“Where are we at with her… issues?” Lucifer asks in a frustrated voice.
Meredith pains him almost as much as she does me, but for entirely different reasons.
She’s been a thorn in his side since they were children. Now that she’s a full-grown adult, I’ve been the one who’s had to keep her whims at bay. She may hate her brother for her own reasons, but she’s never failed to come to him with open hands expecting everything. Whether she deserves what she takes from him or not, she expects it.
“The Saudis are very upset over the loss of Prince Amir’s son, Ahmed. Regardless of what happened, they’re furious over the mystery surrounding it and the large amount of money he was worth to them. They want her back,” I say, then hold my fingers up in quotation marks. “For questioning.”
“The man has eight sons. From what you said, Ahmed wasn’t even in favor with his father. How much are they asking for?” Lucifer asks in annoyance.
“Money isn’t going to work on this, I believe. They consider this a matter of honor”
“Their honor can suck a pig’s dick,” Lucifer snaps. “How much did you offer them?”
“His net worth was about three million without his father’s backing. It’s a paltry sum compared to what the father is worth. I’ve offered triple the amount, and they’re not biting. They are now increasing their threats to our operations,” I reply.
“What kind of threats?”
“Nothing substantial, yet,” I say. “But they are making threats to our well-being and our foreign interests when it comes to our holdings overseas.”
“They don’t have the clout for that. No one is willing to work with them. Not even the Russians. They have no real stake in our daily lives. It doesn’t make sense,” he says.
“They don’t have to make sense to cause us trouble though,” I say, shrugging.
“Simon, how the hell did this all come about? I thought you were keeping tabs on the damn brat.”
“I was and am,” I say evenly, but my blood runs cold. If he only knew the intensity of my surveillance.
The sheer amount of man-hours I’ve personally put into watching her live feeds and recordings. The men I had tailing her and watching her. The prince had his own security service, but my men were the damn professionals. They should have caught this damn mishap before it started.
That I’ve been watching her for the past years as an almost obsession…
“What happened, Simon? What is she not telling us?” he asks.
Looking out at the dark sky, I watch as the moon tries to break through the bleak skies, but it’s no use. The forecast calls for freezing rain and then more snow. The heating bill will be going through the roof thanks to how hot the safe house must be kept for this insufferable woman.
What happened, indeed? That’s the big question.
“She slipped my men and my surveillance team on the docks. She wasn’t even supposed to know of our presence, and from all indications she still has no clue of the protections you and I had in place for her.”
“How?” he asks, and he sounds almost as annoyed as I am about the situation.
“I’ve watched the surveillance over and over. I’ve watched from multiple angles and feeds. His team blocked ours off with expert efficiency. None of his team has shown this level of competence before. None. They aren’t local thugs, but I would only put them one rung above.”
“So they expertly blocked off our men, and all the surveillance cameras on the yacht went offline halfway through their cruise.”
“What’s Meredith saying?”
“She won’t talk. I could use…”
“No, not yet,” he cuts me off.
“Have you thought about questioning her yourself, Matthew?” I ask with a chuckle.
That would be an interesting occurrence. If it’s anything like Christmas dinner, it would be a rather profanity-ridden affair.
Meredith, how I loathe the crass American woman you turn into when you aren’t around the wealth and pomp you are so used to.
She turns in to a downright nasty hellcat. I’m strongly doubting my resolve not to chain her up to a bed for a good spanking.
“I’d rather not have to deal with her at the moment. Lily and the children have been begging for an addition added onto the house. They believe if we have more rooms, then there could possibly be another brother or sister in the future.”
I’d rather puke than have those types of burdens. “Yes, I can see how that is an issue.”
“Children aren’t the evil you think them to be, Simon,” Lucifer chuckles.
“If you say so, Matthew,” I reply and turn back to him. “Eugene will be a complication no longer. He has also added even more of a tie for us to the Italians. We are the proverbial golden teat.”
“Finding a good investment banker who knows how to launder a large amount of money is becoming harder to find,” he says.