“But Dex…” she whispers, closing her eyes.
“I love that kid. I’ve been a part of his life since he was born. Do not use him as an excuse,” Justice growls.
“As sweet as this moment is, we’ve got shit to do,” Sven says, breaking in.
I look at him and nod.
“I’m sorry about your fiancée,” Abigail says sincerely. “I know it doesn’t make it any better, but I’m sorry, and the Vincent I fell in love with years ago would have been sorry too.”
I doubt that, but love is blind.
I turn to look at Justice and pull my card out of my pocket. “If you find you can’t keep her and her boy safe, you call me.”
His eyes narrow, but he takes the card with a nod of his head.
“Are you going to kill him?” Abigail asks, looking at me.
“No,” I say, telling her the truth.
“Amidio is looking for him, and I doubt he wants to have afternoon tea. If I were you, I would find a way to prepare your boy for what’s to come,” Kai tells her.
She nods and understanding flits across her face before she grabs Justice’s hand.
“Let’s roll,” I tell Kai and Sven.
I watch from down the hall as the small housekeeper I just paid a thousand bucks walks up to the large double doors at the end of the hall and knocks.
“Housekeeping!” she shouts through the door.
When I see the door open and a woman wearing nothing answer, I make my move, pulling my gun and heading down the hall. The housekeeper runs away and the woman, who I’m assuming is Layla, screams at the top of her lungs when I shove her inside. Vincent comes around the corner with a towel around his waist and a gun in his hand.
“Drop it,” I grumble.
“Fuck you.” He raises the gun towards me and an almost silent shot goes off from behind my back. He falls to the ground, clutching the hand he was holding the gun with to his side.
I turn my head, expecting to see Sven or Kai, but it’s one of Amidio’s men who has his gun raised. Kai and Sven are both behind the other three members of Lacamo, looking ready to kill.
“You following me?” I ask.
He shrugs, and I walk over to Vincent, putting my boot to his hand, which is trying to pick up the gun, and I crush a few bones. He grunts pulling his hand to his chest.
“We’ll take it from here,” one of Amidio’s other men says, bringing Vincent to his feet.
His face is now pale from the amount of blood he’s lost; I’m sure an artery was hit. One of the men brings over a towel, wrapping it around Vincent’s wrist while the others start to clean up the mess.
“We had a deal,” I remind them.
“Deal still stands. Right now, boss has some questions for him. We’ll be in touch,” he says as he and another man drag Vincent from the room while another man talks to Layla, who is crying hysterically.
“Now what?” Sven says, looking between Kai and me.
“Now, we wait.”
It isn’t until two in the morning that Kai gets a message to head downtown. When we arrive at the location, I’m surprised by the amount of cars gathered outside.
“What the f**k is going on?” Kai asks, looking over at his man, Frank, in the driver’s seat. How the hell he got the name Frank when he’s Hawaiian and looks like he could be a sumo wrestler is anyone’s guess.
“Don’t know. You want me to come in with you?”
“Nah.” Kai shakes his head, looking around at all the cars. “These men know not to f**k with me.” He gets out of the SUV and bends over, pulling something out from under the seat and putting it in the waist of his pants. “Keep it running and use your gun if you have to. If something seems off, leave, get Myla, and head to my parents’.”
“You just said they know not to f**k with you,” Frank tells him, pulling his gun from his inside coat pocket.
“Doesn’t mean they aren’t stupid, brother,” Kai mutters, slamming the door.
“Myla won’t be happy,” I hear Frank say as I slam my door.
When we get to the building’s entrance, one of the guys from the hotel earlier meets us out front and escorts us inside and down a hall.
“What the f**k is going on?” I ask when we’re taken into a large room.
It is full of men of all different ages yelling at the top of their lungs as a man in the center of the room pulls a pair of metal cutters from his pocket and walks to Vincent, who is strapped to a chair. He picks up Vincent’s hand and touches each of his fingers with the tip of the clippers before settling on one.
Vincent doesn’t even flinch when his finger is clipped off and it rolls across the floor. His body is now black and blue, and he’s bleeding from his nose, mouth, and other wounds. I can tell just by looking at him that he’s in shock. The good in me fights to the surface, not wanting any human being to suffer like he is, but then I remind myself of the shit he’s done and how much pain he’s caused and the urge to end his pain is beat back as anger is put in its place.
“You’re up next,” Paulie Jr. says, walking up to me and handing me a knife. “What’s going on?”
“Payback. He betrayed a lot of people, and all those people get their pound of flesh before he’s ended,” he explains.
“Take this back.” I hand him back the knife and pull my gun.
“You can’t kill him, and you only get one hit,” Junior tells me.
“I won’t.” I walk past him to the center of the room.
Vincent raises his eyes, but at this point, with the kind of damage that’s been done to his body already, I would be surprised if he even understands what’s going on. When I reach his side, I put the gun to his shoulder at the same place he shot Autumn. Then I think about her face, the damage that’s been done, and how, regardless of how much she heals, every time she looks in the mirror, she will be reminded of what happened. I pull the gun away from his shoulder and walk around to the front of him. My hand moves to his jaw and I pull it open.
“I told you, you can’t kill him.”
I ignore him, put the gun in Vincent’s mouth, and lean it to the side so the muzzle is sitting against the inside of his cheek. I feel a gun come to rest at the side of my head, and I start to say something when Kai comes over and whispers inaudibly to Paulie Jr., making him back up.
“You shot my girl,” I say quietly, tilting his head back and forcing his eyes to mine. “You know I could kill your son and wife and you can’t do shit about it,” I taunt only loud enough for him to hear.