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Abduction and RevengeA Vinnie DeAngelis and Carlo Palmeri Mystery
By Ralph V. Gregorio
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Ralph V. Gregorio
All right reserved.
Chapter OneREVERE, MA;
Sylvia Russo is glad that it is Friday and the weekend is now finally here. She does love her work as an associate Attorney, dealing in 'Family Law', with the law firm of Hardy, Basil and Peabody, but this had been a grueling week. Sylvia has never done any study into it but she thought that the divorce rate has skyrocketed since this recession started. So many families are having monetary problems, most having a hard time meeting their monthly obligations.
Then there was the episode with Mr. Hardy, her boss. Mr. Hardy was very upset with her. He told her a week ago not to continue her research into international affairs, certain groups and individuals that delve into the politics of the European Union. That type of interest was only for so-called 'Conspiracy Theorists' and had no place in this workplace. Then today, she got called into his office. Mr. Hardy sat there with a very angry look on his face. In his hands he was holding a printout of the 'Lisbon Treaty'. A document she asked Mary Sanchez to print out for her. At first Sylvia thought she was going to be fired for insubordination, but all he told her was to "STOP THIS FOOLISHNESS!" Mr. Hardy then crumpled up the print-out and threw it into the waste basket, laying next to his desk. He then dismissed her with just a wave of his hand. Sylvia didn't know what she was most upset by, having Mr. Hardy angry at her or for never being able to trust Mary, again.
Although she didn't feel like going now, Sylvia still has to go into Boston tomorrow morning, where she volunteers part time, for, the 'Boston Community Action Center,' a 'Community Action Group', based on Washington Street not far from the old 'Combat Zone' area of Boston. Tonight though, she is invited to a party, thrown by her college roommate, Kathy. Sylvia is hoping that tonight will at least cheer her up.
Sylvia took a look at her watch, she still has more then enough time to go home, take a quick shower, then catch the Blue Line train into Boston for a night of relaxation and fun.
Sylvia's drive home only takes 15 minutes. Her law office is on Atlantic Avenue in Revere, Massachusetts and her residence is on Bates Street, in a predominantly Italian neighborhood. Sylvia parked her new Dodge Neon in front of the three-decker family home, hoping that her mother hasn't come home from work yet. Her mother Rose, works in Lynn as an accountant. Sylvia always wondered why her mother went back to work after Sylvia's father died of cancer. Her mother didn't need the money, her father left her very well off, financially. Her mother still held onto old- fashion Italian beliefs that every family needs to eat supper together. Sylvia is not in the mood for a three course meal, just before a night of drinking and dancing. She doesn't see her mother's car, she is in luck.
It's still only five-thirty, there is plenty of time now to grab a quick shower and arrange the clothes she will wear tomorrow morning. It is actually harder dressing for her part time job at the Community Action Center then it is for her normal job. When she goes to the Center, she doesn't want to appear wealthy, so the normal attire for her is either jeans and a sweatshirt or if attending legal meetings or court, a casual business suit and slacks. She wants the clientele to think of her as one of their own.
All set, shower completed, she is dressed in a short black party dress and wearing low heeled pumps and is ready to frolic. As Sylvia enters the kitchen, she decides that she should eat something quick. Going to a party on an empty stomach can be worse then going on a full one. Opening the refrigerator door, she spots some meatballs and gravy, taking one large meatball and placing it in a shallow dish, she pops it into the micro-wave. In less then ten minutes her mini-meal is finished and she heads out the door.
* * *
The drive to the Wonderland Station took the better part of half an hour. Now to wait for the 'Blue Line' Train that will whisk her to the Charles River section of Boston. "Oh CRAP, the parking lot is full, now I'll have to wait until someone departs."
Sylvia watches as people depart the train that just pulled into the station. It will be only a few more minutes and when the first person drives out, she'll take that parking space. She gets goose-bumps when a blue Corolla pulls into the parking lot, rap music blaring from its stereo. There was a car that looked just like that one on Bates Street as she left the house. It's not the same one, she is sure, there are hundreds of blue Corollas, on the road, as a matter of fact, her friend Sonya even has one. Still ... she gets an eerie feeling. When she sees that the car drives out of the parking lot, heading south, she relaxes. Sylvia attributes this to not eating a good meal and it is causing her to be jumpy.
A parking spot opens up and Sylvia speeds towards it. She's not going to take any chances in losing a space she waited so long to grab. Sylvia laughs as she locked up her Neon and watches the herd of people descending from the train to their cars. To her, it reminds her of cattle going into a pen waiting to be slaughtered.
