Chapter 15 - Tracing the taker [Republished]
When I found out about the business my father had with Downhill it was the moment I realized I was going to be deep into shit, up to my neck, but I couldn’t let him and mom be dragged in dirt by his business partner.
I was around long enough to know Downhill to be part of shady businesses and there was always a talk about him being good friend and partner with the Italians.
For everybody else he was partner in the clean businesses of the Italians, but I knew better.
One never has deals with the Italians without doing some money laundry.
And Downhill was doing more than that.
I remember it has taken me weeks to talk my dad into pulling out of the deals and let me get in.
He knew very well that dealing with Downhill meant life and death matters and what father wished that for his son?
But I wouldn’t take any of it.
I finally convinced him, cleaned him out and sent both mom and dad out of US.
I needed them far and safe.
But when I first saw Becca, all breathtaking and glamorous, I had to go deeper in the fucking shit of Downhill, scamming a business deal and collecting information in secret files to take him down later by any means, authorities or... my own hands.
I had to completely change my life, living more dangerous than I wished, I had to bring Gio close, which was not that hard being best friend since college and growing to the level of brotherhood. With his help I built a fortress security, collected by Gio from God knows where but it was a fucking excellent job done.
It didn’t take much for Downhill to realize that the business I gave him 40% of was just a paper scrap and then he started to threaten me to say I got his daughter for free and he wouldn’t have it. He would rather slid Becca’s throat than let me have her without giving something back.
And I believed him.
So now, with Becca gone, I had no freaking idea who had her, Downhill or the Italians.
When I ran out on the door I saw Ken laying on the floor in front of the apartment, shot in his fucking head.
It was wrong of me to let Gio go tonight but he had been bright awake for days now and I needed him clear minded, but fuck, they were fast.
And if they acted while I was in the shower that meant they had my apartment wired.
We have been listened to all along.
I pull out my phone and dialed Gio again.
“Lucas?” he answered questioning.
I could hear the car’s engine and I knew he was on the way.
“Ken is dead. We need to move fast. I am sure they had my apartment wired. Where are you?”
“Get out. I am pulling the car in front of your building right now.”
When I got out of the building I saw his car in front, and I hooped in the passenger seat.
“I need my apartment checked and cleaned right now,” I hiss to Gio.
“Sorry bro. I shouldn’t have left.” Gio tells me and I know he means it, but I can’t let loose my tensed jaws to say anything.
“I am sure we had a mole, someone from inside, Gio. They worked fast and clean. They fucking took her from under my nose. If something happens to her I will burn them all like fucking rats starting with her father.”
“We will get her back. I know where Robert Downhill is,” Gio says like it was not a big deal.
“Are you fucking joking me?”
Gio smiles keeping his eyes on the road.
“Where do you think I have been until now? I knew we would need that info at some point.”
“Jesus, Gio. Thanks, brother.”
“You’re welcome Lucas, but there is really no need. You were there for me when I needed. I am not paying you back, I just know you are not such a bad motherfucker. Really, Becca is lucky to have you.”
His words should soothe my anger, but I just can’t untighten my stiffened muscles.
“Yeah, some luck I am...” I hiss disappointed with myself.
“So, what do you want to do now? I will have your apartment cleaned by the evening and I’ve already gathered the guys at the warehouse. They must be all there by now.”
“Is this car rented?” I ask and Gio nods. “Then Robert Downhill will have a visit.”
I asked Gio before to always have rented cars from various places. Mine could have been doctored. I couldn’t risk anything.
We ride to the warehouse where my guys are waiting for the plan which I had to tailor fast on the way and fill in Gio.
Arriving there I see Gio has gathered a small army, ex-soldiers making some money with the only thing they knew to do best.
Fight and kill.
The plan was simple yet fucking dangerous.
I didn’t know who had her, but I needed to start from somewhere and the closest somewhere was Robert.
Sitting at my desk in the warehouse office I see Gio through the glass wall talking with the guys and giving them instructions.
His phone rings and after a few lines I see him turning his head, giving me a meaningful look.
There is news and my fingers clench around my gun, holding on it like for the dear life.
I never knew guns and gangs before I met Becca.
Probably I would have gradually taken myself out from the deals with Robert as soon as my parents were safe and put myself safe as well, but Becca... there was no way I would let her in his hands and most probably end up married with some fucking Italian mob.
I fell for her on the spot at that charity gala, like I fell for no other woman before in my life and wanting to have her was the most natural feeling to me.
Gio comes in my office and I stare at him waiting the news, hoping it is a good one.
“Tell me,” I said to him coldly, anger building in me.
“I had Enzo watched and gathered info about him since he left her apartment last time. He doesn’t seem to be involved too much with his father’s businesses. His company is clean, legit business. And he doesn’t have her, Lucas. I doubt she is with the Italians.”
“Well, I doubt she is with Robert. But we need to make sure. Get the men ready. We leave in an hour. Oh, and get me the fucking mole. I feel the need of some fun.”
