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Being the most powerful and richest man in Virginia, Sean Hartmann can do anything, everything, except for one thing. That is to forgive the woman who killed his brother. Being a well-known stripper in Maryland and Virginia, Maxine Winther only wants to give the best to her family. Sean accused Maxine of murdering his brother. Maxine loathes Sean for taking her family. Unbeknownst to them, fate has a different plan. One is bound to die with hatred, and the other is bound to live with regrets. But what will happen when the dead comes back to life? What would happen if one of them decided to part ways with the other, but fate kept them connected to one another?
Chapter 1 – A Night with a Stranger
Lottie used all the strength she had left to warn Maxine. She has to help her escape. Otherwise, who knows what that geezer will do to Maxine?
Who knows what their mother will do to Lottie?
As soon as she heard Lottie’s voice, Maxine forced herself to run as fast as she could. When she looked back, two of George Lucas’ men were still chasing after her.
She saw an open door, and Maxine entered it without thinking twice. She sat on the corner, leaned on the wall, and hugged her legs.
After a few more minutes, the hallway fell silent. Maxine slowly stood up and walked to the door. She made sure not to make a sound.
She peeked outside carefully to check if it was safe to go out. When she was sure the villains had already left, she fixed her clothes and attempted to go out.
Before she could, someone pulled her back inside. The room was dark, but she was sure that whoever it was, it was a man.
She landed on his lap, and her hands landed on his chest. Maxine could feel the man’s masculine physique, but no matter how she tried, she couldn’t make out his face.
Surprisingly, the stranger turned her over on the bed and positioned himself on top of her. “Save me, please. Save me, and I’ll marry you,” the man whispered between labored breaths.
Maxine Winther wanted to refuse. She tried to push him off her, but his voice weakened everything in her, including her resolve.
The man started devouring her, kissing her lips until she could taste blood. He licked and sucked her neck until it began leaving marks.
He didn’t stop until he was satisfied.
And, on that night, Maxine Winther lost something precious to her. What’s worse is that she lost it to a stranger. Not even someone she loves.
When Maxine thought it was over, she tried to stand up, despite her shaking legs. In one swift movement, she pulled the blanket to cover her nakedness.
However, even before Maxine’s feet touched the floor, she was pulled back by the waist. Just like that, he started with her over again.
The mysterious man didn’t stop until it was almost dawn. Maxine was exhausted and fatigued, but when she noticed that he was already fast asleep, she tried to escape.
Maxine didn’t bother knowing who the man was. He was facing the other way, and she was afraid he’d wake up if she checked.
All she wanted was to escape hell and find her sister. She needs to know what happened to Lottie after she helped her escape that geezer.
She exited the room, ran down the stairs, and headed to the exit of the hotel. When Maxine stepped out, her eyes flickered from the sun’s blinding rays. It made her feel weaker. It made her feel the pain from last night even more tormenting.
Wanting to go home in a hurry, she hailed a cab and told the driver her destination as soon as she was inside. On their way, Maxine fell asleep. She only woke up when the driver tapped her knee and told her they’d arrived at Grayson.
Back in the small apartment, Lottie couldn’t sit still as she hadn’t heard from her sister since last night. She’s worried, and Lottie’s certain their mother will kill her if she finds out Maxine didn’t come home.
Stella Winther, their adoptive mother, would look for Maxine whenever she woke up. The woman was sick, and she'd been bedridden since they moved to Virginia.
“Lottie, where’s Maxine?” Stella asked. It’s already past 7 in the morning, and she still hasn’t heard her daughter’s voice.
Rattled, Lottie approached their mother and started massaging her legs. “She’s coming home soon, mom. They just had to do some cleaning at the club last night, and they just finished,” she lied.
While coaxing Stella to calm down, she tried calling her sister again. However, up to that hour, Maxine’s phone was still unattended.
Upon hearing that voice, Stella pushed herself to sit up, “Maxine? Is that Maxine?” she asked. She did come, and Lottie let out the breath she'd been holding for a while.
