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Authors: Violet Jackson,Interracial Love

The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance) (7 page)

BOOK: The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance)
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“I don’t know what’s going on anymore,” she said.


“Grace, baby,” I said and put my hand on her cheek, wiping a tear away with my thumb. I couldn’t deal with her crying. Even if it wasn’t my fault. She leaned forward, into me, and I wrapped my arm around her body, pulling her into me. She buried her face in my shoulder. It fit like she was made for me, and it was a physical pain to know that she wasn’t mine anymore.


“Please don’t go,” she said, so softly I could almost not hear it. But I heard. She looked up at me, her face so close to mine. Her eyes slid down to my lips, and before I could even think about it, she leaned into me and kissed me.


Time froze. The room around me melted away until it was just me and her in an alternate reality where I was the one that she wanted to be with. I didn’t move for a moment, too scared to break the spell, fighting with my head. This was a mistake. A terrible mistake. Nothing was certain and even though she couldn’t remember, she’d told Elijah she wanted him, and he would be back.


He wouldn’t just let her go.


She moved her lips against mine, put her hands on my cheeks, and I let go. I kissed her back, cupping her cheeks, mirroring what she was doing to me. She made small whimpering sounds against my lips and opened her mouth, opening mine with it. I slid my tongue into her mouth. It was so familiar. The taste of her, the feel of her lips on mine, her hands on my cheeks. The way she sucked in breath through her nose and held it for a couple of seconds before she breathed it out again in a sigh.


I let my hands slide down to her collarbone and then I moved them away and wrapped my arms around her waist, pulling her body against mine. Her arms went around my neck and we held each other. It had been so long since I’d touched her.


I kissed her and she kissed me back, and it became urgent. My body wanted her, and there was nothing wrong with her body, with its memory of me. I was aware of her breasts straining against me through the tank top she was wearing. Her ribcage rising and falling with her breathing as it sped up.


My fingers found the hem of her shirt and I pushed my hands under it, feeling her bare skin. She was warm, and her skin was like silk, smooth and perfect. I ran my hands up, and found no strap. She wasn’t wearing a bra. But I’d already known that. She pulled her one leg up and pushed her knee down so she was half on my lap. If I let her go, let her move, she would straddle me.


I broke the kiss, pulled her away, held her at arm’s length. She was breathing hard, and her pupils were dilated. Her eyes were large, still, but it was a different kind of look she gave me. Lust hung thick in the air and my own breathing was just as erratic. She tried to lean into me, to kiss me again, but I held her there. She frowned.


“We shouldn’t do this,” I said.


“I’m okay, as long as you don’t jostle me around too much I’ll be fine.” She lifted her hand to the bandage without touching it. I shook my head.


“I don’t mean because of your injury. You’re with Elijah, Grace. You left me. I can’t do this now. I don’t think I’ll survive it all again.” And I’m with Alice, I added in my mind, but I didn’t tell her that.


“But I don’t remember that,” she said, and she was close to tears again. She’d wrapped both hands around my wrist like she was trying to stop me from disappearing. I got up and pulled away from her until she let go.


“I do,” I said. “And I don’t have what it takes to do this again. I’ve always loved you. I just needed you to love me back.”


“But I do,” she said and she was crying full out now. “Don’t you see that?”


I closed my eyes for a moment. “All I see I someone that might remember why I wasn’t good enough. It was hard enough the first time. My ego can’t take a repeat.”


It turned around. She called after me, and her voice was wailing, like she was crying really hard. I wanted to turn back to her. I wanted to scoop her up in my arms, rock her against my chest like a child and tell her it was okay. But it wasn’t okay, and I wasn’t the one that could fix it. She wasn’t a child, and I wasn’t the one that should have protected her anymore.


She’d chosen Elijah, that was his job now. Even though he was physically incapable of doing that. In fact, he was the exact opposite. But I couldn’t make that my problem.


I did once, and I lost her as a result.


Chapter 7 - Elijah

I spent the whole evening at the office, catching up on paperwork that neither of my secretaries could deal with. What the hell was the point of hiring someone to stand in for me when I needed to run out if they couldn’t take over the damn job? I’d sent both of them home after I’d shouted at them. They hadn’t looked happy. They’d put in overtime all week, but I paid their payroll so she could suck it.


I was in a black mood. I’d lost a big contract because I’d missed a meeting because I’d forgotten about it with everything happening. I was paying for a nurse and a hotel room and she didn’t want me near her. It wasn’t what she’d said a couple of months ago. I was the one she’d chosen, wasn’t I?


A stupid little bout of memory loss and she wanted to fall back into that jerk’s arms because she couldn’t remember that she thought she was better off with me.


I poured myself three fingers of whiskey and lifted the tumbler to my lips. The amber liquid burned its way down my throat and I followed the sip with a deep breath that I blew out again with billowed cheeks. The alcohol was supposed to calm me down. It worked most of the time to keep the rage at bay.


There were days when I felt that it would consume me, that I was just going to get angrier and angrier until I spontaneously combusted. In the business, being that kind of boss was a good thing. People ran to do what I needed even before I snapped my fingers. In my personal life, it wasn’t always such a good thing.


I leaned my hip against my desk and glanced over the files and papers that were scattered across it. Most of them had Grace’s curly signature all over them. She was the best lawyer this company had ever had. Of course, now that we were living together – or at least, now that we had a relationship, the living together was suddenly this big question – I would have to get another lawyer. She would argue with me about it, she already had and she would again. But it was something that had to be done.


I took another sip of the whiskey. I imagined it spreading through my veins. I felt powered-up again when I drank. More on top of things. If I could just keep it together long enough to sort this out, we’d be okay.


