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The Wrong Thing to Say-Fiction by Bill Baber
Late One Night, We Killed them All-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Call it in the Air!-Fiction by Jim Farren
Arendt and Eichmann: Behind Bars-Fiction by Edward Francisco
A Provocation Game-Fiction by Norbert Kovacs
Carol's-Fiction by G Emil Ruetter
Casting Call for a Tijuana Firing Squad-Fiction by j brooke
Preserving Beauty-Fiction by Paul Michael Dubal
Straight Shooter-Fiction by Mark Joseph Kevlock
Meat-Fiction by F. Michael LaRosa
The Internship-Fiction by Henry Simpson
The Knife She Done it With-Fiction by Matt Phillips
Almond-Flash Fiction by Francis Woodland
Squatters-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
The Cookie Crumbles-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
A Funeral Pyre-Flash Fiction by Karen Schauber
Twist-Flash Fiction by Ram Praseth
Something Has Happened-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
unbound-poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
Sweet Rivalry-Poem by Meg Baird
when it comes round-Poem by Meg Baird
Dat No Apply to Debra-Poem by Joe Balaz
No Can Change Its Stripes-Poem by Joe Balaz
Infested-Poem by John Grey
Living With the Dead-Poem by John Grey
They-Poem by John Grey
Chesapeake Night-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
Sunrise on Port Royal Sound, SC-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
The Final Dream-Poem by Gregory E. Lucas
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by L. A. Barlow © 2918


J Brooke

Tijuana, a shit box illusion, rock n’ roll, Mariachi bands, Carlos and Charlie’s, primo pot, meth, cocaine, what the fuck, that guy Juan at the bar has suitcases of it. Tijuana is a lead hollow point, a truth serum, and what’s behind the pretty neon façade, some cartel hombre with a hatchet, bolt cutters, lost balls, screams, shrieks, blood, lots a blood from a bullet in the fucking head.

What’s sup with that?

It’s like white flake percolating on a silver spoon, blue veins, needle spike, nod out, a crinoline blanket coating nerve endings, that’s TJ, baby cakes. Drift into dreams, abort life’s pain, wake, demons, wraiths, puke in the toilet, end up in a Tijuana whorehouse, horror story, the fucking most dangerous cesspool on a burning slab of earth.

She was an American girl, 18, Hispanic, Maria, bullet proof, stunning, straight-A student, promised mama no TJ for spring break.

Where’s the fun in that?

She lied.

Everybody from U of L Vegas was partying there, a rad place, you know, a coupla tokes, margaritas’, maybe a hit of “E.” What could go wrong? 

What could go wrong? A lot could go fucking wrong.

She was abducted, human traffickers, part of the Zeta Cartel, cocaine, pot, meth and young America beauties, top dollar, maybe jettisoned off to The Emirates, Damascus, Beirut, New York City. Those insidious mother-fuckers paid top dollar for Grade A beef-fed American girls.

The call went out.

The phone call was made…

Favors asked. Favors repaid.

Mal was a hard man, a fair man, a six-foot-two slab of muscled chrome. He had killed a lot of bad people, men, women too, none ever taking the leap to a coffin that hadn’t deserved the final pile of dirt stuffed into their mouths.

He had been a young man once.

His young Costa Rican wife had been murdered, butchered in Rio. They had murdered him too, but he had returned, a new man, a different man, a violent man and killed every one of the sons-of-bitches, the cops that had cut his wife’s head off in a botched robbery with a machete.

Decades passed, diamond smuggling out of Pretoria, arms dealing in Somalia, he had run a hashish empire out of Ketama, Morocco into the UK, that all ended in more death.

Time passed, it always did for killers, men of ethics; it did for him.

He had moved to Vegas, a man could disappear there, perhaps hide from a life of pain and death.

An artist of paint, gold, and weld, he wanted it over, his past.

“Everybody needs someone to love.”

Some bastard sang that, never knowing a man like Mal existed.

But there was someone and he fell in love with another killer, ex whore, thief, grifter, a stunner of a gal named Mandal.

