Category: Between Pride and Love


Pride and Lose CH.1 PT.2

Chapter One (Part II)
In the Garden of Eden

“Why today?” she pleaded. “Of all days, why the eighth anniversary of the attack on the New Capital? The attack you helped organize.”

Kenny took one last drag of his cigarette and smashed it in his ashtray. He looked at his wife, Elizabeth, with no regret in his eyes. “Elizabeth, I organized that attack for a reason and the end has certainly justified the means. It is time we forgive not only the former powers but to forgive ourselves. Did you really like being in the Alliance when we were teenagers?”

Elizabeth simply shook her head. “But Kenny, you know we use today as the new birthday of Maria. She might not ask anything but she has questions. It’s like she knows her father is alive.”

“That would be my doing,” Kenny grinned. “I told her that Shane is alive and looking for her.”

“You did what?” Elizabeth leaped out of her seat. Her voice bouncing off the stone walls of the den like office they were occupying. “If Shane is alive he is not looking for her. He’s looking for you! He’s already killed Alexander.”
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Prologue:

Eight Years Ago

    The sound of dripping water was the only noise, besides his heavy breathing, as he ambled deeper into the dark corridor-like tunnel. He was one of the few who helped design this underground bunker so he knew exactly where the president was running to. The man took a deep breath as a rush of pair waved over his body. He winced but tried to make as little noise as he could. So much has happened in the last hour alone. His wife was killed in an explosion, his best friend kidnapped his daughter and now… now he has to kill the president of United Socialist States of America.
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 WARNING: The following has graphic language and violence. This is a work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised.

Chapter Fourteen
My Final Entry

    I turned to look behind me just in time to see someone escape into a hidden chamber behind one of the paintings. It must of been Alexander, or at least one of his little henchmen who will know where he would be. I was down to my last weapon. I pat my ankle holster and grinned. This is the part in movies where the hero would promise that just one more person would die. But I knew better than to lie to myself. If Kenny, Chato, whatever the hell he wants to call himself, would betray me then I know for a fact Alexander is going to pull something fierce to stay alive.

 I look at the cut on my arm; I have no idea how much blood I lost. I ripped my pants leg and wrapped it around my arm to stop the bleeding. I took one last scan of the massacre around me. My eyes landed on my sweet Catherine. It tore at me worse than any sting of a blade.
 I pushed past the painting of Alexander Hamilton to see a large hole in the wall. It was a secret passage! I slipped through and shut the painting door behind me, leaving all the pain behind me. Dimly lit ceiling lights dance on top as I slowly walk down the tunnel. I could hear voices in the distance so I start to speed up.
 Looking down I could see a trail of blood droplets and dust. With all these different routes, it’s how I knew I was on the trail of my prey. It’s just like hunting in the woods again.

  These tunnels must have been here for decades with very little renovation. Secret tunnels for our government officials to escape, it only made sense. I clenched my fist, to make sure I could still feel. I was ready for anything that scumbag could throw at me.
 A single door was the destination, a single door that was closed. It finally has come down to this. I kicked open the door with force. There he was, his back turned to me. “I’ve been expecting you,”

 “No you weren’t. Your time has come to pay for your sins.”

 “How religious of you, Shane. But your God isn’t going to save you here.”

 I shook my head. It wasn’t me who needed the saving. Alexander finally turned to me, he still looked like a spoiled pretty boy. I reached down to my ankle holster and pulled out my last weapon. A screwdriver. Not fancy, but it is sharp enough to get the job done. Alexander thought it was amusing as he let out a chuckle.
 I start for him but he simply wagged his finger at me. Something made me stop in mid stride. But it wasn’t Alexander’s cocky attitude. A fragrance of my teenage years, a smell that brought certain needs.

 Emerging from an opening at first was two silhouettes. I cocked my head in confusion but all was clear when they walked into the room. It was Mary! Her beautiful features hardly scorned with age. Next to her was a young boy who had her eyes. It had to be my son! My knees went weak but I didn’t stumble. Alexander has thrown a huge trump card on me now.
 “M-Mary?” I breathed out her name.
 “The white nigger speaks,” she spat venomously.
 “Excuse me?”
 “You left me for some spic! And now you return to kill my man?”
 I shook my head, I was so confused. “You’re with Alexander now?”
 “Now? I been with him,” she glared.
 My eyes laid on the young boy. Something doesn’t seem right. “What about–“
 Alexander stepped between us. “What about Alexander Jr.?”
 “A-Alexander Jr.?” I blinked. “But… he’s mine.”
 Alexander laughed, “How dumb are you? He’s MY kid. Mary has been my little sex puppet since Tom brought her down here. You were just a front for old Uncle Tom.”

 I was being used? That was enough for me. I charged at Alexander, knocking him down. The snake triedto pound on my back and Mary kicked me. I rolled off of him and to my feet. I lifted up my screwdriver, it fit perfectly in my hand as I dashed to him again, but Alex quickly went behind Mary and Alexander Jr.

 “Coward! Move away from your woman and accept your death like a man!”
 “I’d rather live, thank you!”
 “You wouldn’t kill him anyway. You don’t have the balls!” barked Mary, letting go of her son.
 “Get out of the way, Mary!” I ordered
 Alex threw a punch at me while I was distracted. I stumbled back, I was surprised the pretty boy gotten power over the years. I threw the screwdriver at him, but he ducked. The driver got stuck in a book on a bookshelf. I made an advance towards Alexander but I stopped. I felt a sting in my leg that started to burn. Junior, their bastard son, stabbed me with the fire poker from the fireplace! I eased off away from them, nursing my wound.

  Alexander took the fire poker for himself and charged at me. I stepped to one side and let him crash into a wall and smashed an elbow across the back of his head. I then threw him into the fireplace in his moment of weakness. Mary charged at me but I side stepped her. I used her momentum and slammed her head against the stone wall. I could hear her skull crack. I limped to the bookshelf and ripped the screwdriver out. Their son ran to me but I just shoved him away. I walked back to Mary, who was barely conscious, breathing heavily.
 “You will never get out alive!” warned Alexander when he got out of the fireplace, badly burned.
  “Neither will you,”
  My screwdriver lost its silver beauty for crimson brutality. 
                                                                                    

Epilogue:
Forgiveness

     The yellow rays of the sun peered through the opaque windows and mixed in with the bright white of florescent lights. The strong smell of hand sanitizer filled the hallway with soft sounds of multiple feet walking in unison. As the head doctor of St. Joseph’s Mental Hospital, Dr. John Black has grown use to the smell and the near silence of the afternoon. The patience were either in their rooms heavily medicated or in the rec room only slightly medicated. He walked the silent halls of his mental health hospital with a new group of interns. Fresh graduates of and still young enough to mold into his liking. Dr. Black wasn’t a bad doctor, he was just very strict on what he viewed the current system. He smiled as the patients waved to him while walking past.

  “You see, here at St. Joseph’s Mental Hospital we don’t discriminate our patients because society thinks lowly of them. We do medicate our patients but we also try to help them reach their goals. This is more of a hotel, not a home,” the doctor chuckles. His interns snickered lightly as they took quick notes. “Some even come here on volunteer basis for help. Ah, here is a perfect example.”
 The doctor and his group of interns stop in front of a darkened room with the door unlocked. A single light from the barred window shined through. The doctor gently opened the door and the dark vanished as light intruded on every corner of the room.

  The room was spotless, as if hardly used. The bed was kept neat and tucked. The floor nearly shined with light and the closet was open and every clothing attire was hung perfectly. At the window sat an elder woman, with a mane of white hair, pale and slender, sat under the light holding a book, not acknowledging the interns or doctor.

 “This is Mrs. Magnar. She came to us years ago shortly after her husband died saving her son. The death caused a lot of media attention and not everyone is able to handle such fame. She attempted to poison herself but a relative got her to the hospital in time to save her. After surviving the incident that nearly took her life, she came to us for help.”

 A young male intern raised his hand, “She came by her own choice? So that means she can leave at any given time, correct?”

 Dr. Black shrugged as if conflicted on what to say next, “She can but we strongly recommend her to stay until her survivors’ guilt is treated. Recently, she’s been vastly improving and we’re predicting her to leave by the end of the year,” The doctor looked back to the old woman, “Mrs. Magnar, want to say hello to the interns?”

 She didn’t move.

 “Mrs. Magnar?”

 Dr. Black walked to her and picked up the journal out of her frail, pale white hands, “I’ve never seen this book before. ‘The Journal of Shane Magnar’. This isn’t in our library. Has your son visited you recently?”

 Dr. Black placed his hand on her shoulder. He felt no pulse under his firm hand. Dr. Black stooped down to see her face. She wasn’t breathing! He did notice a pen in her hand and subconsciously opened the last page of the journal. A single sentence was written. Different penmanship and color than the others on the page.

 I forgive myself.

WARNING: The following has graphic violence and language. It is a work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised.

Chapter Thirteen
Us VS Them

 

Kenny led the way as I put my hunting knife back in its handle at my side. Catherine didn’t bring any luggage, just Maria. We were going to drive straight to the New Capital to do a surprise attack. Oh how I couldn’t wait.
 Emerging from the thick woods for the first time in what seemed like forever, we piled into Kenny’s’ light silver Ford F-250. Catherine held Maria close in the backseat as I slammed the passenger door.

