Читать онлайн "Capital Risk" автора Grayson Lana - RuLit - Страница 4

 
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The Bennett stole that dream. And, as a result, they’d lose everything. A few un-sprouted seeds and ruined fields would destroy Darius Bennett’s reputation.

One of the reports bore Nicholas’s signature.

This would harm him too.

But he knew it was a possibility. He knew what would happen when he promised his love, but still tried every night to breed me.

He succeeded, and it wasn’t a beautiful creation made by a loving couple. It was a complete disaster with consequences that would endanger us all.

It couldn’t be Darius’s baby.

But if it was?

I’d hide Darius’s crime. I’d bury the truth. I had no choice.

Twenty year old Sarah Atwood, raped and impregnated by her step-father? The baby was the heir to two multi-billion dollar empires. He would be important, influential, and nothing would be denied to him. If the truth were revealed, the entire world would realize what happened.

Nicholas would know.

The reports blurred, but it wasn’t tears. My breath sharpened, stinging as it caught within my uncooperative lungs.

Not again.

The clinic said the inhaler was safe for both me and the baby, but I hated taking the puff, especially when it wasn’t allergies or exercise that caused the attack.

It was frustration. Anger.

The tightness in my chest still felt like Darius’s weight crushing me. Weeks had passed, and that wheezing pain hadn’t healed. And it wouldn’t. Not while I ran. Not while I hid. Not while I cowered and Darius walked free, content with his crime and unaffected by the trauma it caused.

It was the second bad attack that week. The breathless cough scared me, but my heaving sickness made it worse. I collapsed on the bathroom floor, gagging and choking and hating everything about my shuddering, silent cry.

I threw up. I couldn’t breathe. I choked. My stomach lurched.

I gagged and wheezed until my vision darkened and the agonized headache split my skull.

Minutes passed as I lay crumpled on the cold, damp floor of an unrated motel. Mold grew in the corners. The radiator smelled of burnt dust. Hamlet whined next to me, thumping a tail against my thigh as he waited for me to peel myself from the tile.

Was this how I wanted to be found? Dead from an asthma attack, covered in my own sickness, hiding a pregnancy from the men who might have helped me survive everything?

From the one man who deserved to know?

The squeezing in my chest faded as I made the decision.

I refused to let the fear or the rage or the blistering helplessness control me.

The only way I’d ever heal was if Darius Bennett was punished for what he did. The only way I’d survive a pregnancy with severe asthma was if I had help.

I needed my step-brothers.

I cleaned myself and crawled to the bed, resting within the stiff sheets and clutching the phone to my breast. I once meant for Darius to endure the same torment he forced on me. Now I just wanted him dead. Cold and buried and gone forever.

I dialed Nicholas…but I didn’t press send.

I longed to hear his voice. I wanted to slap his face and blame him for everything that happened to me. I planned to bury myself in his embrace.

But I knew I had to keep the baby as far from the Bennetts and their evils as possible.

My heart didn’t just break—visions of an unrealized future, a lost and perfect love, and the memories of a gentle passion shattered with every beat. If I was to survive, if I meant to protect my child, I had only one option.

Rid the world of Darius Bennett and shield my baby from any of his influences. They owed me that much.

I cleared the phone and called Reed. He picked up, but I spoke before I heard his voice and lost all composure, all courage.

“I need your help.”

“Did you fucking kill her?”

My father’s office door crashed against the wall. Chunks of wood from the frame shattered, striking the ceiling, the windows. They tumbled still before his desk.

I stared the monster in the eye.

He didn’t blink.

I repeated myself. My words echoed in fierce accusation, layering in the freezing hiss of a desperate man without patience, without hope.

Without answers.

Without her.

“Did you kill her?”

My father’s thin lips peeled into a smile. He folded his hands into his lap, just waiting, hesitating as the silence tightened my fists.

“Kill who, son?”

I wasn’t a man who lost his temper. My father was a man who didn’t deserve the air he breathed.

I swore, ripping the laptop and papers from his desk. The computer crashed in a disappointing fizzle, but the roaring blood in my ears promised a greater calamity once his bones cracked and skin ripped.

“You seem tense,” my father said.

I grunted as I hauled him from his chair. He wasn’t feeble, but he didn’t fight as I slammed him against the window and weighed my failing patience against his uncompromising stare. His head smacked against the glass. It wasn’t enough.

Outside, San Jose glimmered in the twilight. The cracking glass would have shattered the quiet, but I longed for every murderous second of Heaven as his body careened to the pavement below.

I gripped his suit. His eyebrow arched.

I should have driven his head through the window.

But I had to know.

For two months, I lived in ignorance, pessimism, and a denied mourning. She vanished, completely. Emails unanswered and phones disconnected. A private investigator revealed nothing.

Max warned we’d need to hire a coroner.

It was the first time I struck my brother. He lost a tooth. I thought I lost my mind.

Either the grief would break me, shadow me in crimson regret and endless solitude, or that failing slice of hope would cut through the insanity.

If she were safe, we’d all survive.

The only force more powerful than greed was hate. Money didn’t transfer into the afterlife. Hate did. Vengeance did. If he murdered her, I’d follow him to hell and become his own personal devil.

“Did you kill Sarah Atwood?”

“You think I would kill my own daughter?”

“Don’t fuck with me. Is she dead?”

My father grinned. “Why do you ask, Nicholas? Has your little sister gone missing?”

If he dared to take that perverted tone about Sarah once more, he’d pray to land in a puddle of glass forty stories below.

“Answer the question. Did you have her killed?”

My father declined to respond. His attention drifted over my shoulder. I dropped him and ducked, avoiding the fist of one of his newly hired bodyguards. He stepped aside as the second guard imbedded his foot in my gut.

I swung. My punch caught one in the chin as the other slammed my ear. I fell to my knee, but not before gripping a pair of scissors cast from the desk. I jammed the blade into the thigh of the bastard gripping my neck.

The monsters my father hired were as emotionless and cruel as he. If they bled, it was black and putrid. The stain spread over his thigh, but he didn’t swear. His grip tightened, and the other bodyguard struck me in the chest. The air hissed from my lungs.

I didn’t give my father the satisfaction of groaning. Not like I had the air to make the sound anyway.

“Don’t bruise his face.” My father readjusted his suit before claiming his seat. “But teach him this lesson.”

As with everything my father expected, his guards were ruthless, efficient, and obeyed his every order. A kick to the chest was nothing. The jab to the kidney drove me to my knees. My stomach heaved. I didn’t vomit.

Yet.

The funeral guests left when the ambulance arrived for my hysterical step-mother. My father grunted, wiping the blood from his hands with a handkerchief.

“Bethany sliced her wrists in the bathtub. I’m going with her to the hospital. You stay at the farm until what whatever remains of those bastards are buried.”

     

 

2011 - 2018