FBI Director M. James looked at the man sitting across from him, trying to figure out where to start.
Truth was, there wasn’t a good place to start.
The man looked like Hell. Besides recovering from the removal of the facial implants and plastic surgery required to fix what had been done, he was nursing a fiberglass cast from the elbow down, one eye was swollen nearly shut, and his skin was bruised and littered with cuts; some were superficial and others required sutures. He should have been in the hospital.
Hell, he should have been dead.
But, once again, the DEA Agent somehow evaded death and checked himself out from the hospital against doctor’s orders.
The situation wasn’t good, and it was only to get worst.
The Director didn’t want to do it, he was still questioning why he was, but in order to protect the Agent’s best interests he hadn’t a choice.
“What do I even call you?” Director James asked.
It was as if a stranger was sitting across from him.
The Agent looked nothing like the man that went undercover years ago. The cheek and chin implants had been removed and the stretched skin had been surgically repaired but was still swollen and would take a few more weeks before he’d know if it worked or not, if at all possible. His hair wouldn’t be dyed black for much longer, the Director knew, and only his eyes hinted that he was the same man, but now their completely unique viridian coloring was shadowed with guilt and the nightmares that haunted him.
“Wade White,” the Agent automatically replied; it was engrained.
For the past decade DEA Agent H. James had been living as Wade White, a gringo with a shipping business in Texas that the most notorious drug cartel in Mexico utilized to move their product. Over the years, Wade’s role in the cartel changed many times as he rose in the ranks until he was a Lugarteniente.
He was a victim of his own success.
“I’m not calling you that, Brother. Wade White is dead.”
“That was the point,” he agreed.
“Do you want the good news or the bad news?” Director James asked, refusing to entertain him.
“It was a little car bomb,” Wade assured him. “I’ve had worse and a car bomb is the easiest way to make it as believable as possible. I’m sure they’re still collecting teeth.”
“Uh huh. That little car bomb nearly took you out,” Director James reminded him. “Next time I suggest getting assistance with the wiring.”
Wade nodded his agreement.
“The Flórez Cartel isn’t stupid, and Joaquín gives a whole new meaning to the word paranoid. When their routes, weapons strongholds, inventory, and labs were systematically taken out, it doesn’t take genius to know it was because of the gringo that was allegedly blown to pieces from a small car bomb by a rival cartel.”
Wade made a face.
“According to intel, the few remaining Lugartenientes are suspect of you and your intentions for the cartel in the end,” Director James continued.
Wade nodded. “That’s a given,” he agreed. “They’ve been targeting me since the beginning, but they weren’t smart enough to figure it out then, and they still aren’t now.”
“You hope. Which government or branch they shouldn’t figure out, but it won’t stop them from targeting everyone with a badge and every rival cartel until they figure something out. That I will not allow to happen.”
“What are you saying, Blood?” Wade asked, his Texas accent being replaced by one that hasn’t been heard in a decade.
“You have to lay low, Brother,” Director James said, his own accent flaring. “Wade White is still in the NCIC and officially dead. The mugshots were doctored to emphasize the implants so they’ll be useless if they get their hands on facial recognition software. We don’t have to worry about your fingerprints because of your adermatoglyphia, and the ones in the system are from a thirty-year-old cold case of a John Doe that washed up… Do I even want to know where you got the body and how his dental records matched those for Wade White in the system?” he asked as more of an afterthought.
Wade shook his head with a smirk.
“Answer enough,” he said. “I’m sorry to say, but you have to go into witness protection, in a sense, until you can testify, if it gets to that, or I deem the threat mitigated. Those handling the case said it can be two years, maybe longer, until it can go before the grand jury. They’ve already made over a hundred arrests, mostly Sicarios, Halcones, and those that were expendable, but it was more than enough to send the Capos running. Even if you don’t have to testify, you’ll never be able to sleep without one eye open again. You know that.”
He shrugged as if it didn’t matter.
“Normal witness protection won’t work. Knowing you, you’d get into trouble or become the boss in another crime syndicate. Hell, knowing the trouble you can get into you’d somehow become the Oyabun of the Yakuza regardless of being in the middle of Nowhere, Utah.”
Wade made a face. “Watashi wa nihongo ga sukoshi shika hanasemasen,” he said with a thick, Japanese accent. “I only speak a little Japanese,” he translated.
Director James was only slightly amused. “Yes, that. I got you a case that’s right up your alley and might hold a bit of interest for you.”
“You can’t be serious, Blood. I was just blown up,” Wade reminded him.
“And yet you walked away… Kind of,” Director James said with snort. “You did it to yourself. Your bomb wiring skills suck.”
“Minor details and one I’ll never hear the end of apparently,” he grumbled under his breath.
Director James nodded his agreement. “You were in too long, Brother. I told those bastards to pull you years ago, but you were too damn good. The DEA tried for years to get inside the organization, the Mexican government couldn’t do it either, and you just walked in as if you owned the place. But what it did to you, I see it in your eyes, Brother. I can’t stand by anymore and watch my brother turn into someone else, someone I don’t… I don’t recognize you anymore, Blood. I thought I lost you.”
“You sent someone in to check on me,” Wade reminded him, rubbing his thumb against the inside of his arm.
Director James nodded, watching him intently; that was the in he was waiting for. “Funny you should mention that,” he said. “You need to get back to your roots, back to the basics of law enforcement, and the people you call family.”
Wade gave him a look. “You aren’t saying what I think you are, are you?”
He gave an apologetic shrug. “It isn’t safe with the Marshalls, and those put in protective custody within the DEA and Marshalls all end up dead. There’s very little option. I called in every favor possible to pull you, and to be one of two people that will know where you’ll be. That way, if they find you, you know it’s because I’m dead so you have my permission to kill them all. The other will be your handler-”
“Don’t,” Wade warned. “Don’t you dare! I fought to get off that goddamn reservation and now you’re throwing me back?”
“The Res gave you the life you have,” Director James reminded him. “The Res gave you a home, love, security, family, and allowed you to get an education and out of the place you loathed.”
Wade pushed his hand through his hair. “I didn’t loathe it, Blood. You know that. The pale skin have no place on the land of the natives. You know this. You grew up reminding me over and over that I was one of you when I wasn’t.”
Director James nodded. “You are my brother, regardless of your skin and natural hair being lighter or your blood not being heavy. We did everything together, Brother. Joined the service and then the agencies together. I rose in the ranks in the Bureau and you did the impossible in Drug Enforcement. I can’t even begin imagine the things you’ve been through, the things you’ve seen, and what you had to do. You protected me growing up, you’ve risk your life over and over, and you gave up everything for valor and honor… Now it’s my turn to protect you and to do what’s best for you, Little Brother. That, and Mama is demanding I protect her little boy,” he added the latter with a smirk.
