Chapter 11: Revelations
When the plane was in the air Alex and Matt talked about what had happened the night before. "So, we're you planning in seducing me or were you being spontaneous?" Matt asked with a sly grin on his face. Alex choked on a piece of bread from the sandwich he was eating. "Me, seduce you? I think you have that backwards. You seduced me, remember?" Matt tried to look innocent but Alex saw right through it. "Whatever do you mean? I'm shocked at your accusation!" When Alex gave him the "really? You're gonna play innocent?" Look he relented.
"Oh alright, maybe I seduced you, a bit. But you were all too willing my dear sexy man"
Alex blushed three shades of red. "Well when someone looks as good as you do, it's hard to say no" he kissed him on the top of the head as he got up to get something to drink. For the rest of the way home they talked about how to keep the relationship quiet, what to do about it and some about what Alex was going to do once he got home.
"I have to go see what Mr. Kepner wants at Murdoch Steele. Then I'm going to have my grandmothers wing opened up and cleaned. It's almost may, the gardens need landscaped. There's a lot to do. Tomorrow morning at ten am I want you and Mary in my office for a head of staff meeting."
"You got it boss" he leaned in and kissed him on the lips, and Alex passionately kissed him back. They decided to watch a movie, a movie about anything but magic. As the thought of magic never left Alex's mind, he didn't want to watch anything about the subject.
He didn't want to tell Matt but the night before while he was asleep, Alex could swear he lifted Matt off of the bed and floated a few feet before gently laying back down. His hands were glowing with a greenish tint, the same color that the wand and spell book let off. They curled up on a couch and Matt lay his head on Alex's shoulder. They fell asleep like that, only to wake when the pilot told them they were making their descent.
When they landed, Alex got in the car and called Murdoch Steele.
"May I speak to Jonathon Kepner please.?"
"Certainly, may I ask who's calling?" asked the receptionist in a very soothing and inviting voice.
"This is Alexander Murdoch"
"Oh, Mr. Murdoch! I'm sorry I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you yet, I didn't recognize your voice."
"It's quite alright, what is your name?"
"My name is Brenda Carmichael, I'm the office assistant. Mr. Kepner will be with you shortly." Alex thought that she sounded like a nice woman. There was faint music playing in the background as he waited. He asked Matt to drive home as he was on the phone. They drove towards the manor and chatted until Jonathon came on the line. "This is Kepner."
"Jonathan, its Alexander Murdoch."
"I'm glad you called, we really should meet, today if possible." Alex checked his watch. It was 3:57. "What time do you leave today Mr. Kepner?"
"Please, call me John, everyone does. I leave at 5, but I will stay over if needed."
"I don't think that will be necessary, I'm on my way back to the manor, I'll come over as soon as I can."
"That sounds good, see you then." Alex ended the call just as they were pulling into his neighborhood. He looked at Matt with a serious look on his face. "What all do you know about Murdoch Steele?"
"Not much. It started like twenty or thirty years ago, right before your grandpa inherited everything from your great grandma when she died. It's been in decline the last few years. People were laid off last year because of budget cuts, that didn't come from your grandma." Alex looked dumbfounded. "If they didn't come from her, who did they come from?"
"That would be Jack Burkhart, he's the chairman of the board of directors. You own the majority of stock in the company so most of the profits go to your family, but Jack controls the board. You can override his decisions but no one else can. Maybe that's what John wants to talk about. It sounds to me like something fishy is going on."
"Okay thanks. I'm going to go see what John wants. I shouldn't be gone long. Tell Mary to alert Juliette that I would like some dinner when I get home."
"Alright I'll tell her. Is there anything you would like me to do in the meantime?" Matt asked
"Yeah, I would like you to go up to my room and view the surveillance footage, if you see Albert on any of the cameras, tell me which camera and what time. I mean business when I say that I don't want him in my home when I'm not here." Alex got in the car and drove away. He drove through Salem with the odd sensation that people were staring at him. He looked around but couldn't see anyone staring at him. It wasn't unheard of a young guy driving a nice car around town. Alex put the feeling out of his head and drove toward Peabody and the meeting with John. Driving over Alex had ideas on upgrades for the estate, the wiring needed checked in the east wing, the garage doors need replaced, little stuff that probably hadn't been looked at in years. When he pulled in to the parking lot, John was waiting for him. "I'm glad you came, we have a lot to talk about. Let's go to the conference room, he wouldn't have that bugged" John looked spooked.
