Wed By Deception(9)

By: Emilie Rose

“I have my reasons. And I need you to keep any discoveries from Jefferson.”

He knew his sister well enough to know the silence meant she was running through all the possible reasons he’d make such an odd request. “It’s going to be hard to sign contracts without an attorney present. What gives?”

He wanted to evaluate the Kincaid-Jefferson connection before he went further. Chances were Jefferson had simply sold the apartment to a specific quality of buyer as he’d been instructed. But Lucas didn’t want his attorney in on any more confidential dealings until he was sure there hadn’t been any greased palms involved. Kincaid had been as crooked as hell and so were many of the people he’d associated with.

“I’d prefer to use another attorney on this one. I’ll have someone on board before you fly out to meet with the executive committee.”

“It isn’t like you to pull a last-minute switcheroo. Why are you?”

He debated refusing to answer, but Sandi deserved the facts. “Jefferson sold Everett Kincaid the Dallas penthouse.”

Seconds ticked past then she groaned. “It’s Monday. Aren’t you supposed to be in Dallas? Please tell me you’re not going to get tangled up with the Kincaids again.”

He ignored her question. No one knew his ultimate goal was to take down KCL and no one needed to. “I’ll have the pertinent files couriered to you tomorrow.”

“Didn’t Everett Kincaid die a couple of months ago? That means…Lucas, tell me you aren’t dealing with that selfish little bitch again.”

His teeth clicked together. For the past eleven years they’d all believed Nadia a selfish bitch. He’d have to tell his family the whole story, but not before he verified a few facts. “If you want this promotion, do your job and keep your nose out of my business.”

“I don’t like this, Lucas. I don’t like it at all.”

“I don’t pay you to like it.”

Her ticked-off sniff traveled across the airwaves. “Do you want me to check into Jefferson’s dealings?”

“I’ll have Terri investigate. If there’s a devious, dishonest man around, she knows how to find him.”

Understatement of the year. At twenty-four his younger sister had already married and divorced three of the lying snakes before wising up and turning her loser-seeking talents into a lucrative private detective agency, which Lucas had initially funded. He also employed his sister’s firm to run background checks on every employee Andvari considered hiring. Could she have missed something on Jefferson?

“Just tell me the plan so I can prepare for cleanup detail.”

“There won’t be any cleanup. But if you must know, I’m going to get back everything Everett Kincaid took from me. Starting with my ex-wife.”

Every part of the past eleven years had been a lie, Nadia concluded.

Her grief? For naught.

Her father’s sympathy? Faked.

His concern for her well-being? Bogus.

Had everything he’d said and done since the accident been a bald-faced lie? Worse, she had believed in his sincerity, which made her a stupid, gullible fool. There must have been clues to his underhanded, twisted machinations. How had she missed them?

And who else was in on the deception? Had her brothers known Lucas was alive and profiting from her pain? Had her shrink?

She slammed the metal rectangular pan onto the granite countertop. The loud twang vibrated her eardrums. She braced her hands on the cool surface and bowed her head. How many people had been secretly snickering at her behind her back all these years?

She would find out. She might be hampered by her location, and her lack of funds, but she would identify each of the Judases before this year in exile ended. She couldn’t return to Miami without knowing who she could trust and who she couldn’t.

The doorbell peeled.

Glad of the distraction, she pushed off the counter, grabbed her money and hustled to the foyer. She couldn’t finish the brownies until the store delivered her walnuts and a new bottle of vanilla. Baking kept her mind from slipping into the deep, dark, bottomless well she’d prefer not to fall into again. She’d spent too much time paddling in the murky depths already.

Who knew when she’d ordered the last batch of groceries that she should have specified the nuts already shelled? She’d never shelled a nut in her before-banished life, and a Nut-cracker was the ballet she watched at Christmas not a kitchen implement—one of the few this kitchen lacked.

She didn’t bother with the peephole since she was expecting her usual delivery guy and she’d told security to send Dan up as soon as he arrived.

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