1×13 “Cat and Mouse”

Episode 1×13 “Cat and Mouse”
Written by: Chirs Coleman/Kelly Zollo
Warning: Episode contains language, sexual situations and content
Guest Staring: William Levy (Diego Gonzales)(Raven Paloma)

Jon hadn’t said much to Devin since the freaking mess he caused. It was a mess. His sister was almost hit by a car, and some mysterious guy saved her. Not to mention he was getting more and more antsy about Cassie and Skye. They were both great girls and seeing Skye at TJ’s yesterday brought back a lot of memories. Not to mention the late night calls from Cassie which were getting more and more intense. Audrey Montgomery the stunning opera singer who committed suicide. She exposed more layers to him and he was started to see that Cassie was lost as he was. That was what he found attractive. The fact that Skye was still persistent as ever. That made him feel good. He wasn’t sure which instinct to follow. As he looked at Devin he looked perplexed also. As he walked to his partner desk.

“Hey, don’t hurt my sister with Merci.” He lowered his head wondering if he’d honestly overstepped his place. “I just am protective Devin and you can’t say a guy sniffing around Rochelle you wouldn’t be just as cautious. Look I am not saying that I’m judging you on your connection to Miranda. I mean she has been at that club and ever since the almost hit and run. Well she’s been distant to me and I’m assuming you also. Miranda has a way of freezing out the ones she cares and love about.”

Devin was filing paperwork on a few of the cases that they had been closing when Jon approached his desk things had been awkward since Merci and Skye showed up at the fireworks. Miranda had been pushing him away and she had thrown herself into work she was not happy about him inviting Merci and Skye. In defense he had invited Merci as a friend and not Skye who was up to her old ways of screwing around with Jon’s life. Not to mention the earful he got about the shit she was attempting to pull on Jackson with Dani. He looked up at Jon and knew Jon wasn’t trying to be a dick overstep his bounds. Family was important to Jon and his family, Miranda’s happiness was important to Jon.

“I am not trying to hurt Miranda I invited Merci as a friend. I wasn’t the one who told her to include Skye and maybe you should follow your own advice you are begging for trouble if you let her back into your life.” Devin said looking at Jon as he closed the folder in front of him on his desk. He and Miranda were fine maybe in a bit of a tiff at the minute but he certainly wasn’t dragging Merci along he had been very clear that friends was all they could be. “Your sister is just working her butt off you know how important this is to her and I am not about to not let her do it.”

“Maybe you should have stopped it.” Jon said softly looking at Devin. “I think she is in over her head. Its sadly something she wouldn’t admit she’s dealing with this Ronan situation. I know how KC situation affected her when Quinn was just a baby. Miranda is a person who makes me better she held her head up after his death. I just don’t know if this was the right move. Why her going undercover? She’s in deep and it could be unearthing some raw stuff inside of her. Look there isn’t a guy I trust more than you. You are my best friend and I apologize for being a jackass a couple weeks back. I just want you to be careful with Merci she’s just like Skye. Honestly I know what I’m doing with her and she’s not as harsh or bad as she seems. Skye is hurting just like the rest of us and instead of some people being umm rude and judgy to her maybe understanding is what she need.” Jon looked at Devin and patted his shoulder. “You love them and you’re my bro man.”

He saw Gideon approaching them quickly interrupting the intimate conversation they were having. Jon looked at Devin no doubt a ass chewing was coming. The Kincaid case was at a standstill. The forensics were said to be coming back. He did know that the DNA found at the scene was going to lead them into the killer track. Rumors were swirling round and round that the FBI was invading Atlas Falls. They must of really believed that they had a case. That was a good feeling and something Jon felt Atlas Falls needed. Ronan was said to be involved with the east coast five families and rumored cartel running the entire country.

“Sir did the forensic come back?” Jon asked standing up looking at Devin.

Gideon walked towards them with the file on hand everything that they was in this file to put Ronan behind bars. The forensics didn’t and or couldn’t lie Jon and Devin were the perfect cops to deliver the arrest decorated war hero and former football star take down mobster before the Feds can. Of course everything they had would be then of course shared with the FBI as soon as possible. He had kept his word and he nodded his head at them both, he hoped tensions between them had settled since Jon and Devin since the incident a few months ago. Placing the file down on Jon’s desk he knew this was the perfect move.

“Yes it is. It took a while for us to trace the gun that was used. The DNA at the scene is a genetic match to Ronan Madden now of course the DA could argue he and Steven were friends and he had been in the home but the gun. The gun matched a bullet we have on file and the Feds had on file that killed an agent of theirs a gun that is registered to Ronan.” Gideon said watching the news pass over both their faces. He knew who the agent was and knew this would stir them both on the right direction. “You know I have wanted to catch KC’s killer just as much as you both and now we have.”

Devin felt like his heart stopped they had waited for this for a long time a connection to Ronan and another murder. The feds had speculated for years that Ronan was the one that killed KC they never could prove it. This meant that Miranda didn’t have to strip at the club anymore, she could come home and have peace of mind. He picked up the file seeing the emotion on Jon’s face at it all Jon had approved of KC for Miranda and they were like brothers in every way that mattered. “Jon are you alright?”

“Yeah.” He said shaken out of the shock he was feeling. They had finally got him. He was going to be behind bars and Miranda finally could be in peace. This is what his sister needed to be healed. What Devin needed to finally step out of KC’s ghost. As he looked at his partner he stood up as he knew what Gideon was saying. He took the paperwork and it had Braden signature. They were to pick up Ronan immediately. This was starting to make him feel gleeful. They were about to put away the kingpin of the east coast.

Jon stood looking at Devin. “Let’s go pick that son of a bitch up.” He said knowing that this would not just change their lives but Atlas Falls. Patting his shoulder he looked at Gideon. “Just curious you said the ballistics matched what type of gun was it?” Ronan no doubt had Kendrick do the dirty work however he was there. “It’s just strange Ronan only kills when he is trying to show a point. If I put a hit on the mayor I’d be there but would never pull the trigger when he has Kendrick.”

“I’m not Ronan Madden so I wouldn’t be able to tell you why he didn’t have his right hand pull the trigger. All that I do know is that Kendrick’s DNA was not found at the scene, nor does the bullet match a gun he owned and that is still in an open investigation with the FBI. I know this case is personal for the both of you that is why I had DA Fraiser draw up an arrest warrant. Should you both be up to handle this I can call judge Sanders and get his signature.” Gideon said looking at them wanting to accept the information. Once the arrest happened things would move quickly he knew that the Feds would come in if they weren’t now.

“We all know that the Feds will be here to speak with Jamal later in the day this is an opportunity for us to get one up on them. Get the information and the arrest before they can. It also can give Jamal more incentive to speak with us.” Gideon finished as he looked at Devin. Jamal was his cousin and he knew Devin was taking a lot of this case just as personally as Jon. “I know you want your cousin to have a good deal Ronan out of the way will ease that.”

“Captain has a point I know Kendrick but we both know how Ronan can take care of his own business too. It’s not to far out there to think that he was tired of Steven and the money he owed him we did find a money trail. I also agree about getting him off the streets for us, for Jamal and Miranda to finally see him behind bars.” Devin said he agreed with the arrest warrant they had enough circumstantial evidence that even Braden thought they could move forward. They didn’t need much more and he knew Ronan would lawyer up quick. “If we don’t move now we know how this could end he could move pieces and we won’t have the upper hand anymore.”

“Agreed let’s go. Gideon thanks for letting us take him in.” He turned quickly. “You’re friends with Brenda Kincaid correct? Call her for us we will either get Ronan one or two ways. Sweep up everyone connected to him and hold him including Brooke. Look I know she’s your girlfriend now sir but we have to do what we have to Gideon.” Jon knew today he was about save a lot of lives. As he walked out of the precinct he saw other detectives and cops quickly following them. The swat and plain clothes officers were with them. The adrenaline of this moment made Jon even more pumped. Slamming Ronan into a wall will forever be a moment in their history.

“You know Kendrick right you two were close correct? Listen this is a good feeling and I know you know what never mind I’m being pessimistic.” Jon said looking at him. “We will be infamous man forever for bringing down a cartel member they can save all that bullshit about no cartel. Why else have the FBI taken over a whole side of our station? And have been calling resources from Philly? I just can’t help but feel like something else is up it’s just all falling into place. Yet the FBI have been trying to nail this SOB for years with no slip ups?” Jon got into the car as he looked at Devin. “Am I just psyching myself out of this? I should be excited.”

Devin followed Jon out of the police station knowing that this was going to be a big deal it obviously was with the feds setting up shop. It meant they could really put Ronan away he could never hurt Miranda or Jamal, they could then get Kendrick off the streets. It was all coming into play and while it may of taken a while that was what the justice system was for. Putting on his vest he checked his gun as Jon did the same of course a gunshot was always the last resort but he wanted to be prepared. He got Jon’s questions but he also knew that Gideon was smart he played by the rules and the extra help was to strengthen their case if anything.

“I don’t know man Gideon has his reasons and plus that agent is coming in today with me and Zach to speak to Jamal. I haven’t spoke to Kendrick in years I’ve already told you this.” Devin said knowing that Jon kept bringing it up. He got out of the lure of a gang life long ago thanks to his father and Walter. He thought Kendrick could have made better choices but he didn’t. Getting in the car he looked at Jon. “Slip up or not Braden felt it was enough and you know how he is. It’s all good Gideon will call for the warrant we can swing by the courthouse and pick it up. You worry too much when shit goes right.”

“Hey don’t get sensitive on me I wasn’t asking for that reason. I’m asking because Kendrick head he thinks of himself as a soldier at war or something. If he’s a soldier would he want his boss to get that glory? I mean we’ve both heard he’s itching for power it just doesn’t make sense. Ronan ego not seeing that Kendrick is going to implode I thought that was were this was going. I guess he’s stupider than we both think.” He said not trying to make him feel uncomfortable. “I was just trying to do what we were trained to do in the military get inside the enemy head. You know he’s next in line what is Kendrick going to do?”

Jon hoped he got why he was saying what he was saying. “Nah it’s good we have Braden signature we’ve been friends since we were all kids. Man we are going to get him.” He answered his phone quickly. “Alright Gideon we’re on our way.” He said looking at his friend. “Brenda just gave up Ronan he’s at the resort with Brooke.” Jon turned his car around watching all the police following him. “This is really amazing.”

“Yeah it is. It feels like closure for all of us.”  Devin said in agreement watching Jon make the turn and the officers behind them. He was still in a daze it felt surreal to be able to do this for the Rhodes and Harrison’s. To be able to tell Miranda they got him finally.


Brooke walked into her suite at the resort and saw Ronan standing shirtless. His guards were down the hall said he’d just got back from the gym. He’d recovered amazingly from almost being murdered. She was thoroughly disgusted with how Ronan treated Yasmine. They got into a intense fight that night when he came back to the suite. How could he talk to a woman like that? She understood he wasn’t going to be a good guy. Hell she got he’d have to get blood on his hands. It was just seeing the wolf behind the sheep she knew. How could the very same man who treated her like a queen be so disrespectful to another woman? It was a disconnect and it was almost like he was two different people. As much as it hurt her and Rory wouldn’t even take her calls she couldn’t let him go. She couldn’t see the man of her dreams just slip through her fingers.

She closed the door loudly. Seeing him glistening made her feel like she was ready. Brooke was ready to take their love to the next level. Unfastening her white peacoat she’d just got from Paris fashion show. Next week would be Paris fashion week and she was flying out. Val told her Diego Gonzalez and her line was launching. Avi Rose was going to be at the shows also this was going to be fun. She hadn’t seen Avi since she was with Atticus. She wore a black slip dress underneath and lace high heel gogo boots. It was from a French designer and she rode a private jet home with the other models. In New York she got dressed and flew directly here. The sun was starting to set and the sun was glowing on them.

“I am home. I know this isn’t your home but it’s been for a couple weeks and I know I left we weren’t in a good place. I just don’t want to fight because I’ve been on a flight for hours. I have been wanting something from you. I want tonight and today to be special. I don’t want any interruptions.” She snatched the phone off the charger and immediately turned it off. Then turned her’s off and threw it on the couch. Walking to Ronan she kissed him and softly pulled back. “I love you and I know your business scares me but I can’t see myself without you. Can we make love all night?”

Ronan looked out the window as he then glanced down at the papers and the casino deal along with a few other DGI moves on the front page. The problem with being in charge of the organization and a businessman came at these expenses. He knew if he went after Jamal then the casino deal would fall under, then there would be nowhere new to run the drugs though. While the club at the moment was good he and Philip had talked for months about moving out, the Feds and the cops could close in. Something his father had told him early on don’t run them through one place too long and make sure that you set the people up in the know in the long run. Kendrick was not even aware of the plan, that was for the best honestly Yasmine and Brooke had got to him over the last few weeks.

It had to be done and when Brooke had left for her fashion shows they had left on bad terms. It gave him time to think about things over the last few weeks figure out a game plan that would work for all of them. Jamal was a problem it depended on what he told the feds the drugs in the club would be moved in the next few days. Yasmine would no longer deal he could still connect him to Benny, but Benny had been taken care of they had not found a body and Kendrick assured him they never would. Kendrick may of had to take the fall but that was a sacrifice he was willing to make his lawyer was good and she would make sure Kendrick was taken care of and never faced jail time. He looked over at Brooke as she took the phone off the charger and dropped her coat, the dress hung to every curve. He had been waiting for her to say that to him he wanted this to be on her own terms.

“I’m glad you’re home, I missed you. I can’t tell you everything about my business you know that what happened at the party it had to happen. I know you don’t agree or understand but trust me when I say it had to be that way.” Ronan said pulling her to him and returning her kiss he took a few steps back towards the bed. His head was screaming the phone should have been left on but she was right privacy was important tonight. “I’ve waited a long time for this right before I was shot even though you said you wanted to wait I was going to take you back to my place and do this. I just want you to be sure this is what you want, we can’t go back after this.”

Touching his chest the sweat stickily stuck to her fingers. As she nodded and playfully looked at him. “I talked to my one of my only female friends. Val reminded me how hurt and lost I was after Atticus. That bimbo in his bed and me finding them. He wanted to be a player or like Dimitri his big brother and I gave so much of myself to him. The love we felt was real but nothing as intense as this. Nothing that scared me and going to Paris and then Thailand for a photoshoot. I don’t want know what it’s like not to be without you. I love you so much and I don’t want to lose yourself. I’m trying to right a wrong for a fight that I shouldn’t have had with you. Your business is yours. You can’t tell me not to take a job and I can’t tell you not to do what you have too. Even if it hurts a life long friend. It’s not my place.”

As she slowly kissed his neck it was salty and sweet all at the same time. “Don’t be afraid because I’m not. I’m not afraid of what we are and can be.” She slowly leaned in and kissed him feverishly letting their tongues collide and twirl together. As she pulled back Brooke untied the tie from her neck letting the dress pool to her feet she stepped out of it. Walking into his arms as she wrapped her arms around him. Slowly she kissed him again. “Make love to me.”

Just then Brenda walked in with Jon and Devin along with four other plain clothes. Pushing Jon and Devin out she immediately closed the door. “Darling I suggest you stop this obvious poor seduction.”

“Mom! How dare you burst into my room!” She growled as she looked at her mother. “You are out of line!” Quickly slipping on her dress and then tying it up around her neck. “Get out! Oh my God you are disgusting.

