Voices startle me awake, but my eyelids can only open halfway. I expect to see Jayden but when I hear a woman’s voice, I try to lift my head to search the room.

I must be hallucinating because the voice gets louder and sounds exactly like Mia Montgomery’s. Now I know I’m being paranoid because there’s no way Mia would be in the same hotel as me; nevertheless, the same room. However, as fate would have it, I realize I’m wrong because that moment I somehow get enough strength to turn my head, the sound of the sheets give me away. Mia and Jayden are standing next to each other and as soon as they hear rustling, they both turn their heads to look at me.

No fucking way.

Why isn’t Jayden pushing her out of here? He knows the backstory with her. How does he even know her? What the hell is even happening?!

“I thought you gave her enough to knock her out?” I hear Mia’s sharp tone hiss at Jayden and now I know I’m not hallucinating. I blink my eyes, fighting the urge to close them, but it takes me over, and the next time I wake up, I’m sitting up, tied to a chair with cold water being splashed on my face.

“Good morning, homewrecker,” Mia hisses at me, her arms crossed over her chest as I blink my eyes open wider.

“Jayden…” I whisper. “Jayden, help me.”

“Beg all you want,” she taunts, laughing at me. “Jayden was on my side the entire time. Feeling pretty foolish now, aren’t you?”

I can’t believe what I’m hearing. If Jayden wasn’t standing next to her, I wouldn’t buy it for a second, but he’s watching her in amazement. Oh my God. He loves her!

“What do you want?” I finally manage to ask, pushing myself to focus and stay alert.

“What do you think I want?” She takes a step closer toward me and her voice drops to a low tone. Each word is spit at me between gritted teeth. “I warned you. I warned you and you didn’t listen.”

“What are you talking about?”

“You put Drew against me with that silly little restraining order and ruined my life! Now, I’ll ruin yours.”

I shake my arms, trying to release the rope around my wrists when I realize my ankles are also tied. I think about screaming, but Mia would just shove something in my mouth. I’m panicking and she knows it.

“This is all your fault, Courtney. You have no one to blame but yourself. You should’ve listened the first two times I warned you, but three strikes, you’re out.”

I swallow as she takes another step closer. Jayden is right beside her. She grabs something out of her back pocket and exposes a pair of scissors.

“I bet you want to know what I plan to do with you,” she mocks. “I’ve been thinking about my revenge for weeks…for the perfect moment…the perfect rebuttal. And then it came to me as soon as Jayden told me you invited him to this conference. You made it way too easy.” She laughs with an evil grin. “Cutting off all your hair is just step one. By the time I’m done, Drew will want nothing to do with you.”

My eyes shift to Jayden, wondering how he could betray me—how I missed all the signs.

“You’re living in an alternate universe if you think Drew would ever go back to you,” I spit back. “He’d rather die than be with you.”

She raises her brows in a challenge. “Is that so? Because if memory serves me right, we were just in bed together a few months ago. I believe you saw it?” Her lips tilt up, proudly. What a bitch!

“Oh, you mean when you snuck into our hotel room, laid in bed with him without his knowledge and then proceeded to touch him without his permission?”

“Oh, darling. The way his hands touched me and the way he moaned was all the permission I needed.” She bites her lower lip and releases a moan.

I feel like throwing up at the way she talks about them together. “You’re a psycho,” I hiss at her. “And you’re a fucking piece of shit,” I direct at Jayden, who stands tall and unaffected. My anger has reached a level I don’t even recognize.

Mia smiles as if she’s won the game, but if that bitch brings those scissors near me, I won’t think twice about standing up and ramming her with the back of this chair. I may be tied to this thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use my old horseback riding skills. Getting bucked off a horse is something I trained for as a teenager, so if Mia wants to play a round of Russian roulette, she’s going to have to get her hands dirty.



I knock twenty minutes off the travel time by speeding, but I still feel like I’m too late. After driving through a clusterfuck amount of traffic in Union Square, I give the car keys to the valet and ask them to not move it just yet. I slip him a fifty and he nods his head in understanding. Once inside the hotel, I see the signs for the annual marketing conference and before I open the door to search the room a woman at the check-in table stops me.

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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