Chapter 6

“Aren’t you going to get that?”

Evangeline’s eyes averted his angry stare, moving from the cell phone hanging from his belt clip, and reluctantly back his intense blue eyes. She was holding her breath, trying not to seem nervous. But John knew her, he knew her body, and when his hands had moved over her hip he had felt it. John’s hands had frozen on the spot, and for some reason she had chosen to move away, chosen to shut him out. He couldn’t know. John wouldn’t let it rest, and she couldn’t ask him too. She had to steer clear of him…somehow.


He still hadn’t moved. He just stood there deathly still; his breathing slow and steady. He knew something was up, Evangeline could only hope that he had not put things together yet. Suddenly in one swift move he reached for his phone, and with one button cut short the shrill ring that penetrated the silence.

“Tell me what’s going on, NOW.”

He didn’t raise his voice, but there was something in the way the words escaped his lips that made her cold inside. He was boiling from the inside, his eyes unmoving.

“John, I-”,

As he moved towards her, she heard the knock on the door sound loudly startling her.

“Leave it.”

But even as he spoke she was already at the door, turning the knob, before a tall uniformed policeman came into view.

“Lieutenant,” the tall blond nodded to Evangeline, before averting his eyes over her head, addressing John.

“Sir, you’re needed at the station, we have a situation.”

John looked at the rookie, then down at the woman in front of him. He knew it was important. Johnson wouldn’t have come up if it wasn’t. He saw Evangeline step aside, holding the door open. She had that look in her eye, the same one she always had when he was called away. But something was different, this time she wanted him to go.

“Johnson, I want you to stay here tonight. No one comes and goes without you checking with me. Got it!”

His voice raised several decibels; the young office nodded his head in agreement, fear emanating from his tall stature.

“John, I don’t need-”, she started in barely a whisper.

“Don’t argue with me.”

He walked past her, not looking at her. John had never cut her off before, not like that. Instantly there was an emptiness there, the warmth that shot like electricity between them whenever they were close was gone, and she felt alone.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Evangeline closed the door behind him after he left. Her hands immediately moved to her side where the pain had escalated. The tears she had fought back made a path down her face. She stared at the darkening bruise on her side, something was wrong, maybe broken. Evangeline hugged her slender arms round her upper body in effort to kill the pain. She had wanted John to stay so badly, but all she could think of were Sonia’s words, “You never know who might get hurt”

“Oh John.”

Evangeline wasn’t left to her own thoughts for too long; the sound of her own phone forced her to make her way over to the couch. Part of her wished it was John calling, part of her wished…


“Evangeline,” RJ’s voice was unmistakable, the sound of it made her want to throw up.

“Don’t hang up on me please,” His voice was shaky as he pleaded, and for a moment she felt sorry for him, at the same time her hands moved to her neck, the skin still burned where he had sucked the life from her.

Before she could change her mind the phone was slammed back onto the receiver. The sound of his voice made her shiver, and for a moment she just stared at it watching it as it rang and rang. How dare he! HOW DARE HE!!

“Call me again RJ, and I’ll go straight to the police,”

“Evangeline please, please. I dunno what came over me. I just- I just,”

“You just what RJ, just had an overwhelming urge to end my life. You know John was right about you. You’re so filled with hate all you know is how to hurt people, even the ones who care about you the most. Do you really hate me that much…”

The tears were evident in her voice, she was angry and frustrated, how could she have been such a fool.

“…Van, whatever happened between us, whoever you’re with, I have and will always care about you. I just- I lost it when I realized how much you despised me, how much you hated me.”

“RJ, you tried to KILL me! After everything we’d been through, you actually laid you hands on me. You had no right, RJ, no right!”

“Van, I don’t know what to say, except, I’m sorry, I am so sorry.”

He sounded near tears himself, the strong stubborn cynical RJ was gone and in his place was a guilt ridden man who had hurt someone he truly loved.

“RJ”, her voice was still angry but lower,”I just can’t trust you. And John, Oh God, I don’t know what he’ll do.”

“You haven’t told McBain?” For a moment it was back to same old RJ, she could read the envy in his voice at the mention of John.

