Chapter 27

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"I need your help."

Kathy turned to look at me from the couch. The shock etched on her face reflected the same shock I felt as the words left my lips.

"Really?" she asked.

"Unfortunately, yes."

"With what, baby?" She was up and off the couch faster than I'd seen her move in months.

Taking a beat to let the weight of what I was about to say settle within my chest, I spoke. "I need you to meet with Tommy."

The fear that jumped into my mother's eyes was almost enough to make me revoke the request entirely, knowing how absurd a request it was. In this situation though, absurdity reigned far above logical sanity.

"You said you wanted to help me. This is what I need help with," I explained.

"I, uh," Kathy sputtered, already looking for the first conversational train of excuses to jump on to make a quick getaway from this act of selflessness for her daughter.

"Why, baby? Why would you want him involved with any of this?"

"He already is involved, Kathy. You made that perfectly capable by letting him into your life in the first place. You don't let someone like that in without inviting in destructive consequences as well."

"I didn't-" She stopped herself. She actually psychically grabbed her lips to stop whatever bullshit was going to spew from her mouth next.

She was trying to be better.

"Honey, how will me meeting with Tommy help you?"

Now we're getting somewhere.

"Dominic has said that they've detained Tommy a few times but could never hold him for anything because they didn't have any proof." The air between us stiffened as my intentions became obvious.

"We could get that proof. You and me."

"Katerina, we-"

"Just listen to me for a second, okay?" Determination was surging through my veins, pumping harder with every passing second that Layla endured with her captures. "All you need to do is call him and tell him you need more of whatever shit you normally get from him. Get him here and we can record whatever conversation you two have with some wire or whatever that I can get Dominic to get for us and then we can-"

"Wait, wait, wait!" Kathy cried out. "Just... wait."

Layla didn't have time to spare to wait, but I did as Kathy requested, pausing momentarily for her benefit. She took in a breath, seemingly steadying herself before her stare met mine.

"If I do that, if I call him here for that stuff... baby I'll go to jail, too."

"That's not necessarily true. We can talk to Dominic, well- I can talk to Dominic and work something out to get you immunity or whatever. I'm sure of it."

"What if there's no way to guarantee that?"

"There is. Just, trust me okay? Dominic is on our side and we will talk it all out with him when he gets here in a bit." I knew I was pushing her into uncomfortable territories but she was just going to have to let herself be pushed. It was the only way.

"He's coming here?" She appeared more agitated and frantic by the second.

"Yes. I haven't seen him since they questioned me at the station yesterday and I need to fill him in on our plan. It doesn't work without him."

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