A woman with her children on the run from her past swears never to be another man’s whore. Now her baby’s father turns up dead and not only is his loan shark after her, but the police are after her as well.
Yet, when the malevolent, real estate accountant, Sterling Newman, finds out she is the key to completing his dream property, he blackmails her into marriage or turn her over to police.
Forced to marry in order to save her life and the life of her children, she vows to hate him forever. Yet, somehow he finds a way to make her body betray her heart.
PLEASE NOTE: Before beginning, no part of Wicked Chances may be duplicated anywhere without the express permission from this author. You may reblog and you may tag me in a twitter or on the social networks all you want!
Wicked Chances (c) 2012 Sylvia Hubbard
Comments and suggestions are appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Author’s Note: In the next couple of chapters you’re going to hear a recurring name, King Heart.
Now past readers know the story behind King – well pretty much why he won’t come to Detroit, but new readers may be in a pickle.
It’s explained a little in these chapters.
You’re also going to meet, Thaddeus and Skye Newman. Their story actually is the first book I ever wrote, Dreams of Reality.
That book is only available on Amazon
Yet again… enjoy…
Perplexed by the questions and not really understanding what Shadow’s real question was, Blair asked, “Who is Sterling Newman and was Big Reg the big guy that met me in the basement on the first day?”
“Yes, that’s Big Reg. He said he saw you had the gold box from Sterling and the seal on the box wasn’t broken when you had it. He accused you of stealing it and I’m almost inclined to believe him because cheap ass Stealing wouldn’t give a damn dime to save his mother if she only needed a nickel to stay alive.”
Blair gasped insulted again by the provocation of being a thief. “I didn’t steal anything! That man gave me the box.”
Shadow pulled under her a small chair Lannie usually sat in. The structure of the chair was strong enough to hold about a hundred pounds, but Blair had a feeling Shadow was distributing her weight so she wouldn’t fall or break the chair. “Gave as in freely handed the box over to you, B?”
“Why is that so hard to believe this guy just gave me the box?”
“I’m not discounting that you are intriguing enough to make a man give up some money. You have an exotic beauty actually. Your mixture of Arabic and Black is unique especially since most people probably mistake you for Hispanic.”
Blair was not going to ask how Shadow knew her true heritage and was actually right about what people assumed about her; Even Ray Senior assumed she was Hispanic. If Blair had not known her father, she probably would have accepted people’s assumptions as well.
Shadow continued, “Matter of fact, a room full of men paid almost triple to be there last night to see you again – even Sterling Newman, but I know this guy and he’s vicious, cold and the biggest ass tightwad I’ve ever known. He was adopted by a black family when he was ten because according to his social service file he was mentally unstable and no other kind of family wanted him. The state took him away because his mother was selling him on the streets to make a dime. Sterling grew up and got his degree in Accounting and then a law degree. The man can work a book like no other. The family who adopted him was in real estate and he started buying foreclosed properties and kicking people out who didn’t pay his rent on time. He’s a fucker and bought the entire blocks where his mother lived and evicted her on the streets just for his own amusement. After he kicked everyone out, he bulldozed all the properties and put in some high priced housing and apartments.”
Blair couldn’t believe the same man she had been with last night was the same heartless man Shadow was describing.
“So when you say he just freely gave you that box,” Shadow said uneasily.” I can’t believe a word you’re telling me because we’re talking about Sterling Newman.”
“Why was all that stuff the box? And why was the box sealed?”
Shadow stood up and went over to the window while she spoke to peak out as if she was waiting for something. “Every year, some rich guys have a boy’s night out. Thaddeus Newman is one of the largest construction guys in Detroit. I know this, because I know realty around Detroit.” She smirked wicked as if she told herself a joke. “Sterling Newman’s been doing this for about a decade with his eyes closed. He has no remorse for the people he just throws out on the street. The man sleeps sound as a baby and doesn’t have a cell of empathy in his system. I’ve looked at his tax records. He doesn’t give to charities, friends or family. He doesn’t give to anyone – ever!”
