Twisted Roses

Page 77

“He was supposed to meet him too,” Delphine whispers.
I whip the door open and stalk over to the curator’s office. We’re getting some answers about whatever the fuck is going on and we’re getting them right now.
Flynn has barely hung up his phone when I enter and snatch him up by the collar. He screams, caught by such surprise, he fumbles his phone. I haul him into the larger office that belongs to the head curator and tell Delphine to slam shut the door.
As though we’ve rehearsed this and are on the same page, she hurries to comply. No questions asked.
She even twists the lock. Discretion and privacy.
Pride beats through me, though I don’t let it show on my face. My expression is controlled and apathetic, not an ounce of emotion anywhere.
I slam Flynn against the wall, easily overpowering him, digging my arm into his windpipe.
Northam PD’s finest.
Fucking pathetic.
He scrabbles at my hold to no avail. With an outraged grunt, he gives up altogether. “Salvatore Mancino, I should’ve expected a lowlife like you!”
“Shut the fuck up,” I command. “You’ll speak when you’re spoken to. When I ask you a question, you answer.”
“Ms. Adams?! What are you doing with him? So, it’s true—you have ties to the Mancino crime organization?” Flynn blurts out, his half-mask crooked on his nose.
“Did I tell you to speak? Did I tell you to fucking look at her?”
I punch him in the gut. He sputters and keels halfway over.
“That was a warning. Follow my instructions,” I say, in full interrogation mode. Flynn should be very afraid right now, police commissioner or not. “Who were you speaking to and why were you up here?”
Still doubled over, he croaks an answer. “He asked me to be up here. Head curator’s office. Ten o’ clock.”
“He, who? You sounded very familiar. Give me a name.”
“Who else? NorthamNeptune! I don’t know anything else about the scammer.”
“That was what he told me. To meet him at ten o’ clock,” Delphine says, taking a step closer.
“Stay where you are.” I speak from over my shoulder in an authoritative tone Delphine doesn’t challenge. Redirecting my attention back the commissioner, I straighten him up and flatten him against the wall once more. “You have his number. You were having a whole conversation. You expect me to believe you don’t know who he is?”
“You think if I knew, I’d be playing these games?” Flynn cries out indignantly. Even with his mask slanted and his hair ruffled. “If I had any other recourse, I wouldn’t be here!”
“He’s blackmailing you.”
“He… well… it isn’t… I… I… don’t…”
“What’s he got on you, Commissioner?” I ask, a cruel grin curling on my lip. “What has you so worried you’d agree to meet him tonight?”
“Does it matter? He’s not coming! He’s cancelled. Yet again.”
“Why would he cancel when he’s the one who set the meet up?” Delphine asks from where she is.
Flynn throws his arms up with a borderline delirious laugh. “Because he can! Don’t you get it? He has so many of us wrapped around his finger!”
“How many people is he blackmailing?”
“Countless… at least six others as far as I know. We’ve tried to track him down. I’ve had Cyber Crimes dedicate entire work days to locating him, but he’s always one step ahead—”
“And what does he have on you, Commissioner?” I ask a second time.