Home Can Be You

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Chapter 25

“Fine, fine, I will talk. But please, don’t mention my name when you bust them, keep me in the dark!” He begged and Rick nodded. “We won’t mention your name on the streets that if... you cooperate with us.” He cleared and Alejandro nodded, without any other choice.

After an hour of talking to Alejandro, Alessio came to our house with a brown bag. It instantly caught my attention because it was really big. “Hey, guy. I still can’t believe that you actually caught him!” Alessio commented as he stood right in front of him. He took a deep look at him and then he frowned. “Who broke his shoulders?” He asked and we all looked at Nolan. “That son of a bitch!” Alejandro shouted and mom flinched her eyes. I wanted to hit him so hard but I knew that she’d handle it.

“Excuse you? He’s my son and I’m his mother. I ain’t no bitch!” Mom yelled at him and wanted to launch herself at -the now scared- Alejandro but dad held her back. “I know I’m not supposed to say that... but good work on his shoulders, son,” Alessio complemented Nolan and I high fived Andro. Zeno’s dad was a remarkable man. “I wanted to do more but we needed him alive and talking,” Nolan said with a smile and I shivered. Men, when they are angry, can be terrifying. But smiley men, when they are angry, can be more frightening. My brother was one of the second group.

“For now, he’ll work with us without anyone from the Red Crew’s knowledge. He will cooperate and if everything turns out fine, we’ll put on a good word for you in court when you stand in front of a judge.” Alessio said and we all agreed to these terms. “We will start tonight, you’ll put on a wire and go to your usual bar. We will be monitoring you and one of us will be in the same bar as you, that’s why, don’t think of doing anything stupid! You’ll talk with them as you usually do, get us the proof that they hired you to keep an eye on Elara, and put the ribbon and ashes in Hugh’s office. Now, let me ask you this... Did you set the houses on fire?” He explained the plan then asked Alejandro.

I glanced into his eyes and waited for him to speak. “No, I did not. Someone else did, it was from our gang, yes, but it wasn’t me!” He admitted and he looked honest. Alessio smiled and then crossed his arms. “Then, it’s another thing you need to find out. Find out who set the houses on fire, why the Bamford family and who hired your gang. Understand what I just said?”

“Yes, sir. I will do that but please, I don’t want to spend my whole life in prison.” He cried and Zeno cleared his throat. “You will do time in prison but not your whole life, for that, you may rest assured and do as planned without any hidden tricks, okay?” He told him and Alejandro nodded. “Okay, fine.”

“Good, now let me relocate your shoulders for you,” Noland said as he untied his hands and Alejandro snapped his head back at him. “What? No! I need a doctor to do that,” he demanded and Nolan just grinned. “I may be trained to fight and defend but I was also taught how to treat wounds and injuries, now, on the count of three... one!” And he snapped his shoulder back to its place and before he could react, Nolan grabbed his other shoulder and did the same without counting or any warning. Alejandro fell to the floor because of the pain but it was better than keeping them like that. “It will take a short while for you to be able to move them like you are used to, therefore, we will prepare you for tonight.” My brother announced and then stepped aside to let Alessio and Zeno do their job.

“Criminals my ass, you guys are way scarier than them!” Alejandro commented and we all laughed. From his perspective, he was not wrong. I walked to the kitchen to prepare sandwiches for everyone. Mom followed me and we made them in silence. I was too exhausted to speak yet then I remembered my little sister. “Mom, I know that Elara is not in the house, but where is she?” I asked her and she looked at me while eating from the peanut butter jar.

“Your dad took her and Oriana to Ruth’s caramel shop. She’s safer there and Ruth was more than happy to let them stay the night at her house, we don’t have to worry about them for now. Let’s give these folks some food,” she said and I held the big tray. Mom held the peanut butter jar and kept on eating it. It was her favorite snack. Food can ease the pain, that was a fact.

After a few hours of the boys preparing Alejandro, we were ready to roll at 11 pm. “Everything you say and show will be recorded from this hidden camera on your shirt so when you meet the gang leader, make sure to get a good angle to his face. I will be in the bar sitting a few tables away. Even if you can’t see me, I will be able to see you. We are not cops, so don’t you dare lie and say that they caught you! Understood?” Zeno ordered him and he patted on his back. Alessio was the one who was supposed to enter the bar, however, Zeno insisted on taking his place. His reason was that he wanted to learn how to deal with these situations.

I stopped Zeno from entering the car with Alejandro and smiled at him. “Good luck, please be careful!” I said and he nodded. “Don’t worry,” he replied and then I looked at Alejandro with an unwavering expression. “Remember, you are only to get information,” I added for precious and they left. Zeno declared that he would stop a block away from the bar and let Alejandro enter it first and then he’d follow him inside without looking suspicious. I didn’t know why, but I had a feeling that we would reveal a big secret after this meeting.

Dear God, why there are bad people in the world?

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