We arrive at the cemetery and it looks too green. It's too quiet and people from my past are here. Even Marconi and Harry fucking Reid. And they're all staring at me. Fucking vultures.
I keep my eyes on the ground as we walk to the side of the side by side graves. I can't look at them or I will lose my goddamn mind. I can feel it. I sit quietly in my seat staring at my hands and grinding my teeth until they feel like they are going to crack under the pressure. Like me.
The priest does his thing and talks about the magic of life and God's part in the circle of it all. How my parents will be judged by Saint Peter and all that shit. All I know is that I will see them in Hell.
A different man starts talking about how wonderful they were and how they didn't deserve what they got. He explains that they will live on through me and I feel sick.
I get up on shaky legs and walk away from the funeral. Once I'm far enough away I throw up behind a tree. The bile burns up my throat until tears burn my eyes and I'm heaving and sobbing.
"Gracelyn? Gracelyn Jacobs?" A man asks from behind me. I straighten wiping at my mouth before turning around. Pain erupts from my head before everything turns black.
I wake up tied to a goddamned chair in a fucking basement. I am not in a good mood right now. Keeping quiet I keep my head slumped to my chest and wait to hear something. I can feel my knives still strapped to me so I have a chance to fight my way out if I can get out of this chair.
The door swings open with a loud bang and I fight to keep still and loose. Then I hear it. Russian. Thank God for Rosetta Stone. I learned basic Russian and Japanese. It seemed like a smart plan if I'd be working with them. Turns out I was right!
"We are just waiting for Ace. She will make this bitch talk." A man says.
"Good. What do we know about her?" Chekhov.
"Not much. Daughter of Rachel and Gregory Jacobs. She's eighteen. Living with her mother's brother but we don't have a name for him." The first man explains. Thank God for that!
"Keep her down here until Ace gets here. I don't want to ruin the information for her."
"Do you want me to call Keir?" Yes! Call Keir! Then I won't have to kill anyone!
"No, he's on a date tonight. Let him have his fun." Chekhov says sounding like he's smiling. Awe, but at the same time, give me a fucking break!
The door slams shut and I take the chance to look up. Thankfully I'm alone again.
Ok, first things first. Get out of the chair. Ace isn't coming. That should buy me some time.
I'm so glad I put on my necklace!
I shrug my shoulders and chin to maneuver the pendant to my back. I must look ridiculous but at least I'll be alive.
I manage to get my necklace how I want it then I put it in my mouth and bite down on the clasp. With a small thank you to my paranoia for practicing in case something like this actually happens when it releases just like it's supposed to. I catch the pendant and flick open the blade. After a few passes of the blade I have free hands and I can work on unfastening my ankles from the chair.
I put my necklace back on and palm two of my knives from my thighs and lie in wait by the door. It doesn't take long until I hear voices outside the door.
"Ace isn't answering. It is up to us." Chekhov says.
"Yes sir." Henchman number one replies dutifully. The door slams open and my knife is against Chekhov's throat before he knows what to do.
"Mr. Chekhov nice to see you again. We need to talk." I explain. He looks down as I grin viciously and I see it register on his face. Shock. His lips form the word "Ace."
"You got it in one sir. Please dismiss your man." I reply.
"Leave us Ivan." He commands.
"Now!" He booms. Poor Ivan scrambles to his station before I lower my knife. "Please, to my office."
"Thank you." He leads me upstairs to his office but stops in the doorway shielding me from whoever is inside.
"Keir? What are you doing home?" Chekhov asks.
"Something happened to Grace. I need help. She disappeared from the funeral and now everyone is looking for her. I need to find her." He rumbles out in a panic. I place a hand on Chekhov's back silently asking him to move aside. He hesitates but does it anyway. I close the door and make my way further into the room
"I'm right here Keir." I smile softly at his concern. He looks so sweet all dressed up for our date. I find myself wrapped up in his arms his face buried into my hair faster than I could see.
"What happened? Are you hurt? Why are you here?" He asks rearing back before his lips crash against mine. I kiss him back before giggling at his protectiveness. He eases me down but doesn't let go.
"I'm fine. As for what happened I think I have an idea but let's ask your father first." I explain turning to a slack jawed Mr. Chekhov.
"Ace?" He asks. "Keir? You want to explain some things?"
