Surprise people. I was reading another story and my creative juices started flowing, so here is Chapter 4. Yeah, I know, I've got to say it again. If you're under age, don't read this. This story is protected and you cannot copy or change it. Send comments to: Have a safe holiday.

Julio part 4

"OK OK OK" Luiz fired back. "One question at a time please, my friend. "The doctor said his test results were in and there was nothing broken. He is still in a coma and only time will tell if there is any permanent damage to the child's memory. We're here. Isn't this the alley where got hurt?"

"I believe it is my friend." Miguel responded as he headed down the same alley where that child got blind-sided. As Miguel looked around, he spotted something on the ground. A medallion of Saint Anthony. This must belong to the child, he thought. He turned the medal over, and there on the back was a name engraved in very small letters.

It said "To Julio from Papa."

"Miguel, Miguel." Luiz whispered. "Over here."

Miguel ducked into a small opening as a tall, thin man quickly walked past dragging a small child by the arm and his other hand was over the boy's mouth. He got about ten feet past where Miguel was standing and he raised his fist in the air as if he was going to strike the child. As he did, Miguel was already behind the man and he grabbed his arm and threw him to the ground. The angry vigilante remembered this large man from before and reached for his pistol. Miguel's gun was already in his hand and he told the thin stranger, "If you get to it, you better use it. If you can't do it fast enough, then you will die."

This vigilante had a score to settle with Miguel and he wanted to settle it now. He saw Miguel's gun already in is hand, but he was fast. He had taken out many men before who were holding guns in the past and he thought this would be no different. He slowly slid his hand towards his gun hoping he would not be seen but he was wrong. As soon as he started going for his gun, Miguel fired a warning shot.

"What the fuck is your problem?" Miguel barked at this stranger. "What has this child done to you?"

"He owes me." the man replied. "He owes me."

"Come here little one." Miguel said calmly. "It's alright, no one will hurt you. I give you my word."

The boy walked slowly towards Miguel, but never taking his eyes off the man one the ground. He put his arms around Miguel's leg as soon as he got to him and looked up with the saddest eyes Miguel has ever seen on a child. "He wants me to let him do me in my butt mister," the boy cried out. "I told him he made me bleed the last time he did it, but that did not matter to him."

"Why does he do this to you?" Miguel asked. His face was showing anger towards the stranger as he spoke.

"This is how I get money to eat." the boy cried. Tears were falling freely from his eyes as he talked to Miguel. "If I don't, he said he would fuck me and then he would shoot me in the head. Please, I don't want to die. I don't want to end up like that other boy from the other day. Please help me, sir. Please! I'll do anything you ask. I'll do anything you want, just don't kill me. Please, sir, please." the boy cried.

The boy had really lost it now. Luiz had joined Miguel and the child. Miguel handed Luiz his gun and told Luiz to watch the man on the ground. Miguel held his arms out to the child, reaching for him. The crying boy was unsure what to do so he just stood there crying. Miguel motioned for him to come and the boy just ran over and fell into his arms.

The man on the ground started to move and Luiz had to remind him once more that he could die at any moment so, he just stayed where he was. Miguel was holding the child like a little baby, telling him over and over again, in a very soothing voice, it's all right. No one is going to hurt you. You're alright now and you're safe. After about ten minutes of gently rocking the child, the boy calmed down and Miguel could talk to him.

"What's you name, son?" Miguel asked him softly, "And how old are you?"

"Esteban, sir." He whimpered. "I'm eight years old and I live here on the streets. Can you take me with you? He will find me again if I don't leave here. Please?" The boy, now begging, was crying uncontrollably again.

Miguel was fighting back tears himself. Luiz handed him back his gun and he was putting it in his holster when he heard the boy cut loose with such a scream, that it could have frozen ones blood. Miguel looked up and saw the stranger coming right at the boy with a metal baton. The stranger was just about to swing at the child's head when a single shot was heard. The strange man fell at Luiz's feet. He had been stopped with a single shot to the forehead. Miguel had drawn, aimed and fired, all in one split second.

The boy had his hands over his ears from the sound of the shot and his head was pressed hard into Miguel's shoulder as if his life depended on it. This time, Miguel was able to put his gun into his holster. As he looked at the vigilante, there was something familiar about him. Luiz was staring at the stranger as well. Suddenly they both looked at each other remembering where they had seen this man. This was the same vigilante that had hurt Julio last night.