That, Wade couldn’t argue with.
“I dislike you so much right now, Blood,” Wade grumbled.
Director James smiled. “No you don’t. I promise it isn’t a reservation, in a sense. Have you heard of Wolfcastle Island by chance?” he asked, knowingly.
Wade gave him a look. “No,” he said in a clipped tone, not liking where this was going.
“It’s a thing of lore to the tribes and Bureau,” Director James continued, tossing a stamped classified file on the desk. “Long, long ago the western tribes were fighting for their lives against the pale skin. Those from the various tribes of the coastal region braved the hellish waters of the Pacific and retreated to an island for protection that was literally cut in half: one side is the US and the other side is Canada. Fast forward to the semi-modern world and hippies that wanted to live off the grid in a free love society without government oversight infiltrated it causing a bit of an uprising between them and the unified tribe. Because the island is completely off the grid, and there really wasn’t anything of use to either government on it, they decided to let it ride in a sense. Those calling it home would have dual citizenship and have no assistance from either government. They aren’t taxed by the state, they aren’t taxed by the governments, and they have complete internal oversight. The laws are the same as both countries, and only Federal and Royal Canadian Mounted Police jurisdiction holds any weight out there. The local police force are made up deputies that are considered both Federal and RCMP agents that are versed in both laws, including tribal law and the island law.”
Wade put his hand up to stop him. “I know the story, Blood. I know the story better than you could possibly imagine, and you aren’t telling it right.”
Director James shrugged indifferently. “Enlighten me, Brother,” he said.
“Before the government could get their hands on it, the island solely belonged to the offspring of a pale skin that took out his own platoon in order to protect the locals of the island, the women and children, and the daughter of the chief. That’s where the name came from. William Castle and Princess Shadow Wolf, the name combining to create Wolfcastle Island. It isn’t that the government went handoffs, the government couldn’t touch it due to presidential involvement on both sides of the border. It’s stated as long as a Wolfcastle heir was on the island, the island would solely belong to the heir of Wolfcastle.”
It always impressed Director James that his brother could remember some of the most trivial and minutest detail. That’s how he did as well as he did on exams and was able to infiltrate one of the most notorious and deadly drug cartels in history. Having an eidetic memory was both a curse and a blessing.
But that wasn’t how he knew the details in regards to Wolfcastle Island and Director James knew it.
“The last Sheriff was Charles Wolfcastle,” James said.
“Sheriff Charles Wolfcastle died in a presumed ‘accidental’ fire that was questionably investigated when his family was off the island.”
“Oh fuck,” Wade choked, tearing into the file and quickly pulled out the report.
Director James nodded, waiting for his brother to finish reading the report.
“No. No. No. No. This is beyond bad,” he whispered.
Again, Director James nodded. “Because of the sensitivity of the situation, especially since it can bring about a tribal and international incident, not to mention target those that were under the protection of the Wolfcastle namesake, we need an inside man that will resolve the situation without causing World War 3 in the process.”
Wade finished reading through the file, the color draining from his face. “What isn’t in this file, Blood?” he whispered, struggling to find his voice.
It wasn’t good.
“In theory, someone on the inside is trying to take the island since there is no Wolfcastle heir to make the blood claim.”
“There’s an heir,” Wade whispered. “Do they know?”
Director James nodded. “Yes. The heir of Wolfcastle knows and they want atonement for their father. But their identity is being kept to themselves to prevent being targeted. I’m surprised they know the truth of their own bloodline.”
“There’s no hiding it. Atonement they will get, and blood, lots of blood, will be shed in the process,” he agreed.
“The Ghost Dance to make the blood claim must be made before the full moon sets on January fifteenth. In that time, you will have to wield an authoritative cock to regain a sense of order, squash the criminal element that might be rising on the otherwise boring island, and keep your head down and ass out of trouble.”
That would be near impossible.
Director James pulled the drawer to his left open and pulled out a relocation packet and slid it across the desk.
“You don’t know what you’re asking, Blood,” Wade whispered.
“Actually, I think I do,” Director James said. “I called in a favor to make sure you were alive eight years ago. It took an act of the Great Spirit to get someone in deep enough that they could bring word back of your well-being, taking nearly two years of their life in return, and now that marker has been called in. A welcome to Wolfcastle Island starter pack,” he said, relinquishing the packet to him. “Laws for both sides of the border, including the tribal and island laws that might be invoked, and your background dossier. There’s a dossier on each deputy, the local political scene, NSA satellite imagery of the island, historical data that you’ll memorize and be bored with, and other secondhand tidbits of information that could prove to be bogus, but it’s a start. Cash, credit cards, identification, transfer papers, and everything else you’ll need.”
Wade opened the envelope and pulled out the passport. “You couldn’t have used a picture from this century?” he complained.
Director James chuckled. “I had to use a picture before the implants. I thought the picture from our last tour was perfect for it. You had that whole crazed mountain man thing going on... Still do, but you look old as shit now.”
He flipped his pesky big brother off. “When do I ship out?” he asked.
“You have a few weeks to get your shit together,” Director James said. “Since you don’t like flying, I got you a train ticket to Seattle. Mom and Dad flew in last night and are waiting to ambush you at my place. You’ll finally get to meet your niece and nephew… You’ll be staying with us until you get lost in the wind again. After that, no one other than me and your handler will know where you are. Think you can keep your head down and a low profile while preventing World War 3, and stay out of trouble?”
Wade made a face, pulling the badge and identification card from the envelope. “Ray James Morgan?” he whispered.
Director James smiled wide. “Grandpa’s favorite baseball player and your last name so you can get used to hearing it again. I thought it’d help you remember where you came from, Brother, since apparently you’ve forgotten.”
“I don’t forget anything, Blood, you know that,” Wade said, causing Director James’ smile to fall. “This is what I need, I think. There’s things I did that I can’t forgive myself for, things I should have stopped but didn’t because I had a job to do and role to play. You were right for pulling me, for forcing them to pull me and present the case to the courts, because I was losing myself in Wade White.”
Director James pulled his dark hands over his face; he feared that was going to happen.
Deep cover operatives sometimes lost themselves and their true identities when they are left too long in the field on a specific assignment. The identity they assume takes them over and sometimes they are lost. Two of the largest South American drug cartels, at one point in time, were ran by undercover agents that became their personas and forgot which side of the war they were truly on.
It was a mess the CIA created and had to get help in order to fix.
Director James wasn’t about to add his little brother to that list of lost agents.
“Wade White is dead, Hok'ee,” Director James whispered, stealing Wade’s attention.
“No one’s called me that in years, Moon,” he said.
“It’s your name, Hok'ee,” Director James reminded him. “You have forgotten your past, where you came from, the people that love and raised you as one of their own, and the brother that is sitting across from you now. You were in for too fucking long, Blood. All you know is Wade White. You didn’t even respond when my secretary called you Agent James.”
