*SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO*
“I have three men following them as we speak. You mention that they were heading south and I have a few people waiting on standby,” the head of security explains to his boss.
He doesn’t dare to look at his boss for his boss is no nice man. He rarely gives his guys a day off, he only does so because of the new requirement implemented by the board of regents. The head of security has worked for his boss for years, in fact dating back to his boss’s father when he started out. However, the boss’s father was never this evil and selfish.
Sometimes he wishes he retired so he won’t be a part of this.
“Where are they heading to now,” the menacing man asks rubbing his chin. He faces the blank brown wall, thinking about his plan.
“Sir, they are just reaching the border of Arizona and Colorado. What do you want us to do?”
“I want you to make it look like an accident. I want them dead and gone...if the child survives it won’t be a problem. The child will be placed in a foster system or something. I want no trails left behind, you got that?”
The head of security nods despite not agreeing with him. He doesn’t dare to speak up for he once did. The boss threatens him that he’ll accuse him of every crime they committed together erasing him from existence. Who knew businessmen could be so cold.
A part of him doesn’t want to complete this action because it takes a kid away from their family and their life. They will be haunted forever at the thought of being alone. However, most of his heart and mind doesn’t care for the child. He only cares about being number one. The Del Reys need to be gone in order for Marino to succeed.
Once upon a time, the Del Reys and Marinos were great business partners. The Del Reys deal with energy conservation as well as helping the natural environment by hiring scientists to fund their projects. One day the Del Reys made a bold move and started a manufacturing division investing in products just like the Marinos.
That caused an internal war between both companies. The Del Reys were oblivious to what they have done since they knew they couldn’t compete with the Marinos. The Marinos called their bluff siting that they knew full well.
But they really didn’t.
If it all worked out, the Del Reys business will tumble down, losing their majority of stocks so the Marino’s can buy them making them the best in the whole country, perhaps top ten in the world. Countless hours of research and planning lead up to this, the only thing ruining the situation is if the board of Rey finds out that the child made it out alive. If the child is alive then the assets go to them causing more of a headache.
He has to make sure that the child is gone, not dead, but gone.
“Sir, we are ready. Just tell us the order,” the head interrupts the boss’s thoughts.
Once again, his mind is plagued by doubt. He knows what he is doing is wrong. If this leaks out the whole Marino Enterprises and his family will be ashamed, shamed for life. It is rough enough that his wife’s family is the mafia always constantly shutting down connections. This will clearly send the stocks crashing down.
It is funny and ironic that he detested his wife’s family values when he is doing the same thing that they do all the time. Kill people to get on top.
But he has faith.
“Do it,” he orders.
With deep frustration and newfound hatred, the head of security guard calls the men at the scene, “Go ahead.”
Contented, the boss thanks the head of security and exits his private office in his house. He walks past his beautiful wife sitting with their son of nine years, another son of seven years and their only daughter that just turned one a few months back. A deep pang radiates across his chest seeing his seven-year-old son because the child who is about to die is the same age as him. He doesn’t even know the child’s name. Ignoring the feeling he continues to walk past the happy trio.
His wife, despite her harsh upbringing, loves her husband and recognizes his cold world. Them falling in love wasn’t all rays and sunshine, it was kind of rough. He, being the jerk that he is at times, didn’t want to be with his wife because of her familial ties with the Italian Mafia.
But the heart wants what the heart wants.
She felt her husband watching them as he left his private office. She knows her husband is always stressed out and her family presence isn’t the type of medication he needs. But the familia is worth more than money and fortune. He should know that it is in the Italian nature.
When she felt him pass by, she couldn’t help but feel this sting itching her heart. She gasps causing her to drop her one-year-old daughter’s bottle. She slowly sits on the chair almost crying. She quickly hid her sadness as her two boys came up to her asking her what’s wrong.
She replied that nothing is, that she is tired.
She has always been the religious woman, even with her family being the exact opposite of following the rules. She knows something dangerous and evil happened, she felt it when her husband walked by. She knows this feeling because her family always used to do something bad causing her to think of something.
She hopes her husband had nothing to do with it.
She picks up her child’s bottle and washes the nipple so she can drink it. After she does so, her child begins drinking the milk that causes her to fall asleep.
That night, the husband and his wife get ready for bed. The news is on telling all of the latest stories. Suddenly the breaking news appeared in front of them.
