I done wrote something! It’s not Fall, true, but it is a story you’ve seen before! I’ve just added an actual plot and characters and all that fun stuff. And tbh, I’m quite excited for this mobster!finn story to unfold. It’s going to be great.
It takes place in Los Angeles, which is quite a far ways away from good ol’ England. What can I say? I love putting my characters in unknown territory.
Things will get graphic in this story, but if you take into account the kind of life they lead, it’d be irresponsible of me to gloss over the violence Finn and co live with daily. I will try to make it as easy to stomach as possible, but there are aspects to cruelty that I just can’t sugarcoat.
Also! I’m trying to become proficient in Spanish, so I figured what better place to test my abilities than in a story in Southern California! That being said, I still have troubles with the language, so if someone would take pity on me and walk me through some things, I’d 10000% appreciate it. Phrases, spelling, that kind of stuff. (google leaves a lot to be desired.)
Message if you would like/be willing to help me!
Does anyone want to be tagged for this story?
Finn leads a life of misery, pain, and regret. The gun in his hand and the money in his pocket have been there since birth, and the older he gets, the more those hopes of freedom begin to turn into a pipe dream. But one fateful birthday brings a person into his life that promises those greener pastures. In the end, he has to make a decision: stay with what he knows, or explore the unknown.
Finn shut his
eyes and heaved a great sigh. The three of them had been here almost two hours, and absolutely fuck
all was happening. Chop was beating a loose piece of road against the curb, and
Finn got lost in the repetitive beat. It echoed in his mind until all he could
do was listen and stare at
Jesus Christ, mate. Snap out of it.” Finn blinked away the unfocused image
of buildings as the sound cut out almost violently from his head. He looked at
Chop’s wrinkled, slightly dirty suit and smiled.
sorry. Just zoned out.”
well your dad called. We’re done.”
once more in confusion and set his mouth in an annoyed moue, “We’ve been
here hours. What happened?”
mate. I’m sure we’ll see soon enough, eh?” Chop shrugged into his leather
jacket and flipped the collar up, to protect against the biting cold wind that would sting their skin as
soon as they left the glass enclosure. Finn sighed again and wrapped his scarf around his neck; twisting into the
action as he looked for Archie behind him. The brunette was slouched in a hard,
plastic lawn chair; his face propped up uncomfortably on his hand as his mouth hung open. Finn could almost feel the sore pain his
friend would experience, and stepped forward to
up, mate. We’re finished here.”
The other man
jolted to action as Finn shook his limp shoulder. “Wha say?” Finn
laughed loudly and repeated himself before moving toward the exit. Chop stood
next to the door, leaning back against the unforgiving bricks and smoking a
cigarette. He chuckled when Finn looked over and gestured it to him.
from the inside out, eh?”
under his breath and unlocked the Jag, scooting in and shutting the door
quickly. He turned the heat on full blast and rubbed his hands together as he
waited for his friends. If his father had indeed gotten what he wanted; it was
going to be quite the long night.
at the sound of another punch reverberating around the small, concrete room.
Fist hitting flesh over and over; the blood from the man’s face adding a slick sort of smacking
quality. He looked away as the cowering, pathetic little man coughed loudly and
began to cry harder. Finn’s father rose his hand up in the air and Karlof let
the man drop, falling to his knees and curling into the fetal position.
you, Karlof. Let’s give him some time to think about it. I’d like a moment
alone with my son.”
The lackey just
nodded and walked out the door. Finn looked at his father in confusion, and the
older man sighed. He closed his eyes and rubbed them before focusing on Finn
with a sharp gaze.
Finn let out a
surprised grunt and blinked, “What are you talking about?”
don’t try to deny it. I watch you flinch and look away and rush for the exit.
Why does it bother you so much?”
Finn gaped at
his dad and let the tortured sound of a weeping, bloody, half-dead man fill the
empty space between them. His father sighed again and placed his big hands on
his shoulders; the heavy weight of them digging into Finn’s flesh.
expecting you to be ready for this soon. What I do. What you’re supposed to do.
