Authors: Kathryn Thomas
that they do kill them. I think they do, but I don’t
that they do. Leo told me once their job is to ‘be more trouble than we’re worth... and to make the cartel’s recruiting drives a real pain in their ass.’”
Will snickered just as the door opened with their first customer of the day. “I’m liking this Leo guy more all the time.”
Ron, Fitz and TC came into
He’s Not Here
and flopped down in booth. Leo came in with them, but went directly to the bar. He was tired, hungry, and in the mood for a beer, a burger, and a smooch from Jamie, and not necessarily in that order. He had gone home after being on the busy end of a shovel all day and gotten cleaned up, but he was looking forward to his reward for a hard day’s work.
“I see you found something a lot easier and cooler than planting bushes,” Leo teased.
“We’ll see how long it lasts when I start breaking her glassware,” Will answered with a grin.
“Speaking of glassware, how about a
.” Leo pointed when Will hesitated.
“Sorry. Still learning my way around back here.”
“No problem. Is Jamie here?”
“In the office.”
“Thanks,” Leo said as he moved toward Jamie’s office. “Hey,” he said as he stuck his head in her office.
“Hey yourself,” she said looking up from her computer.
He stepped into her office and gave her a tender kiss. “I needed that,” he whispered as he straightened.
“Yeah. Me too. How’d you sleep last night? Any dreams?”
“Okay I think. I don’t think I dreamed. Not the… bad ones… anyway.”
“Good. I was a little worried about you last night.”
“I’m a big boy, Jamie. I can take care of myself.”
“I know. But it’s a lot more fun when
take care of you. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Leo snickered. “Without a doubt. So how’d you sleep?”
She grinned. “Okay. Will and I sat up way too late last night. But I’ve slept better… maybe I needed someone at home to take care of me.”
“Will was there,” he said dryly.
“Okay, that’s just creepy,” she said as she gave a dramatic shudder.
“Ohhh…” Leo drawled out. “
kind of take care of you.”
“Yeah…” Jamie replied in kind as she bobbed her head. “
kind of taking care of me.” The looked at each a moment then began to snicker. “How was your day?”
“Tiring. I see you hired my help away from me.”
“Maybe. We’ll see. He wanted to work the bar tonight for old time’s sake. But listen… he was asking a lot of questions about Lima 6. Do you think you could talk to him? Answer any questions he may have?”
“Sure. I would be delighted to. Does he want to join?”
“Don’t know. I kind of hope not, but it would be just like him. He is keenly interested in what you have done for the town.”
“What… don’t you like us anymore?” he asked as he made a comical sad face.
“It’s not that. But… nothing. Never mind.”
“Oh no! Spit it out.”
Jamie paused and then decided to come clean. “What you do is dangerous.”
“Yeah,” he said as remembered friends lost. They had lost ten members in less than two weeks a few weeks back.
“I just worry about him. Soon he’ll be the only family I have left.”
“Things have cooled off. And it’s not like we are just going to chuck him out there and see what happens. None of the prospects go on the intercepts.”
“I know… but I still worry.”
“Jamie… I would never let anything happen to your brother, okay? You have my word on that.”
“I know,” she said… but she suspected he would have said the same thing about Tuck and Two-Tone. Sometimes, what happened, happened, and nobody could prevent it.
“Do you want me to warn him off?”
“No… don’t do that. If he found out I had meddled, he would be pissed. If he wants to join, just watch him, okay?”
“Like he was my own brother. Promise.”
Jamie smiled. “Thanks.”
When Leo returned to the bar with Jamie in his wake, he noticed a fourth beer at the Lima 6 table.
“I’m going to go talk to Will. He has some questions,” Leo said as he hefted his beer from the table. “Can you talk to him tonight?”
“You think he wants to join?” Ron asked.
“Don’t know. That’s what I’m going to go find out.”
“Sure. If he wants to talk to me, then I’m game. You want me to talk to him?”
“Let me do it. Jamie asked me to talk to him, so it may be about the job I offered him for all I know,” Leo lied. This will be the first recruit since the incident in the desert with the kids, and he wanted to get a feel for Will before letting Ron get his hooks into him.
“Alright. I’ll be right here. I didn’t order for you.”
“No problem. I’ll just tell Tim.”
“Getting kinda cozy around here, aren’t you?” Fitz teased.
“You’re just jealous.”
“Fuck yeah. Who wouldn’t be? To share a bed with someone that looks like Jamie… and she owns a bar too? I’m getting a chubby just thinking about it.”
“Shit… now I am too,” TC chimed in.
“I make three,” Ron added with a grin.
