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Resisting Jameson had been impossible when she had been trying to convince herself that she hated him. As she made her way across the room and crawled onto the bed with him, she wondered if she would ever truly be free of him.

Or if she even wanted to be free.


Tate made her way up top when Jameson disappeared into an office that she hadn't known existed. He did actually have to work, he informed her, especially the way she was racking up the bills. Turned out when he had thrown her purse overboard, he had very thoughtfully removed his credit card first. She then used it to go on another shopping spree. Thirteen handbags later, he held her down and forcibly took the card from her hand.

It was almost a week later, and things were not going well. Or too well. Tate couldn't tell anymore. The lines between game and not-a-game were blurred beyond recognition. They played, they flirted, they had sex. Jameson took her out, he showed her off, he didn't look at any other women. In Boston, he had always been gallivanting off under the pretext of work, but really just on missions to find some ass. She kept expecting it to happen in Spain. Nope. He only seemed to have eyes for her. He was almost sweet. Almost un-Satan like, even.

God help me.

They were going to Paris in two days, and Tate felt like she was unraveling. She had never been very good at sorting out her emotions where Jameson was concerned, and things hadn't gotten any easier. He caught her crying in the shower the day before; luckily, he was self-centered enough to think it was because she was upset with him, and he kissed the tears away. Touched the hurt away. He had no idea that she was crying because she was upset with herself.

Stupid bitch. Weak bitch. Easy bitch.

Every morning, Tate told herself that it was still a game, that she was still in charge, that she could still leave. And every day, Jameson made her forget everything. By the time she fell asleep at night, she was almost happy. Almost glad to be there. Glad to be with him again. Couldn't really imagine going back to her old life. Life without him.

You're losing, you're losing, you're losing.

Of course, she would see Ang in Paris – he was arriving a day or two after them. Tate was counting on him to be like a booster shot to her psyche. Help her get her head back in the game. Ang loved her. Ang hated Jameson. It would be perfect. She needed him to remember all the bad stuff for her, and remind her, because she wasn't too good at remembering anymore.

The bad stuff was fading away. That pool in her memories was draining. New memories came to mind when she was around Jameson. Memories of him holding her in the bathtub, telling her she was worth it. Him sharing with her while they were on the rowboat, explaining that he was a spoiled brat who had behaved poorly. Him touching her while they slept together, whispering to her how glad he was that she was there.

Too much. This man is so much more than me.

When Tate got outside, she moved to the very back of the boat. Jameson was locked away below deck, but she wanted privacy. There were sets of stairs on either side of the back deck, leading down to a platform that rested right above the water. Tate moved to that and sat down, dangling her legs in the water. Jameson had bought her a new phone, but had apparently thought it was funny to leave all the settings in Spanish. She was determined to figure it out, without his help, but it was proving harder than it looked. She wished she could phone Sanders for help, but she couldn't figure out how to call anyone.

“Fucker,” she cursed, shaking the phone, tempted to have it join her old phone.


Tate looked up, and it was the guy from the boat down the way. The one she had met her first night there, who had invited her on-board to his party. She had been in Spain for two weeks, but she hadn't seen him again. She smiled, shielding her eyes with her hand.

“Phones, I hate them. How are you? I never saw you again, and I wanted to say thank you, for letting me on your boat,” she said. He squatted down across from her and shrugged.

“Oh, no big deal, you don't have to thank me. We flew home for a couple weeks, now we're back here for a while. How is Mr. Kane?” the guy – she struggled to remember his name – asked.

“Mr. Kane is fine,” Tate laughed. “Jameson. He's somewhere inside.”

“I was worried about you that night. He seemed a little ..., shall we say, testy,” Bill, that's his name, Bill said. She laughed again.

“His bark is worse than his bite, don't worry about it,” she assured him, though she wasn't sure about that statement at all.

“Oh, good. I always wanted to introduce myself, but he seems a little ..., standoff-ish. A lot of us around here, we like to throw block parties. Sometimes we go out and tie the boats together, make a day of it. Never thought he'd be interested,” Bill said.

An idea flashed across Tate's mind, and her breathing quickened. She stood up. It was a bad idea. A bad, bad, bad idea. Jameson would be so mad. But maybe that's what she needed. A good slap in the face reminder of what a tyrant he was, of how “testy” he could be, when things didn't go his way.

“Oh, I think he'd be very interested. What are you doing right now?”

Jameson looked at his ceiling, wondering what the fuck was going on upstairs. The noise had been escalating for a while, but he hadn't thought much about it. Tate was always getting into something. At home in Weston, it hadn't been unusual to hear a bang, crash, smash, clank, followed by “I'm okay!”, several times a day. He had learned to ignore it. But this was a bit much. It sounded like she was walking clydesdales around the deck.

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