Chapter Three: Ships and Dips
Isabella Jilani smiled as she watched the night’s performers. They were fantastic tonight. She stood and cheered with the others when the show ended. She looked around for Jayme and sighed. He must have snuck off to meet up with some girl he’d met on the ship.
She shook her head and headed for her suite. Going on vacation had been an excellent idea. She had needed a break from work; if only her daughter had agreed to come. She loves family outings. She sighed as she walked down the hall towards her suite.
Isabella stopped when she saw two men standing outside her door. Other than Jayme, they were the only Italian men on this ship; she was sure of it.
And that only meant one thing. They have found her. Before she could turn and run, both men looked down the hall at her.
“Mrs. Romano,” the man said with a grin.
Yeah, time to go. Isabella thought as she turned and ran back down the hall, the way she had come. How had they found her? What about Aurora, had they found her too?
“Jayme!” She screamed when she got into the primary area of the ship. Where was that boy? “Jayme!” She screamed again as she continued to run.
“Whoa, Mom,” Jayme said as he came out of one a store, and she collided into him.
“They found us,” she whispered.
“Who did?” He asked as he stared down at her.
“The men your father has been protecting us from.”
“Wait, I thought Pops was dead,” he said as he eyed his mother.
“I’ll explain everything later. Right now, we need to hide,” Isabella said as she turned to the two men who were staring at them from across the room.
“I’ll take care of this,” Jayme said, then placed her off to the side and headed towards the two men.
“Jayme, no!” She cried as she chased after her son. “Please. They have guns, and who knows what other weapons.”
Jayme looked down at his mother, then up at the two men watching them. They have his mother scared out of her wits, and he was not putting up with that.
“Mom, I’ll be okay,” he whispered as he continued towards the two men.
“Get out of the way, boy. This doesn’t concern you,” the man said when Jayme stood in front of them.
“On the contrary. Anything concerning my mother; concerns me,” Jayme said as he glared at the two men.
The men looked at each other than at him. “The heir,” one of them said.
“Looks like we’ve got us a bonus,” the other man said with a grin.
“Heir to what?” Jayme asked as he stared at them.
“Jayme,” Isabella whispered.
“I’m okay, Mom. Just going to show these punks, they don’t mess with a Jilani.”
Isabella whimpered when one of them pulled out a gun and pointed it at her son.
“Say goodbye, heir.”
Jayme scoffed as he kicked the gun from the man’s hand, then did a jump kick across the man’s face. The man stumbled back, stunned.
“Come on, I haven’t had a real fight in a long time,” Jayme said as he took his stance, then motioned with his fingers for them to come closer.
Jayme watched the other man go for his gun and did a roundhouse kick and knocked the man off balance. When the other man recovered and came after him, Jayme did a double front kick in the man’s chest, which knocked the wind out of him.
Isabella watched her son. Jayme had started karate lessons when he was a boy and had been a quick study. He had swiftly ranked up to black belt and has won many championships over the years. But he has never gone up against men like this before, men who want them dead.
“Damn, kid,” an attacker said when Jayme did a sidekick snap against his head.
“I’m just getting started,” Jayme said with a grin.
“Jayme, please,” Isabella begged as she grabbed hold of his arm.
Jayme looked down at his mom. “Why are they after you?”
“They’re after us,” she said as she pulled him away from the two men who were trying to catch their breaths.
“What did they mean by heir?” Jayme asked as he stared at his mother.
“Your father is alive, Jayme,” Isabella said as she looked up at her son, “and you’re his heir. Only a son can be an heir, no matter how much your father loves your sister.”
“Wait, what?” Jayme asked, confused.
“Look out!” Isabella cried out when the other came at her son with a knife.
Jayme moved out of the way just in time and slammed his fist on the man’s back, making him topple over.
“Let’s go,” Isabella said as she took hold of her son’s arm.
“Wait,” he said as his mother pulled him away from the crowd.
“The Security Guards are here. Let them take care of it,” she hissed as she dragged him towards their suites.
“Mom, you have a lot of explaining to do,” Jayme said as he followed her.
“I know, Son,” she said with a sad look, “and I will. As soon as we’re locked away in my suite.”
Jayme nodded as he followed her down the hall. When they got into her suite, she bolted every lock on the door, then turned to her son with a sigh of relief. Things could have gone a lot different out there.
“Okay, Mom, spill.”
Isabella nodded as she sat in a chair and told her son the true story of their father and what had happened that night, twenty years ago. And how his father doesn’t even know, he exists. She told him about Trevisani, as much as she knows. And how he wants her and Dom’s child, now children, dead.
Jayme stared at his mother. “So, Pops is alive?”
“Yes,” she said with a nod, “he has no clue where we are. Well, he didn’t, I hope he does now, because…”
“Aurora!” He shouted as he jumped to his feet.
“I hope your father found her,” Isabella said with a cry.
“Damn it, why couldn’t she have come on vacation with us,” Jayme said as he slapped the back of the chair.
