“He yelled at me. Told me I was like all of ‘them’ and I used him to get things. Then he called me a liar and told me it was over before he left.”

Jessica’s body had gotten tense. I knew she was getting upset over this. “Did he explain why?”

I shook my head. “No. When I asked, he said I knew. Then he told me to shut up. He’s never told me to shut up. So I did.”

My mother’s arms tightened around me. “Oh, baby. I am so sorry. He’s going to regret this, though. You mark my words, he will regret this. It will haunt him and he will figure out he’s made a mistake and come back groveling. You make him beg at your feet for a long time before you give in. You hear me? Don’t forgive him easily for this. But do forgive him. Because he’s made a horrible mistake.”

Relationship advice was something I would never take to heart from my mother. Jessica wasn’t the smartest female when it came to men. Although, Sam had changed her on that, too. But still, she’d made so many mistakes in her life. I was one of her first mistakes.

“I can’t. I won’t ever trust a man that much again. Especially him,” I whispered.

Momma sighed and rested her chin on my head. “He’s really f**ked, then, isn’t he?” she said in a sad tone.


Sleep never came. All damn night. I had even gotten up and gone to another bedroom and tried to sleep in there. It didn’t work. All I could see was Sadie’s tearstained face as she begged me to tell her what was wrong. Never once had understanding flashed in her eyes. She had been so good at acting innocent.

How f**king long had my Sadie been a manipulative liar?

I made my way to the kitchen because I wasn’t eating in the dining room alone only to remember every good memory with Sadie I had in there. I would grab some food and then get out of this house. Barbara came walking out of the kitchen with a frown on her face. She didn’t smile when she saw me. Had the woman forgotten who she worked for?

“Excuse me, Master Jax,” she replied formally. “I need to finish cleaning up the picnic Sadie had prepared for you downstairs that you never showed up for.”

Picnic? “What?” I asked, annoyed by the fact that my staff was taking Sadie’s side after I’d been the one who was burned.

“The picnic she had prepared with candles and such for you the other night. She was so excited about it too. She’d spent days preparing for it. She wouldn’t tell me what it was about, though. I didn’t have to ask her, really. I already knew. The silly girl forgets I am aware of everything in this house. I know what’s in her trash can.”

Confused, I stood there as Barbara stalked past me, seeming even angrier than before.

“What the hell are you talking about?” I yelled, causing her back to snap straight before she turned around to shoot daggers at me with her eyes.

“I’m talking about the surprise Sadie had for you, sir.”

“What surprise?” I asked, furious that she was making me play this stupid game.

Barbara cocked one of her white eyebrows and tilted her head as she studied me. “It isn’t for me to tell you, sir. It was Sadie’s surprise. Not mine.”

Fuck this! I wasn’t living in a house with people who didn’t respect that fact that I signed their f**king paychecks. “You are aware you don’t work for Sadie, aren’t you, Barbara? You work for me.”

She frowned and then shrugged. “I’ve decided I’m not sure I want to work for you, sir. If you want to let me go, I will pack my bags and leave.”

The anger boiled over and I met her glare with one of my own. “Did you watch the news yesterday? Pick up a paper? Get on the f**king Internet at all?”

Barbara snarled, then looked disgusted with me. “Yes, sir, I did. And I am sure Sadie did as well. Yet she never called you. Even though her phone is here in the office, I am sure she could have found another phone to call you. The thing is, sir, she didn’t do that. My opinion on this is that if Sadie was guilty of what that photo is accusing her of and she was trying to manipulate you, then she’d have woven an excuse and called you, begging you to listen to her. She would have been willing to hear you yell at her and lash out at her if there was hope she could get you back.” Barbara paused and pointed a finger at me. “But she didn’t. Did she? She didn’t call you, not once. Because you told her to leave. You yelled at her and called her names I never in my life imagine that sweet girl has been called. You broke her. She won’t trust you again, and she would never give you another chance. So no, she wouldn’t call and try to explain. She doesn’t think you deserve an explanation.”

