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After discovering her boyfriend's betrayal in the most humiliating way possible, despite being terribly hurt inside, the naive and insecure Missy Sutton has no thoughts of revenge. At least not until one person convinced her otherwise: Logan Knight, former millionaire model, brother of her brother-in-law, and who until recently seemed to have a strange dislike for her. Surprisingly, he proposes to Missy that the two start a fake relationship, not only to make her ex-boyfriend and his mistress jealous, but also so that she can finally discover what it's like to be wanted and pleasured. His proposal doesn't make much sense to Missy, but, lured by the chance to give herself to the one man who makes her body burn, she ends up accepting. But revenge, perhaps, is not Logan's only goal. Or the only secret he keeps.
Prologue - Three Cards (Part 1)
- Uncle, Logan! I can now take the training wheels off my bike!
With a fond smile, Logan looked down at his bouncy little niece, whose huge smile on her excited little face was nothing short of infectious. Arranging yet another platter full of food on the huge wooden table in the middle of his parents' garden, he leaned down a little towards Eleanor, gently stroking the dark curls that swayed as she bounced happily.
- I'm glad to see you so confident, dear. - He smiled proudly, even though a part of him was confused by that sudden determination - What happened to make you so sure you're ready?
Ever since he'd given Ellie her first bike, a gift for her fifth birthday, two months ago, she'd been equally obsessed and terrified of taking the training wheels off – especially after nearly falling off several times, even the using. For weeks, the whole family had taken turns to continue teaching her and try to make her more confident in her new toy, but her niece seemed more and more convinced that she would never be able to ride a bike like the “big girls”. – and she was heartbroken about it. Or at least she had been heartbroken, since now, with her adorable dimples showing and her little hands on either side of her waist, Eleanor was the picture of confidence.
- The cards said I won't fall if I take the training wheels off. – Ellie answered his question, saying those words so naturally that he almost choked – Can you take me to the park, Uncle? Mom and Dad are busy and...
- Wait, Ellie... – he interrupted her, stunned – Who said you could take the training wheels off?
- The letters, Uncle Logan. They predicted my future. – again, the absolute normality with which she said that, swaying her small shoulders, would be admirable, if it weren't shocking – I mean, they didn't really say that, because they don't really speak… – her niece explained in a low voice , as if he was telling you an important revelation - But it had something to do with me not falling, if I prepared myself, and I spent a lot of time preparing myself, so...
- Ellie... - he interrupted her, still not believing what he had just heard - What do you mean "predicted the future"? Nobody can do that.
- Of course you can, Uncle. It's pretty easy. – Ellie's smile widened, more excited than ever – Just draw three cards and then...
- No, dear, nobody can predict the future, because the future is not like a sheet of paper, which we can read. - He explained gently to her, looking around the garden of her parents' house, wondering who in her family had said that nonsense to the poor child. There were few people attending that quiet meeting in the middle of Sunday afternoon, so it wasn't long before he found Paul's amused expression, standing by the pool, with his lips pressed together as if he was trying to contain a fit of laughter. Rolling his eyes, Logan turned his attention away from his brother-in-law, returning it to Eleanor. He had nothing against nurturing wholesome childhood fantasies like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but the future-seeing card stuff was too much. He'd rather lightning strike him than allow his niece to go around believing that pieces of cardboard could dictate her future.
After all, being a Knight, unfortunately, she was already destined to lose enough decision-making power during her lifetime.
- Listen, honey, I don't know what they said to you, but it's not true. No one has any way of knowing what is about to happen. – he took her in his arms, keeping her small face at the same level as his, trying to make her understand the magnitude of the truth he was explaining to her – Everyone is master of their own destiny. – Logan affirmed solemnly, even knowing that Ellie could never understand how much he fully believed in that; she could never understand how much it was necessary for her to believe that with all her strength, if she still wanted to have the slightest control over her life, in the future – Whoever told you that some cardboard cards can predict the future, nothing more than a charlatan.
- What is a carlito? His niece tilted her head to the side, clearly confused, and apparently also a little disappointed by what he had just told her.
- Charlatan... - Logan laughed at his adorable expression - He's a lying person, who says he knows how to do something, but he doesn't. And he uses this lie to get money out of people.
- Oh... - Ellie's eyebrows furrowed deeply and she remained clearly thoughtful for a few seconds, until finally she looked over his shoulder and asked, almost hurt - Aunt Megan, are you a joker?
