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Forbidden Fruit: Becky Pays Hubby's Debt
Forbidden Fruit: Becky Pays Hubby's Debt
The End (For Now)
© Copyright 2017 by Deborah Cockram and After Midnight Press
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Everyone in this story is 18 or older.
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Becky fingers the edge of the card, glancing around the table. There were three men seated with her, all doing the same, looking at their cards, then scanning the table. Each one let their eyes linger a little longer on Becky.
Becky didn’t look down at her cards again – she’d learned long ago to commit the cards to memory with a quick glance, showing no reaction, spending the rest of a betting round simply watching the other players, their reactions.
Darren, sitting opposite her and dealing the cards, chewed on his gum. He’d been chewing the same speed, with the same level of power applied by this jaws, for the entire game. As best she could tell, he was as good as she was at hiding his emotions.
No wonder he’s taken so much from Pete, she thought.
Pete is Becky’s husband, an older man who swept her off her feet with flowers and flashy jewelry and fast cars. They’d been married for three years – since Becky was 20, Pete 42. Her family had cautioned her about getting involved with a man so much older – her own dad was only 41 when she and Pete married – but even more they cautioned that Pete was just a bad guy. Too superficial, too caught up in the trappings of all his belongings, riches he couldn’t easily explain.
Life had been great for a couple of years, until the money began to dry up – seems Pete had gotten a huge inheritance a decade earlier and had blown most of it by the time they were married. The past year he’d gambled away most of what little he had left in a desperate attempt to win a big payday.
And then came the worst, he lost the house in a card game. Sitting here, likely in the same room where Darren gambled away their home, Becky recalled going to Darren just last week, begging him to let them keep the house, to find some way for them to pay off Pete’s debt. She closed her eyes, though she knew that was a no-no at the table, while the memory flashed through her head.
She had walked into Darren’s office – it was a dingy little place in a small building that housed a whole-in-the-wall restaurant downtown, far more rundown than what she would have expected from someone with the wealth Darren had. A large man who was all chest and shoulders, with no neck to speak of, had showed her into Darren’s office, in the back of the grimy little restaurant.
“ Yes?” he said, not even bothering to look up from his computer.
“ I…I’m Becky Tanner,” she stuttered, her voice cracking just a bit. She hated what she was doing, begging, and she was scared.
She nodded. “Pete Tanner’s wife.”
The man stopped what he was doing, looked up at Becky and leaned back in his over-sized leather chair.
“ You’re too young to be his wife,” he said. “And much too hot.”
She forced a smile – Becky knew she was hot, and she had dressed to show it off, wearing a red skirt that didn’t quite reach her knees, a tight white silk button-down blouse, red stockings and red heels.
“ I’m…I have a thing for older men,” she said, feeling silly as she bowed her head and batted her eyes in what she hoped was a demure gesture.
He laughed. “And losers, too,” he said. “What can I do or you?”
She looked at the two visitor chairs next to her. He motioned for her to take a seat. She did. With a little glance he motioned for the large no-neck man to leave. He did.
“ I’m here to ask…to plead with you…to please not take our home.”
Tears welled, and she fought to keep them at bay. Everything she had done to this point – selecting the clothes to wear, acting demure – had all been fake, affectations meant to help sway Darren to her way, to somehow help him want to give in to her request. The tears, though, they were real, and she grew frustrated at her inability to control them as one tear streaked down her cheek.
“ Well, honey, I’m afraid that’s a done deal.”
Becky dropped from her chair, down on her knees, her hands on the front edge of his desk. “Please, Mr….” she wasn’t sure what his last name was.
“ Just Darren,” he said.
“ Please Darren, don’t take our house.”