Bullets of Love and War

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Chapter 54

7:30 pm

The Pine Hills: home to the wealthy, the reckless, and the free. Blake can’t help but to feel deeply envious of the lives that reside in golden white estates with 4-door garages and inner city establishments that cater to such affluent communities. Teens with shiny new cars can drive to the mountains and stargaze and throw wild house parties when busy parents go on business trips. It is such a bummer to have to drive through a perfect cookie-cutter suburb and watch perfect cookie-cutter rich kids lose their minds in the promise of a good Friday night. Blake feels he will never have the privilege to feel so free and alive.

All he is focused on is selling his supply and getting his money.

Beside him in the passenger seat is a muddled Antonio zoning out to the structures of plush gardens and towering mansions passing by. Darkness has blanketed the Earth, leaving Antonio by himself to establish his thoughts. But the only thing he can think of is Blake driving steadily, keeping his attention straight on the road. He’s too calm for Antonio’s liking, acting as if he never committed a crime a night ago. Antonio has to pry him; it’s imperative that he knows the truth.

“How’d you wind up with all this ecstasy and powder without paying a fortune for it?”

Blake should’ve known. He smirks, unbothered by Antonio’s pressing.

“Wouldn’t you want to know.”

“I’m serious Blake. You and I know damn well this shit in the back would cost us thousands of dollars. I check the inventory a few hours ago and it’s the same amount as last time, despite the deduction you cut out for yourself.”

Blake turns a steep corner and remains unbothered while doing so. Antonio doesn’t like the obnoxious smirk on Blake’s face. It infuriates him that his leader keeps keeping secrets.

“You stole this shit didn’t you? That’s why you had Valerie not question you because you went to TJ’s labs as a disguised person and had to kill his guard men to steal this product. You didn’t pay a dime for this shit.”

“And make hella profit so that way we can come up and be alright? Shit. Call it what you want Antonio but I did what I had to do.”

“Are you loco holmes? You betrayed the trust of our drug dealer? Our connection? If he finds out it was you we’re all dead! How the fuck can you be so nonchalant about this shit with that stupid ass smirk of yours?”

Blake is never nonchalant, whether people believe it or not. In fact, he is always battling anxiety and stress and figuring out whether his choices will be detrimental or not. He makes sure to map out solid solutions, even if they aren’t deemed neccessarily appropriate or long term. Regardless, he is always one step ahead of everyone. He has no choice. He grew up having to wing everything and always had to be the one to think quick on his feet. Blake can turn into a monster and become the guy everyone already paints him out to be. To Blake, he’d rather become a backstabbing monster than to be stuck in a position where he can’t find a way out. He can’t afford to play it safe. When it comes down to it, Blake will wear blood on his hands. Consequences are meant to be faced later.

Antonio lacks proper understanding of Blake’s logic. He gets scared and becomes overcritical, willing to bash instead of listen. Blake hates that the most about Antonio. Chill guy in general, but can quickly lose all chill. Blake knows how to get Antonio to settle down for his own sake in the meantime.

They approach a red light and Blake calmly slows the vehicle. He looks over to a sweating Antonio whose curls have become damp and sticky. Blake places his hand over Antonio’s, making him look up and meet eyes with him.

“You have got to trust me Antonio. I can’t preach enough that I’ve got everything under control. We will be alright.”

Antonio’s eyes dialate without his knowledge as his heartbeat rams within his chest, a roguish Blake itching closer, cool mint gum making his breath enticing to welcome.

Blake knows how soft Antonio gets whenever he speaks to him in his deep, velvety voice as tranquil as ocean waves. He knows that Antonio hitches his breath when Blake bores his dark eyes into his, an unspoken, naughty desire wedging between them like a spell. Antonio feels Blake’s grip on his hand tighten and this causes him to blush tremendously.

“I love you Antonio, and I really wish you would trust me more often. I’ve had your back since day one. I’ve never failed to come through, even if nothing makes sense at first. You know how I am.”

He does. The Latino boy points out that the light is green and Blake’s temporary trance on him fades.

Antonio knows how Blake is like he’s his other half. He is beautiful. Uses it to brainwash the gang and make them fall deeper in love with him. Uses it to make them feel as if they need him. Charms them to relax their nerves and makes them forget about the issue at hand. Of course Antonio knows how he is. He falls for his enchanting smirk and his starless eyes everytime. And in the end, Antonio feels better. He decides to trust Blake.

Which then, makes him feel apologetic towards Valerie. Maybe this is exactly how she felt when Blake told her not to worry about his terrible deed and to just “trust” him. It gets tiring trying to keep up with Blake’s responsibilities. Like Antonio just experienced for the hundredth time, he just wants to believe everything Blake says is true. Getting to the core reasoning is just unlikely with a boy like Blake. He’s hurt, damaged, fretful, and slightly chaotic.

But he is also brave, determined, reckless, and considerate. Maybe Blake is just as lost as all of them, but hides it the best. Antonio stops trying to pry.

With money coming their way and agreeing to leave Chicago alone, everything should be fine...

...if Blake wiped his hands clean enough.

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