Go To Page #1   #2   #3   #4  

Zin Avenger LOGO

Awakenings Epilogue: Daylight, Page 3

“We recovered a Filipino man who we have identified as working with you and providing security to the Fairchild Group.  He was seriously injured when the helicopter crashed and lost a lot of blood.  What was he doing in the helicopter?”  Shindo did not answer.

The lead interrogator looked over at the representative from the State Department.  Standing next to her was a representative from the Chinese Consulate.   “Do you have any objections to my asking about the cargo in the ship?”  Both shook their heads.

“We have identified and are recovering containers of heroin, hashish, and more from inside of the grape juice tanks that are a part of the shipment that was on the Honolulu, which by the way, did not sink.  What do you know about the drugs that were being smuggled in?  Where did they originate?  How were the profits being used to support terrorism?”  Again, Shindo just looked at them blankly.  The interrogation continued.

Joe was happy to be driving El Zin back onto the freeway to return home.  Elise was glad to get out of Oakland and the violence of last night.  She held a newspaper on her lap with the headlines “Port of Oakland Severely Damaged by Terrorist Attack” and “Thousands Flee New Oakland Hills Fire Set By Arsonists”.  The light was dimmed by all the smoke in the air.  The Freeway was deserted. 

Joe rolled up his window.  “At least the freeway is clear due to the road closure and evacuations.”

Elise replied with a furrowed brow.  “Those poor people.  Last night was horrible.  How many people died?”

Joe gritted his teeth.  “Too many.  We will be hearing about this in the news for years to come.  I wish that we hadn’t been in the middle of it all. It was kind of like a nightmare.”

Elise set down the newspaper.  “Part of what was so frightening is how the ‘special wines’ affect you.  It was almost like magic.  Those wines seem to have a lot of powers that, in the wrong hands, could be very dangerous.”

“They scare me too, Dear.  Sometimes I think some things happen for which we have little control.  I have to wonder if yours and my fate is to deal with these destinies.  I am not really the kind of guy ready to go out and save the world.”
“Neither am I.  I think that God has something important in mind for you Joe Gambaro.  We just have to navigate this carefully.  And Joe, I promise that I will continue to love you with all of my heart.”

Joe momentarily took his eyes off of the freeway to look over at Elise.  “I will always love you too.”

Ed and Pauline found themselves on the road not long after Joe and Elise started their way back to the Gambaro Winery.   As soon as they got past the roadblocks, Pauline found herself relaxing a little.  “You know, the last 24-hours have been kind of like a dream, though some of last night was more like a nightmare.  I have to wonder if we were meant to be brought together like that, almost like some kind of destiny.”

Ed glanced over at her momentarily, “Tied up like I was in the water, if you hadn’t come along, I would have died.  Plus, I know that I have fallen completely in love with you.  I don’t think I have ever been in love before.  Yesterday, and today, have brought us very close together.  I think that we have become soul mates.”

Pauline couldn’t keep her eyes off of Ed, watching his strong jaw silhouetted against the light from the car window, his curly brown hair bouncing slightly in the wind coming through the cracked window.  “We definitely now have, and share, some experiences unlike anyone else’s.  Last night was kind like a death and rebirth.  I dove into that water nearly naked and came out born a new woman, deeply in love like I have never known before.  I think that we have just begun a long journey together.”
Ed looked back over at Pauline’s classic Northern European facial lines framed by her curly blond hair. “I look forward to a long journey with someone so smart and beautiful as you are.  I never imagined that I would meet and fall in love someone as fantastic as you.  Where do think our journey will take us?”

Pauline answered by blowing Ed a kiss. “You are so sweet.  We will have to figure out what road we travel.  First off, I think that I will move out here to California permanently.  I want to live close to you, see you every day, hold you in my arms whenever I can, and be held by you whenever you can.  I love the feel of your heartbeat when you hold me.  I find the scent of your hair very comforting.”  Ed and Pauline continued down the road, falling ever deeper into love.

This was a busy Sunday afternoon at the Gambero Winery.  The small parking lot was near capacity.  Fortunately, and with Joe and Elise gone, even the extra wine tasting room staff had shown up.

Peter poured some more of the reserve Zinfandel for a tall, thin, nearly bald, elderly gentleman.  “This wine has taken several gold medals.”

Continued ...