Some men are born to lead, born to be the one in charge, given the tools to handle everything the world throws at them. Maverick is one of those men, however, nothing could or would prepare him for Marisol.
Marisol dreams of a life far and away from her so-called family. When the big bad biker gang rolls through her little village of fruit growers to deliver much-needed medicine to her people, she quickly sets her eyes on their striking leader – Maverick.
You do what you have to in order to survive, but when an escape presents itself, it’s nearly impossible to resist that urge.
“Welcome.” Abuela sat in an aluminum framed folding lawn chair up on her little front deck, to the side of her open front door. To the other side was one of the only reasons I enjoyed coming here. Her granddaughter was a sight for sore and road-weary eyes.
Slender yet still shapely, she had long straight hair, black as a crow’s wing and falling to her slim waist. She wasn’t always shy about showing that body, either. Today it was a pair of form-fitting jeans. A crop top Mexican peasant blouse showed off her flat stomach, the elastic hugging her ribs, the ruffle of material off her slender shoulders making her collarbones kissable and visible begging for my lips. The white of the blouse made her dusky-tanned skin glow, and the rich red embroidery along the ruffle from shoulder to shoulder added just that little something.
The girl always watched us keenly, something moving just behind her beautiful brown eyes framed in thick, dark lashes. The irises kissed with a honey-golden hue in their depths when the sunlight hit them just right. I loved the glimpse of gold and was always vaguely disappointed when she put up her hand to shade them and that special golden light was snuffed out by shadow.
She was beautiful and there were more than a few times I ended up kicking myself because she was also so fresh faced and young – as in probably close to if not just barely eighteen.
Of course, I was still just barely away from the ripe old age of thirty, so it wasn’t like I was in ‘dirty old pervert’ territory by lusting after a barely legal teen. Although, if she were legal and as interested as her divine stare told me she was, all bets were off. Still, it didn’t do to mix business with pleasure so as I always did on arrival, I put a stranglehold on my fantasies by picturing the fat old bitch that was her grandmother buck-ass naked.
That was enough, usually, to curb my dick’s enthusiasm.
“Marisol,” Abuela said permissively and her granddaughter smiled at me and came down with a glazed earthenware pitcher and a stack of red Solo cups in her other hand.
Lemonade. Marisol had started the tradition our second time out, and it’d become almost a ritual by now. Every time we showed up, we were served lemonade, a short exchange was made, and we took our cash and rode off into the proverbial sunset.
“Many thanks, Abuela,” I said, taking a drink of the cool, sweet but tart and totally refreshing beverage. It seriously hit the spot in the summertime.
The words were out of my mouth before I even knew I had uttered them. Silence rang out as everyone looked at me and I tried to do the opposite of what I wanted to do which was shrink. I straightened my back and lifted my chin.
“I can do whatever you want me to do,” I said. “Work off the debt. Just please, my brother needs that medicine.”
My little brother was seven, going on eight, and he was on an insulin pump. He needed that medicine. He would die without it, and he was the only thing I had left in this world that I cared about.
The wretched old woman who cared for us after my dad, then my mother, had died was indeed our grandmother – my father’s mother, but she certainly wasn’t any familia of mine.
“How old are you?” their leader demanded, and I raised my chin, defiantly.
“Twenty,” I answered, and it was almost true. Just a couple more months.
He looked me up and down with those dark blue eyes of his, his gaze electric and raising the fine hairs on the backs of my arms and behind my neck. I didn’t flinch.
“Oh, yeah? Let’s see some ID,” he said, and I cursed silently but produced the rectangle of laminated tough material out of my back pocket and went to him with it. His eyes connected with mine and I tried to keep the desperation out of my eyes, my heart crying out, Please! Please take me with you!
He gave me a sharp look, and my heart squeezed painfully in my chest. I was scared he would call me out on my age, that he would spit on the ground and call me a liar and that would be it. I could see the cold calculation in his eyes and I just wanted him to please, please say yes. Take me away from this place and these people to someplace populated where I could find something, anything, to do other than live under Abuela’s thumb.
I wanted a better life, away from here, where I could get a place, a life of my own and eventually bring my little brother to live with me.
“I could use an extra set of hands for something for the next month,” he said. “She wants to go; I can bring her back on the next run – we’ll see if she can square the debt in that time.”
Something in my chest loosened and I tried not to sag with relief.
“No,” Abuela said, and I turned.
“Why not?” I snarled in Spanish. “Why not sell me to the Gringos? It’s not like I have a use for you anyway!”
She opened her mouth. “I said, no.” Her tone held the sharp edge of finality and I turned my face so I wouldn’t have to look at her for whatever cruelty was about to come out of her fat mouth next. “You don’t want this girl. She is nothing but trouble. You could pick any girl here for whatever you want—”
Maverick’s calm, cool voice cut her off, “I did. I picked her.” To me, he said, “Go pack some shit, put on some better shoes, and make it fuckin’ quick, we got someplace to be.”
She tried to argue with him as I rushed to comply, handing the pitcher and cups to Frida who stood by struck dumb by what was happening
Text Copyright © 2020 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, event, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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