“I think you guys know why I’m here,” Troy started. “And I know you got a lot on your plate, but I couldn’t wait any longer.”
Dev leaned back in the leather chair, loosely crossing his arms. “I understand, but what we talked about the night of the incident hasn’t changed.”
Closing his eyes, Lucian shifted in the seat as he rubbed at his brows with his forefingers. As much as he cared for Troy, he needed him gone.
“Yeah, well the problem with that is the chief has a hair up his ass and he’s really pushing on this investigation. Probably has something to do with the army of lawyers who descended on the police department within hours of your father’s body being found.” He tapped his hand off the shiny, clear-of-clutter desk. “And I think he said something along the lines of ‘the de Vincents may run the world, but they don’t run my department.’”
“Interesting,” Dev replied in a way that didn’t show an ounce of interest.
“This isn’t going to go away.”
“The chief can think whatever he wants, but what happened seems pretty clear to me.” Dev picked up his glass. “He hung—”
“There were scratches along his neck as if he tried to get the belt off,” Troy clarified. “And that’s a bit suspect. Not saying that he couldn’t have had a change of heart, but that’s unlikely. The autopsy is being performed later today. I’m not suggesting that’s going to show anything, but it’s probably going to leave us with more questions than answers. And that’s like fucking Christmas morning to the chief right now.”
Dev took a sip and then flicked his wrist as he lowered the glass. Amber liquid swirled. “I really don’t know what to say about that.”
“Of course not,” he muttered dryly. “I’m trying to help you guys.”
“We know,” Lucian chimed in, shooting his brother a look of warning.
“Do you?” Troy’s steady gaze was on Dev. “I need to know everything so I can be prepared for anything.”
“You know everything,” Dev replied smoothly.
Irritation pricked along Lucian’s skin. Truth was Troy didn’t know jack shit about anything, and out of loyalty to them, Troy would get as close as he could to risking his badge for them. And Dev was going to sit behind that desk like he didn’t give a fuck.
Troy sure as hell didn’t know about who was upstairs. Dev had gone to extremes to keep that quiet, and Lucian had only agreed because he found the alternative to be unacceptable.
Richard appeared like a ghost in the doorway. The look on his face told Lucian that what they’d been waiting for was finally here. Lucian sat up, all traces of tiredness gone.
“I apologize for interrupting,” Richard announced, hands clasped behind him, “but you have a meeting you cannot be late for, Devlin.”
“I’m sorry, Troy, but I do have to go. As does my brother.” Dev rose, fixing the cuffs on his shirt. “Can we get back to this at a later date?”
Troy sat there for a moment and then shook his head as he rose. “Don’t expect this to just go away,” he warned, looking between the two of them. “It’s not going to be like everything else.”
Dev inclined his chin. “Of course.”
Pivoting, Troy started toward the door but stopped in front of Lucian. “Make sure your pig-headed brother understands how serious this can get.”
Lucian nodded even though he suspected Dev was well aware of that.
“See you later,” Troy muttered.
Richard escorted Troy out, making sure he didn’t end up where they didn’t want him. He was already halfway to the door when Dev stopped him.
“Where were you yesterday?”
Lucian lifted a shoulder in a half shrug. “Nowhere.”
“I think nowhere is somewhere that was ridiculously unnecessary.” Dev walked around his desk. “Did you stop and think about how that would look? You leaving the morning after your father tragically killed himself?”
He smirked. “I really don’t think anyone would’ve expected anything less.”
“And that is something to be proud of?”
“I like to think so,” Lucian remarked.
Dev sighed as he finished messing with his cuffs. “I’m still not happy about this.”
Tension crept along Lucian’s neck as he faced him. He knew exactly what his brother was referencing. “You’re not happy about anything. Why would this be any different?”
Dev crossed his arms. “You know what I mean. We’re bringing someone in this house after what just happened? That’s dangerous.”
“We made this decision before what went down with our father.” He squared off, going eye to eye with his older brother. “But I got to ask, what’s so dangerous about it, Dev? Is there something you’re hiding and worried about someone finding out?”
Dev didn’t flinch. “You know what I’m talking about.”
He got what he was implying without him having to go into detail. “Now, I thought you said our father was having problems dealing with what his brother is going through,” he reminded him.
Dev went quiet.
His hands curled into fists. “There is no way she’s responsible for what happened to Lawrence if he didn’t do that to himself. You’ve seen what kind of condition she’s in. You know what the doc said. God only knows where she’s been or what has happened to her, and all you care about is what people think about our family.”
“You don’t know what I care about, but let me explain something to you. Yes, I do worry about what people think, because what do you think Troy or that damn chief of police is going to wonder when they realize she’s back—that she came back shortly before our father died under apparently suspicious circumstances?”
Shaking his head, Lucian held his gaze. “Don’t pretend like you’re worried about her. I know you better than that. This isn’t about you protecting our sister.”
“Do you know me better?” His blue-green eyes, the same color as Lucian’s, burned intensely. “Do you think you know me like that? That I’m not trying to protect her?”
Lucian’s lips curled into a smirk. “Yeah, sorry. I’m going to call bullshit on that when you wanted to commit her to some faraway hospital. Seal her up and forget about her.”
A muscle flexed along Dev’s jaw. The first real hint of emotion. “If I wanted to seal her up and forget about her, I would’ve done exactly that.”
There was no way Lucian would’ve allowed that. “Why are you so worried? You did a background check on the nurse, right?” Even though Dev hadn’t told him he had, Lucian knew there was no way Dev would let her in the house without an extensive one. “You probably dug so deep you know what she ate for dinner a month ago. You vetted her.”
“I did,” he gritted out.
Lucian stepped in so close his shoes brushed the expensive loafers Dev wore, nearly the same their father had on the night he was found hanging from the fan. “So, I’m going to ask one more time, why are you so worried?”
Dev held his stare.
“Boys,” called Richard from behind them. “Your guest is waiting.”
Rife tension flowed out from them, filling every square foot of the airy room. Neither of them moved for a long moment. It was Dev who stepped back and spoke first. “Don’t you have something to do right now?” He paused. “Like someone to fuck?”
An almost cruel smile twisted Lucian’s lips. “Nah, not at this minute.”
“Too bad.” Devlin stepped around him.
There was no way Lucian was going to allow Dev to get to that room first and he wouldn’t allow Dev to have this conversation alone. Who knew what Dev would say about their sister?
Maddie needed someone compassionate. Someone with patience, who genuinely cared about helping her get better while they tried to figured out what had happened to her. No way would he allow Dev to jeopardize that.
Especially since Lucian was shocked to discover that his brother had actually hired someone with all those qualities.