Shrugging and squeezing his eyes shut for a second, Logan gave a sigh of embarrassment, even though there was a part of him that wanted nothing more than to laugh at the situation. Turning around slowly, he tried to contain his grin of amusement as he stared at the small figure with the angry brown eyes and short black hair, who was staring at him defiantly. He really had to start trying a little harder to keep in mind that his newest sister-in-law had an affinity for mystical matters. Of course, at that height, just a green outfit was enough for her to easily pass for a gnome or an elf, but that was just a mere detail that he kept to himself, even more so knowing the temperament of that figure. But damn it, even after more than a month of living with Megan Sutton, he still had to stifle a laugh whenever she said something about fortune telling, destiny, signs, golden lights, or any such nonsense. Not that she was a bad person. Far from it.
The cheerful, intelligent and effusive Stra. Sutton was everything he could have wanted for his reserved younger brother: she seemed trustworthy, she treated all the Knights very well and it was clear how much she truly loved Devon. And given that he wasn't the one who would have to spend the rest of his life living with Megan's whole supernatural litany, Logan was more than happy to welcome her into the family. Still, maybe it was time her sister-in-law knew that there were some limits to the whole "mystical" thing, especially when it came to making the only child in the family believe in nonsense like that.
- Really, Logan? – Megan rolled her eyes – Are you telling Ellie that I'm a charlatan?
- Well, maybe I expressed myself badly. – He gave a crooked smile, trying to appease the situation – Listen, dear: no, Aunt Megan is not the type of person I told you about, because she doesn't take advantage of that to take money from anyone... And also because she really believes in what he does. – he avoided even saying something as silly as “predicting the future”, now focusing his attention only on Eleanor – The only issue is that no one can truly do that. That is all.
- At least that's what you believe. – Megan spoke right after, her voice sharp and even a little bored.
Stifling a growl of frustration, Logan just allowed a sigh to escape her lips as he stared at Megan, trying not to let his annoyance show too much as he lowered Eleanor to the ground.
“Megan, I don't want Ellie to believe that kind of thing. She is just a child. And even if it wasn't, I'm completely against any belief that ends up making her make decisions through completely random things, like cards or a horoscope, instead of logic.
- You talk as if she was already about to jump off a cliff just because I drew the cards for her. - Megan rolled her eyes again, clearly not giving any importance to his words - Don't be so dramatic, Logan. Furthermore, each person may well have their own beliefs. It's not a problem. I respect that you don't like my tarot. – She crossed her arms over her chest, as she raised an eyebrow – And I believe that a good way for you to repay that respect would be by not calling me a charlatan around.
- You called my future wife a charlatan? - Devon's revolted growl, coming from behind his back, made Logan sigh even louder, as his brother walked past him, bumping rudely and purposely into his shoulder, before placing himself next to Megan, facing him with pure irritation.
-Hey... - Megan scolded her boyfriend, raising her face as much as she could, to face him with provocation and false disgust, since the height difference between the two was almost laughable-What did we already talk about going slowly? – she nudged her brother's belly, which was as far as she could reach without him having to lift her in his arms.
Here was another thing Logan loved about Megan: she was sensible. Even though she was madly in love and all the rest of that set of silly clichés about true love, she'd still chosen to take it slow when Devon had asked her to marry him two weeks ago. She had accepted her brother's ring and been thrilled, of course. However, she had also asked that they just live together and date for some significant time before taking such a big step.
Even though he and his brother were made for each other, and that it was only a matter of time before Megan finally agreed to switch her engagement ring from her right hand to her left, Logan was happy to know that his little brother would have at his side. At her side was a reasonable woman, who had a little more awareness of reality than simply agreeing to suddenly marry a man she had known for little more than a month, however insistent that man was had been – and he knew Devon well enough to know that his brother still hadn't given up on making Megan his wife by the end of the year.
- I added the term future as you so much want, didn't I? Devon shrugged, the previously furious expression suddenly turning into a seductive smile as he turned his attention to Megan.
