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Author's Chapter Notes:

Hello everyone. Thank you all for your patience and continued support by reading and commenting on each chapter. This is going to be the last chapter for at least the next two or more months only because I am moving and I am trying to find a place to live. 

My biggest hick-up with this story is that I find myself going back into past chapters and revising or editing them because of how I want to tell this part of the story. It's a process that doesn't seem to end and it gets very daunting at times. When I try to write a chapter, sometimes, I after writing about two pages, I delete it because it doesn't feel right and it's not what I want to say. 

Honestly, my focus isn't here. I'm going through so much personal change at this time that sometimes, I can't seem to get my thoughts together. At the end, it is you who have been so supportive of me and this story that seems to get the bad end of the stick. I apologize and thank you for your understanding and support. 

This chapter is very new from the original so please tell me what you think for those of you who remember the old version. 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.


                Salina Angelina Carter gathered a few things and placed them on the bed. She was packing a duffle bag for her flight to the Bahamas. She stopped and decided to make a phone call. Replacing the SIM card, she dialed one of the three numbers saved. The first call was disconnected after the third ring. The second call on the first ring, then a wait for two minutes before placing the call again. On the third ring, a woman answered.

“Lina, my sweetheart, Happy Birthday.”

“It’s not my birthday yet. One more day to go,” Salina replied.

“Stop worrying, everything will be fine. Did something happen?”

“No, everything is fine. I can’t wait to see you. How have you been doing? Did you go to the doctor like you were suppose to?” Salina asked.

“Yes, I did and he said I’m fine. I‘m just a bit stressed. I haven’t seen my baby in a while and I miss you.”

“I know Mom, I miss you too…”

“Your mother and father would be so happy to see you now. What a beautiful young lady you’ve grown into.”

“Yes, Daddy would be happy and you’re the only mother I’ve known June. I miss her but you’re the mother I have.  I would love to come and see you but it’s going to get even more dangerous after my birthday. I have to make sure I’m safe before…”

“I understand Salina but it will be over soon and you won’t have to hide like this anymore,” said June encouragingly.

A tear ran down Salina cheek. She may never get out of this but at the very least, she wanted June safe, no matter what. She wiped the tear and blinked back the few that were threatening to fall. “Yes, you are right, it will be over soon and we won’t have to live like this anymore. I’m going to get going. I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“Let me know when you are coming. I’ll cook whatever you want.”

“I will, thanks. I love you June.”

“I love you too my baby.”

Salina removed the SIM card and stored it away. She also turned on her GPS tracker. It was critical that Dara or Madelyn be able to find her especially at this time. Mike had called her several times but she had not returned any of his calls. She knew she would have to explain things to him but not at that moment. Storm had also called and texted but she had not replied to him either.

Her phone buzzed. The message was from Dara. You’re being moved tonight. Go downstairs in five minutes.

She finished gathering her things and placed the duffle bag at the door. She had to wait until she got the signal to leave the apartment. The text came and she hurriedly went through the door. As she reached the landing, the lights from a car shone to her left and she turned to look only to see two men coming at her. She looked behind ready to make a run back for her apartment but stopped when another car pulled up in front of her. It was Storm. He got out of the car and looked at the car with the lights but suddenly, two SUV pulled up along the side of his car, blocking it in. The men came out of the SUV with guns drawn look at them.

“What the fuck? Who are you?” Storm asked immediately reaching for Salina.

But she pulled her hand out of his reach, as the leader said to her, “Amicus.”

“What?” Storm asked confused.

“Proteggere!”Salina responded.

The men immediately surrounded both Storm and Salina with their backs to them. Another man came up behind the two that came from the first vehicle and it was then that Storm noticed it may have been more than the two they originally thought.

“I think it’s best if you came with us young Miss,” said a man still in the dark.

“I think it’s best that she doesn’t,” said a familiar voice from the shadows coming into the light.

“Dara?” Storm asked as she revealed herself.

“You have no jurisdiction here,” said the man. He was still unrecognizable since the light from the headlight of the car behind him kept his features obscured.

“They are both under my jurisdiction and if you would like to know how much power I wield in this situation, go for it,” Dara replied calmly.

“What’s going on?” Storm asked. “What is this all about?” He had to get Salina and now Dara to safety.

