Ndrangheta

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Chapter Six

“I need a translator” Edward sighed.

He had found one of Marcus’s clues to his log hidden on the underside of his bedroom dresser. It was written in Greek and Edward knew he had not the first idea what the clue meant. He slid the dresser back in its corner and proceeded into the sitting room. Marcus’s house was on the edge of nowhere, well, Bronxville. It was a one hour drive outside the city, being a quiet suburban area with plenty of empty houses up for sale.

Marcus owned a blue two-story house that was wide enough to cover three acres of land, and not to mention the added space he had beneath the house. Edward had convinced him to build a basement and a holding room just in case they had any unwanted guests that needed to be dealt with.

Edward searched around for Marcus’s laptop. He found it on the top shelf in the closet. Once powered up, Edward typed in google translate and searched through the languages to find what he needed.

The phrase on the paper was “Tha to vreíte sti thési pou proorízetai gia anágnosi”. Edward went through Greek and clicked around.

“You shall find it in the place meant for reading”, Edward read aloud. “Or the reading place..”

He sighed. Clues were not his favorite. He typed in places meant for reading and the first suggestion was a library. He knew there was one library closest to town and decided to check that one first. He shut down the laptop and headed out. He drove his least favorite car here, a 2014 Honda Accord. He usually loved his fast cars but with Lily (and having a child seat) he didn’t want to risk it. He had parked inside the garage downstairs, leaving the windows down. Lily was still in her car seat and had a tablet in her hands.

Edward quickly got in, peeking at his watch. He’d left her for fifteen minutes but that didn’t mean he was happy about it. Somehow this little girl managed to take up most of his time and he didn’t complain. By now, he half expected to be grumpy with the responsibility but it made him feel genuinely needed without Marcus around. He reached into the backseat to caress her hair. Lily looked up at him and smiled, the top row of her teeth glimmering at him.

“I still have some business left, how about we head to the library to get you a new book and then ice cream, okay?”

Lily’s smile became even wider. “Let’s go Uncle Edward”

She couldn’t pronounce his name that clearly yet but it was so adorable. He was growing better at recognizing her ill pronounced words. He nodded and started the engine. On the way, he thought about Marcus and what he could be doing, if he was okay. It’d only been a week since he last saw him and he’d have to wait for contact or seek Martin out again. If something urgent was happening, Marcus was bound to get his hands on a phone but for now, he’d wait.

As he was thirty minutes away from the city, he carefully eyed the clue Marcus had left again. If he had left it in a library, that was stupid. There were huge risks if someone found it before him and what they could possibly do with it. A library for fuck’s sake. Edward shook his head to clear his thoughts. There was also the issue of searching each shelf in detail. The library wasn’t that large but space wasn’t the issue.

“Your worst idea yet, buddy” Edward teased an invisible Marcus. He picked up speed as he entered the city again and the library was five minutes away. Once he found it, he swung into the parking lot and picked a spot. He slipped out of the driver’s seat and opened the back to unbuckle Lily. She threw the tablet onto the seat and stretched her arms to him. He picked her up and put her to rest on his chest with one arm.

“Ready?” he asked while locking up. Lily nodded and he began going up the steps to the entrance.

Upon inspection, he noticed there were only six major shelves and three smaller shelves in a corner. This wasn’t so bad, he thought. The small shelves he could tackle for an hour then return another day for the larger ones. He walked by the check desk, giving the lady at the desk a wide smile. She cooed sweetly at Lily.

“We have a kids section, right through that door,” the guard offered. Edward smiled in thanks. The guard led him through a door, into a room that had 3 other small children. It was decorated with pink and blue furniture for kids and had all sorts of toys, games, and books. An elderly woman was sitting in one corner with a younger lady with her.

“They assist in keeping the children quiet. You can leave her here if you’d like,” The guard told him.

Edward watched as Lily looked around excitedly and practically leaped out of his hand. He laughed along with the guard. Since she was happy, he went back out to the main area and started walking towards the three small shelves grouped together. A wooden sign hung above them that read “Teen Fiction”.

