Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mafia Queen Part VI: Even the devil may cry when he looks around hell and realizes that he's there alone

If he were a song, he'd be a complicated melody ...

“I’m coming with you” I look him dead in the eyes and turn to walk away.

“What? No, you’re not.” he orders me, determined.

“I don’t think it’s your decision to make.”

“I disagree” he glares at me way too sure of himself.

“Wait, wait...” I wave my hands in the air as though surrendering “... aren’t you the one who kidnapped me, faked my passport and IDs, and grabbed me a bunch of clothes to skip town?” my indignation stuns him, for a moment.

He grabs my arms at the elbow and pulls me up against his body, “I changed my mind” he growls. The scent of wet grass and sandalwood envelops me, but I’m too angry to enjoy his heat.

“I changed my mind” I mock him with emphasis.

Fury rages in his eyes and a shadow of fear travels through me.

“You will not pass the border Blue” he warns me and I step out of his grasp.

Thunder and lightning pass through me as anger and confusion assault my heart. I feel a storm brewing in my gut.

You will not tell me what to do” I bite back and start walking away. Silence encircles us and I am tempted to turn and see if he’s following. I close my eyes to feel the energy of his anger and I am assaulted by a wave of sadness and despair. Pain shreds through me as I try to push his fears away from my thoughts.

I start trying to make my way back to the car but the forest is much too dark and I lose my balance. “Shit!” I brace myself for pain.

Faster then you’d think a man that injured could move, he grabs for me and breaks my fall. Oak roots pierce into my ankle and I whimper in pain.

He wraps me in his arms and my aggression wanes and melts. As though reading my mind he smirks a little, “Let’s sit for a minute, ok?” his voice softens as I try to put my foot down.

Why not, I think to myself. The forest is still as dark as the pits of hell, and any attempt to move around will probably land me in a hospital. I feel for the ground and he holds on to me until I rest comfortably on the soft moss around us. Carefully, he crouches next to me and takes my ankle in his hands. Although I’m still wearing my knee-high boots, his hands send shivers up my leg. I try to think of anything other than how good they’d feel rubbing other parts of my body.

“It’s weird how someone so athletic could be so clumsy sometimes” he chuckles gently and I let myself smile. Amber eyes glow in the darkness and I catch myself staring into them much longer then I should.

“It’s my curse” I joke, trying to ease the tension.
“No,” his eyes darken with seriousness, “I’m your curse.”

“Ha!” I almost shout in disbelief. “Milo, don’t you know what you mean to me? To my life... to my sanity?” I feel the burning of emotion in the corners of my eyes, but I refuse to cry. “You saved me,” my voice breaks with gratitude, “You rescued me from the pit of despair, of shame... of cowardice. If you hadn’t walked into my life that day I would be a shell of what I am right now. No Mi, no... you are not my curse… I am blessed that you found me, that you strengthened me...” I pause and stare into the abyss of emotion that plays havoc on his face “...that you love me.”

He stares at me and I drown in the agony and joy I sense in his soul.

“No one will ever see me as you do,” his eyes pierce my angry heart, “No one ever has.” The disappointment in his voice melts my defences and, for a moment, I’m willing to forgive him everything I’ve learned tonight.

“I’m sorry” I whisper as his pain engulfs me and I drown in his loneliness. He pulls me firmly into his massive arms and I lose myself in the warmth of his broken heart.

“Please don’t follow me Blue” his voice begging me to see reason, “I can’t breathe knowing this monster hunts me in the night. I can’t lose you to my fucked up plan... I won’t.”

I’m overwhelmed by uncertainty. I wonder if I know too much... I wonder if I know anything at all... Tortured eyes burn through me and I try to adjust my body away from his stare. I’m dominated by the heat mounting between us.

“Blue,” he whispers as his hand moves to touch my face. His fingers run a map across my chin and his thumb slides over my parted lips.

“We shouldn’t do this” I murmur since I can barely breathe. It takes all my willpower not to rip off his clothes and have him right here on the forest floor.

“I know,” he says and drops his hand. My body begs for full contact... He gets up to stand and I am overwhelmed by the sudden urge to grab him.

“Come on Blue,” he reaches down to help me up. “I’ll take you home.” He sighs and I can see the muscles straining in his jaw. “I’d hate to make you do something you might regret.” His eyes linger on me and I catch my breath.

I take his hand and he lifts me up so easily I lose my balance, step on my injured ankle, and fall into him. The smell of his skin blended with forest is too much for me to resist. I wrap my arms around his neck and breathe in trying to regulate my pulse.

His warm breath soothes my shoulder, my neck, and I am helpless against him. His strong arms wrapped around my body ignite sparks of electricity which travel mercilessly up my spine. He hesitates though I can literally feel how much he wants me. His body rigid in all the right places I am amazed by his self control. I hold on tighter, dropping my torso along his so that I can feel every twitch in his strong muscles. He tremors and I humm against him. He moves his hands slowly up my body and his thumbs run smoothly over the lace of my bra. I am helpless against his touch and I bend and move allowing him free access to my skin.

He jerks me slightly away from him and cold moisture envelopes the absence of his warmth. I close my eyes – don’t look at him Blue, I command myself as wild, exotic thoughts run through my mind.

Think Blue think! I chastise myself. There is no future here.

Silence mounts around us as I struggle with my own resistance. Memories of Milo’s powerful body assail my chastising thoughts with a vengeance. His bracing me against the wall while his hands and mouth assault me with pleasure and strength... my own body panting in fissures of bliss and heat... I wince as images of ecstasy wave through me in despair.

Milo could barely hold it together with his hands on Blue’s soft waist and his mouth so close to hers he could feel her heat on his skin. He was sure the beating he’d received tonight would keep him clear of his erotic cravings. But being this close to Blue, after being apart from her body for so long, was proving to be more taxing then he expected. He was broken, battered... how could he still be wanting?

At first, he thought his body was simply relieved to be alive. Hearing that monster rat him out to Blue nearly killed him more than the kicking and breaking of his ribs. There was so much to regret about his time away from her... so much he wished he could take back.

And yet, somehow, for some unfathomable reason, she refused to abandon him. Even after knowing at least some of the gritty details of his nights without her. That had shocked him most of all. What kind of woman was this? No one had ever defended him without being paid, or frightened, into it. No one ever willingly placed themselves in danger for him... ever.

Of course, Blue wasn’t just anyone. Her ancestry traced back to Remus, and he knew the only reason that bullet missed him was because of her proficiency. He tried for months to help her harness her influence. Although Blue wasn’t ready to fully accept her skill, her strength and power were growing, and such abilities would soon become impossible to fight.

Now, standing close to her like this, Milo knew the soreness he felt had little to do with his injures. His muscles, tensed and aware, he instinctly knew seducing her would be no challenge. After all, sharing their bodies had been the most erotic experience in Milo’s life. There was something both feral and warm about Blue that he could find in no one else. Despite how many women he took to bed, they had never been enough to satiate his need. He was like a drug addict trying to appease his cravings with cigarettes. It was futile, and he knew it. No one else could ease the throbbing of his body and the coldness in his heart... and for the first time tonight Milo realized how hard it was going to be to let go of Blue, again. He’d planned on taking her with him so that he could have her next to him, always. He knew she’d be angry, but once she truly sensed his feelings for her, he was certain she would forgive him... stay with him... willingly.

That monster changed his plans the minute bullets started flying all around them. They would never stop chasing them... never let them be together. The Campanili had to be destroyed, they had to be removed. Milo dreamed of the day when things would be different, and old traditions would die alongside old enemies. That day was coming soon; he was making sure of it.