She was a girl with a violent past mostly concerning guns, lots of fucking guns.

Birds of a feather flock together, and he thought a hideous past life of distorted images was over, he really thought that.

Well, if it was over, then why was he in fucking Tijuana, heavily armed, a sixteen-gauge nestled in his lap, Beretta in his waistband, hunting the abducted girl, Mandal’s Mexican housekeeper’s daughter, with another killer more dangerous than he was?

Her name was Pilar, a Colombian waif, a stunning teak-skinned girl. Beauty confuses, distorts men’s minds. A hard dick makes men forget beauty kills.

As a teenager, her entire family, mother, father, brothers and sisters, tios and tias all brutally murdered by the cocaine cartels. She went insane, wandered into the jungle, hooked up with the Colombian National Army, then the CIA and Delta Force dudes, one thing on her disturbed and brilliant mind: revenge.

CIA, Delta Force, dug her vibe immediately, her abilities at languages, violence, weapons, disguise, and ferocity to kill on demand. They knew a great asset when they saw one, signed her up, a perfect weapon holding no fear in her demented heart.

No blink. She signed on the dotted line with her own blood.

Whisked her off to Langley, languages, including Arabic, computers, guns, knives, hatchets, Ricin pellets, poisons, hands, teeth, and she used them all over the next few years.

When she graduated CIA U, her present was a cheap gold locket with a Cyanide tablet in it.

Having a maniacal beauty queen as a Contract Killer paid dividends as she moved in out of Bogota, Beirut, Mogadishu, Paris, Bremen, and other places, a stunning-young pixie killer could kill evil men.

Then one night she went rogue, vanished into the nether world of death, becoming a paid contract killer to the highest bidder.

The one question a man asked as she stepped out of the shadows was…

“Am I dead?”

And now, she was repaying a debt to a Mexican drug lord. He had pulled her out of Nogales, Mexico years ago, when a job went south.

She was honorable, and now this new man, this Mal, she had met earlier in the evening, he was something, special, lethal and she saw it immediately. Two people that had basically few if any friends had liked each other instantly.

Favor asked, a favor repaid and Mal had called the Mexican drug dealer, called in one of his own. 

Thus, the hook-up hours earlier in downtown TJ had been flawless. Both killers knew each other’s STREET CREDS were impeccable.  The Mexican Drug dealer’s word was sacrosanct, beyond reproach.

Earlier, Pilar, using state of the art computers, had with Mal moved into a Zeta owned nude club, a favorite haunt for campesino, illiterate abducted Mexican young flesh.

They flashed a photo to the bartender and then disappeared to Pilar’s safe house. Tapping into the world of the Zeta Cartel had been a snap. She eased in on the bartender’s call, nada, no problema.

Blood, bullets, arterial spray, carnage, death were always one phone call away.

Hasta la vista baby, they were ready to rumble.

They had found what they were looking for, at least the first drop of blood moving down the vein into tracking the girl Maria.

They were going to visit two of the Zetas’ lower tier street soldiers, corrupt cops and now, sharing a pizza, both Mal and Pilar were ready to roll hard and straight to the cop’s house.

Sitting in Pilar’s armored and tricked out old American sedan; both new buddies laughed, chatted and ate pizza.

Time passed slow, it always did for assassins.

Pilar’s plan was dead simple, death is always a simple plan.

They would cruise over to the corrupt Zeta cops, she would deliver a pizza, no one ever said no to her stunning beauty.

Through the door they would go, reach down the pukes’ throats and rip the truth out of their gullets.

Mal liked the plan, they were both armed to the teeth. Pilar smiled, broke Mal’s heart with that, hit the numbers on her key board ignition pad, the car rumbled to life.

The armored ‘89 Caprice, with multiple weapons in the trunk seemed to growl.

“Meant to ask you Pilar, that engine sounds radical, what ya got in there?

Beaming, for what hit woman doesn’t love a compliment from a handsome stud, she said, “Pilar do all work herself. 327, bored 409. Magnesium lifters, fuel injected all running on an Earnhart, custom aluminum block…Neat, yes?”

