How the fuck a single word can hurt so fucking much I don’t know but for damn sure it broke my heart in a million pieces. No, it literally tore me apart; it killed me, shattering all my dreams and plans for the future, our future in a second flat.
I should have known better than to expect this would be like a ‘hey, let’s let bygones be bygones; let’s start again’ deal. Shit! It’s not that fucking easy, Damnit!
I fucked up big time. I know that. I know only too well, but damn! Haven’t I already paid enough for my sins? How much shit do I have to go through to prove to Hanna that I’m ready to take this step? That I’m ready to spend the rest of my life with her? That I not only love her with everything I’m worth but that I’m completely in love with her?
Fuck! Serves me right for fucking things up between us.
I asked her to marry me and she said ‘no’. Of course Hanna gave me a more than just good explanation for her unexpected answer. Problem is I don’t want to even consider it. And even though she’s maybe right, I still refuse to give her credit for that.
Hanna said that she knew I wasn’t ready and that she suspected that Ricardo had pushed me to ask her. She said she wasn’t ready either and that she probably won’t ever be. Hanna also told me it was a very unfair situation for me. It’s one thing to share an intimate moment with her and a whole complete different thing to be tied to her forever. Hanna added that she knew how I felt about kids, family and stuff and she didn’t want to deprive me of a chance to have a ‘normal’ future. Whatever the fuck ‘normal’ means for her because sure as hell my life has been everything but normal. However the scariest thing for me is that deep inside I can’t help but feel somehow relieved because Hanna said ‘no’.
I’m not even sure how I ended up here in first place, not that I care too much anyway. Last coherent thought I had I was asking for a bottle of Jack Daniels, adding that I wasn’t going to need a fucking glass. Then my mind started torturing me mercilessly with visions of Hanna, and I did my best to wipe them away, drowning my pain. I guess I did a shitty job because I ended up completely wasted, sleeping it off in a corner of the bar, dreaming of her. It was where Ricardo found me a couple of hours ago.
Big dark guy hasn’t said shit to me though. He just dragged my ass back to the room, making me take a cold shower so I was able to articulate at least a coherent word.
“I was expecting some shit like this, you know?” Ricardo says as he pulls out a cigarette, lighting it up. I shot him a murderous glare.
“Well, fuck you, man! You were the one who told me ‘just go and fucking ask her, Dom’.” I retort, getting in the car. “Next time you know where you can stick your fucking tongue along with your damn advice, fucker.” I mutter through clenched teeth, slamming the car door closed.
I can’t help it and not even my anger can hide my pain. A deep growl left his lips as Ricardo snaps his head up, looking at me.
“You don’t get it, huh, Toretto? Hanna’s pushing you away and you’re letting her.” He hisses, blowing the smoke through his nose. “You say Hanna’s your woman but you don’t know shit about her. And you want to know why? Because you never cared enough to take the time and find what she really wants or needs, man.” Ricardo says, shaking his head. I chuckle at his words.
“Whatever.” I retort. I swear I’m starting to be fed up with all this shit. “She doesn’t want me? Well, fuck her. It’s her loss then.”
Ricardo moves faster than light and in a second his face is mere inches from mine and he’s grabbing me by the neck, almost cutting off my breath. There’s no trace of his cigarette and in its place there’s one of his damn shivs.
Now what the fuck is happening here? I am the one who should be angry and not him. At the end he’s already married and I’m the one who has been brushed off, not him. Fuck!!
Ricardo’s dark eyes hold my gaze, making an unconscious shiver runs up my spine. I bet those he killed saw this very same expression before they died. When he speaks, his face shows nothing and I feel my blood freezing within my veins as my heart speeds its rhythm in one fucking second. What the…?
“You better get a fucking grip, you son of bitch, and start fighting for the fucking things that are really worthwhile in your pathetic excuse for a life, asshole.” He whispers, emotionless and so low that I have to make a supreme effort to hear him.
I swallow hard but it’s a fucking difficult task with his hand firmly pressed against my Adam’s apple and a cold blade against my throat. “Thought you were a fucking winner, Toretto, I guess I was wrong. Here you are licking your fucking wounds like a damn loser instead of thinking what you should do to get your woman back.”
