The girl was scrambling madly, trying frantically to maintain her balance. They’d stripped her, tied her hands behind her back, looped the hangman’s noose over the tree branches above, and stood her on the slick surface of an ice block the size of a refrigerator. If she could keep still, the melting ice would vanish slowly underneath her, and she’d strangle little by little. One slip, and she’d hang herself.
Clearly Arturo was indulging in his favourite game. He’d let her suffocate, then slap her back into consciousness, pass her around for a gangbang, and, if she survived the night, set her up again. She might survive two days but the odds were she’d be dead by morning.
Arturo is a sick bastard. He says his games put the message out that he’s not to be messed with, but I know he gets a kick out of it. I can see it in his eyes. They’d love him in Gitmo. He’d fit right in.
“You talked with him?”
Arturo was sitting on the terrace, planted in his favourite rattan peacock chair, and drinking an iced Dos Equis. Arturo has a lot of enemies, so he lives in a compound guarded by a small army. As he rarely leaves his home, he has created a small paradise for himself: a mansion with a dozen bedrooms, and a formal garden, a rose garden, and a family style backyard, complete with swimming pool and barbeque pit. We were in the yard, but despite the blow-up crocodile that was floating in the pool, the entertainment was definitely adult.
The men were gathered around the girl, hooting and hollering. As a rule, they stick around in case Arturo needs something, but they don’t hang with him on his terrace. As his brother, I have my own chair on the terrace, also rattan but with a low back. I’m not fond of peacock chairs; I like to see what’s behind me, even if it’s a solid wall. Paranoia is part of my business.
Arturo reached into the mini-bar behind him, and pulled out another cold one for me. One long gulp took care of half the Dos Equis. It was a typical scorching afternoon. Even the flies were too hot to move.
“And?” he asked me impatiently. “What did he say?”
“You were right. He talked. Not to the Federales, though. He was negotiating with the Gulf Cartel.”
Arturo swore foully. You’d never guess he was a graduate from Princeton; most of the time he talks like a grunt. “How bad is it?”
“He never got past the first stage. He gave them nothing they didn’t already know.”
“He wasn’t in any condition to lie to me.” The velvety smooth chill of the Don Equis was heaven. I decided I’d get drunk tonight. The job had taken twelve hours, and it had been gory too. Even after two showers, I still felt as if I had blood in my hair. I needed a break.
“He involved his woman. I took care of her too.”
Arturo frowned. “Shame he brought her into it.”
“Disloyalty is a disease,” Arturo frowned. “You made sure their deaths send a message?”
He never takes anything for granted, does Arturo. He knows there’s no way in hell I’d do a job half-assed but he still asks. He’s the ultimate micromanager.
To punish him a little, I drank down the rest of the ice-cold beer and tossed the bottle in with the other empties instead of answering him. The girl was teetering on the edge of the block. Incredibly, she seemed to be considering jumping off it. It would certainly be quicker than anything Arturo had in mind but from the way they’d tied the noose, and the length of the drop, it was unlikely she’d break her neck.
“Hey! I asked you a question!” Arturo nudged me in the ribs. “Did you make an example of them?”
“I crucified them.”
“Madre de Dios!” Arturo crossed himself.
“He was called Jesus; it seemed appropriate.”
Arturo paused for a scandalised moment, and then burst out laughing.
I waited until he’d finished. “They had a kid. She’s four.”
Arturo pulled a face and sighed. “It’s a terrible thing to kill a child.”
Yeah, he would think that I’d taken her out. “She’s visiting her cousins for the weekend. When her mother doesn’t show up to collect her tonight, they’ll investigate and find the bodies.”
Arturo heaved a staged sigh of relief. “Ah! Excellent! She still has family. She’ll be cared for.”
Typical Arturo. He’s not married, and he doesn’t have kids, but he’s always acting the benevolent patriarch. It’s just play acting. If he got into a jam, and he thought it would give him an edge, Arturo would traffic that four year old in a heartbeat. And that’s why I like working for him; Arturo never makes mistakes. He doesn’t have a sentimental bone in his body. That’s a good thing because a soft heart gets you shot in the head.
“You deserve a bonus!” Arturo was in a good mood.
A squeal followed by a roar of appreciation made us both look up. The girl had jumped and now her body was writhing frantically at the end of the rope, desperate for air. Her arms and legs were tanned, but the rest of her was milky pale. She wasn’t local, and she didn’t work for us, yet she must have crossed Arturo in some serious way. Arturo is vicious but he doesn’t act unless you give him reason, and even then, girls usually get off with a beating. Only the ones who inform on us to the Federales or one of the other cartels are given this treatment.
“Who is she?”
“She came with him.” Arturo indicated a lolling form hanging from the cross bar of the swing set that stood on the far side of the pool. Arturo had set it up the second his first niece was born, and now its solid metal frame was coming in useful in ways the manufacturer had never imagined.
