Simon McBain walked into the room and right up to Rhys and kissed her softly on the cheek.
"My lovely daughter, it's so wonderful to see you after all this time. I can't believe that you are standing in front of me."
The smell of old spice and expensive cigar smoke surrounded her. She took a step back from him. She couldn't even look at him in the eye.
Rhys knew this man who called himself her father was a cheat, a liar and a scum of the earth.
He tried to get her to look at him. Finally with his fingers under her chin he brought her eyes in contact with him. "There was those beautiful dark eyes I remember."
Garrett came up to him, "Why don't we sit down and celebrate our reunion?"
Rhys glanced at Garrett with an underlying loathe that only made him smile. He pulled his father away from Rhys and presented him at the head of the table.
Josh gently took Rhys arm and led her to the table and pulled out a chair that was near Simon. Josh sat next to her.
Rhys couldn't take her eyes off the man now. He was as handsome as ever. Only a few grey hairs in his dark curly hair showed. Seeing Garrett next to him, she couldn't help but see the resemblance. Josh was different she noted. He must have followed his mother like she did. She didn't look anything like him which to her was a blessing.
The servants came in with trays of food. Rhys watched them serve the food on the plates and placed them in front of them.
Steaming Cornish hens stuffed with wild rice was centered on each plate. String beans and small potatoes surrounded the Cornish hens. The smell of butter with seasonings of salt, pepper and a hint of rosemary filled Rhys nostrils. Her stomach growled.
"Make sure you eat well my dear. You look like you haven't been taking care of yourself lately."
"I'm fine," she said as she stabbed her fork into the Cornish hen.
"Just as defiant as your mother, I see." He chuckled.
Rhys gritted her teeth as she tore into the Cornish hen.
Josh leaned in toward her. "You're supposed to eat it not torture it." Rhys looked at Josh out the corner of her eye. She could tell he was trying to make her comfortable. Rhys wanted to be mad at him but somehow she couldn't.
"You're right, Josh. I should eat it instead."
She didn't look over at Garrett but she could see that Simon and him were pleased with Josh and her self's interaction. She thought to herself that they better not use Josh to get to her because she wouldn't fall for it. She would let them know too.
Simon took a deep breath pulling Rhys attention towards him. She watched him as his silver eyes settled on her. "I have much to discuss with you Rhys. I wanted all my family by my side as I take on this new journey."
Rhys wanted to spit at him. She could only imagine that this journey he spoke of was just another scam. She always remembered her mother telling her stories of his scams. He always had about a dozen of them going at once.
"I am going to be a very strong leader in this new hybrid group. We will rule over all the others because we are superior. With my family by my side there will be nothing that can stop us."
Rhys was fuming inside but if she started to argue with him he might punish Kellan to teach her a lesson. She knew how he did things. That's why Kellan was here.
He smiled at her. "I know that you are not happy as to how you ended up here and that your wolf boyfriend had to be brought into this. It wasn't my choice but it was the only way to get you here.
She stared at him with a glare that made him look away.
"Look darling; I know you are not pleased but...
"Let him go, he did nothing."
"I can't do that dear, he knows too much."
"What? He knows nothing. You are the one who dragged him here not me. It's your fault that he knows you are here."
She didn't mean to sound vindictive as that would only hurt her cause but it was out already.
Garrett chuckled. "I told you she was a spit fire. She likes to do things her way."
Simon grinned. "She does? Maybe she has taken after me then?" They both shared a laugh.
Rhys wanted to throw the china at them and demand that they let Kellan go but instead she knew she had to play this game of theirs out to her advantage. How she was going to do this, she didn't know.
Chocolate mousse was served for desert. Rhys wasn't interested in it. She shoved it to the side.
"You don't like it my dear?"
"I've had enough."
Simon set his fork to the side, "Are you saying that you are full or are we talking about something else?"
Rhys knew what he meant and she wanted to tell him that he was right but that might not get her anywhere.
She smiled at him. "I am full and can't possibly take another bite."
He nodded and she wasn't sure if he believed her or not but didn't challenge her.
Rhys was much relieved that he didn't push her.
After the meal and the dishes were cleared away Simon looked over at Garrett, "Why don't we all have drinks in the study while I tell Rhys our plans?"
"That sounds wonderful father."
Rhys narrowed her gaze at Garrett. He was a suck up she could tell. He was out to please his father. She glanced at Josh who was playing some game on his phone. She hoped that he wasn't like Garrett. It would be such a waste if he was, she thought to herself.
Simon and Garrett got up and both looked over at her as if waiting for her to jump up.
She threw her chin up at Garrett. She slowly got up and Josh followed. Josh, she noticed seemed to be sticking by her side. Rhys wondered if he was her watchdog.
Well she thought, better him than Garrett.
She followed them into the study. Josh set his phone down on the coffee table in front of him. Rhys sat next to him.
A thought had come to her. If she could get hold of Josh's phone she could get a message to Thor. She would have to think of a way to get the phone away from him for even a few seconds.
Simon poured the drinks and Garrett handed them out. Josh didn't get one. Instead Garrett handed him a cola. Rhys could see that he would have preferred it been a beer. She smiled to herself. Maybe she and Josh were more alike than what she thought.
"This is sherry," said Garrett. He grinned at her as she took the tiny crystal glass. She so badly wanted to throw him against a wall again and wipe that grin off of his face.
"Well," said Simon. "This is a day I have looked forward to in a long time and now it's here. I have all my family here, together. Let's toast to that."
Rhys looked down at the sherry. It was a dark red like the colour of a Bing cherry.
She did not want to toast to anything with him.
Josh was looking at her. She met his gaze and knew that everyone was waiting for her to take a sip and join then in their toast.
Rhys decided to take a sip for Josh. She brought the tiny crystal glass to her lips and let the sherry touch her tongue. The sharp taste of tart cherry and sugar tingled in her mouth.
"Wonderful Rhys, and now I have something very important to tell you."
Rhys looked up. Garrett and Simon were looking at her.
"I am going to in two days take my family and that includes you Rhys to New Orleans to live as one big happy family in the home I bought for us all."
Rhys stared at him. "What? You want me to come live with you?" She couldn't fathom the notion.
Another thought came to her. "Is Kellan supposed to come with us?"
Garrett looked over at Simon. Josh cleared his throat.
"I'm afraid dear we can't take him with us."
"Then what will you do to him?"
Simon sighed, "We will have to kill him."
The crystal glass of sherry dropped to the floor smashing.