“He doesn’t know?” the man asked Dara.

“When the time is right,” Dara clarified.

“She’s coming with us, for safety,” said the man steering the subject back to Salina.

“Her safety is being nowhere near you,” replied Dara.

“Now I’m being nice to you…” the man began.

“Begin!” Dara said firmly. Immediately there were six infrared beams on the man’s chest and head. The two men behind him also had infrared beams on them as well. “Standing orders where given years ago to have you eliminated if you tried to take her by force. She will remain in our protection until the day of the meeting when all of this will be resolved iambically and she will be free. I believe this move is yours.”

Cursing under his breath, “Stand down!” the man ordered angrily.

Dara smiled. “Extract,” she ordered and moments later, a helicopter was heard coming closer. In less than two minutes, it was hovering above them before landing in the designated empty parking lot. She looked over at Dara who smiled. “I’ll see you shortly,” she said to Salina and to the men, “go!”

“Dara!” Storm yelled but looked at Salina.

Salina looked at him. “I’m sorry,” she said before being led away to the helicopter.

“Take him! Full protective detail. No one gets to him,” ordered Dara when Salina was no longer in sight, before turning away.

“Dara what the hell?” Storm asked as the other men who came with Dara surrounded him.

“Go with them, it’s for your safety and you need to be safe.”

Storm was led away into a van.



The phone rang and Storm answered it hurriedly. He was at a hotel, a security protocol set up by the bodyguards and his father for both him and Ayasha if they were ever in need of full protection. Nothing was but the guards knew who he was and provided everything he needed. He had a very good idea who did the briefing. Dara, Dara was not the Dara he knew. She’s wasn’t just his father’s assistant. She knew who Sally…no Salina was? She was protecting Salina. He had so many questions but before he could get a word out she began.


“She arrived safely to her destination. I know you have questions but they will not be answered tonight. I need you to re-familiarize yourself with everything you know and was taught by both your father and Henry regarding international financial laws. You will need it to protect yourself and her even though you cannot represent her. I’m rescheduling some of your meetings for tomorrow for another day. The day after will be rough. Good night. She’s safe Storm, I promise.”

“Dara…I don’t know where to begin,”

“We’ll talk but not now. I need sleep. Good night,” said Dara ending the call.





“How do you feel?” Madelyn asked when Salina picked up the phone.

“Scared, tense…will I live to see tomorrow?” Salina asked.

“Yes, that is an absolute. They want the money and they’re afraid of crossing Dara. She’s gained a reputation of being deadly,” Madelyn said trying to lighten the mood.

Salina smiled but then said seriously, “Will she be in danger now?”

“There is always danger. We just need to end this as peacefully as possible.”

“I’m so…”

“Don’t say it. Don’t ever apologize. You did nothing wrong. You have a right to live and you will. Get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a hectic day. We will get you familiar with the accounts and everything with them.”

“Okay. Madelyn, please find out how Storm is doing? I know he’s angry at me for lying to him but I want to…”

“He’s fine and safe.  We’ll talk tomorrow.”

“Good night.”

“Good night.”


Storm sat in the car and put his head back. He didn’t know how much sleep he got last night only that he had to be reassured that Sally, no, Salina was fine. Salina, the name fit her so much better. It to roll off his tongue as if he had been saying it all along. She had mouthed to him that she was sorry. Sorry that she lied to him, sorry that she wasn’t what she seemed, what exactly was she sorry about? He had so many questions for her. Was his life a dream? And if it was, which part was the dream and which was the reality.

His phone rang and he answered seeing it was Mike. “Hey,” he said softly.

“You sound like shit. What the hell happened to you? I went by your place last night and waited for more than an hour but you never showed up and your calls when directly to voicemail. What’s going on?”

“I don’t know and what I do know, I can’t talk about it.”

“What the…”

“I can’t Mike because I don’t think I know what I think I know. I’m….” he sighed heavily. “Mike, Sally had nothing to do with anything and you or anyone else can get to her right now. Leave it alone. I’ll tell you when I’ve sorted though it myself.”


“I’m at the office. I’ll talk with you later. Take care and be careful.”



