A Billion Vendettas

By: Jessa York

He moved my face forcefully to the left, and then the right. “You damage easily. Your friend was sturdier. She never swelled up like this unless I hit her harder.”

Two things about that made my stomach churn all over again.

He’d blatantly referenced the fact that he’d beaten Louise.

More than once.

Also, he’d said, “Your friend was sturdier.”


As in past tense.

I recalled Carlo and Stefan informing me that they were unable to find Louise.

At the time, it had occurred to me that she might not be missing, but—

“You’ll have to obey me next time,” he said, then dropped my chin.

I stepped back, but he immediately grabbed my arm.


“You’ll eat, now,” he said, then pulled me toward the tray.

It looked delicious.

Small tortillas, with a big plate of beans, rice, and salsa.

It smelled fantastic.

My belly gurgled just looking at it.

I’d hardly eaten a thing this morning.

Too excited, and nervous about the day ahead.

“I’m not hungry, thanks,” I said and tried to shake off his hand.

It didn’t work. All that did was make him mad. “You’ll eat,” he said, shoving me at the tray. My body hit the edge of it, and it moved further onto the dresser.

I twisted my body and looked at him. “How stupid do you think I am?”

He cocked his head and answered, “I don’t think you’re stupid at all. You tricked my brother into marrying you—without so much as a prenup.”

That ticked me off. “I didn’t trick him. I told him I’d sign a prenup, but he refused to have one drawn up,” I told Maxim the truth. “And he asked me to marry him. There was no tricking involved.”

He sneered at me, “Oh, you tricked him with your pussy. Your cunt must be exquisite to bring a man like him to his knees.”

Then, Maxim leaned into me and spoke directly into my ear, “I can’t wait to taste it for myself.”

He backed up, and his eyes scanned over my face. “After your face heals up, that is.”

I opened my mouth to say something but was interrupted by the loud, piercing sound of a baby’s cry.

My heart stopped.

Maxim’s guilty eyes met mine. For a second he left them unguarded.

“Is that—is that your baby?” I whispered while the baby cried in the distance.

“My baby?” he asked, his eyebrows raised high. “I don’t have a baby. Not yet, anyway. You, and I will start on that soon, though.”

My stomach felt like emptying again, even though I knew there wasn’t anything left inside of it.

The thought of making a baby with Maxim absolutely made me want to gag.

“Did Louise have the baby? Is that who’s crying? Is she here?”

His lips formed a thin line across his face. “None of that has anything to do with you. Eat your supper. I might be in later.”

With that, he turned on his heel and strode back out the door.

I heard the lock, and bar go back across the door again.

But, I could still hear the baby crying.

I left the tray of food without taking one bite and decided to lie down.

The trauma of the day was starting to catch up with me. With the number of adrenaline rushes I’d had, my body felt like it was about to crash.

I pulled back the bedspread and slid between the sheets.

I wondered how many times Louise had done the exact same thing in here.

I wondered if she was right now, rocking her, and Nick’s son. Gazing down into his beautiful face as he cried.

It didn’t take long for me to drift off into an unsettled sleep.



“You’ll look after him for me? Please, Evie?” Louise asked as we laid under the hot, Italian sun.

We were both in skimpy bikinis, taking advantage of the beautiful, clear day.

You could see for miles up here on the terrace of the penthouse Nick had rented.

“Why can’t you do it?” I asked her, feeling perplexed.

Louise rolled onto her side and faced me. She gave me a sad, defeated smile. “You know why, sweetie.”

My eyes narrowed on her, and I felt like she was right.

I should know why.

But, I didn’t.

I actively searched my mind for all the reasons.

Nothing popped up.

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