Seduced by the HeroBy: Pamela Yaye
“I made you a generous offer, and I’m even willing to overlook the money you stole from me.” His voice was terse, colder than ice. “If you embarrass me or my family in court I’ll make your life a living hell, so I strongly suggest you think long and hard about your decision.”
Dionne broke into a cold sweat and couldn’t stop her hands and legs from shaking.
“Imagine what would happen to your business if the truth came to light.”
Panic drenched her skin. Dionne had one regret in life, and it wasn’t eloping at nineteen with her first husband; it was confiding in Jules about her past. He was threatening to tell the world the truth about her rags-to-riches success story, and his threats were weighing on her. On the surface, she appeared to be strong, but she was stressed out about the divorce and her future.
“You’re not a self-made woman. You’re a fraud, and if you don’t do what I say, you’ll suffer my wrath...”
Dionne was afraid of losing everything she’d worked hard for, but she refused to buckle under the weight of her fear. Jules didn’t control her anymore, couldn’t tell her what to do, and she was sick and tired of arguing with him. “This conversation is over.”
“Like hell it is. It’s not over until I say it’s over. You hear me?”
“Goodbye, Jules. See you in court.”
Without a second thought, Dionne dropped the receiver on the cradle, pushed all thoughts of her estranged husband out of her mind and got back to work.
Two weeks. That’s how long security specialist Immanuel Morretti had been trailing Dionne Fontaine. Always from a distance, he kept a low profile and blended into the background, wisely hiding himself in the crowd. He’d followed her husband’s instructions to a tee, and was surprised to discover everything Mr. Fontaine had said about his estranged wife was true. She was curt, demanding and obsessed with her looks. Beauty treatments, shopping sprees and spa days were the norm. She loved dining at chic restaurants filled with socialites and celebrities.
Parked under a lamppost in a black Ford Expedition with tinted windows, Immanuel watched the front door of Pathways Center, keeping his eyes trained on the brick building in the middle of Peachtree Plaza. His company, Mastermind Operations, specialized in physical, personal and cybersecurity, and his surveillance division was in such high demand he’d had to hire additional staff last week. Since opening Mastermind Operations in Atlanta three months earlier, he’d been working nonstop—meeting prospective clients, training staff and creating innovative ad campaigns. But since Jules Fontaine had insisted Immanuel personally take on his case, he’d had no choice but to clear his schedule and leave his business partner, Malcolm Black, in charge. Jules Fontaine was not someone you refused, and Immanuel knew working for the esteemed CFO could open doors for him.
Immanuel had committed Dionne Fontaine’s daily routine to memory. He’d collected a wealth of information since “meeting” her, but he hadn’t uncovered anything incriminating yet. Her husband was convinced she was having an affair with a younger man, and he wanted physical evidence before their November court hearing. That gave Immanuel eight weeks to prove his worth to Mr. Fontaine, and he would.
Yawning, Immanuel leaned back in his seat and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He’d been sitting in his truck for hours, but had used his time away from the office wisely. He’d read his emails on his BlackBerry, returned phone calls and spoke to his assistant at length.
His BlackBerry sounded, flooding his truck with light. Pressing Talk, he put his cell phone to his ear and greeted his cousin. “Hey, Nicco, what’s up?” Immanuel lowered the volume on the radio. “How’s married life treating you?”
“Great, coz, I couldn’t be happier. You have no idea what you’re missing.”
“I think I do, and I’ll pass. Marriage isn’t for everybody, and it damn sure isn’t for me.”
“I felt the same way until I met my baby,” Nicco said good-naturedly. “You’ll change your mind once you meet Mrs. Right. You’ll see.”
Immanuel shook his head, snorted a bitter laugh. “Mrs. Right is a myth, so don’t bet on it.”
Nicco chuckled, and Immanuel did, too. He didn’t talk to his cousin often, only a couple times a month, but whenever they did, he had a good laugh. Now that he was living in the States, he planned to reconnect with his relatives, starting with Nicco and his brothers, Demetri and Rafael. He was looking forward to getting to know them better.
“How’s Hotlanta treating you? Finally settled in, or still living out of boxes?”