Read Where the Sun Sets Online

Authors: Ann Marie

Tags: #friendship, #suspense, #mystery, #abduction, #abuse

Where the Sun Sets

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Copyright 2005 by Ann Marie

Smashwords edition

 

This book is dedicated to my Rock ...
always
Many-many-many thanks to God in Heaven...for always being
there for me

I thank my dedicated readers...especially ---
Anita, Monica, Bailey, Kristine, MeAee, Sharon, Trudy, Kim,
Elaine, Linette, Bob, Patrick, Rodger and Stephen
Cover Art by the talented Barry Forbes ...view more of his work
@

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
Copyright 2005 by Ann Marie
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in
any printed or electronic form without permission. 
Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted
materials in violation of the author's rights.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents
either are the product of the author's imagination or are used
fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or
dead, business establishments, events, or locales is
entirely coincidental.
Now read in 54 countries...141 to go

 

 

Where the Sun Sets

 

A Novel by Ann Marie

 

 

Prologue

 

Josephine Ferrero was born in the month of
December, of the year 1962. She was the only child of Tristan and
Dorothy Ferrero, the only heir to the Ferrero Wine Empire.
Throughout her childhood, Josephine continually felt out of place
among her peers. She had too many freckles and her front teeth were
too big. She was always a bit more tomboyish than most people
needed. She went from being the tallest girl in her class at the
age of nine, to the shortest at the age of fourteen. Her hair was
pin straight and the color of straw. She never had any chest to
speak of and her derriere just kind of drooped. Although she had
always remained at the top of her class, she had to work very hard
at it.

She wanted to be a model, but that just
wasn’t in the cards for her. At the age of twelve, while on a
family vacation, her mother presented her to Louis Irving, a much
sought-after director. As a favor to her parents, Mr. Irving had
agreed to allow Josephine to audition for a part in his latest
work. The audition went better than anyone had ever dreamed and
Josephine ended up with one of the lead roles.

From that moment on, everyone wanted
Josephine. She was called for commercials, movies and television as
well. However, due to parental control and educational matters, she
was limited to what she was permitted to do until she had graduated
from college.

Although her parent’s money was still highly
desired, Josephine’s lack of Beauty Queen looks and her less than
perfect figure kept her out of more motion pictures than she would
have hoped. She worked twice as hard as everyone else, but in the
long run, she believed it had made her a better actress. She became
one of the, if not the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. She had
an Oscar under her belt as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award by
the time she was twenty five.

Yet she still did not feel as if she
belonged. As a result, she tried too hard to fit in. She would go
to every invite that was extended to her, in Hollywood or New York.
She would drink too much and when she drank, she would talk too
loud. She felt the need to sleep with just about anyone, if only to
keep the tabloids from labeling her a lesbian. And on top of
everything else, her eye sight was going. She refused to wear
glasses out in public and she could not get the hang of contact
lenses, so she started to squint a lot. The squinting caused severe
headaches, which in turn caused her to take pain pills. The pain
pills made her extremely moody and then no one could stand to be
around her for any length of time, especially directors.

Josephine decided that she was not going to
sit around and wait for someone to give her work, so at the age of
thirty, with the help of her parent’s wealth, Josephine opened her
own production company where she started directing and producing
her own work. Her very first film was nominated for an Academy
Award.

Now, at the age of forty, Josephine finally
felt she was where she belonged. She was finally in the position to
make or break careers. She had the ability to make one feel like
either an outcast or a star. What she lacked in friends, she
multiplied in power. She had become the doorway to fame and fortune
for many up and coming stars. She had become Hollywood.

Antonia Dal Santo was born in the month of
April, in the year 1963. She was the only child from the marriage
of Salvatore and Juliet Dal Santo and the heiress to nothing.
Penniless, homeless and without any family to look after her, she
became a ward of the state at the age of seven.

Although her name screamed Italian descent,
her looks begged to differ. Her hair was a deep auburn color and
her eyes were hazel. Her skin was a soft cream tone. She was of
average height and shape. She was mentally gifted and considered by
some a complete academic prodigy. And she would have fit in
anywhere had she had the desire.

By the time Antonia was ten years of age, she
could speak six languages fluently and was working hard at
conquering the Portuguese dialect. She never had to study, although
her nose was always in a book. She was beyond the top of her class,
finishing most college courses before the age of sixteen.

Antonia never denied anyone her attention but
spent as much time alone as she could. She loved to read and write
and could often be found just sitting outside under a tree doing
just that. She had no career ambitions, much to the dismay of
everyone who knew her. She could have been anything she wanted. She
could have been a very wealthy woman if she chose. Instead, Antonia
joined the Peace Corps, directly upon leaving school. After which,
she traveled the world as a missionary, temporarily joining up with
whichever group was in the area at the same time as she. She worked
with Audrey Hepburn in Bangladesh and Mother Teresa in Calcutta.
She worked in Tanzania, Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe. But her heart
belonged to the people of Congo and the Literacy Awareness Program
she helped to initiate there.

At the age of thirty however, Antonia found
herself sucked back into the world she had worked so hard to
escape. Responding to the call of a friend, she left the world she
loved, her people and their needs. She put her life aside and
committed herself to a new purpose.

Now, at the age of forty she deeply desired
the peace of the Congo again; the smell of the jungle air, the
total lack of notoriety. She missed having the ability to be
invisible. She would give anything to return to where the sun
sets.

