Read The Scarlett Legacy Online
Authors: K.N. Lee
Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Paranormal, #New Adult
TRAPPED IN HIS THOUGHTS
, Wes was silent the entire ride after dinner.
So much blood. He couldn’t get it out of his head. He rubbed his temple and closed his eyes. What he had done to the remaining Prince family members went above and beyond cleaning up the filth.
It was an extermination.
But they weren’t done yet.
The dark forest stretched on both sides as they drove down the empty road. He just wanted the final piece to the puzzle to be eliminated.
Wes was grateful for the rain, it kept him calm. Something about storms strengthened him. The amount of death and carnage he had seen kept replaying in his mind. He’d never been more afraid of what he could do.
But wizards were supposed to use their power wisely.
That’s what his father always said.
Too bad his death left Wes with no choice but to use his power to protect the family.
Wes squeezed his eyes shut. He couldn’t blame his father. For years the Scarlett’s and the Princes fought over territory and arms clients, but it wasn’t until Scarlett Research failed in saving Emma Prince from cancer.
That was the last straw for Hugh Prince. He blamed Wes’ father, and all restraint was forgotten.
When the car pulled into the circle driveway in front of their home, he made sure to get out and open the door for Adelaide.
Fat droplets of rain poured down in gushes. He opened his black umbrella and helped Adelaide from her seat in the back of his black Escalade.
“Thank you,” she said. She glanced at the sky, her gaze lingering on the moon partially hidden by black clouds. “It is such a lovely night. I almost wish I had the energy to go dancing. You know your father loved to dance.”
Wes nodded and she stepped onto the stone walkway, her black stilettos making her almost as tall as Wes. Shielding her long blonde hair from the spray of water, she walked along to the awning with Wes following her.
“Thank you for a lovely dinner, you two. I’m absolutely exhausted.”
“You’re welcome,” Wes said.
“Sleep well,” Olivia said.
“Thank you, dear,” Adelaide said. Safely under the cover from the rain she turned to both of them. “Sleep well the both of you. We will have a family meeting at Sunday dinner. We have much to discuss.”
“Good night,” Wes said.
He could see it in her face that everything was wearing on her. She was forty-nine, but usually looked to be in her late thirties. Tonight the dark circles under her blue eyes made her look her true age.
He hoped she was all right. She’d kept a smile on her face during dinner. They had been victorious in getting rid of Hugh Prince and his entire family, but it still wasn’t enough to bring his father back.
Adelaide had married his father when she was only nineteen and they had been in such a deep love that Wes sought to find the same for himself.
He had found that love in Olivia… and more. She had the power to do things that a wizard couldn’t, which made her invaluable.
Still, even love couldn’t keep his darkness at bay. The things he had done would haunt him forever.
Wes sighed, images of the Prince twins strewn across the pavement, only feet away from the car they’d crashed.
crashed with his power.
He was a monster, but one the rest of his family needed. Perhaps soon everything would return to normal and he would never be forced to step out of character again.
No amount of magic could erase the images of his father’s dead body. The responsible parties had met their judgment. Wes and his mother had executed their revenge in ways that shook Woodland Creek.
“Goodnight,” Olivia said. They watched her walk up the stone steps to the front entrance of Scarlett Hall. “Is she okay?”
He looked down at Olivia, her black hair blowing in the wind as thunder crackled across the black sky.
“She is just taxed by everything that has happened. She’ll be okay once the media turns its attention to something other than our family.”
Olivia’s face looked worried. Her brows furrowed as she looked up at him.
“We did all that we could. The town is rid of any competition. Now what?”
Wes kept his face blank as he looked at her. Competition didn’t concern him. He would continue to run the lab as well as take up his father’s underground business of arms dealing and the assigning of assassins around the world. All of the other areas of the business would be put to an end.
That wasn’t the problem.
He kissed her forehead. She still didn’t know that their meeting hadn’t been by chance. She’d practically been recruited. He’d never bring it up that he knew of each and every dignitary and spy she’d assassinated.
“We wait,” he said, his eyes darkening as he looked off to the forest. “There’s still one more Prince to deal with.”
MAYBE THEY HAD ALL
gone mad. It didn’t matter. A century old feud would end.
Olivia followed him to the white double doors straight through the front porch.
Inside Scarlett Hall darkness welcomed them. The main staircase wrapped upward around a single pillar to the two other floors of the house. On either side below the stairs were two corridors that led to different parts of the house; the library and den, and the kitchen, parlor, and dining hall.
Sandy, their house manager — a woman in her late forties with short blonde hair and thin blue eyes, waited in the shadows. She knew better than to turn on the lights. Adelaide enjoyed darkness, and so most rooms were kept dark or dim when she was around.
“How was dinner?”
Wes handed her his coat. “Fine,” he said and headed to the winding staircase that began in the front entryway.
“Sir,” Sandy called.
“You have a guest.”
Olivia and he shared a look, then looked back at Sandy.
“A gentleman, Miss Evelyse drove him here from town.”
William’s jaw tightened.
“Did you think to ask who he was?”