* * *
The train ride from Revere to the Charles River Station was as uncomfortable as ever, she now thought of those people she seen from the parking lot and how now, she feels like she is cattle. Sylvia wonders if it was a bad idea taking the train into Boston. She had to make two stops, leaving the Blue Line at Government Center, then the Red line for one stop to Park Square, then the Green line to the Charles. If she drove her car, she would of saved twenty minutes and the dollar twenty fare. At least she didn't have to find a parking lot and pay an outrageous amount, just to park for a few hours. Boston is not the most car friendly city.
Sylvia has been to this complex many times and yet she still looks in awe at it. Her friend, Kathy Travis has lived here ever since they both graduated from Boston University. Kathy had offers from many law firms and landed a great job, making a lot more money then Sylvia did. Kathy's two bedroom condominium must cost a fortune each month, probably as much as Sylvia makes. The apartment itself is on the second floor and has a balcony that overlooks the Charles River and Cambridge on the other side. The view alone is worth the monthly fee.
* * *
Kathy Travis greeted Sylvia at the door, almost as soon as she knocked. The place was packed with people, most of whom Sylvia was familiar with. Old classmates and acquaintances. The bulk of the people here were Lawyers, Accountants and high priced stock-brokers. The ages ranged from twenty three or so to forty, an even mix of males to females. Sylvia almost felt out of place, there were mostly couples here and she hasn't had a date, let alone a regular boyfriend in months.
Once all the introductions were completed, Sylvia ambled over towards the bar and poured herself a small glass of white wine. While there she takes in her friends, they are all the same, really, drive the same cars, Volvo's, Audi's and maybe a Lexus or two. They are what were once called YUPPIES, Young upwardly mobile professionals. As she scans the area, Sylvia spots a young man she hasn't noticed before. Kind of tall, a little scruffy and looks out of place. She thinks he is cute though but knows that this man just doesn't fit in. For one thing, where most of the men are wearing slacks and expensive shirts, this man is in blue jeans, sneakers and a sport shirt. She notices that in the shirt pocket is a pack of cigarettes. Do people still smoke? Her eyes catch his, he was looking at her the whole time and now Sylvia fees a little embarrassed.
Kathy Travis is making the rounds, ensuring that all her guests are having a good time. Kathy is acting like the prefect 'social butterfly', flitting from one guest to the next. When she spots Sylvia, standing near the bar, Kathy notices that Sylvia's eyes are fixed on her brother Bob. That brings a smile to Kathy's face, they would make a perfect couple. Just as long as they never spoke about religion or politics, that is.
As Kathy ambled up to Sylvia, she asked in a conspiratorial whisper, "Does he do anything for you or are you just shopping around?"
"Don't be silly, I just noticed him and was wondering if he was your brother, that's all!"
"If you say so, girl, but yes, he is my brother and he is also single. Would you like an introduction?"
Sylvia, now a little embarrassed, flatly refuses, "NO, I do not need any introductions and I am not shopping for a man. He is kind of cute though, in a pre-historic sort of way."
Laughing at her friend, Kathy tells her, "OK, if that is the way you want it, if you change your mind, I'll play cupid, in an innocent sort of way!"
Sylvia smiles at her friend, gives her a light buddy-punch on her arm and walks away from the bar, chatting with each friend, she comes up to. Every so often, she catches herself glancing towards Bob Travis.
Bob Travis drove into town last night to visit his sister. They spent an enjoyable day together talking about the old days when they were younger and living and growing up on Saratoga Street in East Boston, in a three bedroom tenement. The house is still there but since their parents were renters and not owners, after they died in a plane crash the last year Kathy was in college. Bob was taking care of Kathy's living arrangements. First paying the rent on the old home then purchasing a condominium at Charles River section, so Kathy would have a home to go to.
Bob had left Boston right after college, to pursue a career on Wall Street in New York. After three years of working for others, Bob branched out on his own. He obtained a small loft in SoHo to live in, thus keeping his living expenses low. His only splurge came with the purchase of a vintage 1977 Corvette that he restored himself and maintained. Bob still kept a few clients who trusted him with their money but the bulk of Bob's income came from being a 'Day Trader', buying and selling stocks and options, and working from home. Actually, Bob did a lot more then just earn an income, he had become a very wealthy young man, amassing in the neighborhood of forty million dollars.
* * *
Bob had just finished his shower and was deciding on what to wear to this gala. He hardly ever wore a suit and didn't bring one with him. He was sure that everyone in attendance this evening would be in either business attire or expensive casual wear. From the information gathered from his sister, he wasn't going to like any of these people anyways, so on went a pair of blue jeans and a sport shirt. If he started to feel uncomfortable around these folks, he could always leave and head for Revere or Carson Beach.
