Twisted Roses

Page 43

“It’s nothing. Someone predicted something bad would happen to Gannon. I’m wondering if my attacker could be connected to the Neptune Society. He wore the club ring.”
“The list of members isn’t made available to the public.”
“I know… but if I had the list, I could use it to narrow down names.”
I neglect to mention that I’m in possession of some Neptune Society documents on the thumb drive Stitches saved from Ernest’s headquarters, but for different reasons. Ernest is a member and I’m certain his mistress Lena might be as well. I bet it’d be a lot like the donor list. Some big names. Others he’d prefer to keep secret like Lena.
Delphine doesn’t even know he’s still in contact with her. They might even still be romantically linked. I haven’t found out for sure yet.
“I’ll get you the list of names,” I say. Surprise lights up her toffee-brown eyes. Being the brutally honest bastard I am, I go on. “But I was already looking into it for a different reason.”
“Such as?”
“There’s something not right about your father’s campaign.”
She makes a sound of disgust, turning away her head. “Not this again. You’reobsessed.”
“I am. That’s because he’s hiding something.”
“I don’t want to hear whatever crazy conspiracy theory you have. I’ll be in the other room—”
I grab her arm. “Phi, hear me out a second. I know it makes you mad when I say bad things about him… but that’s an emotional response. Not a rational one. You’re a rational woman—let me explain what’s going on.”
“How many times do I have to tell you I’m not interested?”
“He’s deceiving the whole city, including you. Lying right to your faces. He and his campaign are corrupt and I’m going to prove it.”
She yanks her arm from my reach and pops up off the bed. “You have the audacity to say I’m being irrational because you have some crackpot theory about my dad and his campaign? Ever think you’re the irrational one, Salvatore? Youarethe one with the obsessive tendencies.”
“You can’t do it, can you? You’re incapable of seeing him for what he is.”
“He’s my father!”
“That doesn’t make him perfect. That doesn’t mean he’s not as fucked up as the rest of the city.”
Another throaty sound of disgust leaves her. She turns her back on me. “My father may not be perfect, but he’s a good man. He’s dedicated his life to making Northam a better place. You can’t see that because you’re blinded by your hate for him.”
“WhenI prove I’m right, you’re going to be in for the shock of a lifetime. You won’t be able to pretend anymore, Phi. You’ll finally see who he really is.”
“I was right before. Stay out of my life. And stay the hell away from my father.”
Delphine storms out of the room. Seconds later, the front door slams shut. Silence follows in her absence.
I haven’t moved a muscle. I regretted what I told her at the tapas bar, but I’ll never regret anything I say about her father. He’s not the man Delphine thinks he is—that the rest of the city thinks he is, for that matter—and I intend on exposing this.
No matter the cost.
* * *
It’s a week before I’m more or less back to being myself. No more symptoms of the concussion plague me except the occasional headache. My ribs are still healing, but not as tender and sensitive as the first few days. I’ve stopped wearing the sling for my shoulder altogether.
My top priority when returning to business as usual is to make sure my enemies understand attempts on my life won’t be tolerated.
I’ve had plenty of time to think about the accident. I’ve had my crew look into who owned the Hummers.
It takes some work, but we link them to the Belinis. Hector hired some street guys to carry out the collision. His message was clear—he knows I’m responsible for his little brother Giorgio’s death.
I don’t give a fuck. His death was justified. He not only called Delphine out of her name, but he’d issued public threats to her. He had every intention of putting a hit out on her if she continued pursuing criminal charges against him.