Authors: Stylo Fantome
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Suspense, #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense
Published by Stylo Fantome
BattleAxe Production, Edition
Barbara Shane Hoover
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I not only write, I read. A lot. Probably more than is healthy. There are a lot of things I love about self-publishing/indie authors, and a lot of things I'm not a fan of. Just personal preferences, no disrespect meant. So when I decided to self-publish, I made some promises to myself to try my hardest to avoid doing those things I didn't like seeing/happening in other stories. Now I would like to make those promises to you, the reader:
to never leave you hanging. If I write a story with a cliffhanger ending, I will only publish it when the second part is completely written.
will be published within 16 weeks –
– of the previous part (i.e., part
will come within four months of part
will come within four months of part
, and so on, and so forth). You will never have to wait six months, or a year, or
, for a sequel to any
that I might write.
that, while I am an
author, I will never raise the price of any part of a
above $2.99. I will not “hook you” with book one, two, and three at $1.99 and/or $2.99, and then suddenly book four is $4.99. I refuse to pay for series that are like that, so I will never do that to you.
that if I am lucky enough and blessed enough to have fans, I will interact and communicate with them as much as possible – you are who this is all for, after all.
If at any point in time, I fail to live up to any of these promises, you have my permission to tar and feather me, beat me, leave me for dead, or worst of all – call me out.
No work is ever really completed, no story ever completely told, but I will always try my hardest to bring you my best.
Thank you for reading.
For asking me questions that lead to thoughts that lead to moments in a story. This epilogue wouldn't exist without you.
And to SueBee
This epilogue wouldn't have been published without your encouragement.
The Kane Trilogy
“Stop. Stop, I'm begging you.”
“Begging, huh. I must be doing something right.”
“I can't take anymore.”
“You'll take everything I have to give.”
“I don't think so.”
“Are you finished?”
“Then neither am I.”
Jameson leaned back on his heels. Tate gasped for air underneath him, one of her hands resting against her chest, the other pushing her hair out of her face.
“If you don't like to be punished,” he started in a low voice, “then maybe you shouldn't be so bad.”
“I'm sorry. I can't help it,” she panted, licking her lips.
“Are you finished?” he asked again. She finally opened her eyes, looked up at him.
“This isn't fair, you know,” she pointed out. He snorted.
“Since when have I ever given a fuck about what's fair?”
“This goes beyond that.”
I'm sorry, am I still needed?
Both of them craned their heads around towards the voice. Sanders stood upright and dusted off his pant legs. Adjusted his tie. Tate chuckled and Jameson turned back towards her.
“I'm not sure. Tatum, are you going to behave?” he asked. She smiled big.
“Now that's a fucking lie.”
“But all I asked was -,”
“If you would just -,”
“I'm warning you.”
“Just tell me when -,”
Are we leaving soon!?
” Tate couldn't hold back, asking for the millionth time. Jameson sighed and leaned back over her, trying to grab onto her wrists.
“This time, Sanders, hold her arms down,” he instructed.
“No! No! I'm sorry! Two against one isn't fair!” Tate yelled. Sanders took hold of her wrists and held them against the floor while Jameson scooted down her body.
“You asked for this,” was all he said before he lowered his head.
“No!” she shrieked, but then his lips were against her.
“I can't believe I came all the way home just to witness this,” Sanders complained, looking away. Jameson lifted his head.
“Shut up, you love it.”
And then he went back to blowing raspberries on Tate's stomach.
A lot can happen in two years.
Tate drove back to Boston with Jameson and Sanders. She stayed with Jameson, lived with him in Weston. It was home, after all.
Jameson was the devil. Sometimes he was cruel, sometimes he was sadistic, sometimes he made her want to tear her hair out. But always,
, he made her love him even more. Underneath everything, was his love. His trust. His adoration.
Sure, they weren't perfect, and she was pretty sure they had turned fighting into an art form. One time she threw a dinner plate at his head and called him retarded. Then he held her down in the shower, calling her a hot-head. But it worked for them, and afterwards he “punished” her by tying her wrists together and fucking her in the hallway. She loved it.
Every single second.
When they got through the summer without anymore hiccups, she decided to take his and Sanders' advice, and she went back to school. Sanders had been right, Tate was a smart girl, and she excelled at her classes. She was going to work towards a business degree so she could open her own bar, and Jameson informed her that if she finished the year strong, he would help facilitate that dream.
