Unveiled (Vargas Cartel #2) (11 page)

BOOK: Unveiled (Vargas Cartel #2)
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I swallowed and fixed my gaze on the tree behind him. “He has a private investigator following me.”

He brushed his fingers along my jaw line and then along my cheek, sweeping away my tears.

“I know,” he admitted.

I frowned. “How did you know?”

“He hired them before you went to Mexico. I didn’t know for sure, but I assumed he still had someone following you, especially after you ended the engagement.”

“Vera helped him too.” I bit the corner of my lower lip. “Well, I’m not sure exactly what she did. Do you know anything about that?”

“No.” He shook his head. “If she helped him, neither he nor Senator Deveron mentioned anything to me. She might have helped in a non-material way, but I don’t think she knows anything. I doubt they’d confide in her. It’d be too risky.”

Relief surged through my veins. “I guess you’re right, but it’s hard to believe in anyone now.”

“You can believe in me,” he rasped, resting his forehead against mine.

I wiped my nose with the back of my hand as uneven sobs fled the safety of my mouth. “Can I? Because I’m not sure I should trust anyone.”

His eyes locked on mine, brown colliding with gray, and all the emotions I’d been sidestepping for the past twenty minutes sizzled shamelessly. Invisible silken webs coiled around us, shackling us together in a cloud of lust. My nipples hardened. Sweltering desire pumped through my blood, thawing my frozen limbs. No amount of mental imagery could walk me back from the abyss.

Cold hands framed my face. “You can, but I realize I have to earn your trust. Just give me enough time to do it.” He ghosted a soft kiss across my lips, and his eyes crinkled at the corners. “I have never wanted a woman as much as I want you. I know I should do the right thing and walk away and let you live your life far away from me, but when it comes to you, I never do the right thing. I need every part of you, and someday you’ll give it to me. Freely and without reservations. Until then, I’ll take what you’re willing to give.”

“Okay,” I whispered, leaning into him, capitalizing on the safety of his embrace.

His familiar scent of spice and sea-salt bewitched me. I wanted to be closer to him. Feel him. Touch him. Taste him. I wanted to have a reason to live and love instead of feeling numb, betrayed, and bitter. I yanked his shirt from his waistband and slipped my fingers beneath his shirt. The pads of my icy fingers traced the rope-like muscles lining his spine. Up and down. Down and up.

Ryker sucked in a breath, and his fingers trailed from my neck to my shoulders, and then down my arms. My heart tattooed the inside of my chest. His eyes held me hostage. I couldn’t look away. Out of everything that had happened over the past three months, Ryker was the one reason I’d do it all again without a second thought.

The pain.

The confusion.

The betrayals.

The anger.

Finding him, loving him was worth it. In that instant, I discarded my thoughts of leaving him. I abandoned every notion of turning my back on us. Of all the twisted emotions I felt for Ryker, my love for him screamed the loudest. Fought the hardest.

Without saying a word, he scooped me up in one smooth motion and half ran, half walked, stopping only to grab his bag and blanket from the park bench.

“Where are we going?” I asked as I dotted his neck with open-mouthed kisses.

“To my car.”

I laughed. “Thank God. I’m freezing my ass off.”

“You’re the one who refused my blanket,” he said as he wrenched his car door open and laid me down in the backseat.

“I was upset,” I said with a smirk.

He shook his head as he climbed into the backseat with me.

He started unbuttoning my shirt.

“What are you doing?” I asked, my eyes locked on his skillful fingers as he opened my shirt button by button and peeled it off my body. He traced the scalloped edge of my bra, painting invisible lines all over my skin. My muscles jumped under his fingertips. He was the pied piper, and I couldn’t stop my body from marching to his tune.

“Getting you out of these clothes,” he answered. His lips curled into a lopsided grin, and my heart screeched to a halt. His hands moved to my jeans, and in less than thirty seconds, I was stretched out on the smooth leather in nothing but my panties and bra.

“You know what?” I asked with my eyebrows raised.

“What?” he said absently as his eyes roamed over my body, drinking me in like a man who had finished a trek through the Sahara.

My hands moved to the collar of his shirt. I flicked one button open, then two and three. My hands kept moving until I parted his shirt, exposing his golden skin and his beautifully defined chest and stomach. “I think your clothes are a little wet too.”