Leo chuckled and shook his head as he turned toward the bar. Ron was an okay guy, when he wasn’t being a hot head.
“Jamie said you had some questions about Lima 6?” Leo said as he sat down in front of Will.
“Go ahead… I’ve got this,” Jamie said when he looked at her.
Leo stood and gave a jerk of his head at the farthest stool. “What can I help you with?” he asked as he parked his butt on the stool.
“Not questions, exactly. I’m just curious how you managed to clean up the town when the police couldn’t.”
“I wasn’t here, but I can tell you what I know. You want it straight up?”
“That would be preferable.”
“My understanding is, the club made it clear that the drug mules weren’t welcome. Some of our guys did some time in county for assault.”
“So they beat them up?”
“Yeah. Beat the shit out of them, destroyed their vehicles, and dumped them both on the other side of the border.”
“Did that work?”
“In a lot of cases, yeah.”
“And in the cases where it didn’t?”
“Then… they took other measures.”
“Like killing them?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“You didn’t deny it either.”
Leo leaned in closer. “They made it clear that drugs were not welcome in Vallecito. If the mules started killing each other… well, the problem started to take of itself, wouldn’t you agree?”
“You realize that’s murder?”
“I didn’t say we killed them.”
“Look, Leo, let’s stop the tap dance, okay? Killing people is murder. Simple as that.”
“Or casualties of war.”
“We’re not at war!”
“They weren’t? Maybe we should ask some of the people that were here. Ask them what they think. Let’s ask Jamie. Look, Will, neither of us was here. We can’t know what it was like. But I can tell you, drug cartels understand only one thing, and that’s force. Catching a mule and locking him up for a year or two isn’t much of a deterrent. Having your mule killed, is.”
“But Lima 6 doesn’t kill the mules?” Will asked. When Leo didn’t answer, he continued. “That’s what I thought.”
“We only use as much force as we have to in order to protect the town. The citizens of Vallecito have accepted that. They see it as an acceptable exchange. If you don’t…” Leo shrugged and moved to stand.
“Leo, wait.” Will said. “I didn’t say that. I just don’t want to be involved with a bunch of thugs, that’s all. What happens to the drugs?”
“We have a bonfire and roast weenies.”
“So am I. Well, except for the weenies. It’s usually steaks on the grill.”
“You burn it?”
“And the DEA doesn’t have anything to say about it?”
“What the DEA doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt them.”
Will paused while he thought. “Why? Why do you do all this? Jamie said you lost a couple of friends from this.”
“Yeah. More than a couple. We do it because it needs to be done. Vallecito has welcomed us into their home. We’re just doing our part to make this a home worth living in.”
“What about her?”
“How does she figure into all of this?”
“She owns a bar we like because she has decent beer on tap and good burgers.”
“That’s it. Well, actually, that’s not quite true. Sometimes she helps us with finances. The rest you will have to get from her.”
“Finances? She launders money for you?”
“You’ll have to ask her. But I assure you, there is no coercion involved. It’s not what we do.”
Will leaned on the bar as he thought. “And if I wanted to help?” he asked suddenly.
“Now I ask you… why?”
“This is my home. I grew up here. I was gone before it got really bad, but I heard. I drove around town today. The town looks better than I can ever remember. People are out walking. I remember mom and dad telling me how they used to drive to Alpine for groceries because they were afraid to shop in Vallecito. Five hours there and back for groceries! I would come home on leave and the town looked… dead. Half the stores were boarded up. Now there’s a
where a friend of mine was killed when he walked into a drug deal. If… this,” Will said, waving his arms around him, “… is your doing, I want in.”
Leo stared into Will’s eyes, trying to read him. “Follow me,” he said as he rose from the bar, leading him to Ron.
Leo sat in his favorite chair flipping through his album. He is sticking close to the front, avoiding the really painful memories from the photos nearer the back. He surprised himself when he picked it up. He hadn’t touched it in over two weeks, but tonight, it called to him. The darkness was tinging the edges of his soul and he was missing Jamie’s calming influence. When she was around the darkness was kept at bay by the light of her gentle kindness and understanding. The encroaching darkness wasn’t severe, but he could feel it trying to creep back into his soul, trying to recapture what it once held dear. That is why he was looking at pictures from earlier in his Army career, before he was promoted to Sergeant…
He frowned at the chime of his front door, wondering who would be calling on him so late. He sat the book aside and rose from his chair, picking up his Glock and holding it behind his back as he peeked out through the decoratively frosted front door glass.
