Page 61 of Code of Silence

Blood covers his desk as Bones and I watch the man lose his life second by second. Within a few minutes, his face grows white. His lips purple. His fight turns to nothing. He face-plants into the blood, and all movement stops. I stand, buttoning up my suit jacket. “Take care of him. I want his head at least three miles from his rotting corpse,” I order and then pick up the papers off the floor and exit his office. Bones doesn’t usually take care of dead bodies. We pay people for that, but I know he has my back on this. I’ll owe him, and when he calls, I’ll pay up. No matter the price.

I go to walk down the hall when I see her mother exit a door at the end on the left. I make my way toward her.

“Luca? What are you doing here so late? I thought I heard …”

I slap a hand over her mouth and shove her back into the wall with so much force it knocks a picture off, sending it crashing to the floor and shattering at our feet. Her green eyes go wide with horror.

“I’m going to give you one chance. One chance to explain what you know. Do you understand me?”

She nods quickly.

I step away, and she sucks in a long breath. Tears streak her cheeks as her eyes go from mine to the office door.

“Rossi,” I say just in case we’re not on the same page. “Did you know he went to your husband?”

“No.” She gasps out. “Well, I did but not until after.”

“Make sense,” I grind out through gritted teeth.

“I overheard him talking in his study. He thought I was out shopping. He had Rossi on speakerphone. He told him the banks were in debt, and that he needed a loan. Rossi laughed. Then there was silence.” She sucks in a deep breath. “I guessed he had hung up. That’s when I reached out to you. I knew you’d do the right thing for her. She missed you so much, and I knew you could protect her. Then just a week ago, I overheard another conversation between them. Rossi had seen the pictures from the engagement party and wanted to know how much you paid him for Haven. That’d he’d double it. One million up front and the rest after it was done.”

“After what was done?” I demand, but I already know the answer.

“Said all he had to do was give him time and location of the wedding. That he didn’t care if she was caught in the crossfire. That it would make him look good. Dead. Adopted daughter killed in a mass shooting at her own wedding. The press would eat it up.”

Motherfucker! My jaw clenches. “Why didn’t you come to me? Or her?” Anything would have been nice. I knew the risk the Mafia put my life in by the time I was eight. But Haven? I have to protect her no matter the cost.

“I tried to tell her at the spa, but your men interrupted us and took her away. She’s avoided me. That was the first chance I had. I was afraid that he would find out that I knew his and Rossi’s plan. I couldn’t chance putting Haven’s life in danger. Even now …” She sniffs. “If he found out that you knew he betrayed you? I don’t know what he would do to Haven.” Her wide eyes dart around the empty hallway.

I grab her hand and pull her toward the office.

“Luca. What are you …?”

I shove her into the office, and she gasps when she sees her husband bent over dead on the desk. He’s facedown, hands still pinned to the surface with the two knives. Bones stands behind him with his cell to his ear. “Make it fifteen minutes,” he orders and ends the call once he sees us.

“Oh my God.” Her shaky hands come to her face to cover her mouth. “Is he …?”

“Yes,” I say simply. “He was willing to put her life in danger. I couldn’t take that chance.”

She spins around and buries her head into my chest. “Thank you.” She begins to sob. “Thank you for saving her. I knew you would.”

Awkwardly, I rub her back. “I’ll give you five minutes.”

She looks up at me, her green eyes swimming in tears. Her cheeks red and lips swollen. She looks nothing like Haven. No one would ever guess she is her biological mother. And as much as I hate this woman for lying to Haven all her life, I have to protect her. I can’t let Rossi come after her too. “For what?”

“To pack a bag. You’re coming with me.”

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

HAVEN

“I DON’T BELIEVE you,” I say, trying to keep the tears at bay, but it’s pointless.

He gives me a sly smile that just twists the knife that is already piercing my heart. “Ask your mother. There is DNA evidence.”

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