When Storm got to the office, Melissa, the assistant who took over for Dara when she was out, greeted him. Melissa was being groomed to take over when Dara eventually retired but he wasn’t sure he could ever trust an assistant the way his father and Henry trusted Dara, especially after this. It also seemed he wouldn’t be getting any of his questions answered today.

“Good morning Mr. Monsello,” greeted Melissa. “Dara said your schedule has been modified and has been sent to your computer and the file you requested is on your desk.”

“The file?” Storm asked a bit confused.

“Yes. If you need anything else, please let me know.”

“Yes, I will. Thank you.”

Storm immediately picked up then file when he saw the name, ‘Salina A. Carter’. The note on it read, ‘Get familiar with the information ASAP. You’ll need it tomorrow.’ Dara had been to the office already.

He wished he could speak with Dara directly, but knowing her and what he knew now, she was probably finalizing some pre-arranged arrangements. Somewhere, somehow, he was going to have patience. He settled in his chair and opened the folder. The first document that greeted him the will of Arthur Simon Carter, Salina’s father. At first glance, it looked simple enough but as he continued reading, he realized it wasn’t as simple as it seemed. Due the law not allowing the emancipation of minors, her father had worked around it. He broke the overall control of her estate into several sections with Salina holding the majority of the decision making power. Her guardian was the nanny but the money from the estate was in the hands of specific executives.

None of the executives could make a final decision about her money and the management of the estate without Salina’s consent. She could replace anyone she wanted as along as the replacement took place in 30 day of the firing. However, regardless of the situation, she would always hold the controlling vote of the estate, always at 59%. She always had final say regarding her money and well-being. All except her health insurance, just as Madelyn had stated.

By all counts and means, the executives where only names on paper with no true power, and their salaries was a veil used to hide the emancipation of a fourteen-year-old child until her 19th birthday, when they would be removed. On her 23rd birthday she would inherit 75% of the full estate and the remaining 25% on her 25th birthday. Only one thing could interfere with her inheritance; if she was found guilty of a crime. Then she would lose a majority of the money in the estate but never the land and properties. The money would be distributed to various charities, a different one each year until it was finished. No one charity could or would get large sums. He had effectively tied the hands of anyone who thought they could get the money by falsely accusing her of a crime. His plan was brilliant and Salina followed the details exactly.  

Next was the information on the investment, the one that he was also an investor and her actual inheritance. Another piece of brilliant work but by Madelyn. Salina’s portion of the money was the largest to simulate only a portion of her inheritance. DEA’s was 3.5 billion, his 3.5 billion and the rest plus all the interest was Salina’s. The money had been in the investment since she was 15, and would mature on her 23rd birthday, which was tomorrow. Statements on the investment were in the file and from the looks of it, Madelyn had done an excellent job as always. The most impressive part of the investment was her actual inheritance. Her father had taken only a few hundred dollars turned it into billions over years and kept everything a secret. It truly was proof of his genius.

Next, was Salina’s education and the physical estate. She was educated at the best private school with at least three tutors on payroll. At a very early age, she learnt the responsibility of having such wealth. She wanted for nothing as the estate itself was enormous. So how did a girl, who grew up in such luxuries, so calmly swallow her pride, hide her upbringing and work as a waitress in a strip club, when she had access to more than two billion dollars at her disposal if the need was absolutely necessary?

Storm got up and stretched. He had been reading and researching international investment laws and money transfers for the last three hours. As he looked out the window, he wondered how she was doing. It was useless to call her since he knew her phone would be replaced. Anything that could be used to trace her was gone.

His desk phone rang and Storm looked at it skeptically before deciding to answer.


“Storm your bags are packed. The car is waiting for you downstairs to take you to your meeting and then to the airport,” said Dara.

“Am I going to see you anytime today or tomorrow?”

“Yes. Get going. I’m almost finished here.”  

Storm sighed and hung up the phone.



Dara was sitting in the seat in front of him. They were on his private jet going to the Bahamas. She met him at the meeting and they drove to the airport together in silence.

“Are we going to talk about any of it?” Storm asked.

“Did you read the file?” asked Dara.

“Yes, and I’m impressed. But nothing in the file told me about how you got involved with all of this, and yes, I know my father and Henry trusted you more than anyone else in the company but it still doesn’t explain anything.”

