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Authors: M.S. Force

Victorious

BOOK: Victorious
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VICTORIOUS

A Quantum Novel

By: M.S. Force

Published by HTJB, Inc.

Copyright 2015. HTJB, Inc.

Cover Design: Designing Women

Courtney Lopes and Ashley Lopez

Cover Models: Zeb Ringle, Danielle Tedesco

Scott Hoover Photography

E-book Layout by Holly Sullivan,
E-book Formatting Fairies

ISBN:
978-1942295105

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the author at
[email protected]
.

All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.

marieforce.com/quantum

The Quantum Trilogy

Book 1:
Virtuous

Book 2:
Valorous

Book 3:
Victorious

Chapter 1

“I can’t fucking believe she left me.” I pace the length of Marlowe’s deck in Malibu, the million-dollar view of the Pacific completely lost on me today. I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest and run over by a Hummer. Natalie is gone, and the pain is excruciating. “She actually
left
me. She promised she never would. She made
promises
to me, Mo.”

“Flynn… You need to calm down.”


Calm down?
How do I
calm down
when my wife has
left me
?”

“I’m afraid you’re going to have a heart attack or something. Your face is all red, and you’re sweating.”

I rub my chest, feeling as if I might actually be having a heart attack. “What am I going to do, Mo? Tell me what to do.” I’ve told Marlowe only that Natalie caught me in a lie and left.

She looks at me for a long moment before she breaks eye contact and gazes out at the endless ocean. “I don’t know. This is a tough one.”

I flop into the chair next to hers, only because I’m exhausted and despondent and can’t pace anymore. I can’t imagine an hour without Natalie, let alone a week or more. That’s how long she said she needed to “think” before she’ll call me. A
week
. It feels like a lifetime.
 

“I broke a window at my house.”

“When?”

“This morning after she left.”

“Did you tell someone so it can be fixed?”

I shake my head. The window has been the least of my concerns, what with the fucking FBI showing up about five minutes after Natalie left for the airport.
 

Marlowe picks up her phone and places a call. “Addie, it’s Marlowe. Flynn is here, and there’s some stuff going on. He asked me to tell you he broke a window at his house earlier. One of the big ones in the back of the house. Could you call someone to come by to fix that for him?” She pauses. “Let me ask him.” She holds the phone out to me. “She’d like to talk to you.”

I’m tempted to say no. The only person I want to talk to is Natalie, but that’s not possible. I extend my hand for Marlowe’s phone. “Hey.”

“What’s wrong?” As my faithful assistant for the last five years, Addie can tell with one word that something is very wrong. “I got a call from the pilot that Natalie took the plane you were supposed to take to Mexico to Colorado—by herself—and she’s not answering her phone.”

So she went to see her sister Candace. I’m not surprised. I’m also reminded that the FBI has my phone, and until I get it back, Natalie has no way to call me. I will fix that first thing in the morning. “I, um…” I don’t want to say the words out loud. If I keep saying it, that makes it real. “Our plans changed.”

“Okay… So what’s wrong?”

“Natalie and I… She… We… She’s gone back to New York by way of Colorado to see her sister.”

“Why? For how long?”

“It’s a long story, and I don’t know.”

After a pause, Addie says, “What can I do for you?”

“See about getting the window fixed?”

“Already done. I sent a text from my computer while we’ve been on the phone. I’ll go over there to meet the workers.”

“Thank you.”

“What else?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“I’ll be here when you figure it out.”

“Thanks.”

“Flynn… Don’t let her get away. No matter what, do
not
let her get away.”

“I won’t.” But as I say the words, I’m petrified that she’s already left me for good.

“So what did the FBI want with you this morning?” Addie asks.

“How do you know about that?”

“They came to the office first.”

“Apparently, Rogers’s wife told the officers investigating his murder that I was threatening him, and he feared for his safety.”

“You threatened him with legal action, not physical harm.”

“Which is what I told Vickers.”

“Was he satisfied by that?”

“I guess. He went away. For now. I gotta say, Addie, I have a bad feeling they’re trying to pin his murder on me.”

“Let them try. We all know you didn’t do it. You’ll bury them.”

“I didn’t do it, but I wanted to.”

