“Emilia knows, but she prefers to close her eyes to my professional activities. She doesn't want to know anything about it. And Pedro suspects something, but he doesn't know exactly. ”
“ And why are you telling me about it? ”
Ernesto averted his gaze and stared out at the sea, where in the distance a catamaran in the afternoon sun at high speed over the blue water surface dashed. Pamela felt the tension emanating from her uncle. Although he was sitting there very calmly, she could feel how upset he was. Then he looked his niece straight in the eye:
“I've been watching you for several years now. You have all the requirements that Pedro unfortunately lacks. You are ambitious, capable of learning, reliable and intelligent. ”
“ Requirements for what? ”
“ To be more than just a pretty photo model. ”
Confused, she smiled at her uncle.
"Uncle, I can't quite follow you."
Canetti leaned forward and put his elbow on his thighs.
“The man you killed was a Russian mafia killer. He should get me out of the way. But first he wanted to get some important information out of me. If you hadn't killed this man, the port would surely already be in Russian hands today and instead of the killer I would be lying on the seabed of Hudson Bay, weighted down with concrete shoes. ”
“ And why did they want to kill you right now? ”
“ There's a new one Chief of the Russians. He has to make a name for himself in order to be credible. And to demonstrate the best example of his power and assertiveness would be the takeover of the port in Russian hands, which the Russians have always been keen on. The timing was very good. There is no potential successor who could take over the business in the event of my sudden death. "
Ernesto tapped his forehead with his finger and said:
" Everything is stored up here and there is nobody who has this necessary knowledge. If I suddenly die, it will take months to find the right man and years for business to be as smooth as it is now. But it wouldn't come to that. The team without leadership would be quickly eliminated by the Russians. ”
Canetti smiled bitterly to himself.
“I felt inviolable, but for a week now I've been all too aware that I'm damned at risk. I have started to spin a personal safety net around myself and eliminate the weak points. And for that I also need a representative and successor who knows how to continue the business after my failure or death. ”
“ And you think that I'm the right one? ”Asked Pamela incredulously.
“I no longer doubt you. Since the incident in my office, I have been convinced that you have what it takes to head this syndicate one day. You are a woman, but with your damn bright head, your assertiveness and your courage you make up for this flaw. You are also capable of killing and that is important, very important in this business. "
" Uncle, I don't know what to say about it. Until an hour ago, I would never have dreamed that you would be one of the bosses of one of the largest criminal organizations in the world. And now I'm supposed to join the syndicate and become your successor. ”
“ Pamela, I know it's all a bit much. I don't ask that you decide to do this job right away. But I don't know anyone else who has the potential to follow in my footsteps. "
He smiled at his niece,
" I need you Pamela. You are part of the family. You're one of us, a Canetti. ”
Pamela held her breath in surprise. She had never referred to Uncle Ernesto as a family member before, which sounded wonderful to her ears.
“And Pedro? What about him? “, Pamela asked suddenly again sobered.
Canetti sighed in resignation.
“My son prefers to communicate with God than to be interested in his family's business and interests. He is an absolute nut and completely useless. The only thing he's good at is singing in the church choir and topping up the holy water in the baptismal font. ”
For the first time Pamela felt how important she was to him. There was no question of whether she wanted to work for him, it was a cry for help from her otherwise sovereign uncle. Even as they hoisted the sails to sail around and back again, she knew she would do anything not to disappoint her uncle. He should be as proud of her as if she were his daughter ...
The freshening wind tore Pamela from her memories. A grayish morning with dark snow clouds covered the sky over Vancouver and heralded a wet and cold late autumn day. With a bitter smile, Pamela wrapped her thin dressing gown tighter around her.
Yes, she had made a first-class profile. She learned the dirty business of the syndicate from scratch, so that today she was Ernesto Canetti's right-hand man. In insider circles, they are only called the red viper. Beautifully shimmering, yet just as cold and calculating as a dangerous venomous snake.
There have been times when Pamela was proud of that nickname. But since John this had suddenly got a negative aftertaste. Long withered sensations had slowly begun to germinate again in her, which made her feel young and alive. But John didn't have to be anything but a job for Pamela to do. There would have been no place for feelings.