"In my defense, I didn't know Eleanor was talking about you, Megan." – Taking advantage of Devon's moment of distraction, Logan tried to explain himself. Truth be told, the last thing he wanted was to offend Megan. Despite not agreeing with her esotericism, he already considered her his new sister and loved her as such. People could consider him cold and insensitive most of the time, but no one could ever open their mouth to say that Logan Knight didn't love, respect and protect his family above all else - I thought whoever told her that was a from friends or classmates. And secondly, I'm sorry, but I truly don't believe any of this. – he shrugged, knowing that it was best to be honest with his sister-in-law from that moment on, so they would avoid more embarrassing moments in the future – That's why I ended up being unnecessarily rude and emphatic with what I said. But, of course, you have every right to talk about it with Eleanor. Apparently, she likes it.
- Yes I like! Ellie exclaimed happily, still standing beside them, listening to their conversation with interest. With an amused smile in his niece's direction, Logan continued his apologies.
- But, I think I also have the right to express my opinion about it. - he argued gently - Maybe it's even good for her to grow up with two such different views of the world. It will make you more tolerant. And, as you said, she will be able to choose her own beliefs and lifestyle when she grows up. – Taking a step forward, he approached Megan, truly feeling guilty when she continued – But even so, I know that what I said was disrespectful. I'm sorry Megan, it was extremely rude of me to speak that way about things you believe in and are clearly important to you. Will not happen again. – he solemnly promised.
- I'm not mad at you, Logan. – Megan reassured him, giving a quick smile that soon disappeared to give way to a confused and even a little worried expression – But that's quite a cult of logic, don't you think? It's surprising how skeptical you seem to be about anything supernatural. – She assessed him curiously – After everything I've learned about the Knights, this was the last type of behavior I would have expected.
- I didn't know that believing too much in science and logic was a bad thing. - Logan muttered, annoyed with the fact that that conversation had ended on that subject - But I think skeptic is a word that defines me well. I consider it a compliment, actually. - He forced a smile, even knowing that anyone could see his annoyance - I've had enough proof that the only strength that really makes a difference in this world is willpower. – with that statement, his yellow smile became convinced, almost satisfied, especially for knowing that that was the greatest truth that could exist.
- Oh yeah, smart guy? – Megan sneered, raising a small wooden box at his eye level, with some figures of moons and stars carved everywhere - So why don't you let me read your future? I still have some free time before my sister arrives so I can introduce her to you. Who knows, maybe you'll end up discovering exactly the opposite of what you just said?
- Frankly, Megan... - Now it was his turn to roll his eyes, more upset than ever - Didn't you hear anything I said?
- Well, Logan, if it's such a silly thing, what harm will it do if you try? Devon challenged, raising an eyebrow provocatively as he wrapped an arm around Megan's shoulders, clearly pleased to see his girlfriend bother his older brother.
- Hmmm... So, Ellie, you want to go to the park and ride your bike, don't you? – he diverted his attention to his niece, giving her a forced euphoric smile – Come on, I'll take you…
- No, Uncle Logan! – her niece exclaimed, angrily, stamping her small foot on the ground covered with grass – Let Aunt Megan read your future! – Eleanor screamed and bounced excitedly, wrapping both little hands around his anxiously – You'll see how much fun it is and you'll change your mind!
- Megan will draw the cards for Logan?! – He grunted when he heard his brother-in-law's euphoric voice approaching them and he didn't even need to look in his direction to know that Diana was certainly beside her – This one I can't lose!
- Will it be a prediction of the future or a show? – He growled, seeing that not only his sister was beside Paul, but also his parents, apparently as interested in the spectacle as their niece, as Daniel was wheeling his wheelchair quickly towards them, watching Logan with amusement and anticipation, as Gwyneth followed a little more leisurely, carrying with her a tray full of cookies: one of several desserts they would have for lunch that day, when the guest of honor, Megan's younger sister, finally arrived.
- With all your insufferable skepticism, it's definitely the best show ever. – Her sister Diana smirked, while Paul promptly pulled out a chair so she could sit down, cradling her huge 7-month pregnant belly between her hands, almost as if she were already cradling her unborn second child.
- Well, then, you can save your popcorn and tickets, because there is nothing to see here! – grunting, Logan was ready to turn his back on his exasperating family, but his father's wheelchair, strategically positioned between him and the table, prevented him – Oh, come on, dad... – with a defeated sigh, Logan tried to argue, but his parents cut him off, smiling just as playfully as Megan.