“No, thanks to your buddy Sonia. Stay away from him RJ, I mean it. You and Sonia stay far away from John or so help me God, I won’t rest till your serving life in Sing Sing.”

She was deadly serious and for the first time RJ was afraid of her, if anyone made good on their promises it was definitely Evangeline Williamson.

“Van, I-”

His voice broke off as Van heard voices and suddenly there was a scuffle in the background, RJ was exchanging words with some people, no someone. The phone suddenly went dead, she knew that person, she knew that voice.

“RJ? RJ!”

Without thinking twice Evangeline rushed into her bedroom. She changed into a pair of jeans and gray sweater, wincing painfully as she did so. Five minutes later, grabbing her cell phone from the charger and her purse she was out the front door.

The uniformed officer was slouched in the lone armchair that occupied the hallway. His movements seemed automated as he jumped to attention when he spotted her.

“Ms Williamson, I have strict orders from the Lieutenant, not to let you out of my sight.”

He seemed nervous; no doubt John had put the fear of God into him.

“Look, Johnson right? You can either come along with me and keep an eye on me that way; or you can run back to John McBain and have him chew your head off.”

“Either way I’m screwed,” he shrugged.

He was right; John being John would make his life hell either way.

“Right, then that’s settled.”

******************************************************* RJ hadn’t heard the door when Agustico Santi had entered Capricorn. Within moments his nightclub seemed overcrowded, the bar dominated by Tico and his over dressed cronies. He hated hanging up on Evangeline, leaving things the way they were. He really did love her in his own way, the scene from earlier that night kept replaying in the back of his mind. It was like a bad dream, he had never laid a hand on a woman before. RJ was a lot of things but violence towards women had never been his style. But Evangeline was different.

RJ’s thoughts returned to the matter at hand. He had hoped to have a little more time to get his affairs in order before Tico and his bull dogs came sniffing around. Months ago, after introduction through Sonia, he had quickly established a symbiotic business relationship with Santi’s son. They dealt in everything from import, exports, antiques, priceless collectibles, the occasional real estate deal, all mixed in with the drug exporting, money laundering and Tico’s favorite, the political arena. With his rise to power, Kevin Buchanan had become a pawn in their game, he was the front man and they reaped the benefits, keeping him in power for the price of his soul.

RJ was doing extremely well; he didn’t even need his clubs anymore, although he was enjoying making Balsom squirm over Ultra Violet. He had been getting a pretty good cut so far but he also knew Tico was doing much better and that just wasn’t going to do. So with the help of Lindsey Rappaport the two had concocted a scheme to embezzle what they termed “rightfully his” from the Santi millions. But things hadn’t gone according to plan, and now Santi Jr. was mad, and looking for revenge. He was so much like his father, with ice running through his veins. RJ was a dangerous criminal but Augustico Santi was a different caliber of criminal. Randall J. Gannon was a man who prided himself on being able to get out of every bind, but with this man he wasn’t so sure.

Augustico,” RJ nodded acknowledging the goon squad, “this is so unlike the son of Manuel Santi. You bust into my club, throwing around unfounded accusations, I don’t know whether to be scared or flattered.” He cocked an eyebrow playfully. RJ watched as Tico moved about Capricorn, studying each aspect of the space from the floor, to the furniture, a look of clear disdain written clearly on his face.

“Mr. Gannon,” he said in that European drawl of his. He then said, “My sources inform me you have been rather unsatisfied with your share of the profits. It seems you have been, how do the say, caught with your hand in the cookie jar.”

“Now, now Tico, I assure you, my dealing with you- and yours have been of the utmost-“

“I have to tell you RJ,” Tico said making his way toward his side of the bar, “If there’s one thing I don’t appreciate, its disloyalty. I trusted you because my father trusted you. But something tells me, I’m not the first Santi to fall victim to your greed.”

Tico’s eyes burned into RJ, and for a moment it was like looking into the eyes of a ghost, the ghost of Manuel Santi.

“What do you want?” RJ had had enough of this small chat.

If Augustico was anything like his father, this insubordination would not go unpunished. He put on his game face, the same face he used to win over the competition and seal the deal. But this could prove to be the biggest deal of all, he was bargaining for his life.

