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Authors: Bertrice Small

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Women's Fiction, #Friendship, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Erotica

Private Pleasures (27 page)

BOOK: Private Pleasures
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She was astounded. She was frightened. "I can't," she said.
"Of course you can," he replied. "And you will. You owe me a great debt, my dear, and I have kept my word. Now you must keep yours. Why is it you humans take so greedily of what I offer and then demur about paying the price? Think, Nora! What would your life have been without The Channel? Without Kyle? Do you want to go back to the way it was? Your husband deserting you for another woman? Throwing you out of your house? Making you a penniless wretch. Your children's dreams destroyed. I can make it happen if that is your wish, and you will owe me nothing."
"The Devil and Daniel Webster." Nora was suddenly reminded. But she couldn't think of a way to talk herself out of this predicament. She looked directly at Mr. Nicholas. "Can I continue to traverse between these two worlds?" she asked him.
"Of course," he said. "At least until you are an old woman, and die."
"Then what happens to me?" Nora queried him, but she already knew the answer.
"You will remain here within The Channel," he answered her. "Think about it, my dear Nora. You will be forever young! Forever beautiful! Forever desirable!"
"And I will have Kyle?" Why was it you never knew when you were making a bargain with the devil? Nora wondered sadly to herself.
"Of course," Mr. Nicholas said. "He is yours for as long as you wish him to be. Consider, my dear, you will have the kind of power of which all rulers dream."
"But I don't really understand what it is you want of me, expect of me," Nora said.
"I will teach you everything you need to know, my dear girl," he promised. "Kyle will open an antique shop in Egret Pointe," Mr. Nicholas said.
"Kyle is human?" Nora was surprised.
"All too human, I fear, eh, Kyle?" And Mr. Nicholas laughed darkly. Then he continued. "He is quite the expert in seventeenth-and eighteenth-century English and American antique furniture, glass, and china. He will advertise for an assistant. You will answer the ad, and he will hire you. Although you will not need to work, your doing so will be but part of the metamorphosis you undergo in your friends' and family's eyes. People will admire you for your grit and determination despite all the tragedy that has befallen you. The shop will be quite successful in part to your presence. I do like an investment to pay off."
"I do know something about antiques," Nora said.
He laughed. "Whether you do or not isn't really important," Mr. Nicholas told her. "The office upstairs where you will work most days will be where you will manage The Channel for me. You may want to check into the office at The Channel in the evenings occasionally."
"Will I have Margaret?" Nora said.
"No, no, my dear. Margaret is far too valuable to me. She has been involved for years with my other interests. I shall give you Celia, who works at the desk across from Margaret's. Edna will remain, moving up to Celia's position, and I shall give you another girl as well. You and Celia will be in constant touch during the day."
"Wouldn't Celia be a good administrator for The Channel?" Nora ventured. "After all, she knows all about it, and how it operates. I don't."
"Celia would never aspire to such a position," Mr. Nicholas said. "Besides, she doesn't have your intellect, or depth of duplicity."
"You make it sound as if I am evil," Nora cried.
"All humanity has the ability to be evil, dear Nora," Mr. Nicholas told her. "How many of you can really turn the other cheek? A few, but not the majority. Could you really have stood by and said "So be it' if Jeff had taken your home, left you penniless, and destroyed your children's future? That is part of what being good is, but most people can't do it."
"Does everyone who is lured into The Channel end up damned?" Nora asked him sadly.
"No," he said. "Most people live their foolish fantasies for a time, and then grow bored with it and go away. Very few can be entrapped in this manner. And fewer yet with your potential. Don't look so distressed, my dear Nora. Being bad is far more fun than being good. Look what being good, being dutiful, got you."
"Then I have no choice," she said softly.
"You made your choice," Mr. Nicholas said quietly.
"What if I say no, I won't do it?" she asked him.
"It shall be as it was back just before J. J.'s graduation last June," he told her. "Of course you will remember all of this, and you will not be able to convince yourself it was your imagination, my dear. You shall know that you willfully threw this opportunity away. You shall lose your beloved house. Jill will not be able to finish law school for at least six years. She will have to work in order to pay her tuition, and of course she has no skills other than waitressing and temping as office help. As for J. J., he will give up his scholarship to help you survive. You see, Nora, you really do have a choice," Mr. Nicholas said. "If you take the path I have laid out for you, you will be a very wealthy woman in your reality. You will inherit everything that Jeff has amassed. Heidi will accept repayment with interest for the moneys she has expended on the bridge loan. Be generous with her. She cannot afford to retain possession of the co-op. Even if it is in her name, she will be glad to get her small investment back, and leave selling it to you. Surprisingly she feels guilt about the children's college funds. And of course she has other goals in mind now, which I will see she attains in return for her cooperation. Brad will make certain she understands, and does what she is told.
By the way, do get Rick to have Raoul Kramer negotiate the sale of your husband's partnership in Buckley, Coutts and Wickham. The senior partners will attempt to cheat you. And do invest the moneys conservatively."
Nora shuddered. It was like being on the other side of the looking glass. It was surreal. She was getting investment advice from the Devil. But how could she live with herself knowing what she had done to her children by refusing him? And she would remember, Mr. Nicholas said. Nora believed him. Everything he had promised her had come true. Why would any woman in her right mind give up all of this, all of what she could have, out of a sense of right and wrong? She looked at Kyle. His face was expressionless as if he didn't want to influence her. They would be together every day in his antique shop, and every night here within The Channel. "How long must I repay this debt I owe you?" she asked Mr. Nicholas.
"Does it really matter, my dear Nora?" he asked her with a small smile.
"No," she said with a deep sigh. "It doesn't."
"Then we are agreed, my dear? You will accept my offer?"
"Yes," Nora told Mr. Nicholas, "I will. How clever you are, sir, to seek out a weakness and use it to your own advantage."
"You will learn how to do that in time, my dear," he promised her.
"Will I learn all of your little tricks?" she queried him.
Mr. Nicholas laughed. "No," he said, "but you will learn enough over the coming years to be quite valuable to me, my dear Nora. Oh, one small thing more, dear girl, employee. The Kyle who will exist in your reality, your world, will not know you other than as his employee. Only in The Channel will he be the man you have come to love, and who loves you. His memory of you in your reality will not exist. You must, after all, suffer some small punishment for your sins. Even I am not allowed to put the universe out of balance." He stood up. "I will leave you and Kyle to your private pleasures now." And with a neat little bow he departed the bathroom. They heard the elevator doors closing behind him as he went.
"Do you want to know?" Kyle asked her.
"I know what I need to know for now, I suppose," Nora answered him.
"I was never privy to what he intended to do with you," Kyle said.
"No, you wouldn't have been," she replied, lying back on the table, and unfolding the sheet that had covered her so that she was naked once again.
"I never lied to you when I said I loved you," Kyle told her.
"I know that too," Nora agreed.
"Are you angry?" he asked her.
Nora thought a moment. "No," she said. "Just sad."
He began to massage her again, and when he had finished they went into the bedroom, where they climbed into the king-sized bed and began to make passionate love to each other. And in his jail cell bunk Jeff Buckley dreamed that his wife, Nora, was screwing another man. He saw her plainly. Beautiful. Young. And far more passionate than he had ever seen her before. The horny little bitch, he thought, and he tossed restlessly. And then he heard her cries of pleasure as the dark-haired man used her mercilessly over and over again. He could feel his own heart beating violently in his chest as he watched them. How could she betray him like that? She was having a really hot fucking party with the guy, who behaved as if she belonged to him and it wasn't the first time he'd had his big cock up her wet pussy. He was going to kill the bitch when he got out of here. And all the while she had played the proper suburban matron. She sure as hell wasn't behaving properly now. How long had it been going on?
And then Nora's lover turned her over onto her stomach. She knelt with her deliciously round bottom toward him. Leaning forward, she balanced herself on her folded arms. The guy had the biggest dick Jeff had ever seen, and he slowly slid it into Nora's asshole. Jesus! She'd never done it for him that way. He'd never even suspected she was that hot. A respectable man's wife wasn't supposed to be like that. Jeff could see Nora's face. It was alight with her pleasure. A look he had never seen. The guy was reaching beneath her to get at her clit. Jeff's heart beat faster. He heard Nora's voice as plain as if she had been in the room with him.
"Do it!" she begged. "Do it to me, Kyle!" And then she looked directly at him. "Good-bye, Jeff," she said, laughing.
Jeff Buckley's heart felt as if it were being squeezed by a large hand, and then it stopped entirely. There was a white light ahead, and a well-dressed man came forward smiling at him.
"Hello, Jeff," the man said to him. "I'm Mr. Nicholas. I've been waiting quite a long time for you."

