As you all know, I've been posting for FREE chapters of "In the Name of Revenge" here on my blog and on Wattpad. Don't worry, the entire book will be released, so you don't have to worry about getting halfway through and finding out that you'll never get the rest.
Enjoy Chapter Eight!
Pavel returned to his small second floor apartment in Thousand Oaks after dropping off his daughter at Tracy’s place. He stood in the living room and looked around his stark bachelor’s pad, as if seeing it for the first time. His entire place was done in neutral colors and was crying out for a woman’s touch. A leather sofa sat on hardwood floors, with a wing-backed chair placed next to it. The two were separated by a small table. An area rug was neatly placed in front of the fireplace, which was positioned across from the sitting area.
His kitchen held quality pots and pans and every utensil and dish needed to make and eat a gourmet meal even though Pavel has not once cooked in his kitchen. He felt it depressing to cook for one and then eat it alone.
His bedroom was just as bleak. The massive king-size bed, which he had yet to sleep in, sat in the middle of the room. It was still made up the same way as the day the decorator put her final touches of toss pillows on it. He couldn’t bring himself to sleep in the huge bed alone. It held a bedspread that matched the draperies, which covered the wall-to-wall windows that overlooked the city.
Everything was decorated tastefully, but without any warmth. He hired the interior decorator when he moved in here, giving her freedom to decorate the place. She added the accessories where she felt they were needed and provided the most exquisite furnishings. The one thing she couldn’t add was the touch of a family life: the lingering scent of a baby’s precious smells or a woman’s fragrance as she entered the room. It finally dawned on him that money did not make a house a home. Only a family could do that.
Pavel knew he was taking a chance, but he wanted to see his daughter. He wanted to spend just a little time with her. He saw them in the park, acting as one big happy family. He was glad Felice was happy. She deserved it, but he felt she should be happy with him and their daughter, not with someone else.
He saw his opportunity when Felice turned away to look at something in the trees. He had no idea what she was looking at, but he didn’t have time to waste. In anticipation of seeing his daughter, he previously put a car seat in. After all, he didn’t want to put her at risk. He quickly picked up his daughter and darted towards his car. He was out of sight before Felice turned around.
He kept tabs on Felice throughout her pregnancy. He was friendly with a nurse at the doctor’s office where Felice went for her visits. Even though it was against policy and everything she believed in, Helen kept Pavel up to date on Felice and the baby. They maintained a long time friendship and she felt sorry for him because she believed it was Felice who walked out on Pavel. He never corrected her, allowing her to believe it to be true.
He visited the hospital the day the baby was born just to see if everything was okay, but left without seeing his daughter. It was the hardest thing he had ever done. He desperately wanted nothing more than to see Felice and to hold his daughter in his arms.
He regretted his deception from the day he left her…the day he left a living piece of himself inside of Felice. Part of him prayed she wouldn’t abort their baby, the other half of him wanted her to, just so he didn’t put his own flesh and blood in harm’s way.
Since the day he allowed her to cry by herself in the bathroom, he wanted to go to Felice, tell her everything and to beg her to take him back. It was his love for her that wouldn’t allow him to go to her when she cried and what made him leave her when she told him she was pregnant. He cut all ties with her and moved from his residence. He couldn’t take the chance Felice would try and see him. If she did, he knew he would be unable to stop himself from telling her everything.
When he was at his lowest, he would cheer himself by sending Felice gifts. He wouldn’t allow himself to include a card when he sent her the vase or when he had the flowers delivered to her. It was his way of letting her know she was still on his mind. He realized that she didn’t have any way of knowing those things were from him, but it made him feel a little better, a little closer to her.
He knew all about Felice’s present life. He made it a point to watch her, without being seen. When he realized she was seeing Darryl, it broke his heart. Then he found out she was going to marry him. The thought of her being with someone other than him for the rest of her life felt as if someone put a knife in his heart. Not to mention the fact that his daughter would be brought up by another man. His daughter would call that man ‘daddy’. A name which should be reserved only for him.
Now, being unable to stand one more minute of not seeing his daughter, he took her. He knew it was wrong, that Felice would be worried, but it didn’t matter. All he wanted to do was spend some time with her.
Before taking her, he prepared. He went to his storage facility where he kept all of the things that were most important to him—things his parents gave him as a child and special mementos he kept dear to his heart. Pictures of Felice were among those things. He took out his baby bassinet and made sure it was still sturdy. He had it recovered with padded fabric. So as not to be spotted by anyone in the Mancini family, he went to Calabasas, a city close by, and bought baby food, toys, clothes, blankets and diapers.
Instead of taking her to his place, he rented a tiny apartment in Calabasas. He could not take the chance of anyone seeing him with a baby. When he returned there, he noticed the pink blanket she was bundled in, was missing. He wasn’t too concerned as he bought others for her.
He spent just a few precious days with his daughter. It was then he truly realized how badly he wanted her around all the time, but he wanted Felice there as well. He wanted them to be a family.
They were the best days of his life and the ones that flew by the quickest. Because he forgot to buy a highchair, he sat her in his lap when he fed her. He loved everything about taking care of her, even when she spit her food out and he would have to again, replace her t-shirt with a clean one. He didn’t even mind when he had to change her diaper. He played with her and knowing that he was far enough away from where he took her, went for walks with her in the small park near the apartment. He figured he’d be safe. No one there would guess that he was anything other than a man walking with his child.
He was proud to be her father. Being with her and caring for her gave him the most wonderful feelings he could ever have.
