Too fucking close.

“Can we stop the tomfoolery and actually work?” Simon asks with an annoyed huff.

Well fuck, I never thought I’d be grateful for Simon, but he’s giving me a valid reason to move the fuck away and put some space between me and everyone.

I walk over to the restrained Russian, all the while keeping an eye on the guys.

Simon’s face flushes as he slowly removes his outer coat. The pain in his ribs must be getting to him.

Shit, if I’m not mistaken John isn’t as spry as he normally is, either. He’s hunched just enough to show me he’s got a wound somewhere.

Fuck. Taking another look around me, I see all the gaps and missing faces. I’m not fully up to date with all that’s happened since I was locked up, but if it’s as bad as Simon has been saying, we’re missing a lot of men.

I know Paul and Peter are dead, but what about the others?

“Where’s Thomas and Bart? They out on assignment? What about Thad?” I ask.

The silence around me is instant and deafening.

Searching their faces, hard resignation stares back at me. All except Andrew. Andrew’s face tells me all I need to know.

“What the fuck happened?” I ask.

“Bart betrayed us. Thomas took a bullet because of him,” Andrew says.

Damn.

Thomas was a good man. Quiet as could be, but solid as a fucking rock.

“Where’s Bart?” I ask.

“Dead,” Lucifer says with a sigh. “Peter and Paul are both gone. Peter was blown up investigating our recent bombings, and Paul… He died protecting Evelyn and Abigail.”

“Who are they?” I ask.

And that question causes another fucking silence.

“Evelyn is my daughter, and Abigail is Andrew’s,” Lucifer says with a smile.

“Your what?” I ask with surprise.

This has to be a joke, right?

“Dude, me and Jude are the only ones who haven’t gotten pussied up. Everyone’s married and shit.” James motions to the guys around him.

“What?” I ask again and stare at the guys. “And Thad?”

“Thaddeus went back to Ohio to help the Italians. He’s trying to help plug a bunch of holes over there,” Andrew grunts. “Fucker’s been out there living like a playboy while the rest of us are here in the trenches.”

“We have a lot to talk about, but first lets get to work,” Simon says as he points to the Russian. “We need to know what the fuck is going on.”

“Someone blew up our strip club with a shit ton of people inside. Cherry got wasted, and when Peter was searching her house, they took him out with a big ass bomb,” Johnathan says as he walks over to stand beside me.

Both of us look down at the guy, and he starts to yell from behind his gag.

“What else?” I ask.

“The Yakuza have been causing us more issues,” Simon says.

When I give him a look, he explains, “Awhile back, a drug deal went south in Ohio and a guy got five million off of us.”

“Five fucking mil?” I ask, incredulous. “What the fuck? How’d he get that much?”

“It was a mistake that was remedied, but with it came the Yakuza and Russians. This all falls back to that five million loan. Since then, we’ve been at war with both groups,” Lucifer says.

“The Russians are claiming no responsibility for the bombings though, and have offered peace talks through Father Coss. Which doesn’t sound right coming from them. The Yakuza have been silent throughout all of this, except for the attempt on mine and Meredith’s life,” Simon says.

Ah, shit. That old fucker’s still around. I thought he was fucking dead.

“I’m not going to see that asshole,” I say.

And now comes the laughter, and I’ve got a feeling I’m the butt of a joke.

“What?” I ask.

“He’s asked to see you already,” Lucifer says with a smirk.

“Send James,” I say as I move over to an empty desk.

Dropping my coat on it, my new phone falls out of the pocket and clatters against the floor.

Squatting down to pick it up, James starts to hand it to me before snapping it out of my reach.

“Simon gave you this, right?” he asks.

“Yeah, though I have no clue what the fuck I’m supposed to do with it. I mean, phones are for making calls. Why the hell do I have a computer screen on it?” I ask.

Eyes wide, James breaks out in a grin. “I’ll set it up for you. Simon’s too fucking stupid to do it right.”

With a shrug, I say, “Sounds good. But what the hell do you do with ‘em?”

“You do remember the internet, right?” he asks.

“Yeah, that’s where all the porn is at?” I smirk.

“Something like that. Oh, and no chance. I already did my confessional time back in elementary school,” he says as he starts tapping on my phone’s screen.

He must be in his own little world now because he looks like some happy kid who just got a Christmas present.

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