1×19 “Down A Rabbit Hole”

Episode 1×19 “Down A Rabbit Hole”
Written by: Chirs Coleman/Kelly Zollo
Theme Song: Unsteady, X Ambassadors
Warning: Episode contains language, sexual situations and content
Guest Starring: Selena Gomez (Valentina “Val” Ruiz)

Jamal stood outside of the dorms as the winter air blew against his skin. It had been so long since he had been here. It almost looked like another person’s home as he felt the brutal winds blowing past him. He knew that if he didn’t do something that his family would forever be looking over their shoulders. It wasn’t a good feeling knowing something you’d done had set up his family for self destruction. Folding his arms he walked into the dorms with his hoodie on. As he unlocked his dorm door and moves his chest by his bed. With one move he pulled up the floorboard and finally saw his leather book bag. There he unzipped the bag and found all the bricks of coke were there. It was molly, ecstasy, meth, coke, and prescription pills. It was more than 2 million street profits. He was going to shut everyone up as he found a solution to the problem that he had. No matter if his sister had Kyan fix this he could still be killed for his betrayal. If Kendrick and Ronan knew for a fact he was never to say anything.

Looking around he saw a picture of Money, Ivan, and himself. They were his boys and Money was gone, and Ivan was still in the mix. No doubt he wouldn’t be lost in this game. This game that he played everyone so well in. It was now called life or death and in his solicitude with the law the streets would have to know he wasn’t a snitch. Not only that but Yasmine deserved a chance even if it wasn’t with him. She was getting a raw deal and they’d never let her out. Not unless someone got her out of the game once and for all. This was what he had to do to make it right. To make everyone come away with their hands clean. As he zipped up the bag he texted Yasmine. Looking outside his truck was still there and so was his old identity. Who was he fooling? No matter what he did, Jamal didn’t belong in this lane. He wasn’t a gangster or thug but he was smart. He was smart enough to wheel and deal.

She was at the club a place he didn’t want to go. He simply informed her to meet him around the next corner. Walking out of the dorm he ran down the steps. When Bridget a prep from the Valley Tresca area approached him.

“Hey Mal I need some molly allnighter and midterms you know?” Bridget said with a peppy smirk. “And maybe after my studying we can get some pleasure.”

“Nah shorty that isn’t me…”Jamal stopped as he slipped back into the character of a thug. It wasn’t him. “Look you are hooked and I need you to get help. Your family is fairly well off and it’s sad because I know they wouldn’t want you to be this. I can say I know your dad works for DGI and I can contact him. Get your shit together barbie or I will for you.” Jamal said with a cocky smirk. “Oh and my name isn’t Mal it’s Jamal to you okay. Get it together kid and grow up.” Unlocking his truck he threw the backpack in the passenger seat. Speeding through the city he felt electric. It was momentum arriving as he got closer to the club. What if this was an ambush? Yazzy wasn’t that type of girl though. When he pulled up on Cedar Lane which was one of the most notorious drugs strips in the town. He saw her standing out like a diamond in a rough.

Yasmine stood outside with a Pelle coat on and wearing Jordan’s 3. Folding her arms as she looked Jamal as he rolled down his window. “Look I can’t imagine what you have understand is all I’m going to do is give you where Kendrick will be. Just because I’m doing this doesn’t mean  forgiven Jamal. This shit was crazy why would you pretend to be a drug dealer?” Yasmine seethed as she looked at him. Walking to the truck she jumped inside. “This is a compromising situation. I want my debt done. You say you can make that happen.”

Jamal placed his head down looking at the floor. “Look it was stupid.” He mumbled finally looking at Yasmine. “Look I just wanted to be like you. I didn’t want to be rich and black it’s complex and a long story maybe one day we can be better friends. One day you can understand my grief and misunderstanding of the black community.” Gritting his teeth he felt out.  of place just saying those words. “Table this conversation. Understand that I’m not intending on  explaining this to everybody. But you I know you deserve this I was really feeling you and I hate that Rory got to you first.”

Yasmine blushed and was flushed due to the fact that she was sure that he meant that. It was crazy he was portraying a thug hearing how his verbiage and mannerism even changed. His eyes were glossy like he was emotional about it. Jamal was deeply struggling with this. “Is this the drugs?” She choose to ignore his declaration. “I’ll hold them. Kendrick is meeting with the family in Scottswood gym. Afterwards he’s at Club Vertigo to pick up hits. You know he’s the last one to leave every day.” Flipping her long black hair. “Oh look if this doesn’t work this my shit and my ticket out of this mess. You brains on the street not my problem. You heard me?”

“I hear you.” Jamal said with a sardonic and sarcastic tone in voice. Both correcting her and understanding that this could turn out very badly. He could end up dead but having the drugs away from him and with Yasmine. The trick was that Kendrick would want his supply before he killed him. “Go man hide that shit with your life. Make sure nobody can get to it.”

“I know my part now convince him.” Yasmine said referring to Kendrick.

“One more thing Yazzy.” Jamal called out to her.

“If you say be careful boy I’m going to smack fire from you.” She said placing her hands on her hips.

“No what I was going to say was I have taken off my mask. I have to take off this mask but you got one to put on. Your sassy girl act is cute as you are but dating Rory Devonshire. Well that just won’t do. Lowell nor Jackie won’t allow it so clean up. I guess you shouldn’t be judging me when you should be asking for lessons. Manners are so hard to find these days.” He rattled off ruthless tone. “I will say it’s good you are sassy those parties are boring.”

Yasmine for the first time figured out that she was stepping into the world of the upper elite. Where she felt at home on the streets of Scottswood being in the Devonshire mansion. That was a fear all different. She always felt like she was under dressed and under performed. Like she just wasn’t good enough. Gasping a little she nodded. He was right she would need someone on the inside to show her what to do. Without Rory always swooping in. Biting her lip she walked down the street with the backpack. By the end of the night hopefully this would be her last time dancing. She was going free. She was going to be so free and able to live a life with Rory.

Looking down at her clothes she walked away. “Asshole.” She mumbled flipping her hair getting back to the club.


Brooke put down her bags it had been nearly a week since she had been. Ronan had taken her out of the state to New York. They shopped and spent time together and made love  every night. He was perfect and his body was the stuff of her dreams. As she took a look into mansion it felt hollow. As smile formed on her lips as she thought about Rory, Jamal and her

running through the halls. As she flipped her hair looking around her mother clearly wasn’t  home. The booze was out though so she had to be scheming something. Sitting down in the living room she saw her family picture. How had they all become so scattered feeling lost. Her mother was deeply drowning in a pool of liquor. Anderson was in Pittsburgh with his family and Hunter barely visited she wanted her family back.

As she turned around she heard knocking at the door. Walking swiftly to the door she felt her  the need to do something to bring them back together. Opening the door Brooke started to cry. Her roommate and best friend was standing before her. How did Val know? How did she even know that she needed her? It must have been that friend thing that weirdly came into play. Wrapping her arms tightly around Val she screamed. “What in the hell are you doing in Atlas Falls? I missed you sis, I missed you so much! You look fab you’re a fashionista baby! Come in how are you?”

Val Ruiz had spent the better part of the last year touring the world at fashion show after fashion show. She was ready for a little rest and relaxation now though especially when the offer from Dante’s lawyers came though, he wanted her to take over his fashion line. Everyone in the fashion world knew who he was up and coming the hottest designs on the market with the flair from his background embedded in them. His murder had taken the fashion world by storm and now that the family had settled affairs out of court she had got the papers last week. She’d visited Atlas Falls once before with Brooke to visit her family but she spent most of her time out of state. The shows were slowing down and she had accepted the papers when they arrived. Once she touched down in Atlas Falls and had a cab take her to Brooke’s her mind began to wonder.

She has last seen Brooke back when she was with Atticus. Atticus had made a few moves on her over the course of when her friend was with him and she did feel bad about that. She should have told Brooke about it when it did happen but she didn’t want to ruin her pending marriage to Atticus, who knew that prince charming was really a damned asshole. She thanked the cab driver as he helped haul her bags out and then pulled out her phone taking a picture in front of the massive house and then tagging everyone she knew on Instagram and Twitter she was going to blow Atlas Falls up. She then looked at the text from Brenda, Brooke never had to know that but her mother was concerned about her. In truth so was she knocking on the door she grinned and wrapped her arms around Brooke excitedly.

“If you can believe it business brought me here, Dante brought me here. He left his entire collection to me designs, the rights I just got the papers last week. This was his headquarters so after I finished up a show in Milan I came right here.” Val said smiling at her and bringing her bags inside. Brooke looked happy but she’d heard the rumors not to mention saw the tabloids a mutual friend had spotted Brooke in New York and mentioned a bad crowd involved. Brooke was known for pushing buttons but the mob? A criminal? Atticus wasn’t looking so bad in comparison now. “How are you? I probably should have called my former assistant was supposed to take of it. I saw some of the tabloid stuff with that mob guy that had to been hard on you.”

“It isn’t tabloids.” She said softly taking some of her luggage. “I was scared of love and what I felt AA.” Brooke looked at Val confused facial expression. “After Atticus. I have one thing stuck in my mind how truly I wasn’t in love with Atticus. I loved the princess title and I loved the idea that I literally was a princess. With Ronan, Val have you ever felt every fiber in your body tingling? I’ve been high and low and it feels good to me in my soul. He won’t let me down and I hate that everyone just assumes he’s a mobster which he is.” Brooke finally admitted flopping on the couch. “Yet he’s so much more, he’s a art lover and has many legit businesses. What makes it even better between myself and you. The police have officially released him from the charges of my father murder.”

When she thought about Dante and the fashion line. She was in love with it and thought she was going to model for him. “God his couture was a amazing and I couldn’t wait to be one of his models. It’s so sad that they haven’t found out who hurt him also. I know he’s your cousin and family.” As she grabbed Val hand. “Look let’s go to Club Vertigo and get some appletinis. Then we can discuss this all. You are about to take over the new McQueen of the industry. It’s beautiful you get to keep his collection on and I get to borrow all the fashion I want. What happened to Xavier and Christian? And the African guy from Morocco?”

“I get that you were scared but he was arrested for trying to kill your dad. Anyone could have told you Atticus was less than stellar and I probably should have but you’re my best friend and I wanted you to be happy. He was charming and I can see why you fell for him plus who wouldn’t want to be princess?” Val said watching the staff bring her bags inside and following Brooke into the sitting area. Sitting down on the couch as she felt her phone buzz social media was blowing up with everything she was posting. Meaning it was good for business to come back here eyeing Brooke though she got the mobster thing everyone wanted a little bad boy now and then. “I think you just need to get Ronan out of your system fuck him, get back in the saddle for a bit. Plus the look on your mother’s face would be worth it.”

“The couture line was just jumping off that was the crazy part when Dante died it was so horrific getting that call. That was shocking who would want to kill Dante of all people you know?” Val said quietly thinking about her cousin the call from her parents and aunt. Her aunt and uncle had swooped in handled everything and she knew that they specifically cut out Dante’s fiancee something she knew her cousin wouldn’t have wanted. “My aunt went crazy after he died I think she’s still grieving. I mean shit she cut out Zach from everything.” Val took a breath and nodded her head a night out was just in order. “I could use a nice night out on the club, perhaps your new boyfriend should join us. I’d love to met the hot mobster warming your bed. As for the men you know me I get bored easy.”

“No, you won’t be meeting Ronan yet. He is going to be busy coming up and I don’t know if I’ll be able to see him.” Ronan was about to pull a power play and show Kendrick who was boss. That was enough to make her know that she had to lay low. Plus always and forever being her homegirl muse Val was going to make her even more of a star. She was a social media freak and she loved to put serine and funny pics up. Val was a nightclub queen. She couldn’t imagine tonight it was going to be all over IG. Tapping her hands on the table. “I have this dress I wore in Cuba a few years ago when Atticus took me. Oh my God I never wore it but tonight with all your followers I have to be on fleek.” Brooke giggled as she took Val hand. “Plus if I recall you were feeling both of my childhood besties and dated Rory. Jamal on the other hand is a major bad boy.” She whistled knowing that was Val’s weakness.

“He’s troubled and dark now. He’s mixed up with Ronan and I’m going to do my hardest to save him. He just has to get out of this mess you know.” Brooke flipped her hair. “I think you are just as talented if not more than Dante. You two worked on a lot of his looks together Val and he was about to do that deal with Jackie. Dante deserves to live on he is fierce and his collection was fierce as hell.” Pulling her knees up to her body she bit down on her lip. “I missed you and you know last time we talked you were dating that rapper and it was in the media. Val are you running from him? I mean he wrote a song about you and put it out.” Tilting her head to the side looked at Val. “I want to dance like we were in Alps. Omg you remember the club in the ice entire place ice.” She laughed because she got drunk for the first time and threw up on the ice sculptures.

“To bad I was looking forward to meeting Mr. Dark and Broody handsome mobster extraordinaire. I am surprised that you kept any of the clothing that Atticus left you, I’d be burning that shit in a garbage can. But I happen to remember that dress it was amazing on you.” Val said looking at her best friend as they blasted up social media. She knew what she was here to do get the couture line up and help her cousin’s memory. The other part was what she was trying to do no is convince Brooke that Ronan was not the man she was supposed to be with. It wasn’t like mobsters were on the straight and narrow to begin with. “Doesn’t it bother you with Ronan? The things he is accused of even though we both know they’re more than likely true?”

Val could swear she saw Brooke’s face change maybe into regret and then back into pensiveness. It was a start at first when she saw the tabloids she couldn’t believe it and then Brenda had called telling her that she was her last resort. “Jamal is crazy to be involved with Ronan and the mob though. I’m surprised with Rory though we had a good thing or I thought we did back then but a stripper? I can only imagine Lowell and Jackie’s faces.” Val said in truth the bad boy side of Jamal was appealing but unless he got out nothing would be happening there. Rory though she was shocked about a stripper was so not his speed or style. “He put a crappy single out if anything I got a ton of followers from it so it was a win win even if it was just my reputation.”