“Wrong Brooke, I’m not out of line at all. In fact I’m quite in line considering the fact that Gideon has sent Jon and Devin here to arrest this son of a bitch for killing my husband and your father.” Brenda then quickly opened the door as Devin and Jon entered. “Arrest this son of a bitch.”

Brooke stepped back as she looked at Ronan covering her mouth as she gasped. What in the hell was going on? Was all he did just secret and lies. Turning her head she saw the plain clothes holding Ivan and Luca in handcuffs. “This is a lie! You are lying and this is a lie and you constantly seem to be digging a hole deeper and deeper mother but this is perverse truly mother I thought better of you. Stay away from me Ronan who do I call? And you two doing here and Gideon’s dirty work.”

“Ronan is guilty listen forensics don’t lie.” Jon said looking at Brooke. “I don’t and I mean won’t compromise myself for a big get. Ronan Madden you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in the court of law, you have a right to an attorney before and during your questioning. If you can’t afford the service of an attorney, you will have one appointed, at public expense with no charges to you. Do you understand your rights Mr. Madden?” He said as Devin pulled out his cuffs.

Devin pulled out his cuffs and had wanted to roll his eyes at Brooke did she not get it, he killed people. What did she think he did all day knit booties? Looking at Ronan he felt a sense of finality with it as he watched Ronan smirk at them. He wanted to be difficult he could, before he even knew what came over him he shoved Ronan down on the dresser, wrenching his arms behind his back and forcing the cuffs on him. He looked at Jon oh how he wish he could give Jon five minutes alone with the bastard.

Ronan had been ready to make Brooke scream his name all night until Brenda had entered and then he looked at the officers, Steven’s murder were they serious? When he noticed they were not he kept silent he couldn’t answer Brooke’s question not without his lawyer. This was obviously a setup he attended the dinner for Steven that night. Brooke looked horrified at him and Brenda was very smug. He refused to be arrested and only grunted when Devin forced him down on the dresser. His eyes were glued to Jon Harrison, he knew who Jon was that agent that he killed was Jon’s brother in law, the man looked like he wanted to take a hit on him. He wanted him to badly another thing his lawyer could vouch for as Devin held him up.

“I have nothing to say to you or your partner. This must make your day doesn’t it Mr. Harrison that you’ve finally got me too bad it’s for the wrong crime tell me does she still cry at night over her husband? You know the one that thought he could take me down?” Ronan said looking at Jon he wanted to laugh. He saw Brooke slowly registering his words there was no secret that the FBI agent had been found a few years ago surely she would have heard about it on the news. “I doubt this will help you get elected Mrs. Kincaid in fact I can assure you it won’t.”

“This isn’t my scheming. For once I didn’t have to put my skills to use your own sloppy work will bury you son of a bitch.” She slapped him passionately she felt Brooke jerk her back. Before she knew it her hand whacked Brooke in the face. “You ungrateful little bitch!” She screamed at her daughter. “He killed your father!”

Brooke stood shocked when her mother struck her. Stepping back she shook her head she saw the room grow silent. The hate she felt from her mother at that moment. It scared her and the sheer anger she felt scared her. She couldn’t help it as she saw her mother’s eyes soften and finally set into what she had done. A gasp escaped Brooke’s lip as she touched her face. “My father is dead but so is my mother now to me. Ronan what do you need me to do this is bullshit. Ronan didn’t kill my father he has comforted me.” Moving her long hair she bit her lip. “Tell me what you need.”

“You are my world you have to believe me I’m sorry darling.” She said looking at Brooke walking alongside Ronan as they were escorting him out. “Brooke you stop this now! That’s it! I’m calling Anderson and Hunter they’ll stop you.”

“Nobody can stop me from stopping this!” Brooke snapped at them all.

Ronan knew Brooke wanted to help but the less that she knew the better he had no idea how this happened. There was no evidence tying him to Steven’s murder that he knew of and he didn’t do it. That was the kicker but with Brenda claiming he did, with the police stating that evidence was there he knew the best course of action was to remain quiet. He already knew he would call Paloma as soon as he was able. He let them lead him out of the resort the gasps from guest as they went, the press was already outside waiting for them. Pictures snapped as he and his men were loaded into the cars he looked over at Brooke shaken and near sobbing.

“My lawyer will call you.” Ronan told her quietly before he felt Devin shove him in the backseat.

Kendrick had arrived at the resort after running an errand and watched the police raid from the other side of the street. He stood there frozen in place watching it unfold with no heir he already knew the will that Paloma had drawn up last year the business would pass to him. Meaning no more taking orders from a weak boss, he could move the drugs how he wanted. No more walking on eggshells as the debutante bitch of Atlas Falls made them weak as fuck. No it meant that he could take over and get the organization back to what it was known for not his candy shit they had had been doing. He knew a good soldier would do something but instead he felt the grin tug at his lips, let the idea of power sink in. Taking a few steps back he swore Brooke was staring at him as he flipped up his hood on his coat and walked away. He and a desk to sit in now.


Selina rolled over as she exhaled dramatically looking at him. They had made up after that ugly fight. She’d called Kyan which wouldn’t make Braden happy if he ever found out. Kyan Locke was a college friend of both Chauncey and Braden. Kyan was always an admirer of her he however was apart of the illustrious Locke clan. She didn’t think that her father would like her with direct ties to Forbes Montgomery either. They would never know she called in a major favor. One day Forbes or Kyan would come knocking. Taking his hand she kissed it looking deeply in his eyes she bit down on her lip. Kyan was a special prosecutor in DC and was becoming a powerful player in the Washington scene. As she fluffed her hair she looked at him and kissed him again. Thinking about it all their families shared a mutual distaste for the Montgomery’s. Thus why Cassie and Philip although well off never were in their circle.

“I can’t stop kissing my husband.” She said whispering in his ear. “I know it’s been difficult these last few weeks. Mason and I sat Jamal down and he’s talking to the feds. I think he’s waking up and I know you don’t understand it. I don’t either but when he explained his inferiority to myself and Mason. Along with always being a kid who didn’t understand his privilege. “Jamal doesn’t deserve jail he needs to understand he needs help.” She touched his chest as she looked at him. “How about I cook us breakfast and we stay in all morning. I can stay away from DGI a few more hours and you are the district attorney.”

Braden looked at the clock knowing he should get out of bed and head into work, he doesn’t have court today but he knows that the police will be arresting Ronan. That alone is something that he knows that he and Selina can’t avoid even if they want too. The press won’t allow it, his father is running for office and his office has been trying to put Ronan away for years. Rolling over onto his side he looked at her, thankfully they had been able to get past that ugly fight they had the other day. Both of them were heated, probably said things they shouldn’t have. Leaning into her he kissed her, they had time for breakfast this morning maybe not going into work. Not to mention as a bonus both of the kids were gone.

“Good thing your husband can’t stop kissing you again then is it?” Braden said smiling at down at her as he leaned over her. He ran his hands down the side of her face difficult was a good way to put it. It certainly had not been easy but then he had to wonder sometimes if marriage was supposed to be easy even his parents had been off more and more. He was glad that Jamal was going to be speaking to the FBI finally he knew they were meeting today. “I am glad that Jamal is going to talk to them I know Devin and Zach were taking the agent up today to speak to him. You could cook or we could stay in bed. After all Maddie and Dylan are both gone.”

“No I want to show you I can do the whole domestic thing. That Maddie nor I are just pampered princess. We are pampered Queens.” She said playfully as she kissed her husband one last time before grabbing a sheer and lace robe. Grabbing a hairclip Selina pinned her hair up into a quick bun. “Now I’m about to cook breakfast but first I am thinking of going off my birth control. Could you put on some pants and come downstairs and talk to me about this.” She said swiftly brisking past Braden grabbing another kiss. Floating down the stairs she walked into the kitchen and laughed. Maddie touches no doubt a television on the wall mounted in the kitchen. Braden was going to freak. Walking to the note she read it and giggled so Dylan was in on it.

Biting her finger she quickly walked to the cabinet and pulled out ingredients for pancakes. Then grabbed a few things to mix into the batter. Chocolate chips and dried cranberry-raisins she immediately went to work on the batter mixing and measuring. Seeing her husband appear as she finished mixing. She clicked on the television so he could take notice. “This was joint idea from them. They said family bonding in the note Dylan said something about sports and wings. This is her way of saying she’s a brat but she doesn’t want to rock the boat and Dylan was in on it. Plus if it’s okay for me to go off my pill I mean I’ll want to watch TV with the kids in here. That could be fun watching a sports event? I want our child to be the perfect blend of your sweet values and my chutzpah. I think she or he would take over and I just think that I’ve pushed the thought of me being a mother out of my mind. I just never thought of it with Chauncey but us I want someone to bridge our families and who better than a cute and adorable baby that my father and your father would dote on.” She looked at him hoping he’s excited about the baby idea and the TV gift from the kids.

Braden laid there in bed for a few minutes reeling over her word she wasn’t sure how he felt about more kids, how would Dylan feel about it? Reaching over the side of the bed he pulled on some pajama bottoms before rising and going to follow her down the stairs. He saw the TV on the wall and inwardly groaned the kitchen was for eating and family time, he took the note from her and read it. He could see what the kids were attempting to do make life a little easier for them. Even if they had a baby where would they stick it, it wasn’t like he had a huge house by any means they were barely fitting them and two teenagers in there plus his office. He took a seat at the breakfast bar watching Selina make the pancakes.

“A baby is a big step Selina. We’re already stretched thin with the house where would we put it? You always said before you weren’t sure.” Braden said he had thought about kids with her when they were younger when they were in college when they had nearly got engaged before Dylan and Maddie were born. He never thought that she wanted them they were both older now and he knew biology probably played a big reason into her decision now. He looked at her is eyes soft when he spoke. “I just want us to be sure Selina we’re not getting any younger. I thought about it before when we were younger. You still have to sort out everything at DGI I will have a big trial coming up.”

“So? I placed my own desires in the bottom of my heart. I just never thought I would be a mother biologically. I love Maddie as my own but why wouldn’t we try? Don’t we deserve to solidify our love? I just think that we should think about it. I know you don’t like me throwing around my money, but a new wing in the house wouldn’t be bad we have the land.” She walked to Braden as she slowly touched his face. “I can see our son or daughter with a curly head of hair and your eyes. You and I deserve to have everything we talked about years ago.” Selina stood on her tippy toes as Tristan Crowe immediately started to talk about the wedding. It was still hot news as Tristan began to paint Selina and Braden into selfish people. She knew immediately Chauncey was in spin control. Then they said Braden was no doubt going to lose the next elections because of his exploits with Selina.

As she walked to the television she turned it off. “Don’t listen to them.” Selina looked at him. “I know it was rash but maybe we should have waited. I don’t want to hurt your career hell I’m sure Lowell is going to demote me or something bad is about to happen. I’m so sorry Braden for this I wasn’t thinking but I don’t take back my marriage with you. Not at all you hear me?” Biting her lip she looked at him still seeming to be focused on him becoming tabloid fodder. “You have put away more criminals and if Atlas Falls loses you they are crazy.”

“I didn’t expect you to change your mind on it honestly. We’ve both been so career driven the last few years. I can see the bank about a loan, we’d have to get you listed on the house and everything.” Braden said he had the land to expand if he wanted but he still shifted when she mentioned paying for it. That was not how he was raised call him old fashioned, on his salary he could afford an expansion but he honestly hadn’t ever thought about it. “I think we should both really think about it. You have no idea how Maddie would react. I’m not sure how Dylan would react. You need to make sure a doctor signs off on it too, my mom had a harder time when she was older too.”

He paused at that his other sister had been so little when she died, he was a little older and sometimes he wondered if Dani even remembered. His mother was devastated and never tried again afterwards. He looked up at the news they had been selfish people at the wedding that was not gone from his mind. “We hurt a lot of people that day I don’t regret that we married but we should have thought about other people too. I was a real asshole to Talia. I’m not worried about reelection at the moment if anything it throws back on my dad’s campaign not mine. Lowell could try and fire you we’d have a good lawsuit. Let them talk Selina it’s what the media does.”

“I know.” She said softly as she walked to him. “Braden I’m not worried about the media. We are tough and I know the media will get over the entire wedding. I go through periods where I can’t sleep sometimes thinking about me putting my career over my wants. I can see my baby sometimes slipping away and I know Maddie and Dylan would want this for us. They are bonding as brother and sister and they are growing. Maddie wants me to be happy and this is what I want. A expansion would and could be everything. Why get in debt with I have money just sitting doing nothing. Let’s be a team and yes money shouldn’t be used frivolously but this is about our family. Our life and I’m going I want a baby but I guess I should ask you.” Selina put the bacon down

Pausing for a second she looking at him. “Our kids will accept it because we are happy but do you want another child. I guess I should ask you more questions before my mind got so focused. I have spent years being a business woman but I want to be a every woman a mom, a career driven woman, a wife, and a great person. I wasn’t reaching my full potential. I just want to be with you and have everything I thought I couldn’t have with Chauncey. I just see a bright future with us.”

Braden wanted to trust that their kids would be alright with them having a baby but he also knew how spoiled Maddie was, what if she saw it as a threat? He decided to not fight about the money at the moment he wasn’t going to take her money and do an expansion but he also knew there was no need to fight about it right now either. “I honestly never thought about having a baby this late Selina not that I would be opposed to one. What does your physician say about it? Ophelia I know you don’t like her but she is good at what she does at the hospital. We’ve been fighting so much too.”

“Give me a week or two to wrap my head around it alright? See a doctor make sure that everything is alright and then yeah we can try if that is what you want.” Braden said he didn’t want her to get her hopes up if it wasn’t possible they were both older and they had a good sex life and it felt mature to discuss it rather than just let it happen. After all the people they had hurt at the spur of the moment this seemed like a good step for them both to take the rational step he looked at the bacon. “So what are you expecting to happen at work then when you go in? I would like to hope Lowell has calmed down, obviously Chauncey hasn’t but Lowell has always seemed reasonable when it came to you.”

“I went to Magdelena Petrov in Philadelphia a couple of days ago. It was actually pretty amazing visit she says I’m healthy and I could still carry a baby.” She paused wondering if she could actually make this happen. “I went up there with Maddie and Dylan. I let them go to the mall and saw her she’s the best in the field and was Ophelia’s doctor with Jamal. I just think I want this with us. I’ll stay on the pill but just think about what a baby could do for all of our families. I so sick of fighting between the Devonshire and Fraisers with my family stuck in the middle. I’m hurt that we haven’t ended this mess years ago. It kept us apart and Dani and Jackson are breaking rules also. Let’s have our life we talked about because I’m jealous still.” Selina walked away to the skillet turning it off she couldn’t believe she even said it.

“I don’t care about work. I’m going to tear apart DGI I’m a executive remember? I can handle the cold shoulder but what I can’t take is Tamara having your kid. I have nothing that came from my body and with Mason being gay. God I have to tell you that because I don’t want that secret eating away. I don’t want my momma to vanish. I don’t want to not be a mother and lose my mommy legacy. She courses through my veins and I think she deserves to live on deeper than me and Mason.” Wiping her eyes she looked at Braden shocked face. “Scarlett isn’t even with him. They are a show and he’s been with Simon Rutherford for years. He’s scared and I am too because I hear the comments Lowell and daddy say. He’s going to be a joke and I’m just emotional because I don’t want to be the last of my mom.” She exhaled passionately as tears flowed down her face. “Tamara has something I don’t a piece of you I’ll never touch or have. It just never bothered me with Maddie but Dylan is so amazing and I can’t help but think how amazing our child would be.”

