Virgin to Conquer (Taken by a Trillionaire Series), page 10
“I was just telling your father that I would love to have the two of you up to my lake house sometime real soon.”
No way in hell! That is what she wanted to say.
“That sounds like a very pleasant weekend. Make sure you have my father notify me of when,” she answered instead, already planning a convenient illness.
The man beamed at her; his hand came up to rest on her upper arm, and then his finger trailed downward.
“Excuse me. I need some medicine for this annoying headache,” she said, discreetly extracting herself from the man’s slimy grip and walking away. She was on the verge of being sick. How many more of these functions would she have to attend before she’d had enough?
Seeing Derek tonight had been too much. Wasn’t time supposed to heal all wounds? In her case, ten years obviously hadn’t been enough time. Seeing her first love — the only man she’d ever loved — was just too much.
It was time to leave.
Tomorrow would be a better day. That had become her motto for the last decade. One of these days, maybe it would.
As she walked from the party, Jasmine thought back to the day that her innocence had been stolen from her, the day that she’d realized she couldn’t trust her heart, and she certainly couldn’t trust men…
ARRIVING HOME AFTER being out all night, Jasmine felt her knees shaking. As she stepped through the doorway, her father was standing there, his face blotched with color, and spittle flying from his lips.
“I love him, Dad,” she said, firming her shoulders as she faced down the man who instilled the very meaning of the word fear inside her.
“You don’t know what love is. You are only seventeen,” he shouted, stepping closer.
For the first time, she feared he might strike her. He’d never been a caring or engaged parent, but he’d never physically abused her.
“We’re going to get married.” She knew she couldn’t just run away now. If she wanted to be a grown-up, then she needed to make grown-up decisions.
For a moment, his face got even redder, and then his shoulders sagged as he looked at her, anger seeming to fade away as sorrow filled his features.
“Have I been that terrible a father?”
“No, it isn’t that, Dad. It’s just that Derek and I want to be together. His father is starting a new business, so Derek can leave feeling right about it, and he’s going to the city to make something of himself. He will do it, too. He’s smart and strong and brings me such joy,” she said. Maybe her father would really listen to her for once.
Walking over to her, he leaned down and kissed her cheek. “When did you grow up?” he whispered, making her heart leap.
She had never thought he’d be so willing to accept her decision. She’d thought that she would be leaving the house with him hating her, that it would take years for them to reconcile. She loved Derek enough to risk that, but the thought still saddened her.
“I don’t know. Being with Derek is just…just like bees and honey. We fit and he makes me feel grown.” What better explanation was there?
“What is this business his father is attempting? Maybe I can help in some way.”
In her excitement to earn her father’s approval, she never once thought he could be up to no good. This was her dad — the man who had raised her.
“I’m not sure exactly. It’s a computer store, I think.”
“I will speak to the bank, make sure the loan goes through for his new business.”
“You’ll do that, Dad?” How could she ever have thought her father cold or uncaring?
“There isn’t anything I won’t do to make you happy, princess,” he assured her.
They spoke long into the night. She told her father everything, how she and Derek would meet at the church — all of it. Her dad kissed her goodnight and she fell asleep while still planning the future.
That night she called Derek and told him she had a surprise for him, that he would find out at the church when they met. He tried to get her to talk about it, but her dad had told her it would be more meaningful if she did it in person on the day they started their new life.
Because she now had her dad’s permission, she thought it a little silly to meet at the church instead of just having him pick her up, but in her romantic heart, it was what she wanted to do, and her father agreed. The church signified the start of a new life.
She anticipated the surprise on Derek’s face, and the joy that would flow through him.
Two days later, Jasmine had her bags packed and went in to tell her father goodbye. He hadn’t always been the best father, but he had still raised her all on his own, and her eyes filled with tears as she approached him.
“It’s time, Dad,” she whispered, amazed by how much it hurt to leave. The ecstasy of being with Derek forever outweighed the pain, though. And now there wouldn’t be any estrangement; her father was supporting her all the way.