“You are so much like your father,” she whispered as she watched him, “you and your sister both are. I have always felt that I had a part of him with me; when I look at you two.”
Jayme looked at his mother. “So, do I look like him?” He asked with a grin.
Isabella smiled, “very much so.”
“When do I get to meet him?”
“Attention passengers. Due to the situation on the main deck, we will be docking at the nearest dock, before we continue on our way,” the captain said over the loudspeaker.
Isabella sighed, “We should get off too,” she said as she went to her bedroom to retrieve her bags, “they may send more after us; if we stay here.”
“All right, I’ll go pack. I’ll meet you back here in twenty,” Jayme said as he left the room.
Isabella felt a tear slide down her cheek and swiped it away. “Please let my daughter be all right.”
Isabella and Jayme stepped off the ship before the security guards dragged the two men, who had attacked them, off. Isabella spotted someone familiar and froze.
No, can’t be.
“Stefano!” She called out as she ran across the distance.
Stefano turned and smiled as the woman threw herself at him. Her bags dropped at their feet as she held onto him and cried.
“Is it really you?” She asked as she pulled back to look up at him.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said with a sheepish grin.
“How did you find me?” She asked as she wiped her cheeks.
“We knew what ship you were on. We heard about the stop here, and I was about to sneak on to find you,” he said with a broad smile.
“Mom?” Jayme asked as he watched his mother.
Stefano looked at the boy and sucked in a shocked breath. “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.”
“You already are,” Isabella said with a chuckle, as she moved over to her son.
“Stefano, meet Jayme.”
“Sir!” Stefano said as he stood up straight.
“Uh, hi,” Jayme said as he eyed the man his mother had thrown herself at.
“Jayme, this is your father’s bodyguard,” Isabella said with a radiant smile.
“Nice to meet you,” Jayme said as he held a hand out to the man.
“Come here, boy,” the man said as he pulled the boy against his hard chest for a hug. “Mr. Romano will flip,” he said happily.
“Mr. Romano?” Jayme asked as he looked at his mother.
“That’s our real name,” Isabella whispered.
“Right, we went into hiding, so we had to use a different name,” Jayme said with a nod.
“I see you have filled him in,” Stefano said as he watched the boy. He looked so much like Dom at that age.
“Yes,” Isabella said with a nod. “Has Dom found Aurora?”
Stefano looked at her with a nod. “He sent his best man out to fetch her.”
“Oh, thank the Lord,” Isabella said as she covered her chest with her hand.
“From what I have heard, he got to her just in time.”
Isabella whimpered. “Is she…okay?”
Stefano laughed, “she is in excellent hands, Mrs. Romano. Now, let’s get you and the boy home.”
“Home,” Isabella whispered, “I guess Trevisani found us. That is why Dom is retrieving us, right?”
Stefano nodded, “we found out they had located you and Aurora and went into action. Dom will be happy to see you,” he said as he looked at the boy, “and his son.”
“So, about this heir thing,” Jayme said as he walked beside them.
Stefano smiled, “I see you informed him…”
“Actually, those two goons did,” Jayme said as he pointed to the two men, the security guards were leading down the plank.
“Shit,” Stefano whispered, “get down,” he said as he pulled them down behind a car. He can’t let those men see him with Isabella and Dom’s son. They can’t know Dom knows.
“What’s going on?” Jayme whispered.
“They can’t know that Dom knows that they found you. It will ruin everything, and Aurora won’t be safe anymore,” Stefano whispered.
“Oh no, they can’t let Trevisani know about Jayme. He will be even harder to stop once he knows Dom has an heir,” Isabella hissed.
Stefano nodded, “you’re right.” He pulled out his cell and dialed a number, then talked into the phone and hung up. “They will be taken care of.”
“Don’t hurt the security guards,” she whispered as she peeked over the car.
“What do you think me as; heartless?” Stefano asked with a laugh.
She turned back to him with a smile. “Never heartless.”
“Careless?” He asked with a grin.
“Maybe,” she said with a soft chuckle as he made a face at her. “I’ve missed you so much,” she said as she smiled up at him.
“And I have missed you, little sister,” he said, then looked back over the car at the two men being carted away.
They watched from behind the car, as several men in masks jumped out from behind an enormous shipping truck and attacked. They knocked the guards out, then dragged the two men away.
“It is done,” Stefano said with a nod as he stood.
“Just hope they hadn’t called Trevisani with the news; before they were taken away,” Isabella said with a shake of her head as she stood.
“I doubt it. I’m sure the guards on the ship confiscated their phones,” Stefano said as he started towards the van again.
“What happens if they find out?” Jayme asked as he walked beside them.
“Then, they will target you,” Stefano said as he pulled out his keys and pressed the alarm.
“Maybe that would be a good thing, get them off Aurora,” Jayme said as they stopped at the van.
Isabella turned to her son. “I’m not trading one child for the other,” she hissed.
“No,” she said with a shake of her head.
“Your father would agree,” Stefano said as he opened the doors and placed their baggage in the back.
“My father doesn’t even know I exist.”