Font Size:  

Horror dawned on the kid’s face. Nico and Johnny turned to me.

“What’s his situation, Alexandros?” Nico asked.

Putting aside my disgust, I stepped over to the kid and gave his wound a once-over, the young man hissing in pain as I moved his shirt away to see it.

“Clean shot, through-and-through. Let me take him to the hospital and patch him up.”

“Will he die if you leave him here?” Nico asked.

“In time, yes, from infection or blood loss. It wouldn’t take much to patch him up and have him back on hi—”

“We’re not going to have you do that. There will be no saving this young man. He’s going to suffer and suffer untilIdecide he’s done. You understand?” He directed those last words to the kid, who seemed so struck by fear that he couldn’t even answer.

Nico placed his hands on my shoulder and Johnny led us out of the room.

“So,” Nico said once the door was shut. “You’re going to be on call for the next few days, Alexandros. “We’re going to teach this young man many lessons, and we will need your help to make sure he doesn’t die until we’re ready for him to.”

“Don’t even think of telling us you need to be at the hospital or some shit,” Johnny said. “This, right here, is your real job. Don’t forget that you wouldn’t know a gunshot wound from your asshole if we hadn’t put you through med school.”

“Youdidn’t do a damn thing, Johnny. Other than weasel your way into my father’s job when he died.”

Johnny scoffed, shaking his head.

“We don’t need to get into any of that,” Nico said. “But he’s right—this is your first job.” He reached into his suit jacket pocket, taking out a thick stack of bills. “And this will be your bonus.”

I glanced down… there had to be ten thousand there, easy.

But that didn’t matter.

My mind went back to that kid in there, my gut tensing at the idea of him being tortured. He’d made a mistake, been in the wrong place at the wrong time and now his life was going to end in agony.

But maybe it didn’t have to.

“I’m not doing it,” I said.

Nico cocked his head to the side.


“I’m not doing it.”

Johnny laughed. “Now, Iknowyou didn’t just tell the boss no.”

“Explain yourself, Alexandros.” Nico slipped the money back into his suit jacket pocket.

“I’m a doctor. And when you become a doctor, you take an oath. And the first part of that oath is do no harm. I save lives. But if I go in there and patch that kid up over and over again only so you can torture him… that goes against everything I’ve been trained to do.”

Another mocking laugh from Johnny. “Look at the trained monkey thinking we pay him to think and actually give a shit.”

“You want me to save the lives of your men, to… clean up after them, that’s one thing. But I’m not going to play a role in killing this kid.”

Nico said nothing at first, his stony gaze locked onto me.

“I’ve been telling you he’s trouble, Nico,” Johnny said. “Got a chip on his shoulder since he was a kid.”

Nico raised his palm. “Enough.”

Johnny, arrogant as he was, shut his ass up.