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Authors: Liz Crowe

Tags: #General Fiction

Mutual Release (58 page)

BOOK: Mutual Release
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“I know, Julie. Please. Honey, I’m here to beg your forgiveness.”

“Fucking Dom my ass, you are nothing but a manipulative, selfish prick and… um… what?”

“I said…” He took her left hand, unpeeled it from around her right elbow. Slowly, he drew it to his lips. “I am sorry. I was wrong. I’ve never been so wrong in my entire life. Please, please let me back in. I want to take care of you, of our… children.” His voice broke. She frowned.

“I hate you,” her voice came out a weak whisper.

“No, you don’t,” he said as he drew her into his arms. He kissed her hair and held her close. She could feel him trembling. “I love you. And I am so, so sorry.”

She let him kiss her, cradle her face between his hands. Her heart sped up so fast she gasped and grabbed onto him as if her life depended on it. And maybe it did. She broke the kiss, wincing when her side hurt and the hallway spun.

“Fine,” she growled into his neck, relief pouring through her and turning her into a bowl of quivery JELL-O. “Come home if you must,” she let her hand travel down and cup his cock, which hardened under her palm, “but be warned I am one horny bitch. Hope you got some rest while you were ignoring me.”

He sighed, kissed her forehead. “God, I missed you.” He held her hand to the elevator, walked her to her car. “Race you home, Daredevil. But…” He touched her stomach. “Watch it. Precious cargo and all that shit. Did you get my text? About the alarms?”

“Aw, you are so sweet. Now get out of the way. I have a date, and I don’t wanna be late for it. And yeah, I did.”

* * * *

“Evan, honey?” she asked as he loomed over her, kissing her gently. She’d showered, accepted the few bites of cheese and crackers she could tolerate, then leapt at him, ripping at his clothes and practically growling her way into the bedroom. He’d been slow, calm, steady, laying her back on their bed, running his hands lightly over her body. But now? “You know, I am not gonna break or anything,” she whispered, putting her hand to his face. “You don’t have to be so… uh…”

“Vanilla?” he asked, his eyes taking on a wicked gleam she recognized. He ran his fingers through her hair. She sensed him shift a little, and she picked up a new scent – one she liked much better – that of Evan in full turned-on mode. “I don’t want to hurt you.” He put his lips to hers, but she turned her face away.

“You won’t. And all this gentleness and romance and whatever else is not cutting it for me, sorry.” She pushed him up off her. “I will admit I’m not nauseous for the first time in, like, forever.” He stepped back, hand on his cock. She smiled at the sight of it. “But I have a real need, Sir,” she whispered in his ear, walking around him and running her hands down his back and ass and then up his torso. “And I need my real husband to step up and meet it.”

He grinned, opened the top drawer of their special toy chest, and pulled out several strips of silk. “Lie down,” he said, his voice a command. “Spread your legs. And leave the rest to me.”

“That is more like it.” She squealed when he smacked her ass hard before she crawled up on the bed and let him bind her, blindfold her, and tease her to a raging orgasm before untying her with a few flicks of his wrists and flipping her over to her hands and knees. “Yeah baby, that is way more like it,” she groaned when he grabbed her hair and yanked her head back before sliding into her, nice and deep. “Fuck me like you mean it.” She sighed as he leaned over her and bit down on her shoulder.

He did, and then some, and as she drifted off to sleep back in her husband’s arms where she belonged, she snuggled in close. He kissed her shoulder where he had bitten earlier, making her flinch, then sigh and shiver all over. “I love you, Julie. You are my all, my everything, my wife, my lover and more… don’t ever leave me.”

“Well, if you promise to keep fucking me like that, I guess I won’t. But don’t go vanilla on me ever again, Country Club.”

“No problem, Daredevil.” He sighed and dropped into sleep, but she lay awake for a while, contemplating her future, more relieved than she cared to admit that, at least, for now her world was back on its axis.

