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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Action/Adventure · #2317608
In which the last puzzle piece falls into place
The message on Bel’s phone is from LINE, from someone called KitKat--which can mean only one person that Bel knows of.

Why is Kam’s brother sending me a LINE?

Bel reads the contents of the message. It’s only two words, and it makes even less sense the second time. Then another message pops up:

KITKAT: Trust me. This information came from Tinkerbell. I’m hoping you know what the hell that means.

Bel’s hands clench around his phone. If this information came from Nina, then it’s correct, even if it makes no sense. But facial recognition might not be enough. So maybe…

Bel’s fingers are already tapping on the phone before he finishes that thought.

BEL: What’s your email address?

“Trying to reach your boyfriend?”


BEL: If you’re with Tinkerbell, tell her Peter Pan wants your email address NOW.

“Bel. I asked you something.”

“Huh?” Bel shoves his phone back in his pocket and turns to face Gulf, who is standing at his elbow dressed in a white tux with a purple carnation in his buttonhole. Purple? Where in hell did he get that? “Did you say something?”

“You kept looking at the corner where Kam usually sits, and now you’re on your phone.”

“Oh, yeah. Sorry.” Bel wasn’t aware that looking at the same table so many times could be distracting. “Kam said he’d meet me here later, but he hasn’t shown up.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing.” Gulf says. “This is a really important event.”

This VIP event is black tie, and was organized by some of the most powerful people in the city, so Bel has made the extra effort to be on his best behavior. He hates the stupid black bowtie he has to wear to these things, but he also supposes it could be worse. He could be dressed like Em, with that short black skirt and even shorter dickie vest with the plunging neckline, and high heels with ribbons in her hair. Bel didn’t understand why Gulf wanted Em to show that much skin at a black tie event, or why she needed hair ribbons, but then, Bel was not the boss.

“Do you think Kam would cause trouble?”

Gulf shrugs. “He might, if he knew who some of these people were.”

The hell is that supposed to mean? A couple of people have ordered more drinks, so Bel prepares them before turning back to Gulf. “Can I help you with something?”

“I want to talk to you. You don’t have to stop what you’re doing. It won’t take very long.” Gulf moves behind the bar. “You never told me your dad was an American Intelligence Officer.”

Bel’s brain starts to turn somersaults. Open bottles, pour, shake, fill glasses, repeat.

“Your sister’s Intelligence too, isn’t she?” Gulf presses. “But not you.”

Open bottles.


“I wasn’t really into that kind of thing.” Bel forces his hands to continue to move.


Fill glasses.


“‘Wasn’t’, or ‘aren’t’?” Gulf asks.

He’s watching Bel.

Watching him in a way that he’s never watched him before.

Like he wants to reach inside Bel’s head and pull out every secret he has.

Bel swallows.

“I’m not the spying type.”

“But your dad was. He was involved in a lot of cases around here, right?” Gulf leans a little closer, trying to get Bel to look at him. “Smuggling, trafficking, that kind of thing.”

“I guess.”

Keep him talking, Bel.

Play Stupid.

But keep him talking.

Open bottles.



Fill glasses.


“You know there’s other people involved in things like that.” Gulf says. “People who are just trying to run a business. People who don’t like others meddling in their affairs.”

“Sometimes people have to do what other people don’t like.” Bel’s run out of ice, but Gulf is in his way, so he can’t go get any from the kitchen. He’s stuck listening to Gulf’s riddles.

“What a very simple way of putting it.” Gulf takes a step forward, not too close to Bel, but close enough to effectively block Bel’s exit. “Your dad hurt people very important to me. Some of them financially ruined, some jailed, some killed, all because of what’s on that USB your sister has.”

The skin on the back of Bel’s neck prickles, but he keeps his voice steady, and his eyes straight ahead, watching the waitstaff move back and forth between the tables, the chatting customers, and the empty table in the corner where Kam usually sat. Bel’s insides are starting to squirm. But he’s not about to let Gulf see how worried he is. He’s not about to let Gulf think he has the advantage.

“How do you know Nina’s got a USB with anything on it?”

Gulf puts a hand on Bel’s shoulder. To anyone else, the movement looks like a mentor giving encouragement to one of his juniors. But it turns the prickles on the back of Bel’s neck to shivers, especially when Gulf answers him.

“Because I saw it. I even gave Silo the password to unlock that file—a lucky guess, but still. I Know People, too, Bellamy. They can pass information, get information, and make people disappear, only they aren’t--shall we say--methods that the public would understand. They have power, too. Power that some would envy--”

“Take your fucking hand off me and answer my question, you prick.”

“Language, Bellamy. This is a black tie event.” But Gulf gets to the point. “One of these people called me and said that a certain--intelligence officer had information on me. Information that could cause a lot of trouble, like the kind your dad caused eight years ago. Information that I thought I took care of, but I forgot about the CCTV footage.”

Bel’s hands grip the edges of the bar to stop them shaking. Gulf is still talking.

