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The Devil’s Advocate (Devil’s Playground #2)
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This is the final book in the two-book duet. Book one must be read first.
One man will get what’s coming to him.
They told me good girls get rewarded.
I made a deal with The Devil…and I liked it.
Please note: This story contains content that may be offensive to some readers.
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“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder.
Which, as they kiss, consume.”
―William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
“Most people don’t get to take control of their own destiny.” I motion to the file I placed on his desk. “Don’t think of this as a death sentence…think of it as an opportunity to go out the way you want to.”
Hands in his pockets, he walks over to the large window in his office and sighs. It’s a beautiful view. It’s a shame he won’t be enjoying it much longer.
“I didn’t know I was terminal until last month. I thought the treatment was working.”
“Why didn’t you drop out of the race when you received your diagnosis?”
His jaw tics. “Cain Carter will run this town into the ground with his self-serving stance on things, if not his arrogance alone…and then, like the cancer in my lungs, he’ll spread his disease to the White House. I’d rather win the race for mayor and die in office. This way he’ll be one step behind instead of one step closer to being in a position of power.”
Satisfied with his response, I light a cigarette and offer him one. He looks at it longingly before declining, like he stands a chance at beating his illness.
He doesn’t. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here.
Neither would he.
“As I suspected, our interests are aligned.” When he gives me a questioning look, I say, “I don’t want him to be mayor either.”
“You never struck me as someone interested in politics. Your father wasn’t.”
“A lot can change in eleven years.” I take a long drag. “And unlike your opponent, I don’t want to follow in my father’s footsteps.”
He snorts. “Didn’t you take over your father’s hedge fund investments after he died four years ago?”
“He left everything to me…big difference.” I shrug. “In turn, I chose to focus on the investments I wanted to keep and let go of the ones I saw no potential in.”
Turning, he assesses me. “That’s putting it mildly. Rumor has it withdrawing your father’s investments led to the demise of five companies and put eight-thousand people across the U.S out of a job.”
“That’s the pesky thing about rumors—they aren’t always based on truth.” I stub my cigarette out in a nearby ashtray. “It was six companies, and just shy of ten-thousand employees were laid off.”
He tuts. “You’re horrible. No wonder people call you the Devil.”
“I never claimed to be a hero. It’s not my job to rescue a sinking ship.”
“And yet here you are trying to offer me some kind of deal. Why?”
“My reasons for wanting Cain Carter to lose the election are personal.”
“Then I’m afraid I can’t help you.” He juts his chin toward the door. “You can exit the same way you came, Mr. King.”
I don’t budge. “You only have fifty-thousand in your savings account.” He starts to protest, but I pull out my phone and look down at the screen. “I already checked to see if you or your wife have any hidden accounts, but you don’t. Your son has a few bonds from his christening ten years ago, but they’re not worth much.” I whistle. “You used quite a bit of your personal money to fund your campaign. Of course, your medical expenses aren’t helping your financial situation, given you recently made a check out for ten grand to your insurance company.”
His nostrils flare. “How did—”
“Same way I accessed your medical records.” I tuck my phone inside my pocket. “But me hacking your files isn’t what’s important here, Mr. Covey…what I can offer you is.”
“You’re not half as smart as your father was.” He walks over to his desk and swipes the file. Papers scatter on the floor. “In case you missed the memo, you marched into my office with—I’m a dying man. There is literally nothing you can offer me. Nothing that matters anymore.”
I rub the stubble on my chin. “You’re right, I don’t imagine there’s much I can offer you.” My gaze flickers to a framed picture of his wife and son. “But what about them?”
For the first time since I walked into his office, he looks open to me being here.
I take the opportunity to drive the nail into his coffin.
“Funerals are expensive. Not to mention property taxes, monthly utilities, food, the medical debt you’ve accrued, and of course, college for your son. That fifty grand will go quickly. I predict it will last your stay-at-home wife a year at most, and that’s being generous…after that, your family will be on their own.”
I can see the pain in his eyes. The pain of a man who will die long before he ever planned to. The pain of a man who knows when all is said and done—he will have left his family with nothing but a collection of medical bills, a house they can’t afford to live in, and a pile of ashes.