38 ~ Felix

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Felix's nerves were shot to hell when Donovan left the table. She had barely touched her breakfast, partly due to fear that she wouldn't keep it down and partly because she thought she loosened the transmitter eating that damn hoagie on the plane. How close was Ryan? Had he and his buddies made it to Toronto? Were they on the island waiting for her to tell them which house belonged to Donovan? How big was the island? She needed to get them an address.

"So, how long will I be trapped inside this house?" she asked Carlos. They were the only two left at the table, since Andy had abandoned his chair when Donovan did. Apparently, Andy didn't like being told he was a shitty boyfriend. What a schmuck. "Am I allowed to walk around the yard, at least? It's not like I can swim across the harbor."

Carlos made a blatant show of checking out her body. "I think you could manage it. You work out as much as I do. I will give you a tour if you promise not to run or swim away."

Knowing her window of opportunity was steadily growing smaller, Felix stood up and took her plate to the kitchen, forcing Carlos to follow her.

"You have a hard heart, Felix," Carlos said as they emptied their dishes into the sink. "You are really giving it to Andy. It is worse than kicking him in his testicles."

"If that's your opinion about my heart, then why do you want to get with me?"

Carlos pursed his lips, looking thoughtful. It was not an expression he used often. "Maybe it is because I would like a chance to soften your heart. I know you are not hard, Felix. You have risked a lot to help my family and you have kept the secret, which is something only a good person would do."

"Yet, you still refer to me as puta when I piss you off."

"So I have a temper and it comes out through my mouth."

Felix held her tongue. She needed an address, and arguing with Carlos would only set her back. A single French door stood off the kitchen, which she casually headed for. As expected, Carlos got there first and opened it for her. They stepped onto a wooden deck, still moist from the morning dew. The heavily polished planks appeared to wrap around the house, with the main street to her left, where she spotted a black mailbox. The mailbox was sure to have an address label on it.

"You should see the view from the backyard." Carlos nudged Felix in the opposite direction, and she grudgingly followed. She had to play it cool so as not to rouse his suspicions. The grass beyond the porch had been recently mowed, surely not by Donovan, and a stone walkway led to the empty dock. Oh, shit. The dock was empty. The boat gone.

"What happened to the boat? Did Donovan take off in it?"

Carlos smiled. "You should be working for the cops with all that cleverness in your head."

With a perfectly straight face, Felix pressed on, ignoring her fading hopes of busting Donovan. "So, once again, he takes off to do more important things. It doesn't give a girl much reassurance. Where did he run off to, this time? Does he have a penthouse in Toronto and we aren't good enough to join him?"

"You are a very curious girl. Don't you know what happens to cats who are too curious?" Carlos stared at Felix while she pretended to act petulant. "Why can't you be happy with what you have?"

"What exactly do I have, apart from a high limit credit card? A cheating boyfriend. A motorcycle that's been locked up. I haven't even been allowed to leave the country or my own city, lately. That doesn't make me happy. After today, you get to go back to your home in Chicago. I no longer have a home."

Moisture had begun to cling to her eyelashes, and she didn't try to hide it. She hadn't really let herself feel the pain of losing everything she owned in the fire that destroyed her house, and now seemed like a good time to do that. A hint of remorse showed up on Carlos's facein the form of a frown, which was exactly what she had hoped for.

"Material things are not so important, Felix. You are a strong girl. I have seen you punch, and you have goodness in your heart."

"You mean my hard heart."

"You are only trying to protect your heart by making it hard. Not every man is estupido. I do not have to go back to Chicago. I will stay here with you and we will show Andy how a man should treat a lady."

Felix lowered her head as she stifled a grin. Was he really trying to impress her with flowery words? Carlos could be charming when he put his mind to it, and he had the good looks of a bulked-up Diego Luna, but she knew better than to let her guard down. He was committed to the cause, and despite her opinion that he was estupido, he was smart enough not to spill the beans about Donovan. If she continued to pry, it would only make him suspicious. Redirecting her efforts, she started walking toward the front yard. Carlos stayed glued to her side.

"I like that we are talking and not yelling," he said.

Felix avoided Carlos's hand as he made numerous attempts to hold hers, and when they reached the mailbox, he had succeeded in slipping his arm around her waist. She let him have his way to keep him in a good mood as she glanced at the numbers on the box. How would she mention them without raising a red flag? 

"It's funny that Donovan's house only has two numbers - thirty four," she said. "You never see only two numbers on the addresses in Chicago."

"That is because there are so many houses in Chicago and only a few here. I am sure you have realized where you are by now."

"Yes. The CN Tower pretty much gave it away. I don't know why I had to be blindfolded for the trip out here."

Carlos shrugged his indifference. "I have noticed it is better to follow orders than to question them." He leaned in close, breathing the scent of strong coffee into her face as he spoke. "You are like a flower that opens to share its smell with the world, Felix. I have wanted your lips from the minute I met you. Now you are here and you are free and I cannot wait another minute to taste you."

He pulled Felix against his chest in a possessive grip, and his mouth locked onto hers. He kissed her hard, driving his tongue through her lips as she tightened them. Felix grabbed his arms and tried to force him away, but this only seemed to encourage him. He probed deeper with his tongue, reaching as far as he could, as if he was fishing for something at the back of her throat. That's when the transmitter decided to pop loose, causing her to gag. Carlos released her and she jumped back, coughing out the transmitter. The tiny white cap landed in the grass, and she dove for it before Carlos could see it.

"What is that?" Carlos hovered over her as she shoved it into her pocket.

"It's a crown. I lost half a tooth when I was sparring at the gym. I must have loosened it eating that hoagie last night."

"I don't remember you breaking a tooth at the gym. Let me see it."

"Why? It's just a crown, and it's probably gross."

A hard line creased his forehead as he glared at her. "Felix, what are you hiding from me?"

"I'm hiding nothing from you. Now, if you have finished forcing your tongue down my throat, I'd like to go back inside."

"Maybe I am not done, but we can go inside to find some privacy." He pulled his jacket aside, exposing the gun tucked into his pants. If the gesture was supposed to scare her, it sure as fuck did the trick.


PLAYLIST SONG: Blow Up The Outside World by Soundgarden

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