I thought I would puke as soon as I had two minutes alone, but surprisingly I didn’t. I’m still feeling sick and sure as hell I’ll feel that way for a while. Anyway, I’ve been too busy thinking non-stop about what took place tonight; trying to make sense of the craziness I was witness to, and about our new suspicions regarding Reynaldo and Santos.
I can’t help it, I keep thinking about what Ricardo said about everybody knowing everybody and that’s when people start mixing, making things get out of hand. So my brain is spinning a little, working on overload with the new course of events.
I didn’t say it aloud but I wonder if ‘El Padrino’ was putting on a hell of a show executing Fabio and those two fuckers. I can’t explain myself and I already know that sounds weird even to me, but I don’t think the drug lord needed to execute them. To make such a mess just to make sure everybody knows he’s still the one and only ruling the roost. And it’s not as if he needs to remind people he’s a dangerous motherfucker either.
‘El Padrino’ had been, even before I was born, trafficking drugs and not even the betrayal of his old partners nor the DEA itself got to remove the drug lord from his powerful position. ‘El Padrino’ has stayed in charge even when he was locked in prison and not even his nephews dared to take a step without being sure they can count on their uncle’s blessing.
It’s truer now than ever before, since he’s completely alone at the top of the chain because he got rid off the leader of the Juarez Cartel. With that move, ‘El Padrino’ took over ‘El Azul’s connections, power and influence, not to mention that the most of the Zetas are now at his beck and call as well, even if there’s still a small faction walking around outside of his direct control.
I figure the unexpected arrival of all of us in Mexico caused more than one fucker to start plotting like a mad man, getting ready for whatever unexpected event or changes would take place. Certainly Reynaldo and Santos walking around under the drug lord’s direct protection is not helping either; that’s for damn sure. Because that’s one hell of a change and I have the feeling that change is exactly what these fuckers don’t like one damn bit.
It’s true that both ‘El Azul’ and Fabio’s father were threatening the drug lord’s current position and that sooner or later ‘El Padrino’ would have ended up taking care of them, but what I wonder is why right now. At the end he has already been waiting for many years to pay them back. So what’s with the hurry?
It’s just like that commandant said to Ricardo, the shit has already hit the fan. Or is it because the drug lord is anticipating other events that will take place sooner than he himself expected? What if Ricardo is right and ‘El Padrino’ killed those fuckers in pursuit of another goal separate from his own benefit. What if he didn’t do it to protect himself but to protect Hanna?
It’s a bizarre idea and it sure as hell sounds more like nonsense, a crazy suspicion, but what if ‘El Padrino’ has been aware since the beginning of Reynaldo’s hidden plan to take him out. And he has been letting Reynaldo go this far, using Hanna as bait because he doesn’t know the identity of whoever has been helping the Cuban in the shadows. If someone has been helping the bastard, that’s it.
I wouldn’t be the one underestimating Reynaldo, not after what I know about the Cuban because that bastard is not stupid. And what I certainly know about Reynaldo is unnerving me, making me to feel really nervous.
Reynaldo Casamajor doesn’t trust anybody and if you’re not his friend, then you’re his enemy, and he has no friends at all. Reynaldo shoots first, asks questions later. So if he has been aware since the beginning about Hanna’s real identity, that would mean he has known as well about her secret mission, the damn case, Elaine, Ricardo and even me.
And all of sudden a vision of Hanna pointing a loaded gun to my head that night at ‘La Cueva’ pops within my mind without warning. Hanna didn’t hesitate when Reynaldo told her to kill me and she fired that fucking gun. Damnit! Now I know for sure that back then that bastard wasn’t testing me but Hanna. Reynaldo wanted to test her loyalty. He wanted to know if Hanna would betray me for a second time, given that she already did it once, siding with him if the occasion required it. Maybe even going so far as to make Hanna choose between Crystal’s life and my own life if it came to it, and that’s the reason why Hanna didn’t give it a second thought.
Shit! I wonder if Reynaldo knew all along about Hanna and Magdalena too. What if he was the first one to notice the unbelievable physical resemblance between Crystal and Magdalena? It would be possible because sure as hell Hanna’s sister and Crystal are as alike as two drops of water.
