No Such Luck by Letty Frame
“He’s obviously not going to talk,” I drawl, glancing at Vi for support, but of course, I don’t get it. The bastard is more interested in his phone. I’d understand if he were doing something relevant, but he’s playing with the stock market.
This was supposed to be a team bonding exercise before we go out and truly celebrate, and he can’t even deign himself to pay attention.
Thankfully, Luca notices my look and gives me a curt nod. I’m not going to be surprised if Vi’s phone ends up getting misplaced at some point tonight. Well, that, or smashed to pieces when Luca finally snaps. I might not be willing to stoop that low, but that’s why we work well as a team. We’ve all got our roles.
“Why the fuck not?” Cosmo snaps, glaring at the unconscious man that’s been tied up in our living room for the last few days.
“I’ve got ways to wake him up, Cossy,” Luca says, reassuringly.
The psycho is covered in blood—specks of it covering his face like fucked up freckles, and his shirt is drenched—and he’s got two different length knives in his hands, excited about the torture session he’s doing.
He’s a mess.
Unlike my more psychotic brothers, I prefer my torture sessions to have a bit of finesse. Any fool can break someone by breaking someone, but the psychological games tend to be just as fun. Explains why I’m sitting here pristine, and he looks like a walking horror movie. I was having a great time until they took their games too far.
“He’s useless anyway,” Vi says, not even looking up. “Stop working yourself up. I give him two days max with that wound. You may as well have your fun while it lasts.”
“I give him two days max with that wound,” Luca mutters, in a poor imitation of Vi’s voice, and I grin. “You’re not all fucking knowing. I can always stitch it up, and he’ll be good as new.”
“And what of the blood he’s lost, hmm? You’ve had him for five days now. I’m getting bored of him taking up my fucking living room,” Vi says angrily. He turns to me, and I shrug. He didn’t support me a minute ago, so why should I now waste my time supporting him? “We need a new rule where victims can only be kept for five days, max.”
“He stole from me,” Cosmo snarls, glaring at Vi. “I’m not putting a limit on my revenge.”
“He stole your parking space,” I remind him. Priorities, people. “It’s not like he’s a fucking spy. He’s just an inconsiderate asshole.”
“Oswald, Oswald, Oswald,” Luca chants.
Before I can order them to take a break for the night, my phone rings. A quick glance lets me know it’s Remo, and I smile. Thank fuck. A job will give them something to focus on. I step to the side, and the dynamic duo turn back to the bound up man as Vi goes back to his phone. None of them care what my call is about.
“Dia, I’ve got a job for you and your men. I’ve received some information, and we need to act tonight.” Time-sensitive jobs are always the best jobs. We can cut out all elements of subtlety and just do what feels right.
“What’s going on?”
“Matty Palumbo. He’s up to something, and we can’t allow him to continue with his attempts to derail our plans. I’d like you to fix that little problem.”
“He was at O’Shea’s, but he left about fifteen minutes ago, according to my source. We need him found and questioned before…”—I hear someone call his name in the background, and he grunts—“just make it happen, Dia. Don’t fuck this up.”
I briefly hear the song in the background change, and my eyebrows raise. Seems he’s out celebrating St Patrick’s Day, but I wonder why he’s at O’Shea’s. Although we’re trying to keep our tenuous truce with the Irish solid, we’re definitely not friendly enough to hang out at their establishments.
“We won’t. What do you want to know in particular?”
“Nico seems to think that Matty is a double agent, and combining that with the information I’ve received from a trusted source, it’s time for us to act. Get us answers before taking him out.”
The call ends, and I roll my eyes. No pleasantries, no tact. Standard business with the prick in a suit.
I’m curious about what he was going to say about the deadline, though, before he got cut off. It must be important if he wants Matty handled tonight.
“What did he want?” Vi asks as I head back over to the bar. I down my scotch before turning to the scene in front of me.
“Time’s up, gentleman. Duty calls.”
“We’ll be back for you,” Cosmo hisses, before turning to me. “What are we doing?”
“Luca, you’re going to take a fucking shower. It’s not Halloween, and the color of the night is green, not red,” I snap. He rolls his eyes, “Cosmo, you’re heading for some recon with Vi. We need to locate Matty—”
“Irish Matty?” Luca asks, confused.