Milo looked over at Blue who still held her eyes closed. He thought of mythical forest nymphs who used to call on the magic of trees to help them escape. Ironically, he probably wasn’t that far from the truth. Her dark brown hair fell in wet curls below her shoulders and covered her naked skin. She shivered as though some frightening thought passed over her, and once again he felt the need to clutch her and hold on. This was what he needed — someone to balance the insanity. Someone he could believe in even during the most brutal of attacks. Someone who wouldn't flee in fear, anger, or jealousy. His angst consumed him as his body begged for her touch. He had to keep her safe... he had to make up for all the shit he brought into her life.

His last thoughts sobering his resolve, Milo took a deep breath of forest air. He gathered all his remaining strength and pulled his hands away from her frame.

I open my eyes in surprise as his hands move away from my skin and into the front pockets of his now tattered jeans. I’m stunned by his control... keeping my eyes on his hidden hands clearly informs me of how ready he is for everything I have in mind.

“I’m not good for you, Blue” he growls at me but doesn’t move away. For some sick and maddening reason, his self restraint makes me want him even more. Get a grip Blue, I yell in my head.

“I’d hate to corrupt your morals” his mouth turns in a mischievous grin - we both know my morals have very little boundaries. His questioning eyes burn into my soul looking for answers I try to hide.

I fumble for the right words to reject him and maintain my self-respect. Sadness engulfs him as he senses my hesitation. He tilts his head towards me, turns on his heels and moves to walk away.

“Mi” I barely whisper, but this forest is so deathly quiet my voice echoes like a scream.

He stops, back to me, muscles stressed so tight I think he’s shirt might rip.

“I think about you all the time” I say as quickly as I can, before I lose my nerve. “All the time... always”

“Always?” he turns to face me, his eyes hooded by his need.

“Umm hmm” I nod my head in full disclosure. Relief settles over me as I admit my sins. For weeks now I have been haunted by Milo’s naked body in my dreams. I can’t escape his mouth, his hands, the craving in his voice. “What can I say..." my mood lightens at his surprise,"... you got me under your spell.”

“Hmm,” he frowns in the most vicious smirk I’ve ever seen, “I thought you were the gifted one.”

“You’re gifted too,” I tease him playing with the ends of my hair.

He closes the distance between us and I am alive again.

“Being together... like this...” he’s sceptical and breathless “...might make it worse than being apart.”

I step into him so close that I am once again aware of his growing need. I run my hand along his neck and curl my fingers in his wet black hair. I breathe deeply, allowing myself to feel the calm before the storm that is sure to come.

“Staying apart has not helped either” I whisper, my mouth so close to his I feel the wetness on his lips. “I need you Mi, here and now... be mine again, and nothing else will matter.”

His mouth covers mine and I am overwhelmed by hunger, warmth... desire. I lose myself in his need and rip at his black shirt with my trembling hands. His hands caress my body and lines of heat burn under his fingertips.

Flames blaze through me to the core, around us the forest damp and silent. He snaps the locket on the front of my bra and slowly peels the lace away from my skin. I grab his hard body to feel his muscles clench against me. He grips my shorts by the back pockets and lifts me onto waist. My legs wrap around him and my core comes in direct contact with his burgeoning groin. A silent hiss escapes my lips and I rub myself against him desperate to feel our bodies without clothes.

His mouth releases mine and his warm wet tongue traces my chin... my neck. I can’t believe he’s still holding me up while his hands and mouth strive to devour me.

He starts to walk and I grab onto him afraid I’m gonna fall.

“I got you Blue” he whispers in my neck, “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna hurt you” he looks at me with a cunning grin, “Well, I’m not gonna hurt you, much.”

I laugh and rest my head against his shoulder. I am weak from pleasure and heart ache – I close my eyes and feel his thoughts. His vibration is so powerful I barely need to concentrate; it radiates with a hungry need to protect and destroy. Milo has always been such an enigma for me. One minute he’s a fierce and murderous predator and the next he’s cold and lonely. I want to reach out to him and warm some of the frost surrounding his heart. I focus on the devotion and tenderness I feel for him right now. I let it pour over him, into him, warming and enticing him until he melts under my body and whispers my name.

He pushes me up against a tree trunk so thick you’d think the forest has walls. The bark digs into my skin and I cry in pain.

“I’m sorry Blue,” his voice full of concern. “Did I hurt you? Is my buckle digging into you?” He looks down and pulls me away from his throbbing body.

“No,” I smile looking at his bulging pants and smiling at his eagerness, “but I don’t think trees were made to serve as mattresses,” I arch my back and watch him clearly enjoying the view.

With strength I can’t deny he loosens the shirt off his back while simultaneously holding me strapped to him, and pulls away from the tree.

“Acrobat much?’ I tease him as he pulls the shirt up my arms and around my back

“You’ll see,” he promises with mischievous intent. I’m gently thrown back into the oak. His mouth covers mine and his warm tongue wreaks havoc with my thoughts.

The shirt moistens with dew and the strength of the bark behind me seeps into my veins. My need elevates to near desperation.

We tense and relax from the sheer pleasure of free, uncensored contact. His muscles contract with satifaction and I run my tongue along his collar bone. His skin begs me to bite him and I make my way down his shoulder... his biceps... His body thrusts against me and I sink my canines into his warm, hard skin. He growls deep in his throat as I wrap my legs tighter around his hips.

I lose track of space and time as all my senses explode in beams of ecstasy. Waves of pleasure contract my body and send Milo over the edge. He buckles under the seizure of bliss and I swear I can see stars glow all around us.

* * *

Out of breath and with no fight left in me, I am suddenly aware of the raging storm of carnage that's heading our way. I can feel the hurricane of hostility, the typhoon of cruelty, the lightning of fire and destruction... I submit to the fury and passion that stirs in my blood. I can no longer deny what I have always known to be my source of knowledge and pain. I yield to it all, and allow it all to satiate my every cell. I allow myself to feel the forest around us and vibrations of hate and aggrestion shake me to the core. They are coming for us... it's time to face the demon and his minions... it's time to leave the devil alone in his hell.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mexican Mafia Queen... PART V: All the King’s Men…

There nothing you can say
There’s nothing you can send
There’s nothing there that can change the past
Not all, the King’s men

* * *

“Stop kicking my boyfriend you psychotic piece of shit!”

I’m trembling all over from fear and cold. I will my body to keep steady and begin to focus my eyes on what remains of Milo on the forest floor. God he looks so helpless! So soft… so, dead. I shutter and push the thought away from consciousness. No, we’re going to make it out of this, I am determined, I am powerful, I’m holding a gun for Christ’s sake!

The Truck stops in mid-kick – foot hanging in the air, eyes turned to me in surprise... for a second... then, slowly, his eyes transform from surprised predator to reptile hunter.

“Why, little Blue, have you come to shoot me with your little Bang, Bang?” he throws his head back as he roars with laugher. His neck exposed to the moonlight shows nothing but scar tissue from battles obviously fought to the death. What am I thinking? How the hell am I going to scare this monster into letting us live?

“What do you want?” I shout at him – hand raised, gun pointed at his chest.

“I’m here for him!” he growls at me and then lifts his boot to resume kicking.

“If you touch him, I will kill you” I spit through my grinding teeth. I aim the gun at his heart but I know, push come to shove, I’ll probably aim much lower.

