Five fucking years. That’s how long it has taken me to find her. And the only reason I did was word circulating about Petrov having been duped.
Felix Pérez going into hiding.
I climb out of the car at the entrance of The Hudson Hotel. An icy drizzle pelts me as I adjust the collar of my coat before looking up at the penthouse windows more than twenty floors up.
It has to be.
The second SUV comes to a stop behind ours and as Matthaeus flanks me, three more men fall in line behind him. I push my hands into my pockets and walk toward the entrance. A bellman opens the door. I don’t miss the widening of his eyes when the light from a passing car dances across my face. Maybe it’s not my appearance that’s got him freaked. Maybe it’s my entourage. Because we look like trouble.
And we are.
I make my way to the concierge desk and give the attendant my name. Well, not my real name. The name of the asshole who paid extra to get his turn early in the night. Before she’s used up. He’s dead now.
The attendant can’t quite keep eye contact. I blink, watching him as his eyes move over the eyepatch, the deep, still angry X-shaped scar across my cheek. I let him look. Let him clear his throat in embarrassment as he makes a point of rearranging his desk while asking for identification.
I pat my pockets. “Guess I forgot it.”
He finally forces himself to meet my gaze, his neck and face flushed.
“Envelope,” I say, holding out my hand. I don’t have time for this buffoon.
“Yes, sir.” His hand trembles as he hands the envelope over. He wants me gone and I can’t blame him.
I check my watch. We have to time this exactly right. I walk toward the elevators followed by my men. As if to oblige us, the doors slide open just as we get to them, and we step inside. I rip the envelope open, press the key into the slot marked Penthouse and let the doors slide closed. Matthaeus sets the black duffel bag on the floor, unzips it and hands each of the men an automatic rifle. They have suppressors in place, although there’s really no way to muffle that sound. But if all goes to plan, it won’t matter.
An upbeat tune plays in the background as I stare at my own face in the mirrored doors. I make myself look. Make myself see. I wonder if she’ll be scared when she sees me.
My phone buzzes. I reach into my pocket, take it out, scan the text. Cristiano telling me the soldiers are in place, both inside and outside the property. Chopper is on its way, and they’ve secured our exit.
If I can get out.
Because he thinks this is a shit idea.
But no, it’s not if I get out. I have no intention of dying tonight. Not until I’ve killed that fat fuck Petrov. Not until I’ve buried my knife in Felix Pérez’s gut. Not until I have their blood and the blood of anyone else who touched her on my hands.
Then, I can die.
He reminds me again of Petrov’s soldiers nearby, the distraction we arranged only giving us minutes inside the suite. He asks one more time if I know what the fuck I’m doing.
I text him a pirate emoji, along with the middle finger, then silence my phone. He’ll be pissed but this is mine. What happened to her happened because of me. What happened to all of them happened because of me. All while I simply walked away.
So, as the elevator approaches the penthouse, I crack my neck and pull my pistol out of its shoulder holster. Then twist the silencer into place and hold the weapon at my side.
Because tonight is the beginning of their end.
Tonight, I take back what they stole.
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