Roman Satisfying Her Darkest Fantasies chapitre Chapitre 1

A beautiful woman was getting ready to visit her late husband's grave for the very last time. She had decided to move on with her life after a couple of years, despite her initial vow not to fall in love with anyone else after his death. She had loved him with the whole of her heart and soul, and she had clearly decided that even in death, she won't stop loving him.

He’d given her everything she could have ever wanted. His love. His respect. Everything but the one thing she needed most, and it was something she could have never asked him for. She’d loved him too much to ever demand of him something he couldn’t give her.

She shook away the heavy veil of sadness, determined to get through the day and on with her life. Her new life.

She picked up the flowers, her favorite, and brought them to her nose, closing her eyes as she inhaled. They were what he always gave her. Every birthday. Every anniversary. Or any time just because. Today she’d place them on his grave and walk away. This time for good.

She didn’t need to see the cold slab of marble that marked his life and death to remind her of her husband. That wasn’t the way she wanted to remember him. She was through torturing herself by standing over his grave, missing him with her every breath.

He’d live in her heart and soul always. That was where she’d visit him in the future. Not on the grassy knoll that covered the casket underneath.

She walked briskly to the front door, letting herself out and blinking against the sudden wash of sun. Though it was spring, the Houston weather was already warm and she was glad she’d worn the short-sleeved T-shirt instead of the black dress she always wore.

And there was Derrick, leaning against his car, waiting for her as she knew he would be. He straightened when he saw her, and she saw a brief flicker of surprise before he schooled his features and extended a hand to her.

She slid her fingers over his and he gave her hand a light squeeze. No words were necessary. They both grieved the loss of her husband and his best friend.

“You look lovely, Sandra,” he said as he walked her around to the passenger side.

She smiled, knowing she didn’t look particularly lovely today. And he was likely surprised by her casual appearance, but he didn’t remark on it. He took the flowers and carefully positioned them in the back so they wouldn’t fall over, and then closed her door after ensuring she was fully inside.

She watched him stride around the front of the car, his long legs eating up the distance in a matter of seconds. Then he slid into the driver’s seat and his scent wafted through her nostrils.

Derrick always smelled the same. Utterly masculine, though she knew he never wore cologne or aftershave. He was a no-frills kind of guy, much like Clement had been, though her husband had worn expensive clothing and even his casual wear was tailored to fit his personality.

Even Derrick’s car fitted his personality. A sleek black Jaguar. How appropriate he drove a vehicle named for a predator. He fit the part well.

They’d been partners in business, but Clement had always been the front man. The one who wined and dined clients, the polished spokesman, the one who sealed the deals, attended all the social events while Derrick worked behind the scenes. The closer. The one who always did most of the legwork and fixed the problems.

Clement had often laughed and said he was the looks and charm and Derrick was the brains of the operation. But Derrick was certainly not lacking in looks or charm. They were the complete antithesis of one another. Clement was fair-haired to Derrick’s dark brown, and while Clement’s eyes were blue, Derrick’s were a deep brown, enhanced by his darker coloring. He wasn’t any less attractive than Clement. His was just a quieter attractiveness. Silent. Brooding almost. He had made Sandra nervous back when she’d first met him when she and Clement had dated. Theirs had been a whirlwind courtship. Clement had swept her off her feet, and Sandra had known that Derrick was concerned that his friend was getting in way over his head. Moving too fast. The fact Sandra knew that had made her wary of Derrick, but over time, he’d become her rock. Especially after Clement had died.

As they drove out of Sandra’s exclusive subdivision, Derrick reached over for her hand, lacing his fingers through hers, and as he’d done before, he squeezed lightly, a gesture of reassurance.

Sandra turned and smiled at him, telling him without words that she was okay. As they stopped at a red light, Derrick studied her intently, almost as if he were trying to decipher what was different about her.

Evidently satisfied with whatever he’d seen in her eyes or expression, he smiled back, but he kept hold of her hand as he navigated through traffic on the way to the cemetery, just a few miles from where Sandra and Clement had lived.

They drove in comfortable silence, but then they’d never conversed much on the day Derrick drove her to the cemetery every year. Oh, Sandra visited at other times, but Derrick always accompanied her on the anniversary.

But that wasn’t the only time she saw Derrick. He’d stepped in from the moment Clement had passed away and he’d been her rock ever since. That first year especially, she’d needed him desperately and he never hesitated, no matter what she needed, whether it was help deciphering the paperwork and red tape after her husband’s death or simply coming over to keep her company on the days she felt herself falling apart.

She would be forever grateful for Derrick and his unwavering support over the last three years, but it was time to move on. It was time for her to stand on her own two feet and it was time for him to stop having to babysit her.

Today was not only about her letting go of Clement, but of Derrick as well. He deserved more than to be saddled with the responsibility of his best friend’s widow. He had a life of his own. She had no idea of his relationships or if he was even in a steady relationship. She realized with sudden clarity just how selfish and self-absorbed she’d been since her husband’s death. Derrick had been a steady fixture, one she’d taken for granted, but she would do it no longer. It would be a miracle if Derrick were in a steady relationship because not many women would be tolerant of him dropping everything to rush to the aid of his best friend’s widow.

When they arrived at the cemetery, Derrick parked and Sandra immediately got out, not waiting for him to come around for her. She opened the door to the backseat and leaned in to retrieve the flowers.

“I’ll get them, Sandra.”

Derrick’s low voice brushed over her ears, causing a prickle at her nape. She picked up the vase and turned with a reassuring smile.

“I’ve got it, Derrick. I’m okay.”

He gave her an inscrutable stare and she got the impression he was studying her again, trying to peel back the layers and get into her head. It was as if he knew something was different but couldn’t put his finger on it. Which was just as well, because she would die if he could read her thoughts. If he knew just what it was she’d planned and how she intended to move on with her life.

He’d be horrified, no doubt. He’d wonder if she’d finally snapped and he’d probably haul her into a shrink’s office so fast it would make her head spin. Which was why she had no intention of letting him know.


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