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Virginia frowned as her eyes did a back and forth between Dominique's face and the men finishing up their installation out in the main room. "Where did the money come from, Dominique?"

After five nights straight of camping outside Gus's house, with nothing to show for it but a sore ass, she'd decided to take a break and stop in at the gym instead. Upon entering the front door, she had spotted the two men up on ladders putting in what she had first assumed were light fixtures. It hadn't taken long to realize they were setting up security cameras.

"Top of the line security cameras," they had assured her.

When she'd asked who had ordered such an extravagant purchase, one of them pointed to the local legend working with a student in the ring. As the gym's manager, Dominique certainly played a big role in the decision-making, but large draws on their limited cash reserves had to go through her. Virginia had marched over, called him out the ring, and led him into her office.

Where they now stood. In stubborn silence. Staring each other down.

Dominique finally gave in, letting out a sigh before shocking the hell out of her with, "Spinelli. The live feed hooks into his crib."

Everything went rigid and the sound of her voice seemed to come from miles away when she muttered, "How could you do that?"

"It was ordered months ago, when you two were still . . ." A hand came up to rub the back of his neck. "He said he would tell you."

Another silence stretched between them as she tried to figure out who was really to blame in this twisted scenario. At least he had the decency to look contrite.

Dominique shuffled his feet. "I'm guessing he never fessed up to—"

"Have them taken out. I'm not having him watch over me."


Her hands came up to her hips. This was so unlike Dominique, to go behind her back and do something he knew she would never have approved.

"I'm sorry. I'm not cool doin' biz with that asshole either, but I think we need this. Remember Darnell getting beaten? No way am I letting anything happen to this gym. I'll go to any lengths necessary to defend it, and you."

His eyes were full of guilt, and she sensed there was more to this story. Any lengths was a pretty strong statement, and she already had her suspicions. "Tell me it isn't you."


"Tell me you are not the leader of that vigilante pack I've been reading about in the news."

He looked away.

"I told you not to do it, that I would talk to the city."

"And how did that play out, Virginia?" Anger flashed across his face, reminding her of someone else.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he was in on that too," she muttered, not being serious.

Dead silence.

Oh. My. God. She left the office in a rush.

"Virginia, hold up," Dominique called out across the gym's expansive floor, the rein-in landing on deaf ears.

The hinges on the gym door got an impromptu stress test as she burst through it and fast-tracked her way to her car. Tires spun and squealed as the Mustang tore away from the curb. She headed directly to his house with no warning lights, no siren, but a great deal of contempt.

It was six P.M. and almost dark by the time she arrived. Turning into the driveway, she could just make out Bruce sitting in the gatehouse, the yellowish glow of a lamp softening his harsh features. The sound of her car brought his head around, and within seconds the gate started to close. He stood and opened the door, his body a large black silhouette filling the frame and blocking the light.

The Silent Ones [✔️] (#2 in the Chilvati Series)Where stories live. Discover now