Moonlight Sins (de Vincent 1) - Page 2

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“What? You’re leaving me?” she demanded, sounding as if no man had ever walked away from her once she had her hand on his dick.

Tossing a grin in her direction, he opened up the door that led to the second-floor porch. “Yes, and you’ll be waiting for me when I get back.”

Her mouth dropped open, but as he stepped out into the cool air, he knew she could get as pissed as she wanted, but she would still be there, waiting for him.

Cutting across the porch, he hit the enclosed staircase and strode into the back room of the main floor the steps emptied into. The mausoleum of a house was dimly lit and quiet, as his bare feet padded across the tile floors that graduated into hardwood.

It took a couple of minutes to reach the study as it was all the way in the right wing, squirreled away from prying eyes of those who visited the de Vincent home. It even had its own entrance and drive.

Lawrence, his father, took ensuring privacy to a whole new level.

His steps slowed as he approached the closed doors. Having no idea what was waiting for him in the study, but knowing his brother wouldn’t call him at this time of the night for nothing, he prepared himself for anything.

The heavy oak doors swung open noiselessly, and Lucian came to a complete stop as he stepped into the brightly lit room. “What the fuck?”

Two legs swayed slightly, the Brooks Brothers alligator loafers several feet from the floor. There was a small puddle. The putrid stench in the room told him what it was.

“This is why I called you,” Dev stated from somewhere in the room, tone bland.

Lucian dragged his gaze over the dark trousers that were damp all along the inner thighs. Up over the askew robin-egg blue dress shirt, half tucked in and half yanked out. Hands and arms were lax at the sides and shoulders slumped. The neck rested at an unnatural angle.

Probably had something to do with the belt around the neck.

The belt that was wrapped around the ceiling fan that was imported from India and installed a little over a month ago. Each time the body swayed, the ceiling fixture ticked like a grandfather’s clock.

“Jesus Christ,” Lucian grunted, hands dropping to his sides as his gaze rapidly flickered around the room. The pool of piss was spreading toward the beige-and-gold antique Persian rug.

If his mother were alive, she’d be clutching her glossy pearls in horror.

A wry grin twisted up the corner of his lips at the thought. God, he missed his mother every damn day since she’d left him—left them all—that stormy, suffocating humid night. Mom had liked things to be beautiful, ageless, and unmarred. It was fitting in a sad sort of way that she’d left this earth that way.

Troubled more by those thoughts than the death that clung to the room, he prowled to the right, dropping into the leather chair. The same one he’d spent many hours perched rigidly in as a child, quietly listening to one of the many, many examples of why he was such a crowning disappointment. Now he was more sprawled in it than sitting, thighs spread. He didn’t need a mirror to know his hair, blond while his brothers’ was dark, looked like a dozen hands had run through it. He didn’t need to breathe too deeply to catch the damn fruity scent of perfume that clung to his clothes.

If Lawrence saw him like this, his lip would be curled in a way that would suggest he’d scented something deeply unpleasing. However, Lawrence would never look upon him in such a way again, considering he was now hanging from the ceiling fan like meat on a butcher hook.

“Did anyone call the police?” he asked, tapping long fingers on the arm of the chair.

“I sure hope so,” drawled Gabriel. He leaned against the well-polished, cherry oak credenza. Crystal glasses clinked together. The decanters of brandy and fine whiskey barely moved.

Gabe, considered to be the more normal brother of the de Vincent horde, appeared still half asleep. Dressed only in a pair of sweats, he rubbed idly at his jaw as he eyed the swaying legs. His face was drawn and pale.

Then again, those who held that opinion also didn’t know the real Gabriel.

“I called Troy,” Dev answered grimly from where he stood on the other side of the study. He appeared like the oldest son—the son who was now apparently in charge of the entire de Vincent dynasty—should always appear. Dark hair combed neatly, jaw clear of stubble, and not a damn wrinkle on the linen pants he slept in. Probably fucking stopped to iron them.

“I told him what happened,” Dev continued. “He’s on his way.”

Lucian glanced over at Dev. “You found him?”

“I couldn’t sleep. Got up and came down here. Saw that the light was on and this was how I found him.” Dev folded his arms across his chest. “When did you get home, Lucian?”

“What does that have to do with anything?” he asked.

“Just answer the question.”

A slow grin of understanding tugged at his mouth. “You think I had something to do with the current state of dear, old Dad?”

Devlin said nothing. He waited. Typical Dev, though. Quiet and as cold as a freshly dug grave. He was nothing like Lucian. Nothing. It was Gabe who watched Lucian like he guessed the truth, like he knew better.

Lucian rolled his eyes. “I have no idea if he was even awake and down here when I got in. I used my own entrance and was otherwise happily engaged in other activities until you called.”

“I’m not accusing you of anything,” Dev responded in the same tone he’d used a hundred times throughout their childhood.

“Sure as hell doesn’t sound like that.” How screwed up was that? Their father was hanging from the ceiling fan by his own six-hundred-dollar leather belt, and Dev was asking him about his whereabouts? His fingers stilled on the arm of the chair. It was then he noticed the red smudge along his pointer. He curled his fingers inward. “So, where were you two?”

Dev raised his brows.

Gabe looked away.

Shaking his head, he chuckled under his breath. “Look, I’m not a forensic expert, but it looks like he hung himself.”

“It’s an unintended death,” Gabe stated, and Lucian wondered what crime show he learned that phrase from. “They’re still going to look into it. Especially since there appears to be no . . . no letter left behind.” He gestured to the desk’s clutter-free surface with his chin. “Neither of us have really searched for one, though. Shit. I can’t believe this. . . .”

Lucian’s gaze flickered over to his father’s body. Neither could he. “You called Troy?” He focused on Dev. “He’s probably going to throw a damn party. Hell, we should be celebrating.”

“Do you have any decency?” Dev gritted out.

“Are you seriously asking me that question in reference to our father?”

Dev’s jaw tightened in the barest flicker of emotion. “Do you have any idea what people are going to say about this?”

“Does the expression on my face give any indication that I care what others think?” Lucian queried softly. “Or at any point in my life that I cared?”

“You might not care, but the last thing our family needs is to be dragged through the mud yet again.”

There were a lot of things their family didn’t need, but one more dark smear upon the family’s less than pristine reputation was the least of things to worry about.

“Perhaps our father should’ve thought about that before . . .” He trailed off, jerking his chin to where he hung.

Dev’s lips thinned, and Lucian knew it took every ounce of his brother’s self-control not to respond. After all, Dev had years of practicing restraint when it came to Lucian baiting him.

Dev said nothing, simply stepped around their father’s legs and stalked out the study, quietly closing the doors behind him.

“Did I say something?” Luc mused, arching a brow.

Gabe leveled a bland look at him. “Why do you do that?”

He lifted a shoulder in a careless shrug. “Why not?”

“You know how he gets.”

The thing was Luc did know how Dev got, but did Gabe? He didn’t think so. Probably because Gabe didn’t want to see how Dev really got when that well-practiced control cracked just an inch.

Gabe stared at those damn legs again, his tone grim when he asked, “Do you really think our father would’ve done this?”

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout de Vincent Romance