“You’ve reiterated that more than once Shadow and I can’t explain why he would just give me something. You’re saying he’s a cold hard mean man, but what I saw last night was a very conflicted uncomfortable man who just looked mean.”
Shadow gritted her teeth. “The kicker is usually he doesn’t attend his adopted brother’s annual shindig, but when the entertainment was suggested by a co-worker, he put off two evictions just to attend and see you again. Then when said co-worker dared him his brand new property and car to take the place of the man I sent over for you and Sterling took him up on his offer this further confused me.”
“Wait!” Blair exclaimed appalled. “He’s not the one who was supposed to be with me?”
“No,” Shadow said as if this should be obvious.
Gripping her chest as if someone had punched her in the center, Blair found breathing suddenly difficult. “W-Why did he? Am I in trouble?” She held on to the wall to prevent herself from crumbling to the floor. “Should I get checked?”
“You’re fine,” Shadow said with humor in her voice, sitting back in the chair. “The man is an extreme loner. He’s got too many personal problems to have health issues – trust me. Never been married and too much of an ass to keep a girl around. You’re safe if you’re concerned about his health.”
“But he wasn’t…” She didn’t know how to say the words she wanted to say.
“What? A professional?” Shadow guessed. “Well, neither were you but no, he wasn’t the guy I arranged to be with you from last night. That guy was given half his payment and sent home. Big Reg was there though to make sure you weren’t hurt or misused.” Shadow jumped up. “You still have the box? The answer for his actions could be in the box.”
“Stay here,” Blair ordered and went to where she had hidden the box. When she returned to the front room, she saw Shadow was just finishing up a text message and standing near the window. “How do you know so much about Sterling Newman?”
“It’s a habit I picked up from the woman who tried to raise me.”
“Your mother?” Blair guessed.
Shadow snorted. “That’s what she tried to convince me she was, but I knew soon as I had good sense that evil bitch wasn’t any blood relation to me. Whoever was my male donor was nowhere to be seen and that bitch wasn’t telling me shit no matter how many times I threatened her. All she kept saying was go to King Heart if I was so big and bad and ask about black. When I did, that man threatened me that if I showed my face around him again, he’d make sure no one ever knew about me and I should have been killed before I was born.”
“So you ran away?”
“Hell, yeah, but not just because of his threat. Also because I did what I felt would be best for me if I didn’t want to kill her.” Shadow came over and opened up the box. Pushing passed all the money like it was nothing, she searched the jewelry. “There’s over ten thousand more in jewels and the property… wow!” She picked up the tooth. “The game got serious, didn’t it?”
Shadow re-wrapped the tooth. “Mind if I take this?”
“Not at all,” Blair said happily. “What game did they take serious?”
“Thad Newman has a poker game at these shindigs. They rent out a house in the ‘burbs to bring the high rollers in and different guys set up the things the men are going to do. Just to get in the door is a cool five hundred. Thad does the poker room and donates the proceeds of the entry fee to charity, while others set up entertainment. This year you were suggested after a couple of the other guys saw you the day before.”
“But the winnings?”
“The poker game was first. They held it in the basement of that house you were in. Men will play anything if they think they’re going to win and like I said there were some high rollers there. The majority hated Sterling because he has a nose for good realty and usually buys it or clues his adopted brother on when it’s a good time to make an offer. I think Thaddeus is the only person that can put up with the asshole – even Thaddeus’ wife hates Sterling.” The hood covered the top part of Shadow’s face, but Blair clearly saw the perfect smile on the girl’s lips. “She likes to give me all the inside scoops when she can because I’m about the only thing keeping most people in their houses.” Shadow continued explaining. “With so much cash and other things the guys want to do instead of staying around protecting their winnings, Thaddeus arranges for a security company to secure the winnings in a gold box with a wax seal on it.” She pointed to the broken seal on the side of the box, which was probably why Blair had such a hard time opening it. “It was like Sterling could care less about the winnings and more about you. What did you give him for the box?”
