No, I’ve already given him too much. More than I’ve ever given anyone, only to have it ripped away from me so quickly.

He shoots up from the bed, turning to look at me full on in all his naked glory. Rage lights up his face. I feel a moment of triumph when I see what looks like jealousy flash across his face. I jump to the other side of the bed, taking the sheet with me, wrapping it around my naked body.


“Oh, trust me. If anyone is going to be fucking you in this bed, it will be me. You can cancel your fucking list while your little ass is still in New York. Hell, indefinitely. I’ll be the only man between those greedy thighs.”

“Get out!” I scream, hoping my father isn’t home. He’s taking what I thought had been lovemaking and turning it into something else. Something I want no part of. “You’ll never touch me again.”

“Oh, I’m going to do more than touch you. I might have had a little too much to drink when I stumbled in here last night, but I’m seeing things all too clearly now in the light of day. I held myself back, but I might as well take what you seem to be throwing around. No sense in driving myself crazy by not just taking it.”

“I’m not sure you see anything clearly at all.” My voice is soft, losing all the power it had. I can’t stop the sense of defeat I’m feeling from leaking out.

His eyes narrow on me like he is trying to read me like some puzzle. I look away, my eyes going to the bed. When I see the bloodstain on the sheet, I squeeze my eyes shut for a minute, trying to get myself together.

When I look back up at him, I see his eyes are on the bed now, too. I feel embarrassment flood me. To be called a whore despite having been a virgin not even hours ago would be almost laughable if my heart wasn’t breaking.

Slowly, his eyes come back to mine.


“I said get out,” I push again, needing him out of my room. I feel the dam breaking. The knot growing in my throat. It will be a miracle if I can get him out of here without shedding a tear in front of him.

“I—”

“Don’t!” I hold my hand up, the other still holding the sheet to my body. I can’t take another word from him.

He goes to move around the bed, and I take two steps back, almost slipping on the sheet now tangled around my feet. “I’ll scream. I’ll scream so loud everyone will hear it.”

He stops in his tracks.


“Please. I’m begging you. Just leave.” My voice cracks on the last word.

His head drops and he looks down at the floor. I let out a sigh of relief as he finally starts to dress. I turn around, not wanting to look at him. I feel a tear streak down my face, and I quickly wipe it away. I don’t want to wait for him to leave, so I walk towards my bathroom, shutting the door behind me, not even looking back at him. Flipping the lock, I let myself fall against the heavy door.

“I’ll see you tonight. We’ll talk then. After we both cool down and think about things rationally. Meet me on the balcony.”

I don’t respond to him.

“Felicity,” he pushes from the other side of the door.

“Okay,” I lie, happy he can’t see my face and read the lie.

I walk over to the shower and turn the knobs before dropping the sheet and climbing in. I have to get out of here. There is no way I can be here tonight. The idea that he thinks I’ll meet him on the balcony after what he just said to me is ludicrous. The idea that I’d ever want to talk to him again is laughable.

And I have a feeling that if I’m here tonight, he’ll corner me into doing just that. Calder doesn’t look like a man who stops until he gets what he wants. I don’t think he’d have become as successful as he is if he did.

Washing my body, I stop between my legs. The ache I felt when I woke this morning no longer feels sweet. Now the dull throb just adds to the pain I feel pulsing through my body.

I have to get out of here. I turn off the shower and dry myself before opening the door. A wave of utter relief laced with a pang of sadness washes over me when I see that he is indeed gone.

It’s then I notice the bedsheet is gone. The evidence of what happened is no longer here, effortlessly whipped away.

Grabbing my phone off my bedside table, I look at the text from my father.

Dad: Had to run to the office. Be back later this afternoon. Staff should have everything handled for tonight.

I drop the phone back down, wondering what my dad had said to Calder. I can’t bring myself to ask. I already feel like I’m on the edge of shattering into a million piece. One little shove and I’m not sure how long it would take to put me back together again.

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