How everyone else does their job. You have to know what to do when the time
flooded with shame and he looked away from the tired man in front of him. “I
Now,” his father grasped his shoulders painfully before letting go, “Suck it up and act as if
you actually want this.”
nodded and waited for his father to clear his throat, signaling for his son to
leave. Finn zoomed out of there and breathed deeply in the corridor; fresh air
from the open warehouse filling
his lungs. He wanted to close his eyes and enjoy it, but knew that Carlos’
beating would be playing on the insides of his eyelids for a while. If the
fucking moron had kept his mouth shut, he wouldn’t have to be beaten within an
inch of his life. The only thing to do after that was to kill him. His father
was always a fan of brute force to get the job done.
As the screams
started up again; Finn shook off the filth of the room that clung to him and
blackened his heart. He began playing the song Chop’s stone had created earlier
that day on repeat in his head. He started humming it loudly to drown out what
was, most likely, Karlof breaking the fingers of a person Finn would miss.
As he flung
open the metal door, he welcomed the wind that blew harshly against his ears. It
drowned out everything until all he heard was the rapid beating of his heart
and Chop’s foot
Trying not to think of the way they’d kill his friend of ten years.
He hated his
Bleary-eyed and sluggish,
Finn made his way to the kitchen the next morning. He scratched the top of his
head and pulled up on the flannel pants that had fallen down his hips. Another
example of how much weight he’d lost. He sighed and shuffled over to the counter
where his glorious coffee maker was as his slippers scuffed against the ceramic
floor. Finn took the coffee pot and filled it with water, then let the faucet
continue to run in a full stream as he left the sink. Pouring the liquid into
the machine, he set the glass container on the hot pad and reached above for
the gourmet coffee Maria was always buying him. He let the cupboard door slam
shut, hoping to scratch the expensive wood.
Once the water started
boiling and the coffee was brewing, Finn turned back and shut off the faucet
with another sigh. Wasting water, scratching the fixings, marring the
furniture; they were all little ways of him rebelling against his father. Maybe
if he got expensive utilities bills or repair notices, he’d let Finn move out
and find his own place. But, of course, he didn’t even notice and just signed
whatever papers needed it. And Finn, as he made his way to his room, couldn’t
exactly go up to his father and say ‘Listen
here, Pops. I’m moving out on my own, see? And I won’t be working for you no more.’
Finn laughed at the thought and untied the green cotton robe Maria had gotten
him last Christmas, dropping it on his bed as he walked to his en-suite
“Yeah, and then I could say
I’m moving to England and joining the circus. He’d love that.”
By now, Finn had grown
accustomed to hearing his own voice in the mornings. No one was ever there with
him past dawn, and not saying what was on his mind drove him crazy. At least
talking to himself made the huge apartment not seem so desolate. And it made
him feel a little less alone.
He showered quickly, his
thoughts dampening any desire for extracurricular activities under the hot
water. Waist wrapped in a fluffy towel, he used a smaller one to rub his hair
dry. He walked over to the answering machine on his dresser to listen to his
messages before getting ready. Dropping the towel in his hamper, Finn rolled
his eyes as he pulled on his boxer briefs, listening to Robert’s request to
meet with him. The man’s heavy Armenian accent sounded tinny through the
device, which made him sound even more gruff than usual. Then the customary
drunken message from Chop played, challenging his manhood for denying yet
another invite to Venny’s club. His friend just didn’t seem to understand that
Finn was repulsed by the idea of even stepping foot in a building that was
built on drug and blood money.
A surprising message from
Archie made Finn smile as he tucked the blue and white checkered shirt into his
charcoal slacks. Finn made a mental note to call his friend to meet up with him
and his sister who was visiting for a few days. He secured the dotted brown
silk tie under his collar and donned on the dark grey vest that had a wide
plaid design which ran in a slightly lighter color. As he was finishing
buttoning the vest and removing the suit jacket from its hanger, his mother’s
voice echoed through the room.