“How are you on a first-name basis with an Irish?” Cosmo demands.
“Don’t be so jealous, Cossy,” Luca says, smirking. Cosmo goes to reply, but one look from me silences him. This isn’t the time for them to fuck around, and they know it. “I know of him, but we actually talked a little sometime last week when I was out on the job. Why? Is that important?”
“What did you think of him?” I ask.
Luca shrugs, thinking it over. “Decent guy, but I got the feeling he had issues with the Irish. Particularly the leadership. I don’t know, but he can’t be too terrible if he hates them. He was mouthing off, drawing attention, but thankfully Nico came and dealt with it so I could get back to work.”
“Nico was there? Where were you?” That could explain how Nico concluded that Matty was a traitor, but it still doesn’t explain what he was doing there. Nico’s got no business being near one of our jobs.
“Oh, it was that day I was out with Ky. We were at the—”
“He was at your job with Ky?” I demand. Luca nods, and I frown. What the fuck was he doing there? “Fucking hell. Okay, get to it. We need to find him ASAP.”
“Consider it done,” Cosmo says, smirking. “If I find him before Vi, can I have the honors?”
“No fucking fair,” Luca snarls. “It’s my turn.”
“You’re covered in fucking blood. You’ve lost all rights to it,” I snap, cutting off their fighting. They’re giving me a headache. I thought a job would channel their focus, but it seems like they’re still high off the session we’ve just had. “Yes, Cosmo, if you find him, you get the kill.”
Cosmo grabs his phone, immediately getting to work. He’s a psychopath, and the promise of a kill has him working fast. It doesn’t hurt to know your team well enough to understand what motivates them. Usually, it’s a competition between Luca and Cosmo—they’ve both got the best grunts who will report to them.
“Do me this solid, Luca. Help me with this torture session, Luca. Come on… you know you want to hurt him, Luca,” Luca mutters as he stomps up the stairs. “Oh, but the moment an opportunity arises, I’m going to stab you in the fucking back. Spineless cunt.”
“With a smile on my face, asshole,” Cosmo shouts, before turning to Vi. “Let’s go. I’ve already got feelers out looking for him.”
He might be fucked in the head, but he’s got his talents. Even if his priorities are slightly jacked.
Hopefully, Matty will give us some answers before he meets his unfortunate demise. I’ve got no right to demand them from Remo, not that Othello would let him give any information up, but that doesn’t mean I can’t ask my own questions. There’s a lot he needs to answer for.
We just do as we’re told, though… well, apart from the times where we don’t.
“Shut him the fuck up,” Vi yells, and I roll my eyes. He’s so dramatic.
There’s nobody around to hear him, and the screams are the best part of this whole thing. If Matty wants to be a stubborn fuck and not talk, we’re going to increase the pain he suffers. A gag would definitely ruin the aesthetic.
“You shut up,” Luca says, causing me to laugh. “His screams are delicious. Besides, I’m not even the one hurting him.”
“Well, I like hurting him,” I snap. Why are they trying to ruin my fucking fun?
This is my kill, and we do it how I say. Luca and I are currently tied for first place on our murder board, and this will let me take the lead. Dia promised I got to do the honors, but no, Vi has to be a whiny cunt and attempt to derail it.
“Well, I still don’t think it’s fair that—” Luca starts but comes to an abrupt halt when he notices that both Dia and Vi are on edge. “What’s wrong?”
“Who the fuck are you?” Dia shouts, barely managing to contain his ire. Luca and I whirl around, not having heard anyone approach, and I can’t hold in my surprise.
We’re very good at what we do—the ultimate professionals, depending on who you ask—and it’s not often that we’re discovered accidentally. Especially not by someone like her.
A cute little brunette is slowly making her way up the alley, stumbling slightly in the tall as fuck heels she’s wearing. She’s wearing a long dark coat, with a bright green shirt peeking out over the top. Her jeans are snug-fitting, and I know if she turned around, they’d make her ass look amazing. There’s a crown of clovers weaved through her hair, which match what I know is written on her shirt. Even from this distance, there’s no mistaking her identity.
