[He lied. He showed up under barragea blue and red, ducking below police tape with the kinda confidence no one questioned, amid the destruction
of an entire city block, and he told them he was on the job from New York (Vice), seeking onea the girls they'd found. Emily Harrison, he said her name was. Credit card fraud, among other things. He'd tracked her here, to Hialeah
, just before things went nuclear, and could he look around? Sure, asere.
They gave him the hospital rooms they'd just sent the gringas off to too, and wasn't that helpful.
There was a good Samaritan who'd spied a blonde gringa seizing out—a different one than the one who looked heroin-sick, found in the thicka things—a ways over, and he needed to talk to him. Could you point him in the right direction?Sí, él está aquí, está justo allí. El hombre con tatuajes en la cara.
El hombre who was trying to look inconspicuous, ink on his skin branding for some local gang, prolly 40-45, Cuban, and nothing good
Cris smiled dog-low, his collar undone and his sleeves up like a guy just trying to get through a trying day on the job, asked him to show him where he'd found the gringa. He was from New York. He knew what those white girls were like. Asere was prolly just trying to help, huh? Was she hot? He'd bet she was hot. Ay, mi socio, they always were.—Away from the bulka the commotion, the guy led Cris to an alley. Sam's phone
was pieces of plastic, and Cris scooped those up, nodding and grinning at the man he'd known thousands of over the years, burly, dirty, the kinda guy who'd sell out his family if the price was high enough.—There was some back and forth, the kind that made Cris' guts writhe with rage, about just what el hombre meant to do with the girl, Cris all but egging him on—, just before he suckerpunched him in the stomach, just as some words fell from distended lips, 'bout how he was planning on taking her in the side door just in the backa the alley, since gringita looked more like a two-dollar suck kinda puta than anything you wanted to take home (and his wife woulda been there anyway!). Blood speckled spit, and Cris worked the guy back against cement wall, the muzzlea his pistol burying itself in beer belly deep enough almost make the guy vomit and his finger on the trigger, just itching for an excuse.
He told the guy, if he didn't want his intestines hanging out as some makeshift rosary to count his fucking sins on, he'd leave this little scene y no vuelvas jamás. And if he ever
made Cris see his face again, lo lamentará. Ahora mete la cola entre las patas, y piérdete.
—It was a hot night, and sweat slid in fingers through black hair. Some blood ended up soaked along the cuffa Cris' shirt when he decided the guy deserved an elbow to his teeth as a send-off, which he delivered hard enough to have ditches dug in dark skin over bone, splitting on enamel.
He left then. He caught a cab to the hospital. He let Lou and Neil know
, as pissed as he was that neithera them thought they should let him know Sam was freaking out somewhere, when they didn't see him reply to her. (But, what did he expect from Neil? The guy showed up in a hotel room after Sam asked him to fuck. Responsibility was beyond him. Lou, though—that disappointed him.) He was sicka them both, but Neil especially—but he wasn't the kinda guy to keep Sam's location from him, as much as he wished he was. They were worried, he knew that, and MK was their sister, so they had a right to know. And Cris told them. He hated himself for it, but he told them where to go, and he knew he'd hafta see 'em both and that it was gonna suck, but he wasn't not gonna see Sam just 'cause he didn't wanna see Neil's pasty face.
There was some panic, sour, fringing tongue and black eyes, when Cris threw money at the cabbie and scrambled outta the car. He didn't know how bad stuff was with Sam, but all he wanted was to see her. Anybody who got in his way was gonna be on the wrong enda his wrath, 'cause his control was slipping just then. He wasn't calm and he wasn't collected. He'd spent alla it he had on working the guy at the scene.—He hurried to the floor, to just outside Sam's room, where he was told he was gonna hafta wait for her to wake up. He took to pacing, one hand on the backa his neck, blood dripping down his forearm and muddying blue button-up. He didn't care.Perdone, señor, tiene que esperar.
Fuck you too.]