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Interpol working with a multinational taskforce of Anti-Organised crime agencies is closing in on Mario Di Michele and his ‘Ndrangheta crime family, His father, uncles and his three brothers and two sisters have been arrested or killed. He is a wanted man in North America, Europe and Latin America. There seems to be only one way to evade capture or certain death and it is by being true to his nature.
Luciano had died protecting him, he had delayed the Carabinieri long enough to allow Mario to make a clean break and escape. Mario bowed his head, Luciano was dead now. He’d known that as soon he’d been forced to leave.
He had wanted to stay and fight alongside his childhood friend but Luciano wouldn’t have it, the Di Michele clan needed to carry on he’d insisted and Mario was the last Di Michele it wouldn’t do for him to be shot or worse arrested.
So now he was dead dying to protect a member of a family that specialised in criminal enterprise making its fortunes from the suffering of others. Luciano fervently believed that they did more good than harm, at least in their home region of Calabria, his family the Marciano’s apparently owed their existence to theirs. His great grandfather had been saved from execution by the Di Michele’s and had sworn a vow of fealty to them in return, a vow Luciano had died upholding.
What was the point? He wondered sadly, all this bloodshed was for what?
Stefan Ivanovic glanced at the man he was tasked with taking delivering across the Adriatic to his native Croatia, the poor bugger looked beaten, lost in thought, a heavy burden on his slight shoulders. He wondered what was worrying but then gain with these Italians you never knew where you stood, their moods changed at the drop of a hat, he was probably mourning Milan's defeat last night in the European Cup.
Yes that was probably it, he didn't want to ponder too much into anything else as he'd been paid quite hansomely to take him to Croatia. He shuddered to think he might one of those Mafia types. They never forgot even the smallest wrong those bastards.
Yes it was better to deliver him and forget about it.
On reaching the Dalmatian coast the plan was for Mario to make his way to a predetermined pick-up point where he would board a truck that was to take him to Prague where he was to lay low for a while, at least that was what he hoped to do but one couldn’t be too careful so he gave a young boy ten euro’s to go there and scout the place for him.
“There a lot of cars around there and the police won’t let anyone go through,” said the kid in broken Italian.
Mario immediately realised a raid was taking place.
“Grazzi,” Mario told him before paying the lad twenty euros.
It looked like nowhere was safe at the moment for the Di Michele family. He wondered what to do, everything was compromised and no one could be trusted. The guys at the depot might talk and the cops would realise he was headed for Prague or worse that he was in Croatia.
He retraced his steps and headed away from the area as soon as possible, aware that they would soon be looking for him. Somehow he had to evade capture, spending his life in prison wasn’t something he looked forward to particularly as he had not been an active participant in some his families more illicit activities.
All he had ever done had been to do his father’s banking, he was very good with numbers and he knew that the elaborate system he had used to cloak his family’s ill- gotten wealth was immensely difficult to crack. So it wasn’t money laundering that they’d used to get them, someone had probably betrayed them which is why he was being looked for so they could get their hands on the Di Michele billions. Even though he knew his family wasn’t the paragon of virtue it claimed to be he knew the Italian government wasn’t much better and there was no way he would let Luciano and the others’ deaths be in vain.
That night as lay in bed he tried to think of ways to avoid arrest and he couldn’t think of any that seemed viable because they involved using his family’s network which was compromised for all he knew or that of another family who would be just as eager to see him dead as the police.
Only one idea came repeatedly to him that long night, that of disguising himself as a woman. Mario had longed since a tender age to be a girl and had confided this wish to his sister Marta who obliged by dressing him up whenever they were alone. His other sister Olivia a born tattler had told their papa after they’d refused to do her bidding resulting in a serious beating for all the children. Olivia for betraying her siblings, Marta for dressing Mario up, Stefano and Luigi for not manning up their brother and Mario for harbouring such disgusting thoughts and desires.
Since that day when he’d been 10 he’d clamped down on his yearning refusing to acknowledge its existence despite the overwhelming agony it caused him. Puberty had been painful not physically but mentally as he saw his body follow a path he hated. He was lucky though because his body didn’t take after the males of the family who were tall, bulky and hairy men, he topped out at 5 ft. 7 and didn’t become as hairy as he might have.
