THE DOCTORS WERE amazed with my progress. I should have been bedridden from the bullet wounds I suffered for weeks. But with the promise of revenge coursing through my veins, leading me to my end goal — being with Aria again — it gave me the strength I needed to strive toward a fast recovery. I only laid in bed for four days before I began grueling physical therapy to get me back into shape. If I was going to accomplish what I wanted, I would need to be in top form.
And two weeks later, I’m finally ready. I’m making my last stance as Mateo Navarro. And then, after today, he will no longer exist.
When I stroll into Domingo’s house on a beautiful, sunny morning, I have a smile on my face. I’m not smiling because I’m happy. No, I’m smiling because vengeance has finally been able to rear its ugly head after all these years and the day for retribution is upon us.
My uncle is sitting at the dining table, eating breakfast. I’m sure his morning went as normal as possible. He probably woke up a couple of hours ago, brushed his teeth, maybe took a shit, read the newspaper and then came downstairs for a meal consisting of over-easy eggs, bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice.
When his gaze rises and rests upon me, I watch in amusement as his face grows pale like he’s just seen a fucking ghost. “M-Mateo,” he stutters in disbelief. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Oh, Uncle. You’re not happy to see me alive and well?”
Domingo clears his throat, wipes his mouth with a napkin before tossing it down on the table beside his now forgotten meal. “Of course I’m happy.” I can see him reaching for his phone to alert his guards, and I don’t stop him. “Listen, Mateo, you have to understand that I only did it for the money.”
“You only did what exactly for the money, Uncle? You only had my entire family slaughtered in front of my eyes for money? Or you had my only reason for living taken from me and thus almost killing me in the process for the second time?” I shrug nonchalantly. “You’ll have to be more specific.”
“Money is the root of all evil, and people will do almost anything for it,” he tells me, as if I didn’t already know that.
“No shit,” I tell him with a smirk.
I can see his eyes shifting, glancing around the room as beads of sweat gather on his forehead. I’m not telepathic, by any means, but I can read his precise thoughts in this moment.
“Your guards are not coming,” I inform him. “You were right about people doing almost anything for money. Pay your guards enough and offer them asylum back in Mexico, and they will leave their master in a heartbeat.”
He swallows hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. “Mateo, please. I’m the only family you have left.”
“That’s where you’re wrong.” I pull out the Glock behind my back and point it at him.
“Please! Don’t kill me, Mateo!” he begs, groveling and sniveling like the pathetic, little weasel he is.
“My mother, my father, my sisters. Little Lucita,” I say, my voice breaking with her name. I close my eyes briefly, trying to block out the memory of her screams. “Lucy was only eight years old,” I tell him through gritted teeth. “She was the most innocent.”
“It was wrong!” he says, throwing his hands up in surrender. “I know what I did was wrong, but I can’t take it back, Mateo. And none of this will bring them back.”
“You’re right. None of this will bring them back. But maybe their souls can finally rest knowing the man who betrayed them is finally six feet under.”
I squeeze the trigger and shoot him right between the eyes.
He slumps forward, his cheek landing in his plate of food. I watch the life drain from his dark eyes before I breathe a sigh of relief. After all these years, the retribution I was seeking is finally finished.
I tuck the Glock behind my back and leave the house. My mind is laser focused on one thing and one thing only — finding my little captive.