Page 19 of The Good Bad Man

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“Heat of the moment words,” Soritz tries to explain.

“I’m not interested. Tell me how much you want for the launderer. I’m going to kill him anyway, so you might as well make money off of it.”

“Then why am I even here if you’re going to do what you want?” Soritz turns petulant. Not a great look for a man over fifty.

“Because there’s no reason to go to war over this worm. Let’s strike a deal. He was an asset of yours, and I’m willing to compensate you for your loss.”

“You sure you can’t take Sophia?”

“Your men in blue didn’t tell you the reason why I was arrested?”

“Something about kidnapping. Sounded fake, so I figured it was a trumped-up charge as they always are.”

“Your sources were right.” I get to my feet. “Congratulate me, Soritz. I'm getting married, and I've decided your wedding gift can be the dry cleaner. Thanks. It was exactly what I wanted.”

I leave Soritz open-mouthed and stunned. My gut tells me it’s right. Soritz isn’t going to come after me for dusting one of his money launderers. The only problem I now face is breaking it to Laurel that I'm killing her father. People can get touchy about those sorts of things. I figure I'll wipe him out and then let her know when she’s ready. And by that, I mean when we’ve married, had a few dozen kids, and she can’t leave me.



It’s all so pretty. I run my finger down the silk blouse. There are so many boxes I don’t know where to really begin. I’ve only opened two so far. Ned told me to make a pile of the things I didn’t want and another one if I needed a different size. I peek into the next box to see white lace. He got me underwear too. I bet a pair of these panties cost more than all the clothes I own. Well, the ones I owned before.

A knock sounds at the open door, making my heart flutter for a second in anticipation of it being Kane. But I quickly realize it can’t be him because he wouldn’t knock. From where I’m sitting on the floor, I can’t see the doorway.

“Come in,” I call out. Ned steps into the room.

“Would you like me to get someone to assist you? Ms. Michaels could come. I’m sure some of the items might need some tailoring, but Santino didn’t want anyone lingering earlier.”

Earlier as when he snapped at me in his office? I could see why. I could hear him shouting from his office.

“Ms. Michaels?”

“The woman who picked out the wardrobe.” I don’t know why his words fill me with a bit of disappointment. I should have realized that Kane wouldn’t pick out the clothes himself. The panties don't feel as sexy now.

“I don’t know.” At the moment, I don’t really care about all the pretty things. I’d only started messing with the boxes out of boredom. That was after I pouted for a good twenty minutes and realized that not only did Kane not chase after me when I ran from his office but he’d left the premises altogether.

“I’ll have everything moved to the guest room and set up a time for her to come.”

“The guest room?”

“Santino doesn’t care for people in his bedroom.”

“No, leave it for now. I need to find something to wear.” My eyes roam over the boxes I already brought into the room. “Do you know which one of these might contain normal clothing?” Everything I’ve opened so far has been super fancy and made out of the best materials. I’m more of a yoga pants kind of girl.

“There are some racks in the guest room already. They might be easier for you to sort through quickly to find something.”

“There’s more!” I get to my feet to go see. Santino’s robe that I’m wearing is drowning me.

“You needed a whole wardrobe.”

“I barely leave the house,” I mutter, walking past him.

“Second door on the left,” he says, following behind me.


“Do you need anything else?” Don’t ask. Don’t ask.

“When will Kane be home?” Damn it. I don’t want to seem desperate, but it’s eating away at me that he’s not home.

“I don’t know.”

“Right.” I don’t have a phone to call or even text him. Not that I would. I wonder if I'll get one. “Am I allowed to leave?”


“Right,” I say again.

“Is there—”

“I don’t need anything.” I cut Ned off. “Sorry, that was rude. I was just curious.” The truth is I don’t have anywhere to go. Do I sit around and wait for Kane to come play with me? Is this what our relationship is going to be like?

“It’s fine.” He gives me a smile. “If you need anything—”

“Thank you,” I say before he goes, leaving me alone with all the racks. I shuffle through them and find joggers with a matching sweatshirt. “They’re so nice.” I’m supposed to lounge around in these? I’ll definitely get something on them. They’re a soft cream color. “Oh God.” I gasp when I see the tag. It’s Kane's fault if I ruin them in a day.

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