"Who wouldn't have it bugged?"
"Jack Burkhart, He rules the board of directors with an iron fist and has followed me since I spoke to you on the phone."
"Jack Burkhart is following you? Why?"
"Because of what I'm about to tell you."
"Don't tell me anything yet, let me make a phone call." Alex pulled out his phone and dialed George's number. He picked up after two rings. "Hello Alex, to what do I owe this pleasure?"
"George, I need you to come to Murdoch Steele in Peabody, are you busy?"
"Not really, just doing some paperwork that can wait for tonight. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
"Thanks George, Goodbye." Alex faced John who had turned three shades of green. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"George Whitman? Is that who you were on the phone with?"
"Yeah, is there a problem?"
"Not with George, with Jack. He fired George 5 years ago as his attorney after he revealed that he was your grandmother's new attorney. Something spooked him and he fired George, who had been his attorney for years. He'd been doing stuff for your grandmother for years but her old attorney died and she gave the job to George."
"Small world, let's go talk somewhere. But I don't want you to tell me anything important until George gets here, alright?"
"Alright, that's fine with me" they talked about his family, how long he had worked for Murdoch Steele, which turned out to be a long time. When George pulled up, John seemed to get nervous again. George walked up and greeted Alex and then turned to John. Well John Kepner, I haven't seen you in some time, how are you?"
"I'm not so good George, that's why you're here."
"How can I be of assistance?" he looked from John to Alex and then back to John.
"Well, what I'm about to tell you won't be much of a shock to you, since it's against your old boss, Jack Burkhart."
"Let's go somewhere private to talk. Is your office close?"
"No, not my office, I'm sure he has it bugged."
"Wait, bugged… Jack has your office bugged?"
"I'm pretty sure he does. He knew I talked to Alexander the other day and I took that call in my office, on my office phone. No one can listen in once the call is sent to my line. So how did he know I was talking to Alex? He's been acting weird ever since Albert came to see him last week." Alex looked at George who gave him a look of reproach. "Albert came to see Jack? Why?" George asked him.
"I don't know, he took him to his office to talk. I don't have a reliable source but I found out that Albert had been fired from the manor house and that Jack might be next. So I decided to tell you what I know. You might want to write this down." George got out a notepad from his briefcase and a pen. "Alright, I'm ready for you."
"I have evidence that Jack Burkhart has stolen from the company. I came across some invoices from a bank in the Cayman Islands. I called the bank and Jack is listed as the owner of the account. Those Budget cuts a few years ago that came from Jack weren't because the company was in trouble; it was because Jack was stealing money. I have all the records right here." He handed them to George who looked them over. "No wonder he was following you. This proves that he's been embezzling from Murdoch Steele. Alex, how would you like to handle this?"
"I want this investigated and quietly" but before he could get out any more about the investigation, John spoke up again. "There's more. It looks like Jack has stolen for a long time. And when he found out that George was your attorney now, He flipped, started digging into your past. He's been keeping tabs on you. It seems that he contacted someone in Baltimore, A Jake Alveretto, does that name ring a bell?" Alex cursed under his breath. "Yeah, I know him, really well. He's my ex. And somehow he knew I was in Baltimore the day before yesterday. He assaulted me and my butler Matt knocked him out cold. I called the cops and they arrested him. I had no idea how he knew I was in town, none of my friends talk to him anymore after what he did to me. Now I know how he knew I was there, but why did Jack have him assault me?"
"That I don't know. But Jack is a man who loves power, and he will stop at nothing to keep it. Because of him, we had to lay off half of our workforce, forcing the remaining workers to pull double shifts and work overtime." Alex listened to John talk for another half an hour, as soon as he was done and George had everything they decided to hire a private detective. "I want this done quietly and inconspicuously because I don't want to tip-off Jack." Both George and John nodded their heads. "If jack does anything he isn't supposed to, I want you to tell me immediately."
