Tides of Vengeance (The Montclair Brothers Book 4), страница 1
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Tides of Vengeance
From the Author:
Books by Terri Marie
Contact Terri Marie
TIDES OF VENGEANCE
The Montclair Brothers: Book 4
by Terri Marie
2014 by Terri Marie
This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people, dead or alive, is strictly a matter of coincidence. Places and events depicted in these pages are from the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Published by Gossamer Publishing
PO Box 972309
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Cover art by:
FROM THE AUTHOR:
I HOPE YOU’LL enjoy the continued antics of the Montclair brothers, but never fear…I’ve already started Book 5! I’ve been asked many times how many books will be in this series, but that’s something I go back and forth with in my mind. When it’s time to move on, I’ll definitely let you know.
Thank you for reading my books and for stopping by to chat with me from time to time. I adore you all.
This book is dedicated to my lovely editor, Angelique Luzader, as well as my beta readers, Carol, Diana, and Janet, and my entire Treasures team.
I love you ladies!
BOOKS BY TERRI MARIE
A BILLIONAIRE IN DISGUISE SERIES:
Forbidden Disclosure, Book 1
A Perfect Plan, Book 2
The Wrong Side of Midnight, Book 3.
Book 4 to be announced
THE MONTCLAIR BROTHERS SERIES:
A New romantic suspense saga:
Make it Rain, Book 1
Through the Storm. Book 2
Waves of Reckoning, Book 3
The Montclair Brothers Collection, Books 1-3
Tides of Vengeance, Book 4.
Book 5 to be released in late fall of 2014
THE TIES THAT BIND SERIES
Running from Beige, Book 1
Secrets by the River, Book 2
CHILDREN’S ACTION AND ADVENTURE
The Shack, Merry, and A Cat Named Cha-moan
You can find Terri Marie’s books at all major retailers.
WHAT PUSHED YOU to the point of standing up to a man much bigger, much stronger than you?” A silence fell in the courtroom, but Chase let Brian take his time.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Brian looked back down at his lap. Tyler could see his eyes watering.
“Brian, I know this is very hard for you, but it’s important that you tell us everything you remember.” Chase walked closer to Brian again.
“There’s nothing more to tell, I’m done.” Brian stood up and walked back to the prosecutor’s table and sat down, putting his face on his folded arms. Tyler wanted to scream.
The judge wrote something down, and then looked over at Simmons. “Do you have anything to add?”
“A few things, Your Honor. There’s no evidence, anywhere on that property that Brian was abused or neglected. None. The basement isn’t even in the condition that’s been alleged. The police report…” Simmons laughed, causing him to get a stern look from the judge. “It was obviously made up by Tyler Montclair and Brian Waters. He wants to adopt this boy, so he had to lie in order for that to happen. Brian’s a runaway who didn’t like to follow rules, plain and simple. Money talks, Your Honor, and the Montclairs have plenty. I’m sure the boy has been given lots of expensive gifts while he was with them. My clients, Hank and Shirley Waters are loving parents. Shirley homeschooled Brian, and you have copies of his paperwork to prove it. To even suggest that they’d be capable of emotionally or physically abusing Brian is ludicrous. There’s absolutely no proof! Not to mention, if Hank Waters was abusing his son, where was his mother? She certainly loves Brian and would never have tolerated it. So please, Your Honor, ask Brian Waters where his mother was when all of this abuse was supposedly going on?” Simmons held his hands out to drive his point home. Tyler wanted to break the man’s arms.
“Brian, was your mother home during these times you’ve described?” asked Uldum.
“Yes,” Brian answered in a quiet voice. He lifted up his eyes and looked at the judge.
“Why didn’t you tell her?” The judge looked at the kid as if he was full of doubt.
“Tell my mother? She was there.” Brian started to laugh. He stood up and looked right at his parents. “My mother was there, because she was filming it!” His entire body started to crumble.
The courtroom fell silent.
Renee tried to get up, not to comfort Brian, but to attack the Waters. As Tyler held her down, he looked over at his brothers. Jacob and Sean were holding Elissa and Emma, who were also fiercely fighting to get at the Waters. He watched Vincent look at Carrie with concern, when she rose to her feet and hurried out of the courtroom.
“Please stay seated,” interrupted the judge. “Brian’s statements were very moving, but there’s still no evidence that any crime was ever committed against him. This case has been thoroughly investigated by Child Protective Services, as well as by law enforcement. I’m releasing Shirley Waters from custody effective immediately, and dropping all abuse charges against both her and Hank Waters. Because Brian is still a minor, he’s going to be returned to the care of his mother today. Mr. Chase, did you ask Tyler Montclair to pack a suitcase for Brian?”
“Yes, Your Honor.” Vincent looked at Tyler, and he smiled and nodded, but he had no intentions of sending him on that trip to Ohio.
“Very well. Case dismissed.” The judge got up and walked out of the courtroom. Hank and Shirley were thanking Simmons. She hugged her husband goodbye, and then she started walking towards Brian with a smile and outstretched arms. Tyler hurried over to his son.
