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Lucy Avellino
The Moose Did It
Mon Mar 14, 2005 17:46

The safe house was just that -- a safe house. It was not a home, nor even really a residence. The first level was a blandly appointed split-level abode, furnishings as spotless as one could get them with a professional cleaning service. Brown suede couches, heavy four-poster beds straight out of an Ethan Allen catalouge. Dishes by Bloomingdale's. One would espect to see an 'Oscar de La Renta' on the exquisite cream curtains.

Below the ground level was a different story. The basement had been added to over the last twenty years, a little maze of small rooms inhabited by analysts, dialect coaches, makeup artists. Costumers braced with pins and tape to measure a new 'customer' and have appropriate clothing finished by the next dawn. The farthest rooms were kept for the forgers, both professional and otherwise crafting new identies for people they considered the scum-of-the-earth.

It was into this half-life that Lucy walked, eyes lowered to avoid the looks of scorn. To the employees of this strange house, she was just another piece of refuse from La Cosa Nostra, a body to be measured and painted and shipped off somewhere. No one really cared about her as a person, and the redhead was ashamed to realize that hurt -- far more than it should have. Living with Caleb in San Francisco had allowed her to pretend that things had not changed as drastically as they really had. How foolish the girl must have seemed to him -- so valiantly denying why she was there in the first place.

God, the agent in front of her crumpling to the ground with a series of bullets in his body was a sight she would never be able to wipe from her memory. He had died because of her! There was a wife out there, somewhere, bearing the brunt of a woman's grief and the sole protector of little children. Lucy had seen the wedding ring on his finger seconds before the triangulated crossfire had erupted around her. But why would someone want her dead so badly? The last Avellino had nothing firmly tangible to give the FBI or the CIA on mob activities. All the information had come from Papa.

Little comfort when one stared into a mirror, watching a beautician sheer lengths of red hair from your skull. One of her few serious vanities had been her hair -- it had not been cut since the death of her parents, aside from trimming here and there of the years, and had fallen past her waist when loose. Now the majority lay in a heap on the floor, and her head felt oddly light. As her heart was not.

Caleb had been kept away from her, or she from him -- either choice ended in the same answer. Lucy had not meant to fall in love with the special agent, it had just ....happened. Even that was a pathetic explanation for the rush of emotion that flooded through her whenever she heard his name. Or thought about him. Heard a snippet of song ... maybe she was the pathetic one. Tonight they would leave for their new destination with different names and appearances. "Miss, come with me ..." The girl turned away from her reflection to watch the unnamed personnel. The older woman held a bottle of hair dye in one hand.

"It's time."

Fargo, North Dakota was as far from the easy lifestyle of the West Coast as one could get. It was equally as far from the frantic pace of New York. A collection of tall buildings huddled together in the middle of snow-covered hills, obviously preparing themselves for winter. It was not yet September, and there was already a chill in the air. Surrounding the frightened 'skyscrapers' was the rest of the city, sprawled across the area like a debutantes ballgown on a high school football field. And on that subject -- everyone was into football here. And tractor racing. And occasionally jots across the border into Canada.

Small town America, complete with the heavily accented 'Eh?'. There was an airplane musuem. And a theatre. And nordic festivals and ranches and ... so many tall, blond people with ruddy complexions that Lucy felt so very out of place it made her almost physically ill. Gone was the suspicion that permeated a big city -- replaced with down home charm that had brought neighbors to the new arrivals every day without fail for the last week and a half. Such nosy friendliness was going to drive the New York City native absolutely crazy!

"Frankie, come help me take these dumplings out of the stove."

She turned away from peering out the kitchen window to regard the latest in a series of well-wishers; a housewife named Patricia Barnes who had been delighted another couple had moved in just across the street. Patricia, or Patty as she insisted the young woman call her, was in her early thirties and had married right out of high school. Since Rob, the f*cker, had decided on a similar background for 'Francesca Nolan', as Lucy now had to call herself, the older woman had taken to her like a duck to ... water.

Sighing, 'Frankie' ran her fingers through the black hair covering her skull and stepped away from the crisply autumn scene outside. "Sure, Patty." Ugh. Chipper attitude here! "It was really kind of you to show me how to do this stuff." A small blush decorated her cheeks, unintended but helpful all the same. Sean Nolan had married a real shrew the first time around and divorced her after finding the b*tch in bed with one of his co-workers, or so he had informed the boys down at the local watering hole once he'd gotten a few beers into him.

But one look at Frankie, barely a year out of high school and so determined to make it on her own without any help from anyone -- well, the guys sure could understand why the older man had set to wooing the pretty young thing. Beautiful coal black hair, fair skin, and brown eyes that made a man want to jump in and drown. It didn't matter that she was still learning to cook beyond the basics. Mrs Nolan kept a clean house and had yet to refuse a neighborly visit from the wives club.

