Chapter 7: God's Salvation
Daniel woke, his face wet with tears. It wasn’t like him to have such vivid dreams, but since meeting Joshua he had been haunted by intense dreams that caused him to wake crying like a heartbroken widow. Sitting up, he glanced at the clock that sat at his bedside. Groaning, he realised he had slept in far too late. It was 11:15 am. Pulling the covers back, he made his way to the bathroom.
He knew he would have to contact his superior to tell him of his progress, but deciding to give Cayne another chance he chose to let them wait. Of course they would be furious, but what could he do? He didn’t want to really admit that he was struggling, not when he did so well with Joshua. This was his time to prove himself. He had no aspirations like some, to move up the career ladder. He didn’t care for Bishop or Cardinal. He enjoyed what he did, but his reputation was important. He needed to be known for being good at what he did. So for that reason he had trust in himself. She would call. He had to believe that.
He pulled from his case his wash bag, and the notes made on Cayne fell onto the floor. Kneeling down, he started to collect the stray papers, but instead of putting them away he found himself sitting down and reading through what he had from the previous night. He wanted to know what had happened for her to have become so suspicious, and he already sensed that she was much more volatile than her brother.
There was something else. He felt different around her than Joshua. At first, he figured it was because of her sex, but then it was even different to being in the club. She was magnetic and he knew it was a strange word for him to use, but he couldn’t describe it as anything else. He reacted when he was near her and that made him a little uneasy. He didn’t like it when things changed. He enjoyed being solid and reliable. It was safer. Catching a glimpse of the clock, he put down the papers and hurried to the shower. He wanted to be ready just in case God was on his side and Cayne would ring.
‘Hey, babes, what in God’s name are you doing? Are you okay?’
Cayne opened her eyes and found herself trying to focus on a blurry image of Mary. She tried to move and realised that she was laid upon the bathroom floor, which would explain why her body ached. The skin on her face felt tight as she tried to move.
‘Cayne, you okay?’ Mary repeated grabbing her arm.
‘I’m fine, I must have just fallen asleep,’ she replied, using Mary to hoist herself to her feet.
‘Fallen asleep my arse,’ Mary snapped. ‘There’s blood all over your face. I’m calling the doctor.’
‘No. Don’t. Just give me a minute.’
Mary held her hands up in defeat and left her alone. Cayne went to the mirror and saw the reason for her skin feeling tight. Dark brown blood stained her face. She had no memory of how she had ended up upon the floor or even feeling pain if she hit her head. It was as though time had been lost.
She started to cry as she scrubbed her face clean. If the attacks were happening again she had no idea how she was going to cope. They always made her feel so vulnerable. Also, there would be no chance of hiding it from Mary and the thought of her friend looking at her as though she was some sort of freak upset her. Last time Mary had bought the story that she had some form of eczema, but that wouldn't work now. But could she never hide blackouts. Mary was not stupid, she'd work it out and want more answers. She needed to find help. Any help.
As she reached for the towel, she noticed on the floor the business card the priest left. Bending down she picked it up and looked at the number for a moment. Maybe this was a sign, maybe it was time to end it and who better than a priest to help combat her demons.
Daniel sat in the Smokey Jo’s cafe surprised and relieved that Cayne had finally called. He sipped his coffee and willed the caffeine to work its magic and relieve his exhaustion. The cafe seemed to be quiet considering the dinner hour. The walls were filled with black and white pictures of movie legends of bygone days and even the waitress looked as though she had emerged from a fifties film with her blue nylon uniform covered with a white apron. In her hand, a coffee jug seemed to be a permanent fixture as she filled customers cups. He hated these types of places. He was used to real coffee houses and excellent restaurants. Even in Rome, the tourist places had more class than this.
Outside the sky was dull and there was a light drizzle that barely touched the windows, but was heavy enough to wet the ground.
‘I’m sorry I’m late.’
