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Battle Axe by Carsen Taite

Battle Axe by Carsen Taite

Author:Carsen Taite [Carsen Taite]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781602828711
Google: Y7qaMQEACAAJ
Amazon: 1602828717
Goodreads: 15843198
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Published: 2013-05-14T03:00:00+00:00


Chapter Eleven

I waited about thirty minutes after Petrov’s goons left Maggie’s before I hustled Mark out the door and drove to Dad’s.

“Are you sure you’re going the right way?”

“I’m taking the scenic route.”

“You’re scared those guys are following us, aren’t you?” He shifted to look at the rear window. “I don’t see anyone. Of course, I’m not sure why anyone would be out in this neighborhood.”

I’d taken a winding route through South Dallas. I figured if we were going to get caught in a street fight with some Russians, chances were good the folks here would be on our side. At least we were more like the kind of white folks they were used to. Ones without an accent.

“Who were they?”

“Nobody.”

“Seriously, Luca, I’m not twelve. You don’t have to shield me from all the bad stuff in the world.”

I looked over. He definitely wasn’t twelve anymore, scared and ready to run at the first raised voice. He was a man, but he would always be my little brother. Someone I had to protect. But knowledge is power, and I could give him that much. “Bad guys. Russian mobster bad guys. They run plenty of shady businesses around town, but lately I think they’re into something new or someone else’s operation.”

“And you’re involved with them?”

“No. I mean, kind of. I’m doing a favor for a friend. It got a little complicated.”

“Some friend. Is she hot?”

I slapped his thigh. “Watch it, buddy.”

He laughed. “Okay, so she’s super hot, but you don’t want to talk about it.” When his laugh faded, he scrunched up into a serious face. I recognized the expression from our youth. It was Mark’s cautious, stay out of trouble face. I’d always ignored it before, leaving him behind when he wasn’t up for adventure. But now instead of risking licks from Dad, the stakes were much higher. I might plunge headlong into the trouble, but I wouldn’t let the people I cared about get dragged into it.

“If I could talk about it, I would, but then I’d have to—”

“Kill me? Right, I know the drill.” He leaned back in his seat and I thought we were in for a quiet rest of the ride, but after a few minutes, he asked, “You think Dad can make it through a whole wedding weekend?”

I recognized the worry that had probably been stewing since his fiancée started planning this big event. Mom would be mother-in-law zilla, but zillas were to be expected at a wedding. Dad’s weakness was much more subtle and likely to come out at the most embarrassing moments. Words forgotten mid-toast, stumbling into waiters passing hors d’oeuvres, arguing with the bartender about why his glass wasn’t full to the top. Mark’s concerns were valid. I gave the best answer I could. “He’s good when he’s with Maggie. She’ll be there, right?”

“I assumed she’d be Dad’s plus one. Guess one of your duties as best woman will be to get her there.”

I knew we’d get back to that. “About that, you should probably pick someone else.



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