ISAK & Red by Cari Silverwood



I wasn’t sure what he wanted, but it probably meant I was going to have to kill him.

This man, this weaselly, goatee-bearded man, was supposed to bring me my suitcase, get paid, and leave me the fuck alone. Instead, he was sitting at my little white table in this second-rate, beachside resort, trying to extort some sort of information or promise.

He could have left the suitcase somewhere and arranged a drop-off time so I could pay him. That would have been simpler and less dangerous – for him.

“So you see, I’ve heard things. Got friends in Brazil, Spain, who saw you this year. Helped you.” He clicked with his mouth, winked. “And after looking inside that suitcase, I can see it’s likely true.”

Likely? He was not sure, but someone had noticed something. Let him go or kill him?

When had I been careless, though perhaps it was fated? Travelling had risks, and sitting still was boring.

I grunted, while over his shoulder I kept watching the bikini girls frolicking and gossiping in the pool. The lighting around the pool was good, and I could see the bounce of their tits, the joy in their faces as they told crazy stories and clinked those plastic glasses together. Their giggles had grown loud. They’d look good in my bed, or on my floor, leashed, collared, begging for me.

The resort manager had come out once to tell them to stop drinking alcoholic beverages in the pool.

I’d flicked an eyebrow upward, and the woman had stopped dead then walked in a small aimless circle, before returning to her office. Making women forget shit was the least of my abilities.

“What do you call it? You can make girls do stuff for you that nobody else can? Yeah?”

I didn’t even bother to shrug.

“You know, like this one.” Sam or Frodo, or whatever his name was, pointed at Red where she lay near us, propped on her elbows and her belly on the sun lounge. Her red hair spread across her mostly bare back. The petite blue shorts showed off her superb ass. When bitten, licked, smelled, she had this indefinable essence of sex that no other female possessed. I assumed that perception was a me thing. Just me. I’d never figured out why.

I both loved it and hated it.

By now, she would hate me with the heat of a thousand, thousand suns.

Her tits were nicely displayed in that clingy crop top. The main difference between her and the other girls? I owned her, down to the last hair on her mostly gone pubes, the dimple on her face, and the molecules of her DNA.

I sipped my rum, listening to the tinkle of ice cubes and appreciating the cold where the square-shaped tumbler angled into my palm.

“They tell me she climbs into that fucking great suitcase for you.” He waggled his eyebrows, leered. “And those holes, those straps, I seen them.”

“Did you now.” The man was annoying. Even I heard the vast difference between my gravel-toned words and his bunny-rabbit voice. “Take the cash and go. Last chance.”

He snorted, leaned back as if he was staying a while. “Hell, no. You don’t want the authorities to know about your illegal entry to the top end of Australia? Ducking under the radar in a small plane wasn’t cheap. You need friends here. Like me. You talk to me. I have connections.” He came in closer, rubbed together the thumb and fingers of one hand. “Money. Sex industry and… and trafficking. Fuck, the things we could do. We could make millions. No paying the sluts, just click your fingers—”

I shoved back my chair and stood. “Not here. No talking here.” Then I walked away, hearing Red rise, glimpsed the sway of her lithe figure as she followed. The man’s chair screeched as the legs of it ran across the paving.

“Okay! Wait.” He hissed and I guessed he’d knocked a shin on something. “Wait.”

I let him catch up and paused near the edge of the pool. The three girls came over, water sloshing, eyes gleaming with dedication. I judged them all to be in their late teens to early twenties. Red bikini, white bikini, black bikini, and all the same fashion make, as if they shopped as a trio, too.

This would not need words, or not many. The resort was nearly empty, and no one else was sitting out watching the stars or the women. It was just us, the asshole, and the girls. No CCTV either.

“Where is the suitcase?” I had to have it, same as I had to keep Red.

“In my Range Rover. Outside in the guest parking. Locked in.” He emphasized the last part.


“Not a worry, man. Now about this—”