A Legacy of Shadows

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Babes

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Content Warning

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Content Warnings:

In this work, characters discuss sexual assault, abuse, murder, and similar vile acts. This is NOT part of the erotic content of the story, nor is it described in detail. Still, the plot is more of a dark thriller/mystery than standard incest erotica.

There is detailed/eroticized BDSM and rough/violent (although very much consensual) sex. Some of my readers really aren’t into it, and that’s understandable. You can skip this one if certain BDSM-related activities turn you off. The people engaging in this sex still have a great deal of affection and love for one other.

There’s some action/thriller-style violence in here as well.

Every family has secrets. Some are much darker than others. Come learn those of the De Heer family.

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Author’s Note

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Feel free to skip to the next section if you want to get to the good stuff.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this story over many months. Originally it was supposed to be rather short and self contained. Now it’s around 68,000 words, and there have been quite a few edits, changes, and re-writes. I do hope that you enjoy it.

I also wanted to address the matter of priorities. Some people have quite eagerly wanted me to attend to a particular sequel or type of story next, and may wonder why I have written this instead.

There are a few reasons why I release the things that I do. First of all, I write for pleasure. I do not, at this time, get any sort of payment for my longer-form stories. So, naturally, I am going to write what interests me, and sometimes that deviates from what my readers expect. I ask only for your patience and understanding.

Secondly, I never work on one thing at a time. I am simply not capable of it. So I always have multiple projects in the works. I won’t ever post a real schedule, because sometimes I need to stop one item and work on another. That’s just how I write. What that means in practical terms is that there are some stories, including requested sequels or spinoffs, which are being worked on.

Lastly, I have been guilty of releasing stories too quickly in the past, and it’s led to my work being of a lower quality than I would like. So, I will be patient, edit for grammar and wording, rearrange chapters, and listen to feedback. That adds time, but I think it also makes a better final result.

Thank you for reading my work at all, and, in any case, I hope you enjoy reading about Reuben and Isa De Heer (and the other characters) as much as I enjoyed creating them. Their world is a dark place, but full of delights for those who seek them.

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Dedication

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This work is dedicated to hannahslamma from reddit. Their thoughtful and incisive feedback added much-needed clarity, direction, and subtlety.

All errors, plot issues, and poor writing still belong to me.

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De Heer

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CelebRumors.corp, October 14th, 20xx

by Victoria Evans

Reclusive Matriarch of De Heer Family Dead at 63

The secretive and ultra-rich De Heer family has long been a source of rumors and hints of scandal, but none ever seemed to touch Tess De Heer. Known for her charity work and gentle method of applying her family’s extensive and powerful influence to what she deemed as good causes, her absence is already being felt by those in the highest echelons of power. Financial experts are cautiously optimistic that her passing will not affect the family’s fortunes or investments. Tess passed after a three-year-long struggle with ovarian cancer.

Tess’ husband Rudi passed away several years prior due to complications related to the sudden onset of heart disease. She survived by her twin children, Isa and Reuben. Isa, who is expected to be Tess’ primary heir, has been managing the family’s business operations for the past five years. Reuben, on the other hand, has been estranged for years and is rumored to have been disowned. One can only wonder what kind of depravity finally disgraced him from his debauched family.

As always, when we dig up more dirt, you’ll be the first to see it!

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The Funeral

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She watched me through the entire funeral. It was unnerving, to say the least. Every time I looked over, my sister’s eyes met mine. Once, she even curled her lip in dark amusement. Mostly she just kept an expressionless mask up, one that she’d been very good at presenting to the world even when had been children.

I internet casino sighed and turned back around in my pew. I only had to sit through the rest of this service, then go to the burial. Technically there was a will reading later, but I’d heard from the lawyers well in advance of this. Unsurprisingly, I’d been written out of it. I wasn’t upset. It was what I wanted, in any case.

As the disowned scion of the De Heer family, I wasn’t even sure if I would be welcomed at my own mother’s funeral. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to be treated as roughly an equal most of the attendees, if not my sister.