“Goodbye, Brian. Take care of yourself.” He hugged him with one arm, shoved an envelope into his hands, and whispered.
TYLER DROPPED HIS arms from around Brian’s shoulders once he knew his mission to save his son was underway. Shirley was getting closer, making all kinds of cooing sounds at the kid, and Tyler could feel the boy’s muscles tighten. Brian stuffed the envelope down the front of his pants and quickly buttoned his suit jacket. He stepped away from Tyler and forced a smile as he looked into Shirley Waters’ eyes.
“I’ll be right back, Mom. I have to use the restroom before we leave.” He reached out and squeezed her hands to stop her from grabbing him i
“We’ll wait right here for you, Brian,” explained Tyler, as he tried to hide the desperation in his eyes. He knew that the kid’s life was on the line. He couldn’t fail him now.
“We’ll stick around and walk you and your mom to a taxi. I’ll pick up the cab fare so don’t worry about it.” Tyler smiled over at Shirley, who whispered, “Thank you” with her deceptive, sweet face. Tyler wanted to place her head inside a meat grinder. He could feel his brothers staring at him with their jaws set, but none of them said a word. He worried about the girls, but he was sure they’d noticed the transaction from where they were standing.
“Hurry up, Brian, don’t keep your mom waiting.” Tyler just about choked on his words. Brian glanced at him one last time before calmly walking down the aisle to the courtroom exit.
“Maybe I should wait out in the lobby for him.” Shirley turned to follow her son, and Tyler’s heart began to race with fear. If she went out there, Brian would surely be spotted and hauled back to her in handcuffs.
“There are a lot of people out there, Shirley. Let’s just wait in here. This is where Brian is expecting you to be. Besides, his excitement is probably jumbling his thinking!” Tyler let out a chuckle, which surprised him; just smiling at the beast was already pushing his limits.
He saw his brothers approaching him out of the corner of his eye.
“Shirley, I’m Sean, Tyler’s brother. I didn’t really get a chance to get to know your son very well, but from what I can tell, he’s a great kid.” Tyler knew Sean was lying to stall Shirley from walking out of the courtroom. Once again, his family had faith in him.
“Yes, he is. I know he’s probably angry at me, but I’m sure that’ll change once I get him home and we get some time alone together. I don’t think he’ll find my rules too harsh anymore, now that he’s older.” She smiled confidently.
But so did the Montclairs.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Carrie peeked around the corner of the courthouse watching for Brian to come nonchalantly strolling out. When she’d gotten the call from Tyler at 5:30 this morning, she didn’t hesitate in agreeing to help. The hard part was keeping the plan to herself; knowing Vincent, he would try to stop his brother. They couldn’t risk it. She was clearly breaking the law, but getting into trouble never even entered Carrie’s mind. Just like Tyler, she’d do whatever she could to keep the boy safe.
Brian was used to not attracting attention to himself, so she knew he wouldn’t haul ass out the door and risk catching the eyes of the guards. Her immediate concern was the cab driver. He didn’t like having to wait there with the back door open, nor was he happy about being asked to park out of sight. He’d complained, but oh well. He was getting paid, and if the short, balding man beeped his horn out of impatience, she’d snap him in half.
Brian finally walked out of the courthouse, keeping pace with everyone else who was leaving; his facial expression revealed not a bit of concern or fear. Carrie would have to hurry and get him into the cab, to avoid detection by the security cameras. With any luck, they’d be long gone before Shirley realized he wasn’t coming back. Hopefully, Tyler would keep her distracted. Without turning his head, Brian moved his eyes over the area and spotted her. He made a slow turn, walked past her and climbed into the back of the cab.
Carrie got in beside him. “Get moving!” she instructed the driver.
“Wow, I’m glad I spotted you. Tyler didn’t exactly have an opportunity to explain the next part of this plan. All I got was this.” Brian unbuttoned his suit jacket to display part of an envelope that was sticking out of the top of his pants. “I figured it out the second I saw you. I’m happy I didn’t have to disappear onto the streets again.” Brian opened the envelope a little and saw nothing but cash.
Carrie brought her finger to her lips and looked towards the cab driver. “We’ll have a great vacation at Disney. Your dad was able to get tomorrow off work, so he’ll meet us there tonight! We’re going to have such a fun time!”
“Yeah, I’m really excited!” Brian turned to her and responded joyfully.
“Driver, we need to go to the airport so we can catch our flight to Florida.”
“Metro? Why didn’t you tell me that from the start, instead of making such a big deal of me parking so far away? Kid, if you’re running from the law, I don’t want any part of it,” he warned.
Without skipping a beat, Brian quickly responded. “My mom is really jealous of my step-mom and dad’s marriage. She stalks them constantly. I don’t know why she can’t just accept that their relationship didn’t work out.” Brian shook his head and sighed for effect.
