After Jocelyn leaves to go to school I head out with my guys Kyle, Jessie, Luis, and Carlos. Luis and Carlos are Jesus and Maria’s boys so they already knew this line of work. Kyle and Jessie are brothers that were my best friends growing up. Their parents died in a car accident when we were in junior high, and no one wanted them. So they became family. We are first driving to the old building because we have a large shipment coming into the port. We are also meeting our truck drivers who will be doing the transport. We have our three usual drivers and one new guy. He has been vouched for but we have the final say. Our client is waiting outside the city and its four shipping containers. Two have drugs, and two have weapons, but only I and the client know that.
When we pull up to the building and go into the parking lot we have our drivers and guards waiting. I get out with my guys and hear a resounding ‘morning boss’ from everyone. I can spot the new driver from a mile away because you can tell he is clearly a little nervous. I walk up to him with my boys in tow wanting to introduce myself and get a feel for him.
“So you’re the new guy huh?”
“Yes Boss. My name is Wayne.”
“Ok, so my other drivers have vouched for you, and that you know the dangers. You also know that I will protect you and take care of your family.”
“Perfect, any family?”
“Yes, a wife and a five month old little girl.”
“Wayne, does your wife know what you signed up for?”
“Yes, but she’s scared. We need the money since we are living in a shelter at the moment. I’m trying to get us a place to live.”
I just stare because I cannot believe these jackasses didn’t tell me he was in a fucking shelter! They know how I am about that shit and no one said anything. I think they assumed since this was a trial run to not say anything till after. Except now the cat is out of the bag and when I look over at them they just kind of look down because they know how I feel about that kind of shit.
“He’s living in a shelter, why didn’t anyone fucking tell me?”
“It just happened a couple weeks ago. We got kicked out of our apartment.”
“Ok Wayne this is what we are going to do ok, let’s get this run done. After I will find you guys a place to live ok.”
I can see he is trying to hold it together. He looks down shaking his head no, and I now know this is our new driver.
“Wayne, ask anyone here. I will take care of mine! You stay loyal, you will never need anything. You hear me! You will get paid great. Anything you need we will get it dropped off.”
He nods his head when I pull out my phone, and call the best fucking secretary there is. She has been with us from square one and the moment I met her at five she quickly became my best friend.
“Connie, love I need a favor!”
“I need you to go through the apartment complex properties we own. Find me a vacant one and get it furnished. There’s a four month old baby girl. Get gift cards for food and clothing and anything else they need. Leave some cash also.”
“Got it boss!”
I quickly hang up the phone and look at Wayne who has now lost it. He has his hands on his knees sobbing while the other drivers are patting his back.
“Wayne! Look at me man.”
He slowly stands back up leaning against the car.
“Don’t worry about rent or any utilities right now. I own the properties and I will work with you. We will get you all set up after we do this run ok, but I need you to pull it together.”
He quickly wipes his face, and nods his head. We all go over the plan one last time before we load up and head out to the port for our delivery. Each rig has a driver and three armed guards with guns to protect the drivers at all costs. There are windows on the sides that open up for them to shoot out of as necessary. We have never had to use them yet, but you just never know. When we drive into the port I see our 18 wheelers get in a line when my boys come over the ear pieces that they are in place. They have placed themselves to be at every entrance and exit along the highway. Ready to get on the moment we are about to go by to keep us shielded.
They know that the moment we are loaded with our cargo we are to go straight to the drop off no matter what! The moment we pull in I get out and hand over my paperwork to the loading supervisor. He carefully reads it and radios for what shipments we are picking up. I direct the first truck with Ken driving to pull forward and wait. He waits patiently when he gets his shipping container loaded and pulls forward. Then Dan pulls up and gets loaded. Then Fred pulls up, and then finally Wayne. I give them all thumbs up and tell them on the radio that it’s time do not stop no matter what.
We get in the front and we have the trucks follow with two cars behind the rigs. We make sure everyone is rolling when we slowly pull out of the port and onto the highway. We have about a thirty minute drive making our way out to the client. I call ahead and let them know we are inbound with an eta of thirty minutes. I hang up the phone and finally get a minute to address something.
“Jessie, what’s the deal with you and my sister.”
“Well nothing right now Nate. I do know she’s fourteen and do have morals. Besides, she is your sister and would never compromise that friendship.
“I know my Dad and uncle Frankie don’t like it at all. You’re like a brother to me. I do know that you would treat her right, but right now just don’t ok?”
“Don’t worry Nate, it’s all good. I know there can’t be anything.”
