Sophie was scrubbing soda out of the carpet when Alyssa woke. The heavy odor of bleach in the air disturbed her slumber. The room was very poorly ventilated. There were no windows and no fans or vents in the main room. The bathroom had a small vent fan in the shower. Its low hum was the only disruption to the silence, aside from Sophie’s labored breathing as she scrubbed. Unfortunately, the small fan in the bathroom did more to disrupt the silence than clear the air. Alyssa really could have used more sleep. She woke in quite a mood.
Alyssa looked over at Sophie, “Where the hell am I? What is this place?” She was tired, disoriented, and well beyond scared. All of the shock and confusion filling her mind left her not caring what happened. Right at that moment, she didn’t even care if she died.
Sophie didn’t look up from her scrubbing, “You are safe and you will stay that way as long as you are in my care.” Then she added, “I would sincerely appreciate if you wouldn’t take advantage of my hospitality by destroying my home anymore. I have much better things to do with my time than clean up after your tantrums.”
Alyssa didn’t respond at first. She just stared at the blank screen of the television. She may as well have been watching the events of the prior day. They played back again and again in her head. It was all so much like a bad dream. When would she wake up for good? Maybe she wouldn’t. Maybe she was stuck in a nightmare that would never end.
When Alyssa finally spoke again, her tone was pointed. “Why am I here? What did we do to deserve this? What do you people want from us?” Then it occurred to her that she had no idea where the other member of we was. “Where’s my brother?”
Sophie stopped scrubbing, took a deep breath to collect her thoughts, and spoke calmly, almost sweetly. “The first question, ‘Why are you here?’ is very simple. You’re bait. You didn’t do anything to deserve this. How much do you know about your mother?”
Alyssa looked confused, “What do you mean?”
“What do you know about what she does for a living? I should say what she did for a living.” Sophie’s smile was sweet and her tone polite.
Alyssa quickly became irritated with the conversation, “Look lady…”
“Sophie,” she interrupted. “Call me Sophie, sweetheart.”
Alyssa clenched her teeth and continued, “Fine. Sophie. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Why don’t you just answer my questions? Is this some kind of game? What did my mom do to you people that was so terrible?”
The sweet smile never left Sophie’s face. “Your mother’s real name is Stiletto Rose. She’s a killer, a hit man. Well, hit woman I suppose. She was a very lethal and effective assassin. That is until she messed around with the wrong family, my family.”
Alyssa smirked and shook her head, “You expect me to believe that my mom,” she pointed at her chest, “my mom, killed somebody? That’s ridiculous. Seriously, is this some kind of joke? Am I on some sick reality show here?” She put her hands up next to her face and tried her best to sound like a television announcer. “Da, da, dum…It’s ‘Surprise, You’ve Been Kidnapped’. Don’t miss one action packed minute.” She continued to shake her head.
“It’s no joke Alyssa. Your mother spent a year working for my grandfather. He always said she was the best. Then she got involved with my brother. It’s a big no-no for the hired help to mess around with the family. That’s when…”
The door opened and a well-dressed man with dark, slicked-back hair walked in the room. He glanced at Alyssa and smiled. It wasn’t a casual smile though. There was a weird familiarity to it. She refused to smile back as she looked him over. He appeared to be in his fifties, but she was terrible at judging age. His hair didn’t have any gray in it, but he did have a few wrinkles on his face. He looked to be pretty athletic though. She could see his muscles flex under his suit as he crossed his arms over his chest. His smiled faded into an angry glare as he turned his gaze toward Sophie.
“Sophie,” he raised his voice a bit. “What have you been talking to our guest about?”
“She had questions.” Sophie fired back. “What difference does it make what she knows?”
The gentleman’s expression softened a bit, “Ah, my sweet Sophie, your time would be better spent finding a good man to make a family with and give me some grandchildren rather than giving up family secrets.”
Sophie stood, stormed past him to the door, and then turned back, “I don’t like men, daddy and you won’t let me adopt. I guess you’re out of luck.” She slammed the door behind her as she left.
The gentleman humphed at the door. Then he turned his attention back to Alyssa, “So many questions in your pretty, little head. Don’t worry about them now. For now, you should get some sleep. You’ve had a rough couple of days and you could use some rest. You’ll get your answers in due time.”
“Whatever,” Alyssa sighed. “Who the hell are you now? I figured out that you’re Sophie’s dad. You must be the big boss man, right? This is like a soap opera. What the hell is going on here?”
He laughed, “You are just like your father was. You’re full of fire and spunk and you need to know everything about everything and everyone. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Alyssa.” Then he extended his hand out to her, “I’m Mario.”
Alyssa looked at his hand and crossed her arms as she squinted at him, “What do you know about my dad? Is he really dead?” Her eyes became hot as she thought about what Vinny had said to her. They were tingling again. She wasn’t going to cry. She wasn’t going to give this jerk the satisfaction.
Mario shrugged, “Are we talking about your dad or your step-dad?”
Alyssa slumped and looked confused. Her voice lost its defiant tone. “What?”
Mario shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. I’m sorry to say that either way the answer is yes. We’ll talk more later on. Get some rest and then I’ll give you some answers. You have to behave though. Quit wrecking my house.” He winked at her as he turned and left the room.
Alyssa tried to respond but he was already gone. She didn’t have a step-dad. What the hell was he talking about? The answer was yes though, either way, whatever that meant. She let the tears come. They soaked the couch as she drifted off to sleep.