Actually, Mrs Sean Nolan was determined to keep a low profile as possible ... and that included giving up the last thing she loved aside from her pretend husband. Her voice. Lucy hadn't had the courage to tell Caleb yet, but she was determined to stay indoors, attempt to putter in a garden of sorts and just keep out of trouble. Of course, every time they passed Fargo's theatre in the late model Chevy truck, her heart broke a little bit more. But if giving up the stage meant Caleb would never, ever get shot again ... the singer was willing to do it.

"Oh look, sweetheart. They came out perfectly. When Sean comes home from work, you'll have dinner all ready for him." Patty smiled brilliantly, the expression lighting up her round face. God ... it was all some sort of Twlight Zone. Mayberry, here we come! Resisting the urge to shudder, Lucy returned the smile with one of her own and peered around the older woman to see her handiwork. To the girl's surprise, the creation actually looked decent.

"Wow. I did that?"

Mrs Barnes let loose a bark of laughter. The sheer wonder in her new friend's voice spoke volumes about personal self esteem, and made it easy to wonder what kind of upbringing raised a young lady to decorate a house flawlessly but left out the necessities like cooking. Well, she'd just take Frankie under her wing and show the girl just how to keep a mature man happy. "Yes, you did." A glance at the clock prompted her to hurry.

"Sean and Rudy will be home in half an hour! We have to finish the rice and vegetables." At the sudden look of panic blazing from 'Frankie's' face, Patty firmly took the girl by the proverbial hand and went through the steps a third time that day for properly prepping and frying up a bunch of veggies. And silently thanked the good Lord that the newest addition to the area had a rice cooker.

At six o'clock, the table was set for four people with food set onto platters and drinks waiting to the side of empty plates. At thirteen after six, 'Sean Nolan' walked through the door with one Rudolph 'Rudy' Barnes, a fellow worker at the lumber company where Rob had secured a job for Caleb. Patty hugged her beefy lifemate as soon as he stepped inside, then introduced him to ...oh, yeah. Frankie.

Shyly smiling up at the bear of a man, she extended her hand. "A pleasure to meet you, Mister Barnes. Patty has been raving about you all day." Right. Add one hell of a pleasant voice to the list of the girl's virtues. Within ten minutes it was obvious that she'd won the admiration of yet another local ... and had apparently gained an older brother in the process. Heaven help them all -- Rudy was a Monty Python fan.

"How was your day, Sean?" Mrs Nolan asked her husband with bright, adoring eyes while ladling chicken dumplings onto his plate. Not a bad way to start the second week in Fargo, was it?

    • Northern RednecksCaleb Holmes, Tue Mar 15 04:41
      Caleb hated his life. Currently he was blaming Bernardo Avellino for all of his misfortune. Or at least a good majority of it. Rob took the rest of the blame pertaining to his career. Why the hell... more
      • Kiss From a Desert RoseLucy Avellino, Tue Mar 15 15:58
        There used to be a greying tower alone on the sea You, became the light on the dark side of me Love remains, a drug that's the high and not the pill But did you know that when it snows My eyes become ... more
        • Marginal ImprovementCaleb Holmes, Tue Mar 15 21:30
          Lucy laughed at him. Well, that was all right. He was used to that sort of response anymore. Just a big frickin’ joke to everyone, right? Yeah, right. Caleb sat there, waiting for the manic giggles... more
          • Improved ActionsLucy Avellino, Wed Mar 16 13:52
            “C’mon hippie! We need to get some shoes on you if we’re going out tonight.” Out? She let him cart her into the apartment, refusing to let go until he had to dump her in their closet before attending ... more
            • Sneaky WaysCaleb Holmes, Wed Mar 16 16:38
              Caleb was ready to throttle Lucy. “I just don’t want you to get hurt again!” Hurt? Hurt? She had no fricking idea how it felt! Frankly it was a self-centered reason, and idiotic all the same. It had... more
              • Mysterious WaysLucy Avellino, Thu Mar 17 16:22
                “Next! Simon Halifax.” Lucy barely had time to catch her breath before Caleb moved past her, the cutest little smirk on his face. He was auditioning too? Twisting around, she leaned against the wall, ... more
                • Surprises AboundCaleb Holmes, Fri Mar 18 02:27
                  “Look down, look down… Don’t look ‘em in the eye… Look down, look down… You’re here until you die…” Ooh, chain gang! All right, so they weren’t going to be in costume yet, but apparently these men... more
                  • Lock, Stock and BarrelLucy Avellino, Fri Mar 18 13:01
                    "I'm what?!" Lucy stared at the doctor, rather expecting him to grow another head. The idea that she could .. could .. it was inconcievable! You had to be married to ... to ... "You are pregnant,... more
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