Balance of Power, 55

"...cover my eyes. I was just about to come out of the bathroom when I heard all the noise," Sabrina recounted softly. She gave her uncle a tremulous smile. "I knew that it had to be you."

Sonny grunted. "You alright?"

That, Sabrina guessed, was his way of asking if her kidnappers had done more than just hold her hostage. She immediately thought of her captor's seemingly constant need to touch her. In light of the fact that she had just survived a kidnaping, Sabrina did not think it was worth mentioning. "I am fine," she nodded. "And grateful that you came for me." They rode in silence for several miles. "I hope," Sabrina broke the silence, "that no one was hurt rescuing me. I mean, are all your people okay'"

Sonny turned and looked at her. His face was set in the unyielding stare that Sabrina knew signified his desire for her to take his next words to heart. "Don't ask about things you don't need to know."

"Don't I need to know who did this? Shouldn't I know what they look like?"

"No. All you need to know is what I tell you. You'll be less dangerous to the family that way."

"Fine." Sabrina watched the scenery go by. For a moment she thought about inquiring into their destination but shrugged off the impulse. She wasn't overly concerned about where they were headed. Wherever it was, she would be safe as long as Sonny was there.

Before long they turned off the travel-worn dirt road onto a tiny side road that was just barely wide enough to accommodate the car. Sabrina tensed when she spied an imposing black vehicle blocking their path. "That's our people," Sabrina heard her uncle say. "You can let go."

Confused, Sabrina tore her gaze away from the other car. A quick glance down made sense of Sonny's terse command. The entire set-up reminded Sabrina of her kidnaping, and in her fright she'd instinctively clutched Sonny's forearm. Reluctantly she complied.

"Come on." Sonny climbed out and strode to the other car. He didn't wait to see if Sabrina followed. "Tom is waiting." 'Tom is waiting' meant that it was not Michael Corleone in the other car. Her father automatically became the focus of Tom or Sonny's attention whenever - and wherever - he was present.

Sabrina slid into the back seat of the second car. Tom Hagen sat stoically inside. He gave Sabrina a brusque nod then proceeded to ignore her while he engaged in casual discussion with Sonny. "Are you taking me to the airport?" Sabrina guessed.

Tom addressed her directly for the first time since their arrival. "We are all going to the airport," he supplied. "Mike is waiting for us back in New York."


Balance of Power, 56

“Shut your eyes and don't open them until I tell you.”

Those were the only words uttered by Santino Corleone until they were safely away from her kidnappers. Sabrina held on to her uncle's hand for dear life and allowed him to lead her swiftly to safety. Despite what she'd endured the past few days, despite her knowledge of the danger her father's lifestyle attracted, despite the fact that she was a stranger in a strange land, Sabrina was not tempted once to open her eyes. It was funny how absolute trust in someone made the most frightening of circumstances seem not so scary.

The only things Sabrina could honestly say she heard were their footsteps and the pounding of her heart in her ears. Were her kidnappers so inept that they had been easily subdued? Or were her father's people so deadly efficient that the kidnappers hadn't stood any chance? What did it say about her that either way, she did not care?

They seemed to travel forever. The further away from her captors they moved, the more eerily silent it grew all around her. Sabrina stumbled just a bit over some unseen thing in her path. Sonny tightened his grip on her hand and prevented her fall. “Thank you,” Sabrina murmured into the silence. And got a terse grunt in return. That, Sabrina acknowledged, was the nature of the interaction between them.

“Here,” Sonny gently pushed down her head. “Get in the car.” Sabrina awkwardly climbed inside. She fell heavily onto what felt like the back seat of a vehicle similar to the one she'd been taken from days ago. Quickly she slid left, making room for her uncle to climb into the car beside her.

From the darkness, a hand reached out and began to touch her far too familiarly.


Disoriented, Sabrina's eyes flew open. Sonny Corleone crouched awkwardly beside the bench-like seat where she lay curled. Just hearing Sonny's gruff voice tamed the racing panic that had hold of her heart. "You were tossing around," he explained.

Sabrina slowly sat up. Her eyes traveled about the cabin of the private jet. At the other end, Tom Hagen watched her with impassive eyes. "Uncle Sonny, where are we going?" Sabrina softly asked.

"What? Did they hit you on the head or something? We're going to New York. " He tilted his head to one side. "Tom told you that already."

"No. I know that. I mean…" Sabrina's voice trailed off. "I mean, when we get to New York, will I still be with you?" Her eyes were focused on the floor between them, as though she could not chance meeting his gaze while he answered.

Sonny pushed himself up into a standing position. "We're all gonna be at the compound in New York, if that's what you're asking. You have somewhere else you wanna be?"

"No," Sabrina replied, truthfully. Her kidnapping had changed where she now stood on certain matters. "Being with you is what I want."