We left the vehicles parked in Santa Maria with the exception of the SUV carrying the med unit. Big Sexy himself parked it as close as possible, leaving two men behind, ‘Mad Doc’ and ‘Little Doc’, to take care of it, waiting for our sign to drive it up to the warehouse in seconds.
I took a look at those two guys, narrowing my eyes in suspicion. They look like anything but doctors. Big Sexy chuckled, saying they are the ones who patch them when it’s needed and that actually ‘Mad Doc’ has a degree in Medicine. But he lost his license at some point. I don’t even want to think where his nickname, ‘Mad Doc’, came from or what he did to end up not being able to practice legally anymore. However, I have to be glad they are here.
I think I should find a way to give thanks to all these guys for their help, but honesty, I don’t know how to do that. They are loyal until death so the only way to pay back is being loyal to them as well.
Most of them don’t even know who Hanna is. They only know Big Sexy asked them to come here tonight and the most incredible thing is all of them choose to be here willingly. They are going to risk their necks in the name of loyalty and friendship.
Who would have told me I was going to be restoring my principles after sharing just a few minutes with these guys? Whoever you least expect can turn into your brother in seconds.
From tonight on words like loyalty, respect and trust will have another complete different meaning to me.
The streets of the little town are deserted as we make our way through narrowed alleys. 18 guys armed to the teeth with small comms attached at their necks. Some of them with their faces hidden behind camouflage paint like Ricardo and I; others like ‘Sexy’ with tight hoods, two holes for their eyes to see and one hole to breath.
Ricardo told me it’s vital that Hanna is able to see our faces, recognizing us as soon as we get to her. His words left me a little lost but I didn’t dare to ask the reasons why. I’ve already realized Ricardo is going to tell me whatever I need to know when I need it to know and not earlier. I’m not questioning him anymore. However I’m not sure if I want to have that Intel right now. At this point and after what Ricardo explained to me, my brain is about to explode with visions of whatever sickly tortures that fucker Snake had time to inflict on Hanna.
Ricardo already warned me about those fuckers’ interrogation techniques. They are ex-CIA agents and their techniques to pull out Intel have nothing to do with the ones common people might think. The fucking CIA even has its own manual of torture. Kubark.
I don’t know what got into me to ask what kind of tortures they would be able to use on Hanna. Ricardo didn’t go into specifics, not that he needed to either. In summary there are two kinds. Non-coercive and coercive. But he assumed that taking into consideration that they have been running out of time, plus the fact Hanna is a trained FBI agent, those fuckers probably went directly for the coercive ones. Named: deprivation of sensory stimuli, isolation, threats and fears, narcosis and if nothing of that gave the result they wanted, there was just one thing left; pain.
I don’t need anybody telling me. I have no doubt Snake went directly for pain, adding the rest just for the hell of it and because he’s a fucking psycho who loves to tear people apart, especially if they crossed him in some way. And Hanna crossed him big time, jeopardizing his plans for me. However, I don’t care about her physical estate as long as she’s alive.
Glancing at my watch, I realize it is exactly 4:20am. Just ten more minutes and it’ll be mayhem.
Big Sexy brought an arsenal with him. Shoulder launched missiles, hand and launched grenades, teargas canisters, submachine guns and a whole selection of automatic weapons. That fucker is not joking around. Big Sexy is dying to test his new toys, and he looks like a little kid on Christmas Day, almost bouncing up and down with excitement.
I glance at Ricardo who is walking at my side, his eyes fixed on the warehouse as soon as it comes into view. He told me those fuckers maybe had defined a security perimeter around the big abandoned house, setting little traps for us, even motion sensors to detect the presence of unwanted visitors. So Ricardo reminds me to step where he steps, not an inch further.
I don’t need to be told twice and even though he’s walking a couple of feet ahead of me, Ricardo becomes my mirror, making me mimic each and every single one of his moves.
All of sudden he comes to an abrupt stop, crouching as he lifts a fisted hand, making everyone else stop as well. I’m crouched at his right side in a second flat, asking myself how the hell I ended there without even being conscience I moved at all.
Ricardo turns his head, looking at me briefly as he grins, nodding his approval about my almost unconscious reaction.
