Breaking Love (Broken Love #4), p.17B. B. Reid
I wondered for the reason behind him clinging to me. Oh, my… was he drawing comfort from me? The idea caused butterflies to erupt in the pit of my stomach and travel up to my head until I was dizzy.
“I’m not getting in your way. I’m asking you to rethink this. Besides, he’ll never agree to meet with you. I haven’t been able to meet with the man in six years.”
“That’s funny because I’ve already met him once before. This is a follow-up.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m thinking he considered my offer. I don’t know what that means for Chambers M&A and taking over, but on Monday, I’m flying to Seattle to find out.”
I witnessed three emotions from the older man—shock, disbelief, and suspicion. I would have expected pride, respect, or maybe even gratification at his son having accomplished what he couldn’t.
“I don’t believe this. You should send James in your place. You’re not qualified to handle this big of an acquisition.”
“You’re a prick,” I blurted. Dash squeezed my hand as a warning, but there was no way I could keep silent any longer.
“Excuse me, young lady?” His chest puffed out in a show of dominance meant to intimidate, and I bit back a snort.
“I said you’re a prick. Your son is the head of this company, a position you appointed him to before he was even ready, simply because he’s your heir, and like the dumbass he is, he accepted because he wants to please the man who is supposed to be his father first. So what do you do? At every turn, you do nothing but tell him how he’s not good enough. He’s been doing this job for only a few months, and already. He’s managed to accomplish what you couldn’t in years. Doesn’t that count for something?”
“Young lady, I have more experience in my pinky finger than you two have together. I know what it takes to win, and since he’s my son, I’m doing everything I can to teach him.”
“Dash doesn’t want to win. He wants to lead. If you continue to cut him down, you might one day wake up and find your company completely liquidated and with one less son.”
“My son would never do something so ludicrous.”
“That goes to show you how you don’t know your son much at all. I can guarantee he would.”
“Dasher! Do you let all of the employees behave this way? I should suspect as much. I knew better than to hand this company over to a child. A man—a winner would never let some little lower class tart act amuck on his behalf.”
I was ready to cut him down when Dash shot to his feet. He guided me into his vacated seat and pressed his hand on my shoulder as a warning to stay. He then straightened his suit jacket before stepping around the desk. He took a confrontational stance in front of his father. From his profile, I could see his jaw clench and unclench and I could tell he was holding back.
I never wanted it to go this far, but I couldn’t say that I was sorry for confronting him. I couldn’t bear to listen to him destroy Dash any longer. Because just as Dash claimed he knew me, I knew him, and I knew that behind the nonchalance and smart comments, Dash was hurting for his father’s approval. It was something he may never win even though he’d more than earned it.
“I’m only going to explain this once so I implore you to listen. She’s not just an employee. She’s damn well not a low-class tart. She’s my friend and she would have been my wife by now if I hadn’t fucked it up, but she may still be my wife in the near future and the mother of my children so show her some respect.”
I was completely floored. My jaw nearly touched the floor. Wife? Children? Had he gone completely insane?
“Show her respect? What about the way she just spoke to me? I am your father! I demand it!”
“She earned it.”
“What do you mean she will be your wife? You’re marrying Rosalyn. Someone of your social and financial stature.”
“I’m not marrying Rosalyn.”
“What are you going on about? You’re engaged. I saw to it myself.”
“Then perhaps you should marry her.”
“You are not calling off this engagement, Dasher.”
“I already have. I broke it off at dinner last night and then I went home to my woman. The spoiled brat who deserves my ring on her finger.”
Dash broke it off last night?
“I would have heard about this.”
“I paid Rosalyn to keep her mouth shut until I was ready to tell. She’s probably in Paris or shopping in Louis Vuitton by now.”
“This is unacceptable.” His father shook his head. “You are proving to be a disappointment.”
“So are you, Dad.”
“Don’t get too comfortable with this new arrangement. I’m going to salvage your fuck-up with the Cordells. You will not be marrying this girl.” He pointed his finger at me and sneered.
“The only thing I won’t be doing is living under your shadow any longer. If you wish for me to run this company, I will, but I’ll do it my way.”
His father stormed out but not before sending me a threatening look. I waggled my fingers and released a snort.
“Well, that was fun,” I said when the door slammed behind him. I tried to walk away, but Dash caught me around the waist and hauled my back up against his chest.
“What the fuck was that, Angel?” He rubbed his nose in the crook of my neck.
“I’m not sure what you mean?”
“Why did you stick up for me?”
“Someone had to do it. You were just sitting there and letting him say what he wanted.”
“He’s my father.”
“Yet you found it necessary to send him packing when he insulted me.”
“I said I would protect you.”
His vow brought me back to reality with full force. Esmerelda was a threat to us all and she terrified me. It wasn’t just because she could kill me, but because she could also harm everyone I loved as she had proven.