Wade hadn’t noticed that.
“They want you retired, to put you away somewhere that the cartel can’t get to you, someplace you can’t hurt anyone else,” Director James continued. “You are no longer considered an asset. You are a liability, Brother. This is your only chance to regain your sanity and remember what it is you swore to uphold and to protect, to remember who you are and where you came from. Remember the people, our people, and all of the sacrifices that they have made in order for you to wear that shield! Remember who you are, Brother. Because if you don’t, there’s nothing I can do to protect you.”
He shook his head, absently caressing his thumb over the tattoo on the inside of his left arm. “I don’t need your protection, Moon.”Director James watched his brother intently. “Yes, you do,” he whispered.
“I was born in Silverton, Colorado, to Mary and Jack Morgan,” he said, bracing himself against the sink in the bathroom and looked at his reflection in the mirror.
The hotel wasn’t the nicest, but that didn’t matter. It had a working bathroom, decent lighting, and was within walking distance to the ferry.
“I was born in Silverton, Colorado, to Mary and Jack Morgan. I had a brother named Don that passed away when he was serving in the military. IED took him and his platoon out on their first deployment. Don was a year younger than me,” he recited to his reflection.
The years undercover hadn’t been kind to him.
The years in the service hadn’t been kind to him either.
His hair was midway down his back, the beard covering half his face made him look as if he was ready to join ZZ Top according to his mom, and the scabs from the car bomb had fallen off and the sutures he removed while on the train to pass the time at night, leaving him littered with a fresh set of scars.
“I was born and raised in Silverton, Colorado, to Mary and Jack Morgan,” he repeated, his accent fading with each reciting. “I had a brother named Don that was a year younger than me. He died in the war.” He grabbed a pair of scissors from the edge of the sink and started trimming his beard down. “I attended the University of Colorado where I got my Criminal Justice Degree, spent seven years at the Alcatraz of the Rockies, ten years on the force with the San Juan County sheriff’s department…” his words trailed off, his eyes moving over the stranger looking back at in him in the mirror.
He looked older than forty-five.
Hell, he looked older than sixty-five at the moment.
He looked like Hell.
He splashed some water on his face before drying the coarse hairs.
“I was born and raised in Silverton, Colorado, to Mary and Jack Morgan. I had a brother named Don that died in the war,” he recited, clicking on the shaver and pulled it across his cheek. “I attended the University of Colorado where I got my Criminal Justice Degree, spent seven years at the Alcatraz of the Rockies, ten years on the force with the San Juan County sheriff’s department. My wife of nine years left me for my partner. I couldn’t blame her because I put the job first and her second. We had no children…”
He put the razor down before splashing some water on his face then wiped away the remaining whiskers.
It wasn’t a surprise that his ex-wife left him after only two years of marriage while he was in the Army. But it was a surprise that in the middle of Hell he found himself in the arms of a woman that he knew he’d never see again.
She was a ghost that he tried to bury and forget, but she haunted him…
Her death haunted him.
He picked the scissors back up and hesitated for a moment, looking between them and his reflection.
It has been a decade since he cut his hair.
He was raised to believe that long hair is a physical manifestation of growth of the spirit, and is a connection to all things from the Creator. He didn’t need to have long hair to fit into his role in the cartel, in fact the others flipped him shit about his long hair, but he kept it in order to hold onto a piece of his family and the beliefs he was raised with. This time, the cutting of his hair was to signify death, Wade White’s death. Cutting the long braid represents separating himself from his past actions and thoughts, and separating him from Wade White.
“I was born and raised in Silverton, Colorado, to Mary and Jack Morgan,” he said, using the scissors to cut through the long braid of hair at the base of his skull. After three squeezes of the scissors, it cut through the long braid. “I had a brother named Don that died in the war from an IED.” He carefully laid the long braid off to the side, making sure both ends were secured with rubber bands. “I attended the University of Colorado where I got my Criminal Justice Degree, spent seven years at the Alcatraz of the Rockies, and ten years on the force with the San Juan County sheriff’s department. My wife, Amy, of nine years left me for my partner. I couldn’t blame her because I put the job first and her second. We had no children, but Amy’s miserably married to the man she cheated on me with and they have three depressingly plain looking children together.”
He paused then chuckled, shaking his head, and switched out the guide on the razor before clicking it on and started shaving the sides of his head.
Perhaps his pesky big brother was right and this was what he needed in order to remember where he came from and why he risked his life and the lives of everyone he cared about. He signed up for the service in order to serve his country and to go to college. In the service, he and his brother both tested extremely well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. They were stationed together, both MPs, and had such an impressive case closure rate that it got them the attention of government agencies. One signed with the FBI and the other the DEA, to their mother’s dismay, right out of college.
The FBI agent rapidly rose in the ranks, becoming the first Native American to reach the position of Director in history. Moon married his childhood sweetheart, had two kids with another on the way, and is the pride of the tribe. When he retires, and Father steps down, he’s slated to take the role of Chief for their people.
What did the other have?
An ex-wife that he can’t even remember what she looks like, a ghost that he’s spent years trying to bury and forget, and a blood thirty cartel breathing down his neck?
This was his chance to remember who he once was, regardless of the nightmares he’s been haunted by since the moment he went undercover in the Flórez Cartel, and perhaps a second chance at the impossible.
He finished shaving around the sides of his head, then turned the razor off before setting it on the edge of the sink.
“I attended the University of Colorado where I got my Criminal Justice Degree, spent seven years at the Alcatraz of the Rockies, ten years on the force with the San Juan County sheriff’s department,” he told the stranger in the mirror before pulling his shirt over his head and dropped it to the floor. “I have an ex-wife named Amy that married my former partner. They have three very ugly children and she weighs three-hundred pounds on a good day.”
The man in the mirror smirked, his eyes moving over himself many times.
Short, cropped charcoal, silver and black hair with some short length on top so it can be styled; the exact opposite of what he had with his last assignment. Fine wrinkles and lines creased his forehead and around his eyes and mouth, showing his age in his opinion. Instead of going clean-shaven, he left some charcoal stubble to hide the damage from the car bomb. His nose was large and rugged, lips wide and thin, brows dark and thick over a pair of haunting viridian colored eyes. His shoulders were broad and chest wide, and nearly all visible skin was covered in colorful tattoos that told the story of his life, his real life.
On his back was a tribal Garfish in black, grey and red, with three bands behind it in the same color scheme; it represented the people that raised him as one of their own. His chest piece was of two black and gray flintlock pistols wrapped in vines, each with a bleeding red rose that represented his mom and grandmother, in the center was an anatomical heart that was stitched up with thick black thread; that represented the woman he loved and buried in the Mexico desert. Above it was mors tua, vita mea in eloquent script under his collar bones.