“Henry knew her father. They were very good friends. The type that couldn’t speak for years but with a phone call could pick up where they left off. Her father was the investor Henry used. So, when Henry found out what happed to him and then to Salina he helped. Henry fell in love with her almost instantly the first time he met her.”

“How old was she?”

“About six I think. She was the daughter he never had. I met her at their second visit. Henry and your dad both loved that she always asked questions, but only to her father; she was shy, I believe still is.” Dara smiled as she remembered. “Henry loved that she was razor sharp and tried to convince her father to make her study law, but he was good with figures and so was Salina, and he honed that skill in her. She was privately tutored in several subjects and languages but only Henry knew how many languages. The only two I know of are Spanish and Italian.” Dara paused before continuing.

“When her father passed, Henry immediately went to see to her but Ian got to her first. The gardener was killed and her nanny went missing. Salina left clues on how to find her but by the time he found her, she had been beaten almost to death. Henry was able to find June, her nanny and hide her. Salina was brought here under the cover of darkness. DEA wanted the money off the record and he wanted to protect her. So he made the deal, the money would never be recorded and she was granted full citizenship in exchange for the location of the drugs that was scheduled to come in. It was the information Salina had been able to get when Ian kidnapped her. While she was in the hospital, two attempts were made on her life so she was placed in a coma and moved to Henry’s mansion. He had underestimated how far Ian’s reach was in the DEA. She was given a new identity by MI6 because at that point no one was trusted. It’s why nothing shows up for her in our systems. When Henry read he father’s will, he realized how to keep her safe; pretend she had the money and it was invested while her father was alive and placed in trust for her. Almost a carbon copy of her inheritance. None of them are any wiser that they could have gotten the money sooner. Everyone brought in to help knows only minute bits and pieces but almost nothing about her and the investment. Only Madelyn and I know the full scope of everything. In other words, she had to stay alive for them to get the money. Your father gave Ian’s whereabouts to the cartel who had him killed.”

“My father would never…”

“The very minute a threat was made against yours and Ayasha’s life. He never hesitated once.” Storm looked on stunned. “Mercenaries paid to protect everyone, you, Ayasha and most of all Salina on this day, the day she gets everything.”

“How did you get involved or do I need to ask?”

“I would have done anything for them. They saved my life and life of my children from a husband who was going to beat me to death one night. He thought I was having an affair with your father because he was helping me study for my paralegal exam. Your father gave me a chance when I was scared and no one else would. He knew I was being abused but that night my husband turned on my children. He had hit me so hard that I couldn’t move to stop him from hitting my son. My youngest tried to stop him but he kicked him. A broken rib at age five not from playing with his friends or even sports but from his own father kicking him as if he was garbage. When your father knocked on the door, I gathered the last of my strength and yelled for help. It was the last thing I remembered before the kick to my head left me unconscious. Your father and Henry saved mine and my children’s lives. This was nothing to do to repay them back.”  A tear ran down Dara’s face as she looked out the window. She turned back to look at Storm after a few seconds. “I saw what Ian did to that child. I saw those doctors wonder if she would live.”

Storm thought about Salina’s nightmares.



Salina looked outside the window of her bedroom at the ocean. ‘I wonder if I could go home today?’ she asked her self silently. Today was her birthday and also the day she could die. ‘No! Remember what Madelyn said? You have to live for them to get the money’. Turning around, she got her jacket from the bed. Her suit today was nothing like the one she had gotten on sale last year when she began looking about her internship. Thinking of that, she wondered how Mitch was doing. She had not spoken with him since the day she left. Her phone had been taken away and she had yet to receive the new one. It didn’t matter anyway because she couldn’t tell him anything. She didn’t want to begin thinking of the lie she would have to tell him just to keep his friendship. As she buttoned her jacket, she thought about telling him the truth. How could she tell him that she was the person who paid his rent for the two months when he could not or paid her own way so there was enough money for him to go to the conference? No, she couldn’t. It would have to remain a secret if she wanted to keep his friendship and at the moment, he was the only friend she had.

Her bodyguards were outside her door and another two by the elevator. The entire floor of the hotel was hers to guarantee her absolute safety. Inside the service elevator were another two bodyguards, a total of six followed her to the car and three vehicles would follow her to the meeting. Arriving at the bank, she was taken to the back entrance and up the private elevator to the floor where the meeting would take place. Madelyn greeted her at the elevator.

