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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317606
In which Kam walks into a trap
“You look like a dilapidated penguin.”

Bel flips his boyfriend the bird. “It’s the same uniform.”

“Not quite,” Kam is smirking. “Are the vest and cummerbund really necessary?”

“For a VIP event?” Bel puts on his jacket, clenching his teeth against the slight pull of the stitches in his shoulder. “Apparently, yes.”

He checks himself in the mirror. Maybe ‘dilapidated penguin’ is an accurate description. His face is a little paler than he’d like it to be and he seems to have shrunk just the tiniest bit. He needed a belt for his slacks this time, and the vest hangs off his shoulders in a way it didn’t before. But that was fine, because he wasn’t going to be exerting himself, just pouring drinks behind the bar. Simple.

“You can take my car to the restaurant tonight,” Kam says, and Bel’s head snaps around to look at him.

“I’m allowed to drive your car now?”

“Why not?” Kam shrugs. “You’re my boyfriend, and I trust you. I’ll drive your car to the dealership and meet you there after.”

Bel’s car had still been parked in the driveway when he and Kam came home, with the window blown out from the night that they’d been attacked. Bel had taped cardboard over the window and hadn’t bothered to get it fixed yet. Granted, they’d only been back a day, but still.

“How will you get to the restaurant from your dealership?” Bel isn’t entirely sure if it’s dumb question, but he asks anyway.

“I do know how BTS works,” Kam ruffles Bel’s hair. “There’s a station just down the street from the restaurant, too, in case you forgot.”

“Do you really have to mess up my hair?” Bel twitches out of his grasp. “I just got it to stay flat.”

“My boyfriend looks adorable with bed head.” Kam reaches for Bel a second time. “Especially when those blue streaks stand on end.”

“Bed head is not allowed at VIP events, jackass.” Bel smacks his hand. “And it’s turquoise, not blue.”

“It’s still adorable,” Kam plants a kiss on the top of Bel’s head instead. “You go, I’ll see you later.”

“Are you going to ask Gulf about the car he wants you to flip?” Bel takes a last glance in the mirror and pulls a few stubborn strands of hair back into place.

“Stop playing with your hair,” Kam hands him the keys. “If he brings it up, we’ll talk about it. Hurry up, you’ll be late.”

Silo drove back to Bangkok a day later than Bel and Kam, and with two passengers, rather than one. When Kit said that he wanted to drive back to Bangkok with Silo, he’d completely forgotten that Nina was still in the house, and needed a ride, too.

“Are you really going to take a three month vacation?” Nina asks as they pull off the Expressway and back into Bangkok.

“I have the time to take, so I might as well,” Silo shrugs.“Provided Talay can deliver.”

“He called you?” Kit asks from the backseat, sounding only a little surprised. “He’s got the facial recognition done already?”

“It came through last night,” Silo confirms. “Apparently, my promise to take time off did the trick.”

Kit’s eyebrows shoot up. “Yeah, I’m sure that’s what it was. Do we show it to your people first or to Nina’s? Or does that depend on who it is?”

“What do you think?” Silo parks the car, and glances at Nina. “Talay’s waiting for us down the street. Same place he met us before.”

“You go,” Kit says. “I’ll wait in the car.”

Nina gives him an odd look, but gets out and follows Silo down the street.

“So where will you go on this vacation of yours?” Nina asks.

Silo shrugs. “No idea. I’ve heard the Empire State Building is worth seeing.”

“The Empire State Building is a tourist trap,” Nina snorts. “But you should visit Ground Zero. It’s an amazing memorial, and the quietest outdoor place in the city. And the Met is pretty good. I happen to be a Member.”

“So I could use your discount,” Silo understands what she's not staying.

“Yes," Nina says. “Of course you can.”

Talay is waiting for them, manila envelope in hand.

“You got it?” Nina’s question is rhetorical and they all know it. Talay hands Silo the envelope.

“Facial recognition came through faster than we hoped. But Silo—”

“I know, I know, three months vacation,” Silo says.

“No,” Talay’s face looks like a corpse. “I mean, you’re not going to like…”

He stops as Silo snatches the envelope from him and tears it open.

Silo stares at the facial recognition report.

Nina stares at the facial recognition report.

Ice rushes through Silo’s bloodstream and Nina’s face goes white as they recognize the face staring back at them.

“Silo…” Nina’s voice is filled with both confusion and fear.

But Silo isn’t confused.

Silo isn’t afraid.

Silo is furious.


The English word echoes down the street and Silo is running, his feet skidding across the sidewalk, shoving people out of his way. Running down the street and diving into his car, with Nina and Talay right behind him.

Kam left the house about half an hour after Bel did, and it’s getting dark as he pulls into the dealership parking lot. Everyone else has left for the day, so he’ll have to go inside and enter the garage door code. He parks the car as close to the garage doors as possible, so that he can get the car inside and then hop on BTS to meet Bel at Gulf’s restaurant.