“You running Nascar, is that it?”

Can’t count a dead corpse as a friend, never having a friend in her life to share her genius, she blushed. Punching him in the shoulder, she blushed again.

“A girl thing. Sometime have to drive fast…You know…This business, funny at times.”

Nothing funny about their business to any normal human being, but they were who they were, and Mal smiled.

“Yeah, a hoot.”

Quite magically she felt happy for the first time in her life. Leaning her hand to the floorboard, she peeked at a CD case. Finding a piece of music she loved, she withdrew the CD, flashed it at Mal. He nodded his approval. 

She injected it into the player set into the dash board.

CD machine searching, first track and liking his reply, gloved palm on the gear shift, found first, gunned the engine because she liked its power and as she roared off she asked, “You like the pepperoni, Mal?

Laughing, he grinned with pure enjoyment. “Love it doll.”

She loved the doll remark, though once she had shot a man who killed women 12 times with her silenced Beretta for calling her a bitch, she smiled.

Coming to a curve, downshifted from 2nd, found 3rd, roar in their ears, she whispered. “Me too.”

Haunting music of The Calling fell into the car, almost mystically matching the moment of their lives. The words fell along their ears, as if prophetic while doing so.

“When I’m gone we make love to light the shadows on your face…Way up high or down low, I will go wherever you will go...If I could, then I would go wherever you will go… Maybe, I will find a way to make it back alive someday.”

And as the ghosts of their words mimicked what they were about to do, that was it.

Two lost killers existing in eco-systems that could never understand them were on their way munching pizza, just two new friends kickin’ it.

Two pals out on a night of the town, their murderous town.

They would live or die, the song told it all.

“Maybe, I will find a way to make it back alive someday.”


THE AGUAS brothers, basically illiterate street mook field hands from Chiapas, had struck golden ore in Tijuana. Being low-rung foot soldiers in the Orta’s Cartel, it had been phat city for them.

They had a cool little house with hot water, a kitchen with a microwave, toaster, coffee maker, a machine that kept their beer cold, and even macinas to wash and get blood outta their clothes, as well as an indoor toilet and shower.

No more shitting in the fields for these dudes.

All of it blew their primal minds.

They also had a 56-inch LCD flat panel TV, a DVD and a cassette machine, a silver, paper thin CD player, and lots and lots of weapons. The latter was cool too, for they had needed Ruger’s, Tech-9’s, shotguns, knives and other sharp implements to continue to do their thing, hopefully rising along the Orta’s totem pole as they did.

When they weren’t raping and getting blow jobs from hopeless victims like the Hispanic American girl they had kidnapped from the Disco earlier they were pumping iron at Gold’s Gym.

They loved fucking gabacho Vin Diesel, cause he always got the senorita.

Bolted on racks of their pale green walls, were a Remington pump shot gun, two Tech-9’s, two AK-47’s with full banana clips stuck into their chambers, as well as two military 45-caliber handguns. Set against the wall below the guns, were two razor honed machetes.

They were WTF fab toys of the boys when they were in gnarly moods.

Life was sweet for the muscled puke two-hundred-pound slabs of chorizo.

Sitting on their nifty overstuffed red couch, they giggled to one another as they watched one of their fave flicks on their nifty Toshiba LCD TV, snorting a little crank as they did.

The flick Blow was, besides Scarface, one of their favorite drug movies and they could not help but chide each other with many jokes while watching it. The fact that drug guys always came to a bad end in the flicks, as Johnny Depp had in Blow, continued to make them loopy with laughter.

That they somehow had wrangled jobs as sergeants in the TJ Police Force, always amazed them. Nobody understood better than they, that Bad Guys and they were Bad Guys with a badge never got caught, fucking ever.

Earlier, after they had delivered the beautiful girl to Senor Maccas they had been awed that their generous Jefe had given them an unexpected bonus, five hundred C-notes for a job well done. 

Neither of the lads being rocket scientists, their chat with the bartender on the phone and the meeting with the cops over at Mexico Linda a little earlier had more annoyed them, then had confused them. They had boogied over to the motel where the tourists were, to murder them and find out “What’s Sup?”

