Canary Page 2

New things.


By the time I’d finished, the driver had returned.

He’d leaned over, grabbed some wipes from inside one of the car’s compartments, and started cleaning off the dashboard, the seat, everything around him. He’d used one to clean his face as well, and then he’d looked back at us.

“Chicken nuggets?”

Raize had grunted again, settling back, and we’d gone to get chicken nuggets.

I never asked why that guy was killed. No questions. It was a rule, but in working for Raize, I had learned that he didn’t kill unless there was a reason. A further ‘problem’ that might happen. There’d been no warning that first night when he’d killed the guy in the car. So as Raize stared at Henchman One now, I was ready.

His eyes narrowed, and for a moment, the guy kneeling seemed forgotten.

Raize lifted his gun toward Henchman One. “You got a big mouth on you?”

This guy was fucked. He’d be a ‘problem’ and Raize knew it in the way he worded that question.

I also knew what else was coming.

My stomach clenched in preparation.

The guy swallowed. I could see the sweat pouring off of him. His hands twitched, and he shifted his feet around, the plastic crackling underneath him. “No. No, sir. No, boss.”

“You’ve been having a lot to say.” Raize’s gaze was cold, but there was a twitch beside his mouth, and he turned his eyes to me. “You.”


But I’d known.

He nodded toward Henchman One. “He gonna be a problem for me?” he asked me.





This. This was what I did for these men. It was something they’d learned right away. Or almost right away. When they asked me a question, I always knew the answer in my gut, and I hated it.

Hated it. Hated. It.

I hated being the reason there’d be another body to clean up today.


I jerked at Raize’s bark and answered, because if I wanted to remain alive, I had to be truthful. “Yes.”

I’d barely gotten the word out before bang!

Henchman One’s body fell against the door behind him, then slid to the side and down, a dark, red hole smack in the middle of his forehead. His eyes remained wide, as if watching us, but he was gone.

Raize was an ace shot.

I bit back my remorse. Dammit. But I’d told the truth because this guy would’ve been a problem. When I’d gone against my gut in the past, I was always proven wrong, and my bosses tended to get pissed at me.

I wasn’t psychic, but my gut knew the true answer to any question. If it was a yes/no question, I’d know.

Raize sighed, his gaze lingering on the blood that left a trail down the wall behind Henchman One. It’d be a long night of cleaning. With all that done, he turned and stuck his gun back into Knee Guy’s mouth again. He cocked it and raised an eyebrow. “You gonna tell me now, motherfucker?”

The guy’s mouth moved around the muzzle, his words unclear.

Raize took the gun out, his face locked down, waiting.

The guy coughed and said, “Bronski sent me.”


The guy glanced up at me, and I felt a chill pass through me. Nausea rose up, my stomach churning and twisting. I knew Bronski. He’d been my first boss, and the worst boss. He hadn’t known about my gut. That shit was discovered by my second boss. It was the reason he’d taken me to work for him.

My time with Bronski had been short, thankfully.

“He wants her back.”

Raize swung his head my way. “You worked for him?”

I had to tell the truth, and it tasted bitter coming out. “Yeah.”


“As nothing. I wasn’t with him long, a few days.”

“What’d you do for him?” He cocked his head.

“Not what I do for you.”

He didn’t comment on that, but his gaze traveled down and up my body.

Another blast of cold seared my insides.

Then he turned back to the guy and bang! A second body collapsed.

Henchman Two went to work. He started rolling up the kneeling guy first since he was smack in the middle of the plastic. That was an easier cleanup job. Henchman One would be last.

Raize stuck his gun back in his pocket as he crossed the room to me. “Bronski ever fuck you?” he asked, his voice gruff.

My stomach twisted again. “Yes.”

“You wanted it?”

I looked up at him, wanting to be a smartass because no one wanted to think back on memories like that. “No,” I said instead, hating that my voice came out sounding the way it did.

Henchman Two stilled and turned to look at Raize.

A vein throbbed in Raize’s neck as he turned away, motioning to the body. “Clean it up. Get this shit done.”

Henchman Two went back to work.

Raize focused on me again. “Hey.”

I looked up to him. I’d never seen Raize soften, ever, and I knew this was probably the closest I’d ever get. He wasn’t soft, but he was less hard than he usually looked.

“I don’t want to go to war with Bronski, but we’ll make this right. Yeah?”

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I nodded.

Raize wasn’t about using girls or forcing them. He didn’t need to. He had a slew of women who came and went from his place whenever he wanted them. That wasn’t his business.

He motioned to Henchman One’s body. “Help clean that fucker up.”

As I did, he went outside for a smoke.

Forty minutes later, both bodies were gone, the room was clean, and we left, leaving no trace of the two murders just committed there.

Then we went for chicken nuggets.

I didn’t have any.



I knew this life wasn’t for everyone. It was barely for me, but I’d made the decision to enter this other world so long ago... It was cold and harsh, but if you got over caring when you died, it could be freeing at the same time. No government except not getting caught by the government. No parents. No rules to follow—except the boss’. So maybe it wasn’t that freeing after all.

Maybe I was just deluding myself.

Maybe I’d been deluding myself this whole time…


I looked up from the book I was reading on my bed. I’d opened my bedroom door once I heard Raize’s girls leave this morning. No one alive could’ve missed them. They made so much noise. They were all the same. Loud. Annoying. High heels clomping on the floor, giggles, and slurred speech. There was a thud by the wall on their way down the hall, so one must have fallen over. Raize liked to party when he had his women, so she was probably still drunk or high.

That was one thing I appreciated about working for Raize. When he partied, it was just him—his business. Lines were blurred so much in this world, but he had some professional boundaries. Some bosses made their employees party with them, and that was just bad. But not Raize. Once we got to the house, we were on our own until he needed us to do something.

So after we’d returned from the motel, Henchman Two One had taken his food to the kitchen table to eat. Raize had disappeared. He usually ate in his living room with the television blaring or music blasting.

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