Chapter Ten

Julie stood, stretching out her lower back, which hurt twenty-four-seven, along with her hips, which she swore she could hear stretching, creaking and popping and moving around. “Ugh,” she groaned, putting her hands on her office window, trying to relieve at least some of the pressure that built every time she sat longer than twenty minutes at a time. She’d sent Paul home at six-thirty, promising him she’d only stay another hour to finish up the quarterly sales report. He’d become a positive hovering mother hen but remained the best personal assistant a demanding boss could want.

The last three months since Evan had moved back in had been a wild ride, both in the bedroom and out. She was tired all the time. But the second she’d lay eyes on him even after a long day, her body would zing to attention and they would fall on each other like horny teenagers. All her efforts to square the new inventory she’d acquired, listening to all sorts of advice about how to use the new warehouse, trucks, and staff she’d obtained when Cooper Distribution was finally absorbed into Dawson Associates, drained her. But she was on cloud nine about the victory and felt she had achieved a real coup. Until the reality of managing double the staff, triple the booze, and eight times the headaches descended on her, making her doubt her sanity.

And she had finally allowed her mother to make contact. Evan had held her hand as she called, spoke, choked out the news about her marriage and pregnancy, then handed the phone over to him before dashing into the bathroom to hyperventilate. Since then she had agreed to meet the woman, and the three of them were to have coffee the following morning all nice and cozy and normal. Julie still was not convinced her mother deserved it. But Evan was. And she wanted what he wanted knowing he had her best interests at heart.

She and Sara remained close, which was a fun outlet. The girl-time they shared was a real departure for her, although they spent a lot of that time tip-toeing around Julie’s aggravation with her friend regarding Jack. Those two still could not seem to figure themselves out, and frankly, Julie believed Sara was over half the problem. But she kept her lip zipped and always enjoyed the woman’s company – she was a hell of a lot of fun, and her little girl, Katie, was all kinds of adorable. Spoiling the precocious kid with pedicures and shopping trips had become almost as fun for Julie as work used to be.

She sighed and looked out onto the desolate landscape of winter in Michigan. Now two-thirds of the way through her pregnancy, she could feel the bitchiness descending over her like a pall. The nights were becoming sleepless even after Evan fucked her silly, many times collapsing in a sweaty heap and crying “uncle.” The days were uncomfortable and borderline painful but busier than ever which she supposed was good, leaving her little time to fret, worry, or complain. Much.

She turned, and her heart leapt into her throat when she saw the shadow in the doorway. A shiver slithered down her spine. Cursing herself for forgetting, yet again, to arm the alarm after Paul left the building, she looked around for her phone and spotted it on the desk across the room.

The tall, handsome blond man was dressed in a blue suit, white shirt, and a light gray tie that matched his eyes. She frowned, tried to look nonchalant about the fact Damian Slate, the man her husband would strangle on the spot, stood in her office. And not a soul was left in the building.

“Can I help you?” She strolled to her desk to be within arm’s reach of her phone.

He smiled and took a seat, reaching the device before she did and tucking it into his inner jacket pocket. “Just a moment of your time is all I require.” His English accent had deepened, as had the lines around his ice-cold eyes. “Please. Sit. You look positively done in.”

She shot him a serious glare she hoped portrayed strong and unafraid, and not cowering and terrified, and sat behind her desk. He placed a large envelope on it, pushed it towards her, then sat back, crossing his legs as if settling in for a cozy chit-chat. “What is it?”

“Evidence, my love. Your precious Evan is not who you think he is.”

She stared at it, unwilling to play his game. He was a master at it, however, and his dominating personality oozed around the room, snaking into her brain and making her quivery. She put a hand on her stomach, an involuntary gesture she’d been doing a lot lately. He cocked his head.

“My sincere congratulations on the impending joy. Now,” he pointed, his voice dropping nearly an octave and making her gulp, “open the fucking envelope.” He took her phone from his pocket and glanced at it once before dropping it back into its hiding place.

