Black Wings & Stolen Things: Chapter 35

EMERIC

I tried to be home tonight before she fell asleep, but I couldn’t get away from dealing with the mess at the Red Hook shipping port in Brooklyn. Some brave souls at the port authority decided it would be wise to investigate the containers I had delivered from Bolivia earlier this week. Needless to say, those brave souls lost their lives and have joined the other corpses floating along the bottom of the Hudson River.

I’ve been operating at the port for nearly a decade and haven’t had an issue like this in years. My ongoing deal with the director of New York’s port authority is supposed to ensure that I don’t have to deal with bullshit like this. The director’s face when he realized a handful of his men had stuck their noses where it doesn’t belong would have been comical if I wasn’t standing in front of one of my shipping containers with so many of the hidden bags of cocaine cut open it looked like it fucking snowed in there.

Nova and I were both at a loss for what their endgames were. It would have been really ill-advised since I have my own security planted in the container yard and cameras posted nearly everywhere for them to try and steal from me. All four port employees had been searched when they were caught by my men and none of them had pilfered a single gram of the drugs. From the looks of it, all they’d succeeded in doing is destroying my property.

When pressed about what they were doing there, they stayed strong and didn’t break. Their unwavering resolve was inspiring but bothersome. With more than a day and a half left before I can take out my ever-growing wrath on Tiernan and Bogdan, the vandalizers took the brunt of my pent-up energy.

When I’d left Nova and his guys with the mess to clean up, my right hand was just as stumped as I was about what we were dealing with.

Two things we could agree on was, this wasn’t done at random or without reason. Someone is attempting to play a game with me, and I can’t begin to accurately describe what an epic mistake this will end up being on their part. We also agreed we needed to double our surveillance on Koslov and Moran Senior. By now, they know I have their sons in my custody and if they’re smart, they know I have no plans on returning them. Yet. Once I’m done breaking and bloodying my new toys, I will gladly deliver them back to their rightful homes. And once that happens, I’ll transfer my attention to dealing with the pissed and grieving fathers.

I’ll be able to breathe better once I know the threat against me, and subsequently Rionach, is eliminated. My reasons for not doing so are still valid to this day, but it would have been so much better for everyone had I put a bullet in their heads at the church. That way, Moran wouldn’t have crawled to the Koslovs to help him exact his revenge. Niall is still so blinded by emotions that he’s forgetting that this is all entirely Tiernan’s and his fault. The victim mentality has grown incredibly old. I gave him a second chance that night at the pub to put an end to this, but he refused.

I arrived at the penthouse feeling wired and volatile, but when I entered our bedroom and found her wrapped around my pillow sound asleep, the turbulence humming beneath my skin quieted.

Her sleeping form calls to me to touch her, but all I allow myself is a brief kiss pressed to her soft lips. I can’t put my hands on her yet. Not when they still have the dried blood of four dead men still caked on them. Yanking off my bloodstained clothes, I enter the bathroom and make quick work of washing the depravity from my body. I stay under the spray of the showerhead until the water swirling around the drain runs clear. The symbolism of my sins being washed away might hit me harder if I were truly done committing them for the night.

No, there’s still something I need to take care of before the sun rises. Had I been home on time, it would already be taken care of by now.

With my towel wrapped around my waist and the item I’d asked Nova for in my hand, I return to my slumbering wife. Her pretty face scrunches in a way that is almost childlike when the weight of my body makes the mattress dip.

“Shh, baby,” I sooth while carefully brushing a ribbon of hair off her closed eye. The way her nose twitches when the strands brush against her nostril has a small smile forming on my face. Just being around her—conscious or not—puts me at ease like nothing else ever has been able to. “I’m here.”

Drawn to my voice even in her sleep, her body presses closer to mine. Pulling the towel from my body, I discard it on the floor, and I shift into bed behind her. Wrapping my body around her smaller one is like coming up for air after being trapped underwater. It revives and relaxes me at the same time.

Pressing my mouth to her shoulder and then to the side of her face, she makes a contented sound in her sleep and shifts in my embrace.

“I’ve got you.” The cap of the syringe I’d brought to bed with me silently falls to the silk sheets between us. I run the back of my hand gently over the roundness of her ass nestled against me and push up the lacy nightie she wears. At the same time I stick the needle into the muscle there, I whisper reassuringly in her ear, “Just sleep, princess.”

She stirs again at the sharp bite of pain, but the sedative Nova usually has to use on me is fast acting. In less than a minute, Rionach is dead to the world, and she’ll stay that way for a couple more hours.

That gives me plenty of time to execute my plan.

As if on cue, the good doctor knocks on my bedroom door. “Mr. Banes?”

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