By: Alexa Riley

“I’m here to make sure the cops don’t show up. I’m cutting the lines and hacking the systems. Those are my skills sets,” I remind him, as if I want no business seducing the girl. I’ll be the one to do it if it’s something he’s going to push. “We don’t need her. I got you the floor plans, schedules, and I can take their system down easy. We don’t need to drag a woman into this, one who can end up identifying us when it’s all finished.”

“Trust me, she won’t be identifying anyone when we’re done with her.” Heavy’s intent is clear. But that’s something I would never allow to happen. “I just want to make sure everyone is on the same page. Let’s not forget she has keys, too. Access to the main vault.”

“And what if shit goes wrong? She could ID me if she slips through our fingers,” I try again, going at him from another angle.

“Why do you care? I hear this is your last job anyways.”

I regret giving him that piece of information, but I had to give him something. I was known for working alone, doing random jobs for crews. Normally, when I did pick up a job with another crew, I still did those jobs alone. Got them what they needed, then stepped out. I had to have a reason why this time I was willing to go in with a whole group, and I used this being my final score as that reason. I told Heavy I wanted to walk away with a lot of money so I could be done. But I have a feeling with all this talk about the girl not walking away and wanting me to get close to her that Heavy doesn’t plan on me walking away either.

Chapter 2


Silently, I scream inside, knowing that if I seem too eager, Heavy will sense something is up. But now if I don’t agree to go along with his idea, it would draw just as much attention.

“Fine. You’re running the show. I’ll take care of it.” I concede to what he wants, knowing that it could be her life if I refuse and someone else takes over. Not that I would have ever let that happen. No one is getting close to my Tessa but me.

“Good. Get it done. We’ve got to tighten up everything before next week. Monday morning, it all goes down.”

Heavy scoops up the envelope containing Tessa’s pics and tosses it to me. I pick it up and check inside to make sure I’ve got all of them. I slide it into the inside pocket of my leather jacket, wanting to keep it close.

“We done here?” I look at Heavy, waiting for him to say anything else I might need to know. I’ve got to get out of this shit hole; the stench is starting to make me sick.

“Yeah, Sparrow, we’re all good. You just make sure everything’s in place when the times comes.” He pops a toothpick in his mouth and leans back in his chair. I feel the need to kick his teeth in, but instead I stand up and turn to walk out the back door.

Just as I take a step, I hear Nick over my shoulder.

“Good luck with Tessa.”

I stop and turn back to see him taking a seat in the chair I just got up from. The way he said her name, like he was tasting it in his mouth, has me on alert. Do they know something already? Have I not been careful about how much I watch her? I don’t have time to think on it right now. I file it away.

Lifting my chin in acknowledgment, I turn back around and make my way out of the club and to my ride. Once I’m outside, I take a deep breath of fresh air, cleansing my lungs from the stink of that place. Goddamn seedy-ass club has my skin crawling.

Hopping into my black 1970 Chevy Chevelle, I crank up the engine and put it in gear. It’s a cool night in downtown Chicago, so I’ve got the hardtop on. I drive away from the club and make my way out of downtown and west to a small suburb. It’s about a twenty-five-minute train ride, but it’s a lot less by car.

My Tessa.

I’ve been waiting all night to able to go check on her, even though I know it’s late. Although I know she’ll be in her room sleeping, I’m still going to go by and check. If I don’t I know, I’ll just crawl out of bed in a few hours and do it anyways. There’s no fighting this pull she seems to have on me. How could someone own me and not even know I exist?

Tessa rents a small two-bedroom apartment just outside the city. She’s lived there, from what I can tell, most of her life. She lived there with her grandmother up until about six months ago when her grandmother Alma passed away. She lived alone for about three months after Alma passed away, then her co-worker moved in with her.

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