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Caleb Holmes
The Square
Tue Mar 1, 2005 21:35

“Lucy. LUCY. L.U.C.Y. As in Lucifer.” He chuckled softly, even more so when she continued between yawns. “I hate ‘Luce’.” Yaaaawn! “Sorry, a bit tired.” Yeah, he would have definitely agreed, considering she was getting cranky now. But he wasn’t going to say that aloud. Oh no, he was a smarter agent than that! But his question never was answered, and he left it alone.

Half-way through the drive, Caleb noticed the atypical headlights of a newer model car in his rear view mirror. Really, it looked like one of the cars Rob favored, and when he deterred from the main route directions, taking the more scenic one, the car followed. Every twist and turn of the way. “Huh.” That was from Lucy a few minutes afterward, which lent weight to the belief that she had noticed the car. Giving her a curious glance, though he didn’t think she noticed it coming from ‘Gino’, he shrugged it off and took the girl home.

“Come ooooooon, Gino!” He swore she had a hidden stash of caffeine about her person, just for moments like this to annoy him greatly. “I'll introduce you to grandpa, I'm sure he wants to meet you formally after last night. Seemed real interested.” Blink-blink. Bernardo Avellino would want to meet him? Wait, no. The man was interested in Gino, which was all for the better. Pushing the mere idea aside, he grabbed their bags per the normal routine of the last week, and headed after Lucy.

Being tugged in through the door, he winced as Lucy shouted. “I’m home, Papa!” Standing near the open door, he had to give in to her gestures for him to come inside just before Jackie. Frankly he wasn’t too enthused about the entire ordeal, especially not without a wire, but what was he to do? Glancing about, Caleb found the place to be your typical brownstone, though refurnished lavishly inside, displaying the family’s wealth. It was your typical idea of the mafia’s inner sanctum, and he bit his tongue. But then there was him, the infamous Bernardo Avellino. Hell, only his face looked anything like he did in the photos!

“Gino Mauricio… this is my grandpa. Papa, this is Gino. He's the replacement Phantom. And one hell of an actor.” Giving the man a polite nod, his attention turned toward Lucy, where the ensuing uncomfortable silence stretched out until Jackie decided to say something. “Hey, princess. Come help me set the table.” Apparently Lucy was all too happy to do something like this, because she trundled off with the goon down the hall and through an archway, leaving them alone. Shit, alone!

“Luciana has nothing but good things to say about you, young man.” Normally Caleb would have countered that, considering he knew he could look young at times, but instead he gave the nod once more. You’d swear it was related to testosterone, wouldn’t you? “So I’m going to be gentle with her. Here.” Uhm, gentle with her? Confused for a brief moment, Caleb set the bags aside and accepted the shot glass with quiet thanks, simply holding it between his fingers. He didn’t drink, and tried not to when he had to for the job. But the older gentleman was amused for some perverse reason, and he did not know why. He hated walking into a situation blind!

“Welcome to my house, Mister Holmes. I trust you will inform your superiors of everything we say, so let me be brief. The Avellinos are dying out. In five years, there will be a new man in my position.”

Oh. Shit. In most admirable form, Caleb did not gape when the bomb was dropped in his lap. Didn’t do much of anything, though the shot glass tremble the teeniest bit as he thought it all through. Bernardo knew that he was an agent, knew his name, and likely knew most of his life that was available through the records both public and confidential. Yet he still stood here! Wait. The man had mentioned that he would ‘be gentle’ with Lucy. Oh God, he wasn’t going to tell the girl! Somehow, Caleb felt this included holding the information from everyone. Lucy was one hell of a girl that could ferret out most any bit of information she wanted. So, refusing to tremble, he listened.

“Lucy is the joy of my life. I want your word that you personally will look after her. Not your government. You. Don't respond now; just take the time to think over my… offer. Perhaps you will find it difficult to refuse.” What?! He was not some man to be hired out like that! Then the twinkle in Bernardo’s eye told the story about that last sentence. Very fukkin’ funny old man. Bastard. Caleb’s mind was attempting to vainly wrap its way around this situation with little luck.

