Stolen Seduction

Free Stolen Seduction by Elisabeth Naughton

Book: Stolen Seduction by Elisabeth Naughton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elisabeth Naughton
Tags: Fiction, Suspense, Romance
are not here.”
    “What does that mean?” Nicole asked around a second gigantic mouthful.
    Had she actually raised this child? The girl had no social grace. Eleanor walked around the island,
    plucked the plate and fork from her daughter’s hands and set them in the sink. “I understand your
    father’s death has been very hard on you—”
    “Oh, cut the crap, Mother.” Nicole wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “It’s been as hard on
    me as it’s been on you. There’s only the two of us in this room. You don’t need to play the grieving
    widow. I know who you were with the night Daddy died.”
    There went the blood pressure again. Eleanor calmly reached for a towel hanging on the rack and
    straightened it. “You’re mistaken.”
    “No, actually, I don’t think I am.” Nicole snatched the bag of M&Ms and shoved a handful in her
    mouth. “In fact, that’s part of the reason I came back,” she said while chewing. “Does Hailey know?
    About your new man?”
    Eleanor turned slowly to face her daughter. Defiance and attitude. She’d gotten it all from her father. Both her daughters had. “My decisions are not yours or Hailey’s to approve. And furthermore,
    young lady, when I tell you to do something, I expect you to do it. You’ll return to Paris immediate-ly—”
    “Like hell,” Nicole flipped back, chewing.
    “—and you will not utter one word to the press about your unplanned trip home.”
    “Oh, get a life, Mother. Do you think anyone cares I came back?”
    “The entire world cares, Nicole. You’ve made sure of that fact.” She grabbed the candy from
    Nicole’s hands and tossed it in the garbage. “Gallivanting around at all hours of the night with those
    Hollywood deviants.”
    Nicole rolled her eyes. “They’re my friends.”
    “No one named Star or Lakesha is a friend of the Roarkes.”
    “Well, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe they should be.”
    “I will not let you speak to me that way—”
    “Then how about this way.” Nicole crossed the room and grabbed a bag from the floor that had
    been sitting next to the kitchen table. She pulled out the bronze and smacked it on the granite
    counter. The same bronze Eleanor had been looking for the past three days. The girl had had it with
    her the entire time. “Explain to me why Bryan called me yesterday in Paris and wanted to know
    where that silly statue was Daddy gave us all for Christmas? When he’s never had any interest in it
    before. When, and I remember this clearly, he thought that gift was a piece of crap the night Daddy
    gave it to him.”
    Eleanor stared at the famous bronze image of seduction without blinking. God, how she hated that
    damn statue. And everything it represented.
    “No answer?” Nicole asked. “Okay, then how about you explain to me why CNN reported this
    morning that Bryan had been found dead in his house in Chicago? And why it is, Mother, you don’t
    seem a bit surprised by that fact.”
    Eleanor’s eyes slowly lifted to her daughter. And in that instant, she realized she’d underestimated
    Nicole Roarke. They were very much alike, not only in appearance but in thought processes. Nicole
    wasn’t the brainless bimbo the media made her out to be. She might not care who ran RR, but she
    did care where her money came from. And since she’d already whittled down a good chunk of her
    trust fund, it made sense she’d be paying closer attention to what went on at home than she ever had
    in the past.
    Eleanor’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not upset Bryan’s dead?”
    “Are you?”
    “What are you proposing?”
    A slow smile spread across Nicole’s model-perfect face. “That depends on just what it is you’re
    willing to give me. For keeping my mouth shut, that is.” She nodded at her bronze. “And for this.”
    Eleanor glanced back at the bronze. She itched to reach for it, but that would show her desperation,
    and if there was one thing she wasn’t willing to do, it was be desperate.

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