As far as I could tell Cade had no idea. He was acting like he always did. I on the other hand was on edge. I couldn’t get the fact that someone was following me out of my head.
Leo said it started before I broke into Jeffery’s office. The chances he was behind it were slim but possible. All the guy had to do was ask around about me and he’d have reason to be suspicious. I’d be surprised if he hadn’t after what had happened when Cade had those twin girls over and they stole from the family.
“Hey, are you okay? You seem distracted today.” Cade asks me.
“Yeah sorry, I’m worried about my mom. She is going to go into labor soon, she’s due any day now.” I say lying about what’s bothering me. I don’t want him to know about the real reason. I’ll only tell him if it has nothing to do with his dad and my spying. I don’t want him getting suspicious. As guilty as I feel for lying my self-preservation instincts take over.
“Oh yeah, that’s right. How is that going to work, you know with your mom and everything?” He asks.
“Well, it depends on her. With Tomàs she got bad postpartum depression and I had to do everything for Tomás for the first few months. I missed something like 3 and a half weeks of school. I was able to catch up but that was a public school. I’m hoping she’ll be better this time. She’s doing really well right now. But that usually means she’ll take a turn for the worst. I’m hoping that since she won’t have almost killed this baby by using drugs and that her best friend is out of jail that she won’t too down.” I explain. Now I’m getting stressed about this too. I had pushed it to the back of my mind for the past few days.
“Well, I can bring your homework if you do miss any school. Hopefully, she’ll be ok.” Cade says.
“Thanks, anyway, let’s get back to Spanish,” I say. We are currently in the library after school. I need to finish up soon so I can get Tomás and then get home before this car chase thing with Leo and my stalker.
After some more Spanish and me being distracted Cade asks again, “You sure you’re okay? This isn’t about what happened between us, is it? If I took things too far or something.”
“No Cade it is not you, my life is crazy, and I’m really stressed. You’re the one good thing right now.” I tell him honestly.
“Okay, is there anything I can do to help?”
“Not really, I’m mostly worried about my mom. I’ve learned the hard way that there is nothing you can do when it comes to her.” I say. Cade gives me a small nod and we finish up our session.
Once I’m home, I make sure my mom is okay and that both she and Tomás eat before I leave my house. Once I’m sure everyone is taken care of, I leave.
On my way onto the main road by my apartment I see the silver car Leo showed me a few cars back. I drive out of town and down and then onto a dirt road. At first, the car was able to keep its distance but as we hit the dirt roads, I can clearly tell it is following me since no other cars are around. The windows are tinted so I can’t make out the driver.
I start to slow down when I get to the mark Leo told me about. The silver car does the same. When I get to the second point I step on the gas. I hear 2 gunshots and look in my review mirror to see the car skidding. Leo shot out 2 of the tiers. I continue down the road and then go back towards the city leaving Leo to deal with the driver.
As I’m driving to the restaurant to meet Xavier, I keep looking at my phone. Nothing is coming from Leo; I hope that means he was able to handle the driver alone.
When I get to the restaurant I park and walk inside. I tell the hostess Xavier’s name and she leads me to a private back room. Inside Xavier is sitting alone looking through a menu.
“Ah Lola, nice to see you again. Thank you for meeting with me. Please sit down and pick out a meal. We have lots to discuss.” He says to me.
I follow his instructions and sit down across from him. We order our food and Xavier tells the waiter to knock before entering again.
“I’m very happy with your progress Lola. 2 months and you got all that info.”
“Thanks,” I say.
“Now we have most of what we need to carry out step 2. I want you to stay close to his son and when I give you orders be ready to act. I need to set some things in motion based on what we learned.” Xavier explains.
“I can do that,” I reply.
“Excellent. Anyway, I want you to be my man on the inside. You may have to plant some things in his home or put a tracker in his phone or car. We’ll see, Jeffery has no idea who you are which will be perfect for me. I’m surprised he hasn’t been suspicious of you.” Xavier says.