Finn fumbled with the
hanger and dropped the jacket as he tried to turn and look at the machine,
somehow hoping he’d be able to see her as she spoke. The disappointment at her
absence was painful but foolish, so he picked up the article of clothing from
the floor and dusted it off before shrugging into it. He let her voice wash
over him, not paying attention to what she was saying. He saw himself in the
full length mirror on his closet door. Wearing a tailored Tom Ford suit and
about to step into the Forzieri black leather shoes his father gifted him for
his birthday, he felt empty.
The machine beeped, telling
him it was done relaying messages, and Finn sighed at the suffocating silence
the noise brought with it. He finished getting ready and tied the laces extra
tight, hoping that somehow it would cut off circulation to his legs and he’d
have to be shipped off to some hospital to have his feet amputated. Even then,
though, his father would probably just make him do everything in a wheelchair.
He brushed his hair back neatly while it was still wet, and put the comb on the
nightstand. He spritzed the Grey Vetiver cologne once at the base of his neck
and situated it next to the comb on the stand.
He walked to his door,
about to leave, but hesitated, hand shaking over the doorknob. Huffing out a
great breath, he moved back to his dresser and played his messages again,
skipping to his mother’s. The dulcet, soothing cadence of her voice put him at
ease and he shut his eyes to focus on her words.
“Hello, Finn. I hope you’re doing well. A colleague of mine and I are here
for conference, and we fly from New York to Los Angeles the Saturday before
your birthday. I’m happy to say that we’ll be there that entire week, so I’d
like to see you. Preferably on Wednesday, when it’s the proper day to
celebrate, but I know how… busy your father keeps you. I have the same mobile
number, but in case you forgot, it’s 011 44 7432 211 895. Give me a ring any
time you’re free. I look forward to it. Love you, Mum.”
Finn stood there, staring
at the little black box as her words replayed in his mind. He started up his
messages, deleting the first three until all he had was her. He made her
reiterate the message over and over, allowing him to memorize the inflections
and emphasis on different words. The way her vowels were drawn out and the way
she said different phrases. How she said she loved him.
He let the message play out
and then stepped away nervously. At least seven years had passed since they
last saw each other, and that was only because he had actively sought her out
when he was in London for business. Their meeting had been brief and awkward,
she clearly having just gotten out of rehab again. Even though she never said,
he could tell. The way her eyes were sunken in and how her hands shook. She had
been far too skinny and looked ill. Lunch only lasted about an hour before she
made an excuse to leave without paying. It hadn’t bothered him that much, her
skipping out on the meal before finishing, but the sting of her rejection cut
deep like always.
Finn shook away the
memories and flung his door open, letting it hit the wall in a loud bang. He
stalked down the hallway, the clack from the hard heel of his shoes echoing
throughout the corridor. He quickly made his way to the steaming coffee pot and
pulled a mug from the stylishly designed metal rack over the counter. He filled
the cup to the brim and took a long sip of the scalding liquid, burning his
mouth and throat. He stood there in the fragrant steam of his expensive coffee
and the smooth feel of fitted clothes, and felt a swell of anger rise in his
chest. He wanted nothing more but to hurl the porcelain mug against the wall;
to smash all of the dishes and cups and glasses against the pristine tiled
floor; to scream and rage at the unfairness of it all.
But he didn’t. He took
another sip of coffee and slowly counted back from ten until his heart rate
slowed and his thoughts settled. Doing so allowed his mother’s message to play
once more in his mind, and he closed his eyes at the calming sensation. Once
she said goodbye, he opened his eyes and turned to place his drink on the smooth
stone top of the island. He moved to the fridge to pull out an apple and eggs,
determined to play out his morning like usual.
When he got the stovetop
ready for his frying pan, a click sounded from the front room. Someone then
began to stomp their shoes on the welcome mat, likely trying to remove the
muddy quality of the rain soaked streets. As they moved further into the
apartment, Finn smiled and turned to the entrance of the kitchen.
“Buenos días, Maria.”
