Just joining the live story? Start at He Touched Me Chapter One | Click here
And who’s posting almost within a week of the prior chapter. Me, that’s who. I’m shocked no one figured out who was the dark woman in the picture, but that’s okay. Hate me later.And yes, I’m going to hurt Zuri eventually. She ain’t out of the woods yet.
Zuri and Magnum kept bothering me and other than gardening this week. The hubby is busy on projects and so forth and I’m getting settled for the changeover schedule at work. I had some time to get things done.
BTW, me and the hubby finally did a date night (a sort of weekender) and I was so stoked about that. We’d been in the house for three months, no doing anything together and not going anywhere. So this was big time.
This is also a pretty long chapter (over 3k word) and so get ready to sit back and enjoy the ride. If you finish this too fast, you can always check out companion books.
The Other Side of Love (WIP)
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Here’s my Grammarly Report for this chapter. Yes, there’s some passive statements and possibly long wordy sentences I choose to ignore instead of correcting. I’ll leave that up to the editor.
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He Touched Me – Chapter Sixteen
It took Zuri a moment to recognize the voice, but then she relaxed.
“Dr. Jefferson,” she said. “I’m surprised to hear from you.”
“You are? I thought for sure you’d be upset and expecting my call since you didn’t get any results from me about him.”
She just realized she hadn’t gotten anything. Tyler had gotten her results and confirmed Magnum was healthy, but Zuri received nothing from the doctor. “Tyler was assured the situation was safe from you.”
“True, but I’d hope you’d do more to be relieved that you are safely taking sexual responsibility,” he reprimanded her.
“I’m sorry, Dr. Jefferson. I’ll do much better.” In the back of her mind, she reprimanded herself and thought about the difficulties of everything that needed to be considered an adult.
“I’m sending my notes to you, and he’s permitted me to answer any concerns about him you may have. I’d like to say Mr. Knight is healthy physically.”
She didn’t like that the doctor paused at that point, and there was a long awkward silence between them.
“Is that all?” she pushed.
“I’m just a doctor, but I’m also a man, and from just speaking with him, I know he has some reservations about feelings to others. He has a hard time showing himself, and there is a touch of alcoholism. Are you knowledgeable of alcoholism when it comes to sex?”
Zuri had a little bit of knowledge of alcoholism when it came to men, but only because she was very knowledgeable of chemical addiction in females and the side effects. “I’m aware of his problem. And I’m familiar with delayed, aggressive, or slow responses in men when it comes to alcohol.” She wasn’t about to mention the chemical she was giving to him upon Tyler’s instructions, terrified of what the doctor would think of her if he knew.
“In my personal opinion, I believe Magnum’s alcoholism is to cover other things – mentally; he’s going through, from the past. We didn’t get into all of that when I was looking him over, but I have a feeling he’s got something weighing him down.”
“And you’re telling me this because why?”
“I want you to be careful. I understand this contract is four months, but that’s a long time, and I don’t want you to confuse Magnum’s generosity for caring. I have a feeling Magnum Knight doesn’t want to care about shit, barely himself.”
“Thank you for the heads up, doctor.”
“That’s not all I called for, Ms. Carter.”
She braced herself, hoping that was the only bad news he had to offer.
An unemotional man wasn’t so bad. Zuri had no intention of getting her heart involved in a brief affair.
“What else is there?”
“Your birth control pills. I examined them, Ms. Carter. When was the last time you took them?”
“About two months ago at the beginning of the month.”
“And do you remember any side effects when you took them?”
She couldn’t remember. “None that come to mind. Should I be worried?”
“Well, I know you said you replaced the pills with some supplements, but those weren’t supplements I examined. Those were Clomiphene Citrate.”
“What’s that?” she inquired.
Dr. Jefferson answered, “In layman’s terms, It stimulates the ovulation in women to release eggs.”
Confused, she asked, “Someone switched my pills?”
“Most likely. The pills look similar to the supplement, and they were low dosages to take daily, and you probably didn’t know the difference, but I saw the packaging slightly tampered. Whoever did this took out what pills you had in there and replaced them with Clomiphene Citrate. I don’t know how long or how many you took, but the shots barely prevented you from getting pregnant.”
