“The chief’s in a meeting.”
“Seriously?” Junior says, voicing my own question.
“My guess is he’s on the phone with the judge. We’ll give him a few minutes. After that, I’ll make another call.”
We sit there for another five minutes, and then one of the doors opens up and Pika comes walking out looking a little worse for wear. His clothes are wrinkled and his hair is in disarray, but he doesn’t appear to be hurt in any way. He walks over to us as Rich walks over to the side to question the officer who brought him out.
“Glad to see you, man. A jail cell is not my ideal location to catch up on sleep,” he grumbles, shaking my hand then doing the same to Junior.
“Did they say anything to you?” I ask.
He looks over his shoulder then back at me. I can tell he doesn’t want to get into it here.
“We’ll talk once we’re out of the building.”
I nod as Rich comes over to us. “Told me they can’t talk to me.” He shakes his head and looks at Pika. “We need to have a word once we’re outside.”
Pika nods, and we all leave, heading out to the large SUV we arrived in.
“You wanna tell me what all that was about?” Rich asks.
Pika rolls his head around his shoulders and looks at me. “Appears that someone knew I was keeping an eye on Paulie and Thad.”
“What does that mean?” Rich asks, unaware of the weight of the situation.
Pika looks at Rich then back at me for permission, so I nod for him to continue.
“I was following Thad on his way to Paulie’s house when, halfway there, the cops pulled me over. I didn’t think much about it until they told me I was under arrest as a suspect in a burglary that happened in the area.” He pauses, shaking his head. “I explained to them that I was nowhere around the area until that moment and they had the wrong guy. They explained that I fit the description of the suspect who was reportedly spotted in the area and I would need to go down to the station.
“Now, I may not be black, but my skin color is on the dark side of the color spectrum, so I did what they asked and went with them. I didn’t think anything was strange until they kept me in lockup without even a phone call.”
“This is bullshit,” Rich says.
“This just proves there are a lot of dirty cops in this town, and the few who aren’t dirty are afraid of what will happen if they try to go against the grain,” Pika says.
“You want to fill me in on what’s happening?” Rich asks.
I look around then back at him. “Not here,” I reply.
“Let’s meet at my dad’s office in an hour,” he offers.
“Pika can get a shower and something to eat before we meet you over there,” I agree.
“See you then,” Rich says, walking to his car as we all get in the SUV.
“Thanks for coming and getting me.”
I look in the rearview mirror at Pika and shake my head. It’s not his fault he has feelings for Myla; there isn’t any helping it. If you’re in her presence for a mere moment, you feel clean, and for men like us, that does something for your soul.
“We’re family,” I tell him simply.
He nods, and I look back at the road.
Once we get to my condo, Pika goes upstairs and showers. When he comes down, I’m on the phone with Kenton Mayson.
“You’re sure Amidio is the one who was sanctioned to do the hit?” I question, ‘cause if so, that is not good at all.
A few years ago, I would have said that that didn’t matter, but now, it does. The man has gone crazy. There are whispers that he started using meth and that’s why he’s had a sudden change in personality, but I just thought all of those demons he had been carrying around had begun picking away at his conscience and what was left of his soul.
“That’s the word on the street, so that’s what I’m going to believe. They say there was some big real estate deal about to go down and not all the players thought it was a good idea. When they didn’t back down and set up the meeting anyways, they decided to take out the threat indefinitely,” Kenton explains.
That sounds about right. Real estate is huge, not only for the market value, but also for the street value. If you have a piece of property in a prime location where you could put girls, guns, or drugs, you could take over a city. That is the exact reason why I am never going to let Myla touch the property her parents left to her.
“I’m going to put in a call and see what I can do. For now, just keep your woman close.”
“You know I will,” I reply.
He hangs up, and I look at Junior then Pika.
“We may have to come back to the mainland for a bit. I’m going to need you guys to get everything set up for Myla here in Vegas. I want to find a house near the city, but far enough out that we have at least fifteen acres. I need you guys to make sure it’s secure. Do whatever updates you need to do to it before I bring her here from Hawaii.”
“What’s going on?” Pika asks.
“I believe the relationship between Paulie and his son is about to change drastically.”
Understanding flashes through Pika’s eyes before he asks, “How long do you think we’ve got?”
“Not sure. I know it will take a couple of months to get stuff set up, and I won’t bring her here until I know the new house is secure. This situation has been in the works for a while, so we have time, but I need to be here when shit goes down.”
“Honestly, I’m surprised he’s waited this long,” Junior mutters and leaves the room with his phone in his hand.
“What do we need to do?” Pika questions.
“We need to figure out who all the players are before we make our move. From what I understand, Thad told Paulie Jr. he knew who Myla’s parents were. Paulie, being who he is, knew that, if he could marry her, he would gain access to all of the land and properties her father had. In turn, he would become more powerful than his father, finally getting what he has wanted since he was sixteen.”
“Why would Thad be involved? What does he have to gain from the situation?”
“That’s what I want to know,” I mutter, running a hand over my jaw.
“She’s afraid of him,” Pika says quietly.
“She is. She hasn’t spoken to me about why she fears him, but I know she does. She moved in with his family when she was young. She wasn’t even really old enough to build real memories of her biological parents at that point, so all I can think is he scared her and she never got over it,” I say, but something in my gut tells me that her fear has a much larger foundation than that.