Title: “Day Per Inch”
Rating: NC – 17 (explicit sex, language)
Pairing: Ricardo (OMC)/Elaine (OFC)
Summary: Ricardo comes back home after one of his ‘jobs’.
Disclaimer: Hanna is all mine. I would like to claim Ricardo all for myself but I know that’s not true because I share him with Elaine. And Elaine is not mine, but she let me play with her a little. Heehee.
Feedback: Always, as long as it’s your honest opinion. You already know I’m a review whore, so go ahead.
Author’s note: because “Lies” is being written from Dom’s POV there’s no way to have a chance to read about Ricardo/Elaine relationship. I know for sure you love that couple and I have to agree with that line ‘a match made in heaven’. So here you have it. I really hope you like it.
Thank you very much to my ‘on line’ sister and beta, evilgrin, for the wonderful title.
::D A Y P E R I N C H::
More than anything in this world
I just want you to be my woman
More than anything in this world
I wanna be your man
I’d walk through fire
Stand in the rain
I’ll go to hell and back
On a plane
I’d scale the mountains
Swim the seas
I beg for mercy
Down on my knees
Ricardo switched off the engine of his Harley, sighing hard and took off his helmet in slow motion. Then he lifted his head, staring at his home. Elena.
He had named the house after his wife because that woman had been his home since the very first second he laid his dark, cold eyes on her. And today, after a little more than ten years of marriage, he still felt the same way.
Ricardo grinned a little, thinking about how his wife, Elaine, Elena had been able to read him like a damn open book from minute one. Being able to see him, really see him for who he was and not for what he did.
He would have never said it aloud, not even to her, but he wanted Elaine with him, in his life, in his bed, forever, and he had wanted her ten seconds later after he heard her voice.
His grin grew wide, recalling how he had laid out in the open what he did for a living, expecting for her to storm out of the bar, scared, terrified, disgusted. If she was going to run from his side, she might as well do it before he wouldn’t be able to let her go.
“Is it now when I should get out of here, running away, scared to death?”
“It happened with other women, Elena.”
“I’m not other women, Richard.”
Ricardo shook his head, returning to the present moment and found himself grinning from ear to ear. He had only let in one woman, his kid sister, Hanna, until that night, until Elaine, Elena.
Hanna was his angel, Elaine was his anchor. Hanna was his weakness, Elaine his strength. Two sides of the same whole, providing sense to his life. An empty life until he crossed paths with Hanna, an uncompleted life until he found Elaine.
His memories were full of juvenile detention centers and foster homes and before that the scary, dangerous streets of Sinaloa.
Crossing the border to the US, the Promised Land, the land of opportunities. The grass was always greener at the other side of the fence.
At night with a bunch of kids like him. Not all of them made it though. But he did. And sixteen year old Ricardo Montenegro found himself living on the other side of the mirror, more of the same shit he had known since he was eight years old. More of the same fucked up life without hopes or dreams, until he slipped into Hanna’s house, searching for something, anything to steal.
He had been watching the place for several days, and he knew that the fucker who lived there was almost always out, getting drunk or high, wasting his money on whores and poker games. Then he saw the girl, maybe around fourteen years old. She had been skipping school lately and he figured out why. Her fading bruises and the way she walked gave her away.
Ricardo was a big kid, bigger than other kids his same age. He was already scary at the age of sixteen because life had taught him that was the only way to see another daylight. It couldn’t be easier to get into the house because the skinny girl wasn’t going to face him that was for sure. He wasn’t going to hurt her but he wasn’t going to leave the chance to get something valuable either.
So Ricardo slipped into the house and found her doing her homework, sitting in the kitchen, alone. It was her eyes that got him, her gaze actually. She was scared to death but she still smiled at him, a real smile. Not a grin, not a smirk, but a sweet, real smile that caught his breath in his chest and almost brought him to his knees then and there.
And then, when she offered a sandwich and even clean clothes and a shower, he just knew. Ricardo, Richie, knew his fate had been linked to that skinny little girl. And that was that and there was no other way around.
And he kept coming, more and more often, always at night to help her with her homework and to talk with her, until he ended up going to see her every day. And then one night that fucker, her father, caught them together, sitting in the kitchen, doing homework and eating sandwiches, and the shit hit the fan. Ricardo stood up to that sick bastard and… everything else was just a blurry vision after so many years.
Ricardo took Hanna, ran away from that place, and made a promise to himself, a promise he kept and fulfilled as soon as he was eighteen years old. He had no other choice but to wait to make sure he would be sent to prison and then he killed that fucker.
Then everything changed. He was about to finish his sentence when a guy showed up, offering him a deal. Ricardo was damn good with Math and computers; in fact he was fucking good, truly skilled. The guy offered him a way out and Ricardo took it because it would mean that he would be out of Lompoc before his due time.