Isa, or Ms. De Heer to her friends, was my last living relative, and my twin. We’d been very close once. Some would say too close. But that changed when I finally learned the depths of my family’s sins. Granted, much of it wasn’t anything that would surprise most people, but the darker stuff would shock even the most jaded members of polite society. At least those who weren’t also actively participating in it. I spoke to my mother and father about making the family finances ethical, redistributing investments, ceasing our involvement with predatory organizations like the Brigantine, and perhaps even giving some extra funds to charity. They reacted to me with laughter at first and then anger. Was I not grateful for how I lived? For the vacations and tutors and private schools? I was, but I wouldn’t back down. After the fight, I had expected Isa to back me up, at least a little, but she joined with our parents and called me naive. It hurt quite a bit to realize that she was quite happy to inherit the profits of murder, war-profiteering, drug smuggling, and money laundering, to name a few of our family’s more commonly known achievements.

So at the wise age of twenty-one, I left, and my family cut me off completely. They even sent a friendly notice on attractive letterhead asking me to change my last name, which I ignored. I finished college at a state school rather than at the Ivy League institution that I had started at. The education compared favorably but didn’t put me in nearly as much debt as remaining would have.

I never apologized, and they never contacted me, although I reached out when my father died. He had never liked me, but I would have attended his funeral had I been allowed. A year later, at twenty-five, I had reached out to both mother and Isa, attempting to salvage our relationship. I was sent another letter on even more beautiful stationery, stating that neither their fellowship nor their money would be forthcoming. To my credit, I never wanted a dime of that bloodstained fortune, but I would have liked to have seen Mom before she died. I had never thought she would bear a grudge that long.

Four more years passed. I became a respected academic in a small sub-field in history. I struggled and taught and earned a reasonably early tenure at a decent state school on the west coast. I wrote papers and attended conferences. I dated and was married, very briefly, to a lovely woman named Nina. It was unwise, and both of us realized it after a month. We separated amicably enough, and we still have lunch and, on occasion, sex.

I suppose what I’m saying is that I made a life for myself. I didn’t make a lot of money, nor did I have much in the way of creature comforts, but I did have a small group of good friends (including Nina). What I had never been able to do, however, is open up romantically to virtually anyone. At the ripe old age of twenty-nine, when I’d gotten the phone call from some legal secretary informing me that my mother had passed away, I had given up on dating and romance altogether, if not casual sex.

I’m not even sure why I attended the funeral, except maybe for closure. I’d sent one last email to the only address I had for Isa, and she hadn’t even bothered responding. Hence, I assumed that she had no interest in seeing me. I had no illusions about being in the will. I suppose I loved my mother and wanted to say goodbye, even if she never quite returned the favor.

The service, simple and rich and protestant, ended. I watched my mother’s casket as she was carried into the family vault. Then the door was sealed again with great finality. Finally, it was all over. I made for my rental in the parking lot of the ancient cemetery, but, to my dismay, I could not find it.

I found the space. I was sure that it was the right one. It was in the corner, and there had been an oil stain in the space next to it. The car itself was nowhere to be found. There was no broken glass, and the burial had been swift, taking around twenty minutes. I looked around, and there didn’t appear to be anyone else having similar issues. I sighed. Of course, the one person here who was not rich would have their property stolen. I took my phone out and was about to dial 911 when a voice startled me.

“Sir,” she said, and I spun on my heel. I hadn’t heard her approach. She was about three years older than me, with short auburn canlı poker oyna hair and a rebellious glint in her eye. She wore a men’s style suit, but it was tailored to her very feminine frame. I recognized her at once.

“Rachel,” I said, raising an eyebrow, “you startled me.”

She smirked, and I knew that had been her intent.

“My apologies, Mr. De Heer. I simply came over to invite you to make use of your family’s transportation. I’m parked right over there.”

“How kind. However, I already had a rental car with my baggage in it, although it appears to have gone missing…”

“No, sir, not missing. It has been returned to the airport. Your baggage has been sent forward to the residence.”

