Last night, when Dash had finally come over, Mario called to tell me that he would be bringing his daughter by in the morning, reminding me of the favor I had promised him a couple of weeks ago. Dash didn’t think it was a good idea, and I couldn’t agree more, but what could I do? Staying on Mario’s good side would get me what I wanted.
“Well, well, well, this little criminal getaway might not be so bad after all.”
“Diana, behave yourself. That is not why you are here,” Mario scolded. He turned his hard gaze to me, and I could see the clear warning in his eyes that said ‘Don’t touch my daughter.’
I snorted. After Anya, there was no way in hell I would ever touch another broad like her. Besides… Monroe already ruined me for all girls that weren’t her.
“Relax, dear ole dad. I won’t do anything he doesn’t beg me for.” She winked at me and licked her lips.
I did snort that time, and I even rolled my eyes. Big hair and too much makeup didn’t do it for me. She was pretty, but in an obvious way that said she tried too hard and cared too much about her appearance.
“Are we done here?” I was growing impatient and needed to be in place for Keenan’s transport back home. With all eyes on me, I needed to make sure he was guarded at all times. Speaking of which… I typed out a quick text to Quentin letting him know to be ready. No matter what happened to me, Keenan would be protected at all costs.
“Sure. Diana, give us a moment to talk, will you?”
With one last lustful look, she strutted away to stand by my ride. I shook off the warnings telling me this was a bad idea. I’d already agreed, and I figured this would be a sure way to keep Mario close.
“Another one of mine on the inside was found out. He’s running things tighter, and his trust is waning. We need to move faster.”
“No, we need to move smarter. The people you got on him are stupid and weak. He’s been in this business for a long time. He knows all the tricks.”
“He also knows I’m gunning for him just as much as he’s gunning for me, so he’s even more cautious.”
“Yeah, well, he’s expecting me to deliver you to him soon. I have to figure out a way to stall him a little longer. I’ve got too many eyes on me with the investigation and my uncle being in town long term now.”
“How is your brother holding up?”
“He’s surviving,” I answered simply. I wasn’t about to disclose any information about my brother to Mario. We may be working together toward a common cause, but it didn’t mean I trusted him.
“If he’s anything like you, then I’m sure he’ll pull through.”
“You don’t know me well enough to say that.”
He regarded me with a serious look. “I’ve seen enough.”
I didn’t have a response, and so I shook hands with him and parted ways. Diana was standing by, chattering on her phone. I walked up to her and snatched her phone away. The last thing I needed was her leading a bunch of unknowns to my place. I didn’t know her, and I didn’t trust her. I considered trashing the phone but thought better of it. Maybe there was something useful in it. There were still a lot of unanswered questions, and Mario was the culprit.
“Hey! Excuse you!”
“You’re fucking excused. Before you get any ideas of how this is going to go, let’s get something clear. I don’t care about you. You aren’t my priority. I’m doing this as a favor, and while I’m at it, I’m going to pump you for information. You do what I say, or I kick you out, and I won’t look back. Is that clear enough for you? I won’t repeat myself again.”
She peered up at me, and rather than appearing afraid, she looked curious if not amused. “Are you sure you’re eighteen?”
“My age is none of your business, but what I can and will do to you is. Are. We. Clear?” I held her gaze while counting down the seconds in my head before I risked it all and left her standing on the pavement alone.
“Understood.” She nodded once and then grinned up at me while extending her hand. I ignored it and made my way to my side of the car, sliding in without acknowledging her further. She finally took the hint and hopped in the car when I was less than a second away from pulling off.
“So who is she?”
“She?” I pulled out onto the main road and headed in the direction of my house. She had arrived sooner than expected, so I still hadn’t run it by my uncle yet. I decided to cross that bridge when I got there.
“Yes. The ‘she’ who has you overly guarded around me. Is she your girlfriend?”
“I don’t do girlfriends,” I answered without sparing her a glance even though I could feel her eyes boring into me.
“So there is a she?”
“Even if there was, I wouldn’t fuck you, so I guess it doesn’t matter if there’s a she, does it?”
“Who says I’m looking to get fucked? Maybe I want to do the fucking.”
“You don’t know me from Adam, girl.”
“Oh, but I know your type. You like to be in control when you take her, don’t you? You like to handle her, test her limits… maybe even make her beg a little?”
I gripped the steering wheel tighter out of aggravation. Even if what she said was true, I didn’t like to be read. Especially by a stranger. “No.”
“No?” I could hear the disbelief in her tone.