He bent forward as I pushed his shirt from his shoulder. “You’re right. I think we both would benefit from sharing body heat,” he murmured right before his warm lips crushed against mine.

Our tongues tangled. Our mouths fused together. Our hands clawed at anything in our way.

Tasting.

Savoring.

Devouring.

Exploring.

Each additional piece of clothing we removed was like tinder feeding the bonfire of lust raging between us. Moans and whimpers harmonized with the pinging sound of the rain as it splattered against the car. Our skin stuck together from a combination of water and sweat as our bodies slid against each other.

I didn’t care that we were cramped together in the backseat of his car in a parking lot of a public park. I didn’t care that my life was spinning out of control at an alarming velocity. My need for control vanished whenever he was near me. Good or bad—I didn’t know, but it was the unvarnished truth, and I loved and hated it.

With fumbling hands, I shoved his pants down his legs, exposing the sharp angle of muscles adjacent to his hipbone. I traced the sculpted line to his erection.

“You make me crazy,” he whispered as his lips nipped, sucked, and kissed their way to my breasts. He sucked a hardened nipple into his mouth, and a burst of pleasure shot through my body.

I moaned, arching into him as I slid my hand along his length. Up and down, I caressed him as I alternated between watching his face and the glide of my hand. “I do?” My voiced sounded throaty and totally unlike me, which was fitting because I didn’t feel like myself around him. Instead of a controlled, principled person, I morphed into an adrenaline junkie ruled by impulses, emotions, and lust.

He rested his forehead against mine, his chest heaving. He stared at me as if he had summoned me by wishing on a shooting star. “You know you do. From the minute I saw you in that bar, I knew I had a problem. Maybe before then.”

I chuckled. “Good, because I suspected you were trouble.”

I pushed his chest. “Sit up,” I demanded.

“Not yet.” He smirked as his fingers traced the opening of my sex.

“Oh God,” I murmured. Each teasing motion of his finger intensified the needy ache in my core. Lifting my hips, I rocked against his hand wanting more, each languid circle of his finger more intense than the previous one.

Flushed and shaking, I mumbled hundreds of incoherent thoughts about needing him, wanting him, craving him, and not being able to live without him. Just as flames started rolling through me, he jerked his hand away from where I needed him. My eyes popped open.

“What the—”

His damp fingers rested against my lips, slowly moving back and forth. “Shh, I’ll take care of you.” He lifted me up, so I straddled his waist. “Do you want to do this here?”

At a loss for words, I nodded urgently, up and down like a bobble head doll. I would’ve laughed at myself if I wasn’t so focused on feeling him inside of me. In seconds, he grabbed my hips, rotating them back and forth over the tip of his erection.

“Please,” I whimpered.

“Guide me inside of you,” he responded, his voice gruff and uncontrolled. I liked him that way.

I angled my body, and he sunk deep inside of me. I groaned as I grinded against him. He curled his fingers around my hips as his mouth collided with mine—a messy, wet combination of teeth, tongue, and lips.

“Fuck,” he muttered, slanting his head, breaking our kiss, and burying his head next to my neck. “This isn’t going to last.” He trailed open-mouthed kisses up and down my neck and behind my ear, sending tremors down my spine. Our bodies glistened with sweat and rain. Our exhalations fogged the windows as we rocked against each other, his hips colliding with mine.

He pushed me back against the seat, tilted my hips up, and slammed back inside of me. A jagged groan exploded from my mouth. “Oh God, right there.”

He gripped my hips, using them as leverage as he pounded inside of me. My head tapped against the door with every thrust. Delicious embers of pleasure spiraled through my body. I dug my fingers into his hips, forcing him to move faster, harder, and burying himself deeper until I felt boneless and complete.

I sunk my hands into his hair, pulling him closer. His lips crashed against mine, our moans and gasps tangled and danced until they became one stream ping-ponging back and forth between our mouths. Each flex and rotation of his hips lured me closer and closer to the finish line. Then, a bright light flashed behind my eyelids, and a cyclone of bliss whirled through me as all my nerve endings fired in a chorus of Hallelujahs.

After one final thrust, he tensed and then collapsed on top of me, his chest heaving and my legs still twisted around his waist. Our hearts thumped against each other as I smoothed my fingers through his damp hair.

