Chapter 2: Explosive Start
Izzy, my federal agent friend, was not joking when she said that my new target was a tough one. I mean I know I am a hardened bounty hunter but that new case she has me on seems a little bit too tricky. Javier Passado is a notorious criminal, a drug dealer and top member of the Toltecs, a Mexican motorcycle club that rules over a wide area in California.
The Toltecs are a serious gang, with swelling members, aggressive and expanding. Javier stands exactly next to their leader, Suarez and is even the godfather of Suarez’s daughter. He is a man with a temper that led to his charges of assault in feats of rage that left one man blind, one crippled and a miscarriage. My guess is he hasn’t limited himself to assaults but took them one step further and has bloodied his hands more than once but nothing was proved. All this I found out hacking through my laptop and using the limited access I got as a registered bounty hunter. Seeing things with my own two eyes is a completely different thing.
It doesn’t take long to find out where the Toltecs are hanging out. It isn’t like they are trying to hide it, which makes me more suspicious over the nature of those Harley aficionados. I am in my car outside the Toltecs’ meeting point, a nefarious bar in the outskirts of the town and I am trying to be as inconspicuous as I can in my Prius rental in a bad neighborhood but no one bothers me. It could be cause it is still the middle of the day in sunny California. My mind is working overtime as it usually does. I know well that getting Javier coming in quietly and calmly is out of the question.
Javier is guilty for nearly every offense known to the law and a few more on top of those and he doesn’t care. If he was a lone wolf, no matter how tough, I could have taken him out easily. I’ve done it before, could do so again. But that one is top dog in a pack of vicious wolves. Plus, I am suspecting that the Toltecs have the local authorities in their pocket. If I were to surrender him to the Sherriff, he will probably let Javier go, free to put a bullet in the back of my head before I could say “reward”.
I instinctively rub the base of my neck but then I see the man in question push the door of the bar open, get on his Harley and ride off alone, a practice the members of any criminal organization never follow. Am I that lucky? I wait a few minutes patiently just to avoid being noticed. At that moment, a black SUV pulls out a few cars before me and takes the same route as Javier’s. I manage to take a quick look at the driver. He is a big, tall guy, seeing how he is barely contained in the spacious SUV, with a rich beard, long hair tied in a man bun and a big tattoo on his left arm.
“Now, that is not a car for a man like you.” I mutter to myself before following them both.
It isn’t a long ride to Javier’s house and I watch as the Mexican walks into it and the black SUV park across the street one house down. I stay put and observe carefully. I know well that when a man of the underworld is being followed, it is either the feds or an opposing gang. And that guy in the SUV didn’t look like a federal agent. I raise my brow at the thought. If anything, the man in the SUV looked like a bad-ass god with an evil vibe to make him delicious. Fuck, girl! I reprimand my thoughts. It is certainly not the time to dwell in the kingdom of horniness. Although it has been a while since anything but my own fingers has given me any pleasure. Focus! I press my eyes together before turning to Javier’s closed door. Only a few minutes have passed since Javier closed the door of his house behind him and I see the guy from the SUV get out of his car and look around cautiously.
“That doesn’t look good.” I say and make sure the small knife I always keep in my boots is still there.
Yet I make no move and crouch down to remain unnoticed as I observe the other guy’s moves. I wasn’t wrong when I supposed he was tall. That guy has a sturdy, gigantic figure, thick arms and impressive barrel chest as it is underlined by the black, tight t-shirt he is wearing. He is in loose black jeans and black leather boots and wears black leather gloves. And at that moment I decide that from that point on, black gloves on a heavily tattooed arm is at the top of the “sexy-as-hell” list in my life. I have seen my fair share of good-looking men, but that guy is beyond comparison. He is alluring in a bad-boy kind of way yet some of his features would have him straight into a cologne commercial.
“Hm, not bad.” I have to give it him “Not bad at all.”
