El Santo, p.1M. Robinson
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Copyright © 2017 M. Robinson
All rights Reserved.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. References to real people, events, establishments, organizations, or locations are intended only to provide a sense of authenticity, and are used fictitiously. All other characters, dead or alive, are a figment of the author’s imagination, and all incidents and dialogue are drawn from the author’s mind's eye and are not to be interpreted as real. Though several people, places, and events portrayed in this book are historically correct, the story is fiction that the author has made up for entertainment purposes only.
To Simon (Argie Sokoli)…
I. Love. You.
Boss man: Words cannot describe how much I love you. Thank you for ALWAYS being my best friend. I couldn’t do this without you.
Dad: Thank you for always showing me what hard work is and what it can accomplish. For always telling me that I can do anything I put my mind to.
Mom: Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me no matter what. You are my best friend.
Julissa Rios: I love you and I am proud of you. Thank you for being a pain in my ass and for being my sister. I know you are always there for me when I need you.
Ysabelle & Gianna: Love you my babies.
Rebecca Marie: THANK YOU for an AMAZING cover. I wouldn’t know what to do without you and your fabulous creativity.
Heather Moss: Thank you for everything that you do!! I wouldn’t know what to do without you! You’re. The. Best. PA. Ever!! You’re NEVER leaving me!! XO
Silla Webb: Thank you so much for your edits and formatting! I love it and you!
Erin Noelle: Thank you for everything you do!
Enrico Ravenna: Thank you for being the perfect muse.
Noemi Rivera: Thank you for your amazing photography.
Michelle Tan: Best beta ever! Argie Sokoli: I couldn’t do this without you. You’re my chosen person. Tammy McGowan: I love you!! You have been wit me for so long and I couldn’t be more grateful for you. Michele Henderson McMullen: LOVE LOVE LOVE you!! Carrie Waltenbaugh: Thank you so much for your honesty. Alison Evan-Maxwell: Thank you for coming in last minute and getting it done like a boss. Ewelina Rutyna: I love you! Mary Jo Toth: Your boo-boos are always great! Thank you for everything you do in VIP! Ella Gram: You’re such a sweet and amazing person! Thank you for your kindness. Tricia Bartley: Your comments and voice always make me smile! Kristi Lynn: Thanks for all your honesty and for joining team M. Pam Batchelor: Thanks for all your suggestions. Susan Pearson: You are amazing with the honesty! Patti Correa: You’re amazing! Thank you for everything! Jennifer Pon: Thank you for all your feedback and suggestions! You’re amazing! Nicola Spears: So much love for you!! Maria Naylet: I love you to the moon and back. Deborah E Shipuleski: Thank you for all your quick honest feedback! Kaye Blanchard: Thank you for wanting to join team M! KR Nadelson: I love you! Mel LuvstooRead: Thank you so much for everything! You helped so much! Lily Garcia: I love you! Allison East: Thank you! Louisa Brandenburger Michelle Chambers, Aidee Cruz, Bernadett Lankovits, , Sheila Marie, Leeann Kidson Van Rensburg, Stacy Foster, Betty Lankovits, Emma Louise, Jessica Laws, Lisa Ward, Lily Garcia, Nicole Erard: Thank you for every laugh, every smile and every single day that you have been my muffin!!
ALL MY VIPS!!!
To all my author buddies:
Jettie Woodruff: You complete me.
Erin Noelle: I. Love. You!
To all the bloggers:
A HUGE THANK YOU for all the love and support you have shown me. I have made some amazing friendships with you that I hold dear to my heart. I know that without you I would be nothing!! I cannot THANK YOU enough!! Special thanks to Like A Boss Book Promotions for hosting my tours!
Last but not least.
I would be nothing..
I’m going to tell you a story.
It’s fucking real.
In order to understand my present, who I am, and what I’ve become…
You need to understand my past.
Evil doesn’t always hide in the shadows, in the darkness. Most of the time, it’s out in the open, in plain fucking sight. Possessing the man you’d least expect. You see, I never imagined another life until I made one for myself. By that time, I was too far-gone, engulfed in nothing but pitch black darkness. Exactly the way it was meant to be.
No one could touch me.
No one fucked with me.
I. Was. Invincible.
When I dreamed of true love—of soul mates, my other half, of her—the cruelty of my life would snap me back into my reality, making it just that, a dream. One that could easily turn into a nightmare.
My worst fucking nightmare.
Every memory, the good, the bad, the in between. All the I love yous, every last I fucking hate you, her heart and soul that I’d broken, shattered and destroyed along the years belonged to me.
