When Ramon walks through the door into his house in Portugal, he goes to bed. That's all he can contemplate doing and that's all he does.
+ + +
When he wakes up the next day, he gets up and goes out. He has some work to do and it's about time the car got fixed from when Raul ran into a rock. It's easier to think about that than it is trying to work out just what exactly happened yesterday. It's been a while since he's got that pissed off, nearly enough to lose it.
It's hot in Lisbon, nearly a hundred degrees. He likes it. It smells like salt and summer and while tourists might be annoying, at least they're good cover. As always, he has to take care while he's here.
The car goes to the garage and he goes to see an old acquaintence. It takes ten minutes to catch up on small talk and tell him what he needs. It's a simple thing, getting hold of body armour. Delivery is arranged for the next day.
+ + +
His grandfather had once told him that Europe was both the best and the worst of the world. Of course, he'd know. He'd lived there until his mid twenties before he disappeared off to Brazil. And from there to Colombia, which is why Ramon speaks Spanish as a first language and not Portuguese. He'd been ten when he received this piece of information and his grandfather had been dying of cancer, but still a cheerful sort of man. Ramon had liked him well enough, though not enough to really feel sad when he finally stopped hanging on. But he always remembered being told that about Europe because it was one of the few things he'd ever found interesting enough to bother asking questions about.
'Why is it good?'
'It's the centre of everything, boy. You can go East or West without too much trouble but if you stay put, there's two dozen countries on your doorstep and it's easy enough to move wherever you want to go.'
The old man had thought about that for a moment.
'Except when they're fighting but that's never really been our problem. Very good business in Europe.'
After he'd left, the old man had spoken about the continent as if he didn't come from it. Ramon had never found out why he left in the first place and just always assumed the guy liked to wander. He'd never been a criminal, as far as he knew.
'And why is it bad?'
His grandfather had been very clear on this.
'The people are assholes. The British have an inflated opinion of their own importance to the rest of the world. The French are arrogant and despise foreigners. The Germans - well, no one needs an explanation of the Germans' problems. The Eastern Europeans are fucking Communists, Ramon - your papa
would do well to sell to the corrupt leaders there but it's not like the general populace can afford anything. The Italians aren't much better - I lost a girl to an Italian once, I ever tell you that? Tits like...' he stops speaking to make a universal hand gesture - Ramon surmises that the woman must have had tits the size of watermelons.
'...would have married her for those tits. Anyway. I'm saying, boy...stay away from Europeans. Do business with them if you take over from your father, take their money, visit their countries and take all the women away from Italians that you can. But don't ever trust one. They think too much of themselves. They all think they're the centre of the universe. Not like here. Mark me, boy. Why do you think I left?'
Ramon doesn't know and asks. The old man had suddenly been wracked with a coughing fit and had waved him away, which he was only too happy to do. That cough was disgusting. He always hated it.
Now, almost forty years later, he sits at the top of the garden that runs down to the beach and looks over the sea. This is his grandfather's house. He doesn't know how or why it had managed to stay in the family when the man had never returned home, and he doesn't care. He's just thinking that the guy was right.
think too much of themselves. And all the fake accents in the world don't hide where you're from. He wonders what his grandfather would have had to say about the Irish. Peasants, probably. That's what they were, weren't they?
His face is dark as he looks over the sea and he wonders what to do next. By rights, she should be taught a lesson. No one
talks to him like that. He should show her exactly why her arrogance is a bad idea and then move on.
He should. He should
...the problem is, he doesn't want to move on yet. He wants her back in bed. And out of it and outside and on the beach and in this fucking chair and in her apartment and in Miami and...everywhere. Christ
. He has to get out of here. It takes two minutes to throw on a clean shirt and pull the covers off Random's orange sports car. Lisbon is only half an hour away.
+ + +
He always thinks the difference between high class hookers and street corner whores is their underwear. The first girl of the night was wearing silk, the second, nylon. Ultimately, that was the only difference between them.
+ + +
It's hot again the next day. He's tired and hungover and sated and damnit, it didn't change anything.
He'll try again tonight.