When she questioned what Ronan did it made her a little uneasy. Almost immediately she felt like it was another person judging her choices. As she looked at Val she paced for few seconds then turned around. Then nodded her upstairs so they could talk a little more privately. Once in her room she walked in the walk in closet. Shaking her head at the dress she thought she was going to wear. “That won’t do.” Grabbing her vintage white lace DVF two piece jumpsuit. “This is club Vertigo.” She hadn’t worn it and it was sexy and fresh. “You were asking me about Ronan and I can say what he does is scary. I throw my hands up but my heart can’t stop, I see the danger it’s in my face every time I’m with him. I’ve been in more life threatening situations the last few months but I’m willing to walk in the darkness.” Biting her lips she didn’t know what but her eyes were watering.

“I’m on this path now Val and I can’t get off. I’m addicted to him and the feeling he gives me.” She knew closing her eyes she exhaled wiping a tear. “I know that people have something to say but I don’t care and as for Ronan hurting people, he doesn’t hurt me. He love me and I love him and I just want my mother and all of the people who aren’t supportive to back off. I’m a prisoner to him and I’m okay with being locked up in darkness. Right now I’ve never felt a love like this. A love that has taken me to new heights.” She walked to dresser picking up a magazine. “I got the Polo gig, I got Marchesa gig, and I got Versace gig with Ronan. I’m dangerous now and I’m even more mysterious to the fashion world. Look I’m not saying that he’s all good. I’m saying that he’s good to me. That’s all a friend should want.”

Val watched her pick out her clothes from the closet and new she had hit a sore spot with Brooke on the matter of Ronan. She knew that maybe she had pushed too hard and it wasn’t like she didn’t want Brooke happy she did. She was a hopeless romantic when it came down to love and relationships she just didn’t think it was the right one for Brooke. She watched the dress selection smiling at the choice it was killer and heads would turn in the club. Hopefully if it was going to play out right the modeling would take center stage and Ronan would fade into the background without blood being spilt.

“Of course I want you happy. I just don’t want that happiness on the expense of bullets flying everywhere. How about we just both be happy for being here in the now and about ready to go tear up a new one at Vertigo?” Val said squeezing her friends shoulder and smiling at her. She did mean that she wanted to have fun with her best friend. She saw Brenda’s car pull up and knew if anything they could both agree on the bitchiness of Brooke’s mother. “So do tell how your mother is? I also heard a rumor about Hunter did he really start sleeping with Max’s sister?”

She understood why her bestie was worried. Fear was something she couldn’t face. The danger was enough a lot of people would run away. Folding her arms she nodded patiently trying to gather the words. As she touched the outfit she smiled at him. Rustling her hands through her hair. “He’s not the monster the media and so many others have loved men that are complex. If he was a president nobody would blink a eye at the choices he makes. So all I’m asking of Valentina is to be nice. Try and understand him.”

Giggling she wanted to tell her all about Max and her fight. Not only that but Hunter was now dating Max half-sister who is way prettier. “Oh honey that’s the tea as Ms. Edmond would say. Its muy escandalo. So he met Bliss right after he found out about Max screwing Philip Montgomery. Not only that they fell in love and it’s way more dignified than it sounds. I actually haven’t seen my brother so happy. Now hold on for a second.” She walked to the intercom and started to talk. “Liesl can you bring up a bottle of champagne. I have to raid my best friends wardrobe and we have a lot of catching up on.”

Val dropped the Ronan thing for now with her that was the safest bet with Brooke. She was still wary of him and his connections but she was Brooke’s friend first and foremost. She couldn’t help the smile that came out when Brooke returned to the form she was used to in ordering the staff around to bring them some champagne. They did have a lot to talk about such as the gossip in town, more details on the scandals the best places to live. She was happy to be back wit her best friend and even happier to turn her cousins dream and his brand into a reality.


Max parked her car inside the condo parking garage looking at the clock Philip was at the club or at some business meeting. She placed her car keys inside her purse and then began walking towards the elevators. She was careful to go in the back entrance Philip didn’t need to know about her visit not since their fight. In all honestly it was more of a stand still between them he didn’t want her to look at the dumb jewelry box. She felt like she needed to know what was on the inside of it, Veronica was still between them. She supposed another friend would feel guilty for that but no matter how she looked at it the guilt never came. She got that Veronica was going to marry Philip but honestly he didn’t know her like she did. She also didn’t have the heart to tell him either, things between girlfriends stayed that way even when they were six feet under.

She moved her shades up on her face the news had been distracted by the DGI and Sandstar merger announcement that morning. Thankfully that gave her the perfect opportunity to discover what was inside that box. She was curious and jealous by nature and the fact that Philip kept hanging onto Veronica was something that she was sure had been eating her alive. It was gnawing on her worse than the divorce papers which she still had not signed. Call her stubborn but signing them felt like defeat and well she was a Devonshire at the end of the day and defeat. They didn’t do defeat. Quickly making her way to the elevator she got on pressing the button to Philip’s floor and then waited patiently while it moved.

Once there she went to the mat and took the key out, he had to find a better hiding place but she supposed it worked when you were drunk and had women from the club hanging on you. Those days had been far and few between but she did wonder if he missed that. She still remembered how they began that seedy hallway at the Club after taking a few drinks, it escalated from there. Turning the key till the lock turned and opened she took off her glasses when she stepped inside. Mail was on the counter and she considered going through it instead she focused in on why she was here to begin with. Setting down her purse she made her way towards the master bedroom no one would know she was there.

Her eyes paused for a moment on a picture of Philip and Veronica on the nightstand narrowing just slightly. She had never really noticed it before and for a small second she wondered if what her father had roared out the other day about Philip was true. Anyone but a Montgomery. Part of the thrill of being with Philip was the thought that she was sleeping with Forbes’ son the forbidden nature of it all topped off knowing it would be a deep wound for her father. Or at first that is what it was about sticking it to her father. She had been so conflicted the past few months about who she was in the family what path she would be on. At the end she supposed she would always take after her father the most, they had a special bond.

Moving into the master bathroom she looked at herself in the mirror as she went towards the box she wondered if Bliss would be this cunning. If Bliss was cut from the same cloth she was even though she had been raised by nannies and Tess. The papers were still printing stories about her father and Tess, the affair years later and she knew it had deeply wounded her mother. She wondered if she had got lucky in that regard no children of her own. No children to wonder about the press hounding or telling stories too. Her sister no doubt was not as lucky as she was perhaps that was why she had to leave Fox behind.

Her fingers traced the initials on the box V.N. in a fancy script and she wondered if the box had been a gift from Philip or else. Had Forbes approved of his son marrying a board member of DGI? She then thought about her younger days in college the partying that she and Veronica used to do with Cat. How they ran the high school and boys flaunted over them in college. She missed Veronica when she did that thought about her from time to time, she like everyone else had been shocked when she died on the boating accident. Of course Veronica had been an excellent swimmer in the pool but she knew that the ocean was a much different monster. She went to lift the lid only it wouldn’t budge. It was locked somehow and she did finally take notice of the small lock on the front.

She remembered her keys in her purse that could pry the box open so she could look inside and made her way back out to the couch in the living room where she placed it. She nearly jumped out of her skin however when the phone began to ring in the purse and quickly fished it out rolling her eyes at Hunter’s number. She began to dig in her purse for her keys  as she then looked at the phone ring again and swiped her finger answering.

“Yes soon to be ex-husband that is sleeping with my sister?” She said she waiting a few moments for Hunter’s reply. “No I haven’t signed them yet. I’m making the family lawyers take a look at them before I do. I wouldn’t want you taking me to the cleaners now would I? Besides I had better things to do than actually sign them today.”

Finding them she walked back to the bathroom taking the key to her house and then tried to pry it open fighting with the lock that wouldn’t budge. She was half tempted to throw the thing on the floor when she heard a knock on the door. Being around the maids at the mansion when the voices spoke in the hallway she picked up on a few things. Philip apparently had his dry cleaning picked up around this time but the service had forgotten to pick up the key from the club. One of them went to get the spare key only to then realize it too was gone. One of them mentioned that they should go and let Philip know about the missing key. She waited a few moments going back to the living room quietly with her keys. Picking up her purse she pressed the phone to her ear as she heard Hunter calling her name on the other end.

“I don’t have time for this Hunter ok? Philip is hiding shit from me and since we’re not going to be married any longer why can’t you just stay out of my business?” Max hissed not seeing how rattled she was about nearly getting caught in until she hung up the phone and let out a few deep breaths.

Knowing that the service would be back soon she opened up the door placing her shades back on her face and the key under the mat. She kept her head low as she walked towards the elevator and this time took it to the main floor. She could have went out the back entrance and by the time she began walking out the front one she only prayed that no one had spotted her. If Philip knew she knew he had a temper sometimes. She knew that perhaps she should take an extra precaution just in case and she knew just where to get that from.

Bliss had been looking for a condo to rent her father after all had said that he’d kill to get Fox back. That was something that echoed in her head and staying in the mansion when Fox was coming back wasn’t a option. Moving her hair out of her face as she looked at five places and she was exhausted. The realtor had saved this place for last. It was pretty exclusive and she loved it was remote location in the mountains which wasn’t easy for the tabloids. She was dating Hunter and going to return with a kid. She knew her life was going to get majorly chaotic when her little boy returned. As she looked around she saw a place where Hunter and she would be happy and have a home for Fox.

“Call my attorney and please this is the one. I want to do some remodeling and few things need to be changed but I want it.” Bliss kissed the realtor cheek to cheek. When she gave her the keys to the condo she smiled brightly. A seclusive get away from everything. They’ll always have this when they want to runaway. Walking out of the condo she locked up the doors. As she got on the elevator she saw Max walking out looking suspicious. “Sissy.” She called out in a pompous fake British accent. “Maximilla? Slow down what are you doing here?”

Max stopped dead in her tracks really of all the times for little sister to be nosey ti had to be now? She paused for a moment before continuing on her path hoping Bliss would just let it go and then she could call her crazy and feign innocence. Instead Bliss was onto her and what in the world was Bliss doing here anyway? “I was here to see a friend. Why in the world are you here? Is the mansion not up to your standards? I thought by now you’d have everything you wanted. Cushy lifestyle living it up at the mansion? Did Hunter reject that notion don’t worry he did that with me too.”

When she tried to skirt around Bliss and her sister didn’t move it took a lot in her to not shove her backwards and out of the way. In truth the cleaning service nearly catching her had set her on edge and she took a few calming breaths. Philip was hiding something in that damn box and she was going to figure out what it was even if it killed her. Literally or figuratively she wanted to know taking a breath she willed herself to calm down she knew where she could get what she needed just in case things escalated. “Bliss I really don’t have time for another round of ours today.”

“Fine we don’t have to fight but I will find out why you are near the outskirts of town in these cushy condos when you stay downtown.” Bliss said putting her clutch in front of her. “You know the realtor said this was an exclusive neighborhood but once again I find you. Look I’m not looking to fight but I am looking to see that Lamborghini has the license plates MontgomeryP1 on it. Don’t think it about it too much honey you’re here for a booty call. Look Max we can hate each other but we both have what we want. I got Hunter who happens to be meeting me here to see this place that I just bought.” She said cheerfully as she saw Max’s expression turn red.

“What you didn’t just buy a place because I can’t have my lawyer cancel on this. It’s just dad is talking with international lawyers and he’s helping with Fox. I thought that my son wouldn’t be good in the mansion but it’s kinda like the palace but that’s not the point. I want a normal childhood for my son.” As she folded her arms she saw Max was antsy. “What going on, either spill or I’ll go up there and find out what is going on with Philip and you.” Bliss knew Max wasn’t her biggest fan but she was obviously hiding something and she looked like a ghost.

“Because I wanted to come here it’s not that big of a deal Bliss. I didn’t buy a condo here plus I wouldn’t anyway if I wanted. I happen to have better taste.” Max said she could swear her face was red at the entire thing. Hunter was going condo shopping with Bliss and it shouldn’t of hurt her but it did, it stung. She knew that Philip would be back soon and knew that she was running on borrowed time. “How about we do this I won’t ask about your ready made family with Hunter and you stay out of my shit with Philip. I mean it ok Bliss Philip has a temper.”

Tired of the questions she stepped to the side of her sister and walked towards the condo door making sure her sunglasses were on her face. Curiosity was getting the better of her and she didn’t need Bliss or Hunter up in her business about this one. It was between her and Philip, she wanted to know what was in that damn box and why he wouldn’t let her look at it. Did Veronica still hold some piece of his heart, did he feel guilty for what they were? Why was it locked, she also remembered how angry he had got the other night. She’d get the gun from her dad’s safe just to be safe in case what was in the box was more than she could handle on her own.

“Look we started off pretty shitty Max. If I can help with Philip or anything, I did come to town with agenda. I never meant to fall in love with Hunter.” Bliss said looking deeply into her sister’s eyes. “I’m not ready to give in. I’m not ready to just sit here and not have a sister. So I’m going to be annoying and from every corny American show says little sister’s are horrible pains to the older ones. I’m getting close to Jackson and I see Rory around the mansion all the time. Nobody really can be close to Chauncey he’s an ass. We have a bond that is forged with a little more grit than them. I don’t hate you, I wanted to be you. I wondered what it was like being with dad. I just don’t want to fight with you forever especially about a man.” She said exhaling looking at her sister.

“Now if you cross me at DGI then blood will be spilled but not over a man anymore. It’s exhausting because I need my son to feel the love of the Devonshires and I just want us all to move on. I’ve made some mistakes and had some wrong turns, Max I hope you can forgive me and Hunter one day.” Biting her lip she touched her arm. “My lips are sealed now I should be getting home.” Adjusting her purse strap as she fully and finally put up the white flag. “I think we all deserve a piece of happiness and if it’s with Philip then Max I’m absolutely happy for you.”

Max rolled her eyes barely hearing Bliss’s words words as she made her way to the car she had other things she was worried about. She was so tired of having to deal with the Hunter thing now with her it was tiring. Philip was none of anyone’s business he wouldn’t like someone else looking into him let alone what she was looking into and she didn’t want Bliss or anyone else drug into it. She could handle it on her own and she didn’t need other people to help her with it, looking in her rearview mirror as she pulled out at Bliss she sped off putting the distance she needed between them so Bliss could butt her nose out of her business.


