Grace of Spades

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Chapter 22

Grace





Ryan Oliver.

That name keeps coming up and I don't like that I don't know it. I know a lot of shitty people in this city but I haven't heard of this guy until recently. Now he's been mentioned by the Irish and the Italians? I don't like it. I know he could just be some guy that everyone knows. Like a dealer. But I have a bad feeling about this. I'm going to look into him. I know it's not really in my job description as psycho for hire but something just feels off.

I'll keep it to myself for now but I will be looking into it carefully. Ray doesn't think I saw him glare at the man in the chair before he clammed up. But I did.

What does Ray know? I don't like any of this.

I nod a goodbye to the Bianchis and Ray and I head out.

"So... Ryan Oliver eh?" Ray asks as I change in the back. Nope, I don't like it.

"None of my business." I admit. And it's not. Not really.

"Really? You're not even curious?" He asks. Why is he pushing? He knows the rules of this job. Mind your own business.

"I mean of course I'm curious but I also like being alive. It's Bianchis deal. Let him deal with it." I shrug settling in the passenger seat. Ray nods and I catch a small twitch of his lips in the reflection of the window. Nope. I don't like this. At all.

Ray drops me off at my bike at the warehouse and I set off back home. Kennedy has gotta be livid, I would be. This is the second time I've had to ditch her like this. I decide to pick up a heart-shaped box of chocolates for her on my way back. Chocolate is not only for lover's quarrels and periods. Chocolate is life.

I run back up to my room with chocolate in hand and see my friend scrolling along on her phone. I get down on one knee and hold the chocolate over my heart in atonement. She laughs when she looks up from her phone.

"Baby, I'm sorry I had to work on girl's night." I say bringing out the puppy dog eyes and an exaggerated pout.

"Oh sweetheart! Why can't I quit you!" She says dramatically draping her hand over her forehead channeling Scarlett O'Hara hard. I can't help but giggle as I flop down beside her.

"I really am sorry. I suck." I say seriously.

"It's all good babe. I get it. Thanks for the chocolate though." She smiles.

"Least I could do. You wanna get ready now?" I ask.

"Sure. Put on some music!" She smiles. I do as she asks and turn on some Fame on Fire. "Oh! I love these guys!" She cheers dancing towards my closet. She tosses out a myriad of clothing choices onto my bed.

"So... about those boys." She smiles like she's biting at the bit for more information.

"Ya... I'm not sure what's going on to be honest. It's still super new." I explain.

"Ya, but you're happy. You look happy. I know we haven't known eachother long but it seems like you're in a better place than when we first met." She shrugs.

"Oh trust me. I am. I slept in a bed last night. First time ever." I confess.

"Really? That's great hun!" She smiles bringing me into a hug. No judgement, no questions, she's just happy for me. This girl is good for my soul. I know it. I don't have the same... nerves with her like I do with Ray.

Maybe nerves is the wrong word. I can relax with Kennedy in a way I can't with Ray. Ray knows just about everything about me but I know that if it was between me or him he would pick him and I would pick me. It's not the same with Kennedy I know I would stand between a bullet and this girl. Maybe that's why I haven't told Ray about her. It doesn't help after witnessing his weird behavior today.

I'm not going to tell him about the guys either. It just doesn't feel right. Something feels wrong and I've learned to always trust my gut. It's saved me too many times.

"So, did you invite Mel?" I ask.

"Yes. Thank you for introducing us by the way. We're going out for dinner tomorrow too." She says blushing.

"Oh! Good. I'm happy for you." I nudge her shoulder with mine as we get dressed. She puts on a black jean skirt and a purple camisole and I settle for a black dress and my jacket and of course my knives.



***



I stroll through the party with Kennedy red plastic cups of beer in hand. The music is pounding through the house and there are so many people.

It's a very different crowd than I'm used to. There are the standard couples making out on every surface and fights on the front lawn but there aren't as many weapons involved and the beer is actually cold. It's crazy.

I see Mel and point her out to Kennedy who looks very excited. We make our way over to her.

"Thank you for the invite babe." She grins wrapping Kennedy in a hug. They are so cute together.

"Well ladies, I will leave you. I gotta see a man about a dance." I grin turning away from them to see if I can find one of the guys. I wander through the party again until I see a familiar face. Unfortunately it's not a friendly face.

Tyler Moore is walking towards me with a furious look on his face. What the?

"Why are you here?" He grinds out as he approaches.

"Here with a friend. What crawled up your ass and died?" I ask.

"I know you did something to Callum." He says stepping into my space glaring down at me.

