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Chapter 133: Revenge

Victor was still furious as he took his seat on his plane.  Just how close did Vasquez and his goons come to ruining Victor's plans?  If he had not arrived at the palace and demanded to see Shane, nothing would have gone right.  And now, as it was, Shane might not be in good-enough condition to follow through with the plan.  What if Hernandez did not do what was needed at the right time?

Well there was not much Victor could do about it now.  His plan already was in motion.  Hernandez was in the main Costa Blanca prison and Victor had to hope that Vasquez's doctors could get Shane fit enough to move to the prison.

As the plane took off, Victor wondered what else might go wrong.  He got his answer a few minutes later when the phone on board the plane rang.  He answered and heard Marcus James' voice.

"Where have you been?  I've been trying to contact you ever since I got back to England."

That was not a good start.  Victor did not appreciate being lectured to.  "If I remember correctly, Marcus, I pay the bills."  He waited for that to sink in, then asked, "What's going on?"

"Black and the Brady woman are gone," Marcus said.  "They were gone when I got back, and the Donovan place is crawling with ISA and military types."

"How do you know John and Hope are gone then?" Victor asked.

Marcus paused, then answered.  "Because half a unit of SAS are now in local hospitals after whatever happened at the house.  And Black's private plane made an unauthorized departure from the airport in Oxford."

This could be a major problem, Victor thought.  What had John Black done to bring the ISA down on him?  Something had to precipitate an event like that.  Did John figure out where Shane was?  Victor's friends in Homeland Security were supposed to give him the run-around and send him on a series of "leads" that wound up in dead ends.  Did they fail to account for something?  And what if John was on his way to Costa Blanca.

Even if he was, it would be too late.  John and Hope would be starting from nothing if they tried to locate Shane.  Still, it would not be a bad idea to have someone run interference, so they did not get any information before Shane and Hernandez had their "surprise" meeting.

And what about Marcus.  Victor thought for a moment.  "Get back to California.  If John Black makes contact, it will be with his wife or Andrew Donovan.  Once you get there, see if they know anything about his and Hope's whereabouts."

Hanging up the phone, Victor stared out the window at the passing blue sky.  He thought back to how it felt when he had seen Shane in that room, barely alive, but still not broken.

It was funny how revenge worked.  Victor had always been the type that insisted that the scales be balanced.  Shane Donovan had ruined many of Victor's operations over the years.  It started with nearly dismantling Victor's entire drug operation in Miami, coupled with the personal humiliation of being rejected by Kimberly Brady.  Shane had been responsible for John Black escaping before Victor could fully control the Pawn.  And just when Victor thought he had his first heir, Shane had taken away Andrew.

Over the years, after Shane left Salem, he had continued to be a thorn in Kiriakis' side.  The ISA had shut down more operations than Kiriakis cared to admit and it was only when the ISA got put under the command of Homeland Security was Kiriakis able to get out from under scrutiny.  His moles in the department were able to feed him information even after Shane took most of the real ISA power to his offshoot venture.

All of those affronts over the years had added up, and Victor had snared Shane in his trap with the Operación Norteño information.  It still had surprised Victor that Shane had done the job himself, but his recent discoveries now told him why.  It would be so ironic when Victor's final plan took place and Shane realized that all of his efforts were for nothing.  Perhaps that was true justice for Victor's final humiliation -- being bested by a man who had barely been able to stand.

Now he just had to sit back and wait for the pieces to fall into place.

Once that was done, Victor would have no further use for Costa Blanca.  Juan Carlos Vasquez was becoming a liability.  Too many eyes were watching the island to see if Vasquez and his criminal supporters would rebuild their operations on the island.  Further investment served gave Victor little benefit.

Of course, Vasquez could not be allowed to flee the country.  He might divulge damaging information about Victor.  So Victor had to ensure that El Presidente held on long enough for Shane's rescue mission to fail and then be taken by the guerillas alive.

Victor picked up the phone again and asked for a call to be put through to Titan.  Philip, albeit unknowingly, had arranged for significant Titan money to flow to a Costa Blanca import-export business.  Time to slow the funding for awhile.

"Mr. Kiriakis' office," Philip's assistant answered.

"It's Victor.  Can I speak to my son?"

"I'm sorry," she said.  "Mr. Kiriakis is out of the office, sir."

"When will he be back?" Victor asked.

There was a pause before the assistant said, "I'm sorry, but he left Salem for the day."

What?  Victor scowled.  Philip was supposed to be keeping an eye on Titan while Victor was away.  "Where did he go?"

"Los Angeles, sir."

Victor hung up the phone.  What the hell was Philip doing in Los Angeles?  That made no sense.  For a moment Victor thought about telling the pilot to change the flight-plan and head to California, but then he thought better of it.  Marcus would be in Los Angeles in about 15 hours.  Victor would have Marcus find his wayward son and give a full report about whatever Philip was up to.  In the meantime, Victor would return to Salem and start shutting off Juan Carlos Vasquez's line of credit.

He sat back in his seat and closed his eyes as the plane continued on its way home.  Soon, Victor said.  Very soon, everything would go exactly the way he wanted it.