TWO WEEKS AGO...
I’m flipping through files on my desk when a soft knock sounded on the door. “Come in,” I say gruffly, partly annoyed at the disturbance and partly from exhaustion.
My assistant of one week, Mina steps into my office and I don’t bother looking up... until she sets a tray on the coffee table and the words start blurring on the paper. Fuck. I’ve been running on nothing but coffee and alcohol and it was finally taking a toll on me.
I lean back in my seat and let my eyes roam over her figure coolly. She was slender, her dark hair barely reaching past her shoulders. Her tight dress hugged her figure and as my eyes traveled I noted that she had a nice ass. She looked towards me and I didn’t bother hiding the fact that I was checking her out.
Her cheeks went fifty shades of pink as she met my gaze. “Do you need anything else, Mr. Coretti?”
I want you to wrap your mouth around my cock, but I don’t say that. I could already imagine the tongue lashing I’d get if Mother found out I’d fucked the help... again. She was getting sick of having to get rid of them. They always got clingy and obsessive after a night with me even after I specifically tell them it would never be more than a simple fuck. But it’s like they have it hot wired in their heads that they have a chance.
I open my mouth to tell her just what I needed her to do when the door is thrown open and in comes the fuckers that I didn’t need right now. Malachai enters first and glances at Mina. “What are you still doing here? Get the fuck out.”
Mina’s eyes widen and she scurries out just as Thing 1 and Thing 2 come prancing in. I lean into my desk messaging my temples. “I hope you have a damn good reason for barging into my fucking office like that, Malachai.”
Vince and Nino beeline for the alcohol while Malachai throws a file onto my desk before falling onto the couch with a shit-eating grin on his face. “And your fucking welcome, you ungrateful prick. I had to sell half a nutsack for that,” he says gesturing to the file.
I opened the file and my eyes fall on a picture of a young woman first. She had ash brown, curly hair, hazel eyes, and pink pouty lips that made her look younger than she was.
Name: Dylan Rosalia Alvarez
Date of Birth: October 24th, 1998
Height: 5′ 8
Nationality: Mexican, Citizen of America
Work: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Student)
Parents: Lena Ortega-Alvarez (Mother, Deceased),
Miguel Alvarez (Father, Deceased)
Siblings: Mariana Alvarez, Zavier Alvarez
Guardian: Rosalia Ortega
My eyebrows furrow the more I read and I look at my brother with a cocked eyebrow. “What is this?”
Malachai throws a grape in the air and catches it in his mouth. Barely a minute passed and he still hasn’t spoken, just stared at me with a smug grin. He was the most dramatic fuck I’ve ever met and I was getting tired of this.
I pull out my gun and fire it at his feet, twice for each leg. It barely grazes the tip of his expensive oxfords yet he didn’t flinch, just gave me an unimpressed look. “You just had to suck all the fun out of everything, don’t you?” He sighs and comes over to my desk, pointing at the girl in the picture. “You’ve obviously heard the rumors going around that Cypher has risen from the dead, right?”
I look back down at the girl then back at him, surprised.
“It’s not what you think,” Nino scoffs, shaking his head to put my fears to rest. “That girl, though, is the only lead we have in finding Cypher.”
I lean back in my seat. “Elaborate.”
“Remember when the Warehouse in Boston blew up and only one body was found burnt to a crisp and everyone thought it was Cypher. It made sense, our connections say he was making a transaction there but shit went south and everything went BOOM—”
I cut him off, “I know the story, idiot, it’s my shit that got blown up. Get to the fucking point.”
He gives Vince and Nino a look, shaking his head. “Can you believe this guy? He complains I don’t do my job and when I finally do it, do I get praised, no. I almost get my big toe blown off.”
I could feel a headache.
“Malachai, the only reason you’re not bleeding out on my floor right now is only because it’s a new rug and mother has some unwarranted affection towards you. But if you stop stop talking I’m going to throw out my morals and strangle you. Now would someone please tell me, who do I have to kill?”
It was Vince who spoke up, the levelheaded one in the bunch. “No one... yet. We had people scouring the site and nothing of importance turned up until a few months ago. We got intel that a burner phone was found under the rumble, it was the only thing that survived. We didn’t think much of it because Cypher was dead, what the fuck are we going to do with a dead man’s phone, right? That was until word got around that the body we found might not be Cypher’s but someone working for him, who was making the transaction that night. The phone only had three numbers though. Two of them lead to a dead-end but the last...” He glanced back down at the girl in the picture. “was her number.”
My eyebrows jumped. I wasn’t expecting that.
I have been searching for Cypher for years, every fucking mafia in the country has. Cypher was a renowned hacker in America. He started off trading information for money. Whatever you needed to know.
