Making Hayley my wife was one of the best decisions I’d made in my life thus far. I never thought I’d have a chance with her, especially when she’d been with Damien, so I’d always admired her from afar, taking care of her as I could and when she would let me.
But now that she was mine, I never wanted to take that for granted. And it was because she was mine that I was making the decisions that I was today.
Like finally getting out of this shady shit, separating from the FBI, and finally going one hundred percent clean.
But it wasn’t easy. Damien had left as many enemies behind as he’d left alliances, and I had to be extra careful. Hayley’s life and William’s life relied on it. One careless move could put them in a set of crosshairs.
“You good, man?” Quinn asked as he stepped up beside me. Four of our men were unloading the shipment of guns that had just come in and were counting them as they did to make sure we got our full order. I knew the FBI were watching every move we made at this location and had our backs if shit went down, but it didn’t make me any less weary.
Doing this shit all the time was wearing me down. The constant need to be on guard was killing my mental health. I had no idea how Damien dealt with this shit all the time. Maybe it did bother him, and he just never let on.
But most days, I found myself quietly asking him to fucking guide me because even though I’d been his best friend and his right-hand man since he started this shit, it didn’t make it any easier. The weight of everyone’s lives on my shoulders, the weight of all the decisions I had to make—it made it feel like I was carrying around thousands of pounds all the time.
“I’m good,” I grunted. I narrowed my eyes when one of my men suddenly stopped, looking up at me. “Fuck,” I muttered, already moving toward him before he called out for me. “What is it?” I barked once I was near him.
“Missing two guns out of this crate.”
I clenched my jaw, grinding my teeth before I forced myself to relax it. “Search the van,” I ordered. “You,” I snapped at the other guy near him. “Get those men out of the van and check them. Get them on the ground until we find these other two guns.”
Both men quickly moved into action. I shoved my hands in my pockets and waited, watching everything around me, my muscles tensed with agitation.
Seemed like nothing could ever fucking go right anymore. I had a feeling people were figuring out I was trying to pull out of the game, and they weren’t fucking liking it.
“Nada,” the first guy told me, coming out of the van a few minutes later.
I marched over to the two men sprawled on the ground, Quinn pointed a gun at their heads to keep them down and still. “Where are they?” I demanded.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the bald one said. He had tattoos all over his skull, disappearing beneath the collar of his shirt.
I applied pressure to his spine. He gritted his teeth to hide his pain. “Don’t play games with me, fucker. Where the hell are those two rifles?”
Silence. I knelt in front of them and pulled my knife out of my boot. “Don’t make me ask again,” I snarled. I was losing my patience. I wanted to get home to my woman and our son. Hayley hadn’t been feeling good lately. The baby was kicking her ass. It was a rough first trimester for her so far, and I didn’t like being away from her.
“We sold them!” the other guy blurted. “We just needed some quick cash—”
I stabbed one, and Quinn shot the other. After, I yanked my knife out his neck and swiped it on my jeans before shoving it back into my boot. “Get rid of the bodies,” I instructed two of my men. They nodded and quickly got to work. I pinched the bridge of my nose before looking at Quinn. “Get in touch with your boss; let him know what happened so he can smooth shit out.”
Quinn nodded once and moved off, pulling his burner out of his pocket. I crossed my arms over my chest and went back to watching them pull the rest of the guns out. Once I got the affirmative that they were all accounted for except the two that had been sold, I had them move the weapons into the warehouse, and then I sent two of them off to get rid of the van so there wasn’t any evidence of the missing men.
I shook my head on the way to my car.What a fucking day.
* * *
It waschaos when I got home.
William was screaming and crying, most likely throwing one of his tantrums. But for once, I didn’t hear Hayley telling him to quiet down. Frowning, I quickly moved further into the house. William rushed over to me, his arms reaching up, making little grabby motions with his hands. I quickly lifted him onto my hip, shushing him almost instantly as I went in search of his mother.
She was in front of the toilet, throwing up. I quickly set William down and knelt beside her, running my hand over her hair. William clung to my side, still sniffling.
“How bad, baby girl?”
She just moaned in discomfort. Guilt swirled in my gut. I’d gotten her pregnant, and then I couldn’t even fucking be here with her because of the fucking shipments.
I pressed my lips to the side of her head. “I’ll be back.”