Sunday, August 18, 2013

Prequel Series - Victor Alvarez: "New Friends"

Miami, FL

“You’re much better than he is,” she said, rubbing his chest.
            Victor Alvarez sat up and swung his feet over the side of the bed.  He looked over at her.  She was laying there naked and sweating from their second lovemaking session of the evening.  Her long, dark brown hair just barely covered her exposed breasts.
            “We’ve got time for one more,” she said as she sat up and kissed his neck.
            Victor rubbed is hands through his jet black hair.  These women always seemed to get so clingy.  “What time will he be home?”
            “It’s Thursday night.  Jay goes to the track on Thursday nights,” she said as she caressed his back.  
            “There will be more time for us later,” he said as he turned to kiss her.  She grabbed his face and kissed him sensually.
            “When are we going to run away together like you promised?  I’ve already started talking to divorce lawyers,” she said.  Her brown eyes were deep with concern.  He had been working her for the past two months.
            “Soon, my love,” he said, kissing her forehead, “but for now, I should go so as not to make a scene when he returns.”
            Victor stood, grabbing his pants and shirt from the foot of the bed.  The woman crawled out of bed behind him.  He took a moment to take in her toned body and caramel skin.  He loved this job so much. 
            “Give me a moment and I’ll walk you out,” she said as she grabbed wrapped her robe around her. 
            Victor smiled as he continued putting on his clothes.  As she walked into the bathroom, he slowly eased toward the dresser.  Next to it sat a dirty clothes bin.  When she was safely out of view, he carefully searched the drawers.  Nothing.  He looked into the dirty clothes and found a pair of men’s slacks.  He picked them up and dug through the pockets, pulling out two pieces of paper.
            Victor glanced back to the bathroom as he opened the two crumpled pieces of paper.  The first was an ATM receipt.  Nothing unusual - just a one hundred dollar transfer.  The second was a betting slip for the Flagler Greyhound Track in Miami. 
            Victor smiled as he stuffed the papers back in the pants and then put them back into the clothes bin.    He had what he needed.
            “Rubio says this guy is ten grand in the hole,” the man said as he sat next to Alvarez.  It was Jose Herrera, his most trusted asset in Miami.  Jose was a native of Miami.  His parents had set their roots in Hialeah in the late sixties after fleeing Cuba, and although he didn’t officially work for the Cuban DGI, he was very much on their payrolls.
            The Dirección General de Inteligencia was the main state intelligence agency of Cuba.  Since opening for business in late 1961, the DGI had been involved in intelligence and espionage operations across the globe.  They had been involved in aiding leftist revolutionary movements in Africa, the Middle East, and mostly Latin America.  In the United States, the DGI had been heavily involved with international drug trade, assisting homegrown terrorist cells, and intelligence gathering operations for third party countries. 
            “Total?” Alvarez asked as he watched the greyhounds speed by on the track.  He was wearing a white button down shirt and straw fedora with khaki slacks.
            “This month,” Jose replied.
            Alvarez put down his binoculars and looked at Jose.  He had been using them to search for his target in the opposite stands.  He knew the man would be there.  It was Thursday night, after all.
            “Rubio must appreciate that,” Victor replied.  Juan Rubio was one of the most vicious bookies in South Florida.  He was known for extracting money from his clients at any cost and with his ties to the Latin Kings gang, he was immune from retribution or prosecution.  No one dared to cross him.
            “He already owes Rubio five grand,” Jose said, lowering his voice, “he’s giving this guy just enough rope to hang himself.”
            Alvarez chuckled as he went back to his binoculars.  He scanned the crowd in the stands across from them looking for his target.
            “So he has the same plan we do,” Victor said as he watched the man wearing shorts and a blue polo shirt.  It was Special Agent Jay Leon, the new agent assigned to the Foreign Intelligence/Espionage desk of the Miami Field Office of the FBI. 
            Jose shrugged, “Do you want me to talk to him, boss?”
            “See how much money it will take to buy him out,” Alvarez responded.  “I’m going to have a chat with our new friend.”