Braden looked at her she had really thought about this enough to go to a doctor he knew she took the kids with her up to Philly she had a business meeting and Maddie wanted some new clothes. Dylan had returned with things in him and then of course he and Tamara had a fight about it. He moved from his seat and wrapped his arms around her letting her cry he honestly had no idea she felt that way about having a baby or being a mother he was glad to hear it now though. He let the information about Mason he let it sit given how Tony was banking on him marrying Scarlett he could only imagine how that would go when it came out. He didn’t care about it one way or the other hell Zach was openly bisexual and Kelsey was well Kelsey so it wasn’t like he was opposed to it. But he got why Selina’s heart ached at not being able to pass along a part of her DNA and her mother even if Jamal had kids down the line it wouldn’t be the same. He rubbed her back for a moment and then helped her turn the bacon in the pan so it didn’t burn.

“Ok we’ll both think about it alright? It’s okay everything will be alright we’ll just work through this I know it’s been crazy and we didn’t really get a chance to talk about it.” Braden said pulling back from her he wiped her tears away and then kissed her softly. Pausing for a moment he moved some hair from her face. “You know we could skip breakfast if you want and then practice who knows if we still have the moves for a baby?”

“Well old man unless you forgot how to make love I’m pretty sure we can get takeout. We can afford it.” She purred as she unfastened her robe and she jumped into Braden arm as her legs wrapped around him. “I love husband now make love to me all over the house because we have the house all to ourselves.” She said laughing playfully. “Ha. You want a baby too and you are getting Ronan. I’m free of being stuck to being Chauncey pawn in DGI, I say this year is going great although our kids are going to drive us crazy.”


Diego Gonzales looked over the house and nodded to the police officers at the gate it was smart to hold a witness here on private land with a gate when it came to Ronan. Flashing his badge to them he allowed one of the officers to pat him down, looking for wires or things that could tie him to Ronan. He held his hand up when a few of his task force went to follow him inside the house there was no need for them at the moment. It wasn’t like Jamal Delacroix was armed or anything like that, first order of business get him to talk about the inner workings of Ronan’s organization and then from there he was going to nail Ronan for not just two murders. Three, the last one being personal Dante had been carefully placed and he had to wonder with the nature of the murder as personal as it was if Ronan had killed him. Walking into the house he saw Zach Fraiser inside, he had only met him once and he was certain that Zach had not liked how things had been handled with Dante’s body. It was his mother’s wishes.

“Zach. I would assume Jamal is ready to talk have you prepped him? Are we waiting on his lawyer?” Diego asked Zach looked like he was doing alright given the circumstances but he could tell he was apprehensive as well. That was natural given that his family were staunch Catholics and some of them shamed Dante for being gay. He also looked around the house for Detective Thompson. “Devin was supposed to meet us here along with the DA.

“They should be on there way.” Zach said walking into the house seeing Jamal playing XBOX One. “I don’t want to bring this up but your family just took Dante from me without even letting me say goodbye. I understand your mom wanted a private ceremony and that you are a Catholic so our lifestyles don’t exactly bode well with the church. I would be disgusted to sit here and pretend that you and your family added another wound to my heart. You all didn’t let me say good-bye to the man I love. Let me say this I’m going to find where he is and when I do I’ll say my farewell. Trust me I suggest you all stay out of my way because Dante was engaged to me. I was broken from his death and I’m just finding myself back on track.”

He walked up to Jamal and turned off the game system. Then sat down in front of Jamal as he looked at Mason little brother. This had to be the stupidest after all why pretend to be a thug? Zach wanted to shake this prep who hadn’t gotten nothing but a glorified hide away with luxuries. “Jamal remember I told you about the FBI agents speaking with you. It’s time man you gotta tell him everything because this guy can help you.”

Jamal looked at Zach as he pulled off his headset. He felt stupid now he felt like he was just human. It was dumb he was about to snitch out one of the biggest mobsters on the east coast. Hell in the country and now he was about put his entire family in danger. “So tell me what happens to me if I don’t say anything? My family is in the line of fire so tell me Mr. Feds would you put your pops, mom, siblings and hell niece in trouble?”

“Maybe you should have thought about that Jamal before you did this.” Zach said with a biting tone.

“Fuck you Zach, man I swear to God none of y’all get it this shit deeper than me. Man I saw some shit and if I open my mouth I want immunity and protection for my family?” Jamal looked at the fed. “Can you do that?”

Diego knew that he was getting the brunt of Zach’s anger but he also knew that his mother at the time needed her son. If Zach wanted to pay his respects later he would let him, he looked at Jamal. Jamal in his opinion was getting off pretty easy thanks to a deal that was brokered on the information that he gave them and a caring district attorney. If it were up to him he would be in a jail cell and would be offered more than probation. Prohibition for running narcotics was a good deal and Jamal would be an idiot not to take it. Taking out a tape recorder he placed it down on the coffee table before undoing his coat draping it on a chair before taking a seat in front of Jamal.

“Jamal. I’m agent Gonzales with the FBI DA Fraiser was the one that contacted us about information that you have. I am well aware of the shit that you are in the agency has been after Ronan for a few years since he took an agent of ours that was undercover.” Diego said his voice even the fact of the matter was the mob didn’t like snitches, but they also knew when to cut their loses like when a name was attached to Lowell Devonshire. That was the smartest thing that Jamal had going for him was that he was Lowell’s godchild had money and the power behind his name. “Do you want us to wait for your legal counsel to get here or do you want to talk to me now.”

“No I got this I don’t need Mason. So I’m supposed to tell you everything I know. I started about almost nine months ago. At first it was small packs from only Ivan. Then Ivan introduced me to Kendrick and that’s who I get all my drugs from. I haven’t really seen Ronan at all if it has it’s been in passing. I was dealing to the upper class of Atlas Falls University kids I really didn’t see him.” His mind flashed back to Ronan shooting Benny Ruzzio right in front of him. “Yeah so I mean I can try to get Yasmine or maybe Philip to jump on a wagon but I don’t know.”

He looked at Zach as he nodded his head. As he saw Zach and Agent Gonzales scribbling notes feverishly. “Ronan is a vile man but I don’t know much man I know he’s the head that’s it.”

Zach looked at Diego. “What do you think?”

Diego leaned forward in his chair, rubbing his hand on his chin before he grabbed a file folder from the floor placing the first picture down of Jamal handing drugs off to Kendrick. “I already know you have been running drugs to Kendrick. I know of Yasmine Kohl’s role in the dealing inside the club. You see Philip is a little tricker he is never there when drug money is counted now is he? You want me to believe that you’ve never met Ronan or been around him that would be a nice story Jamal, but we both know it’s just that a story.”

His eyes met Zach’s for a moment knowing when a witness was lying and knowing what buttons to push when necessary. The picture showed Jamal outside of Ronan’s car with Kendrick Benny Ruzzio inside talking to Ronan himself. “Don’t lie to me Jamal you don’t do yourself any favors. Benny went missing you wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you? You see the Feds we want the drugs off the street Ronan’s been under investigation by both the FBI, AFPD and the DEA. You see Yasmine Kohl can’t help me with the man in the car you can. I simply want to know about this man in the car with Ronan when was the last time you saw him?”

The flashes of Benny Ruzzio brains being splatter on the pavement played over and over. That day he was still playing. It was all a game to him. He never expected this to go like that. Biting his lip he looked at Zach and then Diego. It was starting to get hot all of the sudden and he felt pressured. “I don’t know shit about Benny Ruzzio. That dude was there that day and he walked away with Kendrick. Yeah like I just said I saw him a couple of times. I really never got to fuck with Ronan like that. Kendrick got a ego and he on a power kick he don’t want nobody else with fucking Ronan. Man I was a problem for Kendrick and y’all act like this all sweet? Nah I don’t know shit about Mr. Ruzzio next question.” Jamal knew he had to keep silent on this. If somehow it all got out. He’d be dead.
“Jamal how about this we give you a couple of days and when we return you tell us what happens or deals off the table.” He turned to see Mason, Ophelia and Tony walk inside of the house. “I’m telling you you’re doing great kid you’re helping the case. I just need you to be honest with us. We know something happened to Benny due to the fact that is the last day he was seen alive in Atlas Falls. You have been through shootouts, murders, and saw someone die in your hands. Jamal is this your life?”

“No!” He screamed standing up looking at his parents and brother. “No it’s not man. I thought I wanted to be a thug and rebel against everything I ever had. I’m not a thug and I’m not built for this but I didn’t see anything with Benny man y’all gotta believe me I swear.” Jamal said wiping his eyes as he rushed to his parents embracing them for the first time in months. It was a scheme but he was down for it. He knew that it did make him feel good to be in there arms.

Diego saw Jamal’s demeanor change and put the tape recorder away he wasn’t going to talk at least right now he would give him a few days. See what the inside person at the club could dig up. He doubted Kendrick got rid of Benny maybe the body but no Ronan would have pulled the trigger himself, he knew Jamal was lying about how close he and Kendrick were. He would wait and watch it was the smartest move he gathered his coat as he nodded at Zach.

“Please have your cop undercover get in touch with me. I will be speaking to DA Fraiser later in the day about this. I can only expand the deal a little while longer I have bosses to answer too as well.” Diego said gathering his coat he saw Mason looking at him as well as Jamal’s parents he looked at them wanting his words to be felt. “I want you all to understand we are under a limited time table at the moment I have people I have to answer too. Jamal cooperates I can assure you the deal that was brokered is a one of kind.”

Mason looked at the agent and then over at his brother Jamal was in trouble, looking over at his father and Ophelia holding him. Jamal had to make a decision to talk or not to talk and he was also wondering if his brother had talked to the Fed without counsel. “I hope you had a lawyer when you questioned my brother.”

“I didn’t need one your brother rejected counsel. If you don’t believe me you can ask officer Fraiser.” Diego said looking at Mason.

Tony held Jamal he thought they were getting somewhere when Selina and Mason told him that they had gotten through to him to call about everything to the Feds. He got why Mason would ask it was smart to have counsel when you were questioned he nodded his head at the Fed and then at Zach at least Jamal had someone they could trust watching him. “Thank you. I brought food.” It was the only thing he could think of to say at the moment.

Ophelia couldn’t help the tears that formed when Jamal ran to her and wrapped his arms around her like he did when he was a little boy. Like he needed his parents. She looked at the FBI agent and then back at Jamal hoping he had done the right thing to get them all out of this mess especially her little boy. Tony she could tell was on edge as well she was certain his way to cope was with food. “Are they treating you well Jamal?”

“Ma, I just want this over and Pops I just want to tell y’all sorry. I guess this was the smartest move and I should have gotten myself in line.” Jamal said looking at Mason. “Mason I’m sorry me and Selina been on bull dragging you in all of our shit. When you are about to be a dad right? Pops told me. Anyway I’m a uncle.” He said suspiciously looking at Mason saying that the already figured out that bitch Scarlett was a snake. Whatever was going his undercover life was about to explode. “Yo I’m mad hungry and parental units can you two stay tonight with me? I hate being out here alone.” Call it a modern parent trap but he also wasn’t going for it. He needed to tell his parents some of his life enough that the believed him. Enough that they’d get Mason to fight that he didn’t know what happened to Benny Ruzzio. A man that would hang Ronan or Kendrick.


Chauncey walked into the board room at DGI fully set on this meeting to discuss the oil meeting and deal his father was going to allow Jackson to do. He had a plan one that he and Greer had concocted the other night to make sure his father doubted Jackson’s ability. He saw Jackson arrive after him and he couldn’t help the sneer. Everyone thought that because his brother was at the moment making good choices he had changed no he knew better, Jackson deep down was still a screw up. He had hoped he had sent him into a spiral right after the fundraiser with Dani and he thought it worked only that resolved itself by his botched wedding to Selina. He watched Jackson take a seat across from him and knew they were still waiting on the list his father sent out. People he assumed his dad wanted on this oil venture.

“I’m surprised you made it on time. Since you’ve been playing house for a few weeks I figured this would be the last thing on your mind. Look at you pretending to actually fill our father’s shoes.” Chauncey said opening up his tablet to go over some notes he had about everything. He saw the text from their lawyers about the Maddie situation perfect once he was done here it would be time to then move onto Selina and Braden. She would fall much like Jackson would and he would be the cause of it. “I did hear that Skye was sniffing around you again I can’t wait till you are out fucking her because you are bored with Walter’s daughter. The fallout from that Jackson why I can’t imagine the damage that would do. Perhaps that is why father called this meeting.”

“Won’t you stay out of my personal affairs? I mean you were exposed for the fraudulent trickster of the family. You seem to be damn near perfection then everyone sees you for the horrible person you are. The jealousy you must be feeling because I am about to close this deal. Well Chauncey this is a brand new Jackson and you are so about to lose.” He knew those words were going to eat at his brother. Something that he was fully prepared for war with his elder brother. He knew the energy deal was becoming big deal. His ideas were bold and when he took over energy he’d prove he was worthy of DGI.

“Skye can sniff all she wants but at the end of the day Skye isn’t my fiance. You heard me I’m getting married and soon I’ll be the poster boy for what a heir looks like. You know screwing Walter’s daughter as your dirty mind calls it may end a feud that’s been going on for years. That’s what I’m going to do end a life long feud and make myself the new CEO of DGI. I see exactly why you are afraid now that I’m about to close one of the biggest and boldest moves in DGI history.” Jackson barked back at Chauncey as he looked at his brother disgusted.

“Maybe if your personal affairs weren’t littered all over the papers when I wouldn’t have to pry. Afterall there was that picture of you with Skye at mother’s party.” Chauncey said looking at him as Bliss arrived with Talia and Dani. He checked Dani’s finger his brother was delusional if he thought their father would ever allow Dani to ever sit at their table with their last name. “You and I both know that father will never let her sit at this table as anything other than your lap dog. Though Dani I do hear congratulations are in order, where is the ring?”

He wanted to laugh at Bliss and Talia sitting there looking between them and then looked back over at Jackson who was fuming. Dani looked down and then over at his brother. “Don’t worry I am sure the next time he won’t be as complacent with Skye’s wishes he never seemed to care when Esme was begging him to not fuck around on her.”

Dani looked over at Jackson he wasn’t supposed to tell anyone they had agreed after Egypt, not that it mattered people were bound to find out. She guessed that Chauncey pushed him into it but still now Bliss and Talia were staring at her. She hadn’t told anyone let alone her parents and her empty left hand tapped on the table the ring was at home. Her right hand playing with the tablet before her. She felt Jackson place his hand on her leg under the table and she felt herself calm down from all the stares.

“We have a meeting to take care of don’t we? I don’t owe you an explanation about anything related to me and your brother. As for Skye maybe you should ask her how that turned out for her with my hand against her fucking face next time you see her. She was lucky it wasn’t my fist.” Dani said looking at Chauncey and then over at Talia and Bliss she only hoped they shut their mouths about the engagement to Lowell. Right now it was about the oil deal Jackson’s hard work paying off for him finally.

