“Hurry up or we’re going to be late,” I press and motion for Adam to enter the car ahead of me.

He enters first, reluctantly, and I pull Evelyn in with me. Peter shuts the door.

Out of sheer curiosity, I reach over and check the door by pulling on the handle. It doesn’t open. The child locks must be enabled.

This just keeps getting worse and worse.

Peter slides into the driver’s seat and starts up the car. Our eyes meet in the rearview mirror and he asks, “Where to?”

The police station? My parents’ house? Mexico?

“Cherry Grove Elementary. Do you know where that is?”

Peter nods his head, “Yes, Ma’am.”

There’s a moment of quiet and then he asks, “Then Summit Academy for your daughter?”

Damn. My heart skips a beat and dread sinks into my bones. They already know where my children go to school? What else do they know?



Despite how I feel about Marshall, and my lack of trusting my intuition in regards to loaning him money, I still feel like I have come out ahead.

Looking at the house as we back out of the drive, I smirk. Way ahead.

Marshall didn’t deserve the life he had.

Do I?

I don’t really give a fuck; I’m taking it regardless.

Up in the front seat Andrew looks at me in the rearview mirror. “Where to, sir?”

“The warehouse on fifteenth.”

The SUV pulls out of the driveway, slowly accelerating down the street. Looking to my side, I check the files left on the seat beside me.

It’s the start of the month, where all the deadbeat shits who have borrowed money get their increase in debt. Last night was the end of the month, collection time.

“Fuck, last night was long,” I mutter as I push the folder out of my lap and onto the seat.

“Yeah, it was.”

“Did Mickey give you any trouble last night when you dropped him off?”

“No sir, it was a quick job. I had nothing beyond cleaning up the mess.”

“Well, the fat fuck has decided that his odds are better down at the police station instead of seeing to the missing finger. Which hand did you take the pinky from?”

“That stupid motherfucker. The right hand, sir,” he says angrily.

“Yeah, he was. Bet that right hand was going to cause him problems anyways,” I say, snickering.

“I really did try to impress upon Mickey the seriousness of the situation, sir. I am deeply sorry if there was any way I could have prevented this.”

“This isn’t on you, Andrew.”

“Thank you, Lucifer.”

Nodding my head, I reach forward and grab the metal cup sitting in the cup holder. It’s good to know my guys know what I want when they come to work for me. The black coffee warms up my stomach as I look back over at the folder.



“I hate paperwork.” I shake my head. “Paperwork and stupid people.”

Life in my world is pretty much black or white, much like the legal world. Except here it’s what can you do for me or how much you will be in my way. I have carefully selected those around me to be people who I can trust.

Andrew, in front of me, is one of those I have chosen as a trusted employee. He does exactly as I ask. Doesn’t question orders, and will not betray me. I have instilled in him a sense of loyalty and confidence.

I don’t fuck around with turncoats; I have made that very clear to each and every person who works for me. Dealing with the last person who tried to sell me out left a lasting impression on my guys. I guess that happens when you kill the guy and every single member of his family.

It’s an effective message when you wipe someone’s bloodline off the planet.

Andrew didn’t fuck up last night, I know that. People like Mickey will happen. Somehow they think they can just back out of a commitment without there being repercussions

Thinking of issues to be dealt with, I need to keep up with Bartholomew. He has been with my group for a few years now and the thought that he would be stupid enough to be fucking around on me and my crew is almost too much.

But then again, everyone finds a Judas at least once.

Leaning forward, I say, “Andrew, I need you and Thomas to keep an eye on Bart.”

Looking in the rearview mirror, he says, “As in watch out for him being a rat?”

“It’s a possibility, there have been mutterings.”

“Got it.”

Thomas and Andrew have been with me the longest, I trust them implicitly.

Picking the file back up, I look through the ledger.

The outstanding debt was significantly cut down over the last week. But as in life, there is always some dumb fuck willing to take on more debt than he could ever repay. I try to avoid those shits.

I need to see my investments returned in full with interest if I want to remain successful.

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