Read Into the Blackness (Blackness Series Book 4) Online

Authors: Norma Jeanne Karlsson

Tags: #Romance, #romantic thriller, #contemporary romance, #Romantic Suspense

Into the Blackness (Blackness Series Book 4) (8 page)

BOOK: Into the Blackness (Blackness Series Book 4)
4.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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“I’m sorry about last night, Kat. I haven’t had a nightmare that bad in a long time,” he whispers.

“There’s nothing to apologize for. Life has a jacked up way of dealin’ with shit. Nightmares are part and parcel of life and this job. I struggled my first few years with ’em. I always felt better when I had someone with me afterward…even a mark.”

“You still have ’em? The nightmares?”

“Not really. I don’t know how to explain it. One day they were just gone. Maybe I’d done so much fucked up shit by that point my brain couldn’t pick what to torture me with so it gave up.” I shrug.

Jake moves his gaze from the ceiling back to my face.

“It’s the bedroom.”

“The bedroom?”

“Never had one of my own. Whenever I’ve slept in one…” he trails off not needing to finish.

I saw the fear and I’m pretty good at math. Someone in his life did some fucked up shit to him.

“Can I help you with that?” I ask softly running my fingers through his shaggy light hair.

“I need to do it on my own. But thanks, Kat. I just really…thanks,” he breathes out closing his eyes.

“You’re welcome. You need anything I’m always here.”

I stroke his hair a few more times before patting his cheek and sitting up. I look over at the clock that reads 3:32 pm. Shit I slept all damn day!

Sliding off the bed, I right my extremely annoying nightie.

“You and Nick gonna be all right?” he asks standing up from the bed.

He looks so cute in a white polo and plaid shorts.

“You and Nick all right?” I return.

“We’re fine. I get that you were pissed at how he talked to me, but that shit doesn’t faze me. I wasn’t mad at Nick. I wasn’t offended by Nick. He’s a good guy. He apologized and offered to help me out just like you. You can call off your dogs if you’re only pissed because he was a kinda rough during a weird situation.”

When he puts it like that, I feel like a complete drama queen. I have too much pride to admit that though.

“He also informed me that he
runs
shit and that I’m expected to just take what he dishes out. That’s my bigger irritation at this point,” I huff.

“Can you imagine Nick not runnin’ shit? Have you met him? Do you know anything about his last op?”

“I don’t know much. I know it was ten years long, which is well outside company norms. I know he informed me he’s a monster like I’ve never encountered. I’ve been with the company long enough to know how guys like Nick work, all bossy and demanding. Just never had it laid out for me like he did this morning.”

“He was an enforcer in a crime family. I know that much. There’s not a lot of detail in his files beyond that, but from what I gathered, he’s lived a long time runnin’ shit in a way you and I haven’t. That doesn’t just go away because he has to play family man now.”

Well, that gives me a bit of insight into the man pretending to be my husband. A decade of murder, torture and God knows what else would be hard to break out of.

“Did Shane tell you Nick was runnin’ this op?”

“Yeah,” he says like I should know that too.

I lied when I told Nick I knew. Well, that entire interaction was me lying and faking just to get away from him before I did something that would surely get me fired.

“Damn it. Shane did
not
tell me. He’s got an ass whipping coming his way once we’re back in Virginia.”

“I suspect he didn’t tell you because you wouldn’t have taken that news very well. He needed you here. Shitty move, but it makes sense.”

“You’re too sweet and too logical for me to talk to anymore.”

He beams a bright shiny smile at me and I beam one right back.

“Nick did say we’re now workin’ the op twenty-four seven. I think that’s a good idea. I feel like there are eyes on us wherever we turn. When we walked around the high school there were definitely interested eyes on us.”

“It’s easier to work an op that way. It gets exhausting going back and forth, at least for me. I can’t be super
Stepford
all the time though. My brain’ll rot. But I can do the housewife roll with ease. So with that in mind I need to get dressed and begin preparing dinner.”