Each arm was heavily decorated from shoulder to wrist in various styles. The most significant wrapped around the inside of his left forearm; the portrait of a Native American woman in black and gray wearing a headdress, beautiful face hard, dark, menacing eyes looking up at him, a stripe of red war paint under her eyes and bridging over her nose, and lips pulling up into a smirk on one side. The placement of that tattoo was always questioned by those that saw it, but it allowed him to caress her face whenever he needed to organize his thoughts.
She was his center.
“I got my Criminal Justice Degree from the University of Colorado,” he said, rolling his neck. “After spending seven years at ADX Florence, the federal supermax prison in Fremont County, I joined the San Juan County Sheriff’s department where I spent the past ten years.”
His body was surprisingly built for his age; the heavy muscle was from pullups, sit-ups, working over a punching bag, and pushups. Scars littered his skin, breaking up the colorful artwork in places and being covered by it in others, creating a canvas that told the story of his life, of all of his lives, and it made it nearly impossible to explain when someone looked a little too closely.
He dusted the remaining hair and whiskers from his skin, watching his reflection intently.
“I’m Sheriff Ray Morgan of the Wolfcastle Police Department, it’s nice to meet you,” Ray said, the words flowing naturally.
The ferry ride was a bit unnerving, but proved to be a wealth of knowledge.
Thick fog veiled the Pacific, hiding the water the ferry was cutting through, reducing visibility to only feet. More than once Ray had questioned the Captain’s sanity for blindly traversing the violent waters, but he gave the old man credit; he had balls.
“You’re quiet, Kid,” Captain Weiss said, looking over at the man standing next to him in the wheelhouse.
Ray nodded, looking out the window. “I’m not much younger than you, Old Man,” he pointed out.
Captain Weiss chuckled.
“What does Cultus mean?” Ray asked, his fingers caressing over the raised name on the brass plate riveted on the control panel.
Weiss gave him a look. “Not many would ask that. You have ties to a tribe?”
“Not unfamiliar with some of the tribes from around the country,” Ray said; there was no reason to hide that.
The Captain eyed him.
The stranger looked how you’d expect someone to look in the Pacific Northwest; he was wearing jeans, boots, and an oversized canvas jacket that was zipped up under his chin, and was donning a beanie. For all intents and purposes, he didn’t look like much, and in any other part of the region he’d effortlessly blend into the crowd. However, that wouldn’t be the case on Wolfcastle Island. In fact, he’ll stand out like a sore thumb.
“Depending on who you ask, Cultus is Chinook for bad, worthless, useless, ordinary, evil or taboo,” Weiss explained. “I wanted to name her Cultus Iktus, but my old lady wouldn’t let me. It means worthless shit, in not so many words, but it earns us a living. Not many know how to handle this route. Back in the seventies there was no ferry service for nearly five years out here because they lost a boat when it hit the rocks. The currents are hellish, gales out here can pick up seemingly out of nowhere, and the water is near freezing. The Navy used to do submarine and diving exercises not far from Wolfcastle Island, but after they lost two subs and fifty men over the years they took their testing southeast where the waters weren’t from Neptune’s asshole.”
Ray chuckled. He liked the way Captain Weiss worded things and how he was a seeming wealth of knowledge that you could only get from the streets.
“You visiting family on the island?” Weiss asked.
Ray shook his head. “New sheriff. I pulled the short straw,” he said.
“Big shoes to fill, Kid. Sheriff Wolfcastle was a good, decent man that didn’t deserve to be put down like that.”
The report stated it was an accident, but Director James notated he smelled foul play. He didn’t put too much into his big brother’s chicken scratch since there was no evidentiary proof. Growing up, Moon always turned everything into a cloak and dagger mystery waiting to be solved. Their mom was worried that her little boy was going to grow up to be a spy and get himself killed trying to be the Chitimacha James Bond.
However, the other notes Ray couldn’t ignore and took much more seriously.
Ray shook his head. “I’m not privy to what happened that took the island’s namesake from them. I drew the short straw and ended up with the job. But, if you want, I can look into it. Consider it a thank you for letting me ride in the wheelhouse so I didn’t freeze my balls off on deck.”
Weiss gave him a look. “Do what you like, Kid. I’d give my left nut to see those truly responsible for Charles’ death put down like the dogs they are. If they get their way, the island will be turned over to the people on the island that don’t have the Wolfcastle namesake. The war between the tribe and white man will start all over again, and it’ll pull the Feds and the Mounties into it. What Wolfcastle Island is now, the safe haven it was for those from both sides of the war lead by the government against the natives, will be gutted and turned into timeshares and condos. I grew up on that island, I found my wife there, raised my children there, my grandchildren, and it’s where I’ll be buried. If they get their hands on it, all those that call it home, that have fought to keep it our home, will be slaughter,” he whispered the latter, looking away from the man next to him and he wiped away the tear that rolled down his cheek.
That, wasn’t noted in the file.
The FBI was concerned that an international incident with our closest neighbor would ensue over the small island. The current treaty was a thing of legend and lore; only access to the details were if you ventured to the archives in Langley and searched for the paper copy. Ray knew what the file was omitting when it came to the specifics of the treaty from firsthand knowledge, and he had a sneaking suspicion Director James knew that hence why the dossier was rather basic.
The file contained the basics of the agreement signed by both presidents decades ago, where the boundaries on the island are and where the international divide is, the players in the local political scene, those in the small and almost insulting underground version of a crime circle, and of the modified laws he’d be enforcing while playing the role of Sheriff. It even had financial reports for all of the businesses on the island, local tax guidelines and tax returns, student enrollment at the all grades academy that served three-hundred students; their mascot was the timber wolf, school colors were blasé navy and white, and their sports programs were secondary to academia and the arts. The average yearly income was fifty-thousand, nearly all of which went back into the community in order to maintain it. Most food is locally grown, resources are all renewable, trash is processed locally and burned in a way that created steam power instead of pollution, composting and recycling was island law, and anything that can’t be sourced from the island is brought in once a week by Captain Weiss. Visitors to the island were only permitted in the summer, family had an open pass but it had to be logged in the ‘visitor log’ kept by the ‘harbor master’.
Ray was starting to get the sneaking suspicion that the island was more cult-like than the hippy commune-reservation his brother was trying to sell him on.
“You didn’t know about your predecessor, did you?” Weiss surmised.
“I don’t do politics,” Ray said, shaking his head. “I have no interest in them, no interest in scratching one person’s back while they stab me in mine. I have a job to do and I’ll do it without compromise or influence. Isn’t that why they gave the job to an outsider?”
