A Number, Not a Name: Part Twenty


Chapter 20: Among the Fallen


The blackout van steadily rolled along the road. Metal handcuffs tore and cut into Jason and Tasha’s wrists. On either side, they were flanked by a henchman who sat silently with their gun drawn. Elias and another man sat in front of them. The light from the moon shone on Elias, illuminating the features they’d recently grown accustomed to, as well as the smug expression on his face. Tasha found the sight beyond infuriating. She shifted her gaze out the window, trying to avoid it. 

The chimes of a church bell echoed in the night. One. Two. Three the clock struck. Tasha and Jason’s flight to D.C. had long since left the day before. They couldn’t help but think back to how close they had been to completing their mission. Only a few hours had stood between them and its end. 

Out the window, lights of various buildings and warehouses gleamed and shone through the dark. In the distance, Tasha and Jason could make out the familiar shape of a building. They soon realized it was the old bar where they first made contact with Dalmar. 

Seeing it now they felt a cruel sense of irony. The last time they’d seen this place they had been somewhat nervous but mostly full of excitement and passion. Even more so for Jason who saw this as a chance to prove themselves on the field, and secure the free world in the process. For a moment it seemed like they could take on the world. Now desperation drove their every move. It was no secret their backs were against the wall. Their whole focus now was on staying alive. If they could do that, that would be enough.

The van swerved and weaved its way through the streets. A few pedestrians dotted the surrounding landscape. Some cast a few curious glances at the van but paid it no attention beyond that. 

The honks and cars and sirens of the city faded to the rumble of a gravel road as the van drove out of town. 

Pine and birch trees surrounded them. The air was full of the typical smells of the forest. The bright lights of Bulin had faded into dim bulbs in the distance. The driver eased down on the brake. The car rumbled to a stop. A clunking sound of the front door openingangrierterrified and footsteps clomped outside. Elias stood and stomped to the back of the van, the floor rattling under his weight. 

As if on cue the doors swung open. The driver’s cold stone face looked back at them. Another man, pistol raised, stood beside him. 

“C’mon!” Elias reached down and grabbed Tasha’s arm, yanking her to her feet.

Elias dragged Tasha to the back of the van. “Let her go! Take me instead!” Jason screamed after them. 

“Quiet!” One of the henchmen slammed his fist into Jason’s face. 

Elias and Tasha stepped out of the van and the door shut behind them. On the side of the road was a gray car. Elias threw Tasha into the back. He climbed into the front passenger seat and the car took off down the road. They drove for several minutes until the vehicle came to a stop.

As Tasha gazed out the window she was convinced that she’d been here before. The large silver greenhouse in the distance. The rows of the lilium armenun. The large bent birch feet from her. It all seemed strangely familiar. Finally, it dawned on her, it had been the night of the gala. She’d seen them during her limousine ride with Dalmar. Her eyes widened, they were on Delmar’s Property. Tasha had tried her best to prepare herself for whatever was ahead, but couldn’t reason with the knots in her stomach

Headlights came into view. A white box truck came closer inch by inch and crawled to a stop several feet from where the van was parked.

The man in the driver’s seat exited the truck and opened the passenger door. A man exited the vehicle and stepped onto the gravel. Night shadows and the tinted van windows obscured his face, yet his silhouette seemed eerily familiar. From the back of the box truck, four men exited

The driver drew out his gun while Elias grabbed Tasha and forced her into the middle of the street. 

Beyond the trees, Milena watched the unfolding scene intently through her pair of binoculars. One of her hired men glued to her right side and on her left a black SUV. She kept a blank expression on her face, though inside she was a bundle of nerves. One couldn’t help but be nervous when dealing with him

“Well, isn’t this a surprise? Melinda, so wonderful to see you again.” The sight of Dalmar made Tasha’s mouth run dry. Beside Dalmar, standing alert and erect were Tarek and four of Dalmar’s bodyguards. 

“Too bad I can’t say the same about you.”

Dalmar touched the side of Tasha’s face. She didn’t flinch or pull back.“I must confess I’m disappointed. This is not how I wanted our relationship to progress .” 

Tasha smirked, defiance in her eyes. “I know how you wanted our relationship to progress. Believe me, this is better.”

Blind rage flashed across Dalmar’s face. It was gone just as soon as it came. There would be time to deal with her and her fellow agent later.

Dalmar turned his attention to Elias. “Earlier you informed me that you had two spies in your custody that infiltrated my operation. It seems you’ve forgotten one of them.”

