“…While that is a good suggestion,” Fynn finally broke the silence in a tone that suggested disbelief, speaking slowly. “It seems Dodson and his gangwantsa war.”
“I can’t imagine why,” Gilroy said, shaking his head.
“Yeah, and where is their information source?” Madden said in her thick Boston accent which made source sound like ‘sauce’. “Its gotta be comin’ from somewheres.”
“So, there’s only two options is what I’m hearing. Either keep playing the game or act on the offensive?” Riley said doubtfully. “Theremustbe a better way, a better option…”
“There isn’t,” Kieran spoke softly. The room became silent. “They made this perfectly clear tonight. He’s trying to push me. He wants a war… and we’re going to give it to him. Only, we have to make it seem like our offense is justified.” Silence prevailed in the room. “We’re going to burn down one of our warehouses.”
“What?” Nolan sputtered, almost spitting out the coffee he was drinking. Everyone in the room looked at eachother.
“Did I stutter?” Kieran asked darkly. “We’re going to burn down our warehouse. It will be all over the news. We’ll have to get support from our allies. They would never believe we would burn down our own property. That little b—h Dodson won’t know what the f–k hit him.”
They all stared at Kieran like he had two heads. Kieran rolled his eyes impatiently.
“Madden,” Kieran said.
“Sir?” Madden responded.
“You take the lead on this one. Select a team, consult with the people in this room. Get started.”
“Affirmative,” Madden said without hesitation.
“I need to go. If you need me, you know where I am,” Kieran said, suddenly pushing himself out the door and down the hall towards his room. Lia hurried after him.
“Kieran!” she cried, rushing to catch up. Lia didn’t know what he was doing until she saw him roll his chair into the bathroom, over to the toilet, and immediately throw up into the basin. Lia’s eyes widened. “Kieran!” she cried again, kneeling next to him and rubbing his back while he continued to vomit into the toilet bowl. Finally, he sat back, and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“I apologize,” Kieran said, looking at Lia. “I was holding that in for quite some time.”
“Don’t apologize! Are you okay?” Lia questioned, concern in her eyes. Kieran smiled reassuringly at her as he nodded. “Here,” Lia said, standing up and grabbing mouthwash for Kieran.
“Thanks,” Kieran said, swirling the mouthwash around in his mouth. He spat the mouthwash into the sink. “I’ve been feeling sick ever since I saw Will,” Kieran admitted. Lia nodded and sat on the side of the tub, so she was level with Kieran.
“Me too,” Lia said, looking at Kieran. They held each other’s eye contact. And then Kieran reached up slowly and brushed some of Lia’s hair out of her face. His hand drifted down and lingered over her cheek. She kept looking into his beautiful blue eyes as she reached up and covered his hand with hers.
And then somehow Lia was in Kieran’s lap, and they were kissing ravenously, as if they had been waiting to kiss for their entire lives. They explored each other’s mouths with their own, smashing their lips together, their mouths moving rhythmically in time with the other. When they pulled back, both were out of breath, and both were surprised at their intensity; surprised, but glad. They smiled simultaneously.
A knock on the bedroom door interrupted their moment. Kieran looked towards the knock, then back at Lia. She stood from Kieran’s lap with a coy smile, and winked at him before heading towards the door. She opened it and saw Madden, whose eyebrow raised immediately after seeing Lia’s smeared lipstick. It was then that Lia realized everyone knew what was going on between herself and her boss. Lia quickly excused herself while allowing Madden into the room. Before the door closed completely, Lia looked back and made eye contact with Kieran, who calmly watched Lia leave.
The timing had to be perfect. Monica fluffed her hair again, and tried to exaggerate her tiny baby bump. She sat down on the sofa and began folding baby clothes. She did it slowly, so the timing was perfect.
And it was. Dan came charging through the front door of her apartment, his face enraged. When his eyes focused on her, and what she was doing, he paused for the briefest of moments. Bingo. Monica smiled. He came storming over to her.
“You b—h!” he yelled, taking her arm and pulling her to her feet. Monica glared at him and yanked her arm away from his grip, knowing that if she hadn’t been folding baby clothes, this would have been much worse.
“What the hell?” she asked, still glaring.
“You’re an evil b—h, you know that? Don’t think I’m so stupid. I know exactly what you’re doing,” Dan yelled.
“What are you talking about?” Monica yelled back.
“You’re trying to distract me from your evildoings by using our child,” he explained with disdain, gesturing to the tiny clothes.
“What?” she squinted at him.
“You did it. Youdid it! You had Will beaten into a bloody f—–g mess!” Dan yelled, ripping a lamp from the wall and throwing it across the room. It smashed into pieces on the wall. Monica glared at her lover.
“ Ihad nothing to do with that!” Monica cried, hiding the lie well.
“You’re right,” Dan said softly. Monica felt like she had been stunned by a taser gun. Dan covered his face with his hands and sunk to the couch. “It was my fault.Itold you about Will’s plans. I should’ve never trusted a conniving little w—e like you,” Dan said, taking his hands away to look at Monica.
