So here we are, the sixtieth and final excerpt of Dance With The Devil. To all those who have read it, thank you very much and if you would like to continue then please download the Kindle version here. It is also available to download in various formats from most other online book stores.
From tomorrow, I will be posting excerpts from my latest novel, Perfect Day, which is a fast-paced, action adventure.
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In the meantime, as promised, here is the last instalment of Dance With The Devil. Enjoy!
Excerpt 60 of 60
Forty-five minutes after his murderous rampage, Carlo Liuzzi was standing under the hot, almost scolding jets of his shower, washing off the blood of his victims.
Bobby and Wyatt had been killed in the same monstrous way as Armando Calabrese; chained up naked in the garden store under the tennis courts, their manhoods severed and their stomach’s sliced open so that their intestines spilled out over the floor.
Their bodies, together with those of Donnie and Ira would be driven out to the desert and buried before the sun came up. Salvatore and Vito would see to it. The library would be cleaned and re-decorated by a specialist crew who would leave no trace of the horrors that had taken place there.
As for Mildred, she had passed out moments after Edmund’s murder and had awoken to find herself locked in a soundproof room deep under the mansion.
This was to be her new home. A life of imprisonment and solitude with time enough to think about how she had wronged her husband.
When Carlo designed the mansion many years earlier, he had included a ‘safe room’ in the plans, thinking it only prudent after making so many enemies during his time as a mobster in New York.
However, until that night only he and Salvatore knew of its existence.
The room was accessed via a narrow staircase which was concealed behind a sliding bookcase in the study. The steel stairway led down two storeys under the house with the safe room sitting at the end of a slender corridor on the lowest level.
The room itself was fully air-conditioned and contained a double bed, a television, a small shower enclosure and a toilet. There was also a large larder and a substantial refrigerator – both presently empty. The near impregnable walls and door were made from ten-inch steel – the extreme thickness guaranteeing that no one would hear Mildred’s screams. Ever.
As Carlo lathered his powerful, hairy body, the blood running in rivers down his naked legs and into the drain, he thought only of Ava and how he was going to regain her trust.
She had witnessed some hideous things that night and he was somehow going to have to explain them away. His plan was to tell her that the three Texan boys were attacking her mommy and he had only acted as he had to save her. It would be hard for her to swallow at first but time was a great healer and he felt confident he could win her over eventually. He would tell her that her mother had gone away somewhere safe to recuperate.
He could look Ava in the eyes and legitimately tell her that Mildred was not dead and the girl would be able to see the truth of it.
Edmund, however, was a different matter. Ava was much closer to him than Carlo would have liked, much closer than she was with Mildred and the little girl would feel his loss keenly.
It had not been Liuzzi’s intention to kill Edmund but the man just charged forward straight onto the knife and there was nothing Carlo could do about it. Indeed, with the red haze of madness still burning he had just reacted instinctively.
However, mean it or not, he had to deal with the consequences but he could not, under any circumstances, let Ava think that he had killed her father.
So he would have to convince her of a different scenario.
Unfortunately, this would mean temporarily upsetting the little girl even more but he would be there to comfort her and help her through it.
After all, he would be her only father now.
He would be her daddy, not merely her ‘Daddy Carlo’.
Nevertheless, he would arrange for Ava to find Edmund hanging in the apartment above the garage, a typewritten suicide note close by, explaining that he could no longer go on living life as a failure. The note would also instruct Ava to put her trust in her step-father, to rely on him and to love him.
Edmund’s wounds would be bound and concealed and he would be dressed in his spare chauffeur’s uniform, so Ava would not suspect Liuzzi’s part in his death.
Carlo knew it was cruel, that the little girl would be grief-stricken and traumatised all the more after what she had seen in the library, but he could see no other way of explaining away Edmund’s death without implicating himself. Ava had to see it with her own eyes. But she was a strong child and with his help she would make it through.
When he was thoroughly clean and impeccably dressed once more, looking, as always, like an Italian Clark Gable, Carlo went down to the kitchen to talk to Ava who he found asleep on Frankie DeLuca’s lap. Frankie was sitting on the stool by the back door, his arms wrapped around the girl protectively. They had been waiting there over two hours and when Edmund failed to return Ava had cried herself to sleep in her bodyguard’s arms.
Carlo studied the little girl. She looked like a sleeping angel and rather than wake her he instructed Frankie to carry her up to bed. Liuzzi followed at a slight distance as his underling did as asked, watching as DeLuca gently lay her head on the pillow and pulled the blankets up over her.
There was a look on Frankie’s face that Carlo had not seen before; a caring, almost fatherly expression and a twinge of jealousy stirred in Liuzzi’s gut. But he let it go, the girl had already been through enough and tomorrow she was going to have to go through a whole lot more. She would need all the support and understanding she could get and maybe Frankie could prove useful in that regard.
As Carlo closed her bedroom door, his thoughts again turned to the Oscars and he felt a little frisson of excitement at the prospect of picking up his very first Academy Award.
But he would not win.
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