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Warlords MC: Book 5 – Joker : Chapter 5

She frowned then went quiet as if contemplating it. “Now that you mention it, maybe? Two weeks ago, Grandpa’s attorney stopped by the house to look around. Jared had taken several paintings and other things out by that time and sold them off for some money to get him through until the probate was done. I was still in tears about Grandpa’s death, so I wasn’t much help. He told me he’d have some men watching the place, so Jared couldn’t do that again.” She shook her head. “I told him it didn’t matter. Without Grandpa there, his things didn’t mean that much to me. He gave me a funny look but I meant every word. The things Jared took and sold were only material things. They could always be replaced but Grandpa couldn’t.”

“If he had done that where were his men the night you were taken?” Jack asked. He looked over at his brothers. “Something here isn’t tracking.”

“What’s this attorney’s name?” Ace wanted to know.

“Stafford Twinning.”

“I’ve heard that name before,” King announced to his brothers. His tone insinuated that maybe… he hadn’t heard good things about the man.

“There’s one thing you should know before you condemn Stafford,” Rowen stated. “My grandfather told me no matter what happened, he trusted Stafford. He heard those rumors too.” She looked over at King. “I think I should trust my grandfather’s opinion.”

“Every man has his price sweetheart.” King growled.

“And what’s your price?” She cocked her head at him.

King caught his breath and his eyes filled with rage at her question. “I should have said, some men, and no I’m not in that category.”

“Then can you at least give him the benefit of the doubt here?” she asked.

King glared at her but didn’t say anything.

She explained, “My grandfather was a simple man, he made some mistakes in his life, but he always knew who he could trust and he also knew who he couldn’t trust. It broke his heart when he realized his own son fell into the category of men he couldn’t trust. He’d known that for a while before he died.”

“Go back to the hunting cabin for a moment.” Ace frowned. “You said your grandfather’s body was never found?”

Rowen shook her head. “The police did find an area where a fight or a battle took place outside the cabin. The ground was bloody and they found animal footprints around the area but no body was ever found.” She looked at him steadily. “Why?”

Ace shrugged. “I’m not sure yet.”

Deuce paused and looked at her shoulder. “We need to get that cleaned up again.”

Ace nodded. “Ok, we’ll let you do whatever it is you have to do. When you’re done, come out for breakfast. I’m sure Charli will be done with it by then.”

Ace, Jack, and King left the room.

Deuce slowly peeled the washcloth away from her shoulder. “What on earth made you rip that tracker off?” he muttered as he studied the torn skin. “You did more damage that didn’t need to be done.”

“I didn’t want it on my body anymore. I knew it would hurt but I just felt so dirty.” She shuddered. “When my grandfather died, I lost the only anchor in this world I had left. I felt so lost, I guess I still am.”

“Stick with us Rowen, we’ll figure this out and set things right,” Joker told her.

“Don’t make promises you will regret please?” Rowen warned him. “I’d rather know the truth than be disappointed in the end.”

Joker gave her a look that spoke volumes. “Stick with us, we’ll figure this out and set things right,” he repeated his earlier statement.

“Ok. I’ll trust you.” She laid her head on his chest.

Deuce snorted as he bandaged her shoulder again. “I’m going to breakfast. I suggest you guys get something to eat soon or you’ll go hungry until lunch. Your brothers are pigs and won’t leave you nothing but crumbs.”

Joker chuckled, “He’s right. We’d better go get some food while there’s still some to get.”

Rowen flushed and said, “She fed me already. It had been awhile since I ate last, maybe a couple of days.”

Joker growled, “Grinder didn’t feed you?”

She bit at her lip. “Grinder wanted to break me remember? He barely gave me food or water. Barley enough to keep me alive.”

“Well, we will be stuffing you full from now on. The cooking around here is not diet food.” He lifted her up in his arms and carried her out to the kitchen.

She shook her head and reminded him, “I can walk you know.”

“Nope, you need to rebuild your strength first,” Joker told her.

“Well, it’s a good thing you’re so strong then isn’t it?” she stated.

Joker stopped and looked down at her. “You barely weigh a hundred pounds, if I can’t carry you a few feet, then I should turn in my man card.”

She laid her head on his shoulder. “I’m scared,” she admitted finally.

Joker stared down at her as they were still in the hallway. “What are you afraid of?” he asked.

“I’m beginning to feel safe here, but I know Grinder is looking for me. Or what if Jared finds me? If he knows I’m still alive, he won’t stop coming for me until he makes sure I’m dead. He’s got more to lose now, than he ever did before. He probably thinks I’m on a slow boat to some other country by this time. If I don’t show up at the probate court on the day we’re supposed to meet the judge, then he gets it all.” She shook her head and admitted, “I wouldn’t doubt he had something to do with the cabin incident. He probably thought he could blame the wild animals for the hunting party being killed. The fact they couldn’t find my grandfather’s body works well for him, don’t you think?”

“I do indeed.” Joker nodded. “You don’t really want the money do you?”

Rowen shook her head. “I could care less about that crap. Money never meant that much to me. My grandfather taught me to be responsible and how to run a household, to budget my time and money. So when I began working for a living, I could live on what I earned. I was proud of myself. I didn’t depend on anyone, unlike Jared.”

“What do you mean, unlike Jared?”

“Grandfather set aside money for him every month. Jared claimed the old man owed him.” She shook her head. “But month after month, those bills were getting bigger and bigger. I have a feeling Grandpa had enough and was going to lower the hammer on him.” Wiping away a tear, she admitted, “I think that was part of the stress Grandpa was feeling just before the hunting trip. Then for something like that to happen?” She looked up at him. “I think the families of the men who died are going to sue for wrongful death and I wouldn’t blame them.”

“What do you think Jared will do with that?”

“I think he’ll ignore them. He’ll put down any investigation and no one will end up with any answers. No one knows what really happened up there. He doesn’t want anyone looking into the facts and that makes everything suspicious. If he does that, everything my grandfather worked for will be gone. He was an honest man but if Jared gets his hands on the money, he’ll ruin everything his father worked a lifetime to gain.”

Joker sighed. “If you don’t think the police know what’s going on then you need to have a little faith in the system. I don’t think he’s as clever as he thinks he is.”

“I think I should call Stafford and let him know I’m still alive,” she told him.

When Joker began to protest, she held up her hand. “I don’t need to tell him where I am, only that I’m still alive. I promise.”

“Why do you want to tell him?” Joker cocked his head to one side.

“Because I don’t want Jared to win and I won’t let him ruin a good man’s name. My grandfather deserves justice, even if it’s from beyond the grave.” She shook her head. “We can’t even bury him, because we couldn’t find anything left to bury.”

“I’m sure as long as you don’t tell him where you are, Ace won’t have a problem with you calling him,” Joker told her. “I’m starving and I can still feed you some bacon strips or something.” He gave her a huge grin.


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