The smile on Allison’s face widened as she contemplated the night to come. Female retribution was
at hand and the notion was intoxicating. She had been waiting for just the perfect moment to exact her
revenge on Dominique Harrison, the little harlot. The party tonight would be the perfect place to show
society just what an imposter Dominique really was. Allison thought she’d nipped the little tart in the
bud, so to speak, when she had tattled to Joel about finding Dominique nearly naked in Derek’s home
that day. She should have known Joel would be too stupid to take things into his own hands. Her biggest
mistake had been forgetting that Joel was a man, hence a rutting barbarian that was unable to
withstand the pretty lies of a deceitful female. But the lowly little Miss Harrison would get her just
desserts tonight and Allison couldn’t wait.
She had already been working on sabotaging Derek’s business, although she admittedly hadn’t
done as good a job destroying Derek’s savvy reputation as she had initially hoped to do. Finding a few
dishonorable men in Derek’s service willing to embezzle part of the shipments each week had been
easy. It was underestimating how much actually needed to be stolen from Derek’s vast shipments in
order to make any obvious difference that was her current downfall.
The idea of smuggling reared its illegal head again. Allison had shoved that plan to the back of her
mind for weeks now, but trying circumstances oftentimes required desperate measures. If she could
actually involve the authorities after planting false evidence among Derek’s shipments, she could see
him sent to prison. Of course, Allison couldn’t bear to see Derek actually sent away. She knew the
atrocities secreted away behind the prison walls, had heard firsthand of the unimaginable dark deeds
done to those unfortunate enough to find themselves incarcerated.
She wasn’t a cruel woman, she wanted only for Derek to face the prospect of going to prison,
rotting away like the vermin he was. She would see that the charges were dropped before they had a
chance to put Derek away. She might achieve great joy from castrating him in the business world, but
she wasn’t vile enough to destroy a marvelous specimen like Derek Montford. Who knew, she might one
day fancy to take up with him again. It wouldn’t do for Derek to find out she was involved in any
schemes against him. Money talked, and Allison was intent upon keeping her name out of any misdeeds
that might be uncovered.
Joel knocked at Dominique’s door, a nervous smile on his face. It had been nearly a month since
he’d proposed marriage to Dominique, and though he had not pressed the issue any further just yet, he
was wont to speak of it again soon. Dominique had asked that he not confide his proposal to anyone
else, not even David or Phillip. Joel reluctantly agreed even though he was anxious to let everyone know
he was in love. He especially looked forward to giving his family the good news, if indeed Dominique
gave him a positive answer.
The door opened and Dominique graced Joel with a dazzling smile. She wore his favorite dress, a
daring gown of emerald green that he’d purchased for her recently, along with the diamond necklace he