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When the Past Returns to Haunt You
Mistaken Identity - Part 1
by Begin Again
| Category: || Mystery and Crime Fiction |
Posted:|| October 30, 2010 Views: 481|
Shrouded by a blanket of grey clouds, Sheath Federal Prison, better known as The Hole, loomed above Whipton's skyline. Perched high atop the rocky coastline, the hundred-year-old fortress's concrete walls and massive steel doors once protected its namesakes, but today it housed two hundred and fourteen convicted criminals. Ironically, Richard Sheath, the past owner's great grandson , currently called it home. Housed in a 6 x 20 cell, separated from the general population for four years, he'd spent twenty three hours a day alone, waiting and planning for this day.
While his money failed to keep him out of prison, after calling in a few favors, it did earn him a ticket out.
On the streets far below, Shannon Littlefield weaved her way along the sidewalk, carefully protecting her morning coffee. A born-procrastinator, she was pressed for time. She hadn't shifted into her working mode this morning, the opposite personna.
A production assistant for Never Submit Entertainment, Shannon often worked long, tedious hours, skillfully oiling the inner workings of each filming. Haunted by memories, she savored each and every moment that kept her from dwelling on the past. Her dedication earned her the respect and admiration of everyone who she came in contact with, but more importantly, it kept her sane.
Today, Halloween Bash, a sequel to one of Hollywood's box office successes, would begin production on Stage One. Bill Hadley, her tough-on-the-outside but a teddy-bear-inside boss, would expect her to keep the cast and crew on their toes, guaranteeing everything went smoothly..
Racing to the corner, Shannon swore under her breath. The Do Not Walk sign flashed, demanding she stop. Impatiently, she took a sip of her coffee, surveying the morning crowd, a habit she'd perfected over the past few years. Jake, a familiar face and owner of the corner news stand, waved and beckoned her to join him.
"Gotta run, Jake," she called. "You know me, I'm already late."
Quickly moving outside his stand, a warm smile spread across his face as he approached.
"Ahh, filming begins today, huh?" Tucking a folded newspaper under her arm, he added, "Just thought today's news might interest you."
The light changed and the crowd pushed forward into the crosswalk. Shannon mouthed the words thank you and hurried toward the towering office building and her job.
The studio was buzzing. People from every department calling out orders and their assistants scurrying to carry them out. Bill's aging quarterback shoulders filled the doorway. He snarled, "You're late."
"Sorry ... just one of those mornings."
Spying her Starbucks, he gently eased it from her hand. "Go make sure the lighting crew is ready." His 240 pound body pirouetted, disappearing into his private domain. "Oh yeah, thanks for the coffee," his voice rumbled.
Shannon couldn't help but smile. He was just a loveable teddy bear with a gruff growl.
Tossing her purse and the forgotten newspaper into a file drawer, she assumed the roll of Super Woman and started her day.
Three floors up, the new owner of Never Submit Entertainment, Matt Cassandro, prepared to meet his employees. Not one to follow protocol, he wore a classic 1800's English Gentleman's costume in order to blend in with the extras on the set. In disguise, he would be able to move undetected among the cast and crew, sizing up the operation and getting a first hand view of how things were run. Today, he'd be attending a Halloween Bash.
Richard Sheath cringed as the steel gates slammed closed behind him.
"Stay out of trouble, Sheath, or you'll be visiting us a lot longer next time."
Richard shot him the bird and moved away from the prison gates. Filling his lungs with damp air, he slowly exhaled, and inhaled one more time. It felt good, real good. After four long years, he was a free man. A free man with an agenda.
A black town car was parked across the street. He quickened his step, rounding the front of the car in seconds. The door opened.
"Long time no see, Dicky." Deep sounding laughter rolled out of the car. "You going to stand there all day or you want a ride."
"Where'd you steal the car, Sam?"
"Steal? I ain't no petty thief, man. Borrowed it from my grandmother."
"Sure you did and I just spent four years in a resort."
Richard slid across the leather seat and slammed the door. Leaning back, he relaxed, letting his whole body go limp. A familiar aroma teased his nostrils, Obsession. He'd recognize the scent anywhere.
"Welcome home, Richard. Did you miss me?" The sultry voice could only belong to one person, Georgia Sinclair, the wife of mob boss, Nikki Sinclair.
