Blood Borne Connections – Chapter 5

Two Plants

Chapter 5

 

Julius gently picked up his sleeping son and placed him in the crib next to the bed. He quickly glanced at his wife to make sure he had not disturbed her. She was still asleep. He looked down at his son as he slept with one tiny hand rested against his cheek. Julius wondered at the human heart and its propensity, how it could grow to accommodate more love as and when required. He loved this child more than he could have ever fathomed. He touched his son’s hand with his finger and marveled at how his son instantly wrapped his tiny hand around his finger even as he slept. His heart fluttered at what he perceived to be a smile from his son. ‘He knows that I love him’, he thought as he caressed his tiny cheek. “I will always love you, Tyrone,” he whispered as he bent and kissed his son’s cheek.

“I guess it’s going to be Tyrone, then,” Cara said softly as she looked at him, “my dad will be pleased we’ve given his first grandson his name, Tyrone Julius Kempton, I like the sound of that.”

He looked at her and smiled, as always she stirred his heart and took his breath away. “I love you, Mrs. Kempton.”

“I love you too, Julius Maxwell Kempton,” she smiled at him as she stifled a yawn and started to sit up.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting up-”

“Oh no you’re not, the nurse said that you need to rest.” He took off his jacket, hid his gun in the pocket, kicked off his shoes, climbed onto the bed and pulled her gently against him.

“What are you doing?”

“Making sure you rest, close your eyes-”

“Maxwell-”

“Close your eyes, you need to rest.”

“But I’m not really that tired.” She buried her face in his chest as she yawned.

“Baby, I can feel you yawning.”

“How can you feel someone yawning?” She yawned again.

He yawned, “You’re using up all the oxygen in the room and you’re making me yawn as well.”

She wrapped her arms around him, “Talk to me so that I can fall asleep.”

“Are you trying to tell me something?”

“Like what?”

“Ummm, like the sound of my voice sends you to sleep.”

“The sound of your voice makes my senses tingle, it is sexy and soothing; your voice is like a silky kiss on a beautiful summer day and a luxuriously warm drink on a cold winter night.”

“Of all the women in the world I had to fall in love with a beautiful journalist who writes poetry. I remember the first night I saw you, there was this confidence about you, and this inner beauty that I knew I wanted to be in my life.” He looked down at her. Her eyes were closed and she was smiling.

“I’m listening,” she whispered.

“Remember the first, second and third time I asked you to marry me and you turned me down?”

She nodded.

“The day you agreed to marry me was one of . . .”

***

The neighbors heard the screaming, the sound of breaking glass and the banging of a hammer. Juanita Ortega lived in the house next door. She heard the sound of fear and she smiled. As instructed, she waited for five minutes then dialed 911. She told the female operator who answered her call to send the police, paramedics and a fire truck because she didn’t know what the problem was but it sounded like someone was being murdered and she could smell smoke. She couldn’t really smell smoke but she knew that this was the only way to get an immediate response. Last week when a young neighborhood girl had been knocked off her bike by a joy-rider, the police and paramedics had been called and it took them twenty-seven minutes to turn up. The fact that the nearest police station was two blocks away and the local hospital was three blocks away made a mockery of the motto ‘Protect and Serve’. Juanita took the latch off the door and went out onto the street where some of the other neighbors had already gathered. No one had made the attempt to get into the house. Then again no one wanted to be accused of breaking-and-entering. A man on Fifth and Strasberg, which was five blocks away, heading in the direction of Pomona, had forcibly gained entrance into the apartment of a female neighbor when he had heard her screaming for help one night. He had kicked the front door open and rushed in swinging a baseball bat in front of him. He saw the assailant beating the woman up and immediately swung at him with the bat. He fractured two of the man’s ribs and knocked out one of his teeth. He was only trying to be a good neighbor but for his reward he was arrested for assault and given a suspended sentence. He lost his job while he was being held in custody and his marriage fell apart because the perpetrator’s lawyer had insinuated the hint of a possible affair between the hero and the victim. The perpetrator who had broken into the woman’s house to rob and kill her, however, spent two weeks in a private hospital and then walked free. There had been a public outcry, people protested at the injustice done to the hero who had only tried to help a neighbor but he didn’t get his job back and his wife moved out of state.

