Chapter Sixty Five
“A security company?” Kat repeated. “That’s… different.”
“It’s not like I know how to do much else, Kat,” Adam pointed out. “This is all I’ve been taught since I was fourteen. And even before that, my mother had me in any martial arts class she could find.”
“I know,” Kat agreed. “But… isn’t it the same thing?”
Adam simply looked his confusion.
Kat sighed. “Not the moral side of it,” she acknowledged. “You’re in the clear there. But the rest of it. You’ll still be in danger.”
Adam shook his head. “I won’t be the one on the ground.”
“Staff?” Kat arched an eyebrow. “So you’ll train them and send them off?”
“That’s… good. It’s really good. How did you come up with it?”
“Iman. She’s been frantic about trying to get me something to do. I think she’s afraid I’ll go off the deep end if I’m bored.”
Kat snorted. “She might not be wrong. I remember how you used to get when we were kids.”
Adam wrinkled his nose. “Stop that. You make me feel old.”
Kat rolled her eyes. “Where is Iman?”
“Out for a run.” Adam scowled.
“I don’t know how she can still do that. Still go running, still live in this house… I would have thought she’d want to get away. Hell, my skin is crawling being here.”
“She’s strong.” Deceptively so. Adam thought of his tiny wife. She’d been hit so many times but she still just kept getting up.
Kat nodded. “I’m starting to see that.”
Adam eyed his friend. “Well, now you know what my plans are. What are yours?”
Kat tilted her head to the side, feigning confusion. “What do you mean?”
“You’re as free as I am, Kat. It’s been over a month now. You must have some idea of what you’re gonna do next?”
Kat bit her lip. “You’re not gonna like it. I’m still not sure if I like it.”
Adam straightened up against the cushions. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve been busy this past month.” Kat picked at the seams on her armchair. “I’ve been rounding up everyone.”
“Everyone?” He had to have misunderstood her.
“I thought you’d want to take Ali’s place,” Kat shrugged.
“I don’t,” he said immediately. “Not in the least.”
“I know. I had a feeling you might think that way. I didn’t think you’d decide to go and start a security company…”
“Kat,” Adam derailed her tangent. “Focus.”
“There are fifty killers waiting for you to take charge of them. Or… for us to take charge of them.”
Adam looked at her, horrified. “You’re not gonna… You hate killing.”
“Times change,” Kat said simply. “Seeing how the Khans work helped with that.”
“Kat, what is this? I thought you’d want to get out.”
“I do.” Kat bit her lip. “But what happens then? I step back and some other sadist takes charge? That’s not something I want.”
“So you’re gonna martyr yourself?” Adam was starting to get angry. “This is ridiculous!”
“I told you you wouldn’t like it.”
“Kat, come on! You know this is a bad idea! Will they even accept you in the first place?” They would, Adam realized. Kat had killed Ali. That, twisted as it was, would win her loyalty.
“Remember that old rumour?”
Adam did. “You’re going to use it. Make them think Ali really was your father.”
Kat nodded. “He might very well have been. I have no idea. Either way, the bastard’s dead. He can’t contradict me.”
“Kat,” Adam sighed. “Make sure you know what you’re doing. This isn’t something to do on a whim. You’ll be trapped. Hunted. Just… be careful.”
“You almost sound like a brother.”
“Isn’t that what I’ve always been?” He’d always thought of her as his sister. An annoying, bratty, know-it-all sister.
“Yeah,” Kat said softly. “Yeah, it has.” She eyed him for a moment. “Have you talked to your mother?”
Adam looked away. He’d tried, twice. Lina had refused to see him. “No.”
“I’m sorry, Adam. Really, I am. I know how close you were.”
“I won’t force her. I just wish I could make sure she’s okay.”
“She is. The guards are there,” Kat reminded him. “They would have let me know if anything had happened. They will let me know if she needs anything. And I’ll take care of it.”
“Thanks.” It was better than nothing, he reminded himself. At least she was okay. “Kat, does she know what really happened?”
Kat froze. “I – I don’t think so. Should I tell her?”
Adam didn’t know. Was it cruel to show her what a monster her husband had been? Or was it worse to leave her in the dark, mourning a man who deserved none of her tears?
“Don’t tell her,” he decided. “It’s over for her. There’s no point.”
Kat nodded. “If you change your mind…”
“I’ll tell you.”
“Can we talk about something less depressing now? And can you feed me? I’m hungry!”
Adam burst out laughing. Same old Kat.
“You have a tapeworm,” he said, letting her derail him.
She grinned, recognizing the old taunt. “I’m a growing girl, is all,” she responded, wrinkling her nose at him. “Now, come on, feed me!”
“Kitchen’s that way,” he pointed. “Help yourself.”
Kat arched an eyebrow. “You want me to cook?”
Adam shuddered, remembering the last time he’d left his old friend alone in a kitchen. She’d made the biggest mess he’d ever seen, melted the handles of two pots and finished with a concoction that was so inedible Adam was sure even the roaches wouldn’t go near it.
“No. No, you just sit there and don’t… touch things.”
Kat giggled and Adam was hit with a wave of nostalgia. How many times had he stood in the kitchen of his apartment, trading quips with her like this?
How things had changed.
The front door opened and his wife walked in, reminding him just what he’d gained from thos changes.
A more than fair trade.