Avowed (The Manipulation Trilogy Book 3)

Free Avowed (The Manipulation Trilogy Book 3) by Alicia Taylor, Natalie Townson

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Authors: Alicia Taylor, Natalie Townson
asks, astonished. I shake my head at her. I can’t explain that yet.
    “She introduced herself to Spencer the next day, telling him she was my girlfriend. Spence knows me well and told her she was full of shit. He said she went batshit crazy, screaming at him and they had to throw her out the club where they were.” Ella silently cries, but doesn’t take her eyes from mine.
    “She began turning up everywhere I was. She’d make scenes when I was at lunch meetings, accusing me of letting her down for our lunch dates. She was making clients uncomfortable so I had no choice but to let her go.”
    “I had to protect my family, and when she slapped Leona I knew she’d become unhinged. Spencer told me to get a restraining order but I couldn’t do it. She needed help, not to be arrested. When she slapped Leona I knew I needed to help her. I tried talking to her but she kept saying I set her up. She said I’d ask her to dinner and lunch only to be there with someone else. I couldn’t fucking get through to her. She wasn’t hearing me at all. It was like she was in another world.”
    “Lydia’s following me escalated and when she badly attacked Abbi just for talking to me, I knew I had no choice but to get a restraining order so she couldn’t go near my family.”
    “You didn’t get one for you?” Ella gasps.
    “No,” I say and shake my head at the same time. “I wanted to help her but I needed to take care of Abigail. She was a mess. Every time I saw Lydia following me I tried to go talk to her but she’d leave quickly. I could never fucking catch her.” My heart pounds against my ribs as I remember everything that happened next.
    “Why weren’t the police involved? How did she get away with attacking Abbi?” Ella asks, as her body shakes through her sobs. 
    “I spent the week trying to track her down but I was too late. I’m so fucking sorry beauty. I was too late,” I choke out. My emotions are drowning me. “It’s my fault you sister is dead. I couldn’t get to her to save her. She needed help and I couldn’t fucking get it for her.”
    Ella pulls back, shocked before her face hardens.
    “No! No, Damon. You don’t do that,” Ella says, tightly gripping my chin in her hand. “It wasn’t your fault. I see that now. Lydia wasn’t well and she chose to end her life. I wish more than anything that I could have seen she needed help. I could have helped her if I’d known. I wasn’t your fault Damon.” Her words shock me.
    “But–” I try to speak but Ella cuts me off.
    “No Damon. There are no buts. Lydia took her own life. She wasn’t well. It’s taken me over three years to realise that. I blamed you but there is no blame. You didn’t do anything.”
    “Exactly. I should have tried harder.”
    “Baby,” she says softly. “You’re not to blame for Lydia’s death.”
    I swallow past the lump in my throat and try to look away but Ella holds steady, not letting me turn my face. Bringing her face closer to mine, she gently presses her lips against mine.
    “It’s not your fault Damon,” she says against my mouth.
    My woman blows my mind.
    Pulling back she gives me a small smile before cuddling into my side. We lie silently for a few minutes, our breathing and hearts in sync, as we both take in her words. My beauty doesn’t blame me. She might not think I’m a monster but I am. I need her to see me for who I really am.
     

 
    CHAPTER SEVEN
    October 2 nd 2014
    Ella
     
    When Damon told me about his history with Lydia everything clicked into place. Tom and Damon’s stories match. Lydia really was ill but there was no relationship at all? That blows my mind, but I believe him. Damon hasn’t ever given me a reason not to trust him and I trust Tom with my life.
    All this time I blamed Damon and he did nothing.
    All this time Damon blamed himself.
    There is no blame.
    Lydia decided to end her life and Damon had no part in that. It wasn’t his fault. I feel numb as three years worth of

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