Big dark guy has been talking with his wife on the phone and for the last ten minutes they have been going back and forth over that deal they have regarding his scars and sex.
At first I felt weird, hearing his conversation with his wife, but I have to say that it also feels good, knowing someone like Ricardo trusts me that much. I know for sure he doesn’t take lightly words like ‘friendship’ and ‘trust’, so I must say I feel honored.
I suspect Ricardo is not used to having friends, and if my suspicions regarding his ‘job’ are right, I guess it might be considered like a sign of weakness, not to mention the fact that sure as hell he wouldn’t survive this long if he would have been walking around, trusting people just like that. However and in spite of the fact that big dark guy is not used to having friends and he seems to feel slightly out of his element, he’s trying here.
I figure Ricardo already realized that I’m not going to hurt Hanna and that I love her with all my heart and soul. But apart from that, we have gone through enough serious shit together and it’s not like I didn’t show him I was worthy of his trust. He even moved backward, letting me deal with Hanna alone, only stepping in the middle when things started to get out of hand.
Ricardo knows I’m not as experienced as himself, but he trusts my judgment concerning Hanna and I have to give thanks for that fact because I wouldn’t be able to do it if I had to be worried about his retaliations at every step I took.
Fuck! Ricardo has seen me crying and he hasn’t said shit about it. Actually he acted like it never happened and I know for sure any other guy would have made a smartass comment once we were back, enjoying a little peace.
I already realized Ricardo is not any guy however; he’s one of a kind and that’s the reason why he’s a few meters from me, dealing with his wife, not caring too much if I can hear what he’s saying. I guess he’s expecting the same treatment he gave me, regarding women and feelings. And I’m not going to fuck up now.
I frown slightly, watching him. I bet Elaine is giving him a hard time and I don’t think she’s an easy woman to deal with. Hell! I have the strong suspicion she has more balls than her husband. At the end Elaine was the first one to have contact with Reynaldo’s organization, introducing Hanna to the Cuban.
Ricardo told me that Elaine was the one to show Hanna how to dance and a couple of useful trick with her hips so she could catch Rey’s attention amongst all the other chicks who were applying to be one of his exclusive exotic dancers.
Damn! Big dark guy should have kept that last damn comment to himself because just thinking about Hanna’s hips is causing my dick to stir, and even though my little friend is not going to have action any time soon; the fucker is still begging shyly for attention. Fuck! The last thing I need now is to scratch my brains trying to figure out which trick Elaine taught Hanna.
However and in spite of the fact that I respect Ricardo and that I’m pretending I’m not listening to him; secretly I’m enjoying it endlessly. I know I shouldn’t be paying attention to his words but it’s too damn funny to pass it up.
Ricardo Montenegro may be a scary fucker and sure as hell he’s cold and tough, but regarding Elaine he can’t help it but he acts like a pussy. Not that I’m making fun of him because I already know I’m also a damn pussy. Oh hell, let those who never sinned throw the first stone.
“Oh, come on, Elena, you gotta be kidding.” Ricardo groans as he blows the smoke of his cigarette through his nose. “Its four inches, woman. Four damn inches. I’m already going cold turkey, sexy.” He whispers, sighing hard.
I rub the piece of blue chalk to the edge of the cue, blowing away the excess of dust left, but at his last words a vision of Elaine dancing pops inside my mind without warning and I find myself shaking my head, forcing it out. Fuck! I don’t dare to think what Ricardo might be able to do to me if he knows I was thinking about Elaine swinging her hips while dancing.
Damn, I love Hanna with all my heart and soul but last time I checked I was still a man with hot blood running through my veins and I swear those full moons are difficult to forget.
Shit! Get a grip, Dominic, you have more serious shit to think about it and none of them are linked with Elaine’s sexy as hell body, asshole.
I glance at Ricardo from the corner of my eye and he’s wincing, rubbing his forehead, hearing whatever she’s saying.
“You know you’re killing me, right?” Ricardo growls as he shut his eyes, taking a deep puff of his cigarette. “Well, we’re going to have to discuss the damn deal, Elena. Death by hard on is not an option, mami.” Ricardo chuckles as he laughs out loud, blowing the smoke.
