Home > Possession (Steel Brothers Saga #3)

Possession (Steel Brothers Saga #3)
Author: Helen Hardt


Prologue

 

 

Jade

 


“Hello, Wendy,” I said into the receiver. “This is Jade Roberts again from Snow Creek.”

A heavy sigh whooshed through the phone line and into my ears. “What can I do for you, Jade?”

“You can tell me about the relationship between Larry Wade and Daphne Steel.”

Silence for a few moments. Then, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I have reason to believe that Larry Wade and Daphne Steel were half-brother and half-sister.”

And again, silence.

“Look, Wendy, I know you don’t want to get involved in this, but I care about the Steels.”

“You’re just doing Larry’s dirty work.”

“Yes, and no. I’m researching them for him for classified reasons, but as you know, I have my own agenda.”

More silence.

“Why did someone tamper with Daphne’s birth certificate and marriage certificate? Why didn’t anyone think to change her father’s first and middle names while they were in there?”

“I’m not sure what tree you’re barking up, Jade, but I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Look, I’m not stupid. The last name on Daphne’s marriage certificate is Wade. Her birth certificate notes that her father’s name is Jonathan Conrad Warren. Larry Wade’s father is Jonathan Conrad Wade.”

Another heavy sigh. “Well, you’re the attorney,” she said. “Piece together the evidence.”

“I already have pieced it together. What I want to know is why.”

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not sure I know myself.”

I didn’t believe her, of course. In my mind’s eye, I saw her stroking her cheek with her index finger. But I wasn’t ready to pack up everything and fly out to talk to her again if she wasn’t willing to cooperate.

“All right, Wendy. I understand. If you ever feel differently about things, please call me. You have my number.”

We said our goodbyes and ended the call.

I shifted my focus to a couple of DUIs for the remainder of the day. I was due in court in the morning for arraignments. Besides, I had to let go of the Steels for a few hours. As much as I loved Talon and the rest of his family, I needed to escape it all, if only for a few hours. This research was taking its toll.

When I finished work on the DUIs, I got on the Internet to look at tattoo shops in Grand Junction. Maybe I’d drive into the city over the weekend and check one of them out. Maybe find a new image. One that wouldn’t upset Talon so much.

I was sipping from a bottle of water when Larry stuck his head inside my office.

“I’m taking off early, Jade,” he said. “Did you need anything before I go?”

I pushed some documents across my desk. “Just your signature on these.”

“Sure, no problem.” He entered my office, clad in shorts, a Hawaiian-print shirt, flip-flops.

“Going to the beach?” I smiled.

“I wish. Nope, just taking the grandkids out for the afternoon. Do you have any plans for the weekend?”

“I might go into the city.”

“Yeah, what for?”

“I’m thinking about getting a tattoo.” My phone buzzed. “Excuse me for a minute.” I picked up the receiver. “Yes?”

“It’s a Ted Morse for you, Jade,” Michelle said.

Colin’s father? Why would he be calling me? “Okay, put him through.” I turned to Larry. “I’ll just be a minute.”

He nodded, took the documents, and sat down in the chair opposite me, perusing them.

“This is Jade,” I said into the phone.

“Jade, Ted Morse. I need some answers.”

Would I ever be free of this family? “What do you mean?”

“Where the hell is my son, Jade? He was supposed to fly home after that court appearance. No one’s seen him since he left here.”

My blood froze in my veins. “He didn’t show up in court. The last time I saw him was Saturday evening.”

Silence for a few seconds, and then, “I’ll be in touch.” The line went dead.

Where was Colin? Dread crawled up my spine and lodged in the fine hairs on the back of my neck.

Larry sat across from me, staring. “Everything okay?”

“Yes, yes. That was my ex-fiancé’s father, just looking for him.”

“I see.” Larry scribbled his signature on the last document. “So your tattoo. May I ask where you’re getting it?”

“I don’t know yet. Maybe a shop in Grand Junction.”

He laughed. “I mean where on your body.”

“Oh. Sure. On my lower back.”

“Good spot. Your first?”

I nodded.

“They hurt like hell.”

“So I’ve heard. But I’ll be fine.”

He turned to leave, and my pulse raced double-time. Don’t let him go. I needed to know things, things that only he could tell me. And now Colin had disappeared. I doubted Larry had anything to do with that, but I feared Talon might. Damn it, I wanted some answers. So I risked losing my job and my access to all the databases. I needed to start now. For my own sanity.

“Larry?”

He turned around. “Yes?”

“Before you go, I need to ask you some questions about the Steel investigation.”

“Well, as I’ve told you, most of that’s classified, but I’ll help if I can.”

I drew in a breath, gathering my courage. “I want to know about your sister. Daphne Steel.”

His eyes grew dark, and he walked around to my side of the desk. I trembled. But what could he do? We were in a public office, and Michelle and David were right outside. I met his angry gaze and then dropped my own to the floor, berating myself for not being able to look him in the eye.

Cheap flip-flops. But something was off.

Larry was missing a toe—the little toe on his left foot.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Jade

 


“What did you just say to me?” Larry’s voice was dark with anger.

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