1×20 “No Ones Here To Sleep”

Episode 20 “No One’s Here to Sleep”
Written by:
Kelly Zollo and Chris Coleman
Theme song:
No Ones Here To Sleep, Bastille featuring Naughty Boy
Episode contains violence, language and sexual content

When Jamal walked into the safehouse. He’d texted Yasmine back and informed her she would be free. Not only that but she informed him that Kendrick was going to be on the other side of town tonight. After he checked in he was going to meet Kendrick and finally end everything. Walking through the building he heard his momma screaming at what sounded like was his father. As he opened the door Devin face was flushed with frustration. Shaking his head he knew what was about to happen. They were going freak once they saw him. Seeing his father turn around it was almost instantaneous with rage in his eyes. Jamal had been texting Mason and when he caught Simon punk ass it was a wrap. He was going to beat the hell out of him. His fist bawled up just thinking about it. His father the way he embarrassed Mason he could slap the taste out of dad mouth. Then he’d really be being disrespectful.

As he walked in he went into the kitchen the silence was enough to make him jump out of his skin. His eyes narrowed as he turned to his dad. “What did I do something wrong? Or the two officers who supposed to be watching me? Blame them I went out for some damn air so can everyone calm down?” He knew he had to get out one last time so he had to play this one smart. “And unless any one of you three want to have sex with me. Then I suggest you chill pops and ma. But Mami since you looking so mad at me did you asking what he did to Mason? Or hell let’s discuss why we don’t even talk to Devin side of the family. Like I’m sick of all of this shit being trapped that is.” Jamal grabbed a apple. “I promise I won’t leave I just needed to feel something other than trapped.”

Ophelia gripped the coffee mug in her hands she had called Tony when she found Jamal not in his room again and the panic set in. Tony arrived and they agreed to call Devin before alerting the Feds that Jamal was missing. Her life was falling apart all over again what if the mob go thim? What if Kendrick or Ronan had found out where the safehouse was? What if he was lying in the street bleeding out somewhere or worse what if he had been taken quickly and without them getting to at least say goodbye? Tony’s hand on her back eased her with the fear while Devin debated about what to do or how to find Jamal without risking his deal it wasn’t like could put out an APB on him without them knowing. When Jamal came in the door though she shot Tony and Devin a glare the FBI wasn’t doing their job if he could come and go without being noticed.

“Calm down you aren’t supposed to leave the house, it’s dangerous they are looking for you! I won’t calm down I am your mother and you’re supposed to be here until Ronan and Kendrick are off the streets.” Ophelia said angrily at first and then emotion overcame her as she pulled Jamal into her arms. No tears came though they wanted too her worst fear was not true he was alive, breathing in her arms. Ophelia looked over at Tony at the Mason mention what was going on? “This is not about Devin or anything else do you know how I felt? Thinking that they had you or worse?”

Tony hung his head when Jamal mentioned what was going on with Mason he only had one son now, no one needed to know that just yet. He wasn’t sure if it was shame in how he treated Mason or shame in what Mason was at this point. He know knew though that Jamal knew meaning Selina probably did was well. The issue at the moment wasn’t that though it was Jamal sneaking himself out of the safehouse when he knew there was a bounty on his head. A dangerous bounty no less. He tried to not let that anger show too much he didn’t need another blow up with Ophelia and he shot Devin a look. No they were not close but he knew that as his nephew Devin would look out for his cousin and make sure that Jamal came back at least alive and still had his deal in tact with the Feds.

“You don’t think about anyone but yourself right now had the Feds caught you it would be a whole other ballgame one that even Selina with her connection to Kyan wouldn’t have been able to fix. Everyone in this room has sacrificed to make sure you aren’t going to prison for this mess and this is how you repay them. Making them think they got you?” Tony said realizing his voice raised slightly to shake his head at Jamal air was an excuse for reckless behavior that put them all at risk. Running his hand over his head he turned to Devin for backup on the matter. “Devin please talk some sense into him.”

Devin had been at the Harrison’s when he had gotten the call and honestly he was glad for the fucking call he had no idea what was coming over Miranda lately and he didn’t want to be in the middle of her and Jon. It was bad for work, it was bad for homelife and for once he was happy to just leave her and Quinn there without even thinking about them did that make him an asshole? He then looked over at Jamal the call had shook him his cousin was not to leave the property which was large had a few acres but he had driven around to look for Jamal so he knew that he wasn’t on the property which then had him panicking. There was only so much he could actually do when it came to the feds on the case he went to Jon or the others there would be hell to pay with all the departments. Instead he had waited it out with his uncle and Ophelia.

“You weren’t here Jamal and you can’t keep doing this. The deal was strict you can’t leave the property. So tell me where you were and you weren’t on a walk here I looked for you. You have no idea how dangerous it is for you to be out on the street right now, none.” Devin said looking at him he got that Jamal was still a kid but he was mixed up in adult shit, shit he didn’t even like to think about. If Ronan found him everything would be blown with Kendrick which had become the priority or worse if Kendrick found him first. “You’re lucky that instead of going to the front agents the moment your mom knew something was wrong she called me.”

“Alright I guess I messed up but nobody found out. Momma I’m fine okay. I love you.” He turned to his father and shook his head as he paused. “As soon as I can address this clown. You see I can imagine a man who father marched in Selma and was a respect pastor turning his back on his own flesh and blood. You out here trying to play father of the year with me but with Mason you can’t even look at him. Did you really fucking call my brother a faggot? I should stomp you. Cousin he doesn’t have to be here correct? If not get this homophobe out of my face. You told me you were hurt and disappointed when I did this. I’ve never been as disappointed in you as I am now not my entire my life dad. He’s all talk mom.” Jamal said as the shocked faces of his mother and Devin.

“He outed my brother in front of everyone and if you want to know where I was I was with him. I wasn’t with some girl.” He lied looking at them. Manipulating the situation to his advantage. “Mom, Mason is gay and me and Selina have known for years. I’m sorry you’re the last to know but you’ve made your opinion of homosexuals very clear.” Jamal said as he sat on the kitchen table. “Go! Get the fuck out! Why are you here? Huh? You are heartless man what you said to him that was unforgivable and Devin please he’s suicidal I just want to be there for him. If I need to leave again please.” Jamal begged perfectly playing to situation in his favor.

Devin did a double take at Jamal and then at Tony as he mentioned Tony outing Mason, wait Mason was gay? Not that it bothered him Zach and he were good friends so it wasn’t like a big deal. He watched Tony’s face of disgust at the word and then looked over at Ophelia her mind was whirling too, she was Catholic though and he bit his lip. He could buy into Jamal being with Mason as his alibi that wasn’t a problem Jamal and Mason were close the problem was if he got caught with Ronan or Kendrick. Devin looked at his uncle and then at Jamal he had to get Jamal to talk to him make sure the story was right.

“Let me talk to Jamal alright Tony? Where was Mason at did he say he was going to harm himself?” Devin said looking as his uncle began to walk to the door.

“I don’t have to stand here and listen to this shit.” Tony said looking at Jamal and Ophelia not denying anything that he was accused of. He was a homophobe and proud of it men shouldn’t fuck other men and he wasn’t going to stand there and pretend that he was proud of Mason. Ophelia was staring at him in disgust and he almost felt ashamed of it until he put on his coat and faced them all. “You were supposed to be here not out with your brother. I wonder are you going to turn to dick now too? I have a business to run.” Tony said walking out the door slamming it behind him.

Ophelia’s heart was beating out of her chest she wasn’t Mason’s mother but she felt like it, Selina had always pushed her away when she was younger but she and Mason had been close. Not as close as they were when he was younger but she still felt like Mason could depend on her to be there for them. To be the mother he didn’t have, she stared at Tony how could he be so cruel to his own son? Homosexuality was something she struggled with she had gay friends at work and growing up, but the bible to her had been pretty clear on where it stood in the eyes of God. One of the many reasons her faith had wavered over the last few years and she didn’t raise Jamal to be a full fledged Catholic even though her parents wanted her too. She watched Tony anger in her as he left before she turned back to Jamal.

“You should have let me know Mason needed you. He could have come here. Regardless of how I feel if he was hurting I would want to know. You know that. I’ll let you and Devin talk ok, I’ll be in the other room.” Ophelia said not wanting to get into church doctrine with Jamal right now after what she witnessed. Tony especially she’d never seen him like that before it was like she didn’t even know who he was. Walking to Devin she placed her hand on his shoulder. “Thank you for coming.” Walking out the door her mind on getting support for Mason and being proud of her son even in the mess he had created for them to begin with to risk everything for his brother.

“Hey, I don’t know where he is now. Check his apartment because I know he’s really sad right now and what he did in front of the staff.” Jamal was seriously pissed about it but it was also a legit excuse for where he was. Mason wasn’t talking to anyone and he wouldn’t verify it because they had a brother code. Not until after he got to Kendrick and the deal was done. As he looked at his cousin he gave him a quick hug. “Look I think you should call Hunter and Jackson have them go see him. I mean I’m sure they know or have some clue but my brother needs love. Out of all of us he tried the most to please dad and this is going to kill him.” Jamal was going to call in a few favors to get out this time. He however knew that he had to get out one way or another.

“Devin hey make him feel good and tell him he’s the best big brother on earth and no matter what he’s the strongest man to me. To stand up to Tony.” Turning around seeing his father car speed off and his mother’s behind him he leaned back on the wall. “I just thought my father was more progressive he never had a problem with us having gay friends. It just when it’s his kids huh? I need some rest Dev, I’m going upstairs.” Jamal walked upstairs and quickly pulled out his phone and texted Yasmine.

Let’s hurry this up I need Kendrick location.

I think he’s going to be at the club for the night. He’s not doing any runs he swept the streets.

Jamal sat silently wondering why would Kendrick sweep up the streets. Unless a raid happened the people got the product. Or unless he was calling in everyone to prove a point. What was he up too. Opening his room door, he kicked off his shoes and turned on the television. Picking up his PS4 controller he started some music up. Then picked up phone to text her one more thing.

Be careful and keep me updated.

Falling back into the bed Jamal closed his eyes trying to figure out how to get out this time.


Braden put his truck into park and took a few deep breaths hoping to avoid a confrontation with Tamara after the last few months and weeks be was just over that all of it. When he had as dropped Dylan off the other day his son had been all too eager to be back with his mother which had never happened. Sure he had been happy to stay with Tamara and got to her as per the custody agreement but Dylan seemed almost happy to get out of the house. He also knew why he and Selina fighting, the incident with his parents and Dani the other night, meaning he needed something to change. Dylan was a good kid but he was starting to see the influences the fighting and being around Maddie was having on his son. He was getting more withdrawn spending more time in his room than usual.

Grabbing the door he looked down at his phone when it buzzed and Dylan let him know that he was running late back to the house from a friend’s house. He debated about getting back in and waiting but then he knew he was going to be the bigger person. He and Tamara needed to talk about what was going on with Dylan and as much as it pained him if Dylan got back to who he was before he and Selina got married he would let him go live with Tamara. The condition though had to be the same as it always was she had to pass a drug test, be in recovery and  sober. They hadn’t spoken but to be cordial about Dylan since his father winning the election and being mayor and he hadn’t heard from David either.

“Dad!” Dylan said seeing his father about to knock on his mother door. Ever since his dad married Selina they hadn’t been too cool. His father had quite a record at weddings. After all this time his mother still loved dad but he always acted as if she was a nobody to him. It was clear to him but after all the fighting he was sort of sick of it. Maddie and he were both sick of it. His dad was starting to try and do activities with him. That was getting old next year he was in high school and he didn’t want to continuously be bounced back and forth. He had chose to say with his mother, plus going to Atlas Falls Preparatory Academy wasn’t in his list of high schools.

As he walked up the stairs he pulled out his keys. “So I wanted to talk to you both today. Look I love that we are near AFPA but I want to really go to the same school as you, Dani, Jon, and Devin. I want to be an alum of the same school as you guys. Plus when I make it in the music industry dad I want to say I was taught by the same guy who taught all my family how to perform.” Unlocking the door he walked inside. “Hey mom were here!” He said seeing that box of pizza from a few days ago. “Mom?”

Braden turned around as he saw Dylan coming up the steps backing away from the door to let his son open it. He could only smile proudly at his son with his school bag thrown on his shoulder, he was a good student. He let Dylan slide the key in and swing the door open, he saw Dylan set his school bag down and look around the house. Mail was piled up on the end table, it looked like her coat hadn’t even moved from the peg on the wall, his eyes wandered to the pizza box on the table and he tried to focus in on what Dylan was asking about school too. He wouldn’t force him to go to Atlas Falls Prep if he didn’t want to but his education would be better there he felt. When Tamara didn’t answer he looked at Dylan and a feeling settled into his gut, an uneasy feeling. The house was too quiet and normally his ex would be there greeting Dylan and him.

“I’ll tell you what about school how about me, mom and Selina talk about it ok? Atlas Falls Prep has a great music program too and Maddie will be going there next year. I get you want to be an alumni but I also know it’s one of the best schools in the state now.” Braden walked to the kitchen seeing more mess around there too something was off. He remained calm not wanting to alarm Dylan that he felt something was off, his son had been through enough especially if his worst fear was coming true again another relapse. “Tamara?” Braden called out before looking at Dylan. “I’ll go check on her ok, maybe she’s just not feeling well.”

“Dad if you walk in on mom after a shower or bath she’d kill you. Let me.” Dylan said having a sense about this. Taking off his jacket he looked around the brownstone looked a mess. Something was off here because for the last few days David said she wasn’t at the hospital. That wasn’t like mom at all considering how hard she worked to get her nursing license. As he walked up the stairs with his father refusing to believe it. “She’s fine dad stop looking like that okay?” School flew out of his mind at this point he knew. He knew what that expression was. The concern that he’d been feeling for the last few weeks was bubbling in his stomach. Dylan bit down on his lip as he stopped at the middle of the staircase. “I’m going to get my phone and text Maddie really quick. Yo mom if you aren’t decent dad is coming up.”

Dylan walked down the stairs as he saw his father expression the sheer disappointment and sadness was so painful. The air was leaving his body. His mother wouldn’t be a junkie again. He wasn’t a kid anymore he knew what this meant. Immediately he pulled out his phone out of his phone.

Call me asap it’s an emergency.

Slipping his phone into his pocket he took a deep breath as he looked upstairs. “Dad is she up there? I should call David maybe they are on a date?” He called upstairs wondering if his mother was up there. Dylan started to walk up the stairs behind his father.

Braden watched Dylan and knew the signs all too well it was settling in and he feared the worst with Tamara her behavior as of late the signs. Her behavior at the election party alone was cause for concern, concern he should have offered instead he looked at Dylan texting Maddie and started to go up the stairs, slowly. He heard Dylan behind him and looked his son dead in the eyes. “Stay here and I mean it.”

He didn’t wait for an answer before he climbed the rest of the stairs to the upper level where the bedrooms where and he saw Tamara’s door shut. Pushing it open his eyes adjusted to the dark room and he saw it the vomit on the floor, her arm failed over the end of the sitting couch in the master bedroom, nothing but a robe on and he went into panic mode turning on the light and rushing forward. She was cold when he touched her arm and looked at the white powder on the small table beside her, saw the blood on her nose and his fingers raced frantically for her neck where he felt a slight pulse. Putting her head up he dug his phone out of his pocket hopefully he had reached her in time. He wasn’t a complete dick and felt tears sting his eyes for himself and Dylan, despite everything that had happened between he and Tamara in the past she was still family. That wouldn’t change she was and always would be his son’s mother. Dialing 911 he waited a few moments grabbing the blanket on the other end of the couch to cover her to get her body temperature up.

“This is Braden Fraiser I need an ambulance to 1765 Riverton Ave. It’s my ex she has overdosed, likely on cocaine.” He said numbly into the phone as the dispatcher finally recognized who he was on the other end and she was asking him questions. “She’s cold she still has a pulse though. I put a blanket on her, please hurry. How far out are you?” He said into the phone and that is when he looked around the room for something the dispatcher asked for when his eyes met Dylan’s at the door, no not again was the only thing in his mind in that moment.  “Shut the door and go downstairs now.”

He didn’t know why he walked upstairs. Dylan just had to know and he was shaking even before he reached the top of the staircase. Walking toward the door he froze hearing his father on the phone with the dispatcher. Slowly walking to the door his lips quivered as he saw his mother barely breathing. Her tough bawdy Brooklynite just snuffed out by a little white powder. His mother was a character and he couldn’t even imagine going through life without her. His lips quivered as he stared at her and his father voice knocked him out of a trance. Shaking his head tears started to fall and he stepped closer. “Momma.” He mumbled gulping a little air trying to hold back his tears. Dylan knew men didn’t cry but it was his mother.

“Mom! Please wake up!” Dylan screamed at her as he ran to the doorway and felt his father’s arms around him. “Dad if she hears me! If she just can hear me I know she’ll wake up! Please dad you can’t let them come because then the court!” He screamed knowing that his dad was going to take him from her. “She needs us! Please dad don’t do this. She’ll get better dad I promise! You can’t let her face this alone please dad.” Dylan cried as his father held him tighter to block his vision of Tamara. “Please dad.” He cried shaking as he heard the sirens approaching the house.

Braden rushed to his son keeping the phone open as he took it with him placing Tamara back on the couch. He could feel Dylan struggling against him trying to get into the room and he shielded the door he didn’t want to take him from his mother, but being a good father meant he put Dylan first. He held him close to his chest as his son cried it was ok to cry as he heard the front door open and saw the two paramedics rush up the stairs and into the room. Dylan was still young and he watched out of the corner of his eye as the paramedics loaded her onto the stretcher and placed a blanket over her, she had a breathing tube too and he only hoped he had got there in time how long had she been like that? He saw the stretcher roll past and looked over at her, so cold her lips had some color back and the medic patted his shoulder.

“We’re taking her to the hospital to get her stabilized, her pulse is low and we have no idea how much she took. The cops will be by to do the rest. You are welcome to ride with us or you can follow.” The man said and Braden nodded his head numbly at him.

He took a few breaths the situation overwhelming him Dylan life would be again forever uprooted now because of this. Not to mention the position this would put him into at work as DA drug use was something he could prosecute and how many times had he done the rehab shit with her? She was sick and he got that it was an ugly disease that tore people apart and he wasn’t saying her road was easy but she couldn’t keep doing this to their son, him he could deal with himself. But Dylan didn’t deserve it and when he pulled back to look at him he could see that Dylan was still shook.

“We’re going to ride in the car. We’ll make sure mom’s ok and I’ll call grandma to come get you ok? I’m sorry you had to see that.” Braden whispered quietly bending down to look at his son’s eyes. He looked so confused and as a father his heart ached more. “Mom’s sick. I’m not going to send her to jail if that is what you’re worried about ok?”

“Dad listen to me please.” Dylan mumbled as he looked at his father. Watching the paramedics immediately go to work on his mother made him feel ill. What if she never recovered or worse? What if she was gone? Breaking free from his father he grabbed his arm before he could get in the car. “I’m not going to leave her when she needs me the most. I just gotta know dad. If it’s me? Why am I not enough to make her stop?” He asked breaking down crumbling into his father’s arms as the sirens blared flying downtown to St. Christopher’s. He let go of his father and walked to the car and just sat in the passenger side. Wiping his face he knew his mother couldn’t see him like this.