His father made sure to separate him from his sisters that day and teach him to be a man, it worked but only barely for Mario’s heart wasn’t in it.
At 18 his father decided he needed him to go learn about economics and business so he sent him off to the London School of Economics then Harvard after that. That is where Mario had given in to his urges just a bit and had most of his body hair removed as well treatment for his beard so that by the time he went back to Italy he only shaved once a month or so. He knew that had his background been different he would transitioned and was sorely tempted to do so in the UK and the US but he didn’t dare test his father by dishonouring him like that. Now that he was dead which saddened him the idea had been occupying him a lot at night but he found reasons not too.
Now his freedom depended on it.
He knew he could do it, in fact he had too and Thailand was nice at this time of the year and it would be the last place they would look for him considering that he was the child of a drug baron. He had no reason to go to a part of the world with the strictest drug laws on the planet. He smiled as thought about it.
“Ladies and gentleman this is Mario Falcone Di Michele 27, a Harvard and London School of Economics educated accountant and economist. He is thought to be the financial brains behind the Di Michele crime family. We have reason to believe he has set up an elaborate chain of shell companies and bank accounts to hide an estimated $6billion in profits from drugs, smuggling, protection rackets and profits from multiple business interests initially funded by crime but now running on their own two feet. We captured his associate and bodyguard after a shootout, he is in hospital under heavy guard, he’s conscious but so far he isn’t talking,” said Interpol director Rossi.
One agent, an American put up his hand.
“Sir don’t we have forensic accountants who can track down the funds? People in DC want to seize any funds in the US,” he added.
“We have some of the best people on the job but I must hasten to remind you Di Michele was one the best students in the history of International Finance at his schools, I daresay some of the banks would love to have him on their payroll,” said the director to some muted laughter.
“As it stands he is the only link to the Di Michele money so he needs to be taken alive. We believe he is in the Balkans and in hiding,”
“Who is your source?”
“Unfortunately our informant cannot be revealed at this juncture,” said Director Rossi.
“Is he dangerous?”
“Yes because he is cornered though he wasn’t a violent Mafioso like his brothers and father if cornered I believe he will lash out,”
Somewhere in Croatia
The internet was literally a life saver thought Mario when he took delivery of the things he’d ordered last night. Thanks to the internet he had discovered exactly what he needed to do to pass as a woman and it had cost less than a grand. There were even make-up lessons on YouTube on disguising masculine features on his face like his beard which thankfully wasn’t showing then.
Having taken delivery of the items he promptly took stock of his purchases, there was depilatory cream, a pair of breast forms, pads to give his bottom a more feminine shape, make-up, special underwear to disguise his genitals, a pair of wigs, bras and a few outfits.
He quickly got started his excitement tempered by the knowledge he had to do a good job to pass and save his life. First he smeared the hair remover on his lower arms and legs. He hadn’t had the hair there removed out of fear someone in his family would notice the absence of it. He then took a shower and the hair came off as the water washed the cream away.
After that he stepped out of the shower and carefully towelled his body before sitting down on his bed painstakingly tweezing his eyebrows before gluing the breast forms onto his chest. He stood and looked into the full length mirror.
Perfect he thought they sat just right on his chest. He turned away and dressed in the gaffe, then panties plus hip pads before struggling with the brassiere. When he’d finally clasped the bra around his boobs he looked in the mirror once more and was pleased with what he saw, from the neck down he looked like one of those skinny model girls with muted curves.
A pair of jeans then a poet blouse followed. She then sat down and re watched the tutorial on make-up for a cross-dresser that she’d downloaded from YouTube. After a couple of false starts she finally got the look she was aiming for an understated look that enhanced her cheekbones. The auburn wig followed. Looking in the mirror Mario saw someone she hadn’t seen in 17 years only now instead of being ten her alter ego was now a grown woman, something inside Mario’s head clicked and he had to fight back tears of relief lest the make-up job was ruined. She donned a pair of bug eyed glasses to further hide her features and complete the tourist look.
She packed her case with all her things resolving to dump her male clothes as soon as possible. Checkout was any time before 12pm so after one last look in the mirror she made her way downstairs left the keys to the room at the reception and made her way into the world.
To be continued
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