“Motherfucker!” Comes out of my mouth in a growl as I shake my hand.

The punch to this piece of shit’s jaw sent tingling sensations up my arm.

Mickey Dalton sputters gibberish out of his busted lips. “I… I… Swear I will pay… just gotta…”

I’m tempted to keep this up, but fuck it. I have bigger fish to fry than this small time fucking gambler.

Looking over the man’s shoulder, I nod to Andrew. “Ensure he fully understands how much he owes. Remove his pinky.”

“Yes, sir.” Andrew nods.

“Wha… No!” Mickey shouts as Andrew heads to the table where he keeps a black bag stowed.

Turning around, I look at Simon, my right-hand man. “Where are we at with the other three files?”

“Two have been collected on, the last I was waiting on your judgment.”

“Marshall Dawson.”

“He has flat out refused to cooperate with any of our attempts to collect. He believes his status is untouchable. He will give us no answer on where he was or what has happened to our money.”

“Is he finally home?” I ask.

“Arrived earlier tonight.”

A metallic snip rings out into the room followed by a high-pitched scream. I turn to see Andrew wiping the blood on the guy’s t-shirt.

Andrew raises his voice only slightly as he grabs the man by the throat. “Stop fucking squealing, asshole. Lucifer doesn’t like hearing pigs fucking about.”

Walking out through the door and into the hall, I look to Simon. “How are the spreadsheets with Bart coming along?”

“Clean, with everything accounted for…”

“Yet, you still have doubts?” I ask him as we walk.

“I do. I just can’t explain why.”

“Keep an eye on him then.”

Simon holds an umbrella over my head as we walk out of the abandoned hotel. The shattered glass door slams shut behind us as he ushers me into the sleek black Mercedes SUV.

Getting comfortable in the backseat, I reach over and pull the file left on the other seat for me. The name Marshall Dawson is neatly typed on the tab.

I let out a quiet sigh to myself. I knew this one was going to come back as a thorn in my side.

Marshall Dawson is a waste of breathable air. The man used the connections he had with my father and another city boss to secure a loan from us. Five million in cash.

Five fucking million dollars with nothing to show for it.

Five fucking million dollars down the drain.

I took this on as a favor to Sean O’Riley. A favor to a now dead and buried man.

Shit like that doesn’t sit well with me. But when I went to the top to seek retribution, I was stonewalled. I was told the man who killed Sean, and all the surrounding issues, have been dealt with.

Fuck that. I want my pound of flesh.

Shaking my head, I open the file. It’s no use going down that train of thought right now. I can pursue it another time if I need to.

I slowly flip through the pages we have on Marshall.

It’s funny how we can put a file together on a person where he is reduced to twenty or so pages. I can see every payment he has made on his mortgage to how many times he has been in the overdraft with his bank.

I look at his legal outstanding debts, and I look at the five-million-dollar debt he now owes to me personally. Anger is slowly creeping through my veins.

Flipping through the pages, I look at his family life. Since he borrowed the money I have had one of my men keeping close tabs on his family. He is married to Lilith Merriweather, aged twenty-seven, and has two children, a boy and a girl. Both children under the age of seven.

I look at the picture of Marshall for a long time as we drive through the late-night rain. The man is closer to my father’s age than mine. How did he marry a woman so young? Money and his slimy charm must have played a large part of it.

I look through the pictures of his family quickly. The children are pretty in a child way. Blonde hair and blue eyes, they must take after their mother. Marshall must have married way out of his league.

My fingers stop as the picture of his wife comes up. Emerald green eyes, sensuous pink lips, high cheekbones, pale flawless skin and long blonde hair. All of those parts on their own would make her remarkable. Even if her face was overall plain just one of her features would stun a person. But together they make something otherworldly.

She is beauty incarnate.

Fingers tracing the lines of her lips, I frown. How the hell did that man marry a woman like this? I flip further through the pictures of her. There aren’t many, but what I do see shows me that she is unlike any other woman I have ever laid eyes on.

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