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I’m working. Thinking a lot. Doing a lot. So much to explain.
How can you help?
- Buy other books from me. The money raised from bookselling goes into my editor’s fee for the month of March April and May (which will be when we’re about done.)
2. Donate $1 when you can. Just click here or go to the link below
3. You can also contribute to the whole book right now and buy it at the low pre-edit-order cost of $9. CLICK HERE Once the book is ready, after the editors, you’ll get a Smashwords code to download your book and it’ll be available there for a keepsake. Now once the book is headed to the editor, the pre-order cost will go to $10. I know that’s just a dollar.
4. You can also tell others how much you enjoyed this story and share the main page of Black’s Innocence by go to:
This is a fundraiser. I know for my editor I’ll need about $800 to $1000 to give this story justice. I need all the help I can get and I hope to have an October release of Black’s Innocence.
Help me and thank you in advance.
Now my comments about the story:
Reader question: Why do you have to give Lauren such a sad story and then introduce her to the horrible Tyler. He’s worse than Jalen in Stealing Innocence.
I was a bit shaken by this because Jalen is a complete A-hole and no one did a dang thing to him except rape him, but he kinda deserved it and that’s pretty harsh coming from me, but if you knew Jaelen you’d agree. Someone needed to knock him down a peg or two.
Tyler has his issues.
A lot of them when it concerns whores as you can see but we’ll get into that a lot later.
I mean how else did you expect me to get his information without bringing in the troublesome Onyx. Shadow is about the next best thing.
story spoiler ( to get you excited) Please remember who Shadow really works for now.
But I still don’t think he’s as mean as Jaelen.
When she was back at her desk, she could barely keep her mind on what she was doing.
Tyler was in all her thoughts and the memories of every sexual encounter they had just wouldn’t leave her mind. What bothered her the most was the small blackout moments that had occurred during their last sexual session. Was she so sexually traumatized she didn’t want to remember?
“Are you okay?” Deborah asked worriedly coming to her desk.
“No!” she responded flustered, but she wasn’t about to lay out all her problems to the assistant.
Lauren felt she couldn’t trust her – not anymore.
“You look flushed,” Deborah noted. “Did you tell Mr. Black about Mrs. Knight coming?”
“No, I thought you did,” Lauren said feeling silly she had completely forgotten about that embarrassing moment, but glad Tyler hadn’t rubbed her face in that as well.
Deborah shook her head. “I didn’t want to say anything to Mr. Black because he’d become upset she had bothered the office and I’ve sworn everyone to secrecy here.”
Lauren was a little confused by this woman’s loyalty. “Why would he be so upset she bothered me at the office? I would think he would enjoy me being miserable by someone else other than him.”
“He hates personal disturbances at the office and Dylan’s family… they’re rather protective of Dylan; Too protective in my opinion, but no one ever asks me.” Deborah looked bitter and highly offended. “It was just so much going on I forgot to let you know Mr. Black wasn’t told about the woman coming.”
“I didn’t say anything either and obviously he knows nothing because he probably would have enjoyed knowing I was even more miserable and disturbed.”
Lauren looked back down at her work and was glad Deborah stopped talking to her and walked away.
She felt very thirsty and finished off her water bottle. Letting Deborah know she was taking a break, Lauren went to the lobby to fill up her water bottle.
The fountain was near the boutique and Lauren could see the people shopping inside. Her eyes lingered over the racks and then the gasped almost dropping the bottle to the floor as she locked eyes with the young teenager she had seen in there before.
The young girl was staring right at Lauren.
Capping her bottle, Lauren went into the shop and slowly approached the woman. Today, the girl wore a dark purple hoodie and some matching jeans and shoes. As Lauren walked up to her, the young woman didn’t move.
“Do you know me?” Lauren questioned noting the bruise on the girl’s neck.
The young woman looked around distrustfully making sure the hoodie stayed on her head and then nodded for Lauren to follow her. They went over to the business outfits. “Pretend to shop and talk to the rack of clothes, not to me,” the young woman ordered. “In case he’s watching.”
Lauren looked around. No one was paying attention to them, but she did take notice there was a lot of cameras everywhere.
“Did you see the symbols?” the young girl asked.