- I think Devon has a good point, son. – His father looked at him sideways, visibly amused by Logan's annoyance with the whole situation. There was no secret that Daniel disagreed with all of his general skepticism, but when it came to his disbelief and revulsion where this fateful matter was concerned, Logan knew it worried him deeply. Without a doubt, seeing him in the middle of that situation must have been a lot of fun for him - and, if Logan knew his own father well, Daniel must also be minimally hopeful that he would change his mind about how he viewed the legacy of the Knights and his own. .. Curse.
- If you really don't believe in Megan's tarot reading, then it won't hurt anyone to try it, right? – Daniel concluded, smiling with confidence and mockery – It won't change in your life, after all.
- What's the point in doing this, then, if I don't believe? – Snorting with irritation, Logan tried to get out of there again, but his family remained surrounding him, which made him growl – Frankly… It will just be a waste of my time and hers. Also, I make my own future. – he shrugged, enraged – I don't need anyone to tell me how he will be.
-But it's so nice, Uncle Logan... - Eleanor made an adorable pout, almost begging, as she continued to pull his hand-And so you can apologize to Aunt Megan for calling her a bigot. – the girl put her small index finger in the air, pointing at his face accusingly.
- Logan Tristan Knight, what did you call your sister-in-law? Gwyneth asked slowly, looking like she was about to give him the kind of lecture he hadn't heard since he was a kid.
- That was a misunderstanding, mom... - Logan sighed, already completely fed up with all that - And the conversation here is not about that...!
- Well, then from now on, I withdraw my pardon, unless you agree to let me draw the cards for you. – Megan interrupted him, with an evil smile, again lifting her wooden box, which apparently was where her precious tarot was kept.
"Megan…" Her growl, however, was quickly interrupted again.
- Come on, Logan, don't be so annoying! – Paul sat next to Diana, pulling Eleanor onto her lap – What harm will it make you try? – her brother-in-law opened a devilish smile - Or are you afraid of finally starting to believe that Megan really has magical powers?
- Oh, please, as if that were possible... - he grunted, exasperated - You're not going to leave me alone until I say yes, are you? – Containing himself not to curse in front of his niece, Logan growled, defeated – Okay, okay... But let it be quick! – He begged Megan, trying to control her anger.
- Come on, you grumpy bastard. – Megan laughed, going to sit at the end of the table and indicating that he should sit in the chair right next to her, arranging the two so that they were facing each other – I promise that no one will die if you waste five minutes of your time with my deck. – Her sister-in-law smiled, nimbly removing the long tarot cards from inside the wooden box and beginning to skillfully shuffle them.
- Five whole minutes? he grunted, but still dragged himself to the chair, slumping there with a sulky sigh.
- First of all, I would like you to understand that the tarot is not just for predicting the future. He's about self-knowledge. And it just helps you make decisions, rather than dictating them, as you seem to believe. – Megan observed him haughtily, explaining everything with the most solemn of voices – Oh, and I'm not a “guesser”, I'm a tarot reader. - she scolded him lightly - And a tarot reader does not addvinations: analyzes what the arcana mean. A proud smile spread across her face.
- Very interesting, Megan... - Logan snorted, already terribly bored - I already told you that I won't belittle any of this again. Can we just go for it? – He pleaded with her again, barely able to believe that he was actually about to waste time listening to someone talk about what a bunch of drawn cards meant.
- Just one more thing: you have to tell me what you want to know about, so I can play for you. - Megan informed him, still reverently shuffling the cards - So, what will it be?
- Oh, for God's sake, Megan, just pick any subject, okay? he whined in a low voice, exasperated.
- And then I suggest we ask about the great challenge you are facing at present. So we will also have some advice on how you can act in the future to overcome your problems. – Megan's expression was nothing more than sparkling at that possibility – What do you think?
- All right, whatever. Just get on with it. – Logan snorted, not being able to stop his mind from thinking that there wasn't a big challenge currently in his life. The company was booming and all the Knights were happy and healthy. Without a doubt, there was, for a long time, no problem that populated his mind...
Of course, there was always the fear that it would overwhelm him...
Damn it, why was he thinking about that?
It wasn't like Megan's precious little cards were even going to come close to nailing down what his real concerns were.