Talia shrieked in excitement looking at everyone around her. “Oh come on I know I was catty but I was all in my feelings because your brother is a dick. He married a woman while we were on a date can we agree he’s a dick? Okay now that we have agreed on that OMG you’re one of my best friends and I’m sorry and I’m excited OMG!” She shrieked again clapping as she looked at Jackson. “God you’re worth billions and you couldn’t get the girl a ring.”


“Talia really do you have to pry clearly they are happy and it’s none of your business. Or yours big brother know if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. You were outed as a womanizing loser by Ms. Fraiser and I don’t mean Dani considering that her name might be changing into Devonshire. Damn this is juicy you lost your fiance to her brother and I’m accused of sleeping with my sister husband, and you’re druggie no offense who sleeping with the guy who stole his fiancee sister. Not to mention Max is humping Philips leg. So damn the only one who looks good on paper is Rory. So tell me Chauncey where in the hell do you get off coming in here last minute to try and play secret wheeler and dealer? This isn’t your play and you don’t know any of the players. You see you may intimidate my elder and younger brother but I’m not and you aren’t apart of this. Father will see Jackson is more than equipped to handle this.” Bliss seethed as she flung her hair.

“Ouch that hurt.” Jackson said looking at Bliss. “I’m not intimidated by him.” He looked at Dani and mouthed sorry. “He’s a bully and unfortunately he’s instilled that in my niece who is a much better person than he’ll ever be.”

“Chauncey I declare are you not wanted here?” Talia said enjoying the show of fireworks. “However the other Ms. Fraiser is slated to come back today. How does that make you feel?”

Dani looked over at Jackson when he mouthed he was sorry it wasn’t a huge deal and smiled at him, but she knew Talia was sometimes the worst secret holder on the planet sometimes. Then Bliss started in about the whole who was best and not best on paper. It was turning into a mess Jackson was just as qualified as Rory was as she looked at Chauncey. “Bliss is right why in the hell are you even here? You aren’t even remotely relevant to Egypt let alone DGI Energy. You weren’t making the calls and putting in the work.”

“I didn’t ask for this meeting my father did so maybe you and Jackson should ask him why he feels the need to have me here. My guess he knows that everything isn’t as perfect as you two like to paint it.” Chauncey sneered back at least she had backbone compared to Jackson’s past conquests at least where business was concerned. Bliss brought up a good point and so did Talia right now he was out of favor with his father. He leaned back in his chair seeing his father arriving with Greer and Zerick. “This is turning out to be quite interesting isn’t it Jackson?”

“Fine father why in the hell is he here?” Jackson sneered as he watched his dad sit at the head of the table along with Greer and Zerick entering. Why was she here? This was becoming a mess. What was in his father’s head? As he stood up. “I have brokered this deal and I won’t lose it to him. He’s here to either sabotage me dad or try to take over because everyone knows he isn’t creative enough to find his own niche.” He snapped slamming his hand on the table. “Egypt and this deal is mine!”

Bliss saw the fire in her big brother and winked at Dani as she looked at her father. “Father why is he here? We have been apart of this deal since day one.”

Lowell looked at the room as he looked at Chauncey. “Chauncey has closed more deals than anyone else at this table. Talia you can attest to that. Chauncey needs to help you if any complications appear. The sheik and his daughter isn’t one to be played with and although Selina and Chauncey had unfortunate events. I do think he’d be best to come along as a veteran also Zerick knows the sheik and Natasha is her name correct Greer?”

“Yes she’s been in the same circle as me and Bliss and your friend Dimitri. Where is my friend Max when we need her.” Greer said coyly turning her neck and letting it sit on her elbow. “I am also a peace keeper so to speak.”

“You see little brother I am needed. You couldn’t close this if you even wanted to you have no idea how to work a woman like Natasha.” Chauncey said gleaming at his father, he had Greer in his corner. Greer was close friends with Natasha and he looked down the table at Zerick where he could swear that he was staring at him.

“Lowell and I talked at length about this deal. Greer is old friends from school with Natasha we have done business before with the sheik in Europe. It is just precautionary of course.” Zerick said watching the glares around the room obviously Jackson, Dani and Bliss were not happy. Just want he wanted tension between the brothers on the team Chauncey’s eyes were right where he wanted them on his wife.

Dani was pissed, pissed didn’t describe what she felt at the moment the audacity of Lowell to do this to Jackson on their deal. They had been working non stop for this deal, they were the ones that put in the time and the effort. She shot Jackson a look to sit down they could figure this out she was not about to let his happen. Chauncey impose on what they did, fuck no. “I would assume then Lowell that you’re either moving up the trip or moving it out which is it?”

“You are correct you are all leaving in a few days as in the two days. This isn’t up for discussion I want this deal closed.” Lowell said looking at them all. “Chauncey isn’t here to take over the trip or this deal. My son is there to smoothen anything out and make this happen now if anyone has a problem speak now and get thrown off the project.” He said putting his foot down seeing everyone face. “You two need to work together and make it work you both are the future understood? Talia you are to do a press conference in Egypt. Jackson and Dani close the deal Chauncey you are here to make relations with the sheik along with Zerick and Greer. She has a MBA it’s time to use it. And Bliss you are friends with Natasha you will also be there as a closer. We are a family and a team today this is the beginning and in two days you all will be on a plane to Egypt entering our next chapter.”

“Yes I just hope he won’t insult me in front of Natasha.” Jackson said looking at his father. “I won’t be insulted or belittled on my deal.”

“Understood if Chauncey as much as attacks you on this trip I’ll have him in the mailroom. Is that understood Chauncey?” Lowell growled at his eldest. “If you sabotage this or try to take this over I’ll bury you. Now are we all having an understanding we are united and that is the image to show. You all are dismissed Talia you are to contact Rory and Max I need a meeting with both their projects asap along with Jackie.” Lowell got up and waited to hear from Chauncey. “Wait.” He stopped looking at his eldest son seeing that he had yet to speak. “You are to answer me Chauncey never forget any game you’ve played I’ve mastered little boy now answer me. Or I will remove you from this company.” Snapping his fingers fast. “That fast. You aren’t exempt you are a failure right now.”

Greer spun in her chair knowing that Lowell threats were fuel to her engine of Chauncey takeover. Egypt would be perfect time to plant seeds of a takeover in his head.

“Understood.” Chauncey said keeping his temper in check as he was schooled by his father inside he was screaming this was not happening. He was being passed over for Jackson, looking over at the rest of the team. He stood his eyes meeting Greer’s she better be on her a game they could get what they both wanted. “I have a meeting with the lawyers to attend.” Chauncey finished brushing past his father on his way out the door.

Zerick rose from his seat as he watched the gauntlet being thrown down by Lowell watched the boys stare at each other this was going to be quite the trip. He rose from his seat as well watching Greer as he did so they had to be on the task at hand Chauncey’s self destruction. His eyes met Talia’s he was looking forward to that on the trip. Her alone with him getting her on his side maybe even more. “I’ll go follow up on some calls. I look forward to the plane ride, Lowell.” Zerick said walking out the door.

Dani watched Chauncey leave, watched Lowell standing at the door as Zerick left and then let out a breath she didn’t realize she had been holding. She watched as Talia, Bliss and Greer started to leave, she didn’t even get why Greer was involved. She looked over at Jackson he was stressed Lowell had scheduled the trip right at his next appointment. Placing her hand on his, she rubbed her thumb over his hand.

“Are you ok? We’ll figure it out maybe you can call in or something. I’m sorry he’s doing this. Tell me what to do for you.” Dani said knowing how important the therapy had been for him, them really. She knew how much he was riding on this deal on his dreams. “I know you wanted this to be clean with Natasha but if we have to I can make a few calls.”

“It’s fine it’s Cain and Abel the boys are at war and Chauncey has more wins than losses under his belt. Forever I know I’m going to win this seat and now that he understands that his threats and taunts aren’t going to beat me. Now it’s an actual war and if you’re ready we have to be a united force. My brother is about to come at us full swing.” Jackson grabbed her hands. “No we are going there in two days no need to rush this. Let’s sweat it out and make Chauncey work for whatever he thinks he’s going to do. We are prepared he has to catch up.” He took her hand. “We are a team against them all except Bliss and Talia. I don’t trust Zerick and Greer as far as I can throw them.”


Waking up Simon looked over at his phone that was ringing, he set his own hours at work Lowell had agreed to that when he took on the extra things Lowell wanted him to before the holidays. Rolling out of bed he rested his hands on his forehead he had the worst hangover at the moment. His days since the wedding had been filled with a lot of drinking and partying at Vertigo, Mason and he talked but it wasn’t like they were an item. Mason had made it very clear that his image came before their relationship and he shook his head at that. How long had they been on the down low together almost over two years? Yet he was going to stay with that bitch Scarlett.

Seeing his phone vibrate with a text he raised his eyes for a moment at it before swiping his finger and typing out a reply. It was one more thing to add to a list of things that he had to do this week. Getting up from the bed and letting the sheet drop he made his way into the bathroom turning on the shower. He waited till the water was warm enough before stepping inside and getting clean. He could go into DGI for a few hours today and then tonight maybe hit the clubs again. He washed his hair and body and then stepped out wrapping a towel around him. Walking to his closet he pulled on a dress shirt, boxer, slacks and his toes. He could swear he heard a knock on his condo door.

“Coming!” He yelled from the master bedroom.

He selected his tie, tying it in the mirror before taking a final look. He grabbed his rolex as he heard the knock again and rolled his eyes, people were so fucking impatient now days. He looked at the time as he walked down the stairs the knocking had stopped and he thought about making a pot of coffee before saying fuck it there was always a Starbucks he could hit up. Walking to the front door he opened it to see a manila envelope on the ground unaddressed. Normally the mail came to the front desk and was then sorted no this was personal. Perhaps his PI on the side had found information about what Lowell was working on but even then he normally called first.

Bending down he looked at the envelope and picked it up flipping it over and not seeing anything else on it. It wouldn’t be the first time that the PI found something and dropped it off like this. Going back inside the condo he shut the door, opening up the clasp on the envelope and reaching his hand inside he looked at the tape recorder raising his eyebrows for a moment. Placing it down on the kitchen island, he hadn’t asked for any recordings as of late walking to it he pressed play on the tape recorder.

“What in the fuck are you trying to do?”

“Oh please Mason did you really think this was how it was going to end? That I’d stay your little fiancee forever while you get to fuck around with your closeted boyfriend? It was never going to be that I will talk to you later my mother has arrived.”

Simon immediately knew it was Mason and Scarlett’s voice as the recording continued.

“Just go up to her and end it already. It’s been years Mason how much longer do you expect me to stick around and play your little game. She’s pregnant for God’s sake.”

“Unless oh my God you are considering this aren’t you? Staying with that bitch to please your father.”

“Would you please keep your voice down.”

“Let me figure this out Simon you know what is at stake. My father has certain expectations. I can’t just disappoint him like this.”

“You know Mason be miserable it seems to be what your family wants. I’m done.”

The entire conversation from the wedding, the recording played more and he knew it was from Mason’s apartment then fucking in bed. His hand reached for the envelope as he pulled out a piece of paper inside of it. Plain paper, plain text one it more than likely untraceable. He flipped the page over as he turned off the recorder tight after Mason came and he tried to ignore the fact he was hard listening to Mason moan his name. He had to be focused on the task at hand this threat. He thought about calling the police to report it but he certainly didn’t want Mason to exposed like that and an investigation.

He had been angry at Mason that night and while he was tired of the merry go round with everything they had been through he did care about Mason. Scarlett was a bitch that was trying to hurt them both by forcing Mason’s hand. He looked at his phone when he felt it buzz and looked at the text.

I’m happy I have your attention did you get my message?

Simon waited a few moments before he typed a reply.

I don’t play with children, what do you want?

Waiting a few moments he decided on coffee as he started his machine and then looked at the reply.

I want Ronan Madden released from jail you can do that right? Make sure that he is back where he needs to be? If not well I would hate to follow through on the note.

He looked at his phone staring at it and then over at the paper instructions laid out for him about what he needed to do to make this quiet. Step one relook at the evidence in the Ronan Madden case. An odd request as the only reason that Ronan and he were connected were because Ronan had wanted to be a part of investing in the casino. He looked in the envelope more and was surprised when a police evidence bag fell out with a bullet inside of it. He jumped when his phone buzzed again.

I see you have found what I wanted you to. Have some else other than the police department test it. We will be in touch soon.

Simon stared at the phone wanting to throw it against the wall as he looked at everything on his kitchen island all warnings. He had to find out who was trying to blackmail him, before they amped up their game and hurt other people. He walked to the coffee taking a sip of the liquid as he reached into his medicine cabinet for some Tylenol. It was going to be a long fucking day.


Yasmine hadn’t been by the condo to see Rory since the entire fight. The feeling of betrayal ran over her. She left Rory in the the middle of being exposed. How was his life now? She felt selfish for not thinking of her boyfriend. Everyone in the club had heard how Ronan was arrested right in front of a hysterical Brooke. That proved one thing to Yasmine though. The rich weren’t meant to involve themselves into the mob. As she looked over the room she saw Mercedes and the Russians dancing on some handsome guy. They were no doubt about to make this man really happy in a couple of hours. She shook her head not even changing into her stripper wear.

“Why aren’t you dressed?” Philip said walking through the club as he looked at Yasmine. “Oh come on doll we dirty types don’t get a happy ending. This isn’t Cinderella kid you aren’t some stripper turned perfect happily dancer. No my dear this isn’t that story.” Philip said looking at Yasmine. Turning his head he looked at Kendrick looking pissed at Yasmine. This was what Ronan and he were waiting for. Kendrick to take off the kid gloves with this whore.

“I’m not dancing.” Yasmine said looking at Kendrick and Philip. “I’m not stripping ever again and I assure you I’m only here for one reason. I’m here to make enough money for you motherfuckers so that I can get out. Matter fact I don’t have to be here because Ronan isn’t here.” Secretly she ached to rush and see Rory right now. It was so overdue for her to take back her control. “Nah I’m pushing ya-yo I’m never fucking taking off my clothes.”

“Bitch just because Ronan isn’t here that doesn’t mean you get a break.” He snapped as he looked at Yasmine. “Tell her Kendrick!”

Thor walked into the office with his goons. Ever since he got a in with the district attorney office he found out a few things. He immediately noticed his brother was having a literal civil war in his office. His hookers talking back his mother would have beat that girl to death. As he looked at Yasmine giving her a look to leave. “I’m not here for drama believe that. I’m here to say my brother is innocent. I called the O’Connor’s because if Ronan falls the east coast mob does. I got word that the evidence sort of fell into AFPD laps. We do know the AFPD is now also working with the FBI. This is getting very sticky and I’m not is a fool. Now tell me what are we planning to do to keep us all out of jail?” He looked around in the room.

Thor sat down as he smirked and it’s not Philip or Kendrick because both of them wanted Ronan out. “So what I’m saying is the FBI is closing in on New York and all the sudden Ronan who has this dolt?” Nodding at Kendrick. “Makes that big of a mistake?”

Yasmine looked at them and felt like she wasn’t apart of this. “I personally hope your brother fucking rots. I swear to God if someone slits his throat in the joint to keep him silent. Oh well another fucking mobster in the ground.”

Kendrick looked at Philip and hardened his face Yasmine was pushing it at the moment period, she owed a debt and as much as he loved her and her sister he had to take a stand with her. Ronan was arrested out of the way to stop being touted around by his balls with Brooke. He walked a few feet towards Yasmine and looked her in the eye. “You will report for work understood? Ronan is gone I am now in control here me and Philip we say you work you work. I’ve let you slide for far too long and look where it got me. Money in the ground, you sleeping with Rory and a snitch hiding with the Feds.”