As long as Justin didn’t interfere. Just the thought of him brought the anger back. Who did he think he was, coming back into her life like that? Convenient for him that she couldn’t remember that she didn’t want him anymore. When I thought of him, the anger built and built until it was full blown rage. That same itch was back in my chest again, and I couldn’t reach it. I gulped down the rest of my whiskey. It did nothing. I could have poured another glass, but I’d felt like this before. I knew it wouldn’t help. My fists balled as if they had their own free will. I let out a groan that turn into a frustrated yell and swept my hand over my desk, knocking down everything that was tall enough.


The lamp crashed to the floor, the bulb broke. I wanted to stomp on it until it was in a million little pieces. I wanted to pick up the chair and throw it through the window. I wanted to throw something against the door.


Instead, I stopped and tried to breathe.


It had been a while since I’d tried anything harder than alcohol, but I was in the mood for something terrible tonight. When things got this dark, I needed a pick-me-up. I picked up my phone and called my contact at the gentleman’s club in Dayton. It was about two hours’ drive away but if the money was right, he would drive anywhere for me.


“I’m in town,” Kyle answered. I didn’t ask for what, or for how long. I hung up the phone and scooped my keys off the desk. I was going to meet him at the Inn in fifteen minutes. That was how it worked.


The Banbury Inn was about as old as the town was, and still had the feel of a western saloon, complete with the wagon-wheel-chandelier and the round tables that you could book for poker. It was a strange combination of old and new, with speakers against the walls that blared the latest radio hits and the computerized ordering system. When I arrived, Darla, the waitress, smiled.


“It’s good to see you again, Mr. Wilson.”


“Good to be here, my darling,” I said. She led the way to one of three private booths, only installed much later. The bartender nodded at me when I passed him and reached for the bottle of whiskey. They knew me. They loved me. They had better damn well bring me that alcohol.


Kyle was already there. He stood up and shook my hand.


I always felt like a dwarf next to him. I knew I was on the short side for a man, but Kyle was a giant. All muscle, wearing black shirts that strained against his biceps and wrap-around sunglasses even though it was almost nighttime and we were inside. There was a thin line of blond stubble across his chin and all the way over his head, like he’d decided to ditch the scary bald look and grow it out. I knew better than to comment.


“I’m glad you’re in town,” I said. He nodded at me, and slid a manila folder over the table. I opened the top and peeked inside. Packets of white powder filled it up. I closed it again and put it on the seat next to me, and slid a similar envelope to him. There was money in it. He didn’t count it.


It wasn’t an issue of trust. We both knew what would happen to me if the amount wasn’t right.


“I’m going to be in town again in October,” Kyle said.


“Look me up,” I said. That was it. He stood up with his file and left the booth. The waitress waited until he left before she brought me my whiskey. I smiled at her.


“Just in time, my darling,” I said. “Just in time.”


“We heard about the accident,” she said. I looked at her. I felt suddenly cold. A hollow feeling opened in my stomach. “How is she doing? I can’t believe in a place as small as Fort Atkinson you can still get into such a horrible car wreck.”


I breathed in slowly, and back out again, reassembling myself.


“As long as we have cars we can have accidents,” I said. She nodded sadly and left me to it. A shudder rolled over my body. I had to relax. No one knew. I couldn’t keep freezing up when people asked about Grace. They knew her well, they knew what had happened – Fort Atkinson was a small town. People talked. But that was exactly what was getting to me.


I knew it was mistake to do business with Kyle again. I hadn’t snorted anything in a while. I’d wanted to stay on the straight and narrow for Grace, especially now that she was living with me. At least, if she still wanted that.


I balled my fist. I didn’t know what she wanted. I’d won her just to lose her again.


I slammed my fist down on the table and the tumbler jumped. A dull ache throbbed into my hand where I’d hit it. This damn temper was going to get the better of me at some point. I took another sip of whiskey, chasing it with another one.


If I kept it up, I would spend the night at the Inn. Another night away from home. I left the empty tumbler on the table and got up from the private booth, walking to the bar. The barman was pouring a row of shots. He nodded at me. He would be over in a second. I’d ask him for the bottle. I glanced over my shoulder. It was finally dark outside. Perfect to match my mood.


My phone vibrated in my pocket and I took it out. It was Grace’s number.


“Are you okay, sweetheart?” I asked.


“No,” she said and she was crying. Fear gripped my heart. If something happened to her after I thought she was okay, she’d survived me… “I can’t do this. I wanted to be alone but you were right. I shouldn’t have come here.” She hiccupped between sobs like she’d been crying for a while. “Can you come get me? Us, Claudia as well?”


“I’ll be right there, sweetheart,” I said. The barman was waiting for me, both hands on the bar.


“Don’t worry about it,” I said and left the bar. I drove the short distance to the hotel. I shoved the manila envelope into the glove compartment before I got out of the car. When I got to the room, the door was open and Claudia had her suitcase packed and ready at the door. I walked into the room and Grace came to me. Her eyes were swollen like she’d rubbed them a lot, and her hands were shaking.


“What happened?” I asked.


“I don’t want to talk about it,” she said, and she came to stand right in front of me.


“Do you want me to take you back to the hospital?” I asked. I was worried about her injury. But she shook her head.


“Just take me to your place. I just want to get out of here.”


I nodded without saying another word. I picked up Grace’s suitcase. Claudia picked up her own. She made sure Grace was settled in the car while I checked them out. I left the hotel with a tip for the trouble.

BOOK: The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance)
2.15Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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