Will stared across the front seat of the vehicle at his companion. The blue-white lights from the dash cast shadows on Roberto Garcia’s face. It was getting late, and they would cross into Mexico soon. Still, he knew better than to suggest they stop for the night. The man was under orders to bring Callie back as quickly as possible.
He looked between the seat. The young girl that he had sacrificed his career for was sleeping now. Or at least she appeared to be. They had not stopped since picking her up. Not really, just one quick break for gas and snacks. Diego had escorted her to the bathroom while Will pumped gas. How had he come to this? Kidnapping an innocent kid? One that he had sworn to protect.
But he knew the answer. Bebe and Mercy. He had looked for a way out. But there weren’t any. His only hope now was that this man meant what he said about helping them to escape. Even when Roberto Garcia was nothing more than a few facts in profile, Will had never understood the man. He did not make sense.
“You have a fucking MBA from Harvard. You could have gotten a job with any Fortune 500 company. Why go back to dealing drugs, kidnapping kids, and pimping out little girls? Why be your brother’s lackey?” While he did not yell the words for fear of waking Callie, the anger was there nonetheless.
“Do you know how the Kennedys made their money?”
Will shook his head at the question, “What are you talking about?”
“Bootlegging, racketeering. Yet, two generations later, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was President of the United States. His brother came damned close. The family still holds a great deal of power. And it all began with illegally obtained wealth and power.”
“John Kennedy never kidnapped a kid or slept with a fifteen-year-old?”
“That we know of. He certainly fucked around with enough of them.” Roberto’s laugh irritated, more than usual.
Will wanted to wrap his hands around the guy’s throat and squeeze the last bit of life from him. But he knew he could not. If he did, then his cousin’s and Mercy’s lives would be forfeit. And the little girl in the back and her mother at the mercy of Diego Garcia. But, oh, did this man get under his skin.
He fought down the anger. The more information he had about the enemy, the better a plan he could make. “How do you expect to become President or whatever when Diego and your mother see you as nothing more than the dumb, expendable henchman?”
The man chuckled again, “Oh, yes, but in how many of those movies is it the henchman that betrays the mastermind?” He took his eyes from the road and turned to smile at Will, “Better they underestimate me.”
Will’s blood ran cold. He knew at that moment he could never truly trust this man. Hell, Diego Garcia had more honor, as warped as it was, than his brother. “You’re going to betray your brother.” It was neither a statement nor a question.
“I don’t need to. His wife, god, Fate, whatever already has. And he and Mama are laying the opportunity I need right in my hands.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Rafael Dominguez. What do you know of the man?”
It might have been years since Will worked undercover Vice for Houston PD, but he knew all the major players. “He’s one of your brother’s rivals. Dom has controlled the drug trafficking in Chihuahua almost as long as your family has along the Texas border.” He could not understand what that had to do with anything.
“Constanza is her father’s only child. He was older than Diego when she was born.”
Will frowned; this was new information. The DEA and, to his knowledge, everyone else believed the man to be childless. There was loads of speculation and unrest about what would happen when the elderly man died. “But I thought…”
“Everyone does. Dom was smart. Smarter than most. He realized that his only child was his biggest weakness. So he sent her to a convent when she was little more than a baby.”
He was too stunned by this latest piece of information to say much, so Will merely listened. “What he did not count on was that the good sister would turn his only child soft. As soft as my Tio Manuel or Martin. Connie hates what her father is, what he does. She can’t stand the idea. Hell, the girl prays almost constantly for her father’s sins.”
“Honestly, she doesn’t want this marriage any more than I once did. She never even knew who she was until a year ago when Dom dragged her kicking and screaming from the convent. Right before she took her final vows.”
“Rafael Dominguez’s only child wants to be a nun?”
That laugh still grated, “Yeah, go figure. But the old man is having none of it. She might not be the son he hoped for, but through her, he can make sure that his family will continue to hold power as he always has.”
“So, your family and his would merge? Through this marriage?”
“That’s what Mama and Diego think. But I have other plans. Connie and I. If the Kennedys can do it in your country, why can’t we here?”
“You’d turn the Dominguez cartel legitimate?”
Will hated that half-smile. In the dim dashboard lights, it looked as sinister as any villain from a B-rate super-hero movie. “At least in part. I know that my little experiment with Stephen McBride failed. That’s why big brother and Mama have me back to doing their dirty work. Punishment because my plan failed.”
“Your plan? You knew Stephen McBride?”
“Exeter. We went to school together. The three of us were best friends. Got into all kinds of trouble, not that anyone could ever prove it. But you know what they say, boys will be boys.”
He shook his head again as screams, pain, and blood filled his mind. He wanted to throw-up. It took every bit of will power inside of him not to. It was just snippets like a montage of grotesque crime scenes from a detective show. But it only confirmed one thing. This man was dangerous. Even more so than his brother. And despite the suave veneer, they could never trust him.
He glanced in the rearview mirror to Callie McBride wrapped in his jacket. And he had brought the kid into this mess. Her mother too. What the hell had he done? Now it was not just his cousin and Mercy’s lives that rested in his hands but theirs as well. He had no choice at this point. He had to play along with this man. But he knew…