Chapter 5


From Patricia's perspective, life became so much easier. Because of Gonzalo, she and her son get to enjoy a wonderful New York life. Her son now has three nannies and his driver. Patricia no longer lives with Tasha. Gonzalo took her in and made her a kept woman. Many of their co-workers at Xfactor envy her for having such luck in her short stay at the club. Some of them have been working as a stripper for a decade and has never even had the chance to find a decent man.

"Patricia? Hey, focus." Rick tapped Patricia's face a few times, but she was staring at the wall. She is awake but lost in her world. "Patricia, come on."

"Leave her," Gonzalo commanded.

"Damn it," Rick whispered. He had no choice but to leave Patricia on the couch. When he introduced Patricia to his boss, he wanted to be on his good side to earn more money. He knew Patricia for quite a while, and he was so sure that Gonzalo will like her. But never even in his wildest dreams that he thought this would be Patricia's life with him.

Rick is one of Gonzalo's inner circle. He's always present in all of Gonzalo's confidential business transactions. Just like where they are headed. Gonzalo's men are in three black vans, and Rick is with Gonzalo on his bulletproof limousine. As Gonzalo likes to say, Rick is one of his favorite pets.

"Uh, boss?" Rick called Gonzalo's attention.

"If you don't let it out, Chico, you will have a bloated stomach." Gonzalo joked since he's been noticing Rick's uneasiness.

"Boss, I don't mean to overstep, but—"

"Then forget it. Patricia is mine. That's all you have to remember, me entiendes?" Gonzalo cut him off. He already knew what Rick was about to say.


It's been months since Tasha last saw Patricia and her baby. She would call and text her once in a while, but she never revisited her. Tasha was so worried about her and the baby. Not everyone in New York knew Gonzalo's other business despite being one of the most successful businessmen in the state.

"Hey! Tasha, how are you?" Glaiza greeted her the moment she entered Xfactor's apartment for its employees.

"Glaiza, what's up?" Tasha greeted her back.

"Where's Patricia?" Brina butted in.

"That's actually why I am here. I'm hoping you guys have seen her here lately." Tasha started her reason for visiting.

"Yo la vi, at Gonzalo's big house," said Rosita, a Spanish lady who migrated to the U.S one month before Patricia moved in with Gonzalo.

"Are you sure it was her?" Tasha asked.

"Si, si, I know Patricia. Beautiful chica. Hugo, one of Gonzalo's matones, took me there." She explained in her Spanish accent.

"How was she?" Brina asked.

"High, so high. I saw her dancing at Gonzalo's balcony, swaying like a, what you call that, un loco burracho." Rosita added.

"She said Patricia was dancing and swaying like a drunk madman," Glaiza explained when she saw the confusion on Tasha's face.

Tasha sat down on the nearest chair when she heard what Rosita has to say. She always knew from the beginning that moving in with Gonzalo was a big mistake. But Patricia didn't listen to her. All the girls inside the apartment looked at each other. Worry is written all over their faces. They've been working as a stripper for a long time to know if a man screams of bad news all over him.

"I have to get Patricia out of there," Tasha said with finality.

"But how would you do that? Tasha, you know Gonzalo Valenzuela. You do not want to be on his bad side." Brina warned her.

"I don't know, but I have to before she snorts herself into a loony bin or worst to the grave."


At Gonzalo's estate.

Gonzalo arrived home with his men after their underground business transaction. He saw Tommy and his nanny in the living room, but he just passed by them. He doesn't have even the slightest compassion for the child. All he cares about is Patricia.

"Where is she?" Gonzalo asked one of the maids.

"She left earlier, senyor." The old woman answered.

"Who's with her?" Gonzalo asked, holding his anger.

"No one, senyor." The old replied.

Gonzalo didn't answer. Instead, he went to their room with his jaw clenched. He remembered not having the chance to tell Patricia about his rules. After changing his clothes, Gonzalo went to the poolside, where his men are resting.

"Rick, Martin, find Patricia." The two didn't bother to answer; they just nodded their heads and immediately left. "Esa mujer me esta empezando a cabrear." The Spanish millionaire said in an angry tone.

"Easy, boss. I'm sure she just went shopping or got hungry and went out." Dencel tried to calm him down.

"You think?" He asked him. Dencel was calmly sitting on one of the bar stools.

"Aren't you the one I tasked to be with her anywhere she goes?" Gonzalo then asked him with a deadly look.

"I'm betting it's a headshot." One of the goons whispered.

"Nah, that's too quick. I'm betting torture." Replied the other. They were betting on how Gonzalo will kill him because he neglected the task given to him. Dencel swallowed hard.

"Uhm—boss, I was—i—I didn't—didn't—" he could not complete his sentence out of fear.

"Let's hope for your sake that Patricia just went out to go shopping." Gonzalo's every word is like daggers slowly sinking into Dencel's gut. "Because if not, Te daré de comer a los tigres, entendido?" Gonzalo whispered to his ear while tapping his shoulder.

"Huh! I won! I told you, man, it'll be torture." Dencel threw them a death glare.

"Sorry, I need some extra cash." The guy answered, laughing.

Dencel just shook his head and cursed under his breath. Blaming his neglectfulness for the fate that he's about to face.


