Pride in your country. Forgiving your sins…
Cheyenne Preswood arrives in cowboy country hopeful for a new future, one without complications. She has fled the East Coast in search of solace. No man will ever touch her again. Securing a pristine job at Worthington Advertising, she is immediately catapulted into the upper echelon, and tasked with a tough presentation. If she messes up, her career and livelihood will both be on the line. Unfortunately, she’s out of sorts, and in need of the kind of discipline her ex introduced her to months before. After facing up to her desires, she comes across ‘Spanksx’, a firm providing punishment for a price, no questions asked. With barely any hesitation, Cheyenne succumbs to her dark needs and signs up.
Dillon Worthington is a man of power and influence, yet he’s burdened with a dark secret. He’s forced to fight his personal demons on a daily basis, but his past is something he refuses to acknowledge. Unfortunately, in order to secure the future of his company, he may be forced to sign a deal with the devil; destroying a town as a result. When blackmail arrives on his doorstep, Dillon finds himself pitted against his brother for control of his company. As both men face an unknown future, both of them hell bent on winning, they discover that a single woman stands in their way. Anger and lies surround them as they vie for top dog position, and they’re forced to confront the horrible night that tore them apart.
Can Cheyenne forget and trust two men? Can they forgive their sins of the past? Only time will tell, but is it too late?
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit erotic elements, including the spanking of adult women. If such material offends you, please do not purchase.
Cheyenne Preswood glared at her computer screen. There was far too much work on her plate, and her rather haughty boss continued to pile on more. After a quick glance at the time, she took a sip of her now cold coffee, grimacing from the taste. The watered down Chicory flavor was disgusting even when hot. She pushed away her cup and placed her hands on the keyboard. God, she loathed Mondays.
The presentation was due in four days and the weekend had been spent doing nothing but sitting in front of her computer, praying for inspiration. Normally she’d be able to whip something of this magnitude out in a few hours. This time, she’d spent the last two days trying to figure out what the hell to say. She closed her eyes, trying to remind herself why she’d moved all the way across country to cowboy town.
“Hey, sour puss. Want to grab some lunch?”
The girl’s voice was far too chipper. Briana was more like a cheerleader than a co-worker. The perky blonde was always bringing in baked goods or candy, much to the delight of every red-blooded male in the office. “I don’t have time,” Cheyenne managed.
“You have to eat,” Briana said as she stood over Cheyenne’s desk.
The sound was more like a purr, infuriating her. Briana was the boss’s pet. At least, that was the water cooler fader. “Not today.” I’m not into competing today. “You know the Board from Dawson Ranch are due on Friday.”
“Oh, come on. I’ve seen you work under pressure. You’re going to be a shining star.”
Now Cheyenne wanted to rip out her co-worker’s eyes. She plastered on a practiced smile as she thought about hogtying the girl to a stake, flogging her at high noon. Dear God, she’d been indoctrinated into the ways of Montana, rough and tumble style. What exactly was a city slicker doing so far outside her comfort zone? “You know Mr. Worthington expects perfection. We need to acquire Dawson’s business. Speaking of which, don’t you have numbers to crunch for me?”
“Dillon—I mean, Mr. Worthington—has exactly what he needs. I finished my report early this morning. I’ll be happy to send you a copy of the financials.” Briana winked.
“Great.” Of course the buxom chick had completed her portion of the presentation. No doubt with the late night help of Mr. Hot Pants himself. Cheyenne crushed down the laughter bubbling in her throat. While she wanted to hate the girl, she couldn’t. Briana was genuinely nice, having shown Cheyenne around town the very first day on the job. Two months later, they were on their way to becoming friends. Well, not best friends, but more than co-workers who had an occasional drink together, anyway. There was no way she would allow herself to get close to anyone ever again. Not after…
“You’re just not what I need any longer.”
“What do you mean? I’m that same girl you fucked just last night.”
The smile on his face said enough. “I’m moving on. I need a woman who can rise to the occasion, giving me everything I require. I hope you can find someone as well. You’re high maintenance, but my guess is you’ll eventually find a man.”
His expression of self-satisfaction remained furrowed in her mind. “Pig,” Cheyenne whispered under her breath.
“I mean…” She balled her fist. “I really just want to get this completed.”
“Come on, silly. Let’s grab a croissant and some French Onion soup.”
