The Wrong Type of Seduction

77 Val


77: Val

Val was home in two days — home being anywhere her son, Matt, and Pam resided. 

Matt waited on her hand and foot until Pam pushed him aside and fussed about him going back to work.

“You have music to make, so let me do the mothering.” The woman demanded.

But Pam took a back seat to a real medical professional when Matt’s mother came to tend to Val’s wound personally.

“Though I suck as a mother, I excel as a doctor so this is the least I can do for my son.” The woman said, showing off dimples that matched Matt’s and Bailey’s. Their mother reminded her a lot of Matt, unusually brilliant in a singular pursuit. While Matt’s was music, their mother’s was medicine. And she knew her stuff.

“Tell me about Travis Radford.” Val had asked when the woman was rewrapping the bandages around her torso.

“Charming at first.” Their mother had said, “But over time you see the darkness, the narcissistic complex, the need to be on top and dominate all those around him. He hated to be out done. Hated to look bad. And hated to lose. And when I say hate I mean every sense of the word. He had a contained rage that was toxic and torturous. So don’t feel bad about killing him…he had it coming. But Bailey, he mostly saw the good side of Travis so it may take him a moment to completely accept you.”

But Val believed that Bailey was warming up to her with the help of her son. She thanked Bailey for helping with Christophe before he went back to Seattle. Her serious brother had already paid one NFL fine for being absent from the team, she didn’t want him to pay two even though Bailey wanted to stay and help with his nephew. Of course the first fine was returned to him when Gabe made a call.

With Ricci nothing more than history, Matt and Tyler went to work finding the best school for Christophe. Her son was gifted in building using Legos and erector sets, so they focused on schools that specialized in engineering. Cody kept Val company during her recovery when Matt was busy with his music, which was wonderful because that allowed Pam to focus half of her mothering on someone else.

It was a few weeks before Val was close to ninety percent. By then, Mr. Walthour and his mother were ready to start introducing her to everything Bellini and Sadik. Donya had wanted to give up Sadik years ago, but she knew her son had too much on his plate with the company and Bellini. Now with Val agreeing to their terms and her own, Donya felt relief that her family was in good hands and she could now focus on her soon to be grandchild and Christophe who she adopted as her own.

With Ricci’s annihilation and two other organizations poised for war after the deaths of their treacherous leaders, Val made an executive decision to bring Voronin into the alliance. Her argument for the nomination was that any resistance or tension would disappear, because no one wanted to mess with the madman. The saying music soothes the savage beast, applied to Voronin and Val would use Matt with his permission to keep the man in check. Not only did the alliance agree, the two groups that demanded answers of their leaders’ deaths, stopped asking questions and meekly quieted submitting to the rule of the alliance.

Three months had passed since the incident with Ricci and Val was sitting on the sofa reading when Bailey entered the condo dropping his duffel by the door.

“You’re late,” she said flipping the page of her book.

“Sorry the plane was delayed.” Bailey came around the couch wearing his evening best. It was a beautiful black three-piece suit that made him all kinds of handsome. He stopped at the edge of the long couch and looked down, gold eyes narrowing into a frown.

On one thigh, lay Christophe’s head, sleeping with the same thumb in his mouth she had pulled out minutes ago. On the other thigh, lay Tyler’s curly head, his ankles propped up and feet hanging off the sofa arm. Both were also wearing their best black evening suits.

“Should I ask?” Bailey grumbled going around to pick up Christophe.

“Tyler came in an hour ago, jet lagged, so he decided to take a nap. Seems the bed was too far… And jealous that Tyler was using my leg as a pillow, Christophe decided he wanted equal time.” Val shrugged. “Would you like me to wake him?” She asked wiggling her brows.

“Oh, no. That’s my pleasure.” Bailey thumped Tyler’s ear.

Tyler flinched before groaning. When he saw Bailey he popped up and was about to throw his arms around him when he noticed Christophe sleep in those big arms. That gorgeous face scowled down at Val.

“What’s the saying?” Val asked. “You snooze you lose?”

“Yep,” Bailey agreed and walked toward the door. Before leaving the condo, he ordered. “Ty, go get Cody and meet us downstairs.”

Tyler sighed trudging to do what he was told.

“No, worries, sweetie…” Val ran her hands through his silky curls, eliminating his bedhead. “I’ll let you grope me later so he can be jealous.” A jealous Bailey meant a jealous Matt. The punishment was always so rough and wonderful, for both of them. And she knew that because she and Tyler compared notes. “And remember, you have to do it when he can see it or it won’t be effective.”

“I like you better than Matt,” Tyler declared, offering his arm for her to take.

She walked with him to get Cody, who was rounder and grumpier. Dr. Radford, their mother, met them down in the condo’s lobby.

