Jessie Dalton shook his head in disbelief at the sight of the murdered Muslim man seated there on the stone garden bench before them. “What was that thing?” he muttered.
Hector, sickened by the sight of the headless man, placed his big hands on his knees and noisily vomited onto the lawn.
“And you’re a coyote?” Jessie asked, puzzled by the Mexican’s reaction to the dead man.
“Uh, huh,” Hector managed to mumble. He shot a quick look at the private investigator and said, “Sicario, too. Ain’t that ironic? The Heavenly Father certainly has a sense of humor. An assassin who gets nauseous at the sight of blood? Cosmic Bullshit, I call it.”
Jessie watched the big Mexican puke a second time. “You are an enigma, that is for certain, Hector. If indeed that is your real name.”
Hector offered him a bleary-eyed look. “Telling it true. I led this man across your southern border. Following the instructions of Don Miguel, I followed him here to this suburb, curious as to what he was up to. Now, I may never know that.”
“So,” Jessie said, watching him walk back to the fence to steady himself by latching onto it with both hands, “you’re job is done?”
“That one is,” Hector said. “And you? Will you continue to look for the shaggy-haired boy?”
Noting that the sirens had stopped quite suddenly less than two blocks away, Jessie nodded. “My hunt will continue as soon as I call the police and report this.”
Hector’s dark eyes came to rest once more on Ahmed’s severed head. He let go with another shot of projectile vomit. Fighting to recover from a sick stomach and a spinning head, the big Mexican wiped his mouth with the back of one hand. “In that case, this neighborhood will soon be swarming with police. If you could give me the directions to a place called the Barn, I will be on my way to see to Don Miguel’s second mission.”
Jessie said, “You are involved with the dog men at the Barn?”
“I am not,” Hector said. “Just have business with the dark men who go out to watch the cruel savagery that takes place there. I am going there to pick up Princess Zelda AKA Esmeralda, named after the video game she loved so much when she was little. Now, those of us who tolerate her know her as Izzy, and that name suits the little hellcat, who will one day be the bane of her Papa’s existence.”
Jessie said, “You’re speaking in riddles?”
The big Mexican laughed. “Yes, I suppose it does sound like that. Izzy is Don Miguel’s fourteen-year-old daughter. She is a crusader when it comes to the fights. She has taken something very valuable from her Papa. If it gets into the wrong hands, bad things will happen. It is now up to me to retrieve her from this place known as the Barn. She is a troubled girl, who lives a 50/50 life. Part of it at her mother’s place here in the States, and part of it at Don Miguel’s hacienda in Mexico. Her father wishes he could lock her up to keep her safe from her own reckless self. I’m thinking when I go to retrieve her, I may have to deal with some of the hombres who frequent the Barn.”
And as he started to walk away, Jessie asked, “Amongst the cartels, a Sicario is an assassin, right?”
Hector stiffened, but glanced back over one shoulder and said, “Si, Senior. Adios, Amigo.”
Shaking his head, Jessie removed his cell phone from the inside pocket of his black leather jacket and dialed 911.