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Authors: Stephanie Brother

Fraud: A Stepbrother Romance

BOOK: Fraud: A Stepbrother Romance
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Fraud

 

 

 

 

A
Stepbrother Romance

 

 

 

 

By
Stephanie Brother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©
2016 Stephanie Brother
All Rights Reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or
used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or
places, events or locations is purely coincidental. The characters are all
productions of the author's imagination.
Please note that this work is intended only for adults over the age of 18 and
all characters represented as 18 or over. None of the characters are related by
blood.
Kindle Edition
Book cover designed by
Kasmit Covers
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PROLOGUE

 

Her eyes frantically watched the second
hand on the clock sweep out the last seconds of her life.

For the thousandth time, she tried to
wrench her hands free from their tight leather bindings. For the thousandth
time, she failed. Despair welled up within her bosom, as the knowledge of her
impending doom sank into her psyche. She feared not Death; that was but another
great adventure, an unknown waiting to be explored. But, she felt abject terror
at having lost Derek, yet again. Death would actually be welcome, she thought.
It was preferable to be no longer in this world when her soul mate and love
would never be with her.

She had seen Tanner shoot Derek, in the
back! That bastard! She struggled anew, the bindings tightly winding and
cutting the circulation to her hands even more. She craved revenge, and the
thought of killing Tanner gave her new strength, at least for the next four or
five sweeps of the unstoppable second-hand.

The wires that were attached to the bomb
were actually quite pretty, she thought, idiotically. They were the most
intense shades of blue, red, yellow and green that she could remember.

Suddenly, she had an idea! She tried to
rock her chair, again, and was able to move it closer to the device. She had
long ago succeeded in chewing through the sour tasting leather gag, and it lay
draped partially on her shoulders. Her naked breasts heaved with the effort of
trying to move the chair closer to the bomb without toppling over. All her
earlier yelling had managed to do was confirm that she was utterly alone on the
farm, with no one around for miles to hear her desperate cries for help. She
had wasted valuable time then, and sweat ran into her eyes, not just from the
horrible summer heat, but from the intense concentration she mustered.

She was almost there, now. Just one. More.
Jump!

The chair teetered and almost tipped past
its balance point, and for one terrifying second she thought she’d lost the
game. But, sucking in her breath, she compensated and jerked just so, and the
chair came to a solid rest with a dull thud.

Her eyes and mouth were mere fractions of
an inch from the bomb. She had exactly four minutes left, to do anything at
all. She’d decided that, at least this would be a quick way to die, the bomb
going off in her mouth, the force of the blast propelling her rapidly into
oblivion.

She looked over the wires, carefully,
attempting to decide which ones she thought were the best option for
disconnecting the battery. Her gaze kept getting drawn to a turquoise blue
strand. She tried to think clearly, but at this point her brain was confusing
her.

Oh, Derek! She cried. Tears began to mix with
the sweat in her eyes, and she gritted her teeth and flung her head to and fro
like a terrier, clearing her vision. She used her tongue and nose to position
the blue wire to a point where she could easily work it with her mouth.

She opened her mouth, and her pearly
white, perfect teeth gently went to work, gnawing the wire.

I hope this works, she thought, as she
worried at the plastic coating. It tasted awful, and she kept spitting bits of
it out onto the dry hardwood floor of the barn. From the corner of her eye, she
saw the timer.

Only two minutes left!

She had gotten through the plastic, and
now her teeth encountered the bitter taste of raw copper. It smelled and tasted
like blood, and she bit and chewed as hard as she could. The wire cut into the
corner of her mouth, and scored small incisions in it. A drop of red blood
oozed around the wire now, and slowly dripped down her chin and neck. One of
her teeth chipped and she shouted out in pain as she bit her tongue.

She reflexively recoiled with her body,
and suddenly she knew it was over. The delicate balancing act with the chair
had been lost and she braced herself for the impact as she toppled over and her
head smacked into the floor.

She saw stars, and then unconsciousness
began to claim her. She heard Derek’s deep booming voice, calling her name.

We’ll finally be together, in Death, was
her last thought before the bomb exploded.

Chapter 1

Megan

 

I knew I had the fat, smug bastard.

Robert King was a consummate con artist,
who’d managed to scam several millions of dollars from a series of wealthy
lonely women from a retirement community in central Florida. He’d sold them all
on a combination of classic land-switch cons, and even managed to fuck most of
them.

I mean, literally fuck them.

The guy was an animal, and the only reason
he was in court was that two of his ladies took to fighting over him in public.
They created quite the scene, in a tony restaurant, where they’d both lost it
and began to cat-fight in front of most of the money in Orlando. That was
apparently something to see - two seventyish ladies, who up until that point
had been celebrated for their generosity and charitable work (most of it
putting on snooty balls and soirees for other old-moneyed crones, who shifted
their husbands’ assets from one cause to another).

But, apparently, the green-eyed monster
knows no limitations, and so the two of them treated the guests assembled for a
Democratic Presidential fund-raiser to one hell of a show. Plates went flying,
champagne was tossed in faces, and these two women fought to the bitter end
over their “Bobby”.

I guess he was good in bed, or something.
I can’t even imagine. What the hell kind of man was this guy? Going down on
muff that probably was full of dust, it was so old? I guess it takes all kinds…

Those ladies loved the hell out of him,
though. The tabloids and even the local newspaper wrote it up, although the
Democratic nominee had to be whisked out of there in a hurry. Word was that she
had a bit of King in her, as well. Might have turned into a three-way…

The practical outcome of that was an IRS
investigation into his companies, (probably initiated by Ms. Nominee, is my
educated guess).

It turned out he’d been defrauding the
State of Florida, as well as a whole bevy of well-to-do ladies, from one side
of the country to another. Fucking old, rich bitches is one thing, but nobody
fucks Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam fucks YOU.

When the dust had settled, Bobby King was
indicted for fraud, and lucky me got to be the prosecution.

I mean, it’s not like this is my first
rodeo.

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard
Law School, and I even was a partner at a Dewy Cheethem firm for a couple of
years. But, I missed the excitement of the courtroom, and sold my shares off to
a junior partner. Too much bother, arguing with old farts who ogled me like I
was some piece of meat. Even the younger lawyers only wanted to screw. Not that
I did any of that…

I’d long ago lost my heart to a man, an
unattainable, beautiful beast of a man. We’d been so close, and then…

Well, that’s ancient history. Old news.
Best left in the past, where it belongs.

My attention was drawn back from my
woolgathering by King’s attorney introducing ‘new evidence, Your Honor’.

What?

That lousy fucker!

He’d been trying for so long, delaying the
trial, bribing witnesses and trying to get the case dismissed. I’d followed his
conniving bullshit for three years now, and it was almost done.

I had him!

Now it was up to Judge Turner.

 

*****

 

The Judge and I went way back, all the way
to law school.

He’d not yet become the bitter old man
he’d who sat on the judge’s bench now.

No, back then, “Ike” Turner was a
successful State Prosecutor, and was getting ready to go into the State
government as a Special Prosecutor, appointed by the Governor for a Grand Jury
looking into some shady land dealings between Loundstrad Timber Holdings and
the prior administration.

There had been some brouhaha about Indian
Burial lands and a State Park, and it all ended up with the Native American
Tribe, (they called themselves “The People” as I recall), winning an indefinite
lease on their portion of the park. Apparently, uranium deposits had been found
where the sacred lands were located, and the Governor and Harlan Calloway had
done a deal. The story had been broken by Brian Cox, the guy with that reality
show. He and his now-wife had been doing a show about the strange appearances
of ghosts and things. People from around there, and even some visitors to the
Park had seen weird things in the sky, like clouds that looked like animals. At
night, there was this glow over the burial grounds. Lights could be seen moving
around the forest. You know, all that ‘paranormal’ nonsense.

Everyone thought the place was spooky.

So Brian and this gal went out to film an
episode of his show “Haunted” and the rest is history.

They got a lot of exposure from uncovering
old Calloway’s having bribed the Governor. I think someone even tried to kill
them. It happened a long time ago, so I really don’t remember much of the details.
But, I do know that it was that case that made Judge “Ike” Turner the man he is
today.

 

*****

 

I don’t know what happened since then to
him, but Ike had changed abruptly about five years after that case. It was like
he was two halves of a man, that fought each other constantly. His wife had
been killed in a senseless car accident, but he never seemed all that attached
to her, to be frank. I’d met her, and she looked like she wouldn’t suck on a
lemon lollipop, let alone a dick. But, apparently he’d loved her.

Still, he was never the same after her
death. Judge Turner became cynical, and his sentences reflected a harsher view
of the world. He’d been fairly liberal in his earlier days, but now he went for
maximum sentencing. A lot of his peers thought it was just his getting older
and crankier, but he lost some of the even-handedness for which he’d been
admired in earlier cases. He was still as keen as ever regarding the law, but
his application of it seemed much angrier. I tried to remember how Ike and I
related back when I was his protégé, and hoped he’d cut me some slack on this
case.

I had all the facts. It got down to just
convincing him that my logic was sound, and that King was guilty of all the
charges.

 

*****

 

“If it pleases Your Honor, may I approach
the bench?” I ask, meekly.

I always use that ploy when I want
something from a man. Usually, they fall for it. Ike probably wouldn’t - this
time.

“Come forward, Ms. Greene,” he says. “I
imagine I know why you want to, but let’s hear it anyway.”

King’s attorney, some hot-looking dude
from down in South Beach, named Floori, approaches as well, and then we are
both standing there. Floori grins, and it’s only my will-power that prevents me
from smashing those perfect, even teeth with my fist.

If I were so inclined, I’d blow him first.

He’s perfect. Beautiful. A muscled,
athletic man, who most likely has a cock the size of a donkey’s.

He’s confident, powerful and refined.

“Floori the Fixer” is what all the other
attorneys call him.

He drives either a BMW M5 or a 7-series,
depending on who his client is.

The urban cowboys get the seven, everyone
else gets the M5. He represents a lot of old-money, and they like tradition.

Floori is just their kind of guy. A
smooth-talking Cuban immigrant (he claims) who can ‘Hablo Espanol’ with the
best of them.

He was reported to have been invited to be
on several State committees regarding sugar holdings, agriculture and the
electric utilities.

Word has it, the special interests paid
him to decline. They were afraid he’d screw them over for the average citizen.
He’s that good.

He’s as slick and sleazy as they come.

If he were straight, he’d be a real ladies
man, and he knows it.

 

*****

 

“Judge, as you know, my client is a busy
man, and has only recently remembered that he had these records,” says Floori.

“Your Honor, you know that the discovery
phase has ended, and this evidence is excluded from consideration by many
different case precedents, such as
Marbury
…” I begin, but Ike shuts me
down.

“Ms. Greene, I know the law. Please
refrain from trying to teach me to suck eggs, or I will hold you in contempt,”
he intones nasally.

His glasses hang almost off his nose, and
he peers down at me like a vulture.

What happened to you, Ike? You used to be
someone I could trust.

“Mr. Floori, the evidence should have been
submitted earlier, but seeing the gravity of your client’s situation, and the
fact that this new evidence appears to exonerate him, I will allow it,” says
Judge Turner.

My face goes white with anger, and shock.
This can’t be happening! I’m going to lose this case!

“Is there anything else, Ms. Greene?” asks
the Judge.

“No, Your Honor,” I say, dully. “I don’t
suppose there is.”

“Then please sit down so I can do my job,
here,” he says.

The rest of the trial is just going
through the motions, and by the end of the afternoon, Mr. Robert King is a free
man.

“Case dismissed,” says Ike, and he bangs
his gavel.

Ike gets up, his robes swirling around him
like a black cloud, as all rise and watch him exit.

I gather my documents, and neatly put them
into my briefcase, avoiding Floori’s leer.

He comes over to me.

“No hard feelings, Counselor. You did
well, but there really just wasn’t a case against my client, now was there?” he
says.

I again manage to restrain myself from
punching his perfect teeth into his face.

“Nice job, Floori. I am sure you’re the
perfect attorney for Mr. King,” I say.

I look at King and at Floori’s crotch,
make kissing noises and wink.

He smiles as I walk out of the courtroom.

Judge Tanner walks out into the hall.

“Megan, a moment, please?” he says. I
follow him into his chambers, as Floori watches, grinning.

“Yes, Your Honor, what can I do for you?”
I ask.

“I just want you to understand that I find
the facts in this case disturbing,” he begins. “I don’t really think you know
the full story.”

“Your Honor, you don’t have to defend your
decision to me,” I say. My tone is not the most diplomatic.

“Megan, you did everything you could. I
want you to remember that. This case was only going to go one way, and I am
sure that, as the months progress, you will understand and see how this was
inevitable,” he said.

He reached into his desk and withdrew a silver
charm bracelet. It had a locket attached, and he rubbed it between his thumb
and forefinger. He appeared to be looking at nothing at all, yet he frowned in
concentration.

“Is there anything else, Judge Tanner?” I
say.

“No, not really, my dear,” he replied.
“Not really.”

I get up and excuse myself, and walk to
the elevators and then go down to the first floor, where I go into the
bathroom.

I decide I need to freshen up a bit, and
as I look into the mirror, I just really can’t stand what I am seeing.

I close my eyes, and put my hand over
them, taking deep breaths and trying to not scream my anger and frustration at
what just went down.

 

*****

 

Ten minutes later, I am sitting outside on
the courthouse steps.

I light a cigarette, and draw the smoke
into my lungs. I start coughing, fitfully.

I never could get the hang of smoking.

I stub the little bastard out. It’s the
first one I’ve had in three years.

Ever since Derek left.

I quit then. I should have stayed quit.

I hear laughter, and King and his asshole
lawyer are getting into a limo down the steps in front of me. They are in a
no-parking zone.

What a fucking asshole…

King flips me a bird as the limo drives
away.

I can’t help but notice the old woman
sitting in the seat beside him.

She’s sitting there, quietly glaring at me
with stark disapproval and hatred.

I know that look well. I’ve seen it many
times over the years, ever since my Dad married her.

Thanks, Mom.

Just the thing I needed to make my day
complete.

 

*****

 

My father worked in the military as a
mechanic on tanks. He was deployed all over the world, and saw action in Iraq
and Afghanistan.

A piece of shrapnel ended his military
career, but he fell into a business opportunity soon after. He became
part-owner of a company that manufactured one of the components of a special
kind of tank armor. The company got an exclusive contract, and Dad found
himself fairly wealthy in a rather sudden way.

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