Yes, Master 15 (SECOND HALF)
“The Cartel J.J.?” I began to feel the suffocation of my situation wrap around like a plastic bag over my head. Did my father know? How could he?
“You don’t ask me questions Oliver. I ask you and you better answer me, right Ghost?”
“Right,” a haunting whisper returned from behind us. Hot breath blanketed my ear and I shivered.
“It’s not what you think J.J.,” I replied to the head of my father’s security in protest.
“What should I think Oliver? You just purchased twenty seven kidnapped women for sexual traffic, the rights to a very profitable warehouse, and you have the daughter of the head of the Cartel. What am I not understanding? Oh wait…I know. How the hell are you backing one hundred and fifty million dollars Oliver? You’re rich but access to immediate funds like that is way bigger than your pockets. Now tell me who this Heinrich guy is and maybe we can reach a deal…” J.J. cut his eyes to me in the mirror and Tate took a deep breath—closing his eyes so he didn’t get sick with the rush of nausea.
“He’s just some front for the money overseas. Someone is helping me but we’re not buying the property for the girls or the drug territory or any of that. I just want Alex Rutovsky dead and this is the only way I’m gonna make that happen!” Frustration got the best of me and my temper reared its ugly head, wonderful.
“Rutovsky? That’s what this is about? That stupid fuck? You honestly expect me to believe that Oliver?” J.J.’s hand clenched on the wheel and his eyes cut back to the road. “At first I couldn’t believe it because I was sure you were clueless to what Rutovsky had started. Then you started being seen with some rather high players on the board and I started to grow suspicious. Your father had been ducking me lately and his housekeeper, you know that Raquel woman? Well she was acting very defensive and always watching me when I came to the house. More so than usual and I knew something was up.
Once you were seen with Hightower, word got out to my boss, the Haitians, the Italians. Fuck Oliver, everyone knows your name now. My being hired on as your father’s security head wasn’t a coincidence, it was on purpose. I am the eyes and the ears of this city for my boss and I’ve heard and seen way too many things that involve you lately. So I started following you, putting bugs in your house, your car, your phone…everywhere. And you know what? You’re good, almost too good and I don’t like it. So what is your next move Oliver? What habits are trying to pick up around here? Girls? Coke? H? Or are you into the harder stuff, maybe running an underground club for servicing specialties or perhaps girls for sport? What is it Olly?”
“Jesus J.J.! That’s fucking sick and you know it.” I looked at Tate and knew I had no other choice. “The reason my father and Raquel were ducking you was because my father was dying of terminal cancer. He didn’t want anyone to know and I found out by accident. Before that Isaac and Yuri met with us about Rutovsky. That’s it; I swear I don’t know anything more than that.”
“Sick?” J.J.’s voice dropped in thought but he shook his head and slammed his fist on the steering wheel like he wouldn’t accept that.
“You’re hiding something else. I can see it in the twitch you get right here.” A gloved finger ran down the line of my neck and Ghost moved in close. “Tell me what it is and I’ll let him go.” He stroked the back of Tate’s head with the gun.
“You won’t let him go. He knows who you both are now and you won’t risk it. Just drive and I’ll show you that I’m not lying. Take me to Alex and I swear to all that is holy I will give you that girl and bash his head in with a brick if I have too. He won’t fuck with me or the people I love anymore and not you or J.J. will stop me. Unless you shoot me now that is.”
“I think I’ve heard enough.” Ghost grinned and switched the gun to the back of my head. I waited for the blow to come and I made sure to touch Tate’s hand one last time—to feel the velvety softness of his skin while I looked into his watery ocean hued eyes.
“I love you Tate. So much,” I whispered and Tate’s eyes spilled tears onto his cheeks.
“Please, he’s telling the truth. Please don’t kill him,” Tate sobbed and reached for me. I grabbed him and pulled his body to my chest. The gun disappeared from the back of my head and Ghost grunted.
“J.J….I think you have this wrong. Actually, I know you do. This Heinrich isn’t our guy. Rutovsky is working for someone else.” Ghost climbed over the seat and crouched in between the front two seats to face us. “Do you know anything about the disappearances happening all over the city, men going missing in particular?”
