Authors: Stylo Fantome
Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College, #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 first part. 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 the street team ladies.
For my own sociopathic tendencies.
For dirty words and dirtier sex.
For not being afraid.
The Kane Trilogy
“Something is wrong.”
“I am aware of this.”
“She's acting weird.”
“I am aware of this, as well,” Jameson sipped at his coffee, his eyes scanning the newspaper he was holding.
“Something happened, in Paris,” Ang continued pestering him.
“Yes, I think it might have something to do with you showing up with her sister in tow,” Jameson commented, flipping a page.
“Well ..., yeah, but not just that. Something else. Something is
” Ang stressed.
“I am aware of
all of this
. I'm the one who goes home with her at night, you know,” Jameson reminded him. Ang grumbled, but didn't say anything.
He's becoming immune to me. Hmmm, I'll have to try harder.
“I may have fucked things up in Paris, but you fucked things up in her brain,” Ang finally retaliated. Jameson chuckled, turned another newspaper page.
“She seems to have gotten over that. In fact, she doesn't seem to be angry at me
, anymore. So really, I'm not sure why I'm here. I've been benefiting from your little mistake every day since I got home,” Jameson said. Ang leaned over the table.
“You've been benefiting from me ever since you two started having sex –
I'm the one who got to sleep with her for five years, you know,
” Ang said in a mocking voice. Jameson finally glanced at him.
, it's hard to call dibs on her sexual prowess when
I was there first,
” he reminded him.
“I have been –
“I hope you enjoy all the hard work I put into her, I -,”
stop talking about her as if she is a car that both of you like to have sex with,
” Sanders finally interrupted. Both men looked over at him.
Ang had called Sanders, asked to meet with him, to talk about Tate. Of course, Sanders had told Jameson. Jameson was not about to let either of them have any conversations about her without him, so he had invited himself to their little lunch meeting. Ang hadn't been too happy, but Jameson had to give it to him. Tate was Ang's main concern, so for her, he would tolerate being in the devil's presence.
“What is it, exactly, you would like me to do?” Jameson asked, sighing heavily. Ang leaned back in his chair.
“She doesn't listen to me anymore,” he started.
“You two go out,
all the time,
” Jameson pointed out. It was a fact that did not make him happy.
“Yeah, but she doesn't really talk anymore. We used to talk about everything. Now, it's all ...,
” Ang tried to explain.
“What is fluff?” Sanders asked. Ang shrugged.
“You know, shit. Stuff. Nothing serious. She's fun, and she flirts, and she always wants to be doing something, and it's driving me nuts. I tried to talk to her about that day, in our hotel room, and she just acted like I hadn't even said anything. I get the feeling if I brought up her hospital stay, the same thing would happen,” he told them.
“So, what? You want me to ask her to relive some of the most emotionally painful moments in her life?” Jameson clarified. Ang snorted.
“Fuck off. I just want her to not be a robot anymore.”
Jameson blinked. It was a good description. A sexy robot, preprogrammed to say all the things she thought everyone wanted to hear. He glanced at Sanders, who was staring into his salad. Of the three of them, Sanders was probably the closest to her, emotionally. If anyone knew what was going on, it would be him.
“Sanders,” Jameson started. “Do
know what is going on with her?”
“No. I mean, she'll talk about those things with me. She doesn't act like a robot, at least not around me. But yes, she has been a little odd, ever since we got back. It's like she is trying to forget everything,” Sanders agreed.
“Do we want her to remember? I thought our goal was to get her to move one,” Jameson pointed out.
“That's not my goal,” Ang said. Jameson snorted.
“I don't give a shit what your goals are.”
“We want her to
, sir. I think she is numbing herself, but that is just my opinion.”
“Well then. I guess it's up to me to make her
something. If she wants to pretend like there's no history, then I'll remind her. Gentlemen,” Jameson dismissed himself, standing up abruptly. He threw some money on the table and walked away.
Always making me work, baby girl.
ended well, for any of them. Sometime between storming out of Ang's hotel room and Jameson holding her, Tate had changed. A slight shift to the left. Or backwards. He couldn't quite tell. Either direction, it had been enough to throw him completely off guard, and he still felt like he hadn't gotten back on his feet yet.
She was mad at Ang. She felt betrayed by Ang. She was hurt that he had kept his relationship with Ellie a secret, and she was
that he had a relationship with her sister,
. Ellie and Tate had never exactly been friends. Ang was sleeping with a sworn enemy of sorts. It didn't matter that Ellie and Tate had made peace – it still wasn't okay, in Tate's eyes.
She didn't want to stay in Paris. Jameson wasn't surprised. She didn't want to stay in Europe at all.
surprised him – he had figured they would at least head back to Marbella, but she wanted to go home, back to Boston. He reminded her that he still had two weeks left in their little game. Two weeks to convince her to stay with him. She had informed him that it wasn't necessary. She wanted him to come home
He was absolutely fucking shocked.
It was too easy. Jameson knew that – Tate loved to rail against him. She never caved to anything easily, and she never gave up when it came to their little games. He couldn't figure out her angle. But since it worked so well in his favor, he acquiesced to her demands. He chartered a plane, and two days later, they flew out of Paris. On his birthday.
Happy fucking birthday.