Cheyenne snapped back from the ugly memory, the very reason she’d left Philadelphia in the first place. “Don’t you mean let’s go kill a cow, then serve the hunk of beef up with a side of home-style fries?”
“My, my. Aren’t you in a frosty mood today? Someone piss in your Wheaties this morning?”
“Special K, thank you very much.”
Briana chuckled. “You can’t live on coffee and we actually have fine dining establishments here in hick town, you know.”
“Especially not this crap.” Cheyenne shot her a look and resisted tossing the coffee cup off her desk. Seeing Briana’s scrunched face, she softened. “I’m sorry. I’m just really worried. I heard the owner of Dawson Ranch has tossed four advertising firms on their asses, citing irreconcilable differences. Mr. Worthington all but told me this would make or break my career.”
“You worry too much. I know Mr. Dawson pretty well. He’s a softie. Marshmallows and cream. This is Mr. Dawson’s turf and we’re the only advertising firm he wants to use. We’re a shoo-in.”
“A softie? Doesn’t he rule with an iron fist? Besides, how do you know him?”
“I…” Briana cooed as she leaned over Cheyenne’s desk, “went to school with both of his sons. He knows me very well.”
“Then you do the presentation.” Why in the world had she thought she could come to Montana on a whim? Granted, the job offer had come at exactly the right time, and she did have a corner office with one spectacular view of the mountains. Unfortunately, she had no idea how to develop a stunning advertising package regarding a ranch, cowboys, cattle or anything in between. Win the contract. Win a bonus. How many times had her illustrious boss dangled the carrot?
Her look stern, Briana exhaled slowly. “The entire office is going out to lunch for Mr. Worthington’s birthday. You need to come. You’ll have fun. Before you ask, he adores French Onion Soup. You might even win some brownie points.”
Birthday? Brownie Points? As if on cue, her boss strode past Cheyenne’s door. There was no mistaking the sound of his cowboy boots clicking against the wooden floor. She swallowed hard and shivered. His dark blue jeans looked particularly tight today, accentuating his long legs and chiseled hips.
“Interesting. You’re blushing just like you do every time our illustrious boss is anywhere near you. I think you might just have a bit of a crush on the man in charge.” Briana reared back in a fit of giggles.
Cheyenne tossed a pen in her direction. “Very funny. He’s an arrogant ass with an attitude and… Shit! I mean he’s a busy guy and not my type.”
“Honey, you can say anything you want around me. Get up. We’re going to lunch. We celebrate birthdays in style around these parts.”
“No can do.” There was no way Cheyenne was going to any event with Dillon involved. None. Zero.
Briana placed her hands on her hips. “Fine. Be that way, but you owe me. We’re going out Friday night. I won’t take no for an answer.”
“If I still have a job after Friday, you’re on.”
Cheyenne waited until Briana left her office then eased nonchalantly out of her chair and pushed the door shut. Exhaling, she closed her eyes briefly and counted to five. She could use a little privacy. A cold shiver trickled down her spine. She hadn’t allowed herself to think about John in at least a couple of weeks. There was no need to. He was the past. He would never be allowed back in life. He was… Wonderful. Sexy. Perfect. “No, he’s an asshole.” He’d opened up her world, dragging the shy girl from her shell and introducing her to kinky aspects involving submission and spanking. Then he’d found himself a younger version, one with bigger tits.
She growled and walked to the window. Even the beautiful view couldn’t drag her out of her doldrums. She was a lost puppy without John and his staunch requirements, rules he’d imposed after only a week of dating. Infractions resulted in spankings and corner time. Palming the glass, she thought about how much she’d blossomed under his tutelage. Now she had no one and no rules to follow. Good riddance.
If only she believed that. She longed for a strong man in her life and strict obedience. What she needed was a hard spanking. “What am I saying? You are a strong woman. You don’t need a man to fulfill you.” The mantra said far too many times, she desperately wanted to accept her new life. Maybe a night out on the town would help. First things first. She had work to do.
Grabbing a bottle of water from the small refrigerator, she sat back down, determined to finish a rough draft today.
Ten minutes later she slapped her hand on top of her desk. She’d typed a single sentence and it was crap. What in the world was she going to do? Shopping. Purchasing a few panties or a teddy from Victoria’s Secret used to work. She hadn’t used her credit card since her move. Today was the perfect time for a treat.