Barbara untied the apron around her waist, then walked over and handed it to me. “I’ve decided I am done here. I realize I’m right and the beautiful soul you destroyed won’t ever come back here. She’s gone. And I don’t think I can bear to stay here and watch your life spiral out of control. Because it will. You’ve lost your light.”

Barbara turned and left. I stood there and listened as she spoke to the employees, and then I heard her giving her keys to someone. I didn’t move. I wasn’t sure I could. Because what she said made sense.

What the f**k was I missing?

When I finally moved, I didn’t go to the kitchen. My appetite was gone. I went to the office instead. And sure enough, there was Sadie’s new iPhone. The newest version had just come out last week, and I’d had it waiting for her when she woke up that day. She had said she’d just figured out the last one and wasn’t ready for the new one, but she had laughed at me.

Then we had spent an hour in the shower together.

Without her my life meant nothing. This emptiness wasn’t ever going away. What had Sadie wanted to tell me? Had she gotten a job? I wasn’t sure what else would be important enough for her to make plans for a big night to surprise me.

Unless . . .

Holy hell . . . no.

She would have told me. She wouldn’t have left.

“You broke her. She won’t trust you again. . . .” Barbara’s words came back to me.

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and dialed Jessica’s number. It rang three times before Sadie’s mother answered. “You have five seconds” was her greeting.

“Is she there?” I asked.

“Where else do you think she’d be?” she snapped back.

“Is she . . . is she . . . pregnant?” I asked, feeling a mixture of hope and fear battling in my chest.

Jessica let out a hard laugh. “Sorry, f**ker. Your five seconds are up. Figure this shit out on your own.”

Then she hung up on me.

I stared down at the phone in my hand and thought about calling back. But what good would that do? Jessica wasn’t going to answer my question. Which made me think I was right.

I walked to the back of the house, where I knew I’d find someone who knew. My staff knew something. Jean-Claude, the butler, gave me an annoyed glance. Even he was mad at me.

“Is she pregnant?” I asked him.

He shrugged. “What’s it matter to you? Could be anyone’s, anyway. Right?” he snarled, as if the idea disgusted him and he was disappointed in me for thinking badly of Sadie.

Then he walked away. I slammed through the kitchen doors and no one was there. I wondered if Barbara had fired everyone before she left. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point.


I woke up to the smell of coffee and my mother sitting on the edge of the bed. “I have coffee. You can’t sleep all day. I’ll even consider making pancakes if you’ll eat them.”

I stretched and covered my eyes from the light streaming in through the windows. “Morning, now go away,” I mumbled, then closed my eyes again.

She pulled the covers back to let the chill in the room hit me. “Nope. We have shit to deal with, and I need you up and alert so we can face it and be prepared for the onslaught. Because, baby, it’s coming.”

That didn’t sound good. I sat up and reached for the coffee cup in her hand. “The media knows,” I said, before taking a sip and letting the heat of the coffee warm me up.

“Actually, they don’t know shit. That’s the problem. They think something happened, which I am trying to figure out myself. However, it does explain why Jax lost his mind.”

Jessica reached behind her and pulled out the morning paper. “It’s already in the local news. Entertainment section, first page. Prepare yourself,” she said, handing me the paper and taking the cup away from me.

I snatched the paper out of her hands, and in the center of the full-colored page was a photo of Nave Anikin, Jax’s drummer and longtime friend, kissing me. That night Nave had been high as a kite and had taken me by surprise. He’d slammed his slimy mouth to mine, and I had been shocked frozen for a moment until it hit me what was happening and I kicked him in the balls. He had fallen backward and moaned in pain.

More than once I had almost told Jax about it, but I had hated to end their friendship. I was positive that Nave didn’t remember it. He never acted weird around me or anything. I let it go and kept my distance from all the band members at parties. They got trashed and did stupid stuff.

When I felt guilty for not telling Jax, I remembered how guilty I would feel when Nave was without a job and Jax had lost his friend. I didn’t think the outcome was worth telling anyone about this. It was two years ago. After all that time, I’d forgotten about it.

