Dante (Stone Society Book 3)

BOOK: Dante (Stone Society Book 3)
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Dante

 

Stone
Society Book 3

 

By
Faith Gibson

 

 

 

All
rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the
scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without
the permission of the publisher is unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s
intellectual property. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.  

 

This
book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance
to actual events, locations, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

 

The
author acknowledges the copyrighted or trademarked status and trademark owners
of the wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction.

 

Copyright © 2015 by Faith Gibson

Published by Faith Gibson

Editor: Jagged Rose Wordsmithing

First e-book edition: May 2015

First print edition: May 2015

Cover design by KPG, photos from
iStock

ISBN:
978-0-9963664-0-3

 

 

This
book is intended for mature audiences only.

 

Dedication

 

To the
kids who enrich our lives. For me, the boy and the girl make it all worth it.

 

As
always, to the man for indulging me and loving me, unconditionally.

 

Acknowledgements

 

My
writing posse: Kendall, Jen, and Nikki – thank you for having my back, day in
and day out

My
beta readers: Alex B, Sharon B, Shannon P, Candy R, Tanya R, and Lita T

KPG
– all I can say is WOW

The
ladies at TaSTy WordGasms, thank you for always being there for me

Cheri-Anne
Boitson, what a fabulous cheerleader you are, and your reviews make my heart
sing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

Prologue

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-One

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

Twenty-Four

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Six

Twenty-Seven

Twenty-Eight

Twenty-Nine

Thirty

Thirty-One

Thirty-Two

Thirty-Three

Thirty-Four

Thirty-Five

Thirty-Six

Epilogue

About
the Author

Other
Works by Faith Gibson

Prologue

 

Greece,
2041

 

Isabelle
Sarantos was seasick. The normally calm waters off the shore of Zakynthos were choppy
and angry, matching the mood of her husband, Alexi. Her new husband. What was
supposed to be the happiest time of her life was quickly turning into one of
the worst. The honeymoon was definitely over. If she were honest with herself,
it ended before it even started. Alexi’s family had pushed for a quick wedding,
but she had insisted on having a several months long engagement.

Now
that Alexi had his ring on her finger, he no longer felt the need to wine and
dine her. Or kiss her. Or make love to her. Sure, they had sex, but it had
turned as rough as her husband. While they were engaged, Alexi casually brought
up discussions of her father, Jonas Montague. Her father, the world famous
doctor and scientist who successfully created the first cloned human. Once they
were married, Alexi was no longer casual. When Isabelle couldn’t convince him
she had no dealings with her father, whom she assumed was dead, or his
research, Alexi turned cold and callous.

The
yacht tipped and lurched as did Isabelle’s stomach. She tried talking to him.
That angered him. She tried staying away from him. That angered him more. She
asked to go back to their villa when the weather turned dark. He slapped her,
causing blood to pool in the corner of her mouth. The marina was no longer in
sight; the yacht was in the middle of the ravaging sea. Still, Isabelle stood
on deck, holding on to the railing.

“What
are you doing out here? Get your ass inside!” Alexi had caught up with her.
There were only so many places you could go on a boat, even one the size of
The
Magdalena
. Isabelle thought for one brief second about jumping
overboard. The man standing before her was not the man she fell in love with. The
charm had been removed by the words
I DO
. Alexi caught her looking over
the railing. “Do you want to go into the water? Is that what you’re
contemplating? Answer me!”

Alexi
grabbed Isabelle and pushed her face over the railing toward the water. What
happened next was a blur. Adrenaline must have set in, because Isabelle knew in
that instant she did not want to go into the Ionian Sea. Rain drizzled,
slicking the polished wood deck. She and Alexi fought. He slapped her, and she
kneed him in the balls. When he recovered, he came at her. Somehow the momentum
of Alexi charging and the way Isabelle twisted had her husband flying over the
railing into the tempestuous waters.

Isabelle
heard a shrill noise, one that wouldn’t stop. When one of the yacht crewmen
grabbed her arms, she realized it was her. She was screaming for help. Panic erupted
with everyone involved. Isabelle knew enough about the Sarantos family to know the
shit had just hit the fan for her. It wouldn’t matter that Alexi struck her, or
she had been defending herself. They would blame her for what happened. Her
life was ruined. She was ruined. Isabelle would have to leave Greece, return to
the States, and start life over.

The
next few hours were a nightmare. The harbor patrol was called to
The
Magdalena
where Isabelle was grilled relentlessly. Had the bruise on her
face and the swelling of her bloody lip not been indications she was telling
the truth, she probably would have been hauled to jail for murder. When Stavros
Sarantos, Alexi’s father, heard the news, to say he was distraught was an
understatement. He wanted Isabelle charged with manslaughter.

The
next few days turned into weeks. Those were worse than the day Alexi went
overboard. The weather broke and the waters calmed, still his body was never
found. The authorities questioned all the crew members. Even though some had
seen the way Alexi treated her, none would speak up against him. Isabelle was
given an around the clock guard at her and Alexi’s home. Stavros did his best
to have Isabelle removed from the house, but a judge had ordered him to stand
down. He must have been the one judge in all of Greece the Sarantos patriarch
didn’t have in his pocket.

Isabelle
truly feared for her life. She didn’t leave the house. She called the hospital
administrator and asked for a leave of absence. This was granted considering
she had lost her husband. A permanent leave was granted when Stavros strong
armed the Chief of Staff. Not only did Isabelle lose her husband, she lost her
job. Her father-in-law called her daily, threatening her. Isabelle finally
stopped answering the phone. She was in a country with no family, no friends,
and no means of support. Luckily, she had put what she received from her salary
at the hospital into a separate account. Having signed a pre-nuptial agreement
in the event of Alexi’s death, Isabelle got a small settlement paid in cash.
All property would go back to the family. She was thankful she and Alexi didn’t
have children. Stavros had mentioned more than once how he would have a hand in
raising his grandchildren.

Almost
a month to the date of the incident, the police found no evidence of foul play
on Isabelle’s part, and she was declared innocent. The policeman who stood
guard outside her home drove her to the bank and then the airport. She withdrew
all her money, putting it in a carry-on suitcase. It might be crazy to walk
around toting that much cash, but she didn’t trust its safety any other way.
With one suitcase full of money and one full of clothes and jewelry, Isabelle
left Greece and never looked back.

Isabelle returned
to the one place where she had felt loved: Tennessee. Even though Maria and
Rico were more like a foster family in the beginning, they had taken her in and
cared for her when her own parents abandoned her. It took a couple of weeks,
but Isabelle finally settled into a rental apartment. She bought a small,
energy efficient car and began applying for jobs. She pawned every piece of
jewelry Alexi had ever given her. When her nausea continued, she finally
convinced herself to take a pregnancy test. Isabelle hadn’t left all of the
Sarantos family behind. She had the newest member growing in her belly.

 

BOOK: Dante (Stone Society Book 3)
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