“I know that feeling kid. My ex still calls me all the time. Blows up my phone every chance she gets. I’ve been with someone else for three years now, and she still won’t let me go,” he laughed. “To the airport then.” He turned off the main street and headed towards the interstate. Carrie wanted to hug the boy for his quick thinking.
Brian kept his eyes glued on the road in front of them, while she inconspicuously glanced around for marked and unmarked police cruisers. Carrie’s final destination with Brian was a mystery even to her. Tyler didn’t know where they should go, and it wasn’t like they’d had a lot of time to figure it out. “Just go as far as you can,” he’d said. He had left a key to the house under an empty trash can, and the door to Renee’s Cadillac was left unlocked in the garage. Carrie found an envelope with five thousand dollars in mixed bills for her hidden underneath the front passenger seat. Whatever it took, she wasn’t about to let this family down.
Once at the airport, she’d grab another cab from a different company, and hope to hell she’d figured out a plan by then. They’d have to head south and get out of Michigan as quickly as possible. Crossing state lines with a minor without the permission of their parents could get her locked up, but she had no choice. Whatever happened from here on out would be her responsibility. If they were caught, she’d never forgive herself and neither would the Montclairs, especially not Tyler and Renee.
When the taxi pulled up at the airport, Carrie thanked the driver and gave him cash for the fare.
“Wait, you don’t have any luggage.” He glared at her suspiciously.
Brian leaned down and spoke to the cabbie through the driver’s side window. “We shipped our bags ahead of us so my mom wouldn’t spot us leaving the house with suitcases. We were at the courthouse today to prevent her from visiting me without supervision. She’s hit me before, so trust me, it isn’t safe for me to be around my mother. Please don’t tell anyone. If my mom finds out where we’re going, we’ll be stalked on our vacation.”
“Yeah, no one needs that crap. Enjoy Disney, kiddo!” The cab driver thanked them before pulling away from the passenger drop off.
“Okay, Brian. See that black and white cab down there? Let’s get to it.” Carrie looked around before leading the way.
“By now, they’ll have my description everywhere. I have to dump this suit.” Brian looked at her with worry.
“Let’s get farther away and then we’ll stop.” Carrie went up to the passenger side window of the cab and waited for the driver to roll it down.
“Can I take you somewhere?” Carrie didn’t think the young man could be any older than twenty-one.
“Sure. We need to get to Livonia. Do you drive that far?” She hoped like hell that she was remembering correctly. The last time she’d looked at a map of Michigan was when she was driving to court for Robert’s trial.
“Yep. It’s not far at all. Where in Livonia?” The driver looked at Brian. “You going to a special event or something?”
Now Carrie knew she had to get a change of clothing for Brian soon. She was sure this driver would remember the suit. “Is there a mall in Livonia? We’re going to my sister’s impromptu wedding, and I can’t exactly show up looking like this!” She laughed, but she hoped he believed her.
“We’ll find one. Hop in.” When Carrie heard the doors unlock, she le
Brian didn’t say anything on the way to the mall. She could see the tension in his face. Carrie could only imagine the flashbacks this kid was having about fleeing from Ohio. Then it hit her. After they picked up some new clothes, they’d take different cab rides to get them as close to the Ohio border as possible…which was the last place the authorities would be looking. She reached over and patted Brian’s leg. He looked at her and half-smiled in response.
“Here we are. This mall isn’t huge, but at least they should carry some fancy dresses. Have fun at the wedding!” He told her what she owed, and she paid him.
When they stepped inside, Carrie quickly led Brian to the mall directory and pointed to a men’s clothing store.
“Let’s head here. We have to remember that time isn’t our friend right now.” She looked up at his nervous face. Luckily the store was nearby, which meant there’d be fewer witnesses to their presence.
“You know, you should get different clothes as well. They don’t know I’m with you, but as soon as the police check the security footage, they’ll know. Trust me, there are cameras everywhere at the courthouse. I got good at spotting and avoiding them for quite a while.” Brian pointed out a women’s store for Carrie.
“Yeah, you’re right. Let’s get you out of that suit first.”
Once inside the store, Carrie asked Brian for his sizes and quickly grabbed a few t-shirts in grey and khaki green and handed him a couple of pairs of jeans. There was no way she was going to have the kid wear anything flashy. “Here, try these on. Before we leave, you can change in the bathroom.”
Brian asked the cashier to unlock the changing room. A couple minutes later, he came back out and handed Carrie the clothing.
“Wow, you look really nice in that suit, but it doesn’t look very comfortable.” The cashier’s name was Wanda, and Carrie wanted to put tape across her mouth. “My brother hates suits.”
“Well I’m not very fond of them,” Brian quickly explained. “I was at a funeral, so yeah, I don’t want to ride all the way back to Flint in this thing.” She giggled and handed him the bag, after Carrie paid for everything. She’d even picked the kid out some sunglasses and a hoodie. Brian’s eyes lit up when he saw them, but then his expression turned sad. Carrie had forgotten about the black hoodie he’d used to hide himself.