Hey she overdosed… I knew it. I knew she was using again.

Dylan pressed send as he leaned his head back in the seat and started to cry again as he lowered his head. “Why am I not enough?”


Talia took off her heels. Yup it was serious these were two thousand dollar Armani pumps that were gifted to her by Anderson. She only wore these on important days and Jackson up there with Natasha was nerve wrecking. However whenever she looked down well that was the best thing. Since the press conference was at the first American SandStar oilrig and Jackson was announcing his clean energy initiative it was a logistical nightmare. Wearing a black leather, white suede kimono peacoat from an up and coming designer. Wearing tight winter white turtleneck pencil dress underneath. Walking into the janitor closet her lips curled in disgust even going inside. So rumor had it that the janitor had a master key, well it wasn’t rumor it was fact. Seeing them on break she went to their carts and swiftly started to look through them until she found one with a couple of keys on them. Someone would break the rules it was just common knowledge. As she tiptoed out of the maintenance room she felt like she needed a drink. Gross people actually worked there. Talia was so hurt for them because she saw a pair of steel-toe boots. “Everyone deserves designer shoes.” She mumbled underneath her breath.

Rushing through the building she knew he was here but still at a meeting. Lowell was keeping Zerick and Rainer on a conference call. Walking up to the offices she bit down on her lip and quickly started to fumble with the keys. Immediately she began to go key to key trying to find the one that unlocked his office. It had to be something inside of here that would lead them to the next clue. When she heard the lock click and the doorknob twisted she squeaked. Locking the door behind her for time if Walking inside of his office his cologne was still hypnotizing. Licking her lips she walked around the desk and immediately went to work. Going through the drawers she started to pull out files and it was all DGI information. She quickly untied her coat and slipped it off as she walked to the computer. After five minutes of trying to crack his password she gave up. Pulling out the desk drawers she wasn’t finding a thing. Until she knocked on the side panel on the wood. Her parents could never hide a birthday gift, or anything from her. Knocking again hollow which meant something was behind the wood panel. As she removed the panel saw a secret drawer. Immediately she began to obsess with what she could do to open this drawer. This was the key to Zerick secrets. As she stood up she look a card on his desk Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinic. Looking at the sharp letter opener as she tried to break the lock on it. Well until she started to hear footsteps and keys.

Trying to stand up she hit her head underneath the desk. As she quickly grabbed the panel and slid it on the side of the desk. Throwing the letter opener on the desk she adjusted her dress and sprawled out on the desk. Hearing the key in the door she freaked. So laying on a desk didn’t look as hot as it sounded. Talia hustled to the couch and slipped on her shoes. Then she threw her legs over the couch and threw her coat over herself. Closing her eyes she heard to door open. “Zerick.” She said opening her eyes seeing his amused smile. “I must have fell asleep.”

Zerick had just finished up the conference call with Rainer and Lowell things were going exactly to plan minus that call from Greer that Jackie was onto them. He knew it was only a matter of time before the truth came out which was why he always had an escape plan in place. Or in this case a plan to simply make sure nothing landed on him, he knew Greer had her hands in the mix with their benefactor but he was playing for something else entirely. He had his reasons for going after Lowell and DGI on a personal level. The call had told him something else the trip that Talaia and Simon took for the vetting process, it had given him time to adjust his story and make the right calls not that his side of the story needed adjust most of it was true. Greer’s side though he couldn’t control everything that people thought or found out about her and she would be left to fend for herself. Turning the lock on his office door he opened it surprised to see Talaia inside and his eyes surveyed the room when did Lowell give her a key? Everything looked in place as he slid his keys into his pocket but to be sure he’d be moving what he needed after she left, call him paranoid. He was curious about why she was her though she’d made it pretty clear she wasn’t interested in what he wanted with her.

“Talia, I wasn’t expecting you how did you get in?” Zerick asked giving her the warmest smile he could reminding himself to keep calm with her. There was no need to panic yet and he couldn’t help but lick his lips at the sight of those thousand dollars of shoes on her or that fashionable peacoat. Not that other women weren’t beautiful they were. She was something else entirely her sense of style was intriguing and something about her made him soft he had to be careful where that was concerned. “You asked me to stay away from you and I’ve honored that Talia you said you didn’t want to be the other woman to a married man given your past. I’m a man of my word Talia have you changed your mind? I would be open to that if that was the case. I’m sorry I’m rambling I have a lot on my mind right now.”

As she leaned up Talia rubbed her neck softly as she looked in the eyes of Zerick. The way he looked at her she swore he was melting her inside. Standing up she looked at him as she walked to him. Touching his stubble she smirked softly knowing he was being cautious. She was his weakness and she knew that. Everyone around the office had said how much of a asshole Zerick was. She however saw the beauty in the beast. Slowly she leaned against his desk. “I had to place this in your office. It was a letter saying I can’t stop thinking of you and I just well think if you could leave her. Maybe we’d have a chance at something real.” That was half truth she wasn’t sure they’d be anything other than a modern day Shakespearean tragedy.

“So I guess I was trying to say in this horrible letter that I’m so feeling like this is something more. Then I see you still with her and she’s humping on Chauncey. It just makes me insane to think about us and how much chemistry we have. Sometimes I stay up all night thinking of what could and one day will happen. You’re smart man and anyone can see Ms. Westwood has stars in her eyes for Chauncey. She sees the bigger picture that someone really cares about her and maybe that’s why your marriage is falling apart. Greer knows one day Chauncey will shower her with all the love she needs. Why isn’t she getting it from you? You were so in love or happy when you came now it seems you two are on a different wavelength.”

Zerick looked at her is interest peaked at the letter she had planned to write, her neck looked stuff from sleep and he couldn’t help the thought of placing his hands there to massage it. Her skin looked so delicate in the dim light of is office with the city skyline shining into the window and for a moment he took it into memory shaking his head at her he smiled slightly. “That is a lot of work for a letter. What is real to you Talia? A comfy mansion on a hill to you? Running DGI under Lowell for the rest of your life?” He paused watching her for a moment understanding where she was coming from with Greer but knew after the call he had to play it safe. “Greer and I have a complicated marriage you know that.”

He made his way to his desk placing his hand over hers for a moment he did wish things could be different. But they weren’t and right now he has to be cautious not to mention she had learned what Simon did. “You run the PR here you know Chauncey will have a scandal with Greer soon enough it’s who he is. Business changed when we got here if you must know we were having problems in Europe as well. But I think you know that don’t you? You and Simon did make a trip to London did you not? You’ve already heard the gossip.” Zerick said touching her arm a hint of edge and seduction in his voice. “Chemistry can cause things to go into flames Talia is that what you want?”

“No I want a straight damn answer from you.” Talia said exhausted from all the cat and mouse games they played. “I follow my gut Zerick and my gut is saying you’re not a bad person. It’s saying you’re screwed up but not bad and I can’t sit here and pretend any longer because I care. I care that you keep looking at me like I’m the only girl in the world. Now I’ve watched you and the beautiful blondie you call a wife look at each other. Look never mind.” She said walking to her coat as she shook her head. Talia could feel herself getting worked up and she just couldn’t take it. Tears started to slide down her face. “Great my makeup.” She said turning away from him.

“Of course I went looking into your past what else was I to do? You leave so much to the imagination and if you truly are here for me and DGI. I just can’t do this again you don’t understand because for once I feel what everyone else has. For once it’s not just Dani or Simon. You know all throughout college I was lonely boys came and went but they had the great love stories. Oh Dani is now engaged to the governor’s son and then she is pulled in by a billionaire scion. Simon he has the long and everlasting romance with a closet case who loved him until he demanded more. Now me on the other hand my biggest romance to date is a married man who made me look like a fool. So when this dashing man who I can’t seem to stay away from. I can’t stop myself for falling for is standing there telling me our chemistry will just flame out. I don’t believe it and I won’t believe anymore you are in love with her. Complicated my ass Zerick you don’t love her like that. You may love Greer but not like how you like me. I made a mistake this was a mistake and one day I’m going to get the love I deserve. I’m going to get my big love story and you are going to regret ever and I mean ever missing out.” Talia spat out actually feeling the truth hitting every word.

Zerick knew that she deserved a straight answer but he also knew that unfortunately he couldn’t give her one with everything. The problem with a con was that is sometimes blurred lines between what was real and what was fake, it was the risk that he took to get where he was now. He’d studied Talia’s file that was all part of the con her one real relationship being with the very married Anderson Kincaid which turned sour quickly when he went back to his wife ending their affair. “I would normally tell you to follow your instincts Talia but I would know in this case they are wrong. I want to look at your like you are the only girl Talia I can’t help it but I know that you can get caught in the crosshairs with Greer. Trust me she is not the woman you want on your bad side you thought Cara was bad?” He paused knowing he may of said too much that he knew about her and Anderson but then she turned around and started to cry. He was raised a gentlemen and he hated to see a woman cry, it was his weakness and shaking off memories of his past he went to her wrapping his arms around her.

“My past Talia needs to stay that in the past you have no idea what you and Simon did what you put at risk with Greer when you went. Why do you think I pushed you away in Egypt? Why do you think that I let Greer be with Chauncey?” Zerick asked knowing he had to play it this way now Greer as the crazy wife with a temper to rival his own, the gloves were off now with everything. He had to make Talia on his side while still playing the charade with the company especially Lowell. Turning Greer against him would be the perfect way to do that make everyone believe that she was the one that put the plan into motion that was calling the shots. Make Talia believe that he was protecting her from his wife, which was partially true. He never expected to feel what he did for Talia. He turned her around wiping her tears away, “You don’t know Greer like I do Talia what she is capable of. I want you to have that grand love, you deserve that Talia. I want to give that to you, make you feel like no man ever has but you have to give me something in return.”

That was one of biggest aches that she felt considering how out of place, unsure of what else to say. Staring deeply into his eyes as he looked at her face. She knew that he was telling the truth. Greer already had reared her fangs to others and she wasn’t that type of girl. She wasn’t one for the hair pulling and constant arguing. Nor would she ever be second to another woman. Cara had pulled rank against what Anderson felt. As she stepped back quickly looking in his eyes. He knew what happened with her and Cara. How could he considering only a few people saw that nasty confrontation at Hotel LaGordia.

Talia wanted to badly to take the carrot dangling in front of her face. “I want nothing more than to let you give me the biggest romance I’ve ever had. I want to share parts of you I don’t share with anyone else, parts of myself I thought I lost with Anderson. I’m not cookie cutter girl but I’m unexpected and I’m worth it. I’m worth the pain that Greer will give you and me.” Talia snapped at Zerick as she finally broke free from his embrace. “I do have to question how did you know what happened with Cara and myself. Don’t give me idle gossip shit keep it real and I might give you what you and I have been wanting.” She raised her hand touching his face. Slowly she leaned in and kissed him on her tippy toes. “What do I have to do? I want the truth.”

Zerick knew that he had to at least tell her the partial truth he and looked into all the DGI employees knew most of their darkest secrets. It was all part of the plan something that she could hate him for and then he could sever what was happening with everything. It was however a risk he had to take if he gave her a little perhaps that would be enough to make her trust him more. “There were circumstances that I had to know about when I came to town with Greer. We know things about you, about everyone close to you from Chauncey down to you. Everyone close to DGI. I lied to you before when you told me it was Hunter you had the affair with I knew it was Anderson. I didn’t press it or question you lying to me about it for that reason I already knew Talia.” Zerick said seeing that his statement did hurt her and for flair he added more remorse into his voice to sell it.

“Don’t hate me for it the Devonshire’s are not who they claim to be. Tell me does Lowell tell you everything? Do any of them really tell you everything or is it what they do best hide behind their own web of lies. Why do you think Greer and I had to lie to get here, why do you think we had to cover our own tracks? I never meant for you to get caught up in this or in Greer’s hairs Talia.” Zerick said pleading with her hoping it was working once she doubted Lowell everything else would fall into place as well that was the part he was looking forward too. Turning Talia to his side and he could tell it was starting to work as he saw her eyes dart just slightly so she knew Lowell wasn’t innocent. “You know it inside of you Talia. Lowell will do anything so will his children to get their way and what they want. How do you think he got so rich in the first place. I need you to be my eyes and ears with him and I will give you the grand romance you want. Greer thinks Chauncey will turn on his father for her, I’m not betting on that horse.”

Talia listened to his logic that the Devonshire’s weren’t what they truly seemed. Her question with the media spin and sparkles that every rich illustrious family put on who was? As she bit her lip listening to him spinning. Dani taught her how to spot someone trying to switch up that situation and she was all about the facts. Whatever Zerick was on about he was enjoy the mystery of who he was. Not only that but this drama was getting old. Zerick seem sincere but he was still lying. Something in her bones told her that because that shady glimmer in his eyes weren’t gone. Finding out that he was just playing with her like the prey stung. That meant that all he was better than she thought. Not that her affair wasn’t public knowledge but he knew and that made her feel uncomfortable. What else did he know and just play off? Exactly who was she dealing with.

That’s when she figured out how she was going to find out the mystery of Zerick Westwood. “Lowell plucked Simon, Dani, and myself from obscurity and made us very powerful and young. I also saw how he threw away everyone for his children. I have no problem figuring out how not be another body in the wake. I do want you to know that if I betray Lowell and the Devonshire’s you and me. It’s you and me because these people have been family to me and hurting them isn’t something I’m taking lightly. I don’t want to leave them as just a mistake, I want to leave playing the game the correct way.” Talia said calmly as her tears were dried up. You see if he wanted her to be the eyes, she’d also be watching him. She’d never betray Lowell and her friends but he didn’t know that and he wouldn’t know until he revealed exactly. “I’m betting on you.” She smiled looking into his eyes as she hopped onto the desk and smirked. Wrapping her arms around him now that she was taller. “So eventually it’s us against them right?”

“Lowell likes to line up his pawns.” Zerick bit out at her that was something everyone knew how he plucked people for his own good, how he manipulated with them big dreams and goals. Only to often at times take that away from them. Shaking his head he knew that for now that was all he could say about it to her, there were bigger things at stake and he had to get her out of his office to make sure the next phase went how he needed it too. “I don’t want you to do anything that you are not comfortable with doing.” He said that was honesty on his part he did care about Talia in a way he didn’t care about Greer that was the one flaw in his plan Talia seemed to get him. Walking to his desk he pulled the hair over her ear and looked at her. “Then bet on me in a few weeks love.”

Zerick leaned down kissing her lips for a moment, just to see what it felt like. It was just like it was in Egypt full of mystery and longing and before he lost himself in that he pulled back. He would take her eventually perhaps when the dust settled and she learned about everything but for now it was better to keep her at an arm’s length let her know that he did want that with her just when it was the right time. “Eventually it will be me and you I promise you that for now I need to make sure I have what I need in a divorce from Greer. I know that hurts you Talia but she can’t hold the power over me if I were to take you to bed now. Soon it will all be over and we can take this on together. Lowell has hurt so many, he will give Chauncey what he wants with Greer. I refuse to expose you to that or his wrath when it does happen.” Zerick said pulling away from her and going behind his desk pulling out the files from his meeting with Rainer and Lowell staring at the pages.

Talia heart was pounding intensely about what just happened. She had become a triple spy. You see in her Jane Bond mind state she was at first sent to find out who Zerick was. Then he tried to trick her with his sexy Bond boy body and killer smile. God he was so handsome with that old school James Dean thing with his brooding. Then she joined a team with Simon to figure out who Zerick and that festering bitch Greer was. Only to fear what exactly happened. They hit a dead end with a creepy adopted sister who creeped her out. Now she was going to pretend to be on Zerick side to find out what side he was on in the first place. Triple spy and it was scary as hell. This man who she was so enamored with had a big hate on for Lowell and all things Devonshire. Not only that he was ruthless it was oozing off of him now. So was that the game? Get Greer to infiltrate Chauncey’s loins so she could take on DGI? Talia tried to hide what he just said but her eyes started to burn again. This time it was with tears because she was falling for someone clearly who she didn’t know and what damage was he here to cause. Clearing her throat she shook her head.

“I’m going to ride out whatever is coming with you.” Talia looked at him as she walked to her purse. “I gotta go but um Zerick don’t hurt me and don’t have me waiting. I am the girl who is obsessed with fashion and clothes material things but I don’t put a price tag on my heart. That is for free and for you if you choose. Whatever this whole thing is with you. I’m offering something so much more to you because I’m falling again and I can’t stop it. I don’t want to stop it but you are dark and twisty and unpredictable Zerick.” Talia bit down on her lip as she exhaled running her hands through her hair. Tears once again ran down face out of confusion. “I’m offering me and that’s all I have. You are mad and angry at the world right now and giving you healing with my heart. So either sit in the darkness or let’s go. Divorce her and let’s get away Zerick we can because I believe. I believe you’re a great man and the guy I could spend forever with but um.” She stopped because the words just couldn’t come out. “But you fix this whatever it is. Fix because I’m can’t wait much longer and won’t. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Talia.” Zerick said glancing up at her for a quick moment before turning his attention back to the paperwork. If he didn’t sit behind the desk he was certain that she wouldn’t leave or he wouldn’t let her leave so it was best for them that he did. Taking a few breaths as he realized that everything had almost come undone he reached under his desk applying his fingers just right into the side to open up the compartment. The files were not safe here anymore just like they weren’t at home. Taking out his phone he texted a confidant contact.

You owe me I will be stopping by tonight I have something I need you to hold it is the uppermost importance.


The mansion looked so empty, after all this time. She’d forced all her children away. Touching the marble table she adjusted the flower vase. Touching her pendant it was made of the gold of her great-grandparents wedding band. Walking to the kitchen the silence was deafening as her heart started to beat. Rushing to the fridge she pulled out a bottle of vodka from the freezer. Grabbing the bottle she drank directly from it. Sending all the staff home might have been a mistake. She just wanted a moment to think in peace. A moment to finally dissect what had happened. Yes she was a drunk and she was a drunk all alone. Throwing her head back she started to gasp a little. The years with Steven weren’t spent always pinning for Walter. It was subtle changes that Steven did that broke them. At first it was the hookers, then the personal affairs, and then the gambling. Steven gambled almost their entire fortune away. Brenda did all she could. She did all she could truly to save a marriage that wasn’t meant to be saved.

Exhaling she walked through the hollow echoes of the long halls. A laugh escaped her lips as she looked at a family portrait. Brooke was sick, Hunter wanted to be a hip-hopper, and Anderson her beloved boy was the perfect one. He kept them all together as she panic that Steven wasn’t going to show up. It was when she was alone the aching of all of her sins came back. Lowell helped her all those years ago. Her judgement was askew thinking Lowell would ever help freely after he betrayed Walter. Brenda ached for her child when she was alone. Where was she? What had she become? Could she be a mother now. Brooke was always so special because she thought God had punished her. Never giving her another daughter until the end. Her lip quivered as she walked around the corner. Her bedroom it was chilling as she looked at the door. She conceived some of her children. Clasping the vodka bottle she chugged it as she threw her head back. Pulling the bottle close to her chest Brenda gasped a little.

