Authors: Amanda Bennett
This Obsession of Mine
(Raine Series #5)
2016 By Amanda Bennett
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without prior written permission of the author except where permitted by law.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Cover art by Robin Harper/Wicked By Design
Check out other books by Amanda Bennett
Time To Let Go
The Broken Series
Beautifully Broken ~ Breaking Beautiful ~ Unbreakable Hearts
The Raine Series
This Love of Mine ~ This Trust of Mine ~ This Heart of Mine ~ This Courage of Mine
Forever and Almost Always
The U.S. Marshal Series
Protecting Lyndley ~ Chasing Carson
This Family of Ours (The Raine Series #6) DECEMBER 2016
You can find Author Amanda Bennett at the following:
I wasn’t exactly sure why everyone was freakin’ out about my impromptu marriage. Granted, everyone was under the assumption that I had just met Tanya, and we ran off and got married. In all actuality, we’d been datin’ for almost three months, I just hadn’t told anybody because of all the drama that was goin’ on. Judging by all of their face, I knew I was about to get a lashin’, I just wasn’t sure who it was gonna come from first.
I glanced over at Glenn just as he was walkin’ straight for me. “Get in the house, now Jo.” He pointed towards the back door and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at him.
“I’m pretty sure I already have parents here, I don’t need another one.”
Glenn grabbed my shirt with his fist and got as close to my face as possible. “Jo, I really don’t have the patience right now, so could you please get in the god damn house?”
I dropped Tanya’s hand and started makin’ my way into the house. I was worried about leavin’ Tanya alone outside with the wolves just waitin’ to attack her, but it looked like I didn’t have much of a choice anymore. I made my way past Cami, and whispered low enough that Glenn couldn’t hear me.
“Cam, can you please make sure they don’t pounce on her the minute I’m inside.” She gave me a nod and a sympathetic smile, and I already felt a little bit relieved.
I stopped as soon as I got into the kitchen and turned, ready to unleash on Glenn for treatin’ me like a child. “What’s your deal Glenn?”
“Seriously, you’re askin’ me what my deal is? Jo, I’ve tried my damndest to try and teach you not to be so fuckin’ stupid, but obviously it went in one ear and out the other. Do you even know who that girl out there is?”
“Of course I do. I’ve been datin’ her a couple months now.” Glenn’s head snapped back, glarin’ at me.
“A couple months? Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“Well geez Glenn, if I would’ve known that you were goin’ to react this way, I would’ve brought her over ages ago.” I made sure to make my sarcasm extremely evident.
“Nice, Jo. How old are you? You’re actin’ like your five.”
“Honestly Glenn, I don’t need your permission to get married, let alone date. I met her a while ago and we just hit it off. She said that she always had a crush on me, but her feelings for
got in the way before.”
“And you don’t find that odd?”
I didn’t know what to say to his comment. Of course I found it odd, but now she loved
not him. “I’m not sure what you’re so pissed off about. You’re married Glenn, to the love of your life I might add. You have an amazing career and an awesome life, why do you want me to be so damn miserable? Everybody has somebody, I just want to have somebody.” I’d never been so open and honest with my big brother. Even though we were closeish in age, we’ve never had a relationship that involved sharin’ our feelings.
“Jo, I want you to be happy. I want you to have everything you want, but with Tanya? I don’t think you realize just how nutty she can be. Trust me, I would know.”
“Glenn, she’s changed.”
“In the last three months she’s changed? Dude, I just saw her at her flower shop not too long ago and she was actin’ all jealous when I told her I was married now. I don’t think that’s what you would call change. What, is she pregnant or somethin’?”
Now I was just gettin’ plain pissed off. “Look, Glenn you don’t have to approve of my marriage, but you can’t sit here and talk shit about my wife either. I refuse to listen to it. And do you really think that little of me that a girl would only marry me if she was pregnant?” I started to walk out of the house when Glenn grabbed me by the arm.
“Jo, just keep your eyes open. Don’t let yourself be clouded by lust. You’re goin’ places, and I would hate to see you ruin your future because you bought into her lies and bullshit.”
