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Grave Digger: Chapter 9

Several footsteps running down the hall could be heard but Emily only had eyes for the man laid out on the floor. The look in his eyes was almost feral and she remembered the cruelty she’d seen in them. She sat there frozen on the bed while the men entered the room. She watched as the blood pooled around his head with a distraction that almost seemed detached.

His clothes were dusty and dirty and he had a dirty rag around his leg where they had seen the wood splinter sticking out of earlier. After the explosion had torn through the still area, Romano had been the one who was injured.

Zeus, Leon, Diabolus, and Memphis came rushing into the room. They all saw the man laid out on the floor.

Captain then came into the room and looked around to see what had occurred. Growling, he headed toward the supply room. By that time, Grave Digger had helped Alfredo over to the bed to sit down.

Emily sat with him but was quiet and still while staring at the man on the floor.

Leon gazed down at Romano and then he looked up at Alfredo. His eyes narrowed in concern as he stared at Emily who seemed to be in shock all over again. He swung his gaze back to Alfredo. “Cos’è successo qua?” he demanded in Italian,

Alfredo looked up at Leon and explained what had happened, “I heard him. I came out of my room and headed to where I heard his voice. He was in here. He seemed surprised to find Emily here and he was threatening her. Well, I may be an old man but I wasn’t going to let him hurt her again. I swung on his head and brought him down.”

“How the fucking hell did he get in here?” Diabolus wanted to know.

“He must have found another tunnel,” Alfredo told him. “You and your men had only found six but apparently, my father had seven.”

Just then, Captain returned. “I found where he got in. There’s an opening in the wall where the medical supplies are stored. The dumbass couldn’t even close the tunnel all the way.”

Zeus growled. “Damnit. The fuck with these tunnels? Get this idiot tied up and unarmed.”

Grave Digger tossed a roll of medical tape to Captain.

He caught it then grabbed Romano’s hands behind his back and wrapped his wrists in the tape.

Romano was just coming around again and he began to struggle but being the bigger man, Captain didn’t have much trouble subduing him. “Schifosi bastardi, let me the fuck go,” he screamed at them. “My posse will kill you all!”

Captain finally turned him onto his back and with his hands tied, Romano was helpless. “Your posse,” he scoffed. “Shut the fuck up, asswipe.” He slapped his face hard. “Behave yourself, you aren’t in charge here, we are.”

“You ain’t the ones in charge of anything!” Romano snapped. “We’re taking this house back and when we do, we’re going to kill you all.”

In response to his ranting nonsense, Captain kicked him in the ribs. “Not if we kill you fuckers first.” He knelt down and brought his handgun to Romano’s temple. “Maybe we’ll start with big mouthed little boys who don’t show any respect for women.”

Romano shut his mouth but stared daggers at him.

Alfredo tried to speak to his grandson, “I told you boys a long time ago that I owned this house after my father died. I held on to it, thinking one of you boys might want it. When you said you didn’t, I sold this place to them. Lock, stock and fucking barrel.” He snorted. “Not that I realized how much barrel was here at the time. But that didn’t matter and it does not matter now. This house and land belongs to these men. It doesn’t belong to you or anyone else in my family.”

Romano turned his head to glare at his grandfather. “Shut the fuck up, old man. Great granddad told us this house was our legacy. And that you never believed in his dreams of the way things should be. He told dad and us boys that this place was our legacy.”

Alfredo shook his head. “He told you all a bunch of lies and fantasies. His will left the house to me, not you. I had every right to sell the property when you all said you never wanted this place. You’d have to take it to court to try and take it back now. But I see, as usual, you all live in that same fantasy world as he did. You think you can just take whatever you want.”

“We didn’t know all the secrets back then!” Romano shouted in his fury. “Great granddad told dad all this house’s secrets and dad never told us until he got out of prison.”

Leon nodded. “Si,” he seemed to agree with him then he gave him a cold smile. “Your dad didn’t trust you ragazzi not to come for the treasures without him. What does that tell you about the man?”

Romano stared at him. “Who the hell are you?”

Leon chuckled though he did not sound amused.

Romano now glared at him, as he didn’t find his current situation to be funny in any way. “He was looking out for us and he wanted to be here in person to recover the secrets.”

Leon scoffed. “Cazzate! It simply tells me that he didn’t trust you enough to tell you himself.”

“Why are you talking here? Why should I listen to you?” Romano sneered at him.

Leon’s eyes grew cold as he stared down at the man. “You and your family are going to find out firsthand who I am and how much of a fool you and yours really are.”

Romano kept glaring at him. “My father won’t bow down to any man. And will never bow down to you, you know that right?”

“Oh, on the contrary, pisciante. He will bow down to me before this is over and I will make him beg for his life.” Leon growled. “You, your brothers, and your father will face my justice for everything you’ve been doing. Then you will face Family justice.”

Romano stared at him and under his breath he muttered, “There’s only my family and we will make you all pay.”

“What a fucking moron you are,” Grave Digger finally spoke up. “You don’t even know what you’ve condemned yourself to.”

Zeus, Memphis, Captain, and Diabolus all nodded in agreement. It appeared as though Roman did not know who he had just crossed.

“I wish I could be there,” Grave Digger stated as he glared at Romano. “When you pay for it all.”

Zeus agreed, “It’s a shame when people live in their own bubble, ain’t it?’

Captain actually laughed at this remark. “A damn, crying shame.”

Romano looked around at them all with a puzzled expression. They could all see that he truly didn’t seem to get it that his dad had led him straight to his doom with his nefarious plans.

Zeus nodded to Captain. “Get him to his feet and empty his pockets then take him to a cell. Leave him tied up, so he can’t move until he’s ready to tell us what he thought his family was gonna get from this little scaling of the castle bullshit.”

