”Let’s get one thing fucking clear,” I spit through gritted teeth as my body trembles. “I don’t care what you people have to say. If you abandon me and I’m left to where it’s either him or me…he will be the one who ends up dead! Got it!”
“Don’t you fucking call me that,” I snap with venom coursing through my veins. The chair I was sitting in shoots back when I bolt upright. “Don’t any of you fucking call me that. Got it!”
“Leia…we need him alive,” Tweddledum-ass agent reminds for the umpteenth time.
I never bothered to learn their real names. Why waste my time when they all say the same bullshit about getting the bad guys and saving the world, let alone the fact that they all wear the same bland colored clothes? I wonder how many of them may be in on it too.
“Well, I don’t,” I counter with a sneer. “I don’t care…I don’t fucking care anymore. Do you really think he’ll hesitate to kill me if he has the chance? Seriously!”
“Mrs. Turner…Leia,” Tweddledumer-ass agent coaxes.
“I’ll do what you ask,” I remind. “But, if that fucker comes after me in any way…and none of you are there to protect me…I will fucking kill him. I will not willingly die by his hands. I will fight with every last breath I have to make sure he’s dead before I die.”
“It won’t come to that,” Tweddledumer-ass comments.
I snicker in disbelief.
“We have everything we need to move forward with tonight,” Tweddledum-ass states.
“Yeah, like I haven’t heard that before,” I spit.
“We’ll be there,” Tweddledum-ass repeats.
“You better,” I scoff. “Not like it matters anyway.”
“We will,” Tweddledumer-ass confirms.
“So,” I say, shrugging my shoulders. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to do your jobs…but this time will be different.”
“Different?” Tweddledum-ass checks.
“At least I know what needs to be taken care of and not afraid to fucking do it,” I challenge.
“Are you saying that you’re going to take matters into your own hands tonight …regardless if we show up?” Tweddledum-ass checks.
“Does that get me out of going?” I probe.
“No, Leia,” Tweddledumer-ass confirms. “It doesn’t.”
“Then, yes,” I state rather calmly.
Tweddledum-ass and Tweddledumer-ass shake their heads in objection, but don’t comment any further. Hopefully my threat will guarantee their presence tonight.
“Can I go now?” I ask, getting up and heading toward the door, not waiting for an answer.
“Agent Thompson will need to see you on your way out to check the device,” Tweddledum-ass states.
“Yeah, yeah,” I acknowledge before the door slams behind me.
Thirty minutes later, I finally leave their creepy meet-up point located at a crusty-ass, pay by the hour brothel. My body is oddly calm and relaxed as I head to the house I used to call home. In the past, I was terrified of Jack when he got home from work and dinner wasn’t ready. Four years into our marriage, I was running five minutes late, not like it was the first time or anything, and I ended up with a black eye and a kitchen covered in food from his tirade. He apologized profusely after it happened, claiming that it would never happen again and that he’s just overwhelmed with the crap that’s occurring at work. The next few months, he was the sweetest thing ever: buying me flowers, taking me out on dates more often and even buying me a little puppy, Shepard.
I was twenty-eight the first time Jack hit me. It happened again not long after the old Jack, the good Jack, returned for that short period. I honestly did believe Jack when he said it was the first and last time.
When Shepard got big enough, he bit Jack on the hand when Jack went to hit me. Jack almost killed Shepard, but I begged him not to; Shepard was my only friend. I told Jack that I would do whatever he wanted, so long as he didn’t kill Shepard — stupid me. After that, the majority of the physical abuse stopped, but the verbal abuse continued as Jack forced me to do some of his dirty work, which is why I know so much about Antonio Herrera and the drug and human trafficking businesses that Antonio inherited. Aside from Jack forcing me to help him with his side job, I met Antonio, which turned out to be a blessing and a curse.
When Antonio met me, he didn’t like how Jack was using me as bait to lure men who owed Antonio money. Antonio took a quick liking to me the day we met. The next day, Jack brought me back to one of Antonio’s clubs, having me dress up for the guy. The dirty work I had to do for Antonio changed—some of it became letting Antonio touch me.
Antonio had a gentler touch than my husband which made it more bearable to endure since my own husband literally pimped me out to his boss — the boss of Miami. Antonio liked rough sex, but he never beat me like my husband did. He never raped me like Jack did. If I wasn’t in the mood, Antonio at least respected my wishes and would fuck one of his other mistresses. We didn’t have sex at all the first few times we met. Antonio was a perfect gentleman. When I realized what giving him my body could mean for my safety, I willingly complied.
When I first learned about my husband and his other line of work, I had the doctors give me the birth control shot and asked them to test me regularly. The funny, sadistic thing was that Jack wanted children and objected to us using any form of birth control. When the doctor began to inquire the reason for the regular shots and tests, I just told him and his staff that my husband and I were sexually experimental, which included multiple partners. Part of that was true. I slept mostly with Antonio, unless Jack forced me, which Antonio put a stop to as soon as he found out. Jack was sleeping with some of the girls who were regularly on hand for the goons aside from the ones the business brought in, claiming that it was part of his job to help break them in before they were sold.
With only ten minutes to spare, I get to the house with two large pizzas in hand. Jack won’t suspect anything since it’s Friday, and Fridays are our usual pizza night before leaving for business. I shove the boxes into the oven and turn it on to keep the food warm. Then, I dart upstairs and change into a more appropriate outfit that both Jack and Antonio expect me to wear even though it gets cold once the sun is down, especially by the docks where the new shipment is arriving tonight.
Shepard follows my every move and whines while I pace the bedroom as I get ready. He knows what’s coming since Shepard always comes with me. I convinced Antonio to let me bring Shepard along after our fifth time being together, saying that I’ve trained Shepard for protection and when we’re together, Shepard will protect him too.