 “Watch the door, boy!” Kenny hissed.
 He revved the engine once and then sped away, moving with the served roads and over bumpy hills nearly effortlessly. “Ya been practicin’?”
 “Practicing what?”
 He rolled his eyes, knowing when the swerves would end. “Open the glove box.”
 I obeyed and three sharpened switchblades glistened. I took two out and hand one to Kenny. I closed one up and put it in my pocket.
 “I’ve been training myself in Kendo and a few other sword and knife fighting. And of course I’ve been hunting wild game.”
 “Riight. Whatever ya did, hope it’s good.”
 “Where’s Elizabeth?” asked Catherine.
 “Honestly, I really don’t know. She might either be out with her girlfriends, waitin’ for us at the Capitol, resistin’ to strangle Faith-Rose or dancin’ on her mother’s grave. My hopes is the last one.”
 “You really loved your mother-in-law.”
  “With all my heart,”
 “Do we really have to go this fast?” asked Catherine’s scared voice.
 “Yeah. It’s more fun to go fast.”
 “Not really!”
 “Raise your hand in ya wanna go fast!” he urged.
  “I wanna go fast! I wanna go fast!” I waved my hands.
 I could see Maria waving her hands in the mirror, mimicking me.
 “Remind me to yell at you, Shane!” snapped Catherine as she held Maria close.
 “I’m such a good influence on her,” 
  “Ya know what I don’t understand? Why do people drive so slow in the fast lane?”
 “Because the speed limit is only 70 and not 90!” Catherined yelled.
 “Who’s going 90? I’m up to 97,” laughed Kenny.
  “Be lucky we’re not on a motorcycle with him,” I grinned.
  “No, be lucky you’re not on a jet ski with my uncle.”
  “That water hurt,” I remembered.
 “You got hurt? I face planted!”
 “Do we have to go visit memory lane right now?” asked Catherine.
  “Yes,” Kenny and I said in unison.
 “We there yet?”
 I looked back at her, “Baby don’t be scared. He is a great driver.”
 “We’re here!” He yelled and slammed on the brakes, as I flew right into the windshield. That really, really hurt. “Watch it dude, I just got the windshield warshed.”
 I shook my head and jumped out, right in front of Elizabeth, “Oh hello Elizabeth.”
  “Did you smudge my new windshield?” was her only greeting before she kicked me in my shin! I doubled over and fell to a knee as she ran over to Kenny. I overheard her whisper, “Did you tell him yet?”
 He shook his head. What the hell did he possibly forget now?
 “Come on Shane, we got a president to assassinate.”
 “You make it sound like it’s a bad thing.”

   Kenny, Catherine and I went straight into the belly of the beast. He was shoving some of the Congressional lackeys out of our way. We stopped at the stairway. A smile formed on my lips, it was Vincent and his small group of high school dropout bodyguards in front of us. It took a moment for Vincent to figure out it was me. He jumped at me and wrapped his arms around me in a hug.
“Boss! You’re alive! You’re alive!”
 This I didn’t expect, “You can let go Vincent at any time.”
 He let go, “Oh sorry boss. Guess I don’t know my own strength.”
 I shook my head. Thankfully Kenny didn’t say anything to confuse him either.
 “Hold it right there,” ordered a squeaky voice.
 One of his partners stepped out. This one was milky pale, bucktooth, frizzy red hair, shorter than Catherine yet he was stocky. When he spoke it took all I had to not to laugh at his squeaky voice.
“Shane Magnar, the ultimate traitor! You came back to your death!”
 “Try the ultimate rebel,” I said and threw a throwing star at the man, landed right into his chest. As he flopped to the floor, blood spewed out with each spasm he made. “Anyone else?”
 Vincent jumped and clapped with glee, “Boss killed annoyin’ New York policeman!”
I looked at Catherine and Kenny, both were confused. “I take it you’re on our side?”
 “Of course boss! You’re my friends, not the Bastard. He’s an asshole.”
 “So I heard.”
 “Now how are we gonna get in?” asked Kenny.
 “We help you other boss man! Company go and tell everyone boss and other boss is back!” Vincent ordered with a fearsome tone.
 “You would have made a great Drill Sergeant, Vincent.”

 We followed the small group of behemoth men to a pair of double doors. Vincent was the first to go in. A few seconds later, a loud mix of gasps and gravels being slammed were all I heard. That was our cue. Kenny, Catherine and I stormed into the large room.
 My eyes landed on Alexander. His eyes, like in my dream, read fear and terror. The three of us marched front and center, letting everyone know we truly have arrived. I was in the middle, as was The Bastard up high on the platform. The years have went by, and now it is down to him and me. Alexander quickly regained his composure. “Shane Magnar, you have returned. So the rumors are true.”
 “As true as you’re a bastard,” I spat.
  “Silence!” ordered the Speaker of The House, banging his gravel.
  Kenny growled, “Either you quit banging that fucking thing or I’ll climb up there and beat your teeth out with it!”
 Alexander looked down with surprise, “Kenny Pillman, is that you? I thought we killed you.”
 “You also thought you killed me,” I snapped.
 “You know, I could grant you amnesty for your services, Shane. Seeing as how you’re so handy with a gun, if you would be able to eliminate the damned gang problem here; you could live. You were in line to be the second in command of The Aryan-Viking Alliance, seeing as how your father helped the late Tom Williams found it.”
 “I don’t need a history lesson, Alex! And I don’t need a pardon from a dead man,” I barked.
 “Very well. However, seeing as how you broken nearly all of the 88 Precepts, I simply cannot allow you to live. You are too great of a threat to our race.”
 “I can say the same thing about you,” I challenged. “But I’d like to invoke my birth rights. If I must die, I wish to die in battle, with honor.”
 Alexander started to laugh, “I’m sorry, Shane. We simply cannot allow you to use those rights. You’ve done too much damage to the White community.”
 “Not as much damage as I will do to you!”

 As I moved forward, a large bald man in a black suit stepped forward. Secret Service, of course. I took a swing at him and landed a very fair powered straight punch to his jaw. However, the large man just shook it off. I acted quickly, before he could take a grab at me I just punt up into his groin. The man fell to his knees and took out my KA-BAR trench knife and with a swift motion slit his throat.
  I looked up at Alexander who still remained calm. His advisor and the loud mouth Speaker of The House were nearly white as sheets. Another Secret Service agent, this time a long haired short guy, just flew out of nowhere and knocked me back with a flying punch. I dropped the knife and was met by a spinning round house kick, knocking me over the bench.

 When I got back up, the long hair agent was charging at me with my own knife! I lift my arms and he sliced my arms. I yelled but kept my arms up to protect myself. He went to slice me again but I backed up and front kicked his chest, sending him down. He let go of the knife and it went scurrying under the pews. I was able to pull out my shiv, made from deer bone, unnoticed. The agent charge back at me but I caught him in the jugular. My eyes went back to Alexander who was pointing right behind me.

 I turned around, expecting another, not so skilled, Secret Service agent. I was wrong. I was nose to nose with a gun barrel. I lifted my arms slowly and take a step back to see Vincent holding the gun! I looked around and saw a whole SWAT Team aiming their high powered rifles at me. Vincent wasn’t on my side, it was a trap!
  “As I said Shane. I simply cannot allow you to live. Vincent you may commence the extermination of the traitor.”
 Vincent lowered his gun with a confused look. “Do what now, big boss?”
  Alexander sighs, “Just kill him you big ape.”
  I turned back to see Vincent nodding with a sly grin now. The big ox was going to enjoy killing me. I stood my ground, all those barrels pointing at me I dared not to blink. I was anxious to see which bullet would hit me first.
 A loud bang was heard but as I flinched I felt no wound. The ground shook with another bang and I looked up to see a brick falling from the ceiling. It was the last thing I remember seeing.
   When I came to, it was a massacre. Bodies were laying on the ground, dust, blood, gun shells and even eating utensils were scattered everywhere. I got to my feet slowly, holding my head where the brick hit. I looked around at all the bodies. Someone tore a page from the IRA and attacked the New Capitol with a homemade fork bomb!
  The doors swung open and instead of security, gang bangers ran in. Black, White, Asian, all dressed in some sort of blue. It was a strange sight to see. They pretty much ignored me and found Kenny and picked him up. When I could see his face I saw his smile.
   I didn’t move. I was too confused, but I knew I was going to be angry. My eyes did scan lower and my heart skipped a beat. Catherine laid motionless. I tried to tell my legs to run but I couldn’t move. Fear had an iron grip on me. My eyes bulged out but I still couldn’t move. I was only able to let out a scream. The loudest primal scream I ever let out in my life. Kenny looked back, his eyes shown he was shocked I survived too.
   I finally was able to speak. “What the hell, Kenny?”
  “Look around you. Things have change,” His words were spaced. I guess getting hurt must not have been part of the plan.
  “What has changed?” I was able to move again and began to limp to Kenny.
  “It’s not a race thing anymore, it’s about a way of ideas.”
  “What the fuck are all these niggers doing here?” I pointed around, angerf was filling my words and body.
   “It’s simple, Shane. I’m a Crip now.”

