“No, no, please.” The figure stumbled back into the tunnel.
“Kit?” I froze. Was this vision standing in front of me my boy? “Are you real?”
“Sully!” Kit ran toward me and threw himself in my arms. “Oh my god, what are you doing here? How did you find me?”
I ran my hands down his body, touching everywhere I could.
He was real.
He was fucking real.
“Fuck, Kit.” I crushed him to my chest. “Are you hurt? What are you doing here?”
“I was trying to escape.”
A hand landed on Kit’s arm and pulled the boy back from me. “Where’s Javier? How did you know about this tunnel?”
Kit shrank back at the sight of Scott. “You!”
“It’s okay.” I shoved off Scott’s hand and clutched Kit’s shoulders. “He’s here to help.”
“Where’s Javi?” Scott asked impatiently. “Didn’t he come with you?”
Kit shook his head. “I tried to convince him to leave with me, but he said he would try to talk to them and buy me some time to get away.”
“Fuck!” Scott slammed his hand into the door. “Why does he have to be so fucking stubborn? El Carcinero can’t be reasoned with.”
“El Carcinero?” I asked.
Even though I didn’t get involved with the cartels, I was well aware of that name. The Butcher had earned his reputation from his heinous habit of dismembering his victims. People said he was unhinged, a madman who ate the intestines of those he’d murdered. From my business, I’d learned that even rumors stemmed from some semblance of the truth.
“You have your boy,” Scott said. “Get out of here, but can you at least give me a gun?”
“If what you said is true, you’re walking into a suicide mission,” I said.
“Then we die together. Are you giving me the gun or not?”
Kit was alive. I owed Javier and Scott something for that, at least. I removed the gun from my shoulder holster and handed it to Scott. I’d come armed with three guns and a knife to get the job done tonight.
“Wait,” Kit said.
“I don’t have time for this bullshit.” Scott ran off into the tunnel, his footsteps echoing and becoming fainter.
“I didn’t get to tell him,” Kit said softly.
“Tell him what?”
“That Javier wanted him to know that he loves him.”
Something heavy rested in my chest. I pushed it down deep and cupped Kit’s face. “We need to get out of here. Their fight has nothing to do with us.”
“But it does.” Kit clutched my wrists. “There’s no way he can face them on his own, Sully. We need to help them.”
“Why? They took you away from me.”
“I know, but Javier protected me. He could have let his men rape and kill me, but instead, he fought against one to keep me safe. That’s why they want to kill him. Because of me. We can’t just walk away now.”