Fear Me Page 118

“What makes you so sure he’s in love with me?”

“For your sake I hope he is.”

“I’m sure a man such as yourself wouldn’t be willing to risk so much off of hope…that’s if you really even believe in it.”

His eyebrow lifted and he pursed his lips. “My son lets you get away with a mouth like that?” His eyes darkened much like the way Keiran’s often did and I was smart enough to know when I was out of my league.

“What amount of money is worth all this?”

“Millions.” His eyes shone with greed. “Millions that should have been mine years ago.”

“How do you expect your eighteen year old son to pay you that kind of money?”

“You and I both know Keiran is far from being helpless and more than capable of doing many illegal acts. Oh yes, I know all about Anya Risdell and Trevor Reynolds. I have connections too,” he said in a conspiratorial tone. “Keiran is part heir of a vast fortune that he will inherit once he turns twenty-one.”

“Where have I heard this before?”

“I realize the situation is extremely cliché and yet extremely real.”

“You said part…”

“Yes, the other boy – Keenan.” I didn’t miss the contempt in his voice as he spoke his name. “And my brother as well…if he ever marries.”

“So won’t you get part of the fortune too?”

“Unfortunately, I’ve already received the first portion of my inheritance. The same portion that Keiran is set to inherit in three years.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Our family has always been determined to continue the Masters lineage for many generations to come. For the past fifty or sixty years the rate at which we have been known to marry respectfully and reproduce has declined so much so that there are now stipulations in place to ensure our name does not die. In order for any of us to receive our full inheritance we must marry and produce children. We receive our initial and much smaller portion when we become of age and the rest once we have completed our duties.”

Talk about blackmail. Rich people were grade-A crazy. “So you have money –”

“I had money, Miss Monroe. I have expensive tastes and owe a great deal of debt that could cost me my life if it remains unpaid. I’ve got by the past ten years on a lucky gambling streak that has since ran out.”

“Ever heard of bargain shopping?” He regarded me with narrowed eyes that mirrored his son. How had I not seen this before?

“Please do try not to test my patience. I assure you I won’t hesitate to hurt you; although I can’t kill you…not yet anyway.”

I nodded once and held my tongue. “Understood.”

“Good.” He uncrossed his legs and stood, heading to the dresser where a bottle of brown liquid that I knew to be alcohol waited. He poured a glass and quickly tossed it back before pouring another. “Where was I?”

“You’re broke.” He sent me a sharp look and I shrunk back against the headboard. “Sorry…old habits. So if Keiran hates you and he doesn’t inherit for another three years why are you doing this now?”

“Those debts I previously mentioned aren’t willing to wait three years.”

“But I seriously doubt he will help you.”

“No…he won’t.”

“Then how…” Realization dawned on me at the look in his eyes. “No!” I yelled, jumping from the bed. My feet were planted wide as I faced him. “I won’t let you hurt him,” I growled. If Keiran died, then his money would undoubtedly forfeit to his father as his next of kin.

He laughed which pissed me off further. “You know it astounds me that you are so ready to protect him even if it means harm to yourself –”

“If that’s what it takes,” I interrupted with steel in my voice.

“That is truly remarkably Miss Monroe. My son has done nothing but hurt you for years.” He must have noticed the surprised look on my face when he said, “Yes, I know all about that. The Reynolds boy filled me in. He was all too willing to bring my son down. It’s a shame that Keiran got to him first because I would have eventually killed him myself. I could have had the money I needed a year ago if it wasn’t for him.”

I couldn’t believe it but he was right. If Trevor hadn’t framed Keiran…he would be dead. “You were the person Trevor said wanted to meet me the night of the fair.”

“Yes, I was, Miss Monroe.”

“You’re insane.”

“Call it what you want.  I knew then you were just the pawn I needed to reel Keiran in. I need an advantage when I face him.”

“What makes you so sure Keiran would kill you? That’s a little extreme for being an absentee father.”

“No, I was much worse than that.”

“I’m not buying.”

“Keiran has killed before. Many times. Do you believe that?”

“No,” I lied but my voice wavered as I thought about the girl in the photo.

“You’re a terrible liar, Miss Monroe. One thing my son and I have in common is a lack for mercy or remorse. He’d harm his own mother if it suited him. He’s already proven that.”

“What do you mean? What happened to his mother?”

“She’d dead,” he answered. His face and voice was void of any emotion.

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