Slowly walking through the long halls of the manor she saw Brooke room empty. Then it was Hunter’s directly across and down the hall Anderson. All of their rooms empty. Brenda slumped down as she took another drink. Slinking down the wall she dug into her pocket of her pants sliding her finger. “Okay Google call Walter.” Looking down at the phone calling him she felt the need to be needed again. Then she hung up scared to make the first move. How could Anderson just move? How could Hunter just not visit? Where was Brooke? Did nobody need her? She wanted her other child since her three others weren’t paying her any attention. As she picked herself with a renewed purpose. She was going to find her other child. That’s when she heard a noise in Brooke’s room. Opening the door she twisted the cap on the bottle and held it up brandishing it as a weapon. When she opened the bathroom door she shrieked loudly seeing Valentina Ruiz.

“My God child I was ready to kill you.” She said placing the bottle down and almost feeling the need to hide it. No doubt Brooke told her that she had a drinking problem but it wasn’t any of their business. She was a highly functioning drunk as they called it. Deep down in her heart she often seen as the villain but she was really the hero. If everyone knew what every one of their parents went through in Atlas Falls for their legacies.

Val had taken to exploring the house after she and Brooke returned and Brooke told her she was going out likely to Ronan of all people. She got the forbidden angle don’t get her wrong every woman wanted a bad boy at some point in their life but there was bad boy and then mobster. She just didn’t want Brooke to be hurt again like she had been with Atticus only worse and she got that Brooke was trying to whole independent girl thing with her mother right now after her father’s death. Wandering had caused her to go to the upstairs wing where Brooke’s room was and began to go through the closet. She wanted to check out the competition and help out Brooke with her wardrobe to promote her pieces. She had just turned around to go back and get her notebook for sketches when the door flew open and she came face to face with Brenda and a bottle aimed at her head.

“Holy shit! Mrs. Kincaid I didn’t hear you coming I am so sorry.” Val said looking at her when she saw Brenda lowering the bottle and her heart rate began to decrease. She knew about Brenda and the bottle it wasn’t like Brooke kept that secret from her they were best friends. She looked at Brenda and wondered if she was plastered yet or how much it actually took to get Brenda drunk. It would be fun to see her sloshed in the very least Brooke said she was a riot when that happened. “Brooke said I could look through her closet and I thought she let the staff know I was here. I really didn’t mean to scare you thanks for letting me know she was in trouble. She’s been so closed off since her father died and I had no idea about Ronan till you called.”

“Well dear you had to find out someway considering that Brooke is stuck on Ronan. I had to tell someone to shake some sense into that blonde head of hers. Mark my words men like Ronan love conquest and Brooke is Aphrodite to him. Forbidden fruit a woman he was never meant to have.” Brenda said looking at the mirror as she smiled at Val. Putting the bottle down she hugged the young girl who had befriended Brooke during her travels in world. She even told her how much Atticus was a jerk to her daughter. One way or another she’d do something to get Brooke back on the right track.

“Sit I can help you upgrade her wardrobe. Sometimes I wonder if Brooke insists on following my footsteps. She is going to end up with her heartbroken.” Twisting her diamond bracelet. “Also you can have a sip.” Passing her the bottle. “I’m going to tell you a story about a girl like Brooke she wasn’t as rich but she was beautiful. Oh stunning blonde like Brooke who could have been a model and was equally cunning as her beauty. She had the world in her hands and she had two men in her arms. Oh I was a catch Valentina in my day. It was Brooke’s father Steven rich and smart oh he was smart Val and was rich. Then there was Walter who was my love from my childhood and I often wonder if I dodged a bullet or lost my soulmate. I guess you can say it’s DA Braden Fraiser fault I didn’t pick Walter. I walked away because I thought it was the right. Well I married Steven and I regret nothing but Walter. I don’t want Brooke to marry her Steven where the youth is full of passion and her twilight years are alone. Men like Ronan and my late husband burn brightly and burn out even faster. If she doesn’t get away the passion and love  will swallow her.” Taking the bottle back she gulped. “You see Atlas Falls is cursed. All history repeats itself.”

Val took a seat on Brooke’s bed as Brenda all but breezed in and started to talk about things like legacy and Atlas Falls culture. Not that she was well versed in it it wasn’t like she was born there or anything the story though was interesting. Forbidden love tampered with being torn between two men it was a timeless love story and she wasn’t sold on that being Brooke’s story just yet with Ronan she hadn’t even met the man yet. That she was going to reserve judgement for until she had met him, he could rub her the same way that Atticus did and if he did she wouldn’t have a problem speaking up. She watched as Brenda went through the closet and could imagine her back in the day the best clothes and things draped on her, she was still timeless in her mind and Brooke got her amazing bone structure from her mother. Everyone now knew about the love triangle she was talking about her, Walter and Steven it had been the talk of gossip rags for months ever since that debate where all her dirty laundry was spilled.

“Brooke is Brooke Brenda you know her she’s going to do what she wants and when she wants that may include being with Ronan right now, she’s young you were young once. I don’t think Brooke’s thinking about marrying Ronan anytime soon if you know what I mean. I do think that she means it when she’s taking it slow.” Val said taking the bottle from her and taking a small sip almost spitting it out how old was that shit? Wiping her mouth she thought about taking the drink away from Brenda but Brooke had warned her that could get ugly fast. When her phone buzzed she looked at the text her eyes widening a little before looking back at Brenda. “I don’t know when Brooke will be back if you want to know the truth. She said she was stepping out to run and see Ronan and I didn’t have the heart to tell her not to go. She seems really in love with him.”

“She is.” Brenda said sadly as she took a long gulp of liquor. “I hate myself sometimes for not picking the one who would stay. I always knew Steven had a roving eye for Jacqueline it was who his parents wanted for him. Jackie Devonshire was always the most uptight bitch you’ve ever seen. But she was gloriously beautiful but so in love with this guy you may have heard of him he had a lot of financial windfalls in the eighties, Lowell Devonshire.” Grabbing a luxurious green gown that she still could wear she smirked. “Oh this dress makes me feel young again. I would have worn this to a state dinner and had all those old bitties in a uproar. We were the most fashionable couple you could find. Have you met him and seen them together? Oh they look beautiful don’t tell her I said that. They have old glamour that isn’t around anymore.” Undoing her dress it fell to the floor and Brenda placed the dress on. “Val this is beautiful did you make it?” She asked softly touching the sequin and obviously hand beading.

“I just miss my family being safe as much as I hate Steven it wasn’t always hate it was love. It was so much love and fun times between us. Then he started to gamble, hookers, and everything fell apart. I started an affair and I just see history repeating itself.” Closing her eyes forcing back tears. “Brooke has the entire world in front of her. She’s a very successful model and is so smart that it scares me. It scares me she doesn’t care how violent the world she’s stepping into. How many wives and family members of the mob have been taken apart thrown away in a jail and never thought of again. I don’t want when Ronan becomes a hasbeen my daughter is thrown away. Is miserable because she loved a man who will leave. They always leave Valentina.” Taking another gulp of the vodka she passed the bottle back to her. “Drink kid.”

Val was caught up in the story Brenda weaved a good one the glamour of the early days with the high society parties of the upper crust the power and intrigue with it. Honestly the eighties around Atlas Falls had been the talk of gossip among designers for years. Who was fuckign who, what couture they were wearing at the time, the shady deals that were dealt in the silks and the lace. “I did hand beaded that in Paris felt Brooke would look beautiful in it. Everyone talks about what you all wore back then even now some of the best styles and designers not to mention the rest of the gossip.” Val said taking the bottle and another small sip looking at him she looked at Brenda how in the hell did she and Brooke wear the same size at her age? No that it was her business but part of her admired that about her.

When she talked about safety Val knew that although it was a matter of breaking the girl code trust she looked at Brenda understanding the issues about safety. That was her biggest concern was that Brooke would get hurt either emotionally or physically with Ronan something she didn’t want to happen. Brooke would always be her girl but hearing Brenda talk about love and betrayal where men were concerned made her sad and knew what she had to do in order to help Brenda and Brooke at the same time. Brenda was worried about her daughter and Brooke was crazy in love blind to what she felt was the dangers. “Brooke’s not coming back tonight or I don’t know if she is again. She texted me Mrs. Kincaid and said that she was going to stay with Ronan. She’s my best friend and I probably shouldn’t tell you that but I worry about her with him. With the life he leads and if you can step in somehow with the police or something I don’t know. I just wanted to let you know.” Val whispered stepping back from Brenda knowing that it was done she had told Brenda about Brooke and Ronan. Picking up her phone she looked at Brenda’s crumbling face before walking out of the room knowing she did the right thing for Brooke’s safety.

Brenda had a much bigger plan to rid Atlas Falls from the reign of Ronan Madden. Brenda just felt like collapsing right there. What else could she do? Brooke was an adult and she’d gone as far as ordering a hit on Ronan. She wanted him out of her daughter’s life and she couldn’t do it. Somehow she’d have to figure out a way. It had been so long since she had resorted to this. She would have to if it called for it. Her other side had been tucked away. Brenda was always so prim and proper but Brooke wanted to be bold. So she’d have to be just as bold. “Valentina you were such a pleasant surprise and you coming to town for your friend is just what she will need soon. I’m going to find Brooke and when she comes back she’ll have nothing in her disposal. Only the little thousand dollar gigs she books with modeling. The Dior, chanel, Prada, Gucci, Marchesa, and so on will be stripped away. When I you see Brooke she won’t have access to all this fabulous things. You see for once I think it’s time for me to show my beloved girl what it means to be cut off.”

Brenda swiftly walked out of Brooke’s closet, then moments later returned snatching the green dress. “That little bitch wants to be grown. I brought her into the highlife I can take her out.” Brenda rushed down the hall grabbing the phone. “Get me the cleaning service and I want everyone back at the estate. We are boxing up Ms. Kincaid things and shipping them to Ronan Madden mansion. I no longer want her in my home. Remove every picture of Brooke from this house. She’s dead to me.” Hanging up her antique copper phone she leaned back. “I have only one daughter and that’s the one I gave up all those years ago.” Picking the phone back up. “Anderson when  you get this message call me. I’m kicking Brooke out. Hunter is dating another Devonshire and I’m drunk and alone. Please I need my eldest boy the strongest boy.”


Cassie looked over some of the last documents she had to sign about the the club in front of her, her father’s lawyer had taken care of everything accordingly. She then had to deal with the other emotion that was overcoming her how Jon was with Skye that part was still baffling her. She didn’t tell him that they couldn’t be together but she didn’t expect him to just jump back into bed with Skye either. Taking a sip of the cabernet that was in front of her she looked back on how dumb she had been when Thor had proposed to her and she turned him down because of a fleeting feeling she was feeling for a charming cop. There were other reasons she turned Thor down of course mainly his dangerous connection to the mob and an all out war with Ronan.

She heard the knock at her door and got up from the table carrying her wine glass with her, when she looked through the peephole she saw Thor there with his guards a safe distance away. She knew that now that things were over for her and Jon now she couldn’t avoid him any longer and opened the door. “Thor hi. Come on in. I was just thinking about you.” She said smiling at him and stepping to the side to let him in, and she couldn’t help but stare at him stopping the guards from following. “That’s really not necessary is it Thor? They can wait outside go to the lobby or something this building has some of the best security in the city.”

Sometimes Ronan was good for something. Seeing how protective and efficient he was about Brooke. Well it showed him what he had to do. What he had to do to win Cassie back if that’s was in the cards. Thor had always been a gambling man and the risk was always better than the reward. It was putting yourself on the line and tonight that was what he was going to do. He was going to follow her lead and show her that he could be the rock that Cassie needed. Not a flakey cop who seemed to never get her complexities anyway. If he she could sometimes confide in him some about her fears. He could ease some of them. That didn’t mean he wasn’t going to get shot and killed one day. What it meant was that she had to trust what they had. As the limo pulled up Starling Condos he waited as the driver opened the door. Following him were four guards with Kendrick and Ronan free he couldn’t be too sure.

Thor stood looking at Cassandra as he smirked nodding his head his men to go downstairs. This felt far too familiar in the best way possible. As he removed his arm from behind his back, which held a single rose. “For the beauty.” He said with a charming smile on his face. Carla always said that women would sell their souls for his dimples. So today Thor was using his dimples as he handed her the rose. “Look I’m only here to check on you considering that we both know that Kendrick was threatening us all. Plus I heard that sketchy ass cop dumped you and is humping Skye now.” Sucking his teeth he plopped on the couch as he grabbed a pillow. “Since you are utterly unlikable and have no girlfriends I’m here and I’m here to listen. You want to punch the wall, or scream, or egg his car I’m in. I’m your accomplice tonight.”

Cassie took the rose from him and smiled letting him in they’d been friends for years and lovers too, she had to let out a laugh at his statement about her not having girlfriends it was true. She hadn’t had one of those in a very long time, most of them would backstab you in a heartbeat to get your man and the cattiness that came with it. She got enough of that from the women that stuck around Thor when they were together or recently Skye with Jon. Not that she was a saint no she had bigger plans for Skye down the line especially with what she said about her mother, classless bitch. Jon not waiting had stung though and as she saw Thor enter and look around her place she grabbed a second glass pouring him a glass too. They’d done this before comfort each other at their lowest when they needed it. Walking to the couch she sat down taking a drink of her glass while she handed him his.

“I think I’ve got over the embarrassment you know if that is what you are asking. You know me and why I can’t have girlfriends it’s because what I have planned for her, it’s very lady like. I thought about doing something like that you know going to his house and egging it or making a scene it’d give her some sort of satisfaction. No I want her to think she has won.” Cassie said shooting her eyes over at Thor seeing his face break out in a grin, that was why she couldn’t do the girlfriend shit. She was too vindictive for it and the moment one of them betrayed her she threw a pillow at him as she pulled her feet up under her legs. “As for Kendrick I’m fine I called my father, you’re not the only one that has security when needed. He can’t hurt me or get me and I think he’s more after your side of things. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but for once I wish your brother was out to deal with the problem so to speak.”

Thor caught the pillow and laughed a little as he looked at Cassie folding his arms. When she said that her father was protecting her he knew she was safe. For a moment he felt like they were young again. The truth was far more complex than fiction after all they weren’t together. He remembered his summer in Brussels with Forbes the man was quite a presence. Something he did like was that he never buckled against Lowell or the elite. Nor did he look down at his family’s business. In fact he respected the grind that his mother did. Forbes told him that he was one of his mother’s best customers all he could do was laugh. At one point his mother and the B-Agency was one of the most elite hookers in the game. He didn’t tell Cassie anything about Forbes upfront and rather boldness in fact it bonded them even deeper.

“I get the feeling Ronan is going to strike and when he does nobody is safe. Ronan is pissed someone tried to kill him in jail. It kind of woke me up what if my brother and I don’t repair our relationship before one of us.” He paused looking into her eyes. “I’m not here for that though so you are planning a sneak attack. That’s even more fun considering I can’t think of anything more. Cassie how about we work together? You want to get Skye away from Jon and I want you to know you don’t have to ever do that for some guys. I’ll offer up my services. I’ll seduce Skye away from Jon and you can have the lowly cop? Deal see it’s all figured out.” Thor said with a sexy voice. “If I seduce her though I do get to do something, you see if I seduce her you have to let me tell Jon everything. Every damn detail I get to let seer into Jon’s already troubled psyche.”

“The girls at the club are scared and you know that Philip and I never wanted that shit and neither did your brother but Kendrick there’s something inside of him Thor. Darkness, I’ve seen that before in men and the way he’s trying to throw his power around right now is dangerous and I worry about them.” Cassie said if stepping away from the club was anything it was that she worried about the strippers there especially the non dealers and the dealers. Some of the girls were really talented and they could be doing anything than turning a trick or two at the club it was no secret that some crazy shit went down sexually at the club but that was consensual. There wasn’t anything about it now that was under Kendrick. “You are here for that Thor if you weren’t you would have just called. I know your mother dying rocked you and we pulled apart but I never wanted you and Ronan to fight about it with trying to kill each other. I care about you too much to be that woman with you.”

Sliding down the couch she sat next to him it was the first time they’d really talked about him and Ronan without some insane screaming match and she got that now. He was still hurting from how his mother was killed and the why still blaming Ronan. Even though she knew deep down he didn’t mean it. “You’d be willing to bed Skye so that I could get Jon what an interesting proposition. I hear she’s into sharing I’m not quiet sure that is up your ally now is it? I remember that one time with us and we weren’t even together and you found out I was fucking that reporter. Let’s just say you have a temper when you feel connected to someone. How do I know that won’t happen again? I want to hurt them both for making a fool of me does that make me a bad and evil woman or person?”

Thor was silent as he thought about his parents and now the only family member he had. Ronan didn’t deserve his blind rage back then maybe they all wouldn’t be dealing with a club out of control. He didn’t need anything else to stress about but something about Ronan intrigued him. It was the fact that he had their father in his life and it wasn’t just a drop by dad. He wasn’t the exact opposite as the guy. He understood the life they lived and sometimes he wanted to reach out to his brother. Looking at his old friend and nodded slowly. “Look when Ronan comes home I assure you the war is over and I also assure that Kendrick won’t be around much longer. His little powerplay was a very disrespectful show of arrogance and that will get him in the ground. Those girls don’t deserve to come into work and know if they’ll be killed or beaten. They are scared and that darkness goes around a long way Cassie. It spreads like cancer and I just hope that nobody else is infected unfortunately for Mr. Watkins he’s a example to show how dark Ronan will be.”

As he sat back and thought about what he was proposing he smiled widely. “Feelings are something I only retain for redheads. You are worried I’ll stop being your best friend and fall under the spell of Skye? Oh I won’t she’s not my type, pretty and selfish. She left Jon and Jackson after she napalmed their lives. Jackson ended up in rehab and the good officer was placed in a psychiatric hospital if I recall idle gossip. Look I’m going to help you out. You don’t want me but for some reason you want that goodie. That’s fine but I’ll prove it to you how much of a waste of time he is. When he finds out about me and Skye he’s going to break. See I want to show you whatever field I’m in Cassie I’m here for you. So if I have to bed the eternally annoying Skye that’s fine. She’s a challenge because she thinks she’s gotten everything she wants in Jon. I feel it coming a fun time but when I wipe him clear and show you and prove to you that Jonnyboy is not worthy I want my shot.” Touching her hair moved closer to her. Placing his face right by hers. “And when I’m done the mob thing will not be between us. Ronan would love a stronger foothold. How does that sound? You work Jon, I work Skye and when we destroy them we have our time finally.”

Looking over at Thor she was happy to hear that his feud with Ronan would be over that was something that had disturbed her about being with Thor. Maybe perhaps she had made a mistake now looking back at everything that had happened between them recently she had pushed him away. She wondered if it was regret now that was settling in with her to say not to his proposal or how they ended. On the other hand had none of it happened she and Jon would have never met or got close, or had that amazing night together where she believed it was something more between them. She felt like an idiot sometimes with it all which only made everything even more confusing. She was glad to hear about Kendrick though that he was going to pay for everything that he had been doing since Ronan had been gone. She knew what that would be and knowing it was going to happen for some reason filled her with a happiness she knew that she shouldn’t feel towards another human. Kendrick had a family like anyone else but what he had been doing she wanted him to pay for it.

