Authors: Lori Turner
Copyright © 2013 Lori Turner
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Copyright © 2013 Lori Turner
Lovers and Reprisals
Three families with seemingly nothing in common find themselves intertwined after a series of events test their limits and these incidents are too close to be mere coincidences. A murder, an accident, and a budding romance that is viewed as a taboo subject. Some relationships blossom, while others tread disallowed limits. Decorum is set aside for the savoring of forbidden fruit. Past wounds are healed, and all is forgiven. Some probe the perimeters of love, even when the lover just so happens to be the boss. Where are these relationships heading? Who will live and which relationship stands the chance of dying. The Lovers Series is an exciting seductive story that follows three central families and the web of intrigue that challenges their decisions as lovers. Take the plunge. The Lovers Series is bound to be a collection of riveting stories. Edgy, breaking the rules, bordering on the forbidden.
Vengeance; a moral judgement.
Also known as, an eye for an eye.
Two hours and eleven minutes before midnight
A red balloon bounced from hood to hood, crossing the street on a lift of wind. Tollin was fixated on the thing. There was nothing spectacular about this one particular object, but he gaped in awe, glued to the sidewalk. When a gush sent the balloon climbing skyward, Tollin sensed a searing burn, because he’d inadvertently followed its trajectory, gazing directly into the sun. A rapid flow of tears filled his eyes, briefly blinding him. The pain had been so immense, a cry slipped pass clinched teeth. Even though he’d been momentarily blinded, his other senses heightened. The sound of moving traffic seemed to amplify--and there were other things. His nose twitched, unexpectedly offended by the smells. He’d been standing near an alley, and if he didn’t know better, he would swear that the smells had sprouted legs, jumped out of the garbage cans, then settled directly beneath his feet.
“Ugh...shit” he muttered; shit indeed. The offensive smell was a combination of raw, rank and rotten. He couldn’t imagine anything more vile--then images filled his brain--decomposing meat caked with squirming ravenous maggots.
Hearing his name prompted an instinctual reaction. Tollin’s eyes popped wide. He strained, staring in the direction of the voice. In the distance a curvaceous form swayed sultrily like the ooze of silvery mercury. She stopped a few feet from the opened limo door. His eyes locked on the image.
“Eliza” He sang her name. It had been a lifetime since he’d seen her, yet there she was; flowing raven black hair curtaining the length of her back.
“Tollin...” again, he heard her calling him, but where had she gone?
Ah--yes, he thought. She’s waiting for him in the limo. Tollin shook off his confusion, and he didn’t bother himself over Eliza’s unexpected presence. She’d always been his lucky charm and it was high time that she’d returned, giving him the opportunity to undo all that had gone wrong. He strode in the direction of the limo, readjusting his suit lapels, then his primping was cut short by movement along the side of his eye.
It all happened so fast. Too fast to wail out a warning. It had been that balloon. That mother-fucking red balloon. Locking brakes screeched, metal depressed between pads, gripping the pavement. The smell of burning rubber filled the air and he couldn’t recall how he’d gotten here, but in truth, the when and why really didn’t matter. In this situation, the harsh reality was that he’d found himself witnessing an impossible event, and he wanted a way out.
Bolting passed him, little legs had dashed between parked cars chasing the red balloon, and in an instant--all time stopped--for him and that little girl. Tollin’s throat bellowed a sound that horrified him. He had not been sure if the noise came from him or perhaps he’d imagined the sound.
“Nooooo...” He’d sang this word, but he couldn’t stop what had already happened.
“Tollin...” there it was again--her voice--but he didn’t see Eliza anywhere. And he needed her--he wanted her here, by his side because he blamed himself for this accident. This was his fault--his and his alone. A host of people crowded him and the little girl. Tollin had raced to her unmoving body, lifted her, then cradled her in his arms. When he moved her, he did it because he knew no one could have survived that kind of impact. Not an adult--and definitely not a little girl. A throng of people came from every direction like a flock of birds. He was unnerved by their presence because when they formed a circle, their gazes landed on him, then they murmured accusations. Do they know, he thought to himself? Do they know about his involvement? Heat rose up Tollin’s neck warming him throughout his body. What was this emotion that overtook him--was it this dead child lying in his arms or was it something else? Possibly fear--or a natural desire to survive incriminations that would blame him for the cause of these events.
Willed on by an insane desire to distance himself from this accident, Tollin rose, then he began pressing through the sea of people; but this sea would not part. His ears filled with their anger. Their cries accused him of wrongdoing and when he turned, he couldn’t see the little girl anymore. Instead, multiple sets of angry eyes encircled him, forming a panoramic view of hostility. The girl was obviously dead--and she couldn’t be save; now, their attention was solely on him. Tollin lifted his head, and there it was; that red balloon, floating away from the crowd. He wanted to blame the accident on that balloon--then an inner voice had told him, that he had. Insanity--the word sprung in his head,
because that’s what the little girl’s parent’s had said. Tollin had assigned fault to an inanimate object. The memory urged him into action, even though in this context the recollection was out of place; but with no memory of how these events began, he pressed onward. With no thought for
his safety, he forcibly wedged a narrow path, and when he was no longer surrounded by pedestrians, he took off sprinting. In his rear, he could hear approaching voices. A mother’s sob overtook him, practically bringing his knees to the ground. Her cry sounded like a banshee, warning that soon, someone else would die. An alarm rang in his head, because Tollin believed that he would be the Grim Reapers next target. He tried to breathe but he seized, because with each intake, it felt like his efforts were in vain. His body jerked experiencing an all consuming spasm. He was terror-struck by the prospect of impending death.