"Shit!" Miguel spat. "I wanted this asshole alive. I was going to have him tell me what he knew about Julio and who was paying him to hurt these kids. Now I'll never know!"

Esteban's face was still frozen when Miguel put his arms back around the boy again. He started crying softly as they headed for the car parked outside the alley that seemed to spell trouble for anyone who entered. As they walked to the car, Miguel was comforting the child and telling him that he would be safe with him and no one else would ever hurt him again.

Inside the car, Miguel asked the child where his parents were. Esteban had told him his mother was dead from a drug overdose and he never knew his father. He showed Esteban the picture of Julio and asked if he knew the boy or where he might live. He looked at the pictures for sometime and said to Miguel that he did not know him but knew someone who did. After finding out where this person was, they headed out and quickly located this boy.

It took them about ten minutes to travel further into Recife. This area was one of the worst areas of a once nice, middle class neighborhoods. The teen they were looking for was named Ronaldo, but he was better known as stick. Esteban told Miguel Ronaldo got the nick name stick because the other boys' had said his thin uncut penis looked just like a very small stick. Ronaldo hated that nickname but, since he would never hurt any of the other kids, he just accepted it and let things go.

They drove slowly drove around until Luiz spotted this boy that was out of place and put the car in park. Here was a white (and I mean white), fair skinned boy, almost five feet tall, blonde hair, blue eyes and looked like a walking sapling. He had on shorts that just barely covered the right places, but if he bent over the whole world could see everything he had to offer, no shirt and sneakers that should have been trashed years ago. Yep, he was indeed a walking stick. Miguel took one look at this blonde god and wondered how he became another throw away. As soon as Esteban spotted Ronaldo, Esteban got out and ran over to him. Miguel couldn't make out what was being said but, after a few seconds, he came walking over to the car with Ronaldo in hand. Esteban and Ronaldo got into the car so they could get out of the ninety plus degree heat and into the car's air conditioning. The blonde god seemed unsure of Miguel but as soon as he saw Esteban cozy up to this big man, his guard lowered a little.

Miguel showed Ronaldo the picture of Julio and the look that came over Ronaldo's face said everything he needed to know. Tears were slowing rolling down the blonde boy's face and his macho image faded in Miguel's presence. Once the boy regained his composure, Miguel began to talk to his new friend.

"Ronaldo," Miguel said softly, "do you know this boy and where I could find his mother?"

"Yeah," Ronaldo sniffed, "I know him and where his mom is. His name is Julio, Julio Cruz. His mother's name is Maria. She is a local hooker and I hear she has AIDS. That's why she doesn't take care of Julio nor does she even want him. If you can get to her before 4, she may not be stoned out of her mind. What happened to Julio? I haven't seen him in a while? Is he dead? Is that why you need to find his mother? He's too good a kid to be out on the streets and he doesn't have what it takes to be here.

"Easy sport," Miguel responded, "he's alright. No, he's not dead, just in a coma right now. I found him last night about five miles from here. Someone blind-sided him if I hadn't come along he might very well have been dead by now. Have you ever seem this before?"

"Yeah, I've seen it," Ronaldo shouted, "that is his pride and joy, I've never seen that off his neck. He said his father gave it to him when he was younger, although I don't really believe that."

"Look at what it says on the back." Miguel told Ronaldo.

As he handed the medal to the blonde god, he heard the phone chirp. "I've got to change that tone," Miguel thought as the phone was ringing. "Would you answer that blasted thing!" Miguel shouted at Luiz.

"It's a real estate broker," Luiz said as he handed Miguel the phone. "He's calling from America."

"Great," Miguel said reaching for the phone, "Hello, Phil Did you find me a house? How much did you say? That's all, are you sure? OK, great I'll write out a cheque and get it to you this afternoon."

Everyone was looking wildly at Miguel. Considering they were only hearing one side of the conversation, they had no idea what he was talking about. Luiz, being the only other adult there finally broke the silence asking "What was that all about, Miguel?"

"That was my real estate agent." Miguel replied.

"No shit," shot Luiz. "I thought it was Peter Pan! I know who your cousin is from America, now what did he want?"