“You a good cook?” he asks excitedly.

“I do all right,” I lie. I’m a damn good cook when given the opportunity.

“Liar,” he snorts. This kid reads people too well. I’ll have to keep that in mind.

I scrunch my nose at him gaining me a tickle of laughter that warms my soul. I like Jake…a lot.

“I’ll be down in a bit,” I say turning toward the bathroom.

After a miraculous shower that took me a good ten minutes to figure out how to operate, I feel like a new woman. I would love to sink into a pair of jeans and a hoodie, but I have nothing close to that in my closet. I did find a pair of blush colored Marc Jacobs twill pants and a coordinated striped crew neck capped sleeved shirt. There’s a manual in the dressing room that helps me out (instructs with precise detail) with my wardrobe. I’m not an idiot when it comes to fashion, but I’m not from the multimillion-dollar-mansion thousand-dollar-pants world either. I’m happy for the assistance.

I leave the make-up light and nude with a pink lip and my hair in an off kilter chignon at the base of my head. No fluffy bunny slippers so I settle on low heeled strappy sandals. Small drop pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet with diamond accents are in place with my Franck Muller diamond faced watch. I’m a vision of
Stepford
.

I step into our bedroom and quickly make our bed before heading to the kitchen to feed my family.

When I enter the massive space I find it empty, save for a murmur coming from the family room. I take a few steps in that direction to find Jake and Nick stretched out on the couches watching ESPN.

“Good afternoon boys,” I call out to them.

Jake, like a good teenager, simply waves his hand over his head without looking at me. Nick swiftly scissors up off the couch to come and greet his wife properly. He makes his way through the room slowly, allowing me to drink in his appearance. Perfectly tailored dark wash jeans hug his thighs just enough to let you know the legs beneath are defined and powerful, paired with a snug charcoal polo. His wrist is adorned with an all black Franck Muller skeleton watch. His wedding band is wide and shiny, glinting in the sun streaming through our wall of glass in the breakfast area.

“Sunshine, you look good after some rest,” he murmurs into my cheek before placing a kiss there.

“I feel better. Thanks,” I say softly.

Nick slides one powerful arm around my waist before pulling me firmly into his body.

“We good?” he questions, a thoughtful look on his face.

“We’re good, Nicky,” I coo leaning up on my tiptoes to kiss his cheek.

He bends forward slightly so that I can reach my intended destination. When I drop back down, he squeezes me once before letting me go.

“Any requests for dinner?” I ask moving toward the kitchen.

“Somethin’ more than the sandwiches we threw together for lunch.”

I pull on an apron and set about making lemon and rosemary pork with a chickpea salad. All of the ingredients stocked in our kitchen and pantry are organic and fresh. This I could get used to. As I prep vegetables and begin cooking Jake and Nick sporadically join me to check on the progress, both of them sweet and tender with me at all times.

“Jake will you set the table please?” I ask on his most recent visit to my side.

“Sure.”

“Wine?” Nick asks standing near the door to the basement, which houses a good sized wine cellar.

“White please,” I respond with a smile.

Nick offers me a tip of the chin before descending the stairs. I prepare our plates and move them to the table as Nick rejoins the area, wine in hand. I doubt Nick drinks wine so I move back into the kitchen and pour him a glass of Stella.

He smiles broadly at my return to the table. I set his beer down and take my seat, relishing how good it feels to enjoy a normal sit down family meal. The sounds that the guys make as they dig in causes a tingle inside my chest and I feel even better about our normal end to an uncomfortable day.

Kat

“Play nice with the other kids, dear,” I call to Jake as he climbs from my SUV on his first day at school.

He snorts through a broad grin before swinging his legs out and fading into a mass of teenagers. He’s a braver man than I.

I take a leisurely drive back to our house enjoying the gorgeous scenery of our new town. The rolling hills mixed with the Metacomet Ridge provide a picturesque dawdle for this newly appointed housewife. The green canopy that surrounds Maybelle will surely be breathtaking once autumn is upon us. Ambers and hues of gold mixed with the changing season will be a nice experience to have with my new family.

