If you’re just joining us, please check out the initial post:
this was a long chapter. I had to go back and do some corrections and I had to research Shadow. From her other book Wicked Chances, I needed to know her age and then in the sequel to Emperor’s Heart (which isn’t out yet and I know you hate me for that) I needed to know what happened.
If you’re a new reader you’re going to be upset because you won’t understand what’s going on. I do suggest reading those two books to get a heads up on the “war” that’s coming in the Heart family.
On the technical aspect, I want to push for a new laptop so bad. Even a cheap Toshiba or Samsung at this point because I’m going crazy with this Asus. It’s not a workhorse, which is what I need.
I know I’ve asked before and begging is next on the horizon, on a corner in the middle of busy traffic with a sign saying :
Please don’t make me. Please donate.
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:
I needed to give you some answers about Shadow and about why she knows so much, especially if you don’t know her very well. Shadow has a history and with the blood running through her vein, she has a natural ability to smell bullshit and the truth, but she’s also sneaky as hell.
So you ask, should Lauren trust her?
We all know Shadow’s out for self and her private business dealings she takes those above all else.
Now about that uncle of Shadow’s uncle…
Black’s Innocence Chapter 26
Lauren woke up in a panic from a chime on her phone indication someone had texted her.
She had fallen asleep and checking the time, she gasped in horror. It was ten minutes to nine at night and she had dozed off.
Shutting down her computer, she grabbed her bag and ran out of the office. Getting outside, she didn’t stop running.
A block away from the bus terminal, she could see the last bus of the night sitting there and she knew at any second it would leave. She screamed for someone to hold the bus.
She could hear the gears changing and the accelerator spitting out black exhaust fumes from the back.
With all her might she screamed for the bus to stop.
The bus took off and Lauren now screamed in anguish as she watched as her only ride home drive away, leaving her stranded.
Slumping on the bus seat, she had to catch her breath from running several blocks. Her large bag was killing her shoulder and her legs felt like they were about to fall off.
It was nightfall and she wasn’t feeling the cold and treacherous walk to her house. Paying for a cab was out of the question. Just because she had the money didn’t mean she had to spend it like that. She needed every dime for her move, food, and other survival.
Putting her face in her hands, she slumped over to vent her frustrations to herself.
How many bad things could possibly happen to her? Why was life throwing so many rotten lemons her way and not giving her a chance to recover from the last hit?
Can’t one thing go right in her life, just one time? One fricking time?!
A horn honked several times and she peeked through her fingers to see Rodger smiling across the street from her.
He got out of his car and came over to her.
“What are you doing here?” she questioned suspiciously.
“Mr. Black asked me to wait for you to come out of work, take you home and discuss picking you up in the morning,” he said taking her large heavy bag.
Shocked, Lauren questioned, “You’ve been sitting outside the office building all day?”
He shrugged. “Pretty much waiting for you. I checked with the security guard often but he would just tell me you hadn’t waived your badge out to leave.”
She followed him back over to the car but stopped before getting in the back of the car. “Rodger, I’m so sorry I made you wait. I was working.”
“It’s no problem,” he said opening the rear door. “I’d do anything for Mr. Black and you’re good people, Ms. Jensen.”
She shook her head at the open door. “Can I sit up front with you?”
He looked hesitant. “Mr. Black doesn’t like passengers up front.”
Looking around, she said, “Mr. Black isn’t here, thank goodness, and I promise I won’t tell. I just don’t feel like being treated like a passenger right now, Rodger.”
He conceded and walked around to the passenger side where she followed him and when he opened the door. Lauren slid into the seat and smiled very grateful to be out of the cold and glad to be on her way home without walking in the cold.
“I wanted to assure you that I’ll be picking you up in the morning and taking you to the doctor, but I needed a general idea of when the doctor will be done. There’s no time limit. Mr. Black says I’m to wait until you are done to take you back home or wherever you needed to go after that and then home.
Was Tyler already determining she needed to go to a pharmacy or something?
“It should only be a couple of hours,” she said glad her body had stopped shaking and she could think clearly again.
Checking her phone, remembering the chime was what had awoken her at work, she was shocked to see two text messages. Clicking the phone screen she opened up her messages to see her landlord and Shadow had sent messages back.
Her landlord texted, “You can take anything you want from that room. I should have your money to you by tomorrow afternoon.”
She smiled glad she could take that bed which she was really falling in love with. She opened up the next message.
All Shadow had responded with was, “What time will you get home?”
Lauren replied to the message. “I should be home in twenty minutes.”
There was no immediate reply yet again and she put the phone away making sure the notification was on high so she could hear if something came through.
“And after the doctor’s appointment, do you need to go anywhere?” Rodger questioned.
Lauren shrugged unsurely. “Actually, I need to go straight home and hire someone to help me move. I was hoping I could get a moving company to help me out. Since it’s last minute, I have a list to call the day of to see if they have room to fit me in.”
“Really?” Rodger questioned surprised. “My brother owns a moving company and after we finish with the doctor, we can get back to your place and get you all packed and moved.”
Not believing her blessing, she said, “I don’t have much to pay.”
Rodger blew a raspberry. “I can’t take your money. You’re good people. Anyone the boss wants to help out is cool with me.”
“I have to pay you for your time,” she insisted.
“You already do. Mr. Black keeps my pockets filled with extra cash every time I help you out.” He arrived at her home and she thanked him as he opened her door. “I’ll see you in the morning and tell your brother it’ll only be one trip. I don’t have much.”
Lauren went into her place and getting to her room, she was glad she was semi all packed up with the majority of boxes packed in the corner ready to go. From living in the storage unit, she felt she was always ready to go.
Moving over to the boxes, she noticed one had been moved and she realized this was the box she had gripped when Tyler had…
“I was wondering why you kept that box,” a voice said by the doorway. “It’s about to fall apart.”
Lauren’s heart was racing, started by the voice, but relaxed realizing it was Shadow.
The young woman was dressed in a black hoodie and jeans with matching shoes. This time she had two black eyes and a busted lip.
“Are you okay?” Lauren questioned very concernedly.
Smirking crookedly, because it seemed like the other side of her face hurt, Shadow nodded. “My uncle upped my training. He said I needed to learn fast to be ready for whats to come?”
Worried, Lauren asked, “What’s coming? Godzilla? Because from the way your face looks, I think you got punched by a thirty-foot monster.”
Shadow came in the room and sat on the bed groaning in pain. “Something bigger than what I don’t think anyone can be ready for, but enough about me.”
“How did you get in here? I locked my door.”
“Locked doors aren’t a problem for me. I’ve been breaking in places since I was could reach a doorknob.” She looked at her watch. “Nights aren’t good for me. I’m watched more. So whatever you want, lady, you better talk about you and not about me.”
Lauren sat on the chest next to the bed in front of Shadow. It looked like someone really beat the crap out of the young woman.
“Are you up to this? Answering questions?” Lauren asked.
Shadow glared annoyed. “You better hurry and ask your questions. If I wanted to talk about myself, I would call you my friend, but since you’re just a means to an end, I don’t think that highly of you. I’m coming here to answer your questions just so you can a lay your fears, trust me so you can help me out.”
“So tell me how you really feel?” Lauren asked sarcastically but immediately decided to start asking her questions. “How do you know so much about me? About Tyler? About all the crap that’s going on at the law agency?”
“Because I’m a prisoner to my uncle who trusts me enough to talk business around me. Right now I’m the only one he can trust. My aunt killed the rest of his circle of trust.” She grimaced holding her middle as she shifted her weight. “Long story, but if I want to be free of my uncle, then I need to make sure Tyler can do whatever he has to do in order for my uncle to help Tyler.”
“I’m confused, still, Shadow.”
“Yeah, I would be too, if I were in your shoes, but all you gotta know is that Tyler wants to be accepted by his bitchy mother’s family and he’s almost there, but he’s going to fail unless I get rid of DevelopMoore. I need to help Tyler help my uncle so I can be free before my shit starts to float.”
“Why you? You can’t be more than fifteen.”
Proudly Shadow said, “I’m eighteen… in three months.”
Lauren’s head was a little clear about some things. “Tyler knows about DevelopMoore?”
Shadow shook her head. “He doesn’t know the depth. What you uncovered got him just a little curious, but not enough where he’s pulling out a full investigation… yet. I just discovered them by accident when I was listening to Uncle King’s conversation with Dwight Bowman, about a week ago, but other than some phony shit, I haven’t found anything else..”
Remembering the name from Deborah, Lauren asked, “He’s the accountant? Right?”
“Look under his assistant,” Lauren said. “I think she’s involved with it?”
“Dumb and slutty Deborah? That woman couldn’t light a match. She answers the phones and puts appointments in his planners. Tyler keeps her around for shits and giggles to torture Dylan.”
Lauren frowned confused. “What do you mean?”
Shadow shook her head slowly. “Really? You have no idea what you’re involved in, do you, Lauren? You need to get out of there faster than I thought.”
“I can’t, Shadow. I have a contract with Tyler. And it’s up to him to finish it. I can’t hurry it and I can’t break it. I have a feeling, he’ll find me and drag me back here to complete it. Why is my life in danger?”
“Because when he’s busted over this DevelopMoore, they’ll come after him and anything he loves, including his half-sister, his half dick brother and you, if you’re as close as I believe you are.”
“What about Tyler’s mother?” Lauren inquired.
“Unfortunately, she’s a pure blook and she can’t be touched easily. Most likely the bitch will say she knew absolutely nothing about nothing, which is true and they’ll leave it at that.”
“Who are they?”
Shadow took a deep breath. “Let’s just call them the Russians.”
“Then all we have to do is stop the people who have the knowledge about DevelopMoore, right?”
Shadow snorted derisively. “We? Bitch, you don’t know French and you don’t know me? I work alone.”
“You said yourself you need to help Tyler to help your Uncle so you can be set free. We destroy DevelopMoore, Tyler gets what he wants, he’s not bothered by work and can finish his contract with me faster and can help your uncle better.”
Narrowing her dark eyes at Lauren, Shadow pushed the hood off her head. “You’re stupid but smart, lady and unfortunately that might work. You can’t tell him about this though. The less he knows the better for me.”
“Why for you? Lauren questioned.
“Because, if my uncle sees I’m helpful, he’ll lax up his watch on me and not watch me so much. I got business in Detroit that I don’t need him to know about… that he can never know about and I don’t need him watching me twenty-four seven. If I do this, he’ll trusts me. He’ll see I’m helping him.” Shadow leaned into Lauren. “Trust me when I say this is important to a lot of people, Lauren, so if you’re helping me, help me, but understand the consequences.”
“You mean like coming up missing like the other people in the office did?”
Shadow nodded. “Yeah. like that. I see you’ve been doing your homework.” There was a look of true respect in her eyes.
“I think I can help,” Lauren said. “And no one will have to know I’m involved if I’m only telling you, right?”
Smirking crookedly because it still looked like that side of her face hurt, Shadow asked, “What about dumb Deborah can you tell me so I can start digging?”
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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).