Club Luxe 5:New BeginningsBy: Olivia Noble
Book 5: New Beginnings
The chill of the morning air hit Malcolm’s lungs like a freight train. The cold filling his chest could not distract him from the earth-shattering shock of seeing her face again. Glancing back into the building with a tense jaw, he watched as Victoria and Elizabeth spoke to each other awkwardly. He couldn’t remove his gaze from Elizabeth’s long golden hair.
In spite of his vicious words, clenched fists, and violent outbursts, there was absolutely no anger in his heart.
He wanted to feel fury at what she had done. He needed his rage to shield him and keep him safe. But as much as he tried, it simply wouldn’t come. All he felt was longing as the memories of his love for his lost wife resurfaced with a vengeance. Finally, he turned away, unable to bear the weight of his emotion any longer. He turned his focus toward the news Elizabeth had brought to him: Claire was missing and in danger.
The very thought made his already racing heart beat so hard he thought it might burst. He seized that fury, allowing it to flow through him like a river. It was all he could do not to lose his sanity. He sighed and shook his head, clearing it of any remaining foolish emotion. There was no time to think about the pain Elizabeth had caused him.
A gentle hand touched Malcolm’s shoulder and he quickly turned around, eager to see Elizabeth’s baby blue eyes. A mixture of disappointment and relief passed through him as he met with Victoria’s soft brown irises instead. Shame welled up in his chest at these feelings and he averted his gaze.
“I’m sorry, champ,” she gently said. “I can’t imagine what you must be going through.”
Malcolm took her hand in his. “I’ll be fine,” he said stoically. “This was a huge blow to me, but I don’t have time to be angry with her. You were right. If her story is true, then she’s just as much a victim in this situation as I am. I need to focus on the real enemy: Brantford.”
Victoria smiled slightly, placing her free hand on Malcolm’s cheek. “Let’s go inside, get warm, and figure out a plan. There is no way that I’m letting either one of you lose any more than you already have.”
Her words stunned Malcolm, causing him to stare at her in amazement. He hadn’t expected Victoria to be handling this situation as well as she was. “Thank you,” he said softly. “You truly are a treasure.”
“This is what I do,” she said with a hint of sadness. “I bring families together. I just want it to end well this time.”
“It will,” he said with determination, reaching out to brush a wayward strand of her hair. He wanted to kiss her, but felt uncomfortable with Elizabeth watching. “We’ll make sure it does.”
Victoria struggled to keep up as she followed Malcolm back inside. He moved with quick, fierce steps as he headed toward Elizabeth. When Malcolm stood before his wife, the intensity of the look he gave the poor woman was frightening.
Victoria felt her heart ache as she gazed between Elizabeth and Malcom. It was impossible to deny the pain and love she saw pass through them. She felt as if she was watching two penguins separated by a massive storm suddenly finding one another again. The sight was both beautiful and tragic all at once; she had to avert her eyes to keep from crying.
What am I thinking? Victoria asked herself in shock. This was the woman that had ripped Malcolm’s heart out. The one that made him so bitter and angry that the only way he could allow himself to be with another woman was through impersonal anal sex. A fact that she had been painfully reminded of the night before. The discomfort in her ass made her scowl and feel a little sick. Elizabeth was responsible for Malcolm’s odd fetish and her damaged rear end.
“We’re going to need a plan,” Malcolm said. “I’ll have to speak with your other brother, to see if there are any new developments. Perhaps we can ask the FBI for help. The child abduction might be taken more seriously this time around.”
Victoria pulled her mind away from her thoughts and focused on Malcolm’s words. How could she be getting jealous or feeling like an outsider when there was something much more important going on? The life of a little girl.
His little girl.
“Cameron is working with you?” Elizabeth asked brokenly. “God, I haven’t seen him since my accident.” She nearly choked on the word, with helplessness painted all over her face. “I’m so sorry for this, Mal. I was just trying to keep everyone safe. Now look at us.”
“I know,” he said in a hushed tone. “I won’t ever forget the pain you’ve caused me.”
“I can’t expect you to,” Elizabeth said, turning her gaze away. “I just want to find our baby.”