I love to watch them die.
I’m reluctant to shut down my phone and chance missing any small detail.
The image on the live feed confirms she’s still unconscious at the moment but that won’t last. I’ve made sure of it. My hands clench as my anger rises. Being interrupted during my ‘playtime’ has set back my plans for the grand finale. I’m itching to get back to the girl and finish the game we’d started. I’d waited too long before I found her. I’d almost gotten myself to the point of a starving man, desperate to feed his hunger. Mine’s just a different kind. I live for the rush of power my pets can’t help but concede to me.
The sound of the door opening forces me to put my phone away. I glance up from my seat to see Don Carlo Vitelli walk into his office and head to the dark leather, studded chair behind his sculpted, mahogany desk. He sits down, not acknowledging me, taking a long pull from his cigar.
I’ve fantasied about killing the man sitting before me at least once a week, every week, throughout the years I’ve known him. Today isn’t any different. But it would have to wait.
As much as it galls me sometimes, I still need him. For now.
The puff of smoke breezing across my face makes me grit my teeth behind my genial smile.
I don’t have time to be here today. The case I’m working on hasn’t had any new developments in a while and I was feeling the weight of everyone’s disappointed eyes on me. If I don’t get a break soon, I’m liable to get frustrated. Which would lead to an untimely distraction involving me taking my said frustration out on the pretty, little thing I was currently keeping chained for my pleasure. So, if I was going to be wasting time I didn’t have, I’d rather do it following more pleasurable pursuits in better company.
“You summoned?” I bluster, ignoring the tension filling the air.
I watch Vitelli butt out his cigar, then lean to his right to open a drawer behind his desk. He picks up two thick envelopes and slides them over to me. I don’t reach out to take either of them.
“It has come to my attention the ‘Rodriguez’ case hasn’t been solved.”
My smile disappears, I tighten my lips at his rebuking tone.
“Sometimes David, I miss your father. He at least got shit done. But since he’s now rotting in hell, I’m stuck making do with you. So let’s see… I’ve practically handed you your shinning career with the Toronto Gangs Task Force, paved the way for your rapidly budding political career-which we both know at your age is quite a feat. Oh yes and let us not forget how time and again I’ve been covering your ass, beginning with burying that shit which had started coming out about the ‘horrors’ you committed against your step-sister. Who made it all go away, protecting you from prosecution by your own colleagues in blue then?”
I stare at him in stony silence, hands balled tightly, reigning in my fury.
“After all that, I can’t exactly let your incompetence affect my investment in you, now can I?”
I fume hotter at his bared insult. Imagining vaulting over his desk and choking the life out of the bastard with my bare hands does little to soothe me. The asshole’s right, I need him. So he must remain alive. He won’t always be useful to me. This thought does calm me enough that I manage to control myself. I relax my hands against my thighs.
He jerks his head towards the envelopes, “Open the first.”
I oblige, grabbing the top one. I slide the papers out and skim over the contents.
It contains the evidence I needed to bust the fucking ‘Rodriguez’ case, by way of a freshly planted scene, including video surveillance for a brutal gang hit. I don’t ask how he got the Intel or how he made this happen, I don’t fucking care. It’s done and the case will be closed.
I leaf through the last couple of pages and notice they contain information on a new case. I look up in question.
“I need you to focus your attention on that. Shit’s bad for business, so handle it.”
I nod and reach for the second envelope. His hand fists bruisingly around my wrist, pulling me closer to the desk’s edge.
“Let’s call this a boon, from one partner to another, paying it forward. Make no mistake, I will nip that shit in the bud if it interferes in any way with your usefulness to me. You may be hailed as a hero in the eyes of your colleagues and even the surrounding communities, but we both know who really has the power boy. I can and will bury you in a plot next to your father, if you insist in pushing me.” Warning delivered loud and clear, he releases my wrist with a slight shove, nearly sending the unopened envelope flying. I straighten and rise, barely containing my anger, knowing I had to get out of this man’s presence before I did something royally stupid. You didn’t fucking disrespect the mafia and you sure as hell didn’t fuck with Don Carlo; especially in his own house, surrounded by his made men.
I stop at the door on my way out and turn back to face the one man I hate above all others, who also happens to be the one with whom I must stay my hand. “I’ll contact you as soon as it’s done.” I lift the file from the first envelope, seething.
He doesn’t look up from the papers on his desk, already focused on something else. To him, I was dismissed. I storm out, pausing only long enough to lock eyes with his son, Luca’s, cold calculating stare as he heads into his father’s office. I tighten my grip around the two envelopes, moving down the corridor leading to the front door. In spite of my eagerness to find out what’s in the second envelope, my sense of self-preservation demands I leave. It would be the height of stupidity to lose my temper and lash out before the timing was right.
* * *
It’s ten a.m. on a Tuesday, so traffic back to the city is light and I was making good time. Halfway back to the precinct, the object of my curiosity is burning a hole into the seat next to me. Giving in to my impatience, I start to pull over and almost collide with an ancient Taurus. I straighten the wheel, ignoring the frightened elderly bitch staring at me from the other car. I exhale a frustrated breath and this time, I manage to manoeuvre the car safely to the right lane, then pull over to the shoulder. I jerk the handbrake, lean over the console and reach for the envelope laying on the passenger seat. I lift the flap and pull out the stack of papers.
The image staring back at me makes my chest seize in shock. Slowly, as though swimming back to the surface after holding your breath under water too long, I emerge and gasp.
Lifting a shaking hand to the vision before me, I run my fingers on the glossy paper, outlining the face of the one that got away. No one has ever compared to her. I close my eyes and take a shuddering breath as an onslaught of conflicting emotions rushes through me. Elation, anger, lust and possession.
I glance back down to study the image and the dossier accompanying it. I have to fight my raging need to drop everything and go after her.
To confirm it’s her.
To drag her back here, by my side, where she belongs. This is the closest I’ve come to her in five years, even after pouring in money and police resources, I’d never found a single lead to her. And yet here she is, alive and emancipated.
Until today, beyond my reach.
I smirk in anticipation. I plan on rectifying that, soon.