Welcome back to another chapter of Random Paths! In the last chapter, Eva got three body guards to help her go to and from classes and really connected with Thomas Destansi, one of those guards. There was one known attempt at her life when they took down Samuel, but their lack of knowledge on the lab instructor proved the plan’s undoing. At the end of the chapter, the trial for Owen Maguire and the others from the SUA that had orchestrated the attack on her was about to start and Eva had gotten a phone call. And now on with the story.
Eva didn’t know the number but answered it anyway. It could be the prosecutor wanting to finalize her testimony since she was to be the first witness.
“Good. You answered the phone,” the voice said. Eva recognized the voice. It was the one that had threatened the Destansi boys when she was still at school.
“What do you want?” Eva said.
“You testify against Owen, Quentin, and Rafael and we’ll kill your sister. And to prove we have her I’ll let you say hi,” the voice said.
“Testify, sis! Test…” Eva heard Miranda yell before hearing the sound of a slap.
“You tell anyone we have her and we kill her. You testify and we’ll kill her. You know what we did to you so you know we’ll carry it out.” The caller then hung up.
Eva sat on her bed and cried and jumped when her phone rang again. She saw it was Thomas.
Thomas had heard of the ruling on the case and had called Eva to see how she was holding up. But she was taking an unusually long time to answer her phone.
“Hi,” Eva said. He could hear the worried tone in her voice.
“Hey, was calling to see how you were holding up but clearly something is wrong. What’s wrong?”
“I… I can’t say.”
“What do you mean you can’t say? You can tell me anything, you know that, right?”
“I just can’t.”
“Is everyone alright?”
“I can’t say. I can’t,” Eva cried and hung up.
Thomas stared at his phone once he realized she hung up on him. He was at the new home in Moonlight Falls that week helping his mother rearrange the family room for the millionth time. So he approached his dad.
“Dad, we need to talk,” Thomas said.
Ian looked up and was about to tell him he was busy when he noticed the look on his face. He was serious. “Alright. Make it quick though. I’ve got a Council meeting in an hour.”
“I called Eva to see how she was taking the fact that she’s going to be testifying in about a week. Something seemed off so I asked her what was wrong. She said she couldn’t say. When I tried to get her to open up she repeated it. I asked if everyone was alright. She repeated that she couldn’t say and hung up. Am I wrong in assuming that the SUA has done something?”
“No, you’re not. If I was a betting person, I’d bet they have kidnapped someone close to Eva and using them as hostage. With the ransom being not testifying.”
“They won’t let the person go if she doesn’t knowing them.”
“I know. Eva likely knows that, too. So she’s likely trying to stall while she processes things. We primarily need to figure out who they have. The SUA have a big presence in Bridgeport and I have a contact there who is personally interested in the Wallis family’s well being. I’ll give him a call.”
Ian dialed Zachariah Smith’s number. “Hey, Zachariah. It’s Ian.”
“It’s been a while, Ian. How’s the family?”
“Good. No time for idle chatter tonight, Zachariah. Have you heard of any play by the SUA? You’ve got a tentative alliance with them don’t you?”
“Yea, we’ve got one. One until we figure out their angle. And why they beat up Eva. Or well, what made Eva not want to join them. I think they mentioned something about kidnapping some girl’s sister.”
“Some girl would be Eva. Which means they’ve kidnapped Miranda Wallis.”
“They kidnapped Revan’s daughter?” Zachariah said.
“Apparently. And called her sister to threaten her in an attempt to get her to not testify. And based on my son’s conversation with her, told her not to tell anyone.”
“I’ve got a plan. I’ll call you when I’ve accomplished it. Do not let anyone do anything stupid. Namely Wolfgang. Because he’s smart enough to piece things together, too. Call him and tell him we’re doing the same plan we executed with his family. He’ll understand.”
“Got it.” Ian hung up the phone.
“You’re aware that Eva’s mother was Revan, right?” Ian said and when Thomas nodded, he continued, “Well, Wolfgang got saddled with the case of finding out who Revan was so that they could take her down when she got Darius dealt with. Wolfgang managed to get caught by Revan’s men sneaking about the place. Given their relationship, Revan spared him long enough to form an alliance because neither criminals nor police could take Darius down alone. In order to keep Wolfgang’s family safe once word got out that he got the alliance formed, they were placed under protection of Revan’s group. And they used the ploy of ‘We’ve kidnapped the family in order to make sure the police keep their word’. So he’s planning to shift Miranda into his care by means of lying to the SUA. My guess Zachariah will shift Miranda to him under the ‘it will look less like witness tampering if you’re not the ones holding her’. Now I need to call Wolfgang before he does anything stupid.”