“Maybe we should have waited,” he whispered next to my ear.

“No. That was…perfect.”

A strangled chuckle escaped his lips, tickling the side of my neck. “Perfect, huh?” He braced his body on his elbows, his eyes searching mine with a faint smile on his too sexy lips. “I don’t think anyone has ever called car sex perfect.”

I laughed. “Maybe you’re right.”

He swept my hair from my face. “No more secrets. No more lies. No more running.”

I nodded as hope bloomed in my heart. Maybe we could do this. Really do this. Together. With nothing between us.

“We should go before…” His voice trailed off and he shrugged.

I sat up and gathered my wet clothes. “No, you’re right.”

He unzipped his black duffel and handed me a t-shirt and gym shorts. “Here, put these on.”

I eyed them suspiciously.

“They’re clean,” he said, pulling on his pants and fastening them.

I shrugged and then put them on before I climbed into the front seat. A few seconds later, he joined me. He didn’t start the car right away. Instead, he stared out the front windshield as he drummed his fingers on the steering wheel, darkness bathing the interior of the car.

“We didn’t use a condom again,” he finally said, not looking at me.

I swallowed hard. “I know.” It didn’t cross my mind until he said it, but I never thought clearly around him. “I still haven’t had my period.”

“I think you should go to the doctor.”

Alarm constricted my chest. He was right. I’d been thinking the same thing, but I spent the last few weeks concentrating on everything and anything but the giant elephant in the room. “Maybe.”

He squeezed my leg, attempting to reassure me. “Hey.”

I turned to face him. “Yeah?”

He turned on the ignition. “Either way it will be okay. Trust me, we’ll figure it out.”

I blew out a breath and nodded my head. “You’re right. It’s not the end of the world.”

He turned on the car and pulled out of the parking lot. “Not even close,” he said so softly I almost missed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

 

Ryker

 

After Hattie had fallen asleep, I snuck into the guest room to talk to Rever. I wanted to move forward with Hattie, but in order to make it happen, I needed to get Rever out of my apartment and my life. I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. As much as I’d like to ignore it, we had to address the Anna situation.

Rever wasn’t asleep. He was leaning against the headboard with his iPad in his lap.

“Are you busy?” I asked, closing the door softly behind me.

“Does it look like it?” he snapped without meeting my eyes.

Ignoring his comment, I settled into the chair in the corner of the room. The tension had grown steadily between us with every passing day. “What do you want to do about Anna?”

He tossed his iPad on the top of the bed. “Does this mean you’re finally ready to help?”

I tapped my fingers on the arm of the chair, trying to control my temper. Rever acted like a petulant child when he didn’t get his way. “It depends on the circumstances. I’m not going on a suicide mission, but if there’s a logical way to get her, then I’ll help you. I won’t do it alone though.”

Rever sat up and dangled his legs over the side of the bed. “She goes to church every Sunday.
El Sagrado Corazón de Jesús
. That’s the only time she’s allowed to leave their home
.

“Are you suggesting we abduct her from the church? Should we storm the church with our guns and drag her out of there?” I mocked.

“No. She could pretend she didn’t feel well and walk outside during mass. We’d be waiting by the curb.”

“And then where do we go?”

“We should leave by helicopter, not a boat. A boat would take too long.”

I nodded absently. “Whose helicopter? We can’t ask anyone associated with Ignacio or the Vargas Cartel.”

Rever shrugged. “I have a friend who runs a helicopter tour service out of Cancun. I think he’d help us.”

I scrubbed my hands over my face. “Is he trustworthy?”

“I trust him. He’s a good guy. We’ve been friends for over ten years.”

I raised my eyebrows in disbelief. Being friends with Rever for over a decade wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of trustworthiness. From what Ignacio told me, Rever spent the last ten years drinking, taking drugs, and fucking.

Rever stood up and shook his head. “I know what you’re thinking, but Emilio is a good guy. He’s not like me. He has a wife and a couple of kids. He’s spent the last five years building his business. He’s bailed me out of more than one bad situation over the years.”

“I don’t know, Rever. Have you thought this through?” I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Think about what you’re saying. Do you really think it’s a good idea to involve someone with a wife and kids?”

