The Insiders

Page 73


I could feel Chrissy’s attention on me, like a hawk, but I had to ignore her.

It was quick work to get into Naveah’s security feeds; Torie’s passcode helped. I just had to sift through their history. Some had been deleted. I was making a mental note to look where those disappeared to and who did that, but then I found our footage.

It was the same footage as the picture. There’d been no person there. Whoever released that image worked at Naveah.

“Thank God that other camera was turned off.” I dropped my voice low.

Kash nodded, his jaw rigid again. He peered over me to Peter. “Can you run accounts on your staff?” His eyes flicked to me, then to Peter.

I was pretty sure Kash was asking Peter to break the law. I could do it, look into bank statements of the club’s employees, but that wasn’t the bomb being dropped here. It was the fact that Peter owned the club. Though, was that really a shock? He owned the hotel Matt lived at, and I knew he owned a good amount of the city.

Peter nodded, his own jaw tightening. “I’ll make inquiries.” Without asking, he took the computer and he was off to work.

I was gawking. I was a stalker. I was a fan.

I was openly drooling over everything he was doing. Again. He was moving on his computer at a speed where I barely had time to identify what screen he was on before he was moving to the next. Then he was pulling up some dark web stuff, and I almost fainted right there.

Kash’s hand found my leg, and he anchored me to him.

I looked back and found him watching me, a small tug at his lip. Without thinking, I sagged against his side.

“Um…” Martha was talking.

I looked.

Everyone was watching us. Some were confused. Some were hostile (Chrissy, Sultry woman), and some were grinning. That was Matt and Marie. The gangly guy was perplexed. His bottom lip folded down and he was itching at his forehead, pushing his glasses up.

“As I was starting to say, I feel some of the fires can be extinguished by a joint interview with Matthew and Bailey.”

Peter paused on his typing, looking up. “Hmm?”

“What?” Matt barked.

“Yes.” This was the part she didn’t want to handle. Those shoulders squared back, and her whole demeanor of take-charge boss lady made more sense. She was going to push us to do something we didn’t want to do.

An interview? Me? With Matt?

Did she not know about the kidnapping attempt, or attempts, since Kash told me it had been the third?

I expected Peter to say something, but he only slid his eyes to Kash and gave a firm nod. This was Kash’s ballpark, and he wasted no time.



“No.” He was speaking clear and concise, but no heat. He was being kind to her, not barking like Matt. “There will be no interviews with Bailey. You will put out what you need to through lawsuits. Matthew can be interviewed, but there’ll be no mention of Bailey or his relation to her. You want help? Distract them. Give them something else to focus on other than Bailey, or myself.”

Her chin rose. “All due respect, we haven’t even gotten to the shit show of you.”

Oh. She had balls. Big hairy ones.

Kash’s eyes narrowed, but he opened them like normal just as quick. He didn’t raise his voice or change his demeanor.

“I am not your client. I’m not interested in having my ‘story’ being spun in any way. You want to take my grandfather on?” He waited.

She gulped. That gave her away.

He kept on. “I didn’t think so. Focus your energy on Matthew and trying to distract from Bailey as much as possible. We have one month before she’s to go to graduate school. I’d like a plan put in action that’ll slowly diminish curiosity about who she is.” He stopped, pausing on Matthew, and then he sighed. “Fuck. Give them Matthew.”

“What?” My brother’s head shot upright. He’d been slouching down in his seat, but also enjoying the back-and-forth around him.

Kash nodded. “Yes. Give them Bonham. The divorce. The affair. The poisoning.”

“Fuck you!” Matt’s chair was shoved back, and he was advancing on Kash. “Forget that. No way—”

“It’s a good idea.”

“Do it.”

He paused, halfway around the table. His body almost fell over from how abruptly he stopped. He went to Martha, who said the first, then to Peter, who added the second sentiment. Both were careful about their words, low but firm.

Martha was nodding at Kash. “If the focus is to pull attention away from Bailey, then you’re right. We need to use what we have.”

“Dad?” Matt’s jaw was on the floor, but it was the pain that had guilt pooling in my stomach. He braced himself on the table. “You can’t possibly be saying—”

Peter paused from the computer and turned to his son. “Think about your sister.”



I didn’t know if I liked hearing that or … Warmth was next to the guilt, overtaking it. Almost. There was still guilt there, because Matt was shook. He was truly shook.

Peter kept on. “You’re not losing anything here. You’ve had gossip sites report on you for years. Your partying. Having an affair with a married woman is nothing new for you. They’ll find you were poisoned, not that you overdosed. You will get judgment, but also perhaps some sympathy at the same time. Or the very least, opinions will not have changed. You have never cared what the public thinks of you, so you will do this. You will help distract from the attention focused on your sister, because you need to remember the reason she came to us in the first place.”

Straight to the point. Damn. A not-so-subtle reminder of what I was guessing the PR team didn’t know about, based on their confusion now.

Understanding brought some color back to Matt’s face. “Oh. I see.” He glanced to me, embarrassment showing, then that cleared too. Resolve had him raising his head farther, and he nodded again. “Okay. Yes.” He said to Martha, “Use me. I can release texts from Amanda and any other sordid detail you’ll need.”

Martha was looking from Peter to me to Kash and to Matt. Back and forth. Her eyebrows firmly pinched downward. Then she came to a decision, and they smoothed out.

“Okay,” she said to Kash. “You are not our client. I was not aware. Good that I am now, and our most important priority is shielding Bailey. We can adjust to these parameters and do this. You’ll cooperate?” The last question was to Matt.

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