Amberly Seilla Vacker might not be dead.
Viktor could hardly process those words as he listened motionlessly to Martin Murphy, who delivered the information with fear. The woman who kidnapped and tortured his daughter was still alive. The woman who had tormented them all their lives for years was still breathing.
"Viktor?" Felicity grasped her husband's pale face. "Honey? What's wrong?"
After getting no response, she snatched the phone from Viktor and put it on speaker. "Martin, what happened?"
There was a moment of silence at the end of the line, then, "Mr. De Luca had instructed me to look into the Miss. Vacker's death. Unfortunately, my men have scoured the scene of the car crash, and we have recently extracted evidence that suggests that someone else had arrived before the police reached."
At this, Viktor snapped himself out of his daze and barked out, "What do you mean someone else had arrived before the police had?"
"We got some hidden footage about the 'accident' and discovered that whoever reached the site was the same person who attacked the French while they were delivering their resources. They took the injured body of Miss Vacker from the damaged car right after it crashed. And I mean right after. The second the car hit the tree, they arrived."
"Hit a tree?" Felicity asked, confused. "Didn't the police report say that the car slammed into another car?"
Martin replied in a grim voice, "The vehicle Miss Vacker crashed into belonged to the same 'source' we are talking about."
"So you are saying that this person tried to kill Amberly but then saved her?" Felicity said, still bewildered.
This time Viktor answered, "Because they did not attempt this person to kill Amberly. They were only trying to kidnap her. And apparently, they succeeded."
Mr. Murphy resumed. "The black SUV that crashed into Miss Vacker's car had a fake license number. The moment the crash happened, the car zoomed away and our mysterious assassin appeared."
"So right now we are uncertain about Amberly's current status and have no idea who this evasive assassin is," Viktor growled, infuriated.
"Indeed. Boss, this person is not like Vice. Whatever or whoever this person is, they are aware of where Miss Vacker is. That means they have certain leverage against us."
"How are we going to tell the boys and Vanessa about this?" Felicity questioned.
"We will tell them in the morning after they have rested. For now, I'll call my brother and father about this."
Felicity and Viktor had both been dreading the encounter they know they could not deny any longer. So, when the parents told their sons, they tried to anticipate their reactions.
Sandro and Matteo both took the news with death shining in their eyes. While Xavier punched a massive hole in the white-coated hospital wall. Angelo swore and began pacing around the room like a caged tiger and Xander look. He was going to rip apart the entire building in a rage. Felicity requested Xavier, Matteo, and Angelo to keep their sleeping daughter company while they decided on their alternative course of action.
"We need to find out everything we can about this assassin." Alessandro snapped. "Whoever this person must have left some kind of trace that helps us detect this killer."
"Yeah, I asked Vice anything he knows. He has his men on this, so the first beat he finds something we become immediately aware of it." Xander stated, yanking his hair.
"Xander, calm down. When we find this person, they will know who they are exactly what they are dealing with."
"But this time we have a weakness."
"Weakness?" Viktor asked sharply.
"Vanessa. She is a liability we don't need."
"Xander Giuseppe!" Felicity yelled. "Don't you dare speak of your baby sister like that!"
"Don't deny it! Having Vanessa here is amazing and all, but we must face the facts-"
Felicity cut him off, "Facts?! Vanessa is my daughter, your sister. She is family and whether you fancy it or not, you are going to accept that."
"I do know that. God! I love Vanessa. But this life we live puts her in severe danger. Why do you think she suffered so much?"
"Because of Amberly! And that woman may still be alive. That is why we must find this person. Because that is the woman who hurt Vanessa," Alessandro interrupted.
Viktor turned to Xander, "Son, we all understand you are terrified to lose her again. But we are never going to allow Vanessa to be in that position ever again."
Xander's face softened. "We could lose her."
Felicity hugged her son, "As your father just said, that is never going to happen. And before you say that we can't predict that, let me tell you that if someone hurts Vanessa or any of our family, they will face the entire wrath of the Italian Mafia."
Viktor nodded. "Which is why I have come up with an idea to find our mysterious assassin."
It hadn't taken long. All the instructions were there on the internet–even a helpful video.
They had bought readily the ingredients and without suspicion. Sugar and a frying pan from the supermarket. Saltpetre from the fertilizer section of a garden centre. A small torch bulb, a nine-volt battery, a relay switch and some electrical wire from a hardware store. Finally, a large can of Hyper energy drink and a cheap digital watch from a gas station.
They had mixed the sugar and saltpetre in a bowl at the exact ratio specified on the web. Then the white powder tipped into the frying pan and 'cooked' under a low heat. Constantly stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, the grains of sugar had started to melt and caramelize. Gradually, the white powder liquefied into a light brown paste with the consistency of peanut butter.
They had poured the resulting gooey liquid into the now-empty soda can. As they left this mixture to cool and harden, the back of the digital watch had been prised open, its alarm buzzer disconnected and electrical wires attached. They had then made a circuit with the battery, relay switch and bulb.
With great care, they had broken the glass of the torch bulb to expose the filament. This was buried in a small wrapper of uncooked sugar and saltpetre and inserted into the opening of the soda can. They taped the watch and battery to the outside of the can.
All the key components were now in place: a timer, a battery, an igniter and an incendiary mix–small enough to conceal in a backpack.
The bomb was complete.
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The SurvivorMystery / Thriller
Stolen. Broken. Corrupted. Vanessa Amara De Luca has spent the last nine years of her life under the cruel and oppressive care of her aunt. But when a tragic accident changes everything, she discovers a shocking truth: she is the missing heir to o...