Ricardo’s eyes are sparkling with that freezing coldness that still sends shivers up my spine, pinning me as if he’s weighing his options. He’s breathing through his nostrils; he’s restraining himself and for a brief second I wonder if big dark guy is going to kill me right here right now. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
“Coño.” He mutters under his breath as he releases me, getting out of the car.
I clear my throat, rubbing my neck when I feel something warm in my fingers. I look at my hand as I blink a couple of times. I can’t fucking believe it. It’s blood, my own fucking blood.
Ricardo and I haven’t said a word to each other since after our little encounter. Not that there was much to say after what has happened. He didn’t say ‘I’m sorry’ and honestly I wasn’t expecting for him to do that either. I figure he’s as sick and tired of all this shit as I am and I can’t really blame him for his behavior. At the end I have always known that big dark guy is a dangerous motherfucker and it’s not exactly like I was saying nice things about Hanna.
Hanna. We haven’t crossed a word either. Just like with Ricardo, after what took place between us there weren’t many things to say. We agreed that we’re going to keep playing our roles because it’s the only thing we can do right now and then when all this shit is done we’ll go our separate ways.
It hurts to know that I’m not going to have her but it hurts much more to know that I’m the only one to be blame. I’m the only one responsible for my current situation. I made a lot of wrong decisions, fucking things up and I’m no one to come away now complaining about how unfair life is. I made my own bed and now I have to lay in it.
Nevertheless I feel I’m a very lucky fucker because I’m still breathing. I have no doubt Ricardo would have killed me in the blink of an eye; I have the wound that proves it. It’s not a deep cut and it already stopped bleeding but it stings like a damn bitch every time I swallow.
Ricardo is pissed off beyond reason and even though he didn’t apologize for his behavior, he took care of the cut, cursing under his breath. Anyway, he seems more pissed off with himself than with me and I wonder why. I’m still thinking about what made him stop at the last minute though. Maybe big dark guy still holds a little hope regarding Hanna and I even if neither of us seems to agree with him.
When we entered Reynaldo’s mansion, Santos came up to Ricardo directly, shaking his hand and tapping his shoulder. They seemed like two old friends greeting each other. I wonder how deeply Santos knows Ricardo and how much time they spent together before they joined us in Miami. Taking into consideration big dark guy’s connections with the Cartels I wouldn’t be surprised if they met a long time ago.
I know the only reason that Ricardo introduced Santos to Reynaldo was because the Cuban wanted to extend his damn business, dealing in drugs and because it was as good a way as any other to make Reynaldo end up in Mexico.
I have to admit to myself that back then, the first time that I saw Santos and Ricardo together I was so consumed by jealousy and so insecure about big dark guy that I didn’t really pay attention to their relationship. Now after seeing how well Santos and Reynaldo got along without Ricardo around I can’t help it but suspect that the Cuban knew about Santos’ deal before they met and vice versa. They may not see each other in person but I bet their respective reputations preceded them.
Reynaldo Casamajor has been well known among the fuckers who want to buy or sell weapons for years; he has been living that shit almost since I knew him. Then we have his connections with the CIA and the fact that he has been using the three letters for his own benefit which has pissed them off. Now Santos Martelli is a whole completely different thing.
Ricardo told me Santos is connected with the Sicilian Mob and that he has been trafficking drugs for many years, selling his shit all over Europe. The Italian has become well known as well and Interpol has an arrest warrant over his head. It seems Santos is wanted in at least three European countries, namely Spain, Italy and France for his being implicated in drug trafficking, money laundering and tax evasion, and that’s the reason why he moved to this side of the Ocean.
How fucking convenient. Santos needed a safe place to be and Reynaldo needed someone to extend his business. These two fuckers met when they needed it the most. I know for sure Reynaldo doesn’t trust people for the hell of it and Santos seems to follow the same behavior pattern. I don’t think those two would have contacted each other directly.
Hmmmm. I wonder who was the first one to show interest in the other’s business because sure as hell their timing has been flawless. So, who was the brilliant mind that thought those two fuckers would be the perfect match for each other? Hanna? Ricardo? Or is there someone else behind all of them?