He dialed Wolfgang’s number. “Now’s not a good time, Ian.”
“I know it’s not. What have you guessed?”
“That one of my relatives has been kidnapped. I’m about to call Zachariah…”
“One step ahead of you, Wolfgang, by virtue of Thomas. Zachariah has a plan and it’s best if your number isn’t on his phone records. Or any abnormal number right now.”
“Zachariah said that they were going to try the same plan they did with your family.”
“Ah. So being in the dark is key. Which relative is it, Ian?”
“I think it’s best that you do not know. Or at least you aren’t told.”
“What do you mean?”
“I think Eva’s under a if you tell we’ll kill order.”
Zachariah had arranged for the meeting and today was the day. Unfortunately the guy demanded that he be there. If they saw any hint of recognition in Miranda’s eyes it could spell doom for the plan.
He arrived at the club on the day and time agreed upon. He was let in by the club’s bouncers and shown to where the meeting was taking place. He walked up and the guy who was to have the meeting with was sitting on a couch. He saw Miranda sitting in the corner of the couch and judging from the slight movements she was making, she was crying.”
“So you think she’ll be safer with you?”
“Just as safe as with you. But you don’t get to be head of the Bridgeport Mafia without knowing a thing or two about planning for the worst. If she gets caught with you and your guys are on trial for attempting to murder her sister that sounds an awful lot like witness tampering. Doesn’t it? But if she’s just with someone you’re loosely associated with and we’re the more powerful entity, then it doesn’t look like witness tampering anymore.” He smiled evilly and got a good look at Miranda.
Miranda went pale when she heard Zachariah’s words. He had been friends with her mother. But as Revan. Not as Kreia. Did he hold any loyalty to Revan’s kids? To her and to Eva? His words weren’t sounding like it, though. Though maybe he didn’t know. She’d have to tell him. Once he got her free of these guys.
Zachariah had finished looking her over. Miranda looked relatively unharmed which was usual for the group until things went south. And they went from don’t harm the hostage to brutally murdering the hostage when things went south. And he could tell that she recognized him by the loss of color at his words.
“She went pale boss. I think she knows him,” one of the SUA lackeys stated.
“Of course I know of him! Who doesn’t know of the head of the Bridgeport Mafia?! He only played a major role in the downfall of Darius Myst and who doesn’t know how powerful he was. You have to be damn powerful as a mundane to take down a vampire. Especially one with a few hundred years under his belt,” Miranda said. Zachariah had to hand it to the kid. She had her mother’s quick thinking.
It didn’t take long for Miranda to be placed into Zachariah’s care.
Miranda was sitting in Zachariah’s office when he came in. She was about to speak up when he said, “Unfortunately for things to work, I’m going to have to hold you here until your sister testifies. Safer for you and it should give your sister the boost she needs to testify.”
“I told her to when I got handed the phone to prove to her I was still alive.”
“Would you testify if your sister was being held hostage and the threat was testify and she dies?”
Miranda looked down. “I… I don’t know.”
“Exactly. We need them to get cocky so they don’t try anything else. But we as the Bridgeport Mafia need to be a bit too boastful about having you. Just enough so that a certain ex Master Thief finds out. But until she testifies and until they try to carry out their threat, you’re staying here. I owe it to your mother to make sure you get through this alive.”
Miranda nodded. “Where… where will I say?”
“With me. I don’t trust the others with you. I’ll spend a week at my house. Along with my personal guards.”
“So… so you’re aware that I’m Revan’s daughter?”
“Yes. You take after her in looks. Except your hair. You’ve also got her quick thinking. I’m sorry I scared you back there. But I couldn’t exactly say that you’re the kid of my former boss. Everyone knows I was as close to a best friend as anyone could get to Revan. Revan did the same thing to Wolfgang when he got caught.”