Well, the shot would help!

“Papa, did I tell you that photographers are coming tomorrow? We're going to be on the FRONT PAGE of the Times.” Thank God, Lucy had shown up when he needed her most! After the shot glass had been replaced at the bar, he dutifully allowed himself to be ushered into the kitchen for cake and ice cream.

For some reason, he was never so happy to leave a place as the Avellino home that night.

Rob definitely hadn’t been very enthused that Caleb showed up so late after the closing curtain, but he was absolutely fine with it when he found out why.

“You actually got in to the Avellino home?!” Per the third nod in a row, Rob gave a hoot of laughter. “Damn boy, I didn’t think you were that good! None of our other men could get close to Lucy! School, plays, whatever it was. But you, my lad…” Oh, he hated it when Rob gave him that look. It was more indicative to a nefarious plot. “You’ve done well! And you had better keep doing well. Now get some rest.”

“Yes, sir.” Not daring to mumble beneath his breath in this building, Caleb took the elevator down to ‘Gino’s’ apartments, which didn’t even look lived in. So as a lovely distraction, he took a baseball bat from the closet and started beating everything to hell. A scuff here, a nearly imperceptible dent there; just a load of imperfections that added up to a guy that was well-to-do, but not that well off. Halfway through his therapy, a phone rang. But not just any phone, the phone.

“What do you think you’re doing?!” Well, it wasn’t like he thought they would’ve been blind to the tantrum. If anything, this apartment was wired to the nines with anything they could put in here. Hell, he wouldn’t have put it past the agency if they had a camera in the shitter!

“It’s this new sort of anger management they’re working out for us. Whaddya think of it?” Oh, he really must’ve been in a foul mood to mouth of like that. Enough was enough when he heard the huffing and puffing on the other end. “If things continue to go the way they are, it is likely that this apartment will be visited soon. Everything looked too perfect and orderly, like it had not been lived in. I was merely remedying the situation.”

“Oh.” Click. Bastards!

The next hour was chocked full of this new ‘therapy’.

“Night-time sharpens, heightens each sensation. Darkness stirs and wakes imagination ... Silently the senses abandon their defenses… Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendor. Grasp it; sense it, tremulous and tender. Turn your face away from the garish light of day, turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light and listen to the music of the night…” Caleb was having difficulties concentrating tonight, because he just knew that there were cameras watching him around here. It was different, before he hadn’t withheld information from his boss!

“Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams! Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before! Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar! And you'll live as you've never lived before…” His eyes were looking past Lucy, though he still could see her hazy image before his face as the song wound down. Being so distracted, he barely even remember that Christine was to faint at this time. Oh shit! Don’t drop her!

For the rest of the night, Caleb kept to himself for the most part, crumpling up notes from audience members and throwing them in the trash as they came along. He was not supposed to be out from beneath cover like this! Next thing you knew the agency would have him running for president so they could control that office even more. Sigh. More than that, he was trying to sort out in his head what Bernardo had asked. If he was to watch over Lucy, it would likely be a direct violation of his orders after this operation was done for. He couldn’t keep coming back to the city for that! God, what was he supposed to do… ?

Faux light eyes shifted toward the nearby stand that was used for props, where a framed photo from the afternoon photography shoot rested. Phantom and Christine in their typical pose, which he hadn’t been extremely comfortable with. But after goofing around and being general loons he had loosened up enough to pose with Lucy for the rather provocative photo. And then he had to smack Ben on the arm when he delivered yet another one of those notes!

After the play, when he was finally clean once again, Caleb strolled onto stage behind the black curtain since there were still some stragglers in the audience. Ben was heckling him again, much to his dismay, eventually being silence by Hugh with a pounce and maul tactic that looked rather complicated. Surprise surprise when Lucy declared that she was going to be heading off to Washington Square with the boys, and proceeded to walk out arm in arm with the trio. Lofting a brow, he shared a look with Jackie and sighed.

