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Gus's secretary knocked on his office door and poked her head in. "Ms. Callahan is here to see you," she said, her brows lifting.

"Send her in." Man, this day just keeps getting better and better.

The young woman who walked in never failed to amaze him. Platinum blonde hair, blue eyes, wide pouty lips, and an abundance of curves stopped in front of his desk. She was the kind of woman who had most men drooling.

"Hello, Michelle. Is it the end of the month already?" Gus drawled, his eyes roaming freely.

"My father is trying his best. It doesn't help that you invite him to parties where the gambling is as abundant as the alcohol."

"Your father has been in debt to us for ten years now. Do you really think he is going to change?"

"You could cut him off! You have that within your power."

He stood and walked around his desk to stop in front of her. "Your Daddy is a grown man. Isn't it better that he deals with someone you know rather than some two bit hustler out on the street?" Reaching up, he brushed back the silky, silvery strands that touched her shoulder, not in the least bit insulted by the stiffening in her spine or the way she averted her gaze. "Does he know you come here every month to earn an extension on his due dates?"

Her eyes snapped to his. "No! . . . It would kill him."

"Hmmm." He drew his hand down from her shoulder to her breast and pinched a nipple while admiring those full lips he knew so well.

She slapped his hand away, her eyes fierce and threatening.

Instant hard-on.

Grabbing her by the neck, he yanked her against his body. "One of these days I'm going to teach you a lesson."

She held his stare until—always the dutiful daughter—her resolve weakened and her eyes dropped.

"But for now, I'll settle for the usual payment."

He walked over to lock the office door.

Too bad, Gus said to himself as he made his way back to her. When he undid his fly and she dropped to her knees, he thought it ironic that he would have done as she asked, cut her father off, if only she were more of a challenge to him.


Still bristling from the previous day in court, Virginia's mood was sour as she stopped by the gym before heading into work for the afternoon shift. At least the reporters had moved on after some reality show television star had been pulled over in North Hollywood and charged with a DUI. Fresh meat as they say.

A blonde head turned in her direction as she pulled open the front door.

"Jessica?" she said, startled to find the young girl standing in the entranceway, even more startled by her outward appearance. "You look—"

"Back to normal?" Jessica smiled a little. "A shocker, isn't it?"

"You look fantastic."

"Thank you," she murmured, a shadow darkening her youthful face as she looked down at her clasped hands.

Oh no, Virginia thought. "Do I need to go after Cortez?"

"No!" Flaxen hair slid across her shoulders with the adamant shaking of her head. "I'm just sad, that's all. My family is . . . we're moving. Because of me. The east coast—Boston. Ivy League dreams and all."

"That's great."

Jessica rolled her eyes.

"I had to tell them," Virginia said softly. She wasn't about to apologize, but she did want to explain. "I was concerned when you didn't come see me. I felt I had to."

The Silent Ones [✔️] (#2 in the Chilvati Series)Where stories live. Discover now