“Why are you doing this for me and Eva? From what I’ve gathered, you aren’t the kindest person around and you don’t do anything that would put you in too much danger. This does. Why?”
“Few reasons. I had developed strong feelings for your mother. I didn’t know until the day she died that she had married and I didn’t know until a few days after that she had had kids. Second reason and the major reason is that your cousin Wolfgang happens to be my best friend. I also had a very strong ally in Ian Destansi. We still chat from time to time and he’s the father of Thomas Destansi. And let’s just say I’ve gotten the vibe that Thomas and Eva have feelings for each other.”
And the week went by slowly for all involved. Eva did get word that Zachariah Smith was holding Miranda. Which made Eva fully prepared to testify. And testify she did.
And not a day later a loud knock was heard at the door. “Open up, Smith! The bitch testified and now we need to carry out our end of the threat. We won’t do it here if you don’t want.”
“Shit,” Zachariah said quietly and beckoned for Miranda to follow. He pulled some books out and flipped a book switch. “In here. Don’t make a sound unless you recognize the voice and know they’re safe.” A couple of gun shots sounded and Zachariah quickly shut the door and replaced the books. He sat down at the seat and a moment later the goons came into view.
“Where is she?”
“Last I heard I had her at my base of operations.”
One of the goons pulled out a gun and shot Zachariah. “We’ve already checked your base of operations. Where is she?”
Zachariah doubled over but said, “Not here, idiots.”
Miranda sat in the dark as she heard the goons tear up the place after apparently shooting Zachariah. She could feel the tears falling and just hoped she could keep quiet until a voice she recognized was heard or Zachariah opened the door.
Minutes turned into hours and she heard the police come and go, but she wasn’t sure if she could trust the police. They might be corrupt. She was about to give up on anyone finding her before she died of thirst when she heard a pair of voices.
“I don’t see her, Dad. But I smell a mundane. And too fresh to be anyone from when it went down. And I sense fear,” one voice said.
Smell? Could one of them be a vampire? Would they be alright to expose my existence to? They definitely aren’t SUA since they hate occults, Miranda thought.
“I can sense her, too, Thomas. Miranda has to be here. And she hasn’t left or the smell would have been stronger at the doors.”
She heard them as they went around looking for her. Soon enough the voices came back to the room she was in. “How can we smell her but not be able to find her,” the older one said.
“Secret door maybe?” Thomas said.
And a few minutes later one of them had found the switch as she was blinded by bright light. She backed into the corner and tried to hide in the little remaining darkness.”
“We’re vampires, Miranda. You can’t hide that easily,” Thomas said, offering a hand, “I’ve got a phone that’s got Eva’s number in it. You can call her on it if you’d like?”
Miranda held out her hand and said, “Phone.”
Thomas handed Miranda his phone. “Speed dial 4.”
Miranda took a shot and trusted this Thomas and held down 4.
“Thomas, I’m too wired to talk. I testified, the SUA…” Eva cried.
“Not Thomas,” Miranda said and stepped out of the hidden room.
“Miranda?! Is that you?! Are you ok? Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine. Thanks to Zachariah and Thomas and whomever this other guy is. I’ll call you back later, I want to talk with these guys for a bit, sis,” Miranda then hung up the phone and looked at the older guy, “First I know he’s Thomas. You are? And do you know if Zachariah…”
“I’m Ian Destansi. Zachariah is still in critical condition. He hasn’t woken up yet.”
“Take me there,” Miranda said.
“Was going to suggest you go to the hospital anyway. Get checked out,” Ian said, “Come on.”
Miranda was looked at and given some IV fluids. But after that she kept vigil in Zachariah’s room. It didn’t take long for Wolfgang and Eva to arrive. Eva first hugged Miranda and then hugged Thomas. Miranda smiled as she noticed her sister hug just a little too personally and long for it to be a simple thank you hug with a friend.
A few days later, Zachariah awoke. Miranda had been forced out of the room to go eat some real food out at a restaurant. “Is she safe?” he asked, “Did anyone find her?”
“She’s fine, Zachariah. We found her. She just needed to get some fresh air and real food for a change. She should be back in a half hour or so,” Ian said.
And that’s it for this chapter! Will Eva be able to realize that it wasn’t her fault that her sister was kidnapped? Will Thomas and Eva realize their feelings for each other?