Marcus had told him the book was made of old leather and had a red insignia of a lion on the back. Edward went through each shelf one by one but none were covered in leather. He went through each shelf once more to be sure and still ended up empty-handed. After checking it two more times, he concluded it wasn’t there and stared around the rest of the library. It had been forty-five minutes since he searched there which meant he had fifteen left before he had to get Lily. As he stared at the other shelves, he noticed a mop of dark red, almost copper hair pass by him. She clearly didn’t pay him any mind as she bent to search for a book.

As he eyed her a little better, he realized who she was.

“Ellen?”

The woman briefly turned to look at him with a raised brow. But the next few seconds, recognition dawned over her face and she stood back to her full height. She was a few inches shorter than him but they still managed to meet eye to eye. She was wearing a dark blue sweater dress that stopped mid-thigh that hugged her wide hips nicely. It slanted nicely over one shoulder, exposing the little flesh of her neck and she had flats on her feet. Her hair, now seeing it in the daylight, was almost back length. She had it in a half-up, half-down style with short tendrils framing her cheeks. Edward slightly blushed. She sure looked different in the light.

She cleared her throat nervously as she gestured with a hand.

“You come to the library often?”

He eyed her calmly. “Not really. I’m actually looking for a special book today”

Edward watched as the color seemed to drain from her face and she became rigid.

“You don’t happen to know what I’m looking for, do you?”

She swallowed and he slanted his eyes at her cautiously. He had been slightly suspicious of her when they first met but there’s no way she could have...

“Ellen?” He pressed again.

The woman looked to have regained her body function and blinked her large doe eyes at him. She breathed a shaky breath and tried to laugh.

“I don’t recall you being funny, Edward,” she giggled.

He didn’t feel convinced.

“You didn’t stick around long enough to find out,” he replied matter of factly. He stepped closer to her and she responded by stepping backward.

“Ellen, I’ll ask you again,” he tried to contain his anger, “You don’t know what I’m looking for, do you?”

She focused her eyes on the floor. If she did, then it made his job easy and hard at the same time. He could simply get the log from her and then decide what to do with her after. He watched as she shifted on her feet.

“You’re testing my patience,” he growled.

Her eyes snapped back to him, fluttering around at the shelves and other persons walking by. In anger, he grabbed her upper arm and pulled her roughly toward him to close the space between them. At this, Ellen whimpered as she fell into his grip.

“Please don’t kill me,” she cried in a whisper.

Edward’s eyes connected with hers. She knew!

“You are leaving with me,” He said. Without waiting for her answer he dragged her along. He retrieved Lily from the kids’ section and headed to the car. As he unlocked it, he pointed to the front seat.

“Get in,” he told Ellen.

She appeared to be lost in thought, fumbling around and stared at him. “I can’t, I have an exam tomorrow. I’ll give you the book and just go”

Edward quickly strapped Lily in. He shut the door with a slam and stalked toward her. He grabbed her by both arms and practically leaned into her face.

“Let’s not make this hard. Since you apparently know what I’m capable of, I expect you to follow instructions”

He pushed her against the passenger side door and pointed inside again. A few onlookers idly glanced at the two but didn’t interfere. Ellen started to feel the tears coming as she obliged and sat in the front seat. Edward joined a few seconds later and took off out of the parking lot.

He was slightly speeding as he pulled onto the road and Lily started to fuss in her seat.

“Slow Uncle,” she cried.

Edward’s mind started to relax and he eased his foot off the accelerator. He took a quick look at her and apologized gently. Lily calmed down after and resumed playing her games on her tablet. He looked at Ellen, who now had silent tears streaming down her face. He wasn’t going to kill her just yet, he needed the book first.

“Where’s the book, Ellen?”

The woman sniffled loudly. “At my apartment”

She gave the address in the GPS and he no longer paid her any attention. With Lily here, he had to reign his temper in but to do his job, Ellen was about to get the full brunt of it.

She was dead.

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