“At last right now, wait till she’s older ok?”
“Of course Nate.”
We hear radio contact between the cars saying they are watching some cars that got onto the highway. They mention what they look like and they are looking and acting suspicious. They are all blacked out suvs with some shady looking guys driving. We watch as the cars slowly make their way passing us and keep going when we slowly take our exit to go towards the client. False alarm thank goodness but it wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to take a shipment. It takes another ten minutes but when we roll up to the clients estate we make our way to the back of the property to their underground location. We pull up and park as the trucks slowly go underground to let them wait while the tracks overhead grab onto the shipping containers and set them down to be emptied.
After all the trucks are unloaded of their containers they pull out and we signal for them to go. They know they are to go straight back to the yard and park the trucks. Then they catch rides with our guards back to the building for payment. But we focus back on the unloading as our client Mr. Alejandro Renaldo walks up with two guys holding duffle bags.
“I have your payment Nate, the shipments are perfect.”
His two guys open the duffle bags as I lean down to inspect the currency.
“Just as you requested, 50 million. I am very happy with you, and plan to use you again.”
I stand up and have Kyle and Luis grab the bags and load them up into the suv. I shake Alejandro’s hand.
“Until next time my friend.”
I walk back to the suv as Mateo in the passenger seat radios for everyone to move out and go back to the building. When we head out it’s getting close to the end of school time for Jocelyn and wonder how her first day at high school went. Hopefully my reputation left an imprint on those who are still there to not mess with my sister. I think about our crazy high school days when my phone rings and I see it’s Connie.
“Connie, love what do you have for me?”
“It’s a condo by the building. I figure it would be an easy commute for him. We have other workers housed there also. It’s all ready to go, and the keys are inside. Rock is over there watching it till you show up.”
“Connie, you’re the best!”
I quickly hung up and can’t wait to have Wayne and his family over there. It takes a while but when we pull back into the parking lot under the building I see my men and our four drivers waiting for us to get there. I get out and walk over to where the drivers are chatting. Kyle hands them their envelopes. Ten grand per driver.
“This is the payment for this run. Next week we will have another on Wednesday. I need you four back here to deliver that shipment.”
They all nod in agreement and when they turn to leave I stop Wayne.
“Wayne, you will come with me. We are gonna go pick up your girl and daughter and get you settled into your new place.”
He nods his head as we walk over to my suv and he climbs up. It’s Wayne, Kyle, Luis, and I all headed out. The other two went back with the others upstairs to hang out while I take care of this. We drive to the local shelter and as we pull up, people just stare to see what’s going on. We jump out and I walk up with Kyle and Luis next to me looking around when I walk towards the front entrance. I get stopped by this huge muscle of a security guy, and think damn I thought I was huge.
“Ron it’s ok he’s with me, we are just picking up my wife and kid.”
“Wayne my brother you know the rules though. I could lose my job.”
“Tell you what Ron, if you do lose your job come visit me at Maxwell Industries. I will give a job that pays a lot more than this!”
“Wait a minute I know you! Y-you’re Nate Maxwell?”
“Yes I am! Hey Wayne just go get your family. I can wait out here and chat with Ron.”
“Ok, I will be right back.”
“Would you offer me a job?”
“Have you seen you. You’re one big ass mother fucker. Get you in a suit, some guns, and an earpiece.”
“I can’t own no guns Boss man.”
“Ron my man, I got ways around that. Don’t worry. I take care of mine. I will warn you though I am a very dangerous man and we live a dangerous life, but stay loyal, you and your family will never need for anything.”
I see Wayne walking out with some bags, a carseat, and his girl with their baby. I can see the questioning on her face because she doesn’t understand what’s going on.
“Really man? Think I could start in 2 weeks?”
“Absolutely Ron! Just ask Wayne.”
“You’re gonna come work for Boss man Ron.”
“I think so.”
“When he says he takes care of his men, Ron he isn’t lying. Rhonda baby that’s why I came to get you. He found out about our situation and he got us a furnished place and everything.”
She starts crying and losing her footing leaning on Wayne as I reach for the baby so she doesn’t drop her. I look down at the baby and damn she is cute. I start talking to her as Wayne tries to get Rhonda to calm down. After a few moments she is calm and looks at me holding her baby chatting up a storm.
“Her name is Mabel.”
“Mabel is a beautiful name. Well she can call me Uncle Nate. Rhonda when we get you guys moved in if you guys ever need anything just let me know.”