Five years ago, I would have never ever talked like a gangster.
My plan was simple, graduate, take over my dad’s business, get married, have children... but all that became second when Becca showed up in my life.
I wished to God I could have all that with her, she would be the best mother, she was the best wife.
Her life before me wasn’t easy, being raised knowing that her only purpose was to sacrifice herself for her father and then she jumped in the life with me, a deep hole where she was hurt and felt unwanted.
And she never changed. She bared her life keeping herself still kind, still caring, still white hearted.
I am rewinding in my mind her words spoken just 24 hours ago, every word making me sure I want to risk everything for her.
She said she loved me. She still loved me.
I gave my instructions to Gio and I checked my guns to make sure they were loaded. To be prepared for whatever comes, I take with me extra munition from the lockers.
To be honest, I wished Becca was with Robert. I can handle Robert. But further than that, it would be fucking hard.
“Time to go, Lucas,” Gio says entering my office, stopping the train of my thoughts.
I nod and follow him outside. A long queue of jeeps is waiting for us in front and we both get in one of them, the third in the queue.
Gio takes the driver’s seat and has one of his men on his right side. I get in the back seat together with another one.
A heavy silence settles in the car and I see Gio looking from time to time at my reflection in the rear mirror.
He looks worried and by all means, he should be. I am ready to kill.
The plan to take the motherfuckers down has to be worked again and speed up the action. I can’t let Becca with them for long.
We exit the city on a deserted road and at some cross road half of the cars takes the way to the left as we move forward a few more meters.
Before I ask what the fuck Gio is doing, he stops the car and another one stops next to us, while he turns around to face me.
“Lucas, I am not coming with you. Ben will take you there and you will go with half of my men. They are good, they are my best. I will follow you but stay hidden.”
Well, I have to admit his plan is great.
And this why I am happy I’ve kept him close. He always builds plan B. He always thinks like a gangster.
“Give me an hour and no more than that. If I am not out, you come in.”
“Thirty minutes, Lucas, not a minute more. If you are not out of there in thirty minutes, I am hitting in.”
I take a few seconds to measure the plan and I nod. I had half an hour to take Becca out if she was there.
I knew Robert was weak now, hit and hidden, but hey, you can never be too sure.
“Alright”, I confirmed and Gio nodded his head, getting out of the car and jumping in the one parked next to us.
Ben takes the wheel, and we move forward with some of the cars following us till I see a farmhouse in front, surrounded by a tall black wooden fence.
We stopped the cars in front of the house and strangely enough, he didn’t have guards at the entrance so we could freely access it.
I check again my gun tucked at the pants hem and with a sigh I get down the car having Ben glued to my back.
Two men wearing black suits come from inside the house towards us and guns are pointed to our noses in a millisecond.
I have no idea how I look like but surely I must look like a devil with two heads because the one pointing the gun in my face starts shaking, still pretending tough.
He can’t be more than twenty.
I smirk dangerously taking advantage of his insecurity and glare at him with disgrace.
“Take me to Robert.” I command but he takes a second to think, a little too long for my liking.
“And you are?” he asks, speaking slow.
I tilt my head on one side, still smirking. I know I’m scaring him like shit, sweat forming at his temple and I take advantage of that, cracking his courage.
“The death of you if you don’t lower that shitty steel holding in my nose so insecurely and you don’t take me to Robert. Like ... in this second.”
Behind me I hear weapons’ safety unlocking.
My men show them I am dead serious.
Their eyes shift weary from me to my men behind then back to me and after a few repeated glares they lower their guns and ask through their mics for the doors to be opened from inside.
Which they did and I passed stoically by the two security guards, make my way inside.
We enter a big living room where I look around and don’t really see much.
It was kind of empty of people or any furniture pieces, looked to be a hidden place made in a rush and that gave me a clear view of Robert’s trouble.
“Lucas, my favorite son-in-law,” I hear Robert’s voice coming from behind and I snap my eyes towards him, the metal of the weapons of my men resounding again.
I see Robert walking towards me with a fucking fake smile.
“You better tell your men to lose their weapons. You are like my son and this is your home as well.”
Fucking prick, I have always hated his sneaking way of being.
I don’t move any muscle of my face, keeping my body stiff as a message I am not here with friendly moves.
“I will tell them once I have Becca back,” I say with no introduction.
“Becca? What do you mean? Last I knew she was your little wife. Why would she be here?” he says, and I know he is bullshitting.
And as much as I want to cut his head off, I also feel released.
She is here and I can easily take her out.
“Cut the crap, Robert. You’re not that fucking smart.” I tell him with a hiss.
His smile disappears and walks menacing closer to me.
I don’t move an inch, challenging him to the point of making him sweat.
“Why don’t we step into my office?” he finally says with his mockingly smile spread on his face again.
"When nothing is sure, everything is possible."