Still crouched, I pull my gun out, making sure the safe is off and ready to be fired. There are a few garbage bins spread along one side of the warehouse. My gaze travels over the surface of the building, stopping for a couple of seconds in each window. It seems like some kind of big store or a meeting centre. The panes are almost all broken and the ruined walls are sketched with graffiti.
The guy crouched at Ricardo’s left side pulls out a small laptop, connecting it. Ricardo glances at the screen and so I do, frowning deeply. It’s showing a 3D drawing of the two levels of the building, seven red silhouettes inside. The small laptop is capturing the temperature of the bodies in several shades of red, orange and yellow tonalities.
The four silhouettes downstairs are spread in four different locations, pacing or standing. Ricardo points with his index fingers at two spots on the surface of the walls. Far enough from the three upstairs but close enough to cause a little commotion, spreading confusion around.
The guy nods ‘yes’ and pressing the small bottom of his neck com, he gives those coordinates so the rest of the guys know where they have to aim. Big Sexy’s men have no extensive military training, so the guy uses as reference for his pals a large crack on the wall and the tits of the stripper painted on it.
My gaze fix on one of the red silhouettes located upstairs. The colour is not as intense as the others. In fact there’s a large shadow of blue mixed with a bit of red ones. I feel my heart race as an invisible hand twists my guts. I don’t need military training to know that the silhouette’s temperature is several degrees below normal levels. Hanna.
A hand squeezes my shoulder and I find myself opening my eyes, blinking. I hadn’t realized I had closed them. Ricardo is looking at me through narrowed eyes.
“She’s still alive, Dom.” He whispers, holding my gaze. I take a ragged breath, letting out the air with a painful sigh. “Are you with me?” Ricardo asks me, his cold gaze piercing my soul.
He needs to know if I’m going to break down at any time or if I’m going to be able to go through this mess. Honestly, I have no answer for that one. I only know it’s now or never.
I swallow back down that fucking knot, searching desperately for my own voice. I suspect he won’t get a nod for an answer. Not this time. Hanna’s life is at stake.
“I’m all the way in, Ricardo. All the fucking way in.”
I don’t recognize my own voice, but I guess it sounded with enough conviction because he grins widely, squeezing my shoulder once more. Then Ricardo turns his attention to Big Sexy, gesturing with his head. In response, the big black man lifts his right hand, making a signal.
At once two of his men move ahead of the rest of the group, stopping a few meters from those garbage bins. Each one of those guys has a shoulder-launched missile weapon, loaded and ready to be shot, waiting for their boss’ signal.
Ricardo taps my back, catching my attention as he gestures in the direction of the right side of the warehouse. I follow his line of vision, noticing a big window, thinking about the meaning. We’re not staying here to watch the fireworks. Those missiles are going to be used as a distraction while we get in the big house, using that window.
Big Sexy and his men are here to make sure we have a safe cover, so we can get inside that fucking house undetected. They will take care of the four fuckers downstairs while we take care of whoever is upstairs. Once we are inside, we’ll be alone.
I nod ‘yes’ firmly without taking my eyes off that window as Ricardo pulls out two shivs, heading toward the building in a much similar way to his approach to Bilkins’ house. Only this time his gaze is not fixed on a spot ahead of us, he’s searching for those damn traps, and he’s moving even more silently if that’s possible.
I narrow my eyes, following him, stopping from time to time. Damn, this bullet-proof vest is heavy as hell. I feel like I weight at least twenty pounds more. Shit!!
The desert night breeze is cold but my shirt is drenched in sweat under the vest, clinging to my body like a second skin. My hands are shaking lightly, my breath ragged and my heart seems to be about to explode from my chest. Fuck, I’ve never been so scared in my damn life and at the same time more determined.
Ricardo comes to a new stop, lying down on his stomach and I’m on the grass as fast as I can, waiting for instructions. He turns his head, his index finger and his middle finger point at his eyes and them to a spot at my left side. I turn my head, following his line of vision as my eyes widen. Shit, shit, shit.
One of those fuckers is smoking, leaned against the doorframe of one of the doors with his gaze fixed in the open sky. He’s dressed in black military clothes, his face painted in a much similar way to ours. I froze, motionless, cursing silently, hoping he doesn’t realize we are a few feet from the spot he’s standing.
I notice drops of perspiration sliding down my forehead past my nose down to my lips in time with a rush of adrenaline running through my veins. I don’t dare to make a move at all let alone breathe. All of sudden one of those damn sweat drops enters my eye. Cursing silently I blink fast and the guy is on his knees and he’s grabbing his neck, blood covering his hands and his eyes completely open. Fuck! What was that?