For a long time Tico didn’t answer, instead he walked back behind the bar, closer to RJ. There he playfully held, one after another, the three framed pictures that sat behind the bar. The first was of his daughter, Kerri, her beautiful smile beamed at him as Tico flashed the picture towards him for RJ to see. The next was of little Jamie, Tico beamed at her head shot, the same smile that he reserved for the real Jamie.

“Ah, my dear niece, the Santi heir,” the words sent a shiver down even RJ’s spine.

The last picture he paid much closer attention to. His expression slowly moved from that of confusion to one of clarity and finally his features settled into a satisfied smile.

“Oh, yes. The famous Evangeline Williamson,” Tico said.

RJ felt his heart skip a beat. He scanned the room, from where Tico was standing to where his henchmen stood deathly still, awaiting their orders.

“Exactly what are you going to do?”

Tico was still staring at the picture of Evangeline. He smiled one last time before replying.

“What am I going to do, indeed?”

Sonia Toledo had broken several speed limits as she made her way back to Capricorn. Eleanor had informed her of the latest development. RJ and Tico…

But why? Tico never met his business associates in person, especially associates the likes of Gannon. But if what the informant had reported seeing was true, this thing with RJ was running deeper than she thought. RJ had never once mentioned his meetings with Tico, and from the reports it didn’t look like the first time either. She knew RJ had worked for Manuel, once, a long time ago. But who would have thought he would pick up with the son.

Sonia had read her cards earlier that night, and she knew tonight could only spell trouble. From the gala to the incident with Evangeline. He seemed on edge all night. Was he losing it? Sonia hated that someone like Evangeline Williamson was caught in the middle of all this. She seemed innocent enough, a straight laced lawyer, how the hell she ever ended up with RJ was beyond comprehension. But Sonia also new, that wherever Evangeline was, John McBain was never far behind. She couldn’t afford having him around. She was up to her neck in this Santi mess and had given it three long years of her life. The last thing she needed was McBain and his girlfriend coming in to screw things up for her.

As Sonia pulled up to the club, she immediately recognized Tico’s car, partially hidden from view in the darkness of the night. Exiting her car, she peered into Tico’s car, making sure no one saw her. A few seconds later she would be blinded by the headlights that shot out from an approaching Police cruiser.

“Miss Williamson, you don’t look so good,”

Officer Johnson shifted his gaze from the road to Evangeline and back to the road as he drove. She didn’t feel so good either. Her body hurt even worse then before, something was definitely wrong. But right now she couldn’t think about that. All she recalled were the few words she had heard RJ exchange with Tico. Tico…How was that even possible. All this time, they had been after Sonia, when the real culprit was her brother Tico.

Once again Evangeline pulled out her cell phone, and once again John didn’t answer.

“Damn it!” she cursed for John, but mostly for the pain.

“Ma’am, I’m not so sure about this. I mean, we really should get you to a hospital.”

“No!” she shot back; she hated hospitals, especially right now.

“Just get me to Capricorn, and get a hold of John…please.”

Officer Johnson seemed to want to protest, but instead just nodded in agreement. As they pulled up to the club they were just in time to see Sonia Toledo pull up too.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Sonia spat, when she realized exactly who it was.

“I thought I made myself very clear earlier. Stay away from him Evangeline, just stay out of it.”

Evangeline made an attempt to ignore the pain and Sonia, as she struggled to the club entrance. But Sonia was there before Evangeline could open the door.

“Get out of my way,” she seethed.

“Evangeline, you shouldn’t go in there, we don’t know WHAT’S going on.”

“Look, I think RJ’s in trouble, no thanks to your brother, Tico.” Sonia didn’t hide her surprise, but instead her hold on the door knob loosened.

“Ok, ok,” she raised her hands in the air, “I’ll check it out, you stay here.”

“Ms Williamson,” they had completely forgotten about the policeman.

“Find John!” she orders, her hand moving to her side.

“Whoa there,” Sonia watched her closely, “there’s no need to-“

“Just do it,” she retorted, watching the policeman walk away.

“I trust you, about as much as I trust RJ, at this minute,” She stared Sonia down.

“Relax,” Sonia looked genuinely concerned, “you don’t look too hot yourself.”

Evangeline just rolled her eyes and ignored Sonia as she entered the building.

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