Heir to a Dark Inheritance - By Maisey Yates
ALIK VASIN DOWNED the last of the vodka in his glass and waited for the buzz to make it to his brain. Nothing. It was going to take a lot more alcohol tonight. To have some fun. To feel something.
Either that, or it was going to take a woman. And since that was next on his agenda, he figured he might as well skip the alcohol.
Alik pushed away from the bar and wove through the crush of bodies on the dance floor. The music was so loud there, the bass so heavy he could feel it in his blood. There would be no way to have a conversation with anyone in here. Which was fine by him. He wasn’t looking for a talk.
It didn’t take long for him to spot a woman who wasn’t looking to talk, either.
He approached the blonde skirting the edges of the dance floor. She smiled. Ah yes, he’d found the evening’s entertainment. No doubt about it.
He moved closer and she extended her hand, her fingers brushing his chest. Forward. He liked that. She might even be the kind who wouldn’t want to wait to get to the hotel room.
His pocket buzzed and he reached inside and wrapped his hand around his phone. In his experience, women didn’t like being thrown over for a phone call, but if his checking it chased her off, another one would come along in just a few moments. If he didn’t want to go to bed alone tonight, he wouldn’t.
He took the phone from his pocket and saw a number he didn’t recognize. Anyone who managed to contact him from a number he didn’t know was important.
He held his finger up, an indicator he wanted the woman to wait. She might. She might not. He didn’t really care.
He answered the call just before pushing the door open and put the phone up to his ear as he stepped out onto a crowded street in downtown Brussels. A group of women walked by and offered him inviting looks. He might keep an eye out for which club they went to, rather than going back to the blonde waiting for him inside.
He put the phone up to his ear. “Vasin.”
And suddenly the cobblestones didn’t feel so steady under his feet. He had to wonder if the vodka had finally started working. If it was the cause of the buildings appearing to close in around him. Of the tightness in his chest. If it was making him hear things. If he was imagining what the woman on the other end of the line was saying.
But no. He wasn’t. Yes, he was Alik Vasin. Yes, he had been in that region of the United States more than a year earlier.
He stood still for a moment, waited for the earth to right itself beneath his feet. Everything fell away in pieces. The clubs. The women. And he could no longer remember why he was there, on a dark street in Brussels.
There was only the phone call.
Adrenaline shot through his veins. The jolt he’d been missing all night. He would not freeze up. He was not that kind of man. He acted.
Alik hung up and stuffed his hands in his pockets, walking quickly away from the club, his steps heavy and loud on the cobblestone. He had to get to the airport. Had to get to a lab so he could get confirmation.
He took his phone out of his pocket, searching for Sayid’s number. His friend would know what to say. Would know what to tell him.
Because it wasn’t the vodka. It was just the truth. He knew it, deep in his bones.
He was a father.
“DID YOU REALLY THINK you could keep my child from me?”
Jada stopped on the courthouse steps, the hair on her arms standing on end, the back of her neck prickling with cold sweat. It was the voice of her most dreaded nightmare. A voice she’d never heard before outside of her dreams, and yet she knew that it was him.
A stranger. The man with the power to come in and rip the beating heart from her chest if he chose to do so. The man with the power to devastate her life.
The father of her daughter.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jada said, inching up the stairs that led to the courthouse. But she knew. She absolutely knew, and apparently he did, too.
“You had the court date changed.”
“I had to change it,” she said, defiant, confident in her lie.