“You’re not gonna shoot me Blue. Stop fronting,” he breathes hard. “Have you ever even held a gun before?” his patronizing tone triggers the anger boiling in my mouth.

I step closer, finger on the trigger. “If you kick him, I will make sure you never use that leg again” I threaten him, hopefully, for the last time.

He stares at me, death and insult in his evil yellow eyes. “Are you telling me that you would hurt me, for this loser! Are you telling me that you would trade your safety for HIM!” He spits that last word as if the thought of Milo suddenly makes him sick.

“Of course, you pathetic monster, why do you think I stand here, in the middle of a forest, in the wee hours of morning, half naked, holding a gun to your heart?” My body straightens due to sheer anger and fear... I am numb to the cold on my skin, the tiredness of my arms, the pain in my gut. “I know you’re a dumb fuck, Truck” a crooked smile rests on my lips, “...but even an idiot would be able to figure this out”.

He drops his shoulder, puts his foot down and stares at the ground. He looks like he’s contemplating his next move. No... Can this monster think? Faster then my eyes can follow his hands he grabs for Milo’s body, or what’s left of it, and lifts him up. Puling him up by the collar he turns Milo so that he’s facing me.

I drop to my knees in horror. Milo’s face is bloody all over. Through the swelling on his skin I can’t decipher any of his features. I am speechless and through my tears I try to remember what Milo looked like before this sadist beast beat him into oblivion. Milo moans and tries to wrestle his damaged body away from his aggressor.

“Blue”, he murmurs with his broken lips. “Blue?” He coughs and splatters of blood spill on my still lifted arms. “I told you to leave” his struggling voice becoming angrier as he remembers the instructions he gave me before sacrificing himself to this menace of a human being. Go Blue, Go! His voice echoes in my head – too late now – Too. Late.

“Ugh!” Truck spits and shakes Milo like a rag doll, “Don’t pretend you care about her safety, don’t pretend you care about her at all you selfish, stupid piece of shit!” Truck turns to me and smiles connivingly... rows of broken teeth spread out before me and I begin to wonder if this really is a nightmare and how long will it take for me to fall off the bed and wake up. “You know what he’s been doing since you’ve been gone Blue?...Blue!” he shouts and my eyes focus on the monster’s face.

“Huh?” I’m lost in my nightmare fantasy and can’t seem to connect the words that are coming out of his mouth. His laughter roars through the shadows, “You don’t know what he’s been up to, do you? Tell her!” He shakes Milo again. Milo’s head hangs down as though his neck is broken. “Tell her you worthless piece of shit!” Nothing... Milo hangs like a rag doll and I can sense that something bad, really bad, is about to be revealed.

“I’m not interested in any of your snaking lies you monster of filth” I step closer and I can smell the forest floor all over Milo’s clothes. “Put him down, and walk away before you force me do to something we’re both going to regret”.

“The only thing I’m going to regret dear princess, is not shooting this fucker when I had the chance” Truck looks at Milo and I can see the rage seething in his eyes. I rake my brain for something that will distract him from his murderous task... I’ve never heard of Truck not finishing a job, but maybe... God, maybe...

I step closer minimizing the space between my gun and Truck’s arm, the end of which is still holding on to what’s left of Milo’s body. “I don’t care what he’s done, asshole, I’m not leaving here without him”

Truck stares at me... my gun pointed to his arm... his raging eyes devour me from head to toe and I can feel my arms surrendering to the pain... the terror... the pure devastation of not coming out of this alive. Seconds feel like years between us when suddenly a wicked smile comes back to Truck’s face.

“While you’ve been gone, my precious princess” Truck bows mockingly in front of me, all the while still holding Milo by his collar, “This asshole has been putting his dick into anything that moves” he turns his glare on Milo and I swear I see Milo flinch. “Everything that moves princess” Truck glares at me, “Get me?”

I’m not stupid you fuck, I think to myself... but I say nothing... between us, frigid tension fills the air. My heart stops beating and now there is a different kind of pain in my chest and fear in my soul. Everything in me screams... I am broken... I begin to sink into the torture... my knees drop to the grassy floor and I think I’m gonna pass out.

“What’s the matter princess, changing your mind? How do you feel now about your little boyfriend, your... man” he laughs sarcastically. “Should I recite for you all the waitresses’ names at Sharks? The strippers over by the Comfort Zone? The highly loose women that hang out at Daddy’s bar?

I hear myself gasping for air and Truck’s mocking smile intensifies with revelation.

“Sooo, you didn’t know about any of them, did you?” his eyes master my face searching for my reaction. I struggle to keep my shattered mind focused. “Yesss”, his tongue slithers through his teeth. Milo has frozen into space. “She did not know about your nightly entertainment” his yellow glare turns on me and I am terrified by what I see... is it... pity? Could HE be pitying ME! Defiance boils under my skin and adrenalin begins to find its way back into my cold veins.

“I will still kill you!” I shout determined. One foot in front of the other I guide myself up to my feet. “If you kick him again, if you put your hand on him again, if you do not let go of him right now I swear to God and everything that is holy that I. Will. Kill. You.” my even and desperate voice surprises him.

He drops Milo like a sack of potatoes and storms over to where I barely stand. I step back, slowly... man my arms are killing me.

“You know why I’m here” he steps into the mouth of my gun and glares at me. “You know an order has been given… know it cannot be retracted”, his eyes stare me down and all my fears, all my dreaded assumptions come to fruition.

I very slowly remove my finger from the trigger, but keep the gun still in his chest. I calculate the time distance between his hand reaching for my throat and my finger reaching the release... it’s a risk I’ll take.

Everything I've been running from since I was born has now come to assault me. All the unspoken conversations that hung in the air around my house, my parents... my life. All their secrets come crashing in on me like a tornado of voices... realities. I can no longer run... I can't hide... if nothing else, the grotesque figure facing my gun is organic proof of all that I have chosen not to see. Confusion fogs my mind and I try to stay focused... it is not easy to forget the world in which you are born... especially when it glares at you and dares you to deny it.

Truck’s glowing eyes stare at me through the fog. I know he’s waiting for an admission of my past... he is the door, and I... I am the key. I stare at the moss which comforts my cold feet and acknowledge his demand.

“I know you were sent by those who share my ancestors... by those whom my mother disowned when I was born, by those whom I have never met” I whisper all these things under my breath, not only because his face is two inches away from mine, but because I have never spoken such things out loud. “I know who I am... and now, Truck, I know who you are” my voice wavers off as the reality of my life flows over me. I step away trying to focus on all the possibilities of this night. It’s because of me... he’s come because of me.

“Why?” I breathe out in defeat. ”Why him? Why now?” My voice begs for the details of why Milo and I have found ourselves in this forsaken place. I need to know how it is possible that everything I thought I wasn’t, I now, have surely become... I need to know something... anything... but most of all I need to know how to escape the inescapable. Without this knowledge, all my bravado, my aching arms and my broken heart are useless... and betrayed.

The Truck continues his face-off stare as though he’s contemplating giving me an answer. A millennia passes before he speaks again, “He is a traitor among our kind. Money, and inventory, have gone missing. He plans to challenge my house... your house. He is a drug addict and a whore – and...” he says this last part slowly through his clenching jaw, “He was planning to take you over the border... to keep you... as his own”

I know that last part, that kidnapping and possession part, that last act of betrayal, has guaranteed my tortured lover his demise.

I am no longer my own... I am left with... nothing.

“An order has been given” his voice trails off as he stares darkly back at Milo who is still lying on the floor.

