“Tell me what happened.”
“I told you; I sent him out to get some more formula for Jamie and he never came back.”
“Didn’t he give you money to get all that last week?”
“Yes, but it ran out.”
“You’re telling me that Jamie finished a whole tub of formula in a week?”
Aiden’s jaw tightened, “Sofia, do I look stupid to you?”
“Then why the fuck are you lying to me?” He growled.
“I’m not Aiden, I swear.”
A tall wiry figure appeared from a dark doorway of Sofia’s home, dressed head to toe in black -the signature colour of the Diamond Mafia -with his baseball cap pulled down low so that the peak shadowed his eyes; Dougie Monroe, Aiden’s best friend and most faithful lieutenant with a reputation for being one of the most lethal hitmen the streets of London has ever known.
Aiden glanced over his shoulder at his friend; “Go to the kitchen and open the cupboard next to the cooker. Tell me if you see a tin of SMA baby formula.”
Dougie nodded and went to investigate, moving silently like a trained assassin, a skill he had mastered many years ago; you never knew that Dougie was coming for you until it was too late.
Sofia Sanchez, mother of Aiden’s 7 month old nephew Jamie, tried to keep her body language calm. She knew that if she started fidgeting, even a little, Aiden would know for sure that she was lying…not that it mattered now; once Dougie looked in the cupboard he would see the two large tins of baby formula that she purchased last week when Keegan -Aiden’s 19-year-old brother and Jamie’s father -paid her child support. She wanted to believe that the fact that she was Jamie’s mother would stop Aiden from killing her, but deep down she knew that wasn’t true -Aiden is no soft touch and once he found out what she did, all hell would break loose. Keegan is missing and it’s all her fault.
“Yeah, there’s two of ‘em,” Dougie called from the kitchen.
Aiden sighed irritably and slowly turned back to Sofia with his jaw clenched and his nostrils flared –he hated being lied to; he saw it as a waste of his time because he was always hell bent on knowing the truth by any means necessary. The more time that was wasted getting Sofia to confess what she knew about Keegan’s sudden disappearance, the more time whoever took his brother had to take him further away and do God knows what to him.
“Two tins?” Aiden growled quietly as the deep brown colour of his eyes hardened.
“My mistake,” Sofia shrugged almost carelessly, hoping that he didn’t notice the way her voice quivered slightly as she continued to avoid telling him the truth, “I thought we ran out.”
Aiden crouched his thick, six-foot-four frame down low, so that he could glare at Sofia at eye level as she sat stock still on her two-seater sofa with tears behind her eyes. She tried her best to hide her fear but he could see that she was afraid, and she should be -Aiden Michaels didn’t become one of the most notorious and highly dangerous drug lords of one of the biggest organised crime cartels in South London by allowing people to think they could cross him and get away with it. There were only two things that Aiden cared about; his money and his family, Keegan especially. Growing up on Myatts Field Estate (one of the rougher sectors of Brixton) had been tough on him and his younger sibling; with a junkie for a mother and both of their fathers pulling a disappearing act before they were born, Aiden and Keegan only ever really had each other. Nine years his senior, Aiden had done his best to try and raise Keegan; stealing food to feed him when their mother had used up their benefit money on drugs and cheap cider, teaching him how to fight so that he would be ready for the day someone from a different block would eventually try to jump him, protecting him from witnessing the things their mother did when she was skint and desperate for her next high (which usually involved her and a suspicious looking man behind a locked door), making sure that he went to school every day (even though Keegan would end up ditching halfway through the day), he bought him his first gun and taught him how to use it, showed him how to make fast money the smart way, and even taught him about girls -something Keegan picked up effortlessly. Keegan, as troublesome as he was, was Aiden’s world, and now Sofia was the reason that he was missing. Aiden reached behind him and pulled his revolver out of the waistband of his jeans and pressed it to her temple.
Sofia begun to cry, whimpering and trembling as the cold steel of the barrel made direct contact with her skin. “Aiden, please…”
“I’m going to ask you one more time; what happened to my brother Sofia?”
“I already told you,” she sobbed, running a manicured finger under her lower lash line to stop her eyeliner from running down her face.
“No, you lied to me,” he scowled. “You know I don’t like liars. Tell me the truth before I have to do something I don’t want to do.”
“I am telling you the truth, you just don’t want to believe me! Aiden please, you can’t hurt me; what about Jamie?”
“Jamie is family. Jamie is safe.”
“I’m family. I’m his mother Aiden, I’m family!”
“No, you’re the money grabbing hoodrat from the block that I warned Keegan was gonna get him into some bullshit one day, and now look; he’s missing and you won’t tell me where he is. You ain’t no fuckin’ family of mine!”
“I told you_”
Aiden slammed his fist down on the small coffee table next to the sofa, cutting off another useless reply from Sofia. He wanted to shoot her but he knew that Keegan would be pissed, and that without her, he may never see his little brother again, so he decided to give her one last chance. He removed the barrel of the gun from her temple, opened the chamber and took out 5 of the 6 bullets before spinning it and closing it back. He put the barrel between her eyebrows. “Just because you are Jamie’s mother, I’mma give you the opportunity to save your own life and tell me what you know. There is one bullet loaded in a random chamber of this gun; every time I think you are lying I will pull the trigger without a second thought.”
“One of two things may happen; you may get the chance to keep talking, or you will die instantly. I hope for your sake that you stop being stupid and tell me what the fuck I need to know so that I can find my brother and bring him home, otherwise another woman will be raising your son, do you understand me?”
“Yes,” Sofia squeaked as more hot tears rolled down her face.
“Good. Start talking.”
“Aiden please, I keep telling you, I sent him to the store to get more formula and he didn’t come ba_”
Sofia jumped and screamed so loudly at the sound of Aiden pulling the trigger that it woke Jamie, who had been sound asleep only moments ago in the nursery upstairs. Her son’s cries rang noisily over the baby monitor, clearly distressed by the sound of his mother’s fear.
Aiden was unmoved. “You got lucky that time, Sofia. Go again.”
“Aiden please! Please Aiden, please don’t do this…please,” she wailed.
“TALK!” he boomed; silencing her pleas.
“I sent him to get form_”
“Nooooooooo!” she cried as the trigger sounded again.
Aiden lowered the gun and grabbed her face roughly, squeezing her jaw tightly with his large, powerful hands, so hard that her cinnamon skin reddened around the grooves that his dark chocolate fingers created. “Sofia, I don’t have time for this. If you don’t tell me what happened to Keegan, he will die and then the only person Jamie will have is me because I will kill you. Is that what you want?”
“Then you are going to tell me the truth and if you don’t I will keep on squeezing this trigger until it gets to the bullet. Now, I think that what you need is a little more incentive seeing as you apparently don’t give a shit about whether Keegan lives or dies…Dougie!”
Dougie appeared from the kitchen, chewing casually with a half-eaten banana in his hand -when killing people is your job, you tend to become desensitized to certain situations. “Yeah?”
“Go get Jamie.”
Dougie nodded and headed upstairs. A few seconds later he returned with a cute, curly haired, wide eyed baby boy, now quietly sucking on his pacifier and smiling up at Dougie. Aiden didn’t look up to see his nephew –it would only distract him -instead he made a show of pulling back the hammer and placed the barrel of the revolver back between Sofia’s eyebrows.
“Are you sick? You’re gonna shoot me in front of my son?”
“If that’s what it takes to get you to talk,” he said tightly, flexing his fingers around the handle making the inked skin around his thick muscles undulate dangerously. “Would you like to tell him goodbye or are you ready to stop bullshitting me? I’ve already fired two shots, and you know what they say; third times the charm.”
Sofia looked over at her tiny child cradled contentedly in Dougie’s arms, and knew that if she didn’t tell Aiden what he wanted to know, that she would never see her baby again. “Okay, okay I’ll talk, just please, put the gun down,” she sobbed.
Sofia sighed. “Keegan was having some money issues,” she began, “He started gambling with some very shady people and ended up owing them a lot -I’m talking tens of thousands of pounds. His debt got so bad that he wasn’t able to pay the bills_”
“So why didn’t he come to me?” Aiden inquired, confused as to why Keegan would subject himself to hard times when he knew that no matter how badly he messed up, his big brother would always have his back.
“He knew you’d be mad at him and he wanted to take care of us on his own,” she explained. “One night he comes home with a bag full of gear that he stole from another crew -claimed it was worth 10 mill -so he started moving that without the family knowing. Soon he paid off all his debts and we had more money than we knew what to do with. Everything was good at first; he bought me gifts and took me places; anything I wanted, he got it for me…and then he started doing the same for Jasmin, Rhonda, Chanel, Karlie, and whoever the fuck else caught his attention,” she sneered. “We started fighting, I was always pulling him up on some bullshit, but it didn’t matter what I said because he was ‘K. Dot’, and he had the paper, so he could do whatever the fuck he wanted and I had to shut up, stay home and look after the baby. Then Jasmin got pregnant and I lost it…” she trailed off and a fresh round of tears began. “I just wanted my boyfriend back, I swear Aiden. I love Keegz so much, but I couldn’t let him get away with it. I just wanted him back.”
Aiden gripped the gun tighter, “What did you do, Sofia?”
“I knew who the gear belonged to,” she whispered, shame colouring her guilty tone.
Aiden lowered the gun and got to his feet. Being a man of his word, he couldn’t shoot her because she was telling the truth, and he had said to her that if she told him the truth that he wouldn’t -but God he wanted to. “Sofia,” he said in a measured tone, trying his hardest to keep it together because he knew that whatever she had to say to him after this point was going to make him want to throttle her with his bare hands. The Syndicate was run by Vincent Lockewood, an extremely powerful ‘business man’ who owned a majority of the top luxury nightclubs, bars and casinos in London, and a few overseas –well, that was his front anyway. For those on the circuit who knew better, Vince was the kingpin of drug trafficking in London; any products that came in or out of the city were controlled by him. He’d pull in the huge shipments and distribute them to all of the smaller drug lords who would then sell them on to other small-time dealers. He was the top dog, completely untouchable, even for someone as powerful as Aiden. How could Keegan have been so stupid as to fuck with Vince’s shit? That was like asking for a death sentence. “What did you do?” he repeated.
Sofia’s body quaked with panic, but she knew she had to keep going; “The night I found out about Jasmin I got drunk went to one of Vince’s spots, and bumped into one of his capo’s, a guy called Chris.”
“Fuck!” That was Dougie. Not many people could impress Dougie because he was so good at his job, but Chris Mullins was a blood thirsty psychopath who enjoyed torturing and killing people the way musicians loved music.
“And?” Aiden probed, ignoring Dougie’s reaction.
“I was so mad; I told him everything. He seemed like such a nice guy. I knew he wasn’t, and I knew that I shouldn’t have said a word to him, but…I was just so angry. Jamie is only 7 months old; how could Keegan get another girl pregnant?” She swiped her fingers underneath her lash line again. “Chris told me not to worry, that I was a beautiful woman and that I deserved better than a punk like Keegan Michaels. He promised me that Keegan would pay for what he’d done. I was so naïve, I thought that he meant that Kegan would pay for what he’d done to me…but he meant Vince.”
“Of course he meant Vince, you stupid bitch!” Aiden yelled. Jamie stirred and whined in Dougie’s arms.
“I know, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. The next thing I know I’m giving this asshole directions to my house. He follows me in, knocks Keegan out and takes him away. He said that it was nothing personal, just business that was to be settled between Keegan and The Syndicate, and that if I talked he’d come back for me and Jamie.”
“Fuck!” That was Dougie again.
Aiden begun pacing up and down the living room, trying to think of how to handle the situation without endangering his brother’s life any further, although it was probably no use; once someone crossed Vince, they were as good as dead. Keegan had done a lot of stupid things in his time, but stealing from Vince was definitely the dumbest move his sibling would ever make. He stopped pacing and spoke to Sofia again, refusing to look at her as the sight of her made his trigger finger itch. “How much of the gear did my idiot brother move?”
“About 3 million so far.”
“Where the rest?”
“Go get it,” he snapped.
“Okay.” Sofia sprinted off in the direction of the bathroom.
Aiden turned to Dougie, “D, I need you, Stone, Ash and Mighty to find out where Vince is; tell him I want a sit down. I’m gonna take Jamie_”
“Take Jamie where?” Sofia re-entered the room supporting a large black duffle bag with two arms.
“Somewhere safe,” Aiden replied, annoyed that she was back so soon.
“What about me?”
“Bitch, fuck you,” he snarled, snatching the bag out of her arms, “You ain’t family!” He hoisted the straps over one shoulder then with other free hand, he scooped Jamie out of Dougie’s arms and ordered him under his breath, “Handle that.”
As Aiden walked down the hall with his nephew and the remaining shipment of Vince’s gear that had started all of this drama, in tow, he heard the start of Sofia’s ear-splitting scream as the whipping sound of one of Dougie’s bullets shot through his silencer and into her head.
Aiden was a man of his word; he’d said that he wouldn’t kill her –he never said anything about Dougie.
Hope you enjoyed the first chapter of Running Wilde. Give it a heart if you did and let me know what you think about Aiden so far.
Ch. 2 will be up next Friday.
Love Scotty xx