Rachel entered her parents home walking past the entryway she finally had a day off from Brenda and wanted to check in with her father. She had tried to put everything that her father had told her about Zerick Westwood to rest but something about it was still bothering her. Nothing added up as far as the story went that he helped get Walter elected. Not that working for Brenda was a peach or anything, her new boss was a bitch on wheels and sometimes she wondered she would regret leaving city hall to work for her. If her father was so insistent on moving on with Brenda and he wanted Brenda happy why would he help get Walter reelected. Why would some nobody from Paris care about Steven and Carla’s murder? Zerick and his wife wouldn’t of even been in town when they were murdered so why would they care?

She heard him in his office on a call to one of the judges in town she paused knowing how much he hated it when she would walk into his study an announced or uninvited. She waited until she heard some papers shuffle and then opened the door her father casting her a glance waving her inside. She had always been curious something her mother had always told her would do well in journalism. It was probably why she was so good at snooping when it came down to it and why she was able to do things for Brenda lately. Not to mention her connections went pretty far.

“Rachel sweetheart what can I do for you?” Gideon said hanging up with one of the officers that was casually keeping an eye on Ronan since his release.

He had so many things happening at the moment Jon was starting to go above him and he wasn’t sure he could have that in his department. Jon Harrison was a good cop but the moment he decided to go above him to DA Fraiser he knew that he needed to pull ranks. He was not one to like his authority being undermined with the department. It was rare for Rachel to visit him though, she was supposed to be at work with Brenda doing whatever Brenda had her doing. He had been happy that she had left city hall but still her passion had always been the news.

“I know that the case has to be weighing on you.” Rachel said seeing the look on her father’s face. “I won’t tell. Brenda gave me some time off today and I wanted to stop by and talk to you about something that has been bothering me.”

“Yes?” Gideon asked wondering how she was so good at knowing everything.

“It’s about you and Zerick Westwood. I don’t understand why you would be helping to get Walter elected? You are happy with Brenda wouldn’t you want her to sit in the mayor’s seat? Why would the Westwoods be so concerned about who get the mayor bid?” Rachel asked watching her father’s face knowing that this was part of what she had to do read him.

Gideon braced himself Rachel could never know the truth. Another problem in having Rachel as his daughter was the amount of digging she could do when pushed. He loved her dearly but she was not stupid, she was asking all the right questions. He sat down in the chair at his desk knowing he was masking her being able to read him. He folded his hands for a moment looking at her.

“The Westwoods had heard about Steven and Carla being murdered and wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be repeated in their neighborhood. Zerick made a very hefty donation to Walter’s campaign as a result and he wanted to make sure that given my relationship with Brenda, that there wouldn’t be contention between myself and how Walter would like to clean up the streets. Of course I wanted Brenda to win but I also knew from the moment she put her name in the circle she didn’t have the power needed to win.” Gideon said watching Rachel take in his statement that was true. The last part Brenda had lost her biggest tie to the current setting governor when her niece was caught in that affair with Lex. “Walter always had the higher ups in his pocket this race.”

Rachel looked at him realizing that he could be telling the truth now that she asked his explanation made a lot of sense. She leaned back in her chair nodding her head at him accepting his answer for now. She did have to ask about Ronan though. “Was he concerned about Ronan? Are you concerned about Ronan? Did you not want Brenda to win because of Brooke and Ronan? I can tell you she didn’t want Brooke with him either.”

“You know I can’t talk about an active case with you Rachel. I am concerned with Kendrick on the streets I don’t want you going to visit Yasmine anymore. I know you two used to be close but she is not who you should be spending your time with anymore.” Gideon said looking at her and taking a sigh trying to not be who he was the police commissioner at the moment but a father. He got up from his desk to walk to her squeezing her shoulder. “Your lives are on two different paths is all I can tell you Rachel. No I didn’t want to put Brenda in the position with Brooke to cause more pain. You should be more worried and concerned about your career and the things you will be doing for Brenda. The places you can go now.”

Rachel knew better than to press further and logically the answers he was giving her made all the sense in the world. She nodded her head at him the work from Brenda was exhausting to say the least but challenging too. Brenda would be opening up many doors for her career and her future and she was looking forward to that. A bright and shiny future as Brenda’s right hand at the hotel. She knew her dad was right about Yasmine she felt dumb enough when she and Jamal had bumped into her. Not to mention she had heard Yasmine was stripping at the club meaning she was heavily involved in that shit with the Feds, the cops and Jamal. Her and Jamal though he seemed like he wanted to give them a shot and she had overheard that Kyan Locke had intervened on his behalf.

“I gotta get back to work daddy but I’ll keep my distance from Yasmine. I promise.” Rachel said getting up from the chair to kiss her father’s cheek before walking to the door. She paused for a moment in the doorway watching him pick up his phone to go back to police business. He was right she needed to focus on her new career wtih Brenda leave the silly questions about the Westwoods behind.

Gideon watched her go wondering if she had caught onto anything with Zerick, he had nearly gave everything away the other night at the election party. He took a breath as she closed the door and opened up the file in front of him. Someone was working against him and he would getting to the bottom of it. Right now though he had other things he was worried about such as Kendrick and his growing power. Hopefully his department could get what they needed and soon that would lead to the end of it for Ronan Madden. Jon’s little stunt with Braden though had put that into jeopardy they couldn’t haul him in twice for the same crime, so now it was strictly up to the undercover investigation. Meaning that KC’s widow had the hardest job of them all making sure that she could tie Ronan to the club, Kendrick and the drugs.

Pouring himself a scotch on the rocks he looked at the picture of Rachel on his desk, reaching for the phone. He couldn’t think of that right now though he had work to do dialing the number that he needed.


Scarlett made her way through the cemetery it has been a long time since she’d been here. Perhaps a bit too long everything had been so jumbled the last few months. Now with a baby on the way though it made sense for her to come penance she supposed. Her mother was off on one of her trips and she had considered going only she knew that she had to stick around Atlas Falls. Zach was finally coming around to the idea that they were going to be having a baby together and she had to play her cards right. She would have preferred to be with her mother in the islands and the sun but appearances had to be kept. She had to stay behind and make sure that things went how they needed. Sacrifices she reminded herself that was what she was doing.

Part of the reason she had always avoided coming what did her sister know about sacrifices? Nothing that was the bitter truth Veronica knew nothing about sacrifice. Her sister knew how to debutante around, sleep around, act perfect but she never knew the word sacrifice. No that would fall to her out of their family, fall on her shoulders now. She envied Veronica sometimes in that way how she got everything handed to her, how her parents adored her while she was alive, how men fell at her feet. That was something else that pissed her off that her parents were just going to let her sister marry Philip, no one knew the real Veronica how much of a bitch she was. Though bitch was too nice of a word in her opinion, she wouldn’t think of the other word she wanted to use since it seemed heartless to speak that way of the dea. When she reached the tombstone she looked at the grave brushing some of the fresh snow off the engraving.

“Mother wanted me to come see you. Though I still don’t see why it wasn’t like we were all that close. I suppose she didn’t want you to be lonely.” Scarlett said rubbing her belly as he felt the baby move. A small smile spread on her face as she then glared at the grave. “Your niece or nephew will be glad to not have met you by the way. I couldn’t imagine what a disaster that would have been dear older sister. Have you heard the latest from dear Philip?”

She paused for a moment knowing that her sister was dead but it felt like she could release here all that resentment that she had buried for Veronica. How her sister treated her with her so called friends. Friends that now that Veronica was gone had no problem fucking her former fiance.

“He probably didn’t did you know that after you were gone he was out fucking all those whores at his club? Into some pretty dark shit. But you haven’t heard the best part you know that best friend of yours the one you told all your dirty and dark secrets too? He started fucking her too. Your oh so noble and in love with Philip began fucking Max.” She paused letting out a laugh no one could hear her here in the quiet of the cemetery “Who knew that Max was panting after him all those years where you were her best friend. Hunter of course finally learned what a backstabbing bitch she was just like everyone would have found out about you too.”

“The baby is healthy though mother says that is good that we have no reason to worry about that. It’s Zach’s you know, he couldn’t even stay faithful to his gay lover. You see dear sister I am doing what you have never been able to do. Help our parents in the way they need and this baby is perfect way to do that.” Scarlett placed the roses down on the grave a sentimental gesture from her mother. If it was up to her she would have visited the grave empty handed. “I hope it’s a boy honestly a girl given our trajectory in this family would be terrible.”

The wind picked up just a little more and she wrapped the coat around her a bit tighter thank god for pregnancy clothing. Not that they were flattering most of the time but it didn’t mean that her fashion sense had to stall either in fact it was more fashion forward. Appearances still meant everything to her and their family at the end of the day and she knew people that could get her the best wardrobe. She pulled the hair back from her face wondering why she didn’t bother with pulling it back and out of her face to begin with. With the wind whipping her hair around she would need to redo it again. She felt a chill run down her spine to turn around and make sure no one was watching her, it was the photos they were screwing with her head. Shaking the thought out she then looked back at the headstone.

“I wish things would have been different for us.” Scarlett said quietly trying not to think about the past too much between them at the moment. She was going to say more until her phone rang making her jump and then she swiped her finger. “Hello?”

“Hello Scarlett.” A modulated voice spoke. “Don’t you look beautiful that pregnancy is doing wonders. I have to say white isn’t your color though. Nothing is angelic about you. Matter fact the duty of people like me is to challenge your corruption. You think that people don’t know your family’s dark secrets. How many times did Mr. Nichols slip in you and Veronica room? Your silence speaks volumes that you know I know. I know you murdered Veronica for your perfect image. She was going to say something wasn’t she Scar? You’re seriously screwed up you murdered your sister to protect the very man who poisoned you. Was it worth it Scar? Was it worth Veronica life my dear Scarlett? You have no idea when I’m going to reveal it to everyone. How and when I’m going to drop all the proof of what you did and why.” A laugh came out of the voice.

As he watched a funeral turning into the cemetery. The rental car followed the procession of cars as he saw her looking around. A smile etched into Philip’s face. Even while he slept he saw Veronica being drowned by Scarlett. It was merely a week after Veronica death he heard Scarlett and Helen. Plotting how to make sure there secrets stayed buried. Something snapped in him and all the darkness burst out of him. He was Forbes fucking Montgomery son and Philip developed a plan. A plan to guilt Scarlett into the truth and if she didn’t ever confess in the time frame he wanted. Philip was going to kill the bitch with his bare hands.

“Your father raped you too Scarlett and soon everyone will know. DGI will fire him and you’ll lose all of your hard fought social standards. Everything you want will be destroyed do you understand that? I’m going to make sure I’m going to rip that baby out of your womb and give it to all the fake Fraiser’s. What a sweet revenge soon enough dear Scarlett.” Philip said with the vocal modulizer turning his voice into a much more menacing and powerful weapon. He laughed and it sounded evil. How Philip enjoyed watching her squirm looking around in a panic. Getting out of the car he followed the droves of people mourning some lost life. Tonight she’d fear how much he knew. From now she’d sleep knowing at any point of her life everything would be taken. “Are you ready for a game Scarlett?” Philip asked as he shook out of rage.

Scarlett could feel her hand shaking as the caller spoke as she twirled trying to see through the cemetery where they were. How did they know about her father no one knew about him it was why she and her sister fought that day. The lies she was going to spread about their family  or were they lies sometimes she wasn’t sure anymore it had all become so blurred. She felt her heart racing in fear at all of it at the treat to expose what she had done and worse to rip her baby away from her and to Zach’s family. That would never happen and she scanned the crowd once more knowing once the call was over she would report them to the police again.

“Let’s play your game then you have hearsay no one will believe you about my father no one. You have no witnesses nothing to back your claim up. I can tell you what the police do have every note you’ve sent, every picture you developed and shipped to me they have the Feds looking into it. Scarlett bit out our voice wavering just slightly before she pulled it back in. Who did the sick fuck think they were? “You’re a coward you know if you want to play tell me who you are better yet show me. Try me I assure you you aren’t going to win and my child will never and I mean never be raised by those people Zach holds dear you see Zach would. Never turn on me I’m carting his child and my mother would die before she let them have it either. I think you’re the one who’s afraid because deep down you obviously think you know what I am capable of. If you weren’t you’d show yourself.”

“Is that what you think my dear Scar? Did you know Veronica kept very detailed diaries don’t you. I can read excerpts or possibly put them on the internet one by one. My favorite is the one where she found your father fucking you senseless and she grabbed the lamp and bashed him in the head. You know how you lost your virginity? I have proof and it’s all in her handwriting. Yet dear Scarlett you forgot one major thing don’t you? You hid those pictures from the police the one where you are coming home a few months all bloody and bruised. The best part of that day was where you were coming from.” Philip said as the wind cut against his skin. Going down his pictures he sent her the picture of her leaving Dante and Zach’s apartment the night of his death.

“I know what you did last summer.” He laughed as he paced in the grass. “Tell me Scarlett do you want to police to see this? To see you killed Dante and it’s all over bitch. Check and mate. Now wait and wonder when I’m going to fucking disrupt everything you’ve built.” Philip hung up the phone immediately.

Scarlett closed her eyes and took a few breaths that never happened she lost her virginity to a boy in her class. She heard the phone go dead and she looked around the cemetery she could feel an anxiety attack coming on and swiped her fingers over her phone sending a text to her mother, the diaries. Someone had her sister’s diaries something that her mother told her were safe at the house no one had them. She willed herself to calm down taking out her car keys as she walked to her car sending the text and looking over her shoulder the entire way there.

Someone has Veronica’s dairies mother.


Jackson had been pacing back and forth waiting to see Dani. SandStar was becoming a problem the gossip column spotted Natasha with his charming elder brother Chauncey. Whatever the case he was annoyed that all Dani and his work was starting to look like Chauncey’s deal. As he sat down at the table he saw her getting off the elevator. She looked just as nervous as he was. The truth was beside all of appointments they really weren’t speaking. He’d crossed a line and gaining trust would be so hard to do. Biting his lip he opened the door for her as she walked in. “Good morning.” He mumbled taking a seat as he looked at her eyes. Those beautiful eyes which were hurting because he wasn’t understanding. “Can we speak before we discuss how to handle SandStar? My entire life I’ve always been self destructive. In a time when I have the woman of my dreams and find out I’m having a family. A family that I need to be the man I promised myself I’d never be. I used to look up to my father’s legacy. I thought it was exactly what I should aspire to be. I am responsible for my own actions and I can’t. I can’t say how sorry I am.”