“I’m also surprised. Cade told me he has 2 girls steal from his family a few years ago. I thought after that his dad would be a lot more cautious about the people Cade brings home.”
“As far as I can tell he hasn’t done any searches on you or even asked around. But remember to be careful. He is very dangerous and could figure it out at any point.”
“Yeah, I’ll try my best. Honestly, I’ve been really worried that he’ll figure it out. It seemed too easy to get into his office.” I explain my worries.
“I think he is not paying any attention to you or the goings-on in his house. Lola, he is a very busy man who is constantly traveling and must avoid being caught. I think he’s not given his home any thought. Plus, he thinks that you are a good influence on Cade, one less thing to worry about for him.”
“I guess that makes sense. I’ve only met him twice, and once was at school. I think he talks to the principal though. He said that the principal said I was having a positive effect on Cade.” I say.
“He definitely does. You’re doing a good job at keeping your reputation good at that school. Besides the incident where you got arrested.”
“Oh yeah, umm... sorry about that, Leo kind of approved what I did. I assumed he check with you.” I say cautiously.
“Yes, he did, don’t worry I’m not mad. I don’t like rape at all. It’s one of the reasons I’m going after Jeffery Jameson so much. I didn’t care about this territory that much. When I heard what he was doing and that he plans to move into Phoenix I paid more attention. He wants to have a warehouse for people and drugs housed under a new car dealership he is building. He’s building it in that new area on the east side of the city. He did this in Salt Lake City 10 years ago. The cops still haven’t found it. I don’t even want to think about how many missing girls are down there.” Xavier explains. All these new details started to pique my interest.
“Are you planning to take down that side of the operation or just the Phoenix stuff?” I ask.
Before Xavier can answer there is a knock on the door. The waiter brings in our meals and quickly leaves.
We start eating and Xavier answers me.
“I would like to take the whole thing down. I’m starting with Phoenix; it will be the easiest since he has just started doing his illegal dealings here. Then I would like to get him out of Texas and New Mexico since that’s my territory. After that, he will have most likely figured out I’m behind it, so he’ll try to strike back. At that point, I think I’ll tell the cops what I have on him. It’ll get rid of him.” Xavier explains.
“That’s smart, but won’t he have someone take over things? I mean we don’t know everything.” I ask.
“Well yes, but unless I have allies to help, I don’t want to wage war. I’m okay keeping my territory human trafficking free and expanding into Arizona.” Xavier explains.
I’m not overly satisfied with his plan. I want him to stop all Jefferys’s human trafficking operations. But he’s right that it would be wagging war. Jeffery has a lot of friends who rely on him and his dealings in human trafficking for money. They won’t sit back and let it stop.
As if sensing my disappointment Xavier pipes up again, “I know you want to stop all this Lola but that’s not feasible, especially when it’s only you and my people. I am a powerful man but not that powerful.”
“Yeah, it just hits close to home. Men like him shouldn’t be allowed to keep doing this. It’s upsetting because no matter what we do someone will come in and take their place after we take them out. It’s almost like there’s no point.” I express my displeasure.
“I know Lola, it’s an awful world.”
We eat in silence for a while. I decide to ask something that has been on my mind.
“How close of an eye is Leo keeping on me?”
“Why do you ask?” Xavier replies.
“I have a lot of enemies and I’m paranoid about Jeffery catching on. I want to know if he’d know if I was attacked or taken.” I reply.
“Well, he’s been keeping a pretty close eye on you. Even closer since that incident with that boy at the dance.” I nod and Xavier continues, “My advice to you is to tell him what you are doing at all times, that way if something strange happens, he’ll know you weren’t planning to do it. As far as Jeffery, try too not be alone with him. Also never get on a plane with that family. We can’t track you when you are in the air. If he figures it out, he may trick you and get you on a plane. Then take you somewhere we can’t find you.”
I nod and make sure to take in his advice. No planes, even if it seems harmless. I can do that.
As we are wrapping up the back door to the private room opens with a bang. I look over and see Leo and a man. I can’t believe who he brought.