P.S. You’re Intolerable: Chapter 43

Elliot

over when I took her from Miles, her teeth chattering from how hard her jaw was shaking. Still, she tried to give me a reassuring smile.

The source of her stress and fear became apparent in seconds.

Gavin, the asshole whose lease I’d terminated, had crashed the party, and he’d brought with him Samson Warner, the man who’d abandoned his only daughter.

I’d known something was wrong when she didn’t show at the bar, but this wasn’t what I’d expected—and I really didn’t like being taken by surprise.

“I’ve got you.” I pressed my lips to her forehead. “I’ll handle this.”

I gave her to Elise and Saoirse, who enfolded her between them without me having to say a single word.

Then I stepped forward to intercept the two unwanted guests, Luca and Weston, on one side of me, security guards on the other.

I kept the anger out of my voice. Polite and to the fucking point. “I’m going to ask you to leave without making a scene.”

Samson Warner had the audacity to appear affronted. “I’m not leaving without speaking with my daughter. Who the hell are you to try to stop me?”

I had no interest in introducing myself to this man. He was shit beneath my boot, as far as I was concerned.

“I’m the owner of the building you’re standing in, and you’re not welcome here. You can leave on your own accord, or my men can carry you out. Your choice.”

Samson sputtered, leaning around me to see Catherine. “Kit, please. Your mother has been so worried for so long. I can’t leave here without something to tell her.”

“You need to leave,” I repeated flatly.

He flung a hand out toward Gavin. “Toss this scumbag out. He’s the one who lied and said I was an invited guest. I came with the impression I was expected by my daughter.”

A vein bulged in Gavin’s forehead. “This is unacceptable. I brought you here. I—”

The sound of his voice was nails on a chalkboard, and Catherine didn’t need to hear anything either of them had to say. I motioned for security to go ahead and remove them.

Two guards latched on to Gavin’s shoulders and began forcibly walking him toward the exit. He dug in his heels at first, but some sense of propriety must have come over him, because he eventually gave in and let himself be escorted out.

I looked down my nose at Samson. “Are you going to leave, or do you need a hand?”

One moment, he was standing proud, spine rigid, chin up. The next, defeat snapped something inside him, and he collapsed to a broken old man in an expensive suit.

“I just wanted to see my daughter,” he murmured. “I’ll go.”

He started for the door, and I turned back to Catherine, taking her hand in mine. “You’re okay, sweetheart.”

She wasn’t crying, and her trembling had ebbed. “That was my dad.”

“I know.”

“I—I think he really believed I wanted him here tonight. He came to see me.”

“It sounds like Gavin had given him that impression.”

“I know I should hate him, but I don’t think I do. And…maybe I want to hear if he’s sorry.” Her lashes fluttered, and she sucked in a breath. “Will you come with me to talk to him?”

“Of course I will.”

I would never deny her anything, though it killed me to grant her this. Her father was the source of so much pain. He’d abandoned her. Had made her feel unwanted and unloved. He didn’t deserve a conversation with her. But if she needed to do this, I would damn well be by her side for all of it.

Hand in hand, we went together. And because Weston and Luca always had my back, they followed along with Elise and Saoirse.

And Miles.

Fucking Miles. Continuously coming to Catherine’s aid. I’d have to stop being annoyed by him soon.

Our group pushed out of the lobby and onto the sidewalk out front, and the scene we walked into was nothing short of chaos.

Donald Rockford was pacing the sidewalk, disheveled and sweaty. He had a poster board hanging from his neck and, more disturbingly, was waving a gun in the air.

“This is my building, mine. He stole it. Tell him to come out here and face me like a man.”

My security guards were beginning to surround him, cautiously inching closer. One tried to coax some sense into him.

“Sir, I’m going to ask you to put the gun down. The police are on their way, sir. We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Donald burst into frenzied laughter. “You might not want anyone hurt, but I damn well do. That idiot Levy doesn’t deserve my building. He stole it right out from under me. Not gonna get away with it. Not on my watch.”

Gavin was nowhere in sight, but Samson had frozen next to the door, so we were almost shoulder to shoulder.

“Elliot Levy,” Donald sang into the night sky. “Come out here, big man!”

The sign on Donald’s chest said, “Elliot Levy is a crook. He steals from old people. Lock him up!” The letters were surprisingly neat and orderly compared to how unhinged he was behaving.

Catherine clutched my taut arm, her nails digging in. If she weren’t with me, I wouldn’t have been afraid. Donald could barely stand up straight, let alone aim a gun. But one wild shot could hit her, and she could be taken from me. Her life wasn’t something I’d ever take a chance on.

Behind me, Elise sucked in a sharp breath, and I was given another reminder of how high the stakes were.

Donald spun around to face the building and caught sight of us watching him. His manic eyes bounced from person to person, pausing on Catherine with faint recognition.

When he landed on me, he brought the gun in front of him, shaking like he was in an earthquake. His finger wasn’t on the trigger…yet.

“What is that, a Peacemaker from the wild, Wild West?” Miles sauntered around Catherine and me, his hands on his hips. “What year was that gun made, 1892? Have you held up any stagecoaches lately?”

Donald’s arm went lax, falling to his side, and his face pinched with confusion. “What are you talking about, boy?”

“Miles, no!” Weston hissed. “Get back here.”

Miles ignored his brother, scratching the back of his head with his middle finger. “Did you know Billy the Kid?” He snapped his fingers like he’d just thought of something. “Say, did he give you that heater? No, wait, that’s from The Outsiders. What do cowboys call their revolvers? Pops?”

The security guards drew closer as Donald stared at Miles like he was an alien speaking another language.

“Who’s a cowboy?” Donald demanded weakly. “Why do you keep asking me these questions?”

“I don’t know, Don. You seem interesting to me. I’ve always been curious about what life in the 1800s was like, and you look like just the guy to tell me. Did you ride the Oregon Trail? I heard dysentery was the worst, and forget it if your wagon broke an axle.” He slid his hand across his throat like a knife. “That’s the end for you, right? Can’t really go on without an axle.”

The guards took their opening. One grabbed Donald’s arm while the other wrapped himself around Donald from behind like a boa constrictor.

He screamed and flailed, crying pityingly for help. The guards were as gentle as they could be, bringing him down to his belly on the ground.

Miles spun around to face all of us and wiped his forehead. “Fuck. I was nervous there for a second.”

Weston shoved forward, shaking his head at his brother. “You could have gotten yourself killed. What were you thinking?”

His mouth hitched. “I was thinking I’d distract that old guy so no one would get hurt. Seems like I did a pretty good job, huh?”

He held his arms out to show he was unscathed, and Weston reached out for him like he was going to pull him into a hug.

“You’re an idiot,” Weston gruffed, one hand on his brother’s shoulder.

Without warning, a singular firework went off so close it rattled my bones. One sharp pop cut through the night sky.

Miles went still, except for his eyes, which rounded in panic. Or maybe it was pain.

In the background, the guards were yelling and scuffling on the sidewalk, but it was muffled by the roar of blood in my ears as Miles fell, one knee at a time, onto his side.

“That wasn’t a firework,” I uttered.

Elise, Saoirse, Luca, and Catherine all rushed forward, dropping down beside Miles. Weston stood above his brother, and our eyes met.

“A shot. Miles was shot.”

The world turned to chaos.

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