Now I was officially done with this conversation. “It was nice seein’ ya bro. Thanks for the warm welcoming. I’m outta here.” I walked out onto the patio and right past Cami who was standin’ talkin’ to Kayla, and made a beeline for my wife.
“Jo, where are you going?” Kayla’s voice caught my attention and I quickly turned around to look at her.
“Given the fact that my brother is a complete and utter douchebag, I’m leavin’. Y’all enjoy your party.”
“Joey, don’t leave like this.”
As much as I would have loved to stay and talk to Kayla some more, I couldn’t stand to be around Glenn any longer. I noticed that Tanya was talkin’ with my parents and I was instantly regretting havin’ to go over and get her. If Glenn was bein’ this bad, I could only imagine how my parents were going to be. I walked up to Tanya and wrapped my arm securely around her waist, pullin’ her into my side.
“You ready to go, babe?” Tanya looked around the backyard, for what I wasn’t certain, but once she looked satisfied with whatever she was doin’ she planted a long kiss to my lips. I pulled back a bit and gave her a knowing smile. “Not in front of my parents. Let’s go.” I grabbed her hand in mine and started to make my way out the side gate.
“Joey Green, don’t you dare leave without saying good-bye to your mother. I know I taught you better, young man.”
I turned and placed a chaste kiss to my mom’s cheek. “Love you, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon.” Without another word, Tanya and I left. She kept lookin’ around and I couldn’t help but wonder what her deal was. Instead of askin’ her though, I just unlocked the truck and helped her inside. This day officially blew.
When we got to the truck, I couldn’t help but notice that Tanya was still glancin’ around all over the place, lookin’ for who knows what. It probably would’ve bothered me more, but given the current circumstances, I was far too pissed off to even give it a second or third thought. I threw the truck into first gear and took off down the dirt road. My mind was racin’ about a million miles a second when I found myself suddenly swervin’ and narrowly missin’ the opossum in the middle of the road. I clutched tightly onto the steerin’ wheel while Tanya clutched onto me, both of us silently prayin’ that we wouldn’t crash as I fought with the box of steel we sat in, eventually pullin’ us to safety.
With a loud sigh of relief I glanced over at my new wife, and noticed that she was in tears. I reached out and pulled her to me, huggin’ her deeply into my chest. “Baby, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”
She nodded her head yes, but her tear stained face said somethin’ completely different. I wasn’t sure if it was the “almost” accident, the dramatic exit from my brother’s house, or a mixture of both. Either way…she was anything but okay.
6 months earlier
Tanya and I had never really had any semblance of a relationship, or even a friendship for that matter, but all that seemed to change the second I told her about Glenn. When the words “he’s married now” came out of my mouth, you would’ve thought that the heavens above opened up, and God suddenly granted her the permission she apparently needed to date me. I knew the relationship that her and my brother had, I mean come on now, I am his little brother so he tells me everything. Well…he
to at least.
She was quick to begin bein’ affectionate towards me, and the minute I asked her to be my girl, she was ecstatic, or at least that’s what I thought. Everything started out fantastic, but slowly I started realizin’ that I wasn’t the one she wanted. Every conversation always turned to Glenn, and though they hadn’t seen each other in quite a while, you would’ve thought by how much she asked about him that they were the closest of friends. Though closest friends knew more about each other than she knew about him.
A few months ago when my parent’s celebrated their 30
wedding anniversary, I had accidentally slipped and told Tanya about it, but honestly had no intention on askin’ her to be my date to it, she flipped. She swears it was because she thought that I was ashamed of her, but in all actuality, I knew exactly why she wanted to go, and it wasn’t to be with me. After that, I knew we would never be anythin’ more than just friends. So I headed over to her place to let her know exactly that. Unfortunately, I got more than I bargained for.
