The electronic gate hummed as it slowly opened into the wooded driveway. Dante tapped his index finger impatiently while he waited to proceed. Out of habit he adjusted the rear view mirror and straightened his tie. A haunted face stared back at him and he rubbed his hand over his mouth ruefully. He slowly drove down the manicured driveway towards the 19th century villa. It was years since he had been here last yet he had always found the simple beauty of the house rather remarkable. It was a simple square structure but it was the woods and the vast gardens with perfectly manicured hedges that gave it its appeal. Massimo had bought the villa years ago and kept it in perfect condition. He did not conduct business here, in fact nobody knew who owned or lived here. It was an intensely private fortress, his sanctuary. Only the trusted were allowed.
He had been summoned.
© C N Fernando 2013