“Wait. Listen. I can give you information on the others.”

“My brothers have informed me about your activities. You gave up your cards last week.” I step closer to him, watching his face contort.

“Not all of them?” He shakes as I continue to approach.

“Oh, really. What makes you think I’m gonna believe anything you have to say now?”

“Because he’s been betraying you this whole time.” A smirk on his face sends my fist into his gut.

I grab his head and jerk his head back. “Who?”

“Spencer.”

“Yeah?” A knot in my stomach forms, but I’m not that gullible. He better have some evidence to back that shit up.

“He sold out to the cartel last year to drugs and money. He’s the one who brought Serrano to your house.”

“Bullshit.” I can’t imagine being that fucking double-crossed.

“You don’t believe me?”

“Not. At. Fucking. All.” Even as I say it, I wonder if it’s possible.

“Don’t you people have cameras? How do you think he got there so fast after the call without knowing where you live? It’s not like the land is marked well or on fucking Google Maps.”

“Francisco, if you’re lying to me, I’m going to take pleasure in torturing you until your heart can’t handle the blood loss, and you die. If you are telling the truth, I’ll give you a fighting chance for survival.”

I watch as a glimmer of hope crosses his face, which sends another wave of doubt washing over me. Fuck, I can’t believe Spencer’s behind it. I step out of the room, leaving him with two guards while I go into the security room to check his accusation. “Cyber, bring up the furthest camera from my house from the day of the attack on Mary.” It’s the camera on the outskirts of Steeleville.

“Why? Is there something we missed?”

“Maybe.”

“It would have taken Serrano about ten minutes to get to my house from where we saw him on the other cameras. Now, if he planned to take her away and make her disappear, he’d have to have a getaway car, but we didn’t see one. I can’t believe I fucking missed it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Who’s the only car you see before any of the Riders show?”

“Detective Spencer’s car,” he says, but we all believed he was there to pick up Mary like she asked.

“Let’s look at the edge of town.” He cues up the footage. He hits play, I’m fucking instantly sick to my stomach. There’s Spencer’s car parked on the outskirts as Serrano walks away from it. Ten minutes later, Spencer’s car begins to move slowly through Steeleville to my home by the time Serrano should have kidnapped Mary, but he failed and was bleeding out, so Spencer came to my gate pretending to be innocently arriving at Mary’s request.

“Fuck. I’m sorry, bro. Maybe we’re mistaken.”

“No. There’s no mistaking that betrayal. Flash drive that shit. We’re not going to kill him. The most fucked up place for a cop isn’t hell—it’s prison.” I crack my knuckles. “Excuse me while I deal with the other piece of shit.”

“Of course.” I go back into where we were keeping Francisco. “Did Spencer set up that meeting with me for you to ambush Mary and blow me up?”

“Yes, of course. He threatened to kill my sister if I didn’t,” he insists, but I’m betting it’s more to do with the scratching he’s been doing since he got here. He’s not a full-blown junkie, but he was on his way. I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for his attack on Mary and his subsequent scratching.

“Oh, really? And you couldn’t get help instead of attacking my family?”

“Spencer’s my ex-brother-in-law.”

“Wow, things are getting more interesting by the minute. You must really want to live.” I wrap his head in a black hood, then drag his ass out to the SUVs and stuff him in the back of one. It’s already dark out when my plan starts to take shape. I’ve no intention of letting him live and the more I think about Spencer the less I care if he suffers. I want him dead.

The middle of the night can be freezing this time of year in the middle of the Arizona desert.

* * *

The next morning, Spencer enters my office, and I play the game according to plan. Shaking his hand and offering him a cup of coffee. “I’m sorry about the shit with your assistant. What the fuck was he thinking?”

“I don’t know. He had to be working with Serrano or someone that hates me. I haven’t found the fucker, but when I do, I’ve no idea what I’m going to do.”

“I have men looking for him, but there are no signs of him anywhere.” His phone rings, but he doesn’t answer it, and I know why. It’s the answer I need. It’s the nail in his coffin.


Tags: C.M. Steele Romance
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