Elaine, Jenn, Renee, Lydia, Jasmine and Hanna are wearing long sleeved leather cat-suits in six different colours, namely black, purple, turquoise, white, red and Barbie pink respectively. Reynaldo was the one saying which colour each of his dancers should wear tonight. The cat-suits looked so tight that they seemed painted over their skins and all of them have a front zip for, in Reynaldo’s words ‘have an easy and fast access’.
As far as I’m concerned, he was the one saying that Hanna was a cold bitch and that she had been a good fuck, but not that good a fuck. So I wonder why the hell he made Hanna dress in his favorite colour and not in mine.
I can’t help it and my mind goes back to that night at the yacht and my guts clench painfully, reliving what that fucker did to Hanna. I don’t care what Hanna said to me last night and I don’t give a damn about the agreement we reached. I’m not gonna let Reynaldo touch her again that’s for damn sure.
Hanna said ‘no’ and I have no other choice but to live with her decision, for now. But she’s still my woman and I’m not letting anyone hurt her again. I made a promise to myself and this time I’m planning to keep my word. If Hanna doesn’t want me in the future around her I guess I will have to live with that, but until then, she’s mine and mine alone. And all of sudden I realize one thing I didn’t think of before.
If Reynaldo had wanted to, he could have fucked Hanna many times but until that night at his yacht he hadn’t touched her at all. Hanna had been one of his dancers for months, being in his reach all the time. So why the fuck did he wait until I was around to force himself on Hanna?
And apart from that he was the one who made Hanna point a gun to my forehead that other night at his club. Was he testing me or Hanna’s loyalty? Did he know back then that we had no other choice but to play his sick game?
Fuck, fuck, fuck! I don’t like this shit one damn bit and all of a sudden a bizarre question pops in my mind as I look at Hanna, dancing with the rest of the girls. What if Reynaldo has been aware this entire time that Hanna was playing a role?
Reynaldo chose that outfit so that Hanna’s body doesn’t show her marks; it seems he doesn’t want anyone knowing what happened in Miami. It’s bad for his fucking business. I wonder if that’s his only motivation. And since when the fuck has he become that concerned about what anyone might think about him. I figure the bastard already knew about Fabio’s old brother and he doesn’t want to run the same risk.
We haven’t seen him though; the fucker hasn’t shown up yet. It’s supposed that he’s somewhere inside this big mansion but so far all we know is that he’s getting ready for his birthday party, according to Miguel’s words. However, Reynaldo has been partying as hard as always, the only difference is he’s been within the walls of this mansion.
Reynaldo set up in the large garden of his mansion a big tent resembling a night club with all its fucking paraphernalia. Hundreds of lights, three dance floors, at least five bars, dozen of couches, and the like. The fucker wasted a fortune on this shit.
However and in spite of my suspicions I’m not too worried about him right now; I’m more concerned about Crystal’s fate because the Cuban gave her to Santos and she has been injecting heroin for the last couple of days. Shit, shit, shit. At least Hanna doesn’t know about that shit yet.
Crystal is nowhere to be found either but Santos told us that’s because he wore her out last night and that the little bitch is sleeping. The Italian added that he’s being a gentleman with her and that so far he hasn’t cut her…much.
I can’t help but shut my eyes tightly, sighing hard. I don’t even want to think in what state we’re going to find her in and what Hanna’s reaction is going to be. Ricardo clenches his jaw, his cold gaze smoldering with contained rage as he glances at Santos from the corner of his eyes.
If I hadn’t seen that very same gaze a few hours before I wouldn’t know what was going on. But right now I have no doubt, big dark guy is going to kill the Italian pretty soon and he’s going to take his sweet time.
The girls are rehearsing a choreographed dance in Rey’s fucking honour and the only guys around are at least thirty of the Cuban’s bodyguards armed to the teeth, Fabio, his right hand Ernesto, Santos, Ricardo and I.
Ernesto, Fabio’s right hand, has been leering openly at Elaine’s body for the last ten minutes and even though Ricardo already warned him once, the fucker doesn’t seem to give a shit. It’s not that I blame the poor asshole, Elaine is causing more than one hard on among these fuckers, but he should cut the shit when he’s still ahead before he finds himself face to face with a very pissed off Ricardo.