The first ‘job’ came and he did it, and then another and another and another and before he knew it, Richie became Ricardo Montenegro, a ‘freelance’ assassin working for the NSA. And one night he took a ‘job’ on the upper side of LA. Some rich motherfucker involved in smuggling girls from South America, minors actually, to be sold as prostitutes all over the US.
Ricardo did his job and entered the first bar he found on his way and he saw her. And just like with Hanna, that waitress smiled at him, a real smile and without asking, she placed a shot of Jack Daniels in front of him, and that was that. His fate was sealed for the second time in his life, but on this occasion to Elaine, to Elena.
Ricardo sighed hard and slowly he climbed off the Harley, wincing slightly at the sharp burn in his left blade shoulder. A lucky stab some fucker got in the fraction of a second when Ricardo lost his concentration. It wasn’t that bad but it was two inches.
He cursed silently. Two inches, two days. Coño… Ricardo growled. The fucking deal was coming back to kick him straight in his balls.
Taking a deep breath, Ricardo walked right to the front door, and opening it, he entered, closing the door at his back. He was back home, with his wife and now he only had to deal with Elena Montenegro, a very pissed off Elena actually.
“Coño.” Ricardo whispered under his breath and sighing hard, he padded to the bedroom.
He was going to need all his charm to face his wife along with a set of balls because he desperately needed her and he knew she wasn’t going to give in that easily.
Elaine’s eyes snapped open as soon as she heard the Harley’s engine switched off and she sighed hard, closing her eyes. She didn’t believe in God, but silently, Elaine gave thanks to whatever force had made it possible to bring her husband back home, alive.
Slowly she took a deep breath, swallowing the lump in her throat back down and letting out the air in a shaky exhale.
She wasn’t going to cry, not now when he was about to cross that door. She would do it later, once he was already asleep. She would cry her eyes out, silently, under the stream of hot water, as on countless occasions before.
It was so hard; so damn hard to sleep at night alone, in a cold bed, knowing that the only man she had loved with everything in her, her man, her husband, Richard, was in some forsaken place, risking his life, feeling even more alone than she felt. But it was even harder to pretend that everything was okay.
Each time he left, Elaine died a little more inside and her heart broke a little more. Her life reduced to a dying endless wait, glued to a cell phone, hoping to hear it ringing and fearing it at the same time.
Pretending in front of Alejandro and Marcos, their two kids, that everything was fine. Daddy was working and he would be back in a few days; a business trip nothing more and nothing less. Cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, playing and going out. But also making sure they weren’t in the house when he came back home, if he had been injured that is.
Elaine shut her eyes tightly, cursing silently. She was not going to cry, not now, not yet. He was back home and that was what mattered. Nothing else mattered right now.
Elaine pushed back the tears because she knew he could smell the salty essence and it would tear him apart to be aware of the fact that she had been crying. For him, because of him.
She would never do that to him, ever.
Elaine Montenegro was well known for acting like a cold bitch since she was a little girl. Back then she was just Elaine, no surname, even though there was a time when she was Elaine Connor.
Running away from an alcoholic father, a depressive mother and a violent environment. Growing up on the streets because even though there was a house to go back to, it was never a home. All her possessions limited to just a pair of wore out jeans, second hand slippers and a t-shirt, occasionally a jacket.
Snuggling up to other street kids under cardboard boxes and old newspapers, searching for some warmth, hoping not to be raped or killed by some sick fucker during her restless sleep. Waiting, crouched behind some trash bins at the back door of a restaurant to get in a fight with other kids trying to grab something edible to bring to her mouth. All pride gone after endless days of walking around with an empty stomach.
If it was tough for boys, it was tougher for girls. Living on the streets wasn’t a joke and not all kids she had met had found a way out. There was a time when Elaine was sure she would never live to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. And to grow up assuming that fact as a reality had toughened her, a lot.
Then, one day, out of the blue, she ran into a recruitment office and she entered, asking for information. Next thing she knew she was training with US marines, becoming a skilled spec. ops. Five years later Elaine was fed up with all that shit and the ‘missions’ she found herself involved in. So she quit and found a job as a waitress on the upper side of LA. What a damn joke!
One day she was blowing into a million pieces some drug lab in South America, the next day she was serving exotic cocktails to rich fuckers. What a fucked up world!
Ricardo came to a stop, leaning his right shoulder against the doorframe, watching his wife.
Elaine was lying on the bed, wearing one of his t-shirts and panties. The room softly glowing with the light of a few candles, one of them right in front the window. Just like Hanna used to do, showing him the way back home.
He breathed deeply, closing his eyes and lost himself in her essence, feeling his cock twitching inside his jeans. A sweet mix of tasty spices, hot and spicy that was so Elaine. Then his brows burrowed slightly. Salt?
He frowned deeply as soon as the salty smell assaulted his nostrils without warning, tears. Coño…A low growl escaped his lips as he let out a heavy sigh.
As soon as Elaine heard him growling she shut her eyes, cursing herself silently. Damnit! Then she swallowed hard.