Hopefully, he can avoid Gulf for the whole night. Kam hasn’t liked the man since he started dating Silo, but that dislike has been turning into something else over the past little while. Something he can’t quite name. Suspicion? Maybe that was the best word to use.

Kam pauses by the front door of the dealership. Usually, when one of his employees stays late they park in the back of the lot, or they take BTS so they don’t have to. But they always tell him when they’re staying late, even if it’s by text, they always tell him. And every employee of his knows not to park right next to the main entrance.

So why is there a Ducati parked by the front door?

And why does that Ducati look so familiar?

Kam narrows his eyes as he racks his brain, but the answer is slow in coming. In fact, it doesn’t come at all. But he can’t shake the feeling growing in the pit of his stomach.

Something’s wrong.

That thought plays across his mind on repeat as Kam unlocks the front door, which is a lot harder to do tonight. The key keeps getting jammed in the lock. After the fourth try, Kam pulls the door fob out of his pocket and uses that instead, making another mental note to call a locksmith in the morning.

Inside the dealership, the doors to the human resources and sale offices are closed, and the lights are off, so the showroom is bathed in the deep orange and red glow of the setting sun. Well, almost all the lights.

For some reason, the light is Kam’s office is on.

The feeling in his stomach is now coupled with a buzzing inside his head.

Something’s very wrong.

Kam is across the showroom floor and up the stairs in a matter of seconds. He’s just remembered the copy of the files that he and Bel made.

The files from the USB.

The files that Kam promised Bel he’d keep hidden behind closed doors in the trunk of his Alpha Romeo.

Only he’d forgotten, because Kit had shown up in his office unannounced.

So Kam hadn’t put the files in the Alpha Romeo.

They were still in his office.

Kam throws open the door and halts in surprise.

“Sorry,” Gulf is smiling at him. “Was I supposed to make an appointment?”

He’s standing behind Kam’s desk, looking for all the world like he owns the place. There is a manila envelope in his hand, and a smirk on his face.

Kam stays rooted in the doorway. “Where’s the Aston Martin?”

“Oh right,” Gulf’s smile widens. “I think Getty Images owns it—or maybe Shutterstock? I can’t remember. I just took a screenshot of one that didn’t have a watermark across the image. It had to look legit, right?”

Kam’s phone buzzes. It’s a notification from LINE:


He stares at his phone.

Kit doesn’t text in all caps, not even by mistake.

First the Ducati parked outside.

Now Gulf in my office.

Then Kit’s LINE.

What the hell—

There is a whoosh of air to his right and Kam turns instinctively toward it. Yellow and white dots explode in front of his eyes as something sharp and metallic bites into his temple. His knees buckle as the office swims dizzily in front of him, and he collapses to the floor.

“Ooh,” Gulf winces in sympathy. “Maybe he shouldn’t have hit you that hard.”

That damn gorilla of a security guard!

Of course Gulf brought him.

Idiot, Kam.

Idiot, idiot, idiot…

The tire iron drops from the Gorilla’s hand and lands next to Kam as the Gorilla joins Gulf. Gulf opens the manilla envelope, spilling the contents not only across the desk but down across the floor as well.

“Your dad did a really thorough job. I really didn’t expect there to be this many.” Gulf leafs through some of the papers, crumpling some into balls, tearing others. “I might need to build a bonfire or something.”

There’s a coppery taste in Kam’s mouth, and something is sliding down his throbbing temple. His office walls have stopped moving up and down, but they still slide in and out of focus, making his gorge rise. Kam swallows hard and moves a hand toward the slithering sensation, and when he takes his hand away from the side of his head, his palm is stained red.

“Don’t stand up Kam. Even the smallest head wound bleeds a lot.” Gulf stands in over him, with the files in one hand and a lighter in the other. “Is this your only copy?”

“Fuck you.” Kam spits, and the Gorilla’s giant fist smashes into his face, knocking him flat on his back. Kam spits out a mouthful of blood, but doesn’t stop glaring at Gulf.

“I’ll ask you again, Kam.” Gulf doesn’t even raise his voice. “Is this the only copy you have?”

“And I’ll tell you again to go f—”

This time it’s not the Gorilla’s fists that hit Kam, but his feet. The giant man kicks Kam over and over until Kam feels something give. A white hot line of pain rips along one side of his rib cage, and he cries out in spite of himself.

“Don’t kill him.” Still Gulf hasn’t raised his voice, but the Gorilla stops. Gulf sets the files alight and kneels next to Kam. “I need your help, Kam. Are you willing to help me?”

Black dots are dancing in front of Kam’s eyes.

The files burn…

Gulf’s smug face blurs…


"28. The Last Puzzle Piece

read from beginning "1. Phone Calls in the Dark
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