Page 20 of Code of Silence

“Find whoever did this,” he barks. “I want the place surrounded. Now!”

“Yes, sir.”

Then the room grows silent. I hold my breath to listen for any kind of noise but hear nothing. I open the door and peek out, looking for my brother. Nothing.

“I want everything shipped tonight,” Donatello orders from down the hall, but I can’t see him. “Someone, somewhere has fucking opened their mouth.”

“But sir, the pickup van won’t be here until tomorrow.”

“Then make a fucking phone call and assure me that it will depart tonight,” he barks. “If you don’t make this happen, I will stuff your body with these fucking drugs myself.”

Walking down the hall with my back pressed into a wall, I hold my gun up and turn the corner. I see Donatello standing at the end of another hall with two guys flanking each side. His bodyguards. He wears a black suit with a red button-up, and a black and white tie, cutting into his double chin. His once dark hair is now shaved close to his head. He holds a cigar in one hand and a gun in the other.

“I think we should evacuate, sir,” one of them suggests.

He snorts. “Rossi will kill each one of us if we don’t get this shit moved.”

Ricardo comes into view. “I’ll stay behind and take care of it. You need to leave. I’ll call Rossi and inform him of what is happening,” he says, running a hand down his stubble. He’s nervous. Good.

Rossi will question his loyalty. Not because he’ll think he talked, but because he’ll think he got careless and somehow tipped someone off and was followed.

I raise my gun and aim it right at Donatello, waiting for Ricardo to move out of my way to give me a clear shot.

“Fine,” he growls. “I’m going.” Ricardo takes a step forward, giving me a clear shot, and I take it. But at the last minute, he moves again, and the bullet whizzes right past him. Ricardo leaps on top of him, shoving him to the tile floor. With gun raised, they aim them in my direction, and I jump out of the way, falling to my side and sliding across the floor as gunfire erupts in the small space. I pull the trigger, over and over until there’s nothing left. Pieces of the wall and ceiling fall down around me. Jumping up, I run into an adjoining room, shutting the door behind me. I drop the now empty magazine and replace it with another one I pull out of my pocket before aiming at the door. It opens, and I go to shoot but see that it’s my brother.

I lower my gun. “Where the fuck have you been?” I whisper harshly.

He turns to face the door as well. His shirt is covered in blood along with his hands. He’s wiping them on his pants. “Was on my way back from the car and saw two men walking out the front.”

“And?” I snap at his vagueness.

“Killed Isaac. The other got away,” he explains with a growl. My brother hates to lose.

We were raised to be competitive. He once played baseball for our high school. He was removed from the team after he slammed his fist into the coach’s face when he was made to run a lap after striking out in practice. That was his one and only week as a Tiger.

“What about you? Killed any more?”

I shake my head and walk over to the door. “Nope. But we need to wrap this up.”

He nods once.

I take a deep breath and kick open the door, a gun in both hands. Holding them out, I’m ready to shoot at anything, but we’re met with silence. As I look around, my eyes narrow. What are they doing? Where did they go?

Tires squeal, and I run to the back door, flinging it open. The taillights of the van are fading in the distance. I aim and fire off more rounds, but none of them make contact. “Fuck!”

My brother chuckles from behind me. “Man, has she fucked with your mind? It hasn’t even been a full twenty-four hours yet. Since when do you miss?”

I spin around, pointing the gun at his head. “I bet I won’t miss from here.” I arch a brow.

He just smiles at me. “You’re out of bullets.”

“Am I?” I question. Lowering the gun, I pull the trigger, sending a bullet into the floor. Right between his feet.

He jumps back. “Fuck, man. What the fuck?”

“Don’t fuck with me, Matteo. I’m not in the mood,” I warn.

His eyes narrow on mine, but he says nothing. I release the magazine and pull my last one free of my holster. “Come on, I’m ready to get this shit over with.”

I enter the room again with all the bodies to find a man standing with his back to us. He’s shoving a pack of drugs into the dead body. I come up behind him and press the gun to the back of his head.