Page 52 of Code of Silence

“Oh. I had started my period.”

She frowns. “I’m not on.”

We’ve been on the same cycle for almost a year now. Poor Jasmine has never had one the same time each month. “I know. I’ve been sweating bullets, thinking I was pregnant.”

“What?” She gasps.

“It was a false alarm.” I shrug like it’s no big deal, but I’ve been nervous as fuck. We don’t always use condoms, and I also don’t take my pills religiously. Plus, I was drinking at the party. I didn’t realize I was late until a few days after.

“Why didn’t you tell me? And what would you have done?” she asks wide-eyed.

I shrug. “I hadn’t thought that far.”

Throwing her head back, she sighs. “See, this is why I can’t afford a threesome. What if I got pregnant and didn’t know who the dad was? Bones and I don’t use condoms. Well, we did in the beginning but not anymore.”

I don’t say anything. It sounds so irresponsible when she puts it that way.

“Come on, let’s go to class,” she orders.

We walk out of the women’s bathroom, but my upper arm is grabbed, and I’m pulled to a stop.

“Haven.” Luca stands there in the busy hall, his dark eyes boring down on mine. “May I speak to you?”

“I’m late …”

“It’ll only take a minute.” He yanks me back into the bathroom, then locks the door behind us, shutting Emilee out.

“I’ll see you in class,” she calls out through the door.

“I’m on my period,” I tell him. “We can’t have bathroom sex.”

“I know. We heard you girls.”

“You heard …?” My voice trails off when I realize what he means. Narrowing my eyes, I demand. “Were you in the men’s bathroom with the Kings?”

The rooms share a wall. I didn’t hear them, but I wasn’t really listening either. Now I know it’s because after they were beating the shit out of some guy, they were spying on us.

He doesn’t answer. But he doesn’t have to. I already know that answer. “You had no right …”

“You should have told me you thought you were pregnant,” he snaps.

“Why? To push you away?”

He lets out a long sigh and steps into me. Cupping my cheeks, he frowns. “You think I’d leave you?”

“The thought crossed my mind,” I admit softly. I’ve taken five pregnancy tests, and they all said negative, but none of them helped ease my fear. What my mom would say. How I would tell him. It has consumed my every thought. I think to the point that I was convincing my body I was growing a baby. The stress alone probably kept me from starting.

“Haven, I’m never going to leave you.” He pulls me into him. “I just wish you would have told me. My job is to take care of you. And if we get pregnant, then I’ll take care of both of you.”

“If we get pregnant?” I arch a brow.

“Of course. You’re not alone in this relationship, Haven.”

I went that very next day to get on the shot. I told my mother about my pregnancy scare and that I had missed some pills, so I chose the shot instead. I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep getting them. “I didn’t read the contract,” I blurt out. I need him to understand that I don’t know all that is required of me.

He stays silent, but he’s no longer snoring, so I know I woke him up.

“I do love you,” I whisper. “And I’d love to have a family with you, but I won’t allow you to harm any child of mine.”

He shifts, and I close my eyes.

“Haven. Haven, look at me,” he orders, placing his hand on my face to tilt it toward him.

I open my eyes, and they sting from unshed tears. “I may be my father’s son, but I’m nothing like him. I don’t want my parents’ marriage. And I would never, ever hurt you or our children.” He presses his lips gently to my forehead, and the first tear rolls down the side of my face.



THE FOLLOWING MORNING, we told Mia and Nite goodbye. She hugged me tight and asked me to take care of Luca. I promised her that I would do my best. An hour later, we boarded the same private jet we took here with my two new bodyguards and headed back to Nevada. I slept most of the time. I messaged Jasmine and tried to call Emilee, but her phone was still off. And I hated it. I just wanted to hear her voice. I needed her to know that I was there for her, even if she didn’t want to be found.

After we arrived back in the States and made our way back to Luca’s, I showered and passed out. The next day, I woke up with a new determination. We had less than two weeks before our wedding, and I was going to willingly walk down that aisle with a genuine smile on my face, but I needed to take care of something first. It was inevitable, so I might as well do it sooner rather than later.