Gabriels redemption, p.50
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       Gabriels Redemption, p.50
 

         Part #3 of Gabriels Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard  
Page 50

 

  “No. Between my ultrasound and Gabriel’s surgery, we decided it would be best if they came after Christmas. We’ll be going home for Thanksgiving, anyway. ” Julia winced in remembrance. “I thought I mentioned it. I’m sorry. ”

  Rebecca waved her hand in the air. “No problem. I’ll adjust the calendar. ”

  “I didn’t expect Gabriel to be so weak after his procedure. He insists he’s going to work tomorrow, but I don’t see how he can. He’s in pain. ”

  “Men make the worst patients. They don’t take their medication, they don’t do what they’re told, and they never, ever admit they’re sick. They’re like cats. ”

  Julia chuckled. “I’ll remember that. ”

  “In fact, it’s probably easier to give a pill to a cat than to a man. Then again, a man can’t scratch you. ”

  Now Julia was laughing.

  “It’s a good thing he’s upstairs. He’d be cross with us for comparing him to a cat. ”

  Rebecca winked. “Meow. ”

  Chapter Forty-nine

  The week following Gabriel’s surgery, he was almost back to his old self. Except that he was grumpy and cross because of the lack of sex.

  (One might observe that being grumpy and cross was precisely his old self. )

  Julia bore his grumpiness as she usually did, with saintlike good humor. Of course, the fact that she was getting regular orgasms courtesy of her husband might have had something to do with her mood.

  “There’s a letter from Katherine. ” Gabriel waved in the direction of the kitchen table, where the day’s mail was stacked.

  Julia picked up the small white envelope. Sure enough, the letter was from Professor Katherine Picton of All Souls College, Oxford.

  “She’s still in England. I would have thought she’d be back in Toronto by now. ”

  Gabriel pulled up a chair and began going through the rest of the mail, hoping that there wouldn’t be any surprises among it.

  “She’s a fellow at All Souls for the year. Open it and see what she says. ”

  Julia put on her glasses, opened the envelope, and began to read.

  Dear Gabriel and Julianne,

  I hope that this letter finds you both well.

  Oxford is enjoyable and I’m pleased with the research I’ve been able to accomplish. I look back fondly to the conference this past summer and hope to see you soon.

  I mentioned this before, but Greg Matthews has invited me to give a series of lectures at Harvard at the end of January. I’m told he’s also invited Jeremy Martin to give a paper.

  I’m hoping to see you both during my visit.

  I’m also hoping you’ll save me from Greg’s dreadful culinary predilections.

  As ever,

  Katherine.

  “What does she say?” Gabriel looked at his wife over the rims of his glasses.

  “She says she’s coming to Harvard in January. I haven’t heard anything about that in the department. Have you?”

  “I haven’t heard a formal announcement. What else does she say?”

  Julia handed him the letter.

  Gabriel perused its contents quickly.

  He grimaced. “Jeremy. ”

  “Yes. ”

  He tossed the letter back onto the table.

  “I’m not looking forward to that confrontation. He’s still angry I resigned. ”

  “Can you smooth things over with him?”

  “I don’t know. We were friends for a while, and then we weren’t. We’ll see. ” He pushed her hair behind her shoulder. “Don’t worry about it. The important thing is that we’ll be able to see Katherine and have her over for dinner. She doesn’t like Greg’s choice of restaurants. ”

  Julia folded her glasses and placed them on the kitchen table before climbing into Gabriel’s lap.

  “I can’t imagine Katherine having a tawdry affair with an old, desiccated Oxford professor. ”

  Gabriel chuckled. “Neither can I. But Old Hut was considered handsome in his day. I’ve seen photographs. ”

  “But the two of them together. She had to know it was wrong—not only because of her career but because he was married. ”

  Gabriel tapped the end of her nose. “I think she loved him. ”

  “That doesn’t make it right. ”

  “What we did was wrong as well, if you remember. ” He lowered his voice, his eyes focused on hers intently.

  “Yes. ” She placed her arms around his neck. “I suppose it’s easy to point fingers and forget one’s own failings. ”

  “If she felt one tenth the love I felt for you, well, I can understand how she was led astray. Now that I’m married, however, I feel sympathy for Mrs. Hutton. If someone were to try to lure you away—” He cursed.

  “I love you more now than I did before we were married. ” Julia wore a contemplative expression. “Marriage is the strangest thing. Almost without realizing it, I feel as if our lives and our hearts became knitted together. I don’t know how it happened. ”

  “Marriage is a sacrament. ” Gabriel’s tone was solemn. “And of course, there’s the sex we’re no longer having. ”

  “The three weeks are almost up. ”

  Gabriel moved his mouth to her ear.

  “You’d better inform your professors that you won’t be in class that day. ”

  She shivered at his nearness.

  “I won’t?”