Big dark guy is the kind of man that gives you just one warning, no more, and then you are left to your own fate. Not a place I’d like one damn bit to be in again. That’s for damn sure. I can’t get out of my head Ricardo’s eyes sparkling with that very same rage but staring at mine.
Ernesto keeps making nasty comments regarding Elaine’s ass in spite of the fact that Ricardo already pulled out one of his shivs and he’s absently playing with it between his fingers.
I glance at him from the corner of my eye and Ricardo seems relaxed and in control, even sipping absently from his drink. But I’m already suspecting big dark guy is going to have to make his point a little bit more clear if he wants this Ernesto guy to show him and his woman some respect. Oh, hell, it’s not like big dark guy didn’t give Ernesto a chance to quit the bullshit. I figure this fucker doesn’t know who he’s fucking with.
Santos leans back slightly, pretending to be making himself a little bit more comfortable, but I know better. The Italian is leaving room between Ernesto and himself. I bet this motherfucker already realized Ricardo is about to make an example of Ernesto, sending a very clear message to the rest of them.
Santos is no fool and he has been looking at the girls dancing, just like the rest of us, but he didn’t look directly at Elaine or Hanna; not even once. Yeah, this sick bastard is no damn fool; he knows too damn well that Ricardo is not the man to fuck with, ever, but especially when big dark guy seems that calm.
Too fast for any of these fuckers to even see his move let alone to stop him. One second Ernesto is licking his lips, whistling at Elaine, and the next one Ricardo’s shiv is stabbing Ernesto’s left hand to the table and the fucker is yelling at the top of his lungs, cursing obscenities in Spanish.
Fabio tenses every single muscle in his muscle body and before he has the chance to open his mouth Ricardo pulls his shiv out from Ernesto’s hand, twisting it hard, holding Fabio’s shocked gaze. Ernesto cursed under his breath, sending daggers to Ricardo as he grabs his injured hand.
He’s bleeding a lot and from the look of his wound, he’s not going to use that hand again. I bet Ricardo cut the tendons with that violent twist. That’s if he hadn’t cut them before. Fuck! Ricardo has a set of balls, I swear. I can’t help but shiver a little, noticing how I broke in cold sweat remembering what could have happened to me this morning.
“I do not like to repeat myself, Fabio.” Ricardo says nonchalantly as he cleans his shiv on his black pants. “And I will not tolerate anyone disrespecting me or what’s mine. No exceptions.” Big dark guy’s eyes are sparkling with a gaze that says ‘no one fucks with me and I mean no one’. Then Ricardo looks at Ernesto and grinning evilly he chuckles. “Be glad it’s not your dick, loser.” And with that he picks up his drink, gulping it in one draught, slamming the glass on the table, turning his attention back to Fabio.
Fabio tightens his jaw, narrowing his eyes. Fuck! A dead silence falls upon us even though the music is still pounding and time seems to stop around us. There’s a warning in Fabio’s eyes as he looks at Ricardo.
I glance at the stage and the girls aren’t dancing anymore. The six of them are looking at us. Elaine is standing close to Hanna, a hand on her shoulder. They are both staring at Ricardo, concern in their gazes. I then look around, and every single motherfucker standing close with a gun is pointing it at us. Slowly I reach for my gun and before I have the chance to even touch it Ricardo’s hand grabs my wrist, stopping me. Funny thing is the entire time he’s not letting go of Fabio’s eyes.
They seem to be having a silent dialogue while staring at each other eyes. I know they are sizing each other up, pondering what they should do next. The tension is so thick it may be possible to cut it with Ricardo’s shiv. After what seems an eternity but surely isn’t more than just a few seconds, Fabio’s neck muscles clenched as he gritted his teeth and then he speaks to Ernesto, saying he better go so someone can take care of his wounded hand before he bleeds to death.
Still cursing, Ernesto gets to his feet and heads towards the entrance but not before he glares at Ricardo. In response big dark guy grins evilly as he let go of my wrist, pulling out a cigarette. Then he leans back on his chair, making himself comfortable, lighting it up, and taking a deep puff. Damn, big dark guy doesn’t seem to be concerned at all.
