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Carson growled a curse at the contraption creeping toward him, and the thing cowered like a beaten dog before scuttling back through the door. Half machine, half animal, one hundred percent abomination. The creature had no place in the world as far as he was concerned. At least this one seemed harmless enough, unlike the others.
He rubbed at the scar on his neckhis reminder that in this new world, sometimes the dead didn't stay that way for long. With every stroke against the thickened skin, a man's facewhat was left of itgrew clearer in his mind. Gears and filters where a nose had been. A shiny lens and brass rings in place of a right eye. Metal that should be flesh. Flesh that should have been dead many times over.
Carson shuddered, trying to shake away the image and the memories.
To think that was what people like St. Clair and Mason brought into being turned his stomach. The two of them had all the money and brains in the world and not a lick of sense between them. Only fools would turn to the mafia for employment. Only madmen would create and loose something like Gambini on the world.
At least St. Clair he could almost understand. Lawyers were a slippery bunch that fancied themselves above the very same law they swore to uphold. William Mason, however... The man had served on the Senate for as long as Carson could remember and was a well-respected scientist to boot. The kind of person a desperate man might turn to in order to save the woman he loved. Too bad he'd found out that Mason was the worst sort of liar far too late.
Now, with Senator Mason dead and his home freshly emptied, Carson had no choice but to focus on Mason's "assistant," Tobias St. Clair, instead. Their connections were the answer to more problems than Carson wanted to admit. Judging by the papers and broken machines scattered around St. Clair's house, he may have been too lateagain. He shuffled through the documents on the high table behind the sofa, hoping for some information on where Mason's private lab was tucked away or where St. Clair might hide. Nothing.
He swept the lot of it onto the floor, sending the dog-thing skittering to a corner once more. Hunting for anything, Carson stalked back and forth through the room.
The machines were shattered and useless.
The papers nothing but notes on old cases.
Any documents linking St. Clair to Masongone.
Carson had spread his net so carefully, and now everything was trickling through it like waterhis little fish washing away with it and the damn shark nowhere in sight. He should have grabbed both of them when he first found the link between their work and the mafia. Someone needed to pay for Lily's death. He'd staked his damn career on finding a way to destroy the men responsible, and now his off-the-books investigation had dead-ended with nothing to show for it.
Fury and frustration boiled inside him until he snatched a meaningless chunk of metal and pitched it at the wall. Cracks radiated from the point of impact, one reaching up and spreading several feet across the ceiling before it stopped, raining plaster down on him.