Jackson helped her sit down and knew that he needed to say what he felt. “I felt betrayed earlier and I guess that must of affected my senses. I was a ass and if you can just talk to me more than about the baby we can get past this. I know it. I know we can find our way back Dani you miss me. I miss you and I was a ass. You were wrong about not telling me about the kid. I was wrong for lashing out because I’m not Lowell. I’m Lowell’s son who has a conscious and one who loves you. I miss you so much because without you I’m not anything. I’m losing my mind and it’s drifting darker and darker. I..I..I I’m thinking of using because I don’t have anything anymore. The apartment is so silent.” He placed his head down. “Dani I need you.”

Dani had put on a good front ever since that awful dinner at her brother’s, she even took a few vacation days to hang out alone at the family cabin with Zach and Kelsey. She needed it and when she came back it felt like her anger had subsided enough stepping off the elevator she looked at Jackson, they still weren’t talking. It was cordial and civil, not to mention awkward business went on while it felt they kept drifting further apart. It wasn’t that she didn’t want him back she did, but she wasn’t going to be treated like that ever again. “Thanks.” She offered when he pulled out her chair. Her dress felt tighter than normal and she wondered if he noticed, the morning sickness had stopped finally. “I don’t think we need to handle SandStar you did great at the press conference earlier. No one believes that you didn’t broker the deal Talia made sure of that when she had the questions that you and Natasha took. I booked an appointment finally I know that doesn’t make sense but I wanted to wait.” Her voice drifted off not wanting to get into the shit with Lex again at the office with him.

“You didn’t even let me explain and the way you looked at me like I suddenly meant nothing to you before you walked out hurt, that hurt worse than anything Lex ever did to me. I would never cut you out of our child’s life even if that is exactly what my father thinks I should do.” Dani said quietly not wanting to fight with him about it anymore. Hearing how sad he was though, how depressed he was her heart ached to be with him. To ease those fears for him, to be that rock for him again to get what they had back again. “I’m not going to because I don’t believe you’d ever be your dad to our child. Despite me not telling you how I wanted you have to believe me I had every intention of telling you. I’m sorry I didn’t sooner. This has been hard on me too.” Taking out her appointment time from her phone she texted it to him.

Jackson got down on his knee and took her hands as his eyes watered. “You know how hard it’s been? Do you? I was so stupid and I was angry with you. I didn’t know how to consider what you were doing. Sometimes I explode like Chauncey or my father, and it’s disgusting. Anger is a fuel for Devonshires and we have tempers bad tempers. I cried yesterday thinking if Walter turned you against me what would I do? I know you would have told me but were you scared Dani? If I have given you a reason to think I wouldn’t be supportive or relapse? I just think that I’m in love with you and our baby. Us having a child man that is what makes me feel alive. It makes me want to be alive even more and go harder for us.” Touching the curls of her hair he saw that he had to make it right. “Dani you and this kid. This child is the future and our future is bright kid. I love you Dani I’m a ass.”

Jackson folded his arms around Dani slowly kissing her lips. “I’m sorry Dani and Talia said that  you had a hard time at the party. Look I want to tell you how much I love you and I’m sorry I wasn’t their to face Walter with you. The point is that I want to fix our trust issues. I want to make sure that we are solid and if I have to go back to rehab to prove it. I will go back for you. I have broken the trust and it seems like I’m breaking us right now. Dani I looked at you with heartbreak. I thought that one day you’d wake up and you’d believe I was nothing. I was the biggest mistake but you don’t.” He stopped biting down on his lip. “I thought that because you wouldn’t tell me what was going on. I was going to lose you. I’m insecure about this you’re the first that I ever loved.” Jackson burst out laughing as he wiped a tear from his face and then laughed. “Kid you have two deeply damaged parents but we love you and we’re fighting to get this right for you and us. For us right now but you are us.” Taking her hand he kissed her hand. “Forgive me.”

Dani looked at him the fight happened it shouldn’t have but it obviously did and even now she wasn’t sure she wanted to get into everything about Lex again with him. She didn’t know how to bring it up to him, how to tell him and then not to mention her issues she was having. They weren’t his fault  She honestly didn’t peg him as insecure either about how she felt about him. The pregnancy had literally thrown her for a loop, she was diligent minus that week that Dante died and even then she thought she had taken her pills like she was supposed to incase she missed. In the end it was her fault and that was why she pushed off telling him until reality sat in and she had to face that. She didn’t want him resenting her for it as stupid and as silly as that sounded now in her head.

“Everything happened to fast and I thought I was on top of stuff especially when it came to my body. Dante died, you moved in and then I just wanted to wait to make sure everything was alright before I told you. Then you had to bring up us making love like it was the worst thing in the world when I was pregnant. Like you were disgusted at the thought or something…” Dani began only to stop when her office door opened and her secretary stood there out of breath while her father looked between them. “What the hell?”

“He didn’t have an appointment Ms. Fraiser and before I could call you to tell you he brushed past my desk.”

“I shouldn’t need an appointment to see my very own daughter now should I?” Walter said looking between Dani and Jackson he shot a glare at the secretary.

He then saw Dani nod her head at the poor girl before she scrambled out. Honestly he didn’t care if he’d interrupted them he was in the doghouse since family dinner night with everyone. He hadn’t chosen his words very well with her that night, anger had gotten the better of him but he wanted her to think about her options all of them before committing to something that could tie her to Lowell and Jackson forever. He saw her pull back from Jackson and a small sense of satisfaction seeped into his bones. He waited for a few moments before he spoke again.

“I’d like to speak to my daughter alone Jackson. Don’t you have somewhere else you can be? The club perhaps or somewhere else?” Walter said firmly.

“I’m where I am supposed to be don’t you have a city to run?” Jackson retorted back at Walter. “With the crime rate you’d think you’d be anywhere else but disappointing your daughter. However I’m not rude as you are so I’ll be seeing Dani very soon unfortunately I think you might not. Call me when you can’t take anymore of his shit.” Walking out he bumped directly into Walter he heard what he said at that party. Looking back at Dani he felt a lump in his throat. “I’ll see you and Peanut soon.” Jackson walked out of the door as his cellphone rang.

“I don’t believe you have the balls to call me, you understand what you did to my brother?” Jackson said into the phone. “Alright I’ll listen. No Yasmine I won’t come to that fucking club in case you haven’t noticed my life is fucking falling apart. Yes I love my brother. Yes. I do look alright. Alright I’ll come to the club Yasmine. Just tell me what I can do to help you and Rory end this shit ok.” He hung up and walked to the elevator passing Natasha.

“Ms. Hassan you are looking quite at home at DGI. Oh is that insulting? You having dinner with Chauncey wasn’t unnoticed. I get your here to oversea us with SandStar but tread very lightly with my brother. My brother isn’t to be trifled with he’ll devour you. Spit you out and leave you with a broken heart.” He pressed button. “Stop it before it’s too late I mean look at your sisters in Chauncey. Logan dead, Selina married another man on his wedding day, and Greer wow you know Greer. Careful don’t be another notch on his belt.”

Dani glared at her father as Jackson left what in the hell could he possibly want? Sitting down behind her desk she gripped the pen in her hands if not she was pretty sure she was going to throw something at him. She watched as he went to the window looking at the view, it was his old office. When she’d taken the new position she had asked for it out of pride for her family name and partial spite towards Lowell. She saw her father’s lips curve upwards a bit recognizing the view .

“What do you want? I actually do work for a living and I don’t have time for another whatever it is you want to call your parenting skills.” Dani said, she was caught off guard when he spoke instead.

“It’s been years since I’ve see this view.” Walter said his voice quiet pausing for a moment point to where her now office sofa was. “When your brother was younger your mother would visit, we’d have lunch right over there.”

Turning around he faced her taking a seat in the leather chair across from her undoing his tie. He clasped his hands on his leg admiring her behind a desk he’d never really thought about it that way. She looked like she fit there taking a deep breath he cleared his throat. Seeing her eyebrows raise in annoyance something she got from her mother. Dani was very much so her mother in many ways that fight in her that Lauren had.

“I was harsher than I should have been the other night. You have choices Dani that was what I was trying to get across to you. You can keep the baby, you could give it up, you could not keep it. I wanted you to think about every possibility before you can’t anymore. Before it ties you to this family forever. I don’t want you making the same mistakes, trusting the same people I did to get hurt. He already hurt you once before he’ll do it again.” Walter said seeing her fuming at him.

“Exactly my choices. It’s not up to you or mom. It’s up to me and Jackson. He’s changed it was a huge misunderstanding. You would know that if you actually took the time to get to know him like I do.” Dani said standing firm with him was he really that dense.

“I know you said you didn’t want me to call Lex or Charles but I did. He loves you still, he’d even be willing to raise-” Walter began only to see the pen she was holding flying at his head.

“What the hell! Why would you even do that to me. I don’t love him. I don’t want him and I sure as hell wouldn’t want him anywhere near mine and Jackson’s kid. That is what you want for me to go back to the man that cheated on me? That treated me like garbage for a whore he was having an affair with? For what this time you and Charles to get re-elected.” Dani said standing up and hearing her own voice raise and honestly she wasn’t sure if people in the office heard and she didn’t care.

“No I want you to forgive him for what happened with the two of you. Lord knows if you can forgive Lowell’s son for treating you like trash when he found out you were pregnant you can do the same for Lex. If you don’t it will tear at you, you will become me don’t you understand that? I don’t want you to be me, believing in a fairytale with Lowell’s son that will never happen.” Walter shot back looking at her shaking her head at him. He stood firm on that he never forgave Brenda for what happened between them all those years ago. In turn he took that out on Lauren and chose to stay with her to make amends.

“I hate him for what he put me through. I don’t hate Jackson and he’s nothing and I mean nothing like Lex is. He’d never do what Lex did to me.” Dani seethed glaring at him, she still wasn’t sure about that given how Jackson had reacted when he found out. The whole entire sex thing but she wanted to believe it deep down and desperately but her father never had to know that. “Now get out of my office.”

Walter got up from his chair picking up the pen from the floor a sadness on his face as he looked at her digging her heels in with him. He knew how the Devonshire men were they liked their ladies. He knew what she had went through with Lex but he also knew Lex had been hurting too even if he tried to hide it behind Maggie. Placing the pen down on her desk he leaned down kissing her cheek seeing her fight back tears with him.

“Please call your mother she is worried about you. I’m sorry for what I said the other night. You’re still my little girl and I don’t want to see you make my mistakes all over again.” Walter finished stepping back from her he walked out the office ignoring the stares he was getting as he walked to the elevator.

Dani watched him pick up the pen her hand shaking as she bit back tears why couldn’t he just ever be a supportive parent. Instead of trying to control her life every step of the way when she didn’t want or need his interference. She sat down numbly in her chair watching the view out the window her mind wandering in a million different directions. What if Jackson did hurt her again she wasn’t sure she could handle that again it already felt like she was spiraling. Closing her eyes she wiped the tears away placing her hand on her stomach she had to believe he wouldn’t if anything for their child this time.


Miranda moved through her parents house after helping her mom inside the kitchen getting dinner in the oven and kept a watchful eye on her cellphone. Yasmine’s texts had worried her about something going down at the club if she showed up it would be a huge red flag. It was not her night to dance meaning Kendrick could get suspicious why she was there if she showed up and she didn’t want that. He was already on edge with the security at the club and how he was operating with others, anything could tip him off. She was instead stuck hoping Yasmien would call her when her shift was done so she could get a clearer picture of what was going on. She saw Devin walking in from outside and wasn’t sure what to do about them it had been weird for months.

“I may have to go down to the club tonight. Yasmine is acting weird her texts tonight are starting to worry me. If I have to duck out please take Quinn home I don’t want her going home with Jon as long as he is with Skye.” Miranda said looking at Devin who shot her a glare and she wanted to roll her eyes. Merci and Skye were still friends and as far as she was concerned she didn’t want either of them around Quinn more than they had to be. “I swear if you are going to defend that woman and her best friend to me right now I don’t even know you anymore Devin. You can be friends with whoever you want but I don’t want them around my daughter.”

Devin looked at her annoyed if that was the way to put it with him. Her attitude hadn’t changed about Merci or Skye since that day and he was starting to wonder if it ever would. It also was painful to him in the way she claimed Quinn they’d been together for a while and it hurt that she didn’t equate him in decisions with Quin. He wasn’t Quinn’s father he knew that no one could ever be KC to Quinn but he thought that if he and Miranda were going to evolve and move forward as a couple he would be at least stepfather with choices too. Instead not wanting to fight with her about Merci or Skye he focused in on the club. He was tired of her being there honestly, it consumed her when she wasn’t being a mother to Quinn and their relationship had taken a backseat to that.

“Do whatever you need at the club Miranda you normally do anyway. You don’t have to go in that is the whole point of the FBI in on the sting and helping us out. Your brother is stating Skye he made that pretty clear when he brought her tonight and your mother about threw up. You can’t hate her forever.” Devin said exasperated and tired with her it seemed like all they did now was fight. Which he supposed that was not supposed to be what a relationship was all about anymore. “I miss us being civil and actually having a relationship instead of fighting over some jealously that is not there.”

“Of course not it’s all in my head Devin the fact she was lusting after you and you were encouraging it. You know how important the case is to me about putting him away. As for Jon I really can’t even imagine why he’d bring her here after all that shit she put him through the last one or why Cassie isn’t here.” Miranda said folding her arms at him wondering if he was right if they were just not going to work. Tapping her foot for a moment she went to speak again only to see Jon step in behind him. “Good you’re here too. Why in the hell did you bring her here?”

“Devin here thinks I’m in some conspiracy theory about having it out for poor Merci and poor Skye when she ruined our life the last time. Better even why in the world would you go and let Ronan out of jail?” Miranda asked not sure when the anger at Jon seeped in but she knew it was rooted in her rage for Ronan. For everything that he took from her and Jon was supposed to have her back he was her brother. “You are supposed to have my back and your nieces. Instead you’ve gone blind to Skye again and it’s costing me watching Ronan walk free.”

