When I lifted my head and my eyes looked down at her empty finger, I knew I would put my ring where it belonged, where I should’ve put it months ago, but I had been concerned that I was moving too fast for her. Now, I don’t care. I know she loves me, and I know that the love I have for her is something I’ve never felt for another person and what that meant for us.
So that night, I talked to my mom and she gave me my grandmas’ ring, the same one that’s been in our family for generations’. The oval-cut sapphire ring has diamonds around the center stone and down the band. It’s the ring I knew would sit on the finger of the woman I love since I was old enough to understand its meaning.
I went to the hospital the next day, and like it was meant to be, I slid the ring on her and it fit perfectly. I knew that, when she woke up, she would have a long road to recovery, but I also knew that we were going to go on with our lives together and there would be no more putting stuff off until tomorrow.
“Man, he’s the only person I can think of who would have the balls to hurt her,” Justin says, bringing me out of my head.
“Get Kai on the phone.” I run a hand through my hair, frustrated that this shit is happening. I feel torn between needing to be with Autumn and needing this finished so we can move on with our lives knowing that there is no longer a threat once she’s out of the hospital.
“On it.” He stands up and leaves the office.
I turn my head and look at Finn.
“Where do you want me?” he asks.
“Go to the hospital, talk to Sid, and see if he told anyone about his visit here.”
“Done.” He stands but stops at the door. “How’s Autumn?”
“She’s doing better than they thought she would be at this point.”
“What did she think of the ring?” he smirks.
I smile for the first time in hours and shake my head. “She hasn’t taken it off and thrown it at me, so I’m taking that as a good thing.”
“She loves you, man. You’re both real f**kin’ lucky.” He shakes his head and I see something flash in his eyes before he leaves the office.
I don’t know what that was about and don’t have time to find out right now, but it looks like, when the water calms, I need to have a sit-down with my boy.
I run a hand over my head before picking up the phone when I see that Justin is calling. “Yeah?”
“Kai will be calling any minute.”
“You heading to the hospital soon?” he asks.
I look at the clock and check the time. “Yeah. They should be moving her out of the ICU today and I want to be there.”
“I’ll see you there at some point,” he mumbles.
Justin has been at the hospital as much as I have. I can tell that the thought of losing Autumn from his life has affected him as much as it has me. He isn’t in love with her, but he loves her like a sister and is one more family member she didn’t have before but has now.
“See you.” I hang up. A few minutes later, I answer the phone, looking at the clock again. “Yeah?”
“I was told you need to speak with me,” Kai says, and I lean forward and feel my muscles tense.
“I need you to set up another meeting.”
“I’m sorry about your situation, but—”
“Do not f**king tell me you can’t get me a meeting,” I cut him off, feeling the phone cracking in my hand. “This is my woman. I need this shit done so when she comes home, she knows she’s safe. Get me the meeting.”
“You’re putting me in a very bad position.”
“What would you do if this shit happened to your woman?” I growl.
“Kill every single motherfucker who even thought about hurting her,” he replies back, his tone dark.
“Give me what I want.”
“I’ll make the call, but you owe me,” he replies.
Kai isn’t the kind of guy I like owing favors to, but at this point, I would make a deal with the devil to get what I need. “Thanks, man.”
“I’m very sorry about what happened.”
I hear the sincerity in his voice, but that does nothing to ease the fury that’s been pumping through my veins since this shit went down.
“Me too. Call me when it’s set up.” I hang up and shove my phone in my pocket before heading to the hospital.
“You told me she was off-limits,” I tell the two men sitting across from me. “You said you were putting a leash on your f**king dog.” I got into Vegas two hours ago on Sven’s private plane after I learned that Paulie Amidio had agreed to have a sit-down with me.
“Do you know who you’re talking to?” Paulie Amidio Jr. asks, sitting forward.
His father, Paulie Sr., puts his hand on his shoulder, pulling him back. Anyone can tell they are family. They are both dressed identically in black suits, both have dark hair slicked back from their faces, and both have dark skin and crystal-blue eyes.
“We were under the impression that it was over. Unfortunately for all parties involved, Vincent didn’t feel the same.” Paulie Sr. starts rubbing the bridge of his nose.
“Where is he now?” I ask. I don’t care what the f**k is going on in their organization; the only thing I care about is getting this shit settled.
“My men are looking for him now,” he says, and his son nods.
“I need a list of the people he associates with.” I will find him myself if I have to.
“Do you think this is Match.com?” Paulie Jr. asks, and it takes everything in me not to shoot him in the f**king head. This little f**k is greedy for power. I saw it during our first meeting, and I see it now.
“Son,” his dad says in a harsh tone.
“Fuck that, Pop. This is bullshit,” Junior says, starting to stand.
His dad wraps his hand around his arm and pulls him back down into his chair. “This is my f**king family. You do what I say when I f**king say it,” Senior tells him, slamming his fist onto the table in front of him. When the younger man’s eyes come to me, I see embarrassment and anger, but he covers it quickly, ducking his head. “I’ll get you the information you asked for, but if you find him, you bring him to me,” Paulie Sr. compromises.
“What are you going to do with him?” I ask, because in my mind, death is the only option at this point.
“That’s family business,” he says vaguely.
“That’s not going to work for me. He put two bullets in my woman. I want him six feet under,” I state, trying to keep my cool.