I can’t help it and I chuckle silently. Yeah, I don’t know about her, man, but I do know what you’re talking about. I’ve been helping Hanna to shower for the last two days and I’m starting to wonder if a man can actually die from a hard on. Shit, shit, shit. I need to get a fucking grip like right now.
Visions of Hanna’s naked body are popping within my brain mercilessly and silently, I’m enjoying them as much as I can. Damn! This morning was pure torture. I can’t help it and a huge grin spreads on my lips as I put the billiard balls inside the triangle, recalling Hanna’s words.
She told me she knew how watching her naked was affecting me. Before I even registered my words, I was replying I had spent a year locked in Lompoc and that there weren’t women around, adding I had two hands to jerk myself off with.
Hanna gasped loudly, hearing me and I cringed as soon as I realized what I had said. Then she started to shake and I thought she was crying. But to my own surprise, Hanna burst out laughing hysterically, replying between giggles she always had known I was a jerk off. I laughed hard with her and then she threw me her towel, saying as soon as I was done, helping her get dressed, the shower was all mine.
“Hey, Toretto!” Ricardo calls me, pulling me out of my own little world. “Here’s a young lady who wants to say hello to you.” I blink, frowning lightly and turning around I look at him. “Don’t worry, this is a secure line. It can’t be traced.” He adds, passing me his cell phone. I knit a brow as I take it.
“Hi.” I say, frowning deeply.
“Dom!” Mia’s voice squeals at the other side of the line. “Oh, my God! You had me worried as hell, Damnit!” My heart jumps inside my chest as soon as I hear her voice. Damn! I miss her a lot.
“How are you, baby?” I ask, grinning like a loony. Mia laughs as she sniffs softly. I don’t need to see her, I know she’s crying. “Don’t cry, Mia. I’m okay and I’ll be with you soon.”
“Who says I’m crying, dork?” Mia replies, giggling as she clears her throat. Damn, I had forgotten that she’s damn stubborn. Mia would rather let someone skin her alive than admit that fact. I laugh with her and then I swallow hard against that invisible knot.
“Where are you, Mia?” I ask, leaning against the billiard table.
“I’m with Elaine in Tijuana. Actually in Rosarito. They have a house at the beach.” I grin at hearing her. Mia always loved the beach and she was always saying we should move as soon as I was out of Lompoc. “We’re here with the kids, Dom. You’re going to love them. Alejandro and Marcos are constantly messing around but they are funny as hell. Elaine says they are like their dad.” I roll my eyes, hearing those last words.
Big dark guy might be funny but sure as hell he’s not that funny. However I have to agree with Mia, their dad is constantly messing around. I chuckle at my own thoughts. I’m so damn happy, knowing she’s fine and she’s having a good time.
“I can’t wait to see you, Mia. I miss you a lot, baby.” I say, still grinning. Mia giggles and then she goes serious in a heartbeat.
“How is Hanna?” She asks shyly. I figure Elaine had been sharing with Mia the Intel she had about us. I’m glad she did because otherwise I know I wouldn’t be able to tell her myself.
“She’ll be fine soon, Mia. Hanna only needs time to heal.” I clear my throat, frowning lightly. I know Mia must be worried as hell about Hanna too. “I’m gonna make sure of that, Mia. Hanna won’t be alone anymore.” I answer putting as much reassurance as I can in my words.
“Ok, who are you and what you did with Dom, the bragging asshole?” Mia teases me, pretending to sound serious and failing miserably. I laugh quietly.
Mia knows me better than I suspect and she already realizes I’m not sounding like myself. I know I’m not the guy I used to be anymore and Mia knows it.
“You’re right, Mia. He was a damn asshole and I’m not going to miss him.” I reply, grinning. Mia laughs softly at my words.
“I’m not going to miss him either, Dom. Actually I’m glad you got rid off him.” She states and all of sudden her voice sounds as serious as a heart attack. “I always knew you never stopped loving her even if you kept telling yourself that it wasn’t true.” Mia says, sighing softly. “Hanna is where she belongs now and I’m sure you will take care of her, Dom. You will make her happy again.” She adds and I can feel the smile in her voice.