Fabio looks at Santos for a second. The Italian is playing with his shiv in his hand just like he has been doing since we all sat at the table. Santos doesn’t even look interested in what is happening right now, but I bet he’s weighing up his chances to get out alive from this mess in case the shit hits the fan. However I don’t think this sick bastard is going to face Ricardo, at least not here and sure as hell not now. Still I wonder if he would face Fabio.
Fabio then looks at the girls, narrowing his eyes. I find myself tensing in anticipation as soon as I notice that Fabio is staring at Hanna. I glance at Ricardo and he imperceptibly shakes his head ‘no’. I probably wouldn’t have been aware of the slight move if at that very second I hadn’t been glancing at him. Finally Fabio looks at Ricardo again and getting to his feet he excuses himself heading toward the bar.
The Mexican has no other choice but to swallow his pride. At the end of tonight we’re crossing the border with one of his loads. Fabio knows who he’s dealing with not to mention he has ‘El Padrino’s’ direct order to make us feel at home while we’re around. However I don’t think for a minute that Fabio is gonna let Ricardo’s action go that easily. This fucker is gonna pay us back sooner than we expected.
In any case I’m sure that Ricardo wouldn’t hesitate for a second if he has to kill Fabio right here right now even if Fabio’s monkeys kill all of us afterwards. Fuck! He almost killed me this morning.
Ricardo follows Fabio’s movements from the corner of his eye as he keeps smoking. Then he returns his attention to Elaine, winking at her. In response, Elaine narrows her eyes, letting out the air it seems she was holding, shaking her head slightly and with that she leans a little against Hanna, whispering something in her ear. To my surprise, Hanna rolls her eyes, laughing softly which made Elaine laugh too, and with that the girls keep dancing like nothing happened.
Santos glances at his watch and standing he says he’s going to deal with Crystal before the party starts. At the mention of Crystal’s name, the girl’s words at the beach in Miami pop inside my brain making me close my hands in fists as a deep growl lets my lips.
“Rey takes care of me. He’s dangerous and unstable, but that’s better than being alone out there where I’m an easy prey for a lot of sick fuckers. Here I only have to deal with him.”
I close my eyes, shaking my head. I have to swallow hard against my sudden nausea just figuring out what this sick motherfucker has in store for Crystal. I’m starting to feel sick and it has nothing to do with my hangover. For fuck’s sake! And to think she thought that bastard Reynaldo was going to protect her forever. Damnit!
“I’ll deal with Santos when we’re back from the border.”
Ricardo’s voice pulls me out of my thoughts. I open my eyes, blinking a couple of times as I look at him.
“I hope you know what you’re doing, Ricardo.” I whisper, sighing hard.
Ricardo’s face hardens as he looks at Hanna for a long moment and then back at me. His lips spread in a small grin as his eyes sparkle with that familiar gleam.
“Did you know Ernesto was left-handed?” he asks me as he blows the smoke, putting his cigarette out. “Now we have one less motherfucker to worry about.” He adds, his grin widening a bit. I blink confused. What the hell…?
“That’s your master plan, man? Take these fuckers out one at a time?”
I can’t believe what he’s saying. There’s no way he’s seriously planning that shit. There must be at least fifty if not more of those motherfuckers, not to mention Fabio’s men. They all have military training and they won’t think twice if they have to kill us. We are only four and they are an entire army. Besides there’s this truce between the Cartels and I suspect if things get out of hand a bloody war will be unleashed in hours.
Ricardo’s gaze turns cold in a second, making his face appear emotionless. “You asked me once who I am, right?” he says coldly.
I frown deeply and in spite of the fact that I find myself nodding ‘yes’ slowly, I’m not so sure I want to have that Intel right now.
“A man can be an artist in anything. Stone. Wood. Mud. Paint. Words. Food. Anything as long as his soul is true to it.” He pauses for a second as his dark eyes flicker to mine and his gaze sends chills up my spine, making an uncontrolled shudder shake my body from head to toe. “My art is death, Dom. And I’m about to paint my masterpiece.”