But then a bomb was dropped. That next spring, Sanders decided it was time to leave the nest. Tate took it a lot harder than she would have thought; they had grown ridiculously close. He was her best friend, they went everywhere together. He taught her how to drive a stick shift, she taught him how to play beer pong. What would she do without him!?
She wasn't sure how to deal with it. Jameson was of no help at first, wouldn't even tell her the reason why – neither of them would. She pouted. She gave everyone the silent treatment. But finally, she gave in and told him if he had to go, then he had to go, and wished him well.
Though she did make sure to give him a going away party he would never forget.
By the time June rolled around, Tate had a lot of freedom. Ang had moved to Los Angeles – his porn career finally took off, no more B-rate for him. Sanders was in Moscow. Her old roommate Rusty had moved away, and even Tate's sister, Ellie, was settled down with a new boyfriend, way out in the country side. And Tate loved Jameson, she really did, but she couldn't spend
her time with him. They would kill each other if they didn't come up for air once in a while.
Jameson solved the problem by making good on his promise – he bought her a bar. Just came home one day and gave her the keys. At first she was angry. If it was going to be hers, she wanted to be the one to pick it out, to scout the location, to see if it worked for her. She wanted to yell at him, get mad. But somehow it evolved into crazy sex in the conservatory, and suddenly she was making a midnight phone call to Sanders, explaining to him that his geraniums wouldn't be there when he came home.
Jameson had actually picked the perfect location. It shouldn't have been a shock, really. Tate had learned to expect perfection to come out of most of his decisions. The man didn't do things by halves. And it also turned out that the bar Tate used to work in had closed down, and she was able to hire most of the old staff, people she trusted and knew worked well. She was very confident that her first foray into business would be a success.
Turned out “
” wasn't a strong enough word – business was
. It took off like a rocket. She managed the place as well as worked the bar for the first six months. It completely killed her college career, and almost caused Jameson to kill her. He didn't like her being gone so much. She eventually dropped out of school altogether, figuring she was doing well enough on her own anyway. And after one too many late nights, she decided to back off of working on the floor. Set some hours for herself. Took a vacation even, visited Sanders.
It was all going so well that by the following spring, she approached Jameson with the idea of opening a second bar. Something a little different. A little darker,
, and in a different part of town. His response was a hearty “
”, at first. But she had ways of convincing him, and it helped that she promised to keep the same hours. It took a couple months of begging, but she finally got her way.
We should have a party.
Jameson suggested it towards the end of the summer. It was shocking – Jameson never wanted to have a party. Never wanted to leave the house, and never wanted people to come over. Tate had been busy scouting new bars, and figured it was his way of getting her attention.
“What kind of party?” she asked.
“A special kind.”
“Oh god. I'm not ready for an orgy.”
He thought it would be fun for one last hoorah, of sorts. The new bar, along with the old bar, would take up all her free time. It would be a while before they would be able to get out and get away, or anything like that; so why not have Sanders come home for a visit, and they could spend an evening in New York together?
Well, who could say no to that? Didn't seem like such a big deal.
Though she seemed to have forgotten that virtually
Jameson did turned into a big deal, some way or another ...
“Can we please
” Tate groaned at the foot of the stairs. It was an hour or so after the library incident, and still, Jameson was being tight lipped about their plans. Had only told her to be ready to go in an hour. It was one o'clock in the afternoon, and it only took three or four hours to drive to New York. Seemed kind of early for dinner.
they were going to dinner.
I hate surprises.
“Jesus, you're like a toddler,” Jameson grumbled, finally coming down the stairs.
“Well, I've been waiting down here for
,” she pointed out. He rolled his eyes and turned his back to her.
“Ten minutes. It's been ten minutes since you came down here,” he corrected her. She smoothed out the material over his shoulders, then pulled the hem of his suit jacket into place.
like forever,” she tried to argue.
“Shut the fuck up or we won't be going anywhere.”
She skipped out the door behind him.
Sanders drove. It felt kind of strange, having him behind the wheel again, but he refused to ride as a passenger in almost any car he was in, so they let him drive. Tate didn't pay attention to where they were going, so she was surprised when they stopped at her bar. She stared for a second, taking in the neon “
“You brought me to work?” she asked. Jameson nodded, putting his hand on the small of her back.
“You throw shitty parties.”
It turned out to be a surprise party. Jameson had arranged everything – the bar was closed, and there were drinks and enough food for everybody. Tate laughed and full on kissed him, to the point cat calls had to be issued to get her to let go of him.
She ate, she drank, and she most definitely made merry. Possibly too merry. Several cocktails and a couple shots later, Jameson announced it was time to go. They really were going to New York, and they would have to book it if they wanted to make it in time for their dinner reservations.