When Patricia came back to full consciousness, she decided to go out and stroll around New York. She wanted to calm her head and enjoy the beauty of the Big Apple. So, she left without telling ay of Gonzalo's men.

Patricia found her way to the Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock Observation Deck. She fell in love with the place the first time she visited. The height of the Observation Deck gives her a sense of power. Like she's on top of the world, looking down at everything around her. Patricia looked at the view around her and remembered her life in Raleigh, back when her mother was still alive.


Patricia woke up with the feeling that someone's caressing her head. She felt relaxed and smiled. Every day, her mom would come to her room and wake her up by stroking her head. It's her way of greeting her a good morning.

"Good morning, sweetheart." Her mom greeted her softly.

"Good morning, Mom." Patricia greeted back with a smile.

"Come on, sleepyhead. Breakfast is ready." She kissed her forehead before leaving.

Patricia lay down on her bed for a few more minutes, contemplating how lucky she is to have her parents. They are both loving and caring, and all they ever wanted was to give her the best life possible.

"Good morning, princess." Her dad greeted her as she walked to the kitchen. "Isn't your poster-making contest today?"

"Yes, dad. I partnered with Jill. She made the poster, and I made the context." Patricia responded while her mom puts food on her plate. "Thanks, Mom. I love you." She said to her mom before eating.

"Jill, Carter? Jason Carter's daughter?" Her dad asked.

"Yes, dad. Why? You know him?" Patricia responded.

"Oh, everybody knows Jason Carter. He was the brightest back in high school and a great artist too." Her dad answered.

"Her dad was an artist?" Patricia asked, conflicted. She saw Mr. Jason Carter once, and there's nothing about him that says art.

"Honey, don't judge him." Her father stated. "Jason's life took a tragic turn when her mom was killed in a shooting incident. We were all fourteen and fifteen at the time. And Jason was at his brightest, straight-A student, competing everywhere, showcasing his art."

"That's right, hon. When his mother died, he lost his willingness, too, his sense of purpose. Slowly, Jason became withdrawn, argumentative. No one knew that he started doing drugs." Her mom added. "Jason's father was never a father to him; he only had his mother keep him going. The only one left in Jason's life that holds significant importance was his little sister."

"I've read about her when I was researching our town's history for a project. She was raped and killed by her father when she was twelve." Patricia remembered the news clip about the Josie Carter rape and murder case."

"That's why you can't judge someone by what you see in them." Her mother said to her in a serious tone. "You don't know what they are going through or what they had to go through to survive and be where they are today."

"Yes, Mom, Dad. I'm sorry." Patricia said sincerely.

-End of Flashback-

Patricia smiled after remembering how her mother turned her into a well-mannered lady and a good-hearted individual. The things she instilled in her mind always include understanding everyone around her, being patient with them, helping in times of need, caring for those who can't take care of themselves, and forgiving. She thought, if her mom is still here, she will hug her and tell her everything is going to be okay.

"Patricia!" She looked in the direction where the voice who called out her name came from.

"Gonzalo's looking for you, come on." It was Rick with another one of Gonzalo's men.


As the moments passed, Gonzalo started to lose his patience. He was sitting on the couch near the poolside while drinking Martini. The death glares he was giving to Darryl were warning enough of his impending doom.

"They're here." One of his men announced the moment Rick's car entered the property.

A few moments later, Rick arrived with Patricia behind her, holding some shopping bags. This made Dencel let out a sigh of relief.

"She went shopping, boss," Rick said when in truth, he just told Patricia to buy stuff so Gonzalo would think she really went out shopping. Rick wanted to protect Darryl and, most importantly, Patricia. He may be crooked, he does not enjoy the murder of an innocent.

"What's going on?" Patricia asked Gonzalo.

"Nothing, mi amor. I was just worried." Gonzalez smiled at her and kissed her cheek.

Dencel thought he was saved, but when Gonzalo turned his back on them, "A la jaula." Gonzalo announced. They all went to the cage of Gonzalo's Siberian tigers. Rick's face was a portrait of pity, confusion, and regret. He's starting to realize the mistake he made of introducing Patricia to Gonzalo.

"Boss, i—thought, I thought everything's fine; Ms. Patricia went out shopping." Dencel tried to plead for his life even though he knows it's only useless.

"Gonzalo, please, let him go." Patricia tried to meddle for Dencel's sake. Rick was trying to warn her not to push her luck secretly.

"I'm not mad at you, mi amor." Gonzalo smiled at Patricia, tucking some loose strands of hair behind her ear. "But I have to set an example. If I say don't go out of the property without a bodyguard," Gonzalo grabbed Patricia's arms. "don't go out of the property without a bodyguard." Gonzalo said in a warning tone.

"Yes, I understand. I'm sorry, it won't happen again." Patricia got scared and apologized.

"Feed that pendejo to the tigers," Gonzalo ordered.

The sound of heavy gates rang in the air as his Siberian tigers roar. Dencel tried to fight off Gonzalo's men, who used to be his friends, but he's no match with their number's advantage. His screams of agony erupted when one of the guys successfully pushed him to the opening of the cage. Gonzalo's Siberian tigers had a feast.

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