The fight was not very good, to say the least. The whole time I heard Marcus and Diego yelling. At one point Marcus found Mike down by the cage and started to beat him up, they were both removed by the bouncers.
I did win but just barely. If I had to face someone a bit heavier or more skilled, I'd be screwed. Mike did say I could back out at any time, but I have learned not to trust his word. I'd have to practice and get more in shape to stand a chance at my next fight, which was in 8 days.
Once I was done, I collected my winnings and Diego and I went out to his car. He was silent the whole way. Marcus was there waiting for us.
As I did up my seatbelt Marcus started, "What the hell was that, Lola? You said you were just checking it out."
"Mike lied, it was tonight or never, I made a quick choice. He said I could back out any time."
"And you trust him?" Diego pipes up.
"Nope but I have no choice. I dug this grave for myself. The cartel never would have fallen if it wasn't for me. Carl was murdered and I went off the rails. I should have taken a break and thought things out. Because I acted on impulse I have to fight now." I tell them.
"And what about going back to school, does this pay enough for you to quit the diner and go back," Marcus asks.
"Nope, I'm not going to be able to go back unless I figure something else out. This is the best of my choices right now."
"Well, let us help," Marcus says.
"You know we don't have enough money. We can help a bit, but she still has to work." Diego says.
"I've got this, you guys need to quit worrying and trust me. You've both got a lot to worry about you don't need to add me to the list." I tell them.
We pull up to my place and I get out. I go inside shower and fall into a dreamless sleep.
For the following week things stay the same. I work an 8-hour shift at the diner and look after Tomàs when I'm off.
It has been a since the fight. I'm working the late shift that goes until 12am. I'm packing up my things in the backroom before I head home. I say goodbye to my boss and head out to my car. It's a 1988 Chrysler Fifth Avenue. I got it from Carl after he died. His daughter said he left it to me in his Will- along with all his weapons, which were mostly unlisted.
As I'm just about at my car I hear shuffling, so I pull out my knife. All of a sudden, I'm grabbed by the waist. I stab the man over and over with my knife. Another man grabs me and puts a rag over my mouth. After stabbing him a few times I blackout.
I awaken to an office. I groan and slowly sit up. As I look around and a man says, "good you're awake, now we can talk."
I look at him, but my vision is blurry. After blinking a few times my vision clears. The man looks to be about 50, he has blonde/grey hair that is combed back neatly.
"Come sit here Lola. I'm Xavier, Mike's father. I was told you wanted to meet with me." He says as I walk over to the chair. I sit down and look him in the eye.
"I did. I want to work for you. I'm more than qualified."
"That you are. But why should I take a chance on you? Half my sources tell me you are the reason the cartel fell.”
I take a deep breath and Xavier continues, “Now what I'm curious about is how a teenage girl, took down a cartel that has had a stronghold on most of the southern states for over 50 years. Single-handedly. That must be a very interesting story."
"My mentor was murdered by the leader. He thought he was a rat, but he wasn't. I did things because I was upset and ended up paying a price for it." I tell him.
"Well, how can I trust you not to do it again, to me this time? Why should I take a chance on you?"
"Well, I've learned from my mistakes, if I took you down, I'd go down as well. Plus, I'm not loyal to anyone who works for you."
He gives me a small smile and nods his head, "Well I have a job for you. Leo has told me all about you and thanks to his convincing I've decided that I'll give you a shot. My son Mike on the other hand told me you weren't to be trusted and that I shouldn't give you a chance. I trust Leo more than Mike, he's my son but he cares more about partying than telling me the truth. I know that you did a good job working for him and that it was completely his fault the clubs got busted. Anyway, I will need to keep you at a distance from my main operation until I trust you. You were able to do so much destruction to the cartel because you knew so much about how they operated. If you gain my trust, I may give you more responsibilities. See all my children- besides Mike are not interested in taking over the family business. I am going to need more people I trust so I can make sure that my family is taken care of when I am long gone."
He pauses for a moment and then continues. "So, here's the deal, I will pay your tuition to a private school in Phoenix as well as $5,000 every 2 weeks. You will spy on a man named Jeffery Jameson. He has 2 sons who go to the school you will be enrolled in. I want you to befriend the older one. His name is Cade and just like you, he is redoing grade 12 in the fall. Get to know him and get into their house. From there I want you to get as much information as you can while maintaining the friendship. I don't want anyone to suspect that you are there to spy. I want to have you on the inside when I strike." He explains.
I start to think it over. That would be more than 4 times what I make now. I could put money away for school for both me and my siblings. It felt a bit wrong to befriend someone to spy on their dad, but I was out of other options at this point. Maybe the guy was a stuck up rich asshole- that wouldn’t bother me so much then.
"Tell me more about Jeffery Jameson." I request.
"He runs a line of car dealerships across the southwest. He launders both drug and human trafficking money through his businesses. I'm pretty sure he also uses his dealerships to hide girls and ship drugs around. Up until the cartel fell, he didn't touch Phoenix even though that's where he lives. Sort of an 'I don't shit where I eat' deal. He's been pushing for more control in the area and for more control of the south east, where I do most of my business. He's the one supplying the local gangs in Phoenix with drugs. He's also trafficking young girls, he’s been doing that part in Phoenix and his other areas since he showed up on my radar.”
Well, my guilt just went away. I wanted to help take down a human trafficker.
"Tell me about yourself?"
"I don't agree with human trafficking, but I am involved with the drug trade. I have a chain of Texan BBQ restaurants that I run as well. My wife helps me with the legal side of the business. I also have 2 daughters who are both in college. And then I have Mike who you've met."
"Okay, I'll do it. I just have one more condition. If I die working for you, you make sure my siblings get adopted by a good family and that they have a trust fund." I tell him.
He thinks for a moment and then says, "It's a deal." Then we shake hands.
"Why did you kidnap me?" I blurt out.
"So that you wouldn't know where I live. I don't trust you yet."
I nod I guess that makes some sense.
"I'll be sending you home in 2 days. You can sleep in the guest room. I want you to meet my family and learn a few more tech things from Mike. When you go home, I'll be sending Leo with you. Tell people he is your uncle if they ask. He is going to help you however you need." He tells me.
We then stand up and he leads me to a guest room. I look at the clock and it says 9 pm. "What day is it?" I ask.
"It's Friday night, you were out longer than you should have. My men gave you too much, you stabbed them, so they held the cloth on too long. Get a good rest, we have a lot to cover in the morning." And with that, he leaves the room locking it behind him.
Shoot my fight was tonight. I had a feeling that my ditching would backfire. I decided to push that thought to the back of my mind. I took a shower in the ensuite and put on the pajamas provided. Then I got into bed and fell asleep.