I glanced at the clock on the wall of the cafeteria style visitor’s room for the hundredth time.
What was taking them so long? It wasn’t like this half-assed prison was the Siberian supermax my old man spent time in. There, I would have to wait for an hour to visit with him. Zeven Vasiliev—the head of the notorious Vasiliev Mafia—himself pulled a few strings to get Yuri’s son Erik sent to a cushy adult day care like this.
I should know, I delivered the ultimatums.
I shifted in the plastic chair. My jaw clenched against the stabbing pain shooting through my fractured bones. Only five days since Zeven had found out I was fucking his wife right under his nose and ordered my termination. Firing me was his first mistake. His second was having inadequate meatheads try to do my job.
I took care of Viktor first. Then Alexei. Both tragic accidents no one would ever be able to prove otherwise. My specialty. Now it was Yuri’s turn to see how I earned a living.
Finally… the guard with a gut straining his brown uniform ushered Yuri to my table.
Yuri’s blue eyes bore into mine. “What are you doing here?”
“You mean why am I still… alive?”
He smoothed down his purple tie, flaring his nostrils.
I smirked, nodding to the white box on the table. “You remembered your son’s birthday didn’t you?”
He crossed his arms over his chest.
Of course he didn’t trust me, two of his friends were dead and I was supposed to be sharing a grave with them not bringing his son birthday cake.
My fingers slipped under the flap revealing a bright green ice cream cake with Happy Birthday Erik scrawled in white. “Mint chocolate chip with chocolate cake and fondant icing. See nothing sinister. Just thought I’d do something nice before I left town.”
It shouldn’t have been that easy to lie.
Erik strutted through the visitor’s room looking like he came from a country club rather than a prison cell. Being in Zeven Vasiliev’s favor certainly had its perks. Lavish perks I also took full advantage of until he had Yuri, Viktor, and Alexei take wrenches to my body and leave me in that warehouse.
“Happy Birthday son.”
“Thanks.” Erik flopped down in the chair. “Where’s Mom?”
“Stuck in traffic, she’ll be here shortly.”
“That looks great.” Erik yanked the box to him. “Is it chocolate because I would die for some chocolate right now.”
Oh the irony.
“It’s not from us, it’s from Sergei.”
“Awesome! He always brings some sugary treat with him.” He grabbed a plastic spoon and dug in. “The man can cook, here try some.” He passed Yuri and I a plate with a hunk of cake. “Whoa man what happened to your face?”
I glanced at Yuri before taking a bite of the ice cream and cake, avoiding the icing. “Business deal gone south.”
“Ah that’s why I haven’t seen you in here in a bit. Hey did you hear about Viktor and Alexei.”
“Yeah. Shame, I just had a meeting with them last week.” I took another bite of cake.
Yuri relaxed a little, pulling his plate to him and eating his piece.
Between bites of ice cream cake, we exchanged pleasantries and updates on our daily lives. As usual I supplied appropriate nods, and agreements while they supplied near endless chatter.
This was how I learned all of the Vasiliev’s vices, and routines. And how I determined the only possible way Zeven could’ve found out I was fucking his wife while he cheated at poker, was from the man sitting across the table.
It was fascinating watching the poison work. The longer they sat there and the more they ate, the more like drunkards they became; slurring words, saying shit that didn’t make sense, laughing their asses off at nothing, dropping cake everywhere. But within hours their bodies would painfully reject the poison, then after a day or two their kidneys would shut down completely.
My eyes dropped to the table, I poked at my remaining icing. Shame punishment had to be doled out like this, I always liked Erik. At a moment’s notice, that twenty-year-old kid could always get me the best pills. Even after he was arrested.
I shifted again. Searing razor blades raced through my fractured bones, squashing the flash of guilt. His father shouldn’t have ratted on me and the boss’s wife.
“You know what makes antifreeze such a great weapon?” I said. “It tastes like candy and all you have to do is add a little cornstarch and gelatin, and you have a damned fine fondant. No one ever suspects it.”
Yuri attempted to glare at me but then burst into another fit of laughter. “Antifreeze as icing, that’s funny!”
I grabbed Yuri’s tie. “You should’ve kept your mouth shut about Devora and me. Now you get to lose someone you love. Erik just ate so much antifreeze there’s no way he’ll survive. You might though, if you can get to the hospital in time. But you’ll be tethered to a dialysis machine for the next decade.”
“Fuck you!” He jerked away, wobbling in his chair. His tie cinched against his throat. “Zeven’ll torture all you care about while you watch from your filthy traitorous knees.”
I shoved him back. “When I’m done, the only one going to be begging on their knees is your fucking wife.”
Erik groaned, clutched his stomach, and toppled to the floor. The chair clattered against the tile, scrambling the guards.
I rose to my feet. My busted knees became serrated blades of agony but the pain fueled me. “Should’ve had the balls to kill me Yuri. When you get to Hell, say hello to Viktor and Alexei for me.”
I turned on my heel and limped past the frantic guards unnoticed. The head of the Vasiliev Mafia should’ve never fired his best hitman.