Angela Carson has gotten herself into quite a predicament. Out of work and out of options, she agrees to marry Xavier Knight, CEO of Knight Enterprises, who wants nothing more than to be alone. Will she be able to break down his walls, or will Angela end up broken herself?
We fantasize about moments of glory—the ones we read about in books and see in movies.
Run into a fiery building to rescue a dog? Sure. Donate a kidney to a friend? No problem. Stand in the way of an armed robbery? Easy.
But the ugly truth is, we don’t know how we’ll react when the moment strikes. Until the gunman has the gun pointed at your temple, and you can smell the metal of the barrel.
Will you be strong enough to do it? To face the gun and say, “Choose me. Shoot me. Kill me.”
When the time comes, what will you choose?
Your life, or theirs?
I squeezed my dad’s hand, my heart in my throat. It hurt to see him like this. He lay unconscious on the hospital bed, with tubes attached to his arms and chest. Machines beeped beside him, and an oxygen mask covered his face.
Tears spilled down my cheeks, and I wiped them away for what felt like the thousandth time.
He was a constant in my life. The anchor that kept our family together. A pillar of strength and health.
Lucas, my oldest brother, appeared at the doorway. I walked up and embraced him.
“What did the doctor say?” I asked.
Lucas looked over my shoulder at Dad. “Let’s step out into the hall.”
Nodding, I went to Dad and placed a kiss on his forehead before following Lucas out of the room.
In the fluorescent light of the hospital hallway, I let my gaze run over my brother. Looking at his disheveled hair, unshaven cheeks, and the deep purple circles under his eyes, I knew he’d had a rough day.
“Listen, Angie…” Lucas began. He took my hand in his like he’d done when I was a child and was scared of the dark. “I need you to stay calm, okay? Stay strong. The news…it’s pretty rough.”
I nodded and took a deep breath to steady myself.
“Dad…” Lucas started, then stopped, his gaze going to the ceiling. He cleared his throat. “He had a stroke.”
Fresh tears sprang to my eyes.
“We don’t know how intense it’s affected him yet, but they think the ALS had something to do with it,” he continued.
“What can we do?” I asked, desperation creeping into my voice.
“We get some rest,” Danny, my other brother, said from behind me. He walked up and gave me a hug. “The doctors are still doing some tests.”
My two brothers shared a look, and I knew they weren’t telling me something.
“What?” I demanded. “What is it?”
Lucas shook his head.
“You have an interview coming up, don’t you?” he asked. “Go home and get some sleep. We’ll call you once we know more, alright?”
I sighed. I didn’t want to leave, but I knew my brothers were right. It was important that I got this job.
We said our goodbyes and I walked out into the cold night air. I spied the lights of New York City in the distance, a pit of dread in my stomach.
I felt helpless.
Wasn’t there anything I could do?
The girl next to me squealed as I spun the steering wheel, sending the car into a hairpin turn around the corner.
“Xavier!” She bit her lip, her hands running up along my thigh. Two things were guaranteed to make a girl happy.
The roar of a fast car, and a ton of money.
I revved the engine, sending my Lamborghini speeding down the scenic roads of Monaco. The blonde bombshell beside me shivered with pleasure. She was a model, here in Monaco for a fashion show.
I didn’t even know her name.
I grinned as she laughed out and threw her hands up in the air.
Now this was the life.
Speeding down the roads of beautiful Monaco behind the wheel of a Lambo, arm around some supermodel.
No responsibilities to a multibillion-dollar company.
No annoying dad breathing down my neck.
No cheating girlfriends that went behind my back and—
I blazed through a red light, and the blare of a police siren screamed in the night air. I pulled over, watching the flashing lights in my rearview mirror.
“Oh crap,” I muttered.
The blonde began to look up, but I pushed her back down.
The cop got out of his car and began making his way over to my door.
Well, I thought, this’ll make one hell of a story.
I called my assistant into my office, sighing loudly in frustration. It was the third time in under a month that Xavier was making headlines, and not because he was kissing babies’ heads or volunteering at hospitals.
My son had been arrested in Monaco for reckless driving and public indecency.
I pinched the bridge of my nose.
There was a knock on the door.
“Come in,” I called without looking up. In walked Ron, my twenty-six-year-old assistant. “Did you see the news?”
Ron’s mouth opened and closed a few times. He didn’t need to say anything. I doubted there was a soul in all of New York City that hadn’t seen it. The headline was everywhere.
“Call the lawyers and get Frankie from PR in here. Please.”
Ron nodded and scuttled out of my office.
I crossed the room to the glass window that filled the entire north-facing wall of my office, looking down at the streets of New York, far, far below.
I’d have to go into overdrive to make sure my son’s actions had no repercussions on the company, or him. I liked to say that I had two children: Xavier and Knight Enterprises.
Breaking away from my parent’s ventures in oil, I’d built the world’s premier hotel and hospitality conglomerate from the ground up. My two greatest joys in life were my son and my company.
And now they were both in danger.
I sighed, the face of my beautiful wife flashing in my mind.
Oh, Amelia. I wish you were still here. You’d know how to help Xavier.
My gaze over the streets drifted to Central Park. My beloved and I used to walk the park together, sitting and eating on a bench by the trees.
“Ron!” I shouted. I heard the slide of my office door. “Cancel my meetings. I’m going for a walk.”