“You’ll get them both after you show the weapons.” Elias firmly replied. His patience was all but gone with the hours of waiting and planning. He hadn’t taken this big of a risk to fail.

The two men exchanged tense glances with one another. Neither one wanted to give in. Right now only their ambitions, goals, and motivations served to keep them from the other’s throat. At least for the time being.

Dalmar relented. “This way.” He turned and began leading the small group down a small forest trail that led to the hidden bunker Dalmar had shown Tasha only a day before..“Who could have imagined us…working together again. There’s something so poignant about it. Don’t you think?” The phony sentimentalism only served to increase the tension.

Elias simply nodded in a vain effort to mask his growing irritation. Silently, the group entered the bunker. 

Jason anxiously waited in the back of the van. His mind was on Tasha and he felt sick with worry. His thoughts tormented him. Who knew where she was or what had happened to her. Possible gruesome fates played out in the mind. No, no. I can’t think that. I have to believe she’s okay. Despite their disagreements and the times they couldn’t stand each other, he cared about her. The thought of harm coming to her shook him to the core.

He heard muffled voices and the sound of ground crunching underneath the weight of the people who were conversing. The door to the van slipped open revealing Elias. “Get him out here!” he barked at the men beside him.

The three henchmen herded Jason out.

One of them shoved Jason from behind, forcing him into the middle of the road. Relief flooded through him as he saw Tasha. Jason was lined up beside her. 

Milena continued watching from the woods with bated breath. Now that they knew the location of the weapons all that was left was taking care of the NSA agents.

Tasha and Jason caught each other’s eyes. No words were exchanged, even so, it was evident that both thought their time was nearly up.

Dalmar slyly chuckled as he saw Jason. “Good to see you as well Mr. Delucas.” Jason didn’t respond.

Two of the men pressed Jason and Tasha forward toward Dalmar. Pistols nudged against their backs. 

The small group reached the back of the white box truck. Tarek unlatched the back and rolled it up.

The henchmen shoved Jason and Tasha into the truck. They stumbled, their knees hitting the hard metal. The door was shut behind them, leaving them in darkness. 

Elias curtly nodded to Dalmar and started towards the van. The sooner he and his men were gone the better. Everything so far was going according to plan. Perhaps that was why he was so nervous. In his experience when things seemed to go perfectly right that was the time to be concerned.

Throughout the whole exchange, it was clear he and Dalmar didn’t trust each other. And why would they, with their history and the bad blood between them? They each were perfectly aware that one of them was going to betray the other. That this new partnership of theirs, if you could call it that, was going to end sooner rather than later. It was only a matter of time. The only way either one of them would accomplish their goals was if the other was removed from the equation. Only matters of necessity had required this meeting tonight. For Dalmar it was security and for Elias information. The only question was who was going to strike first. If everything worked out that would be him and Milena.

He placed his hand on the van door handle. Footsteps sounded behind him. 

“So how long do you intend to keep up this charade?”

The voice was stern and dangerous. It stopped him dead in his tracks. Elias faced Dalmar. His eyes were as sharp as daggers. 

“Come now.” Dalmar laughed. “We’re both above these games. At least I thought you were.”

Elias inched closer to his old ally. There were so many things he wanted to say. Words he’d so far kept back by his judgment. Hearing his betrayer he couldn’t hold back. 

“Really?” he scoffed. “What about Norvan?” He pulled up his shirt, revealing the scar on the side of his chest. “What about me?! You couldn’t just kill me face to face. No!! You sent some faceless assassins to shoot me in the back!” 

Dalmar looked at him sharply. “And let me guess. Ever since then you’ve been biding your time.” He put his finger in Elias’ face. “Waiting for the perfect opportunity to do the same to me.” He outstretched his arms. “You know what, go ahead” he dared. “Kill me. I’d love to see you try.”

Seeing the growing confrontation, the henchmen walked over to and stood a few feet from Elias. Likewise, Tarek and Dalmar’s bodyguards moved closer in from the box truck.

Elias grew angerier with every second. His knuckles turned white as he clenched his fists. He could feel himself shaking. 

Dalmar stifled back a laugh. This was turning out to be easier than he thought. Elias was playing right into his hands. 

“But you know what? I don’t think you will. You don’t dare to kill me to my face. You know why…because you’re a coward.” Dalmar spat.

