“I said go to the building.” This isn’t some incognito mission. I want Sonny to see me coming.
A few minutes later, we’re parked in front of the building. The doorman opens the doors, and I cross the large lobby. It’s like a fucking hotel, an exclusive address for the wealthiest of the wealthy in the city.
Two soldiers, Sonny’s because as far as I know he’s the only mobster living at this address, stop us when we get to the elevator. They’re dressed in suits with their weapons out of sight.
“Get the fuck out of my way,” I tell the one.
He looks at me, then at my men. “You can go up but no soldiers.” I guess Sonny’s expecting me. “Arms out.”
I take my weapon out of its shoulder holster and hand it to one of my men, then let the two pat me down. One is already alerting Sonny we’re on our way as the other rides up with me. I stare straight ahead barely seeing my own face in the reflection of the gold-tinted mirror on the doors.
When we arrive on the top floor, the doors slide open, and two more men are waiting at the entrance to Sonny’s apartment. It’s one of two on this floor.
“He’s clean,” the man who rode up with me says as the other two stand aside, and I enter. Another soldier acknowledges me with a nod and escorts me toward Sonny’s office, set in the farthest room down the corridor. Once we reach the door, he opens it and steps aside to let me enter. My uncle, his face still bruised, the swelling around his eye not quite completely gone, sits in the center of the leather sofa, looking fucking ecstatic as he leans back and folds his arms across his chest. Two men stand nearby.
“Nephew,” he says in that grating way he has.
“Where is my wife?”
“How the fuck would I know?” His smug grin tells me he does know. He looks me over. “You look a little worse for wear.”
I’m sure I do. I barely slept on the flight back and am wearing the same clothes. But I could give a fuck. I reach into the breast pocket of my suit jacket, and Sonny’s expression changes quickly as his men step forward, drawing their weapons.
I ignore them, take out the older model phone, and scroll to what I need.
“You need me to buy you a new phone, nephew? That looks like it’s from the last century.”
“Not quite but it is old,” I tell him. “The Reaper only had one use for it.”
My uncle’s face pales as he glances at his soldiers.
“My wife,” I say.
He looks at me with such contempt, it’s a palpable thing.
“As with the earlier attack on her, it wasn’t me. You’d do better to spend your time tracking down the brother. I hear he flew in recently.”
I make sure he can’t see any change in my expression, but I am fucking surprised. Lucien is in Italy?
“So you had nothing to do with the attack at the villa,” I say more a comment than a question and he shakes his head with that too-smug grin on his too-smug face. He’s lying. And he wants me to know it. That’s why mom wasn’t hurt. That was his calling card.
“Even if I did, I am the rightful heir.”
“This isn’t a fucking kingdom.”
“The family would support me.”
“You know the death warrant stands on the man who killed Angelo even though Grandfather is dead,” I remind him.
I see the infinitesimal change come over his expression.
“I’m going to ask you one more time. Where is my wife?”
“And I’m going to tell you one more time you should ask her brother,” he says, standing to move out of the way as he signals to the soldiers. Before they get to me, I hit play on the phone, and Sonny’s voice rings out, always recognizable, as he strikes a deal with The Reaper to assassinate his own son. And in the moment that the soldiers hesitate as they hear the recording, I reach into my boot and take Vittoria’s pretty little knife, advancing on my uncle and plunging it into his gut as I pull him to me, driving the blade to its hilt and hearing the gurgling sound of him choking on his blood.
I tug his head backward, draw the knife up to slice his gut and look him in the eye as I do it, as, in the background, he laughs as the deal is struck, the date agreed.