“You were always damn wise, Mia.” I tease her, chuckling. “Tell me again who the mature one of us is.” I add, grinning. Mia laughs heartily at that.
“I am, little bro, but you already knew that, huh Mr. Toretto?” Mia teases me as she keeps laughing making me laugh with her. “Oh! Guess what?” she asks all of sudden and I can feel her excitement.
“What?” I ask, narrowing my eyes in suspicion.
“You wouldn’t believe the surprise that’s waiting for you when you get here, Dom. You’re going to flip, bro, I tell you.” Mia’s voice is almost singing. Damn that girl is able to revive a stone with her energy, I swear.
“What is it, Mia? Are you going to tell me or do I gotta figure out?” I tease her, frowning deeply.
“What?!” I ask, getting to my feet as my eyes open wide. Mia laughs hard.
“You heard me, Dom. Hanna sent dad’s car to Tijuana. In fact when I arrived the Dodge was already here.”
Damn! I can’t believe it! Holy shit! Hanna is something else, I swear. My heart was already beating fast but now it’s racing inside my chest. Damn, damn, damn. My mind is racing and my eyes are about to jump out of my face. I turn my head and Ricardo is laughing out loud, watching me. I bet I look like a little kid on Christmas day. Jesus! I could bounce up and down right now. Damn! I already loved Hanna but damn! I don’t know what to say. I’m not gonna live enough time to thank her for all the things Hanna has done for me.
“Of course it’s totaled but I know if someone is able to fix it, that’s you, Dom.” Mia’s voice pulls me back to reality. “I gotta go now, but I wanted to tell you that I love you and I miss you a lot, Dom.” I grin, hearing her. Mia is the best sister anyone might wish to have.
“I miss you too, sis. I love you, baby.” I say, blinking my all of sudden blurry vision. “Mia?” I whisper, swallowing hard.
“Yeah?” She answers.
“Thank you, Mia.” I say, sniffing softly.
“Oh, shit! Are you crying, macho man?” Mia teases me, laughing. I chuckle at her words, clearing my throat.
“Who says I’m crying, missy?” I retort, swallowing hard. “Just wait until I get you, Mia. I’m gonna show you to respect your older brother, kiddo.” I tease, pretending to sound annoyed. In response, Mia laughs hard.
“Yeah, you and who else, huh?” She replies, still laughing. I grin like a loony and Ricardo shakes his head, rolling his eyes.
“I love you, Mia.” Mia giggles.
“I love you, Dom. Take care, honey. I’ll see you soon.” And with that she hangs up the phone.
I sigh hard, frowning slightly and then I look at Ricardo.
“Did you know about my dad’s car?” I ask him, narrowing my eyes as I hand him his cell phone. In response, Ricardo grins widely, winking as he puts it inside his cargo pants and turns around, grabbing a cue. I roll my eyes, shaking my head. “I don’t even know why I bother, man. You’re full of secrets, Ricardo.” I say, grabbing my cue. He chuckles, grinning.
“And you just realized that now?” he replies, pointing at the white ball, opening the game with an accurate blow, spreading the billiard balls all over the pool table.
“Fuck you.” I whisper, frowning deeply as I watch how one of the balls goes directly to the pocket. Ricardo laughs hard as he circles the table, bending his torso, pointing at another ball.
“I would say later, but I suspect we’re far from that point, Dom.” He jokes, striking a new blow, sending the ball to the cushion. I circle the pool table, thinking about which ball I’m going to beat.
“You tell me, man. At least you’re going to see your wife in a couple of days.” I say, pointing the cue, blowing a beat, sending it directly to the pocket. “Elaine will forgive you as soon as she has you back. You’ll see.” I tease him, narrowing my eyes as I bend my torso, checking the distance between two balls.
“Ha! No way, Dom. That woman is tougher than I thought and she’s not backing up an inch. I’ve been trained to face almost anything but those fuckers never thought about Elaine Montenegro.” Ricardo says, chuckling at his own words. “¡Coño! I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I agreed to that fucking deal. I think I was wasted or something.” He says, pulling out a cigarette, lighting it up. “I should have known it was going to come back, kicking my balls at some point.” He blows the smoke, grinning.
