Salvador Ramos’ world was upended the day before he turned twelve. The stick-thin son of a small-time drug king, his demand for justice fell on deaf ears, and the identity of his sister’s killer remained a mystery. From that day forwards, Sal vowed he would never forget how it felt to be powerless.
Now he’s ready to make good on that promise. Positioned as one of the dominant outlaws in Chicago, he deals from a place of strength and power, leveraging fear as a weapon. He is a leader among men, having honed loyalty through harsh lessons, and earned trusted friendships until none can stand against him. He is Bones.
Bones. A man who looks like a monster. Covered in tattoos, black and grey, with hardly any inch of skin left bare. A hundred different sigils and symbols on each arm, ink crawled up his neck like the collar of a closely fitted shirt. Black and colored ropes of pictures disappeared underneath his shirt. Strong hands, with muscles that danced beneath the images as he moved. Bones wore his skin like a shield, a barrier to hold at bay those who wouldn’t put in the time to know who he is. Who didn’t care enough to learn about the man behind the bars written on his skin. The ink as isolating as any jail cell unless you held the key.
Ester has been on her own since she was ten. She spent much of that time on the run from her own fears, failing to escape from the demons in her mind. Her life on the fringe of society has given her a unique perspective on humanity, and a cautious but abiding curiosity about the nature of people. She sees pain and terror everywhere, except when she looks at him. Bones alone helps relieve the piercing agony of her thoughts.
He should be frightening to a woman like her. But he wasn’t. He isn’t.
“The intricacies of life are but common to all; it is how we untangle these twists that paints our individuality in the canvas of destiny.” – Dodinsky, Labyrinth