No tourists, thus, no red flags had flared within their basic minds.

Then there was a knock at the door, and of course that didn’t cause them any worry. Nobody would ever fuck with the men of the Orta’s Crew, ever.

Pete looked at Johnny. Johnny looked at Pete. Pete grabbed the remote, the one sitting next to his automatic .45, clicked pause and mumbled, “What the fuck.”

Johnny shrugged his broad, bare shoulders as again they heard a fist knocking against their door. Tilting his head, Pete rose, ran his fingers through his thick black hair, turned and moved towards the door, .45 in hand.

Fucking destiny was like that.

Kickin’ it with your bro, watchin’ TV, feeling all good and such, could change in a bullet rapport as a new journey was about to jerk off the boys’ mojo.

Soon the Aguas brothers would learn, that all Hollywood drug movies were not filmed the same and that some of them indeed, involved the Bad Guys meeting bad Karma as the final credits rolled and the popcorn box was empty and blood rolled in the aisles and the directors of that movie were blood curdling homicidal maniacs.


      PETE and Johnny Aguas wanted to be just like their gangster-rap heroes on MTV, they loved their hip-hop life style, they talked in broken English, gangsta style, most of the time.

That’s how they rolled.

Cause everything was so Phat in their lives, Pete, as he stared through the small, brass square hole in his door at the beautiful biatch, holding a pizza in her hand, smiling a twenty-megaton smile at him, he never even questioned it.

He thought the Pizza Gods had opened a door in heaven, sending some gorgeous slag with a pie for them, when they needed it most. Turning to his brother Johnny, who was spread eagled on the couch, he said in his broken, best gang banging voice. “Hey bro, you order a pizza? Some radical bitch got one out the door?”

    “Fuck no. Fuck, I’m starvin, man. Let her in.”

    “Right on, dude.”

Peeking out the square slot, he saw her smiling white teeth. Because everything was so sweet in his life, he smiled back at her, as he said. “Just a sec, beautiful.”

He opened the door, as a huge smile plastered across his face.

“What ya, got doll?”


Instantly, a real tall guy with a shaved head, who didn’t look like any pizza delivery guy Pete had ever seen and holding a black shotgun in one hand and an iron gray automatic in the other hand, seemed to appear from nowhere.

With a force that rocked his world, the tall guy lifted a heavy work boot, exploded it into his chest. The force of it, for the guy was like a truck piston, sent him flying across the room. He crashed into a tall glass cabinet, shattering it.

Stunned, gasping for air and sitting on his ass under the racks that held his weapons, he watched as some kind of black shadow seemed to spin and crouch, and there seemed to be something clutched in her black fists.


Not the fastest thinker in the gene pool, Johnny, on the couch, squinted his heavy eyelids at the pizza girl. He began to rise, leaning towards his gun in its holster lying next to his gold badge on the glass coffee table.

In the movies, a guy carrying a scatter gun, not intent on using it, usually does some cinematic posturing, usually before he rams the butt of the shotgun into the guys forehead or gut, for that makes great drama, and great flicks too.

But as Johnny Aguas leaned closer to his weapon, the tall guy, who moved like some kinda Tiger he and his brother had seen hunting a deer on The Discovery Channel, wasting no unneeded motions, was on him. Outstretching the shotgun, he violently ripped the shotgun barrel’s iron tip into his forehead.

Instantly he felt the pain, saw stars as he rammed back into the cushions of his couch. Then the guy, who neither smiled nor said anything clever, like in the movies, pressed the barrel tip against his lips, and simply, very slightly, shook his head back and forth.

The look on the guy’s face was something Johnny had not remembered ever seeing before. It was emotionless, hard-pressed with a serious intent. The radical dude’s blue eyes never seemed to blink. That was a bad thing; that, he was sure of.

Regaining his composure, Pete Aguas got real mad. He focused his mind on the girl, who was crouching in some kind of Oriental Ninja pose. She wasn’t smiling either. Her eyes reminded him of a Cobra’s he had seen on Nat Geo Channel.

