly to stand by his father at the front window.

"They're watching us like hawks! What're we going to do? You've really pissed him off, dad. They were even at the school."

John tried to ignore his son's accusations. He wanted to believe his relationship with his son had improved somewhat. There was no denying the ebb and flow. Still, he wished he was father time. John just wanted to go back to a time before any of this happened. Even if it meant going back before Magdelena.

"Where's Lauren?"

She was cold and scared. She didn't like the way the passenger was staring at her. He had a wild look in his eyes that said he obeyed very few rules. For a month, she'd been living with the knowledge that retaliation would come. She'd known and expected something. It was the not knowing, the waiting, the expecting that got to her.

"He said scare her."

It was all for her 'benefit.' The other men undoubtedly knew what was going on. They didn't need to be reminded of the plan.

"He didn't set any rules."

If he was trying to scare her, it was working. The guy reached back to squeeze her knee. Then he tilted the rearview mirror so she could see herself. She'd been trying to be strong. She didn't want to show fear, but she looked like the condemned, the guilty, the damned. She'd already stood trial, and now was on her way to the execution.

"I can do whatever I want."

Lauren squeezed her eyes closed, willing her imagination to not come up with something terrible.

"You know, I always wanted Magdelena. She was a goddess."

They pulled up in front of an old building. They'd cut off the lights, so Lauren couldn't tell what kind of building. Before she could gain her hearings, she was yanked out of the car and forced on her feet. They hadn't bound and gagged her. She didn't dare to anything for fear that her punishment be worse.

They pushed her past doorways, deeper into the darkness until she was sure her heart would explode from fear and anticipation of pain.

The dimmest of lights was thrown on and Lauren's imagination ran wild. She imagined she saw an interrogation room.

"You guys won't be needed any more. You can wait outside."

Lauren looked at the guards pleadingly. They took no notice of her from behind their dark glasses. Lauren and the wild-eyed man were left alone, and the thought scared her.

"Sit, my pretty. Sit, sit, pretty Magdelena."

Lauren didn't want to correct him. She could see the gun at his hop.

"Sal doesn't like such rude, blatant defiance, beautiful girl. I'm here to punish you."

He walked around behind her, caressing her head. His grip tightened on her chin, forcing her to look up. There was mania in his eyes. Something in him was unhinged.

"This tiny little mouth of yours could be your undoing. Yes, yes, beautiful."

He stood in front of her again.

"Please, sir, don't kill me." Lauren was crying without abandon now. Her eyes were red, and she couldn't breathe.

"Kill? Oh, no, no. I'm not the killer. Just the punisher. The...enforcer if you will."

He took out a pair of surgical gloves and put them on before quickly balling his fist and punching Lauren hard in the face. the force of the blow sent her flying out of the chair. When she realised her nose was bleeding, Lauren screamed.

"Dad, I'm sure everything's fine. Maybe practice just ran late."

"Two hours. She hasn't answered her phone. It's getting dark."

Both father and son were worried sick. A cloud covered the Irving household; there would be no happiness this night. A fog crept steadily into John's heart. He knew something was wrong, yet what could he do about it? Sure he could call the police. He'd wanted to call the police ever since he'd seen Mrs. Monella at the store again. Only fear stayed his hand. Suppose he was to call the police. Sure, his daughter may be returned home safely, but what was the price he'd have to pay? Would they come back for him, even angrier than they'd been before? Would they kill Lauren before the police could find her?

"Dad, I'm scared."

"I know, son. I feel so hopeless. What can we do?"

"Pay him. We have to give him the money, and he'll go away."

"Go away? I hardly thin he'll just disappear. You saw how he didn't just disappear when I gave him that $400,000."

"It's better than waiting for them to kill us one by one."

"To pay him? We won't have money left over for us! You won't be going to college, Lauren won't be going to college. We'll have to sell the house...we can't do this."

"And we can't just sit here, either."

Lauren had retreated. She pulled herself out of the situation in hopes to pretend these things weren't happening to her. She could see her bruised and bloody body crumpled on the floor. The deranged man was hovering above her. He was touching her...touching her. Lauren closed her eyes, but the pain was enough to bring her back from the place inside herself where she thought she was safe. She knew what was being done to her. Blood and tears mixed on her face. She cried harder. It was about the only thing she could do. She was too weak to fight him off.

There was a burst of light behind her, and the dim room became bright. The maniac's face was now  clearly displayed before her eyes.. Satisfaction. She hated him, hated those eyes. She hated him. With the light came sound. Her world was suddenly aflame with light and sound. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, then, with a boom, burst forward at the rightful speed. Lauren could see that new people had entered the world of damage of pain. There were voices and screaming, and Sal Monella himself was there. He immediately yanked the wild-eyed man off Lauren.

"What is wrong with you?!"

"I'm doing what you asked--"

There was a loud, sickening crunch as Sal punched the man in the ribs. He screamed. Sal followed by breaking the man's nose.

"I don't like defiance."

The man was thrown to the floor.

"She's 16! She's a child!"

This new side of the mob boss confused and horrified Lauren. He had come to defend her, to protect her, yet it was him who'd ordered her beaten in the first place.

"You said scare her--"

"I didn't say beat her! I didn't say--"

Sal didn't finish. He delivered a sever kick to the man's groin. A scream of extreme pain flooded the old warehouse. Lauren was at once intrigued and repulsed. She forced herself to watch, to keep her mind off the thing that had been done to her.

When her tormentor lay in a heap on the ground, a barely recognizable heap of flesh in a pool of blood, Sal acknowledged her.

"Come here, Lauren."

His voice was gentle, not the harsh tones she'd heard moments earlier. There was rage in his eyes, but not at her--at the man who hurt her. Shakily, she walked over to him. He took off his jacked and gently draped it around her shoulders. With a handkerchief, he wiped away the blood and tears on her face. He took out a gun and placed it in her hands. She leaned against him. He supported her. She felt protected. He tightened her grip on the gun. She raised it to meet the mass of groaning flesh and blood that had once attacked her. He anchored her to the ground. She looked at him. He nodded encouragement. She felt powerful.

"If this isn't what you want, say anything, and you won't have to. Anything at all."

Lauren said nothing. She knew what she was doing was wrong. She was about to kill a man. Why, then, did she feel no remorse? Had her hatred consumed her so quickly? Had something inside her died? Or had something been awakened?

"Please don't--"

She pulled the trigger. Once. Twice. Three times. She pulled and pulled until no more bullets came out. Then she pulled again. He was behind her. He was supporting her. He was showing her how to protect herself. The man who had killed her was dead.
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