Cassie leaned into his touch and she wasn’t sure why Thor always did that with her got her in her guts, he was her best friend first and more than that she did love him just she felt for Jon too. She was worried about the Skye situation how fast Skye would swing men to her side on a whim and bewitch them into her bed and looking over at him she couldn’t help but wonder about that now. It took Jon what moments to fall back under Skye’s spell how long before Thor would be under too. It was a risk she was willing to take it if meant seeing the bitch knocked down a peg or two and maybe Jon would prove Thor and her wrong afterall. “Then yes let’s do it. I want her to hurt no matter what she offers you. Use her the best way you know how and you know and you and I both know you know how to use a woman make her feel so wanted only to fuck her over. It’s what makes you you and I think it is about time she got a taste of her own medicine. More wine?” Cassie asked pulling back from him knowing what she was doing setting up both Jon and Skye and she vowed Jon would never know.

“Actually no more wine.” Thor said standing looking at Cassie. “I have to go considering I’m sure Skye has some secrets up her sleeves and I want to know them. That’s how you seduce you get trust. Look I agreed to this for you but don’t forget while working Jon how much I’m here for you. It was hard to my ego that you just up and walked away from me. That you just cut me off for that cop. Look no matter what if we are lovers or friends Cassandra I’m in your world. I’m apart of you because you are my best friend. You are my girl and I’m here for you huh? So even if we aren’t hitting the sheets I need you in my life. Even if you are right and I can’t listen to reason. Even if I’m so angry because I lost my one and only parent. I mean you lost Audrey and now I don’t have Carla or my dad. My father was well a non factor all I have is you kid.” Thor leaned down and kissed Cassie’s forehead.

“So I’m going to leave I have to do a little snooping on Skye.” As he walked out her apartment. He saw Bruno standing with a bouquet of red rose. Taking them out of his hands he placed them in front of Cassie door. “What? Don’t look at me like that. I’m helping a friend and that is all. Come on I have a steak at La Callie with my name on it. You can sit in the car because of that look.”


Rory had better be good to her. Tess slowly strode into the elevator of the Starling. Never wanting him to believe that she was nothing more than a one night stand. Unfortunately for him he’d laid with a snake and she was slithering all through his life. Wearing a dress that was to die for she didn’t look a day over forty. With a mink draping all over the floor as she turned to elevator operator, tipping him as she entered. Taking off her sunglasses she opened her Dior clutch she placed them inside. Getting off on the 21st floor she laughed was Rory even twenty-one? Surely he was if not more power to her for bedding such a young a viral man. Knocking on the door she adjusted her breast and threw her hair back. For years she was told that she wasn’t good enough it was that burning passion that reverberated through her. Revenge was a sneaky thing her father told her that she couldn’t fix herself by breaking someone else. Anchoring her feet she knocked on the door this was her attempt to play the game. Poor child didn’t know that he was about to be used as the ultimate game piece.

As far a Lowell, he didn’t get to use her and dispose of her. Tess knew she had ice in her veins and one day she was going to hurt him even more than he did her. She didn’t keep Bliss away but her secrets were enough to cripple a man who she knew loved her. Not only that she took his son to bed and that was only the first move against Lowell. Knocking on the door again all she could think about was what he was going to do when he found out. That’s when it hit She was ready to dig her own grave right along with Lowell. She wanted to strip him systematically from the things he loved. Turn them against each other and no matter how much love between them all they’d parish. Tess was after more than the company she was after hurting him just as she was. Her heart was pitch black and she was ready to dig her grave to bury him.

“Rory open this door now or I’ll make a scene! Trust me darling I’m not looking for a repeat a little too fast even though the rejuvenation period is much shorter.” She seethed. “Now open up!”

Rory stepped out of the shower flipping the screen open on his phone looking at the bruise on the side of his ribs from the beatdown Kendrick’s goons gave him. They fucking hurt and he checked his messages hoping for something from Yasmine what was going on? He got that she was scared of the shit at the club but banning him was confusing to say the least and she always called on a break or texted unless things had gotten bad inside? He shook his head slipping on a pair of pajama bottoms and a tshirt when the fucking doorbell rang, he thought about ignoring it only the old hag’s voice came through the second time. It was a fucking mistake and he wasn’t going to repeat that again, he wasn’t wasted this time and it wasn’t a booty call. When she didn’t stop he walked to the door pissed off he didn’t need the neighbors nosey asses all over it either, for fucks sake his mind was not on Tess. He was more worried about Yasmine and what was going on at the club than he was about her right now.

“What do you want Tess?” Rory said opening the door and looking at her, granted now that he was sober he wasn’t an idiot she had work done no doubt to compete with the younger women. Seeing that she wasn’t moving out of the doorway and seemed to not want to move either he moved to the side to let her in refusing to let her in anymore than in the foyer. Closing the door behind her he crossed his arms. “I thought you’d get the hint after texting me I’m not interested in a repeat of me drunk off my ass at my parents party again. Seriously what do you want this. time I have better things to worry about at the moment than what you think happened between us. I’ve never regretted anything more than I do sleeping with you.”

Tess slowly walked around Rory knowing that he was uncomfortable with her even being in his presence. That was a good sign he didn’t want anyone to know about their tryst which made it all the better. Her mind was working overtime as she finally sat down on his plush leather couch and looked at him. “You know when your father was younger he had much better way with women. You are quite rude to have me waiting but since you want to get down to business, that’s exactly why I’m here, business. Your app is said to revolutionize social media and downloading music. Sharing your thoughts right along with your favorite songs. It’s the exact type of project that Bliss needs to be involved in. I think you are onto something large and a luxury brand is cute but DGI is so much more than that. My daughter needs a piece of pie and you have kindly denied her access. That changes today or I’ll reveal everything to your mother at our next charity gala.” Tess hissed as she looked at him.

“Now that I’ve gotten your attention I’ll be damned if I’m ignored by you little Lowell.” Looking around at his bar he saw a bottle of champagne. She stood and walked to his cabinet going through a few she found a decent glass. Pouring herself a glass she laughed. “Oh you are pinning after the stripper this is funny. Darling I could introduce you to one of many grand socialites but that just won’t do Rory. I won’t allow you to continue to embarrass yourself because unlike you I’ve dealt with miscreants like young Jasmine. That’s her name right Jasmine she seems like a stunning woman but know Rory a street rat can only be street trash. Once a guttersnipe always a guttersnipe.” Tess gulping down the wine. “Warm and flat.”

“My father liked his women as secret whores Tess I wouldn’t brag about that. Regardless you and I really don’t have anything to talk about in that way anymore what we did was a mistake I wasn’t even sober. You know me screaming out the name of another woman should have told you that.” Rory said rolling his eyes at her as she made her way to his wet bar and the champagne that he had been saving for him and Yasmine when they were finally out of the mess with the club and Kendrick. He declinecd to drink with her when she started talking about the app he started to listen to her he was waiting for his moment in the spotlight. Chauncey had his, Jackson had his and he didn’t know when the girls would but he would wait till the perfect moment. “Exactly Tess it’s my app. I’m not interested in sharing it with Bliss sorry. She’s doing her own stuff that should be enough for her to make an impression which is what father instructed us.”

“Her name is Yasmine Tess it’s not Jasmine no she’s much sweeter than a flower. It must sting doesn’t it that like my father I don’t really want you. Is that how he was when you constantly went back to my mother while you what was the word you just used pinned for him?” Rory said with a laugh looking at her face that showed it all what she was feeling being used by her father. The anger that she still had for his father was all over her face and he had to kinda feel bad for her when it happened. “Face it Tess you’re old and washed up blackmailing me for what revenge against my father? Who is he going to believe at the end of the day his old lover or his son? Then there is Bliss how would see feel about that you fucking her half brother? My mom would wipe the floor with you and Yasmine I don’t think would ever believe you.”

“But what if I had proof?” Tess said lying through her teeth but he wouldn’t know. He fairly remembered her night. He thought she was just a threat and she wasn’t going to unleash hell them. A piece of her heart ached when he saw her insecurities and pain. It was raw Lowell had betrayed her far too many times. The life she lived in her twenties, thirties, and late forties was all due to him. He made her a pariah in her own family home. Since the day she was born she’d ire looking for the true love. Lowell promised one day it would be her time. A time that she needed if she was going to get a happy ending. Her father death and mother’s illness put her right back where she belonged but she wasn’t here for Lowell just throwing them away. Her lip quivered as she stepped to the door. “One way or another I’ll get my revenge. Do you know what he did to me and Bliss. Forgotten afterthoughts to you kids and Jackie. I have no doubt that I’ll still have what is determined for me. I’ll still one day be Ms. Lowell Devonshire because I’m going to break you all brick by brick. Trust me especially you the arrogance you show and shape up because you’ve entered the big leagues kid.” Tess said slowly walking to a picture of Yasmine.

“Quite beautiful she is, I would never thought you’d go so ethnic. She has that exotic thing going for her. I wonder how much she can handle. You see she’s already in deep as a stripper but when she steps into the world of a debutante the fun begins. Oh I can see it now Eliza Doolittle transformed into a class act. You don’t fool me Rory you’re in love with the idea of transforming her into the perfect woman. News flash Mr. Devonshire nobody will ever and I mean nobody will ever be good enough for your father.” She hissed as she looked at Rory. “I have a secret and I assure you when it’s revealed your father will lose your mother all over again. He’s already this close and me sleeping with you well that should ruin your parents marriage and you’ll be the blame. You see I’m going for maximum carnage and when this tryst is revealed well. Tsk tsk Mr. Devonshire can you imagine when I throw in your mother’s face.” Walking to his fruit bowl she picked up a cherry and took one. “Delicious someway or somehow I’m going to annihilate your family. Be prepared young Lowell.”

Rory felt his blood go cold when she said she had proof what in the hell had he gotten himself into, it was one stupid drunken mistake it wasn’t like he had a full on affair with the old hag. In some ways he felt bad for Tess and Bliss in others it aggravated him to no end how little respect his father had for his very own mother in the matter. Looking at himself in the mirror horror passed inside of his bones that he was becoming his father, he always swore he would never be him when it came to women and now he’d hurt Yasmine in the worst possible way. On top of all the shit they were dealing with at the club, he had broken his promise to her that he wouldn’t be the other assholes in her life. Rory walked to the fruit bowl taking it back from her as she kept spewing the venom that she was almost like she had won or something and he shook his head. His parents didn’t approve of Yasmine what else was new? It wasn’t like recently any of them were falling into line with who their parents wanted them to be with and he wasn’t conforming.

“My father would never and I mean never divorce my mother you’re fucking crazy if you think that is how it will work out. If he didn’t all those years ago when you spread your legs hoping he would what makes you think he will now? Leave me and Yasmine alone Tess it won’t end well for you and you want to know why? Even if you broke us apart I’d never fuck you again just like my father won’t.” Rory spat out placing the fruit bowl down as he watched the hurt pass on her face everyone thought he was so timid sometimes, they always forgot he was part of his father too. Walking to her he grabbed her arm as he looked at her so full of hate. “You think because Yasmine is black that means you get to talk shit about her in my house? Get the fuck out and you know what I hope my mother wipes the floor with you. You see deep down I’m not the only one to lose everything if this ever came out am I? You’d lose Bliss and any chance of reconciliation you had with her.” Letting go of her arm he walked to the door opening it up for her. “I mean it get out and don’t come back or text or call Tess.”

“When I’m done they’re going to be divorced. Who said I want his ass? If and I mean if it does come out I assure you Rory, I’ll keep my Blissy and since your beloved father isn’t powerful enough to fuck with diplomatic immunity me getting Fox back is my ticket.” Tess hissed as she looked at Rory who seemed to be thinking that this was on his terms. “Oh Rory you really don’t know how this works do you? I’m going to dismantle your family and for fun I’m going to take on the stripper because as long as I’m in Atlas Falls you two won’t be happy. You don’t insult me when you need me. You see I’m going to help you do what none of those sniveling little brats can do. I’m going to help you become CEO of DGI when your father names his successor. However there is a price a big one Rory you will get me into DGI and write off Jackson, Max, Chauncey. You are my inside track handsome boy because I have proof and I’ll blow your little life into pieces.” Tess opened her oversized bag and pulled out a sheer mesh shawl cape.

“That app is your ticket kid. I want in and I’ll get it but you’ll get me in DGI in a much bigger way.” Tying her cape around her she smirked as looked at Rory. “Oh dear if I offended you by saying how beautiful Yasmine is. I don’t mind black darling I do mind tar underneath my shoe. Your father has built a legacy full of pain and suffering but he did it with class. Each of your siblings are doing it with class but you. Even Max who is a dirty little whore but that’s not the point you are bringing trash into a gated community and I just can’t have that.” Sleekly walking away she looked at Rory face. “My third husband was African darling not a racist but we will be in contact. Understand when I call you run or else. I’ll start with Yasmine and keep telling everyone about our night. Or I could show them?” Tess laughed stepping onto the elevator. “Tata young Lowell.”

Rory stood there fuming in his doorway at her what if she really did have some evidence of them together? He didn’t know if he could take that the look on his parents face or Yasmine’s face. He was drunk and hurt at how Yasmine was pushing him away and he made a stupid mistake did that mean he had to give Tess what she wanted? His app was something he had been working on nonstop over the last year in order to prove himself that he was just as capable as the rest of his siblings. Running  hand through his hair he knew that maybe he should call Simon explain damage control early with Tess but if he did that he knew that it could get back to his father. Simon always reported right back to his father, he could swear his face was fuming as he slammed the door and leaned against it. Yasmine would never know, his parents would never know. Walking back to the counter he poured himself a glass of champagne and then went to his laptop work would distract him enough to the point he would wait for Yasmine to call him.


Chauncey flipped on the news in his office going over DGI’s latest defense contract watching the press conference interview with Natasha and his brother. A small smile turned on his lips as one of the reporters asked about the dinner with his parents and him the other night. Natasha’s poised answer only making him even more intrigued about her. She could have thrown his brother under the bus, he would have and the answer was obviously scripted in favor of the joint partnership but her eyes told a very different story. He flipped through the contract taking a drink of his vodka on the rocks on his desk as he saw Greer walking through the hallway no doubt Zerick was still here. He had to admire that walk and then saw her turn the corner to his office, what a bold move for it being so late at night. An office rendezvous was something they hadn’t done propriety and all. She looked amazing when she entered his office and he saw her shut the door behind her.

“Hello Greer. You will be pleased to know that I think things are going our way my father is so focused on the SandStar deal that he won’t see the petition coming. I thought we were going to meet later someone not so public. Not that I’m going to complain but this is quite risky I’m certain that Zerick is still here and I thought you wanted to blindside him?” Chauncey said getting up from his desk as he moved to the open windows to close them. Leaning into her ear his hand slid down her arm as he pressed his lips against her neck. “Do tell how your day was plotting to finally be rid of him I hope?” He could sense something off about her and rubbed his hand on her shoulder. “You seem tense.”

Greer entered DGI and every monitor in the building was on that stupid joint interview. She couldn’t shake the feeling of anger with Jackie, Zerick, and herself. It was awful to have so much built up in her and she needed a honest release. To be honest Greer was sure that she hadn’t felt the sting of love but jealousy. Between Talia sniffing around Zerick and now Natasha who was clearly making a play for a Devonshire to tighten her grip at SandStar. When she entered Chauncey room she wanted to jump his bones just feel better. Just to shake thoughts that she wasn’t good enough for either Zerick or Chauncey. When he pressed his lips on her body tense up as she pulled back. As she bit down on her lip, shaking her head.

Her eyes narrowed as she looked at him. “I can be the answer if you ask the correct question.” Greer lowered her head as she brought her lips to his ear. “I don’t fucking play second to Natasha. I am the number one and I hate her. I hate her and I hate how your mother came to my house and talked to me like common trash. I won’t be second to Zerick or you. Is that clear because I’m not someone who wants to dance with me and the devil. If that’s not you say it now considering I gave you my mind. My dark and twisted mind. I won’t be second not to that bitch, your mother bitch, or any bitch. I’m Greer Westwood and I’m not playing anymore. Understand what I’m saying?”

Chauncey listened to her words wondering what his mother had went to see Greer about to begin with not that it would be the first time. He wasn’t a complete idiot his parents pushed out who they thought wasn’t worth their children’s time. He went to the wet bar pouring her a drink with her demands a slick smile spreading on his lips at her, she certainly had a lot of them. He handed her the vodka as he leaned down and kissed her neck laughing a bit at her moving her braid to the side. Jealousy was a strong emotion that was driving her now which was exactly what he wanted with her, she’d become a little docile for him as of the past few months. Almost as if she didn’t want her role as bad as he did, she kept clinging to Zerick and her life with him expecting him to just wait for her. Natasha was a beautiful woman, a single beautiful woman that was wanting him and he wasn’t tied to anyone thankfully at the moment.

“I never said you were second to her Greer I simply had dinner with her the other night and thought about screwing her while doing it. You make a lot of demands for being a married woman we traded off. I get you in here at DGI, you get your divorce from Zerick but I’m still curious about why you’re dragging your feet on that.” Chauncey said moving his lips up her neck as his hand wrapped around her waist. He wasn’t going to be second either if she wasn’t going to that was hardly what he would call fair. He wasn’t a man that was going to be second to some other man while a woman was between them. He breathed on her neck blowing on that spot behind her ear. “You’re hardly one to make demands about being second when you’re still fucking that husband of yours. You expect not to be second but I’m what lying in waiting while you have your fun?”

Greer gulped down the vodka and then dropped the glass on the floor. She stared in his eyes and wondered if he was serious. Would he truly give her what she wanted? Chauncey adored her and cherished the ground she walked on. Would it not be so bad to be the queen on his throne. With a king who listened and would let her rule with him. She didn’t mean to get lost in the thought of taking over and following through thus betraying Zerick. Her love for Zerick was enough to ruin everything with Chauncey and vice versa. She didn’t know how to feel because she was always fucking contemplating on how to control the next. Taking a deep breath she knew what her next moves would be to show Chauncey she was serious. She wasn’t sure what Zerick plans were after they got DGI. “I take it you think you’re in control of this.” Greer said as her voice crackled with sex.

“However I can see how my reluctance to divorce Zerick is fearful for you.” She removed her wedding ring. “When I go home tonight I’m moving into the country club. It has a exquisite boutique I love there. Or maybe the ski resort? I don’t know Mr. Devonshire but remember when I climb on top I’m the ultimate pleasure. I know your mother can’t stand me but I refuse be second because no matter what.” Greer was speaking breathlessly as she leaned in and kissed his lips. “I’m going to tell you something but you don’t have to respond Chauncey.” She said stroking his face. “I’m falling in love and if I leave and we don’t make it then what am I going to do?” Greer said as she stood up and turned away from him. With a manipulative gleam on her face she turned her head looking lost. “I never would have given myself to you if I didn’t think this was going to be more. I couldn’t be the one to hurt you and I think you’re the one so this is worth it. I just have to know should we end this or let me make the moves to leave him.” Greer really wasn’t sure if she was lying or telling the truth. Guess that’s what made her so convincing. “How do you feel?”

