A DESPERATE WOMAN…
AN OFFER TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE…
When Valerie’s husband loses his job, a mysterious woman makes her an offer that will keep her family from losing everything. Soon, Valerie realizes that the thing that she thought might save her, might just end up destroying her. Now this suburban soccer mom wants out of the dark world she finds herself in, but is it too late?
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Green Eyes and good hair
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“I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE WHO LIKES A LITTLE RISKY BUSINESS.“
“THIS STORY WAS INTRIGUING I FOUND MYSELF NOT WANTING TO PUT IT DOWN. I’VE READ FROM THIS AUTHOR BEFORE SO I KNEW THERE WAS MORE TO IT THAN WHAT THE TITLE GAVE THE IMPRESSION OF, A VERY EROTIC AND PASSIONATE MAN IN HIS WRITINGS HUGH WILL HAVE YOU NOT ONLY FANTASIZING OF ALL THINGES CONSIDERED TABOO BUT TRYING TO BRING THEM INTO FRUITION LIVING THEM OUT IN YOUR DAILY LIFE.”
“THIS IS ANOTHER GOOD READ BY THIS AUTHOR. HE GAVE THE WORDS “SOCCER MOM” A WHOLE NEW MEANING, AND ADDED A TOUCH OF FREAKINESS. I CAN UNDERSTAND WHERE VALERIE IS COMING FROM. IF I WERE IN HER SHOES, I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING, AND WORRIED ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES LATER. I’M SURE THAT THERE WERE OTHER WAYS TO HANDLE THIS SITUATION, BUT THIS WAY SEEMED TO WORK FOR HER. HMMM. THE THINGS WE WOMEN DO AND GO THROUGH FOR OUR FAMILIES. #UIP”
—Pamela Johnston Ward
“THIS IS THE LAST BOOK FROM THE THE HUGH O. SMITH BOXED SET , AND THEY KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER! EACH PAGE HAS YOU WANTING MORE AND MORE. YOU REALLY GET A SENSE OF THE STRUGGLES VALERIE IS FORCED TO FACE. HUGH HAS SUCH A SKILL FOR IMAGERY THAT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN! DEFINITELY RECOMMEND IF YOU HAVEN’T INDULGED ALREADY!!!“
“I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK! I FOUND MYSELF READING FAST TO FIND OUT WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT THEN READING SLOWER BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END! KEEP THEM COMING HUGH!“
“THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!! I WILL DEFINATELY PUSH EVERYONE I KNOW (THAT HAS A FREAK SIDE – WINK WINK) TO READ THIS. I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN. I AM ACTUALLY IN THE PROCESS OF RE-READING IT ALL OVER AGAIN. I IMAGINE MYSELF IN HER SHOES LITERALLY EVERY SCENE. PLEASE BUY, YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED, I CAN GAURANTEE THAT!!”
“I WRITE A LOT OF REVIEWS, AND I ALSO WRITE PULP FICTION. SO, WHEN I READ A BOOK/STORY, I TEND TO LOOK AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY THAN MOST READERS. SOCCER MOM HAS A GREAT PLOT, WELL WRITTEN DESCRIPTIONS, AND A WEALTH OF REALISTIC CHARACTERS…“
Valerie felt her phone vibrating and swore under her breath. Great timing Mike, she thought to herself. Two more minutes and she would have been out of the NJ Transit train, in the car and on the way home. The purse sat beside her, trapped between her body and that of the very large man at the window seat. At a voluptuous size sixteen, she wasn’t exactly small either and it took some effort to maneuver the purse from where it sat lodged between them. Her movement woke her seatmate up and earned her a nasty look.
“Sorry,” she said.
“No problem,” the man growled, his eyes fixed firmly on her cleavage.
The phone still vibrated as she rummaged inside the purse for her iPhone, expecting to see her husband’s number on the screen. Instead, the screen was blank, no missed calls, texts or emails had come in. She felt the vibration again and suddenly remembered the other phone she carried. She retrieved it from the tiny pocket deep inside the pocketbook and navigated to the text message screen. She read the short text message, annoyed at its pleading tone.
Please tell me when.
The message was from a number she didn’t recognize and for a moment she indulged the wild hope that it was just a random wrong number but she knew it wasn’t. She navigated to the phone’s address book and called the one stored number.
“Hey Valerie girl,” the voice on the other end answered.
“Hi Patricia,” Valerie said. “Um, I just got a strange text and I was wondering if you…uh, gave the number to…him.”
