A/N – I initially put time stamps on the next 6 chapters for myself so I wouldn’t get lost because things were happening so fast. I decided to leave them because I thought it might be good for the readers as well. Beginning on Friday morning, which is the second scene in this chapter, this and the next 5 chapters will span only 48 hours, and will be super intense. Buckle up.
Wednesday, 5:30 PM – C&M
When Noah arrived to pick up Ami, she brought him into the conference room. “Noah, I need you to look at this….” she said. She was almost sick having watched the footage over and over trying to figure out what it meant.
When she turned on the monitor two woman were sitting at a table in a darkened room talking. “Is that Avery?” asked Noah then added, “Fuck, that’s the clubhouse!”
“Bingo. How do you think I have this?” asked Ami.
“Honestly? I thought maybe my dumbass best friend, aka your brother, was having her followed.”
“Not that I’m aware of,” said Ami and managed a small laugh. “No, the security guys sent it over. They thought it might be one of the kids because they entered with a key. Do you think she got it from Reagan. She didn’t break in.”
“Do you know who she’s with?” asked Noah when a close up of the other woman came on the screen.
“No. Guess that means you don’t either.” She had hoped Noah might know her. “This was the night of Taylor’s party. She just gives me the creeps. Why is she sneaking around?”
“Agreed. And I bet, that bitch has no idea it’s monitored.”
“She’s Reagan’s mother Noah,” scolded Ami, and turned it off. She couldn’t watch anymore.
“She’s still a fucking bitch. When I think about what might’ve happened because of her, I can’t stand the sight of her. After losing my parents when I was a kid, if I’d lost you and Will … Fuck, Ami.”
Ami put her arms around her husband and just held him for a minute. “Hey, it’s okay.” she said softly, “I love you so much baby. I also think a lot about Will. But we’re both here and fine.”
When he let her go she asked, “So, do you think we should tell Cole she’s sneaking around? You and I both know what he’ll do. But if I tell Reagan, she’ll probably tell Avery the clubhouse is monitored. Obviously she has no idea. Reagan would think I’m just being paranoid. Noah, I really don’t know what to do.”
Noah sighed. “Well, I don’t think you should tell Cole. He’ll freak out and go off on her, which won’t solve anything. Let him be for now. But, because I do worry about a vendetta against him for his ridiculous outburst at the trial, and maybe for you too, I’ll hire BASE Security to follow her for a couple of weeks. Maybe they can tell us who the chick is.”
“That’s a good idea,” said Ami. “Do you think we can we ask them to shadow Will too?”
Noah frowned. “You think he’s in danger? Why?”
“Her mind is twisted. Just until we know nobody else is watching him, or figure out what she’s up to. I’d feel better.”
“Sure babe,” said Noah and kissed her forehead. “Let’s go home and hug our son and watch him squirm.”
Ami laughed. “Later, will you make me squirm too?” she asked.
“Fuck yeah,” said Noah.
Friday, 10:00 AM…Reagan’s House
Avery and Viv sat down at the table with their coffee. She pulled out her cell phone, dialed Evan and put it on speaker.
“Hi Handsome” purred Avery when Evan answered the phone. “This is Reagan’s Mom. I have a little proposition for you. Wanna meet me during lunch at my house – alone.”
“Oh, Reagan’s. My bad. My daughter is sooo considerate. She makes me feel like it’s my house too. She’s amazing. But you already know that.”
“What’s this about Avery?”
“Does ‘Mirabel’ ring any bells’?” she asked and laughed at her own joke.
“Fuck you,” growled Evan.
“That could be arranged, handsome.”
“You’re sick. I’m having a talk with Reagan as soon as I hang up. You’re so screwed.”
Avery sighed. “Promises, promises. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll show up and not say anything to Reagan until you hear me out.”
“I get the last laugh, bitch. We agreed to the terms of the divorce and it’s been filed. So there’s nothing to tell. People get divorced all the fucking time.”
Avery looked at Viv and shrugged. “Make him come anyway,” mouthed Viv in response, so Evan wouldn’t hear her.
Avery clicked her tongue. “I have it on good authority that the paperwork hasn’t been filed yet. Your greedy little wifey must be having second thoughts.”
“You’re fucking a liar,” said Evan.
“Check the public records handsome. I don’t lie. Just looking out for my daughter’s well being – and dating an adulterer – not so good for her. Especially one that wants to weasel his way into the family ‘cause he’s broke as fuck, and wants to kick me out of my own home.” The last words were hard and threatening. She took a deep breath and lightened her tone. “So, handsome, I expect you here in 2 hours, or there’ll be hell to pay.”
“I’m waiting….” she sang out.
“Fine,” said Evan and disconnected the call.
Avery picked up her coffee and held it up grinning. “We’re on Viv!”