His housekeeper, a short Mexican
woman with graying hair and eyes full of wisdom, returned his smile as she
pulled off her gloves.
“Buenos días, mío. ¿Cómo te va?”
“Eh, mas o menos. Un poco
cansado. ¿Y tú?”
“Bien, bien. ¿Por qué está
“Ehm, anoche trabajé… hasta
Maria laughed quietly, and
stuffed her gloves in her coat pocket, hanging it up on the rack next to the
kitchen. “Ah, ¿sí? No está bien. ¿Cuando trabajas?”
They both laughed this
time, and Maria moved further into the kitchen. “Very good, Finn. Your
pronunciation is getting much better.”
“Thank you. It’s all
because of you, you know.”
“No, you do so well on your
own. I just give you a push. Now, what are you making? Your pan smells burned.”
Finn smiled and felt at
ease for the first time that morning. As Maria made her way to the stove, he
noticed she wore the rose earrings he found for her last Christmas, and his
heart beat warmer. Since he was ten and his mother moved back to England, Maria
had taken it upon herself to try to give him some maternal guidance. She was a
formidable little lady with a big heart and a sharp wit that kept him in line.
When he moved out on his own, she didn’t hesitate when he asked her to join
him. He liked to think she preferred him over his father.
“Ah, you’ve left the pan on
too long, Mío. The eggs will burn
this way. Let me make you something quickly.”
“It’s okay; I have to get
going soon, anyway.”
“No no, just sit down and I’ll
make some huevos con chorizo quickly.
You need to eat for the long day ahead.”
Sighing, Finn shuffled over
to a barstool tucked under the island and sat down, propping his head in his
right hand. He watched Maria rustle through the fridge for the seasoned pork
that she kept well-supplied. She cooked for him, cleaned, shopped, and even
bought him gifts for different occasions. Everything a mother would do, except
she was paid to do it. A weight settled in his stomach at the thought. His
father never approved of his affection toward Maria. He said it would make him
careless to grow attached to a woman who wasn’t his; as if she were a
possession. Finn frowned at the thought, and had another moment of
understanding as to why his mother left. And why she started abusing her xanax.
It wasn’t fair to him, though, to just pack up without saying goodbye; so he
was right back to being confused about how he felt about her. And her offer of
a birthday visit the next week.
“¿Qué pasa, Finn?”
Finn blinked and smiled as Maria
sat down a plate of steaming eggs mixed with the spicy, minced meat. There were
different herbs mingled in the dish, and his mouth watered at the thought of
how it would taste. Next to them were two flour tortillas, both warmed and
“Maria, you didn’t have to
Maria waved his statement
away and clicked her tongue in response. “Nonsense, you never eat enough. I’m making
sure you have a good start to the day. Now,” Maria leaned against the edge of
the island and looked at Finn, “What’s troubling you?”
Finn sighed and began to
collect his eggs into one tortilla, packing it in tightly to make a good wrap. “I
got a call from my mother this morning. Well, yesterday, but I just listened to
her message today.”
Maria was silent as Finn
finished folding the tortilla and started to eat the finished product. He could
tell she wanted to reach out and touch him in a comforting manner, but she
stayed her hand. Even after all this time, he still didn’t do well with
physical contact. After he had gotten through half of his meal, Maria moved
around until a cup of freshly squeezed, all-natural juice stood next to his
boring white mug of expensive coffee. Boy, was he living the life.
“Is it because of your
Yeah, she’ll be in town
next week and wants to get together.”
“Are you going to do it?”
Finn contemplated her
softly spoken question as he started to scoop more eggs and chorizo into the
second tortilla. “I want to. I haven’t seen her in seven years; I might as well
Maria sighed, “I didn’t
know it’s been so long.”
Finn shrugged and took a
large bite of his second burrito. Around a mouthful of food, Finn said, “It’s
not that bad. I saw her when I was twenty. And then against at seventeen before
that. It’s hard to really miss a woman you hardly know.”
