“What do you mean ‘put all this behind us’? It’s just started for God’s sake!” shouted Louise. Her brother’s apartment was no longer a den of secrecy, instead, it was now an arena for sparring siblings.
“I mean,” said Steven with snark, “The reason I’ve been…playing dead–”
“Cut the crap Steven, I’m in no mood to joke,” said Louise as her face twisted from confusion to anger.
“Peter killed John Romano, and I saw him do it. I had to lay low, or else he would’ve found me and I’d be dead right now. I can testify against him and put him away. As for Josephine, well, I know you were in the hospital…I’ve got proof she did it to you. You didn’t just take a fall.”
The anger Louise had unleashed began to fade as she looked at Steven. For the first time since she had entered the house, he had appeared to be flesh and blood that she was talking to, not just a phantom presence that received every bitter feeling of the past two years.
Tears began to fall from her eyes again. “Steven, I’m sorry I…I’m sorry I reacted like that…you’re alive!” shouted Louise as she threw her arms around her brother, “Steven I…you…thank God!”
Steven smiled as Louise hugged him. “Hey, hey, Lou. It’s okay! Hey, didn’t you hear what I said? It was Josephine. She’s the one that put you in that hospital bed. They’re done Lou, all of ’em.”
“You know, it’s funny. No one believed me that harpy was capable of attempting murder..or whatever you want to call it. Now, the only person that does believe me hasn’t even existed these past two years!”
“I’m always on your side Louise, you know that,” said Steven.
“Good,” said Louise, “Because I’ve been taking care of her myself…”
Steven looked at her quizzically, unsure of what his sister meant.
Peter Falcone looked nervously around every corner of his house as the afternoon sun began to fade. Shadows began to fall across the furniture as he stalked through halls, making sure no one was around to see him sneak into his son’s bedroom.
“I’ll be damned if I let Bains get away with this,” said Peter in a low voice as he quietly shut the double doors behind him.
Inside the room, the shades were drawn. Only a small sliver of light found its way through and fell sharply on the bed. Frustration crossed Peter’s face as he dug out a lighter from his pocket to ignite his cigar. Smoking had always eased his worries. Crossing over to Michael’s desk, he began to rifle through the assorted folders and envelopes scattered across it.
“I know he knows where he is,” mumbled Peter. He laughed as he came across an envelope with the scribbled signature of Steven Bains. “Knowing my son, of course he’d leave it in plain sight.” He quickly jotted down the address and replaced the envelope. “Bains doesn’t know who he’s messing with. He hasn’t the faintest idea,” said Peter as he placed the scrap of paper in his breast pocket.
Satisfied, Peter left the room, grinning. Of course, a grin on a Falcone was about as comforting as spider in bed. They wouldn’t hurt anyone immediately, but make them very, very uncomfortable. “Thanks, Michael,” said Peter to himself.
As Peter walked away with a confident swagger, he failed to observe the pair of shoes that pointed out from beneath the draperies in the hallway. Michael Falcone emerged when his father was safely out of sight, grinning that same Falcone grin.
“Any time dad, any time.”