“What’s the deal, anyway?” I ask him, striking two balls at one time. Ricardo growls deeply as he keeps smoking.
“A day without sex per inch.” He sighs, grinning. “The larger the scar is, the more days I have to play five against one. Elaine says that way I’m going to make damn sure no one cuts me or shots me.” Ricardo elaborates, frowning deeply.
I can’t help it and before I realize I’m laughing hard, thinking about that norm. Shit! No wonder big dark guy was pleading her to re-think about their deal. Oh, Hell! It’s not like I’m going to have sex with Hanna anytime soon, but at least I’m not the only one fucked up right now.
“Fuck you, Toretto.” Ricardo growls, frowning deeply. Now is my time to reply.
“Later.” A heartbeat and both of us explode out loud laughing.
We are really fucked up if we’re able to make jokes about this shit considering our current situation. Fuck! We’re men and even though we’ve been under a lot of pressure the fact is that men think about sex 24/7. Or just because our current situation probably would be better to say the lack of sex.
We end our game and head off in search of Hanna. Last time I saw her she was in the library, sitting on a big plush armchair with her laptop on her crossed legs, completely absorbed, typing at the keyboard like a woman possessed. Ricardo told me Hanna was searching all the available Intel about ‘El Padrino’.
“She asked me again where the Cuban was, Dom.” Ricardo says as he takes a deep puff of his cigarette, blowing out the smoke.
“What did you tell her?” I reply, turning around, looking at him. Ricardo frowns slightly, putting his cigarette out, sighing hard.
“I told her I had to make a couple of phone calls to be sure where that fucker was. But…I don’t think she bought it.” Ricardo answers, grinning. “However, he changed all his phone numbers and Santos’s, and he even hired more bodyguards to protect the Italian as well.” He explains to me as we head downstairs to join Hanna.
“Those bastards are two of a kind.” I reply, frowning.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if those two are cuddled together right now.” Ricardo says, smirking. I chuckle at his words.
“I know the Cuban likes the two sides of the shore. I saw him fucking the shit out of that blonde kid and the little asshole was begging for more.” Ricardo laughs out loud at my words, shaking his head. “I thought that shit with the colour was too much of a coincidence.” I add, trying to dissolve the vision that has popped in my mind. “It figures.” I roll my eyes.
“Santos hates faggots with all his will.” Ricardo replies, grinning a devilish smile. I knit a brow, looking at him and Ricardo nods ‘yes’. “¡Coño! Wouldn’t it be fucking ironic if after all the shit we went through Santos guts Casamajor alive because the Cuban tried to fuck him?” Ricardo says, winking at me, as that predatory smile graces his lips. I laugh out loud
Fuck! That would be poetic justice.
Ricardo stops dead on his tracks, grabbing my forearm, stopping me as well. I frown lightly, looking at him as he wrinkles his nose.
“Tell me that smell is not a burned meal.” Ricardo growls, narrowing his eyes. In response, I inhale deeply, filling my lungs, cursing silently.
“I can tell you, but I’d be lying, man.” I reply, groaning as I screw up my face.
“Coño, damn girl…” Ricardo mutters as he keeps walking to the kitchen.
I follow him and when we enter the room we find Hanna setting the table for the three of us. She raises her head and clears her throat.
“I was bored so I made lunch.” Hanna says, smiling shyly, looking at me then she looks at Ricardo and back to me.
“Oh, shit.” I whisper under my breath, glancing down at the plate Hanna placed in front of me.
“Coño.” Ricardo coughs, covering his curse with the noise as he looks down as well.
Damn, we’re in deep shit.
I frown lightly, staring at what seems to be some kind of stew with weird potatoes and some orange colour stuff that I’d swear are carrots but sure as hell don’t looks like those. I glance at Ricardo from the corner of my eye and our gazes meet. Damn, I don’t need to hear his voice I can clearly hear his thoughts.
Damn! We’re so fucked up.
“Well?” Hanna asks, arching a brow as she takes a seat at the table, picking up her diet coke can. “I found a book with a lot of recipes and decided I could try and make something.” She says, sipping from her can. “I didn’t know there were so many spices. I used several of those little cans to enhance the flavor of the meal.” Hanna adds, tilting her head to one side, pointing the different cans that are spread all over the counter.
