What changed that?

The Yakuza are no more, at least in Garden City. Italians are here, but we’ve got them on our side… Well, as much as anyone is on our side. The Irish don’t even have a foothold here.

It all comes back to who’s the most powerful.

That’s us.

But who has the most to gain?

Lacing my fingers behind my head, I briefly check the gun that’s under my pillow. The smooth cold metal gives me comfort as I think over the night’s losses.

The two men who did the insertion had nothing special about them, at least not from what I could see in the video. No tattoos, no outstanding facial features. They didn’t come up in any of my or the government’s databases on facial recognition.

I’ll need to refine my search in the morning, because when all else fails, start over with a bigger fucking net.

The quiet beep from my phone wakes me up instantly. It’s a sound I’ve ensured I pay attention to. It would do me no good to oversleep through a work day. Even if I was only able to get a few hours of sleep, I need to get back on the trail of the bombers.

Heading first to the computer room that connects to my bedroom, I do a quick check on any results that may have come in through the night.

Unfortunately, but as expected, we made the late-night news, as well as this morning’s news across the nation. It may be in little video bytes, but we’re still out there now.

Damn. Neither Lucifer or I want this kind of attention.

I check on the scan I have running on the government’s criminal database.


Double damn.

Tapping in a few commands into another program, I rerun the search of the security team at Lucky Tails and add the rest of the staff there as well. I run from Cherry and all the way down to the latest girl we’ve hired.

Heading back through the bedroom, I stop off at the bathroom to take care of my morning dealings. Then I head down to the basement where I have my personal gym set up.

Whether I feel like it or not, I make sure I never forget to do my workouts. It would not be wise to ever allow my body to slip out of its peak performance.

Like my mind, I want to know that I will always be at the top of my game.

Sweat profusely pours off me as I push my body up from another pushup. I don’t want the beefy look some of Lucifer’s other men prefer. I’d rather have a fit frame. One that can go for endurance rather than for pure raw power.

The beep of my watch lets me know when I’m done.

I’ve still not come up with any answers from last night, but if I can get back the type of explosive that was used in the bomb I will maybe be closer to knowing who did it.

Heading back up the stairs, I stop at the door for Meredith’s room. Listening intently at the door, I wait to see if I can hear her moving around.

All is silent though so I don’t open the door. I could just as easily check the monitors in my computer room to see if she’s awake, but for now I will give her some privacy.

I head back to down to the kitchen to make myself breakfast. Looking out the kitchen window as I start up my blender, I see the dark sky through the trees hasn’t changed one bit.

Walking back to my bedroom, I pick up my phone from the nightstand and head into the computer room. No calls have come in yet, but they will soon enough. I might as well prepare for the ones I need to make as well. The computer searches are still running so I head back into my bedroom and begin pulling clothes from the closet for today.

Dialing the Fire Chief’s number, I listen as it goes straight to voicemail.

“Call me back,” I say and then press disconnect.

He’s going to be a problem if I don’t do something about him.

Scrolling through the contact list, I select a nationwide florist. It’s not hard at all to get a lovely display of lilies sent to his house.

Hopefully he understands I won’t be sending another bouquet to him if something unfortunate was to happen to his family.

Next I call a friend I have on the east coast. It will be a couple of hours later there so I shouldn’t have any problems with him being awake.

“Simon,” he says, picking up on the first ring.

“Erik, how’s the city life treating you?” I ask as I tuck my shirt into my suit pants.

“Good, it’s the city that never sleeps. Keeps me happy. What can I do for you?”

“I need you to visit a friend’s dear daughter,” I say.

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