Lucie Werner’s life has never followed the path she envisioned for herself and five years ago, it veered off course yet again. This time after one erotic night of passion with the man she’d been captivated by since the first day she met him. Only Kane doesn’t remember that night, and until recently, he didn’t know that what they shared resulted in pregnancy and the birth of a beautiful little girl. Now that he knows, Lucie fears he’ll never want anything to do with her again because she kept his daughter a secret from him for so long. The sad truth is, she doesn’t blame him.
Kane Steele had never known the type of rage he was consumed by when Lucie told him he was a father – and that she had kept his daughter a secret from him for nearly five years. Although he can’t remember the events of that one fateful night, Kane can’t ignore the feelings he’s had for Lucie all this time. Now, with the secret out, and his relationship with his daughter on the mend, he finds he still can’t fight what he feels for her. Since his memories of that one night are out of reach, Kane’s ready to make some new memories.
Can the two of them overcome Lucie’s deceit and give in to the maelstrom of heat that’s generated when the two of them are close together? Will Lucie be able to overcome the guilt she feels for holding onto this monumental secret for so long? And will Kane be able to forgive her?
Amazing as usual. this was short but still packed a big punch. I love the way the author makes you feel for these characters
Captivated (Club Destiny, 6) - Prologue
“Lucie, I sure as hell hope you know what you’re doing.”
Yes, she was talking to herself. Again.
Lucie Werner walked into the small restaurant close to the club where she worked, glancing around to see whether he’d gotten there first. From what she could tell, Kane wasn’t there, which was just fine by her. She needed a few minutes to figure out a plan. Well, not really a plan. More like the words to explain the horrible, deceitful secret she’d been keeping from him for so long.
Taking a seat in the back, Lucie was grateful that the place wasn’t busy. At three o’clock in the afternoon, she’d been banking on missing the lunch crowd. Considering she had selected this place because it was public, hoping Kane might take that into consideration before he lost his cool, which she knew, for an absolute fact, he was going to do.
When he walked through the front doors a moment later, Lucie suddenly felt sick. Really, really sick. She peered through the restaurant, trying to locate the bathrooms in the event that her stomach decided to revolt against her thanks to those irritating little things called nerves.
“Lucie,” Kane greeted her, taking a seat across from her as he glanced around the restaurant as though expecting someone else to show up and save him.
Nope. Not today. Today it was just her.
“Thanks for coming,” she said, but she had to clear her throat just to get the words out.
“Is everything ok?”
The concerned look in Kane’s eyes was nearly her undoing. If he only knew what she had to tell him, he wouldn’t be looking at her as though he were worried about her health.
“No.” That was a sad truth. Everything was not ok, nor was she sure it ever would be again.
“What’s going on, Lucie?”
Lucie detected his frustration level rising, which was not all that unusual for Kane. He wasn’t a patient man by any means. And since she hadn’t told him what she wanted to talk about when she’d called him earlier, she knew his curiosity was probably getting the best of him.
“I need to talk to you,” she choked out the words, looking around for the waitress. She needed a glass of water or something. Her throat was constricted by the tears she’d been shedding for the better part of the last day and a half. Ever since she made the decision to tell him.
When Kane reached out and touched her hand, Lucie immediately jerked away from him as though he’d shocked her. She couldn’t touch him. No matter how badly she wanted to. In a few minutes, she was pretty sure he’d never want to lay eyes on her again, so this only made it easier.
Fuck that. There wasn’t anything easy about this as far as she was concerned.
“Lucie.” Kane’s tone went from friendly to stern, and she knew she was just wasting time.
“I need to talk to you about Haley,” she began, feeling the tears returning with a vengeance.
“Luke already told me,” Kane responded before she could continue.
“He what?” How could Luke do that to her? Why would he? And why hadn’t Kane come to talk to her?
“Luke told me that he caught you stealing liquor. But he told me that it’s all been taken care of. He understands why you did it.”
