Shattered King(7)

By: Sherilee Gray


She. No one said Lulu’s name in front of me anymore. They knew better.

I knew Lulu’s mom had been sick for a long time. And he was right, on both counts. Pierce wasn’t showing, not even for his sick wife, but Lulu? She’d been close to her mother. Really close.

Neco rested his hands on the desk. “She might know something. Might be able to give you the information you want, lead you to him. Might not. Elizabeth’s going home in a few days. Pierce arranged nurses to take care of her several weeks ago. Don’t know if that’s still happening with him lying low—I doubt it. Either way, she only has a small window if she plans to get to her mother undetected.”

I didn’t doubt Lulu knew where Pierce was holed up. Her and her stepfather had been tight. That’s how I first met her—Pierce had taken Lulu everywhere with him. And I mean everywhere. I’d assumed he was grooming her for the family business. While we were together, she’d never shared that part of her life and I’d never pushed. More than likely because there was always this niggling feeling in my gut that she was hiding something from me. I didn’t want to see it, afraid whatever she wasn’t telling me would take her away from me. Turned out I should have paid more attention to my gut. I glanced over at Neco. The guy looked worried. He had good reason to be. Getting her to tell me where Pierce was hiding wasn’t all I wanted from her, and Neco knew it. Knew what was eating at me. I’d planned to take down Pierce first then go after Lulu. This way, I could kill two birds with one stone.

I should stay the hell away from her, but I couldn’t, not until I looked her in the eyes and she told me the truth, that everything we’d had was a goddamn lie, all of it. Then maybe I could finally get her out of my head. “Where’s her mother?”

“Let me come with you.”

“No.”

Neco watched me, like he was trying to read my mind. Finally, he shook his head, jotted down what I needed and handed it over. “Don’t know about this . . .”

I took the piece of paper and walked out the door. Neco called after me, but I ignored him, heading straight for the supply room. Grabbing a bag, I loaded up with what I needed, and then I was striding through reception. Lulu had taken off after I’d been locked up, hiding out so Van couldn’t drag her ass back in and make her tell the fucking truth. That she’d been with me when the fire started, that I’d been nowhere near that building when it was torched, that she’d fucking lied for Pierce and set me up. But my brother had failed to find her. Even Neco hadn’t been able to track her. How fucking hard was it to find one woman?

Now I had my chance. I knew her well enough to know she’d risk coming back to see her mother, and I’d be waiting when she did.

I was at the elevator when Van called my name. “Don’t do this. Just . . . leave it.”

Neco had a big fucking mouth. I shook my head and turned to face my brother. “Can’t do that.”

“We don’t need her for this job and you know it. What could she possibly say to change what happened? What’s done is done. Nothing can get those years back.” His hands clenched and unclenched at his sides. “We’ll get Pierce. But this has to be a long game.”

“You’re telling me you could leave it? Just forgive, forget?” A throb started at my temples.

Van shook his head. “She doesn’t want to be found. I think it’s better for everyone if you keep it that way.”

“Are you fucking serious?”

“When it comes to Lulu, you don’t think straight. You don’t act smart.”

Hearing Van say her name out loud scored a direct hit. The rest of it made me want to punch something. Preferably my brother’s face. I hit the button on the elevator.

“You’re not gonna stop, are you.” Van didn’t pose it as a question because he knew the answer.

The elevator slid open and I stepped inside. “Not until I’ve looked into her eyes and asked her why she did it.”

The doors slid shut on my brother’s scowling face.

Lulu

My beat-to-shit, old-as-dirt Honda Accord backfired when I pulled to a stop in Aunt Sara’s driveway. Even though it was dark, I could see the last puff of toxic, gray smoke exploding from the exhaust pipe as I shut off the engine.

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