"Do you have to know..." Miguel started saying

"Fuck yes, I do have to know everything," Luiz hollered back before Miguel could finish the sentence.

"OK OK OK," Miguel said calmly. "He found me a house. He sent me pictures of about a dozen or so last week and I picked one that had a pool and a dock. He told me how much they were asking for it and I asked him if that was all. I figured a house with 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, living room, den, basement, kitchen with a breakfast area complete with two ovens, stove, refrigerator and a microwave, a freezer in the three car garage on 1.5 acres of land would be..."

"My God, Miguel," Luiz injected. "That house must be selling for at least 5 million dollars, probably more."

While this was going on, they had forgotten about the two boys sitting in the car with them until Miguel heard Esteban softly crying again.

"Hey, hey, hey," Miguel said softly as he pulled the crying child onto his lap. "Why all the tears?"

"You're leaving and I'll be stuck here alone." Esteban wailed. "You promised that I would be safe with you and no one would ever hurt me again. And now, now you're leaving me and ..."

The child had lost all control of his emotions and was crying like a six-month-old baby. Ronaldo was even shedding a few tears of his own by now.

Miguel pulled Ronaldo close to him and he calmed the boys tears and fears by telling them both that all would be OK if they trusted him. On hearing this, Luiz's eyes got big and he started shaking his head as if to say, "Oh, shit. Here we go again."

"Sir," Ronaldo said, "my mother should be awake by now. She might know where Julio's mother is. They sometimes work the same bar together. We live just around the corner on the next street. Before Luiz could put the car into drive, a familiar car drove past and turned the corner onto the same street that the blonde god just mentioned. Miguel's eye got huge and his heart began to race as Luiz stepped on the gas pedal. The large Mercedes limo moved slowly down the street and just as he turned the corner, Luiz saw the same man that was driving the same car the night Julio was injured. The short, fat man went straight into the house Ronaldo said was his and his mother's. Before the car was at a stop, two shots and a scream were heard coming from the house. Luiz stomped on the brakes and Miguel was the first out of the car. Just as the man exited the house, Miguel fired once and the man fell to the ground.

Bleeding bad, but alive, Miguel asked the man "Who do you work for?"

A grimace came across his face as he said, "Mr. Lopez." Then died.

Ronaldo ran past Miguel before he could grab him. Suddenly he heard a scream. Miguel ran inside and saw the boy with tears streaming down his face rocking his mother's lifeless body in his arms. As he wailed in anguish, he asked God "How could you let something like this happen? I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU." the boy said over and over again.

He leaned down, picked up the boy and said, "Don't hate God for this. Sometimes things happen like this for a reason. A reason that may take years to understand, but, in time, it will become clear to you."

The boy looked at Miguel and suddenly stopped crying. Suddenly a look came across the boy's face as if he knew what God had in store for him. Luiz stood beside Miguel with Esteban as his side and asked his boss what to do next. Miguel took the phone and placed one call then went back to the car and waited. About thirty minutes later, a dark blue Ford pulled up in front of Ronaldo's house. A well dressed, middle aged man stepped out of the car and headed for the front door of the run down shack that was once Ronaldo's and his mother's house. The man stopped by the fat guy that Miguel had shot and went through his pockets. Out of his right front pocket he pulled a large wad of money and put it into his pocked. He stepped over the body and went into the house. As he roamed around, Miguel quietly stepped out of his limo and moved silently towards the front door.

When he reached the stoop, Miguel lowered his head and looked in the window and saw who the well-dressed man was. Miguel almost choked as he knew in an instant who it was. This man was a life long friend of his father's. A man his father respected, admired and helped him attain the position he was now working in. As the man reached Ronaldo's mother, he went through her purse and removed anything of value including 500 Reals. That was their rent and food money for the month. Ronaldo's mother only worked one night each month, but she earned enough to last the two of them for the whole month. He looked around the house once more to see if he missed anything of value and most of all, anything that could tie her to him.

Just as he was about to walk to the front door, he almost had a heart attack. The well dressed man looked up and stood face to face with Miguel.

"Going somewhere, my old friend?" Miguel said.

Cliffhanger time. I thought I would leave you in suspense over the holidays. Don't worry, Chapter 5 is being written as we speak.