I make my best, pushing aside the vision in front of me. Last time I saw a mess like this I spent two hours cleaning it and back then the kitchen was half size of this one. Damn. I’m not cleaning again, that’s for damn sure. Back then I learnt my lesson well, so this time I’m keeping my mouth shut. No matter what, I’m not saying shit about Hanna’s cooking.
Ricardo narrows his eyes as he picks up his fork and starts digging through whatever stuff Hanna cooked.
I clear my throat as I pickup my Corona. “What is it, baby?” I ask, trying to sound casual as I take a long drag of my beer, cursing myself.
“Stew.” She states as a matter of fact. “But I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I used my imagination and mixed two different recipes.” She explains, her voice sounds as serious as a heart attack.
Ricardo snorts softly, shaking his head.
You did what?! I shut my eyes, gulping my beer before I end up spitting it all over myself. Fuck!
I look down at my plate one more time, wincing, trying to figure out what two damn recipes she mixed. Shit, shit, shit. Of all the moments, she had to choose this one to leave her imagination flying free, making experiments with meals? Damnit!
Ricardo is still digging with his fork and he whispers something under his breath in Spanish which a good translation would be ‘stew, my balls, girl’. He frowns deeply and I bet he’s working up the nerve to taste it. No wonder. Fuck! I need to buy us some time; we need to make up our minds so we’re ready for this. Damn!
“Dominic?” Hanna calls me and I lift my head, looking at her.
“Yeah, baby.” I answer, forcing a grin. She frowns slightly and clears her throat.
“How about you say grace?” She asks me shyly. My grin widens as I nod ‘yes’.
“Sure.” I reply and Ricardo leaves his fork, crossing his hands and I swear he seems to be thanking God for Hanna’s petition. Hanna smiles and I wink at her. “Okay.” I clear my throat as I take her hand in mine and she squeezes it gently making me grin like a loony, closing my eyes. “Dear Lord, give us the strength to face whatever is waiting for us in the future, never letting us weaken, blessing us with your endless goodness. Amen.” And please don’t let us fall sick after eating whatever crap Hanna’s imagination conjured. I add silently, chuckling at my own thoughts and then I open my eyes, looking at her.
“Amen.” Hanna whispers, smiling widely.
My heart skips a beat watching how her smile is reaching her eyes for the first time in days and a pang of guilt stabs my soul when I think about my last silent words. Damn! All of sudden Mia’s words about my dad’s car pop inside my mind and I can’t help but feel even worse. Shit!
“Amen.” Ricardo says and with that he takes a deep breath and picking his fork again, he grabs a mouthful of ‘stew’, bringing it to his mouth.
Damn! Big dark guy has balls, I swear. Oh, hell! I bet he has eaten worse things before. For instance maybe even bugs or some shit like that while lost in some jungle somewhere. Well, I’m not a special ops but I’m not gonna be less than him.
I look at Hanna and she’s waiting for me to taste what she cooked. She’s so damn beautiful it’s almost taking my breath away. Her eyes are sparkling with excitement, like a little girl waiting for approval. Aw, Hanna. It’s the first time in days she seems happy. I can do this and it’s not like I’ve eaten worse things in prison. Fuck it!
I grab my fork and without a second thought I mimic Ricardo. Not even a second has passed when I taste the meal. Fuck!! I froze with the mouthful inside my mouth, trying to work the nerve to swallow it. Damn, damn, damn. This shit tastes worst than anything I have eaten in all my fucking life. For fuck’s sake!!
I glance at Ricardo and his jaw is clenched so tightly his neck muscles are tensed almost painfully. We cross gazes in silence dialogue and I bet he’s counting silently to three. Yeah, big dark guy maybe ate bugs and insects at some point in the past, but I bet those taste better than this shit. At least there’s an operating room at the basement and complete medical equipment in case we end up intoxicated. Fuck it!
At once we gulp that crap; wincing and then we turn our attention back to Hanna.
She hasn’t touched her plate and she’s sipping from her diet of coke nonchalantly, watching us.
