Chapter 17

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A/N: Thank you all so much for reading/reviewing last chapter. Now, this chapter is a bit shorter than normal, but hopefully you enjoy it. Huge thanks to Heather for her awesome beta skills and insight.

Stranger POV

"Well? Is it the Treasured Heart?" I demanded to know as soon as I answered the phone.

"I believe so," Jacob said. "Swan and her fuckboy, Cullen, just dropped the brooch off at the Poseidon lab for testing."

"How long is that going to take?"

"I don't know. A few days maybe," he said, and I rolled my eyes at his casual attitude. There was nothing casual about what we were doing.

"This isn't a fucking game, Jacob," I hissed over the phone. "Do not fuck this up! If you fail in your mission, I will ruin you."

"Chill out, Dad," he sneered, and I gritted my teeth. Jacob Black might be my son, but it was in the biological sense only. I'd never even known the whelp existed until he'd hunted me down when he was nineteen, begging for money. I'd helped him out, paid for his college education, his Ph.D., his house, and his car. He owed me, and I'd called in my debt.

"Don't fucking tell me to chill out," I snarled. "I need that fucking brooch, and I don't think I need to remind you that you owe me."

"How could I forget when you're constantly reminding me?" he said, bitterness evident in his voice. "I'll get the damn brooch for you, and then we're fucking done."

Ha! We weren't close to be doing done, but if that's what he wanted to think, then I'd let him. I had a few more jobs for him to do after the Treasured Heart was in my hands.

"Meet me in Winterville Forest in five days, and if you don't have the brooch in your hands—"

"I'll have it!" Jacob interrupted, and I narrowed my eyes at the man's insolence. His attitude needed adjusting, and I knew just the person for the job. I made a mental note to give Renata a call. She was well-versed in the world of torture and pain, and she would straighten Jacob out quickly.

"I'll see you then," I said, hanging up on him and pocketing the phone. I grabbed my bag off the hotel bed and made my way out of the room and onto the streets of Barcelona.

Passing by a trashcan, I tossed the phone into it and kept on moving, hailing a taxi and making my way to the airport. I had a seventeen hour flight ahead of me and another three hour drive from the airport to Winterville Forest, and I wasn't looking forward to either.

.....................

Twenty-four hours later, I was sitting at a small table in the secluded cabin, sipping whiskey from a glass and staring down at the picture of Marcus Caius on my tablet. He'd been a small-time fence when I'd first met him, and I'd mistakenly thought he'd had potential to grow and learn and become an integral part of my organization. A little over fifteen years ago, I'd caught him stealing some of the rare artifacts that I'd collect and trying to sell them; artifacts that I'd collected; artifacts that had been promised to high paying clients. Caius had paid dearly for his mistake, however, he still owed me millions in compensation, and he'd sworn on his mother's life that he'd pay me back.

That was when Caius had become obsessed with the Treasured Heart. He'd spent hours, trying to convince me that he knew the location of where the ship carrying it had gone down, and he swore that he'd find it and allow me to sell it to the highest bidder, and then his debt would be cleared.

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