WELL, TECHNICALLY, IT IS STILL SATURDAY IN PACIFIC TIME…
HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE GRISLY GHOSTS OF GRUESOME TIME. NOW RETURNING TO THE REGULAR INSTALLMENT OF REPAIRING THE LEGACY.
With this segment of Chapter Thirteen of Repairing the Legacy, we continue the serialization of Repairing the Legacy. This is a rough draft work in progress and may not reflect the final form. Time period: set after the ending of The Martiniere Legacy main trilogy. I’m breaking longer chapters into sections for readability. This is the third part of Chapter Thirteen. There will be four parts to this chapter.
New to the series? Chapter order:
Chapter One, Section One
Return of the Prodigal Son (2 parts)
Conversations and a Dinner (2 parts)
Dancing into Change (2 parts)
Sisterly Compromises (3 parts)
Conspiracies at the Rodeo (3 parts)
Passing the Baton (4 parts)
Research Complications (3 parts)
Chasing After Shadows (3 parts)
Fifth Anniversary Present (3 parts)
Mariah (5 parts)
Shadows, Redux (3 parts)
Accidents Happen (4 parts)
Of course, this hellish pregnancy would be confirmed on one of the most dismally hot days of the year. IVF has succeeded. The embryo has implanted. I am carrying Philip’s son. So far, apparently, Renate has yet to implant one of Saul’s embryos. It makes me want to scream.
Ruby didn’t know what was worse, the bleak first entry in Angelica’s diary, or the obscene rape fantasies that Philip had scrawled in and around it. She forced herself to transcribe the despairing entry, arguing with herself about whether she should tell Gabe about this, much less give him the transcript.
Perhaps it would make more sense to thumb through the damn diary first, flag what areas she could easily give to Gabe—if there were any.
And yet a part of her rebelled against that easy path. Gabe would know if she sugarcoated the damn thing too much—and unlike him, she was crappy at lying, especially about emotions.
Still bitter about him hiding the truth about himself, before mind control lockdown rendered him silent on the subject no matter what he thought, Ruby-girl? she asked herself.
Oh, he had improved—but for things like—oh, the secrecy around his buying the cliff house, Gabe was still good at duplicity. Even though the cliff house was intended to be a present, the fact that he could pull off deceiving her about the purchase still hinted that if he tried, and Ruby didn’t get suspicious enough to rub her ring at him—he could still lie to her.
On the other hand, thumbing ahead might give her something to look forward to.
Renate is pregnant—finally! After three months’ worth of attempts. And our son is moving inside of me. Saul approaches this pregnancy with the determination that he will make this boy ours. Not Philip’s. His enthusiasm is catching. I remind myself that Saul and Philip are identical twins, and that this boy could end up looking more like Saul than his biofather.
But then I think about Philip’s mental instability, and I become afraid. Again.
Philip’s annotations were inconsistent throughout the book. The entry about feeling Gabe move was one left untouched. Perhaps the comment about Philip’s mental state? God only knew, after reading some of his scribblings, Ruby was convinced that Philip’s problems hadn’t just been psychopathic—some of the writings were delusional. They reminded Ruby too much of Lily and her occasional voices.
Ruby shuddered as Gabe came into her office. “How’s the transcription going?”
“Rough,” she admitted. “Not just what your mother wrote. Philip’s—Gabe, he was delusional as well as psychopathic. I’m reading things that remind me too much of Lily. It scares me.”
Gabe dropped into a chair, frowning. “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”
“I promised to transcribe this for you, and I am. You don’t need to read Philip’s crap.”
Besides, the more I see of Philip’s thought processes, the more likely it is that I can help figure out how to circumvent them in Lily.
“What about Mama?” His face tightened.
“She’s—well, she was understandably depressed early on. But never hating you.” That was stretching things a little, because there had been resentment of her unborn child in those first entries. Ruby hoped her voice didn’t betray her. “I’m looking ahead. Some portions are unreadable, thanks to Philip’s scribblings. I just read a section where Renate is confirmed pregnant, and Saul is determined to make you his son.”
