I knew the exact moment when everything changed. It was that day in March. In one day, I lost my job, saved my pregnant sister from committing suicide, and if that wasn’t enough, Kieran King walked into my life. I hated Kieran from the moment I laid eyes on him. He was an arrogant bastard that turned my life upside down. But no matter how much I despised and hated him, I couldn’t live without him. He blackmailed me, used me, was cruel and rough, and I wanted nothing more than to get away. But he also saved my life and protected me when I needed it most. Now I don’t know if I can leave anymore… I am Sophia Howard, and this is my story.
Age Rating: 18+
The chills from the cold car window pressing against my forehead shot through my entire body and gave me exactly what I needed—keeping me on high alert.
Being alone with a man in the taxi, after what happened just a few hours earlier, demanded my full attention in case I needed to defend myself again.
From time to time, I’d peel my eyes from the passing scenery to cast a quick glance in the rearview mirror.
I wanted to make sure the driver’s eyes were directed to where they were supposed to be—the road in front of us.
I was well aware that how I acted could lead me to full-blown paranoia if I didn’t get a grip on myself, but who could blame me, really? It wasn’t every day I fought off an attack I never saw coming.
However, more important, pressing things demanded my undivided attention, so I did what I knew best. I pushed it down, hoping it would stay buried forever.
“We’re here, ma’am.” The driver’s announcement rang in my ears, his dull voice electrifying my nerves.
I offered my card through the opening in the glass barrier, and as soon as I got it back, I exited the vehicle and turned toward the house.
On any other occasion, I would be delighted with the sight.
Now? The spectacular villa with an even more magnificent garden and a park surrounding it went unnoticed as I had one goal in mind: confronting the estate owner.
With my heart trying to claw its way out of my chest, I made my way up a couple of marble stairs, not taking my eyes off the doorbell.
I could do this! I had to avenge my sister! Ellie was the light of my life, my only family. She was the reason I fought like hell to survive in this city. Without her? I had no reason to exist.
I pressed the bell and waited.
When no one answered after what seemed like an eternity, I pressed the button again. And then again.
Shifting my weight from one leg to the other made my wait unnerving. I hated him. I’d never met the man before, but I hated him from the bottom of my heart; I hated him for what he did to Ellie.
I rang the bell again, deciding I would give up if no one answered. Either I was looking for Philip King at the wrong place, or nobody was home.
I sighed in defeat.
And what did I actually want to say to him?
Only then I realized I’d come here completely unprepared. I acted on impulse. I never stopped to think it through.
Giving up with a deep sigh of disappointment, I turned to leave. I couldn’t spend the night on his porch.
The sound of these massive double doors opening caught my attention, and I jumped back in panic, encountering the most unexpected sight.
A few feet away from me stood a man, much older than I expected him to be. He was in his early thirties maybe, late twenties at least, but certainly too old for my 19-year-old sister!
He was wearing only sweatpants while the rest of his body was naked. His dark hair was dripping wet, and water droplets were falling from it and rolling down his perfect skin that covered tight muscles.
At that moment, I could not blame my sister for falling for this guy. He was the epitome of masculinity and sexiness.
“Who are you? How did you get here?”
He sounded menacing, and if my blood wasn’t pumping with so much adrenaline, I would have recoiled in submission to the power rolling off him in waves.
“Through the front gate?” I couldn’t help the sarcasm that laced my voice.
Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I always hated men like him, rich and good-looking, who abused both of those advantages in the worst possible way.
“That brat forgot to close it…,” he grunted. “What do you want?”
Instead of answering, I took a step forward, and before he could react or stop me, I slapped him with all the might my right hand could muster, so hard that his head spun to the side.
Almost immediately, he turned to face me. The red mark my palm left on his cheek was evident, but it wasn’t enough.
He needed to be in pain. He needed to suffer for what he did to Ellie. And if I could kill him right then and there, I wouldn’t think twice about it!
But all I could do was swing my hand and slap him again.
This time, though, I wasn’t fast enough. My target caught my hand just before it met his cheek, and I realized the anger that brought me here could never be an adequate weapon.
He squeezed my wrist, and I snarled in anguish, trying to wiggle it out of his painful lock but failing miserably.
Suddenly, the atmosphere around us shifted as the annoyance on his face turned into something devilish, something I didn't recognize.
"Naughty girl," his warm breath fanned my skin, forcing me to realize how close we were standing.
My stomach churned with rising nausea, but my eyes never wavered - I stared deep into the storm raging across the grey skies. "If you wanted to play that game, you should've said it."
He leaned his head toward me, compensating for the height difference; his gaze was fixed on my trembling lips.
"But you have to know one thing, love. I don't like to be on the receiving end," he whispered; the promise in his voice forced the fine hair on the back of my neck to stand straight.
A lump of fear constricted my throat as the realization dawned on me - he wasn't stopping!
Our faces were only inches apart, his lips a breath away from mine.
Oh, my God!
The turmoil of emotions I couldn't comprehend blinded me, and for a moment, I forgot why I came here in the first place. I forgot about my sister, our burning past, lives of running, and our uncertain future.
I was no longer an aunt on a mission. I was a schoolgirl alone with her quarterback crush for the first time, trembling from nervousness. And expectation.
But just before the unthinkable happened, a crashing sound resonated inside the house, breaking the enchantment, and I snapped back to reality.
“Let go of me! You sick son of a bitch!” I ordered, swallowing the disgust for myself. Was I really about to let him-? No! No, I wasn’t. I would never…
Instead of doing what I demanded, this guy only put more pressure on my hand; an animalistic rumble coming from his chest shook me to the core.
“Who the hell do you think you are?” he roared at me.
His chest was raising and lowering at a frantic pace, and for a second, just for a second, a thought ran through my head: he might kill me.
“I am a woman that will raise your child, you bastard!” I spat.
“What the hell are you talking about? I’ve never seen you before!”
“Of course you haven’t seen me before! Though my sister shouldn’t be unknown to you, considering you got her pregnant!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
The shadow of confusion disappeared from his face so fast that I wasn’t even sure it was there in the first place.
“Nora doesn’t have a sister!”
“You sick bastard! I have no freaking idea who Nora is! I hope you burn in hell for what you did to Ellie!”
My throat was like sandpaper from all the yelling and realizing what a big mistake coming here was.
I should’ve stayed where I was, trying to figure out how to provide for my family instead of coming here to confront this man-whore!
King’s hand wrapped around my neck as the other held my wrist, harshly and painfully. He was squashing my neck, constricting my windpipe, making it difficult to breathe.
“If I were you, I’d watch my tongue.”
His threat settled in my bones, and I knew how serious he was. He wouldn’t blink before killing me.
No matter how scared shitless I was, I didn’t back down. I watched him straight in the eyes.
“Why? Your ego bruises so easily?” A mocking laugh escaped me. The audacity this man had was unbelievable!
“Don’t worry, I’m not here for your money. I’ll make sure my nephew has everything he needs."
“Why are you here then?”
“I’m just here to tell you what an asshole you are.” That was the truth - I could do nothing else, no matter how much I wanted it.
Suddenly, he let me go and moved a few steps back.
“You have me confused with someone else. I know nothing about Ellie, and I certainly didn’t leave a girl pregnant.” A flash of pain flew across his face as he clenched his teeth.
“You are Philip King the Almighty who thinks he can use young and naive girls for sex and then dump them like pieces of trash.
“You impregnated my sister, dumped her, and she tried to kill herself because of it!”
He looked at me like I had grown a second head. “As I said, I have no idea what you’re talking about because I am not Philip. My name is Kieran.”
What in the world?