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Chapter 8

  • Chapter Eight
  • Melody rocked in the rocking chair staring down at her beautiful daughter as she nursed. She loved the rosy bud of her lips, her button nose the mass of jet black hair atop her head and her eyes. Her eyes both excited and haunted her. She had the signature Albury eyes—brown with flecks of green. Melody’s heart beat heavily under her rib cage at the thought of Ruiz.
  • Has it actually been a year since I last saw him?
  • Yes, it had. Their daughter was two months old, a full term baby. She’d actually stayed longer than ten months and Melody kept thinking she was waiting for mommy to call daddy so that he could welcome her into the world. She’d been tempted a few times, to call him, but she always chickened out, afraid of the repercussions, too scared of Antonio. He had been the worst thing that could have ever happened in her life and if it wasn’t for her baby she wasn’t sure where she would be.
  • Esmeralda Mélodie Albury was the only thing that had held her together that year. She named her precious bundle after Ruiz’s grandmother and herself but in French. Ruiz had driven her crazy pronouncing her name ‘the French way’. She teared up just thinking about how it moved from being a means of torture to sighs of pleasure when he’d finally made love to her taking her treasured virginity. The memory of his touch on her skin made her shiver with residual delight. She craved his touch, but only had his memories to hold her over. She felt foolish now over their last fight. Compared to her current situation, it was ridiculous! But the hurt had left her open, vulnerable and that’s when Antonio swooped in for the kill. Now she was married to him, with no way out unless one of them died, but it couldn’t be her—it wouldn’t, not until her daughter was safe, so that meant doing whatever he wanted. She was just glad his threats to bed her were just that, hollow threats meant to torment her, but to be on the safe side, she locked her bedroom door every time he was in the manager’s house and she made sure she had the only key to the room.
  • Esme’s suckling grew slow as her eyelids began to droop. Melody smiled, completely enthralled by her. She was finally falling asleep and Melody could now—could what? Antonio had made sure she had nothing to do with the running of the hotel. In fact, the last time she went out was when she went to the hospital to give birth and she’d been all alone. She’d cried for Ruiz, her brother, Riana, and Loraine. Hell, she’d even cried for Reno. She wanted to go home, she wanted her family back. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her life under Antonio’s control.
  • The banging on the door made her jump and so did Esme, her eyes flying wide open and she began to whine. Melody held her to her shoulder and tried to calm her, but that was impossible with the banging and shouting. Melody buttoned up her shirt with one hand as she stood up and moved to the door, rocking Esme.
  • “What do you want Antonio?” she demanded careful not to shout.
  • “Get out here now!”
  • “Why?”
  • “Because I said so, merde!”
  • Melody rolled her eyes, unlocking and swinging open the door. Antonio stood at the other side, in just his swimming trunks and a towel slang over his heaving shoulders and judging by his ugly glare clearly mad about something.
  • “What do you want Antonio?” she repeated her first question.
  • “Your stupid lover is back and he has fired me!” he yelled making Esme jump again.
  • Melody glared at him. “Keep your voice down or—” Then his words sank in and she felt her body go cold. “M-my my lover?”
  • Antonio smirked at her. “Oh yes. Your lover—well, old lover because I mentioned that you were my wife and he didn’t seem to care. He didn’t bat an eyelash. I believe your love has forgotten you. He was quite happy to keep Cheri in his room once I left—”
  • “Enough!” The last thing she wanted to hear was the antics of the hotel’s personal whore. And Ruiz, how could he? But what did she expect? She sent him away, slept with someone else hours after their break up. Did she expect him to remain celibate? God it hurt just thinking about him with another woman but she’ll be damned if she lets Antonio see it.
  • Keeping her expression neutral she asked with a cool tone, “Why are you telling me all this Antonio? Get to the point.”
  • He gave her a menacing glare as he moved to stand right in her face. “Get rid of him Melody. Tell him to go back to where he came from, that the hotel is in good hands. I want him gone tonight!”
  • Melody shook her head with a sad chuckle. “I can’t do that, unless you want the hotel shut down. Ruiz, I’m sure was sent here to either save or board up this place. I ask him to leave and the board of directors will gut this place up and sell it for scrap, then what will you do?”
  • He growled under his breath and stomped away. Melody walked back into her room and laid Esme down. While on Melody’s shoulder she had burped and fallen asleep. She looked so precious in her sleep that seeing her that way never failed to warm Melody’s heart.
  • “Convince him that I can revive the hotel.”
  • Melody sighed turning around. He’d come into her room and that was a big no no. Sternly she pointed to the door and he grumbled, walking back out to stand at the threshold.
  • “You are my wife—”
  • “In name only,” she cut him off. “And the next time you come into my room and near my daughter I’ll forget you’re holding something over my head and sell you out!”
  • He smirked. “I am permitted to see my own daughter.”