It was all a part of me, carved so fucking deep into my skin where she would forever be engraved. My story is going to make you fucking hate me as much as she does, but I want you to. I’m not looking for your forgiveness. I don’t deserve it like I don’t deserve hers.
I’m far from the hero in this story.
I’m closer to the villain.
Except, I’m far worse.
I’m the fucking monster.
And, I’m perfectly alright with that.
I dare you to try to love me…
Like she did and probably still does.
Don’t say, I didn’t warn you.
I gripped my .223 Remington rifle, holding it firmly in my fucking grasp. Feeling the grain of the wood resting securely beneath my fingertips. I was locked and fucking loaded, completely focused on what I had to do next. Tuning out everything around me, waiting for the moment to take my shot. A powerful emotion, one I couldn’t begin to describe, immediately washed over me. I felt it deep down to the roots of my core.
I was a man.
A man leading the fucking convoy.
Exactly how our fearless dictator, Emilio Salazar, had done thirt
“Compañeros, compañeros, queridos, compañeros,” he announced, taking his place behind the podium on the stage. Silencing the large, open outdoor stadium where thousands upon thousands of his socialist countrymen were in attendance. Including my father—who was Salazar’s right-hand man—and myself.
The crowd stared up at the makeshift stage located in front of the massive yellow concrete building marred with bullet holes and Cuban flags. Taking in every last word that fell from our beloved dictator’s lips with wide, eyes, like they always did. Listening intently as he declared this day, July 26th, 1992, the thirty-ninth anniversary of his first monumental attack on the second largest military facility in Santiago de Cuba: the Moncada Barracks. The same exact yellow structure that towered behind us now.
I stood there with pride and honor, wearing military fatigues identical to the ones Salazar wore back on that day. Strategically placing my black combat boots in the same spot he stood when he began his revolutionary movement. I knew it then as much as I had known it in my last eighteen years of life. I wanted everything he had.
Admiring the leader who almost four decades ago had organized his own military coup alongside a hundred and thirty-five other radicals. Making his presence fucking known.
By declaring war.
Little did the president at the time know that Emilio would devote all his blood, sweat, and tears over the next five and a half years to fulfill his sole promise of a better life. Claiming more cities, taking the lives of the thousands who stood in his way, and growing more powerful until he finally had no choice but to step down to stop the bloodshed.
Emilio may have lost the battle on that day in 1953, but the failure was of no consequence to him or to us. All that mattered was he eventually won the fucking war.
The rest is fucking history.
“I wanted to write this speech to prevent the emotion stemming from this occasion,” Salazar professed in Spanish, glancing all around the vast space. Purposely making eye contact with people in the crowd, allowing them to feel like individuals instead of a sea of bodies. He created a profound connection no one could ever comprehend unless they understood that…
To his people.
To his men.
Emilio Salazar was God.
I couldn’t help but think of the last time I was standing here, only a few short weeks ago. A memory I would take to my grave.
The silence was deafening as the car sped down the vacant road to wherever the hell we were going that day. I just sat in the backseat beside Salazar as the chauffeur drove one of his personal, prestigious vehicles. His security team skillfully outlined the perimeter, driving in front and behind us with a few cars scattered alongside. Even though we were boxed in with armed guards, Pedro—a six-feet-four, two-hundred-and-twenty-pound brick fucking house—still accompanied us in the front seat of our vehicle.
Not to mention, I was fucking strapped too. I’d been carrying a gun since I was un chamaco, a twelve-year-old boy, which was far from fucking normal in Cuba. Salazar had made sure of it. His first order of business after his revolution was to strip every one of their firearms. It was easier to control the dissidents who were still against him, if they couldn’t fight back. I was the exception to the rule, given the high position my father held in Salazar’s regime. I had no choice but to carry. He was the captain of Emilio’s army, which made him just as much of a fucking target as Salazar himself.
My father always said I came into this world kicking and screaming, making my presence fucking known, a force to be reckoned with. A natural-born prodigy ready to fight for a purpose. Although there was a mandatory draft from the ages of seventeen to twenty-eight, which most men dreaded, I busted my ass making sure I graduated a year early. Willingly signing up to serve my country the day I turned of age. Most men only served their required two years, but I had made it clear to my father that the military was my career. Making him one proud son of a bitch.
“Damien,” Salazar addressed me, breaking the silence.
“Yes, sir,” I replied in Spanish, giving him my full attention.
“Relax, no need for formalities right now. There’s a reason I asked you to come with me, and it wasn’t for you to kiss my ass.”
I breathed out a chuckle, nodding.