Zuri sat down on the bed because her legs had started to become unsteady.
The doctor continued. “You aren’t due for another shot until next month. I’d like to do some bloodwork to make sure it’s all out of your system,” Dr. Jefferson insisted. “Can you come to my office tomorrow?”
“Yes, most definitely,” she confirmed. “I’ll have to come in the morning because I have to go to the bank for matters with my father later.”
He set an appointment time before releasing her from the call.
Laying back on the bed to get her thoughts together, she closed her eyes and thought about any time she felt different taking her pills. Still, the only thing she could remember about taking the pills was her mother making sure the tablets were taken every day.
Like clockwork, Brenda would come in her room every day for twenty-one days to make sure she took her pill. Zuri would make her three-month appointments for her shots on the days she knew her mother was not coming in her room early in the morning and pretend that she needed to get out and jog. All along, running five blocks to the planned parenthood and paying outright for treatment.
Slowly sitting up, Zuri realized Brenda had been trying to either get her pregnant and commit her, but why?
She texted Tyler’s phone. ‘What would happen if I had a baby? Or the baby I had was still alive today? And then I got committed?’
The lawyer replied immediately back. ‘Depends on who had custody of the child. Your child would inherit your trust, and the guardian of the child would be in charge of the full trust. Your mother would most likely apply for emergency guardianship of you and then intern it would encompass the child.”
A situation like that would be ideal for Brenda. “Would my father’s rules of the trust impede that?”
“The court would most likely rule in favor of the child’s best interest so that the trust would go to the child, and whoever is the guardian. Courts like to keep blood families together if there is no physical harm to the child.”
This revelation bothered Zuri the most. Brenda most likely could have helped Rodney get her pregnant; Her mother would have access to go in her bedroom where Zuri kept her personal items.
Rolling over on the bed, Zuri opened up the security app to see her mother and Rodney arguing in the living room. Staring hard at her mother’s lips, Zuri could see her mother say, “I can still get the money.”
A chill swept over Zuri.
Rodney shook his head adamantly, said something, slammed his fist in the wall angrily, and left the house.
Her mother crumbled on the couch and cried.
Zuri ran her hand over the phone’s screen. If Brenda was in so much pain, why did she allow Rodney to control her like this? What did Rodney have over her mother to make Brenda choose him over her daughter?
Going through the clips in the history of the security video, she discovered on from her bedroom marked two months ago. In the video, Zuri was getting ready to leave out on a jog.
She had started putting the security cameras on because she thought Rodney was snooping around her room when she wasn’t there. He was still lying in bed, unaware the cameras were recording.
Zuri kissed him and exited the room. A few moments later, her mother came into the room, and passionately kissed Roday. For ten minutes, she watched as her mother and Rodney had a quickie, and when it was over, her mother rolled out the bed and went over to Zuri’s bag. Retrieving Zuri’s birth control, Brenda took a bottle out and carefully replaced the tablets.
A cold chill went down Zuri’s spine. Discovering this was worse than seeing her mother and supposedly boyfriend had sex on HER bed.
No matter how Zuri tried to sugar coat anything, Brenda was a piece of shit.
Taking a deep breath, Zuri pushed away from the frustration and finished getting ready for the night.
She would use Magnum like she had used her promiscuous behavior before – to get away from what was bothering her. Hopefully, working with Tyler on her father’s legacy and becoming more involved in Magnum would keep her thoughts busy and apart from the past or the fact she couldn’t get what she wanted.
The only reason he stopped working was that his inner clock told him it was time to get ready for the night. With his earbuds on, he hadn’t looked at his phone or checked any email.
Magnum had laid out the complete framework of the project for the Gates and even cleared up some production issues for the company. Reginald hired cheap and thought he could get proper coding, but the cousin didn’t understand a thing about running the business, but Magnum was at the point of just wanting to get out.
He only stayed because his parents, along with Reginald’s parents, had started this small firm helping small businesses with solutions. Still, they mostly were using templates and just incorporating software instead of creating something new.
