TROUBLE (The Billionaire's Rules, Book 9)

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Authors: Kelly Favor
Tags: The Billionaire's Rules
The police had taken Cullen away.   Taken him away from Ivy’s apartment in
handcuffs, like a common criminal.
been arrested.
for homicide.
    Ivy was shell-shocked by the sudden
upending of everything she’d taken for granted.   Cullen had always seemed invincible,
like nothing and nobody could ever truly hurt him.
    And yet the police had handcuffed him and
led him out of her apartment and there hadn’t been a thing he could do to stop
    It was as if she’d expected Cullen to be
able to snap the handcuffs like he had superpowers.
    The silence in the wake of his arrest was
    She didn’t know what to do, where to go,
whom to turn to for help.   There was
only one person that came to mind.   One person that Ivy had always depended on, come thick or come thin.
    There was one person who’d always been
there for her, and so Ivy picked up her cell phone and placed the call.
    Her mother answered almost
immediately.   “Ivy,” she said.   “Is everything okay?”
    And it was as if she knew, as if she
could read Ivy’s mind from a distance.   Ivy felt the tears breaking free, trailing down her cheeks as she tried
to explain what had happened.
    “Mom, I’m in trouble,” she said.
    “What happened?” her mother replied,
anxiety tingeing her voice.
    “The man I’m in love with just got
arrested, Mom.”   She crumpled to the
floor and tried to regain control of herself.
    “Who got arrested?   And what’s this about love?” her mother
asked.   “Ivy, please.   You need to back up.   I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    Ivy curled her legs up against her chest
as she sat with her back to the wall.   “I fell in love, Mom.   With a
wonderful man.   An amazing,
brilliant man and I want to spend my life with him.”
    There was a lengthy silence.   “How long have you been seeing each
    Ivy sighed, her breath quivering.   “Not long.   I’m sure you’ll think that I jumped the
gun.”   And now the moment was upon
her, and she knew she had to tell her mother the one thing she’d been terrified
to say.   “We got married, Mom.   We eloped.”
    There was a sudden intake of breath on
the other end of the line.   “You’re
married?” she said.   “If this is a
joke, it’s in very poor taste, Ivy.”
    “No, I’m not joking,” she said.   “His name’s Cullen Sharpe and we got
married in Las Vegas.   I wish I
could’ve included you, but…it’s complicated.”
    “Clearly,” her mother replied, and now
her voice dripped with sarcasm.
    “Mom, don’t be mad right now.   I can’t deal with that.”
    “And I suppose this is all about you and
what you need,” her mother retorted.
    “Yes,” Ivy said, a little anger burning
her stomach.   “Be angry with me
later.   Right now, I need your
help.   I need you to just listen and
tell me what I can do, because I’m really scared.”
    Her mother sighed, a sound of
defeat.   “Okay, so you’re married to
this man.   Cullen, you said?”
    “Yeah,” Ivy agreed.
    “And now he’s been arrested?”
    “What was he arrested for?”
    Ivy tried to stay calm, her hands shaking
as she hugged her legs closer with one arm and held the phone tightly to her
ear with the other hand.   “I believe
they said he was being charged with…ummm…negligence…negligent homicide.”
    “Homicide?” her mother said, her voice rising
almost comically high.
    “I know, it sounds terrible.”
    “I have to ask this, Ivy.   I have to ask.   Have you been doing drugs?”
    There was a long, stunned silence as Ivy
took in the question.   And then she
started laughing wildly.   She was
still crying a little, but it felt good to laugh.   “Oh, Mom…” she muttered, trying to
control her giggles.
    “I don’t see what’s so funny.   If you’re taking drugs, I need to know
right now.”
    “No, I’m not doing drugs.   If I were, it would make things so much

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