Lauren’s mouth dropped open and she looked at the girl.
“Look at the clothes!”
Turning her head back to the rack, Lauren said, “You left that note in my door? How’d you know where I lived?”
“I followed him.” The young lady pretended to look through the clothes with Lauren.
Lauren could see the young girl’s knuckles and she would swear the girl had been punching concrete walls. Her knuckles were scabbed over and cut into, but the blood look dried.
The young lady continued to speak. “I didn’t think you were that important to him until he came to your place and left that cryptic message. You’re smart to avoid him. Where did you see the symbols?”
“His body. The side of his body. He had the symbols but not the crest. What was that?””
The young woman looked at her. “He’s not that deep then, but you still have time to get out and get away from him.”
“Who are you?” Lauren demanded to know. “How do you know so much?”
“I’m nobody. A shadow. I just loom about.”
“What’s your name?”
“Call me Shadow.”
“You’re a child. A child that someone beats up.”
The young woman looked at her own knuckles as if she had forgotten the scars were there. “I’m learning how to fight. These are battle wounds so don’t be worrying about me. I’m also old enough to know Tyler Black is not a person you need to be depending on and whatever you owe him, you need to pay it off and get away from him.”
“How do you know I owe him anything?”
“It’s the only reason why you’re around him or he’s around you. That’s the only reason anyone would want to be around him. They either hate him enough to get revenge on him or they owe him something. He’s a user and if you’re allowing him to use you and falling for his shit, you’re going to be sadly disappointed. The man ain’t been right since his mother gave birth to him.”
Lauren admitted. “I owe him and I can’t leave. Michigan is my home. I want to open my business here.”
“No. Get some sense and leave before your ex-in-laws find some other way to make your life miserable.”
“How do you know this?” Lauren asked appalled. “How do you know so much about me and about Tyler?”
“I’m a shadow. I know things.” Shadow moved to a new rack and Lauren moved behind her, so if anyone was watching them they wouldn’t think they weren’t together. “How do you know the big dick doctor?”
“The one you were running across the street from a couple of weeks ago.”
“You’ve been watching me since then?”
“I’ve been watching him since he started to get involved with Dwight Bowman the accountant.”
“Was the accountant that audited the DevelopMoore account?”
The young woman turned around. “You know more than I thought. How much do you know about that?”
“I know DevelopMoore is a shell company that’s been embezzling money-”
“Shush,” Shadow ordered. “Don’t talk about that anymore to anyone else. Do whatever you have to do for him and get away from him.”
“I don’t know you and I don’t understand why you’re acting like my life is in jeopardy-”
“Because it is. If he’s gotten those symbols that mean his family has accepted him into the fold. And soon as he has that crest he’s going to be in like Flynn, but there are other forces that are trying to fuck with him and they are not about to let him get to where he wants to be. Once the truth is found out the family is going to kill him or he’ll just kill himself.”
“Who are they?”
“The Russian Gagarin Family. They’re fucking like royalty and he’s had to deny his father side in order to get to where he is now.” Shadow turned to Lauren completely. “That’s the family crest and they will not be shamed.”
“So Tyler needs to know about DevelopMoore-”
Shadow cut her off. “Stay out of his business and get away from him,” she warned. “Never mention that name again if you know what’s good for you. Don’t believe every fucking thing you’re told. People didn’t just get let go, they came up missing from that office digging their nose where it didn’t belong. If you keep pressing it you’re going to be missing too. Whatever you have to do for him, do it fast and then call me.” Shadow placed a piece of paper in her hand. “Don’t trust anyone.”
The bell to the elevator dinged and Lauren looked over to see who was coming down the hallway.
When she looked back at Shadow, the young lady was nowhere to be seen.
Looking around the store, Shadow had disappeared completely.
Deborah called her name and Lauren looked at the hallway. “Change of plans,” she said. “The client arrived very early and Mr. Knight needs you in his office now.” There was this frantic look on the assistant’s face.
“Oh, nothing. This client is very important to Mr. Knight and I guess his frustration is rubbing off on me, although I don’t see how he can possibly land this when there’s nothing the client wants to do with Mr. Knight. He’s clearly said so.”
