Brutal (Saint and Sinners #3) - Ruby Vincent

Chapter One

Brutal

“What do we do with her?”

“We can’t keep her in there forever?”

“Why can’t we?” That came from Sinjin.

“She isn’t actually your pet,” Cash snapped. He shoved off the couch, resuming his pacing on the rug. “She’s the lying, deceiving killer who we all happen to be in love with!”

“And they say soulmates don’t exist,” Mercer replied. He reclined in his usual spot in his usual pose. An excellent attempt to appear unbothered.

“She fucking wormed her way into our lives to get her hands on the ledger.”

I heard Cash shout more during this conversation than I had in the years we’d been working together. Adeline Redgrave had certainly wormed her way into him.

Phantom fingers skated over me, trying to tease out a laugh as hers whispered in my ear.

He wasn’t the only one.

“Technically, we wormed her into our lives,” Mercer reminded. “We forced her to work for us. You and Sin made her go on jobs. If she told us who she really was and what she wanted from the beginning, we would’ve killed her. She didn’t have much of a choice.”

Killian’s jaw ticced. “Are you her lawyer now, Mercer?”

“Nope, I’m just giving insight into how this interrogation will go. We blow in there spitting mad, and the lovely Adeline will remind us this is our own doing,” he said. “And she’ll be right.”

Leaning back, I spotted a speck of dust on my sleeve. I was up and across the room, riffling through Cash’s cabinet. His office was one of the few rooms to be spared Sinjin’s rage. As such, other than mine, it was the only room I’d remain in without beating his face in. We’d gone for each other’s throats three times in the period she was gone. Tension made me clean and him destroy. With her return and the revelations it brought, it was time for a truce.

I found his lint roller next to a row of identical black ties.

One. Two. Three.

The lint was gone by two. It did not change what I had to do.

Four. Five. Six—

“Anything you want to add, Brutal?” Sinjin spoke up.

Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.

There was plenty I wanted to add. It had been two days since we walked into the trap at the club. Two days since we discovered the true Kieran. Two days since we found out the love of our lives wasn’t who she seemed. Two days since we put her in a cage in the basement and left her there while we argued over what to do. Of course I had something to fucking add.

But I said nothing. Nodding here. Gesturing there. I waited until it was finally time for Adeline.

My count complete, I returned the roller to its place. Straightened a tie. Closed the cabinet.

Turning to Sinjin, I gestured at the door.

“In due time,” he said simply.

“—long past the point she should fear us,” Killian was saying. “She knew we wouldn’t kill her if she told us the truth. She lied anyway.”

“We also wouldn’t agree to hand over the ledger,” Mercer countered. “It always comes back to that. In this city. In our lives. In the lives of every damn person strolling the streets of Cinco. Some way or another, it’s all about the ledger.”

They fell silent.

Killian returned to his seat, steepling his fingers over his chest. “Redgrave said this all started with her father and a gang called the Lords. Have you heard of them?”

Sinjin, Mercer, and I shook our heads.

“Her father is getting up there in age. We’d have been children when they were running the streets, but I’ve dug as deep as you can go into the period Kieran was most active—taking jobs as a fixer. I’ve researched every gang, crime family, and syndicate there was back then. How were the Lords erased?”

“The person with the answer to that is in the basement.” Sinjin got to his feet. “It’s time.”

Killian nodded. “How will you question her, Sin? Like I said, she knows we won’t hurt her.”

“There are other ways of getting information. Bunny’s taught us that if nothing else.”

He swept out of the room—the three of us trailing him.

I suspected their minds were a whirl of conflicting thoughts as we traveled down one flight, then another, then another. Battling their feelings for her in the midst of betrayal and distrust. I did not envy them.

The space where I existed did not know such noise. No internal struggle. No push and pull between right and wrong, and me suffering under a shouting conscience. It was a quiet