They all got into limos provided by Tyler which took them to Matt’s debut of his first broadway musical where he did not only the music, but wrote the stage play with help from a well known playwright. The production was called The Mad Knight. Though the play was still in production and not released to the public yet, he wanted to do something special for all the sponsors who helped fund the musical. So it was mostly all the songs and select scenes from the actual play in order to show the patrons and matrons they were getting their money’s worth.

The family took their reserved seats in the box and mingled with Ivan Voronin, Donya Walthour, Gabe, and her long time acquaintance Khalid Ussan before the play.

Khalid walked with her back to the seat after both grabbed a bottle of wine and glasses. “You look beautiful in that dress,” he said nearly drooling as he looked her over for the tenth time at least.

“Thank you, dear.”

“I’m still upset you didn’t chose me.” He sighed heavenly. “Was it because you’re my cousin? Because you know, even after finding out, I’d take you.”

“No, no, Khalid, that’s wasn’t the issue…” Actually it was at the time, but after sleeping with her brother, it was no longer the primary issue. “It’s because I knew after my beauty faded, you’d be bored with me.”

“I don’t only like beauty.” He scoffed as if offended.

“No?” Val looked at the art collector and collector of all things gorgeous as he tried not to look her in the eyes.

“I have depth to me.” He shrugged before he was pulled away by big large arms. The beautiful man grunted and narrowed his eyes at Voronin whose hands landed on Khalid’s ass.

“So when are we going to go somewhere private, princess?” Voronin asked before laughing when Khalid growled and pushed him away.

“Are you trying to get me killed by your wife, idiot?” Khalid straightened his suit. “Plus, you’re not my type.”

“Not pretty enough?” Val asked.

Khalid opened his mouth nodding, then paused and quickly said, “Not…refined enough…and um…too Russian,” he said, still not meeting Val’s eyes. Her cousin was a horrible liar. 

“I’m surprised your father isn’t here, Khalid,” Val said of her uncle, Khalid’s father.

“Always business.” The man sighed. “Always.” Then he walked to take his seat by Donya Walthour. While Khalid knew his father was in the business of trade and advisor to the Monaco throne, Khalid knew very little of his father’s role under the code. Only a priveledged few knew who Khalid’s father was because her cousin was raised by his mother. And his mother ran an underground syndicate that Khalid now heads. Unknown to Khalid, his father had several agents working within to keep an eye on activities and protect Khalid.

Cody took a seat by Gabe who snuck a kiss, making the pregnant woman glow. Their mother, Bailey, and Christophe sat side by side until Tyler gave Val a pointed look that said he wasn’t happy. Laughing, Val took her little man’s hand and they walked to the front overlooking the stage and the audience.

“It’s a lot of people, mommy.” He grinned.

“Yes, it is.”

“And Matt Daddy’s going to be on stage, right?” He pointed out to the stage curtains while Val winced. She hated the stupid name that Matt had her son calling him.

“Yes, your daddy’s going to be on stage.”

Val took a seat next to him just as Pam came running in looking flushed.

“Sorry, I’m late,” Pam said, sitting on the other side of Christophe.

“Norman and Roger?”

“You know them, not into musicals and stuff. Brutes.” She snorted before plastering on a smile. “You look lovely.”

“Me, too! Me, too! Mommy’s pretty,” Christophe said nodding agreement with Pam.

“Thank you, both.”

Then the lights dimmed and Matt walked out. The applause began, and Matt smiled that adorable dimpled expression that had Val swooning like the rest of the audience.

He introduced himself and welcomed everyone in that velvety tone that whispered words of love to Val every day.

Then the musical exposé began. Val immersed herself in the period piece that fused classical music with more ecclectic and modern sounds. 

The story was about a princess and a knight of the same country. The princess, young and naive, toyed with the knight’s hearts, not knowing how serious he was about her. The knight, falling more and more in love with the princess began devising schemes to see her more. Soon, he began plotting and planning to have the kingdom fall to ruin in order to bring her off her pedestal and into his arms. His plots, schemes, and murders soon began to tax his mind, slowly driving him mad, giving birth to a tragedy that was nearly Shakespearen where he accidently kills his princess and in turn dooms himself to eternal madness where he lives with the ghost memories of her, believing she still lived and still loved him.

The musical reflected something only Val could recognize – her and Matt. The mad knight was Matt willing to do anything for his love, while the princess was a naive version of herself — the version that had thought she loved Domenic and the version that believed Matt was harmless. But the ghostly illusion of the princess, who professed her undying love to the knight, that was the current Val.

The music had been spellbinding. The scene snippets captivating. She could only imagine what the whole play would be like.

When the curtain closed for the night, Val found herself grinning. Matt, you truly are a genius… Because, when she didn’t think she could love him more, he always found a way to top himself.


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