latino_menace: (Unsure)

It's been six weeks. He can no longer pretend that he's convinced Random's coming back because it's been six weeks. It had been knowledge to cling on to and he'd succeeded up until the last week, holding on because he knows it'll be over sometime.

But that was before there were drugs. Before he'd stopped trying to hang on to the diminishing memory of Random promising to return. Before he'd stopped going to Texorami to work because he can't muster the will to care. Now he's up, or down, or alternating between the two fast enough to make anyone's head spin. He needs pills and alcohol to crash, powder to wake up again. He'd sleep through most of the day if it weren't for Martin.

Even he'd be able to see that things are spiralling out of control, if it weren't for the fact that he can also no longer pretend that anger isn't eating him alive. It doesn't matter what he takes, there are images that just won't go away. Speed and coke make him think, barbituates and valium make him dull and morbid. The outcome is the same either way. Random in his head, laughing, making her smile, calling her 'lover', taking her to bed, falling in love with her. It makes him want to smash things but he doesn't, he keeps a lid on it all. Has been for weeks. Because he's Ramon Salazar, damnit! No one is going to make him jealous. It's preposterous that anyone might suggest he's falling apart over this. He isn't. He knows this, and he thinks it as he unclenches the tight muscles in his jaw and bends to inhale another line of neat white powder. One thing going for drugs is that they never disagree with you.

He has the house to himself for the afternoon and his plans include nothing more exciting than taking whatever he can to try and escape the images in his head, the burning anger in his chest. He's succeeding too, and almost misses the knock on the door because of it. But when it gets more insistent he hears, and rouses himself enough to answer.

'What?'

There are five men standing there, a truck parked in the driveway.

'Delivery for Senor Ramierez? Shipped from Buenos Aires?'

Ramon blinks at the man stupidly, forgetting that that was the name he was using in Argentina. When he clicks on, there's a nod.

'Sign here, please.'

The pen feels like it's made of stone and he almost drops it as he scribbles something incomprehensible. Because there's only one thing this could be now ("She's beautiful") and his heart has turned to stone and dropped into his boots.

A large box is carried inside and deposited on a sideboard in the sitting room. Ramon watches mutely, staring at it. He says nothing to the men and simply shuts them out when they're done, forgetting about them instantly. The place is quiet, warm, and the waves from the beach can be heard hitting the sand over and over, almost in time to the clock ticking on the mantelpiece.

I'd forgotten.

He'd forgotten. Hadn't been expecting this. He stares at the box as though it might explode, willing it not to be here. But it is, it doesn't disappear. And he can't leave it there forever.

For the first time since Random left him in charge of his son, Ramon walks to a cabinet and pulls out a bottle of tequila. No drinking in the day? Fuck that. Fuck everything. He sits on the sofa and starts to pour, not taking his eyes off the box. Not opening it, not moving except to drink. Not thinking except to be aware of the heat flooding his brain, circulating through his skin, the anger starting to climb through his muscles and make them tense. This was not something he'd been prepared for and even if he had been, he wouldn't have anticipated the way it would hit him.

Half a bottle is gone and he's standing, stalking across the room to the basement stairs, pulling keys from his pocket. When he returns, a crowbar is with him and he doesn't hesitate now, he just attacks one side of the box, taking satisfaction from the creaking and breaking of wood, the crash as it breaks and falls to the floor along with a cascade of packing material that pours out like water from a jug. He brushes the stuff away, almost impatient now. If he lingered, it might have appeared as though he were scared. And that's not an option. Ramon Salazar knows no fear.




...three hours later, when he hasn't moved from the sofa and his eyes haven't left the sculpted woman laughing at him, Ramon Salazar would be more convinced than ever that he knows no fear. But he'd admit to knowing other things. Things that are now speaking to him in voices he can't ignore because there comes a point where you have to draw a line, you have to put your foot down and say enough.

He will not be made a fool of. And he can't just sit at home and pretend this is OK. Ramon sits and watches her face, wondering what she's saying and what she's doing right now. And without even thinking about it, he knows what his response is going to be.
latino_menace: (Stone Cold)

He wakes to the sound of screaming. For a hazy moment, he wonders if he's still in that room and the woman has found her voice at last, whether his hand has slipped and she's found the air to make herself be known one time in her life, before it ends.

