Detained: Chapter 61

FRANKIE

I wait for the elevator doors to close, then throw him onto the floor, pressing my boot onto his neck.

“It didn’t have to be this way, George.” I shake my head.

It really didn’t.

“Romano will kill you, Frankie. It’s only a matter of time,” he gurgles through his swelling lips.

“Wrong. See, I’m about to offer you a lifeline, Commissioner.”

I release my foot. He scrambles to sit up, clutching at his stomach.

“What lifeline?” he coughs out with blood dripping over his eyes.

“See, I don’t give a fuck about you. In fact, having you alive in the NYPD is useful. It’s Romano I’m after. I need you to make the call. Tell him he can’t have any more shipments in New York, that it’s too risky with the heat from the feds. You’re going to need at least a month to be able to facilitate any more women coming in.”

“Why?”

“That is none of your business. Just make the call and you can live.” I need to cut all of Romano’s funding off, so he snaps Mikhail’s offer up. As it stands, he still has George as a backup. Once that is gone, Mikhail’s deal will sound a lot more appealing to someone in hiding.

“You’ve got ten seconds to decide.” I point my gun at his head. “Nine, eight.”

“Fine, fine.” He holds his arms up in surrender. “I need my phone out of my pocket.”

Training my gun between his eyes, I watch him make slow movements to pull it out of his chest pocket. As soon as it’s free, I snatch it from his fingers.

“I’ll dial and put it on speaker. Passcode.”

He calls out the numbers and I jab it in.

“Contact for Romano?”

He looks down.

My anger bubbles just beneath the surface, practically begging for him to fuck this up. “Spit it out.”

“Helen.”

I laugh. Fucking idiots.

I dial Helen, and someone picks up after a couple of rings. I hold my breath, feeling a rush of adrenaline as Romano’s voice fills the room.

“George. Tell me you have good news.”

George clears his throat, and I raise my brows, gesturing with my gun.

“No. Not really. New York is out for shipments. There’s way too much pressure on me after Alex’s disappearance. You’re going to have to find another dock.”

“Motherfuckers,” Romano spits out in his deep Italian accent. “You better help me fix this, George.”

“You don’t know anyone who can help?” George asks.

“I have one option. I’ll speak to him. How long are we talking? I need to fix this before Frankie catches on.”

George’s eyes widen and his mouth falls open, he quickly shuts it when I give him a stern glare.

“I’ll see what I can do. It will be at least a month, Romano. I’m sorry.”

He cuts the call and I place the cell on the counter next to me for Enzo to collect later.

“Can I go now?” he asks, glancing over at the elevator.

“Not a fucking chance. You think I’d ever let you near Zara again? You lost the right to live when you hurt her the first time.”

I can still see the bruises he left her; I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.

“No–”

I pull the trigger and the bullet hits in the middle of his forehead. The metallic scent of gunpowder fills the air as he falls to the floor, staining the wood with crimson.

One down. One to go.

I let Enzo know it’s done so he can clean things up and make my way back to Zara.

I slip into the backseat of Grayson’s Audi. Zara looks up at me, her eyes glassy. With no need for words, I gently bring her onto my lap, feeling the weight of her settle against me.

Grayson looks at me through the rearview mirror and I simply nod. That’s enough for him to know. She lays her head on my shoulder, and I stroke her silky hair.

“You okay, baby?” I whisper softly.

“Yeah, I am.”

I press a kiss on the side of her temple and her eyes flutter closed. Her tears drop against my shirt.

“Even though he’s dead. We still don’t win, do we?”

I swallow the lump in my throat. She’s right. It’s the reality I’ve faced for over ten years. You can’t change the past. You can’t stop the pain.

You can’t get back what you’ve lost.

“No, dolcezza. But it does mean we can close the door behind us and move on knowing they can never hurt us again.”

Her face brushes against my throat as she nods.

“I can’t believe he did this to me. He’s my dad.”

“He never deserved to have a daughter as brilliant as you.” I grin as a smile twitches on her lips.

She huffs as she pushes herself back far enough to face me. “At least I know, if we have kids in the future, their dad will be incredible. You’d never let them down.” Her warm palm strokes my face.

“Never, Zara. You have my word.”

I can smell the subtle hint of her perfume as I hover my lips over hers.

“It’s not if, it’s when.”

Her perfect white teeth bite down on her lip.

“Soon.” I whisper against her, before pressing my lips over hers, losing myself in her. I vow to be everything she needs. She’s right, I’d do anything for my family.

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