The void gnawed at him, the big raw hole where Roland’s presence used to be. It hurt. Hugh grit his teeth and forced himself to concentrate on the head on the table in front of him.
“When?” he asked.
“Six days ago,” Stoyan said. “He was out. He’d quit after you were forced out. He took a teaching job in Chattanooga. Taught high school French. He wasn’t a threat to anyone. They killed him anyway. I came to convince him to meet with you. I was too late.”
His throbbing head made it hard to think. “Camilla?”
Stoyan shook his head. Rene’s wife didn’t make it. Pain stabbed at him, fueling his rage.
“Dead,” Bale said.
“Purdue, Rockfort, Ivanova, all dead,” Stoyan added. “We’re it.”
Hugh surveyed the four men. Stoyan, dark-haired, dark-eyed, in his mid-thirties, looked haggard, like a worn-out sword. Felix, a hulking mountain of a man with reddish hair, leaned back, trying to stop a nose bleed. The bridge of his nose skewed right. Broken. Bale sulked in the corner. About five seven, five eight, he was almost as broad as he was tall, all his bulk bone and slabs of thick, heavy muscle. Lamar perched on the edge of the table to far right. Tall, whiplash-lean, and black, he looked twisted together from ropes of stringy muscle. Short hair, cut down to the quarter-inch length, framed his long face. A pair of thin, wire-rimmed glasses rode his nose. He was closing on fifty-five and he pretended to be older than he was.
The second-in command, the silent killer, the berserker, and the strategist. All that remained of his cohort leadership.
“This is the way things are now,” Stoyan said.
“Landon Nez is going down the roster of Iron Dogs and crossing out the names,” Lamar said. “Nobody is safe. We’re all tarred with the same brush.”