I snap my head back to look at Ricardo who is now crouched, that predatory smile spread on his lips, locking eyes with me. I fix my gaze on his hands, noticing one of his shivs is gone. Fuck! I find myself grinning, shaking my head. Damn, Ricardo is fucking good at this shit. One less fucker to deal with, six to go. Fuck him.
Ricardo gets to his feet as he crosses the last meters to the building with me in tow. When we reach the wall we crouch at once. I lean my head back, resting it against the surface, letting out the air I’ve been holding with a ragged sigh. Fuck! I’m about to faint.
Ricardo’s chrono emits one beep.
Holy Fuck!! I didn’t expect that missiles exploding would sound like that. It’s like fireworks but twenty times louder. Pieces of brick and glass are flying in all directions, landing around us.
Out of instinct, I flinch, covering my head with my hands, closing my eyes tightly. Holy shit!! I’m glad I have an earphone in one ear and a plastic earplug inside the other. Ricardo told me if not my eardrums would be damaged forever, leaving me deaf. Still I feel a weird dull pain and my ears are buzzing. Damn!
Bursts of submachine gunshots resound around us almost immediately after the two explosions, followed by curses and shouts.
Ricardo taps my shoulder and we both jump inside the building, using the broken window, crouching against the wall. He looks at me, a silent question flashing in his eyes. In response I nod ‘yes’ and grinning he gets to his feet, his shivs in his hands. Ricardo pads to the door of the room, peering outside. When he’s sure it’s clear, he gestures for me to follow him.
I take a deep breath, swallowing hard and without a second though I’m standing at his back. We’re inside and nobody seemed to notice our presence yet. Damn, big dark guy knows what he’s doing.
Inside the warehouse it’s almost pitch black; just the moonlight is filtering through the cracks and windows, drawing our shadows against the scraggy walls. We keep moving in search of other destination; the second floor where the three silhouettes were.
The odor floating around us is making me sick in seconds. Garbage, leftovers, urine and what I guess may be a dead animal are all mixed, causing my stomach to clench painfully. Ricardo tells me to remember to breathe through my mouth and not through my nose. Oh, hell, I guess I forgot that one.
On our way to the town Ricardo gave me a lot of instructions to make sure I knew how to react. But now that I’m here I find myself having a hard time remembering all he said. I guess Ricardo was already expecting I was going to forget some of them. At the end, he knows I’m not a black ops specialist, but that I’m doing my best here. That military training takes months and we only had twenty minutes.
On our way upstairs, we pass a room with the door half-opened. Ricardo comes to a halt and growling he pushes it open, glancing back and forth between the inside of room and the hallway.
The room is 3X4 meters, no windows, soundproof and its bare walls are painted in an off-white colour. A table is the only furniture. I frown deeply, turning my gaze to him, a questioning look on my face.
“Interrogation room.” He says as he turns around, walking along the hallway. I give the room a last glance and cursing, I follow him as an uncontrolled shivers runs up my spine. Fucking bastards!
I keep hearing Big Sexy, shouting and yelling at his men to keep their asses moving. Gunshots and little explosions sound like a damn soundtrack wrapped in a bizarre mix of voices, shouts and curses. The floor is trembling under my feet and I can’t help but jump or flinch slightly each time I hear a new explosion. That’s another thing I never guessed. The real sounds of explosions and gunshots have nothing to do with what you can hear in movies.
There’s another room and this time the door is wide open. Inside there’s a closed circuit television and a high tech recording system. There are as well several screens, showing different rooms.
My heart stops dead as soon as my brain registers who one of those screens is showing. Hanna.
She’s naked, blindfolded and her hands are chained to the ceiling of the room with her feet shackled. Her hair and skin are completely wet and she’s shaking so badly that her muscles are visibly twitching under her gooseflesh skin.
I turn around fast, ready to storm out of the room in search of Hanna when I notice a hand, grabbing my forearm, preventing me from moving further.
“Don’t.” Ricardo hiss. I turn my head fast, staring at him like he sprouted a third eye.
“What the fuck are you doing, man?!” I whisper through clenched teeth. My brows furrowed in concern and puzzlement. I’m not spending one more second, knowing Hanna is hanging from the ceiling like she’s a piece of meat in a butcher’s shop.