“How about you calm down and talk me like fucking adult. Not like I’m Quinn or some person on the damn street. I didn’t let Ronan wasn’t let go the man wasn’t guilty and if you want to get him like that then you aren’t any better than him.” Jon said completely frustrated with Miranda. Sometimes she could be just a brat and sometimes he wondered if she was really built for this work. How dark it could be and how revenge for KC blinded that girl. Folding his arms he looked at her not backing down. “When I get Ronan it’s going to be clean and I promise you that he’ll never squirm out of whatever he has done.” As he looked deeply at his sister. “I know your loss and you still have that pain but you won’t do this to Skye or me. You don’t get to lash out.”

As he looked over at Skye he wrapped his arm around her. “Listen my relationships wasn’t and isn’t any of your business. I don’t ask why you haven’t committed to Devin after years of KC being gone. I don’t jump in your business Miranda and I suggest you grow the hell up. I’m not going to deal with anymore disrespect from any of you. Mom, dad, you and anyone else so just don’t be disrespectful Miranda understand?”

“Calm down I a dear brother I’m just stating the facts. You could have just turned a blind eye to the shit with Ronan because heaven knows if he didn’t kill Steven or Carla but he sure as hell killed other people like KC or Benny Ruzzio. But no you had to play the noble card.” Miranda said shaking her head at him as she looked at Devin burning a hole into her. The worst part was the smirk on Skye’s face as Jon wrapped her up in his arms and she felt like throwing up. “For someone so noble you sure slipped back into her bed super quick after professing feelings for another woman. By the way Skye who are else are you fucking this time you should just let us all know now.”

“You wanna know why I haven’t committed to Devin maybe you should ask him about that he hasn’t asked instead he’s been so caught up in protecting Skye’s best friend Merci. You know the one that went after KC at a party she wasn’t even invited too? Or better yet how they keep running into each other all the time.” Miranda shot back at her brother she may of been acting like a child but it was warranted when both her brother and Devin were being idiots with those two women.  “Don’t lecture me about the job or respect when you brought her to mom and dad’s house after the scene she caused the other day at the cafe.”

Skye smirked at Miranda watching Jon railroad his sister a sense of satisfaction came over her at that, that he’d turn his own back on his sister. In truth she wanted Jon back in her life for a million reasons their past of course but maybe it was to stick it to Miranda even more. She looked at her nails as she stroked Jon’s back when Miranda brought up her past, she hadn’t started to sleep around on Jon this time she wasn’t planning on that as long as she got what she wanted this time. Her eyes grew wide when she brought up Cassie though that bitch was haunting everything between her and Jon ever since the cafe and she couldn’t ignore that, everyone loved Cassie for Jon.

“I must say Miranda Devin hasn’t been doing his job with you so uptight. If you really must know I’m not seeing anyone but Jon this time he knows that. I’m an open book you on the other hand men can only take so much paranoia before they’re gone.” Skye said shrugging her shoulders at Jon who looked pissed suddenly at her and Devin who seemed like he was pondering something hopefully about Merci. “Merci would love to hear from Devin I’m sure. As for Cassie the bitch was tugging your brother’s heart in like a million different directions and yet no one calls her out on that shit. He picked me maybe you should start dealing with that.”

Devin looked over at Jon what had Skye done in the cafe the other day that wasn’t something they had talked about. The part about him and Merci though was weighing on him heavily he felt drawn to her and maybe that was the cop thing Miranda had picked up on it. That was Miranda though smart and followed her gut a reason why she passed academy with flying colors and then went into the most dangerous department at work. To prove herself and test out those instincts on the street, it was what made her an asset to the VICE department. It was also dangerous and he or Jon or her parents were always worried about her safety or Quinn’s due to the cases she worked.

“Nothing is going on between me and Meci Skye. I didn’t know you felt that way Miranda.” Devin said the past of her statement hitting him she wanted him to make the move to a more committed relationship. He just figured for what was going on between them they were taking their time and now he felt suddenly torn in two he couldn’t commit now when they were in such a bad place or when Merci was on his mind. He also couldn’t just leave or he’d look like an asshole. He went to say more only for his phone to ring. “It’s my aunt shit I hope Jamal didn’t do anything stupid. I’ll be right back.” Devin stepped into the living room to take the call.

“You are such a bitch.” Jon said finally letting out years of anger with Merci. “First you went off and married a FBI agent not all of us. Your husband was careless and got killed that’s nobody here fault. I understand your grief Miranda but you don’t get it. You don’t get if we win by default it’s not even winning. This why I didn’t want you undercover because you can’t handle it. You are petulant and what makes it worse is that I have wonder if your life is alright. I hated you two together but now you’re treating him like shit because of his friend? You know whatever I don’t want be around any of you. Matterfact Miranda bring my niece around and when you start acting like less judgemental person I might speak to you again. I so sick of everyone telling me who I can be with and she’s right. Cassie yanked me around over and over again. I was hurting and Skye she knows what she wants. She wants me.”

It’s so scary how much they fought and how they fought. They were always close but if he could stop being angry that Devin and Miranda were dating she could about him and Skye. “Skye we’re out of here. I’m done with my sister. I didn’t like KC, I don’t approve of Devin but you God you can’t mouth closed. I’m sick of you and if you can’t respect my decisions in law enforcement and in my life you can go to hell. You hear me? Grow up Miranda because Quinn will be more mature than you. I think she has a better outlook on everything going on around her.”

Miranda shrugged her shoulders at the bitch comment so be it she’d rather be real with him than pretend him seeing Skye again was even remotely healthy for him. When he doubted her job though and her ability to do her job that hurt and she saw her parents coming towards the kitchen obviously hearing the fight. “You know what Jon bury your head in the sand with her if that makes you feel more comfortable. You and I both know that if Jackson was back on the market she’d be fucking him in the morning and you at night and vice versa. The only reason she wants you right now is because she can’t have the two of you at the same time and to stick it to Cassie. Isn’t it Skye.”

Miranda waited for her to answer and in her mind Skye’s silence was worth a thousand words that the woman couldn’t come up with. She glared at her brother as she grabbed her phone and brushed past her parents to go to the backyard to gather her thoughts. “I think the silence says everything doesn’t it. You want to see Quinn that’s fine but I need some air right now.” Pushing past her parents and brother she walked outside.

Skye looked at the ground when Miranda spoke about her past with her brother and Jackson. In truth had Jackson not kept rejecting her she would have fucked him again that was the truth, maybe not of done the drugs again but the man was a beast in the sheets. She wondered if that made her a terrible person and the knew one of the reasons she was with Jon was because of that Jackson didn’t bite again. She did care about Jon and she could tell Jon caught onto her silence about all of it again darting her eyes at him and then at his parents she spoke.

“Can you take me home? Please.” Skye said not really sure what she was supposed to say to him about everything. They had a past together but she wasn’t going to stand there and pretend that had Jackson offered that she wouldn’t of jumped back into bed with him too. “Dinner was really nice Mr. and Mrs. Harrison.”

“My pleasure, Skye. Thanks mom and I’ll call you dad.” He said grabbing Skye hand. “Don’t listen to her. I see you’ve changed and you want to make amends Skye.” Rushing out of the house passing his sister he didn’t even say bye to Quinn. As he slowly walked down his family stairs he turned around they hadn’t gotten into it like this in years. Since he first found out that KC was marrying his kid sister. Walking to the car he turned to her and said.“Skye I have to know one thing. I have to know if this is real because if this isn’t and I make a fool of myself. Man I’m going to hate you forever you hear me?”

“Don’t make a fool of me okay kid?” Unlocking the door he jumped into his car.


Jackie had the driver wait in the car as she looked at the Westwood estate door, no need to have him come it was just going to be a chat between them girls. It was all still so fake for her the entire timing of Greer and Zerick’s sudden arrival not to mention that her son was after her like a dog on a bitch in heat. Not on her watch it was bad enough that Chauncey was fucking Greer when he was with Selina and she nearly ruined any chances of Selina being a part of her granddaughter. She’d kill over before she let a bitch like Greer reel her son into her web with lies and whatever else she was trying to do. She’d seen her kind before come to town think that one of her sons was going to bend over and make her a Devonshire, leave their husband for the clout of the name not on her watch.

Knocking on the door she smiled at the maid. “I’m here to see Mrs. Westwood tell her it’s Jackie and no we don’t have an appointment.” Jackie said brushing past the maid to look around the foyer it had been ages since she’d been in the mansion that the Westwoods bought the decor was tasteful. She’d give Greer that she knew what she was doing with design and style but the rest? No everything about Greer screamed fake to her and despite others being dazzled by her especially Chauncey she was unphased. She heard the footsteps behind her and her eyes zoomed in on the wedding picture plastered on the fireplace. Where were the rest of the family photos. “I thought I’d stop by your maid was kind enough to let me in. I do hope you don’t mind?”

“Estrella will be handled immediately when we are done.” Greer said as ran her hand over her Herve Leger flesh tone dress. Twirling her finger around the tip of her fishtail braid. Looking over the ageless beauty Jackie was still flawless. She had seen this show before the matriarch throws around her weight and tries to attack with honey instead of vinegar. Understanding that this wasn’t a social visit. “I do hope your charity received the Westwood donation. Why I would love to be apart but on second thought it is a little pedestrian you know helping others.” Waving her hand into the dining room. Greer walked to the bar and grabbed two glasses. “Oh you will drink if I have to hear the veiled threats and passive aggressive insults. They tend to bore me.”

As she sat down on her exquisite leather couch crossing her legs she looked at him. Tilting her head with a coy smile. “So let’s skip the pleasantries and tell me exactly what do you want? I’m curious is this about what everyone thinks they know about Chauncey and myself? I mean shouldn’t you be asking your son about his sexual life? My I never thought you would have a Jacosta complex with Chauncey everyone would have thought it was Jackson.” Placing the drinks down she took a deep gulp of the vodka. “Cheers.”

“You fire the help for doing their job how noble of you. It’s nice to see you have claws at the very least I know that good little wife act was just that an act. Don’t looks so surprised Greer my husband and my son may be blind to that I’m not.” Jackie said looking for more evidence around the room no pictures of family anywhere. She was proud of hers so was Lowell pictures were always plastered all over the mansion. Shwe watched as Greer poured them drinks she would give the girl at least that she was unafraid of her. “Where exactly did you say you and Zerick were from again? Foreign I do believe was the story but suddenly you know all the players at the SandStar deal.”

Jackie stood she refused to sit to this little tart that went out of her way to lure her son to turn against his childhood friend and sweetheart in Selina. That made him become someone she didn’t recognize anymore she didn’t raise her son to be that way did she? “Everyone at DGI knows you’re his feast at the moment did you think that they’d actually take you seriously? It’s not a secret that everyone knows you’re fucking, I’m sorry was that too crass for you? You think my son loves you?” Jackie said seeing Greer’s  face at the implication. “You’re office gossip at this point did you think it would be anything more?”

“Office fodder is that supposed to hurt me?” She said laughing looking at Jackie. “I can fuck who I want considering me and my husband marriage is open. We have no secrets like how Talia is sniffing around my man. I’m not dumb and I didn’t say where we are from because quite frankly it’s none of your business love. You see you seem to think I’m some common gold digger but I’m a bitch that’s so much worse Jackie. I have my own money and I don’t need Chauncey for a thing. I want him because I want him. I’m your worst nightmare a bitch who just wants to take because I can. You’re all over here judging me thinking that you saying because I’m sexually free. My husband knows so now can we save the threatening me with Zerick.” Greer said as her posh London accent was perfect but she was becoming conspicuous on why Jackie sudden energy toward her past.

“See your old ideals of sex and love are mixed up. I don’t love your son he’s a phenomenal lover and I don’t plan on letting him go. So ask me if I give a damn about what you think my love?” Greer said narrowing her eyes. “Just so you know Estrella is getting fired because she should know this is a waste of my time. You are a waste of time if you think that I’m going to stop. Now if that’s all Ms. Devonshire you know where the door is.” Greer hissed looking at Jackie. “Trust me if I’m not worried about love I’m worried about my next move. Ibiza, Tiibet, Berlin or Rome because we won’t be here forever. So stop worrying it’s just sex, I won’t be your new daughter-in-law.”

“Office fodder should hurt a woman of your stature. It’s quite nasty in my opinion that your husband thinks that little of you that he’d share you with another man. Who said I’d threaten to tell Zerick? No my dear I don’t play by those rules. I’ll destroy you where it matters where society looks at you and trust me that is where everyone in this town looks.” Jackie said staring the girl down she honestly didn’t get the entire open marriage idea that was such a new fad nowdays. She was a traditionalist so sue her, she still believed in a strong marriage led to good things even if her and Lowell’s had strayed or strained a few times. Otherwise why even be married to someone if all you wanted to do was fuck around on them? “You know that charity that you wanted to start I’ll bury it before it even gets off the ground. I’m actually surprised Selina hasn’t yet buried you alive.”

“I know that a husband who loves his wife wouldn’t be open to having her sleep her way around a company nor would he do the same. I actually don’t think you will stop but I’m here to tell you to call off this silly little fuck fest as you call it with my son. You see you won’t be an influence in my granddaughter’s life ever. She loves her father and you no doubt are part of his web now.” Jackie said straightening her spine as she took a drink from the glass. She twirled the liquid in her glass around enjoying the moment for a bit longer. “Natasha and I had dinner the other night it was quite interesting watching her interact with my son he was enamored with her. The way he looked at her as more than just fuck buddies as you all call it now? You’ll never be a Devonshire my dear as long as I have a say in the matter. Now Natasha though I could see that happening that would upset you wouldn’t?”

When she brought up Natasha, Greer’s smile faded she hated losing to that bitch. It was something about Natasha that made her skin crawl. When they took over DGI she’d destroy SandStar for the hell of it. Just to destroy Natasha’s legacy rolling her eyes she felt the urge to snap that bitch neck. Jealousy was a powerful emotion and she was seeing red thinking of Jackie and Natasha have tea and cucumber sandwiches. Greer didn’t like that Jackie was making her feel insignificant in not just Chauncey world but her place in Atlas Falls. Gritting her teeth she knew she had to hit back just as classless. You see Jackie you simple society doyenne could make her life hard here for the remainder of time she was in power.

