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I’m late but history is a mug fug.
Getting all the facts straight and remember everything is no joke, so I wanted to make sure once I released this chapter, it’s set in stone and I don’t have to come back and refactor this part.
Also I don’t think I also said another companion book to this book is The Other Side of Love
It’s not yet released but older readers are familiar with the set up of Armando and his disappearance. It’s in the works. That’s all I have to say. It’s coming. I call it my cursed novel because every time I start working on it, something bad always happen.
Anyhoo, let’s put this out in the universe and of course, let me know what you think.
He Touched Me – Chapter Nine
Wallowing in her thoughts, she randomly looked at the cameras throughout the house. Occasionally she would still see her mother looking around, and Zuri decided to stay focused on her room because her mother had come in there and began to look around. Yet, Zuri noticed her mother wasn’t looking for something; she was trying to hide something.
Brenda went over to Zuri’s vanity, pulling out the false second drawer and putting something in the back. A notification came to show the front door opened, and Zuri switched over to the front camera to see Rodney dressed in blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and Timberlands, entering the home. If he had been one of her attackers, he had changed clothes before coming into the house, but Zuri had to be a little suspicious. It was early in the morning, and unless he was getting home from some type of work, why would he be coming in this time of day?
She put on a light blue maxi dress she had gotten from the resale store and some sandals. Since she was stuck in the hotel room, she decided to take it easy and not get dressed up for the lawyer.
About ten, guest services knocked on her door with food courtesy of Mr. Black.
Just as she let them in, she could hear Tyler on the phone coming off the elevator.
“I don’t give a fuck what you don’t want to do; if I get this deal, your ass will be there…”
Zuri frowned at his language, but he only nodded at her and came into the room, going straight over to the desk and pulling out a laptop and setting up a mini-printer from the black messenger case he carried.
“Now fucking transmit me the signed document,” Tyler ordered before hanging up the phone and looking grim.
For a white guy, Tyler Black was freaking intimidating, and if she hadn’t met him over the phone, she would feel some type of way about him, but he’d aggravated her so much, she had nothing but irritation for him.
His obsidian omnipresence glare seemed to hold an annoyance and disgust for everything in his presence.
‘Do you talk to all your clients so crudely?” she questioned.
“That wasn’t a client.” He snorted as if taking offense. “Did you read the letter?”
“Yes,” Zuri answered stiffly.
He checked off something on a digital tablet. “You understand it’s your father’s wish your mother receives absolutely nothing, so you can’t ask me to give her anything.”
A tightening in her stomach came hard as she thought about her father’s letter knowing what her mother had done. Bravely, she snipped, “What would make you think I wanted to give her anything? I don’t even want to give you anything.”
Tyler looked doubtful. “I’ve dealt with a lot of people who sit and tell me they’d never help a family member and then turn around and do something stupid.”
“And what stupid thing you think I’m trying to do?”
“Talk with her or go see her. Which one?” Tyler questioned as if he had hit the nail on the head.
She rolled her eyes at his arrogance. “What contract do I have to sign? What were you talking about, Mr. Black, from this morning?”
“A woman after my heart. My Business first, though, Ms. Carter.” He looked down at his phone. “One moment.” He walked away from her, and she saw his look soften. “Yes, wife?… No, I’m not nice to her… “He looked over at Zuri with a sharp glare before turning away. “Because if she can’t take my shit, she certainly won’t take his… Tell my sister that this Business is not hers, and I’m not doing that. This woman is still my client… Dammit, you know I love you too.” He hung up the phone.
“You’re for real married? A woman married you? I thought you were kidding,” Zuri asked exasperated.
“Trust me; there was some arm twisting there. I had to get her pregnant first.” He chuckled to himself, going back over to his printer, which started printing off documents.
She was utterly astounded at his admission. “What is your business?”
Tyler pulled up something on his tablet and came over to her. “Sign here to confirm you read the letter.”
She put her John Hancock digitally.
“Do you have any questions about the letter? I don’t know a lot except what was in Armando’s journal on your case. Notes he took while with your father drawing up the will.”
Zuri felt something hard in her chest. “Can I read them? Armando’s notes.”
Tyler answered firmly, “No, but as I said, I can answer whatever I can until Armando returns, which hopefully will be soon.”
“Was he… my father, angry when putting his will together?”
“No,” the lawyer answered without hesitation. “Armando said his demeanor was calm and very clear.”
“If he hadn’t had me, would he have stayed with my mother?”
“Most likely not. Until you were born, your father’s insurance policy was going to go to his sister.”
Zuri was too flustered to come up with any more questions.
“Sit, Ms. Carter, because I want you to understand what’s happening fully. You might need to eat and drink, which is why I ordered food.” He went over to gather all the paperwork off the printer. “Do you understand when I say you shouldn’t talk with your mother or go see her for any reason?”
“I understand, but she’s my mother, Mr. Black.”
Tyler snorted, annoyed, and stiffly stated, “What if I arranged face to face with Luke present in the room? I feel your security is necessary.”
“Luke isn’t my security.”
“As of today, he is. He has a suite right under you and access to go through the stairwell to get into this room at a moment’s notice,” Tyler said.
“I didn’t approve of that, and I’m not paying for him or this.”
“You don’t need to. And this isn’t coming out of your trust.”
“You’re paying for it?”
“Oh, hell no,” he said without hesitation.
“We’ll get to that business in a moment, Ms. Carter.”