 

People stood outside the house and waited for the law enforcers and paramedics to come. No one made an attempt to get into the house. No one wanted to be a hero.

Inside the house, Nigel McKenna was in a deep state of drug-induced madness. He saw aliens everywhere he looked and, as a result, he ran around breaking things, cussing and screaming that he would kill them. He saw their twisted silver faces in the mirrors on the walls, so he broke the mirrors. He saw their shiny eyes staring at him from the TV screen, so he smashed the TV. He had to destroy them before they destroyed him. They had taken Dorothy and he would not let them take him.

 

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Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1

Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 2

Truths, Lies And Untold Secrets

Blood Borne Connections

U Murder U (Suicide)

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Blood Borne Connections – Chapter 2

Blood Borne Connections - book cover

 

 

Chapter 2  

 

Julius Maxwell Kempton (formally Kempalos) sat at the back of the room and watched the ongoing initiation ceremony behind his dark sunglasses. He didn’t want to be here but in order to live a large portion of his life the way he wanted, ‘in private’, his grandfather, Don Kempalos, had insisted that Julius maintain a certain level of visibility within the organization. His grandfather controlled a number of shipping ports, families and companies in America and Sicily. He was a ‘man of honor’, a descendant of ‘men of honor’ and he was adamant that his grandson would succeed him, despite his grandson’s objections. From where he sat, Julius could see various family heads seated around his grandfather. These elegantly dressed men seemed to conceal Don Kempalos with their bodies. An outsider looking in would never have guessed that the slight, quietly dressed man was in fact the boss of bosses. Julius knew that these men would give their lives for his grandfather without a second thought. Loyalty and respect were things that kept the organization strong. The secret vow of silence, Omertà, which all the members had to take, kept the organization hidden.

 

Julius watched as the four new members were questioned one by one. He knew that their commitment to the organization had already been checked and tested out before this ceremony and this questioning, though just a formality, was also an open declaration to all the other men in the room that they would not betray the organization also known as the Mafia or Cosa Nostra. To betray it would mean death.

Salvador ‘bulldog’ Bertolino, a family head from Nevada, stood up and walked to the center of the room. He had an ornamental knife in his right hand, which he held up so that everyone in the room could see. The four men stood up and walked towards him, they stood respectfully in a line in front of him, each with their right hand held up, and their eyes cast on the ground. Salvador studied the men, pride shone in his eyes as he turned to the spectators. “Gentlemen, it is 3 o’clock in the morning and we have forsaken our beds, our wives and our businesses because of the importance of this ceremony. So I call upon everyone in this room to witness this today,” Salvador paused for effect as he looked around the room at the men who sat watching him. Some he eyeballed; others he glanced at. “These men have chosen to become one of us, ‘men of honor’, men who will uphold a custom and a duty as our forefathers upheld. We all know the story of Don Kempalos’ grandfather and his father who returned to Sicily from Spain with much wealth. Don Kempalos’ father was a governor in Sicily, a true ‘man of honor’, who helped the people and protected them from the corruption that surrounded them and polluted their land. Today we are here in America as citizens, offering protection to our people here just like our forefathers offered to their people. Not only do we offer protection, we now control a number of politicians, judges and police officers; we control the drugs and the guns, we give loans to people who the banks ignore; we are the peoples’ people!” A number of men cheered in agreement. “We are strong and we have survived for many years because of our blood borne connections. Today these four men will become a part of us, connected by blood.” He cut a line on the palm of each man’s right hand with the knife and told each man to hold his hand above his head so that the blood would flow freely from the cut. One of Don Kempalos’ men pulled a life-size statue of a saint to the middle of the room. The statue was smeared with the dried blood of hundreds of men. The four men were instructed to place their bleeding hand on the saint and repeat an oath after Salvador. As they repeated the words Julius felt as though he was transported back in time to when he was sixteen and his brother, Johnatus, was only thirteen . . .

Their grandfather was the one who cut the palm of their right hands that night. The ceremony was witnessed by a few trusted men. As he placed his hand on the statue of the saint and repeated the words his grandfather spoke, Julius knew in his heart that he would never be committed to the organization. He only did it to protect his father and mother from his grandfather.