From the blood splatter, and the electric drill lying nearby, Arturo had had quite an entertaining morning. I didn’t recognise the figure either. “Who’s he?”
“Some kid from town. He tried to buy product with these.”
Arturo tossed a roll of dollars my way. Just one touch was enough. The printing was piss poor and the paper was ordinary stationary quality. Now I knew why Arturo was sending a message: they’d tried to buy product with counterfeit. “Fucking idiots. A three year old wouldn’t be taken in by this shit.”
The girl’s face was now dark red. She stopped struggling. Another thirty seconds, and she’d be beyond even Arturo’s reach. And believe me, you’ve got to be out of this world entirely to be sure he can’t get to you, especially now that I’m working for him. I can track anyone, anywhere, anytime. It’s one of my many skills.
Seeing she’d been brave enough to take the leap, I decided to keep my mouth shut and let her go out quick, but as I said, Arturo is nobody’s fool. Suddenly aware that his fun was about to come to an abrupt halt, he yelled a warning. Instantly, everyone standing around was rushing for the rope. I guess none of them wanted to fuck a corpse. Like the morons they are though, they tugged at the knot and forgot to hold onto the rope. The girl spilled onto the ground, landing on the far side of the ice block.
Before they could reach for her, she surged back to life. With astonishing resilience, she snapped her body, shed the noose, and took to her heels. Man, that girl could run!
It was a pity though that her hair was all over her face. She had no idea where she was going. She slammed into the compound’s back wall, doubled back, evaded the grabbing hands that reached for her by pure luck, and then headed straight for the terrace, finally cannoning into me. I instinctively put my arms around her and planted my feet on the ground. She’d been moving at a hell of a lick and the chair creaked horribly and rocked with the momentum, but held steady. Arturo always buys quality stuff.
“Dear God please help me! Don’t let them kill me!”
Her hot body, slick with sweat, was pressing up against me. Her face was in my neck, her legs wrapping around mine. She couldn’t use her hands but she clung like a limpet. She smelled of sweat, fear and a sweet, flowery soap. An old-fashioned scent. Lavender maybe. Or rose. I’m not a gardening man.
Terrified they’d drag her back and hang her again, she was whispering frantically in my ear, her voice hoarse, her tone pleading. “Habla Ingles? Take me home with you. I’ll be yours! I’ll do whatever you want!”
Instantly my cock hardened. The girl froze for a moment, then rubbed against me, promising, enticing. “Chingat!”
Hearing the insult, my hands gripped her arms tightly with instinctive anger.
She gasped. “Oh crap, no! Not fuck you, I mean, fuck me! You understand? Oh Jesus! Amor. Joder.”
She was babbling now, terrified I wouldn’t understand her offer. As if I could think of anything else but having her. I could see the pale white skin of her swelling breasts tipped with sweet rose nipples, tight and taut with fear. I could feel them through my shirt as she writhed against me. She was rubbing against my cock lasciviously, making her offer clear in a language every man on the planet would understand instinctively.
“I’ll do anything you want. Just take me home with you. You won’t regret it, I swear.”
She spoke with an unusual, light, lilting accent. Not an American. Or a Canadian. Not Australian either. English probably.
The men came crowding round, laughing, catcalling and demanding to have their toy back.
“C’mon, chismoso! Give her back!”
“Yes, we had her first!”
She didn’t need to understand what they were saying; their message was a universal one too. “You want me!” Her voice cracked desperately in my ear. “Come on, take me to your place.”
She was kissing my neck, but I could feel tears. She was crying. I grabbed a chunk of her hair, and pulled her head back so I could see her face. Wide spaced dark blue eyes, a small nose that would have been pretty if it weren’t dripping, and an oval face framed with shoulder length black hair. Although she was clearly terrified, and tears were running down her face, she tried to smile. She had guts.
Frightened by my silence, she moved slightly, riding my rock hard cock that was threatening to tear out of my jeans, and setting her breasts jiggling right in front of my eyes. I couldn’t help it: I dipped my head and licked a nipple. The tight bud set in the soft skin quivered. The girl gasped and pulled away but as everyone around us roared in laughter and yelled obscene encouragement, she shuddered and deliberately leaned towards me, offering herself.
“I can show you a good time,” she whispered.
It was just too tempting. I leaned back in my chair, holding her slightly away from me so I could see her body. The ripe, luscious hips and the sweetly dimpled thighs decided it.
I looked towards Arturo and knew his answer before I even spoke. He was grinning like a bastard, and when I said, “You mentioned a bonus...” he burst out laughing again.
He’s pretty generous, Arturo. When we were kids, he was always the first to share his toys.
The Bonus is rated 4.2 over 50 reviews on Goodreads. To read The Bonus visit Smashwords, Barnes and Noble or Amazon