Friday, Noon – Reagan’s House
Evan was fuming when he got to Reagan’s house. The weather didn’t help his mood. Avery had been right. The papers hadn’t been recorded, but that didn’t mean Mari didn’t file them. He’d tried to call her but she wasn’t picking up. She was probably with Ryan and that just added to his bad mood. She was supposed to keep away. He wished he’d told Ryan about her, except he would have told Reagan and she would probably have ended it. He was waiting for the divorce to be final. Until Evan had seen Mari at the gym with Ryan last week, he simply didn’t believe her. Ryan never mentioned he was seeing someone.
The door opened and Avery was standing there in all of her glory, along with another woman he didn’t recognize. “Come in out of the rain, and don’t look so glum. This is gonna be fun!”
“Look. I’m here. Let’s get this shit over with!” barked Evan, in no mood for her games.
“Not so fast. Have a seat. Relax,” she said smiling broadly.
“I’ve had enough of your fucking game Avery. Tell me what’s going on, or I’m leaving and going straight to Reagan, and you’ll be outta this house before the day ends. I don’t even care if she breaks up with me. She deserves to know what kind of an twisted person you really are.”
Avery stepped into his personal space and pointed to the couch. “Sit Evan,” she commanded, no longer smiling.
Before he could further object, he heard a distinctive click. He looked over and the other woman had a gun pointed at him. His blood suddenly ran cold. “What the … ”
“Insurance sweetie,” she said and rolled her eyes and shrugged, like he should already know that. “Evan, you really need to cooperate. It’d be self defense. You always were so charming. Too bad we’d have to move. I’m sure the memories would be too difficult for my daughter.”
“You’re certifiable,” mumbled Evan, voicing what he’d suspected all along as he slowly moved to the couch. He eased down, with his hands up, while he furiously tried to figure out a way out of this situation. “I’m sitting,” he said, keeping his hands in the air, “can you please put that thing away?”
“Mmmm. No,” said Avery shaking her head, while the woman with the gun just grinned at him and shrugged. She freaked him out more than Avery. She hadn’t said a single word since he arrived. She looked like she wanted to end him, just for fun.
“Now Evan, I really, really don’t want to have to involve the cops. Ewww, and all the mess that would happen if she had to shoot you. So please, don’t make us do that. Okay?”
She stood up and walked to the bar. “Now, before I get down to business, let’s all have a drink to relax. She poured three glasses of wine and handed one to Evan and sat back down next to him.
He looked at it suspiciously and Avery laughed. “You watched me pour it. If I wanted you dead, you already would be. I’m trying to avoid that. Drink up, handsome.”
“I’m not thirsty,” he said and started to put it down.
“I don’t recall asking if you wanted it. Drink it,” she growled.
Her tone sent chills down his spine. How did Reagan not see her for what she was? He swallowed hard. “Please, just tell me what you want,” begged Evan, as he glanced at gun lady, but still refused to drink.
“So here’s the deal,” said Avery, “I need you out of my daughter’s life. You’re going to tell her about Maribel. That you still have feelings for her and are going to go back to her. That you were simply using my sweet daughter as a distraction while you made your decision. And then, you’re going to resign. A good looking guy like you can easily find another job in say, Windenburg.”
“Why in the hell would I do something like that?”
Avery sighed, “Because you will. You see, if you don’t, I’ll let her know you came here today and forced yourself on me. File rape charges.”
Evan nervously laughed at that statement, very aware of the drink in his hand. “She won’t believe that.”
“She will if I have proof. Now drink, or die. Simple choice really,” said Avery and gun lady raised the gun she had resting in her lap.
“What’s in this?” he asked, and she just motioned for him to drink. He thought he was going to be sick. If he survived this, he was getting Reagan the fuck out of there. But he had to survive first. He felt chilled to the bone as he tipped the glass to his lips. For all he knew he was going to die today.
“That’s a good boy. You’ll be feeling great in no time. Now remember, in the morning, after you’ve slept it off, I expect you to call and let her know the awful truth. And don’t worry honey, we’ll get you safely home.”
Evan was starting to feel woozy. “Don’t do this Avery. I love her…”
Avery laughed. “Handsome, don’t you know by now? Love is sooo overrated. How’re you feeling?”
“Like I’ve been fucked,” he slurred barely able to form words. Everything was getting mixed up in his head.
Avery laughed. “Oh, you will be … Viv, help me get him to my bedroom.”
Friday, 5:30 PM – C&M
Ami was sitting at her desk waiting for Noah. It had rained all day bringing construction to a halt and Noah was out inspecting the sites. Evan had left early and texted her later saying he was sick. When her phone rang she figured it was Noah saying he was detained. Instead, it was a number she didn’t recognize.
“C&M Development,” she said when she answered, “Can I help you?”