“Mmmm, how many hours does it take to get there?” Tate purred, leaning into him after they were in the car and on the freeway.
“We have about three left to go,” Jameson replied, loosening his tie a little. Tate ran her hand up and down it.
“What should we do to pass the time?” she asked softly, then nibbled on his ear lobe. He chuckled.
“I did just throw a party for you. I think you owe me,” he suggested. She laughed, then stretched one of her legs across his own.
“Oh really. And what do I owe you?” she asked, her voice husky as she raked her nails down his chest.
“I think you owe
“You can have that at the end of the night.”
“I want it
“Because Sanders is driving and you still haven't learned how to keep your mouth shut.”
Jameson had actually had the Bentley outfitted with a privacy window between the front and back of the car, but it wasn't entirely soundproof, and he was right; Tate wasn't quiet at the best of times. When she was tipsy, like she was right then, she wasn't able to keep quiet
But he did point out that she couldn't make too much noise if her mouth was full. Before the thought was even fully voiced, she was on her knees, pulling his belt loose. She had him coming in record time.
Dinner was amazing. The best food, the most expensive champagne, and the two people she loved most in the world. Even Sanders had a couple glasses and was convinced to laugh more than a few times.
“No getting drunk, you're our designated driver,” Jameson reminded him. Sanders cleared his throat.
“Of course not, I am not a '
',” he replied. Tate cackled.
“Remember that time … when Jameson was out of town? And we got wasted,” she stammered in between chuckles. Sanders smiled.
“Yes. You tore down the curtains in the library,” he recalled. Jameson's eyebrows went up.
“That's how those got ripped!?”
“Tattle tale,” Tate laughed even harder.
Dinner had been late, which led her to guess that they were going to stay in a hotel for the night. So Tate was shocked when Sanders drove right through downtown and pulled up in front of a night club.
“Seriously?” she asked, glancing back at Jameson.
“Seriously. Occasionally, I like to see you smile.”
Jameson wasn't the biggest fan of dancing, and generally hated proper night clubs. Too much noise, too many people, too many rules. If he was going to be crammed into a building with dark lighting and sexy music and half naked women, he figured he should at least be allowed to have sex at some point. Most U.S. night clubs frowned on that kind of thing, so he rarely went – if Tate felt like a night out, she usually had to do it solo.
But he'd gone all out for her that night. They bypassed the huge line, of course. Mr. Kane did not wait in lines. A velvet rope was swept aside with great flourish, and then they were led into the dark club by a young man who seemed way too excited to help them.
Someone should've warned him that Jameson's a stingy tipper when it comes to guys.
Of course there was the main dance floor, and of course there were VIP tables. They walked past all of those to a back wall, in front of which stood several wrought iron, spiral staircases. Tate looked up and was surprised to see matching balconies that showed people dancing. Private rooms. Nice.
“If you need anything, anything at all,” the young man was gushing as he showed them around their room, “just pick up the phone and a waitress will be right with you. Tammy will be your server, and she'll be with you shortly.”
Jameson made himself comfortable on a velvet couch while Sanders stood by the door, looking uncomfortable (i.e., normal). When a waitress showed up to take their order for bottle service, Tate went out to bop around on the balcony, and didn't come back in until the liquor was delivered.
Scotch for Jameson. Perrier for Sanders. And of course, Jack Daniel's for Tate.
She had the best time. Jameson sat in the room and smoked cigars, chit-chatting with Sanders, but that didn't stop Tate from finding fun. It turned out that a semi-famous rap star was in the VIP room next to theirs, and while she was dancing, Tate got to talking with some girls that were on his balcony. Before long, she was stretching and crawling over the railings, tumbling into their party.
It was a good two hours before she made her way back to the balcony. She was significantly tipsier, but still having fun. She cackled and shouted into her room, leaning over the railings. Jameson finally came out.
“Jesus, I thought you were going to stay over there all night,” he snapped.
you knew where I was, you could've come and gotten me,” she pointed out.
“I shouldn't have to chase you down.”
“You love chasing me down.
,” she whined, holding her arms out to him.
He shook his head, but Jameson was laughing as he helped lift her over the railings, back onto their side. She laughed as well, stumbling into the room and falling on the couch. Sanders stared across the room, but a smile played on his lips.
“Having a good time?” he asked.
time. But my feet hurt,” she groaned, sticking her legs up in the air and shaking her feet in his face. She was wearing ridiculously high stilettos. She wondered why she'd thought they were a good idea.