“Yeah, Dominga,” Luz said, giving her the stink-eye as she appeared at the table, placing our drinks down. “Give her a break.” Luz grinned at me and slid my beer over. “You’ve got us both tonight. You’re safe. Let loose.”
“Oh, so now I’m allowed to let loose?”
She looked me up and down. “You can’t get too loose with the way you are.”
I took a big gulp of beer, challenged. “We’ll see.”
An hour later, I was feeling a lot looser. Two more beers had helped with that as well. They also tipped my bladder over to the breaking point.
I pushed back my chair and attempted to stand up, but suddenly Luz was beside me, holding me by the arms.
“Where do you think you’re going?” she asked.
“I’m trying to go to the bathroom,” I told her. “You don’t need to come with me.”
The two of them exchanged a look. “I won’t go with you into the stall, but you should probably have some help getting across the room.”
The bar at this point was completely packed, and people were being rowdy, drunken idiots. I nodded and leaned on her, not willing to risk it on my own. I’d probably be bounced against the wall and stepped on by dancing jackasses.
Eventually we made it to the washroom. It was dirty with wet floors and no paper towels, and had a line of slurring girls with smudged makeup waiting to use the two stalls. Luckily someone took pity on me and let me use it ahead of the line, even though there were a few disgruntled murmurs in the crowd. Even totally beat-up and obviously injured didn’t mean I got a free pass.
When I was done, Luz was still in line, so I washed my hands and told her I’d wait outside the bathroom. No way in hell did I want to be in there, especially now as some chick was puking her brains out. I went out into the dark hallway and leaned against the wall. I was drunk, but my body was slowly starting to ache, and I wondered if the pain medication was beginning to wear off.
Suddenly some loud morons rounded the corner from the men’s washroom and bumped into me hard. I let out a cry and flew to the side, the ground rushing up to meet my face, when an arm came out of nowhere and caught me.
Before I knew what was happening, I was pulled back up by someone who was very strong. I looked at the large, muscular forearm around me then followed it up to the fitted white t-shirt which belonged to a tall, insanely built guy. His blue eyes were sharp and filled with concern, his jaw wide and stern, his stance fierce.
He was Caucasian. Ripped. And hot as hell.
And he was holding on to me like he wasn’t about to let go.
It was probably a big mistake. In fact, I’d been making nothing but big mistakes since the moment I answered my phone in Cancun. I should have listened to my instincts then but this god damn need to escape this life loomed larger than I thought. I never knew how badly I needed that chance and how much money could buy it, until I heard it offered.
But no amount of money, no amount of change, is worth it if you end up dead in the end. If I’ve learned anything from the people I’ve killed, it’s that.
Now, I was certain that whoever had been on the other line, the one giving the orders, wouldn’t let me go so easily. It’s not unheard of to back out of a job. Usually the sicario gets to keep the deposit and then fucks off somewhere. Usually that sicario is not hunted down but they also aren’t used again.
For sure, I would have a black mark against me. But that was better than ending up dead. The money, the persistence to have this girl killed even after being hit by a car, the heightened stakes – it wasn’t worth it. I’m never told the whole story when it comes to my job. It isn’t my business. I carry out the orders for the right price. But when the orders don’t add up and things don’t make sense, you’re a fool if you don’t get out of it.