Weiss nodded, looking out the window to the deck below to the lone figure standing there, looking out over the water. “I suppose that could be why,” he admitted. “You’re an outsider and they’ll treat you like one, Kid. Make sure you don’t let it get to you, otherwise they’ll use it against you. Rumor is the force needs a good culling, Charles couldn’t do it in good conscience, but you might just be the man for the job, if you’re being legit. If you’re lying, I’ll pull over now and let you walk the rest of the way.”
Ray smiled, looking down to the deck below. “Death threat acknowledged, Old Man,” he said.
The rest of the journey was quiet. Ray was trying to see through the fog, to get his bearings, but the fog made it impossible to see beyond the bow of the ship. Weiss was splitting his attention between navigation and the man next to him.
When word came that the FBI took care of hiring the new Sheriff, it split the community. Those that supported the locals that didn’t want change, and mourned Charles Wolfcastle’s death, were being targeted by those that wanted the government to sink their claws into the island in order to commercialize it and get what they felt they deserve. For the lifers of the island, it was a way of life that was simplistic and reminiscent of a time where you knew your neighbor and didn’t have to lock your door at night.
The new sheriff would have his job cut out for him.
Outsiders weren’t welcomed with open arms, and most of those on the island can trace their roots back more than six generations to the island. Because of that, outsiders were treated as outsiders and chased off with extreme prejudice.
“This is where you get off, Kid,” Weiss said when the boat docked.
Ray nodded and offered him his hand. “Thanks for the ride, Captain, and for the information,” he said, shaking his hand.
Weiss nodded. “Keep your word, Kid, otherwise it’ll come back and bite you in the ass.”
“I always keep my promises, Old Man,” Ray assured him, hoisting his oversize canvas duffle bag over his shoulder.
Weiss handed him a business card. “If you need anything, call. You won’t get cell service so there’s phone booths on every other corner. Service runs once a week, put your order in at the Port by Friday at noon and it’ll be ready for pick up on Sunday by five. There’s no restrictions, but anything that requires effort you’ll have to pay more for. My wife does the invoicing and keeps it to herself, but the boys that work the docks will get a good laugh if it’s nudie mags and porn. There’s a little place on the outskirts of town that the darker side of Wolfcastle frequent. By the looks of those scars, you’ll fit right in. Order the Huck special. They’ll know what it is.”
Ray pocketed the card. “Thanks. I’m pretty simple and don’t require much.”
“Everyone needs a drink, and the Beaver Hut is where the shadier locals go,” Weiss reiterated.
“Understood, Captain. Can you not announce my arrival? I’d like to do it within the force first. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, especially the acting sheriff for obvious reasons.”
Weiss nodded; the stranger might be the only thing that can save his home so he’d keep his arrival to himself for now. “See you around, Sheriff.”
“Captain,” Ray said with a nod then headed from the wheelhouse.
The wind that had been violently blowing on the water all but disappeared when they docked. Once the vehicles were unloaded, driving off one by one, motorcycles followed before the handful of pedestrians and bicyclists unloaded.
The dossier and firsthand accounts didn’t remotely prepare Ray for Wolfcastle.
It was the kind of place that was untouched by the outside world, and truly was picturesque.
The buildings lining Main Street looked just as they did in the 1940’s when they were originally built: drug store, barbershop, salon, grocery store, post office, city hall, hardware store, cafés, flower shop, bakeries, marquee, and a handful of restaurants, a few pubs, ice cream parlor, candle shop, boutiques, and police station. Each building was covered in brick, had leaded glass windows with stained glass accents, decorative wood signs hung above the door of each hanging from wrought iron holders, and signs showing they were either open or closed for business hung from each door.
Since it was Sunday and after five, most of the stores were closed.
The sidewalks were paver laid, roads were asphalt with crisp lines and no potholes or patches. There were no traffic lights, only stop signs at each intersection, and lampposts were evenly spaced to illuminate the area at night. Crosswalks and bike paths were denoted with reflective markings and tape. Concrete planters were filled with decorative grass, moss, ivy, and flowers, and they separated the road from the sidewalks.
The benches that were down the length of Main Street were filled with people that had spilled over from the pubs and restaurants, and each laughing, talking group quieted when Ray walked past them.
Attention he was ready for.
It was hard to overlook a six-three two-forty dark and brooding, according to his mom, stranger walking down the sidewalk.
And it was impossible for law enforcement to overlook.
Deputy Smith stepped out from between two buildings, blocking Ray’s path. “Haven’t seen you around here,” he said.
“It’s a little early for tourist season,” Deputy Wright said from behind them. “Did you follow island protocol that are notated at the Port to check in upon arrival?”
Ray gave them a look. “Are you two really going to reenact Rambo?” he asked. “Need I remind you that it didn’t end too well for them boys?”
They looked between each other.
“Are you threatening us, Boy?” Smith demanded, his hand resting on his sidearm.
“I think he made that rather clear,” a woman said from the motorcycle parked between two trucks where she was sitting, watching the show.
It effectively stole their attention.
The deputies’ eyes widened.
Ray fought the smile tugging at the corners of his lips.
“You’re back?” Smith stammered.
“Does your brother know?” Wright asked, stepping away from the stranger and woman.
She cocked an eyebrow.
Ray looked between the scared deputies and the woman.
Of course she didn’t look like much, but that was the point. Her black hair was cut short, just below the jawline in mourning, dark bronze skin was from the heavy blood that created her, almond eyes were the deepest shade of black possible, face slightly flat, forehead higher, cheekbones rounded, and strong, wide jaw were all true to the tribal blood that flowed through her veins. Her full, rosewood colors lips were perpetually turned down in a scowl, and long nose was slightly rounded at the end like all those in her family had.
The leather-riding jacket and jeans she wore were fitted to her figure, making them appear like a second skin. Knee high leather-riding boots effortlessly concealed boot knives in each, and strapped to her thighs was a sidearm on one leg and a set of throwing daggers on the other.
It was clear that she was nothing but trouble, and that was exactly what Director James had told his little brother to stay away from.
“Buy you a drink?” Ray asked.
“You don’t want to do that, Friend,” Wright said before heading the other direction in a hurry.
“Charlie, don’t,” Smith warned. “I’m calling your brother.”
The woman swung her leg over her bike.
Smith didn’t wait around, he ran down the sidewalk towards the protection of the police station in a full run.
Ray chuckled. “That’s a story I need to hear,” he said.
Charlie cocked a long, full eyebrow.
“I’m headed to the Beaver Hut. I was told it’s the place for ruffians like me to grab a drink and I have to try something called the Huck special. Let me buy you a drink or three.”
Charlie eyed him; standing there was a stranger, but there was no mistaking those viridian eyes. “You’ll buy me dinner,” she said, straddling her motorcycle before kicking it over. “Get on.”