No. There's sun on his face and the woman is as invisible as she ever was. The noise is Martin, and he sighs as he crawls to a sitting position on the couch. It takes a moment before he can stand, the world lurching and swaying under his feet as he heads to the nursery.

The little boy is hungry. And distressed, if the fist in his mouth is anything to go by. He needs out and Ramon grimaces at the noise, trying not to throw up at the wafting smell off his jacket, (crack on his clothes, smoke in his hair, sex on his skin), trying to shush him because the racket is hurting his head. Martin calms a little when he sees him and gets picked up, and Ramon doesn't object when the child wraps arms round his neck to be taken to the kitchen, even though he's contaminating him with the blood on his hands.

It would be strange to an onlooker, he thinks. A toddler in a high chair, making a mess of porridge and banana, while a man smokes and waits for coffee to finish going through the machine. Maybe there'd be nothing odd about it normally. But today, he feels his shirt sticking to him and he knows why. Knows he's decorated with something that incriminates him in every way its possible to be accused. Betrayal, drugs, murder. Sin. That's what blood means. Blood and sex.

...empty, uncaring, unremorseful. Hurt. Alone. That's what anger means.

Martin is carried to the bedroom and given a toy to play with on the floor while he goes to shower. The boy's alright now. Smiling at his stuffed cat and talking to it in some incomprehensible childish language that no one ever remembers. Pai is paying him some attention. He likes that. And he's fed and has a toy. If daddy were here, life would be perfect.

Pai is standing in the shower, washing away pink water and the memories of last night. The ones that are willing to leave, anyway. The ones that involved the laughing sculpture, the imaginings of Random and his woman and what they're doing, whether it's nearly over yet. They can go, he's done with them. Because he'd believed Random when he'd said he'd come back. He will. But neither of them knew when that would be and it's not safe here now. He's fallen, here. It's time to move on in case it happens again.

The stained suit is burnt and with it, all evidence. Martin's clothes too, and the boy is bathed. A few things are packed up because some things have to travel everywhere with them. He looks around the house meticulously, to check that he's left nothing behind, left no trail. Automatic pilot, unthinking.

The last thing his eyes fall on, as he opens the door to the bar with a bag on his back and a kid in his arms, is the box containing the woman. He can't see the front, where it's open. But he knows anyway, that she's still laughing. Still protected in (his arms) her wrappings, still happy and reaching for her lover.

("She's beautiful")

He smiles without humour and Ramon leaves the house, headed for Haven where they'll be alone and he can't fall again. Where he'll wait until Random finds him - and the woman won't be smiling then. He'll come back here, break that box open and sledgehammer that grin right off her face.
latino_menace: (Shadow)

Up or down today?

He doesn't drink while Martin's awake. Drugs are different though, some of them actually stimulate the brain so he doesn't worry about taking them when the kid's around. The possibility of error in judgement is, of course, ignored.

It was a long night last night. Oblivion didn't come early and the run up to it was hard. The only casualties in the end were the empty bottle and the glass though, thrown against the far wall when he was silently raging against...everything. It's the only word to describe it now because the specific thing that's making him see red is just too painful to think about. So it gets focused on everything else. Ramon's not objective enough to figure out the potential downside of this.

Up might be good. Won't be tired. Get some work done.

...up makes you think. Can't help it, your mind speeds up. Needs something to do.


He's thought once or twice about returning to Haven. He told Random he might. But he's stuck in two minds over that - on one hand, Random might come here first and he wouldn't want to not be home when he gets back. Doesn't want him wandering through Shadows for any longer than he has to, even if it only takes another half hour.

On the other hand, he could not be a pussy and go wherever the fuck he wants and make Random look for him. What's another few minutes? Another day? Fuck, why not just go on vacation before coming back, Random?

Same hand - Haven's quiet. Less stimulation, a place that's calmer.

Other hand - Haven's quiet. Less stimulation, a place that's calmer. The house in Portugal might be on the beach in a small town but Lisbon's not far away. And there are bars. Things to do with the kid. Bars. People to take frustration out on when things get out of control. Bars.