  “Do you think I’ll let you leave the house after going without you for three weeks?” He nipped at her ear. “You’ll be lucky if I let you leave the bed. ”

  “I like the sound of that. ” She rested her head on his shoulder. “I know that alongside our medical appointments, you were making inquiries about your family history. Have you found out anything?”

  “I asked Carson to look into things. He was supposed to get a copy of the coroner’s report on my mother, and also health information about her parents and my father and his parents. But I haven’t heard anything. ”

  “No one is going to give your lawyer that kind of information. ”

  “Probably not,” said Gabriel grimly. “But he’s been known to hire private investigators that tend to be persuasive. They’ll find out what I need to know. ”

  “Persuasive?”

  “In this case the information can probably be bought. Failing that, people can be made to talk. ”

  “Gabriel. ” Julia’s tone was reproachful. “Have you ever bought information like that?”

  “Yes. ”

  His swift, unblinking answer surprised her.

  “Did you feel remorse?”

  “Absolutely not. ”

  “Why?”

  “Because I was doing it for you. That’s why. ”

  She pulled away from him. “I don’t understand. What kind of information did you get?”

  He sighed. “It’s a long story. You’d best get comfortable. ”

  Julia resisted the urge to move and remained where she was, in his lap.

  “I should mention that although I didn’t intend to tell you what happened, for the past few months it’s been nagging at me that I should. ”

  “Tell me what?”

  “How I ensured that Simon and Natalie would never bother you again. ”

  Julia’s eyes widened as Gabriel began his story.

  Chapter Fifty

  April 2010

  Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

  Gabriel’s cell phone rang. He reached over to pick it up so he could see who was calling. Julianne had called several times since he’d left her in Toronto. Although he listened to her voice messages in an effort to torture himself, he couldn’t risk answering and actually speaking with her.

  July first. If I can just hold on until July first, she’ll be safe.

  The display indicated that the number was blocked. Gabriel had a fair idea who was calling.

  “Jack,” he rasped.

  “Found the girl. Found her boyfrie
nd. We need to meet. ”

  Gabriel rubbed at his eyes.

  “Can’t you look after this? That’s what I’m paying you for. ”

  Jack cursed.

  “Don’t trust you. Tom tells me you broke my niece’s heart. I should be tuning you up rather than doing a job for you. ”

  “This isn’t for me. It’s for her,” Gabriel snapped. “The girl tried to blackmail her. The boy fucking bit her and threatened to rape her. How is it in those scenarios, I’m the villain?”

  “Melrose Diner, South Philly, tomorrow at nine A. M. ”

  Jack hung up.

  “Fuck,” said Gabriel.

  Jack Mitchell was a private investigator. At least, that was the occupation he put on his tax forms. He was an ex-Marine who also worked in private security, investigations, and enforcement.

  Simply put, he helped rich individuals stay safe from all kinds of threats, including blackmail.

  Jack was Tom Mitchell’s younger brother and the man that he turned to when his friend Richard Clark needed to pay off the drug dealers his son owed. Jack and a few of his contacts took the money Richard provided (money that was gained by mortgaging the family home in Selinsgrove) and persuaded the dealers to forget the name of Gabriel Emerson.

  Jack could be very persuasive.

  When Gabriel needed someone to persuade a certain couple to stay away from Julianne, he immediately thought of Jack. Contacting him wasn’t easy, but a few well-placed phone calls put them in touch.

  Despite Jack’s initial resistance, when he saw the photographs of Julianne’s injuries at the hands of the senator’s son, he agreed to take the job. He followed Simon and the redhead he was banging as they cut a wide swath through Philadelphia and Washington, D. C. In a short period of time, Jack had a dossier thick enough to share with Emerson. And damning enough (he thought) to ensure that his niece would no longer have to worry about the rich boy and the redhead.

  Jack would make suggestions about how to use the information to its greatest effect. And he hoped that he’d be able to call his shot at a few minutes alone with the rich kid. Someone needed to teach that motherfucker a lesson.

  Jack slid a manila envelope across the table to Gabriel.

  “Leverage to get them to turn over the stuff they have on Jules. I’ll have a conversation with them about what will happen if they don’t. Senator Talbot is making a bid for the White House. They’ll comply. End of story. ”

  “What am I looking at?” Gabriel flipped through a set of black-and-white photos, all of which featured the senator’s son involved in some kind of sex act. Some of the photos featured him and two women. All of them turned Gabriel’s stomach.

  “Debutantes, Capitol Hill brats, and an intern from the senator’s office. ” Jack placed his index finger over the pale, shadowed face of a young woman.

  Gabriel frowned in distaste. “College student?”

  “High school. ”

  “Underage?”

  Their eyes met.

  “Seventeen. ”

  “Fuck,” Gabriel muttered. “The guy is a predator. Is the senator implicated?’

  “His people are aware the kid is a problem. They’ve been tailing him. ”

 
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