That brought a faint smile to Gabe’s lips. “That sounds so much like Papa—Saul.” He sighed. “I wish you could have met him. I think both he and Mama would have thoroughly approved of you—of us.” He ran his hand through his hair. “Like the rest of the Family has.”
“No question in my mind that he loved you deeply. Those expressions of his throughout your baby pictures.”
“Saul was a very positive thinker.” Gabe chuckled softly. “At least he always was with me. Even when I was being defiant, I could be brought to heel by knowing that I had seriously disappointed Papa. Yes, he was lenient with me when I started getting really wild—and yet he decided that it was time for me to go to military school.”
“I don’t know, I’ve not heard any stories that make me think you were any wilder than kids I knew.”
“It’s a different thing at the Family level.” Gabe laced his fingers and rested elbows on chair arms, chin on his fingers. “I regularly beat the crap out of Joseph at Family gatherings. Was on my way to becoming a bit of a bully, like Philip.”
“You? A bully? I’d believe it of Joseph, but not you, Gabe. Not the way you’re respected now.”
Gabe snorted. “Remember some of the issues you ran into when approaching the Family on my behalf, gathering support to depose Philip? Some of those objections were rooted in things that happened when I was nine, ten years old. I’m sure my parents got pressure to bring me into line because, as the Martiniere’s son, I could have become a potential threat. A year of military school started to change that—” he gulped. “And then I learned what real bullying felt like, after my family died. It was a relief to escape to Northview Military Academy.”
“I suppose Bran’s wrestling competition served the same purpose for him. Though he went through real bullying as well.” Ruby tightened her lips.
She hadn’t recognized the signs of abuse, when Brandon had been bullied at school. The water rights fight that set up the bullying had drawn all of her attention—had to, in order for her and Brandon to survive on the ranch. Though she ended up sending Bran to Gabe for a year, because Bran was skipping school—and was at risk for kidnapping. Or worse.
“It was a good outlet. And it turned him into a sneaky fast fighter—which paid off when we were battling Philip. It wasn’t really an outlet I had—being the Martiniere’s son meant I had to be protected. Northview—was a dose of reality that I needed. And later, a refuge.”
“I guess,” Ruby said. “I suppose it’s a good thing that I didn’t have to deal with raising the Martiniere’s son.”
“Eh, it would have been different. No divorce, for one thing. And your upbringing was totally different from Mama’s. The Ramirez family was wealthy, Cuban and Mexican money, in finance. I was acting enough like Mama’s brothers and cousins that she didn’t see the issues with my behavior. I think you would have kept Bran more centered, and there would have been siblings. Cousins.” Gabe exhaled, grinning wryly. “I remember thinking how I needed to bring the hammer down on Bran that day you sent him to me, after that last epic school skip. I kept remembering what a snot I was at his age. He was so pissed about the lockdown bracelet.”
“That’s why I sent him to you. Not just desperation and fear—I just couldn’t handle what I was afraid I was seeing.” Ruby’s voice went even lower as she remembered those dark days. Her fear that Brandon was turning into something like Tony Barkley, her psychopathic father. A deep-down dread that was enough to overpower her anger over the divorce and ask Gabe for help.
“That turned out well enough,” Gabe said.
Silence fell. Then Gabe got up. “I’ll stop bugging you about the transcription. With that stuff going on in your head, thanks to Philip’s scribbling—I’ll be patient.”
Ruby smirked as he left.
Patient? Gabriel Marcus Martiniere? Hah!
She would be willing to bet that promise would last twenty-four hours. Maybe.
Ruby returned to puzzling out the diary. After all, Gabe might surprise her and not pester her about the transcription progress for several days.
Maybe by then she would have something positive to give him.
Announcement—Repairing the Legacy will be releasing as a completed book soon, under the title of THE ENDURING LEGACY. Watch for further information!