Broken (The Broken Series Book 1) (21 page)

BOOK: Broken (The Broken Series Book 1)
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

I took a breath. Those words were so true they resonated deep inside me. That was everything I had wanted to explain to Lauren, but couldn’t articulate. But now, sitting here with Jack, the truth just came tumbling out of my mouth. It felt so raw and so truthful that for a moment I was too shocked to say anything else.

He reached out to hold my hand, his dark eyes burning into mine.

“I do owe this to Lauren,” I said. “If I prove to her that I’m worthy of her trust this time, then hopefully that will mean something to her.”

He considered my words and then nodded.

“Would you have wanted me to take the test?” The words tumbled from my mouth before I could stop them.

He shook his head and gazed into my eyes. His eyes were dark and burning with sincerity when he said, “No, I trust you. I don’t believe you took anything.”

His words conjured a flood of warmth through my body. He trusted me, and I couldn’t begin to describe how good that felt.


I was sitting with Lauren in the clinic waiting room when the snooty receptionist called my name. I’d already provided the urine sample.

It’s not easy to take a pee when someone is watching you like a hawk.

I understand why they have to watch you, though. Addiction makes a person sneaky. I’m sure they’ve caught plenty of people trying to pass someone else’s pee off as their own. That’s just one of the crazy things you stoop to when all you can think about is your next high.

Lauren gave me a sympathetic smile as I got to my feet. I set down the glossy magazine I’d been flipping through and walked towards the doctor’s office.

No one stared as I walked past. They mostly looked embarrassed to be there. There was such a huge contrast between this place with its super-rich clientele and the first clinic I’d attended back in Miami. But I wasn’t as intimidated as I had been when I went to the program Kate’s fiancé had paid for. I knew now that even the super-rich could suffer from addiction problems.

I took a shy glance at a few of the other patients in the waiting room as I walked past. If they hadn’t been here in the clinic there was no way I would have guessed they had an addiction problem.

The four women in here were groomed to within an inch of their lives: shiny painted nails, bouncy hair that probably took them an hour to style every morning and clothes that looked ridiculously expensive.

A woman with a Chanel purse on her lap caught my eye, then quickly looked away.

There was one guy in the waiting room. I guessed he was about forty. He wore a dark suit and a huge gold Rolex and flipped through the financial pages of the Monaco Times as if it was the most engrossing thing he’d ever seen.

I took a deep breath and opened the door to the doctor’s office. It was nothing to worry about, I told myself. I’d done this so many times before, but the butterflies in my stomach were crashing around like pterodactyls.

I pressed a hand to my stomach and tried to smile at the doctor as I took a seat in front of her desk.

The doctor was female, young and very pretty. She shuffled the notes in front of her, then tapped a couple of keys on her laptop.

“Kristina Taylor? Nice to meet you. My name is Doctor Hamblin. If you could roll up your sleeve please.”

I did as she asked and held out my arm. I looked away as she picked up the needle. I had always hated needles. Ironic, right?

In every other clinic I’d attended, a nurse had taken my blood sample and the doctor — if I even saw one — just filled in my notes. I guess when you were paying over two hundred dollars for a blood test, you got a different level of service.

“You can wait for the results. They should be ready in half an hour or so. Or if you prefer, we can phone the results through to you as soon as they are ready.”

“I’d prefer to wait, thank you.”

I joined Lauren back in the waiting area.

Lauren was happy flipping through the pages of an old magazine, but I just sat there with my hands in my lap staring blankly ahead.

It seemed like ages before the receptionist finally called us up.

“The doctor has your drug test results now, did you want to see her again, or do you just want the results on a slip?” She said the words as if they left a dirty taste in her mouth, and she said them so loudly so that everybody else in the waiting area could hear her and know exactly what I was at the clinic for.

I mean it didn’t take a genius to work out. Everyone here was attending for the same reason, but she didn’t need to shout about it.


“I’ll take the paper,” I mumbled. I didn’t want to see the doctor again. I just wanted to get out of there.

She gave me a suit yourself look and pushed the slip of paper across the desk towards me.

“Is there anything else I can help you with today?” she asked with a saccharin sweet voice and a false smile.

I shook my head and walked back to where Lauren was sitting. Without speaking I handed her the slip of paper and headed for the exit.

I was walking fast towards the parking lot, and my eyes were welling up with tears. I couldn’t explain why.

I heard Lauren scrambling behind me, trying to catch up, and I stopped in the middle of the parking lot.

When I turned I saw she was holding the strip of paper above her head. “It’s clean,” she said. “Totally clean.”

I didn’t reply. I knew there would be nothing there. This whole thing was so I could prove myself to Lauren. To make her trust me.

So I just nodded and started walking back towards the car, but Lauren reached my side and put her hand on my arm.

“Listen, Kristina, I’m really sorry. I can admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong this time. Like hugely wrong. Can you forgive me?”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” I said.

“I should have trusted you.”

I shook my head. “It isn’t as simple as that. I haven’t exactly been trustworthy in the past, have I? So I get it. I needed to earn your trust.”

“Well you have earned it, okay? Friends?” she said, looping her arm around mine and grinning up at me.

I couldn’t help smiling back. “Yeah, of course.”


“Oh, hell no.”