She tried to roll her eyes, shrug it off, but she tugged the thing close, undid the clasp and opened it. It contained three eight-by-ten black-and-white photos and what looked like a bunch of printed emails. Heat lit her face, rose up her ears and into her scalp. Julie had a fair bit of experience compartmentalizing. She’d done it for years, blocking the horror of months of sexual abuse from her mother’s husband. The ensuing years she spent staring forward, tunnel-visioned on her own future and ignoring her mother’s near-constant pleas for forgiveness, trained her to sometimes ignore the obvious. But the images seared her retinas now, captured in huge, very clear, non-grainy black and white, were of her tall, handsome husband, smiling from ear to ear with his arm around… she squinted… some short, dark-haired girl holding a baby.

She glanced up at Damian, her brain boiling with confusion, early anger, and not a little bit of fear. Then she slid the next photo out. The girl was gazing up at Evan with adoration as he held the baby in his arms and smiled down at it. Finally, the last one made her shake and her heart nearly cease for a few seconds. The girl sat in a chair, clutching her brat, and Evan – the man she trusted with her very soul – stood with his arm on her shoulder, and they stared intently at some guy who appeared to be holding an open book.

She slammed the photos down on the desk. Something was not right. This couldn’t be her husband.

Damian tapped the stack of printouts with a long finger, staring at her. She tried to swallow past the giant lump in her throat. The words on the email blurred, but she caught the gist.

Have you told your wife yet? Don’t you think you should?

No, I will, but she’s pregnant too. And might flip out. We have to wait.

Thanks for the clothes money!

You’re welcome. You know I said I’d take care of you.

Thanks for being with me when Angie was born.

Of course. I’ll be by later this week. I need to talk to you some more.

She stood, the rage so bright and clear she could touch it, taste it, squeeze it between her fingers and make it ooze out and coat her hands. Damian sat and watched her pace. Memories flashed across her brain – the New York Thanksgiving weekend, the Christmas she met his mother, New Year’s Eve in Miami, their wacky wedding and the ensuing drama when he’d discovered she’d stopped taking birth control… all the times he’d show up at her office, eyes full of mischief, lock the door and…

She shook her head, her hair whipping around her face.

“No. You faked all this. You’re an asshole, and I know it. Get the fuck out of here. And leave my phone on the desk, please.” She spat the words at him.

She then faced the window again, trying to catch her breath. His hands on her arms forced a scream from her lips. A wholly familiar and unwelcome terror enveloped her as she tried to move away, but his grip was firm. She bit her lip, the ever-hovering fear shoving the rage to the back of her brain for a moment.

He slid his damp palms down her skin, making her want to vomit. His breath was putrid, as if he were rotting from the inside out. She shivered and tried not to sob. “Don’t fucking touch me, you pig,” she whispered, whipping around and facing him, backing up to get some space so she didn’t have to smell him. The cloying cologne smothered her. And brought a rush of horrific memories. “You are a rapist. And a shithead abuser. Get out of my office.”

He smiled, stepped closer. Her hand shot out before she knew what she was doing and his head rocked back from the force of her slap. She sucked in a breath and tried not to pass out as he grinned, putting his palm to his reddening face. “I love a feisty bitch,” he said, yanking her close, pressing his disgusting body all along hers. A fluttery sensation under her shirt made her gasp. “Because you just need to be tamed.” He kissed her, shoved his foul tongue between her lips, pulled her hair, then broke away. She spat at him, still backing up until she reached her desk and grabbed her office phone.

“I am calling the police. Go. And take your stupid evidence with you.”

He pulled her phone from his pocket. “Better call your husband, hot stuff. He’s been trying to reach you for the last thirty minutes.”

She hit 9-1-1 on the phone and waited. “Nine-one-one emergency. What is your emergency?” floated out of the small speaker.

BOOK: Mutual Release
3.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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