His left hand curled into a
fist despite his casual words, and Maria patted his clenched hand quickly
before straightening up, breaking the rules to provide comfort. Finn didn’t
hate it, mostly because he craved that attention and affection. He just couldn’t
handle it all the time.
Maria went to the sink and
began to fill up one side of the deep metal basin. She turned to him after
adding soap, and Finn watched the thick layer of bubbles rise with the growing
volume of water.
“You should have her over, Mío.”
Finn coughed around his
last bite of breakfast, and took a large gulp of cranberry juice, the two
flavours mixing in an odd but not unenjoyable way. He took a deep breath when
the food continued its way down, then looked at Maria and her slightly crooked
“Have her over here? To my
apartment? Doesn’t that seem too familiar; too personal?”
Maria’s eyebrows raised in
surprise and Finn bit his tongue. “Sorry, that was mean. But, can’t I just meet
her somewhere public where awkward silences can be filled with background noise
and nosey waiters?”
Maria sighed and took his
dirty dishes, making Finn feel bereft at not having done it himself.
“Your mama is a part of
you, forever. Junto a ti aprendí el
significado de la palabra; amor. ‘With you, I learned the meaning of the
word love.’ It’s a mother’s love that keeps us alive.”
“That’s a hard lesson if no
one is there to teach me how to love.”
Maria looked at him for a
long moment before turning back around. “Someone will show up to do just that.
Finn said nothing and got
off of his chair, scooting it in quietly, essentially ending the conversation.
He took his suit jacket from the coat rack and fitted it around him. Grabbing
his wallet and keys from the jade dish on a table in the hallway, he said
goodbye to Maria. She turned and smiled before wishing him a good day, the look
in her eyes a little sad.
Finn ignored that and
picked up his briefcase from the cushioned bench next to the entrance,
buttoning his Diesel olive green field jacket after. He looked back one more
time and heard Maria humming a tune he thought he recognized. Confused, he shut
the heavy wooden door behind him and made his way to the elevator. Once he’d
greeted Philip, the elevator operator, Finn mulled over the imaginary person
Maria had conjured, and smiled.
“Then she asked where my
place was. It was a great ending to a pretty sweet night. You should have been
Finn quirked his lips in a
cursory smile without looking away from his laptop, “Sounds awesome, Chop. I‘m
really bummed I couldn’t make it. Maybe next time, yeah?”
Chop scoffed and plopped down
in one of Finn’s guest chairs; a horrible black leather piece of furniture that
had too much cushion and awkward arms. The set made the room too dark and
serious. It was another great choice by his father.
“That’s bollocks, you know.
I don’t even know why I bother with you, mate.”
“Then maybe you shouldn’t.”
Finn snapped. He dropped the pen he’d been using to record the profits of the Laundromat
on Burlington. They weren’t doing as well as last month. He sighed and looked
at the hard set of Chop’s face.
“Sorry, I’m just really
stressed. Didn’t get much sleep last night.”
Chop stared at him for a
minute before blowing raspberries between closed lips. “That’s okay, mate.
Worried about Carlos?” Finn looked at Chop in confusion as the other man got up
and went to the small bar situated against the wall to their right.
“What do you mean?”
Chop prepared two gin and
tonics and brought the glasses back to Finn’s desk, putting one next to his
laptop. Finn took it out of habit and watched as his friend took a sip of the
strong drink. Growing impatient, Finn asked again, “Chop, what do you mean?”
Chop sighed, “I’m sorry for
your friend. But, I think he’ll be okay in a couple of months. Useless, but
“Are you saying that he’s
Chop took another sip of
his drink and looked Finn in the eye. “You didn’t know?”
“Of course I didn’t! How do
His friend was silent as he
swirled the clear liquids together in the crystal tumbler from a set Finn’s
father had given him. Chop’s hesitation put Finn on edge, and he took a sip of
the alcohol to calm his nerves, barely containing his urge to cough as it
burned his throat. His eyes watered as he watched Chop collect his thoughts.
“I was the one who dumped
him at the hospital.”