“I know” I answer him and dig the gun a little closer to his heart “but it will not be fulfilled. Not here, not now”, even as I say those words I am crushed by the reality of orders; I am aware of their staunch rigidity.

“I have been instructed not to hurt you” he steps away from my gun. No shit! Does taking my heart out chopping it in front of me and then throwing to the forest creatures qualify as hurt? Maybe not… hearts have little value in the world of vicious, self-righteous monsters.

Truck stares at me and through the fog I hear him speak, “I must tell you that even if I leave now, I will be back... the order cannot be retracted”

I am defeated... my mind spins out of control with all the possibilities and consequences of this night. My arms, exhausted by the weight, surrender slowly and move away from my target. This, this is just too big for me... too much... I shouldn’t be here.

“You shouldn’t be here” Truck grumbles as though he's reading my thoughts. His yellow eyes stare through me with a sadness I cannot endure. Agony forces me to turn away from him and he is gone... My arms reach up again, finger on the trigger. I breathe carefully and survey the darkness... I spin my body left, right... nothing. The monster has vanished into the cold forest air... for now.

I feel the rush of my pulse pounding in my ears. A dull numbness eases through my shoulders and completes the numbness which now enfolds my heart. I am alone.

I lower my arms and walk over to Milo’s body; my muscles twitching with the reality of what has just transpired in the doom of this forest. Milo begins to moan, softly at first, but as though realizing the danger is almost over he turns his body on his back and painfully attempts to open his eyes. I see his face contort with agony, the blood on his head and mouth still moist with freshness. I stare at the crimson liquid slowly making its way down his chin.

“Blue” he growls weakly, and I can sense his pain, “You shouldn’t be here”.

Perhaps it was then that my heart snapped, perhaps then, I completely lost my thoughts.

I wish I could say that I remember going over to help him. I wish I could remember being warm and gentle, offering to hold him and clean him up... maybe lie down with him until his body would stop throbbing from the pain... I wish I could remember that I was someone kinder... more forgiving.

But that is not what I remember and that is not what happened... I remember my body aching from the knowledge of all that Truck had revealed. I remember the jealous fire burning a whole in my heart when I imagined all the women he had been with, had been in... I imagined it all and it all hit me like a... truck.

I was going to hurt him. I was going to hurt him so bad he’d wish that Truck would come back and finish the job. My revenge slowly revealed itself; I was going to pull his heart out and leave it on floor next to him while he watched every last drop of life giving blood drain out of it... helplessly.

“How many were there?’ I ask in a voice that sounds foreign to me in its ferocity. It must have sounded pretty messed up to him too because his body tensed, aware that the kindness in my guardianship had evaporated.


“How many?” I ask again, this time lifting the gun towards his heart. He moves carefully, watching the green fury of my eyes and the tip of the loaded gun facing his chest. “Blue, come on... you can’t believe... this isn’t the time... Blue... come on!” he moans and begins to turn away from me.

A shot rings out in the silent forest night and dust fogs the air around me... I am deaf... and in a split second of panic I’m sure I’ve killed him.

“Holy fuck Blue!” he shouts spitting blood out of his punched lip, “What the fuck is wrong with you? You left ME remember, you left me!” he’s yellling and somehow this new panic, or anger, gives him enough strength to sit up. “What did you want me to do? Pine for you in abstinence while you were busy playing house with your pathetic lover? That is not who I am... and you know it!” his self-righteousness supports his body and he stammers a little as he tries out his legs and arms.

He stands up slowly and winces as he checks his body for bullet holes.

I can’t move... arms out, gun still pointed at him, I follow his every move. He runs his large hands slowly over his face and he cringes when his long fingers touch his lips. Through his torn short I watch his stomach muscles contract as he flexes his elbows back and forth to make sure nothing is broken in his arms. My body feels the rush of heat run through me and I am suddenly too warm in my skin. Man, I’m fucked up... part of me wants to shoot him right now, wants to watch him suffer, and the other wants to... no, not gonna happen... not after all I know. How could I be with a man who so easily casts me aside? How could I want a man who falls into bed with women like he falls into bed to sleep?

“You left me remember?” he runs his hand through his messy black hair and I’m almost tempted to touch him... almost. “You wanted something normal, something... simple” he waves his hand in circles which reminds me of cuisine chefs throwing you a whiff of their best meal. “... and you’ve been fucking that simple asshole for the last month” his eyes are on me now, burning with a possessiveness I haven’t felt in weeks.

“Go ahead, deny it. Deny that you’ve shared yourself with him. Deny that he’s been with you, naked” his voice breaks into a growl and my skin crawls with fear, “Deny he heard you scream his name!” his words corrupt with hate and he breathes slowly, calming his rage, “Deny that you love him” he whispers under his heaving chest.

“I do not love him” I say gently and look away... I can’t deny anything else.

“Why do you think I didn’t hurt him?” his heart rate under control. “Why do you think I didn’t crush his skull into a pulp when he denied you?”

“You think hurting Luke is going make me come running back to you?” I tilt my head to the side and almost laugh, “You surely are no Romeo, are you Mi?”

“No,” he says slowly, “Romeo killed himself because he couldn’t have Juliet. I’d kill everyone, to have you”.

Man, I'm a sucker for a man who knows his Shakespeare.

He wavers, although not for his admission to potential homicide. Taking a step back he faces away from me and stares out into the night.

“Don’t bother with romantics" I say bitterly, "I’m fine... I won’t die... of deception” vicious villainy fills my mind. “You don’t need to feel sorry for me” I snarl at him.

Jealous fire burns irrationally in my heart and I begin to attack. “It is true, I have found someone reliable” I glance up but his back is still facing me and I can only see his massive shoulders bending under the strain of the evil in my voice.

I go on, “Someone loyal”
No response.
“...someone without baggage”
“...someone without the darkness that surrounds your life”

He turns to me, his strong jaw line clenched in fury, “I should remind you that you share that darkness, and that legacy has little to do with me”.

I ignore him “...someone who cares for me, actually pays for the flowers he brings me, takes me to the movies, and always drives the speed limit” I snort sarcastically as I watch his eyebrows frown with disbelief. “I never have to worry about who will come after us in the night, with Luke. I don’t stress about getting into brawls, with Luke... and I never wonder if he’s with anyone else, because he’s always, always, with me” I raise my chin in defiance knowing full well that everything I’ve said is true, and good, and normal... so, why am I here?

“Why don’t you just aim for my heart, and my groin” he mocks me and something like a hiss escapes his lips, “Why don’t you just tell me that he’s a great lover. Go on, tell me how much better he is in bed. It would be a lie” he steps into me and I lose my breath, “but it would hurt like hell”.

His body leans so close I sense his vibration. His breath, warm and sweet reminds me of rainy days and lazy afternoons.

“I will not tell lies” I whisper. I move away afraid of the fire that burns deeply in my veins. I feel my body moistening and electricity runs down my spine. His auburn eyes slide over me... slowly down... then up... and he shivers without the wind.

Silence grows between us. He steps even closer and lifts my gun to his heart, “Are you going to kill me?” his head bent, his breath glides softly on my arms, “...cause I would rather die at your hand then the hand of the monster that hunts me in the night"

And just like that, I drop the gun.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mexican mafia queen! Part IV - Run Baby Run!

Thunder blasts around me and I duck down and cover my ears with both my hands. Gravel ricochets everywhere from the impact of bullet to rock... I scream and try to hide myself behind the back rubber tire of the car. I am deaf. I turn to Milo, terror in my eyes “We’re not gonna make it!” I shout like he’s not crouching right next to me. “They’re gonna kill us, and there’s nothing we can do about it!” I’m hysterical with fear and anger. I can’t believe this is how my life is going to end... by the side of a meaningless road, on a meaningless night, for a meaningless purpose...

