Thursday, March 29, 2007

Regina Gets Ordered Around

Driving back to the station, John didn’t say much. Regina was more stunning in person than the pictures he’d seen. Maybe she’d call him when she wasn’t being watched. Maybe that was why she had given them the brush-off.

Maybe she was afraid to talk to him in front of that big goon — or Frank. Maybe he should have gone alone . . .

Frank was the first to break the silence. “You see, John? I told you it would get us nowhere. She practically threw us out! If she knows anything, she’s not telling. Now are you gonna give up on this crazy idea of yours?”

“I think she’s just scared. That big guy works for her husband. He’s probably there to keep an eye on her. At least now she knows there’s someone out here who can help her.”

“Have you lost your mind? Help her do what? She doesn’t look like she needs any help. Do you live in some kind of fantasy world? Were we both in the same place? She’s not going to call you! She seems to be very loyal to her husband. You need to just leave this alone and look for another angle, or else you’re going to get yourself killed.”

John was quiet for a moment. “Maybe you’re right. I guess I’m just kidding myself.” He didn’t want to continue this conversation. Next time, he’d go see her alone. It would be less intimidating for her, and he wouldn’t have to hear “I told you so” from Frank.

He changed the subject. “Hey, Frank, did you watch the game last night?”

Anthony looked at Mario. “Get the car. I want to go and have a little talk with my wife before Poppy comes over.”

Mario knew that tone all too well. For Regina’s sake, she better have the answers Anthony wanted to hear.

Regina could hear the staff in the kitchen. She must have lost track of time; they were probably getting ready for the lunch crowd. She needed to go and check with the chef to make sure there weren’t any problems with the morning deliveries.

Anthony stepped through the restaurant’s front door and walked over to where Vinny sat at the bar. “Where is she?”

Startled, Vinny answered, “In the back, Boss.”

“Follow me.” As they walked toward the kitchen, Anthony instructed, “While I talk to her, you go into her office and bug the phone. Use this.” He dropped a small listening device into Vinny’s palm.

“No problem,” Vinny answered, closing his hand over it.

As they approached, Anthony saw Regina talking to the chef. He glanced toward her office door and noticed it was open a crack, which made it pretty easy for Vinny as he slipped into the room and disappeared from view.

“Hello, Darling.”

Regina jumped. “Anthony, what are you doing here?”

“Chef Paul, please excuse us,” Anthony said as he grabbed her by the arm and started walking her toward the back door. “I need to talk to you alone,” he hissed.

Before she could protest, Anthony had her outside the building. He spun her toward him and released her arm with a shove. “I heard you had a visitor today,” he said as he stood nose-to-nose with her, glaring into her eyes.

“I see Vinny couldn’t wait to call.” Regina took a step backward.

“He told me you handled yourself very well.”

“Now, what else would I do? I know how this works.”


Anthony closed the distance between them, and she hurriedly asked, “Did you come over here just to tell me that? You could have called.”

“I wanted to see your pretty face,” he replied as he reached up and brushed her cheek with his hand.

Regina wiped her skin where he had touched her. She had never liked it when he stood close to her or touched her in any way, which amused him. “Very funny. What else do you want, Anthony? I have work to do.”

Anthony didn’t appreciate her tone and made it known by grabbing her arm again and squeezing it.

“Anthony, stop — you’re hurting me! I only asked a simple question.”

“Let’s get something straight, Babe. You don’t ask me questions, simple or otherwise. I’m the only one who can ask questions. Is that clear?”


“Good.” He let go of her arm and continued, “I’m here to convince you to come back to the office with me. Poppy is coming for a visit and I know he would be happy to see you.” Regina would be enough of a distraction to buy him more time, in case the accountant was late.

Regina thought convince was an interesting word choice. Knowing he wasn’t going to accept no for an answer, she took a deep breath and said, “Sure, I’ll come with you. I’ll go get my purse and lock up first. I also need to give the staff a few minor instructions. Is that okay?” She knew that asking him for permission would calm him down and stroke his ego at the same time.

Anthony eyed her with a superior air. He always enjoyed these little bouts for power. They ended the same every time — with him on top. “Sure, go ahead. I’ll wait in the car. Don’t take too long.”

Regina walked back into the building, rubbing her arm where he had grabbed it. It still stung a little. What was Anthony up to? She stepped out of the kitchen just in time to see Vinny freeze outside her office, the door swinging slightly behind him. Wait a minute . . . Did he just come out of my office? As she approached him, she demanded, “What were you doing in my office?”

“I wasn’t in your office,” he replied matter-of-factly. “I was just standing here waiting for you, ma’am.”

Regina didn’t buy that. She knew what she had seen but decided it was best to drop it for now. Anthony hated to be kept waiting, especially by his wife. “I’m going to be leaving for a while with Anthony. Tell the staff that if there are any problems to call me on my cell phone.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Vinny said with a smile.

Regina went in and retrieved her purse from the desk drawer. She looked around her desk, and nothing seemed to have been moved. Still, she had the uneasy feeling that Vinny had been snooping around. Vinny was coming out of here — she was almost certain of it. What was he up to — and did it have anything to do with what Anthony was up to? She left and locked the door. She gave the chef some minor instructions and then went out the back way.

Anthony was waiting in the limousine. Mario saw her approaching and climbed out to open the door for her.

“Let’s go,” Anthony immediately instructed. They drove in silence, which was fine with Regina. It gave her time to think, time to pray, and time to prepare herself to be in her father-in-law’s presence.

© Nadine Z. 2007

1 comment:

Shionge said...

Oh poor Regina living in fear with a hubby like that :(

Hope all will turn out well Nadine...can't wait and good job my dear pal :)