With a black low-cut, v-neck blouse that is sleeveless and a matching, form-fitting pencil skirt, black fishnet stockings and the black designer heels Antonio bought me, I hurry downstairs to the kitchen. I pour a glass of wine for myself and start pouring a beer into the frozen glass mug I remove from the freezer when I hear the garage door opening.
“Hi, honey,” I greet Jack in a monotone voice when he walks through the door that leads from the garage into the kitchen.
Jack nods, but doesn’t reply. This is our usual greeting when he’s flanked by three men who are a part of Antonio’s protection detail.
“I got your favorite,” I mention. “And, extra for the boys.”
The three henchmen perk up at the mention of extra food for them. One of them takes the pies from the oven and the four of them start eating instantly without a single word uttered.
I wait patiently, knowing that when we have this kind of company, Jack won’t let me start eating until they’ve had their first round. It’s kind of like Jack’s way of establishing dominance in his home since I’ve got more control when Antonio and his lackeys are present.
Jorge offers me a slice before he takes his second and I take it with a smile and nod. Other than Antonio, Jorge’s always been the nicest to me, not caring who is around. The henchmen are all supposed to be nice and protect me since I’m Antonio’s main woman. I would almost speculate that Jorge has a little crush on me. If I was younger and the circumstances were different, I think I would have gone out on a date with him.
When the men are done eating, I scoop out some ice cream and offer it to all four of them as Jack turns on the television, finding the sports channels. While their attention stays fixed in the opposite direction, I clean up the mess in the kitchen, feed Shepard, and let him out in the backyard. Once my wifely duties are complete and a commercial comes on for the game, Jack heads upstairs to change into his black on black outfit I laid out for him. Jorge, Alberto, and Jesus turn the television off and join me at the kitchen table where I sit reading, waiting for the night to begin.
By ten, the five of us and Shepard take two different black Escalades that have tinted, bulletproof windows and make our way over to Antonio. Twenty minutes later, we arrive at Antonio’s main home in Miami. Two of Antonio’s men lead me up to Antonio’s bedroom, leaving my four companions with the rest of the crew.
It’s about time the Feds get something right when it comes to microphones and listening in on conversations. They’ve finally adopted the use of actual high-tech gear that goes completely unnoticed while providing optimal visual and audio feedback. They managed to duplicate the earrings I’m wearing which were given to me by Antonio. No more getting caught with a wire being strapped to your stomach or through an ugly brooch or a thing sticking in your ear that are way too obvious. Knowing what the night will entail, I remove my earrings, leaving them on the jewelry dish Antonio bought me that rests on the counter in the bathroom — no need to let the Feds who are watching get any more of a glimpse of what they really don’t need to see.
As part of Antonio’s pre-game or pre-deal regimen, he likes to become completely relaxed — that entails having sex. Two other women, Genevieve and Maribelle, join us in the bedroom, but Antonio pays more attention to me as he always does. He claims that I always give him the best head he’s ever had in his life — and that he loves me. My nonchalant attitude towards him sleeping with other women when I’m not around drives him crazy. He wants me to be possessive and jealous. I cater to his game on occasion, teasing him to giving him what he wants just enough to keep him interested. It also helps maintain my status and rank within his organization. The teasing only makes him more aroused too. It drives Jack fucking crazy that I’ve got a higher position than he does, even though Antonio did promote him after Antonio and I were introduced. I’ve got more in with the boss than Jack will ever have, which is why the Feds need me and why I need them to get me out of this fucking hellhole.
Does Antonio treat me good? Yes. Far better than Jack ever has, but I don’t want to be known as the mistress or wife of anyone associated with a cartel — especially the boss.
Genevieve, Maribelle, and I freshen up in the bathroom after our frolic with Antonio under the sheets. Even though the two of them are jealous of me for having Antonio’s eye more than any other woman, they’ve always been nice and offer to help me finish getting ready. I get why they’re mad. They want the security that I have. If there was ever a challenge with one of the other girls in the past, in any sense, Antonio would add them to the collection of women being sold — or he’d kill them.
You may ask how I can be so casual and nonchalant about everything that is happening around me? I can only relate it to the fact that I have to be. I have to be numb. I have to not care in order to maintain my status and the little bit of control that I do have over myself and my situation. I’ve watched Antonio, and a number of his goons, point a gun and fire it into someone’s head. I puked only the first time. It’s not easy seeing a person’s face when the bullet hits, let alone how their body flops to the ground immediately afterward — some of them still move. The second and third time I saw someone being killed, I cried only because they were women. I’m grateful for the fact that I’ve only had to watch or be near when someone’s been shot. There have been some stories that trickle around about how people’s fingers, hands, or toes are chopped off, bodies being torturing in all sorts of ways, including burnings, and other things I don’t dare repeat.
Antonio apologized profusely the first three times to me when I witnessed people being killed, claiming that it’s only a part of the business and it must occur . His actions are how he needs to establish fear in all of them in order to maintain his leadership. He professed that he would never have me killed because he loves me as much as he tells me on a regular basis. He professed his feelings for me the first night we had sex.
His attitude changed toward me when I saw the fourth person killed. I think I earned Antonio’s respect at a whole new level after that. I’m not sure why and I honestly don’t want to know, but I think it’s because I didn’t flinch when it happened.
I think Antonio is a coward. Actually, I think they’re all cowards. Anyone who uses fear to gain and obtain power is a coward. They’re just insecure bullies who do it to validate themselves. Jack was my first real bully outside of the stupid shit you deal with as a kid in school, and I think he hates me because he can’t bully me anymore. Antonio won’t have it. I won’t have it.