Shots ring out into the night and the air explodes around me. I place my body up against the rim of the car and start making my peace with God. Please God forgive me for getting in this car... please forgive me for not wanting something normal, something safe... Please forgive me for always wanting more than I should have... please, please forgive me….

“Blue! Blue, can you hear me?” His voice sounds so far away... I curl up in a ball and wait for the echoes to stop ringing in my ears. “I know your cold, I know you’re tired, but we’re not dying today. Do you hear me, Blue! Not today!” He’s shaking me by my shoulders but I can’t see him. Panic has frozen me in place and I can feel my eyes glazing over with desperation.

In the chaos that has now taken over my brain I feel him slip the keys in my hand, “Take the keys Blue!” He shouts at me. “Take the keys; get in the car, and drive.” His voice quiets into a whisper, “Blue, are you listening?” his lips brush against my ear and a chill runs down my spine, “Jump in the car and drive” his voice strengthens as he gets closer to me, “ I left it in the glove compartment... I hope you won’t need it” he turns and the look in his eyes is goodbye. “Go! Now! Get in the car and drive!” He grabs my arm as he’s saying this and I see him opening the car door... I’m in shock, I’m speechless. I crawl like a child and follow his instructions about slipping from the passenger seat to the driver’s side.

I turn to him and I stutter, “I...can’t... I... can’t...” my mouth feels like it’s full of mulch... I’m out of words. He smiles at me... a little... “Promise me that you’ll drive when I move away from the car. Promise me Blue!” he demands of me. I nod in agreement... there are no words... no thoughts... nothing.

Suddenly explosions hit the car and I realize we’re being hit again, this time with a ferociousness that cannot be escaped. “Go Blue!” he shouts at me and moves out and away from the car. I watch his shadow creep into the forest... he signals me to start the car and I stare right through him. The keys are in my hand and I know I should put them in the ignition... I should start the car... I reach over and the sound of the engine roars and startles me. I look back at him and through my tears I watch his deep brown eyes turn away from me and search the forest. He stands, and now in plain view of the enemy, he begins his run through the forest. I lose sight of him in the darkness... the night is without moonlight and the trees are in full summer bloom.

One hand on the steering wheel, the other on the gear stick... I’m ready to run. Go Blue go, I hear his voice shouting in my thoughts. Yeah, I say to myself out loud, Go Blue go. But I can’t go. Something in me will not let me escape this nightmare... I stare at the wheel and I begin playing the whole night over and over in mind... Luke’s street, the car, the sweet smell of summer on my skin... how did this happen? How did I get here?

My thoughts begin to organize themselves around me and I am surprised by the hum of silence... dread begins to crawl into my chest... silence... no bullets, no shouting, nothing echoing other then my soundless ears. My hands begin to shake and my breath grows cold with terror. I stretch my arm out to the glove compartment and hope for the only thing that can save our lives now – a weapon. The compartment falls open and there in the darkness of the night, reflecting the stars, is my silver Ruger SR9 automatic. Like an old friend it slips into my hand and I feel its almost weightless body snug into the contours of my fingers.

Energy vibrates off this pistol and I am transported back to the Interrogation Room at 23 Division, two months before this nightmare.

“Ms. _______,” a middle-aged policeman clears his throat as he sits down across a cold grey table, “You understand how much trouble you’re in young lady?” he smiles at me sympathetically and looks me over. What does he see, I wonder... a young girl in a Catholic school uniform, skirt to her knees, shirt tucked in, cardigan buttoned up. My hair is in perfect pig tails, and I’ve put on my brand new glasses so I could look as much the innocent brainy victim as possible. Just a good girl who got mixed up with a bad boy... nothing to see here, nothing to worry about. I look around the room and begin calculating my odds of pulling this off. The room is small, no windows. The walls were once painted grey but there are so many dents and scratches in them that you can hardly see their colour. I stare at the testimonies so many have engraved in the wall – “G-Dog Wuz Here”, “If I don’t get out of here neither will you”, “Fuck you pigs! And your phonebooks!”... I begin to feel a little queasy.

“Now, Ms._______, if you just tell me where they are, no harm will come to you, and... we’ll pretend this never happened.” His voice is gently reassuring, but I’m already quite certain no harm will come to me. I stare innocently at him like I’m afraid to speak up. He bites, “I’m sure a girl like you,” he moves his hand up and down in front of me as though he’s displaying my purity, “Well, a girl as smart and well raised as you obviously are, did not realize the kind of trouble someone like Milo can really be.”

I look down at my shiny black shoes, “You’re right” I speak softly, “I did not know how much trouble he could be” I smile to myself... I’m not lying. “I wish I could help you sir, but I can’t believe you think I know anything about this” my voice has an edge of incredulity about it.

He stammers a little, “Well, no, but we’ve been watching him for months and we know the two of you are nearly inseparable. I’m sure you’ve at least seen some of the activities that go on around your... your... boyfriend” he spits the word out quickly like he’s too embarrassed to let me know that being inseparable from a man for months makes him my ‘boyfriend’.

I smile a little shyly now, I almost have him convinced I’m as naïve as he freely thinks I am. “I’m sorry sir, but even though it seems like we do everything together, we do not. Milo is very careful about not bringing me around any of his activities,” I pause for full affect, “I’m not that kind of girl.”

He stares at me over the dirty table and I stare at my hands. He exhales in frustration, “So, no guns then? You have no idea where he keeps his collection of guns?” His eyes are locked in view watching every movement, every blink, every breath that might betray my façade and give me away. This cop’s not as stupid as I give him credit for...

“Guns sir!” I say in honest shock, “I’d never know what to do with myself if I saw a gun anywhere” I shake my knees nervously and he continues watching me. “Guns are totally illegal sir, and I can’t believe that Milo has any guns anywhere… I’ve certainly never seen any.” My voice cracks a bit and my false nervousness is blending itself into a possible cry fest... will I have to cry to get out of this?

He looks at the papers in front of him again, and for what seems like an eternity, he writes in the margins of his notes. “Alright Ms.______, we’ll let you go this time. But be sure to tell your boyfriend that we’re keeping a close eye on him, and sooner or later, we’ll find those guns... sooner or later” he says tiredly.

I smile in relief, “Thank you sir, thank you, thank you so much.”

I walk out into the hot summer sun and arrogantly giggle to myself - hook, line and sinker – like taking candy from a baby.

That was the day I got my own automatic... “You’re a natural with that weapon” Milo would smile at me with pride in his eyes. “I’ve never seen anyone use a Ruger with such precision.” His obvious jealousy implies he’s never seen himself use it with such precision. How proud I was of myself then… how innocent and non-consequential shooting at beer cans in his back yard seemed to me… fun, even. “You know I’d never actually shoot something living, don’t you?” I’d smile back at him, proud of my own skill. “I know,” he’d say and come behind me, reach over my hand and help me adjust my aim, “This is just practise... good for hand-eye coordination” he’d tease me, implying my well known destructive relationship with all breakable and perishable items.

How far away that summer day seems now... years away... I am so much older tonight. The silence around me is unbearable and I tighten my hold around the gun. “God, let there be really big beer cans in the forest” I say to myself, and jump out of the car.

