“What the hell is going on?” Dan demanded as he sprinted out the Senate doors behind Portwood.
“This isn’t my case so I’m going to leave what we do up to you but Wilshire was outside, coming in with his wife when Katherine Bryant headed his way. Wilshire left his wife standing at the door to go speak to her, got a phone call, changed course and headed towards the bar. This is all on camera mind you. When he got to the bar, some guy I couldn’t quite see in the cameras approached. Wilshire’s out there talking to him now.”
“He left Mrs. Wilshire standing there to go talk to his mistress?” Dan flung open the doors and shoved two reporters out of his way. Something had to have happened. No one was that stupid, certainly not the former head of Venton Academy.
The press was confused as well. Half of them stayed firmly planted as other members of Governing families made their way in for the wedding. The other half searched for Wilshire.
“Let’s see if we can find them then we’ll chat,” Portwood shouted over the crowd.
But the press moved in anxious to know why the current Chief of Iodex and the former were both sprinting out of the building.
Another limousine pulled up. Logan, Rainer, Adeline, and Emily stepped out.
“What are we doing?” Logan spoke far too loudly.
“Just get them inside and follow me,” Dan ordered. He needed Wilshire to stay where he was and the press to stay out of it. He also knew he wasn’t that lucky. “Follow me.” Cutting hard right, running against the crowd, he planned to run the block and circle around the other side. They could approach Wilshire from the back instead of running head long into him.
A minute later, Rainer and Logan had caught up but so had a few eager assholes from the press.
“You’re not going to outrun them. Believe me, I’ve tried,” Rainer’s breaths were steady through his sprint. Kid had clearly been keeping up with the workouts.
Portwood glanced down at the grainy image on his phone, casted to receive the security camera feed from the bar. When he halted, Dan almost ran him over.
“He’s leaving,” Portwood held up the phone. Wilshire and the man he was speaking with were indeed climbing into a black Audi with deeply tinted windows. Dan couldn’t make out the driver.
“What the hell is he up to?” Logan huffed.
“Who the hell owns that car?” Rainer used his tie to pat the shimmer of sweat from his brow.
“This is a full Senate wedding and he’s just not going to show?” Portwood’s brow furrowed. “Seems more than suspicious. The entire Governing Board will be front and center for this. His lack of appearance will certainly be noted."
“Clearly, something is more important to him than earning his job back,” Dan explained. “Question is, what?”
“That was shady as fuck.” Logan pointed to the phone.
“Agreed and you better not let your daddy hear you talk like that,” Portwood laughed.
“Even Dad would agree with the sentiment,” Logan assured him.
Closing his eyes, Dan forced his shield down and summoned his alternate predilection. Nothing made any sense. Why on earth would Wilshire leave his wife standing outside the Gifted Senate preparing for a full Senate wedding and surrounded by press? What would be worth the inevitable fallout that would come from that? Where the hell had that car come from? And most importantly, who was driving it?
“You know the first thing I want to know.” Portwood turned and headed back to the Senate at a slower pace.
“What?” Dan quizzed.
“Where is Katherine Bryant?”
“Want to know what I want to know?” Dan picked up the pace.
“What’s that?” Portwood joined him.
“Where is the press going?” Directly ahead the few cameramen that had been able to keep up were racing back towards the Senate.
“Shit,” Portwood spat as they all fell into a run.
As they approached the Senate, disbelief rocketed up Dan’s spine. Carla, the lady in red who was apparently was also his aunt, was standing at the center of the crowd of camera-laden reporters.
Horror erased Dan’s shock. What the hell was she doing?
“You’re saying you’re Governor Vindico’s half-sister?” A reporter Dan recognized from The Time’s shouted louder than the others.
Rainer and Logan slowed to a jog and stared uncomfortably at Dan.
“Get them away from her,” Dan growled. Ever faithful, Rainer, Logan and Portwood raced in. “Back up by order of the Chief of Iodex!” Portwood waved his badge in the air. “Get away from her or I’ll personally lock you up.”
Chief of Iodex echoed in Dan’s mind. For as long as he could remember, his life had been driven with one single force. Revenge. Everything had existed in the lock file safe of his mind. How was everything spinning so wildly out of control?
Wrapping his arm forcefully over Carla, much the way he used to bring in female criminals, he jerked her towards the building. “Never answer their questions. What do you think you’re doing anyway?”
“You seemed to need a distraction. I thought I would provide. Always happy to help out my nephew.” Her tone dripped with haughty pride. She wanted this. She wanted the attention. She’d wanted it thirty years ago as well. He knew.
Shoving her inside the Senate, he narrowed his eyes. “You stay the hell away from my family. You keep your mouth shut about your relationship to my father and my grandfather and never refer to me as your nephew again. You got that? I won't let you tarnish our name.”
“My, my, my, Daniel, but you do sound just like your mother.”