But someone had seen it and had waited until now to share the photo.

“Gonna tell me why the world thinks ‘Jax Stone’s fiancée is playing the band now’?” Jessica asked, repeating the headline of the article.

I dropped the paper and looked out the window. Jax had seen this before it hit the media. He had seen it, and instead of asking me about it, he had attacked me.

“You didn’t read it,” Jessica said.

“Don’t want to. It’s all lies,” I said, hating the realization that Jax hadn’t trusted me.

“Not all of it. The fact that Nave Anikin is in the hospital with his jaw wired shut and several broken body parts is a fact. It is believed Jax Stone beat him within an inch of his life, but he isn’t talking. He refuses to press charges.”

I dropped my head into my hands and sighed. “What did you do, Jax?” I muttered to myself.

“You gonna call him and explain this?” Jessica asked me.

No, I wasn’t. I should have been given that option before Jax beat Nave to a bloody pulp and tossed me out. Now it was too late.

I shook my head. “If he wants to believe the media, then let him. He doesn’t want me to explain. If he did, he’d have let me before he ended things.”

Jessica handed me the cup of coffee. “You’re right, of course, but you love him, Sadie, and you’re pregnant with his baby.”

I would have to tell him eventually. But I needed my space first.

“I’ll probably always love him. Doesn’t mean I can ever trust him again. That doesn’t make a relationship.”

Jessica’s shoulders fell. “Yeah. I guess that’s true. But it still sucks.”

“I need some alone time. I’ll be out in a little bit. Let me know if we get media outside. I don’t know how I’ll handle it without Jax’s help, but we will figure something out.”

She nodded and stood up. “I’ll go kick their asses. I don’t need no stinking Jax Stone to keep my girl safe,” she said, before walking out of the room and closing my door behind her.

By the time I had finished my coffee, I heard the first car doors. Peeking out my window, I saw a representative from every news channel in Alabama and the surrounding states, and national ones too. They knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. I was thankful Sam was already at school. This madness would have to end, though. Even if I had to go get a hotel room to move the focus off my mom’s house.

I changed into some jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, then brushed my hair and pulled it into a ponytail before opening my bedroom door. Mom was in the kitchen, looking out the window with the phone to her ear. “Yes, she’s here. Get your asses here and get them off my property before I have them all thrown in jail for trespassing. Y’all don’t have enough room in your jail for all this shit. Do something about this now.”

She was talking to the police. That would help some and for a while. But this would be an ongoing battle. I wasn’t sure how to defuse the situation.

Mom hung up and turned to look at me. “It’s started,” she said, with an apologetic frown.

“Yeah, it has,” I replied, sinking into the kitchen chair and wondering how my life had gone so wrong.


When my jet landed at the Sea Breeze private airport, there was security everywhere. I stepped out of the plane and was immediately surrounded by large guards. “Evening, sir. Most of the media is camped out at Miss White’s mother’s house, but we do have some hanging out like scum around the property line here. We wanted to get you to the car and out of the vicinity safely,” one of the men waiting for me explained.

Shit. They were already after Sadie. She didn’t have me there to help.

“Get them away from Jessica White’s house. Now,” I demanded, stalking toward the waiting black SUV.

“Yes, sir,” the man replied.

“Where’s my usual driver?” I asked when a man I didn’t recognize opened the door for me.

“He, uh, quit, sir,” the guy replied.


“He quit, sir. This morning,” he repeated.

I didn’t have to ask why. It was because of Sadie. Even though there was a photo of her kissing my f**king drummer all over the news, they still took her side. The fear that I was the only idiot who hadn’t trusted her and believed in her was growing worse. Why hadn’t I given her a chance to explain? Because the image of Nave’s hands on her and his lips on hers had made me so crazy I lost my mind. I couldn’t think straight from the anger and pain pumping through my veins.

readonlinefreebook.com Copyright 2016 - 2024