Spider's Trap(Elemental Assassin,book 13)(4) by Jennifer Estep
Another loud scream, another satisfying splash!
I scanned the deck, but there were no more enemies to fight. So I looked at Lorelei Parker and Jack Corbin, who were in the same positions as before.
“You two don’t want to join in the fun?” I drawled, picking up the metal chair legs and twirling them around in my hands. “I was just getting warmed up.”
Lorelei let out a disgusted snort, while Corbin held up his hands and stepped back.
Faint cries sounded—“Help! Help! Help!”—and I strode over to the railing. Phillip and Silvio followed and stood on either side of me, and we all looked down.
Dimitri and Luiz were clinging to each other in the river, both of them thrashing around and trying to stay afloat by drowning each other. Dimitri had somehow held on to to his toupee, which he was now beating against Luiz’s face. They both looked like the wet, slimy rats they were.
I grinned at Phillip. “You were absolutely right. Throwing people overboard is tons of fun. I feel better already.”
“Told you so,” Phillip said in a smug voice, his blue eyes bright with mischief and merriment.
Silvio sighed. “Don’t encourage her.”
More moans and groans came from the fallen giants on the deck. I tossed my metal poles aside, turned around, and leaned back against the railing. All the guards stopped and looked at me, wondering what I was going to do next.
“So,” I called out, jerking my thumb over my shoulder. “Anyone else want to go for a swim?”
Strangely enough, no one took me up on my offer.
The guards staggered to their feet, shuffled over to the railing, threw down a couple of ropes and life rings, and fished their waterlogged bosses out of the river.
Silvio took hold of one end of the conference table that I’d kicked into Dimitri’s stomach and scooted it back into place.
“What are you doing?”
The lean vampire pulled a silk handkerchief out of the pocket of his gray suit jacket and began wiping the splattered blood off the table. “The meeting’s not over yet. You haven’t decided who gets the coin laundries.”
Silvio continued cleaning the table. “We can always reschedule it for another day . . .”
“Oh, no. Uh-uh. No way am I wasting any more time on these two schmucks.”
He gave me a pointed look. “Now or later. Your choice.”
“Fine,” I grumbled. “Let’s get this over with.”
“There’s no need to be all hasty,” Phillip drawled, still leaning against the railing. “After all, Dimitri and Luiz need some time to dry off.”
I looked over at the two gangsters, who were now sprawled faceup on the deck, panting and shivering from their forced swim, with water seeping out of their clothes and shoes and sluicing all over the wood. A few feet away, Dimitri’s black toupee lay in a puddle all by itself.
I watched as Silvio righted each of the overturned chairs and slid them back under the table. Except, of course, for the one I’d used to take down all the guards. That demolished chair was a lost cause, just like this sham of a meeting.
“Besides,” Phillip continued, “no underworld get-together is complete without violence and refreshments. We’ve already had one, so we might as well enjoy the other. So sit, relax, admire the view, have a drink. Trust me, alcohol always makes these shindigs much more tolerable.”
“Sometimes I think that you and Finn were twins separated at birth.”
Finnegan Lane was Fletcher’s son and my foster brother. He’d wanted to come to the meeting to witness the fireworks between Dimitri and Luiz but had to wine and dine some rich new client instead, since he was an investment banker. Like Phillip, Finn thought that a stiff drink, a slick suit, and a smarmy smile could solve almost all of the world’s problems and was determined to prove himself right.
Phillip sniffed and ran his hand over his golden hair, which was pulled back into its usual ponytail. “Nonsense. We could not possibly be twins, since I’m much more handsome than Lane could ever dream of being.”
“Which is exactly what Finn would say, if he were talking about you.”
Phillip grinned, then waved his hand and signaled one of his own guards.
The giant nodded back, turned, and opened a pair of double doors that led into the riverboat’s interior. A minute later, a team of waiters wearing black pants and shirts topped with red satin tuxedo vests streamed through the doors. A gold pin glimmered on each vest—a dollar sign superimposed over an outline of the Delta Queen, Phillip’s not-so-subtle rune for his riverboat casino and all the wads of cash it made him.
A female waiter brought me a new chair, while another moved around the table, taking drink orders from me, Phillip, Silvio, and Lorelei Parker and Jack Corbin, who were once again situated at the far end of the table. I requested a gin and tonic and told the waiter to keep them coming. He flashed me a sly smile, then headed over to take Dimitri’s and Luiz’s orders, since the bosses had finally hoisted themselves to their feet. A few other waiters hovered around the two men, wrapping blankets around their soggy shoulders, before passing out bandages and bags of ice to the guards I’d beaten down.
The waitstaff finished Silvio’s wipe-down of the conference table and mopped up all the puddles of water. Once everything was pristine again, they disappeared back inside. Two of Phillip’s guards rolled a wet bar out onto the deck, and a woman moved behind it and started mixing our drinks. The waitstaff reappeared, carrying silver platters piled high with food, which they deposited on the table.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online