Anita, Chapter 7

Anita
Chapter 7

By Portia Bennett

 
Introduction: In a sense there is a connection to this story and several other non-magic stories I’ve written. Two characters from Mike and Ashley show up briefly. They would be Mike and Ashley. This story, Like “Mike and Ashley”, “Discovery”, and “Cynthia and the Queen of Knight” takes its storyline from the work of someone else. In this case, a production by an Italian fellow named Joseph Green. The story is 16 chapters in length plus an epilogue. I’ve done as much tweaking as I can. Any errors are mine and I will gladly accept constructive criticism; as long as you’re nice.

Peter takes Anita on an extended tour of the compound. She is a bit surprised about his candor. She has a nice dinner with the Costas and others before she is flown back to Port au Prince. She surveys what was done at her flat while she was gone. It does not appear that they found anything. Then it hits her. She had made a big mistake. Did they notice?
 


This work is copyrighted by the author and any publication or distribution without the written consent of the author is strictly prohibited. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of the characters to persons living or dead is coincidental.


 
 
Chapter 7
 

Peter was waiting for her at the front of the manor house. The golf cart made a lot of sense due to the size of the place. They headed to the west, away from the house and the other buildings. The chapel looked pretty much like she expected it to look; perhaps a bit more ornate. ‘1720’ stood out, chiseled in the corner stone.

“This is one of the newer estates on the Island. This was built after the French took over this end. Most here haven’t paid much attention to what happened here over the last three or four hundred years.”

“What exactly do they do here?” Anita asked.

“If I told you, I would probably have to kill you,” Peter replied.

“Oh.”

“Do you mean you haven’t figured it out?”

“Drugs?”

“Yeah, that and a lot of other stuff.”

“So, who’s buried in that huge crypt?”

“No one currently.”

Anita decided that she’d better let the current direction of the conversation come to an end. She might pursue it later. She was a bit surprised about Peter’s candor. They followed the perimeter of the property until they came to the opening to the small bay below. A large hoist was lowering a pallet of shrink wrapped packages to the dock. Obviously, they were more than the small passenger elevator was capable of handling. A rather large yacht was being loaded with provisions, not the palletized items being lowered to the dock. Those were being loaded onto what looked like a small submarine on the other side of the dock.

“The entrance to the stairs and elevator are electronically controlled. They won’t operate unless security allows it. Things go on here 24 hours, seven days a week. Those cameras see everything.”

“I think I understand.”

“Let’s move on. Most of the men and women live in this area,” Peter said pointing to the rows of buildings that looked like a motel. “Usually only about half the men are here at any one time.”

“There are two helicopters. They are pretty long range. One is in Venezuela at the moment. This one will take you back to the port tonight.

“I wish you wouldn’t take this job, Anita, but I think it’s already gone too far. Just be careful, very careful.”

They traveled silently for a while Anita took in the soccer field and baseball diamond. A nine-hole golf course followed the path. There was probably room for another nine. A second lake similar in size to a lake by the cemetery was beyond the athletic fields. Several people were fishing.

They finally arrived back at the main house. “How far around is it?” Anita asked.

“It is 2.5 kilometers. The men have to run it every morning. I usually run with them.”

“Would you mind if I joined you? I like to keep in shape. At one time I thought about trying out for our Olympic team, but I had too much going on to train properly.”

“What did you do?”

“Pentathlon and 10,000 meters.”

“Impressionnant!”

Marietta and Eleonora were waiting for them at the top of the stairs. Eleonora greeted Peter with a kiss that appeared to be more of a formality than a sign of affection.

“How did you like your tour, dear?” Marietta asked.

“Very nice, I think I will like it here.”

“I’m sure you will. Why don’t you freshen up in your new home. Dinner will be at seven. We’ll have cocktails at 6:30.”

Anita turned to Peter, “Thank you for the very interesting tour. I am looking forward to running with you in the mornings.”

It only took a glance to realize Eleonora was not happy about the comment. “I think I can find the way to the cottage. I will see you at 6:30.”

Eleonora’s voice followed Anita as she went down the hall. She was shouting in Italian. “What did she mean she’ll be running with you in the morning?”

“She’s an athlete. She likes to run.”

“Well, don’t you even think ….”

Sounds like trouble in paradise, Anita thought as she entered the place she knew would be her home for an undetermined time. She decided to take a shower even though she hadn’t exerted herself over the last couple of hours. Fresh linens were in place. She hadn’t thought about it before, but wondered about linen and laundry service. There weren’t any laundry facilities in the cottage, and it wouldn’t be like she would be able to run down to the closest laundromat because there wasn’t one until one arrived at Port au Prince.

The shower met her expectations and more. Like a five star hotel everything she needed was there for her. They might not have been her brands, but everything was top of the line. She was drying her hair with the outstanding hair dryer when she heard the door chime. Wrapping the plush robe around her, she peered through the spy hole. It was Maria.

