“You don’t get a vote, so shut the fuck up,” he replied. “Shit’s going down soon. I love my brother and for some reason he cares about you, which makes you my problem. I’m assuming they have video monitoring in here, so we’re going to have to pretend for a while. I’m gonna sit on that big, comfy chair for a while and you’re gonna sit on my lap and wiggle around. Don’t get in my face and don’t piss me off more than I am already. I’ll tell you what to do when the time comes.”
With that he turned and sat in a smooth, leather-covered chair in the center of the room. I’d been so focused on him that I’d hardly noticed it.
Then he whipped out his phone and started sending text messages without looking at me. I walked over and dropped my G-string-clad ass into his lap, praying very hard I wouldn’t feel a hard-on.
Oh, thank God. Nothing.
I gave a sigh of relief—I’d screwed men to survive before, but I wasn’t sure I could handle it again. Not with Puck’s friend. I closed my eyes and started wiggling my butt, making sure to stay as far forward as I could.
Had anything ever been more awkward in the history of time? No. No, it hadn’t. I wanted to disappear, just completely cease to exist.
“In a few minutes things will start happening,” Painter said quietly. “Sure you’ve figured that much out. Here’s something to consider—you fuck things up for us, it won’t be your head that rolls.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re Puck’s old lady. That means he’s responsible for everything you do. You ruin things today, he’s the one who pays. Choose your actions carefully. Right now this is still a private matter between him and you. Not that anyone will be terribly impressed with your shit, but punishing you will be his business, not ours. Once your actions impact the club, retribution moves to a new level.”
My stomach roiled and I thought I might throw up.
“I had no idea you’d be here today,” I whispered, wondering if he’d ever believe me. Did it even matter? “If I’d known, I never would’ve come. All I wanted was enough money to get out of town . . . I’m sorry. God, I fucked up everything.”
“Save it for Puck. I don’t care about your bullshit.”
Horrible, awkward silence fell as I continued rubbing against him. I started counting in my head, focusing on each number to keep myself from freaking out, making things worse. Then a loud scream cut through the music drifting in from the club, followed by some thudding noises.
“That’s it,” Painter said, shoving me off the chair. I landed on my knees and found myself scrambling to get out of his way. “You stay in here, keep your head low, and don’t fuck anything up. I’ll send Puck to get you after it ends. Do not talk to anyone about this or I will personally hunt you down and kill you. Got it?”
I nodded quickly, eyes wide.
Painter nodded, stepping across the room to open the door. He gave me one final look. “My brother deserves someone better than you.”
Nodding my head, I agreed with him. He really did.
Boonie and I pulled up behind the club in the van. A prospect sat in the driver’s seat—he’d stay there for the duration, ready to take off as soon as we came back out. In less than a minute we’d walk over to the back of the Vegas Belles building, where our plant, Maryse, would let us in through the emergency exit by the champagne rooms. We’d debated quite a while over which route to take—the rest of the club had gone in through the front. The other exit would take us closer to the office, but would be harder for Maryse to reach, too. Not only that, any firepower in the building would be concentrated there.
Another van pulled up near the far exit. Waiting. So far as we knew, the men inside were clueless about the raid. Jamie Callaghan and his entourage had gone inside five minutes earlier. If things went right, he’d spend less than ten minutes total time in the building.
My phone buzzed.
PAINTER: Problem. Beccas in here. I put her in a private room. She’s safe, but we need to pull her out bef leaving
What. The. Fuck.
For a minute I thought my head might explode. Becca was supposed to be at school. I started typing a text back, then realized it was pointless. We didn’t have time to talk, let alone change the plan. Painter had saved my life more than once, a favor I’d returned. I’d have to trust him.
“Becca is inside,” I told Boonie. He nodded sharply, although I knew he had to be curious. A thousand possible scenarios ran through my head, each one worse than the last.
No matter how I looked at it, there was no excuse for her to be here. None. Christ, had she been working for the Callaghans all along? Impossible.
“Time,” Boonie said. We started toward the door, which opened on cue. Maryse held it as we entered, then she bolted toward the van. The prospect would protect her until it was time to go. I passed by the champagne rooms, wondering which one held Becca. Didn’t matter now—the best way to protect her at this point was to finish out the operation as fast and efficiently as possible.
Then I’d have time to strangle her in comfort.
We passed through the hallway and onto the main club floor. Painter and Gage held two groups of people hostage, already ahead of schedule. Six of them were obviously customers, terrified men who’d been herded back into a corner with several strippers and waitresses.