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Python: Chapter 3

Python entered the main room and noted several of his men we awake and drinking coffee already. He pointed to a couple of them and commanded them, “Lock this place down, nobody but members in and nobody in, gets out, and I want two men on the roof to stand guard. We might have company coming soon and I’m not about to get caught with my fucking pants down.”

The men all scrambled, everyone except Cobra that was, he just sat there with a beer in his hand. He caught his old man’s eyes and lifted the brew to his mouth. Taking a long sip, he kept his dad’s eyes the whole time.

“Why? Why did you let her back in?” he finally asked.

Python shook his head. “Because we need answers son. We need to know what happened all those years ago.”

“We know what happened Pops.” Cobra growled. “She walked out those gates and never came back.”

Python shook his head. “She might not have gone willingly and until I know differently, I have to believe she didn’t walk out on all of us.”

Cobra barked out a laugh. “Then you find out and let me know. I don’t want to see her again. Like I said before, she’s dead to me and has been since she walked out.”

Python walked over to his son, grabbed his shirt and hauled him to his feet. Cobra was a beast of a man, heavy, well muscled and tall, but his dad was still strong as a damned bull. He brought him right up until the younger man was face to face with him and then he snarled, “Boy, I didn’t raise you to disrespect me or anyone else. Be mad at her but until we know the truth, you respect her. She’s your mother. I don’t know why she left and neither do you.”

“I can’t believe a word she says anyway. Did she tell you where she’s been all these years? Who she was with? Or who the fuck gave her those scars she got on her back?” Cobra snarled. “I’m a grown ass man Pops, you can’t tell me what to do or who to respect anymore.”

Python kept glaring at him. “I shouldn’t have to tell you shit anymore, that’s for damn sure, but she did tell me she begged the devil himself for death and that devil was Luis Brago. What the fuck does that tell you?” Python dropped him back in the chair he’d sitting in. Shaking his head he said, “I thought you were a better man than this. You forgot everything I ever taught you.” Then he turned and walked back to the Infirmary leaving Cobra sitting there, looking stunned.

When Python entered the Infirmary, he noted Peggy Sue was still sleeping.

Doc glanced over at him while checking her vitals but he didn’t say anything to him.

Python dragged a chair over to the side of the bed and sat down staring at her. Finally, he turned to Doc and asked, “How is she doing?”

“She’s starting to respond to the hydration. Her vitals are balancing out a little better.”

“Has she said anything yet?” Python wanted to know.

Doc shook his head. “Whatever or whoever she’s hiding from, she doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to come back from her sleep.”

Python looked over at the table and saw her clothes sitting there. He glanced back at her quick-like and noted Doc had put her into a simple gown and had washed her up some. “You’ve been busy since I left,” he grumbled.

Doc snorted. “I had to clean her up a little to know what I was dealing with.” He nodded over at the table. “I found a letter in her pocket I think you should read. It might tell you more about what she’s been through.”

Python stared at him. “Did you read it?”

Doc shook his head. “No I didn’t. It wasn’t my business now was it? But I’m thinking it might be yours.”

Python got up and went over to the table. Looking down at the letter, he frowned when he read the outside of the envelope. It read, “To whoever finds this woman.”

He looked over at Doc then reached for the letter. Ripping open the envelope, he read the words written there.

If you find this woman, we call her our Angel. She is a gentle soul and a good woman. My name is Father Lorenzo Spada and I live just this side of the Texas/Mexico border. I run a small church and home for the less fortunate. Angel came to us a very long time ago and for several weeks, we didn’t know if she would even survive the brutal beating, she took from a neighbor of ours just across the border.

Her skull was fractured and she had been whipped brutally. Brago had held her for more than two weeks before he threw her into a ditch and left her on our side of the border. I am a God fearing man but even my rage hit a new high as we tended to her injuries. Lucky for us, we had in our home a healer of the Apache nations and she was able to use her healing powers to save her life.

Poor Angel had no memory of even who she was when she first came back from death’s doors, so we never knew her real name. We kept her hidden because her story came out as she struggled to live. She spoke of how she was taken off the street by our neighbor, how he abused her and there were times she begged for death to find her. She only stayed with us so long, because she couldn’t remember where she lived before. We would have kept her here but we recently learned that something had happened and Luis Brago along with his brothers were hunting for her to kill her for something that happened to one of his operations in another part of the state.

From the Tattoo on her arm, we think she is from Odessa and I bade her to go there and see if she could find her home. Some of her memory has returned over the years but I don’t think all of it has, as she still doesn’t remember her proper name. I’m hoping that if you find her, you will help her get to a safe place.

