Wait, you haven't read Deadly Deception yet? First, why? Second, let me help you out.
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Now the *unedited* Chapter 1
Anne Montgomery felt the SUV slow as it entered the sleepy town of White Pond, GA. All was dark and quiet in the decayed main street; except for one lonely street light that illuminated the cracked asphalt. Her hands rested lightly on her snow white clad lap, the cotton skirt fanned out around her legs. She opened a gold compact, giving herself one last glance over. Lips stained red, lashes glazed black and blue irises glinted wickedness. She ran her hands through the cloak of blond that spilled over her shoulders and the silk navy blouse.
Her driver, Robert announced that they had arrived and exited the vehicle to escort her to the abandoned hardware store. The store front had seen better days. The windows were concealed with shades of dust and grime. The ancient wooden door looked as if it would crumble in their hands once they turned the rusted door knob.
Anne entered the damp, dark room feeling four set of eyes observing her arrival. A tall, slender man wearing tailored black trousers and a crimson oxford shirt approached her. The shadows of the room shaded his unruly dark locks and ethereal eyes. He leaned down placing a kiss on each cheek. Anne graciously welcomed the affection by squeezing his hand.
“Sister,” Michael Montgomery said.
Anne smiled. “Michael, how are you?”
“I’m alive, that counts for something right?”
The wrestler physiqued men stood statuesque in the corners of the night draped room. A piece of lint could fall to the ground and you would hear it like a crash of thunder.
“It does indeed. I’m glad you could meet me tonight, I know you have a lot going on--”
“You mean my bastard half-brother stealing Montgomery Industries right out from under me immediately after my father suffered a debilitating stroke, yes; you could say I have a lot going on Anne.”
She knew the term bastard for Michael meant more than just a derogatory name but that in fact, Simon Montgomery had been busy having a sleazy affair with Carter’s mother, Rita Leeds, thirty-five years earlier. Surprise, it’s a boy! A boy Simon wanted nothing to do with.
“I apologize; you know I understand your anger.” She paused. “How is your father doing?”
Michael exhaled deep. “Carter has him tucked away in a private facility in Atlanta; the asshole won’t let me see him. Some doctor, it starts with an r…”
“Rasmussen,” Anne asked already knowing the answer.
“Yeah, Dr. Rasmussen updates me. This whole situation is fucked up. How could my father have been so careless with the company’s legalities? He practically handed Carter the company on silver platter.” Michael shoved his balled up fists in his pocket.
Anne took two cautious steps toward him and reached out to his arm which was tense under her touch.
“Michael, you’ll get the company back, you are the true Montgomery.”
In the blanket of dark she could see his lips arch up. His tight muscles softened.
“We’ll get it back.”
Anne shook her head. “No, I’m not a Montgomery by blood, just marriage.” She felt the weighted black diamond hang on her finger like chains to the devil.
“You are more of a Montgomery then that piece of shit will ever be. Just because his whore mother slept with my father doesn’t make him family. It makes him an enemy.”
Team Anne just scored another player, she mused with immense satisfaction.
“Now that I’m in Savannah and, with you staying in Atlanta, we’ll be able to monitor what is going on more closely. Find out why he relocated the company to Georgia.”
“Speaking of, how do you like your new city? Culture shock wear off yet?” He laughed.
“It’s different but the two weeks I've been there, I've stayed busy you could say.”
Carter had been traveling most of the time so she took advantage of that opportunity. She was becoming a connoisseur of secrets. The dark plague that Carter unleashed within her spread quickly, Anne could feel it filling her veins, entwining its venomous roots deep in her soul. The sick part was that she willed it, she wanted it. The infection spread and so did the vengeance.
“I don’t doubt that. I have a contact that is watching him carefully.”
“May I ask who?” Anne arched her brow.
“They’ll be in touch with you before the investor’s dinner next week. The guest list holds some major players; one of them intrigued me, Marcus Hunt CEO of Hunt Pharmaceuticals.”
Anne knew why. He was after her.
“I think Carter invited every dirty CEO within a two-thousand mile range.” She smirked.
Michael glanced at his gold banded watch, and then motioned for his entourage.
“I have to go, midnight poker game, twenty-five grand, want in?
“Oh no, that’s too rich for my blood.”
“Not anymore it isn't.”
They shared a laugh while walking out of the dilapidated brick building. Exchanging farewells they then went their separate ways reassuring each other they would speak soon. Robert ushered her in to awaiting silver SUV. Once secured inside, Robert handed her a small black cell phone. Nodding, he shut the door and took his place ahead of her. She flipped open the phone and began to text:
A breathe passed her lips and a reply chirped below her words.
Closing the phone she handed it back to Robert thanking him. Anne could see the crinkles near his brown eyes through the rear-view mirror. Anne pulled out a crisp bill donning Benjamin Franklin and handed it to Robert.
“Thank you Mrs. Montgomery.” He said accepting the money.
Robert called it graciousness, she called it bribery.