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."I don't want to take her at her word.But that's exactly why I believe her.""Baby."It got his attention, Idil calling him that in front of Dawit.She kept on, "What if we.we just keep her? We call Chi, tell him we found her, and that we're going to keep her here? He can't demand we send her home, can he? There's not much he can do.""That's right," Dawit said."If he demands her back, he can't make you pay for it.He won't pursue it legally if he's afraid of someone taking a closer look.So yes, please, let her stay.You are both blessed.But that is not why I worry."Mustafa nodded."Her sister.Her cousins.""He will have to make up for it somehow.""He wouldn't send them back here."Idil shuddered."Europe, Thailand, oh God."Mustafa had gripped his mug too tight, wasn't paying attention, and it cracked into pieces in his hand.He let go.A small puncture.He flexed his fingers."I have to go with Dawit.I have to look Chi in the eyes."Idil stood and leaned across the table."No.This is done.You forget, you'll never get out of the country.If you book a flight to Kenya, they'll arrest you at the airport.""Ridiculous.There are always ways.Look at Adem.""Don't even bring up his name! I'm still angry at you and him for that.Do you think I don't know the truth? Stupid, stupid husband."Mustafa brushed the broken pieces into a small pile in front of him.She was right.He felt helpless.He had taken over a gang, barely had an exit strategy, and couldn't finish the job.His son was in mortal danger and he had to pretend it wasn't so.And Chi was more interested in money than blood.Yes, he was stupid indeed."I'm sorry."Dawit reached for Mustafa's forearm, gave it a squeeze."Cousin, listen.It's okay.I told you the truth.I will do it for both of us.For all of us."Mustafa nodded, but he didn't feel like this was a victory.The damaged girl in the living room? She had a long road of recovery ahead.He was certain the flesh dealers would come looking for him, the girl, and Idil.Not a victory at all.Only a moment to catch their breath.Hell was on the way.He pushed his mug back.Idil came around behind him, embraced him around his shoulders, cheek to cheek.His throat grew thick, inflamed, the closest he would come to crying.Idil knew.She squeezed tighter.He cleared his throat and turned to Dawit."Still a long day ahead."His cousin got up from the table, mumbled something, and headed to the bathroom.*Two hours until sunset.Minnesota summer days were long, almost as if the season was an endurance test, same as winter.Whichever one you were square in the middle of, you wished for the other.So the sky was still blue and the sun high at seven that evening when Mustafa and Dawit rolled up to Prince Heem's house again.They needed sleep, and they hoped for at least half the night to pass before word got around that they were back in town after screwing up their own whore operation down South.Really.The new leader of the Killaz totally wrecking his own empire, beating up on his own soldiers.What the hell?Idil had been right.Dawit had been right.He couldn't leave the country, not anymore.If he could keep from getting caught by the police or the other fucking gangstas, he had money and a bit of influence.He could keep his family safe enough.That's how he would sell it to Ali.The Killaz would be The GOAT's to do with as he pleased as long as they steered clear of whores.As long as he promised to keep Bahdoon clean of it all.Pretend this never happened.They pulled the car into the garage beside the Escalade and got out.They would need to ditch the car soon, since it was one they had boosted in Missouri, but not while this drained.They both shut their doors and leaned heavily on the roof of the car, resting on their forearms.They caught the mirror image thing between them and laughed a little.All they could muster.Dawit said, "I'm not as old as you, but I feel like my life has been played on fast-forward.""That's something.Me, it's like I had to rewind and do some shit over again.""You get it right this time?"Shrug."Fuck if I know."They entered the side door that opened into a small space adjacent to the kitchen where coats and boots could melt in the winter, drip in the summer.Looking at this room made Mustafa think of what the entire house must have looked like before Heem moved in.More of a country cottage feel, perhaps [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]