 

Don Kempalos was a man who got what he wanted and he had told Julius that if he didn’t take part in the initiation ceremony and declare his loyalty to the organization, his parents would pay the price. Julius knew that his grandfather was a ruthless man and would carry out the threat. For years now, he suspected that to his grandfather, love was not a feeling – in fact it was a word devoid of any feeling. He knew that his grandfather loved his son, Julius’ father, Antonio, very much and that was a fact, but he also knew that he would use Antonio to get what he wanted from his grandson and this fact did not interfere with his feelings.

The truth of the matter was that Don Kempalos did not have much use for Antonio, who suffered from several mental ailments after his return from the Second World War. Back then, in Sicily, they didn’t really have a name for what Antonio suffered from and men like him were hidden behind family wealth or a family name. If they didn’t have either of these, they were simply forgotten, rejected and labelled as ‘lunatics’ or ‘mad men’.

 

When Julius was younger his grandfather would systematically threaten him – he would take him out onto the streets of California and show him men who had fought in the Second World War, like Antonio, and who also had mental problems. He made a great show of telling him how these men who society had forgotten now resided in cardboard boxes with supermarket carts containing their worldly possessions, parked on the curb of their residence. He told Julius that Antonio would join these men if Julius didn’t obey him. Then he would take Julius to Mama Luigi’s for ice cream.

 

You see Don Kempalos needed a strong-minded person to succeed him and the only person in his sights was loyal, strong-willed Julius. From an early age, Don Kempalos had discovered just how loyal and quick minded his grandson was. When Julius was very young and they all still lived in Sicily, one of Antonio’s ailments was chronic mental fatigue, which exhibited itself in forgetfulness, fear of loud noises and the sudden onset of severe panic attacks. At one point, Antonio didn’t remember what year it was and often thought that he was still fighting on the battlefield. During his many ‘flashbacks’ he was often prone to violence and the only thing that would calm him down was a window. For some strange reason, no matter how violent he got, once he was placed next to a window he would calm down. He especially loved the large bay windows on the first floor of their Sicilian home that afforded a view of the succulent Sicilian valley, spread below it like a carpet, and would sit by them for hours on end just staring out, as if caught up in a trance. Don Kempalos could not tolerate this from his only child and commissioned a doctor to treat him. As part of Antonio’s treatment by this somewhat questionable psychiatrist he was put on a ‘new’ mind-regression therapy. This meant that he had to mentally go back in time and face his demons on and off the battlefield. This also meant that outside of his sessions with the psychiatrist he had to believe that he was still living in the 1940s.

 

Young, loyal, strong-willed Julius, took it upon himself to read articles from old newspapers to maintain the charade although he could barely read. Julius persuaded his mother, Maria, to help and managed to convince her that it would make Antonio better faster. What he didn’t tell his mother was that his grandfather had told him that, if he didn’t lie to his father, he would put his father in a room with no windows and his father would have an episode of violent madness and die in this room. After his father had died, his grandfather had said he would throw his widowed mother out onto the streets, somewhere where her own family would never find her and she would die. So from a very young age, Julius had lived a lie to keep his father alive and his mother safe – a thing that over twenty years later, he was still doing.

 

. . . Men cheered and clapped as they welcomed the newest members into their fold. Their voices brought Julius back to the present. The ceremony was over and the four men were now ‘made men’. They were now officially members of the organization. Two large doors were opened into the adjourning room, revealing tables laden with food and drinks. All the men moved towards the adjoining room. Julius greeted a number of men as he walked past them. He felt someone grab his arm and turned.

“Julius, you look good, son,” Salvador Bertolino said as he embraced Julius.

“Thank you, you look good too. Have you lost some weight? You look like you have.”

“You noticed, huh? You’re the only one who noticed. I started going to this new place that opened in Nevada, ‘Gym-Fit’ they call it. I call it ‘hell in a hole’. I even got myself someone to show me how to use the fancy equipment and work out with me. Can you believe that the dumb schmuck wanted me to pay him for his services each time? He looked at me like I was some dinosaur and said that this was the 1980s and people were paying personal fitness trainers all over the country. Well you know me, I couldn’t resist, I showed him my Smith & Wesson and said to him, ‘how’s about I pay you by letting you keep your life, schmuck’.”

“I bet he’s paying you now, Uncle Sal,” Julius laughed.

