The Morrow Family Saga, Book Three: Laughing, Chapter Ten

The Morrow family was spread out over the globe. Manhattan. DC. Newark. Charlotte. Baltimore. Paris. Bonn. London.Tokyo. Sydney. Rome.

Tab Morrow Ran things in Manhattan. He had opened up his home to Michael and the girls while they stayed in New York. Cousin Tab had also agreed to appear with Michael in DC. So had Cousin Farley, who had opened up his home in DC. When there was a threat to the family, the Morrows pulled together.

But this didn’t just threaten the Morrow family. It threatened everyone, even if they knew nothing about French Industries or the crimes of the French family. Hell. There was even implications that this was a danger to the country.  Maybe the world.

Well, maybe not the world. Still. This business would be bad. It already was.

Tab stood at the window of his upper Manhattan office, looking out. It had been ages since he’d seen Michael. A visit from his favorite cousin would be good, even if it wasn’t just a social call. He sighed.

It was sad that threats were what it took to bring the Morrow family together. Threats or deaths in the family. They really didn’t hold normal family reunions. Everyone was too busy running their parts of the family business.

***

Toby’s gang had turned against him. Those he thought to be his allies had turned out to be his worst enemies. All but three and those three had suffered the same fate as he. How ironic.

He had thought himself untouchable. He thought he was in control. Then it all went south. No matter. Small gangs were easier to control.

He’d keep his mouth shut, for now. He would bide his time where the traitors were concerned. When he was at a point where he could, he would take them out. One by one.

Pops no longer seemed to care what happened to him. Not that it mattered. Joey simply cared whether he was keeping to his bargain with the Mob. As long as he stayed out of trouble, Joey would stay off his back.

In some ways, he wondered if the Mob would take him. After all, he had a knack for breaking laws. He loved being bad. This being good was cramping his style.

***

Toffer readied to leave for DC. He rarely smiled anymore. He knew he’d dug the hole he was now in. He knew that he had to face the music. It was inevitable.

He no longer cared where Tobias was.  The boy had been a problem ever since he was old enough to have a mind of his own. Let Joey and the rest of the Mob worry about the boy. Toffer had problems of his own.

DC was just another step in the direction toward prison, but Toffer no longer cared. He had decided that telling the truth, for once, would be better than denying it all. Lies would only be seen through. Besides. He would rather go to prison than to spend any more time as Joey’s little toady.

As long as he didn’t mention that his company was now in the clutches of the Mob, he ran no risk of being killed when he returned from DC. Well, not much of a risk, anyway. Not that it mattered.

He would have preferred death to this miserable way of life he was now forced to accept. Money had been his reason for being. No matter how he had to get it, he had grabbed all that he could. And spent it. Maybe a little too quickly.

He had killed his own father to gain control of the company, just as his father had done to his grandfather. Perhaps Toby would have killed him as well. Who could know. He didn’t. But Joey’s boss had taken that chance away from the boy.

Maybe it was better this way. Toby would have destroyed the company, if it still existed at the time he was to take over. Toffer doubted if it would have existed. He’d already drained it dry in attempts to keep the boy out of prison. Hell. He’d drained it dry trying to bury his own past.

Now, he was a broken man. What had been his company was now owned and operated, as a front, by the Mob. He had no fortune. He would never be able to pay his way out of the fraud he’d tried to pull.

His crimes had returned to haunt him. They had ruined him. Despite his attempts, he had found that you really couldn’t outrun your past. He sat on the edge of his bed and put his head in his hands.

Lord, how he wished he could take it all back now. He wished he could give back what he took from every single person he’d hurt. Every nasty word. Every dirty file. Every lie.

How he wished, now, that he had never been what he had become. It had cost him everything, including his son and wife. Not that either one was dead. They weren’t.

His wife had walked away from the marriage two years ago. Toby had drifted away once he was old enough to think for himself. Toffer couldn’t blame either. He hadn’t been a father to Toby. He had never been a husband to his wife…what was her name? No matter. He had only married her to keep her mouth shut.

In the end, not even the marriage had kept her from turning on him. Perhaps she had been an opportunist after all and seen an opportunity to get revenge. Served him right. Blackmail always backfired in the end anyway. Even the best blackmail ended badly for those who used it.

One’s lies always came back. One’s crimes. Every mistake. Every misstep. every half-truth. every use of deception.

Only the truth had real power. Only honesty could make a man respectable. Greed and lust only served to destroy. He knew. It had done a damn good job destroying him.

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