“I don’t like loose ends, Bellamy. I thought when your dad died, I had cleaned up the mess, but I was wrong. So about six months ago, I found that officer who had this footage, and I made him talk. He told me that it was on a USB that I would never get my hands on because it wasn’t here.”

There’s a buzzing sound in his ears, and it’s not because of the other conversations going on around him. Each word out of Gulf’s mouth chills Bel’s blood.

“The USB had been sent to America, to someone named Nina, who just happens to have the same last name as you. So I made a couple of phone calls and found out that Nina is your sister.”

“You tried to kill Nina.” The puzzle pieces are snapping together in Bel’s head. He fights to keep the shaking out of his voice. “You tried to kill me. For information on a case that was closed eight years ago.”

Gulf shrugs.

“Not necessarily ‘closed.’ No one knew who killed the officer who was doing the investigating. But if Nina or any one of her--co-agents, is that the word?--saw what was on that USB, then I’d be in trouble. I don’t like being in trouble.”

“What about the other one? The officer you--” Bel can’t bring himself to say the word tortured, but he’s pretty sure that’s what Gulf did. “Got information about Nina and the USB from.”

“He ran away from me, and by the time I found him, he was on his phone. I didn’t know who he was talking to, but I couldn’t have him pass along anything that could make me look bad, could I?”

“What did you do?” Bel knows the answer to the question, but he asks it anyway.

“I tried to shoot him, but I missed the first time, and hit his shoulder instead. He didn’t go down easy, I’ll give him that. I had to use my knife instead. Yes, Bellamy, the same knife I used on you, in almost the same places. I’m afraid I lost my temper and stabbed him a few more times than necessary, and then put a bullet in his brain just for good measure.” There’s a tinge of annoyance in Gulf’s voice. “It’s a lot messier than what I did the last time, but just as effective.”

“Last time?”

“Eight years ago, if you want me to be totally accurate.” Gulf leans even closer, so that only Bel can hear his next words. “An intelligence officer got in my way, so I put a single bullet hole in the back of his head, and then left him in his car for other people to find.”

That last sentence sends a jolt through Bel’s entire body. He finally looks at Gulf, whose eyes have gone cold and empty, like a cobra’s, but the genial smile is still plastered across his face. The last puzzle piece has snapped into place. He finally knows what Gulf is saying, and he feels sick.

“Gulf…did you kill my dad?”

“Yes, I did.” If anything, Gulf’s smile widens, and he pats Bel’s shoulder. “What a good boy for figuring that out.”

“Don’t fucking touch me.” Bel twitches out of Gulf’s grasp. Gulf drops his hand, but doesn’t walk away.

“Careful. If you make a scene, the people here will be very upset.”

Gulf is right, and that doesn’t make Bel feel any better. If they weren’t at a private event in such a high class place, Bel would take that hand and break every one of Gulf’s fingers. And that would just be the beginning.

“You’re going to bring me that USB, Bellamy.”

“Why the hell would I do that?”

“Simple. Because your boyfriend’s table is empty.”

Bel’s heart stutters. “What did you do?”

“Bellamy,” Gulf’s smile is serpentine. “I had to do a little something to make sure you would listen to me.”



Gulf has Kam.

That’s why he never showed up.


Shit, shit, shit, shit…

“Where is he?” Bel’s voice is deadly calm, but Gulf is still smiling.

“At his dealership. Meet me there after work. We’ll be in the showroom. Oh, and bring the USB with you. Then I can destroy the evidence against me, and you and your boyfriend can leave without another mark on either of you.” Gulf winks at him, and walks away.

That bastard has Kam locked in his own showroom.

I’m going to rip his fucking insides out through his fucking smug throat!

“Bel, are you ok?” Em’s voice cuts through the angry mist that’s starting to form in front of Bel’s eyes. She puts a hand on his arm. “You look like you want to kick a hole in the wall or something.”

Bel makes a decision. He turns to the only person in this building that he can absolutely trust. “Em, can you call Silo for me? Tell him I got Kit’s LINE and he was right and I’ll send him a location because I need his help.”

Em blinks at him. “Sorry?”

“Silo will know what I’m talking about, just call him ok? Maybe call your boyfriend, too, and tell him the same thing. Wait until I get back, though. I’m taking my break.”

He leaves the room before Em can answer. There’s no one in the hallway, so he opens his phone again. There’s a LINE from Kit, with an email address.

Bel taps the Voice Memos app, then the recording he made of Gulf’s conversation with him. He couldn’t take his phone out of his pocket while he was talking to Em, so that conversation is probably on there too; but there’s nothing that can be done about that.

He taps “Share”, then “Mail”, then types in the email address and sends it. The two hours he has left go incredibly slowly, but as soon as he’s able to leave, Bel bolts out the door to the Range Rover.

Kam’s car dealership looks incredibly spooky with all the lights off, sending shivers up and down Bel’s spine. He parks the car, and reaches into the glove box.

The USB slides into his hand, with the label facing him.


Gray wolf.

"29. Confrontation

read from beginning "1. Phone Calls in the Dark
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