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westcorphotels > The Mercenary: Skewed > Part 9
"You keep saying 'they,'" I said.

"This isn't down to a lone wolf," he replied. "Think about it. There are already two of them dead over there, and now someone else is calling you, and I doubt that person is working alone either. There are two ways to be in this job-solitary, like me, so that you slip under the radar and you have little contact with anyone, and that's what keeps you safe. Or else you surround yourself with likeminded people and watch each other's backs."

"So, a gang?"

He nodded again. "Yeah, a gang-most likely a rival mafia outfit."

"And now they have my sister."

"I'm sorry," he said.

I turned on him. "No, you're not. How could you be? You don't give a f.u.c.k about us. Why should you? You don't even know us, and it was barely twenty-four hours ago that you were planning on shooting me!"

"A lot can change in a day."

"Yeah, you got that right. This time yesterday, we were safe, and I didn't have a hit man and two dead bodies in my cellar. Yesterday, I'd thought I'd get to testify against my father, and that we'd go on to live our lives. Now I don't know if we're even going to be alive in another twenty-four hours."

The question was, if I released X, was that likely to increase our chance of survival or decrease it? If I didn't release him, what would I do? I could drive to New York and start asking some questions, but chances were I'd end up dead within a few hours. Word would get back to my father quickly enough, and even if it didn't, there were still enough of his guys around who would know he wanted me dead and would carry out the job for him. I'd most likely end up with a bullet through my mouth, a sign that I was a rat.

That thought made my heart hurt. A lot of those guys had seen me grow up, had bounced me on their knees when I was little and twirled my pigtails and called me sweetheart. That they would see me dead hurt almost as much as what my father had done, or made me do.

If I released X and he turned on me right away, I'd be dead and there would be no one around to help my sister.

If I didn't release him, I would most likely end up dead anyway.

But what if I released him and he didn't kill me? Then I'd have backup, and someone who knew his way around this business. The thought of having this intense, blue-eyed man on my side also tugged at something in my soul. I'd never had a confidant before, someone I could bounce ideas off, someone who would have my back. This smart-mouthed, handsome, dangerous man attracted me, even though I knew he shouldn't, and now he was offering his help.

Was I really going to turn my back on his offer and leave him here, most likely, to die?

Perhaps it was what he deserved, but by doing so was I also robbing my sister of her only chance of getting out of this alive? I couldn't stand the thought of what might be happening to her at the hands of those men. Yes, she was seventeen, and acted tougher and more independent than she actu

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