Six

Sao Paulo, Brazil

El Puerta Resort 

"United States has not yet signed the bilateral agreement formed by the Mexican government to solve the conflict between the two. The president said that they are still evaluating the agreement offered to them."

"It was this morning that there's been a drug sample seized by the authorities with a logo of a famous company own by a prestigious family. The company has yet to give any statements regarding the involvement of their company in this drug trade. The company allegedly own a research site in Mexico specializing chemical modernizations but the company denied the allegations."

My father just hanged up on me and he managed to silence few of the news agencies in the US. We can't afford a spot in our cleanest cloth. The company is still hitting rock bottom and we can't let this continue. After the bone crashing news update, I turned it off avoiding to hit my temper's limit.

When I got out of my room and reached the groundfloor, the four G.I joes were already having the best day of their lives at the buffet area. I think it's better be lunch since it's almost noon. Yao Ming waved at me from the table. I guess I don't have a choice and dining alone is much worse. 

"What's with the ogre face?" Derrick really had to ask.

"Just woke up at the wrong side of the bed." I dismissed him. He didn't bother asking like he wasn't even interested in the first place.

I picked up my glass of juice and smell it, held its mouth edges and rubbed my fingers. They gave me a, 'what the fuck are you doing?', look. I'm just making sure I get to see another day.

"One can never be too careful." I said casually and took a sip.

"You seriously have trust issues, dude." Marco deadpanned in a tone like he just found out that United States did not win Vietnam war. Well, did we?

Ignoring their judgments, I, again, dissected my meal if its tainted. Marco snapped it out of sight.

"Are you fucking serious? You took this fucking thing out of the buffet area, dude. If it's tarnish, everyone must be dead by now since we've been eating here before you could even wipe your ass." 

"I'm sorry?" His audacity is working on my last nerve.

"Just eat you paranoid shit." He added.

That literally hit a nerve. I don't know if I'm gonna be insulted from the fact that he just called me paranoid or he just spit out profanity in my face. My fucking face? I grabbed the plate back and stabbed the pancake after I place some chocolate syrup. The four trashbags watched me intently while I chew slowly.

"What?" This is annoying. They surely are testing my short supply of patience. 

"Why are you eating like you're dining with the queen?" The amused tone of Derrick agitated me. Is it wrong to eat properly?

"Am I supposed to swallow it whole?" 

"Rich people." Yao Ming, Newland muttered under his breath and continue reading a newspaper. 

Thank God, the rookie didn't seem to enjoy tormenting the living daylights out of me. His suppressed laughter did not go unnoticed though. That's why I hate working with the army.

I tried shifting my mood for the best of myself or I will order Don Juan's men to murder these assholes.

"So... what's your itinerary?" And slammed the newspaper on the table. It was a nice thing to get all of their undivided attentions. They appear to have no idea what's I'm talking about.

"Your vacation? Any places you should be going today?" I asked sarcastically.

All of them instantly nodded when they got the idea. How stupid.

"Do you have any suggestions?" Newland.

"Well," I slide a photo on the table, "I want you to go here, take some photos, enjoy the scenery and observe the beautiful culture."

The photo was Don Juan's meeting place with his buyers. It's located at the heart of the town where congested population is overwhelming. Don Juan's been meeting his clients in this cafe. The transaction usually happens on Wednesday and today's it. I personally added this to my itinerary.

"And gentlemen, please, be respectful and decent." I firmly warned. We don't want to blow this up.

"Rookie of the year will be joining me for my next engagement."

The heated meal ended in an hour and we all went back to our suites. I called the receptionist for a chauffeur because my friends will have a tour to the city. Then I beep Jose for my ride. 

We all waited at the front facing the sparkling fountain of angels blowing out some waters. Their ride quickly arrived with a uniformed chauffeur. Nice.

"Have fun, mi amigos! Remember, capture the greatness!" I chirped. 

Jose fetched us then. I'm meeting this carrier I communicated before I arrived in the country. He will deliver the sample to US. I can't  be seen nor caught having this. 

The road is a bit packed for a wednesday drive. People are wandering on the sidewalks and there are alarming police presence. What's going on? 

We turned left and by the end of this will be our meeting place. A hault snapped me back. Jose watched the right pavement of the road where three men eyed us suspiciously from the pavements. One of them knocked on my window. I smiled and lowered the glass a bit.

"Something wrong, señor?" I asked. He glide his eyes inside our car. 

After a serious observation, a smile formed on his lips. What a creep.

"Señor Alderige?" He hesitantly asked. Well, well, this must be Don Juan's people.

"Yes, and you must be?" I pretended to be interested in whoever he is.

"Javier, señor. Don Juan instructed us that you maybe visiting the town with your friends." 

"Oh, yes. My friends decided to take the resort's transportation to avoid conflict with my schedule. This is my assistant." I pointed my nervous assistant on the shot gun seat. I kicked it softly. Diego smiled at them and nodded.

