He hadn’t lost anything yet. In fact, he was almost making money. His operation, in the last year and a half, had produced remarkable results—all thanks to Nebekanzer, his stallion, who happened to be the biggest, meanest sonofabitch anyone had ever come across. That nasty bastard bred fast sons and daughters, though—something he had discovered when he’d moved here to the Red & Black’s caretaker’s cottage and bought the four-hooved spawn of the devil and three of Neb’s two-year progeny at auction. The following year? All three descendants had won more than two hundred grand apiece by April, and one of them had been second in the Derby, third in the Preakness, and first in the Belmont.
I wish there was something I could do to help.So when did you see Edward last?
Lane closed his eyes again. But instead of doing some mental calculation that would reveal the sum of how much he sucked as a brother, he went back in time to that New Year’s night when Edward had gotten beaten for the rest of them.He and Maxwell had stayed in the ballroom, silent and trembling, as their father had forced Edward upstairs. As the two sets of footfalls had ascended the grand staircase, Lane had screamed at the top of his lungs—but only internally.He was too much of a coward to jump out and stop the lie that had saved him and his brother.
I should go up there, he said as time passed.But what can you do? Max whispered. Nothing will stop Father.
Except Max was right. Edward had lied, and their father was making him pay for a transgression that was not his own. If Lane told the truth now … their father would simply beat them all. At least if he and Maxwell stayed put here, they could avoid …
No, this was wrong. This was dishonorable.‘Oh, please, Cathy. He was always going to ask her. I even heard him talking about it with Declan.’
Silence. I could imagine the cogs turning in her friend’s mind and I felt sorry for her. When Lyla decided something, changing her mind was impossible.‘You don’t know that. I’m sure he likes you really. I mean she doesn’t have anything you don’t!’
‘How about rosy cheeks? Irresistible blood? Vulnerability? Humanity?’ Her voice rose in pitch and I heard exaggerated sighing, followed by what sounded like something being slammed onto a desk.‘Do you think I should have my nails done black or red for Ad Infinitum?’ Cathy continued, oblivious to my sister’s mounting despair.