“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” I mumble as I hold on tightly to the seatbelts wrapped around my torso.
My eyes aimlessly watch the waves ripple in moonlight, a few splashes disrupting the flow as aquatic animal prance about. The moon is full tonight and the weather is calm, the perfect weather or a flight.
“We’ll be there in a few minutes Ms. Blake,” Freddy announces as he steers the aircraft.
I nod, breathing deeply as the helicopter glides over the deep blue sea.
The men, security guards, sitting beside me look calm and collected, staring out the windows. There are six of us in the helicopter, Freddy and his co-pilot, the three additional guards and me.
There will be more meeting us at the landing site and they will accompany me to the private strip, where I will meet one of Dylan’s men. Resting my head against the window, closing my eyes trying my hardest not to overthink all that has happened tonight.
“Cristiano has been shot and is undergoing surgery right now. He will be fine but Adonis thinks you need to be with him when he wakes up. Raphael didn’t make it and he fears Cristiano won’t handle it well so, he’s sending a jet to pick you up at a private strip in Miami in an hour. He needs you…”
Cristiano has been shot… has been shot… been shot… shot…
This had to be some joke.
“I’m sorry, Elia?” I ask my voice shaky and she hums into the phone. “I don’t buy what you say for a minute…”
“Indiana, please I am not-” she tries to protest but I don’t allow her to speak.
“…If what you are saying is true Adonis should contact me himself! I don’t appreciate you trying to toy with me like this. Now, get the fuck off my phone!”
I hang up the phone, leaning on the wall before sliding down to the floor. She couldn’t be telling the truth, could she?
The possibility leaves my emotions going haywire. My throat is clogged, my eyes start to burn and my heart seems to be on crack. My lips tremble, the thought of Dylan injured and going under the knife plaguing me…
…and Raphael, is he really gone? The memories of the last time I met him start playing in my head. He was kind to me, he seemed like a genuine friend to Dylan and to hear that he’s dead.
I take a deep breath shaking my head; this must be a trick, a trap to coax me into the enemy’s arm. I don’t know that woman, I have never met here… Why should I trust her words? But what if it is true?
That thought causes my stomach to sink and I find myself shaking, my heart confused. The’ what if’s attack me and I find myself overthinking the situation.
Could it be real?
“Everything okay, Indie?” I hear Georgie call from the living room and I notice the noise has ceased.
“Yeah,” I call back scrabbling to my feet and wiping away idle tears that found their way on my cheeks.
I sniffle, gripping the phone in my palm before making my way to the living room. Upon entering, I find the two children fast asleep on the couch, cuddling each other and Georgie resting in one of the armchairs, fiddling with her phone.
“They’re asleep?” I ask and Georgie nods.
“They passed out fifteen minutes ago,” she points out and I suck in a breath. Just how long was I in that hallway for? “I was going to tuck them in but I decide to give you a little more time with your fiancé.”
“So, are you more relaxed now that he’s checked in?” she asks looking up at me and I smile, a weak one. “Judging by the puffy eyes, I guess you still miss him. It’s okay girl, he’ll be fine…”
I don’t want to tell anyone what actually happened on that call. It might all be a hoax and I don’t want to get them alarmed over it.
We each take our big babies in our arms, bringing them to their rooms. Arthur and his mom are staying in the guestroom while Diana will be sleeping with me. I need the comfort of having her beside me, she’s my beacon in the dark times.
At 9 p.m., I crawled into bed with my little angel ready to try and relax, forgetting about that call when the phone on the bedside table rings.
Hesitantly, I grab the phone glancing at the screen and my heart drops when I see Adonis’ name.
“Ah…Ms. Blake. I apologize for not contacting you myself but I had to ensure that the Capo was stable before I left the infirmary…”
“So he has been shot?!” I gasp, tears streaming down my face the shock registering.
“Yes but he is fine now,” he is quick to reassure me.
“What about Raphael? Is he really gone?”
“Gone? He’s not… that damn woman,” he curses under his breath. “Raphael is not dead. He’s in a medically induced coma. Look, Ms. Blake, I need you to come to Italy. With all, that’s going on Cristiano needs you and you’ll be safer under our watch.”
“Indiana… I’ll ensure your safety. We need you here.”
“Ms. Blake we’re almost there,” Freddy says and I zone back to the present.
The car drives down the lonely road, vegetation on either side of the jeep and that leaves me on edge.
“We need you to stay alert now. If something happens you must not hesitate to defend yourself and escape.”
The gun they had given me burns against my thigh where it is held in place by a holster. They had convinced me to wear a dress, saying it would make it easier to reach for a weapon if attacked and additional to that, I had on my bulletproof jacket.
The road gets a bit rocky and we find ourselves bouncing in our seats. We start to turn a corner when the vehicle is pulled to a shaky stop.
We sit staring at a man dressed in black clothing, the dimmed headlights illuminating his features. He has piercing black eyes, a goatee and a nose ring.
“Uccidere!” he hollers and I gasp.
“The man we send to guide you here, Jasper, will say the word Uccidere, it means kill. You have thirty seconds to confirm your identity by replying ‘I nostril nemici senza pieta’ or else they kill you on spot.”
The guards take defensive positions, one pushing me to the ground as the man pulls out a gun. Oh, shit.
“Don’t shoot!” I yell and they look at me as if I had grown an extra head. Kicking and fighting at the guards, I get to the door pushing it open.
“I nostril nemici senza pieta!” I yell before they grab hold of me pulling me into the car.
