He started for the stairs, but Sabrina darted in front of him. “While I have your attention, I thought there was something we needed to talk about.”
“I don’t think there is anything we need to talk about.” It was a struggle to keep his tone even. “You want me to carry this upstairs? You’re going to have to move.”
Sabrina looked around before she stepped forward, lowering her chin in what Gabe could only guess was an attempt at looking demure. “Do you remember college? We used to be friends once.”
“We were never friends, Sabrina.”
“That’s not true.” She started to place her hand on his chest, but he stepped back, and her fingers closed around air. “Well, I suppose I was closer to Emma than you. Such a tragedy what happened to her then.”
His jaw locked down. “How in the hell do you know about that?”
Sabrina’s calculating gaze lifted to his. “Oh, you didn’t realize that I knew what had happened to her?”
All he could do was stare at Sabrina.
She tsked softly. “What was his name again? Oh. I remember. Christopher Fitzpatrick. I do wonder what happened to him.” She tilted her head to the side. “Didn’t he . . . go missing? How convenient what happens to those who have gone against the de Vincent family or those they care about.”
Gabe slammed Dev’s door shut behind him. His brother was there, behind the desk looking through some paperwork just before dinner on Friday night. “What in the hell does Sabrina know about Emma and Christopher Fitzpatrick?”
Arching a brow, Dev looked up. “That is a very random question.”
“And you know what else is random?” Gabe stalked forward. “Your fiancée bringing up Emma and that bastard earlier.”
A slight frown crossed Dev’s face. “Sabrina shouldn’t know anything about Christopher.”
“Then why would she bring him up?”
“I really don’t have an answer for that.” Dev closed whatever file he was looking over. “Sabrina did know Emma. It’s a good chance she said something to Sabrina.”
“She barely knew Emma. I have no idea if she would’ve told Sabrina what happened to her, but I know damn well she never would’ve told her what happened to Christopher.”
Dev was quiet for a moment. “Sabrina likes to sound like she knows things. I wouldn’t pay any attention to it.”
Gabe wasn’t so sure about that. The way Sabrina had said what she said told Gabe that somehow Sabrina knew that Christopher Fitzpatrick wasn’t simply a missing person.
“Since you’re here—” Dev tossed the closed file across the desk “—you’ll be happy to know that the investigation into our . . . into Lawrence’s death has officially been closed.”
Gabe picked up the file and opened it, flipping through what appeared to be copies of the police report Troy had filed and the autopsy report.
“They now believe that the scratches along his neck came from him possibly changing his mind,” Dev said, sitting back and crossing one leg over the other. “Since there were no wounds or trauma, it has been officially ruled as a suicide.”
Gabe closed the file and dropped it on the desk.
“And the new police chief sends his apologies over the inconvenience of them investigating the death,” Dev continued, smiling slightly. “He’s assured me that the case is truly closed.”
“Even if Stefan continues to push it?”
“If Stefan has any hopes of retaining the Harringtons as donors, then he’ll leave it alone.” Dev glanced at his watch. “It’s nearly time for dinner. Are you joining me?”
He nodded absently, his mind elsewhere. Neither he nor Lucian truly believed that Lawrence de Vincent killed himself and there was a reason they didn’t speak of that suspicion to Dev.
Because there was only one person Gabe believed would’ve killed Lawrence, and it wasn’t their sister Madeline.
Wondering if there was a cold draft in the office, Gabe turned. As he did, he noticed the painting he’d carried upstairs earlier. Dev hadn’t hung it up, but it was propped against the credenza, unwrapped.
It was a painting of Sabrina.
A nude painting.
Nikki couldn’t remember the last time she laughed so much, but her stomach practically ached from doing so and their meal had just arrived.
Her date with Gerald wasn’t going bad at all.
First off, Gerald was definitely as cute as he looked in the pic Rosie had showed her. Come to find out, contrary to Gabe’s smartass mouth, Gerald wasn’t very much older than her. Only six years. Definitely not in Granddad Gerald territory.
He was also funny as hell, and had a knack for telling stories.
And bonus points for the fact he looked nothing like Gabe. Not that she was thinking of Gabe while on her date with Gerald—not at all. Gerald was a blond and his hair was cropped short. He wasn’t as tall or broad as Gabe, but he was taller than her. Well, most people were taller than her, but he would probably only come up to Gabe’s shoulders—
Okay, so she was thinking about Gabe just a little bit.
“So,” he said, picking up his glass. “Rosie was telling me you work for the de Vincents? Like the de Vincents?”
Her eyes widened slightly. Could he read minds? You never knew when it came to the people Rosie hung out with. “Temporarily. My parents have worked for them for years.”
“Man, I bet you guys have seen and heard some stuff.”
She stiffened. “Why do you think that?”
“Because of what they’re called. Their nicknames the magazines use? What are they? Devil? Lucifer. There was one more—damn, I can’t remember.”
“Demon,” she said, sighing. They called Gabe Demon. A weird need to protect them rose. “They really don’t live up to those nicknames the papers give them.”
“They don’t?” He sounded surprised. “That’s kind of disappointing. Sounds sort of badass to be called Lucifer.”
She wasn’t so sure she agreed with that. “It’s funny how the newspapers always focus on rumors and stupid stuff, but never on how much work they do for charities and the millions of dollars they donate.”
“Well, people would rather read about scandals than good deeds.”
Sad but true.
“And the de Vincents have had their fair share of scandal.” He took a drink. “The thing with their father recently? Such a damn shame.”
“It was,” she murmured, wanting to change the subject. “So, you were telling me about Rosie wanting to investigate where you work or something?”
“Ah, yes.” He laughed. “Rosie once convinced me to let her investigate the office building I work in.”
“Oh, no.” She grinned as she cut into her steak. Crescent City Steaks was packed on a Saturday night, with the waiters rushing back and forth between the tables. “I’m sure that didn’t end well.”
“It didn’t. She brought this medium with her. Someone named Princess Silvermoon—”
“No way,” gasped Nikki. “That was not her name.”
He placed his hand to his chest. “Scouts’ honor. That was her name. Princess Silvermoon.”
Laughing, she took a drink of her wine. Scouts’ honor. She liked that. It was cute. Everything about him was cute. He was actually perfect, but . . .
Nikki’s smile faded.
But from the point they met outside, while they waited for their table, ordered the appetizers, and the main course, she waited for that spark. That undeniable attraction that wasn’t just physical, but went beyond that.
The spark hadn’t happened.
“So, Princess Silvermoon walked through the first floor and did a reading of the place. She immediately said that there was a young girl there who died of one of the flu outbreaks. The girl ghost was looking for her—”
Her phone rang from inside her purse. Since everyone who would need to get ahold of her knew she was on a date, a kernel of concern blossomed.
“I’m sorry.” She reached for her purse. “Do you mind if I see who this is? My mother has been sick and I just want to make sure it’s not an emergency.”
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