A fleshy prominence nudged his ribcage, then Tollin felt a hand shaking, then pushing his shoulder. Something was rousing him. Someone was trying to rip him from his nightmarish dream.
His rapid breaths matched the impossible gallop of his heart.
“Ow!” he shouted. “What the hell...?” he groggily said, because he was still confused. Tollin’s lids fluttered open. He felt a warmth, laying close by his side. Orienting himself, Tollin rose up on one elbow. It was a dream, he told himself. The room was varying shades of black, gray and shadows, but he could see her. There was just enough light for him to look at her but for all intense and purposes; this was a strangers face. She’d been a last minute decision but he didn’t believe in doing anything half-assed. If he was going to have a woman--he would have one of the bes
t and Holly was a sight for sore eyes. Built to perfection--every curvaceous slope that formed her body. On first sight, he had to agree--she was everything her madame had claimed her to be.
“Are you all right love?” she’d asked.
Love--he thought to himself. Who did she think she was kidding. The only thing she loved was the depth of his pockets. She'd been dealt a bad hand but he couldn’t be
blamed for that. Their’s was a society driven by class and once upon a time, Holly had been like him--until her parent’s experienced a run of bad luck. He’d heard the stories about Ivy League young girls, using sex to fund their pricy educations. When mommy and daddy went broke, divorced or some other catastrophe occurred, drying up the monetary resources; these girls did what came next--they entered the high priced sex trade. Some of the girls went out on their own; taking their chances because they believed in this way they can guard this part of their life and keep it a secret. Then their are the girls who go with madams; they want money, rich men and the protection that comes with the fifty-fifty split. Tollin didn’t know all the specific’s concerning Holly, and he didn’t really want to know--because the only thing that concerned him was how she looked and what she would do for him in bed--or any other place in his penthouse. Tollin
heaved a heavy sigh, then he threw back the blankets.
“Tollin--it’s late. Come back to bed. Don’t you want another go-round? I’m game, if you are.” She tried to seduce him back to bed.
Tollin coughed, clearing his throat. He questioned the wisdom in drinking so much. His mouth was as dry as a desert and his tongue felt like the buds had sprouted hair. He palmed his limp sex, then the nights events came tumbling back to him. Holly had been his New Year’s Eve party favor. The horn he’d tooted and the present he’d unwrapped. She had arrived dressed to kill, bringing everything she needed, and then some. She’d walked in--did her little striptease, leaving a trail of clothes from the foyer to his bar. From the moment she arrived, the drinking began. Wine at first, followed by fruity cocktail drinks; then they got busy with the hard stuff--single and double shots. His minds eye filled with recollections and a horny smile flirted with his lips. The brassy broad had screwed him in more ways than one, but that’s exactly what he’d paid for.
Holly stroked his nipple, twirling her finger to coil his chest hairs. He wondered where she got her stamina from.
“Tollin...” she sang his name.
He sounded gruff when he said...
“Not in the mood.”
Holly didn’t take his hint. Like a fool, she rushed in where angels fear to tread; this saying scrolled in his head because he’d thought he’d made himself clear. He’d had enough--but in spite of his tone, Holly didn’t get the message. Tollin felt long nails teasing his skin; trailing a swirling path down the length of his back. Her touch was anything but tempting, because currently, sex was the last thing on his mind. He rolled over, moving outside of her reach. He’d been spooked by his nightmare and he didn’t want to chance a repeat. Tollin sat up feeling for his silk pajama bottoms. He stepped into his pants, tying the waistband while crossing the room in his bare-feet. Behind him, he heard the rustling of sheets, suggesting that Holly was making herself comfortable without him.
“Are you coming back? We don’t have to do anything if you don’t feel like it. I can hold you in my arms--that might help you fall back to sleep.”
"Give me an hour to think about it."
He did need the rest but it wasn't Holly’s place to question him or offer unsolicited suggestions. There was something about her offer that pricked a nerve. Eliza. Eliza would hold him in her arms, finger combing his hair, whenever he was unsettled by a dream. But Holly was no Eliza; not even a close second. In fact, Holly wasn’t even in the same league.
“Oh well. Since you’re up--could you bring me a cucumber water?” She was pouting. Fat lot of good that'll do her, he thought to himself. He was feeling cross because Holly had sparked memories from his past. Before Eliza had left him, he’d never used a call-girl, and this fact fueled his annoyance. Bothered by Holly’s request, Tollin asserted in his mind that he was nobodies servant and he sure as shit wasn’t going to play servant to a whore. He didn’t know where these girls got off, thinking that a madame made them better than the whores walking the streets. Sure, she was a call-girl--free to choose her dates--but in his book, taking money for sex made you a whore. A clean whore--but a whore all the same.