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 Marshall?
 Yeah, it s me. He closed his eyes and put his head on top on the
phone for a minute.
 Marshall?
 I m here.
 Don t talk, just listen.
 Yes&  he managed.
 I forgive you for what you did.
Angelo heard a broken sob, then silence.
 Don t cry. Don t waste any more tears over this. Make your life
what you want it to be, Marshall. No matter how the verdict goes, stop
listening to those voices in your head. They can t hurt you anymore. Do
you hear me?
 Yes, I hear you.
 I have to let it go, so I can get on with my life too.
 I love you, Angelo. I suppose there is no chance that-
 Marshall, if things had turned out differently, his voice faltered
some, he cleared his throat,  you would have been& the love of my
life. The last four words were barely audible.
The phone went dead.
Marshall stood there for a few minutes. He wiped his tears and hid
his face so no one would see. Natalie tried to speak to him in the
corridor, but he brushed by her and walked away.
A half hour later, she found herself outside Angelo s hotel. She
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hesitated for a minute, then gravitated into the lobby.
When he opened the door to his room, she looked passed him to
see his suitcase lay open on the bed. A quarter of a bottle of whiskey
stood on the night stand.
She walked into the room.  You were going to leave and not tell
me?
He shrugged.
She picked up the bottle and took a swig of the liquor. She made a
face.  Don t you even care about the verdict?
 No, he said.
He put some clothes in the suitcase, then sat down and lit a
cigarette.
She sunk in the chair across from him.  When does your plane
leave?
 It s a redeye at midnight.
 So you re booked?
 Yes.
He looked away.
 Marshall wouldn t speak to anyone after he got off the phone with
you.
 Really? he said, but he still didn t look at her.
 Will you regret leaving in the years to come?
He looked at her.  Why in the hell&  he paused, narrowing those
black eyes.
 You re leaving your heart here.
 I didn t make him that way, Natalie, he said softly.  This world
did this to him, people s indifference and cruelty& What in hell do
you want me to do?
She swallowed.  Hal told him no one would ever love him. I guess
you re going to drive that home to him.
He stood up, his eyes blazing.  Don t you dare lay that trip on me! I
just forgave him so that he can go on. Isn t that enough?
She wasn t surprised at his outburst. She bit her lip.  I m sorry. I
was out of line.
He calmed immediately.  Me, too, he echoed. He walked over to
her, and pulled her up out of her chair. He took her hands in his.  I
can t save him, Natalie. He has to want to save himself. He looked her
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in the eyes.
She nodded mutely, a sensation of sadness washing over her.
He released her.
 You ll keep in touch?
 Sure, he said, but she knew he wouldn t.
 Want a ride to the airport? She didn t want to say goodbye.
He shook his head.  No. Thanks. He kissed her on both sides of
the cheek.  Take care of yourself, Natalie.
 You, too, she replied, touching his face with her hand for a
moment.
She walked to the door and he returned to his packing. She
watched him for a moment.
He put his suitcase on the floor. Then he met her eyes and
whispered,  In answer to your question, Natalie, I never stopped.
His words settled over her. She mouthed the words,  Thank you,
before she left him.
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Chapter 112
obert was waiting for Angelo when he arrived at Leonardo Da
R
vinci Airport in Rome. He threw his arms around him and
hugged him. Angelo returned the hug.
 You didn t have to come to meet me, Angelo told him.
Robert smiled sadly.  I missed you.
They walked outside to where Robert had parked his car. When
Angelo didn t say anything, Robert said,  Well, at least tell me what the
verdict was. I ve been too busy to watch the news.
 I can t do that, Angelo replied, looking out the window.
 Why not? Robert asked him, narrowing his eyes.
 Because I don t know.
 You left before the verdict was in?
 Yes. He knew his voice sounded impatient.
Robert got the message that he didn t feel like talking. He gave his
full attention over to the road.
They drove down to Viale Giulio Cesare. Suddenly, the reflection of
St. Peters Church and the Trevi Fountain flashed before his eyes. The
car came to a stop at the traffic light and Angelo watched the people as
they poured out of the Ottaviano from an underground exit, hurrying
like they always did to God knows where. Nearby, the tourists were still
scattered on the Spanish steps like a mountain of flies, and the con
artists still wandered Navona Square. Everything was exactly the way it
was before he left. Nothing had changed at all.
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Chapter 113
he verdict was handed down five days after Angelo had gone back
T
to Rome& Hal Makin was sentenced to life for three counts of
murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of unlawful
confinement, several counts of fraud and several counts of blackmail.
Marshall held his breath as the judge told him to rise. He was
found guilty of one count of conspiring to murder and several counts
of blackmail, fraud and prostitution.
 Marshall Calletti, the judge said,  this court is inclined to be
lenient in your case. In light of Mr. Farelli s testimony, and given your
willingness to testify against Hal Makin, your attempt to save lives, and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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