Authors: N. Isabelle Blanco,Nyddi
Tags: #p2p, #Romance, #Revenge
- The law of retaliation, whereby a punishment resembles the offense committed in kind and degree.
Two wrongs. One right. He met her under the worst circumstances. She was still married. To the man who'd stolen from his company. But none of that would matter, because Chase would have her. At any cost.
To Chase Blaine, it really was that simple. Douglas Colton had stolen millions from his company. He had to pay. Chase had every intention of cornering the bastard and making sure he ended up in jail.
Then he came face-to-face with Douglas’s wife, Aria. One look at her changed all his plans, warping them into a much darker and perverse plot to get his revenge.
He would offer Douglas his freedom...in exchange for a single date with his wife.
To a man like Chase, a man that hadn’t truly felt emotions in a long time, Aria’s presence soon became more addicting than a drug. A problem considering that she might never forgive him for blackmailing her, despite the fact that at times she seems just as unwillingly fascinated by him as he is by her.
As always, to my reason for living, and my reason for succeeding. Mom loves you forever, and after the universe.
To Elena, one of the best friend’s in the world, and the greatest business partner I could’ve ever asked for. Thank you so much for being one of the true, loyal ones. I will never stop thanking God that he sent you into my life.
To Julie, for loving me enough to understand and wait for me. I will never forget you. In my heart, you’re still my little five year old I met twenty-five years ago, and you will always be my very first best friend.
To my cousin Angie. Baby, you will always have my heart. And one day, we’re
gonna be up there together.
Copyright © 2014 by N. Isabelle Blanco
(The House of Malfunction)
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Edited By: K.I. Lynn & Elena M. Reyes
Cover Art By: N. Isabelle Blanco
Photo credit: Deposit Photos/ @
"I'M SORRY, MRS. COLTON, but the card's been declined."
Aria’s fingers tightened around the little piece of plastic the cashier handed back to her. Heat ignited beneath the skin of her face. Hands shaking, she reached into her wallet and pulled out another credit card.
"Try that one." She couldn't even meet the cashier in the eye when she handed it to her to try.
Aria stared anywhere but at the cashier’s face, aware that her own was bright red. She did her best to ignore the people in the line behind her. She knew they were staring.
Please God, let this one work...
"Mrs. Colton, I'm sorry, but this one, too—"
"It's okay, I
just..." She couldn't even bring herself to finish the sentence. She stood there, in the checkout line at the supermarket, the register brimming with her would-be purchases, and seethed.
Food. Freaking food. That's all she
’d gone there for. She wasn’t out shopping for clothes, perfume, purses, God damned lingerie…she’d gone there for food. A basic necessity. One they were running out of at home.
couldn't even get that.
Aria forced herself to wave a hand at the pile of
groceries that wouldn't be going home with her. "I'll come back for this stuff." She hesitated for a moment, feeling horrible that she was leaving the cashier to deal with all the food.
she should put it back.
She caught the eye of one of the women in the line behind her, seeing the utter pity with which the woman was looking at her. Aria
swallowed the lump in her throat and turned around. Without another word, she fled the supermarket. She walked as fast as she could until she was inside her car and just sat there. Immobilized by her own anger.
Her hands tightened on the steering wheel as the tears came.
Douglas, what have you done this time?" She cried out from behind clenched teeth, slamming a hand down on the steering wheel.
Aria’s heart hammered away in her chest with the force of her
ire. She knew things were getting bad, had known for a while now. Her husband was getting worse. His spending was out of control.
had always had a problem saving and keeping money. That's why she kept a separate savings account.
You married him, you fool.
It was her sad reality. He was her high school sweetheart, and the only man that she’d ever been with.
It’d made sense to marry him. Why not? And although his spending
had been an issue throughout their marriage, Aria put up with it. If she had to be frugal to have a happy marriage, then she would be. She would do anything to make it work.
As long as they
had a place to live and food to eat, nothing mattered more than being by his side.
Douglas asked her to be a stay-at-home wife while he brought in the money. She’d agreed to that, too. She thought it sweet that he wanted to take care of her like that.
Oh, you naive little girl.
Aria inhaled past another sob, squeezing her eyes shut to try to stem the flow of tears.