Elias glared up at Dalmar, face red with anger. A piercing shattering noise filled the air as he screamed and threw himself at Dalmar, sending the two of them to the ground. Pure rage was all Elias felt. Dalmar had to die. Now.

Muffled bangs were heard in the distance. They sounded like gunshots. The henchmen quickly drew their guns but it was too late. Gunfire reigned down on them from Dalmar’s men. One henchman slumped to the ground dead. The others scrambled into the car and frantically took off down the road.

From inside the truck, Tasha and Jason heard the distinctive sounds of guns firing. They scrambled over to each other in the center of the truck and ducked down to the ground.

Outside Dalmar and Elias struggled on the ground. Neither one was willing to give in to the other. Dalmar pushed Elias off him and punched him square in the chest. Elias stumbled to the ground but quickly got back up. His fist found Dalmar’s head and slammed into it. He shook it off and delivered a blow to Elias’ jaw. Elias kicked his leg out and undercut Dalmar’s legs, sending him to the ground. Elias scrambled over to where Dalmar lay and wrapped his hands around his throat.

Elias felt an unbearable sharp pain in his chest. Within seconds blood covered his gray shirt. His body fell limp over Dalmar. Chills flashed over his skin, and the next minute he felt like he was on fire. His eyes glossed over. Every second his breathing slowed.

Dalmar pushed Elias off of him and stood from the gravel. Blood dripped from the knife he held to his side. He stared down at Elias and tugged his shirt back in place, a smug look on his face. “Goodbye Elias.” Maniacal laughter filled the air as he walked away from his former ally’s dead body. 

The rest of the hitmen made their way down the winding forest road. Guns drawn and ready to fire at a moment’s notice. “I knew we never should have gotten into this!” the youngest man screamed

“You didn’t object when you saw the money.” another fired back.

“What good is the money if we’re de-”

A shot rang out.

The younger man was hit in the shoulder causing him to cry out.

Bullets ripped through the car shattering the windows and ripping the leather seats. The driver flattened the brake to the floor. The van jolted forward as it came to a stop. 

Two of the remaining henchmen quickly scrambled out of the car. Behind the tree line, they could make out the shadows of several gunmen. They ducked behind the side of the car. A firefight ensued.

In the distance, they could make out some of Dalmar’s men falling to the ground.

The driver desperately tried to reach Milena. “Ms. Ohanyan. Elias is down! Repeat Elias is down! We’re being sho-” A bullet collided with his chest and then the man collapsed over the steering wheel.

Moans and curses filled the air. The scene couldn’t have been more chaotic or chilling.“I’m out of bullets!” The oldest man screamed. 

The younger man continued firing his gun. “I just used my last one too!” 

The men tossed their guns to the side and held up their hands. “Don’t shoot!!” they each yelled.

Dalmar’s men ceased firing and stepped out into the road.

“Get down on your knees!” Adrian ordered.

Adrian’s words were as sharp as daggers. The men were terrified for their safety. As the older man tried to bend to his knees, his legs turned to mush and he nearly fell onto his back.

“I said get on your knees!!” Adrian angrily repeated.

The henchmen both knelt down to the gravel, all the while making sure to keep their hands above their head.

“Isn’t that something? Hitmen terrified of bullets.” Raphael snickered. He placed his hand in mocking reassurance on the older man’s shoulder. “Don’t worry we ain’t gonna shoot you.”

The older man’s eyes widened in sheer terror as he saw Raphael draw his knife. Without a second thought, Raphael drove it into his chest. Blood splattered across the road. The man staggered and fell to the ground dead.

The other henchman looked on in horror. His heart stopped. In his mind’s eye, he could see himself trying to run. He’d never get far, he knew, his eyes resting on the gun in Adrian’s hand.

“Please, please!!!” he begged. Raphael looked down at him, amused by the man’s terrfied plea. “I don’t think so.”

…..

In the stillness of the night, Milena anxiously watched the unfolding scene. Her gun was drawn and at the ready. She counted down the seconds, waiting for Elias’ exit to open fire. Elias and Dalmar were standing face to face. Even at this distance from them, she could see the hate in their eyes. 

Anger was a complicated and potentially dangerous emotion. For Milena, it inspired her to keep going in the face of unimaginable odds and obstacles. It drove her to bring Dalmar down. However, she knew how to control it. To not let her decisions be clouded in the heat of the moment. For others controlling themselves proved more difficult. All she could do was watch, wait, and hope Elias would walk away. If he didn’t, who knew what the consequences could be.

