Page 56 of Code of Silence

I shake my head to myself. “No. I think you’re mistaking …”

“I’m not. Now, eight a.m. tomorrow. Don’t be late.” Then he hangs up.

Staring down at my phone, I see the screen and wonder what the hell just happened. Who the hell that was? And why the hell does Luca own a strip club that he hasn’t told me about?

_______________

I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I had crawled into bed after I received the phone call and pretended to be asleep when Luca finally arrived home. He showered, then came to bed. He kissed my shoulder good night, and it wasn’t long after that before he started to snore. Then again, this morning, he woke up, got ready, and kissed me goodbye. The entire time, I faked being asleep. And true to the random stranger’s word, the house was silent. Not a soul to be found. I checked all over. I walked right out the front door and down the driveway before walking through the open gate. It was somewhat scary. Had the guy placed a bomb threat? Wouldn’t they have escorted me off the grounds if that were the case? I kept waiting on my cell to ring, for Luca to call me and ask if I was okay. If they had an emergency on the property, wouldn’t he want to make sure I was safe?

True to the guy’s word, a car was waiting for me. I got in the back seat, and a male sat in the driver’s seat. He didn’t say anything to me. Just put the car in gear and drove off.

I quickly look around as he pulls into the back of a parking lot. It looks to be a two-story red brick building with a white door. The car comes to a stop, and the guy just sits behind the wheel. The door unlocks, and I take that as my cue to get the hell out.

I open the car door just as the back door to the building opens. A guy dressed in a three-piece black suit stands there, holding it ajar for me. He looks like a million bucks. No street thug wears Armani suits and a Rolex watch.

“Did you call me?” I ask him.

He doesn’t answer. His black shades hide his eyes from me, but he jerks his head toward the building.

I take a deep breath and step inside. He grips my upper arm and pulls me farther into a hallway.

“Hey,” I snap, trying to pull free, but he just tightens his hold. “Let me go!” I shout.

“Do as she says,” a man orders as we enter a room.

I come to a quick stop, and a gasp escapes my lips before I can stop it when I see the man who spoke. He sits behind a desk, his arms crossed over his chest while he leans causally back in his black leather chair. His dark eyes stare into mine, challenging me.

Oh, fuck!

I have made a grave mistake. I spin around to leave, but the muscle steps between me and the door, keeping me hostage. “Let me out!” I shout.

“So you know me?” the guy sitting behind the desk asks casually. His heart obviously not pounding like mine.

I spin back around to face him. All I can do is nod. Luca would kill me if he knew I was here. If this guy doesn’t do it for him. “Why am I here?” I swallow hard.

“I think we can help each other,” he says, eyeing me up and down.

“I won’t help you,” I growl.

There’s only one thing this guy could want from me, and I refuse to give him any intel on Luca. Or maybe he wants to know about Mia. We did just go see her, and she informed me of how Nite wouldn’t give her up, and they took his tongue for it.

“What if I told you I know who your mother is? Your biological mother?”

His words make my heart stop. My mind races. “My mother?” I ask, blinking. All of a sudden, I’m interested in what he has to say.

Your mother gave you up. Abandoned you. It doesn’t matter who she is, she doesn’t want to know me. Or me know her. I shake my head. “I know who my mother is.” I’ve wondered why my biological mother gave me up, and the best I could come up with is that she knew my life was better off without her. Maybe she had an uncurable disease and couldn’t take care of me. Maybe she was an addict. Maybe she had been raped and couldn’t stand to look at me—a reminded of what had happened to her. Or maybe, she just didn’t want me. Either way, I came to live with her decision a long time ago. And I was at peace with it.

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