“Sounds like a chick from the name,” Samuel says from the back seat, not looking up from his phone. “I don’t have the whole file yet, but it’s on its way. From the bio it sounds like a cake job for a cool mil.”
“See? It’s all going to be fine. Samuel and I are going to go make some quick cash, and then you and I are gonna make this official.” I reach over, pulling her hand out from her crossed arms, and this time she holds mine back. After a second of me rubbing my thumb on the inside of her wrist, I feel her relax and squeeze me back.
We ride in silence as we make it to our hotel on the Strip. The three of us are used to rooming together, but this is our wedding night, so instead of adjoining rooms, Samuel got one across the hall from us. I sprang for the suite, wanting to treat Mary to a few luxuries, even if this was all last minute.
When we get upstairs and drop off our stuff, Mary goes to the master bedroom and closes the door. I know she’s not super happy with the two of us right now, but after this is over, I’ll have a lifetime as her husband to make it up to her. And who am I kidding? I know this won’t be the last time I mess up.
I pull out my laptop and download the file. “Let’s go over some of the details and see what we can find. From what the report says, I don’t think the skip has gone too far.” I scan the document and keep reading over the details, but something odd is standing out. I can’t seem to nail down what it is, and I keep looking, trying to pinpoint it.
I look over and see Sam pulling out his duffel bag and taking out a couple of handguns. He’s always packing heat, and I knew this trip would be no different. No matter where we go, I never have to worry about protection with him. I get up and walk to the window, look down on the Vegas Strip, and try to figure out what’s bugging me about this report.
“What’s wrong?” Samuel asks from behind me. We all know one another well enough to read body language. He can sense I’m churning something over in my mind just by the way I’m standing.
I turn around to face him and cock my head to the side. “That alert we got in the car?”
“Yeah. What about it?”
“Did you notice it only went to the two of us?”
He thinks for a second and then nods his head. “That’s not unusual. Sometimes the counties that know our reputation send to us directly instead of just a cattle call for bounty hunters. You know that.”
“I do, but this one didn’t come from a county. It came from an individual.” I go back to my computer and do a little more digging to find the trace for the request. “The alert was sent directly to us even though we’ve never worked with them. The request was generated elsewhere, but it looks like we were specifically requested. And I can’t seem to access who it was.”
“Maybe someone heard about us and wanted all this talent.” Samuel holds his arms out wide, showing off his big body. I roll my eyes. He’s an idiot. He’s GI Joe on steroids, and he’s always ready to go charging into a mission.
“I can’t seem to find anything that makes me think we shouldn’t do this one. It just seems a bit suspicious, that’s all.”
“So what’s this chick look like? All I saw was a name, and it sounded Russian. She’s probably some old grandma who’s still got spy ties in the motherland.” Samuel laughs at his own joke as he slides his handgun into his shoulder holster.
I turn the laptop around and sit back. “Samuel, meet Nika Kozar.”
Samuel just stares at the computer screen like he’s in shock. His mouth is hanging open, and he isn’t blinking.
“You know her or some shit?” I ask, trying to figure out where his head is at.
After a few seconds, he finally speaks. “She’s fucking beautiful.” He’s still in a trance as he looks at the screen, and I can’t think of a time I’ve ever seen him act like this.
I flip the screen back around to have another look, and he growls. I just ignore him and look at the girl. Yeah, she’s cute, but she’s got nothing on my Mary. Where my Mary is bright light, this girl seems a little dark. She looks like she might carry a knife in her boot. She has short, dark-brown hair, honey-colored eyes, and the fullest lips I’ve ever seen.
“What the fuck are you looking at?” Samuel barks, flipping the screen back around towards him.
I hold my hands up because I know that fucking look he has on his face. It’s the same one that was on my face the first year of college and Mary was surrounded by all those pricks who thought they could take her from me. I broke a few noses my freshman year, but those fucks stayed away from her after that.