Ray slung his duffle bag around to his back then straddled the motorcycle. There wasn’t much room for both of them so he grabbed Charlie by the hips and lifted her up before sliding forward then set her down so she was practically sitting on his lap.
“That costs extra,” Charlie informed him.
“I have no doubt,” he said, his eyes moving over her profile many times.
Charlie looked over her shoulder at him, and when their eyes met she blushed. She put the bike in gear then drove up on the sidewalk before swinging around and raced down an alleyway.
“What do you mean Charlie’s back?” acting Sheriff Roan Coldwater demanded.
Smith and Wright exchanged looks.
Roan glared at them then picked up the phone on the desk and dialed.
“Port,” Maggie greeted.
“Did my sister come in on the ferry?” Roan asked.
Maggie groaned. “Officially? No. She didn’t sign in. Unofficially? Charlie came in on the ferry. Captain confirmed it. Sorry, Cuz.”
“Thanks,” Roan said before hanging up.
He leaned back in his chair before pushing his hands through his hair.
“Sir?” Wight asked. “What do you want us to do?”
Roan chuckled, once, humorlessly. “Prepare for war, Boys. What in the hell do you think?” he asked, giving them a look. “Where is she?”
Again, they exchanged looks.
“What?” Roan asked, exhausted and not ready for this yet.
Smith made a face. “She’s with an undocumented to the island,” he explained. “They took off together.”
“Lovely,” Roan grumbled. “Were you two measuring cocks with this undocumented?”
They looked away from him.
Frustrated, he threw his hands in the air. “It isn’t tourist season. You’re both in uniform and were flipping someone shit, in public, why? Is there not enough shit to deal with right now that you have to make trouble because you’re bored? If you idiots need something to do, make yourselves useful and finish these reports!” he snapped at them, shoving the stack of reports from the top of his desk at them and they landed on the floor. “If you’re bored why aren’t you on patrol, or cleaning the cells, or doing something other than flipping people shit out of boredom?!”
Wight and Smith picked up the files then hurried out of the office with them, closing the door behind them.
Roan pulled the bottom drawer open and pulled a bottle of bourbon and a glass out. After pouring two-fingers, he threw the drink back then poured another before settling back in his chair. He picked up the framed picture off the desk and looked at the familiar face that caused tears to flood his eyes.
Sheriff Charles Wolfcastle was in uniform and smiling in the picture. In his arms were two kids; the boy was wearing his patrol hat and a toothless smile filled his face, and the other child was a little girl with an expression slated like stone and a baton in hand, pointing it at the photographer. The boy was Roan when he was six years old and the little girl was Charlie, age six.
Charles was more than the namesake of the island and the holder of the deed by blood, and he was more than just the sheriff. He was a good man that raised displaced kids as if they were his own, coached little league, and volunteered at the school and in the community. He made sure that no one was without firewood when it was cold, that the elderly were fed, and vets that called the island home were honored and taken care of. He was a standup guy that couldn’t be bought, just as his father couldn’t be bought or his father’s father. Those of the Wolfcastle bloodline served their countries, their communities, and because of that they are the pillars of Wolfcastle Island.
However, Charles Wolfcastle was so much more in the eyes of the people.
With his death, the foundation of the island and the community was teetering on the edge of a civil war that will tear it apart from the inside out.
“Dad, what in the hell do I do?” Roan whispered, caressing his father’s smiling face in the photo.
“Yeah, I got her,” Billie said, holding the phone against her shoulder while she poured some shots. “Can’t say what or who she’s going to be doing though, but she’s not killing anyone and that’s a start, I suppose. If shit goes south I’ll let you know, Roan,” she said before hanging up the phone.
Billie handed the drinks over to Boone and motioned with her chin where to take them. She stood back and absently wiped down the bar, her attention on the table in the far corner where nothing but trouble was sitting.
Charlie Coldwater hadn’t been home in over a year, and of course it’d be her daddy’s death that brought her back. Nobody in Wolfcastle was looking forward to when Charlie came home. The woman was terrifying and held deeply rooted beliefs in her native heritage. Honor was all she knew, and that sense of honor is what drove her from Wolfcastle over a decade ago when she joined the service, eventually getting picked up by an agency. The last time she came home, heated words were exchanged between her and the sheriff, but no one knew what they were fighting about, and now that Charles was gone, that fight would never be over. Billie knew Charlie would never forgive herself for the heated words she had with her daddy before she left.
That guilt and the untimely death of Charles wouldn’t end well for anyone, and a body count will most certainly follow.
“Who is he?” Boone asked, making up a couple of drinks.
Billie shook her head. She didn’t know who the man was, but she knew without a doubt that he was trouble. Her gut was never wrong, and Billie’s gut was screaming to unload her shotgun into the stranger before whatever trouble he could cause saw the light of day.
“Thinking of killing him?” Boone mused.
“It crossed my mind,” she admitted. “Call Maggie and see if our little warrior princess’ new friend is on the list. The last thing Wolfcastle needs is more drama.”
Boone nodded, his attention on corner on the far side of the bar.
Charlie and Ray sat at the worst table in the place but it had a view of the entire establishment and all of the nooks and corners, including the front door. Their backs were protectively to the wall, sitting side by side, and neither had said anything to each other.
The last time Charlie was home, she sat in that exact spot with her daddy, ate the same meal and drank the same liquor. The next morning she boarded the ferry after heated words with her daddy and didn’t come back. Everyone that called Wolfcastle Island home knew there was only one reason why Charlie came home, and that reason would ignite a war and paint the island in blood.
Without having to actually order, Billie knew what Charlie would want so she brought out two orders of the huckleberry salmon with island garlic fries, a bottle of Jack Daniel with two glasses, mason jar of fresh lemon juice, and packs of raw sugar. Suspicious of the stranger, Billie watched them. It didn’t take more than ninety-seconds for her to know the truth, and that truth wouldn’t end well for the Coldwaters.
“That bitch is nothing but trouble,” Boone said, hanging up the phone. “And the sexy piece of ass with her might be worse.”
Billie nodded. “War is coming, Bitch,” she agreed. “What’d Maggie say?”
“That hot piece of silver ass our little warrior princess is dining with came on the ferry but didn’t check in. Apparently he rode in the wheelhouse with Captain so he can’t be entirely bad. I would love me a gray haired man. A silver fox in the bedroom is a hard thing to find on this island. Think he likes to play with hot, skinny, Asian guys?” he flamboyantly asked.
“I highly doubt it,” Billie said. “Even a butch dyke like me can smell a straight guy a mile away, and that one, my queer little friend, will not play hide the salami with you.”
The moment Billie set the plates of food down at the table, her suspicions were confirmed.
“Though, I have a strong suspicion Charlie will be taking that cock for a ride tonight, again.”
Boone chuckled before his eyes widened. “No!” he gasped, understanding. “Is he going to take her?”
