Lone Star Seduction

By: Day Leclaire

“If we’d remained distracted and fighting amongst ourselves,” Alex added.

“How did you connect Gentry to the fires?” Justin asked.

Alex eyed his future brother-in-law. “The same way I was let off the hook is the way Gentry was put on it. He drives a pickup similar to mine. And the idiot stopped for gas a mile away from the refinery—fifteen minutes after the place went up in flames.”

Darius shook his head in disgusted amusement. “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, our Gentry.” He tapped one of the points in his report. “The police also found identical boot prints at both the refinery blaze, as well as Alex’s barn fire. Since they’re two sizes smaller than what Alex wears, that’s one more piece of evidence that points at someone other than Alex. If we can connect our man to those prints—and I think we can—we’ll have something we can use. Connect Gentry to the fires, put some pressure on him, and I think we’ll have Huntington.”

Lance swore. “I don’t like the man, I admit. He’s a pompous, arrogant SOB. But even so, he’s Rebecca’s father and I flat-out adore that woman.” He shot Alex a cold look. “Even if she doesn’t always show the best judgment in men.”

Alex tamped down on the fury sweeping through him. He didn’t want to think about Rebecca. Not here, in the presence of these men. He’d thought he could handle seeing Becca again, deal with emotions that shouldn’t still be edged with raw pain. But that combined with the animosity that lingered between him and the men in the room with him set his blood boiling. It wasn’t just the Brodys’ treatment of him during high school and the rivalry he and Lance had experienced on the soccer field. They’d made their disapproval keenly felt when he’d dated Rebecca in college. And when their affair had ended, they’d closed ranks and made his life a living hell.

“Let it go, Lance,” Mitch urged.

But he wouldn’t, Alex knew. Couldn’t. “Say it, Brody,” he taunted. “Don’t hold back.”

Old anger burst free. “You used her. You wanted to screw the daughter of your mother’s employer and you did everything and anything necessary to coax her into bed before dumping her like so much garbage. Rumor has it, it was a bet. Is that why you did it? You and your old pal, El Gato, put money on which of you would be the first?”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about.” The words escaped in a flood of Spanish, but Lance got the gist. “Huntington filled her head with lies—lies she chose to believe.”

“That’s not the story we heard.”

Alex forced himself to relax, using every ounce of the iron will and tenacity that had earned him his first million. He deliberately switched to English. “And we all know how trustworthy Sebastian Huntington is. Clearly, his word is solid.”

An uncomfortable silence reigned for a full minute before Darius tapped the sheaf of papers in front of him. “If we could focus on the matter at hand?” He paused until he had everyone’s attention. “The one thing we do have is incontrovertible evidence regarding the embezzlement. And there’s little to no doubt Sebastian Huntington is behind it.”

“I’ve spoken with some of the other board members,” Mitch offered. “Quietly. Privately. They all say the same thing. They want Huntington to step down as treasurer—”

Justin snorted. “You think?”

“—and replace the money. There’s been some talk about his resigning from the club.”

“Some talk?” Kevin responded indignantly. “You can’t be suggesting there’s any question about that.”

“Apparently there is,” Mitch replied. “He’s been a member in good standing for decades. We may all consider him a pompous ass, but the old guard is closing ranks.”

“Sounds familiar,” Alex murmured. He released his breath in a sigh. He didn’t know why any of this surprised him, but it did. “I’ll speak to Huntington about replacing the money.”

The Brody brothers exchanged uneasy glances. “I’m not sure—” Lance began.

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