Blair recounted what happened to Shadow. “He asked me for my name.”
“You didn’t give it to him, did you?”
“No, not my real name. I avoided the question until he seemed … well, he seemed desperate to know, so I told him it was just the nickname Big Reg referred to me.”
“You mean I told Big Reg to call you,” Shadow corrected. “And that’s why I’m worried. I think you need to give me that box, B. Your life could be in danger.”
Blair frowned. “Do you think Sterling’s going to come after me?”
“Sterling doesn’t want you dead, but Big Reg doesn’t work for me. He works for the guy that arranges you through me. He was drooling over that box you had and I think he wants it.”
Blair held the box close to her. “I can’t just give you all this money, Shadow. This money could save my family.”
“I don’t want your damn money, Blair, but I would like to help keep you alive. Be fucking reasonable. I don’t need a dime of your shit, but Jona’s a good friend and she sees a lot of good in you. I gotta help cause I owe Jona a lot, but if you don’t want my help and some big guys come in here, beat you half to death and kill your kids just for the fun of it, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is Detroit.”
Thinking for a long moment, Blair took a deep breath and handed the gold box to Jona. “How do I get it back? I mean if I need the money.”
“You can always call me,” Shadow said again with the sarcastic obvious tone. Reaching in her pocket she pulled out a cheap cell phone. “This is a dummy. I keep them on me for just in case. My main cell is locked in already.”
Blair watched as Shadow reached in the box and pulled out four thousand dollars.
“You gonna need this to survive for now until I can find something for you.”
Taking the money, she said, “I don’t want to do any of those shows again.”
“You sure? Because you’re really so good.”
“I’m very sure,” Blair said.
Shadow shrugged. “Your loss.” Going over to the window, she pulled back the curtain just a little.
Blair got to see that Shadow had pitch black eyes and black hair – actually the girl was quite beautiful to say the least, yet used the hoodie to foreshadow what could possibly be a gorgeous young woman.
“I think they are watching you,” Shadow said.
“It doesn’t matter. The only valuable thing I have at present is that box.”
Closing the curtains, Shadow turned away from Blair and opened up her jacket. In two seconds the contents of the box was emptied out and the jacket was zipped back up. When she turned around again, she asked, “Do you know of any pawn shops?”
“Five blocks away.”
“Anything further from here? Out of the neighborhood?”
“I think I do. I wanted to take the money over to get the gas bill paid. The payment center is located across town and a pawn shop is over there.”
“Good. Take it there and I’ll get that paperwork to you tomorrow, but I need to take pictures of you and the kids.” She reached in another pocket of her jacket and pulled out a mini digital camera.
Warily, Blair motioned for Shadow to follow her. Going into the bedroom, Lannie who was playing on the floor moved immediately over to her brother. Ray looked very distrustful up at Shadow.
“Can you guys smile pretty for me?” Blair said. “This is Shadow. She’s here to help us.”
“That’s a girl?” Lannie asked perplexed.
Shadow only chuckled and quickly took the pictures of each one of them individually. When they were in the front room again alone, Blair asked, “Why don’t you take the box?”
“I don’t want them to see me leaving with anything. Suns up, I gotta get out of here.”
“What are you? A vampire?”
“Let’s just say, I don’t like to be out in the daylight that much. People can see you.” Going to the door, she looked back at Blair. “Your ex. Did you get a divorce from him?”
“People just assumed we were married and in my stupid mind at the time, I felt we were. We weren’t really married. I mean not legally. We didn’t even live together for a good ten years; Only about six that he can prove. So common law can’t stick on me. He didn’t know much about me or my past, which I don’t have a lot of since both of my parents are dead and my brother died on the streets too, when I was a teen, a year before I left.”
“And no one’s around you can depend on.”
“Nobody I can trust.”
Shadow paused for a moment before announcing, “Look I know you said you don’t want to do any of the shows again, but I gotta call from Sterling for a private party; Very private – just you and him and he’s willing to pay five thousand.”
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