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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 18 page 18

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As he was heading back inside Vincent saw Zanini huddled in a corner talking on his cellphone. He tried to catch a few words but Zanini was talking low and Vincent had to get back to his grandmother, who was the priority at the moment, so he passed right by.

“Yeah,” Zanini said into the phone. “I’m telling you it was the same broad, the nurse. I never forget a face, especially a hot one. The doorman clammed up when I asked about her but I’m sure he knows more than he’s telling. We’ll keep working on him.”


—♦—


Angie slammed the door to her apartment. She was still fuming about Vincent’s attitude as she threw her keys on the hall stand. What a colossal, arrogant, bastard, she thought. You try to help someone and where does it get you? She shook her head and groaned. She tried not to think about his rich, deep voice and those eyes — Stop it!

She was angry at herself for being attracted to him. She sat down at her laptop and started a search. It didn’t take long to find out a lot about him on social media. She discovered that he worked for a prestigious Bay Street law firm, was single, and loved adventure sports. There were pictures posted of him skiing, climbing, and paddle boarding. “Of course, he would be good at everything!” she said out loud.

Then Angie googled old Vito’s name and a few scraps came up. He had been arrested in his youth for assorted felonies. This item led to an article about Natalie Vanelli, Vito’s first wife. Angie shivered as she read the old news story. Natalie would have been Vincent’s mother. The woman was killed in a car accident, an unsolved hit and run. Vincent would have been just a child. Angie felt a twinge of compassion for him. How awful for both father and son. She went back to Vincent’s Facebook page and wrote down the firm he worked for. Maybe she would reconsider his offer to talk. She added his phone number to her phone contacts.

Angie woke up the next morning to sunshine and blue skies. All her concerns about mobsters, speeding cars and cashmere-wearing henchmen seemed a little silly in the light of the new day. She ate her usual healthy breakfast of quinoa, yogurt and honey and headed off.

She grabbed a coffee at her favorite coffee shop as was her custom and walked her usual route, passing the King Edward Hotel. She waved good morning to the substitute doorman. He came right up to her looking worried.

“Hey Miss, you were asking about Nick right?” He meant Nick, the regular doorman he was substituting for.

“Yes, have you heard from him? Will he be back soon?”

“Afraid not, Miss. I heard from the manager that Nick was found in an alley behind his apartment. He was badly beaten up. He’s in a coma. Looks like I’ll be here for a while longer.” He rambled on about job insecurity and his money situation but Angie stopped listening. She walked past him in shock.

Oh my God, she thought. Poor Nicky. She tossed her coffee into a garbage can and pulled out her cellphone. Her hands were shaking as she scrolled down to Vincent’s number. It rang a few times then went to voicemail.

“Hi Mr. Vanelli…Vincent, it’s Angelica Castello. I need to talk to you urgently. Can you call me back as soon as you can? I think I might be in trouble. Please, I need your help.”

They might have got information on her from Nick. Angie wanted to run home and hide under the covers, but what good would that do? She needed the distraction of work to get through this day. She carefully looked around, taking in the street scene. Nothing seemed out of place. She took a few deep breaths and tried to calm herself. Head up and shoulders back, she turned up Victoria Street and thought about Nicky. She must try to see him. Maybe at lunch time she could find out where he was and—

Angie didn’t get to finish her thought. A massive forearm grabbed her from behind, choking her. She couldn’t scream or breathe. She felt the needle pierce the skin on her neck. In the following few seconds she experienced devastating fear, then oblivion.


TO BE CONTINUED...