It was the normalcy of the actions that amazed him. Pavel had not felt like that for a very long time. He forgot what a typical, easy going day was. Felice gave him a sense of that, but he threw it away. Now, caring for his child seemed the most natural thing in the world to him. He didn’t have any clue as to what to do, but it all came unexpectedly easy to him.
The times he most cherished was when, after giving her a bath, he put her down in her crib in the bedroom. She lay there looking up at him and smiled. She knew instinctively he was her father, not Darryl. He could see it in her eyes. He couldn’t sleep. Instead, he sat up and watched her breathe easy as she lay in her bassinet, her tiny little hands balled up. He took her small fingers in his and awed at the precious baby he helped give life to. For the first time in his life, he knew what it was to love unconditionally. There was nothing that sweet, little baby could do to ever make him stop loving her. Not now, nor when she grew up into a wonderful young woman. He knew this deep in his soul. He knew what it meant to be a parent and found it was what he’s been missing his entire adult life. He felt almost complete when his daughter was with him. He would be whole when Felice joined them.
However much it would hurt him to do so, he knew he had to return Rita Grace. Felice would be going out of her mind with worry and that was not his intention. He hadn’t even considered that when he took the baby. All he wanted was to be part of his daughter’s life, if only for a short while. He prayed it would be soon that he could put this entire incident and the drama with the Mancini family behind him and be with his family.
What he didn’t know was whether or not Felice would take him back. If she didn’t, he vowed he would not allow her to keep him from his daughter. He loved his little girl and was determined to become a vital part of her life. She would grow up to know him and he intended on being there for her.
Once he completed his quest for revenge, he was going to go to Felice and beg her to forgive him. Until that time there was no choice, he would have to wait. He wasn’t sure how long it would be before he was able to see his daughter again, to spend more time with her. He also didn’t know how he was going to be able to accomplish that. She was his daughter after all and he wanted her to grow up knowing him…one way or another.
Standing at the window, he stared down into the street while holding a glass of wine in one hand and a teddy bear in the other…he never felt so alone. He turned the teddy bear over in his hand, noticing her dribble all over it. He smiled, never thinking he would enjoy the idea of baby drool.
After staying up for two nights he was exhausted, but he didn’t mind. He held these special memories dear to his heart. He knew they would have to sustain him for a little while longer.
He thought of the few short days he was blessed to have with his daughter and began to cry. It was the hardest thing he ever did when he left her. He felt so hollow. His existence seemed pointless now. What kind of life did he make for himself? He was alone, living in an apartment and holding a dangerous job. Suddenly, he realized all he really wanted was to be a husband and father.
He put his wine glass down, walked over to the coffee table and picked up the pictures. Tears streamed down his face as he looked at the snapshots he took with his digital camera. He captured her smiling and sleeping. She was an angel, his little cherub.
“Soon, my little girl, we’ll be able to spend time together again,” he said aloud to her picture, studying every inch of her sweet, baby face.
He knew it was nearing time to bring the boss down. He wanted the old man to know what it felt like to lose someone he loved. He wanted Carlo to experience the deep, heart wrenching pain of witnessing an execution of a family member like he was forced to. After his parents were killed, he had no choice but to watch the life drain out of each of them. That night, Pavel sat tied up in the chair for what seemed like hours, staring at his parents. Even though it made him sick to his stomach, he was unable to look away. His father landed with the side of his face on the carpet, eyes open, but unseeing, facing Pavel. He could see the star-shaped entrance wound on his father’s forehead, which showed the powder burns where the bullet went in. His mother landed face down and, fortunately, Pavel could not see her face.
He threw up for what seemed like an hour, until it was just dry heaves. He couldn’t stomach what he witnessed. He couldn’t help his parents. He was unable to do anything except cry for the man who had been a person he grew to love and respect and the woman who had so endearingly loved her family.
From the time the masked man left that fateful evening, until the time his aunt came to visit the next morning and found them, Pavel stewed with rage. All night he sat there, unable to get out of his bindings, and vowed revenge. Since his parents’ unjustified and brutal murders, it was a scene Pavel replayed night after night in his nightmares. The horrible event wasn’t the only thing he saw. He also saw his own red, the fiery anger of what they did to his family and the red he wanted to shed in retribution.
He didn’t know who the man was, but he knew who he reported to. He knew why his parents were dead and that it was at the hands of Carlo Mancini. What he didn’t understand is why they spared him. To Pavel, that particular fact didn’t interest him. The only thing that did was revenge.
Pavel learned Carlo had two children, a son and a daughter. Although he didn’t doubt Carlo loved his daughter, it was his son Phillip he valued the most, as he would soon be taking over the organization. Carlo was getting on in years. He was almost eighty. Phillip was groomed to fill Carlo’s shoes and from what Pavel could tell, was primed well.
Pavel didn’t plan on hurting the old man physically. He wanted more than that. He wanted Carlo to personally know what it’s like to lose someone in a vicious way while being made to watch the event unfold. It was the son Pavel planned on going after. He wanted Carlo tormented with the violent murder and ensuing grief.
It was all planned…he would kidnap Phillip while Carlo was out of town. But he would be kept alive until Carlo returned. He wanted his audience. Pavel knew it would have to happen soon because Carlo mistakenly confided in him that he was to have surgery. His hip was finally giving out. He was having a specialist at UCLA in southern California perform the surgery. That left Phillip in Thousand Oaks to run things. Pavel planned on using that time to do what he needed to do. He was just waiting for Carlo to tell him when he would be leaving to have his surgery. He promised Carlo he would be there to aid Phillip in whatever needed to be done. It was an empty promise. Pavel knew it was going to be Phillip helping him in what needed to be done, even if Phillip didn’t know this quite yet.