“Well, we now know where they got the name from,” Kai says as we make our way through the groupings of people in various states of undress.
After the cleanup crew came and got rid of Carlo’s lifeless body, I sent Justin a message and had him look into The Slaughterhouse. His search turned up the name of a woman named Abigail Soscia. She’s a twenty-six-year-old woman who has a police record as a prostitute but has been clean for the last ten years. How she got the money to open this place is the information I’m interested in.
We make our way to the bar and Sven leans across, talking to the bartender. Then his eyes come to me and he lifts his chin towards the door at the side of the room. As soon as we make it through the door and head down the hall leading to the bottom of a set of stairs, a guy who I’m assuming is a bouncer comes down the stairs and blocks my path, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Move,” I tell him, not in the mood for bullshit. I need to get home to my woman, and the only way I can do that is to get this shit handled.
“No one goes upstairs.” He glares. “Go back to where you came from. This part of the building is off-limits.”
“Look, I know you got a job to do, but you do not want to piss me off right now.”
He raises an eyebrow, obviously finding me lacking.
“A word of advice—move,” Sven says, and the bouncer’s eyes go to Sven and then Kai before coming back to me.
“Fuck this,” Kai says, and his arm swings around my head and coldcocks the guy right in the jaw. I watch in slow motion as his eyes roll back in his head and his body folds to the floor.
“That’s one way to do it,” Sven mumbles.
I step over the guy. When we reach the top of the stairs, we see that there are three doors, one on each side of the hall, and a set of blood-red double doors at the end face us. I head straight for them while Sven and Kai stay behind, blocking the first two doors.
I knock once, putting my hand on the gun in the waist of my pants, and I hear something mumbled from the other side, footsteps, and then a lock being turned. The door swings open and a tall woman with dark-red hair, which I can tell is natural ’cause it looks almost identical to Autumn’s, wearing a pair of jeans and a black, skintight T-shirt looks at me with wide eyes.
“This area is off-limits,” she says.
I scan the room behind her and see that it’s an office with a desk, a chair and a couch. I can’t see any doors, so I know she’s alone.
“We need to talk.” I start herding her into the room.
“No, we don’t. Justice!” she yells, backing up.
I’m sure Justice is her bodyguard who is currently taking a Kai-induced nap.
“Do you know a guy named Vincent?”
Her eyes flash with understanding and she shakes her head, looking around the room.
“Where is he?” I ask as she goes behind her desk, trying to put space between us.
“I don’t know,” she whispers.
“Where is he?” I roar, my hand going to the top of her desk, sweeping everything off.
Her chest is moving rapidly as her eyes go from me to the floor. I look to where her eyes are pointed and they land on a photo that is now on the floor lying faceup. The painted, black, wooden frame shows off the photo of a little boy, a man who I know to be Vincent, and Abigail. They look like an everyday American family, all of them wearing the same dark jeans and white button-down shirts. They are sitting out in an open field of grass, and Abigail is looking down at her son with a smile on her face that says he is the love of her life. Vincent has a smile on his face as well, but his seems forced, and even through a picture, I can see the kind of man he is, almost like he has no soul.
“How long have you been together?” I nod towards the picture. Her eyes come to me and tears begin to fill them. “He shot my fiancée at close range two times, once in the face and once in the shoulder,” I tell her, reminding myself why I’m here. “I won’t stop until I get him. I’m sure you know I’m not the only person looking for him. I’m sure members of Lacamo have been here looking for him. I would hate for something to happen to you or your boy ’cause you’re protecting him.”
Her face softens and her hands wring together. “I found out he was having another affair two weeks ago and kicked him out. Last I heard, he was staying with his latest piece in the penthouse at The Guardian.”
I pull my phone out and send a text to Justin. It takes two minutes to get a message back letting me know that the penthouse has been rented out for a little over a week to a woman named Layla Harden. I look up from my phone after reading the message. I have a feeling that anyone who has any kind of relationship with Vincent at this time is in danger. He has screwed over the wrong people, and those people’s moral compasses are f**ked up.
“You need to get your boy and get out of town for a little while.”
“I have a business to take care of.” She shakes her head.
“Find someone you—” I’m cut off mid-sentence when there is a loud bang in the hall followed by a lot of grunts.
We both turn towards the door when it’s thrown open. I pull my gun as the bodyguard from downstairs crashes into the room with both Sven and Kai trying to hold him back. If this situation weren’t so serious, I would laugh.
“Justice, stop! I’m okay!” Abigail shouts, covering her mouth as she watches Kai and Sven attempt to take this guy down.
His eyes go to her, and I can see worry etched in his face. “Get the f**k off me!” he barks, batting Sven and Kai off him. He storms over to her, holding her face and looking her over. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” she answers as tears slide down her cheeks. “I have to get out of town.”
I watch understanding light across his face, and he nods, looks over at me, and says, “You’re lucky I didn’t have my gun on me or you would have a bullet in your head.”
“Justice.” She slaps his arm, bringing his attention back to her.
“Babe,” he replies softly, and her eyes lower from his as a light blush creeps across her cheeks. “I know a place we can go. Dex will love it.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” She looks away.
“No more bullshit, Abi.”
“I told you I can’t see you like that,” she tells him.
“And I told you I don’t give a f**k what you say anymore. I know you feel the same way I do.”