“We found her again,” La Duca announced.
“Great.” Dez said, as if it were par for the course, as if he wasn’t completely relieved. “Where is she?”
“Roma, but that’s all we know. Our contact who was following them seems to have dropped off, hasn’t checked in.”
The duke kept talking. He said it didn’t appear that the McNeil girl had any plans to leave Italy anytime soon. And then he dropped a bomb. “We have information,” La Duca said, “that her father is alive.”
“You’re kidding-” Dez started to say, but he halted, then corrected himself so that his words were one of an associate of the duke’s, not an employee. “When were you apprised of this?” he asked calmly.
“A few days ago. And from what we can tell, he has been trying to sideline the System the whole time. He has been working for the antimafia office against us for all these years.”
Dez felt remorse for a second, then embarrassment. They hadn’t even told him. “Why didn’t you mention this to me?”
“We didn’t need to involve you.”
Dez sat down at his desk. We didn’t need to involve you. That wasn’t good. Even though he was in Chicago, an ocean away from them, he needed to be an integral part of the business. He was the United States boss after all. He needed to be updated on all this, so he could properly wield his power. But he couldn’t tell the duke that.
He was just starting to formulate his response when the duke spoke. And his words changed everything.
“But we need your help now, my friend,” La Duca said, although the word friend didn’t sound particularly friendly. “But you will only be able to help us if you can do so fast.”