Daniel glanced up and saw what he thought was a much more relaxed girl, even though the dark circles beneath her eyes told him she’d barely slept. Her blond hair was covered beneath a soft peaked hat and her thick parker zipped to the chin. Sitting down, she started to unzip it slightly and Daniel took it has a good sign. She was prepared to listen. The waitress came to their table and Cayne ordered a coffee.
‘I’m grateful that you called me back. I realise what I told you must have come as a shock.’
‘It was. It’s not every day news. But I kinda believe you. I just want to know what happens now?’ Cayne asked.
‘I have few more questions if you don’t mind,’ Daniel asked reaching into his brief case and pulling out his notepad.
‘What no fancy gadget?’ she quipped.
Daniel smiled. ‘No, I prefer pen and paper.’
‘So may I carry on?’
Cayne grabbed her cup with two hands as though it was a protective charm. Daniel waited for her to respond and when she nodded, he relaxed into the bench.
‘Well, the first thing I need to explain is that it is essential that you understand the importance of what I told you last night, because we need to make sure you are who we think you are before we travel to Rome.’
‘Wow, Rome!’ Cayne exclaimed.
Daniel found himself smiling at her.
‘Well, you’d better ask away.’
Cayne felt herself start to relax in the priest’s company and the coffee was helping a great deal. After sorting herself out that morning she had given Mary a story that she had got drunk and passed out. Mary had asked why she’d got drunk on her own and how it wasn’t like her. Cayne lied and told her that she’d She wasn’t sure whether her friend believed her or not, but there was no time to worry about it. She needed to find out what was going on first.
‘My first question is an obvious one. What is your faith?’ Daniel asked.
‘Nothing like going for the kill,’ Cayne laughed. ‘I was brought up in an open house with open views, so, I suppose I am open to all possibilities.’
‘Was you baptised?’
‘I was too young to remember and it never came up. We didn’t go to church though.’
She watched as he scribbled down her answers and took a mouthful of coffee waiting for his next question.
‘With that in mind what are your thoughts on God or the Bible?’
‘Does it really matter?’
Cayne could feel her relaxed mood wane starting to guess where his questioning was heading. The warmth of the cafe began to feel uncomfortable as the condensation on the windows began to block out the view and she pulled down her zip further and opened her coat to try and cool herself down. She couldn't lose her cool. Not here in front of everyone. Just breathe and be calm and she'd get through this.
‘No, I suppose it doesn’t,’ Daniel answered, his eyes still on the paper.
‘What faith is my brother?’
Daniel looked up and saw she’d caught him off guard. It was question he wasn’t expecting and he started to look just as uncomfortable as he had earlier that morning.
‘I can’t really say,’ he answered.
‘Because this is about you.’
Daniel could feel the atmosphere start to change as the humid air carried a chill. So much so the hair on his arms bristled. He had to keep her spirits high or he would end up empty handed and would have start all over again to gain her confidence. He didn't have the time or the energy, because already she was draining him. But the problem was she wanted answers and his answers were probably not what she wanted to hear.
‘It’s obviously an important question or else you wouldn’t have asked.’
He placed his pen down and took a deep breath. ‘He is a devout Christian.’
He watched as she slumped back in her seat her face seemed to look even paler than it had done before.
‘Like I said, this is all about you. Are you alright for me to carry on? There is just one more question.’ Cayne nodded. ‘Do you have any aspirations?’
Her fingers hurt as she fought to keep her temper. ‘What the fuck do you hope I’m going to say? That I’m the next Mother Teresa? Fuck that! I'm going to tell you what I think. I think you have already made your mind up who is who and all this is nothing but bullshit.’
Daniel took another sip from his now cold coffee, just so he did not have to look her in the eye.
‘I think you are misunderstanding me.’
‘What is there to misunderstand? And fucking look at me when I'm talking,’ Cayne said, her voice raising slightly.
Daniel slowly moved his eyes from paper to hers and he felt that pull once more. The fire in her eyes that would consume him if he looked too long, but he was also afraid of her anger if he didn't do what was asked. The simmering temper he knew that was deep inside and pulling on every fear he’d ever had. She was dangerous.