She nods her head towards me and we all make our way loading up in the suv. I help get the car seat buckled in when I see Luis send out a text and I know who he is texting. They will always have help. We drive for a few minutes and pull into the parking lot and park, we slowly unload with their items in tow and they follow me to their unit. I see Rock outside with about two dozen other people and their kids. It’s mostly women as the men are working right now. The moment the kids see me they start screaming and run up for hugs. I tell them in a little bit once I am done.
“Wayne and Rhonda this is Rock. He helps run this complex for me and everyone you see here either works for me or their spouses do. They all live here in this complex. So you will always have help around here.”
I walk up to their door unlocking it for them. I open it and they slowly walk in. Downstairs is a front room, kitchen, and a small dining room. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a bathroom. When they walk in, Rhonda sits down on the couch and just cries. Wayne sits down on the stairs and just cries. I talk to Rock for a few minutes when I tap Wayne to follow me as I walk in. I show him where the extra keys are for the front door. We watch as some men walk in bringing food and supplies for them. The women come in and sit with Rhonda while she continues to sob. I have Wayne take the baby as I grab Rhonda’s hand and lead her upstairs with all the women in tow. When I reach the top of the stairs I turn towards Rhonda.
“Rhonda, I am dead serious. If you ever need anything, call me! All these women have my number and they know if they need anything it will be brought within the hour.” She looks at the women when they nod their heads.
“I wanted you guys to have a fresh start and we gave Mabel a little princess room.”
I opened the door and the women all aww as Rhonda covers her mouth holding on to me. The room is white but decorated in pinks with a crib and recliner in the corner. A pink dresser and a fully stocked closet. I have her walk in and see all the diapers, wipes, and clothes ready for them. I lead her back out throwing open the master bedroom door which is all set up for them.
“Rhonda there is a central laundry mat here on the grounds that needs a key to get into. You do not have to pay anything to wash your clothes. And there’s plenty in there for everyone to use. Also they have picnics and get togethers. We also have a huge get together at our main estate for all our workers every few months. You and Wayne are now part of our family.”
I leave them upstairs to swoon over everything as I head back down. I walk back over to Wayne who is still standing in the kitchen.
“Hey, I will let you get situated. In the kitchen drawer are gift cards and cash. If you need a ride someone can give it to you to get what you need. Like I told Rhonda you have my number if you ever need anything call me and I will get it here. I gotta get to the office to work but we will chat later.”
I chat really quickly with my other men who are there and take my leave heading out when I see all these eyes looking up at me patiently waiting for them to get their hugs. I kneel down and I am quickly bombarded by little arms wrapping around me. This is what we strive for. To make sure everyone is taken care of and most of all happy. When the last hug was given I waved goodbye and slowly walked back to the car. I can hear my phone start to ring and see it’s my dad? I pick up as I jump into the suv.
“Hey dad what’s up?
“I heard you got a new driver. How did he work out?”
“Great dad, when I was talking to him I found out he, his wife and kid were at a shelter.”
“You got them set up right! Nate told me they are in one of our apartments.”
“Of course dad they are over here at the condo complex right now. I just left them in their new house, and headed to the office.”
“Ok good. We take care of ours. So the reason I was calling was Frankie and Tank said some kid winked at Jocelyn as they were leaving school.”
“Dad, you called because she got a wink?”
“I called because he got into a suv with men also. Jocelyn said she thinks his name was Richard, but I think it’s Ricardo. Do we know if he is at that school?”
“No, let me call Leo and see.”
“Ok let me know what you find out.”
I quickly hang up and dial Leo’s number.
“Hello Nate, how can I help you?”
“Hey Leon is Leo around or did he finally retire?”
“He finally retired. What can I do for you?”
“Well good for him! I need to see where Ricardo is going to school now. We think he is at the same high school as Jocelyn.”
“Shit ok, I will get back to you in a bit.”
“Ok, just let me know.”
I hang up while we are driving to the office so I can hopefully at least get some work done. We pull into the parking lot and park and unload to head inside. When we enter the building people look up and quickly start running around as we head into the elevator. The moment the doors close we start laughing. I don’t know why people think I am so mean. Like I’m going to start yelling at them for taking a drink of coffee. Today is going to be a quick day as it’s already close to three in the afternoon.
When the elevator doors open I walk up to Connie for my daily hug. This woman has been here forever, and will finally be retiring next year.
“Connie, thank you so much for earlier!”
“Don’t worry about it! You are just like your father, always taking care of your employees.”
“Of course! Are the reports in my office?”
“Yep, they’re in your inbox.”