Reginald wouldn’t know how to create something new if he tried. He came from a line of the family that liked to steal to get ahead.
Yet, over the years, Magnum had become emotionally uninvested in the business and was just ready to let it go, do his own thing, and never speak to another family member again. He’d already taken on other projects on the side, bringing him large online ad sales and royalty amounts that set him up for a lifetime of income. Letting go of the company would be no love lost for him.
Getting up from his desk, he went over to his liquor cabinet, and instead of taking a full bottle, he poured himself a smooth whiskey in a glass.
Odd, he wasn’t in the mood to drown himself tonight.
He wanted to be clear-headed.
While he was in the shower, a familiar warmth encompassed his chest, and he couldn’t stop himself from placing his hand on his heart. Yet, as quickly as he did so, he took the hand away. He wouldn’t allow that feeling in tonight. Without being drunk, he knew those feelings would come more robust until Magnum succumbed and called his brother.
Fuck them all, especially his brother.
His phone rang.
With dread, he looked at the screen but was shocked to see it was Tyler.
“What do you want?” he growled.
“Open your damn door,” Tyler spat back.
Magnum pressed the security panel to open the door and then went down to greet the lawyer. “I’m trying to conserve my strength for tonight, Tyler, so don’t start shit.”
Tyler snorted. “If I started shit, I’m going to end shit.” The lawyer handed Magnum the schematics to the project. “I just picked that up. It should be everything you need to get you started on the system he’s looking for.”
“And how is King Heart? Still can’t come to Detroit?” he asked with a lot of mirth, allowing Tyler to come past him into the foyer.
“I wouldn’t know, and I don’t care. I just handle shit for him until King gets here.”
Magnum frowned. “You should know King will be shot if he steps foot in Detroit.”
“Oh yeah, he told me. And he told me how he knows you.” Tyler smirked. “Onyx Heart? Really?”
The name made Magnum’s blood turn cold. “She tries to forget about me just as much as I try to forget about her.”
Tyler looked at the thick door and the two cameras around the foyer. “You do live in a fortress. Is that a heat signature camera?”
“What does it matter to you?” he asked defensively.
“The ex-girlfriend is Onyx? Right? Do you think she’ll come after you? Hurt you? You’re scared of her?”
Magnum gritted his teeth. “Let’s just say I don’t want things stolen from me again.”
Tyler cackled in hilarity. “She did that to you? All because of your IQ?”
Magnum narrowed his eyes but refused to respond to Tyler’s prying question. He started to turn away, hoping Tyler would get the message and just leave.
“Wait,” Tyler said. “Having security is a good thing. Zuri’s security spotted some weird activity around the hotel. She’s going to need to be moved.” The lawyer pulled out a picture and showed it to Magnum.
Magnum only needed to take a quick second glance at the picture and said, “Arrange to have her here tomorrow.” He went over to an oak cabinet by the door and unlocked the door in front with a key. handing Tyler a guest pass, he said, “She can have the second-floor room to the right.”
Tyler nodded, taking the card and said, “King also mentioned you had a brother.”
Magnum froze hard and tightened his fist to calm the anger enveloping him. This was too much to deal with right now. First, Onyx Heart and now his brother. Dammit, if Tyler knew how to hurt more with his mouth than he did with his fist.
There was dead silence between the two of them. Magnum had nothing to say, but he felt Tyler was looking for some kind of explanation.
“Are you going to tell me about FT? That is what they call him, right?”
“It’s what he’s called,” Magnum corrected. “I haven’t talked to the bastard since I was laying up in a hospital with half of my fucking body ripped to shreds because of King. My bastard of a brother had the nerve to come to visit me when I thought I was on death’s door to tell me it’s what I deserved for what I did to him. What I did to him?!” Magnum was starting to get upset. “Three fucking pit bulls tore my whole fucking side off, and my son of a bitch brother could only say that to me. He didn’t care whether I lived or died. I’m his only motherfucking relative. And that’s all he had to say to me.” He ground his teeth because he wanted to say a lot more, but kept his anguish internal. Tyler didn’t need to know how FT fucked him up that day.
“Maybe he meant something else.”
