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46

Call her again, Maggie said.

We sat across from each other on the hotel beds, both of us wide-eyed, our skin white with fear.

I hit Redial again for Aunt Elenas number, let it ring, then hung up. I shook my head. Shes still not answering.

Id finally found via Giulia. By that time, it was night. When Id gotten to the room, Maggie was curled up against the headboard, talking to Bernard on the phone.

She was laughing at something, her tiny giggle filling the room. When she saw me, she said, Oh my gosh, shes back. She threw back the covers and knelt on the bed. She was wearing a pale green nightie that made her look like a little girl. How did it go, Iz?

When I didnt answer, her eyes swept my face. Call you back, she said to Bernard.

Maggie had gotten dressed by now in a pair of cuffed jeans and a T-shirt that read Chicago Fire Department. This is scary, she said. This is awful. Who killed him?

Maybe he shot himself? Is that possible? I wanted to cry. I felt so bad for the father I didnt know. Maybe the Camorra killed him. Maybe they found out he was still alive. Or maybe he had done something so awful he couldnt live with himself. Maybe he was still with the Camorra, like really with them.

But if he was still Camorra, he would have to be a ruthless guy, so why kill himself? Maggie stared up at the ceiling, as if willing answers from the heavens. Unless maybe he knew you were here

Why would that matter?

She looked back at me and seemed to hesitate, as if considering whether to speak. Well, if he knew you were here, and he knew you learned that he had been in the Camorra, and he was still in it, still a bad guy, and he thought you were going to find out, maybe it gave him an attack of conscience.

So it would be my fault?

Im not saying that. Im just throwing out a possibility.

I nodded. I couldnt be irritated at Maggie. I needed the truth now, and only that. Well, heres another question-shouldnt we tell the police?

She shook her head. I dont know. Because, Iz, it seems like anytime youve told someone something, scary stuff happens. I mean, you asked questions at the antimafia office, and next thing you know were in Naples getting chased by those guys with guns. You asked Elena questions, and she told you your father was alive, and now heshes dead.

I winced.

Sorry. Im sorry to just say it like that, but I have to be your lawyer here, too, and I just dont know who you should trust. I dont know who we should talk to.

I looked down at my hands, crossed on my lap. I have to tell someone. Or I have to do something. I raised my head again and looked at Maggie.

Her face was creased in concentration. Heres the thing. But what if the cops think you were involved somehow? In Italy, if they suspect you of a crime, they can hold you for up to a year without charging you.

If he killed himself, theres no crime. So why would they charge me?

What if he didnt kill himself? What if someone else did, or if they think it wasnt self-inflicted for some reason? Youre the one who found him. If they suspect you for a second, its your word againstI dont know whose, but it wont look good. She shrugged. Think about that college student who was arrested in Italy. Her roommate was killed, she found the body, and then they charged her with murder. Theres also the issue of this legal system. Aside from stories like that, I dont know the Italian system. I couldnt represent you. I wouldnt even know who to call to do that.

Mags, Ive been suspected of murder once this year. I dont think thats going to happen again.

I dont know, youve got some crazy energy going on lately. Youve had a lot of weird stuff happen to you.

We both went silent. There was no arguing with that point. Another brutal truth.

I cant just leave him there, I said. I have to go back.

Maggie slumped down onto her bed, her elbows propped up behind her, and looked at me. You realize that will only multiply the crazy-weird energy.

What would you do if you were me?

She studied me. If I were you, Id go back. And if I were me, Id go with you.


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