The Weight of Secrets

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Chapter Ten

This was the man who Neil was talking about. The brother of the man who escaped. I didn’t know how to help keep the peace here so I just shooed his secretary away and shut the door behind her.

“Neil Flynn, now is that any way to greet your Irish brother?” He looked genuinely upset and stepped back. It was a smart move. Neil always carried his pistol on him. He wouldn’t hesitate to pull it if he needed to.

“I left Ireland to not see your dumb fucking face so you bring it here? Amazing. I just got off a Skype call with your boss and he is as dumb as you are. Out. Now.” Tyler chuckled and shook his head as he tossed down the manila folder on the long wooden table.

“I can’t do that Neil. You are a wanted man by the Irish, we have some things to discuss before I can go back.” He crossed his arms and waited for Neil to pick up the folder.

Neil begrudgingly thumbed through the pages of legal documents and printed emails. Additionally, what looked like two photos. He didn’t hesitate after closing the file and locked eyes with me.

“Go. I’ll find you when we’re done here.” His eyes were dark and serious. A chill ran down my spine as I just nodded and left the board room. I wasn't scared for my safety but for what lied in that folder. What secrets did the Irish have against us?

I made my way back to my office rather slowly, hoping the thick tension in the boardroom wouldn't follow me back to my office but it did. I started cleaning up to distract my mind.

Maybe an hour passed before Neil entered looking angry and flustered. I knew the words exchanged between the men weren't kind. I wasn’t sure what to say to right the air so I waited for him to speak.

“It’s never a coincidence when Tyler just shows up unannounced. I need to talk to Shamus soon. Like tonight. Maybe your friend Rue can join us. We will need the connections made if this is going where I suspect it is.” I was taken aback by the mention of Shamus. I hadn’t seen him since, well since before Howie died. Or didn’t die. I was so mad when I found out he was the one who got him out of the house that night that I hadn’t seen him since.

“Tyler is likely to stick around and brown nose until I give into what they want. He’s like the repo man, always showing up to take what the Irish think is theirs.” He put his hands on his hips and slumped a little, clearly caught off guard by this visit.

“Okay. I’ll call her soon.” He noticed my short answer and my purposeful dodge at the mention of Shamus.

“Loriena, my grandfather was doing what he thought was right. He always wanted us out of this life when he brought my father here. He was giving that same chance to your brother. Don’t hold it against him, please.” I pulled my hand away and rubbed my temples.

I could feel the tightness in my neck and it crept up my scalp to my eyes. A migraine was certainly on the way.

“I think I'm just going to work from home for the rest of the day.” When he leaned in to kiss me and I offered him my cheek, he sighed in a defeated huff and turned on his heel.

I didn’t wait for him to leave my office before I started packing up my desk. I left my laptop behind and decided to just use my Mac at home to make my bag a little lighter for the walk to the car.

My heels clicked against the pavement and echoed through the mostly empty parking deck. When I rounded the corner for my parking spot I couldn’t help but wonder why the hell someone had to park directly next to me when there were literally hundreds of available spots open.

As I approached my vehicle I saw the driver had parked so close I couldn’t even get into my driver's side door. I stopped in my tracks and huffed. This day was not turning out how I hoped it would.

I pulled out my phone and started to dial the towing company and a man came running up to me, waving his keys and his arms in a friendly way. I terminated the call and waited for him to speak. When he came into view under the dim lighting my heart sunk. It was Tyler Curran. Of course, it was him. Thank you fate.

“I’m sorry Miss. I’m a terrible driver in the states, I swear I don’t drive like this back in Ireland. I bet you don’t believe me though.” He chuckled lightly and waited for me to do the same. When I did not, that’s when he recognized me.

“Oh, you were in the boardroom with Flynn earlier. I didn’t get your name. I’m Tyler by the way.” He held out a hand to shake and I didn’t oblige him with that either. Just stood still as stone and stoic faced.

“I’m just trying to get into my car to leave Mr. Curran so if you’d be so kind as to move it that would be lovely.” He studied me for a moment and nodded to himself as if his detective work had paid off.

“You must be Loriena Rossi. I’ve been waiting to meet you for ages.” His hands slipped into his pockets and he started to pace in a slow circle around me. Looking me up and down, assessing my credibility to be an Italian Mafia’s head bitch in charge.

“Try anything and I have a surprise for you Curran. Nothing would make my fiance more proud than to brag I killed your sorry ass.” He stopped behind me, just within my peripheral vision.

“The nine mil strapped to your hip under your blouse won’t save you, Ms. Rossi.” My heart sped up. I was wearing a concealed holster. There’s no way he could see it. Even Neil missed it this morning when I left for work when he kissed me goodbye.

“It’s not on my hip.” And I snatched it from my waistband and shoved it against his temple, wrapping my free arm around his neck, squeezing tightly. “It’s on you,” I whispered in his ear as he shook with laughter.

“Come to the party prepared next time, Curran.” With that, I took his pistol from the waistband of his pants at his lower back and put it in mine, my black blazer neatly hiding it from sight. I pointed my gun back at him as I took a few steps back and motioned to the car.

“Move your hunk of metal.” He stopped laughing once I disarmed him and pulled the keys from his pocket. He sauntered over to his car as if trying to come up with a second plan.

“Don’t do anything dumb. Just go. You can come back to play another time.” The engine of his rental car started and he backed away, speeding towards the exit.

Once he was out of sight my arms dropped and the adrenaline started to make my fingers shake and ache from the death grip on my gun. I hopped in my car and threw all my stuff except my gun on the floorboard in the back seat.

I sat there for what felt like forever waiting for the blood to stop pumping through my veins so hard. Once I felt like I could remember my way back home I drove straight to Neil’s house. Our house. The thought tugged at the corners of my mouth as I pulled into the driveway.

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