            Victor Alvarez waited patiently in the dark corner of the VIP room of the club.  Strip clubs were ideal for meetings like this, especially the VIP room.  The loud music and dark rooms made it harder for people to eavesdrop.  People rarely paid attention to anything but the girls, and no one gave a second glance to suspicious activity. 
            But Victor’s target had no idea they were meeting.  His presence in the corner of the little strip club was the culmination of months of work spent selecting the target, working his way in, and finding his leverage.
            A mid-level agent in the DGI, Victor Alvarez had spent his entire career working South Florida.  He had served his country through building a network of intelligence assets throughout the local community.  If a foreign country had an operation in Miami, he was their man.  He was proud of the work he had done and was known as one of the agency’s most effective operatives, especially when it came to developing assets in government organizations.  His superiors were always impressed at how he managed to turn even the most difficult targets into productive intelligence assets.
            Special Agent Jay Leon was a project Victor’s own government had given him.  They had control of most of the local police departments, but their presence with the local feds was minimalist at best.  They only had low level analysts who could feed them information if they happened upon it.   They needed someone with a hand in it.  The man would be their eyes and ears, and if necessary, divert attention from whatever operations they were working. 
            So when Victor learned that the Foreign Intelligence desk of the FBI was going to a new transfer originally from the area, he knew he would have his opportunity.   Leon’s father still lived in Cuba.  He could be used as leverage if necessary, Victor had thought.
            It hadn’t been necessary.  Victor worked it the best way he knew how – in the bedroom.  He watched Leon and his wife over the course of several weeks.  They had no kids.  She was a bored housewife following her husband from assignment to assignment.  He could work with that.
            And he did.  Over and over again.  He promised her adventure and excitement.  He promised her a new life and a romantic getaway.  It was all a lie, of course, but it had gotten him close enough to get the information he needed.  He didn’t feel bad.  She could do better than Leon anyway.  Leon apparently had a gambling problem, and judging by his frequent trips to the establishment Victor was sitting in, a fidelity problem as well. 
            Victor sat back as he watched a stripper guide Leon up the stairs and onto one of the couches.  She kissed his cheek and walked away, promising that his girl would be up shortly.
            Leon looked around for a second, and then began to unzip his pants.
            “Keep your pants on,” Alvarez said from the corner.
            Startled, Leon jumped up, holding his pants. 
            “Who the fuck are you?” he demanded.  “Where’s Candy?”
            “Prostitution is illegal in Florida, Mr. Leon,” Alvarez said smoothly.
            “I said who the fuck are you?” Leon demanded, zipping his pants.  “How do you know my name?”
            “I know everything about you, Special Agent Leon.  Please sit down.  Let’s chat.”
            Alvarez sat patiently as Leon approached.  “That’s right, asshole.  Special Agent.  Now tell me what the fuck you’re doing here before I arrest you.”
            “If you want to continue being ‘Special Agent’ Leon, I suggest you sit down, please,” Alvarez said.  “Does the Bureau know about your gambling problem?”
            Leon stopped in his tracks as Alvarez tossed a set of large photo prints on the table in front of him.  “Look familiar?” Alvarez asked.
            Leon picked up the pictures and studied them.  They were pictures of him sitting in the stands at the track. 
            “So what?” Leon asked indignantly.  “Are you trying to blackmail me?  Going to the track isn’t illegal.”
            Alvarez said nothing as he tossed two more pictures on the table.  In them, Leon was giving cash to Rubio. 
            “So tell on me, I don’t fucking care.  They’ll slap me on the wrist and make me get counseling.  Big deal.”  Leon was playing it off pretty well.  Alvarez had to give it to him.
            “I understand,” Alvarez said as he tossed two more pictures on the table.  This time, the pictures were black and white and of him with a naked woman on top.  “That doesn’t look like your wife.”
            “I’m sure that bitch is cheating on me anyway, and you can’t prove this is illegal,” Leon replied, tossing the pictures back at Alvarez.  “Now if you’ll get the fuck out of here, I’ve got an appointment.”
            Alvarez smiled as Leon mentioned his cheating wife.  If he only knew.
            “About that gambling thing,” Alvarez said, pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket.  “Ten thousand dollars in the hole this month.  Ten thousand last month.  Five thousand dollar debt to Juan Rubio at 60% interest.   Twenty one hundred dollars left to your name.   I don’t think Mr. Rubio or his associates will accept Gamblers Anonymous as payment, Agent Leon.”
            Leon stumbled back and sat back down on the couch.  “Who are you? What do you want?”
            “My name is Victor,” Alvarez responded.  “And I would like to make all your problems go away.”
            “I’m listening,” Leon said, cautiously leaning forward.
            Alvarez tossed a black duffle bag to Leon’s feet.  He waited as Leon unzipped the top and pulled out a stack of neatly packaged $100 bills.
            “There’s one hundred thousand dollars in cash in that bag, Agent Leon,” Alvarez said as he sat back and crossed his legs.  “You can use that to pay off your debt to Mr. Rubio.  After that, you are done with that track.  You will then receive ten thousand dollars per month.  All cash, of course.”
            “In exchange for what? Why would you do this?” Leon asked, thumbing through the bills.
            Alvarez stood and extended his hand to Leon.  “I would like your friendship, Special Agent.  That is all.”
            Leon stared at the outstretched hand.  He considered it for a moment, and then grabbed Victor’s hand, shaking it as he stood.  Alvarez seemed to tower over the short little man.
            “To friendship,” Leon said with a crooked smile.
            “You’ve made the right choice,” Alvarez responded, patting Leon on the shoulder with his free hand.

Spectre Series