“Wanting to is a long way from actually committing murder. Did he say when you’ll have your phone back?”

“He said it would be sent to the office sometime today.”

“I’ll get it to you as soon as it arrives.”

“Thanks.”

“Don’t give up, Flynn. Whatever happened between you and Natalie, you can fix it. You guys are the real deal. You can’t give up.”

I cling to her assurances that it can be fixed, but I’m not at all certain that’s the case. “I fucked up bad, Addie.”

“She’s crazy about you. Whatever happened, you have to remember that.”

“I’m trying.”

“I’ll be over to let in the workers to fix the window, and I’ll get you the phone as soon as we have it.”

“I’m at Mo’s now, but I’ll be home later.”

“I’ll see you then. Hang in there, okay?”

“Okay.” What choice do I have? Natalie hasn’t left me with any alternative but to wait until she’s had time to wrap her head around what happened this morning. I end the call with Addie and hand the phone back to Marlowe.

“She found out about the BDSM, didn’t she?” Marlowe asks. I consider Marlowe my “fourth sister,” but she’s the only “sister” who knows about the BDSM.

“Yeah. Fucking Valerie told her. Can you believe it?” I want to find my vindictive bitch of an ex-wife and kill her every way I can think of.
 

“Ouch.”

“And then I made it worse by lying to her about it when Valerie had already told her where she could find the room in my house. So she knew I was lying.” I’m up again, pacing the deck. “I did it for all the right reasons, Mo. You’ll never convince me otherwise. There’s no way she could handle that side of me after what she’s been through in the past, so I tucked it away and chose her over the lifestyle.”

“What was your plan for when you couldn’t hide it from her anymore?”
 

I start to reply, but she holds up her hand to stop me. “It’s not a
choice
, Flynn. It’s
who you are
. It’s who you’ve always been, and you’ve already ruined one marriage by trying to be someone other than who you are.”

“This was different. Natalie isn’t Valerie.”

“No, she isn’t. She’s made of much better stuff. Valerie could only dream of being a fraction of the person Natalie is.”

“So what’re you saying?”

“If you can’t be yourself with her, Flynn, truly and completely yourself, she’s not the one for you. We’ve all tried to have relationships outside the lifestyle, and they’ve ended in disaster because none of us can deny who and what we are. You know this.”

“I love her, Mo. I love her like I’ve never loved anyone. I love her more than I love myself, which is why I left the lifestyle for her. I still believe it’s the right thing for her.”

“But is it the right thing for
you
?
You
matter in this relationship, too.”

“She matters more.”

“Flynn… Come on.”

“I gotta go.” Suddenly, I can’t stay here and pace anymore. I feel like a pent-up tiger who needs to bust loose and roar from the rage and fear that have overtaken him.

Marlowe follows me inside. “Don’t go. You shouldn’t be alone right now.”
 

“I can’t sit still. I gotta do something.”

“Please don’t do anything you’ll regret.”

“What could be worse than lying to my wife and driving her away?”

“A lot of things.” She gestures to the Ducati that’s parked in front of her house. “Like wrapping yourself around a telephone pole or driving off the Pacific Coast Highway.”

I kiss her forehead. “I won’t do either of those things. I promise. Thanks for listening.”

“Call me later and let me know how you are.”

“I will.” I drive off, determined to keep my promise to be careful, but I’m half-tempted to aim for one of the steep cliffs that line the PCH. If I’ve lost Natalie for good, I’d rather be dead than be forced to live without her.
 

After crying all the way to LAX, I get on the plane that was supposed to take Flynn and me to Mexico for our honeymoon. The security guys with me won’t hear of me flying commercially, which is just as well since my credit card is nearly maxed out anyway.
 

Two of Flynn’s security personnel, Josh and Seth, have insisted on accompanying me, even though I told them it’s not necessary. They tell me they’re under orders, and it’s not up to me.

Great. Since I’m apparently stuck with them, I decide to ignore their hulking presence as we prepare for takeoff. I try to stay focused on the fact that I’m going to see my sister Candace for the first time in eight years. If I think about Candace—and only Candace—I can breathe. If I allow myself to think about Flynn and the scene at his house this morning, my chest begins to ache, and all I want to do is cry.

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