23:00: Miguel had been in his kitchen when a few of his heavies from Oxnard and Santa Maria arrived. Besides Yuri and Dimitri, he had only four others with him since the kidnapping. He needed to establish a physical perimeter around the house as well as an exit strategy, so he called in support from East LA. His assumption was that Adrienne’s cohorts wouldn't let the police know what they knew, and he hadn’t counted on Ryan’s connection with long gone Harry Baker or Alesandro, hog-tied on a cot in his tower, to be anything of real concern. He hardly knew his opponents and that was a weakness that brought down so many of those who, because they held sway over so many, ignored admonitions that go back as far as the ancient Chinese General Sun Tzu.
Miguel let Yuri direct his men to various posts around the property. This was a military action and only Yuri and Dimitri had any military experience, but Dimitri was a Regular Army street thug while Yuri was special forces Spetsnaz. The T.J. gangsters were murderous maniacs whose brains were located somewhere between their gonads and their trigger finger. Yuri called these kids his Boyos because he was picking up on English and it sounded good to him. He didn’t care that they might not like it and could care less too about their misguided machismo. That kind of shit got men killed, and because of this, he assessed Arellano-Felix’s Tee-Jay boys as tactical idiots.
Yuri also could see through Miguel. The guy was good with turning a profit, but he wasn’t a natural leader. Had he been born in the USSR, he would have been an apartment manager at best. Had he been born in the USA he might have been on his way to becoming the manager of a legitimate McDonalds. The streets of Tee Jay bred survival into him through natural selection. His instincts, though at time murderous, were smart enough. But he was best at counting the cash and delegating the rest to Yuri’s experience.
Adrienne heard the extra feet treading above and was aware that something was finally going to happen. She was resigned to whatever would come down the pike and still held out the hope she would be rescued if she survived long enough. Resignation and hope; the dichotomy of a prisoner’s despair. It was Yuri.
“So, what’s going on, Yuri?”
“Hold tight, we’re expecting company,” he assured her.
Adrienne’s calm switched to horrified. If it was Nick, and she was sure that’s who it would be, then she had only a few more breaths to take in what had become a miserable life. She prayed, “Fuck, God, please... I’ll do as you say. Help me please.”
“I’m sorry but I have to leave you with a new watch...” Yuri felt bad about leaving her with Dimitri. He knew that she was going to be killed no matter what was going to happen but he didn’t want a sadist like Dimitri to rape and torture her. She would certainly be, at the least, raped by now had that thug been in charge. There was something about her that made Yuri feel paternal and, if she was to be killed, he would have done the job as mercifully as possible. He left when his relief arrived.
“Dimitri, watch her like she's your sister,” Yuri warned by implication. Miguel needed him elsewhere to direct the new arrivals.
Another call on Miguel’s phone came through. He couldn’t resist the buzzing on his belt any longer. Heading down to the wine cellar, he answered, “Prick.”
Nick responded, “Where do you want me,”
Miguel invited, “Come on in, old friend, where are you?”
“Let Adrienne out first.”
“Sure. How do I know she's still alive?”
“Here she is,” Miguel held the phone to Adrienne’s face.
“Yes, I’m coming for you. Hang on.”
“No Nicky, they will kill you...” she pled. In that one fraction of a second she’d resigned to her fate, “these bastards. Don’t...”
Miguel withdrew the phone from her face, “If you aren’t here by midnight you’ll find her head on the porch.”