Removing my jacket, I hand it to Andrew. Rolling up the sleeves of my white dress shirt, I walk over to the guy, “I doubt you have information that will be of value to us, but I’m going to check.”

Ripping the tape and gag from the mouth of the guy, I look into his brown eyes. “You’re going to die tonight. Do not doubt it, and it’s going to be painful regardless of what you do or do not tell me. But I’ll make you a deal. You tell me everything you know and I don’t kill your whole fucking family.”

A wad of spit lands on my eyebrow as he sneers, “They will know where I’m at, you pile of shit…”

Laughing loudly, a couple of the guys behind me start to chuckle. “Oh, I am positive they do, dead boy. They just won’t be able to do shit about it.”

His eyes widen as I slam my fist into his jaw. My knuckles feel the tingling sensation as they connect with the man’s jawbone.

“Now, why is Marshall coming to your group?” I ask calmly.

The next twenty minutes go much the same way except I have switched out with another man. I stand back, watching the interrogation go on. They say torture doesn’t work on getting information out of people, but I find that to be a lie.

It works just fine for me tonight.

Bart is bringing in the second man as I walk over to the first, putting the pistol to his head. I say to him, “Your family is safe Haruto.”

Pulling the trigger, I look into the eyes of the second man. His face is clean and unmarred by violence.

Shaking my head, I say, “Haruto had information for me. I hope you do too.”

Walking over to the sink, I pick up a large bucket of water. Pointing to a second chair, I say, “Let’s try this waterboarding thing. I hear it works wonders.”

The long night has drained me of any humanity I may have had going into it.

Doing the things we did tonight always does that to a person. It’s a hard life we lead, most would never be able to do the things we do. Those who can surround me.

The bodies have been dropped off at the homes of their families. I don’t doubt the message I am sending will be received loud and clear.

A war has begun, now it’s time for me to end it as swiftly as possible. I don’t do the fight-here—fight-there type of fighting.

No, I drop the fucking bomb and walk away with a clear conscious.

Simon is in my car with me and he is dropped off first. “Simon, check on everything we got from those two. It wasn’t much but the rumors of Marshall and a new pipeline of heroin is bothersome to me.”

“I will. It might explain where he was for so long after the initial deal went south. Maybe he was with his source or with the Japanese.”

I wait until we are at my own home to let my defenses down. The shoulder holster I have under my arm will be there for the time being until the uproar is done.

The day is just beginning as I walk in the door. I hear the running of feet as Evie comes tearing into the hall to greet me. She wraps her arms around my legs, “Heya! Missed you!”

She darts away again after a light hug and kiss on her cheek.

Adam comes in second to greet me. He is about to speak to me then stops as his eyes take in my whole person. Glancing at my reflection in the glass next to me, I can see what he sees. I have flecks of blood on me here and there. Looking down at my shirt, I see it’s splattered as well. My gun is peeking out from under my armpit as I pull my suit jacket off.

“Sir… Evie has…” He stammers out before saying, “Sir… are you okay?”

I close my eyes for a moment then open them back up to look at him. “Yes, I’m fine, Adam, and do not call me sir. You may call me Matthew or Father if you wish, but not sir.”

He gulps then says quietly, “Father are you sure? You have blood on you.”

Squatting down before him, I nod. “It’s not my own. It was another man’s.”

“What happened?”

“He was a part of a group who wanted to hurt our family so I stopped him.”

“Good,” he says quietly. “No one hurts us, right?”

Nodding my head, I stand up. “Was there something else you wanted to talk about?”

“Yes. I asked Evie what she wanted for her birthday and she told me it was a puppy. A real one but…”

“What’s the problem?”

“Mommy has said we can’t have one, they are too much work and…”

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