“That phone call, was from the last person you’d expect, Aunt Audley. I don’t know everything, but I know that she saved Maxine, and my life. I don’t know why, but I do know I’m second guessing everything.”
Sven looked at his brother. “I think it’s time you told us what you told me.” Erik rubbed his eyes.
“Everything I told you before, I believed to be true, but I didn’t know everything. What I thought was insanity, was something very close to it, obsession. I had her motives wrong. She wasn’t obsessed with money, or power, it was something more determined than that.”
He paused, and as he stood there watching, it all fell into place. “Erik, she wanted revenge didn’t she? For her husband’s death, even though he wasn’t what he seemed.”
Erik shook his head. “No, she came to grips with the fact he used her too. She loved him, but she had buried him. She wanted revenge for our son, technically my stepson, though I look at him as my own. As well as keeping all our kids safe, and Audley wanted revenge for them using her.”
“She knew we would not be safe until she had stopped those behind all this. That’s why she let me take her to the island, and to build a power base. It wasn’t for what I thought.” It was obvious Erik felt guilty for misjudging the woman he loved.
“Charlotte, that night, on the island, she was playing an act. One of, what I thought, was her bodyguards, was part of the Chinese group connected with all of this. She reached out to me after, everything went down.”
“Her intent in having me admitted wasn’t to neutralize me, but to protect me. The people she was working with, would never have let me live, unless they believed I couldn’t hurt them.”
“She wanted to leave our children behind, but they forced her to bring them with her. She did, but as soon as she had what she needed, she sent them safely away. In the process, the people she had in place at the sanitarium, who had ‘caught’ me, helped me fake my death, to get off the island. Audley had it all planned out.”
I stood up. “We thought she wanted to be some criminal mastermind in Hong Kong. What was she really after in China. How did she turn the tables?”
Erik grinned. “Among other things, by finding out what connections the person behind the Swiss Route had. An using that knowledge to blackmail them. I’m sure my nephew would roll his eyes at this, but she gave herself a rubber stamp at that point.”