Justice And Desire/C11 Chapter 11
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Justice And Desire/C11 Chapter 11
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C11 Chapter 11

James POV

Roman stared at me for what felt like a million years. He looked apprehensive as if he was trying to gauge how the formation was going to affect me. After a few more seconds, I couldn't take it again. "Roman!" I grunted, sending him a scowl.

Roman rolled his eyes and nodded his head. “Okay, okay, chill. Now answer me this, when did the Morello's move into town, Gunner?”

“Five years ago,” I replied. And then I clicked. I suddenly understood where he was going with this. “But it doesn’t fit into the timeframe of all the child disappearances.”

Roman lifted a brow, the corner of his mouth twitching. “If you’re as smart as you think you are, you’ll know it was about five years ago that drugs started to flow into these streets.” He slanted his head. “Do you think that’s a coincidence, Gunner?”

“This morning, I arrested a guy and found cocaine on him. He said he was dealing for the Bologna's.”

“And you believed him?” Roman asked.

I shrugged. “Why shouldn’t I?”

“Because there is no fucking way anyone with half a brain would give up the name of their dealer,” he growled, snapping his fingers as if to wake me up or something. “Open your eyes, Gunner, you are supposed to be smarter than this.”

“You don’t know Rio, Roman. He’s one stupid individual,” I said, trying to defend my line of reasoning.

“I’m not kidding, Gunner. If he was dealing for a family like the Bologna, there’s no way in hell he’d snitch on them. He’d be good as dead.”

I leaned back on the couch. “So, you think he’s lying?”

“Oh, I know he’s lying.”

“It’s a setup, then?”

“Maybe. Probably.” Roman stood up from the couch and moved to stand by the window. Looking out, he grunted, “If the Bologna are behind all the drugs and the child kidnappings, why did it only start to get out of hand two years ago? They’ve been around for fifty years so why start now?”

“Who knows? Maybe the fuckers got greedy.”

He snorted again. God, I hated when he did that. It was only cool when I did it.

“Dante Bologna is guilty of a lot of things, Gunner. But kidnapping children isn’t one of them, and neither is selling drugs.”

He sounded so damn sure about this fact that it made me wonder exactly what had him so convinced of Bologna's innocence. Sure, it was a bit suspicious that Rio gave up the name so easily, but then again, Rio wasn’t exactly what you’d call street smart.

I got up from the couch and stood next to him. “Do I want to know why you sound so fucking sure about all this?”

He placed his hand on my shoulder. “I’ve been around for a long time, rookie. Trust me when I say it’s the Morello's you want.”

I peered down at his hand on my shoulder before looking up at him. “This still doesn’t mean we’re partners.”

“Of course, it doesn’t.” He removed his hand and walked to the front door. He paused as he reached for the doorknob. “Besides, your ass is suspended, remember?”

Ah, fuck. I forgot about that for a second, and it felt so good until this asshole ruined it.

And then it occurred to me. “If you know I’m suspended, why did you just tell me all this?”

He was already halfway out the door when he stopped and glanced my way. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I just did my duty as your partner to check how you were doing after getting suspended.” A wicked half grin curved up the corner of his mouth, and then he closed the door behind him.

This time it was my turn to snort. What an asshole—albeit an asshole who just scored some major points.

It pained me to admit it, but maybe he was right. Maybe I’d been concentrating too much on the wrong damn family. The heat had been on the Bologna's for so long, that the Morello's movements went almost completely unnoticed.

I needed to spend some time investigating the Morello's to see what I could come up with. I still wasn’t convinced I was wrong about the Bologna's being behind this town turning into a criminal dumpster. But if—and that was a big fucking if—Roman was right, I needed to start paying closer attention to the other Italian family in town.

I grabbed my phone, scrolling to Vanessa’s Instagram page before I sat on the couch, wondering why I felt the need to disinfect the La-Z-Boy before I made use of it again. Probably because of Roman's dirty ass.

There was still no status update on her page, and I was pretty sure since she now knew I was watching her profile, she wouldn’t be updating it that often anymore. I was surprised she hadn’t deleted and blocked my ass yet.

Staring at her profile picture, her smile almost reaching her chocolaty eyes, I couldn’t help but think she didn’t quite fit into the Bologna equation. Sure, she was feisty with a healthy dose of that sexy-as-hell Italian attitude, but part of a criminal family? I didn’t think so.

It was easy to see her older brother Antonio was well on his way to following in their father’s footsteps. Daniel had that whole Italian bad-ass nailed to perfection. But her? I didn’t know. One thing I did know was Vanessa Bologna was a puzzle I wanted to solve, and even if my spidey senses keep telling me to keep away, my dick didn't seem to listen.

I knew I needed to figure her out, so I was just going to press some buttons here and there, get the information I needed, and get the hell out of there with my cock very much unattended to. Because if I wasn't careful Vanessa Bologna was going to be the end of me.

Libre Baskerville
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