Explosive by Beth Kery Read Free Book Online

Book: Explosive by Beth Kery Read Free Book Online
Authors: Beth Kery
Tags: Fiction, General, Romance, Contemporary, Adult
knuckles. He became uncomfortably aware that he was sweating. He struggled to focus on Larue’s latest unexpected question. Douglas Mannero was one of the clients in his investment firm.
    “What’s that got to do with anything?”
    “We know he’s one of Nicasio Investments’ clients. You’ve been handling his money for two years now.” Larue flipped back a few pages in his notebook. “Mannero runs a large, lucrative West Side vending machine business—manufactures, repairs, and distributes vending machines all over the city, downstate, Ohio, Wisconsin, and northern Indiana.”
    “So?” Thomas prompted, bewildered by the turn of the questioning.
    “Who referred Mannero to Nicasio Investments?” Larue asked.
    Thomas narrowed his gaze on Larue.
    “What are you digging at?”
    This time, Larue didn’t respond, just fixed him with that stony, cocky G-man stare. Thomas’s fury escalated in the tense silence that followed, making his chest burn.
    Agent Fisk suddenly leaned forward in his chair, speaking for the first time since the meeting had begun.
    “Douglas Mannero was arrested earlier today as part of our ongoing investigation into organized crime in Chicago, Mr. Nicasio. Thanks to the cooperation of the IRS, we have good reason to believe that the vending machine company was being used to launder money that the Outfit made from illegal gambling operations.”
    “Should I call my lawyer?” Thomas seethed. “Are you accusing me of being involved?”
    “No. We have no evidence that would indicate you understood that the money was dirty when Mannero asked you to invest it,” Fisk said.
    Larue gave his partner a surprised, irritated glance, which Fisk ignored. Fisk held Thomas’s stare. “We didn’t come here today to accuse you of anything, Mr. Nicasio. But as part of our investigation, we would like the name of the person who referred Mannero to Nicasio Investments.”
    “I don’t recall,” Thomas replied.
    Fisk nodded his head and studied Thomas narrowly. “We won’t take up any more of your time, then.”
    Larue looked up at him, his widened eyes saying loud and clear that he was stunned by Fisk’s actions.
    “You’re mistaken about Mannero,” Thomas said coldly. “I’ve seen the company’s books. I made a study of them, in fact. They’re clean. You’re even more wrong about your allegations against my father.”
    “We have information from a very reliable inside informant that tells us otherwise,” Fisk said with a level stare before he hitched his chin at Larue, indicating to his partner that it was time to go.
    Thomas curled his lip in disgust. “You guys are fucking hypocrites. You say you want justice, but you’re willing to take the word of some slimy little two-bit criminal over a respected businessman like my father?”
    Fisk stopped dead in his tracks and spun around. “What slimy two-bit criminal are you referring to, Mr. Nicasio?”
    Thomas rose slowly from his chair, glaring at Fisk. “The one you must be talking to who is feeding you all these lies about my father.”
    For a few seconds, Fisk didn’t move.
    “Our informant isn’t a criminal, Mr. Nicasio. Not in the slightest. Have a good evening, sir.”
    Thomas had just stood there, watching the two agents march out of his office, boiling in a vat of bewilderment and rage. Even in the midst of his emotional turmoil, the image of Sophie Gable standing in the elevator leapt into his mind’s eye. It only added to his volatility that he couldn’t stop thinking about her, even under these circumstances. He didn’t want to think about a woman now, not when the FBI was hounding Joseph Carlisle, making preposterous claims about him being involved in organized crime, badgering Thomas about a client his father had referred to him a couple years back.
    Despite his mental prohibitions on lusting after Sophie, he detailed the vision of her once again in his mind’s eye, fantasized about peeling off that crisp white blouse

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