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Twice Taken

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From Chapter 40:

Sebastian read the note to the group, “I told you that I would have your husband’s inheritance one way or another. I have your child and she will be raised as one of us. When she is grown, I will take her parents and her friends a little at a time, and she will marry my son. Then, I will tell her about you, but I will make certain that she believes that you abandoned her. I will have your estate and you will have nothing. Oh, enjoy the substitute!”

Kara asked, already knowing the answer, “What was his son’s name?”

“Oliver. I found out that his son’s name was Oliver.”

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Chapter 41

            Kara couldn’t speak. Her heart was racing and her hands were shaking as she tried to process everything that had happened. She began to hyperventilate and Sebastian once again brought her mouth to his neck. She bit down and he twisted his fingers in her curled hair, holding tight to her as the bond magic healed her again. Nikolai’s hands made slow strokes over her knees and down her calves, massaging away the tenseness that had set in and she gave in to the sleep that was trying to claim her.

            Those in the vehicle waited in silence for the Mentis Twins to help their mate, but once she was asleep, Richard asked, “Do you think that Oliver Winthrop was really Oliver Stone?”

            Antonio asked, “Is that the last name of the mob boss?”

            “His real name is Mirko Witold Jidkova,” Eldora said quietly, and everyone returned their attention to her.

            She coughed and Richard held her until the pain eased and she could breathe again. He kissed the side of her head and she told them, “My first husband called him that one night and he and Victor got into a row over it. He said that no one was supposed to call him that anymore. He goes by Jonathan Oliver Winthrop now.

I assume he does it to hide from the Russian authorities. His wife’s name was Josephine, but I don’t know much more about her than that. We never really spoke much. She told me once that I would never have her husband, so I guess that she thought that I was after him, but I never was; I swear it.”

            Duncan reached for her hand and ran his thumb over it, reassuring her, “We don’t think that you had any willing part in any of this. Why don’t you let your mate hold you and sleep? We shouldn’t have brought you into this. It was risky and you’ve had far too much excitement. I have your pills. Just take one and rest, okay?”

            “But I need to help!”

            Deric cut in, “Kara needs you to live long enough to help her with her wedding. She needs a chance to get to know you before you’re gone. She’s already lost one mother and father; don’t make her lose you before she has a chance to know you at all.”

            She sighed and seemed to deflate into Richard’s arms. Duncan gave her the medication and Richard gave her water to wash it down, but it didn’t have time to take effect before she too was sleeping. The remainder of the drive was uneventful, but the males discussed strategy and made plans to both attack Jidkova and defend their families.

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            Mirko threw the decanter from its place on his desk and roared out his pain. He swung his arms across his desk, sending the computer and all of his paperwork flying across the room. He lifted his large mahogany chair over his head and threw it into the fireplace, falling to his knees on the floor. His son was gone. He knew in his heart that the youth was dead, though no trace of his body could be found.

            Tears not shed since his wife’s death flowed down his face and his screams of agony ripped through the mansion. He was a hard, cruel man, but even those who had felt the weight of his hand could not deny the pity they felt for him on this night.

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