As long as they had the necessities they would be fine, she reasoned with herself. Problem was that they couldn't afford food. Or anything else.
This morning she received a letter from the bank in the mail.
They were going to foreclose on the house.
She, of course,
had more than enough money in her private bank account to save the house if need be. Her grandmother had left her a sizable amount of money when she had passed. All these years, Aria had refrained from touching that money, knowing that one day there would come desperate times and she would need it then.
Looked like that day
A desperate sound left her. She shook with sobs as she looked back at the mockery that her life
had become. No money. A deadbeat husband that spent what little money they had, even though his job paid him a high salary.
A man that had not touched her in months.
He was always too busy. Too busy to want his own wife.
Six fucking months.
She’d put up with so much, and now it had all come to this.
For the first time, it occurred to her that there was a strong possibility that her husband was cheating on her. Douglas
had done so, once before, when they’d first started dating. She’d forgiven him that, reasoning that he was just eighteen at the time and everyone made a mistake.
It took Aria about twenty minutes to calm herself down, but when the tears stopped, all that
was left in their place was rage. Her hands shook as she turned the ignition. She tried calming down by taking deep breaths.
It wasn’t working.
Her face was hot, her heart broken, and her nerves
enough. Head pounding, she drove home, keeping the car five miles above the speed limit. Fast enough to get her there as soon as possible, but not fast enough to land her a speeding ticket.
God knew she
couldn't afford to deal with being pulled over right then.
into their driveway and blinked in surprise when she saw two other cars there.
Bile rose in her throat, but she forced it down. Here they were, with bills and marital problems up their asses, and Douglas was
Because he just loved to pretend he had money, when
, Aria shut off the car and jumped out of it. She ran up the front stairs. Her keys fell out of her hand when she tried to open the door because of how bad she was shaking. She let loose a string of profanity that was characteristic of her on any good day.
however, was not a good day so the curses came out that much more creative.
Aria managed to open the door and she barreled in, not giving a damn that she looked like shit.
She was ready to put her good-for-nothing husband in his place in front of his guests and she didn't care what anyone thought about it.
rounded the corner into the living room, mouth open and ready to unleash her tirade, when the color blue slammed into her line of vision. Aria stopped, two steps into the room, her chest heaving, her mouth wide open, and her eyes locked with the prettiest gray-blue eyes she’d ever seen.
Heat flared everywhere; every inch of her skin broke out in goose bumps.
Aria blinked, swallowed—willed herself to breathe. Her eyes moved, taking in the face that those blue eyes were attached to.
Sharp jaw. Straight nose. Thick black eyebrows the same color as his close-cropped hair. Big, almost boyish blue-gray eyes.
Lips that should have been illegal considering they were on the face of a man.
There was something almost scary about this man, a danger surrounding him that she
could sense all over her living room.
She swallowed a mouthful of saliva, in a daze, and looked back up into the man’s eyes.
Just like that, something within her stirred. She’d never felt it before. Not even with Douglas.
Horrified, she turned her head away from the gorgeous, intimidating man in front of her, and
took in the other people in the room.
Aside from sex-in-a-suit, there was another man in the living room. A huge, behemoth of a motherfucker. He would've been scary, but the
look on his face was nothing but curious and friendly.
then, there was her good-for-nothing husband.
felt guilty that she’d been pretty much ogling another man in front of him, but considering that she was unable to come home with food, and he hadn’t touched her in half a year...
Ah, fuck it.
She put her hands on her hips, tapped her foot, and raised an eyebrow at her sweating, squirming "significant" other.
She waited for him to say something, to start explaining himself.
He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, swallowed, and said
"Douglas..." she growled
low, feeling her face heat up with more anger.
"Douglas, aren't you going to introduce us to your wife?"
Aria’s head snapped in the direction of the man with the unholy eyes and her breath stopped when she noticed he’d stood up.
He started taking steps toward her. His eyes took her in from head to toe.
Aria thought she saw him lick his lip. She hoped she’d imagined it.
Then again, there's no way she could imagine something so sexy.
, he was in front of her. She stared, wide eyed, her chest heaving. He was just too attractive. His presence took up too much room. She didn't want to react to him the way she was; his aura was a strong, palpable
energy that suffocated her and gave her no choice.
, he looked right into her eyes and reached for her hand.