A Deal To Be Made

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XIX

June 2nd, 1918 Birmingham, England



Smack. "You're fucking running guns?!" Blythe screamed at Mackenzie after she had let her hand connect with his cheek harshly. "Are you mad?!"

Mackenzie winced and felt for his wounded cheek then winced once more clutching his bullet hole ridden shoulder. For a moment he had nothing to say. No one dared speak to him like that, certainly not one of his employees . "Not that it concerns you, but yes." He said staring straight into her glowering green orbs.

"Not that it concerns me?!" As impossible as it seemed, her voice just kept getting louder. "You brought me down to the docks where you were making your little deal," her face soured at the word, "and put not only my life in danger but everyone else's as well!"

Mackenzie sat there like a statue with his face impassive. He watched as her body trembled in building anger. The dim lighting of the backroom to Luciano's cast nasty shadows upon Blythe's face making her look even angrier. After the idiot at the docks had pulled his gun on Mackenzie, Byron and Remington who were his two right hand man's and business partners jumped swiftly out of the car and plugged Nathaniel and each of his men. As quick as his men were they didn't get Nathaniel before he had managed to pop two rounds of his .45 in Mackenzie's left shoulder. It wasn't the first time, or the last, that Mackenzie had been shot but he had to thank his lucky stars that it had been him that got shot and not Blythe. He had left Byron and Remi behind to clean up the scene while he took Blythe to the restaurant he promised her. Antonio Luciano was one of Mackenzie's top clients in the gun business. He provided Antonio with the weapons for the Italian mafia in exchange for protection on the streets and to look the other way for his men. He had initially planned to kill two birds with one stone and inform Antonio that the drop had went well while taking Blythe out on a date. Clearly, things hadn't gone as planned and he had no idea what to do with the raving mad-woman pacing Luciano's back lounge.

"You fucking asshole!" She yelled once more, coming back at Mackenzie as she brought her hand back for another slap.

Before she could connect again he grabbed her wrist tightly. Within two strides he had smashed her against the wall, pinning her with his own body. His shoulder screamed in protest of the rough movements but Mackenzie ignored it. He had let the first slap slide, but she was not about to get away with it again. He leaned in so close he could feel her chest heaving against his own.

"Listen to me. You don't have to like what I do for a living but you will respect it. You work for me, got it?" His voice was so dangerously low it gave Blythe no options to disagree. Her eyes searched his frantically. She had never been scared of him but the glint in his eyes showed her that he wasn't afraid to do what he had to do to get her to understand. "Now, I'm going to get my bullet wounds that I endured to save you," he pressed against her harder, banging her wrist against the wall slightly to prove his point, "and we are going to enjoy a nice dinner together while we wait for Antonio to get here. Understand?" He stared relentlessly into her eyes, waiting for her to verbally agree.

Blythe's heart was nearly beating out of her chest. The man that stood in front of her was not the Mackenzie that she had come to know. She had always understood that he was a very complex man and she didn't know many of his different faces but this was one she never wanted to see again. Deep down she had always known he was dangerous. The rumors that flew around the city left nothing to her imagination however, he had never shown her anything but kindness and help. She took a couple of deep breaths, inhaling his deep, musky cologne before nodding her head once.

Once satisfied that she had agreed, Mackenzie slowly let go of his grip on her wrist. He took one step, and then another backwards giving her some space.

Crack! Before he knew what happened Blythe had lifted her hand and smacked him once again. His eyes rang in anger, jittering back and forth trying to focus on her face. He would be damned if she thought she could get away with this bullshit.

Blythe immediately knew that she had messed up. She began to rush backwards only to find she was still against the wall. Mackenzie reached forward and in one swift movement slid his hand up the back of her neck and grabbed a fistful of her hair. He pulled her against him so roughly she let out a small yelp from between her lips.

"God damn it, Blythe." He quipped, his voice raising with every word. His whole body shook with anger and for a split second Blythe had no idea what was going to happen next.

