Authors: Sherie Keys
SAVED MY LIFE
A Mysterious BWWM Billionaire Romance By..
Kurtis and Tanya are left shocked when a face from his past shows up alive and well. Catherine believes they can carry on where things left off which would put an immediate end to Kurtis's relationship with Tanya.
The Billionaire has a BIG decision to make, however it seems there is someone out there who is determined to make it for him...
The Billionaire Saved My Life © 2015, Sherie Keys
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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Along the stone floor of the grand entrance hall, Tanya's heels echoed as she ran for the main door. She had brushed past the ghost of Catherine, standing in the doorway to the gleaming dining room. But Catherine was not a ghost at all; she was real, flesh and blood and not, as Kurtis and everyone else had thought, dead.
Catherine didn’t even flinch when Tanya pushed past her to run out of the dining hall where one hundred guests joined to celebrate Tanya and Kurtis's engagement. No. Her eyes were fixed, solely on Kurtis who had walked towards Catherine as if in a trance.
“Catherine,” was all he said until he realized Tanya was running away. Running for the door, he chased Tanya a split second after he got to his senses.
“Tanya! Wait!” he called but Tanya did not wait.
She ran out into the driveway and was immediately at a loss. Where would she run to with Kurtis hot on her heels? Tanya darted towards some trees, hoping to throw him off her trail. He was too quick and caught her up, taking large strides across the gravel drive, and took her by the arm.
“Where are you going?” he said, out of breath.
“Where am I going? Where do you think I'm going? I'm getting out of here. Let go of me!” she shouted.
“I will not let go of you.” His voice was measured and calm. He looked over at the security guards hovering by the main door and signaled for them to keep back. “This is supposed to be our engagement party.”
“And Catherine is supposed to be dead.”
He let go of Tanya's arm. His eyes moved back towards the mansion, up to the open doors and then at the windows that led onto the dining room. There were shadows moving around. Their guests were concerned, restless. The mansion had been hired for their secret engagement party away from the press.
Catherine walking in on the party was bound to make front page news, there was no way they could stop this leaking out. Tanya saw Kurtis's eyes on the window.
“You want to go to her, don't you?” Tanya had calmed down and her voice was soft.
“I want to know what happened. How come she's still alive but I want you there with me.”
“I can't do that, Kurtis. It's too much for you to ask of me.”
“I understand. But our guests, what should I do?”
“You'll think of something. I'll need a car. I'm going back to my apartment. I can't handle this, Kurtis. You need to go in there. Speak to Catherine and then decide what you're going to do.”
“What I'm going to do?” he spluttered. “I'm going to marry you, that's what I'm going to do. Catherine coming back hasn't changed that. I love you Tanya.”
“I know,” she said. “But you loved her first.”
“No, Kurtis. Not now.” He had tried to hold her but she resisted, pushing her hands into his chest as a warning to keep back. “Arrange a car for me,” she said. “I'll be out here. I can't go back in and I can't face seeing anyone from the party, especially not my dad.”
She stood and watched his broad outline walking back to the house to face their guests. She felt a shiver run along her body and wrapped her arms around herself, wishing it could be Kurtis holding her. But that was not going to happen so soon and with Catherine back, who knows, it might not happen at all.
Tanya sat in the back of the limousine and as it pulled away she was sure she saw James, sitting in a dark sports car just before the exit through the gates where security was on guard. She was sure she'd caught a glimpse of him earlier. She understood then that that's whom Catherine must’ve arrived with. She wondered, though, how they could have gotten through security and how on earth did James know where the engagement party was anyway?
She shook her head. James seemed to have his finger on every pulse. He managed to get both her cell and home telephone number before now. He lured her into a trap once before, told her that Kurtis still loved Catherine and showed her how to find the proof. She hadn’t found this proof, but the real Catherine was here now. This would be the real test for Kurtis.