“Snake.” He says through clenched teeth, never taking his gaze off the screen that’s showing Hanna.
Ricardo releases my arm as I look back at the screen, my eyes widening completely. Snake is now at her side and he’s pointing a gun against her temple. I feel my blood boiling inside my veins and turning my head, I look at Ricardo.
“That bastard is gonna kill her, man.” I hiss, moving forward, facing him.
“He won’t kill her because he wants you to be there with him when he pulls that damn trigger.” Ricardo retorts. His eyes are smoldering with blind rage, flashing a cold gleam as his gaze hardens even more, to a point that it’s freezing my blood inside my veins. “We’re doing this my way, Dom.” He mutters, tightening his jaw.
I swallow hard as I close my eyes tightly, nodding ‘yes’, heaving a hard sigh. I know he’s right, I know we are on the same side, but watching Hanna treated like an animal is killing me. Her life is hanging by a threat and I can’t think clearly anymore. This is too much. This is too fucking much.
“Watch the door.” Ricardo taps my shoulder and turns around, searching for the main unit enclosed inside the panel. I oblige, moving forward, peering over the hallway and from time to time to him.
Ricardo presses a couple of buttons and extracts the CD that was recording the images, putting it inside his cargo pants. Then he starts typing on the keyboard.
I’m doing my best to avoid glancing at the screen showing Hanna but I can’t. My eyes seem to have a life on their own, ignoring my brain’s orders. I just simply cannot tear my gaze off her body.
Damn, she seems so small, so fragile, hanging like that…. Hanna’s face is reflecting the pain she’s feeling and I am, like a damn helpless asshole, being witness to this atrocity. I’m unable to get over the fact Snake is at her side, pointing his fucking gun against her head, ready to blow her brains out if we make a wrong move. I figure that sick fucker already realized we are the ones causing the mess and I bet he’s waiting for us to show up any time now.
A new rush of adrenaline pumps through my veins when I notice several dark spots at her thighs, breast and belly. They seem like sunburns. I swallow hard against the bitter taste of my own saliva, fighting back my nausea.
“What are those?” I ask, pointing at them, narrowing my eyes in suspicion.
“Pain.” Ricardo mutters, clenching his teeth as he inserts a code. “Those are electrical shock marks.” He adds, growling loudly. With that he turns his attention to me. “Come on.” He says as he heads towards the door.
“What have you done?” I ask him, frowning, puzzled. Ricardo chuckles lightly as he looks at me upon his shoulder.
“I’ve destroyed his files, making a copy for Hanna.” He explains to me, turning his head, peering one more time outside the corridor before we leave the room.
We reach the second floor without running into the second fucker who appeared on the screen of that small laptop. I can still hear Big Sexy’s men shooting but there’s no trace of new explosions. Some of those gunshots and bursts of machineguns sound like they’re inside the house. It seems there are still some of those fuckers alive and kicking. Fuck!
Ricardo presses himself against the wall, pulling me with him, lifting his index finger. I gasp silently as I knit a brow, holding my breath. There’s the fucker we were looking for. He’s a few meters from us and he’s loading a shoulder launch missile.
Ricardo waits a couple of seconds and when the fucker is about to shoot, he rushes to him, kicking his back hard, making him lose his balance. Ricardo growls, watching him rolling for the floor and finally standing on his feet. He narrows his eyes and pulling out a shiv, he rushes to Ricardo.
I frown deeply watching big dark guy, fighting him with his shivs, slashing his shoulder and chest. The fucker turns himself around, crouching and cutting Ricardo on his right thigh. I wince, screwing my face as a hiss of pain escapes my lips in time with a deep growl from Ricardo. I’m not the one injured, but that wound is bleeding a lot. Ricardo chuckles coldly as he keeps circling the guy, avoiding his constant attempts to cut him again. His cargo pants are drenched in blood and he winces lightly, cursing.
The fucker rushes one last time to Ricardo who spins around and extending his arm, he stabs the fucker’s heart, twitching the blade of his shivs, making a cry in pain echo all around us. As soon as the fucker falls onto his back, Ricardo drops to his knees, panting hard. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
I run to him, crouching at his side. He has his eyes shut tightly and his breath is ragged. He starts to mutters obscenities as I grab his arm, helping him to stand on his feet. I can’t help but grin at him when he kicks the black ops specialist’s dead body, muttering something about Elaine is gonna kick his ass as soon as she notices a brand new scar.
I chuckle at his words, shaking my head as he taps my shoulder, gesturing ahead of us. There’s a short hallway showing just one door at the end. I hear the neck comm making a strange sound; like there were interferences on the signal. And all of sudden a voice I recognize too damn well echoes inside my ear. Snake’s.
“I knew you had it in you, Toretto.” He says, chuckling at his own words. Ricardo and I cross glances in silent dialogue. “Are you gonna join my private party, Dominic?” The sarcasm is heavy in his voice.
Before we make a move, we hear Hanna screaming then the comm goes dead.
Hanna’s scream is echoing faintly inside my brain as I turn my head to lock eyes with Ricardo. He’s staring at me, a bizarre coldness sparkling in his eyes. He doesn’t seem like the same guy. I can’t read anything in his gaze; nothing at all. Ricardo’s calm is unnerving me; he seems even scarier than ever before.
Slowly he turns his head, staring at the door at the end of the hallway; a low deep growl passes his lips as his jaw tightens. That’s the only external sign that he’s still alive. I don’t even notice if he’s breathing. I frown deeply, thinking about our reaction. We’re not moving a single muscle to go in search of Hanna, to save her. What the hell…?
I narrow my eyes, recalling the sound of Hanna’s scream, wondering why the fuck we’re still petrified where we’re standing instead of rushing to that door to help her. When all of sudden realization dawns. Ricardo glances at me, an evil grin gracing his lips as our conversation from the night those fuckers kidnapped her pops inside my mind and without warning, his words resound inside my brain.
“…Her screams of pain and panic will chase me forever in my most horrible nightmares…”
We have heard Hanna’s scream through the comm. Ricardo and I can recognize her screams because we have heard them before. He heard them when she lost our baby; I heard them the night they kidnapped her. It wasn’t her. She didn’t scream at all. That’s the reason why out of instinct we’re not moving a single muscle to go in search of her because that’s exactly what Snake is waiting for. That fucker is expecting for us to rush inside that room without giving it a second thought.
Snake is trying to fuck with our minds, playing with our fears to make us do what he wants us to do. Fuck you, asshole.
Slowly I lift my hand, pressing the small bottom of my neck comm. as Ricardo turns his head, looking at me, nodding ‘yes’. I swallow hard, clearing my throat.
“Snake…” My voice sounds colder than I had expected and Ricardo grins lightly. “Let’s make a deal.” I add, never taking my gaze off him.
Seconds seems like hours when through the comm we heard him laughing hard and the door at the end of the room clicks open. I notice Ricardo’s hand squeezing my shoulder lightly as a sign of his approval and I let out the air I was holding with a painful sigh.
“Don’t let him reach you, Dom.” Ricardo whispers coldly as he moves to one side, limping lightly, I nod ‘yes’ firmly and taking one last deep breath I head toward the door.
Ricardo is mumbling something unintelligible and I turn my head, looking at him over my shoulder. He’s ripping the fabric of his cargos, exposing his wound, muttering obscenities in Spanish. I frown deeply and glancing at him one last time, I push the door open.
The lights inside the room are dimmed and Snake is standing at Hanna’s right side. His gun is holstered but in its place there’s now a shiv. Fucking bastard.
Snake chuckles coldly as he locks eyes with me. “Long time no see, Toretto. You look good, asshole.” His voice is slightly hoarse yet still as cold as I remembered. We didn’t talk too much in Lompoc, in fact we almost didn’t cross a couple of words, but still I would be able to recognize it among thousands. “Hope you don’t bear me a grudge in your heart.” He adds, mockingly. “The kid was just business, nothing personal.”
Ricardo joins us, leaning his body against the doorframe. Snake looks at him upon my shoulder chuckling.
“You must be Montenegro, huh?” He asks Ricardo, narrowing his eyes. In response, Ricardo shrugs his shoulders. “I heard about you. I’m impressed and that’s something coming from ‘Snake’.” He adds, chuckling at his own words.
“Never knew why the fuck all of you losers love to refer to yourself in the third person.” Ricardo replies absently. “Must be some kind of childhood trauma.” He adds almost like he’s talking with himself and not with Snake.
Snakes’ grin dies on his lips as his expression hardens when he looks back at me.
“You should choose your allies better, Toretto. Never pegged you for the kind of guy who would hang with someone like him.” Snake says, gesturing to Ricardo. “Do you even know who you’re dealing with?”
At his words I narrow my eyes, closing my hands in fists.
“Don’t let him reach you, Dom.” Ricardo’s words echo inside my brain.
“I don’t give a shit, Snake. Tell me what you want in exchange for Hanna.” I hiss, holding his gaze. Snake lets out a short laugh that echoes all around the room.
“You don’t give shit, huh? You should, Toretto. Ricardo Montenegro is an unusual motherfucker.” He pauses, chuckling as Ricardo’s lips let out a low grunt. “He can kill anybody without regret, even you, asshole or her. Most of the fuckers he killed never knew he was in the same fucking room.” Snake says, grinning evilly. “I bet he didn’t tell you that now did he?”
Ricardo chuckles, shrugging his shoulders. “If you cross that line, you better be ready to kill me, Lieutenant.” His voice is as cold as ice, almost cutting through the air around us. “I don’t think you’re ready for that, Mathews.”
At the sound of his surname, Snake grunted, annoyed, and playing with his shiv, he walks to Hanna’s side.
I slid my eyes in Hanna’s direction, feeling my heart skipping a beat. My jaw is tightened and I’m not sure if I’m breathing anymore. Hanna doesn’t make a single move; she seems like a broken doll. Snake turns his head to look at her, chuckling.
“I’ve been depriving her of any sensory stimuli, you know? I’ve been exhausting her, not letting her sleep at all. I guess you get what I mean, huh? Anyway, she hasn’t had food or water since I brought her here, subjecting her body to extreme temperatures, heat, cold, moisture…” Snake’s voice breaks through my thoughts. I look back at him and he gestures to a control panel on the wall.
There are different buttons, one for each function. Lights, temperature, electricity, water.
Snakes’ grin widens as he roughly grabs a fistful of Hanna’s hair, lifting her head fast. I tense every single muscle in my body, feeling my blood burning in my veins, but before I have time to think about it, Ricardo grabs my arm, squeezing hard, keeping me right where I’m standing. Snake arches a brow as he keeps on with his damn prattling.
“The stress and anxiety should have become almost unbearable, destroying her self-esteem, breaking her defenses and weakening her resistance… but when I submerged the bitch in a tank filled with cold water, covering her head with a black out mask which only allowed her to breathe, the fucking bitch started to hum. Can you believe it?”
He pauses, shoving her head viciously as his eyes slid over the surface of her skin, a dirty gaze sparkling in his cold eyes.
“Then, I though. What can I do to get to this bitch? It’s not like I had too much time, you know? And the ‘Ice Queen’ is a tough whore so I checked her profile in search of something useful to reach her, to bend her willpower.” He pauses anew, looking back at me. “Not Hanna Miles’ official profile, but the real one; the profile the NSA keeps so deeply hidden in its fucking data base.”
I frown slightly. Her real profile? What the fuck…?
“You wouldn’t be able to imagine what I found, Toretto. It seems that the ‘Ice Queen’ rewrote her own profile, using her knowledge and connections, wiping away any trace of her real past and origins.” Snake chuckles as he shakes his head. “Hanna Miles is not even her real name, Toretto. You’re risking your neck for someone you didn’t even know, asshole.”
I frown deeply at his last words, sliding my gaze in her direction. What the hell is this fucker saying? Hanna Miles is her real name. She told me Hanna Evans was an alias. I know my own woman, don’t I?
Ricardo cracks his neck bones as he clears his throat. “Tell us something we don’t know, Mathews.”
“Snake.” He retorts fiercely, causing Ricardo to knit a brow.
I look at Ricardo, unable to stop my sudden anger against him. I can’t help but feel that he betrayed me by not telling me this shit about Hanna. Ricardo knew it and he didn’t say shit. Fuck! Big dark guy has some explanations to give and so does Hanna.
I narrow my eyes, staring at Snake’s. I don’t want to give him credit but my instinct is telling me this fucker is not shitting now. I suspect he wants to spread doubts between Ricardo and I, but still my guts are screaming at me.
“Whatever…lieutenant.” Ricardo replies, rolling his eyes, causing Snake to grunt deeply.