“How do I feel? At the end of the day I feel like I’m finally getting what was always due to me in a few short weeks Natasha will be on the board she already hates my brother, I’ll have you as an ally and the rest can be swayed. Voting out my father will be our greatest achievement.” Chauncey said watching her throw the glass on the ground and then kissing her back her other statement was intriguing love for him. He wanted to love her that wasn’t the problem the problem became when it was loving in return he had way too much of his father in him and sometimes he wondered how his parents had done it over the years. “I feel for you Greer you’re unlike anyone I’ve met before. Love seems like the appropriate word for that at the moment, the problem is how do I know I can trust you?” Chauncey said walking towards her and seeing her pinned against the leather chair in his office.

He leaned into her face tracing his fingers over her her lips and then moving them down her dress teasing her nipples through the fabric of her dress and her bra. He gleamed at her when she let out a whimper and then leaned down running his lips from her earlobe slowly working his hands down her sides and lifting her skirt while his lips settled on her breasts. He bit through the fabric looking at her as his fingers snaked underneath her thong to her lush warm center. “Can I trust you Greer to honor that agreement that you won’t fuck him anymore? That you won’t give this little pussy away to him every night?” Chauncey asked her looking into her eyes while his fingers moved inside of her, he could do it love her if he really believed it was over for her and Zerick. He increased his fingers his cock rubbing against her leg through his slacks wanting her to say it. “Say it that you won’t fuck him again and I’ll give you what you want my mother be damned.”

Greer wanted nothing more than to say that she wouldn’t give into temptation. Zerick was the ultimate treat but when given the choice. It was clear who she had to choose. Chauncey was the power and prestige. No matter what Zerick did he knew that he’d never be a Devonshire. He’d never be Lowell Devonshire spawn and the illustrious privilege that came with it. As she threw her head back in pleasure nodding her head she knew that Chauncey was possessive but this was a turn on. He was actually jealous of Zerick which he’d never admit but this was what it boiled down. “I won’t fuck him anymore. I’m yours.” Greer said in a husky voice full of lust. This was it. This was the big moment. They weren’t just conspirators but they were becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Grabbing his manhood she slowly stroked him. “Now you tell me that this only belongs to me.” Greer said commanding the same respect. If she had to give up Zerick then he’d have to never taste Natasha forbidden fruit. Simple thing was that as prudish as Natasha was, men fell into her lap due to her being closed leg lady that she was. No doubt Chauncey would be indulged to screw her but this would be make or break them. He’d get over the initial betrayal if she delivered him and not her father DGI. You see in this game Greer learned one thing. Her father would slit her throat and Zerick would kill her where she stood if it meant DGI. It was her against them and it didn’t mean she didn’t love them. It meant she was realistic and she wanted to get what was her’s DGI and a happy ending.

Chauncey made his fingers circle just slightly inside of her watching her moan and lean back as she told him she wouldn’t fuck Zerick anymore and he couldn’t help the groan that came out. His hips jerked into her hand through the fabric on his slacks when she began to stroke him demanding he not sleep with Natasha. In truth he wanted Natasha to say that he fucked his abby brother’s business partner and maybe to get back into good standing with his parents. Right now though he wanted Greer more and he nodded his head at her, sitting down on the leather chair he pulled her onto his lap lifting her skirt while he bit her neck. “I won’t fuck her. I am going to fuck you though.”

He leaned into her lips his hands undoing his slacks while he released himself he watched her eye his manhood and eased up into her moaning as he did so. He wasn’t sure what it was about Greer but her body was made to vice around him grabbing her hips he forced her down onto him digging into her channel watching her mouth open, her face etched with pleasure. Leaning up to hear ear he nibbled on her earlobe. “You feel so good and even if you were fucking him earlier I know he can’t do this to you.” Chauncey said exiting her just slightly to slam back into her, circling his hips just slightly to touch her clit, he felt her body stiffen at the motion. He grinned at her watching her trying to control what was going on between them. “You want that again Greer?” Chauncey asked repeating the motion he was going to drive her crazy torturing her until he heard her say it and then he’d let her take control have her way with him, right here in the office for everyone to hear and see.

Greer cried out as he hit her clit almost instantly. Where did he learn that nifty little trick? She knew that her muscles were tight and she instantly squeezed his rhythmic thrust. No he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t just take her too the moon and leave her. Since she could remember every man she loved eternally left her. Her father who she adored deeply had to leave all the time due to him trying to regain power. After losing his role and spot in DGI he was thirsty to return into the limelight. Not only that the jail time he spent for embezzlement it took away. As she started to exhale lightly releasing she felt so many emotions built up. Digging her nails into his back she ran down his back. Then her first love Olivier left her to marry a contessa in Italy. Now Zerick was on the verge of leaving her. Not this time Chauncey wasn’t leaving because their bodies were soulmates. They sexually linked in a ways she wasn’t sure she would with anyone else. Chauncey wasn’t leaving her and she was going to get a Devonshire name.

“Give me the dick Chauncey.” Greer screamed out as she looked deeply into his eyes. “Look at me.” She said leaning in and tongue kissing him wildly. “I love you.” She said it knowing that she wouldn’t take it back now. Knowing that she was going to be on top at the end because Natasha would never fuck him like this. She felt herself getting wetter and wetter because it was intensity between them. “And we are going to take over fucking DGI you hear me.” She screamed out putting her panties in his mouth. Squeezing her muscles against his pulsating manhood she felt his balls swelling.

Chauncey kept going inside of her content to take her over the edge if that is what she wanted he felt her nails digging into his back and his chest through the fabric of his shirt and let out a groan. He’s had women before but Greer always seemed to be on another playing field when it came to sex, that thrilled him. Rocking his hips up into hers as she continued to get wetter his mouth leaned down to her clothed breasts, his hands rubbing her nippled through the fabric till they hardened. Leaning back to give her a different angle when she told him to look at her he couldn’t help the smirk that came out only to have it stopped when her panties were then shoved into his mouth. Still warm from her body and covered in her juices and scent it drove him even more mad. She said those other three words and since his mouth was full of her he couldn’t say anything back but gave a grunt of satisfaction.

He gazed up at her while her cries filled his office and he did have to wonder if the staff was hearing better if Zerick was watching them surely the man had to know they were fucking. He refused to come when she squeezed on him and he slowed down to a stop to prevent it. His thumb circled her clit, as he eased out and slowed back inside of her fucking her nice and slow. His other hand gripped her ass pulling her as tight as he could against his cock and slacks hoping that the sensation and his finger would send her into overdrive. He could tell she was close and pulling her head down to his, he removed her panties long enough to lean into her ear. “I love you too. DGI will be ours.” He didn’t know why he said it before he quickened the pace again wanting her to scream his name loud enough for everyone left at the office to know.

Chauncey!” Greer screamed out as she felt her clit throbbing and her body shivering. She was nearly there as she started to bite his ear. Feeling lost in his words and the feeling. It gave her the deepest pleasure to hear the words. He loved her and she knew it. She knew it that they were connected deeper. Without her knowing she’d made her choice because if Zerick thought he was going to stab her. Her father included because he’d kill for DGI but she had to look out for Greer. Quivering she felt her entire body starting to release her moans becoming more and more rapid. She couldn’t do anything as her body went limp and she cried out as felt warm liquids sliding down her legs. As she sucked on Chauncey neck she threw her head back.

Exhaling losing breath as she looked deeply in his eyes. “Oh my God everyone heard us.” She said quickly rolling down her dress from her waist. As she quickly turned around to see him buckling his pants. “Chauncey I have to go because I have to get out of a marriage. Maybe it’s time to face Jackson and Dani face to face. You see they are shiny and perfect darling it would continuously kill any chance of your dad looking away. The media is behind them and we need the media to not look at us as a tawdry affair. You see its no longer a long con Chauncey it’s coming one of you will be CEO. Accept the crown when it’s time.”

Chauncey kept moving inside of her and when he finally felt her shake his nails dug into her ass when she screamed his name, him moaning while he came inside of her. His body kept going until he felt himself shrinking and she climbed off of him. His head was still spinning from that and he had to smirk when she mentioned that people heard them that was the point. He watched as she pulled her dress down and he wondered for a moment if she was ashamed of what they had done. It wasn’t like he was shy about it, they were adults. When she turned back around he was tucking himself back in and deep down maybe part of him wanted her to stay. He knew that wasn’t a reality though as she walked to the door.

“I’m not letting my brother get the crown and I doubt my father would give it to him I assure you of that Greer.” Chauncey said honestly the part about the press bothered him to no end. He hadn’t been in favor with the press since before his wedding to Selina, instead they were more curious about his brother and Dani or Hunter and Bliss. He saw past the first sham though his brother and Dani were shiny and new until he fucked up it was only a matter of time. “I suggest then that you start work on that divorce sooner rather than later wouldn’t you agree? That is if you say the media needs to think about us as something other than an affair. If people stare Greer wear that with pride, I don’t think I’ve ever fucked a woman that loud here.”

“Trust I have no shame in what just happened.” Greer walked over to Chauncey as she kissed his lips. “I just agree a divorce is coming. It’s time to get savage and show Zerick that I deserve the best.” Leaning in she kissed him softly. “We are going to make one hell of a team.” One day those words would be the truth. Grabbing her purse she turned around. “If it means getting our hands on SandStar you absolutely have my permission to bed that bitch. Trust me she’ll never be me.”

Chauncey watched her walk out the door and then turned around in his chair looking out the skyline. An ease settled over him with Greer something about her that was going to shake up the town and his life. Perhaps it was the excitement of it all fucking a married woman that he actually fell for her. Twirling the pen in his hand a graduation gift from his father years ago he admired his legacy which would start with taking SandStar and then ousting his father as CEO. With Greer’s help they would be unstoppable.


Dani looked at the interview again on TV looking at her phone and then back up at the television when she had texted Jackson asking if he could come by and talk she had was relieved when he said yes. It was late and she’d already gotten ready for bed but she couldn’t sleep where they were gnawing at her. Adjusting her legs under the throw blanket and the dim light of the  fireplace she knew they needed to talk. It felt like they finally had a breakthrough earlier in her office that was promptly cut short when her father came in. She had told him to pull into the garage and come in the side door so now she was just waiting on him, anxiety running through her she had to tell him about everything with Lex. Hearing the garage open a few minutes later she turned off the TV and got up from the couch, tightening her robe around his dress shirt as she heard the door open. She waited for him in the living room and when she saw him she fought the urge to go to him. Wrap herself into him and be his again not until she told him everything.

“I’m really glad you agreed to come by this late I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry about my dad earlier, I wasn’t expecting him to be be there let alone come to the office. I’m really sorry about everything that’s happened between us the past few weeks. I’m sorry I hurt you and for the crap I said too.” Dani said quietly, she bit her lip at him for a moment when he looked at her. She ran her hand through her hair not sure what or where would be best to tell him trying to break the awkward distance between them. “You have to know I never meant to keep any of this from you to hurt you. I had this entire plan of how I was going to tell you, we’d go away for a few days after the interview with Natasha, make love I even got you stupid shirt. I never and I mean never wanted you to find out on the news. You deserve to know what really happened with Lex and then I don’t know maybe you’ll understand why I was so scared.”

Jackson had left the club and hadn’t had a chance to drop off the drugs. His stomach knotted as he hid them inside of the garage. It was one more night until Jamal and Yasmine could finally strike against Kendrick totalitarian rule over their lives. As he entered the living room he felt his heart swell listening to Dani’s words. Listening to her thinking about how she was going to tell him made him feel like a jerk. Afterall she had been through so much with Lex and her father. It had to be an whole other ordeal to find out she was pregnant. As he stared into her blue eyes Jackson legs started to move as he walked up to her. Placing one finger over her lips he shook  his head. “I was pigheaded, I let the media turn us against us. That baby and you are all the reason I need to believe in happy endings. It’s been so ugly and hard without you. The temptation to use was so much. They are so close but they aren’t you. I get higher with you than any drug.” He grabbed her hugging her body tightly. Jackson looked back at the garage. “You are my drug.”

As he lead her to the kitchen he immediately turned on the tea kettle. Lavender and chamomile tea was her favorite. As he sat her down he took her hand. “Look I’m listening about Lex but it doesn’t matter to me. I want to know your past but I trust you weren’t trying to keep my kids from me. You weren’t being evil and I needed to process it all. You were just doing the same processing all of the stress of what was going on. You are about to be apart of the Devonshire’s permanently. You can run now if you’d like.” He laughed lightly as he looked at her expression. “Tell me because it’s eating at you but Dani, I trust you completely I promise I won’t hurt you ever again without thinking. I wasn’t thinking but I love you so much and I’m sorry beautiful.”

Dani relaxed just slightly when he hugged her she let out a breath she didn’t realize she had been holding when he mentioned the entire drug thing. Part of the fight that she felt so bad about was that, she knew what could happen when he felt pressured or hurt he could use and that terrified the shit out of her. Walking with him to the kitchen she watched as he warmed up the tea kettle and she felt her lip curve up just a bit, everyone treated her like a fragile doll lately. She got it was because of the baby but watching him do it melted her heart at him, swelled at what a good father she knew that he would be. “Kids huh? I’m not running you saw my family at like their worst.” She managed to let out looking at him she really didn’t think about that, twins one was enough.

“I don’t really know where to start with it all. It wasn’t like Lex was always an asshole. Things changed after his mother died. It wasn’t like he was super interested in sex before that but I don’t know after his mom died it became non existent almost.” Dani said looking at him realizing now looking back on it all how stupid it had all been she and Lex should have ended a long time before everything went to shit. Long before she wound up pregnant and felt obligated to stay with him because of it. “I didn’t want it. I know that’s fucking terrible to say but when I found out with him I didn’t want it. It was right after I found out about him and Maggie. I just wanted out.” She looked at him seeing the wheels working in his head. “It wasn’t like that with you I was really confused at first and scared but I never didn’t want our baby. Not once and I found out in Egypt and we were having such a good time and I didn’t want that to change. I’ve never felt trapped with you.”

She really wasn’t ready for this part the ugliest part and when she heard the kettle going off it gave her a good excuse to get up from the table and take it off. She poured herself a cup avoiding looking at him. “He promised you know that he’d stop with her and my parents and his father just told me to forgive him for it, like a baby was supposed to fix shit between us. He wouldn’t even touch me while pregnant that hurt so much. Then you brought it up the other day like you were sick at the thought.” Her voice trailed off. “I didn’t have an abortion it was never viable. Zach found me in the shower I collapsed. He and Dante has stayed with us after Whitney and Ryan’s wedding for a few days. They took me to the hospital. I don’t remember a lot from that morning other than waking up really sick. I could tell something was wrong. I tried calling him surprise surprise when she answered. It was long gone by the time he showed up and I told him I got rid of it just to make it all stop. So I could move on.”

She wiped at her eyes realizing she was crying and honestly if he wanted to look at her like a monster now he could. She was pretty sure she looked like a crazy mad person at this rate when she shook her head at him. “I wanted to wait this time till I knew everything was right. You have needs and what happens when I can’t give that to you anymore? Or when you decide you want someone else that way?”

Jackson walked behind her and kissed her neck. As he wrapped his arms around her stomach he looked over in the window and saw there reflection. God it felt so good to be holding her again. This was almost over and he was sure that they learned a lesson. The trust between them was tested and he couldn’t help but turn her around and wipe away any stray tears. “Hey, hey, hey no tears okay? No tears you hear me? You lost a baby Dani that wasn’t easy and it hurt badly because everyone just wanted you to suck it up and forget the pain. I’m not asking you to do that ever okay? I’m not asking you to think about that time in your life okay? We are having a kid together a perfect child. What Lex did to you is infinitely disgusting but I just gotta say you’re perfect to me and if I made you feel wrong. If I made you think that you ever put our baby in jeopardy then I apologize.” Jackson got on his knees as he opened her robe. Raising an eyebrow seeing her in his shirt he smirked. Her belly was starting to round and he laughed kissing it. “God I want to talk to baby? You’ve heard mommy and daddy being very immature. Especially daddy but I want to promise your mom and you something. If I ever lose focus on this moment. How it felt so complete.” As he slowly pulled out a small box. “I’ll look at whatever ring I choose and remember how lucky I am.”

“You weren’t what I was looking for. I’m spoiled and self indulgent at times I absolutely am flawed. But I can’t help but thank Lex now. I thank him for hurting you because what he did set me up to meet the love of my life. I want us to be worried about color pallets for the nursery and um where we are going to live? I want us to be normal as normal as we can be because this baby. This moment where I lost so much of the past and gained so much of the future. I’m not proposing to you because of our baby. I’m proposing to you because I can’t breathe without you. I can’t live in a world without you and I saw how miserable I would be without you.” Jackson leaned in. “I hate him for hurting you but I couldn’t be more grateful that God and you gave me another chance. A chance to see what I deserve. You have a ass for a dad and I do too. I do too but for once we can make a family like what we want. A mom who loves her child, a dad who supports no matter what, and maybe some siblings who aren’t dysfunctional. What I’m asking is for you to know no matter what comes against Danielle Grace Fraiser. Will you officially marry me and let’s finally bury our past together and move forward together.” Pulling out a 30 carat diamond ring.

Jackson didn’t want to focus on her past right now he wanted to make sure they had an amazing future. “I know it’s gaudy but I have more.” He pulled out a pocket full of rings. “I just want to make it right Dani. Plus mom called a jeweler and he gave us all these. Pick but I’m partial to gaudy to piss off your dad. What do you say Dani will you marry me and we can finally have the families and lives we want.”

Dani didn’t know why she was so overwhelmed with the gesture with him they had went from talking about everything with Lex to him proposing again. She didn’t know how she got so lucky with him she really didn’t, they were both stubborn and the fight had taught her something even more important they were a team. In ways she didn’t think that her parents were, sure they stayed together for her and Braden and now it was clear that was the reason why. Jackson was her soulmate and more than that, her other half they faced things together or worked on them even if they both dug in their heels this time till they came to their senses. Looking at the rings she wasn’t sure which one to pick she liked the first one he gave her which was upstairs tucked away in the dresser because she didn’t have it in her to hand it back to him during their fight. She normally wasn’t a fan of gaudy jewelry but her eyes kept gravitating to the one he picked out and she shook her head yes at him.

She didn’t know how long they stayed there like that with her nodding her head at him before she let out a partial laugh. “Yes. I’m just trying to decide which of us is more crazy at the moment.” She watched as he put the ring on her finger and then she couldn’t help it tugging him to her and wrapping her arms around his neck, her lips crashing into his. She’d missed him, being wrapped up in his arms. She was pretty sure she looked like a mess still, her hands  roaming through those long strands in the back of his hair tugging just a bit, feeling his body  against hers. Her head tilted slightly and she felt his hand hands trying to slip off her robe, she released him enough to let him breaking apart from him. “I was going insane without you. I need you.” She didn’t know what else to say to him, she needed him everything had been so tense between them the last few weeks.

Standing up slowly as his hands ran up her her thighs as he removed her shirt as he stood up. Then he kissed her lips and tasted her lips slowly kissing her neck. “You’ve never been this beautiful. Keep them all change your wedding ring with your dress or whatever.” Jackson laughed kissing her hands twisting her wrist slightly kissing it. “I missed you too.” He whispered as he kissed her arms swiftly moving to her collarbone. Knowing he was going to mark up her neck because she was his again. Hell she was never leaving again. Would they fight yes, would they ever be this divided never. “Can I just make love to my fiance?” Yes the kink was amazing and he loved being the dominant with Dani but today right now he wanted to please her. Of course he was going to get pleasure too but damn it she deserved to be honored in this moment.

