Home > Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(11)

Bound to the Bachelor (Montana Born Bachelor Auction #1)(11)
Sarah Mayberry

Leaving her the money was the last asshole act of a man who had done nothing but spread misery in the world, and the more she thought about it, the angrier she got. To an outsider, the bequest would probably seem generous, an acknowledgement of the place she’d once held in Luther’s life. She knew better. He’d left her the money not to acknowledge or support her, but to remind her of the power he’d once had in her life, of how he’d once dominated and owned her mother’s every move, and, by extension, Lily’s. She could almost see him dictating the bequest, confident in the notion his erstwhile, defiant stepdaughter would be too desperate to turn her back on ten thousand dollars, no matter where it had come from. She could imagine him relishing the thought of her being forced to swallow her resentment and disgust and accept his money because she had no choice but to take it.

And the truth? He was almost right. She wasn’t exactly flush with funds. The work she did as an administrative assistant at a small printing works in town wasn’t exactly highly paid, and by the time she covered rent and other living expenses, there was precious little left to put away for a rainy day. If she lost her job – or was forced to quit, as she was last year when her previous boss had made a pass at her – it would only be a matter of weeks before she’d exhausted her resources. Ten thousand dollars was a lot of money. It would buy her a newer, safer car, and leave her with a buffer in case of hard times. It would mean, the next time a boss cornered her in his office, she could knee him with impunity, knowing she had the wherewithal to survive until she found new work.

Vaguely, she was aware of a rousing round of applause, and she dragged herself out of her own thoughts long enough to see Gabriel’s auction was over. Her gaze zeroed in on Josh, who was grinning like crazy.

Good. At least one thing had gone according to plan tonight.

She drank more wine, but the warm wash of alcohol hitting her stomach didn’t do anything to ease the tension in her body. She’d need a vat of vodka for that.

The more she thought about it, the angrier Luther’s actions made her. How dare he reach out from beyond the grave like this? How dare he try to taint the life she’d built for herself? She’d fought long and hard to get to a place where she was happy and safe.

She was momentarily distracted from her brooding when Beau Bennett was announced. He descended the staircase with a sardonic, slightly mocking smile on his lips, his relaxed gait screaming confidence. He looked ridiculously handsome in his dark suit, his body lean and hard. As she’d predicted, the crowd went wild, the floor beneath her feet vibrating as women stomped their feet in unison. She almost felt sorry for Beau for being last in the lineup, since the audience was well and truly liquored up now and really getting into the spirit of things. Hopefully all the interest would mean he’d bring a good price, though. That was what tonight was about, after all.

Buck started his sales patter, and Lily looked down into her wine glass, swirling the red liquid around and around, her mind once again turning to the past.

She’d been barely sixteen when her stepfather’s actions had forced her from her home. Even though she was a virgin, she’d seen enough and heard enough to know what Luther wanted when he walked into her bedroom and slowly pushed the door closed that fateful August night.

She’d been lying on her bed reading, but she’d rolled to her feet instantly, not wanting to be at a disadvantage.

“What are you doing in here?” she’d demanded, her voice wobbly with fear.

“You know,” he’d said.

He was right, she did know. She’d been too scared to put a name to it, but she’d perceived the change in the tempo of his interest since she’d turned sixteen. Ever since he had married her mother two years previously, he had watched Lily, but there had been a subtle shift in recent months. A new intensity to his lingering gazes.

“Get out. I don’t want you in here,” Lily had said as loudly as she could. “If you come any closer, I’ll scream.”

Luther had laughed. “Who do you think is going to come running?”

Lily had simply stared, knowing full well her mother was at work and the only other person in the house was Darren, her fourteen-year-old stepbrother.

“I’ll tell Darren to call the police,” she’d said in desperation.

“Don’t act like you don’t want it. I know you want it,” Luther said, his tone insinuating.

He’d lunged at her then, and she’d screamed. One large hand had covered her mouth and nose, muffling her cries, while the other yanked at her pajama pants, dragging them down. She had twisted and kicked and pushed at him like a wild thing, finally landing a lucky blow on his nose. His grip had loosened, and she’d wrenched herself free, bolting for the door. She’d found Darren in the living room, staring at the TV as though his life depended on it. Luther had followed her, one hand dabbing at the blood dribbling from his nose as he advanced into the room.

Hot Novels
  • Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Chris
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
  • Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2)
  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculi
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
  • Fallen Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #1)
  • Forever Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #3)
  • Ugly Love
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3)
  • Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)
  • Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
  • The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coinc
  • Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
  • Uprooted