- Very well. – for a few long moments, Megan remained calmly with her eyes closed, apparently concentrating, before starting to shuffle and cut the cards a few more times, until she finally randomly selected three of them, still with her eyes closed. After placing them gently on the table, millimetrically next to each other, Megan finally opened her eyes and began to explain, placing one of her nails, painted with a dark purple nail polish, over the back of the first of the letters, whose drawings, outlined in gold against a black background, showed a moon in a star-filled sky – This first card represents the past, the origins of the issue or problem you are experiencing… – finally, after another moment passing the tip From her fingers on the letter, her sister-in-law finally turned it over, revealing the strange figure of a being with horns, bat wings and a distorted expression, accompanied by a naked man and woman, who also had horns and tails.
- The Devil... – Megan revealed, her eyes unfocused.
- The perfect card to represent Logan. – Diana laughed evilly – Want more proof that Megan is right and you are wrong? - Her sister teased him, which only made him roll his eyes again, increasingly irritated by it all.
- This card represents an addiction, an excess that is bad for you... - Megan pondered, so focused on her analysis that she seemed to be oblivious to everything around her - It symbolizes that there is something you are very determined to do, or to prevent , and it's hurting you, Logan. You must beware of your over-willingness to make something happen or prevent it from happening, or many difficulties will arise for you... Or perhaps they already have. She looked at him shrewdly, almost as if she could see right through him.
Sitting straighter in the chair, Logan straightened. Of course, there was no connection between the two things, but there was a part of him that couldn't help but be disturbed by Megan's mention of preventing something from happening. Avoiding the curse was the one thing he'd craved since he was a child. And, in fact, he had dedicated his entire adult life to thinking about what he would do to prevent it from reaching him, or else preserve his free will, in case he really was unlucky enough to be yet another victim of the Knight legacy... But then why was he even thinking about that? Megan's speech was nothing more than generic. Indeed, she could say the same of any excess, beyond fear and care. None of that had anything to do with him or his life.
"The Lovers..." He was barely aware that Megan had turned over the second card until he heard her announce it, her big brown eyes so wide he could almost feel her shock as if it were his own. own. In their hands was a black and gold drawing of a couple reaching out to each other without touching, with a cupid over them and what looked like a priest with his hands on the couple's shoulders, as if he were bringing them together – So ... - he looked up from the drawing to Megan's expression, now understanding and almost crestfallen - Is that what you're so afraid of? - Her conspiratorial tone and the way her eyes quickly met with Devon's gave him let me know that now she knew very well what they were talking about there. And that infuriated him more than he thought possible.
- I'm not afraid of anything. – Logan snarled, trying to contain his temper, at the same time that anger took him when he realized that now not only Megan knew what the real issue was about there, but also her entire family, judging by the way they suddenly became tense and silent. Damn that deck of Megan's and those random cards that for some incomprehensible reason had landed right on her weak spot...
No, he had no weakness. A long time ago, he had promised himself that he would never allow himself to have that kind of soft spot.
- So that's what you want to avoid so much... - Megan ignored him solemnly, still looking worried and extremely concentrated on the letter on the table - Oh, Logan, I'm sorry, but these efforts are in vain. The second card is about the present and Os Enamorados represents some kind of relationship that is to come, which can also mean a romantic love... - after a moment pondering, she looked at him with intensity again, with her face almost pitying - What you fear most will come... And it will be very soon. – she warned him in a low voice – Fortunately, this letter represents a good relationship. But not only that. It also represents free will and an important choice that only you can make. You must prepare yourself to make the right decisions regarding your heart... – she touched the Devil's card carefully – Or your excess of fear could lead to complications.
- No, nothing will come! – he growled slowly, feeling the fury take him by imagining himself in the scenario that Megan was describing – I won't allow it!
- Oh, Logan. – instead of getting scared or angry with his reaction, Megan's face just became even more sympathetic and pious. – It is something that is out of your control.
Prologue - Three Cards (Part 2)
- Oh, Logan. – instead of getting scared or angry with his reaction, Megan's face just became even more sympathetic and pious. – It is something that is out of your control.
Yes, he'd always known it wasn't under her control. And that was the part that infuriated him the most and, as much as he hated to admit it, it also terrified him. Over the past few years, he had seen the curse take effect before his very eyes, surrounding him more and more, as if warning that he would be next.
The first was Diana. She had accompanied him six years ago when he visited the office of a security firm he planned to hire for his modeling agency. They were about to enter the meeting when one of the doors to the adjoining rooms burst open, nearly hitting her sister in the face in the process. And Diana, as temperamental as he was, was clearly ready to make the person responsible for that regret having been born... Until his eyes met Paul's, who quickly left his office ap
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