Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1)(12)

by Karina Halle

“About what?”

“About her,” he said while I slid a photograph out of the pile. “Mrs. Reyes.”

It was black and white and printed on paper, making it less sharp than a photograph, but it did the job. It was a picture of a woman in a white strapless wedding dress, very fluffy and extravagant from the waist down. Her hands were clasped demurely at her front, her face caught in a nervous smile.

She was extremely beautiful but that was to be expected. The country’s most flagrant excuse for a drug kingpin would never marry anyone less than stunning, and this woman, Luisa, fit the bill. But despite her body, with her round, perky tits and elegant neck, her long dark hair and classic face, there was another layer to her that immediately got me hard. It was this look in her eyes. They were so pure and soft, giving her radiance that seemed to leap off the page.

I wanted nothing more than to have her on her knees, have her fix those round, angelic eyes on me and watch as I pinned her down and came right into them. I would take her purity and make her see the world for what it really was—a hot, sticky mess at the end of my dick.

“I bet she’d be a tight little fuck,” Este leered over my shoulder.

I shot him a disgusted look. “She’s not a whore, Este,” I chided him.

“Not to you,” he said, as I looked at the next picture of her, now with Salvador at her side.

“I mean it,” I said, my eyes drawn to her again and again. “No one is touching her. Not you, not Franco.”

“I give you my promise,” Este said. “But Franco can barely control himself around the whores.”

“No one is touching her,” I repeated. “She will be our hostage. She is collateral. No one is laying a hand on her.”

“Except for you, I assume.”

She almost seemed too good to even touch. I couldn’t wait to break her down. “She is very valuable,” I admitted.

I flipped through a couple more photographs and grew harder at each one. I wished Este would just fucking leave so I could deal with it. I almost wished Laura was still alive so I could flip her over and come all over her back. I never fucked the women around here, but that didn’t mean I didn’t use them.

“You know,” Este said, his lazy voice starting to grate on me. “If Martin had been there close enough to spy on them, close enough to photograph, why didn’t you just get him to put a bullet in Salvador’s head? Especially if Martin was going to die anyway.”

I eyed him warily, disappointed that he could be so rash. “Because life is a game and we’re all just trading cards. We play the right hand to get ahead.” I studied the smiling, ignorant face of Sal as he stared at his bride. “Death stops the game. It’s too final, too inflexible. Death is viciously stubborn.”

When Este didn’t say anything, I looked up to see a dull gleam in his eyes. I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose, annoyed at his ineptitude. “What good would killing Salvador do? Right? David Guirez or whoever, anyone, someone, they would step in and take over faster than you can shit after your coffee, and nothing will have changed. Look at Travis Raines. The moment he died, I was able to slither on through to the top, to right here, right now.”

“Only because you killed Travis,” he noted. “More or less.”

“We killed Travis,” I corrected him. “Anyway, the point is that the dead make lousy deals. If we want the shipping lane, we have to force him to give it to us. Killing him does nothing. Taking his new bride, now that will do something.”

“You sound so sure,” Este said, walking around the desk.

“I have no reason not to be sure,” I said. “They are newlyweds. He needs her, he wants her. We will get her soon, before he gets bored of her cherry ass. Sal has pride. We all do. It is our weakness. I know that enough about myself to know it about others.”

He smoothed his hand over the scruff on his chin and gave me a smooth nod. “All right.”

I stared at a photo of them at the altar, a lavish outdoor ceremony. He was staring at her with that pride I was talking about. And she was staring at him with a look that was all too familiar to me.

“She doesn’t love him, though,” I commented, almost to myself.

“How can you tell?” he asked, taking a step closer and peering at the photos again.

I shrugged. “I just can. She doesn’t.”

“So is she marrying him for money then?”

I took the papers and sorted them until they were neat and evenly stacked before slipping them back into the envelope. “Probably. Does it matter?”

“No. So when do we act?”

“Soon,” I said, putting the envelope in the first drawer. I knew I’d be taking it out again after he left. “But we’ll do it slowly. Start with recon first, perhaps see if we can track down Derek to help us with this.”

Este gave me an odd look. “Derek … we haven’t talked to him since he … I’m not sure he’s even in Mexico anymore.”

“Perhaps not,” I said. I wasn’t too worried. Derek Conway was an American ex-military man, an assassin for hire. He had been contracted to us during some of our more important moments. In fact, the last time I saw him was three years ago. He’d put a bullet through Travis Raines’ head. Ordered by me, of course. Then he screwed us over, but I couldn’t fault him for that. He would be loyal to whoever paid him the most.

But he wasn’t the only man at my disposal. Since I had taken over the cartel, I had a whole legion of men to do my dirty work, the best of the best. For the next month or so, I wanted someone who would be sleek and loyal. Kidnapping the wife of Mexico’s largest drug lord wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but with the right people, it wouldn’t be impossible.

Perhaps I was just being overconfident, but it had only served me well in the past.

I gave Este a levelling stare. “I’m putting this in your hands. Can you handle it?”

“When haven’t I?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I sent you to Hawaii once to finish a job but you ended up fucking some suicidal surfer chick instead.”

“I still got the job done. What’s the difference if I get action at the same time?”

I rolled my eyes at his crassness and gave him a slight, dismissive wave. “Go put this all together. And don’t disappoint me.”