Luis Alcazar studied the kid who was lying on the cot. His name was Zander, that much Luis had gotten from the conversation he had overheard between the kid and the Nurse. That and the fact that Zander had snuck on board with the idea of selling information to him about Sonny Corinthos. Luis smiled. The kid could be quite useful in alot of ways. Moving closer, Luis took in the clear skin that was olive-hued, the glossy dark hair, a lock of which fell over his forehead. Long, lush, eyelashes that brushed strong cheekbones. Rosy lips and a chiseled jaw. Luis guessed he was maybe twenty. He was wearing black jeans and a black tee shirt, which outlined a strong, lean, body. Something about him suggested *Street kid* to Luis, which made him wonder about Zander's connection to Sonny Corinthos.
"Who are you?"
Luis had been lost in thought so the question startled him. "I'm the man you came to see," Luis replied, as he watched Zander struggle to sit up. It was obvious he was disoriented, the hazel eyes were glassy. "Take your time, I'm not going anywhere."
Zander rubbed a hand over his face. "You're Alcazar?"
Luis nodded. "That's right. I understand you have information about Sonny Corinthos."
"I do. I used to work for the son of bitch!" Zander pressed a hand to his stomach.
Zander frowned. "A bit. That whacked out woman drugged me."
Luis spotted some bottled water and he retrieved it and handed it to Zander. "That would be Lorena, she's a nurse."
"She never told me her name." Zander accepted the water, unscrewed the top and gulped a few swallows.
"How long have you been here?"
Zander struggled with a reply. "I'm not sure. Maybe two days. I haven't been out of this room so I kinda lost track of time." Zander suddenly locked eyes with Alcazar. "She said you're gonna kill me."
Luis smiled. "Did she now?"
"Are you…gonna kill me?"
Zander sighed. "I'd rather you didn't. But she told me I had to stay here and be quiet because if you knew I was here you would kill me."
Luis pulled up a chair and turned it around to sit facing the back of it, his legs straddling the seat. "If I believe you're a threat to me...I won't hesitate to kill you, Zander," he allowed. He watched the kid digest this information and grow a bit pale. "But so far I don't see you as a threat. I am curious, however. Why come to me?"
"I heard some talk about you." Zander took another drink of water then screwed the cap back on and fiddled with the bottle nervously. "That you're rich and powerful and that you came to Port Charles to stake a claim, as it were. I figured that made you someone who might be able to take down Sonny."
"And you want to see that happen?"
Zander smirked. "You bet."
Lorenzo was intrigued. "What did Sonny do to you?"
"Tossed me aside like I was garbage." Zander made to stand up but his knees buckled so he sank back down on the cot. "He helped when I was in jail. I felt I owed him. He gave me a job and I gave him my loyalty. But that wasn't good enough. Jason Morgan came back and Sonny blew me off in every way. So did his wife."
"Carly Corinthos?" At Zander's nod Luis prompted, "Did you sleep with her?"
Zander rubbed a hand over his face. "Almost. But she was just using me to get back at Sonny. Look…you don't want to hear about my pathetic life. I worked for Sonny. I know things. How he works, scheduling, suppliers. I can give you all kinds of information."
Luis rubbed his chin. "For a price….of course."
"Yeah…well. Money would be nice, but I won't push my luck. I'll settle for you taking him down."
"I think we might both get what we want," Luis drawled, as he rose from his chair and put it back under the nearby table. "I want you to set up a meeting with Sonny. Let him think you have a means to blackmail him, I think that will draw him out."
Zander nodded. "Should work. Then what?"
Luis smiled. "That's it. Do this for me and I think we can work out an arrangement satisfactory to us both."
"You want me to go now?" Once again Zander stood up and once again his knees buckled.
"Tomorrow is soon enough." Luis pressed Zander back down onto the cot then he pressed one hand to his cheek, lightly caressing his skin. He could feel the rasp of stubble against his palm. "Rest. Sleep off the effects of the drug."
Zander nodded and laid down, his eyes already closing.
Luis watched Zander fall asleep and a smile curved his lips.
* * * * *
Zander paced on the docks. He had made a call to Sonny, asking to meet by letting him think he had information to blackmail him with. Sonny had agreed to come. But he was late. Zander glanced at his watch. It was ten after the hour. Alcazar was late as well and Zander was getting jumpy. He had a bad feeling.
"Fuck…" Zander muttered, as he recognized the voice. He turned around to find Jason standing there, holding a gun. "Where is Sonny?" Zander was pleased that his voice didn't reveal his sudden fear.
Jason didn't blink. "He sent me with a message."
Zander nodded. "Yeah…let me guess. The message is...time's up for me. Right? You're here to kill me."
"You're smarter than you look." Jason took aim. "It didn't have to be like this, Zander. Sonny gave you more than a couple of chances to just walk away. You threw them back in his face. You brought this on yourself." His finger curled around the trigger.
"Nobody fucks up better than I do," Zander allowed. He didn't want to die but he wasn't going to beg for his life. Not to Jason Morgan. Death would be preferable.
Jason almost smiled as he made ready to fire, but then he grunted in pain.
Zander jumped as a shot rang out and ran a hand over his chest. No blood. No pain. Then he realized that Jason was the one who was bleeding and his gun was lying on the dock.
"Are you all right, Zander?" Luis asked as he stepped out of the shadows. Two big men with guns followed close behind him.
"I'm fine." Zander looked at the gun in Luis' hand. "You shot Jason." It was more a statement of disbelief than a question.
Luis stepped around Zander to confront Morgan. "Tell Sonny he now has competition." As he spoke, Luis kicked Jason's gun into the water. "Tell him I'll be in touch."
