Well, fuck. The sinking feeling in my stomach drops even further down. Beth Norton, I know the last name, but it’s escaping me.

No doubt since Simon hasn’t said her name yet it’s going to be a fucking big one.

“Amanda Brower, hmmm… No name from memory. I’ll have to check on her.”

He stops pacing around the car and stands directly in front of me. His eyes pinch around the corners as he gives me a head tilt. He’s studying me with those ice blue fucking eyes behind his glasses. He’s looking at me like I’m some sort of specimen under a fucking microscope.

“And Beth Norton,” I say.

“Norton as in…” James starts to say.

“Yes, as in Richard Norton. Senator Richard Norton.”


Well, I was about to fuck a senator’s daughter. That’s a first.

Fuck, who am I kidding? I want her still, and some soon-to-be-dead motherfucker took her from my place.

Took my fucking property from my fucking place.

I can’t fucking take it when someone touches my stuff. I’m feeling a cold rage just thinking of her name. I could give two fucks that she’s some senator’s daughter.

She was taken from me.

I growl into Simon’s face, “Fucking find her, Simon. I’ll give you a personal favor for this. No questions.”

“That’s a good thing you offer, but the senator’s daughter and Miss. Hawthorne are of value to Lucifer, and as such to the inner circle.”

“Whatever the fuck you say, just find the fucking girl.”

His phone starts ringing as he is about to reply. Stepping away from me, he puts it to his ear. Listening for two minutes straight, he looks over to me and frowns.

Tapping the phone off, he says, “Keep this shit to yourselves. The police have no clue the girls are even missing. Meaning, we are in the clear of it blowing back on ourselves.”

He snaps his fingers at James and says, “Get that car around back. Remove any personal belongings and the plates. I’ll have someone come by to remove it in a few minutes.”

Smirking at Simon, James says, “Please.”

Looking at him in confusion, Simon asks, “Please, what?”

“Say please, Spider, or you can move it yourself. Lucifer called me into this gig, you can say please.”

Simon’s face goes completely smooth. No frown, no smile, nothing except the cold eyes as he says, “If you would please, James, move that fucking car now.”

Snickering, James nods his head. “Sure, who’s got the keys?”

Shrugging my shoulders, I head over to the car and start looking around. “You got them in the purses, Simon?”

“No,” he says in a clipped tone as he stands there. He hasn’t moved a muscle since James started fucking with him. I think saying please might have broken all those computer parts in his brain.

“Was this an attack of opportunity or planned, Simon?” I ask as I switch my phone’s flashlight on.

Shaking himself, Simon says, “I highly doubt it was planned. These girls never should have been in a dump like this.”

James looks over at me at the word dump. “You gonna let him call your bar a dump?”

“It’s not far off the mark. I prefer to call it a dive bar, though.” Frowning at the thought, I look over to Simon. “You know, a couple of them were pretty uptight about being here. Beth was especially, at first. I got the vibe this was completely out of the norm for them.”

“Did they stay long?”

“About two hours. No one but regulars came in. No sketchy cars or shit was mentioned till someone came in asking about the car outside.”

“Well, we won’t be able to keep a lid on the car being left here, or the missing people. But with luck, no one will figure out who they were until it goes on the news that the girls are missing.”

“You thinking ransom?” I ask. It seems highly unlikely to me. If it was a ransom gig, why take ‘em all? And why not have someone on the inside of the bar to make sure they came out the front? Someone to keep ‘em in sight?

“No. It wouldn’t fit the scene before us.”

“Got the keys,” James says as he scoops them up from under a car. “Pretty big scuffle if they made it over here. To add my two cents, if it was a pro job, they would have taken this Lexus or at least hid it from here.”

“Sloppy if they just left it here. Doors open, signs of a scuffle,” Simon says as he peers around us.

“Sloppy…” Something about this whole thing rings a bell in my head, but the connection isn’t there yet. I can feel the connections coming, but I’m missing a piece of information.

“We need to know where they’re going,” Simon says.

“Yeah, and I’m willing to bet they won’t be sending out a ransom note.”

Looking at me, Simon nods his head. “You and James get rested up. Then get gear ready for whatever might come up. I’ll get my hooks into the traffic lights around here and see if I can spot anything.”

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