The big bruiser’s fist slammed into Dwayne’s stomach again, and the cop was pretty sure he felt a rib break this time. He coughed again, flecks of blood spattering the warehouse floor in front of him. He groaned and looked up as Guido stepped back, rubbing his knuckles.
Louie smiled thinly as he looked into the cop’s eyes.
“Are we really going to have to do this the hard way, Dwayne?”
The battered man wheezed and coughed, trying to speak slowly around his swollen and bloody tongue.
“Told you…just calling…friend about…Brawl game. Nothing…about work.”
Stars exploded in Dwayne’s vision as Guido’s meaty fist slammed into the side of his head, knocking over the chair and bouncing his skull off the plastcrete floor. When the big enforcer had manhandled him back upright, the Mob lieutenant fixed him with that disconcerting dysoptic stare.
“Have it your way, pig. Pino’s working on your commlink. We’ll find out who you were talking to, and make sure we protect our operation. Save us some time, and you might save yourself some pain. Or not. Guido won’t mind.”
Dwayne shook his head and waited for the next round of hurt. He’d started the purge subroutine on his commlink after closing the link to Mazula, but he didn’t know for sure if unit had been wiped clean. He couldn’t do anything to prevent Pino from hacking the commlink if the purge didn’t take, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to give anyone up for free.
Guido was winding up for another round when he was interrupted by the arrival of Louie’s second in command. Terri crossed the room looking smug, and Dwayne had a deep sinking feeling in his gut that had nothing to do with physical punishment he’d been taking. The feeling didn’t improve when Terri whispered into Louie’s ear and the man turned to smile at him.
“Since pain doesn’t seem to be a motivator for Dwayne, maybe we should see if Monica, Ashley, or Connor would be able to shed some light on things instead.”