The Price Possession - Book cover

The Price Possession

T. Stanlight

Who Is Taylor Price?

RickReady for tonight?
KateAs ready as when I got braces put on
RickStrange metaphor – I’m listening
KateIt just happened
KateAnd my life was never the same after
RickWell, this will probably be a little different, Kate…
KateI know
RickDo you want company?
RickMaybe just to escort you on the ride up? then you fly solo, baby bird
KateThanks, but I think I’ll be okay today.
RickYou must have made quite an impression for him to request you come back
KateAnd told him to fuck himself
KateWith himself, I suppose
KateYou know…
KateSince he’s …
RickI get it.
KateI don’t know what to expect from him
KateThis is attempt #3
KateAnd #1 and #2 were real…
RickNumber twos?
KateI’m nervous, tho
RickOf course you are
RickBut you don’t need to be
RickBecause all that’s riding on this is your entire life
RickI’m kidding – relax, YOU GOT THIS
KateI still can’t believe you lied for me like that to Arthur about the interview
KateWhat happens when Arthur finds out?
RickWrite an amazing piece and he’ll call the lie ‘inspired.’ You know how he likes to use that word
KateThank you again
RickNo problem, now give me 50% of every penny you earn from now on, k thanks.
KateSounds good. Sounds REASONABLE. That’s the main thing.
RickPrice is still a person
RickJust richer
KateI’ll keep that in mind
RickAnd more powerful
KateI got it
KateYou can stop now
RickTry to have fun 🥂


The crystal chandelier sparkled over the crowded banquet room of the Hauts-de-Seine Hotel. The theme of the night was stiff upper lips, hors d’oeuvres, and self-congratulatory speeches.

What the 1% called a “press conference.”

I camped out at the side of the room with my back against the wall. I pulled at a loose thread on my green lace dress. It had been years since I’d attended anything so formal, but I looked the part.

When pressed, I cleaned up good.

We’d see if it would make any difference.

I’d done a few circles through the crowd looking for Price without any luck.

Midway through another loop, I caught a glimpse of something shiny on the floor.

A pair of shoes. Black. Italian leather so waxed, it reflected the overhead lights as sharply as a laser pointer.

They belonged to Taylor Price himself.

He stood leaning against the bar with his perfectly coiffed black hair, his perfect suit, and his perfect glass of scotch.

I took a deep breath before walking over to the bar.

“Mr. Price?” I said.

He turned his head and stared back at me with piercing blue eyes.

Fucking hell, was he hot.

He arched an eyebrow at me, disinterested. “I’m sorry, you are…?”

“Kate. Kate Dawson from The Daily House.” I said, offering a smile.

Something shifted in his expression. His eyes darkened happily. “Right. The reporter. I believe we were supposed to meet.”

“Twice, actually.” I couldn’t help myself. I’d always had a big mouth.

“I suppose I ought to apologize,” he said.

I thought that’s what he was going to do: apologize.

But he moved forward, faster than I expected. “Do you know why I invited you tonight, Ms. Dawson?”

What does he want me to say?

“Well, the interview, I thought…”

He smiled, shaking his head. “No, not that.”

I began to see red.

He was screwing with me; that was why he’d brought me here.

“You’re really not going to give me an interview?”

His smile grew and he laughed.

“Okay, I guess I’m leaving.” I threw up my hands and turned to leave, then turned again. “Can you tell me what your problem is and get to the end of this? I don’t want to come back.”

“Off the record, I’m not a big fan of reporters. I’m tired of being bothered, pestered, shouted at, photographed. Hiding my face at the airport, making sure my mail is shredded, my guard always up.” He made dramatic hand gestures as he spoke.

“Piranhas nipping at me all day. So I hope this taste of irritation that is my life with you people has been informative. Let’s try again for that interview real soon,” he said, satisfied with himself.

I struggled but kept my anger in check. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction.

But he studied my face and knew he’d gotten to me.

Happy with his victory, he walked away.

“Motherfu—” I hissed under my breath, staring daggers into his back.


I jumped at the sudden voice behind me. A blond man with sympathetic eyes leaned against the bar, nursing a martini, shaking his head.

“You heard that?” I asked, hoping he hadn’t. “Well, I’m glad to spread joy and amusement wherever I go.”

I looked into the crowd. “Are they all assholes?”

“I’m kinda one of ‘them,’ so I hope we’re not all assholes.” He grinned. “I’m Brandon.”

