“Maybe he should have considered that before he started killing mobsters.” I shrugged and put my phone down. “I’m not saying they are right for doing it, I’m just not sure it’s my problem. I think Alex and Tatiana are my problems and serial killers of mobsters in Russia are pretty much their own worst enemies.”
“And you can live with knowing that they will torture and kill him?”
“Well, I’m not exactly going to hold a parade for him,” I told my husband.
“I was just making sure you were aware of the consequences of doing what they asked.” Zeke told me.
“I know, but if I don’t do it, there are also consequences,” I reminded him.
“I know, you are in a lose-lose situation with these guys.” Zeke kissed the back of my head. “This is why playing with mobsters doesn’t get you anywhere.”
“I wouldn’t be dealing with mobsters if one of them hadn’t been insane and my mom’s ex-boyfriend.”
“Your mom seems to have a type,” Zeke agreed with me.
“Yes, yes she does,” I nodded emphatically. “Oleg Borisovich was just another nutcase to add to her growing file of dysfunctional relationships.”
“Have you considered that as a hobby?” Zeke asked me.
“What dating lunatics? No. I was pretty sure once you got married, you stopped dating.”
“No, not dating lunatics, writing, you could chronicle your life with your father, your life after your father, life with Anthony and your brothers, before opening Daniels’ Security, and your dealings with the Russian mob,” Zeke told me. “It would make for an interesting read.”
“I have, but not about my life,” I admitted. “When Ace and the SCTU were living in one of our safe houses, I learned Aislinn showed me that she keeps a log of all her cases with her thoughts and notes on them. I have considered accessing and writing her chronicles.”
“I imagine there is a lot of blood and gore in those files.”
“I know, that’s why I haven’t done it. She uploads it to Drop Box though and I have access to it, because she also chronicles serial killers, they haven’t caught but are active in our area. She gave me, Alex, and Kenzie access, so that we would know what cases to take and not take if they showed up at any of our doors.”
“If a victim’s family showed up at Kenzie’s agency, Kenzie would know not to take the case because it’s serial killer related?” Zeke asked.
“Pretty much. Alex, Kenzie, and I agree that we don’t always know exactly what we are getting into before we get into it, even with background checks, because someone might ask Kenzie to look into a case and all the background check will reveal is that the family is asking for her help with a homicide.”
“That was really smart of her.” Zeke made a noise that said he was thinking. “Maybe I should put the SCTU onto your blowfish, anthrax sender.”
“If Aislinn took that case, there would be dire consequences for the sender.”
“I know,” Zeke commented. “There will dire consequences for the sender if I find them too though.”
“Just making sure you know the consequences of your actions.”
“The difference between you and me on that subject, couldn’t be more black and white. See, I don’t care about the consequences of that action, just like I won’t care if the Russians kill the serial killer hunting them. You on the other hand, tend to be a good person with a big heart, so you will feel bad about it.”
“Everyone deserves a chance,” I told him.
“That’s the problem,” Zeke told me.
“See, you get kidnapped and find the kidnappers took you because they are Chechen and Chechens don’t make a lot of money in Russia and you hire them. I definitely wouldn’t be offering them jobs.” Zeke told me.
“I know, but I feel bad for them, because being Chechen isn’t a reason to have to eek out a living in a country that annexed your country nearly a hundred years ago.”
“And the text from Apex says the serial killer is most likely a Chechen mob enforcer who is frustrated that they can’t rise in the ranks simply because they are Chechen.”
“There is a difference. My kidnappers just wanted money. They weren’t going to torture me. They weren’t going to send pieces of me back in boxes. And they certainly weren’t going to cut me open and leave my guts lying on the streets of Moscow simply because they were frustrated. They could have, but they wouldn’t have, because they weren’t in it for the blood.”
“For you, the fact that they were in it for the money and because they weren’t psychopaths, makes a difference.”
“Yep, it is all about intent sometimes. If it wasn’t, I’d go crazy with Aislinn and Malachi in my circle of friends, because sure, Ace occasionally kills people, but usually for good reasons, and that intent is what keeps her from being a monster in my head because I am well aware that she likes the kill.”
“That is why I said you are fundamentally, a good person. Most people wouldn’t consider Ace’s kills okay simply because she only kills people that deserve it.” Zeke kissed the back of my head again as I nodded, and I ended up headbutting him hard enough that my head felt it. “Ouch,” Zeke moaned a moment. I rolled over to see tears in his eyes and blood on his face. I had learned long ago that hitting someone in the nose just forced tears to their eyes.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“I think so,” Zeke said touching his nose and smearing blood on it.
“Speaking of blood and gore,” I got out of bed and went to the small bathroom that was more like a walk-in closet than an actual bathroom and grabbed a washrag. I ran it under cold water for a moment and then took it, dripping wet, back to the bed. Zeke took it and applied it to his bleeding nose.
“Sorry,” I told him.
“It happens,” Zeke answered with a muffled sounding voice, like he had a bad cold. “It didn’t break.”
“Note to self, no more head nodding while cuddling,” I told him, and he nodded slowly.
We traveled with a small plug in night light so that if something woke Zeke up in the middle of the night, there’d be just enough light for him to see the room. Zeke was a little paranoid on a general level, marrying me had made him a little more paranoid because people did things like mail me blowfish poison and anthrax. Of course, his paranoia had proven to be justified. My house was constantly being monitored because bad guys tended to show up there on a fairly regular basis. Most of them were mob related and I was kind of hoping that if I found this serial killer, the mob would leave me and Tatiana alone for the rest of our lives. My mom’s crazy ex was in prison in the US and would never get out, so the mob didn’t really have a reason to keep coming after me, especially if I freed Tatiana from her father’s obligations. One day, we might be able to stop traveling with a night light in our carry-on luggage.
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This book is a work of fiction. Any names, places, characters, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and are purely fictitious. Any resemblances to any persons, living or dead, are completely coincidental.
Copyright © Hadena James 2016
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