The man beside her held a disk grenade. His finger rested on the trigger, ready to fire. 

Suddenly, she saw Elias lunge at Dalmar. 

“What the heck is he doing?!” Milena screamed. The past week she and Elias had planned every part of this meeting with Dalmar. This was their one chance. She wasn’t about to sit back and let him ruin it.

Just then the sound of a gun firing pierced the air. 

Milena turned her head and saw the man slump forward on the dashboard. The bullet shattered his head. She started shaking as she saw she was covered in blood and brain matter. Bullets whizzed by, missing her head by inches. She grabbed her gun and fired out the rear windshield. Elias and she had planned for the nearly certain possibility of Dalmar having a backup plan. It was why she was in the woods. Biding her time, waiting to strike. However, despite their best planning, she had still been discovered and now their entire plan had fallen apart. A complete and total failure. All her hard work to bring Dalmar, the man that had brutally murdered her father, to justice – gone.

In the corner of her eye, she saw a gun aimed in her direction. Ever so slowly she turned to face one of Dalmar’s men standing outside the car door. A crazed expression was on his face. It was obvious he had no reservations about shooting her on the spot. And why would he when he had so easily shot her hitman?

“Get out of the car” the man ordered, coming toward her.

Milena placed her hands out in front of her. She remained still and took a breath, trying to think of a way out of this. Over the radio, she heard a man’s desperate voice. “Ms. Ohanyan. Elias is down! Repeat Elias is down! We’re being sho-” Milena’s eyes widened and her heart thumped in her chest. She knew she was down for the count.

The man’s face turned red with rage as he shook the gun. “I said get out the truck now!!!” Milena opened the car door and began to slowly exit the SUV. She saw his finger toy with the trigger. It was now or never. As fast as she could Milena placed her hand on the car door handle and swung the door out into the man as hard as she could. 

The man’s gun went off as he stumbled back. Milena leaped out of the car and threw herself at him. The gentleman raised the gun to fire again but Milena caught his hand and raised it in the air. She brought her fist to his wrist causing him to lose his grip on the pistol. The gun fell to the ground.

The man flung his hand toward Milena’s face. It felt like her face had been smashed inward. Blood spilled from her mouth and nose. She pushed the pain to the back of her mind. Her knee found his groin area. The man’s face contorted and twisted in agony. Milena landed a succession of blows on his chest and back. The man followed suit and kicked her in the side. Milena shuddered as she tried to catch her breath.

The two traded punches and kept coming at the other. Every minute that went by they found themselves more winded. Milena willed herself to keep going, though every part of her was in agony. She knew the moment she stopped she was dead. 

The man dove for her legs and pinned her down. Milena struggled desperately to push him off her. She clawed at his face but to no avail. He pulled a knife from his coat and pressed it against her throat. 

She felt its sharp surface begin to cut into her skin.

A gun went off. 

The man’s face froze and his body appeared rigid and stiff. Milena pushed him off of her and saw his abdomen bathed in blood. She glanced down and saw her clothes were covered as well. Timidly she lifted her shirt checking to see if she’d been hit as well. Seeing no wound she pulled her top down. Anxiously she glanced around her. Trying to determine where the shot had come from. She grabbed the gun lying on the grass. And held it up. Her nerves were fried and adrenaline coursed through her veins.

Behind her, she heard a twig snap. “Who the heck are you?! You better come out now or I’ll shoot!!”

“Is that any way to say thanks for saving your life?” 

Milena whipped her head around to where the voice had come from. Her eyes widened as a woman came into view. Her amber-brown eyes. Her breathy yet firm voice. The silver star charm bracelet that adorned her wrist. Milena would recognize them anywhere. There was no mistaking it, the woman standing in front of her was Liana. Milena kept the gun raised. Her heart raced with every moment. 

Liana was relieved to see her sister was okay. She’d wondered whether or not her and her sister’s paths would cross or if she’d get to her in time. Thankfully, she had.

Liana eyed the pistol. “Any reason you aren’t lowering your gun?”

“I don’t know if I can trust you.”

Liana lightly chuckled and stepped closer to her sister. “Funny, I was going to say the same thing.”

“I thought we were supposed to be adults.”

“Why don’t you put down the gun before I make you.”

“You put yours down.” The two women stared at one another for a moment. They each lowered their guns.

Milena staggered toward Liana “You disappear for five years and think you can just show up?”

“Lucky for you I did, otherwise you’d be dead.” Liana turned away from Milena and began walking through the woods.