“I sure did. He begged and pleaded for it for a week. Plus, he paid top dollar for it. More money for us, right?”
“Patricia,” Valerie hissed, looking around to see if any of the other passengers were listening. “I can’t believe you did that! Are you crazy? He already has an email address for me. Now you went and you gave the phone number too?”
“Relax sweetie, it’s just a prepaid cell, it’s not like I gave him your personal number. And, that text cost him $500, and every time he sends one it’s another $500 which means that’s an extra $250 in your pocket each time. Are you gonna tell me you can’t use the money?”
Valerie said nothing.
“Listen honey, anytime this is too much you just tell me,” Patricia said. “I’ll gladly…”
“No, no,” Valerie said quickly. “It’s just that it’s…”
“Yes, a little.”
“I know sweetie,” Patricia’s voice took on a motherly tone. “But wasn’t it you that said to me when you started that sometimes we women have to do what we have to do for our families? You’re just handling business.”
The conductor called her station and Valerie saved the document she had open on her laptop, put it in her briefcase and stood, awkwardly holding her phone to her ear.
“You’re on the train from New York,” Patricia said.
Valerie said nothing.
“Darlin’ I’ll never know why you want to make that commute every day? Waking up at the crack of dawn, running out of the house, prayin’ you make the train, then getting packed on like cattle and then spillin’ out into New York just to take shit from a boss you hate at a job you hate.
Valerie held on as the train lurched to a stop at her station. The door opened and the tide of commuters spilled forth, rushing toward the parking lot.
“Like you said, I’m handling business.”
Patricia laughed. “That’s not handling business girl, that being a glutton for punishment. If you really wanted to handle business, you’d take me up on my offer. I have more work than I can handle.”
Valerie arrived at her car and threw her briefcase and purse in the back seat.
“We’ve gone over this Patricia, I don’t want to…”
“All right darlin’ all right, we don’t have to go over it again, but you know the offer is open whenever you want it.”
“Good.” Patricia’s voice returned to its usual all business tone. “So, he wants to meet you tomorrow, same time and place as usual. Oh, and he wants something new this time.”
Valerie sighed. “New?”
“Yes, he wants to…up the ante a little. There’ll be some new tools in the tool chest. Nothing you can’t handle. Can I confirm that you’ll be there?”
Valerie rubbed the bridge of her nose, hung her head, and said nothing.
“You there Val?” Patricia said after a moment of dead air.
“I’m here. I got it. Up the ante. Fine, I’ll be there.”
“Good girl. I knew I could depend on you. I’ll see you afterwards at the usual place. Oh, and don’t forget to bring that other thing he asked for.”
Patricia clicked off without waiting for an answer. Valerie started the car, then turned it off again and gazed at the now-deserted commuter platform.
“Up the ante,” she said to herself. It seemed like whenever she had a handle on her relationship with Patricia, things managed to shift enough to make her question herself all over again.
She’d been sure that her commuting days were over, but here she was again. Three years ago her husband Mike’s career was going so well that she was able to quit her job and finally devote all her time to her writing. It was strange at first, waking up in the morning and not having to run to the train to join the hordes of people commuting into New York City, but she soon got used to it and threw herself full force into writing. It took a while but slowly she made contacts and built her reputation among the editors responsible for hiring writers from magazines all over the country. Things were going well, she’d been able to get articles into major publications and was almost done with her novel and agents were sniffing around, when the bottom fell out of the economy and Mike lost his job. They didn’t panic at first, they had savings, and with Mike’s experience, they were sure he would find something quickly. A month turned into three and then into a year and now, almost two years later their savings were exhausted and she’d had to go back to work so they wouldn’t lose the house. Even so they were just barely hanging on. They’d all had to make sacrifices. She gone back to work so now her writing was regulated to early mornings and the few minutes she managed to snatch on the train with her computer balanced on her lap. Even their son had felt the pinch. They’d had to take him out of private school and enrolled him the in the local public school. Thank God he was such a trooper and had taken it well. He’d made friends quickly and was one of the stars of the soccer team.
She started the car and pulled out of the train station. Ian had a soccer game today, she had only a few minutes to run home, change, and pick up Mike then get to the field. She glanced at her watch. She would make it if she hurried.
She was pulling into the driveway when the phone vibrated again. She put the car in park, then checked the screen of the pre-paid phone.
Thank you Mistress, the text message said.
Valerie grimaced in disgust, turned the phone off, and went inside to meet her husband.