I met her yesterday, and she’s been on my mind ever since. I mean, that might be because I’ve used all of my free time over the last twenty-four hours to follow her around and get to know her. From afar, of course. I kept trying to time some more coincidental meetings, but she’s so fucking floaty that it’s hard to predict what she’s going to do next. Still, I’ve enjoyed seeing her have fun with her friends today.
However, her stumbling up this alley at this exact moment is a cruel twist of fate. I’ve spent time planning the best way to approach her again, and I’m furious that she’s forcing my hand this early in our relationship. I wanted to do this right. I needed to study her and learn her patterns, behaviors, and routines. Then, and only then, would I strike, and she’d be mine. Forever.
I also hate the excited glimmer in Luca’s eyes at the potential of another kill. At least, I hope it’s at the prospect of another kill. Because there’s not a chance he deserves anything more with her.
I glare at him, hoping my warning is conveyed. Back off, buddy, this one’s mine. Mine to play with. Mine to protect. Mine to love. He will need to go through me if he wants to harm her, and there’s no line I won’t cross to keep her safe.
Our connection yesterday was palpable, and everything I’ve learned about her since then has only proven what my heart knows. Harper, my little fox, is the perfect match for me.
“Wait, stop. I know her. She’s the woman from the zoo,” Vi says quietly when Dia makes a move to advance. “Cosmo, go deal with it.” It? She’s a fucking precious entity. Not a fucking it. I’ll get him back for that comment later, though.
“Why him?” Luca whines, but I wave him off before jogging over to where she’s standing. Smart of her not to come any closer. I’d hate to get blood on her pretty outfit.
“Little fox? What are you doing here?” I ask, raising an eyebrow. She entirely relaxed her body since seeing me, but I’m at a loss. Why is she in this random as fuck alley, and where the hell are her friends? All day she’s been surrounded, and she doesn’t seem like the type that should be trusted to be alone. Or maybe that’s just my protective instincts talking.
“I’m scared.” Oh, my poor baby. I can only imagine what’s led to this. There won’t even be a body left to identify if anyone has harmed her. St Patrick’s Day is not a safe night in this city, and pretty lonely girls are great targets.
“Weak little girl,” Vi says, and I tap the gun at my back as a warning. I don’t want him fucking upsetting her any further. I grin at the glare on Harper’s face, finding it amusing that she’s got the confidence to do that, but one glance in her hazel eyes shows me that she’s terrified.
I reach for her hand, frowning at the lack of gloves. She’s got to be freezing. Fucking hell, she truly needs a keeper.
I hear a slight purring sound and pull her coat open a little to see why. Is that a... yes it is. She’s carrying a filthy little mongrel. Fuck, I love her. “Why do you have a cat?”
“I found him in the alley back there. He was stuck, but I saved him.”
She’s fucking adorable.
“She found a fucking cat?” Luca calls, and the annoying fuck comes over to where we’re standing. I don’t want to share. “Hey. I’m Luca, the best looking one of the group. How do you know Cosmo?”
Best looking? Is he fucking blind?
I let out a quiet growl, letting him see the full extent of my fury. He needs to back off before I make him. Well, once Harper’s no longer here. I don’t want her to think badly of me. “Fuck off, Luca. I’m talking to her. She’s my friend, not yours.”
“Well, you can’t make new friends and not share,” Luca argues. When has that ever been the damn rule? I don’t share everything with him.
“What is happening here?” Harper asks, trying to look around us to see what we’re doing. It’s very annoying.
“What’s happening is you’re not meant to be here, little fox,” I say sadly. Vi and Dia are handling Matty the snake, and I really hate that she’s got to be here while that’s happening. I had a fucking plan, an amazing plan, one that would ensure both of our happiness forever.
Step One: Learn everything about her.
Step Two: Ask her on a date and make her fall in love with me.
Step Three: Love her forever.
“You were meant to give me your number, and we could have done this properly. Now, you’re going to be stuck watching. Why did you have to ruin my grand plan?” I demand, and Luca kicks the back of my leg. Got it. My tone is panicking her again.
It’s not like I’m going to hurt her. I’m just pissed. I don’t understand why karma is making my life harder. I rid the world of sinners, making her workload lighter, and this is my repayment?
If I didn’t enjoy it so much, I’d stop just to spite her.