“With the money those people make per session! You bet he is, Julius, you bet he is,” Salvador roared and laughed with Julius as they walked into the room.

“Salute! Salute!” Men said all around the room as they raised their glasses.

 

After about thirty minutes of talking and being visible, Julius walked over to his grandfather and told him privately that he was going to leave.

“I need a word with you before you go,” Don Kempalos told him and walked to a quiet corner of the room. Julius followed him. “What is this I hear about you having a pregnant girlfriend who will soon give birth? Why have I not been informed about this before now and by you?”

Julius froze, his heart pounded, “I, umm . . . I-”

“You are going to have a child and you didn’t tell me?”

“Who told you?”

“Does it matter who told me?”

“Yes, it matters.”

“Your brother told me. He thinks that he can score points with me by telling me other people’s secrets. Usually I patronize him: I listen, I comment then forget Johnatus and his stories. But this one, this one, Julius, is one that I needed to find out the truth about for myself. I told him to send some guys to the hospital to see if it’s true. He said he didn’t know which hospital it was.”

“What?”

“This child will be my great grandchild, my future and your heir. So tell me, is it true?”

“My private life is off limits, remember. I have done everything you have asked me to do over the years because of my parents. If and when I have children I will not let you have any contact with them, Don Kempalos.”

“Why do you insist on calling me ‘Don Kempalos’ or refer to me as ‘The Old Man’? Why do you never call me grandfather like your brother? What’s the matter with you, Julius?” He reached out and touched his grandson’s arm then quickly withdrew his hand when he felt the familiar flinch and saw his grandson take a step back from him.

“What’s the matter with me? You’re asking me, what’s the matter with me?”

“It’s a simple question, what’s the matter with you? I have given you everything, Julius-”

“No, you have taken everything! You want to know why I don’t call you grandfather to your face? You stopped being my grandfather when you threatened the life of my father, when you told me that you would harm my mother. If and when I have children, they will not be a part of your life, Don Kempalos, because they were never a part of the deal,” Julius told him then turned and walked away.

One of Don Kempalos’ bodyguards sensed something was wrong and walked towards Julius as if to stop him, but Don Kempalos quickly raised a hand and his bodyguard hung back. As Don Kempalos watched Julius leave the room, he hated the stab of pain he felt at his grandson’s rejection. Love was a word to him that was devoid of any feelings, except for the feelings he had for Julius.

 

Special offer: Get a free copy of ‘Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1’ when you buy any book from the GLL Publishing collection. Contact me at gladyslawson@hotmail.com for your free copy.

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7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood Borne Connections – Help Us To Help Others

Beautiful Things

 

I am currently in America and yesterday I watched a TV programme about sex trafficking titled ‘Children For Sale’, presented by Jada Pinkett Smith. It was such an eye-opening programme that brought to light the evils of sex trafficking. The programme also showed how people were helping the victims of sex trafficking to get their lives back together.

My 3rd novel ‘Blood Borne Connections‘ is a fictional story about sex trafficking. The kindle version of this book is published by GLL Publishing and part of the profits from the sale of the kindle copies of this book will be given to the Dream Center in California to help support them with the amazing job they do in their work with victims of sex trafficking.

GLL Publishing is also looking to work with other similar charities as we believe that every life is important and no one should be sex trafficked. People who have been sex trafficked should not be made to feel that they are inferior to anyone. They must not be rejected by society but helped to get their lives back on track and see that they are beautiful and have a future.

Blood Borne Connections - book cover

For the next six months profits from the sale of the kindle copies of Blood Borne Connections will be donated to the Dream Center in California and two other charities that help victims of sex trafficking.

Here’s what I would like you (the reader) to do, send me the names of two charities that you think we can support. They need to be charities that take care of sex trafficked victims and helps them to get their lives together. GLL Publishing (the publishers of the kindle version of Blood Borne Connections) will select the two charities with the most requests and give them a portion of the profits from the sales of the kindle version of Blood Borne Connections. Help us to help others.

Send the names to: gladyslawson@hotmail.com 

 

Special offer: Get a free copy of ‘Despite all odds: A Dream Fulfilled Part 1’ when you buy any book from the GLL Publishing collection. Contact me at gladyslawson@hotmail.com for your free copy.

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