Home > In the Company of Killers #1 - Killing Sarai

In the Company of Killers #1 - Killing Sarai
Author: J.A. Redmerski

J.A. Redmerski - In the Company of Killers #1 - Killing Sarai

Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers #1)
J.A. Redmerski

new adult/romance




Somewhere in Mexico

It’s been nine years since I saw the last American here. Nine years. I was beginning to think Javier killed them all.

“Who is he?” my only friend, Lydia, asks as she pushes herself further into view. “How do you know he’s American?”

I press my index finger against my lips and Lydia lowers her whisper, knowing as well as I do that Javier, or that God-awful sister of his will hear us and punish us for eavesdropping. Always paranoid. Always assuming the worst. Always approaching everything with caution and weapons, and rightfully so. Such is the way of life filled with drugs and murder and slavery.

I peer through the sliver in the door, letting my vision focus on the tall, lean white man who looks as though he was born with the inability to smile.

“I don’t know,” I whisper softly. “I can just tell.”

Lydia squints her eyes as though it might help her to hear better. I can feel the heat from her breath warming the skin on my throat as she presses harder against me. We watch the man from the shadow of the tiny room that we have shared since they brought her here a year ago. One door. One window. One bed. Four dingy walls and a bookshelf with a few books in the English language which I have read more times than I can count. But we aren’t locked in and have never been. Javier knows that if we ever try to escape that we won’t get far. I don’t even know where in Mexico I am. But I know that wherever it is it wouldn’t be easy for a young woman like me to find her way back into the United States alone. The second I walk out that door and make my way down that dark, dusty road alone is the second I choose suicide as my path.

The American, wearing a long, black trench coat over black clothes sits on the wooden chair in the living room, his back straight, and his gaze expertly filtering every motion within the room. But no one seems to notice this but me. Something tells me that even though Lydia and I are completely hidden inside our room in a dark hallway which barely allows us to see the living room that this man knows we’re watching. He knows everything that is going on around him: one of Javier’s men standing in the shadow of the opposite hall with his gun hidden at the ready. The six men standing in wait outside on the porch. The two men directly behind him with assault rifles cemented to their hands. These two haven’t taken their eyes off the American’s back, but I think the American, although not facing them, sees more of them than they do of him. And then there are the more obvious people in the room: Javier, a dangerous Mexican drug lord who sits directly in front of the American. Smiling and confident and completely unafraid. And then there is Javier’s sister, wearing her usual whorish dress so short that she doesn’t need to bend over for everyone in the room to see that she doesn’t wear panties. She wants the American. She wants anyone who she can sexually abuse, but this man…there’s something more obsessive in her eyes when it comes to him. And the American knows this, too.

“I only agreed to meet with you,” the American says in fluent Spanish, “because I was assured that you would not waste my time.” He glances at Javier’s sister briefly. She licks her lips. He is unfazed. “I do business only with you. Get rid of the whore or we have nothing to discuss.” His unmoving expression never falters.

Javier’s sister, Izel, looks like someone just slapped her across the face. She starts to speak, but Javier hushes her with only a look and then jerks his head back slightly to demand she leave the room. She does as she’s told, but as usual not without a string of curses that follow her out the front door.

Javier smirks at the American and raises a mug of coffee to his lips. After taking a sip he says, “My offer is three million, American.” He sets the mug on the table that separates the two of them and then leans casually back against the chair, one leg crossed over the other. “I understand that your price was two million?” Javier turns his chin at an angle, looking to the American for recognition of his generous offer.

The American doesn’t give him any.

“I still don’t know how you can you understand what they’re saying so easily,” Lydia whispers quietly.

I want to hush her so that I can hear everything between Javier and the American, but I don’t.

“Live among only Spanish-speaking people for years and you learn to understand it,” I say, but I never take my eyes off of them. “In time, you’ll be as fluent as I am.”

I sense Lydia’s body tense up. She wants to go home as much as I did when I was brought here at fourteen. But she knows as well as I did that she might be here forever and the heavy weight of that reality is what ultimately makes her quiet again.

“The only reason a man such as yourself,” the American begins, “would offer over the going rate would be to secure some kind of hold over me.” He lets out a small, aggravated breath and leans his back against the chair, letting his hands slide away from his knees. “Either that, or you’re desperate, which leads me to believe that my mark, the one you want me to kill, would be willing to pay me more to kill you.”

Javier’s confident grin disappears from his face. He swallows hard and straightens his back awkwardly, but tries to retain some confidence over the situation. For all he knows, that might be exactly why the American is here right now.

“My reasons are not important,” Javier says.

He takes another sip from the mug to hide his discomfort.

“You’re right,” the American says so calmly. “The only important thing here is that you tell Guillermo back there to lower the gun from behind me and that if he doesn’t within three seconds he will be dead.”

Javier and one of the men standing behind the American lock eyes. But three seconds goes by too quickly and I hear a near-silent shot resound and a pop! as a splatter of blood sprays the other man standing beside him. ‘Guillermo’ hits the floor, dead. No one, not even me, seems to know how the American pulled that shot off. He hasn’t even moved. The man standing next to the dead man freezes in his spot, his black eyes wide beneath his oily black hair. Javier purses his lips and swallows again, having a harder time hiding that discomfort of his every unnerving second that passes. His men outnumber the American, but it’s obvious that Javier doesn’t want him dead. Not right now. He raises a hand palm up to order the others to lower their weapons.

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