Disclaimers: See Part 1

Suggestions and constructive criticism are welcome; vitriol is not. Encouraging words and a pat on the back are more than welcome. That having been said, read on and let me know what you think. sageamante@yahoo.com

WHERE EAGLES FLY

Copyright Saggio Amante 2003, 2004

All rights reserved.

Parallax - Part 13

Lonnie remained standing, her body numb. Her first instinct was to bolt, but to where? They were on the high seas. She had nowhere to go.

Lonnie looked first at Antonelli, then at Max. "Is this some kind of sick joke?" Her face was ashen, and she tried to control the tremor in her voice.

"You OK, Judge?" Antonelli asked.

"I'm fine," she replied stiffly. "I'd like to go home now, Mr. Antonelli."

"Sorry, Judge, but you aren't going anywhere for a while. We have some things to discuss," Antonelli replied. "Now sit down." He turned to the Agent. "Max, take it topside and give us a few minutes."

Max looked at Lonnie and smiled reassuringly. "It's going to be all right," he said as he rose to leave the salon.

Tony Antonelli waited until Max had left the room before he spoke again. "Please," he said. "Sit down, Judge, we have a lot to talk about and very little time to do it in."

"I'd prefer to remain standing," Lonnie retorted, moving to the far side of the salon.

"Your choice, Judge." The large man walked toward the small blonde and stopped directly in front of her, trapping her between him and the wall. "Expecting the worst?" He laughed, then braced one arm against the wall to Lonnie's left and reached around her with his other arm.

Lonnie stiffened, but she didn't move. She looked defiantly into his dark eyes. "Get away from me, Mr. Antonelli! I won't be intimidated by the likes of you."

Antonelli laughed. "So my girl picked herself a little spitfire, huh? I wondered what she saw in you; now I know - you're cute and feisty, too."

Lonnie shivered. She didn't like Antonelli when he was before her in court. She liked him even less now and couldn't believe that someone as uncouth as he could father someone like Lark. "I'm not interested in what you think of me, Mr. Antonelli. We have nothing to say to each other on that topic. Now tell me what you feel you need to tell me and turn this boat around!"

"Think you can control the world, do you Judge? Well, we're in my courtroom now, and I make the rules. Now sit the hell down and shut up!"

Antonelli reached behind Lonnie, took a framed photo from the mantel, and handed it to her. It was a picture of a tall, dark-haired young man, an equally tall and dark-haired young woman, and a smiling child of 2 or 3 who seemed to have inherited the best features of both of them. It was a happy family photo, and the love between the three showed clearly from the two-dimensional images. The large man handed the photograph to Lonnie, walked over to the couch, and sat down.

Lonnie stood staring at the photograph, then looked over at the man on the couch. It was him in the picture, no doubt about that. The child must be Lark and the woman, her mother. She looked over at the man sitting on the couch. "Well? I assume this is you and Lark and her mother. What has this to do with anything?"

"Please," Antonelli said. "Sit down. I have much to tell you. I made a promise to my daughter, one which I would give my life to keep. You are under my protection now, Judge. I will not harm you, and I will not let anyone else harm you." His voice was softer, more cultured. Gone was the gruff mobster dialect and demeanor. He gestured to the opposite end of the couch. "Please?"

Lonnie walked across the room, still holding the picture. There was something in the man's eyes which compelled her to believe him. Instead of sitting on the far end of the couch, she sat within arms' length of Lark's father. A truce of sorts had just been reached.

"It all began almost 30 years ago," Antonelli said. "Terry was just a toddler."

Lonnie looked at him quizzically.

"Ah, yes, you know her at Lark. And so she is today, but then, she was Theresa Antonelli, and her mother was Lark Mingye," Tony continued. "I had just gotten out of the service. Lark and I were both working for .

*~*

Max stood on the bridge of the boat staring at the water. He had tried unsuccessfully to make conversation with the man at the helm and finally contented himself with watching the small swells part as the large yacht moved through them.

As he gazed out over the ocean, Max wondered what was going on between Tony and Lonnie. He knew that whatever it was it was important enough for Tony to risk exposure. 'Perhaps you love Lark more than I realized,' Max thought. There was so much he knew about his partner and yet so little. Lark was an enigma, much like her father.

Max had a grudging respect for Tony Antonelli. On more than one occasion he knew the man had pulled strings which resulted in saving the life of a federal agent; on other hand, Max was certain that Tony's orders had resulted in the death of at least three people, possibly more. Lark loved her father; of that there was no doubt in Max's mind. It was for Lark that he had agreed to bring Lonnie to meet with Tony. Now he wondered if that had been a very big mistake.