“No. I heard on the news about a few guys going missing but they were all thugs and this city is huge, so it happens,” I replied quietly, trying to get Tate to calm down. He clung to me like a magnet and his body shuddered from head to toe.
“This is connected J.J., these girls and our boys, it’s all connected. What I want to know is how you’ve been connected in all of this, why you and this little one here?” Ghost stared at me like a hungry wolf.
“It’s a long story but if I’m right…” I smirked a little thinking of Yuri no doubt raging behind us. “…then this bigger person that Rutovsky is working for wants me out of the way. I’m bad for his business or some such. Not to mention Alex and I have a history that isn’t all that friendly, so there’s that.”
“So you’re just the unlucky one? Is that what you’re trying to tell us?” Ghost cocked his head.
“Unlucky doesn’t even cover it. Look all I know is that my team is looking to side with your team in all this and maybe make nice after the daughter is brought home. We all want Alex out of the picture. He’s bad for everyone’s business, so can we just relax for a minute and think this through?”
“J.J.?” Ghost asked but didn’t turn away from us.
“Call the boss and tell him what we know. We are going to see this through and get Joss back safely tonight.”
“Okay,” Ghost replied before pulling out his cell and making his call. Ten minutes of the fastest Spanish I’ve ever heard later, Ghost narrowed his eyes at us. “They can hear you can’t they?”
Tate looked up at me then closed his eyes tightly. “Yeah, they can.”
“Then they’ll be pleased to know that if Joss is brought home safely tonight, then the Cartel will agree to a meeting with your ‘team’. Tonight, you have our protection.” Ghost nodded and the look in his eye was of a cold blooded killer—no remorse, no deep emotional trauma, just a hunger that glowed behind his eyes.
The chain link gates were opened by two men with hooded coats hiding their faces. They slowly made room for the vehicle to fit through before enclosing the property again. Rolling up to the side awning of the massive warehouse on the docks, I glanced to the left to see the giant Hightower buildings with the name logoed across the brick. I wonder how my new neighbor was doing at the Gala and my father for that matter.
“Show time,” Ghost whispered and slipped into the back seat. It was the first time I noticed the passed out white guy on the floor below him. I sucked in a breath and turned around. That must have been our original driver…poor guy. “I’ll meet up with you soon Oliver.” A soft click of the back door and Ghost closed it behind himself, disappearing into the night.
“Hurry Tate, get into the back seat,” J.J. urged and Tate hurriedly dropped over the back of our bench with an oomph. He squealed then covered his mouth as he realized he was lying on another person.
“It’s okay baby. I’ll be right back, just breath okay? Yuri can hear you and you have your phone right?”
“Yes, be careful please.” Tate quickly sat up and kissed me before lying back down.
“I will.” I jumped as a pounding sounded at the window. “Bye.” Scooting across the leather, I slowly buzzed down the window.
“Mr. Heinrich, please get out of the vehicle.” A large black man with almost golden eyes opened the door and I shot a look to J.J. who nodded. “This way please.”
Stepping out of the vehicle, I smoothed my coat out and rolled my neck a little to chill out. I could do this, even if the scary son of a bitch bodyguard was almost seven feet and had the weight to go with it. “I hope this won’t take long,” I said, hoping my improvisation was enough to get me by. “I have to catch a plane soon. Sunny weather and tiny umbrellas await me.”
“Sound lovely,” the bodyguard aka Bubba returned. “Pull around to the back please,” he said to J.J. and closed the door. The Cartel employee and Tate drove away—leaving me stranded at the doorstep to Alex’s house of horrors with Bubba the seven foot dumpling of doom. His cell rang and he pulled it out. “Yes, sir. I understand, sir. Very good, sir.” Bubba put the phone back into his pocket and glanced at something above my head. “Mr. Caldwell?”
“Yes?” The alarm went off in my head and I whipped my eyes up at the realization of my mistake only to meet the butt of Bubba’s gun before I could see what he was looking at. Lights out--Alexander Rutovsky two points, Oliver Caldwell zero.