“You will fix this mess, and you will do it now!” I roar. He nods, understanding I need this moment to vent.
“We will get her back, boss; come on, chill. I have never let you down before. You can trust me.” Everyone is silent because, even though I’m their leader, Grady is my right-hand man and best friend. He will never take shit from anyone, even me, and I respect that. But someone let that motherfucker get inside.
“Let’s move,” I order, and they all scurry to get their jobs done as I silently pray she’s okay.
We must have arrived at the location, because they open the doors and pull me out forcefully and I groan. I’m tired, hungover, and starving. I feel like shit and I am taken yet again. But why? Who the hell are these people? I have nothing left to give.
“Put her in the shed and do not harm her until we get our money. Then I don’t give a fuck what happens to her,” the angry man says. He sounds Irish, too, and that’s when I realize they are getting payback for Jared and his crew killing the Italians. Obviously they were all business partners. I have always been involved in this mafia lifestyle, but it has never affected me this way. Once I left Luca things started to spiral out of control. Their plans changed, and I just so happened to be the reason.
“We got a quiet one over here,” the man whispers in my ear, and I cringe. The blindfold is still on me and it seems they have no intention of taking it off.
I still say nothing in the hopes they keep their hands to themselves.
“You smell fucking good, too,” he growls.
“Okay, bitch. You can stay mute, but I hope when this is all over I get to hear your screams.” I swallow the lump forming in my throat. When the door shuts I know I’m alone. My hands and legs are tied, so I can’t move anywhere. I lean against the wall he placed me at and try to move my hands to my blindfold. I push my shoulder up to my eyes and rub the blindfold clear off my face. The shed is dark and empty. There is nothing for me to grab to free myself. I guess they’re not as stupid as I’d hoped.
I move my hands to my teeth to try and bite the rope off, but it’s so tight. I also try spitting on it to see if my hands will slide through. The more I do this the more my wrists burn. Tears start to sting my eyes.
“What the hell am I going to do?” I say out loud, to no one but myself.
It’s almost 4 pm and we have the two million in cash when we arrive at the location we were given. The plan is set in motion. We deliver the money only when I see she is safe. Getting her out in one piece and untouched is my main concern.
My team is geared up and ready for battle if needed. I would rather have no bloodshed, but we are prepared just in case. I know the Irish are as deadly as the Italians were, and I would rather not be on their bad side.
I make my way with my men at my side as we walk towards the Irish boss, Dean Gambino. He is not one to be messed with.
“Mr. Knox. I was hoping we could have met under different circumstances. But you have interfered with my business. Iusually would have just killed you and your men in the blink of an eye, but then how would I get my money back?” His voice is laced with threats he most certainly would follow through with.
“We just want the girl back and you can have your money.” Grady places the two bags on the ground. Dean’s men come to retrieve the cash and nod at him to confirm that it seems to be all there.
“Very well,” he says.
“Are we good after this?” My voice stays neutral.
“We will be settled, yes. It was a pleasure doing business with you.” He turns to leave and his men draw their weapons, which we prepared for. We are all pointing guns at each other when Dean waves his hand at someone. Another man comes out with Erica, a gun to her head. The fear in her eyes is apparent and I lose my shit.
“Let her go! This was not part of the deal!” I shout, and he laughs.
“Put your weapons down or we will blow her brains out right here for all of you to see.”
“I couldn’t possibly let you get away with fucking me over, now could I?” He laughs again and walks up to Erica, putting his hands around her throat. He starts to squeeze, and she struggles under his hold.
“Stop!” I scream. Four of his men surround me, pointing guns directly at me. They start to kick and punch me to the ground. Others are detaining my men as they watch me get my ass kicked. I take the hits, hoping I get a moment, because when I do I’m going in guns blazing. I am going to kill every last one of them painfully.
I hear Erica’s cries and screams, not sure if she’s crying because they are hurting her or me.
“Enough!” their leader shouts, and his men keep us in one line with all of us on our knees. He walks over to us; our weaponsare gone. He has Erica and is still pointing a gun at her, but now it’s by her side. The marks on her neck make me see red.
She looks at me then drops to her knees to meet me. She wraps her arms around my neck and tries to hold on to me for dear life. I squeeze her back, even though my body hurts from the beating I just took.
“Oh, look at this… it seems you don’t understand compliance, my dear.” Dean then signals for one of his men to get her, and I hold tighter.