An Important Notice to Readers...
Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|Fortress de San Felipe at Bacalar, Mexico|
There was a tiny ribbon of pink sky when Beckett rolled the car to a silent stop behind the old warehouse. The slice on his right side had slowed to a trickle, but was of little concern compared to the soreness enveloping his torso. From experience, he could guess that he had probably cracked a rib...or two... on the jump from the second story. Wrapping himself wouldn't be a problem. Explaining the sudden appearance of these injuries to his new bride might be a different story.
What should have been a routine assignment, was in fact, a disaster from the very start. Erring on the side of caution, he had reduced the recommended dosage he used on Maureen. Maybe it was the adrenaline from the previous 24 hours, or maybe he had simply adjusted too low. Either way, it took the longest time for her to slip off to slumber land, putting him off schedule by nearly an hour. Settling her safely into bed, he kissed the top of her head, locked the door behind him, and went in search of the rental car Salazar had dropped off in the hotel parking garage.
By this time, he was almost two hours late, and still had a 20 minute drive ahead of him on deserted Mexican back roads. His destination, Bacalar, was a town south of Tulum, devoid of the swarm of tourist resorts that had invaded most of the Yucatan peninsula. The mark was supposed to meet him near the area's sightseeing Mecca, a Spanish fort built in 1729 to ward off marauding pirates, and closed to the general public at this late hour of the night. With no way to reach his contact, he hoped the lure of the cash he carried was incentive enough for the man to overlook his tardiness, and provide patience in which to wait.
The looming Fortress de San Felipe was easy enough to locate upon his arrival in Bacalar, but he swore under his breath at the logistics of the place regarding his personal safety. The ruins held an optimum of hiding places for snipers of all kinds, and left him virtually uncovered and in the open. The mule was a man his people had done business with before, and one the powers that be seemed to feel secure in dealing with. The assignment read as a simple hand off, but Beckett had seen so-called loyal networks crumble with a bigger and better offer, and the location of this operation made him uneasy. Grabbing the backpack with the payment from the trunk, he threw an additional weapon, a Russian AK47 over his left shoulder on instinct. If his contact was insulted over his extra show of force, it was just too fucking bad.
Beckett made his way towards the rear side of the fortress, it's facade facing the beach front. The reflection of the gibbous moon on the water made the brick relic seem like a stage ready for the production to begin, one he hoped wouldn't play out as tragic drama. From his position at the fort's base, he could see the signal light several feet up. Using his own flashlight, he signaled back, and waited, but there was no return answer from above. After what seemed like an eternity, the light above appeared, waving him up towards a gun battlement. Something about the whole set-up bothered him. Had from the moment he had pulled up to the landmark, and better judgement suggested he return to his car and get the hell out of there. But the thumb drive he was supposed to retrieve held information imperative to the US war on drug trafficking, and he had never turned his back on a mission before. Determined to prove that the addition of a wife had not made a change to who he was, he secured the pack, and began the hike to the position where he had last seen the signal light.
For a building almost three hundred years old, the place was in fairly good shape, and he was surprised at the superior advantage this particular spot might have given the Spanish against their pirate enemies. From this point, one had a view of most of the beach and water area for miles in both directions, and Beckett conceded that his contact was a man who knew his business. The figure moved from the shadow of darkness into a spill of light from the battlement opening, both hands in the air, appearing to harbor no weapon.
"Estás jodidamente tarde, Sammy. Yo estaba dispuesto a tomar otra oferta."
You're fucking late, Sammy. I was ready to take another offer.
Beckett grimaced at the term "Sammy", which he knew was a reference to "Uncle Sam", and a derogatory term used for low level agents of the US. He was no fucking "Sam", and his pride wanted to put a bullet in the guy's temple. But there was no good reason to start a shit storm in Mexico, and so he sucked up the insult. "Ahora estoy aquí. ¿Estás listo para hacer frente o no?" I'm here now. You ready to deal or not?
"Usted no es demasiado amable allí, Sammy. Tal vez me tomo esta información en otros lugares."
"You're not too friendly there, Sammy. Maybe I take this information elsewhere."