I managed to pull away from him and put some space between us. I fully expected him to force me into his arms again and secretly wished for it, but he simply blew out air and sat in his seat.
“I’m fucking trying, Willow.”
Willow. Not Angel.
“I know you are,” I whispered back. I couldn’t look him in the eye. I wasn’t prepared for his fist to slam down on the desk with force. The boom of his fist pounding the wood nearly made me jump out of my skin.
“Then what the hell is the problem!”
“Can you please not shout?”
“Do you think I give a fuck who hears? Anyone blind, deaf, or dumb, within a ten-mile radius, can see that I want to be with you.”
“It’s not enough of wanting to be together, Dasher. We don’t trust each other and you know it.
“I would be able to trust you if you would stop keeping secrets and let me protect you.”
“But I still wouldn’t be able to trust you.”
“I’m not asking for you to forgive me overnight. I’m asking for you to try.”
“I want to… so bad.”
“What’s stopping you?”
“Me,” I cried.
“Come here.” I shook my head so he repeated himself. This time, his voice was more forceful and commanding. I walked the short distance until I was by his side. He pulled me down to his lap and made sure to position me right over his erection. “There is nothing wrong with you, and whatever you did or think you did wouldn’t even matter to me. I’ve been too long without, Angel. Don’t make me wait another four or five years.”
As much as I wanted to scream yes and give in, I couldn’t. At least not now. Not when I was planning to do something that would cost more than my life. It will be unforgivable.
“I—I’ll have to think about it.”
I expected anger and violence, but all he did was kiss me softly on the lips. “I’ll take that answer… for now.”
I smiled down at him and he smiled back. I’m not entirely sure what happened in that office togeth
SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR
I HAD BEEN back in Six Forks for only two days and missed Dash like crazy. For weeks, he was the face I could count on seeing every day, but now we were back to our own lives with separate economic and social statuses.
The only upside was that I got to see my best friend again who actually had been strange. She was jumpier than usual, and I wondered if it was wise to have left her alone all summer, especially since Keiran Masters was back from juvie.
It was unnatural the way he hated her. It was as if he were obsessed with hating her.
The sound of the doorbell ringing snapped me back. I figured it was one of my mother’s friends coming to complain about their jobs while drinking too much wine so I flopped down on the bed.
I forgot Pepe had made it his new napping spot and unintentionally disturbed his sleep. He lifted his head and gave me the stink eye before settling once more. He had been giving me the cold shoulder ever since I returned, upset over my leaving for the entire summer. I didn’t understand what his problem was since he likely slept through it all.
“Uh… sis?” Buddy walked inside looking nervous. “You have a visitor. A guy visitor. A Dash freaking Chambers visitor.”
I flew out of my room and down the stairs, wondering if this was for real. I soon found out it was very real. Dash stood on my porch, gazing out at the street. His hand gripped the white pillar with chipped paint, causing his muscles to bunch under his plain white t-shirt.
“What are you doing here?”
Smooth, Willow. Real smooth.
His head had turned before his body did but when it did, I felt gut-punched. It had been two days too long.
“I miss you.”
Don’t melt, Willow. Don’t melt.
“I miss you too.” Yup… definitely melting.
“I can’t explain it. It’s just… weird… not seeing you.”
“Willow?” My mother’s voice called to me from inside. “What are you doing out here? Who’s at the door?”
“Shit. You better come in,” I instructed Dash. He looked all too happy to oblige. I pulled him in and closed the door just as my mom made it to the door with a dishtowel in her hand.
“Oh,” she remarked as she took in Dash. She appeared startled as she looked back and forth between us. Buddy stood off to the side grinning like a fool. “Well, go on, Willow. Introduce me to your friend.”
“Mom, this is Dash. Dash, this is my mother.”
“Dash? What an unusual name, but then I suppose Willow and Chance are, too. Come in and have a seat.”
I’ve never had a boyfriend or a male friend for that matter, but I was intuitive enough to know an interrogation was about to happen.
We were settled in the living room when she asked, “So, do you go to school with Willow?”
“I’ve never seen you around before, and she’s never mentioned you. Are you two dating?”
“Hush, honey. I’m speaking with your friend.”
“Willow and I have only become friends this summer.”
“This summer? But she was away.” Dash likely didn’t recognize it, but my mother was becoming suspicious of my now tattered virtue by the question, especially now that she knew we spent an entire summer together unsupervised.
“Yes, ma’am. We attended the same program and got to know each other.” I stifled a groan and resisted the urge to sink under the floorboards.
“I’m sorry. I only just realized Willow didn’t tell me your full name. Who are your parents?”
That was the final straw. I was officially mortified.
“Cale and Melissa Chambers. Do you know them?”
I watched my mother’s lips tighten with disapproval. Her eyes no longer held a semblance of kindness. “Only too well.”
If Dash was offended, it didn’t show. He remained perfectly still, the only movement was his jaw clenching and unclenching before he ultimately settled.