I’m realizing now that each time Ricardo made a reference to his military rank or his real name, Snake went on guard. Is that his weak spot?
Snakes recovers fast before we realize that Ricardo is getting at him and growling he keeps talking.
“It seems her ‘daddy’ took his sweet time training his little girl, turning her into his sex toy after ‘mommy’ flew because she didn’t care about anything else except her next shot.” Snake says, sarcastically. “So I said, Snake, let’s play that card. And you know what? It worked.” I gritted my teeth, holding back a growl. I swear I’m going to kill this fucker with my bare hands and then I’m going to find answers.
“What do you want from me, Snake?” I ask, holding his gaze. I’ve had enough of this shit. Snake grins, chuckling.
“Don’t go so fast, Toretto. This is the best part, man.” He replies, grinning evilly. “You should have heard her begging me to stop while I was fucking the life out of her, whispering to her how much daddy wanted his little girl and how good she was for him. Her screams were like celestial music to my ears.” Snake whispers coldly, that fucking grin plastered on his fucking face. “Of course when I was done with her, she was a little absent-minded.” He adds, frowning. “Anyway, I didn’t need the Intel she had. I already knew it. I was just breaking her apart because she dared to cross me.”
I can’t take anymore. My heart is dying just trying to figure the damage this fucking psycho inflicted on Hanna’s psyche. Not even I would be able to heal her after that terrible experience. I can’t even think at all after what he said about Hanna’s profile. My brain just collapsed.
“Isn’t that funny, Lieutenant?” Ricardo says, chuckling.
Snake’s gaze hardens in a second as I turn my head fast, staring at Ricardo like he’s a ghost. I can’t help it and a bizarre idea through my mind crosses. All of sudden I’m not sure on which side big dark guy is on. I figure he knows what he’s doing and even though I don’t want to jeopardize the only chance we have to save Hanna I don’t know how much time I’m going to be able to restrain myself.
“What did you say?” Snake asks, narrowing his eyes. In response, Ricardo chuckles, shaking his head.
“Well, from where I’m standing it’s fucking funny, Lieutenant.” Ricardo grins lightly and elaborates. “You, Lieutenant Raymond Mitchell Mathews, a decorated veteran of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm among other military top secret operations; a fearsome black ops specialist, an ex Green Beret and CIA merc defeated by a bookworm, by an inexperienced FBI field agent.” Ricardo pauses, laughing coldly. “I bet that hurt more than a kick in the balls. No wonder the CIA is so fucked if a messy girl was able to frustrate your plans to kill a civilian even though you had him within your reach in Lompoc.” He adds, shaking his head, still laughing.
Snake gritted his teeth tightly as his face turned red with anger in seconds, his gaze fixed on my neck comm. Bingo. Ricardo stabbed this fucker’s weak spot, twisting his shiv viciously, not showing any mercy. Just like he did with Bilkins. Ricardo went directly for his sweet spot; his pride. I bet Snake doesn’t know for sure how many people are listening to our talking. This fucker has no way to know how many people will know what Hanna alone did to him.
“This bitch didn’t frustrate shit, motherfucker. I wasn’t going to kill that asshole.” Snake mutters in disgust, gesturing with his head to me. I arch my brows in surprise. What?!
“You were ordered to kill me because the CIA didn’t want loose ends after that shit with the truck.” I hiss, holding his gaze. “That’s what Bilkins told us.” In response, Snake rolls his eyes.
“Those bureaucrats from Langley don’t know where their fucking asses are even if you shoved a 12 inches dick up them.” Snake replies. His voice doesn’t sound so emotionless anymore. “I recognize potential when I see it, Toretto. I watched you in Lompoc and after I took a look at your criminal record I knew you would be much more useful alive than dead. I was going to train you myself.” He explains as he moves backward a couple of steps. “Your racing skills are unique, not to mention your past relationship with the Cuban.” Snake moves forward, stepping behind Hanna’s body. “I was going to teach you how to kill. Quickly. Accurately. Efficiently. I was going to focus all that rage and pain until killing became a reflex action for you. Survival instinct, Toretto. You were going to learn how to enter a combat zone and evaporate into shadow, just like your pal here, just like me. ” He pauses again, looking at Hanna, greeting his teeth. “But this fucking bitch got in my way, with her own fucking plans and her personal revenge.”
