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A Problem Like Maria

Prologue

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A Problem Like Maria
by Lar

 
     

Chapter Nine

Glancing at the clock, I sigh and touch my lips. 9:34. It had been almost an hour since he left, yet I can still feel his lips on mine. It was the perfect first kiss, followed by others. Each one wonderful in itís own way.

God, if I wasnít in this hospital. Thatís okay, Iíll be out soon enough. Then Iíll be stuck in Harmony. Waiting for this good awful trial to come about. I look over at the chair where he sat. A little under an hour ago, he had sat there. He had put his arms around me, held me close, kissed me with passion and intensity.

"Pardon me love, can you tell me where I may find the lovely Maria Fitzgerald? I heard that the future star of Broadway was shot in a senseless tragedy." A voice I easily recognize, even though it was laced with a heavy fake British accent, stated.

"Tony! You made it!" I yell.

"Of course we did! Did you think anything would keep us away?" Tony smiled, entering the room. He wore a deep blue sweater and khakis. He was tall, standing 6í4", and looking devilishly handsome. His dark tones blended nicely with his dark hair and soulful eyes.

Peeking out around from behind him was my father. A pale skinned almost replica of Tony. His face lit with a smile as we made eye contact, and he pushed past Tony to come and hug me.

"Oh father! Itís so great to see you." I squeal.

"Maria. I love you so much. Iím so glad you werenít hurt." He replies back.

"Me too." Tony says, joining the hug.

"Our family is back together again. Although I didnít think itíd be so soon." I comment, releasing them.

"Yes, well, thatís the meaning of family. Being there when it counts." Father replies.

"Iím so glad to here that. How did you guys make it? I thought the trial was going on and it was too dangerous to leave London." I comment.

"Well, we told Interpol that either they let us leave, or we leave without their consent." Tony remarks.

"Always one to go against authority, arenít we Tony?" I say with a chuckle.

"Thatís me. So, baby sister, howíd you end up here? In Harmony?" Tony chuckles.

"Julie and her shopping. She had to squeeze that extra day in. So as weíre flying over the coast, a stupid hurricane is moving up it. That causes storms up here, and ultimately, our landing here." I roll my eyes as I tell the tale.

"Oh, thatís good. But then again, I suppose you kept a low profile. If I know you as well as I think I do, you wouldnít want to be spotted." Tony replies. I look between my brother and my father, who was now sitting.

"Well, I tried. But Hank Bennett knew me almost immediately. It was a dumb mistake really. I was out in the open, at the Book Cafe. He spotted me after some black guy asked if I was Theresa."

"How could anyone ever get you two confused? Theresa was always a dreamer, while youíre a realist." Father smiles.

"I donít know. We look alike I guess. I saw a picture of her. She was about to marry that Ethan Crane or Bennett, or whatever he wants to be called now." I reply.

"I read about that too. So your cover was compromised. Whatíd you do about it?" Tony questions.

"At first I denied it. Gave him some story about being of Italian decent. I got outta there as soon as possible, but then I ran into Luis."

"Did he recognize you?" Tony heatedly asks. Ever since I had meet up with my brother five years ago and told him my story, his image of Luis had changed to mine.

"No. Thank God. I manage to slip past him. But Hank followed me to the hotel. So I set up a meeting, told him my story, and convinced him to keep quiet. He wouldíve continued to if that shooting hadnít happened, and I hadnít needed blood."

"Needed blood?" Father asks.

"I lost a lot. The blood bank here had a low supply of AB-, like most hospitals. So Jess told Hank to contact... them." I hesitantly state.

"Did someone match?" Father inquires nervously.

"Yes. Luis did." I sigh loudly and look up at the ceiling.

"But youíre okay? Thatís all that matters." Father comments.

"Like hell! The person I so regretfully call my brother has his blood going through my sister! The one he banished." Tony says, enraged.

"Tony, calm down. Itís okay, really. Iíve tried to get past it." I sooth.

"Yes Tony. Calm down. If your sister can get past it, then so can we. You know Iím as disappointed in Luis as you are, but he did what he thought was necessary at the time, and he was a match for Maria." Father interjected.

"Youíre right, itís just... he still gets to me." Tony admits.

"Me too. Heís still got that cocky attitude, like he knows everything." I comment.

"You met with him?" Father asks, a gilt of emotion in his eye.

"Yes. We talked, for a while. He said the family still loves me." I admit.

"I believe they do. Your mother may let Luis run things, but I think she still has control over her feelings." Father replies, touching my arm with his hand.

"I guess a lotís changed in Harmony since we left. Miguel, Theresa, and Luis are all in love." I offer.

"Really? Someone loves Luis?" Tony skeptically asked.

"Sheridan Crane. Hank said theyíre both stubborn fools." I smile back at him.

"Yes, Sheridan was a stubborn girl. I remember her from when she was little." Father comments.

"Well, if they make each other happy, so be it. Heís kinda mellowed out I think." I reply.

"I donít know if thatís possible. And him being with a Crane, who wouldíve thought. Does he still hold them responsible for fatherís disappearance?" Tony questions, pacing the foot of my bed.

"Oh yes. According to Hank, heís still very convinced they have something to do with fatherís disappearance. But not in the positive way." I reply eagerly.

"Thatís three times youíve said Hankís name. Is there something going on? How many times has he seen you?" Tony asks, and I freeze. Can I tell them? Will they blow a gasket?

I clear my throat, "well, itís actually kinda funny..."

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