"Every second I was inside, babe." This wasn't the first time he'd played with fire, especially this fire. Even the thought of her made him sizzle.
The baritone voice spoke, dosing the flame like ice water. "Cool it, Georgia, you're just along for the ride."
"You take all the fun out of life, Sam. What Nikki don't know won't hurt him."
"What Nikki finds out will buy us all early graves."
"Now, now children, let's not fight. I see nothing much has changed while I've been locked up."
"Maybe, maybe not." Sam tossed the newspaper in Richard's lap. "Thought you might want to read a little while we drive."
"Hmmph ... Can't be anything in this piece of garbage that'd interest me."
Unfolding the paper, he stared at the bold headlines.
EARLY RELEASE FOR COP-TURNED RAPIST
"I'm back." The trio laughed. "Why do I want to read about this shit?"
Moving the car into the stream of traffic, Sam pointed his finger at the paper. "Naw, I thought you'd be more interested in the story at the bottom."
Richard scanned the newspaper. A familiar pair of eyes, ones the same rich, chocolate brown as his, stared back at him.
Matt Cassandro, Philanthropist/CEO, Purchases Production Co.
"I'll be damned. Now ain't that something. Maybe I should pay my twin brother a visit. What you think, Sam?"
"I don't know, Richard. He changed his name for a reason and you just might be that reason."
"We're family. Ain't blood suppose to be thicker than water? We were split up at birth, deprived of our just dues, and you don't imagine he'd be tickled to death to meet me?"
"Like I said, Richard, you better take it easy or you'll be in the slammer again, this time for good."
"You worry too much, Sam. Just drop me off downtown, okay?"
For the last three hours, Matt had been entertained by the production, but what really caught his attention was the brunette, definitely the woman in charge. There was something about her that mesmerized him. He wanted to meet her, get to know more about her. That wasn't his usual style, but then she didn't appear to be anything like the cougars he normally met.
Shannon finished giving the heroine final instructions and edged her way through the cameras, sound systems, and crew toward the extras pressed together in one corner of the studio. The four inch stilettos had been a wrong choice for today. Her feet screamed for relief and her temples pounded. She struggled to focus on her next job, choosing a handful of extras for the bar scene.
As she scanned the crowd, mentally choosing and eliminating, Matt stepped into her path, unfortunately, catching the tip of his shoe on one of the electrical cords. Lights crashed, bulbs shattered. Pandemonium followed.
Shannon's hand shot forward to steady Matt.
"Whoa, made a mess, didn't I? Sorry, just wanted to introduce myself." Matt smiled sheepishly.
Bill's gruff voice called across the set. "Damn it, Shannon, What the hell's going on over there?"
"Nothing, Bill. I got it under control." Shannon spun around to face the English Gentleman. "You'll have to move back against the wall."
"Hey, I own -"
"Please just move back against the wall so we can get this production started again."
"Shannon!" This time her name exploded across the floor. Bill was irritated.
"I'm Matt Cassandro, the new CEO of this company."
"Yeah, and I'm Marie Antionette. I don't mean to be rude, but you are disrupting the entire cast and shoot. Please, either join the others or I'll have to ask you to leave."
"You seem to have difficulty understanding the English language, sir. It's vital that I keep this shoot on time and you're disrupting it." She turned away, immediately signaling for every one to take their places.
Stunned by her dismissal, Matt's hand shot out and grabbed her arm.
Sparks shot from her emerald green eyes. She yanked her arm out of his grip. "Security ... Security, please escort this man from the building."
Two no-nonsense security men clamped their huge hands around Matt's biceps. "I think you better come with us, sir."
"You're making a mistake."
"Mistake or not, sir, Miss Shannon says you have to leave and she usually gets what she wants."
"Really?" He looked at them and then back to Shannon. She stood with her feet firmly planted, irritation covered her face. "You can let go, I'll leave peacefully."
The two men looked toward Shannon for instructions.
She nodded her head and they released him, but held their positions by his side.
Matt flashed a wicked grin at Shannon. "Don't worry, you haven't seen the last of me." Straightening his jacket, he walked off the set.
Rubbing her temples, Shannon dismissed his arrogance and returned to work.
Thank you lippi for the use of your photo.
and 2 member cents.
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