I looked around me, there was blood everywhere...but the horror of it all was seeing Santiago holding his dead brother in his arms.

"Santiago". Leo whispered hesitantly, tears in his eyes too, his voice filled with pain at the sight of his cousins. "Santi, we have to go."

"I can't leave him here. Help me put him in the truck, I have to take him back to my father." Santi croaked out. Daniel and Leo helped him carry Joel's body and put him in the back seat of the Hummer.

My brothers ordered all the men to get rid of the bodies and then go back to the Hacienda, the bodyguard who had been sent off to bring a doctor had already been ordered to take him to the hacienda instead so that he could check on all our injured men.

I convinced Daniel and Leo to go in the same truck as my brothers so that I could drive the Hummer back to the Hacienda with Santi. Chamuco's dead body had already been removed from the passenger seat but there was still blood smeared all over the steering wheel and front seats.

How were we going to tell Don Ernesto his son is dead? There's no easy way of telling a parent something like this.

My boyfriend was silent as I followed the other vehicles back to the house. There were no words I could say to make him feel better, he lost his only brother. Despite all the problems they had between them, there was no denying they cared for each other... in the end, Joel had given his life for Santiago.

****


ONE WEEK LATER...

The loss of Joel had been heartbreaking for Don Ernesto Bustamante. No parent should ever have to bury their son. Throughout the whole funeral process Santiago had stayed by his father's side. The Bustamante's decided to have the funeral services held at my family's Hacienda and then have the body sent out to their hometown, Culiacan, to be buried in the family crypt, where Mrs. Bustamante the wife of Don Ernesto and mother of Santi was also buried.  Before any of us could go back to Sinaloa, Santiago had sent some of his men to scout out the area and make sure it was safe for us to go back.

"How's Santi holding up?" Sofia asked me while we sat in the kitchen having  tea.

I sighed. "He's been acting all tough in front of his father but I know deep down he's hurting. He hasn't been getting much sleep the past few nights."

"Have you told him about the baby?" Nessa whispered, glancing around to make sure no one heard her.

"Not yet."

My boyfriend had been busier than ever, taking care of Cartel business and funeral arrangements. I had offered to help him out with the funeral but he politely declined saying that it was better for him to stay busy.

One of the cooks walked into the kitchen looking for us. "I was asked to come get you girls to tell you to report to Mr. Romano's meeting room immediately."

"All three of us?" Nessa raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, m'am. Everyone else is waiting for you girls."

"Gracias por avisarnos" I smiled at the old woman before exiting the kitchen with my two best friends behind me. (Thanks for letting us know)

We were surprised to see everyone gathered in the room already sitting at the large table. From El Cartel de Sinaloa: Don Ernesto, Don Rafael, Santiago, Leo and Daniel. From El Cartel del Golfo: My father, Martin, Alex, Tio Felix and Tio Carlos...my mother was also there sitting next to my dad.

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