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Authors: Corinne Michaels

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Beloved

BOOK: Beloved
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Copyright © 2014 Corinne Michaels

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the author.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author or publisher.

 

 

Editor: Megan Ward, Megan Ward Editing

www.meganwardediting.com

 

Interior Design: Christine Borgford, Perfectly Publishable

www.perfectlypublishable.com

 

Cover design: Najla Qamber Designs

www.najlaqamberdesigns.com

 

Cover photo © Tomasz Zienkiewicz Photography

www.zieniu.pl

Title Page

Prologue

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Preview of Undone by R.E. Hunter

 

 

 

To my husband, my anchor, my beloved.

 

To belong to someone
.

All I’ve ever wanted is to be loved. I crave it—need it, desire it—more than food and water. I long for undying love and affection. The kind of love that bonds souls. The kind of love that’s so deep two become one.

To be someone’s beloved.

As a child I had my father, who adored and worshipped me—I was his perfect little daughter. He held me when I was sad, kissed my knee when I fell and got hurt, and read me bedtime stories. I was his princess, his daughter, his entire world.

What happens to a little girl when all of that stops? When she’s no longer her father’s perfect angel, but
instead
a painful reminder of his past. What happens to her when he pushes her aside and shows her he doesn’t want her anymore?

“I just can’t stay, Catherine. It hurts too much.” His eyes are filled with pain and regret.

“Daddy, I love you! Please don’t go. I won’t cry anymore. I’ll be good,” I plead as I look into the dark brown eyes that mirror mine. My heart is begging for understanding from all this confusion and change. It’s my ninth birthday, we finished cake and presents, and he’s leaving. If only I could go back in time and change my wish. I’d forget about the silly bike and wish for him to stay.

“It’s not you, baby girl. You have to understand—it’s too much. Your mom and I don’t love each other anymore.” He looks into my eyes, unwavering, as I continue to plead.

“Don’t you love me, Daddy?” I ask the man who is supposed to love me forever, the man who’s supposed to never leave me.

“I do, but I have to go now. You be good. Good-bye, Catherine.” He kisses the top of my head and I grab onto his leg for dear life. I know, even at this age, this will be the last time I see my father.

He pries me off his leg and turns without another word. And I watch the man who promised to always be there leave me behind without another glance.

He broke me.

He ruined me.

And he won’t be the last man to do so.

 

“Ashton, I’m running over to Neil’s house. I’ll be back in a bit!”

Our wedding invitations arrived. They’re beautiful, everything I could’ve hoped for. I can’t wait to show him. Not that he’s really into the details, but we spent a lot of time choosing these. It’ll be such a relief when we finally move in together and stop all this back and forth. Ashton and I signed our lease a month before Neil proposed, so I couldn’t leave and screw her out of half the rent. Though I adore my best friend, I would’ve loved to have lived with Neil as we planned the wedding. Thankfully, the big day is in four months and we’ll finally be under one roof. I’m excited and anxious to make everything official.

“Okay. I’ll be here,” she says, walking toward me.

“Don’t get into any trouble while I’m gone.” I wink as I grab my purse and rush out the door. Once I get in the car I send him a quick text.

Me: On my way. I have a surprise!

Ten minutes later, I’m pulling into a parking space in front of his cozy two-bedroom townhome in the trendy section of Hoboken. This area is all older homes on cobblestone streets. It’s a place I look forward to building a life and starting a family in. I gather my purse and the invitations and hop out, excited to share this piece of our future with him. His car is in the driveway, but the door is locked. Digging for my keys, my bag topples over, spilling all my belongings on the stairs.
After collecting everything, I use my key to get into his house.

As the door opens I hear a low moan. Slowly I lift my eyes. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the sight before me. I freeze, watching my worst nightmare unfold.

The shock ripples through me, coming in waves of horror and pain.

And no matter how much I want to … I can’t look away.

The man I love, the man I’m going to marry, is having sex with one of my friends.

Neil has Piper bent over on the couch—the couch
I
picked out—and is taking her from behind. His head is turned toward the door, his eyes are closed, and his face is pure ecstasy as he drives into her, enjoying every second of it while my world crumbles. With each thrust I feel the floor falling out from under me. I can hear them, see them, smell the sex in the air. Each slap of skin on skin, each grunt and moan tears through me like a knife slicing my veins open. I’m bleeding out, and there’s no stopping it.

I close my eyes, begging for this not to be real, hoping this is a sick joke or a bad dream, praying that when I open them again, this cruel vision will fade away. When I gather the strength to look at them, I realize this isn’t a joke or a dream—it’s reality.

Piper’s head is thrown back as she moans. “More. Harder!”

His hands grip her hips as he rears back and rams into her.

“Neil, yes!” Her loud, high-pitched voice screams out, “Oh! I’m coming. Oh. My. God. Neil! Fuck!”

Unable to control the shaking of my hands, the invitations fall to the floor. My sob breaks through the sounds of their pleasure, alerting them to my presence. The air punches through me as both their heads snap up and Neil’s eyes lock on mine.

“Catherine.” He stops moving, staring at me with wide eyes. “I can explain.”

He grabs the blanket off the back of the couch and covers himself, hastily throwing another one at Piper.

“Explain? You can’t fucking explain!” I choke out as the tears begin to flood my vision. “Oh my God! You … you …”

My limbs are tingling and my breathing is shallow as I try to remain standing. Everything around me is fading, but cruelly, my mind keeps the two people in front of me crystal clear. I close my eyes, hoping to give myself a reprieve.

Neil speaks as I grip the doorway for support. “Give me a minute and we can talk.”

I don’t want to talk. I want to pour bleach in my eyes and rip out my heart so it will stop hurting so much. Nothing he can say will erase this. Ever. My heart will never be the same. Cheating is bad enough, but for me to witness it—with one of my friends, no less—is torture.

And she was my friend, or at least I thought she was. Sure, she was never in my inner circle and we drifted apart after college but I never saw this coming. I didn’t know she was even capable of such a vile betrayal. Piper was the one who introduced me to Neil. She dated one of his frat brothers and the four of us used to spend a lot of time together. I knew they broke up a few months ago, but never in a million years did I expect her to go after Neil.

BOOK: Beloved
4.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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