The slowing of the yacht snapped Max out of his internal dialogue. He heard the engines die and a large anchor splash into the ocean. Not far off the starboard side he saw a small island. 'What's going on now?' He wondered.

"Hey, man," Max said to the stoic figure at the helm. "Why are we stopping?"

"Boss's orders," the man said sullenly, then returned to ignoring Max.

Max walked out of the helm house and onto the deck. He lit a cigarette and leaned against the rail. From his vantage point he could look through the glass window down into the salon where Lonnie and Tony sat. He was surprised to see that the small blonde was sitting fairly close to Tony, looking at him intently. Then he saw the two rise together from the couch and head over to the mantel that spanned one wall of the room. He watched as Tony would point at a picture, then say something to Lonnie. He immediately noticed the change which had occurred in the younger woman. When he had first introduced her to Antonelli, she had been cold and distant; now, she seemed to be leaning into him, listening with rapt attention to what he was saying to her. Once or twice, Max saw her smile. Whatever Tony was saying, it seemed to be working.

After flicking his cigarette over the rail, Max headed toward the salon. The sun was setting on the horizon, and he was exhausted. He knocked on the door of the salon, then started to enter.

"Just a minute," Tony called. "We're almost through here." Max stood outside the door waiting for an invitation to enter. Tony walked over to a desk and opened the top drawer, removing a small box. "I said I had something for you from Lark. Here it is," he said, holding a small wooden box out to her.

Lonnie reached to take the box, then clutched it to her chest.

"I'll go see to Max so you can have a few minutes alone," Tony said.

"Thank you, Mr. Antonelli," Lonnie whispered. "Thank you for everything." She turned and watched Tony as he went out the door of the salon and began talking to Max. She saw the two men walk across the deck and disappear around a corner. She stood, holding the small wooden box savoring the only thing she had left of Lark. She didn't want to open it; to open it would be a final act, a goodbye that she still was not ready to say.

Lonnie's reverie was broken when she heard the whining of an electric winch as if something were being lowered from the yacht. She walked to the salon door and saw a small boat containing Max, Tony, and the helmsman, being lowered into the sea. She reached for the door but couldn't open it and realized that Tony must have locked the door behind him as he left. She began banging her fist against the glass and screaming at the three men in the boat, but they did not respond.

So intense was Lonnie's concentration that she didn't hear the door from the hallway leading to the yacht's bedrooms as it opened nor did she notice the tall, dark-haired figure who stepped inside and moved up behind her. When she felt the hands on her shoulders, Lonnie was not even startled. She was resigned to whatever was about to happen. She no longer cared. Two arms moved around her and a hand removed the box from her hands. She let it go without a fight. A brief moment later she felt a chain around her neck. She reached up and grasped it, her hand moving over a small locket hanging from the chain, a locket with a cursive "L."

"Lark?" Lonnie whispered, turning to face the body behind her. Her breath caught in her throat as she stared into the eyes of her lover.

She stepped back in shock, then slammed her open hand into Lark's cheek with a slap that almost knocked the taller woman off her feet.

"How could you? How could you let me go through this!" Lonnie screamed.

Lark stood still, her hands at her sides and let the smaller woman rage. When Lonnie stopped to take a breath, Lark reached out and pulled her tightly to her. She grabbed the smaller woman by the back of the head then covered Lonnie's mouth with her own in a bruising kiss.

Lonnie bit Lark's lip, drawing blood, and began beating her fists against Lark's chest until she could no longer fight the desire that overwhelmed her. She pulled Lark closer and began to grind her body into the taller woman's.

.

Lark moved her hands to Lonnie's shoulders and ripped the blouse from them.

Lonnie grabbed the front of Lark's blouse, tugging so hard the buttons flew across the room.

The two women sank to the floor, their mouths never separating. They tore at each other's clothing until they were both naked on the floor of the salon.

Lark splayed her hand across Lonnie's abdomen and felt the muscles in Lonnie's abdomen contract. She slid her hand lower and felt Lonnie's wetness pour over it.

"Take me now!" Lonnie screamed as Lark plunged into her. "Oh Jesus, yes!" There was no waiting; she came the minute Lark entered her. "Damn you," Lonnie whispered as the first of several orgasms washed over her. "Damn you!"

"Shh. It's all right, my love," Lark whispered back. "I'm here. It's all right."

*~*

(To be continued)

Return to the Academy