Chapter no 22 – GRAYSON

The Brothers Hawthorne

Gigi saw him out but didn’t follow him down the front steps. As Grayson paced toward the Ferrari, he heard a voice farther down the drive. Acacia’s. “You left her there overnight? And didn’t call me?

Grayson could go still with a moment’s notice. Complete control of his body made it that much easier to disappear into his surroundings.

“She has to learn sometime.” That voice was male, unremarkable. “Do you know what would have happened if I hadn’t intervened, Acacia?”

Pinpointing their location to be inside the portico, Grayson allowed himself two more steps in that direction. Silent. Measured.

“It is not your job to teach my daughters anything, Kent.”

“And that’s not the only thing that’s bothering you, Mrs. Grayson.”

Trowbridge. Given that the two of them were clearly on a first-name basis, the fact that he’d chosen to address her as Mrs. Grayson felt pointed.

“Gigi saw the investigators,” Acacia admitted in a hushed voice that Grayson could barely hear. “I’m trying my best to protect the girls, but—”

“We’ve been over this, Acacia. You don’t have the resources to protect anyone. I’m doing the best I can, but you know—”

“I am going to handle this.” Acacia’s voice wasn’t hushed now.

“Your parents aren’t here anymore. Your husband is gone. And the money—”

“I know.” Acacia appeared, pacing outside the portico.

“I’ll do whatever I can.” Kent Trowbridge stepped out after her. He was shorter than she was and moved like a guy who prided himself on being fitter than men half his age. “You know that I am here for you, Acacia. You

just have to let me be here for you.”

The moment Grayson saw the lawyer place a hand on Acacia’s shoulder

—far too close to her neck—he took three loud steps forward. Instantly, Trowbridge’s hand dropped. Acacia stepped away from him, and they both whipped their heads toward the house.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” Grayson didn’t raise his voice, but he had his grandfather’s way of being heard. He walked, his pace unhurried, to a spot just short of the Ferrari, then paused and held out his hand, forcing his opponent to close the distance between them to take it.

“Grayson Hawthorne,” he said, meeting the lawyer’s eyes.

He saw a spark of recognition at his last name. “Kent Trowbridge.”

Grayson let his lips curl slightly. “I know.” There was power in those two words. Make them wonder what you know.

Trowbridge glanced back at Acacia. “We’ll talk later,” he told her.

Grayson didn’t step into his own car until the lawyer was gone. He didn’t press Acacia on what he’d overheard. Instead, as he pulled out of the drive, he made a call. “Zabrowski, you have exactly one chance to prove to me that you’re worth continuing to keep on retainer.”

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