“Aren’t you going to eat?” I ask, narrowing my eyes in suspicion. Hanna makes herself comfortable on her chair and all of sudden a mischievous gaze is flashing in her eyes.
“This shit? Are you kidding?” She retorts, batting her lashes innocently. “I don’t wanna fall sick, thank you.” Hanna giggles, covering her mouth with her hands, stifling her laughter.
What the hell…?
Ricardo growls deeply as slowly he puts the fork down, staring at her. His eyes are sparkling with a murderous gaze. Fuck! I can’t blame him; I want to kill her myself.
“That will serve to both of you for all the shit you have been putting on me over the last days. Be glad I’m not making both of you eat the damn casserole.” Hanna says as she gets to her feet, padding toward the big oven. “You’ve been treating me like I’m stupid or something, avoiding my questions and I’m tired of that shit.” She adds as she pulls out a serving dish with lasagna, putting it onto the counter. “Now, if you want to eat something decent then you better start spilling where the hell Reynaldo is.” Hanna ends, turning around and leaning against the counter.
I narrow my eyes in suspicion. Where the hell that lasagna came from? I glance at Ricardo and he’s growling and his eyes are hardening in seconds.
“I’m waiting, guys.” Hanna says, crossing her arms over her chest, one foot tapping lightly onto the floor.
Damn, she’s beautiful even when she’s mad as hell.
“You didn’t cook that lasagna, princess, who brought it?” Ricardo asks as he gets to his feet, staring at Hanna.
Before Hanna answers, Ricardo spins around, facing the door of the kitchen, a shiv already in his hand. Damn! I swear I’m still wondering where the hell he puts those damn shivs. He might play magician perfectly in his free time.
“I did.” William replies from the doorframe, his hands up like he’s surrendering. I get to my feet as well, looking at William as he grins, shaking his head.
“Richie.” Hanna says as she walks to his side, stopping behind him. Ricardo tenses every muscle in his body.
“I told you I didn’t want you around her, Bill.” His voice sounds menacing and I frown deeply. This old fox doesn’t know who he is fucking with. “I thought you were smarter than this.” Ricardo whispers coldly. Hanna clears her throat, squeezing my shoulder and with that she grabs, Ricardo’s forearm.
“Please, Richie, I called him.” She says, stroking his arm up and down. Ricardo relaxes visibly and so I do. “I want to meet ‘El Padrino’.” Hanna adds softly as she forces Ricardo to look at her.
“You don’t need him for that.” He replies as he put the shiv away.
William clears his throat, catching our attention. “I have access to him, Ricky.” He says, frowning deeply. Ricardo snaps his head back, growling as he moves forward.
“So? That’s not gonna change anything, Bill.” Ricardo mutters, closing his hands in fists. “You may be able to fool her but don’t think for a second that you’re in our good grace.” He adds and with that he storms out of the kitchen, cursing loudly. Hanna sighs hard, shaking her head and turns to look at me.
I’m with Ricardo; just because William is able to make it possible for Hanna to meet her grandfather doesn’t change the fact that he lied to all of us, including her.
“Dominic, please…” she breathes. I stare at her eyes and slowly I lift my hand, stroking her cheek. Hanna tenses lightly but this time she doesn’t flinch.
“I’ll talk with him.” I say, frowning lightly. “Are you sure about this, Hanna?” Hanna closes her eyes for a second, nodding ‘yes’. “Okay.” I whisper, bending my head, kissing her forehead.
William grins as he moves forward, stopping when I raise my head, locking eyes with him.
“Son… I want to fix what I did, Dom. I’m not here to hurt Hanna or anyone else. I’m not expecting your confidence but at least, let me help if I can.” He says, holding my gaze.
I narrow my eyes, recalling the meaning of his words, holding his gaze, searching for signs that tell me he’s shitting with us. At this point I only trust Hanna and Ricardo. If I have learnt something lately is that you have to work your ass off to gain someone else’s trust, especially if we’re talking about a man like Ricardo Montenegro.
“I’ll talk with Ricardo, William, but don’t keep your expectations too high, old man. You fucked up big time and he’s not going to forget that easily.” And with that I leave them, going outside in search of Ricardo.