Broken Queen

Page 47

“An incentive beating,” Amadeo says.
“I think so. Nothing was broken as far as my men could see.”
“I’m going to guess that’s the Russians, and they want payment for their dead soldiers. Where’s Brady?”
“Home. I’m texting you his address now. My men will be waiting for you.”
“Thanks, Dominic. We owe you.”
“It’s good to have allies around the world. You never know when you might need them.” Translation, we will be repaying the favor, which is fine by me.
Amadeo disconnects the call. I’m already on my feet putting my jacket on as he’s tucking the phone into his pocket and grabbing his blazer. We ride the elevator impatiently to the garage to pick up the SUV, and Amadeo enters the address into the GPS as I pull out into traffic.
The good and bad thing with this city is it really doesn’t sleep. It’s close to one in the morning and traffic to the old man’s posh neighborhood is still a bitch. Given that and the location, it takes us over an hour to get there. When we do, we park behind two other SUVs along the circular drive of the mansion set far enough back into its own property that it would be one of those houses that, when we were little, Dad would say something like “if you can’t see it from the road, we can’t afford it.”
Dominic’s men open the front door as we approach and direct us up to the second floor. Amadeo and I walk side by side up the wide staircase.
“His job pays well,” I comment.
“I’m sure it’s all that not working with crooks.”
We hear him before we even get to the one door that’s guarded.
“I need to get to a hospital. I need a real doctor.”
Amadeo and I exchange a look and enter the large bedroom where the old man is sitting on the edge of the bed, his shirt off as someone sticks a bandage onto his side. When he sees us, he doesn’t show surprise. I think he may have aged ten years tonight. He looks frail with his narrow shoulders, his caved-in chest, and small but soft, round belly. Sparse, white hair dots both chest and stomach, and I think about Dominic’s comment that he was indulging in the entertainment. Did some poor woman have to touch that?
When Brady’s eyes land on us, he goes silent.
“Heard you had a run-in with my brother-in-law,” Amadeo says.
The man attending to Brady backs away as Brady tilts his chin up and doesn’t bother to respond.
“How bad is it?” Amado asks the soldier.
“Surface. It’s already stopped bleeding.”
“I need a proper doctor,” Brady insists.
I walk over to touch the wound, poke at it. He winces. I peel back the bandage and take in the cut. Like Dominic said, it’s a surface wound. I press the bandage back in place.
“It could use some disinfectant. Have any alcohol?” I ask him. “It’ll sting but…”
His eyes grow huge.
“We’ll get you to a doctor after you answer a few questions,” Amadeo says.
I take a look around at all his things. “This is almost as nice as our place,” I say. “Really pay this well, your job? You only worked for the Russo family, as far as I’m aware.”
“Where’s Lucien Russo?” Amadeo asks him.
“He did this to me. How the hell would I know?”
“Question is why did he do it to you?” I ask.
He clams up.
“I, too, am very curious about why,” Amadeo starts. “Knowing Benedetti’s men and my own are looking for him, why would he come out of hiding to see you? What makes you so special?”