I hear Big Sexy’s voice through my neck comm. cursing. He lost eight of his men and five are injured. I glance at Snake and he’s grinning from ear to ear. Shit! This fucker is hearing Big Sexy too.
“Tell those fuckers to leave the house or this bitch will pay the consequences.” Snake says as his face hardens in seconds. I narrow my eyes, closing my hands in fists; my gaze is fixed on Snake’s shiv now that it’s now dangerously close to Hanna’s belly. “I’m not shitting, Montenegro. Do it or I’ll gut the bitch.”
A strong shiver runs up my spine as I tighten my jaw so hard that my neck muscles are clenching painfully. Looking at Snake’s eyes I have no doubt he’s going to kill Hanna. This fucker is going to kill my woman in front of my damn eyes. His lips twitch in an evil grin. His eyes are flashing at me with a cold psycho gaze. I’ve seen that gaze before. Snake looked at me that way before he killed Marcus when I was on my way to talk with William.
“Ricardo” I hiss, my voice sounds cold yet tinted with fear. Ricardo ignores me, staring at Snake. His eyes sparkling with that unmistakable gleam.
He seems like a statue, his breath even and that damn calmness is getting on my nerves. It seems like Ricardo is weighing his options, determining the risks of ignoring Snake’s demand. Damnit! What the fuck is he waiting for?
Time seems to stop all around us, slowing down to a point where I can even feel my heartbeats in two tempos. Finally and to my relief, Ricardo growls deeply as he presses his neck comm giving Sexy the order to leave the house and bring the SUV with the med kit. Ricardo’s voice doesn’t leave any room to complain and after Big Sexy curses loudly, he obliges without a second thought.
I let out the air I’ve been holding with a painful heavy sigh as I feel a fresh rush of adrenaline running through my veins. Shit, shit, shit.
Snake’s bedeviled eyes lock with mine as he presses the blade of his shivs against Hanna’s belly, slicing deeply her skin in one fierce move. Hanna doesn’t make a sound or move at all. She’s been unconscious for who knows how long.
My heart stops dead and all of sudden time doubles its speed. Blood starts to emanate from the cut, sliding down past her pubic hair down her legs.
Too damn fast to even give a second thought I rush to Hanna’s side. There’s too much blood. I take off my bullet-proof vest as fast as I can and pulling off my tee shirt, I pressed the wound with all my strength. Snake laughs hard as he moves backward, pulling out his own gun, pointing at me, making Ricardo pull out his gun too.
I turn my head to Ricardo. I don’t know what to do. I can’t stop the hemorrhage. My shirt is drenched in her blood and so are my hands.
“Ricardo!” I call him, gritting my teeth.
“We’re not done, Snake.” Ricardo whispers menacingly, moving backward, giving room for Snake to escape. Snake chuckles as he reaches the door.
“Next time, Ricardo. Next time.” He retorts and laughing he runs down the hallway. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
“¡Coño!” Ricardo curses loudly, pressing the comm. “Sexy!!” he shouts. “Bring that fucking doc!” He adds, rushing to us.
“Hold on a second, baby.” I whisper, blinking at my all of a sudden blurry vision. “You’re going to be okay, Hanna.” Her skin is cold, so cold I shiver, touching her. Ricardo growls deeply as he bent his head, pressing his ear to Hanna’s chest.
“Come on, princesa. We’ve been here before, baby.” Ricardo hisses through clenched teeth as he takes off his bullet-proof vest, pulling off his own shirt. I grab it, pressing it too against the wound, applying as much pressure as I can. Fuck! There’s too much blood, Damnit! She’s bleeding too much. “Don’t you dare die on me, Hanna.” He adds, checking her pulse as he starts mouth to mouth resuscitation. “That’s not part of the deal, princesa.” He hisses as he keeps trying to keep her alive.
I don’t even know if she can hear me but I can’t stop myself.
“Please, Hanna, don’t leave me, baby.” I whisper, swallowing hard past the lump in my throat. I shut my eyes tightly, forcing my voice out. “Hanna…I need you with me. I can’t live without you, baby.” I notice tears, running freely down my cheeks as I keep doing the only thing I can do right now while we wait for ‘Mad Doc’ to show up with the med kit.
Seconds seems hours and all of sudden I can’t feel her pulse.
Oh my God, NO! Please, No! Don’t take her way from me, please. Not her, please God, help me, please…