He hacked into mafia networks for port layouts, the CIA, FBI, NASA, he could have your record cleared from every database in the country only for a couple of thousands in return. He was a Computer Wizard but he was dangerous and Number One on everybody’s shit list.
He could ruin you and also save you with the press of a button.
It was chaotic when he was alive. Mafia, cartels, and gangs turned on each other for the smallest information on him. It was a bloodbath on the streets. The government pretended to be concerned for the cameras they hid behind but we all knew they wanted him just as bad as we did.
If they had him, every one of us was fucked. No one could hide from them, not even us.
But if we had him... there would be nothing in the world that could control us. Not the FBI, the CIA... nobody. We’ll be kings but only if we could control him.
The war was going to start up again, now that there’s speculation that he might still be alive. It’s only just a matter of time before someone fires the right gun at the wrong person.
I shook my head in disbelief. The identity of the infamous hacker rests in the hands of a twenty-two-year-old girl. Who would’ve thought?
“How do we know she’s not Cypher?”
Vince shook his head. “We’ve checked. The numbers don’t add up. Cypher’s first clients were members of a small Chicago gang and he’s been working with them for a year before he went onto Las Vegas gangs. While all this was happening sources tell us that Dylan has been in Mexico going to a local high school.”
Yeah, I didn’t think she was the hacker either. But it doesn’t hurt to turn every stone.
I look over her file again. Memorizing every detail, a plan already formulating in my head.
I look up at my men over me, taking in their sober expression. They knew what we had to do and they were ready for it. “Who else knows about this?”
Vince took a sip of his brandy. “The guy who found it is dead. So is his team. As of now, only we know about the phone.”
Good and we will keep it that way.
A knock sounds on the door again and our butler, Sandor pokes his head through. “Sir? You said to escort a Mr Rivers to you when he arrives. Should I send him in?”
A wolfish grin stretches over my face, and for a time I push all thoughts of the hacker out of my mind.
They all give me a confused look but I ignored them. “Let him in.”
A lanky man-boy steps through. He had blonde hair, blue eyes and was a second away from shiting himself when he saw the four of us glaring down at him.
“Who the hell is this?” Malachai asked.
I let the air tense in anticipation. Malachai isn’t the only one with a flair for the dramatics. “This, my dear brother, is Emilia’s date for tonight,” I say slowly letting that sink in.
“Bullshit!” Nino shouted instantly pulling off of my desk. “As far as I know my sister can’t date until she’s fifty. She may look it but she ain’t fucking fifty.”
Mr. River’s eyes are flitting from me to the boys as if he’s contemplating whether to run. He wouldn’t get far with Nino on his ass.
Nino throws an arm around the man. I could see Mr. Rivers tense in pain.
Malachai walks up to him and dips his hand in his shirt pocket pulling out a wallet. He looks at his ID. “Nick, huh? So you’re taking out my cousin?”
“Yes... Sir,” Nick squeaked out and I heard Vince chuckle as I come around my desk to lean beside him. He offers me a glass of brandy and we watch the scene unravel.
Malachai cocks his head to the side, wickedly. “You don’t seem sure. Actually, you seem like a pussy to me.” He pulls out his phone and snaps a picture of Nick’s ID. “Now I know where you live.”
Malachai smiled at the trembling man-boy, but any sane person would know that smile wasn’t friendly.
Emilia barges through the door at that moment. Her eyes fall on Nino then to Nick, who quietly sighs in relief. “What the fuck are you doing?”
Nino drops his hand but doesn’t look to move away. “We’re just having a little chat with your friend, we gotta make sure he’s on his best behavior, right Richard?” Nino taps his back so hard he almost trips forward.
He nods quickly, his hand trembling at his sides.
Malachai beams. “See.”
Emilia glares at him. She grabs the wallet out of his hand and gives it back to Nick. “It’s Nick and you assholes can’t keep doing this.”
“And why not? It’s not like we’re doing anything wrong?” Nino said. “Are we doing anything wrong, Nick?”
Nick shook his head wildly.
Emilia groans obnoxiously as she grabs Nick’s hand and heads for the door. “Watch those hands, playboy,” Nino shouts after them and Nick drops Emilia’s hand like it was on fire.
“Love you too sis,” Nino calls back watching her disappear down the hall.
He slams the door harder than I’d like but I let it slide. If she was my sister, the man wouldn’t be walking out of here without a couple of bloody reminders of what I’ll do to him he crossed the line.
Nino plucks the glass out of Vince’s hand and chugs before going for more. Vince glares at him but doesn’t say anything either.
“You put a tracker on him didn’t you.” It wasn’t a question. I knew my cousin.
I chuckled shaking my head. My eyes fall on the girl in the file again and all the humor drains out of me. This is it. The fucking goose chase that Cypher had us running around ends here. I will find him and when I do, I’m going to kill him.