"Oh shit. I am so sorry." Kier mutters leaning his head on my shoulder.
"Its all good he already figured out it was me. It might as well all come out now." I shrug.
"Hello, Mr Chekhov. I am Grace Jacobs, also known as Ace. I am dating your son as well as the other three heirs. They all know about me and the others. I found out today that you were responsible for the death of my parents. Thank you for making it bloody." I smile sweetly. I feel Kier's hands tighten around me.
"Holy shit." Mr. Chekhov mutters before dropping into a chair. "I need a drink."
"I'll grab you one dad." Keir offers before kissing my shoulder and moving to a little drink cart.
"So, Ace, you're dating all of the heirs?" Figures he would start with that. I would.
"Yes. I met three of them after my parents died. I already knew one before but I didn't realize who any of them were until the day we found out about Roberts." I explain he nods and accepts his drink from Keir. Keir stands at my side and starts texting.
"Keir, is now really the time to be on your phone?" Chekhov admonishes.
"Actually yes. I'm letting everyone know that she's safe and with me. You don't want her uncle or the butler to show up here." Oh, that's a good point.
"Ray has been calling." Keir reads.
"Ya, probably because your dad called Ace to get information out of me." I smile when he chokes on air and Chekhov turns a little green.
"Its ok. He was working with only part of the story. It's completely understandable." I excuse.
"So... how did this come about?" Chekhov asks getting us back on track.
"It was actually Alek's idea. She couldn't pick a side without getting hurt and we all liked her and she liked us so... we're seeing how it goes." Keir explains.
"Jesus. Ok, that makes sense. Now I guess it's my turn." He drains his glass and takes a deep steadying breath. "Your parents crossed a line. They were working for us and with a guy named Marconi. He is with the Italians." I nod knowing the scumbag. He is on my list after all and not just for kicks. "Well we found out he was also communicating with someone from the yakuza. Sensitive things. That was how we found out about the files." He explains. My head falls into my hands.
"Fucking idiots." I grumble. "Well, that explains my part in all of this. I haven't lived with my parents for almost three years now though. Before they died I was living on the streets because it was safer than at home." I reveal watching as he pales and Keir's breathing hitches. "I know Marconi too. He was a threat that my parents used to use on me. If I was too... present I would be sent to him. He likes little girls." I explain trying not to get sucked into the nightmares.
"I only ended up there once before I was too old for his taste. But they had others to sell me to. I assure you I was not involved with any of what they did."
"Fuck... I should have made it last longer. Their own daughter..." he shakes his head standing up and pacing.
"If it wasn't you it was going to be me." I shrugg.
"You would kill your own parents?" He asks. His tone isn't judgemental but curious. As if wondering what a parent would have to do to make their daughter become me. It's a good question but no one would like the answer.
"Yes. I've done it before but it didn't stick." I admit.
"Jesus. Ok, well as for the rest of my plans I guess they are canceled. I am sorry for the misunderstanding." He smiles gently. "I will call Ryan back and cancel my request for Ace."
"Ryan?" I ask my eyebrows snapping together.
"Yes. Our contact. Ryan Oliver, our runner." He explains with a chuckle. Oh shit.
Ryan Oliver is Ray? No, that can't be right. Still...
"Mr. Chekhov please keep all further communications between you and I directly. I need to figure something out." I explain vaguely. I grab a pen and a piece of paper and scribble down my number for him.
"Is he not trustworthy?" He asks immediately.
"I'm not sure but I don't want to risk it. Call him and explain that you got an outside contractor instead. Sound angry that you were made to wait and that you'll be thinking hard whether or not to hire us again." I direct before turning to Kier. "We need to leave."
"Ok. Let's go." He says not questioning me at all. He gives his dad a hug and then we're sitting in his hummer as my thoughts overtake me.
Sure, Ray has been acting off but playing the mobs off of eachother? He can't be that stupid. Right?
"Kier, I need to ask you a favor."
"Anything. What do you need?" Just like that. Anything. Well, there I go, falling for Keir even further. As if I'm not already struggling for air.
"I need to stop by a convenience store. I need to grab a burner phone. And I need a picture of Ryan Oliver." I plead.
"Of course." He immediately turns into a parking lot and I purchase two burners just in case. Once I'm back in the car I start making my calls. Starting with Gabe.