Bold Tricks(4)

By: Karina Halle



“Are you okay?” Camden asked, his voice low. My knee was touching his knee. My other knee was touching Javier’s. I could feel them on either side of me, hear their breathing, both their bodies tense and rigid as we sat there in the darkness. This was so awkward. So fucking awkward.

And from the looks of it, with Gus and my parents in the clutches of Travis Raines, my cover being blown, the three of us having to make our way through Mexico together, awkward was the least of my problems.

I nodded, still looking at my hands, even though I wasn’t okay. None of us were.

Javier sighed loudly. Something about his tone made me look over. Somehow it was easier to look at him, maybe because I didn’t feel guilt when I did.

“What?” I asked. I pressed my fingers into my thigh to keep my nerves from misfiring.

He tilted his head toward me and though the only light came from the glow of the Jeep’s dashboard and the far-off flashes of lightning in the sky, I could see the gleam in his eyes. Unreadable, as always.

“I’m just wondering how long we’re going to sit here in a fucking tropical storm,” he said simply, a false smile spread across his face. “That’s all.”

Camden sat up straighter. “At least the rain should wash all that blood off your face.”

Javier’s eyes flicked over to him. “Are you sure you want me to help you get your fat Gus back? Because I think I’m the one doing you both a favor. Aside from saving your behinds, of course. I don’t recall either of you thanking me yet.”

I exhaled through my nose. “Just give me a few minutes. I need to figure out the plan.”

Javier let out a dry laugh, rain running off the tip of his nose, and eyed me incredulously. “The plan? You’re not in charge of the plan, angel. If you want my help, then you’re doing it my way.”

“Fuck that,” Camden spat out.

I finally had to look at him. His eyes were raging beneath his glasses that reflected the dull glow from the car and he was gripping the door handle like he was about to break it in two. Oh god, I didn’t need this. But then again, it was partly my fault. Maybe I did need this.

“Camden,” I said, trying to placate him with my eyes, “please, let’s just … let’s just stay calm and think.”

“I am calm,” Javier answered as Camden opened his mouth. “I need to go find my sister, Violetta. That’s my goal first and foremost. Then I’ll help you get to Travis and Gus.”

“And my mother?” I filled in, daring him to be honest.

He gave me a short nod, though he was looking off onto the dark road. “Yes … and your mother.”

Now was the time to ask him. Better now than never.

I took in a deep breath. “Where’s my father? I didn’t see him at the party.”

He raised a brow and looked over my head at Camden. Why, I had no fucking idea. I turned to look at Camden but he was staring back at Javier like he didn’t even know who he was.

“Javier,” I repeated. “Where is my father?”

He frowned at Camden and looked back at me. His face went stony. “The man you call your father is dead.”

Every limb on me froze. My lungs sucked in warm air and raindrops.

“Dead?” I asked, feeling like I was choking.

Dead.

My father was dead?

No.

Javier’s eyes softened momentarily but only for a minute. “I didn’t know until I got here.”

I let it soak in over my bones. My father was dead.

The good parent.

The weak one.

Dead.

With my mother working for Travis, I truly was an orphan now.

“Oh god,” I said, finally finding enough air. I leaned forward, trying to ward off another panic attack, and Camden’s warm hand met the small of my back, just enough to let me know he was there. His touch somehow strengthened me. “Oh god.”

“I’m sorry,” Javier said.

It took a few moments before I realized what he said.

I immediately whipped my head toward him. “No you’re not,” I seethed. “You wanted me to kill them. You sick fucking bastard, you wanted me to kill my own parents. You brought me here for that. You are not fucking sorry!”

Javier stared at me impassively, his features forever reptilian, smooth and calculating. No emotion. No anything. How could I have even thought there was something warm inside him?

“You’re right,” he said, turning his attention back to the empty road. “I’m not sorry. I’m glad he’s dead. He deserves it for what he did to you. But I am sorry you feel this way, right now.”

“Like I wouldn’t have felt worse if I killed them?”

He shrugged. “Obviously now I know how that would have played out. Apparently you don’t hold the same grudges that I do.”

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