Because Pete was one dangerous Hombre, and because he was afraid of no biatch, he went to his knees, jerked his hand up towards his weapons, ready, very ready to rumble.

As his brown meaty hand crawled up the wall, the black wizard ninja seemed to twirl and came to her knees in a throwing stance. Something flashed out of her hand. He screamed as a six-inch, razor-honed knife split into back of his hand, impaling his open palm and fingers to the wall.

Screaming, he fell to his knees, his bloodied hand stuck into the wall, keeping him from falling back to his rump. His Bro moved towards his handgun on their beautiful smoked glass coffee table. That quickly faded into a bad idea.

With a pistol aimed at his withering brother, the tall guy poked his head with the shotgun barrel again, lowered it into his mouth, and whispered. “Tsk, tsk, tsk.”

Knowing it wise to be good now, he slumped back into the couch, felt his blood curdle, for the tall guy’s eyes scared the living shit out of him.

Pilar, on the other hand, knew it was time to get on with business.

She moved to a standing position, peeked at Mal, was appreciative of his solid ways. She looked at Pete Aguas, who now was literally weeping from pain from her skills with the throwing stiletto.

“Where is girl? Is she dead? You hurt her? Where she is?”

With snot and tears running down his face, Pete looked at her with stricken eyes, then at his bleeding, impaled hand, back at her as he wheezed.

“My fucking hand…Man, what girl…Who the fuck is you?”

Turning to Mal, she outstretched her hand. “Mal.”

Knowing exactly what she wanted, for they had already rehearsed how it was going to go down, Mal tucked his Sig Sauer and silencer under his arm. He with-drew the photograph of Maria Juarez from the pocket of his sweatshirt.

Without ever breaking his gaze on Johnny Aguas, nor moving the shotgun tip from his eyes, he outstretched his gloved hand. Pilar took it, moved in front of Pete Aguas and shoved the picture of Maria before his weeping eyes.

“This girl. Maria Juarez. She a friend of us…Where she is.?”

In disbelief, he gawked at the photograph, then at the beautiful demon standing before him, back at the photograph, back at the demon.

“I don’ knowed what you talkin about, bitch. You knowed who you fuckin with? I don’ knowed nothin’. Fuck you.”

Pilar blinked, smiled, glanced down at the floor where the machete was set below the impaled hand and gun racks. Not the kind of girl that suffers nonsense that well, she bent, picked up the machete and tightened her gloved fingers around it. She turned and, then slashed it into the wall, slicing all of Pete’s fingers off as she did.

Pete shrieked as his eyes bolted wide. His dipped as he stared in shock at his fingers rolling along the floor. He shrieked again.

His eyes darted at his brother, who was now paralyzed in terror, wondering just who these Pizza people really were. Smiling, Mal held nothing but pure admiration, for not only her creativity within the moment, but her diligence in expediting matters.

With Pete hung out to dry on the wall, and bent at the waist, Pilar moved the bloody machete’s blade under his chin. She lifted it slowly. Staring into his eyes, and as he blubbered about this and that, she whispered, pressed the photo before his eyes again.

“Now you remember, Girl? Where is girl? What you do to her?”

Weeping in pain and now knowing the face of the devil when he finally was presented with it, he began to blubber.

“Yeah…I knowed her…She…She ain’t dead…My fuckin fingers.” He wept again as he lowered his face, only to have it propped up again by his own machete.

“You rape girl…You lie, I know, do other hand.”

“Fuck…no…no…I ain’t lyin’…She gave us blow job…she liked it…Man, I…I don’ knowed where she is. Man, I’m bleedin’…real bad.”

Unhappy with his answer, and still holding her other knife, she leaned down, placed the tip of the other knife in her hand against his lower eyelid and pressed, just a little.

“Last chance. Tell where girl is, or I take eye.”

Pete’s eyes kept jerking off at the blade just a centimeter from his eyes. He leered at his fingers on the floor, back at the Pizza delivery girl, then back at the blade tip.

