Chapter Three

“So you say these men had you locked away for six years?”

There was a hint of skepticism in the question.  Tony couldn’t really blame him.  If the situation were reversed he wouldn’t have believed the story either.

“My family is what you could say ‘connected’, my cousin worked for years to go legit despite my aunt and Abuela’s best efforts to change his mind.”  That was putting it mildly, Aunt Carmen had been hell on wheels.  She had made Danny and Michelle’s lives chaos for years and if she wasn’t in a coma she’d still be causing problems. Not to mention what Abuela had done to Marah and him.

“So do you think these men are retaliating?”

“It’s possible.  Although my family never did business outside of those they trusted.  And never anyone in California. ” 

“So what is your plan amigo?”

Tony had spent the past years doing nothing but planning his escape and re-entering the world of the living.  Now that it was a reality he was at a loss of what to do next.  There was one option, but it was a longshot at best.

“Years ago Danny and I set aside money in some offshore accounts.  Nothing illegal just emergency money in case something happened.  Mainly because Danny had Michelle and Robbie.  Hopefully Danny didn’t close mine after my supposed death.”

“Then I guess our next stop is to a computer.  And a shower.  No offense but you could use a good scrubbing.”

Tony laughed then gasped at the sharp pain.  Yeah a bath and some rest sounded good to him.

***

The phone roused Danny from a sound sleep.  As he slowly extracted himself from his wife’s sleeping arms he winced at his sore muscles.  That woman was going to be the death of him.  But at least he’d die happy.  

With that happy thought he rolled over and answered the phone with a sleep roughened, “Hello?”

“Mr. Santos?  This is Mr. Stevenson.”

What was his accountant doing calling him at six o’clock in the morning?

“We had some action on one of your dormant accounts.  The one belonging to a Mr. Antonio Santos.”

Danny sat straight up in bed, all traces of sleep whipped from his mind.  He heard Michelle roll over and felt her questioning stare.

“That has to be some mistake.  Tony has been dead for years.”

“Precisely why we contacted you immediately.  It is possible that it is a computer glitch, or it could be someone siphoning money out of dormant accounts thinking no one would notice.  I assure you Mr. Santos we are investigating the matter thoroughly.”

“I appreciate that.  Please keep me informed of any developments.”

“Of course Mr. Santos.  We take our client’s security seriously.”

Danny returned the phone to its stand but couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.   He’d forgotten all about the emergency funds.  No one but he and Tony knew about them.  And Michelle of course.  He never could keep something like that from her.

“Danny what is it?”

Danny turned his head to face his wife, “Someone accessed Tony’s emergency fund.”

Michelle just looked at him questioningly.  He could almost read her thoughts.  There was no possible way Tony had made it that night at Laurel Falls.  He had performed CPR himself.  They’d both seen him die before their eyes.  Though he knew that logically he couldn’t stop the flare of hope that Tony had somehow made it.  After all Carmen had “died” several times, always coming back to continue her reign of terror.

Danny laid back down and gathered Michelle close, thankful that all they had been through had led them here. 

***

“Hey Boss.  Someone accessed Tony Santos account last night.”

The boss pondered this development.  So Tony hadn’t succumbed to the elements.  He wasn’t surprised.  Afterall it was that strong will that had kept him alive all these years.   He could have easily killed him after his replacement had died.  He had already gotten some revenge.  Danny and Michelle were broken, he had Marah escaping the past in Paris, and replacement Tony reverting back to his old ways.  No one would miss him.  But no, he wanted Tony a broken shell of a man.  Only then would he know he bested Mr. High and Mighty Santos.  But the bastard never cracked, and so the torture continued.

“Check to see if anyone matching his description boarded a plane to Paris.” He figured Tony’s first stop would be Marah.  Not knowing that she had already returned to Springfield.  Springfield.  Would Tony go back to the scene of the crime?  Who was he kidding, of course he would. “And get me a detail on Danny Santos.  There’s only two places Tony would run to.  It’s time to finish what we started.”

***

Tony almost looked human again.  Amazing what a shower and shave could do for a man.  If it wasn’t for the bruises he might even look like the man he used to be.  He exited the bathroom and joined Rafael at the table where the man was enjoying his coffee.

“So tell me about this Springfield.”

What to say about Springfield? “It’s home.  Well I was born in Chicago but that place holds no good memories.  Springfield is where my life really began.  It’s where my cousin and his wife live, and my brother Ray.”

“And what about Marah?”

Tony’s head came up.  How did he know about Marah?  Was it possible that his savior was also his enemy?

Rafael must have noticed what he was thinking because he reached over a put a hand on his arm, “You talk in your sleep.  She sounds like a special girl.”

Special didn’t begin to describe Marah.  She was light in the darkness.  Just thinking about something as innocuous as her eyes made his heart race…not to mention other parts of his body. 

“Yes Marah was Special.  IS special.  Our relationship was complicated but she’s still here you know.” Tony placed his hand on his heart.  Yeah it may be sentimental mush but it was the truth.  Marah had his heart, always had and he suspected she always would. 

“So when do we leave?”

Tony raised an eyebrow, “We?”

“Of course.  Maybe it’s curiosity or perhaps I just want to see how this mystery plays out.  Either way I am coming along for the ride.  Consider it a last adventure for an old man.”

Tony could understand that.  And in his condition it’s not like he could drive himself.  However, the big deciding factor was that by himself it would take him weeks to reach his goal.  With Rafael it would only be a matter of day. “Tomorrow morning.” 

Rafael nodded and went back to drinking his coffee.

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