Chance's Hell

Page 23

“Maybe we can do that tomorrow? I think shopping is going to be a big deal this afternoon,” I faintly asked realising that shopping to Tati didn’t mean what it did to me. There’d be no in and out of the thrift store with Tati, I doubt she’d even heard of thrift stores. This was shopping with a capital S and a mission that Tati appeared uniquely suited for. Tati beamed at me, and that sinking feeling in my stomach grew worse, this woman lived to shop where I was happy to be in and out.
“Before you leave, I need a word,” a voice spoke behind us, and Tati’s face fell.
“Oh yeah, Dylan Hawthorne’s here with Leila and Nigel, and his cousin is waiting too,” Tati informed us. I turned to see a tall, handsome man standing with legs splayed and wearing jeans and a shirt. Next to him stood a man and woman and then I spied the handsome detective Emilio Hawthorne.
“Chance,” said the man I guess was Dylan Hawthorne, he had a look of Lio, and he reached out a hand and clasped Chance’s forearm. Chance returned the gesture and turned to me.
“Baby, wanna go shopping with Tati and I’ll bring you up to speed later?” Dylan Hawthorne frowned over Chance’s shoulder, and I saw Lio shake his head.
“No, I’m stronger than you think honey, if this concerns me, I need to hear it,” I refused his offer and saw pride flare in his eyes. I wasn’t going to take the easy way out and hide behind Hellfire, I’d pride and courage, plus this concerned me.
“Let’s go into the inner sanctum,” Chance said and led us through the door with the Sturgis banner hanging over it. He pulled out chairs and showed us where to sit, I sat next to Chance and Tati who had followed us. Her gaze dared anyone to kick her out, and Chance gave her a nod.
“What you got?” Chance asked, leaning back in his chair with a hand placed on mine.
“Ain’t gonna be pretty,” Dylan said, staring at me curiously and then at Chance.
“Hit me,” Chance ordered.
“Those pieces of shit Tommy and Ron have been charged with assault and a variety of other charges. We’ll need Clio to come to the station in a few days and expand on her statement, she’ll be questioned by someone not connected to Rage, Hellfire or Hawthorne’s. It will be Carter and a new trainee Devereaux, they’ll go easy with Clio knowing who she is. The chief wants this handled correctly, so they don’t get off on a fuckin’ technicality Chance. Phil and I are compromised because of my links to the aforementioned,” Lio said, and Chance nodded.
“Sam?” Chance muttered.
“In the wind, we think we got an idea of who he is, and he ain’t no smackhead either. Clio, can you look at these picture’s and tell me if you recognise him?” Lio slid photos at me, and on the third, I identified Sam.
“Fucker runs with a gang who Tommy was selling for, bad people. Sam was watching him, they thought Tommy was skimming from them, and Sam is their ultimate answer to a problem. Clio you see Sam in the street, fuckin’ run, don’t look back and head for the nearest shop or group of people and make noise. Sam comes for you, he is coming for you, do you understand?” Lio said firmly but gently leaning forward. My lips pursed, I nodded.
“We got anything on him?” Chance demanded, and Leila and Dylan swapped glances.
“What we got ain’t for the girl’s ears Chance, telling you that now. Let your girl sleep sweet, we’ll fill you in after,” Dylan replied.
“He’s bad news, as in a dangerous man, isn’t he?” I asked and received nods. I felt ill and wondered how I’d crossed paths with such scum.
“Second, your girl was live, but Nigel hacked the feed, it’s bad, Amelia bad Chance. Tommy and Sam planned to blackmail them after the deed. These are big hitters in the underworld, and now there’s a bounty on Clio. They want the job they were bidding on finished. Luckily, Nigel discovered a programme hidden in the black site to track the bidders IP’s, Tommy and Sam planned to blackmail them after the deed.”
Chance’s hand closed around the back of my neck as I stared at Dylan Hawthorne in horror. Did he mean that there were people out there who wanted me raped and killed for their sick persuasions? Tati groped blindly, and her hand grasped mine in reassurance.
“Are you saying…” I tried to speak and stopped, terror filled me.
“Yes, Clio, we’ve got the best people possible, chasing them down, the chief is alert to what happened and what is happening, we have his full backing. The Juno Group, Artemis’s group, are all over this, Nigel here works for them. Hawthorne’s is after them, my girl Leila is here, no one gets past Leila or Nigel. But we ain’t got a solid lead on any of them yet, and not for lack of trying.
We think Sam is the brains behind this shit, the drugged-out smack rat you saw was a front. We know he’s the hitman for his gang, we know he’s wanted in other states for crimes, and we have his background. Still digging into it, but Chance,” Dylan broke off, and Chance looked at him, “don’t let Clio out of Hellfire’s sight. Not until we’ve brought them in and booked them.” Tati got to her feet and left the room as I stared dumbly at Dylan.
“I’m in real danger,” I stated and received sharp nods.
“SPD is chasing them, the chief is beside himself and has given this top priority, this is Spearfish for fucks sake,” Lio said and looked frustrated. “Shit like this doesn’t happen in Spearfish, we got a good city, we get the bar fights, drunks and shit but this darkness? No, never, chief is throwing resources at this, he wants it shut down and gone. Doesn’t want anything to wreck our city, it doesn’t help that Nigel knows at least four of the targets originated in Spearfish. Chief ain’t having it.”
“Can’t blame him, Spearfish has crime but nothing this dark, something this dark has the whole PD worried. Thinkin’ chief doesn’t want feds and state traipsing their big feet all over this,” Chance mused his eyes on me. I could feel them boring into my head.
“Chief wants this put down and will take the help offered. But he doesn’t want Spearfish undergoing the shenanigans that Rapid City did when Artemis went on her rampage,” Lio confirmed.
“Do any of us want that again? Fuckin’ woman’s a maniac,” Chance chuckled.
“I’ll bring Clio in tomorrow afternoon to see Carter. The trainee, he got sense?” Chance asked.
“If he ain’t, Carter will soon knock it into him. Man ain’t an idiot, don’t know why we suddenly got a fourth detective, only been three of us for years. Usually, a uniform will step up if we need help, chief wasn’t happy when Devereaux landed on his desk, but we got the man, and we’ll use him,” Lio said.
“I’m taking Clio shopping,” Tati said from the doorway, and I saw she had Shee and another man with her. The man stood as tall as Shee but was far more sullen. “Shee and Tiny are coming with us.” If anything, the brother identified as Tiny grew even gloomier. I turned to Chance ready to agree with whatever he suggested.