She shot a look at the door and clicked on Internet Explorer, typing in Google. Her fingers hovered over the keys. Hitting the ‘V’, she hesitated as an idea hit her. A single bead of sweat trickled down the side of her face. Why was she so nervous? She glanced over her shoulder, then typed in ‘spanking’. Instantly her screen filled with numerous titles, blogs and forums, porn videos and various sites listed for disciplinary needs.
Two more drops of perspiration slid down from her forehead. She wiped them away furiously and bit her lower lip. “Shit. Shit. Shit.” Looking at porn sites on company time and on her employer’s computer equipment was a surefire way of getting herself fired. Well, she wasn’t actually looking at porn, just at Google. There was no harm in scrolling.
Cheyenne hummed as she looked at the first page, then a second. By the time she was on page eight, she’d grown antsy. There was nothing appealing. What did she think she’d find, anyway? About to give up, she decided on looking at one final page. “What the…”
1-888-SPANKSX. The single sentence underneath the listing was intriguing. One stop shopping for a disciplinarian in your area. She’d heard of such things, but had never explored the option. She hadn’t needed to. Until now.
“Bad girl,” she whispered. This was ridiculous. Besides the fact she certainly would never consider hiring a stranger to spank her, let alone could afford such a service, Montana certainly couldn’t be prime BDSM territory. Still, the concept was far too tasty. “Just a look.” A simple click took her to an elaborate website, vivid in color.
She laughed aloud and clicked out, her fingers shaking. Sniffing, she looked out the window. She was mad. Insane. Overcome with curiosity, she selected the link again. After another darted look toward the door, she read the single paragraph, a statement that promised to find the ‘right disciplinarian in your area for a reasonable price’. There was nothing but a single drop down box. “Find one in your state. Right.” She wrinkled her nose, took a gulp of water and slid her mouse on the pad.
As she scrolled down the list she grew excited. Her pussy tingled with longing as she thought about the last time John had spanked her. The passionate night had been a single day before she’d discovered him in his office, and he hadn’t been alone. The girl was between his legs, sucking his cock while he was on a conference call. The scene was one she’d never forget. The temper tantrum she’d thrown would be a story his entire staff would tell for years to come.
“What?” She jerked up to the edge of her seat and couldn’t resist. There it was. There were several disciplinarians listed in Montana, including Missoula. This had to be fate. There was no additional information, only a number to call, a testimonial button and a Members Only box. She scribbled down the series of digits in red ink. Her heart fluttered as she thought about the concept. A hard spanking. Being taken across a man’s knees.
She shrank back. Nerves weren’t her only issue. What if someone found out? Though she wrestled with the idea, she remained fascinated. Testimonial. Who in their right mind would give one for the entire world to see? Grinning, she stole a look over her shoulder but had to find out. Of course she couldn’t be the only insane chick in the world.
After clicking the button, she moved closer to the screen, scrolling down the dozens of supposed referrals from unknown people across the country. She selected a woman who appeared to be in her early fifties. The raven-haired lady seemed normal enough. She was wearing a suit and the camera shot was obviously in an office setting. “What the heck.”
“Hi, I’m not certain what to do here.” The woman’s face seemed pensive.
“Just tell us why you selected Spanksx.” The voice was masculine, forceful but not in a demanding way.
The woman cleared her throat. “I’m… Well, let’s call me Rhonda.”
“Okay, Rhonda, why did you seek out Spanksx?”
Rhonda shifted forward, placing her closed hands on top of her desk. “I found Spanksx by a recommendation from a friend of mine. She told me the company was well respected and could offer what I need.”
“Please tell everyone exactly what you desire.” The male voice was deeper, the words almost a whisper.
“I crave…” Cheyenne could see a bead of perspiration trickling down Rhonda’s forehead. “I yearn to be disciplined on a regular basis. I find I’m tense the majority of the time. I long for a firm hand from a man who doesn’t care I’m the CEO of a company.” Rhonda laughed.
“Go on,” the man encouraged.
Rhonda brushed away the drop of sweat. “Well, I’ve had several boyfriends, two worthless husbands, and not one of them understood me. In fact, the last man I allowed into my life was a total loser. He made fun of me when I suggested just once that he spank me.” She held out her index finger toward the camera. Her face was flushed yet her eyes twinkled.
“Then you called Spanksx to help with your needs.”
Cheyenne raised her eyebrows. Did the man actually chuckle?
“I did, and during the last few months, I’ve been happier than any other time in my life. My Master has been able to give me a moment of true salvation.” Rhonda purred as she spoke.
