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Hands Up, Baby Hands Up

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Juliana was still feeling a little groggy when she came to. Her dreams had been quite vivid and mostly was of her and Valentina riding around the park on a tandem bicycle while soft music played on. Of course, the dreams mostly ended with her and Val bumping into Lucho and Montilla and with Val walking away. She rubbed her face trying to shove away the unpleasantness of the dreams , pushing the sunglasses she had on in an awkward angle. She didn't recollect much - and was trying to figure out why she had fallen asleep in Sara's room fully clothed.

"Oh good - you're awake." Sara began and Juls jerked at that.

"What!" she asked. Why is my heart so heavy?

"I just wanted to make sure what I was supposed to do about Valen-"

All the fuzziness in Juls head cleared at that and she sat up.

"YOU HAVEN'T LET HER GO YET?!" Juls exclaimed. Sara was quite sure Juls would be killing her in a while anyway.

"I thought you would like to see her, explain things to her." Sara replied - and Juls stopped at that.

I don't want to do that.

She looked at Sara with a look of defeat - she could not swallow the thought of seeing Valentina, but she also knew that she could not hide from her. She took off her sunglasses and buried her face in her hands.

"Juli."

"I know, I know - but - I don't see how I can explain everything to her." she muttered, her voice blurred by her palm.

"I could go apologize to her - and then you could talk to her." Sara offered in hopes to get back into Juls' good books - and Juls raised her head at that, considering the idea. She slowly nodded - it would make the shock for Val a little less severe that way.

"Okay. I'll freshen up a bit and you go talk to her." Juls agreed, slowly getting up from the bed.

"Just to clarify - how much should I tell her?" Sara asked, she had been going over how to talk to Val for the past 8 hours and she was still stumped.

Juls shook her head at that.

"I don't care anymore Sara. Just get her back to her family safely." Juls sadly groaned - walking out of the room.

"Yes - but HOW!?" Sara questioned anxiously, but Juls was in no mood to reply.

Well, fuck.


 

Sara was scratching her head, standing outside the room. How am I supposed to do this? She knew the more she delayed - the more little pieces Juls was going to cut her into. Oh God I'm terrified. It was amusing, considering that Sara had killed men without a second thought - but was pretty much shaking at the thought of meeting this woman. Juls is going to kill me anyway.

Shaking her head vigorously - she decided that she was never going to be ready for this. She gingerly stepped into the room - seeing Val sitting up on the bed and Val shrunk back at the sight of her. Sara immediately raised both her hands in an act to demonstrate that she had come in peace, and immediately began.

"Valen- Ms. Carvajal - I am so so sorry this happened." Sara explained, surprised at how frantic she sounded.

Seeing that Val was still - she knew she had to do something to make Val trust her. She pulled out her gun from her jeans and making sure Val was looking at her - slowly set it down in front of her.

Val was quite confused at this - her head was clear from the deep sleep she had - but she could not for the life of her understand what was going on.

Sara's knees were shaking as the thought that Juls was definitely going to kill her strongly gripped her mind. She approached Valentina - who was sitting on the bed motionless, struggling to understand what was going on.

"I'm so so sorry Ms. Carvajal - this has been a really unfortunate incident. It's the system's fault - we really should modify our operating procedure - get the names and details first and then continue with the kidnapping - "

"WHAT?"

Sara clutched her head at that - drawing a deep breath. Oh - I have to explain THAT part first.

"Oh - um. Okay. Uhh." Sara gulped, her terror growing more and more seeing Val's indignant face. I am so dead. If Juls didn't kill her now - Valentina most certainly was.

"So - we were asked to kidnap you; and my boss did not know it was you that I was kidnapping." Sara explained, while the look of surprise and disbelief on Val’s face only grew.

"I swear if my boss had known it was you, we would not have gone on with it." Sara pleaded, her life depending on it. Val bit her lower lip - looking at this anguished woman hoping to understand something.

"And then we found out it was you I kidnapped," Sara rambled on breathlessly, quite forgetting herself. "And now I have to let you go before I'm cut into little pieces."

Valentina was thankfully clear headed and managed to piece together little bit of the rambling she heard, not that it  reduced her incredulity at the whole scenario.

"Who asked to kidnap me?!" she asked, trying to understand why Sara looked a little familiar.

"Oh. Can I tell you that? I don't think I should - I'm going to die anyway but no - I don't think I should tell you that." Sara shook her head frantically, hoping that she had handled this as decently as she could.

"Do I know you?" Valentina squinted at Sara, sure she had seen her before.

"Me? I don't think you would know me!" Sara replied back - surprised at that question.

"Didn't you study at the college -?" Valentina prodded back - quickly gaining confidence.

"I went to college? When did I- OH. " Sara abruptly stopped. Oh fuck she knows that.

Sara was already sweating profusely - and seeing that Val probably remembered her from a previous assignment did not help her nerves.

"Oh yeah - I - yeah - the college. Studied yes - I , I studied - uh - yeah - the - um, college." Sara blabbered, utterly unprepared to deal with this.

Valentina nodded slowly - hoping Sara would continue, but Sara did not want to give away anything more than she had to.

"You studied -" Val began, in a bid to get Sara to go on - and Sara was trying to think calmly and failing very badly.

"Criminal-" Valentina went on, as if prompting Sara.

"Criminal psychology - yes yes - I studied - that. Yeah." Sara nodded vigorously, anxious to get Val to stop prodding.

"-Journalism?" Valentina finished and Sara stopped to think a minute.

"Was it journalism? I don't know - I was not good at college - which is why I'm here kidnapping the wrong people." Sara quickly dismissed scratching her head, half wishing Juls would come soon. Death was surely easier than this.

