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Chapter no 44 – JAMESON

The Brothers Hawthorne

This time, Jameson went alone. Chiffon canopies lined the walls. From beneath one of them, a woman stepped out. Like the dealers and the bartender, she was dressed in historical garb.

“You’re hurt,” the woman noted, the cadence of her voice almost lyrical. “I can help with that.”

Jameson remembered what Rohan had said about having masseurs on staff. “I don’t mind hurting. I was told you had a book? Short-term bets.”

“And what will you be betting on?” the woman asked.

Surprising, tempting, threatening. Jameson wracked his mind for the right play for this exact moment, and his brain kept circling back to the same place.

To the same option.

Prague. Jameson Winchester Hawthorne thought back to that night—to what he’d heard, what he knew, what he wasn’t supposed to know. And then he made a choice. Not the obvious one, not even a good one.

Not without risk.

But what was more tempting than knowledge—or more surprising than a bet that, from the Proprietor’s perspective, he would have no reason, none at all, to make?

No fear. No holding back. “I’d like to wager on what’s getting ready to happen to the price of wheat.”

 

 

A single Hail Mary pass could be a sign of desperation. A series of them was strategy.

Jameson ended the night at the tables. This time, he didn’t bother himself about winning too much or playing at any one game for too long. His blood was buzzing in his veins. His body was shot, but his mind was going at the speed of light, and he wasn’t about to let anything slow him down.

When Branford and Zella sat down for a game of whist, Jameson lost no time taking one of the seats to play against them. Avery took the remaining chair at the table.

“Looks like I have a teammate.” Jameson met her eyes. Branford and Zella didn’t know what they were in for. “I’d offer to deal,” Jameson continued, “but I’d hate to upset the control freaks among us.” He handed the deck to Branford. “Uncle?”

Simon Johnstone-Jameson’s poker face was immaculate. Ian had said that his family didn’t know about his illegitimate son. Jameson couldn’t tell, looking at Branford now, if that was true.

“Your presence has been requested.” Rohan appeared above them.

Branford went to stand, and Zella cocked her head to the side. “Not you,” she told Branford. Jameson’s gut said that was a guess—but hopefully, a good one.

Rohan’s eyes narrowed almost imperceptibly, and a moment later, the rogue’s smile was back, split lip be damned. “Not just you, Branford. The Proprietor will see all four of you in his office.”

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