“Maccas got her…We just delivered…That’s all…Where she go from there…only Maccas knowed…I no lie…Please, I’m bleedin’.

Pilar saw a white T-shirt flopped along a chair’s arm. She reached for it, moved to the wall and unplugged her throwing knife from it as well as the now weeping Pete’s fingerless hand.

He flailed around on the floor as Mal casually watched Johnny and his brother as she wiped the blade clean of blood. She tossed the T-shirt to Johnny’s weeping brother.

“There, use that, stop blood. Address, place where girl is…Tell now or you die…”

After a moment, she tapped him on the back of his head with the machete.

“You, no fingers, no more time, talk.”

He didn’t like her voice or anything about her. Though extremely macho before with every girl he had ever dominated, he wasn’t in the mood for any more of her fucked-up attitude, so he rose on his knees and whimpered.

“562 Avenida Armistice…is condo…near airport…number 4…He there…maybe girl too…”

Turning to Mal, she smiled.

“Take Sig Sauer…Shoot big man in knee.”

Just as Johnny Aguas was going to protest that suggestion, Mal, without hesitation rotated the Sig Sauer away from brother Pete’s head, aimed at Johnny’s knee and pulled the trigger.

     “Pssssst,” whizzed through the room as well as a bullet. 

A howl shrieked from Johnny’s lips, he leered at the exploded bone, blood and cartilage of a once very fine kneecap.

Looking at Pilar, Mal waited for further instructions. He got a nice nod from her. He nodded back at her.

He returned the Sig Sauer on Johnny’s crouching brother Pete, turned, looked down the barrel of his Mossberg at the writhing Johnny, who was now on the couch in a fetal position, clutching his knee in his hands, crying and moaning. Johnny, crunched in a ball on the couch, kept crying and moaning and his brother was doing the same thing, which disgusted Pilar.

Reaching under her leather coat, she withdrew her 9-millimeter.

She took a black gloved hand and cranked the silencer tight, just making sure it was cozy snug on the barrel. Placing the tip under Pete’s chin, she lifted his contorted face, so he could leer directly into her lovely brown eyes.

     “Repeat address.”

     “Aaah…por favor…aaah…562 Avenida Armistice…big condo…the whole second floor…number 4…por favor…that’s it, man…please I have my fingers back…please.”

Stepping back, Pilar looked at Johnny who had his blood-soaked fingers wrapped around what was left of his knee.

She glanced at Mal, who’s shaved tan head was as dry as a bone, not a drop of sweat on it.  For the briefest of micro-moments, she wanted to walk over and affectionately run her hand over his head like he had done to her, for she totally dug his vibe. Getting back to business, for head rubbing could wait for later, she looked at the weeping Johnny, whose eyes were bleached wide open leering at her.

     “You big man. With bad knee. Repeat number.”

Sniffling and with fluids dripping out of his wide nostrils and his eyes crushed with tears, Johnny tried to remember, he really did. Seeing the man with the shaved head and a face that looked like it had been carved out of brass, he did remember.

     “Yeah…yeah…562 Armistice…yeah that’s it…Number 4…Please…I gotta see a doctor…Please lady.”

Grinding her teeth, Pilar seethed. “I no lady.”

Of course, that reply did nothing to calm the Aguas brothers. Johnny was now certain by the way the pizza delivery girl was staring at him that he’d probably never have a pizza again.

Turning to Pete Aguas and placing the tip of the silencer against his forehead, she whispered, “He have guards…How many…?”

“Yeah…no…maybe…yeah, lots, he’s Mister Maccas…sometime…nobody fuck with him…He with Orta’s…He got drivers…man who the fuck are you?”

Pilar, silencer still pressing against Pete’s quaking forehead, inhaled deeply, lowered the Beretta.

“I…just like girl you hurt…I…am girl who going to kill you.”

Lifting the Beretta, she leveled it off about two feet from his forehead, his eyes gawked, he began to plead.

She squeezed the trigger.

     “Pssssst,” sizzled through the air as well as Pete’s brains and the back of his head, which stippled the back wall with all of it. He crumpled to the floor, dead.

