Uncovering His SECRET, page 1
Book #5 of Corrigan & Co.
By Crystal Perkins
Copyright © 2015 by Crystal Perkins
Cover Design by Helen Williams
Ebook Formatting by Jesse Gordon
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
About Uncovering His SECRET
Other books by Crystal Perkins
About the Author
About Uncovering His SECRET
She’s heading back to her past to save her first love…
Eleven years ago, Tegan Kelly escaped a fate worse than death with the help of a secret society of women. In order to save the only man she’s ever loved, she’ll have to face her old demons, and all of the names she never wants to be called again.
He can’t forget the girl who betrayed him and then left…
Caleb Hall has never recovered from the cracks Tegan Kelly left in his heart when they were both sixteen. He shunned her then, and wants to hate her now when he finds out just how much she kept from him. But old love is strong, and he realizes that maybe there’s more to their original story than he’s let himself believe.
First love is turning into forever love, but the SECRET Tegan kept from Caleb isn’t the only one they’re hiding. Can they move on from the past, or will uncovering it all cause them heartbreak once again?
Other books by Crystal Perkins
The Griffin Brothers series
Gaming For Love (The Griffin Brothers #1)
Building Our Love (The Griffin Brothers #2)
Creating A Love (The Griffin Brothers #3)
Learning To Love (The Griffin Brothers #4)
Designing The Love (The Griffin Brothers #5)
Working On Love (The Griffin Brothers #6)
Keeping Their Love (The Griffin Brothers #7)
Corrigan & Co. series
Fielding Her SECRET (Corrigan & Co. #1)
Devouring the SECRET (Corrigan & Co. #2)
Rocking a SECRET (Corrigan & Co. #3)
Lessons in SECRET (Corrigan & Co. #4)
Publicly, The Corrigan & Co. Foundation has been supporting women for years. Secretly, five powerful women led by Jane Corrigan have recruited ten agents, sending them to rescue women and children in need, and take down those who exploit the weak. This secret society of women all have unique skills they’ve brought to the foundation. Additionally, they’ve all had training in weapons, etiquette, martial arts, technology, and languages. Helping out friends and family of their five mentors from time to time is something they were told to expect. What they didn’t plan for is falling in love.
About the Corrigan & Co. Foundation and the Society:
• Mitchell Corrigan created the Corrigan & Co. Foundation for his wife as part of his company ten years ago. He stipulated that the foundation would continue as long as there is a Corrigan woman to oversee it.
• Jane Corrigan, Cyndi Evans, Maggie Griffin, Mallory Daniels, and Helen Wilson are the founders of the secret society within the foundation. They focus on helping women and children, but take on other missions from time to time.
• While they assist government and private organizations on a regular basis, they only take referrals for private missions.
• Each founder has recruited, and mentors, two agents.
• The company was founded in Chicago, but has now moved to Las Vegas, where Mitchell was born. On his deathbed, he asked his grandson to move the company headquarters to help revive the economy in his hometown. There are satellite offices all over the world.
• Jane’s grandson, Matt, who is President and CEO of Corrigan & Co., knows of the society. His friends Nathan and Aiden, who he brought in when they all left the military, know as well. This was a decision by the five women when they needed help on a mission that went bad. They do not know all mission details, but help when they are asked.
For The Friends of the Society,
Thanks for all of your support,
input, and love of my books!
Reina and Matt’s wedding was everything we all knew it would be—full of unspoken love, and fake romance. It wasn’t the wedding Reina dreamed of as a little girl, and that’s exactly the way she wanted it. She loves Matt more than life itself, and he loves her just as fiercely. But since he won’t admit that, she made sure that none of what happened yesterday was real. They’re really married, but that’s about it. She wore a dress she could tolerate, yellow diamonds she couldn’t, and a smile that anyone with half a brain could tell was fake.
They didn’t even take a real honeymoon, which is why I’m walking to Reina’s office right now. She called and said that there was someone coming in who needed our help. I just got done with my suspension from missions, so she was offering it to me first. All I know is that it’s some kind of personal protection job.
I walk into the office and stop dead in my tracks. The woman in the chair sees me at almost the exact moment I see her and rockets to her feet as she does.
“Hello, Mrs. Hall.”
“You two know each other?” Reina asks.
“Yes. We do,” I say, trying not to show any emotion.
“She can’t be the one. She can’t help. My son would never believe I hired her as my assistant.”
“Son? This is about Caleb?”
“That’s none of your business. You made sure of it when you cheated on my son and broke his heart.”