  The words struck like a Blitzkrieg. I couldn’t believe it. He then pulled out the blue bandanna from before and put it over his head. He was one of them! I shook my head in disbelief, “H-How?”
  “A lot has changed my friend. Like the fact that Aryans died out with Hitler’s dream and Vikings died out a long time before that. Your people tried and failed; now it’s time for my people. I’m the Virgil of the streets, Shane. But don’t worry; I’ll take care of Maria like she’s one of my own.”
  He nods to his new gang and they helped him walk out of the room. When they were gone, I ran to Catherine; crying uncontrollably.
  She didn’t move, she had no emotion, her chest didn’t move. She was dead. I clenched her close. I was left alone in this world now. I felt her back, something wasn’t right. I lifted her, rubbing my eyes to see clearly. They were bullet wounds. Catherine didn’t die in the explosion.
  Someone shot her!

   Chapter Tweleve
And We Wait…

 I crept slowly; with each step the floorboards gave a moaning creak. The only other noise in the cabin was my spaced breathing. I looked out at the heavily draped covered window; the rays of the sun battled the blanket of night. This small log cabin in the middle of the woods was Kenny’s idea of a getaway? Laying on the bed was Catherine and next to her was our eager to explore young daughter.
  Maria is so adventurous, she wanted out so badly. Much to her dismay we can’t let her wander too far out for too long. Terrible twos and she ain’t even two years old yet!
   It’s been a year since we been back in America, but hardly any progress. I sat down at the foot of the bed; I grabbed my hair in silent frustration. The urge to kill ran through me again. I may not be an Aryan anymore, but I was still a barbarian.
 Killing is Dvery simular to tattoos, once when it enters your blood, when the adrenaline pumps it into your organs and you can taste it, feel it, inhale it, you’ll want more. More ink, more blood.
  I turned to look behind me and watched as Catherine soundly slept, and I thought of Mary asleep like that. Just as Catherine was holding Maria, I thought of Mary holding our child, the child I’ve never met. I stroked Catherine’s back; her raven black hair pulled back and looked like it was still wet. She had a bath with Maria earlier. 
 I hung my head in my hands and thought of the year that has gone by so fast.

   The ship rocked with each crashing wave. It remained upright as it kept going, that’s all I cared about. We were on an iron rum boat, sailing into Miami for deliveries of both rum and criminals. I held Catherine close as she held Maria close to her, who was only a few months old at the time. I turned to either side of me, we were surrounded by blacks. Kenny threw me on a banana boat! I could see the handguns tucked in their shirts,  I could see the blue bandannas over their heads. I growled lowly, I had an uneasy feeling.
 “You Kenny’s bro?” asked the one leaning on the wall. I almost didn’t see him he was so dark. He had a blue bandana on his head and a white wife beater and dark, baggy jeans. His voice had a deep bass to it.
 “Si… I mean yes, yes I am,” how did Spanish get in me?
 He laughed as he walked closer to me, “You been tapping the senoritas too long, homie. You’re coming back to America, where you can get shot for that.”
 “So I heard.”
 “The names’ Jamal. I will be your tour guide for this evening,” he flashed a playful smile, I chuckled.
 Okay, maybe he does have a sense of humor. Plus it was one of me, and a boatload of them. I better be nice.
 “Shane,” I introduced myself, “This is my wife Catherine and our daughter, Maria”
  “Oh yeah, Kenny told us about you trying to kill that crazy cracker president. Mad props.”
  I grinned, “Just doing my civilian duty.”
 Catherine rolled her neck and opened her eyes, looking into mine. I gave her a small kiss, “Good morning,” I whispered.
 She just smiled, “Morning baby.”
 “You remind me of that Skid Row song.”
 “The party’s over, so get the fuck out?” she asked, looking at me weird.
I snickered, “No, no. The love song.”
 “Can’t stand the heartache?” she snickered back.
 “Baby. You know I can stand it. But the love ballad. Remember, I’ll live for your smile, and die for your kiss.”
 She cuddled closer to me, “Well I do, baby,” She kissed me again.
 I could hear fake chokes of tears, and Jamal was hiding a huge smile behind his hand, “This is so beautiful I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.”
  “So how exactly do you know Kenny?” I asked.
 “Business,” he simply said.
 “Fair Enough.”
 “How about you?”
 “We go way back to junior high.”
 Jamal just nodded and looked over his shoulder.
 “Are we ever going to arrive?”
 “Maybe, maybe not. Depends if the Coast Guard catches us.”
  I perked up, “Excuse me?”

  “America isn’t trading outside the country anymore. So Puerto Rican rum is illegal.”
 My jaw dropped, “Well that’s great news,”
 Jamal laughed again, “I’m kidding man! America owns Puerto Rico. You should of seen your face.”
  “Very funny.”
 “Sometimes you got to be your own entertainment.”

   We arrived into Miami an hour later. Damn, those boats go faster than I thought. Kenny was at the port to meet us. Strangely, he had a baby blue bandanna over his head, but with camo pants and a black wife beater on, still held simple tastes. He flicked his cigarette when we got near. Maria started to cry.
 “Kenny, can you take her for a second?” asked Catherine.
 “No.”
 Catherine gave her to him anyway. Maria instantly stopped crying and held onto him, like she’s hugging him. Catherine and I smiled. It was cute to her to warm up to him so fast. A look of confusion washed over his face.
 “Here’s a question. Why do all babies like me?”
 “Because you’re so good at it.”
 Kenny shrugged and nodded. Behind him I could see a little girl holding a child, very close to the edge. Kenny didn’t even turn his head, “Faith-Rose! Give Randy back to your mother.”
 “Damn it,” I heard her mutter, “Mom, dad did it again!”
 “Aw, those are your kids?” asked Catherine with a smile.
 “Nope, they are my birds.”
 Elizabeth came up with their new son in her arms, and Faith-Rose behind her. She didn’t change at all, except for her body, which motherhood wrecked. “You’re back. Bless your heart,” smiled Elizabeth, with a Southern venomous accent.
 “Bless yours too, you look lovely. Are you still shaving or did you find out that waxing works?”
 Elizabeth was smiling, this time for real. “Thank god! I thought Spic land ruined you,” and she gave me a hug. My insides went cold.
  Catherine kicked a few crabs away from her, “I hate these crabs!” she exclaimed. All the workers that were wearing blue stopped and looked at her, glaring.
 Luckily, Kenny turned to them, “Not y’all. There are actual crabs here.”
 They all nodded and continued unloading the rum. 
  “What’s the plan?” I asked when Elizabeth took Maria, to show Randy for the first time.
  “There is an old cabin in the backwoods near my family estate. You’ll stay there until I come back.”
 “So we have to wait for you?” Catherine asked.
 Kenny nodded, “I’ll keep ya updated through letters though. This shit is going to be big. His birthday just pass, so I say wait until the next big celebration. Keep your weapons sharpen, Shane. Because when we go to Washington, we go to kill.”
 “Oh golly, I was hoping we could have tea and crumpets with some ol’ chaps.”
Kenny blinked.
 “You lost your humor. Seriously. Never do that again,”

  So there we were. Waiting for Kenny to come so we can go on a two man killing spree. I wonder who else will be there, waiting to see their fate.
 Slowly, I walked outside and was met by a soft but swift breeze. It was a beautiful landscape; at least I’m not in the hills, in fear of wild rams or packs of wolves. This is still a difficult lifestyle. To not be seen or heard, yet as well to live and hone my craft to kill. I knew I was a wanted man, even to myself. I never thought I’d be the one to kill Tom; it’s like seeing my father die in front of me all over again. Two great men died because of me. Too bad I didn’t aim for Alexander’s head. I wouldn’t be in this mess if I did. I breathed in the air once more, smelling it. I sort of missed Puerto Rico now. Aunt Carla and Uncle Hector, waiting for me to open the gates for them.

 At the same time, though, I’m glad to be back on my home turf. Well not entirely. I knew my way around because I’ve been up here for vacation and I knew where my people’s influence spread and didn’t. Luckily this part of Pennsylvania doesn’t like big government, as history has proven. Most importantly, I got Kenny, my best friend until we’re both dead and buried. I just want to know what’s taking him so long. I took one more step out of the cabin, to be engulfed by the autumn breeze.

 

    I pulled back Vincent’s head by digging my fingertips into his forehead. With one swift motion I slit his fat throat. The blood spewed out like a waterfall. My vicious eyes stalked the room and landed on the fearful Alexander, powerless when all his security was killed.
 I threw the bloody knife at him, narrowly grazing his ear. A yelp of terror escapes him his lips, as a small laugh came from mine. I strolled closer as he backed into the wall, trapped as I closed in. It was down to me and him. I pulled out my bronzed short sword and drew it to him.
 “Let the last word you say be my name!”
 He said nothing, eyes glued to my weapon. A warrior’s battle cry rang through the darkened room, though my own head, as I plunged the sharpened blade through his heart. All he did was draw in a breathe as I pulled out, twisted the blade and reinsert it. I smiled a blood-driven crazed smile, “Death to the unworthy!”
 Sadly, my smile faded when his body faded and a yell of pain flooded the room. My eyes widen as the body that my sword stroked into, the blood that stained my face and floor, the voice of the pain was Catherine! I have slain my love. I tried to pull the blade out, but my monstrous intentions of killing drove me to drive the blade deeper. I could now see myself digging the blade deeper into Catherine, screaming at her “Death to the unworthy! Death to the unworthy!”