What if just as Hanna had ran by chance into Reynaldo’s file while on her research about that fucking truck, the Cuban ran into Hanna’s file, discovering the existence of an older record? What if it was at that exact moment when he started to scheme and that was the real reason why Reynaldo offered Crystal his protection, keeping the young girl at his side after he crossed paths with her?
I don’t buy for a second that the sick bastard grew a conscience over the years and that he’s somehow redeeming himself. It’s true that in his own sick way, Reynaldo has been taking care of Crystal, but only because the girl has been serving his own purpose. Maybe he had the entire time another plans concerning Crystal. Something we can’t figure out.
However, Ricardo made sure the Cuban knew who Hanna was. I just wonder if Reynaldo has been playing big dark guy as well, pretending the entire time that he didn’t have a clue. I know Ricardo is not a man to fool that easily, but again he’s just a man and consequently he’s not infallible. Big dark guy makes mistakes too, just like all of us and maybe Reynaldo fooled him as well.
And all of sudden Reynaldo’s words at the club when Hanna was stripping for us spread in my brain, causing my heart to beat faster in a second.
“We’re not shitting here, my friend. These two fuckers might mean my way out, Toretto. I’m not backing up an inch and you better not either, got it?”
Back then he was talking about Santos and Ricardo and how both of them would represent a unique priceless occasion for him to get out from under the fist of the CIA. And later, that very same night Snake and his fuckers showed up, kidnapping Hanna, beating the shit out of me. Fuck!
“…Never bite the hand that’s feeding you…”
Oh, fuck! What if Snake was the one telling Reynaldo about Hanna’s secret file the NSA had in its basement? What if the CIA found Reynaldo’s secret plot about how he was going to leave them out of the new deal, betraying the same fuckers that have been protecting him since he arrived in the US?
That would explain why Snake tried to kill Hanna. With my woman out of the picture, Reynaldo didn’t have a single chance to get nowhere close to ‘El Padrino’, and all his chances to take the drug lord out would vanish in a second flat.
Reynaldo needed Hanna alive and kicking and that’s the reason why he let Ricardo and I go in search of her, not saying a word to complain. The fucker knew that if someone was able to get Hanna back alive that was Ricardo Montenegro. Holy fuck!
“I checked her profile in search of something useful to reach her, to bend her willpower…Not Hanna Miles’ official profile, but the real one; the profile the NSA keeps so deeply hidden in its fucking data base…You wouldn’t be able to imagine what I found…Hanna Miles is not even her real name, Toretto. You’re risking your neck for someone you didn’t even know, asshole.”
Fuck, fuck, fuck! All that crap Snake said about how he was planning to recruit me when Hanna showed up, frustrating his plans, it was jus bullshit. It was all a fucking lie. He was following another goal. I just happen to be in the middle and Snake thought I may be useful in the future because of my skills.
Oh, for fuck’s sake! How deep does this shit run? How many people have been involved since the beginning? How many fuckers have known who Hanna was since the very first moment?
I shut my eyes tightly, focusing all of my senses in that last thought when all of sudden I feel my stomach almost dropping to my feet as the most bizarre suspicions grow with such strength it’s almost cutting off my breath. William.
I don’t even dare to think about that shit. I don’t want to believe it. I refuse to believe that he’s the someone helping Reynaldo in the shadows. No way. No fucking way.
I glance at Ricardo from the corner of my eye, swallowing hard as I get rid of that painful suspicion. I don’t even dare to say it aloud; afraid that it may become real if I let the words slip through my lips.
Ricardo pulls out his cell phone, turning it on silent mode. We’ve already reached the mansion and Ricardo is waiting for Sean’s call at any time now.
The DEA agent told us over the last two weeks there has been a lot of action in the Zetas’ internal structure, with fuckers coming and going. It seems one of the DEA’s informants told the agency that a big load of weapons arrived at Sinaloa a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if those weapons were the same ones that Reynaldo bought in Miami. And if that shit is true, then the Zetas were the ones paying for those high tech weapons.