He leaned in close to her seeing Thor looking at Philip no doubt thinking over their own new business venture. “Don’t push me Yasmine I can’t afford to look weak right now. It is bad for all of us so go back to the room put on your outfit and do what Philip says.”

“Fuck you Kendrick!” She snapped muffing him in the head. “Kill me! Put a fucking bullet in me because I’m standing here and I’m not going on that pole again. Fuck you all because I’m not like Mercedes like that’s her real name right? Ya’ll tripping these girls are strung out and dying on these poles? Where is China? Oh she’s in ICU because she od and you are all blind. I’m not a fucking stripper and I’m not stripping no more.” She screamed opening her arms it was a bold move. It was bold as hell because Kendrick was in power but she had to do something. She also knew he could smack the shit out of her. He could put the bullet in her. She was calling him out.

Thor enjoyed the show. “I think this girl has more balls than the both of you.” He laughed looking around. “I know we have to break every chain connected to him. Now if you all are letting your strippers bark at you. Then you two are about to let billions slip through the cartel hands. Let’s make this very clear if we fall we are all dead because eventually it will hit all of the four ends of the compass. That means we are all fucking dealing with the O’Connor’s, the Stavridis clan, and the fucking Giovanni organization. Now Kendrick you know they are far reaching the Madden family needs every piece of support and I am here. Now this is your time Kendrick let’s work together but I like her. I want her in this.”

Yasmine heart was beating so fast as she looked at him. “I am just saying I’ve paid my debt if ya’ll do the calculation and I’ve pushed enough weight that I’m done. Both of you know that I came back with more than enough money with Rory. I’m saying let me go Kendrick because I’m done and if you are forcing me to stay let me have a piece of dignity doing this. Let me just push to the campus kids.”

Philip looked at Kendrick. “Ronan would kill this bitch if she talked to him like that Kendrick. Kill her.”

Miranda arrived at the club looking around strippers were everywhere the news of Ronan’s arrest was all over the news, despite that she had to close out her end. The FBI wanted both Ronan and Kendrick. She adjusted her g-string in the mirror before turning to make her way back out to the club. Walking to the bar she took a tray of drinks that were supposed to go to Philip’s office, it wasn’t the first time she had delivered the drinks. Opening the door she took note that Philip was there along with Thor. Kendrick looked like he was about to snap on Yasmine. Yasmine could bury her if she wanted but she also looked like she was about to be in deep shit too.

“Here are your drinks Mr. Montgomery.” She said placing them down on the table making sure to smile at him and then at Thor. Kendrick scared her the way he was glancing at his men, as if he was about to give them an order to do something to Yasmine. They were armed and she was not and her brain thought of the fastest thing she could as she looked at Yasmine her eyes pleading. “Biggie wanted to know what number you were in for the lineup tonight.”

Kendrick had been ready to motion Ivan to hit Yasmine as much as it would pain him to do it he couldn’t have her going off the rails at him anymore. Gina would turn over in her grave if he laid a hand on her but what in the hell was she thinking, people like them didn’t get out. He held up his hand motioning Ivan back as he looked at Thor questioning his choices. Everyone knew Thor was just pissed he didn’t get the reins this time from his brother passes over by his father as heir and now his brother.

“Yasmine was just leaving to get ready wasn’t she? I say no Thor Yasmine is mine and Ronan’s girl she stays at the club should she sell which she will she does it here not out on the street.” Kendrick said looking at Miranda and then at Yasmine hoping she would just leave. Go put her outfit on and dance, as much as he knew she wanted out he couldn’t be weak and let her out. He saw Thor about to test him and got in his face. “Seeing how you aren’t head of the Madden organization at the moment I don’t think your bitch ass has a say now do you?”

“My bitch ass has a lot to say since by blood I could contest your little reign but it’s going to be fun to see you crash and burn. Then when my brother comes back and sees how sorry I am for popping Money. That I let his protege in the fakest way possible fail and when you do Kendrick Ronan will kill you. You do know that my brother is teflon but I’m not rooting for him I’m crossing my fingers that you fail. So I’ll have no choice but to crush your throat with my shoe and Ivan will be my bitch. Clap clap your stripper is getting on her pole because of her stripper friend man you are all so interesting. Anyway Kendrick enjoy your reign as king of the king pin. Let your heart not be trouble and just so you know I’m coming.” He winked at him.

Yasmine was basically dragged out by Miranda as she looked at the police bitch. Her attitude wasn’t shifting this time. She wasn’t going to mince her words. Her whole life had been a constant fucking mess. Her eyes narrowed as she bit her bottom lip. “I should beat your ass bitch. I should wear you out all up and through here. I however know putting my hands on a police officer is stupid especially when you been setting me up. You having fun stripping Mia? No I mean Miranda that’s you real name right? I saw you bitch at the wedding walking around without a care.” She snapped looking at Miranda. “You just like Jamal except he got money to hide behind what he did. You don’t got no security and you expect me to get on this pole when I know you a cop Miranda? I know you are setting me up to go down? When my momma is the only reason I’m doing this shit? I’m paying back a debt Mia so what was I supposed to do?”

Yasmine pointed her finger in her face. “When all this shit come crashing down I’m dead and Rory don’t get that. Jamal don’t get that. You don’t get that. I’m on a limited time table baby because I know too much. Philip is dead don’t you get it Miranda?” She huffed looking at her. “This isn’t a game you playing because I heard you got a little girl. You got a child and you might not make it home to see her or she might not see you. You fucked up you better get shorty because like I said. I’m dead and I wanted die tonight. So Ronan won’t kill me in my sleep because Jamal thinks money is enough. Money isn’t and power corrupts absolutely.” Walking past her. “Girl you better get out.”

Miranda was glad to have drug her from the room as she looked over at Yasmine  the biggest problem she thought that Yasmine had was she thought it only involved her. What about the people whose lives were constantly destroyed. “You won’t touch me and you know why? Because I literally just saved your ass from a beat down. You think Kendrick is just going to let you fall into line? Did you not see his face he wants the power that comes behind his new position his relationship with you be damned. Setting you up? That is rich you’re the one dealing the dope I didn’t place it in your hand.” Miranda shove her finger out of her face in the dark hallway and had to remember to remain calm.

“No I haven’t been having fun Yasmine, I hate doing this every single night I am here, do you want to know why I do it though? I do it for my little girl so she doesn’t have to grow up with Ronan’s shit on the street, so the world is a better place for her. She’s already had her father ripped from her by him and I’ll do whatever it fucking takes to take down his entire organization. Philip isn’t dead, he’s following orders. You want to know why I haven’t hauled your ass in?” Miranda said making sure Yasmine saw she wasn’t playing as she felt the tension between them. She took a breath realizing she had almost pinned Yasmine to the wall. “I haven’t done that because you’re smart and I think you had no choice. I don’t want you to go to jail Yasmine and the DA is a close friend of mine and I want to make sure you get a fair deal without jail time but you have to give me time to make sure things are set up that way. If you don’t I can’t help you, do you know why Jamal was arrested and drug out? So we don’t have to go to people like your mother, or me, or his family and show them a picture of your body or his on a cold metal table.”

“Then help me! They blackmailing me to get on a pole! I don’t want to do this anymore.” She cried covering her mouth as if she was a little girl. “I did this for my momma and Gina and I swear I’m not a drug dealer or criminal I just wanted to dance Miranda. I never wanted to be a whore they can force on stage!” She almost screamed seeing Mercedes and the Russians looking at her. She calmed herself down. “I don’t want to do this Miranda anymore God knows that I don’t want this!” She said looking at her. “If Jamal get’s a deal then I want one too. I want to be out of this and I don’t want to ever see Ronan alive outside. Or any of them fuck them because they don’t care about me.” She exhaled holding her lip.

“Help me.” She hugged Miranda as she cried into her shoulder. “I don’t know how I am going to do this.” Yasmine said knowing she wasn’t ready to degrade herself. She wasn’t ready to be Diamond again. The duality of living as two women was honestly killing her. “Thank-you Miranda.” She leaned against the wall. “Help me with my makeup.” Yasmine shrugged knowing she had no choice.

Miranda let Yasmine hug her, she could figure a way out of this she could talk to Jon about it and then get onto something with Braden. Yasmine was not a bad person she knew that and she wanted out. With Ronan behind bars now that could happen Kendrick would be going down that was the next thing on the agenda he was dangerous and needed to be off the streets. She pulled back from Yasmine as they walked to the fitting room as she began her makeup. She made her hand be steady as she applied it to Yasmine’s face.

“First thing you have to do is put back on that bitch attitude even if it is a mask. You can’t let anyone here know what is going on, you leave this shit here at work and then go home wash your hands of it.” Miranda said quietly that was how she had been surviving. Putting work behind her when she went home, some say she was coping that was what Devin thought that she was coping with it not dealing with it. She had already dealt with it years ago and now it was almost closed.


Walking into the pub he waved at Hank behind the bar his father and mother were no doubt gone for the evening probably preparing for the big debate. He had walked down from the office Jamal’s testimony to the Feds playing out like he hoped it would, all they were doing now as scouring for a body. He hadn’t heard from Selina yet today he assumed she was still at work, sitting down at the bar he looked over and saw Tamara there looking up at the news reports. He and Tamara had barely spoke unless it was about Dylan. He knew from brief conversations she didn’t like Selina playing mother to their son. Right now they shared custody she had been clean it was fair to them both and more importantly Dylan. He was going to marry her at one point till it was called of when he discovered her snorting coke. In some ways he had betrayed her too it was rash, he couldn’t take it back.

“How are you I know you were at the wedding with David. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone before Selina and I. You have to know I never meant to hurt you Tam. We were just never right for each other in that way, you’re Dylan’s mom you’re always going to be that.” Braden said taking the glass of water that Hank sat down he smiled looking at the man that ran the bar sometimes. Handing him the menu. “The usual please Nate double cheeseburger family style.” He waited till Nate had left and addressed the elephant he knew was still lingering. “I know you don’t like Selina buying him things we’ve discussed it and she’s not trying to step on your toes.”

Tamara looked at him obviously disgusted as placed her hand bag under her arm. Preparing to leave but then second guessed it. She was Brooklyn born and no way would she run away because Braden was here. He didn’t belong The Pub his family did and she wasn’t going to just get up when she saw him. As she took off her leather jacket and sat down with Braden. Slowly fluffing her hair she placed her purse down. Then pulled out her compact. She was scared to be vulnerable with any guy. She’d had done enough crying over Braden Fraiser and wouldn’t continue to be hurt. Why did he choose to have this conversation here when she wanted to go on a date? Taking a swig of her beer she looked at him.

“Selina is trying to buy her place in my sons life. Tell her thanks for the new guitar though that was a nice touch. God she’s doing everything that I can’t because I’m a nurse. You know what burns me up about you and that bitch. Yeah I just called your wife a bitch. It’s that she get’s to fuck Chauncey and hurt you over and over again. I go to rehab and get my heartbroken. Dirty man and who has a dirty habits of hurting everyone in his wake. Oh don’t mind me I’m not bitter but someone should have warned that girl who was your date at the wedding. You know what I’ll tell my date to meet me somewhere else. I think Vertigo has a nice sports bar upstairs, Nate cancel the wings and drinks.”

“Selina is now my wife and a part of this family she is Dylan’s step mom now. You and I discussed the guitar and I know things are tight at the hospital. I didn’t want you to worry about it that’s what the child support is supposed to help out with. If you need more tell me. As for calling my wife a bitch maybe you should stop right there. I’ve been fair Tamara more than fair when it came to everything you put me and Dylan through.” Braden said looking at her and reminding himself why he could never marry her. She had done too much with the drugs, tried to trap him years ago the lies it had nearly destroyed him and Dylan. “I will apologize to Talia when the time is right. I want you to be happy Tamara and if that’s with David I’m not mad about that or jealous. You deserve a guy like David.”

“Only you could make a addiction sound like I tried to kill you. You know your father’s melodramatic behavior really rubs off on you in the ugliest way. The way you rewrite history is so pretty for you and Selina to look like the best people on earth. I think this is comical that you were fucking in love with her the entire time you were with me. Yet you have the audacity to say what I did to you go to hell Braden.” She snapped at him flipping him off. “On second though Nate I’ll stay because I have some shit to iron out with my ex.” Tapping her long red nail onto the bar top. “You have some nerve you want me happy, you want me happy fuck you.” She said looking at him.

“I never trapped you because you were just as drunk and careless. Or have you fucking forgot you didn’t wear a rubber? God will you ever take responsibility and be a man. Be a man and say you slid inside of me and knew the consequences. I was a junkie and I can say it. Hell I am still a junkie.” She paused seeing what she said. “I mean I’ll never stop being a drug user but at the end of the day I need you to tell me when he’s getting five pair of two hundred dollar shoes. Or when he’s getting all this lavish shit that I can’t give my son. I won’t raise him like those Devonshire’s or have you started to forget how they did your dramatic ass daddy? You got all these aspirations for your marriage but you are losing yourself she’s going to turn you into a yuppie. Not my boy though.” Tamara said her New Yorker coming out clear. “He won’t be one of these fucked up rich brats. Like Maddie already is.”

“The only one to blame for your damn addiction is yourself. Rewrite history? Selina moved on and I tried to move on with you that is a little hard to do walking in on you snorting shit a few days before the wedding after another failed promise you were clean.” Braden said his voice low when he saw Nate staring at them delivering her food and he glared at him to walk the fuck away. He knew that day that he caught her that he could never marry her and had to do one thing but Dylan first in his life and in hers. “You’re miserable and that was always the problem with you. It was never enough for you I was never enough, your son was never enough. No the powder was all you needed right?”

“I was a college kid that got drunk and fucked you becasue Selina chose Chauncey is that what you want to hear? I took responsibility I raised him with you, I don’t regret it Dylan was the best thing that came out of us as much as you like to think Selina is toxic you are worse.” Braden said knowing it was a low blow when he said it, she had been working on her sobriety. Scars like that though he knew were hard to heal, that was one of the reasons as soon as law school was done he went for full custody for Dylan. “I’ve talked to Selina about it you don’t need to voice an opinion on it. Dylan is nothing like Maddie and never will be as long as I have a say in the matter.”

Before Tamara knew her hand impacted into Braden face. “You know what wasn’t enough for me? You were never enough man for me you pencil dick son of a bitch!” She said standing up looking around. He wanted this. He must have forgotten that she wasn’t diplomatic like Selina and she’d act a fool whenever it fit her. “You think because you married that uppity bitch things have changed oh Braden you’re a fool. Something goes wrong with you two it always happens and I might be a drug addict. I might be dumb bitch who got stuck with you for eighteen years but I see one thing clear. You and Selina are cursed and lord knows. You two get together and break apart. I’m betting maybe two years before your epic love dissolve into sand through your fingers.” Tamara laughed as she saw the look wash over his face.

“It’s already starting isn’t it problems and million of little things are starting to drive you two crazy. Keep placing bandaids on your wounds with her but it becomes a gusher every time. This time you two can’t escape it you’re going to tear each other apart and Braden. Good day Braden and I’ll be needing my son tomorrow you son of a bitch.” She walked to the girls bathroom and immediately screamed once inside. She walked back and forth as she started to cry and open the bathroom stall. She sat down on the toilet and dug through her purse for a small vial of cocaine. Dumping the powder on her hand carefully making a line. Bringing her hand to her face she took a deep sniff. As she repeated twice and leaned back as the rush of the high waved over her.