“I’ll take the back way; she’ll expect to see you instead of me.” His suggestion received an emphatic nod from Jackie, which was sort of a surprise, but Caleb took off anyone. Literally the back way, since the night before he had decided it was a good idea to stash his Jeep behind the theater in a well-lit corner of the lot. It still didn’t let him get past two young women that were starry-eyed when he walked out the back exit though, damn it all!

The ride to the square was quick and rough; he didn’t worry about being pulled over or anything like that, considering it could be cleared up quickly enough. After cutting off his sixth Saab and ninth Jaguar, he had enough and pulled onto the far side, intending to trek the rest of the way.

Luck wasn’t especially with him this night though, considering he hadn’t found the foursome by the time he had gone halfway through the place that somehow reminded him of one large hemp shop. Instead, he ran into Jackie, coming from the other direction, and they could only shrug at once another again. It seemed that Luciana did that quite often to people, didn’t she? “Just head ‘round tha’ ‘udder way. We’ll run inta her soon ‘nuff. Call meh if ya find ‘er first?” After receiving agreement, Caleb turned about face and headed in the other direction.

Wasn’t he already doing what Bernardo wanted him to do? He was falling into the role that Jackie occupied without so much as a word. Shoving his hands into the pockets of his coat, Caleb trudged down the street, noticing little about him for now.

All he needed to do was think to himself for a bit…

  • Post ScriptLucy Avellino, Tue Mar 1 18:13
    “Hey, Luce?” Waiting to gain her attention at a red light, Caleb quirked a brow at her curiously. “Why does Jackie call you princess? Hell, you do it to yourself too!” The lad seemed genuinely... more
    • The Square — Caleb Holmes, Tue Mar 1 21:35
      • Into the FireLucy Avellino, Tue Mar 1 23:10
        There was a really, really, really good reason why neither Jackie or Caleb could put their paws on Lucy and her cohorts. The quartet had made a beeline for a club run by one of the Avellino... more
        • The DecisionCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 2 00:49
          And still, he wandered the Square! Eventually Caleb had made a full round through the place, barely aware of the people around him as he occasionally shouldered through the crowds. A time or two he... more
          • The Final CurtainLucy Avellino, Wed Mar 2 03:48
            “Wandering child, so lost, so helpless… Yearning for my guidance…” Erik was singing to her. No, wait. Gino. With Erik's voice. Lightheaded enough to blur the difference, but not so smashed that she'd ... more
            • Celebrations EnsueCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 2 15:13
              Yeah. I had three brandys. Itty-bitty ones. Right now, Caleb was beginning to think that Lucy had consumed a lot more than three shots of brandy. Even if she did look the light weight! Unlimbered of... more
              • Cinderella UndercoverLucy Avellino, Wed Mar 2 18:09
                Showtime at the Apoll-- er, Village Playhouse! "Passing bells and sculpted angels, cold and monumental. Seem, for you, the wrong companions. You were warm and gentle ..." She stood alone in the... more
                • Out from Under the CoversCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 2 23:13
                  Indeed, Caleb had bought out the local deli for the night! And with the agency’s money, no less. But it was an expense account, and to make his story more believable, a man had to do certain things... more
                  • And Into TroubleCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 2 23:13
                    Snatching a pair of jogging shorts on his way out, Caleb stripped once he hit the living room, and got rid of the rest of his clothing, stuffing it all into the infamous blue hazard bag after... more
                    • Frying Pans and FiresLucy Avellino, Thu Mar 3 00:41
                      “Nighttime sharpens… heightens each sensation… Grasp it… sense it… savor each sensation…” It was a familiar voice, but one she couldn't readily identify. Not yet. Air was still rushing into her lungs ... more
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