I swing my BMW into the driveway curving around to our three car garage before parking. I float into the kitchen in my black high wasted trousers and sky high wedges. A crisp tailored white button down to finish off the look with my pearls and designer watch…too much shit first thing in the morning.

I have no clue what to do with myself now. This is going to be a slow op. Slower than any op I’ve been on. I’ve been on some slow ones where I had to work hard to get close to my mark, but I was always working. In this scenario, we have to be seen and then be brought in by our marks. Seeking them out will blow us faster than just tattooing that shit on our foreheads and running naked through downtown.

What the hell does a housewife do all day? If we had small children I’d be busy, but we have a self-sufficient teenager. I’m not associated with any committees or boards and if I want to be that’ll take time to work into. We have a gardener and a pool guy and no need for a housekeeper. What am I supposed to do all day?

“How’d drop off go?” Nick asks striding in the room looking like a Hugo Boss ad, navy suit, white shirt unbuttoned at the neck, and shiny red-hued brown leather shoes. Sexy as hell.

“He’s a brave man wading into that. You couldn’t pay me in orgasms to convince me to go back to high school,” I joke.

Nick barks out a laugh before offering me a coy smile.

“I’m glad to know what your motivations in life are.”


Pfft
, I’ll give you a list if you want.”

We move together to the breakfast table with fresh mugs of coffee, Nick sitting at the head of the table me at his left. These have become our spots it would seem over the last week.

“Where are you off to today looking all dapper?” I ask over the rim of my mug.

“Work,” he says like I should know this.

“Oh, I didn’t know you had anything lined up already.”

“I set up some meetings at the end of last week. Just getting my face seen in town more than anything.”

“I have no idea what to do with myself. What do women like me do all day?” I ask with a little hurt in my voice at the idea I’ll actually be alone all day.

“Shop? Go out with other women? Fuck, I don’t know,” he says with a grimace feeling my pain.

“What should I shop for? This house is stocked to the gills with everything we could ever need. I’ll feel like a hoarder if I start buying more stuff.”

“Sunshine, I don’t think it’s lost on you that I have no clue what you should shop for. I’ll hand you my credit card with a smile whenever you figure it out,” he says sweetly.

“I don’t have my own credit cards?” I ask in shock.

“It was a joke.” He breaks into a low chuckle.

“Well I wasn’t sure how far your controlling caveman routine went in life.”

“I’m not controlling or abusive so please don’t paint me with that brush,” he grunts getting irritated with me.

“You
are
controlling, but no, you’re not abusive. I’m sorry if I’ve offended you.”

“What kinda man do you want in life, Kat?”

“I’m married now so a pool boy would suit my needs just fine,” I say through a wry smile.

That gifts me a pointed glare.

“I don’t date so I can’t really answer that. The last boyfriend I had was in high school. The agency recruited me the day I graduated and sent me to training a few days later. You know this job doesn’t allow for personal relationships. Any I’ve had were with marks, so they don’t count. What about you? You spent a decade on an op. Have any relationships during that time?”

“Not anything serious. The op didn’t allow for anything beyond casual. You’re dodging my question,” he says with a raised brow.

“I want the dream like every other woman, Nick. I’m a lot to handle so I need someone that can do that without difficulty. I want someone that takes care of me not because I need it but because he wants to. I want time and attention without feeling guilty about wanting it. I want the man that women want and men want to be. A good friend, a soft place to land at the end of the day, a kind soul, a partner and a man that would like to be a father because in this hypothetical world I’m creating at the moment I get to have kids.” I offer a slight shrug when I finish.

“Would he be a pussy?”

“What?” I ask horrified and annoyed at being abruptly pulled from the perfect vision I had just produced in my head.

“Your man…would he be a pussy?”

BOOK: Into the Blackness (Blackness Series Book 4)
4.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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