Authors: Mallory Monroe
Charles Sinatra was dressed to the nines
in yet another one of his imported suits, this one was a dark blue Italian silk
suit, as he sat on his son’s front porch.
Brent smiled as he made his way up the steps. He looked like shit after
running even longer than he usually ran, and his old man looked as if he’d just
stepped off of a magazine cover.
his father’s thick black hair and sharp green eyes, to a body almost as
muscular as Brent’s, Charles Sinatra painted the picture of a man half his age.
Some people, newbies in town who didn’t know
better, thought they were brothers.
once they began to spent time around the twosome, they quickly realized the
They were hardly brothers.
Charles Sinatra was the boss of Brent and
everybody else in the Sinatra clan, and all it took was a few minutes around
him to realize it.
“What’s up?” Brent leaned against his porch rail, facing his
father, his legs outstretched.
this early for you?”
“Hell yeah it’s early.”
Charles’ handsome face appeared weary.
“But you wouldn’t answer your damn cell phone.”
Brent smiled and wiped the dripping sweat from his brow with
the back of his hand.
“Maybe because I
didn’t want to hear your mouth.
could be nicer, you know.”
“I don’t do nice in the mornings.”
“You don’t do nice in the evenings, either.
I don’t know how Ma puts up with your ornery
Since Charles didn’t know either, he didn’t respond to that.
“Want something to drink?”
Charles shook his head.
“I had a cup of coffee,” he said.
It was only then did Brent realize his locked front door was
Only five people had keys to
his home: his father, his stepmother Jenay, his adopted kid sister Carly, his
brother Tony, and of course Makayla.
everybody used that privilege liberally.
Brent went inside, grabbed a bottled water out of his frig,
and headed back outside.
He sat in the
chair beside his father and leaned it back until it was on two legs and against
“So what brings you out here?”
“The race for mayor.”
“What about it?”
A poll this
morning showed him down by nearly ten points.”
“He’ll make a comeback.
He always does.”
“Don’t be so sure, Brent.
It’s not just token opponents this time.
The president of the city council is running this time.
He has a lot of support.
And Porter’s just finishing his first
He isn’t a popular mayor
and he hasn’t done anything tangible for the people.
He could lose.
And if that happens, if Porter loses, the
next mayor may select his own man to run the police department.”
Brent considered his father.
He was a hard-facts man, regardless of where those facts led him.
“Your point?” he asked.
“A man like you, a man whose dream has always been to be in
charge of the Jericho County Police Department is not going to be happy as the
Even when you were a kid you
couldn’t stand for me to give you orders.
You have to be your own man.
to work for me and you will be.”
Brent drank more water.
A week ago he would not have even considered the thought of leaving the
Now, after proposing to Mal,
after too many bad dreams about that awesome leadership burden he bore, he knew
he couldn’t dismiss it outright.
“My businesses in Jericho are expanding, not contracting,”
nightclub I just acquired.”
Brent couldn’t believe it.
“Are you serious? The Roulette is the most popular nightclub
in this county.
That’s insane, Dad.
It’s been in the Albright family for
“And now it’s in my family.
They had a second mortgage on it.
Hell, a third mortgage too.
It’s mine now.
But I want you at the helm.”
“You want me to run a nightclub?
What do I know about running a nightclub?”
“You know how to lead, Brent. You’re a natural leader just
like I am.
You’re exactly what that club
will need. The employees are already in place.
Nobody will have to lose their jobs unless they deserve to.
But I need you to bust heads and take names
the way I would do it.
else I know who can do it better than you because I will get resistance up and
down, you know I will.”
“These good citizens of Jericho are already convinced you’re
trying to own the whole town as it is.”
Charles nodded his agreement.
“And this won’t help that perception, I know that going in.
That’s why I’m going to need you.
They fear you, Brent, and they respect
And actually like you.
They fear me and hate my guts.
I need you onboard.”
But Brent was conflicted.
He’d been a cop for a long time.
It was all he knew.
The idea that
he would give up his profession to take on a business his father could just as
easily sale, didn’t make sense on any level.
But now that Makayla was coming to town, and was soon to be his wife, he
knew he had to consider it.
“You’re tired, Brent,” his father answered for him.
“You’re constantly seeing all of the evil
that men do, day in and day out.
to be getting to you.
