A few years after the original Melting Ice story, which brought together Brian, the cop, and the legendary gang leader, Estevan (ICE), the saga continues. Estevan is grieving over the loss of Brian when he is called upon to revive his role as Ice, the formidable former leader of the Diablos.
Jake Cesar, the leader of the Miami Death Dealers, finds himself in trouble. The last person he expects to come face to face with is Ice, who seems to have come out of retirement and is holding him hostage.
The bullet whizzed right by my head. It hit the tree trunk, leaving a scorched circle dead centre. “Shiiit,” I whistled between my teeth. This guy means it.
I heard a sound like a raindrop on a tin roof. Martin Proudfoot, the lieutenant, was texting me again. I scanned the message.
Van. No. I said No. N-O. Wait…would it help if I said please? Wait. We’re almost fucking there! Don’t move, or I swear this time, I’ll fire your ass!
I turned the text notification off and shoved the phone into my pocket. Fire me? He’d be doing me a fuckin’ favour.
I cocked my gun and moved behind the tree. Richard Page, a small-town hood, and friend to the Black Rose street gang, was inside an old farmhouse. He was holding his girlfriend at gunpoint, threatening to kill her, high on cocaine. She probably was, too. I’d been tipped off by Black Roses’ sergeant in arms, Lenny George, and went directly to the location he’d said I’d find Page and the girl. I’d called for backup as soon as I’d assessed the situation.
A few minutes ago, Page and I had exchanged a few words. He told me what he intended to do, and I told him what I’d do if he did. As you can guess, we didn’t reach any agreement. I was getting tired of waiting for backup, and time was of the essence. Any moment, he could kill that girl. He’d already beaten the crap out of her, and that pissed me off. I couldn’t stand those who picked on the vulnerable, hurt a defenseless girl or an animal. I was ready to kick some ass.
“Okay, that’s it, Page. Get your sorry ass out here now, or I’m coming in there and shooting your head off.”
Page answered by putting a hole in the tree, missing my head by inches.
I moved closer to the house. “Negotiations are over, fuckhead!”
“Stay right where you are, pig, or I’ll kill her,” Page shouted out the window. “I’ll kill the whore.”
I caught a glimpse of him pacing back and forth on the second floor of the old farmhouse. I couldn’t see the girl. Idiot.
Keep talking, bitch. You’re like a compass with a target on your head. “What should I care about some junkie hooker? Kill her if you want to. I don’t even know her. But the way I see it, you’ve got two ways out of this, Brian. Wanna’ hear ‘em, or are you too high or stupid to understand English?”
“I’m not that fucking high, Dias!”
Only stupid, then. “Well, here goes.” I moved slowly through the grass and then looked up again. He wasn’t near the window, so I made a run for it and got beside the house. I could still see the window. I waited for him to talk again.
“How the fuck you see things, cop, as if I care?” He poked his head out.
There you are, pigeon.
“Give it to me.”
Oh, I intended to give it to him all right. “Well, you can surrender now, and I’ll haul your ass to jail rather than end your miserable life.”
“You can do better than that. That choice sucks!”
“Okay, number two. I shoot you, and you fly out that window like a bird in the wind.”
“You can’t do that.”
“I assure you that I can. I have you right now in my target range, and I’m a crack shot. I never miss.”
He was hopping up and down, scanning to see if he could spot me. “I’ll kill her! I’ll kill her!”
“Yes, she’ll be dead. But then you’ll be dead too, and I’ll be sitting at home drinking a cold one and watching the ballgame. The way I see it, Richie, old buddy, my world just got a whole lot brighter.”
I took a step back. There he was in plain view, craning his neck. Then he disappeared a second. He returned, holding the girl by the throat in front of the window, a gun to her temple.
“You think you’re smarter than me, don’t—“
I squeezed off one shot. That was it. The talk was over, replaced by a loud scream, and then a splash of red. The girl fell out of view. Good old Richie hit the window headfirst. He broke the glass, but it held, so he didn’t get to fly at all in the end. “Richie,” I said to myself, “if you’re going to use a person as a shield, as least make sure they’re not five inches shorter than you are.”
I came around to the side of the house, cautiously opened the door and stayed to the side as I moved quickly down the hall. Scanning, I went backward up the steps, then turned at the top and called out, “Police!”
I slid along the hallway, kicked open a door across the hall—empty—then turned and pointed my gun into the room where Richard Page lay dead. I heard whimpering. I came around the bed, spotting a half-naked girl with a face full of pain, spattered with blood and grey matter. Shit. No more than seventeen years old, shaking and scared to death. She looked at me, taking in my black leather jacket, long hair and a couple days’ growth of beard. I’m sure I wasn’t the most reassuring of images.
I holstered my gun as sirens blared in the distance. “It’s okay,” I said. “You hurt?”
She shook her head.
I walked to the window and put a finger on Richard’s pulse. Dead. Ouch.
I went back to the girl and pulled a blanket off the bed, wrapping it around her. “I’m Sergeant Dias, NYPD. You’re safe now.” I went down on my haunches beside her.
She began to sob.