Raven Series Part #16 | Jump to Raven # 1
I was surprised to see Pato the next afternoon when I pulled into the lot at Cenote Cardenas. He had parked next to the wooden stairway leading down to the water and was sitting on the open tailgate of his truck, Silver, smoking a cigarette.
I’d assumed he would steer clear of the situation after brokering the exchange with Don Hidalgo, but here he was. Maybe I’d underestimated how much he and Santa Sofía cared for Raven.
Against Pato’s advice that I treat him well, I’d blindfolded El Cangrejo. He’d kidnapped my daughter, pretended to be a CIA agent, and attacked me when I figured out who he really was. I wasn’t going to take any chances.
“Come on out,” I said. His leather shoes crunched on the tightly packed gravel. A zip-tie encircled each of his wrists. A short chain of zip-ties linked his hands behind his back.
Don Pedro exited from the other side of my Blazer, carrying his machete. The look on his face suggested he would welcome an excuse to use it.
“Straight ahead,” I said to El Cangrejo. I kept a tight grip on the zip ties linking his hands together and guided him across the lot. We came to one of the wooden tables built to give the divers a place to set up their dive gear.
“Turn around and sit,” I said. After El Cangrejo sat, I looped a short length of rope through the zip ties and secured it to the table.
Don Pedro followed us over and took up a position at the other end of the table.
The four of us stood and waited in silence, sweating in the humid afternoon. Insects buzzed and hummed, and every now and then something rustled in the bushes that ringed the parking lot.
After a few minutes, we heard the whine of a motor in low gear.
Don Hidalgo didn’t waste any time. He parked his Land Rover, walked around to the other side, and helped Raven out.
Even with her wrists tied together with some sort of twine, even though I didn’t have her safe yet, just seeing her made my world better.
I flashed back to how tiny and perfect she was as a baby. She wasn’t tiny now, but as far as I was concerned, she was still perfect. Not only that, she looked pissed off, not scared, which told me she hadn’t been mistreated.
Hidalgo started walking Raven across the parking lot toward us.
I slipped the knot holding El Cangrejo to the table and started walking him forward.
Everything was going as we’d agreed. Raven was only a few steps away.
I started to relax—and Don Hidalgo reached behind his back and drew a pistol.