  I shot up, beads of sweat eclipsing my entire body; my breathing was heavy. I looked to my side, I was alone. My eyes widen and my heart raced, as I feared for the worst. I grabbed my hunting knife on the nightstand as I rushed out of the one bedroom, and stopped at the last step before the threshold, my mind was eased.
  Catherine and Maria sat on the small scratchy couch that was in this cabin before we were. I could see Catherine feeding her some bits of turkey. I walked to them, still sweaty and sat on the armrest. Catherine looked back at me and tilted her head, confused.
 “What happened to your hair?”
I touched my now drastically short hair and remembered. I even shaved my face, “Oh yeah, I cut it last night. It’s so I can lure the animals better.” Her confusion left her face, “And the fact that Alexander is thinking you still have long hair?”
 “You know me too well,” I gave her a small kiss.
 “I better know you well, you are my husband.”
 “Not by choice,” I teased.
 She smacked my arm, “Have you heard from Kenny?”
 “Yes, he called my cell phone,”
 She rolled her eyes, “Always with the sarcasm. You’re lucky I love you.”
 “Else you’ll hate me. I know, I’m the one that made that up.”
 “Da-da!” chimed Maria. Catherine smiled and hugged her.
 “Good girl, Maria. Now say mama,”
 “Da-da!” she chimed happily again.
 “So what, are you going to raise her bilingual?” I asked. I still haven’t learned to be fluent in Spanish!
 “I might, just so she can confuse you to let her stay out with her friends longer.”
 “Oh, so we’re raising her like you?”
 “Like mother, like daughter.”
 “Great, she’s going to be loco.”
 “I’m the crazy one? You’re the murderer here,” she teased.
 “At least I didn’t scream like a girl.”
 “I am a girl. What’s your excuse?”
 “I don’t have one.”
 “Exactly.”
 I just shook my head; I walked outside and breathed in the fresh morning air. It’s time. I could feel it in my blood; the urge was coming on strong. Maybe just too strong. When the angels aren’t looking, all sins go forgiven, and I just knew that the angels were not looking.
 I turned my head and a man was standing there, his back turned to me. I quickly withdrew my knife and crept. A twig snapped under me, so I dashed at him. The man was quick as well and drew out his knife and turned to me, our knives clashing in a metallic symphony.

  I drew back, it was Kenny! He had a cigarette in his mouth. He took a long drag before taking it out.
 “Kenny! It’s about damn time.”
 “I got good news, and I got bad news.”
 “Don’t you always?”
 “Bad news is they found you and have sent someone to kill you.”
 “What the hell is the good news?”
 “I killed him,” he laughed. He breathed in the cigarette and flung it. “Now let’s go. Bring your family, we’ll make one trip.”
  “Where we hiding now?” asked Catherine when she emerged with Maria. She must have heard the commotion.
 Kenny shook his head, “Forget hidin’. It’s time to kill Alexander.”

Chapter Eleven:
Six Months to… Love

 

     The sun rested high in the sky, providing the perfect amount of sunshine and warmth to the field. White, swirling clouds hung up in the air to occasionally break the sunlight. A large white tent was erected in the middle of this field, being bombarded by the soothing gusts of wind that invaded. Several yards away from the tent was a podium with the crucifix nailed to it. A white carpet unfurled a straight line to the podium, surrounded by white chairs on either side. The crashing sounds of the white waves on the beach down the hill overrode the winds’ whispering.

 Unfamiliar people filled the seats, mostly on one side. They were Puerto Rican people. The fresh air mixed with the salty smell of the sea. I stood in front of the podium in an onyx black tuxedo I’d never thought I’d have to wear. My hair was up, tight against my skull. I’ve recently cut my hair shorter, but it grew quicker than I thought. I could feel the wedding band against my thigh in my pocket. White gold with a blue sapphire as the gem, her birth stone. I took a deep breath of the air, as I looked at Catherine’s friends and family and back to the preacher, priest, pastor, whatever he wanted to be refered to.

 Carla sat up from her front seat and walked to me. She was in an aged white blouse, chain-like belt, off white skirt and black high heels that made her stumble on the sloped hill. Her hair was down, to show the bounce of her still vivid black hair. The sun gave her complexion a fair look. She took the high heels off as she came to me, shorter now.
 “You nervous?” she asked.
 “You can say that.”
 “I already did.”
 “A lot of people,” I pointed out.
 “Catherine is pretty popular. You’re marrying a very nice girl.”
 I chuckled, “So I’ve heard,”
 She places her hand on my shoulder, “Don’t even think about trying to leave. There is only one alternative and it’s off that cliff,” she pointed.
 “You sound like an Italian more than Hispanic, Aunt Carla.”
 Carla rolled her eyes, “You can’t pick family,”

 I looked over at the priest who was fumbling through the Bible. Carla was studying me, “You’ve been here for six months and I have not yet seen you at church or with a Bible.”
 I shrugged, “I’ve been here for six months and I still haven’t learned Spanish.”
  Carla snickered to herself. She quickly put her heels back on and returned to her seat when we heard the organ play. The little flower girl was out of the tent first. Gently tossing the purple wild flowers, white Lilies, yellow daisies and red roses as she waltz with her curly black hair bouncing, her dress matched the four sultry bridesmaids that followed her.
  They dressed in cream violet dresses that flowed with the wind, slits on the dress went up to their upper thigh. The bridesmaids ambled behind the flower girl, smiling for their friend or cousin’s big day (I never figured out if they were related to Catherine or not). Their hair was let down and a purple flower stuck in their hair; they looked like two pairs of twins.

 Finally, the maids stood opposite of me. Everyone rose as Catherine and Uncle Hector strolled out. Uncle Hector was in a dull black tuxedo, with a red rose in the front pocket. Catherine was far from dull. She was simply breathtaking. Her raven black hair was pulled back; her eyeliner was perfect with her complexion and had no veil over her head. The wedding dress, white as snow, had a slit up to her mid-thigh as she gently strolled. The dress hugged her youthful body, a gold band wrapped around her curvy hips. Her hands held a bouquet of a dozen vivid roses. Her smile could not be removed, and it grew more with each step towards me, towards us.

 Hector stopped and let her go on the risen platform with the priest and I. She rose to the platform with me, as the priest gave me thirteen golden coins on a silver platter. I took the coins and gently gave it to Catherine, who bowed her head slightly.
 I don’t remember all the priest said; I was looking at Catherine too much. I did hear him order me to exchange the rings. 
  “Is there is anyone who believes these two should not be married, let them speak now or forever hold their peace.”
 Silence, all but the waves.

 Suddenly, “I object!”
 Catherine and I spun around.
 “On what cause?” Hector ordered.
 Walking up the aisle came my reason. A sly grin, with a cigarette hanging from his lips, camo pants and a white wife beater. “Because this gringo needs a best amigo.” It was Kenny!

 He walked up to the platform, looking at Catherine up and down, then back at me.
 “Ya ain’t ’bout to get married without me.”
 “Glad you showed up.”
 “You’re my bro. Why would I miss this?”
  “Is there anymore objections or are we good to go?” snapped one of the bridesmaids.
 Kenny eyed her up and down and looked back to the crowd, “I don’t know. Anymore objections?”
 Kenny was met with silent, but raging looks. He turned back to the priest and us, “We’re good to go, Rabbi.”
  “Father,” the priest corrected.
  “Him too.”
 Kenny walked to my other side and stood quietly.
  “…I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
  Finally, with no objections, I turned to her. Tears of joy threatened her perfect eyeliner. We finally kissed, as I took her into an embrace. I heard cheers from behind me and as I pulled back, I felt Kenny’s bony hand smack my back in congratulations. The friends and family were shaking hands with Hector and Carla.
 Speakers were set up with a DJ, hollering something in Spanish. He must be a local celebrity DJ.

  Catherine and I walked to the base of the hill as I heard the familiar guitar riffs. It was Catherine and I’s song when we were dating. It played as we danced in a giant circle for the entire song, faster and slower as the tempo went. The song ended as peacefully as it went but followed by a Spanish song as the entire group enclosed the circle with dances. All except for Kenny, who stood near the opening of the tent, his cigarette still in his mouth. He motioned for me to follow him in, so I took Catherine by the arm and joined him. Rolling of thunder shook the ground as we entered the tent. The guests ignored the warnings of rain and continued to dance.
  “Y’all like to dance,” said Kenny as he tossed his cigarette out the opening of the tent.
 “We love to have fun,” Catherine beamed.
  “Ya lucky I came when I did. Else ya be at your funeral and not your wedding,”
 “What you mean?” I asked, surprised.
 “Alexander is promisin’ anyone in the government two ranks up promotion for your body. Not sure why, guess to make an example out of you. Stealin’ from Russia or Germany, or whatever country ya folks steal from.”
   “Do they know where I am?”
  “No. But most are goin’ to Cuba. Since they’ve taken over Cuba, it’s like ya magically went.”
  “So what are you going to do?” asked Catherine, holding my hand. 
  “He has to come back and make an example out of Alexander.”
 “How the hell am I supposed to do that?”
 “Go back and fight him. Kill him or die tryin’. Earn ya spot in that Valhalla ya been spouttin’ about all these years.”
 “Sure, I’ll go back. Go right up to him without anyone wanting to take a shot at me.”
 “Ya think I don’t have a plan? Ya should have more  faith in me.”
  “I’m listening,” I folded my arms in front of my chest.
 “There is a cabin on my uncle’s land in Pennsylvania. No one will find ya. Just keep a low profile.”
  “Great plot. Now how we going to get to the cabin?”
 “Leave it up to me. I’ll come for ya when I know the docks are safe.”
  “Docks? We’re going by boat?” Catherine asked; her beautiful complexion went pale.
 “Ya Hispanic. Ya should be used to it.”
“Watch it, Kenny.”
 “I am watchin’. Watchin’ her get sea sick already.”
 I shook my head. America or anywhere else, he will always be himself. I went into a more somber direction, “How you been since… you know?”
 The fun escaped from Kenny’s face, “Since watchin’ my old man killin’ himself? I’m actually okay. I know he’s in a better place.”
 I nodded, but said nothing.
  “He wanted out and he got out. But he taught me a lot and he doesn’t even know it.”