I blinked. I wasn’t surprised that Rachel was involved in mischief. We’d known each other for a very long time, and very well at that. I pulled the rental keys out of my pocket. Rachel smiled even more widely.

“The agency was kind enough to provide us with a spare set of keys when we informed them that the son of the De Heer family needed to make alternate arrangements.”

I gave up on subtlety.

“Did you do this, Rachel? Or was it Isa?”

Rachel’s smile turned genuine, and she put her hand on my arm.

“It’s good to see you, Reuben.”

* * *

Rachel wouldn’t say any more about what was going on, and I knew it was useless to call an uber. Isa would probably just buy the bloody company rather than let me leave. Still, part of me took this as a net positive. Maybe she wanted to see me and have some kind of relationship. On the other hand, all of this reeked of the sort of power move my family was known for. Just slightly outside the law, not quite kidnapping, only an invitation you couldn’t refuse. I sighed. I didn’t miss this part of my family. Or the oppressive atmosphere of the mansion for that matter.

It only took five minutes to arrive. Not really a surprise considering that the town was still small, and the community virtually sprung up to support the sprawling grounds. Parts of my family home were older than the United States, and it was synonymous with the De Heer name.

When we pulled in, Rachel insisted on opening the door of the expensive black SUV as well as the entrance to the residence itself. I didn’t resist. She took pride in her job, which included not only driving but also body-guarding and occasionally being a friend to lonely young men growing up in cold households.

Rachel led the way down the halls. They were all familiar, of course, but work had been done, and clearly, changes had been made to the use of the various rooms. I couldn’t help but watch the way her ass swayed back and forth in her well-fitting pants. While she was a bit curvier than the last time I’d seen her, I bet that her body was still toned and fit under her suit.

“You can do more than look if you want, Reuben,” she said, without turning around. I sighed again.

“I understand that this is funny to you, and Isa is probably laughing as well, but please don’t tease me. I think I deserve better than that.”

Rachel stopped suddenly and opened a door. This had been my father’s study at one time. Probably Isa used it for business now. Rachel’s face had lost its smirk, and her light blue eyes had something of a sad cast to them.

“I’d never tease you, Reuben. Never.”

We met eyes, and I smiled at her by way of apology. She’d never mistreated me. I wasn’t sure why she was flirting with me quite so forwardly, but if I said I minded, I would have been lying. I guess I was just tired of feeling in the dark, and when I lived with them, my family always seemed to be using me for one thing or another. I made up my mind to talk to her later and at least get caught up. She was more than an old flame, she was a friend.

For the moment, however, we both knew that I had more urgent business. I stepped through the door and heard Rachel close it behind me.

“I’m glad you could join me, Reuben,” Isa said, her cold green eyes showing me no welcome. She had no smile for me. I wasn’t really surprised at that. She sat on the edge of Dad’s old oak desk, arms crossed. She hadn’t bothered changing out of her classy black dress. It didn’t show anything but back, but it was tight enough to show her graceful, curving frame. She had grown into an hourglass while I was gone, proportional and lovely. I knew that under that dress, she’d be toned if not muscular, with full hips and breasts just on the large side, the picture of a fantasy come to life. Her glossy black hair was full of natural curls, and cascaded down to the middle of her back. She’d always been proud of her hair. Still, nothing about her appearance could really soften the effect of the cold expression on her precise features.

“Of course you are,” I said, not bothering to hide my sarcasm.

Isa rolled her eyes slightly, evidently ready for a conflict, and nodded at the plush leather chair in front of the desk. She sat in our father’s poker oyna old chair behind it, leaving no question about who she thought was in charge.

“Why did you come to the funeral, Reuben?”

“I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to come to dad’s funeral too, but you wouldn’t let me.”

“That was mom’s decision. She didn’t think it would be wise. So, you mean to tell me that you have no interest in the will?”

Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. I sighed in exasperation.