Plans for today? None. Kid's gone out with the sitter for something. Nothing to do but can't drink yet, he'll be back. Fuck.

If he were honest with himself, he'd know that he wants to go to Haven because it's theirs. Their things are back in place since Arithon and Bianca left, everything's as it was. And full of memories of the two of them, just them, no one else. Even before Martin, it was a world just for two.

And if he were honest with himself, he'd also know that this is the exact reason he's balking at the prospect of being there. The idea of sitting in the quiet with no distractions doesn't make him feel anything good right now. But as he stands in the basement and stares at the array of drugs in front of him, trying to choose - it still doesn't take him that long to decide. Up means buzzing and distractions and bravado. But he doesn't reach that way. Not today. Today's a day for...sitting in the quiet with no distractions. Which is why he picks up the barbiturates instead of the powder, counting out a large dose and swallowing them dry.

Some days you're down, and you just want to stay there.
latino_menace: (Drug Lord)

Being close to death has an advantage or two, which a lot of people don't realise. But it's an undeniable fact that the day after the experience, everything's amazing. You look around and really feel the sun on your face, you notice the blue of the sea and the tang of ocean salt in your nose. Food tastes great when you almost never got to eat it again and every drink slides down with a proper appreciation of the time it took to make, the years it spent fermenting in barrels or bottles. Ramon drinks champagne for three days because if you want to live life well, you may as well have the best.

He spends the day after with Martin, looking after him properly for perhaps the first time, really engaging with him instead of treating him as some sort of vague annoyance to be barely tolerated. And the difference is obvious to him in this relieved state; he can see the boy respond, becoming more confident, smiling easier and relaxing a little more in his presence. Ramon takes every opportunity to look at the green eyes and silently tell Random that it's going to be OK, he's still here, he'll be around when he gets back. For three days, life is good again.

And then...well, he's been here before. Eventually life inflicts itself again, the bright new edge dims, things start to recede back to the familiar and mundane. He swaps champagne for liquor and it tastes the same as it ever did, he finds food and fresh air as boring as it usually is. Such is life.

With it, of course, returns the now-familiar ache of missing Random. No matter how good life was for a few days there, he's still got no one here to share it with. The other side of the bed is just as empty and Random's still out there somewhere, spending nights in a woman's bed, smiling at her (calling her 'lover'? Holding her just because he wants to be close? Pulling her upstairs with that devilish grin?) and trying to make a baby with her. Nothing has changed, really.

The collapse, when it comes, is bad. Martin's too young to know that this recent upturn of events is a house of cards built on quicksand, so he's unprepared for the moment when he runs in from the garden on his sturdy little legs, laughing and happy, trailing dirt across the kitchen. Ramon took one look at it and snapped, yelling at him to 'shut up and get out!', making the boy whimper in shock and fear and run right back out again, trying not to cry.

He doesn't feel guilty about things, it's not in his nature. He's unremorseful and cold again, because it's suddenly never been more clear that there can be all the good food and wine in the world, but they don't make life interesting. Never have. His idea of a good time is being successful and Random being here to share it with him - not his son, who's a poor substitute. Not the growing business in Texorami, still in its early stages, because it can never compare to his original empire in South America. He's forced to look in the mirror and ask, What have I got? I'm alive, but so what? What's so great about appreciating the fucking sun when I'm just another guy at the moment, living in a house with a kid on his own. What happened to what I was? I had control, power, respect, fear. Hundreds of people that did what I said, scared of the consequences if they didn't. I made more money in a day than some people make in a year - what the hell am I doing here?

He's doing this because it's what Random wants. And he'll keep doing it, because it's what Random wants. Except...Random isn't here.

Martin had come back in when he'd been told to, subdued once more. Fed, bathed and put to bed in silence. And then Ramon goes back to staring out of the window at the trees bending in the garden, bent by a wind coming in off the Atlantic. Is this how's he's supposed to spent this new chance of life he's been given? Stand around like a fucking housewife, waiting for someone to come home. He can't do that.

No, not can't. Won't.

The bottle is hit hard that night, making up for the last three days of sobriety. But it's still not enough because he gets drunk when Random's here all the time, that's allowed. So fuck that.