They walked to the elevator together.
Confused, Lauren asked, “So why is it important for me to be at the meeting?”
“Did you have a chance to look at the information about the client’s businesses?”
“Yes, but I don’t see how that’s going to change anything. Anyone would have found those discrepancies.”
“Are you sure about that? No one found the DevelopMoore information, except you.” Her tone was rather bitter when she said that.
Lauren remembered Shadow’s words of trusting no one, yet she was very curious as to how Deborah was connected with DevelopMoore.
The doors to the elevator opened and Lauren stepped inside. “You’re not coming?”
“He just asked for you,” Deborah said as the doors closed.
Worrying immediately settled in because Lauren hadn’t had time to change her clothes like Tyler had wanted. Stepping off the elevator right into Tyler’s office, she was hesitant and was almost hit with the elevator door closing because she was slow to step off.
“Dr. Jefferson?” she asked shocked.
Chance Jefferson the six and a half-foot African-American young doctor instantly stood as he recognized her. “Lauren? Oh my goodness, you look beautiful.” He came over to her to hug and kiss her on the cheek. “You work here?”
She nodded as she looked over Chance’s thick shoulders.
Tyler jumped out of his chair and looked like he wanted to jump over the table while Lauren hugged the doctor back.
“So you two really do know each other?” Tyler asked.
Chance followed her over to the chairs where he was sitting.
Tyler still looked like he wanted to move the chairs farther apart.
Proudly, Chance answered, “I’ve known Lauren since her father initially brought her in with bruises all over in the emergency.” He looked over at Lauren and smiled his white smile.
She couldn’t help but smile at the doctor still remembering his kindness in a time when she really needed anyone to be nice to her.
“You were at the hospital?” Tyler questioned suspiciously.
“I just started my residency. Matter of fact, it was my second day. I was wet behind the ears. Gawd, it’s been a long time.” He innocently touched her thigh and she looked up at Tyler who was gripping the side of his chair.
Lauren looked back at Chance. “Yes, and they found I had low Vitamin C levels, which as we found out was extremely rare, but my father said my mother had the condition as well.”
“She eventually grew out of the condition but I’m sure every once in a while around here you get paper cuts?” Chance questioned. “You really do work here? Despite everything?”
She pulled her jacket down over her wrists. “Yes, Tyler was nice enough to hire me.”
Chance frowned. “I heard… I’m sorry. I can’t understand what happened. The divorced really knocked me off my feet.” He looked uncomfortable at Tyler. “I’m sorry, Tyler, I know how you don’t like mixing personal conversations at a business meeting.”
“Oh I don’t mind,” Tyler said, narrowing his eyes at Lauren. “I insist Lauren relegate us with her tale of woe. I do enjoy listening to her version.”
She cut her eyes at Tyler before trying to ignore him. “Really it’s nothing and you two have so much business to discuss.”
“Actually we don’t,” Tyler said disappointedly. “Dr. Jefferson came here early to let me know personally he won’t be using me because the other side of my family has insisted I’m a bad man. It seems my business contacts aren’t up to par with those bourgeois pricks .” He tossed a thick contract in the middle of his desk. “He won’t even take a look at the contract I stayed up all night to write.”
Chance said, “I just don’t think I should involve myself with a lawyer who does business for Dwight Bowman when we clearly know who he’s associated himself with.”
“Oh, bullshit. My cousin, Ethan Black has people in his ears all the time telling him I eat lunch with wicked people. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter, Chance. I’m a lawyer and that side of my family has been against me because I refuse to acknowledge my father’s blood.”
“But you had too right?” she questioned remembering what Shadow said. “You want to be in the good graces of your mother’s side. That’s understandable.”
Chance smiled. “Well, if you agree, Lauren, then I think I can understand.”
Tyler snorted uncontrollably. “Right, because Lauren always speaks the honest truth. Please let Chance know what happened so he can get on with his day.”
She knew Tyler was piqued about losing this account he really wanted. “I clearly blame myself, Dr. Jefferson.”
“What?” Tyler and Chance said together in shock.
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To read the other Black Family Series, go to the series page. (Each one is a standalone story and it should be a saga and not a series, but I don’t feel like changing the page name).