Sandy wrung her hands. She shook her head.
“He just said you’d be expecting him.”
Wes stared at her, realization flooding his body. He swallowed. Perhaps it all would end tonight. He nodded to Olivia.
“Go to bed, honey. I’ll be up soon.”
Olivia looked hesitant. She put a hand on his. “Are you sure? Should I go with you?”
“It’s fine. Go on.”
She went up the stairs and Wes closed his eyes for a moment.
He should have known that Avalon Prince would surprise him. He always seemed to be a step ahead of him.
Still, having Evie bring him here was a direct taunt. His sister was to stay out of it all. Then again, Wes hadn’t spared any of Avalon’s siblings after his father’s death.
He knew Avalon, and how girls were attracted to him. He admittedly didn’t mind how much female attention they received when they hung out together in boarding school. Alone Wes wasn’t much of a lady’s man. He was told that he looked too serious, and didn’t have much of a sense of humor.
Those were the labels he’d lived with since childhood. He didn’t mind. It was a testament to his superior intellect, and Olivia loved him for it. She was a good wife. Pretty and obedient.
Evie’s giggle was faintly heard from the library.
Wes and Evie shared and embraced those labels. He wanted great things for her. Her future was much brighter than Woodland Creek could provide.
He sighed. He really didn’t need Evie getting in the way. She was young and pure — too pure to be involved with their plot.
“Where are they?”
“She’s entertaining him in the library.”
Wes rubbed his brow. “I expected as much. Thank you, Sandy. Will you bring me some of the Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon to the library, along with some cheese and olives?”
He stretched his neck muscles and changed direction to head to the library at the back of the manor. He could hear Evie’s voice before he even made it down the hall. Her laughter was a welcome sound in this dark and taxing time.
His little sister was one of the few things that could make him smile these days.
“Well, what do we have here?” Wes opened his arms when he entered the library and Avalon stood from his seat on the sofa.
“Wesley Scarlett,” Avalon said as Evie hugged Wes. “What’s it been? Almost ten years?”
Wes nodded. “Just about.”
“Welcome home,” Evie said, wrapping her arms around his waist to hug him warmly. She went up on her toes to kiss his cheek. “How was your day?”
Wes smiled at her and kissed the top of her head. “Good. Thank you. Everything okay here?”
“Yeah,” she said. “Everything’s great. I ran into Avalon at Geek Beans.”
Sure you did,
Wes thought. Knowing Avalon, he’d planned to meet her by chance. He’d probably been watching them to find out their routine.
“Well what a coincidence,” he said and looked to Avalon. “How long have you been in town?”
“A couple of days,” Avalon said. “Come to show support for good ole’ dad. Look how that turned out.”
Sandy entered with a tray full of the items Wes asked for. She set it on the coffee table. “Do you need anything else?”
“Just tell Eloise that we will have breakfast an hour later tomorrow.”
“Very good, sir. Sleep well.”
“You too, Sandy.”
Evie took Wes’s hand. “Come sit. Avalon has been telling me some very interesting stories about you guys at boarding school.”
“Did he now?” Wes followed her to the red Victorian sofa and sat on the edge. He poured three glasses and handed Evie one.
She accepted it with a smile. “Thanks,” she said. “In a few months I’ll start my own wine collection.”
“But you’ll still drink from our stash…”
She laughed. “Well of course. It’s vintage and free.”
Wes shrugged. “At least you have good taste.”
“I learn from the best,” she said and took a sip.
Avalon picked up a glass and sat near the fireplace in an antique sitting chair. “Your lovely sister here was just telling me how much Woodland Creek has changed.”
Pursing his lips, Wes looked to his sister. He didn’t like the idea of her getting involved… especially with Avalon. Not until he assessed the situation.
“It hasn’t changed that much,” Wes said.
“But it has,” Evie said. “There are so many new things in New Town.”
“Exactly,” Avalon agreed.
Wes and Avalon’s eyes met. He almost thought he saw something unusual in Avalon’s eyes.
Wes drank from his glass and rested against the sofa’s plush back.
“How long are you staying?” Wes looked to Avalon.
Evie looked to him as well.
“That remains to be seen. I mean, the women are all so beautiful here. Why would I leave?” Avalon winked at Evie, making her blush.
“Right,” Wes said.
Evie’s phone buzzed on the end table and she glanced at it. Her smile faded. She stood.
“Goodnight, guys. I need to get some sleep. I need to go to work a little early tomorrow,” she said. She looked to Avalon. “Maybe I can show you around sometime.”
Avalon nodded. “That would be lovely. I’ll pick you up.”
She lifted a brow, smirking. “How?”
“Well,” Avalon said. “I hired a car online. Looks like I’ll be hanging around for a while.”
Wes thought with a wince.
She laughed. “Okay great. Goodnight.”
“Night,” Wes and Avalon said in unison.
They waited for her to leave and walk out of earshot.
Once they were sure she was far from hearing range, Avalon set his wine glass down and leaned forward. His face went serious as he looked to Wes.
“So,” Avalon said, cracking his knuckles. “Tell me exactly how you killed my family.”