Corkie licked her lips as she scanned the front of Marta's place. She'd seen and photographed many of the red-light districts in Mexican cities, but she'd never seen a brothel like this. From the outside, it looked like a normal house. And considering that Alex got his impression of the place right off, it made her wonder if he had some personal experience with such places.
"Maybe we should go around back," she suggested faintly to Alex.
"That might be wise," he agreed, moving to skirt around some parked vehicles "Someone might confuse you for one of them."
Corkie looked down at her dirty, wrinkled appearance and snorted. "Not likely. I might get chased off the property, if anything."
Alex glanced at her, looking only at her face. "I doubt that...someone like you would bring in good income in a place like this."
She blinked at the back of his head while he walked ahead of her. She wasn't sure if what he'd just said was a compliment, or an insult. Was he saying she was pretty, even as ragged as she was, or was he calling her a whore?
"Hang on just a dang minute," she called out as she trotted to catch up to him. They reached the back of the house. A small, well-tended garden sat near the back porch, but other than that, the darkened night stretched as far as she could see.
"What did you mean by that?" Corkie asked.
Alex didn't respond and went up the porch stairs and rapped his fist on the door.
"What did you mean, someone like me, in a place like this?" Corkie insisted as she stopped next to him.
A voice called out from inside. "¿Quién es?"
Alex answered, "We're looking for Marta."
"Circundar al frente!"
Corkie glared at Alex. "Just what kind of person do you think I am?"
He turned to stare at her. "Do you really want to get into this now?"
"Yes!" she answered.
"¿Qué quieres?" the voiced asked from inside.
Corkie turned her glare to the closed door before them. "We're not going around to the front! We're here to see Marta!" she yelled. Then she turned back to Alex. "I want to know what you meant by that!"
The door opened, and a seriously pretty senora in her late forties with deep-green hazel eyes and a tan-darkened caucasian face eyed them suspiciously. The woman looked first at Corkie, and asked, "Are you looking for sanctuary or work?"
"Definitely not work," Alex said, but Corkie's throat seized as she stared at the woman's familiar face, an eerie realization floating through her brain.
"Are you...Marta?" she asked, thinking that Ivan knew this woman very well...since she was obviously the mother of his daughter. There was no mistaking those eyes.
"And if I am?" the woman asked.
Corkie swallowed and whispered, "'Es una lástima.'"
The woman blinked...and then smiled. "Ivan sent you?"
"Yes," Corkie said quietly, still gazing at her.
"How is he?" The woman stepped aside and allowed both her and Alex into the house.
"He's fine," Corkie said cautiously. "You are Marta, right?"
The woman smiled. "I'm Marta...owner of this house and an old friend of Ivan's. And I must assume that you are friends of his, too?"
YOU ARE READING
Crazy Enough (originally titled "Black And White Rainbows")Romance
It was supposed to be an easy job. Get to Mexico, get photos of that bastard, Niro, and get home. But photojournalist Corkie Brooks did not account for a lone Army Ranger kidnapping her, stealing her photos, and then protecting her. Lt. Alex...