When I walked into her house, it was like walking into a movie. Her arms were stretched out straight in front of her, her hands gripping the trigger of a black 9mm, and before I could even comprehend what I was witnessing, a loud bang echoed throughout her small house, reverberating through my ears. My hands flew up to the sides of my face, trying to muffle the noise from my ears, but it was already too late. I stood back in shock and disbelief at what was unfoldin’ in front of me. What the hell did I just walk in on? Even after all the crap that went down with Madison’s dad before, nothin’ can ever prepare you for seein’ someone shot dead right in front of you.
The gun slid out of Tanya’s shakin’ hands as she looked up at me, landin’ on the ground right next to the lifeless man on her floor. It took her a few minutes to process that I was even there, but as soon as it hit her, she came runnin’ into my out stretched arms. Her body shook against mine as I held her tightly to my chest. Her tears were fallin’ like rain now, and I had no idea how to even comfort her at this point. I wanted to be the loving guy she had known all these years, but we were so far past that now that this would have to suffice.
I would’ve held her in my arms all day and let her cry, but given the current circumstances, I believed I was owed some kind of explanation. I pulled back from Tanya’s slumped over form, and pulled her chin up so she was now lookin’ directly in my eyes. “What happened, love?” I kept my tone slow and even, even though deep down I was seriously startin’ to freak out. When she wouldn’t answer me, I made my way a little closer to the lifeless body that now lay at my feet. “Who is he?” I muttered low, my voice cracking as I spoke.
“It’s not what it looks like, Jo.”
I snapped my head back in her direction in shock, “Really? So that’s
a dead body lying on your living room floor, and I
just witness you shootin’ him? Because that’s
what it looks like, Tanya.” I growled, as irritation took over my somewhat cool and calm demeanor.
“Okay, well when you put it that way.” She replied without an ounce of remorse in her tone.
way? Are you serious right now? Man, this is seriously fifty shades of fucked up.” I scoffed as I pushed my fingers back through my hair, wantin’ to pull it out at the same time.
“I was defending myself. He was going to kill me, Jo.” She reached out for me, but I pulled my arms quickly out of her grasp.
“That’s not what I saw when I walked in, Tanya. He was already on the ground when you pulled the trigger.”
“Joey, I swear to you, it was completely self-defense. You gotta believe me.” She pleaded, but the sad thing was…I didn’t, not even for one second, believe her.
“We have to call the cops, Tanya. If it was self-defense, then they will see that, and you’ll be fine.” I thoroughly expected her to agree with me on this point, but to my complete and utter disgust…she didn’t.
“NO!” Her raised voice caught me off guard, and made the ringin’ in my ears more prominent. “No, we can’t, Jo.”
“And why not?” I implored.
“Please just trust me on this. We just can’t.”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to what she was sayin’. How was I supposed to trust a girl that gave me every reason
to do just that? “Tanya, I can’t be involved in this shit. I have a full ride scholarship, and somethin’ like this would kill it dead in the water. What the hell are we supposed to do then?” I was afraid to hear her answer.
“I don’t know, just give me a second to think.”
While Tanya paced around her living room, I found myself debating whether or not I should just take off and pretend like none of this ever even happened. Honestly, this whole situation had absolutely nothin’ to do with me, and I kind of wanted to keep it that way. I would keep her secret for her. I mean hell, who would believe me anyhow? Before I could get too far in my thought process, Tanya was back in front of me.
“I’ve got it!” She squealed.
Oh fantastic. I could barely wait to hear what
plan she came up with. “Please, do tell me.” Sarcasm dripped from every syllable I spoke.
“We get rid of the body.” Like I said,
“Just hear me out for a second. We wrap him up in my rug that he’s on, and we put him in the back of your truck. Then we can take him down to the lake and throw him over with some bricks or somethin’ tied to him.”
I stood there speechless, shakin’ my head at this stupid girl’s ridiculous plan. “You know this isn’t a movie, right? Normal people don’t just kill people and then throw them into the lake like they’re some kind of mobster. This is real life Tanya, and you just shot and killed a man. Do you even realize that?”
“Of course I do, Jo. I’m not stupid.” The look on my face told her that in this moment I completely disagreed with her on that point, but she kept goin’. “Or…there is one other option.” The look on her face was one I knew all too well, and it never meant anythin’ good.