The words sunk heavy in
Finn’s mind and he gripped his glass hard. Chop sighed and sat back down, “Look
mate, I’m sorry you had to find out like this. I thought your dad would have
said something. My guess is that he felt sentimental or something and let the
ruddy bastard live. That, or this is sort of a birthday gift to you.”
Chop grinned a little and
downed his drink in one gulp. Finn watched in horror as he got up and
stretched. The idea that a man was spared his life as a gift to another person
made Finn wants to be ill. And the fact that Chop found it amusing scared him.
“Don’t joke about that,
man. It isn’t funny.”
“Oh, come on. I wasn’t
being serious. I doubt your old man would do that, anyway. He’s not one to let
his emotions cloud his judgment, eh?” Chop knocked on Finn’s desk before
removing his tweed jacket from the back of his chair and tugging it on. “I
wouldn’t worry. I don’t think they did any permanent damage. He’s at St.
Francis, if you want to see him.”
Finn nodded and sat down
his full glass, closing his laptop at the same time.
“Well, I have a delivery,
so I’ll see you later. If you’re free, join me at Lush tonight, amigo. Ta.”
“Bye,” Finn responded
absently as he quickly donned both suit and outer jacket. He picked up his
necessaries and was outside just as Chop was pulling away. While he waited for
the heater to warm up in his car, Finn thought about his friend’s words, and
chill went up his spine. A birthday present.
He had goosebumps the
entire drive to the hospital.
Loreta was crying when Finn
arrived. She sat in an uncomfortable looking plastic chair just outside what he
assumed was Carlos’ room. Finn stood at the entrance of the wing, watching his
friend’s wife get up and go over something with the nurse manning the station.
He grasped hopelessly at comforting things to say, but all he could think of
was I’m sorry. The sentiment played
over and over in his head as the young woman pointed at a printout Finn couldn’t
He stayed near the doorway
for nearly twenty minutes, agonizing over how to apologize without it sounding
insincere or patronizing. Loreta and Finn knew each other well enough; he’d
been by their place countless times for dinner or a game or a party. And the
couple had visited him in his own apartment so often that he had given Carlos a
spare key, should he go away on business and needed it looked after. He and
Archie were the only people he trusted to do it; but Archie was usually with
Finn when they left.
When Loreta began writing something
down on a yellow legal pad, Finn took a deep breath and slowly put one foot in
front of the other until he stood in front of her. When his shadow blocked her
light, Loreta looked up with a scrunched brow. As soon as she recognized him,
her face contorted in anger.
“How dare you come here, capullo? Do you know what your father
did to Carlos? He nearly killed him! And you have the nerve to visit and, what,
apologize? Try to make us forgive you? Vete
a la mierda, asshole.”
“Loreta, I know how this
must look, but I promise I didn’t… I wasn’t aware that he…”
“Oh, save it, Finn. I don’t
care what you have to say, or what you’re aware
of. That’s my husband lying there with a broken jaw and nose and fingers, and
cracked ribs; just to start. And it’s all because of you. If you hadn’t gotten
him involved in your business, he could be working with my father, making an
honest living; one where death doesn’t follow him everywhere he goes.”
Finn just stood and stared
as the sweet and loving woman he thought he knew call him an asshole and wish
him to hell. Blamed him for decisions Carlos had made against Finn’s advice.
Finn had brought him closer into the fold because his friend had asked for it;
but also to be able to keep an eye on him. He tried his best to protect the
man. But as Loreta started to cry again, Finn took a deep breath and accepted
her hatred. He didn’t mind it; it wasn’t anything new. He sometimes wished he
could go to hell, because he knew that’s where he was going to end up anyway. It
would give him a chance to finally be rid of this life.
“Alright, I won’t come by
again. I’m… I’m really sorry this happened, truly. You know how I feel about
him, but I understand where you’re coming from. Let me cover his hospital
costs, and I’ll-”
“Fuck you. Do you really
think you can just throw money at us? As if you paying for shit makes us even?”
