“Thank you. I’ll take a look at it immediately.”
I hung up the phone without saying goodbye, my heart pounding in my chest. I navigated to my email and tapped on the newest addition to my inbox, then clicked on the image that downloaded itself straight to my phone. I studied it closely, zooming in and taking in the details. The cursive writing. The formal speak. The lightly browned paper and the signature at the end.
It was identical to a letter I’d received not long after my father had died.
My mother and I had still been living in our penthouse apartment on the outskirts of the city. She hadn’t quite spiraled as much as she eventually did, so I was doing everything in my power to keep her out of the limelight and rooted to reality. By myself. But when the nation caught wind of my father’s passing and the circumstances that surrounded it, a note similar to the one that had been delivered to my mother came directly to our complex. Well, not directly to it. The postman delivered it and stuck it in our box at the front of the building. But still, someone had been stalking us then, and we alerted the police to that fact. Alerted them to the threat on our lives the person boasted of in the letter. But with the controversy that publicly surrounded my family’s name at the time the letter was delivered, the police couldn’t have cared less.
They told us many more would probably show up just like it, and that we needed to get used to it.
I settled on the fact that the police didn’t give a shit about our lives after what my father had done to theirs.
I was taking care of my mother alone at that point. She was spiraling into a depression I couldn’t keep up with, and I did the best I could to keep her afloat. But that one threatening letter was enough to force me to change my identity and commit my mother to the private facility she was in now. I lived in fear every day that the person behind that letter would find us. I looked over my shoulder and slept light, trying to keep myself safe after reading some of the disgusting things that letter had in it. And once again, the monster had found us.
Found my vulnerable mother.
My eyes scanned the note again as my hand began to tremble. Was this really happening? Had someone really been attempting to track us down? The facility’s number one goal was the safety, security, and anonymity of their patients beyond what they were forced to provide. And because they were a privately run institution, the information they had to fork over wasn’t much. Even though the woman reassured me my mother would be safe, I still found myself swirling with panic. Halfway around the world and I had no way to check in on her. No one to drop in on her. No way to keep track of what was happening with regard to her.
And the worst part of it was I had to pretend to be a happy-go-lucky fiancée at some idiotic business dinner full of billionaires in a little over four hours.
Sometimes, my job sucked.
She looked like an angel dressed in her designer white gown. The second she came walking out of her room with her beautiful brown hair piled high on her head, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. The silken fabric of her dress flowed around her body, hugging her in places that beckoned for the swell of my muscles. I wanted her so much, I was almost afraid to touch her, afraid to smudge part of myself onto her white gown and forever soil her. Her heels clicked against the marbled floors as she held her perfectly patterned clutch in her hand, and those crimson red lips of hers were quickly becoming somewhat of a trademark of hers.
“Ready?” I asked.
“After you, sweetheart.”
I had to mentally talk myself down off the ledge. As the two of us waited for the elevator to open in the penthouse, I had to physically jam my hands into my pockets to keep from tossing her against the wall and smudging that lipstick all over my cock. Ever since she’d stepped onto that plane, I’d been obsessed with her. The way she looked, the way she smiled, her scent, all of it, swirling around me in a salacious dance of want and lust. Stepping into the elevator with her was pure and utter torture. Standing so close to her with that light perfume of hers tainting her skin made me want to take a bite out of her curves.
She was a drug. And I was her willing host.