(Intermittent Waves Recorded From The Heart Of A Transformed Woman)




All of a sudden, Rachel moved toward Hal. All he could think was, "OH NO!" He wondered if sweat was pouring down his head and from under his arms. If it was, Natalie Tiledeler didn't seem to mind.


"Mr. Siegfried, I'm Rachel Montgomery with The Daily. Is it true that you saved Tanya Yanovich and her nurse from the same fate as Miriam Barrett? Some people are saying that you're a hero."


Natalie Tiledeler squealed, "Oh, my! My own personal hero!"


Hal wanted to shrink out of his suit into the size of a tiny ant. Then, again, he probably would be stomped to death by Rachel.


Following Rachel's lead, most of the media crowd had flocked over to Hal. Hal looked at Derek Graves, who was giving him a dirty look, angry for having the spotlight stolen away from him, while he was campaigning at his cousin's funeral. The two men icily glaring from behind him were probably his other cousins, Miriam's sons.


Looking into Rachel's eyes, Hal gave a short statement to the press.


"Yes, my name is Hal Siegfried and this is Natalie Tiledeler, whom I just met today at the funeral and who appears to have taken a liking to me.



Natalie Tiledeler, hugged and kissed Hal's arm, beaming and smiling at having her name mentioned to the press by Hal.


It was all Rachel could do to keep her composure and continue behaving as a professional journalist. She wanted to believe Hal, who had this school-aged girl hanging on his arm, but, she had found out so many incredibly hard to believe things about him, recently, that there was doubt in her mind.



"I'm no hero. I just worked for Mrs. Barrett and was at the hospital on the night that she and Arturo Pallares were murdered. I was on a phone call with... someone...uh...when Mrs. Yanovich's monitor alarm went off in her room. I was the only one there to help because her nurse had been drugged. I couldn't find the security guard or Mrs. Barrett. The elevator wasn't working and I didn't know who to trust, but, I knew I had to act fast, so, I got an oxygen tank to help Mrs. Yanovich breathe, carried her nurse into her room and called the police. That's all. Simple as that."


Rachel, being the good reporter that she was, asked another key question. Hal knew how smart she was. He'd watched her track a story like a bloodhound. Knowing Rachel, the scent she was following was the smell of money.


"What were you doing staying at the hospital with Mrs. Barrett and Mrs. Yanovich and how did you come to be named to run Mrs. Barrett's businesses?"


Rachel was one of the best reporters in the city. Hal knew it wouldn't take her long to gather some information on what was going on in his life. Yet, he wasn't ready to answer those questions, not just yet. It wasn't safe for him or her. He looked into her eyes wishing he could communicate his thoughts and his feelings. He could deal with the other reporters, but, he hated to disappoint Rachel. 


"As I said, I worked for Mrs. Barrett and Mrs. Yanovich."


He was about to say something else, but, as the line was moving, his bodyguards, whisked him away toward the church doors and asked the reporters to leave. Happily, they went back to hounding Derek Graves.


When they finally reached the entrance, where Derek Graves had positioned himself and his cousins as the bereaved family, Hal was prepared to put his hand out to shake and introduce himself. However, introductions were not needed. Derek Graves greeted him with a smirk on his face and much to the amusement of his cousins, made an attempt at being sarcastic and intimidating.


"So, this is the great, Hal Siegfried, the prize winning reporter from the Daily? Oh, I'm sorry, I'm thinking of someone else. You haven't won any prizes have you, Mr. Siegfried, unless you want to count the prize you'll win for swindling little old ladies out of their money?"


Laughing and feeling emboldened, one of his cousins joined in, provoking the laughter of the surrounding Graves family members.


"Yeah, tell him to enjoy the money while he can, because, it will soon be back in the hands of family. We'll see you in court, BOY!"


Surprisingly, Natalie Tiledeler came to his defense.


"If that isn't just like you maggot Graves. --Always threatening to sue somebody and take them to court. You never win and you never learn, just like your maggot great-grandfather, Willard Graves, who screwed up this country. 


Come on, Hal, we don't want to be around THE DEPLORABLES. Their disgusting, despicable behavior might be contagious."


"You ought to know, little Miss Tiledeler. Your father was a cradle robber."


"Well, I guess my father and Willard Graves had something in common then, pervert."


Hal was speechless. He didn't know what or who had shocked him the most, Derek Graves and Miriam's son, or Natalie Tiledeler. He turned to go into the church, when Derek Graves grabbed his hand to shake, squeezing it extremely tight, and drawing him close to whisper in his ear. Hal tried not to give in to the pain. 


"I heard you're writing a book about our family. Be careful, it would be a shame if you didn't finish it."


Hal jerked away from Derek and stared directly into his eyes. Clinching his teeth and fists, he stood there defiantly, while the other Graves laughed. Natalie had been pulling at him and one of the agents had been telling him to move along, but, his blood was boiling and he had tuned out the world. He would have remained standing there until he exploded, if Martin and Vince hadn't been there to pull him away.


As he resisted the two men, it suddenly dawned on him. If Rachel was following the money, would she cross paths with Derek Graves? He'd have to make a decision as to what to do about Rachel and what to tell her, soon. Steve and Jake needed to be informed about their potential danger, also. He had no doubt that they were up to the task, but, did they and their Marine friends sign on to go back into the heat of battle? Meanwhile, he'd have to talk to Auntie Tanya about letting loose the "dogs of war."




Published by Mishael T