“The fuck if I know what he meant, but he left Detroit, right after that and never looked back. Reggie knows how to contact him; tattle on me for shit as if that’s going to get me to do what I’m supposed to do.”
“King said FT could kick your ass.”
“Oh, I bet you’d like to see that.”
“King said you guys were junior MMA champions together. That’s how you met Count Richard Sanchez – on the circuit.”
“That means shit now, Tyler. That was fucking decades ago. Are you done? I have to get ready for tonight, and I just don’t want to talk anymore.”
“That’s not all I came to speak with you about, Magnum.” Tyler took some more paperwork out of his bag. “You asked for all the research on exit contracts. Are you sure you want to go ahead with this? Are you sure your cousin is going to agree with this?”
“You throw money at him, he’ll agree to anything. I’m giving him some of the royalties. He’ll eat that shit up.” Magnum snatched the research from Tyler, glaring at the lawyer to fuck off.
Tyler ignored the danger in Magnum’s eyes and, with frustration, asked, “Why the fuck does your brother go by FT?”
“Ask him. I am not my brother’s keeper. According to him, I never have been.” He snatched the schematic from Tyler and walked away, hoping the lawyer would get the message and leave.
Tyler didn’t get the message and followed him in the office. “Alright, you want to play hardball, Magnum. What do I have to do to get the information about FT out of you?”
“Why the fuck you need to know about him? He’s nothing. He’s a sorrier sack of shit than I.”
“He’s your brother, and you’re messing with my client, and I know your motherfucking family. I know how they like to steal from others, and I know how they manipulate money out of innocent women. Remember, I married one of their victims. And if you and your brother are anything like them, I need to get my client out of the contract with you before you try to drain her dry.”
Magnum gritted his teeth, remembering that side of what he called family, but he decided to confess something he swore to FT he’d never tell anyone who didn’t know. “You know we’re adopted, right?”
Tyler looked shocked. “No, is that why Dylan gives you such a wide berth?”
“Nah, FT, and I kicked his ass once when he said something about how FT looked after being introduced to Dylan and his siblings. My brother was overly sensitive, and I just enjoyed beating Dylan’s ass.”
“That’s not enough information about FT. I need more. And why didn’t you or anyone else fess up about you being adopted?” Tyler suspiciously asked, as if Magnum had a reason to lie in the lawyer’s face.
Magnum shrugged nonchalantly. “The family adopting us didn’t like bringing it up, and FT didn’t want people prying as to why we got removed from the last family so abruptly. The last family is where we learned how to fight and do all sorts of other things; Like drinking, fucking, you know the usual things teenagers like to do.”
“So, you’ve been drunk for a very long time.”
“You have no idea.” Magnum felt the lawyer was going to bug him about his brother. He decided to use Tyler like Tyler was using him. “Alright, I’ll tell you all about that son of a bitch brother of mine, while I get dressed if you draw up dissolution papers for the partnership so I can walk away clean and free the family company, but with rights to my work and what royalties I choose to share.”
Tyler looked very intrigued, but he grumbled, “It’ll be a conflict of interest since I’m doing work for others, but I can get Kenneth Bianchi to help you out and slightly consult him” The lawyer extended his hand for an agreement.
Magnum knew the lawyer mentioned and was impressed Tyler had that kind of pull, so he shook Tyler’s hand.
Now giving free rein, Tyler excitedly asked, “First, tell me why the fuck they call him FT?”
The warmth in his chest tightened, and as usual, Magnum placed his palm on his heart to quell the feeling, but then immediately put his hand down and clenched a fist.
Going toward his liquor to drown his past again, he was intercepted by Tyler.
“Get comfortable and talk Magnum. I’ll get your drink,” Tyler offered. “I can pour myself something as well. This sounds like it’s going to be good.”
Magnum didn’t care as long as he got a drink to stop feeling what he was feeling. He wasn’t going to be loyal to his brother anymore because maybe all the secrets should come out, Magnum sighed heavily. He would answer Tyler’s questions and then enjoy his night with Zuri.
He Touched Me Chapter Sixteen (c) 2020 Sylvia Hubbard @ The Literary World of Sylvia Hubbard.
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