Turning to Mal, she said. “Use Sig Sauer, now. Kill man.”

Like his brother, Johnny Aguas wanted to say something. Mal lifted the silenced handgun, aimed it coldly at his forehead. Johnny’s tongue felt like a bale of cotton in his mouth and that was the last thing he ever felt.

“I…I don’ want ta die, man.”

Mal stared at him, growled. “We all die, no one gets out alive.”

“Pssssst,” Smoke plumed out of the barrel of Mal’s handgun.

The bullet produced a small hole in Johnny’s forehead as it exploded out of the back, painting the couch even redder than it was before.

Nodding, Pilar walked over to Mal. Standing next to him she laid her arm around his shoulder like good buddies often did.

“You best man Pilar ever know. Good work, we do well, yes Mal?”

He peeked his eyes a little lower and there it was again, her most amazing delicate and beautiful cinnamon face. It was a face that could not possibly belong to such a cold blooded killer, but did.

Reaching out, he touched her face with his gloved fingers and smiled.

“You’re remarkable. Simply remarkable.”

Blushing, she punched Mal in his arm.

“You make Pilar feel like young girl…Me like it.”

“Me too.” Mal giggled.

Remembering where she was and what they had just done and what still needed to be done, she escaped the moment.

“Maybe, we live still, we talk more. Now business still.”

Mal nodded. He was a simple combatant waiting for orders.

“Mal, you got money, still? Flash at club?”


“Good give to me, all please.”

Mal dug into his pocket, pulled out the nine grand in hundred dollar bills he had in a nice fold, looked at it and handed it to her.

     “Nine Thousand.”

Raising her eyebrows, another notch of respect grew in her mind for the tall, muscled man with the lines in his face and the shaved head and the now, she was positive, very sexy smile. He was a no questions kinda a guy.

“Good. Better more, this for people I know.”

She moved to the smoked glass coffee table and tossed the money on top of the glass surface. She looked at Mal.

“Men come, cleaners, clean…for them.”

She swept up both cops’ leather cases and gold badges. She flipped them to him. Much like a cat, he caught both in his hand.

“May be good use, later.”

She found a small silver cell phone.

Flipping it open, her leather-clad thumb punched a button. As the phone buzzed, she smiled at him.

     “Pilar…Yes, you have number…Come clean…Thank you.”

Slapping the phone shut, Pilar pocketed it, rubbed her high cheekbones, looked at Mal.

     “I guess we ready. One hour, dead men never here. Okay, we go see now this Maccas.”

Mal looked at her for a moment.

“Cold work, yes.”

Looking deep into Mal eyes, she thought for a moment.

“Yes Mal, cold work. Men like these, like rabid jackal, hurt girl. Pilar never take work for girl or woman. We, Mal, just help these animals where they go anywhere, understand?”

“Yes, I understand.”

Needing no more words, Pilar turned and passed Mal, and as she did she allowed her gloved hand to trail along his broad shoulder.

“Come, handsome…Maybe, we finish this. Now.”

She playfully winked at him as she passed.

Feeling totally awed by her, he watched as she reached the door and exited. Shoving the Sig Sauer into his waistband, Mal gripped the Mossberg and looked at the two dead deviants.

As within all businesses, the Aguas brothers had been simply down sized after a corporate takeover.

As Mal reached the door, he looked back at the dead men.

He normally felt nothing, but he did feel something.

He thought of Mandal, and how she would love Pilar as he did.

Mal held no sexual desire for Pilar, Mandal was his woman, but he knew Pilar needed Mandal, her love, her compassion, and he thought they would be perfect together.

There was one problem.

Could he get her back to His and Mandal’s world alive?

He knew death was now waiting for them in the darkness of the night.

He was ready now as he nodded to himself, closed the door and walked into that darkness.

A darkness that could kill them both.

j brooke is a writer with over 100 credits, and never lists them. It's simple for j, for it’s never what you have already written, but what you are going to write next. Contact info: jbrooke2001@yahoo.com

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