I crouch around the vehicle and look over the hood to make sure nothing is waiting for me ahead... I see nothing – not a sound, not a movement. I rise and head for the nearest tree for shelter. I look around again... weapon raised, arms in front of me... I try not to think about what I might find in this God forsaken forest or what I might have to do to survive. I concentrate on getting to Milo... visions of him lying bleeding on the forest floor nudge me forward, despite my better instincts which tell me to get back to the car and drive away.

I am startled by the distant sound of pounding... something hard is hitting something soft... it reminds me of Milo’s training bag in the basement... he would hit this bag for hours while I channel surfed and popped bubble gum on the couch. Fear engulfs me and I pray that Milo’s not the punching bag.

I am running... not the kind of running that one does on a sunny morning... headphones on, music playing, destination calculated by time or kilometres. I am running without sound, without music, and definitely without calculation. My body aches and my lungs beg for air. A sharp stabbing in the pit of my stomach alerts me that I am running too fast and breathing too heavy... I don’t care. I run through the pain... I run to avoid the pain... I run because something in me knows that if I stop, Milo will die.

The sound of grunting and heavy breathing warns me to slow down. I am here... I squint through the darkness and even though its density has increased due to the growing forest, I can still recognize the figure that horrifies not only me - small, helpless girl with a little gun in a big empty forest – but also terrifies the meanest, the nastiest, and the cruellest of those who participate in a world where fear is not a factor – Tony, “The Truck”. I’d recognize his enormous and butchered body even in the blackest of nights and the deadliest of dooms.

The image before me warps my mind and I almost hurl in fear. Tony is standing above a mass of flesh, which I could only guess to be Milo, blasting him with his right boot. The lump he’s kicking bends and breaks without resistance... I gotta do something and it has to be now! But how do I threaten someone that could probably eat all the bullets in my gun and then smile at me for more? Anger burns within me and I’m enraged with my helplessness. My hand tightens around the hold of the gun... I will not be afraid, I will not leave here without Milo, and I will not allow this beast of terror to take my life, and everything in it.

Gun raised, arms in front of me, I step out to face the monster in the dark.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mexican mafia queen! Part III - Lies of the Faithful...

Wind whispers softly around me and a warm chill runs down my spine and through my bare legs. I open my eyes and stars glide slowly past me – am I dreaming? I gaze around still lost in stardust… reality seeps back into the corners of my dreams…. I feel the car, the music, and the strong smell of cigarettes from someone blowing smoke around me… I am here…

“Where are we?” I ask slowly, still half asleep.
“We’re going to be at the border in about half hour” he answers me. He looks over at me and there’s a longing in his eyes that makes me suddenly self conscious. How long have I been out? Is my face clean, my shirt wrinkled? I check myself in the mirror and smile at my sleepy face. A warning bell goes off somewhere in the depths of my awakening…
“Border? What border?” I ask him, my eyes still on my own reflection.
“The US border, we’re going to Mexico, remember?” he says, like he’s surprised I forgot.

I begin to feel panic rising in my chest. My heart picks up pace and my palms feel cold and sweaty. This is why he came! This is why he’s here…

“Mexico! Are you crazy?” I say in shock. My chest is heaving now and I can’t seem to control the panic in my voice. “What are you saying to me? When did you say we were leaving the country? And Mexico… hello…. Make yourself clear to me!” I know I’m passed the point of being angry. There’s a rage building inside me and I know exactly who to aim it at. How could I have been so stupid! I should just put my name on the ‘most stupid person in the world list’ right now – there’s no competition. Shit! How could I have not seen this coming!

I try to gather my breath and stare at him in disbelief. His eyes are stiff and concentrating on the road. He knows this isn’t going to be easy… he’s stalling and he doesn’t want to talk about it.

“Stop the car!” I yell at him.
“What?” he asks without even turning to look at me.
“Stop the car – Now!” I am prepared to lunge at him if he doesn’t stop the car right now.

Nothing. He keeps driving like I haven’t just yelled at him at the top of my lungs. Is he listening? My dream has suddenly become the nightmare I somehow knew would follow.

“I want you to stop the car right now” I say more calmly this time. I begin to slow down my pulse and my anxiety is settling into full blown fear. I can’t go to Mexico, I think to myself, what about my family, my friends, Luke? No, this is crazy, how can I leave… I can’t leave… I have to get out of this car… now.

Nothing. Milo looks out the driver side window, looks ahead… I open my mouth to threaten him with some kind of bodily harm and I feel the car slowly pulling off the highway. Thank God… I sigh in relief and begin thinking… can I take a cab off the highway… I wonder how far the nearest phone booth is…. Would Luke come and get me if he knew where I was… if he knew…. No, I can’t think about this now – one crazy and unhappy boyfriend at a time. Still, he pulled over, I reason with myself… maybe he’ll reconsider; maybe I can convince him… maybe, he’ll take me home.

“I’m going to get out now” I say not looking at him afraid he’s going to see the panic in my eyes. “I don’t want you to follow me… I’m not mad at you,” I say this calmly for both of us, but we both know that I'm lying.

I gather all my strength and for the first time in what seems like days I open the door and step out of the car. The warm air wraps itself around my naked shoulders and I breathe in the fresh smell of wet grass. The moon is full and so close I feel like I could almost touch it. I close the door behind me and stand in the moonlight to catch my heart. What a beautiful night this would be if I was a normal girl, with a normal boyfriend, watching normal movies and laughing on some couch in normal suburbia. But I’m not that girl, not yet, and I don’t have a normal boyfriend, not yet… Mexico, I breathe in wet air, what new madness is this?

He turns the key and the night becomes suddenly quiet around us. No cars drive by… really? No cars on a main highway? Come on! A midnight orchestra of crickets encircles us and I am suddenly aware of how alone we are out here. I pretend not to hear him get out of the car and concentrate on catching my breath. His feet step slowly on the gravel where we’ve parked. He makes his way quietly over to my side of the car. I lean gently backwards and place both of my hands behind me on the hood of his car.

“I’m sorry” he whispers softly. I don’t look up at him. I don’t know what scares me more, that I was almost taken halfway cross the continent, or that I am beginning to sense the temptation to go. He stands in front of me… his hands both tucked into the pockets of his white washed black jeans. I stare at his chest. His black shirt is buttoned almost to the top and you can see the muscles which wrap around his broad clavicles. The long sleeves have been rolled up to his elbows and I smile at the tattoo now visible on his right forearm… the phoenix and the dragon… two uncanny creatures, trapped in the eternal dance of necessity and obsession….how can one be without the other, he had once asked me…

“Stay with me” his voice crackles with emotion. My knees are starting to give in a little and I know the longer I stay here the more my determination is weaning. “Stay with me” he says again, this time stepping closer to me. His breath is on my skin and I can feel the heat coming off his body. “Close your eyes” he says and steps so near me I can feel the outline of his chest with mine. He takes one of his hands out of his pocket, “Give me your hand. Do you feel my heart beating… it is yours.” He taps his other hand hard on his chest, “I am yours.” He clears his throat and I can feel that he’s beginning to doubt his power of persuasion. “You belong with me” he says more firmly this time, “Don’t you feel it?”

I sigh and shrug my shoulders. I don’t know what I feel. I look down at my shoes afraid to look into his eyes. Is this it? Do I feel the same? What does that have to do with Mexico… even if I feel this strongly for this man that doesn’t mean I’m going to runway with him… does it?

He places his hand under my chin and gently lifts my head up. I look into his deep dark eyes and I am suddenly aware that his hand is shacking. “Are you cold?” I say, concern rising in my voice. Am I the only one burning with heat out here?

