Chapter 40

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Packing my bag, I hold my phone to my ear with the help of my shoulder.

"Yeah, Andre... We're gonna be staying in that hotel by your house."

"Alright, that's good. I was about to go buy a blow up mattress or something."

I grab my sweats, stuffing them into the abyss of clothes. "No, no worries. We'll be there in a couple hours."

"Okay... What should I go buy at the store for dinner or do you want to go out?"

I smile softly to myself at his nervous undertone, knowing he's anxious about the fact that Tristan's rich.

"Andre, we always have pizza when I'm there. We can just do that."

"Pizza? Really?"

"Yeah, Tristan's laidback. You don't have to freak out."

"Okay, I'm taking your word for it."

I chuckle. "Alright."

Not even an hour later, Tristan, dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt, is taking my bag off my shoulder to set it into the trunk of his car. Stuck in city traffic, I close my eyes sleepily as Tristan goes through business calls. I listen in to it, having never heard him talk business before.

I'm not surprised that everyone he speaks to regards him warmly and with respect. He's polite and sweet to every person, as I fully expected.

"And the shipment to California?"

"Gone thirty minutes ago. It will make good time."

"Good. Good... Well, keep me updated. I will be back in the office on Monday."

"Will do, boss. Enjoy yourself for once, alright?"

"I will."

The music begins playing through the speakers softly and I open my eyes, finding him looking at me. I smile as his hand settles onto my thigh comfortably.

"Tired?"

I nod, grinning. "You would know."

"Yes, I would."

"Your employees seem to really love you."

He nods, inching the car forward. "A lot of my employees have worked for me since I started. I've built a connection with them- Besides, I find it helps keep them longer and happier."

"And what happens when something goes wrong?"

He smiles. "If they're smart, they stay away."

"Ah, I see."

Another call comes through the Bluetooth speaker and he groans. "I'm sorry... Tristan Maddox."

"Mr. Maddox, I have news. Casey Mathews has been transferred to New York. She's been admitted into a recovery center in California."

My eyes open immediately.

"A recovery center? Wait- why the hell is she not in jail?"

"She's been declared mentally unstable, sir. Also, she was granted bond. She went on her own accord."

He looks over at me, eyes wide. "What recovery center?"

"Recovery Center of America."

I pull out my phone, typing the name into Google.

"Were you able to find out why she was deemed mentally unstable?"

"No, sir. I will look into it."

I pull up the picture, showing him the outside. His brows crease. "This place was not referred by the prison. It's a mansion."

"I thought that too, sir. She may have someone on the inside- Would you like me to contact Craig- have him look into it?"

"Please. Keep me informed at all times. I will have my phone on me."

"Absolutely, sir."

He hangs up, exhaling angrily. I bite the inner corner of my lip nervously, unsure of what this means. He pulls up a name on the screen, pressing call. I look out the window as a man answers briskly.

"Mr. Maddox."

"Why was Casey Mathews granted bail? And why wasn't I informed?"

"No one's gotten to you yet?"

"No, my assistant just told me."

"She was released on bail until the trial date in September."

"So, she's going to be released for a month? We got a clear conviction, Daniel."

"The note on her file is unclear. She was released on the condition that she would go to a hospital in California to seek treatment. Turns out she cold turkeyed some pain meds and the doctors mentioned that her extreme behaviors could have been a result of that."

"So, did the prison admit her there or did she do it herself?"

"Herself."

Tristan chuckles, shaking his head. "So she's free to check herself out at anytime."

"Well, she's under 72-hour supervision so no. Look, even I'm shocked by this- I have no doubts she's got connections or at least enough money to find connections... Something's not right. I'll keep you informed."

"Alright."

I run my hand over my mouth, shaking my head as he hangs up. "How bad is this?"

The traffic has cleared now and Tristan picks up speed, maneuvering to the next lane to avoid a slow truck. "It's not good, that's for sure."

"You don't think they'll let her out until the trial, right? I mean, you have a restraining order."

"Yes, I do. I'm going to have Craig overnight another form for you."

"Do I need a restraining order? She's not dangerous, right?"

He looks over at me and after a moment, shakes his head, grabbing my hand on my lap. "No, baby."

"Did you know she was on pain medications?"

"No, I had no idea. We have never lived together and when she moved in, I slept in another room."

"Jesus."

He squeezes my hand and I look up at him.

"Don't worry about this now. Casey isn't stupid and she obviously is aware she needs help."

"Yeah, yeah... You're right."

I swallow and turn my gaze to the window, not liking the uncertainty. 

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