“You know your judgement rolls off your tongue with the sweetest condescending tone. I have to wonder would your husband have had so many affairs if you were open? He had a insatiable appiatite for women. Let’s see Tess has Bliss and rumors say they were fucking all along under your nose. But the most infamous affair he had was with Audrey right? She killed herself after she lost their baby and he left her for you. You see I’d rather my man have my back instead of stabbing me in the back. I mean how much could he trust and love you when he was fucking every socialite on the east coast. You aren’t special you the one who got knocked up first. Take a minute and think about it. I’m not game to play who the game of who can ruin who. I think I’m on another playing field Ms. Devonshire and I suggest you remember one thing. I wrapped your son around my finger and I’m not worried about Natasha or you. So it’s settled you have your perfect daughter-in-law and I’m going to always be the mistress. Just know I’m going to be around always I mean you saw what Lowell did to you and Tess.”

Jackie placed her drink down carefully years of hearing Audrey’s name had calmed her nerves. She was livid but only the inside knew on the outside she was rigid and cold. Little Ms. Westwood did just give her something though how did she know about the child? Very few did it was well covered up staff was paid or taken care of friends that knew kept their mouths shut if they wanted in their circle and at DGI. Where Greer got it all wrong though Lowell did love her despite his transgressions. The kids were too young to remember him nearly leaving her but he came back because their family was the most important thing or so she had always thought.

“Lowell would have because power makes men become something else entirely. Sweetheart I never would have degraded myself or my name to cheat on my husband you see I had all the power when it came to a divorce if I wanted one I could have bankrupted him and taken DGI pushed him out. Lowell knew that.” Jackie said walking to Greer she reached out grabbing her shoulder squeezing tightly before leaning down to her ear. “However could you know about Audrey or her child?” Standing up again she let go of Greer’s shoulders putting on her gloves. “Chauncey will be done with you. He’ll likely marry a woman of good breeding that his father and I approve of and have children with that woman. You will be his whore on the side and in the end have nothing but your open marriage. If I were you I’d save myself the embarrassment of it all.”

Greer got up and walked to the entrance of the living room. “I think that you should leave now Jackie if you have any class left in your body. I mean you came into my house and insult me? Get out before I show exactly how disrespectful I can be.” Clicking her tongue she seethed as she walked to door. Looking at Estrella almost in tears her heart strings tugged. “It’s fine Estrella my mother was a maid also and she made it from a lowly woman to give birth to me. A very rich bitch and I don’t want a Devonshire penny. Just so you know some people love to watch fire. You want to know why? Eventually it’ll burn down everything in it’s way. Trust me Jackie when I say that where there’s smoke there’s a fire and I just love to watch things burn.” Knowing Jackie caught every bit of her metaphor. Chauncey was the fire and she was going to let him burn down DGI piece by piece. “By the way I’m from Cambridge dear but you should know that if you were apart of your husband business. He had us vetted months ago just ask Simon.”

Opening the door she extended her arm so that she got the picture. “This has been enlightening to see you at such a high and mighty place. This is the Jackie people told me to fear. In fact I liked this chat now we know where we stand. You want to destroy me if I don’t stop screwing your son. I’m bored now I plan on spending a lot of my husband’s money today so if you don’t mind. Get the fuck out of my house.” Raising her eyebrow she put on her biggest bitch face showing she wasn’t going to back down. Not only that she’d make that bitch eat crow. If Zerick wouldn’t love her then she’d make Jackie’s son love her. Even more so than ever she was interested in Chauncey to wreck Jackie’s perfect dream and make Zerick a broken hearted little man.

Jackie made her say to the door her head held straight ahead her back poised this would be quite the match. She’d thrown out lesser women when they tried to ruin the family name order a piece of the fortune Zerick’s wife wouldn’t be the last. There was the nurse at the hospital last year, she and Lowell had made both Esme and Skye leave. She waved to her driver she was ready to be picked up while Estrella went to gather her coat a gleam came into her eyes for a bit at Greer’s declaration of the vetting that Simon did little did she know that Simon ultimately worked for the family. She knew nothing of his trip with Talia back to England where more questions than answers arose.

“I’m so glad we got to chat my dear. Estrella thank you for my coat I am actually looking to fill a position at my house. I was hoping you could stop by later I would love to discuss that proposition.” Jackie said watching Greer rage with anger at the suggestion while she shrugged her shoulders. “Like I did encourage you earlier just stop the embarrassment my dear we both know you’re not really who you say you are. You see a little bird told me he had quite the trip back to England. You were just too busy fucking my son to notice he was gone doing that vetting.” She walked down the steps pausing to look at Greer one last time. “By the way did you really think I’d let you dismantle my son without me knowing? Mothers will do anything for their children Greer don’t play with one.” Leaving the girl stewing on the porch she got in the car instructing the driver to take her back to the estate.

Greer eyes glazed eyes over as she shook her head in rage. Pulling out her phone she quickly got on her phone. “Zerick call me immediately I think that trip Talia and Simon was about us. I’m sure of it. Bye.” Slamming her door she turned around and looked at Estrella. “I’m doubling your salary suck it up.” Greer stormed upstairs knowing Jackie was about to be a problem. One more problem she didn’t need. One person she knew how to handle this was her father. “Dad we have a problem Jacqueline.”


“This is pretty twisted for you Hunter.” Thor said looking at his friend who was standing on a cliff  near the outskirts of Atlas Falls. The city looked incredible honestly it was beginning to be covered with a light coat of snow. The wind was howling and the roads were about to begin to be icy. The shadows seemed to play against Hunter he didn’t look like himself. Folding his arms he looked at Hunter. “It’s been a long time and considering you don’t reach out to me I was  shocked. Look I know that you’ve been going through some shit with you being a sister-lover but a gun Hunter? What in the world could a preppy guy who works at city hall need with a gun with no serial numbers on it?”

Thor remembered at one point Hunter and he were best friends. They played lacrosse together and basically had each other backs. When someone would say something about his parents or where the money came from. Hunter was quick to shut down his haters and that was a debt that he’d always repay. “I deal with shit on the daily and I don’t need a gun in my personal life. So tell me what the hell is going on Hunter? I don’t want you going down my path and a gun like this will get you right there.” Thor leaned on the car as he pulled out a black box inside was .45 Magnum with a chrome metal. “I got it upgraded for you. I thought what ever you were in you could look good popping they ass.”

Hunter had made the call after talking with both Bliss and Max earlier today something was going on and he wasn’t a complete asshole when it came to Max. Sure she had cheated on him with Philip, he got that she wanted her fun but she sounded scared earlier when they spoke, spooked. Bliss had then reconfirmed that for him and despite shit ending bad between him and Max he did want to protect her. Chivalry was far from dead as far as he was concerned and the only way he knew how to protect Max and or defend her from Philip was a call to Thor. It wasn’t like they were super close friends he distanced himself from the mafia quite a bit once he was aware what Thor was in. On the other hand he knew he had to get an unregistered and filed off serial number.

“I think it’s better for both of us if you just guess on the gun all I can tell you is that someone that I care about is in trouble. It’s more for show of power than anything I don’t actually plan on using it and if city hall ever got wind of this I don’t want them tracing it back to you.” Hunter said quietly as he looked at the gun he’d shot a shotgun a few times, knew how to load a handgun though he was never much of a fan. His father collected guns and he knew how to do the whole pull and shoot thing with a shotgun. Taking the gun in his hand it felt like a foreign object honestly. “I don’t try and butt my nose in with the business but you should know that Walter is still trying to keep your brother out of the casino deal. Since he named you in charge of his legal assets for now I wanted to let you know.”

Thor chuckled a little as Hunter dropped the dime on Walter telling information that he surely needed to know. You see even when his big brother reclaimed his legal assets he’d have a piece of his casino. Thor knew a very logical way was to merge Ronan’s construction companies with his very own. Call it monopoly but he was medicating what this fucking city would need. Atlas Falls had a rural section, a suburbs, but down fucking town. That was where the money was this city was about to explode. Fuck Walter wasn’t stopping that and making sure he was connected to his brother forever. Thor put a placement on protecting Kendrick from looting his fund. That hoodlum would of have destroy Ronan pockets.

“Look don’t pull that out unless you know how to use it.” Thor warned as he smiled looking at Hunter ready to go to war. “Max huh? You know if I had it my way you’d never gotten her. Since the day you were born you two were supposed to be together. Now look at you two it’s ironic considering how happy you seem with this Bliss chick. Max couldn’t be happy to be the apple of daddy eye no longer. As for the casino I’m not going to let Walter ruin that even if I have to grease palms to get in the way of his petty vendetta. The revenue of that casino could change everything.” As he leaned up against his car.  “Hunter man I have a question. I lost a lot of people when I choose to follow my parent’s lifestyle. Would you give up your legacy for love hypothetically?”

“I don’t plan on pulling it unless I have too which I am hoping I don’t. Max may of been a bitch with what happened between us but I can’t just ignore that I did at one point love and care about her. I figure you would at least understand that given what you and Cassie have been through.” Hunter said still eyeing the gun he couldn’t get what people saw in guns sometimes and even holding it now it felt like a foreign object to him one he was going to forget he got as soon he found out what was spooking his ex. He rubbed his foot in the dirt knowing Cassie was probably a sore subject given her very public rejection at the fundraiser. “I’m sorry about that man you really seemed like you wanted to marry her. Hopefully you were both able to remain friends afterwards.”

Hunter knew talking about the casino deal was risky especially when it came to Thor and Ronan but Walter as he had learned was being insane about it from an economic standpoint. Not that he stood in the way thanks to DGI going over his head and straight to the Governor and others but the man was fucking stubborn. He nodded his head at Thor when he mentioned giving up legacy for love he supposed he already had. “I don’t think Walter will that much be in the way of the casino. Lowell’s kinda took care of all of that behind his back not a lot he can do other than push the opening back. As for my legacy and love I think I already did. My parents expected me to stay married to Max and have heirs with her to pass down my name with their blood. I then picked her half sister so I’d say if you love the woman, she’s worth more than legacy.”

“You know she called me the first time in a very long time. I just want to scream out loud considering she left me for Jon. That’s the funny thing she was sniffing around Jon actually and  I was in the middle of this feud with my brother. It was too much but Jon cheated. The noble good guy broke her heart after all that shit about me being a bad guy. I never wanted this business but I knew that it was my destiny you know? I knew it was what I had to do when my mom died.” He stopped as he looked at Hunter. “But I love her more than I can breathe sometimes you know? I think about Cassie all the time. I love her so much and I know she will be the best thing that ever happened to me. It sucks because she doesn’t see me like that.” Thor laughed looking at Hunter.

“I’m not worried, I have to say I miss your father he was absolutely understanding about the underbelly of Atlas Falls. Look one thing I hate is a hypocrite and your father was a man of the people. He was able to see what people couldn’t before him. After all we all have seen that good is a relative thing. That gun is for protection and you are doing a good thing Hunter. Protect her from Philip considering how scandalous and he is it doesn’t surprise me if she’s breaking it off. Well he’d hurt her and trust me men would be pissed to lose Max.” He said folded his arms looking at his friend. “I’m going to get her back but her pride is hurt Skye stole Jon.”

Hunter listened to him about Cassie calling him he supposed that was a difference between her and Max, Max never called or really cared until the divorce papers. By then it was too late for any of it, he didn’t know about the feud with Ronan he had assumed and honestly he didn’t want to know. That was mafia business something he wanted no part in for various reasons his sister was already in bed with Ronan. Which brought him back to the other reason he had reached out to Thor with Ronan getting shot with Brooke in the vicinity and the shit with Kendrick he hoped that Thor could help him with that. Not sabotage them or anything but perhaps he could put aside the feud to watch out for her and if something did happen convince Brooke it was for the best to leave his brother and the life Ronan lived behind.

“My father may have been an utter scumbag to my mother with yours but he did understand that sometimes rules had to be broken when needed. I’m sure Cassie will come around you and I both know she’s more stubborn than not.” Hunter said looking at Thor and he only hoped that was true about her he had to smirk a bit at the thought of noble Jon Harrison being an asshole. It wasn’t normal for him to be so jackassy to a woman that was normally the upper crust brats like himself or Thor were to women it was kinda funny. “I do need to get going just in case someone could be watching and reporting back to city council or worse. I was hoping that I could ask you for one more favor? Brooke I was hoping that you would keep an eye on her for me and if things go bad with your brother get her out however you can.”

“Brooke is more than likely the safest person in Atlas Falls. It seems that Ronan has a secured a location for them and I’m sure my brother isn’t going to let anything happen to Princess Brookie. I will say after this week I’m brokering a deal with my brother to work together. After that I’m sure more of the east coast dons won’t be happy with that. That’s two very powerful families together. I’m saying that soon enough Brooke will be in the middle of a mob war. A much bigger war than Kendrick and my brother battling. We both know Kendrick is heading for a crash and burn and when he crashes I assure you others will be in town swooping in for the pickings, fucking vultures. Atlas Falls needs to buckle up because it’s about to get horrible.”

Thor knew that wasn’t what Hunter wanted to hear but they weren’t friends for nothing. He didn’t lie and wouldn’t lie. “Just so you know I’ll do whatever I can do I will help Brooke as much as I can. This life has a way of swallowing the good ones up and Ronan knows that. He’s playing happy now but your sister will be back dating Prince whatever his name is. One thing we saw growing up is if you love them you keep them far away. Thus me going to boarding school when I was younger and then coming back for my primary years. I’m going to hell but it won’t be from blood on my hands huh. I promise I’ll protect her okay.”

“Thanks man I never wanted her mixed up in this shit with your brother. My mother’s been trying to find some way out. Brooke’s being stubborn about it.” Hunter said tucking the fun in his coat pocket and putting his gloves back on as the winter cold began to whip on his hands. Looking at his watch he knew that he was late he was meeting Bliss to celebrate the purchase of her condo. “I gotta get going but I’ll let you know if I hear anything else on the casino.”

Hunter walked away from Thor in the alleyway a chill in his spine at everything that was happening. Especially the warning about the mob which Walter had turned a blind eye too trying to clean up his fathers messes. Everyone knew Kendrick was running things and the scary part was Kendrick was unpredictable not calculated. Stepping into his car he cast a glance one more time at Thor before pulling out.