One thing Tanya was sure of was that she loved Kurtis. She wanted to be the one with him. She twisted the diamond engagement ring on her finger. Surely he felt the same. She was the one with the ring – not Catherine.
Back at the mansion, and when all the guests had gone, Kurtis found Catherine sitting in a back room that faced out onto the enormous expanse of garden leading to a small forest which marked the border of the land around the mansion.
The main pieces of furniture in this room were two lavish sofas. They were positioned in the middle of the room, facing each other. Catherine sat in one of them with her legs crossed, hands in her lap. At the side of one of the sofas was a small table with a lamp in the center. It was the only light on. It gave off a faint glow but the rest of the room was in shadows. It wasn't until Kurtis got near to her that he could see Catherine's face completely.
“Is that it?” she asked him.
“Is what it?”
“Is that everyone? Have I got you to myself?” She smiled at him.
“For now, yes, but Catherine, I don't understand. How can this be possible? I've got so many questions,” he said, taking a seat on the sofa opposite her.
“I won't bite you know, Kurtis.”
“I know, but you can see I'm shaken. I can't believe you're really here.”
“And I can't believe that after nearly two years you don't want to hold me.”
“Catherine, things have changed while you were... Things changed for me. I thought I'd lost you.”
She got up and walked over to him, sat beside him and put a hand on his thigh. “I haven't changed, Kurtis,” she said. “I still love you just like I did the day we...”
crashed the boat.” He ran a hand over his dark hair, his blue eyes catching the light of the lamp and reflecting back the horror of that day.
“I didn't blame you, Kurtis, I never did and I never will.”
He turned to her. “If you didn't blame me, why did it take you so long to come back?”
“Now there's the thing,” she gave a half smile and then a sadness returned to her green eyes. “I didn't know who the hell I was up until two weeks ago.”
“That's right,” she continued. “Someone found me, floating on a piece of driftwood, far out into the ocean. The guy who found me was in two minds about going out that day in his boat, can you believe? But luckily he did. He didn't realize there was even a person holding onto the driftwood and I don't even know how I ended up clinging to it.”
“But where were you all this time?”
“All this time, and you'll be shocked when I tell you, I've been about thirty miles from here. Not far at all. The problem was, I had no identification on me. Nothing. And when I finally regained consciousness, I had no idea who or where I was. The hospital contacted the police. They searched their missing persons files but I wasn't a missing person as far as they knew. No one came to claim me. No one knew who I was.”
“Catherine,” Kurtis said, turning to her and placing his hand on hers. “I'm so sorry. I didn't put out a missing persons report. The ocean police convinced me that you were...that you were gone. Never coming back. I sent boats out, divers out, when the police called off the search. In they end, they told me you couldn't have survived. I waited for you to drift up on a shore and come back to me. Months went by and everyone told me to give up hope. I did. You have no idea how sorry I am.”
“Like I said, Kurtis, I don't blame you. I wouldn't be here if I did – would I? It's just, once I'd finally remembered who I was, I saw an image of your face in my mind and all I could feel was the love I had for you.”
“Don't say it.” Catherine lowered her eyes, briefly, and then stared directly into his. “Don't tell me you love her. I don't know what I'd do if I heard you say that.” She got up and paced the room. She stood by the window and was in shadow again. “You have no idea what I've been through,” Catherine said in a whisper. “My face was almost caved in. I must have hit it badly on something. So for the first six months, while my face was healing, not only did I not know who I was, I didn't know what I looked like either.”
Kurtis let out a deep sigh. “Catherine. I'm sorry.”
“Don't be. It was a long time ago. The hardest part of all was trying to find a place to live after I was discharged from the hospital. I had to find a job, that's pretty tough to do when you have no name, no identity, no fixed address. I spent a lot of time trying to convince everyone I wasn't mad. God knows how many psychological examinations I had. When they were sure I had amnesia that's when I got some help.
