Clayton raised an eyebrow at Gabe. The young Mexican man tipped his head indicating Clayton should follow him. The door closed behind them and they were expertly frisked. Afterward, they followed the doorman to an inner chamber. Lights blazed, music blared, smoke filled the air—both cigarette and marijuana. No one paid much attention to the teenagers as they followed the man across the room.
At the far end, a dais had been constructed from palettes and bricks. A large chair stood in the middle. A man dressed in a white suit sat on the chair, eyes examining the room carefully. Two women draped themselves over him, hands busily stroking. He didn’t seem to notice.
Gabe was allowed to approach, but Clayton stayed back. Gabe didn’t exactly bow, but he appeared deferential. The man on the dais waved the women away.
“You’re here about the gringa?”
“Who’s your friend?”
“Clayton. He’s part of the group at the church. You know my father won’t be happy if you’ve hurt her.”
“Who says she’s here?”
Gabe gave the man a level glare. “She’s nowhere else and no one claims to have seen her,” he stated.
“Maybe I’ve seen her. Maybe she came here for some cigarrillos de marihuana.” He started laughing.
Gabriel chuckled politely. His eyes narrowed. “Did she get them?”
The man waved vaguely. “Perhaps yes, perhaps no.”
“We don’t have time—” Clayton began, taking a step forward.
The doorman raised a gun, pointing it at him.
“I apologize, jefe,” Clayton said in Spanish. He bowed his head. “She’s a friend of mine. Well, she’s really kind of a stuck up bitch—”
“She’s here,” Jefe replied. “Unharmed, but a little worse for wear.”
Gabe’s eyes narrowed. “What did you do?”
Jefe shrugged. “Nothing extreme. A few pictures.” He waved it away as unimportant.
“No one—did anything?” Gabriel said slowly, looking a little sick.
“And if they did?”
Gabriel took a threatening step forward. “You may not be afraid of my father, but you should be. And you should be afraid of me too, Ramon.”
“And why’s that, perro? Why should I run from a dog?”
“Because this is a dog with big teeth who isn’t afraid to use them. If I find out she’s been harmed or violated, I’ll come back and you’ll see a new kind of crazy.” He kept his voice low and even, but the threat was implicit.
Ramon sat up straighter. “No one threatens me in my own place.”
“I don’t threaten, cabrón. I promise.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes