Page 10 of For the Taking

Bethany had been taken to the warehouse where she hadn’t seen another day.

His only mistake was allowing her to live without a guard.

Glancing across the car at the woman in the passenger seat, he didn’t know if this was a mistake or simple fucking stupidity.

He’d gone to her apartment, as he’d known David wouldn’t be able to handle her walking around. She already knew too much. Going to the cops would be a waste of time. There were so many men and women on his payroll. If anyone even whispered his name, he’d know about it.

People tended to die before they even got any kind of protection for ratting on the biggest crime lord in the city.

Meghan was merely a woman on a list. She wasn’t even the only one. Riley knew David liked to fuck those he didn’t think he could have. He was a sick fuck in taking other men’s women, even screwing them in front of others.

“Thank you,” she said.

He gripped the steering wheel tighter. “For what?”

“Saving me. I don’t know who you are, and you don’t know me. You knew they were coming, and you could have left me there to die. You didn’t. Thank you.”

“I could still leave you to die.”

“I know, but I doubt it.”

He chuckled. “You shouldn’t be so trusting.”

“I’m not. At least not usually.” She sighed, resting her head on her hand as her elbow leaned against the door.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“Fine.”

“You’re not going into shock?”

“There is nothing to be shocked about. It’s not the first time I’ve seen a dead body because of you.” She groaned. “I don’t mean anything by that.”

“It’s a lot to take in. I get it.”

“I don’t know if it’s a lot to take in or what. I’m sorry. Just ignore me. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m not usually a talkative person.”

In the short time he’d known her, she’d done nothing but talk.

“How do you handle it?” she asked.

“What?”

“The death. The killing.”

“It’s what I’ve been doing all my life.”

“If you like to kill so much, why do you have a thing against David?”

Riley stayed silent. His reasons were his own.

“Seriously, the silent treatment. You’re not going to tell me.”

“There’s nothing you need to know.”

Silence met his answer. For a long time, he’d loved silence. To him it meant peace, which allowed him to plot, to prepare, to train.

“I could help you.”

Her words stunned him. “No.”

“Why not?”

“You’re a woman.”

“I bet there are a lot of women killers too.”

“You’re not going to help me. If I needed help, I would at least have someone who was able to kill without freaking out.”

She slapped his arm.

“Hey!” He glared at her. “Are you stupid?”

“Right now, probably. I didn’t freak out at the warehouse or at my apartment. You even trashed my place. I spent time trying to make it home, you know. Believe it or not, death doesn’t freak me out. When you’ve been on the streets, you get used to seeing certain things, and believe me, I saw them, Riley. Is that even your real name?”

“Yes.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Oh.”

He laughed. “You were on the streets?”

“I’m not talking about it.”

“Now who doesn’t want to talk about it?”

“If you’re so good at what you do, you’ll be able to tell me about my life.”

“I’m not some kind of spy.”

“See, not so good now, huh?” She folded her arms and then winced.

It had only been a week since she got the beating from Peace’s men. Her body needed to heal.

“All you need to know is David took everything away from me.”

“He did?”

“Yes.”

“The way you say his name, it sounds familiar.”

He held onto the steering wheel. “I did.”

“You worked for him?”

Glancing over at her, he raised a brow. “That surprise you?”

“A little. If you worked for him, why are you so adamant now in tearing him apart? Why are you killing his men?”

“Because, he took something from me, and now it’s time for me to take everything away from him.”

He pulled up into a motel. It was a rundown piece of crap. “Stay here.”

Riley didn’t give her time to argue. He needed his space, and frankly, he didn’t like how easy it was to talk to her. She was a stranger, and now he needed to find out just how reliable she was.

After paying for the night, he grabbed her bag, and without offering her an invitation, he went to the third floor and the apartment at the end, letting himself inside.

He didn’t even need to wait for her.

She was right behind him.

“I need to shower,” he said.

“Wait. What if someone comes?” she asked. “Don’t you need me to have a gun? I could shoot anyone who comes through the door. I can show you I can protect you.”

“Do you even know how to use a gun?”

“No.”

“Not a chance. You’d end up shooting yourself in the head, and I don’t want to deal with that.” He also didn’t like the strike through his chest at the thought of her hurting herself. “You’re going to sit in the bathroom while I take a shower.”

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