Authors: Angelica Chase
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are products of the author's imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is purely coincidental.
Copyright© 2015 by Angelica Chase. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
The use of artists, song titles, and brand names throughout this book are done so for storytelling purposes and should in no way be seen as advertisement. Trademark names are used in an editorial fashion with no intention of infringement of the respective owner's trademark.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or if it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and please purchase your own copy.
Cover Design by Staci Brillhart.
Interior Design by Jersey Girl Graphics.
Edited by Edee M. Fallon.
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Thank you for everything
Thank you so much for taking the time to read the final installment of
The Excess Series
. I am once again asking for
reviews which I know it will be hard. I also know I’ve got a 50/50 chance of you throwing your e-reader either out the window or at me.
I designed the series this way. So while I go and hide, please know that...this was always my vision, it was
going to end this way.
And I did warn you…
My heel sank into the pluff mud and I left it there, swiftly relieving my foot of the other. Turning my head toward my idling car, I reassured myself that it was still there, the door left open in case I needed to escape in a hurry. Hearing another bloodcurdling scream, I walked toward the dim light. Fear shot through me in waves as Shel Silverstein’s words fumbled around in my head,
Clooney the Clown
a horrific internal monologue resounding through my frightened mind. My senses heightened with each step I took toward the cracked door. There was soft music playing in the background. I knew the song but could not make out the words. It was upbeat and a little jazzy, and totally unfitting.
I could hear the crunch of crisp grass under my feet and then another scream echoed in the night. Reaching into my purse, I fumbled inside and let out a way too audible breath of relief when I felt the cold steel.
Another scream, louder, more desperate. Pain … this was pain.
“Enough!” It was a loud boom of a familiar male voice.
I recited the poem over and over in my head, the way I used to when I heard my parents fighting, and yet I knew that what I was about to see was far worse than what I used to hear. I took another step forward and a motion light came on, alerting my presence to those inside. Sweat from the humidity, along with adrenaline from fear, had me dripping, my now soaked blouse clinging to my torso.
Terror raced through my every pore as I gripped my gun and took aim in front of me.
A dark figure appeared out of the door, but I instantly knew who it was. He came toward me in a black blur, yelling my name as I squeezed the trigger with a scream of my own.
Nina lay on her stomach, facing away from me as I traced the curve of her spine with my fingertips from her neck down to her lower back. We both lay quiet after I’d made love to her then fell asleep. When we woke this morning and she realized I hadn’t left, I saw the surprise in her face when she opened her eyes. She turned away from me as I continued to stroke her. I was sure my confession and my tender touch had stifled her into this silence. She finally turned to look at me and I saw confusion and pain in her cloud-filled eyes.
“I’m leaving her.” Emotion crossed her features in what looked like a hint of relief, but it quickly disappeared. Before I could say anything else, she rose from the bed and shut the bathroom door behind her.
I’d left her alone to shower as I sat in her bed admiring her beautiful frame while she polished her face in the mirror.
“I meant it when I said I loved you, Nina. I meant it. I think you know it. I think you’ve known it.”
“Devin, why are you doing this? If this is a pissing contest between you and your cousin, I’ll be the first to break the news. He broke it off the minute we left the fundraiser.”
I tried not to show my relief but she was watching me closely and it was evident.
“You don’t belong with him.” I pulled at my pants, trying to hide my growing erection from simply watching her. Now was not the time.
She turned in her chair to face me, a makeup brush in her hand. “And I don’t belong with you. Sex is all we’ve ever had between us.”
“Really?” She stood, walking over to stand in front of me. “My shrink told me you conditioned me this way. Is that true?”
“Your shrink.” I sat slightly stunned before realization hit me. “Fuck that, Nina. Of course he would speak ill of me. With every breath he takes he lies.”
“Seems to run in the family. Besides,
didn’t speak of
at all, because I didn’t know for sure the two of you were connected until last night. I would ask you what your beef with him is but I’m pretty sure it would be another lie.”
“My beef?” I tried to mask my chuckle. I wanted to grab her and ravage her again, but her body language told me I was about to be thrown out. When I discovered the door unlocked last night and found her in bed writhing and needy, I thanked God, Santa Clause, the fucking lucky leprechaun, and whoever else was responsible. Walking away was not fucking happening and touching her again felt like returning to heaven after a long stint in hell.