Jason said nothing. He had tied a handkerchief around his hand and now he stared at Alcazar for a moment before turning on his heel and walking off.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Alcazar," Zander said as Luis turned his attention on him. "I messed up. I do that alot."
"You did just fine, Zander," Luis replied. "I'm sorry I was late."
Zander shook his head. "You saved my life. Not that it's worth much but...I owe you. Big time."
Luis smiled. "You work for me now, Zander. I take care of my own." He lifted one hand and caressed Zander's cheek. "Give me your loyalty, Zander and we'll consider the debt paid in full."
"You have my loyalty," Zander replied, without hesitation. He was a little freaked out by the way Alcazar was touching him, but he allowed it. "I'm not sure what I can do for you...but whatever you need...I'm your man."
"Good." Luis dropped his hand then tucked his gun back into his shoulder holster. "Let's go home. I have a manor house on the edge of town. I expect you to live there with me so that you can be on call at all times."
Zander was surprised but couldn't find any real reason to object. He had no sentimental attachment to his room at Jake's. "I guess that's okay. Uh...I need to get my stuff though. It won't take long. I don't have much."
Luis shook his head. "Leave it. I'll buy you everything you need, Zander. Clothes, toiletries, whatever."
"That's not necessary." Zander felt a little put off at the idea of being so dependant on Alcazar for everything. "I have clothes and a tooth brush and stuff."
"Did I not make myself clear?" Luis' tone was harsh. "I'll buy you whatever you need. Is that a problem?"
Zander almost jumped at anger that glittered in Alcazar's eyes. "No...it's fine. I just...I don't want to waste your money."
Luis chuckled and the anger faded from his eyes. "I have money to burn, Zander. Besides...your wardrobe is inappropriate for your new position.
"Please don't tell me I have to wear suits," Zander pleaded.
"Not all the time," Luis allowed. "But when we get home I'll have your measurements taken and send someone to get you everything you'll need."
Zander nodded and forced a smile. "Sounds great." He kept the smile in place as he followed Alcazar off the docks and into a waiting limo.
* * * * *
Zander puttered about the room. His room, or rather his *Suite*. The entire area was four times the size of his room at Jakes and contained a huge brass bed. A sitting area with a couch and two chairs by the fireplace. And there was a connecting bathroom. It made Zander a bit nervous. As did the young woman, the maid, who was putting away his new wardrobe. Zander couldn't believe all the clothes Alcazar had bought him. He wouldn't have to wear the same pair of pants for three months. It was a bit overwhelming.
"Do you like your room?" Luis asked as he strode through the doorway.
"It's...big," Zander replied. "Nice."
Luis chuckled. "I thought you might prefer something more modernized, Zander. If you don't like it there are several more suites you can choose from."
Zander shook his head. "No...this is fine. Really."
"Good." Luis watched the maid for a moment. "I hope you like your new wardrobe. Everything should fit perfectly."
"I'm sure it will." Zander rubbed a hand over his face. He wasn't sure how to word what he had to say without pissing Alcazar off. "Um...I really appreciate the clothes, but you bought way too many and most of them aren't really my style."
Luis smiled and patted Zander on the shoulder as he moved to the walk in closet and rummaged about. "The thing is, Zander, I don't think you understood what Style is. Trust me on that one." He pulled some pants off a hanger then went to the dresser to find a shirt. He handed the clothes to Zander. "Wear this."
Zander accepted the clothes. "Did you buy out a store?" he asked. And he was serious. He had just moved in last night and everything appeared like magic.
"Something like that," Luis allowed. "Get dressed." He dismissed the maid with a wave of one hand then settled himself in a nearby chair.
"Uh…now?" Zander asked. He didn't expect an audience. Not that it was a big deal, but it made him a bit uncomfortable the way Alcazar was looking at him.
Luis nodded. "Yes…now." He fished in his jacket pocket and pulled out a wad of one hundred dollar bills that he held out. "Here...this is yours. I almost forgot."
Zander took the money. It was heavy in his hand. At glance he guessed he was holding a couple thousand dollars. "What's it for?"
"Your first week's pay."
"But I just started yesterday. This is too much," Zander protested, offering the money back.
Luis locked eyes with Zander. "You're worth more than you realize. And trust me...you'll earn every penny. Now...get dressed. Dinner is in ten minutes."
Zander put the money on the bed along with the clothes, then he kicked off his sneakers and tugged his tee shirt over his head. He made short work of removing his jeans and stepping into the black pants that Alcazar had chosen for him. Then he pulled on the burgundy colored sweater. It was made of a thin weave and clung to him in a way that made him uncomfortably aware that it showed off every muscle. Zander's hair fell in his eyes and he pushed it back with an impatient hand. Then he tugged on the shirt. His forelock dropped in his eyes again and he cursed. Then he jumped when Alcazar suddenly appeared before him. Zander stood frozen as long fingers smoothed the hair out of his eyes. "I need to cut it," Zander muttered under his breath. He felt the fingers in his hair tighten and pain shot through his scalp. He swallowed a gasp.
"Never cut it!" Luis hissed. "Do you hear me?"
"Yeah…I hear you," Zander replied. "I won't cut it." He felt the fingers open and the pain eased up.
Luis gently combed his fingers through Zander's hair. "It's beautiful. Soft...like silk."
Zander said nothing but relief washed over him as the fingers slipped away and Alcazar walked to the door.
"I have a call to make. Come to the dining room in five minutes. Don't be late."
"I won't." Zander felt himself shaking and he sat down on the bed after Alcazar was gone. Then he realized he was shoeless so he headed for the closet and somehow wasn't surprised to find a dozen pair of black shoes in just his size. Zander stepped into the first pair then headed out the door. He didn't dare be late.
© Shelly 2004