What Matters Most~ Thirty-Three (Part One)

Angry didn’t begin to describe Tony’s mood at that moment. He knew to the depths of his soul that Eden had known Marah was there when she kissed him. Walking the short distance back to the room he was shocked to discover that Eden was gone. She had simply vanished. He laid his palms flat on the table before him and hung his head. Once again Eden had detonated a bomb in his life and walked away unscathed. He growled in frustration, pushing the table several feet away.

“Judging by your defeated look and the way you are beating up that table I am guessing you and Marah had a fight. My question is are you going to stand there and throw a hissy fit or are you going to go after her?”

Tony hadn’t heard Danny come in the room but he wasn’t surprised, Danny had to have heard some of the commotion. He was surprised half of Springfield hadn’t witnessed the end of his marriage. “She saw Eden kiss me. Suffice to say she doesn’t want me anywhere near her right now Danny.”

“That woman has been out to get you from day one Tony. I know and you know it. But you and Marah are strong you just need to clear away all the crap Eden has thrown at you.” Danny let out a sad little laugh and fished out his keys from his pocket, “As for Marah not wanting to be near you, since when do you ever listen? Here you can take my car, Michelle and I can catch a ride home with Ed and Holly.”

“Keep your keys. My car is right outside. Marah caught a ride home with Carlos.” Tony let out a harsh breath. Sitting on the table he finally looked at Danny, his eyes full of condition. “Though I guess I should be grateful. Marah was really upset. I would never forgive myself if something happened to her or the baby.”

Hearing that Marah was currently with Carlos, Danny’s expression suddenly got serious, “Did you invite Carlos Riviera tonight?”

Tony shook his head. Danny wanted to talk about invitations at a time like this? “My life is going down the drain but you want to talk about who invited some business associate of ours?”

Danny advanced further into the room, tension evident in his stance and tone. “Listen Tony this is important. I don’t know why, it just is.”

“I haven’t seen or talked to the man in weeks. When I saw him tonight I assumed you told him about the event.” A look of pure panic washed over Tony’s face when Danny’s expression didn’t change, in fact it just looked more rigid. “What is going on Danny?”

He didn’t know, but it wasn’t looking good. They needed to alert Frank as soon as possible, something was seriously not right about this whole situation. “I don’t know for sure.”

“Danny, please tell me Marah is safe.”

The naked pleading in Tony’s voice nearly broke Danny. But that wouldn’t help any of them right now, he had to remain steady, for Tony and for Marah. “I think there is more to Carlos Riviera than what meets the eye. I think we need to talk to Frank and…” Danny stopped mid sentence when he realized Tony wasn’t listening, he was already running towards the door. Following in his wake Danny rushed to catch up.

***

Marah had been surprised when Carlos had escorted her to an older model SUV. The man was decked out in Armani and he drove a Honda? Marah had then mentally slapped herself for thinking like a snob. She had never been one for pretentious behaviour so perhaps Carlos was the same way. She was just thankful he didn’t make idle chitchat or try to sing the praises of Tony Santos. She really didn’t think she could handle any of that right now. She felt a sharp pain in her lower abdomen and winced. Damn Braxton-Hicks. But thankfully the pain was fleeting just like last time. Not like the pain in her heart.

Turning her gaze out the window she was shocked to see that Carlos wasn’t anywhere near her house. But then again he had only been there once, perhaps he didn’t remember the way. “This isn’t the way to my house. If you take a left you can double back though.”

Carlos turned cold and unfeeling eyes towards her. Eyes that made the hair on Marah’s arms stand on end. Something is not right here. Then he practically sneered at her as he said, “I am not taking you home.”

Marah tried to keep the fear out of her voice as she replied calmly. “Where are you taking me?”

Carlos shot her a look full of pure malice that chilled Marah to her very core. Marah knew without a doubt that she was in the presence of evil. And it was even more clear when he sneered, “Where are we going? Why, back to the scene of the crime of course.”

***

Several heads turned as Tony came running through the crowd but thankfully no one tried to stop him because they would have gotten mowed down. Michelle saw the frantic look in Tony’s eyes and seeing her husband following in his wake hurried over. “What is going on?”

Danny knew time was of the essence so he kept his explanation as brief as possible. Drawing her to the side he kept his voice pitched low as he filled Michelle in on the situation, “Neither I nor Tony invited Carlos here and now he is driving Marah home. We think Marah might be in danger.”

Michelle’s face went ghost white, she was not only worried about her friend but the baby as well. She pulled her husband down for a brief kiss before pointing towards the door. “Go! Make sure Marah is safe, but both of you be careful!”

Danny and Tony didn’t have to be told twice. They rushed towards the exit only to be stopped by a commotion directly in front of the front door. And from the sound of things the person was not a happy camper.

“I don’t care if it is black tie! I need to talk to Tony Santos and if you don’t get out of way in the next five seconds you are going to be damn sorry.” They didn’t hear what was said to the man but they did hear his reply. He practically growled deep and dangerous, “Whatever sport. Now either move aside or I move through you. Your choice. But I move through you and you won’t like the outcome.”

Danny and Tony exchanged looks, only one man could threaten an entire security detail without so much as taking a breath. Together they moved more briskly towards the exit. Rafael was back and he sounded as desperate as they were.

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