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Angie regained consciousness. It took a few minutes for her to totally emerge from the fog, then abruptly her eyes blinked open wide in terror. She was tied to a chair with her hands and feet duct-taped in front of her. An old rag was partially stuffed into her mouth and this too was taped around her head. She swerved around to take in her surroundings. She squealed as the tape ripped at the roots of her hair. All around the perimeter of the enormous room were floor-to-ceiling metal shelves piled high with cartons. Shrink-wrapped skids took up most of the floor space. She was crammed into a corner by an old steel desk. Light filtered in through dirty, distant, industrial windows. The place was some sort of shipping warehouse. Angie took a few deep breaths through her nose. The building shook from the roar of a jet engine. A minute later, another airplane, then another. She guessed she must be close to an airport. She heard voices, men’s voices, arguing. They were coming closer. From around a doorway, she spotted the large man in the cashmere coat who had been with Vito Vanelli when he died and who had been hunting for her at Vanelli’s funeral. She thought of him as Cashmere Man. He was heading towards her, his face twisted in anger.
“Okay, Miss Castello, let’s get this over with,” he said.
As he reached for her, his cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket and looked at the caller ID. “Oh-oh,” he said to his accomplice.
He listened on the phone for a few moments and then, “Yes sir, right away. We’ll be there in 15 minutes. What about the girl? Okay, got it. Understood.”
He turned to the other man. “It’s Senior. He wants a family meeting, pronto. He's ticked off. Let’s go.”
Turning around to Angie, “We’ll be back, sit tight!” He laughed at his own joke. The pair rushed out leaving Angie more bewildered and frightened than ever.
Vincent Vanelli, meanwhile, was at the bank with personal accounts manager Toby Khandaar and Detective Louis Pollard from Police Headquarters. Khandaar had checked Vincent’s identification carefully before allowing him access to the safety deposit box belonging to his father, now deceased, Vito Vanelli. On his part, Vito had left strict instructions with the manager to inform Pollard before opening the box.
The three men now sat at the small conference table staring at the unopened box.
“Mr. Vanelli, we know this is somewhat irregular but Mr. Khandaar and I promised your father to carry out his instructions to the letter,” Pollard told Vincent. “Let’s begin.”