The First Sixteen: A Vigilante Series crime thriller novella - The Prequel (4 page)

BOOK: The First Sixteen: A Vigilante Series crime thriller novella - The Prequel
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#6
- Pierre
Brault
- Friday, March 1,
1996
 

Well,
I was starting to build a reputation for myself and, even if he remained
relatively tight-lipped about it, Lieutenant Dave McCall was starting to let on
that he and his team were dealing with a serial killer. I didn’t particularly
enjoy or feel proud of categorizing myself as such but things were as they were
and one must call things what they are. Regardless, I was doing what I was for
a reason and nobody could argue that my targets deserved any less than what
they got. If I ended up making a mistake and paying for my actions, I’d accept
the consequences and do so with pride because what I was doing was what needed
to be done, however theoretically. Anyhow, enough about me or why I was doing
this because that really isn’t the point.

My
next subject, and his story, are practically laughable, if we exclude the fact
that an innocent man died in the whole sordid affair. I’ll try to make this as
succinct as possible.

Pierre
Brault
had worked for Andre
Beaudet
in the agricultural field a few years earlier and two things had happened
during that time. For one,
Beaudet
had been working
on the development of some farming apparatus about which
Brault
,
coming from a farming family, had made some minor but worthy suggestions.
Secondly,
Brault
had begun having an affair with the
very consenting Jocelyne
Beaudet
, Andre’s spouse.

Though
Brault
had ceased his employment with
Beaudet
a little over a year earlier, his relationship with
Jocelyne had continued to flourish to the point that the illicit couple
eventually decided that life would be much better if Andre was no longer in the
picture. By then, Andre had obtained a patent on his invention and several
manufacturers had expressed sufficient interest to allow one to determine that
some serious money would likely result.

With
the help of
Brault’s
sister,
Carolyne
,
who happened to be a highly attractive stripper with few morals, they recruited
the services of Gabriel
Labrie
, a naive,
happy-go-lucky twenty-seven year old who had worked as a farmhand for
Brault’s
family in the last couple of years. It should be
noted that
Labrie
had a penchant for brawling and had
run into a few scuffles with the law in relation to bar fights and the like.

The
plan was relatively simple.
Labrie
frequented a strip
bar in the small rural town where he lived on Montreal’s south shore.
Carolyne
Brault
, who danced there,
easily seduced
Labrie
and, after a few days of seeing
each other, she suggested he might have an opportunity to make some serious
money if he was interested. Her brother, she explained, had invented something
which was potentially worth millions but his ex-partner had taken the credit
for all the work which had been done and was now looking to sell their
invention for his own profit. Would he be willing to help her brother convince
this shyster by helping with a bit of a scare?

Labrie
was initially
reticent but, a couple of drinks, a joint or two and some rather extraordinary
sex later, he was starting to warm to the idea. All they would basically do was
pay Andre
Beaudet
a visit, visually intimidate him,
for
Labrie
was a rather solidly built man, and
Beaudet
would give in and agree to give Pierre
Brault
his rightfully deserved share. For his mere
presence,
Labrie
would be paid fifty thousand dollars
in cash – yes, the deal was potentially that big.

Labrie
had agreed and,
less than a week later, early one Friday evening, he and
Brault
had gone to
Beaudet’s
home in
Hemmingford
.
They had been greeted at the door by Jocelyne
Beaudet
and shown to the dining room where Andre was just finishing dinner. Pierre
Brault
, without uttering a word, had pulled out a revolver
and shot Andre
Beaudet
in the forehead. Shocked,
Gabriel
Labrie
had started to ask what was going on
but his question had been interrupted by a solid blow to the back of the head
which had knocked him unconscious.

When
he had come to, several hours later, he had been in the hospital with two
police officers keeping an eye on him even though he had been securely
handcuffed to the bed rails. He had soon learned that he was under arrest for
the murder of Andre
Beaudet
and, despite protests to
the police, his lawyer and the court, he had come to realize the case against
him was solid. His arguments, that Pierre
Brault
had
actually committed the murder, had been laughed out of court, particularly
since
Brault
was a key eye-witness for the
prosecution, his testimony having been fully and perfectly corroborated by
Jocelyne
Beaudet
, the victim’s distraught widow.

Labrie’s
prints on the
murder weapon as well as gun powder residue on his skin had certainly not
helped prove his innocence or support the suggestion he had been framed. In
addition, a perfectly logical explanation had been supplied as to why he had
been found unconscious when the police had arrived. Upon seeing
Labrie
shoot her husband as she returned to the dining room
from the kitchen, Jocelyne
Beaudet
had grabbed a
heavy glass vase on a corner table and smashed it on the back of his head.

The
trial had not been a lengthy one and had ended as most expected it would – with
a guilty verdict for
Labrie
for the murder of Andre
Beaudet
.

Though
he had not testified or initially expressed any doubts, Roger
Beaudet
, the victim’s brother, had subsequently gone public
with a statement regarding his scepticism of any business dealings between the
victim and Pierre
Brault
. In fact, he was convinced
that the animosity which existed between the two men in recent years made any
such dealings ludicrously impossible. The fact that
Brault
now spend much of his free time consoling the widow and assisting her in the
management of her deceased husband’s affairs was another indication that
something was amiss.

However,
this, as well as protests from
Labrie’s
family,
remained insufficient for the system to reopen the case and
Labrie
would remain behind bars for a twenty-five year sentence with no possibility of
parole for at least ten years. In the meantime, Jocelyne had sold her husband’s
invention for a hefty sum with a lucrative subsequent royalty payment agreement
and now spent much of her time at a property she had acquired in Turks and
Caicos, usually with
Brault
at her side to comfort
her.

Yes,
as you may have guessed by now, Pierre
Brault
was in
my crosshairs, so to speak. Perhaps Jocelyne should have been as well but I
just believed she would pay somehow, in due time, that bad karma thing one
hears about.

The
whole ordeal had taken place a few months earlier and since,
Brault
had basically taken over the day to day management
of
Beaudet
Industries, having been hired as President
and COO by owner and CEO, Jocelyne
Beaudet
. Business
and anything to do with farming having never been her forte, she was happy to
let
Brault
handle things, though all major
financial-impact decisions required her approval. The arrangement suited
Brault
who now ran a decently-sized business at his leisure
for a handsome wage with additional perks as Jocelyne’s top man.

While
Jocelyne did spend some time at the
Hemmingford
home
during the milder seasons, she despised the cold and, as a result, she could
usually be found at the Turks and Caicos property during the winter months.
That said, when business called for executive presence in the Montreal area
during that time of the year, Pierre generally represented the company solo. He
was, after all, the chief operating officer and well trusted by his superior.

He
had been required to attend a few meetings back home so Pierre had flown to
Montreal on the Wednesday, dealt with what needed his attention on Thursday and
Friday and planned to return to Jocelyne on the beach on the Saturday. As per
his usual routine on such trips, his plans for the evening would consist of a
quiet dinner at home, generally something from the gas grill in the four-season
outdoor kitchen on the covered terrace and some fine wine, followed by a couple
of snifters of cognac and some action flick on pay TV.

I
watched him from the shadows as he came out onto the terrace and fired up the
grill. He had changed into a sweat suit and wore running shoes but the radiant
heating system under the stone floor made any winter clothing unnecessary. I
wondered if he might actually choose to dine outside and hoped not, preferring
the intimacy of closed doors, but figured the closest neighbour was far enough
for any cries for help to serve much purpose.

He
moved back inside and I watched him opening a bottle of wine, a Georges
Duboeuf
Brouilly
, based on the
shape of the bottle. He poured a bit into a glass, swirled it, inhaled the
bouquet then tasted it. Apparently satisfied, he filled the glass, took another
sip then set the glass down on the kitchen island and moved out of my view. He
returned shortly with a head of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and a sweet yellow
pepper and got busy preparing a salad, sipping his wine occasionally as he
worked.

His
salad ready, he quickly threw together a dressing with a few herbs and spices,
some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. He disappeared from my sight once again
but returned shortly with a placemat and utensils which he set on the island
where stood a couple of swivel stools. Excellent, he would be dining inside
after all. The dining room would have been more fitting, given the
circumstances, but I couldn’t be too picky.

He
vanished once more but quickly reappeared and came out onto the terrace, a plastic
food container in hand, and headed to the grill. Selecting tongs which hung on
a side-rack, he deftly extracted the piece of marinating meat, likely beef,
based on his wine selection, and laid it on the hot grill. The dripping
marinade sizzled and sent up a tantalizing puff of steam. The man knew how to
treat himself, culinary-wise. Too bad he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it forever.

He
returned inside to turn on an outside spot strategically positioned to illuminate
the grill, one does wish to see what one is cooking, and to fetch his wine
glass, which he refilled, before returning outside to supervise his grilling
activities. He sipped his wine, checking his watch and the temperature on the
grill’s thermometer and, after several minutes, raised the grill’s lid, only
long enough to turn his steak, nodding in satisfaction at the sear marks left
on the underside.

A
few minutes more and I had to suppress the urge to warn Pierre not to overcook
his steak but it was not my place to do so. Anyhow, he removed it from the
grill shortly after, avoiding to commit a grave cooking faux-pas. Depositing
the meat on a heated plate, which I guessed from the oven mitt he used to carry
it, he turned off the grill then returned inside to enjoy his meal, closing and
locking the door to the terrace as I watched from the outside.

I
wasn’t concerned about getting inside to deal with the man – I had arrived well
ahead of him and had an unlocked door waiting for me. He pour himself yet another
glass of wine and settled down to enjoy his dinner. I love to cook so I had no
problem understanding where he was coming from after a hard day’s work.

I
considered the situation – he, a fit man in his late thirties with a wine
bottle, a fork and a steak knife at his immediate disposal – and decided there
was no real advantage to offing him while he dined as he had done to
Beaudet
. After all, if I was looking to re-enact the crime
in my execution, I should be simply blowing his brains out. I was in no rush, I’d
had a good lunch and had no problem with eating later in the evening. Anyhow, I’d
come prepared with a couple of scenarios to deal with him.

He
eventually finished his dinner, he was a slow eater, and the bottle of wine then
opened a bottle of cognac, poured himself a glass and moved into the den. Game
time…

I
retraced my steps to a side door which led into a combination laundry/mud room
and let myself in. As I made my way down the hallway, I could hear the
television on. I moved closer slowly, cautiously, past the dining room and
kitchen, making sure both were empty as I passed. I reached the entrance to the
den, which also opened onto the kitchen, and there sat Pierre
Brault
, his back to me, puffing on a cigar, his cognac
snifter and bottle on the table to his side.
Waterworld
with Kevin Costner was
Pierre’s choice of entertainment for the evening. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t
get to see the ending, or much more of the movie from then on, for that matter.

BOOK: The First Sixteen: A Vigilante Series crime thriller novella - The Prequel
7.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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