“It’s still bleeding.”
Ricardo’s eyes snapped open at the sound of her voice. He had forgotten that Elaine’s sense of smell was as trained as his own.
“Just a lucky shot, mami.” He whispered thickly, feeling his throat closing. His heart breaking, knowing that she had been crying.
“This time…” Elaine sighed, closing her eyes.
“This time.” He echoed and slowly he entered the bedroom, closing the door at his back.
Without saying another word, Ricardo took off his black leather jacket, hissing in pain as soon as his back muscles tensed and padded towards the bathroom, cursing under his breath.
Elaine frowned, sitting on the mattress, but she couldn’t stop a tiny grin from tugging at the corner of her lips, hearing him muttering obscenities on his way to the bathroom.
Ricardo had such a mouth there when he knew he was going to have to work his ass off to get her. And that meant he was going to have to drop his guard completely, showing his deepest fears to his wife. Not that he hadn’t done it before on countless occasions but Elaine knew full well that he always had a hard time.
Her grin turned wicked. She would end up surrendering to him, but not before she made him beg for it.
Elaine knew it was unfair because he had no other choice, those fuckers from the NSA had him by his balls. It was that or prison. And not any prison but the United States Disciplinary Barracks aka Leavenworth aka ‘The Castle’ waiting for a lethal injection as a punishment for his many ‘jobs’.
Slowly, Elaine climbed out of the bed, all trace of a grin wiped away from her lips and padded to the bathroom, stopping at the doorframe.
Ricardo pulled off his black t-shirt and froze, lifting his head and their gazes met through their reflections in the big mirror over the counter.
Elaine narrowed her eyes for a brief second, staring at his dark brown eyes, hard eyes, tired eyes, sad eyes, and her heart skipped a beat.
As if in slow motion her gaze slid down his subtly aquiline nose, flared nostrils, parted lips.
Her breath faltered for a second as his tongue slid through his mouth, wetting the bottom lip and Elaine cursed silently when she felt herself growing wet.
Forcing back her sudden need, Elaine dropped her gaze down his toned chest rising and falling in time with even breaths. Staring for a couple of seconds at that small patch of curly soft black hair spread across golden skin in the valley of his pecs.
Elaine’s eyes lowered, following the trail of soft hair drawing a narrow thin line making its way through old scars down his belly, past his flat stomach, down his narrow waist and the vee of his hips.
He still had a chance.
Elaine’s gaze turned cold as she resumed her path, staring at his lower back and the soft curve of his buttocks. Then she frowned slightly, following the narrow scar that crossed his lower back from side to side.
Her gaze turned colder when she silently counted the scars marring the skin of his back.
Twelve electrical burns and eight scars, different sizes and shapes, each and every one of them telling the horrible reality Ricardo faced each day.
Her vision blurred as she slid her gaze over the twenty-seven lashes scarring his back in all directions. Elaine blinked once and one silent tear fell unnoticed down her cheek.
“Don’t.” Ricardo growled, narrowing his eyes and turned around to face her. “Leave the past behind, Elena.” He whispered, staring at the lonely tear sliding down his wife’s cheek.
Elaine’s jaw clenched hard as she met his gaze.
“The bandage is drenched in blood. I’m gonna change it.” She said coldly and moved past him to open the doors of the small cabinet under the counter.
Ricardo tightened his jaw and moved fast, standing in her path.
“Elena…” he whispered huskily as slowly he lifted a hand, stroking the outside of her arm.
Elaine shut her eyes for a second, cursing.
“Move…” She breathed, swallowing hard.
Ricardo didn’t oblige but kept softly stroking her arm up and down as his other hand slid to her waist, squeezing it gently.
“Richard…please move…the cut is bleeding.” Elaine sighed.
“Fuck the cut.” He whispered as the hand that had been stroking her arm slid down, taking her hand, interlacing their fingers. Ricardo groaned when she squeezed his hand.
“I need you, Elena.”
“You know the deal.” Elaine whispered, looking down at their hands. “Two inches, two days.”
“Fuck the deal, mami.” He replied causing Elaine’s head to snap up, meeting his eyes. “It has been eight days, Elena.” Ricardo paused for a second and leaned his head forward, resting his forehead against hers. “Eight fucking days with their eight fucking nights, mami.”
Elaine closed her eyes, sighing hard. “Two more days are not going to kill you.”
“I’m already dead, Elena.” Ricardo licked his lips and the hand grabbing her waist slid down her butt, tracing circles. “Bring me to life, mami.” He whispered, softly squeezing her butt. “Touch me, Elena, make me feel alive again.”
Elaine bit her lip hard; preventing a moan from escaping her mouth as she fought back fresh tears.
His lips a breath away of her lips.
“Please, mami, let me in again.” He whispered, his voice thick, his hot breath caressing her lips. “Please…don’t shut me out; don’t leave me out in the cold…not tonight…”