Some of your cops
I heard about a couple of
them hospitalizing a suspect the other day.
All of that crap is now on you.
This town expects you to clean that shit up.”
“Your point?” Brent asked.
“You need to start thinking ahead.
If Porter Keith loses this upcoming election,
you won’t be chief anymore, just another cop on the Force.
The new mayor is going to want to appoint his
own man as chief.
But if you come
onboard with me, you’ll always be employed.”
“I’ll give you top rank.”
Brent looked at his father.
That was a first.
“You’ll be CEO of my East Coast operations,” Charles
“I’ll remain Chairman of the
Board and handle all out-of-state acquisitions and businesses, but you’ll run
You’ll be in charge of all of
my local operations, except for the Jericho Inn, which Jenay runs and will
continue to run.
But my Jericho
investments are the second largest chunk of my business.
And just as I gave Jenay veto power over
anything that goes on at the Inn, I’ll give you veto power over anything that
goes on in Jericho.
“Veto power over you?” Brent asked with a smile, knowing his
father wasn’t going to dignify that question with an answer.
And he didn’t.
“I heard Makayla’s going to work in the D.A.’s office,”
hearing a lot for a man who usually hears nothing.”
“They were talking about Makayla and she belongs to you.
Since you belong to me, I listened.
I heard those career attorneys in that office
are none too happy with an outsider getting that promotion.
They thought it was theirs by right.
Just warn your lady love.
It might not be all puppies and flowers when
she gets here.”
Brent already expected as much.
“She’ll handle it,” he said.
“How did she manage to wrangle that job anyway?” Charles
“Ira remembered her when she was here four years ago as that
special prosecutor on granddad’s case.”
“Please do not remind me of that hellishness,” Charles
“I still hate that she exonerated
But he got his.
Justice was served in the end.”
“Street justice,” Brent said, “which is no justice at all.”
That was what Charles loved most about his oldest son: his
But he couldn’t disagree with
“In my old man’s case,”
Charles said, “justice was served.
back to my business proposition.
really want you to consider working for me, son.
Especially now that Makayla’s coming to town.
You aren’t a free bird any longer.”
can’t picture you running a nightclub.
You’ll probably turn it into a country club.”
hell I will!
If it ain’t broke, I’m not
I mean, I’ll swank it up a
“Swank it up, Dad?”
“I’ll give it some class and sophistication.
Something the kids will enjoy of course, but
something that people our age wouldn’t mind frequenting either.”
Brent looked at him as if he had lost his mind.
age?” he asked.
“News flash: contrary to
how youthful you look, and you do look young I’ll give you that, and we are
only seventeen years apart, but you’re still my father, not my brother.
I have the birth certificate to prove it.”
Charles laughed, which was an effort for a stern man like
“You know what I mean,” he
“I won’t muck it up.
I want it to remain the go-to place in town
for the young people.
And it will remain
Especially if somebody hip
like you agrees to runs it.”
Brent gave a
“You think these
people in this town think a person like me, their chief of police, is hip?
I’m going to tell you like Ma tells you: get
a life because you don’t know mine!”
“I know enough,” Charles shot back.
“I have eyes and ears.
I know what’s going on.
And I know for a fact that these silly girls
around here think you’re hot stuff.
show up at the club every night just to see you.”
Brent was often amazed at how highly his father thought of
He could do no wrong in his old
“What about Bobby?” he
“Running a nightclub seems to be
more in his lane.”
“Robert is hanging by a slender thread managing my rental
properties as it is.
He’ll out-party the
partiers if I put him in charge of a club.”
“Now that’s the truth,” Brent said.
And then he nodded.
“Okay,” he said.
Charles thought he had heard wrong.
What does that mean?”
“I’m going to think about your offer.”
Charles was stunned.
“Even if Porter wins the election?”
“Even if Mayor Keith wins, yes.”
Charles was suspicious.
“Now that’s a hell of a turnaround.
Brent could never put anything pass his father.
Besides, he was going to tell him eventually
“Makayla’s moving to Jericho.”
That was no news to Charles.
time to let the cat out of the bag.
planned to wait until she actually arrived, but he decided he wanted his father
to hear it from him before anybody else.
He looked at Charles.
her to marry me, Dad,” he said.