Lone Star Seduction(4)

By: Day Leclaire

“Feel free. Won’t make a lick of difference.” He bent toward her and she couldn’t help herself. She turned her head to the side, revealing a vulnerability she’d have preferred to keep hidden. “I’m here to stay, missy. Your father won’t dare let me go.”

“And then, of course, there’s the discrepancy with the club accounts. That’s caused an absolute furor among the boys,” Kate was saying.

Rebecca came to with a start. “What was that? What discrepancy are you talking about?”

“You haven’t listened to a word I’ve said, have you?” Kate asked in exasperation.

“Most of them.” She offered an apologetic smile. “Some of them.”

Kate sighed. “Darius noticed discrepancies in the TCC accounts when he did the billing for the Helping Hands women’s shelter. Mitch agreed to do a fact-finding audit with Darius, Justin and Alex. Apparently, something’s up. At least that’s what Lance told me.”

“But surely Dad—” She broke off, her nervousness increasing. She cleared her throat. “I wonder why Dad didn’t catch the problem? He’s been the club treasurer for years.”

Kate shrugged. “Maybe it’s a recent problem that your father hasn’t noticed. It’s probably some sort of glitch with funds going into the wrong accounts. I’m sure Mitch will get it straightened out.”

Rebecca spared another glance over her shoulder. The six men had disappeared into one of the meeting rooms with the door firmly shut. More than anything she wished she could be a fly on the wall and find out just what the devil was going on. In the meantime, she could only pray her father wasn’t unwittingly involved.

It didn’t make sense that her father would have anything to do with the fires, but the irregularities of TCC accounts… That might be a different story. Hopefully, it really was a glitch and nothing that would pit her father against her friends. And then there was Alex. He despised her father. If a mistake had been made with the financial records, Alex wouldn’t spare him. He’d do anything and everything to ruin her father’s reputation.

Alex fixed his gaze on the five men, several of whom had, during his formative years, done their best to make his life a living hell. They stood together in a united front on one side of the room while he planted himself opposite them. Despite the animosity between them, he planned on enjoying the sweetness of his vindication today. Not only would he have the means to bring down an old enemy, but he’d be able to figuratively plant his fist in the face of the worst of the “frat brats” and his key nemesis, Lance Brody.

“Are we going to stand around and stare at each other?” he asked. “Or are we going to start offering apologies?”

“Sure, feel free to apologize, Montoya,” Lance said with a grin that didn’t come close to reaching his dark eyes. “I’ve been waiting a lifetime for you to apologize for your existence.”

Alex took a swift step in his direction, only to be cut off by Darius who crossed the breach and held up a hand. “Easy man,” he said in an undertone. “This won’t solve anything.”

“Maybe not, but it would make me feel a hell of a lot better.”

Alex could hear his accent deepening, thickening, as it often did when he was angry or passionate. It only served to underscore the differences between them—differences in their cultures, their birthrights, their backgrounds. He was the son of a maid. And though some of the men present had worked for every dime they possessed, Justin Dupree and the Brody brothers had been born with silver spoons feeding them every elegant morsel they’d ever eaten. For the sake of his sister, Alicia, Alex would leave her brand new fiancé, Dupree, alone. In the past weeks the two men had established an uneasy accord. But as far as he was concerned, it was open season on the Brodys.

Alex addressed Lance. “You accused me of torching your refinery. Darius has evidence that proves you wrong. Are you man enough to finally admit it? Or do I need to beat the apology out of you?”

Amusement lined the other man’s face. “You can try. I guarantee you won’t succeed.”

“It will be interesting to test that theory.”

“Enough.” Kevin Novak cut them off impatiently. “This isn’t going to solve anything, and quite frankly, I’m tired of acting like we’re still in high school.” He turned his intense blue eyes on Alex. “We were wrong about you, and I for one would like to apologize.”

He offered his hand and Alex didn’t hesitate in taking it. “I appreciate it, Novak.”

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