“You, bitch! Where have you been?” Lottie sneered. She glanced back to check if their mother had heard her.
“It’s a long story, sis. Just be thankful I’m home now,” then she walked past her sister, sat on the edge of the bed, and hugged their mother. “How are you, mom? Are you feeling okay?”
“I was worried about you. I didn’t hear your voice the whole night.”
Maxine apologized and kissed her. After some explaining, she headed to their room, grabbed a towel, and took a shower.
When she went out, and even before Lottie could say anything, she headed to her bed and lay down. “You owe me an explanation,” Lottie told her, crossing her arms over her chest.
Maxine pushed herself up to hug her sister, “We’ll talk tonight, but let me sleep for now. I’m dead tired.”
Lottie let go of her when she noticed the dark circles under her eyes and the marks on her neck. ‘She seemed really tired,’ Lottie thought before walking out of their room.
Several hours passed, and Maxine woke up to the sound of her alarm clock. It’s already 7 in the evening. It’s time for them to prepare and go to work.
While preparing, she started telling Lottie what had happened that night. Maxine knew she wouldn’t stop until she said something.
However, she kept mum about spending the night with a stranger. She doesn’t think it’s appropriate to tell Lottie about that.
Yes, she lied to her sister.
She told Lottie she fell asleep in the room where she hid. She also told her the marks on her neck were by George Lucas before she could escape him.
When their neighbor, Gloria, arrived, Maxine and Lottie bade their mother goodbye. They also reminded the woman not to forget their mother’s medication, like they always do.
After half an hour of travel, the sisters stepped into Purple Spade and saw the owner, Randy, leaning on the bar. The man pressed the cigarette on the ashtray as soon as he saw them.
“Where were you last night when you suddenly disappeared?”
Maxine walked up to the man with a hand on her waist, “Why don’t you ask your favorite manager?” Then she turned and glared at Doug.
Randy looked over his shoulder and saw the man looking uneasy. He gestured for him to come over, “What happened?”
“S-Sir, last—“ Doug’s voice was shaky and stuttering. He kept fiddling with his fingers while trying to explain to their boss.
Everyone listening was starting to run out of patience. First among the crowd was Lottie, and so she stepped up to steal the show.
“Doug received a payment from George Lucas. He let that geezer take Max out. He even put a sleeping pill in her drink and carried her out through the back door,” she narrated, looking smug as she looked straight at the culprit.
Randy jumped at Doug and grabbed his collar. He was so mad his eyes were bloodshot. “Why did you do that?” he roared.
Shaking, Doug tried to explain and defend himself. Before he could utter another word, Randy punched him in the face. He fell to the floor along with bottles and glasses that hit his face.
“Leave, now! You’re, fired!”
Doug pushed himself up and wiped the blood dripping from the side of his left eye. Dragging his footsteps, he headed for the exit, but before he was out, he glared at Maxine.
As he passed by her, Doug pointed a finger, “I’ll kill you!” he threatened. But Maxine wasn’t scared of him. She never will be.
Chapter 2 – Introductions are in Order
It’s been a month since the incident with George Lucas. She had not seen Doug since he left Purple Spade, and Maxine was relieved that he did not put his threat into action.
Maxine stopped by the road next to Purple Spade and lit a cigarette. It has been her routine since she started working as a stripper.
She was about to flick the cigarette butt when a silver Chrysler Pacifica stopped next to her. Before she could react, a burly man jumped out, grabbed her arm, and covered her mouth.
She tried to fight back, but the man overpowered Maxine, and she lost consciousness. The man dragged her into the vehicle and drove off.
In a little apartment back at Grayson, Lottie received a call from Randy. The man was looking for her sister.
Worried sick, Lottie tried calling her, but to no avail. She tried to get in touch with Maxine until dawn, but her phone was still off.
Unbeknownst to her, the woman she was trying to call was still asleep. She was sitting
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