"Who?" I ask. Fuck if he's getting shit out of me. I actually didn't kill him. I do however put my phone on to record this conversation. Just in case.

"Callum."

"I have no idea who that is." I lie.

"Dont lie. I know he was with you Thursday." His face is turning red with frustration.

"Thursday?" This is kind of fun.

"Yes. Thursday. He loves girls who fight back." He growls. I'm so glad I'm recording this.

"Oh, him. What about him?"

"He hasn't been seen since he was with you."

"You mean when he threatened to rape me? Pity." I snark turning to walk away. A large hand wraps harshly around my bicep. I turn back to look at him with a raised eyebrow.

"I know you did something to him."

"You're right. I broke his nose and kneed him in the chicken tenders and left him in the hall then I went to class." I shrug. "Serves him right too. But that's how I left him."

"You're lying you're a fucking psycho."

"Ya, I'm the psycho. Not the dude who threatened to rape me." I nod dramatically. "Makes perfect sense. Later Moore." I pull my arm out of his grip and head back to the party. I wait until I'm sure he's not going to follow me before I turn off the recording app.

"Babe? You ok?" Liam asks wrapping his arms around me pressing my back to his chest.

"I'm fine. Apparently dick-for-brains hasn't been seen since before gym on Thursday. It's tragic really." I smirk. "Wanna dance?" I offer taking his hand without waiting for an answer and dragging him to the dancefloor.

"You look beautiful tonight." He whispers against my ear as we press into eachother. I look up into those gorgeous carribean blue eyes that trapped me when I first saw him in that diner and smile.

"Not so bad yourself handsome." I flirt trailing my hands down his chest as we move to the pumping music surrounding us.

"I'm glad we can do this." He mutters.

"Me too. I felt like I was going to go insane." I admit knowing exactly what he's talking about.

"I can't imagine. All four of us beating down your door." He laughs.

"Ya, Andras was teasing me about it." I grin.

"I know it's none of my business and feel free to tell me to fuck off but I know you've been through some serious shit. If you want to talk about it or need to I'm here ok?" He offers. I can see the sincerity in his eyes.

"Maybe another day. I just want to relax and have fun tonight." I explain.

"Deal." He smiles before taking my hand above my head and spinning me like a ballroom dancer making me laugh. Liam is so fun to be around.

"So, you're no good at basketball but can fight like Muhammad Ali. What else should I know about you?" He asks with a teasing smirk.

"Hmmm... well, Nachos are my favorite food and I won a spelling bee in seventh grade." I grin. "Tell me somethings about you."

"My favorite food is kerrie pie. My gran makes it and it's the best. I love my gran. I play bridge with her every week." My heart warms at his obvious affection for his grandmother. Tough mob heir with a soft spot for his gran. It's too sweet. "I also have a pet pig."

"I've met Hamlet. " I admit. Such a cute name for such a sweet pig.

"You have?" He asks his eyes wide. I nod.

"Yes. He's super cute. One of the guards at your place was trying to feed him bacon. He didn't last long." I scowl remembering that asshole.

"Who?" He asks his voice low and angry... and sexy.

"His name was Carl. Your dad and I took care of him." I assure him bringing my hands around his neck and playing with his hair to try to calm him down. It works a little too well when he closes his eyes and let's out a low hum as he enjoys himself.

"Hey man, can I cut in?" A deep voice asks from behind me. I smile as I turn because I know it's Kier.

"Aww... alright.." Liam pouts but releases me with a sweet kiss to my forehead. I'm immediately in Keir's large embrace my back to his chest as we move to the music.

"Are you having fun?" He murmurs into my ear.

"I am actually." I smile tilting my head back to look up at him. He smiles crookedly down at me.

"Good."

"How about you?" I ask.

"I am now. What was going on with Moore?" He asks his thick brows pinching together.

"I'll tell you later." I assure him. His lips thin into a hard line but he nods.

"Ok."

"Grace!" I look over to see Kennedy and Mel fighting their way through the crowd towards us. "We're going to head out. I was going to offer you to join us but you look like you're in good hands. Have fun!" She beams as Keir's large hands tighten on my hips and she leaves with a very happy Mel trailing behind her. They're so cute together.

"Did you want to leave?" He offers.

"Actually, ya. I'm kinda tired." I admit.

"Do you need a ride home?"

"That would be wonderful. Thank you." I smile.

"I'll let the guys know." He says before kissing the top of my head. "I'm glad I finally get to do that." He smiles smugly.

"Just you wait until our date big man." I smirk. I see excitement flare in his grey eyes and I give him a wink.
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