Now Cheyenne rolled her eyes. How could a series of spankings give the woman salvation? She flipped to a second testimonial, then a third. When she was on her sixth, she stood up and walked toward the window. “What could it hurt?” I can contact them and perhaps meet with a single disciplinarian. That’s not making a commitment. She paced the floor as the sixth glowing reverie of his experience floated into the room. Even men were happy being punished like bad children. “Nutcase. You’re a nutcase.” She continued to tingle with excitement.
After hesitating for a few additional seconds, she plopped back down in her chair, swiveling back and forth. This was a simple decision. The idea was a good one. Before she did anything she’d check the Better Business Bureau. Laughing, she wondered if the company had registered. Oh yeah, a spanking business. She closed her eyes and envisioned a man dressed in all black, taking her over his knee.
This was complete foolish behavior. She was out of her mind. Go for it. What do you have to lose? You’re talking about a phone call. Chicken. The little jabbing voice seemed to ring in her ears.
She tugged her cell phone out of her purse and fingered the screen. There was no harm in finding out information. This wouldn’t mean a commitment. They didn’t have to know who she was. Or how desperate you are. “Ugh.” Against her better judgment, she dialed the number.
“Thank you for calling Spanksx. This is Marty. How may I assist you today?”
The feminine voice was pleasant enough, very businesslike. “Um, I’m not sure why I’m calling.”
“Are you inquiring about a punishment expert?” Marty asked. There was no condemnation in her voice, merely a professional tone.
“I’m not certain.”
“Well, why don’t you tell me which state you live in, then we’ll go from there.”
“Montana,” Cheyenne blurted out, regretting her stupid spontaneity.
“Excellent. And the city?”
“Missoula.” The word was little more than a whisper.
“Fabulous place. I used to live there. Let’s see what we have.”
Cheyenne shrunk in her chair. Nausea crept into her stomach, bile rising into her throat. She was going to throw up.
“We have six who are close enough. Would you prefer a man or a woman?”
Marty exhaled. “Would you prefer a male or female disciplinarian?”
“I’m sorry. I assumed this is for you. Are you perhaps giving a gift to someone?”
A gift? People gave services of a hard spanking for some kind of a treat? “Me. Yes, it’s for me and… I, um, think a man. I mean a male. I mean—”
“There’s no reason to be nervous. We have over one hundred thousand very satisfied clients. I assure you, our experts are trained in the art of providing the discipline you need. In fact, there are various types of punishment, ranging from controlled corner time, soap in the mouth, over the knee hand spanking, as well as the use of implements of your choice. There are additional and more severe services that we can discuss if you’d like. I’m certain one of our men can provide you with top notch service.”
More severe? Cheyenne envisioned raw torture and shuddered. She knew she was going to burn in Hell. Stars floated in front of her eyes and she was ready to end the call.
“I tell you what. Why don’t I give you access as if you were a member? That way you can fill out the appropriate paperwork, indicating your likes and needs. When you submit, one of the staff will try to identify the best person for you. We are very good at matching the right people together. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.”
Cheyenne opened her mouth more than once, but the words were stuck in her tightened throat.
“Don’t worry. You’re under no obligation even after you submit the form. We are here to please you, provide you with exactly the right kind of correction for your behavior, and everyone is different.” Marty bantered on about the training methods used for their qualified staff, the number of five star reviews and a money back guarantee. “Are you ready for the code?”
Lightheaded, Cheyenne was swimming in self-doubt. “Sure. I mean yes, please.” She scribbled the six digits onto the paper with the 888 number and managed to say thank you. As soon as she ended the call she dropped the phone. She’d lost control of her good senses.
* * *
Dillon Worthington stopped just outside her door, hesitating before he knocked. He exhaled until his lungs were devoid of air, then tapped lightly on the cool wood. Hearing nothing, he twisted the doorknob. Seeing Cheyenne’s shocked expression, he waited before walking inside. “Did I interrupt anything?”
Cheyenne fumbled with papers on her desk, shoving them under a file folder. “Uh, no sir. I was just trying to get a handle on the Dawson account.”
“A handle? I hope this is in no means suggests you haven’t figured out a marketing avenue. The financials are prepared. The date set. All we’re waiting for is the piece tying everything together.” He resisted smiling given her flushed face. She was befuddled, something he hadn’t anticipated.
“No, I mean yes. I mean…” Her eyes darted to the floor as she rose to her feet. “I know exactly what I need to present to their board. I’m just putting the finishing touches on my strategy.”
“Excellent, since we’re going to have a dry run on Thursday at ten.” Dillon had admired her spunk since the day he’d first laid eyes on her. From her raven hair to her intense lavender eyes, he’d been certain she was special, perfect for his company. While her resume was impressive, he had to admit he’d been hooked by her stunning looks. However, he knew her self-confidence had been torn to shreds. Some asshole had worked her over.
“No! I mean of course.”
Walking closer, he stood over her desk, inhaling her perfume. Exotic. Musky. The scent invigorated him. “If you’d like, we can go over what you have now. I’ll be happy to give you some pointers.”
She gripped the edge of her desk, pushing her chair back. She adjusted her posture, inched closer, and gave him a look brimming with confidence. Then she smiled as she tilted her head. “I think it’s bad form to present to the boss before the finishing touches are ready. After all, I do want to rock your world.”
The words managed to turn him on and intrigue him at the same time. Here was the spunk he’d captured when she’d interviewed on a Skype call. He’d been dazzled by her quick wit, her intelligence and, he would never admit to anyone, a beauty that was unassuming. Still, business was business, and there was little doubt in his mind she was stymied about the entire ordeal. Offering her the top position on the team might have been too much pressure, yet his gut told him to allow her free reign. “All right. I can see your point. I’ll anticipate a stellar performance on Thursday.” He gave her a quick nod and turned toward the door, able to hear her strangled exhale. When he reached the threshold, he stopped but didn’t turn around. “Don’t plan anything for Friday night, Ms. Preswood.”
“No. I do require a celebration after winning a large contract.” Dillon smiled. “And for the record, I never lose.”
“Never?” she choked.
“Never. Or…” He chortled as he turned his head. Her eyes were wide open. “There will be strict consequences to pay. I believe in swift discipline for anyone who defies, lies or breaks the rules.” The words came easily, dragging him from a past he’d thwarted for over a year.
Cheyenne bit her lower lip and nodded several times.
She was more than just nervous. She was hiding something. His cock twitched. Perhaps he’d free her from the mask she wore like a badge of honor. He left the office and was satisfied he’d given her the jolt of current she needed. Cheyenne was a rising star and he’d captured her. Now he just had to figure out how to keep her. There were enough sharks in the water that if she won over the Dawsons, she’d be surrounded by piranhas.
You want more with her than just business. Dillon chuckled. He had a girlfriend. No snacking on the hired help. Not even if you long to tie her down, introduce her to a darker passion? “No, not even,” he stated under his breath. Complications he didn’t need.
He walked toward his office, frowning when he saw the open door. Taking a deep breath, he strode inside. The smell of cigar smoke wafted toward him. “Wallace. What are you doing here?”
“Don’t you mean Dad? Perhaps Father?” The white haired man laughed as he puffed on his cigar, blowing streams of smoke into the air in ringlets from a perfect ‘O’ shaped mouth.
Dillon closed his door and shook his head. “We left the affection at the door almost twenty years ago. What are you doing here?”
“I hear you’re fighting with the big boys for the Dawson account,” Wallace stated with little inflection.
“I wouldn’t say fighting. We’re the only advertising firm left in the entire West Coast vying for the contract.” Dillon strode to the long mahogany bar at the end of his office. Any time his father visited, a drink was in order. Wallace Worthington had once been the most influential man in Montana. Some said he could have run for President.
Wallace chuckled. “Don’t be a fool, son. There are two New York firms on the top of the list and one out of Atlanta. We’re nothing more than an effort to placate a few aging cowboys on Dawson’s Board of Directors.”
“That’s bullshit!” Dillon glared at his father, his hackles raised. He grabbed a single glass, enjoying the pressure in the tips of his fingers. Get control. Don’t let him see you sweat. He turned away. His father always had a single reason for his unannounced visits and they usually pissed Dillon off.
“For a man who’s as greedy as I was early in business, I would think you’d have everything in order, even going as far as finding out all the dirty little secrets furrowed in the bowels of the other firms.”
“Dirty little secrets, Father? Oh, yes. Something you excel at,” Dillon said snarkily as he laughed.
“While you, dear boy, excel at greed.”
He snapped his head in his father’s direction. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m getting at.”
“Greed. There’s nothing wrong with trying to make money. You taught me that, Daddy dearest. The American way. Remember?” He fingered the bourbon bottle. What was his father getting at?
“Just be careful what you ask for, because in achieving all you think you desire, you could lose everything you care about.”
For years, he’d longed for his father to be remorseful, to beg for forgiveness. He’d wished since he was a small boy that Daddy dearest would actually care about his family. “I’ll take that under advisement.”
“A little early to be drinking, son. Don’t you think?”
Huffing, Dillon jerked a bottle of aged bourbon from the shelf, unscrewing the cap as he grumbled under his breath. He poured an ounce, then two more. Hell, it was his birthday. “I have faith in my team and we are going to win the account.” He took a sip, then a gulp before turning to face his father.
“Well, that’s good to hear. I don’t want another loser in the family. One is enough.” Wallace twirled his cigar and plopped down on the leather chair behind Dillon’s desk, immediately placing his feet across the surface.
“Why don’t you leave Jess alone? He’s doing just fine now.” Dillon loathed the way his father chastised his only other child. No wonder the kid had left town, preferring to deal with snakes in another location. He hadn’t heard from Jess is almost three months. Usually no news was good news. Usually.
“You conveniently forget that you’ve bailed your brother out of jail more than once.”
“Jess is just…” What could Dillon say? As he heard the snicker slipping past his father’s lips, he cringed, anger boiling deep within. He walked to the window and placed his hand on the glass. The heat of the waning afternoon sun was comforting. After a few seconds, he glanced over his shoulder. “Let’s just cut the bullshit. Okay? You’re here for a reason. What the hell is it? I don’t have time to play any games. Run along and play with your toys and all the little girls who seem to think you’re fabulous.”
After a full minute, Wallace rose to his feet, pushing the chair back with force. The metal back hit the wall, clanging with a slight echo. His eyes twinkled when he spoke. “I have something for you.”
“Whatever you have, I don’t want it.”
“Defiance was always your strong suit, however you have no choice, especially since you seem to want to run the world.”
“Just my fair share of it, anyway,” Dillon mused as he shot his father a harsh look.
“Exactly my point.” Wallace reached into his pocket, pulling out a sealed envelope. He held the crisp white linen in his hand for a few seconds before reaching out, his smile never waning. “You gave me no choice.”
Dillon eyed the delivery, stepping away and shaking his head. “As I said, I don’t want whatever you have to offer.”
“Trust me son, this isn’t an offer. This is possibly the only way in which you won’t corrupt what’s left of your soul.”
“Corrupt? How fucking dare you!”
His father looked his son up and down. “You truly don’t think I know what’s going on? You don’t have any idea people still seek my advice?”
“And that matters why?”
“Listen to me, son. I’m going to give you a single piece of advice, one I hope you at least listen to.”
“Get out!” Dillon pointed toward the door. “Before I throw you out.”
“You forget; I still own a portion of this firm. This decision you need to think about. I suggest it’s one you make wisely. You’re a good man, perhaps too polished to be in the political battleground. Selling your soul as well as everything your family has worked for won’t make you happy or erase the past.”
“You mean because enemies disguise themselves as family, laying mines at every turn?” For a few seconds he was allowed behind his father’s stern and structured mask. In the man’s eyes he saw a tortured soul.
“You forget. I know who you really are.”
Balling his fists, Dillon counted to five before speaking. “You know nothing about me. Nothing. You were never around when I was growing up, always on a business trip or partying with women. Maybe that’s why Jess turned out the way he is; damaged goods. I know for certain that’s why Mother died. Of a broken heart because of the bastard you are.” He’d never spoken the words he’d thought his entire life. His anger had nearly consumed him, dragging him into a darkness he hadn’t anticipated. In the comfort of his own intense needs, he’d found solace. His breathing ragged, he placed his hand over his heart, holding back tears.
“Something I’ll never forgive myself for.”
“Right. Tell me another lie.”
Wallace tipped his head and dropped the envelope on Dillon’s desk. “I’m certain you’ll be calling me.”
Waiting until his father had walked to the door, Dillon snorted. “I doubt that.”
Wallace rested his trembling hand against the doorframe. “Happy birthday, son.”
The echo of his father’s laughter gave him a series of shivers, yet he’d seen the mist in the man’s eyes. He stared at the envelope before yanking it off the desk, ripping the flap open. His hands shaking, he opened the thick bundle. The words dulled his senses.
“You son of a bitch.”