“Hi. Is this Amelia Redcliffe?”
“Who is this?” she asked rather than answering his question.
“This is Archer Kendall, BASE Security.”
“Oh. Yes, sorry,” Ami laughed nervously, “I’m a little jumpy.”
“Understandable. But I do have some information. Can I meet with you in your office in 10 minutes?”
“Sure. My husband’s on the way too. We’ll wait.” Ami hung up and thought a minute. Why did that name sound familiar?
Noah walked in. “Hi gorgeous. Ready to get outta here?”
“No. A guy from BASE is coming by. They have some information and he wants to talk to us. He’ll be here any minute.”
No sooner had the words passed her lips, there was a knock on her office door and Noah opened it. “I’m Archer Kendall,” said the man and held out his hand to Noah, “You must be Noah Redcliffe and Ami Redcliffe.”
Ami stood up and walked over to them. “Have we met before?” she asked, frowning.
“I don’t think so. I went to high school here, but left right after graduation.” He seemed uncomfortable answering questions.
“Okay, well what information do you have?” interjected Noah.
“Noah! Come, sit down Mr. Kendall,” said Ami.
Once seated Archer began. “We’ve identified the woman with Avery. Her name is Viviana Girodano. Her family is deeply involved with organized crime. Avery met her in prison when Viviana was serving a two year sentence for theft.
“Viviana had a relationship with Spencer Granville. We did some digging and it seems Granville didn’t make it out of the country. He tried to run, but it seems he messed with the wrong people and got himself dead instead, not long after Avery was arrested. But, he wasn’t only sleeping with your ex sister-in-law, he was playing Viviana at the same time. It appears both women joined forces to find him and extract their revenge.”
Ami felt a chill roll through her at the thought of Avery wanting any kind of revenge. Noah sensed it and put his arm around her. “I won’t even ask how you can find this shit out and the cops can’t. Regardless, it looks like the worst is over,” he said, “except those two are now BFFs.”
“I would say yes, if Viviana was a common criminal. But anytime someone is involved with organized crime, things can get ugly.”
“So we should keep watching them,” said Noah flatly.
“Yes. I was hoping you would agree. There is something else though. A young man showed up at Avery’s house around noon today. When he left, Viviana drove his car and Avery followed in Viviana’s car. They took him inside an apartment complex. Then Viviana dropped Avery back at her house and went home. We ran the plates on the car and it belongs to Evan Connor.”
Ami paled. “He works here. He and Reagan are dating. He left early today. Then he texted me and said he was sick.”
“Texted, not called?” asked Archer. “So, any reason he would go the house if Reagan wasn’t there?”
“I have no idea, we can ask Reagan,” suggested Ami. “She’s probably at his apartment by now. She was worried sick about him because he wasn’t responding to her texts or phone calls.”
“No,” said Archer, “She might tip her mother off that we are watching her. I’d like to figure out what’s up with Connor and those two. Do you trust him?”
“Yes,” replied Ami. “I mean, really, he’s given me no reason not to. Evan’s been here for almost a year. He came with a glowing letter of recommendation. I called his former employer in San Mysuno and it checked out. He’s proven to be very successful. He and Rea hit it off and have made a great team. They’ve been dating for about 4 months maybe. Evan and Ryan, her twin brother, are friendly too.”
“Why, do you think he’s up to something?” asked Noah frowning.
“I’ll have my guys do a background check on him, just to be sure. Maybe he really was sick and they simply took him home. I’ll also have someone watch Reagan, just to be sure she’s safe, at least until we know what or if Avery and Viviana are up to something since Spencer was a dead end, no pun intended.”
“Well fuck,” mumbled Noah and looked at his wife, “I’m sorry baby, I know this is difficult.”
“I’m okay,” said Ami and softly sighed. Noah worried about her too much. “You guys found out what Avery was up to before. I’m sure if there’s anything to be worried about, you’ll find out. Then, we can either go to the authorities or just let her be. I really do wish that Reagan could get away from her though. I was hoping she might decide to sell that house and move in with Evan. I for one, would feel better.”
“They’re that serious?” asked Archer.
Ami and Noah shared a look between them. “I think they are and just haven’t admitted it yet,” said Ami smiling, “Having Avery living with her has probably slowed them down.”
“Hmmm. So you think he might’ve gone there to confront her then?” asked Archer.
“No. I don’t think so. I’ve never heard him say anything bad about her. Maybe he and Ryan talk about it? You could ask Ryan. He works at the Willow Creek Gym.”
“Let me get the background check on Connor and I’ll let you know if we might need to interview anyone else. Right now, the less people that know we are investigating, the better.”
They stood up and Noah shook Archer’s hand. “Okay. Thank you Mr. Kendall,” said Noah, “Let us know if you have any additional questions.”