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR

The idea for this novel came about several years ago when I read about the long-time wife of a very wealthy businessman who was being divorced by her husband so he might take a younger wife. The gentleman in question wanted to give his wife a bare minimum of what he had. She sued for half of what he had, including an interest in his pension, and she won. And subsequent courts upheld her. Her attorneys had reasoned that the lady was responsible in part for her husband's success by being there to entertain his clients, raise their children, and give him the all around backup he needed to succeed.
The lady was very lucky. Most women being divorced don't have that option. Those who have been in long-term marriages, who have no work experience like Nora, or who have been out of the workplace for so long that their skills are no longer viable, usually end up barely subsisting. And the women with children generally find themselves in poverty, or just above what is called the poverty level in this country.
But what, I thought, would happen if the wife about to lose everything got to turn the tables on her unfaithful mate, and ended up with it all? And what if she also got everything she had ever secretly desired? But be careful, my friends, for what you wish. The road to Hell is more often than not paved with noble intentions, and in the end good must always win out over the dark side as Nora's tale has shown you. She was betrayed, and badly treated. But in the end she was responsible for the death of another human. And she is paying the price for it. But Kyle remains by her side.
He always will for if Nora did not find true love in her own reality, she has it now in the reality of The Channel.

About the Author

Bertrice Small
is a
New York Times
best-selling author and the recipient of numerous awards. In keeping with her profession, she lives in the oldest English-speaking town in the state of New York, founded in 1640, and works in a light-filled studio surrounded by the paintings of her favorite cover artist, Elaine Duillo. Because she believes in happy endings, Bertrice Small has been married to the same man, her hero, George, for forty years. They have a son, a daughter-in-law, and three adorable grandchildren. Longtime readers will be happy to know that Nicki the Cockatiel flourishes along with his fellow housemates; Pookie, the long-haired greige and white; Honeybun, the petite orange lady cat with the cream-colored paws; and Finnegan, the black long-haired baby of the family.

BOOK: Private Pleasures
7.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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