Out of pure reflex, Monica slapped Dan across the face so hard the sound reverberated around the apartment. She knew she wasn’t helping her case right now. Dan stood up and walked towards Monica menacingly. Monica retreated, but he kept coming towards her until she was backed into a wall. Dan looked into her eyes, clenched his fist, and punched right through the wall a few inches away from Monica’s head. She flinched and closed her eyes.
“Daniel!” Monica cried, opening her eyes again. Dan pulled his hand out of the wall, and grabbed his wrist, flinching with pain. Monica saw the support beam Dan’s hand had hit, located a few inches behind the dry wall.
“Damnit!” Dan yelled, shaking out his hand. His hand and wrist were beginning to swell.
“Dan,” Monica’s voice became softer, as she reached out to help him. He pulled away from her like she had electrocuted him.
“Don’t…” Dan’s voice was soft now, like he was tired. Then Monica realized Dan was shaking, as he leaned against the wall for support. Monica’s eyes widened for moment as she rushed over to her lover.
“Dan, sit down.” Monica grabbed his arm. Dan was pale, and accepted her assistance. Monica could feel him still shaking. She helped him walk over to the couch, and eased him into a seat. He covered his face with his good hand, and put his hurt one on the arm rest. Monica went into the tiny kitchen and brought him back some ice and a beer. He drank the beer slowly, while Monica wrapped a towel around the ice and put it on Dan’s swollen hand.
“You did it, didn’t you?” Dan finally said softly.
“No!” Monica said, “I didn’t orchestrate that Dan, I only provided information,” she finally admitted. She knew about the room Will had rented, Dan let it slip a few days prior when he was intoxicated with cheap whiskey. Dan looked over at her. “I didn’t plan it though.”
“You knew what would happen.”
“I didn’t think he would be hurt badly, I have nothing against your brother. It’s Kieran I’m after,” Monica explained.
“You’re after him through Will,” Dan said.
“It’ll take more than Will to get to that son-of-a-b—h,” Monica replied truthfully. Dan looked over at her. He was silent. “I’ll have to use other means to get Kieran to declare an unjustified war. That man is very stubborn.” Dan looked at Monica calmly.
“If my brother gets hurt again in your schemes Monica, I’ll kill you myself,” he said. Monica looked at Dan and knew he would do it.
And it turned her on. Next thing she knew, they were making out on the couch, Monica straddling Dan’s lap.
Dan pushed Monica back.
“I mean that, you know,” Dan said, referring to his threat. Monica smiled slowly at him.
“I know,” she replied, ecstatic and turned on at the fact Dan finally grew a spine.
Monica untangled herself from the sheets of the bed, and got up to get a cigarette, still completely naked. She sat down in front of her vanity, crossing her legs and lighting the cigarette, inhaling the sweet burn. Dan watched her for a few moments, before inspecting his injured hand. It was still swollen and bruised, despite the ice. Monica looked at Dan’s hand as well, feeling bad for her lover. She was surprised to realize that she had these feelings of concern for him.
Monica surprised herself further by getting ice for him again, and icing his hand while giving him a back rub. Dan exhaled slowly, closing his eyes. He was lying on his stomach, the sheets covering everything from the waist down. His injured hand lay motionless on the bed under an ice pack, while his other hand ruffled his hair aimlessly. Monica used one hand to smoke a cigarette, and the other to rub Dan’s back. He massaged the bridge of his nose with his index finger and thumb, a sign that told Monica he was distressed.
“What is it?” she asked.
“I’ve really screwed him over,” Dan replied, referring to Will. “I love him, he’s younger than me, and I’m supposed to protect him… not lead trouble right to him.”
“Dan, you haven’t done anything wrong. It would’ve happened anyway. He walked right out into them in the hallway.”
“They were there because the information they had about him. It came from us.”
“They didn’t catch him going in, so they could’ve easily not seen him leave,” Monica said soothingly.
Dan still said nothing. “I hope you’re happy if you get your war. If it happens, I’m going to leave you,” he finally broke the silence. Monica sat back, taking her hand away from him quickly.
“What?” she sounded astonished. This had not been anticipated. “And you would leave our child?”
“I would sue for custody, and I have plenty of evidence I would need in order to gain full custody,” he said simply. “I have tapes, pictures, evidence of you engaging in illegal activity. You aren’t employed. I would easily get custody.”
Monica was speechless. She hadn’t anticipated this at all. She had underestimated her mate. And as enraged as she was, she was also impressed. To her, Dan had always been some brainless, spineless excuse for a man. Tonight he had taken her completely by surprise and totally upset her important plans. Monica was calculating this new factor into her plans when Dan interrupted her thoughts.
“Don’t be stupid Monica. If you do start the war, and you lose, you’ve losteverything.You should come away with me now. We can start a life together elsewhere, get our child out of this God forsaken city,” he pleaded, twisting his body to make eye contact with her.
That wasifshe lost. If she won, she could take out Dan, so her child would stay with her. Defeat was not an option. But if the war began, he would leave… her inside information source would be gone. Perhaps it was already gone anyway. Monica’s head was racing. She realized with a sickening feeling that Dan had more guts than she thought, so what if he told Kieran about her plans? Dan had to be removed from the equation. But Will and Kieran wouldn’t let this go. They would investigate. They would question her. She would have too much attention directed her way.
And then Monica smiled. Her mind ceased activity. It was perfect. It was the perfect plan.