As soon as the four of us left the club, Ricardo lost Fabio’s men, saying he didn’t like anyone knowing where we were going to spend the night. Besides according to his own words, he doesn’t want any of those fuckers around while he set his own line of action in motion.
Then Ricardo dropped us off at a hotel located in the centre of the city and he took Elaine and the SUV, saying they will be back in the morning because they had a meeting with someone. When I asked him about it, big dark guy just said something about a DEA agent who owed him a favor. But before he left, big dark guy pulled me to one side and whispered to me ‘just go ask her, Dom’.
Like that’s damn easy, man. Fuck!
Hanna’s avoiding my gaze as much as she can, trying to hide from me how she feels right now. She knows that as soon as I look at her eyes I’m going to find it and she’s forcing herself to look away every time I try to hold her gaze for more than two seconds. It seems to me that Hanna is so upset right now that she doesn’t even have enough strength left to deal with my bullshit anymore.
We enter the room and Hanna heads directly to the bathroom, closing and locking the door at her back, leaving me in the cold once more. What the fuck…?
Honestly I know I shouldn’t be that surprised; I guess I deserve her coldness. I figure Fabio’s words spread all kinds of bad memories within her mind and I can’t blame her for being mad with me. At the end I hurt her with my insensitive behavior, getting lost for almost four days, partying with Reynaldo, fucking chicks non stop, not caring at that moment if she had been worried about me.
She runs the shower but even with the sound of the water running I can hear her vain attempts to keep me oblivious to her quiet sobs. Damnit!
Hanna said to me that everything was okay between us, that we were okay and that she wasn’t going to let anything or anyone get in the middle of us. I know for sure that Hanna doesn’t give shit about other chicks but Crystal is a whole complete different deal. I guess the fact that I fucked the little bitch six ways from Sunday is going to sting for a while no matter how pretty lies Hanna tells herself. Shit!
I shut my eyes, cursing myself silently as I rub my neck. I feel like a fucking shit because I know Crystal means a lot to Hanna. It’s much more than just concern or caring. I wonder if Hanna is so determined to save Crystal because in some bizarre way she’s saving herself in the process, or at least what little innocence those bastards left untouched.
Letting out a heavy sigh I make myself comfortable on the bed with my back resting against the headboard, waiting for Hanna to join me when she’s done. Hoping and wishing she does so we can clear this mess before it gets worse.
I know I gotta stop this shit before things get out of hand. I have to make up my mind once and for all before the invisible wall that we’ve been building between us without being really aware of it ends up separating us forever. All those fears and doubts have to go or we won’t be been able to work things out. But my brain is not giving me one moment of peace, not even a slight rest, and I can’t stop thinking about what we are immersed in.
I’m forcing my mind to keep focused on Hanna and me alone but the son of a bitch is wandering with endless possibilities regarding what are we going to do and how are we going to act from now on. And none of them are related directly with our relationship but our current situation.
Ricardo doesn’t trust any of his Mexican ‘contacts’ anymore and that’s the reason why he’s being much more cautious than usual, selecting very carefully in who he can put his trust in. No wonder. I’m starting to suspect every single one of these motherfuckers is plotting something against the others and the four of us are in the middle of their veiled conspiracies.
I’m still thinking about Fabio’s words about Santos and I wonder if in those almost 24 hours, the Mexican said Santos was lost, if the damn Italian used the chance to meet ‘El Padrino’. But then again maybe not and Santos is just fucking around, messing with all of them because he has his own secret deal with someone else.
It’s not that I know him that much; actually we didn’t cross more than a few words when we met, but Santos seems like a fucker with resources, and I wouldn’t be totally surprised if the fucking Italian came up with some shit we’re not expecting at all.
However, Fabio is another fucker I don’t like one damn bit. He may be a street racer but he’s a drugs trafficker in first place and I don’t think for a minute that little Fabio forgot ‘El Padrino’ was the one who ordered his old brother killed. Even if as a direct consequence of that fact Fabio took Mateo’s place inside the organization, assuming his dad’s duties because the old man was already very sick.