“Go to hell you scumbag biker!” Romano screamed. He fought hard to get away but Captain wasn’t letting him go. At one point, Romano spit at him and Captain backhanded him in order to get him to be still.

The blow along with the hit he had taken from his grandfather’s cane had stunned Romano into behaving as the slap had rung his bell well and good. So by the time they had his pockets empty, Romano was more subdued than before.

Captain and Diabolus dragged him out of the Infirmary.

 Emily looked up at Grave Digger and whispered in panic, “Anthony! He can’t see my son.”

Grave Digger wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “He won’t. To get to the cells, you don’t have to go through the main room. Anthony is safe.”

She slowly nodded as she sat there under his arm and her body was quaking.

Grave Digger watched as she quietly fell apart now since the danger had passed.

Leon was watching as well. He walked over to the bed and sat down on the other side of her. He reached for her hand and told her, “You are safe now Emmy. He isn’t going to hurt you ever again.”

Alfredo watched from the other bed and finally spoke up, “He threatened her. He said he remembered her and he was going to…” His voice sounded weary as he spoke and then he looked up at Leon with tears in his eyes. “Never, have I ever been more ashamed of any member of my family, those boys and their father have ruined the Raggetti name.”

“What else happened?” Leon demanded. “How did he get laid out on the floor like that?”

Alfredo felt ashamed to even be telling them what Romano had tried to do. “When I heard his words and realized what he intended to do, I got mad and hit him upside his head with my cane. Apparently, I had more strength than I thought. I laid that little pissante out like a wet mop.”

Emily looked over at him. “And I thank you for that. He took something from me that I can only give once the last time he was around. He gave me something in return, so I can’t say I’m sorry about that, but I’d rather die than to go through that humiliation again.”

Alfredo nodded at her as he let out a heavy sigh. As Zeus and Leon spoke in low tones about the strategy plans, Alfredo wandered over to the table where they had set the items they got from Romano. He studied what was there then he caught sight of the one thing he knew wasn’t Romano’s. His hands shook as he reached out for a small tin box. It wasn’t very big, about half the size of a can of tobacco that the old timers liked to use. At one time, it held mints and he remembered well where this small metal box had come from. But Romano shouldn’t have had it. It should have been buried with his son Carlos, as Carlos owned the box. But how did Romano get it?

Alfredo narrowed his eyes and thought back to the time when Carlos died. The boys had been out that night and Carlos had been mugged. The police asked if he had any money on him that night and Alfredo told them he wasn’t sure. Barrett told them they had been drinking but that he’d left the bar before Carlos and at the time, neither of the brothers had too much money. The police never found his killer. So the thoughts Alfredo had going through his mind right now, made him feel sick.

He slipped the small item into his own pocket and shook his head. This suspicion he felt was so horrible, so heinous that he didn’t want to face it. In a strange way, the pieces to the puzzle of Carlos’ death were finally starting to make sense though. He just didn’t want to think about what it all meant.

Captain and Diabolus returned.

Captain gave Zeus a nod. “Romano is all set up in his cell.”

Zeus stared back at him, as he looked troubled. “Maybe the two of you should get into that tunnel and follow it to see where it ends up at. But be damned careful, because there might be someone on the other end waiting for you. Make sure you block the other end if you can and as soon as you get back here, we’ll block this end.”

“After that?” Memphis spoke up.

“After that, it’s all up to Barrett and his boys isn’t it?” Zeus growled.

“Well, now that we have Romano, I don’t think he’s going to wait too long to come after his son,” Memphis reasoned.

“My men are here to watch over you and yours,” Leon stated. “At least, we’ll outnumber them, if they do come in here looking for trouble.”

Zeus nodded at him then glanced at Memphis. “Tell Click to get a camera on the new tunnel. I’m not looking for someone else to come through there and slit my throat while I’m sleeping.”

Memphis gave him a nod and left the infirmary

Captain slapped Diabolus on the arm and said, “Let’s go find out where it comes out and stop anyone else who tries to use it again.”

The two of them disappeared into the supply room.

Zeus shook his head. Looking over at Alfredo he asked, “Ok, is that all of them? I’m tired of this fucking endless bullshit.”

Alfredo stared at him. “I’ll read through my father’s books tonight and see if I can find anything new. Now I wish I’d just burned this place down after he died. But I didn’t know what all my dad told Barrett and at the time, the boys were running the streets back then.”

Zeus snorted. “Could have, should have, doesn’t help us now.”

“Maybe not but if I had, none of this would be happening now,” Alfredo suggested.

Leon raised a brow at Alfredo. “I have found that everything comes full circle. In my life, that circle usually ends up with dead men at my feet, who should have known better. If you had destroyed the place, the gold wouldn’t have been returned to the families who should have had it, along with the diamonds. The articles in that tank were pieces of history and they shall be returned to the museums, they should have been in for all to see. So my friend…” He patted Alfredo’s arm. “…despite what transpires here, you did the world a service. Maybe this is the way it should have ended after all.”

Alfredo paused to stare at him. “I think…” He cleared his throat and went on, “…that maybe you are right. Wrongs needed to be righted.” Slipping his hand into his pocket, he pulled out the small tin and showed it to Leon. “And I wouldn’t have found this either.”

Leon stared at the seemingly insignificant object and asked, “And what does finding that, tell you?”

“Barrett lied all those years ago, to me and to the police,” Alfredo explained. “It tells me he was with Carlos the night he died. It also tells me that he had to have taken this off Carlos’ body after he was dead.”

Leon studied him and asked, “How does it tell you so much?”

“Because I know Carlos never would have let him take it, if he were still alive,” Alfredo replied. The look in his tear filled eyes told them all how heartbroken he was by the cold, hard truth.


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