However, and after what I’ve been thinking about Reynaldo while Ricardo and I have been driving back to Sinaloa I wonder if those weapons were originally supposed to end up in some else’s hands and not in the Zetas’ hands. What if Reynaldo kept those weapons to himself and that’s the reason why he killed his own contact. That way the bastard was wiping away any trace of that transaction because the accounts are untraceable and there’s no way to know for certain where that money ended.
I wonder if Ricardo is planning to offer a deal to the leader of the Zetas and that’s the reason why big dark guy wanted for Sean to find who the guy is. As far as I’m concerned those fuckers are a serious threat, and if the Intel the DEA has is correct, then that small faction is not going to follow ‘El Padrino’s’ lead just for the hell of it, unless the drug lord is able to keep paying for their worthy services. I figure those fuckers are probably getting ready to use the occasion to demand for much more cash or power or whatever the fuck they are interested in. At the end all it seems to come back to those two premises; power and money.
We slip into the garden of the mansion, making our way through the lush forest that surrounds the entire estate and so far we haven’t been spotted. But I figure it won’t take much longer before we have to face some of the many fuckers that without doubt are making the rounds.
We reached the part of the garden where the tent was set up this afternoon without crossing paths with any of those monkeys. We didn’t find any fuckers at all in our way. Hmmm.
Ricardo and I look at each other in silent dialogue. We both are thinking the same thing. We are either incredibly great at this shit or we’re fucking lucky. And neither of us believes that shit for a second. No one is that good or lucky; not even Ricardo Montenegro.
It means that Ricardo’s suspicions were wrong and that Reynaldo is waiting for us to show up at any time. Sure as hell someone already ran off to tell the tale about what happened tonight. Damnit!
Reynaldo’s birthday party is taking place oblivious to the shit that happened a few miles away from here. The big tent is packed with people and they are dancing, drinking and having the time of their lives. Drugs and alcohol are everywhere. The blasting music sounds through the big speakers and the lights are flashing like damn fire works.
Renee, Jenn, Jasmine and Lydia are sitting together in one of the corners and they are surrounded by Reynaldo’s monkeys so they can’t be touched or bothered. The message is clear enough for every single fucker around. Those women are the property of Reynaldo Casamajor and in case someone feels like causing trouble, then the dumbass will have to face those armed fuckers. It seems the bastard is still treating his dancers in a different way.
The girls are chatting and smoking, pretending that they are fine and even though they seem relaxed I know better. I already saw them on one occasion before, doing just that and now there’s something wrong with the picture. They are far from being relaxed or enjoying themselves. Those women are pretending that everything’s okay. Probably because they are smart enough to know that playing the dumb bimbo is as safe a way as any other to survive inside Reynaldo’s world.
From our spot we have a clear vision of almost the entire tent. My eyes wander, searching for our women but there’s no trace of them. Elaine and Hanna are nowhere to be found, at least inside the damn tent. My guts clench painfully as I realize that there’s no trace of Santos and Reynaldo either, not even Crystal or Miguel are in the fucking party.
I look at Ricardo and he’s looking around as well but his lips are moving, as if he’s talking with himself or cursing under his breath. Ricardo is radiating danger as he narrows his eyes, watching the people partying all over the place.
I frown deeply, staring at his lips when I realize what he’s doing. Ricardo is counting. Big dark guy is counting how many men Reynaldo left to take care of the security?
“Zetas.” Ricardo whispers coldly as he gestures with his head to one of the fuckers. The guy is standing in one of the darkest corners and he’s looking absently around, smoking.
“What?!” I ask him, arching a brow.
“Those fuckers are not Reynaldo’s monkeys. They are Zetas.” Is his answer as he turns his head, looking at me. “That’s why we didn’t find any fuckers in our way, Dom. I bet ‘El Padrino’ is here and that he’s waiting for us to show up. ¡Coño!” And with that he heads towards the guy.
Fuck! That explains why the girls are so tense. It’s not because they are surrounded by armed fuckers, they are used to that shit; it’s because those fuckers are Zetas and not Reynaldo’s men. ‘El Padrino’ set their own men all around the place.