“I can’t believe you are moving to the city. Just remember your promise. You won’t get married without me there.” David was all smiles as he spoke to his daughter.
“I am so happy you want to be there,” she said, throwing her arms around his neck.
“I couldn’t miss my baby girl’s wedding. Before you go meet Derek, can you do me a favor first? I have an important package that needs to be signed for and I have to run to City Hall for a meeting. Would you wait for it before you go?”
Derek didn’t have a cell phone, and she couldn’t reach him at his house, but he would be fine if she ran a little late. He knew from experience that she wasn’t always punctual, and he’d understand. This was a last request from her dad, and they were parting on good terms.
“Of course, Dad. When will the package arrive?”
“It shouldn’t be more than an hour,” he promised before kissing her cheek again and then heading out the door.
It was two hours. Jasmine rushed out the door, and made her way to the church fueled by excitement. She carried only a backpack and a small suitcase filled with items she’d need the most. Her father said he’d send the rest when they reached their destination. Fueled by young love and needing nothing more, she was off.
She couldn’t believe how good her father was being about all of this.
Derek wasn’t there when she arrived, but Jasmine wasn’t worried. He’d probably gotten held up, just as she had. Sitting down on the broken church steps, she looked out at the surrounding woods, listening to the sounds of birds chirping, and squirrels scampering through the tree branches.
When an hour passed, she began to grow concerned. Derek was always on time, and this was a big day for the two of them. Wouldn’t he send one of his cousins if he were going to be this late? She couldn’t imagine that he’d have come and gone. He would have waited, knowing she had been held up since that had often happened while they were dating.
When the sun started to set, she didn’t even notice the tears tracking down her face. Maybe he’d changed his mind. Why? What could have possibly made him do such a thing?
She finally accepted he wasn’t coming and dragged herself home, crying the entire way. When she walked into the house and her father saw her, he took her into his arms, cradling her the way he’d done when she was a small child.
“What’s wrong, Jasmine?” His voice was full of concern.
“He wasn’t there. I don’t understand,” she said between sobs.
“Oh, sweetie, this is what I was worried about,” he cooed, making her cry all that much harder.
When she couldn’t cry anymore, she made her way to her room and lay alone on her bed, clutching the one picture she had of Derek and her to her heart. Something had to be wrong. He wouldn’t have left her there without a valid reason.
Working up the courage to call, she sat with the phone in her hand for almost an hour. Finally, she dialed his house and sat there, holding her breath, as it rang on the other end.
“Hello?” It was Derek. He was home!
She began to smile. Something had come up. It wasn’t that he’d left without her.
“Derek?” she barely whispered. Her throat was raw from all the tears she’d shed.
“I have nothing to say to you,” he growled into the phone.
“I…I don’t understand,” she choked out. Never before had she heard him sound so cruel. His voice was nearly devoid of emotion, just an icy chill running through the line of the telephone.
“You and your father are scum. You’ll one day reap what you sow.”
The call disconnected and Jasmine stared at the phone for what must have been forever.
“Jasmine?” She looked up to find her dad in the doorway.
“I…What… He sounded so horrible,” she said, looking at her dad for answers.
“You shouldn’t have called. He made his decision when he left you waiting for him. I never trusted the boy. That’s why I had wanted to keep you apart, and I shouldn’t have relented, shouldn’t have hoped that he was different. Boys like him want one thing, and once they get it, they throw the girls away like they are nothing more than trash. You are better off without him, Jasmine. You’ll come to see that soon. We’ll just move forward now.”
Jasmine lay back down as her father shut the door. Maybe he was right. Maybe Derek had gotten all he’d wanted and he was now done. Sobbing until exhaustion pulled her under, Jasmine felt she’d lost her innocence that night. Her days of being a trusting teenage girl were gone forever.
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Table of Contents
Virgin to Conquer
Other Books by Melody Anne
Excerpt from: The Tycoon's Revenge
Melody Anne, Virgin to Conquer (Taken by a Trillionaire Series)
Other author's books:
- SeducedSurrenderScorchedSubmitVirgin to ConquerArdenKianThe Tycoon's Proposal
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