The Billionaire Professor 2 (2015)
Jazmin and I walked – arm in arm – into the penthouse. Carly and Paul were huddled over the laptop at my desk.
“Well, bro, I was hoping Jazmin would still ‘keep’ you despite your –“
Standing directly behind Jazmin, I manically sprung up and down as rapidly as I could thinking that I would get Paul’s attention before he went too much farther all the while taking my hand and cutting my throat, what I assumed was the international sign for “cut it out.”
He did stop talking. Now I had to tell him I was such a chicken shit that I hadn’t told her. Well, he’s smart enough that he had already deduced that by now. But as I looked at both him and Carly, I knew that Carly knew. Hell, everybody knew by Jazmin.
And in the process I broke my promise to my brother. All in one fell swoop. Way to go, jackass!
Jazmin pivoted on a heel and glared at me. “What in the hell is going on – and why does it appear to me I’m the last to know?”
Carly’s reaction looked as equally as horrified as Paul’s. I stared at Max, searching his face for answers. But all I could red was horror as well.
“Max!” Carly and Paul exclaimed in unison.
Then Paul continued. “You promised me. You’ve never broken your word to me before.”
“Is there something I should know?” I asked. Even though I said it as a question, I thought of it more as a demand. If he had been keeping something from me, I wanted to know, especially if it affected the quality of our relationship – and from the reaction of my best friend and Max’s brother I do believe it did.
I wanted to run and hide. I didn’t even know what he was keeping from yet, but I already felt ashamed and used. I had poured my heart out to this man. I stood up in court for Maxwell St. James – and now I discover he has some deep dark secret that I don’t know about.
My stomach dropped.
“I owe you an apology and an explanation,” I told Jazmin. Even though I used my most repentant face, it did nothing to curb her irritation with me. No, right at this moment, I could almost guess she hated me. And I couldn’t really blame her. I didn’t think too highly of myself, either.
I took her hand and began to lead her to the bedroom. No, not to try to cajole her with sex, but just to give us a quiet private room. She shook free of my grip and followed me.
“Sit down,” I said, as I sat on the edge of the bed. I patted a spot next to me. Without saying a word though she sat on the chair on the far end of the room. I sighed deeply knowing that I’ve really mucked up this time.
Just hours ago I was secure in the unconditional love of this young lady, my sleeping beauty. How time – even a short period of time – changes things. Now, I’m facing possibly not only the end of our relationship, but a prison sentence.
I took a deep breath. “Jazmin, I wouldn’t blame you after hearing about my past you never want to see me again. And I wouldn’t blame you if I’m faced with a trial for the murder of my ex-wife you wouldn’t testify on my behalf. And –“
“Cut to the chase,” Jazmin said, her face turning a bright red the more I rambled on. It was the best advice I heard all day.
“I’m not the man you think I am,” I said. “I have a history that I have been trying to keep from you. I knew intellectually it was only a matter a time before you discovered it, especially since you appeared so determined to search through all my contacts, trying to find someone who would hate me enough to frame me.”
Jazmin started to cry. “This is the place you tell me that you keep this penthouse because you have a wife and a family tucked away in the safety of a home somewhere and you’re leading a double life.”
Maxwell let out a loud, long laugh at the suggestion that he led a double life. He dismissed the idea that he had a family – a wife and several kids waiting for him to come home even as we spoke.
It would be easy enough to do, I thought, given the amount of money this man tossed around. Maintaining this palatial penthouse and a home in the suburbs or even in New York City seemed like a scam that he could easily pull off.
Now, the man I loved more than life itself was mocking me. Why didn’t he just tell me? When he realized I wasn’t even in the least bit amused by his outburst, he stopped – quite abruptly.
“Oh, honey. There is absolutely no one else in my life but you. Daphne told me she informed you of that. I didn’t even have to tell Paul,” Max paused, pointing toward the door, ‘he could read it in my eyes. And this may sound stupid, but it was love for you that I’ve put off telling you this.
“Every time I started to tell you I look into your eyes and –“
“Now just cut the crap and tell me,” I told him.
That’s when he spilled his heart out to me.