Courage (Billionaire Secrets Series, #3)(3)

By: Lexy Timms

“I believe you because when I made those accusations, you came clean,” he said. “You told me the truth about VLA wanting you to spy for them even though it was a huge risk for you. I know you signed a non-disclosure agreement with them. Your background check already confirmed that.”

“Telling you the truth exposes me to a lawsuit,” she said. “I signed a non-disclosure agreement, so VLA could sue me for revealing their shady tactics.” Her former employers were extremely powerful, and very few people ever dared to cross a corporate giant as big as VLA Technologies.

He nodded. “When you told me the truth, I honestly didn’t know that they had approached you about spying.”

“But you refused to believe me even after I confessed,” she said. “You didn’t want to hear a word I said.”

“That’s on me,” he said. “My trust issues got in the way of good sense. I had no right to take that out on you. It’s my job to protect Dover employees, and I didn’t listen to what you had to say.”

It couldn’t have been easy to admit that his trust issues had clouded his judgment. No. She had to harden her heart. The pain of his accusations was almost unbearable, and she couldn’t afford to lose her heart to him again. Not if he refused to trust her after everything they’d been through together. Even though he had broken her heart once, she had been willing to give him another chance. She’d extended her trust to him when he hadn’t done the same for her.

Besides, her son needed her to be strong enough to protect him, and that meant letting go of Simon for good. She was far too vulnerable to her feelings for Simon, and it was costing her everything. If she ended up getting arrested because of Simon, she would lose her son. The only thing worse than losing Simon was losing Finn. Finn was her whole life. Without him, life was meaningless.

“I can’t work for someone who doesn’t trust me,” she said. “When I stopped trusting the executives at VLA, it was impossible for me to take pride in my work. There’s no way I can work with you ever again.”

“Heather, please, don’t do this,” he said. “Don’t give up on us.”

“Us?” Indignation made her square her shoulders. “There is no us. You threw that away when you decided to accuse me. When you decided that I was a liar and a manipulator. I’m not perfect by any means. I lied at the beginning of our working relationship, but all those personal things you said about me—” Her voice hitched, and she lowered her gaze.

Tears pricked the back of her eyes, but she wasn’t about to let him see her in distress. She refused to give him the satisfaction of seeing her so vulnerable to her feelings for him.

“I have no right to ask you if there’s still a chance for us—”

“You’re right, you have no right. And there isn’t,” she said sharply, cutting him off. “I have no idea if I even still have a job, but I do know there’s no chance of us having a relationship.” She needed the money she made at Dover, but her heart had been ripped to shreds today. Simon had been the cause. All these years after he had first broken up with her, he had managed to smash her heart all over again.

“So, what are you going to do to get money?” he asked. “You have your son to think about.”

“My family is none of your business,” she snapped. “I have some extra money from my grandfather, and there’s still some of my severance pay from VLA.” Apprehension flooded her, because she didn’t feel as confident in her finances as she was letting on. With her ex-husband trying to get full custody of her son, her legal bills were mounting. The truth was, she needed a steady income. Not that she planned on admitting that to Simon. He would only think she was even more pathetic.

“You still have to come back to Dover,” he said. “To tie up loose ends.”

She regarded him warily. He was probably trying to use any excuse to get her back into Dover headquarters. He’d have an easier time convincing her to stay on if she was at the place she loved working. “If the board thinks I’m a spy, they’re not going to want me anywhere near Dover.”