She shrugged. “Don’t know, but if he is we’ll be hiding a body.”
He nodded his agreement and hit the drawer button on the register. When it opened, he picked up the change tray revealing a key. He grabbed it, replacing the tray before closing the drawer then held it up.
Billie shook her head, snatching the key, then headed over to the table in the corner.
Without a word, she tossed the key on the table then headed over to another table and started bussing it.
Ray finished his drink. “Do I even want to know?” he asked, throwing some money on the table that should cover dinner.
They hadn’t gotten a check.
Charlie shrugged, grabbing the half-empty bottle of whiskey and the key then got to her feet. “Come,” she said then headed off.
Ray watched her as she went, everyone in the bar was watching her as well.
He was warned to keep a low profile, to keep his head down and out of trouble, and that woman was nothing but trouble he knew, but it was trouble he wanted to follow.
Ray grabbed his bag and followed Charlie down a side hallway.
She used the key to unlock a metal door at the end of the hall then took the stairs inside and Ray hurried to catch up to her before the door slammed shut behind her.
The second floor was an open storage area turned studio apartment. The walls were expose brick with wooden support beams. There were a couple of windows with dirty panes that let very little light in or out, the rough cut wood plank floor was covered in a coat of dust, there was a small fireplace on one wall and had a pile of wood next to it ready to be lit, and a claw foot tub with an overhead showerhead next to a sink. The furniture was minimal; a bed, burrow with a mirror, footlocker, nightstand, and a couple of worn chairs.
Charlie slowly climbed the stairs as she took a drink from the bottle in her hand.
“Going to share?” Ray asked, admiring the way her wide hips and round ass were teasing him with each step she took.
Charlie held her hand over her head, dropping the key to the stairs, then flipped him off.
He dropped his bag and continued after her, slipping out of his jacket, dropping it to the floor.
When they reached the top of the stairs, Ray grabbed her free hand and spun her around to face him.
Charlie eyed him then offered him the bottle.
Ray took a drink, his eyes never leaving the black eyes of the woman in front of him.
Charlie slipped out of her jacket then her boots. She unhooked the sheath of throwing daggers from one thigh and tossed them on one of the chairs then repeated with her sidearm.
He leaned against the doorway with bottle in hand and watched her.
She pulled her shirt over her head and dropped it on the floor before she started on her pants.
Ray continued to watch her, nursing the bottle of Jack Daniels.
There was something unbelievably sexy about a domineering woman that knew what she wanted and just took it.
It didn’t matter that Charlie was standing there in a pair of scandalously small white cotton and lace panties and nothing else. Or that her toned body was screaming for him to touch it, to take her then and now, to make her scream his name. Or the colorful artwork adorning her dark bronze skin: black, red and gray tribal back piece that went from the tops of her shoulders to the bottom of her back; colorful sleeves that went down to her wrists; and low on her abdomen, on the front of her hips, were two gray and black flintlock pistols with wrapping thorny vines and two red roses, above it in script mors certa, hora incerta.
What made Charlie the most beautiful woman Ray had ever seen was how her wide jaw was set hard in defiance, the glint in her eyes said that she’d own him before the night was through, and the strength she possessed made her the most delicate woman he had ever seen.
“Are you a bad man, Rambo?” she asked.
He shrugged. “I have a feeling I pale in comparison to you, Trouble.”
Charlie smirked. “Good answer. Get naked,” she ordered.
Ray set the bottle on the floor then pulled his long sleeve shirt over his head.
Instantly her eyes went to the fiberglass cast on his arm.
“What happened?” she demanded, heading over to him.
He made a face. “Just a little car bomb.”
Charlie looked him over, her fingers caressing over each new, soft pink scar. “Fucked up the detonation, didn’t you?” she said, smacking him.
Ray chuckled. “Apparently so.”
“Don’t you dare,” she warned, jabbing her finger into his chest. “How many times were you shown how to properly wire the detonator?”
“Twenty-seven,” he automatically replied.
Charlie glared at him. “Stupid ass,” she grumbled, unfastening his belt.
Ray grabbed her hands to stop her.
She shook her head. “Don’t. Not… Don’t,” she warned, purposely keeping her head down so he couldn’t see her face.
He sighed and pulled her into him and hugged her tight, resting his chin on the top of her head. “It’s okay, Kamakic. Let it out,” he whispered.
Stubborn, she shook her head, holding him tight in return.
“Would making me scream as you make me your bitch make you feel better?” he offered.
Charlie quickly nodded and resumed unfastening his belt and jeans.
Boone and Billie looked to the ceiling and the antler and mason jar chandeliers that were swaying and rattling. Absently Boone reached over and turned the music off. The unmistakable sound of the bed squeaking and scraping against the wood floor as it moved from one side of the room and back was more than evident. Mixing with the squeaking and scraping from the room above, and the clinking from the mason jars knocking into each other and the soft ting of metal against metal from the swaying chandeliers, was grunting, moaning and profanities.
“She is so not getting her damage deposit back,” Billie said, shaking her head when something upstairs hit the floor, shattering.
Boone whimpered. “To find a hot piece of ass like that with the kink to match is every fag’s wet dream,” he complained, wiping down a table before stacking each chair on top. “Why can’t some super-hot old guy come in here and sweep me off my feet?”
Billie rolled her eyes. “Trust me, Bitch, he didn’t just come here. If I had to venture an educated guess, our little warrior princess is riding the new sheriff.”
His eyes widened. “Shut up… Wait. That actually makes complete sense. Should we tell Roan?”
She shrugged, stacking glasses behind the bar. “Don’t know and don’t care. I’m not Roan’s babysitter and I’m not Charlie’s either. War is coming, we all know it, but hopefully that cock she’s riding can do something to stop it.”
Boone made a mocking face but didn’t press it. He knew the truth behind Billie’s indifference and it was because she hadn’t mourned Charles either. The sheriff raised her since she was seven and had to be taken into police custody because of a murder suicide that left her an orphan. Charlie and Roan were like siblings to her, along with many others that found themselves in Sheriff Wolfcastle’s home, but she sure in the hell wasn’t their babysitter.
The door opened.
“Closed,” Billie called out, not bothering to turn to regard the man that walked in.
“I know,” Roan said, locking the door behind him. “I figured you’d have a cup of coffee or a drink for your brother.”
She nodded. “Help yourself,” she said, setting a bottle of bourbon on the bar with a glass.
Roan joined her at the bar and took a seat. He started pouring himself a drink when he noticed the sounds coming from upstairs. “I see,” he said, setting the bottle back down.
“Charlie’s a grown ass adult,” Billie reminded him. “If she wants to fuck some guy for hours on end, that’s her choice. You know better than anyone that she’s gotten laid before, Brother.”