“No” he whispers with his mouth over mine. Suddenly I am uplifted by steel strong arms and I find myself on the hood of the car. His mouth is pressed up against me and I am engulfed in his embrace. I wrap my arms around his neck and press myself against him as hard as I can. Need surges through me like a blast. His hands grope for the buttons on my shirt and I gasp for air… everywhere, hands, lips, breath. I reach for his shirt and begin unsnapping it fast and desperate, like we’re running out of time; like this is the last time I will feel this alive, this beautiful, this wanted.

The world is melting around us and I reach for the moon. He groans softly and I lose myself under the spell of passion and desire. A warning bell goes off somewhere in my burning thoughts, only this time I can hear the ringing clearly... the ring comes closer, louder….. closer, louder….

“Ahhhh,” he cries out and his left arm drops its mammoth hold on my body. Confusion dazes me and I can’t collect my thoughts fast enough. Suddenly, I’m forced to the floor, his right arm holding me while I fall, his left hand blocking the unavoidable hit between my head and the gravel.

“Stay down” he whispers at me and I am terrified by the panic in his eyes.
“What’s going on?” I shout at him. “Milo, tell me what’s wrong” I cry, but he’s not listening to me. His eyes dart back in forth between me and the threat out there - far enough to not be seen, but close enough to see us.

“What’s going on?” I ask again, this time reaching for his arm. He winces in pain and I pull my hand off of him. I stare at my crimson fingers frozen in shock. “Is this blood?” I say almost without breath. “Is this blood Milo, why are you bleeding, what the hell…” I can’t decide if I am angry of terrified, or both.

At this point I only know two things for sure – one, Milo has been hit or grazed, I can’t tell, by something that can only be a bullet – two, we are alone out here, weaponless and without a phone or a way to run. Why did I get out of the car, I shout inside my head. What was I thinking, how are we going to get out of this? Panic rises again in my thoughts, but this time the urgency has no romantic notions of running away with my rebel lover… this time, the urgency is staying alive.

“Blue!” he shouts, but I am too far away. “Blue!” he shouts again. Hearing my name for the first time tonight shakes me… “You need to stay with me. You need to pull it together. We’re gonna get out of this, I promise” he smiles a little and I wonder who he’s trying to convince, me or himself?

“We need to move” he orders me with surety in his voice. “We need to move quickly”. He puts the car keys in my hand and stares at me with determination. “I need you to slip into the car and start it” he says.

“What?’ I’m still dazed in thought and I hate myself for sounding so stupid. “You want me to do what? How?” I ask - all frightening possibilities running through my plans.

“I need you to open the door” he starts explaining to me like I’m a small and frightened child… I am. “Once you’re in, put the keys in the ignition and turn” he smiles at me like there’s nothing to it. “I’ll go around and jump in the car on the other side” he says and I am suddenly clenched with fear again.

“No - you’re going to get hurt again. There’s no way that they can’t see you. That side is exposed to the street and you’re going to get hurt again” I’m almost crying now and pleading with him. “Don’t leave me; I can’t do this” I implore him but he’s already made up his mind.

“You can do it, and you will” he reassures me. “You just need to stay down and do as I say. We’re going to be fine, we will get out of here and I will explain everything, I promise” he says slowly.

I am abruptly aware that he knew this was going to happen. “Is this why we’re going to Mexico? Did you do something? Is there a HIT out on you? On us?” I am shouting now because fear, shock and anger cannot describe how I feel at this point of desperation.

“I’ll explain everything when we’re safe… when you’re safe… I promise” he pleads with me, “Ok? Now come on, we’ve got to get moving or there will be no need to explain anything”. He lifts me up gently off the gravel and holds on to me while I try to position myself well enough to both open the door of his BMW, and slide myself in it. “What about the indoor lights?” I ask him, suddenly realizing how vulnerable I’ll be once I open the passenger door.

“You know I disconnected those lights” he smiles at me secretively. A brief memory flashes before my eyes of the night when he disconnected those lights and we took full advantage of the moonless night and warm summer wind in the comfort of his pitch black car... “Let’s go” he presses me and I am jolted back into the terror of our present reality.

I am frozen in place. I try to move my body forward… just reach for the door, I tell myself, grab the handle and slide in… no big deal. But my feet are paralyzed and my body denies me the ability to reach out my hands. Don’t think about it, I reason with myself. Our lives are at stake here, you need to do this… reach or the door, get in… everything will be alright….

But I know that everything will not be alright. I know that we now have to do the impossible - first, escape an order, not possible - then, run from a decision which, once made, cannot be unmade… again, not possible.

I stretch out my arm - my hand is shaking uncontrollably and I reach for the door…. I pull on the handle and get ready to jump in…. and then, all hell breaks loose….

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mexican mafia queen! Part II - How I got hooked...

Breathe, I tell myself… the car is cool and soft music fills the air, “Highway runs, into the midnight sun – wheels go round and round… in my mind…” who sings this song? Foreigner? Journey? Hmmm...

“I drove all night,” he begins, he face looking out the window of his driver side, “Just to get to you” he smiles quietly to himself. I feel the soft black leather under my bare legs, and breathe in the sweet vanilla scent of his car. “I know,” I whisper. I can’t bring myself to say more.

I know this is a man who chooses his words carefully. I know this is a man with a deep sense of pride and ‘masculinity’. I know that him being here tonight, chasing me, following me, makes him more vulnerable than he’s ever been before. Is it wrong that all this knowing makes him so much more attractive to me?

I wonder how long it took him to get here… we’ve been apart for weeks and the last time I saw him things were a little more than intense between us. How many times did he drive around looking for me… my house, school, work? How many bar nights and bar maids have crossed his path before he found himself driving out here… tonight… to find me on this road, in front of this house, happily infatuated with someone else.

I glance at his slick black hair gently tussled down the base of his neck. His pale skin looks smooth as marble and his jaw is clenched tight so that it looks more chiselled than I remember. Damn! It’s a good thing we’re on a public road… He turns his head and stares at me with warm, deep, beautiful brown eyes. I lose myself in his pain and reach out to touch his face. “I can’t leave you” his voice barely audible. I am magnetized – the air around us becomes electrified. Lightning sparks and pulls us in – energy envelopes and escalates between us… two people who need to be together, but must stay apart.

I feel my body edging dangerously close to him. No, no, no, – you have a boyfriend, I chastise myself – he’s in that house, ten feet away, he’s waiting for you… be strong, pull away, you can do this! My body stiffens and I shake my head quickly, like I’ve just awaken from a dream. “I can’t do this” I say catching my breath. “I have to go.” That’s it, I coach myself, get up, and get out… fast.

He reaches for me and my determination collapses. He pulls me close, his warm breath on my face and I’m falling. His mouth is warm and I can’t think straight. I am caught in his grasp and I allow myself to descend in the bliss of the cool car, his strong body, warm lips… He slides one of his arms around my waist and pulls me even closer. I fold like the wind - something in me, deep and raw, craves out for him.

“No, I can’t” breathing heavily, “I can’t do this Milo.” I pull myself away from him and suddenly my mind is clear, my thoughts return… reality hits me, and I stagger.
“Why?” he asks angrily. “Is it because of him?”
“Of course it’s because of him,” I answer defiantly. “You know I’m with him. I can’t do this … I can’t be with you and be with him. I’m not that girl.” I say this like I’m sure, but I’m not.

“Why?” his dark eyes flashing daggers at me, “What’s so special about this loser?” I know he’s getting angrier… a warning bell goes off somewhere far in my mind - I ignore it… I’m too caught up in his pain, my pleasure, our bliss.

