Read The Debt 5 Online

Authors: Kelly Favor

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica

The Debt 5

BOOK: The Debt 5
13.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

The
Debt 5 (Club Alpha)

By Kelly Favor

 

© 2014 All Rights Reserved

 

Raven told herself to stop looking at the
pictures on her cell phone, but she couldn’t resist.

There were pictures of a woman—a
dead woman, to be precise—who looked almost exactly like Raven.
 
The dark hair, the curves in just the
same places and almost exact proportions, the eyes just the same.
 

If
we’d gone out in public together, people would have said we were sisters.

Jake’s deceased fiancé, Peyton, was a
dead ringer for Raven.
 
And the
knowledge of it was absolutely shaking Raven to her very foundations.

Out
of all those beautiful models at the party that night, you kept wondering why
he took an interest in you.
 
And now
you finally know why he chose you and not anybody else.
 
It’s not because you’re so amazing, it’s
not because he likes your personality or thinks you’re special.
 
It’s only because you look almost
exactly like her.

Raven put the phone away, closed her
eyes, tried to breathe slowly and calm herself, but it wasn’t working, because
this felt like the biggest betrayal of all.

She felt dizzy with fear, anxious, like
the world had just tilted on its axis.
 
This was the nightmare turn that she’d been dreading, the collapse of
her little fairytale she’d created, where Jake Novak swept her off her feet and
took her away from everything.

Now she was seeing clearly that Jake had
picked her because of her striking resemblance to his fiancé, and then he’d
proceeded to punish Raven in order to somehow get revenge on a dead woman.

He’d been angry with Peyton, so angry
that even her death hadn’t healed the wounds.

Trust
was broken.

It was a gruesome and thoroughly
defeating revelation.

As Raven prepared to go downstairs, her
thoughts were still racing, but one thing was clear.

I’m
going to confront him.
 
I want
answers.
 
I want him to explain, to
tell me the truth about all of it.
 

Tears of frustration and disappointment
were close to the surface now.
 
She
opened the door and slowly began to walk to the end of the hallway and down the
stairs, to what felt like a date with the electric chair.

Everything was a lie.

It flashed before her eyes, like a film
played in reverse.
 
All the times
Jake had told her he couldn’t be her boyfriend, couldn’t give her more than
what he was giving.

And what had he given Raven?
 
Nothing but a few random encounters
where he took out his anger on a woman that no longer existed, pretending that
Raven was her so that he could more fully live out his fantasy.

Well Jake Novak wasn’t the only one who
could get angry.
 
Her anger was
building now, like a slow, simmering fire that was growing exponentially as she
tread
down each step.

Raven could hear Jake talking with her
mother and father downstairs.
 
Even
Danny piped in.

Ironically, they all sounded like they
were enjoying one another’s company.
 
Just a few minutes ago, such a scene would’ve given Raven infinite
happiness.
 
Hearing Jake crack some
joke and then listening to her brother Danny laugh in response—that was a
minor miracle.

Raven hated the fact that hearing Jake
and her family spending time together gave her no pleasure.
 
For Jake, this was just another group of
strangers to win over, like he’d done so many times in his life.
 

Well,
charming people is what he does best
,
she thought.
 
But then her mind made
a correction.

No,
using people is what he does best.

She’d been used by Jake Novak
.
 
Completely and utterly played, and looking back now, it was almost
ridiculous how she’d been so blind to his manipulations.

Finally, Raven entered the kitchen, and Jake
was crossing the room with his mug of coffee.
 
He glanced over at her and smiled,
seeming not to notice that anything was wrong.
 
“Hey,” he said.
 
“You having coffee?”

She shook her head no, unable to speak.

“I’ll make pour you a cup,” he said.

“I’m fine.”
 
That was a lie.

He looked at her curiously.

“Jake!” her father called from the living
room where he was sitting on the couch with the remote in hand.
 
“They’re talking about you on TV.”

“Oh, great,” Jake sighed.

“I’m sure Jake doesn’t want to watch
those silly stories about him,” Raven’s mother said from her place near the
oven, where she was readying eggs and bacon for the pan.

Jake shrugged.
 
“I’m used to it,” he replied, walking
into the living room.
 
“Let’s see
what new crap they’re shoveling today.”

Danny was sitting at the table reading
the paper.
 
He glanced up at Raven
and suddenly his brow creased.
 
“Hey, are you okay?”

She looked at him and then looked
away.
 
“Yeah.
 
Just tired, I guess.”

From the television in the living room,
she could hear pieces of the story.
 
“Jake Novak has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately,” a
female reporter’s voice was saying, “but for the first time in a long time, the
news isn’t about him, but a mysterious female companion that he’s been
romantically linked to in the last week.”

Raven felt her body stiffen as if someone
had just put a gun to her back.

This “news story” wasn’t about Jake at
all—it was about her.

“Raven,” her father called, “they’re
talking about you too!”

She made eye contact with Danny, and he
just shook his head slowly, as if to say, I told you this would all go wrong.

Raven’s mother wiped her hands as she
scurried past Raven to see what was going on.

“Aren’t you going to watch?” Danny asked
her.
 
“Isn’t this what you wanted?”

“No,” she said.
 
She didn’t even know what the story was
about.
 
All she knew was that
anything to do with her and Jake was a lie.
 
Whatever this story was going to be
about, it didn’t matter.

