This week’s excerpt comes from Monster Book 4. In this scene, Alex has just seen the pictures of his son left behind at work. Can you say Indecent Exposure? I knew you could…
I repeatedly pressed the tenth floor button, taking several deep breaths to calm myself. I could easily go into a rage over this, and my trembling hands were evidence of that. When the doors finally opened, I stormed off the elevator and fanned my face with the envelope, reminding myself that yelling wouldn’t accomplish a thing. But obviously being firm with him had solved nothing. And he was about to destroy his reputation, and bring down the reputation of my company in the process.
How had this happened? How had I raised someone so fucking selfish? So impetuous and immature? I paused in front of his office door. When I knocked and didn’t get an answer, I pounded a little harder.
“Perry? It’s me. Open up, please.” Why did I suddenly feel like he was a teenager again, locking himself in the bedroom and shutting out the world? I half expected his mother to come tip-toeing around the corner with tears in her eyes. She used to get so emotional at his rebellious behavior.
He cracked the door several inches and shot his gaze behind me before finally pulling it open and letting me in.
“So you’ve seen these?” I asked, shaking the pictures and not even trying to hide my mortification.
Crossing his arms and sitting on the edge of his desk, he truly was acting like the big man here.
“Yes, Dad. Half the building has seen them.”
I paced across his office and tossed the evidence on his desk. “Have you any idea who took them?” I don’t know why I asked but I figured he must have some clue.
His laughter sent chills down my spine. “You aren’t seriously asking me that question, are you?”
He rose from his desk and walked to the other side, pulling out the drawer.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Don’t push me, son. If you know who did this, speak up.”
Shaking his head and pulling a sour smile, he removed his phone from the drawer, swiping across the screen and tapping a few times before passing it to me.
Feeling as though I was about to choke, I fell into the chair behind me, staring at the image on the screen with disgust. Liz’s arms were bound above her head and her legs spread wide with a metal bar. A black ball gag kept her mouth forced open. Her face was pained, probably from the metal clamps on her nipples.
I wanted to hurl. I looked at Perry, then back to the phone one last time before he yanked it from my hands. Good thing because I didn’t think I could stare at it any longer.
“Interesting that Liz is the one person not featured in these pictures, don’t you think?” he asked, nodding at the manila envelope.
I swallowed hard, feeling my blood pressure rise as I realized what he was saying. “You’re not suggesting Liz had anything to do with this, are you?”
“That’s precisely what I’m suggesting, implying, and outright saying. No one else would have done this, Dad. No one.”
“I can’t believe that she would be responsible for something so vindictive. With all the women you’ve fucked over the years, there must be someone else pissed off enough to lash out at this level.”
“Hate to break it to you, but there’s no one.”
“What reason would she have? She’s moved on. We’re happy. She even said—”
“Try to follow along here, Dad,” he interrupted, leaning forward on the desk and inching towards me. “Let’s quickly revisit the lunch I had with her last week.”
“The one where you told her to leave me? And I made it crystal fucking clear that if you ever did something like that again, you would lose your job?”
“That’s the one,” he answered, a conceited smile painted across his face. “You see, all these pictures were actually taken in the last week, immediately following that lunch. Coincidence? I think not.”
I gritted my teeth as I stood, meeting Perry’s gaze head-on. “Yes. Let’s quickly revisit that lunch. The one where you threatened her. What exactly did you threaten to do, Perry?”
If Liz were responsible for this, which I highly doubted, she must have felt as though she were backed into a corner.
He let out an evil chuckle. “Why don’t you ask her? In fact, that’s a great idea,” he said pointing at me. “Go home and ask her what her secret is. And when you find out, don’t come crying back to me.”
“If Liz has a secret, I’m sure she’ll tell me when she’s ready.”
He walked around the desk to stand in front of me. “I doubt it. She never told me, and I was the love of her life.”
Perry? The love of her life?
No. Fucking… no.
“Look, discussing Liz at this point is moot. This is about you and the pictures, and fucking damage control. Now I want you to lay low next week while I figure this out. We have a lot of clients who will not appreciate this sort of behavior, and—”
“Discussing Liz is exactly what we’re going to do, Pop. So here’s what will happen. You’re going to skip your romantic getaway, and instead call an emergency staff meeting first thing Monday morning. Liz will come in and say she doctored those photographs out of a jealous rage, crush-like thing she has on me. My reputation gets saved, your precious company is salvaged, and everyone goes home happy.”
Clenching my fists, I was doing my damnedest to keep my cool. “Liz will do no such thing. Even if she agreed to it I wouldn’t let her.”
“I strongly suggest you reconsider. Unless, of course, you want me to show everyone what a whore your girlfriend really is.” He held up his phone and shook it.
I stared at Perry, attempting to look deeper than what I saw on the surface. Because what I did see was unrecognizable. I was beyond angry at this point. I was sick, shocked that he would stoop so low.
All that fury came to a head and my body reacted: fist clenched, swinging, flying, then colliding with Perry’s face. His head flung to the side and he stumbled back a few steps as I stood panting, hand tingling, almost equally shocked at my own behavior. But I must not have hit him that hard because he merely touched his lip, glanced at his finger, and smiled.
“Who’s in control now, Dad?”
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And here is the link to Book 4 on Amazon.
Thanks for stopping by! Book 5 should be available today or tomorrow!