Not As Expected (70)

It had been quite some time since Annette Gardner had visited her father. Edward Bains looked much as he always did: composed and dignified with a hint of mischief with in his eye. For as much as Annette adored her father, she could not escape the fact that he was still behind bars. It didn’t matter though. She needed to talk with him.

“Dad,” said Annette, “How’ve you been?”

“Fine, fine, honey. I heard about poor Burke. I can’t believe it! How’s Elaine taking it?” asked Edward.

“She’s not doing very well…Laura and Frank committed her.”

“Committed her? What do you mean? Like in a psych ward?”

“It’s just a temporary arrangement to help her get herself back together. She’s been a wreck, frankly,” said Annette with a hint of sadness. She continued after a brief pause, “Dad, there’s a lot to fill you in on. For instance, Red’s gone now.”

“He’s gone? You mean that bastard left you? I’ll kill him I–”

“No dad, we’ve settled on a divorce, and we’re in the process of starting it. I couldn’t stand to be around him anymore, as for the baby, I promised him he’d be a part of its life. I don’t want the baby to hate him just because there’s bad blood between us now.”

Annette could be so sensible, and for the life of him, Edward could not understand. He just shook his head for her to go on.

“There’s something else, dad,” said Annette uncomfortably, “About Elaine’s doctor…he’s been hinting that he, um…wants to get to know me better…”

“Oh? Is that such a bad thing?”

“Well, no. But I mean, I think it’s sort of rude for him to keep after me even though I’m still married…not to mention he’s Elaine’s doctor!”

Edward laughed to himself, “Honey, do what makes you happy.”

***

Night was falling over Huntsport, and Steven Bains awaited the arrival of Michael Falcone at Burton Heights. After about five minutes, a black sedan pulled into the park, from which Michael Falcone emerged. Steven waited stealthily behind a tree, giving Falcone time to sweat.

“Bains? Bains, you here?” said Michael Falcone in a gruff tone.

Steven came out from his hiding spot, appearing as a shadow beneath a lamplight. Michael approached him with a look of utter shock on his face.

“Bains, that you? What the hell! You’re supposed to be–“

“Dead, I know. Listen I’ve got to tell you that–“

“But how? I went to your friggin’ funeral! Your car was totaled in the accident! How did you survive? Do you know what that did to your sisters? For the love of God, can you–“

“Shut up a minute,” said Steven, losing patience, “I’ll explain everything. Just let me tell you what you’re here for. You ever heard of Johnny Romano?”

Michael looked at Steven, confused, “Who the hell is Johnny Romano?”

Steven had an odd sense of fulfillment with what he was about to say. “Ask your father. Ask your father why he shot and killed him in cold blood.”

“Listen, Bains, you know what my father does for a living…I stay out of his way and don’t ask questions. I’m not involved with that.”

“You’ll be interested to know then, Falcone, the reason I’m supposedly ‘dead’ is because of your father. I walked in just as he pulled the trigger. I saw the guy bleed out, and all your father could do was stand there. He saw me and put his goons out on my trail to keep me quiet. That’s why I had to fake the car crash.”

Steven was pleased with the shock on Michael Falcone’s face. However, it gave him even more satisfaction that he had withheld the crucial detail of Johnny Romano’s murder. It would be a fine day when Michael asked his father.

END

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