Never Kiss a Bad Boy(5)

By: Nora Flite

In my memory—my nightmares—I recalled the other man as being gigantic, muscular. Dead eyes that held nothing, and a terrible smile that was missing a tooth. But I had no name, nothing of use.

I'd needed Frankie to lead me to him. Now, it was too late.

I need to find him, I realized. The 'swim' tattooed man who'd moved like a panther. He'd murdered Frankie so effortlessly, he had to know something about the guy.

Stomping down the busy sidewalk in the city, the sirens of cop cars in my ears, I knew what I would do.

No matter how long it could take... I would find the assassin from the park. I'd scour the whole city if I had to. Someone would have to know who he was.

Swim—as I'd begun dubbing him—would be found in time.

I'd waited sixteen years to claim revenge.

I could wait a little longer.


The news stations wouldn't shut up about the murder.

That was good, honestly. I listened to every station, flipped channels in my apartment and scrounged the internet. Newspapers piled up and covered everything. It only took a few days before they said the word that would turn my heart into a propeller.


The kill had been too precise, too fast. The burn from the gun barrel on Frankie's skin revealed it was a close up attack. The cops said they were sure of it.

They also revealed that he was part of a notorious mafia family—the Montegos. Frankie had enemies, and his enemies had money. Someone had organized a hit on him.

“Holy shit,” I said to myself. Sitting up on my couch, shoving aside paper stacks, I grabbed a notebook. There were too many things crowding into my skull. I wanted to write them down so I could make a plan.

Tapping my chin, I scraped my brain for every sliver of detail about the man. Reddish hair, I'd seen it burning in the sun around his scalp like a halo. He'd looked young, maybe my age. Light skin, pretty tall—taller than Frankie—and those onyx eyes.

He had a bluetooth device on his ear, I suddenly recalled.

I didn't recognize the model, I'd never bothered buying one of those things; I lived a pretty simple life. For cash, I helped out with online data entry for hospitals. The money I'd inherited from my father's burned business had dwindled over the years. The leftovers, all fifteen grand of it, were sitting in my bank.

Thinking about the money forced painful memories to bubble up. My neck hurt from how hard I shook my head. Stop, not now, I told myself. Focus on this. Think about the bad shit later.

Turning the page, I chewed my pen. If he had a bluetooth phone, maybe he was talking to someone. Does that mean he doesn't work alone?

Write down everything, Marina.

Every detail.

On a fresh piece of paper, I drew the man's tattooed knuckles. This was what I would show people. It would be the easiest way to identify the guy I was looking for.

I'd gathered as much information as I could. With nothing else on my side but determination, and a dash of hope, I began my hunt.

I would find my hitman.


Eight Months Later

Licking my lips, I reached up to take the paper back from the inked shopkeeper behind the counter. “I'm sorry, say that again?” I asked.

“I said those look like Kite's knuckles. Yeah, I remember the time he and I got wasted. I challenged him to a bloody knuckles contest.” Snorting, the bald man folded his arms. “It was a stupid as hell decision. Guy didn't back down, tore me up. Like I said, stupid of me.”

A vibrating tremor inched up from my knees to my lungs. Kite. His name is Kite. “Do you know where I can find him?”

Shrugging into his ears, the guy pointed out the door. “Well, him and his friend Jacob own a bar down on Northline. The Corner Velvet, ever hear of it?”

I hadn't. “No,” I said quickly. “Can you give me the address?” I tried to soften my excitement.

Suspicion filled the man's face. “Sure thing.” Reaching into his pocket, he grabbed a scrap of paper and scratched out the information. If he was curious about my intentions, he never asked. He simply gave me the address and waved me off, perhaps deciding that if I had any plans for Kite, he didn't want to get involved.

That was good.

Because the plans I had were as serious as they could get.

- Chapter 3 -


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