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Destined for the Dom(10)

By:Jan Bowles

He switched it on, enjoying her sexy little intake of breath. The sparkling lead crystals cast a wonderful light over the staircase, pooling right up to the galleried landing above. Zoë looked like a kid in a candy store, all wide-eyed and happy.

Hunter took hold of her hand, and teased. “Typical woman, far too interested in soft furnishings and light fittings. At this rate you’ll never get to see the upstairs.” He pointed to three doors one after another in quick succession. “Living area, dining room, and this is the kitchen.” He pushed open the door at the end of the hall. “I spend a lot of my time in here. It’s got everything I need.” It was a large open space with an additional dining area. The huge floor-to-ceiling windows gave way to spectacular views across the countryside. “One day I might get a few horses in the paddock, but because I’m away so much of the time, it just wouldn’t be fair.”

“Is that land all yours?” She excitedly pointed to the tree-lined meadows that melted into the distance.

“Yeah, I like having that extra land around me. It just feels soothing, knowing it’s mine.” As a kid, and then a teenager, growing up, he had nothing apart from the shirt on his back. His lack of identity and personal possessions had dented his confidence. Owning his own piece of America made him feel like he’d achieved something in life. It gave him roots. Something he’d never had before.

“Wow.” Zoë skimmed her fingers over the black granite worktops. “Such luxury, Hunter. I’m jealous.” She laughed. “Only kidding, I’m real happy for you, but—”

“I want you to feel at ease here, Zoë.” He could sense she was becoming apprehensive. “Your happiness is very important to me. I want you to feel relaxed. This is your home from now on, Peaches.”

She nodded as she looked anxiously around. He guessed it was a lot to take in. “Come, I’ll show you to your room.” He took hold of her hand, and led her back to the stairs.

On the first floor, he pointed to several more doors. “Those are all bedrooms. You can choose whichever one you want, but I suggest you take this one.” He twisted the door handle. “It has a balcony leading to a small yard.” He stared into her beautiful green eyes, judging her response. “It’s totally private, and great for naked sunbathing.”

Zoë’s eyes widened as he pushed the door fully open, and beckoned her into the pale-blue room. All the colors in his home had been chosen to create a feeling of peace and tranquility, something in short supply during his time in the Marines. This was one of his favorite rooms.

“It’s beautiful, Hunter. I’m gonna take your advice, I pick this room.”

“Good, girl. I’ll help you get your things from the car.”

As they walked down the hallway, she asked, “So where’s your room, Hunter?”

“That’s mine down there.” The large oak-paneled door to his room stood like a barrier across the end of the hallway.

“Aren’t you gonna show me?”

“Curious aren’t you?”

“I’m a woman, of course I’m curious. I just want to see what your room’s like, that’s all.”

“Why?” he asked, a knowing grin spread across his face.

“I’m just being nosy, Hunter, nothing else. If you don’t want to show it to me, that’s just fine.”

He took a deep breath. “Very well, since you won’t rest until I do.” He led her down the hallway, and slowly opened the large oak door. Hovering on the threshold, Zoë just peered inside. “Go in if you dare, little girl,” he teased.

She shook her head. “No. I’m just fine right here, thank you.” She nodded appreciatively as she tentatively scanned the room from the doorway. “Very tasteful.”

“You like the colors?”

“Yeah, I like the way you have that restful green on the walls. It’s very soothing.”

She turned and smiled at him, and he realized the color was almost the same shade as her beautiful green eyes. Had he chosen it subliminally?

Zoë began walking back down the hallway. “Right then, I’d better start unpacking.” She paused at another door. One he hadn’t mentioned. “So what’s through here?”

“Nothing, that’s private.”

“Private, oh?” Her hand clasped around the door handle, and she flashed him a smile.

“Zoë, I’m warning you.” Before he could stop her, she’d pushed open the door and flicked the light switch.

He guessed she’d been disappointed that his bedroom was so ordinary, and figured as a Dom, he’d have something more exciting hidden away. He watched her come to a complete and sudden standstill.