Braden felt her hand collide with his face no doubt this would be getting back to his parents and the hovering would start. He stared at her as she went to the bathroom even if what she was saying was true he felt his cell phone ring and pulled it out seeing it was the office. “Calm down Diana tell me again? Yeah I’ll be there get that briefing ready.” He hung up just what he needed turning around he bumped right into David as Nate brought out his food. “I need it ot go Nat and shit I forgot to pay.”

“I’ll add it to your tab man.” Nate said boxing his food.

Braden looked at David, KC’s brother and knew any other night he could trust Diana or someone else to go to a late night bail hearing but not tonight. “I may of pissed Tam off. I’m sorry we were getting into it about Selina and Dylan. I have to get to the courthouse the son of a bitch is trying to get out on bail.”

David looked at him and knew his heart almost sank the cops had finally told his parents they got Ronan and now if he got out. He looked at his phone and nodded his head, Lowell was calling him. He knew things had been strained since Braden married Selina. Tamara wanted to pretend otherwise but he could tell she still wasn’t over Braden. He nodded his head.

“Just make sure he stays behind bars for murdering those people since you couldn’t get him for KC.” David said moving out of the way as Braden grabbed his shoulder.

“You have my word David he’ll remain in jail to trial.” Braden said looking at his friend before walking out the bar Tamara’s words still in his head about everything.


Skye was so tired of these games from Lowell what in the hell did he want her to do go out and find some coke and put it on a tray for Jackson? That was not happening she had done her part offered him her body to fuck as much as he wanted and he kept turning her down. That was the deal Lowell wanted him tested, Jackson had passed his stupid test. She was done playing the old man’s game while she got called a whore and slapped around by Dani Fraiser. While she sacrificed her dignity and a future that she thought about in Atlas Falls and the bastard had yet to pay up. She had been surprised when Lowell called her in Europe with the proposition to come home he would fund the flight and pay her upon completing the seduction of his son. When the elevator doors opened she walked down the dimly lit halls of DGI to Lowell’s office.

“I want my money. I did our end of the bargain I am tired of you calling me all the time or texting me. Your son isn’t interested in bending me over a desk and fucking me while snorting shit up his nose anymore. I did my part Lowell I let him reject me, I let your wife and this entire town think I’m a whore. He doesn’t want me or drugs anymore. He wants whatever he has going on with Dani Fraiser more.” Skye said glaring at him from his pompous seat behind the desk overlooking the skyline. She tried to read him about all of it what kind of a father wanted their son to fail like that? Wanted to see them hurting themselves and the people they loved? “I mean it I’m done I want my fifty grand.”

“I heard you’ve been making quite the fool of yourself.” Lowell said as he looked Skye. “You come in my office and demand money? You never do that do you understand? What type of father do you believe let’s his drug addict son take over his company. I have so much life left to live and running DGI isn’t on the agenda. So understand a common drug addicted whore who spread her legs for two men at once. Who thinks that I don’t know why she really left Atlas Falls. Care with your silver tongue Skye because I would love to crush you.” Lowell seethed at her as he leaned back in his chair. “Now again he didn’t seemed interested in the drugs at all. That’s good and Dani is a good influence on my child. Skye you want your money I need another favor and I’ll give you another twenty-five thousand.”

Lowell folded his arms as he looked at Skye looking at her. “You still think you can get a place in high society? You still think you belong here Skye a little orphan girl who thinks she’s smart enough to tango with me. Listen Jon is talkative boy I want to know about Ronan’s condition and the state of his case. You give me information and I’ll ensure you another twenty-five thousand. Now here is your first payment do we have a deal?”

“No you were the one that told me to get him to use or to fuck me so anything I did is on you. I’ll demand whatever the hell I want because I am sure your son or you know your wife the one that tossed me from the party would be appalled at what you paid me to do. I got clean I got my life together.” Skye said fuming at him who in the hell did he think he was he was the one that had arranged their little game with Jackson he was the one that told her what to do. Sent her the texts to do it she had them to prove it. She did stiffen a bit at the thought of her past and why she left Atlas Falls and she stared him up and down that frankly was none of his fucking business. “Let’s see who can crush who shall we? No need to bring up past garbage unless you want some of your own thrown around is there.”

She stopped when he brought up Jon all over again and Jon’s case, using Jon like that knowing that the difference between Jon and Jackson for her was that Jon opened up to her. She connected with Jon he was a good guy at least this meant she didn’t have to keep throwing herself at Jackson anymore. Pressuring him to use or treat her like trash and she looked and she thought about the extra money it could give to her nest egg. “So that I have this straight you want me to be with Jon and relay information back to you about the case with Ronan Madden? This shit with Jackson is over then?”

“It’s over when I say it is Skye? Little girl you aren’t powerful because you know a few people in high places. Sleeping with a diplomat here, get in bed with a heir there, and get in bed with a Hessington.” Lowell said letting her know that he wasn’t playing. That she had no true leverage because he knew her darkest and dirtiest secret. Leaning in he grabbed a grape and popped it into his mouth. Then proceeded to grab a cracker with a goat cheese and caviar. Taking a bite he exhaled in the indulgence of the snack. “How delicious now that I’m done would you like some Skye? You seem to love everything the high life offers taste the best caviar in the world my dear you must. Taste the sweetness of what life could be oh you want Jon how noble. How twisted of you my dear you are a nasty creature and your little act of disgust against me. Well that is hollow grounds because you are the worst type of trash.You are the trash that pretends it doesn’t stink. I know I smell rotten I’m decaying Skye from the inside out and you.” He stopped nearly finding himself enraged with her.

“You will take half of the money now and you will never think you are big enough to come in my office and cross your little lips to say what you owe. You see when you are happiest my dear I will snatch away if keep playing with me. I know Skye, I know all of your dirty little secrets and if you think that I won’t set fire to you I will. So threats aren’t your best choice of armor dealing with this dragon. Trust me you won’t slay me with idle threats my dear I hid my bastard from my wife for years this is not out of my scope. But it does show how cheap you are to do it.” Lowell looked at her as he leaned back. “Pick up your mouth Ms. Morgan you came here for war and lost the battle. You are to tell me everything that Jonny boy has on Ronan understood? I’ll give you the other half once I’m sure your little vengeful streak is over.”

“Look at you a little man in a chair thinking I give a fuck about your threats anymore? You’re vile wanting your son to wreck his life again and here’s a newsflash for you I’m not your whore for hire in that department anymore. You want to have him coked up and sleeping with random whores like you did, do it your fucking self. Oh that’s right I’m not supposed to know about that am I? All those other whores Jackie never caught you with?” Skye said glaring at him as she boldly took the cracker from the tray and took a bite. Call her a fucking whore but she did know when to hold in the pillowtalk when needed. She took a seat across from him leaning back in the leather chair. “You see people talk Lowell especially when their sons are getting their minds blown. Or when they’re inside me taking calls from their daddy.”

“I’ll take half your money now and if we agree that you’re done trying to throw me at your son I’ll do what you ask with Jon. Want Jon even if I did that’s not really any of your concern now is it?” Skye said inside she was quaking she did hear the rumor about Audrey it wasn’t like she hadn’t when she and Philip years ago hooked up, then there was the man overseas who was all too quick to tell her all about Lowell’s adventures in Europe. Lastly there was that affair with Ryan and part of her felt shame at that and she reminded herself why she did it to feel close. Shaking her head she reached for another cracker. “So how about you keep your secrets and I keep mine we both get what we want.”

“Understand this Skye when I want I’ll swat you.” Lowell said picking up a glass and his hand shook a little. He couldn’t stop it so he placed it down then looked at her. “Jackie knows me better than any other woman will. Look little girl your threats and idle as they are. Call this a draw and you’ll do as I say find out what they have on Ronan and I’ll do the rest. Not that I have anything to owe to Skye. That wasn’t me hoping that Jackson falls he did exactly what he should have. He passed the test over the last few weeks. You know what that means? The one child that I have always known to be the smartest and most cut for this seat, this chair as you call it. Jackson was the one and drugs and whores like you took him down. Now somehow he’s gotten a beacon of shining hope with young Danielle Fraiser. I would call irony how connected you became to Dani and Jackson without them even knowing. How close you are to having what you want.” Lowell leg was shaking feverishly.

As sweat dripped down his face. “Get out and keep in touch.” He said looking at a picture of his children. Bliss wasn’t in it. He needed a new family portrait. As he watched Skye looking at him suspiciously he knew that she saw his hand shaking. Lowell knew he was stressed but he also knew his leg was shaking suspiciously. As he bit his lip looking her. “Good night Skye I don’t want it to argue any longer.”

Skye looked at him his hand was shaking she honestly had never seen him so shaken maybe it was just stress at work and then that wedding shit that happened. Chauncey had made quite the mess and then there was rumor of another huge deal in Egypt or something coming up. She rose from her seat looking out the window at the skyline. The difference was Dani and Jackson would never know how close they nearly came to her, she had assured herself that. Lowell thought he knew her so well? Then again he had tracked her down and confronted her about things and then that is why they struck this deal with each other. She sighed his shaking hand and leg were none of her business as long as they both got what they wanted.

“You and I both know as much as you would like to hang Jackson around my neck well that isn’t happening now is it? I look forward to my check Lowell but I’m only going to warn you once don’t push me with Jon and getting what I want this time. Look at you shaking already, we have a deal.” Skye said looking at him the irony of her past was that he wanted to hang Jackson to her but couldn’t. She remembered when he tracked her down in Europe to confront her and she told him the truth how angry he was and she was sure Lowell made calls just to make sure what she had told him was true. “Goodnight Lowell.” Walking out of his office she took one more look at him before she left, Vertigo it was tonight.

Lowell gulped as he looked down at his shaking hand and his eyes watered. Normally he’d have a witty response to belittle that little harpy. He was however stuck on his hand. That wasn’t good and fear struck him. This wasn’t normal sign of aging. “Judy please get David Rhodes on the phone asap.”


Devin waved to Nate as he took a seat the bar, Miranda had let him know she would be late and there was no need to grab a table just yet. The dinner crowd was in full swing the bustle of chairs, feet as the staff tried to keep up. He needed this after the day he had arresting Ronan felt like a weight had been lifted and one of the reasons he wanted to take Miranda out with Quinn. Jon had went to break the news to his parents and David they finally caught the bastard. They had him for two homicides with Steven and Carla and now the Feds were looking into information Jamal gave them about Benny Ruzzio meaning they could get him for more. He felt someone bump him and he moved forward a bit and ran right into Merci his eyes darted around for Skye.

“Hey Merci. Listen about the other day with you and Miranda obviously things were said I was trying to make you feel included in the holidays. It was a dick move of me to put you two at odds.” Devin said they hadn’t really spoken since the incident Miranda had made her feelings well known afterwards and sometimes he felt like they were crumbling. The club was getting to her now though with Ronan out hopefully she could stop, they had him things could go back to normal. “I really am sorry. How have you been?”

“I’m actually getting something to eat.” She really didn’t have the energy for this today. Tess Blisston was a nightmare. The woman was picky over her dead daddy’s funeral and repass. As she looked at him she just felt like this was torture. “Devin enough is enough.” She adjusting the chain on her shoulder. As she bit her lip looking at him. Walking around him she waved him away knowing he wouldn’t just let her walk way she turned around. He was on her heels just like that she was angry.

“I don’t want a friend and you know that I want you. Yet here you are cornering me in here. It’s not fair to me because I’m lonely. The one guy who I’m with is just not a good guy and I’m sick of being the bad girl. I’m sick of being mistaken for trouble and look my friendship and relationship with Skye is none of your business. I’m over it Devin and I’m over being used for a way to fix whatever toxic problem you and Miranda are having. Maybe it’s just that she’ll never be over KC. That’s exactly what it is and no matter how you try you won’t be him. So let’s do us both a favor and forget me and you go back to your perfect life.” Merci walked to Nate and pulled out a fifty and gave it to him paying for a big order. “What?”

“Well no one is stopping you from getting anything to eat. I was trying to be nice and you know what you can be friends with someone of the opposite sex without wanting to pounce on them.” Devin said looking at her honestly he loved Miranda and Quinn but things had been strained and maybe what Merci was saying was a little true. Then again he wasn’t that guy the one that play two women against each other and he wasn’t about to start now he had been raised that way. He followed her when she turned away and walked to the counter. “I was attempting to be gentlemen.”

“Apparently the only thing you want a man for is a good time in bed and you know what that is sad. You want me, I’ve told you countless times I am taken but I can be your friend and why you don’t see that either is beyond me. No it’s not my business it becomes my business when Skye is out stirring shit up for Jon again. Then again like you give a fuck as long as you and her get what you want isn’t that right?” Devin said, she had caused him problems with Miranda especially where Quinn was concerned and he looked at her when she brought up KC. He knew deep down he was never going to replace KC to Miranda and especially not Quinn but Merci had no right to talk ill about him. “The only problem Miranda and I had recently is you and I took your back on it. I don’t want her or her daughter to forget KC.”

“Clearly your ego is bigger than your brain.” She said looking at him as she turned around. Shaking her head she felt so mad. “You know just so you know I use my sexuality to try to get you. So when that didn’t work I used myself. I told you things and tried to show you that not everyone was taught how to be emotionally open as you. It’s like you the bitch and I’m the man.” She seethed rolling her eyes at him. “I express myself sexually because I don’t know how to say I like you. How I never had a guy truly show interest in me besides for one night and a fuck here and there. So sex is how I feel and sorry I didn’t get knocked up and have a kid so you could pretend to rescue me. However you keep saying you don’t want me. Yet your body that’s something that doesn’t lie. How you lean in when you speak to me. How you aren’t that far and no matter what your mouth and heart is saying for Miranda and Quinn. I’m it. I’m who you secretly want and if you were a real man you’d admit it.” Merci said looking at him as she bit her fast. Gulping a little she grabbed his hand and pulled him to a more dark part of The Pub. She didn’t want everyone in her business.

“I’m sorry I’m in my feelings.” Merci saw the light dimly framing his face. “I needed someone to show me some affection and I guess. I bet you like simple girls, I bet you couldn’t handle a woman as complex as me. But I want to show you.” Merci bravely leaned in and kissed him. She knew she wasn’t crazy as her. She wasn’t wild. She wasn’t Merci. No matter what Devin did she saw him for what he was. A man who deeply needed something more. Miranda wasn’t giving it to him and no matter how he fought it. He was into it and she knew she had him at that moment. “There’s so much I want to tell you but I don’t know how to. I can demonstrate all night now let me amplify everything for one moment. No more pressure to be anything but Devin with me.” She purred trying to kiss him again.

Devin felt her lips touch his and for a few seconds he kissed her back till he pulled away knowing it was wrong and then glaring at her. When she went to do it again he stared at her. “What the hell I just told you…” His voice trailed off as Miranda entered the Pub with Quinn.

Miranda had picked up Quinn from her mother as Jon was arriving they had talked for a few moments about Ronan’s arrest. She had her mother take Quinn inside for a moment while she crumbled into her brother’s arm he was off the streets he couldn’t hurt her, or Yasmine or someone else. She had nearly canceled dinner with Devin but then Quinn had asked when they were going to see him and she didn’t have it in her heart to say no to her. Why was he looking so guilty standing next to Merci? More importantly what in the fuck was she doing in the Pub? She remained calm as she and Quinn approached.

“Sorry we’re late Jon wanted to talk about everything. I can’t believe it finally happened.” Miranda said she didn’t even bother with Merci not today. Leaning up she kissed his cheek and then pulled back. She was not going to let this bitch ruin today it had been years that she had feared Ronan coming after her and Quinn. Years without KC she was not ruining this. ”Did you put us on the list?”

“I’ll be leaving my foods ready.” Merci turned and looked at Quinn waving at her. Then turned to Miranda. “I’m sorry about that dig Miranda about KC. That was low even for me and I was just telling Devin that I don’t want to be friends anymore. I have a reputation as celebrity party planner I can’t be a girl breaking up relationships. See nothing to worry about and congrats about Ronan, Devin Atlas Falls is so much safer.” Merci walked to Nate and took her food and walked toward the door she looked at Devin one last time. “Keep the tip.” She waved at them again before leaving.

Devin watched her go and then looked at Miranda it was a simple misunderstanding but then he didn’t know why he kissed Merci back. He watched Miranda take in the apology from Merci and he wondered if it all a show or not. He placed his hand on her back wanting to reassure her that he and Merci were nothing more than friends for himself more than her. “Hey if you don’t want to be here tonight we can order it to go and go back to your place.”

Miranda looked around the pub Merci’s words still sinking in now she was the bitch that couldn’t handle Devin having a female friend. She also felt the words about KC and honestly they seemed really genuine as the news began to replay the arrest of Ronan on the television. Quinn was squeezing her hand as she felt the weight of the day finally hit her the tears forming in her eyes once again, it was over.  He was behind bars and tonight when Jon pulled her aside to tell her to stop working the club now she told him no, why? Was it because that meant she had to face the reality of what was going on with her and Devin? Was it because she wanted even more revenge? She knew deep down it was because she was a good cop and she had every intention of helping Yasmine out of that place.


Quinn’s voice brought her back and out of her thoughts. “Mommy’s fine let’s get a table ok?”


Gideon walked up the steps of the Kincaid estate waving to the guards things could finally calm down for Brenda she could rest at ease now. He waited a few moments as the housekeeper let him in giving her a warm smile. He had the best bottle of champagne that he could find of course. Brooke was no doubt torn up about the events and he couldn’t feel bad about that her young heart would be mended when she realized that Ronan killed people. He saw Brenda inside her family room flipping through a photo album the fireplace roaring. Rachel was in the corner taking calls no doubt from the press about the arrest and he kissed his daughter’s forehead before walking to Brenda.

“I wanted to come by and check on you today was probably very upsetting. I made you a promise Brenda and I stood by it. To think you had that man at the party that night for Steven’s dinner. I am sorry it took so long but you have your closure now.” Gideon said taking a seat next to her and watching her stare at the photos. He hoped he could replace Steven the bastard never loved her like she deserved and finally she would see that. “How are Brooke and the rest of the children taking it? I know this could have jeopardized your campaign and I am sorry about that. I didn’t want him getting wind and running.”

Brenda’s eyes were red from crying she didn’t know exactly what to do. Brooke wouldn’t answer her brother’s calls nor her’s. This was a mess and like Jon said the evidence wasn’t lying. She placed the glass to her lips as she exhaled feeling a sweet comfort of the bourbon. Wondering what she was going to do when the trail started. That’s when she got it as she looked at Gideon she slowly sat down for him. Then pulled out her cellphone from her pocket. Quickly strolling down her contacts she pressed Atticus name. Then started to text him.

If you want my daughter then I suggest you get to Atlas Falls no more begging me for help. It’s time to get into town.

Brenda pressed send because honestly she needed his help. Once Atticus arrived in Atlas Falls she could finally get Ronan out of her daughter’s hair. Brooke couldn’t make the same mistakes and this always happened when she thought of him. Lord please save her from what she went through with Walter and Steven. Everywhere she went she saw history repeating itself over and over again. “Brooke is devastated and is blindly standing by him. I’m lost and Anderson is coming home for the next few weeks with Cara and Wyatt. I am grateful for him being home but I’m just numb.” Brenda wondering if she really wanted to parent Anderson, Hunter, and Brooke alone. Her womb felt numb thinking about the one she lost with Walter. “Thank-you Gideon.”

Gideon watched her still processing everything that had happened with Ronan the arrest giving her what she needed a finality a peace. He watched her drinking, Steven always complained about it to him and he had to wonder why, Steven never really loved Brenda. Steven loved his kids, he loved the power of his name but after Brooke had been born he and Brenda agreed to separate lives out in public. Reaching for her hand he squeezed it in his own wanting her to know that he was there for her during this time. He wondered how Anderson was going to get away and come home he was working for the Governor now.

“I’m glad Anderson is coming home you need your family around you right now. I know Brooke sees you as the enemy right now but you have to believe that she knows you love her and were only looking out for her best interests.” Gideon said watching as Rachel went into the other room to give them some privacy. His daughter was good but he knew that if she ever learned some of his secrets well that wouldn’t end well. Looking at Brenda he saw her looking at his hand in hers and wondered if she finally felt the same. “I would do anything for you Brenda you know that. I know I can never replace him for you but I wanted you to know I was here for you. I brought your favorite champagne.”

Brenda smiled looking at Gideon. “You can replace Steven he never loved me.” Her eyes trailed off as she saw Rachel going into the other room. The truth was anyone could replace Steven it was Walter that was hard to get over. She assumed that this was when she missed him the most. When she was with another man who loved her. She worried so deeply that nobody would ever fill her void. Damn she felt alive knowing that her life was about to begin all over again. As she she leaned over and poured them two glasses of champagne. Looking at Gideon wondering if she’d ever have her time with Walter? The truth was she wouldn’t considering how she running against him.

“No more talking about Steven or how you are here now. You’ve always been in my corner so if you want a chance to see where this goes. Well Gideon sometimes I can hear my future. Mayor of Atlas Falls and maybe in a long relationship with the police chief. My children surrounding me all over this town and my grandchildren all will be beautiful. Oh I can see them and I can see my happiness when I get married again. Gideon I’m happy that you want to make me happy. I don’t understand it but I am happy right now thank-you.”

“Steven was many things a good mayor and a good father, but he was a shitty husband to you. I’m always in your corner Brenda and I can’t say that after I lost Norah I was silently hoping for a chance. I loved Norah look at Rachel how could you not but I know they would want us to be happy.” Gideon said, when Norah died a few years ago he had been crushed and he could say that was when he had enough of being the good police officer. He shook his head for a moment as he took the glass of champagne from her. “Your numbers are still down in the polls.”

“I know that you running against Walter is something you think you need to do for Steven. Walter will come at you at the debate in a few days. Everything Brenda and sometimes I wonder what it is with you two.” Gideon said knowing when to push her buttons to trust him, she thought he didn’t know about Walter. He knew how she fucked Walter when it could have been him, they could have had a life together and now, now he was ready for Walter to lose to him finally. “I would like to think that you may know of a few skeletons in his closet perhaps his squeaky clean son or that mess of a daughter he has. Not to mention what happened with Lauren and their baby all those years ago.” He paused knowing full well the rumors about the newborn that was Walter and Lauren’s last child, now days they would call it SIDS back then though Lauren had struggled after the baby was born.

“I will go after Walter if he comes after me. It’s not a simple solution with us considering that I have spent years loving that man.” She looked at Gideon. “If you are going to be with me then you should know. I carried on an long affair with Walter and I loved him but it’s over now and if he wants to harm me personally. I’ll demolish him and show him a systematic dismemberment of everything he’s built. Walter isn’t a problem and I want you to know I have every intention of winning.” As she stood up she walked to the fire place and stooped down. “I’ve been open for a long time with him giving him a opportunity. Either way if Walter wins he will lose.” She looked back at Gideon as she sat on the fur rug on the floor.

Reaching her hands out to the fire. “I will expose every dirty moment and with my knowledge I’ll bury him. He knows this and if I’ll do whatever to win. To beat him and make him see he’s always betted on the wrong one. Trust I don’t miss him but rubbing in his face not even his precious Lauren could fix this nobody could.” She hissed as she drank down the rest of her champagne. “Come down here with me and hold me.” She sprawled out to the fur rug. “Gideon kiss me and tell me everything will be alright.”

Gideon swirled the champagne in his glass as she spoke about Walter what was it about men like Steven and Walter that had the women flocking to them? Clearly it wasn’t morals, that was the funniest part Walter running on a moral platform due to well kept secrets. Hopefully that would all change at the debate and he couldn’t wait till it was all released every dirty detail, Brenda would attack back. He would be her white knight then the press ate her alive afterwards but he’d let her have her dream for now of winning. Once she had lost she would see him finally.

“Of course.” Gideon said getting down on the rug beside her he pulled her into his arms. He wrapped her in them and pulled her close looking into the fire. “Is this alright I would hate for your children to think I was moving in so soon.”


“Skye?” Merci called out as she dug into her purse and saw Skye saying she was at Club Vertigo. After that ugly little spat with Devin she was over it. After moving placing the food down on the bar she looked at him sitting on her bed with his shirt off watching football. When she first met him it was Club Vertigo. Money was jumping all over the place with two blondes with bad roots. Then Ivan was antisocial in the back but he stood out like a chocolate diamond. What was funny he thought she was some broke bitch. One thing Skye and she were was hustlers. She somehow tricked the dumb ass people of Atlas Falls into thinking her partying habits made her a qualified party planner. Kendrick was always her weakness. Honestly after hearing about Ronan on the news she knew what this meant.

He was the top dog. “I heard you got about four other bitches.” Sucking her teeth playfully. Devin was stupid because honestly she was on a whole other level. They hadn’t been through anything similar honestly. Devin was middle class and she hadn’t been in the gutter. Placing the food down on counter. The night we met he was flossing so fresh and the diamonds on his neck pulled her to him. It wasn’t money because she had her own something he loved. She wasn’t a gold digging bitch in the hood who would try to be buying Dior and Chanel because her man was on. She was a bitch who already came ready to slay. As she unfastened her dress she felt herself ready to release. Merci knew she had to tell Skye. She’d see him walking out one morning. No need to be ashamed the man she was fucking for the last four months was a God. A black God who knew how to put it down. As she touched her lace lingerie underneath her clothes. Fuck that she was now sleeping with one of the heads of the Cartel.

“I’m home. I see you’ve made yourself at home since you the big man on campus now.” Merci was wearing a flesh toned La Perla bra and panties. Slowly strutting into the room she straddled Kendrick and kissed him roughly biting his lip. Then grabbed the remote turning it off. “You ready?”

Kendrick had let himself into Merci’s place they were fun at the moment and he knew better than to fuck the strippers at the club. They would rather back stab him for the drugs or the money he had and Merci well Merci liked to have a good time. He had turned off the news and flipped it to the football game, seeing Ronan’s arrest made it all the more real his new position no one to answer too. It felt good for once to have that power all to himself and soon he would be making the moves, they could start pushing the drugs more it was everything he wanted. He watched as Merci dropped her dress in that lingerie that she was wearing and he couldn’t help himself as she climbed onto his lap. His lips met hers eagerly, his hands roaming down her sides to her panties tracing the lace.

“Would you prefer I leave? Kendrick asked pulling her closer to him, as his lips left her lips to make their way down her neck. He paused at her earlobe tugging it a little bit letting his hips grind up into her panties. Now that he had the power maybe she would want more with him, she would never be Gina but she would be perfect for the operation and her business he could use those connections. “So how was work? You should tell me all about it.”

“Tess Blisston and Bunny Blisston are the most pretentious women I’ve ever met.” Merci said looking at him. “Bliss was cool she had some nice ideas for the funeral and repass. I don’t know it’s different for orphans we don’t feel when someone dies or vanishes. It’s another day to us. You know I don’t like these people I see the sadness but they act like shit alright.” She shook her head looking at him slowly kissing his neck as she leaned back. “Oh and I saw a friend but it’s nothing major. Devin and I got into a argument he was all in his feelings.” Slowly she saw his face change. He knew who Devin was. Shit she thought to herself.

“What I know him through my girl Skye she used to fuck with his boy Jon.” As she rolled her hips on him as she looked into his eyes. Seeing that cute pout on his face she leaned down and kissed his lips. “Devin is a friend his bitch don’t like me but he’s been a friend for a long time.” Merci lied with ease as she looked at him. “But you can give me the time today I want to put in work with you. I want to show you I’m proud of you because everyone know you are the man in charge.”

Kendrick had barely been paying attention when she mentioned Devin, he froze slightly he and Devin hadn’t hung in years. Not only that but Devin was a cop now, one that he knew was all up in Ronan’s shit. Merci didn’t know that though, he moved his lips down her neck to the lace bra, biting softly on her breast till her nipple was hard. He let his fingers go to the back of her bra releasing it to the ground beside them, he felt her arch back and then his lips went to her other breast that was now free taking her nipple and repeating the action. His fingers went to her panties as he pressed his two fingers inside of her. He wanted her begging him, this was what he needed tonight to start over new job, new title, new girl to fuck with.

“Devin is a cop we do this I need you to not associate with him. I mean it Merci right now with them taking Ronan in I can’t afford that heat.” Kendrick asked watching her face as he moved his fingers. Skye was good for business back in the day before she ran off and disappeared she was always scoring. He felt her bucking against his hand and leaned up kissing her wanting to sink into her so badly. “Did you fuck her boy Jon too? Just curious baby I know you two have shared?”

“No I never shared with her and Jon.” She was starting to resent that fucking threesome everyone kept bringing it up. When it wasn’t nobody’s business to be honest. “I was fucked up and it only happened with Jackson once. That wasn’t some shit that happened over and over.” If his fingers wasn’t inside of her and she would slap the shit out of him. How dare he question her when she wanted him right now she kissed his neck as she cried out in passion throwing back her long hair she moaned. Knowing Kendrick hated extension but she loved the look. Pushing him back on the bed she unbuckled his pants. “I want you to fuck me but Skye and I don’t share shit. We had a threesome and that was it. So before you go opening your mouth. Know what the fuck you talking about.”

Merci dug into his boxers and his warm girth of his penis. She slowly looked at him. “I want to show you how proud of you I am. And just so you know Devin and I aren’t cool anymore now okay?” She turned around and threw her ass in the air so he could see her cleanly shaved pussy lips. Merci lowered her head on his thick penis almost gagging. She loved sex and sex was her expression. As she slurped she felt his tongue flicked against her body. Merci cried out as she held onto the sheets.

Kendrick could tell she was pissed when he asked about the sharing not that he was opposed to that he’d fooled around a few times in that area two bitches at the same time. He wasn’t sure how he felt about her fucking Jackson it seemed like everyone had instead he focused in at the task at hand pleasing her and getting her to scream his name. They didn’t have to talk with fake pleasantries or getting to know each other. He watched as she moved into position flashing that pretty chocolate pussy for him. Everything about her was beautiful minus those stupid fucking extensions.