  Aunt Carla and Uncle Hector came rushing into the tent, sweaty from the rapid dancing in the circle outside. Carla tripped over her high heels and cursed them in Spanish. She got up and took off her heels and just chucked them. She came towards us again, this time gracefully.
  “Catherine, Shane, you must dance again. This is your wedding!”
  “I can’t dance without my best man,” I smirked.
 Kenny popped his head up like a ground hog sensing danger, “Say what?”
 Uncle Hector threw his bulky arms around the scrawny frame of Kenny, and bulldozed to the circle of people and just threw him in.
  Kenny spun through the air ‘til he was caught by a female version of Hector! Very large in width, but couldn’t be past 5 foot 5. She had a bear hug on my best friend like he’s her long lost lover and swung him around with very little caution as she danced. Catherine and I laughed as we entered the circle again, dancing. The sun that was once high was now hanging low over the ocean horizon when the dancing finally ended.
 Uncle Hector and Catherine’s other cousins blind folded us and took us away from the dying party for our final wedding present. I was holding Catherine’s hand as they finally stopped and took off my blindfold. My eyes bulged, my jaw dropped and my knees got weak.

 I blinked to make sure it was a reality. Sitting proud, not a scratch against the Jade green paint, all shine was a 1970 GTO, like my father’s car I had in high school. I ambled away from Catherine’s hand to it, as I could hear the engine in my head already. I could speak only in a choked and shocked voice.
 “H-How did you get this?”
  Uncle Hector shook his head, “Doesn’t matter. Only one thing matters now,” he pulled out the keys from his pocket and stuck it out in front of him, “You have it. Now go. Enjoy your wedding night,”

      DISCLAIMER: The following is a work of fiction

Chapter Ten
Meeting The Family

 

     We arrived at Catherine’s aunt and uncle’s home in the countryside awhile later. The adrenaline faded and thanks to her evasive driving, noone followed us. Catherine got out first, as naked as the day she was born. Her aunt was outside, putting clothes up on a clothesline. She just walked right up to her aunt started talking to her in Spanish like nothing was strange. Catherine looked so beautiful, and for the first time I realized she did have a nice Spanish ass. A very good one, too. Tan, round and ample.
  I wrapped the sheet around me and got out of the jeep and scanned the area. It was pretty beautiful, much like the ranches back in America. In fact, I watched two horses roamed free down the dirt road, galloping after each other.
 
  I breathed in the clean air, unlike the polluted streets of urban Florida. The sun, which should feel blazing, was refreshing with the strong breeze, making my shoulder length hair fly free. A group of workers stared at me. I ignored them though. The breeze did wonders against my sweaty and firm body. The bright sun gave a shimmer to my newer tattoos. Before his suicide, Jamie gave me a black hooded grim reaper with his scythe over the shoulder on my left forearm; afterwards a colorless iron eagle rising on my opposite shoulder of my elaborate Odin tattoo.
 I turned back to see Catherine, and her aunt walking up to me. Her aunt was older, of course, but still had black hair which was pinned up in a bun. She was very short and a bit plump, but she seem to have warm features, not dissimular like a mother. Her aunt was dressed in a white blouse and long black skirt. Catherine, on the other hand, was dressed in a yellow bikini with purple flowers.
 Wow, she changed fast. “Shane, this is my Aunt Carla. Her and my uncle own the hotel and live on this plantation. They distill rum on the side.”
 They owned their own plantation that distilled rum? Sounded like my cousins that live in the hills of Tennessee. Maybe we aren’t so different after all.
 “Hello, Carla,” I introduced myself.
 “So you’re the famous Shane Magnar?” she shook my hand firmly, “My sons told me so much about you. They said you kept good care of Catherine.”
 Luckily her family spoke English, so I didn’t have to learn Spanish. I nodded, surprised that Pedro and Paco said anything good about me. To think I went and killed them.
 “Hector! Hector! Bring some clothes!” Carla called. She looked back at me, “Hector is my husband. We’ve both been wishing to meet you since you were both in high school.”

 A large man came from the house. His shirt bulged with muscle and was quite tall; he had a thick mustache and neatly kept black hair.
  Thankfully, he had a smile on his face with a pair of clothes in his arms. “So this is the gringo that stole my niece’s virginity,” he extended his hand, “I’m Hector Ortiz and here are your clothes.”
 “Shane,” I took the clothes, “Anywhere I can change?”
  “Si. But first, we gotta ask. Can you take us to America?” asked Carla.
  I blinked. “You want to go to America? Why? You’ll get killed on sight!”
  “So will you, you shot their president!” she fired back.
  “Good point,”

  “Will you be able to get us in?” Carla asked with pleading eyes.

 Catherine and Carla shared the same eyes. Damn.
 I thought about it. “Does the postal service go to America?”
 “Where have you been, Puerto Rico is now the 51st state of America! You made it official when you arrived,” she informed me. ”Why do you ask?”
 “Kenny,” I simply said.
 Catherine shook her head, “He’ll turn us in!”
 “No he won’t. Kenny is like a brother to me. He’ll try to find a way to bring us back in,” I looked at their beaming faces, I couldn’t tell them how every letter from outside the U.S. mainland was scanned. But I knew a way around it.

   The following morning I awoke to Catherine in my arms. It’s been the most peaceful sleep I had in a long time. We were in her regal colored bedroom, on her queen sized bed, which I had to curl up to stay in. I forgot she was a bed hog. She didn’t stir as I let her go and rose to my feet. 
  The room was filled with a fresh smell of the open countryside; soft ocean colors stripped the carpet under my feet. I looked slightly and could see a wide, white framed mirror on her dresser. I looked almost ridiculous in Hectors old clothes, but I’m still grateful for them.

  My eyes shifted to the rainy blue that covered her walls, so basic yet beautiful. I looked once more at Catherine, the one I chose and even killed for. Her slender yet curvy figure breathed up and down slowly, still dreaming.
 I walked out of the room into the twilight hallway and finally to the sunny living room, where the ocean carpet took a much lighter tint. A white love seat and a white couch invaded the area, with a plasma TV hung against the wall. Carla had her hand over her mouth as the news kept speaking in their native tongue. Suddenly, I heard my name spoken by the anchorman. What now?

 “Shane, you should listen to this,” warned Carla.
 I shook my head, “I don’t know Spanish,”
 “I’ll translate,” she insisted.
 “Must be important,” I muttered.
 I sat down as she translated that I’m now a wanted man in America, but a hero in Puerto Rico. Turned out, Alexander survived the gunshot! Such strange irony, shooting Alexander was an act of bravery and killing Tom was an act of friendship to the Puerto Rican people. I thought it was all weird. My eyes drifted back to Carla.
 “A $20 Million reward for you, only if you are dead. Amigo, watch your back,” yelped Hector, who was on a recliner in front of the TV. I didn’t see him when I first came in.

 I started to chuckle, “Yup, he truly is a bastard.”
 Carla looked confused, “I thought it was a joke. I heard his real name is The Bastard,”
 I nodded, “Back in our senior year of high school we had a bet; playing chicken. You know where two cars race towards each other.”
 “Of course I know what chicken is. We Puerto Ricans invented chicken,” Carla bragged.
 “He thought because his rich father got him a Lamborghini Diablo, he thought he was the bad ass of the school. He knew me and my friends took pride in my fathers’ 1970 GTO and worked on it to have a really powerful engine. Well, he decided to key it and so long story short, after I beat him half to death, we raced. I won, as he swerved right into a ditch and wrecked his pretty boy car up badly. The loser had to change his last name so he had to legally change his last name to The Bastard. It fit him quite well. I guess he’s held a grudge since then. But most of the American people only know his ‘maiden’ name, Hamill,”

 “You men and your cars,” Carla huffed.
  “We got nothing else to do, really. Bets are a fun thing to do to kill time.”  
 “Pretty cars with loud engines won’t save you here. You’re lucky we learned English when we were young here. Else, how you’d say, you be fucked,” Carla smiled.
 “I’ll drink to that,” I looked around with a hopeful grin, “So, where is all the rum?”
  “Oh, because we make the rum means we keep it?” she eyed me. I looked the other way, as if to see if Catherine is up.
 In the corner of my eye I saw her smile return, “Lower second cabinet next to the fridge,”
  I grinned, walked over and open the cabinet. Sure enough, it was stocked full of rum. I decided not to take one, though it would have been a good treat. I rose to my feet once more and saw the beautiful Catherine in her light green nightgown walk into the room. “You send the letter yet?” She looked like a sleepwalking angel.
 “I gave it to your uncle,”
 “I sent it this morning,” Hector called from his chair.
  “You hear I’m considered a hero here?”
 Catherine nodded, “Sounds about right. We hate your big government mentality. That’s why I didn’t like you being racist, so I could bring you here on good terms. Either way your here.”
 “Shane. Come with me,” said Hector as the bulky Hispanic man rose from his chair.
 I followed him to the outside without protest. He walked slowly, as I took in the scene once more, feeling a strong breeze on my refreshed skin.