He nodded. “I know but it doesn’t make it any easier. I didn’t like walking in on you and whatever chick you’re hooking up with that week either,” he reminded her and she smirked. “Who is he?”
She shrugged, pouring each of them a drink. “Stranger to us, but not to her.”
“How do you know?” he asked.
Billie made a face before throwing back the drink. “I brought out two plates of food. Right away he was offering her the pepper, as if he knew she’d grab for it first. Charlie cut her salmon in half, moving the larger piece to his plate before peppering her food. He gave her nearly all of his fries in return and all of the fry sauce before he cut into his salmon. Without being told, he took the lemon garnish off his plate and dropped it in her glass before pouring some lemon juice on top, sprinkled two sugar packs in it and swirled before pouring her Jack. Not to mention, she has his eyes.”
Roan’s eyes widened. “No. Is he here to take her?” he asked in a panic.
Billie shrugged. “Don’t know. If he does, it’ll be his body we’re putting in the ground next, blood or not. But, if I had to venture an educated guess, he’s here for her,” she said and pointed up, “and is the new sheriff. I hope I’m right and that he’s here to prevent war, and will have an interest in what happens to the island, because she is the island.”
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Eight years ago…
Loud music, laughter and banter filled the cantina.
Joaquín Flórez, the youngest son of Álvaro Flórez, the head of the Flórez Cartel, had earned a high profile territory on the border. He was one-step away from reaching Capos, and his father was giving him the opportunity now. His brothers weren’t happy about it, but their little brother had seemingly done the impossible and infiltrated the border crossings without having to pay agents for each truck they let through.
They didn’t know what his secret was, and Joaquín kept it to himself, but the truth was sitting next to him nursing a beer, watching scandalously dressed women dance on a small stage in front of where they sat.
The gringo was able to do what no one else had.
Secure a route to move their product into the U.S. without cutting into their profits.
Out of the hundreds of trucks in less than two years, only five were intercepted by Border Patrol, but they were set up to be. Before that, they were losing a third of their shipments and that was on a good month. Now, profits were soaring, losses were at an all-time low, and resistance from the locals on both sides of the border were minimum.
Álvaro Flórez was impressed with what his youngest had accomplished in only a couple of years, and was expanding his territory and responsibilities. Perhaps the family business wouldn’t be left to his older sons after all, and instead would be left to the baby of the family, the one no one expected much from.
“You’re quiet, Amigo!” Joaquín shouted over the music.
Wade chuckled. “Just enjoying the show,” he said.
“It’s a celebration. Soon, I will be in control of the entire border to the north,” Joaquín told him. “Then the south. I will take it from my brother José with blood if needed, taking control of the entire cartel.”
Wade nodded; he’s heard the promises since the moment he met the ambitious young man.
The reach and growth in only a couple of years was scary and unprecedented. It made more than Joaquín a target, it made Wade one as well.
“Careful speaking such ambitions aloud, Amigo,” Wade warned. “Not all here follow you with unquestioning devotion. Your brothers’ reach is impressive, my friend. Those not celebrating with you are reason to be concerned.”
Joaquín chuckled, smacking Wade on the back. “When slightly sober you sound ominous and like a bad fortune cookie. Why don’t you enjoy one or five of the girls tonight? They long for the companionship of the gringo,” he teased before wagging his brows.
Wade shook his head.
Manuel joined them. “Gringo, this party is because of you,” he said before taking a drink of his beer. “Boss wanted me to get you a gift. Something that would speak to your sullen heart and broken cock,” he mused.
Joaquín threw his head back when he laughed.
Wade’s lack of interest in whores and young girls naturally made the others suspicious of him, so he feigned erectile dysfunction as an excuse. It worked most of the time, but Manuel was persistent and that persistence might cause the entire operation to go sideways.
“Did you bring me a man this time?” Wade asked.
Again, Joaquín lost it and hysterically laughed.
Manuel shook his head then waved someone over.
Wade looked to where Manuel was and he smirked.
From the crowd a woman walked. Her dark bronze skin shimmered, long, black hair went nearly to the top of her barely covered backside. Long, toned legs carried her with grace, each step she took in her high heels made her wide hips sway with overly exaggerated sultry. The slinky red dress she wore was nothing more than a scrap of fabric that tied around her neck, cut down in the front, barely covering her small breasts, and the handkerchief of a skirt showed the bottom of her backside with each step she took. Her full lips were the same demonic red as her dress, and her eyes were the same deep shade of black that her hair was.
There was nothing whore about her.
But there was something Wade couldn’t quite put his finger on, something that was different, and it made his cock take notice.
When the woman tried joining them, one of the whores that had been despretaly trying to Wade’s attention got between them.
A demonic smirk pulled at the corners of her glossy red lips before her head slammed into the face of the whore, sending her stumbling back to the ground bloody and unconscious.
Now Wade was hard.
The woman held her hand up and beckoned him with her finger.
“Gracias, Amigo,” Wade said, getting to his feet.
The woman eyed him before offering him her hand.
Without question, he took it and she escorted from the cantina and to a backroom.
She looked over her shoulder to Manuel once before the door closed behind them.
Wade pulled her into him but she pushed away from him and wagged a scolding finger before locking the door. Her eyes went from corner to corner where security cameras were before they met his viridian eyes.
Absently he nodded, but he didn’t know what she was up to or what she was trying to convey.
She pulled him towards the couch then pushed him back on it before she dropped down in front of him and started unfastening his belt.
Wade watched her, fighting the urge to pull his fingers through her long, black hair.
When she freed his cock, she stood then straddled him.
It wasn’t what he’d usual do, but Manuel would be suspicious if he didn’t do something with his ‘gift’.
The woman wasn’t a minor, and she wasn’t saying no so it wasn’t as if he’d be violating her.
It was mutual, right?
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him up into her more. She buried her lips in his ear. “Hok'ee,” she whispered, huskily.
Instantly Wade stiffened under her.
“Moon sent me,” she whispered, making sure the cameras couldn’t see her lips. “Manuel suspects you aren’t legit, and he hired a hitman from Guatemala to take you out. I intercepted the communication while on assignment and took them out, replacing the hitter. I was sent to kill the gringo.”
Wade nodded; he suspected his time was limited and that Manuel was on to him.
He knotted a hand in her hair and jerked her head back before he started kissing up and down the length of her neck.
They were being watched, there was no way they weren’t; Manuel wouldn’t miss his assassin at work.
“Simulated,” he whispered against her skin.
“Uh huh,” she agreed, taking his hands in hers and moved them down her sides and to her backside. “Fuck me like you own me,” she told him, her voice coming out overly husky. “And in the morning you’ll make me some fry bread,” she said in Chitimacha.
Wade smirked and lifted her up by the hips and lowered her down so his cock didn’t penetrate, and repeated the motion, simulating intercourse for those watching.