Read Take Cover Online

Authors: Kim Black

Take Cover

Take Cover,

Book Three of The Cover Series

By Kim Black

Copyright © 2014 by
Kim Black
. All rights reserved.

Cover Design and Formatting by Kim Black at
TOJ Publishing Services
.

Editing by: Karen Hrdlicka

Photography: Some rights reserved by
Lies Thru a Lens

 

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Please purchase only authorized editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials.

All characters and events appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Book Description

After walking away from both Adam and Julien, Emily Roberts’ only focus is Charlette. Knowing that Charlette stands in the way of her future with Julien, she will stop to nothing to remove her from her life... permanently!

Will her tunnel-vision gives her all that she is yearning for or will she have made the biggest mistake of her life... leaving Julien exposed to the likes of Charlette...

It all ends here...

Chapter One

“What do I have planned?” I repeated, as I paced thoughtfully in the middle of my living room.

“Yes. What exactly do you have planned?” Shane asked again, somewhat amused.

“To fucking kick her ass. That’s what I have planned. That bitch has been a fucking thorn in my side since the beginning. I need to scare her ass back to France, once and for all,” I practically growled at him, my fists now balled up at my sides.

“Emily, I know that you’re out for blood, but let’s face it. You don’t have the means to get a woman like Charlette Delacroix,” Shane informed me, as I continued to place around my apartment, trying to figure out how I would pay back that bitch for trying to kill me.

She obviously believed that offing me would get her Julien, but she was sadly mistaken. The look on his face, when I told him that Charlette had been the one who attacked me at the club, was one I would never forget. He was furious. Unfortunately, his expression soon changed to one of brokenness when I ended my relationship with him.

It was the hardest thing I had ever been forced to do. I felt like I had no choice. The woman was clearly desperate and would stop at nothing to get Julien to leave me for her. I needed her to believe she had won, to believe that she had successfully caused our demise. But in order to do that, I had to hurt the man I loved so desperately. I had to allow him to feel broken, yet again. The fact that I caused him such hurt, pained me to the core, but it was the only way. I needed to find a way to get Charlette out of our lives, once and for all.

“You think I don’t know that, Shane? Do you really think it hasn’t crossed my mind that I am dealing with sick, twisted fuck that will stop at nothing to take Julien away from me? His fucking wife!” I growled in his general direction, as I continued my pacing. I needed a plan.

“Well, will you at least sit down and eat something? You’ve only been out of the hospital for ten hours. You really should be resting,” he said, as he closed the short distance between us, before drawing me up in his arms in an attempt to offer comfort.

The resemblance between the brothers was remarkable. At that moment, I gasped at the sudden closeness, and felt my stomach churn at the realization that Julien wouldn’t be able to touch me like this until after Charlette was taken care off.

Pushing away from Shane, I sighed and sat on the couch, allowing my head to fall into my hands. My decision to let Julien go at the hospital seemed rational, at the time, but the more I thought about it, the more I wondered just what I was thinking. Shane was right. I had no way of really removing his ex-wife from our lives.
Current wife, not ex?

Tears welled up in my eyes in an instant, as the severity of the situation crashed down on me with its full force. I was in no position to take on Charlette.

Shane, once again, closed the distance between us, kneeling down in front of me. “ Look, I know you are determined to make this woman pay. To be honest, I’d like to see the old bat pay myself, but you are in a way over your head,” he began, before lifting my face with his hand to meet his gaze. “My brother loves you, Emily, together you can stop Charlette. But if you insist on going after her, I will help you. Fuck, I have money to blow and dammit, I can’t stand to see a woman cry. Especially, since my brother would likely kill me if I allowed you to get into danger.

So what do you say?”

What do I say? Did he really have to ask?

“Fuck yeah!” I screamed, as I jumped into his arms, no doubt squeezing the life out of him.

“Whoa, whoa. Slow down, killer, we still need a plan. Between your fucking determination and my pockets, Charlette should be out of your life soon, and my brother will be happy again.”