 There were two paths out there; a cement road that lead to the city, and a beaten path that led to the cliffs of the ocean. The beaten path was what Hector chose, of course. When he knew we were secluded he handed me a small black box. I turned to him with curiosity as Hector also gave me a small silver pocket watch. “It is customary for the man who wishes to marry gives the man of the family a watch.”
  I handed the watch back. “You sure you’re okay with this?”
 “Shane, if I wasn’t okay, I’d kill you in America when you took Catherine’s virginity”.
  How does he know about these things? I just nodded. “How did you know I wanted to marry Catherine?”

 Hector looked up at the sky, “We’re a very spiritual bunch, Shane. You and Catherine’s love were written in the stars,”
 We walked back to the ranch house. Catherine was already changed, which was, again, quick for a woman. She was in tight blue jeans and a green blouse. I walked over, and suddenly I felt more eyes on me than ever before. I bent to my knee in front of Catherine, as she gasped I popped open the black box.

 Inside was an emerald green sapphire with white gold band. “Catherine Hosanna Ortiz Lilly, I love you more than words can say. The day we met you were the most beautiful woman I ever saw. After our first kiss I knew you were the one for me. Will you marry me?”

WARNING: The following is a work of fiction. Contains graphic language and violence. Reader discretion is advised.

Chapter Nine:
The Color of Treason

   I awoke to a heavy banging on the hotel door. I stretched, with some soreness on my back and neck. Falling asleep on a love seat was very uncomfortable, I must remember that. I looked down at my naked body that was half covered by Catherine. So peaceful and beautiful she laid. I didn’t want to disturb this sleeping angel. However, the peace broke when her eyes were forced open by the pounding of the door. She got off me to allow me to stumble off the love seat. The banging continued as I made it over to the door, naked as the day I was born. I shook my head, wishing I knew what time it was.

 I reluctantly unlocked the door and opened it ajar, the door swung wide open. With a sudden breeze, Vincent was leading in Tom. I quickly regained my composure and slamed the door right before Alexander emerged into the room. Catherine was shielding herself with one of the white sheets, while I had nothing to cover me. Vincent and Tom caught Catherine with wide eyes. They both looked back to me. Tom glared in disgust; Vincent half smiling in perverse hopes.
 “What the hell is going on here, Shane?” ordered Tom. His cold eyes landed back on Catherine.  “Wait a minute. Is that a spic?” 
 “Technically, a halfbreed,” reorted Catherine.
  “And you’re both naked,” thought Tom out loud.
 “Yeah, we kind of see that, boss,” grunted Vincent.
 “Why you looking, Vincent? It’s rude to stare,” I teased as I placed my hands on my hips.
 “You better not of cheated on my niece with that thing! Mary is carrying your love child!” yelled Tom, damn he looked pissed.
“It ain’t really a love child because I…” I trailed off.
 “You what?” Tom’s focus is directed all on me now.
  I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, “I’m in love with Catherine!”
  Tom and Vincent looked at me with a confused look, and in unison asked “Who’s Catherine?” 
  I sighed and pointed to her, “The halfbreed,”
  Tom went from mad to livid. “You traitor! You fucking traitor!”
 He charged at me and tackled me down and started to strike me with impressive punches. I was amazed that he could still rumble at his old age. He snapped me back into reality as his wrinkled hands wrapped around my neck and squeezed.
 I gave him a desperate left hook that made him stumble back. I jumped back up and kicked his chest, making him fly back to the bed, ripping off the silhouettes. Vincent attempted to come at me, but I just turned to him. I knew how homophobic he was. I grinned as the big man cringed at the sight of another man.
 “Tom, why not you tell Vincent how you killed a black man for no reason and blamed it on Jamie. And how Jamie killed himself.”
 Vincent was just standing there, confused. Tom shook his head, his face flushed with anger.
 “You feed Vincent lies. Jamie was nothing but a traitor like you,” Tom hissed. “Kill him Vincent!”
 The moment I heard the order I acted quicker than Vincent. I ripped the gun from his holster and rang three shots at Tom. Tom fell to his death almost instantly. My eyes widen as what did. As I fired the fatal shots, Catherine screamed; Vincent applauded.
  “Nice shot boss, real nice shot!”
  I looked over at him, “Shouldn’t you be mad?”
  “But… you killed him, boss. That makes it… but Tom was white,” he was really confused now. He held his head. “Me confused, boss!”
 I patted his shoulder. “Go get yourself a pie. They speak English here.”
 Vincent nodded and walked over to Tom, took one look at his lifeless face, went white and fell over.
 “The big ox fainted!” I exclaimed in disbelief. I ran over to Catherine and held her close, whispering how much I loved her.
 “Will everything be okay now?” she asked, with innocent tears flooding her eyes.
 “Everything is fine now. I will leave The Alliance; we’re going to be safe, my love.”

  The door busted down and I looked behind me. It was Alexander, all alone for once. He barged in and then stopped in mid-stride. His eyes scanned the carnage. His focused went from my busted lip, to the corpse of Tom and the unconscious Vincent. Alexander looked back at me as I held Catherine close behind me.
 He finally spoke with fear etched in his voice. “By the gods of the North. You- you killed Tom!”
 “Yes, I know.” I said flatly.
  “Shane. It’s one thing when you kill a nigger; it’s a completely different thing when you kill your own kind,” his eyes were nearly bulged out and his mouth as wide as a bass, “You will pay for this when we get back to America!”
 I raised the gun, “I ain’t going back, you bastard.”
 Alexander raised his hands up out of fear, and slowly dropped to his knees to beg for his life, “Shane, brother. It’s me, Alex. You know me, your old high school buddy. We trained at The Grind together, man. I’m not some nigger. We are both third generation Nationalists,” he pleaded, “Please, don’t kill me. I can give you a pardon. I am the president of the United States, Shane. You are no triator, are you?”
 Against my better judgment, I lowered the gun.
  Alexander gave a sigh of relief, rising back up. He wiped his suit with a politican smile. “I knew you didn’t have it in you, you coward.”
 “Famous last words,” I snarled as the gun rose back up. I could see his eyes widen. I fired one clear shot into his chest. He fell almost as fast as Tom. I threw the gun to the bed and took Catherine by the hand and simply ran.

     Running through the streets of another country naked would feel exciting to some and would look out of place. For some odd reason, as me and Catherine ran, it felt as if we were thugs in New York City. This gave me a lot of relief, seeing as how I just killed two men. Catherine was leading the way for she knew this place way better than me. She threw me into the side of a white jeep. I didn’t catch myself in time but was still able to jump in as Catherine jumped in the drivers’ side. I wrap the sheet around me as she found the keys, ignited the engine and sped off. This is too surreal!
 The scenery was beautiful, really. The summer heat was hot as all hell but it’s still beautiful. Sadly with my adrenaline pumping and me looking back to make sure there wasn’t any cops, security or anything following us, I couldn’t describe it. I sat back into the comfortable seat, with some sting of heat on my naked back. I looked at Catherine, she looked comfortable and if the heat was getting to her, she didn’t show it.
  “Where are we going?” I finally asked, “I know we’re not going to any place fancy.”
  “Yeah, you were always were a cheap date,” she teased. I could see her smile. “But we are on the way to see my family. They have clothes that will fit you. You’re a wanted man now, Shane.”
 “Tell me something I don’t know.”
 “So what’s with that old guy saying you have a kid?”
 I hesitated, “Oh, Mary? I suppose she’s pregnant with my child. I’m sure it’s hard for a girl to forgive the guy who shot down her uncle.”
 “Hey, I did and you did more than just shoot down my cousins.”
  “Testy, testy,” I told her what’s been on my mind for years, “I love you, Catherine,”
 She looked at me, her beautiful eyes held no judgment, “I love you too Shane,” her eyes went back to the road as she reached and held my hand, “I always have.”
  “I missed you, Catherine,” I admitted too.
  “I missed you too. Even if you did break your only promise to me.”
 I laughed, “Hey, I broke other promises. We both promised to wait until we were married before we had sex.”
 She just grinned, “Yeah, and you promised once that you wouldn’t hurt yourself our sophomore year and you decided to make fireworks go off in school.”
 I laughed again, “I didn’t know Principle Taylor was that built, who knew running into him would hurl my ass the other way.”
 “And so many others. A lot has to do with Kenny. Maybe there is a connection?” 
  I didn’t say anything. She could be right though.
 “I wanted to go back to America and finish high school with you, but those damn laws you help create was impossible to get around. I’m glad you shot Tom dead.”
 “I didn’t help do those laws. My laws just enforcedn nationalize the educational system, universal health care, stronger border laws and make ghettos into jails.”
 “You are brilliant. I just wish your brilliance didn’t supply your kind of life.”
 “A cursed gift.”

