Looking across the field I see a couple of spots that could hide a sniper.

Walking up to my side, Simon points to the rocks building into a hill. “Large caliber, off that hill over there.”

“Any evidence left?” I ask.

“Just a shell and a couple of cigarette butts. Looks like they are from a Japanese cigarette manufacturing company.”

Nodding my head, I say, “This explains how we didn’t see Marshall disappearing only to end up with the Yakuza.”

“Yeah, I am guessing so. But something feels wrong about it. I mean, why the fuck would they even care about Marshall or feel the need to kill Thomas?

“We need more information,” I say as I stand up from looking at the mess.

Sighing, I walk back to my car with Simon by my side. “Get a guy over to Thomas’ mother’s house. Let her know what’s going on and see that she and his sister will be taken care of financially, indefinitely.”

“Got it. I need to make a call, I want to see if they really do have him in their hands. And I need to check to with a guy I know inside of their group who may know about what they are up to.”

“Go for it, but bring me two of their men if Marshall is indeed in their hands. I don’t give a fuck who they are or what they could know, just bring me two of them. Meet me at the warehouse.”

“You sure…” Simon starts to say.

Looking at him, I don’t bother to reply. This is my fucking outfit, he will do as I fucking want.

Getting into the car, I nod to Andrew as I say, “Pay your last respects, Andrew, to Thomas. Make sure you understand what they did to him.”

Getting out of the car, Andrew walks up to the BMW. He stands there for a long moment before coming back to the car.

When he gets in I say to him, “Contact our good friend Detective Sommers. Let him know that there is an issue here he will be getting contacted about. We want him to fully investigate the situation.”

“Yes, sir.” There is a small hitch in his voice as he shifts the vehicle into drive.

“Let’s head to the warehouse.”

Simon calls me on the way to the warehouse.

His voice stiff as he says, “My contact has dropped off of the face of the earth, and from what I’m hearing, Marshall was seen going into their little compound on his own free will.”

“You trust the source saw him?”

“Yeah, completely, it’s a video feed after all.”

Smirking, I say, “Bring me two of their men.”

“Got one, I’ll have Thaddeus bring another.”


The snow bursts from the sky, eventually turning all the ugly fucking dirty gray world back into a white covered shit hole again.

Sitting outside of the warehouse, we wait for my men’s arrival.

Already present, though, is James along with Peter. The men are all sitting in the car with me now. I tried to reassure them I am perfectly safe on my own but even they will not bother to listen to me. It seems the death of Thomas has them feeling protective and murderous.

Simon arrives first with Philip sitting beside a gagged man in the backseat of the car. The man is thrashing around in the seat.

Getting out of the SUV, I stand by as James and Philip yank the screaming man from the car. He’s gagged but his screams reach a fevered pitch.

Little bitch knows he’s in the shit, I guess.

I follow behind them as I talk to Simon. “What’s with your contact’s silence?”

“More than likely he was made in some way. Not surprised but I would have preferred he fucked up at another time.”

“You and me both. Still, things will proceed regardless. Anything I should know?”

“I called around a bit on the way here. Looks like they are taking over the docks by force right now. Not much the Italians would have been able to do without us. Do you want me to send out the troops?”

“Yeah, I do. Take whatever space the Yakuza have there for the Italians. Then keep our guys there to act as guards. Keep all inner circle men on a two-man cycle. I want the buddy system in place as of right now. They are to be in pairs until this issue is resolved.”

Rolling his eyes, he says, “That means me included, doesn’t it?”

Chuckling, I nod my head. “Yeah, you and Philip. Me and Andrew, so on and so forth. From this point on, Paul will be with the children at all times. James as well. I want Bart on Lilith at all times when she is not in the home.”

We enter into the back room as the men are securing down the man. His eyes are darting around wildly as he takes in all of us surrounding him.

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