Author: Guede Mazaka
El, Sands decides, is a legend that thinks he's a man.
He's an idiot, and he's going to die, and too bad, but that's how it goes. All things must come to an end, and actually, he should be grateful that Sands is giving him a chance to go out like the best. Hell, the Aztecs even thought that warriors who died in battle and women who died in childbirth were guaranteed a straight shot to heaven. And after all the money poured into it, poured out of it, just passing through it, Mexico is still more heart-ripper than calm, cool business shark.
"You're laughing at someone again." Ajedrez rolls lazily over, too tired to claw for once, and elbows Sands until she can get to the prime real estate just under the creaking fan, where the temperature drops from steaming to just humid. "What, you shoot another informant?"
"Hmm? Who said I shoot anyone? I've got people to do that for me." He strokes a hand up her amazing curves and gets as far as her ass before her gun is under his chin. His is poking between her plump buttcheeks.
She gives first, snorting and tumbling away until she lands on her feet on the other side of the bed. "Yeah, right. You're messy, Sands. The whole goddamn town knows about Belini."
"Real public institution, I bet he was." Like El. If there was a hero, then someone had to play the rat, or else there was no story. Funny that for once, the hero hated his job with a passion. Just wanted to strum his way into the grave, Sands thinks. Pretty pathetic, but he had to have something in there, given his continuing lifespan. So he was an anomaly, too. "So what kind of penance do you do for holing the neighborhood ass-wiper? Swipe a lollipop from the nearest baby?"
"You," Ajedrez declares, "Are a prick."
He grins, stretches, and proves her right. "Yeah. And don't tell me that you didn't like it."
She doesn't answer that, probably telling herself that it wasn't worth the effort. Of course, that just proves that she doesn't have a decent response. Sands does have to give El credit for timing; that spitting of the pork was just brilliant.
Then again, a guy that keeps his guns in a guitar case has to have a pretty good sense of irony. Destruction replacing creation. It almost makes Sands appreciate the metaphor. But he's not really a poetic type.
"Usual time?" he asks, just as Ajedrez reaches the door.
"I'll think about it," is her dry, predictable answer. It's always the same, and they always end up fucking anyway.
Sands wonders for a moment if he should worry about him getting in a rut, and then decides that nah, he isn't in any danger of that. It's not like he's El, all caught up in the revenge cycle and unable to figure out where the tragedy was supposed to end. Guess musicians make lousy dramatists.
So she was a phone number on his cell, and then she turned into a drop-dead gorgeous sneer holding a gun on him. Jesus. What, like no one had ever copped a feel before? Talk about your overreactions.
But after they'd gotten past that, it turned out Ajedrez and Sands had a lot in common. Like greed, and ambition, and guns. The bed just kind of made sense. So did the deal.
Sands wasn't quite sure why he kept coming back to the bed, because he didn't really do the repeat-thing, but hell, it was the best thing he'd gotten since crossing Rio Grande, river of shit, and so it didn't bother him too much. What the hell. When in Rome, do Rome.
Bitch. Dead bitch, but bitch nonetheless.
He knows he could come up with something better, something meaningfully insulting, but there are fucking extra holes in his head, and that's just a tiny bit distracting. Also, his arm and legs are going numb.
"Like what you see," he mutters over and over as he drags himself up onto Chiclet's chatter, as he hunches his way to a wall. "Like what you see. God, what a cliché."
Okay. Sands knows his life has taken a sky-dive into the shitter when he's reduced to criticizing literary style. But you know, he doesn't care. He hurts, and he hates hurting, and he wants it to stop.
That bitch. What the hell could daddy have given her that Sands couldn't?
"Sure as hell wasn't a better lay." Sands' mouth tastes stale, and bloody, and full of dirt. It's defeat more than it is literal dust, but if he doesn't admit its existence, then it isn't there. Yeah. That'll work. And he can see dancing piña coladas with the little umbrellas in front of him.
The one part of El that lives up to reputation is his looks. He is a handsome son of a bitch, and for a moment, Sands actually considers trying an Ajedrez-style bargain. But nah, the mariachi's clearly not that type, and Sands isn't in the mood for converting sinners to hell. He'll just pay them to get on the train.
Sands is being carried, and he feels like an idiot. He tries to tell El so, but the mariachi does oblivious very well. Also, El has figured out how to carry Sands so as to not leave any room for kicking or punching, which makes for an even more frustrating ride.
"Why the hell do you bother?" he finally asks, too bored to do anything else.
El dumps him on the bed first, then pins Sands in place before starting with the doctor shit. "Maybe because it annoys you."
"I hate your sense of humor. And I hate you. The first time we met, I pegged you for a jangling jackass with nothing inside but a couple of scars rattling around, and I'm right, aren't I?" Fucker, fucker, fucker. And why does El think Sands keeps picking barfights? Because it bugs the shit out of Mr. Pacifist-With-The-Biggest-Guns-Around.
"Yes. So?" It's just a wrenched ankle 'cause Sands forgot where he threw the chair, but El's treating it just the same as the empty eyeholes, back during the afterparty for Dias de Los Muertos. He's careful. Precise. Scarily gentle.
Sands opens his mouth and then has to spit out the blanket that poufs in. He does a lot of lying nowadays, both verbal and physical. So much that it's gotten boring.
He thinks he's going to get killed-really killed, like whacked through the wall during the crazy acrobatics that seem to be El's specialty-but he also thinks that he's going to get stuck permanently if he doesn't.
El…um…can kiss. This is interesting.
They'd never kissed. It was kind of an unspoken professional barrier, because despite the pretty pictures Sands painted of them together, he knows Ajedrez didn't believe he was telling the truth.
Actually, he isn't sure whether he was, either. But he does know now that he can kill her, kiss notwithstanding.
She's sweet, like sugarcane. And even sweeter when the bullet shakes her body and the blood starts to well into her mouth.
Sands never realized that he has a taste for death. Money and comfort, yeah, but death?
Entirely different story.
El isn't dead because he's already been there and been rejected, Sands finally concludes after several weeks of careful observation.
Or maybe something else. Maybe there was something to this whole legend bit, because he kisses like the Grim Reaper. And Sands, goddamn it, can't help but kiss back.