We did the best we could to help her and I pray it was enough. I just hope it was all for something good. We will continue to pray for her and I hope she finds her way home. She would cry out in her worse dreams for someone named Python? She would beg him to save her time and time again.  We never understood this as that is a Snake’s name. But she spoke this name a lot when she had been delirious. Maybe it is a clue to where she belongs? I pray that it was someone’s name and that he will still care for her after she is found.

God Bless You and God Bless her.

Father Lorenzo Spado

Python crushed the letter in his hands. At least, he had some more of the puzzle but there were still blanks in the full story. Blanks he may never have the answers for.

He went back to the chair and sat down. Studying her face, her noted that she seemed to be resting better. Her color seemed better too. She still had a long way to go but she looked a little better. The IV was getting her the liquids she needed to sustain life. For now, it was enough.

As he studied her face, he could see time had taken its own toll. But then she wasn’t young anymore. But he wasn’t either. Time had taken its toll on him too.

Her eyes fluttered a bit and Python watched as she came awake slowly.

She opened her eyes slowly and at first, she seemed confused about where she was. Then she silently stared at him and when the confusion cleared, she seemed to know him. “Python…” she whispered his name, then waited to see how he would receive her.

Python leaned forward and stared at her. Her violet eyes seemed clearer now but he could still see fear lurking around the edges. “Peggy Sue,” he whispered her name back.

Then her eyes went wide. “That’s my name isn’t it? Peggy Sue. I haven’t heard that name in so many years, I had forgotten it.”

“Yeah honey, that’s your name.” Python nodded. “Do you remember anything about the time you were taken from here?”

She closed her eyes and opened them again. The fear was more present in her being and she began to shake. “I remember parking the car and walking into the store. I can’t remember what I went there for but I remember the four men who followed me inside. When I walked to the back of the store someone grabbed me, I started screaming and the next thing I knew, something hit me in the back of the head. I went out like a light but as they tried to push me into a van, I came to and began screaming again. That’s when the bastard hit me with a tire iron.” She paused then trembled. “I thought I was dead. The next time I woke up, I was in a cell somewhere. All I can remember was it was hot and smelly and there was mold on the walls….” She paused and briefly closed her eyes as a shudder rushed along her body. “And I remember being in so much pain. I thought my head was going to explode.”

Python took a deep breath and waited for her to speak again.

“There was a man there and he looked like the devil himself. He asked me who I was and at the time, I didn’t know. Apparently, no one told him they had to hit me to get me away from the store.” She paused then looked at him. “He was so angry. He said I’d been there for two days and he was tired of waiting for me to wake up, so I could give him some answers. When I couldn’t even tell him my name, he dragged me to another room and chained me to the wall. Then he whipped me. When I passed out, he would throw water on me and scream at me, demanding answer to questions I couldn’t answer. I don’t know how long I was there but it seemed to last for days.”

Python’s body shook with rage as he tried to control his anger, so he wouldn’t scare her.

“Then he took me back to my cell and he just left me there. He didn’t give me any medical help. No one came back to check on me for days. They never even gave me any water or food. I remember being in such a haze around that time. Everything was such a blur, so I don’t remember much. One of the three men that came in that day told the other I was almost dead anyway and that they should just get rid of my body. The devil standing over me told the others that his men must have hit me too hard and that I was no use to them at all. He could see that I was awake, so he leaned over closer and whispered that my death wasn’t the only one he had taken for revenge for his son’s death a few weeks earlier. He told me he murdered my middle son in revenge for the death of his second born son.” She paused as tears ran down her face. “I think I just gave up at that point. I had no reason to believe he hadn’t killed Lucian and I couldn’t bear the pain.”

She fell silent and for a while, neither of them spoke.

Then Python asked her quietly, “What happened then?”

She shrugged. “They dragged me out of the cell and threw me in the back of a truck. I remember a bumpy trip and when we stopped, I was dragged out again, and thrown into a ditch on this side of the border. I just laid there for a full day and night and half a day the next day. I prayed for death. I just wanted it to end. The next time I woke up, I was in a soft bed and there was a priest tending me. I just wanted to die. I couldn’t remember my past at that point and I was in so much pain and just wanted to give up.” She paused and looked away. Looking back at him she told him, “Then the Priest asked me who Python and Lucian were. As soon as he said your names, I could see your face in my mind. I could see you but I couldn’t remember you. But it was that brief glimpse of my past that made me start fighting to live again. Every day, I got a little stronger and every day I would try to remember but I just couldn’t break through the fog in my mind.”