‘My brother is of your faith and I’m not. At the end of the day I’m not so stupid that I don’t know that Christianity is a male dominated religion. So you are faced with a choice, a girl of no faith and a boy who is devout. It’s not hard to work out.’
‘It is not my job to make presumptions about either you or Joshua.’
Cayne felt her breath catch in her throat, causing her chest to tighten. Joshua, he was called Joshua. When a friend had her baby, she’d named him Joshua and she knew full well its origin.
‘Joshua,’ her voice cracked as the tears started to spill. ‘I know what that means and so do you I suspect. God’s salvation and mine... mine means... that’s just fucking perfect.
‘Cayne, you are taking this far too personally. What is in a name?’ Daniel replied, trying to calm her down.
Cayne hurried to her feet and pushed her zip forcibly to her chin. ‘I’ve heard enough. Leave me alone and don’t contact me again.’
Daniel hurried to his feet, but she had already stormed out. The few customers in the cafe stared briefly at him before going about their business. He had done it again. He had taken the situation and made it worse. Why was he not better at this? Grabbing his coat, he dropped a note on the counter and told the waitress to keep the change. He’d had enough. The quicker he got back to Rome the better.
Cayne slammed the door so hard behind her that small pieces of plaster fell onto the floor. Her body shook with anger as she tried to keep herself from losing control. Now in the comfort of her home, she slid down the door and burst into tears. How dare anyone judge her as a person or even how she lived her life? Deep down she knew she was good. A little misguided, but still good. Just because she never attended a cold, stone building and bent a knee to a painted or carved idol, it didn’t mean she was destined to a life in hell.
She remembered when her friend’s son had been born and both she and Mary had leafed through the name book and found out what her name meant. It was no surprise what they found she held the name of the world’s first murderer. Even then Mary had laughed and commented on how funny it would be if she had had a brother called Joshua. Both polar opposites. One dark, one light. But it wasn’t funny now. In fact it was ridiculous.
Getting to her feet, she felt blind fury consume her and in a fit of rage, picked up the coffee table and threw it across the room. This was it. She knew it was starting and she was powerless to stop it. The final result would be a blackout, but it was no good fighting it. She just had to ride its wave. Trying to fight it, she attempted to breathe her way through it. Calm her temper, but it was a losing battle. She never could cool it. Once anger consumed her there was only one way for her to go.
Going to her room, she proceeded to rip everything off her bed in frustration. All she knew was that she wanted to destroy something, anything, until her exhausted body fell in heap as she started to sob. The darkness was coming and she would soon be lost. She crawled on to her bare bed and, curling herself into a ball, allowed herself to fall into that darkness.
The banging on the door startled her awake and groggily she made her way to the sound of knocking hoping it was not the priest. Her body ached, just as it always did after an attack.
‘Where is she?’ Vince Parker demanded, as he pushed his way into the flat followed by two henchmen.
‘Don’t know. I’ve just come back myself,’ she answered, trying to hide the fear in her voice.
Vince looked about the room, his eyes fixing on the upturned table. Cayne saw him raise his eyebrows, before turning them back towards her.
‘And where have you been?’
‘You don’t own me. I can do what I please,’ she dared to answer.
Vince moved closer so his face was near hers. His stale breath, which smelt of cigarettes and whiskey, caused her stomach to pull in revulsion. Although they were the same height, Cayne feared him. Behind his back, she and Mary would joke about how much he looked like a weasel from Wind in the Willows, with his bleached hair slicked back and his thin pointed face. But here in front of him she would never voice that comparison. He held far too much power and that was when he wasn’t with the tow secretly named Pinky and Perky.
‘Believe me Cayne, if I did own you, you would be treated well. You ask any of the girls. I treat my favourites like queens and you, Cayne, would be one of my favourites.’ Cayne stepped away from him and her action caused him to laugh. ‘Make sure you tell Mary I am looking for her.’
Straightening his suit, he nodded to his men and they all left closing the door behind them. Cayne allowed herself to breathe once more and that was when she noticed her hands were blood stained. Pulling up her sleeves, the tears formed again. Her wrists had started to bleed.