In the back of my mind lingered the thought he’d tainted her, but I wouldn’t let him have her. I’d never let him have her.
The minute I saw that son of a bitch clasp her hand, all bets were off. She was mine. I would make her mine again. I would prove my worth, my love, my devotion. I would keep her safe and to hell with the consequences. She was worth losing it all.
Looking at her now as she stood in her silk camisole and matching shorts, tapping her brush on her thigh, it was clear I should have made the decision a lot sooner. Still, the jealous bastard in me had to ask.
“Was it intentional with him?”
She watched me in the mirror as she circled a soft brush on her cheekbones. “I’m no longer capable of being that callous.”
“So you are telling me this is just coincidence?”
She nodded once, as if she didn’t care one way or the other whether I believed her. This was going to take work—a lot of work.
“Why do you two hate each other?”
When I hesitated, she noticed, but I stayed silent, trying to figure out how to tell her the truth. She was looking for a quick explanation I didn’t have. The contempt she had for me at that moment told me it was definitely not the time. The truth would only push her further away. It was over between them, that’s all the mattered. “As much as I love
getting any answers from you, I have to get to work.”
“It’s complicated, but I promise to tell you everything. Just let me have the deed to the land and I’ll—”
“What?” She was shrieking now.
“Fuck you, Devin! Are you serious? Is this why you are here? Jesus, couldn’t you have let me have my meltdown in peace? I can’t be manipulated like that anymore, haven’t you learned?” She was furious and I felt my balls creep up slightly at her glare. I stood, coming toward her.
“You don’t honestly think I’m here for that, and you know it. You are just scared.” I knew I struck a nerve when she threw her brush at me.
“Get out. Seriously, get out.” She pointed toward the door. “He wanted to love me, to make me happy, he want—”
“Don’t finish that sentence, Nina. He can’t have you!” I felt the rage rush through me as I clenched my fists. “Stay the fuck away from him.”
“I intend to, as I do you. The land is not for sale and if your cunt of a wife wants it, she can come get it herself.”
“So this is once again about your war with my wife.” She flinched as I said the word wife. The woman that loved me was in there somewhere. “As much as it pains me to say this, you are no match for her. I don’t know what lengths she will go to. Just let it go.”
She stomped into her closet and pulled a dress off the rack before throwing it over her head.
“Tell me what you want so I can tell you no,” she huffed.
“I want you.”
She stopped her busy hands to utter a quick “No.” She stopped at her mirror, checked her lips then grabbed her purse. “Let’s go.”
“I came here to tell you that I’m sorry. That I cared, that I still care, and that I was wrong.” Fuck, that was hard but long overdue. My heart was in her hands and I could already see her twisting the knife in.
My eyes implored hers as I gave her the long overdue words. She had built a solid wall and I had my sledgehammer ready.
“You know I can’t forgive you.”
“So how could you possibly get me?”
“Time, effort, and orgasms.” I gave her a wolfish grin and her flying keys caught me in the jaw as I cursed the same fucking leprechaun who brought me into this room. Okay, maybe charm wasn’t the best tactic. Reminding myself that losing my temper may set me back, I tried again.
“I didn’t sleep with her that day. You walked in right after she threatened to ruin my career and you. She told me you were coming and if I wanted to protect you I had to play along. She got naked and I let her. You saw what she wanted you to see. And in a way, I wanted it to happen because I wasn’t fucking strong enough to let you go. I wanted you as far away from me and my bullshit as possible. I wanted to protect you. I was ambushed and made the quick decision to go along with it. I was a fool and a coward.” My balls were shrinking as the leprechaun kicked them repeatedly. “What I did, the way I acted after you found out, you know that wasn’t me.”
“I don’t know you at all.”
“You know me better than any woman ever has.” I saw the words strike her and one brick fall, but the wall remained standing.
She stopped at her doorway and turned to me, giving me a hard look. “Doesn’t matter.”
“I’ve loved you for as long as you’ve loved me, Nina.”