“You want to take her on a date?” Luca asks, laughing. Fucking asshole. Just because he can’t keep a date alive long enough to get to the good part doesn’t mean I want to join him in his life of celibacy. Boring fuck.
Harper’s intelligent, funny, and ditzy enough that I could keep my proclivities secret. Well, that was the original plan. Now, she’s going to see the kind of people I associate myself with, and it’s going to ruin everything.
“None of your business,” I snap, and Luca rolls his eyes. The moment we’re home, I’m snapping his puny little neck. I turn back to Harper, ready to extract the answers I need. “Harper, why are you down this alley? Where are your friends?”
“How do you know about my friends?” she demands, cuddling the stupid mongrel closer to her chest to protect it. As if I’d touch the flea-ridden, diseased beast. Well, I might kill it.
A frosty glare appears on her face, and both Luca and I roar with laughter. She’s far too sweet, and this angry look of hers is not achieving the results she’s hoping for.
If she wants me to pull my cock out and fuck the anger out of her, she’s on the right track.
If she wants me to be scared, she’s going to have to try a tad harder.
“She’s adorable,” Luca cackles, and I watch as he fingers the knife he’s got in his jacket pocket. The sick fuck is probably debating on giving it to her. I subtly shake my head, and he rolls his eyes. “The kitten in her arms is scarier than she is.”
He’s not wrong.
“Thanks, little fox, we needed that laugh. However, you’re not answering the question.”
“What are you doing to that man?” she asks, and when she pulls her bottom lip between her teeth, I have to look away. She’s begging to be fucked, but she’s drunk. I don’t fuck drunk chicks.
“What’s with the twenty questions, cara?” Luca asks, shaking his head. Cara? She’s not his fucking love. Does he not understand how dibs fucking work? I saw her first; that makes her mine. If he wanted her, he should’ve found her before I did. “We’re so much more interesting than him.”
He’s got that right, at least. Hmm, there’s a reason Luca is my best friend. Sometimes he’s smart.
“Because it looks like the taller man is hurting him,” she mumbles, and I turn my head to see what’s going on. Vi’s kneeling close to Matty, and I know he’s going to be threatening him. My dick’s already hard, but I can feel it pulsing at the violence.
It’s just a fucking shame that Vi’s now stealing my kill.
“Why do you care, though?” Luca snaps.
Harper seems so confused and tries to step closer to Dia and Vi. Her curiosity is a quality I like, but not when it comes to this. It’s meant to be my job to protect her from the harsh dangers of the world. Instead, I’m giving her a front-row fucking ticket.
Wrapping my arms around her shoulders, I spin us so she can’t see what’s happening anymore. I know what’s coming next, and my perfect little beauty needs to be shielded from that. No matter how mentally impaired she is right now, she’ll be sober tomorrow, and I really don’t want her tainted with these horrible memories. Especially since I’m linked to them.
Luca walks in front of us, not wanting to be left out of the conversation. Fucking fool. He’s getting this tiny amount of time with her now because I can’t cause a scene in front of Harper, but he’s got another thing coming if he thinks that I’m going to let him continue with his games.
She lets out a little whine, and I squeeze her shoulders in reassurance. “You don’t want to see this part, little fox. Now, I’ll ask again. Where are your friends, and why have they let you come over here alone?”
“Skyler is missing.” The abrasive artist? That’s a shame. I quite liked her. Let’s hope she’s not dead in a ditch somewhere. St Patrick’s Day is the prime time to rack up kills for your Murder League, and someone sniped one from me. I fucking hate people. Okay, I’m getting off track. “We were at O’Shea’s bar, and everything’s a mess. Lennon and I split up to find her—well technically, I ran away, so she’s going to be mad—and I was trying to find my way back and rescued my cat, and when I got scared, I found this street. It’s the only one with streetlights, so I came up here thinking it would lead back to the main road, and now I’m here all alone, and it’s dark, and I’m sure you guys are hurting that man.”
She barely took a breath through all of that. She ran away from her friends? Fuck, she’s dumb. Makes things easier for me, though.
I don’t like to hear that she’s been wandering the streets alone. She’s not from the area—she’s not even from the damn country—and anything could have happened to her. Once she understands she’s mine, I’ll be laying down the rules, and rule number one is you don’t go anywhere alone. Hasn’t she ever seen a fucking horror movie?