“Are you mad?!” Freddy yells back at me as the other men trap me in the vehicle, Freddy’s eyes lock on the target before him.
“He’s with Dylan,” I explain but they don’t listen to me. “Look he’s not attacking us.”
True to my words the man, tucks his gun into his waistband before nodding at someone in the bushes, making his way towards us.
“Ms. Blake. I am Jasper and sottocapo sent me to guide you to Italy. Will you open the door?” he asks with a thick Italian accent, knocking on the passenger window but none of my guards make no move to obey his request.
“Look Ms. Blake we do not have all night. We need to get you out of here before the real danger arrives…”
Freddy looks back at me. Do you trust him? His eyes ask and I gulp before nodding. He has met all the requirements Adonis set so I have to believe that this is not a trap.
Freddy gives a signal and the men open the door, guns raised as they guide me from the vehicle. Jasper doesn’t look worried but rather bored as the men point their weapons at him.
He looks over their shoulder at me before smiling. “Nice to meet you, Capa.”
I nod in acknowledgement, not dwelling on the fact he addressed me as his Capa, someone equal in power to his Capo.
“We must make haste. There is not much time,” he states before raising his hand and gesturing to someone.
A man in black stalks from the trees with a pile of clothes and a pair of shoes in his hands causing my guards to become alert. He hands the clothing to Jasper before turning to me and bowing his head, a simple ’Capa’ leaving his lips.
“Will you tell your men to stand down?” Jasper asks calmly. “They have my men on edge and quite frankly if we were going to kill you we would have already.”
Freddy glances back at me in question and I nod my head. He gestures for his men to stand down and Jasper sighs before stepping towards me.
“Change into this,” he says handing me a set of man’s clothing and I look at him questioningly. “The others will go ahead to the strip. One of my men will dress as you and enter the aircraft, allowing the enemy to think you are abroad while we go to the real flight site.”
I nod my head understanding the plan but something doesn’t sit right with me. “What if the plane is attacked? Won’t your men die?”
Jasper shakes his head before smiling at me. “The plane will be empty. There is an additional door to the rear of the aircraft where our men will exit, undetected. The drone plane will then be sent onto a flight plan that will keep the enemy busy, long enough for us to leave this country safely.”
I nod my head in understanding and he claps his hands together, startling me.
“Good now get dressed. We need to leave now.”
With that, he turns on his heel, entering the trees, his lanky behind him.
“Yes, I am going along with this Freddy,” I reply, tugging on the huge jeans Jasper gave me.
“I do not think that is wise,” he scolds eying the vegetation. “Are you sure they are illegitimate?”
Jasper has met all the requirements but Freddy might be right, can I really trust him?
“You have a point,” I say biting my lip before reaching to my thigh and pulling the black phone from my other holster. “I should get confirmation.”
I go to dial the number but Freddy holds my hand, looking behind me before gesturing to the car. Nodding, I enter the vehicle pulling the clothes with me.
“Hello?” he answers on the first ring.
“Adonis… I am a few minutes away from the site and-” I pause as I hear the dial tone.
Did he just hang up on me or was the connection disrupted? Could this mean this is a trap?
Movement catches my eyes a few seconds later and I see Jasper and a man emerging from the trees. Quickly I pull off my dress replacing it with the baggy clothes and tucking the phone back into the holster. I pull off my flats trading them for the black boots before exiting the vehicle.
Even if something is wrong, I don’t want Jasper to know that I know. So acting as if I am going along with him is the only thing I can do now.
Oh, please let this not be a trap…
I step out as he rounds the side of the car and I notice he holds a phone to his ear.
“Here,” Jasper says to me before giving me the device.
I take it and he grabs my dress and flats, giving it to his companion who races off towards the trees.
“Hello?” I ask hesitantly.
“You can trust him…” Is all I hear before the call is cut but I recognize the voice. Adonis.
So this is not a trap…
“I hope that is enough proof for you,” Jasper smiles before handing me a Tom.
I accept it, before pulling it over my head, tucking my hair in. “It is.”
“Good,” he replies watching the tree line and I turn just in time to see a petite man walkout in my dress.
He has on a dirty blonde wig that covers his face and looks almost like my real hair. My flats look strained on his feet but he still seems to work it, not minding the pinch.
“Will here is going to be your decoy,” Jasper starts gesturing to the man who when I look at him now due to the makeup on his face looks a lot like mine.
Damn… I say this every day, makeup is magic.
“Your men will carry him to the site and pretend it is you while you come with me,” Jasper continues looking at my guards. “This has to look believable or it won’t work. The aim is to get her to the real site and out of the country before they pick up on the foul play.”
Freddy glances at me once more and I nod. He doesn’t look please but he turns to Jasper and agrees.
“Good. Will get in the jeep,” Jasper instructs and the man nods before stepping around me and entering the vehicle.
“Capa, you come with me,” he says holding out his hand, which I hesitantly take.
Jasper walks us to the rear of the jeep before letting me go and pulling a dirt bike from the bushes. He straddles it before strapping on a pair of goggles, handing me a pair, which I notice, are night vision and gestures for me to hop on the bike.
Come on, Indie… you can do this… For Dylan.
Pulling on the googles, I climb onto the bike, wrapping my arms around Jasper’s torso and he starts the bike, the vibrations of the engine echoing into the night.
“Keep up your side of the plan and she will be okay,” he shouts back at my guards before taking off and I look behind me, locking eyes with Freddy.
Be careful, he mouths and I nod before turning around just as Jasper pulls off the road and rides through the trees.