Bold Tricks(6)

By: Karina Halle



“Of course he did,” Camden said with a sigh, leaning back into the seat. I finally had the strength to watch him for a few moments. The wind was ruffling up his dark hair, his glasses reflecting the lights of the few cars on the highway that were braving the storm. His jaw was strong, lips full but held together tightly. I knew he was tormented but I didn’t know by whom. Was it Javier?

Or was it me?

He took his glasses off and wiped the rain off of them with the sleeve of his tuxedo he had gotten for Travis’s party. It took effort, his brilliant blue eyes wincing with pain. His shoulder was still messed up from being shot.

“Do you have any more of your painkillers?” I asked him.

He closed his eyes and nodded while he slipped his glasses back on. “Now’s not the time. I’ll deal.”

“Well you certainly dealt with Javier’s face,” I said. It slipped out before I had a chance to take it back. I wasn’t about to start provoking the monster but it was easier said than done.

And provoked him I did.

Javier’s grip on the wheel tightened and he slammed on the brakes so we went skidding across the highway. I screamed, the tires squealing beneath us, as we came to a shuddering stop on the shoulder and he flipped it into park.

“Jesus!” Camden yelled. “Are you trying to kill us?”

Javier immediately whipped out his gun so it was in front of my face and pointed it at Camden.

“No. Now I’m trying to kill you,” Javier sneered, staring down the barrel of the gun.

“Then fucking do it,” Camden said, his eyes blazing, meeting the challenge.

“You shouldn’t tempt me,” Javier countered.

My eyes darted between the two of them and the gun. It wavered slightly, betraying Javier’s smooth exterior. He was damn angry, angry enough to do something stupid. He didn’t need Camden egging him on.

I raised my hands slowly, careful not to touch the gun that was inches away. I spoke carefully, trying to keep my voice from shaking. “Please, please, Javier, Camden, let’s just … let’s just calm down.”

“Shut up,” Javier said, his eyes flitting to me and back to Camden. “This is all your fault.”

“How is this my fault?” I exclaimed and then realized it was. I needed to keep my mouth shut. We all did. I looked between the two of them and said, “Okay, I’m sorry. It is my fault. Obviously we’re not getting anywhere if we can’t get along.”

Javier’s grip tightened on the gun. “This isn’t a matter of getting along, angel.” He licked his lips and nodded at Camden. “Tell me, Camden, how did you manage to escape from your ex-wife and the mighty Vincent Madano?”

Camden frowned at him, his jaw tensing. “How do you know about that?”

Javier grinned. “I read it in the newspaper like everyone else.”

“Bullshit.”

“I have to say, I’m impressed,” Javier went on. “Vincent Madano is not a man you can just mess up and walk away.”

“How well do you really know them?” I asked Javier, remembering that Camden had said something about it all being a set up, that Sophia and her brothers, and possibly Javier were all in on it. The exchange, the kidnapping – it was all for show. All to get me away from Camden and maybe to put Camden in danger.

It must have been driving Javier crazy to have Camden here with us. Camden could not be caught that easily.

“I know them well enough,” Javier said. He loosed his grip on the gun, shook the rain off of it and put it back in his waistband. I exhaled in relief. “But I suppose that’s neither here nor there at this point.”

I was sure that Camden wouldn’t let it go that easily. Just how deeply was Javier tied to his ex-wife and her brothers and why? But Camden only gave Javier a final glare before turning his attention back to the darkened farmland we had stopped beside.

“Let’s just get Gus back,” he said and pressed his lips together as if to prevent himself from saying something else.

Javier watched him for a few moments before putting the Jeep back into drive and returning us to the highway.

We sat in unbearable silence as we made our way into Veracruz, yet it was safer than saying anything. I felt like we were a word away from incinerating each other. Camden only spoke up to give directions to where he had ditched Jose.

Unfortunately it was a bit too close to Travis’s compound for comfort. We pulled down a quiet residential street only a few blocks away, the leafy trees blowing wildly in the wind, the rain having thankfully dropped off. The sound of helicopters buzzed in the distance.

Javier eyed the sky and I asked, “Are those his or news choppers?”

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