“Loreta, that’s not what I’m
suggesting. I just want to help you.”
“Well, we don’t need your
help, pago. You walk in here like you
own the place; like nothing will ever hurt you. Like you’re untouchable. Like
the men who work for you and your horrible father are disposable when you want
them to be. I have news for you: you’re the worst kind of person there is. The
devil himself would have to give up his throne for your family. So get lost and
take your dirty money with you.”
Finn was stuck in place,
Loreta’s harsh words paralyzing him where he stood. He’d heard worse, but
something so vicious shot through his heart and he felt the blood run from it
until all that was left was a hollow beating.
“Okay, I won’t contact you
again. I hope… I hope Carlos makes it through. And that you two have a good
Loreta kept her gaze hard,
but Finn xould see the tears welling up in her eyes. He swallowed around a lump
in his throat and turned around. As he neared the exit, a gruff, deeo voice
called out to him.
Finn turned back and was surprised
to see Carlos’ brother Javier standing next to Loreta, two styrofoam cups
filled with steaming liquid in each hand. Finn said nothing in response and stayed where he
was. If he knew anything, it was to not upset this man.
Javier put the cups down on
a dingy looking table next to him and moved closer to Finn, making him nervous.
But he didn’t back away, his father’s harsh words about cowards rolling around
in his memory. Can’t back down from a fight, no matter how bad the odds were.
When he was just a few feet
away, Javier rubbed his eyes and sighed, “Finn, we’d be grateful if you would
like to help us with my brother’s care.”
Loreta made a disbelieving
noise, and Finn narrowed his eyes at Javier’s words, unsure if they were
sincere. The older man didn’t seem aggressive or confrontational. There was
nothing about his stance or tone that should frighten Finn, but he felt uneasy nonetheless.
“Yeah, Javi, why? You’ll
let this pendejo treat us like we’re
“Loreta, be quiet.” Javier’s
sharp interjection snapped his cuñada’s mouth shut, and Finn tensed. Javier
looked back to Finn with a grimace, “I know it wasn’t your fault Carlos is in
“I…I don’t follow, Javier.”
“Look, I know we haven’t always gotten
along, but I know you’re a good man, underneath all of that. And a loyal
friend. And you’re stuck in a life that there’s no escaping. Carlos told e
about how you tried to make him quit. I know you’ve tried to look out for him,
but, to be frank, my brother is an idiot. It was only a matter of time before
he screwed up.”
Finn didn’t know how to respond. It
seemed as if he was being pardoned by the unlikeliest of characters, and threw
him off guard.
“Javier, I don’t understand.”
Javier moved closer until he stood right
in front of Finn. Finn’s heart started to race, but he didn’t look away from
the deep brown eyes. “Look, it’s not your fault it ended up like this. I, we, can’t blame you for your father’s
actions. Or my brother’s. It’s the kind of life Carlos chose to live, against
all advice, and he knew the consequences.”
Finn could only nod as the man squeezed
his shoulders once before moving back to Loreta. She glared at him, and
addressed Javier quietly; the two speaking in Spanish too quickly for Finn to
follow along. His eyes moved back and forth between them, able to see Loreta’s
frustration and Javier’s unwavering viewpoint. As they continued to talk, Finn
let his gaze wander to the hospital room where his friend was, his whole body
tensing to walk over.
Finn snapped his head back to the arguing
duo to see Javier gesturing to the door and Loreta getting up to storm out. “I…
Alright.” Javier gave him a sad smile before turning toward the hallway to go
after his brother’s wife. Finn took a deep breath and walked to the room, his
hand shaking as he opened the door.
When he stepped inside, his friend was
awake and staring down at his lap. At the scuff of Finn’s shoes, Carlos looked
up and smiled, but the swelling of his face turned it into a grimace. Finn
opened his mouth a few times, but nothing could come out. He stared as the
other man and could actually feel tears stinging behind his eyes. He blinked
quickly and moved further into the room, shutting the door softly behind him.
Carlos just shook his head and smiled again.