Lies, Sacrifices, and Alibis

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Chapter 73

My mother rushed over to us and handed Logan to Corey. “Go to your daddy, honey.” After handing the baby to Corey, she wrapped her arms around me. “I called Tania because she still has that folder.”

I wasn’t sure what she meant. “What folder?”

“The one you told her to keep. The one depictin’ each time there was somethin’ she thought was wrong.”

“She brought it in?”

“I’ll bet you never realized it was gonna help you.”

I looked over at Tania. I swallowed hard. She was my sister and I loved her. I was angry with her, but once more she did what was best for me. I smiled. “Thank you.”

Tania smiled back. “…anythin’ for you. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what I was thinkin’.”

“In your own little fucked up way, you found a way to make all my dreams come true. Granted, it was done with enough lies, sacrifices an’ alibis to fill a huge walk in closet with skeletons, but ya still did it.”

“It’s because I love you. I never meant to hurt you. Ooh, hold that thought.” She turned and raced off to talk to the prosecutor. “Excuse me. This will help with the trial of McStevens & Son’s case. I have evidence that it happened… a lot.”

The man turned and looked at her. I could tell he was smitten with her just from his eyes alone. The man was handsome. “Excuse me?”

“It’s about the drug ring at Aivedal. I noticed things weren’t right an’ kept notes on every incident. I printed out receipts an’ kept them… just in case.”

“Usually, I don’t do this.”

“What? You don’t except evidence on a case?”

“No. That’s not what I meant. It’s against my better judgment, but would you like to get something to eat?”

“Are ya askin’ me out?”

“No. Yes. Well, this way we can discuss the case. You can tell me everything you know in detail.”

Tania smiled. “I would love to.”

I smiled. Maybe this time my sister found that one man who will make her happy. Corey and I headed outside and there were more hugs than at the airport during departure. Everyone got in their cars with the promise of visiting soon.

Corey put Logan in his car seat, kissed his head, and then turned to me. “Are you ready to go home?”

Was I ever! “I’m so ready. Let’s hurry, before somethin’ else happens. At least ya don’t have to worry about bills.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, what the judge just gave me, I think we can live comfortable on that for the rest of our lives.”

He smirked. “Honey, I’m wealthier than Mike.”

“What are you talkin’ about? Mike has a lot of money… even with it cut in half.”

“I have lots of money also.” He pulled out an engagement ring heavy with gems. “Elyse Tanner, will you marry me?”

I blinked. I wasn’t finished with the first conversation we were having. “What do you mean, you have more money than Mike?”

“No. That’s not what you’re supposed to say. I’ve never done this before, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to say, Yes, Corey, I’d be so happy to marry you and not question me about my money. Isn’t that supposed to wait till at least after the honeymoon?”

I chuckled. “You’re such a goofball. I can’t believe I’m marryin’ a goofball. Yes, Corey I’d be so happy to marry you.” He put the ring on my finger and kissed me. After the kiss, I arched a brow. “What do ya mean you have more money than Mike?”

“Is the honeymoon over already?”


He smirked. “I have a vineyard in California as well as winery. I have my own label; Tanner Wine. You remember the strawberry wine you had at my favorite restaurant?”

“You make that?”

“We make that, honey and yes we do. We make wine that’s so sweet it tastes like fruit. We send orders all over the world. It’s our special ingredient that makes it good.”

“I love that stuff. It really does taste like fruit. Sweetest tastin’ wine I’ve ever had.”

“I’m so rich that even I don’t know how much money I have.” He sat in the driver’s seat. “Of course, now with your money too, we’ll be stinking ass rich!”

“Good, because all those kids are gonna need at least three pairs of shoes each. The girls will want more than that, maybe eight pairs each. I love you, Corey Tanner.”

“…and I love you, Elyse Tanner. How about you little man? You ready to go home and get bigger so daddy can teach you how to surf?”

Logan shook his hands and cooed.

I shook my head. “No, that’s not happenin’.”

“Honey, you can’t keep him out of the water. All kids love the ocean.”

“Maybe he won’t, if we have a swimming pool in the backyard.”

“Good point. That’s true. I do need a kiddie pool in the backyard. That won’t look odd. On the beach, with the ocean at our door and we have a pool.”

I laughed. “It’s not the kiddie pool!”

“Let’s get out of here before I get arrested for doing naughty things to you.”

“Mm, you really know my language.”

He tapped my nose. “That’s because we speak the same language.”

I rubbed at my tummy. “On the way, let’s stop an’ get me a shake.”

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