The Queen of Bad Things

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Epilogue: Eight Years Later

Benny came out of the bathroom and sat down on the queen size bed across from the one I sat on. “Do you think they’re going to agree to the deal? Bohai turned into a bit of a picky ass over the years, hasn’t he?” Benny tilted his head.

I opened my mouth to respond, but my phone interrupted me. I grabbed it off the end table.

“Is it Aria?” Benny asked.

“Yeah,” I said simply. I slid my thumb across the screen. “Hello?”

“Hey, have you talked to him yet?” Aria asked. She sounded irritated.

“Not yet. Benny and I are going to grab some coffee and head over there. Hopefully, he has made a decision. Bohai wants me to drop the price,” I explained.

“No,” Aria said sharply. “We’re giving him a killer deal as it is—”

“Calm down, bebita. I know,” I said. “You sound on edge. What’s up with you?”

“Angel has been pissing the girls off all morning long, and it’s driving me crazy. I haven’t slept for shit since you left. I keep having these nightmares. . .” Aria trailed off.

“What kind of nightmares?” I asked.

“Of you,” she whispered.

“Bebita, I’m fine,” I said.

“Just be careful,” she muttered.

“I will. No matter what Bohai decides, I’m on that plane by three. I promise,” I said.

“Good. Call me when you land,” she said.

“I will,” I said. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Aria hung the phone up.

I stared at my phone for a long moment, but Benny snapped me out of it.

“Are you good?” Benny asked.

“I’m fine. She’s just worrying as usual.” I sat the phone down. “Let’s go get some coffee. Don’t forget to take your medicine.”

“Yes, honey,” Benny mocked.

“Look, buddy, according to your wife, you’re not great at remembering it. I don’t want to see you go into one of those freakish seizures. So shut it,” I grumbled.

Benny chuckled and grabbed his medicine out of his bag. He swallowed it and washed some water down with it. Benny lost a lot of blood when he got shot eight years ago. The loss of blood and lack of oxygen to his brain caused him to have seizures, and they haven’t gone away.

Joey survived too, but he walks with a bit of a limp. His limp has gotten better over the last few years. When Joey woke up, they told him he would never walk again, but Joey got up several weeks later and walked.

We lost our mansion, but not the structure beneath the estate. Beneath the mansion in a bomb-like-shelter was most of our money. Anything that was in our safes was okay too, but we still lost many things. We managed to build an exact replica of the original mansion down to every detail thanks to the blueprints and good memories between us, the workers, and Carlos.

To say the least, we were lucky. The last eight years were uneventful. We lost nobody in the war against the Aryan brothers, and for that, we were grateful. Aria and I had two more kids, Alana and Aiden. Aiden had been born on my birthday a couple of years ago, which would be in a couple of days. All of our friends were married with kids too.

Benny and I went down to the café of the hotel to get some coffee. We sat down with our cups and sipped them slowly. We tossed ideas around of what we should say to Bohai. Bohai had been stubborn lately on prices and the amount of guns. Aria and I were ready to throw the towel in on this relationship. It wasn’t as if Aria and I needed the relationship. We had more than enough relationships and enough money to not have to deal with illegal guns at all.

We finished our coffee and got a cab to Bohai’s place. The building was tall, and it’s where Bohai and his men worked. They ran some sort of computer company and did illegal things on the side.

Benny and I sat down at the conference table. Many of Bohai’s men gathered around the table.

“So, have you come to a decision about the price?” Bohai asked. “I can assure you that I will not pay what you’re asking for the artillery.”

“Hm. Well, then I guess you have wasted your time and mine. The price is set, and it is a fair deal. We sell them cheaper to you than some of the others, I will have you know that,” I said. “I hope you’re certain about your choice because I’m not coming back. As far as I’m concerned, if this isn’t what you want, then this relationship is over. I did not come all the way to China and waste my own money on the trip to be turned away like this.”

Bohai nodded in understanding. “Well, I suppose you better catch your flight. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it doesn’t make sense for us at this time to purchase these guns for that price.”

Benny and I stood up.

“Have a safe flight, gentlemen,” Bohai said.

I turned to look back, and something clouded his eyes, but I couldn’t explain it. I turned away and strolled out the door.

Benny and I made it back to the hotel and packed our things. We got in the cab and told the driver to take us to the airport. It’s a good thing Benny could speak Chinese because I simply couldn’t. I knew some French, and I could speak Spanish and English, but that’s as far as it goes for me. The main reason I chose to bring Benny is that I knew he could speak Chinese.

We climbed into the private jet and sat down. Benny grabbed two glasses and filled them with Bourbon. He handed one to me.

“Thanks,” I muttered.

“Do you think Aria will be angry?” Benny wondered.

“How could she be?” I asked. “She’s the one who refused to lower the price, and he refused to budge. When push comes to shove like that, it’s easier to just end it.”

Benny nodded in understanding.

The plane took off. It flew over the mountains and trees.

“So, is Aria planning a party?”

“Doesn’t she every year?” I chuckled and rolled my eyes. My wife sure loved to celebrate, if nothing else. I hated it when I had to take these trips without Aria. I wanted to get home to my wife and kids. I got lost in thoughts of them.

The plane started to shake, and it dropped quickly. My eyes widened. The oxygen masks dropped in front of Benny and me. We both put them on as the plane spiraled downward.

The captain announced there is something wrong with the engine. Benny and I were strapped in, but if this plane landed wrong, it wouldn’t matter.

Thoughts of my wife and kids rummaged through my mind. They say life flashes before your eyes when you’re about to die, and I would say that is exactly what happened.

I couldn’t say that I had any regrets, except for maybe coming to China. However, all the choices I made in life led me to Aria, and I couldn’t regret that. I loved my life, wife, and kids. I would miss them. Becoming a Latin King taught me how to be brave and stronger and love deeper. When you live a life like we do, tomorrow isn’t promised. Life had been so unpredictable but amazing since I became a Latin King. We didn’t live the safe, normal life, and I’m okay with that. Our lives had been nothing shy of legendary, and if this is how it ends, I can’t argue that because I lived an incredible life. I found myself at peace, even in the face of death.

Maybe we’re crazy, but a normal life isn’t for everyone. I love the crazy life — the life of a Latin King.

***

~Acknowledgements~

The people that I want to acknowledge the most are the ones who have read this series or any of my books. However, I would like to thank my husband, especially. Writing and college takes up a lot of my time and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive person than him.

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