I didn’t let up on his neck. Instead, I squeezed tighter, grateful that I had called him to get me out of the hospital, since my friends weren’t speaking to me. Truth be told... I wanted to be close to Julien, and Shane was the closest thing I had to him.

“Thank you so much, Shane, you have no idea how much this means to me,” I hiccupped into his neck, my grip no less tight than before.

“I am a lover at heart. Shit, I’m French, remember?” he chuckled softly.

How could I ever forget?
I thought to myself.

“Can I still kick her ass, at some point?” I jested, as I pulled away from him, looking him in the eyes.

“I don’t think my brother would like you getting yourself hurt over the likes of Charlette, but we will see what we can do.”

I could not tell you when I actually left the hospital, or even how I ended up in front of her house. All I knew was this was her fault. She had been responsible for Emily’s attack.

I was wrong to underestimate Charlette’s craftiness. She wasn’t one to roll over and give up easily. Thinking she would win me back, she decided to destroy my relationship with Emily, thus destroying me in the process.

Standing in front of her massive double doors, now soaking wet from the rain, I stood in complete fury, after driving around for endless hours. The emotions surging through me ranged from torment, to anguish, to complete numbness. The only thing clear was that she needed to pay. She needed to feel the hopelessness I now felt ripping through my heart. She needed to experience what it was like to have her love ripped away from her.

I knew she believed this would cause me to run to her, and run I shall. She wanted me for her own, at any cost. I would give her just what she asked for, but the cost... The cost would be her own...

The sounds of my fist pounding against the hardwood door roared throughout the otherwise mute estate. The lights hadn’t been on when I arrived, but I was sure she’d be home. Soon, after I began a third round of hammering, this time much louder, she came rushing to the door, breathless as she pulled open the door, her chest rising and falling... as was mine...

“Jules... My goodness! You nearly frightened me to death,” she began. She stood in the doorway, in nothing more than a light pink satin nighty, which barely concealed her full rounded breasts. “Come in... Come in, before you get sick.” She rushed me in and swiftly began to peel my clothes off. She tugged on my suit jacket, until it was released from around my shoulders, before making her way to my shirt buttons.

I kicked the door closed before seizing her hands. Her eyes bore into mine. I knew what she wanted, what she’d hoped would happen. Her plan hadn’t been for Emily to remember who she was. Or worse yet, she hoped she had permanently removed Emily from the picture. I’d come in my grieving state to her, and somehow, lean on her for support, but she was in for more than she bargained for.

“What have you done, Charlette?” I demanded with a growl, causing her to flinch at my aggressive tone.

She pulled away from me, speechless.

“Answer me! What the fuck were you thinking? Huh!” I barked, as I closed the protective gap she had created between us.

“I know nothing of which you speak, Jules. What gives you the right to barge into my home and accuse me?” she demanded, clearly frazzled and attempting to mask it, but failing.

I wasn’t going to buy into her act. I knew her, better than most. She was as conniving as they come.

“What was your plan, Charlette? To kill her? Was that what it was?” I demanded, my anger rising with each passing second.

Her eyebrows drew together, as if confused. “Who are you referring to? What is going on, Jules?” she responded sweetly, as if she was completely oblivious. However, I could see the smirk she so desperately tried to stifle.

“Don’t play games with me, Charlette! You assaulted Emily. She told me just how evil you are, not that I ever needed any confirmation of that fact. What did you think you would accomplish? Was I going to run to you for love, in the event you’d been successful in killing her? Did you really think you’d erase her from my heart?”

She turned away from me, walking toward the living room across the foyer, causing me to follow behind her, unwilling to leave until I had her confession. Emily may not press charges, but I certainly was not going to let her get away with hurting the woman I loved.

“What would you have me say?” she finally stated blankly, almost sounding defeated. She gingerly strutted to the corner bar, grabbing a bottle of gin and pouring herself a glass.

“What would I have you say? Is that all you can say for yourself? You went as far as to physically attack the woman I love, and you ask me what I would have you say?”