I don’t believe for one damn second that the Mexican is not bearing a grudge against Hanna’s grandfather, and I wonder what if Fabio has sketched a secret plan to get rid of ‘El Padrino’. What if after all this time he saw in Hanna’s the perfect opportunity to pay the old drug lord back?
That’s another thing that has been nudging me since the first minute we landed in Sinaloa. Fabio knew Hanna was ‘El Padrino’s’ granddaughter but it’s not like Hanna has a strong resemblance to the drug lord. Actually no one would be able to say they are relatives because Hanna inherited her mother’s features. How the fuck did Fabio know?
Unless…unless someone told him in advance… but who? Who would be interested in Fabio knowing about Hanna’s real identity? Who would get more profit using that Intel against ‘El Padrino’ apart from the damn government?
Certainly the Juarez Cartel would be a win-win situation because in the end they are the most direct competitor to ‘El Padrino’s’ organization.
The only son ‘El Padrino’ had, Hanna’s real father, died many years ago and the drug lord already shared a pretty big part of his business amongst his nephews, the Arellanos brothers and his old former lieutenants, like Fabio’s dad. The only other relative alive is Hanna because Magdalena is dead and her mother married again.
Taking into consideration ‘El Padrino’s conservative and traditional mentality I wouldn’t say he would trust his business to Hanna, mostly because she’s a woman. But maybe those who would love to get rid off ‘El Padrino’ using whatever or whoever they can get are not thinking about his granddaughter and more likely of her future husband.
The best way to solve a problem is to attack the root of it. So with Hanna out of the picture, the rest of ‘El Padrino’s succulent cake would be left to the highest bidder, or to the one with the biggest set of balls. Not only would Fabio be in an advantageous position that even Santos would covet, knowing pretty well the endless profits and opportunities. Surely there would be a bloodbath but sooner or later someone would rise victorious, and at the end there would be a new ‘Padrino’.
But then again even Reynaldo might be able to use that Intel as well to get together whatever shit he’s plotting because sure as hell that fucker had to be plotting something. I have no doubts. Whether together with Santos or apart I don’t know, but I have no doubt all these fuckers wouldn’t let a fucking juicy chance like this pass up.
All comes down to money with those motherfuckers. It’s the only thing they give a shit about. And this last fact makes me think about the only ones left. William and ‘El Padrino’ himself.
I don’t even dare to think about William as the one who opened his mouth, spreading the flashy news. Mostly because it would mean my dad and I trust a fucking bastard without any ethic code or honour all this time. Besides I really want to believe William cares for Hanna and that his concern for her is real and not a damn maneuver to find new allies after he miserably failed the mission the drug lord entrusted him with.
And regarding ‘El Padrino’s’ interest about anyone else knowing Hanna’s real identity doesn’t seem to fit with his own line of actions. I mean he was the one in first place who wanted to keep it as secret as possible. Would it be possible that ‘El Padrino’ is playing a double game with all of us? Would he be able to use his own blood like damn bait to catch those who want him out of the picture?
Anyway Ricardo’s words are echoing non stop inside my brain. “By the time you get working well, you already meet everybody and everybody knows everybody. It’s a very small circle…Everybody knows everybody…. And that’s where the problems start occurring…”
And all of sudden I find myself playing over those lines, trying to discern if big dark guy was talking about how business is done here or if he was already anticipating another event.
In any case the question is still unanswered. Who told Fabio that Hanna is ‘El Padrino’s’ granddaughter?
The door of the bathroom opens, showing Hanna drying her hair with a small towel and her presence pulls me out of my own thoughts, dragging me to the task at hand, and causing my heart to beat faster.
She’s wearing one of my tee-shirts and that alone makes me realize maybe she’s not that mad with me after all.
