I have to grit my teeth and clench my hands into fists not to leap across the desk and pop him in the face. This emotion, which I peg as jealousy, surprises me because I’ve not ever quite felt it before. I mean, sure… when I found out Michelle was screwing Jayce, I went apeshit with anger, but I didn’t have this ugly, dark sensation inside of me I’m feeling right now over Kynan’s clear interest in Trista.

Regardless, I push it down. I don’t acknowledge it because to do so might make it real. Instead, I say, “Tomorrow night then. The Silo. Around ten?”

“I’ll be here,” he says, but he doesn’t move to get up. His expression turns serious, his eyes hardening slightly. “Are you still going through with your plan to use Trista to get back at Jayce?”

My stomach tightens, but I don’t hesitate. “Of course I am. Like we discussed before, she’ll probably never know. And just so you know, I’ll be using video of us tomorrow night as part of my ‘care package’ I’m going to send to Jayce when this is all over.”

Kynan grimaces, not because he objects in general to being videotaped as we’ve done that together before too, but also because he thinks I’m a fool for using Trista like this. He’s probably right, and yet I refuse to be deterred. I can’t let go of probably the only opportunity I’ll ever have to cause Jayce some pain. Nothing like what he caused me, but still—

“Jerico,” Kynan says in a faint voice laced with censure. “It’s not the way—”

“Don’t tell me about how I should or should not choose to exact revenge on that bastard,” I snarl at him as I come up from my desk and slam my fists down on it. “You know this goes beyond just the anger and humiliation of betrayal. It goes far beyond that.”

“But using Trista—”

“He fucking killed my kid,” I roar at him, and Kynan’s eyes soften with shared pain. He’d been by my side for weeks when I’d been a walking zombie. I’d been so mired in despair.

It might be a bit dramatic to say Jayce killed my child, but when it’s boiled down, it’s what he did. He fucked my fiancée behind my back. She fell for that fuckwad although for the life of me, I can’t imagine why. She’d been carrying our child at the time. Had been just six and a half weeks pregnant when I caught them together.

Being the hot tempered and mean son of a bitch I am, I kicked Jayce’s ass good and moved out of the house I shared with Michelle. She tried desperately to try to work things out with me, but I don’t take betrayal well. I cut her off emotionally—the only tie I wanted with her was my child. I can still remember vividly when I realized that tie had been broken.

Destroyed, actually.

After a few weeks had gone by, I called her to see if we could work out something where I could still be involved with her prenatal appointments. From the moment she opened her mouth to speak to me, I knew the baby was gone.

“Jerico,” she’d said in a voice that was laden with so much fake sorrow that bile rose in my throat. “I was going to call you, but I wasn’t sure how to tell you… I lost the baby a few days ago.”

She even sniffled, but I could tell it was contrived.

I could have asked questions. Tried to narrow down exactly what her lie was, but I had better resources than trying to figure out the line between deceit and honesty when it came to Michelle.

I put one of my best hackers on it, and within just six hours, he’d been able to pilfer her medical records from a local OB/GYN’s office in Vegas. One that was known for performing abortions, and I’ve never felt such devastating pain as I did at that moment when I read through the documents showing Michelle terminated my child. The icing on the cake was that the transaction was paid for by Jayce.

It was the one and only time in my life I’ve ever put a hand on a woman in anger with the intent to harm. I drove straight to her house. When she opened the door, my hand was on her throat, backing her up into her foyer, where I slammed her up against the wall. I could tell by the fear in her eyes that she knew that I knew.

“You fucking killed our baby,” I roared at her, my fingers squeezing her slender throat. For a moment, I envisioned myself strangling her, but then self-preservation triumphed over my personal pain and I released her. She slumped down to the floor, coughing and gasping.

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