“Does she really think she will get away with attacking me?” Reggie said out loud, talking to himself. “I’m the son of a former politician and current business conglomerate! Amina will rue the day she ever raised her fists in protest.” Just you wait he thought, he was going to make her life a living hell from now until eternity.
Reggie stood in front of his home monitor watching is Amina doppelganger knock on his door. He only kept her around to fulfill his needs, nothing more. No one can take the place of Amina. He heard them whispering and snickering behind his back, saying he was so whipped all he could find were clones of the real thing. Everyone took him for a joke. Gritting his teeth, he let her in and walked to the kitchen.
“Oh, baby, I just heard. Who did this to you?” she whined. He hated her with every passing second, her voice knocked on every bone in his spine like a xylophone. If he could rip her throat out, he would, but he had to keep her around long enough to get what he needed. She dabbed at the bruise over his brow bone and stitched swollen bottom lip.
“I’m fine.” he brushed her off.
“Fine? You’re limping and your face is a mess.”
“I don’t need reminding.”
“Well, did you report the assault?”
“There was no point. It was too dark to make out the culprit.” Lying was easy, too easy when it came to a nitwit like Cheyenne. She believed every word that spilled from his lips. It’ll be a piece of cake acquiring her father’s company with a little more finessing. Reginald clearly recognized Cheyenne was in love with him, but he wasn’t interested in her love, really, couldn’t care if she lived or died.
His one true desire was Amina. He lived for her. She was still tied to his soul, every waking moment her image, scent, and voice were branded into his recall. The very thought of Amina drove him crazy. Cheyenne took care of most of his impulses, but when she hadn’t been around, he jerked himself off. It will be a while before he was in working order again. Amina surprised him with her brazen attack, the look in her eyes matched his when he took pleasure slicing her open. A satisfying grin slid across his face as he limped to the couch to sit. It was as if she hadn’t tried to fight him off before, unsuccessfully, so what changed? Who was this new Amina he had met in the harshest of ways? Breaking her would prove to be insightful and fun. Let the games begin.
“Harder. That’s it. Watch your form. Better. If you were ever to wrestle a bear, I know who’d win.”
“Without a doubt.” Amina huffed between strikes. James left her to abuse Everlast then kneeled pushing himself up on all fours. “How’s work been?”
“Good. I have more customers than I’ve ever had before.”
“You’ve gained notoriety for being rich.” she teased.
“Correction. My family’s the one’s with all the wealth.”
“Oh, come on. Are you actually telling me you don’t have an inheritance.”
” I do, but I am not taking it. I made that clear when I struck out on my own.”
“What a brave soul you are.” she teased.
“I’m no different from you, babe.”
“I’m sure any inheritance I had has vanished now I’m no longer a Moorehouse.”
“You can’t change who you are.”
“Are you siding with them?” Amina stopped tagging the bag, staring James down.
“No. What I’m saying is, maybe you should rethink discarding the entire Moorehouse clan.”
“What if you were in my shoes? Could you honestly stay chained to a name that was never meant for you or with a family that never loved you?”
“With everything that’s happened, I understand the desire to shed your former life, but you’ve gone too far claiming you weren’t loved. Charles loved, loves you immensely.” he pointed out confidently.
“Do you think deception is love?”
“You deceived me.”
“That was different. I didn’t want you to get hurt.”
“Exactly my point. Do you really believe Charles meant to deceive you?”
“He knew if I ever found out it’d hurt me and shatter any trust I had in him.”
“We all make hasty decisions in the heat of the moment. Furthermore, you still don’t know why you became apart of the Moorehouse’s.”
” I don’t need to know.”
“Yes, you do. It will clear up any lingering questions I know you have. Stop being stubborn.”
“Pft.” Amina went back at her punching bag tuning him out completely. What did he know? He wasn’t the one without a family. He could go home at any time but all she had was her empty house. Pushing her bitter thoughts to the side, Amina beat the bag until she gassed out, lungs and muscles burning. Lying on her back with her arms wide, she stared up at the ceiling blinking, listening to her breath. “Ugh.”
Amina sat up and began stretching, twisting her body to relax. Leaving James, she marched up the stairs located the bathroom, flicked on the hot water for a shower. Standing in front of the linen closet, she stood chewing the inside of her cheek trying to decide which towel to use. In the end, an over sized white fluffy towel was plucked and tossed over on the sink. They were always her favorite making her feel oddly safe. Right now she had a man who made her feel protected but he just had to side with rationality making sense of that whole ordeal. Amina wanted to choke and kiss him simultaneously. After showering, she curled up in bed and dozed off.
By the time James made it from the basement, the house was quiet with Amina out of sight. The closer he walked down the hall, the faintest scent of bubbles, maybe shampoo tickled his nose. A small smile lifted the corners of his lips as he pushed open the bathroom door. There was nothing like the scent of a woman combined with floral hints. Fog and thick steam enveloped him as he stripped and walked into the shower turning on the water. Amina was probably dead to the world…those words were ugly, Amina and death didn’t mix. She deserved rest, she’d been working hard trying to find a bit of normalcy. After showering and getting dressed, he was stopped at Amina’s bedroom door by the chime of a bell. Sauntering to the front of the house, she lifted the curtain back to a car he thought he recognized. Looking through the peephole, Brendan was standing on the other side.
“I know. Can I come in?”
“I don’t know if Amina wants you here.”
“She doesn’t want to see me?”
“You’d have to ask her yourself but she’s most likely sleep.”
“I see, well, can I talk to you, it’s freezing out here?”
James sighed not wanting to betray Amina’s trust yet not wanting to turn Brendan away for fear something was amiss. “Come inside.” he shut the door behind him. “Is everything okay?”
“When has anything ever been okay with our family?”
“Why are you here, then?”
“To check on my sister.”
“You never got along with her from what I’ve been told.”
“I was young and stupid thinking the world revolved around me. I know I messed up but I only found out what happens when I tried to break away from Moorehouse living.”
“I understand now what Amina was going through with our mother. She controls everything… I lost the woman I love… I don’t even know how mother found out about the woman I was seeing. Everything with her is credentials, money, power and this perfect image she so carefully crafted from our youth.”
“My parents weren’t anything like that but I get what you’re saying.”
“I just wanted to apologize for my ignorance. If you could pass on the message to have Amina call me, I’d appreciate it.” Brendan scribbled down his number as left. James knew all too well that look of misery Brendan sported across his face, his whole life had been devastated as he had nowhere else to turn to.
James plopped down on the couch and blew out a weary breath. He hadn’t seen his siblings since he left home and he couldn’t deny he hadn’t missed them. His parents hadn’t shackled him to the life they created, but they wanted him to be successful in life. People from their pool rubbed him the wrong way making him hightail it in the opposite direction. In that, he had forfeited his family trying to make a quiet life for himself. Things were bad enough now that the whole of Vermont knew he was one of the Varberg’s. Offers were made to him at every turn and he politely turned them down. This was what he was trying to avoid but sooner or later he was going to have to officially announce his presence and explain his absence. James didn’t want to think anymore. Pushing up from the sofa, he tracked his way back to Amina climbing in bed beside her wrapping an arm around her waist. For now, he was going to stay beside the woman who made life worth living again. He’d let tomorrow and the days after sort itself out.
Next chapter here, Rocking the Boat