Matty, the snake, cries out, and I groan as she kicks back against me and escapes my hold. She spins so gracefully in those heels, just in time to watch Vi slit his throat. Fuck.
She screams, and unlike Matty’s, hers tugs at every protective instinct within me. She seems genuinely concerned for Matty, but I couldn’t care less about that prick. He deserved way fucking more than what we gave him. I just hope we got the answers we needed before they wrapped things up. I don’t want them blaming Harper for things going wrong.
Luca takes advantage of her not being in my arms and invades her personal space. He’s seriously racking up the punishments.
Although... seeing her tiny form pressed close to him does give me some fun ideas.
“I’m sorry you saw that cara, but if you wait till we get cleaned up, we can go out.”
“You’re offering to take her on a date?” I scoff. A moment ago, he was teasing me for having that exact same thought. “No. I saw her first. I get to take her out first.” Harper leans into Luca, and it’s only the pure exhaustion and worry that she’s exhibiting that makes me stop fighting with Luca. There’s a time and a place for that. Her needs come first.
Her eyes are trained on Dia and Vi, and she’s observing clean up. I don’t bother hiding her view of it because it’s not like cleaning is that traumatizing.
I pull out a cigarette, light it, and wait quietly as Harper works through her emotions. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone cry because of the pain inflicted on someone else. Her empathy might be one of her most attractive traits.
Especially since the four of us don’t have any at all.
There’s a high-pitched whine from the mongrel in her arms, and I barely hold in the urge to snap its neck. The only thing that saved it is the devoted look my girl gives it. I don’t know how she managed to find a cat, but she seems intent on keeping it. Good thing my plans are adaptable.
“It’s okay, baby, it’s okay. We’re going to go now, and we’ll find Sky, and I can get you some help,” she says gently.
“I’m sorry, little fox, but you can’t leave,” I tell her quietly. There’s no way Vi or Dia will let her leave after seeing us kill Matty. There’s still work to be done regarding the traitorous little snake. And honestly, I don’t feel ready to let her out of my sight just yet either. “You’ve got to come with us. This is why I was mad. You really ruined my plan.”
I need to keep her with me until I can convince her that we belong together. Some might say kidnapping is wrong, but I see it more as providing her with ample opportunity to get to know me in a safe environment. I left her with her friends because they seemed to honestly care about her. But they’re fucking useless if they’re letting her run off in the middle of the damn night alone.
“But now you get to come with us,” Luca exclaims. “Forever.”
He’s got the right idea.
Unfortunately, based on the way Harper’s beautiful eyes fill with tears, I think we’re a long way off from the happy ending I’ve been imagining.
I fucking knew she wasn’t ready for the life I live, but her incompetent friends had to ruin my plans. If only they looked after her better.
“We’re going to have so much fun together,” Luca says, completely lost in his own plans. He seems to like her too. We could maybe share... “What kind of movies do you like? None of these fuckers will ever watch my kind of movie, but you’re a girl, and girls love romantic shit.”
Is he forgetting last night when I sat and watched the fucking Notebook with him for the seventieth time?
“They do,” I say. Luca’s playing with her hair, and it’s annoying me. I want to lace my fingers through it. Preferably as I’m guiding her head up and down my cock, but I’d take the innocent gesture Luca has if it means he fucks off. I offer her a draw, but she shakes her head.
“I don’t smoke,” she whispers. Should I quit so we have something in common?
“You’re crying,” Luca says, and I can see the shock on his face. He’s not good with crying chicks—his only experience is when they’re begging for their lives, and he usually resolves that by killing them or gagging them depending on his mood.
“She is,” I agree. Look, Harper, I pay attention.
“Why are you crying?” Luca asks.
“Because someone is dead,” she snarls. Oh, I like that tone. “My friend is missing. You’ve just killed someone. My cat is hurt.”
My poor little fox. I grin as an idea comes to me.
I bend down in front of her so that we’re eye-level, almost snapping my back with how fucking short she is. I smile at her, desperate to put her at ease.
