Lovely. So the basement isn’t going to be fun.

Heading down the steps, James follows me as I open the steel door up.

There, in the middle of what looks like a makeshift surgical room, is a man strapped down to a table. Tubes of all sorts run out of his body. IVs, catheters up his junk, and a breathing tube fixed to a machine pumping his lungs full of air.

What the actual fuck?

Moving over to the man, I push my body cam to cover his face. “Who the fuck is that?”

“Damn. I can’t tell, but it looks like the doc is keeping him alive,” Simon says.

James moves around the room and starts picking up scraps of paper. “I’ll start on data collection. You mind if I take some of the artwork, Simon? Lots of shit upstairs I can sell.”

“Data comes first,” Simon says with annoyance.

“Will do.”

“Check for safes and hidden shit,” I call after James.

“Andrew, get down to the basement. We need to see if you can figure out what’s with this man and if he can be moved or not.”

“Will do. How far is Harrold out?”

“Thirty minutes.”

“Good enough.”

This is not my kind of bag. I don’t do the medical, keep-someone-alive shit. Backing up out of the room, I head back upstairs for the doctor’s office.

We’re about a mile out from the house when a large whooming sound bursts through the night. A fireball explodes up to the sky.

I guess that’s what usually happens when you make it a gas line explosion.

Harrold has one of the best cleanup crews around, if you ask me. They’re quick, clean, and completely silent on who they work for. Doesn’t matter if it’s Lucifer, or the Italians, it’s all the same to them.

The fact that he won’t work for the Russians, though, is a good way to stay in business with us.

The drive out to our own shutdown warehouse is fast thankfully. It’s been a long night, and seeing the sky starting to lighten on the horizon, is making me want my bed and Beth.

Fuck. I should have woken her up enough to at least let her know I was leaving for a bit.

The good doctor has enough intelligence to at least try to play at sleeping as we pull him from the back. He tries the same damn thing every other motherfucker does when he feels the ground beneath his feet, he tries to fight and run away.

Fighting with us never works, ever.

A sharp punch to his kidneys and the fight goes right out of him with a muffled screech.

The smell of dust and grime fill my nose as we drag the man through the empty sheet metal shop floor.

This place hasn’t had workers in it since the eighties, and it looks it.

Dust is thick on every surface except for the ones that have been used for ‘different’ purposes. Sometimes you have to take a hand off through a machine, it puts the fear of the devil himself into people.

Dragging the man back to the old office area, we slam him down into a steel chair that’s been bolted to the floor.

Securing him isn’t too hard after we hit him in his gut.

“Thank you for bringing the good doctor to me,” Simon says as he comes into the room.

Fuck me, he’s not wearing a suit. No tie, no freshly starched shirt for him. No, he’s wearing fucking medical scrubs. Just seeing him in those things is bad. When he dresses up like a doctor, shit’s about to get bloody.

I think I’m going to fucking vomit.

I’ve seen this only once before, and it was way back when I was just starting out in the family. Fuck and shit. This isn’t going to be pretty.

“No problem…” I say, as I start to back out of the office area.

Andrew gives me a dirty look and says, “We’re not leaving yet, playboy.”

Hanging my head, I grimace as I walk back over to the doctor.

Ripping the hood off the doctor’s face, I give him a sad smile. “Doc… I got bad news for ya.”

He doesn’t look at any of us with the due fear he needs to have in his soul right now so I continue. “You’re going to die in pain. Lots and lots of pain. No way around that. Wish I could tell you differently, trust me, I ain’t going to want to see this either.”

The man screams something unintelligible through the gag in his mouth, and though I can’t quite make it out, I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my mother.

“I’m going to take this gag out of your mouth now. You can scream and yell all you want, but it’s just going to get you hurt. So think real carefully about what you want to say, buddy.”

Hearing some rustling behind me, I look over to see Simon setting up a black leather bag on one of those old metal frame desks.

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