“Kate.” I shook his hand.

“Well, Kate. I may have some good news for you. With your Taylor situation.”

He looked serious, but I had no idea what he meant. “You know him?” I asked.

“Oh, very well. We’re like brothers. I always feel I need to apologize for the little shit. Sorry.”

He was right: they weren’t all assholes.

“Taylor has an office on this floor, and after they do the toasts in a few minutes, he’ll probably duck back in there to take a break from the party. I’ll let security know you’re coming. Try again.”

“Try again? Try what?” What was he talking about?

“Your interview,” Brandon replied. “Taylor’s the type of guy, sometimes, that if you want something from him, you gotta push his buttons.”

“So, push his buttons by showing up in his office unexpected? That seems like a bad plan.” I scowled, not sensing the logic here.

“Well, not in his office. You’d have to wait in the lobby, but his office is right next to it.”

“Are you for real?” I needed confirmation before I let myself get too hopeful.

He nodded. I couldn’t believe it. Was I getting a second—well, fourth—chance?


I had managed to avoid her all night.

But it was only a matter of time before we would collide.

And it was upon me. Tom, my business partner, approached with her.

Everly Grey.

His fiancée. She looked more radiant than ever in a silver, backless dress.

“Taylor,” she said. “It’s been a long time.”

In that instant, even as she stood beside her soon-to-be husband, I knew.

We were going to fuck again tonight.


A security guard swiped a keycard for me at Brandon’s authorization, and I was led into the lobby on the other side of the building.

Most of the lights were off, and I didn’t know which office was Taylor’s, so I found a chair and waited.

I glanced around the lobby, past unremarkable desk cubicles and printers and potted plants. There was nothing going on here tonight.

If Taylor was going to do a few toasts, he’d probably be back soon.

But “soon” came quicker than I thought. The door burst open, and I saw Taylor pulling a breathtakingly beautiful woman by the wrist to an office.

I was to the right of the door, and he went left, not even aware of me.

“Get in here,” he said.

“Keep your voice down!” she replied.

He slammed the door behind them. “Someone will hear, don’t be so loud!” she said behind the door.

“Stop talking,” was the only thing he said, and that was the end of the conversation.

I heard grunts and clothes coming off inside.

So much for that interview.

The door back to the gala, the door they had just come through, was close, but if I opened it, Taylor would see the light shine in from outside.

He was a strange one who already didn’t like me. I didn’t want to be caught here.

I edged toward the door, which brought me closer to the window into the office they’d gone into.

As I got closer, the window was right in front of me.

And through it, I saw Taylor Price on top of the woman. Kissing passionately. Almost violently. Like they wanted to rip more than each other’s clothes off.

I reached out for the doorknob, afraid to be trapped in the lobby with them fucking on the other side of a wall.

The wall shook. I turned to look.

He’d slammed her on the table, face down, and was pulling up her silver, backless dress. Within seconds, he was hiking down her underwear and had his pants down. He thrust himself into her.

I slapped my hands over my mouth in shock.

She cried out, gripping the table for support as he rammed her from behind.

“You fucking had to come back. You just had to.”

“Fuck you,” she said, moaning, pushing against him. “Harder. Harder!”

The table slammed again and again as Taylor fucked her. I decided this was the best time to make a run for it.

But before I could grab the doorknob, their rhythm changed, and I heard something else: the sounds of someone choking.

Price had his hands on her throat, squeezing her from behind.

Her eyes rolled up as he pumped away.

In ecstasy or pain, I couldn’t tell.

But when he released her for a second, and she caught her breath, her eyes came back down and—

She looked right at me. She saw me. She saw me.

“Taylor,” she gasped.

I grabbed the doorknob and bolted, racing back down the hall to the gala. I traced the route back to my car in my head, pulling off my heels so I could go faster.


“She saw us. I’m sure of it,” Everly said, peeling herself off the table and pushing her dress back down.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

“What the fuck am I doing?” I said, furious with myself.

How did I give in to this again?

I pulled my clothes back on as fast as I could.

There was a glint of emotion in her emerald eyes, which twisted the knife in my heart.

She said, “You can say it, you know. I missed you too.”

“This is a mistake,” I said, as cold as I could manage. I threw my clothes back on. “See yourself out.”

I left without another word, stomping back toward the party.

I have to get control of myself.

And I had to get control of Kate Dawson.

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