I frown as my brain starts to spin again. It’s not that Ricardo’s words don’t make sense and sure as hell I’m not that surprised if ‘El Padrino’ is here tonight. At the end that old fucker already told us Reynaldo and Santos were under his direct protection. However I wonder why the hell he came here tonight? Is it because he already reached an agreement with Reynaldo concerning Hanna or is it because he’s just going ahead with his own plan? And why the fuck haven’t those fuckers stopped us already?
‘El Padrino’ gave us a clear warning, almost not giving us room to complain. But he also left us alive. So I wonder if he had already expected for us not to follow his order. Damn! This is turning too fucking complicated all of sudden.
Ricardo is making his way through the crowd of people as he keeps heading directly towards the guy who so far is still oblivious to the fact that he’s already a walking corpse. When he’s closer, Ricardo’s lips spread in that evil smile and extending his hand he shakes his, tapping the fucker’s shoulder.
I look around at the people, glancing at the other guys from the corner of my eyes. In those few seconds, Ricardo leans forward, as if he’s whispering something in the guy’s ear and in a flash a silver gleam sparkles in his hands. One second the fucker is grinning from ear to ear, next one his eyes widen completely as he grabs Ricardo’s shoulder, falling at big dark guy’s knees. Fuck!
In one fast move, I look around again, wanting to be sure if someone noticed Ricardo kill that fucker in a second flat. To my surprise, the rest of the Zetas are busy watching another show and that’s the reason why they didn’t see shit. No wonder.
Jenn and Jasmine are stripping while dancing, right in the spot where all of them were sitting. They are stroking each other, putting on a hell of a lesbian show that raises the temperature inside the tent several degrees in a few seconds.
My brows arch at once as I look at Renee and Lydia. Damn! They are kissing each other, mimicking Jenn’s and Jasmine’s moves, making all the fuckers around them start shouting, whistling and yelling.
These women are hotter than hell itself and with no doubt they have a set of balls there. Damn! Talk about the ‘weaker’ sex. They are distracting the Zetas so they don’t pay attention to us?
My eyes move fast, searching for any sign that someone else noticed something out of the ordinary. Nothing. The Zetas are grinning, staring at those four women just like the rest of the fuckers that are close enough to see them. And I find myself laughing silently when my gaze crosses with Jasmine’s and she winks at me as a mischievous smile spreads on her lips. Brainless bimbos, my ass! Holy shit!
All of sudden Ricardo taps my shoulder, gesturing for me to follow him but not before he blows a kiss to Jenn, winking at her. In response, she winks back at him and then she spins herself around, returning her attention to Jasmine.
I shake my head, forcing my mind to return to the task at hand as I follow that shadow in motion that goes by the name of Ricardo Montenegro. He makes his way back to the mansion, heading directly to the backside of the house.
As soon as we reach it, we run into two fuckers that pull their guns out in a second. I don’t even have the chance to raise my own gun when Ricardo rushes to them, stabbing one at the heart and slashing the neck of the other.
Holy fuck! I can’t seem to get used to big dark guy’s lethal moves. I’m still wondering where he hid his shivs and when all this shit is done I gotta find a minute to ask him.
“Now those were two of the Cuban’s monkeys.” Ricardo whispers, chuckling. I knit a brow at his words.
“How do you recognize them, man?” I ask, narrowing my eyes in suspicion. “They all seem like the same fuckers to me.” In response, Ricardo grins wickedly.
“Call it instinct.” He replies, winking as his grin widens.
We slip inside the house, not finding any other fuckers in our way. We keep walking until we reach a large room that seems to be some kind of playroom, with a pool table, a bar and a huge plasma screen hanging from one of the walls with indecently expensive shit spread all over.
We enter the room and Ricardo comes to a dead stop as he gestures for me to keep quiet. I frown slightly, watching how he closes his eyes as he tilts his head to one side, as if he’s hearing something I can’t, focusing all of his senses. Then he snaps his eyes open and in one fast move, he gestures for me to follow him to the other room.
“This wasn’t what we wanted, Rey.” A boy’s voice says all of sudden. “Why don’t you kill her already so we can be together, huh?” The boy whines.
“Stop bitching, Francis. I already told you I need that fucking bitch alive.” Reynaldo’s voice retorts sharply. “And now you better go back to your bedroom before someone spots you.”
