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Subject: CHAPTER 60

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Date Posted: 13:09:33 05/12/05 Thu

Michael boarded his private jet and set out for the small fishing town of Sesimbra, outside of Lisbon. Several years ago he had bought a small cottage built across from the ruins of a 13th Century castle built by Sancho II. Now and again he used the remote property as a retreat. Tony was the only other person who knew the location of the small, frame house. Michael glanced at his watch and realized he had time for a short nap. He wanted to be rested by the time he met with Tony. As he drifted off to sleep, he thought of Niki.

The sun was high when the plane reached Lisbon—spread out along the right bank of the Tagus River. As the aircraft circled, Michael looked out the window over the downtown area of the city, the Baixa. It was located in the 18th-century area around Rossio. He spotted St. George’s Castle and the Belém Tower—the sentinel over the Tagus river said to protect the entrance into Lisbon. Beyond that was the Jerónimos Monastery, a recognized masterpiece of Manueline architecture. The plane began to descend. The cottage was isolated and picturesque—set on a field covered in red and yellow wildflowers. Michael had chosen the house years ago because of its spectacular view of the river.

Tony was already at the cottage by the time he arrived. It felt good to see his old friend—one of the few people he could really trust. Tony greeted him with a firm handshake and a drink—scotch rocks. Michael listened solemnly as Tony related what he had learned about Cassandra’s disappearance.

“So, they’re blaming me for this, too?” Michael said, when he had finished.

“Lack of bodies is the only reason they haven’t already issued a warrant.”

Michael turned up his glass and reached for the bottle. “Enough. I get the picture. Now, what positive do you have for me?”

“The police ran Cassandra’s phone records. Guess who she’d been in contact with before she disappeared.”

“Enlighten me.”

“Your new wife. Although what that’s all about, I never understood.”

Michael shot him a raised eyebrow. On paper—it was all about blackmail, but there was more to it than that. He had felt drawn to Niki from the beginning. There had never been anything between them—yet, there had always been. The feeling was something he didn’t want to talk about and couldn’t explain. “So, what do you think is going on?”

“How much do you know about Niki’s background?”

“We had her investigated. Nothing unusual.”

“Then, your boys missed something. Her father and yours were once in business. When it was all over, your father was rich and hers was ruined.”

“So this is about revenge?”

“And greed. Remember she owns controlling interesting in the company, and I’ll bet my BMW she’s the one behind the embezzlement.”

Michael swirled the scotch around the glass—staring hypnotically, as if it had an answer he needed. “She has controlling interest in the company, has a substantial amount of my money, and carries my name. What more does she need?” He sat the glass firmly on the table. “That’s the big question, isn’t it?”

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Subject Author Date
Uhm...(r)Diane17:24:00 05/12/05 Thu
Can't wait for the answer to that question! (NT)MichelleB17:50:23 05/12/05 Thu
And, that, is exactly the.......Myrna01:05:24 05/13/05 Fri
CHAPTER 60TN23:39:47 05/14/05 Sat
Yeah, why does she need Mikey's baby? Hurry back with more of this. (NT)signme107:21:25 05/15/05 Sun
All I can say is: Where's Chapter 61?? (NT)Sheila19:35:32 05/18/05 Wed

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