2. Uncle Daniel
I had been surprised when I got a call from Michael a few weeks ago. I hadn’t spoken to him, or seen him for almost five years. He only ever called me when he was in trouble. Not that I minded. It meant I got to see my little kitten. She was the sweetest little thing. She could bring light even to the darkest day. That all changed five years ago. She was blossoming into a beautiful young woman. I told Michael as much. He had become angry, he’d said that he didn’t want me anywhere near his daughter. I could see his point. If I had been her father I wouldn’t have wanted her going near anyone like me either. I had missed her though. Her smile that could light up a room. Her twinkling eyes filled with mischievousness. That was what had surprised me about hearing from Michael. Asking me to take care of her if something happened. He didn’t say what that something might be, but he was trusting me with his little girl, my kitten, and that was all that mattered.
I wasn’t a bad person per se. I just liked my women to be young. Not illegal young, but around the same age as my little kitten was now.
I’d all but forgotten about Michael’s call. That was until one of the boys came through to my office.
I was in the middle of checking through a contract. We were expanding, and my contact in Europe had presented me with a gold plated business opportunity. Not that I needed the money. All the businesses I owned were doing very well, but I was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
“You ought to check out the news channel, boss,” Alex suggested as he knocked on the door, and walked into the office.
I frowned, slightly annoyed at being interrupted. Reaching for the tv remote, I turned it to the news channel, and turned up the volume.
Breaking news – The FBI have arrested Michael Ryan. Ryan a small time crook is believed to have links to the Marchesi Crime family. They have seized evidence from his home. The FBI are currently searching for his daughter Rosie, who fled the family home after her fathers arrest. They believe she may be in danger. Rumour has it that the FBI will be offering Mr Ryan a deal in exchange for information on Vincent Marchesi, who is currently under investigation.
I stared at the screen. A picture of my little kitten was plastered across the news channel.
I shook my head, “Michael, you really are a fucking idiot.
“We need to find her, quickly,” I commanded.
Alex nodded, “I’ll send one of the boys to the local FBI office, he can pass off as Ryans brief. If we can get her mobile number, we can track her.”
I nodded, as Alex left the office.
I looked back at the screen, still showing the photo of her and sighed.
“Kitten, why on earth didn’t you call me, like your daddy told you.”
Alex came back to the office a couple of hours later. I hadn’t been able to concentrate on the contract I was supposed to be reading. All I could think of was my kitten, and how she had managed to give the FBI the slip. My clever little kitten.
Alex handed me a piece of paper. That’s her cellphone number. Apparently she arrived at the house just as they were hauling Ryan away. One of the Feds gave chase...” Alex chuckled, “but he gave her the slip.”
I rolled my eyes, “lets hope we can do better.”
I looked at the number, then loaded an application on my laptop, before plugging my phone into it.
One of my many businesses had been the forerunner in designing tracking technology. Specifically phone tracking. Using the phones gps. I just hoped that she hadn’t been clever enough to turn it off. My little kitten was bright enough to do that, but hopefully in the panic she had forgotten.
I dialled the number on the piece of paper, and waited as the phone rang at the other end.
I glanced at the clock, it was late. Just after midnight.
“Hello?” A female voice at the other end mumbled.
“Kitten? Is that you?” I queried.
“Yeah,” she mumbled again.
I looked at the computer, it was still triangulating co-ordinates.
“Did I wake you Kitten? Where are you?” I asked. She didn’t need to know I was in the process of tracking her. Just in case she decided to bolt again.
“I’m fine Uncle Daniel, really. I’m just getting my head round what happened.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Kitten?” I began sternly, “I didn’t ask how your were, I asked where you were...let me come and get you,” I concluded, softening my voice a little.
I looked at the computer screen, as the tracking program completed.
“I’m ok, Uncle Daniel, really. I’ll call you in the morning.”
I smiled, realising everything was coming together nicely.
“Ok Kitten, you promise you’ll call me?” I urged.
“Yes Uncle Daniel, I promise.”
The call ended. She had ended it, I hadn’t. It didn’t matter though. I had the co-ordinates of the phone. If she bolted, the phone location would still show, unless she dumped the phone, which I doubted she would.
“Well…” Alex began, “what now?”
I looked at my watch, then at the location. She was several hours away.
“Lets go, by the time we get there it’ll be morning anyway.”
I sat there on the floor, leaning against the wall, wondering what to do next.
I shivered, the cold and damp biting into my bones. Maybe I should have told him where I was. If I had I could have been in the warm. I was suspicious though. Maybe it was in my nature. Maybe it was living with my dad who was always suspicious of everyone. I just wondered why he had disappeared from our lives five years ago. Now he was suddenly back. Was it something my dad had done, or was it something that Uncle Daniel had done. My dad was obviously in trouble, so he went back to his old friend. Maybe that was his only option. Maybe my dad knew he was about to be arrested. I hated being left in the dark. Why could nobody tell me what was going on.
I sat there in the dark, too cold to go back to sleep. Then I heard it. A noise from downstairs.
Damn. Why had I chosen an upstairs room. There was only one means of escape, and that was the stairs. I ran to the window, which faced the front of the house. I couldn’t jump out the window, not without hurting myself. Then I saw it. A dark coloured van. A couple of large men in dark suits standing next to it. They weren’t cops. Were they with Uncle Daniel.
“Fuck,” I hissed under my breath. I pulled out my phone, looking at the gps icon flashing along the top. Had Uncle Daniel tracked me? Did he know where I was all along? Why would he send men I didn’t know?
I heard whoever it was climbing the stairs. It sounded like more than one person, judging by the footfalls.
My heart started to beat wildly in my chest. I felt like a cornered animal. Then I saw the light shining under the door. I knew it wasn’t a light from the property. All the utilities were off. It must have been someone with a torch.
The door opened slowly, and I briefly saw the silhouettes of two men, before the torch shone brightly in my face.
I held my arm up to cover my eyes against the bright light of the torch.
“U...Uncle Daniel?” I questioned.
“Not quite, piccolo,” the man with the torch replied.
He had a heavy foreign accent.
I was scared now. Maybe they owned the property.
“I...I’m sorry,” I stuttered, “I’ll just go.”
I started to walk towards the door, but before I got very far I felt arms wrap around me. Pinning my arms to my side.
I tried to struggle, but the man was too strong.
The man with the torch chuckled, “I dont think so, piccolo.”
“È questa la figlia del bastardo?” The one that was holding me asked.[Is this the bastard’s daughter?]
Damn, these people weren’t even talking my language. Did he just call me a bastard? The man with the torch roughly grabbed my hair, and yanked my head backwards. The pain like a thousand needles shot through my scalp. I cried out, only for the man to laugh.“Sì, è lei. Riportiamola dal capo.” [Yes its her. Lets bring her back to the boss.]
He pulled something out of his pocket, and I realised it was a syringe. “Please...No...” I begged.
Then I felt a sharp stab in the side of my neck.
“Dormi bene, piccolo,” he smirked. [Sleep well, little one]
My head started to spin, and I began to feel weak. Surely these men weren’t sent by Uncle Daniel. Then my vision started to blur as darkness consumed me.