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Insolent (Crimson Elite #4)
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Love had cut me in so many ways I wondered if my heart could take any more.
But then I saw him.
He was my boss.
A single father.
And to top it off he was insolent.
I didn’t intend to want him, that wasn’t my objective. But somehow I couldn’t say no.
We shouldn’t have worked, but like witchcraft, I was under his spell.
My heart’s been destroyed before, I’m not sure it can handle heartbreak again.
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* * *
Three Months Ago
“No, it’s out of the question. You know that’s not how I run this business.” Creed scratches his head at my words.
“You need a fucking break. Take a fucking break and let us run it.” My hand touches the door which leads us into our place—my place. I fucking love it here. It’s been my home for so long now. I don’t know what I’d do without the club. I run it with three of my closest friends, each of us have our own part to play. Granted, I own the majority, but the club wouldn’t be where it is today without the rest of them.
Falcon retains our clients.
Creed employs the women.
Echo runs security.
I, well, I run everything else. It’s a partnership that’s worked for many, many years, and it’s the reason we’re one of the most sought out, yet unique, sex clubs in the world. We are elite, Crimson Elite, and we’re the most exclusive club you will ever find.
“You need a fucking break,” I retort back to him, making Creed scoff.
Creed’s a man who’s silent but deadly. He doesn’t like people, and people don’t usually like him back because they’re usually afraid of him.
“I just had one…”
We both turn when a woman with dark hair walks in from the shadows. How long has she been standing there? I don’t notice a car, so I’m automatically on the defensive when I see her. The number of people we’ve fired who have come begging to get their job back is incredible, but we don’t allow second chances.
Her hand touches her dark hair as she brushes it from her face. “You don’t recognize me.” It’s not a question, merely a statement.
She gazes down then up to Creed, who’s death-staring her. Well, that’s what she’d think, when in actuality it’s simply his stare.
The woman bites her lip, looking up at me once again. “We met… a few months back now.”
“Look, I’m sorry… but you have the wrong person.” I turn to go into my building when she speaks again, “I poked holes in the condom that night at the Ritz.” Her words make me spin around instantly. Her hand falls to her belly, and I now notice an obvious bump.
Creed doesn’t say a word, but his hands are clenched firmly by his side.
She steps forward, and I view her face more clearly. I consider her closely and remember she was a good lay. But now, obviously, it was a bad choice.
“Look, this is—” she begins.
“Unexpected. Deceiving. Blackmail. What is it you want?”
Creed steps away and slips through the door as I square my shoulders and face her.
Fuck, what was her name again?
“The baby is yours. I simply want you to be a part of its life.”
“Why should I believe you?”
“You’re a smart man, Darby. You’ll add the dates and realize I’m not lying.”
“You could have fucked someone else the same night for all I know.”
Her face scrunches, and her bottom lip quivers. “No. And you’ll come to see that it’s the truth.” Her back straightens
“What is it you want—”
“It’s Cleo, Darby. My name is Cleo.”
“Cleo, right! Money. That’s what you want?”
She shrugs. “I will need help with the baby, set-up and such.” Cleo rubs her belly again. I want to groan, but instead I shake my head. “You can make me sign whatever it is that will put your mind at ease. That if this baby isn’t yours… I will have to pay it all back. Whatever money you give me, so I can buy this baby…” her hands touch her belly as she rubs it, “… whatever it is he or she will need.”
“Are you desperate?”
She doesn’t flinch at my choice of words or even how angrily I say them.
“You must be, woman. Don’t do this. Were you raised wrong?”
Cleo straightens her back and doesn’t bite back. “Can I have your number?”
“My number?” I gawk at her.
She pulls out her phone and hands it to me. Her small hands, with chipped pink nail polish, hold on tightly to the old-looking cell.
“If you’ll type it in it will be easier for me to call when we need something.”
“You’re serious right now, aren’t you?”
Cleo nods her head. “This baby will get everything it wants and won’t know a life of pain. You promise me you’ll never show this baby pain?” Her hand grips my hand, her nails dig in to the point they almost bleed.
“Are you off your meds?”
Cleo lets go of my hand. “You care for what it is you do. I’m banking on you caring for something you created as well.” She nods her head toward my phone. “Number, please?”
I enter my number and watch as she smiles and takes her phone back.
“One day you won’t hate me for this. You’ll see.” She smiles and walks off, leaving me standing there wondering what the fuck just happened.