He looked like Monty’s Dad, only skinnier, and more weathered. I wasn’t sure, at first, whether it was the Caribbean climate, or the hard life he was describing. After Monty explained Sven would never hurt family, we settled back for his Uncle’s tale.
I’ll never forget how a simple question could be such chilling words. “Have you ever loved a dangerous woman? No, I can see that you haven’t. Understand ma’am, I mean no offense. I’m sure you are tough. You are capable of dealing with danger, but you yourself are not dangerous.”
“I fell in love with a woman who was, although I didn’t know it at the time. Sven didn’t mention Audley did he? He probably hasn’t given her a second thought, but she’s the real reason I left home.”
“Mother knew in time, but I had first to convince them I was a lazy, bum lacking any ambition. It was the only way I could protect them, and keep Audley at the same time. I had already married her when I knew, and I couldn’t leave her, but I also could not let her stay.”
Monty didn’t like it when men blamed their wives, and he interrupted. “Are you blaming the attack on my family on your wife? If you are, you’re proving my Dad’s point!”
“I assure you nephew, I’m doing the opposite. It was at the party when Mother announced her fortune. Audley and I had just been married. We were very happy, until Mother revealed how wealthy she was. I saw a look in Audley’s eyes I had never seen before, and it terrified me.”
“I tried to tell myself I was wrong, but she continued to prove my point. From that night out, every conversation was about the fortune. Two days later, she asked who would inherit if something happened to Mom, would Sven and I split evenly?”
“I knew, if I didn’t get her away from Mom and Sven, I would lose all three, at Audley’s hand. So I concocted the convenient story of a man who didn’t want to try, asked Mom for a small percentage instead of a full inheritance, and brought Audley here.”
“In this town, with the money we had, I could make her a queen. The businesses I’ve invested in have made me more. She never wanted for anything, and I rarely saw the danger in her eyes. That’s why I have to know.”
“Did Sven try and kill me, or is this all not enough for her any longer?” Before answering, Monty and I could see the grief in his eyes. He already knew, but was hoping he was wrong.
Monty had just replied, when she walked into the room. When I saw her, I could see what her husband had seen, all those years ago, and it was terrifying! If my cousin Walter the scriptwriter was here, he’d caption it, “Enter the villain!”