Kate sipped her champagne and daydreamed about her brother-in-law dying in some horrific fashion. It was the only thing that could put a smile on her face when she was required to be in his presence.
The smile he always directed at her had a threatening edge to it that made Kate's stomach drop. He was many things but stupid unfortunately was not one of them. Christian knew that she was behind all the Domestic Violence pamphlets that were left around the home he shared with his wife. But they were at an impasse for Elliot and Ana's sake.
Elliot refused to see the man his brother had become. He and Ana both used Christian's childhood before he was adopted as a catch-all excuse for Christian's bad behavior. Privately Kate thought that being adopted by two people ill-equipped to deal with such a traumatized child hadn't done Christian much good either but it was certainly not something she could say to her in-laws.
Christian had been the cause of many fights between Kate and her husband. There were times that Kate thought it was worth walking away from the man she loved just to be away from Christian. But there were other reasons to stay besides the children they shared.
Ana joined Kate, Elliot and Christian by the fire. Christian immediately slid a possessive hand around her. Kate looked at her friend and wanted to weep. She was nothing more than a shell of her former self.
Ana had never had a strong personality. She was one of those people who substituted their own personality for the expectations of others. When Ana met Christian it was like dropping a match onto a pile of dry wood. Ana was entirely consumed by him and, while he kept burning brightly, Kate had watched her friend be reduced to ash.
She had tried everything she could think of to convince Ana to leave Christian before it was too late. Before he used his money and influence to sweep another murder underneath the rug. Kate believed that there had been nothing accidental about the car crash that had claimed the life of Christian's former driver and head of security. Taylor's presence in Ana's life had always made Kate feel better. He had been a good man and she thought that if it had come down to it, Taylor would have protected Ana from her abusive husband with deadly force.
Now there was no one standing between Christian and Ana. All Kate could do was hope that one day Ana would be able to leave him. In the mean time she made sure he knew that she was watching him and that if something happened to Ana she would never let it go.
Kate took another sip of champagne and imagined a stray spark from the fireplace landing on Christian's Armani suit resulting in Christian being burned alive right in front of her. Her smile widened.