She wanted to hurry and get away from Tyler. There was a lot to think about and consider. So much was being put on her mind all at once, and Zuri could barely remember straight, let alone “fully understand” anything.
Sitting down on the couch with the food in front of them, she waited for Tyler to gather some things from his messenger bag and then sit on the other end of the couch.
“I didn’t expect work when I got this account for another month around your birthday, and by then, I was hoping Armando would be returning,” he pointed out again.
“Sorry to disappoint you,” she responded sarcastically.
“Liar,” he snipped. “According to your father, I’m also to let you know on your thirtieth birthday; you will receive the rest of the trust money. If you die before that, it will go back to the family.”
“Who is his family?”
She frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Unfortunately, your father only stated his family, but he didn’t specify exactly the members of the family. His immediate family won’t recognize him, and they won’t recognize you. They specified not to be named, but the problem comes when, unfortunately, your mother is also your father’s third cousin.”
She flinched. “What? My parents were related?”
He pulled out a document from an ancestry company. “Brenda Carter’s mother is your father’s second cousin. Brenda was born late in her mother’s life and practically grew up with your father. Your mother also gave birth to five other babies. Two of which were her from her brother. One was from her great uncle and two to your father’s brother, who killed himself shortly after your father married Brenda.”
Zuri couldn’t even speak because she was practically shoved into shock. There was nothing Tyler could have done to prepare her for this revelation, but dammit did he have to sound like he was talking about the weather.
“M-My father knew this?”
“Yes, but it seems he discovered these babies after he married your mother because Benjamin had a private investigation done after his brother’s death, but like the letter stated, he chose to ignore what had been done to him because of you.”
Tyler sighed in dread. “Since Brenda never made any confessions to you, from the look on your face, my job got ten times easier. You’ll get the bulk-“
Zuri cut him off. “Why can’t I know my siblings?”
“Because you have none. Your mother never went to full term with two of the pregnancies, and the other three died of SIDS.”
“What is SIDS?” she asked, confused.
“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They were all under a month old.”
Zuri gripped her chest and demanded, “Why can’t I know about the rest of my family? Why don’t they want to know about me or know me? I don’t want money from them. I just want to know them.”
Tyler narrowed his eyes. “You want to know a lot of stuff, Ms. Carter. In truth, there’s only the religious nut, Bernadette Carter, Brenda’s mother. She’s the only one alive and trust me; she wants ‘nothing to do with any abomination from that union’ – her words not mine.”
Zuri stopped pressing the matter. Those words were like a reality smack in the face. This Bernadette had lost everyone and most likely would not be pleasant to meet for any reason.
Zuri’s mouth had become suddenly dry, and she took a sip of the apple juice that was on the table next to the light food.
“Any other business of yours, Mr. Black?” she asked, perturbed.
“Not right now. I’ve started the bank transfer, and I’m going through the courts to acquire any assets purchased with your money. You’ll thank me later. Once I liquidate these, I’ll let you know.”
“What about the house my mother is in?”
“Surprisingly, it’s in her name. It was a demand she made marrying your father. I had to go back and look up the history just in case, but the car she is driving was acquired with your credit along with the second mortgage she took out on the house, so if Brenda doesn’t pay these off in the next ten days, she’s going to have to sell the house to your trust, and at that point, it belongs to you.”
Knowing she couldn’t make any demands to give her mother anything – even leeway to make payments, she said, “You’re a son of a bitch. You sound almost too happy to do your job.”.
“Thank you,” Tyler said jovially. “I don’t mind doing the dirty work, so you don’t have to.”
“And if I don’t want the house. I just want to get my items out of there.”
“Are you sure? She is trying to kill you.”
“Yes, Mr. Black!” she said, exasperated.
“When I set up face to face, we’ll discuss it further than, but I’ll sell the house and add the money to the trust. As your father said, she gets nothing. Not even niceness,” Tyler promised, taking out the papers he had printed out and set them on the coffee table in front of them.
“A contract,” he said, looking grim. “But I should let you know before you enter into this agreement, I have a slight conflict of interest in this matter.”
“What kind of contract?”
“A man has expressed interest in you. A man I know. A man I was associated with but now want to beat the shit out of.”
“Is the conflict the association or the ass whooping.”
Confused, she asked, “What man do you know who knows me? And why would a man want to make a contract with me?”
“Men usually make contracts of this sort for only one thing, Ms. Carter – Sex. He desires you for a period of time, and he would like to make an agreement with you. In return, he will provide you with anything you desire and some things that I need.”
“So, is this about you or me?”
“A little bit of both. You take this contract, and I got this bastard where I want, and if you don’t, I’ll find another way to get what I want. It’s really up to you. I’m coming to you with the agreement initially because I know you need to get off the radar for a while, and why not do it pleasantly.”
Zuri started to reach for the documents, but Tyler stopped her from touching the papers. “You shouldn’t lay eyes on the verbiage until you know who he is.”
Impatiently, she asked, “Who is he? What’s his name?”
“Magnum Knight. He’s my partner’s cousin.”
“I don’t know him,” Zuri said without hesitation. “I would certainly remember a strange name like that.” She started to drink the rest of the apple juice.
“He said you wouldn’t know his name. You’d know something about the bus and possibly the elevator?”
Zuri spewed the apple juice all over Tyler.
Tyler picked up a cloth napkin and began to wipe himself off. “I take it you don’t like him either?”
He Touched Me Chapter Nine (c) Sylvia Hubbard @ The Literary World of Sylvia Hubbard.
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