“I didn’t cheat on Cal, and believe me, what he did to my heart was much worse.”
“People saw you leave that bedroom in your bra and panties.”
“That may very well be, but no on
“Greg told Caleb what happened.”
“Don’t sugarcoat it for my benefit. He told the whole town what he wanted them to hear. That doesn’t mean it was the truth.”
“I want to believe you, Tegan, I do. You were like a daughter to me for so many years. But you weren’t yourself after that night, and you didn’t try to defend yourself. The girl I knew wouldn’t have let it all go so easily.”
“Yeah, well, when they boy I loved more than life itself called me a slut without even giving me that chance to defend myself, it kind of broke me.”
And nothing and no one have ever been able to put me back together. Not only because of what Caleb did, how he believed someone else over me. But because of what happened after. And what would’ve happened if Cyndi Evans hadn’t saved us. Because as a sixteen year old girl, what my parents had planned for me was out of my control, but would’ve destroyed me for good.
I have control now, though, and years of ignoring that stupid ‘S’ word people like to throw around like it’s nothing. Like it doesn’t hurt a girl to be called that. Even if she does enjoy sex. Or if she’s just using sex to try and get over a boy, or the hurt he’s caused her.
“If Caleb’s in danger, I’m doing this mission. I may not be able to be the point person, but I’m going to be there as back-up.”
“Teeg, are you sure?”
“Yeah, Reina. I am.”
It’s time for me to go home and confront my demons. And maybe even the Devil himself. I have to do it because despite my scarlet “S” and the hate Caleb spewed at me all those years ago, I still love him. God help me, but no one has been able to make me forget him, and what could’ve been. I gave up hoping that we’d be together years ago, but I can make him listen to me now when he wouldn’t back then. I’ll hold him at gunpoint if I have to, but he will listen to me. And maybe I’ll even let him meet our son.
* * *
My mom is so worried about me and the stupid threats I’ve been receiving that she’s off in Las Vegas hiring me some private security. I’m not interested in any of that shit. It’s a coward who writes a note telling me to scrap my deal or else. Or else, what? Face me like a fucking man—or woman—if you want to be taken seriously. I’ve worked too hard on everything to give in either way, but writing me a note isn’t going to have me shaking in my boots.
The woman in my life is worried, though, so I’ll play along. Well, I should say the important woman in my life is worried. Delia’s been in my bed almost every night for the past year, but she’s just a diversion. The ring on her finger makes her—and everyone else—think I’m over the girl whose name is only whispered in our small town. The girl who betrayed me and threw away the love I thought we felt for each other.
I’ll say her name, because just like whoever’s threatening me, she’s too chicken to show her face around here. Which saves me from having to ignore her, because God knows if she was in front of me, I couldn’t hide the fact that she’s still “The One.” But that will never happen. Not after what she did to me. Just thinking about it makes my anger flare up. Tegan Kelly can suck my dick—and from what I’ve heard, she probably would, without even knowing it was me.
It’s time to come clean with my friends. Not about my son, Ethan—they all know and love him already. No, I need to come clean about where I’m from and why I’ve hidden it from everyone for so long. All the mentors know, and so does Bradley Hall. He helped me get out of Hell, otherwise known as the town I grew up in, and now he’s here in Vegas overseeing the literacy project Scott Griffin convinced him bring to town for his wife, Yasmin.
It’s been good for E to have a family member other than me around. He knows who his dad is, and that we broke up when we were sixteen because of a misunderstanding. Only Cyndi and Brad know everything that happened that night, though. I wanted to keep it that way because I was embarrassed by my past. I know I shouldn’t be since everyone in the Society has endured pain of one kind or another. We wouldn’t be so good at our jobs if we hadn’t. But I still feel like a scared teen when I think about what happened to me.
I just wanted to keep my pain for myself. I’ve already been analyzed by the shrink Cyndi sent me to when she saved me. I don’t want my friends to look at me differently or think I’m not as strong as I work hard to come across as being. I also don’t want them to ever realize that all the men…they were all because the one man I can’t have called me some names. Names I felt I had to live up to because I was hurting so badly, even though I wasn’t even close to what he and everyone else said I was. And because I was pregnant with a baby I wanted even more than him, but was almost forced to give up. So yeah, I was hoping to never tell my friends the whole truth, but in order to protect my son’s father, I’m going to have to tell them at least a little more of it.
