Miguel glanced at the lid of the coffin that would be left on the other side of their tunnel. It seemed that some people didn’t understand that just because the tunnel had been out of use for a while, it wasn’t fair game. Soon enough, Miguel would revive the trade route with the USA. For now, the coffin should serve as enough of a warning that it was Los Sepultureros territory.
Miguel took a deep breath, caressing the grip of the gun at his belt. But there would be no need for bullets tonight. While efficient in a fight, blades were so much more effective at breeding terror.
He turned around to face the man kneeling between two of Miguel’s own. His mouth had been beaten into steaks, but Miguel could still see there was a natural grace to the now swollen lips.
He picked up the sharpened machete from a bench nearby and walked up to the man, trying not to admire the Colombian’s thick biceps, or the way his pecs bulged because his arms were tied back. In his line of work, none of that mattered.
Miguel used the tip of the blade to force the man’s chin up. “Do you know who this tunnel belongs to?”
The swollen lips moved but didn’t utter a sound. The man’s eyes, dark and expressive, rose to meet Miguel’s, surprisingly making his heart skip a beat. “It looked deserted,” he said and spat out some blood. What game would he play now? Did he hope Miguel would let him go?
Miguel’s gaze slipped to the caiman tail peeking out from under the man’s belt above his hip. “Pull down his pants,” he said to one of his men, and placed the machete against the captive’s throat as soon as he started to struggle. “I can make it take days. Or I can make it quick,” he whispered.
The man’s lips quivered, and for the first time Miguel managed to make his facade crack. “I can pass a message from you.”
So he wanted to live after all. “This is a mark of the Moreno cartel, is it not?” Miguel asked and pointed to the caiman tattoo on the man’s bared thigh. The beast’s head reached almost to the knee. “We don’t negotiate with the Morenos.”
He slit the man’s throat in one quick move to spare the poor bastard agony. No matter how handsome he was, or how thick and muscular his thighs were, he would not escape his fate.
His head would pass the message.