Book cover of “Sweet Gangster“ by Lustre Okengwu

Sweet Gangster

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Lustre Okengwu
All her life, Dahlia has stuck by the rules. She grew up in a small town with her sweet parents and had always dreamed of what life outside her town felt like. This led her to pursue a career in New York after college, and after landing a job as a nurse at SilverCrest Hospital, Dahlia was convinced that her life had fallen perfectly in line. Howeve... 

Chapter 1

24 years old Dahlia McCarthy paced around the hospital grounds out of boredom. As far as she knew, she was the only active medical personnel on board at the hospital. And why not? Since it was a small hospital, located at one of the corners of Los Angeles where it wasn't that visible to the city. This means that they hardly get any patients or get busy as a hospital should. Worse, their head doctor had just been transferred about two days ago and the newly appointed one was yet to arrive. That, coupled with the fact that there were no patients that required intensive care at the hospital at the moment made the other nurses lazed over their work. They had all cast their lots and decided that she, Dahlia, who seemed to have no life outside of the hospital should remain at the hospital for the night. It wasn't like any patients would come, they had told her. It was just so that it would damage their reputations if the hospital was closed down and people accidentally found out about it.

When she had landed a job at SilverCrest hospital some months ago, she had been very happy that one thing had finally taken a good turn in her life. It wasn't until she arrived at the hospital that she had realized how false those thoughts had been. True, her nursing career had taken a turn, but it wasn't the perfect turn she had always dreamt of. The hospital was smaller than she had imagined it to be and it didn't have the traffic flow of patients a hospital needed to function very well. And worse of it, she wasn't allowed to handle any case of a patient with severe conditions. How was she ever going to move forward if such keeps recurring?

She wondered what her co-workers were up to at the moment. She was sure that some of them would be clubbing at the moment. While some of them would be immersed in games. Some of them could even be at the karaoke singing, and then they would go get drunk. She thought that some could even be at the back of a car right now, making out with their lovers or even with total strangers. While others like Edna would prefer to spend the time with their family and loved ones at some.

Realizing that she had left the nurse's desk for more than five minutes, she walked back to the hall. She groaned a little loudly as she plopped her ass on the chair, behind the desk. She glanced at the wall clock by her side, and saw that the time was just 12:44 AM. Dahlia picked up the remote control to the television and switched it on with a button. The screen came to life with some animal series going on. She hissed and changed the channel to another. This time, an oval face presenter dressed in a spotless white shirt honored Dahlia with her presence. She dropped the remote and listened attentively.

"And now, we just got reports from our very own reporter about a gang fight going on right now at the famous El Clubhouse near the Mayor's lodge." The oval-faced presenter began in a professional voice that made Dahlia listen with rapt attention.

There was a fight at a clubhouse? And that too near the mayor's lodge? She was sure it was just another of their usual fights for power. Those bunch of useless peeps that don't want to make something meaningful out of their lives. It had been a while since the gangs last made a fool of themselves though, she thought and returned her attention to the television to make sure she didn't miss any details.

"It was said that the fight began as banter among two men who looked like they were friends and had progressed into a gang break out in minutes." The presenter said with such sadness that Dahlia felt the enormity of it, despite being miles away from the woman.

"Two men were gunned down and the report says that they fell dead immediately. And three more have been injured severely." The presenter continued in such a voice that elicited fear from Dahlia.

If the gang fight was that severe, surely, the people around would be affected. Couldn't they have picked a more solemn location where there were fewer people? Her problem was not that they had chosen to fight, but the fact that their lives would be wasted on such trivial things. And it wouldn't be theirs alone, innocent people would be affected too. As a nurse, she had been trained to realize that all lives were important, but the more she tried to save people, the more she found out that some of them didn't want to live that same life.

"And now, we're getting some live footage of the fight. Alex, come in." The presenter said, cutting into Dahlia's thoughts.

"Thank you, Elizabeth." A man's voice answered the presenter.

Life footage began to play on the screen of the television and Dahlia felt tremors work over her as she saw two lifeless bodies lying helplessly on the ground. One of them had a missing eye that had been burst by a bullet. Men and women ran helter-skelter. Children's loud wails filled the volume of the TV. Mothers screamed their children's names all about. Men laid down around, growling in pain. Some of them held their legs, some held their ribs, some held their heads, some held their arms. Dahlia even saw a man with an open skull and nearly lost the dinner she had hours ago.

Tears flowed freely from her eyes and she didn't bother about stopping them. How could people have so little disregard for their own lives? A life that millions of other people fought to preserve daily. And it wasn't just their lives that were affected. Their family would share in the agony of pains they inflicted on themselves, she thought as the video footage showed the two dead men. How would the family of the dead receive the news of their death? How would they cope with the death of their loved ones who lost their lives fighting over meaningless things?

Matteo Sanchez fought his way through the men fighting, dodging the bullets and sticks that came his way. He had to get to his brother fast to ensure that he was safe. As soon as he was in the clear, he ran the rest of the way following the tracking device in his brother's wristwatch. The tracker took him to the front of a closed door and he paused for a second. For all he knows, his brother could be held captive on the other end of the room he was standing in front of. Deciding that his brother's safety was paramount, he kicked the door open.