Oh, God. That certainly wasn’t what she wanted to tell him, but the fact that Kane didn’t hate her for that alone was promising. Yes, she’d been stealing liquor from Luke McCoy, the owner of the club she worked for, but she’d had a good reason. Well, it made sense in her mind. Except, sort of like everything else, it really didn’t make any sense, she’d just pretended it did.
When she had found out that Haley needed to have surgery because of her chronic illnesses, she’d been desperate. On her salary, she could barely afford the apartment she and Haley lived in, much less the amount of money the doctors told her it would cost to get Haley well.
But that wasn’t why she was here. She needed to focus. To tell Kane exactly what she’d been keeping from him for the last five years.
“That’s not what I want to tell you,” she whispered, unable to stop the first of the tears from breaking free.
“Lucie, you’re scaring me. What’s going on?” Kane asked her again, but this time he didn’t sound concerned. He sounded angry.
“My daughter, Haley,” Lucie swallowed hard, but continued, “she’s your daughter.”
Kane didn’t move.
He couldn’t say a word. Hell, he would be surprised if he were even breathing.
Staring back at Lucie, he tried to process what she was telling him, but there was absolutely no fucking way he had heard her right. There was no way that her daughter, who was now four years old, could belong to him.
Absolutely no way.
In case Lucie didn’t know, two people had to have sex in order for that to happen and he sure as hell knew he’d never had sex with her because if he had, he would fucking remember it.
Leaning back in his chair, Kane dropped his hands into his lap and stared back at her. She was crying and his first thought was that he’d missed something vitally important. His second thought was that she was totally out of her fucking mind.
“Want to run that by me again?” Kane asked the question when he finally found his voice. He didn’t even sound like himself.
“Haley is your daughter,” she repeated, sounding as though she actually believed what she was saying.
Kane couldn’t believe his ears, but there was something in the back of his mind that told him she wasn’t out of her mind delirious. For years, Kane had felt like he and Lucie had a connection, although, for the life of him, he had no idea why he felt that way. Sure, he was attracted to her. Lucie was a beautiful woman. But that was as far as it went.
“It’s not possible,” he barked, the fury beginning to churn in his gut. She was lying to him. Why the hell would she do that?
“It’s true.” Lucie was sobbing almost uncontrollably now, and Kane had no idea why she was crying.
“When? How?” Ok, now that sounded stupid because he knew how babies were conceived, but he just could not figure out how he factored into this.
“I drove you home from the bar one night after we’d all stayed late. You’d been drinking shots, and you were in no condition to drive. You invited me in your house.”
Kane heard her words, but he didn’t know what she was talking about. She had to be delusional. There was no other way to explain it. Kane would’ve remembered. He couldn’t have been that...
Kane was having a hard time breathing again.
Haley was four years old. That meant she was conceived nearly five years ago. That was the year... No. No, no, no. He hadn’t.
Staring back at her blankly, Kane said the only thing he could say. “I want a paternity test.”
“Absolutely,” Lucie agreed easily, wiping her eyes with a napkin she’d taken from the table as Kane watched her. “I’ll pay for it. I’m so sorry, Kane. So very, very sorry.”
With the blood crashing in his ears, Kane could barely make out the words Lucie was saying. He couldn’t believe... It had to be a mistake...
Kane blinked; his vision hazy for a second before it cleared. Staring back at the dark haired woman sitting across from him, he suddenly realized she was telling him the truth. He couldn’t remember, but he knew without a doubt that Lucie Werner wasn’t lying to him. He had no idea why he believed her, but he did. And she agreed to a paternity test which would prove it. He needed proof. He’d get proof.
He wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to stand up and walk out of the restaurant, but he knew three things for absolute certain: He had slept with Lucie and Haley was his daughter. He didn’t remember a fucking thing about that night. And Lucie had been keeping him from his daughter all this time.
Now, if only the red haze would fade from his vision, and he could manage not to wrap his fingers around Lucie’s neck and squeeze the life out of her, Kane might just be able to figure out what to do next.