Friends and Lovers

Friends and lovers 1 copy

Chapter One

The next time he heard someone bitching about their job Wesley was going to stab the motherfucker’s eye out with a pen—or fork—or maybe gouge it out with his finger. People didn’t realize how lucky they were. Complaints about coffee runs, asshole bosses, and disliked co-workers, were in his ass sideways by the time he reached the side entrance of the house.

They’d been watching the house for days and Wesley insisted he could handle the handful of guards, but the numbers had been increased at some point between his arrival in town that morning and when he showed up at the house that evening. He could have rescheduled; waited on John, maybe even Manny, but he was ready to get the shit taken care of. His momma was coming in two days to meet the first woman he’d ever loved. The only woman. He was a nervous goddamn wreck.

The first snafu—other than the extra guards—was the time delay. He had to watch the guards to see if there were any changes within the watch of the house; counting the additional guards that were inside the house, and didn’t that just take a hot damn minute he didn’t have to locate all the bastards. They were ready but it wasn’t for him. Lilith St. James’s wrath was what they waited on. The bitch had gone ballistic when she found out her ex-long time lover had taken the children home instead of to Charles St. James, her ex-husband. She couldn’t take it out on Lester, so she was taking it out on everyone else. Wesley felt sorry for the man. It wasn’t like he knew what Lester had planned. The pilot of the private plane that had gone along with Lester’s plan was missing and presumed dead. Charles St. James wasn’t taken chances on being the next face on the milk carton.

The second fuck up was Wesley’s own over confidence. Most hired muscle, while trained, didn’t have the same level of skill as he. He was government trained black-ops. He could sneak up on your ass in a locked room and cut your throat before you realized someone was behind you. The blood covering Wesley’s arm and what he suspected was a cracked, if not broken rib, was curtsey of the second guard Wesley had come up behind. The man had moved lightning fast, not fast enough to draw his weapon, but fast enough to engage in hand to hand combat. He’d gotten in one good body-shot that felt like a dump truck plowing into his side, before the knife Wesley held swept across his throat. It was messy. Something Wesley couldn’t afford, he didn’t need anyone to see blood and alert the others.

He should have pulled out but the shit had hit the fan and if he left they may never get another chance, so he pushed on. Two guards later and Wesley was wishing he could complain about asshole bosses and hated co-workers, but not really. In truth, Wesley loved his boss and co-worker. It was John Chambers and he loved the man like a motherfucker.

Wesley lowered the goggles from the top of his head and pulled a small black pouch from his breast pocket. He made fast work of picking the lock to the electrical box and disabling the alarm. He went to doors leading into the dining room and let himself in. Wesley knew the house; he’d been in it once already. He was glad that Charles St. James wasn’t in the bedroom upstairs but in the library downstairs. The door was guarded but there was a second entrance that was left unprotected. The one leading from the den, and that’s how Wesley planned on gaining access to the man that was involved with the kidnapping of Elizabeth and Tallulah. After the unexpected fight outside Wesley made sure to bring his A game inside the house. He was a ghost as he made his way through the darken interior. He wasn’t surprised to find the door locked. He also wasn’t surprised how quickly he picked it. He was surprised at the gun pointing at him when he opened the door.

Shit.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” Charles St. James said.

“I doubt it.”

The man was a mess. Oh, his clothes were immaculate, and he was bathed and shaved, but his eyes were haunted. Had the man slept in last month? God knows Wesley and the rest of them hadn’t; not with Lilith on the hunt like a damn lioness.

“Who do you work for, Lilith or Dubois and Porter?”

Okay – maybe he was waiting on Wesley.

“This is personal,” Wesley said.

And wasn’t that the damn truth. There was no way he and John were leaving as long as there was a threat to Malachi and his family, which meant there was a threat to V. He’d hold off all the demons in hell to make sure she was safe.

“I see,” was all the man said. He motioned with his gun for Wesley to get up.

 Mistake? Probably.

Charles backed up while Wesley stood and held his hands out in front of him. He did it slowly as to not spook the man. He didn’t think he was going to get out of the mess without getting shot at least once; he just preferred it not to be in the head or heart. That would really put a damper on things.

“So tell me Mr.—”

“Wesley.”

“So tell me Wesley, to what do I owe the pleasure,” Charles St. James said still backing up. Was he headed for the bar?

“You kidnapped my nieces,” Wesley said standing just inside the door.