“Willow, it’s getting late,” my mother announced and stood. She left without another word and my eyes immediately flew to Dash, who watched her leave with narrowed eyes. She wanted him gone and said as much. I wasn’t fooled and neither was Dash.
“I—I’m so sorry. I don’t know what came over her. M—maybe you should go.” Dash looked as if he would refuse until I pleaded with him with my eyes.
“Fine. I’ll go.” He lifted me from my seat and brought me close, kissing my lips. “But I’ll see you later,” he threatened.
Once he was gone, I allowed my anger to reign. I found my mother in the kitchen preparing the pot roast as if nothing had happened. “What was that? You were so rude.”
“I don’t want you seeing him again. I know his kind. He comes from money and his blood is blue.”
“I am trying to protect you, Willow. You’ll never be nothing more than a toy to him. He’ll make you fall in love and then marry another, just like your father did.”
“But mom, he’s not my father. Neither Dash nor his family has anything to do with him.”
“I’m done discussing this, Willow. I forbid you to see him.”
* * *
“Why are you cooking that?” I asked hours later while I watched him mix together mac and cheese with cut up franks.
“It’s my weekend.”
“To babysit. Kennedy is coming over.” Butterflies for reasons I didn’t understand erupted in my belly. “We alternate weekends.”
“Is this something you just started now that school is over?”
“Nope. Keiran, Lake, and I would come home for our weekend.”
“Wow… that’s really supportive.”
“She needed us to be there for her so we were. No matter the costs.” He turned away to finish the dinner, but I got the message loud and clear.
It wouldn’t matter because tomorrow he would be on a plane to Seattle and safe from Esmerelda, and I could exact my plan and finish what she started.
“So what time will Kennedy be here?” He checked his watch and frowned.
“They should be here by now.”
We had waited another half hour before Dash decided to take a ride to Six Forks and dragged me with him.
The trip typically took half an hour, but we made it in less than twenty. Dash didn’t say anything, but I could tell he was worried. My own heart beat a wild staccato.
Their street was quiet and Keiran’s car was parked in the driveway. Dash barely gave time to park his car. He hopped out, and I ran behind him just to keep up.
When we reached their door, he knocked and waited but no one came, so he fingered through his keys until he came across a gold key marked K&S.
The front door opened and as far as our eyes could see, we noticed nothing out of the ordinary. He took me by the hand and stepped inside. Dash was about to call out when we heard a voice.
“Don’t worry. Daddy has you, baby.” Keenan’s voice drifted from the living area so we followed. Seconds later, we both heard an answering moan that was far too sexual to be Kennedy, but it was too late.
We stood frozen and took in the sight of Sheldon as she sat atop Keenan, both as naked as the day they were born and splayed out on the floor next to the fireplace. She rode Keenan, completely uninhibited by the openness of their act.
“Damn, Shelly. I love you,” Keenan groaned. Sheldon wailed and picked up her pace.
I looked up at Dash, who had already looked away, but his disgusted expression was very much evident. I pushed him away, and we tiptoed up the stairs.
“I think I’m going to be sick.”
“Don’t tell me you didn’t know they did it,” I mocked.
“Knowing and seeing are two different things.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at hi
“So much.” I laughed even harder. Completely unable to contain it. “Hey, where do you think Ken is if they’re doing it practically in public?”
“I don’t know. She could be sleep.”
We made it to Ken’s room and peeked in. Sure enough, she was sound asleep, but dressed in clothes to go out.
“I guess she fell asleep.”
“Those jerks could have called instead of making a detour to get laid.”
“Sounds like someone is jealous,” I sung. The next moment, my back was against the wall and his face was buried in my neck.
“Why would I be jealous when you have all this ass?”
“Are you trying to say I have a fat ass?”
“Yes,” he growled, “and I love it.”
I had just felt the beginning stirrings of extreme horniness rising when Sheldon’s cries and the sound of slapping skin drifted up the stairs. Dash’s body went rigid and his complexion paled.
“Please, get me out of here,” he pleaded. I clamped my hand over my mouth stifling my laugh and led him by the hand, down the stairs and out the door. I looked back at Dash whose face was set as if he didn’t find any of it amusing.
“What do we do now?”
Once he managed to stop looking so disgusted, he spoke. “It’s still early. We can wait around for them,” he screwed up his face, “to finish.”
SENIOR YEAR - HIGH SCHOOL
I DECIDED A million times not to bother, but each time I threw away caution until I was finally pulling in her neighborhood. I didn’t stop to consider if her parents might be back soon. I knew her brother wasn’t home either, having seen him climb into the neighbor’s window during my stakeout five minutes prior. It was unbelievable that she had managed to make me desperate enough to become a stalker.
It was only the first day of school, but we had been back for a couple of weeks now, and already, Willow had discarded me as if I were yesterday’s newspaper.
Breaking Love (Broken Love #4) by B. B. Reid / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes