I search the drawer and find nothing odd. I move to the next drawer and it’s more of the same. Next comes the credenza behind me, with not much better luck. That’s when my gaze lands on the cabinet beneath his liquor collection. I rush over there, squat and use my paperclip. The door pops open and my heart clenches at the sight of an accordion file. The same kind I found in my father’s desk.
I grab it and I swear it burns a hole in my hand. I shut the door and stand. I’m not staying here one minute longer. I rush toward the door, and exit to the hallway. The coast is clear, and I don’t stop walking until I’m in my office. I shut the door and then walk to my desk, sit down and open the file.
The first thing I pull out makes me sick to my stomach. I pant out a breath and there’s a knock on my door one second before Chance walks in. I stand up and he shuts the door. “I told her that I’ll meet with York.”
I hold up a photograph in my hand, a photograph of me in Starbucks, one of many photographs of me. “Are you having me followed?
“Fuck. No. That was—it was dad’s. I found it in his things.”
“And you didn’t tell me?” I demand in disbelief.
“I didn’t feel like it served a purpose other than hurting you.”
“Did he follow you?”
His lips thin. “No, or if he did I don’t know about it.”
“Did you know what an asshole he was?”
“I worked with him every day. Yeah, sis, I knew. The question is how do you know? He was a good actor.”
“I found his journal.”
“Yes. Journal. And I promise you, that you don’t want to read it.”
He steps toward me, his entire body radiating agitation. “I need that journal, Emma.”
“No, I don’t think I’m giving it up.”
“I need the damn journal.”
“Because I’m the one living in the hell of his actions. I need everything I can get to cut off the bleeding.”
“So I’m right. He did bad things.”
“Yes, Emma. He did bad things.”
“What did he do to Jax’s brother?”
“I don’t know.”
“You do know.”
“I don’t know,” he says. “And you need to step away from him and this. You’re too emotional. You’re going to make him think there’s fire where he’s created smoke.”
I shove the photos in the folder, shove the folder in my briefcase, and stand up. “Did you agree to work with Marion?”
“I’m meeting with York. We’ll go from there.”
“She was having an affair with dad. She’s trying to trap us. I don’t know how, but this is a trap. She’s afraid we’ll tell her husband. That’s what York wants from me. Silence. Or else. And his or else is not good.”
“I know about the affair.”
His lips thin. “I know now.”
“Does Marion know you know?”
“Yes. I confronted her right before the award ceremony which is why I stayed away. I didn’t want to be in the same room as her and her husband.”
“Then you have to see I’m right,” I say. “She’s manipulating us. She wants to silence us. This cruise plan is a trap.”
“I don’t trap easily,” he says. “I’ve got this.”
“But we might work with her and York?”
“We’ll see, Emma.”
“Does mom know?”
“She found photos she showed me. Marion was naked.”
I inhale a sharp breath. “And we’re still considering this cruise line?”
“Give me some credit for having a plan. I’m working on a partnership to replace them but, Emma, I need that journal.”
“I locked it in a safety deposit box. The key is at my apartment that I can’t go to because of York. It has no names anyway. It’s just a bunch of nasty thoughts from his nasty mind.” I grab my purse. “I need to take a few days and then go to Germany. I need to see mom while I’m there.”
I try to pass him. “Get me the key before you leave.”
“Fine. I’ll get you the key.”
I jerk away from him and head for the door. “Emma.”
I stop just before opening the door. “Yes?”
“I need that file back.”
I exit the office, and rush for the elevator. It dings and I manage to enter with a cluster of people. Chance steps in front of the door and grimaces at the crowd. He has to let me go. I sink to the back of the car and realize that Jax never gave me his number. I grab the card Savage gave me from my side pocket but as I glance at my phone, I spy a text from Jax that reads: My phone number is now in your phone and here is Savage’s for easy use. Text me or call me when your meeting is over.
I shoot him a reply: I had a problem. I have to get out of the office with a folder now. I’m leaving. I’m going to the Starbucks four blocks west of my office to grab an Uber there.