“No, thanks,” I tell her dismissively.
“Nothing to drink or eat?”
“No, thanks,” I repeat.
“Are you sure you don’t need anything?” she asks seductively leaning forward and giving me a shot of her breast.
My jaw clenches when I see the smile on Sven’s face. I can’t wait for him to find a woman. I hope when he finds someone that she puts him though hell.
“I don’t need anything,” I repeat, making each word clear.
“We’re good, Stacy. Tell the pilot we’re ready to go,” Sven says, fixing his suit jacket.
She nods and walks to the front of the plane behind a small curtain.
“You’re really gonna to pass up Stacy? She used to work for the circus,” he says, and I shake my head, not even bothering to entertain him with that conversation.
“Tell me about what’s going on with the club and why you need my help when you have bodyguards and people you pay to deal with this kind of shit,” I say, leaning back in my seat.
“I don’t trust anyone right now, especially those I have to pay. I don’t know if someone’s paying them more than I am,” he answers, squeezing the bridge of his nose between his fingers.
“You’ve never trusted anyone,” I remind him.
“You’re right, but you forget I have a good reason. My mother—the one person my dad should have been able to trust—tried to kill him, and then she was going to do the same thing to me.”
“Your mother was also crazy.” I shake my head.
When we were young and Sven and his family moved into the area my parents still live in, his mom would make it her daily mission to come to the school and cause a scene. She was constantly accusing her husband and son of trying to kill her or being possessed by the devil; it was always some kind of drama. My father was repeatedly called to their home to settle some kind of domestic dispute. Then one night, Sven’s mom went completely over the edge and stabbed Sven’s dad six times in his sleep. He was half dead when Sven, who was ten at the time, heard what was happening, hid, and called 911. His dad was in the hospital for six months, and during that time, Sven lived with us. He became one of our brothers.
“You’re right,” he repeats, rubbing his forehead.
“Dude, what’s really going on?” I ask, seeing the stress evident on his face.
“Someone’s bringing drugs into my club. Not only are they dealing, but on seven different occasions, women have been roofied. I don’t want or need that shit in my place of business. The guy I had asking questions ended up dead on my doorstep with a note telling me that they knew he was working for me.” He looks out the window before his eyes come back to me. “Now you—no one knows you, and you sure as f**k look like you could hang with the guys who are dealing in the area. I need you to talk to them and find out who’s behind this.”
“I’m going to ignore the fact you just said I looked like a drug dealer.” I narrow my eyes on him.
“Bro,” he laughs, “you and I both know you look like you belong on the other side of the law.” He shakes his head, looking me over. “That’s why—I have to say—I was surprised to see your girlfriend. She couldn’t be more opposite of you if she tried. Does she even have her ears pierced?” he questions with a smile.
“I’m not going to tell you again. You don’t need to know anything about Sophie.”
“You gonna marry her?”
“Yes,” I state immediately.
“Jesus, you’ve known her for what—a day?”
“A few months, but I knew the moment I saw her,” I tell him, watching his eyes widen.
“Why am I just learning about her then?”
“First, there is not one damn reason for you to know about her. Second, I know you bitches love to sit around and gossip like a bunch of women in a knitting club, but unlike you f**kers, my business is my business.”
“Does Mom know her?” He smirks, and he knows she doesn’t.
If my mom knew about Sophie, the phone chain would have been activated, and everyone and their mothers would know about her. That’s why she will meet Sophie as soon as I get back into town; it would be f**ked up to introduce Sophie to my mom after I’ve already married her and knocked her up.
“She’ll be meeting her soon enough.” I shrug.
“You are so f**ked.” He laughs, and I couldn’t agree more.
Ma is going to be pissed that she is just finding out about her. I send Sophie a quick text telling her we’re getting ready to take off in a few minutes and will call her when I land. She sends back a text telling me to be careful, with a small heart and some X’s and O’s.
I know she loves me; I have been waiting for her to figure it out. I have never been known for my patience, but with her, I want her to have time to accept things. Okay, that’s a f**king lie; as soon as possible, I’m planting my kid in her whether she’s ready or not. Shit, she could be pregnant now for all we know. I can see her behind my closed eyelids, holding our son or daughter and smiling down at them.
“What’s that smile?” Sven asks.
I don’t even open my eyes to reply. “Someday, dude, you’ll understand,” I tell him before zoning out and falling asleep.
“So your telling me that one of the biggest pimps in Vegas has been filtering drugs through my club…in hopes of recruiting new girls?” Sven asks, running his hands through his hair.
I have been in Vegas for over a week now. I didn’t think it would take as long as it did to find out what was going on, but I hadn’t realized how big this was. I thought for sure this was just some local drug dealer trying to sell his product in the perfect location.
“That’s what I’m telling you. I also talked to local drug enforcement officers, and they said this has been happening all over Vegas.”
“What do I do?”
“There is not really much you can do. There’s no way to know who is bringing it in. Unless you hire some extra security and tighten that up, there isn’t anything you can do at this point. People are always going to find a way to buy drugs, even if they do it outside the club. All I can tell you to do is keep an eye out and make sure the women who come into the club know what’s going on.”
“It’s not like I can put up a poster saying ‘You may be roofied. Drink at your own risk.’”