“What’s that?” I questioned, knowin’ I didn’t want to hear this answer.
“We can call the cops.”
“Yes, yes let’s do that.” I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket, and started to dial, but stopped after dialin’ the first 1. I caught a glimpse of her devilish smirk, and I knew there was a catch. “And?”
“I’ll tell you everything before they get here so you’re not out of the loop, and then when they get here I will tell them the same thing.”
I quickly interrupted her, “What’s the catch, Tanya. Just stop with the games.”
“You’ll have to marry me.”
I practically choked on my own spit as I tried to swallow before she blurted out the last part. “Are you insane? I’m only twenty years old, marriage is like the very last thing on my mind. You’re pullin’ my leg, aren’t you?” I started to laugh it off, but she looked dead serious. “You’re
jokin’, are you?”
She stood there shakin’ her head with a very serious look on her face. “Not at all. Look, what I’m about to tell you the cops can’t know, but the only way I can tell you without you turnin’ around and squeelin’ on me, is for us to get married. Husbands and wives can’t testify against one another. You’ll get your answers, he’ll get a proper burial, and I won’t go to jail. Sounds perfect to me.” She smiled.
“You’re insane, you know that, right?” As much as I didn’t want to admit it, she did have a good way for both of us to avoid jail time, and all the drama that came along with all of this nonsense. I didn’t want to concede, but I also didn’t have very many options at this point, and callin’ my parents or my brother wasn’t even an option at all. Looks like Joey Green is gettin’ hitched. “Call the cops.” I muttered under my annoyed breath.
“Are you serious, you’ll do it? Oh my god, Jo. I don’t even know how to repay you.”
“I’m sure I’ll think of somethin’.”
As I sat there on Tanya’s couch listenin’ to her pour her heart and soul out about why she had done what she did, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. The horrible and gruesome things that this man had put her through would be more than enough for any woman to do exactly what she had done. Though it wasn’t technically self-defense, the detective seemed to believe that she would most likely be able to claim it as such. My heart broke for the girl in front of me that built herself up strong everyday, just to escape her past. And I even began to admire her for the strength she exuded as she spoke about her past. It definitely made marryin’ her that much easier. It even started to feel like the right thing to do.
“All right, well thank you for your statements. We will be in touch soon. I think we’ve got all we need for now. Now Mrs. Green, I’m going to need you to stay in the state. No leaving out of town for any reason, you got me?”
“Yes, ma’am. I promise. Thank you again.” I wrapped my arms tightly around Tanya’s waist, a sign of solidarity I suppose.
“Yes, thank you again for everything.” I reiterated.
We started walkin’ the detective to the door, when she suddenly stopped and turned around, lookin’ out over the living room where the incident had occurred. “Was there somethin’ else, ma’am?” I asked politely.
“Yes, unfortunately y’all are going to have to clean up the mess yourselves. I do have the number for a guy who specializes in these sorts of things. He does an amazing job, and by the time he’s done, you won’t even know anything happened here.”
Before the detective could finish speakin’, Tanya was politely cuttin’ her off. “That would be amazing. We would love his number please.” She glanced at me from the corner of her eye, but I wasn’t sure what she was tryin’ to say to me.
“Here’s his card. He’s a bit pricey, but well worth it. Any way, I hope you both get some rest tonight knowing that you helped rid this world of a sick and disgusted human being. I’m not supposed to say this, but if I were in your shoes…I would’ve done the same.”
The detective said the last little bit slow enough that even I could barely hear her, but I did, and I was utterly shocked. The rest of the crime scene unit left with the detective, and within ten minutes, you would’ve never known that anyone had been here at all. Oh yeah, except for the whole blood stained carpet thing. There was that. I let out a loud sigh of relief as I plopped myself down on Tanya’s couch. As much as I wanted to be as happy about the situation as she was, I just couldn’t find it in myself to be happy about
of it. Not only did I just witness my brother’s ex girlfriend kill a man, but now I was marryin’ her, and for all the
reasons. This most definitely was not how I imagined me gettin’ married. What the hell did I just get myself into?