He doesn’t finish, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel the hairs on the back of my neck rise. I feel like I have the crosshairs of a sniper right on the back of my head. If this church wasn’t made neutral by all the gangs, groups, and mafia in our city, I would be falling to the floor with my gun out, trying to make my way out of this building as fast as possible.

“Fuck,” I grumble to myself.

Normally I would be reprimanded by the old priest for using such language in the house of God, but he just sighs.

“The body count for this could be very high, Andrew. I need you to get to Lucifer and the Spider. I need you to warn them and try to get them to find some way to come to peace with the city. I’m not sure we will survive the bloodshed of whatever is going to happen.”

Father Coss stands up from the benches and leaves the confessional booth before I even have a chance to say anything back.

Sitting there for a moment, I try to organize my thoughts. Things are happening now outside of our scope of knowledge. Big things that could spell a shit ton of trouble for us.

Shaking my head, I stand up.

Outside, in the safety of my car, the rain starts coming down in hard waves. The wind pushes one way then the other. If the weather is matching the stirrings of the city, we might be in deep shit.

Fuck me sideways.

Dialing Simon, I try to gather my thoughts in the moments before he answers.

“Andrew, what was he wanting to talk about?”

“Shit, Simon, that’s the thing. There really isn’t anything to talk about beyond whispers. Whispers that have the old man terrified.”

“What do you mean?” he asks.

“He’s scared. Says something big is in the works on the Russian front, but he doesn’t know what. Nobody is talking about it. Seems only the higher-ups know anything and they are tightlipped. Not even the mistresses are talking. One thing he said though… Said some guys are coming into the city with really bad reputations. What that means, I don’t know, but it could be heavy hitters or well… anything.”

There is a long silence on the phone and I can only fill it with my own. Watching the rain slash down on my windshield as the world outside goes from night to day with the crack of a lightning bolt.

“That’s the reporting we have as well. Lucifer has you coming by tomorrow for dinner, I’ll be there too. We’ll talk more then.”

“Alright. I’m going to check in with some of my contacts. See if I can find something out. Have a good night, Simon.”

“You as well.”

I don’t immediately drive off though. My brain is running too fast right now. Little connections are struggling to be made but I can’t get the picture to adjust right.

Something out there is getting ready to happen and whatever it is… it’s big.

It’s close to ten when I pull into the garage. The house appears to be subdued from the outside, only a couple of lights are on. When I walk in, Johnathan is sitting on the couch, watching the local news.

Amy and Abigail are nowhere to be seen.

Smelling pizza in the kitchen, I hunt down the box before I go in to see him.

“How’s the old man doing?” Johnathan asks.

Shrugging my shoulders, I say, “Worried as fuck. Something’s going on out there and he has no clue what it is. Whatever is going on is big, the Russians are planning something.”

“Fuck me,” he growls as his head falls back. “I just fucking got back from one shit storm to this.”

Nodding my head, I say, “Go home and get some rest. But do me a favor, reach out to your friends around the city. See if you hear anything out of ordinary, something sounding just a bit off.”

Looking at me for a moment, he says, “Will do. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

I finish off my slice of pizza as I hear him leaving the house. A moment later his SUV starts up.

Shutting down the lights and locking up, I head upstairs to the bedroom. Looking around the room, I see that it’s missing the one person who should be there.

Walking down to Abigail’s room, I look in and see Amy curled up on the bed. Walking into the room, I gently slide my arms under Amy’s legs and back and lift her off the bed.

At first, she pulls herself tight into my arms, burrowing her head into my chest. It’s a long moment before she looks up with wide eyes. “Wha…?”

“I’m home, baby, let’s go to our bed.”



I shouldn’t feel relieved to wake up with Andrew’s arms around me, but I do.

And it scares the shit out of me.

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