Hello, and thanks for joining me again. I will be sharing one of my latest projects here with you each week. The installments are brief. I do hope you enjoy them.
If you like what you read, you can catch up with all previous excerpts here:
Chapter 1 … Excerpt 2.
Chapter 1 … Excerpt 2.
Diego rested his hand on the Glock, seeking comfort in the unrelentingly cold hardness of the metal.
He checked the CCTV image; uncertain if it were a trick of his mind that permitted him to visualize the shapes that waited there, as friend, and not foe.
Two people stood unmoving, both concealed by the dark hoodies that covered their heads and faces so successfully. The stance of one was tantalizingly familiar; yet Diego’s brain recognized it as an impossibility, even as the thought formed. ‘No … impossible! No, no, no, you’re dead’
He clicked the intercom open, and was not surprised when his voice quavered as he spoke, “What?”
“That’s no way to greet an old friend, Chicano!”
“Santa Madre de Dios! No! I saw you die.”
The one who had spoken, raised both hands, then, slowly and with long-tapered fingers’, pushed back the hoodie. The perfect features worked themselves into a high-powered smile. “I decided that death was supremely overrated, Chicano! You know how I am when I make up my mind. Now open the fucking door, I need a drink!”
Diego Ortega made his choice, and with a hand that shook, he deactivated the explosive charge, his first-line of defense. He opened the door; even as he clicked off the safety on the Glock, and stood ready to use it at point blank range if necessary.
“Weapons on the table. Both of you, now!” He said, surprising himself that he could speak at all.
“That’s the first smart thing you’ve said.” The un-hooded one replied, placing another Glock on the table.
“You!” Diego pointed his weapon at the shorter of the two, “The weapon, now!”
The second person slowly moved their right hand, and pulled a gun from beneath the hoodie. It was carefully laid alongside his companions.
Diego placed his gun barely inches from the face of the one he recognized, “The back-up. On the table. Make it fast.”
“Good call! So you do remember?” The left ankle was quickly revealed and a lethal knife was quickly removed from its sheath, to join the guns on the table.
“Hands behind you. Kneel on the floor.”
“You,” he pointed the gun at the second one, “Down.”
The two threats to his sanity were now cuffed. “Tell me what you want. Make it fast.”
“I want a drink, Chicano. You know what I like.”
“Still drinking Buds?” Diego smiled stiffly as he asked.
“I’ve never touched beer in my life. Nice try, Chicano. But no cigar! You disappoint me; I expected your wits to have remained sharper than this. I have my preferred drink of choice in my backpack; unless you happen to have a Twelve-year-old single malt scotch available?”
Diego heard clearly, “That is hardly a secret. You’ll need much more to convince me that you are who you appear to be. Much, more.”
“You whisper ‘Ti Amo’ when you orgasm.”
“I do that with anyone that satisfies me.”
“I’m tired of this bullshit, Chicano! You ask the damned questions. I want a drink while I wait.”
Diego was wavering, but held the gun ready. He racked his memory banks for something unique to his tormentor. “What did your mother say to you just before she died?”
The tormentor glared at him, not speaking, for a long, cold, moment. Then the words erupted like poisonous sores spewing puss. “She said, ‘You were always the waste of a perfectly good fuck!’ Just before I shot her.”
Diego stood motionless for what felt an eternity, then, with tears pouring from his still disbelieving eyes, he moved behind the visitors and removed the cuffs.
“Querida. Mi amor preciouso!” He pulled the woman into his arms.
She laughed delightedly and kissed him. “Your accent thickens whenever you are passionate or afraid. Which is it now? ”
Diego looked in her green eyes, as his memories threatened to spiral out of control, “A mixture of both, Elizabeth. We need to talk. I have company coming, soon now. We will talk later.”
He turned his attention to her companion once more, “Your name?”
“His name is Javier.”
“Can he not speak for himself, Elizabeth?”
“No … he cannot. The Breed removed his tongue.”
Diego looked at the younger man, “I’m so sorry.”
” Why did they allow him to live? They usually complete the butchering process.”
The woman looked across at the young man. They shared an unspoken moment.
“It will take time to explain, Diego.”The woman looked into his eyes for a long moment. “These people you are expecting … . Do you trust them with our lives, Diego?”
To Be Continued …