“Salina, you look wonderful. I hope I’m the first to wish you Happy Birthday,” said Madelyn as she gave her a hug.

“Good morning Madelyn. It’s wonderful to see you and I’m sorry but June beat you to it.” Madelyn laughed. “I don’t know how happy it will be however.”

“You will be fine. Everyone is waiting for you inside. You are the most important piece in this game and you’re going to win it. School those features and let’s play ball.”

“Yes, finally, the end.”

Madelyn entered the room first followed by the two bodyguards who looked over the room before allowing Salina to enter. She walked in, head held straight as she took notice of everyone. One person stood out but for the life of her, she couldn’t remember why. Salina kept her emotions in check as she made her way to the seat she knew was her’s, between Norma and Madelyn. It wasn’t until she sat down that she finally gave herself permission to look at Storm who sat four seats away from her on her right.

“Glad you showed up little lady, now let’s get started shall we?” said Churn from the DEA.

“Her name is Miss Carter and you’ll address her as such,” Storm said through clenched teeth.

Churn visibly blanched and the men with him shuffled in their seats. Storm was not in a good mood.

“Good morning everyone,” Madelyn began, “I hope you all had a restful night. Let’s begin as I have several other meetings to attend today.” After everyone’s acknowledgement, she began again. “We will begin with the one thing everyone is here for, the money in the investment. As you are well aware, this meeting is confidential and shall remain that way. All parties involved are accounted for, Miss Salina Carter, the primary account holder, Storm Monsello, part investor and Mr. Churn, part investor. The distribution of the money will be as originally outline; each party will receive 3.5 billion dollars in US with the all the interest on the account going to Miss. Carter.

“Now wait a minute that seems a bit unfair that we don’t…” Churn began

“The agreement is signed and that’s the way it will be distributed,” asserted Madelyn.

“All I’m saying is that we should be able to get some part of the interest. I didn’t know we would have had to wait so long to get the money. None of the information told to us was correct…” Churn stated.

“You can say you didn’t understand what you were signing and I understand that,” began Norma, “but I am sure the head of the DEA, CIA, FBI and Interpol would love to know how you knew about the money, the investment and when to show up to get it, not to mention several keen figures of the drug cartel. After all if we are going to be blunt this is unrecorded drug money, am I not correct?”

“And you are?” Churn asked Norma.

“Not your concern.” Norma turned to Madelyn, “Please keep going.”

“Now listen here, you can’t come in here and threaten me…” Churn began again.

“I didn’t and do not threaten but if you want to take it as such, by all means,” Norma addressed Churn before turning back to Madelyn, “please continue.”  

The men beside him straighten in their seats. Norma noticed one of them looking directly at Salina. She glanced at Salina and saw the look of fear on her face but only for a moment before Salina’s features went blank again.

“There is no need…” Churn began again.

“Another useless word out of you and I’ll advise my client not to sign those papers and to have the investment roll for another what…” Norma looked at Madelyn.

“Ten years,” Madelyn supplied.

“Ten years,” Norma said looking back at Churn.

“Fine with me,” said Storm, “I don’t need the money. Better yet is there a stipulation that gives her everything?”

“Now just a damn minute,” Churn yelled angrily.

“Let’s go,” Norma said to Salina as she got up.

“Okay, okay…wait a damn minute,” Churn said standing up. “Just sit back down will you,” he said to Norma and Salina who were standing. “Please.”

Norma nodded to Salina who sat again before she took her seat.

“What if she was involved with Red…?”

“You slimy bastard!” Storm yelled as he leaped up out of his chair and leaned over the table.

“Storm!” yelled Madelyn, Dara and Norma.

It took a while before he looked away from Churn to the women and sat back down.

“I see you don’t want a smooth transfer,” said Dara softly. “Churn, please be advised that Henry made special arrangements in case this transfer didn’t go as smoothly as it should. The path you are trying to take it down will not be a pleasant one for you.”

“Is that a threat?” Churn asked Dara.

Dara looked at him dead on. “Dead men tell no tale.”

Churn visibly swallowed. “Where do I sign?”

Madelyn handed him the paper.

Chapter End Notes:

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful 4th of July holiday. Be safe! 

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.