CAUTION: The following content contains graphic language and sexual situations. Reader discretion is advised. 

Chapter Eight
We’re… Taking… Over

 

      I walked onto the airplane, with beach style shades over my eyes to hide the shock that I witnessed the sleepless night before. Today, for the public of Puerto Rico’s pleasure, I was dressed in a solid gray business suit. Alexander and Tom, who were in finely tailor made black wool suits, walked behind me. Jamie was right, I was stuck in a scratchy monkey suit, and Tom was comfortable like a pig in mud. I sat in my seat at the window. Luckily because of the laws that the late President Jerry White made, it was pretty much just me, Vincent who sat beside me, Tom and newly elected President Alexander Hamill who sat in the back together as if they had something important to talk about. Well, there were a few presidential translators, but I didn’t know any of their names. Not one of us four cared to learn Spanish for this trip!

 “Boss, why so down? Is it ’cause we goin’ to spic land, right?” asked Vincent in his thick New England accent. Strong like an ox and has the same amount of social skills.
 I decided to be polite and nod, “I miss America.”
 “Ya hear ’bout that Jamie guy? A nigger killed him in his own trailer. That’s why I hate niggers, always goin’ for the good guys like us,”
 I blinked. He couldn’t be serious.
 “A nigger once made me the wrong kind of pie. I broke his neck for putting bananas in my pizza pie. You wanna grab a pie when we land, boss?”
 I looked at him dumbfounded. I’m supposed to spend the entire flight with this? I remained calm and answered him, “We’re still on the ground, why don’t you run and get it?”
 Vincent half rose but stopped; a goofy smile came to his face, “That’s a good one boss. I bet the spics don’t have good pie. It might even smell bad there.”
  “Then you’d feel right at home,” I muttered.
  “I’m glad we’re white. But the niggers got it made, boss,” Vincent started to ramble on.
  I turned my head to the window and start slamming my own head against the thick window.
  “Boss, ya gonna knock ya self out.”
 “That’s the point,” I snapped back.
 Vincent shook his head, “No boss, that’s a window. A point is at the end of a finger.”
  I looked up to the ceiling, “Vincent, think you can’t talk for the rest of the trip?”
  “It hasn’t started yet boss,”
  “So I’ve noticed,” I closed my eyes. Jamie should have been on my mind. His words should be ringing through my head like the bullet that shot through his innocent skull. Not this time, no. As I felt the plane move to the runway, Catherine was the invader of my mind. I felt a grin come to my lips as I dozed off. I could still see her like Jamie could still see Dawn. I found tranquilty in the thought…

 It was extinguished when I felt the large hands of Vincent shaking me like a magical 8-ball.
  “Wake up boss! We’re here! We’re here!”
  We’re in Puerto Rico already? That was quick. I shook my head and took my shades off, the afternon sun blazing in the window.
 “Maybe you should say Aloha to them, boss,”
  I looked up at him, “That’s when you’re in Hawaii, Vincent. This is Puerto Rico,”
  “I’m hungry boss. How long will this be?”
  I grunted and walked out of the plane. I scanned the area that was half protesters and half eager press that wanted to meet me, Tom and the new president Alexander Hamill.
 “Mr. President! Mr. President!” was the main thing I heard. 
 “Why are you here?” asked a reporter.
 “Are you aware this is an Unconstitutional govermental takeover?”
 “Will we have to exchnage our currency?”
 “Mr. President!”
 It almost threw me off balance, but Alexander soaked up the attention like a political sponge. Tom rose his hands, “All questions will be answered by Shane Magnar, our most trusted adviser and Deputy Press Secretery.”
 I let the press swarm me as Tom took Alexander to a limo, leaving me with the press, protesters and worst of all, Vincent.
 “Why are you here?” repeated a reporter.
 “We are here to bring Puerto Rico into American culture with help of the Puerto Rican people. By establishing an American government into this historically and agriculturally rich land. We hope to crack down on crime, gangs and drugs to help create a safer world for all our children and share our rich resources. So in short, consider this the annexation of Puerto Rico into the United States of America, thank you.”

 We quickly left when the protesters started to throw tomatoes at us. Tom and Alexander has already taken the limo and was gone; we had to call a cab. Luckily for us, we had a translator who had pesos.
  “You know boss, this place doesn’t look too great,” Vincent said with his face pressed against the window of the cab.
  “Look where we are, Vincent…” I rolled my eyes.
 “Good point, sure as hell ain’t home, Do they speak English?”
 “I don’t know, I’ve never been here,” I hissed.
 He points his large hand to the cab driver, “He speak English, Boss?”
 I grunted, “Seeing as how we needed a translator…” I left the thought unfinished.
 Vincent points to a random guy on the street, “Does he speak English?”
 “Go ask him,”
  As we drove the smell of the sewer system’s sprinklers filled the street, “It smells bad, Boss,”
 “Then you should feel at home,” I muttered again.

 We arrived to the hotel we were staying at and it was beautiful! I was half amazed that beauty could come from this place. We walked into the cool breeze of air conditioning, with extraordinary beauty inside that rivals the finest hotels in America. Vincent pulled at his leather jacket, trying to make himself look tougher. He was the only one of us in denim jeans, a leather jacket and a white shirt. He was a nearly 7-foot, New English greaser.
  “Where’s the check-in counter?” I asked out loud, looking in every direction.
 “Do they speak English at the counter?”
 I felt my shoulder involuntary tick, “Shut up!”
 “Shane!” I heard a sweet voice call. I spun around to the direction of the voice. No, it couldn’t be, yet it was.
  The caramel complexion, the straight raven black hair, and the slender yet curvy body. Vincent stepped in front of me, hand on his handgun that made her radiant face go pale in fear. My thoughts were realized when I heard her speak again.
 “Unsere Ehre Heisst Treue,”
  Vincent tilted his head. She repeated the password to make Vincent step aside. It was her! My body could only do one thing. Nothing. Years have gone by and there she was. There was Catherine.
 “So, what are you doing in my hotel?”
 I shook my head after I heard her speak.
 Vincent was eyeing us suspiciously but it didn’t matter, not to me. I was staring into the beautiful, light pools that was her eyes. My eyes scan her up and down, her body as perfect as I remembered. Finally, Vincent spoke up.
 “She speaks English, Boss,”
 Catherine turned to him, “I also manage this hotel. Impressed?”
 Vincent leaned to his side to gaze at me, he had a starry gaze in his eyes, “Boss, how is this her hotel? Didn’t we already take over Puerto Rico?”
 I hung my head, “Vincent, just go away,”
“But boss, spics don’t own businesses… Hotels are businesses, right?”
 Catherine ignored the comment and looked at me with a smile, “I’m the manager at this hotel. My uncle is the owner. He said we had some important clients coming, I just didn’t know how important.”
 “Boss?”
 Catherine spoke quickly, “Shall I show you to your room?”
 I nodded and extended my hand to Catherine, who took it without hesitation.

  The years just melted away and I was 17 again, walking up those hotel floors was like walking down the halls of high school with her, but without Kenny and Elizabeth reminding me of my unforgivable choice. She squeezed my hand and I squeezed back. We arrived to the room and she walked me in. I accidentally shut the door behind me in Vincent’s face.
 The room was fairly decent. I had a balcony view of the white sand beach, a mini bar, and a king-sized bed with white silhouettes that draped over. Then I finally settled my eyes on Catherine, in her gray basketball shorts and a camo beater, resting on the leather love seat looking up at me. I rubbed my eyes and saw she was really in a white miniskirt with a white blouse with black over jacket. To me the room looked more like a romantic getaway than a hostile takeover.
  “You been in spic land all this time?” I asked.
  Her jaw dropped, “Several years we haven’t seen each other and that’s how you say hello to me?”
  I hung my head “I’m sorry,”
  She smiled. “You’re so cute when you blush,”
  “I don’t blush… and you’re cuter when you blush,” I couldn’t help but smile.
  “Sit down Shane,” she insisted, “We haven’t seen each other in so long,” she sounded so sweet; I obeyed. Just like a siren, she turned vicious when I was sat near, “And you can enlighten me on why you killed my cousins.”
 I tried to play it off, “How are you sure it was me? The cops didn’t have any suspects,”
  “Shane Ingram Magnar,” her eyes flared.
 I smiled, I couldn’t help it. I was falling for her again.  “You knew about that?” that was dumb of me to ask.
 “Duh,” was her simple response. Great, it was just like high school! “Why did you do it, Shane? You promised your love for me you wouldn’t harm them,”
 I hung my head. There was no way of talking my way out of this, “I didn’t kill both your cousins. Mary curbed stomped Paco, and then we just tied a cinder block to Pedro’s neck so it would break,”
 Her beautiful face scrunched up in pure disgust, “Shane! That is just horrible,” well it was, but at least she didn’t know about me taking his eyes out. “And what the hell is with him missing his eyes? He looked like he was sacrificed to some Pagan god,” I don’t think I’ll ever get anything past her. 
 “Another thing, what the hell is up with my passport not eligible for coming back to America? I was supposed to return when we were still teenagers,”
 “Yeah, I heard about that. The government is now filled with The Organization; they started the takeover when we were still in high school. That act was passed before I knew about it. I waited for you, I really did,” I looked up at the ceiling, and with my imagination I was looking at the word love on the ceiling. I knew what I had to do. I had to tell her everything. Tell her about how the Organization 28 truly works, how the Aryan-Viking Alliance is just a front, how Paco and Pedro confronted me and of course Mary.