Jackson immediately pulled Dani legs up, sitting her on the counter and ripped off her panties she stood before him naked and plunged inside of her. God he missed how wet and hot she was. Her body fit his like a glove. Diving deeper his hips swirled as he pushed deeper inside of her. Quickly kissing her he knew she needed it. Even in his stupor with Dani he never wanted to lose her again. This was just what he needed. As he wrapped his hands around her hips slamming into her. “God Dani.” He said growling into her ear.

Dani had wanted to point out how impractical it was to keep all those beautiful rings that he had brought instead she got distracted by him kissing her and removing his dress shirt. She always felt vulnerable with him especially when he’d take his time with her, expose her right down to her wearing nothing while they made love. For once she didn’t want the toys or the chains just them and when he lifted her legs and ripped her panties off she was eager for him and she barely had time to think about it further when he plunged into her. Silently thanking God she cleaned the island that night after dinner. Her hands went to his hair while his hips bucked into hers and her lips collided with his. She couldn’t help the gasp that came out against his mouth while her hips pressed back into his.

She spread her legs just slightly and then locked her ankles around his hips feeling him scratch her skin. Her hand braced her body against the counter while her other scratched down his back. Her eyes locked on his while they moved, while she watched him plunge out and in. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could keep the position when her arm started to feel weak while her body tightened, wrapping her arm back around him for support. Her mouth went to his neck biting as she felt him moving slowly in and out, he was driving her insane. Her hands scratched his back while her ankles dug into ass hoping he’d go faster, drive her right over the edge. “More Jackson. Please don’t stop.” She managed to get out her voice hoarse against his ear.

Rolling his hips he began to thrust his hips faster and faster inside of her. The smell of her hair was so intoxicating. Was that just her natural scent or was it some soap or perfume. As he started to hard pound her he knew she was almost there he couldn’t believe they hadn’t touched in weeks. That would never happen again. Leaning down he kissed her neck and passionately tongue kissed her. Licking her collarbone he quickly picked her up off the island and held her in his arms. He wanted to feel her come inside of his arms. He wanted to control her body so completely at this moment. Just holding her up with one arm he began to make her bounce on him. Pulling her by her hair. “I love you are mine and we are one.”

As he started thrusting as fast as he could without releasing his seed. Kissing her neck he began to feel her body shaking from the pleasure. She was close as he pulled her hair again. “Let it out say my name and tell me we’ll never be apart. Say it. “ Jackson started to thrust feverishly inside of Dani without stopping. He knew that they needed it. As he felt himself near. “God Dani I’m about to cum. You ready baby?”

Dani clung onto him while he drove into her repeatedly lost in the sensations that he was giving her, he felt so good after weeks away. Her body felt weightless as he kissed her neck and pulled her hair and she couldn’t help but look at him and nod her head at him, her lips giving her away with her cries of pleasure. “I love you too.” She whispered when he lifted her off the counter, the change in depth and position was enough to send her into a frenzy. She was pretty sure he’d have ugly claw marks on his back at this point.

“Jackson. We won’t again.” His name came out of her lips with a cry while her hips bucked against his, her last words hoarse. Her body relaxed while her thighs tightened feeling him inside of her she let out a gasp, whomever said make up sex was the best in her mind had it right. She felt her hips moving on his still slowly, felt him spilling out of her and pulled back to kiss him. By the time she stopped moving she stroked his face pulling back from his lips. “I think my tea is cold now. I don’t suppose you want to put me down, let me get decent, make me another cup and then stay the night?” She said teasing him just slightly hoping he would say yes, it was late they could talk more, make up more. They had the rest of their lives to plan together.

She made him believe anything was possible. Biting his lower lip he knew he had to get them a house. His body was still spinning from the amazing orgasm that they just had. Hell if Dani wasn’t pregnant now he’d say today would have gotten her. Jackson began to laugh looking in her eyes she was amazing every way. Taking deep breath to calm his heart rate as he stroked face he nodded before placing her on the ground. When she went to rushing around the kitchen he smiled. She always had to be moving. Jackson nodded his head when she said she wanted to freshen up. He walked to the downstairs bathroom and jumped in the shower. When he returned Jackson saw her on the couch. Jackson jumped on the couch wearing a pair of boxers.

“So have you binged our show or did you wait on me? Which I’m hoping for the you spoil every good movie.” He teased looking at her. “I’m glad to have you back in my arms you know that? I love you so much babe.”


Mason wasn’t sure what he was doing with the bottle of tequila in hand when he left his house earlier that night the only thing he was thinking about was that everything hurt. His mind, his soul and sometimes his body hurt at the betrayal that he was sure Simon had did, he recorded them to then tell his father. The way his father looked at him, treated him at the restaurant with so much hate and disgust was too much for him to bear when he had done everything his father ever asked of him to be a good son. He made sure to stay out of trouble when he was younger, get good grades, dated the right girls to hide who he truly was to earn his father’s affections scared that if he knew he would be disowned. When he was younger in college Selina had assured him their father wouldn’t’ care he wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality, he would still be loved and he would still be his son. What a crock of shit, lifting the bottle to his lips he took a drink as he walked down the pathway to the dam on the lake.

He shivered a bit in the cold where was his jacket, oh that’s right he didn’t bring it there was no sense in it he wouldn’t be coming back for it. The ground crunched beneath his feet as he walked, gravel and dirt against his dress shoes. Bringing the bottle to his lips he took another drink looking out over the water as he approached the brick wall. His father thought he was such a failure for how he felt about men, that he didn’t love him anymore he would show him what it mean to really lose a son. He would show him what that would mean even if Jamal had tried to tell him otherwise his little brother had no clue what it felt like. His sister had no idea what it felt like either to have their father just disown him that was what he was. No they had his love and his affection, his sister could do no wrong even though she had went out of her way to call a war on the Devonshire’s. Jamal could deal drugs and get them caught up in the mob but because he loved a man he was the disappointment. He was the one that needed to be disowned from the family.

He heard the car tires behind him as he wobbled up on the ledge of the brick, it was a long way down and his vision blurred just slightly from the movement. Shrugging his shoulders he took another swing from the bottle wondering what his body would look like afterwards. He felt like his balance was going as he heard the car door slam and turned around only to see Zach Fraiser looking at him sad. Who in the hell called him to the scene?

“What do you want Fraiser? Who are you looking at? Don’t you have some FBI shit to be doing or how about getting that psycopath bitch off us? Not that it matters anymore I won’t have to worry about her much longer, or my father better yet anymore.” Mason snapped hearing his own words slur at the end as he brought the bottle to his lips seeing Zach staring at him.

Zach had been looking for Mason since Selina had called saying her brother was sending disturbing text messages. After all this time Tony knew who Mason was and he was sure Mason was in trouble. His uncle and even Brock were disgusted when he told them he was bisexual. No matter how much prayer and the church conventions he was sent to he was still gay. It hurt badly to have your family turn their backs on you. Not just your family but your parent it was the most hurtful thing. Lucy was the first person to accept his fluid sexuality. Folding his arms seeing the bottle of tequila which was more than likely worth his pension.

“So are you going to drink away your pain? Look I wasn’t disowned but I didn’t have a easy time with coming out either. It wasn’t ideal in my situation but it was my choice. I know you wouldn’t hurt yourself so I need you to step down off the bricks on the dam. You could hurt yourself and you’re intoxicated. Mason I know this sucks but tell me what to do? I am apologizing to you for whatever Simon did, all gay men aren’t so vindictive. I can’t tell you that this pain is going to just leave matter of fact it won’t leave Mason but I can tell you as cliche as it sounds it get’s better.” Zach looked down at his feet feeling uneasy.

“Look it’s even worse to be gay and black I know that. The African-American community doesn’t respect homosexuality. I’m telling you that you’re amazing as you are. You hear me now get down off the edge.” He commanded instantly with urgency that he wasn’t sure where it came from. The despair that was radiating off of Mason was palpable. “Calm down man.”

Mason shook his head at ach what did he knew about it?  He still had both of his parents alive and well, to his knowledge happily married. His father hated him and his mother was buried six feet under in a cemetery. He defiantly took another sip of the tequila and walked back and forth on the bridge it was his choice at the end of the day. A choice that Simon took away from him coming out to his father, how in the hell could someone he used to think he love do that to him? He knew that Simon was sick of the games and the double life with Scarlett but he always thought Simon had respect for him then again looking at some of the shit that he did for Lowell it seemed like the perfect Simon move. He couldn’t believe how stupid he still felt about it believing that Simon would wait until he was ready when he knew who Simon was deep down. He did a little dance on the bricks wobbling as he saw Zach antsy staring at him and he let out a laugh.

“It’s just me now Zach you know what fuck it my father, Simon if I want to jump I doubt either of them would care. You have no idea man, none the looks I’ll get now the clients that won’t come to me now because of this. How a simple word to our community from my father will ruin me.” Mason said looking at Zach and taking another swig and then he laughed again looking at him. The Fraiser’s were a fucking mess probably worse than people he knew in fancy houses everyone knew that Walter was a closeted bigot, he had seen something else with them though they rallied when needed and stuck together like a glued unit when push came to shove. “Your white family just smiled and said good job son, that is what is polite Zach mine aren’t. My daddy called me faggot and kicked me out. Not that that is any of your business anyway. You wanna know the worst part I trusted Simon to not tell him this way.”

Zach volunteered a youth center when Dante was alive and saw this self destructive behavior all the time. A child was rejected by their parents and then they spiral. To have your mother and father in your corner is all you need to survive and seeing Mason break. It broke him because he knew what was happening. Mason who was the most stable guy in town. He was a good guy all around considering that he didn’t deserve to be lost like this. “Then don’t care you’re not alone. Selina called me she is scared and Jamal is also. Your siblings are at the safe house and they want to see you. I care man. I care about you so get down.” Before he knew it he jumped up on the dam. “Guess I’m here to man.” Snatching the bottle Zach took a long drink as he smiled at him. “Hey Mase being gay is hard. It takes a real man to finally come to terms with his sexuality. You’re doing that even if it hurts you’re living your truth.”

As he grabbed Mason hand he looked at him. “When I was younger I tried to commit suicide it’s a family secret. I was lost and Lucy was a hellion. Brock was the good one and we rode his coattails. It was wrong and I made a big mistake that night because I thought my parents hated me. I knew they would because I was different. My dad of course wasn’t happy but my mother told me something. Something that I live with every day because I know. The only person you have to live with is yourself. She told me that and I live by it so I’m going to tell you the same. As long as you can look in the mirror man every day and say you’re your best person. You’re your best you then you are living right brother. You are living happily and it might hurt your father right now but he loves you. He is angry and confused about what it means for him to raise a gay child. Mason make him see you aren’t different you’re just in love with men.” Squeezing Mason hand he passed him back the bottle. “I used to come here a lot and scream at God scream Mase. If that’s what you have to do scream.”

Mason was so fucking annoyed with him when he climbed up onto the damned wall to interrupt him what the hell. He partly wanted to blame Selina and Jamal for his failed attempt to kill himself who in the hell were they to tell him what he needed to do? He was pretty sure he was wasted and not thinking clearly when the water below got blurry and he saw a few of them in his eyes, forcing himself to close them. He finally took a seat on the wall, he was pretty sure Zach had helped him steady himself but that was what he needed at the moment. He wasn’t sure if he was more angry at his father or God, he also never knew that about Zach’s family they were how did you put it, so cookie cutter. He had never been raised in the church especially after his mother died. He’d stopped believing in good things at that point he didn’t see the point in it, God couldn’t even save his mother even when he begged him too. He wasn’t sure how to come to terms with himself that was something he never thought about.

“I don’t know how to do that. I’ve lived so much of my life in the closet hiding behind all the beautiful girls I’d pretend to care about. Like fuck Zach part of the reason Scarlett latched onto you with her games was because of me, because I couldn’t be the straight guy with her anymore.” Mason said quietly vulnerably he wasn’t even sure what else he could say. He had lived in the closet for so long hiding everything from his father and all his friends but he wondered if it was really hiding plenty of times Hunter and Jackson hinted they knew and it didn’t seem to bother them. He knew that his siblings knew. So much of his life had been crafted to present the successful straight son of Tony Delacroix from his romance with Scarlett, to law school and the starting of his firm. Now that would all be in jeopardy if this ever got public but would his father sick that going public? It could hurt La Callie. “I have no idea what to do next Zach I have no idea what my father will do next. And Simon I hope he burns in hell for doing this to me even if he says he didn’t I know it was him. It’s in his nature.”

Wrapping his arm around Mason he held him in his arms. “It sucks when we find out someone we care about isn’t who they seem. I have spent so much time with Scarlett and I never thought she might not be what she seems. I’m sorry because trust me I know the feeling.” With Scarlett possibly being the killer behind Dante murder he wondered what exactly if Simon was that scandalous. It made him feel sick because even though he and Simon weren’t exactly friends he was enemy or his enemy that became a quasi-friend. “Look people are always asking me what drives me and when things get tough what do I do? I visualize that I’m with my kid or I’m in some small sleepy town living happily with a man or a woman. I even talk to the people in the little town. I’m going to challenge you to do the same Mason think about your future when things get this dark again.”

Looking at him Zach felt almost like a predator because the vulnerable eyes and the smooth skin was working wonders. “You can go on a date with me sometime. That’s what you can do about this. You can keep living because for every bad damn day we see that some beauty is out here. Like look over there it’s the DGI building and I’m sure you’ve been inside but it lights up Atlas Falls. Then over there is the concert hall it’s beautiful and I just take it in one day at a time. Learn to love yourself because the world just opened up for you.” Zach said knowing he threw Mason for a loop asking him out. “Bad timing yes, but I think you seeing that people are waiting on you. We are out here and ready to explore Mason in ways you never knew.”

Mason leaned into Zach’s arms and broke down bawling clinging into his shoulder what in the hell was he thinking out here? He wasn’t sure why he thought suicide was the way out perhaps to deal with his pain when Zach was making a lot more sense it made sense to visual things and make them better. He could do that he supposed it was almost like presenting a case in court that a jury would decide though this time he would be the jury. He wasn’t sure what to think of Zach Fraiser asking him out they’d been hanging out a lot as friends and his sister was married to Zach’s cousin. Wouldn’t that complicate things more and pulling back from him he did notice Zach’s eyes and he wasn’t sure that was because he was drunk or because they were pretty.

“As flattered as I am at the moment I know that I’m really drunk right now. You deserve way better than to be some closet rebound.” Mason said looking at him for a moment and then at the ground before  everything started to spin. Reaching over to Zach’s shoulder to steady himself he got sick. Vomiting on the gravel over the wall how much did he drink? He almost got sick again when the smell hit his nose, he leaned back smelling the fresh air for a moment hoping it felt better. He could tell he would have a nasty hang over in the morning too. “I didn’t drive and if I did I think my car is parked fuck I can’t remember. I don’t suppose I could ask you kind officer of the law to drive me safely home.”

Zach held Mason as he cried it felt horrible to see such a amazing guy crumbling inside of the weight of his sexuality. Something made him feel comfortable with Mason. Like they’d done this before in another place and lifetime. Taking him closer he smelled like lavender and some musk.”I was joking man I don’t just want to take you out until you’re ready.” Zach said as he looked at Mason. “I have a favor to ask of you. Let’s um take you home and tuck you in.” Taking Mason hand down he jumped then helped Mason down holding him by the waist. As he looked into his eyes. “You reek.” He laughed as he helped him walk to the car. Opening the door he helped him into the passenger side he clicked him into the seat belt.

Jumping up in the front seat Zach exhaled as he rolled down the window.  “Listen to me you’re no different from anyone of us. I can’t explain that much more because we are just like everyone else. So should I take you to your apartment or the safe house. Or your place? I don’t think you should be alone either way. If you want to hide out I’m in me and Dante’s old condo. I plan on downsizing but I think that maybe you could sleep in his workroom. There’s a comfortable couch because Dante always used to fall asleep in there.” Zach said turning the corner which could take them to any location.

Mason rested his head against the cool glass once Zach had led him to the car and strapped him in. Looking out the window he almost felt like he would get sick again until Zach rolled down the window and took a deep breath, he smelt bad. He knew that much he’d drank before in college but not like this. His stomach churned and he was pretty sure there was nothing left to come up as he looked over at Zach asking him where he wanted to go. Shaking his head as he rolled the window back up feeling the chill of the midnight air he tried to get it on straight Zach was probably right he shouldn’t be alone right now.

“A couch would be nice if only so my family wouldn’t worry about me for the rest of the night. You’re a good person Zach you know exactly who you are and one day you will find someone to mend you too.” Mason said he couldn’t imagine how that felt for Zach losing Dante like he did to have your fiance murdered the same night you proposed. Despite what happened with them both with Scarlett he did see how happy Zach and Dante had been. “Thanks again for this and however you found me man.” Mason said quietly feeling the road getting quieter and quieter as Zach drove and he closed his eyes.

Zach did as he said he took a right going to Eden Lane he sped down the street. Part of it was being petty who wanted to clean vomit out of their car. The kid just hurled up his emotions. Which was part of the reason of why he was maybe open to the idea of dating him. When Dante died he had to face the fact he wasn’t ready at that point to be married. Unfortunately what he truly had to do is face himself brutally.  He didn’t like who he saw and it made him see that he needed to find. As he nodded when Mason thanked him as he pulled up to his apartment building.

Stepping out on the cold ground it crunched underneath his feet. His eyes narrowed he walked to the other side helping Mason. Wrapping his arm around him to help him walk upstairs to the front door then he helped him to the back where the service elevator was. “To be honest I have someone in my mind to mend me. The drama with Dante and Scarlett isn’t what I want my love life to be. I think when someone comes to term with everything in their lives then I’ll have something special.” He said with a smirk getting off the elevator he walked to his apartment. Unlocking the door it as he looked at the empty rooms ever since Dante’s death he removed everything that hurt to look at. It wasn’t the same at all.

“So this is the most comfortable couch in Atlas Falls.” He walked to the closet seeing Mason finally stretch out on the couch. He smiled returned with covers. “So I’ll see you in the morning. I’m off unless some crazy shit happens. Maybe I’ll make my mom’s famous french toast.”


Bliss had rolled to the other side of the bed. Covering her head with a pillow it was too early for her to be up. Well it really wasn’t but she wasn’t in the mood to get out of bed. She wanted to smell her son’s hair which no doubt smelled bad but damn she missed that smell. Her cellphone was ringing non stop which meant it was either a emergency and the Nasdaq closed with record low numbers or it was her mom. Grabbing her phone she shook her head. Rejecting her mother’s call she folded another pillow over her head and screamed. Her son deserved to know his family. When she heard her phone chirped and saw the alert as she saw Dimitri holding Fox. Her heart sank and flew all at once. The headline was a prince is coming. Something made the pit of her stomach drop. He was coming for her. That was the clear because the look in his eye, she wasn’t sure how a picture could capture evil.  Tapping the picture she blew it up and somehow her boy looked so safe and happy. Before Bliss knew it she was saving it and sending it to her family even Max. She wanted them to see their nephew and to make him more real.