A guard came in the other entrance and the look of shock had Wesley smiling. He pulled out a gun; a day late and a dollar short. Charles put down his own gun and poured a drink in a glass that was already on the bar. He pulled out a second glass and poured a drink and then waved to a seat across from him.

“Please, don’t let me drink alone.  I’m beginning to think I might have a problem,” he said motioning to the drink with his head. “Are you alone?”

If the man had jokes at a time like this, he was someone that under ordinary circumstances Wesley thought he’d like. Too bad these weren’t ordinary times. Wesley picked up the glass and downed his drink in one swallow. It was being filled before it was back on the surface of the bar.

“I’m alone,” Wesley said taking a sip of his second drink.

It was no use lying. If he died here tonight John and Manny, quite possibly Malachi, would come and finish what he started. He was sad about V, sadder about the loss of her ass. He was obsessed with it, he was still trying to figure out which he loved more—the woman or her ass.

Charles nodded once and took his own sip. “I didn’t kidnap your nieces,” he said.

“You didn’t help get them back to where they belonged, and you were going to keep them for that bitch of an ex-wife of yours,” Wesley said.

The guard had made a mistake; he was standing right behind Wesley, a little to the left. He was in the perfect position for Wesley to turn and disarm him. The gun that Charles St. James had was on the bar, but Wesley could use the body of the guard to block the only shot St. James was going to get off. The door behind the bar was his way out. Things were looking good.

“I was going to give them back,” Charles said, breaking into Wesley’s replay of how he was going to shoot his way back to V—and her ass.

“Excuse me?”

“Lester wasn’t the only one that thought Lilith had lost her damn mind in taking the girls. The man actually forwarded me the information on the Porter-Dubois clan before he left Lilith. He didn’t tell me his plan, of course, simply thought I should know what I was getting myself into. The two men have gone above and beyond when it comes to the safety of their family.”

“You could say that,” Wesley agreed.

“Did you kill my children Wesley?”

The question jarred him. He hadn’t expected it, but he also hadn’t expected the night to end up this way. He hated question and answers. Fast and clean; in and out—that’s how you kill somebody.

“Not both of them,” Wesley said.

Charles St. James nodded again and stroked the gun that was lying on the bar but didn’t pick it up. “Tell me what happened.”

Wesley sighed when he should have been happy Charles was being a movie villain; doing a whole lot of talking, when he should have shot Wesley in the head as soon as the door opened. The second he’d allowed Wesley to stand the man’s chances for survival was slim to none; leaning heavily towards none.

“Julia Winston, Benjamin’s girlfriend, stole half a million dollars from him. It was a game she’d played; meeting rich men and stealing their money. Malachi Porter was the first. Malachi Porter is a nice guy…your son…was not. It took Benjamin about a year to track down Julia and when he found her he kept her prisoner, raping her whenever he chose and showing her the new life she’d bought herself when she stole from him. He was going to sell her as a sex slave unless she got his money back. He gave her three months. She went home and tried to get back in good with Malachi, he’d been in love with Julia when she stole from him. Malachi’s a pretty laid back kind of guy, quick to forgive and forget, she thought she could get back in his good graces and either steal the half mil or have him give it to her outright when they became a couple again. She didn’t know about Elaina.”

“The woman that Malachi Porter shares with Christian Dubois,” Charles interrupted.

“The woman the two men are devoted to completely, Wesley corrected. “Anyway, when it became clear to Julia that Malachi was not going to leave Elaina, and he threatened Julia with certain death if she hurt Elaina, Julia’s next bright idea was to steal Elaina’s jewelry collection. By this time Carlos arrived to collect. Benjamin agreed with the plan. On the day that Carlos and Julia broke into the house Elaina walked in and was kidnapped and held for ransom because the jewelry wasn’t kept in the house. Carlos took Elaina and Julia to Julia’s parents’ river house where he raped Julia and was about to do the same to Elaina when a friend of the family stopped him with a bullet. The next day Malachi offered to pay the half mil owed, it was then that we found out the two were in fact brothers. Benjamin’s threat was clear. He was gunning for them, Christian, Malachi, Elaina. All of them, one of them, who knew; all we did know was that it couldn’t be left unfinished, especially not with Benjamin being a sex slave trafficker. If Lester sent you the information on Elaina than I’m sure you know what happened to her at the hands of her old employer,” Wesley asked.

“I am.”

Charles St. James stared at Wesley. He palmed the gun and Wesley tightened his body. He was nanoseconds from moving when Charles shocked the shit out of him again.

“I want to hire you to kill my ex-wife.”

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