Elio Sanchez managed to open his eyes to see who had broken in. He had to squint his eyes twice before he could decipher the body structure of his oldest brother. He watched as the older man rushed to his side like a sprinter whose lives depended on the trophy. Moments later, he felt his head being raised and a hand placed on his nostril to see if he was still breathing. Elio chuckled softly and groaned at the pain that radiated through his body. Darkness beckoned on him and he couldn't hang on any longer. Since his brother was here, Elio was sure he would be fine. His brother would ensure that.

"Matteo, I'm glad you are...here," Elio told his brother before the darkness sucked him deep into its cell.

Matteo shook his brother softly but didn't get any response from him. He knew that he had to get him to the hospital if there was going to be a chance to save his life. But, he couldn't go through the front door since reporters were lining up the door like brides waiting for their grooms down the aisle. He pondered hard about what he could do to get away from there with his brother as soon as possible. He was still thinking of a solution when his eyes fell on his brother's unconscious body and an idea struck. There had to be another exit around the place that no one knew about since his brother had safely hidden from the public eyes.

Matteo searched around for the exit. After a minute of running around, he saw the exit well hidden like it was another room. He ran back to the room and backed his brother, grunting a bit about the weight of the younger man. He ran as fast as he could out of the plaza. He could hear the chaos of the people from a distance away. Matteo looked around for a car, dropped his brother as soon as he saw a less conspicuous car in a corner, and ran over. He took his shirt off, wrapped it around his right arm, and broke through the driver's side of the glass. In recorded time, he got the car running and drove over to where he laid his brother. Matteo got out of the car, bent over, and examined his brother's breath. He sighed in relief as he felt a faint but constant air fan his hand. As carefully as he possibly could, he placed Elio at the back of the car, got into the driver's seat, and drove away from the fighting site.

As he drove, he turned periodically to check on his brother. He deliberated on what to do with his brother's critical condition since he couldn't have him admitted into a big hospital in the city. The reporters would know about it one way or the other, and those drafted people would broadcast it for the people of the world to see. Which would leave his brother in more danger. Matteo couldn't take such chances with the life of his precious brother. Perhaps, he should take him back to the base. Matteo shook his head negatively at the thought. The young man at the back of the seat was barely hanging on at the moment, he would be dead before they even got to half of their destination. Matteo saw the flashlight of a car behind him and froze. He turned the car into a corner and watched the car behind him do the same.

I'm being followed. Matteo thought to himself.

Damn. He had to lose the car behind him if he wanted to get his brother to the hospital fast. It was probably a nosy reporter who had accidentally seen him as he drove away from the plaza earlier, but he didn't have the time to teach the man a lesson right now. He broke the speed limits and sped up the car, he turned at a corner suddenly, leaving the car tailing him behind. He drove the car around and returned to the highway when he was sure that the car was no longer after him. However, five minutes later, Matteo saw the car again and knew that it wasn't a reporter who was driving the car behind him. Matteo was sure that he had lost the car earlier, which means that they were tracking him somehow.

He tried to think about how he could be tracked and remembered his brother's wrist watch which had a tracker. Somehow, they must have managed to breach the security around the tracking device. He placed the car in an automatic mood, turned to his brother's unmoving form, and got the wristwatch off him. Matteo returned to the driver's seat and returned the car to manual mode. He turned the speed of the car up some more as he came to an intercession road. Lucky for him, a car similar to the one he was driving drove in front of him, its passenger seat was empty and the window was winded down. Matteo sped up to the car and threw the watch in the back of the car. He waved to the driver of the car when he drove past the man, then turned to another lane. He looked behind him and saw the car tailing him, followed the other car and sighed. He had been right about the wristwatch after all.

Elio wheezed at the back of the car and Matteo began to panic. He couldn't afford to lose Elio at the stage he was in now, he would go insane. He turned another corner and saw a hospital staring at him in the face. He couldn't believe that luck had shined upon him and his brother. Elio had a chance of being saved now, he thought. Matteo drove the car over, ran out of the car to the security at the door.

"It's an emergency," Matteo yelled as soon as he got to them.

A commotion outside of the hospital caught Dahlia's attention and she drew her eyes away from the hospital. She cleaned up the tears away from her eyes as best as she could, then rushed out. She saw a man and two of the security guards trying to bring out a man from the back of a car. Dahlia rushed back into the hospital and got a stretcher out, then rushed to the men's side with it. What she saw made her jump back in fear. They had dropped a man who looked lifeless on the stretcher. His clothes were soiled with blood and there were several cuts on his body. His forehead was swollen like he had been clubbed with something heavy. One of his shoes was missing and blood dripped from his right arm. If the man wasn't dead yet, he would be soon, Dahlia thought.

She reprimanded herself for such thinking immediately. Medical personnel exist to save lives, and if there was even a tiny hope that this man could survive, she was ready to take it. The only thing was the fact that she had never handled any emergency case all by herself before and she didn't want to accidentally kill a man who was barely even alive. She couldn't afford to be barred from practicing her nursing career because of a man.

Before she could turn the men away from the hospital with the excuse that the head doctor wasn't around to attend to them at the moment, the man who had brought the lifeless one was already wheeling his friend in. Dahlia rushed in after his disappearing figure with the thought that a nurse should always save lives. Besides, she could take this chance and proved that she was capable of handling critical issues too. She directed the man into the emergency department, feeling adrenaline flowing through her. But, then she looked at the unconscious man and wondered what was next. She hadn't realized that she had asked the question out loud until the man next to her answered her question.

"What do you mean by what next?" He asked in a low tone. "Save him. That's next." The man finished with a scream.

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