Brand New Day is a step in a slightly different direction for me. It's a story about young love, heartbreak and loss. Believe it or not, it does have a happy ending, but it takes awhile. It follows the journey of Janet and Diego, who fall in love as teenagers, but life takes them very different directions – not the least of which is the nature of Diego's job, covert ops for the military. He's just come back into Janet's life after being gone for almost a decade. Unfortunately, their reunion is short lived.
Slinging back the door, Diego got even angrier. Three people he hoped he'd never see again, stood on the porch. Diego was frowzy and disheveled from their love making. The three men knew they'd disturbed something, but they politely said nothing. The leader, a man who looked like he could break a tree in half with his pinky, walked past Diego and into the living room.
"Don't mind me, Colonel," Diego growled. "But you're trespassing in the lady's home."
"Wanna press charges, kid? Go right ahead and call," the man said calmly, smiling.
Diego refused to be dragged into a conflict. "What do you want, Colonel? I left the game. I'm done."
"You were, until now. Your country needs you."
"You played that card all ready!" Diego yelled. "I gave you seven years, and almost gave my life. It kept me from the woman I love. Now, I've got her back. We're building a life...."
"Those men who held you had friends," the colonel said with a menacing glower. "Friends who will track you down and kill you and your happy life. They're in this country looking for you. We came to give you the means to even the score."
Janet came out of the bedroom and stood beside Diego. He took her hand, drawing her close, slightly behind him as if to protect her from the large, angry man.
"Revenge? You came at me with revenge? "That's pathetic, Coffey. Even for you."
Colonel Lane Coffey eyed him grimly. "They want you dead. Only they won't just kill you. They'll kill your pretty, little woman, after they do unspeakable things to her body—while you're forced to watch. If you're lucky, it ends there. But you've got family next door. A beautiful sister, three darling little kids, a crippled father, an aging mother...."
"Enough!" Diego roared. "You've made your point, Lane. You want me back. You want me to track these guys down and bring them in."
Colonel Coffey said nothing, shifting from foot to foot uneasily.
"I see. It's like that, huh?"
Janet stepped closer, her arms circling his waist. "What's going on? What does he mean?"
"He wants me to hunt down some people and kill them," he replied coldly.
"And no one's better at that than you, Diego," Colonel Coffey said with a nasty grin.
Diego's dark eyes flashed and Janet got the impression that the man he most wanted to kill was his superior.
"If I find out this is a ploy to get me back, there won't be a safe hole to shit in." Diego took a step closer to the colonel, slipping out of Janet's embrace. He leaned in so his face was mere inches from Coffey's. "You said yourself, no one's as good as me."
"You're threatening me in front of witnesses, Hernandez."
"They don't hear a thing," Diego flung the statement into the room.
The other men paled. Janet got the impression the threat extended to them.
Colonel Coffey shook himself, squaring shoulders. "Get your things, Hernandez. We need to go."
"I'll go when I'm ready, Coffey. You're dragging me back in the game, you'll give me the time to say goodbye. I'll see you here tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. Not a second before."
Coffey tried to protest, but decided against it. He and his men left without another word.
Janet flew into Diego's arms. "You can't leave me again!"
"I have to find these guys, babe. If what Coffey says is true, none of us are safe."
"And if he's lying? They may not be here—they may never find you!"
"If they weren't a real threat, Coffey would never have come."
"He hates you!"
"No.... If those men take me again...."
"You can handle it."
"I almost broke," he told her in an agonized voice. "They did things to me no man should have to endure. And I lived. I don't know how, but I did. I can't let them do that again."
"What about me?"
"I'll be back," he promised. "You can't get rid of me."
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
BrandNew Day is available in its entirety in the First Issue of MJMagazine compiled and edited by Fran Lewis