Authors: Olivia Gaines
Davonshire House Publishing
PO Box 9716
Augusta, GA 30916
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s vivid imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence.
© 2015 Olivia Gaines, Cheryl Aaron Corbin
Copy Editor: Rachel Bishop, MA
Olivia Gaines Make Up and Photograph by Latasla Gardner Photography
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means whatsoever. For information address, Davonshire House Publishing, PO Box 9716, Augusta, GA 30916.
Printed in the United States of America
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First Davonshire House Publishing June2015
For you. I wrote this one for you.
To all the fans, friends and supporters of the dream as well as the Facebook community of writers who keep me focused, inspired and moving forward.
“Easy reading is damn hard writing
Also by Olivia Gaines
The Slice of Life Series
The Slivers of Love Series
The Davonshire Series
The Blakemore Files
The Value of a Man Series
Table of Contents
Welcome to the Busy B
Well, come on inside ya’ll!
Puente Piedra, Colombia
The early morning dew rested on the leaves of the coca plants as silent workers walked between the crops, pulling seeds from unwilling branches. Rough hands covered the tiny limbs closing over the small pods, brutally yanking off springs from the parent leaves. This field of plants is a mid-sized farm, one of the many he owns and oversees.
His morning coffee in hand, he stands on the verandah, gazing out over this arm of his empire wondering, needing, and trying to gain an understanding of how two people manage to consistently avoid his efforts to remove them from this earth. The Blakemores should have been dead two years ago. It was nearing year three and there still was no vengeance for his brother’s death.
Eduardo Delgado was not a man prone to violence, but he understood all too well that some people needed to die. At the top of his list was Odessa Blakemore. A little slip of a black woman, whom he was informed had put a well-aimed bullet into the middle of his brother’s head.
And for what
To save the life of Victorío Rentería
? Truth be told, he admired the man. Victorío took a shameful family business and legitimized it by selling product legally to American growers and pharmaceutical giants. In Eduardo’s mind, the profit margin was smaller, but Victorío could now walk in the light.
There was also comfort in walking in the dark. In the murky part of the shadows, he could move and not be seen. This worked in his favor as many had not seen him in person in years. He was a figurehead that rarely made public appearances, which gave him the ability to live in two worlds. He, too, could walk in the light, because very few knew his face. This was something that he was counting on. He had mastered American accents and could blend in to any scenario. In a few weeks he would be heading to America, more specifically to Texas. There were some scores that needed to be settled. However, he had a few stops to make first in Mexico to handle a few disconcerted matters with Mateo Rentería. Eduardo hated getting his hands dirty, but some folks you had to kill up close.
Mateo had failed him on numerous occasions, and Saxton Blakemore being alive was at the top of his list of things Mateo unsuccessfully attempted to do. Working with others was also something Mateo failed to get done as the team had been instructed. Had he followed the plan, Hugo, his brother, would still be alive, and Eduardo would now be in charge of Rentería’s estates and lucrative businesses. Mateo had miscarried his simple portion of the planned task. For this and many other reasons, he liked Mateo even less than he liked his overly ambitious brother. Yet family was family and unfortunately, a person could not choose who they were related to by blood.
It was still unclear to him what made Hugo make a move a week earlier than they had planned. Eduardo was still solidifying alliances in Colombia when his brother made his play. It was three days from his due arrival in Mexico when he received word his brother, Hugo had been killed. What was really odd was that the woman was a fluke – an unknown variable that showed up out of nowhere. Mateo, always one for playing sadistic games, pulled Odessa Blakemore into the takeover scenario. Stories were sketchy on how the women sex workers were freed from the holding pens, or how the inventory was spared, and everyone got away scot-free with the exception of his brother. It all gave him a headache.
Eduardo squinted his eyes as he watched the Jeep bumping over ruts on the dirt pathway as it made a beeline to where he stood. A vehicle moving at that speed was never the bearer of a good word. Today, he was not in the mood to hear one more word of bad news.
or,” Mariana, his assistant and right hand called to him. “I am told that Mateo Rentería is in that approaching vehicle.”
“Well, my morning just became interesting,” Eduardo said to the lady. He handed her his cup for a refresher on his coffee.
He had not moved from the banister that supported his weight. At 175 pounds of lean muscle, Eduardo was an attractive man. Unlike his brother, he had been educated and attended university in Colombia, achieving a degree in agriculture. He knew the fields. He knew how to touch the land and make it productive. If it were barren, with a single touch of his hand life would grow. He never abused the soil, nor the workers who overturned the fertile valleys so they, like he, could continue to eat. It was well known that he was a fair man but he was also a planner. There were very few things he did by the seat of his pants. Everything was well thought out. Even as he moved forward with his ideas to take over Rentería’s businesses, Mateo was his backup plan. His long-term plan was far more nefarious.
He watched the Jeep roll along, coming through the main gate of the hacienda, rounding the curb and kicking up far more dust than was required. “It is hot this morning,” he said to Mariana as she handed him a fresh cup of his fine Colombian roasted coffee.
The car came to a screeching stop as Mateo jumped out of the black utility vehicle, still carrying that silly golden handled machete. Eduardo never like gimmicks. Either you were a bad guy or not. There was never a reason to taunt people you were going to kill.
Mateo was grinning at him. “
, Seňor Delgado.” He was beaming from ear to ear as if he had good news to bring him.
He did not. The last few trips to his home, the machete wielding henchman had not brought any news that was good nor of any use to him. Eduardo saw no reason for the man to open his mouth. Slowly, he handed his coffee cup back to Mariana as he pulled a loaded 9mm from the back of his waistband, pointed it at Mateo’s head, and fired. The insipid smile was permanently frozen on his face.
Using his silver tipped boot, he pushed the body off the porch onto the ground. The machete lay askew on the stairs, the sun glinting on the gold handle and silver blade, shining a fresh idea into Eduardo’s face. With care, ease, and minimal effort, he picked up the machete to test the balance of the blade to the handle. “You know, this is nice. I see why he liked it so much,” Eduardo said. He wanted to test the sharpness.
Raising the blade high, he came down with full force, severing Mateo’s head cleanly from his body. “Hmm, it is sharp, too,” Eduardo said with downturned lips.
He eyed Mateo’s lifeless form on the ground at his feet. A simple request was made of the man: kill the Blakemores. Instead, he received reports of Victorío on a cruise ship in a conga line. It was even more insulting to get the report that a friendship had developed between the Blakemores and Victorío. It was all so tiresome; it was a simple job that could not seem to get done to his satisfaction. Eduardo had an inside man. His inside guy was doing a far better job than he had hoped giving him vision into the daily lives of Saxton and Odessa.
Eduardo pointed to the head on the ground. “Mariana, please put that on dry ice with coffee beans before boxing it up and sending it to Victorío Rentería,” Eduardo said as he took his coffee from her hand.
“Is there a note to accompany the head?” she asked him.
“No. The head is message enough,” he responded. He stepped over the body to take a walk to the stables. It was a good morning to go for a ride.
After the ride he would call Corpus Christie.