He closed his eyes as her warm mouth wrapped around him she wanted to face fuck they could as long as they both got off. He let out a groan feeling her teeth and tongue grazing him and he couldn’t help it as his hips bucked up. Pulling her ass back just a bit he lowered his head tasting her, his tongue dived in and out wanting to make sure she felt it. He spread her cheeks with his fingers exposing her even more while his hips bucked, he plunged his tongue at the same time. “Fuck girl, don’t stop.” He moaned against her wet pussy.

Bobbing on the thick shaft of his dick she almost choked but she relaxed her throat and tried to not scream out. All she could do is cry out and really choke herself as she drew her head up. She cried out in pleasure his tongue was magic. Moving her ass bouncing on his tongue seeing him hungrily feasted on her body. Throwing her long hair she moved her legs from behind his neck. Then she slowly straddled him.

As she slid down onto him their bodies immediately crashed into each other. His hands instinctively grabbed her hips and she knew what was up at this moment. Crying out for pleasure she looked at him her nails pressing into his chest she threw her ass in circle. “Fuck me Kendrick!” She cried as she threw hips into it. They were so sexually compatible it wasn’t funny. He knew when she was close and she knew how to make him come with ease. They were sexually soulmates.

Kendrick pressed his hips up into her hot mouth closing his eyes as his tongue brushed over that sweet little bud of hers. He swore she was about to get him off and he was about to get her off when he finally pulled back. He looked up at her enjoying the view of her body as she slid down onto him and he moaned as her heat encased him. His hands gripped her hips pushing her down as deep as he would go on her and he groaned again watching her ride him.

He held onto her back as he scooted up in bed and his lips went back to her breasts sucking and biting he was so fucking close. She was so good, so tight and so warm and he threw his hips into her violently, he rubbed his thumb over her clit and bit her nipple at the same time feeling her clench around him and buried his face in between her breasts. “Fuck!” He cried out coming inside of her pumping and pulsating, his hands dig into her ass as best as he could just to make sure she had that reminder.

Merci cried out in pleasure as she squeezed and felt herself flooding over and over again. She clawed his back as she wrapped around his neck. As she couldn’t breathe lowering her head down on his shoulder. The sweat dripped off their bodies. She rolled off of him and pulled out a small box. Inside was Kendrick kush weed. He was going to ask her to roll up now that they had sex. She knew him well. Walking to the bathroom she pulled out a wrap and quickly rolled up the weed.

Rushing back to the bed she jumped on top of Kendrick and kissed him. “You got balls messing with me. I’m the type of girl have you looking for me in the middle of the day with a flashlight.” Quickly sparking up the weed she took the first toke. Then placed it to his lips and smiled watching him smoke. This was the only time she saw him not looking stressed. When they smoked and fucked. Running her hands through her hair she unclipped her extensions showing her shoulder length brown bob cut. “Yo I want a bag a Birkin bag my birthday is coming up. “ She saw the look on his face. “What? I celebrate on the 15th because I don’t have a birthday. So every month on the 15th you are to give me a gift.”

Kendrick watched her roll the joint as she got off him smiling at her honestly the only time he didn’t think about the organization was when he was with her. He watched her go to the bathroom as he cleaned himself up, she was a goddess in bed and that was why they worked.  He leaned back as she joined him on the bed and lit the joint up and then took the first hit. He inhaled as the weed ran into his system. “Baby with what I’m rolling in now you can have a Birkin bag every fucking week.”


Braden had under an hour to grab his briefcase and the things he would need as he walked into Judge Kent’s courtroom. The call had surprised him while he was at the Pub this was unusual to get a bail hearing the same day as an arrest. It was something however his office had been prepared for as he looked over his briefing to the judge. There were a list of reason why he knew Ronan needed to stay behind bars, he was smart with his money he could flee the country at any time he wanted. Not to mention the bodies of Steven and Carla and the closure those families needed. He could then list the drugs and everything else but he would rather save that or trial he looked at the doors as they opened and he saw Raven Paloma step in. She was his age and had been under him in their class and he shook his head. Never did he think she would be defending drug thugs and murderers.

“Well isn’t this interesting Raven. Of all the tricks to pull a night bail hearing smart, but do you really think I wasn’t prepared?” Braden said watching her take a seat at the other table across from him. He went back to his paperwork as he straightened it, he was a good lawyer always had been it was what got him where he was today. “I would have pegged you for something better than local kingpin, drug dealer and murder backing attorney.”

Walking through the courtroom Raven commanded attention as she removed her leather and suede trench coat as she revealed a cream pantsuit. Slowly slinking behind her table she saw Ronan sitting with cuffs. She would have acknowledged Braden if he wasn’t so rudimentary. As she looked at Braden her eyes iced up showed the green showed. Finally looking up she placed a hand over Ronan. Her father came over from Hawaii to Atlas Falls without them. Ronan father helped her dad and eventually got him on his feet. She wouldn’t have a law degree without the Madden family. Ever since she was a teen Ronan tried and tried but she was onto something so much bigger. She was after being the best lawyer and many times she bested others. This was the test. He was a year older than her and was said to be the best in Atlas Falls. She’d already spanked Mason enough to know he was a threat but not threatening.

Slowly craning her neck to Braden she walked toward him as if he was her prey and she was ready to rip him apart. Letting her fingers trace the oak desk in front of him. “I wouldn’t have taken you for a foolish district attorney I don’t lose. Sadly you came after my client today with a warrant but you didn’t get permission from Ms. Kincaid. I do mean Brooke to enter her home. That warrant was for searching the premises of Mr. Madden home. How will Judge Kent handle the obvious and blatant disregard the AFPD went to arrest him? Detective Harrison and Detective Thompson both saw Brooke undressed if he doesn’t get out tonight I’m suing on her behalf. When he does get out I’m going bury your department in legal work and paperwork and when you think you can breathe. I’ll find out who is setting up my client and really do diligent damage to you.” Slowly she flung her hair over her face. “I don’t like declaring war but I’m going to enjoy watching you wither in a corner knowing Ronan told you all this is a mistake. I’m going to have your job.” Turning around just as icy as she came. Running her fingers over the oak desk. “Great speaking with you.”

Braden refused to play her game until Judge Kent got in the arrest warrant was upon sight and the properties to be searched where Ronan’s home and his businesses. The Everest Resort was owned by Brenda who let them in to arrest him he made sure he covered his bases. As for Brooke Kincaid if the girl wasn’t sleeping with a mobster and seeing how both Jon and Devin were two of the most honorable people he knew they certainly didn’t stare at her in her underwear she wouldn’t of been undressed. He made a promise to David and he meant it Ronan would stay behind bars until trial and he looked back at the door as Diego came in with two of his bosses just in case. Federally he doubted she wanted to go up against a federal prosecutor but if needed he didn’t mind showing that to the judge either. Now that they had the weapon to match to KC’s murder as soon as trial with Carla and Steven’s murders were done he would be facing a federal murder charge. He rose from his desk as Judge Kent walked out and looked over at Ronan.

“You may both be seated. I see Ms. Paloma has filed she would like her client to have a bail hearing. I understand that the district attorney has a problem with bail.” Judge Kent said looking over them.

“Yes we do your honor. Mr. Madden is a threat to the community and a flight risk. At this time we ask that the court deny bail and set a trial date.” Braden said looking over at Raven.

“Ms. Paloma I’m willing to hear you out on the matter of Mr. Madden’s bail.” Judge Kent said looking at her.

“Your honor if this was any other person than my client he would have a bail by now. For DA Fraiser and his police department have an active grudge against my client. He was treated barbarically by Detective Devin Thompson who is currently dating Miranda Rhodes or is it Harrison again. Brutally attacked him while being arrested per these signed affidavit about the behavior of Mr. Thompson. No doubt on behalf of his girlfriend’s family. The Harrison family and Rhodes clan both blame Ronan for a murder he wasn’t even at. So once again the zealots AFPD think they are above the law. I mean your honor KC Rhodes brother-in-law arrested my client. If that isn’t an egregious misuse of power.” Raven said looking at Braden seeing the shock register on his face. “Your honor they all were just at the annual Fraiser Fireworks together no I don’t have to spell out conspiracy but you do the math.”

“Judge my client has ties to this community and is creating new businesses such as the casino with DGI a local business that’s highly respected. He has millions tied up and trust me he isn’t going anywhere. I ask again what makes him a flight risk when he’s engaged to be married to Brooke Kincaid and has multiple businesses.” Raven narrowed her eyes at Braden seeing his shock. Not only that but Ronan’s face said it all. He didn’t know a thing either. “Your honor please he just wants to get home to his new fiancee.”

Judge Kent looked at Braden and hoped he had a damn good rebuttal on the matter of the arrest. He was good friends with Braden’s parents and Jon’s but he was also impartial when it came to the law. He was not blind to the things Ronan was accused of but Braden better have solid evidence in this case if he wanted no bail. “Mr. Fraiser I would assume you can explain these allegations.”

“I can your honor.” Braden said rising from his seat and looking back at the doors as Selina entered with Jon and Devin who were looking at Raven disgusted as they should be. ‘I’d like to place this into evidence.” Braden walked to the bench and handed him the DNA evidence found at the scene, the bullet match to KC’s murder that matched the bullets found at Steven and Carla’s crime scene along with the record trial of the gun that Ronan bought. “You will see that the DNA found at the scene along with fingerprints matched Mr. Madden. The bullet matches the ongoing federal case of the murder of KC Rhodes. The gun used in the crime was bought and owned by Mr. Madden himself.” Turning around he looked at Raven as her face fell and then he continued.

“As for the affidavits that were signed all were signed by employees of Mr. Madden who were all arrested at the same time for illegal firearms possessions. Regardless of who made the arrest if Ms. Paloma wants too I have signed paperwork from the department shrink that states that the men that made the arrest were objective. Mr. Madden is not married and I wouldn’t put it past him at the moment to claim an engagement to get out of jail time. As Ms. Paloma also wants to state that Brenda Kincaid is a fan of her daughter’s relationship I am going to call bullshit. You were at the fundraiser a few months ago and saw for yourself Brenda does not approve and she had no problems letting us into the room of the hotel she owns to make the arrest.” Braden said looking over at Ronan who knew that he had been caught though he swore he saw pure shock at the evidence against him. He then turned his attention back to the judge to refute the rest. “While I am sure Mr. Madden would like to go home so would Steven Kincaid, Carla Luciano and KC Rhodes but they can’t they were callously gun downed and killed. Regardless of Mr. Madden’s association with the new casino he has the funds and the means to flee the country. Behind me you will see federal prosecutor Hector Jimenez who has a signed statement that even his department considers Mr. Madden a flight risk.”

“Your honor once again are you not seeing his aggression of the AFPD and the FBI. They are here trying to get my client under RICO but clearly they can’t so they are framing him because they’ve wasted the taxpayers money. My clients day in court will come but having him behind bars isn’t helping anyone but Mr. Fraiser’s peanut gallery. Judge that’s June and Richard Harrison who just walked in. Now ask Mr. Fraiser how long he’s know the Harrison’s your honor the warrant wasn’t even for Ms. Kincaid suite. It was for Mr. Madden’s home now I understand the law arrest him where you can. Yet Brenda Kincaid used a keycard they weren’t invited into Brooke’s suite and Ms. Kincaid is here for her fiancee. Her ring is pretty shinny Mr. Fraiser that doesn’t look like a fake diamond to me.” Throwing her hands up as she looked at Hector.

“Your honor Mr. Jimenez isn’t the DA nor does he have any baring on Carla Luciano and Steven Kincaid murder.” She said passionately. “I’m assuring you Mr. Madden wants his day in court and I want to embarrass Mr. Fraiser badly for this bad judgement. Your honor if this was a officer, DA, or lawyer don’t we have the same allowances as Mr. Madden? I can run off with ease because I know the system. Mr. Madden hasn’t spent a night in jail before and no record. As much as Mr. Fraiser wants to make him a career criminal this is the first time my client has been locked up for more than parking tickets.”

Judge Kent looked at the paperwork that was in order the evidence pointed to murder straight up and while Ms. Paloma had made a good argument for the warrant he looked at that too. The warrant was the search and seizure of Ronan’s home. Had the police gotten permission from the hotel to enter the room the arrest would be legal. “Mr. Fraiser do you have proof of ownership of the hotel and anything for Brenda Kincaid who I see is in court.”

“Yes your honor here is a copy of hotel documents that state the owner is Brenda, her daugher is using the room at her leisure at the moment. Brooke Kincaid does not own a hotel room if everyone owned a hotel room they stayed in there would be a lot of property owners every time someone vacationed.” Braden said handing him what he wanted and then he heard the small laughs from his side, owned.

Putting the paperwork in order he looked at them both. “Given the evidence in this case Ms. Paloma. The gun, the DNA current ties to a federal investigation. I am denying your request for bail at this time. Mr. Madden will be reprimanded to county lock up till he can stand trial. I am going to set a trial date for one month from now given the evidence in this case that should not be hard for both of you to get your cases in order. Court is adjourned bailiff please make sure this case is marked on my docket.”

Braden stood as the gavel was rung and watched as Ronan’s face fell, Raven got angry shooting him a glare and he released his breath. He gathered his paperwork back into his briefcase as he hugged Selina. He shook Jon’s hand and nodded his head at David before turning to Raven. “I guess we’ll be seeing each other in a month. Next time try to lead with something other than newly minted engaged.”

Raven whispered something in Ronan ear as she watched the bailiff watched taking her friend off. Slowly she turned around with a sinister smile. “I would tell you why I’m smiling but you aren’t even smart enough to see you just showed me your hand. Well you aren’t smart enough to not marry a woman on the same day as another man was.” Her eyes cut Selina in pieces as she saw the bark. “Keep your she-wolf on her leash trust me you just sealed your own fate. I don’t lose and this is a marathon. You just got in front of me but trust me I always get the gold medal. I play dirty and I play to win.” She slipped on her jacket as she saw Richard and June Harrison along with Eugene and Lydia Rhodes.

“Celebrate your win my client will be out by next month. If not before good day DA Fraiser.” Raven slithered away with a sleek walk as she looked back at Braden once again smiling. As she walked away knowing she’d just gotten enough of Braden and Hector case. Opening her phone she called her team. Three other lawyers who were held back because they were gay, blind, or overall different. “Get me everything on that smoking gun. I need the ballistics, time of sell, etcetera and then call Simon. Tell him I’m calling in that favor for what I got him off for years ago. He’ll know what means.” Hanging up on Anna-Marie.

Brooke walked behind Raven. “Is he going to be alright?”

Raven looked at Brooke. “As long as I’m on his side then the answer is yes he’s going to be fine.” Looking back at Braden, the Harrison’s, Rhodes, and everyone else. She waved at them pulling out her red leather gloves. “Come Brooke we have to make you more than a mob moll. We have to make you the owner of that hotel. Your dad he gave each of you twenty five percent correct? We need either Hunter’s or Anderson’s shares then you’ll be the owner. Then it wouldn’t be legal.”

Brooke was shocked at how duplicitous this woman was.  Nodding her head as she looked at Raven. “I’ll get it. Oh here.” She said taking off the diamond ring.

“Thanks dear.” Raven slipped it on her middle finger as the got in her town car.

Braden watched Raven walk away pulling Selina back, she’d be a good opponent in court tonight he would celebrate the win that for now he was off the streets. He did however know that the rest would be an uphill battle and one that Raven would likely not use the best tactics on probably even illegal tactics he walked out of the courthouse watching her with Brooke saw the ring go back. Yes he was going to have his hands full with this entire case, which for the first time he felt would be a challenge.