“Señora, Madam asked for me to give you this skirt. She didn’t want you to be uncomfortable at dinner.”

“Gracias, Maria.”

At least Marietta has good taste, she thought.

Like the dinner at the restaurant, everyone was drinking Italian wine. Although she was offered her choice of drinks, she opted for prosecco, something she hadn’t had very often. Dinner was good, not great. There weren’t any of the touches Anita would have liked to see, and apparently the Costas felt the same way.

“May I ask what happened to your last cook?” Anita asked, realizing she probably shouldn’t have asked.

“She decided not to return after her two days off,” Tommaso replied. “She’d been with us for about a year and we were thinking about letting her go. Her food just didn’t have the je ne sais quoi we were looking for. I think she moved to the Dominican Republic.

“What you showed us the other night at that restaurant was exactly what we were looking for.”

“We really do want you here, Anita,” Marietta added. “We will work together on the menus, but you will be left alone in the kitchen. We expect you to eat dinner with us except when we have the meals with our associates. You will have carte blanche for most of the meals; however, I’m sure there will be special requests.” Marietta’s hand was resting on Anita’s thigh throughout the conversation.

“Would next weekend be too soon for you to start?”

“I don’t think so. I will have to let the restaurant know, although they have known that I would leave. I will also have to let the owners of my flat know that I will be leaving. I’ve already paid through the end of the month.

Dessert was very nice: a choice of gelato and a glass of limoncello. It was close to 10:00 PM when things finally came to close, and Anita was beginning to wonder if she would get her phone back. She thought it best not to ask. They would either return it, or they wouldn’t. That question was answered when Peter handed it to her as she got in the golf cart for the ride to the helicopter that was warming up on the pad in front of the hangar.

“I’ll ride with you. It will take less than 20 minutes to get there. A cab should be there, but if it’s not, I’ll see to it that one gets there and gets you to your flat.”

Anita ducked under the main rotor, although it was several feet over her head. She had recognized the helicopter earlier in the day. It was capable of speeds over 200 mph and a range of more than a thousand miles. It certainly beat the three hour trip it took to get there.

The cab was waiting for them and alongside it was a fuel truck. The chopper pilot shut the chopper down as they got out and made their way to the cab.

“We normally fuel at the estate; however, the fuel truck was delayed. It didn’t make curve going over the mountain. We may have to get another delivery company.”

Looking up at the woman who towered over him, he said, “I had them put my number in your phone. Let me know when are ready to have your items packed. We’ll have someone there. The helicopter will pick you up. Our cab will bring you here.

“I enjoyed giving you the tour today. I guess we’ll see you on Saturday.” He took her hand. “Just be careful, very careful.” He held the door for her, then watched as the cab took her off the tarmac. He shook his head and returned to the chopper which had finished refueling and the pilot was running the engine back up.

Once back in her apartment, Anita .turned on her computer. As near as she could tell nothing had been done to it. Her phone had a ‘bug’ detector app that was neatly hidden. Turning it on, she acted as if she were cleaning up a bit before getting ready for bed. As near as she could tell, the place was bug free, including the computer. If she had found a bug, she would have just carried on as if it weren’t there. She would just have to carry on communications from a different location.

Once satisfied she was bug free, she connected to the server that would have the recording of what had gone on while she was gone. It was all there. Adolpho Mongini and someone she assumed was one of his henchmen carefully went through her dresser, medicine cabinet and cupboards. They attempted to turn on her laptop, but were unable to break in. They checked every nook and cranny, but missed the cameras, that were hidden in the design of the woodwork. They checked all the pockets of her cloths, the inside of the toilet paper spindle, and the inside of the paper towel roll. They checked her spice containers to the extent of shaking them. Finally, they put everything back the way they had found it, or at least pretty close to it. When they left they got in a cab that was probably the same one that had taken her back from the Airport. She would wait until the next day before contacting headquarters.

She had a lengthy conversation with Jake the next morning, before having a talk with her father. She passed on what she could remember including information about the helicopter she’d ridden in. They’d already known about the choppers, but it was good to get the confirmation. She told the restaurant she’d be leaving. By this time Rene wanted her to stay, but he’d known that was not to be.

It was Friday when it hit her. She was thinking about what she’d take on the chopper just in case the truck ran into problems. There really wasn’t much besides her clothes. She would any pack any of her immediate needs in her small carryon. That would be easy to throw on the chopper, and everything else would be there just a few hours later, if that. The helicopter ride several nights before had brought back some memories. She probably had close to a thousand hours as a passenger in her four years in a combat role. Suddenly the hair on the back of her neck started to rise. After the chill passed, the rush of adrenaline figuratively made her body temperature rise 10 degrees.

“You shit! You stupid fucking shit. Jesus Christ, what a God damn idiot!”

***
***

Anita discovers that her error was noticed by only one person: Peter. Then she discovers quite a bit more, including that Peter has known who she was all along. And that’s not the only shocker.



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