When her phone rang she saw it was her mother. “Mom, he’s coming here I know it.” Bliss said clicking her finger against the chrome case. “I can’t do it again momma. I have to get Fox and get away. He’s coming and after that I’m running with my son.”

“Don’t be silly Blissy.” Tess said as she arrived at her hotel penthouse. “Ugh I hate the flowers they use here. So American I’ll have to get some of the English roses from that mansion on the east coast of England we love.” As she sat down on her couch crossing her legs she opened her purse. Seeing the other cellphone she saw a text from Dimitri. “Bliss what we will do is simple my darling.” She leaned forward. “You will do everything you can to keep Dimitri happy so legally we can take Fox and finally take your power back. My name is Tess Blisston, and I named you after the Blisston clan. You are a powerful woman darling and your legacy is built on women. I won’t have cowering anymore. Trust me if Dimitri touches you when he finally does touch down. He’ll have the Devonshire’s and momma on his ass.”

Bliss put the phone down never hearing her mother so passionate. Tears started to fall down her face. She thought her mom didn’t care. “Mom.”

Tess took a deep breath hearing her daughter’s fear and relief. God this girl deserved her son after all she put her through. “I want to tell you something. I called Dimitri to Atlas Falls.”

The air sucked out the phone as she heard what her mother said. “Why would you do that? You are so insensitive? This is crazy momma what are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking that your family the Devonshire’s will protect that boy fiercely once he’s in American soil. We will have a major case against Dimitri. Listen carefully when I tell you this was thought out very carefully. The might hate me but I assure this will unite Devonshire and myself. That little boy is a Blisston, Devonshire, and unfortunately a legacy Prince Kavanaugh. He is to be protected and cared for do you understand. Nothing and I mean nothing will keep you away from my grandson. I was greedy and broke a few years ago. I needed money for all those expensive schools and private academies I sent you too.” That was a lie but she every lie had a bit of truth. She was paying for schools and academies just not for her Blissy. However that would be all revealed with her plan.

“I didn’t know how hard my upbringing had been on you mother.” Bliss said instantly biting herr  lip. “Did father cut you off or something?” She was still infuriated with her mother but she had to say it was pretty genius. “Mom if this works. God I will never know how to thank you.” She heard Hunter coming into the condo. “I should tell Hunter about this he already has Anderson and some guy named Charles Hessington who happens to be the governor working on it. Mom this  could get me Fox home and maybe Dimitri out of my life.”

“Darling don’t thank me yet. I have deal with that viper first and when I do trust me. Dimitri will never and I mean never touch you again. I apologies Bliss for turning a blind eye. I just couldn’t take another penny from Lowell. My parents hated me but adored you Blissy.” Tess felt the ache of jealousy against her own child. “I just needed to give you something back for all the pain. All the pain that you had went through is over do you understand me? Bliss I love you.”

Bliss lowered her head and her lip quivered as she looked at Hunter and exhaled. “Momma I love you too. I just want you to not be so hateful to everyone and everything. Look Hunter just came in um. I’ll call you tomorrow alright.”

Tess heart sank as she heard Blissy was going to talk to her more. “That’s all I want is us to be better. I ruined it kid when you were young I ruined it. This is my shot to be a better mom for you and… Fox deserves a glam-mother more than that tacky Jackie. Who will teach him about art and culture when she nothing more than old worn shoe.” Tess texted Dimitri again this time it was a offer to stay in her penthouse. “Send Hunter my love and tell him to get my information to Mr. Hessington and Anderson maybe we can all work together. To take down this scum.”

“Will do mom.” Bliss said as she smiled at Hunter. “I talk to you soon.” Wiping her eyes she exhaled as she hung up. “My mother just set up Dimitri to come to Atlas Falls. I think she’s trying to say sorry or something. It was the creepiest conversation because she’s actually human.” Getting out of the bed. “She wants me to have Charles and Anderson reach out to her. They are going to work together and set him up. Hunter my son might be coming back to me.”

Hunter walked into Bliss’s condo with his key and had to smile now that Max had been served he and Bliss no longer had to hide from each other. Unlocking the door he sat his briefcase down by the entryway the gun from Thor in there, Max and he still weren’t talking and he was still worried about her but he hoped she would tell him what was going on. He had been at city hall late just finishing up some of the paperwork on a few projects when he saw Bliss hanging up her phone. He didn’t ask who she was talking too, figuring out it was Tess and when she mentioned Fox he looked at her slightly confused for a moment when she said son and then put two and two together. He wasn’t mad at the reveal if anything he was slightly confused and sat down next to her wanting to know more. He knew what Dimitri had done to her, how scared she must have been.

“That’s good right that you will get to see him? I don’t know what to say right now Bliss I knew it was bad with Dimitri but a son? I couldn’t do what you did walk away from that, that had to of been so hard. Did he ever hurt Fox?” Hunter said taking her hand in his wanting to understand and for her to tell him about Fox about all of it. He could tell she was scared as her hands started to shake and he didn’t want her reliving it with Dimitri again but if they were going to be together and he was going to have to be a father to her son he wanted to know about him. “How old is he? Does he remember you at all? Does your father know? You should have told me so that I could help you.”

“My son name is Foxworth Lowell Alexander Kavanaugh Prince of Ilsa De Cruces. Hunter he’s only and four and I think he remembers me. I sang to him every night but last year I had to escape. I wasn’t going to be beaten and leaving him was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” Bliss sat silently for a second. “I had to wait to tell you. I guess I should tell you about the last five years of my life. As you know I was madly in love with Dimitri and when we first met he was a Prince. God he was amazing and it was like a fairytale but when we were engaged that’s when it started to change into a horror movie. I thought that it was one time at first and then it became regular thing until the baby.  When I became pregnant King Hugo refused to let him pummel me any longer. For nine months I walked on eggshells wondering if he was going to attack. Even after I gave him a heir and the first grandchild of Hugo it wasn’t enough. I was any better I thought I could change him he was like a drug and eventually the buzz wore off. I can’t tell you how much it killed me to run. I knew that I had to come to Atlas Falls and get everything I could to dismantle his hold on our son.” Bliss leaned her head down.

“No my father doesn’t know about Fox. Only Jackie and Max.” She said softly as she bit down on lip. “And now you but I just knew that if I come here I could get the help. So what I’m asking is now if Charles and Anderson could work with my mother about his diplomatic immunity. I just want to make sure my son is with me and it’s scary. This man is sadistic I mean think the guy from that fantasy show about dragons. He believes because I married him I’m his property so what I’m saying. What we went through with Max this year will be nothing to what is coming. If you want Hunter you can leave me because this isn’t going to be easy or fun.” Bliss exhaled as she looked at him. “A year away from him. He might not know me. What if he doesn’t know me at all anymore? Or what if Dimitri poisoned his head against my baby?” Her lips quivered as she looked at him. “I just don’t want to throw the responsibility of my son on you. If you aren’t ready for Fox I understand handsome.”

Hunter had never thought about starting a family this way it was something that he or Max had ever really discussed she hadn’t been interested in children. He had thought about having kids with Bliss though just not this way. He figured they would go the natural route, would he even be a good father to some little boy that barely knew him? That was terrifying if he was being honest he didn’t know the first thing about how to parent a four year old little boy but he knew that what he and Bliss had meant he could try. Not only that the thought of Dimitri raising or having any part of Fox’s life deeply troubled him. Hearing all the horrors that he had inflicted on Bliss he was sure it would only be a matter of time before Fox was used the same way perhaps more. Squeezing her hand in his when she told him he could leave he shook his head at her.

“I’m not leaving Bliss. I honestly don’t even know if I’ll be any good at this but how could your son not know you or who you are? I don’t believe for a second that he wouldn’t know who you are even after so much time apart.” Hunter said looking at her he could only imagine what it was going to be like when Lowell found out. He wouldn’t take well to having a man lay a hand on his girls the man was fiercely protective of his children. When she mentioned that Jackie and Max knew he took a deep breath seeing now perhaps where and why with Max and Jackie. Why that front had been put on for Fox.  Pulling her to him he hugged her wanting to reassure her. “Good thing you picked a place that had the space for him wasn’t it? I’ll make a call to Anderson and see what we can do from there. You have to know that nothing is more important to your father than family, he would move heaven and hell for Fox. Just like I’ll try heck anyone in your family would. Do you want me to go with you when you tell him?””

“Absolutely.” She said with a pressure leaving her chest. “I’ve had my share of everything that could possibly go wrong in my life. I came here with secrets on my chest. I am bare naked now and you still want to hang in there. I don’t deserve a guy like you Hunter.” She slowly crawled to him and laid her head on his lap. “You’re going to be amazing we have horrible parental figures in our lives and as long as we do the exact opposite then we’ll be fine.” She laughed as she teased. “I can see my son and you that’s the crazy thing, even though biologically Dimitri is his father he never truly wanted a child let alone a son. Hugo however would kill Dimitri publically if anything happened to Fox. That was why I felt safe with leaving him Hugo the king.” As she looked at him her eyes blurred. “Fox will eventually be yours and I hope when we have children one day he’ll have the Kincaid name and not the Kavanaugh. Having a crown is a very dangerous thing to my son Ilsa De Cruces is in the middle of a civilian revolt.” Bliss eyes looked at Hunter and knew that he wasn’t afraid. He was going to try and maybe if they hid Fox true paternity then he had a chance at a normal life away from Ilsa De Cruces.

“I know that tomorrow when daddy finds out that it could lead to something that will heal me. I am not trying to lose Fox or you. I just need you to be up for this.” As she looked at him knowing they were now a team. “I know that once daddy, Anderson, and you I think that that Dimitri might be in over his head. As long as we can fight him fairly and stop him because that man is sadistic you have to be careful. He’ll hurt us and I am sure he’s coming here because of all the tabloids about us. He’s embarrassed and deeply wounded. Understand Hunter this isn’t Max he has even more resources because of his nobility. His eyes are going to be on me and he will do things unbelievable to get to me. You have to be ready for people we love to be in danger if he’ll kill his own people expect brutal results for us.” Bliss said knowing that he was coming into the United States she passed him the laptop and googled Dimitri Kavanaugh. The exact picture of Dimitri and Fox appeared and she touched the screen blowing up Fox. “That’s my boy he’s so handsome.”

Hunter stroked her hair as she laid down in his lap and talked about what was on her mind with Fox and their future. He was still wondering if he could be a good father to Fox, it wasn’t how he envisioned a family with Bliss but it was something he could adjust too. Compared to her childhood he felt like he had a good one minus his mother’s constant drinking, his father was always there for them as kids and even as adults. Would he be a good father and role model to Fox? Would Fox even warm up to him in the long run and want him as a father? How would the crown really feel about it all at the end of the day. He didn’t see a royal crown just handing over their flesh and blood to some commoner to raise regardless of the issues with civil unrest in its kingdom. He knew that his fears had to stay inside until he talked to the people who could possibly help in Anderson and Charles and then he would know better he would be able to figure out how to fix it for Bliss and Fox. When she sat up and handed him the laptop he took a look at the little boy staring back at him he had to be good enough at least for that child.

“Ok then we’ll figure it out all of it I promise. We’ll go tell your father and then have a lawyer look into it. I’ll call Anderson and hey maybe Mason can help too. I don’t want you to be afraid anymore Bliss he can’t hurt you here on American soil. I wouldn’t let him and your father wouldn’t either.” Hunter said softly pulling her to him and rubbing her back to soothe her nerves that he was sure had to running wild after telling him. He meant that he would do whatever he could to make sure Fox was back safe where he belonged with them and away from the monster behind the cameras of the press. “He looks just like you I don’t see any part of Dimitri in him and once we have him Bliss we are never giving him back. You will have your son even if I have to use shady means to get that.”

Bliss shook her head listening to him telling her that Fox looked like her. Those eyes told a different story. She’d always wondered if she could protect him from the Kavanaugh’s. Sitting up she looked up Hunter her eyes were fixated on his. “One day we will have our own child but Fox needs us. He needs a real man to look up too and I know my brothers and dad will be there but that’s not the same. I know that you’re going to be amazing. Whatever happens we are facing  this together and I know he won’t hurt me. I know that now but I also know he’s a royal and they play much differently that commoners. But together we are a force against his totalitarian reign. As long as I have my love and family I will have my son back with me. He won’t win.”


David came out of the emergency room needing air he could barely even look at Braden and Dylan as he tended to Tamara. She had barely made it in time and he wondered if that meant that it was all his fault for not being there for not trying harder but then he remembered everything else that she had done to him. The accusations she threatened against him and the hospital how crazy she had been and he knew that perhaps he could not help her. Placing her chart down with the nurses desk he glanced down the hallway at Braden and Dylan in the waiting room as Walter and Lauren arrived. Part of the reason he didn’t tell Braden right in front of his eyes Dylan was a good kid and Braden was one of his best friends. Looking around he wondered where Selina was or even if she knew what was going on. He needed air and a break only when he turned around he saw Talia staring at the Fraisers that made sense given how close she was too them.

“Fancy meeting you here. How did things go with Lowell’s meeting today? The hospital is counting on those funds from him to build that new wing. Granted I’m not supposed to know about that as chief or anything but I was hoping you could help me out with an answer.” David said offering her his signature smile and charm he thought it was admirable though Talia still being friends with the Frasier’s despite what happened with Braden and Selina. He noticed that Lowell wasn’t next to her no doubt rubbing up with the board of directors about the meeting. He could tell that she was wondering what happened and looking down at the ground for a moment he wanted her to know for moral support. Plus he needed to talk to someone about what he was feeling. “Tamara was brought in a little bit ago. We’d called things off. I don’t mean to dump on you about it but I was wondering do you want to go upstairs and get a cup of coffee with me? I know Lowell’s still in with the board and you can totally say no if you want.”

Talia softly bit down on her lip as she looked at David with a smirk on her face. He was charming and those dimples were to die for. As she nodded at him watching the Fraiser clan rallying around Tamara. She relapsed and that made her feel horrible for Dylan. As she ran her hand through her hair almost as if she was shaking off everything she was about to embark on. It was nice to see David he was always McDreamy and it was nice to be flirted with. With someone who didn’t have mounds of secrets. She saw honesty behind his eyes and that was something she couldn’t see with Zerick. “One cup of coffee because I have a lot of work to do tonight. I don’t want to be all jittery.” She said adjusting her coat against her skirt.

“You know that I can’t discuss DGI business with the chief of staff David.” Talia said pushing him as she waved at Dylan and Braden walking to the elevator. “I will say that DGI recently wrote a very hefty check today.” As the door closed she looked at Dylan blank expression. “That poor kid has been through the wringer. I am almost angry for him you know after all he’s already seen with her. Tamara should really get it together because she has a awesome son.” Looking at his solemn face she touched David shoulder. “Tamara is an adult but it had to suck to find out she was using again. I’m sorry you two were cute it just seems you can’t keep a girl Rhodes.” Talia said teasing him. “Too soon okay um if you are concerned David go down there. Go see her because she’s going to need you all.”

David knew she couldn’t exactly tell him DGI business on the elevator but he did think that they could be friends, he smiled when she did confirm that Lowell had wrote a big check. He was still trying to wrap his head around everything with Tamara he had hoped she would come clean and maybe get help this time only, it could have ended her life. “Dylan’s a tough kid probably tougher than he should have to be you know? I couldn’t be around her when I found out again, we ended things really badly and I shouldn’t have put a timeframe on it with her coming clean to Braden. I know he did you wrong but he’s a good guy deep down.” David said looking at her and knowing what happened at the wedding had to of hurt her but as many faults as Braden had family came first, he was a good father and that family included Tamara mess and all. “Right now they need their space you know so it’s best that I give them that.”

When the elevator opened on the cafe floor he held it open for her out of habit as some of the other staff got on to ride it down. He and Braden were close had been roommates in college they were friends, but right now he felt like an intruder given what he knew  about Tamara and her using he felt guilty for not reaching out to Braden right off the bat. “She’s sick you know it’s an ugly disease and a vicious cycle most people can’t understand that till they’ve been through it with someone. Like she knows it’s wrong she’s just wired to do it.” David said smiling at the young woman behind the counter. “Two house latte’s put it on my account” Stepping back from the counter he walked over to one of the tables with Talia smiling at her. “How are you at DGI? Plus hey I may not be able to hold onto a girl but you can’t just be Lowell’s assistant turned publicist forever you gotta get out there too.”

“I have my own dreams. One day I’m going to have enough capital and connections to create my very own shoe collection and eventually I’ll move to Paris and eat croissants all day.” She giggled as she sat down at the table as the barista arrived with their latte’s. “It smells like gingerbread. I used to have this neighbor who would make the most amazing gingerbread cookies. God I’m glad I moved away I gained ten pounds she was always trying to feed me. Saying I was too skinny I wanted to tell her girls barf for this shape.” Taking a sip of the latte she looked at him. “I mean that’s a childish dreams huh? Not to have a family or an amazing career. I want to make shoes in Paris or Italy. They have better leather but of course real life always stops dreams because I’m a publicist not a designer.” She giggled as she looked at him.

“You dimples however are amazing the youngest chief of staff ever and you’re all over medical pamphlets and the medical journals you have your dreams.” Shrugging her shoulder she looked at him. “Everything but a woman to keep your bed warm. I believe we are the worst luck I mean I dated a married man for a year you were falling for a junkie this entire time. I think we need to start a support group for the disenfranchised lovers of the united states.” Talia giggled feeling normal. “I’m sort of kind talking to someone. He’s broody and dark but that’s intriguing to me but it’s also scary because he seems to lie on lies. His is a lie and I can’t prove it yet but I know he’s liar. I just keep thinking do I really want to start a relationship like this. Where trust is an illusion? I just want a guy who can be upfront Anderson Kincaid was a douche bag, Braden was in love with Selina, and now this guy is tied up in secrets. So where are all the guys who aren’t all angsty. I want have fun and do fun things not be so this. You know what I mean?”

“For some reason I can see you designing some fancy shoes that cost more than my month’s salary and living the high life in Paris. It’s a good dream Talia and I’m sure with your smarts you could do it if you really wanted.” David said inhaling the latte’s as they were brought to the table he preferred them opposed to walking the few blocks down the street to the other cafes to get them. Especially on a busy day at the hospital when he wanted to stay close to his patients just in case. He couldn’t imagine her being fat either, though he knew that women cared about that sort of thing image and for a moment he felt sad for her that she had trained her body and her brain to think that way. “I’m not going to lie when I drink these suckers it makes me miss my mom’s homemade cookies growing up. She doesn’t cook much anymore she leaves that to the local bakery or if she is feeling super lazy the grocery store.”

There was a new pressure now with him at work he was young for chief of staff and for a time there was that nasty rumor that he got the position from his early affair with Ophelia. Rumors which were entirely false, he had been an intern at the time and he regretted that affair and how it broke apart he and Tony’s marriage. He had worked himself up though since then to prove he was the best fit for the job and the board voted him into the position he was in now. “I didn’t always have the greatest start Talia, I know there was rumors years ago right after I got out of med school and started here. I did have an affair that nearly ended her career and mine. I broke up a marriage I deal with that everyday you know? So you aren’t the only one to make questionable choices it’s human nature.” David said it was the first time outside of his close group of friends he’d ever really talked about the affair to someone. He thought about what she was saying about fun and had to smile maybe that was his problem too. “Not all men are jerks or are out to play you. Personally if I thought it would work between us, I could show you some fun but it sounds like you’re sort of taken again, which is a damn shame.”