His brows snapped together, and he frowned. “What do you mean?”

“If we’re successful and Juan Alvarez finds out about his involvement, we’re basically painting a giant crosshair on Emilio’s forehead. They’d slaughter him along with every member of his family.” I raised my eyebrows. “Are you okay with that?”

Rever paced the length of the room and back again. “I realize that, but I’ll pay him enough to make it worth the risk. He can take his family and move across the country and start a whole new life. Change his name. Start a new business. Any business he wanted.”

My eyes narrowed, and I rubbed my temples. Ten minutes of talking to Rever and my head already felt like exploding. His idea was crazy. Rever would need to pay him a shit ton of money to risk crossing the Alvarez Cartel. “Ignacio cut off your access to funds. Where are you going to get that kind of money, because I’m sure as hell not going to loan it to you?”

“I’ve put some things into motion, and if all goes well, I should have plenty of money within the next day or two.” He lifted one shoulder. “I’ll be set for a couple of years even after I pay Emilio.”

I groaned and dropped my head into my hands. My headache just magnified tenfold. “Fuck, Rever. What did you do?”

He folded his arms across his chest, drumming his fingers on his biceps. “Don’t worry about it. The less you know, the better. Let me take care of the money, and you can plan the operation. I’ll give you Emilio’s number. He’s waiting for your call.”

Tugging at the roots of my hair, I pushed out of my chair. “No. Tell me everything or I’m not helping you.”

Anything involving that kind of money was illegal as fuck. Rever didn’t have a track record of success when it came to making plans. His money-laundering scheme in Las Vegas landed his ass in jail, and that wasn’t the first mess Ignacio and I had to clean up.

“No. I can’t. I don’t want to involve you in the details. If I go down, I don’t want to drag you with me.”

I chuckled, but it lacked mirth. There were a number of reasons why he wouldn’t want me to be implicated, but none of them involved concern for my welfare. More likely, he wanted someone on the outside to get him out if he was arrested again, or he thought I’d stop his harebrained idea in its tracks. Rever never cared about anyone except himself. He believed the world revolved around him, which made me question why he gave a shit about Anna and his unborn child. It certainly didn’t make sense.

“I became involved the minute you showed up at my apartment. In case you’ve forgotten already, you agreed to leave the U.S. and never come back as a condition of your release a month ago.”

“It’s better this way.”

“Then, you need to leave. I’m done helping you.” I crossed the room and opened the door.

“Where I am supposed to go?”

Weariness settled into my bones, and I didn’t bother turning around. The day when I no longer had to deal with the Vargas Cartel or Rever couldn’t come fast enough. “I don’t care, just be gone by tomorrow morning.”

“Wait.” He grabbed my shoulder.

“What?”

“Fine. I’ll tell you everything, but it’s already in motion so I can’t stop it now.”

I closed the door softly and turned to face him, folding my arms across my chest. “Go ahead, and don’t leave out a single detail. I don’t want to be ambushed later. If you lie, I’ll take you down myself.”

Rever dragged his hand through his hair. “I arranged a shipment of ten pounds of crystal meth and five kilos of heroin to be transported to the D.C. area.”

“How did you pay for it?”

“I paid for it before I came to the U.S.” Rever sucked in a deep breath. “I suspected Ignacio would shut down my accounts the minute he realized I left Mexico.”

“So you had this planned from the very beginning and you never intended to tell me about it.”

He ran a hand over his mouth as he shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I did, but with good reason.”

“Dammit, Rever,” I spat, anger coursing like poison through my veins. I wanted to rip him apart piece by piece. He was reckless, even more so than I remembered. He may have stopped using drugs, but his judgment hadn’t improved. “I wouldn’t have let you stay here if I’d known you were involved in a freelance trafficking scheme.”

“I know, but you were my only option.”

“Did you use Ignacio’s people to supply you the drugs?”

He cringed. “Yes.”

“Ignacio will find out.”

“I know he will, but the deal will be done by then, and there won’t be anything he can do about it.”

I balled my hands into fists. “Except take revenge.”

Rever shrugged. “They knew the risks.”

I shook my head. “How are you moving the drugs across the border?”

“One of Ignacio’s tunnels.”

My eyebrows jumped up my forehead. “Seriously?”

