Page 60 of Code of Silence

“This … is you signing over your shares to me.”

“What?” He removes his glasses confused, looking up at me.

I plop down in the seat across from him. “Bones.”

He walks behind the desk to stand behind him. I throw him the duffel bag.

“I don’t understand …”

Bones pulls the plastic bag out of the duffel and places it over his head, yanking it back.

I lean over the desk and grip his wrists, pulling them across the surface to keep him from puncturing a hole in the bag. That would defeat the purpose. “Did you know that a brain can survive six minutes after the heart stops?”

Jimmy fights Bones, but he’s not strong enough, not in this position. It would be a shitty way to die, actually, given how easy it would be to survive. All you need to do is poke your finger through the plastic. It’s not like it’s Kevlar.

His head shakes back and forth, but it doesn’t do him any good. His fight is useless. “Sign the papers,” I order, letting go of his right hand to place a pen in his left. “And he’ll let you go.”

He aimlessly begins to write on his desk. I look up at Bones. “Let the man sign his name.”

He removes the bag from his head, and Jimmy sucks in a deep breath, coughing.

“Sign it.” I point at the yellow tab.

He scribbles his name down quickly, and I turn the page for him.

“Again.”

He doesn’t even question my reasons. I knew he wouldn’t. After he places his last signature on the final page, he shoves it across the desk to me.

I look from the stack of papers and then back up at him. “Don’t you even want to know why you signed your life away to me?” I ask.

He runs his hand down his face but doesn’t answer. His blue eyes have turned black, and his jaw is tight. Now that he’s not suffocating, he’s quite angry that I just forced his hand. What is a life worth to you, sort of thing?

I look up at Bones. “Wouldn’t you want to know why someone wanted you dead?”

“Absolutely,” he answers.

“The only reason you wouldn’t ask questions is if … you already knew.”

Still he says nothing.

“Rossi has called you.” I fish.

He flinches at the name. I smile. Yep. He’s very well aware of why I’m here and what I want.

“Well, too bad for you, I’m not as forgiving as he is.”

He goes to open his mouth, but I remove the knife from my pocket, flip it open, and stand, bringing it down on to the center of his hand, stabbing it to the desk.

He howls like a wolf as the blood instantly pools underneath it.

I toss the papers to the floor to keep them clean. “You made a deal with him. Before or after you made one with me?” I demand.

“Af … ter,” he cries out. His free hand grips the wrist of the hand pinned to his desk. “I didn’t have a choice,” he adds quickly.

“How much?” I demand, holding the pocketknife in place.

He’s out of his seat, bent over the desk. Spit falls out of the corner of his lips and onto the surface. “One … million.”

“That had to have been a hard offer to pass up,” I muse. “That’s six million dollars in your pocket, and you didn’t have to do anything for it.”

“Please … I …”

Removing the knife from my other pocket, I flip it open and stab it through his other hand, pinning it to the desk as well.

He screams so loud, the shrill hurts my ears. “Please …” he pleads, closing his eyes tightly, trying to hide his tears.

I look up at Bones and nod. He places the plastic bag back over his head. This time he pulls out a roll of duct tape from the duffel. He then proceeds to wrap the tape around his neck, securing the bag to his head.

I sit back in my seat and watch the fat bastard lean over his desk, fighting to breathe. To move.

“Listen to me,” I order, but he’s in panic mode, his body thrashing uncontrollably. I shoved the knives so far through his hands and into the desk that he won’t be able to get free unless he wants to rip them in half.

Bones leans over his back and grabs his face on either side, forcing him to look up at me. “Pay attention,” he orders.

“Did you know that it can take thirty seconds or thirty minutes to suffocate?” I ask. “It all depends on how much you fight it.”

He struggles, and his voice muffled. His mouth gaping as the bag sticks to his face while he tries to breathe. It’s wet from saliva and tears.

“Suffocation doesn’t hurt. So I thought I’d add the pain.” I wiggle the knives, and he bangs his hips into the desk, making the wooden legs scrape across the floor and objects fall off the sides to the floor. “And just to make sure you don’t survive; I’m going to cut your head off before we bury you in the desert.”

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