But her father was turning up the volume
on the TV now and the reporter’s voice was louder than ever.
 
“Raven Hartley has been gaining
notoriety as a member of Jake Novak’s entourage who has been seen more and more
often in public him lately, and it appears the two are now dating.
 
This comes at a difficult time in the
embattled pop star’s career, as a tremendous backlash occurred when an old
video was leaked that showed him making controversial remarks about depressed
people, victims of bullying, and even those who have committed suicide.”

Danny slid the newspaper slowly away from
him.
 
“Do you know what they’re
going to say?” he asked Raven.

“No,” she replied, shaking her head.
 
She wondered if this was just some sort
of puff piece, where it was all leading.
 
Maybe they were going to show pictures from yesterday, when some of the
paparazzi had snapped photos of them walking to the bar, and afterward the
brawl, from when they were talking to the police.

The reporter’s voice took on a new tone
of seriousness and excitement.
 
“But
in a bizarre twist,” she said, “a new video has surfaced.
 
Only this video has nothing to do with
Jake Novak.
 
This is a video of
Raven Hartley, and it shows her engaging in some very naughty dancing at a
party.”

Jake sat forward on the couch.

Raven’s mother gasped and put a hand to
her mouth.

Raven felt like she was going to faint.

“They found the video,” Danny said, his
voice angry.
 
“Of course they
did.”
 
He shook his head.
 
“You had to come back and drag all of us
back into your mess, didn’t you
Raven
?”

“Shut up, Danny,” Raven said, and then
walked quickly into the living room to see it with her own eyes.

There it was, in living color, right
there on the television screen.

Raven was dancing, starting to tease
Caleb as she lifted her shirt past her belly.
 
Caleb’s voice, from off camera, could be
distinctly heard, as he laughed.
 
“Wow, that’s so hot, Raven.
 
You are seriously crazy.”

“You have no idea how crazy I can get,”
Raven said, smiling seductively into the camera.

Suddenly, the TV screen cut back to the
anchor desk, where a couple of women and a man sat shaking their heads.

“And that’s not all of it,” the reporter
said.
 
“That’s just what we can show
on network TV.
 
The rest of it is
available, and will surely be all over the
internet
—it
gets pretty racy.”

“So what’s the big deal?” the other woman
asked.
 
“A girl dancing and taking
off her top is not big news these days.”

“No, it’s not,” the reporter
replied.
 
“But our sources tell us
that a few years ago, this video caused a pretty major scandal in Southbridge,
where Raven Hartley is from.
 
There
were accusations that she’d engaged in sexual activity with a group of boys at
a party that night.
 
This led to a
whole slew of legal activity, and Raven Hartley engaged in a lawsuit against
some of the participants, which included her boyfriend at the time.
 
Eventually, she was hospitalized for a
suicide attempt, and then dropped all charges before leaving Southbridge.”

The male anchor at the desk looked
disturbed.
 
“Sounds like a very
strange story,” he said.
 

“It is very strange,” the reporter told
him.
 
“I think what’s unfortunate
here is that by getting involved with someone as popular and famous as Jake
Novak, Raven Hartley’s checkered past is truly going to come out and be
revealed in all its gory detail.
 
And based on her history of mental health issues, that could be a recipe
for disaster.”

“I’m sure Jake Novak’s friends and family
are probably scratching their heads and wondering about some of his recent
choices as well,” the other woman added.

“Strange stuff indeed.
 
We’ll make sure to check back on this
story as it develops,” the anchorman said, his face as serious as if he’d just
announced a war with Russia.

They cut to another story, and Raven’s
father turned the television off.

Raven’s mother had her face buried in her
hands, and her shoulders were shaking.

The room was completely silent.

Jake was still staring at the TV, as if
he was somehow continuing to watch the program even with the power off.
 
His expression was blank.

“I shouldn’t have turned it on,” her
father said softly.
 
“I shouldn’t
have even turned the fucking thing on!”
 
He suddenly threw the remote across the room and it hit the wall,
instantly shattering.

Raven startled.
 
“Dad!” she cried out.

He shook his head, his cheeks turning
purple.
 
“I can’t…believe this…is
happening again.”
 
His breathing was
becoming labored.

Danny was brushing past Raven now,
shoulders hunched.
 
“Dad, come on,
we need to get you in your wheelchair and back on oxygen.”

“Fuck my oxygen,” her father shouted.

“Come on Dad.”
 
Danny grabbed hold of her father’s wrists
and started pulling him to his feet so he could get him into the chair.
 

Her father was wheezing badly.

Raven ran over and started to help,
maneuvering the wheelchair closer.

Even Jake was involved, as they got her
father seated and put the tube of oxygen up to his nose.
 
Her dad was taking big, heaving breaths
in through his mouth, and his cheeks were growing a deeper shade of purple
while the rest of his face was growing paler.

“Dad, relax and breathe slowly,” Danny
said.

“Is he okay?” Raven asked.

Danny shot her a look.
 
“I don’t know.
 
I’m not a doctor.”

BOOK: The Debt 5
13.1Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

House of Cards by William D. Cohan
Johnny Gator by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
His Allure, Her Passion by Juliana Haygert
For the Win by Sara Rider
Fantasy by Keisha Ervin
An Uncommon Grace by Serena B. Miller
Chosen by Stein, Jeanne C.
Back From the Dead by Rolf Nelson
Rebel Without a Cake by Jacklyn Brady