Excerpt from Route of Evil
The lobby was a shared one that used a reception service set off to one side of the doors. It provided comfortable chairs for those waiting to be escorted upstairs. Vitor noticed an old lady carefully rising from one of the deep settees. There was something about her that rang a bell.
She slowly walked across towards him. Who was she? Once she was standing right before him she declared, ‘You had me kidnapped! It was you who had my hair shaved!’ She dramatically pulled off her wig.
Of course, now he recognised her from the video. It was Daz’s mother.
Before he could react she slapped him hard across his face. ‘The people in the favela are my friends. They would do nothing to harm me or my son. They are proud that he has found a way out of poverty. You did this to my little Émerson, just so he would lose a football match! It could destroy his career! I demand revenge for my humiliation and your abuse of my son!’
He held both her hands as she tried to hit him again before his guard finally responded and dragged her away.
Two young lads suddenly moved towards him from where they had been waiting beyond the reception desk. They were stronger than they looked. They grabbed Vitor’s arms and propelled him towards the doors. The first guard was still tangled up with the old lady and couldn’t interfere. Vitor found himself paralysed with fear. This had to be Desai’s attack!
Larissa did nothing to come to his aid. She was too shocked by the suggestion that Vitor had organised rather than resolved this woman’s kidnapping. She knew all about his illegal businesses, that he was a bad man, but this was a step too far, even for him. Besides she’d always had a soft spot for Daz.
Vitor was still frozen. He did nothing to stop them pushing him through the doors. He watched impassively as a beaten-up old saloon swung on to the driveway. They frogmarched him towards it.
Vitor’s own car was also arriving, and the guard was quick to sum up what was going on. He drove into the rear of the saloon at speed, pushing it forward and smashing it into an ornamental wall. The old car threw up a cloud of rust, the nearside wing flew off.
The driver was already out of Vitor’s car, gun drawn closing on them. The other guard had extricated himself from the mother and was out through the doors and approaching the young lads from behind also pointing his handgun at them.
The boys both threw up their hands and called out that they were unarmed, begging them not to shoot. The mother burst from the building, supported by Larissa. She hurried to stand between the boys and one of the guards. She appealed directly to Vitor, ‘These are my sons. Have you not done enough to damage my family?’
Vitor roused himself now that escape beckoned, he grabbed the attaché case that Larissa was holding then stepped in to the road to stop a passing taxi. He wasted no time in rushing away from the attack.