Milena took off after her. Liana led them in a zigzagging course through the darkness; branches scratched at their arms and face.“You just had to come back to Bulin, didn’t you? What?! Did you feel guilty for leaving? For leaving me?!!” Milena grabbed Liana’s arm, forcing her to face her. “You thought you could just waltz in here without so much as even seeing me?” Tears filled her eyes.

“I thought it would be best?”

Milena scoffed “Best? Since when is not seeing your older sister best!”

“Because of this!!!” Liana shot back. She paused, and took a breath, trying to control her temper. “I knew we probably wouldn’t be able to stand the sight of each other. Goodness knows I have enough I have to deal with.”

“Oh my gosh!” Milena outstretched her hands. “‘What you have to deal with?!’ I’m the one who’s been here the past five years. I’m the one who saw our father’s mutilated body. I was the one at his funeral!”

“Look!! I’m not here to dig up the past! I’m not trying to be your sister or even your friend. I was just trying to save your life.”

“You owe me an explanation. I deserve that!”

“It’s a long story and right now I don’t have the time to tell it.”

“Well make the time.” Milena’s head was spinning and she couldn’t think straight. Elias was gunned down and her whole plan was dashed. She had to have some answers. 

Liana relented, “Fine. My car’s this way.”

…..

Three months earlier:

A rather tall middle-aged man, with salt-and-pepper hair, stood in front of the floor-length mirror. He finished buttoning up the cuffs of his tuxedo and took a step back. He looked rather handsome, he thought, all dressed up for the gala this evening. Most men around his age had their weight trending in the wrong direction. He took pride in the fact that he had managed to maintain his figure all these years.

The last few years had been a whirlwind. Long hours spent at the office. Around-the-clock lunches and golf rounds with prospective clients. Endless wheeling and dealing. Pretty much the typical life of a rising stockbroker on Wall Street. All his work was finally starting to pay off. It wouldn’t be long before he was at the top of the New York financial scene. Especially now that he’d secured one of the biggest deals of the year for his securities firm Van de Berg. 

Sure a good deal of his negotiations had been under the table. Perhaps he’d manipulated a few figures here and there to give his prospective clients an incentive to invest in Movaxis, one of the foremost pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations. Maybe he’d presented to the Mitcoff brothers possible profits higher than they’d be in reality, but even if, so what? He was hardly the only one who veered on that side of the business. In this cutthroat world, it seemed everyone looked out for themselves, it was the only way to get where you wanted to go.

He exited the bathroom and took in the view of the Manhattan skyline. In the distance, he could see the bright vivid lights of Times Square. People jostled down the city streets. The bright yellow of taxi cabs dotted the landscape. The hustle and bustle of the city made him feel alive. Thank goodness I’m not stuck in some podunk village or backwoods hamlet. 

On his bedside table, he found his watch. It no longer worked but he greatly treasured it. He clicked it open and stared down at the picture of his beloved Lizzy. 

His non-stop lifestyle often served as a welcome distraction from his old love. At night he wondered if he dodged a bullet or lost the love of his life. All he knew was that he missed her every day. Who knows. Perhaps I should have gone with her to England. We could have been married with children. 

“No. No!” he said aloud. He picked up the watch and slammed it back on the nightstand. The crystal cracked on the impact. “She’s the one who left!” He found himself breathing heavily. “She chose her precious ‘simple’ life over me!” He ran his hand over his mouth. “It’s better this way.” 

He turned on his heel and began to walk out the room. He stopped and went back to the nightstand. He gently picked up the watch and ran his finger over it. Memories of her, of the times they shared together flooded his mind. She may have chosen a simple life but he willingly chose the business world. Some days he felt it was the best decision he made and other times, like now, it filled him with regret. A tear escaped his eye and trickled down his cheek. He could have survived living in a podunk village as long as he was with her.

He tucked the watch in his pocket and left the room. As he slipped on his shoes, a knock sounded from the door. The sound took him by surprise. He wasn’t one to have visitors except for a maid or some type of maintenance person.

Glossman’s eyes rested on the stately gentleman before him. His three-piece suit and walking stick gave him an austere look. There was an air about him that seemed mysterious as well as intimidating. If Glossman had known the course his life would take by this meeting, he’d never have opened the door. 

“Can I help you?” Glossman asked rather snippily. He needed to be going soon and right now didn’t feel much like talking to anyone, especially some stranger.

