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In that moment, however, I could sense that he knew something was gravely wrong with his nephew.

His eyes were glued onto mine. There was no sense in lying. Nico could spot bullshit from a mile away. Besides, I’d never been in the habit of being untruthful, no matter what the circumstance. I placed my hand on his shoulder and led him away from David.

“This is bad,” I said. “The bullet’s still in there, and I’m almost certain that there’s major internal bleeding happening right now.”

Nico seemed confused. “Is he going to be OK?”

“There’s a lot of blood over here, guys!” Johnny shouted, his hands covered in it as he pressed the shirt against the wound. “It’s pretty freaking bad!”

“Uncle Nico?” David asked. “What’s… what’s… ”

I could tell he didn’t even have the energy to speak. I hurried back over to him, noticing that the color in his face had drained even further. His lips were blue, his skin covered in a sheen of sweat. His breath was becoming shorter and shorter.

“Alexandros.” Nico’s voice was stern now, the tone of a man trying to keep himself in check. “You’re going to help him, right? You’re going to save my nephew?”

Without a word, I hurried over to the emergency first aid kit that I’d insisted would be in every room in the club. Setting it on the table, I popped it open.

“You’re going to take the bullet out, right?” Johnny asked.

“No, there’s no point in taking a bullet out. In fact, most cases that’ll make it worse. It’s the bleeding; I need to stop this bleeding.” I pushed Johnny’s hands out of the way, getting a better look at what was going on.

The blood flow hadn’t stopped. Normal situation would be to seal up the wound ASAP, then to get the patient in a place where I could monitor for sepsis.

This wasn’t a normal situation. The longer I looked, the more certain I was that the bullet had made it through an artery.

“What the hell were you thinking telling us that this was no big deal?” I hissed at Johnny. “This needed to be treated the goddamn second it happened.”

“He was fine!” Johnny said. “He was bleeding, sure, but he was sitting up until just a few minutes before you all got here.”

I wanted to fire back at him, to tell Johnny that he’d have to be a damn fool to think that any kind of gunshot wound wouldn’t be a big deal. Johnny had no excuse to not know. After all, he’d been around plenty of violence. Nico, on the other hand, had likely been struck by wishful thinking, not wanting to believe that his nephew could be in any real danger.

“Uncle Nico?” David asked, his skin growing paler and paler by the second. “I’m… I’m tired… ”

Another bad sign. There was no sense in putting up a front.

“We’re losing him,” I said, grabbing Johnny’s soaked-through shirt and putting it back on the wound, blood gushing over my hands. “The only chance we have is to get him on a helicopter and—”

David went slack underneath me, the life draining from his eyes.

He was dead.

Chapter 8


Iplaced my fingertips on his neck, confirming what I already knew. David was gone.

“What’s wrong with him?” Nico asked. “Why does he look like that?”

It was strange to hear Nico ask the question. He’d been responsible for more than his share of deaths during his time. If anyone knew what a dead body looked like, it was him. The question, I realized, was being asked more out of denial than anything else.

“What the hell did you do, Alex?” Johnny asked. “You fuckin’ killed him!”

Nico stepped forward, slipping his hand underneath his nephew’s head, the kid’s neck limp.

“David. Oh, David.”

He dropped down to his knees. Silence filled the room. Though my eyes were on David and Nico, I could feel the heat from Johnny’s stare from the other side of the room.

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