Author:M.S. Force

VictoriousKobo by M.S. Force






Chapter 1




“I can’t fucking believe she left me.” I pace the length of Marlowe’s deck in Malibu, the million-dollar view of the Pacific completely lost on me today. I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest and run over by a Hummer. Natalie is gone, and the pain is excruciating. “She actually left me. She promised she never would. She made promises to me, Mo.”


“Flynn… You need to calm down.”


“Calm down? How do I calm down when my wife has left me?”


“I’m afraid you’re going to have a heart attack or something. Your face is all red, and you’re sweating.”


I rub my chest, feeling as if I might actually be having a heart attack. “What am I going to do, Mo? Tell me what to do.” I’ve told Marlowe only that Natalie caught me in a lie and left.


She looks at me for a long moment before she breaks eye contact and gazes out at the endless ocean. “I don’t know. This is a tough one.”


I flop into the chair next to hers, only because I’m exhausted and despondent and can’t pace anymore. I can’t imagine an hour without Natalie, let alone a week or more. That’s how long she said she needed to “think” before she’ll call me. A week. It feels like a lifetime.


“I broke a window at my house.”




“This morning after she left.”


“Did you tell someone so it can be fixed?”


I shake my head. The window has been the least of my concerns, what with the fucking FBI showing up about five minutes after Natalie left for the airport.


Marlowe picks up her phone and places a call. “Addie, it’s Marlowe. Flynn is here, and there’s some stuff going on. He asked me to tell you he broke a window at his house earlier. One of the big ones in the back of the house. Could you call someone to come by to fix that for him?” She pauses. “Let me ask him.” She holds the phone out to me. “She’d like to talk to you.”


I’m tempted to say no. The only person I want to talk to is Natalie, but that’s not possible. I extend my hand for Marlowe’s phone. “Hey.”


“What’s wrong?” As my faithful assistant for the last five years, Addie can tell with one word that something is very wrong. “I got a call from the pilot that Natalie took the plane you were supposed to take to Mexico to Colorado—by herself—and she’s not answering her phone.”


So she went to see her sister Candace. I’m not surprised. I’m also reminded that the FBI has my phone, and until I get it back, Natalie has no way to call me. I will fix that first thing in the morning. “I, um…” I don’t want to say the words out loud. If I keep saying it, that makes it real. “Our plans changed.”


“Okay… So what’s wrong?”


“Natalie and I… She… We… She’s gone back to New York by way of Colorado to see her sister.”


“Why? For how long?”


“It’s a long story, and I don’t know.”


After a pause, Addie says, “What can I do for you?”


“See about getting the window fixed?”


“Already done. I sent a text from my computer while we’ve been on the phone. I’ll go over there to meet the workers.”


“Thank you.”


“What else?”


“I don’t know yet.”


“I’ll be here when you figure it out.”




“Flynn… Don’t let her get away. No matter what, do not let her get away.”


“I won’t.” But as I say the words, I’m petrified that she’s already left me for good.


“So what did the FBI want with you this morning?” Addie asks.


“How do you know about that?”


“They came to the office first.”


“Apparently, Rogers’s wife told the officers investigating his murder that I was threatening him, and he feared for his safety.”


“You threatened him with legal action, not physical harm.”


“Which is what I told Vickers.”


“Was he satisfied by that?”


“I guess. He went away. For now. I gotta say, Addie, I have a bad feeling they’re trying to pin his murder on me.”


“Let them try. We all know you didn’t do it. You’ll bury them.”


“I didn’t do it, but I wanted to.”


“Wanting to is a long way from actually committing murder. Did he say when you’ll have your phone back?”


“He said it would be sent to the office sometime today.”


“I’ll get it to you as soon as it arrives.”




“Don’t give up, Flynn. Whatever happened between you and Natalie, you can fix it. You guys are the real deal. You can’t give up.”


I cling to her assurances that it can be fixed, but I’m not at all certain that’s the case. “I fucked up bad, Addie.”


“She’s crazy about you. Whatever happened, you have to remember that.”


“I’m trying.”


“I’ll be over to let in the workers to fix the window, and I’ll get you the phone as soon as we have it.”


“I’m at Mo’s now, but I’ll be home later.”


“I’ll see you then. Hang in there, okay?”