“As a matter of fact, you can,” Blackgaard answered. 

“Make it quick. I have a party I have to get to.” 

“Of course this will only take a moment of your time. My name is Dr. Regis Blackgaard and I’d like to arrange for your professional services. You’ll be happy to hear that reputation precedes you on Wall Street Mr. Glossman. I’ve heard of the vast profits your clients have acquired”

“All business I handle down at my office.” Glossman snapped. “Come by there and we can talk further.” He began to step out of his apartment. 

Blackgaard’s eyes darkened. “I’m afraid you don’t understand. This matter can’t wait. You see, your future depends on it” he retorted.

Glossman was taken aback by the sharpness in the man’s voice but paid it no mind. “Listen! I decide where I do business. You don’t like it, find someone else.”

Blackgaard lowered his voice. “It’s hard to decide where to do business if you’re rotting behind bars.” For a moment Glossman stood there, frozen and speechless. Without a second thought, Blackgaard made his way past Glossman and entered his home uninvited. 

Regis began pacing the perimeter of the room. Except for the breathtaking views of the city, the loft truly was every bit as unremarkable as the man who occupied it. Oh, yes, there were other attempts at sophistication—the brass-crystal wall sconces, the abstract oil painting hanging on the wall beside the door, or the modern, black velvet sofa. But these fixtures came off as tacky rather than refined. Blackgaard had met enough upstarts pretending at riches to recognize false ostentation when he saw it.

Glossman walked toward the Blackgaard. The men stood mere inches from each other. The tension was overwhelming.

“What are you getting at?”

Blackgaard raised a brow, spinning on his heel to look at Glossman.“It would be a shame if word was to get out about how you arranged the Mitcoff deal. I’d say ten years at the least.”

Glossman could feel beads of sweat form on his forehead. His heart was fluttering and his mouth was dry. What he wouldn’t give for a drink now. A cold, strong, drink. His eyes darted around the hallway. There was no way this stranger knew about how he’d manipulated the deal. He’d been careful to cover his tracks. Countless times he’d gone over everything, making sure no one was aware. He couldn’t imagine how he could make such a grievous oversight. It was like a battle going on in his mind. One second he thought the whole thing was nonsense and another he was all but convinced he’d been found out. No, he’s bluffing. He’s probably trying to get me to confess….Well, it won’t work. I’m not falling for it…But then what if he isn’t bluffing… If I walk away. Everything I worked for, this life I gave up Lizzy for I’ll lose it. It would have lost her for nothing…for nothing…except being behind bars.

“You got some nerve coming in here, Hurling these accusations at me!”

“‘Accusations?’ Oh Mr. Glossman.” Regis laughed. “I never make accusations.” Out of his coat pocket, he pulled out a black folder and extended it toward Glossman. Glossman swallowed hard and took the folder from Blackgaard. Hesitantly he opened it. As he saw the images and documents, he felt like he was going to throw up. His blotchy face went ashen. It was all there. Clearly spelled out. It wouldn’t take a judge five minutes to rule that he was guilty. By now the blood had drained from his face and he was respiring rapidly. 

“Now, now, Mr. Glossman, there’s no need to be so upset. I won’t reveal this information to the authorities…on one condition.”

“And what’s that?” 

“You go to Odyssey,” Regis answered with too much warmth.

“Odyssey?” he scoffed. “Never heard of it.” 

“Well, that doesn’t matter much to me as long as you do what you’re told.”

“Why do you even want me to go to this Odyssey? It’s probably some backwoods town full of yokels. Seems to me it would be much more advantageous for you to ask for mo-“

“You’re not here to think Glossman!” He fell silent under the weight of Regis’s glare. “And as for the why I’ll tell you when I need to tell you.” He took a breath. “What I’ve discovered is going to change the world. Power and wealth unimaginable will be at my fingertips. And you have the honor of being a part of it” Blackgaard stood in front of Glossman. “Now which will be prison or a move to Odyssey.”

Glossman wasn’t used to groveling, he was always the one at the top. As much as he hated it, he knew what answer he had to give.

“When am I leaving?” Glossman bitterly relented, avoiding Regis’ gaze.

Blackgaard mockingly patted his shoulder. “There, there now. That wasn’t so hard now was it? 

A scowl spread across Glossman’s face much to Blackgaard’s amusement. It was clear the Wall Street broker wasn’t used to having his strings pulled. Though Blackgaard was certain he’d get used to it eventually. 

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