“Yes, Jules, I did it. But don’t lecture me about the evil of my deeds, when you lay on a sea of evil all on your own. Taking over my father’s vineyard to force my hand at divorce, when you knew, very well, it is the only thing I hold dear to me. You threatened to destroy me. Me! The women who agreed to marry you. The one who remained on the sidelines while you paraded around, defiling our marriage? Don’t you dare cast stones when you live in a house filled with sin, Mr. Belmont!”

Her anger was apparent in the way she trembled as she spoke. I was left speechless. It was true that I wasn’t the model husband, but it was the terms we had agreed on. It was our arrangement. Never did I think she would require more than what I had offered. Apparently, I had been wrong.

She moved to the leather couch, which made a squeaking sound as she sat down, her glass of gin held close to her.

“Did you ever once stop to consider me? All those years... Attending these events, hand in hand, appeasing our contract. Had the thought never crossed your mind?” she asked, as she looked up at me with the tiniest voice.

She looked so small at the moment, like a little girl who’d prayed for the chance that her school crush would take notice in her, and was now, deflated when he’d passed her up for something he thought was better.

I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help but feel remorseful at that moment. I knew what she wanted to hear, but I couldn’t offer her that. Had I thought about Charlette in a romantic sense? No... Had I, in the past, considered bedding her? Of course.

I released a breath and brought my hand to the back of my neck.

Deciding that I could only tell her the truth, I responded, “I don’t know how to answer that, Charlette. We had an agreement. I was ok with that. Had I considered us in a sensual setting? Yes. But, at the time, that was all I wanted. It wasn’t until I had met Em...”

“Spare me the name of your whore...” she responded, cutting me off. “Sorry,” she added, when I tensed up. “I appreciate your honesty. She wins, I lose, Jules... You may have your divorce and I... I will be forever alone.” She finished before standing to her feet and walking toward the door, her glass of clear liquor still held firmly in her hand.

She opened it wide and waited for me to move toward it, but I was torn by conflicting emotions. I had never met this woman before tonight. She wasn’t the same controlling, overbearing woman I had come to know. She was bare at this moment, broken somewhat. I couldn’t help the pity I felt toward the pain she endured and the realization that Charlette and I were not much different.

Both of us fell in love with someone who’d chosen to walk away from us. Both of us would have done anything to be with the one we loved. Looking back, had I been in Charlette’s shoes, I couldn’t say I wouldn’t have tried everything in my power to win Emily, and I had...
Except attempted murder
, I reminded myself. But that only showed how much she was willing to lose to gain love.

Cursing myself internally, I slowly strode toward her and stood before her defeated form. I would never be able to give her the love that she wanted from me. My heart was closed to any other woman. Hopefully, she would understand that. All I could offer was a chance, something I was denied by Emily.

“I can’t promise you all that you want, Charlette, but...” I began searching for some sanity. I was sure that I was losing my mind for what I was about to do, but at the moment it seemed right.

She lifted her head and gazed deep in my eyes. The fire I had come to recognize within her completely diminished. I had been the cause of that. My casting aside her wants and feelings toward me had broken her spirit. I couldn’t ignore the guilt I felt for it.

“... I think we should try to give us a shot,” I finally managed to say, in such a small voice that I barely recognized it.

Taken aback, she physically backed away from me, shaking her head all the while. I stepped into her, taking her hand in mine in reassurance.

“I don’t understand, Jules. Just moments ago, you said you’d never considered us... me... just sex. I don’t want just sex! I am not just some toy you pick up and play with, before casting it aside when it suits you,” she urged firmly.

Wanting to reassure her, I drew her close to me, placing a hand around her head; allowing her to lean against my chest. “That’s not what I am saying you, stubborn woman. You and me... For real. That is the offer. Call it... a renegotiation of our arrangement.” I softly chuckled in her hair, noticing for the first time how her hair smelled of sweet honey.

She didn’t respond one way or another. She simply broke down in my arms, releasing the tears she had kept in all these years.

I had to help her heal... Tonight I could do that. Tomorrow... I would try.

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