Echo:A Dark Billionaire Romance

By: A Zavarelli

“That’s not possible,” I stuttered. “I’m on the shot.”

The doctor frowned and flipped through his chart. “When was your last shot?”

I tried to tally up the months in my head when a sick feeling washed over me. I vaguely remembered getting a message from the doctor that Ryland had organized for me before Brayden had stormed into his office. That was two and a half months ago. Nearly six months total since I’d had the shot.

“It’s been six months,” I sobbed. “Oh my God… I’m such an idiot.”

“I’m afraid the shot only lasts for three,” the doctor replied. “But you do have options, Miss Valentine. I could send someone to discuss them with you if you’d like…”

“Is it… is my baby okay?” I blurted. “The accident…”

“The baby is okay.” He gave me a hopeful smile. “We managed to detect a heartbeat, and all looks well. You do have a rather large cut on your leg though, and a mild concussion, so we will need to keep you for observation.”

He continued to talk, but I didn’t hear a word. I was going to be a mother. To Ryland’s baby. Another sob escaped my chest and the doctor clutched his chart before checking my IV.

“I think perhaps you should get some rest,” he said gently. “You’ve been through quite an ordeal tonight. Everything will feel better in the morning.”

There was hope in his voice, and I didn’t want to dash his optimistic attitude. Because it wasn’t going to be alright. But either way, I would be a mother, and my whole world was going to have to change.


Brayden came to see me in the middle of the night, followed by an angry nurse in his wake.

“Sir, I told you, you can’t be in here right now.”

“It’s okay,” I told her. “Please, let him stay. He just wants to make sure I’m alright.”

She gave him another stern expression before handing him some paperwork.

“Fine, but you still need to sign the discharge papers.”

She walked out and closed the door behind her, and Brayden reached down to clutch me in his arms.

“I’m so sorry,” he rasped. “I’m so sorry, Brighton. Are you okay? God you were bleeding all over the place. I thought I’d lost you.”

“I’m okay,” I assured him. “What about you?”

“I’m fine.” He collapsed into the seat beside me where Ryland had been earlier.

He looked exhausted, and his clothes still had blood on them.

“Why did you discharge yourself?” I asked. “You should be resting.”

“I’m fine,” he replied. “And I can’t stay here, Brighton. Now that I know you’re okay…”

He trailed off, but I knew exactly what he was thinking.

“Brayden, please…”

“He tricked me just to get me here. I played right into his hands. Frankie’s wife has known about us all along. She doesn’t give a shit.”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“Norma-Jean spoke to her,” he explained. “She called to try to reason with her. It turned out, Frankie had been lying to us all along. He never had any ties to the mob. He was a hired gun for some sort of loan shark, but he told us that so he wouldn’t have to be responsible for us.”

“So we’re not in danger then?” I asked in confusion.

“Not from Frankie’s family. It’s why he’s dead. He paid for his sins, but it doesn’t change anything. I have to end this, Brighton,” he said calmly. “I know you think you love Ryland, but this is never going to stop.”

“No.” My lip quivered, and I looked away. “It isn’t ever going to stop. Because you both keep trying to kill each other. I can’t fucking handle this anymore, Brayden.”

My voice rose, and I was becoming hysterical, but I didn’t care.

The door burst open a moment later, with Ryland and the same angry nurse.

“That’s it,” she growled. “I’m calling security.”

“I want them both gone,” I snapped. “I don’t want to see either of you again.”

They both looked at me with pained expressions while the nurse made the call.

“Brighton…” they pleaded simultaneously.

“You can both keep playing this twisted game,” I cried. “But I’m done. I’m out. I have nothing left to give anymore. ”

An eery silence fell over the room while they both processed my words. I meant what I said, and they could see that.

I was done. I wouldn’t be like Norma. I wouldn’t raise my child living in fear and holing myself away.

Security arrived a few minutes later, and neither one of them said another word as they were dragged from the room. It was the first peaceful feeling I’d had in six months.

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