Zach was eating lunch at his desk with case files everywhere. The first was Veronica Nichols and that was something that chilled him. Reading over the interviews Max Devonshire said that she witnessed Scarlett and Veronica arguing. It was something knotting up in his stomach to be honestly he was starting to worry. Who had he been fucking? Rumors always stated that Scarlett was jealous of Veronica but everyone was insinuating that she was involved in Veronica death. As he closed the file he wondered if something was missing. What was missing in this mix. As he looked over Dante’s file and autopsy report had come in. Dante didn’t die from the fall which what was expected. Dante died from a blocked airway obstruction. When he talked to the doctor they said it was more likely a woman. Due to the small size of the impression in Dante’s neck. Scarlett hated Veronica and she was dead. Scarlett hated Dante and he was dead. Was there a connection? Then it hit him someone was stalking Scarlett. One of the notes that they sent her said you know what you did.

Standing up he flipped over his desk. “No fucking way.” Zach shook his head no. When he saw Diego he followed him quickly into the back. “I need your help. Look I need an objective set of eyes because no matter where I look, I’m seeing the mother of my child not a suspect. I don’t believe she’s a suspect in my boyfriend death.” He looked down the look of anger on Diego face showed how pissed he was. “Man I cheated but I didn’t kill my boyfriend the man I love more than life itself. I was ruined and wanted to kill myself afterwards. I wanted to breath him and I still have his things all over my house. I still see him and smell his cologne on the furniture. So don’t look at me like that because no matter what I loved your brother. I loved him so much it still kills me he’s gone. He never knew that I hurt him. I hurt so much and I just wish that I could see him one last time.” Zach said letting it out releasing gut wrenching growl. “She’s angry and bitter not a murder so help me look at the facts.”

Diego walked into the police station looking at the board of his cousins murder and knowing that his boss back at the office were wanting him to close it and then focus in on the Madden case. He got where they were coming from but honestly his cousin’s murder was even more above his own prerogative with case order. Mafia always took precedent over designers that had questionable circumstances with their death. He still thought Jamal Delacroix had got the deal of a lifetime and the rest of the people involved in this mess. He had learned though that Jon Harrison and Braden Fraiser were at least fair and actually wanted to make chance to people like Yasmine Kohl’s life. He saw Zach getting upset and he took the case file going over it again in his head and on the pages. Scarlett had been his prime suspect for months. His anger at Zach had subsided since he’d been there, the cheating scandal that came out after his brother was gone had rocked him.

“Everything points to her with Dante. We’ve been over this you said they had run into each other a few times. You were fucking her. I know my brother he would have fought with her for you. The coroner said someone that was not a man’s frame or at least a small framed male applied the pressure to his neck. Do you know of any other small framed men that Dante would have had beef with? Another club goer or something?” Diego asked as much as he wanted to believe that his brother’s death didn’t have to do with Zach’s decisions evidence pointed to that being the case. He supposed that is what made him so angry at Zach his decisions hurt his family in the worst way possible when Dante died and it killed his parents. The entire family was in shock. “The only part I can’t figure out is the stalking she is apparently getting why go through the trouble of stalking yourself?”

“She isn’t.” He said biting his lip. Diego had so many valid points it was becoming hard to ignore. The baby didn’t deserve to be born into all of this madness. His entire stomach churned as he looked at picture of Dante and him on the ground. Leaning over he picked up the picture looking at it. “Diego in my opinion someone is punishing her trust me she can’t hide her fear. It gets under her skin, and when I say she’s disturbed. The messages all refer to her past and her being a liar. It’s very personal and I’m thinking that someone else knows something and we are behind. So let’s look at every message Scarlett has gotten and let’s decode the last few years of her life.”

Zach walked over to mess on the floor and his file on Scarlett. The proceeded to head to evidence. One thing Mason did was preserve the evidence when Scarlett got all her gifts. He pulled out a old photo of Scarlett she wasn’t attractive as Veronica then. It was shortly after her return from Europe when Veronica died she became the stunner. Something happened right around that period that made her feel like she could compete with the Max’s and Brooke’s of the world. “We hooked up like a year into Dante and my relationship. So I think if we find out who is stalking Scarlett we uncover why she killed Dante. That’s my theory because they obviously know that she did something. We just need the right clues and we can finally get peace for Dante. Even if that means sending the mother of my child to jail.”

Diego wondered who Zach was trying to convince that Scarlett was not who they should be questioning himself or the rest of the police force. He honestly felt kinda bad for Zach if he’d been played by Scarlett’s schemes but some of the case was not adding up the stalking being the biggest one. He’s seen crazy before and worked on a few cases where some were really delusional but he had never heard of someone desperate enough to fake stalk themselves to cover up a larger crime. The most he could do was to look over the evidence in front of them and see what the stalking was showing them to help Zach heal and maybe uncover what they needed about Scarlett as well to pin her Dante’s murder. Nothing about his brother’s death made sense if he had no other enemies but her.

“Ok let’s look at what we do know we know that the stalking started before or after Dante’s murder? Which in her statement it looks like she says it started before the murder.” Diego asked looking at some notes as he went over to a whiteboard and cleared it. Sometimes what a case needed he knew was a fresh set of eyes and that could be what Zach was missing. He handed the file back to Zach as he made some marks on the board. “Let’s go through incident by incident in chronological order then start from the beginning when she first reported it to you. I know we aren’t close but I loved my brother my parents may not of approved of his lifestyle choice but they do want closure to his death. He deserved way more than you having an affair on him.” Diego paused for a moment choosing his next words carefully. “Once you step down this path of putting a pregnant woman as a murder suspect it won’t be pretty you need to know that before hand. It will get ugly and quickly.”

Zach went silent as he thought about what this could do to his child. A chill ran down his spine thinking about what would happen. If she got stressed out and lost their child? Or what if she just caved mentally because if this was true Scarlett had some issues. Walking into the dark staircase as the entered the evidence locker. He signed the paperwork as the guard showed him where the Nichols stalking evidence was. No DNA evidence was available whomever the stalker was they were smart as hell. Turning to Diego he felt a burning of shame. If he never cheated then maybe his brother would be alive. The truth was hitting him down like a brick. Returning to Diego he walked up to the whiteboard and started to paste the first note from the stalker.

“The first note she received was a box of red roses with a black ribbon. Along with it was a note that stated I know with a dead bird inside the box. The next was all these.” He pulled out hundreds of pictures of him and Scarlett during the year long affair that he had. “It’s a least five hundred polaroids full of the year that I spent cheating on Dante. They plastered them everywhere inside of her apartment. Along with these ones.” He showed her doing coke. “This was the sickest shit. So a box of chocolates were delivered to Scarlett. Except they had maggots inside of them and here is the note.” He cleared his throat and began to read it outloud.

Dearest Scarlett,

    Forgiveness is not for those that have done something so wicked. Only for those that are pure of heart. Please accept mine to you and ponder yours as you enjoy your gift.

“That was days before Dante death.” The stress of this was beginning to make his head hurt. “A couple of weeks after Dante died her kitchen oven caught fire and she received this text message. Not to mention she was asleep.” Once again reading it out loud.

Dearest Scarlett,

Even the evil of the world has to be burned out and exterminated. Luckily for you your double life came to save you just in time. Next time you may want to change your security code until later.

“The last thing another round of pictures. At least a thousand these are all recent showing that this person has been watching her.” He looked at Diego for some assistance. “I don’t know who this could be or what they are insinuating with Scarlett.”

Diego looked over the evidence and if Scarlett did go after Dante it made sense why she would think so given all the photos. Clothes had to be photographed Dante would know people but he didn’t see his brother stalking her, and since the stalking didn’t stop after his death it made him question everything more. The messages seemed to be talking in a past sense to him about something in her past. Which made that even more intriguing he flipped through the file and nothing stuck out in the present that would be considered related to the messages about forgiveness, death or redemption. He rubbed his hand on his chin for a moment as he looked at Zach. The coke thing maybe but he felt that wasn’t urgent enough for motivation, from what he knew of the party crowd that Scarlett would have been a part of.

“The photos were happening while Dante was alive, let’s say that Scarlett felt threatened by that given Dante knew people that had access to cameras. To cover our bases do you have a list of photographers that Dante used to use for his shoots? We rule them out we can create motive with Scarlett.” He looked at Zach as he saw Zach relax and he felt like a weight had been lifted fresh eyes in his mind always led way to a fresh perspective. Right now it was the motive that had been missing but if they established that maybe a judge would grant a warrant for Scarlett’s DNA to test under the DNA they had under his brothers fingernails at the scene. “We know the stalking didn’t stop from there it continued and the messages if you notice are all referencing something in the past. You said something earlier about her sister right a boating accident according to the reports?”

“Yeah the entire Nichols family went on the yacht and three returned, they were a family of four. Veronica died and body floated up to shore almost a week later. It was a sad situation after all she was engaged to Philip Montgomery they were planning on leaving Atlas Falls. It was horrible man that death rocked the upper elite. You know everyone loved Veronica. She was always amazing and like a light around town. My mom was really hurt she owns a shop for soaps, organic oils, candles and all that shit. Well Veronica worked there her entire time in high school. People liked her and it was just like here come Scarlett. She was always plucky and awkward but she didn’t have this fashion sense.” He looked at Diego expression. “What’s going through your head man?” Zach knew what was but he had to say it.

“Look I think she is twisted as hell. I do think she loved her sister she speaks highly of Veronica she wouldn’t do that.” He said shaking his head. “I’m sorry man I can’t believe the woman I’ve been sleeping with for over a year murdered her sister and my boyfriend. This is crazy Scarlett isn’t this person she can’t be this person. Oh my God.” Zach said hyperventilating as he lowered his head. “I’ve been sleeping with a psychopath.”

Diego took the information in as his phone rang noticing it was the team at the safehouse placing the file under his arm he’d take a closer look at everything tonight and see if anything was amiss. As much as he knew they had to catch Dante’s killer for his bosses he knew the Madden family case took precedent. “I’ll take a look at it and see if there is anything amiss let’s just keep our options open about Dante and Scarlett ok?” H felt his phone buzz again and waved it at Zach making his way to the door. “Duty calls higher ups want me to check on the Madden case. I will call you as soon as I find something.” He walked out and into the night wondering what was going on now with the Madden case for all their sakes.


Bruno Mars ‘Versace On The Floor’ was playing as the music seduced men. It was amazing how visual men were. She wasn’t even putting on a show but because the song was sensual they were enamored. Taking the pole Yasmine swirled around the cold stick. Holding it for a few seconds in midair the crowd went crazy as she threw legs up sliding down upside down. Throwing her hair Yasmine started to feel it as she threw her hair. She started with classical fouettes then her spinning began to become more hip-hop. As she popped her ass and started to spin again. Finally she unfastened her bra and spun again as she dipped into a street vogue dip onto a mink. Her eyes glossed over the club when she saw Kendrick pointing at her. He wanted to keep her close. Fuck that he was going to lose either way. She needed to get the drugs safely with someone she trusted. She needed to get the drugs to Jackson and now that he was sober. He was perfect to hide them with the richest motherfuckers ever?

Taking the mink she wrapped it around herself picking up the bills on the floor. As she counted her money quickly pocketing all her bills. As she walked to the back she placed the money in the locker then went to change. Soon no more pretending that she wasn’t caught up in the feelings. She’d be able to go to school for dancing and eventually open up a studio all the children go to. As she changed her costume into a catwoman esque bikini. She walked out ready to make a little extra money quick with lap dances. That’s when her eyes gloss over and look around the room. “Judo get me a shot of Patron.” Slowly she started winding her hip throwing her ass around with a little jiggle. It was some money in here tonight she saw it.

“You know Kendrick don’t like ya’ll drinking on the job.” Judo said smiling looking at Yasmine.

As she turned her ass and throw her ass a little harder and she knew Judo would love it. She took the shot as he watched her dance. Looking at the door she saw Jackson when he walked in. Earlier in the night she placed the drugs in the champagne room. Slowly dragging her feet down to the top of the stage. Looking at the Russian’s on stage she saw they were doing the same dance routine. Immediately Yasmine joined them making them all look identical. The crowd went crazy and she looked over at them sticking out her tongue.

“Don’t you have something better to do than mess with the Soviet whores?” Jackson stated as he approached Yasmine. “No longer wearing that mask? Man you are much more braver than me. Dealing with my parents so you really want to do all this for Rory?”

“Shut the hell up and let me come give you a private dance.” She grabbed his hand. “You don’t know who is listening Jackson. This place full of snitches and bitches. I just want this to be over you know I love your brother very much. He’s my heart and I’m not pleased you looking at my ass so eyes up here and listen to what I’m saying.” Yasmine said opening the door.

Jackson walked through as he looked at her wondering what she needed. “Look I’m just going to say it. Dani would not be pleased I’m around you. Considering just a few months ago you were my dealer.”

“I didn’t put that crack to your lips Jackson. Yeah I gave you drugs but it’s a supply and demand bro. You looking mighty ungrateful when I’ve kept your name out of my mouth. I could have sold you out a long time ago. You are my mans Jackson and I feel you you’re legit now. I’m asking for a favor for me and Rory. Hell for me, Rory and Jamal. He was raised with you right? Ya’ll families tight as shit so help us all out. Jamal is about to approach Kendrick with this.” Yasmine walked to the couch and reached under it. Pulling out leather bag full of drugs. “Jamal can’t eyeball this about ten million on the streets.”

Jackson wondered what exactly what she was planning along with Jamal. His gut told him don’t get involved but Yasmine had always been so down for him. She’d also always looked out for him when he was scoring. If it wasn’t for his own doing he wouldn’t have almost lost Dani. Rory was mad at Yasmine because of him. If one person deserved a good chance to start over it was her and Rory. “What do you want me to do with that?” He asked stepping back.

“Jackson you having a baby right? You don’t want this shit no more but I need it to make sure me and Jamal get out.” Yasmine said refusing to be calm about it anymore. “Those drugs are enough to make us get free. Kendrick is mad he lost them to Jamal and if he has them he could beg for me and his freedom.”

“Once again what am I doing here?” Jackson barked at Yasmine.

“Who better than the richest family son who has a big dumb as mansion to hide the drugs in.” Yasmine said softly.

“Tell Jamal to have Mason or Selina hide this.” Jackson snapped. “I don’t believe this you put me in the middle of this shit.”