“Jamie! What are you doing here? Is everything okay?” he asked as he opened the door and stepped aside, silently inviting her to enter, kissing her quickly as she stepped past.
“Fine. Were you expecting trouble?” she asked with a pointed look at his weapon as he closed the door behind her.
“No… just habit now. Why aren’t you at the bar?”
“It’s slow tonight so Will and Bobi are handling it.”
“And you came to check on me?” He smiled. “That’s sweet, but as you can see, I’m doing okay.”
She smiled at him. “That’s good. But that’s not the only reason I came by,” she said as she moved deeper into the room and noticed the open album in his chair. She stopped by his chair and carefully closed his photo album before she returned it to the shelf. She then turned to him. “No bad thoughts tonight, okay?” she said as she caressed his cheek. She loved how he just seemed to relax when she did that, his head tilting just slightly off center and into her hand.
“No… no bad thoughts,” he said as he took her hand and held it to his lips.
“I saw Will talking to Ron. He wants in doesn’t he?”
“Yes. But I can block it if you want. It only takes one dissenting vote.”
“I knew he would. No… don’t do that. He would never forgive me. Just don’t let him do anything… stupid… okay?”
“I gave you my word, Jamie. He can’t join until gets a bike, then for the next six months he’s just a prospect. That means no intercepts, so he will be safe. Besides, he’s a Marine. They eat bullets for roughage.”
“That’s not very funny.”
“I know. The rest of the club breaks in the prospects, but I will keep an extra eye on him, okay?”
“Thank you Leo,” she said as she looked at the floor.
“Would you like to sit down? Can I get you something to drink?”
“No… and no.”
“You need to go?” he asked.
She smiled at the disappointment in his voice. “No. Suggest something else.”
He smiled. “Can you stay?”
“Good… will you do something for me then?”
“What?” she asked as she kept her face carefully neutral.
He said nothing but tapped his lips with a finger.
“I think maybe I can do that,” she said as she moved in for the kiss.
As their lips parted she stood still a moment, her eyes closed as she enjoyed the lingering feel of his lips. “I needed that myself,” she said softly as she opened her eyes.
“I missed you last night.”
“I missed you too.”
“You can stay tonight?” he whispered.
He smiled. “What will your brother think?”
“He will think how nice it is not to have his sister underfoot.”
He wanted her… he wanted her desperately… but he wanted more than just sex. He wanted to hold her, to feel her closeness, simply be with her. “Are you ready for bed?” he asked as he kissed her softly once more.
He led her to his bedroom. As they stopped, she began to undress. He reached up and took her hands in his own and stilled them. “No… let me,” he commanded softly. “I didn’t know you were coming, so let me brush my teeth and shave first, okay?”
She had opened only one additional button before he had stilled her hands, but with three buttons open, she furtively opened her collar to maximize his view as she followed him into the bath. She had a toothbrush here… if he was going to brush, then so was she.
Their ablutions complete, they returned to beside his bed. “Now… where were we?” she asked.
“I think we were just about here,” he said softly as he drew a finger slowly, softly, down the valley of her breasts.
She shivered at his touch, the delicate draw of his finger along her skin sending a crackling pleasure through her. She reached for his shirt but he caught her hands again.
“No…” he whispered as he slowly stepped behind her.
His hands glided over her, sliding down to her lower stomach. As she felt his breath on her neck he pulled her into him, holding her comfortably tight, as his lips began a measured exploration of her neck. As his lips caressed her skin, she wanted to squirm in pleasure and not move, lest she interrupt the delicious pleasures emanating from his touch.
He breathed deep as his lips slowly danced along her neck, her scent, the light fragrance of apples and baby powder a heady bouquet. He kissed up her neck, pausing under her ear, his lips and tongue busy in the spot he knew she liked so well. He brought his hands slowly up and began to work her buttons, the darkness that had attempted to reclaim his soul disappearing like smoke in a wind.
I can’t stand it anymore!
she thought as his hands slowly untucked her shirt so that he could softly caress her stomach and breasts. She had to move, his touch making her want to twitch as if his fingertips were electrified, each touch causing a tingle of pleasure to rocket through her. She reached down and behind her, wanting to caress him, but he pressed his hips more firmly into her ass and prevented her touch. With an almost inaudible whimper of desire, she pushed back into him, the feel of his hardness against her ass raising her heat even more.
Leo pulled Jamie’s shirt slowly over her shoulders, kissing the skin as it was revealed. Tonight he wanted to show her how important she was becoming to him, how just her presence soothed and pleased him. As her shirt fell away, he began kissing down her arm.
With each touch of his lips to the back of her arm, she twitched, each movement accompanied by a soft gasping grunt.
