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Chapter no 9 – GRAYSON

The Brothers Hawthorne

Grayson stepped off the plane to eight voicemails, seven of them from Xander. By the seventh, his youngest brother had taken to singing what appeared to be an opera-style epic about brotherly concern and cheesesteak. The one remaining message was from Zabrowski, only minutes old. “I did some digging. The girl is still in custody, but nothing’s been filed yet.

No arrest paperwork. No charges. You ask me, someone else already has a finger on the scales. Let me know how you want to proceed.”

Grayson deleted the message. If they haven’t truly arrested her, they have no legal right to keep her in custody. That would certainly make things simpler.

Per the arrangements Grayson had made on his way to the airport in London, a car was waiting for him in long-term parking, the key under the mat. Grayson hadn’t inherited the Hawthorne billions, but the Hawthorne name was still worth something, and he wasn’t without financial resources

—the same resources he’d been using to pay Zabrowski’s retainer.

It was because of the private investigator that Grayson knew that Juliet went, inexplicably, by Gigi, that she was the younger twin by seven minutes, and that her sister, Savannah, was far less likely to find herself in a situation in need of interference.

His interference.

Grayson started up the Ferrari 488 Spider his contact had provided. As far as vehicles went, it was more Jameson’s style than his, but some situations required making an entrance. Turning his mind to strategy kept Grayson from thinking too hard about the fact that Juliet and Savannah

Grayson didn’t even know he existed.

Just like they didn’t know that the father the three of them shared was dead.

Sheffield Grayson had made the mistake of attacking Avery. It hadn’t ended well for him. As far as the rest of the world knew, the wealthy Phoenix businessman had simply disappeared. Popular theory seemed to be that he’d taken off for some tropical tax haven with a much younger woman. Grayson had been keeping an eye on Juliet and Savannah ever since.

In and out, he reminded himself. He wasn’t in Phoenix to forge relationships or tell the twins who he was. There was a situation to be handled. Grayson would handle it.

When he walked into the Phoenix Police Department, he let one and only one thought rise to the surface of his mind. Never question your own authority and no one else will, either.

 

 

“Anyone see that Ferrari out front?” A twentysomething patrol officer rushed in. “Holy sh—” He cut off and stared at Grayson, who, like the car, had a way of making an impression.

Grayson didn’t let a hint of amusement show on his face. “You have Juliet Grayson in your custody.” That was not a question, but Grayson’s demeanor demanded a response.

“Gigi?” Another officer joined the two of them, craning his neck, like he somehow expected to be able to see Grayson’s Ferrari through the walls. “Oh yeah. We have her.”

“You’ll want to rectify that.” There was a difference between telling people what you wanted and making it clear that it was in their best interest to give it to you. Explicit threats were for people who needed to assert their power. Never assert what you can assume, Grayson.

“Who the hell are you?”

Grayson knew without turning that the person who had just spoken was older than the other two officers—and higher ranked. A sergeant, perhaps, or a lieutenant. That, in combination with the way that the name Juliet Grayson had gotten his attention, told Grayson all he needed to know: This man was the reason that arrest paperwork hadn’t been filed.

“Do you really have to ask?” Grayson replied. He knew the power of certain facial expressions: the kind without a hint of aggression, the kind

that made a promise nonetheless.

The lieutenant—Grayson could see his badge now—took measure of Grayson, the cut of his very expensive suit, his absolute lack of nerves. It was easy enough to see the man debating: Had Grayson been sent by the same person who’d called in a favor with him?

“I can call our mutual friend, if you like.” Grayson, like all Hawthornes, was an excellent bluffer. He slipped his phone from his pocket. “Or you can have one of these officers take me to the girl.”

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