Python stared at her as he listened. If everything she said was true…The woman had been virtually stripped of her life and her memory.

She shrugged her shoulders. “Time passed and I was no closer to remembering than I was before. Before I knew it, many years passed. I would help at the church, planted gardens, Cleaned, did dishes and chores, helped them in their work. It was fulfilling to a degree, but I ached inside, like someone had taken a large piece of me and I never got it back. And then three days ago, the same priest came to me and told me I had to leave. Someone from the village across the border had come to him and told him that Luis Brago was looking for me. He said they wanted to make an example of me by killing me here in Odessa. He said it was coming up to the anniversary of his son’s death and he wanted to drag me back here in chains then burn me alive on a pyre in front of everyone, in the exact spot his son died in.. He wanted word to get back to you, so you would come after them. Then he would get a small army together and wipe out the entire MC.”

Python shook his head. Luis Brago would find out soon enough when he came here. He wouldn’t even get close to them again. They wouldn’t wait for Brago to come to them, they would be hunting the cartel very soon. “How did you get here?”

“Father Spado paid a man to bring me to the city then I just followed my heart. I just knew my way to this place. I arrived just before dawn and I was looking around when I saw you.” She paused to swallow hard. “I knew your face and that opened a door inside my mind and memories came flooding back. I still don’t remember everything but I remember you and what we once had.” She paused as a tear rolled down her face. “Then I saw Lucian. At first, I thought he was a ghost, I thought he had to be. Luis told me he killed him so long ago. I couldn’t even breathe when I gazed into his face. Then I saw the hate in his eyes and I couldn’t bear it. My own son hates me. That hurt worse than anything Luis Brago had ever done to me over the years. Then I knew nothing.” She paused then looked away from Python. Looking toward the window she whispered, “Does he hate me that much?” She turned her head and looked at him. “Do you hate me that much?”

Python leaned his elbows on his knees. Shaking his head slightly he told her honestly, “After you disappeared, we looked for you for weeks. But when we couldn’t find any trace of you, we concluded that you had walked out on not only me but three young sons as well. I did hate you then. I couldn’t believe you just left us behind. But I had to step up and be a parent to our boys. Richard and Lucian broke away from me the moment they were old enough. They were wild and talked about starting their own MC. I was angry and we all said things that we shouldn’t have and in the end, I lost them to their own desires.”

Peggy Sue had tears rolling down her cheeks as her hands remained in her lap.

“Richard died a few years later and Cobra was on his own but together, they handpicked the men to join and he did all right. He’s doing great, got himself a good woman and a daughter.” He chuckled, “He’s a grandpa now. I can’t wait to get to know his kids. Anyway, Micah grew up and had a daughter, so that makes us grandparents to a grown up grandkid.” Then he looked her in the eyes and said, “When you left, I drank a lot and I had other women. For all I knew, you had walked away and I wasn’t going to wait and see if you came back. I found a good woman and together, we had a daughter. Her name is Scarlet and she’s every bit the firecracker you were when you were younger. Her mother left me, she said she couldn’t live with me anymore because I was such a bastard.” He shrugged. “And maybe I was. I felt betrayed and alone and no one knew me as well as you used to.”

“Oh Tiberius, I’m so sorry.” Peggy Sue laid her head on the pillow and closed her eyes. “Richard i-is gone? I-I can’t even…You and those boys were my whole world back then. I loved you like I never loved another man. How could you think I would ever walk away with no—word?” Her voice was barely a whisper and it cracked at the end.

The room grew silent and tension grew as the silence stretched out.

Finally, Python got to his feet and turned toward the door.

She called out, “Luis Brago is coming here, and he won’t stop until you are all dead. That was the message Father Spado wanted me to give you if I ever found you.”

Python came back to the bed and leaned over her. His eyes were full of banked rage. “Good, let him come. I may be an old man now but before I die, I will kill that bastard. Him and everyone who works for him. That entire family is nothing but death to the people on both sides of the border and no one will miss them.” Python then straightened up and walked to the door, he opened it to walk out.

Peggy Sue could see another man standing there.

Before Python closed the door, he told the other man, “Watch over her. She isn’t to go anywhere.”

Peggy Sue caught her breath and her heart hurt so much. His voice sounded cold and indifferent. She’d been living with a hope that someday, she would find the man she loved and that everything would be okay. But while half of her dream had come true, she had found her man again, but she knew in her heart things between them would never be what it once was. She knew she would never have his trust again and that thought left her hollow inside.


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