This is part 1 of 4 in the Teaser Tuesday segment featuring my soon to be released (date to be determined but before end of year) controversial book.
“Jarvick, are you serious right now?” My arms were crossed over my chest as I paced back and forth in my small law office. It wasn’t huge and the window view sucked. But I was only an intern, so I was grateful to even have one at all. “How does this make me look? How do I explain this? How will I ever be credible as a lawyer?” I was almost screeching by this point and my brother was not enjoying it. I was relived he had remembered to close the door when he came in. “You and Daddy have turned my entire life, my entire education, all my hard work – into a fucking joke.”
My brother remained silent as I bitched and bitched at him. Still, I wanted to punch him right in the jaw. “Do you really have nothing to say? Not even a hey, Gracie, fuck you. It was easy to ruin your life? Well, at least you were right. I see it now. I didn’t know everything you two did. I also completely understand why the two of you forced me into college. But couldn’t someone have convinced me not to pursue law?” I let a horrible sounding laugh escape. It was ironic. “How will I explain to future employers why I have this pricey Harvard degree and don’t – wait – can’t use it?” By this time I was so angry, I kicked the side of my desk.
“Gracie, we didn’t want to tell you. It’s why I told you to go away. To forget this life. To get a better one. To leave us all behind and never look back. I wanted better for you.” Jarvick, for a rare moment, showed a streak of emotion on his face. Sadness? Hurt? “Trying to push you from becoming a lawyer would have taken too much explaining. It would have involved you too far in what we really do. You’d have wanted to know why and only the full truth could have explained it.” He moved over to stand against the window sill with both hands in his pockets as he spoke.
“So this is better?” I was almost screaming. “Am I not involved now? Did you think my being a lawyer would never put me in a position such as this? But now, I still don’t know the full story, and it’s cost me years of my life in education and it’s going to cost me my internship – which I’m almost done with – and my future career.”
“You didn’t know what we were doing. You still don’t. There’s been no full disclosure, Gracie. You should be safe. It’s on us.” Jarvick shook his head. “If you’d have just stayed somewhere else. Why did you have to come home?”
“I missed my family. I wanted Daddy to be proud of me. In any case, no full disclosure likely isn’t going to matter. I can’t prove I don’t know.”
“You haven’t even lived at home in years. You went away to school. Hell, half of the time you didn’t even see a sign your brakes. You didn’t move home until this internship.”
“Jarvick, it won’t matter.” I shrugged and let out a sigh as I planted myself in the desk chair. “They won’t see how I don’t know about it all. I don’t see how I didn’t see it. So, I’d even argue that everyone would think I’d have to know.”
“How could you? We all try to protect you. We’re a simple motorcycle club.”
“I always wondered why you when daddy would come home looking all beat up. Then I’d wonder why you’d come in and ice your hands.” My eyes asked him why. After a long pause, I knew I wasn’t going to get an answer. “Mom never said a word and was always quick to hush me when I try to ask questions. How much did she know?”
“More than she should. Debts that he always told her way more than he should have. He felt it would help her save herself if it ever came down to it. Dad always told her to give him an eye out – to save you and her.” Jarvick’s eyes pleaded for understanding that I couldn’t give him. “We both just wanted to protect you and mom while you both have everything you wanted.”
“Are you really the enforcer my clients accuses you of being? He was fast to give you up.” I needed to know if the beast of a person without a conscience was really my brother. A shiver ran through me as I remembered my client’s words about my own brother.
I watched my brother to sit on the couch on the far side of my many office. There really wasn’t room for it, but I had requested it so I could sleep a few hours during all the research filled days and all-nighters I pulled regularly.
“Come sit with me.” He waited for me to sit and then took my hand in his. “Gracie, your clients probably didn’t lie about me. Actually, he probably underestimated what I’m capable of.”
I couldn’t hide the shock and then fear crossed my face. “Daddy new?”