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A Problem Like Maria

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A Problem Like Maria
by Lar

 
     

Chapter Sixteen

"Luis. Luis, wake up!" I yell, fanning my brother as Tony elevates his head. I glance between my father and brother. "Maybe you should get outta here. He may not even remember, or if he does, we can convince him it wasnít you." I suggest.

"No. He saw me. He said my name. Iím not going to deceive him. It wouldnít be right." Father replies.

"Father, it could-"

"The case will be fine. You said it yourself, itís almost over." Father cuts Tony off.

"Father, I donít like it. Luis wonít keep his mouth shut. Heíll tell everyone he saw you." I say, practically pleading with my father.

"Not if we sit him down and explain everything to him. The importance of silence." Father replies.

"Heíll tell mother." Tony remarks.

"I think itís about time someone tells her. She deserves to know the truth." Father says, glancing down at Luis. "Heís not waking up."

"Jess said seeing you would cause him to have a heart attack." I mumble.

"No, he didnít have a heart attack. Heís got a pulse." Tony states, "The pansy just fainted."

"Antonio!"

"Sorry father. But I never expected him to faint. He sure as hell didnít faint when he saw me."

"Seeing you is different. He knows you left on your own. He thinks I was kidnapped or killed." Father sighs.

"And he still has the notion that the Cranes had some involvement in it." I add.

"Ah, but they did."

"Yeah father, but not the way he thinks. I swear, sometimes heís so stupid." I mutter.

"Maria, the way things look, it does look like the Cranes had some involvement. They canít say anything to point the other way. Heís just going on what he knows."

"Well, him doing that has cost us a lot. Johnson was killed because Luis got a tip about a ĎMartin Fitzgeraldí out in New Mexico. Johnson was one of our best agents, he really had Clovacís guys fooled too. That is until Luis decided to play detective." Tony bitterly remarks.

Luis moans loudly, and the three of us alert humans exchange glances.

"Call you mother Maria. Tell her and the rest of the family to be here with in ten minutes. If we explain to all of them at the same time, then there should be less confusion about the secretiveness we need to maintain." Father commands. I glance over at Tony, who nods solemnly. Getting up from my crouching position, I walk to the phone and dial the newly memorized number.

"Hi mother, itís me, Maria ah I mean Paloma.....Yeah, listen, could you round up everyone and be at my hotel room in like ten minutes. Me and Tony have something to tell you all, and everyone needs to be here.....Uh huh, sure. Oh, Luis is already here....Yeah, room 319, third floor....Okay, see you in a few." I say into the receiver. I glance over to where Tony and my father are, now standing away from Luis.

"Theyíre coming." I say to them.

"Good. Me and father were talking about how we should do this. Any ideas?" Tony asks.

"I think we should explain everything to them first before they see father. Theyíd just get all caught up in the emotion, and forget about everything else." I sigh.

"Very true, but how can we make sure that they wonít after they see me?" Father asks.

"Weíll just have to keep saying how important it is. Keep reminding them itís a life and death situation, and hopefully itíll get through." I explain.

"We gotta tell them that they have to act normal. Nothing outta the ordinary." Tony rubs the back of his neck and glances up at the ceiling. "I canít believe Iím doing this." He mumbles, barely audible.

"Believe it. I never believed Iíd be back in Harmony, but here I am." I say. Another loud moan comes from Luis, and we all look over to see him starting to move.

"Go into the other room and wait." Tony commands father to do. Father nods his head and takes one last look at Luis, before turning around and exiting the back room. A few seconds later we hear the door to the other room close, and we walk back over to Luis.

"How you feeling?" I ask him, his eyes still closed. They immediately pop open, and he looks around at the room, a bit disoriented.

"Where am I?" He croaks.

"My hotel room. You passed out." I answer.

"I what?" He mumbles.

"You passed out. Fell down to the floor, lost consciousness. Comprende?" Tony spits.

"Tony!" I hiss, angry at his behavior. "Do you think you can stand?" I ask Luis.

"Iíll try." Luis answers, lifting himself off the floor. He stands still for a moment, before warbling around. Both Tony and I rush to his side and help stabilize him. We walk him to the bed and sit him down gently.

He rubs his head with his left hand. His face then changes to confused look, followed by shock, and anger.

"Where is he?" Luis demands.

"Luis, donít get upset. You just woke up." I answer.

"Answer me damnit! Where is Papa?" Luis yells.

"All will be answered in time. You just have to be patient, although I doubt that is possible." Tony snickers.

"Will you stop talking in cryptic phrases? When? When will everything be answered?" Luis demands.

"As soon as the rest of the family gets here." I say, looking him straight in the eyes.

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