A social worker helped me. She got me a job in a diner, helped me find a small apartment, and she even helped me find a name.” She walked back to where Kurtis sat and knelt in front of him, placing her hands on his thighs. “I was Amanda Regan for nearly two years. I even started to look like an Amanda. I cut my hair short.”
“I always liked your long hair.”
“I know. That was one of the first things I remembered, you running your fingers through my hair. The day it all came back to me I put my hands up to my hair and said, 'What have I done. Kurtis loved my hair.' I hope you don't mind. I can always grow it back.”
Catherine's long auburn hair was now just touching her shoulders. She had colored it a chestnut brown but her large green eyes were distinctively hers. There was no mistaking that this was his ex-girlfriend back from the dead. She blinked up at him several times. Kurtis rose quickly off the sofa.
“What are you saying, Catherine? I don't want you to grow your hair for me. Can't you see? We've gone way past that. Tonight was my engagement party. Tanya and I are engaged to be married.”
“But, Kurtis, I'm back now. It's me, the one you said you'd never leave. You love me, Kurtis. You can't have stopped loving me. I never stopped loving you.”
He swung around. “But that was before. I'm sorry, Catherine. I mourned you for nearly two years. Everyone thought you were dead. I believed I had lost you and I made myself get over...what we had...our love.” Kurtis found it increasingly more difficult to maintain eye contact although Catherine's eyes bore into him as though she were trying to make contact with his very soul.
“You haven't forgotten our love, Kurtis,” she said. “I can feel it. It was too strong to end. If I was dead it would be understandable, you'd move on, meet someone new. But I'm here!” She rushed up to him, gripping his thick arms, almost digging her nails into him so that he would look at her. Instead he looked down at the floor beside her feet.
“Catherine, I need to think...”
“There's nothing to think about; I feel you, Kurtis and you feel me. We are supposed to be together and we will be.”
“You really think I would do that to Tanya?” He shook his head.
“She is nothing to me. This is what counts.” She signaled between their two bodies. “We are one and you cannot deny that. I'll fight for you, Kurtis, because I know what we had was strong and I don't believe for one minute you can feel those same feelings for her. Who is she anyway? Don't tell me, I don't want to know. I can see why you were attracted to her. She's pretty; I give her that. I saw her body, too. I know how you go for the curves but look at me, Kurtis, this was the body you adored once.”
“I think you should go, Catherine.” He tried to step away from her but she clung on to his arms, tight. “How did you know where I'd be anyhow? This party was supposed to be a secret.”
“I got into New York this afternoon. You didn't answer your phone, so I called James.”
“James!?” He broke away from her hold.
“He was your friend once. You were best friends so I thought he might be able to help me.”
Kurtis shook his head. “Even
wasn't supposed to know about tonight. He knows too much about me. That man is dangerous.”
“Well he was willing to help me find you. He told me about that girl you're engaged to. I couldn't believe how quickly you'd moved on.”
“There was nothing quick about it. I spent practically every night you were gone having bad dreams. Blaming myself for your death. Wishing I could do something, anything, to bring you back.”
“But I am back, Kurtis. You don't have to worry anymore. Here I am.”
“I can't...I can't do this. You need to go.”
Kurtis strode across the room, opened the door and held it there. Very slowly, Catherine gathered herself and walked towards the door.
She stopped in front of him. “Okay, I'll go for now. But don't think this is the end. I still love you, Kurtis. Probably more than you'll ever know. I want to talk to you again. Soon. When you've gotten over the shock of having me here, in touching distance. I'm not a bad dream now, Kurtis. I'm here and I need for us to talk this through. I won't give you up without a fight.” She whisked away out of the room and headed to the front door.
The whole mansion was deserted now. He was on his own. He followed, slowly to the door and saw a car waiting outside for her and a familiar figure leaning on the hood. James. James hugged Catherine and looked back up at Kurtis before opening the door for her. Catherine gave one last sad wave before James sped away up the driveway.