"Whoa-ho-ho! Shit's getting wild in here." Byron's boisterous voice boomed through the backroom as he and Remi made their way through the velvet curtain that separated the rest of the restaurant from the lounge. Remi's quiet laughter followed them in.

"Fuck off." Mackenzie growled at the two men before snapping his head back to Blythe. "We are not done here." He whispered furiously before dropping his hand from her hair and pushing off of her.

It took everything Blythe had not to let her legs drop and sink to the floor. Instead she busied herself by brushing her hands down her dress and fixing up her hair. Her nonchalant actions earned her a smirk from both Byron and Remi. Blythe sent them both a glare before trying to make her way to the bar. As utterly ridiculous as it sounded, the scene that had just played out between her and Mackenzie had completely wreaked havoc on her hormones. She wasn't sure if she wanted to throw him under a steam train, or ravage him behind the large mahogany bar she was seated at. That was something that she would never, ever admit to anyone.

Mackenzie waltzed over to a thin brown cabinet that was at the opposite side of the room. Along the way he flung his suit jacket and waist coat on a high-backed lounge chair. He pulled out a glass of alcohol and some cotton gauze, slamming them both on the end of the bar. Within a matter of seconds he had undone each button that lined his black dress shirt. He flung off the shirt, letting it fall to the floor before drenching a square of white gauze in the alcohol and scrubbing it around his bullet wounds. Blythe watched his every moment, shamelessly letting her eyes wonder over his exposed upper body. Her eyes grew wide when he didn't flinch as he scraped the alcohol infused cotton over the holes in his shoulder.

"Fill me in." He grumbled to Byron. As if he could feel Blythe burning additional holes in his body, he looked up and stared straight into her eyes. She so badly wanted to break eye contact with him but it was like he was physically holding her hostage.

"The docks are cleared. We took the bodies and burned them in the pit. One of the men was still alive so Remi worked him while I loaded the cargo. Turns out they were working with the Irish. They had caught wind that we were working with Luciano and had plans to take us out before we could form the alliance. We sent the idiot running back to his bosses with a little love note. I don't think we will be having issues with them any longer." Byron looked at his knuckles cockily before brushing them on his shoulder. His big goofy grin was spread from ear to ear. Byron was a handsome guy Blythe had to admit, but nothing like Mackenzie. Byron had short blonde hair cropped close to his head. Big brown eyes held laughter and amusement every time Blythe had seen him. His face was clean shaven which played on his boyish features. He may have looked young but Blythe knew better. He was older than she was by a couple of years.

Remi on the other hand was around her same age. Even though he was younger than Byron he definitely looked older. A thick brown mustache and matching goatee lined his face. His chestnut hair was left long, probably down to his shoulders if he wore it loose however, he always had it pulled tightly into a neat bun on the nape of his neck. Remi was the quiet one of the two, never saying much. Whatever he did have to say was usually wise and intelligent but he was known to crack a joke here and there when he felt the time was right. Both men had been around quite frequently the last few months and considering everything with her father, the two had become well acquainted with Blythe even going so far as to call them friends. They were around when Mackenzie was not which was nice when Ada was too busy around the house to chat.

"Good." Mackenzie nodded as he pulled his black shirt back on. He buttoned it up all the way to the top before rolling his sleeves up to his elbows in a precise manner. "Now. Let's go have that dinner I promised, shall we? I believe we have a lot to talk about." A slow, maniacal grin slide across Mackenzie's face as he made his way over to Blythe. He reached out and picked up her glass of bourbon she had poured herself and slammed it back. Running his tongue along his top lip to catch the droplets of liquor that remained along his mustache he reached out for Blythe's hand.

Blythe pursed her lips in annoyance but she had pushed her luck already enough for one night. Cautiously she placed her small hand in his large one. He gripped it tightly as he led her past Byron and Remi and through the curtain. Behind her she could hear Remi whistling lowly.

"She's done it now." Blythe could hear Remi chuckle followed by Byron loud guffaw.




Ooof! That was an intense chapter. So happy to finally introduce Byron and Remington. They bring a little *spice* to life. Thanks for reading guys! As always Stay safe and don't forget to vote!
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