As soon as Bob finished dressing, the door bell started to ring. It did seem as though the guest were arriving early. As soon as he entered the living room, there was only one guest, a man about 30, a few inches taller then Kathy, brown hair and a moustache. Bob guessed that this must be Kevin, Kathy's newest boyfriend. One look and he already disliked this guy.
"Oh, Bob, come and meet, Kevin," Kathy yelled as she led the newcomer into the living room.
"Hi," Bob said in a very friendly manner, "Welcome, I'm Bob, Kathy's brother."
"Hello Bob, I've heard a lot about you from your sister, you must be very proud of her!"
"Yes, I am I am very proud of her accomplishments." Bob stated with a slight smirk.
Bob had the distinct feeling that this man didn't like him very much. It wasn't so much his tone but more his body language. That's OK though. Bob really didn't care who liked him or not.
As soon as a few more guest had arrived and Kathy made the usually introductions, she pulled Bob aside and asked, "Well, what do you think of Kevin and my friends?"
Bob gave his sister a brotherly smile and flatly told her, "Your friends so far are boobs and Kevin is a 'TURD', but as long as you liked them, I will try to be civil."
Kathy's mouth turned downward. She really wanted her brother to accept her friends. "OK, just wait, I have one friend coming over tonight and your going to love her, I may not even introduce you to her, though." Then she smiled and told him, "You're right, they are sort of different and Kevin can be a turd!"
* * *
The apartment, although large for Boston, was starting to get crowded by eight thirty. Bob tried to remain pleasant as he briefly chatted with everyone. There were some that he wasn't introduced to since his sister was busy going from the kitchen to the living room, bringing out more glasses, wine and party platters, topped with all sorts of hor d'oeures.
Bob was ready to escape from this party. It didn't take a genius to figure out how these people thought. They were worse then liberal, they were the 'Ultra Liberal' and they were boring. That is until one woman caught Bob's attention. She was standing near the bar. A very pretty woman, mid- twenties with a slight Mediterranean look to her, possibly Italian. In many ways, she fit right in with this crowd but she was also different. He would bet that the woman was Kathy's friend, Sylvia. He caught her looking his way a few times. She was someone that Bob really did want an introduction with. Maybe Bob would stick around for a while.
Bob watched as his sister went up to the woman, they both were looking his way and that smile on his sister's face. He knew they were talking about him. Bob wasn't upset, in a way he was kind of glad his sister approached her. Bob looked towards the glass doored patio and decided the place was getting a bit stuffy, he also wanted a cigarette. He grabbed a paper cup that was half filled with some clear liquid that he could use as an ashtray and casually walked out onto the patio, closing the glass door behind him. God forbid his second hand smoke made these people sick!
As soon as Bob was half way through with his cigarette, the doors to the patio opened and out stepped the woman. She was even more pretty the closer she got. As he turned towards her, he noticed a look of disdain come over her face. He knew what she was thinking. "Sorry if the smoke bothers you, I'll put it out." Such a clumsy opening line.
"Oh No, you don't need to do that, My parents both smoked so I'm used to it, I just wasn't expecting Kathy's brother to be a smoker."
Bob gave a little chuckle and stated, "I'll bet there are a lot of different things you would not expect about Kathy's brother. I take it that your name is Sylvia?"
"Why, yes it is, how did you know that?"
"Kathy told me a lot about you and from looking at the other women here, it could only be you."
Sylvia blushed a little, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"
"Bob smiled and just said, "It is a good thing."
Sylvia sized him up a bit and flatly told him, "You are not what I was expecting. From the description Kathy gave me, I was expecting someone more ... don't take offense, now, but a bit more polished. You look more like a mechanic then someone in the stock market."
"No offense taken, and I take that last remark as a compliment." Bob smiled at her.
Sylvia regretted making those comments, they just came out of her mouth before she could pull them back. She was glad to see he was taking them lightly.
"Can I ask you something, strange?" she asked.
"Sure, go ahead, ask away."
"You seem nice and all but don't you feel a little uncomfortable being here with all these professional people?" She asked.
That did stun Bob a little. "Wow, you really do go for the jugular, don't you? Uncomfortable? No, not really, why would you say that? I'm wearing comfortable jeans and shirt. I'm actually a lot more comfortable then most of the men in there."
"Oh, I'm so very sorry, that is not what I meant, it just came our wrong. I feel so embarrassed now. Please forgive me." Sylvia said with a very red face.
Bob was actually enjoying this and seeing her squirm away from her comments. He thought of a come-back to make her maybe smile and not feel so strange around him, "Does that mean our wedding is off and you're refusing to have our baby?"
Excerpted from Abduction and Revenge by Ralph V. Gregorio Copyright © 2010 by Ralph V. Gregorio. Excerpted by permission.
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