Besotted (The Billionaire Banker Series)

By: Georgia Le Carre


‘Stay here. I’ll go get something—’

‘No, no, you won’t come back. Don’t leave me, please.’

‘It’s OK, OK. I’m not going anywhere.’

There is a sound from below. We both turn to look at him. He gazes back at us with large, curious eyes and for an instant, for a disconcerting instant, it is as if he can see through us, right through to our tormented souls. Blake releases me and goes to his son. Sorab makes a shrill sound of delight as he picks him up. The child lays both his hands flat on his father’s cheeks as if he is trying to get all his attention. And when his father nods, he laughs. His father throws him up into the air and catches him while he laughs uproariously.

Oh God, oh God. If only he was just a normal person, if we could just live a normal life, but here he is. Trying to be normal. Trying his best to give us all he can. Yes, I do not know him. There is much left to be done, but this, this can be the prelude to our life. For I am determined to be there each morning when his eyes flutter open.





Two


Sorab and I leave after breakfast with Tom. Blake kisses us goodbye. He will not be coming with us. He will be going the way he came, in a black hawk. I tell Tom to stop by Billie’s. Then I call her.

‘Are you all right?’ she asks me urgently.

‘We’re fine. We’re on our way to you.’

‘Who’s we?’

‘Sorab and me.’

‘How long before you get here?’

‘Two hours.’

‘I’ll be waiting for you,’ she says, and ends the call abruptly. I look at the phone in my hand with surprise. Strange. I thought she might want to chat, find out more. Oh well.

I knock on her door and it is suddenly flung open. Billie snatches Sorab out of my startled hands and runs with him towards the room Billie and I have together decorated as Sorab’s. Slightly bewildered, I close the front door and follow them. I walk into the blue and yellow room in time to see her deposit Sorab in his cot, shove a toy into his hands, and turn towards me with a contorted face.

‘What?’ I ask and she launches herself at me. She hugs me so tight I can hardly breathe.

‘Hey,’ I say. ‘It’s going to be OK.’

That only makes her go stiff in my arms. She pulls away from me. ‘Don’t lie to me, please.’

I stare at her. I am speechless with shock. Even though her voice is utterly normal, tears are escaping from her eyes and running quickly down her face.

‘It’s never going to be OK, is it?’

‘Of course it is.’

‘No, it’s not,’ she mutters darkly.

I open and close my mouth without having said anything. I have never seen Billie like this before. It shocks me. She’s always so cool, so sarcastic.

‘The old rat’s dead. You’re not going to tell me that was an accident.’

I shake my head slowly.

‘See,’ she says, fresh tears slipping down her cheeks.

‘Yes, but it is over now.’

‘Over? Can’t you see that it will never be “over”? I wish to God you had never gone into that fucked up family of reptiles.’

I grip her by her arms. ‘But I did, Bill. I’m in it. I love Blake with all my heart. And he is Sorab’s father.’ I turn and look at my son. He is gazing at us again with those big, innocent eyes; not crying, not upset, but aware that something is not right.

‘Have you chosen wisely?’

For a moment the words are like thorns in my heart. I close my eyes. Then I open them and face Billie. ‘I cannot be without him, Bill. I simply can’t.’

Billie wipes her nose on the sleeve of her oversized T-shirt.

‘Let me go get you some tissue.’

‘You can’t. I ran out yesterday.’

‘Oh, Bill! Wait here.’

I go into her bathroom and tear off some toilet paper. When I go back to the room she is standing exactly where I left her. I fold the toilet paper, clip it around her nose, and say, ‘Blow.’

She cracks a smile, takes the toilet paper from me, and blows her nose noisily. ‘I’ve been so frightened and confused these last few days.’

‘Come on, let’s discuss this over a cup of tea,’ I cajole.

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