"Wasn't that the class where the Professor was missing for two weeks before being found dead?" Valentina asked, seeing she was quite close to breaking through to her.

Sara gave up the act of playing innocent with a heavy sigh, seeing that Val already seemed to know.

"A few girls came to us and told us that the Professor was harassing them. We were only planning on scaring him a bit - but then the rival cartels warned us not to interfere." Sara explained, a small wave of calmness coming over her.

"My boss does not like being told what to do - but I had to first scope out the Professor a bit - which was why I had to pretend to be a student or whatever. Once we knew what he was doing with the girls there was no doubt about what to do with him." Sara explained.

"Did he hurt you? We can dig him up and kill him again if he did!" Sara perked at that thought - and Val shook her head.

"No, No -  but I knew what was going on." Valentina explained - a look of satisfaction on her face thinking of the Professor dead for the horrors he did.

"So - your boss is El Caballero then?" Val asked - wonder and immense respect filling her eyes. Sara began laughing at that.

"Oh, that's not a name my boss calls herself - it was a newspaper that came up with that - " Sara stopped, remembering.

"It was your newspaper." Sara realized, looking at Val. Val nodded in reply, biting her lower lip, also realizing that the head of this crime syndicate was actually a woman.

"I wrote the article." Val explained, and there was a knock on the door. Sara immediately stood up - quickly wrapping things up.

" There were quite a few things wrong about that article." Sara rushed, "Anyhow you're going to meet El Caballero herself now. Again - a million apologies for this mistake, it was totally my fault, I will just get you something to eat and once you're done with my boss, I'll drop you at your house safe and sound." Sara promised, half sprinting out of the room - quite forgetting that she left her gun on Val's bed.

Sara  almost knocked over Juls as she ran out of the room, relieved that half her torment was over. Juls looked like a wounded pup as she approached Val's room - and was doing her best to soothe her broken heart.

"She knows you're El Caballero." Sara clarified, running down the hallway.

"WHAT?" Juliana exclaimed. The word had become her catchphrase now.

"I didn't tell her - she found out." Sara yelled back, running out of Juls’ sight.

Juls sighed as she looked at the doorway.

Here goes nothing.


 

The minute Valentina saw Juliana enter the room - well shocked was an understatement. She got up from the bed - and Juls stood a good distance from the foot of the bed, defeated and sad.

Valentina stared at Juls in silence - putting together all that she just learnt with the fact that here was the sweetest girl she ever met.

"Val , I - ", Juls hesitated and Val waved her off with a slight gesture of her hand. Juls stopped talking at that, dread filling her heart.

Val was putting everything together - she thought of the girl who was terrified that her boss would kill her - and here was her boss - the head of a crime syndicate, a vigilante in a weird fashion and her darling Juls.

She saw Juls was genuinely embarrassed and gloomy about this - but Val decided that she should test her anyway.

"Is this why you became friends with me Juls?" Val asked, and at that Juls’ heart dropped to the floor.

"Val - NO! Please, please - I'm so sorry about all this - but please please don't think that Val. Oh God please don't." Juls begged, quite lost.

Val could see the sincerity in Juls pleading - and her heart was starting to grow more and more confident. She picked up the gun that Sara had left on her bed and aimed it straight at Juls - who did not even flinch at that.

"I could just kill you and walk out of here." Val tried, not exactly sure where she was going with this.

Juliana did not even try to defend herself, she was miserable that things had come to this.

"It's OK Val, I feel dead anyway." she sighed, looking straight at Val.

Val's heart lifted at that, and seeing that the head of one of the most feared cartels was this upset having mistakenly kidnapped her, realized that all that happened - bizarre as it was - must be true.

Val did not know what to do next - she had a gun pointed at the woman she was strongly fond of, and all that she had learnt in the last half hour had only made her fall in love with this woman more - but still she had a gun pointed at her.

Val was struggling to do something that would resolve this scene, and for some reason - she decided this would be the best way to play it out.

"Close your eyes - I don't want you to look at me when I kill you." Val ordered, and Juls with her puppy dog face took one last yearning look at Val and closed her eyes.  That was pretty much when Val lost her heart. She slowly moved towards Juls - all the while taking in the anguish and pain on her face. Once she was close to her, she pushed the muzzle of the gun against Juls' chest - and Val could hear her shallow breathing. Val was slightly trembling herself as she stood as close to Juls as she could. Val slowly moved the gun to Jul's chin, and gently tipped her head to raise Juls face towards her. She dragged the muzzle of the gun slowly under Jul's jaw.

Jul's had no idea what was going on and after a few tense seconds, she felt Val's lips gently press against hers - and Juls almost fell to the ground in utter relief, while Val gripped her waist tightly.

Juls broke the kiss and buried her head in Val's neck - softly muttering her apologies, and Val hugged her tight, holding the gun behind Jul's back - taking in all that had happened.

It was barely thirty seconds that the two of them spent in each other's embrace when Sara rushed back into the room again.

Seeing the two of them quickly break the hug, relief washed over her.

"Oh thank God, you're not going to kill me then." Sara exclaimed in relief, while Juls did her best to return back to her usual intimidating self.

"What is it Sara." she snapped, half annoyed that she and Val were interrupted.

"Oh - yes - We can't let her go now." Sara explained, pointing towards Valentina who was still absent mindedly holding on to the gun.

"Why not?!" Juls retorted back, her annoyance rising.

"I just got this news from our sources - Alacran is claiming he kidnapped her." Sara explained pointing at Val - and all Juls could do was hear that and repeat her quintessential catch phrase.

"What?!"