“Did you expect me to make a deal with a rival cartel?” he snapped. “I didn’t have much time. I used the resources and contacts at my disposal.”

This plan had disaster written all over it. Rever had to trust a shitload of people not to double-cross or blackmail him in order for this plan to succeed. “How are you distributing it?”

“The Mexican Mafia.”

“Wow,” I said as I cocked my head to the side. “This is a bad fucking idea. The Mexican Mafia is unpredictable.”

Rever rolled his eyes, trying to brush off my criticism, but I could see his anger. His shoulders tensed, and his jaw muscles twitched. “They won’t cross me. I’ve done this a few times before, and they know what happens if they snitch or fail to pay.”

I snorted. “So this is a consistent side job for you?”

“Look.” He raised his hands in front of his chest. “I’ve done it two or three times in the past. It gave me an income independent from Ignacio and the Vargas Cartel.”

“That’s what jobs are for.”

“Don’t lecture me. You’re basically a political hit man.”

I slapped my open hand on top of the dresser. “I don’t kill people.”

“I don’t believe you, and you know what? I don’t give a shit how you earn your money, but don’t judge me. If you’d grown up under Ignacio’s thumb, you wouldn’t have a third of the freedoms you had growing up or even now. He’d be riding your ass every day about every small detail like he still does with me.”

I gritted my teeth. I didn’t want to have this conversation with Rever. He blamed Ignacio for every perceived slight. He needed to start taking responsibility for his actions instead of using the victim card at every opportunity.

“When are you supposed to get the money?” I asked, purposely changing the subject.

“The drugs have already been delivered to the Mexican Mafia, and they’re supposed to pay me tomorrow or the next day. Then, I’m done. I should net over a million and half dollars.”

“How are you getting the money?”

“They’re wiring some of the money to various accounts I’ve set up around the world. Panama. Andorra. Cayman Islands. Just to name a few. Then, I have a contact who will exchange the rest of the money for gold and diamonds. I’ll trade the gold and diamonds for cash in Panama and buy a house for Anna and me.”

I nodded absently. He described the two most common techniques for laundering money. “Are you meeting with the Mexican Mafia again?”

Rever yanked on the collar of his t-shirt. “No. We’re done. All the arrangements have been made.”

I blew out a breath and took a couple of steps to the door. “It’s almost morning. I’m going back to bed.”

He cleared his throat. “You’re still going to help me, right?”

“I can’t talk about this anymore. I need to cool off first and wrap my head around everything you told me. Go to bed, and we’ll talk in the morning.” I cracked open the door.

“Am I allowed out of my room?”

I glanced over my shoulder with narrowed eyes. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Princess Hattie is sleeping over tonight, right?”

“What are you getting at?”

“You don’t want us to meet.”

I leaned my shoulder into the doorjamb. “You’re right, but it’s unavoidable. She’s going to be staying here for a while. Just leave her alone, and you can stay here.”


Qué chingados
?
” he growled, his nostrils flaring. “You can’t trust her with all the shit going down right now. You hardly know her.” He shook his head. “It’s crazy. She could turn on you in a second and sing like a canary to every government agency under the sun.”

I spun around. My hands clenched, I prowled forward until I stood inches from his face. I shoved my palm against his chest, and he stumbled backward, bumping into the edge of the mattress. I wanted to hit him, but I smothered the urge. Giving Rever a black eye or a bloody nose wouldn’t solve anything. Besides, he’d fight back, and I didn’t want to wake Hattie up because I couldn’t keep my fists to myself.


¡Cállate!
” I yelled, switching to Spanish.


Bastardo,
” he hissed as he grabbed my wrist and pushed my hand away from him. “
No me toques.

“I don’t care what you want or don’t want. Don’t talk about Hattie. Don’t talk to Hattie. You got that? You don’t know anything about her. Don’t pretend otherwise.”

He breathed hard through his nose, and his chest heaved with barely concealed rage. “She’ll complicate everything. You know it, and I know it.”

“Yeah, well, so did your dumbass relationship with Anna. If you’d stayed away from her and kept your dick in your pants, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

I walked out of the room without waiting for his answer. He’d never admit any wrongdoing, and he’d never apologize unless I held a gun to his head.

BOOK: Unveiled (Vargas Cartel #2)
8.3Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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