We’re between missions, so all nine of us, plus Reina, walk into the conference room. She’s still technically one of the agents, even though she’s now in charge, but we expect Jane Corrigan to start looking for a new recruit soon. I look to all of them and return their curious expressions with a small smile. Stella is the hardest to look at—I’ve lied to my best friend for too many years for her not to be hurt when she finds out. Our friendship has survived a lot, and I hope my secrets aren’t going to be enough to break it for good.
“Hi,” I say, taking a deep breath. “I appreciate all of you coming in today. I-I have some things to tell you. Things that no one in this room knows. I can honestly say that I don’t know if I’d have told you—any of you—if the current situation didn’t call for it. I love you guys, but my past is…well, it’s not pretty.”
“Teeg, you know you can tell us anything,” Stella tells me. “But if you don’t want to, it’s okay.”
“I don’t, but someone came in for help earlier and, well, I have no choice. Ethan’s father is in danger, and whoever goes undercover will need to know everything in order to help protect him.”
“Well, fuck,” Jade says.
“I think Teeg—and—Nate would prefer it if you didn’t,” Reina tells her with a chuckle.
“Huh? What? Me? I’m doing the mission?”
“Yes. Mrs. Hall is very concerned about her son, and after seeing the communications that have been sent to Caleb, I have to agree that someone wants to harm him if he goes through with the deal he’s brokering. She thinks someone posing as her new assistant will be the best way in without drawing any extra attention.”
“What kind of deal is it?”
“Caleb’s discovered an alternate fuel that can work in regular gas tanks. It can be added to gasoline or used on its own. He’s been working on it for years—it was his dream as a teenager. He developed it individually and is now selling it to his family’s oil company,” I answer.
“Wait. I just got what you’re saying. Caleb Hall is Ethan’s dad? He’s a scientific genius. Like puts me to shame in level of genius. Hell, he might even put Isa to shame,” Audrey says.
“He’s also a damn fine baseball and football player. He’s the whole package,” Ainsley says with admiration in her voice.
“I once thought so too,” I say with more venom in my voice than I was planning to show today.
“Tell us, Teeg. We love you. Whatever you have to say is okay. I promise,” Stella tells me.
I nod. “Well, first of all, we’re not from Chicago. That’s where Cyndi took me when she rescued me—and Ethan. He wasn’t actually born yet, so I guess he really is from there, but I’m not. It was before the Society was officially formed. In fact, I was her last unofficial ‘mission.’”
“That’s why your records are sealed,” Isa says. “Even I can’t access them.”
“Yes. The mentors wanted to protect me. They did protect me. Anyway, I grew up in a small town in Texas. My parents were—are—small ranch owners. A ranch that’s next to the Hall’s place. Theirs is not small, and
“I know it’s like a bad cliché, but it really happened that way. I was ten when Caleb first asked me to play. We became best friends immediately. We went on adventures, swimming and catching fish in his creek, riding our horses for hours—just being kids. Until we weren’t.
“One day we looked at each other and both realized that something had changed. I noticed the muscles he’d gotten from all the work on the ranch, and he noticed that I’d gotten some curves. Being the genius he is, he wanted us to approach this new found attraction logically. So we held hands for a week—only when we were alone, because we didn’t want anyone to know that things might have changed. The next week, we kissed each other’s cheek as well as still holding hands. By the time the third week came to an end, we both knew our friendship was only enhancing the kissing we were doing, but we waited one more week to go public.
“In our town, that meant that we went to the Fourth of July festival together, which wasn’t a surprise to anyone since we always went together as friends. When Cal kissed me in the middle of the town square, well that got us some shocked looks. Everyone was so used to seeing us together that they thought we’d just be friends forever. Especially because a Hall dating a Kelly was comparable to Prince Charming falling for Cinderella. I wasn’t what the town expected for their royal son; although, his family always accepted me as his friend, and then his girlfriend.
“My parents tried to stop us, saying I was playing too far up the food chain, and he would hurt me. I knew he wouldn’t, though. No matter how many of the girls in town paraded themselves in front of him, Cal never gave me any reason to believe he’d leave me. My family may not have had a lot of money, but I never felt that when I was with him. I never felt less, until…until the day he told me that I was.”
Other author's books:
- Society Girls: JenysisTrusted Company (Company Men Book 7)Trusted CompanyCreating A Love (The Griffin Brothers Book 3)Inheriting a SECRET (Corrigan & Co. Book 7)Devouring the SECRET (Corrigan & Co. Book 2)Building Our Love (Griffin Brothers #2)Vital Company
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