Sanders wasn't very much help, either. It was like they were conspiring against him. Jameson knew Tate didn't believe him when he said he hadn't known that Ang was bringing Ellie. But he wasn't positive Sanders believed him, either, and
was a problem. Tatum trusted anything that came out of Sanders' mouth.
Neither of them were speaking about it to him, though, and once again – she was still sleeping with Jameson at night, still pretending like everything was okay between them, so he didn't have incentive to make a fuss over it or to even really care.
Except you do care. You care so much, you can't even see your way around her anymore.
She didn't talk to Ang or Ellie during their remaining days in Paris, but on the plane ride home, there was a very tearful reunion of sorts. Ang tried to apologize, and Tate accepted, crying the whole time. Ellie cried and apologized, and Tate cried some more. Ang even shed a few tears. There were so many goddamn tears, Jameson thought he was gonna drown before they could even get back to America.
But despite the tears, there was something that rang ...
, about the whole scene. He couldn't put his finger on it. Tate had been
, and then to just be ... over it? And not just over it, but smiling and laughing like she hadn't been mad at all. Like she had never been mad in her whole life. Highly suspicious.
Technically, she didn't have a place to live in Boston anymore. Before going to Europe, she had been staying with her “friend”, the first baseman for the Boston Red Sox, Nick Castille. Jameson vetoed that idea before she could even say anything. She couldn't move back in with her old roommate, Rusty – the girl had found a new roommate. She didn't want to live with her sister, and Jameson didn't want her living with Ang.
He informed her that she would living with
, in a condo he had recently purchased in the financial district. Jameson had braced himself for an argument, was prepared to drag her there, kicking and screaming, but it wasn't necessary. Tate had simply agreed. He kept waiting for her to argue, to kick up a fight, but the moment they got there, she simply wheeled all her luggage into his room, demanded to know which part of the walk-in closet would be hers.
Something is most definitely fucking wrong with this woman
He wanted to shake her. Ask her what the fuck was going on, what her silly little game was, now. But it was hard. He didn't want to slip back into having to fight for every smile from her. He had worked so hard to get back to a good place with her, and in their own kind of fucked up way, things were
After picking out her section of the closet, Tate had pressed him against a wall and gone down on him, all while Ang and Ellie were sitting in the living room, oohing and aahing over his designer furniture. For the next two weeks, it was like old times between them. She had no qualms about fucking his brains out, anywhere and everywhere. As dirty and filthy as he could dish it out.
So who was he to ask her to snap the fuck out of it? If this was all a game, it was one he liked,
“Tate?” Jameson called out, opening the door to the condo. He didn't see her anywhere, but he could hear music floating out from the bedroom. He opened the door wide and nodded, gesturing for the four large men behind him to enter the room. They all trailed in, carrying boxes and tape and plastic wrap. Jameson left them to it.
“Tatum,” he said her name again, walking down the hallway.
“In here!” she called back. His bedroom door was wide open, and he followed the music to the closet.
She was standing in front of her clothes, bumping her hips from side to side, following the beat. She was only wearing a lacy pair of booty shorts and a shelf bra. Her hair was a messy pile on her head. She was pouting her bottom lip out, trying to decide what to wear.
“What are you doing?” he asked, taking his gloves off as he walked towards her. She glanced at him.
“Getting dressed. What is this restaurant like? Heels? Stockings?” Tate asked, running her hand along some hangers.
“We're not going out to eat,” Jameson told her. She finally turned to face him.
“We're not? You said -,” Tate started.
“I know what I said. Plans change sometimes,” he snapped. She blinked at him in surprise, then smiled. He had been hoping to stir up a fight, but it looked like he was stirring up something else.
“Ooohhh, have a bad day?” she purred, pressing herself against him. Her body shivered when it came in contact with his cold clothing. Boston was still in the grip of winter – Jameson missed Marbella more than he would've thought possible.
“No. Actually, I had a very
day,” he replied, running his hands up and down her arms.
“How so?” she asked, sliding her arms around his waist. He dragged his hands up to her neck and held them there, then started walking backwards, forcing her to follow.
“I had lunch,” he replied.
“I assumed you had lunch every day. I didn't realize it was such a novel experience,” she snorted.
“I do have lunch every day. Today, I had lunch with Sanders,” Jameson continued, stopping them when he got near the bed. Her arms got stiff around him.
“Sanders? How is he? I haven't seen him in a couple days,” she asked, but he could see something in her eyes. Maybe wariness?
. What was she nervous about?
“Lunch with Sanders, and
” his voice got quiet.
Tate laughed and pulled away from him, climbed up onto the bed. When she was standing, she turned towards him and began to lightly bounce on the mattress. He had trouble not staring at her breasts.
“That must have been really interesting. Did anyone get stabbed?” she asked. He shook his head.
“No. It wasn't so bad,” he replied.
“What did you guys talk about?” she questioned, a practiced air of innocence surrounding her voice. Too bad he already knew there wasn't anything innocent about Tatum O'Shea.
” he replied honestly. Her eyes got wide and she stopped bouncing.
“Really? And what did you say about me?” she asked. He smiled and ran a hand up the back of her leg, then dragged his nails back down.
informed me that I have been benefiting from his sexual teachings,” he told her. She snorted as he moved his hand up her leg again.