 I turned to her to explain, but her exotic beauty overtook me and I kissed her. I expected her to fight it and she did at first, but a few seconds later she gave in, her hand on the back of my neck. I leaned closer to her and placed my hand on her supple stomach. I slipped my tongue inside her mouth, rubbing against hers in an erotic dance display of forbidden desire. I bit her lip softly and she dug her nails into my arms. I took my shirt off with hers. I started to kiss down to her neck, taking in her scent once more, her nails dug at my back as she began to moan softly. My kisses continued to her chest, my hands rubbing her tan body.  Her nails dug into my flesh until my flesh broke.
 Searing pleasure erupted into my body; my hands were holding her hips as I heard her moan louder. I bit her fleshy breast harder until her soft moans became loud moans that were near screams. I returned to her mouth to kiss her and she scratched her nails on my broken flesh downward. I smiled as my body shivered from her attempting to rip my flesh off my back.
 My lips traveled down her body, kissed her stomach, as my hands pulled down her basketball shorts, her thighs spread apart. Once more I was hurled back when I was 17, as my tongue penetrated her opening, the same sweet taste tickled at my taste buds. Seductive coconut was her flavor. I lunged my tongue as deep as it could go, opening my mouth wider as my teeth grazed her clit. Her body rocked in rhythm, her moans growing louder.
 Moments later she was on top of me, riding me. She bucked her hips in a rhythm motion that only she could do. Her nails ripping into my chest, as my hands were probing her breasts, massaging and pulling at the nipples. Her moans were loud as the pounding waves on the beach. With each loud moan she exclaimed her love for me. I responded for my love to her in the same motion. I slapped her ass as she went faster, I could feel our bodies about to erupt together, in a mutual Nirvana of sexual release and ecstasy.

  Chapter Seven
Freedom Is Never Free

 

    Later that week, when the sun was gone and all there was nothing but a moonless, cold night, Kenny and I drove to a small camper. This old camper was deep in a small time trailer park at the end of a dirt road and a maze of mobile homes, where nearly everyone in the Aryan-Viking Alliance got their tattoos done.
  This camper was also home to Jamie Pillman, a former top ranking tattoo artist. He ranked highly in international art competitions, both tattoos and other wise. It’s sad that when he joined the Organization 28 he was blacklisted by nearly every tattoo shop.
 The man was a canvas of art. He had swastika proudly on the right side of his neck, the White Power cross on the left, ‘SKINHEAD’ inked on his knuckles. If he goes shirtless or if his wife beater moved you can see a bass on his chest, two sleeves of so many designs up and down his arms. I still haven’t figured out half of them. All the ones on his legs; the skulls, the random flames, and the cloverleaf with ‘666’ in it he did all by himself. Jamie was a very cool person, but had one vice- beer, and lots of it. When the times got tough he always had one in his hands, with wishes that beer would make it all better. Tonight was no different. While doing Kenny’s chest tattoo, which was to be the name of his daughter, Faith-Rose, and her birthday. When he started the tattoo he was already buzzed.

 “So you two are going to Puerto Rico?” Jamie asked after he took another swig.
 He dipped his homemade gun into the ink and continued to write Faith-Rose in Old English.
 “Just me. Kenny doesn’t like planes and Tom said he only needs me,”

 “Of course that old bastard does,” Jamie sneered. “He needs at least one other person so he can claim unwilling accomplice. It’s how he got out of prison and sent me in,”
 Kenny and I looked at him completely surprised. Jamie took a big swig.
 “What do you mean?” I asked.
 Jamie looked up at me from Kenny’s chest; “Tom did go to prison, but for only a few months. He claimed that I was driving while drunk and killed the poor ol’ black man. It was Tom who was driving!” Jamie took another swig of beer; he seemed upset yet relieved about talking about the incident that sent him to prison. “I was drunk in the passenger seat. I told him not to hit the black guy. He wasn’t doing anything to us. For God’s sake he was wearing a construction uniform! He was making an honest living, working overtime for a few extra dollars with some other workers. But no, that is not what Tom believed.
 “‘Up to no good, and wasting tax payers’ money,’ that’s what Tom said over and over. So he sped up my truck and ran him down like a dog in the street. They were almost done filling all the potholes, he was about to go home and see his family. But no, Tom says only white men can see their families, that the blacks knock ‘em up and leave ‘em. So he killed him. Hit and run,”

 We looked at him in shock. Kenny and I shared an uneasy look. Could Tom Williams, the co-founder of the Aryan-Viking Alliance truly roll over on his own white brother? “How do you know he was going to see his family?” Kenny finally asked.
 Jamie laid down the homemade tattoo gun. After smoothing over the ink job he answered, “Because I talked with his co-workers. He was sad because he missed his sons’ high school football game that night. And I was the one drinking, so I was in prison for five long years! Five fucking years!” he spat out and threw his beer can out his open trailer into the cool night. He stumbled over to his small fridge and took out another beer. “I’m sorry. Did y’all want another?”
 I began to raise my hand but Kenny waved me down. Now really wasn’t a good time. We both shook our heads when Jamie looked back at us.

  He came back and continued to finish the tattoo, “This tat is badass, brother,”
  Jamie finally finished a few minutes later, turning the homemade gun off.
  I couldn’t stop myself. “What did you do when you get out?”
 Jamie looked at me. “I was in The Alliance at the time, so I couldn’t kill Tom without dying,”
 “At the time? I thought you were still in it,”
 Jamie shook his head, “Hell no I’m not. The week I got out, I betrayed my race, or so Tom says. I found me a beautiful Indian woman and married her. I had a son with her, but Tom ordered the Alliance to take me away.
  “THEY TOOK ME AWAY FROM MY FAMILY! Like the church relocates pedophile priests, the Alliance relocates their “disgraced” members. Because of the tattoos they branded on me, I couldn’t find a job, no one would hire me. You think I wanted this fucking swastika on my neck? Or a Cloverleaf with the mark of the Beast? No! I been wanting out, to end it all. But it’s like the Mob, once you’re in and you know too much, they won’t let you go. I am the only one in the entire Organization 28 who knows how to use the tattoo gun right,”
 Kenny and I remained silent. All we could do was listen. I knew I surely was. This is a different light on the Alliance that I held so dear to me. The thing I chose over Catherine. The man clearly wanted his family or death and this thing of ours denied him both.
 “All I wanted, for years, to see my son once more. To pray he didn’t end up like me, to keep him safe. I just want to see Chato,”

 Kenny perked up and finally spoke, “Who was the woman you married?”
 “Dawn,” was the only word he breathed as he looked away.
 Kenny’s eyes widen. “That’s my mom’s name,”
 Jamie looked back up, his beer dropped to the floor. For the first time, we all saw it. The eyes, the body frame, even the tan. “Ch-Chato?”

 For the first time, father and son embraced. I was left stunned, my eyes widen. “It makes perfect sense,” was all I muttered.
 “I’m so sorry, son” Jamie whispered.
 “For what?” Kenny asked, for the first time in all the years I’ve known him, choked up.
 Jamie walked over to the small dresser in his backroom. A few moments later he returned, tears flooding his eyes. In his hand was an Enfield revolver! “Don’t fallow in my footsteps, both of you,”
“What are you doing, dad?” Kenny shot up.
 “I said I wanted out, son. You two must leave before you’re in too deep! This racism ruined my life; it separated us for 20 years.” Jamie explained.
He placed the gun to his temple and I jumped back, eyes wide again. “I used this gun to shoot a black preacher in the ’60s, to show I was ready. To this day I wish I could reverse the wrong. Now, I can,”
 “Dad please. Don’t,” Kenny pleaded. I could see Jamie’s blue eyes filled with tears, he really didn’t want to now he saw his son. “We can escape. Get away from them,”
 Jamie shook his head, his gun raised over his head, “You can’t just run, Chato! Look at me! I’m branded, that means nowhere is safe for me. If I run I’m a dead man. Don’t you know what the target mark on both my shoulders mean? It means I’m a dead man walking!”
 “But you’re the tattoo artist,” I spoke up.

 “Because Tom, that slime ball of a scumbag, has kept me alive. As long as he’s the general of the Aryan-Viking Alliance and I stay in this camper I’ll stay alive. If I leave or if Tom leaves, I’m a dead man walking,”
 “But-“ Kenny tried.
  “This is the way it got to be. Goodbye Chato,” and with that, he placed the gun back to his temple and pulled the trigger.
 The bang that followed was the loudest, as Jamie’s dead body fell to the floor, the blood oozing out. Kenny was screaming: his estranged father killed in front of him. I remained silent. Too shocked to see another great man die for this cause.