Sadly, it doesn’t work. Her gaze turns wary, but Luca holds her in place for me. I lean in, feeling her warm breath on my cheek, and lick away the fallen tears. I expertly trace their path, my dick hardening even further at the act. Her breath hitches, and I smirk before repeating my actions with her other cheek.
Ha. Beat that, Luca.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” she snaps, and I pull away. She didn’t like it? I thought I was being sweet. Damn, she’s hard to impress. “Get away from me, or I’ll scream.”
Oh, baby, we love it when you scream. Well, as long as they’re not filled with fear. Luca doesn’t move, and she stamps on his foot, causing me to laugh. Luca very much likes a bit of pain with his pleasure. The kinky fuck probably sees this as foreplay. Not that I blame him.
“Cara, the pain only turns me on,” he murmurs. “Keep going, and instead of watching a movie, we could do something better.”
Ruining our fun, Vi and Dia make their way over to where we’re standing. Harper seeks refuge from Luca by unconsciously moving closer to him, despite just pushing away from him. No matter how scary we seem, we’re still the safe ones compared to the two murderers. Ha.
If only she knew who was truly winning at the Murder League.
“Grab your plaything, and let’s get out of here,” Dia commands. Luca nods, but I roll my eyes. She’s not my fucking plaything.
“Don’t be an ass, Dia,” I say, reaching for her hand to try and help calm her down. “She’s pretty and fun.”
“And a witness to what has just gone down,” Vi says. Well yeah, I know that. I’m not fucking dumb.
I was objecting to Dia calling her my plaything, not at the order of bringing her with us. My entire future rests on her being my hostage for a while.
“Why don’t we just kill her and then be done with it?” Vi asks, and Harper’s gasp is beautiful. I can’t wait for her to tear Vi’s defenses down.
“Because she’s so sweet,” Luca argues, and I smirk at him. Seems I can’t kill him just yet. I need him on my side to keep my little fox alive. “Cosmo found her and was selfish by keeping her to himself. I want my turn to be her friend.”
“Why should we let you live?” Dia demands, an eyebrow raised. Curious to hear her answer, all four of our gazes fall on her. She visibly shrinks, but that just adds to her appeal.
“I just saved this cat,” she whispers. “Now I need to get him some help.”
I can’t cope. She’s fucking precious. Dia smiles, and I know we’re keeping her.
“Well then, let’s take her back to the compound,” Dia says, making sure I understand she’s my responsibility. I give a curt nod. I wouldn’t have it any other way. “They’ll not be pleased, but we could at least check her damn cat over before killing her.”
Eh, who gives a fuck about Remo and his band of goons? It’s not like we’re going to let her loose around the compound.
“See, I told you that we’d have some fun together,” Luca exclaims, squeezing her waist. “What do you say, cara, want to come to the compound with us?”
“What about Skyler?” she asks. That wasn’t a no!
“Little fox, we really can’t let you go,” I tell her, but after seeing her with her friends, I know she’ll not come quietly without reassurances. “Your friend will be fine. Let’s head back to the compound, and I’ll get someone to go out looking for her.”
Maybe. Maybe not.
“You’re not good people.” Debatable. Personally, I think I’m the best kind of person.
“We’re actually the best kind of people,” Luca argues, and his words reinforce why we’re best friends. Sometimes, he lives in my brain—acting as the voice to my inner thoughts. It’s kind of creepy. “I offered to watch movies with you.”
“I licked your tears away,” I protest. That was sweet as fuck, and it’s something none of these other assholes did for her. “And said we’d look for your stupid friend. What kind of friend gets herself lost and then lets my little fox go off alone to find her?”
“A selfish one,” Luca says, and I nod. I’m pleased we’re both on the same page about her neglectful friends. If the artist is alive—and I don’t particularly care either way—we’re going to have some strong words for her. I left my little fox in their care until I was ready for her, and they fucked everything up. “We’re going to look after you so much better, cara.”
“Hey, I said you could stay alive,” Dia adds. Luca and I both look at him in surprise. Dia’s unofficially officially in charge, and the way he’s trying to work his way into her good books makes me think he likes her.
When I initially found Harper, I wanted her for myself. She’d be mine forever, and nobody could take her from me.
But now... well, I think I need to reconsider that plan slightly.
I think she’s going to be perfect for all of us.
As long as I’m her favorite, that is.