I know I’m the one who has to cross the distance this time and even though I love Hanna with everything in me I can’t help but wonder if she really needs a guy like me at her side. And all of sudden my mind goes back to that night I parked my car outside Hanna’s house. And I’m wondering what would have happened if back then I wouldn’t have let my anger and pain cloud my mind; what if I would have knocked on that door instead of waiting for Hanna to show up. Maybe the living hell we went through could have been avoided or at least a lot of things could have been different.
“Come here, baby.” I say, clearing my throat a little. “We need to talk.” I add, never taking my gaze off hers. In response, Hanna shakes her head ‘no’.
“No, Dominic. You come here.” She retorts, tilting her head to one side. I knit a brow, watching her.
Her reply caught me completely off guard and I’m sure my puzzlement is showing all over my face. Hanna chuckles a little and then she goes serious in a heartbeat.
“You should know that I don’t expect from you more than you’re ready to give, but…” She cuts herself off, sighing hard as she pads to the window. “I’m tired of being the one who always has to come to you, Dominic.” Hanna whispers, staring outside at the city lights.
I close my eyes, shaking my head slightly. I better get a fucking grip like right now or I know I’ll lose her forever.
“It’s like that night, you know?” Hanna breathes, turning her head, looking at me, making me snap my eyes open as I frown slightly, holding her gaze. “I saw you, Dominic.” She adds in a murmur.
“When?” I ask, feeling my heart beating faster within my chest. I don’t really need for her to answer that question because I suspect what she’s talking about.
“I saw you parked outside the house, sitting inside your car.” She replies, arching a brow. “I was in the bedroom and I saw you… and you looked so scared, so hurt, so…lost…” Hanna trails off, her gaze burning mine with a mix of pain and coldness. “Just like now.” She adds, taking a ragged breath. I stand slowly, staring at her eyes that are sparkling.
“If you knew I was outside why you didn’t come out?” I ask her as I walk to her side, stopping in front of her and I can’t stop the shiver that runs up my spine in anticipation of her words.
“Because I wasn’t the one who had to take that step, Dominic.” Hanna smiles sadly as she lifts a hand, stroking my cheek. “I did the only thing I could do…” She says, her eyes flickering to mine. “I lit a candle so…”
“So I could find my way home.” I finish her line.
Back then I didn’t need anyone telling me I just simply knew that she had done that even if I couldn’t see her, and I wished with all my heart that she did it to help me find my path again. A path I shouldn’t have left at all in first place.
My heart skips a beat as an invisible knot closes my throat in seconds as soon as I remember that soft gleam coming from her window. And as if in slow motion I pull her to me until our foreheads are together and forcing the air to pass through my lungs I take a ragged breath. Hanna encircles my neck, her body presses to mine, causing both of us to shiver at once.
I didn’t meet my grandfather because he died when my dad was a kid. But my old man told me once that his dad loved proverbs and old sayings. That’s the reason why my dad seemed to always have the perfect one for each occasion. I think if my dad would have been here, he would have said something like ‘it’s never late if it’s your fate’. And I couldn’t agree with him more.
It took me going through a lot of pain and sorrow to realize something I already knew but refused to believe. It took me a hell of an internal journey to find what I was looking for even though it always has been in front of my damn face. I have always known what I wanted but I was never brave enough to go and get it. I’ve been fooling myself since the very first time I saw my woman because I was too scared. Not anymore.
The only woman I will ever love is Hanna; it’s always been her and no other. So now it’s my chance to make my dream come true and I’m not letting anything get in my way. Not even myself. Nothing is gonna stop me now, not even this invisible knot that is almost choking the life of me.
I’m still scared to death but I don’t give a shit. I finally know what I want and that’s Hanna. I almost lost her once and I’m not going there again. I don’t want to think about Hanna as my woman anymore, but as my wife. It’s time to face my fears, to grab a hold of my life once and for all. It’s time to take a crucial decision, to act like the man my dad grew up to be. So it’s now or never. Fuck it!