“This is a bad idea, brother,” Kynan says to me as I pull up in front of the trailer where Jayce lives.

I had him thoroughly investigated after Trista found the photos in my shred bin two days ago and shared with me her brother was the one who loaned her the money. I have to say, a few things surprised me about the Jayce of today, the first being that he lived in this dump. Jayce had been a fairly clean-cut, responsible guy when I knew him pre-fucking-my-fiancée. I wouldn’t have employed him at The Jameson Group if he wasn’t.

But in the last five years, he’s deteriorated. My sources indicate he’s not been employed in three years and makes his money from selling drugs, which is enough to pay rent on this dump and his other living expenses. I had twenty-four-hour surveillance on him for the last two days and learned he’s gained at least forty pounds since I last saw him, is probably an alcoholic based on the amount of discarded beer cans in a box outside his door, and he seems to have no friends other than people who come by his house for drugs. He’s low level though, basically selling pot and some prescription pills he has prescribed for him by a doctor for sciatica.

I couldn’t figure it out at first.

How someone this destitute and without any ambition came up with thirteen grand to loan his sister. To say I was shocked when Trista let that little secret out of the bag is an understatement. While I wanted to just hunt him down and kill him for putting his hands on Trista, I let some maturity and wisdom prevail, deciding I needed more information before I could determine how to handle him. I had called Kynan immediately so he could start investigating the fucker.

Within a day, I had my answer. Jayce isn’t a loan shark, but he did take out a loan from one himself to give the money to Trista. He charged her double the interest he was being charged, and figured he could make a little money on the deal when she gave him twenty-five thousand back. Greasing a few palms, I even found out who Jayce got the money from, the true payoff, and confirmed the ten grand I advanced to Trista to give to her “loan shark” was never received by the real shark. I’m assuming Jayce has probably spent it, but I’m going to find out for sure.

Right now.

I pull on the handle to open my door, but Kynan’s hand on my shoulder stops me. When I turn to look at him, I know he can tell by the look on my face I don’t have any patience right now. My original plan had just been to kill Jayce. Clean and simple. When Kynan showed up to my office that morning after Trista left, he, of course, asked what I was going to do after I filled him in on everything that had happened.

I don’t lie to Kynan, so I told him. “I’m going to kill Jayce Barnes and need to figure out where to dump his remains.”

Kynan’s eyebrows merely lifted as he took a casual seat in one of my guest chairs. “You’re going to kill Jayce?”

“That fucker is going to pay,” I had growled at him, still reeling from Trista leaving me and what I learned.

Leaning forward in his chair, Kynan pinned me with a sober look. “Jerico… man… it’s time to let that stuff with Jayce and Michelle go. With the baby, too. You’ve got to move on, buddy.”

My head had snapped up in surprise, and I waved an impatient hand at him. “What are you talking about? I let that go.”

“Then why do you want to kill him?” Kynan asked.

I huffed with agitation. “Because of what he did to Trista. That fucker wouldn’t help his niece out. Instead, he forced Trista to borrow money from him, and then he hit her when she couldn’t repay it.”

Rather than chastising me or telling me what an idiot I was for even thinking I could get away with cold-blooded murder, Kynan had just grinned at me like he figured out something huge.

“What?” I’d snapped at him.

“Dude, you really have moved past all that shit with Jayce and Michelle,” he’d said with awe and an even bigger smile. “You’re in love with Trista, aren’t you?”

I looked away, not because he was right, but because he was uncomfortably close to being right. I didn’t know what I felt for Trista, but it was powerful and consuming and because of it, I wanted to make Jayce pay. It was the only control I had left, because Trista certainly wasn’t going to have anything to do with me.

But now at least I’ve calmed down and don’t intend to kill him.

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