Javier turned off the main road and onto a dusty track. They had left the relative safety of the city some time ago and Nick was beginning to question coming out here. He soon shook that thought away as he thought of Anna all alone in a strange place and how scared she must have been. He needed to do this for her sake and get answers for her family. The car rocked and bounced as it struggled over the rough terrain. Nick glanced over at Javier in the driver's seat and hesitated before deciding to speak.
"I know you didn't want to come out here, Javier, but I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm doing this for Anna because she can't speak for herself anymore." Nick was a passionate kind of person. He cared about each and every one of the victims he came across and he felt, as a crime scene investigator, it was his job to speak for the dead. That wasn't about to change for this victim.
"Do you realize how stupid it is coming out here?! You want to stand in a field where the blood of the men massacred hasn't even dried yet! We'll be target practice for the cartel!" Javier snapped. He hadn't intended to react so harshly, causing him to shake his head and sigh the minute he had realized how it came out.
"I could have come alone, you know," Nick muttered trying to stand his ground as best he could.
"Yeah and then your death would be on my conscience. Besides, I've grown quite fond of you. I'd hate to see a heart like yours go out by cartel hands." Javier glanced over at Nick quickly to gauge his reaction. What he'd said was...touching, considering only an hour ago they were at each other's throats. Before Nick could even respond Javier pulled the SUV to a stop and jumped out without another word. Nick hesitated with his hand over the door debating whether he should say something or not. He decided on the former before joining Javier.
Nick approached the spot where Dr. Blanco had said he found Anna's body. Giving the ground a quick sweep he spotted the large, now dried, blood pool where the cartel massacre had taken place. Continuing his gaze across the dirt path his eyes fell on a set of tire treads in the mud that, looking up the road, seemed to drive straight through the blood patch.
"Large tire treads probably from a big rig drove through the blood patch, meaning Anna was dumped here after the massacre" Nick theorized aloud trying to work the scene as best he could with little help from Javier. Looking over at Javier he noticed the man was constantly watching the hills and treeline surrounding them, obviously watching for any cartel members hiding...watching them. "Javier, did you hear me?" Nick asked, snapping Javier away from monitoring the surroundings.
"Yes Nick I heard you, Anna's body was dumped here afterward but why?" before Nick could answer Javier spun around at the sound of another SUV plowing down the dirt track towards them blasting music from the stereo. "Stay where you are don't make any sudden movements, and hide your weapon" Javier barked the orders at Nick and the look on his face told him Javier wasn't messing around, so he did as he was told. Nick watched as the car pulled up and Javier approached the man who jumped out the passenger seat who was now charging towards Javier. They were too far away for Nick to fully catch what was being said as they exchanged some heated words. The words didn't matter when all of a sudden the man from the car grabbed Javier by his vest and threw him against the side of their SUV. Nick made a move towards his friend but was stopped by the other men from the car now standing about 100 yards ahead of him with their guns drawn. Nick threw his hand up in the air as an act of peace.
"Tell your friend he has no right poking around things that don't concern him" the man standing over Javier spoke down to him before giving Nick a side glare as a warning.
"We're investigating the death of a young girl..." Nick started.
"We know why you're here, to investigate the death of your American girl, but if we catch you poking around cartel blood again we won't be as compliant" the man cut Nick off to make his point heard, he gestured for the other men to get back in the SUV as they lowered their guns Nick physically relaxed and the grip on his pistol that had been tucked into his trousers loosened. "Consider this a warning...Detective!" the man spat on Javier and gave him a solid kick to the stomach before getting back in the car and speeding away. Nick watched as the car disappeared back over the hill before he darted towards Javier who was struggling to sit up against the side of their SUV.
"Javier you alright? Are you hurt?" Nick was genuinely concerned.
Despite their differences, there was something about this guy that had caught Nick's attention the moment he walked into arrivals and was greeted by beautiful brown eyes.
"Yeah, I'm alright, just my pride that's been damaged" he managed a small laugh before his breath caught in his throat followed by a coughing fit.
"Alright let's get you up shall we" Nick suggested, he tucked his arm around Javier's back and pulled him up, steadying him slightly when Javier began to sway on his feet. "You all good", Javier nodded in response and Nick pulled the door open allowing Javier to sit down in the passenger seat.
"Can we get the hell out of here?" Javier pleaded with Nick.
"Yeah...let's go", Nick made his way to the driver's side, there was no way Javier was driving back after that.
As they drove off down the road Nick dared a glance over at Javier who was clutching his side where the cartel guy had kicked him, the sudden wave of guilt swept over Nick. They would never have been out there if he hadn't insisted on checking out the scene and Javier wouldn't be in pain now.