“You need to work tonight,” he tells her, but his jaw is so tight that I’m surprised the words even come out.
“I don’t work nights.” She laughs. “Nice meeting you guys,” she says as she walks over to the counter, picking up her bag before walking out of the kitchen with Sven’s eyes glued to her ass.
“I’ll be right back,” he growls then storms out of the kitchen after her. Then we hear the front door open and slam shut.
“That was awkward,” Frank says, but I have a feeling I know what’s going on.
Sven looks like the kind of guy who could walk into a room full of women and have his pick. Now, the woman he wants is not falling at his feet, so he has no idea what to do. It only takes a couple of minutes for the front door to open back up, and then the loud bang of it slamming echoes before we hear Sven storm into the kitchen.
“She makes me fucking mental,” he growls, walking to the fridge and grabbing a beer. “I swear to fucking Christ I’m going to end up being put in a goddamn hospital because of her and the stress she causes me,” he says before tilting the beer back and taking a large pull.
“You gonna be able to handle tonight?” I ask him after a moment.
He looks at me, and a different look fills his eye. “Fuck yes,” he mutters, and I nod once. “Let me show you guys to your rooms.” He walks out of the kitchen then leads us upstairs. “You guys can stay in these two rooms. Mag’s room is down the hall next to mine,” he says.
I start to laugh ‘cause he is setting himself up for fucking mental issues.
“You don’t even have to say it. I already fucking know,” he grumbles then looks between Frank and me. “I’m gonna shower. We’ll meet downstairs in an hour to talk about what the plan for the night is,” he says, running a hand through his hair before walking off towards his room.
“That kid has it bad,” Frank mumbles, shaking his head before walking into his room.
I turn and walk into my room and close the door behind me. I want to call and check on Myla, but I can’t until this is done. I was going to leave her in the dark about what happened yesterday, but I knew, if I did that, she would be pissed, not only about what I was doing, but that she had been forced to believe I had died. I couldn’t imagine someone telling me that she was dead and living with that news for even ten minutes.
I walk to the window and look out, and I see Maggie standing in the driveway and talking on the phone while looking at the house. My first instinct is that she somehow knows who I am, but then I see her wipe her cheeks and look up at the sky, saying something I can only make out as, “He’s a jerk,” before getting into her car, slamming the door, and backing out of the driveway.
I leave the window and sit on the bed, looking down at my hands and twisting my wedding band around my finger. I slip the ring off my finger and place it in my pocket. In a few hours, when I put it back on my hand, our whole future will look different. It will just be us.
I wait a few more minutes then go downstairs, where Sven and Uncle Frank are laughing in the living room when I walked in. Uncle Frank has that quality about him; he can always lighten up a situation. And as pissed off as he makes me sometimes, he is family, and he really did save my ass.
“Ready?” I ask.
Sven stands, and we walk into the dining room, where he has some papers spread out on the table.
“Justin did some searching and found out that Paulie is always at Steam on Fridays. I guess he buys out the VIP section and shows off how much money he has. He’s always with these two guys.” He hands me a picture. “This guy is missing”—e points at Thad—“but this guy is still around.” He points at a man I have never seen before.
“Did Justin find any info on him?” I ask as I look at his picture.
“Nope. I guess he showed up a couple of years ago, and he and Junior have been tight since then. His name’s Ivan.”
“He’s undercover,” I mutter.
“What?” He takes the pictures and holds it up, looking at it. “We need another plan, because I can guarantee you they will be at that club together, and if he’s undercover like you think he is, we can’t risk him seeing anything.”
I know he’s right. I also know that the club would be the best location. Not only would his guard be down, but also, there would be so many people around that the risk of being seen would be minimal.
“Plan still stands,” I tell him.
I can see that he’s not convinced, but this is what I was raised to do. Long before I took over for my father, I was his watcher, the eyes in the back of his head. I knew exactly what someone would do before they did it, and that kind of conditioning doesn’t go away.
We talk for a few more minutes before I head back up to the room and change. I put on a white tank and a dress shirt over it, and I keep the jeans I was already wearing on. Once I’m changed, Sven meets me downstairs dressed similar to me.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to come? I can wait in the car,” Uncle Frank mumbles, walking us to the door.
“We’re not going to the grocery store,” Sven says.
I shake my head.
“What if you need backup?”
“We won’t,” I assure him as we leave the house, shutting the door behind us and leaving my pouting uncle at home.
We drive to the club and park down the street. It is after midnight, but the sidewalks are still packed with people.
“Where’s your club?” I ask when I notice this block has clubs lining the street.
“A block over. This area is new, but the nightlife here is one of the reasons people come to Vegas.”
“This area is also connected to the mob,” I tell him, and his eyes come to me as he runs a hand through his hair. “This street used to have nothing but old warehouses on it. Back in the day, a bunch of men bought up these lots, knowing that Vegas was going to expand. I wouldn’t be surprised if Paulie actually owns the club we’re going to.”
“Justin didn’t say that.”
“Just because his name isn’t on the papers doesn’t mean anything, kid.”
Once we reach the club, we go to the front of the line, where Sven knows one of the bouncers at the door, and they let us in without a word. Once we walk in the door, we know where the cameras are, so we avoid them at each turn.
From Justin’s intel, we know that the club has three levels. The top is all VIP, which has smoked-glass panels with red backlights every twelve feet, making it look like a steamed shower with dancing people silhouetted behind the glass.