She dropped her shoulders, tears quickly springing in her furious eyes. “Two weeks ago, I would have forgiven you!” She walked up to me, slapping me hard as she screamed. “Two weeks ago, I could have worked to forgive you! I’ve always known she had something over you, Devin. I’m not a complete idiot. You didn’t trust me, and you didn’t love or respect me enough to let me in. Instead, you treated me like a useless whore and I let you, because I loved you that much. No more! Two weeks ago, I started dating your polar opposite and I wanted that, Devin. I
Aiden. I deserved him. And now you’ve taken that from me, too.”
I gripped her arms, shaking her slightly. “Stay the fuck away from him, Nina, or I swear to God—”
“Or you’ll what?”
“Jesus, who are you exactly?”
“You should know. You helped shape me into …
“No, you did that all on your own,” I snapped as I gripped her harder. “You turned into a ruthless bitch all by yourself, and it disgusts me.”
“But it was okay that you were always a lying, cheating bastard!”
I deserved that. Letting go of her arms, I shoved my hands into my pockets, our eyes staying connected.
“We were happy. You can’t deny it any more than I can. It worked, and we worked in and out of the bedroom, no matter how fucking wrong I was with the way it started.”
“We can’t go back, Devin.”
The searing pain in my chest silenced me as I followed her out her front door. I wondered just what the hell I was thinking as Carson pulled up, his contempt for me clear in his eyes. She was completely shutting down and time was running out.
“Please, Nina, give me a fucking chance here.” I ran my hands through my hair as she watched me carefully. I saw her decision before she spoke.
“You have no right to ask me for anything.” Slipping into the car, I saw her resolve as Carson slammed her door, preventing me from speaking further. I opened the door and slipped in with Nina just as Carson took his seat up front.
“Carson, please excuse us.”
He looked back to Nina, who was staring out the opposite window, and she gave him a quick nod of her head. As soon as he shut the door, I attacked, gripping her wrists and pinning them next to her head.
“Okay, I tried the nice guy, I’m sorry for the things I’ve done shit. Didn’t work, and thank God for that. It won’t happen often, so let’s do the I still know how to make Nina listen part.” Her eyes widened as I knelt down in front of her on the floorboard, still holding her wrists.
“Let’s pretend, for just
second I am capable of being sincere.” She rolled her eyes and I gripped her tighter. She stared at me blankly and I let go of her wrists, leaving them at her sides and smoothing my hands over her skirt down to her thighs just beneath her dress.
“Go to hell, Devin.” I heard the aching in her voice. She still loved me and it was up to me to remind her.
I licked my lips and her breathing picked up as her gray eyes beckoned me to do more, fuck her senseless … and then go to hell.
“You think I never cared for you?” I ran my hands up her thighs, softly brushing her smooth skin and watching her reaction to me. I gripped the thin sides of her panties, pulling them down slowly and discarding them. “Answer me,” I snapped firmly.
“No,” she whispered, keeping her eyes locked with mine.
“That is a fucking lie.” I pushed her knees apart and she didn’t stop me. I stayed still as she watched me expectantly. “This is just sex, right?” I licked the pad of my finger and slowly swiped her sex, her arousal coating it. I watched her study it along with me.
“Yes,” she said carefully, her chest heaving. “You taught me the difference.”
I pulled her bottom half toward me, spreading her wider as she looked on, her lips parting with want.
“Wrong again,” I said, letting my breath hit her sex. Her nipples drew tight underneath her thin silk dress as I strummed her creamy smooth thighs with my thumbs. “I didn’t know the meaning of the words, Nina.” The air was thick with expectancy as I looked up at her. “You showed that to me.” I leaned in, swirling my tongue over her clit once, twice, and then began lapping her slowly.
“Devin,” she rasped out as her body began to quake.
“You’re so close already, and you think this is just physical,” I reminded her as I moved my mouth away. “I could tongue you and fuck you all day every day for the rest of my life. I’ll never stop wanting you, and I’ll never stop wanting you to need me. And only because it’s much more than this and I’m going to need you to admit it
.” I leaned in and licked her smoothly once. She gripped my hair, pushing her soaked pussy toward me. “You taught
the difference between just saying the words and saying them because you mean them.” I saw the emotion cross her features as her lips trembled. “And you’re the only woman I have ever really meant them with and I can’t let you go. I won’t, Nina.” I buried my tongue inside her, tasting all of her as she silently cried and moaned my name. Sucking on her clit gently, I looked up and watched her body shudder.