Chapter 3

3535 Words
RICARDO   It had been almost a week since Nikolai came home with the news of Victor’s death. Nikolai was in the car behind Victor’s armored Range rover sentinel. They were crossing the dense eastern jungles of Venezuela when from nowhere a missile was launched at them, causing Victor’s car to topple down the hill and crash with a loud explosion. Victor’s men rushed to the spot to save their boss but everything was destroyed to black ash by the time they reached the bottom of the cliff. They couldn’t even retrieve a bone of Victor’s.   However, Ricardo did not give up on his son. Victor had encountered many such dangerous situations before and nothing could kill him. His young son was a powerful man, who was going to reach greater heights in his life. He was, even more, fiercer than Ricardo at his age. He believed that Victor could not have died just like that but isn't that what every parent thinks? Acceptance of a child's death is horrifying to every parent and Ricardo was no exception. He ordered his men to carry out the rescue mission until they either found him alive or his dead body. “Boss, our men have rummaged through the whole forest. While we could find his driver dead, there was not even the smallest trace of Victor.” Esteban, Ricardo’s Chief guard tried to inform his boss who was in complete denial of his son's death. Esteban was also Emilia’s older brother and one of the most loyal men of Ricardo. “Then fucking keep searching. We haven’t found Victor’s body yet and that is a piece of solid evidence that he isn’t dead yet.” Even though the old man was immersed in extreme grief, he didn’t let a single tear slip down his eyes. “..but Patron, our specialized forensic team thinks that he was engulfed by the fire..” Ricardo came forward and grabbed Esteban by his shirt collar before he threw him against the wall roughly, “Victor isn’t a bunny to disappear into dust from a mere car crash. I know my son. He would have made an escape before the car hit the ground.” “Boss, our spies have informed us that there could be a possible attack on us since our rival gangs have somehow learned about Victor’s dea..” Esteban stopped and bit back his words. “I mean, his sudden disappearance..” “Then deal with it. Do what needs to be done instead of talking shit. Now, get lost..” Ricardo barked orders. Esteban bowed his head and left the man to himself. Ricardo turned away and looked out of his wall-sized window. “Where the hell are you, Victor?” Their rival gangs were like hungry hyenas looking for an opportunity to attack the king of the pride at his weakest moment. And now that, Victor was suspected to be dead, Ricardo was sure they would plan an attack on them. They would not only attack their family but the whole village and probably everyone connected to their family. Without an heir, Ricardo would be thrown from his position as the Mafia head and lose all the power to someone else. That would mean they are doomed for good and that he would never let happen. Only he knew to what extent he had gone to reach this position and he wouldn't let it slip away just like that. He had to do something before matters get out of his hands.    Two days later, the estate was quiet with just the guards patrolling in and around the mansion when they heard a loud blast in the servant quaters.. Since it was midnight, most of them had retired to their rooms, and the majority of them were dead from the bomb blast. It wasn’t an attack but an attempt to threaten the Gonzales’. “This bomb could have been planted anywhere inside the mansion. How the fuck did we let this happen?” Esteban and all his guards were being questioned by Ricardo after clearing all the debris from the blast. The news of the attack on Gonzalez’ was circulating the news channels like wildfire and his men were doing everything to stop it. This piece of information would only attract more attackers. “Patron, most of our men are still stationed at the area where we lost Victor. There were only a few of us guarding the estate. Our attackers knew it well and had taken the chance to strike us down..” Esteban reasoned. “Well then, hire more professions to guard the estate but I want the search mission to go on..” Ricardo hissed. “Yes, boss..” Esteban dismissed his guards when he had something to tell Ricardo in private. “Boss, Emilia is waiting for you. She hadn’t slept a minute in the past one and a half weeks. She was worried about you. If you don’t mind, do you want me to send her in?” He was aware that no amount of talking or coaxing could change Ricardo’s mind but still had hope that his sister’s words could do the magic on his boss.  When he saw Ricardo give a positive nod, he quickly rushed out and came back in with his sister, trailing behind him. “I will leave you two..” He gave a slight push on his sister’s shoulder and silently eyed her something. Nodding at him, Emilia closed the door behind him and strode across the huge desk which separated her and Ricardo. Without hesitation, she went to sit on his lap and wound her slender arms around his neck, “Rick, talk to me. You haven’t left your office room in days.” She held his face between her palms. When he didn’t make a move to hold her, she took his arm which was not slinged and brought it around her petite figure, urging him to hold her. “I know how much you love Victor and it’s really painful to know about his death but what can be done? Even the greatest man is nothing in front of God’s plans.” Ricardo’s fury gushed in his veins as she kept uttering shit after shit, just like her brother. He had to grind his jaws together to control himself from trashing her because he wanted to know her real intentions.  “You need to pull yourself together, my darling, and accept that Victor is really gone. This is the third attack on our people. We know we have you to save us now but we need someone to protect our people after you..” Saying this, she brought her lips to softly kiss him. Ricardo understood where this was all going towards and remained uninfluenced. This bitch has been trying to convince him to have a child with her for a long while and this predicament turned out to be in her favor. “You are right, I need an heir who will protect you all after me..” He spoke after pulling away from the kiss, his anger masked by a vicious smile.   Emilia was only sixteen when she was offered to Ricardo by her brother. She didn't agree to sleep with the man twice her age for nothing. She couldn't contain her happiness when everything that she had wanted was happening one by one. “I can give you an heir, my lord. Even more powerful and fierce than Victor..”  However, She didn’t know what came after that because the next second she was lying on the floor from the mind-numbing slap from Ricardo. She felt the world reeling around her and could see stars in front of her eyes. “What made you think I would want an heir from a cheap whore like you.” He spat as he crouched in front of her. "Do not cross your boundaries if you don’t want me to slit your fucking throat.." Her eyes were teary and big as a ball. Ricardo ran the back of his forefinger across his nostrils, a gesture he always did when he was angry. His palm caught Emilia’s throat in a death-like grip and pulled her onto her feet. “Do not fucking show your face to me ever again..” He threatened and pushed her out of his office room, where he knew her brother was waiting for her. “Fucking bitch..” He swore as he took a large gulp of his whisky. Ricardo didn’t know how much he had drunk that night but the pain at his heart never seemed to go away. ‘You are going to get our children killed, Rick. Please, let me take them with me. Please..’ Her words kept taunting his mind. He had managed to forget her but today it was becoming impossible to not think of her words which turned out to be true. He closed his tired eyes and leaned his head back. It happened thirty years back but the memories and pain were fresh like it happened yesterday. Ricardo was brutally injured and fighting for his life after he was attacked by the Sicilian Mafia on the Brazilian border. His father, the then Mafia head, and his men lay dead next to him. He too didn’t have too much time left, he knew. He was getting sucked into deep and scary darkness but suddenly she came like a flash. That was the first time he saw Carla. She was a resident doctor at that time and she had come to Colombia on a medical tour to treat the poor. She and her team of doctors were on their way to a conference when they saw Ricardo and his men lying injured. It was fate that brought them together that day. He had never met someone so angelic in his life. She was like the Goddess of death but also the one who refused to let him die so soon as she began to do CPR on him.  The darkness around him was beginning to be replaced by a miraculous white flash of hope and at that moment he knew he will live. He wanted to get to know her more, he wanted to hold her and love her. He held on to the last string of his life. He didn’t know after how long he woke up but the first thing that he did was to ask for that woman. ‘Where is she? The angel who saved my life..’ “You are awake..” She came running into the small tent which smelled like a hospital. “How long have I been away?” He enquired. “Six weeks..” She answered adjusting his bandages on his face which was ruined in the bomb blast. “My men?” “We could save some of them but most of them died on the spot, I’m sorry..” She helped him sit up when he struggled with it. In the three weeks that he spent with her after gaining consciousness, Carla fell in love with the man. She knew he screamed danger and chaos but that was what she loved about him. She was young and naïve and didn’t care about anything else because she was so much in love with this man. She married him after a year even when her whole family opposed their union. He was an Adonis and perfect in every sense. The next year they welcomed their twin boys and life seemed to be perfect for a while. Though he was a cold-hearted man to the outside world, he was a loving husband and father at home. However, things began to change with time and the growing risks around them. Ricardo couldn’t be the same man. He understood that his family was his greatest weakness and he couldn’t let that take control of him. Life was rough for Carla in Colombia. She kept practicing medicine to distract herself from the fattening distance between her husband and her. She was certain that there wasn’t any other woman in his life because however distant he was, he never failed to come to her in the nights. She was his home, no matter what. Six years later into their marriage, she gave birth to their daughter, Sarah yet Ricardo remained the same cold and distant man. He never once held the new baby in his arms and that broke Carla's heart.  Even though it hurt her, she knew whatever he did was out of love for them. She understood this man too well and could never come to hate him but all the hell broke loose the day he pulled their seven-year-old boys into his dirty business. She wanted to finally separate from him. She wanted to take her children away and never come back into this dark world.  That day he left her with a difficult choice. ‘Rick, how cruel can you be to make me choose between my children. Let me take them all with me. I promise I will let you see them whenever you want but they don’t have to be involved in all this shit. Please..’ She implored in front of him. Her tears could melt even the coldest heart of Ricardo but he considered his position and power above everything. Moreover, he knew that his beloved would be safe only when she was away from him.   ’The choice is yours, Carla. You will either take one of them or you get to take none.” Ricardo warned coldly but he couldn’t see any trace of fear in her beautiful eyes. His menacing countenance never affected her like it did with the others. She was never scared of Ricardo and that was the reason he fell in love with her in the first place. He pulled out his handgun and placed it on his son’s forehead. “You will leave with him now or I will fucking blow his brains..” Carla gasped as she covered her mouth in shock. “You wouldn’t do that. You love your children very much..” She mumbled.  “I don’t need him. He is incapable of killing. He has definitely not taken after me..” He pushed the boy towards his mother. “’ Take him away and spare me from killing him.” The last things that Ricardo saw in his wife’s eyes were hate, anger, and betrayal before she took the helicopter waiting for her and left him forever with her son. All the women that came into his life after Carla meant nothing to him and held no place in his heart.   Ricardo woke up to the soft knock on the door. He groaned and sat up straight rubbing his face before muttering a 'come in.' “May I speak with you, father?” Jasmine peeked through the small gap. “Yes, little flower.. Come in..” Her limped steps didn’t go unnoticed by him and guessed exactly who could have done that to her. He never understood why Victor was so cruel to his wife and child but sometimes, he thought his son was right by choosing to be detached from emotional bonds and family sentiments. That way he wouldn’t suffer a fate like he did years ago. “What brings you here?” Jasmine didn’t know where to begin. It had been days and she was sure Victor wasn’t going to return. She had her sources and all of them told her the same thing. ‘There’s no way he could have escaped from that fire..’ Some of them even told her that they saw him burnt to bones and ash. For years, this place had been her golden cage and now that he was gone forever, she had no one to stop her from leaving. “Jasmine, do you want to tell me something?” Ricardo asked when she stood there, fidgeting with her fingers, with her continued attention over something. “Y-Yes.." She began.. "I want to leave.” She claimed in a mumble and regretted the moment her father-in-law's eyes turned enraged. Deciding to forgive her useless talks, he got up from his chair and strode forward, “Go back to your room and take care of Miguel..” “But I don’t want to go back. I have suffered enough already and I’m not going to stay here another day..” She swallowed her fear and squared her shoulders to pretend brave in front of this man who was no less cruel than Victor. Even though the old man was always kind to her, she never liked him.  “Do you want Victor to come after and kill you?” He yelled at her face. He had always been polite to her since he truly considered her as his own daughter but she was bringing out the bad in him with her stubbornness. “Believe it or not, Victor is dead and he is not coming back..” She retorted back at him. “I want to get away from this merdrous family and want to live a normal life with my son..” He chuckled dryly and lit his cigar. His calm demeanor was shaking her confidence in her own words. “What if I told you that the moment you step out of this estate your deaths are for sure. Whether you like it or not, you have to accept that your life is entangled into this murderous family that you hate so much, and the word ‘normal’ doesn’t exist for people like us. And since your son is the last of the Gonzales,  everyone who wants my place in the Mafia world will come after him, even your own brothers.” Jasmine felt a shudder run down her spine. Will her own family come after their lives? She couldn’t deny it completely. She was aware that both her elder brothers were in touch with Victor whenever they needed to but they had not bothered even once to talk with her after the day she got married four years ago. And it was an undeniable fact that every remaining enemy would want to kill Miguel since he was indeed the only surviving heir to the Gonzalez family. “I don’t want my son to be the heir to this sinful family. I want to take him away where he can live peaceful..” Back in those days, it was easy for Ricarso to hide his family’s identity but now it would be impossible and even if it was possible he was never letting them go. “You can’t change what he already is..” She was furious to hear the exact same words that Victor had said the day she last saw him. “But I can promise you his safety as long as I am alive which is only possible if he lives here.” He promised, nothing but only honesty shining in coal-black orbs. “I also promise you to bring back Victor. Just give me just two weeks’ time..” Now Jasmine thought that he had lost his mind for saying something like that but she was happy as long as he provided safety to her son because she believed no one but Ricardo could save them from their enemies. She had sacrificed her whole life and tolerated all the pain that Victor had caused upon her for the sake of her son and living here was nothing compared to it. Staying in the estate in Victor’s absence didn’t sound that bad, after all.   Early the next morning, Nikolai was called into the boss's room.  "You are going with me.."  "May I ask where you are headed to, Patron?" Esteban willed himself to ask Ricardo. It wasn't the wise decision to go anywhere alone in such situations.  "I will be back in three days. I'm entrusting my family to you. If at all anything happened to them I wouldn't hesitate to bury a bullet into your head." The man heard his boss warn before he walked into the chopper that was waiting for him.  A/N: So that was all about Ricardo and his love life. In the next chapter you will get to meet our hero. How many of you are excited to know what kind of a person he is?  Please leave your comments and stay tuned to read more.  ~SwaRam~          
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