I don"t forgive. I never forget. And I always claim my vengeance.
My former business partner has cost me millions, but a thirty-year jail sentence has put him out of my reach. His son, Devlin, is just as corrupt, disappearing shortly before my billion-dollar business starts going up in flames.
Getting my hands on Devlin is my last shot at revenge, and his wayward stepsister holds the key to finding him. Strong, stubborn, and sexy as hell, Olivia Redmond is going to help me, and I won"t take no for an answer.
I just didn"t know that she has some vengeance of her own.Books by Author:Jessica Blake Books
I couldn"t believe it.
Joel Cunningham, a man I had known for years as a partner, a mentor, and as a trusted friend, wore a prison orange jumpsuit with the same casual style he would have sported his tennis whites. His black hair, silvered at the temples, hadn"t been trimmed since his ass was hauled into prison. But the same shit-eating grin he always had on his face, the one that said he knew something everyone else didn"t, didn"t slip as he looked at me from across the courtroom. If anything, his grin widened. And then he winked.
I wanted to fucking strangle him.
Hunter put his hand on my arm, like he knew how close I was to jumping over the railing and beating the shit out of the bastard. "Let it go, Gabe. With any luck, he"ll have a horny cellmate."
The thought of Cunningham spending what amounted to the rest of his miserable life serving out a twenty-five-year sentence as someone"s prison bitch was mildly satisfying, but it wasn"t enough for me. It sure wouldn"t be enough for the investors he"d systematically defrauded out of millions over the seven years of our business partnership, and it wouldn"t take away the stain on the reputation of my company, Ainsley Holdings.
Joel was out of my reach now, thanks to the armed guards on either side of him. That didn"t mean this was over.
"Let"s go grab a drink," Hunter said. "I might have some news that"ll cheer you up."
As if the word "news" had summoned them, the media swarmed us the moment we stepped out of the courthouse into the early summer sunshine. Barricades were set up, crowds of people standing behind them. A few reporters had edged around the boundary, cell phones recording, microphones jabbing forward.
Behind the sawhorses and caution tape were bystanders " tourists and local workers getting coffee on a lunch break, gathering gossip to share at the water cooler later that afternoon. There were handfuls of social media mavericks, their fingers flying as they sent off a tweet and a blurry picture of me, Gabriel Ainsley, the guy who seemed to be on the news all the time lately.
Cunningham"s trial was the biggest corporate corruption scandal to hit Chicago in the last five years, and the post-court coverage was probably streaming on CNN right now. I was beyond sick of being at the center of this circus sideshow.
My driver was waiting, double parked at the curb, but the Lexus wasn"t close enough for us to avoid the barrage of shouted questions, cameras, and dangling microphones. I slipped on my sunglasses and tried not to look like I was inches away from breaking someone"s neck.
"Were you involved, Mr. Ainsley""
"Do you expect to file bankruptcy""
"Has there been any word on the missing money""
"How much did you know about Joel Cunningham"s Ponzi scheme""
"What is your role in this, Mr. Landon""
The last question was the one that pissed me off the most. It was directed at Hunter, one of four men I called a friend and trusted implicitly. As the owner of a high-profile security firm, Hunter had his own wild reputation around town, and now that the media had recognized him, they"d try to tar him with the same brush.
I wanted to take some of my frustration out on the local nightly news anchor with the capped teeth, but I limited myself to a growl. I didn"t need any more negative press, and since Hunter had ignored him and was already getting in the Lexus, I forced myself to follow.
"You shouldn"t have come." I slammed the door, shutting out the reporters.
"Somebody had to keep you out of jail for killing Cunningham. Pierce and I flipped a coin to see who got to babysit you, and I lost."
"Yeah, and now your face will be plastered all over the news tonight."
Hunter shrugged, obviously unconcerned. "I"m more photogenic than Jason Pierce anyway." He leaned over the front seat to talk to Jeff, my driver. "Take us to the Violet Hour on North Damen, and try not to run over any of those vultures when you pull out. That"d be such a shame."
I shot my friend a no way in hell look. I couldn"t imagine sitting down at my desk for the rest of the afternoon, but as there wasn"t anything available to punch repeatedly except my closest college friend " who annoyed the shit out of me but was too loyal to deserve a beatdown " I had decided I might as well head to the office.
"I"ve got to get back to work."
"Trust me, Gabe, you need a drink more than you need to get back to work. Don"t worry about those bloodsuckers. Something else bright and shiny will come along soon and distract them. Plus, I"ve got some news."
I leaned my head back on the leather seat. "Please tell me you know where Devlin Cunningham is."