He sways a little as he walks down to the basement, pulling keys from his pocket. The shit is locked up for the benefit of the health of the Amberites, who can't touch it - which is why he doesn't, when Random's home. Well, he's not restricted by that now. So he feels no guilt when he walks back upstairs with a well wrapped package, cutting into it easily and letting a mound of small white crystals pour out onto the coffee table. Like ice chips, only not. And he's smiling as he starts crushing them with a credit card, then chopping them with a razor; practiced hands working without direction,

(clink clink clink)

cutting the stuff fine and rolling a hundred Euro note because it makes the best straw. No guilt at all. It's not like there's anyone here to stop him.

OOM: Nights

Jul. 2nd, 2006 11:29 pm
latino_menace: (Absolut Bogota)

Nights are the worst. He snorts to himself for being such a walking cliche about this, but they really are. No distractions and a silent house and nothing but time to wonder what they're doing. Is she touching him right now? What's the time difference - are they in bed as well? What are they talking about? Do his little quirks amuse her, does he try and make her laugh? His hand curls into a fist when he thinks about it and won't unclench.

It's summer and it's hot and he blames that for the reason he can't sleep. A convenient excuse but he makes himself believe it. After an hour or two though, he gives in, throws some clothes on and heads downstairs. The bar is the most logical place to go now, because at least there there are people. Maybe later. He sits in an armchair instead, and starts drinking. It's methodical, no hesitation or thought or care. Just glass after glass until the edge is gone and the questions dampened, melted into the anger that he lives with these days. What does it matter if she laughs at his jokes? And she's going to have to touch him, of course, to get pregnant. So what? Get over it. It's fine. He's coming back.

Over a week now. As he gets up to fetch another pack of cigarettes, Ramon tells himself to stop counting. Nothing good lies down that road. He'll drive himself crazy (and he knows it). For now, the only thing to do is wait.

OOM: Work

Jul. 2nd, 2006 04:04 am
latino_menace: (Drug Lord)

The one thing that's always been constant is
.................................(violence)
work.

So that's what he does now. Martin is left with a sitter, his smiles for the boy disappearing as soon as he leaves the house because that facade is tiring to keep up. And luckily, his job requires no
........................(humanity)
good humour.

He's at his new ranch today, overseeing the instillation of various security measures. Workmen mill about with wires and drills, new fences are going up in subtle places and cameras installed everywhere. He says nothing, just smokes a cigar and wanders about making people nervous, because they've never seen him like this before and it's not like he hasn't been building a reputation for
...............(insanity)
ruthlessness.

A routine day. People get told what to do, they do it. Meetings are held with some of his people from the city, plans discussed, numbers crunched. It's a hot day and they take a drink by the pool, people laugh, he does not. The future is proclaimed to be bright, and they smile and he nods and then he overhears a comment from one of the staff behind the hedge as they whisper about where his 'blonde thing' is and he stands by and smokes as the brand new guard dogs give a demonstration of what they do to people who infringe on his territory.

One thing he's grateful for is that no matter what, there's always
......(blood)

work.

OOM: Alone

Jun. 30th, 2006 01:26 am
latino_menace: (Cigar - Dark/Dangerous)

Three days have passed and he's given in. He is not surprised that it only took this long.

It doesn't matter how many times he told Random that he wasn't angry with him for making this decision. It doesn't matter that he'd believed it when he'd said it. All that matters is that here and now, Random's gone. And he's...pissed.

Not furious. Not livid, or enraged, or going through the roof. (Not yet). Just...pissed, as he sits in their living room watching Martin amuse himself on the rug with his stuffed cat. It shows in the quick movement of the hand that brings the cigarette to his lips, sharper and more clipped than it needs to be. It's evident in the way he sits, square and in a good imitation of someone comfortable while the rigidity of his backbone gives him away. In the way that there's a tightness in his chest that he's felt before, so he knows that it's not going to go away.

There's nothing he can do about it and it's not like he can tell Random how he feels. (And why not? Because he fucked off). So he just goes through the motions, kills time and keeps an eye on himself.

He knows how these things usually go.

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Ramon Salazar

September 2010

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