He sent a quick text to Matt telling him he was coming home and that he would like to have dinner in his suite. He drove to the store and picked up a few items that he'd been putting off. He then drove home and was twirling his fingers in the air outside of the car having the window down. He noticed that something was floating in the backseat. He looked back and everything in the back seat was floating… Or maybe he was seeing things… No they were definitely floating. He stopped the car and everything dropped. He tried to do it again, whatever he did to make them float but couldn't do it. After getting frustrated he flung his hands up in the air and everything in the car suddenly crashed against the ceiling. So was it tied to his movement? He looked at his phone and raised his hand and it followed his hand. He made it float over to him and land in his lap. Oh this will come in handy! He thought. He started the car and drove home. When he pulled in the driveway he noticed a vehicle that he didn't recognize. He parked in the garage and got out. Instantly he was greeted by a man in a black suit. "Alexander Murdoch?"
"That depends, who are you?"
"My name is Theodore Melvin. I am a private investigator."
"Wow that was fast. We just called you a few hours ago."
"That's my job; I'm supposed to be fast. I understand that you want me to investigate Jack Burkhart for allegations of embezzlement, is that correct?"
"Yes, I want you to be very discreet and quiet. I don't want to alert him that we're onto him. Although I think I should set up a meeting with the board and let them know I'm not just a dumb kid who inherited an empire only to destroy it."
"I'll do my best. I will need unlimited access to all the financial records in writing."
"You'll have it, to an extent. You must pass everything through John Kepner before you take anything. Is that a problem?"
"Not at all, I'll get started tomorrow. Have a good night." He turned around, walked to his car and drove away. Alex walked into the back hallway and walked up the staircase to the second floor. Walking the short distance to his suite he was twirling his keys in his hand making them dangle a few inches above his palm. He came to his suite and decided to try unlocking the door with magic, it didn't go so well. When he tried sticking the key in the lock, the key suddenly shot into the wood of the door, sticking out slightly. Alex felt foolish, he didn't have any kind of control over what he could do, and he didn't even know to what extent his powers were. He pried the key out of the door, unlocked it and went inside. He put his stuff down and used the intercom to call his dinner up. A few minutes there was a knock at the door. "Alex its Matt with your dinner." he licked his lips, he was starving. "Come in" he called. Matt opened the door and walked in. He almost dropped the tray when he saw what Alex was doing. He had several books floating above his head with his hands. "Look what I found out I can do today, isn't it weird?" Matt set the tray down and walked over to him. "Can you make them do anything? Like float them across the room?"
"I don't know, I haven't tried that" he tried to do it and found that it was fairly easy. He made them hover above the floor and glided them across it and back again. Matt was obviously excited and reserved at the same time "Can you make anything else float, like people?" Alex turned three shades of red and stuttered. "I… I… I don't know…Why do you ask?"
"You made me float last night, I thought I was dreaming until you set me back down and kissed my forehead." Alex looked embarrassed. "You weren't supposed to know I did that, I didn't even know I was doing it until I woke up."
"It's okay, you didn't scare me. What else can you do?" Alex was so relieved that he was taking this so well. "I can do this" He grabbed the want and pointed at the fireplace, which sprang to life with a roar. "And this" he pointed the wand to the lights and they instantly went out. "So you just point and stuff happens?" Alex chuckled. "No, I have to think about it when I want it to happen. Matt walked closer. "Is there anything else you can do with that wand?" Alex knew what game Matt was playing and he was willing to play along. "I don't know about this wand, but I can definitely do something with another kind of wand if you like" they were about to kiss when they heard a large crash come from downstairs and suddenly Mary was on the intercom. "I'm sorry to bother you Alex, but you had better come quickly. Alex and Matt hurried downstairs and into the kitchen, where a body lay on the floor. Alex walked over near it and gasped… It was Albert… and he was unconscious. What is he doing here and why is he unconscious?