Fists curled, Beckett shrugged. "Cualquiera que sea amigo. Me importa una mierda. Por supuesto Velázquez podría. Él no parece ser el tipo de chico que te gusta decepcionar. La manera en que yo lo veo, volver sin ese dinero, su familia va a ser la búsqueda de piezas de usted en todo el penisul ... las pelotas metidas hasta el cuello de mierda. No significa nada para mí. Sólo digo. "Whatever friend. I don't give a shit. Of course... Valasquez might. He don't seem like the kind of guy who you like to disappoint. The way I see it, you go back without this money, your family's gonna be finding pieces of you all over the peninsula...your balls shoved down your fucking throat. Don't mean squat to me. Just saying."
It was the mule's turn to be pissed. He reached a hand around to the back of his pants, but seeing Beckett slide the AK47 off his arm, changed his mind. With a jack-o-latern smile, he dangled the flash drive in front of him. "Sólo jugar con ya, mi amigo. La mayoría de Sammies como una buena broma. Aquí está su unidad flash. Lo prometido es deuda." "Just messing with ya, my friend. Most Sammies like a good joke. Here's your flash drive. As promised. "
Once the guy's hands were back in he air, Beckett moved forward, and snapped the item from the man's hand, tossing the backpack in exchange. The mark lifted the flap, and peered inside.
"Todo aquí, Sammy?" "It all here, Sammy?"
"¿Qué piensa usted... amigo?" "What do you think...friend?"
For an instant, the man seemed undecided, then nodded and smiled. "Se ve bien para mí. Nadie es tan estúpido como para coger con Velázquez." "Looks good to me. No one is stupid enough to fuck with Valasquez." He hoisted the pack over his shoulder. "Siempre es un placer hacer negocios con el ya, Sammy. Disfrute de su estancia en México." "Always nice doing business with ya, Sammy. Enjoy your stay in Mexico."
Without a response, Beckett began backing up the same way he had come in, unwilling to turn his back on the mule. From somewhere on the beach, there came the sound of a piercing whistle, breaking the silence of the night surf. In that moment of distraction, he heard the click of a weapon, and saw movement out of the corner of his eye. He twisted to the left, taking shelter in a small niche cut into the wall, as a bullet wheezed by his right cheek. Dropping the flash drive into his pocket, he slid the assault rifle into place, and got a round off in the direction of where he was standing only seconds before. He heard the impact, and the grunt of the man as he fell to the ground.
Without checking to verify the man's state, he made a dash toward the exit, only to hear sounds of an approaching group. Trapped, he considered his odds, even with the aid of an AK47. Not liking his chances, Beckett retrained his thoughts on the small opening of the gun battlement. The weathered stone had given way in several places, making the opening larger than had been originally intended. If he pushed hard enough, he could probably squeeze himself out, and take a leap to the ground below. At this height, the landing, even cushioned by the sand below, would hurt like hell, but there seemed little alternative.
Diving toward the ledge, he pushed hard on the bricks, making more space to maneuver. Then with the melee behind him, he bent his knees and jumped, hitting the beach with a large thump, and landing on a small piece of jagged boulder. Stopping only to catch his breath, his side sliced open and bleeding, his rib cage screaming with every movement, he ran to the car, thankful he had parked as close as he did. In the light from the night sky, he could make out figures in the area near the walkway of the fort's second story, and could hear the bullets chipping off the stones. But from that height, their aim was dismally off, and he was able to make his escape without further injury.
He forced himself to drive at a reasonable speed, as to not call attention to either the car, or its injured driver, and by the time he reached the warehouse, he was pretty much running on empty. With a great deal of willpower, Beckett managed the two mile hike back to the resort, resting his head on the door of his suite, and listening for noises inside. Hearing nothing but silence, he unlocked the latch, and slipped inside, checking on his wife before doing anything else. She was still out, snoring lightly, a puddle of drool on the pillow, and her flaming hair spread out like a fan around her head. Relieved to
find everything at the resort in order, he peeled off his torn and filthy clothes, and tossed them off the balcony as far as he could throw. The maintenance people would have a field day trying to figure out just what had gone on.
In the bathroom, Beckett cleaned the torn skin up with soap and water, and clotted it with wads of Kleenix stuck to the bleeding wound. Then pulling a clean T-shirt over his aching body, he tugged back the covers and slid in next to his sleeping wife, as if he had been there the entire night.
Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
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