Current Work in Progress
Title: John Reeves Three (Still working on the title as well.)
Chapter 1 – Welcome to America
Scene 1 – Paco
(Note: This is just the rough draft of the first scene in the first chapter. Names, situations, and even the plot are bound to change.)
The meaty fist flew at John’s face again. He turned his head as much as the Gucci leather belt wrapped around his forehead allowed. The brute’s first two knuckles caught John on the left side of his jaw, missing his eye socket this time. The more his eyes swelled, the less likely his escape.
John spit a wad of foamy red spit into his attacker’s face. “That all you got, Bruno?” He focused his gaze on the Latino man behind Bruno. “I thought you said you owned this place, this gang. You let girls like this in?”
Bruno’s thick arm pulled back and his fingers tightened into a bloody fist. John cringed, but never lost his smile. The Latino man, Paco Juarez according to John’s sources, shifted his hand in a shooing motion. Bruno’s hand loosened. He sighed and stepped behind the chair and dug his fingers uncomfortably into John’s tight shoulders.
Paco brushed at an invisible crumb on his suit coat. “Listen, John Reeves.” He spat the name out like a curse. “You had better talk soon or I’ll be forced to let Bruno have his way with you. Why don’t you just tell us why you’re here, eh? Then I can let you go and get on with other business.”
“I told you why I’m here. Why don’t you let her go, then I can get on with my other business.”
A chuckle came from Paco. “Let’s think about this a moment. If I really had her, why would I hide that from you? It’s not like you could do anything when you’re tied to that chair. If I had somebody you were looking for, I would kill you where you sit, but I choose not to because you haven’t given me reason. Not yet anyway.”
Was this guy telling the truth? When Rachel McCall, John’s hacker friend from Seattle, gave him the location of the Silent Heart Gang, something hadn’t made sense. Logic often disappears when emotions are involved
John lifted his head to the sweaty man still holding him in place. “Why don’t you get Bluto to stop breathing down my neck so I can think.”
Paco made another shooing gesture and Bruno stepped back.
Bones cracked in John’s neck as he tried moving his head again. “Thanks. There’s no reason you would hide her from me. Somebody gave me the wrong information.”
Paco leaned forward and placed his elbows on his knees. “I would say so. Look, John, I like you. Anybody who can smile during a session with Bruno demands my respect. I’ll say it again. I don’t have her. And I have to reason to. It would gain me nothing.” He sat back and placed crossed his hands behind his head, his eyes squinted. “You have me intrigued, though. What kind of man walks straight into a hornet’s nest knowing he’ll get stung and may never leave again?”
Dried blood cracked on John’s lips when he smiled. “The kind who’s used to getting what he wants.”
“That may be, but it’s more likely he has nothing to lose. And everything to gain.”
John’s face paled. “Please, let me go. I have to find her. Have you even heard anything about her? Or about Zahir?”
Paco stood and paced the tiled floor in front of John. He pulled a knife from the inside of his sleeve and leaned so close John could smell his musky cologne. “I’m sorry, John.” He reached behind John and sliced through the zip ties holding his hands. The knife turned in Paco’s hands until he held the hilt toward John. “Take this and cut the rest of your restraints. Keep it. Maybe having the crest of the Silent Heart at your fingertips will remind you how lucky you are today.”
Blood flowed back into John’s hands making his fingers tingle. He fought through the cramps and cut away the bonds on his ankles and his waist.
Bruno unlatched the belt and pulled it from between the chair slats and John’s head before the he could reach it with the knife. “I wish he’d tell me before he did that,” Bruno growled under his breath. “I lost my last belt like this.”
John glanced at the crest on the hilt of his new blade, folded the jack knife shut and slid it into the front pocket of his blood spattered khaki pants. He limped toward the exit, his mind whirling with possibilities and unanswered questions.
“John?” Paco called from behind him.
“I sincerely hope you find your daughter.”