Home > Billionaire Unbound ~ Chloe (The Billionaire's Obsession #8)(8)

Billionaire Unbound ~ Chloe (The Billionaire's Obsession #8)(8)
Author: J.S. Scott

Her resolve firmly in place, Chloe headed to work, trying not to dread the upcoming encounter with James.

“I can’t marry you,” Chloe blurted out at dinner the next evening. She hadn’t waited to start eating at the family steak house in Rocky Springs. In fact, she hadn’t even received her drink.

Now that she’d worked up the courage to really talk to James, she wasn’t backing down. She wanted to get the task of telling him they were finished over with as soon as possible.

She watched as James looked at her in displeased surprise, his eyes narrowing as he gave her one of the irritated looks she’d come to know so well.

“Of course you’re marrying me,” he said, his voice calm, but she could hear the threat within his quiet tone.

She shook her head as she met his annoyed gaze. Fidgeting with the napkin on her lap, she answered, “I can’t. I’m not happy, James, and neither are you. I’m sure you’ll find a woman who pleases you, but I’m not that woman.”

Truth be told, he hadn’t seemed to like a single thing about her except the fact that she was rich and very well-connected since she’d returned to Rocky Springs. Had he always been that way? Or had she just spent most of their relationship in denial because they rarely saw each other?

Was I really so pathetic that I really believed no other man would ever love me and I had to take what was handed to me?

Right now, she wasn’t exactly certain why she’d stayed in the relationship so long, but Natalie had helped her come a long way since then. James was not going to be her future.

Fury flashed briefly in his expression before he said adamantly, “You’ll marry me, Chloe. We’ve been planning to get married for years. I’ve accepted all of your flaws, but your judgment right now has me confused. Who else will ever love you?”

His comment hit home, but Chloe tried not to show it. He was trying to reason with her, make her think that no other man would ever care about her because she wasn’t the ideal woman. Even if that was true, she was better off being alone than being with someone who treated her like she was lucky that he married her. It would make her life hell. Deep down inside, maybe she didn’t feel like anyone would ever want her, but she had to be better off alone than married to someone who kept putting her down, right?

“It doesn’t matter if I never find anyone else. I don’t want to marry you,” Chloe repeated.

“You won’t find anyone else,” James said arrogantly. “No man is going to want you, Chloe. You dress like a poor woman, you do nothing to improve your appearance, and you’d rather be with your stinky animals than anywhere else. You even smell like your patients most of the time.”

She recoiled slightly at his words, knowing most of them were actually true. She had never liked the life of a rich girl, and she attended very few social gatherings unless they were for charity. She actually did smell like animal at the end of a workday, but how she looked didn’t matter to her patients. In fact, she did like being with her animals. They gave unconditional love.

“It’s over, James,” she repeated flatly, hoping he’d finally give up.

“It’s not over, Chloe. It will never be over. I chose you, even though I could have almost any woman I want.” His voice was getting louder, and more outraged.

She looked at James, stylish in his suit and tie. He was handsome, and he was a physician. With a tall, slender physique, dark hair and blue eyes, most women would find him attractive. Unfortunately, her personal connection to him, if she’d ever really had one, was gone. She never seemed to do anything right in his eyes, and the more she understood their relationship, the more she knew how controlling he needed to be. A few of their confrontations had ended with terrifying results, with James proving he had complete control in the most heinous of ways.

He’s brainwashed me enough. It’s done. I’d be like a hamster spinning on a wheel and getting nowhere with him. I can’t bear it anymore.

Chloe swallowed hard, recognizing the tone of enmity in his voice. It usually meant she’d pay later for what she was saying. “It is over,” she stated bluntly.

Thank you, Lara and Natalie. Thank you for giving me the courage to get out of this relationship, and for making me realize how stupid I was not to realize that I couldn’t marry someone like him.

Chloe couldn’t say that she had gained a ton of confidence yet, but knowing Lara and becoming confidantes with her sister-in-law had definitely helped. Natalie had sealed the deal with her insight and support. Chloe was in a cycle of abuse, and she was jumping out of the never-ending circle no matter how difficult it might be.

“We outgrew each other,” she said quietly. “We aren’t right for each other anymore.”

Honestly, maybe they’d never been good for each other, but Chloe had been young and naïve when she’d first met James, and she’d stayed ignorant of what was normal for years. She’d been so focused on the intensity of her studies that she’d been too mentally drained to question anything James had pounded into her brain. She’d taken it as truth, and now she was paying for her lack of attention to the relationship by letting him undermine her confidence.

“You’ll come home with me and we’ll discuss it then,” James said impatiently.

Chloe opened her mouth to speak, but stopped when the waitress came to their table to deliver their drinks. She was a pretty blonde, and Chloe was amazed how quickly James’s demeanor changed to one of a charming man who was almost flirtatious with the petite waitress.

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