Memories Erased - Treachery
A mantle of storm grey clouds rolling in from the San Bernardino Mountains combined with a light sprinkling of rain to cloak the day in an atmosphere of gloom. It was the perfect backdrop for the day’s event.
Ewyn sat between Devin and Gregorio. With Ewyn’s nieces Nicole and Carolyn on their father’s right, and Patrick on Devin’s left, Gemma, Timothy, Mick and Taggart occupied the seats behind them. More than one hundred solemn family members and associates stood by as his mother’s coffin disappeared into the ground. Mairianna never recovered from Cecilia’s attempt on her life. A silent sob shook Ewyn’s body.
He had no more tears. His supply had been exhausted when, desperate to reclaim his self-esteem by escaping the bondage of domestic violence, what should have been the highlight of his life had deteriorated into a year and a half of emotional upheaval. Memories indelibly imprinted in his mind that began the moment he and Devin met in the bathroom of a gay bar, and Devin rescued Ewyn from his abusive lover. It was love at first sight, and their unlikely liaison -- mob brat and DOJ covert op -- managed to survive an odyssey of fear, deception, murder, and anguish.
After that acrimonious breakup with his violent ex, Ewyn had moved in with Devin, and for the first time in his adult life, he had relaxed and even dared to believe he would be happy and safe. Six months later, life disabused him of that idea and the shit came at him and Devin hard and fast. In their wildest imaginations, neither could have envisioned a scenario like the one they found themselves in, unfolding with all the deadly twists and turns of a crime drama.
What Ewyn failed to factor into his happily-ever-after equation was a visit from Mairianna, his feisty red-haired Irish mother, accompanied by Patrick McCormick, the family driver and bodyguard who refused to stop calling Ewyn ‘pipsqueak’. His mother revealed her knowledge of Ewyn’s uncharacteristic submissive behavior, expressed her disapproval, then demanded answers and explanations. How she’d known about his life, when he hadn’t seen either of them in more than a year…hell.
If that disturbing reunion wasn’t dramatic enough, things escalated from there. Ewyn had a throw down with Devin’s ex Allister Teague, followed by the first attempt on Ewyn’s life. Then he became the prime suspect in the murder of his ex Gareth Varvarinski, member of the Russian mob. The climatic ending to those episodes was the final attempt on his life with Devin stepping up to the rescue, once again, and almost dying in the process.
Then Mairianna had collapsed from the result of slow deliberate poisoning. Regrettably, what no one knew at that time -- his mother wouldn’t survive.
Foolishly, he’d thought that hellacious rollercoaster of emotional upheaval had been a test, a gauntlet of trials and tribulations meant to derail a relationship, which he and Devin had passed. But it wasn’t the end, since they were at the cemetery, mourning the loss of his mother because of the diabolic scheme his sister-in-law had been plotting for years to wipe out the Calderones. Including her—
The sudden intrusion of Father Casale’s baritone voice on Ewyn’s rumination forced him to return his attention to his immediate surroundings. He noticed most of the assembled group had dispersed but lingering mourners were approaching to offer condolences.
Together with his family, Ewyn stood, Devin draped his arm across Ewyn’s shoulders, and he shivered. Thinking about the extent of his sister-in-law’s insidious hatred was a reminder that he could have been attending Devin’s funeral today. The thought had him edging closer to Devin and snuggling into his warmth.
Hell. Even with the resolution of those unnerving complexities of his life, the uncertainties didn’t end.
Major concerns about his paternal aunt’s welfare compounded the overwhelming heartbreak of losing his mother. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, his aunt Gemma fought an uphill battle to survive. A mere skeleton of her former self, the chemotherapy had taken its toll, and he worried about her being out in the day’s inclement weather.
Then, in a few weeks, another disturbing change would infringe on life, as Ewyn knew it, when his brother relinquished his role as mob boss. Opting out of syndicate business, he would hand over the reins of the crime family to their cousin Vincenzo. Without Ewyn’s knowledge, his brother had been paving the way for his retirement with hints of failing health. To assure the other crime families knew he wasn’t ratting out to the FBI, he’d go underground, disappearing for an undetermined amount of time.
Hell. Having survived the last two years of
chaos, the rest of his life should be easy. What else could happen?
© Emily Wade-Reid
M. E. Reid