“From what Justin was able to find, old Mickey-boy has been having money problems. He was three months behind on his rent, had about ten thousand dollars worth of credit card debt, and took a title loan out on his car in the amount of two thousand bucks. Two weeks before things went down at the club, he deposited thirty thousand dollars cash into his account. Did he say anything about hitting the lotto or winning at the casino?” I spin the chair around and lean back.
“Nah, he never said anything like that,” he mumbles.
“If he had, would he brag about it?”
“Mick?” He nods. “Hell yes, he would brag about it.”
“Looks like we need to have another talk with him.” I shake my head and look up at the ceiling. After letting out a long sigh, I stand and we head out to Link’s SUV.
We park across the street from Mick’s place and wait for him to show up. About two hours after we arrive, he pulls into the driveway, and Mick and a stumbling blonde get out of his car and start heading inside. I get out of the truck and slam the door closed, and when Mick turns in my direction, even in the dark I can see his eyes widen when he spots me and Link walking across the street.
“What are you doing here?” he asks, taking a step back towards his closed door.
“Darlin’, you’re gonna need to call a cab,” I tell the blonde.
She nods, pulls her phone out of her purse, and starts walking away without saying a word.
“What are you doing here?” Mick repeats, watching his date walk to the end of his driveway.
“Open the door. We need to talk.”
“I’m not letting you in.” He looks at Link then back at me and swallows.
“You can either open the door and we’ll talk about this shit inside, or you don’t open the door and I call the cops, tell them what I know, and we can see what they think. What do you think they’ll say when I tell them you deposited thirty grand cash into your account? Do you think they will wonder how a bouncer at a club was able to get that kind of dough?” I ask, creeping closer to him, watching him swallow thickly again. “Link, you’re cool with the local PD, right?” I ask, looking over my shoulder at him.
“I have a few friends on the force,” he replies, pulling out his phone.
“We can talk inside,” Mick mumbles, pulling out his key and opening the door.
As soon as we get inside, I notice that everything is new, from his couch to his kitchen appliances.
“Nice place,” Link voices loud enough for me to hear.
“Can we get this over with?” Mick says, walking into the kitchen. He grabs a beer from the fridge, holds one out to me, and then offers one towards Link.
I shake my head, and Link does the same.
“Let’s talk about how you got thirty thousand dollars,” I say to start.
“I won at the casino.” He shrugs, looking away.
“You don’t want to lie to me.” I take a step towards him while blocking the kitchen exit. “Now tell me how you got the thirty grand.”
“I can’t tell you that.” He retreats as I take another step towards him. “You don’t understand, man.” His head drops forward, his hand going through his hair. “These dudes are f**king scary… A lot f**king scarier than you. They’ll kill me.”
“You’re right. They will, but they’ll probably do that anyways.” I lean back slightly and pull out my phone from my back pocket so I can bring up the message from Justin. “The men you’re protecting are part of Lacamo, one of the biggest crime families in the United States. You mean nothing to them.” I show him the email with a sketch of the suspect along with a picture of one of the most notorious Mob hit men, who matches the sketch perfectly. “I’m guessing you have no real understanding of what you’ve done.”
“I didn’t know what was going to happen.” His face pales as he looks over the pictures.
“Have you told them about Autumn?”
He shakes his head, but his eyes don’t come back to me. Fury fills my veins as I realize the kind of danger my woman’s in now.
“You piece of shit,” I growl, shoving him into the counter. My hand goes around his neck and I can feel his pulse beating against my fingertips. I know that, if I squeeze his throat a little tighter, one less ass**le will be breathing. “You’re gonna tell me exactly what you told them and how you get in contact with them.”
“I only told them her name,” he chokes out, my hand going tighter. “I never told them anything else about her, I swear.” His nails claw against my hand and his feet skid against the floor, trying to get leverage.
Link’s hand on my arm is the only thing that stops me from killing the f**ker where we stand. I take a step back while shoving him away. I run a hand through my hair, trying to compose myself enough to think of my next move.
“Call in your friend from the local PD and tell them to pick up this piece of shit,” I say, looking over at Link.
“I told you what you wanted to know. Please don’t call the cops,” Mick whines.
I turn my head in his direction and he lowers his eyes. “As much as I want to leave you here and let you get what you deserve, you may be the only one who can stop these sick f**ks, so that means I need to keep your punk ass safe until this shit’s taken care of.” I scrub a hand over my mouth as Link makes a call to his friend.
It takes two hours to get everything settled with the cops and Mick to be taken into custody. When we leave the local precinct, we make a plan to go to Autumn’s condo to have a look around. Once inside, I can tell that the person who broke in wasn’t looking for shit to pawn. Everything that has any value is still here. The only things gone through are papers, which tells me that whoever broke in was looking for information.
“Nothing here will point them to Tennessee,” Link says, shoving a stack of papers into the desk.
“True, but she needs to change her number and stop using her e-mail. I don’t want whoever this is to have any way to track her down.”
“You gonna tell her what’s going on?” he asks quietly.
“I don’t have a choice.” I look around again before walking over and opening her balcony door.
The sun is just starting to set over the mountains, causing an orange-and-red glow to fill the horizon. After taking a seat in one of her deck chairs, I pull out my phone and send a text to Justin, telling him the latest development. Then I send a message to Autumn, letting her know what time my flight would arrive so she would be dressed and ready to go out. I also tell her to make sure to wear the red lipstick she wore to the club.