FIVE YEARS AGO
Hazel’s words struck me like a bolt of lightning, freezing me in shock. I had braced myself for a serious conversation, but this revelation was far beyond what I had expected. Blinking rapidly, I instinctively placed both hands on her hips, drawing her closer as if to anchor myself. The scent of her perfume filled the air, and my heart raced as I tried to process the gravity of her words. “Hazel,” I began, my voice filled with a mix of concern and confusion, “I’m going to need you to explain this to
The weight of the moment seemed to hang heavily between us. My mind raced to comprehend the situation. “What is Kelvin blackmailing you with?” I inquired, trying to grasp the facts of the matter. “And what do you mean by ‘almost killed a baby”?”
Tears shimmered in her eyes as they flickered over my face, and her voice trembled as she spoke. “You already hate me,” she whispered, her trembling hand attempting to wipe away the tears that spilled down her cheeks.
I gently caught her hand in mid-air, pressing a soft kiss to her inner wrist before using my thumb to wipe away her tears. “Hazel, I could never hate you,” I assured her, my voice tender. “And I’m not here to pass judgment. I just want to understand what you’re going through.” I caught another tear as it welled in her eye, my touch gentle and comforting. “Please, take your time and explain everything to me.”
As she began to speak, her voice trembled, and I listened intently, my gaze focused on her. “I was once addicted to cocaine,” she confessed, her eyes avoiding mine. “I met him when I was a teenager, and he introduced me to his friends who were into drugs. I got caught up with them and started abusing cocaine.”
Seeing how difficult this was for her, I walked over to the fridge, opened it, and grabbed a bottle of water. While alcohol might be a tempting escape, I knew it wouldn’t help in this situation. “Here,” I said, uncapping the bottle and extending it to her, “take a drink, and then continue. I’m here to listen.”
She gulped down the entire bottle of water, and I took it from her, giving her a reassuring nod to continue. Her voice quivered as she shared her painful past. “My foster parents left me in charge of their one-year-old baby. I invited Kelvin over, and he brought drugs with him. It started as a sort of twisted fun, but things spiraled out of control as we got high.” She paused, her eyes filled with regret. “The baby began crying incessantly, and it infuriated me. I wanted her to stop, to be quiet, and Kelvin suggested giving her drugs to calm her down. We almost went through with it, but luckily her parents returned and caught me in the act.” She sighed heavily. “The next day, I was sent back to the social worker, and they didn’t reveal what had really happened.”
I clenched my jaw, a mix of anger and concern bubbling within me. “Is he blackmailing you with the threat of revealing what happened with the baby?” My voice was low, my eyes locked on hers.
She shook her head. “There’s no evidence to support that claim,” she responded. Running her hand wearily down her face, she moistened her lips, a clear sign of her anxiety. “He’s obtained compromising pictures of me during moments of drug use, and he’s using them as leverage to blackmail me into paying him two million dollars.”
A scowl formed on my face as I processed the situation. “f ucking ba stard,” I muttered under my breath. If only I can wrap my fingers round his neck right now. I couldn’t help but think that all of this had its origins on the day she had innocently took a walk Adam. “Has he asked for money from you before, or is this the first time?” I posed the question even though I
Adam. was well aware of the answer; I simply needed her to confirm it.
Her voice dropped as she replied, “No.” A sense of shame lingered in her mumbled admission. “I’ve already emptied my personal account to meet his demands, and I even withdrew a significant sum from your account, but he’s relentless in his demands for more.”
The revelation left me incredulous that she had been facing this ordeal all by herself. “Why didn’t you confide in me?” The words slipped from my lips laden with a mix of concern and hurt. Wasn’t our relationship built on trust, on the understanding that we’d share our burdens? “Aren’t we supposed to be each other’s confidants?”
“I’m sorry,” she murmured, her voice barely audible. Regret colored her words as they hung in the air. Her recent behavior
suddenly made sense; the nervousness, the tension-it all stemmed from this hidden struggle. “I was just so scared,” she admitted, her vulnerability shining through. The past weeks had revealed glimpses of her unease, like an intricate puzzle now coming together. “I was terrified of the impact those pictures could have on your reputation. I was afraid you might not want me anymore, especially after finding out about my past mistakes, like the incident with the baby.”
I held her face gently, my thumb caressing her cheek as a wave of tenderness washed over me. “You were a young, lost soul trying to find your way,” I reassured her, my voice carrying unwavering support. The crux of the matter was that she had emerged victorious from her battle against drugs. “You faced down those demons, Hazel, and you emerged triumphant.”
Biting her inner lips, she blinked rapidly to keep the tears in. “I’m sorry for keeping it from you.” She apologized. “I’m really sorry Rav.”
I pulled her into a hug, kissing her neckline lightly. “It’s fine Hazel. It’s normal to be afraid to lose something or someone who you love.” I kissed her again. “Be rest assured that this isn’t going to disrupt what we have.” She pulled away and stared at me. “I love you too much to let your past end us.”
“This is going to affect your image negatively Ravel.” She sniffed. “I don’t like the idea of you risking everything you for just because of me.”
Just? She is worth more to me than anything. “Nothing will go wrong,” I assured her. I am Ravel Southwark, there is nothing I cannot handle. “Things won’t get to that point.” I’ll have to handle the situation from now onwards. “How long do you have to provide the money?”
My jaw clenched. “That ba stard gave you two weeks to provide two million dollars?” I will enjoy tormenting that fool. I will his past make his existence nothing but a pitiful excuse. “I’m going to need everything about him from you. His last name, life, everything.”
She nodded meekly. “You should be careful while dealing with him, he can be a crazy f ucker.” She advised, “I didn’t think he was capable of dumping me when I overdosed until he did it.”
My brows jumped to my hairline. “He ditched you when you overdosed?”
I nodded. “Right outside the social worker building.”
That ba stard keeps giving me more reasons to go after him. “I don’t have to be careful around him, he should be the one scared of me.” I stopped playing dirty in my college days, and I don’t mind going back to that version of me.
“Rav,” She whispered, cupping my cheeks, “Don’t do anything that will land you in trouble or something that we both will regret in the future.”
Unable to help it, I leaned forward and kissed her. “Blackmail is an offense punishable by law and he f ucking broke it.” He’s going to be in jail even before he gets to release the pictures.
“So is doing drugs.” Her lips wobbled. “I don’t want to go jail Rav.”
“Not while I still breath? I insisted vehemently. “You’re going to be my bride, my wife, and the mothers of my kids and we won’t be doing any of those behind bars.”
“I’m really sorry for pulling this on you Ravel.” She apologized for the umpteenth time. “I’m really sorry.”
Grinning just to lighten the situation, I winked at her. “I’m definitely going to f uck up in my husband duties in the future, I really hope you’ll be as forgiving.”
She chuckled. “As long as you don’t cheat on me.”
“That’s never going to happen.” I asserted quickly. “No other woman attracts me other than you.” My phone vibrated in my pocket. “Just focus on the wedding planning while I handle Kelvin.” That fool will be sorry for hurting my woman.
Billionaire’s Ex-wife : Craving You Chapter 67