“No I’m not at all.” She said honestly. “That is complex considering my beau is not here. I asked him to clean up and fix his dark and twisty world. He won’t because sometimes even happiness isn’t a reward it’s not needed. This guy is out for revenge and I know that I’m not as important as his revenge.” Talia shrugged her shoulders as she took a long gulp of her latte. “My bad judgement stops today Mr. Rhodes, considering that I deserve a happy and well adjusted and David ask me out and do it big. I want big grand gestures after all you just said I deserve fun and I’m all about the fun right now.” Leaning back in her chair she smiled looking at him.

“I’m ready for something that isn’t dark so David woo me. Make me feel like Carrie when Mr.Big put on that shoe. I want something sparkly and I deserve it damn it. I have a lot of lingerie and nobody sees it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of being the lonely girl when I’m the girl who deserves to have the epic romance. So here is your shot don’t let me down.” Talia giggled as she saw him stretching as if he was preparing for a workout. “David ask me out and make it major because I’d hate to turn down the chief of staff.”

David took a sip of his latte looking at her when she spoke about the new guy she was seeing or sorta seeing. His radar was saying to not get involved with someone that was involved with someone else again but there was something about her that made David smile. “If I were you seeing how I’ve been in that position before walk away Talia nothing good will come with it. It will destroy people’s lives especially when he says he’ll change if he’s involved with something he can’t let go of.” He didn’t know what else to say to he when she stated that she wasn’t worth being more than revenge and he had to wonder what that meant for the guy she was seeing. “You should be more important than revenge.” He muttered realizing he may of offended her he looked at her shaking his head.

“You so weren’t supposed to hear that out loud.” He said as he arched his back to relieve the stress from standing in the hospital all day. It was an exhausting job but a rewarding one and he did have to wonder if as Lowell’s former assistant she had been in charge of his appointments, shaking his head he knew that he couldn’t’ talk to her about it. He was male and when she mentioned lingerie and no one seeing her in it he felt so bad for all the men in her life. Who in the hell would turn down that? “These other men were retarded if they’re turning you in lingerie down. As much as I would love to take you out maybe right now isn’t the best time for the both of us? With everything that just happened with Tamara, you seem into this new guy who knows maybe he’ll turn around?”

“I’m very much in love with the idea of love.” As she slowly moved her hair from her face. Did he ignore her basically asking him out  out? “This guy maybe the one but I’ll honestly never know because we he’s wrapped up in a sick game of one upmanship. I just can’t take it but I also can’t drag a good guy into my mess. So David you’re right I should be more important than revenge. But until I fix whatever this is I’m going to have to say goodbye to you. Look I hated Braden for what he did. He made me think that we could possibly date and then he dropped me like a hot potato to marry Selina. So think this is our IOU. When you can boldly ask me out and I finally dropped the bad guy we can see what happens.” Her cell phone buzzed she saw it was Lowell.

As she finished her latte she stood up and walked to garbage can. Throwing the cup away. “This has been informative David but um I gotta go. See you around but David you had a shot to take me away from the doom and gloom. But I’m glad when I’m done one day maybe we can smile together. No more lonely heart club huh?” Talia giggled as she looked at him leaning down. “Plus we deserve a shot when we aren’t so complicated. One day Doc.” Talia walked off to the elevator with a smile on her face. “Doc I mean big when you do ask me out.”

David couldn’t help it he thought that it was sweet her being in love with the idea of being in love, love he’d often hoped that he would find that too. Over the years though he thought that had faded maybe with Ophelia till he realized it was more lust than love. He sipped his latte slowly while she spoke about his chivalrous side call him old school it was far from dead in his eyes plus his dad and brother raised him right. When he thought of KC a small smile came to his face about his brother and mentally he remembered to call Miranda to see Quinn he was so glad when they moved back from DC after his brother died. Mainly for himself and his parents to be around Quinn not to mention Miranda’s family was here too. Getting up from his chair he walked with her back to the elevator.

“I’ll walk you down. Don’t look at me like that Talia my father would smack me upside the head silly for not walking you back downstairs plus I have some time before I have to round again. Do you like being in change of the PR now or do you miss being Lowell’s assistant? I remember when I was first promoted her beating out other candidates it was crazy.” David said offering her a warm smile and then looking down at his feet. Truthfully he was trying to also gauge how much she knew with Lowell if she knew anything he had been very specific about who he wanted to know. When the doors opened he couldn’t help but do the gentlemanly thing and place his hand on her back guiding her out and smiling as Lowell approached them. “ Lowell good to see you, perhaps we should meet later in the week to go over the board meeting? I am sorry for stealing Talia for a bit from you.”

Lowell had always been protective of Talia but seeing her not pining and absolutely miserable about this entire Zerick thing. Everyone was saying that Talia had him wrapped around her finger. Whatever that young man was doing here Talia would soon uncover it. That would be exactly what he needed it was only today she exposed Simon and herself. It was clear that David was flirting with Talia and he approved. Talia wasn’t built for corporate espionage and her finding love would with a stable and kind man like David was acceptable. “David I think that is a brilliant idea. I assure you that I’m happy to see Ms. Rose in such esteemed company. I think that we all should have a dinner perhaps and Talia and Jackie can join.”

Talia looked at Lowell and narrowed her eyes. “I think business between the chief of Staff and you belongs to you. And if you don’t excuse me I need to make the announcement to the media. Then call the social media ambassadors  to inform them on how major this is. Lowell is planning on transforming St. Christopher’s and turning it into one of the premiere hospitals in the world. That publicity will do wonders for DGI stock.” She looked at David and Lowell.

“Good I look forward to our meeting. Do have Talia or Jackie call to arrange a date and time.” David said shaking Lowell’s hand he could affirm now that Talia had no idea. He had went to say more only for the intercom to come on.

“Dr. Rhodes to ICU.”

“Duty unfortunately calls at the moment.” David said feeling his phone buzz along with his pager.

Giving Talia the best smile he could he turned to make his way back up to the ICU he had patients to check on. Plus given the text he had just got if something happened to Tamara he needed to be there, her overdose was getting worse and he only hoped if they pushed more meds she would pull through. As excited as pushing forward with a relationship or a few dates with Talia was he had to wonder if he put this all on Tamara as his mind raced through the steps and their breakup while he walked towards the ICU.


“Come on Rory pick up.” Yasmine said after the third call in a row. Hell he was a heavy sleeper but what else could she do? She had to keep calling him to tell him that it was finally over. After  a year of stripping nonstop she was about to be done. If Jamal plan worked she would be free to be with Rory. It was so much she had to say. Thank him for never giving up on them. It was amazing how committed he was to them. Looking in the mirror inside of her locker Yasmine heart skipped a beat. This was the last time she was going to see this room. As much as she hated that bitch Mercedes and the Russians this place gave her Rory. Walking to the bar that was in the backroom she poured herself a shot of Patron. Gasping from heat coursing down her neck it burned in the best way. She was saying goodbye without even saying it. Adjusting the strap on her duffle bag she had taken all her makeup, hair accessories, and hygiene products. As she walked up the stairs her instincts kicked in. Why was their no music playing? Since when did Club XES close at 3am? This establishment went on until 6am at least.

When she spotted Rocky, Ivan, and Loco her stomach was spinning? What was Kendrick hit squad doing here waiting in the dark on her? Hell she wasn’t going to question it slowly trying to turn around she jumped seeing Kendrick standing before her. “Yo you bugging with that Jason shit on my soul. I gotta go since it’s all closed up K.” She saw that look on his face. The look that he wasn’t playing games. “What you want Kendrick huh? You want these motherfuckers to get a taste? Call the Russians you know that aint me. I’m gone man.” She said walking to the doorway where Rocky and Loco stood blocking her way. “Man can you move these dummies? Twiddle Dee & Twiddle Dum get out of my way.” She tried to push through them only for Loco to push her down on the ground. “Kendrick what is going on?” She screamed out of frustration.

Kendrick had sent them all home, had cleared out the office any trace of anything illegal being gone he was on high alert now that Yasmine had tried to play him. Ronan hadn’t raised his ass up dumb no when the cops or the Feds got too close you cut your ties and in this case it was all a little too neat for his liking. Why would Jackson suddenly be back at the club after months on end, why did he go out the back door? More why did Yasmine give Jamal’s bag to him, meaning she had been in touch with the snitch that he couldn’t touch. He wasn’t dumb in that regard the Feds had closed in on Jamal and so far the snitch hadn’t talked but he would most did that was why Benny was made an example of. He motioned to Ivan and the rest of them to keep Yasmine there he wanted to hear her lie her way out of this one. He’d sent everyone home from the bartenders right down to the pretty bitches on the floor and he’d sent the next shift away when they showed up for work. “Ivan go get us a bottle of something would you. Take a seat Yas.” When she moved to get away he nodded his head as Rocky forced her into a table at the club.

“That’s better I wanted to talk to you. Why did Jackson come in again? Was it for a dance or a score? What did you sell him it was a score? Why did he take the back door out?” Kendrick asked looking at her, sometimes he felt like he saw Gina in her eyes, He expected the betrayal from the russians or perhaps Mercedes but Gina’s little sister? Someone that he thought of like family that knew all his secrets? That was the worst, he could deal with the other bitches being dumb in his life or using him but not people he honestly felt had his back. He saw her face change as Ivan set down a bottle and two shot glasses and he poured them each one. “How is Jamal doing Yas he reached out to you yet? Ya’ll seemed pretty tight and maybe he’s tired of being a pussy and is ready to man up to what he took from me and Ronan?” Kendrick said raising the glass to his lips as he motioned for her to do the same. “Don’t make me drink alone baby girl.”

Yasmine had seen Kendrick in beast mode. It was clear he was on one because he felt like he knew something. Her lips quivered as she looked at the shot glass. Picking it up she took another shot and shook her head from the impact of the alcohol. Moving her hair from her face tears started to well up in her eyes. She knew she was caught but how? How did he find out? How was she about to worm her way out of this situation because all and all Kendrick could blast her right now and due to the rules of the street she was supposed to die. Her heart ached because how did Kendrick and she get in this place. Placing her hand over her face she started to weep a little. Shaking her head she stopped crying. “Do it.” Yasmine said widening her chest. “Kill me man because I’m not stripping anymore. I’m not selling drugs anymore because for once I got something good. Isn’t that why you momma out of the hood? Huh? Rory is offering me a good life and you spitting on it because you mad. Yeah I said it you mad that Gina is dead and you lonely.”

Yasmine saw the guys shock that she got gangster on him. “Jamal good he away from you and Ronan toxic ass. You still don’t get it do you Kendrick? You took power from a white man and you don’t get it. You didn’t want to set me free man you wanted to keep things the same. You had the power and you was a bitch. So kill me because Jamal will get away, and you aint seeing them drugs Kenny. I’ll die for what’s right believe that and you wrong for even having me on the pole. You wrong for letting Ronan and all those men degrade me. If you was a man or the man who promised to protect me you would have never and I mean never did this. So do what you gotta do.”

“You thought you could play me that I’m some dumb nigga on the street? You gave yourself away at the door! Trying to spout off about some story with him but the bag gave you away. You should have traded that out and maybe I wouldn’t know.” Kendrick said screaming at her when he saw her eyes tear up like she had been pushed into it, no she signed up for this shit. She was the one that went to Ronan to get the money against his better judgment, he told her to stay away. He saw the rest of them waiting on him to make an example of her and he knew that he had to do something. Getting up from the table he walked to Ivan taking his gun from him. There were other ways to get her to talk to find out everything she knew. “The only reason Rory is tapping you is to piss off his daddy and because he saw you here at the club on a pole, don’t kid yourself girl you know that deep down. Don’t you bring up your sister to me.”

He saw her eyes go to the gun and he took out everything but one of the bullets in the revolver. She wanted to play with the big boys they could, she’d be screaming everything out of her mouth by the time he was done with her. “Ivan get her up and out of the chair. Rocky go turn on some of that sweet music that she likes to dance too.” Kendrick said grabbing the chair and pulling it back seeing the fear in her eyes as he did so. He laughed at her she thought he’d make it quick for her? No he didn’t play like that he’d draw this out get every last bit of information and then feed her to the boys let them finish her off. “You’re music is about to start here is the deal you’re going to do a number for the boys here. You’re going to do it and enjoy it, Rocky here has been eyeing you for a while, You’ll enjoy it because that is what you signed up for when you went to Ronan when I told you not too. Then I’m going to ask you some questions about where Jamal is, about how much of my drugs he has or that you gave away. You answer we wrong, well there is five blanks and one bullet in here. You get to play that chance.”

“So expect me to snitch on a snitch?” Yasmine nodded her head as she touched the table. “I never saw you as a kingpin type nigga. You bossed up now huh bro? I don’t know what happened to you but damn you ambitious. You take over a white man club and aint Ronan apart of all those big dealers all around the country. You think you’re going take over a club and live? You stupider than I thought. Yo Rocky, Loco, and Ivan ya’ll better get out of here before this motherfucker gets you killed. I can bring up my sister because she would be disgusted with you. You aren’t the man you a walk deathwish. The midwest Vladmir Stavridis, The south The infamous O’Connors, the west who knows but I get a common vibe your black ass is in over your head.” As she slowly bit down on her lip. “I’m disgracing myself any longer so kill me motherfucker and never find over five million dollars worth of drugs.” She hissed as she looked at him. Shaking her head she knew that he could kill her.

“So now what? What you going to do because I refuse. I refuse to strip and refuse to tell you what our plans are. Just know Ronan is coming back for his crown and when does your dead. You a dead man and that doesn’t give me any satisfaction because all your potential was wasted. I don’t really care about what happens now. Kill me, don’t just do your worse because if I step on that stage again. I’ll be dead so go ahead pistol whip me, shoot me, or rape me because that’s insinuating with Rocky? I swear deep down you know Rory loves me so much. You jealous that nobody could ever love you. Nothing and no one will because no matter how much you try you died when Gina did. You aren’t Kendrick anymore you are whoever this is. So come on do your worst.” Yasmine yelled as Ivan turned his head sadly and Loco head was down. “So those drugs if you don’t let me go nobody will see them. So let me go.”

“I expect you to do what you are told.” Kendrick said coldly nodding his head at Ivan as Ivan slapped her face.

No one disrespected him now he was in charge not Ronan, not Thor or Philip no he was. He saw Yasine clutching her face and motioned with his gun for Rocky to grab her walking to the stage as the music blared, eh saw Rocky toss her down and watched out of the corner of his eyes as Ivan seemed to step back, which was ok at the moment he could watch the door.  He saw Loco get on the stage with Rocky too and nodded his head at both of them turning around to go back to the table, hearing the slaps of skin, he heard Yasmine cry and poured himself a shot downing it. Turning back he saw Rocky and Loco feeling her up, seeing the terror on her face along with a few tears and then looked at himself in the mirror. Her words about Gina ringing hard and he felt suddenly sick covering it with rage he walked to the stage gun drawn. Leaning down he saw Loco and Rocky back off.

“You gonna take a piece of that? Damn bro didn’t know you were into sistas.”

Kendrick looked over at Loco pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger the empty chamber going off as Loco shut his mouth. He then looked back at Yasmine her tear stained face that had been hit a few times, the blood on her lower lip and her nose,. Putting the gun to her head he was torn being the mobster gang banger he wanted and keeping his word to Gina. If word got out some rich kid swindled him out of drugs he would be the laughing stock and no one would take him seriously.

“Where did you put them Yasmine? Did Jackson take them in the bag, are they in the club.” Kendrick asked when she didn’t answer he closed his eyes pulling the trigger feeling her jump at the empty chamber. “That’s two. I can have Loco and Rocky over there finish this.”

In many ways Yasmine hadn’t been prepared for this. She never thought Kendrick would let men violate her body like this. When he hit her he crossed a line she couldn’t ever see him coming back from. Then she let Rocky and Loco do this to her the way he talked about her and Gina. Sucking on her lip she started to weep loudly. Gasping for air as she looked at him. Scampering for her dignity and her clothes Yasmine hands started to shake feverishly. Then he did the most disrespectful thing by pulling the trigger. Yasmine screamed at him. “Why?”

She kept repeating it over and over again. Holding her breath she tried as hard as she could to gather the words to speak. “He took them.” She didn’t believe that he was doing this to her. “Please I’ll get them back just let me go.” This man was the guy who used to bring her food when Trisha was hooked on drugs. The man who made sure she had school clothes and the man who promised to protect her. “What happened to you?  God what happened to you.” She gasped slowly as her chest heaved slowly. “My sister didn’t know you to let them do this to me. Ahhh. Ahhh how could you do this?” Her lip quivered as she slid back and fell off the stage.

Crawling into a fetal position Yasmine shook her head. “Let me go.” Taking deep breaths and she knew that she wasn’t going to be let go. “Please just kill me but don’t rape me have soul.”

Kendrick watched her on the floor pleading for her life as the words he wanted to hear left her mouth so Rory’s older brother took the drugs that was all she had to say. He stepped back from her as he pulled Rocky to his side. “Tell the boys watching Jackson to not make a move I want to make sure the drugs don’t leave where he is before we make a move.”

Shoving Rocky back he scanned the room seeing Loco looking at Yasmine eyeing her up and down and inside he screamed that it was enough. He watched as Rocky made his way to Ivan and the two took out their cellphones no doubt relaying his orders. He stepped over Yasmine on the ground making his way back to the table only to hear her whimper again and as he turned around he saw Loco laying over her, feeling her up and he didn’t know what came over him as he pulled out the gun. He counted them out in his head three, two, one watching Loco’s body fall to the floor as Yasmine screamed pushing him off.

“What the fuck man!” He heard Rocky say as he went to Loco’s body and he swore Rocky nearly reached for his own piece only he was quicker.

“Get me a hood.” Kendrick said quietly pointing his gun at Rocky who threw his hands up and did as he was told. He saw Ivan out of the corner of his eye help Yasmine up and place his coat on her shoulders as Rocky came back with the hood.

Walking to Yasmine Kendrick looked at her, his eyes full of hurt and regret. “That’s all you had to do.” Grabbing the hood from Rocky he shoved it over her head. He took a few breaths as he saw Loco’s body still on the floor the blood seeping out of his now lifeless form. He could tell that Ivan and Rocky were waiting for him to make the next move and the next order. “Take her to the safehouse for now. No one and I mean no one touches her you both got it?”

When they nodded their head at him he saw them leading her to the door and the waiting car they had. Walking to Loco he bent down closing his eyelids wondering how in the hell it had all come to this with him and Yasmine.

Yasmine shook her head as Ivan sadly approached her and placed the hood on her. Her heart was beating out of her chest as she screamed begging to be let go. Everyone was silence. “Please call Ronan, or someone please.” Her nails dug into Ivan skin and he squeezed her arm back and all she could do is cry. “Please God I haven’t been a bad person and selling drugs is horrible. Please one of you take care of my momma please. God please protect her from the streets because she isn’t a bad person. Please God.”