"No one is coming for you," I warn her as I approach the prison cell.
Lucy stands and dusts off her dress. It rides just above the knee, and the bright yellow is a stark contrast against the grey walls and floor.
"How long are you going to detain me? Don't I get a phone call?" Lucy quips.
I can't tell if she's serious, but I offer a sly smirk. "We're not the police."
She glances past me, her gaze aimlessly looking for something. A security camera? We have plenty of those in the prison and throughout the compound. Most are difficult to detect, hidden from plain sight.
"Who are you?" Lucy asks, rolling her lips together before biting down on her bottom lip.
She's trying to play it cool, but her hands tremble at her side before she folds her arms across her chest.
"I ask the questions." I stride closer to the prison cell. "Who are you working for? I know you didn't decide to steal my key for sport."
"I could have," she quips and then grimaces.
Is she worried that she's said too much?
I unlock the door to the prison cell.
Lucy takes a step back, her eyes widening as she glances past me. I shut the door behind us, shoving the key into my pants pocket. I'm not about to let her escape. "We can do this the easy way or the hard way."
"How about you let me go home? You got your silly house key. I'll be on my way." Her shoes drag against the concrete as her gaze is on the metal door.
"It's locked." I remind her that she isn't going anywhere without an escort.
Her eyes flinch, and she bolts toward me, jabbing her fist at my face for an uppercut.
Lucy is small, at just over five feet. I've got an entire foot on her, and there is no chance she will overpower me.
Grabbing her arm, I pin it behind her back and press her tight against me. I'm not taking a chance that she'll try anything again. "How about we talk?" It's not a question. This is her opportunity for salvation.
I need answers, and she will give them to me.
"Fine," she grunts, and I release my hold on her.
She takes a step back, rubbing at her wrist I held moments earlier. Her nostrils flare as she glances at me.
"Tell me who you work for." My back is to the door, but it's shut and locked. The weight of the key to the prison cell is heavy in my pocket. At least she's not a very good pickpocket. She had ample opportunity when I restrained her.
"You may as well kill me," Lucy says.
"And why's that?"
"I'm good as dead if I talk." She presses her lips together and glances past me toward the stairs.
Is she hoping that someone will come and save her? The door upstairs is locked, and I haven't heard any of the men tread down the stairs. It's just the two of us.
I'm not foolish enough to turn around and give her the advantage with my back to her. "Who said anything about killing you?"
Does she know that we're Russian Bratva?
If she does, then it's a good indicator that she's working with one of our enemies, either Carlos Sanchez from the Colombian Cartel or Antonio Moretti from the Italian Mafia.
Her tongue darts out and swipes across her top lip. "Fine, then let me go."
My phone buzzes in my pocket and I withdraw it to glance at the messages from Anton on the screen.
Background is heavy with debts. Mortgage defaulted. No recent residence on file. Appears she lost her previous job when the investment firm she worked for was bankrupt and shut down after an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
I reply with a quick thanks and tuck my phone into my blazer.
Lucy's voice quivers. "What was that?"
"Aside from my cell phone?" She's trying my patience. Not that I expect her to be open like a book and divulge all her secrets, but doesn't she want to get out of here? If she has the slightest notion of who we are, she'd make a deal and attempt to save herself.
She doesn't say anything, just stares at me with her sullen green eyes. "What are you, five-one?" I ask. Lucy is short, and while I'm not trying to be rude, there is a way that she can pay her debt after we establish a few ground rules. Assuming she's willing to obey me.