“But, Rey” The boy starts to complain just to be cut off by Reynaldo’s voice again.
“Francis.” There’s a clear warning in the Cuban’s voice. In response, the boy sighs heavily.
“Okay, okay, but you’re going to have to compensate me for all this shit, Rey.” He replies and all of sudden his voice sounds playful.
“I’m gonna make much more than just that, my love.” Rey says and we hear a loud slap followed by giggles.
“When all this shit is done, I’ll give you everything you want, Francis and more.” The Cuban’s voice sounds like I never heard him before.
I look at Ricardo arching a brow in puzzlement as he grins wickedly. What the hell?!
“You know what I always wanted, caramel skin.” The boy says, giggling.
“And you will have it, my love.” Reynaldo’s voice sounds so sweet that’s making me sick, hearing him talking like that.
“Do you promise?” The boy asks excitedly. In response, Reynaldo laughs softly.
“Of course, my love. Now get lost, Francis.” He replies, making the boy laugh with him.
All of sudden we hear footsteps heading towards where we’re standing and in one fast move, Ricardo pushes me back, making both of us behind a heavy curtain. A few seconds later and the boy crosses in front of us, padding to his bedroom, I guess.
My eyes widen completely when I recognize the boy. What the…? Holy fuck! He’s the same kid who was at Reynaldo’s yacht that night; the blonde kid that bastard was fucking like there was no tomorrow. What the fuck…?
I glance at Ricardo and the fucker is laughing silently, shaking his head. I knit a brow and before I can stop it, I find myself muffling my own laughter with my hand clasped against my mouth. Holy shit! And here I thought Ricardo and I were damn pussies regarding our own women.
After a long moment, we manage to sober up a little, but we’re unable to stop grinning. Ricardo clears his throat a little as he looks at me.
“I wonder how the fuck we didn’t notice Reynaldo’s bitch before, man.” I say, fighting back my laughter. Ricardo sobers completely as his eyes flash me with that devilish gleam.
“I wonder what the Cuban would do if something happened to his ‘girl’.” Ricardo replies, watching through narrowed eyes as the boy turns the far corner.
Reynaldo has been doing a hell of a job, keeping his real weakness hidden. Not even Hanna found about that boy and his relationship with the Cuban. Reynaldo’s weak spot was never the fact that he felt alone and that he needed a friend, but that blonde kid.
“Snatch and snuff?” I ask him, arching my brows. In response, Ricardo’s grin widens completely.
“You’re turning into a man after my own heart, Dom.” He replies, tapping my shoulder and with that he heads off in the direction the boy went. I frown slightly and after a second I follow him along the hallway when all of sudden something catches my attention.
I don’t even know how I saw it because I was passing that room, not really watching the furniture but mimicking Ricardo’s moves as he kept walking in search of that fucking kid’s bedroom.
There’s one small framed picture resting on a black piano and my heart stops dead as I fix my gaze on that damn picture. Now I can’t fool myself anymore. There’s no way that’s a coincidence. Mostly because I don’t believe in damn coincidences but in Fate. Fuck!!
That painful suspicion comes back with full force, making me feel sicker than ever before. Not even those heads made me feel this sick. And all of sudden my jaw clenches tightly as I curse under my breath. Fuck, fuck, fuck!!!
I’ve been fucking naïve the entire time, not wanting to even think about the possibility of that betrayal. It’s not about the lies anymore, but about how I’ve trusted a ghost for years. I wonder if Fate made it possible for me to see that little picture among the other things spread all over.
I can’t seem to force my legs to move from where I’m standing. I’m paralyzed, unable to take a single step, staring at that picture. My blood is boiling inside my veins as my heart keeps beating faster and faster.
“What is it, bro?” I hear Ricardo’s voice, asking me as if far away.
I suppose big dark guy noticed I wasn’t following him anymore and that’s the reason why he came back. I only can manage a slight gesture with my head. I can’t even blink or speak right now. I’m too shocked to even think clearly anymore. My mind a chaotic mix of thoughts in seconds.
“Coño…” Ricardo mutters under his breath as he follows my line of vision.
There she is, with her sad eyes staring at mine and her mysterious smile flashing at me. Ava Gardner.