 

Chapter One

 

The air was crisp and clean. The temperature
was a beautiful seventy-eight degrees. The afternoon was coming to
an end and the coolness of the evening air was drifting in from the
ocean. It was the perfect weather, the perfect atmosphere, for the
annual end of the summer gathering. Simply decorated, the yard ran
into one of the many outlets of Long Island Sound on the far side,
having its other three sides, edged with eight feet of cedar
privacy fencing. The green of the grass was accented by the pinks
and whites of the Oriental Lilies hanging gracefully along the
fencing. There were two oversized Mexican chimineas burning on
either side of the yard and a small Jazz band playing off to the
right. To the left were both the open bar and buffet along with two
130 pound pigs suspended over the hot coals of an open pit.
Everywhere you looked there were smiles. Everyone was thoroughly
enjoying themselves.

The rays of light from the setting sun
reflected off the water’s surface giving the illusion of a thousand
little sparklers burning brightly. The only disturbance to the
spectacular light show was a single, small paddle boat, resting in
picturesque water. To the party guests it appeared as if the
gentleman onboard was fishing. The fishing pole was cast; the
tackle box lay open and ready for a quick change of bait. However,
Billy was not so easily misled. He saw the video camera and he knew
the routine. He set off to persuade the individual to fish
elsewhere. The paparazzi were always eager to crash a private
party.

This was a private, by invite only affair for
forty to fifty of Josephine Ferraro’s closest acquaintances and
co-workers. In attendance were plenty of the highest paid
professionals in Hollywood. Only they weren’t in Hollywood. They
were all in Connecticut and happy to be away from all the attention
for a while. Josephine had bought the resort specifically for the
privacy. Yet, even with the more than adequate living area of this
shingled roof, turn of the century, New Canaan Landmark, Josephine
still had to go out into the world, and that was where they waited
for her. Like a flock of seagulls waiting for a discarded burger.
There was always someone waiting outside the fence, lurking in the
street, waiting for the perfect photo. Antonia had suggested
Josephine hire Billy as a body guard. And although he wasn’t the
sharpest pencil in the holder, Billy did his job with no
complaints. He wasn’t hard on the eyes either. Josephine could
always count on him in the sack if, more importantly, when she felt
the need.

Antonia was playing the perfect hostess for
her friend, who specialized in making late appearances, even at her
own affairs. Antonia was far from being a Hollywood anything, yet
she knew everyone at the party and was loved and admired by all.
She always greeted everyone by their first name, their given name.
If your name was Patrick, she would call you Patrick. If your name
was Elizabeth, she would call you Elizabeth; the only exceptions
being that of Josephine, who had always been just Joe and Bernie,
who pleaded with her to not call him Bernard. More than one guest
considered Antonia their closest friend. But everyone knew her best
friend was Josephine. You very rarely saw one without the other.
Antonia was a people person. Although if you asked her, she would
tell you she would have rather been a hermit. People came natural
to her. She often called it her curse. People were attracted to
her. She could never be alone. Not in Joe’s world anyway.

Josephine grabbed a glass of champagne as she
emerged from the house. She was the total opposite of Antonia. Her
hair, a lovely shade of seasonal cinnamon and her strikingly bold
blue eyes made her a photographer’s dream. Yet she was far from
everyone’s closest friend. Her hellos were often just tight lipped
smiles. She could not remember your name to save her own life. She
needed to be with people, needed to be the center of attention.
Everyone who knew the two could not understand how they could be
best friends. Joe made her money in films. She made lots of money.
But money was not what she was after. She wanted power. She wanted
to be the woman Hollywood needed. She wanted to be the road to
success for up and coming stars. She wanted people to step back
when she entered a room. She wanted to be able to make or break
careers. And she was well on her way to establishing just that.

The two, now both forty, had been best
friends since they were seven years old. Joe was famous, even then.
Antonia had been all alone in the world. They met by fate and
became instant friends. But there was more to it than that, more
than just average friendship. They weren’t lovers, although the
tabloids seemed to make more money claiming they were; for as much
as Josephine enjoyed a good lay, Antonia all but avoided the issue
altogether. They were each other’s hearts. They needed each other,
lived through each other. And although no one could explain it,
everyone knew they were meant to be together, as though they were
somehow cosmically connected, perhaps joined from a prior
lifetime.

Antonia felt Josephine’s presence as she
entered the yard. She turned from the guests to search out her
friend. She felt a coldness that overwhelmed her. Something was
wrong but she was not at all sure what it was. She was sure,
however, that she had felt this feeling before. She could not
recall just when or where. She excused herself and started across
the yard. Goose bumps covered her arms as she involuntarily scanned
the yard for Billy. Catching Antonia off guard Josephine came up
quickly from the side. She grabbed Antonia’s elbow rather firmly.
Seething, through clenched teeth she passed her hellos to her
guests as she tugged on Antonia’s arm beckoning her to follow.

“What’s up Joe?” Antonia greeted her friend,
but her attention remained on scanning the yard.

“Like you don’t know.”

“Huh?”

“Where is it?”

“Where is what?”

“Stop fuckin with me.” Joe had temporarily
obtained Antonia’s attention.

“Joe . . .”

“I want the . . .”

“Yo Anthony,” Joe was cut off as someone
asked, “Anthony, where is Danny?”

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