"No problemo, señor. Don Juan wants us to protect you here if someone decided to do something bad." He proudly said.

"How thoughtful. Gracias, señor." I cheerfully answered like I was so touched by Don Juan's thoughtful gesture. If I didn't know better, I'd say he's spying on us.

The dreaded hypocritical scenario ended with them waving us goodbye. I ordered Jose to stop on a grocery store where people are almost exchanging their faces due to so much congestion. I gave them some money to settle in a respectable restaurant while I have to buy something in the supermarket.

The man I'm supposed to meet was standing beside a drugstore and it didn't take a lifetime for him to notice me. I motioned him to follow me inside the grocery store. The place is crowded with busy shoppers. Almost all aisles are filled with different people. I pretended to pick on a different types of mouthwash when somebody stood beside me. That's the queue. He can't fully recognize me because I'm wearing a baseball cap and a Ray Ban.

I slid the vial to the right pocket of his jacket. It's the ThioA B sample I got from the Mexico site. He touched his pocket for confirmation and nodded.

He took a tootpaste and left the aisle. I sighed in relief. That was fucking intense. I grabbed a bottle of listerine, walk to the aisle of chocolates and snatched a box of hersheys.

Jose's eyebrow quirked when he saw me settling to our table. I'm holding a plastic bag on my right hand and I'm wearing a cap and eyeglasses. Who wouldn't be weird out? I looked like I just went shopping which I don't usually do.

"You went shopping, señor?" Jose asked skeptically. I almost snorted.

"Yes, Jose. I do know my way inside a grocery store, thank you." I said calmly.

Curiosity is still plastered on his face but he chose not to pry. Good. I don't have to lie. 

They only ordered a bowl of chips and a bottle of wine since we had our lunch already. For formality inside the restaurant, I told the waiter to bring us their best cuisine for today or their featured meal, whatever they love to boast.

"Señor, forgive me for asking, what's your plan with Don Juan? He's been shipping your products out of the country." Concern filled Jose's voice.

"Is it safe to discuss that here?" Diego whispered to him. 

Jose immediately went quiet and watched over his shoulders. Don Juan's men are crawling all over the place but the distance of the other customers are a bit safe so we can discuss discreetly.

"It's fine. Let's not mention a name, just to be safe." I ensured them.

"I heard he plans to monopolize the management, señor. Doctor Nirvana will be soon removed if he decided to share the formula." Jose continued quietly. I just told him not to mention a name. Dumb fuck.

I always knew this would happen. Nirvana can spare himself some time but not that long and I know he already knew that. One wrong move and they will take him out. Damn.

"I also heard from some informants that he plans to buy you out of this, señor."

"And if I refuse?"

"He will throw you out by force." He added.

This time I really snorted making them confused to how did I find Jose's statement funny. Well, it's funny because I finance the entire operation and now Don Juan wants me out of it. Now he threatened to drag me out of it if I happen to refuse his very generous offer. How pathetic he is.

"He wouldn't dare." I blurted out.

"But he plans to, señor. And we both know Don Juan, nothing stands in his way even if he needs to kill someone just to clear his path." 

"Then he will regret it." 

-----------------------------------------------------------

Jose courtesy to us and left the driveway. I quickly signaled Diego to follow me to our rooms. Our floor hallway leads to a balcony so I asked him to be my lookout there. When he see someone suspicious outside my suite, he needs to warn me about it. He brought his laptop with him after the resort delivered his coffee to the balcony table.

I waited a few seconds until the other line answered my call. Some mumbling and gibberish words came out. God, what time is it there?

"Seriously?" 

"Yeah, seriously. I already handed the package and will be shipped tomorrow. Make sure it reach the right person. Am I understood?" I firmly ordered.

"What does he look like?" There was still a hint of annoyance in his tone.

"You'll know when he sees you." Then I cut him out.

I started to take off my shoes when Diego buzz through the radio. I wore my earpiece quickly.

"You've got company. Three men. Definitely armed from the looks of their jacket." He spoke.

I fixed my clothes immediately and took a seat pretending to open my macbook. A solid knock hit my door. I cleared my throat.

"Who is it?"

"Alejandro, Señor Alderige." He answered in a thick Brazilian accent.

"Can I help you?" 

I slowly opened the door, took all the locks but not entirely wide enough for them to swarm inside. I raised my eyebrow. As I recall, I'm still the boss and they need to remember that.

"Can I help you?" I repeated but this time with a little seriousness in my tone.

"Don Juan wanted to invite you for dinner in his casa, señor." 

I smiled politely and nodded like I'm deciding what to reply.

"Sure. I'll be there." 

"You can also bring your amigos if you want, señor. Don Juan will not mind." He added.

"That would be nice, gracias, Alejandro." 

He bowed and left the hall to the elevator. I locked my door faster than he can pushed the down button. I spoke to my mouthpiece.

"Back to base. Now."

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