Caught:A Dark Mafia Romance

By: Piper Stone

I spent hours looking, studying every scrap of paper, every financial report. There were no glaring red flags as to why my father would ever consider such a horrific deal. I was baffled. Groaning, I put my head into my hands, trying to abate the terrible headache. It was almost five and I was exhausted.

The single knock on the door was a reminder that everyone would be going home. “Yes?”

As the receptionist walked in, her expression and actions tentative, she tried to smile. She had a package in her hand. “This just came for you.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name.”

“Martha. My name is Martha.” She still had the brown paper-wrapped package in her hands, her grip firm, even white knuckled.

“Thank you, Martha. Who is the package from?”

“It’s from...” She gulped air before walking closer.

“Take your time.”

She held out the package, looking everywhere but in my direction. “It’s from Mr. Markum. I mean, your father. I just... Well, here you go.”

I was stunned, the same guilt and sorrow rushing in. “Thank you, Martha.” She couldn’t have hurried out of the office any faster, half slamming the door on her way out. I was sick to my stomach as I held the box out, almost as if a bomb was inside. I wasn’t entirely certain I wanted to see the contents. “Here goes nothing.” The package had obviously arrived by messenger, which meant he’d given direction for a particular time for it to be delivered. Did my father have a premonition regarding his death?

The box under the copious amount of paper was plain white, no markings. When I carefully removed the lid, an envelope was on top, my name in my father’s handwriting. I laid it aside before peeling away the tissue paper. There were more files of the paper variety with a single disc.

I was sick to my stomach as I opened the letter, pushing away the tears that threatened to form in my eyes. When I read what he wrote, I was stunned. I sat back then glanced at the contract, my mind reeling. I hit the space bar on my father’s computer, thankful that I was able to get to the internet easily. I typed in Bishop Enterprises and read everything I could find. A cold chill filtered into every portion of my body as I began to understand.

How could this have happened? How could I not have known? “God, Daddy. What did you do?”

A plan was in order and one that would drive out the insanity of my father’s reason. I fingered William’s card before picking up the phone, dialing his number. He answered on the third ring. I didn’t give him time to object in any manner. I simply gave him an order.

“William. You’ve made a great deal of money off my father.” I figured why not throw out the gauntlet immediately.

“I beg your pardon?” William attempted to sound offended.

“I’ve checked through several of the records and you’ve made almost a hundred thousand dollars off my father in the last nine months alone. Now, given the amount of work that is noted on the books, I did the math. I’d say almost three thousand dollars an hour is hefty, don’t you?”

When he was very quiet, except for the heavy breathing, I knew the bastard had taken advantage of my father.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes.’ I’m also going to venture a guess that if I sorted through the other few boxes, the various notes I’ve read regarding your rather corrupt business ethics, that I’d find some glaring red flags. My honest belief is that the Illinois State Bar Association might find your creative methods very interesting.” I wasn’t entirely certain where the bitchy vixen had come from. Perhaps I still wanted to wrap a blanket around my father, protect him from himself. Maybe this was early onset guilt, but whatever the case, no one was going to take advantage of my father again.

Including me.

“You’re threatening me, Miss Markum?” William asked through clenched teeth.

“Let’s just say I’m putting all the pieces together. So, here’s how it’s going to go. I’m going to need several days to digest the information. Please make certain the purchasers are aware, but you will not tell them I’m in town. Let them know I’ll be coming in a few days. In other words, push them off. I’m certain that you can find yet another creative manner in which to do so. I’ll contact you again when I’m ready. If I hear that you ignored my request in any manner, you will be fired, and I’ll make certain you will never work in this state again. I hope I’m making myself very clear.”

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