Spider Game

By: Christine Feehan

“Fuck, Trap,” Wyatt said softly. What else was there to say? This was far worse than anything he had imagined.

“He should have just shot me,” Trap said softly, almost as if he was talking to himself. “If he had any intelligence at all, he would have just shot me like he did Dru. She was so smart, Wyatt. A gift to the world. She could have done things, but he took her life for no reason other than he was a fucked-up asshole.”

Still, even with the language, there was no change in Trap’s voice. None. That rage was buried so deep, so much a part of him, Wyatt doubted he actually knew it was there anymore. He held up two fingers, knowing Mordichai was watching them closely. Most likely the other members of his team were doing the same, not knowing what was going on, but willing to help in any way they could.

The GhostWalkers who had come with them were spread throughout the bar, one sitting on a barstool, one lounging by the famous piano the owner of the Huracan Club, Delmar Thibodeaux, guarded with a baseball bat, and a couple of others sitting at table across the room. All would be watching Trap’s and Wyatt’s backs, and at the same time appearing as if they had no cares in the world.

Neither man spoke until Mordichai plopped two icy cold bottles of beer on the table and sauntered away, pretending like all the team members were that he had no clue Trap and Wyatt were in a nightmarish discussion.

“How’d you stay alive?”

“He dragged me out from under Dru. I think he wanted to beat me before he shot me, but as I came up I rammed my head into his groin and twisted the gun from his hand as he went down. I’d already calculated the odds of success and knew I had a good chance. I shot him twice before he was on me. He had a knife in his boot.”

Wyatt had seen the wicked scar that seemed to take up half of Trap’s belly. He’d been what? Nine, he’d said. His own father had wiped out his family, killing his mother and brother and sisters. Wyatt pushed down the rage swirling deep in his gut. He drew in a deep breath to keep from annihilating the room. The peanut husks on the floor jumped several times like popcorn in a popper and the walls of the bar shimmered and breathed in and out. He took several breaths to get himself under control.

“He stabbed me twice. Once in my belly and again in my thigh. I hung on to that gun, but I went down in all the blood. That’s when my uncles came in. They came at me, but I lifted the gun and both backed off fast. I guess they were either cowards or they knew my father was done for, because they left him there bleeding out, threw gasoline all over the floor, lit a match and told me to burn in hell. They got out. I crawled out. Still got the scars on my legs and feet from the burns.”

Wyatt clenched his teeth and then carefully brought the bottle to his mouth. He needed action. Something. He almost wished a fight would break out as they habitually did in the bar. When he was younger, he often came there to drink, fight and find a woman, just like most of the other men in the swamp and bayou did. Now he came to drink and fight. He had a woman waiting for him at home.

“I had one living relative, my mother’s sister. She was fifteen years younger than Mom, barely twenty-three, and single, but she came and got me and I lived with her. We changed our names, moved and thought we were going to be all right. At twelve I founded my first company after selling two of my patents. We lived good for a while.”

For the first time something moved in his cold, piercing eyes. Trap raked his hand through his blond hair, hair that definitely identified him as an outsider there in Cajun country. Had he not been with Wyatt, he would have been the first target chosen for anyone looking for a fight. The fight wouldn’t have ended well. Trap wasn’t a man who enjoyed a good friendly brawl. You didn’t put your hands on him. You didn’t threaten him. Even there in the Huracan Club with his team around him, he kept to himself. Wyatt could see the name Johansson suited Trap far better than Dawkins. Trap definitely had some Swede in him, with his build and blond hair.

Wyatt didn’t want to hear what happened to Trap’s aunt, but he had to know. There were too many flames burning icy hot behind the blue glacier of Trap’s eyes.

“For a while?” he prompted.

“Yeah. For a while. I made a lot of money, even through my early teenage years. Went to school, could have taught most of the professors. Did a lot of research in pharmaceuticals, and we both know you can make a fortune there. I just kept making money.” He made small circles on the table with the edge of the beer bottle. His gaze once again held Wyatt’s. “You know that money didn’t mean a fucking thing to me, Wyatt. Not one damned thing. I can’t help the way my mind works. The money made it easy to get the lab I wanted and the equipment, but that was all. I live simply. I don’t use it.”

Wyatt frowned at him. “Trap, I’ve known you for years. We went to school together. We were both younger than everyone else and yeah, smarter, so we naturally gravitated toward each another. We went into business together. You don’ have to convince me you aren’ into money.”

“She was kidnapped. They took her right out of the house when I was working in the laboratory. She would always come and get me for dinner. I could skip other meals, but not dinner. She didn’t come. When I went into the house, the place was a wreck. She fought them, and I hadn’t heard a fucking thing.”