He’s driving me crazy!
Just when she didn’t think she could stand it another moment, he began to slowly turn her, his lips never far or long removed from her skin. He eased her back to the bed, steering her to sit on the edge and then to lie back with gently pressure between her breasts with his lips. As he kissed under her chin and down her chest, she reached first for his shirt, then his pants, but each time he gently blocked her hands. He continued to kiss down her body, pausing to stroke her nipples to near painful erectness with his tongue, before moving on. As his lips approached her most intimate area, she began to move, unable to stay still, well aware of what he has done to her in the past with his lips and tongue. As he slowly removed her pants, his lips followed, each touch a flare of pleasure, his breath warm and erotic as it kissed her skin.
“Leo…” she whispered as his lips caressed the inside of her thigh. She was completely undressed, and set on knife edge, and he was still fully clothed, having asked for nothing. He was spooling her up for another mind rending orgasm, the type of release that left her gasping and weak. As his lips and tongue touched her, she shuddered as she twisted her hands in his hair and pulled him in tighter. Her orgasm was near—she could feel it—and she feared its power as she coveted its cleansing wave.
As Jamie drew him in, Leo began to probe with greater effort as he squirmed his tongue into her secret places and pinched and pulled with his lips. He looked up from his position in the floor, watching her, his breathing becoming harder, the feral pleasure on her face exciting him like no woman before her.
Her orgasm was taking her and she burned in its power. She looked to Leo as her mouth opened in a silent scream of pleasure, and their eyes locked. In that briefest instant in time as they stared into each other’s eyes, she saw something in his… need and wanting… but also joy… and she was lost. Her orgasm hit her with the power of a tidal wave, sweeping her away as she shuddered and grunted, her body no longer hers to control.
Jamie twisted so violently in her orgasmic convulsions that he let her go, afraid of hurting her if he were to try to hold her in place. She rolled to her stomach and made two slow shuddering crawls before collapsing into a heap in the center of the bed.
As her will once again took control of her body, she wanted to cry… from the power of her orgasm… but also from the depth of feeling she had seen in Leo’s eyes. She had never had anyone look at her like that, and it had affected her deeply. She rolled to her side and beckoned for him, needing to feel his embrace. He came and she clung to him, holding him as she tried to reel in her emotions.
“Are you okay?” he asked with concern as she held to him like a lifeline, her gasps sounding uncomfortably like crying. “What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?”
“No,” she gasped as she began to come down from her orgasmic high. “No… I… uh…” she said and then stalled, unable to put into words what she saw and how it had touched her.
“What? Did I do something wrong?” he asked as pulled out of her embrace so he could look into her face.
She read the concern in his eyes. “No, love… you did everything just right,” she said and touched his face as she smiled, the emotional turmoil of her orgasm receding. She blew out a long relaxing exhalation. “You just… sometimes… make me come so
hard that I get all worn out,” she said, not wanting to try to explain the feelings that had suddenly risen up within her. Now that her equilibrium had returned that sudden, intense, feeling of… if not love, then something very like it… she had for him had receded. But she could still feel it, and it warmed her in ways her loins could not.
Leo couldn’t help but snicker. “But that’s a good thing, right?”
She pushed him over onto his back and moved to sit astride of him. “Oh yes… a very good thing,” she said as she began to unbutton his shirt. “But now it’s my turn,” she said as she began to kiss down the growing opening in his shirt.
As her lips danced down his torso, Leo’s breath began to speed up again. Jamie was a lover of unprecedented skill—unpredictable, adventurous and athletic—and over the past three weeks she had taken him places he had never been before. When she began unfastening his pants she looked into his eyes and smiled in that way she has that offered silent promise of great pleasure… and he couldn’t contain his soft groan of desire.
Hearing Leo groan as she opened his pants made her smile. He was all the lover she could ask for… gentle when she wanted it… and fiery when she didn’t. She drew his pants down just enough to reach inside and pull his manhood out. As she held him proudly erect, his cock pulsing softly in her hand, she began to kiss him, slathering her tongue around the head, teasing him with anticipation. He was ready… she could sense it in the tightness of his muscles as she plunged him deep into her mouth.
His sudden plunge into the warm wetness of her mouth was as swift as it was unexpected, causing his back to arch as his hips thrust up of their own accord and he issued a deep barking groan. She accepted the lunge as she buried her nose in his hair, holding him deep as he struggled for control.
“Fuck…” he growled deep in his throat moments before she pulled back.
“Someone is twitchy tonight,” she whispered as he popped out of her mouth and his hips returned to the bed.