Chapter 5 - Roman
Roman paced his office as he prepared for the meeting he was to have with Cane. He was still uneasy about the whole thing, and it was pissing him off. He’d always gotten bad vibes from the man, but this seemed like it was something else. He was on edge and he had an overall bad feeling. He’d have to go into this meeting alert and on guard. Roman stopped at the whiskey decanter, poured a glass, and downed the entire thing. The burn instantly made him feel better, and he debated having a second glass.
“We’re going into the meeting drunk now are we?” Kash questioned as he joined him. “Should I get drunk too?”
“You’re an ass,” Roman growled, as he pushed the glass away and turned to glare at the man.
“I’ve been called worse,” Kash admitted cheekily. “You worried about this meeting?”
“Not worried,” Roman sighed. “I just still feel on edge about it. I want to be cautious and alert, that’s all.”
“Well liquor isn’t the way to achieve that. Load up with some weapons instead,” Kash ordered.
“I’m packing,” Roman told his second.
“I’ll go with you, if you’re already nervous about this you shouldn’t go in alone. I’ll have your back,” Kash demanded.
“No,” Roman immediately denied. “He sees you, and he’ll realize I’m expecting trouble. Cane knows you’re my muscle and right hand man.”
“So, what the hell do I care. I’d rather be there and have nothing go down, then not be there and find out later you needed me,” Kash snarled.
“I used to do your job fucker, I can take care of myself,” Roman fired back.
“True, but if it comes to it, you’re on his territory with his god damned men,” Kash insisted.
“I’ll take Max and Luke. They’re the next best thing to you. You can act as driver and wear a hat. No one will get close enough to see it’s you. If I need you, you’ll know, and you can come storming inside,” Roman relented.
Kash grinned. “That’s all I ask. I’ll wear one of your monkey shirts, but I’m not wearing a jacket. That should be good enough. You can get one of the guys to get out and open your door instead of me too.”
Roman smirked. “Wouldn’t expect anything less. Go get changed, we leave in ten.”
The ass saluted him and strode back out the door.
Exactly one hour later, Kash was pulling up to the gates and talking to the man posted there. Kash nodded once, rolled up the window, and the gates rolled open. The car moved slowly through and headed up the long, winding lane to the main house. The fucking thing was a mansion, and was as obnoxious as hell. It was painted white, had pillars and a fountain out front, and looked like it belonged on the set of Gone With The Wind. Roman hated the god damned thing. He lived in a large condo in the middle of town. It was located in a building he owned, had tons of security, and had a stunning view. It was on the top floor, and the rest of the building was filled with his foot soldiers and most trusted staff. He never had to worry about outsiders getting in. This house however, was a security nightmare. Roman could already see at least a dozen areas where security needed to be improved.
Max stepped out and opened his door as Luke exited from the other side and joined them. Both men wore hidden ear pieces, and would be able to communicate with Kash the entire time. It actually made Roman feel better about attending this meeting. He stepped out and moved aside so Max could close the door, and then the three moved as a group towards the front of the house. He turned just in time to watch Kash swing the car around and park it close to the doors, but in a position where he’d be able to make a fast getaway if it was required. He nodded at his best friend and Kash nodded back. Then the man dropped back his seat a bit, leaned back, and pulled the hat he wore low over his face. He’d pretend to sleep during the meeting so the guards would get a false sense of ease and ignore him.
As soon as Roman stepped onto the porch a guard opened the door and gestured for them to enter. Roman was the first to step through, with his men only a step behind him. They crossed the entryway and were almost to the door on the other side when it opened and Cane stepped through. Roman bristled when he saw the man. He was good looking, Roman would give him that, but he had a greasy quality about him. His suit was both immaculate and expensive, his cologne was strong, and his hair was perfectly styled.
“Roman, it’s a pleasure to see you again,” Cane gushed. “It’s been what, six months since we last saw each other?”
“Something like that,” Roman guessed as he answered the man. “You’re looking well.”
“Thank you. I must say marriage does agree with me,” Cane replied with a smile. “Although I do miss my time with the girls.”
“Right, I image Mrs. Cane put a stop to that,” Roman smirked.
“She did, but I still head out to the stalls sometimes when she’s away,” Cane laughed.
Roman was well aware that Cane sold girls to wealthy men. He had a stable somewhere close by where he kept them, and he ran a lucrative, high end, trafficking business. His girls were in high demand. It was just another thing Roman despised about the man. No one should own someone else, and he could only image the horrible life those poor girls led. It was something Roman himself would never involve himself in.
When Roman didn’t respond, Mr. Cane just shrugged, and moved them towards the dining room. “I see you have two of your men with you?” Mr. Cane questioned with a raised brow.
“You know I never attend a meeting without at least two by my side,” Roman explained.
Cane waved his hand in dismissal as he kept walking. “I understand, although you’ll find no need for them here. We’ll sit in the dining room. We can discuss business while we enjoy a meal and some drinks.”
Roman held his tongue at the man’s double standard. While he insisted Roman didn’t need his men present, every door and hallway held a guard. If there was trouble, Roman was out manned and at a disadvantage.
“Sounds good,” Roman replied casually, as he stepped into the dining room and took a seat at the rather large table. With only the two of them sitting, it was an odd choice of venue. Roman would have much preferred a small table somewhere in a room less elegant and formal. As soon as he was comfortable, his men moved to the wall and stood directly behind him. He noticed two of Cane’s men moved to position themselves the same way.
“Would you prefer wine, or would you like something stronger?” Cane inquired.
“Wine would be good,” Roman returned, knowing he could take a few sips to remain polite and leave the rest. He had no intention of over indulging tonight.
A young girl entered carrying a bottle of wine and moved to his side. She was pretty, but she had a smile on her face that appeared almost predatory. When she leaned over to retrieve his glass, her breasts rubbed against his arm. He completely ignored her and waited while she poured the wine, almost cringing the whole time. He hated when women touched him or threw themselves at him. It was the chase he enjoyed, but he never seemed to need to do that anymore. It was something he missed.
When she stepped back and moved to Cane’s side, Roman let out a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. Of course the entire time she attended the man she kept her eyes on him. It was unnerving, and a bit much. Roman knew Cane kept a few girls as slaves and assumed this was one of them. When the girl left the room the business talk began. Mr. Cane discussed the amount he wanted laundered and the time he hoped to have it done in. The amount was considerably more than he had anticipated, but he knew without a doubt it could be done in the time constraints he was setting.
The girl had just cleared their salads when another girl entered the room carrying a small tray. As soon as she stepped inside, Roman was drawn to her. She had the longest, silkiest, light brown hair he had ever seen. It almost reached her waist and was thick and straight. She was tiny, and he knew she’d barely reach his chest, but he liked that about her. She wore a simple, black, wrap dress, and low heels, that oddly encased almost all of her feet. She was absolutely stunning, and Roman couldn’t look away. He now had a feeling that this girl was the cause of his unease all evening, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about that.