Jack was standing, leaning against one crutch, with a face like thunder.

Olga and Brian stood in front of him. They were trying to convince him that it was a good idea for him to go to a party tonight. They weren’t doing very well so far.

I had expected this.

Since I’d got things sorted with Lauren, I was feeling more relaxed, so I decided to sit back and enjoy the show.

Olga and Brian versus Jack.

I had a pretty good idea of who was going to win.

Jack’s head whipped around and he glared at me. “Has this got anything to do with you?”

He looked so ferociously angry it scared me. I shook my head.

“Don’t bring me into it. It wasn’t my idea.”

“Just go for an hour, Jack,” Brian said. “It won’t be that bad.”

“Really?” Jack said, his tone dripping with sarcasm. “I don’t see you getting dressed up in a penguin suit to go and waste your time with a bunch of spoilt, rich people who endlessly talk about oil trading and casinos and will be gossiping about me as soon as I step foot in the door.”

“Your brother will be there and Lauren and Kristina. I’m sure they’ll have more interesting conversation.”

“I have Kristina here all the time anyway,” he said, lifting the crutch in the air and jabbing it in my direction.

I scowled. Great. There was nothing like being taken for granted.

Brian shook his head. “You’re such a charmer, Jack.”

A puzzled frown passed over Jack’s forehead. “What? Kristina is paid to be with me.”

Jack maneuvered himself past Olga and Brian and sat on the opposite end of the couch to me.

He shot me a sideways glance. “You went out last night as well. What are you? Some kind of party animal?”

“I already told you,” I said. “This has nothing to do with me. I didn’t know anything about it until Olga showed me the suit.”

Jack narrowed his eyes, and I didn’t think he believed me.

“I don’t see why you’re making such a big deal of it,” I said. “It’s just a party. Why don’t you do it for your brother? He does loads of stuff for you.”

Jack looked like he was going to make some sarcastic retort, but then thought better of it.

“Fine,” he said.

Brian cupped a hand behind his ear. “What was that? Did you just agree to go out tonight?”

Jack pointed at him. “Don’t try to be funny or I’ll change my mind.”

He said the words in a really moody tone, but I could see that there was a trace of a smile on his lips, and I thought maybe Brian and Olga were right all along.

Maybe this was exactly what Jack needed.


The party at the billionaire club was already in full swing when we arrived.

The four of us, Alexander, Lauren, Jack and myself tried to weave between the crowd of party-goers standing by the door, but it wasn’t easy for Jack.

He’d got both his crutches. I waited for him, letting him walk ahead of me, and now I understood what he had been talking about earlier.

I’d thought he’d been exaggerating. I was wrong.

Every set of eyes in the room had focused on him. I could hear whispers and murmurs, and it made me so mad, but Jack just ignored them and followed Alexander and Lauren towards the bar.

The club was situated closer to the center of Monte Carlo than the party last night, and the hotel was attached to a particularly well know casino.

We were here as guests of Alexander because the party had been laid on to celebrate the launch of a new jewelry line made by a very famous company. Apparently, Alexander did a lot of business with them.

It was very different from the party last night. There were no waiters and waitresses going around with glasses of champagne. Tonight, we had to order our own drinks – but at least they were still free. Alexander ordered a round, and I asked for a Harvey Wallbanger.

After Alexander handed us our drinks, he looked at Jack, concerned. “Let’s find somewhere to sit down.”

Jack waved him away. “No I’m fine. Stop fussing.”

I studied Alexander’s face, expecting him to look hurt or offended, but Alexander had always looked so damn cool, like nothing ever ruffled him.

Lauren was gazing at Alexander, too, with puppy dog eyes.

I wondered if she was regretting coming to Monaco now. I still hadn’t asked her what was going on between her and Alexander. After the whole trust issue, it hadn’t seemed like the right time.

Jack not wanting to sit down was ridiculous, though. He was using both hands to hold the crutches, so he couldn’t even pick up his drink.

I leaned a little closer to him and whispered in his ear. “Come on let’s find somewhere to sit down.”

He pulled away from me as if I had slapped him, and he looked wounded. “I said I’m fine, stop fussing.”

I glared at him. “I’m not fussing. I just want to sit down. These heels are really high.”

I pointed down at my black high-heels.

For a fraction of a second, Jack lost his pissed look. His gaze was definitely heated as it lingered on my shoes and legs for quite a bit longer than was necessary.

I bit my lip. That was all it took— one simple look— to make me remember last night. I felt the dampness between my thighs as I thought about the way his hot mouth felt against mine, the way he looked at me as he…

Wow. It was getting hot in here. I took a large gulp of my drink.

Jack shrugged. “Okay, fine we’ll sit down.”

Alexander took Jack’s drink and his own and nodded to one of the staff behind the bar.

The bartender, eager to please Alexander, scurried around and led us to a miraculously empty table at the back of the room. Apparently people like Alexander could always find a table.

We sat down, and Alexander tried to create conversation, but it was difficult. Jack was being monosyllabic.

Finally Alexander seemed to admit defeat. He drained his glass and told us he was going to speak to the director and congratulate them on the launch of the new jewelry line.

Shortly afterwards, Lauren excused herself to use the restroom, and Jack and I were finally alone.

BOOK: Broken (The Broken Series Book 1)
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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