The story told by the anchor that a fatal car crash happened along the Arizona and Colorado border. It involved a semi truck driver who spent far too many hours on the road without any sleep and a family of three.
That family of three is the Del Rey family.
He sees his wife’s face drain with shock. He knew that his wife was good friends with the woman who died in the crash. They met at a business party a few years back when she was pregnant with their third child. They promise each other than they should be more than acquaintances and play dates were a necessity. The husbands were on polite terms but they were never best friends. The husband believed that they could not be that close because eventually one day that they’ll end up using each other for their own greed.
It turns out that the husband was right. After all, he caused the car crash.
He tries to console his wife after the news broadcast officially ended. He is not the best of showing feelings, his wife knows that, but something is wrong with his move. It doesn’t seem genuine, it seems forced. Like he was forced to console her either out of pity or he doesn’t want to hear her cry.
She can’t shake off her feeling that he caused this. Her mind is feeding her these constant notions that her husband did this. She, admitting that she knows him too well, would never stoop down to her family’s level since he hated that level so much! Her husband is not a criminal and would never put his family name at risk.
Why would he try to kill the Del Reys? For money? He has all the money in the world! In fact, his business is thriving! Not even the Del Reys could compete, they are vastly smaller and less competitive than Marinos.
She shakes off her feeling, lying on her husband’s arm. His heart consumes with sadness, he promised his wife that he would never lie to her. Never cause her pain yet here he is causing her pain. He loves his wife, he loves his family, but somehow his company is far more important.
How did he stoop so low?
Was it greed? Was it fear that the Del Reys would eventually surpass them?
He rubs his wife’s back consoling her until she falls asleep. Out of pit and misery, he gets up from the bed and walks downstairs to his bar room. He pours himself a drink, the strongest scotch that they have.
He hears the doors open and close. The heavy footsteps suggest that it was his head of security coming to visit him. When the boss turns around, he confirms that it was the head.
“Sir, the child made it out alive. She has a few minor cuts and scratches. According to the doctors, she hardly remembers a thing and was placed in a foster home. Both of the parents passed away,” there was a slight sting in his tone but he straightens out not showing his moment of weakness.
“Good,” the boss replies drinking more of his scotch. The head of security knows that his boss is going to be haunted by his decision for a long time. If he was cruel like his wife’s family, he would have been soundly sleeping with his mind on the company’s next venture.
“Good night,” he says to his boss leaving him all alone.
Just as long as the child doesn’t know who they are, then everything will be fine. He and his family will flourish as the most successful family business with the downfall of the Del Reys. Of course, he has to act that he is completely struck with sadness and claim that he will miss his dearest friends. He is a pretty good actor, after all he can hold this lie for at least six years. He estimates all of this will die down in six years provided if no new information appears.
He finishes the last drink of his scotch. He places the glass in the sink and heads back up to his bedroom. His wife is no longer there on the bed instead, she is out on the balcony. He ignores her going to the restroom to try to remove his smell of scotch.
She knows that her husband feels sad. Her husband doesn’t get up in the middle of the night and leaves. He cherishes sleep and claims he always needs it. She knows that her husband, despite citing that they were never great friends, will lose his friendly competition and a good companion.
She stands out putting her hands on the balcony rings, looking over the city of Italy. They are on vacation but they will be heading to the states soon. She knows that she has to be prepared for the paparazzi and the constant questions if her family played a role in this.
Her family may be evil but they would never target somebody with their kid with them. They are actually not as evil as people think they would be, but rumors are more vile than lies.
Feeling sad and distraught, she leaves the balcony to see her husband snoring in his sleep. She quietly leaves the room and makes her way to her eldest son’s room. She sits by him, looking at him for a moment then kissing him on his forehead.
She checks on her daughter between her two sons’ room. She quietly sleeps with the classical tunes playing in the back. She smiles and kisses her daughter.
She goes to her other son’s room. Her heart drops looking at his sleeping face because she knows that her friend’s daughter is his age. She quietly cries holding her sobs in her hands. They would have been great friends if they ever had the chance to meet. They were never besties but they talked when they could, she always wanted to meet her child. Her friend told her that her child already is speaking two languages! Something she hopes her children could do.
She gets up, kissing her son’s forehead. She shuts the door and goes to her bedroom lying next to her sleeping husband. By the smell of his breath, he was drinking scotch. She sighs kissing his forehead before turning her back on him.
From that night on, she never thought of her husband’s potential involvement. For that, her husband was grateful.