He comes closer to Javier’s house and crouches behind the bushes. He looks around once more and then he goes swiftly up to Javier’s bike and put what seems like a black box somewhere behind the exhaustion. He sure has a thing for black color. And he is just in time. The moment he leaves behind the bushes, the door opens and Javier appears with a bag in his hands, speaking on the phone.
“Shit!” I hiss “That fucking wacko is going to blow up my reward” I talk to myself, start my quiet car, leave it in the middle of the road with the door open and get out of it swiftly.
Javier hangs up and puts the bag on the bike.
“Stop, wait!” I scream as I rush up to him in.
Javier turns to me inquisitively but I don’t have time to explain. I storm to him, grab him firmly and then I use all my strength to throw the both of us away, onto the little garden’s grass. Almost simultaneously, the bike blows up in a thunderous explosion. I get on my feet slowly, my ears still ringing and turn to the SUV. The guy in it throws an angry glance at me as he drives away, tires screeching. For a moment there, I am stunned by his look more than the blast. He has deep green eyes and a perfect brutal face, the kind that makes me flush in an instant. He seems like a primitive warrior and the feelings he wakes in me are equally primitive.
“Fuck!” I hiss between my teeth when he is gone and I am dispelled by his looks “Come on, girl. I know it’s been a while since you got any but now it’s not the time” I remind myself.
I turn to the man I had no intention of saving if it weren’t for a fat paycheck. He has hit his head on a little rock and he is unconscious. I lounge down at him, check that he is still alive and then rush back to my car and drive away towards the sound of sirens approaching calmly. Getting him into custody now, after an explosion would be a bad, bad idea. I could be accused and the Sheriff could still be in the Toltec’s payroll. I leave San Leandro behind and drive straight to my motel in Berkeley. I never stay in the same city as my future victim. A girl can never be too careful and I like being careful. But before I have the time to congratulate myself on my cunningness and have barely closed the door of the cozy, decent motel room behind me, I hear the exhaustion of a Harley, roaming somewhere outside.
“They always ride in twos, stupid!” I mutter to myself and go for my knife.
Seconds after, the door is flung open with a kick and a guy storms in, gun in hand, waving it around. I am swifter, get out from behind the door, grab him and put the knife on his throat. Only then I see the leather cut the man is wearing. It has an arrow aiming for the sky and the words “Riders of Tyr” written on it. OK, another MC gang. Shit is getting serious.
“You could have knocked.” I comment as I take away the gun from the uninvited guest.
“Tck, tck” I roll my eyes as I push him away “Let’s not lose our temper here. I assume you are with the tall, dark hottie back in Passado’s house, right?”
The man looks at me with his gray eyes filled with anger. Yet, he makes no attempt to come at me. I lower the knife and smile at the man. And right on cue, like it has happened many times before, the man smiles widely back at me as his look travels over my limbs, my breasts and lastly my eyes. Well, at least he did look in my eyes, I have to give it to him. He is older than me, maybe in his mid-thirties with a strong, angular face and high cheekbones and he is a good looking man. What are these people running? A motorcycle club or a model agency?
“I think we need to take things back to your club.” I say.
“That is not going to happen, sweetie.” he says in a soft voice.
That is a professional womanizer, the one with all the right moves, the courteous comments, the sweet voice, the gentleman’s ways and all the shit he is trying to hide behind all of these. I am never big on these guys.
“You are telling me that if I search online where the base for the Riders of Tyr California Division is, I won’t find anything?”
The man looks down at his boots. Bingo! Good thing those MC clubs are cocky.
“Look, you can drive back on your bike or you can drive handcuffed in my car. I know it’s going to look bad coming back with me. It’s going to be worse coming back without your bike I assume. Let’s trust each other”
The man throws a murderous look at me and walks out in wide strides. I get my keys and follow him up to my Prius. I am buckling up when the man on his Harley pulls up to my window.
“Seriously? A Prius?”
“Reliable and quiet” I answer and wave him to ride ahead.