“You know what this loser did last night?” he laughs sarcastically. Here we go, I smile to myself, he’s going to try and discredit my new beautiful ocean eyed boyfriend. Silent tension is building and the car begins to get smaller around me. “What?” I ask - Do I really want to know?

“Well, I saw him at the bar last night,” he begins self-righteously.
“So,” I edge him on pretending not to be interested.
“I walked right up to him,” he says knowing full well that we both know the reaction he receives when walking up to anybody. A vision of fear and intimidation passes briefly between us.
“You didn’t DO anything did you?” Poor Luke, what must he be thinking…
“No, of course not,” he says, like that would NEVER happen. “I walked in the bar and simply asked who was dating my girl,” he smiles and turns to me. “You’re still my girl right? The way I see it, you’re mine until someone has the balls to claim you,” he turns back to his window and mumbles something inaudible to himself.

“Yeah, that’s very subtle… and NOT intimidating at all,” I laugh out loud. “And I’m not something to be claimed Milo,” am I? “Anyway, how can any one mere mortal claim me with you walking around like thunder and lightning. You think you can stop frightening all the people who are trying to care for me?” Maybe I can’t have a normal boyfriend after all, what with all the psychotic exes I seem to collect.

“Not frightening,” he says defensively, “Just a question.” He pulls a cigarette out of its pack slowly, rolls it between his fingers and takes it to his lips. “And you know what this fool did?” he’s speaking through his fingers, which are now holding the cigarette to his mouth while the other hand is sparking a light. “Wanna know?” He breathes in, and exhales.

Smoke fills the car and I begin to feel claustrophobic… how long are we going to do this? I better get out soon. Still, I prompt him on, “What? What did this fool do?” I ask sarcastically. But something mean, and vicious in me wants to know. Did Luke stick up for me, did he stand in front of this incredibly frightening force of nature and proudly announce himself?

“He did nothing!” he laughs triumphantly. “He pretended like he didn’t even hear the question. And, he had four of his ‘boys’ with him too!” he falls about laughing so loud he almost chokes on the smoke of his cigarette.

I watch him and, for a moment, I almost lash out and smack him, hard. What’s the point? I knew it… it is too much to hope for… but how could I expect Luke to defend me when I’m still in this car. “I don’t care,” I answer, and we both know I’m lying. Of course I care. How can I be with a man who denies being with me, even in the face of bodily harm?

Milo knows me much to well. His fingers gently stroke the side of my face, “Really?” he asks softly. His face is serious now. I know he would have been more easily convinced I wanted to leave him if the guy was at least someone he could respect. Of course, earning respect in Milo’s world is much too complicated. My face is burning and I can barely hang on. What is it about this man that keeps me rooted in place? I gather all my strength and reach for the door handle.

“I have to go” I say and even I recognize the regret in my voice. “They’re all waiting for me.” I move to get up and out of the car but he grabs my arm, “Babe, you now what you mean to me,” he swallows hard. “You know who I am, not just who I am, but what I am,” he pauses searching for words. “You know you’re the closest to heaven that a guy like me will ever get… and I… I don’t wanna go home right now…come with me,” he pleads, “One more ride?” he smirks at me and I am powerless. I lose all sense of reason, righteousness, and everything begins to break down around me.

A warning bell goes off far away in my mind, but I am too enraptured to hear it. The air’s been knocked out of my lungs and I feel emptied, bottomless. “Ok” I breathe, “One last ride”.

If I don’t get out of this, I’ll be a Mexican mafia queen! Part I - How it started....

It is complicated to discuss something that seems impossible even to me... the sun sets outside my window here at the public library in my suburban neighbourhood, and I am finding it hard to return to the night when so much was lost... and realized.

If my recollection serves me right, and I can't guarantee that it does, it was a late summer evening and I was leaving my best friend’s house and heading two doors down to her neighbour - who incidentally was also my new boyfriend. I can't remember what I was wearing, or if I had a strange sense of urgency that afternoon, or what I was thinking as I was crossing her driveway... I do remember that I was enamoured with the fresh sense of love one gets when early in a relationship...

I fell for Luke hook, line, and sinker when I first saw him on one of those cheesy boat dances that were so popular with Catholic high schools in the early 90's. I was 16 - he, was 2 years older, and totally ignorant of my infatuation. Nothing ever came of that evening - in fact, I don’t remember anything else other than loud techno music, short skirts and long hair blowing in the uncontrollable wind on the lake, and radio static conversations that enrapture teenage girls into believing that nothing else exists outside of high school.

I don’t know what Luke did with the next couple of years, but I had an intense relationship with my 24 year old neighbour that ended sadly, but predictably. After this sad display of love gone soft I decided it was time for a more 'reliable' man. Fate, it seems, placed a very reliable man in my path. He was about my height, which in retrospect is strange since I never dated boys that were not significantly taller then me. His name was Milo, he was no boy, and everyone knew it. There were rumours that his family was involved in organized crime, that he participated in a series of criminal escapades all over town, and that he had a dangerous temper and a hammer fist. Right place, right time – I was drowning in an abyss of boredom. By this time, I had forsaken most of my superficial and extremely popular friends, this of course immediately made me 'not' popular - but I couldn’t care - I was bored with my high school existence and in the mood for something dark and frightening.

I don’t remember much about our short lived adventure other than the fact that he brought me flowers ripped out of our parish garden everyday, all my friends hated him and all my ex-boyfriends were afraid of him. When he walked into a room the entire population withdrew towards the walls. He would call my name loud enough for everyone to hear and I used to chuckle at the stares of disapproval that fogged around me like rain on a cloud.

I will not mention all our escapades here because that would take too long, but mostly because so many of them were illegal. I will say that Milo goes down in the chronology of my life as the Most-Fun-Worst boyfriend of all time.

Time passed, and soon enough I began to tire of his midnight ventures and sleep depravation which translated into the near alienation of all my friends - even the ones I liked. I let him know that I could not support his life style and tried my best to honour the strong influence he had in my life. It was because of him that I became brave enough to speak my mind; it was because of him that I no longer feared situations involving conflict. It seemed like something about his domineering presence opened the door to a confidence and an attitude I never knew I had - in future adventures this confidence and attitude would prove priceless.

And so, with the end, we reach the beginning. I was just walking away from my attachment to Milo when Luke stepped into my life, almost by accident. A long weekend in Montreal, and a brief affair with one of his friends landed me next to him in a drunken hotel room - I am aware that hotel rooms cannot be drunk, but you get the metaphor. One thing lead to another and we began what was later to be known as the 'how did I never notice you before' saga.

Thus, we come to the moment where I am walking outside my best friend's door heading out for a night of movies and popcorn with my new boyfriend and all our friends... the moment when a screeching black BMW sedan should have tipped me off to danger ahead… the moment when I should have bolted for the house just 10 feet away from where I was standing… the moment when I should have called out to whoever was sitting on the front porch a few doors down. I should have stayed away from the menacing driver who called out to me… I should have ignored the pity I felt when looking into his shattered eyes… I should have been cruel and left him holding out his bleeding heart… but I wasn’t… I stepped towards the sedan; I listened to his broken voice… I slowly walked over to the passenger side, smiled at the neighbour a few doors down, and glanced at the house where my new boyfriend and all our friends were waiting for me with movies and popcorn… I opened the passenger door, placed my hand on the warm black leather and sank into the darkness of his car… and we were on our way to Mexico.