“For fuck’s sake. I don’t know what happened to you since I left, Isa, but I’m doing all right. Thanks for asking, by the way. Lots of people live without being ultra-rich. I don’t want your fucking money. You can have Rachel drive me to the airport now if you don’t mind.”

I made to stand up, but Isa held up her hand. I stayed seated, but my eyes hardened. I felt like a little kid again, being made to listen to one of my father’s lectures about responsibility and power. I even caught a whiff of his old pipe tobacco.

“I didn’t think you came here for the money, but I had to ask. I needed to be sure that you weren’t going to interfere. The decisions that I have to make are difficult, and they affect a lot of people. If I were to be involved in a legal conflict in the middle of this transition…”

Isa looked relieved and I felt a slight tremor of suspicion. Perhaps I should have just reassured her and left. I didn’t.

“What kind of changes are you talking about?”

“Well, for starters, moving investments away from areas of dubious legality…”

“That sounds like something I wouldn’t interfere with…”

“Yes, but, I need to ensure that I reinvest the funds into something guaranteed to make money, and for a long time. We already have contacts with the military in quite a few nations, so…”

“Oh, god. So what is it? Guns? Missiles?”

Isa smiled blandly at my obvious discomfort.

“Yes, and even better. Drones. Land, sea, and air. Long battery life, AI that learns from enemy behavior, complex networking and solo behaviors. Of course, they’ll all be useful for all kinds of HAZMAT or harsh labor environments, but they’ll really shine on the battlefield. I don’t need the bad publicity a lawsuit could bring.”

“Then why did you tell me? For fucks sake, Isa, I could have lived the rest of my life without knowing that. I’d love to interfere with that, and you know it. I’m not stupid, however. I was disowned, nice and legally, and the lawyers know it. So I can’t do anything about it. Happy?”

Isa had a shark’s grin now. She reminded me so much of our father that it made me feel a little queasy. She had me where she wanted me, I realized. This wasn’t about the inheritance, after all. She was playing a bigger game.

“Reuben,” she started, “I missed you, but I’m also not the same kind of fool mother or father were. I mean that they wrote you off and wished you well. They truly did, you know, and kept tabs on you. But they also thought that you were harmless. I know better. When father started passing more responsibility to me, I increased the surveillance on your life. I know you’ve been involved with a radical anti-corporate organization, for example.”

I blinked, honestly confused, then laughed as I realized what she meant.

“You can’t mean the Increased Pay Initiative, can you? That’s just hippies and petitions and some sit-ins for higher minimum wages.”

“Maybe to you, that’s all they are, but they haven’t realized who you are yet. And they did push to try to unionize one of our weapons factories in Texas. Luckily we pay very well there, so there wasn’t any incentive, but it worried me.”

“You think that they’ll want to use me as a tool? A spokesman against the family? I wouldn’t do it, even if I hate what you’re doing.”

“You say that now, but what about in five years? Ten? When you’re making the same amount of money that you are now and struggling to pay the bills. No. You have become an unacceptable risk to me, our family’s organization, and the employees that I am responsible for. I didn’t act on these concerns before, because mother was alive, but now I don’t have any such compunctions.”

I felt my blood turn to ice. Before today, I’d never have thought that Isa would sink to such lows as having me killed, but I knew that father had connections that specialized in the tidy elimination of troublesome people. I eve suspected that he had killed people himself, with his bare hands. I had no illusions. I was in the center of De Heer power. She could have me killed, and the corpse disposed of without even a hint of trouble. She owned the building, the town, and the people.

“So, what is this when you make Father proud by having me executed in the backyard?”

Isa’s gaze softened a little. If I didn’t know her so well, I might have thought that she looked hurt.

“No one’s killing anyone, Reuben, but your little excursion into the world ends. Or, I should say, it must become more limited. I would never take you away from your friends, like Nina, for example. You have such fun with her, don’t you?”

Now I was really confused by her sharp turn of words.

“Wait, are you threatening my Ex? Why? I don’t understand any of this.”

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