“Jackson please. I love your brother so much that I can’t breathe. He is all I think about other than dancing. I love him and we can’t be together as long as Kendrick and drugs and stripping and bad things are in our way. Please just hide this and I will help Jamal with the rest.” Yasmine begged to Jackson. Lowering her head and turning away she didn’t want him to see her crying.

“I have people who try to stop me and Dani. I know the feeling and I’m doing this because my brother deserves to be happy. That little fucker Jamal needs to drown but whatever if he fixes this mess and you’re free that’s what matters. I’m doing this for you and Rory not him.”

“Thank-you.” Yasmine ran and hugged him tightly.

“Come on you’re going to get like stripper glitter on me and Dani is going to freak.” He laughed as he picked up the bookbag. “I think maybe I should go out the back.”

“That would be the best and look I’ll call you and get the drugs when it’s time and Jamal gives me the word. Thank-you.” She said opening the door too the champagne room. As she walked to the back of the building. Opening the door she watched Jackson leaving and her heart swelled it was her future walking away in that bag. All that ice and coke in that bag made her heart skip a beat. As she turned around she saw Kendrick behind her.

Kendrick had watched Yasmine inside the club, watched the girls go left and right on the stage and knew that things were getting heated. He was cautious he had to be now especially that the hit went bad on Ronan and push came to shove he didn’t trust Brenda as far as he could throw her. Jamal was still a thorn in his side about all of it, he was a problem a problem that needed to be taken care of. What was most intriguing to him though was the moment one of the guards had come over to mention that Jackson had arrived at the club. Months had come by without so much as a peep or show from Rory’s older brother and his best customer. So seeing him in the club and heading back into the private room with Yasmine peaked his interest. He waited a while before he saw Yasmine go out of the door with Jackson to the back exit, strange and he could swear in the dim lights he saw Jackson carrying something. By the time he reached them though and he looked out he saw Jackson round the corner to the parking lot and he saw a bag on his back.

“What was Jackie boy here for? I assume you worked him up enough and here I thought you were loyal to his brother anything to pay off that debt Yasmine? How much did he buy or was he just here for the lovely dance?” Kendrick said taking out his phone as security buzzed him about the bag. He texted them back to follow Jackson but to keep a distance he had a feeling that Jamal and Yasmine were trying to pull a fast one over on him. “Don’t worry I ain’t texting your man though telling him you gave his brother a half naked dance would be worth it. I doubt Rory would look at you the same way. You have another set don’t you? I also was wondering you haven’t heard from Jamal at all have you? It been hard to track him down with all those feds on him.”

Yasmine had hated to be around Kendrick lately it was a feeling of love they once all shared was gone. He was cold and she was plotting but he deserved it. Really he needed to get off his high horse. The motherfucker somehow thought he was a God or something. Nah he was just the snot nose punk who walked Gina to school everyday. She saw past this hard ass thug persona he wanted everyone to see. “You know for a muslim you need to get on your knees and pray Allah forgives you. You checking on all my dances or just ones with Devonshire behind their names. He was asking for Rory for me to come see him. So I pushed him off and my debt is almost gone so it’s over soon enough right Kendrick? You the man now or are you not going to be a man of your word?”

Storming through she looked back at him and shook her head. “I got you. I swear every day I’m thankful my sister isn’t here and my niece or nephew doesn’t have you as a father. You miserable motherfucker.” She walked to the locker room first and pulled out her phone texting Jamal. She begged him to make this happen she couldn’t do this anymore. Just get her out and get her way.

Kendrick watched her go and wondered if she was right would Gina approve? Then again he couldn’t think about that anymore now that he was in charge his was what he had to do and become. If she was hiding shit be wanted to know picking up his phone when it buzzes he listened to the caller on the other end. “You got eyes on him? Was it Jamal’s bag?” He waited a moment deciding his next move. “No stay outside the house. Don’t go inside until I get there or tell you to move. If he leaves with the bag follow him again.” He hung up a feeling settling in his gut she was playing him the bag he saw was Jamal’s.


Mason pulled up to La Caille handing his keys to the valet. It was still time before the dinner rush, everything was on point for Jamal with Kyan that is if his baby brother kept his head on. He hadn’t heard otherwise that Jamal hadn’t been keeping his head on, meaning he was in the clear. He knew that Selina had risked a lot when she went behind Braden’s back with Kyan and he felt bad about that. He and Zach had been getting closer so he supposed that was good and he hadn’t really spoken to Simon since the wedding That detail was not lost on his mind. He walked in seeing Simon sitting at the table. Why was he here? Walking slowly he walked to the table sitting down.

“I didn’t expect to see you here. My father called saying he wanted to talk to me about some things with Jamal. Thank you by the way for the calls you helped Selina make I know that you didn’t have to do that for my brother.” Mason said placing his cell phone down on the table. Simon looked out of sorts like he was partly there and then he partly wasn’t and then he had to wonder if he had heard about him and Zach getting close. “How are your folks? I know things didn’t play out like we wanted but you have to understand my position.”

Simon had been planning on visiting the club after work but instead he had gotten a call from Tony about needing to see him at La Callie which wasn’t abnormal since DGI was a silent backer for the restaurants. Normally that would all go through Lowell as.well but he knew how busy his boss was with the SandStar details, Tess problems, discretion was at his disposal being Lowell’s right hand to fix problems as they came up. He twirled his whiskey on the rocks at the table waiting for Tony to come out when instead he was shocked to see Mason come in. They hadn’t really spoken in months and Tony was his father but didn’t Mason have other things he was concerned with? He watched as he sat down not sure what was going on.

“I didn’t expect to see you either your father mentioned he needed to see me about something to do with the restaurant. If this is too awkward for you I can leave and reschedule. I am sure you have better things to do like pick out fake baby shit for your fake family.” Simon said taking a sip of his drink and then looking over at Mason. He could tell his words had hurt him or was it something else he was after all still hiding behind his fake life with Scarlett. ”The truth hurts Mason but you and I both know that it hasn’t changed. Then again maybe you are out playing with your other new toy? Don’t act so surprised people talk in the clubs Mason.”

“You would have spies all over town wouldn’t you? Not that anything that I am doing at the club now days is any of your business.. I told you I couldn’t just couldn’t walk away from Scarlett there was a lot at stake at the time. I’m not you.” Mason said keeping his voice low, as a waiter came over and placed a whiskey down in front of him. He didn’t object he was needing a drink at this point in his day especially now that he was sitting here with Simon rehashing their past or future he wasn’t sure which. “You know Scarlett has publically separated herself from me so I don’t get what your angle is this time. I don’t even get why in the hell you are so mad at this to begin with. We tried.”

Mason finally growled out exasperated with Simon’s games he had always wanted his secret and his life with Scarlett too. In some ways Simon was worse though he was always willing to go out and fuck some asshole at the club to get back at him even though he had been pretty clear on the situation with Scarlett from the get go. Once he was sure the waiter was out of earshot he looked over at Simon. “I let you know straight up I can’t do what you did, it’s different for me to parade around like a gay man. Do you realize what would happen if my father knew? You were fine with that so don’t sit there and act like I mislead you Simon. My family is not yours all white and open armed and shit.” He watched Simon’s face while his fingers tapped on the table, where was his father.

“Spies Mason don’t be such a diva you know how people talk and seeing how we were so close for so long it makes sense that people would tell me who you’ve been seeing now. I heard Zach’s nice in the sack though too bad he likes pussy too.” Simon bit out at his old lover his lips snaked into smirk as he took a drink his mind wondering where Tony was. Honestly he was getting bored or rehashing all this with Mason when the truth was when he wanted to commit and get serious Mason still wouldn’t budge on whatever he had with Scarlett for his father. “He came onto me just so that you know me and Zach we almost had a thing, you almost got sloppy seconds. Maybe you’re into that though Dante wasn’t from the looks of it.”

“Did I hit a nerve Mason? You let me know about some stupid plan you came up with on the get go to what please daddy? You kept me hanging on for years while you what got to do whatever the fuck you wanted? You were never fair to me.” Simon said his voice rising just a moment at Mason not caring how was hearing the table around them were still empty and that is when a feeling sank into his stomach. Where was Tony? His eyes scanned the room and for some reason his hand reached out for Mason’s. “Mason.”

“Well, well well.” Tony said clapping his hands and stepping out from the back part of the room looking between his son and his faggot lover.

His stomach knotted while he had sat back and watched the entire exchange in the back booth that he usually kept for VIP clients who had excellent views but where shielded enough from patrons. Walking to the table he watched Mason jump out of his seat jerking his hand back and he walked to the table placing his hands on Mason’s shoulders. Grabbing his son’s hand he roughly placed it back on the table seeing Simon’s eyes grow wide in fear, his son looked like he was about to pass out not on his watch. Nothing was more disgusting to him than learning his son liked to suck cock. What kind of a parent was he that he let this shit happen in his house, what would the rest of their family and friends think?

“Don’t stop son stroke his hand tell him how deep you want it. That’s what you like isn’t it? Don’t deny it boy I already know.” Tony said seeing Mason struggle in fear and seeing Simon standing up from the table.

“Tony, Mr. Delacroix.” Simon started flabbergasted at what he was witnessing, Tony had always been calm around him and this was unheard of it was like he was a completely different person.

“Sit your ass down.” Tony growled seeing Simon sitting down he could swear Mason had tears in his eyes as he roughly shoved him down on his chair too. “Don’t cry boy it’s what you want deep down.”

Walking around the table he looked at Mason and could swear he saw hatred in his own son’s eyes. Taking a seat across from Mason he watched as his son fought back tears looking between him and Simon like a schoolboy caught cheating on a test. He motioned the waiter to come back to the table and took his regular drink watching the caught lovers he could already tell the wheels turning in both their heads trying to find a way to explain what was going on. There was no need as Tony pulled out his own phone wanting his son to deny it, he had the recording to prove it and now saw them in an intimate moment. A moment only lovers would do he’d grabbed Gloria’s hand like that so many times and the same with Ophelia.

“I thought we would all have a nice little chat.” Tony said looking between them.

Mason felt sick his hand was still shaking his dad had never grabbed him as a kid ever he wasn’t that type of a man and knowing that he could be violent rocked him to the core. Simon looked just as shocked as he was but he knew how Simon played he would have loved to do this. Put all this in motion to expose him as payback for breaking up with him and staying with Scarlett and his secret. He could feel the tears stinging his eyes he was not going to cry not now but the way his father was looking at him.

“I can explain dad. It’s not what it looked like.” Mason stammered he heard his father laugh and slow clap while he looked over at Simon to back him up. Instead Simon just sat there and he wasn’t sure if it was because of fear or if he was still processing the shit that had gone down. “We’re just friends.”

“Just friends? Really? Is that what they call it these days? Back in my day we just called it being a fudgepacker.” Tony spat he saw Mason go to speak again but instead opened up the app on his phone and played the recording.

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.”

“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.”

Mason could feel the blood drain from his face had he recorded them what the fuck? Simon used his shit for DGI but against him to hurt him for what? It was sick that was the only thought he had going through his head when the recording was playing. Watching Simon shrug at everything that was being said on the tape. His father had the sickest grin on his face and he honestly thought he was about to throw up.

“I thought you’d have something better to say for yourself. Another lie perhaps that you want to tell me. I thought I raised a man not a little bitch that likes dick all those girls you used to bring home and you just what? Decided one day that you prefered it up the ass?” Tony said rage coming out of him while he looked at Mason.

“No it wasn’t like that dad.” Mason began not sure how to explain it and before he could more he turned his attention to Simon. “Why in the fuck would you do this to me?”

Simon looked at Mason completely off guard he didn’t do this he would never do this to Mason he wasn’t a complete asshole dick. Sure Mason playing games with him hurt but that was not his shit to tell and nor was it his place. He looked between Tony and Mason taking a sip of his whiskey throwing down some cash on the table when Tony glared at him. He wasn’t afraid of Tony and it wasn’t like he could tell him what to do or how to do it.

“While this has been entertaining I have better shit to do tonight.” Simon said this was Mason’s messy shit with his family and he was out. He looked at his old lover. “Fuck you I wouldn’t do that shit and you know it. If anything I would have outed you in public where it would be everywhere use your head.”

“Get your faggot ass out of my restaurant.” Tony said looking at Simon and then watched as he walked away leaving him just alone with Mason. Now he was never that much a bigot to the people that did come in he couldn’t be but to the lover to his son he could be. He watched Mason watching Simon leave the longing there made him sick. “You should chase shouldn’t you? You’re no son of mine do you understand me? No son of mine is going to go out and fuck someone in the ass!”

“Dad.” Mason said looking at his father with all the compassion he could hoping that he saw how much he was hurting him right now. He loved his father and his family but he was a gay man he knew that he always had. It wasn’t anything that his father did he was just wired that way he always wanted men even when he was with the girls. He couldn’t believe it was coming to this his father kicking him out of his life and their family because he loved men. He and Selina had welcomed Ophelia ok he had, but it was the same thing his father couldn’t help he fell for Ophelia any more than he could help what he had felt for Simon. “You always wanted me to be happy dad and love you told me that was the most important thing.”

“I did but not if it’s with a man. Get out you don’t belong here anymore.” Tony spat waiting for a moment seeing Mason still sitting there. “Did you not hear me the first time?”

Mason felt numb as he wiped the tears off his face realizing he was crying as he got up from the table the one waiter in the room was huddled at the bar trying to not see what was happening. His legs felt like lead as he watched his father coldly sitting at the table sipping his drink and he took a look around the place they shared so many memories. Big memories as a family some small ones too he stopped looking at the family portrait in the front of the entryway that was always proudly hung there. His father and mother’s picture and then a picture of him with his siblings. He could swear the building was constricting on him boxing him inside like an outsider in his own life now. He waited for a moment hoping his father would say anything to change his mind to fix it and just be a family again while he placed his hand on the door. Instead nothing came and when he pushed the door open and the cold of the air hit his lungs it felt like he had been stabbed over and over again.

Tony watched Mason go and looking around the empty room as he watched Mason go he took a sip of his drink. Where in the hell had he and Gloria gone wrong? Where had he and Ophelia gone wrong with Mason? His hand was shaking as he the waiter came over to him and leaned in asking if he wanted another. Tony slammed back the drink waving his hand to tell him to refill that was what he wanted. To forget that he ever knew about this, forget that he knew that Mason would never carry on the family name. Forget that his son loved the company of men.