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“Have you been constantly going at the Dawson Estate?” Justine asked as soon as they hit the road.

“Not really,” Nick just replied in brief.

“How did you know about the duke then?”

Nick smiled. “Why did you like to know?” He glanced at her then back to the road.

Justine shrugged. “Nothing. He’s my former boyfriend and he hasn’t really introduced me mostly to his friends and family before. Louis said they were in London, looking after his father.”

“Didn’t you urged him to go to London then and took care of his father?”

“No. I admit that I don’t want him out of my sight then. But things got a little hazy and we broke up. He’s a great man. Xenia is lucky.” Justine said, looking out at the window. Nick glanced at her, hinting that he somehow saw regret in her eyes for letting go of Louis.

Nick sighed. “Yeah, she’s lucky.” Just as then, Justine turned to him.

“Do you like her, Nick?”


“Do you like her?”

“Yes, but I can’t have her now. She’s married to my friend,” Nick replied, his eyes on the road and he didn’t saw a grin across Justine’s face. Then he glanced at her and saw it. “What’s with that? What are you thinking, Justine?”

“Nothing. Forget it.”

Nick placed his hand over Justine’s leg. “Oh, come on.” He smiled. “Tell me. What are your plans?” To my wife, he added silently. “Who knows? I might agree with you.”

“Well…” Justine’s hand traveled on her own and found Nick’s thigh. “What if you and me work together to separate the two? Lure Xenia to ran away with you and I will have the duke back?”

“Perfectly good idea, but no. I cannot do that,” he swallowed hard as her hand reached between his thighs and caressed it softly. Well, he’s a man, married or not. But he only wanted Xenia. He took the hand away from there. “What do you think are the chances that you’ll get the duke and I’ll have Xenia?”

“I know that Xenia likes you. That’s a woman instinct. Who could resist you anyway? Even I wanted you in my bed, Nick.” He felt her breathing when Justine’s tongue flickered on his earlobe. Nick cursed her and himself silently. “And I know that I could still get Louis.”

“Really? Then why didn’t he marry you instead of Xenia?” Nick’s question caught her off-guard.

“He just wanted me to get jealous, Nick. And now that he does, you’re going to help me get him back. You’ll have Xenia and I’ll have Louis. That’s fair enough. You take Xenia back to New York, the duke wouldn’t mind.” She met his unconvincing look. “Trust me, Nick. I knew Louis.” She watched as Nick grew silent for a while, pondering on what she proposed. “Think of those lovely doe eyes, soft lips and warm smile greeting you every morning when you wake up, Nick. Make her fall in love with you and you’ll have her forever. She doesn’t need a beast for a husband, but I do. I want Louis.” Her hopes soared when Nick smiled.

But Nick is thinking of something else. No matter how absurd was Justine’s sense of reasoning, he wanted to give in. He’s thinking of ways to make Xenia totally fall for him, but not with what Justine wanted. He had an insight on how Xenia wanted him when they’re making love. Xenia is already his wife, in which Justine didn’t know. He has his own plans. It’s impossible for Justine’s plan to happen. He is the duke, and not Louis of whom she thought he was. “I would like to make Xenia fall in love with me,” he announced. His mind raced to thoughts on the ways to show Xenia how much he loves her, and she’s going to moan and shout his name in complete surrender.

“That’s nice to hear, Nick. After dropping me off to the city, you may start luring Xenia with your charms,” she winked at him. Nick could only smile. Almost an hour later, he parked the car in front of the bank. It so happened that Kevin was passing by the sidewalk and saw the two.

“Hi, Justine. Hi, Nick…”

Justine felt herself blushed when she received a cheerful greeting from the handsome man. She admits she secretly likes Kevin but she’s a very ambitious woman. Kevin Richardson won’t give her the luxury and power she’s craving for. He’s just one of the many depositors in the bank who had less than the target bank account she’s looking for. “You knew Nick?” She asked him instead returning his greeting.

Kevin glanced at Nick first then to her, “Yes. Anyway, how are you, Justine?”

“Doing fine,” Justine replied with disinterest.

“I was thinking if we could have dinner sometime…”

“I’m sorry but I can’t, Kevin. I’m really busy right now.” Justine said and excused herself. She left the two watching her leave. Kevin sighed.

“What does that mean, cousin?” Nick asked quietly as he stood beside him. “Do you like her? She’s obviously just looking at men’s bank accounts.”

Kevin shakes his head in frustration. “Yes, I know about that. She’s one of our suspects for Louis’ death and if she is guilty of the crime, I am prepared to see her go to jail as well.”


“It’s alright, Nick. Maybe I just got carried away with her charming beauty. But if she did and went to jail, I could still accept her once she got out from there. Damn, I didn’t know what hit me, Nick. That woman’s poison. She keeps on rejecting me, and I’m so much wanted her. But first things first,” Kevin gave his cousin a smile. “And you? Why don’t you go home and woo your wife?”

“I’ll do that later. Right now, I have to tell you what Justine had just proposed to me…”