“Do you realize I’ve known you since the day you were born? Your whore of a mother pushed you out of her pussy and abandoned you like you meant nothing. The heartless cunt left you, just like that, and walked out of the hospital hours after giving birth to you. Never looking back. Leaving you to be raised by your father, one of the few men I can truly trust.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, trying to figure out where he was going with this. My father didn’t speak of my mother very often, and I never asked about her. Salazar was as much of a role model in my life as my father, both honorable men to look up to. I would’ve rather been raised the way I was, than by the woman everyone claimed was a puta. But I still found myself listening intently as if his words were a piece of the puzzle I never knew needed to be put together.
“The only role a woman needs in a man’s life is in the bedroom. Men are what make the world go round. Men like us, we’re not followers, we’re fucking leaders—we take, we fight, and we kill for our own. We protect with our last breath, if necessary. That’s why other people fear Cuba. Fuck Yankee imperialists and their liberal bullshit. I know the right way of life, and so do you. I do this for my people, for my country. I owe it to you, to them, to everybody. America, with their greed and lack of social standards, isn’t a way of life. I take from the rich and give to the poor because it’s my fucking duty. Damien, one day, one fucking day, you’re going to stand where I am, and you’re going to show the world that Communism is the only way of life.”
As if on cue, the car came to a complete stop in front of the formidable yellow and white building. The Moncada Barracks. His security detail checked the perimeter, opening the doors to our vehicle once it was safe for us to exit. I followed closely behind Salazar, anxiously awaiting what was to come next.
“You’re eighteen now, eres un hombre.” A fucking man, he said. “The older you get, Damien, the more I see myself reflected in you. It is why I brought you here,” he addressed, nodding to the spot where we were standing. “I stood right here thirty-nine years ago with only a vision, a dream of what I could do with my country, and I want YOU to reenact that dream.”
I was frozen in place, staring him right in the eyes. Never expecting the next words that came out of his mouth.
He held his head up high and spoke with conviction. “Damien, I want you to be me.”
The sound of Salazar’s voice brought me back to the present and I shook away my thoughts, not wanting to disrespect my leader.
“Our people have looked forward to this anniversary with love, enthusiasm, joy, and fervor. For me and for those comrades who are still alive, it’s a very special experience to meet here with the people of Santiago de Cuba all these years later. To celebrate the action in which our generation opened the path toward the final liberation of our fatherland. None of the predecessors in our people's long struggle for independence, freedom, and justice have had such a privilege.” Emilio paused, taking a breath. Allowing his words to once again sink into the depths of our souls.
“It is proper that we pay respectful tribute to those who have shown us the way. To those who from 1868 to today have shown our people the paths of the revolution, who made it possible with the cost of their sacrifice and heroism. Often experiencing only the bitterness of failure and feeling unable to overcome the seemingly infinite, unattainable gap between their efforts and their goals. We needed to go through these primitive years of enriching, unimaginable experiences to acquire the knowledge and maturity in which only the school of the revolution can teach. Everything was like a dream
I watched and listened, feeling as though he was only talking to me. He entranced me in a way that only Emilio Salazar always had.
I wanted it more.
I wanted it all.
Armed military men raised their rifles up in the air, while I continued to wait. Soon it would be my time to prove that I could fill our leader’s shoes. He personally chose me for one reason and one reason alone; he knew I could make him fucking proud. As Salazar continued his speech and spoke about the historical events of that day, his words that stuck out to me the most were of how a true man did not look first on which side he can live better, but on which side his duties lie and that was what shaped the laws of tomorrow.
I was that man.
I was trained to be that solider. That warrior. The one who bled for my fatherland.
Died for my fucking leader.
My duty was to my country.
Serving Emilio Salazar in any way I could. Exactly like my father and the Montero men before him.
“Fatherland or death, we shall win!” Salazar shouted into the microphone for all to relish, but it felt like he was only truly speaking to me. His last words were my cue to spring into action.
My feet moved on their own accord, hauling ass toward the Moncada building, firing off my rifle. Shot after shot rang out with my convoy steady behind me, following my lead. We aimed our rifles toward the barracks, lacing the structure with our bullets, mimicking the shots of 1953 that were still embedded deep into the concrete walls. All I could hear were the sounds of open fire echoing off the building as the crowd continued to go wild. My brothers from the armed forces joined in on the reenactment, setting off their rifles. Only adding to the momentum encased all around me. My adrenaline hammered so fucking hard while my boots pounded into the pavement, one step right after the other. I couldn’t get up the stairs and inside the barracks fast enough.
El Santo by M. Robinson / Romance & Love have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes